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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Treefrogs!

 

Oh, with all the rain we've had, it is treefrog season!  Each sojourn out the side porch might bring a wee green surprise tucked in beneath the porch rail or under the light.  We have a small unofficial wetlands on the other side of our back fence, and the serenades are hearty at times.

 

I was delighted to learn that Joyce Sidman (Newbery Honor and Sibert Medal winning author, and everybody's favorite!) will have a treefrog book coming out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2021.  It's called Dear Treefrog and will be illustrated by Diana Sudyka.  Click here and scroll down for the PW announcement. 

 

Perhaps Joyce would enjoy my haiku in the current issue of bottle rockets:

 

 

between

rounds of rain

rounds of treefrogs

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black.  bottle rockets, 21.1, #41. All rights reserved. (click here  for more on bottle rockets press, Stanford Forrester, editor.)

 

I also couldn't help myself and bought up some discontinued Vintaj charms, with a 'teensie' frog and reeds, and have just started making some "haiku" earrings with a nod to the most famous haiku poem around, Basho's "old pond...." (Click here for a discussion of that poem on the Aha Poetry site of the late Jane Reichhold.) The text for these earrings is typed on my old dusty, trusty Underwood. (Click here for the listing. I'm making more, some with variations.)

 

Now, if actual TREES are more your thing than treefrogs, or you love everything nature-related, hop on over to Christie's Wondering and Wandering for a tree-themed Poetry Friday!

 

**Special Note:  Next week, our wonderful Amy at The Poem Farm will gather up links to original poem posts honoring Lee Bennett Hopkins.  To participate, click here for the details at the top of Amy's post last week.  You can see my post from last week for a link to last year's surprise online birthday party we hosted for Lee, with links to all kinds of celebratory posts which help us appreciate and remember.**

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Poetry Friday - Lee

This picture was taken  exactly a dozen years ago, at the SCBWI LA Conference, when Lee presented a Poetry Master Class.  My first time meeting him in person (and meeting some of you all, too!).

 

So many of us are at a loss for words today.  I am still trying to let the news sink in, that Lee has left us.  What a life - and what a legacy.  His books will continue to enrich countless souls.  He made them for the children, after all - he always had young readers and writers foremost in his heart.  His keen mind crafted only the best for them.  

 

Read to me, Lee - 

again and again.

 

Click here to revisit the surprise, online 80th birthday party we all threw for Lee last year.  It was my honor to collect the links. I look forward to meandering through them again to remember and celebrate.  We still love you, Lee - we always will. 

 

Special love to Charles in this time of deepest loss. Your life together was luminous. 

 

No better way to honor Lee than to celebrate poetry.  Thanks to Molly for hosting the Roundup today at Nix the Comfort Zone.   [P.S. - Here is a five-minute video interview with Lee from last summer, recorded in his home office, brimming with books and good humor.]

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Poetry Friday - A Bit of Wit: Sir John Suckling's Campaigne

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

This summer has found me pining a bit for last summer, when we were traipsing around Scotland and Ireland and having a glorious time. Recently I came across a surprisingly fun poem in a nearly 200-year-old book I have, RELIQUES of ANCIENT ENGLISH POETRY: Consisting of  Old Heroic Ballads, Songs, and Other Pieces of our Earlier Poets; Together with Some Few of Later Date  (Sixth Edition, Vol. III, London: Samuel Richards and Co. Grocers' Hall Court, Poultry, 1823.)

 

Before you run off... in this current climate charged with all kinds of political hyperbole and braggadocio, I found some humor in these old words.  It's a tale of a battle between the fancy English and the gritty Scots at the border. Enjoy!  (I'll type in the introduction after the poem, in case you are as nerdy as I am and are interested. ;0) )

 

 

Sir John Suckling's Campaigne

 

 

Sir John he got him an ambling nag,

  To Scotland for to ride-a,

With a hundred horse more, all his own he swore,

  To guard him on every side-a.

 

No Errant-knight ever went to fight

  With halfe so gay a bravada,

Had you seen but his look, you'ld have sworn on a book,

  Hee'ld have conquer'd a whole armada.

 

The ladies ran all to the windows to see

  So gallant and warlike a sight-a,

And as he pass'd by, they said with a sigh,

  Sir John, why will you go fight-a?

 

But he, like a cruel knight, spurred on;

  His heart would not relent-a,

For, till he came there, what had he to fear?

  Or why should he repent-a?

 

The king (God bless him!) had singular hopes

  Of him and all his troop-a,

The borderers they, as they met him on the way,

  For joy did hollow, and whoop-a. 

 

None liked him so well, as his own colonell,

  Who took him for John de Wert-a*;

But when there were shows of gunning and blows,

  My gallant was nothing so pert-a.

 

For when the Scots army came within sight,

  And all prepared to fight-a,

He ran to his tent, they ask'd what he meant,

  He swore he must needs goe sh-t-a.

 

The colonell sent for him back agen,

  To quarter him in the van-a,

But Sir John did swear, he would not come there,

  To be kill'd the very first man-a.

 

To cure his fear, he was sent to the reare, 

  Some ten miles back and more-a;

Where Sir John did play at trip and away,

  And ne'er saw the enemy more-a.

