Let the voting begin

Hello everyone,

Thanks to all for another bumper crop of Word of the Month poems. I hope you will enjoy reading them again and deciding which one in each category you will vote for. 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. https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/very-important-announcement/ Ready? Poems are at the bottom of today’s post. Have fun!

A lot of children will be restless in their beds tonight.  I hope they’ve all been good this year and that Santa has updated his route information.  Something tells me that they were and he has.  Our family will gather this evening according to tradition.  We’ll miss Sandy’s mother. My heart goes out to anyone else who is grieving or missing a loved one at this tender time of the year.

Last year I posted a Christmas story I wrote for News-Leader a few years ago.  I think I’ll post a second one tomorrow.  I hope you enjoy it. From our house to yours, warm and loving wishes to all.  Thank you for making my blog a place to visit during your busy days.  Here’s this morning’s sunrise over Goose Lake.  The picture fills me with hope for a beautiful year in 2011.


During this special time of the year I love hearing from friends and sharing in their news. Wendy Singer sent this note, which I’m posting with her permission. I featured Wendy on July 14, 2009 (https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/wendy-singer-today/ ) so this is a nice update from a talented writer.


Dear David,

I want to wish you a merry Christmas, and a very happy, healthy and creative new year!

I have so enjoyed getting to know you and your blog this year and have learnt so much. It is such fun to post on the W.O.M., receive encouraging feedback and reader other authors’ work.

It has been a tremendously exciting year for me. I will have my 3rd poem ‘The Seat Cha Cha Cha’ published in REAL, the Canadian Kids Magazine shortly, and will have a feature article on the science of laughter in the February edition of Odyssey Magazine. Quite a shift from poetry, but I have come to be a non-fiction writer during the working hours! You have created a tremendous site for emerging writers.

Have a wonderful holiday, David,



Thank you, Wendy. Congratulations on your productive and successful year. Here’s to even more triumphs in 2011!


By Steven Withrow

All the trolls from the Kingdom of Klaarjj
Floated off on a large wooden barge
In search of high ground where the Flood
Had not drowned every field into mud,
And the rains of decay would not pelt
Night and day, and the sun would not melt,
As they’d heard it had done, sparking fires
In the realm of Prince Caspian’s Spires.

And running aground on the Islet of Ice,
Which once had been home to a nation of mice,
The Klaarjjian trolls stomped their furious feet,
For in this cold clime…they found nothing to eat.

In a sea without fish, flora, kraken, or whale
Rode a bright tale of hope on a gossiping gale,
And the trolls who were frostbit and hungry and sad
Repeated these words till they nearly went mad:
You will sail many leagues before morning,
You will cross many miles after dawn,
But you all will arrive without warning,
In a place where fine summer lives on

And the troll-children sang in their Klaarjjian brogue
About Camelot, Oz, Shangri-La, Tír na nÓg,
And the echoes of Neverland, Narnia rose
Through the cloud-crowded skies, over empty ice floes.

All the trolls from the Kingdom of Klaarjj
Floating still on a large wooden barge,
And they follow the song of the breezing
That keeps their poor troll-paws from freezing,
That fixes their eyes on a haven that seems
As far as the stars and as close as their dreams…
And even in your world—have the rains started falling?—
It’s the voice of imaginings lost you hear calling.
©2010 by Steven Withrow. All rights reserved.

His Face
By: Gay Fawcett

The Times Square of Ecuador
A New Years Eve like none other

Ready to capture memories
We see him approaching

He makes eye contact
Slowly walks our direction

Happy eyes, Missing teeth
A fist full of lollipops

Candy for me
Tomorrow’s meal for him

Never to be forgotten
His weathered face.

Ballet Féerique
© By Cory Corrado

O, Wonder Weather-
Awe-full flakes-swirling ballet
Fairyland serene …

Summer Haiku
By K. Thomas Slesarik

Summer is scorching,
fans, hats, sunglasses and sweat,
non-flammable clothes.

Summer Haiku
By K. Thomas Slesarik

Summer’s just scorchin’,
record highs and misfortune,
non-flammable clothes..

Snowy Snuggles
By: Autumn Harrar

Wishing for the most magical snowy night,
Everything is perfect, everything is just right.
As we snuggle by the firelight,
The music makes the mood just right.
Hearing your soft whispers in my ear,
Each word makes me want to draw you near,
Rejoicing every minute you are here.

