The Bowerbird – a poem

I was scrolling through the Instagram feed yesterday when this brightly colourful post by imagination.mama caught my eye;

Cue the memories! Because I might know a think about that… In fact, I may have even written a poem or two when my boys were in preschool.

For my international Poetry Friday friends, bowerbirds are endemic to Australia and Papua New Guinea. There are a number of varieties, but I’ll link you to Graeme Chapman‘s page of photos – where you can see pics of the male Satin Bowerbird and his collection of blue treasures. And David Attenborough’s BBC video, showing the elaborate bower created. (It’s astonishing!)

A lot of years have passed since that poem was written… but not much has changed. The bowerbirds still make something out of nothing – and I can’t regret it! Having seen the benefits of creativity and problem-solving throughout the years, and the complexity of the projects they now undertake, I am quick to extol the virtues of creative play and recycled projects at a very young age. If there is one thing I did well as a mother, it was to feed my bowerbirds! And I’m thrilled that kids are starting to be inspired to play and be creative, through my author visits.

‘You said to go home and make things with boxes… so we did!’

To squeeze more poetry into your weekend, be sure to visit Heidi at her juicy little universe, where you’ll find the full round-up of the links. Thanks, Heidi!

Seasonal Rewind

For Poetry Friday, I’m revisiting a post from 2015. My week in Melbourne has had me thinking a lot about Autumn. We only have two seasons where I live in Queensland; Summer and Winter – and for a few weeks they wrangle back and forth; summer/winter/hot/cold…

But Melbourne… It was all gorgeous warm tones, brisk breezes and crunchy Autumn delights. All those photos of bare branches and golden mounds of leaves that fill Instagram have taken on a whole new meaning, and lovely sensory sentimentality… since Melbourne!

At the release of Lorraine Marwood’s poetry collection, ‘Celebrating Australia’ we were challenged to write a poem using Lorraine’s seasonal poem, ‘Autumn’ as the mentor text.

Autumn

Autumn is loud crushing sounds
a foot scuffing rap-tapping shuffle.
One day a light dusting
of pathway obstruction
by week’s end a whole mound
of slip, slide, crunch, crackle. 
<read the full poem here>

© Lorraine Marwood

I wrote about our switchy-changy summer-winter Queensland Autumn.

A Queensland Autumn

Autumn is ummmm … undecided;
a clinking of coat hangers shuffled.
One day huffing and hissing
of sunshine’s sizzle,
by week’s end a leafy pom-pom pizzazz
of swish, sway, rah-rah rustling.

Autumn is heat-haze blown away.
a shuffling of summer winter outlooks.
One day a brilliance; searing sharp contrast
of sun-baked vibrance,
by week’s end a festive carnival crowd
of mismatched, multi-hued, musty winter woolies.

© Kathryn Apel

It didn’t really turn out how I’d like, and I’d thought to write anotherie (better one) this week, snap-shotting the Melbourne leaves. But… I can’t like it either! I think I just need to let the words write the poem – not the structure. (I’ll have to come back to it.)

Thank-you Mary Lee for collecting our Poetry Friday links at A Year of Reading. You can read more about Lorraine’s poetry collection here – and mayhaps be inspired to write your own seasonal poem. Alas, Autumn is now huddled in a rustic orange blanket fringed with silver. Winter wind has whisked the warmth away!

Too Many Friends – Book Trailer

On Monday, my new verse novel is released – so this past week I’ve been busily behind the scenes doing things for that. And the ‘thing’ that took the most time, was the book trailer. After two full days of staring at my screen (Did someone say perfectionist…?) I am almost at the stage of needing glasses to see through my (new) glasses…

BUT… I have a book trailer!

Do you want to SEE it???

(Correct answer is YES! Because want to share it with you!)

 

My lovely editor Kristy had the idea for the gorgeous chapter headers (there are more!) throughout the book, and the amazing Jo Hunt excelled herself, going above and beyond anything Kristy and I had even dared to dream. Let this be my very heartfelt thank-you to you both! Aside from looking gorgeous in the book, they made my job with the trailer so much easier! (Or was it harder, deciding which images to use…?)

‘Too Many Friends’ goes on sale Monday, 1st May, but I heard from a teacher-librarian friend yesterday, who had attended a Professional Development in Melbourne, where it was ‘highly recommended’ by The Kids’ Bookshop. Kim bought a copy and read it last night, and her feedback was beautiful;

Such a gift for observing & capturing children’s thoughts/ feelings with yr exquisite use of words So much goodness in this book!😍 (@kimyeo)

Poetry Friday this week is being hosted on Teaching Authors, so be sure to skip across and collect the links and be inspired by all the wonderful ways you too can play with words in poetry. A special thank-you to Heidi Mordhorst and her creative class, who last week inspired me with their poems for two voices, which prompted another poem for my Antarctic WIP. (That’s a whole other kind of wonderful-good.)

