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 - "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.

Poetry Friday - "Christmas" by George Cooper

December 8, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, poem, holidays, Christmas, found poem, Victorian



Holiday Greetings!

Would love to report that I'm perched by the fireplace, woolen-shawl-wrapped and book in hand, sipping cinnamon tea while my sparkly and symmetrically decorated Christmas tree winks from the corner...

Alas, I'm burning the candle at both ends with piles of to-do's around still to be done. You?

Well, even in the chaos, I am grateful for the wonderful folks who people and interrupt my life, and for the light they share and reflect from the Source.

Those Victorians knew how to wax eloquently about the holiday. Below is a poem from the December 26, 1896 edition of GOLDEN DAYS for Boys and Girls published in Philadelphia by James Elverson. This is the newsprint magazine that yielded those mini-ornament found poems from a couple of weeks ago. In fact, would you believe I found one more teeny frame this week in my studio? I'm sure this is the last one like this. Missing its wee bit of hardware, but I improvised.

First, the poem by George Cooper (American, 1840-1927), who wrote many song lyrics:

     CHRISTMAS

A world of white that flushes with the smiles
            of morn;
      A gladsome whisper breathing what to
            earth befell -
The babe - the loving Saviour in the manger
            born
      And the bells up in the steeple ringing
            ding, dong, bell!

A message form the forest clad in icy mail;
      A twitter from a birdie that its glee must
            tell;
A rousing crow from far and near the dawn
            to hail,
      And the bells up in the steeple ringing
            ding, dong, bell!

Oh, gentle breath of kindness on the ting-
            gling air!
      Oh, the gleaming sky that weaves its pure and
            holy spell!
Oh, rippling laugh of childhood waking
            everywhere!
      And the bells up in the steeple ringing
            ding, dong, bell!

The patter over all the world of little feet;
      Ah, ringed is wintry earth with joy no
            heart may tell!
And so the year is rounded with delight so
            sweet,
      And the bells up in the steeple ringing
            ding, dong, bell!

"A merry, merry Christmas!" pipe the winds
            at play;
"A merry, merry Christmas!" echo vale and
            dell;
"A merry, merry Christmas!" dancing wave-
            lets say,
      With the bells up in the steeple ringing
            ding, dong, bell!


Mr. Cooper seems to have enjoyed exclamation points, perhaps even more than I do. (!) I must admit being smitten, though, by "the forest clad in icy mail" and those "dancing wavelets." Lovely.

Elsewhere in this edition I did clip one more found poem ornament, dangling in the photo above. This one reads:

passion

            is contagious,

be merry

            For this one day,
be merry with heart


(This came from a little editorial section without direct attribution, just titled, "MERRY CHRISTMAS.") Thanks to you all for buying up the micro-found-poem trio of ornaments I featured before; this one's in my Etsy shop if anyone's interested - ;0) . I posted a few "process" pictures over on my art blog today http://artsyletters.com/?p=1271 .

Whatever your own faith tradition, I wish you at least a few exclamation-point-worthy moments of delight this season, especially in a world with so many dark corners. I'm sure you'll find all kinds of enlightenment over at Check it Out , where the always-creative Jone has our Roundup this week, and an invitation for a poem postcard exchange sure to brighten the darkest days of winter. (Enjoy her own beautiful haiku in the examples, too!)

[Friday morning update - a wonderful Poetry Friday person snatched up the new ornament early; thank you! Also, hitting the road for a family wedding today - will keep all in thoughts even if my responses are delayed. ]

Poetry Friday - Heads Up: Earth Day Weekend Haiku Meeting and Workshop - by the Sea!

December 1, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, HSA, haiku, workshops, conferences, HSA Southeast Region, 2017



Greetings, Friends!

Before my actual post, I'd like to convey fervent thoughts and prayers for those here in the Southeast who have suffered unspeakable losses because of the recent fires and tornadoes. I was born in Knoxville, and though I only lived there as a baby, my childhood was laced up with treasured family excursions to Gatlinburg ("the Burg" as my grandmother would call it), and Pigeon Forge, and the greater area. We took our own kids there for family vacation time and a birthday weekend or two. The Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation has a donation button at Gatlingburg.com to benefit those affected by the fires.

In more cheerful news, I know it's not even officially winter yet, but if you have fallen under the spell of haiku, I invite you to think about spring... . Specifically, April 21-23, when I'll be coordinating a Haiku Society of America meeting and Earth Day celebration weekend here in the Southeast Region.

Here, it will be easiest just to share all the details I have so far:


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 at Epworth by the Sea begins at 4 p.m.
Evening:
Dinner
Welcome by HSA SE Regional Coordinator Robyn Hood Black, introductions, mingling. Robyn will kick off our Earth Day theme with a brief look at Robert Epstein’s new animal rights collection and anthology. Kukai/contest introduction by Dennis Gobou.

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

Saturday
Morning
Breakfast

Pack 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.
Those interested in the walk should bring binoculars. I will have a number of pairs to lend out for those not owning them.”

ALSO, Tom would like everyone to bring a bird haiku (written by someone else).

Afternoon
Lunch

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.

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


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. Here's a question from David to ponder: "What does it mean to be alive, and how can haiku help answer this question?"

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
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 (Please let me know name of person you’ll be sharing a room with.)

Contact me if you will be coming during the day only; I'll need to collect money in advance for meals, workshop contribution, and a small Epworth fee.

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) in early March. (After the holidays, I’ll make a registration form available for balance/full payment and to collect dietary needs info, etc. I can email or post on the haiku page of my author website for download.)

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 $20 per person. Any individual cancellation within 72 hours of arrival will result in forfeiture of entire per-person charge.

Birds of a haiku feather flock together!

********

I didn't realize until I went looking that a large percentage of my own published haiku are about birds! Here's one to leave you with:


lingering afternoon
the ebb and flow
of birdsong


©Robyn Hood Black
This World - Haiku Society of America 2013 Members' Anthology


Now, be sure to fly on over to Wee Words for Wee Ones, where our generous and lovely Bridget has this week's Roundup, and some thoughtful comments about "community." Makes me thankful to be a part of this one!

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A rhyming tale of a young boy's knightly adventure with an imagined dragon.
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