Poetry Swap – Thanks Robyn!

Thanks to Tabatha Yeatts‘ Seasonal Poetry Swap, this week I received a parcel in my letterbox from the lovely Robyn Hood Black. What a treat of poetry and gifts it was.

I loved Robyn’s poem, with the clever See Saw title. (It reminds me of a PB that released in Australia last year, ‘I See, I See‘ by Robert Henderson. Definitely worth clicking the link to see it! (I wouldn’t usually link to Amazon – but it has a sample of the inner pages.)) I soon saw that Robyn and I had thought alike when we approached our Poetry Swap this year. I think Margaret Simon is posting my poem to her today – so click across to her blog to see what I mean. (If you visited early, you’ll have blinked and missed it  but it’s there now.😹) AND find the round up for this week’s great Poetry Friday posts! (Thanks for hosting, Margaret!)

But first, enjoy this See Saw, up and down, north and south poem, with Robyn. (And me!🙃)

See Saw

by Robyn Hood Black.
(Shared with permission.)

Winter?

Summer.

Peanut Butter?

Vegemite.

Fiddle?

Didgeridoo.

White-tailed Deer?

Red Kangaroo.

Buddy?

Mate.

Poetry?

Poetry!

 

We speak the same language, Robyn!

I was also delighted by the goodies that Robyn gifted me. After last week’s post, you’re probably not surprised that the Issa translation that resonates best with me is;

first winter rain
the world fills up
with haiku

And I adore the cat bookmark that Robyn found. Complete with cat AND mouse! (And even three fishes.) Savvy Cat took his modelling commission very seriously.

fish and mice
hooked by the
purrrrfect book

Thank-you Robyn. Your poetry parcel was a joy!

Rain Refrains – From Seasons Past

Hello world. It’s a new year – and I’m praying for a deluge to wash the slate clean and fill desperately dry dams. We had 60mm to close-out 2020, which refreshed soul and soil and put a green tint across the land. But numerous dams were bone dry, and our big dam is at a 50+ year record low, so we need a sustained bucketing to impact on their water level.

In years past, January has been a Month of Poetry (and I’m currently wondering how I missed that this year…🤷‍♀️) so for today’s post, I have been scouring my previous MoP collections looking for a build-up of rain refrains. Prepare to be inundated.🌦

All poems are copyright Kathryn Apel, all rights reserved.

——

six-legged scavengers stream
across kitchen benches
flowing to the food

——

croaky croak
of frog with frog
in throat

——

moon shines through clouds
still waters whisper
rain dance

——

Clouds

like an octopus
clouds salty depths,
inky puffs swirl across
a sea of stars
swallowing the moon and
shrouding the shadowy landscape
in a pool of
black

——

Storm Clouds on the Horizon

The neighbours upstairs are throwing
the furniture around,
stomping and tromping
voices rumbling in agitation,
shattering the stifling stillness
of a summer afternoon.
Sparks fly
as they thunder and roar,
shaking the building
with their tempest.

——

rain
tiptoes,
whispers hush;
chirruping frog
gargles droplets as
clouds razzle troops to fall
faster, heavier, louder
until gargling frog
is swallowed in a
crescendo of
pummelling
rain, rain
rain

——

——

mizzling drizzling scene
as nature washes clean;
shower

——

a landscape
in watercolours;
reflection

——

rain trains
streaming past
plane windows

——

if I had time
I could watch
the grass grow

——

still water
trees cast off leaves
and skinny dip

——

⛈ Bring it on! 🌧I’m keen to see our dam like this again (overflowing with abundant birdlife!) – and to celebrate ‘Up and Down on a Rainy Day’ in appropriate style! (Though I am smiling at this lovely review on Reading Time.)

Sylvia is hosting Poetry Friday this week at Poetry for Children. I find myself wondering what poems children will be seeking after the events of this week. Poems of hope? Dark poems that reflect their fears? Poems prompting laughter? Gems of kindness and empathy? Poems of healing? Perhaps they will write their voice for generations and seasons to come.

Up and Down on a Rainy Day – New Book!

This week I was thrilled to celebrate the online release of my second picture book – more than eleven and a half years since my first. (How thankful I am for verse novels in between. And more picture books in progress!)

‘Up and Down on a Rainy Day’ is a simple concept book for the very young, delightfully illustrated by Janet Turner and published by State Library of Queensland in the Stories For Little Queenslanders series. The adorable illustrations capture some of my best memories of rainy day play with our boys.

