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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poety Friday - WATCH Out- It's a New Pomelo Poetry Book!

 

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers! Just in time for holiday gifting, there's a brand new book from Pomelo Books, THINGS WE WEAR. Part of the "THINGS WE" series, this poetry collection features poems created and honed as part of the wonderful online Anthology workshops offered by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, the FORCES behind all things Pomelo.

 

I've had the good fortune to participate in a couple of these workshops, along with several Poetry Friday regulars and new faces and voices, too!

 

The books in this series (THINGS WE DO,THINGS WE EAT, and THINGS WE FEEL) contain a poem for each letter of the alphabet.  Proceeds from book sales go to the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund, another reason to add these to your gift lists for the youngest readers and listeners.

 

THINGS WE WEAR, with poems by 26 authors, features some expected topics, such as "Pajamas" for P and "Dress" for D.  But how about "Earmuffs" for E, "Kippah" for K, and "Yukata" for Y?  Learn more about this collection and find ordering info here

 

My poem is about one of my favorite things, a watch!  I've always worn one myself (& got a new one from my hubby last Christmas).  I'm somewhat obsessed with old watch parts – the older the better – and have enjoyed using them in artsyletters creations.  I don't have a lot of timepiece-parts-laced collages and such in my Etsy shop at the moment, but You Just Wait (another terrific Pomelo title): after we move early next year and I get to embrace a new studio space in our house, I'll have lots of room for lots of art projects.  And, hopefully, more TIME for making since I'll have the space part worked out!

 

Here's my poem, pictured above in the fun poem card created by Sylvia and Janet, and pictured below that, embellished with vintage watch parts because I couldn't help myself.

 

WATCH

 

Skinny hands

move on its face

second by second – tick, tick.

 

A clock with a band

always in place

never too slow or too quick, quick.

 

There isn't a buzz

a beep or a chime

but watching my watch –

I can tell time!

 

©Robyn Hood Black

 

 

Our multi-talented Michelle Kogan has this week's Roundup.  So glance at your watch later, and for now go enjoy some great poetry!

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Poetry Friday - Emily Dickinson's "Winter is Good"

New ornament featuring a vintage Emily Dickinson postage stamp- listing is here in my Etsy shop! (I have William Shakespeare, too. ;0) )

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  I hope you had a good Thanksgiving weekend last week, wherever you were.  Prayers for all with an empty chair at the holidays this year.

 

Over here  on the South Carolina Coast, Friday morning temps will be in the 40s, which is chilly for us. (Then we'll warm back up.)  But pictures of growing piles of snow from the Northwest to the Plains are something else altogether, like the pictures posted online recently by our own Amy Ludwig VanDerwater up in New York state. 

 

So here's a little poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) for the new season.  (Love the last line... we were happy to say goodbye to the hurricane season, by the way, on Wednesday!)

 

 

Winter is good - his Hoar Delights (1316)


Emily Dickinson 

Winter is good - his Hoar Delights
Italic flavor yield -
To Intellects inebriate
With Summer, or the World -

Generic as a Quarry
And hearty - as a Rose -
Invited with asperity
But welcome when he goes.

 

Happy December! 

 

Grab your snowshoes and shuffle on over to see our lovely Catherine at Reading to the Core for this week's Roundup!

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Poetry Friday - Vowel Poetry Fun from Jonathan Swift & artsyletters

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

The poem I'm sharing this week is an offering of levity, with so much going on in the world this month.  From a 19th-Century copy of CROWN JEWELS (or Gems of Literature, Art, and Music ...) compiled by Henry Davenport Norhtrop and published by Pennsylvania Publishing Company in 1887, I plucked this wee riddle poem by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), then gave it the artsyletters mini collage treatment.

 

On the Vowels

 

by Jonathan Swift

 

We are little airy creatures,

All of different voice and features:

One of us in glass is set,

One of us you'll find in jet;

T'other you may see in tin,

And the fourth a box within;

If the fifth you should pursue,

It can never fly from you.

