Little Houses

Today’s poem was inspired by the NaPoWriMo prompt at http://www.napowrimo.net/day-twenty-nine/ . Click on the Dropbox link below the poem to hear me read it.

 

LITTLE HOUSES

 

Laura Ingalls Wilder, the little girl

who lived in the big woods, grew up,

got married, had a daughter,

Rose Wilder Lane, wrote about

her life with Rose’s help.

Her tales delighted me and other children.

 

Now, Susan Wittig Albert

writes about Rose and Laura’s lives during the Depression,

how Rose and Laura collaborated

on the Little House books,

still fascinating to me, but do today’s young people

want to know about life over a hundred years ago?

Do they care about a family on the prairie,

struggling to stay alive through harsh winters, drought?

This book should encourage mothers to read to their daughters,

as mine did, about the little girl in the big woods.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/little%20houses.mp3

 

Do you remember reading the little house books when you were a child? Did you have any favorite books in the series that you read more than once? Mine was Little Town on the Prairie, in which Laura, a teen-ager, starts working to support her family and launches her teaching career. I hope to finish Susana Wittig Albert’s book in time to blog about it next week so stay tuned.

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

 

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A Poem about My Mother

Today’s poem was inspired by the NaPoWriMo prompt at http://www.napowrimo.net/day-twenty-five/ . This is a clerihew, a humorous four-line poem about someone. May my poor dear mother rest in peace.

 

My mother’s name was Joan.

She loved to talk on the phone.

We kids often thought she was mean.

“Not now,” she’d say. “I’m talking to Norleen.”

 

Now, I double dare you, my readers, to write one of these. Even if you don’t think you’re a poet, you should be able to do this. Think of someone you know whose name is easy to rhyme. Your first line should have that person’s name at the end. Your second line rhymes with your first line. Write your last two lines with a different rhyme. According to the article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerihew , the meter doesn’t have to be precise. Have fun with this, and feel free to leave your results in the comment field. Thank goodness my name isn’t easy to rhyme.

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

 

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Flowers Bring Hope

Today is Earth Day. I was inspired to post the following poem by the NaPoWriMo prompt at http://www.napowrimo.net/day-twenty-two/ . I wrote this a year ago, and you can click on the Dropbox link below the poem to hear me read it.

 

FLOWERS BRING HOPE

 

 

 

Arrow leaf, balsam root

Blanket the hillside

near a pristine lake,

 

bring hope of spring

soon to come,

an end to brutal winter.

 

Warm temperatures

around the corner

melt snow, clear ice.

 

A new beginning

will shortly arrive,

end nature’s tyranny,

 

but even in June,

snow dots mountaintops,

as winter holds on.

 

Meanwhile, in the valleys,

Spring has arrived

with lupine, hope.

 

 

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/flowers%20bring%20hope.mp3

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

 

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Teresa’s Forcast

I was inspired to post today’s poem by the prompt at http://www.napowrimo.net/day-fourteen-2/ . I wrote this several years ago after a conversation with my cleaning lady. To hear me read it, click on the Dropbox link below the poem.

 

TERESA’S FORCAST

 

“It’s going to be hot forever,”

she says on a sweltering July day.

“seventy-six degrees in San Diego,

a hundred and six here. Maybe by Thanksgiving,

you’ll be able to cook your turkey indoors,

but the climate’s getting warmer.”

 

“Not in Wyoming–She’s full of it,” I tell myself.

“Take what she says with a grain of salt.”

 

As she leaves, she says,

“It’s a hundred degrees. Don’t go out.”

 

“You probably shouldn’t be out, either,” I say.

“Why don’t you stay?”

She snickers–the kitchen door slams.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/teresa%27s%20forcast.mp3

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

 

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Writer’s Block

I was inspired to post today’s poem by Robert Lee Brewer’s daily prompt at http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2015-april-pad-challenge-day-9 . This is a sonnet I wrote years ago in which the first seven lines and the second seven lines mirror each other. I needed to alter some of the lines in the second set for the poem to make sense, but according to local poet Jane Elkington Wohl, who taught this type of sonnet to my writers’ group, this is normal.

 

WRITER’S BLOCK

 

The weather is cold and cloudy and bleak

and I don’t know what to write except that

I’m suffering from writer’s block and that’s

a royal pain in the butt, don’t you know?

The pressure is on. I must finish this

so I can move on to some other things.

So what shall I write? So what shall I write?

So what shall I write? So what shall I write

so I can move on to some other things?

The pressure is on. I must finish this.

I’m suffering from writer’s block and that’s

a royal pain in the butt, don’t you know?

And I don’t know what to write except that

the weather is cold and cloudy and bleak.

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

 

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School Memories

The following poem is a triptych. It’s based on an art form that involves drawing three related pictures on three canvases side by side. The three sections of a triptych can be placed side by side in poetic form or one below the other in paragraph form. I was inspired to do mine in paragraph form after reading a diptych at http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/diptych-my-bracelet . A diptych is like a triptych except it has two sections instead of three. Now, here’s my triptych.

 

SCHOOL MEMORIES

 

1

 

The three-story red brick building gleams in the sunlight. On the front lawn stands a jungle gym, no swings, no merry-go-round. There can be nothing with moving parts for children might get hurt. Because of my low vision, I fell and scraped my knees many times while playing kickball on the cement play area. One girl with good eyes hurt her back when she fell off the jungle gym. Now, the cries of children fill the early fall morning air. The bell’s peel silences the din. We sixth-graders hurry to get in line so we can march into the building and begin our day.

 

2

 

On a foggy day with rain predicted, the yellow school bus pulls up in front of another red brick building with a playing field in back. I was never much for sports, never attended games, didn’t even try out for cheerleading, having been told, “You can’t do this because you can’t see.” I hated gym, math, science, home economics. I couldn’t throw a ball to save my soul, tell you the sum of an equation, or explain chemical compounds, couldn’t even sew. I could play the piano and sing, entertained during study hall, performed in the glee club and orchestra but didn’t earn grades where they mattered. Now as an eighth-grader, I emerge from the yellow bus, resigned to starting another day in junior high.

 

3

 

Several red brick buildings cluster together: a main classroom building, a science and agriculture building, a gym, and a separate building containing an auditorium, swimming pool, smaller gym, and classrooms for music, art, ROTC and other subjects. Not required to take home economics and P.E. or too much math or science, I flourished in English, literature, and other subjects I liked. Wanting to be in theater like my parents, I acted in plays, participated in the speech team, won several awards. I wanted to be a singer, was awarded second place in a talent competition, was given a standing ovation, as I marched across the stage to receive my diploma. Instead of telling me I couldn’t do it because I couldn’t see, they said, “Let’s figure out how you can do it, even though you can’t see.” Now, on a frosty September morning, my footsteps on the board walk climbing the hill resound with joy, as I approach the remaining years of my public education.

 

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

 

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Andrew

I was inspired to write the following after reading a similar poem by a fellow writer who posted it on our group’s list serve. It’s an acrostic, meaning the first letter of each line spells a word, in this case, my brother’s name. You can click on the link below the poem to hear me read it.

ANDREW

A brother I hoped would be a sister, I
never stopped loving him, though.
During years of sibling rivalry, I
remember kissing him, saying he was sweet.
Even though he resented my love
when he grew older, I still cherished him and always will.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/andrew.mp3

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

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