Posts Tagged ‘Tabatha Yeatts’

I’m excited to hear from Tabatha that Imperfect II is almost here. I have a few small poems included. The anthology is ready for pre-order here. The blog for this book is here.

Hardcover for Imperfect II

My blog is featured on Twinkl as a Top 10+ poetry blog for children.

The Kidlit Progressive Poem begins on April 1st. The schedule is ready to go. Irene Latham starts us off. I can’t wait!

Click here to copy and paste the Kidlit Progressive Poem schedule.

I won a copy of Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s new book If This Bird Had Pockets, released March 1st. Amy is one of my favorite poets and people. Her poetry makes me smile. It’s accessible to children and is just plain fun!

Personal signature on the title page of If This Bird Had Pockets

Many poets take on a poem-a-day project during National Poetry Month. I haven’t decided yet if I am creating one or just following along with someone else. What are your plans for celebrating National Poetry Month?

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Poetry Friday round-up is with my friend and writing group partner, Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone

One of the best things about summer is having time to be creative. I’ve enjoyed designing collages on marbleized notebooks as well as writing poems for the Summer Poem Swap, coordinated by Tabatha Yeatts. The third exchange I sent off a notebook to Tabatha herself. And she gifted me with a poetic zine, Today’s Poem (after me, after Cheryl Dumesnil’s Today’s Sermon.)

More about making a zine from Tabatha here.

I love this personal-to-me poem, especially the line about toy phones. I’ve been answering a lot of toy phones lately with my little grands, and I love how this one line captures the Joy of being with them in just a few words. The magic of poetry! Thanks, Tabatha, for organizing this fun and meaningful exchange and for being my partner for this round.

Today’s Poem, zine by Tabatha Yeatts

Today’s poem
riffles through a pile of
to-do lists,
looking for blank paper

Today’s poem
answers calls
from toy phones

Today’s poem
hears sunflowers’
reminders to feed the birds

Today’s poem
clicks like a typewriter
while it’s napping

 Today’s poem
refracts a rainbow
into your bathwater

Today’s poem
runs back and forth
through an imaginary sprinkler

Today’s poem
fills your tank
and walks you to your car

Tabatha Yeatts, (for Margaret Simon, Summer Poem Swap 2021)

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura Shovan.

One of the best parts of this Poetry Friday community is the Winter poem swap managed by Tabatha Yeats.  My recipient this year was Matt Forrest Esenwine.  He posted my gift and poem on his site today along with a virtual Christmas party.

I received a handmade journal and a poem from Linda Mitchell.  She is in my writing group. How serendipitous!  She explained that she had gathered words and phrases from one of our Zoom meetings and weaved them together into this amazing reverso poem.  She also hand made the little snowman from cutting paper from an old discarded picture book.



With my students this week, we explored word wandering.  I remembered first seeing this idea on Today’s Little Ditty when Michelle featured Nikki Grimes.  Some great examples are included in the Best of Today’s Little Ditty, 2014-2105.  Breighlynn wandered with the word bell.


by Breighlynn

Bell is a shiny word,
the music in my ears
Ding! Ding!
The bell rings for school
for lunch
even playtime
Bells help us learn
just like music.


I played around with a few words in my notebook, and each one seemed to lead me to babies.  (Wonder why?)

Small is a tiny word
rolling on the page
where nothing is too small
to be noticed.

Small is my baby boy.
His lips circle and stretch
as he tastes the world.

Whenever you feel small,
think of this tiny miracle
and you will know
the truth
of pure love.

(draft) Margaret Simon

Grandbaby Leo with the blanket I made for him.







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Poetry Friday round-up with Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday round-up with Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

You be the book, I’ll be the binding
You be the words, I’ll be the rhyming
~That’s What’s Up, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Last week on Poetry Friday, Tabatha posted a music video and a paired writing prompt. I thought her idea might work well with my students. We have a class blog on Kidblog.org. Each week I post what I’m calling a “Snippet of the Sea” for students to respond to. Two weeks ago the quote was from Nelson Mandella. They watched a video from the History Channel and answered hard questions about privilege and education and the word weapon. While this was a worthwhile exercise, this week I borrowed Tabatha’s idea and lightened things up a bit.

Here’s the video from Lennon and Maisy and my students’ responses. While they did not have to think very deeply, they did have to rhyme and think about how things go together. But mostly, it was just plain poetic fun.

You be the front, I’ll be the back
You be the ball, and I’ll be the bat. (Lani)

You be the pencil I’ll be the lead.
You be the blanket I’ll be the bed.
You be the butter I’ll be the bread
You be the blue I’ll be the red. (Tobie)

You be the biscuit, I’ll be the jam
You be bread, I’ll be the ham
You be the green eggs and ham, I’ll be Sam I Am.
You be the beans, I’ll be the spam
You be Mary, I’ll be the little lamb (Kielan)

You be the socks, I’ll be the shoes
You be the trumpet, I’ll be the blues (Emily)

You be the sky, I’ll be the horn fly.
You be the sun, I’ll be the fun.(Andrew)

You be the sun, I’ll be the shine.
You be the tree, I’ll be the pine. (Kaiden)

You be the dog, I’ll be the cat.
I’ll be the hair you be the hat. (Jacob)

You be the needle, I’ll be the thread.
You be the say, I’ll be the said. (Vannisa)

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Today is my first day back to school. The kids come on Friday. Ready or not?