By julie Krantz

Sparrows slip on snow, on ice,
children sleigh in streaks of white.

Silence. Snowdrops. Salt. Spice.

Bleary days, frigid nights,
holiday splendor, blinking lights.

Silence. Snowdrops. Salt. Spice.

Winter darkens,

Weather Mishap
© Mary Nida Smith

Rain, rain
Puddles of mud
Fun to splash
Raining cats and dogs
I never saw one
Angleworms fall
Lifeless bodies
Cover the ground.
I rush to save them
One by one
To rework the soil
To make plants grow
Straight and tall.

by Euleta Usrey

Bad news travel slow
The king kills the messenger
Weatherman says snow

Weather Riddle
By Jane Heitman Healy

like a lion defending its den
like a trainload of quartzite
like a race car lapping the track
like heavy metal music
like a mob of football maniacs
like a migraine behind the eyes
like eternity—

What am I?
The persistent prairie wind.

By Wendy Singer

Poor momma who walked
On a cold, snowy day.
She slipped on some ice,
Making quite a display.

Her head broke her fall
With a BANG on the street.
She looked to the sky,
And she saw her two feet.

We took her straight home,
Put her into her bed,
Took care of the bump
On the back of her head.

We called up the doctor
Who gave some advice:
“The cause and the cure are the same –
Apply ice!”

Barbara J. Turner

January’s frigid.
February blizzard.
Weather comes and weather goes.
My car is stuck in heavy snows.

March winds rage and roar.
April rains steadily pour.
Weather comes and weather goes.
Mud spatters on my brand new clothes.

May begins to warm the Earth.
June’s tornados strip the turf.
Weather comes and weather goes.
My garden’s gone, but I saved a rose.

July brings bugs. Mosquitoes whine.
August heat wave. Mercury climbs.
Weather comes and weather goes.
The a/c broke. Where’s the hose?

September raises hurricanes.
October brings winds of change.
Weather comes and weather goes.
My cellar floods. My leaf pile grows.

November’s days are gray and chilled.
December’s cold brings heating bills.
Weather comes and weather goes.
Oh, I so hate all these weather woes.

Winter Wares Me Out
By Jackie Huppenthal

come in and warm your cute red nose
get blood back pumping to those toes
thaw out the ice clumped in your hair
just peel off that long underwear

I’ll heat some milk for hot coco
throw in a giant marshmallow
I’ll put your boots down by the fire
and put wet clothes into the dryer…

now that all’s warm I have no doubt
you’ll bundle up and go back out
so I’ll come with and have fun too
I love this weather just like you

I’ll help you make some more snowmen,
let’s shovel, sled, build forts again
and when we’re tired and frozen through
we’ll cuddle up, just me and you

Rain Coming
By Liz Korba

There is the smell of coming rain
That often fills the air outside
Before a summer storm.
As clouds race by
The wind kicks up,
Birds fly across the sky
And all the leaves
Swish, swish on trees
Earth waits
Hot, desert dry.
Then large cold drops
Begin to fall
So slowly
I must count –
Drop one
Drop two
Drop three
And four
They hit
I run
To my back door
Before I make it safe inside
There’s too much rain to count.
Rain teems down,
Great thunder roars
Storm lightening streaks about
Soon everything is wet outside
And me, I am no longer dry
Rain paints with grey the earth, the sky…
A summer’s day
Will so transform
But warns before the rain.
Do note the smell
Of coming storm

Such a brittle thing you are
By Lisa Martino

You come from high dripping in the sun
Hear the plunk, plunk from the white birch tree
To the lonely frozen swing set

The hard white earth beckons you nearer
You reach the top of the metal bar
Encasing the rope of the swing

Until you touch the blue plastic swing
And pool on the seat, smooth wavy glass
You ran over the edge to peek

But never quite made it to the earth
No, you did not make it this time round
Ah, but maybe tomorrow, No?

Such a brittle, fickle thing you are.

Nearly Christmas Eve
By Jane Heitman Healy

The halls are decked,
Our moods are jolly,
The gifts are wrapped,
But where is Holly?

The tree is trimmed
With lights and dollies,
The treats are baked,
But where is Holly?

