Friday, October 29, 2021

Why Evening Comes Early in Autumn (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Linda at TeacherDance for a Halloween themed Roundup.

It's Halloween weekend. Yay! My car and I will be participating in a community Trunk-or-Treat... I've even hobbled together a costume to wear: Spider Goddess? Web Mistress? Spider Charmer? I don't know, but you're probably getting the idea. I'm just glad it's not one of those sweat-while-you're-trick-or-treating times.

What are you doing to celebrate?

This week's ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS poem is about the short and getting-shorter days. Thank you so much for reading!

Why Evenings Come Early in Autumn

sky battered and bruised
by a million wings

lake a threadbare quilt
stitched with fading ripples

no wonder drowsy sun
refuses to hold up its head

- Irene Latham

Friday, October 22, 2021

It Takes Courage to be a Tree + WILD PEACE!

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Jama's Alphabet Soup for what's sure to be a delectable feast for Roundup. 

My latest picture book WILD PEACE was released this week! Thanks so much to those who helped me celebrate!  💜 And for those who don't know: Wild Peace a 150-word long poem about a girl who escapes her chaotic home life and enters the forest, where each wild animal teaches her something about peace. It's quiet and beautiful and meditative, thanks in no small part to the gorgeous art by Il Sung Na, who visited Live Your Poem earlier this year to share about his illustration process. Every book I've been lucky enough to be involved with feels like a miracle. I'm so grateful this book is in the world!

This week's ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS poem is short and not-exactly-sweet. Thank you so much for reading!

It Takes Courage to Be a Tree

with or without rain
October leaves rust,
soon to reveal
winter's sharp edges

- Irene Latham

P.S. Tomorrow I'll be participating in a 5K Fun Run benefitting our local animal's going to take all my self-control not to come home with a new pet! I suspect many of you can relate... xo

Friday, October 15, 2021

Cool Change / Gathering Season (poem)

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Bridget at Wee Words for Wee Ones for a celebration of her new book (!) and also Roundup.

Each morning, my husband's phone alarm wakes us to "Cool Change" by The Little River Band. (He changes the song each month, in keeping with the season!) That surely was in my mind as I was writing this week's ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS poem. 

Fun fact: As is often the case, the "shape" of this poem changed as I was making the graphic. (It was 4 3-line stanzas; now it's not.) The visual is so important in poetry... and isn't that such a personal thing, and determined by space on the page and the poet's aesthetic, among other factors? I really enjoy playing around with that during revision. Thank you so much for reading!

Gathering Season

Farmer shapes
hay into round-house

Flock grazes away 
every last blade

Sky, too,
corrals fat-bellied

first icy drops 
chase us all indoors.

- Irene Latham

And if you're gathering books this season (like I am!), WILD PEACE comes out next Tuesday!! Illustrations by Il Sung Na, coming to us from the good folks at Roaring Brook Press. I'm excited to share this gentle, meditative long-poem picture book with young ones, and I hope you will, too. More on this next week! xo

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Ode to an Autumn Poetry Friday Roundup!

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Roundup is HERE!

So, I have a secret I'm ready to share: I'm in the process of creating a digital course called Wild & Precious Writer. (Mary Oliver fans will know exactly where this title comes from!) 

My goal is to provide for others (you!) a path to higher joy and authenticity in your writing to create real change in your life and in the world. I'll be sharing things that have worked for me on my journey—ideas and practices that I've collected over the past twenty years from sources like The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop by Felicia Rose Chavez, and many others. 

With that in mind, I want to invite you along to help me create the course you would want. You can help me right away by answering the following question in comments:

If you could wave a magic wand to make your biggest writing challenge disappear, what would that be?

Thank you for your help! I'm VERY excited about sharing so many of the things that have been transformative in my life... stay tuned! You, too, can become an official Wild & Precious Writer when I open the course in early 2022. :)

And now, please join me in celebrating the season with some excerpts from "Ode to Autumn" by Pablo Neruda... and then please leave your link below!

Ode to Autumn

by Pablo Neruda, trs. by Ilan Stavans

Autumn is modest

like the woodcutters.

It's hard

to remove all the leaves

of all the trees

of all the countries.


sewed them together on the fly

and now

one must allow them

to fall as if they were

yellow birds.

It isn't easy.

There's not enough time.

One must run down all

the roads,

speak languages,



speak in the red tongue,

the green tongue.

One must know

how to be quiet in all

the languages

and everywhere,



the leaves to fall,


allowing them to fall,



And here is my latest ArtSpeak: Four Seasons poem! Thank you for reading.

Autumn Puzzle

I will not ask why

because life has taught me

about cycles and seasons.

Today I will fit myself

into the mystery—

how time eats daylight,

and I am always always

grasping for more;

squirrels hoard exactly

as much as they need;

and maples, god bless them,

give away every



-Irene Latham

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Friday, October 1, 2021

What the Deer Sees (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Catherine at Reading to the Core for Roundup. I'm out adventuring this week, but I will be back next week to host!

Today's poem was inspired by the many recent deer sitings on our morning walks and early evening drives. So. Many. Deer! Including this little cutie, just hanging out in the ditch. 

Adorable, yes? So no wonder my heart went in this direction for this week's ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS poem. Thank you so much for reading.

What the Deer Sees

Three figures
so silent, so still—

not deer
not bear

barest breath
salting the breeze

not bird
not dog

tiny wisp
of some wild scent

not sweet
not frightening—

friends, so long
as they move

not one step

- Irene Latham