Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet





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Hanging with fellow Georgia writers (from top, l-r) Tracy Walker, Heather Kolich, Donna Bowman, (bottom, middle) Janice Hardy and Paula Puckett
photo by Steve Kolich

Susan Rosson Spain, Robyn Hood Black, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Myra Meade at the Hall Book Exchange in Gainesville, Ga.
photo by Mel Hornsby

Southern Breeze Kudos Kites 09 - Donna, Robyn, Heather, Sarah, and Peggy

Robyn with Kathleen Duey, author extraordinaire http://www.kathleenduey.com

Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller http://www.debbiemilleralaska.com

photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko http://www.paulbjaneczko.com

Copyright 2005-2016 ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved. Please ask permission before using any text or images on this website, except for reproducible
"4 Kids 2 Do" and "Press Kit" pages.

Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - A Florida Orange Juice Toast to Lee Bennett Hopkins!

February 16, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, Lee Bennett Hopkins, found poetry, Florida


Today’s brief post is a combination of Throwback Thursday (see the pic) and I-Can’t-Wait-Til-Next-Thursday (read on for that!).

The “throwback” part is that nearly 10 years ago (gulp!), I finally got to meet Lee Bennett Hopkins in person, at the SCBWI Conference in LA, where I had gone to take his Poetry Master Class. He hasn’t changed a bit – I’ve seen pictures and Renée’s NCTE Poet Award interviews - while I’m edging my way along the road from Long-ago Maiden toward Crone. (And that’s fine with me – I don’t worry what anybody thinks of me these days, and more creative time DOES open up after years in the carpool lines.) ;0)

The “can’t wait” part is that next week, I’m driving a wee bit down the coast and taking a right turn past the Florida line toward Gainesville, to go watch Lee be inducted into the Florida Arts Hall of Fame. I was honored, along with many others including some fellow Poetry Friday-ers, to write a nominating letter on his behalf and to include accolades from several Star-Power poets and others supporting Lee’s recognition. [Hats off to poet friends Stephanie Salkin and Jude Mandell, who guided us through the process. ]

Lee’s receiving this honor is especially meaningful to me, because I grew up in Florida. My folks are still there, and I have family members tucked in among the orange trees all around Central Florida from Orlando to the Gulf coast. I always carry a bit of The Sunshine State with me, and visit when I can. The Hall of Fame recognition is the highest honor given by the state to artists in a variety of fields, and the list of recipients includes Ray Charles, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway, among others.

THREE CHEERS to Lee on this wonderful honor, which will have good company with all the red-carpet-worthy awards he’s won over the years. I’ve been blessed to know Lee as someone whose work I’ve admired beyond words, and who, as a mentor & editor, has pushed me into writing stronger poetry. Next week I’ll be a fan, a friend, and something akin to a fellow-Floridian, cheering from his corner.

In Georgia Heard’s THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK, A Book of FOUND POEMS (Roaring Brook), my own poetry first shared pages with poems by some of my poetic heroes. Here is the beginning of Lee’s poem, “First Wins” (from selected words in a SPRINT newspaper advertisement):

FIRST leads.

FIRST moves us forward.

FIRST kicks open the door.

FIRST takes us places
            we’ve never been
            before. …


©2012 by Lee Bennett Hopkins.


I think we could say,

LEE leads.

LEE moves us forward.

LEE kicks open the door.

LEE takes us places
            we’ve never been
            before. …
!


And, I'm grateful.

[I’ll be on the road back home next Poetry Friday, so you can enjoy this post for two weeks. ;0) ]

For today’s inspiring Roundup, please visit poet and librarian extraordinaire Jone at Check It Out.

Poetry Friday - Science and Poetry - and Valentines?

February 9, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, science poetry, bioprinting poem, bioprinting, Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, Science and Children, found poem, found poetry, original work, altered card, library card, card catalog card, artsyletters, Valentine, vintage


Greetings from the sunny South. I will not complain about the little chill in the February breezes, I promise.

