Laura Purdie Salas

writing the world for kids

Laura Purdie Salas

“Snowflake Wakes” by Joyce Sidman [Poetry Friday]

October 30, 2014

Welcome to Poetry Friday (and happy Halloween)! Joyce Sidman has a new poetry collection coming out Tuesday, and it is glorious. It’s a companion book for Dark Emperor called Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold (HMH, 2014). I love Joyce’s work, nature, and winter, so this is a triple-threat collection! The poems are lovely, presented in a variety of styles and moods and voices. From the surreal elegance of tundra swans to the ancient voice calling snakes to their winter home to the whimsical moose calf, you will love every animal and plant here (and learn more about each in every poem’s accompanying prose sidebar). While you’re deep in the enchantment of Joyce’s language and Rick Allen’s art, you might not even notice until you’re finished that you’ve learned an awful lot about the various ways animals and plants survive–or even thrive during–the winter.

I just realized I chose the only poem about a non-living thing to share here. Oh well–I tasted our first winter flurry on Tuesday, and I just had to pick this poem about snow!

Snowflake Wakes

Snowflake wakes,
arms outstretched,
lace sprouting from fingertips

Leaps, laughing
in a dizzy cloud,
a pinwheel gathering glitter

Drops into air,
suddenly soft
and full, a lattice
of stars spinning

Drifts down,
and tickling,
and clumping

Hugs earth,
sighs and settles
tucked in its own blanket

–Joyce Sidman, all rights reserved

Isn’t that gorgeous? “lattice / of stars spinning / silently” Sigh. Here I am giving it a read.

For more Poetry Friday fun, go visit Linda at Teacher Dance, where she’ll have the Poetry Friday Roundup. Linda always has the best things to share!

Scary Hands [15 words or less poems]

October 30, 2014


File:Scary Hands.jpeg

Photo: Ryan Norris – Ryanjr1 via Wikimedia Commons

Wake up your poetry brains with 15 Words or Less (guidelines here)!


Usually, I post my own pics, but it’s almost Halloween, and I like this kinda creepy hand picture. This image makes me think of:

1) a scary funhouse
2) a cross between a demon and a bull
3) shadow puppets

And here’s my first draft.

Camping in Autumn

Wind shrieks

Nylon rustles

Lightning’s flashlight

reveals creatures


right outside

my tent

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved


Now it’s your turn! Have fun and stick to 15 WORDS OR LESS!  (Title doesn’t count toward word count:>) 








A scary poem video for K-4

October 29, 2014

I love scary books and poems (and movies, even though I cover my eyes a lot during them). Here’s a cheesy video of me reading my poem “Midnight,” from a jack-o-lantern’s point of view.


See my spooky, blank eyes staring?
Like the crooked teeth I’m baring?
Feel my wicked candle flaring?

Am I smiling? Am I glaring?
Test the face that I am wearing:
Am I strange enough for scaring



–by Laura Purdie Salas, from SHRINKING DAYS, FROSTY NIGHTS (Capstone, 2008)