November Poets, December Word, and Writers at Work, with Joan Carris

Hi everyone,

Today we have a lot to cover. First, I’m pleased to announce our two sets of monthly winners among the Word of the Month poets. I’ll begin with our Hall of Fame Poet who, this month, is Lisa Martino from Florida. Lisa’a winning poem is To Teach or Not to Teach the Classics. Second spot goes to Steven Withrow from Rhode Island for his poem, Best of a Bad Spell.

This month we have two categories of Young Poets: grades 3-7 and grades 8-12. Our Hall of Fame Young Poet, Grades 3-7 is Ella Foster from Ohio for her poem, Without a Word. Finishing in second place is Zack Safadi, also from Ohio, for his poem, The Hero.

Our Hall of Fame Young Poet, Grades 8-12 is La’ Joi Word from Florida for her poem, Thankful. In second place is Jacquanna Gillins from Florida, for her poem, Thanks.

Our panel of judges made their own selections and here are their results. Word of the Month Poet is Nile Stanley from Florida with his poem, “Words.” Nile, many thanks for lending your voice to the choir this month. I ought to give Gay Fawcett a special mention because you dedicated your poem to hers. Steven Withrow’s poem was the judges’s second choice.

Word of the Month Young Poet, Grades 3-7 is Zack Safadi for his poem, The Hero. Second place is a tie between Erin Fankhauser for “Partner,” and Emma Lavetter-Keidan for The Only Escape.

Word of the Month Young Poet, Grades 8-12 is Jacquanna Gillins for her poem, Thanks. Second place goes to Omar Teran for his poem, Thanks.

Congratulations to our honorees and to everyone who stepped forward to share their work this month. We’re grateful. Our judges encourage poets of all ages to take their time, think through what they want to say and how they want to say it, then revise and polish until the work is ready to be shared.

BULLETIN: I’ve worked much of the morning pulling together all the winning poems and have just posted them below Joan Carris. Sometimes people want to see the poems in one place. I have NOT proofed this work. Off to a meeting.

Are you ready for the December word? It is WEATHER. I expect that to give us plenty to write about!

This being Tuesday, it’s time for another segment of WRITERS AT WORK, the dialogue Sandy Asher and I started several weeks ago. If you’re following this one, we begin each month with an issue that writers face. We then take two turns each posting comments and suggestions. The topic for this month is Reality of Rejection. At the end of the month we’ve posted four brief articles on the subject and sometimes along the way we add pieces provided by other authors. That’s the case this month. November has five Tuesdays. Sandy and i have each written about Reality of Rejecton twice. We were delighted when an old friend and fellow writer, Joan Carris, joined us with these flashback comments about a previous subject: Obstacles ot Writing. So now it’s my pleasure to introduce Joan.


On Being Distracted


by Joan Carris

I have been writing something or other since 1976. My first writing assignment was a plea from the Unitarian church in Princeton for an original play celebrating the BiCentennial. Having no idea of how difficult that could be, I said YES. At the time our kids were 14, 9, and 6. “When I’m writing,” I told them, “don’t bother me unless you’re bleeding.”

I settled down at my typewriter with a ream of paper and rolled in the first pristine sheet. Instantly heard a terrified screaming outside my workroom window. I flew outdoors just in time to see our 6 year-old son hit the ground under the neighbor’s giant willow tree. He and I had a red-hot discussion right there. “But I stopped myself by grabbing a branch,” he said. “See? I’m hardly bleeding at all!”

That was the beginning of my distracted life as a writer. Over time I have managed to learn a little something about the craft—mainly that it is a heckuva lot harder than it should be. As Hawthorne wrote, “Easy reading is damned hard writing.” I believe it’s hard because we keep expecting more of ourselves. We intimidate ourselves, and then call it writer’s block.

Fran Lebowitz, an extremely funny essayist (Social Studies, 1981), was quoted in the online Writer’s Almanac as saying, “Most writers have a hard time writing. I have a harder time than most because I’m lazier than most…I would have made a perfect heiress.” She is now at work on a novel that was commissioned more than 20 years ago.
Okay, so writing IS HARD. Clearly we deserve not just a room of our own, as Virginia Woolf said, but some peace and quiet, dangit. The world should tiptoe away. It should, but it won’t. Some damn fool will ring your doorbell. Your back left molar will start throbbing. The cat will meow to be let in.

Real life and writing simply are not compatible. Life is always interrupting. I tend to feel lucky if it isn’t interrupting with an illness or a new litter of kittens. Long ago I decided that writers must become more devious. How? Try running away. Ask your church for permission to write in an empty classroom. Ask a friend if you can write at her place after she leaves for work. Some writers work at a public library table in a nearby town, not in their own library where people know them. I like the study carrels at our community college.

Most of the time, though, I write at home. I let the bloody distractions go on, run a fan for white noise, and force myself to focus. That’s easier with a good outline, by the way. In a long, lean period in my past, when I was the only one stoking my fire, I began talking to myself. I said, “This is who I am and this is what I do. Now shut up, Joan, and get to work.” I still tell myself that.
—————————————–
Recent books include Welcome To the Bed and Biscuit (2006), Wild Times at the Bed and Biscuit (2009), and Magic at the Bed and Biscuit (January 2011), all from Candlewick Press.