More fun in the mail this week - after the January poem postcard exchange (scroll down for my posts on that last month), and birthday cards, I had another treat in store - a copy of the January 2017 issue of Science & Children featuring one of my poems from the Poetry Friday Anthology of Science from Pomelo Books. PFA Anthology creators Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong have a great column called"The Poetry of Science" in the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) magazine. My poem on bioprinting got to join some terrific technology-themed articles and activities in January.



Printing, Pressed Beyond Words...


Our printers today are still evolving.

So many projects - and problems they're solving!


In layers of plastic, a virtual mold:

printers are spitting out things you can hold.


These 3-D devices can also print gels,

stacking amazing assortments of cells.


Need a blood vessel? An organ, an ear?

Bioprinting is real - bioprinting is here!



©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


Teachers can take on one or all of Sylvia's famous "Take 5" activities which connect the poem to teaching standards, as well as to other poems and publications exploring a similar theme. Three cheers for poetry and science!

And now, to R-E-A-L-L-Y stretch that theme, just for fun I've included a little studio adventure for the forthcoming holiday. I had a blast making my poem postcards to send in January, and for each one I used a unique vintage library card catalog card. And now, I'm making actual cards out of them. Complete with a vintage pocket and blank vintage check-out card on the inside, perfect for a tucked-in message!

(How does this relate to science? I'm getting there....)

I thought some of the catalog cards for nonfiction science books lent themselves to a Valentine bent - the ones on magnetism! - so I made a romantic-y greeting card from one. The illustration above the altered catalog card I clipped from the February 1927 issue of Country Life.

This lacks a true poetic sense, methinks, but it's kind of fun:

     simple
                  attraction
Includes
                Magnetism


For better pictures and a peek at process and such, click here to hop over to my artsyletters blog, where I posted about these cards.

Now, opportunities abound to indulge your love of poetry with Captivating Katie, who has this week's Roundup over at
The Logonauts

Poetry Friday - Some Great Haiku, the Red Moon Anthology, and Seaside Workshop

February 2, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, anthologies, Red Moon Anthology, HSA, conferences, workshops, Jim, Kacian, Tom Painting, Stanford M. Forrester, Michael Henry Lee, Robert Epstein


Greetings, Poetry Friends.

When I first began exploring haiku years ago, I got my hands on a Red Moon Anthology, among other things. Founded by Jim Kacian and now in its 25th year, Red Moon Press publishes a yearly anthology of the best English-language haiku from around the world, in addition to publishing collections by individual poets, critical works, haiku-related novels and smaller anthologies.

If Jim's name rings a bell from this blog or your other haiku journeys, he also founded The Haiku Foundation (with its extensive resources, poet directory, and teacher-friendly articles ) and compiled the comprehensive Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years, published by W. W. Norton & Company.

But back to the Red Moon Anthology. I was thrilled to receive notice that my haiku

wedding invitations
the press and release
of the nib


would be included in the 2016 anthology - the 21st! - which just rolled off the presses. (This poem recently appeared in FROGPOND as third-place honorable mention in the Harold G.Henderson Memorial Haiku Award contest.)

The new Red Moon volume, dust devils, features 173 poems, eight linked forms, and five critical pieces. I ordered a couple of copies and received them this week.

Upon perusing, I ran across several names of poets who will be attending and/or helping to lead our upcoming Earth Day weekend Haiku Society of America meeting and workshop on the Georgia Coast in a couple of months. I asked for permission to feature their anthology poems here today, and they all kindly agreed.



stack of books
the Russian novel
cold to the touch



©Stanford M. Forrester. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared on OTATA blog, 2.

(This poem appears in Forrester's new hand-printed, hand-bound chapbook, matcha.)



happy hour
everyone's glass
half-full



©Michael Henry Lee. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared in MODERN HAIKU, 47:1.




lunar eclipse
I lose some sleep
over it



©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.
Also originally appeared in MODERN HAIKU, 47:1.



Also, though he is unable to attend our workshop in person, Robert Epstein will answer a few questions about two new animal rights haiku books he has just published and I'll share those with the group l. Here is his poem in dust devils:



Father's Day
I give myself
a good talking to



©Robert Epstein. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared in MARIPOSA, 25.




