The very first pieces I had published were poems for children. There's something playful about the rhythm and rhyme in children's poetry that brings to mind endless summers and somersaults, birthday cake and paper hats. And of course, there's rain. The illustrations included with the poems below are not those from the published versions, but my own.
Invitation to Dance
Night windows and walls composed with a brush
of slatted ray ribbons, cobwebs and dust,
raindrops that dance on the face of the moon,
weaving their patterns, tapping out tunes,
and pasted on walls in dark umber tones,
while winds in the willow whistle and moan,
chasing through branches that bend with the rain,
scratch at the window and whisper my name,
parting lace curtains that sway in the breeze,
tapping my shoulder—“Wake up if you please.
Wake up, come out—to the window, climb down.
Let your toes sink in the rain-covered ground.
Let the rain flatten the hair to your skin.
Turn, throw back your head and let the rain in.
Laugh as it skips on the tip of your tongue.
Sway, step with the rhythms, circle then run
through long grass, through marshes, hilltops, and streams.
Give in to the rhythms. Shake loose your dreams.
Succumb to melodies etched on the pane.
Wake from your slumber, come dance with the rain.”
(Originally published in Cicada Magazine, March 2006)
Rainy Night Opera(Excerpt)
By: Debbie Ouellet
...Cymbals crashing in the sky,
Thunder sounding way up high.
Croaking, ribbit, all alone,
The bullfrog sings in baritone.
Chirping, whirring with their feet,
Crickets keep a tango beat...
(If you'd like to read this poem in its entirety, you can purchase Animals on Parade, by Owl Books (a collection of poetry from Chirp Magazine, including my poem, 'Rainy Night Opera') at bookstores or visit the link below to order online.)
('Rainy Night Opera' has been published several times and was first published in chickaDee Magazine in April of 1999. It has since been reproduced in the children's book 'Animals on Parade', released by Owl Books in September of 2006.)