Website: www.joancarrisbooks.com

NOVEMBER WINNING POEMS

Word of the Month Poet:
NILE STANLEY
Words
Words
I like to say them
like jitterbug, fudge and tangerine
Words
I like to play them
Like hackysacks
Catching and bouncing them
Off my tongue
Words
I like to weigh them
Like bittersweet and jumbo shrimp
Words
Most of all
I like to devour them slowly
Savoring each sound
Word of the Month Poet, Runner-Up
STEVEN WITHROW
Best of a Bad Spell
Losing the Williams Junior High School
spelling bee, on “eleemosynary,”
was, I now see, an act of charity.
Knowing the Latin root for “alms”
(could you use it in a sentence?)
guarantees no one a varsity letter.
Although it burned me that I flubbed
the double e’s, entreating the floor
for the proper etymology
before retreating to my seat
to small applause, conciliatory
(c-o-n-c-i-l-i-a-t-o-r-y, conciliatory),
Worse by far would have been
the booming backlash in homeroom
next morning, hearing my name
among the roster of brainiacs,
“loo-zer” in any language, certain
I’d perish (part of speech?) a virgin.
Copyright 2010 by Steven Withrow. All rights reserved.
Word of the Month Young Poet, Grades 3-7
ZACK SAFADI
6th grade
Maumee Valley Country Day
Toledo, Oh
Teacher: Jana Smith
The Hero
A battle against the human race,
We are the one to oppose,
She is the lone defender,
One versus 6.4 billion.
She embraces what we throw at her,
She is the lone warrior.
She shall not strike,
She shall not defend,
She shall wait for the end.
One day,
It shall all end,
It might take years till she decides it’s her time,
Or it could only take you the time to say a single word.
She is our worst nightmare,
She is our savior,
Our number one attack strategy,
Pollution,
We trash her,
We gas her out,
A way to dispose of her.
But the scary thing is,
Only few will live to be aware of this war,
Some may say they do,
But they don’t.
Even scarier than that,
Is when she shall meet her fate,
Her fate is ours as well.
She shall not strike,
She shall not defend,
She shall wait for the end.
She is Mother Earth.

Word of the Month Young Poet, Grades 3-7, Runner-Up Tie
EMMA LAVETTER-KEIDAN
Maumee Valley Country Day
Fifth Grade
Toledo, OH
Teacher: Nanette Valuck
The Only Escape
“Scritch, scratch, scritch, scratch”
My hand flies across the page,
Words,
Flowing,
Pouring from my mouth,
Spilling out my fingertips,
Settling on to the paper.
Each one with it’s own sharp taste,
Sweet,
Spicy,
Bitter,
The flavors wiz by going too fast to recapture
Each new flavor inspiring the next,
“Beep beep beep!”
A traffic jam as my hand becomes too slow
I force them to slow down as I sift through, trying to find the right one,
“Screeeeech!”
I scribble circle after circle,
Waiting for the ink to come,
But I know this is hopeless . . .
Suddenly reality grips me,
Ink stains cover my hands
I no longer taste the words
Only then is the pain renewed
Hunger,
Eating me away,
Tearing flesh from bone,
Starving,
Words are the only escape.
I reach for a new pen,
“Scriiiiitch scratch screech!”
My hand slugs across the page
Syllable by syllable,
Crawling,
Slugging,
Oozing.
The flavors,
Subdued now,
But still there
After each flavor is finished I wish there was more
“Plunk, plunk.”
They come out too slow for my liking
I push myself trying to think of more,
But it is no use.
Why? Why? Why? I think to myself.
Words.
Word of the Month Young Poet, Grades 3-7, Runner-Up Tie
ERIN FANKHAUSER
Maumee Valley Country Day
6th grade
Toledo, Oh
teacher: Jana Smith
Partner

I open the latch to your velvety case
I take off your silk blanket
I pull you deep into my arms
I take out your bow and begin playing
It’s like you are singing to me
I look up and down your wooden body;
each line makes you look like a tiger
you are ready
ready to pounce on that half note going into an eighth note
I push the bow back and fourth over your four metal strings
then, we play
we play the most beautiful sound ever imagined
like a waterfall
or the smoothest airplane landing that ever happened
This is how beautiful your sound is
You are my harmony
you are my melody
you are mine
There is a word for this
love
the most powerful word that there is
The two of us together are like a team
we keep pushing to win the Olympic gold metal
Then, our final turn,
we win,
but,
we keep on playing our song,
as if there is nothing more in the world
just the two of us and our love

Word of the Month Young Poet, Grades 8-12

JACQUANNA GILLINS
Crescent City Jr Sr High School
9th Grade
Teacher: Lisa Martino
Crescent City, FL
Thanks
Thanks is a way of life
Thanks is a way of passion
I am thankful for things in my life
I remember when we all use to sit around
the table and give thanks
Thanks can go a long way
Thanks is a gift
Thanks comes around all the time

Word of the Month Young Poet, Grades 8-12, Runner-up
OMAR TERAN
Crescent City Jr Sr High School
9th grade
Teacher: Lisa Martino
Crescent City, FL
Thanks
Thanks is for people that receive.
People that don’t receive still say thanks.
I received something that no one wants,
I received something that no one likes.
Sorrow fills my gift.
No one cares what you get,
Unless it’s something they want.
Even though I don’t like my gift,
I still give thanks to the person
that is still giving those sad gifts.
********************************************************

Hall of Fame Poet
LISA MARTINO
To Teach or Not to Teach the Classics
Should I delve blindness to the word of old
And open their minds anew
Should I continue on the course ahead
And connect them, unscathed newborn
Or inspire, muse, arouse sleeping wit
Entice all, magnetic lure
Do I assist them, relate, painless thought
With modern themes, common words
It’s an enigma, a challenge to me
Ancient deliberation
Or conspicuously apparent sound
Hall of Fame Poet Runner-Up
STEVEN WITHROW

Hall of Fame Young Poet, Grades 3-7
ELLA FOSTER
Maumee Valley Country Day
Fifth Grade
Toledo, OH
Teacher: Nanette Valuck