Finally, I asked Jim Kacian if I could feature one of his poems from dust devils. (In case you're wondering, the anthology is the product of the work of 11 editors, with strict requirements for voting and poem inclusion.)



traveling alone -
the darkness around
each star



©Jim Kacian. All rights reserved.
(This poem was an award-winner in a contest sponsored by the Italian Haiku Association.)



My sincere thanks to these poets for allowing me to share their work. (And if I missed anyone attending in April, my apologies -- let me know so I can add your poem.)

Want to know more about the April meeting and workshop? Here's my latest blurb for HSA, with a bonus haiku from Tom at the end:


BYOB –

That’s Bring your own BINOCULARS!

What better way to celebrate Earth Day in a couple of months than with an HSA meeting and workshop at St. Simon’s Island on the sunny (fingers crossed!) coast of Georgia?

“Honoring the Earth,” Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23, 2017, will offer opportunities to explore what it means to be human, living with and among the rest of the natural world. We’ll hear from David G. Lanoue, Tom Painting, Laurence Stacey, and Fay Aoyagi, and also enjoy a reading by Stanford M. Forrester. I’ll share a couple of new books by Robert Epstein. And, several talented poets in our region will be on hand to participate and serve up some famous Southern hospitality.

Why the binoculars? In addition to a session on bird haiku, Tom will lead us on a birdwatching ginko (a haiku walk)! The area is a magnet for avid birders.

Whether you are a well-seasoned poet or want to learn more about haiku, working on your “life list” or can’t tell a titmouse from a turkey vulture, you are welcome to join us. Details and cost information can be found on the HSA SE regional page,
http://www.hsa-haiku.org/regions/Southeast.htm

Two updates –

1. Meal times (of interest to commuters if you are planning day trips) are:

Breakfast 7am-9am
Lunch 11:45am-1pm
Supper 5:30pm-7pm

2. If Epworth by the Sea has enough available rooms, I can be a little flexible with the March 5 date for receiving final payment. I will have to provide a final count to the staff there a couple of weeks after that, however, INCLUDING any meals for commuters. Feel free to email me with any questions.

Here’s a hint of spring to whet your appetite, kindly shared by Tom:

spring plowing
a flock of blackbirds
turns inside out



©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.
Frogpond XXV:2



Maybe all this haiku will help get you through the six more weeks of winter promised by Punxsutawney Phil. Along with all the offerings for Poetry Friday, of course, rounded up for us this week by another famous "P" - our own Penny at A Penny and Her Jots.

Poetry Friday - Post Card Exchange Part Two :0)

January 26, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poem postcards, poem post cards, poetry, poems, Penny Parker Klostermann, Mary Lee Hahn, Ramona Behnke, postcard exchange, #postcardXchange


Happy Poetry Friday!

I'm delighted to share the final three postcards I received in our wonderful January Postcard Exchange organized by the ever-generous Jone.

The first two came sauntering in with their caramel-colored cards and entertaining animals, bringing smiles I do not take for granted this month.

Many thanks to Penny for this fun poetic diversion (you can see the properly centered formatting in the picture.):


Dr. Goat

If my doctor were a goat
and if I had a sore throat
he'd ask if I would open wide
so he could take a look inside.

And, yes, of course I'd open wide
so he could take a look inside.

But if my doctor were a goat
looking down my sore throat
I definitely could not say, "AAAAAHHHH!"
Cause Dr. Goat deserves a "BBAAAAHHHH!"


©Penny Parker Klostermann. All rights reserved.


Penny shared the backstory on the reverse of the card: "Your postcard was inspired by one of my childhood picture books. I snapped a photo of a page and wrote my poem based on that. Enjoy!" I did! Thanks, Penny. Makes me miss the goats we used to have when we lived on a little farm.

The next two were haiku, as I enjoyed in the first two cards posted last week.

The text on the back of Mary Lee's adorable kitty picture reads:


desire
just our of reach
whiskers twitch


©Mary Lee Hahn. All rights reserved.


