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Life on the Deckle Edge

POETRY MONTH - I Pause for Haiku today with "June heat"....

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers! I PAUSE FOR HAIKU today with "June heat" from ACORN #30 (Spring 2013).

 

This one is especially for my stepdad, Jack, who called me this week to talk about the catbird in their Florida yard!  (Click the picture to hear the poem.)

 

Do you have a favorite bird?  Maybe you can write a poem about it, even one as short as a haiku.

 

Moongazing is a popular traditional subject for haiku, and tonight will be a good night to do it - it's a Full Pink Supermoon.  Click here for more info, and enjoy the great and small wonders all around. 

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POETRY MONTH - Mini poem videos continue with "Blank"...

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Thanks for all the kind comments and shares about my mini-poem-videos project, I PAUSE FOR POEMS, via YouTube.  I'm glad teachers are finding useful!  Today's poem is in response to a Today's Little Ditty challenge posed by Douglas Florian in 2016 - to write a poem about nothing. Mine is called "Blank." ;0)  Thanks to Michelle Heidenrich Barnes for all her Ditty magic. 

 

I'll continue sharing poems for kids on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and haiku suitable for kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  

 

Here is today's poem, and here is my YouTube Channel

 

Stay safe, and have a poetry-filled Monday.  

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Poetry Friday - My NATIONAL POETRY MONTH mini videos continue... :0)

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy National Poetry Month.

 

Each weekday in April, I'm sharing a new short video featuring me reading one of my published poems.  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, these are poems for children.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, these are haiku suitable for children.

 

(So, three down... a bunch to go!)

 

Today's reading is from THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY (K-5 edition) from POMELO BOOKS by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Click here to hear it, and/or click here for my YouTube channel. (Note, I don't really know what I'm doing, but I'm learning... Ha!)

 

 

Trouble on the Trail

 

The woods are great and everything,

but now I feel an itch. 

 

My arms are turning kind of red;

my body wants to twitch.

 

You think that's poison ivy there?

Now that would be some joke. 

 

You don't?  Oh good.  But what was that?

You think it's poison oak?

 

 

©2012 by Robyn Hood Black

 

 

Thanks to my family for helping with this project (Morgan mentioned looking for online content for her third-graders; Seth whipped up some original guitar magic and texted it to me; and hubby Jeff followed me around this past weekend with my new-ish iPhone to make some recordings!). Special thanks to all the teachers, media specialists, and school staff, who, like Morgan, are missing their students so and doing their best to educate from afar. 

 

Speaking of amazing teachers, the always-adventurous Heidi has our Roundup today at My Juicy Little Universe.  And be sure to check out all the special Poetry Month projects around the Kidlitosphere at Jama's yearly Alphabet Soup Roundup.  Thank you, you Wonderful Women! AND, follow the Progressive Poem, this year organized by another amazing teacher, Margaret!

 

Wishing you and yours peace and safety and health in these surreal days.  Read, and write, lots and lots of poems!

 

(Note - Children under the age of 13 may only comment with demonstrated parental consent.  Thank you.)

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Poetry Month - I Pause for Haiku - "between"

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  

 

My National Poetry Month project continues with "I Pause for Poems" and "I Pause for Haiku" mini original poem movies.  Today I'm reading a haiku which originally appeared in bottle rockets, #41, August 2019.  The photo with the text, and the sound effects accompanying it, came from our back yard.  You'll see. ;0) 

 

Click here for the link, and here for my YouTube channel. Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in April, I'll add a poem for kids.  Each Tuesday and Thursday this month, I'll add a haiku.

 

For all kinds of National Poetry Month project magic, visit the lovely Jama who has rounded up poetic wonders around the Kidlitosphere at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

 

(Note - Children under the age of 13 may only comment with demonstrated parental consent. Thank you.)

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Happy National Poetry Month! I PAUSE FOR POEMS with a Video each Weekday.... :0)

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers - and,

HAPPY NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!

 

I'm embarking on a new adventure, I PAUSE FOR POEMS.  My teacher-daughter Morgan, like many of you and others across the country, is seeking more online content than usual for students during these challenging weeks. 

