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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Haiku from the Coquina Circle

Top:  Michelle, Robyn, Stephanie and Patricia at the recent HSA Spring Meeting in St. Augustine
Bottom:  Coquina Haiku Circle Broadside with poems by Sandi, Dennis, Antoinette, Michael, and Paula

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Our Haiku Society of America Spring meeting in St. Augustine, hosted by the Southeast region weekend before last, was a wonderful time of poetry, catching up with friends, and making new ones.  Hats off to Regional Coordinator Michael Henry Lee and the local Coquina Haiku Circle for making everyone feel welcome.

 

Highlights for me included hanging out with several dear haiku peeps, as well as some of our own kidlit/Poetry Friday friends, too – Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Stephanie Salkin, and Patricia Cruzan. It was great meeting HSA President Fay Aoyagi in person, as well as Frogpond editor Michael Ketchek.  I thoroughly enjoyed learning from fellow presenters Tom Painting, Stanford Forrester, and Antionette Libro.  And Michael Henry Lee led us in a T'ai Chi demonstration Sunday morning which brought back memories of the sequence I learned a million years ago!

 

Antoinette (Toni) let me bring my wee beastie, our 3 ½-pound Chihuahua, Rita, to her house for a while after checking out of my inn Sunday morning so I could participate in the group outing to The Alligator Farm, and our closing brunch.  Thanks, Toni!

 

Toni and the other Coquina Haiku Circle members (including Dennis, who was not able to attend the conference) do some amazing things, including producing beautiful broadsides with haiku from each member presented on large sheets (designed by Linda Bigbee).  Circle member Paula Moore edits these.  In our goodie bags was their new edition, along with a small coquina block from St. Augustine.  It is now sharing space with the coquina piece I was given as a gift a couple of years ago, when I was regional coordinator.  What a generous group!

 

The participating poets have given me permission to share a few of their broadside poems here today. I've picked a couple from each.  (I've kept the formatting from the broadside, which you can see in the picture above.)

Enjoy!

 

 

beach walk

my mind blossoms

into hallelujah

 

 

city streets    the urge to follow    a seagull

 

 

Sandi Pray

 

 ----------------------------------

 

 

          early spring…

          a fish scale pattern

          at low tide

 

 

          early spring…

          yesterday a pop

          today a BANG

 

 

          Dennis M. Holmes

 

 

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

 

 

summer mass

a little beach sand stirs

in the holy water

 

 

riding the spray

of the breaking wave

dragonfly

 

 

Antoinette Libro

 

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

 

 

          ghost crabs

          sometime between midnight

          and 3 a.m.

 

 

           nude beach

           working off

           a tan line

 

 

          Michael Henry Lee

 

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

 

 

high season

hurricane-twisted trees

at rest

 

 

heat wave     the salon paints my toenails    emerald city

 

 

Paula Moore

 

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

 

All poems © their authors.  Many thanks, all, for sharing!!

 

Now, aren't you ready for the beach?  We've got all the kids coming in this weekend, and the beach bags packed. Stay cool, and dive on into more poetic treasures with always-cool Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

 

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Poetry Friday - Go visit Dani for the Roundup!

Greetings, All - The Haiku Society of America Spring Meeting in  St. Augustine last weekend was a blast, as always.  Great connecting with friends I don't see often enough, and great meeting new ones.  I was honored to be a presenter and enjoyed the whole weekend.  (Week back has been crazy, with some family travel tacked on at the end and more I'm packing for now, and a day spent getting a new windshield courtesy of some big trucks, stray rocks, and I-95, among other little challenges!)

 

Wishing you a meaningful & safe Memorial Day weekend.  Thanks to Dani at Doing the Work That Matters for hosting the Roundup - get thee hence to enjoy some fine company and fine poetry!

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Poetry Friday - Family-themed Haiku by Peggy Willis Lyles

 

While preparing my talk for this weekend's Haiku Society of America Spring Conference put on by the Southeast Region, (--who, me? Working on something right up til the last minute?--), I came across a lovely memory from the conference I coordinated two years ago on St. Simon's Island.  We held our meeting at Epworth by the Sea.  As our group walked the grounds on a ginko, we came across a most wonderful surprise - a beautiful large plaque paying tribute to Peggy Willis Lyles (1939-2010) and featuring several of her haiku.  None of our little band knew it was there!  A very special encounter.

 

Just as I was getting serious about haiku myself, our region - and the world - lost one of its brilliant poet-stars to cancer.  And Peggy Willis Lyles was evidently as fine a human being as she was a poet.  (You can read more about her life and work here.)

 

I'm grateful she left so many glorious haiku.  I plan to read a couple of them from this monument in my talk on Saturday, which is called "Reach of a Live Oak - Haiku and our Family Tree."  Click on the image to see larger.  (Below are a couple of the poems which I look forward to sharing on Saturday.)

 

 

lap of waves

my daughter molds a castle 

for her son

 

 

for her mother

bluets

roots and all

 

 

and one of my favorite haiku, ever - one which many people know:

 

I brush

my mother's hair

the sparks

 

 

Take time to seek out more of her work; you'll be richly rewarded.

 

Looking forward to traveling to St. Augustine for the meeting, and catching up with a few favorite poet-friends there, too, including our own Michelle H. Barnes! :0) (Michelle was at our 2017 conference as well - you can read my wrap-up of it, along with more of these haiku from the memorial plaque, here.)

