Okay, we just couldn’t resist ONE MORE installment of NPM. In May, but whatever. This, #8, is the last. Sorta sad. But with two such georgeous poems to remind us of why we read poetry, I know none of us will mourn long. Plus, below you’ll find original poems by RAW INK founder Paul Hankins and much-decorated YA writer Jamie Adoff. Hot stuff.
Paul W. Hankins (Indiana)
Papa Was a Rolling One
Papa owned his own roller skates;
a pair nestled in a glistening, glittery box.
Blue-suede beauties they were,
kept under watchful eye and lock.
A pair nestled in a glistening, glittery box;
it would glow warmly—hidden—under Papa’s bed,
he kept it under watchful eye and lock,
as if the sun itself could choose to play dead.
It would glow warmly—hidden—under Papa’s bed,
the touch of a boy would surely leave prints,
as if the sun itself could choose to play dead,
and that boy would claim divine right of inheritance.
The touch of a boy would surely leave prints,
perhaps rubbing off some of the shine
and that boy would claim divine right of inheritance
of the skates that Papa called, “Mine.”
Jaime Adoff (Ohio)
I reach back through space and time
crossing state and county lines only to find skates of a different kind
dancing off my
I watch her curly teen hair wave to me as she executes a perfect
older sister leap. Landing softly on the hard ice of this just made to order pond.
I look at my feet planted firmly on the ground—on that land
that held and still holds magic in its roots.
That land where it all started. In the beginning, and in the middle
at the end . . .
Another spin, this time almost falling on her hands
but she makes it look so easy. (And still does).
Oh, but that land where chickens and hogs and skunks and frogs all lived
together in perfect harmony— until chicken necks were wrung that is.
Generations before those skates and my sister and me and that day.
Generations played and worked and saved
for the future.
I reach back and can almost see the ice crystals floating past my eyes . . .
If I really try I can almost smell that sweet mix
of crunchy snow and granny’s morning bacon.
time for one more sister prance across the ice. A frozen moment of early life.
I think I enjoyed those skates just as much as she did.
c. Jaime Adoff 2012
Paul W. Hankins lives in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with his wife, Kristie, and two children, Noah (11) and Maddie (9). Paul’s work has appeared in poetry collections and short story anthologies. Paul works diligently to promote reading locally with his students in Room 407 through his website, RAW INK Online, and through participation in on-line discussion forums regarding reading and writing. Paul is a teacher consultant with The National Writing Project and he presents at the local, regional, state, and national level on literacy topics. Paul teaches English 11 and AP English Language and Composition at Silver Creek High School.
Jaime Adoff is the author of the “all ages” original poetry collection “The Song Shoots Out of My Mouth: A Celebration of Music,” which was a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor book, an IRA Notable book, A NY Public Library book for the teenage, a VOYA poetry pick and a CCB Best Book for 2002. The critically acclaimed “Names Will Never Hurt Me” (2004) was his first young-adult novel. In 2005 it was named a NY Public Library book for the teenage, and was nominated as a Best Book for Young Adults. “Jimi & Me” was the recipient of the 2006 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award, was named as a 2006 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, a 2006 NY Public Library Book for the teen age, and was selected to the VOYA Top Shelf Fiction List for 2005.
Jaime’s latest young adult novel “The Death of Jayson Porter” received the 2010 Buckeye Teen Book Award. It received *Starred Reviews from Booklist, Library Media Connection, and VOYA (5Q). It was also selected for the 2009 Choose to Read Ohio program, as well as an Ohioana Book Award finalist in the Juvenile category.
Jaime Adoff is the son of the late Newbery Award-winning author Virginia Hamilton and renowned poet Arnold Adoff. He lives in his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio, with his family. Jaime speaks across the country on teen issues, diversity, YA literature and poetry. His website is www.jaimeadoff.com.