 

So I grabbed a good-natured husband, and the new-ish iPhone my kids made me get, and took off outdoors, books in hand.  Then I solicited some long-distance guitar magic from son Seth.  And then I went hunting for that video channel on YouTube I'd "claimed" a million years ago.... And then I watched some generous tutorials. [These have greatly helped but certainly haven't smoothed out all my glitches and imperfections, but here we go anyway!]

 

Each weekday in April, I'll share a new short video featuring me reading one of my published poems.  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, these will be poems for children.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, these will be even shorter videos featuring a haiku suitable for children.

 

The first foray, pictured above, is my reading of "Sincerely," (©2015 by Robyn Hood Black/©2015 by Pomelo Books) which appears in THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS as well as in HERE WE GO and GREAT MORNING, all from POMELO BOOKS by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. 

 

Thanks to my family for helping, to teachers for teaching, and to everyone who makes poems and books. Each April, the magnificent Jama Kim Rattigan rounds up special National Poetry Month projects throughout the Kidlitosphere (with help from Mr. Cornelius, I am certain.)  You can find her list at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

 

To follow my poem video adventures, here's a link to my YouTube channel.

 

Thanks for tagging along, and here's to a soul-nourishing Poetry Month!

 

(Note - Children under the age of 13 may only comment with demonstrated parental consent.  Thank you.)

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Poetry Friday - A Haiku Shorter Than This Heading...

©Robyn Hood Black

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

I'm still treading water schedule-wise this year, and in case you are too, I just have a little teeny wee bite-sized poem today.  This is from the current Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America.

 

 

 

high tide it comes and goes

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.

 

 

And... you're done here!  Well, leave a howdy, and then row on over to Library Matters, where the lovely Cheriee is rounding up today.  She also has a special treat - a feature/interview with Avis Harley! 

~~(Final thought, especially with my water references today... prayers for all in Mississippi who are dealing with devastating flooding this week.)~~

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Poetry Friday - A Wee Evergreen Found Poem...

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Have you been among the 75 percent of the country unpacking coats and scarves and socks this week?  Brrrr!  It's been two layers of sweaters on the Chihuahua for her morning walks the past few days...

 

Perhaps it gets us in the mood for the holiday season, though.  Thursday night our little downtown began an initiative for shops to stay open until 7 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays.  I tossed my beret into the ring and agreed, with just a few exceptions for holidays themselves.  

 

So the elves are busy, busy - though not nearly as far along as I thought they'd be by now!  (Okay, truth be told, the one rather sleep-deprived and overworked elf is still working on getting a bunch of new items listed on Etsy this weekend. Bring on the coffee!  The tea!  The hot chocolate!) ;0)  I'm slowly getting more collage & altered pieces-in-progress finished up, like the one above celebrating the coming holly-laced holidays.

 

 

lovers of
delight turn
to


evergreens,

holly and
mistletoe
with
ivy

 

©Robyn Hood Black, found in "The Garden in December" in a bound compilation of Cassell's Family Magazine, Cassell & Company Limited, London, Paris & Melbourne, 1890.

 

(More coming soon, including ornaments!)

 

In the meantime, I'm hoping to catch up on some Poetry Friday visiting during the quiet stretches in the studio.  One never knows, but there's usually a good bit of quiet in those open hours, since I'm tucked upstairs in a historic building,.  Folks have to 1.) want to come up and 2.) be able to navigage those steep stairs if they do! 

 

This week's Roundup start with a big ol' par-TAY over at Michelle's Today's Little Ditty, with the launch of THE BEST OF TODAY'S LITTLE DITTY 2017-18.  (I'm thrilled to have two poems in another volume in this series!) Poetry always makes a good gift, no?   Enjoy the festivities, and all the great links Michelle is rounding up. Congrats, Michelle, and Cheers to all!

 

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Poetry Friday - New Aging in Haiku Book and Happy Birthday, Bro!

(Hope it's okay that I swiped a couple of Facebook pictures taken by your friends?  ;0) )

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers! 

 

First today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my amazing older brother, he of the pictures above.  Not to give away his age or anything, but NEXT year one of us will no longer be in our 50s? ;0) 

 

Mike doesn't hear it from me nearly enough, but he's one of my heroes.  As a young boy he had some leg surgery, and our folks were told he might have difficulty walking, might not ever run.  Well, he just tells people the big ol' scars on his lower legs are shark bites as he makes his way from triathlon finish lines to the winners' podiums.  Yep, while he was taking home hardware for First Place in his age group this past August, yours truly was hobbling around with that broken ankle, since my athletic coordination is challenged at the "walking and conversing simultaneously" level. 

