#7 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2012.
Hey, Poetry Friends – You’ve got mail!
I’m pretty sure there’s nothing children’s writer Martha Calderaro would rather do for Poetry Month than visit your neighborhood to drop a freshly penned poem in each and every mailbox. Imagine finding a love sonnet, a bawdy limerick, an inspirational verse, a clever bit of wordplay or calming lyric nestled among the bills and bank statements!
Since this isn’t physically possible, lovely Martha is doing the next best thing: she’s written a poem especially for the Potluck, a humorous flight of fancy that doubles as a tribute to a vanishing breed of messengers.
She’s also brought along her adorable six-month-old Newfoundland pup, Daisy, who was there when inspiration struck for today’s poem. It sounds like in Martha’s neighborhood, dogs wax poetic rather than chase after the mailman. We’re doubly glad Martha’s here today, cause her special delivery also includes a yummy recipe straight from the Muffin Man. ☺
Martha: I’m thrilled to be part of the Poetry Potluck! When you first contacted me, I decided I would write something specifically for the occasion, although what type of poem, I wasn’t sure. I considered penning some modern-day nursery rhymes, playing off the fact that the recipe I’m sharing originally came over the computer via email, yet has a nursery rhyme association with the way my dad signed it. I also thought it could be really fun to write lyrics to a song (I have a vision of someday writing a musical—why not, right?).
Anyway, one morning I took a break from my writing session to walk our pup Daisy. Our mail carrier came along. He is a true friend to any animal in the neighborhood, always stopping the truck with treats and a friendly greeting. We chatted for a bit, and then it was back to work. I started thinking about all of the cuts going on with the mail service, and how that might affect the livelihood of mail carriers like ours. Then my mind drifted to mail trucks, and from there came the idea of someone basically stealing the truck not for any evil purpose, but rather to use as a vehicle, literally, for a poetry celebration. It’s funny how the imagination works.
by Martha Calderaro
Maybe I shouldn’t have borrowed it without asking,
painted it magenta with golden daffodils,
folded origami swans from bulk-rate inserts,
penciled nursery rhymes on envelopes that looked like bills.
In my defense, I’m not a reckless driver,
have to say, I love the steering on the right —
makes it easier to offer treats along the sidewalk,
like a limerick or a sonnet to recite.
‘Course, there was the issue of the sirens,
flashing lights, the G-men in pursuit,
Was it wrong of me to think that they’d been dispatched
to add a bit of fanfare to my route?
After all, Your Honor, this is April,
A time to celebrate in every home!
Sure, I took a joyride in the mail truck:
In every box, I dropped a favorite poem!
Copyright © 2012 Martha Calderaro. All rights reserved.
Although blueberries aren’t yet in season, I’m sharing my father’s recipe for blueberry muffins, which he sent me when my husband and I lived in Seattle (we now live in the Boston area with our daughter). Not only are these muffins tasty and the recipe a good one to make with kids, but the printout I have from my dad’s 1998 email is signed “The Muffin Master.” Naturally that gets me humming “The Muffin Man” – so what better recipe than this to share for Poetry Month? For the record, my dad doesn’t live on Drury Lane. And nowadays, he is more a baker of scones, which we often get to sample when we visit him and my mom on Cape Cod.
Heat oven to 375◦.
Grease 12-cup muffin tray (or use foil baking cups).
Mix 1 Tbs of sugar with ¼ tsp of nutmeg. Set aside.
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 ½ cups blueberries (1 pint), fresh or frozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
Mash about ½ cup of blueberries with a fork. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat butter/margarine until creamy. (May be preheated to soften.)
Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Beat in vanilla, baking powder, and salt.
Mix mashed berries into batter. (Dad’s note: Do not be concerned if batter now appears bluish-grey. The cooked muffins will look normal.)
Fold in half of the flour with a spatula, then half of the milk. Mix remaining flour and milk.
Fold in the unmashed blueberries.
Scoop into muffin cups, and sprinkle the tops with the sugar/nutmeg mix.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool about 30 minutes before removing from cups. (Dad’s note: I have found jiggling the muffin perimeters with a knife edge pre-moval from cups helps muffins stay intact.)
THE MUFFIN MASTER
Martha Calderaro is a children’s writer and poet who lives in the Boston area. She has never stolen a mail truck or tampered with the mail. She loves getting postcards but is terrible about sending them. She’d like to travel more and rectify that situation. Maybe in a “borrowed” RV?? You can track her down anytime at marthacalderaro.wordpress.com.
♥ This week’s door prizes are Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs and Meilo So, and Guacamole: A Cooking Poem by Jorge Argueta and Margarita Sada. Comment on any post this week to be eligible to win!
* Mail truck cookie by Just Sweet Things Too.
Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.