icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - On Motherhood and Poem Fragments

photo credit: Sommer Daniel Photography

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Things couldn't be much more exciting these days for my little family.  You might know that our oldest, Morgan (the third-grade-teacher-daughter) and her wonderful hubby Matt are about to welcome a baby boy into the world.  He's due at the beginning of June, but is evidently already a good-sized wee thing, so I'm getting my bags packed and we're all on baby-watch.  I've got to finish up a few work items and try to get our house here in a bit of order; I'll invoke my inner Mary Poppins this weekend.  (Wish I had her magic and that big hide-away bag, though.) The gas tank is filled!

 

This baby has been a long time coming, with disappointment and tears along the path.  And so as we anticipate joy, we all recognize that heartache, loss, and emptiness are with so many parents and would-be parents, and I don't pretend to understand the whys of all that.  I just feel humbled and grateful and try to be mindful of all the varied stories that swirl around at once in this world. And I pray for us all.

 

How lucky I've been to go to a couple of the baby showers this spring, and to watch Morgan and Matt transform a second bedroom into a cozy, happy nursery in recent months. Their devoted lab Maggie is ready for her new family duties.  She's been resting her head on Morgan's belly on the couch for a while now.

 

Of course, I've been transported to my own memories of early motherhood.  We were fortunate to live in a neighborhood with several other new parents.  None of us had family close by, so we became each other's support systems, playground partners, and lifelong friends.

 

I was pretty much a hippie-ish-earth-mommy type, forever thankful to be able to be at home with my children and nursing them both until they were toddlers.  (La Leche League is still going strong, by the way!)   We subscribed more to the "attachment parenting" way of nurturing our little ones rather than strict schedules.

 

I wonder if any of you in my same demographic knew about a group called "Mothers at Home" – a grassroots family advocacy group, run by women, which produced the most wonderful small journal, Welcome Home? (They included poetry in each issue, and once published an anthology called Motherhood – Journey Into Love.)

 

I used to anticipate the journal's arrival each month, and it fed my soul.  I'm thankful my introduction to parenthood occurred during the 22-year span in which they published it.  I still have some copies.  Unfortunately, I can't put my finger on the copy with a poem of mine in it.… it is somewhere, but that was a long time ago and we've moved and moved and moved again since then.

 

Fragments of the poem drift back to me, so I'll share those.  I would have written this when Morgan was four and Seth was one, or thereabouts. Maybe it's appropriate, with the passage of time and the passing of the parenting baton, that I have only snatches of sweet and bittersweet memories, the warm and cherished parts that transcend time.

 

Here's what I remember of the poem, now that I'm 26 years older than when I wrote it, and much more  gray:

 

 

Going Gray

 

I am going gray -

growing soft and saggy

in places,

feeling much older than

thirty-three rotations around the sun.

 

[And  then there was some middle part?  I have no idea what it said, but it transitioned to a reference to my children, and the poem ended like this:]

 

… my children.

 

They think me beautiful,

a mother flowing with milk and honey.

White milk and glistening honey.

 

 

 ©Robyn Hood Black – I'll find the whole poem eventually!

 

Somewhere along the way, Mothers at Home became more inclusive and became known as Family & Home Network®.  I appreciate the widening of the net, but I must confess the poet in me loved the simplicity and coziness of their original name.  They continue to do important advocacy and policy work, which you can tap into here.  Their tagline is "Helping families spend generous amounts of time together."

 

So, looks like I'll be taking a bit of a blog break for a few weeks; maybe I can catch up on reading everyone else's.  Here's to generation after generation, and poetry in each one.  Rose at Imagine the Possibilities has our Roundup this week.  Thank you, Rose!

15 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Swim in the Mother's Day Soup with Jama!

Blessed to be visiting with family this weekend, but be sure to visit Jama's Alphabet Soup for a beautiful & poignant Mother's Day post and links to Poetry Friday goodness.  See you next week!

