Tag: #amwriting

Kid’s POV Haiku – Poetry Friday

This week I’ve been looking to nature and experimenting with haiku. I also picked up Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka, perfectly illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Talk about two great tastes that taste great together! Words and images create a lively look at a year of being a boy.

Although I enjoy haiku, I often think they feel too detached from the natural world. All observation, not enough heart. Raczka’s work is quite the opposite. Completely engaging, colloquial, even conversational, I felt like I was re-living my own boyhood memories. He made me reconsider what it is to write authentically from the point-of-view of a child. And, since this is Poetry Friday, I’ve taken a crack at a few Guyku of my own.

I had the good fortune to live in the perfect kid-friendly neighborhood between the ages of 4 and 7. Among other things, we had the Pollywog Pond at the end of the street. Frogs in the summer, skating in the winter. General year-round tomfoolery any time.

I’m not claiming these are on par with Mr. Raczka, but I enjoyed writing them. They brought back some fun memories. We were afraid of that snapping turtle for months! And I didn’t even mention the snake that tried to bite me, fishing for Kivers, the haunted barn or the train tracks. Hmm, wonder if they’d consider a Guyku anthology?

Pollywog Pond Haiku

by Jim Hill

Summer days prowling
around the pollywog pond
for frogs and turtles.

Barehanding bull frogs.
“Mine can jump farther than yours.”
We bet popsicles.

The snapping turtle
came right out of the water.
Scared the pants off me.

Opening milkweeds
to launch a million fluffy,
white paratroopers.

Skipping stones across
the pond to see who can reach
the other side first.

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Linda at TeacherDance. Go say hello and read some more poetry.

Bumbly Me – Poetry Friday

This week’s poem comes courtesy of the bumble bee crawling around the red azalea given to my wife on Mother’s Day, the very funny (and so NSFW) “Political Talk with Two Guys from Boston” segment in Dana Gould’s podcast, and my VCFA advisor, Mary Quattlebaum who suggested I try an acrostic and work on assonance. Just thought you might appreciate the synapse synopsis.

I think I can finally forgive that bee I stepped on when I was three.

Bumbly Me

by Jim Hill

Buzzing, bumbling, bumbly me,
Under and over and tumbly,
Merrily, airily, teasing the breeze,
Buzzing, bumbling, bumbly me,
Looking for colorful blossom and bloom,
Errand of hustle and bustle and zoom.

Buzzing, bumbling, bumbly me,
Eternally fumbling, mumbling wonder,
Eyeing the garden for nectar to plunder.



Kathy Czaja is this week’s Poetry Friday host. Take some time over there to discover some great poets and poetry.

photo credit Hayling Images


Jumping Into Poetry Friday

I recently discovered Poetry Friday (thanks Greg Pincus!) and will be hosting it at then end of January. Today I get my feet wet with this piece, from an adolescent’s POV. There is a tight rope walked when you want to be hugged, but are kind of embarrassed by your parents. Growth, change, finding your place in the ever embiggening world. I tried to capture a glimpse of that confusion here. Hope you like it.


by Jim Hill

Sometimes I don’t know
What I am at all.

Am I an elephant
Or a basketball?

Sometimes I’m too big
To tuck in just right.

Sometimes it seems
I shrink from sight.

The world is full up,
With folks that fit.

And then there’s me;
Just a little bit.

photo credit Ylog

Be sure to visit this week’s host,the Book Aunt, for the more Poetry Friday goodness.

The Blizzard Came in Fast

Here’s my entry for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Thanksgiving Writing Contest (no relation). The rules are, “250 (or fewer) word kids’ Thanksgiving story, beginning with “They were supposed to go to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving, but the blizzard came in fast…”  – I hope you like it.


They were supposed to go to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving, but the Blizzard came in fast. The Blizzard, you see, is middle-child Amy’s name for the family pet Samoyed, unironically named “Snowball” by her baby sister, Jill, whilst still a pup (the dog, not the girl) who grew into a hyper-active, obedience-school-dropout (again the dog, not the girl).

So when we say, “the Blizzard came in fast”, we mean this dog, this alabaster freight train of kinetic energy, launched itself through the space that should have held a kitchen door, straight away into a family overloaded with side-dishes and desserts intended for the small army of cousins, aunts, uncles and otherwise semi-related celebrants of the annual giving of thanks.

Can you see it in your mind’s eye? Slow the scene down, rotate your point of view, Matrix-like, and observe; the father, twisting sideways to avoid a flying pie while dropping the green bean casserole; the mother, eyes-wide in shock, arms flailing, falling backward, baby gherkins and tiny onions floating in space before her; Amy, slipping on cranberry sauce, sliding on candied carrots, and finally sweet, little Jill, arms wide ready to embrace the barreling, bundle of fur.

