Thursday, December 15, 2011

Poetry Friday: Water Magic

I'm counting down till my first poetry collection, Water Sings Blue, comes out. Once more, I'll share with you a few poems that didn't make the cut. These poems were left behind because we decided to stick to real ocean life. Of course, being primarily a fantasy writer, I composed some magic-tinged ocean poems along the way...

The Siren

The siren’s singing opera,
the siren’s singing rap,
the siren’s singing country songs,
and jazz and blues and tap.

The siren’s singing loudly,
so plug your ears and frown,
‘cause whatever she sings, the siren
deeply wants to see you drown.

Ghost Ship

Ghost ship, where are you going?
Bearing cargo from ancient lands,
jewels and spices, perfumes and tigers,
silks and contraband.

Ghost ship, where are you going?
Navigating your way by stars
that climb the heavens strangely,
with different names than ours.

Ghost ship, where are you going?
You’re sailing west and north,
but the only way to deliver your goods
is to land at the ghost of a port.

Sea Witch

The sea witch’s hairs are tentacles,
the sea witch’s arms are eels.
The sea witch stirs up tsunamis,
spinning the oceans like wheels.

The sea witch’s teeth are clamshells
and her eyes are wave-worn glass.
Beware the sea witch’s lair of bone,
for she will not let you pass.

Art: "Siren" by John Waterhouse and "The Little Mermaid" by Harry Clarke, also "Ghost Ship" by an unknown photographer.

And now, let's hear it for Poetry Friday! I'll be posting your poetry links early in the morning and again at noon and in the early evening, MST. (Can you tell I have to work?)

—Heidi Mordhorst leads off with talk of her family's Christmas tree plus a lovely Christmas picture book featuring the words of an e.e. cummings poem: Little Tree. Deborah Kogan Ray is the illustrator.

—Wordsmith Steven Withrow of Crackles of Speech joins us with his lovely poem "The Buck."

—Robyn Hood Black brings us an interview with the most excellent David L. Harrison and a preview of his new e-book collection of poems, Goose Lake.

—Over at Poetry at Play, Charles Ghigna ("Father Goose") shares poems about poetry; I can't decide which one I like best!

—And at Teaching Authors, the talented April Halprin Wayland has a poem called "First Books," along with a literacy fundraiser for that you can help by commenting about the first book you remember reading.

—Myra Garces-Bacsal of Gathering Books invites you to join a reading challenge; she goes on to share a poem by Joel M. Toledo, "Persona," that is beautifully illustrated by a collage photo of Myra's daughter.

—At The Drift Record, Julie Larios shares the very fun Index poem she wrote for a Poetry Stretch at The Miss Rumphius Effect: "Index to the History of the Hiccup." Try to read it without getting the hiccups!

—Tabatha Yeatts of The Opposite of Indifference posts two intriguing poems by Marilyn L. Taylor, "The Geniuses Among Us" and "Aunt Eudora on Having Outlived All of Her Friends."

—Mary Lee of A Year of Reading uses Howard Nemerov's "To David, About His Education" to launch a thoughtful conversation about education. Can cookie making be as important as literature? I agree with Mary!

—Welcome Jeff Barger of NC Teacher Stuff, who reviews a poetry collection by Mordicai Gerstein, Dear Hot Dog. You may know Gerstein simply for his illustrations, but take a look at his poems!

—At A Teaching Life, Tara posts "two extraordinary poems about the ordinary" by George Bilgere: "The Table" and "Corned Beef and Cabbage." With a shout-out to Garrison Keillor, even.

—And speaking of shout-outs, over at Carol's Corner, we've got a reminder of the power of books that spotlights a collection of poems edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins, I Am the Book. The poem Carol shares is Naomi Shihab Nye's "Who's Rich?"

—Librarian Andi Sibley talks about the Edublog awards at A Wrung Sponge. Julie Greller's post, "34 Websites for Teaching Poetry," led her to Magnetic Poetry for Kids. Great stuff!

—Where else but at Jama Rattigan's delectable Alphabet Soup site would you find a celebration of Jane Austen's birthday that includes one of the author's poems, "Oh! Mr. Best You're Very Bad," and a family bread pudding recipe?

—Did you know that the author of A Wrinkle in Time wrote poetry? Ruth of There Is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town shares a Madeleine L'Engle Christmas poem, "First Coming."

—Welcome to the prolific Diane Mayr, who shares a Ginger Andrews poem about the mulleygrubs at Random Noodlings, her own "A Letter Obsession" at Kids of the Homefront Army, Kay Ryan's "Every Painting by Chagall" at Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet, and a quote from Ryan at Kurious K's Kwotes.

—Poet Laura Salas honors the season with "Ring Out, Wild Bells" and invites us to visit this week's 15 Words or Less poems, too.

—At A Poem a Day from the George Hail Library, Maria Horvath spotlights the poet Alice Meynell and shares her sonnet, "Renouncement."