Be the first to comment

Poetry Friday - "Prose and Rhyme"... Looking Toward May!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Can you believe we've almost reached the end of another Poetry Month? I have lots of catching up to do on so many of the wonderful month-long projects conjured up and celebrated around the Kidlitosphere.  Fortunately, Jama's round up post of all the April goodness can guide us even after Sunday has passed.  

 

With the heaviness and stress of the daily news, I thought I'd offer up another old poem from the "Poems in a Playful Mood" section of NARRATIVE AND LYRIC POEMS FOR STUDENTS edited by S. S. Seward, Jr., published by Henry Holt and Company in 1909.  (Seward was evidently an assistant professor of English at Stanford University.)

 

Here's a "playful" poem that seems just right for our perch on the far edge of April. National Poetry Month wasn't launched until 1996, so April did not have such a designation more than a century ago. 

Let's just carry on the poetry love into May, shall we?

 

 

PROSE AND RHYME

 

by Austin Dobson

 

When the roads are heavy with mire and rut,

   In November fogs, in December snows,

When the North Wind howls, and the doors are shut,

   There is place and enough for the pains of prose; --

   But whenever a scent from the whitethorn blows,

And the jasmine-stars to the casement climb,

   And a Rosalind-face at the lattice shows,

Then hey!-- for the rippple of laughing rhyme!

 

When the brain gets dry as an empty nut,

   Whenthe reason stands on its squarest toes,

When the mind (like a beard) has a "formal cut,"

  There is place enough for the pains of prose; --

  But whenever the May blood stirs and glows,

And the young year draws to a "golden prime," --

   And Sir Romeo sticks in his ear a rose,

Then hey!-- for the rippple of laughing rhyme!

 

In a theme where the thoughts have a pedant strut

   In a changing quarrel of "Ayes" and "Noes,"

In a starched procession of "If" and "But,"

  There is place enough for the pains of prose; --

  But whenever a soft glance softer grows,

And the light hours dance to the trysting-time,

  And the secret is told "that no one knows,"

Then hey!-- for the rippple of laughing rhyme!

 

 

    ENVOY

 

In the work-a-day world, -- for its needs and woes,

There is place enough for the pains of prose;

But whenever the May-bells clash and chime,

Then hey!-- for the rippple of laughing rhyme!

 

 

Follow the poetry ripples over to the Poetry Friday Roundup, hosted this week by the ever-talented & generous Jone Rush MacCulloch.

9 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Joyeux Jour de la Terre! (Armchair April in Paris...)

 

Bonjour!  

 

One thing I love about being an Etsy seller is that sometimes I send my artsyletters offerings to the four corners of the world.  I've had customers in close to 20 countries. This week I received an order with a special request from France, and the message was sent via email rather than through Etsy, so there wasn't an option to translate on the spot.  However, I was delighted to realize that my four years of French in high school and one in college were sufficient for me to make out its meaning!  [I still used an online translator just to make sure, and sent my reply in English and via a copy from an online translator, though I did "check" that it looked right.]

 

And while items in my shop have a definite British Isles bent - I mean, my target market really is nerdy English-major types like myself - somewhow a few items for Francophiles continue to surface from my work table. Especially since I was able to procure some gorgeous letters and postcards and bank notes and such from centuries past, from a seller in France.  (I often buy supplies from other corners of the earth, too.) 

 

I am especially smitten with postcards and business receipts and such with layers of interesting text or handwriting in different hues of ink, all jumbled together - ahhhh.  And while I do reproduce some antique maps etc. for items I make that I need more than one of (tourist-friendly items at a local shop here in Beaufort, etc.), I do prefer to just capture the actual text or image under glass as a one-of-a-kind snippet of history, such as the items in the picture above.  I'll wrangle these into finished pieces and get some listed today, to join a few French items already listed.

