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


Click links below to follow our Progressive Poem for Nat'l Poetry Month!

April

1 Heidi at my juicy little universe

2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

3 Doraine at Dori Reads

4 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty

5 Diane at Random Noodling

6 Kat at Kat's Whiskers

7 Irene at Live Your Poem

8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

9 Linda at TeacherDance

10 Penny at a penny and her jots

11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem

13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

14 Jan at Bookseedstudio

15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales

16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy

17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

18 Buffy at Buffy's Blog

19 Pat at Writer on a Horse

20 BJ at Blue Window

21 Donna at Mainely Write

22 Jone at Jone Ruch MacCulloch

23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town

24 Amy at The Poem Farm

25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

26 Renee at No Water River

27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme

28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan

29 Charles at Poetry Time

30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids








Hannah enjoying poetry workshop


(Scroll down this column for tags, archives and blogroll....)

Archives

Tags


Enjoy these Great
Children's Lit Blogs and Websites:


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 - Robert Epstein Discusses Animal Rights Haiku

April 13, 2017

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


Greetings, Poetry Month Celebrants!

I’m happy to share space here today with Robert Epstein, a California haiku poet and anthologist who is also a licensed psychotherapist. I mentioned his new anthology, Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog (Middle Island Press), compiled with clinical psychologist and animal rights activist Miriam Wald, Ph.D., back in December, when I shared the poems of mine that appear in it. I promised more with Robert soon, and here we are!

Before the anthology, Robert also released a personal collection from Middle Island Press, Turkey Heaven: Animal Rights Haiku. I was delighted about the appearance of both of these books, as I’ve been an “ethical vegetarian” for nearly 30 years.

Next weekend is "HONORING THE EARTH" - the Earth Day weekend Haiku Society of America meeting and conference I’m coordinating in St. Simons Island, Georgia. Though Robert can’t join us in person for that, I look forward to introducing these two books to our attendees. And I’m happy to share a Q&A with Robert here today. (more…)

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 - 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 - 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 - 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!

Poetry Friday - Teaching Poetry!

November 17, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, teachers, students, workshops, haiku, found poetry


Happy Poetry Friday!

Many of you are at NCTE in Atlanta - what a wonderful weekend of poetry is planned in many of those sessions! Do report back.

I'm on the road too, just slightly north of that, in the North Georgia mountains. On Friday, I'll be helping daughter Morgan lead a small group of young poets (2nd and 3rd grade) at her school. We'll be playing with found poems, and I can't wait to see what they come up with.

I love sharing any kind of poetry with students. This week over at The Haiku Foundation, I'm honored to have a guest post about teaching haiku to Morgan's third graders last spring in Greenville, SC. Click here for that.

If you've been watching the news, you know the Southern mountains have been plagued with wildfires in recent weeks. Our youngest, a college senior near the Georgia-North Carolina border, started sending us pictures of smoke and haze a couple of weeks ago. (We plan to see him too this weekend, as he's on his college's homecoming court!) And though I wouldn't relish driving in rain, I do hope they get rain, and soon.

I'll close today with a recent haiku of mine, written when afternoon showers prevailed here on the Lowcountry coast:



summer storm
pavement steam rises
to meet rain



©Robyn Hood Black
Acorn, No. 37, Fall 2016


Whether you're hanging out with other poetry-loving teachers or savoring Poetry Friday in some quiet corner, thanks for coming by, and be sure to follow the trail at Friendly Fairy Tales, where Beautiful Brenda has our Roundup this week.

Poetry Friday - Howdy from Poetry Camp, and Haiku News!

September 29, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, workshops, conferences, haiku, contests


Happy Poetry Friday!

I'm posting from Bellingham, Washington, where many of us are gathering for Poetry Camp at Western Washington University this weekend. Can't wait to catch up with poetry friends, and meet many others whose work I've admired for years. Friday night I'm leading a Found Poem Mixed Media Makerspace activity at the three-stories-of-awesome Village Books. On Saturday, I get to co-lead a workshop on picture books with Julie Larios!

As if this weren't enough poetry good news, I received news at the start of the week that one of my poems was awarded "third honorable mention" in the Haiku Society of America's 2016 Henderson Haiku Contest. Pinch me! I've posted as a picture above, but please click over to read the winning haiku and always insightful judges' comments. (This year's judges were Cor van den Heuvel and Scott Mason, so I'm beyond honored to have received an honorable mention.) My poem was:

wedding invitations
the press and release
of the nib


©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

I'm also delighted to share links to award-winning haiku by names you'll recognize from my blog as shining haiku stars who happen to live in our Southeast region. Tom Painting took FIRST place in the 2016 Brady Senryu Contest, and Terri L. French was awarded second place in the
2016 HSA Haibun Award Contest. Congratulations, Friends!

The wonderful Karen Edmisten has the Poetry Friday Roundup today - Enjoy!

Poetry Friday: Daily Issa and Creatures Great and Small

August 25, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, David G. Lanoue, Issa, ponderings, spiders, animals, nature, book tracks


I don’t know about you, but to counteract the weight of the daily news, I could use a daily dose of Issa!
[Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) is regarded as one of the primary masters of haiku. He endured much hardship and loss, and his heartfelt poetry is known for its sensitivity to all living things.]

Wait -- Now I have a daily dose of Issa!

For years, Issa scholar and past-president of the Haiku Society of America David G. Lanoue has offered a random Issa poem delivered to your inbox or your Twitter account (or both!) . [Here’s a post about Dr. Lanoue (David) from my blog a couple-few years ago. A professor at Xavier University, he has translated upwards of 10,000 of Issa’s poems.]

His Issa website was launched in 2000. Click here to get to know Issa and sign up for daily poems. After my own unsuccessful attempt a while back to receive this daily treasure (operator error, I’m certain – it’s really quite easy), I finally got myself subscribed and love reading an Issa poem each day.

Thursday’s made me smile:


at an honest man's gate
honeybees
make their home


1824, translated by David G. Lanoue.


It reminded me of our summer guest I blogged about before – the golden silk orb weaver who took up just outside the back door and is still with us. She’s apparently going to go for a third brood?

Issa wrote about spiders, too. And lots of animals. Lanoue’s book, Issa and the Meaning of Animals – A Buddhist Poet’s Perspective (2014), offers accessible insights about this special poet and many of his haiku – a must if you are an Issa fan, a double-must if you are an animal-loving Issa fan.

Here’s one I love:


corner spider
rest easy, my soot-broom
is idle


Translated by David G. Lanoue.


And one more – this goes out to my newlywed teacher-daughter Morgan. They have seen deer a few times in their in-town neighborhood in Georgia this week; a buck, twice!


the young buck’s
antlers tilting…
“cuckoo!”


Translated by David G. Lanoue.


The book provides background and unlocks potential meanings for the poems, which give us beautiful imagery with or without explication. Hope you enjoyed this taste!

Are you a teacher? Click here and here for David’s website pages designed just for you. You can “test” your haiku/Issa knowledge with the first link, and find out about how to share Issa’s life and poetry with kids at the second.

Also, if picture poetry books call your name, you might enjoy sharing Matthew Gollub’s Cool Melons – Turn to Frogs! – The Life and Poems of Issa, illustrated by Kazuko G. Stone (Lee & Low, 1998, 2004). This colorful paperback combines some biography and sample poems to offer glimpses into Issa’s life and writing.

That's what’s going on in my universe this week. For the Poetry Friday Roundup and lots more poetic goodness, please visit poet and teacher extraordinaire Heidi over at My Juicy Little Universe.

Poetry Friday - Memorial Day

May 26, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, Memorial Day



We live in a military town. In fact, when you drive into Beaufort and pass the Marine Corps Air Station on your left, you'll see a billboard which says, 'The "Noise" You Hear Is The Sound Of Freedom.'

I think of that phrase when I hear the familiar roar overhead, more roars than ever since The U.S. Marine Corps opened the doors of the first dedicated F-35B Pilot Training Center here a couple of years ago, training the next generation of pilots flying the F-35 Lightning II. I remember when we first moved here, we went downtown to help welcome those new military personnel, and as usual, there was music and and lots of giddy kids running around the Waterfront Park lawn and warm speeches by local dignitaries. And fireworks. This town loves fireworks. It was fun to see such support, from both sides of the political aisle I'm certain, coming together to honor our men and women in uniform and their young families.

I really have gotten used to the sound of jets darting across the sky, almost like they are resident birds! Loud birds.

We have neighbors who are pilots, male and female, and there is certainly something about putting faces with the sounds of those jets, and with stories on the news from across the world, that makes the dedication of our service personnel more real and personal to me. I wish them safety, pray for their safe returns from deployments, and appreciate that they put themselves in harm's way to serve our country. They are very fine folks who take their work seriously, and we miss them when they are away.

This weekend, of course, we honor those men and women who have given their very lives in such service. Words fail, but we hold their families in thoughts and prayers.



Memorial Day
a flag flutters above
its shadow



©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

Frogpond, Volume 36:1, Winter 2013


Many thanks to all who serve or have served, and to those who support them.

Please join the super-talented Julie Larios today for this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at The Drift Record.

Poetry Friday - Spring Haiku from Terri L. French

April 6, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, Poetry Month, book tracks, haiku, Terri L. French, Haiku Society of America


Happy 2nd Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month!

I'm on the road but wanted to share a few lovely spring haiku by my friend, Terri L. French. Terri has been the fearless leader of our Southeast Region of the Haiku Society of America for several years, bringing lots of lively opportunities to our part of the country. I'm taking the reins this year, but she and the organization's powers-that-be have kindly agreed to let me get past a very busy spring first, including planning daughter Morgan's out-of-town June wedding. (Thank you, Terri and HSA!)

Much appreciation to Terri for sharing these poems here this week. Enjoy!



oodles of daffodils--
the beauty of an empty vase


Bottle Rockets, 2011



a succession of sneezes--
forsythia blossoms




gentle rain...
the chant of spring peepers
joins my zen




wind
blowing on the child
blowing on the pinwheel



Poems ©Terri L. French. All rights reserved.



These last two poems are from Terri's collection, A Ladybug on My Words, available from Amazon.

Terri was a guest on my blog three years ago during Poetry Month; click here for a bit of her background and more of her haiku!

Speaking of haiku and Poetry Month, The Haiku Foundation will once again celebrate International Haiku Day with a global "rolling haiku" on April 17. Mark your calendar and click here for more details!


If you're a fan of short poems, you've probably ventured over to Laura Purdie Salas's blog. She's our host today for the Roundup, so make like a ladybug and fly on over to visit Writing the World for Kids.

Poetry Friday - The Roundup is HERE! Along with Terrific Student Haiku...

March 15, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, student work



HAPPY POETRY FRIDAY!

So glad you're joining the party. I'm delighted to host today. Everyone is welcome - new faces and PF veterans alike.

In addition to the Roundup, it's my pleasure to share a few accolade-winning student haiku this week.

Tom Painting, language arts teacher at The Paideia School in Atlanta and haiku poet extraordinaire, sent along some poems by his eighth-grade students which recently appeared in the "Youth Corner" of The United Haiku and Tanka Society's online publication, cattails. (To read more about cattails, click here to read my interview with its Youth Corner editor, Kala Ramesh.)


The following haiku received honorable mention recognition in cattails in January. Also, each young poet agreed to share a personal thought about haiku, which appear just beneath his or her name.



shower steam
my off key notes bounce
on the tiled walls


©Taylor Clay
"I enjoy writing and reading haiku because of the satisfaction in creating a beautiful scene with only a few words."


setting sun
the scarecrow whistles
in the wind


©Cole McCord
"Haiku allows me to remove a moment from my memory and place it on a page for safekeeping. "


the rocks
water glides down
the river


©Hunter Collins
"I choose the moment that strongly urges to be put down on paper. Then, I let the moment write itself."


bound diary
what secrets do
you hold?


©Naiima Paul
"Haiku is like any art form, one needs inspiration. Anything can inspire you, from the sound of raindrops to a photo of your cousin."


Many thanks to Taylor, Cole, Hunter, and Naiima for sharing their work. I'm always inspired by the haiku of young poets!

And I must share a fun comment from one of my daughter Morgan's third graders this week. (I've been traveling across SC to her classroom for some classroom poetry adventures in recent weeks, tagging wedding planning appointments to these visits in the process.) I told the kids I'd see them in April, after spring break. Out of the blue, one of Morgan's enthusiastic young poets, Krish, made my day. He said, "Spring Break is a great time to write nature haiku!"

Indeed it is. Wishing you warmth and inspiration as the calendar pages turn to spring.

Please leave your links (& a brief description) in the comments below, and I'll round up as we go along. NOTE: We'll actually be on the road again this afternoon, so links left after lunch might not get rounded up until this evening. [I also just bought a laptop I'm trying to figure out how to use. It will go with me - wish me luck!] Thanks for your patience, and feel free to scan the comments to visit everyone's posts today in the meantime.


Onward to Poetry!

At Random Noodling, Diane is generously sharing a pot of fresh coffee to celebrate WORLD POETRY DAY, along with a tray of original coffee-themed poems from recent years. Cheers!

For a bit more about WORLD POETRY DAY and a poem about what girls wanted 500 years ago, pop in over at Diane’s Kurious Kitty. Mrow.

CB Haneck chimes in with poetic praise for our noses. And, no, not because they can smell.

Michelle joins CB in responding to Amy LV’s TLD Challenge herself at Today’s Little Ditty, ringing in spring with some amorous cicadas.

Speaking of Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, Laura celebrates Amy’s exciting news at Writing the World for Kids. (What? You haven’t heard? Laura’s got it covered, with a couple more wonderful shout-outs, too.) Laura also shares the link to Penny’s post about a project by Ken Slasarik inspired by Laura’s WATER CAN BE. Yes, there’s a lot of mutual poetry love being passed around today!

Matt offers up the “Naani” poetry form from India at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, with an invitation (challenge?) to try one yourself.

What’s the weather doing outside your window, and did it change from five minutes ago? Lovely Linda captures the topsy-turvy-ness of spring’s arrival with an original poem and picture at Teacher Dance.

Carol has rolled out the St. Patrick’s Day green at Beyond Literacy Link - go grab yourself some poetry, and a lovely Irish blessing to boot!

Rubber boots handy? Brenda’s leading us on a mud-luscious puddle romp over at Friendly Fairy Tales. with an original poem and a couple others. Enjoy – you can clean up later!

Jone’s in this week with an appreciative limerick for her assistant and info about how to receive an illustrated poem post card from her students for Poetry Month. Check it Out!

Responding to one of Tricia’s terrific challenges, Catherine shares a moving ekphrastic poem today at Reading to the Core. (Maybe grab a tissue….)

Tabatha joins in today with two powerful poems by Kathryn Stripling Byer from Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia at The Opposite of Indifference. (And a certain beloved Monster gearing up for April.)

Julie’s been busy! At The Drift Record, she presents a list poem by Nobel-prize winner Wislawa Szymborska, and an invitation to write a response poem.

Over at Books Around the Table, she’s exploring phrenology and bumps in the night – you can’t resist clicking on that one, can you? Hmm? What might your skull say about YOU?

At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee shares an original poem, “Bygones,” to announce her fantastic Poetry Month project. (Diane Mayr, you must check this out! Everyone else, too.)

Penny’s collaborative series, A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, continues today with a special treat : Guest poster is Ken Slesarik, in with a whole roomful of first-grade poets! They produced a collaborative work inspired by Laurie Purdie Salas’s WATER CAN BE. Your day will not be the same if you miss this colorful feast.

At Dori Reads, the ever-lovely Doraine is in this week with a perfect-for-spring poem by Abigail Carroll, an adult poet who's stepping into the children's poetry world and shares her thoughts on that, too. [If the air is yellow with pollen where you are, you’ll particularly enjoy! We're swimming in it down South.]

Inspiration wafts from life to life around here. Margaret Simon, at Reflections on the Teche., offers up a poem inspired by an emailed quote from Laura Shovan and a photo Tabatha posted on her blog. Beautiful words and profound thoughts.

Heidi extends an invitation to participate in her Poetry Month project at My Juicy Little Universe. Pass the ketchup, please, and a napkin? (To write poems on, of course!)

Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town generously offers “a touch of sanity” from Wendell Berry today. Yes, please. Enjoy his “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.”

Irene – yes the same one whose DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST just garnered an SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins poetry honor book designation – shares Don Tate’s amazing book, POET: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate at Live Your Poem.

Ramona’s in the mix with poems from Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s 42 Miles (plus another one) at Pleasures from the Page. Another book for my must-read stack!

Tara’s a woman after my own heart today, sharing Gary Short’s beautiful “Teaching Poetry to Third Graders” over at A Teaching Life. She also shares a way in which poetry ended a very challenging day in the classroom with a bit of affirmation.

More Tuesday Slice of Life Goodness (I love that PR and Slice of Life collide so often!) from Molly, sharing an original poem, “The Nightly Struggle,” that captures the experience of so many of us I’m sure, yearning to turn another page before turning out the booklight!

Yay – more haiku today! Thanks to the oh-so-talented Elizabeth Steinglass for sharing two gorgeous spring haiku (and a picture of one of the prettiest Poetry Friday cats in the realm) as well as her thoughts about crafting haiku – well worth the short read if you are a haikuist or an aspiring one.

Though no one would blame Amy if she were still up in the clouds after FOREST HAS A SONG just won the inaugural SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award.– (!!!) – she’s her usual down-to-earth-self over at The Poem Farm today, with an original poem, “Lesson From a Stone Bowl,” that just proves why her writing is so award-worthy, and how she embraces life as a poet.

Please join Violet (the perfect Spring name!), who is outside with her camera and stellar eye taking pictures and poetic inspiration for her “Spring Journal” she’s sharing with all of us.

Cathy’s been taking inspiration from nature this week, too, at Merely Day by Day. Join a cacophony of blackbirds with her lively original poem, “Bird Games.”

And now up to Maine, where Donna at Mainely Writeshares another delicious slice of life experience-put-to-poetry, “Book Club and a Mug”set against the dark mornings after the time change.

Little Willow’s in this week with “Babylon” by Robert Graves at Bildungsroman - a perfect companion to so many posts today about young poets, and young-at-heart poets inspired by Spring.

Jama doesn’t have a regular PF post today, but she’s putting forth the call to send in YOUR Poetry Month features for her April round-up! She and Mr. Cornelius do a great job keeping track of the many ambitious projects. If you have something special planned (one of these years, I keep saying to myself!) just send your addition to her website email address at jamarattigan.com. Thanks, Jama and Mr. C.!

Over at Teaching Authors, the wonderful JoAnn is featuring an Avis Harley poem from African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways. (Isn’t that a great book title?) She’s also not alone, I’m sure, in her struggle with taking the perfect selfie,which she’s written about in a chuckle-worthy original poem.

At All About the Books with Janet Squires, Janet is serving up Georgia Heard’s anthology of found poems, THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK. (I’m personally partial to this collection, as it includes two poems by yours truly!)

{--We interrupt this Roundup for its host to hit the Road. I'll check back this evening for any afternoon link-leavers! Thanks.--}

Evening Update: I'm having computer AND network connection issues, and my attempts to update keep getting swallowed into a cyber-black-hole. My apologies! PLEASE scroll down to the end of the comments for a few more great poetry links - canine poetry & a challenge from Joy, a post from Karen, and, all the way from Guam, news from Sylvia V! Thanks, and have a great weekend, all!
THEN, check out the posts from Lisa and Fats at the end!

Poetry Friday - Haiku by Paideia Teacher Sydney Cleland

February 25, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, poets, poetry


Hello, Dear Poetry Lovers!

Today we have a special treat, as yet another teacher from The Paideia School in Atlanta has caught the haiku bug from teacher and haiku poet extraordinaire Tom Painting.. I'm happy to welcome Sydney Cleland, whose selections are especially appropriate as we wave a rosy goodbye to February, a month for lovers.

Let's enjoy some of her haiku, and then we'll find out how she fell in love with the form.



new lover
last year’s roses
pressed between pages


he loves me
he loves me not
giri-choko only


Johnny-jump-ups
the earth sends
a valentine


sweet tart hearts
the long married
fight and make up


chocolate on the pillow
romance conjured
by the hotel staff


icicles liquefy
a heart knows
what it wants


cardinal couples
pair up today
hope struts the yard



poems© Sydney Cleland. All rights reserved.

[Confession - I had to look up "giri choco" and Wikipedia tells me it's "obligation chocolate"given by women to men on Valentine's day in Japan... (a) relatively inexpensive type of chocolate women give to male co-workers, casual acquaintances, and others to whom they have no romantic attachment.] Well, how about that?