 

*John de Wert was a German general of great reputation, and the terror of the French in the reign of Louis XIII.

 

Here is the introduction:

 

When the Scottish Covenanters rose up in arms, and advanced to the English borders in 1639, many of the courtiers complimented the king by raising forces at their own expense.  Among these none were more distinguished than the gallant Sir John Suckling, who raised a trooop of horse so richly accoutred, that it cost him 12,000l .The like expensive equipment of other parts of the army, made the king remark, that "the Scots would fight stoutly, if it were but for the Englishmen's fine clothes." (Lloyd's Memoirs.)  When they came to action, the rugged Scots proved more than a match for the fine showy English:  many of whom behaved remarkably ill, and among the rest this splendid troop of Sir John Suckling's. 

  This humorous pasquil has been generally supposed to have been written by Sir John as a bantar upon himself.  Some of his contemporaries, however, attributed it to Sir John Mennis, a wit of those times, among whose poems it is printed in a small poetical miscellany, intitled, "Musarum Deliciae: or the Muses' Recreation, containing several pieces of poetique wit," 2d edition.  By Sir J.M. [Sir John Mennis] and Ja. S. [James Smith], London, 1656, 12 mo. (See Wood's Athenae, ii. 397, 418.) In that copy is subjoined an additional stanza, which probably was written by this Sir John Mennis, viz.

 

But now there is peace, he's return'd to increase,

  His money, which lately he spent-a,

But his lost honour must lye still in the dust;

  At Barwick away it went-a.

 

Hope that brought a smile! Here's hoping whatever "campaignes" you have yet this summer will be a success, and best wishes to those (like my Morgan) who are already back at school readying classrooms for a new crop of eager young minds.

 

Sláinte!

 

Speaking of wonderful teachers, mount your trusty steed and charge over to My Juicy Little Universe, where the oh-so-brave and oh-so-smart Heidi has the Roundup this week! 

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Poetry Friday - Taking a Spoonful of Inspiration from Margaret...

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers! Margaret Simon posted early for Poetry Friday this week at Reflections on the Teche, and I was so taken with a line of her original poem (written in response to other creative work), that I grabbed a spoonful of inspiration for my own little post today. 

 

In the middle of Margaret's poem we find these lines:

 

...

Down in the abyss
of the silverware drawer,
a teaspoon speaks
of years of sugar
measured,

...

 

©Margaret Simon

 

 

(I put that last phrase in bold, because it resonated so strongly with me. Say it out loud - g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s lines, rich and slow like sugar.)

 

Margaret explains that the title of her poem comes from fellow creative Denise Gallagher - words she "stole" in the spirit of Austin Kleon (whom I was lucky to meet/hear speak a few moons ago!).  Margaret says this stealthy kind of Kleon-fueled artistic borrowing came from a Facebook group started by our own Laurie Purdie Salas. 

 

It's just a trail of inspiration, Hansel and Gretel-like, left in the creative woods of the world.  I reached down to pick up some grains because, in addition to the lure of the words themselves, Margaret's explanation of going through her parents' house when they moved to a retirement home also spoke to me, having done a bit of that in my in-laws' home earlier this year. 

 

While I usually don't write "desk haiku" - my poems are generally borne by experienced moments - I had to borrow this sugar, as it were.  It got me thinking of all the sweet moments in a life, and the not-so-sweet times folks must go through, and how a bit of work (polish) can restore shine that's been lost. 

 

 

old teaspoon
years of sugar
and tarnish

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black, with a nod to Margaret Simon.  All rights reserved.

 

Thank you for meandering along today!  Be sure to read Margaret's entire poem and check out all the great poetry links over at Reflections on the Teche.  And a shout-out to my hubby, Jeff, on his birthday, and all the sweet moments shared and yet to come. 

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Poetry Friday - Poetic 'Feet' (!)

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Poetic Feet

 

Stitches, breaks, Achilles tear - 

My poor right foot, I've stressed.

 

Once again, it's crutches and boot -

and for-e-ver getting dressed.

 

              ©Robyn Hood Black

 

After I jotted that wee ditty this morning, I discovered my mother had also had a bit of fun on my Facebook post about this current locomotive challenge:

 

 

There is a young lady named Robyn....

who walks with her head a'bobbin'...

The sidewalk was missing a chunk, she went down with a clunk....

and, now, with crutches is hobblin'!!!!!

 

I would not rule out my stepdad's input into this literary creation, so whether credit goes to Nita Morgan, Jack Morgan, or to both - I'm not sure either would claim it! ;0)

 

(BTW -Could definitely be worse!  I fractured the distal fibula at the ankle, but it did not go all the way through.  Bones heal faster than tendons.  Trust me, I know.)

 

Wishing you safe passage over to the Poetry Friday Roundup at Carol's Corner.  Enjoy, and thank you, Carol, for hosting!

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Poetry Friday - Just an Artsy Wave this Week!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  

 

Somehow with the Fourth and with First Friday downtown to prepare for, I didn't quite get a real post up this week. On the slightest chance you missed my social media slathering of links to my artsyletters Letter for Summer, which has an Independence Day/Americana/history bent, here's the link if you're interested!  

