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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - I Hear Bagpipes....

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

We are gearing up for our family "Ancestry" trip to Scotland and Ireland this month - Can't wait!  Except that I still have some 'ready' to get.... 

 

I think some Robert Burns (1759-96) is in order, from a wonderful old book (un-repurposed!) I have:

 

 

CONTENTED WI' LITTLE

Tune:  Lumps o' pudding

 

 

Contented wi' little, and cantie wi' mair,

Whene'er I forgather wi' sorrow and care,

I gie them a skelp as they're creepin' alang,

Wi' a cog o' gude swats, and an auld Scottish sang.

 

I whyles claw the elbow o' troublesome thought;

But man is a soger, and life is a faught:

My mirth and gude humour are coin in my pouch,

And my freedom's my lairdship nae monarch dare touch.

 

A towmond o' trouble, should that be my fa',

A night o' gude fellowship sowthers it a';

When at the blythe end of our journey at last,

Wha the deil ever thinks o' the road he has past?

 

Blind Chance, let her snapper and stoyte on her way,

Be't to me, be't frae me, e'en let the jad gae:

Come ease, or come travail; come pleasure or pain,

My warst word is- 'Welcome, and welcome again!'

 

 

(For help with some of those words, here's a link to a 1920 book on Google Books with a few definitions!)

 

Most of the Scots in our family tree were already over here by the time Mr. Burns was born in Scotland.  I've been staying up way too late, too many nights, chasing ancestors and rabbit trails through the brances of my Ancestry.com family tree! My family is threatening an intervention.  I even made a side trip off the interstate through South Carolina recently to go pay my respects to the bones of some newly-discovered Quaker ancestors buried in a small, historic cemetery in the middle of nowhere.... These folks were as old as our Mr. Burns, part of the Ulster Scots-Irish who came over and meandered down through the Carolinas and over into the midwest.  But I digress.

 

Christmas before last, I made my hubby and kids spit in vials and said we'd plan a trip according to where we were from.  We're all very, very, very British! (My brother happened to do the test about the same time, and so did my mother, so it's been especially fun comparing generational DNA results, too.)

 

So off to Edinburgh and Dublin it is, with a couple of day trips to the countryside.  We have ancestral connections in every corner of Great Britain, actually - Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland - as well as Ireland.  We'll mainly focus on the Celtic roots this time. 

 

What I've discovered is that basically we've got "family" on all sides of every historical conflict over there, it seems.  Sigh.  This clan attacks that one; this country fights its neighbors - and yet somehow folks cross lines and marry and have babies. Then they grow up and this group fights that group, etc. etc. The same tune across the globe, I know, across the centuries.  We can't take peace for granted, that's for sure. 

 

Speaking of clans, I've been a bit tartan-crazy in the studio lately.  I've begun making items using a couple of circa 1930 small books, published in Edinburgh, featuring tartans and coats of arms for clans and septs. When I discovered some mid-century Murano glass beads called "Scottish agate" (because they mimic the actual stones), I bought a couple of vintage necklaces to repurpose, too.  I'm having fun combining these with the tartan images, clipped and tucked under glass cabachons. 

 

I also bought an older book on the same theme on Ebay a week or two ago (didn't pay a lot for it)... I was thrilled to receive it and discover what a lovely little treasure it is!  It's pictured above.  It was published in 1891 and is just too lovely for me to dismember.  The printed tartan colors are wonderful, and - the endpapers!  The gilded edges!  And gilded design just inside the covers! It's quite safe for now and makes a delightful photo prop. 

 

Oh - just for fun, I included a pic of "explorer" necklaces I made for Morgan and myself.  100-year-old maps, cuckoo clock chain, vintage telescope charms, vintage Middle Eastern charms (she got my 1 percent in the DNA too), and some fun contemporary metal beads and compass charm.  I'll make some more of these this summer.  Hers features County Fife, where I've got one line of my family and a line of my hubby's back hundreds of years to the same place... different clans.  But same place! And that is happening quite often on my ancestral explorations, both across the Pond and in pre-and post-Colonial migrations here. 

 

My necklace is the British Isles, with a touch of the Western edge of Europe. Which is appropriate, because I JUST found out in my research that "Hood" is not English, as my brother and I thought, but was originally "Hoed" - and, DUTCH!  As in, came-from-Amsterdam-to-New-Amsterdam-before-it-was-New-York Dutch.  But that's another story.... [And, I hadn't really paid attention before, but the splotch of color over the Great Britain region on the Ancestry.com DNA map covers that edge of Europe right beside it, including the Netherlands.]

