And the Word of the Month for September is…

Hi everyone,

When you’re a little kid and have a lifetime ahead of you, time crawls by at the rate of a slug with a headwind. When you approach the end of that long curve, it matches the speed of light. Not fair for it to be September, but the only thing we can do is sip our coffee and write poems.

Thanks to all who made weeds a busy subject that not only drew a lot of poems but comments as well. Now it’s time to wipe off the slate and begin anew. For September, let the word be light. Go!

My Word of the Month poem for August

Hi everyone,

I finally finished my contribution for August’s Word of the Month challenge based on the word, weeds. Here it is.

Weeding

This one hasn’t left the shelf in seven years.
Published twenty years ago,
the author knew her stuff for sure,
but kids just didn’t care for her subject.
The writing is charming, reflects a lifetime
learning to do it right. She poured her heart into this book,
the one she was born to write. Makes me want to
take up knitting. Sigh. Good-bye, dear author.

This one? In its day, kids counted on this jewel
to learn about the universe. Brilliant scientist.
Great with kids. I loved it that he never talked down to them.
Got knocked off by newer books. Better pictures.
Hard to fight better pictures, more recent information.
Good-bye, sir. It was a pleasure having you with us.

And you? Aw, not you! Am I really going to weed you this year?
What a delicious plot. What amazing language. What a lesson
for young readers on how use simple words to create
powerful images, stir emotions. A masterpiece of writing,
in its day. In its time, its place. Makes me sad to take such
a glorious story and discard it because it has grown old
and kids no longer love it the way we used to.

Every year some older books must go, give up their spots,
make way for newer models. I get that. It’s my job.
But saying good-bye to books you have loved, just
as your kids once loved, hurts. So many bright, helpful souls.

So many lifetimes. So much learning, practicing, dreaming, working,
I stack solemnly, one on another, in a box to be taken away.
Weeding makes them sound like weeds. Faded blossoms maybe.
Weeds they never were.

© 2021 David L. Harrison

My Word of the Month poem for July

Hi everyone,

Here’s my poem, inspired by July’s word — poem.

A Poem Begins with the Weather

Today I’m inspired to write a poem

about a cat I had as a child, half wild (the cat),

sweet, as a kitten, a tough Tom when he grew up

to prowl the neighborhood picking fights,

which makes me think of an Irish uncle I had named Tom,

who, for all I know, might have been a sweet child,

but grew up to be a profanity of a man who once cussed

in front of my mom, and my Uncle Wayne, a gent with

Old World manners, took Uncle Tom to task

while my mom sort of smiled. But back to my Tom

cat that ran off the week before we moved

to a different house and I never saw him again.

It was a gray, rainy day the last time I saw Corky

(my cat was named Corky), just like today,

and that made me think of Corky and how much I cried

and missed him and kept going back for months

to look for him and call his name and leave water.

I was nine years old. I grew up to cuss some, but

I have good manners, and if my mom reads this,

I bet she’ll smile.

(c) David L. Harrison, 2021

Word of the Month for July is…

Hi everyone,

It’s time to post a word for Word of the Month Poetry Challenge. This is the 153rd word since I started in October 2009. Other than me, we have no poets who have posted a poem for all 153 words but some have taken the challenge many times, including Mary Nida Smith, Jeanne Poland, Cory Corrado (Canada), Su Hutchens, Bryn Strudwick (England), and Jane Yolen. Who am I leaving out?

The first Word of the Month poem, back in 2009, was DIRT. In those early days we voted each month to pick a winner, a custom I dropped before long. We were in it to have fun and competition spoiled the fun for too many. I still have a record of the poets who were monthly winners that first year. For DIRT, the winner was Mimi Cross (New Jersey) for “Dirt Blues.” Winners of the other eleven months were “You’re Welcome” by Liz Korba (New Jersey); “Wishes” by Linda Kulp (Maryland); “The Time Ship” by Steven Withrow (Rhode Island); “A Country Drive” by Beth Carter (Missouri); 2-way tie: “Without” by Laura Purdie Salas (Minnesota) and “The Life of a Housewife” by Jackie Huppenthal (Indiana); “All Nestled In” by Barbara J. Turner (New Hampshire); “Stone Wise” by Mary Nida Smith (Arkansas); “Song of the West” by V. L. Gregory (Missouri); “Itch in My Sweater” by Silindile Ntuli (South Africa); “Modern Love” by Ken Slesarik — aka K. Thomas Slesarik (Arizona); and “The Book Movement” by Euleta Usrey.

We used to have a number of teachers who routinely posted the poetic efforts of their students in our student section of Word of the Month, but they’ve all quit. Too many other things to do? Poetry isn’t important enough? Kids don’t care? I wish I knew. I regret the decisions and circumstances that resulted in some many children in this country and around the world being denied the chance to grow their writing skills through poetry. I hope times will change and our teachers will come back to us.

Since 2009 I’ve accidently repeated myself a few times but Cory keeps and shares with me a record of words, which helps tremendously. I left home without bringing that record so for July I risk posting another duplicate. If this one is a repeat, I suspect it hasn’t been used for a long time so it won’t hurt to use it again.

Let the word for July 2021 Word of the Month Poetry Challenge be POEM.

My Word of the Month poem for June

Hi everyone,

Here’s my offering for June inspired by the word, ON. This time I tried something a little different.

Comin’ On

‘Cause you’re bigger,

I guess you figure

I’m not comin’ on nonny non nonny non,

I’m not comin’ on nonny non, yeah!

I’m not comin’ on nonny non.

But I’m not foolin’, I’ll soon be rulin’.

Non nonny non nonny non.

‘Cause you’re older,

you think you’re bolder,

but I’m comin’ on nonny non nonny non,

I’m comin’ on nonny non, yeah!

I’m comin’ on nonny non.

I’m not foolin’, I’ll soon be rulin’.

Non nonny non nonny non.

‘Cause you’re taller,

you think I’m smaller,

but I’m comin’ on nonny non nonny non,

I’m comin’ on nonny non, yeah!

I’m comin’ on nonny non.

I’m not foolin’, I’ll soon be rulin’,

Non nonny non nonny non, yeah!

I’m comin’ on,

I’m comin’ on,

I’m comin’ on,

I’m comin’ on.

I’m not foolin’, I’ll soon be rulin’,

Non nonny non nonny non, yeah!

© 2021 David L. Harrison