Relief

Today is International Women’s Day, and for Poetry Friday, Catherine Flynn suggested we post about women we admire. This poem was inspired by my mum, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer over 7 years ago. Within two months, Mum had radical surgery to remove the tumours – and her bladder.

At the time the cystectomy was first discussed, I remember reeling, wondering how could a person live without a bladder? Now I know, you cannot just live without a bladder, but you can also love life!

Relief
 
Public toilet;
three cubicles
three ladies
engaged.
 
Two ladies squat.
 
A third 
  faces the bowl,
     hoists her dress,
         cups the bag,
            turns the tap
               and drains
                  her bladder.
 
Gone in a whoosh
like her peace of mind
when first she heard the words
 
bladder cancer.

But miracles and medicine
restored life and lifestyle 
and living.
 
Gone is the bladder,
                  the cancer,
                           that first rush of fear.
 
And the casual observer
would never know
unless
you were 
waiting…
watching, 
mindlessly noting 
feet beneath toilet doors.
 
Three cubicles,
three ladies
engaged. 
 
Two squat
one stands.

© Kathryn Apel - All rights reserved

Mum continues to be a blessing to those around her, and now uses her experiences to encourage and actively support others facing similar challenges. I’m so proud of my mum!❤️

Thanks Catherine, for hosting the Poetry Friday round-up this week, at Reading to the Core.

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February is Finished?

After a Month of Poetry in January, February saw me back at work on submissions and WIPs and generally discovering a whole lot of things that I still need to do! (And blogging was apparently not one of them…)

I created a little book of poetry for my Mum’s birthday, using the design Sylvia Vardell kindly shared. The book was made up of poems I’d written over the years, of experiences I’d shared with my mum – or poems I’d written about/for Mum. Most she’d already seen (some family funnies, and others serious and heartfelt) but it was just good to get them all together in one cute little space. And since Mum is short – and I am not – the ‘Little Book’ seemed appropriate.

This limerick is one of the newbies. Mum often laughs that when I went on Year 7 camp, all the other mums were leaning over, giving their kids goodbye hugs, but Mum was reaching right up to hug me. (Looking back at photos, I think she’d been doing that for a number of years, by that stage.😂)

A Short Limerick

My mum was not one to look UP to,
for reasons that she never 'up' grew.
Not a' tall!
She was small.
That's why she adopted the up-do.

(Yet still she is one to live up to.)

© Kathryn Apel - All rights reserved.

This post is me raising my hand for #PoetryFriday. As we welcome Autumn in Australia (though I’m not sure that I do – because what has happened to our Summer rain and much-needed February floods????😶), Linda is looking to Spring in her post hosting today’s round-up. (There’s a challenge there, too, if you’d like to try it.) Thanks, Linda!

Wrapping Up #MoPoetry2019

For #PoetryFriday I offer you the final week of #MoPoetry2019 Insta-poems. You can read the full collection to-date on my Insta page, @Kat.Apel.

Day 25:

Day 26:

(The second pic with the final stanza from ‘My Country’ – including strike line.)

Day 27:

Day 28:

Day 29:

Day 30:

Day 31:

View this post on Instagram

Ending #MoPoetry2019 with a #haibun for my girl; Amber. Twenty-two years of loving and I can still see that little poddy and the longing in those eyes – though her steps are much more laboured now and there’s no tail-wagging, frisking with delight. —– I’ve not done a Month of Poetry quite like this, pairing pictures and poetry each day. It’s been fun and I've loved the deeper level of creative play it has inspired! Thank-you to all those who played along, either sharing your own poems💕, comments or likes. It's been interesting/encouraging hearing your responses, and seeing which insta-poems resonated with you. Maybe I’ll scatter some more Insta-poems on my page throughout the year… #MoPoetry2019 #haibun #InstaPoetry #poemaday #authorsofinstagram #poetryofinstagram #poetrygram #poetry #thankyou #myworkisdone #scaredofcows #notscaredofAmber #ruralQLD #coungrygirl #farmersdaughter #grazierswife #beefcow #droughtmaster #grazier #ruralQldphotographer

A post shared by Kathryn Apel – kidlit creator (@kat.apel) on

In a nutshell, a Month of Poetry looks like this…

Thank-you for letting me share each week retrospectively through the PoetryFriday posts. It’s been so much fun reading your comments – and knowing what you’ve enjoyed, and why. It’s also been lovely sharing snippets of my daily life with you. Special thank-you to those who have taken part at different stages – either using the #MoPoetry2019 hashtag on instagram, or by messaging their poems to me. Sharing is fun!

This week we’re The Opposite of Indifference – in fact we are (as always) in LOVE … with poetry.😍 You too can share the love, with more great #PoetryFriday posts on Tabatha’s blog.