And now, a few questions for our guest poet:

How has your understanding of haiku changed over the last year?

Thankfully, Tom has brought haiku into my classroom. I teach poetry by reading contemporary free verse poems with students, focusing on close reading by just spending time with a poem. Haiku is such a short form that at first I found it rather like eating a snack instead of a meal. But now I understand not only the requirements of the form but some of the complex artistry, especially how a haiku poet connects images and lines without forming a sentence.

What do you most enjoy about reading or writing haiku?

The challenge. In the compact haiku space, I don’t have room to elaborate, so I’m learning to begin with an image, rather than an idea. That’s a huge challenge for me because I tend to begin with ideas. I also enjoy how spare it is. The form itself reminds me to slow down my life, to get rid of the unnecessary, to find joy in the simplest things. Writing haiku provides a mental break, almost meditative in nature. I’m a crossword enthusiast and (for whatever reason), writing haiku delivers the same feelings as noodling over the Saturday New York Times puzzle.

How does writing haiku benefit your students?

We haven’t done as much as I’d like, and that’s the biggest obstacle to discovering its potential benefits. We learn about and write haiku during only 4 or 5 class periods a year. But I am seeing some positive effects. For students who have trouble elaborating, the simplicity of haiku can be freeing. Students who are visual artists enjoy finding imagery for the form. We’ve done drawings to accompany the writing, which some students love. Those who, like me, have trouble accessing imagery, begin to do that. But possibly the chief benefit is that I am writing, which I hope makes me a better teacher of writing.

Why haiku?

Short answer: haiku because of my enthusiastic, collaborative colleague Tom, without whom I would not have explored this form. In fact, I feel so grateful at this moment, I’m going off to write a haiku of thanks for him….


Much appreciation to Sydney for joining us today and for sharing her poetry! Don't you want to sit in on her class?

In a few weeks we'll enjoy some more student poetry from Paideia, so stay tuned.

Thanks in advance for leaving your comments below, and apologies in advance if I don't respond right away. I'm back on the road for another poetry/creative writing session across the state with Morgan's third-graders - :0) - but I'll check in later!

Be sure to check out all the great Poetry Friday offerings rounded up this week by our Lovely Liz Steinglass, an all-around-wonderful writer and published haiku poet herself!

Poetry Friday - Old Haiku Still Rings True!

February 18, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, ponderings


Greetings! I hope you felt some extra love on Valentine’s Day. My hubby and I were on the same wavelength – we each got each other 1.) a card 2.) a chocolate bar [his vegan, of course] and 3.) a book of haiku! I bought him a collection pertaining to a particular interest of his (another story for another day) and he found me a delightful old book at our wonderful new bookstore featuring old stock, Nevermore Books.

This slim volume is called simply, Japanese Haiku, ©1955, 1956 by The Peter Pauper Press. and compiled by Peter Beilenson (1905–1962). It has a lovely paper cover and simple block print illustrations beside each poem. I cannot speak to the accuracy of these translations, especially compared to others who were publishing anthologies and such mid-century, but I did enjoy the brief introduction. Here’s a liberal sampling:

It is usually impossible to translate a haiku literally and have it remain a poem, or remain in the proper seventeen-syllable form. There are several reasons for this: Haiku are full of quotations and allusions which are recognized by literate Japanese and not by us. They are full of interior double-meanings almost like James Joyce. And the language is used without connecting-words or tenses or pronouns or indications of singular or plural – almost a telegraphic form. Obviously a translation cannot at once be so terse and so allusive.

In the texture of the poems there is a further difficulty: Japanese is highly polysullabic. The only way to reproduce such a texture in English is to use Latinized words – normally less sympathetic than the Anglo-Saxon. For all these reasons, the following versions make no pretense to be literal or complete, and some variations in the five-seventeen-five syllable have been allowed.

... One final word: the haiku is not expected to be always a complete or even a clear statement. The reader is supposed to add to the words his own associations and imagery, and thus to become a co-creator of his own pleasure in the poem. The publishers hope their readers may here co-create such pleasure for themselves!


I recognized names of the “masters” throughout, but there are some names I didn't know that I need to explore. Here are a few of the poems from the pages pictured above (click the photo to see all), from three of the major four names associated with the development of early haiku. [I didn’t include any from Issa, as there weren’t any on this spread and I usually turn to David G. Lanoue’s translations for those!] The 17 syllables make some poems in this volume sound forced, but these I particularly enjoyed:



SILENT THE OLD TOWN . . .
THE SCENT OF FLOWERS FLOATING . . .
AND EVENING BELL

Basho



DEEP IN DARK FOREST
A WOODCUTTER’S DULL AXE TALKING . . .
AND A WOODCUTTER

Buson



VENDOR OF BRIGHT FANS
CARRYING HIS PACK OF BREEZE . . .
OH! WHAT AWFUL HEAT!

Shiki



VOICES OF TWO BELLS
THAT SPEAK FROM TWILIGHT TEMPLES . . .
AH! COOL DIALOGUE

Buson



Okay, this last one I’m sharing (by the Venerable ‘Anonymous’) cracks me up this week, because I live in South Carolina, and you can imagine all the political ads running rampant here lately, and the politicians, too! ;0)


FRIEND, THAT OPEN MOUTH
REVEALS YOUR INTERIOR . . .
SILLY HOLLOW FROG!

Anon.



I do hope you “co-created pleasure” reading those! I’m exploring haiku and other types of poetry today with third and fourth graders at Morgan’s school in Greenville, SC. (Got snowed in on our earlier attempt last month, but sunny skies prevail right now.)

We'll round out February here next week with some lovely, love-themed haiku from another of Tom Painting’s fellow teachers at The Paideia School in Atlanta. Be sure to circle back! (I’ll be on the road AGAIN that day – continuing a poetry-writing project with Morgan’s class and attending a wedding shower for her. Poetry and love all month long….)

Thanks for coming by, and please visit the wonderful Donna at Mainely Write for more poetry-love in this week’s Round Up. Also, remember to check out Laura Shovan's lively "found object" poetry project this month - lots of great poems!

Poetry Friday - Happy New Year! Sharing Diane Mayr's Postcard...

January 1, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, haiga, poetry


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Just stepping in for a wave and a wish that you and yours are having a joyful start to 2016. Diane Mayr kindly said I could share her "Year of the Monkey" postcard she created and included with my Winter Poem Swap goodies. For more about the postcard project she's participating in, please go visit her blog!

Poetry Friday is ringing in the New Year with our fearless leader/PF host rounder-upper Mary Lee at A Year of Reading .

Here's to a CREATIVE 2016 all around.... Cheers!

Poetry Friday: Welcome to Paideia Teacher and Haiku Poet Becca McCauley

November 19, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poets, teachers, poetry, haiku




Greetings, Poetry Friday-ers! A special treat today. We often feature the fine work of young haiku poets at The Paideia School in Atlanta, Ga., under the guidance of Language Arts teacher and seasoned haiku poet Tom Painting. Today, we welcome one of Tom's colleagues, someone who has embraced haiku as something much more than "a nature poem written in 5-7-5."

That was initially the way Becca McCauley taught haiku, but when she learned there was more to it, she embraced the opportunity to learn and even to write some herself. In fact, Tom recently initiated a monthly haiku "contest" for Paideia students, staff and parents called HaiC (Haiku Challenge), and she has been recognized each of the first three months.

“One of the greatest challenges the haiku community faces is getting informed and inspiring educators on board,” Tom says. "Becca is an inspiration to her 5/6 graders. All 32 of her students write and enter the contest."

We asked Becca a few questions about her exploration of haiku, but first - let's enjoy a handful of her poems.


silent moon
the scarecrow’s shadow stretches
on a barren field


pulsing through
the warm, damp night
cicada symphony


tiny shadows
skitter across the lake
the moon's reflection shattered


pink flamingos
littering the lawn
my fiftieth


parking lot
under the full moon,
a newborn's head emerges



Poems©Becca McCauley. All rights reserved.


Now, a few questions for Becca....


How has your understanding of haiku changed over the last year or so?

[Tom] has definitely honed my understanding, especially the idea of it being conversational in tone, and the importance of including, rather than excluding articles, along with the emphasis on showing rather than telling.

What do you most enjoy about reading and or writing haiku?

I love playing with words, both meanings and sounds, and I just love words in general. I probably enjoy writing haiku more than reading it, but I love hearing the kids' haiku, and I really enjoy ones that surprise me. I am very impressed by some of their contributions.

How does writing haiku benefit your students?

Again, playing with words and vocabulary and sounds is just a great thing to do. It's creative, it's accessible, and it is not too intimidating. Experimenting with synonyms is also both fun and beneficial. We actually do not do all that much with the haiku -- I would like to carve out a bit more time here and there for them to share with each other. I love being able to see another side of a kid -- and the twists and turns of how they are thinking and feeling.

What is the biggest challenge to either you or your students in writing haiku?

Fitting in the time to talk about it -- we are doing so much already....

To sum up with one of our favorite questions for haiku poets: Why haiku?

I have really been enjoying working with haiku this year because life is incredibly busy and hectic. It is very relaxing to mull over words, and it can be done in the odd moments here and there. I have to do this series of stretches and back exercises every morning, and it can be tedious, though it is definitely essential. There is one stretch which does not involve counting or much mental focus, and I often find myself in those moments pondering the next haiku topic, searching for images in my mind that might inspire me, and starting to manipulate words and phrases that might fit together to bring the images to life. Haiku is short enough to capture in some of the small moments that I have available. Also, each word really matters, and I enjoy that idea greatly.

Becca also likens haiku to photography.

I love photography, and sometimes haiku fits it with those mental snapshots, even though they are still in slight motion because they are breathing.

This world is so fast paced, and I think it is really healthy for both me and the kids to have to slow down and and focus on a single moment.

I love to see the kids' humor when it comes out in their haiku as well as their poetic side. The twist, the "aha" moment, allows for that, another reason I enjoy the twist. I also love trying myself to figure out how to arrange the lines to best set up a scene to make an aha possible.


Many thanks to Tom and Becca for this inside peek into how a teacher has embraced haiku, for herself and for her lucky students!

For more inspiring poets and poems this week, be sure to check out the poetic cornucopia over at The Miss Rumphius Effect, where the ever-delightful Tricia has the Roundup.

Pssst.... PS - HUGE thanks to our amazing Jama for featuring me and everything you'd ever want to know about artsyletters Monday at Jama's Alphabet Soup Thanks to so many of you for stopping by!

Poetry Friday: A Poem to Wear, Perhaps?

September 3, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, art, haiku, artsyletters



Happy Labor Day Weekend, Poetry Lovers!

I'll be busy laboring today, with Beaufort's First Fridays After Five downtown tonight. I usually open my studio and serve a few goodies on First Fridays.

I've discovered a new little item to make in my studio (because, Lord knows, I need another project.) I've been trying to get some more haiku in there, as the few haiku cards I made when I opened sold out. (I know, I need to make some more!)

I wanted to try something with a short poem of mine published in Acorn back in 2012. While this haiku was originally written on a trip home to visit family in Florida, where I grew up, it's taken on new significance for me here in our still-somewhat-new digs in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where there is Spanish moss aplenty.

home again
twists and turns
of the live oak


©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


First I put the poem on an "Art Bites" 2-inch X 2-inch panel, attaching a little brass chain for hanging. (Third picture.) I plan on making more of these miniature art pieces.

Then I thought it would be fun to try a haiku poem to wear. I discovered metal bezel trays with glass cabochons sized to fit, perfect for pendants. Oh, dear - if you ever start making these, let me warn you, it's addictive. For the first one I wrote and illustrated the same poem, and then experimented my way through several steps with various glazes and drying times in-between to get the art and metal and glass to play nicely together. But the result was fun!



So, I went treasure hunting in some of my late 1800s books, and found some gorgeous illuminated initials, as well as a darling illustration of a house opening a story about Charlotte Brontë's home. Out came the knife, and into pendants they went.

Then I sojourned through one of my old typewriter manuals (this one about 100 years old) and discovered I could "find" words or phrases to highlight in the typing exercises, much like I would do when coaxing a found poem from an old text.

All these I need to make into necklaces, but you can see the finished pendants in the pictures. And you can see that I am out of control.

The last picture is a necklace I made from an illustration out of a German encyclopedia from 1887, the Meyers Konversations-Lexicon, Vol. 7 (G), Fourth Edition, Leipzig, Verlag des Bibliographischen Instituts. It's snipped from a geological illustration, so I added some vintage Czech agate beads from the 1920s, and a fetching brass key. Or key charm? Honestly, I don't know where this hearty little beauty came from, but it had the right patina and size.

Thanks for indulging my poetic and artistic meanderings. If you'd like a little more haiku with your morning coffee, I had a short guest post over at the Grog Blog on Monday.

And for more poetry of all kinds this week, please visit the ever lovely Linda at Teacher Dance.

See you back here next week, when I'll have the Roundup!

Poetry Friday: ONE SMALL CANDLE: Enlightening Haiku from Young Paideia Poets

August 25, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, student work


It's always a pleasure to share the work of young haiku poets from The Paideia School in Atlanta. You've grown to look forward to our Student Haiku Poet of the Month each school year, n'est-ce pas? Have no fear - we'll be doing that again this year!

This week, however, is a special treat, featuring work from some talented fifth-graders. They are in sixth grade now, but these poems were composed for a project this past spring.

Creative writing teacher Tom Painting teamed up with Kate Murray and her 5th grade chorus class at The Paideia School in Atlanta.

“The idea was to have students perform their haiku to music as part of the spring choral concert” he says. “The book, one small candle, features one haiku from each of the 40 students in the class."

Stanford M. Forrester (Sekiro), publisher of haiku, senryu and other small poems at bottle rockets press, designed the small book and published it under buddha baby press.

It features the lovely line art of Ajanta Ferrell on the cover.

The title comes from this entry by Audrey Felske:


one small candle
warms the room
cold shivers down my back



Here is a larger sampling of the many fine poems:



sunset glowing
cows in the field
chewing their cud


Sean Zheng



autumn afternoon
sun burning
the golden field


Duncan Kelly



autumn
wrapped in a blanket
by the candlelight


Morgan Cobb



autunm day
golden leaves fall
on the dirt road


Luna McCauley



leaves fall
I sweep them
from my shoulders


Reid Celestin


In addition to the poems above, the following four haiku received recognition in the United Nations International School Haiku Contest this year:



smell of pine
lingering in the air
faint whisper of the woods


Ajanta Farrell



winter’s night
an owl hoots
through the silence


Jesse Chang-Friedan



the flower
opening up
shared secrets


Emma Delman



winter’s end
ice on the river
gives way


Sean Zheng


All poems © their respective authors. Posted with permission.

Congratulations to each student poet, whether highlighted here today or not. Your haiku warms the room and helps light the darkness!

For poetry of all temperatures today, please visit the incredible Sylvia at Poetry for Children for this week’s Roundup. Sylvia has recently returned from South Africa, where she’s been sharing and receiving all kinds of poetic light.

Poetry Friday - Back to School and Love in the Air...

August 13, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, ponderings, love


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

Many of you are just back in school - in classrooms and media centers - or getting ready to return to school, or sending kiddos off to school, or otherwise in the balance between summer and early fall - perhaps in your first year of retirement after years of teaching!

My daughter Morgan is hosting "Meet the Teacher" today for her second year wrangling third graders in upstate SC. AND (drumroll...) she's receiving her Masters in Education Saturday evening at Furman University. AND (fireworks, canons, bird murmurations...) she JUST GOT ENGAGED! It's been a busy week and a half. She and long-time honey Matt have their eyes and calendars set on a June wedding.

We were thrilled that Matt arranged to propose while we were all together last week, at the beach and bopping around Beaufort. I hid my camera in my purse and behind my back until he popped the question at the waterfront, then was so excited that I kept accidentally turning it off between snapping shots! But I still got a bunch of good pictures. Seth, who returns to the mountains next week for his junior year of college, took some great video. And Matt pulled off a surprise - hard to do with our aforementioned teacher-daughter, who is usually on top of everything.

In unrelated but coincidental news, Jeff was cleaning out some boxes and came across an old notebook from our early married days. I'd had the grand idea that we should start a collection of "Poems for Sundays," in which we'd each present the other with a poem or two each week. We seem to have kept up with that for, um, about three weeks.... But for some reason we still have that notebook from 1987.

We were hopeless romantics for sure. My first entry was Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famous love song from Sonnets of the Portugese:


How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.



And, to my surprise and delight I'd included this the next week:


old pond
a frog leaps in
water's sound


Basho


Confession: I have NO recollection of any familiarity with Basho those few decades ago! Where did I come across his most famous poem? What spoke to me then? The seeds of my love affair with haiku in recent years were planted long ago, it seems.

Another poem I included was Wordsworth's "Intimations" Ode, still one of my favorite poems ever, and one which I quoted in response to a question our pastor posed recently about what we believe, but that's another story.

Jeff included a poem he found in the front of Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine, author unknown. "Days when it all gets too busy/I drift away to the sea/or where sunshine filters through trees..." (anyone know this one?) and an excerpt from "These Things Are Ours" by Gwen Frostic - "The sun reflects upon the moon.../the moon upon my heart..." I looked her up online. Though she died in 2001, her block prints and words live on. I MUST go savor that website! On the "About Gwen" page, it reads:

Long before her death she wrote her epitaph:

"Here lies one doubly blessed.
She was happy and she knew it."


That's quite profound, if you think about it for a moment. And that's the kind of happiness I wish for Morgan and Matt, and for you!

For more great poetry to help you pivot toward new seasons of life, visit the incomparable Heidi - teacher, poet, and leader of the Mighty Minnows, at My Juicy Little Universe for our Poetry Friday Roundup.

Student Haiku Poets of the Month Place in UN Contest

June 11, 2015

Tags: haiku, student work, Student Poet of the Month, poetry


Greetings! Apologies for the earlier confusion, but here are the UN International School haiku contest winners from our featured student poets of the month, announced last weekend in New York. I’d like to thank so many of you for supporting another year of our “Student Haiku Poet of the Month” feature, wherein we celebrate promising young poets from The Paideia School in Atlanta each month with examples of their poetry and some of their thoughts about haiku.

This monthly treat is made possible by the efforts of Tom Painting, an award-winning haiku poet and teacher or former teacher of these wonderful young writers. [Click here for a post about Tom from my blog in 2013.]

Several of them recently won awards in a big international contest – the 2015 Student Haiku Contest hosted by The United Nations International School, the Northeast Council of Teachers of Japanese, and the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations.

Of our featured poets from this year and last, the following students were recognized in this year’s competition:


First place, Junior High division - Olivia Graner


creak of the door
the attic's smell
floods the hallway



©Olivia Graner. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Olivia’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Honorable mention, Junior High division - Cole McCord


spring cleaning
the smell
of expired milk



©Cole McCord. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Cole’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Second place, High school division - Marisa Schwartz


boardwalk
the taste of the ocean
in a pretzel



©Marisa Schwartz. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Marisa’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Third place, High School division - Emma Jones


sliding over
grandma's rough hands
soap bubbles



©Emma Jones. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Emma’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Paideia had winners in the elementary division and several more honorable mentions in the junior high/high school divisions. Congratulations to all these young poets, and hats off to each student who entered from all over the world.

The judge for English poems for the Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Teacher categories was John Stevenson . Submissions in the English Division came from 19 different schools/programs in the US and around the world. Finalists came from schools in New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and also from Belgium, Kenya, and Japan.

Poetry Friday: On the Haiku Road with Jack Kerouac

May 21, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, HSA, poets, conferences, workshops

Top: Robyn and award-winning poet and conference speaker Stanford M. Forrester, editor of bottle rockets and past president of the HSA;
Center: Current HSA President David G. Lanoue, poet and teacher Tom Painting, and poets Ray and Terri French (current Southeast Regional Coordinator for the HSA).
Bottom: Kerouac memorobilia displayed at The Kerouac Project house in Orlando.

Confession: I've only read a few excerpts of Jack Kerouac's ON THE ROAD and other novels. Unfiltered stream-of-conscious accounts of unbridled lives of the Beats (with no white space!) isn't quite my cup of tea. However, I was intrigued when my son gave me a copy of JACK KEROUAC - BOOK OF HAIKUS, edited and with an introduction by Regina Weinreich (Penguin, 2003) a year or two ago. And one of the houses Kerouac lived in (in 1957) is smack-dab in the middle of my old stomping grounds in the College Park area of Orlando, just a couple of miles from my folks' current home.

