It’s a Lollity Popity Day!

Hi everyone,

Need some cheering up today? Try this. I wrote it for a book with TIM RASINSKI and GAY FAWCETT, published in 2009 by Scholastic, called PARTNER POEMS FOR BUILDING FLUENCY.

It’s a Lollity Popity Day
2 voices

(1st voice)                                            (2nd voice)					
It’s a lollity popity day                                                       
                                                             It’s a lollity popity
                                                             hide-and-go-seekity day.
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seektiy
read a good bookity day.
                                                             It’s a lollity popity
                                                             hide-and-go-seekity
                                                             read a good bookity
                                                             roll in the grassity day.
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seekity
read a good bookity
roll in the grassity
talk with a friendity day.
                                                             It’s a lollity popity
                                                             hide-and-go-seektiy
                                                             read a good bookity
                                                             roll in the grassity
                                                             talk with a friendity
                                                             sit on a lapity day.
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seekity
read a good bookity
roll in the grassity
talk with a friendity 
sit on a lapity
play with your petity day.
                                                             It’s a lollity popity
                                                             hide-and-go-seektiy
                                                             read a good bookity
                                                             roll in the grassity
                                                             talk with a friendity
                                                             sit on a lapity
                                                             play with your petity
                                                             happy-go-luckity day.

Hooray!					             Hooray!

(c) 2009 David L. Harrison

If you would like to grab a friend and perform this poem, here’s what you’ll need.

It also helps to have two giggly girls.

Progress report

Hi everyone,

On my May 11 post I said I was exploring possibilities for a new science book. Ten days later, exploration remains the key word. The subject for the project is a big one and happened long ago. It will be a challenge to keep the narrative from becoming too tedious.

I’ve been thinking about this book since January 2021. Last week I put the first words on paper. I worked on a draft of the first 900 words for four days. It was slow going and didn’t fall into place until the last day. It’s only the introduction, but it has to connect with young readers, make them want to read about what’s coming next. I decided it was good, but I needed the reaction of something seeing it for the first time.

I wasn’t ready yet to share it with NEAL LOPINOT, my archeologist friend/co-author of the book, but it’s never too early to share with SANDY. I offered the three pages to her with a hopeful look. She accepted them and sat down to read them at once. Pretty soon she looked up. I could see it coming.

“Boring,” said.

“Is not,” I whined with dignity.

“Is too,” she repeated and explained.

This is why I trust Sandy with my early drafts. She’s not only a straight shooter, she is right SO often. My first fear about this book is that it will bore readers. I prevailed on my good friend and master teacher, SU HUTCHENS. She, being the consummate teacher, both praised and offered a helpful thought or two. I began the revision.

Today I finished the rewrite, a rather complete one, I like it better. A lot better. If Sandy likes it better, a lot better, too, then off it goes to Neal. Once I know I’m on the right trajectory, I’m going to write this book!

My Word of the Month poem for May

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to add my effort for May inspired by GRASS. My thanks to all who have already posted their poems, and shamey shamey on all who have not yet posted theirs. See how holier than thou I get after I’ve finished mine? Kind of like how you smile after getting your teeth cleaned.

Thank you for the swell picture, Nathan Papes, Springfield News-Leader
The Grass

The grass enfolds secrets in green silence,
lies like a hug where children play,
is a witness to worms meeting bird-fate
and spiders doomed to feed wasp babies.

The grass offers privacy to roots nursing plants,
a roof over homeless beetles,
a refuge for small white moths on hot days,
an invitation to dogs on leashes.

The grass heals itself from mower wounds,
returns each year to carry in spring,
nurtures dandelions and small wild berries.
The grass caresses bare feet, and lovers.


(c) 2022 David L. Harrison 


Hooray for Su Hutchens and her kids!

Hi everyone,

Our friend SU HUTCHENS has made my day! For the first time in ages, we have some children’s poems posted. Thanks to Su, four of her 4th grade poets have their work posted this morning using this month’s word as their inspiration. Please go see them, enjoy them, and encourage these young poets. You never know when you are making a positive difference that can change a life.

Our pals, Su and Dan Hutchens

Su, I know you believe in and practice the power of poetry with your students. Bless you for that. As you know, when I started Word of the Month Poetry Challenge in 2009, teachers across the country started posting poems by their students. Later, the poems stopped coming. Teachers said they were too busy because of changes in their schedules that made it impossible to spare the time to post their kids’ work. It has been sad to see the children’s section of Word of the Month go empty every month since then. In the last few years I think KEN SLESARIK has been the only teacher to post any student work.

Ken and me, 2011, Highlights Foundation Poetry Workshop near Honesdale, PA

If you are a teacher or know one, now is a good time to consider this wonderful opportunity for student writers.

On making friends

Hi everyone,

Recently I had a conversation with someone about our philosophies on Facebook friending. For his purposes, he has no interest in adding to his list anyone he doesn’t know well. People who follow his posts know him and he knows them. They are relatives and friends, some of whom he has known since college or even high school days. I know others who follow the same guidelines when deciding whether to add or reject each new friendship request they receive.

Thank you, Nathan Papes, for the swell picture

My philosophy is different because when I hired KATHY TEMEAN to create my website in 2009 it was a business venture. I wanted to make more people aware of my books and websites had become an excellent way to do that. While she was at it, Kathy also made a blog, which I did not want but which she insisted I needed — and won — and the blog automatically connected each day’s post to a new Facebook account, which she also set up. Ditto for Twitter. Suddenly, I was in business. My job was to build a group of followers for both the blog and Facebook. All the pond needed was one more frog in the chorus. Right?

I picked on family and friends first. They helped spread the word. I told people about my website and blog wherever I spoke. I paid attention to the “You might know” lists that FB is fond of parading across the screen and invited some of the ones I actually did know or know about. Pretty soon I began getting a modest number of folks requesting to be FB friends and a trickle of people who decided to follow my blog. Quite a few readers signed my website guest book but that function went kaput so I have no way to tell how many visitors I have on the site that got me into all this in the first place.

Today I have 3,500+ followers on Facebook and a little over 3,200 on my blog. Those seem like respective numbers. The largest audience I’ve ever keynoted was 1,800 so these are more than that. However, only something like 400-500 actually follow me. I don’t know, really, what that means because sometimes I get more responses than that to something I’ve posted. I’m sure that most people on one list are on the other but haven’t tried to find out. Each day on FB I wish those with current birthdays a happy birthday. I don’t get to it every day but I hit more than I miss. I know more people than not and become acquainted with strangers around the world through the occasional brief exchanges about this and that. My life is richer because of these notes.

Has my blog served its purpose? I’m not sure, but I think so, at least now and then. Over the years it has led to speaking engagements, book sales, even to a book. JANE YOLEN and I wrote RUM PUM PUM from an idea sparked on the blog. I think Facebook has also been helpful. I can’t prove it, but I’m convinced enough to keep doing it. Besides, I like it and I’d miss everyone if I stopped.

So that’s my philosophy. I rarely try to grow my Facebook list on purpose but am always happy when I receive new requests. Before accepting, I check his/her posts, about, friends, and pictures. I accept about one out of four. Today I have three FB friends celebrating birthdays. One is BRUCE COLVILLE. I don’t know Bruce. We may have been introduced. I remember being in a gathering once where Bruce was in the room and that alone was an experience. I’m glad he’s on my list. I’ll wish him a happy birthday and mean it. Maybe one of these days we’ll be in the same room again. It could happen. Meanwhile, if you’re reading this, thank you for following me.