Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet, artist

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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
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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Poem Swap Sparkles from Joy Acey (& ISSA book winner announced...)

June 29, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, Summer Poem Swap, ponderings, poetry, Joy Acey, Issa, haiku, fireflies, David G. Lanoue

Summer Greetings!

I hope you are enjoying some time by some body of water to enjoy poetry... or, for those of you Down Under or otherwise across the globe, some cozy reading time under a fuzzy blanket!

The Summer Poem Swap, lovingly coordinated by Tabatha , is ON. Funny, I was late getting my first poem out, and so was the person I was swapping with... Joy Acey. Ha! A perfect match.

Joy still beat me to the post office punch, however. I was delighted to open the above colorful painting with tiny letter blocks, which had traveled all the way from Hawaii. Here's the haiku:

just after the rains
over the long dewy grass
sparkling fireflies

©Joy Acey. Used with permission.

Doesn't that make you smile? (She even included instructions on how to use the shipping box as a frame!)

For me it evokes summer evenings in my Tennessee grandparents' back yard, which, back then, continued right through a fence into a hilly pasture. My brother and I would catch the blinking marvels in jars, and they seemed such a wonder.

Still do! We saw some last weekend at our little rental house in hilly Asheville while visiting Seth. Joy has some firefly-inspiring NC roots, too.

I recently shared with the HSA SE folks a firefly haiku by Issa, In David G. Lanoue's new WRITE LIKE ISSA:

the dog sparkling
with fireflies
sound asleep

Translated by David G. Lanoue.

Which brings me to.... (drumroll...) the winner of the WRITE LIKE ISSA book giveaway-- Big Congrats to Christie Wyman! (Christie, email me your real-world address, and I'll get your book on its way. Enjoy!)

Be sure to flicker on over to Random Noodling, where Diane is gathering up this week's Roundup. And for her purrrrfectly WONDERFUL feline HAIKU, scroll back through her recent posts!

Before you go, perhaps you'll leave a favorite firefly memory in the comments? :0)

(PS - I'll be traveling next week - a family member is having surgery - and might have to catch you again the week after. Wishing all a happy and safe Fourth!)


  1. June 29, 2017 10:02 PM EDT
    Thinking good thoughts re: your loved one's surgery, Robyn. Joy's haiku is charming. A firefly landed on my neck yesterday and I didn't realize it until Lucy took an interest. They are my favoritest bugs, with ladybugs a pretty close second.
    - Tabatha
  2. June 29, 2017 11:14 PM EDT
    Best wishes for your friend's surgery, Robyn. I love Joy's haiku, and those little block letters are adorable. The swap is so much fun. My favorite memory of fireflies is a few years ago when Sarah & I took the girls, with Carter, back to visit my brother in MO. There they saw their first fireflies, so awesome. We do not have them in Colorado, sad to say. Here's another from Issa that David has shared:
    three raindrops
    and three or four

    Enjoy your holiday!
    - Linda Baie
  3. June 30, 2017 2:50 AM EDT
    Thank you, Robyn. The summer poetry exchange is so much fun. I was already to get my second poem in the mil today, but I got to the post office too late. They close at 4:00 and they locked the door in my face. Does your post office close that early? Tabatha Yeatts has done a great service by encouraging our poetry writing.
    I enjoyed the Issa poems.
    I know you enjoy your Ashville place. It is a wonderful town. The last time I talked with Jack Prelutsky he mentioned dancing in the Ashville town square with his wife during the summer blue grass festival.
    Happy Summer
    Happy Poetry Exchange.
    - Joy Acey
  4. June 30, 2017 7:18 AM EDT
    That is beautiful. I wonder if Hawai'i has fireflies. They are such magical creatures.
    - Brenda
  5. June 30, 2017 7:21 AM EDT
    Enjoy the exchange. I've received some great gifts in the past. My lightning bug memory goes back to about 1960 when our family drove down to Georgia to visit family. My cousins and I caught the creatures and froze them to take to a local university for a study of bioluminescence. It sounds horribly cruel to me now...
    - Diane Mayr
  6. June 30, 2017 8:10 AM EDT
    Yes! It does make me smile, Robyn! I remember running barefoot each summer with jar in hand. Of course, I could never bare to keep the darling glow-bugs! Do have a safe trip.
    - Kiesha Shepard
  7. June 30, 2017 8:34 AM EDT
    I'm glad to see the fireflies are continuing to flicker through poetry. I wrote a haiku last week about the fireflies in our cherry tree. I'm still enjoying their light show each evening as I put the chickens up.
    - Kay Jernigan McGriff
  8. June 30, 2017 8:55 AM EDT
    So excited to have won the Issa book. Hooray! Love the gift from your poetry pal, Joy. What a gorgeous treasure!
    - Christie Wyman
  9. June 30, 2017 9:00 AM EDT
    Tabatha, many thanks, and thank YOU for coordinating all the Poem Swap magic year after year. Oh, I love ladybugs, too... and others. I'm trying to work on my palmetto bug phobia (those roaches the size of VWs we have over here). They are not my favoritest.