So when I learned the second quarterly meeting of the Haiku Society of America (HSA) would be coming to the Southeast, and to Orlando and the Kerouac house specifically, I signed up right away.

What a terrific weekend of learning, writing, and camaraderie!

The day began and ended with presentations by former HSA president, award-winning poet, and bottle rockets press editor Stanford M. Forrester of Connecticut. He did a wonderful job explaining how important Kerouac's role was in the development of haiku here in the states, noting that Kerouac drew mainly on Zen rather than Tibetan Buddhism, and that he "exchanged dogma for a more 'free-wheeling' life."

One of Kerouac's haiku that we looked at was this:


In my medicine cabinet
      the winter fly
Has died of old age



I'd remembered it from Weinreich's book and it was one of my favorites. I liked it even more after Stanford pointed out that to open the medicine cabinet, the speaker would likely encounter an mirror. Of course! Makes the poem even richer.

The middle of our day included a trip from Rollins College (where the lectures and meeting were held) to the cottage in College Park where Kerouac and his mother lived in 1957 - in the back part of the house, not the whole cottage. It has been preserved with generous support of some savvy volunteers, who administer residencies for selected writers four times a year (one per season). The folks from The Kerouac Project who gave us a tour (the current writer-in-residence was out of town and so we could see the house) joined us in many conversations and couldn't have been more welcoming. Several of us bought Bob Kealing's book, KEROUAC IN FLORIDA: : Where The Road Ends, which chronicles Kerouac's life in several houses there until his death in St. Petersburg in 1969 at the age of 47.

After a picnic lunch in the yard, we made the short trek by foot to Lake Adair, where I spent many an afternoon as a teenager. This was our "ginko walk" - poets walking together to soak up inspiration from the surroundings and compose haiku, perhaps with sketchbooks or cameras in tow. Cypress knees, red-winged blackbirds, and a circling osprey gave us plenty to work with on a sunny day.

Kerouac and fellow writers often composed haiku during their road trips. How fitting that HSA President David G. Lanoue and three more folks making up the New Orleans contingent did the same during their long, long drive. The result was a lively renku read during Saturday evening's poetry reading at a local watering hole, where 20-somethings huddled over laptops with beer or coffee, strung lights and colorful paper cut-outs made for festive, hipster-friendly décor, and our haiku folks took up most of the room with its small stage. Actually, the linked verses (36) were not read so much as performed, set to some top-notch harmonica improvisations by one of the renku poets.

A bonus for me was getting to make it a weekend trip with my husband (and the dogs!) to visit my folks. Jeff came with me to the reading Saturday night and got to hear me read a few poems as well. It was a friendly, laid-back audience. We enjoyed 15 or so sharings of haiku, haibun, tanka, and even Japanese music combined with poems.

This was only my second time to an HSA meeting, and it was a treat catching up with folks I'd met in Atlanta a year and a half ago as well as making new acquaintances. To think haiku poets gather around the world like this sharing their passion and knowledge is a wonderful thing, much like we gather in our virtual meeting places here on Poetry Friday.

Marching to his own energetic beat is our Poetry Friday Rounder-upper today, Matt - go check out all the great offerings at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.

Poetry Friday - OOPS - Student Winners from the United Nations International Haiku Contest coming in June...

May 14, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, haiku, contests, poetry


Oops...

Update: My apologies, but we needed to wait until after June 6 to celebrate the Haiku Student Poet of the Month writers who placed in the United Nations International School Student Haiku contest. Click here for the link!

Speaking of haiku, our own amazing master of haiku and soooo many other things, Diane, has rounded up Poetry Friday this week at Random Noodling. Thanks, Diane!

Poetry Friday: Haiku Student Poet of the Month Dylan Levy

May 7, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, Student Poet of the Month, student work


Happy Poetry Friday!

Can you believe another school year is coming to a close? Neither can I.

We will ring it out in style, though, with several oh-so-talented student haiku poets for these last few weeks of this month. In fact, today’s special guest is our Student Haiku Poet of the Month for May, Dylan Levy.

Dylan is a seventh-grade student at The Paideia School in Atlanta. She claims her life is like any other typical teenage girl’s, full of volleyball and writing. She says she is always thirsty for something new and is never satisfied, noting that her words “tremble and soften” when she reads in front of a group. Her days are spent at home, using her free time to write. Dylan “never keeps secrets” because “her blue eyes and wide smile always tell the tale” -- her words do as well, as you'll see.

Why haiku? Here are Dylan’s thoughts, with some insightful "how-to's" folded in:

In appearance a haiku is just a few words on a page, but in reality haiku is much more,” she says. ” A good haiku is not choppy or too wordy; it should flow. Haiku doesn’t have to be complicated, it’s simple. Haiku cannot be forced; it is something you find and can be difficult in this way; each word painting the picture of an image.

Here is a sampling of Dylan’s poetry, which I think you’ll agree demonstrates those characteristics.



silence broken
the little girl hums
a lullaby



classical music
my palm to the air
catching each note



red bird
softly cooing
fire in my hands



thunder storm
the deaf lady
covers her ears



one-way road
a downpour
carries the leaves



Poems ©Dylan Levy. All rights reserved.


Many thanks to Dylan for sharing these fine poems here this week. For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

Our Poetry Friday host today has been known to wrangle a haiku or two. Please visit Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty for all the great poetry posted around the Kidlitosphere!

Poetry Friday - What We Leave Behind

April 30, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, ponderings

morguefile.com

Whew! It's May.

I hope you had a terrific Poetry Month.

I am looking forward to circling back to visit some of the wonderfulness I missed on so any great blogs.

I'm also looking forward to sharing some great haiku here this month, including poems from talented student writers.

For today, a short post - just one poem of mine in the current issue of Acorn.. (I'm traveling all week. Actually driving through some of my former stomping grounds.)


contrail
in the sunset sky
what I left behind



copyright Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

Acorn, #34, Spring 2015



Keep the poetry love going! Today you'll find the Poetry Friday Roundup at Space City Scribes - https://spacecityscribes.wordpress.com. UPDATE: Actually, today you can find the links temporarily parked in the comments at Mary Lee's: http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2015/05/poetry-friday-emotional.html#comment-form (Thanks, Mary Lee!)

See you next week with our final Student Haiku Poet of the Month for this school year.

Poetry Friday: Haiku from the EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration

April 23, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku

Yay Images

It’s still Poetry Month! Hope you are enjoying April wherever you are.

One thing I love about Poetry Friday is the web of connections we make each week. Last Friday, I was so focused on celebrating The Poetry Friday Anthology of Celebrations with Janet and Sylvia, and rounding up posts, that I almost missed something special: the inaugural “EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration” from The Haiku Foundation celebrating International Haiku Day (April 17).

Lucky for us, Joy Acey and Diane Mayr were on it and shared the link. Here’s the description from The Haiku Foundation:


"Welcome to the largest collaborative poem on the internet. This year’s theme is the Year of Light, as designated by decree of the United Nations. Please add your poem(s) in the Comment box below, ideally at dawn at your location, but any time that you are able… ."

A “seed” poem was offered:

will anyone
not be taking up his pen?
tonight’s moon


— Onitsura (1660 – 1738)

That writerly challenge might have been issued three centuries ago, but I couldn’t resist! I took a break from rounding up posts (the sun had just come up here) and went outside to exhale and invite a haiku moment that I could add to the thread.
Here was my contribution:


april morning
the reach of seedlings
toward the sun


©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


More than 400 haiku from around the world were posted! I appreciated seeing some familiar names and asked a few of my poet friends if I might have permission to share some of their entries. Each one generously obliged (such a great group of folks). Many participants posted one poem, as I did, while others posted several. Some also shared previously published work that fit with the theme.

Enjoy this sampling...



a streak of light…
my cat alarm clock
goes off


©Diane Mayr. All rights reserved.



sun rise radiates
through a dew drop on the limb
a prism rainbow


©Joy Acey. All rights reserved.



a flicker of light
from my pen to yours
rising sun


©Peggy Bilbro. All rights reserved.



heat lightning
a fox
in the blink of an eye


©Michael Henry Lee. All rights reserved.



first light what’s not to believe

©Michael Henry Lee. All rights reserved.



morning fog
the sober glow
of streetlights


©Ben Moeller-Gaa. All rights reserved.
A Hundred Gourds 1:2 (2012)



morning prayers
the rising sun between
my hands


©Kala Ramesh. All rights reserved.
Ambrosia– Journal of Fine Haiku, Spring 2009



slipping in
beneath the kitchen door
– first sunlight


©Kala Ramesh. All rights reserved.



first light
the ethereal phrase
of a wood thrush


©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.



You probably recognize Tom Painting’s name – In addition to being an award-winning poet, he is the teacher behind our Student Haiku Poet of the Month series here.

Be sure to tune in next month, when it will be All-Haiku Every Poetry Friday! We’ll spend a couple of those days with Tom’s students, and then we’ll welcome international students at the end of the month with Kala Ramesh (see her poems above.

Many thanks to all the poets sharing their work here today. If you are new to haiku, The Haiku Foundation is a treasure of resources. For more great poetry of all kinds, paddle over to No Water River, where the amazing Renée has the Poetry Friday Roundup!

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Lila Chiles

April 2, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, Poetry Month, student work, Student Poet of the Month, haiku


Happy National Poetry Month! I’m thrilled to kick off April’s Poetry Friday posts here with our Student Haiku Poet of the Month, Lila Chiles.

Lila lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her mom, dad, big sister and a Goldendoodle named Teddy. She is a seventh grader at The Paideia School, and “will finally be a teenager” in June! She enjoys playing sports—especially soccer—writing, drawing, playing Poker and eating watermelon Sourpatch candy.

Here are some of Lila’s thoughts about haiku:

"When my teacher Tom told me about Haiku, my first thought was, 'Aw, man! Yet another form of poetry that I'm not so good at.' I wrote my first haiku later that night:


downpour
broken sign
swinging in the wind



I showed it and a few others to my mom and she told me that they were beautiful and that I should immediately send them to her and Tom. I'm proud that they both liked my haiku. Now, there have been four times I've been recognized for my haiku.

For me, haiku are both simple and complex. I can be anywhere and words will just start to fill my head and form an image, which is what makes it easy. It's complex, though, because you have to move words around and change them until they are in a perfect form. It's like a puzzle. That's my favorite part of all. I think that's pretty amazing."


Here are some more of Lila’s haiku – I think they’re all pretty amazing!


abandoned umbrella
the sun chases
the clouds away


aromatic flowers
I socialize
with the sun


summer night
mosquitoes here and there…
and everywhere


summer lingers
a ball kicked
into the tall grass


meadow breeze
a fresh stack
of hay



Poems ©Lila Chiles. All rights reserved.


These seem especially resonant as we shed winter to embrace the warm weather again! Which ones most speak to you?

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here. Huge CONGRATULATIONS to our February featured poet, Olivia Graner, who won the UN International School Haiku Competition, junior high division. Way to go, Olivia!

Go bask in more Poetry Month Poetry Friday goodness over at The Poem Farm, where our always-amazing Amy is hosting this week’s Roundup. [Check out her month-long "Sing That Poem" project, too - guaranteed to have you humming for the next several weeks.]

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Cole McCord

March 5, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, haiku, David G. Lanoue, poetry, student work




Greetings, Poetry Fans!



I’m serving up our Student Haiku Poet of the Month on the early side, as we welcome the month that comes in like a lion. (Next Friday I’ll be at our SCBWI Southern Breeze Springmingle in Atlanta – and away from a real computer.)



Please join me in welcoming Cole McCord, a seventh grade student “with a passion for poetry.” Cole lives with his parents and sister Layney and attends The Paideia School in Atlanta.



Cole explains that when he was first introduced to haiku, he was “misled into thinking that haiku has to be written in five, seven, five. “ He credits language arts teacher Tom Painting for guiding him in his current haiku journey, and “derives haiku from every aspect of the world” around him.



“To me, Haiku is a way of life,” Cole says. ”Every moment you withhold haiku, a piece of you goes missing. Even if no one ever sees it, Haiku needs to be released. Haiku reveals who you are; it reveals your view on life and the world around you. Haiku is the one form of writing that is pure and must not be forced. According to haiku poet David Lanoue "Haiku is life; life is haiku.”



(You can read my post featuring Haiku Society of America President David G. Lanoue here .)







Here are some of Cole’s wonderful haiku:




Sunday morning
in my sister’s room
retrieving something stolen


spring dawn
in the meadow
blooming avens


autumn afternoon
on easel and canvas
pond landscape


school morning
on the bus
blather bullies my ears


spring cleaning
the smell
of expired milk


starlit night
a diamond ring
in the riverbed



Poems ©Cole McCord. All rights reserved.


Many thanks to our guest poet today. Cole, you’re one to watch! (That "blather bullies my ears" line is something else.)

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

And for the Poetry Friday Roundup, please visit Robyn Campbell this week. [Thanks, Robyn. Look – we spell our name the same way!! :0) ].

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Olivia Graner

February 12, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, student work, Student Poet of the Month, poetry


Happy Valentine’s Weekend, All!

I won’t pry into anyone’s love life, but I’m glad you poetry lovers are out and about this Poetry Friday. As promised, I have much for you to love here today.

Our Student Haiku Poet of the Month series continues with Olivia Graner.

Olivia lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She is (almost) thirteen years old and is in seventh grade at The Paideia School. She lives with her mom, her dad, her nine-year-old brother, her thirteen-year-old golden retriever, and her six-year-old goldfish. Olivia is an avid writer and reader. She also enjoys musical theater, piano, ukulele, and pogo stick-ing.

“I tend to enjoy haiku because of its simplicity (or lack thereof),” Olivia says. “An American haiku must be written with fewer than seventeen syllables, which can be a blessing or a curse. Granted, with nine or ten words, not much physical writing goes in to the actual poem, but painting a scene in which to transport the reader in three or less short lines can be rather challenging (in a good way).”

I think you’ll agree Olivia is up for the challenge! Enjoy these examples of her poetry:


morning radio
voices weave their way
into my dreams


pronation
a left shoe’s sole
worn away


creak of a door
the attic’s smell
floods the hallway


silent night
wax drips from
the memory candle


frozen bird bath
feathers
atop the ice


one night only:
stage fright
killing dreams



Poems ©Olivia Graner. All rights reserved.


I’m really struck by “silent night,” though each poem “transports” as Olivia says - don't you think?

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

And for more poetry to love this week, please visit talented teacher and author Cathy, rounding up poems to fill your heart at Merely Day by Day.

Poetry Friday: Won’t you toss me a line?

January 15, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, ponderings

photos ©Robyn Hood Black


Help! Nothing leaves me less inspired than being covered up in tax stuff. The hubby is way better at numbers, but these kinds of things don’t make it to his “urgent” list, and since I do all the household money wrangling anyway, I just scramble as best I can.

So scrambling right now I am, generating mounds of (recycled, but still…) paper spewing out of my temperamental printer, tracking down receipts from what seems like eons ago in another state but was really just last year, etc. etc. We’re both more or less self-employed, and that makes everything complicated! We DO have a great accountant, but I have to give them something to work with.
Here’s a little haiku I wrote in my journal last year:


15 April
Titanic and taxes
start with T…


©Robyn Hood Black

(I’d recently read Allan Wolf’s compelling verse novel, THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT, about that dreaded night of April 15, 1912.)

Enough of all that. Don’t you feel dusty and sluggish just having to read it? I do. So, I’m tossing out a couple of pictures that I posted on my my artsyletters blog this week. – this wonderful old typewriter sprouting pansies in the garden of a local antique shop (Bay St. Trasures), and antique buttons from another shop (Reflections Old & New).

Do either of these pictures inspire something poetic – even just a turn of phrase? When I linked the post on Facebook, our wonderful Diane Mayr
commented: “Buttons = character. Find which go with which (in your mind's eye) and write about them.” I think Button Queen Amy Ludwig Vanderwater
would like that idea! She started a “Button Project” about this time last year on The Poem Farm.

Well, if a blooming typewriter or some hundred-year-old buttons lead to a line or two or a few from you, please share below! That would be so much more fun to read than (– Sigh –) the most current calculations for mileage expense.

Thanks!!

And for lots of truly inspiring poetry, please visit the ever-dreamy Irene at Live Your Poem. She has the MLK edition of Poetry Friday today! Thank you, Irene.

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Pearl Sullivan

January 8, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, student work, haiku, poetry


Greetings, haiku lovers! I hope this new year continues to sparkle with new inspirations for you. There's a guaranteed shine from my blog each time I get to share a student poet and his or her work.

Today, we have a special luster to enjoy - our Student Poet of the Month is Pearl Sullivan, a former student of Tom Painting's at The Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia.

Pearl is 15 years old and a sophomore at Paideia.

She has lived in Atlanta for most of her life but she lived in Dublin, Ireland, for two years, moving there with her family when she was five and moving back at age seven.

"I like hanging out with my friends and family, reading, and playing sports," she says. "I started writing haiku in 7th grade as homework and grew to really love how every poem is simple but also has a deeper meaning."

Here are some of Pearls' wonderful poems:



my excuse
to rise from slumber
blood moon



raindrops
slide off the shingles
singing in the rain



history class
I discover
myself



an old song
on the radio
my breath quickens



new snowfall
blood red berries
among the thorns



frozen mid-laugh memories



Poems ©Pearl Sullivan. All rights reserved.


Many thanks to Pearl for sharing her thoughtful poetry with us today. Which ones especially strike you? [I'm a sucker for the punch of a great one-line haiku (sometimes called a monoku), and the final poem here I find very effective!]

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

To continue our journey in a new year of wonderful poetry, please make your way to The Opposite of Indifference, where the ever-shiny Tabatha hosts our Roundup today.

Poetry Friday - a Haiku for the New Year

January 1, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, ponderings, birds, awards

Yay Images
Happy New Year!

I hope you and yours have enjoyed a lovely holiday, and you are ready to leap head-first into a new year filled with poetry. Like my crazy hubby and son leaped into the chilly Atlantic today as part of the "Pelican Plunge" at Hunting Island....

Last year, I was still in the foothills of north Georgia, where I'd penned the following haiku:


new year
the twitter of a hundred robins
in the oak



Modern Haiku, Volume 45.1, Winter/​Spring 2014

©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


I haven't seen those huge flocks of robins here in my new yard near the coast, but there is plenty of wonderful bird life. And it's very nice to greet the new year from the same nest this year, rather than two different locations on the map!

Please make a migratory stop here next week, as we'll celebrate our January Student Haiku Poet of the Month. Such a treat for me to feature the work of these fine young poets.

Rounding up our first Poetry Friday for2015 is the wonderful Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Be sure to also check out her post featuring the Cybils finalists for poetry - the rounds have included books by some of our own amazing Poetry Friday community. Congratulations to all the nominees! [If you're a PF regular, you'll recognize the talented judges' names, too.] The incomparable Syliva Vardell has featured the shortlist at Poetry for Children, and there you can also find all of the 36 nominated poetry titles for 2014. I'll take one of each, please.

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Carson Race

December 11, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, haiku, student work, poetry


Happy Holidays, Poetry Folks!

Today I invite you to take a wee break from the hustle and bustle, and have a long sip of short-form poetry with our Student Haiku Poet of the Month. I’m delighted to share the work of Paideia student Carson Race.

Carson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1999. The middle of three children, he has an older brother and a younger sister. He started at The Paideia School in the third grade and has attended there ever since. His interests include soccer, football, and mock trial. He’s been writing haiku for three years since his 7th grade year.

“Why haiku?” for Carson? He writes:

Haiku is a poetic form than can be written anywhere and about anything. This is the main reason I like it. I enjoy haiku because it doesn't require much effort to get one started, but to end up with a good haiku, you need to put something into it.

(I say Amen to that.) Please enjoy some of Carson’s fine poetry:



winter morning
a bird
picking at its bath



road trip
fog rolls
over the mountains



summer lake
a crawfish
clouds the water



so full of leaves
so full of air
the tree



new moon
darkness
overcomes me



late winter day
the first cineraria
slowly rises



Poems ©Carson Race. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Carson for sharing his poems with us today. Which ones most resonate with you today?

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

And for more rejuvenating poetry in this hectic season, please visit our host Paul at These4 Corners.

[If you have any time after making the rounds, I’m delighted I'll be a featured guest today on the Nerdy Chicks Rule blog – with huge thanks to Kami Kinard!]