 

I thought those "little airy creatures" would pair well with some old lace! Though the blocky midcentury brass letters are anything but airy, I suppose - so here's to a little contrast!

 

If you are hungry for more vowels, and consonants, then of COURSE you must make your way to Jama's Alphabet Soup, where our beautiful & talented letter-wrangling host has this week's Roundup! 

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Poetry Friday - Melissa Whiteford St. Clair - DAR Award

Melissa Whiteford St. Clair and her winning photograph.

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  I'm happy to introduce you to a person and a poem on this Veterans Day.  Last weekend I was walking downtown and heard my name called from across the street.  A familiar face and friendly wave were just outside the Beaufort Art Association gallery. I was trying to sort it out; it looked like Melissa St. Clair, but wasn't she in a different part of the state now?  She and her husband had attended the same church as Jeff and I, though we haven't been many times since the pandemic.  That, plus their move, is probably why I didn't know about the interesting things she's been up to in the last couple of years.

 

Melissa was in town because last year, she had the winning photo in a contest, and it is on display at the art association gallery for the month of November.  Her photo of the Beaufort National Cemetery with Wreaths Across America was selected by the South Carolina Society of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) "Rise and Shine: What American Means To Me" Committee. Entries could include a caption or a short paragraph up to 100 words and were judged on interpretation of theme, creativity, and overall impression by a panel of two DAR Members and one non-DAR Member.

 

Here is the accompanying poem:

 

   What America Means to Me

 

Democracy

Hypocrisy

Boiling Points

Melting Pot

 

Juxtapositions

Traditions

Assimilate

Don't Congregate

Unity 

Impunity

 

Unrest

Blessed

Dressing graves

Heroes n'er forget

 

©Melissa Whiteford St. Clair

 

 

Sponsored by the Thomas Heyward Jr. Chapter in Beaufort, SC, St. Clair was presented with the award certificate by Mrs. Gail LaGrone Newton, State Americanism Chair and current President of the Beaufort [SC] Chapter at the 2022 SC DAR State Conference.

 

"I am honored to share this photograph and companion poem display with patrons of the Beaufort Art Association Gallery, especially during the month of November when we set aside a day, Veterans Day, to thank our active duty and retired servicemembers and leading up to the annual Wreaths Across America Day in December," she said. The full press release about the award can be found here

Melissa is no stranger to a life of service.  She married her high school sweetheart, who joined the military.  They traveled the next 30 years wherever the US Marine Corps sent them.

 

I discovered that in addition to making an appearance at the gallery for our November First Friday celebration, Melissa also attended a poetry workshop at the Pat Conroy Literary Center while she was in the neighborhood. She published a collection of poetry last year called WHITE GIRL HOMEWORK.  (You can find it on Amazon here.) I had no idea! 

 

She explains that the rise of social injustic in the United States deeply affected her emotionally, and she began a journey that led her to found White Girl Advocacy, LLC.  (Click here to learn more.) The organization's purpose is to "share history lessons plus creative arts for white women who want to be better friends, neighbors, colleagues, and community-builders - better humans."  She launched her chapbook, the full title of which is White Girl Home Work A Collection of Poems Sparked by One White Woman's Journey on the Matter of Race, on Harriet Tubman Day, March 10, in 2021.

 

Many thanks to Melissa for sharing her work with us today!  

 

The talented and wonderful Buffy Silverman has our Roundup this week; enjoy all the offerings.  And thank a veteran! 

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Poetry Friday - Recent Haiku

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  I've missed everyone the last week or two as I was traveling for my annual (completely crazy) week of author school visits as part of Cobb EMC and Gas South Literacy Week north of Atlanta.  Always great to catch up with folks there, and the dozen or more of us authors end up seeing between 20,000 and 30,000 kids in those five days.  I had 22 presentations between Monday and Friday.  Whew! But thrilled to share the poetry love. 