More #MoPoetry2019

Welcome poetry peeps! Once again I’m linking to my #MoPoetry2019 Insta-Poems for PoetryFriday. This week marked halfway… Rolling downhill now! Thank-you Michelle Kogan, Carol Varsalona, Linda Baie and Jone MacCulloch for also jumping in and sharing the creativity! It’s been fun. I’m looking forward to another week of word art.😊

Day 11:

Day 12:

Day 13:

Day 14:

Day 15:

Day 16:

Ooops. Turns out I was getting ahead of myself – and today is only Thursday! (All day!!) So – here is one more Insta-Poem, to round off my week of #MoPoetry2019.

Day 17:

If you’ve got a fave, I’d love to hear it. It’s always interesting to know what appeals to others. 🙂 If you’re tempted to join in with some of your own, you’ll find us at #MoPoetry2019 on Instagram.

You’ll find the full #PoetryFriday roundup here; http://missrumphiuseffect.blogspot.com.

G’day Poetry Friday Peeps!

G’day! How wonderful to welcome all you Poetry Friday people, not just to my blog, but Downunder. Yes, the round-up is coming to you from Australia, where it’s the middle of summer (soooo hot!) – yet beautiful, none-the-less. So, slip into your togs, (perhaps I can tempt you for a dip in our beautiful Burnett River, later?) find a cool shady breeze, (you might need to make one) take a wedge of watermelon, or a mango cheek, then kick back and enjoy.

I’m in the process of writing a poem-a-day as a snapshot diary-of-sorts for the start of 2019, which I’ve been sharing as Insta-poetry. Perhaps you’d like to take a wander through the week with me before, you plunge into a host of poetry posts from around the world. Day 1, 2 and 3 featured in last week’s post, and on Instagram, but feel free to click back. 🙂 (I would delete the Instagram captions from this post, if I could, but alas…)

Day 4:

Day 5:

View this post on Instagram

Yowzers! Sliding in a wee-bit late with this one – because the poem I was hoping to post just would not come together! (Maybe another day?) There is nothing quite like a time-constraint to make your brain freeze – and I am reminded yet again of why I don’t like NAPLAN! (You have no idea how many poems I scrapped in the past hour. I’ve often wondered what would happen if a child produced an exquisite/emotive haiku for a NAPLAN writing sample. :P) Anyway, for Day 5 #MoPoetry2019, I give you a haiku, capturing the serenity of the Burnett River. I love the River Walk of an evening. . . #MoPoetry2019 #haiku #poemaday #authorsofinstagram #poetryofinstagram #poetrygram #Bundaberg #lovebundy #BurnettRiver #lorikeets #InstaPoetry #riverwalk

A post shared by Kathryn Apel – kidlit creator (@kat.apel) on

Day 6:

Day 7:

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

I’m using the hashtag #MoPoetry2019 on Instagram. You’re welcome to join! There’ll be a newbie up from me today… and more to come each day this month. Meanwhile, the Poetry Friday linkup is below. Can’t wait to check out all your goodies. 🙂

Share your Poetry Friday links here. All are welcome to read… and be inspired! 🙂

Click here to enter

So Much Goodness!

One of the nicest things about the Poetry Swap, organised by Tabatha Yeatts, is that you’re so focused on thinking of someone else (the recipient of your poetry gift) that you completely forget that someone, somewhere, is thinking about you. Until one day… a package arrives in the mail.

That was me on Thursday, when a box arrived for me – from Rebecca Herzog. That was a name I recognised! I opened the parcel as we were driving to Bundaberg… and what a treat it was!

Rebecca wrote three poems – each one inspired by a dice game she had created, and included, as my gift. There are 5,832 possible combinations using the cards – which Rebecca informs me, is a poem a day for almost 16 years. What fun!

Road tripping with the Poetry Dice Game.

Novel Teas – I love this!

Not one, but three, very different poems. Blessed!

The first poem I saw was the Eucalyptus acrostic. I think there may be Eucalypts in America? (I googled – and see that yes, they were introduced into California, during the Gold Rush.) For sure we are surrounded by them on our grazing property! But I have to confess, my personal favourite is that little cardinal. These we do not have in Australia – but I adore that wee cherita!

As a gift, it was all kinds of perfect, and I say a heartfelt thank-you to Rebecca, for sending so much joy over the ocean. I will think of you often as I sip tea and play poetry dice. If I can write poems as delightful as yours, I will be thrilled.

You can read more poetry goodness on Buffy’s Blog, where you’ll find the Poetry Friday round-up this week.

Also this week, I updated my Bully on the Bus book trailer, to fit the American market. It has a permanent home on my blog under the ‘Books’ > ‘Bully on the Bus‘ tab, but for today, you can watch it below. 😀

With Christmas so fast approaching, I leave you with some pics taken at Bethlehem Live, which is on for one final night in Bundaberg. Such a beautiful way to get into the Christmas spirit and mix and mingle with members of our community. I love it!

Wishing you all a blessed and safe Christmas.

Cat Call – Me? Ow!

Sliding into the Poetry Friday round-up with a cat-themed poem, and a hint of Christmas. (That is my Christmas tree box and tinsel sprinkled on the floor.)

What cat doesn’t like to hide in boxes? (And what human can resist those poised paws, and twitching tail!)

Our cat has been affectionately dubbed many things, but methinks Little Lion and Tiger may be the most accurate… Those claws!!