As for me? I’m on a countdown to Monday… 😀

Title: Too Many Friends
Publisher: UQP
ISBN: 978 0 7022 5976 0
RRP: $14.95

I Don’t Eat My Friends!

friends

My next verse novel is going to the printers on Monday (Yay!) so I thought I’d share a poem from that in celebration of Poetry Friday and all things wonderful… like friends!

I Don’t Eat My Friends!

The kids
in my class
are like a jumbo pack of 
assorted party lollies –
they’re all different,
but I like them 
                all.

(I don’t eat my friends!)

Some kids
talk a lot;
others
tell funny jokes.
Some kids 
ask questions
and listen lots;
others
ask questions 
and don’t listen at all.
Some kids are bossy
(sometimes too bossy!);
others like
to be told
       what to do –
want you to do it 
       for them.
Some kids are quiet
and always there;
others are quiet 
and always alone.

All my classmates are different, 

but that’s the best thing
about
      friends …
                and lollies.


© Kathryn Apel

I’m so thankful for the many beautiful friends who sweeten my life, including the wonderful Poetry Friday peeps, who feed my love of words in verse. Thanks to Karen-consumer-of-coffee for hosting us this week and collecting the links at karenedmisten.blogspot.com.au.

‘Too Many Friends’ will be published by UQP in May 2017, and I canNOT wait to share it!

Like Penguins on a Pebbled Cliff

Those Distant Things

Not flying fish,
swimming seals,
dabbling ducks,
or water bugs,
not orca fins,
boulders,
pebbles,
or my imagination,
but penguins;
  porpoising,
    paddling,
      plunging,
        posturing,
          primping,
            plumping
              penguins!

penguins02

Those grey boulders, at the feet of the penguins (top left) are not boulders, but bubbas.

To read more poetry this simmering summer day, pop across and visit Katie at The Logonauts.

Tango Anyone?

I have been absent from PoetryFriday for too long, on account of copy edits, holidays, new school year, and first page proofs. But sneaking in very quickly with this little 1920’s postcard poem, from our recent South American/Antarctic holiday.

img_9350-1

Street artist at Montevideo, Uraguay. Photo © Kathryn Apel

I’d love to say more, and include more pics, but these page proofs must get done, and trawling through photos is a mammoth task. (I know. Because I too often fall down that hole.)

Happy PoetryFriday and I hope to be back properly, soon! You will find the full round-up at… beyondliteracylink with Carol Varsalona. Thanks, Carol!

One Minute Till… NOW!

oneminuteThis week saw the release of One Minute Till Bedtime, a poetry collection compiled by Kenn Nesbitt, which includes two of my poems. That was exciting… but it got even more exciting when my pre-ordered book arrived, yesterday, in the middle of a crazy-busy 24hours. I haven’t had a chance to read it cover-to-cover yet, but I’ve been dipping and diving into it at every chance I get, and am loving the variety and unexpectedness of the poems. And the gorgeous, whimsical, simply clever illustrations by Christoph Niemann. It really is a joy of words.

And it’s a thrill to be sharing the pages with friends and poets from Australia, and amongst the Poetry Friday crew. A huge thank-you to Kenn for including my poems in the amazingly versatile collection. What a wonderful way to spread a love of poetry through homes and generations around the world.

Here is one of my poems… Continue reading

Epigram How-To

katapel-epigram-witticismsmThis week’s Poetry Friday post is about another short-form poem to build your writing muscles on – the epigram. I’m linking direct to the new page I’ve created, under the Whisker of Poetry tab, so that it’s easy for people to click back and find at a later date.

To read about the wise and witty bite-sized ditty, you’ll need to click the link, or click on the pictured epigram. They’ll take you straight across. And to get the full Poetry Friday round-up, visit Tricia, at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Happy Day!

Storybird Snippets

It’s been a while since I stretched my wings on Storybird, but over the weekend I hatched a couple of poems, and as always had fun with the format – so thought I’d share two with you.

I saw carrots in this art by Bitskoff, and thought of my son, who would easily eats 1kg of carrots in a day – every day, if he could! But maybe we all would like some carrots (even little mousies) … so sharing is a good thing to remember. 😉

katapel_storybird_siblings Continue reading

My Niece Announces The Best Cat

*STOP THE PRESS*

I just received the most adorable email from my sister – so this week’s scheduled Poetry Friday post has been delayed, until next week. (And I was rather chuffed with it, so please do check back next week. 🙂 )

During my Month of Poetry this year, I wrote a (different) poetry  collection for each of my nieces. MissyK’s birthday was earlier in the year, so she had already received her collection. Recently it was LittleMissPurple’s birthday. Tonight my sister read one of the poems, a cat poem, to LMPurple. When my sister tucked LMPurple into bed, MissyK piped up, “I heard that cat poem and it made me think of this poem. Continue reading