Here’s the next book in my series of 6 Capstone poetry books.
After the fall poems, I headed into the weather batch of photos. This group was full of more stunning images. I was so glad I got to start with two subjects–autumn and weather–that really appealed to me. I love pictures of nature, and that’s, of course, mostly what the weather pictures were.
I flipped through all the images and began making notes on them. Basically, I just wrote down whatever occurred to me, right there on the page. Sometimes it was a certain poetic form I thought the image lent itself to, but other times it was a thought about the topic or mood of a possible poem. On the lightning bolt image, I wrote “haiku?” For a boy playing on the beach wearing goggles and a towel cape, I imagined a poem about a superhero. For boys looking out a rainy window, I wrote, “magic of rain, how it softens everything.”
I did have a slight problem, though. There were a number of images with kids in them, and you could almost always see their faces. I found this really hard to work with! I was surprised by that. Actually, I don’t know why I was surprised. I don’t tend to like artwork with people in it, especially if I can see their faces. (That probably reveals some horrible psychological defect in me!) And with these images, I had a hard time imagining anything but the mood and thoughts of the kid in the image. So it felt very restricting to me. I wanted to focus on the weather phenomena, but I needed to work on the relationship between kids and weather, too.
And on top of that, there were kids of both genders and various ethnicities, and I needed to be balanced. Capstone did not want a book full of kids that all looked the same. But I had a few choices for most topics. Caucasian girl flying a kite. African-American girl with her hair blowing behind her. Asian boy with his hat blowing off. That kind of thing. So whatever image I chose for the wind poem, I needed to keep that in mind when I was choosing the rain poem, which also offered several choices of ethnicities.
So, it was a little tougher that Shrinking Days, Frosty Nights for me. More logistics to consider.
Also, I turned in a couple of poems that showed the fascination and even appeal of deadly weather. One was about a tornado, and it was kind of light-hearted. The other was about the deadly beauty of a hurricane seen from space.
From a Tornado (That Doesn’t Know Its Own Strength)
My whirling funnel’s
a windy slide!
I’m a twirling jump rope?
I’m a monster
roller coaster ride!
I don’t know why
I knew this might not fly, because the book is for young kids, and tornadoes are scary things! But poetry for me is about seeing the other side of things, and I loved imagining the tornado’s point of view. The editor apologetically passed on that this poem, though she liked it and so did the higher-ups, at first, didn’t make the cut. They were worried about parents or some reviewers having trouble with it. And while I thought that was too bad, I could understand their point. I actually revised the poem somewhat and put it on my website.
Here’s the tornado poem I wrote on revision for the book. Please note: None of these images are from the book. I just wanted to add photos to give you a tiny idea of what they go with.
Please release your
I also placed the hurricane poem on my site.
So, those were a couple of issues I ran into with this collection. But I still loved writing these poems. Here are a couple more poems from this book.
Through a windowpane
Streaked with sliding rain
Outside world has changed:
Blurry, velvet stain
Every house and car?
Soft where edges are?
makes each light a star
Wind Is An…
And, best of all, a
And this one goes with a glorious image on rime ice on trees against a Parrish blue sky.
blooming with ice
paint a shocking picture
of frosty white trees on winter’s
Speaking of weather, we’re dropping 30 to 40 degrees today here in Minneapolis. Yesterday it was almost 40–barely jacket weather–and today the high is 10, which is the temp right now and should be dropping all day. So I think I’ll go read a few of the summer poems from my book now:>) Stay warm!