REMINDER: Voted yet for January Hall of Fame Poets? You have until Tuesday night at 10:00 CST.

Hi everyone,

My thanks again to Carole Adler for being such a lovely Featured Guest this past Thursday and Friday. Carole, I appreciate you!

I’m back. Last week ended a marathon. Over an eight day period I wrote nineteen episodes of the planned podcast series, This Week with David Harrison, and on Saturday I was in a studio from 9:00 – 5:00 where we shot them all. The producer now has eight weeks to complete all the post production work so we can be ready to go by spring break. Those of you involved in education can look for marketing efforts to begin then.

Now I can get back on task, beginning with the process of catching up. Tomorrow I’ll post my lead off response to a new topic on WRITERS AT WORK. I hope you’ll join us for that. And plan to meet my Featured Guest this week when I introduce Ruth Culham on Thursday and present her picture and article on Friday.

Between now and then I’ll be working on something good for Wednesday. For now, here’s a poem I wrote recently after spending quite a while observing a bald eagle on our lake looking like it was Monday for sure.


by David L. Harrison

The bald eagle stands flatfooted on the ice.
In narrow channels around it
a dozen coots bob
like deli luncheon specials.

Lethargically the eagle stares,
turns its head,
bored with the menu.

Time to get going.
Grab a bite first?
Can’t decide,
not really hungry.

For working stiffs everywhere
it’s Monday.


Poem Of The Week – Rolling in Butter

BULLETIN: Because I was late posting the ballot boxes for January, I’m going to extend voting. The polls will remain open until Tuesday night at 10:00. I hope this gives you the extra time you need to cast your ballot. January winners and February’s word will be announced on Wednesday, February 2. Sorry for the tardiness!

ROLLING IN BUTTER by David L Harrison

Let the voting begin

Hi everyone,

Thanks to all for being patient with me this past week. Today I’ll be in a studio from 9:00 – 5:00 but I did manage to complete all 20 scripts by yesterday and get the ballot boxes posted for today.

Our judges will also get busy reading and choosing their picks of the month. For a reminder of our outstanding panel of judges, here’s how to find them.

I do not have the poems posted below the boxes the way I usually do. I’ll try to get that done as soon as I can. Until then you can go to W.O.M. for adults and young poets and read their poems there.



1 To Thyself Be True
by Gay Fawcett

Fish out of water
Choke and die
Can’t adapt
Can’t grow legs
Can’t get back in.
That doesn’t mean
The land isn’t beautiful
The air isn’t sweet
Legs aren’t grand
Or the water is better.
But fish out of water
Choke and die.
Please throw me back in!

2 Essence
by Lisa Martino

Fragile essence, basic need.
So clear to see, saving agreed.
Poured down the drain by careless men.
Warnings not heard, now world decreed.
Lottery given lucky men,
Unaware pampered noblemen.
Millions slowly greet the headstone,
Many more will meet the ghostmen.
Cries for help reach shores of stone;
Children play in lakes of fishbone.
Lines drawn in sand, deep damnation.
Wars fought for precious drops. Undone!
Such peril, abomination.
So vain, oh needless pollution.
Save ourselves, sustentation.
Heed these words. Prognostication!

3 Snowflakes
by julie Krantz

When snowflakes fall
so soft
so white
I cup my hands
like bowls
of rice
to catch
these lacy
of ice.
But when
the sky
so cold
so bright
turns out
its snowy
winter light
I climb
in bed
to dream
all night.

by Beth Carter

In some locales, I’m in short supply
but always in high demand.
I’m highly regarded,
yet often neglected.
I quench, refresh
and clean.
I can be found in bottles
for a fee.
Most think I’m the best thing
on a hot day.
And the most soothing
on a sore back.
I come out of the tap
for free.
I’m featured in springs
and caves
But rarely in the
I’m in rivers,
lakes and oceans.
I’m mostly tasteless
with no calories.
Most consider me
a precious drink
Lately, I’m a liquid
used as torture.
Answer: Water.