 

I don't have an actual French poem to share today, but when I think about French writing, Le Petit Prince always come to mind.  (I do have a copy in French somewhere...!)  I have always adored this book, and even read it out loud to eighth graders - eighth graders! - back in the day when I briefly taught middle school English. 

 

My love affair is shared  by the world, evidently - did you know there was a The Little Prince theme park in France, near the German and Swiss borders?  (See https://www.thelittleprince.com.) There's also a foundation. And closer to home, evidently a Broadway play just opened? 

 

If you haven't read the story, it's just a treasure of creativity, love, loss, and hope.  In fact, I read that aside from religious texts, it's the most translated book in the world. It features a pilot, stranded in the Sahara desert, who encounters a little prince requesting a drawing of a sheep. Throughout the tale, the young prince describes his journey across planets, and amusing and touching encounters which evoke universal themes. 

 

The whole book seems poem-like to me, with its fairy tale qualities and compression into a deceptively simple form.  (Saint-Exupery did write poetry and other works.) Plus, the art is charming. So for a taste of the book's voice, I'll just share a few sentences from the beginning, as the narrator, before meeting the book's subject, explains how he left a career in art at the tender age of 6, after an unsuccessful (according to others) couple of drawings. 

 

The grown-ups then advised me to give up my drawings of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside, and to devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic and grammar. Thus it was that I gave up a magnificent career as a painter at the age of six. I had been disappointed by the lack of success of my drawing No. 1 and my drawing No. 2. Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves and it is rather tedious for children to have to explain things to them time and again.

 

So I had to choose another job and I learnt to pilot aeroplanes.

 

[Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de. The Little Prince (pp. 10-11). GENERAL PRESS. Kindle Edition.]

 

The book was written while Saint-Exupery was in the United States.  It was published in 1943, only a year before the author's plane disappeared on a mission in World War II.

 

Earth Day wasn't around in the 1940s, but I have a feeling The Little Prince would agree with its aims of nurturing this planet. And speaking of this planet, and of France, the world will be keeping an eye on the presidential election there this weekend I'm sure, with ramifications not just for France but for the war in Ukraine and political relations beyond. 

 

Merci for joining me in this very rambling post today - be sure to pilot on over to see Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for this week's Roundup, and to catch up with the Kidlit Progressive Poem! Thanks for all the hosting, Margaret. 

10 Comments
Post a comment

The Kidlit Progressive Poem Parks HERE Today!

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  I know it's just Wednesday, but it's my day to host the traveling "KidLit Progressive Poem," which I've participated in since its humble beginnings as the brainchild of Irene Latham, quite a few moons ago.  Margaret Simon took over the duties a couple of years back, and it's as lively as ever.  

 

You can find a list of participants and links to their websites here, as part of Jama Kim Rattigan's welcome and fulsome Roundup of Poetry Month happenings in the Kidlitosphere.

 

Here's the list without the hyperlinks:

 

1 Irene at Live Your Poem
2 Donna Smith at Mainely Write
3 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
4 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
5 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
6 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
7 Kim Johnson at Common Threads
8 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
11 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
12 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
13 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
14 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
15 Carol Labuzzetta at The Apples in my Orchard
16 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken Town
18 Patricia at Reverie
19 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Kevin at Dog Trax
22 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
23 Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life
24 Marcie Atkins
25 Marilyn Garcia
26 JoAnn Early Macken
27 Janice at Salt City Verse
28 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
29 Karen Eastlund at Karen's Got a Blog
30 Michelle Kogan Painting, Illustration, & Writing

 

Irene started us off with a "borrowed" line, and the trend stuck with found poetry, or tidbits of it, in each contribution since. Our protagonists are immersing themselves in the magic of nature, and perhaps, at line 20 today, it's time for them to start journeying back? 

 

Heidi added a subtle beam of "climate-conscious light" to the poem on Day 16, and I know that she, and Mary Lee, and several other Poetry-Friday-ers, are focusing on environmental or nature themes for poetry projects this month. 