Ha! This one made me fondly remember my childhood cat, a "cameo" Persian with the same color coat as the mischievous meow-er in this photo. He was named O'Malley (Yes, after The Aristocats!) Many thanks, Mary Lee!

My last mailbox treasure was from Ramona, whose poem graces that beautiful snow scene above:


A snowy sabbath
A new year's soft beginning
Wintry white frosting


©Ramona Behnke. All rights reserved.


"No snow in a very long time in my part of the world," she wrote, "so this dusting of snow on New Year's Day was a special treat!"

Ramona also tucked in printed copies of the poems read at both of President Obama's inaugurations. I probably hadn't read or heard them since those occasions, and it was comforting to revisit the words. You can find Elizabeth Alexander's 2009 poem and Richard Blanco's 2013 poem at www.poets.org . Thank you, Ramona, for your lovely poem as well as these.

Borrowing from each of those inauguration poems (in order), I wish you a "Praise song for every hand-lettered sign, the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables" and "the unexpected songbird on your clothes line."

For more unexpected and welcome delights, visit Carol this week at Beyond Literacy Link. She always has wonderful surprises.

Poetry Friday - Post Card Exchange Poems Perfect for Today!

January 19, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poem postcards, poem post cards, poetry, poems, rain, umbrella, Joy Acey, Laura Purdie Salas, postcard exchange, #postcardXchange


Greetings, Poetry Friends!

I'm happy to participate in Jone 's wonderful January Poem Postcard Exchange. Even though I'm just getting my own mailed out today.... (Hey, the deadline hasn't technically passed yet.)

I received two right off the bat this month from poets who are more together than I. (Another came this afternoon - Thanks, Penny! - will feature that one soon.)

These first two seemed uncannily thematically "linked," and, I think they are both perfect for today, an important date in our country's history and one with a wet forecast.

Many thanks to Joy Acey and Laura Purdie Salas for brightening my month!


          Rain
quiets the world
the earth listens


©Joy Acey. All rights reserved.



Reality glares
I open my umbrella,
build my own blue sky


©Laura P. Salas. All rights reserved.


I really appreciate these delightful images and welcome messages in poetry. A reminder to listen to the rain and let it help quiet my world when I let too much noise in, and also the comforting notion that I can "build my own blue sky"!

On her blog last week, Joy wrote, "Today, I am trying to be aware of the vibrations I'm sending out into the Universe. I want it to be a glorious, happy, positive day."
(If you know Joy, you know that's what her dial is always turned to - ;0) .)

I'm going to remind myself of those words and revisit these poems all day.

Just above the border here in the states, the beautiful Violet has put together a "Poetry Friday - the Aim High Edition" for all of us! Many thanks, Violet - we'll take it.

Poetry Friday - DNA Diversity Discoveries

January 12, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, diversity


As Christmas gifts, my husband and I bought Ancestry.com DNA testing kits for our kids, our new son-in-law, and ourselves, with the promise of a future trip to some ancestral turf. We spit in vials over Thanksgiving weekend, and I shipped them all off together. Before Christmas, results called from our inboxes.

We’ll be headed to Great Britain it seems, as that’s our main stock –Scotland primarily with the family trees I’ve found on my side (which pleases my Outlander fan daughter). There are some Irish roots among us, too (who knew my hubby was almost a quarter Irish?), and some Western Europe, Finland/Northwest Russia, Scandinavia, Italy/Greece, Iberian Peninsula and European Jew.

While most of their tests came back 100 percent European, mine was 98 percent. The other two percent? Middle East (1 percent) and Senegal (1 percent). Knock me over with a feather. Because of family stories, I was expecting some Native American in there somewhere, but apparently not.

I’m thrilled to possess some drops of diversity in my personal genetic cocktail. This knowledge led to much immediate consideration, and questions. As a white woman who has never borne the burden of racial discrimination, I wondered about distant ancestors… Senegal was a notorious gateway for the slave trade from the 16th through 19th centuries.