5 Sippin’ River Water
by Ken Slesarik

Simply sippin’ from the Mississippi,
never seemed to simply satisfy me.
So I sipped some samples from the Nile
but grew tired of sippin’ after awhile.
Then I sipped some lakes, but I digress,
‘cause the best place to sip is the Tigress.

Naucrates ductor
by Steven Withrow

I buddy with a whitetip shark
And follow in his deadly dark,
The perfect tagalong.
I give my symbiotic terms:
“I’ll eat up all your lice and worms,
If you’ll help me survive.”
And when the feeding frenzies start,
My bodyguard fulfills his part
And shields me from the throng.
I’ll swim in any bully’s lee,
And pay any protection fee,
If it keeps me alive.
Copyright 2011 by Steven Withrow. All rights reserved.

7 Vacation Waters
by Janet Kay Gallagher

Sunny California here I come.
I will fly to Las Vegas and be
picked up by my son.
As the plane came under the
sunshine and clouds
I heard someone say out loud.
“It’s Raining here.”
Another chimed in,”Does it rain in
the desert?”
The reply, “It IS raining HERE!”
“It doesn’t rain in the desert.”
Another said.
Off the plane I moved ahead.
California here I come.
By the next day the rain was done.
Then sky opened and poured for days.
Flooding streets and washing away hills,
filling homes and cars with mud.
It would take days to clean up all this crud.
Rain and snow closed the Grapevine Route.
People were sranded and cold to boot.
I called home, I heard a tornado was near.
Everyone there wanted to know about the snow here.
The desert in California had wind, rain and snow.
When I am invited again, I will still go.

8 The Teacher
by Jane Heitman Healy

The teacher primed the pump,
pushed the handle down
and pulled it up,
again until
The teacher put the student’s palm
into the outpour,
drew on the palm
with her fingers:
gushed from the fingers,
spilled from the spout,
flooded their minds–
and the teacher
keeps pumping.

9 Untitled
by Don Barrett

Water under control
what a wonderful sight.
A flood of water cause fear and fright.
A trickle down the street from someones lawn,
looks so serene in the light of dawn.
A torent in the same street after a three inch rain,
brings alarm and causes so much pain.
Life on a hill overlooking a meandering stream
what a sight to behold.
Raging water when you live in the valley takes away your life
water controlled in a bottle or bath that is what our life is about,
that is what we all do strive,
for happiness with our husband or wife

10 Water World
by Jackie Huppenthal

I rode the sea monster
braced for the storm
black thunder
white lighting
oh the rapids they formed!
We plunged into a whirlpool
were swept away by huge waves
blasted and drenched
by the falls
oh, when would I be saved?
then came the twisters
a cyclone
my day at the water park
Totally Insane!

11 Nature’s Jewels
by Barbara J. Turner

A string of dewdrops
on a clump of grass
shake and shimmer,
glimmer in the blush
of the rising sun,
diamonds in the ruff
suddenly stolen
by evaporation.

12 Water
by: Shalander Samuels

As the water goes down my throat, it engulfs the curves of my thirst.
It takes away the desire to faint from longing.
It teases me as I long for more.
I yearn and find comfort and pleasure in its intake.
Who knew water had such power?
If water did not fill the space we call the ocean,
we would only have a beautiful sunlight and dry ground to consume it’s magnificence,
we would be unable to captivate it’s beauty as we do.
Who knew water has such power?
Some use it to bathe, to drink, to wash, to cook, to relax, sometimes just to feel good.
Others use it as a sign of the times, to say things are changing,
Now that I am older and can appreciate the beauty of some deity’s blessing,
I smile and enjoy, feeling ultimate bliss, and get consumed by its power.

13 Ebb Tide
by Wendy Singer

I see right through you,
Yet twist in your current.
Running blue cold,
I struggle, chilled.
I see right through you.
My warm waves of purity,
Run softly, sweet.
Your tide slowly ebbs.
I see right through you,
Boiling with life.
Crystal and clean.
You quench my thirst.