 

I'll be back with more stories and poems in a few weeks - wishing you a swoon-worthy start to June!  Buffy has just the post to get us in the swing of summer, over at the Roundup.  Enjoy!

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Poetry Friday - Biscuit Crumbs - a few Southern Haiku

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Haiku Society of America, the HSA Southeast Region has published an anthology of haiku, senryu, and haibun by members.  Editors for the project were Regional Coordinator Michael Henry Lee, along with Terri L. French and David Oates.  

 

The collection is titled Biscuit Crumbs, taken from this wonderful poem by our fearless leader:

 

 

biscuit crumbs

making a memory

from scratch

 

©Michael Henry Lee.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission. (Thanks, Michael!)

 

 

All the works in the collection are infused with a distinctive Southern flavor.  

 

Here are the haiku by yours truly that were selected.  The first is previously unpublished, and the other two appeared in issues of Acorn.

 

 

anoles 

in brown and green

the story changes...

 

 

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

 

 

home again

twists and turns

of the live oak

 

Acorn, Spring 2012

 

 

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

 

 

outgoing tide

the losses I keep

to myself

 

Acorn, Fall 2015

 

 

Acorn is one of my favorite journals.  Here is a poem of mine in the current issue:

 

 

winter's end

clusters of blossoms

on the half-dead tree

 

Acorn, # 40, Spring 2018

 

 

poems ©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.

 

Many thanks to Michael, David, and Terri for their hard work in putting together this anthology. I'll enjoy dipping into it again and again, and it doesn't come with calories like real biscuits do!

 

Speaking of Southern flavor, saunter on over to Reflections on the Teche, where our beautiful Margaret is sippin' Luzianne iced tea out on the bayou, collectin' all our poems this week....

 

Wishing everyone a good and safe Memorial Day weekend.  Special gratitude for all who serve in our military, and prayers for any military family touched by loss. 

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Poetry Friday - Royal Wishes! (& Oscar Wilde)

 

Greetings, Poetry (& Royal Wedding!) Lovers -

 

For those of you on my side of the world, is your alarm set?  My daughter Morgan will rise early in Georgia Saturday morning and I'll do the same here in South Carolina so we can catch the Royal Wedding in Real Time (& text back and forth, I'm sure)! Truth be told, while we're delighted for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, we really just want to see Princess Charlotte as an attendant.

 

The world needs a good ol' happy ritual, and it certainly needs more love.  And there's an American in this wedding… so, it's kind of our patriotic duty to tune in, right? ;0)

 

I've caught bits of the PBS "Royal Wedding Watch" specials this week. I always love it when historian Lucy Worsley shows up.  In the first episode, she popped in to explain how Queen Victoria established so many wedding traditions we still enjoy, wearing white dresses among them.  When the eldest daughter of Victoria and Prince Albert, "Vicky," was wed, she carried some myrtle in her bouquet, from a plant grown from a spray that had been a gift from Albert's grandmother to the queen.  The story goes that sprigs from that very same planting have been used in royal bouquets ever since!  I've come across some accounts calling this last part a myth, but then many others still support it, so I'm going to enjoy the historical and botanical connection.

 

Hunting for a myrtle-infused poem to share today, I found "Flower of Love" by Oscar Wilde.  You remember Oscar (1854-1900), the flamboyant writer who was born in Dublin and pursued his literary career in London? From his lively mind and fraught life he gave us many wonderful quotes, including:

 

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.

- Oscar Wilde

 

Here are the first few and last few stanzas from his "Flower" poem.

 

 

Flower of Love

 

    Sweet, I blame you not, for mine the fault 
was, had I not been made of common clay 
I had climbed the higher heights unclimbed 
yet, seen the fuller air, the larger day.

 

    From the wildness of my wasted passion I had 
struck a better, clearer song, 
Lit some lighter light of freer freedom, battled 
with some Hydra-headed wrong.

 

    Had my lips been smitten into music by the 
kisses that but made them bleed, 
You had walked with Bice and the angels on 
that verdant and enamelled mead.

 

 

    Yet I am not sorry that I loved you - ah! 
what else had I a boy to do, - 
For the hungry teeth of time devour, and the 
silent-footed years pursue.