 

For my addition, I decided to dip into a nonficiton book, Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv.  First published in 2005, its message is as important as ever. 

 

Did you have the good fortune to run wild in the natural world growing up?  In Orlando, Florida, in the 70s, I frequently set off by myself for hours to explore the woods and lakes near our home. No cell phones, no supervision.  I did a lot of Doolittle-ish talking to animals then (and still do, actually).  Lizards, birds, snakes... the only creatures that I was really afraid of were alligators. Several years ago, on a trip back home, I discovered that what I thought of as my own personal hundred-acre wood had become a walled and gated development called "Lake Colony Estates."  But I'll always have my memories of rough and rooted dirt trails, mourning doves, pine bark and pine needles, and forested adventures.

 

Our poem seemed to start off in two voices, though I'm not certain that has held through the middle.  I'll format it as it makes sense to me, but future contributors, do what you will! Here is the poem, with my line underlined at the end (just to feature it - Kevin, don't keep the underline! ;0)  ):

 

 

Where they were going, there were no maps.

 

   Sorry! I don't want any adventures, thank you. Not today.

 

Take the adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes!

 

   We have to go back. I forgot something.

 

But it's spring, and the world is puddle-wonderful, 


so we'll whistle and dance and set off on our way.


Come with me, and you'll be in a land of pure imagination.

 

Wherever you go, take your hopes, pack your dreams, and never forget –


 it is on our journeys that discoveries are made.


And then it was time for singing.


Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain, paint with all the colors of the wind, freewheeling through an endless diamond sky?


Suddenly, they stopped and realized they weren't the only ones singing.

 

Listen, a chattering of monkeys! Let's smell the dawn 
and taste the moonlight, we'll watch it all spread out before us.
 
The moon is slicing through the sky. We whisper to the tree, 
tap on the trunk, imagine it feeling our sound.
 
Clouds of blue-winged swallows, rain from up the mountains,

Green growing all around, and the cool splash of the fountain.


If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden,

a bright, secret, quiet place, and rather sad; 
 and they stepped out into the middle of it.

 

Their minds' libraries and lightning bugs led them on.

 

The darkwood sings, the elderhist blooms, the sky lightens; listen and you will find your way home.

 

The night sky would soon be painted, stars gleaming overhead, a beautiful wild curtain closing on the day.

 

Mud and dusk, nettles and sky - time to cycle home in the dark. 

 

 

Here is a list of the sources for lines:

 

1. The Imaginaries: Little Scraps of Larger Stories, by Emily Winfield Martin
2. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
3. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
4. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
5. inspired by "[in Just-]" by E. E. Cummings
6. "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
7. Maybe by Kobi Yamada
8. Sarah, Plain, and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
9. inspired by Disney songs "A Whole New World" from Aladdin and "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas
10. The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor
11. adapted from Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman
12. adapted from The Magical Imperfect by Chris Baron
13. adapted from On the Same Day in March by Marilyn Singer
14. adapted from a line in Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
15. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
16. Prince Caspian by CS Lewis

17. The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

18. Kate DiCamillo's The Beatryce Prophecy

19. The Keeper of Wild Words by Brooke Smith

20. Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

 

(I got a little confused along the way with lines/sources - someone let me know if I need to make a correction!)

 

Take it away, Kevin!

8 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Hooray for Pens!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Last week in a comment, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater asked about the glass pen in the picture with my little journals, and if I wrote with it.  Actually, that pen was an exquisite gift brought back for me from Italy from my very dear friend and fellow kidlit-folk, Paula Puckett. I have written with it, but mostly use it for Etsy photos.  It has a metal nib. 