 

Today I'm sharing a couple of recently published haiku.  I couldn't help featuring the adorable picture of my daughter, Morgan, and their precious little one, Sawyer. He made an awfully cute pumpkin for Halloween. The first poem was written when I was with them this summer, helping out during his first month.

 

 

 

new mother's whisper

the strength

of spidersilk

 

Frogpond, Vol. 45:3, Autumn 2022

 

 

 

And this one, well - I guess it speaks for itself. 

 

 

resurrection fern

my long list

of shortcomings

 

bottle rockets #47, Vol. 20, No. 1 (August 2022)

 

 

Poems ©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.

 

 

I hope your November is off to a good start.  The ever-amazing Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe is hosting Poetry Friday this week. Thank you, Heidi!

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Poetry Friday - Haiku Stones in an Alabama Japanese Garden

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers! A fun way to enjoy haiku today....

 

Over at Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville, Alabama, visitors to the Japanese Garden can now meander down a haiku path consisting of 24 haiku stones.  These feature poems mostly by contemporary haiku poets, with a couple of Basho stones and an Issa offering in the collection. The new path was launched at the Autumn Japan celebration at the beginning of this month.

 

The creative force behind the Haiku Path is Terri L. French, award-winning haiku poet extraordinaire who has also shared her leadership skills in the Haiku Society of America and The Haiku Foundation, as well as editorially in journals and in her own varied publishing endeavors.  (Learn more about Terri here.)  Also sharing time and talents for this beautiful adventure has been fellow fine poet Peggy Bilbro. (Click here for a lovely haibun of Peggy's and a brief bio.)

 

"The haiku were chosen to fit the aesthetics of the garden and the area," explains Terri. "They were placed in the ground on a path that goes behind and around the tea house."

 

Terri and Peggy chose the haiku.

 

"Redstone Federal Credit Union sponsored us and paid for all of the stones to be made by local artist, Zan Edmonds,"  Terri says.  "If we get more money, we may add more stones later."

 

You can click the photo above to see the Facebook post Terri shared, with more pictures of the festival and a few more of the stones.  

 

I'm thrilled that one of my poems was accepted for the path.

 

 

open gate

the way

my mind wanders

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black

First published in Frogpond, Vol. 41:3, Fall 2018

 

If your mind wants to wander myriad poetry paths today, head on over to see Matt Forrest Essenwine, who always has lots going on and has our Roundup this week!  Also, remember to check in on Bridget's "10.10 Poetry Anthology First Anniversary Poet Palooza" at Wee Words for Wee Ones, where you can enjoy daily bite-size introductions to many of the poets!  I'm honored to be included next week.  [NOTE: My blog will be taking a mini-Fall-break as I soon travel to North Georgia for my annual week of school author visits as part of Cobb County EMC-Gas South's Literacy Week, and as I get artsyletters geared up for the holiday craziness that usually ensues right after October!  See you back here in a couple of weeks.)

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Poetry Friday - WHAT IS A FRIEND?

 

Greetings, Poetery Lovers! I'm joining some other Poetry Friday-ers today celebrating the release of WHAT IS A FRIEND? from Pomelo Books. (You know, the powerhouse poetry publishing team of Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong!)  WHAT IS A FRIEND? is the product of their recent Antho 401 class.  [I'm now taking a reprise of their Antho 201 class, which I blogged about a few weeks ago, if you want more info about Pomelo poetry magic.]  As with their other recent books, poems were written in response to photographs of children in a variety of situations.

 

This new book, geared toward ages 8 & up, explores many aspects of friendship. It's a Children's Book Council "Hot Off the Press" selection for October! And, as with the "THINGS WE" series, proceeds from sales are being donated to the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund.

 

Here's my poem:

 

 

PRESENT

 

 

   You didn't say,

          Come on – Cheer up! 

          Everything will be okay.