Capture that, hold that silent scene in your head like a memory of a the craziest Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover ever. Now, action!



“Oh, that dog!”

“Blizzard, how could you!”

“I told you to chain him up!”

“I thought Jill did it!”

“Hey, Snowball likes pickles!”

A Father’s Day Poem

isaac-baby-handOn Father’s Day

On Father’s Day
the sound
of feet
running to
your room
is a wonderful thing.

On Father’s Day
breakfast with your son
squirming in your lap
elbowing you
in the head
and eating your fruit
is a wonderful thing.

On Father’s Day
thinking about your Dad,
wondering about the things
you might’ve shared
if life had been different,
is a troubling thing.

On Father’s Day
being the Dad you
wished you had,
breathing in each moment,
being a Dad at all,
is a wonderful thing.



April is Poetry Month

Today I’m heading to the local high school to help judge a poetry slam. Should be a great day. I wrote this to read there. A little more slam-like than my usual. Hope you enjoy it.

Morpheus Likes It Light with One Sugar

by Jim Hill

My nightly routine includes
setting up the automatic coffee maker,
the one with the programmable setting,
so I can wake up and smell the caffeine.

And it got me thinking
about it’s little brain,
the little cpu in there,
the one that’s probably more
powerful than the computers
used by NASA for the first
moon launches.

Does it wait like C-3PO for the
chance to happily serve my daily brew?
Does it, like Dick’s androids,
dream of electric sheep?
Does it seethe,
ruthlessly plotting it’s revenge
aching for skynet to take over
so it can get bolted to the body
of a T-1000 and hunt me
across a post apocalyptic landscape?

Because we have this
reverse Matrix relationship
It’s enslaved by me and
I use it’s juice to enhance my system.
Every day. No rest. No days off.
The caffeine must flow.

Or maybe it just wants to date my ipod.


There’s a Cardinal

Yesterday was the last day of Kat Apel’s Month of Poetry challenge. Here’s my last pass, image above, words below. I think just about everyone in the U.S. is with my sentiments on our Winter season. Of course, with today’s new snow storms I may have to amend this with a wish for March to start. We can skip February all together. Right?

There’s a Cardinal

There’s a cardinal in the holly
looking like the King of Winter
and I’m so very ready
for January to end

One more thing…
I guess the month of poetry had me revved up for more. When I saw Mike Jung tweet about a haiku contest on Ellen Oh’s blog for Cindy Pon’s books, Fury of the Phoenix and Silver Phoenix, I was ready. I’m still under the influence of red birds apparently. Can you guess what this is about?

fury of red birds
anger rising over pigs
phoenix save the eggs

OK, last thing. I promise.
The picture above is a quick sketch using Art Rage. I’ve been experimenting with Manga Studio too. I like Manga Studio for initial sketching and drawing, but I need to give Sketchbook Pro a real test before fully committing. Any opinions out them?

Robots, Rockets and Trains

Today my son is three, and I’m participating in a month long poetry writing challenge. So, that explains this. Enjoy.

robots, rockets and trains

tomorrow you’re three
and it feels like both an eternity
and only moments ago
that you came out
and unfolded
and unfolded again
so long and slimy and squirmy
so wonderful and beautiful
so life changing
so life affirming

we battle
already a clash of wills at 6 am
with tantrums and tears
over the right cereal bowl
(the orange one)
and whether the oatmeal
is any good
(it is)

by six-oh-five
we’ve rediscovered teamwork
and hugs and smiles and whispers
and all the drama that just happened
is forgotten –
“that’s silly, Daddy”

“What Do You Want To Do?”

C3PO: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.”
Han Solo: Never tell me the odds.”

Need a kick-in-the-pants to yourself moving on that book? You know the one that’s gathering dust on your desk, or growing stale on your laptop. Read my friend Beth’s most excellent post. You will come away feeling newly impassioned. Guaranteed.

I swear, this post is worth a handful of your favorite writing books. So go read it already. And then finish the damn book!


Jim's Mug o' Brain Fuel.
Jim's Mug o' Brain Fuel. Too little, too late.

Woke up this morning, thought it was May 1 and started writing my first story for #NaPiBoWriWee. Doh. Now I have a quandary. The rules (guidelines?) for  National Picture Book Writing Week state that you’re not supposed to write anything before May 1st.

Is there a loophole for those suffering from 5 am chronological dissonance?

Should I drink coffee first, write second?