 

I did, however, purchase an all-glass pen not very long ago.  I hadn't tried it, but since Amy asked, I finally gave it a wee scribble. I think I'm in love! It's fun to hold and terribly smooth.  The line is a bit wider than I'm used to writing or drawing with, as I usually use smaller nibs (especially the metal hawks quill or crow quill for drawing).  But I'm envisioning a lovely future with this pen, especially if I can keep from breaking it. 

 

The one I have is from Herbin; you can see a demonstration at their website here.  The side of the box explains, "Glass pens were very trendy in 17th century Venice." Because the nib has grooves, you can write several words before having to take the pen for a dip in the inkwell. 

 

I've always loved the physical act of writing.  As a kid, I took to cursive like a bee to nectar.  I have a vague memory of my second grade teacher letting me "teach" writing on the chalk board one day.

 

I've shared this haiku before, but I did write a poem about writing with a dip pen, before my daughter's marriage in 2016:

 

 

wedding invitations
the press and release
of the nib

 

©Robyn Hood Black

 
Third Honorable Mention, Harold G. Henderson Haiku Awards, Frogpond, Volume 39 Number 3, Autumn 2016

 

dust devils - THE RED MOON ANTHOLOGY OF ENGLISH-LANGUAGE HAIKU 2016, edited by Jim Kacian & The Red Moon Editorial Staff, Red Moon Press, 2017

 

For a longer poem with a pen reference, rich in imagery and family dynamics, here's a link to a treasure from Seamus Heaney's Death of a Naturalist (Oxford University Press, 1966):

 

 

Digging

 

by Seamus Heaney


Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

...

 

Click here for the poem. 

 

 

If you're a fountain pen fan, you might enjoy this 2016 article by Elizabeth Vogdes that I stumbled upon.  It's from the Swarthmore College Bulletin, "The Poetry of Pen and Ink."

 

What's your favorite way to commit poetic inspirations to paper - or, are you all electronic?  Or is a vintage typewriter your mode of literary record? My aforementioned friend Paula loves itty bitty ends of pencils! I'll grab whatever is handy, but I do love real pens.  Dip pens are best, but  Pigma Microns come in handy if I need a narrow line in a jiffy, or a way to write tiny text on little stained price tags for my items in local shops.

 

Do you like bold color? India ink? Do you end up with all the pens in the universe in the bottom of your purse (for those who carry purses)? Would you be caught without a pen?

 

Thanks for visiting, and be sure to check out all the luscious lines rounded up by Matt this week at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme. (He's got an interview with Leslie Bulion, and a giveaway!)  Thanks, Matt. Also, follow along with our annual Kidlit Progressive Poem - here's a link to it from Jama's Alphabet Soup, and while you're there, check out Jama's roundup of Kidlit Poetry Month goodness! 

12 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - a Tik Tok Poet and Little Notebooks

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Happy Poetry Month continued...

 

I appreciate that in April, NPR does celebrate poetry throughout the month.  The other day while driving, I heard an interview with a young man that captivated me.  On All Things Considered, host Miles Parks interviewed Donovan Beck, whose poetry on Tik Tok has resonated with millions of people. 

 

Caveat:  I'm still figuring out Tik Tok.  (Age showing.)  I've seen a few cute animal clips. I did attend an Etsy webinar about how to use the platform, but at the moment I am barely feeding and watering Instagram enough.  I did learn, however, that there are more things on Tik Tok than angst-filled teenagers performing angsty concerts in corners of their angsty houses. 

 

Back to Donovan Beck.  In an open, humble manner he described how one particular poem he recorded and shared, "A Friendly Reminder," went viral in a surprisingly huge way.  Its message about a positive self image has obviously clicked with people around the world.  Looks like it's logged in about five million little red hearts and millions more views.

Here's the link

 

In addition to this simple but powerful poem, Donovan shared about his process for finding inspiration for poetry. 

 

"One of my favorite things to do when I'm looking for inspiration is to take an index card or a small notebook with me and go on a walk," he told Miles Parks. "There's really a beautiful thing about how much poetry is in our world when we start looking." 