You’ll find the full round-up of poetry-packed posts at Laura Shovan’s blog. Or you can stay and play with SavvyCat … who really does have the twitchiest tail.

Poetry at Sharjah International Book Fair 2018

I am really struggling with blog posts these days. It feels there are so many things I need to write in other places – most especially in my stories (LOVE), and the submissions to accompany them (Aaargh!) and blog posts just keep getting pushed to the bottom of the pile …

I do want to share some pics from my second visit to Sharjah – this for the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) which was even bigger than the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. It was so good to go back again, and, with so many people in attendance, it was amazing to recognise people from my previous visit! It was especially lovely to have children and adults come up, eyes alight and smiles wide and thank me again for my sessions in April. One very busy day saw 50K kids pass through the doors, with a record 2.3million people in attendance over the 10 day event. (Sometimes just getting through the door felt like an achievement.😉)

All my sessions involved poetry – though sometimes it was more about creating than writing. We made jigsaws and tag poems and 3D poetry and poetry wall plaques. I especially loved the school groups that came through in the mornings. These were half-hour sessions, and I was astounded with how much we achieved in such a short space of time! The kids were awesome – so polite, and yet enthusiastic and instantly engaged with their ‘writing’ tasks. We talked and laughed lots – and they often delighted me with their witty way with words. I was also incredibly touched by the feedback from every teacher, who took activities away to use with other groups in their classrooms. And this beautiful comment from one lovely teacher, on finding out I no longer teach, but write fulltime and present at festivals, like SIBF; “It is better, you not working in one school. Now you can share your skills with the world.” 💞

Sharjah was beautiful! The people so wonderfully warm and welcoming. Sharing the adventure with lovely Aussie kidlit creators, Catherine Pelosi, Dee White and Claire Richards made the adventure even more enjoyable. As did the beautiful accommodation. This time I didn’t just see the beach from a passing car – I swam! And it was glorious! (I had planned to write heaps, in gorgeous settings … but talked heaps, instead! Networking … 😉 There truly were lots of discussions about a dreaded synopsis!!) I didn’t get out to the desert this time – or see a single camel… but I did get lovely views over the desert as I was flying out, so it was good to see it in this new perspective.

SIBF18 was another amazing event and adventure, and a delight to be involved! I could be tempted to go back… ☺️

This week I’m in for #PoetryFriday – and you can Live Your Poem and all things poetry at Irene Latham’s blog. Having just had a peep in preparation for linking this post, it would seem as if Irene has been busy in recent weeks, which included the news that her book, ‘Can I Touch Your Hair’, (in partnership with Charles Waters), was announced as a Charolotte Huck Honour Book. How exciting!

Edit: I had meant to include a link to the interview on Sharjah24 News. You can see me in hypo-bunny mode here;

On Silence and Writing

It has been so long since I posted to my blog, that I feel like I need to just jump in and not even try to play catch-ups … so here I am!

Life has been gloriously busy, with Book ‘Week’ visits waaay back in August, and so many other wonderful activities celebrating literature and/or poetry.

And too, there has been writing. So much writing! Much of September has been spent immersed in words – either my historical non-fiction Antarctic verse novel (which just this morning clicked over 20k! 🎉🤩🎊 Sooooo close to finished!) a kids’ poetry collection, and an unexpected rhyming picture book – that grew from one of the poems …

My bog has been neglected, but my writing has not! Here are two little snippets from my verse novel. Firstly, a cherita, a form I have learnt much about from Diane Mayr’s blog. Technically a cherita doesn’t have a title – though I do have one on stand-by, if needed.😉

The door is barred.

Cast one 
look back

our last
sledge
journey

© Kathryn Apel, all rights reserved

And secondly, a list poem.

The Things We Had Forgotten

          Cook Harbour,
          Staten Island
       Isla de los Estados;

	waves washing 
variegated rubble-stones
	
	inexpressible pleasure of
green grass

	peeping out of the stones 
a flower!

	closely arching 
beech bushes

	overpoweringly magnificent
valley of trees

	barberry shrubs dripping
red bell-like flowers

	airborne insects – even
large yellow moths 

	twittering crowds of
small birds …

       Overcome with emotion
        I am scarcely able
            to proceed.

© Kathryn Apel, all rights reserved

Happy Poetry Friday. It’s good to be back! Now to find out who is hosting the round-up – and catch-up on everyone’s news!

Oh! Tabatha is hosting – with an invitation to take part in the ‘Winter’ poetry swap – which is summer for us Aussies. I am so glad I didn’t miss that invitation!

Flocking with Feathers

They say birds of a feather flock together – and that is never more true than in the Poetry Friday community. This week, our hostess, Christie Wyman has asked us to hatch up some feathered friends in verse form. Since Book Week is upon us, and life is busy, I’m cheating, and pulling out some old faves; photo poems featuring birdlife. Admittedly some are very brief – but that’s the beauty of poetry, where each weighted word has to work within the poem!

I give you a cinquain (didactic), two haiku, and a couplet – a peck of poetry!