Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Moon in June - Welcome to Poetry Friday Roundup!

Hello and welcome to Poetry Friday Roundup! Our theme for today is "The Moon in June." Please add your link below...and take a moment to enjoy all the lovely poetic offerings! 

I wanted us all to share moon poems because I hope this post will be a valuable poetic resource for educators in conjunction with my new book THE MUSEUM ON THE MOON (Bushel & Peck, 2023, illus. by Myriam Wares). It features 20 poems about some curious objects humans have left on the moon. It just got its first (glowing!) review: 
 “The poetry and facts complement each other and make for a nice flow of information and fun.…A lovely picture book that mixes poetry and history about the moon.”School Library Journal

Is there a poet among us who has NOT at some point written about the moon? Click here for a MOON padlet I created that includes some moon poems I've collected so far!

Write about a radish

too many people write about the moon.

The night is black

the stars are small and high

the clock unwinds its ever-ticking tune

hills gleam dimly

distant nighthawks cry.

A radish rises in the waiting sky.

- Karla Kuskin

So, here's to radishes and all the fresh ways poets of today and yesterday write about the moon!

And now it is my pleasure to share some moon offerings from a few of today's beloved children's poets.

Marilyn Singer's book A Full Moon Is Rising (Lee & Low, 2011, illus. by Julia Cairns) opens with “Broadway Moon” and closes with:

Broadway Moon Again

New York City, USA

On the sidewalk, the audience of one is now ten.
“What you looking at, girl?” they ask.
“O, the moon,” she says. “Just the moon.”
But what a moon!
Between the skyscrapers, it takes a bow.
“Encore in one month!” it proclaims.
“Admission is always free.”

- Marilyn Singer

“Broadway Moon Again.” Poem from A Full Moon is Rising. Poem copyright © 2011 by Marilyn Singer. Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Julia Cairns. Permission arranged with LEE & LOW BOOKS Inc., New York, NY 10016. All rights reserved. Learn more at

Don't you love "Admission is always free" ?? Lovely!

The next moon poem comes from J. Patrick Lewis, found in his book Phrases of the Moon: Lunar Poems (Creative Editions, 2018, illus. by Jori van der Linde). Thank you, Pat, for giving me permission to share this one...and for calling the moon an "eternal museum"... my forthcoming book also uses the museum metaphor. Yay!

The Moon Is

Man or woman,
Rabbit or cat,
Depending on what
You're gazing at.

Misshapen in full
Or parenthesis,
So often mistakenly
taken for Swiss

Cheese. Dusty trustee
Of famous footprints
Of twelve astronauts who
Have landed there since.

Eternal museum
Where folklore abides,
Sojourner of heavens,
Re-turner of tides.

The luminous news
(Farmer's Almanac),
A cool monthly cruise
Round the zodiac.

- J. Patrick Lewis

Finally, I've got this magical one I just want to read over and over again from Rebecca Kai Dotlich in One Minute till Bedtime: 60 Second Poems to Send You off to Sleep selected by Kenn Nesbitt (Little Brown, 2016,  illus. by Christoph Niemann). Thanks, Rebecca!

Sky Story

Who has the keys
to the moon,
to the moon...
who has the keys
to the moon?
Not me,
said the owl,
said the owl;
no keys.
Not me,

said the mouse
as he nibbled his cheese.
Not me,
said the bee.
Nor I, said the fly.
Only I, said the sky.
Only I.

- Rebecca Kai Dotlich

And here is this week's ArtSpeak: Light poem. It has a very long title. (Do you, like me, love very long titles??)

Soliloquy of a Moth Upon Rising from the Rushes Just as Moon Sheds Her Robe of Clouds

O Queen of Tides

O Mirror of the Sun
Crabs are dancing
their sideways dance
Sky is surging
as I tilt toward you
and only you
O Beauty, O Muse
O Furnace of a Thousand Dreams

Burn me

- Irene Latham

I'll have more moon goodness in the coming weeks. Thanks so much for let's get ready to dance with the July Supermoon! (Or at least say hello/make a wish/send a kiss.) 💜

Friday, June 23, 2023

Auburn and ALA and "Remembering That Late Afternoon" poem

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

Reminder: next week Poetry Roundup will be a "Moon in June" theme here at Live Your Poem! I can't wait to read your moon poems...and/or whatever else you choose to share! 

Thanks to the generosity of good folks at Auburn University, I have been writingdreamingrevising this week from the Lowrey Guest House. Uninterrupted writing time where I can really dive into my wip without distractions of dishes and dog and garden etc. is such a gift! I'm so so grateful...and also very pleased with my progress!