 

 

   You didn't say,

          I know exactly

          what it's like

          to feel that way.

 

 

   You didn't say

          anything.

 

 

   Just sat with me,

          

 

           and

       that

  meant

       everything.

 

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.

 

When editing this poem, I was attempting to follow Janet's suggestion about changing a line that I originally had right after "Just sat with me,".  I tweaked and tweaked, until the haiku poet in me just struck it out altogether - making for a stronger poem. I'm so glad Janet flagged it in the first place, so I could toss it. 

 

Learn more about WHAT IS A FRIEND? here . Happy Book Birthday, Sylvia & Janet!

 

For more FRIEND-ly posts for Poetry Friday this week, and lots of other poetic treasures, check out the Roundup hosted by Sara Grace Tuttle.  Thanks, Sara Grace!

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Poetry Friday - Interrupted by Ian

 

Greetings!  Well, as I type this, we're under a hurricane warning. The last couple of days have been spent prepping just in case, and mostly trying to keep tabs on my side of the family (ALL of them in Florida!) and some friends there, too.  And now they've ushered Ian out of the Sunshine State and sent him our direction.  We are not expecting the scale of the devastation Florida endured.  But, gotta run.  Be sure to check out the Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference, where Tabatha has some memes that are appropriate for this circumstance, anyway, and offer a bit of humor!

Stay safe & see you next week! ;0)

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Poetry Friday - "Fall, leaves, fall" by Emily Bronte

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

On the road today (a road full of farms and fields with large rolls of freshly cut hay), so I'm just here with a HAPPY FALL wave and a short, classic poem.  Autumn is my favorite season, though I wouldn't quite describe it the way Emily B. did here... but then again, there's a bit of thrill in the macabre this time of year.

 

 

 

Fall, leaves, fall

 

by Emily Bronte (1818-1848)

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.


I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night's decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

 

 

Wishing you and yours plenty of un-dreary days as our calendars flutter into Fall and beyond! 

 

Our year-round Rose has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Imagine the Possibilities.. drift on over and enjoy!

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Poetry Friday - Farewell to Summer with Two Classic September Poems

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Here in coastal South Carolina, the days are still warm, but not excessively hot; some leaves are scattered on the ground; and we're still keeping a cautious eye ocean-ward after an unusually quiet start to the hurricane season in our corner of the Atlantic, anyway. (The peak Atlantic season occurs in September and October.)

 

Our kids in and near the mountains report cooler days of late, and at our Upstate South Carolina house last weekend, the deep green of summer is giving away to early hints of color in the trees. 

 

Back at the coast, I've been making collages featuring actual postcards of bathing beauties from the early 1900s.  I have some for sale at a local shop here, and I'll be adding some (such as the one pictured above) to my Etsy shop, too.  I guess it's my way of hanging on to summer a wee bit, even as the calendar pages turn themselves to autumn....

 

Here are a couple of September poems to help me get oriented, and maybe they'll strike your fancy as well. The first even begins with a nod to the sea.

 

 

 

September


By Joanne Kyger (1934-2017)

 

The grasses are light brown
and the ocean comes in
long shimmering lines
under the fleet from last night
which dozes now in the early morning 

 

...

 

Enjoy the rest of this rich poem here.  And you can read more about Joanne Kyger's rich life here

 

 

And here is a poem published in 1914, a few years after that postcard above was published, as a matter of fact. 

 

 

 

September Midnight


By Sara Teasdale

 
Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
Ceaseless, insistent.

 

The grasshopper's horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
Tired with summer.

 

Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us,
Snow-hushed and heavy.

 

Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,
While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest,
As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
Lest they forget them.

 


Originally published in Poetry, March 1914. You can read more about Sara Teasdale here

 

Back to the present, hop on over to Australia to enjoy a different season from mine in the Northern Hemisphere, and lots of great poetry - Kat Apel has our Roundup (& a "Katch-up"!).  Thanks, Kat. :0)

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