The roads wear ice
And snow, by golly.
So miles from here,
Alone sits Holly.


by Kaartikeya Raj Gupta

You are the bread and the knife
The crystal goblet and the wine …
-Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife
the crystal goblet and the wine
you are the breath of the wind
the sparks of the sun
you are the judge and the suspect
you are the forest that shelters thee from all weather

however, you are not the old sycamore
nor the Redwood that stands firm by the lake
what about the Ever Green, ever so tall?
you are not Ever Green
I am the Ever Green, ever so tall
I am the maze and at the same time the one lost in it
you may be the beaver but I am the tiger
for sure you are not thumping of the little white Hare
there is just no way you are the thumping of the little white Hare
you could be the quack of a Duckling swimming with his mom
or the pat of a boy skipping down the street
but not even close to the diver at sea

not to worry you are still the forest that shelters thee
and somehow the beaver
just remember you are not the thumping of the little white Hare

Grade 6
Maumee Valley Country Day
Toledo, OH
teacher: Jana Smith

By Colin Bigenho

December is the time of rising spirits,
A time for raising hearts.
It is a time to celebrate,
It is a time to rejoice.
The weather is changing,
And so are the people.
Enjoy December
Enjoy Life.

Grade 6
Maumee Valley Country Day
Toledo, Oh
teacher: Jana Smith

By Rachel H.

I wish for having fun in the sun, acting like a fool in the pool.
I wish for the heat, and nice warm breeze that would blow through the trees.
But now, oh no! There is no heat (which is nice) there is only inches of snow, Covered up with some ice.
Instead of the longing for a nice breeze to blow, or some nice warm rivers with a Quick, rapid flow, there is only winter weather for this season to show.

Grade 5
West Chester, Pennsylvania

Winter’s Crossing
By P. Andrew Pipatjarasgit

The howl of the wind
Crosses through the forest
Sweeps the snow
and shakes the barren tree

The white blanket of snow
Covers the land into milkshakes
Branches creak and crack
with certainty they’ll break

The howl of the wind
twirls the sleet around
Ice deep in a nullah
Halts the water dead

The roughest of the elements
Cruel and brutal winter
Stormy weather arrives
and annihilates the sycamores

The darkness of the night
Blindly finding its way to the ground
With the gloom not heard in the day
and chilling of the air

The brightness of day
chops the night in half
A nanometre of light
Daylight will come

The whiteness of the snow
It shines on your eyes
Very quiet
The pitter and the patter

The day passes by and
the snow pounds down
and keeps falling
On the seemingly lifeless world

And evening comes
To fall on us once more
And back to the darkness
To the howl of the wind

Maumee Valley Country Day
Toledo, OH
teacher: Jana Smith


by Omar Teran

I feel relaxed when I hear the sky cry.
Outside is peaceful but inside it thunders,
because inside it rains but without the water.
Outside is sunny but without the sun.
We don’t know what the weather is outside,
because we are still stuck inside with no exit.
That’s why it rains without water.

9th grade – Crescent City Jr Sr High School
Teacher: Mrs. Lisa Martino
Crescent City, Florida

By Roshod Addison

Cold winter weather
How Heaven would be like
I go up and down, fall to the ground
Because of freezing wind
everyday I ask myself, why winter
why not spring?
but still this day I still wonder
every night on my knees
askin the Lord, bring the Spring

9th grade – Crescent City Jr Sr High School
Teacher: Mrs. Lisa Martino
Crescent City, Florida

By Kelsey LeMasters

Once upon a dream
there was a love so deep
never to be broken
until the second she woke
realizing her love was a dream
in the warmth of summer
everything she had, gone

9th grade – Crescent City Jr Sr High School
Teacher: Mrs. Lisa Martino
Crescent City, Florida

Sunset Thanks
By Katie Scott

As the sun goes down and the winds whistle in my hair,
I remember them days when I always say Thanks Lord.
My mother always say, you are right,
all the pain I have and the suffering.
I Thank the Lord for all he made right for us
Thanks is a wonderful word. Thanks is joy and happiness
You can just feel the warmness and joyness
as your heart beat faster and faster
Thanks I say Thanks for the Sunset of Life

9th grade – Crescent City Jr Sr High School
Teacher: Mrs. Lisa Martino
Crescent City, Florida

Who will be my next Guest Reader?

You must admit that we’ve been hitting homeruns with the Summer Guest Reader Series! To refresh your memory, here’s the lineup of stars we’ve featured so far. If you don’t see your face on this post, it’s because you haven’t pitched in to share something about yourself with the rest of us. Shame, shame! You need to be about it!

