Category Archives: Books

Sunup Sundown Song: My New Book!!! Now in Print

My newest children’s book is now available on Amazon. Go HERE to order.

sunup cover final (Judy)

“Wake up, wake up, my buttercup, my flutterdown and flutterup, my painter and my cutterup, your sleepy time is done.” So begins this silly rhymed storybook by Judy Dykstra-Brown that takes a child from waking up to a go-to-sleep-lullaby, chronicling in between a day full of activities and then the bedding down of the child along with a recap of all the creatures they have encountered during the day at their grandparents’ farm, the zoo and in storybooks. “Humpa, humpa, haravan, the camels in their caravan and puppies on the spare divan are falling fast asleep . . . like the foxes in their lairs, with the fleas down in their hairs. . . . Like your playmates, your teacher, and every living creature.” Sunup Sundown Song takes a child through the entire busy day and lulls them to sleep. Charmingly illustrated with fine details by artist Isidro Xilonzochitl. Meant to be read to children of all ages.

Books (For Daily Addictions July 21, 2018 prompt of Obsolete)

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Books

The fresh bookstore smell of them,
bending the pages to crack the spine,
notes scribbled in the margins,
underlines,
hearts with initials on the flyleaf,
something to loan or to wrap for a gift,
something propped up on the bathtub edge,
its paper sprinkled with drops-—
pages wrinkled into a Braille memory—
that rainstorm run through,
how he put it in his back pocket.

Poetry touched by fingers.
Single words met by lips.
Words pored over by candlelight or flashlight
in a sleeping bag or in a hut with no electricity.
Books pushed into backpacks
and under table legs for leveling.

Paper that soaked up
the oil from fingers
of the reader
consuming popcorn
or chocolate chip cookies
in lieu of the romance on the pages—
finger food served with brain food.
Passions wrapped in paper and ink—
the allure of a book and the tactile comfort.
The soul of a book you could touch, fold, bend.

Books are the gravestones of trees
but also the journals of our hearts.
Cities of words,
boards and bricks of letters,
insulated by hard covers or the curling skins
of paperbacks.
Something solid to transfer the dreams
of one person to another in a concrete telepathy
of fingers and eyes.
Books are the roads we build between us,
solid and substantial—
their paper the roadbed,
the words the center lines directing us.

What will fill the bookcases of a modern world?
Wikipedia replacing dictionaries,
Google already an invisible bank of Encyclopaedia Britannicas.
What will we use our boards and bricks for,
if not to hold up whole tenements of books?
How will we furnish our walls?
What will boys carry to school for girls?
What will we balance on heads
to practice walking with perfect posture?
What will we throw in the direction of the horrible pun?

Will there be graveyards for books, or cities built of them?
Quaint materials for easy chairs or headboards for beds?
Will we hollow them out for cigar boxes
or grind them up for packing material?
Where do books belong in the era of Kindle and Audible?
These dinosaurs that soon will not produce more eggs.
Perhaps they’ll grow as precious as antiques.
Perhaps the grandchildren of our grandchildren
will ponder how to open them. Will wonder at their quaintness,
collecting them like mustache cups or carnival glass,
wondering about the use of them—as unfathomable as hieroglyphics.
That last book closing its pages—one more obsolete mystery
fueling the curiosity of a bygone era that has vanished
into a wireless universe.

search
search-1Yes, you are right.  These are chairs made out of books.

In response to The Daily Addictions prompt of obsolete  Of all the technologies that have gone extinct in your lifetime, which one do you miss the most?

The Daily Addictions prompt is obsolete.

This poem written over two years ago and edited a bit today seems to fulfill the requirements of today’s prompt word. As I look at those who have already read it, I see only a few familiar faces. (Hi, Marilyn) so I’ll risk running it by again. (The prompt word today was mystery.)

