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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Found Poem Collage & How-To!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  This week I had the wonderful opportunity to present a workshop for the young creators of the 2020 Camp Conroy. Pat Conroy was a devoted and lifelong teacher at heart, as you might know about the acclaimed author, beloved around the world as well as here in his own Lowcountry. For the third year, the Pat Conroy Literacy Center has assembled a team of top-notch creative teachers  who spend a couple of weeks in intensive workshopping and creating with eager participants.  An extra person is brought in here or there, and I got to be one of those folks this year!  Of course, when I signed on months ago, who knew we would all be doing these things v-i-r-t-u-a-l-l-y.....?  

 

But Center Director Jonathan Haupt and his fearless Camp Conroy team - Miho Kinnas, Lisa Anne Cullen, and Robin Prince Monroe - (three amazing published writers, poets, teachers and visual artists - look 'em up!) embraced the challenge and have been offering a lively and nurturing experience via Zoom.  One bonus of this arrangement this year is that a few young creators are chiming in from other parts of the world, contributing their own creations to what the local Campers will produce as group projects and collections. 

 

"This is our chance to share a little bit of Camp Conroy's Great Love with all of those sheltering and educating at home this summer," they say. Plans are for local participants to gather in July for an in-person event celebrating the unveiling of this year's "Camp Conroy Book."

 

I led a Found Poem Mixed Media Collage workshop, much like the one I led for Poetry Camp out in Bellingham, Washington, a few years ago, and have since offered in Beaufort, too.  But how to do this from a distance?  Now, that was a little trickier. 

 

First, I made supply kits for each participant and added them to the big pre-Camp mailing the Center was doing. Check.

 

Then, I recorded a how-to video - my first time trying such a thing. Should be a piece of cake, I thought, having posted all those poem-reading videos on my Robyn Hood Black YouTube Channel in April.  Right?  Well, the recording part took a while (this is usually a 90-minute to two-hour workshop, after all), but thanks to my new little phone tripod, I got it done. 

 

Then I put all the pieces parts together, editing and chopping, editing and chopping.  Then I tried to upload the video. 

 

"Mwaaa - haaaa - haaaaa" laughed all the invisible techno-gods in unison at my hubris. I tried uploading to YouTube, on my heretofore unused artsyletters Channel.  Hours and hours (a couple of different overnights, even....) - No Go.  Stuck at 99 percent and then - failure.  I tried uploading to the Center's Dropbox.  Hours and hours... well, you get the picture.  

 

So here's a tip, stumbled onto after bleary-eyed days of looking for some magical virtual key - worth your reading of this post, if nothing else:  to upload a video longer than 15 minutes to YouTube, you have to have a verified account.  What's a verified account?  You go to settings (I think - it's all a blur) and look around for the "Verify account" option.  Then, you simply type in your cell phone number or email address and wait for one of those handy six-digit codes banks often use to make sure you are you and not a robot.  Type in the six numbers, and  - poof!  You're verified.  And your - cough-cough - 48-minute cinematic feat might just upload in less than two hours, and process fairly quickly after that.  (Insert emoji with hand slapping forehead right about here.)

 

Back to poetry.  So the video was made accessible, and the young campers had a day or two to work on their collages before we all "met" on Wednesday afternoon.  As always when working with kids, I was amazed at their creativity and fresh perspectives.  Some were still working on theirs, but several pieces were to a finished or at least share-able stage.  Such talented writers and artists!! I'm always energized seeing what creative young folks come up with. Oh, and the three teachers played along in a closing found-poem activity, too - I can tell they are all having as much fun as the kids.

 

Above you see the collage I made as a sample.  The text is from a 1960-ish EduCard featuring a science experiment.  I "found" a poem about balance because:  1.) There's a wonderful yoga studio above the Literary Center; 2.) I've been inspired by so many people taking a Stand lately; and, 3.) I probably - nope, definitely - need a little more balance in my life.

Anyway, here is the poem:

 

 

 

Keep in Balance

 

 

 

earth pulls       everthing

 

     to center.  This place

 

    will not fall

 

when your body is 

 

    "base"

 

  You will

 

Stand

 

         bring your center 

and see what happens.

 

 

Poem found by Robyn Hood Black. 

 

 

If you're looking for a creative project to wile away a summer day, or if you need an activity for kids or grandkids or such, feel free to have a look at the video I made! There's a mini studio tour at the beginning.  It's a bit choppy, with my crazed efforts at making it shorter so it would load somewhere, etc., but you'll get the steps.  You can adapt this project to materials you have handy, and improvise away, too!

Here's the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVo_d5CqgBs

 

Wishing you a balanced weekend during which you find lots of poetry... you can start over at The Miss Rumphius Effect, where the lovely Tricia has our Roundup this week!  (Program Note - I'll be taking a wee little break for the next couple of Fridays, but see you in July!  And, if you don't get my quarterly(-ish) artsyletters newsletter, I'll be sending one out soon; you can sign up here. )  Thanks, and take good care!