Without a Word
Cries of laughter.
Joy was spread throughout the church.
Everyone was talking in hushed voices,
Yet all the sounds combing in my little head sounded as if
Every word a new little firework
Sent out on its journey through the sky.
She walks in everyone goes silent,
Her beautiful white gown flouncing as she appears,
So gracefully,
So silently,
So gently,
She takes a step forward,
My heart’s racing, another step
She walks down the aisle,
Her head raised as if she wasn’t afraid.
Maybe she wasn’t but I was.
As she takes another step
Her train floats over the petals I had softly strewn.
As she takes her last steps
She looks down at me and smiles.
Without a word she calms my heart.
Hall of Fame Young Poet, Grades 3-7, Runner-Up
ZACK SAFADI
Hall of Fame Young Poet, Grades 8-10:
By LA’ JOI WORD
Crescent City Jr Sr High School
10th Grade
Crescent City, FL
Teacher: Lisa Martino
Thankful
Everyday I wake
I give thanks
To see the sun rise
I give thanks
For a family that is wise
I give thanks
Life, health, and strength
Nothing but thanks
To the one up above
Hall of Fame Young Poet, Grades 8-10 Runner-Up
JACQUANNA GILLINS

What Are The Pros Up To?

REMINDER: Vote by 10:00 CST tonight. That’s when the polls cut off!

Hi everyone,

Mondays are when I like to present past Featured Guests to give us an update on recent and current activities. As is often the case, busy people can’t always take time off when they might like to. Therefore, I’m giving you my own update today.

First, meet my wife Sandy. This was taken on a trip to Dogwood Canyon near Branson, Missouri.

Pretty classy gal. I’d share a trunk with her any day.

I’ve had some nice things happen to my work recently.

PIRATES

As I mentioned last Saturday, PIRATES is on next year’s Young Hoosier Book Award Master Reading List along with 19 others in the intermediate category.

MAMMOTH BONES AND BROKEN STONES

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Nominated for one of the two SAA 2010 book awards—“a book that is written for the general public and presents the results of archaeological research to a broader audience” http://www.saa.org . The nomination stated, “Harrison’s book targets 4th-7th graders (ca. 9-12 year olds), a most-important age group that rarely receives nonfiction attention in this medium from the archaeological community. It is this age group that experiences tremendous intellectual development, when children begin to read to learn (rather than learn to read), start to think critically, and display a burgeoning curiosity about everything. Mr. Harrison has done a tremendous service for our discipline by focusing on this age group and introducing an up-to-date story full of concepts, facts, and current issues.”

At Pittsburg University, Dr. Anthony Boldurian, Professor of Anthropology and Director, Archaeology Program, writes, “It may interest you to know that next semester I am teaching for the first time a newly-developed course, directed specifically for majors in the Science Teacher-Ed program. The course, Science + Prehistory →Archaeology, is designed as a pedagogical approach to teaching teachers-to-be about how to instruct archaeology in the Science classroom (elementary & secondary levels). One of the texts I have for required reading is your Mammoth Bones and Broken Stones.”

MY BOOK poem from SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK


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Reprinted as the featured poem to start Chapter Two: “Learning about Reading and Literature,” in the latest edition (7th) of Essentials of Children’s Literature. Poems by Charles Ghigna and Rebecca Dotlich also appear in this book.

Selected by a western city to be lettered around their new bookmobile. I hope to learn more about the final design soon.


THE BOOK OF GIANT STORIES


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Translatioin into Lithuanian is in the works. Previous translations include French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Afrikaans, Norwegian, and Danish.

DYLAN THE EAGLE-HEARTED CHICKEN


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Selected by Zaner-Bloser for their Voices in Reading Program. (http://www.zaner-bloser.com/Voices-Reading.html )

ON OTHER FRONTS

I just returned from NCTE in Orlando where I presented Word of the Month Poetry Challenge. We made new friends and, I hope, recruits to the monthly exercise in imagination. REMINDER: Voting ends tonight at 10:00 CST for the November poems.

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On December 12-15 I’ll be in Paterson, New Jersey at three schools to provide professional development for teachers and work with their students. I’ll continue the work later on Skype.

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I’m excited about the new program for Drury, to be called This Week with David Harrison. We have a team of four working out the details for a regular 7-8 minute program that teachers can bring into their classrooms nationwide. The central theme will be literacy and each week I’ll offer tips and ideas about writing and reading.

****

Yesterday was the kickoff for a book drive for preschool children, which is part of Family Voices (another project with Drury). We have recorded 17 well-known people reading 34 age appropriate books. This library of children’s literature will be given on a CD to parents who agree to record their own voices reading to their children. Families will also receive free books for their children five or under. More about that later.

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On a closing note, I’m working on the final four poems to complete a new manuscript. The book will be published by Boyds Mills Press and illustrated by Dan Burr (who did PIRATES.)

David

Voting time is short this month

Hello everyone,

This is to remind you that the voting period for Hall of Fame Poet and Young Poets is reeeeealy brief this month. Thanksgiving, the day after, a weekend, and suddenly it’s Monday and voting cuts off at 10:00 CST that night. Tuesday is the last day of the month, which is when I announce our honored poets and give you the word of the month for December.

SO! Every vote counts, especially in a low turnout month, which this may be unless a lot of voters cast their ballots between now and Monday night. I’m especially concerned that students and their support groups may overlook the need to vote on Monday latest. Spread the word!

This week I had good news about Pirates, my book of piratey poems illustrated by Dan Burr. The title has been selected as one of the 20 intermediate books on the master reading list for next year’s Young Hoosier Book Award. Pirates is on this year’s master reading list for the Texas Bluebonnet Book Award so I’m delighted to see the book doing well. Last year in Indiana more than 73,000 students read enough books on the master list to qualify to vote for their favorite. In Texas the number of voting students was 191,000.