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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Books

The fresh bookstore smell of them,
bending the pages to crack the spine,
notes scribbled in the margins,
underlines,
hearts with initials on the flyleaf,
something to loan or to wrap for a gift,
something propped up on the bathtub edge,
it’s paper sprinkled with drops–
pages wrinkled into a Braille memory–
that rainstorm run through,
how he put it in his back pocket.

Poetry touched by fingers.
Single words met by lips.
Words pored over by candlelight or flashlight
in a sleeping bag or in a hut with no electricity.
Books pushed into backpacks
and under table legs for leveling.

Paper that soaked up
the oil from fingers
of the reader
consuming popcorn
or chocolate chip cookies
in lieu of the romance on the pages–
finger food served with brain food.
Passions wrapped in paper and ink–
the allure of a book and the tactile comfort.
The soul of a…

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Literary Reference

Need to borrow a good book?  If so, click on any photo to enlarge all and read titles. Something for everyone.

 

For Nancy’s A Photo A Week Challenge.  on the topic “Literary Reference.”

Veils, Halos and Shackles : International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women,

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It has been pointed out to me that although I mentioned this anthology when I had work accepted by the editors, Charles Fishman and Smita Sahay, that I haven’t posted anything about it since it has been published.

Below is a link to an article about it from “The Hindu,” an English-language Indian daily newspaper. Headquartered at Chennai,  It is the second most circulated English-language newspaper in India, with average qualifying sales of 1.45 million copies as of Jan−Jun 2016. A friend sent me this link to The Hindu article, pointing out that the review mentions my poem, “Zauditu,” which appears in the anthology.

You can see the Goodreads page about it HERE, which contains some reader reviews and links to online booksellers.

She Reads Me!

The Prompt: Your book is about to be recorded as an audiobook. If you could choose anyone  to narrate it, who would it be?

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She Reads Me!

When ever I go off to sleep
there is some company I keep.
No Teddy bear or other furry––
the thing I use to stave off worry
of that proverbial smoking gun–
the unkind deeds I might have done–
is a simple bedtime rite–
an audio book to stave off night.

Instead of wandering my mind,
mental ramblings of another kind
fill my thoughts before I slumber,
for fiction does less to encumber
my dreams with guilts of past misdeeds.
Entertainment rarely breeds
nightmares of a shocking sort.
The words of others just abort
somnambulant wanderings through the vast
savannas of my distant past.

So–short story long, if you’re the same––
using sleep to sort through blame
for all your guilty pleasures past,
and if you seek a way to cast
off all these worries of the night,
and choose my words to soothe your plight,
When I lay you down to sleep,
I hope I’m read by Meryl Streep.

Here’s what I wrote the first time I answered this prompt:   https://judydykstrabrown.com/2014/09/11/3307/

 

Night Fantasies and Other Reading Pleasures

Night Fantasies and Other Reading Pleasures

 In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bedtime Stories.” What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?

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For his entire life, my dad was the storyteller in the house, but at night time, it was my mom who climbed into bed with me and talked me to sleep.  At first, she would make up the stories, perhaps fitting me into them, or weaving fantastic tales of everyday life that grew as I asked question after question.  (Present day bloggers may notice this same tendency in my comments! Sound familiar, “Relax”?)

One story would end, and of course, I demanded another.  Finally, she found a book of one-page stories to read to me, and when she got to the end of the first page, most nights she could be prevailed upon to read one or two more. To this day, I usually listen to a recorded book from Audible as I fall asleep.  As I’ve noted before, sometimes I wake up in the morning with the book still running and I wonder how it affects my dreams.

What a relief to learn to read in the first grade, so I could experience a new story whenever I wished.  From Dick and Jane to The Little Red Hen, I loved those simple plots that somehow grew so involved in my imagination.

Many of my favorite childhood books were lost in a tornado, but a few years ago, I found a number of others in my older sister’s library.  “A Walk in the City,” several Dr. Seuss books and my favorite of all times, “The Teenie Weenies” now reside on my own bookshelves.

It was in second or third grade that I became addicted to Nancy Drew.  Go HERE for that story.