Celebrate Through Heartsongs

Celebrate Through Heartsongs

by Mattie J.T. Stepanek, Mattie J. Stepanek

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Mattie J.T. Stepanek is an award-winning poet whose struggle with a rare form of muscular dystrophy has touched the lives of people nationwide. Celebrate Through Heartsongs, his fourth inspiring collection of poetry, features works written between the ages of three and eleven, and continues to spread Mattie's message of universal hope, peace, courage, and


Mattie J.T. Stepanek is an award-winning poet whose struggle with a rare form of muscular dystrophy has touched the lives of people nationwide. Celebrate Through Heartsongs, his fourth inspiring collection of poetry, features works written between the ages of three and eleven, and continues to spread Mattie's message of universal hope, peace, courage, and love. Fully illustrated by the poet, the collection will appeal to people of all ages, religions, and beliefs.

Editorial Reviews

"I have a song, deep in my heart, / And only I can hear it. / If I close my eyes and sit very still / It is so easy to listen to my song." In Celebrate Through Heartsongs, his fourth book of poetry, youthful Mattie J. T. Stepanek continues to listen to and sing his heartsong.
Jerry Lewis
My kids always amaze me,but none more than Mattie Stepanek, whose poetry reflects a heart and mind that soar beyond his 12 years.

Product Details

Hachette Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Celebrate Through Heartsongs

By Mattie J.T. Stepanek


Copyright © 2002 Mattie J.T. Stepanek
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-7868-6945-3

Chapter One

Celebrate Nature

How Poetry Grows

Be aware,
Be noticing,
Be inspired ...
By something simple,
By something unusual,
By something that touches
Your mind or
Your spirit or
Your life.
Let the feeling move your heart,
Let the heart bring words to your mind,
Let the mind create a poem from your hand.
The poetry is then completed,
The poetry is then celebrated,
The poetry is then shared.
And so, other people will
Be aware,
Be noticing,
Be inspired....

January 2002


Have you witnessed
The early morning?
Right before the
Sun rises, and
The sky glows
Purple lava-lamp?
The clouds are
The dark,
Lumps, and
The still
Gentle earth
Is to look upon.

December 2000

Nags Head Sunrise

The last two stars of the night,
The moon dimming into day,
Pink fingers of light reaching
Into less gray skies,
Dolphins playing in new waves,
Golden cloud-streaks greeting
The dawning ball of fire,
Up from the ocean ...
Sunrise on the pier.

July 1998

The Importance of Colors

My favorite color
Used to be sunset
Because I love
Pink and orange and brown.
Now, I have
A second favorite color-
A rainbow has all of my
Favorite sunset colors,
And also all the colors
That are in the sunrise
And in all the fish and birds
And in all the people
That God made.
Some of the kids at my school
Say that pink and orange
Are girls' colors.
But I don't think so
Because boys like
Sunsets too.
And I know that rainbows
Are for boys and girls,
Because they have
Pink and orange and brown
And gray and purple and blue.
I don't think
Girls and boys
Should have their own colors.
I think God wants us
To share colors,
And to like them all
Because they are all
A gift to us.

January 1995

Word Poetry I

From wild bouquets of
Morning wind and
Evening sound,
A song for all people
Blossoms and grows.

August 2001


Rushing, pouring arrows of water,
Aiming towards the ground to feed earth,
In many different forms and seasons,
Nonstop until clouds tire and the sun wakes.

February 2000

Word Poetry V

Tell her why secret bouquets
Build only dry glass blossoms.
Let summer grow full, and teach
With windy lace, pronouncing songs
Sounding of page after book of life.

November 2001

About the Weeping Willow Tree

The weeping willow is such a sad, sad tree,
But it's also such a beautiful and graceful tree.
Weeping willows are probably sad
When they are remembering things.
Like maybe one of their brother or sister seeds
Grew into a tree that was cut down
One day or one year, and they don't know why.
Weeping willows are like people who are sad.
With drooping branches and leaves and woods.
Weeping willows are beautiful like people, too.
Beautiful like a rainbow-tree because of the shape.
Their branches bend and slide over and down.
Like rainbows that are sad because maybe
Someone got hurt during the storm
That came before the rainbow colors grew.
Weeping willow leaves are very small.
Like little Heaven-tears and wishing-leaves
That fall gently down from the sky to
The tree to the earth and the people.
Sometimes I am a weeping willow tree,
Especially when I don't understand
What I'm feeling or why things happen,
Like when people are mean or
Like when brothers and sisters die or
Like when God makes people with disabilities.
I don't like feeling like a weeping willow tree.
But sometimes, it's okay to feel that way, too.
Weeping willow trees are special and gentle,
And sometimes sad things are beautiful,
Just like sometimes happy things make us cry.