Pirates has previously been selected by Language Arts (NCTE) as one of the notable books of poetry in 2008, by VOYA (magazine for librarians) for its 2009 Nonfiction Honor List, and was on the Kansas State Reading Circle List for 2009.

Let the voting begin

Hi everyone,

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

Today we begin the general election for our November Hall of Fame Poet and Hall of Fame Young Poets. That’s right, we’ll have TWO Hall of Fame Young Poets thanks to Lisa Martino and her high school students in Crescent City, Florida! Yesterday Lisa posted two poems by 9th grade students and one by a 10th grade student.

Since the beginning of Word of the Month we’ve had two categories for our young poets, one for grades 3-7 and one for grades 8-12. Until yesterday we’ve only received one poem from a student above grade 7 — Priya Shah, who was our Hall of Fame Young Poet last December. Sadly, with only one entry in the older age group, I couldn’t put up a ballot box just for Priya. But Priya, if you’re reading this, let’s hope that in December you can try again and we’ll have more kids your age posting their work. I’m very excited!

I’ve posted the ballot boxes below and below that you will find the list of poems that were shared during November. My special thanks to Gay Fawcett for turning her students on to Word of the Month. We have enjoyed numerous poems this month by Gay’s college students. My thanks to all and apologies for my limited time to respond.

I’m also notifying our panel of distinguished judges that they may now begin their selection process for the November Word of the Month Poet and Young Poets.   For a reminder of our outstanding panel of judges, here’s how to find them. https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/very-important-announcement/ Ready? Here we go. Let the voting begin!

REMINDER: You may vote once in each box. Check the circle beside your choice then scroll to the VOTE box and click on that. Have fun!



NOVEMBER ADULT POEMS

UNTITLED, by Mommed Out

What is a word without action,
What’s action without words?
Lines on paper stuck in traction,
Unsung deeds, like flightless birds.
Legends of the deepest dark,
Airy ascensions climb cloudy peaks,
Adventures of the moon do hark:
Write the words in rice on trembling knees!
What is this obssession with THE WORD?
Why must we find the perfect phrase?
This scribbled choice now seems absurd
May summon purple plummy haze.
Wordplay gets me through the day
Of momdom’s endles cries of MORE
I think in color: quick-don’t-delay,
Write a rainbow, save the vibrant core.

KEY WORD by Oya Mwanza

 Risk-Taking—-———
Charming life into your own hands,
Is not an easy task
To go up against grit and grain,
To totally unmask
To unmold and create new structure
Key Word: DARE
Possibility—–———-
Courting it is a consideration
Betting on it, fateful
Flirting with it can be costly
Defending it, problematic
Understanding it, empowering
Living it, Unpredictable
Key Word: DREAM

THE FRIEND I LOVE, by Lindsey Branham

You are one of a kind,
Someone I would never thought I would find.
A treasure hidden in the bluest of oceans so very deep,
A face I see when I fall asleep.
I dream and dream for you to always return,
Laugh, cry, hold my hand and help me learn.
Your presence and embrace I can’t get enough,
You are my conscience and guide when things get rough.
You are as sweet as a Sunday and funny as a Monday,
Honest as a Wednesday and positive as a Friday.
Your touch is an automatic reassurance that things will be alright,
I pray for you every single night.
I listen to your voice, breath, every word you say,
Let me say this to you in every single way,
I love you.
Mr. and Mrs. Word
White haired and eyes like magnifying glasses,
they sit together on their front porch.
Through the dusty and cob-webbed window pane are piles upon stacks upon towers of books.
They sip lemonade, she prefers pink
and they creak and swing back and forth.
His dark red suspenders are hanging loose on his body and she wears fuzzy blue slippers that have seen better days.
His thick mustache dances and his eyebrows
cut in.
“What about worfabap?” he suggests.
“Why not?” she smiles. “Adjective or verb?”
“Verb, meaning to hit someone over the head.” he excitedly pitched.
She writes it down on a small scrap piece of paper
and tucks it away in a wrinkled envelope.
“Its my turn to think of a word, I want it to be a verb that means to make your wife dinner.” as she rests her head on his shoulder.

ONE WORD by Silindile Ntuli

One little word with so much power,
it can make respectable man act badly.
One small word, four letters in it,
it can create havoc in families.
Emperors have fallen over it,
yet more and more fall prey to it.
One word can change a dull night,
girl sees guy from across the dance floor.
From then on they gotta fulfil the need,
the need of one little word.
Before long dull is gone, word fulfilled.
A short word can destroy bonds,
but also has a power beyond compare.
It is not all bad, just do it with the one you adore.
Be careful not to fall head first,
Be careful not to hurt those you hold dear.
A powerful word…. LUST

DECEMBER 12, 2008, by Gay Fawcett

Eyes on the sky,
I am patient with the hot sun,
Grateful for a cloudless day.
Scores of people,
Cameras and binoculars poised,
Jostle for the best places.
One careless push,
Sends me sprawling from the fence rail
Saying words I rarely say.
Then someone shouts,
“There it is!” All eyes look west
As I struggle to my feet.
Cheers and applause,
High fives and slaps on the back,
No more pushing, only pride.
The space shuttle,
Piggyback on a 747,
Regal and victorious
Brings us together.

UNTITLED, by Toby Speed

I like words that sound
like what they do.
a paper cup
dropped on the floor sounds like
cup
and ocean
rolling and rushing around your
ankles at the beach
sounds like ocean and
lullaby definitely sounds lullabyish
and clock
ticking
sounds a bit clocky.
but bite into an apple.
does it sound like apple?
no. it sounds like
crunch.

