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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Farewell to a Fine Dog

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  A sad week for our family, as daughter Morgan and son-in-law Matt had to say goodbye to a very special four-legged family member.  I traveled over to visit as he was coming back from a university veterinary hospital after being in and out of the regular vet's office in recent weeks. He had cancer, but with some rare complications.  It was heartbreaking to have to say goodbye to a fine dog at age 7.

 

"That face!" is what my mother, and others, always said about Cooper. Those soulful hound-dog eyes would get you every time. He was a beautiful, quirky boxer mix:  a rambunctious puppy, a dignified dog, a tireless tennis ball chaser, a relentless castle defender, a picky eater, a boat captain, a snuggly cuddler when it was his idea, and a devoted member of the family. He will be terribly missed by fellow canine family member Maggie, and of course by all of us humans.

 

On Wenesday evening we toasted this fine fellow via text, from four different geographical locations. Here's to you, Cooper!  

 

And here's a fun poem I found in Cooper's honor.  I didn't know it, but evidently it's a regular in schools in Scotland.  The Scots words might seem intimidating at first, but you can catch the drift if you read it through once or twice in a rhythm.  The audio at the bottom of the linked page is the way to go - with an adult and child reciting the poem, it's very entertaining. I hope it brings you a smile.

 

from "A Dug, a Dug" 

by Bill Keys

 

Hey, daddy, wid yi get us a dug?
A big broon alsatian? Ur a wee white pug,
Ur a skinny wee terrier ur a big fat bull.
Aw, daddy. Get us a dug. Wull ye?      

   

N whose dug'll it be when it durties the flerr?
and pees'n the carpet, and messes the sterr?
It's me ur yur mammy'll be taen fur a mug.
Away oot an play. Yur no needin a dug. 

...

 

Well, now you HAVE to click the link to find our what happens, right?

 

Find the rest here, and enjoy that audio link at the bottom. It's only a minute and a half long. 

 

And join the talented Elisabeth at Unexpected Intersections for this week's Roundup.  Thanks for hosting, Elisabeth!

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Poetry Friday - Featured in Local Life Magazine!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Oh, I've missed you so.  I've been out of town and out of pocket much of the last couple of months.  This time last year, I was quarantined and caring for family members with Covid, right after the death of my father-in-law. What a difference a year makes.  

 

Since May, we've celebrated my sister's wedding in Florida; our son's graduation from grad school at Candler/Emory in Atlanta; a postponed-from-the-holidays family gathering on my husband's side in Georgia; and the wedding of a dear friend's daughter last weekend in Georgia. Also, on Mother's Day weekend, I made a crazy solo trip to the Upstate (the foothills and mountain-y part of South Carolina) to be the first person to see a house that was coming on the market, as we've been hunting a second home/retreat-type place closer to our kids for weekends and holidays and such.  We bought it!  And, yes, it was a crazy experience in a crazy market. 

 

Then another trip over so my hubby Jeff could see what we were buying.... Then out of the blue I learned that rent for my downtown studio/shop space was going up by 70 percent(!). So I packed up seven years worth of artistic hoarding and clunkily moved it all to my house - still sorting it out here. Shhh.  That was right after said son took much of his stuff out of the house post-graduation, to move with his girlfriend to the North Carolina high country.  (His closet is now full of art and framing supplies and such.)  Then came our house closing and moving a bunch of stuff there, and taking a week to set it up and take care of repairs and lots of little necessary things.  [Jone, if you're reading this, you'll like that I've decorated it all with Celtic/Scottish, British, and Irish themes!]

 

And in the midst of all of this wonderful activity, I was invited to submit work to the Local Life Magazine here to be the featured poet for July, and the kind editors and staff chose several summer-friendly haiku to publish this month!  The poems are accompanied by a stunning photograph from the month's featured photographer, Joan Edkhardt. What a treat and what an honor.  

 

You've probably seen most of these before, but here are the poems included, followed by names of the journals in which they first appeared:

 

 

my small insights

a hummingbird

at the trumpet flower

 

 

night thunder

shaking the house

and the dog

 

 

hatchlings - 

beyond orange tape

the sea

 

 

telling it slant

a ghost crab

slips into a hole

 

 

between 

rounds of rain

rounds of treefrogs

 

 

(Haiku originally published in Modern Haiku, Prune Juice, Frogpond, Acorn, and bottle rockets. Poems ©Robyn Hood Black.)