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POETRY MONTH Mini Movies Continue with "We See with These" - a Found Poem

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  I'm enjoying making these "I Pause for Poems" mini poem movies for you!

 

Today it's a FOUND poem -  "We See with These," (©2012 by Robyn Hood Black) from THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK - A BOOK OF FOUND POEMS (Roaring Brook Press, 2012), edited by Georgia Heard and illustrated by Antoine Guilloppé.

 

Where can YOU find a poem today?

 

Click here for the poem.

 

Click here for my YouTube Channel.

 

(Children under 13 must have demonstrated parental consent to leave a comment - Thank you!)

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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 - "Wonder" - a Found Poem by a Young Poet

 

Last week I had the fun privilege of leading a found poem/mixed media workshop here in Beaufort, at Coastal Art Supply (Thanks, Jennifer!).  Among the folks around the table were three mother-daughter pairs.  How fun!

 

One of these included my friend Jill and her amazing teenager, Sierra, also a friend of mine.  I'm delighted that Sierra said I could share her work; she came up with such a lovely piece.  I gave participants a choice of two kinds of mid-century Edu-cards as their inspiration and "substrate" (surface to create on).  They could pick one about shells or one about butterflies, and then I supplied some vintage bookplates and postage stamps for cutting up and collaging, and bits of bling in the form of brass stampings. 

 

Seeing Sierra's creation here, you won't be suprised to learn she's quite creative and is a talented photographer.  What an eye! I love the way her color choices and composition make this found poem come to life, in a silvery, magical way.  

 

The words read:

 

 

           WONDER

 

grace        beauty                perfect

strange     

oriental

But, let's stop and think.  Maybe it is

a builder

for 

ideas

 

©Sierra W.

 

 

"Wonder" as "a builder for ideas" - that is just brilliant!

 

Would you like to see more? Click here for workshop highlights and more examples over at my artsyletters blog.  

 

My Authors Guild site here just migrated to new software Thursday.  I'm still figuring out, but it seems to be pretty smooth.  Migrate yourself on over to My Juicy Little Universe, where the ever-wonderful Heidi is going to help usher in Poetry Month, and this year's Progressive Poem! 

(PS - Once again, Jama is rounding up Kidlit National Poetry Month blog events over at Jama's Alphabet Soup!) 

[Fri. a.m. Note - I'm having a little challenge trying to respond to comments from my end... it's only semi-working, but I've emailed the Cavalry, so they should help me straighten out. Thanks! EVENING UPDATE - Apologies if you had trouble trying to leave comments as well.  The AG Cavalry did come to the rescue, and they got it fixed during the day Friday.]

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Poetry Friday - Look What I Found - the Poems You Left!


Hello from the sunny Southern coast!

It's Spring, you know, though I'm afraid many of you are eyeing snow that has perhaps worn out its welcome this year. So I brought you some azaleas.

Last week I made a found poem celebrating spring from an antique magazine passage about a different kind of spring. In an inspired moment, I asked if anyone else would like to give it a go - with that passage, or another one from the fashion section.

Some of you brave souls answered the call!

I'll re-post both passages here again, so you won't have to click hither and yon and back.

The first describes a "submarine spring" in CASSELL’S FAMILY MAGAZINE, Illustrated, Cassell and Company, Limited – London, Paris & Melbourne, featuring all the monthly issues from 1890. It's an 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.


And look what some of you folks came up with!


Spring
floats


©Brenda Davis Harsham. All rights reserved.

Thanks, Brenda! That one makes my haiku look wordy. (Find a few more words from Brenda here).


Next up, Kay Jernigan McGriff!


water supply forms
inhabitants of hot climate
no rain falls


©Kay Jernigan McGriff

Thanks, Kay - your poem makes me worry about those folks!


Michelle Kogan came up with something entirely different:


spring Island goats
draw from fresh
rainwater.


©Michelle Kogan. All rights reserved.

Thank you, Michelle. I'm certainly happy those goats found something to drink. I love goats!


Linda Mitchell (who has a found poem post today!) and and Matt Forrest Esenwine took the fashion bait and found a poem in the feature, WHAT TO WEAR IN APRIL. First, here's the article excerpt:


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.


From Linda:


Feather bands
Compose a
Bolero Ball


©Linda Mitchell. All rights reserved.

Oh - I want to go to the Bolero Ball, don't you? Thank you, Linda!


And appreciations, Matt, for offering these lovely images and little story in yours:


Spring opens,
edged with character;
summer bridesmaids' flowers,
little bouquets'
raison d’être.


©Matt Forrest Esenwine. All rights reserved.


Isn't it delightful to see the variety that can be mined from the same passages? Many thanks again to these poets for playing along! I'll catch up on Poetry Friday later; today I'm leading a found poem/mixed media workshop downtown. It'll be a full room, and I can't wait to see what folks conjure up!

But you go on over and start enjoying the Roundup at Writing the World for Kids, where the amazing Laura is gathering all the goodness this week.
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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.
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Poetry Friday - Little Bits & Leftovers (Found Poetry Ornaments)


Happy Post-Thankgsgiving!

