Friday, October 30, 2009

Food Poetry Friday: Trick or be Treat

Welcome to the second Food Poetry Friday here at the She-Smoke blog. I wanted a way to connect my foodie friends with my writing community. Here is the deal: Food Poetry Friday, (or FPF as I like to call it to annoy my husband), has two parts. Every week I will try to post an original poem that has something to do with food. I will fail often in this endeavor, but will always post the second part, which is discussing a poem or a picture book text that grabbed me that week.

It is my greatest hope that you will leave your own food poem in the comments, or join in the conversation. It's meant to be lighthearted and irreverent. I write most of my poetry for kids, but all forms and genres are welcome. Some weeks I may spotlight a particular kind of poem to help shape our creative juices.

I sat down yesterday determined to write a Halloween poem. As someone who can work on a poem for years, this was a rather rash endeavor for me. No matter how much I wanted pumpkins or candy to be the central theme, the mouse kept getting in the way. Here it is. Don't laugh. No do, just not at me.

Trick or be Treat
by Julie Reinhardt
Cat howls, moon prowls
Sneaks down pumpkin row
Little feet, trample beat
Candy bags in tow
Scurry mouse, hidden house
Walls that she can eat
Cat JUMPS, pumpkin bumps
Will mouse be trick or treat?

A Halloween picture book I absolutely love and have been reading every night thanks to Suzanne at Secret Garden Books  is And Then Comes Halloween by Tom Brenner (Holly Meade, Illustrator). This is the kind of picture book I want to write. The word choices are delicious and full of images and sounds. Listen to the opening lines...
"When nighttime creeps closer to suppertime,
and red and gold seep into green leaves,
and blackberries shrivel on the vine...
THEN hang dried corn,
still in husks all crinkly and raspy
sounding like grasshoppers"
Every page calls and responds like this, building up to the day, then the night of Halloween until it says,
"THEN grab your bag or bucket and sit and stand and pace and peep out the window and sit again and stand again."
Doesn't it just take you back to the fidgeting for trick or treating to begin? The face paint itched, the wig kept shifting, the heat was on and it was too hot and you just couldn't wait to get out into the cold night to hunt for the horde of candy treasure. Come to think of it, my wigs and face paint still shift and itch. And Then Comes Halloween is Tom Brenner's first published picture book and he's from Vashon. Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Holly Meade's paper cut and watercolor is a perfect match for the text.
I still love Halloween best of all holidays. Happy Halloween everyone!


  1. Oh wow, I want to write like that, too!!!

  2. Hi Julie!

    SO happy to have found your blog. Love your poem and book suggestion. Looking forward to more Food Poetry Fridays. :)

  3. Fun poem! Laughing at it--not you:>) And it made me think of Billy Collins' poem...I think it's called the Country House. Not sure. Let me check. Oh. It's The Country:

    Too funny. Great to hear him read it aloud, too. His wry humor makes him such a treat to listen to.