—Susan at Chicken Spaghetti is experimenting with dictionary found poems and invites us to join in! Her "Rhymes with Fascinating" and "Rhymes with Fascinating II" are terrific models.

—TeacherDance's Linda is missing summer, as expressed in her poem, "Pantry Stores."

Kenn Nesbitt's poem, "December 26," ends with the perfect twist. Thanks to Debbie Diller for sharing it!

—The folks over at The Stenhouse Blog share a teaching tip from Anne Marie Corgill's book: how to create a class poetry anthology.

—Today at Joyce Ray's Musings we have a timely topic, a tribute to Russell Hoban and his poetry. Did you know that the creator of Bread and Jam for Frances passed away this week?

—Karen Edmiston of The Blog with the Shockingly Clever Title offers us a sublime poem from Thomas Merton, "Advent."

Okay, folks, I have to go to work. Any additional comments will be linked during my lunch hour. But just look at all the great stuff we've got so far!

Today at The Poem Farm, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater posts a thoughtful poem for two voices, "Finding Answers."

—Elaine Magliaro of Wild Rose Reader shares nearly a dozen of her marvelous Christmas poems. Thanks, Elaine!

—Over at The Write Sisters, Barbara Turner gives us a poem about cats and curiosity by Alastair Reid.

—Liz Scanlon posts about running and the poem "Marathon" by E. Ethelbert Miller at her blog, Liz in Ink.

—David Elzey joins us with some seasonal haiku and other thoughts on once again failing to send out holiday cards.

—Welcome to Poetry Friday, Jim Hill! Today he offers us a poem about the awkwardness of adolescence, "Sometimes."

—Lorie Ann Grover has posted "My Soul Lights," a haiku about love, over at On Point: Writing Through Life.

—Miss Erin chimes in with an original poem called "Alone, and Happy." What a nice thought! Not everyone knows how to do that.

—In a fitting conclusion to our December day of poems, Janet Squires of All about the Books reminds us of a marvelous collection that talks about winter and its various celebrations: Winter Lights: A Season in Poems and Quilts by Anna Grossnickle Hines.

Merry Everything! And thanks for participating!


Steven Withrow said...

Thanks for hosting, Kate. Great post!

My original poem "The Buck" is an homage to the poet Ted Hughes, whom I've been studying, and also a recreation of a close encounter I had recently:

Robyn Hood Black said...

Thank you for hosting, Kate! Congratulations on the upcoming collection, and thanks for sharing these enchantingly fun, salty poems. I have an extensive interview with the amazing and prolific David L. Harrison and a peek at his brand-new e-book poetry collection, Goose Lake.

Charles Ghigna said...

Thanks, Kate! Wow! If these didn't make the cut, I can't wait to read your keepers!

We'd like to invite everyone to write and post their poems about poetry at Poems About Poetry post

April Halprin Wayland said...

Howdy, Kate, thanks for hosting! Your poems are exquisite...and so under-watery!

At we've been promoting, which gives books to kids. For every comment on our blog until December 31st, we'll donate $1 to Firstbook (up to $225).

so, I wrote a poem called First Book...looking at those two words in a different way.

Since my post is not scheduled until early Friday morning, I don't have the specific URL...please zip over to to grab it.

Thanks again!

GatheringBooks said...

These are lovely poems - I'm thinking it could be part of another collection entirely - Water Magic sounds like an apt title!

Here's our Poetry Friday contribution for the week:

Thank you for hosting this week!

Julie said...

Kate - How exciting to have your book coming out soon (well, in March - but that's fairly soon in the long process of getting a book out, no?) Congratulations!

Over at The Drift Record I decided to post the poem I wrote for this week's Poetry Stretch challenge over at The Miss Rumphius Effect. My poem is titled "Index to the History of the Hiccup."

Tabatha said...

Congratulations on Water Sings Blue! That's a great title. My favorite of the ones you shared today is the ominous-sounding "Sea Witch."

I have two poems by Marilyn L. Taylor today:

Thanks for hosting!

Mary Lee said...

I've got some thoughts on education, prompted by a Howard Nemerov poem:

Thanks for hosting in the bits and pieces of free time on a work day Friday!

Jeff Barger said...

Hi, Kate! Congratulations on your upcoming poetry collection. At NC Teacher Stuff I have posted a review of Dear Hot Dog which is a collection of poems by Mordicai Gerstein:

Tara said...

Thank you for hosting today, Heidi...and sharing these two poems! Over at "A Teaching Life" I've posted two extraordinary poems about the ordinary by the poet George Bilgere:

Carol said...

Thanks for hosting Kate! Can't wait to see your new book-- two of my favorite things are the ocean and poetry. What, then, could be better than a book of ocean poems!

At Carol W's corner, I'm sharing Naomi Shihab Nye's "Who's Rich?" It's one of thirteen poems about reading in I AM THE BOOK by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

And as always, love your blog's name/subitle! I'm a book auntie too!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Love those watery poems! I can't wait till your book comes out for the rest. I have a post about the Edublog awards where one of the winners has a link post about teaching poetry. Through that I found my way to Magnetic Poetry for Kids. Fun! Thanks for doing the roundup.

jama said...