September 1996

Leaf Play

The cold wind blows,
And the leaves
Fall to the ground.
They have changed
Into beautiful colors.
On sunny days,
We can jump
In a pile of leaves,
But only if
We are wearing
Our play shoes.

October 1993


I love the fall,
Because all of the leaves
Turn into colors.
Some turn into green ...
They are my tree-leaves.
Some turn into brown ...
They are my jungle leaves.
Some turn into orange ...
They are my pumpkin leaves.
Some turn into yellow ...
They are my butterfly-leaves.
Some turn into red ...
They are my flower-leaves.
I love all of my colors.
They fall down to the ground,
So I can jump and play
And touch them,
It is magic.

October 1993

Winter Tops

When it's almost time for winter,
The dew on top of the grass turns to frost,
Your breath on top of the air turns to steam, and
A hat hides the hair on top of your head.
But when it's almost time for winter
And the clouds are a little bit late,
The trees, without any leaves on top,
Stand on their highest tippy-toes
And scratch-scratch-scratch at the sky.
Like a dog scratching on its owner's knees for a bone,
The winter-sticks are begging for snow.
Snow that will look beautiful and be fun for playing,
And snow that will feed the trees
So they can grow new tops after the winter.

December 1996

One Day

One day,
I will write a poem
About the
Giant snowflakes.
Such a beautiful sight
My eyes beheld during
Just any mid-morning.
Huge snowflakes,
The size of
Paper snowflakes
Little children cut out
To decorate
The winter season.
Enormous snowflakes,
Thick as pancakes,
But gently drifting
From the sky.

Magical snowflakes,
From an elsewhere space,
That transported me
To someplace
Where I traveled
Through a field of stars,
Frosting past me ...
To me ...
On me ...
Yes, one day,
I will write a poem
About these
Amazing snowflakes,
As my Heartsong awakes.
Such a fantastic
White wonder
That led my mind
To wander,
One day.

February 2001

Between Winter and Summer

When the sun is in an empty sky
With not even one little cloud,
And the pink and white blossoms
Are winding from their trees
In a soft and warm breeze,
Then we know that the
Spring-King has come and the
Snow-King has gone for the year.
But the Spring-King is good
To the children and
To the grown-ups who play.
He gives us pink-blossom snow
To throw in the air and
To catch on our hands and
To smell in the spring sun
While we have the season
Between winter and summer.

April 1996

Butterfly Summer

This was a summer,
A Butterfly Summer.
A time and sign,
Of peace, grace, and
Beautiful rainbows of
So many colors, of
Rainbow butterflies.
This was a Summer,
A Butterfly Summer.

August 1998

Metaphor Lesson (I)

A bright blue sky
Is a cloak for the earth,
Keeping us cool, and
Yet keeping us warm.

April 2000

Metaphor Lesson (II)

A peaceful lake
Is a meditation
For the mind,
And for the spirit.

April 2000

Metaphor Lesson (VI)

In the evening,
The sun is
The precious gem
Of God's peace chain.

April 2000

Metaphor Lesson (XIII)

At night, the moon is
The marble eye of a
Curious rabbit, looking
Upon the world with interest.

April 2000

The Gift of Color

Thank You
For all the colors of the rainbow.
Thank You
For sharing these colors
With all of the fish
And all of the birds
And all of the flowers
That You have given us.
And Thank You
For the colors of the
And of the
And for sharing these colors
In the people of the world.
You give us color
As a gift, God,
And I thank You
For all of these
Beautiful colors and
Beautiful things and
Beautiful people.
What special gifts
You have given to us!

January 1995

Chapter Two

Thoughts and

About Living (Part I)

To be celebrated ...
To be savored ...
While it lasts.
For although
Life is wonderful,
Life is not forever.
People grow older,
And then they die.
Some people even die
Before they grow older.
Dying may seem
Sad and scary,
But once death is over,
We can actually Live
Forever in Heaven.

June 2000

Music for Life

Music is a part of life.
Like people, music
Comes in unique forms.
And, people like music
For many different reasons.
Mostly we like it
Because it touches
Our spirits
In some way,
Even if nothing else
Has touched our essence.
No matter what type
Of music we hear
On the outside,
It can awaken our
Heartsong on the inside.
And if we listen
To our Heartsongs
And bring them out,
We can have
A peaceful life,
A peaceful sense of self
And of family,
And be a part of
Creating a peaceful world.