Amy VanDerwater in New York,

Charles Waters in Florida,

Mary Nida Smith in Arkansas,

Carol-Ann Hoyte in Montreal,

Ken Slesarik in Arizona,

Wendy Singer in Montreal,

Nancy Gow in Montreal,

Silindile Ntuli in South Africa, and

Mimi Cross in New Jersey.

Hundreds of visitors have read and appreciated the works of these Guest Readers and I know there is an expectation of meeting more guests in the coming weeks. Let’s here from you. Send me your picture and a poem or a write-up of 500 words or less about yourself and your journey as a writer. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


This week at a glance

It has been a good week.

Monday I introduced a new challenge for anyone interested in composing Found Poems using pre-existing prose found in all sorts of publications. We have read several excellent poems so far and they continue to come in. Please don’t forget about this opportunity. Georgia Heard is checking that post to see if she can spot poems she could use in her upcoming book.

Tuesday I summarized our ITCH poems posted so far. Here they are again.


Steven Withrow: The Witch’s Itches
Mary Nida Smith: Bewitched
Gay Fawcett: Itch (written by Laura C., a former student)
Ken Thomas Slesarik: Itchy Dilemma
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater: Why Me?
Jane Heitman Healy: In the Mirror
Jane Heitman Healy: Letting Go
Barbara Turner: Mr. Poe’s Itch
Julie Krantz: Blood Brothers


Taylor McGowan: Little Nuisance

Since then we have received these additional poems.

Gay Fawcett: A Lady’s Fame
Liz Korba: Which Itch?

Wednesday it was my pleasure to feature Wendy Singer’s remarks and poem. Wendy continues to receive many comments from fans old and new. She was my 6th Guest Reader.  These Canadians are doing all right for themselves! Where are my poets from other countries?

Thursday I re-featured the pictures of all six of my Guest Readers so far. That made a great looking page with talented people from New York, Florida, Arkansas, Arizona, and Montreal.

Friday I gave you a link to my three-day poetry workshop next June in Pennsylvania and announced the coming appearances of Nancy Gow (July 21) as my next Guest Reader and Gary Dulabaum as a Featured Friday Guest.

Not a bad week, considering that I’m supposed to be taking time off this summer to write more.

Wendy Singer today


I thank Carol-Ann Hoyte for telling others in her writing group about our Summer Guest Reader Series. The first to respond was today’s featured poet, Wendy Singer, from Montreal. I enjoyed reading Wendy’s article and poem and know that you will too.

Here’s Wendy.






A storm of creativity, from Wendy Singer

When I was a child, one of the treasures on my overstuffed bookshelf was Stoo Hample’s The Silly Book. His nonsensical wordplay encouraged me to trust my creativity and run with it. I began playing with words; changing them up, turning them around, extending them, listening to them. Highly inspired by this book, I still recite its comical, quirky verses by heart to this day.

I hope to craft a thought provoking image, an enveloping atmosphere, an unusual idea, or a contagious rhythm or sound with each piece I write. If I encourage just one child to open her mind to her own infinite creativity, then I dare say I have achieved my goal.

I wrote ‘The Storm’ on a dreary, rainy day, after participating in an incredible creative writing workshop with Sheree Fitch. Sheree’s teachings inspired a creative tempest inside of me that continues to storm its way out to this day. I have been enjoying seeing my work in print in both R.E.A.L. – The Canadian Kids’ Magazine and Inspirations – a snapshot of the special needs community. I thank David for inviting me to be a Guest Reader on his tremendous blog. I’m beyond thrilled to be here. I also thank my friend and fellow poet Carol-Ann Hoyte for her immense kindness and dedication to children’s literature.

The Storm
by Wendy Singer

The wind from the west
Was storming with wet.
The rain zip-dropped down from the moon.

The weasel kept safe
From the grumbling sky
In the velvet-soft wing of a loon.

The whirly black fly
Did a circle-back flip
To the shelter of moth’s silk cocoon.

And wobbly flamingo,
Feet squishing in sand,
Dipped her feathered pink head in the dune.

The wind from the north
Shuffled in with brute force.
The storm climbed back up the moon.

A shimmer of sunbeam
Broke through dusty clouds
To make way for a fresh afternoon.

Out came flamingo,
The weasel and fly,
To smell the sweet flowers of June.

©Wendy Singer 2010

Wendy says, “The Storm” was written after a workshop with Sheree Fitch where I was inspired tremendously.” Way to go Sheree!