The Monday Poems Meet the Five Senses

Happy first day of Autumn. My favorite season always brings a change in colors to nature, a sweater-worthy nip in the air, and the urge to bake something sweet, spiced with a generous shake of cinnamon. Because this time of year inspires my poetry in a myriad of ways, I decided to share ways to welcome the five senses into your poetry.

HOW TO INCLUDE THE FIVE SENSES INTO A POEM

Grab a pad of paper and your favorite pen or pencil and join me outside. Let’s list a few things we see, hear, smell, taste, and can touch. Become an investigator and peek under a mat of leaves or gaze up into the branches of trees.

What do you SEE that could inspire a poem? A farmer’s field, dotted with plump, orange pumpkins? A woodpecker’s jelly-red crest? Autumn’s fiery leaves, dancing to the ground?

Close your eyes. What do you HEAR? Listen to the rustle of leaves in the breeze, the chorus of honking geese, and a pair of chattering squirrels.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Take a deep breath. Can you SMELL the burning leaves, the sharp and welcoming scent of Pine? The sweet air after a good rain?

Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

TASTE isn’t as easy outside, but let’s tackle that one anyway. Maybe as we’re walking past my garden, you taste the sweet and bitter coolness of a mint leaf. Then, you pluck the last tangy tomato from the vine or sip at the cozy cup of spice tea I made for you.

Photo by Arjun Sreekumar on Pexels.com

TOUCH is as simple as running your palms over the prickly tops of the grass, circling your finger in the feather-lined bird’s nest that has fallen to the ground, or wrapping your arms around a tree and hugging the rough bark to your cheek. (Yes, in my world, the trees deserve hugs.)

Photo by Matthias Cooper on Pexels.com

From your lists, select the one thing that inspires you most.

What words can you use to describe it. (Think in terms of color, texture, sound, movement…)

Imagine you are describing the sun to someone who has never seen it. Does this glowing ball look like an egg yolk or a beachball? Do clouds remind you of squishy marshmallows? Does a fence resemble a row of pencils? Does the rain remind you of fingers drumming on a desk? Does the breeze whisper secrets?

Choose words from one or more of your lists of senses becuase it’s time to write.

For my poem, I chose to compare Autumn to a dragon.

THE AUTUMN DRAGON

Scales shuffle like the rustle of dry leaves.

Fiery breaths set the trees aglow.

Powerful wing beats chill both air and spine.

One glowing eye gazes over the horizon.

The Autumn dragon has come. 

by Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

I’ll see you Friday.

Two Amazing Prizes + Two Poetry Books to Love This Perfect Picture Book Friday!

My love of writing poems goes clear back to my childhood when I made up little rhymes about my sleepy cat who napped in the darkness under my bed, a poky cactus in a dish on my windowsil, and a too-long car ride to visit relatives. Little thing that caught my attention became immortalized in a poem.

Years later, filled with the gained knowledge from several poetry courses, my love of writing poems continues daily. My shelves all but burst with the books of my favorite poets, including two poetry collections by Raven Howell which I’m happy to share with you today.

And yes, today’s post comes with the chance for two lucky people to each win one of Raven’s poetry books. Just leave a comment to be entered into the drawing for a chance. I’ll announce the winner next Friday when Raven will be visiting here for a fun interview!

Frozen

The pond is still frozen,
We scamper across.
We slip and slide
And skid ont the gloss.
Holding tightTo each other’s coat sleeves,
We peer thoug the ice
At the frozen brown leaves,
Silent and still
Some caught in mid-swim,
Stuck in freeze tab
‘Til the melt of sun’s whim.

Title – Glimmer – Sing of Sun!

Written by – Raven Howell

Illustrated by – Carina Povarchik

Published by – Clear Fork Publishing – 2019

Suitable for ages – 3-8

Theme – Poetry, nature, playtime

Glimmer – Sing of Sun! Amazon Review –  HERE Burst to bright adventures where vivid colors sprout, the sun paints the sky, and days are strawberry-scented. Creating a landscape of light, this picture poetry book transforms the ordinary in life to glimmering significance. Written and illustrated by collaborating team Raven Howell and Carina Povarchik, this collection is a joyful and imaginative companion book to Howell and Povarchik’s Shimmer, Songs of Night. 

Why do I like this book? In her book, Glimmer – Sing of Sun! Raven found inspirations for her poems in nature, one of my favorite escapes. She chose to write about such unexpected topics as a breath of sun and a pair of sky artists through her refreshing way of seeing and hearing the world. Raven even takes the reader on an outdoor quest over hills and logs, down to Ribbit Pond for a special discovery. You’ll find lots to love in this book of uplifting, inventive, and fresh poetry. And did I mention that the illustrations by Carina Povarchik add an explosion of color and happiness both kids and adults will ooh and ahh over?