 

 

Click here to peruse the entire issue of our local Local Life Magazine - my poems are almost at the end, and there is a lot of fun sizzle between the covers of the "hot" July issue! 

 

For lots more summer and lots more poetry, visit our wonderful Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone! Thanks for hosting the Roundup, Molly, and Stay Cool, All. 

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Poetry Friday - Some Ancient Irish/Family History...?

Adding these and more items as fast as I can! [Update - had some techno-issues with Etsy for some reason trying to make new listings Friday.  Slowly but surely getting some new things added.]   (Here's a link to CELTIC in my Etsy shop.)

Greetings, Poetry Lovers - Happy Almost-St. Patrick's Day! I've fallen prey to Celtic whispers again, and though returning to Ireland and The British Isles is not on the near horizon, I've been adding to my collection of books about Celtic ornament and medieval calligraphy and such, and dipping into bits of lore.  

 

I've been away form Ancestry.com for FAR too long, and hope to jump back in later this Spring.  But in addition to the major English/Welsh/Northwestern Europe lines in my family tree, and the more than a third of me that is Scottish, there is this intriguing branch of the family tree thanks to my mother's grandmother, Sarah O'Neal (born in 1861).  I spent a fair bit of time tracing these O'Neals before our family Scotland/Ireland trip in 2018, and there are definitely some characters in that line of folks.

 

I need to go back and double-check, but after some late-night sleuthings back then, it sure looked my family went right on back to a certain Sir Hugh O'Neall who was born at Shane's Castle in Antrim (Northern Ireland) in 1698 and eventually jumped ship in the Delaware Bay. 

 

My meanders then led me to that line of the family going all the way back to  - hold onto your shamrocks – a certain "Niall of the Nine Hostages" – (Niall Noígíallach), an ancient High King of Tara from 379 to 405 A.D.. Whether he existed in more than legend is not completely known, but some Trinity College genetic researchers determined that his DNA can actually be found in three million or so men alive today around the world. (The common Irish surname "O'Neill" - "Ui Neill" in Gaelic -  means 'descendant son of Niall.')

 

**Holiday Note:  Niall of the Nine Hostages is said to be responsible for the capture and enslavement of a 16-year-old boy from Wales named Succat (along with his sisters). This young man grew up to become Patrick, patron saint of Ireland.**

 

So for Poetry Friday, here's part of a dirge singing this ancient king's praises, translated by Kuno Meyer in

Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry, published by Constable & Company Ltd. in London in 1911:

 

 

A DIRGE FOR KING NIALL OF THE NINE HOSTAGES (+ a.d. 405)

 

 

Tuirn son of Torna

 

When we used to go to the gathering with Echu's [15] son,

Yellow as a bright primrose was the hair upon the head of Cairenn's [16] son.

 

Torna

 

Well hast thou spoken, dear son. A bondmaid should be given thee

For the sake of the hair which thou hast likened to the colour of the crown of the primrose.

 

Eyelashes black, delicate, equal in beauty, and dark eyebrows—

The crown of the woad, a bright hyacinth, that was the colour of his pupils.

 

Tuirn son of Torna

 

The colour of his cheeks at all seasons, even and symmetrical:

The fox-glove, the blood of a calf—a feast without a flaw! the crown of the forest in May.

 

Torna

 

His white teeth, his red lips that never reproved in anger—

His shape like a fiery blaze overtopping the warriors of Erin.

 

Like the moon, like the sun, like a fiery beacon was the splendour of Niall:

Like a dragon-ship from the wave without a flaw was Niall, Echu's son.

 

[15]Niall's father.
[16]Niall's mother.

 

You can find the rest at Gutenberg here.

 

(And did Torna really say that Tuirn should be given a 'bondmaid' because of a clever simile about Niall's hair?! Did I read that right? :0! I do quite like that dragon-ship line, though!) 

 

You can find out much more about King Niall with an online search, such as these thoughts by Claire Santry, sharing her genealogical adventures at her website, Irish Geneology Toolkit.  

 

~In the studio, Celtic adventures continue... I've been going a bit crazy making jewelry and other items with reproductions from gorgeous 19th-Century printed plates/manuscripts that I have, featuring ancient Celtic ornaments and designs. Much more to come!~

 

If St. Paddy's Day has you in a celebratory mood, then you'll enjoy all the birthday doings over at My Juicy Little Universe, where Heidi is kindly hosting this week.  Happy Birthday, Heidi!

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