TO TEACH OR NOT TO TEACH THE CLASSICS, by Lisa Martino

Should I delve blindness to the word of old
And open their minds anew
Should I continue on the course ahead
And connect them, unscathed newborn
Or inspire, muse, arouse sleeping wit
Entice all, magnetic lure
Do I assist them, relate, painless thought
With modern themes, common words
It’s an enigma, a challenge to me
Ancient deliberation
Or conspicuously apparent sound

for Gay Fawcett
WORDS, by Nile Stanley

Words
I like to say them
like jitterbug, fudge and tangerine
Words
I like to play them
Like hackysacks
Catching and bouncing them
Off my tongue
Words
I like to weigh them
Like bittersweet and jumbo shrimp
Words
Most of all
I like to devour them slowly
Savoring each sound

CONQUER OR DESTROY, © by Mary Nida Smith

Babies are made of words
Like alphabet soup
Floating to connect
A word or short sentence
Words continue to surface
Like surprises beneath the earth.
One word, two words or more
Create useful sentences
Of praise or destroy
Dreams of creating poetry
Or stories allowing readers
A glimpse of magical words.
A word is easily spoken
Be careful using words
A dream is easily broken
Each word forms a powerful
Tool to achieve honesty
Or to generate treason.
No greater service
Each word performs
Than to light the world,
Creating a better place
For all God’s creations.

BEST OF A BAD SPELL, by Steven Withrow

Losing the Williams Junior High School
spelling bee, on “eleemosynary,”
was, I now see, an act of charity.
Knowing the Latin root for “alms”
(could you use it in a sentence?)
guarantees no one a varsity letter.
Although it burned me that I flubbed
the double e’s, entreating the floor
for the proper etymology
before retreating to my seat
to small applause, conciliatory
(c-o-n-c-i-l-i-a-t-o-r-y, conciliatory),
Worse by far would have been
the booming backlash in homeroom
next morning, hearing my name
among the roster of brainiacs,
“loo-zer” in any language, certain
I’d perish (part of speech?) a virgin.
Copyright 2010 by Steven Withrow. All rights reserved.

A SONG OF ONE, by Barbara J. Turner

Just one word.
It’s all I need.
A word to share,
to dare to be,
that says I am you
and you are me.
And we?
We are the letters,
two entwined,
melded and molded,
twisted and folded,
into the word
that is
us.

WORDS, by Tania

My word are powerful and strong
I alone choose what words I say
They can be good or bad, I decide
We tell the children, “Use your words”
But words can wound just like a fist
And cause invisible damage inside
There are times to use strong words
When I see someone being hurt or wronged
I need to use my power then.
If I use strong words all the time
Their power is cheapened when it is most needed
Caution is required with my words.
A positive encouraging words
Will likely never be forgotten
Words stick like glue, good or bad, I decide.

GUARD YOUR TONGUE, by Janet Kay Gallagher

The power of life and death
is in the tongue.
Spoken words can not be
undone.
Speak life, joy and peace
abound.
Speak death, pain and fear
makes your heart pound.
Think before you let words fly.
You’ll have to face them by and by.
Good words bring rewards.
Harsh words shame you afterwards.
Think of others hurt and pain.
For your words you are to blame.
Make all you words; encouraging,
loving and kind.
This will bring you peace of mind.

WORDS, by Ken Slesarik

Most words I find delightful,
rolling off the tongue.
Others to my palate
taste more like fresh cow dung.
Fewer still I just adore
when heard in spoken verbage.
Ask me what the reason is
I’ll tell you it’s their curvage.

REJECTION, by Jane Heitman Healy

I worked hard on my manuscript,
Went over it with care,
Chose the precise words with craft,
Used imagery with flair.
Poetic tricks it didn’t lack,
So artfully applied.
When I read the words aloud
My ego swelled with pride.
I sent it to an editor
Who promptly sent it back.
“Please do not send to us again.
You are just a hack.”

LONGING FOR CHRISTINA, by Julie Krantz

Palette grey and ochre,
brush strokes finely-honed,
render the paralytic—
wilted flesh and gnarled bone—
seductive without umbrage
in stark and sallow fields.
Knuckles torn and bleeding,
violent her claim
to the spare and simple language
of house and barn and grain.
Artist, voyeur, lover,
she pulls him like a sheath
onto her twisted limbs
creeping, ever-creeping
through fallow restive fields.
Her absolute absorption
in the stark and naked landscape
is not unlike a still-life by Cezanne:
I want to be Christina—
sheaf of wheat, spar of wood—
I want to be this woman
without words.

SPEAKING OUT, by J. Bullen

Words play in my mind like a melody plays in a song,
vocabulary building which to use…
notes floating how can I choose?
Nouns, adjectives, and verbs the situation creates the word
the sentence sings out your thoughts and moves.
These words can dictate our life and what we do
so choose carefully and think through.
Words can burn like an open wound
creeping out of your throat to cut you
Softly, slowly creamy butter words flow up
love speaks strongly with a smooth touch.
Choose wisely you will see
how words can make one seem.

A WORD, by Phyllis Chandler Turner

There is a word of such power
Men will kill or die for
In every place and every hour
It’s the prize men strive for.
They followed Moses into the sea
To wander the desert endlessly
They followed Bruce at Bannockburn
Against the odds the battle turned
There is a word of such power
Men will kill or die for
In every place and every hour
It’s the prize men strive for.
In wooden ships they braved the deep
Risked all their conscience to keep
In Concord they hid in silence
Whites of the eyes signal for violence
There is a word of such power
Men will kill or die for
In every place and every hour
It’s the prize men strive for.
Shoeless froze with Washington
To send George III back to Briton
Brothers divided at Lincoln’s call
Blue and Gray they gave their all
There is a word of such power
Men will kill or die for
In every place and every hour
It’s the prize men strive for
Roosevelt sent his very best
From Hitler the innocent to wrest
For King’s dream of righteousness
His life he gave in Memphis
We have a word of such power
Men will kill or die for
In every place and every hour
It’s the prize men strive for
FREEDOM!!!

