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JoAnn's Blog

#SaferAtHomePoem No. 31 (April 23, 2020)

 

last riverside walk
farewell beavers, turkeys, coyotes
golf course reopens

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 30 (April 22, 2020)

 

Earth Day river cleanup
many small contributions
add up to big change

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 29 (April 21, 2020)

 

what to do with these
clenched fists--write poetry,
sew face masks, plant seeds

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 28 (April 20, 2020)

 

new morning routine
coffee, muffin, riverbank
before crowds arrive

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 27 (April 19, 2020)

before / after

 

half my steps today
up and down this hill--maybe
this year I'll keep up

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 26 (April 18, 2020)

 

somber morning walk
bones amid the greenery
o, this deadly spring

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 25 (April 17, 2020)

 

quiet park lagoon
grebe, merganser, muskrat, geese
distant siren wails

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 24 (April 16, 2020)

 

big mistake last night
reading the news at bedtime
nightmares all night long

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 23 (April 15, 2020)

 

picking up dog food
newfangled shopping adventure
topsy-turvy world

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 22 (April 14, 2020)

 

brave Wisconsin voters
stood in line for hours--
six feet apart for hours--
stood outside in the rain


brave Wisconsin voters
stood up to voter suppression
stood up to gerrymandering
to show the world that this is what
democracy looks like now


may they all be safe

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 21 (April 13, 2020)

 

busy morning--I'm
rarin' to go until (thud)
oh, yeah--I remember

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 20 (April 12, 2020)

 

this morning's service
white-throated sparrow chorus
sings Alleluia!

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 19 (April 11, 2020)

 

My groceries are quarantined
beneath the kitchen table.
I washed off bottles, cans, and fruit
as well as I was able.
Soapy water, kitchen sink.
Dunked the broccoli in the drink.
The rest of it
can sit a bit.
Won't it be fun to open up
each can that has no label?

 

Our Wisconsin governor has issued a "Safer at Home" order for the state. I'll try to post a new poem each day based on my experiences and perceptions. You can read more below.  Stay safe, everyone! Wash your hands!

 

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 11 (April 3, 2020) & Poetry Friday!

 

How to Help: Stay Home!

 

Everybody on the street,

stay at home. Please stay at home!

It's not safe for friends to meet.

Stay at home. Please stay at home!

Be a hero. Don't go out.

Don't go frolicking about.

Seriously, must I shout?

STAY AT HOME! STAY HOME!

 

I've been posting a #SaferAtHomePoem each day on Facebook and Twitter since our governor issued the alert for Wisconsin. This one has been rattling around in my head all week as I walk through our busy neighborhood. I've also gathered the others on this blog. (Please keep reading!)

 

Today's Poetry Friday Roundup is at My Juicy Little Universe. Enjoy!

 

xox,

JoAnn

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 10 (April 2, 2020) & National Poetry Month!

 

pin in the carpet
needle in a haystack
virus in a community

 

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#SaferAtHomePoem No. 9 (April 1, 2020) & National Poetry Month!

 

mask production starts
at the dining room table
like normal things do

 

Today is the first day of National Poetry Month! Celebrate with me by reading and writing poetry! 

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Day 30: Migration Day & the Last 2018 National Poetry Month Book Giveaway!

               Today is the day that spring flies north.
               That’s what the forecasters say.
               I think I will lie right down in the grass
               and watch the sky all day.

               Our feeders are filled. We’ve put oranges out
               for the favorites we see every year.
               Orioles, grosbeaks, indigo buntings,
               and warblers are on their way here!

               Hummingbirds, tanagers, kinglets and wrens—
               I’ve got nothing better to do
               than to lie outside in the grass and watch.
               Come out and join me, won’t you?

 

Poetry has sustained me through this wintry National Poetry Month, but I’m always happy to welcome May with its migrating birds and bursting blooms. This year’s poem-a-day exercise has taught me good lessons about my voice and writing habits. I’m really glad I was able to stick to my plan and write something new every day. I hope to continue that practice, although I don’t expect to post every day.

