Poets’ Mime


David L Harrison and Ken Slesarik


rhythm, meter, rhyme

footwork balanced on the mat

sparring in the ring

Myths About Writing Children’s Books


Top 10 Myths About Writing Children’s Books

Myth #1
Children’s books are easy to write.

Myth #2
If I write a picture book, I have to illustrate it too (or hire an illustrator.)

Myth #3
Children’s books have to rhyme.

Myth #4
Since my kids/grandkids/class love my stories, they would make a great book.

Myth #5
It’s really important to follow trends, and write about things like vampires and dystopias if you write for teens.

Myth #6
Boys will only read “boy books” and girls will only read “girl books.”

Myth #7
As soon as I sell my book, I can quit my day job.

Myth #8
After my book is published, I’ll be sent on a book tour and be a guest on Ellen.

Myth #9
Picture book characters should be talking animals, not children.

Myth #10
I’ll never get published unless I have an agent.

Ante 1


illustration by Elizabeth Stanton

Am working on a picture book about the foxes tamed in Siberia. Ever since the Rhyming Picture Books Conference in NYC, I keep thinking about manuscripts that rhyme, but have concluded that to have a story, illustrations that bleed on the page and regular rhymes is simply too much for the page! Love J Patrick Lewis’s poetry anthologies but he doesn’t have to lay out the pages; the art director does. And there’s no story with a character who engages the reader from page 5 on…I’m also grappling with science (non-fiction) and animal characters (fictionalized)
Meanwhile, I’m trying to use Procreate on an iPad to illustrate. Being a tactile girl, the virtual tools are not a good fit!
Ho-hum on I go.



Definition 379 Rhyme

Diana Kizlauskas Illustrator

Diana Kizlauskas Illustrator

greater glares at lesser

greater wings, greater eyes

greater feathers all:

moon smiles

across miles

greater than them all!

How does a Poet celebrate?

Project that voice!

Project that voice!

Vibrate vibrant voice!
Lock on eye contact: gesture!
Memorize pace/rhyme!

Went to Open Mic for Poets @ the “Wok’n Roll” Cafe in Woodstock, NY.
The costumes were outstanding.
The practicing to perform well was evident.
Mimes accompanied the repertoire.
Those who knew how, closed their eyes to grab each sound.That brought in imagination,
the glitter show of spoken poetry.
What a rush!

Easy-peasy NOT

Who's hiding behind Annika?

Who’s hiding behind Annika?

Who's hiding behind Oliver?

Who’s hiding behind Oliver?

I’m naming my new Blurb book: “Easy Peasy”. Its theme is electronic creating.
This is never “easy peasy”, but I’ve adopted the title because my 3 year old grandson
loves the rhyme of the phrase and the recitation has made tasks easier for him.

Even though Mark Twain used the phrase way before Google gave us references for the phrase,
the following definitions appear under the urban dictionary:

EasyPeasy Synonyms:
simple easy straightforward bob’s yer uncle cinch it’s a snap loose no sweat simple pimple uncomplicated batter bakin easy peacy easy-peacy easypeasy easy-peasy liverpool not difficult peasypeacy scousers shouldn’t be a problem

Easy Peasy
It comes from a 1970’s british TV commercial for Lemon Squeezy detergent. They were with a little girl who points out dirty greasy dishes to an adult (mom or relative) and then this adult produces Lemon Squeezy and they clean the dishes quickly. At the end of the commercial the girl says “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy”.

Today it is a silly way to state something was or will be very easy.
I will be in an out, easy peasy.

Can you open this jar of pickles? Sure thing easy peasy.
(from the Urban Dictionary
derivation of easy peasy)

Years ago we had the advantage of looking in a dictionary which was written locally in our own language and was culturally friendly.Today we search world-wide and need to decipher which links apply to us.The internet is overwhelming.It teaches us too much. We’re dizzy scanning the info to focus only on specifics needed. There’s little space to retain anything after sifting through the icons, codes, navigation blips, history, and general TMI! Scrolling skills are imperative. “Looking behind” the means to survive. As Oliver reminded me, rhyme stabilizes. Chant relaxes. Memorization frees me to create.
Andiammo! my fellow writers and illustrators!

Children Without TV #38 Heroes in Literature

Jane Yolan and Mark Teague tell how dinosaur gets well soon.

Jane Yolan and Mark Teague tell how dinosaur
gets well soon.

Three year old saw it
once; heard it once; kept the rhyme!
THINK: make a big stink

Today on Face Time, Oliver reminded me that his Mom had the flu. And that the dinosaur doesn’t make a “big stink.” This is a timely phenomena since he is navigating from diapers to using the toilet.
So he memorized the phrase from Yolan’s book: “Does he make a big stink? Is that what you think?” Every time he quotes the book, his family applauds for the young poet. All the acknowledgment is just more encouragement. His favorite at 2 was “poop poop toot toot”!

A Mortimer Minute (A Poetry Bunny Hop)

Watch those bunny teeth!

Watch those bunny teeth!

Bunny Question #1:
What does it take to be a children’s poet?

Bunny Question #2
Do poets use slang?
Often. They call it “colloquialism”. And it works well when it rings with meter, rhyme and local flavor.

Bunny Question #3
Can a poem have no words?
Some poems are sounds like this one from Germany.

I am touched by Joy Acey’s invite to spend a Mortimer Minute with these lively poets who preceeded me.
Feel free to visit their blogs:

Here is a video of me reading one of my favorite poems.

I would like to invite all those poets who take time to visit this blog to take a Mortimer Moment.
Just reply in the comments section if you are interested.

How Can a Poet Tell A Man’s Been In the Kitchen?

Messy Kitchen Sink

Messy Kitchen Sink

(sing to the tune of The Happy Wanderer)

When oft’ I go a wandering,
My nap sack on my back,
I know my man leaves odd footprints:
The kitchen floor has tracks!

I can hear, I can see,
I can hear
I can see ee ee ee ee ee
I can see
The kitchen floor has tracks!

The cabinets are open wide,
The sugar’s sprinkled high,
The dirt’s pressed down upon its side,
Like bird poo dropped from nigh!

I pull out pen and quickly write
As far as I can see;
While scrubbing clean the stains to right
And ordering cleanly!

I whisk the broom; collect the crumbs,
The meters in my step
The pots and pans, the prunes and plums
Are shining bright, yep, yep!

It’s time for rhyme and rhythm now,
The counters neat; food stacked.
The order’s back, you smell the chow:
“Come down and interact!”

A villanelle: My Treasure’s in the Cloud!

My Treasure's in the Cloud!

My Treasure’s in the Cloud!

My treasure’s in the Cloud!
My i-Mac stored it there!
Its debut leaves me proud.

Six poets found it: “wow’d”
My writing in the air!
My treasure’s in the Cloud!

Its rhythm’s hot and loud
My pleasure’s theirs to share
Its debut leaves me proud!

Kerplunk! kerplutz! kerpow!
The beat’s a rock-jazz pair
My treasure’s in the Cloud!

It shakes your rhyme, I vow
Castanets to flair
Its debut leaves me proud!

So jump ‘n sway ‘n clap
‘N snap hands hard on lap
My treasure’s in the Cloud!
Its debut leaves me proud!

Go see:

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