Stories for Little Queenslanders is a First Five Forever initiative, bringing fun, high-quality picture books full of familiar local places and animals to Queensland kids and their families…stories inspired by people and communities around Queensland. As a teacher, I have seen first-hand how parents who read and interact with their children, set them on a positive path through their schooling. It doesn’t matter how much education parents have had, or what their careers are – if they spend time reading with their kids, it shows! I’m thrilled to have a story selected in this new project that promotes Queensland stories – and the joy (and value!) of reading together during the early years. Cue the warm and snuggly (sometimes wriggly) memories of reading with our farm boys.

The project was birthed during COVID, and was a whirlwind ride to completion. But if there was one thing we needed during COVID it was a creative purpose! I’m thankful to have had this exciting project bubbling away. And to work with such a wonderful team. State Library has created a wealth of content to support the book – and the series. There’s online readings, audio books and digital version to download. There’s even a digital flip-book. As with all my books, I’m collating links in the dropdown tab of this site. Click on Books and scroll down to ‘Up and Down on a Rainy Day‘.

Activity booklet

Click to download.

Books in the series are available in all Queensland Public Libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres – and there are very limited hardcover editions available for sale at the State Library Shop.

Today, I’m uploading ‘Play by the Book: Up and Down on a Rainy Day‘ – a booklet with 16 different activities to engage young children and enhance the reading experience of ‘Up and Down on a Rainy Day’. (Think water-play, mud and fun! Also puppets, drama and colour.) These activities have been prepared with the support of Regional Arts Development Fund, Bundaberg Regional Council and Arts Queensland. I am so thankful for their support of creatives at all times, and especially during this difficult year!

2020 has been challenging, but I am incredibly thankful for this project. And I’m so excited to finally be able to share the news! It didn’t rain on the day it arrived in my letterbox. It didn’t rain on launch day. (We had 20mm in a cracker thunderstorm the day before, though.⚡️) When we get our downpour, you can be assured that I will be UP and down, celebrating!😅

This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted by Buffy Silverman – another kidlit poet who loves getting outdoors. Thanks, Buffy!

ping-pong ping-pong
even frogs
sing in the shower

© Kathryn Apel
🌧
🐸

Fidget Feet Reading and Writing Prompt

Today I’m linking to a reading of my poem ‘Fit as a Fidget’, shared with some of the other happy hoppy contributors to HOP TO IT: POEMS TO GET YOU MOVING compiled by Janet Wang and Sylvia Vardell and published by Pomelo Books.

AND… I thought I’d share a writing prompt to follow it up.

Writing Prompt:

My fidget feet are fab – but there’s
some things feet cannot do.
That’s why it’s really handy to
have fiddle fingers, too!

Do you have fiddle fingers? Wouldn’t it be fun for those fiddle fingers to tap out their own poem? What would they have to say for themselves?

This week’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge. Be sure to click back and read Robyn’s hiking poem ‘Trail Ready‘, also included in HOP TO IT! (Robyn has thought of absolutely everything!😅)

Fit as a Fidget – Hoppy Feet!

I have been determined to blog for Poetry Friday this week, but it wasn’t until I sat down to write the post that it registered … This is launch week for the new poetry anthology HOP TO IT: POEMS TO GET YOU MOVING, compiled by Syliva Vardell and Janet Wong and published by Pomelo Books. This is particularly exciting, because, I have a poem in the collection, alongside so many friends!

HOP TO IT: POEMS TO GET YOU MOVING is an anthology of 100 new poems by 90 poets—with STEM and social studies connections, thematic mini-lessons, read aloud tips, and useful activities to help maximize student learning and social-emotional development. Poems involve the whole body and incorporate a wide variety of movements – even deskercise – and current topics, such as life during a pandemic, wearing masks, virtual learning…

My poem was inspired by an active little lad I taught – and his Grandma’s reference to his fidget feet. (We call them jigglers, in our family.) I’ll be sharing my poem as a part of the Pomelo Books Zoom Poetry Party, happening this Saturday at 10am Qld-time. (Which is Friday, 7pm Central Time for American/Canadian peeps.) If you’d like to join us for the party, drop me an email, or a comment, and I’ll send you the link. 🙂

Meanwhile, time to get as fit as a fidget!

Janice Scully is hosting Poetry Friday today at Salt City Verse. I’m pretty sure I won’t be the only one sharing snippets from HOP TO IT this week.

Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Award Winners

For Poetry Friday, I give you the Awards Presentation Ceremony for the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, streamed from Gunnedah this morning. What a rich resource this is, for poetry lovers, educators and proud Aussies. I highly recommend it! As much as I would have loved to be in Gunnedah today for a live presentation ceremony, I cannot regret this fantastic video.

It was an honour and a privilege to be the Primary Judge for 2019/2020. And to see these young poets presenting their work so creatively and professionally.