 

A phrase he used somewhere in the interview has stuck with me - "taking notes on the universe." I love that image! 

 

Do you find inspiration in walks?  Like this poet, do you carry index cards or a small notebook?  Maybe you thumb-type ideas into the notes app on your cell phone.  (At some point, I've done all three. And, I need to take more poetry walks. In the haiku world, such a walk is called a ginko.)

 

Here's to sharing goodness in the world, and here's to poetic notebooks!  (If you've never explored Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's "Sharing Our Notebooks" project, you might enjoy this link.  Though the project ended in 2020, Amy still has entries/articles available on her website.)

 

And if you could use a boost, check out the full NPR interview with Donovan Beck here

 

Re. notebooks and journals, I plan to create more options and one-of-a-kind pieces this year in my Etsy shop.  For now, I'm adding a few new 4X6 journal/sketchbooks to the ones featuring 1888 map images of Ireland and Scotland (which I'm happy to report sell well, and have even been taken by travelers across the Pond on special trips, according to customers).  This week I'm adding England and The British Isles, and another featuring a circa 1800 map image (with a compass!) of the Atlantic from England to the Canaries. I offer a couple of "teeny wee" notebooks as well, for smaller pockets. Here's a link to my shop's journals section

 

Janice at Salt City Verse has our Roundup today, and a book review of David Elliott's The Pond.  Thanks, Janice!

 

(PS - The wren eggs have hatched in our back yard nest.) :0)

16 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Hooray - It's National Poetry Month!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Happy NATIONAL POETRY MONTH 2022!  (Click here for the poets.org link.)

 

So much goodness is planned for our Kidlit corner of the online universe; be sure to check out Jama's Roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  And be sure to follow along with this year's Kidlit Progressive Poem, kindly hosted again by Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

 

As for my own little corner of the corner, I plan to get a little jump on celebrating 10 (!) years of artsyletters later this year with some 'perfect-for-poets' gift ideas each Friday. I'll share poetry each week, too, of course!

 

When I ponder poetry, I often let my mind wander to the privilege I had of meeting Nancy Willard decades ago at a writer's conference.  (You might recall her A VISIT TO WILLIAM BLAKE'S INN won the Newbery Award in 1982, and the Provensens received a Caldecott Honor for it.)  One of my favorite books about writing is her TELLING TIME - Angels, Ancestors, and Stories. I've mentioned it before, I know.  (Willard was born in 1936 and died in 2017; you can read more about her here.)

 

I especially love her first chapter, "How Poetry Came Into the World and Why God Doesn't Write It."  This essay includes some banter between Adam and Eve, and both find that poetry helps them to communicate.  Here are a couple of treasures Willard includes from The Rattle Bag, by anonymous authors:

 

 

I will give my love an apple without any core,

I will give my love a house without any door,

I will give my love a palace wherein he may be

and he may unlock it without any key.

 

 

and

 

 

It is late last night the dog was speaking of you;

the snipe was speaking of you in her deep marsh.

It is you are the lonely bird through the woods;

and that you may be without a mate until you find me.

 

 

If all this talk of love has your heart a-flutter, take it over to my juicy little universe, where Heidi has much more to love in the Roundup this week.  Thanks for hosting, Heidi!  And here's to a Happy Poetry Month to all.  I look forward to starting off mine with an online Haiku Society of America Southeast Region workshop on Saturday. :0)

8 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Nesting in SPRING!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Sorry to miss you last weekend - I was so busy traveling and finishing up a baby quilt for a family gathering & bonus baby shower for our daughter and her hubby that I didn't come up for air at all.