And today I am traveling to Chicago for ALA! It's not my first time to Chicago, but it IS my first time to go to ALA. I'll be signing THIS POEM IS A NEST at the Astra booth 3020 Saturday 11:30-12:00. NEST is one of those pandemic book releases that missed out on these type of opportunities, so YAY!

Also on Saturday, Charles and I will be attending the Scott O'Dell Award luncheon with the committee and Scott O'Dell's family members. So exciting! We'll be signing FREE copies of AFRICAN TOWN at the PRH Young Readers booth 2811 Saturday 3:30-4:30 pm.

This week's ArtSpeak: LIGHT poem is a love poem. I love love poems, don't you? The title comes from the title of the art. Thanks so much for reading!

Remembering That Late Afternoon

a window with no walls

my body a house of light

your eyes full of rivers

a piano in every treetop

- Irene Latham

Friday, June 16, 2023

Night Storm poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit marvelous

Michelle Kogan for Roundup!

Reminder: "The Moon in June" will be the theme for Poetry Friday Roundup happening June 30 here at Live Your Poem. Can't wait to read your moon poems!

I got a little artsy this week when I finally got the paintbrush out and put some flowers on this shutter (pictured left) I bought a couple of years ago (!) to hide some electrical wires. Never too late to complete an art project. :)

Also, we finally finally got some rain after a very dry few weeks. (Now my rain barrel is full again—yay!) No doubt the storm is what inspired this week's ArtSpeak: Light poem. Thanks so much for reading.

Night Storm

When thunderclouds batter their drums

Moon doesn't shrink or shudder.

Come, she says, dance with me—

And the streets sing beneath her quicksilver feet.

- Irene Latham

Friday, June 9, 2023

Still Life with Lemons poem


a new friend for Esther (SNAIL'S ARK)

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit lovely Buffy Silverman for Roundup. 

Many thanks to Buffy for including the note about the June 30 "Moon in June" themed Roundup, happening here at Live Your Poem. Looking forward to reading your moon offerings!

I've been down (but not out!) with poison ivy this week. It is SO HARD to be a gardener in Alabama when you are as allergic to poison ivy as I am. I do so many things to prevent exposure, and still that nasty urushiol finds me several times a year. Grrr.  

In happier news, I'm attending Folklife in the South conference and learning much about textile arts and traditional Indian dance and a bunch of other things. Color me INSPIRED!

This week's ArtSpeak: Light poem took me a while. I wanted to write something different, surprising. Most (all?) of the poems in this series contain the word "light," and early iterations of this one did too..."scrap of light." Which I do love as a phrase. But then I realized including "of light" wasn't necessary here—"a scrap / snatched from the sun" can be nothing BUT "light!" See what you think. And here's to breaking the rules in service to a poem, even when they're ones you set yourself! 

Still Life with Lemons

What is a table
but a graveyard
for flowers?

What is a teacup
but a place
to drown?

What is a lemon
but a scrap
snatched from the sun?

-Irene Latham

Friday, June 2, 2023

Meadow Song + Moon Invitation!

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit terrific Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for Roundup.

Happy birthday today to my sweetheart Paul, who thinks June birthdays are simply the best birthdays...hard to argue with that, given all that sunshine and laketime and fireflies flickering! We're definitely in the "sunrise sunburn sunset repeat" mode around here. Though I have been spending a good bit of time with my cello, especially since I receive the music for the cello camp I'm attending in July. 

It's A LOT. 

If I wanted to, I could be completely overwhelmed. Instead, I'm taking it one song one measure at a time and trusting what I know to be true of musicmaking (and writing!): yes, it's a challenge, but I won't be sorry I did it. Joy!

Invitation: Friends, I will be hosting Roundup on the last Friday of this month, June 30. I'm in the process of creating educator resources for my forthcoming THE MUSEUM ON THE MOON, and of course I'd like to give them lots and lots of poetry! With that in mind, I'd like to do a "Moon in June" themed Roundup! You're invited to share a favorite moon poem (yours or someone else's), a moon story, a moon memory, a moon dream...or whatever your moon-heart desires! Together we'll be able to provide a moon-poetry-landing for all. Thank you!

This week's ArtSpeak: LIGHT poem is kind of fun...or at least it was fun to write! I hope it brings to mind wonderful summer memories. xo

Meadow Song

Meadow may I
dance with you?
Swing and sway
and sing with you?

Meadow may I
bring a friend?
Giggle and picnic
until day's end?

Meadow may I
share your light?
Fireflies and I
will glitter all night!

- Irene Latham

Finally, two more things to share today:

1. If you need a good book recommendation quick, try, which invites authors to share their favorite books in a fun and friendly way. I've discovered some really great lists, like "the best contemporary nature poetry." 

2. I just read and loved BITTERSWEET: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain (author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking). It has changed the way I think about myself. Are YOU bittersweet, like me? Take Susan's quiz to find out!