We now live in a small Southern seacoast town brimming with history. The first European settlement in the country, though it didn’t last, was on Parris Island. Downtown Beaufort boasts many antebellum homes, still standing because when the Union showed up in 1861, landowners simply fled.

Just across the bridge to the Sea Islands, you can still explore Gullah culture in food, art, and at The Penn Center , a treasure of African American history. Founded in 1862 as a school for freed slaves, the site was also used as a meeting and retreat center by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

While visiting the small museum there with a friend a year or so ago, we wondered about an object on display. I thought initially it was something used with livestock. She figured it out before I did - shackles. I’d never seen them in person before.

It was chilling.

On that day, I felt sad and sobered, but not personally connected to that history. I never had to live it. But now I wonder if, perhaps, an ancestor long ago did.


DNA results
how song carries
over water



In President Obama’s moving farewell address this week, he said, “Regardless of the station we occupy, we all have to try harder.”

He also said, “I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans who are just as patriotic as we are.”


one percent
still a thousand drops
of blood


poems ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


Recently I visited with a brave and thoughtful family member, and the subject of a ban on Muslims, proposed by the incoming President during his campaign, surfaced.

“If there’s a ban on Muslims,” he said with a wry smile, “we’ll all register as Muslims.”

Amen.

Big thanks to the wonderful Keri rounding up Poetry Friday this week at Keri Recommends. Enjoy the offerings!

Poetry Friday - Haiku Taking Flight...

January 5, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, HSA, workshops, birds, bird haiku, Haiku Society of America



Happy New Year!

I'm still getting my sea legs back after travel up in the hills to see family for the holidays, and after the little retail rush of December in my shop. I hope you and yours had a lovely holiday.

For haiku fans, I've just updated information on the Haiku Society of America meeting/workshop Earth Day weekend I'm coordinating in April on the coast of Georgia. Here's a link to that recent post below (or you can find it on the SE Regional page at the HSA website). A registration form is available on my Haiku page, at the top left.

Since we're going on a birdwatching Ginko (a haiku walk) that weekend, here are a few more of my own bird haiku that seem to work for this time of year; both light and dark and in-between, as I am feeling all of the above right about now:


new year
the twitter of a hundred robins
in the oak


Modern Haiku, Volume 45.1, Winter/​Spring 2014


gathering dusk
the unanswered call
of a dove


Frogpond Volume 35:3, Autumn 2012


winter chill
turkey vultures circling
one of their own


The Heron's Nest, June 2012

Poems ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


[Pssst.... A little bird has told me a Poetry Friday-er or two might attend the St. Simon's weekend!]

Our beautiful Linda, no stranger to writing haiku, has this week's Roundup at TeacherDance (with a Japanese proverb and intriguing picture of birds at the top of the page, I might add!)

Here's wishing you a 2017 full of poetry, and light....

"Honoring the Earth" Haiku Society of America Earth Day Meeting and Workshop Weekend

January 4, 2017

Tags: haiku, Haiku Society of America, HSA, HSA Meeting, St. Simons Island, Earth Day, HSA SE, HSA Southeast, Honoring the Earth


Happy New Year!

Here's an updated schedule/info for the upcoming Haiku Society of America Meeting/Workshop we're hosting on the coast of Georgia Earth Day weekend.
Can't wait!

HONORING THE EARTH – HSA Meeting and Earth Day Celebration

Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23, 2017

Epworth by the Sea (a Methodist Conference Center – meals included from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch.)
St. Simon’s Island, Georgia

TENTATIVE Schedule (subject to fine-tuning!)

Friday – Check-in/Welcome at Epworth by the Sea begins at 4 p.m.

Evening:
Dinner
Welcome by HSA SE Regional Coordinator Robyn Hood Black, introductions
Greetings from Paula Moore and the Coquina Circle.
Robyn will kick off our Earth Day theme with a brief look at Robert Epstein’s new animal rights collection and anthology.
Modified Kukai/contest introduction by Dennis Gobou.

Those so inclined might visit a local watering hole on the island for continued socialization.

