POETRY TIME BLOG #28

September 30, 2015

Greetings my people:

 

Background/ stand-in for film and TV as well as government work continue rolling along here in Gotham City.  

 

I also had a lovely time performing POETRY TIME at Jackson Heights, St. Albans, Hollis and Bay Terrace branches of the Queens Public Library.  May the positive word of mouth continue to spread, leading to more paid gigs performing and teaching the joys of children’s poetry. 

 

October brings 2 poems of mine in 2 different anthologies from 2 giants of children's poetry!

 

October 1st brings the release of AMAZING PLACES, edited by Guinness Book World Record Holder, Lee Bennett Hopkins. My poem "Fenway Park" appears in this devine book.  http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Places-Lee-Bennett-Hopkins/dp/1600606539/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442514607&sr=8-1&keywords=amazing+places

 

Tara Smith over at the blog A TEACHING LIFE has highlighted AMAZING PLACES and included my poem in her review. Check it out! 

https://ateachinglifedotcom.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/poetry-friday-amazing-places-poems-selected-by-lee-bennett-hopkins/comment-page-1/#comment-9537

 

October 13th also brings the release of THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BOOK OF NATURE POETRY, edited by former Children's Poet Laureate of the United States, J. Patrick Lewis.  My poem "Changing of the Guard" is highlighted in this masterpiece of a book.  Also, my poem appears on the same page as a poem by the legendary William Blake! 

http://www.amazon.com/National-Geographic-Book-Nature-Poetry/dp/1426320949/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442515482&sr=8-1&keywords=national+geographic+book+of+nature+poetry

 

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes highlighted me and my haiku “Morning Thirst” on her blog Today’s Little Ditty.  Please check it out here:

http://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com/2015/08/haiku-garden-charles-waters.html

 

I continue to write, rewrite, and learn by heart my children’s poems, work on manuscripts, and stay open for opportunities.

 

I saw the musical AMAZING GRACE on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre.  Based on the true story of John Newton, the writer of the most recited songs in history, this tale of redemption had me in awe, not only of the performances, but the incredible set pieces as well.  My poetic heart was so happy!  http://amazinggracemusical.com/

 

I attended the play DELIRIUM’S DAUGHTERS, Off-Broadway at the Clurman Theatre, located in the Theatre Row district.  This tale of mistaken identity, tomfoolery and ballyhoo melds comedy, magical realism, and a well-earned emotional grace note at the finish.   http://www.triumvirateartists.com/about-deliriums-daughters.html

 

I checked out the play THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY Off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre.  This one person play tells the story surrounding the disappearance of Leonard Pelkey, a 14 year old lad whose determination to be who he is captivates the denizens of his small, Jersey Shore town. 

James Lecesne, who also wrote the play based on his 2008 YA novel ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS, gives one of the best performances I’ve seen in many, many years.  Mr. Lecesne convincingly acted out multiple characters that couldn’t have been more different in posture, voice and thought.   A true tour de force.  http://absolutebrightnessplay.com/

 

I saw the farce SHAKESPEARE’S PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY at the Riverbank State Park in NYC.  Multiple characters of Shakespeare’s famous plays made an appearance as they campaigned for your vote, explaining why they were the best candidate to run all of Babylon.  My friend and former Poetry Alive colleague Camille Mazurek played Lady MacB. Good times.  http://pulseensembletheatre.org/harlem-summer-shakespeare

 

I attended the documentary, THE STREETS OF HARLEM at Mayles Cinema as part of the Harlem International Film Festival.  This film, about life in Harlem, and the trails, tribulations, and hope that are embedded within the community, also featured an appearance by my friend and artistic hurricane Lacresha Berry, who also provided the closing song, was thought provoking.  

http://harlemfilmfestival.org/    http://www.berryandcompany.com/

 

To continue my quest to be a better actor I not only attend live theatre but go to the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT) at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.  TOFT has the foremost collection of films and video recordings of live theatre.  Since my last time blogging about this great offering I have seen:

 

ANNA CHRISTIE by Eugene O’Neill.

A SOLDIER’S PLAY by Charles Fuller. 

A DOLL’S HOUSE by Henrik Ibson. 

 

Read-a-Poem or R.A.P.  My rallying cry to bring children’s poetry to every human being in the world continues rolling along.  Not every book I mention has to be about children’s poetry, but that’s the main thrust.  I have read:

 

KNOCK AT A STAR: A Child’s Introduction to Poetry edited by X.J. Kennedy and Dorothy M. Kennedy.

TALKING LIKE THE RAIN: A First Book of Poems edited by X.J. Kennedy and Dorothy M. Kennedy.

CITY KIDS: Street and Skyscraper Rhymes by X.J. Kennedy.

RANDOM BODY PARTS: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse by Leslie Bulion.

SPINNING THROUGH THE UNIVERSE: A Novel in Poems from Room 214 by Helen Frost.

TAKING A BATH WITH THE DOG: And Other Things That Make Me Happy by Scott Menchin.

AS THE CROW FLIES by Sheila Keenan.

THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.

IN LIKE A LION, OUT LIKE A LAMB by Marion Dane Bauer.

IT’S SPRING by Samantha Berger.

WATER IS WATER: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul.

WHEREVER YOU GO by Pat Zietlow Miller.

YARD SALE by Eve Bunting.

THE GRAPES OF MATH: Mind Stretching Math Riddles by Greg Tang.

SWEEP UP THE SUN by Helen Frost.

THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT by Penny Parker Klosterman.

THE SWAMP WHERE GATOR HIDES by Marianne Collins Berkes.

BALLET CAT: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea.

DOUBLE-HAPPINESS by Nancy Tupper Ling.

PENNY AND JELLY: The School Show by Maria Gianferrari.

POEMS IN THE ATTIC by Nikki Grimes.

ALL KINDS OF FAMILIES by Mary Ann Hoberman.

THE TREE THAT TIME BUILT by Mary Ann Hoberman.

NUTS TO YOU, NUTS TO ME: An Alphabet of Poems by Mary Ann Hoberman.

THE RAUCOUS AUK: A Menagerie of Poems by Mary Ann Hoberman.

 

I'll end this blog post with 3 poems.  2 of them are from AMAZING PLACES and THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BOOK OF NATURE POETRY, and the 3rd is an unpublished one about the changing of seasons:

 

FENWAY PARK

In Major League's oldest

baseball Park

Red Sox Nation

provides a spark.

 

Its brick veneer

holds a diamond within.

We hurry inside

Game's about to begin.

 

While we sip clam chowder

on a crisp, fall night,

we cheer as a ball

takes off in flight.

 

I high-five Grandpa:

A double-play!

 

Fenway--

 

A tradition

that will never go away.

 

CHANGING OF THE GUARD

In their twice-a-day meeting

Sun and moon exchange

The same greeting,

“Hello,” “Goodbye.”

With a nod of their head,

One’s off to work,

One’s off to bed.

 

LATE AFTERNOON THOUGHT

Swaying on hammock as sunlight streams

through leafy shields of green,

sipping pink lemonade, wondering

how summer is over faster than a blink –

tomorrow … first day of school.

© Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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