Poetry Friday Round-up, 24th January 2020

Welcome to Australia (twice in the one month!) for another round-up of Poetry Friday. Since Sally hosted, a lot of Australia has received rain, so dust has settled, and many fires have also been checked back. But what a horrifying month it has been! And it is not over. Even as I write this post (Thursday), the news comes through of the large air tanker crash, killing 3 US crew members. And we are once again reminded of the many different ways people risk their lives in our service. And how precious – and fragile – life is.

Our Queensland property is far from the fires, but we have been contending with drought, and have empty dams all around us. Two inches of rain in the past 2 weeks has brought a wash of green creeping over the paddocks, for which we are so thankful – but we are praying for much more rain to fill those dams!

I am proud of the Australian kidlit community – who, led by Nova Weetman and Emily Gale, and joined by much of the world – raised more than $500,000 in the twitter-based #AuthorForFireys auction. One of my offerings was a new-to-you poem about an Australian animal. (Thank-you to my beautiful PoetryFriday friends who jumped in to bid for that.) The winning bid was for a poem about a bogong moth, for $200. I’m still working on that one! (Fascinated, from what I’ve learnt thus far.)

When I signed up to host today, I had thought I’d have a Month of Poetry to share with you, to make your visit to my blog interesting – but I started the year in a sad place, following the loss of my beloved Amber – and just didn’t want the commitment of a joyful play with words. It has been a productive month none-the-less, with time spent polishing and submitting picture book manuscripts and writing new poems for a project I’m hoping to be involved with. One of the poems was about a selection of Queensland animals, and on a night-time wander this week, I snapped this pic of mama and bubba possum, high in an ironbark tree along our track – so I thought I’d include my stanza about the possum for my poetry offering today.

© Kathryn Apel – All rights reserved.

What have you been working on? Who has news to share? I look forward to catching up on your happenings through the round-up, and comments below. Hoping your weekend is wonderful! Last weekend before the new school year starts in Queensland! (I’m sure families will be cramming every last moment with holiday-feels!) I’m reminded of this trimeric I wrote in January during Month of Poetry 2014, when I had kids on school holidays…

Clockwork Holidays

The clock has stopped. The bus has run.
School bags lie in wait, lunchboxes packed,
while uniforms hang about in dishevelment
and kids run free!

School bags lie in wait, lunchboxes packed
and stacked
away at the back of the cupboard.

While uniforms hang about in dishevelment,
waiting to be pressed into shape,
rumpled, crumpled comfy clothes are donned,

and kids run free!
No HW. No bedtimes. No alarms.
Unwinding as the clock… ticks… down… to… school.

© Kathryn Apel – All rights reserved.

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https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c8cd94ed6d171cb9d89dSneaking in for an unexpected bonus extra … This little video was released this week, by Newport News Public Schools, following my visit to Riverside Elementary, in November. Oh the wonderful memories! (Why does it seem so long ago?)

Poetry Friday Friends – IRL

My American adventure was funtabulous! Last week I showed some of the awesomeness of my ‘Bully on the Bus’ school tour. This week, I show you my Poetry Friday friends. I was sooooo looking forward to seeing everyone …Note: Memories couldn’t possibly be rosier than rosy reality.

Sunday: Portsmouth with Molly within hours of landing. Combating jetlag with a friend and a camera! The only thing better would have been more time.

After two weeks of school-visits (talking myself hoarse, then succumbing to sinusitis) I caught up with more Poetry Friday friends. I felt like I was the care package, nurtured and passed from one friend to another.💕

Saturday/Sunday: Walking the Manassas Battlefields and the Memorial Mall (DC) with Linda.

Monday: Slipped in one more author talk, this time at Stonewall Middle School – because author talks are always fun! And so is visiting a friend’s library! (I was intrigued by some of their takeaways.)

Monday: Linda briefly met Tabatha for the first time, before Tabatha and I took off for another day in the Capital (Library of Congress pictured) then home to Tabatha’s for more TLC.

Tuesday: Lunch and a meander through Ellicott City with Tabatha, Irene and Laura. There may have been shopping… Home to Laura’s with Irene.

Tuesday Night: Reading Night at Hammond Elementary School, presenting a session on shape poetry with Laura and Irene. Such a busy, buzzing evening! #glassesaremyfaveaccessory🤷‍♀️

Wednesday: Laura organised a behind-the-scenes tour of the newly renovated Enoch Pratt Library… and even the architects were on-hand. (We might have been models for a moment.😂)

Poesing…

Thursday: NCTE 2019 – Dinner with some of the Poetry Friday crew – and it wasn’t even Friday!

Friday: More food and poets. (Hi to Liz our host today, hidden up the back.)

