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


  1. Thank you for this lovely poem, Irene. Have a wonderful time at NCTE. Thumbs up to you and Janet!

  2. All such wonderful news, Irene. I love your video tips and look forward to viewing them. Wishing I could see NCTE but am traveling and won't be able to watch maybe I can figure out how to sign up to see it after the fact. Congratulations to Janet Wong and all wonderful poets who both inspire and friend!

    1. Janet, if you find out how we can see NCTE events after this weekend, let me know.

  3. Just beautiful, Irene. I wish I could hold onto fall here in Western New York. Our old oak out front is still kicking off its covers after tossing its acorns for the deer. Off they all go to sleep... I loved your tip! Such good advice in many ways, and you give it with great heart and wisdom. Your poems certainly reflect thoughtful cup filling, and the world benefits. Congratulations to Janet! xoxo

  4. Love the use of 'foxing' as a verb, Irene!
    Two books for (young) adults I recommend are:
    Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid and
    Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon.(a collection of short stories.)
    Happy reading!

  5. Exquisite poem, Irene. Enjoy your time at NCTE this weekend!!

  6. Beautiful goodbye, Irene. I look at all the trees around my home & the best thing is that I have a wider sky view, but it is sad to see the leaving, too. Have a super time this weekend helping to celebrate Janet!

  7. Irene, I enjoyed how you employed questions and the gentle strains of alliteration to lay out your poem for all to read. The imagery shines through.

  8. whispery kisses--the best! I love the image of oaks being lovingly tucked in for the winter. What fun and interesting work serving on the committee. It is a lot of reading -- but so rewarding too!
    Adult books--I'm a historical fiction fan. I love a Tracy Chevalier book every once in a while. The Last Runaway was very good. Also, Orphan a different author. Can't remember who.

  9. Irene, I do apologize for not including your Art Speak poems in my Bedecked In Autumn Gallery for this week's unveiling. It was an oversight but I do intend to include them. I will let you know when I add the edited edition. Whispery kisses is a favorite in your poem today. I would also like to include this poem in the gallery. Enjoy NCTE. I am sorry that I am missing it this year.

  10. Love your poem from title onward. Personification of trees is a favorite craft move. I imagine them as our caretakers, how they watch over us with "crisp, whispery kisses."

  11. Beautifully captured! I particularly love how you rounded out this poem :)

  12. I hope you had fun with NCTE, Irene. I miss it... This is lovely, and I esp love "Who sends snakes a-slither"

  13. Love "crisp, whispery kisses" — wonderful. Hope NCTE was wonderful, too.


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