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. Today is the last giveaway of the month! The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. Good luck!

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Day 29: Haiku on Haiku & a Book Giveaway!


Yesterday, we walked around a lagoon in the park, and I posted a silly haiku about my photography skills. (Yes, that's my thumb again in the photo above.) What I wanted to say was something about the flashes of red in the not-yet-spring landscape. Alas, it still eludes me. Here's what came out instead:

 

               too much to say
               in three short lines
               make it a tanka

               making words fit
               I lose the logic
               try another draft

               haiku on haiku
               no nature in these lines
               look out the window

               which matters more
               the form or the meaning
               neither
                              both
                                          let go

 

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please try again. I'll have 31 copies to share! 

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Day 28: Taking Pictures & a Book Giveaway!


birds, flowers, landscapes
all my photos look alike
thumb in a corner


We went to the park this morning to walk around the lagoon and see what was migrating through. I sat on a bench, waiting for the local geese to swim closer so I could count the goslings. They climbed the bank and waddled almost to my feet, pecking in the grass. I deleted the worst of the photos before I realized that my photography skills could be the topic of today's haiku. (In my defense, I was wearing mittens. In April-almost-May!)

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please try again. I'll have 31 copies to share!  Read More 
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Day 27: Birthday Star, Poetry Friday, & a Book Giveaway!

               I got a star for my birthday.
               My grandparents bought it online.
               It came with complete care instructions.
               I think we will get along fine.

               Its name is all letters and numbers
               of the most scientific sort.
               I thought my star might like a nickname,
               so I call it Seven for short.

               Whenever I’m out in the evening,
               I look for my star in the sky.
               I don’t know if I’ll ever find it,
               but it’s surely worth a good try.

               Sometimes, late at night, I imagine
               my star’s up there thinking of me.
               I wonder, from up in the atmosphere,
               What on Earth can it see?

               I got a star for my birthday
               with all the proof I’ll ever need
               on this official print-it-yourself
               frameable title and deed!

 

I'm sorry to say that according to NASA, it's not actually possible to buy a star and name it. Phooey!

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please try again. I'll have 31 copies to share!

Irene has today's Poetry Friday Roundup at Live Your Poem. Enjoy! Read More 

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Day 26: Poem in Your Pocket Day & a Book Giveaway!

              I have something in my pocket.
              It’s a poem I can say.
              I know all the lines by heart.
              I like to read it anyway.

              Do you have a poem to show me?
              We can share our poems. Okay?
              You read mine, and I’ll read yours
              on Poem in Your Pocket Day!

 

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please try again. I'll have 31 copies to share!  Read More 

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Day 25: Brainstorming Silly Limericks & a Book Giveaway!


I had so much fun yesterday with my dog-training limerick that I decided to work on getting sillier today. In that early-morning daze that’s my most creative writing time, I thought about other animals and more goofy stunts:

 

          I’m teaching my camel to wink.
          It’s trickier than you might think.
          She is painfully shy—
          won’t look me in the eye—
          but sooner or later, she’ll blink.

          I’m teaching my penguin to sing.
          He keeps hiding his head in his wing.
          He hasn’t sung yet.
          When he does, you can bet
          it will be a remarkable thing.

          I’m teaching my zebra to sneeze.
          He’s very determined to please.
          He is such a good sport
          that he’ll shiver and snort,
          and he’ll sputter and sniffle and wheeze.

          I’m teaching my turtle to fly,
          and here is the main reason why:
          It’s not easily done,
          but I think she’d have fun,
          so I wish she would give it a try.

 

Why don’t you give it a try? An animal with a two-syllable name and the stress on the first syllable fits into the rhythm well. Here are some more options:

• muskrat
• eagle
• wombat
• walrus
• beaver
• groundhog
• peacock
• lizard
• bison

Remember that lines 1, 2, and 5 have three beats and rhyme, and lines 3 and 4 have two beats and rhyme. Maybe you can come up with a silly animal trick to teach, too!

