Friday, April 29, 2022

Why Grasshopper Wants to Meet the Moon (poem)

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Jone Rush MacCulloch for our last Roundup of National Poetry Month. (It flew by, didn't it??)

Today's ArtSpeak: Animals poem features a grasshopper! I wrote quite a few drafts for this one, with different angles and ideas... and along the way, I did a little research. One thing I learned is that grasshoppers have existed longer than the dinosaurs! Here are the particulars:

" Modern-day grasshoppers descend from ancient ancestors that lived long before dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The fossil record shows that primitive grasshoppers first appeared during the Carboniferous period, more than 300 million years ago. Most ancient grasshoppers are preserved as fossils, although grasshopper nymphs (the second stage in the grasshopper lifestyle after the initial egg phase) are occasionally found in amber."

 You can read the whole article at Thought Co.

And here's my poem! (Sadly, their dino-history didn't make it into this version of the poem.) Thanks so much for reading.

Why Grasshopper Wants to Meet the Moon

Sunhopper knows


will be over soon—

one must leap,


h a n g  on—

for sky is where

dreams bloom.

- Irene Latham

Friday, April 22, 2022

I followed a little cat one day (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for Roundup.

Spring has most certainly sprung in these parts! I love this time of year for many reasons, not the least of which is arts & craft fairs. This weekend I'm daytripping to three such occasions...yay!

Earlier this week I presented with Karim Shamsi-Basha at University of Montevallo about The Cat Man of Aleppo. Huge thanks to all you fabulous folks at Montevallo!!

(l-r) Carey Heatherly, Irene Latham,
Karim Shamsi-Basha, Sheila Brandt

Which may explain why this week's ArtSpeak: Animals features a cat poem. Our beloved Maggie is 12 years old now. What a sweet friend she is! In fact, she helped me with this poem. Thank you so much for reading.

I followed a little cat one day

I crouched
yowled and scatted.
I chased my own tail.
Later, I puddled
in a circle of sunshine.
I bathed with July eyes
and an August tongue.
I   s tr e t c h e d—
all the way to next year.
I learned claws
are for sharpening,
string for tangling.
A box is a beginning,
and a purr?
Now this little cat
knows a purr
is the cure
for just about anything.


- Irene Latham

Friday, April 15, 2022

On Parrots and Friendship (poem)


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

Happy almost Easter! On this Good Friday I'm out gallivanting with my Garden Girls, but I do have a poem...and a pic of me and the sweetest, fluffiest Angora rabbit you ever did see. Holding it, I felt like I was 8 years old again. :)

Today's ArtSpeak: Animals poem features parrots. Don't you love those across-the-decades friendships where you can instantly dive in with honesty and vulnerability? Today's poem is about that.

Two Parrots Take a Walk Together in Spring

While songbirds patter about sky and rain,
parrots promenade like twin kings.

Old friends, they chatter about the beauty
the season brings—

Bees, wide-awake petals;
heat, and tender new wings.

Never enough time, so they're quick
to say the important things—

You are the cure for winter.
When we're together, my spirit sings.

- Irene Latham

Friday, April 8, 2022

On Indecision (and Zebras!)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Janice at Salt City Verse for Roundup.

Our community is simply bursting with poetic goodness this month, isn't it? So lovely.

My ArtSpeak: Animals poem today features a zebra. 

I have attempted to write on this particular piece of art several times so far this year, and it just wasn't working!  

Today's effort has an emotional focus—about something I struggle with in real life! I'm a fence-stradler, a Pisces (fish swimming in opposite directions)...I can most often see both sides of a situation. Do I have to choose? Can't I have BOTH? Sigh. And so...this poem. Thank you so much for reading.



my zebra heart

doesn't know

when to


and when to


- Irene Latham


Long-time readers may remember I had another zebra poem in my debut poetry book for kids (way back in 2014!) DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST: And Other Poems From the Water Hole.

It features that quality among zebra herds in which the zebras work as a team. The whole herd starts moving about so that predators can't tell where one zebra begins and the other ends! 

 If you're one of those writing a poem a day this month, what a gift you're giving yourself and the world. KEEP GOING!!! xo

Friday, April 1, 2022

National Poetry Month Begins!

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Heidi at my juicy little universe for Roundup. Yay for the start of National Poetry Month, too.

In case you missed it, Tuesday 2-Minute Writing Tip #20 is about "How to Live Your Poem." What better time than National Poetry Month to share the wisdom and guidance poetry can provide? To hear some of the lines that inspire me, check out the (short!) video on youtube.

AND... I am away from my desk today, but I do have the first line of our Progressive Poem for you!

It's not an original-by-me line. Instead I lifted a line from one of my most favorite books ever: THE IMAGINARIES: Little Scraps of Larger Stories by Emily Winfield Martin. All the lines (and art) in this book were meant to inspire new projects... so, voila!

2022 Progressive Poem

Where they were going, there were no maps.


I can't wait to see what happens next! You can follow along with this schedule. Thanks so much to Margaret for organizing and creating the beautiful graphic!

1 April 1 Irene at Live Your Poem

2 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
3 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
4 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
5 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
6 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
7 Kim Johnson at Common Threads
8 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
11 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
12 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
13 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
14 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
15 Carol Labuzzetta @ The Apples in my Orchard
16 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken Town
18 Patricia at Reverie
19 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Kevin at Dog Trax
22 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
23 Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life
24 Marcie Atkins
25 Marilyn Garcia
26 JoAnn Early Macken
27 Janice at Salt City Verse
28 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
29 Karen Eastlund at Karen’s Got a Blog
30 Michelle Kogan Painting, Illustration, & Writing

and now, the latest poem in my Artspeak: Animals adventure! Today I have a(nother) tiger for you. Thank you so much for reading.

Tiger Talk Triolet

When a tiger's tail begins to flick
she's roaring with her muscles:
Go away, quick!
When a tiger's tail begins to flick,
giving her space is the trick.
Notice how your heart rustles
when a tiger's tail begins to flick?
Tiger's not the only one roaring with her muscles.

- Irene Latham