    Hi, Linda - thanks for the good wishes and for sharing that lovely memory! I just realized there were lots of fireflies in last week's PF, but I was on the road and missed a lot. Ours here are the stragglers! What a great ISSA poem; thanks for sharing.

    Hi, Joy - you're already ahead of me with a second poem. ;0) Our PO closes at 5:00, and around the holidays when I'm mailing lots of Etsy packages, I'm always running in under the wire. The former front staff person started calling me "5 O'Clock." Happy Summer!

    Brenda, of course YOU would have fireflies. Joy let me know that they don't have them in Hawaii, but she has enjoyed them here in the Carolinas.

    Hi, Diane - thanks for hosting this week! Well, we can all evolve, especially as we grow up and become our own selves, right? I do think that's interesting - you all were young scientists. Now we'll just enjoy poems about their flashes of light!

    Kiesha - "Glow-bugs" - love that! Thanks for dropping in and letting us feel the grass beneath our feet.

    Kay - thank you for pointing us to your post last week! I was on the road and missed a bunch of posts. I loved reading about your haiku adventures and your fireflies. Sounds like last week was a flashy, sparkly party all around!
    - Robyn Black
  10. June 30, 2017 9:01 AM EDT
    Christie, CONGRATULATIONS! :0) And thanks for swinging by this week to enjoy Joy's haiku, too. Happy haiku-ing this summer!
    - Robyn Black
  11. June 30, 2017 11:00 AM EDT
    Oh, how I long to one day see a firefly - I keep reading about them in Poetry Friday posts, and we don't have them in my part of the world, how sad!
    - Jane @ Raincity Librarian
  12. June 30, 2017 11:13 AM EDT
    Hi, Jane - your part of the world is magnificent, but one of these summers you'll have to "Go East, Young Woman!" :0)
    Thanks for coming by.
    - Robyn Black
  13. June 30, 2017 12:15 PM EDT
    Lovely firefly poem/postcard from Joy, summer seems to stir up all these wonderful memories! I'm a HUGE haiku writer and lover, I'm going to have to buy "Write Like Issa." Thanks for all Robyn and Happy 4th to you too!
    - Michelle Kogan
  14. June 30, 2017 1:12 PM EDT
    Here's to healing for your family member. I remember the time husband saw his first fireflies. It was in Costa Rica! We don't have them in the PNW so it magical. Aren't they anyway. I Love seeing them in NJ when I visit family.
    - Jone MacCulloch
  15. June 30, 2017 1:42 PM EDT
    Hi, Michelle - thanks for coming by! This slowing down to enjoy summer should inspire some strong haiku, shouldn't it? :0) Glad you are going to get David's book - it's terrific.

    Thank you, Jone. My hubby (& son) have been to Costa Rica and loved it. We used to call them "lightning bugs" growing up, and sure loved seeing them when visiting our grandparents. I still love seeing them, anywhere!
    - Robyn Black
  16. June 30, 2017 5:01 PM EDT
    Oh what a joy-filled poem from Joy! And of course she sent you a haiku. My favorite memory of fireflies was catching them while camping when our kids were little, and releasing them in the tent. It was a magical way for them to go to sleep (but required a little persistence to get them all out the next day!)
    - Buffy Silverman
  17. June 30, 2017 8:40 PM EDT
    Buffy - a tent full of fireflies! Of course you all would do that. Magic! Thanks for coming over. :0) & Happy Summer!
    - Robyn Black
  18. July 1, 2017 1:19 AM EDT
    Hey, Robyn and hello to Joy too--she might be reading these comments. Wow! What a beautiful, playful, 3D presentation of a firefly haiku that makes me wonder--have I ever experienced fireflies after rain? I like comparing this one to Daniel's, where it seems to be the dog that sparkles.

    I also like it that my Captcha words below are "CALLE piscina," since I'm here for the last morning at my round writing table in France with only a pool between me and the roads along the vineyards and orchards of the Luberon.
    - Heidi Mordhorst
  19. July 1, 2017 10:37 AM EDT
    Heidi, merci beaucoup for chiming in from across the wide ocean! I had that thought, too, reading Joy's - about fireflies and rain. Lovely!
    (My captcha words over at Kay's recently were "snug joys" or something like that, which I thought perfect for a lot of haiku!) Have a glorious rest of your trip, packing up inspiration as you return. XO
    - Robyn Black
  20. July 2, 2017 6:46 AM EDT
    Our yard is pesticide-free, so we have lots of fireflies. I was relieved when, in just the last few days, the bees and black swallowtails returned!
    - Mary Lee
  21. July 3, 2017 12:13 AM EDT
    Robyn, I read Joy's firefly poem but can't remember where. It is a joyful one and quite unique with the little cubed letters. Fireflies are the light switches of a summer night. My children when they were young made a little home for them and captured them as they ran around the lawn shouting with glee. I hope my new grandbaby has that experience as she grows up. Thanks for sharing. The haiku is a sparkler for sure.
    - Carol Varsalona
  22. July 13, 2017 6:34 PM EDT
    Mary Lee & Carol, I got very behind on tending my blog while away last week - thanks for your beautiful firefly stories and gorgeous descriptions in your sparkling comments!
    - Robyn Black

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