The second of Raven’s books I’m sharing is Chuckles and Smiles in which the poems share the goal of giving children laughter and oodles of reasons to smile.

Squirrel

Bulb digger,
nest rigger,
seed stacker,
nut cracker,
tree stalker,
fence walker,
food stasher,
birdhouse crasher.
Dog chased–
making HASTE!

Title – Chuckles and Smiles

Written by – Raven Howell

Illustrated by – Jordan Wray

Published by – Warren Publishing – 2020

Suitable for ages – 3-8

Theme – Humorous poetry for children.

Chuckles and Smiles Amazon Review – HERE In this sweet collection of children’s poems, Raven Howell reveals all the little things in life that put smiles on children’s faces like playing with sock puppets, walking barefoot on warm grass, and dreaming of butterflies during a thunderstorm. Colorful illustrations by international illustrator, Jordan Wray, evoke the warmth and joy felt during childhood through their light and carefree style. Written with whimsy and fun, this book charmingly reminds child and parent alike that the power of laughter delivers happiness.

Why do I like this book? Raise your hand if you’re looking for a book that can deliver levity and laughter into a child’s life. Perfect! Because the second book of Raven’s, that I’m sharing, is appropriatly titled Chuckles and Smiles. with page after page of sweet, silly, giggle-worthy, kid-pleasing poems. Now, take those 26 poems and bring them together with the lively pieces of art created by Jordan Wray and you’ve got yourself a winner!

Learn more about Raven Howell HERE.

Learn about Carina Povarchik (illustrator for Glimmer – Sing of Sun!) HERE.

Learn about Jorday Wray (illustrator of Chuckles and Smiles) HERE.

And don’t forget that today’s post comes with the chance for two lucky people to each win one of Raven’s poetry books. Just leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing. Mark your calendar for the 18th, because Raven will be visiting here for both an interview and the announcement of the winners!

See you soon!

Leslie

The Monday Poems Seek Happiness

Monday PoemsI spent the weekend and most of this morning writing my post and poem to tie into the theme of the picture book I reviewed last Friday of Sonya’s Chickens by Phoebe Wahl, which delves into loss and recovery. No part of writing my blog brought me joy, and the words of my poem broke me. I spent over an hour debating whether or not to share my thoughts. I mulled over the feelings of death others have shared with me, including the chapter in Kahlil Gibran’s book from 1923, The Prophet. I arrived at a simple discovery.

The views people have on this topic are different from mine. (Not good or bad, just different.)

I read my post to my daughter who said, “Mom, people come to your blog to feel happy. They’re going to leave today in shock. What you wrote is beautiful, but it’s also dark.”

I started again. The world is currently dishing out plenty of ways to feel angry and depressed. The last thing I wish to do is contribute to sadness. Because we each deserve happiness, I paged through my collection of poems and chose one to share with you that I wrote to my daughter.

cup of stars

WHAT I LOVE

I love laughing while we sing a song,

not caring if our words are wrong,

making tents to play inside,

offering hugs with arms out wide.

laying out beneath the stars,

grateful for the love that’s ours,

reading chapters from a book,

a funny story—comic look,

holding hands to take a walk,

sharing feelings when we talk,

bedtime poems, I write for you,

the love that holds us strong as glue.

 

by Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

 

See you next Friday

Leslie

The Monday Poems Rip Away the Wrapping Paper.

Monday PoemsLast Friday I shared the heart-squishing picture book Something Else about a little animal that is ostracized despite his attempts to fit in. Everyone judges him before getting to know him, and none are willing to give him a chance. For any of you who can relate to this, even in a small way, I am truly sorry this happened to you.

The poem I wrote for today is told through the symbolic use of wrapped presents as compared to the appearance of the people we are and see every day.

Does a beautifully wrapped present always suggest the gift inside is as lovely as the fancy paper and ribbons?

Like the present above, do all especially attractive people have personalities that equal their outer beauty?

The same can be said for the present wrapped in an upcycled, paper bag with twine or the person with the plain appearance. The gift that lies within may delight you.

Bottom line – Someone’s outer appearance cannot be used as an accurate gauge for the kind of people they are on the inside.

brown paper present

WHAT LIES WITHIN

I was fooled by the pretty paper,

misled by strings of gold—

Beneath the beauty lay a gift

that truly left me cold.

But in the package, plainly wrapped

with tissue, tape, and twine,

I found a precious treasure

that I truly found divine.

by

Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

 

See you here next Friday.

Leslie