The last day of summer is less than one month away, 29 days to be exact. The cherry tree in our front yard is shedding yellow leaves like mad. The hackberry trees lining the lake are looking peaked and ready for a nice nap.
As seasons go, I’m a spring and summer guy. Fall is gorgeous around here but knowing what lies in wait spoils part of my enjoyment. Winter? I don’t like cold weather and hate slush, snow, sleet, and bitter winds. Always have.
So what is your favorite season? Tell me why and write me a poem. I’ll do likewise, probably about summer.
By the way, did anyone see the sad little foot poem I posted the other day? Thinking about feet reminded me of Mom during her last couple of years when she lost more and more mobility.
Yesterday we went to an indoor/outdoor event at the Springfield Art Museum. People of all ages inching around the perimeters of galleries, leaning toward paintings to read the side cards. Individuals retracing their steps to relocate their groups. Old people; middle aged people; young people; no kids. Outside, kids running barefoot through the grass. Moms in sandals pushing strollers. People sitting in chairs listening to music or walking among the artists scattered here and there. Folks of all ages spooning free frozen custard out of cardboard containers. Dogs on leashes. Babies tottering through a forest of adult legs. A stream of singers and musicians taking turns at the microphone. When we left, a five-year-old was belting out an enthusiastic rendition of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” Beautiful day.
One of my most lasting memories was of the variety of feet. Old feet and young ones. Painted nails. Swollen feet. Sunburned feet. Ankles with age spots and varicose veins. Chubby, round baby feet. Dress shoes. Tennis shoes. Open sandals. Heels. Boots. Furry paws. It’s one of those times when I wish I were an artist and could make quick sketches of all those feet.
When I get time, I’m going to write a poem about feet. Want to join in? Drop your own poem in the comment section so others can enjoy your vision.
During Pat Lewis’s recent poetry challenge, I asked if anyone else would like to propose a round. Deborah Holt Williams suggested that we write some limericks about anything but Nantucket. In other words, keep it clean boys and girls.
There are no other forms that lend themselves to humor as readily as the limerick. It has been around for quite a while with its rollicking rhythm and rhyme scheme. I wrote three of them for THE BOOK OF GIANT STORIES back in 1972. Here are a couple, quoted from memory because I don’t have the book with me.
There once was a Giant named Jones
Who lived in a castle of stones,
And often he said,
“I’d love to bake bread,
But I hate grinding up all those bones.”
There once was a silly old witch
Who captured two frogs in a ditch,
She named one Pog,
The other one Wog,
But never could tell which was which.
So how about it? Limericks anyone?
It’s my pleasure to tell you that U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis is returning next week with his first poetry challenge of 2013 (on my blog that is). I won’t spoil the fun by telling you what it is, but it’s one of his best yet and so much fun that I predict a large response from poets who will seize on the challenge and run with it. If I can get my act together fast enough, I’ll try for a Monday post and leave it up a few days so you won’t feel rushed with your own responses.
I’m going to change the routine on Sunday posting. After putting up one of my published poems every Sunday since the blog began in October 2009, I’m going to dispense with the custom and go with your poems instead. By rough estimate I’d say that Kathy Temean has shared about 150 of my poems. There are plenty more, but I think it’s time to turn the floor over to the many talented writers who frequent this site. I’ve asked Kathy to post a few more of my poems from COWBOYS and GOOSE LAKE, but starting this Sunday I’m inviting you to add your own poems to my post — any style on any subject. All you have to do is e-mail them to me at the address provided on my website. I’ll look forward to featuring one or more of them on the next available Sunday. Sound like a plan? I hope so!
Meanwhile, the fun continues at Renee La Tulippe’s blog. We had so much fun the first two days on NO WATER RIVER that I want to urge you to click over to join the conversation or merely to read the interview or hear the poem (from COWBOYS). Here’s the link: http://www.nowaterriver.com/poetry-monday-cookie-by-david-l-harrison . Renee is doing something unique by collecting 3-minute videos of poets reading from their work. Whether you are a poet seeking the sound of other poets’ voices, a teacher looking for a wonderful resource for your poetry unit, or young readers who want to learn more about some of their favorite poets, I recommend Renee’s site to one and all.