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

Hannah enjoying poetry workshop

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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

Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller

photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko

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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Summer Poem Swap Treasures from Margaret Simon

July 27, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, Summer Poem Swap, poetry, birds, art

Howdy, Fellow Poetry Lovers - how is it the end of July already?

Teacher-Daughter Morgan is finishing up her classroom prep in Georgia, ready for the Meet and Greet in just a few days... And my special "guest" today will be back in the swing of school in coming days, too!

This morning I heard a "teakettle-teakettle-teakettle" chirp outside the bedroom window, and I immediately thought of Margaret Simon. She sent me the most wonderful Carolina Wren-inspired Summer Poem Swap poem, plus other treasures! (Many thanks to Tabatha for coordinating these wonderful Swaps.)

Margaret included a lovely card and note explaining that in May, she was visiting her parents and watched a Carolina Wren feeding her babies in a nest built in a flower pot. She also kindly mentioned my Carolina Wren block print/cards in my Etsy shop, and she included its image on the sheet with her poem!

[My image came about after I was smitten with a painting by Camille Engel that my good friend Peggy Jo Shaw uses as a logo for her writing & editorial business, Wren Cottage. I wanted my own reference, of course, for anything I made, though my relief print would be stylized. I set up a stack of vintage books next to a nest-filled flower pot that was on MY back porch years ago, then waited across the patio slumped in a chair for "our" wren to land on them! Many close calls before she finally lit on the books, almost an hour later, and I snapped a (fuzzy-but-good-enough) picture. ;0) ]

Here is the poem Margaret sent:

Carolina Wren

From the back porch,
we watched a cinnamon-colored bird
hop in and out
like a child bouncing
on a trampoline--
flower pot
to birch
to pine needle mulch--

From a quivering branch,
a teakettle tweet--
Mom and Pop
tag teaming
carry insects,
other crawling creatures.
Looping return--

Under rising red vinca
unkowing flowers
sway like a metronome.
A nest nook
echoes notes
from tiny, open
begging yellow beaks--

İMargaret Simon. All rights reserved.

Isn't that SO wren-like? It makes me cheer for that little wren family.

Margaret also sent the oh-so-lovely mixed media wooden plaque in soothing blues, perfect for someone from the splashy bayou to send to someone in the balmy lowcountry! Its text reads, "Words are your paintbrush" with a little raised feature that says "DELIGHT." (I get to add it to my beautiful "Art by Margaret" poem swap collection!)

Many thanks to Margaret for these gifts, and for permission to share them this week.

[Aside: This week is also "Shark Week" on Discovery Channel.... Speaking of block print animal designs in my Etsy shop, I went a little crazy when the USPS issued some brand-new Forever shark stamps on Wednesday. I paired these with my shark note cards, made up a fun mini metal bookmark with vintage pewter shark tooth charm, and put it all together in a limited edition Shark Gift Pack. It has tooth. And charm.]

Whether your summer travels have you in the air or the water this week, please make your way on over to A Word Edgewise, where Linda - also gearing up for a new school year, I'm sure - has the Roundup and a nest-full of poetic inspiration today!


  1. July 27, 2017 11:44 PM EDT
    I read Margaret's poem earlier, and love that "teakettle tweet" and the tag team of Mom and Pop, remember your own sketches, too Robyn. What lovely gifts happen in this swapping! Happy Shark Week, too!
    - Linda Baie
  2. July 28, 2017 6:23 AM EDT
    I know that wren block print! Nice to hear the story behind it. Such a thoughtful swap from Margaret. You are a delight!
    - Tabatha
  3. July 28, 2017 8:57 AM EDT
    Ha! I love your toothy shark pack! What fun, Robyn! And how delightful is Margaret's teakettle singing wren? Beautiful. Words ARE your paintbrush for sure. xo
    - Irene Latham
  4. July 28, 2017 10:02 AM EDT
    Words really are your paintbrush. How perfect for you and your art. I adore that little wren family. The trampoline just makes me giggle.
    - Linda Mitchell
  5. July 28, 2017 10:24 AM EDT
    So adorable. That one word, teakettle, just makes it extraordinary. I like the sound of your Etsy shark week offering, Robyn.
    - Brenda
  6. July 28, 2017 11:22 AM EDT
    I love how so many things come together in this collection of art and words. I've had fun watching the birds (maybe wrens) who build a nest in the hanging basket fern on our front porch every year.
    - Kay Jernigan McGriff
  7. July 28, 2017 12:15 PM EDT
    Hi, Linda - Those wren parents are always so dedicated. We haven't had a nest to watch here this year, but I was always tired just watching the endless feeding. And the day(s) those babies actually leave the nest - Whoa! That's another level of work.