Love your poems, Kate, and can't wait for the book to come out. What exquisite work!

Today I'm celebrating Jane Austen's birthday with one of her poems and a family bread pudding recipe:

Thanks so much for hosting today and Congratulations on your new book!

Ruth said...

I love your magic ocean poems. Thanks for hosting. I'm in with something seasonal by Madeleine L'Engle. Here.

Diane Mayr said...

Congratulations on the upcoming collection! So exciting!

Stop by Random Noodling for a smile if you've got the mulleygrubs.

"A Letter Obsession" at Kids of the Homefront Army, explains V for victory!

Kurious Kitty and Kurious K's Kwotes' look to the fabulous Kay Ryan for inspiration today.

laurasalas said...

I LOVE your otherworldly ocean poems. That sea witch! And the last lines of the siren one. Whew--these deserve their own collection...

I'm in with "Ring Out, Wild Bells" at , taken from the first poetry book I ever owned.

And 15 Words or Less poems are at

Thanks for hosting!

maria horvath said...

Congratulations! on your book. I love the other-worldliness of your poems today.

And thank you for hosting.

Over at my blog I've posted a beautiful love sonnet by Alice Meynell, who deserves to be much better known that she is.

Susan T. said...

Thank you so much for hosting the roundup, Kate.

I am in with a found poem "Rhymes with Fascinating."

Chicken Spaghetti

Linda B said...

Thank you for sharing the poems we might not have seen and congratulations on your book! I like that ghost ship "navigating its way by stars'. I have an original poem about missing summer warmth -already!

Debbie Diller said...

This week I have the poem December 26 by Ken Nesbitt. Enjoy!

The Stenhouse Blog said...

Hello! Thanks for hosting! This week we have a poetry classroom activity for Poetry Friday from Ann Marie Corgill's book Of Primary Importance.

Joyce Ray said...

Congratulations on Water Sings Blue. Thanks for sharing some poems not in the collection. I like the twist in The Siren. All are beautifully rhythmical. I posted a tribute to Russell Hoban, who wrote poetry in addition to treasured children's books. Musings at

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks for hosting! I'm in with a gorgeous Merton poem this week. It's here.

Amy L V said...

The ocean is so magical...and you always have a way of weaving the enchantment into the words. Thank you for the behind-the-scenes look. I love that too!

Today at The Poem Farm, I have a poem for two voices inspired by some third graders that I talked with this week.

Thank you for hosting! A.

Elaine Magliaro said...


Thanks for doing the roundup this week.

At Wild Rose Reader, I've posted a number of my original Christmas poems.

Barbara said...

The ocen poems weregreat. Iloved the Ghost Ship!

Over at I have a poem about cats and curiosity by Alasatair Reid.

Bridget R. Wilson said...

Great poems, Kate! Too bad you can't put together another collection of fantasy water poems. Congratulations on the forthcoming publication of your poetry book. I can't wait to add it to my libraries' collections.

Liz in Ink said...

Thanks for hosting and sharing your sea-faring poems!

Here's my post:

david elzey said...

hmm. seems my attempt to post a comment has somehow disappeared. ah well. in this week with some original haiku observations about the season, and our failure (again) to send out holiday cards.

thanks for hosting!

david elzey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Hill said...

I have an original poem that looks at an awkward moment of adolescence - Sometimes

Thanks for hosting!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thank you for hosting! Such lovely poetry not included in your final work. Wow!

At On Point I have My Soul Lights.

Thank you!

KateCoombs said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone! And for sharing your great poems and posts!

April Halprin Wayland said... goodness. I had to post another comment because you are SOOOO thorough. I've learned how to host Poetry Friday from your amazingness. Really.
Thank you.

KateCoombs said...

Thanks, April! That's so nice to hear! I think we had a great day. :)

Janet S. said...

Thanks for hosting.
My selection is Winter lights : a season in poems & quilts by Anna Grossnickle Hines.

Erin said...

I've got a late entry, sorry -

It's an original poem called "alone, and happy"

thank you for hosting!!

Mary Lee said...

How did I miss the first news that you have a book of poetry coming out?!?! WAY COOL! I love the ones that were left out (the possibility of sirens singing C/W made me giggle0, so I'm sure I'll love the published collection. Can't wait! CONGRATS!!

(Thanks again for hosting! I'm off to read and comment, and hopefully our Internet won't zot out on me...)

KateCoombs said...

Oh, thanks, Mary! Glad you liked the siren, esp. the C/W.

I read everything that was linked yesterday very quickly, so today I look forward to taking a more leisurely look at our wonderful PF posts.

Love the term "zot out," by the way. :)

Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind said...

I didn't know you wrote! Loved The Siren. (:

KateCoombs said...

Thank you, Adriana!