Recognising faces in the conference crowd… no introductions necessary!

More NCTE faces and fun!

A powerhouse bookstore – literally!

Thank-you! For all that you all did. It was pure joy to meet you and talk face-to-face. Poetry Friday has long been my go-to recommendation for teachers (and poets), wherever they are in the world, because of YOU! You are an awesome support crew and inspiration.

Elizabeth Steinglass is hosting our Poetry Friday link-up this week, but before you rush across, let me share a sneak peek into ‘Soccerverse – Poems about Soccer’ by Liz – with illustrations by Edson Ikê. They’re all disciplined, playful poems – but ‘Instructions: to Field Players / The Goalkeeper’ are kicking g⚽️als with words!

Liz Steinglass and illustrator Edson Ikê score with this reverso.

 

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! 🙂

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Poetry Friday – Child’s Play

Welcome to the Poetry Friday Round-up. This is my first time hosting the Poetry Friday crew – and using a linky widget – so I sure am hoping it’s going to work first go!

Last week I posted some pics and collages from my experiences of Book Week in Australia. I mentioned that I was off to enjoy Boating Under the Bridge on the Saturday, so I’ll kickstart today’s blog with a collage from that day, because it was brilliant! So much free play stemming from a picture book that I’ve loved as both a mum and teacher, ‘Who Sank the Boat?’, by Pamela Allen.

A whole crowd of kids and carers spent a busy morning creating their own fun with simple and effective resources. It was just like #thegoodolddays #wheniwasakid and #kidswerekids. (Actually, it brought back more memories from when my boys were little, and building countless cubby houses, in trees, and from tin – and anything else they could find. And so much play!)

If you are a parent, carer or early-years educator in the Bundaberg region, get involved with the First Five Forever program, link in with Wide Bay Kids, and get yourself into your local library, because these three organisations, with the support of a whole lot of other community groups, are going to make a HUGE difference in the literacy and creativity of our up-and-coming generations! I was super impressed! Play matters – and these groups foster the fun of play-based learning, and recognise the crucial role of parents in that play. You can find more information on the Wide Bay Kids website – or ask at the Bundaberg Library. And get ready to have a whole lot of FUN with your kids!

I’d been planning to share a poem about my little nook of the world, but I’m realising it’s probably the perfect post to follow with a poem about creativity and play…

If I Dress-up.

Pirate02When I let my thoughts go crazy
then I can be anyone!
There’s no need to buy a costume,
just dress-up and have some fun.

With my stripy shirt in tatters
and my faded denim shorts,
I could wear a pirate’s eye patch
as I swish a sword of sorts.

IMG_5096

If I stuff Mum’s old brown stockings
and make goggle ping-pong eyes,
I could go and scare Miss Muffet
in my spidery disguise.

With my parka and Dad’s helmet,
winter gloves and sunnies too,
I would safely look quite speedy
just like racing drivers do.IMG_5171

If I use a bit of face paint,
make a wand and glitter wings,
I can flutter as a fairy
as I sprinkle joy on things.

If I grab my board, and swimmers,
and then smear my lips with zinc
I would only need a wave to
be a surfer, don’t you think?IMG_5155

When I let my thoughts go crazy
then I can be anyone!
There’s no need to buy a costume,
just dress-up and have some fun.

© Kathryn Apel
First published in Comet Magazine; Issue 4 2006
All rights reserved.

And I know I’ve shared Soapy Sid before on Poetry Friday, but… #play #creativity #imagination #hereheisagain And there were pirates Boating Under the Bridge.

© Kathryn Apel
First published in Comet Magazine; Issue 3 2006
All rights reserved.

Maybe you, too, have a poem to share about creative play? Or a particular play-based memory from your childhood – or special moments with your children? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Now, let’s see how I go with creating and inserting this widget (child’s play! 😉 ) so you can share the links to your inspiring poetry posts. Have a great weekend, and enjoy the wordplay!

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Progressive Poem – Kat’s Contribution

It’s National Poetry Month in the USofA, and I’m taking part in a progressive poem – where we each write one line (one person per day for the course of the month) to create a collaborative kids’ poem. This is my first year taking part and it’s been fascinating, watching each line drip-feed through the interwebs – wondering where I might land and testing ideas as possibilities for when it would be my turn. I thought the wordplay and crisp sounds from Heidi, Tabatha, Dori and Michelle were building to a surprise rhyme from Diane – a rhyme that I could perhaps build upon in my line …

But I clicked on Diane’s blog and found – yes – a surprise! A diversion. A breather. A most unexpected change of pace …

And no rhyme.

I’m fidget, friction, ragged edges—
I sprout stories that frazzle-dazzle,
stories of castles, of fires that crackle,
with dragonwords that smoke and sizzle.