14 Fathom
by Liz Korba

More than half of me is water
Drips and drops of H2O
More than half of me is water
I am rain, sleet, hail and snow
There’s a piece of me that’s ocean
I’m a little raging sea
And a bit of stream and river
Puddle, pond, a lake – that’s me!
More than half of me is something
That refuses to be still
I may wear down rocks, great mountains
Make a valley from a hill
There are times when I am able
To help living things to grow
And it’s true that I can take a life
Flash flood, an undertow
In great clouds you’ll find me floating
Though at times I’m underground
There are days when I erupt, make noise
Or not a single sound
Since so much of me is water
This explains a lot of me
But not all of me is water
There’s a part that’s mystery!

15 Winter Seasoned
by Vera Jane Goodin Schultz

like a bucket of chilled water poured over your head
flowing in freezing foreboding fingers down your spine
sometimes life puddles around your feet
icing you to stiff stillness awaiting the thaw

16 Driving the lonely highway
by Daniel Escurel Occeno

Driving the lonely highway
I get thirsty
Heading for anywhere
I will find
The truck stop in my mind
I do not really know where I am going
But someday
I will find
The truck stop in my mind
(And probably take a detour to a really good restaurant, if I get a multi-books contract.)

17 Waterlines
by Mimi Cross

In bed
At night
The waterday doesn’t leave me
I hear the ocean from my window
And I swear
My body is still moving
Washing in and out
With the waves
The pull of the tide
Like blood in my veins
The crash on the shore
The rush of a heartbeat


1. Water
by Clarence Williams, III

Water is soul, liquid is life,
ice is cold,
giving your blood a fight.
The vapors of life fill my heart.
But water itself wouldn’t fulfill you,
nor would liquid itself.
Water is a liquid, liquid is not water.
So unlike most things that can’t live
without each other.
Water can live without liquid because
it is a liquid, but if the liquid isn’t water,
then there is no liquid at all.
Crescent City Jr Sr High School
Grade 10
Teacher: Mrs. L. Martino

2 Water
by Jason Stiles

So gentle
So graceful
So powerful
So strong
So destructive
So devastating
Destroys what it
Crescent City Jr Sr High School
Grade 10
Teacher: Mrs. L. Martino

3 Untitled
by Taylor McGowan

From murky oceans
to turquoise seas
it helps us all
from the birds
to the trees
Every raindrop
every speck of dew
is crucial to humans
like me and you
It’s carried in clouds
it floats on the breeze
it soothes burning lungs
when we start to wheeze
It’s home to the whales
and the colorful fish
and during a drought
it’s every child’s wish
It falls from the sky
it allows us to drink
it’s much more important
than most of us think.
It’s in our hearts
It’s in our blood
It flows past shores
When rivers flood
It’s the very essence
Of me and you
For as long as we’re earthlings
Water’s meaning is true.

4 Frozen Water
by Max Zilba

When it gets warmer, I get a little sticky.
Sticky enough for me to turn into a person.
I have sticks for arms,
a carrot for a nose,
and buttons for eyes.
But the best part is
I can watch the children play and have snowball fights.
But after a while
when I see the icicles falling from above
I start to wonder “what will happen to me,
will I become one of them or something better?”
I wait, and wait, and wait.
I watch my nose, my eyes and my arms
slowly fall from my body.
I wait a little longer.
I slowly start to become water.
I just wait some more.
The children wake me
as they stomp on me with their boots.
It’s a ticklish feeling.
I soon become a splash
and fall into a child’s sock.
I can’t see anything except a light from above.
I want to get back into the fresh air.
I feel the ground shaking.
I hear a child crying
I fall out of the boot and meet some red liquid,
I’ve only heard of this before,
but I become part of it and become part of the child now.
I am happy.
5th Grade
Teacher-Nanette Valuck