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please try again. I'll have 31 copies to share.

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Day 24: Dog Tricks & a Book Giveaway!

          I’m teaching my dog to do tricks.
          She was born knowing how to fetch sticks.
          She learned how to shake
          when she jumped in the lake,
          so we just have some details to fix.

          “Roll over,” I say. She holds still.
          Sooner or later, she will
          follow my lead
          to get up to speed,
          but I’m dizzy from rolling downhill.

          She knows what I’m saying, it’s clear.
          She sits when I tell her, “Come here.”
          When I tell her to stay,
          she runs right away,
          but we’ve only been training a year.


So far this month, I’ve written a new poem each morning and posted it that day. I’m not always completely satisfied with the results. This one needs more attention, but I’m out of time for today, so I’ll have to get back to it later.

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!
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Day 23: Insomnia & a Book Giveaway!

          For hours, I’ve been tossing and turning,
          trying to sleep for so long.
          I followed my usual bedtime routine.
          I don’t know what went wrong.

          I wrestled a bit with my brother,
          found some Halloween candy to eat.
          checked my status online to see if anyone
          noticed my latest Tweet.

          I watched a new horror movie,
          poured a big glass of water to drink,
          and played all my favorite video games,
          but I still haven’t slept a wink!


I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!
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Day 22: Earth Day & a Book Giveaway!

          Welcome to Earth Day!
          Hello to spring,
          to tulips and daffodils,
          robins a-wing,
          to earthworms below us,
          to buds on the trees,
          to migrating monarchs,
          and all kinds of bees.

          On Earth Day and every day,
          we must take care
          of prairies and forests
          and all who live there.
          From rivers and oceans
          to mountains above,
          Earth is our planet.
          Let’s treat it with love.


I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!
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Day 21: Beavers, Beware! & a Book Giveaway!

beaver dam on the Milwaukee River

          Slap your tail, Beaver!
          Smack a warning on the water for herons, turtles, frogs,
          and all the creatures on the pond beyond
          the dam you built.

          Slap your tail, Beaver!
          The fiercest predator on Earth is on its way
          with plans for a development
          and tools more powerful than teeth.

          Slap your tail, Beaver!
          Gather up your kits and swim away.
          Stake out a stretch of wilderness where you’ll be safe
          till people find a way to live in peace.


I've been researching beavers because we see signs of their activity--and once in a great while a glimpse of them--when we walk along the Milwaukee River. I keep finding articles about people who can't figure out how to get along with the beavers they are so lucky to see and insist that their only option is to relocate or destroy them.

I despair.

I hope someday we can all understand the benefits beavers provide. If you're interested, you can read more about these fascinating creatures at The Beaver Believers.

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!
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Day 20: Swimming, Poetry Friday, & a Book Giveaway!

          I glide through the water,
          imagine I’m graceful,
          I’m mermaid, I’m sailboat,
          I’m swift submarine.

          Through the skylight above,
          I see clouds drifting by,
          pretend I’m afloat in
          a cedar-rimmed lake.

          Instead of the lane stripes
          painted below me,
          I dream sandy riverbed,
          turtles, and fish.

          In those glorious moments
          when I’m in the water,
          I’m weightless. I’m carefree.
          The world floats away.


I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!

Tabatha Yeatts has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference. Enjoy! Read More 

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Day 19: Squirrel Treats & a Book Giveaway!

          we scatter peanuts on snow
          squirrel gets busy
          burying peanuts in snow

 

Here in Wisconsin, we're eagerly waiting for spring: keeping the bird feeders filled, throwing out nuts for squirrels, putting out raisins and berries for robins, and hoping the snow melts today.

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!

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Day 18: Technological Glitches & a Book Giveaway!