Congratulations to all involved!

Carol Varsalona is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at https://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com. Thanks, Carol. 🙃

Have a fabulous weekend!

New Verse Novels – In Progress and In the Hand

Hi all. I just had to pop in quickly and BE amongst the PoetryFriday tribe. Which means, I have to share something poetic!

Something that’s making me smile is a new verse novel I started working on last Friday. Mid-June, at my first post-lockdown catch-up with a friend, (also a writing buddy) we somehow ended up talking about one of the best units of work I’d taught (with a wonderful teaching partner) and my friend looked at me and said, ‘There’s your next book!’ … I’d never even considered it… but the more I did, the more I thought she could be right. After six months of picture books, I have been itching to get into a verse novel. 

When I started working on it last Friday, I didn’t know I’d be gifted with this week alone to write. 3,650 words say thank-you very much to husband and son for important work elsewhere. What has been especially lovely is that the main character in this verse novel is a minor character from a previous verse novel, so I feel like I’ve been meeting old friends again!

It’s still a long way from finished – but I’m excited.

Speaking of verse novels, I have just started reading our friend Sally Murphy’s latest, ‘Worse Things’. I say, ‘just started’ because I started this afternoon, and thought to just peep inside… but it seems I read for a little longer than I had planned, because my marker says I’m not quite half-way through.

Poetry helps us rest in small moments – like this definition poem Sally wrote. I love it for itself(!) – but it also resonates beautifully with the main character in my new WIP.

 

Lonely

[lone*ly] (adj.)

To stand apart
sit apart
be apart
but not a part.

© Sally Murphy 2020

 

I am also loving Sarah Davis’ artwork throughout, that adds so much to the text. And the variety of styles employed! Needless to say, my bookmark (errr… old docket) will not hold this place for long!

Hoping that you too have been dipping into wonderful word-works, and spreading your own creative wings. Thanks Heidi for hosting us. Back to School; Poetry Friday is Here! (And so is the Poetry Friday round-up!) I’m thinking of all my American friends as you head back to school – however your district is balancing that act!

Poetry Swap Gifts to Give

Yay for Tabatha Yeatts and Poetry Swaps. With the email option this year, I took part in all five poetry swaps and it has been joy, joy, joy! I do just love the excuse to be creative for a fun purpose – especially when life is busy, as it has been, and any creativity is a chance to breathe and uncoil stress! So thank-you again Tabatha. I appreciate your swaps every time I am involved!

Today I am sharing my collection of gifting.

Between the first and second swap, I took part in an evening online birdie watercolour course with lovely Jess Racklyeft, an Australian illustrator, not because I have any talent; purely as a pep up for me during this trying year. It has pepped me up more than I could have imagined – and it became a fun theme to incorporate watercolour into my poetry swaps.

 

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(The bee-eater was surprisingly difficult to capture! The bird in flight was my second attempt, but seemed to fall a bit flat, so then there was a third…  Lucky Jone scored 2&3 – twice!😹)

Of course, the double-bonus of the Poetry Swap is that you don’t just give, you receive, too. (That is always a delightful surprise, since I’m usually so caught up in the creating/giving!) Thank-you to the wonderful poetry friends who have brightened my days with their words throughout the past months. You can see them in my previous posts.

And because Christie missed out on a watercolour… and as a thank-you to Tabatha and all my gifters, here is a little piece of our farm in one more watercolour poem. The (unnamed) calf that posed for the pic is currently skipping around our house paddock, slurping mother’s milk, but the poem is inspired by memories of my bottle-fed babies, Cocoa and Amber and Dozer. Especially Amber, my beefy-red baby, with the prettiest eyes.

I’m about to head across to catch up with Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone , who has all the links to my lovely PoetryFriday peeps’ posts. See you on the Round-up!

Poetry Swap – Michelle Kogan

Life got very busy during July, with judging the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, editing books (one is off to the printer – Yay! and the other is very close!) and dealing with countless other deadlines – but I am now in the middle of two weeks of home-holiday; permission to recharge and refresh. Which isn’t always relaxing, as Wednesday proved. Click on the arrow (right) to see more of my ‘backyard’ – and one of our Aussie charmers. Continue reading

Poetry Swap – Tricia Stohr-Hunt

Hi all. I’m popping back in to share another poetry treasure that arrived in my inbox, this from Tricia Stohr-Hunt, who wasn’t familiar with the work of Australian poets, and in reading around discovered my favourite, ‘My Country’, by Dorothea Mackellar. Tricia had planned to write a golden shovel – but instead crafted this wonderful poem, using lines from the first stanza of Dorothea’s poem. Continue reading