Friday, September 1, 2023

A Moon Poem

Ramona hosts Poetry Friday today at Pleasures from the Page. Thank you, Ramona! A big thank you to Irene Latham for the autographed copy of Moonstruck! Poems About Our Moon, edited by Roger Stevens and illustrated by Ed Boxall. In celebration of the upcoming publication of The Museum on the Moon, Irene offered Stevens' book of poems by random selection. It arrived in my mailbox! The anthology features Roger Stevens' fun poems, along with moon poems by other poets. Emily  Brontё's poem "Moonlight, Summer Moonlight" is included.

Moonlight, Summer Moonlight 

'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The solemn hour of midnight
Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,

But most where trees are sending
Their breezy boughs on high,
Or stooping low are lending
A shelter from the sky.

And there in those wild bowers
A lovely form is laid;
Green grass and dew-steeped flowers
Wave gently round her head.
With all these moon poems in my brain, I visited the Colby College Art Museum and found a moon painting! August Moon, by Dan Namingha, is part of an installation named "Painted: Our Bodies, Hearts and Village."  20 and 21st century Native artists' work is paired with art by the Taos Society of Artists in early 1900s New Mexico, creating a dialogue with differing perspectives of Pueblo culture.

Namingha's gorgeous painting inspired me to write this poem, a Nonet, which I learned to write in this poetry forum. If you're not familiar with this form, it's a nine-line poem with the first line containing 9 syllables. The remaining lines contain syllables in descending order. So 9 syllables followed by 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. Since this poem is inspired by a painting, it's an ekphrastic nonet!

Three Sisters

They stretch in waves of harvest color
now summoned by Moon Mother's glow.
Three sisters raised with strong roots
helped one another grow.
On a moonlit stage,
corn, beans, and squash,
laugh at
            ~Joyce Ray ©2023

Monday, August 21, 2023




This book review comes an admission – Author Toni Buzzeo is a personal friend! She is a New York Times best-selling children’s author who has published twenty-nine picture books, including the 2013 Caldecott Honor ONE COOL FRIEND, illustrated by David Small. I am delighted to recommend Toni’s first Middle Grade novel, LIGHT COMES TO SHADOW MOUNTAIN, published this summer by Holiday House.

Cora Mae Tipton yearns for electricity to come to her Kentucky mountain in 1937. Convinced of its benefits, she and her best friend set out to educate their classmates through a school newspaper, in hopes they will persuade parents to join the electric cooperative. Resistance to change comes from where it matters most – Cora’s and Ceilly’s own homes. As much as Cora loves her rural mountain life, she knows that the future will require communication dependent upon electricity. Her dream of becoming a journalist also depends on light for nighttime exam studies. Cora will win readers’ hearts as she navigates the demands of a mother suffering from depression, the near tragedy of an injured brother, and her own sorrow in her quest to bring light to Shadow Mountain.

Author Toni Buzzeo has created a detailed setting for well-developed characters in this story of friendship, family, loss, and personal motivation. While the action keeps the reader turning the page, Light Comes to Shadow Mountain is a rare gem of a book that invites reflection. Readers who love Lauren Wolk’s Echo Mountain will love Light Comes to Shadow Mountain.

You can visit Toni on her website: