instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Submarine Spring: Join in the Found Poem Fun!


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

While searching for a spring poem that might cheer those of you digging out of another Nor’easter, I came across something in an 1890 book I had to investigate. The book is a bound volume of CASSELL’S FAMILY MAGAZINE, Illustrated, Cassell and Company, Limited – London, Paris & Melbourne, featuring all the monthly issues from 1890. “Submarine Spring” in the contents caught my eye. Well, it wasn’t a poem – turned out it was a little article from a section called, “THE GATHERER: AN ILLUSTRATED RECORD OF INVENTION, DISCOVERY, LITERATURE, AND SCIENCE.”


It explains:

A submarine spring forms the water supply of the
inhabitants of Bahrein Island, in the Gulf of Persia.
The climate is very hot, no rain falls, and the people
draw their fresh water from the sea-bottom by
means of divers, who fill it into goatskins. Owing to
the force of the spring, the diver uses a drag weight
to keep him down, and after having filled the skin,
he slips the drag and is floated to the surface.



Hmmm. Well, no worries – you can always FIND poetry if you’re looking. Linda Mitchell tagged me on Facebook this week with a micro found poem she created after reading my monoku post last week. Plus, next Friday I’m leading my found poem/mixed media workshop here in Beaufort, so I’m getting ready for that. I couldn’t help myself…


Submarine Spring

spring forms
rain falls,
fresh from the sea-bottom
after having
floated to the surface



poem found by Robyn Hood Black


I am hoping that spring will float to the surface SOON for all you Northerners! Now, the actual visual presentation of this is on the sloppy side, as you can see, and wouldn’t make the artsyletters cut, but I hope you enjoyed.

Don't you want to have a go?

If you’d like, in your comments, leave a found poem either from that same passage OR the one below by next Monday (March 19), and I’ll assume I have your permission to share in next week’s post. You might want to do a blackout-type poem like mine here - where you are constrained by the order of the printed words on the page - OR, you might give yourself more breathing room and create a poem only from words in the passage, but in any order you choose. (These are the kinds of poems I wrote for Georgia Heard's THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK, the first time I had work in an anthology.) Any takers? (If you have any issues leaving a comment, you can email your poem through my contact page.)


Because we all need to be ready for National Poetry Month, here’s an excerpt from the Fashion Section,
WHAT TO WEAR IN APRIL. Have fun!


    The long cloak savors of spring; it opens at the
neck and trims with close feather bands, instead
of fur. It is composed of ribbed silk and embroidered
velvet, the velvet is cut as a Bolero jacket, elongated
into panel sides over which fall the long pointed
sleeves, embroidered on the outside of the arm, and
edged like the jacket with ball fringe in character
with the hat. It is a mantle that completely covers
the dress. The muff matches the hat, and I notice
women are wearing them well on to summer, partially
because they are so infinitesimal. The floral muffs
are often carried by bridesmaids; they are made of
satin and covered with flowers so that little but of
the foundation is seen. They let the odour of the
flower be easily enjoyed by the holder, and are more
to be desired than bouquets because they have a
raison d’être.


If poetry is your raison d’être, head over to Teacher Dance, where the very lovely Linda is celebrating Spring and always finding poetic magic.
 Read More 
21 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Driftwood Dolphin


It's ALMOST Spring.

Our youngest, Seth, spent the first part of his college spring break this week hiking in the mountains with his Appalachian Trail class. Then he came to the coast for some fun in the sun. [Finally - a spring break for him here that's warm, sunny, and dry! ] Not a bad way to spend a week.

Thursday he drove out to Hunting Island, the lovely natural state park where we go to the beach, less than 20 miles from our driveway. We'll probably all head out there Friday afternoon.

A couple of weeks ago, I went there by myself for a long walk and an inspiration break. There was only a handful of other folks around, plus a couple of horses. Couldn't resist snapping the picture above, and wondering about a poem to accompany it.



Driftwood Dolphin


A driftwood dolphin
slices sand,
in search of driftwood fish.

What kind of dolphin
swims on land?
The kind in my driftwood wish.



©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


Thanks for stopping by! Even if you don’t have a spring break per se, here’s hoping you’ll take some time out to relax with poetry! My dear friend and Poetess Extraordinaire Irene has the Roundup today at Live Your Poem.

Be sure to circle back HERE next week, when I'll host the Roundup!

 Read More 
16 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Groundhog Day and Ms. Betty


Greetings, Poetry-Friday-ers! Ah, the weather. Last week I recounted being snowed in at my daughter’s the weekend before (always a big deal in the South), and now we've had a steady chilly rain here on the coast, followed by chilly temps. But Tuesday, Groundhog Day, was glorious.