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Lucas Mavromatis

November 13, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, Student Poet of the Month, student work


Greetings, Poetry Friday Fans! As promised, today we have a visit from our Student Poet of the Month courtesy of The Paideia School and teacher extraordinaire Tom Painting.

Meet Lucas Mavromatis. (Isn’t that an awesome name?) Lucas was born and raised in Atlanta and is in the tenth grade at The Paideia School. He lives with his parents, Juliet and Kreton, and with his younger sister, Elena.

Lucas is an “avid fan of music” and enjoys playing the saxophone. He is also a devoted soccer player. Other hobbies include running, watching sports and spending time with friends.

About haiku, Lucas says:

I have enjoyed writing haiku since I was introduced to the poetic form in seventh
grade by my literature teacher, Tom Painting. I was instantly drawn to
haiku’s ability to express powerful imagery in a quick, concise way.


Lucas’s interests in sports and music seem to inspire his writing: I find these poems powerful, concise, and musical! Enjoy.



under the spotlight
of the moon
a woman dancing



a young boy
at the funeral
his imaginary friend



sheltered
by an old oak
a sapling



old wedding photo
a bottle of rum
holds his hand



92nd birthday
the cake too small
for the candles



snack time
the underlying taste
of hand sanitizer



Poems © Lucas Mavromatis. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Lucas for sharing his work here today.

For more posts in this series featuring talented students, please click here.

Poetry Friday is brought to us this week by the wonderful Keri at Keri Recommends. She has just lost her father, and she shares a beautiful tribute to this man and this veteran this week.
{Sending warmest thoughts.}

Poetry Friday - A Few Haiku; Writers Wrule...

November 6, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, artsyletters, writing life

© Robyn Hood Black
Happy November!

Next week, we'll enjoy another Student Haiku Poet of the Month. To tide you over, here are a few of my recent (fairly recent anyway) published haiku:



lingering afternoon
the ebb and flow
of birdsong



This World - Haiku Society of America 2013 Members' Anthology




firelight -
old friends meet
for the first time



gazing at flowers - Haiku Society of America Southeast Region 2013 Anthology



and, I can't believe it's been almost a year since I wrote this next one. (Not sure the fog ever completely lifted...):



december fog my to do to do to do list



Modern Haiku, Volume 45.3, Autumn 2014


All poems ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


How about you - are you glancing at the calendar in shocked disbelief, stocking up on extra boxes of Wheaties? [Note to self: insert blatant self-promotional segue here... ;0) ]

Many of you have kindly purchased from my Etsy store, artsyletters , the last two holiday seasons. Though this past year has involved a complicated interstate move and a late summer injury that knocked me out of work for a couple of months, I'm slip-sliding back into the crazy stream here just in time for the holidays. While I haven't been able to make intricate fine art (but I'm almost back enough for that!), I've been busy making some new items for literary and artistic types.

In addition to the Book Nerd gift pack and Poet gift pack I conjured up last year, I've just added a Teachers Rule gift pack , a Writers Wrule gift pack, and a Maker Magnet gift pack for your favorite artisan. I'm listing new items each week.

Now, wish me luck - I'm opening the doors of my studio this evening for downtown Beaufort's "First Friday" fun, where businesses stay open from 5 to 8 and folks meander and mingle. (There's a lot of meandering and mingling in the "slow"-country.)

Thanks!! I'll lift a cup of hot cider to all our Poetry Friday peeps. All busy, of course, posting wonderful poetry - and we're rounded up today by the amazingly talented Diane, PF host extraordinaire, at Random Noodling. Diane also offers a perfect welcome to November in poem & picture.

Poetry Friday: Haiku Student Poet of the Month Grace Futral

October 9, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, student work, Student Poet of the Month

Grace Futral
Greetings, Poetry Fans! I know you've been patiently waiting for this year's "Haiku Student Poet of the Month" series. Last year you met accomplished haiku poet and teacher at The Paideia School in Atlanta, Tom Painting. [Click here for my feature on Tom as part of our WE HAIKU HERE series last fall, and here for a few recent poems.] And you met several of his current and former students sharing their incredible haiku. [If you missed any, you may click here to get caught up.]

We are delighted to kick off the 2014-15 series with Grace Futral. Grace is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and lives in Druid Hills with her parents and older brother. At 15, she is a committed soccer player, artist, and writer.

She says:

My inspiring junior high teacher, Tom Painting, introduced me to the art of haiku. Haiku nurtures my poetic side and makes me more aware of the subtle, beautiful aspects of life.

Please enjoy some of Grace's fine poetry:



morning sun
dad knee deep
in the river


late autumn
his callused hands
feed the line

[*note* The above poem was a national winner in the 2012 Nicholas Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition]


skylight
we blend in
with the stars


summer night
frogs make the silence
so loud


the sky
sheds a lick of light
crescent moon


old mansion
the dust settled
memories


Poems ©Grace Futral. All rights reserved.


I've enjoyed re-reading these and find something new to delight in each time. While strong haiku poetry generally eschews excessive poetic devices, a particularly irresistible turn of phrase or bit of alliteration can often sneak in to make a haiku memorable. For me, that "lick of light" in Grace's "the sky" poem is just perfect. And the way the sounds of frogs make you realize how quiet it is at night - a great observation.

Which poem particularly draws you in?

Thanks for coming by to share in the series, and be sure to check out terrific poetry of all stripes at this week's Roundup, hosted by the wonderful Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Poetry Friday - Haiku with Tom Painting (& Student Haiku to come...)

September 25, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, poetry, student work, poets

Haiku poet and teacher Tom Painting and students at the 2013 quarterly Haiku Society of America meeting in Atlanta.
What's that I hear? (Cups ear with hand...) It's a new school year, and you are wondering when those FABULOUS student haiku poets will be sharing their work with us?

Have no fear. Tom Painting, acclaimed haiku poet and teacher at The Paideia School in Atlanta, has no shortage of talented young people to present. We will be delighted to continue our "Student Haiku Poet of the Month" series again in October. Just a few weeks!

To whet your appetite, I asked Tom if he might share a few of his own recent poems today. [Click here for my feature on Tom as part of our WE HAIKU HERE series last fall, highlighting speakers from the quarterly meeting of the Haiku Society of America held in Atlanta.]

He kindly obliged. Enjoy:


under cover
of darkness
our heart to heart



reading
till the stars come out
I mark my place



the talk
my son throws stones
into the river



Indian summer
bison graze the shadow
of the Bitterroots



Poems ©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.

Do you have a favorite? I'm delighted or dazzled by each one. The second poem, "reading," while it offers a sense of calm, challenges us with expansiveness and perspective - we "mark our place" in the universe. As a parent whose children are now young adults, "the talk" draws a smile. And bison grazing a shadow is just a beautiful, surprising image.

Wouldn't it be great if haiku were taught in every school by such a master? I hope you'll return for more haiku from Tom's classroom this year! If you missed any of last year's featured student poets, click here to meet these amazing young writers and read their work.

And for all kinds of wonderful poetry, please visit the ever-talented Laura at Writing the World for Kids for this week's Poetry Friday Roundup. [While there, be sure to check out her great "15 Words or Less" poetry features/challenges! Helps to sharpen the haiku mind.... And learn about her new book series for teachers! :0) ]

Poetry Friday: Summer Poem Swap Haiga from Heidi Mordhorst

August 14, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, haiga, Poem Swap, birds, poetry


Happy Middle-of-August!

I’ve just returned from helping our daughter Morgan set up her new third grade classroom in Greenville, SC, and we’re about to head out to the north Georgia mountains to get our son Seth settled into his college apartment on campus. I hope your back-to-school-ing is going well if you are a parent or teacher or media specialist or student or such! Whether your August involves school or not, I’m sure you’ll enjoy stopping just for a moment to enjoy another Summer Poem Swap treasure.


sodden robin
unmiserable to the
naked eye



©Heidi Mordhorst. All rights reserved.


This gem is from our ever talented Poetry Friday host this week, Heidi Mordhorst (who greets this time of year as a teacher and a mom herself!). How lovely that she paired her haiku with this wonderful photograph of my namesake in the bird world. In an accompanying note, Heidi said she loved the “resilience” of this feathered friend. We’ve certainly seen our share of “sodden” this summer; our back yard flooded last weekend. Many cities (including Greenville) in several regions of the country have dealt with serious flooding this week.

You might know from Diane and her wonderful blog that a haiku and visual image presented together is called a “haiga,” and I’m honored Heidi sent me one!

As Stephen Addis explains in the jacket flap of his book, THE ART OF HAIKU (Shambhala, 2012):

All the great haiku masters created paintings (called haiga) or calligraphy in connection with their poems, and the words and images were intended to be enjoyed together, enhancing each other, and each adding its own dimension to the reader’s and viewer’s understanding.

Many thanks to Heidi for this haiga, and to Tabatha for organizing our sensational SWAP.

Here’s hoping you are unmiserable - nice and dry in fact, and ready to enjoy more poetry! Join the flock over at Heidi’s My Juicy Little Universe.

Poetry Friday: Haiku Student Poet of the Month Madeline Budd Pearson

May 15, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, Student Poet of the Month, student work

Madeline Budd Pearson

Greetings after a couple of weeks away! The school year is winding down, and we traveled to celebrate my daughter Morgan's graduation (magna cum laude!) from Furman University.

Not all schools are out yet, of course, and I'm delighted to present our final Haiku Student Poet of the Month for 2013-14 from The Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia.




Madeline Budd Pearson lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She is 14 years old and in the 8th grade. In her spare time, Madeline likes to play soccer and read. She has three siblings. She was taught how to write haiku in 2013 by her writing teacher, Tom Painting.


Madeline kindly shares some of her thoughts about haiku:



Haiku can be a way to express yourself, like other poetry. Taking simple ideas, and words and transforming them. It's a way of poetry different from any other. Yes, it is shorter, but with the right word play it can have more meaning. One subject or idea can be a hundred different haiku, and once you write what you think is a good haiku, you want to write another.



(I totally agree!)



Many thanks to Madeline for sharing these observations, and the following fine poems:


Halloween
the hollow silence
after the knock on the door


slumber party
dusty sleeping bags
arrive from the attic


mother’s boss for dinner
the unused china
comes down


quietly quilting
the whisper
of patchwork stories


supermarket
the child follows
her mother’s perfume



All poems ©Madeline Budd Pearson. All rights reserved.

I think you'll agree we're ending this year's series strong! Madeline's poems linger, like that perfume in the grocery store... And, no worries - we plan to continue our monthly poet series featuring Tom Painting's students when school convenes again in the fall.

In cased you’ve missed any of our previous Student Poets, here are the links: Emma Jones (Dec.), Stuart Duffield (Jan.) , Abby Shannon (Feb.), Marissa Schwartz (Mar.), and Liana Klin (April.).

To linger over more great poetry, please go catch the Roundup with Elizabeth Steinglass - Liz is a fine (& published) haiku poet herself, among other things!

Poetry Friday: Workshopping a Haiku... (from HSA Meeting)

March 27, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, HSA, conferences, writing life

clipartpal.com



Greetings, Dear Poetry Friends!

Talk about inspiration overload lately. Today I'm back in Atlanta for our Illustrator Day and Springmingle conference this weekend. Last weekend, I was in a different Atlanta hotel with another creative tribe for the quarterly Haiku Society of America national conference/meeting.

March has been good to my creative soul.

I thought I might offer a peek into "workshopping" a haiku poem from that meeting. (Curtis Dunlap and I facilitated an informal process much like this at our Southeast regional conference back in October.)

Every workshop last weekend was stellar, thanks to conference planners HSA President David G. Lanoue, Terri L. French, and Tom Painting. Our second session was a haiku-writing workshop called "The New Traditional Haiku" led by Lee Gurga, award-winning poet and former HSA president. He is currently editor of Modern Haiku Press.

I'm not going to give away Lee's talk - join HSA and come to a fabulous meeting! - but I'll share a taste. After considering a variety of examples of and approaches to contemporary haiku, we were given handouts with three poems (not haiku) by well-known poets (19th and 20th centuries). We also received blank index cards. Lee invited us to borrow images from these poems, or be inspired by them, and craft some new haiku, keeping our discussion in mind.

While I usually take my time to develop poems and create them from some direct personal experience, it's fun in these settings to just turn loose the Muse and understand that everyone's efforts are first drafts. We each turned in our cards with our anonymous poems, and Lee selected a few for us to take a look at. I was delighted when one of mine came up for discussion. My original scribble on the index card went like so:

spider
her light escape into the dark


(The three words, "her light escape," were from Dickinson and grabbed me. Though referring to Summer in the original poem, I already had a spider image in my mind from another of the handout poems, and I've written a few haiku about spiders. I love playing with opposing forces in a haiku, so "into the dark" just wrote itself.)

Terri was our scribe to pen these haiku on a large pad, and it's interesting that she wrote the second line as, "her light escape into dark" without the "the". (Terri is a sharp, fine poet.) She quickly amended it to reflect what was on the card, but we all agreed the poem certainly didn't need the "the". (I also hear the voice of Lee Bennett Hopkins in my ear when I've let an unnecessary article or other little word slip through, and as soon as I saw the phrase written out, I thought, Did I put that "the" in there?! I hope I would have struck it on a second draft!)

Our workshop talk then turned to lines and construction. Should the poem be set up more traditionally, as:

spider
her light escape
into dark


or one line:

spider her light escape into dark

Well, I like either of these options better than what I originally put down.

A suggestion was also made to play with spacing, maybe drawing out the moment:

spider    her light escape      into     dark

or some such.

Looking at all of these suggestions, I might pick the three-line construction as my favorite for this poem, even though it's the most traditional. One, the "spider" and "her light escape" are not jammed awkwardly together if separated by the line space, and, Two, that short pause as the reader goes from the second to the third line gives our little arachnid just enough time to make a surprise exit!

Hopefully this brief romp has offered a hint at the myriad decisions and options available in writing a "one-breath poem." It was an honor and treat to meet some of the genre's best practitioners and advocates, and to get to know a few I've met before a little better!

The Poetry Friday Roundup today is hosted by none other than our wonderful Mary Lee at A Year of Reading. Quick - make your escape over there for lots of great poetry!

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Marisa Schwartz

March 20, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, haiku, student poets, student work, HSA, conferences

Marisa Schwartz



Happy Spring! If Spring did not arrive with the calendar this week where you are, I send you coastal sunshine (& pollen!) and wishes for warmth soon. What better way to welcome a new season than with haiku?


This Poetry Friday finds me traveling to Atlanta for the quarterly Haiku Society of America national conference/meeting, where some of Tom Painting’s haiku students will again share their thoughts and poems. I hope you are enjoying our blog series featuring a Student Haiku Poet of the Month as much as I’m enjoying sharing these talented and generous young people.



Ringing in Spring today is Marisa Schwartz. Marisa was raised in Decatur, Georgia (but is a New Yorker at heart) and has attended The Paideia School since third grade. She has always enjoyed writing ever since she could hold a pencil and started writing haiku in seventh grade, when creative writing teacher Tom Painting introduced it to the class. Marisa is also an accomplished piano player and plays the flute for her high school. She loves to play ultimate Frisbee and is a voracious reader. She lives with her parents, sister, and beloved cats.



(The kinship with kitties is enough for many of us, right?)





About haiku, Marisa says:


I love how haiku can capture such small and sometimes seemingly insignificant moments in life. Such small poems - only three lines - can have such a huge impact and I love how beautifully imagery can be conveyed in this way.

Here is a selection of Marisa’s poetry:


funeral home
a potted plant
in the window


midnight
lying in bed
I daydream


autumn night
a swing
in the wind


a dusty Steinway
the pedals
still warm


playing soccer
with a ping-pong ball
the kitten


lovers’ lane
everyone
on cell phones


9/11 memorial
running my fingers
over his name



All poems ©Marisa Schwartz. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Marisa for sharing her fine work! Several poems to admire here – I was particularly taken by those warm Steinway pedals myself. What speaks to you?

In cased you’ve missed any of our previous Student Poets, here are the links: Emma Jones (Dec.), Stuart Duffield (Jan.) , and Abby Shannon (Feb.).

Thanks as well to the also talented and generous Julie at The Drift Record for hosting our Poetry Friday Roundup today! Lots of great poetry awaits there, perfect for spring or any season!

Poetry Friday - Haiku Student Poet of the Month Abby Shannon

February 21, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, Student Poet of the Month, student work, student poets

Abby Shannon


Hellooooooo from the South Carolina Lowcountry (madly waving palm fronds)! I've missed you all. Last Friday ended up being moving day (rescheduled from the snow-and ice-laden middle of the week), and I'm still navigating mazes of boxes.



I'm delighted to have gotten the computer up and going yesterday to bring you, finally, February's featured Haiku Student Poet! You'll see she's worth the wait.


Abby Shannon is the third in our series spotlighting a Haiku Student Poet of the Month from among Tom Painting’s students at The Paideia School in Atlanta. (You can read more about this award-winning poet and teacher here and meet our first featured student poet, Emma Jones, here, and our second student poet, Stuart Duffield, here.)



Abby is in the ninth grade and goes to The Paideia School in Atlanta. Abby’s favorite subjects in school are literature, history, and science. In her free time she loves to read books, and spend time with her friends.


Here are some of Abby's thoughts about haiku:



Haiku is universal. The thoughts of people scattered on paper, then carefully rearranged, to make a poem. Haiku is everywhere from the space under my bed to the dog-eared page in a favorite book to the first fallen leaf of autumn. Haiku is life, and life is Haiku. Any person can relate to a well-written haiku, because they are all from the observations of other humans. Which is what makes Haiku so incredibly special.



And now, a few of her wonderful poems:



barren trees
she hangs
upside down


breast cancer parade
the little boy reaches
for his balloon


morning wind
the blossoms
tangle with her hair


late morning
the icy moon hangs
on a bright blue sky


public library
the shy boy
wipes dust off a book


white blossoms
softened
by the rain



All poems ©Abby Shannon. All rights reserved.

Well, I can't quite pick a favorite (though I'm partial to the white blossoms). Can you? Many thanks to Abby for sharing her poetry with us this month!

For more inspiring poetry, curl, ice dance, or slalom on over to see the wonderful Karen at her blog with the shockingly clever title, for this week's Roundup!

Poetry Friday -Student Haiku Poet of the Month, Stuart Duffield

January 9, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, Student Poet of the Month, student work, student poets, writing life

Stuart Duffield


This new year brings a continuing treat – the second in our series featuring a Haiku Student Poet of the Month from among Tom Painting’s students at The Paideia School in Atlanta. (You can read more about this award-winning poet and teacher here and meet our first featured student poet, Emma Jones, here.)


Today’s featured poet wowed the adult attendees at our recent Haiku Society of America Southeast Region ginko haikufest in Atlanta in October. Please welcome Stuart Duffield.

Stuart was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was raised in
Atlanta Georgia, where he currently attends The Paideia School. He was
first introduced to haiku by his 7th and 8th grade literature teacher,Tom
Painting, and has loved it ever since. Stuart’s other hobbies and
interests include general fitness, swimming, hiking, computer hardware,
and fashion.


Stuart shares a few of his thoughts about the genre:


It is often the most ordinary and common moments in my life that
haiku captures with its full breadth. These moments, many times ignored in
my fast paced life, are often most worthy of my attention, not because of
the immediate satisfaction of capturing the intricacies of nature in a
single breath, but rather the comfort it provides when I am most removed
from the things I love. Through this perspective, beauty is no longer
bound by the spindling webs of social structures and culture, but freed by
the feel of warm, moist sand underneath your feet, the warm breath blown
over the tip of your nose, the winds whipping at your cheeks and the
syncopated beats of crickets at dusk.





Now, please enjoy some of Stuart’s poems:



desert road
a javelina hides
behind a prickly pear



lazy afternoon
the cat
watches the bird feeder



desert sunrise
a cactus wren calls
from the ocotillo



sunlight through the garage window
the first chords
kick up dust



train whistle
ravens burden
a leafless tree



All poems ©Stuart Duffield. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Stuart for sharing his fine work here this week!

Thanks as well to the Delightful Donna, hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Mainely Write.

Poetry Friday - WE HAIKU HERE winds up with Terri French

December 19, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, HSA, We Haiku Here

HSA President David G. Lanoue and Regional Coordinator Terri L. French at the 2013 HSA SE Ginko Haikufest in Atlanta
photo by Curtis Dunlap


Thanks to everyone who's been tagging along for the adventure in our WE HAIKU HERE series, featuring speakers from our recent Haiku Society of America (HSA) Southeast Region's"ginko haikufest" in Atlanta. Today I'm thrilled to introduce Terri L. French, our hard-working, organized, and oh-so-talented regional coordinator.

