Friday, April 28, 2023

When Poems Fall from the Sky by Zaro Weil

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

First: have you heard Matthew Winner's The Children's Podcast Poetry Month series of poems? So many beauties there! Be sure to check it out. I was honored to read my poem "I Followed A Little Cat One Day" from my ArtSpeak: Red year. :)

I'm excited to share with you on this, the final Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month, a visit with French poet and amazing person Zaro Weil!

I first blogged about Zaro in 2020 after I read her lovely CLiPPA award-winning book CHERRY MOON:Little Poems Big Ideas Mindful of Nature. Read poems from the book here.

Now, lucky us, CHERRY MOON is available in the US...and she has a new beautiful book WHEN POEMS FALL FROM THE SKY, published by Welbeck Editions, which is all about climate change and nature and language and hope. You're going to love it!

Not only has Zaro given me permission to share one of my favorite poems with you, she also popped in to respond to a few simple prompts about her experience writing WHEN POEMS FALL FROM THE SKY.

Here's a favorite poem from the collection, which on the page has this lovely arched indented shape that I can't accurately represent here...all the more reason to get thee a copy straightaway!

If You Can Hear Me

By Zaro Weil

If you can hear me

know that I dream

 big things for you 

  skies of pink

   whenever you wish

     snow-dust stories

      whenever you hope

      starry blossoms

     whenever you wake

     but most of all the

   pit-a-pat heartbeat of

  earth still green

 sea still blue

ice still cold


Gorgeous, yes? And now please welcome Zaro!

Zaro Weil


ZW: How do we address the destruction of the planet with children? 

How do we see the world of nature from the point of view of nature itself when so much is at stake now? 

And when nature is being destroyed every day in every way. 

How do we tell the truth? Gently.

These were the questions that kept rolling wave-like over me again and again as I was writing this book. 

Knowing how important it was to find the hope.

 So children could know there is hope. For it is there. 

In the continual renewal of the sunrise which is is also our story.


ZW: Imagine going inside the mind and spirit of a hummingbird. Or a tree? Or a seed? 

How delicious is that! 

And how fulfilling to create different literary forms in the book; little plays, myth, raps, haiku, rhymes and more. 

Because When Poems Fall is an expression -a love letter really- to earth. 

An earth that is informed, nurtured and inspired by both science and poetry. 

And finding the clearest literary and understandable expressions to best illustrate complicated ideas 

was an immeasurably delicious undertaking.


ZW: Fresh is always and forever the unexpected. The original. 

Something that can't help but surprise. Even astonish.

For me as an author, it doesn't start with the words I say. 

Or how I choose to say them. It's about the fire-power. 

The energy I must summon to ensure that I am on the scent of a fresh idea. 

On the hunt for the unexpected. 

And for something I hadn't understood, known about 

or thought about ever ever ever before.

Fire-power. Yes! Thank you, Zaro, for your words and for your life!

As for my ArtSpeak: Light poem...this week took me to the CITY. I kind of fell in love with this little girl in the yellow dress.... Thank you so much for reading!

City Song

We sing in the city
a funny, sunny chorus
across sidewalks
and traffic jams
down garden paths
and up glassy towers

We sing in the city
a blue-sky kind of tune
mothers, fathers
pups and flowers
everyone singing
about the light
that is you

- Irene Latham

Friday, April 21, 2023

The Museum on the Moon Cover Reveal (and Other Poetic Marvels)

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit kind and clever Karen Edmisten for Roundup.

Lucky me, I got to meet and share time with some amazing poets, including Poetry Friday friends Marcie, Rose, and Patricia at Highlights:

Irene Latham, Marcie Atkins, Patricia Franz, Rose Capelli

So much fun! And so inspiring!! Charles and I were absolutely honored to commune with such wonderful humans who share our passion for poetry and learning. I am still riding the wave. :)

AND I got the go-ahead to share the cover of The Museum on the Moon: The Curious Objects on the Lunar Surface, coming August 8, 2023 from Bushel and Peck Books, illus. by Myriam Wares. I'm super-pleased to be part of the debut season of the brand-new all-children's-poetry imprint called Moonshower. Read more about the exciting news in this announcement from Publisher's Weekly. Yay for more children's poetry!

Y'all, this book has been so much fun to work on! It includes poems about footprints, a family photograph, the Bible, a flight patch, golf balls, feather, hammer, space equipment, trash...and invisible things, too, like hope and dreams...

I love how much the moon has been in the news lately, what with the announcement of the Artemis II crew...and with the failed SpaceX Starship launch earlier this week, from which I hope much is learned. Meanwhile, I am looking for other moon-space-poetry enthusiasts to help me spread the word about this book. If this title looks like something you'd like to blog/tweet/talk about, would you please contact me? irene (at) irenelatham (dot) com. In addition to a copy of the book, I'm putting on some fun moon-related goodies just for you! 

This week's ArtSpeak: Light poem is one I went 15 rounds with... and landed in one of those bittersweet places we've all been... Thank you so much for reading!


once we laughed together
at the edge of the world
and watched waves crash
watched clouds crawl
without any words at all

now I walk along the cliff
light splinters afternoon
into a thousand shades of blue
and I am walking
at the edge of the world
missing you

- Irene Latham

Friday, April 14, 2023

A Writer's Journey (poem)

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Jone Ruch MacCulloch for Roundup. I contributed several poems to her Classic Found Poem Palooza, from some of my favorite children's classics: Because of Winn Dixie, Charlotte's Web, Hatchet, The Wind in the Willows. As usual, I had a lot of fun creating titles to go with the found text!