    Thanks again, Tabatha, for facilitating all this serendipitous magic! :0)

    Thank you, my sweet Irene. Can't you just hear Margaret's wrens - the grown-ups and the peeping babies - in that poem?!

    Hi, Host Linda! Thanks for rounding up today. Margaret's trampoline image is such a delight!

    Hi, Brenda - thanks for popping in, and glad you enjoyed all around. :0)

    Howdy, Kay - those hanging baskets make the best bird homes. Thanks for coming by!

    - Robyn Black
  8. July 28, 2017 12:51 PM EDT
    Robyn, Thanks for the feature today. Such poetry fun in this summer swap. I have enjoyed creating this gifts for my special PF friends. When I was writing and revising this poem, I visited your site for inspiration. It just fit to send it to you. I am soaking up my last days of summer.
    - Margaret Simon
  9. July 28, 2017 1:05 PM EDT
    What a gift of poem and art. It's so wonderful. I love the teakettle tweet.
    And I am going to hop over to your Easy shop.
    - jone
  10. July 28, 2017 6:03 PM EDT
    I love the imagery of Margaret's poem. It reminds me of a little bird at my parents' house that comes to visit every day.
    - Rebecca A Herzog
  11. July 28, 2017 6:33 PM EDT
    Margaret, thanks for allowing me to share all this wonderful-ness on my blog this week! Enjoy those last drops of golden summer....

    Hi, Jone - the word "DELIGHT" on the plaque is how I feel about all of it - including the kind notes Margaret sent!

    Hi, Rebecca - thanks for visiting. I think the poem is so successful at making those birds real, that it's easy to link them to our memories to other little birds in our lives. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  12. July 28, 2017 11:57 PM EDT
    Lots of critters abound in your post today, Robyn. Glad you were able to capture a pic of the wren, patience paid off. I took a peak at your shark package in your etsy shop, lovely-hope you sell many. I didn't know about "Shark Week." maybe I'll add some endangered sharks to my etsy shop next year. I also remember Margaret's poem from the spring and love the lively movement she created with it. Thanks for all!
    - Michelle Kogan
  13. July 29, 2017 12:16 AM EDT
    Hi, Michelle - thanks so much for visiting here (& my shop, too!) I'm sure you'd create quite a fetching shark. :0) Glad you got to revisit Margaret's wonderful poem again here - have a great weekend!
    - Robyn Black
  14. July 29, 2017 7:06 AM EDT
    Margaret's poem is so sweet, and I love the story of how you created your wren image. I'm not a huge shark fan, but your Shark Gift Pack is wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Robyn!
    - Catherine @ Reading to the Core
  15. July 29, 2017 7:56 AM EDT
    I love how each stanza of Margaret's poem looks like a wren, with those pert tail feathers of theirs!
    - Mary Lee Hahn
  16. July 29, 2017 10:48 AM EDT
    Wonderful Poem Swap Edition!
    - Ruth (
  17. July 29, 2017 1:41 PM EDT
    What a sweet collection! Like others, I'm charmed by the shape of the poem, as well as its content.
    - Violet N.
  18. July 29, 2017 6:41 PM EDT
    Hi, Catherine - thanks for dropping in! I love wrens at any distance, and prefer it if sharks stay a wee bit away. But, I know when I'm splashing around in the ocean, I'm in their house... :0!

    "Pert" is the perfect word, Mary Lee! Thanks for coming by.

    Hi, Ruth - glad you enjoyed!

    I agree, Violet - I tried to do it justice with my HTML formatting code, but the shape shows up in the pic. Fun touch!
    - Robyn Black
  19. July 30, 2017 7:46 AM EDT
    What a gloriously rich and satisfying post this morning, as I sit with window open listening to the sweet robin song! Ah, all days should be so good! Thanks for sharing your story and Margaret's gift!
    - Donna Smith
  20. July 30, 2017 3:50 PM EDT
    Your comment makes me smile ear to ear, Donna! I hope the rest of your day has continued as pleasantly as it started. Thanks for sharing the birdsong!
    - Robyn Black

Quick Clicks

bio, photos, interview links, etc.
Explore a poem or two or five....
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.
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
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!