Sailing Stone, National Geographic’s Book of Nature Poetry, & the Poetry Friday Roundup!

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome to regulars and newbies alike–I’m glad you’re all here. I’m happy to be hosting Poetry Friday today, and I’m extra happy to be sharing a beautiful new anthology edited by J. Patrick Lewis. You probably remember the Book of Animal Poetry, and now Pat’s done a second anthology with National Geographic, the Book of Nature Poetry, and I’m thrilled to have two poems in it. Here’s one of them, which I wrote in September of 2013. It was cool to read about the different theories of what causes sailing stones–one of those scientific mysteries. And since then, the mystery has apparently been solved (see an article about the answer to the sailing stone mystery here). I’m actually kind of glad it was still a mystery when I wrote about it, even though the answer is fascinating.

Sailing Stone

This Immovable Stone

This immovable stone leaves a smooth, stunning trail
in Death Valley’s vastness– distinctly alone.
But behind it, a path of reverse rocky braille–
this immovable stone?

How it moved is the question; the answer’s unknown.
How does a boulder go for a sail?
Nobody dragged it—it didn’t get thrown.

Was it blown by December’s fast, frosty exhale?
Did it move by some magical force of its own?
Science hides truth behind mystery’s veil:
this immovable stone.

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

Book of Nature PoetryOh, man, is this book is just gorgeous. (And when you remove the jacket, you’ll get another beautiful surprise!) In the coming week, I’m going to finally have time to sit and savor each poem. All I’ve done thus far is skim through it and ooh and ahh over the stunning photos and the contributors’ names–MANY of whom you Poetry Friday regulars will recognize!

In fact, I’ll be sharing a few more poems in the coming months, I’m sure. If you’re a contributor who’s NOT already sharing your poem on your own blog (I’m assuming that would only be the case if you don’t have a blog:>), would you let me know if it would be OK for me to share? Thanks!

The book publishes this Tuesday, October 13! I hope you’ll find it at your bookstore or library:>)

And now it’s time for the Roundup! Don’t forget to leave your link in Mister Linky below! And click through to find everyone else’s links to go check out.

34 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for hosting this week, Laura — and congrats on having your work in this beautiful book! I got a quick sneak peek at someone’s copy brought to the retreat last weekend, but I look forward to finding it and spending some real time with the wonderful poems and photography. Your Immovable Stone roundel is fascinating!

  2. Lovely to be getting inside stories into the poems that make up this collection. Thanks for sharing yours, Laura. How fascinating. And thank-you also for hosting Poetry Friday today.

    1. Eeep. And I’ve made a very silly mistake with my Linky… which should say, ‘How to use StoryBIRD’ — not Storyboard. *groans* (If it’s at all possible to fix or delete it (?) I’d sure appreciate it, Laura.)

      1. I’m glad you posted again–and I don’t have access to the links to delete the old one. I assumed the link authors would, though. No red x shows up by your original Linky to let you delete it? Oh, well, people will figure it out! :>)

  3. Can’t wait to see this new anthology — and all your poems in it! Never knew about sailing stones before — fascinating!

    At Alphabet Soup, I’m featuring Pat Zietlow Miller’s new rhyming picture book Sharing the Bread — review, interview + giveaway ( my link goes live at 6 a.m. Friday).

    Thanks for hosting this week!

  4. You really manage to capture the mystery in your gorgeous roundel, Laura. I’m so eager to get my hands on this collection!

  5. The book looks extremely inviting with its northern lights cover, and your sample poem. I’ll order it for the library ASAP! I’ll have to read the “mystery solved” article later, right now I’ll savor your poetic treatment of the puzzling rock!

  6. Loved your poem when I got my copy, Laura — and yes, I recall reading about how scientists unraveled the mystery, but fortunately the explanation is almost as cool as the mystery itself! Congratulations on your inclusion.

  7. Thank you for hosting. Laura! Amazingly, the Book of Animal Poetry you mentioned was gifted to a school library in honor of a little first-grader who died of cancer last April. My PF Shakespearean quote/acrostic poem honors her, too! As a kindergartner, she won a poetry contest, and loved animals! One of her wishes was to milk a cow. Friends and relatives arranged that gift before she died. Am sure she would have loved that second book; congratulations for your poetry being included. I’m very grateful to share a bit of this poetry-loving child’s story in this week’s post.