Today I am packing my bag for tomorrow's trip to Highlights, where I'm excited to share and learn with poetry peeps! (It will be my first time on an airplane since 2020. I think I'm ready...)

I have loved reading everyone's National Poetry Month offerings! My notebook is simply bursting with prompts and quotes and inspirations...thank you!

Today's ArtSpeak: Light poem surprised me. I kept wanting to tinker with it, to fancy it up. But ultimately I decided to leave the language simple, because the message of the poem is really a basic one: we writers need to get out of our own way and JUST WRITE. (I did end up with a lot of "f" and "r" sounds, which I love!) Thanks so much for reading!

A Writer's Journey

I went in search of words
and found a field of flowers

I went in search of fame
and found no place for love

I went in search of forever
and got lost in silver shadows

Now I search for nothing
and sunbeams shoot from my fingers

- Irene Latham

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Progressive Poem is Here!


Hello! How's everyone doing this NPM? How are those poetry projects cooking? I know we can all get to feeling a big saggy in the middle...keep going! Future You is going to be SO HAPPY come May 1!

It's my pleasure to add a line to this year's Progressive Poem. So much gratitude to Margaret for keeping this tradition going!

I'm following Dave...and will hand it off to Janice. My line below in purple.

Here's the poem so far:

Suddenly everything fell into place
like raindrops hitting soil and sinking in.

When morning first poked me, I’d wished it away
my mind in the mist, muddled, confused.

Was this a dream, or reality, rousing my response?
The sun surged, urging me to join in its rising

Rising like a crystal ball reflecting on morning dew.
I jumped out of bed, ready to explore the day.

My feet pull me outside and into the garden
Where lilies and bees weave…but wait! What’s that?

A bevy of bunnies jart and dart and play in the clover.
A dog barks and flash, the bunderstorm is over.

I breathe—brave, quiet. Like a seed.

Here's this year's (brave! brilliant!) participating poets:

April 1 Mary Lee Hahn, Another Year of Reading
April 2 Heidi Mordhorst, My Juicy Little Universe
April 3 Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference
April 4 Buffy Silverman
April 5 Rose Cappelli, Imagine the Possibilities
April 6 Donna Smith, Mainely Write
April 7 Margaret Simon, Reflections on the Teche
April 8 Leigh Anne, A Day in the Life
April 9 Linda Mitchell, A Word Edgewise
April 10 Denise Krebs, Dare to Care
April 11 Emma Roller, Penguins and Poems
April 12 Dave Roller, Leap Of Dave
April 13 Irene Latham Live Your Poem
April 14 Janice Scully, Salt City Verse
April 15 Jone Rush MacCulloch
April 16 Linda Baie TeacherDance
April 17 Carol Varsalona, Beyond Literacy Link
April 18 Marcie Atkins
April 19 Carol Labuzzetta at The Apples in My Orchard 
April 20 Cathy Hutter, Poeturescapes
April 21 Sarah Grace Tuttle at Sarah Grace Tuttle’s Blog,
April 22 Marilyn Garcia
April 23 Catherine at Reading to the Core
April 24 Janet Fagal, hosted by Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference
April 25 Ruth, There is no Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town
April 26 Patricia J. Franz, Reverie
April 27 Theresa Gaughan, Theresa’s Teaching Tidbits
April 28 Karin Fisher-Golton, Still in Awe Blog
April 29 Karen Eastlund, Karen’s Got a Blog
April 30 Michelle Kogan Illustration, Painting, and Writing

Friday, April 7, 2023

Wild Goats poem

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

Today Paul and I are celebrating 33 years since our first date/32 years since we got married! I was just 19 years old when we met/20 when we got married. I knew nothing...and everything! I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world to share my life with him. 

This week Charles and I presented together at Helen Keller Public Library in Tuscumbia, Alabama. We also visited the Helen Keller Museum and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, and I was able to take Charles on a mini tour of Blount County, where I live. So much fun!

Over at Smack Dab in the Middle, I have some suggestions for writers who are blocked, or in a funk, or otherwise disenchanted with their writing—in other words, how to stay open in your writing life.

And today's ArtSpeak: Light poem features goats! This may be the first animal poem I've written this year...I wasn't expecting my "Light" theme to yield any animals at all. Of course it would be a goat... I mean, is there anything cuter than a baby goat? 

It brings to mind my early childhood living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where the goats climbed on everything and were known to sleep atop the cars parked along the street. We loved to play with the goats, too—chasing and petting and feeding. 

Early in mine and Paul's marriage, we had two goats named Beth and Billy. They were entertaining for sure! And annoying at times...and man, that Billy could be so stubborn. "Old goat," indeed!

And here's this week's poem. Thanks so much for reading.

Wild Goats

all morning they eat the light,
try to hold sun inside

as afternoon dies,
they rest resplendent—

sometimes dreaming,
sometimes bleating stars

- Irene Latham