 

Hope you're enjoying the holilday weekend! Savor all the poetry offerings today rounded up by the ever-talented Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect.  

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Poetry Friday - Poem by Stephanie Salkin and Poetry by the Sea Shout-Out!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

The photo and poem above are by my good buddy and partner-in-poetic-crime across multiple venues and states, Stephanie Salkin. The image of yours truly at the breaking waves came from the Poetry by the Sea retreat led by Georgia Heard and Rebecca Kai Dotlich in Jupiter, Florida, nearly four years ago.  What a treasure of a time!

 

Stef is very active in her arts community in north Florida. (And the whole state, too; she along with Jude Mandell led the campaign to get Lee Bennett Hopkins inducted into the Florida Arts Hall of Fame two years ago!) A photographer as well as writer, her work is often seen in shows there. 

 

That's how the above combination of image and words came to be.  Having attended our recent Haiku Society of America Spring National Meeting in St. Augustine, Stef wanted to incorporate haiku into her photography for a show, and - Voilà!  She used a picture she took which included me immersed in my own poetry writing down in Jupiter.  (I've shared it with permission.)

 

The poem reads:

 

 

waves break on shore

    making tidal music

          who writes the lyrics?

 

 

Many thanks to Stephanie for sharing! She also shared a link about how a day at the beach boosts health and creativity: https://1md.org/article/beach-day-brain-benefits

 

If all of this whets your appetite for poetic inspiration at the beach, you're in luck! Georgia and Rebecca are offering the Third "Poetry by the Sea" next month! (I'd go every time if the piggy bank and calendar were willing....) Find details here at Georgia's website

 

And find this week's Poetry Friday Roundup with the always-inspiring Buffy at her spankin' newly redesigned website.

 

Happy Fourth next week! 

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Poetry Friday - A Couple of Browning Lines & 35th Anniversary

 

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be

 

Pretty sure my husband wooed me with that Browning couplet a time or two back in the day.  On Saturday, we celebrate our 35th anniversary! (We were babes of 21 when we got married.  My mother made my dress from scratch, with 2,000 seed pearls and no time to spare.  Seriously, a half hour before the ceremony, I was wearing a tee shirt and gym shorts. I come by my life-on-the-edge habits honestly.)

 

These are the opening lines to a long poem titled "Rabbi Ben Ezra."  Here's the first stanza:

 

 

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!''

 

 

You can read the whole poem here

 

It's not a romantic poem, actually, but a poem told in the voice of a 12th century rabbi and scholar, about being molded throughout life by the hand of the divine Potter.  And it's a good read if you have a few decades under the soles of your shoes!

 

It was published in Browning's Dramatis Personae in 1864.  My old Norton Anthology of English Literature from college notes, "The speaker, Abraham Ibn Ezra (ca. 1092-1167), was an eminent Biblical scholar of Spain, but Browining makes little attempt to present him as a distinct individual or to relate him to the age in which he lived. Unlike the more characteristic monologues, Rabbi Ben Ezra is not dramatic but declamatory."

 

A little heady, no?  For a more breezy poetic welcome to summer, visit our wonderful Linda at A Word Edgewise for this week's Roundup!  Clunkers welcome... you'll see.  ;0)  (I'm a little late to the party this Friday; our internet was down all Thursday night. I will be away from the computer most of the weekend but look forward to catching up in snatches.)

 

HAPPY SUMMER SOLSTICE!

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Poetry Friday - Highlights Hello Poem & More!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Missed you last Friday.  We were winding up a week at the beach with our kids (& I was running around getting my shop ready for First Friday after 5 downtown.)

 

I had a lovely surprise in our mailbox when we got back - two contributor copies of HIGHLIGHTS HELLO with another of my poems inside!  Perfectly themed for our personal life, too - the new issue is "A Wavy Hello" with all kinds of fun words and pictures about the ocean, for the very youngest little readers and listeners. Here's my contribution:

 

 

Seaside

 

Wave after wave

Splashes to shore.

After each wave,

There's always one more. 

 

©2019 Highlights for Children.  All rights reserved. 

 

 

If you know or have a little one, a subscription to HIGHLIGHTS HELLO will surely become a highlight for him or her!

 

Speaking of this little gem of a magazine, one poet frequently featured in its pages is Heidi Bee Roemer. If you know Heidi, you know she's busy as a bee.... She and Poetry Friday Regular Kimberly Nuthatcher have just launched S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry with Free Videos for K-8.  I've already told Morgan (poetry-friendly Third-Grade-Teacher-Daughter) about this new resource.  Check out the Facebook Page (& if the photo in the top left corner looks familiar, it's one of my vintage text poetry-themed necklaces from artsyletters! It was a recent birthday gift to Heidi from another poetry friend, Linda Dryfhout, and their critique group.  Thanks for the picture-love, ladies!) 

 

Here's to waves of poetry for all ages, and wishes for sunshine in your corner.  And speaking of third graders, enjoy some wonderful student poetry over at Laura Shovan's place, where she is kindly rounding us up this week.

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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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