Shortly after I stumbled into the HSA, and started looking around for a tribe in my area, magical emails appeared from this go-getter poet in Alabama. Terri had volunteered to take the reins in this part of the country with a history of terrific poets. She coordinated a regional meeting/weekend retreat in the Alabama mountains in 2012 (I couldn't make that one), and another this year in Atlanta (I did make this one!). What a special treat to meet people in person whom I'd only known by their bylines in journals, and a few by email. We are all grateful for Terri's vision and follow-through!

First, let's meet Terri:

Terri L. French referred to herself as a Massage Therapist who writes, but she has come to realize that she is truly a Writer who does massage therapy. Terri’s degree in journalism helps her to appreciate the short, concise elements in haiku and other haikai forms.

Her work has appeared in various journals, such as Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Daily Haiku, Contemporary Haibun Online, A Hundred Gourds and Moonbathing. She serves as the Southeast Coordinator of the Haiku Society of America and is editor of the online senryu and kyoka journal, Prune Juice. Terri and her husband, Ray, have four grown children and reside in Huntsville, Alabama.




Now, please enjoy some of Terri's poetry:



waiting room—
a fly climbs the stairs
on an Escher print


3rd Prize 2012 HSA Gerald C. Brady Memorial Contest




first freeze—
brushing frost
from the pansies' faces


Feb. 18, 2011 DailyHaiku




evening meditation
on the tao of the next wave
everything rests


haiga online, Issue 12-2, 2011




he brings flowers
the same shade—
bruises


Frogpond 34:3 and
2011 The Haiku Foundation Touchstone Award




distant thunder
the sound of an ellipsis


commendation The Haiku Foundation HaikuNow! Contest, 2013



smothered in face cream
grandmother reads
A Wrinkle in Time


A Hundred Gourds, 2:4, September, 2013



catching tadpoles
this summer he wades

d

e

e

p

e

r



from Terri's book, A Ladybug on My Words, available on Amazon. [Bought and recommended by yours truly!]

All poems ©Terri L. French. All rights reserved.



Finally, I asked Terri, "Why haiku?"

I tend to be a planner and often find my thoughts centered on the future. Haiku, much like my yoga practice, or performing massage, helps me to stay focused and to pay attention to what is happening in my current environment.

Thank you, Terri, for joining us today, and for all you do to promote haikai arts. And thank you for sharing your fine work here this week!

For more wonderful poetry, visit the wonderful Buffy at Buffy's Blog for this week's Roundup.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! Next week I'll be sharing my special treasures received, poetic and otherwise, during the Winter Poem Swap.

Poetry Friday: Haiku Continues with Student Poet of the Month, Emma Jones

December 12, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, student work, student poets, writing life, haiku, conferences

Emma Jones


Greetings, Poetry Friends! Thank you for joining me lately to meet haiku poets from my neck of the woods – speakers from our recent Haiku Society of America (HSA) Southeast Region ginko haikufest in Atlanta, Georgia. Next week we’ll wind up our “We Haiku Here” series with HSE SE regional coordinator, poet, and editor Terri L. French. Remember meeting award-winning poet and teacher Tom Painting last month?

Several of Tom’s students wowed us at the conference with readings of their work, and with their statements about haiku. Since 2000, Tom’s junior high and high school students have had winning haiku in the Nicholas Virgilio Memorial Haiku Contest. His students have also been recognized in the United Nations International School Haiku Competition.Tom currently teaches at The Paideia School in Atlanta.

Friday the 13th is a lucky day for us today, because with Tom’s help, I’m kicking off a monthly feature spotlighting the work of these talented students. Today I’m delighted to introduce you to Emma Jones, an 8th grade student at Paideia.

In addition to writing haiku, Emma enjoys dance and soccer. She is an avid reader. Emma lives with her mom, dad, and older sister, Camille.

Emma shares these thoughts about haiku:

I like watching a haiku form. The original idea may change throughout the revision process. After chipping away unnecessary words and switching around the lines I often find myself with a new version that may or may not look how I originally intended it to be. Since haiku are written with so few words it has made me think about each word in all of my writing. Sometimes haiku is written about the smallest and seemingly unimportant moments in life. Writing and reading haiku has made me seek out these moments and grasp their importance and elegance, to write about or just appreciate.


Emma has also kindly agreed to share some of her poems. Enjoy!



kneading my thigh
in an easy chair
the old grey cat


lazy afternoon
a soft spring breeze
combs the grass


summer drizzle
the sidewalk slowly
colors-in


city lights steal the stars


dead bird
the cat’s eyes sparkle
a confession


family breakfast
grape jelly sliding
down the jar


Nam Memorial
no need
for quiet signs



All poems ©Emma Jones. All rights reserved.


Hearty thanks to Emma for joining us today!

If Emma’s exceptional writing has whet your appetite for more great poetry, please go visit the ever creative, ever thoughtful Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup.

Poetry Friday is HERE with Haiku Society of America President David G. Lanoue

December 5, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, poetry, Haiku Society of America, David G. Lanoue, poets

David G. Lanoue shares some of his favorite poems by Issa at the 2013 HSA SE Ginko Haikufest in Atlanta
photo by Raymond French


Greetings, Poetry Friday Friends! I'm hosting today from my soon-to-be home of Beaufort, SC, where we're slated for sunshine and highs in the 70s today. I send this freely to those of you whose windows are caked in ice and snow.

It's my great honor to continue our "We Haiku Here" series today with Haiku Society of America (HSA) president David G. Lanoue. He delivered a reading of Issa's work at our recent HSA Southeast Region's"ginko haikufest" in Atlanta. I've been featuring our speakers and their poetry the last few weeks. We'll welcome a special student guest next week, and then regional coordinator Terri L. French will round out the series.

Our gathering was called "gazing at flowers," in honor of haiku master Issa's 250th birthday, and it was a special treat to have our HSA president participate!

David G. Lanoue is a professor of English at Xavier University of Louisiana. He is a co-founder of the New Orleans Haiku Society, an associate member of the Haiku Foundation, and the president of the Haiku Society of America. His books include Pure Land Haiku: The Art of Priest Issa, Haiku Guy, Laughing Buddha, Haiku Wars, Frog Poet, Dewdrop World and Issa’s Best: A Translator’s Selection of Master Haiku. He maintains The Haiku of Kobayashi Issa website, for which he has translated 10,000 of Issa’s haiku.


I asked David to please tell us a little bit about Issa and share a few of his favorite Issa haiku.

Issa, which literally means "One Tea," is one of the great haiku poets of Japanese tradition. He lived from 1763 to 1828 (even though most sources still make the mistake of assigning 1827 as his death year). He was brilliantly prolific, writing over 20,000 haiku in his lifetime. Down to earth, human, sympathetic to all life--from noble horses down to tiny fleas; Issa is loved by readers all over the world. Despite many hardships--losing his mother when he was a child, enduring the abuse of a hateful stepmother, having to go into exile at a young age, and, later in life, mourning the deaths of four children and his first wife--Issa remarkably retained his sense of humor and love for life throughout his poetry. As for sharing some of my favorite Issa haiku, I've culled 1,210 of them from my online archive of 10,000 and put them into a book (Issa's Best—available from Amazon as a paperback and as e-books for Kindle and Nook, hint, hint), so it’s terribly hard for me to narrow it down further. So, I’ll just flip through the book and pick five random ones that catch my eye. Enjoy...

chin-deep
in the fallen blossoms . . .
a frog

on the high priest’s
head . . .
flies making love

lightning flash –
no way to hide
the wrinkles

blooming
with butterflies
the dead tree

resting
on the big dog’s head
dragonfly


I also asked David to share a few of his own...

Translating Issa for 26 years inspired me to try my hand at writing original haiku. Here’s a sampling of five:

the old priest dines
his wine
just wine

a "Lost Dog" sign
nailed deep
into the oak

one star
over the airport
another Beatle has died

pizza parlor
after the murders
help wanted

when he reaches the square
the beggar
becomes lame


Poems ©David G. Lanoue. All rights reserved.

The above were first published in Modern Haiku 30.1 (1999); Frogpond27.2 (2004); Frogpond 31.1(2008); Haiku Wars(2009); and Senryu Therapy: American-Romanian Anthology(2012).

Of course, I asked David my "Why haiku?" question:

Here's something I wrote recently for the Haiku Foundation blog about where my haiku come from:

My haiku always begin with some sort of stimulus—a glimpse, a scent, a memory—about which I suddenly have a strong feeling that “There’s a haiku in this.” I’m curious to find out what I will say about this “this.” When I take out pen and paper, or more recently, the iPhone, I’m trying to catch the momentum of an impulse to discover. The first image is always easy; it’s the spark that ignited the curiosity. The second image or, perhaps, thought, will be the discovery which, if I’m lucky, will make the quick journey from part A to part B a haiku. For this step I rely on everything I know and have felt, my deep intuitions, my lifelong love affair with the English language, and, trusting in all this, nine out of ten times the second part comes even as I am writing it down—and I have a haiku. Whether or not it’s a good haiku is a matter to be decided later, but for the time being I’m content to add it to the computer file titled “MyKu” that contains over 3,000 similar bursts of discovery, from 1983 to yesterday.



AND, I asked David who should join the HSA...

Who should join the HSA ? Anyone who'd like to cultivate an interest in haiku, as a reader of it, a writer of it, or both. The HSA provides a great opportunity for the English-speaking haiku community in North America to stay in touch and share their love of haiku. Workshops, conferences, an annual members' anthology, a subscription to our journal Frogpond (published three times a year) and one-on-one mentoring opportunties are all available to HSA members. I've been a member since forever, and I've always felt that I've gotten more out of the HSA than the annual membership fee ($35 these days for US citizens) could ever pay for. In fact, as I write this note I'm reminded that I haven't rejoined for 2014, so I'll do so today!

To learn more about David or Issa, please visit his Haiku Guy website. You can even sign up in Yahoo groups for an Issa poem to be sent to you each day! Also, this week I blogged about Haiku Guy, the first in David's series of haiku novels, at Janice Hardy's writer blog, The Other Side of the Story.

Now, what are you offering up today? Please leave your link in the comments, and I'll round them all up between sunshine breaks.

Good Poetry Friday Morning!

If you have a pulse and an inbox, you will relate to Michelle’s hilarious original “Cyber Seduction” poem about ringing in the online holiday spending season over at Today’s Little Ditty

At Bald Ego, Charles combines two of my personal favorites: Van Gogh and the villanelle! He also has Couplets for Picasso if that’s your couplet of tea. (Wonderful art by son Chip, too.)

Laura brings us another of Joyce Sidman’s poems from WHAT THE HEART KNOWS – “Song of Bravery” at
Writing the World for Kids. (This one seems especially appropriate today, as the world mourns the loss of Nelson Mandela.)

Along the theme of world leaders, Linda at Teacher Dance marks the recent 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy with a post about Robert Frost and Kennedy – how Frost wrote the first presidential inauguration poem yet read another at the ceremony, and links to more about all that.

Catherine at Reading to the Core has a poem by Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen, “What the Heart Cannot Forget” – made me sigh out loud.

Who wants pie? Get over to Gottabook and have an original slice with Greg! It’s pre-fib pie. (You’ll have to click to see what I mean.)

If your hunger is of a more serious vein, be sure to read Myra’s offering at Gathering Books - a striking poem called “Hunger” by Nerisa Guevara (& check out previous posts featuring her work, too).

Dear Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference brings us a terzanelle by Lewis Turco, and an ornament made by yours truly. (I didn’t pay her, I promise!) Don’t you just love the word, “terzanelle?”? And in the featured poem, don’t you just love the word, “hourdust”?

At Carol’s Corner, Carol features a powerful new poetry picture book by Daniel Beaty, KNOCK KNOCK, illustrated by Bryan Collier. (I couldn’t make it dry-eyed through the video either, Carol.) Carol comments that she has shared the picture book about Issa, COOL MELONS TURN TO FROGS (on my shelf too, of course!) for years. “In some sense,” Carol writes, “Beaty and Issa have a lot in common--both men have had really difficult lives and have used poetry to create meaning.”

Mary Lee at A Year of Reading is in with an ode to – her big toe?! (Please do check out the bandage art. And, heal fast, Mary Lee!)

**ALSO** – Mary Lee is issuing a call for Poetry Friday Roundup hosts for Jan. – June , so get thee hence and claim a date! (I’m off to go do that right now. Back in a minute….)

At The Drift Record, Julie has William Ernest Henley’s (1849–1903) poem, “Invictus,” honoring the man who will always be associated with it, Nelson Mandela.

Greg had pie, Laura has cookies… Go visit Author Amok for Myra Cohn Livingston’s “Christmas Cookies,” PLUS directions on how to make “Paintbrush Cookies” (now that’s right up my artist’s alley) PLUS other poetically tasty links.

Do you hear some jingling? Well, then you must be near Betsy’s I Think in Poems blog, where she shares some “Jingling Chatter” today. Drop in with one of Laura’s cookies.

Tara at A Teaching Life honors Nelson Mandela today with two poems, “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley and John Matshikiza’s 1974 poem, “And I Watch it in Mandela.”

Caw! Caw! Maragret at Reflections on the Teche shares her poetic observances of a murder of crows which came to play at their school playground this week.

If tiny mice are more your thing, skitter – rather, sail – on over to Alphabet Soup, where Jama’s serving them up. Well, she’s not REALLY serving up REAL mice – Jama would never do that – but she has Janis Ian's adorable new picture book, THE TINY MOUSE, delightfully illustrated by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert. And, of course, there’s food.

Thanks to Becky for the warm SC welcome! Becky’s ringing in St. Nicholas Day today at Tapestry of Words with “A Song for St. Nicholas” by Mary Mapes Dodge (1831-1905).

Katya is trying to make the best of a frigid situation with Emily Dickinson’s “Snow flakes” atWrite, Sketch, Repeat. (And I’m hoping Mary Lee’s toes will soon be up to this kind of jig.)

Collette brings us former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky and “The Favorite Poem Project,” along with a powerful video – a 20-year-old student’s reading of Gwendolyn Brooks’s “We Real Cool” at Used Books in Class.

At Enjoy and Embrace Learning, Mandy offers some words of encouragement for Mary Lee and her poor toe.

Diane (one of David’s “Daily Issa” subscribers, BTW) brings her usual Triple Threat of poetic goodness:

At Random Noodling, she offers an original ekphrastic poem, “Interior.”

St. Nicholas Day gets some more love at Kurious Kitty, with “The Festival of St. Nicholas” by Mary Mapes Dodge from Hans Brinker, or, the Silver Skates.

And a quote for creatives by Mollie Hunter is yours for the pondering at KK’s Kwotes.

At The Blog with the Shockingly Clever Title, Karen shares Mark Jarman’s “Prayer for our Daughters” (touching to me as I’m waiting on my college daughter to come visit this afternoon!). She also added links to haiku-related posts on her blog.

Donna’s in with a poem for the “musicfully inclined” over at Mainely Write. Dare you to read it without tapping your toes.

Lovely Cathy brings us a timely poem and post today with “A Wish is a Start” at Merely Day by Day (Our second post featuring coins – good luck, I’m thinking. No, wishing….)

Jone checks in from Check it Out with a Mary Oliver poem, “In Blackwater Woods” – and some lovely thoughts about how poetry can help heal in times of loss.

Garrison Keillor fans? (Raises hand wildly…) Keri is giving away a signed copy of his latest book, O, WHAT A LUXURY – VERSES LYRICAL, VULGAR, PATHETIC and PROFOUND at Keri Recommends. (Hmmm… Maybe I’ll leave TWO comments over there….)

Violet takes up Laurie Purdie Salas’s great 15-words-or-less challenge this week with an original response, “Katniss’s Dilemma,” at Violet Nesdoly Poems. (There – you "hunger" to know more, I can tell – my work here is done.)

(Must take a wee break - back in just a bit.)


I'm back!...


Anastasia sparkles with the magic of icicles today at a Poet! Poet!

Little Willow chimes in at Bildungsroman with “The Singer” by Anna Wickham. (To me, it seems an especially appropriate choice for today in light of Mandela’s passing.)

Janet lightens things up for us with I’VE LOST MY HIPPOPOTAMUS: MORE THAN 100 POEMS by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic, at
All About the Books. (Now, that looks like fun.)

JoAnn over at Teaching Authors serves up some terrific book recommendations, and links to others, that should go straight to your gift list (or maybe on your own letter to Santa?) She also shares a most delicious love poem from Joyce Sidman’s new WHAT THE HEART KNOWS: CHANTS, CHARMS & BLESSINGS.

MM Socks opensThe Drawer to share an original poem, “Nobody Wants to Hold My Hand.” (Well, I'm sure after folks visit his blog he'll get some offers... ;0) )

Ruth also has an original poem this week, “Sounds from this House,” at There is no Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town. It was published in their school’s brand-new online literary journal and will transport you immediately to life in Haiti. (That last stanza is gorgeous, gorgeous.)

Okay – you’ve been working hard all day. Now it’s time to play! Amy has just the thing at The Poem Farm, with a poem inspired by a young teacher-in-training and her dolls and stuffed animals – and from Amy’s own memories, as well.

Joy lives up her name today with an acrostic poem she wrote for Kwanzaa at Poetry for Kids Joy. Terrific sentiment! She invites us to check out her haiku from earlier this week, too.

Well, the sun is setting here, and we're about to head out for a little while. Hope you can cozy up with some of this great poetry, and I'll check back in later.

Poetry Friday: WE HAIKU HERE with Dave Russo

November 28, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, We Haiku Here, haiku, poetry, poets

Dave Russo speaks at the 2013 HSA SE Ginko Haikufest in Atlanta
photo by Raymond French


Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I hope you're settling into some time for reflection after the big day - or at least moments of noticing between all the Black Friday sales.



In our WE HAIKU HERE series, speakers from our recent HSA (Haiku Society of America) Southeast Regional “Ginko Haikufest” in Atlanta have graced my blog. We've gotten to know poets Curtis Dunlap, Tom Painting and Laurence Stacey.



Today's guest hails from North Carolina, and if you've enjoyed the great resources on The Haiku Foundation website, you have him to thank.



At our weekend gathering, Dave and Bob Moyer led a fun and lively interactive session on "Haiku from Scratch."



Dave Russo’s haiku have appeared in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Acorn, and other journals. He is included in the New Resonance 5 anthology from Red
Moon Press. Dave organizes events for the North Carolina Haiku Society and is the web administrator for the NCHS and The Haiku Foundation.




Now, I know you saved some room for haiku. Please enjoy these examples of Dave's poetry. (Those haiku poets among you might appreciate the progression from the "5-7-5" structure of his earliest published poems to the shorter, more condensed recent works.)



All through the meeting,
your calm face by the window.
Bright, darkening trees


Frogpond, xx:2 1997



It's late, the office
almost empty. Your bare feet
whisper by my door


Modern Haiku, xxvii:3, 1997



ice melting the shape of the branch it fell from

The Heron’s Nest, June 2013



    olive blossoms . . .
the sound of a hive
    in the abbey wall


Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar for 2013, Runner Up for August


All poems ©Dave Russo. All rights reserved.


In response to the question, "Why haiku?" - Dave's words are likewise concise and meaningful:

"Because haiku can express a depth of feeling with an economy of means that is not often found elsewhere."

Amen! Many thanks, Dave, for joining us today and sharing your work.

Next week the Poetry Friday Round Up is HERE with poet, author, Issa scholar and Haiku Society of America president David Lanoue.

For today's poetic feast, please take your plate over to Carol's Corner.
[AND (blatant commercial warning): should you want to do any Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday shopping between poetry stops, feel free to use Coupon Code PFPEEPS13 in my artsyletters Etsy shop for 15 percent off now through Monday! Poet Gift Packs, notecards, altered vintage books, typewriter key jewelry, bookmarks, and more!] :0)

Poetry Friday: WE HAIKU HERE - Class in Session with Laurence Stacey

November 21, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, We Haiku Here, HSA, poets, writing life, journals

Top: Laurence delivers a talk at our recent HSA SE regional haikufest. Below: I appreciated a nice long walk and talk with Laurence; we discussed poetry, animal rights, and education – among other things!
photos by Raymond French




Welcome back! I’m glad so many folks are enjoying our end-of-the-year haiku journey, led by some of the speakers at our recent HSA (Haiku Society of America) Southeast Regional “haikufest” in Atlanta.