  

And while Mike is quite the reader, writer, insights-wrangler, and cultural connoisseur, he also designs computer chips or something that is so far beyond my skill set I don't even quite know how to describe it.  For decades he's worked as an electrical engineer, after heading off to Vandy at age 16 to double major in math and electrical engineering.  

 

He's heard me, perhaps, mention the name "Sheldon" in conversations about him (haven't you, Mike?)... but he's also figured out how to be quite the social butterfly after navigating school years while two years younger than his peers, but way past them in the math & science books....  Of course, Scott helps.  He's the other handsome devil pictured above, and I'm so very thankful to have him as my brother-in-law. 

 

So, you've gathered Mike is a very YOUNG (and fit) 59! Still, I've already gotten a Christmas present for him - a hot-off-the-press copy of Robert Epstein's newest anthology, ALL THE WAY HOME:  AGING IN HAIKU (Middle Island Press). Robert has edited many anthologies and written his own collections.  On this subject of aging, he recently published a book of his own work:  TURNING THE PAGE TO OLD:  HAIKU & SENRYU.

 

I've just started reading my copy of ALL THE WAY HOME, and it's chock-full of tender, profound, heartbreaking and hilarious poems that will have all kinds of readers of a certain age nodding here and there, or thinking of someone they know.  As usual, Robert has provided a thoughtful introduction (after sharing many wonderful quotations on the topic).  In addition to haiku, there are some tanka and haiga as well. 

 

Here is a taste of just a few poems.

 

First, for Mike, looking forward to the next year...

 

 

sixtieth summer --

I fold the dryer's heat

into the towel

 

©Lenard D. Moore, originally published in Modern Haiku, 50.1, 2019.  Posted with permission.

 

 

(I remember being struck by the gorgeousness of that poem the first time I read it in Modern Haiku.)

 

Lenard D. Moore is a rock star in the haiku world, and I was honored to meet him a few years ago at a conference.  He's a past president of the Haiku Society of America, an award-winning writer across many genres, from poetry to criticism, an encourager and nurturer, a college professor, and recipient of the 2014 North Carolina Literature Award.  Seek out his work in the journals and anthologies; you will be rewarded!  Or enjoy some jazzy creative and collaborative presentation, if you ever get the chance.

 

Second, after recently returning from our 35th Furman University reunion (Jeff and I married two weeks after our graduation there in 1984!) , I particularly enjoyed this poem:

 

 

forty-fifth reunion...

seniors

again

 

©Charlotte Degregorio, first published in Haiku & Senryu:  A Simple Guide for All, 2014. Posted with permission.

 

 

And, if you don't know Charlotte Degregorio and her work, you are in for more enjoyment and enlightenment!  She is the author of several books and writes, and teaches writing, across multiple genres.  She has served as an officer in the Haiku Society for America and currently maintains a wonderful blog for writers featuring "Daily Haiku" - just scroll through the many treasures she selects to share if you want to read lots of wonderful haiku from around the world. She has also been recognized by her state, Illinois, with a Commendation from former Governor Bruce Rauner for her achievements in literary arts and education. 

 

Lastly, below are three of the five poems I have in the anthology.  As you can imagine, I'm honored to share pages with poets such as these!  I'm enjoying reading haiku by friends and names I know, as well as new-to-me poets, among the hundreds of poems. 

 

 

winter rain

the fine print

smaller each year

 

©Robyn Hood Black, first published in Chrysanthemum, 11, 2012

 

 

first frost

today she misplaced

our names

 

©Robyn Hood Black, first published in Frogpond, 42:1, 2019

 

 

years later

my Achilles heel

still just that

 

©Robyn Hood Black, first published in bottle rockets, #37, 2017

 

 

Click here to read more about or purchase your own copy of ALL THE WAY HOME on Amazon.  It's nice to have company on the journey.  Warmest thanks to Lenard and Charolotte for allowing me to share these fine sample poems from the book. 

 

And for more company on the Poetry Friday journey, join our ever-young and talented Irene at Live Your Poem for this week's Roundup! 

