Friday, November 26, 2021

Where the Path Bends Long and Narrow (poem)

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town for Roundup.

It's been a lovely Thanksgiving here at Casa Latham/Happy Rabbit Hideaway/The Lake. So SO much to be grateful for!

In case you missed it, my new video series Tuesday 2-Minute Writing Tip #2 "Call Me Ishmael" was about embracing our identities as writers, and a practice that has helped me for many years. I hope you'll give it a listen! And if you know a writer who may benefit, I'd be so grateful if you'd pass it along to them! Thank you!

Today I'm continuing my series of question-titled poems for ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS. With just 3 more Fall poems to go (and then 2 Winter), I've got 2022 on my mind... what should my ArtSpeak theme be? We shall see...

Also, it's that time when I begin reflecting on how my One Little Word "Bewilderment" has impacted my year... and thinking about what should be my 2022 One Little Word. More on these topics soon!

For now, here's my latest poem. Thank you so much for reading!

Where the Path Bends Long
and Narrow

We are both nameless—
the trees and me—
and what is true
breathes between us:
We both come from seed
and are made mostly of water.
We both require sunshine,
rain, soil.
We both lean into
a friendly, autumn breeze.
We learn from each other—
how to stay rooted;
how to move on.

- Irene Latham

Friday, November 19, 2021

Who Paints the Leaves in Fall? (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink for Roundup.

Yay for #NCTE21 and Janet Wong's Award for Excellence in Poetry! I'll be there tomorrow celebrating this moment with Janet... and also helping present the Children's Book Awards! This was my second year (of a 3-year term) to serve on the Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction committee...VERY excited to share with all of you our winners! :)

Finishing work on the Huck committee means I have a brief window to read books for adults! Any suggestions?? Please leave in comments!

In other news, I've started a new video series, 2-Minute Writing Tip Tuesday! You can catch the first installment here, where I share inspiration from a lovely Ray Bradbury quote.

If you are gathering with friends and family in the coming week, I wish you joyjoyjoy! I'm quite excited about turkey and all the fixings with my guys. :)

Meanwhile, here's the latest ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS poem, carrying forth the "question-title" mini-series I identified last week. Thank you so much for reading!

Who Paints the Leaves in Fall?

Who holds up the sky?
When oaks kick off their covers,
who tucks them snug into winter?
Who gives such crisp, whispery kisses?
Who sends snakes a-slither
and foxes foxing into their dens?
As the sun circles away
a lone voice sings: Sleep, my darlings,
sleep. I'll see you in my dreams.

- Irene Latham

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

[VIDEO] 2-Minute Writing Tip Tuesday! Episode #1 "We Are Cups"

 Welcome to my new video series for writers! I'm kind of amazed by how much inspiration can fit in just two minutes. :) In this (the very first episode) I riff off a favorite quote by Ray Bradbury. Enjoy!

Friday, November 12, 2021

Where Friendship Begins (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme for Roundup.

I started a new monthly feature at my blog this week: Homeschool  Poetry Party! 

I've done a lot of work with homeschoolers this past year, and I have loved it! So, on the 9th of each month (hello, nonets!!) I'll be posting something especially for homeschool families. If you know a homeschool family, and you think they'd benefit from a bit of poetry in their lives, would you please share the link with them?? Thank you for your help!!

When I went into my art folder to select a piece for today's poem, I noticed in the "Done in 2021" file a surprise miniseries of poem titles beginning with "question" words:

What the Deer Sees

When in Doubt

Why Evening Comes Early in Autumn

Why River Smiles in Winter

Why Roses?, I decided to add another Question-title poem this week to the series! (And perhaps I will continue for a few weeks, or at least until I lose interest. :) Thank you so much for reading.

Where Friendship Begins

on a hushed,
          curving road
beside a slumberous field—

can I help you?
          sunders autumn fog

- Irene Latham

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

9th of the Month Homeschool Poetry Party!


Hello, and welcome to a new feature here at Live Your Poem: Homeschool Poetry Party! Celebrating the joys of reading and writing poetry with Homeschool Families on the 9th of the month (all year long!)

This month we'll focus on GRATITUDE with blessings, prayers, and writing gratitude poems. 

First: a Prayer poem from my 2019 ArtSpeak: Happy series. 

Now listen to me reading the poem:


Question for discussion: When you think of God, what color comes to mind?

Next, a book recommendation:

Find out more about For Every Little Thing: Poems and Prayers to Celebrate the Day by June Cotner, Nancy Tupper Ling, & Helen Cann by visiting the blog interview I did with Nancy Tupper Ling back in September.

Finally, let's write a Gratitude poem! 

1. make a quick list of some things you're grateful for

my list:

family times
exploring nature

2. use the 5 senses to bring them alive

family times - together in the kitchen tasting pumpkin pie, nutmeg and allspice tickling our tongues  (taste)
reading - cozy under a blanket with a second-hand book (touch)
writing - the characters in my new story dancing in my dreams (sight)
music-making - "Ode to Joy" marching me across the hours (sound)
exploring nature - the scent of woodsmoke as I crackle-crunch across fallen leaves in the woods (scent & sound)

3. put them in an order that's pleasing to you

cozy under the blanket,
turning pages of a favorite book
characters dance in my dreams
Ode to Joy marches me
into the woods where the scent
of woodsmoke welcomes me
as we crackle-crunch across fallen leaves
together, nutmeg and allspice tickling our tongues

4. make changes so that the words sound and mean even more (i.e. add rhyme, title, punctuation, choose more precise words; take away words, etc.)

Every Day is a Holiday

Cozy under quilt,
flipping pages 
until characters 
dance dizzy in my dreams—

"Ode to Joy" 
marches me awake
and into the woods 
where woodsmoke 
welcomes all
as leaves crackle-crunch 

The best times
are together times, 
nutmeg and allspice 
tickling our tongues.

5. Share your poem with someone!
I've created a special Homeschool Poetry Party! padlet, if you'd like to post your poem for others in this community!

Thank you for joining the Homeschool Poetry Party!! If you found value in this post, please share it with others. Thank you!

Friday, November 5, 2021

Learning from Birches (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading for Roundup.

Today's ArtSpeak: Four Seasons poem features birches. Many other poets have written about birches. Have you? Here are a few I found online:

how they remind of childhood: Birches by Robert Frost

how they are "all elbows" Birch by Cynthia Zarin

"white fingers"  Russian Birch by Nathaniel Bellows

addressing the birches:  Matins by Louise GlΓΌck

...and here is my birch poem. Thank you for reading!

when in doubt

like birches—


a thousand
crooked forests
cannot be wrong
about how to catch

- Irene Latham