Guest Post: Annette Simon’s Book Spine Poetry

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It’s been National Poetry Month for a full week now, and I hope that you’ve found time to read or write (or both!) poems a-plenty. In case you’re looking for a new form of poetry to explore, may I suggest book spine poems?

For the uninitiated, book spine poetry is a form of found poetry that first appeared in 1993, courtesy of Nina Katchadourian, and then became popular when Maria Popova began posting her own book spine poems to Brain Pickings in 2012.

Today, I’m happy and proud to present a few book spine poems by my dear friend, Annette Simon, an author/illustrator/poet extraordinaire. She’s also lucky enough to work in a bookstore, with access to shelves and shelves of titles to inspire her. Below, she’s grouped a few poems together to create a commentary on parenting that many of us will undoubtedly find compelling.

 

What motherhood has taught me:

Annette Simon spine poem

Because…

book spine poem, spine poetry, ©2014Annette Simon

Another thing…

lazyday, spine poem by Annette Simon

Mental health days are key.

spine poetm by Annette Simon

Why not try composing a few book spine poems of your own? They’re especially fun to make with kids, and the library is a wonderful place to explore this new form of expression. If you do create some you’d like to share, please post your pics on The Well-Versed Mom Facebook page. I’d love to see what you come up with!

MORE ABOUT ANNETTE SIMON:

Annette is an advertising creative director turned picture book maker. In her new ROBOT BURP HEAD SMARTYPANTS!, the mechanical pals of ROBOT ZOMBIE FRANKENSTEIN! return with a new game – and the thirst to win it.

Burp to ten? Easy! Burp by tens while blindfolded, juggling and skateboarding? Simple! Now, add the alphabet? Reboot! (It’s one loud read-aloud.)

Please see more (and download free robot activity kits!) here.
p.s. If you’d like a personalized copy, contact Annette’s local indie, The BookMark. When possible, please support your own local store. Consider a kind word here, here or here. Affirmative?

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The Long & Winding Road Trip

roadtrip, spring break, motel, roadside

A week ago, my two teen daughters, our dog Daisy and I returned from a 2,348-mile Spring Break road trip through Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. We did a similar trip last year, though without our canine companion.

Although a little possessive of the space in the back seat, Daisy was a good travel buddy. Until she wasn’t. That happened somewhere around Trinidad, Colorado, when she developed explosive diarrhea. (I was going to write “a bad case of…” but is there ever a “good case” of explosive diarrhea?)

Thankfully, we all survived to tell about it.

THE LONG & WINDING ROADTRIP

ON SATURDAY, we started out
upon our Spring Break trip:
two kids, one mom, one dog
and one car wisely well-equipped.

I’d packed it with provisions
for both progeny and pup,
anticipating any need
that ever could come up.

I’d piled it full of pillows,
plus dog toys, drinks and snacks,
a stack of books and all three
High School Musical soundtracks.

How well-prepared were we,
with our fully furnished load!
I knew we’d see the miles speed by
once we hit the road.

And sure enough, as 20 clicks
inched off my Google map,
the kids got busy reading
and the dog began to nap.

BUT THEN, just 30 minutes in,
–our mileage still quite low–
I heard a peep from the back seat:
“Uh, Mom? I gotta go.”

No big deal, even though
we’d barely left our town;
just one quick stop and then we
buckled up and settled down.

At mile 68,
our dog announced her need to pee;
at mile 92,
it was a coffee break for me.

A hundred forty miles in
(Woot! We’re on a roll!)
I sheepishly turned off again –
my coffee took its toll.

Convinced by kids to stop for lunch
three hours into our drive,
I also exited for gas
at mile 205.

At mile 289,
of course our dog got sick.
At mile 332,
well, I had to snap that pic.

And so in spite of my intent
to speed on through our travel,
I saw my plans – just like the miles -
reluctantly unravel.

I realize, of course,
that it’s not just the destination
that makes the trek worthwile
when you set off on your vacation.

A ROAD TRIP, though, most likely won’t be
next year’s undertaking;
I’ve learned my lesson all too well
from all of our spring braking.

©2014 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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dog portrait, dog photo

FIRST DATE

©2014 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved

The anxiety.

The awkwardness.

The hope.

The humanity.

Ahhh, the joys of dating. For many of us, they’re but a distant memory. For others among us, they’re still very much a reality…

.

FIRST DATE

The call just came – you’re going to meet!
Now:  What to do? Where to eat?
A morning stroll? A picnic lunch?
A dinner chat? A weekend brunch?

What to wear? What to say?
Meet at night? Or by day?
All these choices you must make
are stressful with so much at stake.

You hope you’ll click. You hope it’s fun.
You’re thinking this could be the one.
While on your way, you say a prayer
that all goes well when you get there.

You want this first date to succeed,
so best behavior’s what you need.
That means good manners, smiles and caring;
taking turns and nicely sharing.

You hope there’ll be no tears while dining.
And no tantrums. And no whining.
No fussiness, no arguments,
and please, oh please, no accidents!

It’s tougher than when you were single,
cruising bars to mix and mingle;
it’s hard, it’s brutal – even mean -
this merciless new dating scene.

For nothing sets your nerves aflutter
than meeting with another mother
and her child to know just whether
the four of you play well together.

And afterward it’s just as bad,
for if you liked the time you had,
you’re just more anxious, after all,
because, you know, she said she’d call

©2010 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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