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 - Haiku by Liz and Yours Truly in ACORN

November 7, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, Acorn, Elizabeth Steinglass, Charlotte Degregorio

Greetings, Poetry Friends! For those in the Northern Hemisphere, I hope you are having a lovely fall. Many recent weather challenges in parts of the US, I know.

Fall brings acorns, and if you are a serious fan of haiku, perhaps it should bring the haiku journal Acorn to your doorstep. When I first fell into the form, I fell in love with this gem of a journal. I enjoyed and studied it, and have been fortunate to have my own poems appear in it over the years.

Founded by A.C. Missias in 1998, Acorn was edited by Carolyn Hall when I discovered it. Susan Antolin took over editorial reins in 2012. The selective pocket-sized journal, with its simple layout and contributors from around the world, is published twice a year.

My poem in the current issue is one of several I've written after visiting our son, Seth, in Asheville. He is doing a service-year internship there with an urban ministry program which primarily serves those experiencing homelessness, as well as others in the community. After taking Seth out to breakfast one quiet Sunday morning, as we walked a few blocks back to our car, I was struck by the following image:

empty street
she stoops to pocket
a half-cigarette

©Robyn Hood Black
Acorn, No. 39: Fall 2017

This week Charlotte Digregorio asked if she could feature this poem as a daily haiku on her terrific Writer's Blog. (Thank you, Charlotte!)

(To simply move on from my poem without further explication, skip this wee paragraph.) Heavy-handed poetic devices are avoided in haiku, but subtle ones can be slipped in if they don't detract from the images. In this poem, I thought the consonance of "st" and "p" sounds worked, because the reader is stopped by them somewhat, as the subject stops to pick up a used cigarette. Also, the word "stoop" can carry more than one connotation. Its meaning as a noun might even come to mind, silently suggesting a resting place where an unhoused person might rest or sleep for a spell at the entrance to a building.

Back to Acorn...

I was delighted to see a poem by our own Elizabeth Steinglass in the current issue as well.

Liz is another big fan of the journal.

"I love holding a volume of Acorn in my hand," she says. "It's just the right size and the paper is beautiful, but in a subtle way that provides a perfect backdrop for the haiku."

In the way of haiku, hers is both timeless and timely. I believe many will find that it particularly resonates this week, so I leave you with her rich words.

hands cupped
around a fragile flame
candlelight vigil

©Elizabeth Steinglass
Acorn, No. 39: Fall 2017

(Thanks for sharing, Liz.) Love and light to those who especially need it this week.

One pocket of our Poetry Friday universe which always offers warmth and light is Jama's Alphabet Soup - Visit Jama today for both, and for the Roundup!


  1. November 9, 2017 10:45 PM EST
    I do try to learn from your writing, Robyn and enjoyed your explication of your haiku. Both yours and Liz's show parts of our world that needs helpful words, so thank you. Congratulations to you and Liz for the publication, too!
    - Linda Baie
  2. November 9, 2017 11:36 PM EST
    Thank you for your post and your haiku. So nice, too, to learn about Acorn.
    - Holly Thompson
  3. November 10, 2017 9:46 AM EST
    Hi, Linda - thank you for the kind feedback, and glad you enjoyed! I just love the challenge of trying to pack a lot into a few small words.

    Holly! So great to see your name. Thanks for coming by and commenting, and wishing you all the best on your side of the world.
    - Robyn Black
  4. November 10, 2017 11:02 AM EST
    Thanks for the heads up about ACORN -- truly sounds like a publication worth subscribing to! Enjoyed both your and Liz's haiku -congrats to both of you. I am so often struck by the profundity of the moments such a short form can offer.
    - jama
  5. November 10, 2017 11:11 AM EST
    I find haiku so powerful not just because of what they describe, but what is left unsaid. Your words tell such a story, using simple words with a powerful impact. A haiku master indeed! :)
    - Jane @ Raincity Librarian
  6. November 10, 2017 12:48 PM EST
    Both haiku are lovely. And I am enjoying writing and learning more about haiku. I appreciate your willingness to share (and explain your thinking behind them) your haiku and those of others. The more I read and learn, the more I find to appreciate in this form--and I offer a haiku as well this week!
    - Kay Jernigan McGriff
  7. November 10, 2017 3:13 PM EST
    Haikus from two of my favorite poets! A real Friday treat.