UNTITLED, by Christie Cassaw

idea
Such a little word,
three vowels, one consonant,
but the manifestation of the word
is what powers all seven continents.
An idea, what led to the invention of the wheel,
and to roads, and homes, and boats, and steel.
It is what started the computer and each and every war,
and ended slavery, and was a loss for poor Al Gore.
An idea to create a storybook or an idea to create a new life,
an idea to cut a fingernail, or marry your beloved and call her your wife.
Do you see how each minute idea can grow and grow? Here is an idea I want you to know.
I had an idea about a poem to write. An idea that’s quite ordinary when I look back with hindsight.
It’s an idea to write about the word that has influenced all civilizations and societies the most.
The idea is the word, idea, and I will now share it with the world in my epigrammatic post.

WORDS, by Lauren Perry

W- Wonder what is wandering in your wonderful mind?
O- Onomatopoeia or other optimistic rhymes?
R- Rambling on like a rat running a rapid race?
D- Do you ever hear a word that brings a radiant smile to your face?
S- Similes in my writing help my words become redefined.

UNTITLED, by Shalander Samuels

Tranquility caresses me without permission, how could it be so invasive?
It steals my security blanket away from me, and allows me to shine regardless of my self- inflicted flaws. Peace takes over as I look at this word. It calms me, sooths me, takes control…
I gasp for air, but I am instantly filled with more than what I need to breathe
This word takes me beyond earthly pleasure, beyond what can be seen, heard, felt or touched. Some say you learn about it at church, others say you learn about it as you grow, regardless of how it happens, nothing can change my thoughts on this word, it is what I know.
It is this word that keeps me strong every day, this word that doesn’t let me lose my way…
Even when the times get tough, I barely feel my heart because I almost had enough, yet….I hold on… to this word. For fear that if I lose it I will lose myself and I will lose everything that I have worked for, that I had hoped and prayed for.
Tranquility caresses me without permission, after I have barricaded and lost the war, I relax, I like it’s invasion..the peace that is brings , the energy that it sings.
This word that I hold on to for dear life, my life, this word…FAITH!!

THE USE OF WORDS, by J. Angell

We use words everyday in a different way
We use words to describe
We use words to tell
We use words to express
We use words to describe
Describe the weather outside
Describe how we are feeling
Describe what we want
Everyday we are using describing words.
We use words to tell
Tell what we are doing
Tell our side of the story
Tell someone we love them so
Everyday we are using words that tell something
We use words to express
Express our happiness
Express our desires
Express our feelings
We use words everyday to express ourselves
Be careful with the words you use
Some can have a meaning or two
So remember to use those words wisely.

VERBUM, by Liz Korba

I want to coin a word one day,
To make a brand new word
That no one’s ever read or said
Or written down or heard.
I know my word will hold a thought
That no one’s ever had –
(Whatever this new thought may be
It won’t be dull or sad.)
Though many words have been made up
And there are words galore
Words long, words short, words hard to spell,
Words not used anymore…
I still would like to make my own.
And then guess what I’ll do.
When I invent my brand new word
I’ll share a word with you.

WORD, by Ashley Amaya

How can something so small have so many meanings?
Words can mean sad like sorrow, tragedy, and lost
Words can mean proud like honor, magnificent, and grand
Words can mean happy like blissful, merry, and thrilled
Words can mean angry like enraged, bitter, and hateful
How can something so small have so many meanings?

WORDLESS LOVE, by Wynee Wang

Though I can’t speak and my love remain wordless,
I gave you my love, my heart, and my all.
You sob, weep, and seem so lifeless,
My passing should never, ever be your downfall.
When our eyes first met, I knew it was true,
A perfect match was made by the Great One above.
I followed you everywhere and stayed loyal, too,
But I was silenced from speaking wondrous words of love.
That never stopped me from expressing my trust,
To my noble companion who loves me so much.
“I will bring joy to her life”, I once promised
To God Almighty who grants life with one touch.
So I comforted you through rough nights and days,
By giving you my paw and silent kisses of joy.
I stayed by your side and loved you always,
Even though you had another pup to enjoy.
Wagging my tail as you walk through the door,
Though I wish I could shout : “welcome home, dearest master!”
But you understand how I simply cannot say no more,
You hugged me and gave me your sincere wordless answer.
You are the reason for being and you are Godsend,
We took on the world, conquering every loophole.
But life has a beginning and must have an end,
For illness took over my body and soul.
I must pretend, I thought, she mustn’t worry,
So I tried to fight with no legs and no tail.
I wanted to stay but longed to be free,
You knew that I suffered and your love must prevail.
As I laid down to rest, I gazed in your eyes,
I wanted to say “see you later, dear Wynee.”
But you didn’t hear me and wailed with loud cries,
Became a lost soul who was once so cheery.
I want you to know though I still remain wordless,
My love for you has never faded at all.
I know it is tough but you must feel guiltless,
Since my legs are well again and I may now stand tall!
So beloved master, don’t you shed a tear,
For I await by the beautiful gates of heaven.
Im patiently waiting for the one who’s so dear,
To tell her “I love you” as we walk to the horizon.

POST FOR LAE 6616, by Megan Smith

For some there is nothing more relaxing
Than reading them in a book
While others prefer to speak them
Or say them with a look
Some prefer to write them down
There is no right or wrong
You might prefer to sing them
In the melody of a song
No matter how you share them
As long as you are heard
There is no greater power
Than the power of your words.