          Technology ought to work for us,
          but today, I’ve reached a dead end.
          Reluctantly, I’m forced to admit
          that technology isn’t my friend.

          I’ve reached out to ask the experts.
          I’ve Googled the night away.
          Technology ought to improve our lives,
          but not, alas, today.

          Oh, somewhere, machinery’s whirring,
          performing just as it should,
          but here, today, in my little world,
          technology’s not so good.


In the middle of my National Poetry Month Book Giveaway, it temporarily became impossible to post a comment on my blog. It seems to be working now! So if you’d like to win a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step, you can leave a comment here. Good luck!

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

I'll choose one entry at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!

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Day 17: Our Bed-Hogging Dog & a Book Giveaway!

          Sometimes, she stealthily sneaks aboard,
          and we find her there in the morning.
          More often, she clambers onto the bed
          with a wheezy, whiny warning.

          Somehow, she knows when we’re both too tired
          to defend our meager space.
          She’ll carelessly land on a leg or a hand
          with her nose in somebody’s face.

          She’ll burrow beneath the blankets.
          She’ll wriggle, she’ll shove, and she’ll snore—
          our seventy-two-pound Rosy,
          the bed-hogging dog we adore!


I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share! Read More 

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Day 16: Migration Advice & a Book Giveaway!

          Note to Birds and Butterflies

          If you’re migrating north
          with a plan for a feast
          of young bugs or fresh greenery,
          turn around!
          Circle back!
          Stay as far as you can
          from our winter white scenery!


I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share! Read More 

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Day 15: Daily Inspiration & a Book Giveaway!

          November snow is a pleasant surprise.
          Everyone wants to go play.
          December snow adds a festive feel
          to a winter holiday.
          In January, shoveling
          is part of our daily routine.
          In February, everyone dreams of
          a springy change of scene.
          By March, we’re all growing weary
          of blizzardy gusts of snow.
          In April?
          In April?
          Oh,

          no.


So far this month, I’ve written a new poem each morning for National Poetry Month. From the beginning, I’ve told myself that I could always post an old poem if I couldn’t find a good idea. Today’s inspiration was unavoidable. It swirled all around. And there’s no point in shoveling yet—it’s still coming down!

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share! Read More 

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Day 14: Last Night, This Morning, & a Book Giveaway

          outside our window
          house finches shelter
          in bare Rose of Sharon
          tree limbs block the driveway
          pinecones litter the lawn
          wind roared through my dreams

          what happened last night


I went to bed worried last night and woke up feeling obligated to check the news even though part of me did not want to know what happened overnight. I stayed in bed as long as the dog let me, walked her in the rain, and started writing this before I looked.

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!
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Day 13: Poetic License & a Book Giveaway!

          I’m applying for my poetic license.
          The paperwork’s due today.
          I’m gathering poems and filling out forms
          and figuring out what to say.

          I’m applying for my poetic license.
          I’m nervous about the test.
          I have a feeling the judges won’t be
          easily impressed.

          I’m applying for my poetic license.
          I’ve brainstormed and scribbled and scanned,
          grateful to every poet who
          has held out a helping hand!


Happy birthday to Lee Bennett Hopkins, whose helping hand has reached out to spread poetry joy around the world!

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!

Robyn Hood Black has today's Poetry Friday Roundup and a celebration for Lee Bennett Hopkins at Life on the Deckle Edge. Enjoy!

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Day 12: What Spring Brings & a Book Giveaway!

          kids ride their own wheels—
          skateboards, scooters, roller skates—
          parents drive alone

          spring brings warm winds, migrant birds,
          budding trees, independence


Walking the dog this morning, I noticed an increase in kids making their own way to school. Warmer weather brings out the wheels!

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!

If you get this error message

          V1 SHUTDOWN ON 2018-03-31
Direct site owners to g.co/recaptcha/upgrade

type anything in the box! (I'm working on it.)

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