Year-end wrap-up

Hi everyone,
David on rock 1
For those of you who blog, you’re probably receiving an annual report on how your blog performed during 2013. Here are a few tidbits from mine. I know that there are many blogs that are more active than mine, more professionally done than mine, and draw far more visitors than mine. Still, this one suits me and I have no aspirations to make fundamental changes for 2014. There are times when I scarcely have time to post at all but those of you who regularly drop by to see what’s up are a forgiving group and graciously allow me to sit in the corner for a while to catch up on other obligations. I thank you for your understanding and I thank you for visiting this site as often as you do.

During 2013, the blog was viewed about 57,000 times by people in 150 countries. The most visitors came from the United States, France, and Canada. The way the report reads, it would take roughly the equivalent of 23 sold-out performances at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for that many people to see it.

I posted 260 times in 2013, bringing the total since 2009 to 1,264. The day with the highest visitor count was March 9 with 2,698. The post was my poem, “The Song of the Tree Frogs,” which originally appeared in 2010.

Of the 5 most popular posts during 2013, only one was posted for the first time during the year and that was when J. Patrick Lewis, who was then our nation’s children’s poet laureate, issued a new poetry challenge on my blog.

Of the list of top five attractions, one appeared for the first time in 2013; three first appeared in 2010; and one came from 2009. A post about poems for two voices — featured in PARTNER POEMS, the book I did with Tim Rasinski and Gay Fawcett, made the list twice, once from its 2009 post and again from when I repeated it in 2010.

The most comments were left by Linda Baie, Catherine Johnson, Jeanne Polond, Jane Heitman Healy, and Matt Forrest.

My thanks to one and all for joining the fun around here during 2013. I am always surprised by the numbers involved in social media communications. Thank you for your comments throughout the year to let me know that you’re there and that you find things to like here.



Calling Sunday Poets

Hi everyone,

I’m so glad that you are enjoying my blog’s new feature, Sunday Poets. The first two Sundays have featured eight poets. On Setember 16, we were treated to poems by Catherine Johnson, Cathy Ballou Mealey, Charline Profiri, and Steven Withrow. On September 23, our featured poets were Julie Krantz, Linda Boyden, Brenda Harris, and Cory Corrado. Steven and Cory even provided photograhy to accompany their work.

I’m looking forward to this coming Sunday. I already have one poem: by Matt Forrest. I know we have a large number of poets who frequent this site so don’t hold back. I’ll post on each Sunday those poems I’ve received by the Friday cutoff. All you need to do is e-mail your poem to me and be sure to include any links you want me to add below your name. Sunday Poets is beginning to attract quite a crowd so please join the fun by sharing some of your work.


Sunday Poets


J. Patrick Lewis is back tomorrow (Monday) with another poetry challenge. I’ve already tried it. It’s addictive! Be here!

Hi everyone,

I’m pleased to feature four poets today, Catherine Johnson, Julie Krantz. Charline Profiri,and Steven Withrow. They were the first to volunteer poems for me to share with you. If you haven’t heard about Poetry Sunday, it’s my day to feature poems by you. Word of the Month Poetry Challenge will continue as always. The only thing that has changed is that I’m easing away from publishing one of my own poems every Sunday to make way to feature the poems of others.

I have no hard rules. I’m sure it goes without saying that this is a family-friendly site that is often visited by young people. Some of them contribute their own work, which is always a special treat. You can write verse or free verse. It can be on the subject of your choice. It seems prudent to suggest a limit of one poem per poet per week. Unless I become swamped with poems, I’ll do my best to post on Sunday all the poems I’ve received through Friday of that same week. If the job becomes too much for me, I’ll cry on your shoulder and moderate accordingly.

Now! Here are our first featured poets!

Catherine’s poem will be published in an anthology called ISLAND WONDERS by The Poetry Institute of Canada in January 2013.

Never Go Picnicking With Elephants Loose
by Catherine Johnson

Mrs. Peabody arrived at the zoo
with a hat and a smile and a picnic for two.
She laid down her blanket, a nice gingham red,
“What a beautiful day for a picnic,” she said.
She picked up a sandwich of lettuce and ham,
while hubby preferred to eat pickles and spam.
They munched on some carrots and sipped cranberry juice.
Little did they know there’s elephants loose.
If only they’d sat just a few feet away
their beautiful picnic might’ve lasted the day.
Mr. Peabody glanced up at the sky,
thinking that thunder was sure to pass by.
Little did he know, that wasn’t the case.
No thunder today just an elephant race.
The warnings went out but neither could hear,
their hearing aids needing a tweak twice a year.
The elephants brrrrd a huge elephant sound,
In shock they dropped all of their food on the ground.
Now up on their knees, arthritic and slow,
a teeny bit faster they needed to go.
Oops they’re too late, here comes the stampede.
Knocked over, surprised, the poor dears weed.
Squish went the sandwiches, spilled went the juice.
Never go picnicking with elephants loose.

Catherine Johnson

Mr. Moon
by Julie Krantz

Mr. Moon
in purple sky,
see your moonlight
riding high.
slipping under
clouds of snow,
feel your magic
in my toes.

can you see
my starry face,
as you glide by
leaf and gate?

did you know
I’m hiding, too,
catching moonbeams
just like you?

Julie Krantz

A review by Robin Redbreast

By Charline Profiri

This café offers roomy nests,
Made especially for their guests.
The food is sure to make you tweet.
It’s now my favorite place to eat.

The menu’s amazing at this café.
These items are offered everyday:

Worm and Berry Oatmeal
(Free refills. What a deal!)

Sandwich on Birdseed Bread
(With your choice of buggy spread.)

Spaghetti ala Worm
(Super fresh. These worms squirm!)

Freeze Dried Ant Canapé
(Sure to please a real gourmet.)

Feathered friends, the food’s divine.
The Birdie’s Café is the place to dine.

Charline Profiri
Counting Little Geckos
Guess Who’s In The Desert forthcoming from Rio Chico Books for Children, Spring 2013
Rain, Rain, Stay Today: Southwest Nursery Rhymes forthcoming from Rio Chico Books for Children, Spring 2014

By Steven Withrow

I wish I were a cassowary,
a double-wattled cassowary
roaming lowlands of New Guinea,
and if you ask me why

I’ll tell you that the cassowary,
the spongy-crested cassowary
hiding away from town and city,
did not evolve to fly

but runs top-speed on sure and steady,
sprints full-tilt on strong and steady
legs forever at the ready
to leap two meters high.

Although he’s almost ostrich heavy,
though he’s nearly emu heavy,
and his middle toe is dagger-deadly,
the cassowary’s spry,

so you’ll seldom spy a cassowary,
a deep rainforest cassowary,
eating laurel fruit and myrtle berry
beneath a southern sky.

How I wish I were a cassowary,
a legendary cassowary
who flees through trees because he’s very
shy—and so am I.

My thanks to Catherine, Julie, Charline, and Steven, our first featured Sunday poets! I hope their good example will attract many more poets over the coming weeks and months.