Have you missed the introduction to the series, or any of the fun so far? Please click here to get to know poet Curtis Dunlap and click here to meet Tom Painting, poet and teacher extraordinaire.


Today we have a special treat. And, continuing along an educational theme, we have a poet who is also a teacher.


Laurence Stacey lives in Marietta, Georgia, and is an English Instructor and tutor at Reinhardt University. In his spare time, Laurence enjoys hiking and is an avid student of the martial arts. His educational background includes an MA in Professional Writing, with an emphasis on poetry. He is interested in incorporating haikai into the high school and university curriculum. (RHB note – “haikai” generally refers to haiku and related arts, including senryu, haiga, and haibun.)


Laurence’s poetry has been featured in Prune Juice, Simply Haiku, Tinywords, The Heron’s Nest, and several other journals. He is also the coeditor of Haiku News, a journal dedicated to engaging sociopolitical events through haiku, tanka, and senryu poetry.


Please visit Haiku News at http://www.wayfarergallery.net/haikunews/
. (another RHB note: Poetry Friday regulars, you can find several poems by Diane Mayr in the Haiku News archives.)


At our weekend conference, which celebrated the 250th birthday of haiku master Issa, Laurence delivered a lecture that was enthusiastically received Saturday morning. His talk, “Issa and the African American Perspective in Haiku,” invited us to explore poetry by African American writers as well as to think about ecology , and to consider these subjects in the context of haiku. An enlightening and inspiring morning!


I look forward to more of Laurence’s work on these themes in the future.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy some of his poetry, shall we?




deep in debt…
I answer the phone
as my son


Tinywords, issue 13.2, August 2013



election day
choosing the devil
I know


Haiku News, Vol 1 No. 22



her illness
beyond our care
winter birds


The Heron’s Nest, September 2011, Vol XIII



spreading my cards
the gypsy covers
a yawn


Simply Haiku, Autumn 2009, Vol 7 No 3



AM jazz
the phone line rocking
with crows


3Lights, Winter 2010

All poems ©Laurence Stacey. All rights reserved.


In response to “Why haiku?”, Laurence shares the following:

My reasons for studying and writing haikai (haiku, senryu, and tanka) continue to evolve as I learn more about the art. However, the reason that most quickly comes to my mind is joy. For me, haikai is a way of connecting to the people around me and recording the stories that make us unique. In addition, haikai encourages what I believe is a true respect for the natural world and the creatures that live in it.

What more could you ask for as a reason to pursue a discipline? We are very grateful to have Laurence in our region, and I’m grateful he took the time to visit us here today! Thanks, Laurence.

And hearty thanks to hearty Katya, hosting our Roundup for Poetry Friday this week. Go unpack all the great poetry over at Write. Sketch. Repeat.

(And be sure to return here next week, as our series continues...!)

Poetry Friday: WE HAIKU HERE welcomes Tom Painting

November 14, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, We Haiku Here, poes, HSA, writing life, student work

Welcome back, Poetry Friday Friends! Our haiku series continues today. In late October, The Southeast Chapter of The Haiku Society of America met in Atlanta for the 2nd Annual Ginko Haikufest: “gazing at flowers” in celebration of Koboyashi Issa’s 250th birthday. (We’ll revisit Issa in a later post with HSA President and Issa scholar David G. Lanoue.) I’m shining a spotlight on our speakers here, week by week.

Last week, we kicked off the series with North Carolina poet Curtis Dunlap, who kindly provided some thoughts on haiku and several fine poems. This week, I’m thrilled to introduce Tom Painting. (If you already hang in the haiku world, Tom needs no introduction.)

One of the highlights of our recent weekend was welcoming Tom’s current and former students from The Paideia School in Atlanta, where Tom teaches junior high. (He taught my niece Olivia in fact, and she has penned some award-winning haiku, which I’ve featured here the last two years.)

These eighth and ninth graders each shared a few thoughts on haiku and then some of their own poems. I cannot adequately describe how articulate, thoughtful and talented each student was – or the tangible impact they had on us grown-up listeners! There were many moist eyes in the room during the readings. Beyond impressive.

Since 2000, Tom’s junior high and high school students have had winning haiku in the Nicholas Virgilio Memorial Haiku Contest. His students have also been recognized in the United Nations International School Haiku Competition.Tom is obviously an amazing teacher, and he is eager to share his students’ work.

For today, I convinced him to let us meet him first! This teacher, husband and father is one of our best haiku poets writing today.

In addition to regular inclusion in the top haiku journals,Tom’s haiku have appeared annually since 1998 in The Red Moon Anthology of English Language Haiku, published by Red Moon Press. He was the 2012 winner of the Haiku Society of America haibun contest. One of his poems is included in Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years recently published by W.W. Norton and Company (see last week’s post for my aside raves).

Here are some examples of his work:



crickets
the pulse in a hollow
of her neck


Acorn #10, 2004



spring plowing
a flock of blackbirds
turns inside out


Frogpond XXV:2



detour
she returns my hand
to the wheel


Frogpond XXVI:3



year's end
the weight of pennies
in the mason jar


Modern Haiku 39:2



Indian summer
bison graze the shadow
of the Bitterroots


Modern Haiku 43:1



summer stars
my children ask me
to name a favorite


The Heron’s Nest, June 2011


All poems ©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.


Now, to the question, “Why Haiku?” – Tom’s insightful answers runneth over. In fact, I’ll feature just a few of his helpful thoughts about haiku here today and try to work in more in future posts.

“In haiku circles you’ll often hear reference to the haiku moment,” Tom explains. “In so short a form as haiku the poet must get right to the point and show the particular thing that captures her or his attention- the one among the many, the close-up in the general scene, the last, the first, the opposite.

"Haiku work with the ordinary facts of life. One of the great surprises of this form of poetry is that in the ordinary, the every day, one can find the sublime. Haiku poets write in present tense to help the reader feel as if the haiku moment were happening now. Simple, uncomplicated images, common language, objective presentation and musical sensitivity to language are additional hallmarks of a successful haiku."


Told you he was a teacher. As to why he teaches haiku:

“I teach haiku because I love it. I teach haiku because kids of all ages generally like it and some love it. I teach haiku because I feel it provides a cornerstone to literacy.”

Tom even makes his students a promise: “ If you commit yourself to the practice, you’ll learn more about the world, about writing and especially about yourself.”

If you scan the 7th through 12th grade winning entries in the Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Contest at the Haiku Society of America website, you’ll see how Tom has inspired many of the winners.

But wait! There’s more! I will be featuring one of Tom’s students each month beginning one month from today! That’s right, a student haiku poet of the month. You will be blown away, I guarantee it.

The accolades of placing in a contest are all well and good, but beyond that - when a young writer is able to engage in the world in an authentic way and express his or her experience in just a few profound words… I told you you’d be blown away, right? So stay tuned in coming weeks for more haiku from our featured speakers, and then keep circling back for our bright and shining student of the month.

As for today’s Round Up, please go see what the ever-surprising and insightful Jama is cooking up over at Alphabet Soup . It’s always Mmm-mmm good.

Poetry Friday: WE HAIKU HERE series kicks off with Curtis Dunlap

November 7, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, We Haiku Here, poets, HSA, writing life

Curtis Dunlap leads a critique panel at the 2013 HSA SE Ginko Haikufest in Atlanta
photo by Raymond French
Welcome, Poetry Friday Friends! I’m excited to kick off a series today which will feature several notable haiku poets – the speakers from a recent regional celebration of haiku. In late October, The Southeast Chapter of The Haiku Society of America met in Atlanta for the 2nd Annual Ginko Haikufest: “gazing at flowers” in celebration of Koboyashi Issa’s 250th birthday. (We’ll revisit Issa in a later post with HSA President and Issa scholar David G. Lanoue.)

The event was organized by our amazing and talented regional coordinator, Terri L. French. (More on her later, too.) This region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and the United States Virgin Islands. Our wonderful weekend included a handful of terrific poets from North Carolina as well. As you can imagine, I’m thrilled I’ll stay in this region after moving from Georgia to South Carolina!

At our conference, I had the good fortune to be on a panel with Curtis Dunlap. We read anonymously submitted haiku and then discussed/critiqued them as a large group. I was struck by 1.) the level of excellence of the drafts and 2.) the very insightful comments and suggestions from all in attendance. It was a great learning experience all around.

I asked Curtis if he would be willing to lead off with this end-of-the-year series, and he kindly obliged.



Curtis Dunlap lives near the confluence of the Mayo and Dan rivers in Mayodan, North Carolina. His poems have been published in a variety of journals and anthologies including The Christian Science Monitor, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Frogpond, Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years, Magnapoets, Modern Haiku, Rusty Truck, and The Wild Goose Poetry Review. He was awarded the Museum of Haiku Literature Award in 2008. Click here for his tobaccoroadpoet.com website.

[Note from RHB: Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years came out in August from W.W. Norton & Company. Edited by Jim Kacian, it features an introduction by Billy Collins and more than 800 poems guiding the reader through the form’s development in English. I bought a copy and am enjoying it tremendously.]

Here is a sampling of Curtis’s fine haiku:



after the burial . . .
my father’s smile
on so many faces


The Heron's Nest, Volume VIII:4 - 12, 2006



tobacco market
the auctioneer pauses
to catch his breath


Chasing the Sun: selected haiku from Haiku North America 2007



a rusty still
by the dry creek bed –
blood moon rising


The Heron's Nest, Volume X:1 - 3, 2008



school closings —
the snowmen arrive
flake by flake


The Heron's Nest, Volume XII, Number 2: June, 2010



robbing the bees
she speaks of
lip balm


The Heron's Nest, Volume XII, Number 4: December, 2010



afternoon lull...
a mercy bullet
for the rabid dog


The Heron's Nest, Volume XV, Number 2: June 2013

All poems ©Curtis Dunlap. All rights reserved.


To the question, Why Haiku? – Curtis responds:

To preserve, share, and savor snapshot moments that are as fleeting as the small poems used to convey the experience to the reader. Time goes by at an incredible pace, especially now that I've passed the half century mark. To me, writing haiku is akin to taking the finger off of life's fast forward button, slowing the pace down, and revisiting events that struck a chord with my artistic soul. …

You can follow the rest of this discussion here at Curtis’s blog. While there, please peruse the “Three Questions” interviews with links in the right-hand column– a treasure-trove of interviews in recent years with contemporary haiku poets. Some of these poets, including William J. Higginson and Peggy Lyles, are no longer with us; it’s a privilege to read their thoughts from just a few years ago.

Many thanks to Curtis Dunlap for joining us today! Stay tuned – we’ll enjoy a different poet from the HSA SE Haikufest speaker’s circle each week through the end of the year.

Now, I think it only appropriate that today’s Poetry Friday host is also an accomplished (and prolific!) haiku poet, among many other things. Please go see the amazing Diane at Random Noodling. (Oh, and let me know if you catch her napping. My theory is she doesn’t sleep.)

Poetry Friday: Seaside Haiku and a Haiku Blog Series, Coming Up!

October 31, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, ponderings, writing life, haiku, nature

photo by Morgan Black
Last weekend I had the lovely good fortune to participate in our Haiku Society of America- Southeast Region's haikufest - a weekend conference titled, "Gazing at Flowers" and celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birthdate of beloved haiku master, Issa. Actually meeting so many talented folks I previousy knew just by bylines was beyond wonderful. SOOO... please come back next Friday as I kick off a blog series featuring our fine speakers. But wait - there's more! We will also soon begin celebrating a student "poet of the month" from among Tom Painting's classes at The Paideia School in Atlanta. A group of these young people read original poems for us at the conference, and the phrase "blown away" drifted from the mouths of many seasoned haiku poets..

When life gets too crazy-busy, I find I don't write as much haiku, though of course that's the time I need to s-l-o-w down the most. We're in the midst of some major -- good, but major -- life transitions. In August we sent our youngest off to college, and now my husband and I are moving. He was offered a great job opportunity in Beaufort, SC - so we'll be packing away the winter coats needed here in the north Georgia mountains, and heading for the coast.

Beaufort was voted "The Happiest Seaside Town" by Coastal Living magazine this past spring. And it has a reputation for friendliness - we've already found that to be the case while visiting. The pace is noticeably slower, the scenery breathtaking. It feels very familiar to me, as I grew up romping under the Spanish moss in central Florida with frequent trips to the beach. The quality of light is different near the coast, more brilliant. I've already rented a space in an old historic building downtown to use as a studio for my art business. {Happy sigh.}

So, today, I offer up a couple of haiku published this fall. They were written while visiting Harbor Island, just 15 miles from downtown Beaufort. (And each happens to have a literary, as well as a seaside, reference!) Here they are:


lapping waves finding a you or a me

©Robyn Hood Black
Modern Haiku, Vol. 44.3, Fall 2013


telling it slant
a ghost crab slips into
a hole


©Robyn Hood Black
Acorn, No. 31, Fall 2013

Thanks for reading! Let the ocean tides carry you over to Lovely Linda at TeacherDance, where the catch of the day is lots of great poetry. (And, calling all haiku lovers - please plan to circle back for our end-of-the-year special series starting next week!)

Poetry Friday: September

September 5, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, ponderings, authors, book tracks, haiku

YAY Images

I caught it - just for a hint of a moment, just through my fingers and teasing my face - walking at dusk last night. Have you caught it? That wispy slight chill in the air wafting over the scent of grass - the promise of fall?

Fall has always been my favorite season. As a little girl, when that chill in the air and the smell of fresh grass meant I was running around my grandparents' back yard in Tennessee, I loved the start of a new school year. Growing up in Florida, I didn't move to where the leaves change color until college. I am still at a loss each year when the canopy transforms into a yellow golden scarlet aubergine cathedral, shedding stained glass leaves into a carpet. Fall is a time to breathe deeply, to both contemplate and start new things.

On my side of the family, the first great-grandchild for my folks was born Wednesday night to my lovely niece. New life makes everyone pause and feel hopeful. We also discovered that there's a baby due on my husband's side of the family - the first great-grandchild for his folks, so fall will be full of promise. New babies always make me think of Lee Bennett Hopkins's collection AMAZING FACES, with exquisite illustrations by Chris Soentpiet (Lee & Low, 2010). Rebecca Kai Dotlich's opening poem begins:

Amazing Face

Amazing, your face.
Amazing.

It shows there will be trails to follow,
porches to wave from, wonder from,
play on. ...


©Rebecca Kai Dotlich. All rights reserved.

Please click here to read the rest.

There's something about the bittersweet nature of fall that captivates me, too. All that glorious color and fresh air harbors the reality that stark winter is next on the wheel. We are fragile, after all - strong, but impermanent. This sensibility accompanies the best haiku, one reason I'm so drawn to the form.

Somewhat related, the imagist poets often call to me, too. This poem in particular seemed perfect for today, and even relevant with our current concerns around the globe.

September, 1918

by Amy Lowell (1874–1925)

This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves,
And the houses ran along them laughing out of square, open windows.
Under a tree in the park,
Two little boys, lying flat on their faces,
Were carefully gathering red berries
To put in a pasteboard box.
Some day there will be no war,
Then I shall take out this afternoon
And turn it in my fingers,
And remark the sweet taste of it upon my palate,
And note the crisp variety of its flights of leaves.
To-day I can only gather it
And put it into my lunch-box,
For I have time for nothing
But the endeavour to balance myself
Upon a broken world.


Click here to see the poem at The Poetry Foundation; you can click on Lowell's biography on that page and read more about her extraordinary career.

Finally, let the autumn winds blow you over to Author Amok, where the lovely and talented Laura has thoughts on friendship, more classic poetry, and a terrific Round-Up this week!

Poetry Friday: Haiku and a Deja Vu

August 30, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, conferences, ponderings, journals, workshops

©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

I've missed you this month!

You've missed me, too, right?

I'm waving on my way to the Decatur Book Festival this weekend (where I'll have my artsyletters booth). But I wanted to share some treats before I go. Last year about this time, I featured a couple of haiku from myself and my niece, Olivia, which were in the same issue of Frogpond. Olivia had been one of the winners in the Nicholas Virgilio Haiku Contest for students. Well, guess what? We share bylines in the same issue again! One of Olivia's poems appears in this year's small collection of wonderful winning entries.


autumn wind
the spool
feeding the thread



©Olivia Babuka Black. All rights reserved.

The judges offer thoughtful commentary on each winning poem, adding that Olivia's has "a kind of lonely beauty."

Hers was, again, not the only winning entry from The Paideia School in Atlanta. No surprise - their teacher is award-winning and widely published haiku poet Tom Painting. I look forward to meeting Tom in person at our upcoming "Ginko Haiku Fest" in Atlanta October 25-27.

In the meantime, he graciously agreed to let me post my favorite of his poems in this same Frogpond issue:


damp earth by turn some understanding


©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.

Such richness and depth in those few words, don't you think?


And, okay, here's my poem in the current issue:


temple gift shop
no one minds
the register



©©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

Finally... Drumrolllll, pleeeease.... our own Elizabeth Steinglass (Liz to me) makes her haiku publishing debut with this fine poem, ALSO in this issue of Frogpond:


after lunch...
the slight smile
of the hammock



©©Elizabeth Steinglass. All rights reserved.


Congratulations, Liz! And that's just the beginning for her. More of her poems are in the pipelines of respected haiku journals.

(Also, a shout-out to Jone Rush MacCulloch, who has made her haiku journal debut this year as well, I believe.)

One more thing. I'm looking forward to presenting a workshop on "Poetry for Prose Writers" at our SCBWI Southern Breeze fall conference, Writing and Illustrating for Kids, on October 12. Our region features presenters in a "blog tour," and I had the good fortune to be a guest on the blog of my author friend Donny Bailey Seagraves this week. Donny lists the schedule for all of the wik Southern Breeze Wik blog tour participants.

In the mood for some more poetry to fuel your day? Ever-talented Tara has our Roundup today (and a William Blake offering) at A Teaching Life. Enjoy!

Poetry Friday - Island Time?

June 28, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, ponderings, haiku, poetry

Jamaica from plane - photo by Morgan Black

I've never been to Jamaica. But Jeff and Morgan went there on a mission trip back in 2008, and I sometimes think of their description of "Island Time," which Jeff has also encountered on trips to Central and South America. It goes something like this: Busses get there when they get there. "Don't worry." The pace can be different from our hectic, sometimes over-scheduled days in the states.

I feel like I've inadvertently slipped into "Island Time" this week - probably because of the hectic, over-scheduled bit. My "Art Break Wednesday" post this week on my artsyletters blog got put up late yesterday (Thursday). Here it is well into Poetry Friday, and I'm tapping away this morning.

At this stage of our lives, with this being the last summer to have both kids at home (Morgan will be launched into an apartment and masters in teaching program this time next year), I'm thinking a lot about time and change. We've been adapting to a big change for a little more than a year now, after my husband went through an unexpected and extremely trying job change in the spring of 2012. A haiku I wrote during that period appears in the current issue of Modern Haiku:

spring winds
a shift
of circumstance


Modern Haiku
Vol. 44.2, Summer 2013

I'll leave you with some thoughts from current U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey (just appointed to a second term). This poem was written in 2007, about the Gulf Coast. (That, I'm much more familiar with!)

Theories of Time and Space

by Natasha Trethaway

You can get there from here, though
there’s no going home.

Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you’ve never been. Try this:

head south on Mississippi 49, one-
by-one mile markers ticking off

another minute of your life. Follow this
to its natural conclusion—dead end

at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where
riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches ...


Please click here to read the rest.

From there, mosey on over the The Poem Farm, where the Amazing Amy has our Roundup this week. Take your time.

Poetry Friday - Check It Out!

May 9, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku

HAPPY POETRY FRIDAY!

I am tooling around in beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina today. So instead of a post here, I'll just direct you to the wonderful Jone MacCulloch with many thanks that she's featured me this week on her Check It Out blog. Today she's scheduled to feature a few of my recent haiku. On Wednesday, she posted a Q and A interview with me.

Thanks so much, Jone, and wishing everyone some poetry and sunshine this weekend.
Thanks also to Anastasia Suen, who has the roundup today at http://www.asuen.com/poetry/ .

Poetry Friday: Terri L. French visits with Haiku and Atlanta Haikufest Info

April 18, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, Poetry Month, haiku, authors, conferences, workshops

Haiku Poet, HSA Regional Coordinator, and Prune Juice editor Terri L. French

Smack dab in the middle of National Poetry Month is National Haiku Poetry Day – on Wednesday the 17th this week. Let’s continue the celebration with a spotlight on a terrific poet/volunteer from my neck of the woods, and the amazing haiku weekend she’s cooking up for October in Atlanta.