    1. In case she reads this, I have tried a number of times to access cb’s blog, but get this error message each time: “ is marked private by its owner. If you were invited to view this site, please log in below.”

  8. I too have never heard of these ‘sailing stones’, & read the reason too, but I can see why you’re happy you wrote before they solved the mystery. My book is ordered, can’t wait to read all the other poems about nature. I am sharing a bit of nature this time, too, Laura, about spiders, those quiet creatures entering my house each fall. It isn’t exactly a poem of joyful fall, but one of a dilemma. Thanks for hosting!

  9. Hi, Laura, and thanks for hosting. I agree– this new NG collection is absolutely WONDERful! And I love that your poem represents research, mystery, and surprise, too! My post this week features poetry for Star Wars Reads Day! Silly, but fun for me!

  10. Thanks for hosting and sharing about the anthology with your poems–the Book of Nature Poetry! Nice!

  11. Your poem is wonderful, Laura, and I just love learning about so many natural wonders I never knew about. You and I are on the same wavelength today, as I am sharing the poem I have in this beautiful book too. Thank yuo for hosting, and happy Poetry Friday! xo

  12. Have not yet placed my paws on a copy of this invigorating walk in the woods, water, wide world — but I know I will.

    Appreciations for your sharing your “The Immoveable Stone.” It’s an unusual topic & arresting photo & puzzlement of an event in Nature. Your line

    “How does a boulder go for a sail?
    (by Laura Purdie Salas)

    gives me shivers.

  13. Visiting the Racetrack at Death Valley NP is on my bucket list (and I, too, have written about those stones)! Love mysteries in nature, solved or unsolved. Thank you for your poem and for sharing Pat’s latest. I am excited to read! xo

  14. Laura, not only am I pleased that you are hosting Poetry Friday today but that you are showcasing such a beautiful poem in a must see book. Since I am so intrigued by what I call word weaving these words from your poem popped out at me: immovable stone, vastness, reverse rocky Braille, fast frosty exhale, mystery’s veil. They frame your poem as it beautifully unfolds.

  15. “Science hides truth behind mystery’s veil:” — very nice! I like the rhythm of your poem. Thanks for hosting!

  16. Those movable rocks are the COOLEST THING EVER. I like the intersection of science, truth and mystery — it’s the holy trinity of “Ooh, interesting!”

  17. Thanks for hosting.
    My selection is: “I Didn’t Do It” by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Katy Schneider.

  18. Hi Laura! Congratulations on having two of your poems included in the NatGeo anthology. That page looks wonderful! I like the mystery of that immovable stone and the trail it left behind. I just recently watched The Martian (which is a great movie, btw!) and the photo reminded me of Mars, minus the cracks on the ground. Thanks for sharing your beautiful poem as well as hosting Poetry Friday! =)

    1. Awesome movie! Ending felt a little odd to me, but my husband said the book ending was even more abrupt. But still a terrific movie:>)

  19. Love your poem and the image — can’t wait to see mine, but I don’t yet have the book. I think I have to email about it. Thank you for hosting!

  20. Laura, sorry to trouble you. If you think J. Patrick Lewis might like knowing, please share with him that a copy of his Book of Animal Poetry was donated to Lily Anderson’s school library in her honor (Lily is the 6 yr. old who died from brain cancer; won her school’s poetry contest as a kindergartner and LOVED animals), A number of PF community members shared how touched they were to read about the little girl. If you don’t mind, I would be grateful. Thank you!

    1. I will of course share this with Pat. I know he will be very touched! Thanks for letting me know.

    2. I shared with Pat, and he was honored. “I was so touched by it. If you happen to see the teacher(s), will you please thank them for me and extend my heartfelt sorrow for what must be an inconsolable loss.” Hugs. Your love of poetry and honoring Lily spreads further…

  21. I can’t wait to pop over and read more about this mystery uncovered. I’m so excited about this book and all of the poets featured.

    Thanks for hosting us today. I’ve been having a hard time joining the event. Apparently waiting until Friday to try to find a poem doesn’t really work for me. I’m working to try to start to find the words for my poem a little earlier in the week.

    Happy to be back,

    1. Yeah, the pressure when you wait til Friday probably makes it a bit tough! Glad you’re here:>)

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