Friday, May 27, 2022

Frog Haiku

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit lovely Linda at A Word Edgewise for Roundup.

It's been a rough week in the news. My heart is with all those families in Uvalde, and with all of you. There are no words.

Meanwhile, rain blows over, flowers bloom. Memorial Day weekend marks the start of lake season—hurray! And that's got me thinking about frogs.

And thinking about frogs got me thinking about haiku. Perhaps you've read Basho's oft-translated frog poem... Seriously. So. Many. Translations! You can read many here.

Here's the one I see most often, translated by Robert Haas:

The old pond —
a frog jumps in,
sound of water.

Beautiful, yes? 

I also love Kermit the Frog's "It's Not Easy Being Green."

And then I found this gorgeous art in my ArtSpeak: ANIMALS file, and voila! A frog poem! Thank you so much for reading.

pond shrinks to puddle

mud cracks—still

five frogs sing

- Irene Latham

Friday, May 20, 2022

Sheep in the Snow Poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Carmela at Teaching Authors for Roundup.

I'm on a just-me writing retreat all week, so I've actually prepared this poem ahead of time. And to continue the "out of time" theme, I've got a snow poem... I know! But I am told by a Montana friend that she has seen snow fall every month of the year.  (Ultimately the poem is about faith, so why not snow?) Thank you so much for reading!

Sheep in Snow

What is this wet
Where did
the green go?
Shall we follow
these trails,
leap these rails?

Wait—sun always
comes back.
Surely pasture
will, too—
I believe in light.
Just look
at all this bright!

- Irene Latham

Friday, May 13, 2022

Butterfly Poem


Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Rose at Imagine the Possibilities for Roundup. 

I'm on the road today, heading for Murfreesboro, TN, where tomorrow I'll be part of the Southern Kid Literary Festival. I can't wait to share D-39 and The Cat Man of Aleppo with 3rd-5th graders! And...I get to hang out with my mom and the Tennessee contingent of my family. YAY!

I'll leave you with an ArtSpeak: Animals spring-y butterfly poem. Since the collective noun for sharks (shiver) was so well received last week, I decided to include one of the collective nouns for butterflies. Thank you so much for reading.

Meadow Kaleidoscope

A hundred butterflies

find flower-dish
after delicious flower-

O sippety-slurp!—

enough for you and you
and you!

What is spring,
but a smorgasbord

of wishes
come         true?

Friday, May 6, 2022

Shark Poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Indulge in ALL the deliciousness over at Jama's Alphabet Soup

I've got sharks on my mind. And when I found Utagawa Kuniyoshi's gorgeous piece of art, I knew I needed to write a shark poem this week. 

But before we get to that... have you had a chance to read ZOOBILATIONS! by Douglas Florian? It's full of animals and puns and art kids will be able to relate to. There's humor, of course, and some lovely surprises, like "The Dove," which is two lines of wonderment. Get the book and tell me you agree. :)

As for my ArtSpeak: ANIMALS poem, you'll notice the formatting looks different on the graphic than in the body of this post. I wanted to shape this poem like a tornado, but there wasn't room for it on the graphic! So...I tried an alternate formatting for the graphic. (Isn't poetry fun??) Thank you so much for reading!

When a shiver of sharks rise from the deep

you forget for a moment

fins tail teeth—

so graceful

so sleek!

They are one

gray tornado


in a world


than blue.

- Irene Latham