 

    Rudderless, we drift athwart a tempest, and 
when once the storm of youth is past, 
Without lyre, without lute or chorus, Death 
the silent pilot comes at last.

 

    And within the grave there is no pleasure, 
for the blindworm battens on the root, 
And Desire shudders into ashes, and the tree 
of Passion bears no fruit.

 

    Ah! what else had I to do but love you? 
God's own mother was less dear to me, 
And less dear the Cytheraean rising like an 
argent lily from the sea.

 

    I have made my choice, have lived my 
poems, and, though youth is gone in wasted days, 
I have found the lover's crown of myrtle better 
than the poet's crown of bays.

 

(Find the whole poem by scrolling down here .)

 

I'll say hello to Wilde's statue when we are in Dublin this summer! 

 

I've taken this whole royal wedding thing as artistic inspiration and come up with a few new items in my Etsy shop to celebrate.  Click here to see the necklace in the photo above, and click here to see a few brass royal coats of arms pins/bag tags with antique laundry pins, as well as a couple of Scottish coats of arms glass cabochon key chains (illustrations clipped from vintage books).  Lots more of the Scottish tartan/clan items to come… we'll be visiting some family ancestral sites around Edinburgh before we go to the ones near Dublin!  More on all that soon. 

 

Now, hop in your carriage and go share some royal waves with Rebecca at Sloth Reads. (Psstt... she's got a giveaway of a fanTAStic and oh-so-funny book that my husband and I bought - just for ourSELVES! - a few months ago.) Cheerio!

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Poetry Friday - Get Moving with some Pomelo Books Poetry Picks!

The Spanish Moss Trail, Beaufort, SC.

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

It is downright warm this week in the Lowcountry.  Our little house is on the corner of the road from the historic downtown district to the Spanish Moss Trail, a rails-to-trails-type paved fitness path that goes on for miles. This time of year, our sidewalk plays host to extra walkers, runners, bike-riders and of course lots of strollers and dogs in tow.  (Sometimes even a cat in tow.) All on their way to the trail!  I love seeing folks out enjoying the weather and being active.

 

I'm sure you've consulted your copy of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY® FOR CELEBRATIONS from Pomelo Books and discovered that May is National Physical Fitness & Sports Month

 

And you no doubt found Merry Bradshaw's wonderful poem, "Let's Go" –

 

Stretch High

Stretch Wide

Jump Forward

Jump Back …

 

Enjoy the rest of the poem with Pomelo Books on Pinterest .

 

May is also National Bike Month, and opposite "Let's Go" in the book, you'll find Michael Salinger's "Bicycle Dreams."

 

Speaking of bicycles, hop over to THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY® FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL and catch Irene Latham's poem:

 

 

BIKING ALONG WHITE RIM ROAD

 

 

We jump

    jolt

 

as wheels bump

    bolt.

 

We spin

    descend

 

across mesa-topped

     islands.

 

We loop

    swoop,

 

fly past parched

    arches.

 

We keep pace,

    race

 

chase schooling clouds.

 

 

©Irene Latham.  All rights reserved. Used with permission. (Thanks, Irene!)

 

 

Also check out Irene's "The World According to Climbers" in the same volume!

 

If basketball is your thing, you'll enjoy Avis Harley's acrostic poem, "Future Hoopsters," 

also in the book.  Click here to read it on Sylvia Vardell's Poetry for Children blog.

 

For an Avis Harley acrostic poem for the younger set, this one about baseball, look up "Last Try" in THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY® K-5 Edition.   While you're there, go ahead and hop around like a kangaroo with Allan Wolf!  You can find this jumpy poem featured on Kenn Nesbitt's PoetryMinute website, too!

 

These are just a few poems from Pomelo Books anthologies to get you in shape this month. 

 

As for me, I do a bit of gentle yoga and a good bit of walking, but still …. I was rearranging cool-weather clothes for warm-weather clothes in my closet this week, and this poem  arrived in my head.

   

 

WOMAN OF A CERTAIN AGE WORKS OUT

 

 

My waistline waltzed right out the door…

 

 "Wait!" I yelled. "Whadja do that for?!"

 

It disappeared without a sound

 

except these words – "I'll see you 'round!"

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.

 

(PS – My older brother does triathlons.  Sigh. )

 

 

Jump, bike, or otherwise propel yourself on over to Jama's Alphabet Soup, where you'll find this week's Roundup and all kinds of wonderful goodies to work off!

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