But edges, sometimes, need sandpaper…

Where to from here? I played around …  rumples unscrumpledsmoothing, soothing, rasping grasping, splintered words, stone/hone… and then found a line that built on Diane’s matched pair, but kept the medieval mood of the earlier stanza.

I’m fidget, friction, ragged edges—
I sprout stories that frazzle-dazzle,
stories of castles, of fires that crackle,
with dragonwords that smoke and sizzle.

But edges sometimes need sandpaper,
like swords need stone and clouds need vapour* … 

 * I’m guessing ‘vapour’ will soon condense to American spelling. 😉

Tomorrow our lovely organiser Irene will pick up the pen and write the line to follow mine, and I sit back to relax and enjoy the poem that everyone pieces together.

Dates in April (American-time)

1 Heidi at my juicy little universe
2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Diane at Random Noodling
6 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
9 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Penny at blog-a- penny-and- her-jots
11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
14 Jan at Bookseedstudio
15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
19 Pat at Writer on a Horse
20 BJ at Blue Window
21 Donna at Mainely Write
22 Jone at Jone Ruch MacCulloch
23 Ruth at There’s No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
29 Charles at Poetry Time
30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids

Eat the Words – Poetry Postcard Project

Thanks to the Poetry Friday community, I heard about, and signed up for, the 2016 Poetry Postcard Project, conducted each year at Silver Star School, Vancouver and co-ordinated by MsMac. Students wrote and illustrated postcards, which were then sent out to all who nominated to receive one. (I know a number have winged their way to Australia, because I shared the link with some friends… 🙂 )

Mine arrived last Friday.

I was reading along loving the poem I received, until … Continue reading

Poetry Challenge Plus More

For the past number of years (too lazy to chase that up for accuracy) I have been co-ordinating Month of Poetry each January – a family-friendly event for kids and adults. I love the discipline and the refreshment of writing a poem a day for a month, and I love the camaraderie of the group, but each year it just about does my head in. So – this year I’m taking a big step back, and am no longer running locked pages on the MoP blog. I’m still planning on writing a poem a day in January – and I know others are too. But maybe this year I’ll finally wrangle some of those forms that have eluded me in previous years. Or maybe I can progress the verse novel I worked on during #MoP14, that just keeps tripping me up… I’m really looking forward to having a clear head to start the year. And of course, I still want to play with short bites of words.

If anyone else wants to join me in a month of poetry play, you can post a comment below, or sign up here. Signing up is really just a way of saying ‘I’m in’. Sharing of poems is voluntary, through your own blogs and networks. I’m hoping to post something here each week for Poetry Friday.

Interested? You’re welcome to join in. 🙂

-Users-KatApel-Desktop-Screenshots 2015-12-30 at 3.14.59 pm

 

In an unrelated snippet, I’m delighted that my verse novel, ‘On Track’ has been included in Megan Daley’s Children’s Books Daily Top 10 Middle Grade books for 2015. And a fine selection of books to be included with, too. Thank-you Megan!

 

 

-Users-KatApel-Desktop-Screenshots 2015-12-30 at 3.20.43 pm

 

Also lovely to see ‘Bully on the Bus’ is one of the top sellers for 2015 on dyslexicbooks.com.

 

That’s something to smile about, at the close of a busy year.

Why don’t you check out some inspiring posts from the Poetry Friday crew, kicking off 2016 with Mary Lee at A Year of Reading. Happy New Year!

A Rewarding Week

Wow. Poetry Friday again. After such a busy, fun and exciting week! I’m currently at the Ipswich Story Arts Festival, where I’ve been presenting sessions titled ‘My Life as a Book‘ to kids in Years 1-4, and having an absolutely wonderful time talking with children about the stories that inspired/shaped my books. (You can read a summary of my session by clicking on the link.)

Especially rewarding has been the discussions about bullying, prompted by my verse novel, ‘Bully on the Bus’. There have been a number of times where I’ve choked up at the words of the children – the wisdom! – but also at the silence that settles like a blanket, as I read sections of Leroy’s story. The silence that lingers – at times broken by a gasp – and the comments that followed.

I was soooo gloriously busy yesterday, that I didn’t get a chance to check in to social media until late in the day… and my tweet notifications had gone a little crazy!  Continue reading

Sci-Ku Five – Shadows

Today’s post wraps up five days of sci-ku for National Science Week. But it’s not finished yet, because if I’m going to enter a sci-ku (or 3) into the competition, I need to write MORE… because these have all been published. (Since some of these aren’t very scientific in their capture of Light, that’s probably just as well.) It’s been fun to stretch some writing muscles with a familiar, yet different style of poetry.

Lamp Post Shadows

Continue reading