Friday, 18 July 2014

A poem for the summer you were 12...

I post this poem each summer. For me it's salt water, Cape Cod, and that tenuous moment when the world becomes something new and unexpected the summer you turned 12. Enjoy!

Then that summer, Daniel

But for the dunes
and the tides,
and the changing marsh grass,
whipping out past the point
holding its breath on the turn,

we caught the biggest crab
with blue claws,
in our painted bucket,
and dragged it back to the 
community of ice chests and beach chairs,

conquered, stalk eyes waving,
one giant claw testing the air.

Flotsam in the river tide,
goggled like invaders,
we flippered as far as the marsh
held sea beneath us.
All that separateness kept to itself,
until beached, we scattered fiddlers fleeing
before us on the muddy flats.

One fitful gray day, we scale the cliffs
and wander the halls of the ancient hotel,
careful of the maids and billowing curtains.
As king and queen, holding innocent hands 
we waltz down the grand ballroom stairs.
Your boy heart finds a secret bell tower and widow’s walk, 
and we spend a guiltless afternoon, ageless, 
looking out to sea.

Then that summer, Daniel.
He and his shark fin
take the beach by storm,
mayhem in shorts and sunglasses.
We laugh in the dunes until
the tide turns again, and
spiraling stars humming in the sky
make us older by a day, 
and curious, and shy.


PD/2009
First published in the Adirondack review

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Review copies now available for Jake and the Giant Hand


"I have ALWAYS enjoyed works of the absurd; the theatre of Eugene Ionesco, the stories of Nikolai Gogol, the books of Roald Dahl. Now I'll include Philippa Dowding to that list!4.5 stars, Goodreads reviewer

If you like magic realism and middle grade novels, then I invite you to spend an hour or two with my new creepy story for 9 to 12 year olds: Jake and the Giant Hand forthcoming from Dundurn Press in September 2014. Recommended by both Canadian Materials and Resource Links magazines, it's a strange, funny, and slightly creepy read. You can request, read and review a digital copy for a limited time now on Net Galley: http://bit.ly/1fPh06b

Read more goodreads reviews here
Book details from the publisher
Read The Giant's Knock, an adapted excerpt in Taddle Creek