When I started my own haiku journey nearly three years ago, I got in touch with a couple of folks listed as Haiku Society of America members in my region. They were very kind, but there didn’t seem to be an active group at the time.

Then lo and behold, in swoops Terri L. French from Alabama to reach out and rev up the Southeast Region. Before you could catch a falling cherry blossom, she’d arranged the first annual Ginko (haiku walk) Haikufest last fall in Alabama! I was out of town and unable to make it that weekend, so I was thrilled to learn she was putting together another one for this coming fall. More about that in a minute. First, meet Terri!

BIO: Terri L. French lives in Huntsville, Alabama. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and has been writing haiku and various related forms seriously for the last seven years. In 2012, she placed third and received an honorable mention in The Haiku Society of America's (HSA) Gerald Brady Memorial Award senryu contest and third place in the HSA haibun contest. Terri currently serves as the HSA's southeast regional coordinator and edits the senryu and kyoka journal, Prune Juice .

Here’s Terri’s take on why she became so involved:

The southeast region of the Haiku Society of America has been a little inactive for the last few years. Geographically we are quite spread out. The region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands! Our first annual Ginko Haikufest was held last year in Guntersville, Alabama. This year the conference will be in Atlanta, Georgia. My hopes are that by moving the conference around the region we can garner more interest and become a more cohesive group.

This year's conference "gazing at flowers," celebrating the 250th birthday of Japanese haiku poet Kobayashi Issa, will be even bigger and better than last year's. We will have a special presentation by HSA's president, David Lanoue; an introductory workshop and "blind" critique; a sumi-e Japanese brush painting class; a performance by a taiko drum troupe; a ginko bird walk; and much, much, more.


I am thrilled to be participating and helping out for this event. Here’s the conference info in a nutshell – mark your calendar!

The 2113, SE Haiku Society of America, 2nd Annual Ginko Haikufest, "gazing at flowers," will be Friday October 25 - Sunday, October 27, at the Artmore Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Contact Terri French at terri.l.french for registration information and see our events page and the Facebook Haikufest page.

Now, to whet your appetite, two original haiku graciously shared by Terri:

a spot of blood
on the unfinished quilt -
harvest moon


Sketchbook, Vol. 4, issue 5, Sept/Oct, 2009

reflecting pool
trying to see past
what she's not


Frogpond, 34:3, 2011

Poems ©Terri L. French. All rights reserved.

Many thanks for joining us today, Terri!

For a thoughtful haiku in response to the tragic events in Boston this week, see Daine Mayr’s poem at Random Noodling.

*** a couple of different notes:

1.) Guess What? The Authors Guild Folks - evidently also known as “Knights of the Internet” - recovered all my lost comments from Poetry Friday two weeks ago! The Roundup itself was lost, but you can find all the links here in the post just under this one (dated 4/18/2013). The content of my original post for that day is here.

2.) How about this for fun? April Halprin Wayland, Irene Latham, and yours truly made the Children’s edition of Publisher’s Weekly yesterday, with a picture of our “Take Five – Create Fun with the Poetry Friday Anthology” workshop at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival in Hattiesburg last week. Click here (and scroll down) to see. Woo hoo!

Speaking of lovely Irene, go see what she’s rounding up for Poetry Friday today at
Live Your Poem.

HAPPY NATIONAL HAIKU POETRY DAY!!!

April 17, 2013

Tags: poetry, haiku, Poetry Month

Today, April 17, is National Haiku Poetry Day!

Go get lost in the links at The Haiku Foundation!

Here's a recent one of mine:

my small insights
a hummingbird
at the trumpet flower

Modern Haiku, Winter-Spring 2013

Friend and poet Elizabeth Steinglass posted some great thoughts for Poetry Friday last week on "Why Haiku?"

And there's always thoughtful haiku love over at poet/librarian Diane Mayr's Random Noodling, where you'll find her "Haiku Sticky" poems and "Happy Haiga Day" offerings, along with links to her other great blogs.

Enjoy!

Poetry Friday: New Look for Frogpond

January 18, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, journals

If you follow haiku journals, you might have noticed a new look for Frogpond, the journal of The Haiku Society of America, with its most recent issue (Volume 35:3, Autumn 2012).

It's a heftier volume and features a new masthead on the cover designed by Christopher Patchel. He also contributed a new look for the title page - very classy!

Frogpond is edited by Francine Banwarth, and Michele Root-Bernstein serves as Associate Editor.

You can enjoy some "Online Splashes" of the current issue with the journal link above, including sample haiku and senryu. Frogpond also regularly features haibun, rengay and renku (short and long sequences), essays, and book reviews.

I'm honored to have two haiku in this issue:

**************************


gathering dusk
the unanswered call
of a dove


tornado watch
something to talk about
at the viewing


©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

***************************

The lovely Violet is rounding up Poetry Friday at Violet Nesdoly Poems, where you can splash around in all kinds of poetry today!

Poetry Friday: robin’s egg blue haiku

October 25, 2012

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, ponderings

If you read haiku journals, you’ll notice that sometimes more than one poem might share a line (typically the first line), especially a seasonal reference such as “autumn dusk” or “winter chill,” etc. This fall I was surprised to discover that the poems I had accepted to a couple of journals shared the same first line. Not that I’d forgotten the line, of course, but that out of the 10 or so poems sent to each publication, the editors at each chose the one poem in each batch that started with “robin’s egg blue.”
Here are the poems, and then I’ll add some thoughts.

-----------------------------------------------------------

robin's egg blue an empty shell

Modern Haiku
43:3, Autumn 2012

-----------------------------------------------------------

robin's egg blue
how my father would have loved
my son


Acorn
No. 29, Fall 2012

-----------------------------------------------------------

Now, if you like the way one or both poems speak to you and you’d rather not hear any backstory, please – you may be excused! (Head on over to Linda at Teacherdance.)

If you’re still reading, I’ll tell you how these haiku came to be. I often get ideas as I’m walking in my neighborhood, or even just around the house outside. I did not write these two poems at the same time. We’ve had a lot of lively robins this year!

For the one-line haiku, I came across an empty robin’s shell on a walk. I was feeling a little “blue” about circumstances beyond my control, and I guess somewhat empty that day as well. (The journal editor, in some brief correspondence about the poem, suggested my name was probably working subconsciously, too. I’m sure that’s the case!)

For the three-line haiku, I saw another empty robin’s shell about a month later on the side of the road a half-mile from my house. Who knows what triggers usually hidden feelings? As any parent of a high school senior understands, the year brings mixed emotions which lurk like shadowy stalkers. I guess the broken egg symbolized young leaving the nest, for sure – but I probably had the previous poem in my mind somewhere as well.

And as I was thinking about how proud I was of my son (you’ve heard me brag on my daughter before, but we are doubly blessed), I had a tug of wishing my dad could have known him. Dad got to meet Morgan when she was a toddler, but he died two and a half months before Seth was born. Dad would not have won any Father of the Year awards. He wasn’t what you’d call reliable. And yet, I loved him. I know he would have appreciated so many things about his grandson.

Not the least of which might be Seth’s love of music. He’s been playing guitar since he could hold one and leading the youth band at church for a long while. He had years of guitar lessons (though not a whole lot of theory) and a few voice lessons, but primarily he sings and plays by ear. My husband’s family thinks Seth’s musical ability flows from that side (and understandably – there are rivers of musical talent there).

But they never heard my dad sing and play his guitar, or attack a piano with improvised bluesy-jazz. They weren’t awakened at 3 a.m. to shake hands with Willie Nelson in their living room, or lulled to sleep by jam sessions through the wall. Perhaps they didn’t catch that Dad’s eyes were blue. We all have someone we miss in unexpected moments.

For some unexpected and creative poetry today, please do go visit the lovely Linda at Teacherdance.

Poetry Friday - St. Francis and a link to my new poetry column

October 4, 2012

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, ponderings, haiku

Page featuring a detail of Giotto’s SERMON TO THE BIRDS (1297-1300)


At my house, we’re an ecumenical bunch. My oldest was dedicated in a Baptist church, baptized in a Presbyterian church, and confirmed in a Methodist church. My husband got a degree from a Baptist seminary before going to med school, and his brother recently became an Episcopal priest. One brother-in-law is a Baptist youth minister. Our in-laws started their own now non-denominational church, my folks are still Baptist, and we’re Methodist – at least in this decade. My son is even looking toward a future in ministry; we’ll see! (I’m getting to poetry, promise.)

As a kid, I was raised in the Baptist church but was always a bit of a closet Catholic. I knew nothing of theological differences; the art and even the ritual called to me. The closest I usually came was an occasional peek into the Episcopal church nearby – dark carved wood and glorious stained glass windows. That’s what I think I remember, anyway. And one of my prized possessions, you can see I still have it, drawn out of an old wooden box for this photo – is this little plastic framed picture, with its oval portraits of Jesus and Mary. (Familiar Anglo-Saxon versions, so perhaps not accurate if indeed still lovely.) I think it might have come from my Arkansas grandmother's treasures bought and sold at local sales. (Oh yeah, she was Church of Christ.) Of course, I also ran wild in the woods communing with God and every creature which crossed my path, with no need of an intercessor, so I was pretty inclusive even back then.

A year or so ago I picked up this lovely chunky little tome at a used bookstore: Saints – A Year in Faith and Art (Rosa Giorgi, Abrams, 2006). I’ve come across all kinds of folks and stories I’d never heard of before. And lots of liturgical art across the centuries. Well, yesterday's honored saint was the beloved Saint Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226. Tell me, after all these centuries, isn’t his Canticle of the Sun still moving and beautiful?

The Canticle of Brother Sun
(excerpt)
By St. Francis

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praise be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and the stars, in heaven you formed them
clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather through which
You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night and he is beautiful
and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
….


Visit this website of The friars of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis for the rest of this translation.

If you’re in the mood for haiku, yesterday I began a monthly poetry column on my friend and YA author Janice Hardy’s terrific blog for writers, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY. Actually, the post is about submissing haiku, rejection, and keepting track of it all. Here’s the link. I’ll be over there the first Thursday of each month exploring some aspect of poetry and writing. (Thanks, Janice!)

For more great poetry today, go see what the talented and ever generous Laura has rounded up at Writing the World for Kids.

Bloggie Updates! Wik Blog Tour and good news over at Author Amok

August 16, 2012

Tags: poetry, haiku, SCBWI, Southern Breeze, conferences, Poetry Month

Howdy - Well, I'm breaking my mini-blog vacation because there are just too many good things to share! I have a fun Poetry Friday post for tomorrow, but before that, here are a couple of good bloggie nuggets:

1.) I was thrilled to learn that Laura Shovan's blog, Author Amok, was named a top ten Creative Writing teaching blog, winning a "Fascination Award" with the nominated post being a guest post by yours truly for Poetry Month this year! Woo-hoo! Congratulations, Laura - and I'm honored!

2.) The folks planning our SCBWI Southern Breeze Fall Conference in Birmingham have been hard at work, and we're spotlighting speakers in the Southern Breeze blogosphere this month. (I've been thrilled to present there the last two years, and look forward to enjoying workshops as a civilian this year.) I'll host Irene Latham HERE next week, but in the meantime, get on board and enjoy the tour:

Aug. 15 Sharon Pegram at Writers and Wannabes

Aug. 16 Sarah Campbell at Alison Hertz’s blog, On My Mind

Aug. 17 F.T. Bradley at Laura Golden’s blog

Aug. 20 Chuck Galey at Elizabeth Dulemba’s blog

Aug. 21 Jo Kittinger at Bonnie Herold’s blog, Tenacious Teller of Tales

Aug. 22 Irene Latham HERE!

Aug. 23 Vicky Alvear Shecter at S.R. Johannes’ blog

Aug. 24 Doraine Bennett at Cathy Hall’s blog

Aug. 27 Virginia Butler at Bonnie Herold’s blog, Tenacious Teller of Tales.

Aug. 28 Jodi Wheeler-Toppen at Diane Sherrouse’s blog,The Reading Road

Aug. 29 Ellen Ruffin at Sarah Frances Hardy’s blog, Picture This

Aug. 30 Donna Jo Napoli at Writers and Wannabes

Poetry Friday: Splashing around in Frogpond

August 3, 2012

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku

YAY Images


I was especially happy to receive my copy of Frogpond in the mailbox this week for two reasons. One, a haiku of mine appears in the journal for the first time! Two, a haiku written by my lovely 14-year-old niece, Olivia, appears in the same issue.

I get to take zero credit for Olivia’s haiku. Her teacher is Tom Painting, a name familiar to those in the haiku world (you’ll see one of his poems in the online samples of haiku in the current issue, linked above), and his students are lucky to have his guidance, encouragement, and expert instruction. His students submitted their work to the 2012 Nicholas Virgilio Haiku Contest sponsored by the Haiku Society of America. This year’s contest drew 457 poems, and I’m happy to report Olivia’s was among six winners chosen. They received cash prizes and publication of their poetry.

Here’s Olivia’s poem:

winter dusk
the crows
clotting the wind


Olivia, age 14 (all rights reserved)
~ Frogpond 35:2, Summer 2012

Judges Geoffrey Van Kirk and Patricia Doyle Van Kirk offered comments following each winning entry. Of this poem, Mr. Van Kirk writes, “…The poet’s choice of the word ‘clotting’ here is powerful. It is a wonderful alliterative fit with ‘crows,’ and the open vowels of the two words together also suggest, as you say them aloud, the round clumps that are forming in air.” Ms. Van Kirk writes, “…And because these creatures of the air are so agile and perhaps so numerous, they seem to have power over the very wind itself, ‘clotting’ it with their numbers and their flight. The combination is unusual and magical.”

Well done, Olivia!

My poem is perhaps more lighthearted than my niece’s. I wrote it as one year turned to the next, while our old hound mix kept his vigil on the kitchen floor for another trip around the sun.

new year’s eve
the thump
of the old dog’s tail


Robyn Hood Black
~ Frogpond 35:2, Summer 2012

Speaking of sun, my blog will take a mini end-of-summer break the next couple of weeks, as kids get ready to head back to school in our household (high school and college). See you later this month with some great posts planned!

Enjoy more poetry with Rena as she dives into hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at On the Way to Somewhere.

Haiku Fest in Alabama Sept. 28-30

July 30, 2012

Tags: haiku, poetry, workshops, conferences

Haiku Greetings!

Passing along information for what is sure to be a spectacular, refreshing weekend - a haiku fest in Alabama at the end of September! The workshop is sponsored by the Haiku Society of America (HSA), Southeast Region.

I have a couple of family events that weekend that conflict, so I won't be able to make this one. But it sounds wonderful. Here's the info:

GINKO HAIKUFEST

Friday September 28 – Sunday September 30, 2012

Lake Guntersville State Park

1155 Lodge Drive

Guntersville, AL 35976

$45 members / $50 non-members (Saturday only)

$60 members / $65 non-members (Friday through Sunday)

Registration checks are payable to the H.S.A. Regional Coordinator:

Terri L. French

1901 W. Tupelo Dr. SE

Huntsville, AL 35803

Phone: 256-303-8305

Email: terri.l.french@gmail.com

Call 1-800-548-4553 Lake Guntersville Lodge to reserve rooms - “haikufest code 2716” – bluff-side with two queens at $105 per night (1-2 people) plus $10 for each additional person. The reservation deadline is August 15th.

Tom Painting, Laurence Stacey and Robert Moyer are conducting creative educational sessions.

Following the Ginko Walk, $100 worth of Issa Prizes will be awarded to attending poets whose haiku are deemed to be closest in spirit to the beloved Kobayashi Issa (1762-1826).

H.S.A. members, their guests, teachers and all other poetry lovers are encouraged to attend this intimate, casual and supportive gathering of haiku devotees.

Poetry Friday - A Wordsworth Wren-dition...

June 22, 2012

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, birds, haiku, ponderings, Berry Blue Haiku

art and photo ©Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved

All week long I’ve heard the eager peeps of three tiny wrens from their nest just outside our back door, where Mama built a nest in an abandoned flower pot on a ledge. I’ve watched her tirelessly fly hither and yon and back again with (presumably yummy?) wriggly snacks, pretty much all hours of the day.

A couple of years ago, we had front row seats for a wren family just outside the other back door. They inspired a poem which appeared in Gisele LeBlanc’s then-magazine-for-kids, Berry Blue Haiku (now the name of her personal online journal ) :

Carolina wrens
twig by leaf by twig by leaf
build a cozy home


©Robyn Hood Black
Berry Blue Haiku, Sept. 2010

I’ve always admired the nest-building skill of wrens. This year’s architect was especially smart, making her snug little home under shelter and away from any harm, except for the inconvenience of humans walking by as we go in and out of the house.

Well, our friend William Wordsworth was admiring wren nests long before I was – back in the 1830s to be more precise, and at his home, Rydal Mount, where the inspiration for the following poem was hatched.

A Wren’s Nest

by William Wordsworth

AMONG the dwellings framed by birds
In field or forest with nice care,
Is none that with the little Wren's
In snugness may compare.

No door the tenement requires,
And seldom needs a laboured roof;
Yet is it to the fiercest sun
Impervious, and storm-proof.

So warm, so beautiful withal,
In perfect fitness for its aim,
That to the Kind by special grace
Their instinct surely came.

And when for their abodes they seek
An opportune recess,
The hermit has no finer eye
For shadowy quietness.

These find, 'mid ivied abbey-walls,
A canopy in some still nook;
Others are pent-housed by a brae
That overhangs a brook.

There to the brooding bird her mate
Warbles by fits his low clear song;
And by the busy streamlet both
Are sung to all day long. …


Click here to read the rest.

Finally, an anniversary tweet-out to my nest-building mate, Jeff, for 28 years of flocking together TODAY! :0)

Amy at The Poem Farm is rounding up everything for the Poetry Friday flock. Thanks, Amy!

Happy Haiku Day! and Playing Laser Tag over at Cathy C. Hall's blog

April 17, 2012

Tags: poetry, writing life, book tracks, haiku, Southern Breeze


Howdy. Happy National Haiku Poetry Day!

I'm thrilled to be a guest on the blog of the fabulous, funny, fellow Georgia peach Cathy C. Hall today! Click here for the post, where we offer a taste of haiku humor in the form of a couple of senryu I've just had published in Prune Juice, and also for a behind-the-scenes look at my other (slightly weird) poem in THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK, "Battling Beams." Some days you have to multi-task.

Thanks for inviting me to come play on your blog, Cathy!

Poetry Friday: Cherry Blossoms, Anyone?

March 22, 2012

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, conferences, nature

Beautiful and sneeze-worthy!
Greetings! I'm busy presenting a "Haiku How-To" workshop at the 43rd Annual Children's Literature Conference at the University of Georgia in Athens this weekend. Will try to make the Poetry Friday rounds after the conference!

In preparing materials for teachers and media specialists, I decided to add a new HAIKU page to my website. It has links to download a 4-page Resource guide, as well as handouts with simple guidelines for creating haiku with grades 3-5 and K-2. Help yourself!

The pollen count in the greater Atlanta area has been off the charts this week. (Something like above 9,000?) Here in north Georgia, the tree canopies and the pathways are covered in cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms, of course, have always been an important and favorite subject for haiku.

But today I think we'll revisit a few familiar lines from A. E. Houseman (1859–1936):

A Shropshire Lad II: Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

By A. E. Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more. ...


Please click HERE to read the final stanza.

And please click HERE for the Poetry Friday Roundup, hosted by our Fearless Poetry Friday Roundup Leader, Mary Lee, at A Year of Reading. Don't forget the Madness Poetry Tournament at Think, Kid, Think - good luck to everyone still "in"! Everyone vote for your favorites!

Poetry Friday: Happy Haiku-ing

March 8, 2012

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, Berry Blue Haiku, journals, nature, writing life

I’ve been happily immersed in haiku, as I’m thrilled to be presenting a "Haiku How-To" workshop at the 43rd Annual Children's Literature Conference at The University of Georgia in a couple of weeks.

Also, the spring issues of several haiku journals are out, and I’m honored to have my work in a few of them. In addition to the Modern Haiku link I shared week before last, I’ve got a poem each in The Heron's Nest, and A Hundred Gourds. (Click to read.)