UNTITLED, by Emilie Zayas

Word of the Day.
Word of the month.
Words that play,
Words that slump.
Words of love,
Words of hate.
Words to whisper,
Words to scream.
Words that inspire a dream.
Words from the heart,
Words from your ears.
Words that cause you tears.
Word to tha’ Mutha
Word up!
W-E-R-D!!!!!!

TELL ME A STORY . . . by Danielle Guerra

I took my son to India,
To China and Kazakhstan,
We watched the sun sink behind a dune
Of a desert in Sudan.
We took a stroll through Paris town,
He munched a fresh baguette.
We watched lights dancing on the Seine,
A sight he won’t forget.
He begged to go to Italy,
For pizza and ice cream.
We packed our bags and hopped a plane,
Enjoyed gelato by a stream.
He’s been to Spain and Mexico,
High-fived the President.
He knows the guards at Buckingham,
They loved him when he went.
Every night at 8 O’clock
We plan another travel.
Anywhere he wants to go
To watch the world unravel.
He’s seen outer space and planets spin,
He keeps them in his head.
We’ve been to countries far and wide,
From the comfort of his bed.

UNTITLED, by Natalie Scott

Vacation is my favorite word
Like sandy beaches and rolling waves
Vacation is my favorite sound
Like laughing with loved ones along the paves
Vacation is my favorite taste
Like steak or lobster some of my craves
Vacation is my favorite smell
Like freshly baked bread among the braves
Vacation is my favorite time
Since I can finally relax in the depths of my caves.

UNTITLED, by Eileen H.

Spoken…
A word brings worth,
Moving the soul with voice,
Its meaning can bring blissful joy
With Love.

MY WORDS, by Lauren

I say many words
But they are never heard
It’s as if they flew off with a blue bird
It’s really quite absurd
Maybe my students misheard
Something must have occurred
Because all of a sudden they listened to my words
Sometimes I feel like I’m leading the herd
And sometimes I feel like I’m falling in third
I think my students must be deferred
But then I saw their creative juices begin to stir
Maybe my students preferred
For me to talk to them in their own words

HOME, by Krista Kabana

Home is a word that will forever bring me peace.
After all, home is where the heart is
For I know this to be true.
When I am not there my heart goes from red to blue.
Inside this home words fill the air with laughter, memories, and love
For even the ones that are missing,
They send their blessings from up above.
There’s a feeling of comfort inside me as I write this poem.
Because when I am there, I know I’m not alone.
Words can’t even express the love I have for this place;
It always and forever will be my own special space.
Everyone has a word that will brighten their day;
As you can see, my word is home
And you will not change my mind
No matter what you say!

NEGATIVE WORDS, by Tiffany Payne

There it is hiding in the shadows,
Similar to an elephant in the room.
Emotions boil over by what is understood.
No one knows what to say.
Say it, write it, think it — it still hurts the same.
Who is really to blame?
The speaker? The writer? or the word?
~ Tiffany Payne
What is a Word?
We use them to speak, write, and sing.
We use them to explain everything!
Look here, look there, and you will see,
That they are used remarkably!
A dictionary, thesaurus, or book contain,
These tools that are always used but, they never complain.
Old ones, overused ones, there are new ones every day,
Have you made one up and used it today?
It’s your name, a verb, a noun, and much more,
We use them to read, drive and explore.
Many overlook their importance, it’s true,
But I know we know we need them, don’t you?

UNTITLED, by Hattie Herring

I heard this brand new word
It sounds very absurd
Why would this be
I bet nobody knows the definition to this word
This word Is crazy filled With twisters of the tongue and who knows what else
And since this word is so hard you have to say it from your gut
So here goes the try and most likely I will fail
But here goes my try and hopefully I won’t cry so here goes
I LOVE YOU!!!

UNTITLED, by Samantha Warren

Words can make your your headache
Words can make your heart break
Words can make your soul shiver
Words can make your lips quiver
Deliver joy, sorrow, happiness, and pain
It is expressed best by what others say
Provoke emotions, thoughts, visions, and dreams
Your words deliver powerful things
Attitude, gestures, and facial expressions are wonderful indeed
But without WORDS what do they really mean.

UNTITLED, by Rachael Ball

God come and take away my fear
Bring me a peace that will never leave
Grant me wisdom to meet the day
Give me grace to light the way
Show me love like no one else
Give me hope that never fades
Fill me your Words so that I can share
With the world who needs to hear

LOVE, by Christiana

We’ve been friends
For many years
Never thought it would be more
You’re hesitant
I’m hesitant
We’ve both been burned before
It’s crazy
And we’re crazy
But I think we’ll be alright
I’m willing
If you’re willing
To stand by you through the fight
I’m positive
You feel it
It’s happening so fast
But I think that
You’re my soul mate
And this is something that will last.

THREE WORDS, © by Cory Corrado

Her mind thought them.
Her soul felt them.
Her heart spoke them.
Three little words.
But he …
he could never return them.
His wounded heart could not hear.
Would not hear.
Dared not hear.
His need deafened her longing
and all his body could offer-
were three empty letters instead of three words.
Facing her fears, she cried copious tears;
life and time saged her painful years.
Their hearts could not spell love the same way.
The ‘I love you’ she sought
was not where she had always thought.
Her mind thinks them.
Her soul feels them.
Her heart speaks them.
Three powerful words:
I LOVE ME.
Now, the whole world loves her back.

NOVEMBER YOUNG POET POEMS, GRADES 3-7

THE HERO

A battle against the human race,
We are the one to oppose,
She is the lone defender,
One versus 6.4 billion.
She embraces what we throw at her,
She is the lone warrior.
She shall not strike,
She shall not defend,
She shall wait for the end.
One day,
It shall all end,
It might take years till she decides it’s her time,
Or it could only take you the time to say a single word.
She is our worst nightmare,
She is our savior,
Our number one attack strategy,
Pollution,
We trash her,
We gas her out,
A way to dispose of her.
But the scary thing is,
Only few will live to be aware of this war,
Some may say they do,
But they don’t.
Even scarier than that,
Is when she shall meet her fate,
Her fate is ours as well.
She shall not strike,
She shall not defend,
She shall wait for the end.
She is Mother Earth.