5 Life without a friend
by Sahil Kattar

What have I done?
I feel cheated, but I haven’t even done anything
He won’t be there when I need him
I’m in the city with a ton of people,
but I don’t hear anything or taste anything.
The wind blows on me,
but that’s all I feel.
I don’t know where I am and where I’m going.
Hopefully somewhere where I’ll find some real friends.
He doesn’t even talk to me when I’ve been a good friend
I run past the city with honking horns and flashing lights
Thunder rages and lightning strikes
I dive into a lake.
As I sink to the bottom of the lake I get some feeling.
The water pours and gushes on me after the splash when I dove.
I stay in the silky liquid in comfort.
I launch back up above the water and feel great.
I realize
“Yeah I’ll find some other friends.”
I say energized

Fifth Grade
Teacher: Nanette Valuck

6 Revenge
by Alex Evans

The sound of a sword being drawn out of a sheath rings in the mist.
I turn around to see him, standing in the rain.
The sight of him angers me.
I draw my own rod of deathly silver and charge.
We fight and fight, water flying off our blades.
But then I’m on my back, my sword five feet away.
I lost, I lost, I lost…
Wait. I didn’t fail.
I kick at him, and get right up.
I run for my weapon.
When I return, I raise my sword,
And bring it down to finish it.
But I strike the ground; he’s no longer there.
I stand still in the night.
Then out in the swirling mist I hear
A faint voice, crying:

Fifth Grade
Teacher: Nanette Valuck

7 This is Just to Say (Water Parody)
by Zack Safadi

The dog
didn’t really knock over
Your Voss Water
Last night.
Forgive me,
It was 3:00am
And I was so thirsty.
But this is just to say,
Water will stay water,
And well,
A fancy design and the price
Won’t change the taste

Sixth Grade
Maumee Valley Country Day
Toledo, OH
teacher: Jana Smith

8 You Were
by Iain Todd

You were as blue as the sky,
But now you are stained red.
You were as smooth as silk,
But now you are full of craters.
Your home was as clean as soap,
But now it is scattered with bullets.
You were the only hole
But now there are many
That look just like you,
But they are filled
With pure blood
Not water
Like you.
You were a puddle of water,
But now you are just a filthy hole.
On a battlefield long forgotten.
Sixth Grade
Maumee Valley Country Day
Toledo, Oh
teacher: Jana Smith

9 The Journey
by Courtney Clawson

Trudge, trudge.
As I plod along, each step seems like an eternity.
My head aches.
My mouth is dry.
I am parched.
Suddenly, like a mirage in the desert, it appears out of nowhere.
I run now, pushing through the crowds, ignoring the
infuriated swarm of people.
I reach my destination.
The cold water runs down my throat with a tingling
I take another drink, this time long…
and refreshing.
The water soothes my aching head.
I peer behind my shoulder at the aggravated mob of people,
realizing I just pushed through them to get to the beginning of the line.
And I prepare myself for the journey back…
with another sip.

Sixth Grade
Maumee Valley Country Day
Toledo, OH
teacher: Jana Smith

Carole (C. S.) Adler today

BULLETIN: Sorry to be running behind in posting ballot boxes for January’s voting. They will go up tomorrow!

Greetings everyone,

As promised, our Featured Guest today is my friend, Carole (C. S.) Adler. I’m grateful to Carole for taking the time to be my guest and I know you will enjoy what she has to tell us. Here’s Carole.

I always dreamed of being a writer – not of being published – that came later, but of writing stories, like the ones I spent my free time reading when I was seven and eight and nine. Spinning words to create people and places and the stuff of life on paper was magical. I filled notebooks in my execrable handwriting of stories that were pale imitations of the ones I read. Writing made me happy Only when I grew into a more sophisticated teen ager did I think of being published. My pleasure came from the act of creation. It still does. When I sit down at my computer every afternoon ready to weave the raw material of character and problem into a novel, hours flow blissfully by me. I guess the process of creating anything, whether art or music or writing makes human beings feel good. Otherwise why would ancient people have spent so many hours carving wood, making jewelry and painting pictures in caves?