The work of my terrifically talented friend and Berry Blue Haiku editor Gisele LeBlanc is featured in these issues as well. Unbeknownst to each other, we both just received acceptances for the April issues of Acorn as well as for Prune Juice.

Gisele’s work also appears in Shamrock this month, and I just received an acceptance from Chrysanthemum for the April issue.

I’m humbled and thrilled about all of these. One thing I love about the English-language haiku journals is that they are published in so many different countries and the works of poets from all over the world can appear on the same page.

If you don’t have time to click and enjoy the haiku on the pages above, I’ll leave you with Gisele’s and my poems from the new issue of The Heron’s Nest:


the big dipper
my dog keeps searching
for the right spot


G.R. LeBlanc


cicada song
Spanish moss dipped
in sunlight


Robyn Hood Black


My haiku formed itself as I walked in my folks’ Orlando neighborhood last year during a trip to my hometown. While I love the beauty of the north Georgia mountains, there’s something so singular about the nature of light in Florida that always seizes me when I visit. I grew up there and didn’t really notice this difference in the quality of the sky, the brightness of those tropical colors, until I moved away. The landscapes here near the Appalachians are lovely, but the colors are generally more subtle, the light less intense. And unless you head to southern and coastal parts of Georgia, we don’t have all that dramatic Spanish moss dripping from the trees.

For lots of great poetry to light up your day, visit the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by the delightful and insightful Myra at Gathering Books . Be sure to wish her Happy Birthday!

Breezes - Southern and Otherwise

February 24, 2012

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, journals, SCBWI, Southern Breeze

As the winds whip outside the Century Center Marriott in Atlanta, we are looking forward to a great weekend for our 20th Anniversary SCBWI Southern Breeze Springmingle, coordinated by yours truly. I won't have time to visit all the great Poetry Friday blogs until after Sunday, but I wanted to share a little good news Gisele pointed me to this week.

I was thrilled when MODERN HAIKU accepted a submission of mine for the current, hot-off-the-press issue. I was even more thrilled to learn that my haiku was selected for the online sample pages featuring some of the haiku and senryu in the current print edition. (Mine is the first on the page; sometimes it's nice having a last name starting with "B".) My haiku was written as winter knocked on fall's door. Now the breezes are are blowing again as winter hangs on in the face of spring, right around the corner.

Click here to read it and several other poems from the current issue.

Then head on over to visit Jone at Check it Out for this week's Poetry Friday Roundup.

Happy New Haiku Year

January 12, 2012

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, authors, journals, speaking, writing life

I hope 2012 is off to a great start for you. I’m looking forward to a year of reading, writing, art and spending time with all kinds of readers, writers, and artists.

I’ll continue my haiku journey. What a thrill to learn my proposal for the 43rd Annual Children’s Literature Conference in Georgia this spring was accepted: a workshop titled, “Haiku How-to.” I look forward to sharing ways to explore haiku in the classroom with teachers, media specialists, and other lovers of children’s literature.

Also, I’m happy to celebrate some recent acceptances – my haiku will appear in the next issues of Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, and A Hundred Gourds.

In the current (December) issue of Notes from the Gean, I have a lighthearted poem on p. 42:

autumn breeze
escorted to the mailbox
by an acorn


~ Notes from the Gean, December 2011

and then this one, on the same page:

same blue
as ten years ago
empty sky


~ Notes from the Gean, December 2011

I wrote that haiku on a cloudless early September day, when the depth of my sadness upon the tenth anniversary of 9/11 caught me off guard.

(Be sure to check out Diane Mayr’s wonderful haiga in this same issue on p. 47.)

Poet, friend, and Berry Blue Haiku editor Gisele LeBlanc (click here and here for recent posts featuring Gisele) has had haiku in several issues of Notes from the Gean, including these two:

in an urban sky
birds shift in unison-
drifting ice


~ Notes from the Gean, September 2010

Virgin Islands-
laughing gulls mingle
on the beach


~ Notes from the Gean, June 2011

Notes from the Gean features haiku, tanka, haiga, haibun, linked forms, and resources (interviews, essays, reviews). Published quarterly, it’s one of several great resources for enjoying and learning about haiku and related genres.

To enjoy more great poetry in a variety of forms, check out the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted today by Tara at A Teaching Life.

Poetry Friday: G. R. LeBlanc to Offer Haiku Critique Service

November 11, 2011

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, Berry Blue Haiku, authors, editors, writing life

There’s definitely a change in the air as we transition from fall to right-around-the-corner winter – does it inspire you to write a haiku or two? Today I’m welcoming back poet and editor Gisele LeBlanc (who writes as G. R. LeBlanc), to share some news (click here for our earlier interview). She lives in Atlantic Canada with her husband, son, and canine companion. When not writing, she enjoys simple pleasures: reading, bird watching, and spending quiet evenings at home.

BREAKING NEWS - Friday, 11-11-11 - Gisele's entry into the First POLISH INTERNATIONAL HAIKU COMPETITION received a COMMENDATION today! This was from more than 300 entrants from 41 countries (myself included, but I'm thrilled for her) and the judge was Jane Reichhold. Click here to read her poem. WOO-HOO - OK, back to regularly scheduled programming....

Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in children’s publications as well as in haiku journals such as The Heron's Nest, frogpond, Haiku Presence, Notes from the Gean, A Hundred Gourds, Haiku Pix Review, Ambrosia: Journal of Fine Haiku, Prune Juice: Journal of Senryu and Kyoka, A Handful of Stones, and Modern Haiku.

First, let’s enjoy some of Gisele’s haiku:


after the squall
the tinkling concerto
of sailboats


**Notes from the Gean, December 2010



wild rhubarb
that sudden yearning
for something more


**frogpond, Fall 2011



coastal map
the sand etched
by snails


**Notes from the Gean, June 2011



over stones
the ripple of water
birdsong


**Haiku Pix Review, Summer 2011


Poems ©G. R. LeBlanc
All rights reserved.

More of her haiku can be found here.

As editor of the online blog journal, Berry Blue Haiku, she’s extending a hand to those new to the field.

“I love discussing haiku and I look forward to helping other poets gain a deeper understanding of this wonderful form,” she says. “I hope that the knowledge and experience I have learned thus far can offer guidance to others who are just embarking on the haiku journey.”

Since I’m happily on the Berry Blue Haiku team, I always learn something from Gisele’s comments. If you write haiku, remember we’re open to submissions! We appreciate each one, even those we turn down as not the right fit. I can tell you that the privilege of reading submissions and the privilege of Gisele’s insights have made me a stronger poet.

Here are the details and guidelines about Gisele’s new service:

I am pleased to announce that I am now offering critiques for poets new to haiku. These critiques, which will be conducted through email, should be viewed as an educational opportunity and will aim to offer basic guidance and tips on writing haiku. Also included will be a list of resources, links, and markets.

I would like to offer these critiques to the first four participants free of charge. Once the free critique is completed, participants will need to answer a few basic questions and offer feedback or suggestions on the service.
After these four free critiques have been given, the cost of this service will be 15.00 US or CAD (for 5 haiku), payable through PayPal.

If you are interested in the free critique, or have any questions, please email me at berrybluehaiku(at)gmail(dot)com

**Please note that critiqued haiku will not be eligible for publication consideration for the Berry Blue Haiku Journal; however, participants are welcome to submit other haiku.

Critique Guidelines:

1. Include your name as well as a contact email.

2. Send 5 haiku, pasted in the body of the email to berrybluehaiku(at)gmail(dot)com Also indicate whether your haiku are intended for adults or children.

3. Put HAIKU CRITIQUE REQUEST in your subject field.

**4. Feel free to include any questions you may have regarding haiku, as well as a brief paragraph on how you came to discover the form. (**optional)

5. Please allow up to 2 weeks for completed critiques.
Thank you, and I look forward to reading your work.
Gisele LeBlanc


Click here for a direct link to the critique service page.

And for more great poetry, click here to visit April at Teaching Authors for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

An Unmown Sky - Haiku from Croatia

October 25, 2011

Tags: poetry, haiku, Berry Blue Haiku

Over at the Berry Blue Haiku blog, Gisele has posted today a rare and wonderful haiku feast if you want to broaden your horizons and indulge in fine writing from another culture.

Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic, an award-winning and widely published haiku poet, translator and editor who lives in Ivanic Grad, has shared An Unmown Sky: An Anthology of Croatian Haiku Poetry with us. You can click on the link in the post to read and/or download the pdf anthology, which includes works written between 1996 and 2007 by more than a hundred poets.

Here's the link again: Berry Blue Haiku - Enjoy!

waving hi from SCBWI conference

October 14, 2011

Tags: Poetry Friday, SCBWI, Southern Breeze, haiku, conferences, workshops

Just a late Poetry Friday wave from Birmingham, where we're enjoying the 20th anniversary SCBWI Southern Breeze fall conference. I'll be back here with bells on next week.

Today, Lola Schaefer led a wonderful all-day intensive on picture book writing. Tomorrow I'm presenting a workshop on haiku - :0)

Snakes on a Blog, and a Jane Hirshfield poem

September 23, 2011

Tags: poetry, Poetry Friday, authors, nature, Elachee Nature Science Center, animals, Berry Blue Haiku, haiku

Georgia's state herpetologist John Jensen holds a king snake. I held her, too - she was quite lovely!
I am loving the Master Naturalist class I’m taking this fall at Elachee Nature Science Center . Yesterday, the Georgia Department of Natural Resource’s chief herpetologist, John Jensen, led us through a litany of reptiles.

I didn’t realize my state housed the largest venomous snake in the U.S. (the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, which is also the world’s largest rattlesnake), as well as the smallest (the Pygmy Rattlesnake), as well as the largest snake in general in the U.S. (the gentle Eastern Indigo), as well as the smallest native snake (the Florida Crowned Snake) and the country’s smallest /shortest snake, though not originally a Georgia resident (the Braminy Blind Snake). Those lengths, by the way, range from 8-and-a-half feet or more to just six inches.

In searching for an appropriately slithery poem to share this week I stumbled upon one which does mention a snake, but is so much more. Here are a few lines from Jane Hirshfield:

excerpt from “The Envoy”

Jane Hirshfield

One day in that room, a small rat.
Two days later, a snake.

Who, seeing me enter,
whipped the long stripe of his
body under the bed,
then curled like a docile house-pet.

I don’t know how either came or left.
Later, the flashlight found nothing.

For a year I watched
as something—terror? happiness? grief?—
entered and then left my body. …


(For the complete poem, and a moving reading of it by the poet, please click here.)

Now, speaking of Jane Hirshfield, I’d also like to put in a good word for her wonderful article, “The Heart of Haiku,”
available on Kindle for just 99 cents. I downloaded it to my PC. It’s a terrific introduction to the life and poetry of Bashô.

And speaking of Bashô and haiku, let me offer a shout-out that submissions are welcome over at the Berry Blue Haiku
blog, now a general online journal celebrating fine haiku. Click here for guidelines.

Finally, for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup , please wriggle your way to Picture Book of the Day with Anastasia Suen.

Haiku book giveaway over at Berry Blue...

August 15, 2011

Tags: poetry, Berry Blue Haiku, haiku

If you haven't checked out the new Berry Blue Haiku blog yet, this would be a great month to do it - Editor Gisele LeBlanc is giving away a special book of haiku written for children.

Simply titled Haiku, it comes from talented haiku poet Kala Ramesh, illustrated by Surabhi Singh. It also comes from India and is not available in North America. [I'd love to have a copy myself!]

Click on over to read a couple of the poems and leave a comment to enter!

Gisele LeBlanc and Berry Blue Haiku

July 1, 2011

Tags: poetry, Poetry Friday, Berry Blue Haiku, haiku

Gisele LeBlanc
beach stones
the weathered softness
of old jeans


G. R. LeBlanc
The Heron's Nest, Sept 2010


morning shadows
a band of blue jays
take flight


G. R. LeBlanc
Notes from the Gean, Sept 2010


I’m thrilled to welcome poet and editor Gisele LeBlanc today! She’s checking in all the way from the eastern part of Canada, where she writes poetry and has created and edited two online digital magazines, the most recent one being Berry Blue Haiku, which featured haiku and related forms for children.

You’ll find her own poetry (with the byline of G. R. LeBlanc) in contemporary haiku journals such as The Heron’s Nest, Notes from the Gean, Ambrosia Journal, and A Handful of Stones.

Berry Blue Haiku (the magazine for kids) is no longer publishing, but Gisele will be featuring a simplified version of it—which will be targeted at a more general audience— on her blog. We’ll get to that in a minute.

First, so glad to have you, Gisele! Tell us a little about yourself. Did you always want to be a writer?
(more…)

Primrose Poets

June 24, 2011

Tags: poetry, Poetry Friday, school visits, haiku

Salem, Massachusetts
This week I had the pleasure of visiting with preschoolers through fifth-graders at The Primrose School of Suwanee West (Ga.). I'd been there two years ago, and it was fun seeing how the kids have grown.

Part of our time was spent exploring poetry. To get things rolling, we looked at a picture together (the harbor at Salem, Mass.) and the students came up with a group poem about it.

Here is the list poem written by K-1st graders:

The Harbor

Sailboats
Water
Picket Fence
Sidewalk
Grass
Speedboats
Tree
Sky


Here is a haiku inspired by the same picture, composed by 2nd through 5th graders:

my dad
fishing - listening
to waves crash


I really like that haiku! Here is another, written by Elizabeth when I took that same group outside to observe a bit of the natural world around the playground:

bright sun
soft leaves
Mother Nature's busy


I never tire of the fresh perspectives kids bring to poetry. For more fresh poetry, check out the Poetry Friday Roundup at Carol's Corner.

Haiku Hike Cont. ...

May 20, 2011

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, school visits, haiku

Today we're finishing up our poetry project in two fourth grade classes. I'm visiting one last time to hand out booklets featuring a haiku poem, and in most cases an illustration, by each student poet. (Haiga!) Many added titles.

I hope this collection will be enjoyed long after these students have outgrown their fourth-grade shoes.
Perhaps reading these later will spark a memory of what it felt like to be ten years old. I posted a batch of these week before last (click here), and below are the rest. [These are the original works of students and not to be copied - thank you!] I enjoyed "anthologizing" them for the books. Thanks again to teachers Mrs. Briggs and Mrs. Roberts, and to each young poet!

Wind Blows

wind blows
purple flowers play
in the wind
(by Mary Keys)

Chirping Wind

birds chirping
in the sound
of the wind
(by KJ)

Birds

birds chirping around
flight paths between trees for birds
diving and swooping

(
by Rocco)

Birds' Song

high chirp low chirp
the birds sing a song
it makes me want to sing along

(by Hannah)


chirp chirp
really really cool breeze
bugs land on me
(by Bryce)

ladybugs flying
flowers blowing in the wind
caterpillars crawling
(by Jettie)

Beautiful Butterflies

butterflies flying
ladybugs climbing flowers
spotted ladybug

(
by Claire)

I see the drops on grass
the tall grass sways in the wind
I hear the bird's song
(by Natalie)

Tree

skinny tree
tallest tree I have ever seen
pretty tree
(by Sophia)

Flowers

flowers blooming
sunlight shines down on them
nature so wonderful
(by Sadie)

the bugs fly
in the big blue sky
the trees sway
(by Brauch)

Pesky Squirrels

I hear them again
jumping, running, rattling
they munch on acorns
(by Sophie)

tall grass
tall trees swaying
leaves falling
(by Clayton)

Thorns

painful thorns
always hurt
never touch them
(by Cem)

Ants

ants are scary
I say ouch when they bite me
ants are mean
(by Paxton)

lady bugs all around
the caterpillars are crawling up
the stump the river is rushing
(by Sadie)

river running by
bugs flying around
soft crunchy grass
(by Katharine)

brown and green grass
old leaves fall
creeeks flow loudly
(by Kuepper)

Creek

the creek
is rustling over the rocks
it is very cool
(by Matthew)

Water

split splat
shhh, shhh, shhh
whoosh, tickle
(by Banks)

River of Stream

river flowing
rocks smoothly flowing down
stream gone
(by Harrison)

swampy water
looks like mud
puddles that you see
(by Linda)

old river
the turtle eats the
grass as it swallows
(by Hunter)

Lizards

lizards are reptiles
camouflaging their bodies
jumping between trees
(by Dakari)

crickets singing
fireflies flying I'm
camping
(by Larsen)


the moon is very nice
the moon is white and peaceful
I really like the moon
(by Reese)

Make sure to catch the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Drift Record!

Haiku hike

May 6, 2011

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, school visits, haiku

My daughter Morgan, left, was a student in Mrs. Briggs's class in fourth grade and is now an education major. She helped bring poetry to class one day. On the right, fabulous teachers Lori Roberts and Sharon Briggs.
The past few weeks, I've had a delightful time popping in and out of the fourth grade classes at Lakeview Academy to explore poetry - particularly, haiku.

Because traditional haiku capture a moment in nature, early on we took a walk outdoors. We spent some quality time in a grassy field with woods all around and a stream on one side. The students wrote down sensory impressions and poem ideas in their journals, then worked the next couple of weeks in class to polish up their writing and choose their favorite original poem.

I am compiling these into a booklet so each young poet will have a whole collection. Many are accompanied by artwork as well ("haiga"), and a few added titles. I wish I could share all of them here, but I'm happy to post a few from each class. [These are the original works of students and not to be copied - thank you!] Many thanks to extraordinary teachers Mrs. Briggs and Mrs. Roberts, and of course to their talented students! Enjoy -

Storm

shady springs
storm clouds foreshadow
the rumbling sky
(by Jack)

Creek

crunching grass
water hitting against the rocks
rough creek
(by Claire)

tall grass
green and brown leaves fall
the grass bends
(by Briley)

Morning

sticks snapping
purple flowers
morning air
(by Lanie)

Birds' Songs

birds chirping in the sky
a robin jumps from tree to tree
the lovely songs of birds
(by Arantxa))

cheeping, rustling
around go the birds, Ah!
choo cheep swish
(by Roland)

the ground
the brisk breeze
bugs crawling around me
(by Sophia)

Butterflies

butterflies
flying swiftly
like angels
(by Reece)

Bird Wars

birds fighting over trees
time and time again birds fall
but they still fight for trees
(by Palmer)

Spring

tall grass below
birds whistling in the trees
a fresh smell of spring
(by Rachel)

Leaves

the round of rustling leaves
leaves swirling round and round
squirrels playing
(by Abbe)

The Outside

birds singing a song
little three-leaf clovers
mist is all around
(by Mary Katherine)

Nature

calm water to
clouds, blurry fog
to moist grass
(by Reed)

Flowers Falling

flowers on the ground, blossomed
flowers falling down from trees
the wind carries them off
(by Esther)

Birds

birds merrily chirping,
pecking around for seeds,
flying over the trees
(by Anne Marie)

cold wind
a leaf blows through
the sound of whistles
(by Mckenna)

Catch the rest of the fourth grade haiku in my May 20 post -
click here
.

For more great poetry, visit the Poetry Friday Roundup at Family Bookshelf - http://family-bookshelf.org/ [I didn't link directly because there seems to be a problem - my Internet Explorer shuts down each time I try, and I read that this was occurring for someone else, too. Perhaps it will be up and running soon!]

Happy Poetry Month!

April 1, 2011

Tags: poetry, Poetry Friday, haiku

At my home in Georgia, April is making her appearance in cherry blossoms and pink and white dogwoods. I know not every spot in the world is so lovely this morning.

Here are two haiku by seventeenth-century Japanese poets, from WOMEN POETS OF JAPAN, translated and edited by Kenneth Rexroth and Ikuko Atsumi, ©1977, publshed by New Directions, 1982:

The fireflies' light.
How easily it goes on
How easily it goes out again


Chine-Jo, late 17th Century

and, with best wishes to my friends up North welcoming April with a nor'easter:

On the road through the clouds
Is there a short cut
To the summer moon?


Den Sute-Jo, 1633-1698

Wishing a Happy Poetry Month to all, whatever the weather, and continued thoughts and prayers for Japan.

Amy has the POETRY FRIDAY ROUNDUP at The Poem Farm.

Praise for Berry Blue Haiku

September 16, 2010

Tags: poetry, magazines, haiku, Berry Blue Haiku

I'm thrilled to have a poem featured in the second issue of the new online haiku magazine for young readers, Berry Blue Haiku. This digital publication is brimming with beautiful poetry, gorgeous art, and fun activities. The target audience is children through age 13, and from the simplest poems reinforcing colors and numbers to more subtle celebrations of the natural world, there is something for everyone (adults included!). (more…)

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