Monthly Archives: March 2015

More Madness: The Predatory Edition

To my great surprise I am in the final fours of March Madness Poetry. I was in Florida for a few days this week, spending some time with my sister and visiting other relatives. My assigned word was ignominious, so I thought about what animals had an ignominious end. When my sister and I went to MacArthur Beach State Park, the leatherback turtles that nest there seemed to fit the bill.  The poem was written yesterday in the airport and in the sky (and finished when I finally arrived home at midnight.) My match is with my pal, poetry critique partner, and uber-talented writer Renee LaTulippe. You can read our poems here. I will most definitely be happy to bow out to Renee this round–it will not be an ignominious end! This poetry competition has been fun and gotten me to write five poems that I otherwise would not have (hey, wasn’t otherwise my first word?) but I am tired! Two of the poems were written on the road, and the rest were written between some work-for-hire deadlines.

If you’ve read other poems that I’ve written for March Madness, you might think I have a predator obsession. You would be correct. Here’s a slightly revised version of my round 4 poem, where my assigned word was paunch:

How to Eat a Frog: A Snake’s Manual



Flick your tongue and taste the smells
of mucky snails and crayfish shells.
Weave your way through marshy grass,
past the lodge where Muskrat dwells.
Stare intently. Slide, explore…
Slow and stealthy, wait to score.
Watch each ripple in the pond,
glide along the swampy shore.
Lunge and grab! Your mouth’s agape,
an endless cave with no escape.
Inhale the head. Legs dangle out–
Muscle down that froggy shape.
Feel the bulging deep within,
a swollen paunch that stretches skin.
Enjoy your meal, your lump of blisssssss,
guaranteed to make you grin.
–Buffy Silverman, all rights reserved

Happy Poetry Friday! Jone has all this week’s poetry links at Check It Out.

More Madness: The Feathered Furry Edition

I’m still shooting the hoops in March Madness Poetry.  The voting is happening now for the third round. Surprisingly I did not write science-y poems for the first two rounds, but animals played starring roles in them. I decided that it was time to go back to a nature/science poem for this round. My assigned word was vaunted, and when I brainstormed what might be vaunted, I thought about a barn owl’s sight and hearing. Did you know that a barn owl, whose ears are not placed symmetrically, can find its prey by listening on a dark night? So what does a mouse do to avoid this well-adapted predator? If an owl flies far overhead, it freezes, so that the owl can neither see or hear movement. If the owl is close enough to spot it, it tries to zigzag or make a beeline to a hole or brush. Of course many mice (and shrews, voles, rats, and bats) are caught by these predators.



In the middle of the night I thought that the mouse might write a letter to the vaunted owl, and tease her about not being as great of a predator as her reputation (insomnia is great for coming up with ideas–the only problem is if I can read my scribbles in the morning.) Then the owl could reply–my original idea was to have the owl swallow mousey while mouse read the letter, but I opted not to go the bloody route. I tried to give both characters formal voices to go with their letter writing habits. You can read the poem here. Be sure to also enjoy the fun kid-friendly poem that Darren Sardelli wrote about a principal’s litany of woes.

Radar, our sweet neighbor

Radar, our sweet neighbor

We have not had a dog for several years, but my daughter took care of our neighbors’ pets for about 6 weeks this winter. The dog came over for daily visits, and sweet old soul that he is, spent a lot of time snoozing and snoring. He inspired Three Dog Night, my round 2 poem:

Three Dog Night
By Buffy Silverman

A gusting windstorm slammed the door as snow swirled overhead.
The frosty breezes froze my toes and followed me to bed.
I lay there sandwiched by my pups: Bella, Bear, and Bree,
and snuggled in their furry warmth till sleep washed over me.

Someone bellowed! Someone cried! A squeak! A bleat! A moan….
Who was hooting, wailing, whooping? I blinked and heard a groan.
I found no owl, no fox or moose—no wild menagerie.
‘Twas just the roaring, snoring snorts of Bella, Bear, and Bree.

For all the Poetry Friday posts, stop by Reading to the Core.

It’s Time for the Madness!

I’m participating in March Madness Poetry again this year, and the first round is over. My word was otherwise–a tad bit easier than my unlucky opponent’s word–megalomaniacal!


I have no kangarooster photo. Here are some photos of this week’s school visits instead.

I was happy to have a softball word, because I was out of town visiting the awesome kids at Schickler and Emma Murphy Elementary Schools, in Lapeer, Michigan (I especially enjoyed being part of a family literacy event one night, and an ice cream with the author event the second night.) My school visits meant that I wrote my poem in the Best Western–and the internets were out, so I could not bounce ideas off the usual suspects. So I thought back to an idea that I had during PiBoIdMo–to write some poems about chimera animals. I have made no progress on that, but “otherwise” made me think of a kangarooster. Why? Who knows…  Here’s the poem:

Henny and Kangarooster: A Love Story
By Buffy Silverman

A lonely bird, a loveless hen, pined and daydreamed in her pen,
until she eyed the kangarooster. She begged a chick to introduce her.
The day she met this Romeo, she hoped that he would be her beau.
Otherwise, she’d wilt and mope. She’d die alone. How could she cope?

She watched him sproing, she heard him crow. His boinging thumps set her aglow.
She clucked and flapped a wingding show. An arrow flew from Cupid’s bow.
Kanga gaped and was entranced. He cock-a-doodled as she danced.
And thus began their grand affair: this boinging, clucking, mismatched pair.


Demonstrating one of the many hats an author wears–this is my “think-like-a-kid hat.”


Kindergartners transformed into gliding garter snakes.







I was a little disappointed with this poem when I finished it, and too tired to start something new. But the voters seemed to enjoy it, and after rereading it six million times it no longer seems quite as lame as it did when I wrote it. I think if I were to revise it I’d like it to be a love affair between two different chimeras. But that’s a task for another day. Or maybe not at all.

The  next round of March Madness poems will be posted on Sunday night. You can read all of the contest poems here and vote for your favorites from Sunday night through Tuesday morning.

Laura is all dressed up for Poetry Friday at Author Amok, where you’ll find links to lots of poetry goodness.