This year our gifted team plans to focus on heroes. For one of our Summer Poem Swaps, Tabatha Yeatts sent a prompt to write a poem from the words of someone. I chose to look at Malala Yousafzai’s words with the theme of heroes in mind. I found this image and quote.


One child
can step by step
walk across stones
wobble, fall, rise
to hope.

One teacher
can line her shelves
with books, voices
pointing the way
to climb.

One book
can open young eyes
to injustice, prejudice, pain
so they can build a road
to peace.

One pen
can move a single hand
to create new lines, new words
new art, making a change
to the world.

–Margaret Simon

Who is your hero? Can you write a poem off his/her words?

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Summer Poem Swap 2015 smaller copy

Poetry Friday round up is here!

Poetry Friday round up is here!

One of the joys of summer is the Summer Poem Swap, the brainchild of Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference. I sent a summer sonnet to Tabatha and she is featuring it on her site today. Thanks, Tabatha, for encouraging the sharing of poetry, making connections among us, and for keeping us writing.

Last week, I received a beautiful collage from Irene Latham. There are so many things I love about her poems. She chose two of my favorite subjects, herons and the bayou. She used a picture of a canoe. My husband and I have a canoe and don’t use it as much as we should, but when we do, it’s magical. Irene has obviously read my middle grade novel, Blessen, because there’s Blessen smiling next to the bayou. Thanks, Irene, for such a personal and special gift.

Two Poems by Irene

Link up your Poetry Friday posts with Inlinkz:

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

I am sharing my gift of words with you on Tuesday hoping to encourage you to join Poetry Friday. I was nudged by a blogging teacher friend to enter this community a few years ago. I have met some of my favorite people through this link up every Friday. One of these people whom I love and admire is Tabatha Yeatts. Tabatha organizes a poetry gift exchange every summer and around Christmas.

Summer Poem Swap 2015 smaller copy

Once you let Tabatha know you want to participate, she matches you up and sends out a prompt every few weeks. Her first prompt reflected back to Michelle Barnes’ ditty challenge for May, Nikki Grimes’ word play poem. You can read about the prompt here.

Tabatha sent me a poem last week. She chose the word “dance” because she associated that word with me. I love that. I also love her poem.

Zydeco dancing

Zydeco dancing

dance is a word
by Tabatha Yeatts
for Margaret

dance is a word
that flexes brawny muscles

to lift you up in the air
and land you gently on the ground.

dance sweeps and curls,
curves and arches,

giving everything
to sound.

dance matches song
to heartbeat,

pairing the rush of your blood
to the swish of your feet.

Here’s a peek at my gift. I covered a little notebook and placed my poem inside. Sh! Don’t tell. I want it to be a surprise.

little journal gift

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2013 poetry swap with stamp included
Tabatha Yeatts connects poets all year long. I signed up for her winter poetry swap and received a package from Diane Mayr this week. Diane doesn’t know me in person. We’ve never spoken on the phone, but she took the time to read my blog and even researched Louisiana. I was so delighted by her poem for me that I wanted to share it with you. She also sent a copy of her book Littlebat’s Halloween Story. It’s a precious children’s book told from the point of view of Littlebat as he looks in at a library from the attic. This bat loves stories and wants to stay awake to hear them. Clever story and amazing illustrations. Thanks so much, Diane, for your generous, creative spirit. Diane writes a blog at Random Noodling.

reflections on the teche copy

See more of Poetry Friday at Buffy's Blog.

See more of Poetry Friday at Buffy’s Blog.

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2013 poetry swap with stamp included
Tabatha Yeatts invented the Poetry Swap. I have been writing a poem each week to send out to my assigned Poetry Buddy. This week I received a poem from Tabatha herself. And she knows I have cats. The featured cat in my photos is our house cat, Mimi. These thirteen ways of looking at Emma could easily be about Mimi. She enjoyed hanging out on Tabatha’s poem while I wrote at the computer.

Mimi naps on a poem.

Mimi naps on a poem.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Emma

By Tabatha Yeatts

with thanks to W.S.
for M.S. and E.

The tail moved
always —
and after.
There was never a time
the tail’s journey was over.

The cat’s nose
in the dog’s ear —
whispering love poems
with her whiskers.

Anything can be hidden
on the ceiling.
No one looks up.
Except the cat.

The cat walks across the board game.
The whims of fate
cast furry shadows.

Only the spiral circles
of pacing and waiting
can express the longing
the scent of chicken

The cat’s bones
like a pebble
in a water dish.

Sleeping upright,
paws hidden,
tail delicately curving
around her side,
the memory of deity

The cat,
guardian, silent companion,
desires to be close to the rabbit,
as the tree guards the moss,
as the leaf guards the air,
as the earth guards the moon.

A plane can take you far from the world,
but a cat can always bring you to it.

The cat discerns the approaching rain,
spins, and returns so adroitly
you might never imagine
that was not her original direction.

Next to the cat,
the man sneezes.
The cat licks her side.

One cat stalks a darting fly.
Her sister leaves her sleeping post
only to find another.

Shadows fall around the cat,
the icy gray fingers of age ruffle her fur;
the cat gets up
and moves.

When Mimi is happy, she flips.  We call her "Mrs. Flips."

When Mimi is happy, she flips. We call her “Mrs. Flips.”

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Keri at Keri Recommends.

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Keri at Keri Recommends.

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