    Thanks for sharing the thought that went into your haiku. I love the care you take as you choose your words. Those carefully thought out choices are why I treasure great poetry.
    - Penny Parker Klostermann
  8. November 10, 2017 4:17 PM EST
    Terrific haiku, Robyn and Liz! Acorn looks great. Want!!
    (How's your mom? Your foot?)
    - Tabatha
  9. November 10, 2017 5:20 PM EST
    Robyn, the image you draw in three simple lines is a powerful statement to homelessness and how we usually just pass on by. Liz's poem also evokes a powerful image. I've been to the vigil and held my hands over the flame. The echo of the sounds in fragile and vigil are palpable. Thanks for sharing.
    - Margaret Simon
  10. November 10, 2017 9:40 PM EST
    Hi, Jama - thank you for the thoughtful comment, and for hosting us all today! XO

    Jane, thank you - very kind! You are so right about the "unsaid" aspect; I love that about haiku.

    Hi, Kay - so glad you enjoyed today's post. And I look forward to visiting yours! Thanks for coming by.

    Penny, you're so welcome, and thank you for chiming in. :0)

    Hey, Tabatha - you'd love Acorn! Glad you enjoyed the poems. And thanks for asking - I'm in Fla. with Mom this week, and she's doing well. Just passed halfway mark with the chemo. :0) I'm still lugging around a big black boot a good bit. Healing slowly...

    Thanks for reading, Margaret - and I love that you pointed out Liz's perfect word choices. I was transported to my own experiences like that, too, by those three short lines.
    - Robyn Black
  11. November 10, 2017 11:45 PM EST
    Wonderful haiku, Robyn and Liz! Congratulations to you both. I've never seen Acorn, but think I should check it out.
    - Buffy Silverman
  12. November 11, 2017 10:08 AM EST
    Congratulations to you and Liz! Your poems are outstanding. And, Robyn, your explanations of haiku are right on the money.
    - Diane Mayr
  13. November 11, 2017 10:13 AM EST
    Hi, Buffy - glad you enjoyed. And your guest post at Michelle's today is AWEsome! :0)

    Thanks, Diane - and that definitely makes me smile, coming from the likes of you.
    - Robyn Black
  14. November 11, 2017 3:30 PM EST
    I love both of your poems. Thanks ALWAYS for process notes! I learn loads from you! Sounds like I need to subscribe to this journal!
    - Mary Lee Hahn
  15. November 11, 2017 9:30 PM EST
    Rich and poignant poems, congrats to both and thanks for sharing them with us Robyn! I love the short form of haikus. When I first began writing haikus I couldn't write enough of them. Then, after reading many and writing many I started thinking more on what they were saying–
    pools became streams,
    and streams rivers flowing
    © Michelle Kogan
    - Michelle Kogan
  16. November 11, 2017 11:10 PM EST
    Hi, Mary Lee - Many thanks! You'd love Acorn.

    Michelle, thanks for coming by and sharing your flowing thoughts. :0) Successful haiku do offer different layers of meaning, I think.
    - Robyn Black
  17. November 12, 2017 8:07 AM EST
    Such powerful examples of a powerful form. thanks for sharing.
    - Sally Murphy
  18. November 13, 2017 4:18 PM EST
    Thank YOU for coming by, Sally. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  19. November 17, 2017 3:04 PM EST
    Such different slices of life in one post, Robyn. I love that you noticed the unfortunate Asheville woman in such a delicate way. I'm betting (having grown up with a nicotine-addicted parent) that half-sig was the highlight of her morning. And Liz reminding us also delicately of the the non-ending candle vigils this fall. We just had one yesterday for a frat. boy . . .) I am so leaning on poetry & Poetry Friday. Appreciations.
    And love at this time of Giving Thanks.
    - Jan
  20. November 17, 2017 6:44 PM EST
    Appreciations right back, Jan - you are truly a light. Thank you for your kind words, thoughts & actions. XO
    - 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!