February 2000

Peace of Color

A good, colorful world
Is the key to
A good, colorful life.
Remember that
Without color,
The world could
Be a dull place.
Listen to your
With color in
Your spirit.
Then, you will be
A part of the
Harmony and peace
That reflects
Our changing world.

January 2000

About Heaven ...

Now, I will tell you about Heaven.
Where is Heaven?
It is way over there, and
It is way over there, and
It is way over there, too.
It is Everywhere.
What does it look like?
It looks like a school, and
It looks like a farm, and
It looks like a home.
It looks like Everything.
What does it sound like?
I really don't know,
Because I am just
A little big boy
With a brother,
And another brother and sister,
And a friend,
Who live in the
Everywhere and Everything of Heaven.
But perhaps,
Heaven sounds like

May 1994

Post-Terrorism Haiku

Let us remember ...
We are the land of the free,
Not of the vengeful.

Let us remember ...
It is in God that we trust,
Not in bombs and guns.

Let us remember ...
Peace grows from a gentle heart,
Not one filled with spite.

September 2001

Hope Haiku

Gentle, and peaceful ...
We are the children of one God,
Yet, so many faiths.

True, we are different ...
Unique mosaic of life,
Still, we are the same.

United, we are ...
The festive fabric of life.
Divided, we fall.

September 2001

Simple Ablution

People complain that
Others cry too much.
How sad.
How angering.
How blundering.
Tears are like rain.
They come
Gently, or strongly.
They come
Quietly, or loudly.
They come
Refreshingly, or devastatingly.
But they always,
In some way, come,
And cleanse, and console.
There's a mess to fix
After the rain,
After the tears,
But it always makes people
And think.
And take notice.

We should all cry
For each other.
If everyone in the world
Cried with and for
Other people and life,
We might be
More caring and peaceful.
We could cry enough
That the world would be
A cleaner and healthier place,
For our people,
For our life,
For our future.

December 2001

About Meanings

Life is good,
It means
You are
Growing up.
And when
You are
Growing up,
It means
Life is good.

February 2000

About Things That Matter

It matters that the world knows
We must celebrate the gift of life
Every day in some way, and
We must always remember
To play after every storm.
It matters that the world knows
All children are truly blessed
With the innocent gifts of gentleness,
Trust, and compassion, which
Should guide the wisdom of
It matters that the world knows
We each have a song in our heart
That can inspire us in good times and
Hard times if we take the time to listen.
It matters that the world knows
Our senses can help us discover
The hidden and non-hidden
Enchantment in life, if we use them
It matters that the world knows
We must choose our words and wants
Carefully, or we could forever hurt
With these most dangerous weapons.

It matters that the world knows
Strength and value of all things
Must be measured by character
and commitment
Rather than by might and wealth.
It matters that the world knows
We must heed the valuable lessons of
Everyday life, through the celebration of
Children and Heartsongs, senses
and words,
Or we could lose in our journey
to the future.
It matters that the world knows
A person by my name and being existed
With a strong spirit and an eternal
To become a peacemaker for all,
By sharing the things that really

June 2001

About Memories

Memories are a great gift.
Memories are given to us by God,
As a keepsake and a treasure.
Memories allow us to call upon the past
Without reliving it.
Memories offer us opportunities
To laugh, or to cry,
To smile, or to reminisce
About old events and experiences.
Memories help us
Learn about the past,
So that we can pass on
Great happenings to young learners.
Memories support us
As we cautiously step into our future.
Memories teach us
About what things are good to repeat.
Memories warn us
About what things should never
Be allowed to happen again.
If we open our minds,
Memories allow and offer
And help and support
And teach and warn
About life.
Memories are a gift of the past,
That we hold in the present,
To create what can be a great future.
Treasure and keep memories,
For the sake of Life.

June 2000

Chapter Three

Celebrate Special Days

First Day

Fireworks in my head and stomach, Not knowing what I'll find or do next.


Excerpted from Celebrate Through Heartsongs by Mattie J.T. Stepanek Copyright © 2002 by Mattie J.T. Stepanek. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Matthew J. T. Stepanek, best known as "Mattie," has been writing poetry and short stories since age three. His first three books of poetry are titled Heartsongs, Journey Through Heartsongs, and Hope Through Heartsongs. Mattie is a frequent public speaker who has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, and Larry King and has had his poetry published in newspapers and magazines nationwide. In 2002, Mattie was awarded the Children's Hope Medal of Honor, the Verizon Courage Award, and the Humanitarian Award from the Pediatric Nursing Society of America. Mattie serves as the Maryland State Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and was the National Goodwill Ambassador in 2002. He lives in Maryland with his mother, Jeni, where he is homeschooled.

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