Friday, June 12, 2009

Mr. Domingo's garden is in love

I've been working on an article about nature poetry for a monthly column I write. Since nature is one of my favorite poem topics, it's been a lot of fun listing the types of nature poems poets write and finding examples of each kind.

In my search for poem examples, "Mr. Domingo's Garden" by Pat Hegnauer caught my eye. I used it as an example of a poem that shows humans and nature in collaboration or working together. It's a fun, luscious poem that I'm sure you'll enjoy. (Maybe it will even spur you on to sing opera to your onions!)

Mr. Domingo's Garden

Between garage and fence
the garden wakes and waits
for Mr.Domingo's attention.

He fawns in her seasons,
adores her harvest and fallow.
She responds greening for love.

Leaves shiver as he nears,
sprout to fruit reaching
to kiss the old man's hands,

soothe the arrogant arthritis
and the thin fiery bone
that digs and seeds and tends.

Read the rest...

(The article about nature poetry will be online in July)


This post is part of Poetry Friday, which is hosted today at Critique de M. Chompchomp .

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Imaginative retelling of a religious classic

Title: The Bark of the Bog Owl
Author: Jonathan Rogers
Publisher: Broadman & Holman
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
ISBN: 080543131-4

Take places like Tambluff Castle, Feechiefen Swamp, Bonifay Plain and Greasy Cave. Now mix them with characters like King Darrow, Bayard the Truth Speaker, Dobro, Aidan Errolson. a contingent of scheming Pyrthens and you have The Bark of the Bog Owl, the first book of Jonathan RogersWilderking Trilogy.

In this series Rogers retells the story of David from the Old Testament. However, with the exception of the main plot line there is little else predictable about the story. The reworked characters have been transplanted to a medieval fantasy land which includes symbolic alligators, a tribe of outcast Feechiefolk and a seer who goes around with a pair of goats.

The book is a lively read. Twelve-year-old Aidan, Dobro, the Feechiefolk, his brothers and the Pyrthens mix it up in play, celebration, arguments, hand-to-hand fights and even a genuine battle. The action and adventure are also delivered with generous doses of humor in silly songs, rhymes and Mr. Rogers’ droll way with words.

Themes that come out in this tale are love of God and country, bravery, honor and on Aidan’s part, a thirst for action and adventure.

Though we get to know Aidan best, there are other interesting characters as well - the mysterious Dobro, Aidan’s somewhat jealous and condescending brothers and my favorite, Bayard the Truth Speaker.

It is Bayard’s wisdom, delivered in the mysterious voice of an authentic but weird prophet that had me, adult that I am, reaching for my highlighter. “Live the life that unfolds before you,” he tells Aiden on their first meeting. Later he reassures him, “Do not ask, ‘Am I being a fool?’ Ask, ‘Am I being the right sort of fool?’” It is this sage foundation that expands the story from being just an entertaining tale and gives it value beyond the hours of entertainment reading it will provide.

Kids in Grades 3-6 will enjoy this series. If I were the parent though, I wouldn’t give it to one of them to read. Rather I’d read it aloud to them myself and join in the fun.

The book is available from

Monday, June 01, 2009

Find the right poetry contest for you

If poetry contests are a blur to you, the latest article in Poet's Classroom should help.

Read "How to Find the Poetry Contest that is Best for You" by the editor of Winning Writers Jendi Reiter.