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Poetry Friday - 'Coupla Recent HSA Haiku

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

This week I'm in with a couple of recent published haiku, both from the Haiku Society of America, The Members' Anthology for 2019 and the hot-off-the-press Autumn issue of Frogpond.  I thought both covers were particularly striking, so they are pictured above.  Frogpond features cover art by Gretchn Targee, and the Anthology cover features a photo by John L. Matthews.  (I like the Anthology's title this year, too - A Moment's Longing.)

 

Both are full of great poems!  I'm honored as always to have my haiku included. 

 

  

 

sorting darks and lights

my love note

in his pocket

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.  

Haiku Society of America's Membership Anthology, A Moment's Longing, 2019

 

 

 

hatchlings -

beyond orange tape

the sea

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.  

Frogpond, Vol. 42.3, Fall 2019

 

 

 

About those sea turtles, our area had a record number of nests this year - welcome news! Nests appeared early, and a Kemp's ridley sea turtle was spotted early in the season on Hilton Head Island. That species is the most endangered type of sea turtle, according to National Geographic. 

 

Right after we returned from evacuating for Hurricane Dorian last month, I was at Publix and saw a fellow shopper wearing a Hunting Island (State Park) volunteer tee shirt.  I asked her about any damage to the beach.  She had been out there that morning and said a few turtle nests had been lost.  While that is sad news, I'm glad there were so many hatchlings able to make their way before the storm grazed our coast. 

 

Here's a link to some videos of babies hatching on Hunting Island this season.  I'm grateful to all the volunteers who protect those nests! 

 

To swim around in more poetry, point your flippers over toward Reading to the Core, where the wonderful Catherine has our Roundup this week. 

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Poetry Friday - Inspired by Lee Bennett Hopkins

--with Lee at the Flordia Arts Hall of Fame induction, 2017.

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  

 

It's a special Poetry Friday, as Amy over at the wonderful Poem Farm is offering a lovely way to honor Lee Bennett Hopkins, who died two weeks ago and whose loss is deeply felt by countless friends and fans across the globe. (Thanks to Jone MacCulloch for the idea of this theme today.)  Amy not only celebrates her own grateful connection to Lee, but she has gathered links to sites and obituaries.  Words can't completely capture such a life, but as Lee loved words so, they can shine and glow and sparkle in tribute. 

 

I hope you'll forgive my slight departure from the suggestion of coming up with an original poem using a line from one of Lee's poems  Instead, I'd like to share a poem I wrote the first time I met Lee, when he led a Poetry Master Class at the big SCBWI LA conference 12 years ago. Participants each wrote a poem that weekend, and he read one during his keynote address on the last day of the conference.

 

I'm sharing mine because Lee emailed me after the conference to tell me that he liked my poem.  I was thrilled beyond belief!  (More to the story, but I'll spare the spindly details.) I had written a sonnet, inspired by his many books, and fueled by the tables of colorful titles for sale that stretched for miles at the conference. 

 

(Can I just get it out of the way that I think I'm a somewhat stronger poet now, thanks to a decade of haiku and of course to influences from Lee, and from Rebecca Kai Dotlich, and other amazing poetic mentors?  Okay - thanks.)

 

So here is the poem, flaws and all, and sweet to me because Lee took the time to share some kind words about it in correspondence, and even made an editorial suggestion here or there, reflected in a couple of lines.  And, because, I miss him very much.  Sending continued love to Lee's cherished husband Charles (whom I also first got to meet at the LA Conference), and to our community of fans and poets who have lost such a "Dear One."

 

 

How to Buy a Book of Poetry



I prowl around displays of stacked-up books,
a quiet hunger gnawing deep inside.
Some volumes catch my silent, stealthy looks,
while slowly stalking now, I must decide.
A vibrant cover takes my breath away -
I linger, stop, then claim it with my hand
to seize the book, a panther with her prey -
surveying what she knows to be her land.
While poems leap from pages crisp and new,
lines capture my attention as I read
their sparkling thoughts, at once unreal yet true -
mystical, magic words my deepest need.
A hunter with her prey? I'm not so free.
This poetry I bought - it now owns me.

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

 

 

I know we'll all enjoy roaming from post to post celebrating Lee today over at Amy's, and picking up other poetic delights along the way.

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