I let our tiny dog out on the screened-in front porch and couldn’t resist a break for me, too. Ms. Betty was busy just up the street, and she inspired a poem.

Ms. Betty inspires admiration from a lot of folks. She’s always on the go defending green space or Little Free Libraries or helping with some church project. When I first moved here, she called from her walk with her dog – “Do you like potatoes? I just picked a basket. They’re on the steps. Go help yourself.”

Not one to turn down such kindness, or yummy red potatoes, I did go grab a few and scrawled a little thank you note to leave in their place. They were delicious, and I told her so later. I learned it was the first time she’d attempted a vegetable garden without her husband, who had passed away not long before I moved here.

Three mornings a week, Ms. Betty gets up at 5:30 to drive herself to go work out. Rain or shine, she makes sure Buddy, the rescue dog her daughter gave her after the loss of her husband, gets in all his walks.

She is always quick with a kind word, witty observation, or handwritten note.

Yep, I want to be just like Ms. Betty when I grow up.


Groundhog Day


You’d think it spring -
sunny and 74.

Ms. Betty
(88, give or take)
smartly dressed as always
ties her scruffy dog to a tree

wields a shovel in her
garden-gloved hands

stoops to adjust a root

straightens, then stomps
on the blade’s end
to scoop the earth.

Her white cat
serpentines
around leg, tree

plops herself on the grass
to roll and paw at the dog.

You’d think it spring.



©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

No matter the weather, go stock up on lots of great poetry today with the ever-energetic Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect.  Read More 
29 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - A Few Spring Haiku for December



Hello, Poetry Lovers!

I hope you are not too crazed now that we're reaching mid-December.
Confession: I'm a little crazed.

I always know I'm too busy when I have to stop and think of the last time I jotted a haiku in my journal, or on a Post-it note, or even on a note in my phone. But, having lived through many December moons, I know things will settle down again, too.

And I look forward to the reasons things are hopping - kids coming home to visit, Christmas gatherings to attend or help host, sparkly decorations overtaking the living room, and greeting cards both to send and to savor.

In sharing a few haiku I've had published this fall, I see that there's a spring theme! For many of us across the country, it feels more like spring than winter. And for others of us (Linda B?!), winter has raged before the calendar gave it permission. Here are a few spoonfuls of spring for your December:



spring equinox
an egret one
with the marsh


The Heron's Nest XVII.3, Sept. 2015



spring light
jasmine’s heavy scent
from every fence




spring breeze
the sailboat
pixilated



A Hundred Gourds, Sept. 2015

poems ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

In other haiku news, I'm happy to report that after November elections of the Haiku Society of America, I'll be the new HSA Southeast Regional Coordinator. Woo-hoo! Look for fun programs to attend in my neck of the woods in the future. But not TOO soon - our amazing outgoing coordinator, Terri L. French, and outgoing president, David G. Lanoue, agreed to let me ease into the role as I'm a little swamped planning my daughter's wedding, among other things. I think I fully take the reins about five minutes after the reception's over in June.

Now, for poems perfect for any season, go catch the Poetry Friday party at A Teaching Life, where the all-around wonderful Tara is rounding up this week!
 Read More 
19 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - SPRING!


(Aa-chooo!) Pollen has left a cover of yellow over everything here in the South this week. And then, we got some much-needed rain to wash some of it away in thick golden rivulets.

I hear from my first-year-teacher-daughter that the elementary natives are a bit restless, ready for their spring break. Brought to mind a poem I wrote several years ago, and dug up - like something is digging up my hubby's fresh new gardening.

This was an attempt at a triolet, a form you can read about here.

You can also read the triolet adventures of the "Poetry Seven" - a group of Poetry Friday regulars who challenge each other to write in different forms and share the goods. My poetry buddy and teacher/blogger extraordinaire Tricia over at The Miss Rumphius Effect kicked off this new year hosting Poetry Friday, offering up a very touching original triolet and links to the rest of the Seven. (Click here to go on that triolet journey.)

Wait - here, read mine real quick before you click. ;0)
A lighthearted reminiscence of this time of year in the classroom...

Spring Fever

Will that bell ever ring?
I just want to go home.
I’m not learning a thing.
Will that bell ever ring?
Outside calls – it is spring!
All my mind does is roam.
Will that bell ever ring?
I just want to go home.


©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

Happy Spring Equinox, Happy Blooming Things, and Happy Birthday to my youngest, who turns 20 next week! (We'll be celebrating in spirit from over here, Seth.)

Wonderful words are always blooming over at Reading to the Core, where Catherine has this week's Roundup!  Read More 
21 Comments
Post a comment