Monthly Archives: April 2019


The Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, brainchild of Irene Latham, took a different turn this year. Matt started us off with a borrowed song line, and suggested that we compose through communal borrowing. All fine and good if you have some knowledge of song lyrics. That might have been me in my youth, but now, not so much. So how the heck will I continue this journey of our narrator who is smiling on summer, leaning out the window to Kodachrome days (observed by an unseen narrator), walking with some unknown and possibly tenuous “we” for the chance of a lifetime, seizing the sky, the day, the waves, closer and closer to ? Yikes, I have no idea, but will take a break in my rambling to search for something.

I’m back. The spouse and I went to see Beautiful, The Carole King Musical when it came to Kalamazoo a few weeks ago. I started searching through some Carole King songs, and found uncertainty, grief, and lyrics about you (that, I realize now, was a large part of the musical.) Hmmm… Maybe I should stick with Heidi’s turn to we, and explore this possibly new relationship. But then I wondered if Heidi’s line could be about a physical destination that represents the relationship? Like, possibly, someplace Way Over Yonder? I’m not sure my wandering has advanced the poem, but will leave it to Michelle to find our path. Happy PassoverEasterSpringSaturday!

Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem 2019

Endless summer; I can see for miles…
Fun, fun, fun – and the whole world smiles.
No time for school – just time to play,
we swim the laughin’ sea each and every day.

You had only to rise, lean from your window,
the curtain opens on a portrait of today.
Kodachrome greens, dazzling blue,
It’s the chance of a lifetime,

make it last forever-ready? Set? Let’s Go!
Come, we’ll take a walk, the sun is shining down,
Not a cloud in the sky got the sun in my eyes.
Tomorrow’s here. It’s called today.

Gonna get me a piece o’ the sky.
I wanna fly like an eagle, to the sea
and there’s a tiger in my veins.
Oh, won’t you come with me waltzing the waves,
                                                                        diving the deep? 
It’s not easy to know
less than one minute old  
we’re closer now than light years to go
To the land where the honey runs

I do not have a Spotify account to update this, but here’s THE PLAYLIST!

Found Lines:
L1 The Who, ‘I Can See for Miles’ / The Beach Boys, ‘Endless Summer’
L2 The Beach Boys, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’/Dean Martin, “When You’re Smiling”
L3 The Jamies, “Summertime, Summertime’
L4 The Doors, ‘Summer’s Almost Gone’ / Led Zeppelin, ‘Good Times, Bad Times’
L5 Ray Bradbury, ‘Dandelion Wine’
L6 Joni Mitchell, “Chelsea Morning”
L7 Paul Simon, “Kodachrome,” “Dazzling Blue”
L8 Dan Fogelberg, “Run for the Roses” 
L9 Spice Girls, “Wannabe”/Will Smith, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”
L10 The Beatles, “Good Day Sunshine”
L11 The Carpenters, “Top of the World”
L12 Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Underneath the Lovely London Sky” from MARY POPPINS
L13 Carole King, “Hi-de-ho (That Sweet Roll)”
L14 Steve Miller, “Fly Like An Eagle”
L15 Don Felder, “Wild Life”
L16 Nowlenn Leroy, “Song of the Sea” (lullaby)
L17 Sara Bareilles, “She Used to Be Mine” from WAITRESS
L18 Stevie Wonder, “Isn’t She Lovely” 
L19 R.E.M., “Find the River”
L20 Carole King, “Way Over Yonder”

Here’s the journey our poem has taken, and where it’s headed next:


Matt @Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
Kat @Kathryn Apel
Kimberly @KimberlyHutmacherWrites
Jone @DeoWriter
Linda @TeacherDance
Tara @Going to Walden
Ruth @thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown
Mary Lee @A Year of Reading
Rebecca @Rebecca Herzog
10 Janet F. @Live Your Poem
11 Dani @Doing the Work that Matters
12 Margaret @Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine @Dori Reads
14 Christie @Wondering and Wandering
15 Robyn @Life on the Deckle Edge
16 Carol @Beyond LiteracyLink
17 Amy @The Poem Farm
18 Linda @A Word Edgewise
19 Heidi @my juicy little universe
20 Buffy @Buffy’s Blog
21 Michelle @Michelle Kogan
22 Catherine @Reading to the Core
23 Penny @a penny and her jots
24 Tabatha @The Opposite of Indifference
25 Jan @Bookseestudio
26 Linda @Write Time
27 Sheila @Sheila Renfro
28 Liz @Elizabeth Steinglass
29 Irene @Live Your Poem
30 Donna @Mainely Write

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!

To celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 18th) I’ve written a poem about…pockets! I have vivid memories of collections that came home in my older offspring’s pockets–pebbles, seeds and other treasures. That memory and the aforementioned Pocket Day inspired this poem:

Hidden in Your Pocket

Pebbles from the playground
Oreo cookie crumbs, still tasty
Chalk for drawing dragons and daffodils
Key to a pirate’s treasure chest
Empty gum wrappers for a paper chain
The pieces of a poem
–©Buffy Silverman

Here’s a daffodil I pocketed after our brief snowstorm on Monday. Fortunately the snow melted a few hours after it fell!

BOOM! BELLOW! BLEAT! and other spring cacophonies!

Anyone who thinks that it’s quiet in the country has not spent time at my house. Right now the spring peepers are peeppeeppeeping outside my window. Soon the chorus frogs will join in, followed by toads and gray tree frogs. When summer starts, there’ll be green frogs and bull frogs. And of course, the birds serenade from sunup to sundown, with red-winged blackbirds leading the pack right now.

I’m a fan of all this amphibian and avian bluster, and was delighted when an F&G of Georgia Heard’s new book, BOOM! BELLOW! BLEAT! Animal Poems for Two or More Voices showed up unexpectedly in my mail box. This book is sure to be a crowd pleaser in elementary school classrooms. Consider this froggy sample:

I can imagine a classroom filled with alternating choruses of froggy sounds! The book’s noisy journey continues with geese, fish, mockingbirds, rattlesnakes, honeybees, and more. Backmatter gives more details about the animals and the function of their sounds (I was pleased that Georgia wrote that toads are actually a type of frog, addressing a common misconception. And did you know that a big claw snapping shrimp makes a sound that is louder than a jet engine? I did not!) The poems in this book beg to be read aloud with a whole passel of kids.

This April I’m planning to read and review more poetry books, and to use the books as inspiration for my own writing. Liz Steinglass and I are once again exchanging daily poems. There’s nothing like knowing that someone expects you to write something to get yourself going!

Here’s the opening stanzas of a noisy poem that I’ve played with the past couple of days, inspired by my attempts to locate and photograph a peeper. I failed to spot the peeper, but I did spy a muskrat, some wood ducks, and inspiration:

How to Find a Spring Peeper

Stand quietly on the marshy shore.
One voice peeps, then another and another, 

peep, peep, peep,
loud and strong
insistent, persistent–

until crackle, creak
you step on a stick
and silence falls.


A single peep begins again
near the thick brush.
It’s echoed by another and another.

A songster peeps barely two feet
from where you stand,
invisible to your human eyes.

A muskrat swims in the grassy pond,
stopping on a hummock
to nibble grass.
–©Buffy Silverman

The poem continues with other animals that are hanging out at the vernal pond across the street from my house, and more peeping. In the poem, a peeper is finally spotted. My camera and I hope to be successful in real life, but so far they have sung and sung without my locating one!

There’s lots of April poetry goodness flying around the internets. Head over to Karen Edmisten’s blog for the Poetry Friday party and a John Ashbery poem.