 

You can see the little quilt above, with Matt and Morgan.  The four little flying-geese-type patches (-does anyone know exactly what those squares are called, with the little chevron element?-) were from a quilt top that my own grandmother (my mother's mother) made decades ago, so there's love going back four generations in all those stitches. :0) 

 

After the big family gathering, my husband Jeff helped Matt put together the crib for the new nursery. I helped Matt hang some pictures.  (Actually, a set of Noah's Ark drawings I had made 30 years ago when Morgan was born!) The parents-to-be have been getting the room ready for the last several weeks, and it is looking cozy and welcoming.  I'm sure everything will be in place for its special occupant come early June.

 

Speaking of nesting, a couple of weeks ago I noticed that skillfully tucked inside the gate to the storage area beneath our house is a perfect little Carolina wren nest.  You can't see it very well from the pictures, but you get the idea.  It's actually quite pretty in person, with bits of green lichen laced into the pine needles and such.  I wanted to get a better photo Thursday to show you, but it was chilly and rainy and I didn't want to cause Ms. Wren to fly away.  The birdie couple has at least four eggs in there, from what I could tell last week. 

 

I do love wrens.  That's why I was dellighted to see a social media posting by our own Jone Rush MacCulloch, who you might know has been learning Scots Gaelic, with a link to the pronunciation of 'wren' by learngaelicscot on Instagram. Enjoy!

 

In addition to the joyous anticipation of new baby life and bird life right now, we've got azaleas and dogwoods blooming in Beaufort, and masses of little green leaves covering the big live oaks. 

 

Here's a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) capturing Spring's exuberance. 

 

 

Spring Song

 

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
 
A blue-bell springs upon the ledge,
A lark sits singing in the hedge;
Sweet perfumes scent the balmy air,
And life is brimming everywhere.
What lark and breeze and bluebird sing,
    Is Spring, Spring, Spring!

 

No more the air is sharp and cold;
The planter wends across the wold,
And, glad, beneath the shining sky
We wander forth, my love and I.
And ever in our hearts doth ring
    This song of Spring, Spring!

 

For life is life and love is love,
'Twixt maid and man or dove and dove.
Life may be short, life may be long,
But love will come, and to its song
Shall this refrain for ever cling
    Of Spring, Spring, Spring!

 

 

My own baby boy, by the way, turned 27 this week.  (Happy Birthday, Seth!) Hard to believe that next week, we'll be celebrating the start of National Poetry Month. I plan to make & feature some new artsyletters goodies for poets along with poems for Poetry Fridays, and I look forward to my usual participation in the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which will be hosted again by Margaret at Reflections on the Teche.  (Thanks, Margaret!)

 

So get ready for April by flitting around all the great posts this week, rounded up for us by the ever-talented and wonderful Amy at The Poem Farm.  (Thanks, Amy!) And for fellow bird-lovers and poem-lovers, check out Amy's NEWEST treasure of a book while you're over there, IF THIS BIRD HAD POCKETS.

16 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Thought for Food.... and a Haiku

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Our ever-effervescent hosts for Poetry Friday this week are Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, over at Poetry for Children.

 

They have some tasty poetic fare today - a brand new anthology called WHAT WE EAT, full of poem-dishes by both new and familiar poets.  I look forward to partaking of these wonderful new poems!

 

I've got a haiku today that, on the surface, is about food as well -  albeit with a more adult and somber tone.  It's in the current issue of MODERN HAIKU

 

 

estate sale

soup cans still

on the shelf

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.

Modern Haiku, Vol 53:1

 

 

As an all-things-vintage lover, I do enjoy perusing antique stores, thrift shops, and the occasional estate sale.  This poem was written after visiting such an in-home sale last year, from which I emerged with a perfect heavy old straight chair for our new (second) home on the other side of the state in the SC hills. 

 

But walking through the close rooms last summer, I was struck by someone's life (I don't know whose) preserved in the moment by a few details on display for the roaming bargain hunters.  A dog leash still dangling from its hook by the back door, and soup cans standing at attention in the small, open pantry.

 

Thanks for coming by, and enjoy all the flavors of poems rounded up by Janet and Sylvia this week. 

16 Comments
Post a comment