Friday, September 17, 2021

End of Summer (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Denise at Dare to Care for Roundup.

Thank you for all the well wishes for my mom's 75th birthday party! We had a wonderful time, and my mom was practically floating the entire day. Here's a pic with me and my youngest (5 months old) great-niece. Isn't she adorable??

Introvert that I am, it's taken me most of the week to recover from the party. (I know some of you will know exactly what I'm talking about!)


Good news: The first review of WILD PEACE (coming October 19) is in! Here's a pull-quote selected by my lovely editorial team:

"A meditative exploration of the peace that exists in the communion between humans and nature."Kirkus

I'm excited to share more about this book in the coming weeks, as it's my first picture book that's one long poem featuring lots of woodland animals... and it clocks in at a spare 150 words! It's got a gentle goodnight-moon kind of vibe to it, which I think will make for some sweet reading time.

On the ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS front, this poem marks the end of summer. YAY! Bring on the pumpkins and falling leaves, because I am ready to write some fall poems... how 'bout you?


End of Summer

Morning's breath
turns sweet

as cool air
creeps between trees,

fills weary fields
and fallows.

Sun, too, softens,
trading glare

for twinkle.
We stow the boat,

store the hummingbird
feeder, grateful for

safe passage
between seasons—

for light
for light
for light.

- Irene Latham

Friday, September 10, 2021

A Poppy Day (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure and visit Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for Roundup.

Football season is here, which is happy-making in these parts. Some leaves are already turning, and the mornings air has dried and cooled—so we don't return from our walk quite so wet and bedraggled!

I'm learning in my gardening class that the reason so many of my plants don't thrive, is because I'm planting the wrong ones! (Our yard falls into the part-shade to all-shade categories.)

In art history we are studying ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. I've had about 15 billion ideas for children's books!

And this is the weekend of my mom's big 75 party, so when you read this, I will likely be either baking a Coca-cola cake (one of my mom's favorites) OR...even better!... eating it!

My ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS poem for this week went through several metamorphoses before I landed with this poem that includes a mother, freedom, and some wistfulness, too. (Truly, I will be glad to leave behind the Summer poems and write some Fall ones. One more Summer poem to go!) Thank you for reading!


A Poppy Day

Mother says the poppy field
is more than just
happy blossoms;
it's a jungle of bees,
ants, and grasshoppers.

Explore, she urges.
But not too far.
She paces along the narrow 
path, her parasol painting
shadows on her face.

We buzz—drunk on heat
and freedom—fall into our lives,
a flurry of feet and secrets.

May we forever remember 
this day: Mother watching,
and summer's
                  surprise bouquet.

- Irene Latham

Friday, September 3, 2021

The Truth About Sunflowers (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure and visit Heidi at my juicy little universe for Roundup.

First: I have to tell you about a beautiful book, INTO THE LIGHT by Jeff Zentner. It's a love poem to nature and poetry and friendship and love(!) and grandparents. Kind of old-fashioned, and partly set in Tennessee. Here's a quick quote.

“Every hurt, every sorrow, every scar has brought you here. Poetry lets us turn pain into fire by which to warm ourselves. Go build a fire.” - Jeff Zentner, Into the Wild Light


Please stop over at Smack Dab in the Middle to read my post about How to Mine Your Childhood for Story. (Artist's Way friends: you'll remember some of our work together!)

I've been thinking about how I can apply to upcoming teaching THE ANTI-RACIST WRITING WORKSHOP training through Highlights Foundation. 

Something funny: I just looked for the file I started on my computer, and I accidentally titled it "The Anti Writing Workshop," which is quite a different thing. :)

This year on Saturday, September 18, I'm part of the virtual nErDcampGA. Sign up for my "Experience the Transformative Power of Poetry" session and other great sessions FREE! 


Today's ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS turned out to be more for the adults among us than the children. While I intend this series for children, I've learned not to fight it when a renegade adult poem pops up! Thanks so much for reading.



The Truth about Sunflowers

By September
their blazing faces
droop,
          drop seeds.

Petals and stalks
shrivel.

You, too, will fade.

Your body will
disappear,
become something
                         new.

- Irene Latham