At thirteen I got more practical. I broadened my horizons and started shipping my short stories off to magazines, magazines for adults because they were meant to be my audience, never mind that I was still a child. Fifty or so stories and as many rejection slips later, I finished college and graduated into serious writing endeavor, that is I began doing adult novels. A drawer full of rejection slips would have suggested to many intelligent young women that perhaps they would be more successful pursuing a different career. But I was a writer. Even if no one was interested in my work, I had to keep doing it. I had all those stories in my head that needed to be set down on paper, all those feelings and notions about how humans react to what life throws at them.

I got married and worked in advertising after college, had three children and earned my teaching degree, and finally sold a few teen age short stories. That was good, but short stories seemed ephemeral. My adult ambition was to get a book published that would claim space on a library shelf for years. Nearly a decade of teaching middle school taught me that preteens are elbows out, in your face, funny and fascinating. I began putting students I’d known into my novels. The first of these, THE MAGIC OF THE GLITS, impressed an editor at Macmillan enough so that at long last, I got published. Forty-three novels for mostly eight to twelve year olds, with some few for young adults, followed. I won some prizes, was translated into ten foreign languages, and collected delightful fan letters. The best ones were from fans who claimed their lives were just like the ones in my books. That meant my fiction told the truth about how life is. What more could a fiction writer want?

Now writing isn’t just good for pleasure. It also alleviates pain. I think that’s why so many people keep journals and diaries. To write about what moves or hurts you, helps you. Most of me goes into my fiction, but when my son died, I wrote a kind of journal, a biography of his life as I remembered it. Then I wrote GHOST BROTHER, probably my most popular novel. The ghost in the book was my son as he was at fifteen, a charismatic, risk taking, much loved boy. When my husband was dying last spring, I wrote a daily journal describing what was happening to him and also to me.

For me writing is therapy. It helps get the poisons out. It can solve life’s mysteries. It lessens the aches. But most of all writing makes me happy.

Carole (C.S.) Adler tomorrow

Hello everyone,

Today I’m delighted to tell you about tomorrow’s Featured Guest, Carole Adler, or C. S. Adler to her young fans everywhere. I always look forward to seeing Carole and visiting when we congregate among friends at the Children’s Literature Festival in Warrensburg, Missouri. I lose track of time but we’ve been going there for many years and half the fun is in getting together with old friends and making new ones. Many of the gifted authors, poets, and playwrights who appear on my blog are good pals from such festivals. As always, I ask a Featured Guest to provide a bio that I can post the day before his or her appearance. Here’s what Carole sent for you to review before you meet her tomorrow.

Born in New York City at the end of the great depression, I graduated from Hunter High School and College, got married, worked in advertising, had three sons, and spent thirty some years in upstate New York where I was an English teacher at Niskayuna Middle School for nearly a decade. My husband and I retired to Tucson, Arizona where I fell in love with the desert. I am a passionate tennis player, grandmother and nature lover, and have been a full time writer since the publication of my first children’s book, THE MAGIC OF THE GLITS.

That book won both the William Allen White Award and the Golden Kite Award. My novel, THE SHELL LADY’S DAUGHTER, was chosen by the A.L.A. as a best young adult book of 1983. WITH WESTIE AND THE TIN MAN won the Children’s Book Award of the Child Study Committee in 1986 and that committee commended many of my novels. SPLIT SISTERS IN 1987 and GHOST BROTHER in 1991 were I.R.A. Children’s Choices selections. ONE SISTER TOO MANY was on the 1991 Young Adults’ Choices list. ALWAYS AND FOREVER FRIENDS and EDDIE’S BLUE WINGED DRAGON were on a 1991 I.R.A. 99 Favorite Paperbacks list.
ONE UNHAPPY HORSE won the ASPCA Henry Berg Award in 2002.

Many of my books have been on state lists and have also been translated and published in Japan, Germany, England, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France, and currently Turkey.


Thank you, Carole. See you tomorrow!Davidn