martha calderaro’s special delivery

#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.

Daisy, Martha’s Muse: “Pat me. You know you want to.”

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?).

“I’m a pawsome poet!”

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.

Poetry Postcards via Changeover

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.


nom nom

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.)





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


Previously: Menu/Giveaway/Door PrizesApril Pulley SayreMary QuattlebaumHelen FrostLinda AshmanGail Gerwin.

♥ 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.

61 thoughts on “martha calderaro’s special delivery

  1. Oh, yum! I’m going to print out this post. How nice to have a “Dad” recipe. Oh, maybe if you “borrow” my car, you can paint a bucolic scene over the dent in the side from driving through last year’s ice. That way, when I turn it in at the end of the lease, the dealership will find a poem of apology and not charge me for the damage.


    1. I think it’s worth a try :). Never underestimate the power of a good poem of apology. Of course, a warm batch of muffins on the car seat might help too.


  2. Two of my favorite things: Blueberry Muffins and handwritten poetry in my Mailbox (or in the absence thereof, this lovely post from Jama which carries Ms. Calderaro’s distinct voice and photos of yummylicious muffins). Here are my favorite lines:

    ‘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?

    The thought of G-men in pursuit is enough to make me smile. That does add fanfare more than anything else! *cheeky grin* 🙂 Daisy is Adorable!! 🙂


    1. Glad you enjoyed! Thankfully no G-men have shown up here, though I’m happy to share poetry with any interested government representative. Daisy is a sweetie, thanks!


  3. Okay, that adorable puppy almost ran away with this post . . . I was ready to sign up for a Newfie until I remembered how BIG they get. Winchester’s enough of a lug. I *love* the notion of stealing the mail truck–they are really cool vehicles, short and boxy, easy to maneuver. And stuffed with mail, what could be better? Except for blueberry muffins. Wish the Muffin Master was at my house this morning!


  4. Ooh. I had blueberry scones yesterday that made me VERY happy. I think this recipe sounds lovely. As does the idea of a stolen mail truck!


      1. I don’t know if I could get used to having the steering wheel on the right, though. Maybe you could drive, Martha, and I’ll sit next to you (or on the pile of mail), eating muffins while you deliver those poems.


  5. I just loved Martha’s poem and the recipe. The poem really highlights how important poetry is to everyone who loves a read aloud story. I hope this inspires more parents to read more poetry to their children. As a retired first grade teacher, I will tell you that my classes of children loved all kinds of poetry and enjoyed trying their hand at writing it. So “a poem in every pocket and a poem in every mailbox!”

    I am leaving one in my mail box for my letter carrier today!
    Marilyn Salerno, SCBWI NE coordinator


  6. I love your poem, it brings out the child in me to do something a little naughty!
    Blueberry muffins sealed the deal for me.


  7. Love muffins, but these are even better because they’re from the ‘muffin master’. I never thought of hijacking a mail truck for poetry, but I have wanted to get the school systems to put poetry in their school buses (a la NYC subways). Your poet is delightful, & love that idea of passing out more treats like a sonnet or a limerick because the steering’s on the right! I send a postcard to my grandson every week, so you’ve given me the thought of sending a poem this time. Can’t believe that I’ve not thought of that this April. Thanks Jama and Martha!


    1. Linda, I love the bus idea too!! I can’t see why there’d be any opposition to it. And I also love that you send postcards to your grandson every week.


  8. Jama and Martha, today’s post was TOO much fun. [Post – ha! My brain’s tickled.] I think my favorite part would be those folded origami swans from bulk-rate inserts – but those golden daffodils are delectable, too. Are those Wordsworth’s daffodils against that magenta?

    And please pass a blueberry muffin – thanks!


    1. Yes, indeed those are Wordsworth’s daffodils! Happy to share the muffin platter! Thanks, Robyn!


    2. Ha — a post about the post! Love how your mind works, Robyn :).Surely you deserve an extra muffin today. Wordsworth would be proud.


      1. Mmm… an extra muffin! Thanks, Martha and Jama. And I forgot to mention – OF COURSE I want to pet that beautiful Daisy! I can run with the big dogs – woof! ;0)


  9. This just broke me out of my post-vacation funk. Loved the poem, Martha. So much fun. I’ll be checking the window around mail time for a blur of daffodils.
    : )


    1. Yes, glad the poem pulled you from your funk! I’ll be sure to beep when I go by!


  10. What a fun post. Daisy looks so soft and fluffy – I’d carry treats for her too!

    One street over from me is, indeed, Drury Lane. If it weren’t a solely residential area, I’d be tempted to open a muffin shop there.

    Thanks for the poem and treats!


    1. Really? That’s so cool to live near an actual Drury Lane. I have this picture in my mind of everyone standing in their driveways eating muffins and reciting poetry now.


    2. Thanks, Cathy! There’s an actual Drury Lane not too far from me, too. But it’s closer to a Dairy Queen than a muffin shop.


  11. One day walking home from school my son and his friend brought home ALL the mail from the mailboxes of EVERY house on the way home. They left each house a Crayon drawing! I was at work so the babysitter had to run and put all the mail back!!


    1. Funny story, Libby! Probably not so funny at the time. It *is* cute that they left drawings for everyone in exchange for the mail.


  12. I am thoroughly enjoying all your poetry potluck posts! Love the idea of a mailtruck delivering poems to all! Great poem, thank you! And I hope the poet won’t mind that I copied down her father’s recipe and hope to use it soon!


    1. I’m sure Martha and the Muffin Master won’t mind. When you make the muffins, don’t forget to recite a favorite poem while you’re making the batter, or read more Mary Oliver poetry when the muffins are in the oven. 🙂


      1. Glad to hear you’re going to try the muffin recipe — enjoy!! And glad you liked the poem too!


  13. Thanks, Jama, for all the fun today! I enjoyed my day at the Potluck! Fun USPS truck cookie too!


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