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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - IMPERFECT Insights

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Can't believe April - and Poetry Month - are heading into the last lap for this year. There's been so much poetic goodness across the Kidlitopshere, it'll take me the rest of the year to catch up. Remember to check in with Jama's Roundup of National Poetry Month activities in the Kidlitosphere, and the Progressive Poem, as you savor the poetic celebrations. 

 

One highlight of the month has been the launch of IMPERFECT – poems about mistakes; an anthology for middle schoolers, brought to life by Tabatha Yeatts.  (Click here for Tabatha's blog, and here for the Team Imperfect blog.)     

 

This book contains 70 poems by 50 poets – with several familiar to Poetry Friday regulars. 

 

"In this anthology, you will find poems about all kinds of mistakes," Tabatha writes in the introduction.  And she's right – there are humorous poems about little slip-ups and tissue-worthy poems about wounded relationships.  Poetry helps us find our way.  I wish I'd had this book when I was in middle school!

 

 

ONCE UPON A TIME

 

Once upon a time

there was a girl

who never made a mistake.

 

Which is why

this is

a fairy tale.

 

©April Halprin Wayland.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.  (Click here for more about April.)

 

Succinct and to the heart of the matter – I LOVE April's poem, which she wrote specifically for this collection. (She has a funny poem in there, too.)

 

I have one poem.   It's a lighthearted look at my learning to sew.  Or, not learning, re-learning, learning by no other way than by starting over…. My mother made me many wonderful outfits growing up, and her mother sewed.  Despite the fact that I could never muster the patience to learn from my mother when I was a teenager (though I did let my grandmother show me how to make a knot in thread), I decided when I had my own children that, by bobbin, sew for them I would!  At least as long as they needed Halloween costumes.  I haven't sewn in years, but my little machine is in the back of a closet, waiting for the next generation of pitter-patter-ers.

 

 

HIDDEN IN THE SEAMS

 

Measure. 

Cut.

Pin paper pattern. Pin paper pattern.

Thread machine.

Chikita, chikita, chikita, chikita

chikita, chikita, chikita, chikita

chikita ckiki-chkkktghkCLNK

(Ugh!)

Untangle thread.

Press pieces.

Hold up.

(Argh!)

Seam ripper:

Rip rip rip rip

rip rip rip rip

Pin pin pin pin

Chikita, chikita, chikita, chikita

chikita, chikita, chikita, chikita

Zipper-time

Zippity stitchity

zip zip zip ziGGRRRP

(Ugh!)

Untangle thread.

Zippity stitchity

 

Zip zip zip zip

Backstitch – stitch – back – backstitch

Snip.

Press.

"You made that?"

"Yes!"

 

©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

 

And it's pretty much the same process for every creative undertaking I've ever undertook! ;0)

 

This last Poetry Friday of Poetry Month is being hosted by the terrifically talented and also just generally terrific Irene at Live Your Poem.  Enjoy!

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Poetry Friday - Haiku - Pair, Pare, Pear

Greetings, Poetry Lovers! 

 

Here's hoping you enjoyed International Haiku Poetry Day on Tuesday (April 17).  Perhaps you joined in the worldwide Earthrise Rolling Haiku Collaboration over at The Haiku Foundation? Jim Kacian mentions there that it was "another record-breaking showing" and that a "complete version will be made available shortly and announced on the blog." 

 

Here is a pair of haiku of mine in the current issue of Frogpond:

 

 

bone tired

the maze

of hospital halls

 


graduation cords our empty nest

 


Frogpond, Vol. 41:1, Winter 2018

poems ©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved. 

 

 

While I think a solid haiku resonates with a reader independently of its author's experiences - and sometimes for very different reasons - when I re-read my own haiku, I'm transported to the moment they came to me, or their first unedited versions anyway.  Both of these are snapshots of my life in the last year. 

 

Regarding the first poem, I made several trips back and forth to Florida beginning last summer as my mother was undergoing surgery and then months of chemo for colon cancer.  Happy to report that she is doing well now, and has even been doing some cleaning and yard work of late.  (Mom, if you're reading this - don't overdo! )

 

With the second poem, I was moving around some stuff in Seth's room (our youngest) and came across the bag of college graduation accoutrements from last May.  (And also happy to report we'll get him home for several weeks this summer, after he finishes his internship and before he starts grad school/seminary in August. Yay!)

 

The pare part of this post is about two things:  the paring of words and ideas involved in writing haiku, and sometimes the paring of responsibilities needed to meet life's curve balls.  When my mother was diagnosed with cancer last year, I wanted to be free to make those trips, so I handed over the reins as HSA (Haiku Society of America) SE Regional Coordinator to the very able Michael Henry Lee (one of my favorite poets, by the way).

 

A few weeks ago I took a tentative step back into the volunteer world for a local Habitat for Humanity art project here, but then found out a friend might be facing a significant health challenge.  Last year's lesson of being somewhat available revealed itself again, and I emailed that coordinator to bow out before fully jumping in.  She kindly emailed back, "Wow, life does come at us fast- right?" My art business is small, but it takes loads and loads of time, not to mention writing, my first hat! I appreciate her understanding. 

 

The pear I have tossed in here in conclusion.  (And with a nod to IMPERFECTion, as you'll see at the end of this post and around Poetry Friday-Land today.) We have an old, not particularly impressive tree in the middle of the back yard.  Did not even know it was a fruit tree, until one year I found some scraggly odd-shaped green orbs on the ground.  Apples?  They didn't quite look like the apples we used to have back on our little farm years ago.  Pears?  Didn't quite look like pears either.  I even brought some inside and tried to see if I could eat or cook with them, but I still wasn't quite sure what they were.  That was a couple-few years ago.

 

Then this week, I was paying better attention I guess, and caught them in an earlier state of being.  The branches are dripping with them! Some branches, anyway.  The surprise and delight of these pendulum baby pear drops just made me smile.  I hope they make you smile, too.

 

Speaking of smiling, HUGE thanks to everyone who participated in our online SURPRISE Birthday Party for Lee Bennett Hopkins here last week.  I know all your love and warm wishes touched our guest of honor.  

 

Remember to check in with Jama's Roundup of National Poetry Month activities in the Kidlitosphere, and the Progressive Poem, too.  Not caught up?  No worries - read through line by line, with no delay of gratificiation!  Unitl the current date anyway.  I'm up - gulp! - on Saturday.

 

Check out all of TODAY'S poetic wonderfulness with the inspiring Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference - and keep those party hats out, because her IMPERFECT Mistakes Anthology hits online bookstores TODAY!!! I'm honored to have a poem included and can't wait to read everyone else's. Here's to life's imperfections!

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