Saturday
Morning
Breakfast
Welcome, Announcements, Introductions
Nod to the Book Sales Table with special guest Stanford M. Forrester of bottle rockets press, reading from his new mini-chapbook, “matcha” (printed and bound by hand).

Wear your walking shoes – workshop and a birding ginko with Tom Painting!
Bird is the Word – Tom Painting

“We will explore the magic of birds in memory, imagination and the here-and now,” says Tom. “Participants will call upon some the many fine haiku written in English about birds to act as models and inspiration. A discussion of how birds are linked to seasonal awareness will further enhance our understanding.

“With spring migration at its peak, participants will be invited to go on a bird-walk. We will identify birds in a wide range of breeding plumages and especially through their vocalizations, which make every species that much more unique.

BYOB – Bring Your Own Binoculars. (Tom will have a few extra pairs.)
ALSO, Tom would like everyone to bring a bird haiku (written by someone else).

Lunch
Afternoon
HSA Business Meeting – HSA President Fay Aoyagi

Imaginary Creatures in Haiku – We’ll follow Fay Aoyagi straight from the business world into a fanciful one.

Write Like Issa Workshop– HSA Past President David G. Lanoue
David will lead us in the ninth workshop in this series. He says: “Explore Issa's poetic style to see what he has to teach us about writing haiku in 2017.”

Late afternoon break – Enjoy the natural surroundings, polish those haiku drafts, or finish a conversation with a new friend over a cup of tea.

Dinner

Evening
Finish Kukai voting. More socialization – informal visiting at the conference center or carpooling to a local spot for grown-up beverages.

Sunday
Morning
Breakfast (Eat your Wheaties – Some high-level thinking ahead….)

Issa and Being Human: a discussion – David G. Lanoue
Based on examples from Issa, a sharing of ideas about what it means to be human on this planet.

Sidewalk Daisies: Haiku in the Context of Social Ecology (tentative title) – Laurence Stacey
A discussion of contemporary haiku poetry within the context of Social Ecology. This lecture will examine the ways that haiku allows us to enter ecological "contact zones."

Q&A
Kukai Results & Prize
Lunch

Farewell!

COST:

Lodging and meals (2 nights + 6 meals) plus $50 contribution to slightly offset speaker travel and cover coffee/snack breaks:

Single Occupancy: $372 total per person for weekend
Double Occupancy: $272 total per person for weekend

Day Rate/Commuters – Please see options on registration form.
TO REGISTER, please print off the form linked at the top left of the HAIKU page of my website and mail with payment.

TO RESERVE A SPOT: Please send a $40 non-refundable per-person deposit, made out to Robyn, as soon as possible:

Robyn Hood Black
PO Box 1022
Beaufort, SC 29901

Balance will be due (to Robyn) March 5.

Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis as long as the conference center can accommodate our numbers.

Epworth's cancellation policies:
Any individual cancellation after March 24 will result in a forfeiture of $40 per person. Any individual cancellation within 72 hours of arrival will result in forfeiture of entire per-person charge.
[Please note: alcohol and pets are not allowed on the premises.]

TRAVEL NOTES: Delta flies into the Brunswick airport and local volunteers will attempt help with pick-up from there to the meeting depending on schedules. (PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHECK INTO THIS OPTION - advance notice required!) The closest large airport is in Jacksonville, FL, which is a bit over an hour away, and attendees will need to make their own arrangements from there to St. Simon's.

Birds of a haiku feather flock together!

Questions? Feel free to contact Robyn, HSA SE Regional Coordinator.

Poetry Friday - "Time and Love" Victorian Poem to See Us into the New Year

December 22, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, Victorian poetry, holidays


Holiday Greetings, Dear Poetry Friends!

We'll be busy with family next week, so I wanted to find a poem to carry us into the New Year. We've made it through the solstice; let's look for cracks of lengthening light.

I turned to my copies of GOLDEN DAYS For Boys and Girls (Philadelphia: James Elverson, Publisher) and found a gem in Volume XVIII - No. 7 - January 2, 1897. It was written by A.M., and I wish I could tell you who that was!

It is, not surprisingly for publications of the time, written from a Christian perspective; while that happens to be mine as well, I think a few lines might appeal to an even broader audience.