-Zack Safadi
6th grade
Maumee Valley Country Day
Toledo, Oh
Teacher: Jana Smith

PARTNER

I open the latch to your velvety case
I take off your silk blanket
I pull you deep into my arms
I take out your bow and begin playing
It’s like you are singing to me
I look up and down your wooden body;
each line makes you look like a tiger
you are ready
ready to pounce on that half note going into an eighth note
I push the bow back and fourth over your four metal strings
then, we play
we play the most beautiful sound ever imagined
like a waterfall
or the smoothest airplane landing that ever happened
This is how beautiful your sound is
You are my harmony
you are my melody
you are mine
There is a word for this
love
the most powerful word that there is
The two of us together are like a team
we keep pushing to win the Olympic gold metal
Then, our final turn,
we win,
but,
we keep on playing our song,
as if there is nothing more in the world
just the two of us and our love

-Erin Fankhauser
This poem was for my violin
Maumee Valley Country Day
6th grade
Toledo, Oh
teacher: Jana Smith

AN ENCHANTED FOREST

A dwarf bounces across a wheat field
Laughing out loud while enjoying the warm summer rays
As pixies flutter through enormous woodlands
Golden dust leaves a trail where they have been
Ogres heave boulders the size of maples
Perspiration runs down their faces with determination in their eyes
Elves race down golden hills
Tumbling and rolling with bursting excitement
Flowers bloom and show their joy
Marigolds and lilies create a rich sweetness in the air
Fairies talk words none of us will know
As they wave their wands and create magical wonders
Centaurs gallop in pride and unison
Hooves beating the ground thundering through the valley
In this enchanted forest, all speaks for itself
Tis the place for creatures to dwell in peace
Tis the world for all
By: Omar Abdul-Aziz
Maumee Valley Country Day
6th grade
Toledo, Ohio
teacher: Jana Smith

WITHOUT A WORD

Cries of laughter.
Joy was spread throughout the church.
Everyone was talking in hushed voices,
Yet all the sounds combing in my little head sounded as if
Every word a new little firework
Sent out on its journey through the sky.
She walks in everyone goes silent,
Her beautiful white gown flouncing as she appears,
So gracefully,
So silently,
So gently,
She takes a step forward,
My heart’s racing, another step
She walks down the aisle,
Her head raised as if she wasn’t afraid.
Maybe she wasn’t but I was.
As she takes another step
Her train floats over the petals I had softly strewn.
As she takes her last steps
She looks down at me and smiles.
Without a word she calms my heart.

By: Ella Foster
Maumee Valley Country Day
Fifth Grade
Toledo, OH
Teacher: Nanette Valuck

THE ONLY ESCAPE

“Scritch, scratch, scritch, scratch”
My hand flies across the page,
Words,
Flowing,
Pouring from my mouth,
Spilling out my fingertips,
Settling on to the paper.
Each one with it’s own sharp taste,
Sweet,
Spicy,
Bitter,
The flavors wiz by going too fast to recapture
Each new flavor inspiring the next,
“Beep beep beep!”
A traffic jam as my hand becomes too slow
I force them to slow down as I sift through, trying to find the right one,
“Screeeeech!”
I scribble circle after circle,
Waiting for the ink to come,
But I know this is hopeless . . .
Suddenly reality grips me,
Ink stains cover my hands
I no longer taste the words
Only then is the pain renewed
Hunger,
Eating me away,
Tearing flesh from bone,
Starving,
Words are the only escape.
I reach for a new pen,
“Scriiiiitch scratch screech!”
My hand slugs across the page
Syllable by syllable,
Crawling,
Slugging,
Oozing.
The flavors,
Subdued now,
But still there
After each flavor is finished I wish there was more
“Plunk, plunk.”
They come out too slow for my liking
I push myself trying to think of more,
But it is no use.
Why? Why? Why? I think to myself.
Words.

By: Emma Lavetter-Keidan
Maumee Valley Country Day
Fifth Grade
Toledo, OH
Teacher: Nanette Valuck

WORD WARS

Sometimes words have wars,
Good words take over bad,
Bad words take over good,
And they don’t stop,
Until the mean word kills the conversation.

By: Liam Baker
Maumee Valley Country Day
Fifth Grade
Toledo, OH
Teacher: Nanette Valuck

NOVEMBER YOUNG POET POEMS, GRADES 8-12

THANKFUL

Everyday I wake
I give thanks
To see the sun rise
I give thanks
For a family that is wise
I give thanks
Life, health, and strength
Nothing but thanks
To the one up above

By La’ Joi Word
Crescent City Jr Sr High School
10th Grade
Crescent City, FL
Teacher: Lisa Martino

THANKS

Thanks is for people that receive.
People that don’t receive still say thanks.
I received something that no one wants,
I received something that no one likes.
Sorrow fills my gift.
No one cares what you get,
Unless it’s something they want.
Even though I don’t like my gift,
I still give thanks to the person
that is still giving those sad gifts.

By Omar Teran
Crescent City Jr Sr High School
9th grade
Teacher: Lisa Martino
Crescent City, FL

THANKS

Thanks is a way of life
Thanks is a way of passion
I am thankful for things in my life
I remember when we all use to sit around
the table and give thanks
Thanks can go a long way
Thanks is a gift
Thanks comes around all the time

By Jacquanna Gillins
Crescent City Jr Sr High School
9th Grade
Teacher: Lisa Martino
Crescent City, FL