 

Speaking of haiku, for this week's round-up, hop over to Reflections on the Teche, where Margaret shares a fun adventure with her students creating pi-ku.  What's that, you ask?  You'll have to click over to see her clever, outdoors-y assignment!

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Poetry Friday - Narrow Fellows in the Grass...

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

[First, about last Poetry Friday weekend:  apologies if you attempted to visit or leave word at my blog and were stymied.  There was some technical issue, and I couldn't even get to it myself! By Monday the Authors Guild techno-gurus had set all to rights again.]

 

Last week, I and many other PF bloggers seemed smitten with May flowers.  Well, with all this warmth and growth and flora comes the fauna, too - perhaps you have also had the expected encounters with snakes and bugs and salamanders and such?  They've all been active around here!

 

The first snake-y encounter this year was when I lifted the lid of our large recycle container outside, and - plop! - a medium-sized garter snake dropped from just inside the lid to the ground.  I wouldn't want to give away any family secrets, but I was glad that happened to me, and not to my  hubby....

 

I've seen another snake or two while out and about, in the grass or slithering off into a weedy thicket during early evening walks. 

 

A few weeks ago, I had just returned from a road trip and noticed a package on the front steps of the house. At the top of the steps, I picked up the package and turned around, and that's when I noticed Mr.  (Mrs.?) Good-sized Garter Snake, stretched out on the ground the entire length of the steps (four to five feet?) and watching me intently.  I must have stepped right over him/her. 

 

Well, Hello there, I said. I was in a wee predicament.  We keep the front screen doors locked because they don't close securely otherwise, and we have a teeny doggie who loves her daily porch time. So I was at the top of the steps holding my box, with my new friend taking up all room from one end to the other at the bottom step.  Now, as you can tell from the photo, we need to paint the steps, and make some needed outside repairs in general.  I was pondering whether to bail and scale the rail (didja like that?) and leap over the side, wondering if all the wood was good!  Pondering time abruptly halted when said snake slid its head over the bottom step in a rather pointed motion my direction - eyes on me still and tongue flickering in and out - coming up to get better acquainted.  I bailed! All was well. 

 

And time for that wonderful poem by our dear Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), don't you think?

 

 

A narrow Fellow in the Grass (1096)



A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides -
You may have met him? Did you not
His notice instant is -

 

The Grass divides as with a Comb,
A spotted Shaft is seen,
And then it closes at your Feet
And opens further on -

 

He likes a Boggy Acre -
A Floor too cool for Corn -
But when a Boy and Barefoot
I more than once at Noon

 

Have passed I thought a Whip Lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled And was gone -

 

Several of Nature's People
I know, and they know me
I feel for them a transport
Of Cordiality

 

But never met this Fellow
Attended or alone
Without a tighter Breathing
And Zero at the Bone.

 

 

And continuing the theme, here's a little poem I wrote eight or nine years ago, which made an appearance on Tricia's Miss Rumphius Effect site for a challenge back then:

 

 

S

Serpentine S
goes this way and that
Trail in the sand
Tail of a cat

Slithering S
goes that way and this
Starts every snake
Ends every hiss

©Robyn Hood Black
All rights reserved.

 

Watch your step as you make your way over to Elizabeth Steinglass's place, and be sure to give her lots of high fives celebrating her new book, Soccerverse!  (To this day, I can't see a salamander without thinking of the hikes Liz and I took during a Highlights Founders poetry workshop years ago, and all the little red salamanders we saw!)

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Poetry Friday - May Flowers with Louisa May Alcott

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

April showers bring.... :0)

 

     To me the meanest flower that blows can give 

     Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

 

     Wordsworth (1770–1850), Intimations Ode. 

 

[By the way, in case you weren't a nerdy English major like yours truly, "meanest" here means most plain/humble, and "blows" means bloom.]

 

The daisies my hubby planted are bright-faced and happy this week!  I've always loved daisies, probably because my mother does, and I carried them in my wedding.  They're not too fancy, but they hold their own.

 

Did you know Louisa May Alcott's first published book was not about the women in her family, but about flowers and fairies?

 

Flower Fables was published in 1855, a collection written for Ellen Emerson (daughter of Ralph Waldo). These are little morality tales with fancy and poetry mixed in.  Here's a link to the whole work on Project Gutenburg. And here are the opening lines from "Clover-Blossom," which is a few hundred miles long but which might bring to mind The Good Samaritan, The Ugly Duckling, and other cultural/literary references which we can still use healthy doses of!

 

 

Clover-Blossom

 

IN a quiet, pleasant meadow,
Beneath a summer sky,
Where green old trees their branches waved,
And winds went singing by;
Where a little brook went rippling
So musically low,
And passing clouds cast shadows
On the waving grass below;
Where low, sweet notes of brooding birds
Stole out on the fragrant air,
And golden sunlight shone undimmed
On all most fresh and fair;—
There bloomed a lovely sisterhood
Of happy little flowers,
Together in this pleasant home,
Through quiet summer hours.
No rude hand came to gather them,
No chilling winds to blight;
Warm sunbeams smiled on them by day,
And soft dews fell at night.
So here, along the brook-side,
Beneath the green old trees,
The flowers dwelt among their friends,
The sunbeams and the breeze.

 

 ....

 

Yes, the bucolic tranquility gives way to conflict, as you'll see if you click here for the whole poem.  You will likely guess the ending, but you might enjoy anyway!

 

For all kinds of poetry flowery and otherwise, flit on over to our lovely Jama's Alphabet Soup, where Jama and Company have loads of flowers for May Day along with the Roundup!

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