TIME AND LOVE

How many a Christmas has the old clock seen,
      And always with the same unchanging face!
Come, let us wreathe him round with evergreen,
      And do him honor for a little space.
Yet what is Time to Love? And Love is here,
To give us a happy Christmas -- glad New Year.

How many tunes, by many people played,
      Must through this room have echoed long ago,
When ladies swept the floor with long brocade,
      Through stately dances minuetting slow!
But what is Time to Love? And Love, my dear,
Will make a Christmas in the saddest year.

How many children, in how many a romp,
      Have wished the clock hands would not move so fast?
Come, let us wreath him now with merry pomp,
      And bid him chime to heart's content at last.
For what is Time to Love? We need not fear,
Love will be with us through the coming year.

And very soon the carol sweet and gay,
      With Christmas melody will greet the morn;
"Christians awake! Salute the happy day
      Whereon the Saviour of mankind was born!"
Oh, what is Time to Love? And Love is here,
The Lord of Christmas and the changing year.



I'll keep these words of a bygone era close: For what is Time to Love? We need not fear,/Love will be with us through the coming year, and I wish their blessing upon you and yours.

The oh-so-smart-and-talented-and-generally-wonderful Buffy has the Roundup today at her place. Thank you, Buffy!

Poetry Friday - New Animal Rights Haiku Anthology

December 15, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, animals, animal rights, Robert Epstein, animal haiku


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

If you’re an animal lover too, this post is for you.

Hot off the Middle Island Press press is an anthology of animal rights haiku called Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog: Animal Rights Haiku by Robert Epstein (author and editor) and Miriam Wald (editor). The book features poems from contributors across the globe.

Actually, the volume is so new I don’t even have my own copy yet! I’ve just ordered one.

Here are the poems of mine that were accepted for the book:


Thanksgiving
plenty of room
for dessert



cruelty free
eye shadow weightless
on each lid



closet floor
the balance of
man-made materials



following me
eyes of the ones
I didn’t stop for



spring dusk each crooning frog sentient



Poems ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


I’m honored to have this work included. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 29 years now, and have tried in that time, sometimes imperfectly, to make cruelty-free choices as much as possible. I’m happy there are far more options in the marketplace these days for makeup, toiletries and household products that don’t test on animals than there were back in the day when I lived near Raleigh, NC, and first became aware of all these issues (even hearing animal rights author and pioneer Tom Regan speak at some meetings).

My “advice” to folks interested in a more humane approach to life continues to be: start where you are. If you are conflicted about gray areas (vaccinating children or obtaining medical care that is somehow tied to animal testing), well, most people are. But there are many daily choices which should be black and white.

Our own children received recommended vaccines growing up. But if my choice for laundry detergent is between a brand from a company which essentially forces bleach into the eyes of rabbits and causes suffering and senseless animal deaths, or a product from a company which makes safe, effective, and far more humane and eco-friendly options, I’m happy to pay a wee bit extra for the latter. (I always read labels!)

In the new year, I’ll be welcoming Robert Epstein to the blog to discuss this anthology as well as a recently-published collection of his own poems on this theme, Turkey Heaven. Robert is a San Francisco Bay Area licensed psychotherapist in addition to being a haiku poet and anthologist. He’s been a vegan since 1975.

Our upcoming interview will do double-duty, as I plan to share these two new books with attendees at our upcoming Haiku Society of America-Southeast Region meeting and workshop Earth Day weekend on the Georgia coast. (That informational post is two weeks back; for some reason it's not linking correctly.)

For more great poetry this week, strut, plod, swim, or hop over to The Opposite of Indifference where the amazing Tabatha has our Roundup, probably being supervised by her pets.

Quick Clicks

Media
bio, photos, interview links, etc.
Poems
Explore a poem or two or five....
Haiku
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
Author visits
In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
Magazines
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
Books
A rhyming tale of a young boy's knightly adventure with an imagined dragon.
Nonfiction, interactive book on wolves featuring giant pop-up and tons of info!
Portfolio
illustrations