Poetry Friday: The Words Under Words

I have been redoing my bookshelves and shelved Nye’s book, The Words Under Words.  I love the title poem.  In a week, where a memorial service for college friend’s mother was held, it really resonates with me.

The Words Under the Words




for Sitti Khadra, north of Jerusalem


My grandmother’s hands recognize grapes,


the damp shine of a goat’s new skin.


When I was sick they followed me,


I woke from the long fever to find them


covering my head like cool prayers.



My grandmother’s days are made of bread,


a round pat-pat and the slow baking.


She waits by the oven watching a strange car


circle the streets. Maybe it holds her son,


lost to America. More often, tourists,


who kneel and weep at mysterious shrines.


She knows how often mail arrives,


how rarely there is a letter.


When one comes, she announces it, a miracle,


listening to it read again and again


in the dim evening light.

You can find the rest of the poem HERE.

Naomi’s use of language is inspiring.  It’s the noticing of the little moments in life such as the goats following her when she was sick or how here grandmother’s hands are made of bread.

The last lines of the poem:

“Answer, if you hear the words under the words—

otherwise it is just a world with a lot of rough edges,

difficult to get through, and our pockets full of stones.”

Find a stone today and listen for its words.



The application period to be a CYBILS judge has ended.  We are all working to finalize the lists and announcements regarding the panels will be published next week HERE.  There were so many applicants that were such high quality who applied this year. 

Nominations for books opened on October 1, 2011 and close on October 15.  Be thinking of which book to nominate.



To those attending the KIDLIT CON in Seattle, WA have lots of fun  learning, net working and socializing.  I know tha Jackie Parker and Collen Mondor has worked their brains out to host a fabulous event.  I am sorry to not be in attendance this year.

Poetry Friday is with Amy at The Poem Farm. Thanks. Amy.

Happy Reading.