I hope you and yours had a warm and wonderful holiday together. As some face empty chairs at the table, or empty pockets, and as we often cringe to turn on the news, shared times of celebration are to be especially savored.

As are leftovers! Today I have some little bits to share which don't add calories. In recent years, I've been able to find great little gold frames to use for found poem ornaments for my Etsy shop, but they are elusive. This year I found some silver(ish) photo frames made the same way, but they're a bit rough around the edges. They are lightweight - aluminum? - and they have scritches and scratches, particularly at the tops.

No matter - I had to conjure up a few ornaments with them anyway. Two regular sized ones; two tiny ones, for now. (I finished listing these while traveling, and one listing got swallowed up in some cyber black hole on Etsy. I'll get it posted later Friday after I'm back.[Update - fixed now!])

I used vintage stamps for the images on one side of these, and found poems/phrases clipped from GOLDEN DAYS For Boys and Girls, Vol. XVIII -- No. 6, December 26, 1896, (and one from January 22, 1898) [Philadelphia: James Elverson, Publisher] on the others.

The first is my wish for this season:

kind,
indulgent
Christmas Eve
People
everywhere.


It has a postage stamp with a classic painting of the nativity on the back. I'm not sure of its country of origin.

The second, from an article about making Christmas gifts:

you have made
beauty
perfectly
like
old gold and
scarlet


with a beautiful Australian Christmas nativity stamp on the reverse side, printed in a gorgeous red (on my handpainted verdigris background).

The third, a small one and the one temporarily lost on Etsy, has a Canadian Christmas stamp on the back - a jolly Santa! - and the following:

buried up
drifted
what fun it was
all bundled up



The fourth, also small, is perhaps my favorite. And I do hope you'll forgive/indulge me. The stamp side features a four-cent US postage stamp from 1977 which reads, "A Public That Reads - A Root of Democracy" (backed by the handpainted verdigris).

Here's the found text:

heathenish
Christmas
liberal


For this one, a quote by G K. Chesterton (1874-1936) floated in my mind: "Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly."

I've made lots of new magnets this year with letters and vintage literary stamps (new Emily D!), and I posted a bit of a magnet how-to on my artsyletters site. I also featured that Chesterton quote in my new artsyletters letter newsletter, and there's a sign-up button on the right at artsyletters.com. Seasonal only - I won't have my act together to conjure one up more often than four times a year! ;0) Here are links to my Etsy shop magnet section and ornament section. (Free shipping on orders of $25 & up this Black Friday through Cyber Monday!) ;0)

Whatever shape your own leftovers take - culinary or literary - I hope you have a relaxing and peaceful weekend before the whirlwind of December! Continue the poetic celebrating over at Carol's Corner, where Carol is Rounding Up and sharing Carole Boston Weatherford's SCHOMBURG: THE MAN WHO BUILT A LIBRARY.
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Poetry Friday - The Poems I Swapped this Summer


Thank Goodness it’s Poetry Friday – after quite a week.

I hope you and yours are safe and sound. We made it through Irma’s visit to the Lowcountry, though Monday here was wild and woolly. (Our house is on high ground. Unfortunately, some downtown businesses flooded, and there was so much damage to our local state park beach, Hunting Island, that after just barely opening after Hurricane Matthew’s devastation last October, it’s now closed for the rest of the year because of Irma’s destruction.)

With almost all of our family in Florida and North Georgia, we were glued to The Weather Channel and the cell phones. Evacuation here was not mandatory, and any friends and family we were originally planning to escape to ended up in Irma’s path! Most have power back now, though not all, and we are grateful for no injuries or serious property damage for our folks. Thoughts and prayers for so many who cannot say that this week, and for those in the Caribbean whose lives have been altered beyond recognition, and for those in Texas still reeling from Harvey.

Hurricane Season continues, but the calendar tells me we’re almost to fall. Today I’m sharing peeks of the three Summer Poem Swap poems I sent out. I’ve been so distracted this summer, I don’t think I took any pictures of the last two matted or framed! Pretend they're finished in the pictures. ;0)

For Joy Acey, I made a found poem taken from a wonderful vintage book she had given me a while back for my artistic pillaging, MARVELS OF ANIMAL LIFE by Charles Frederick Holder (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1885).


light givers,

like

moon

ripples of molten silver

appear

to

romancers of the pen in

words



I topped off the text with acrylic washes and a pearlized button, metal heart, pen nib, and watch face with patina – all vintage.

For Tabatha – Founding Mother of and Inspiration for our wonderful Poem Swaps (!) – I found myself wanting to do something with her “Poetry Monster” from a while back, after playing around with some old typewriter levers and feeling like they were some kind of fanciful creatures disguised in metal.

So on an actual 1909 map of Maryland that I clipped from an old atlas, I arranged elements from her blog, making a kind of found poem from a page posted three years ago:


Subscribe To
Wider Thoughts

Tabatha

your

Poetry
Art
Music

give us

life



(I took my ‘signature’name from that page too, from the comments!)

For fun, I arranged my fanciful creature – a magical horse? Dragon? – so that its head would arc right over Tabatha’s home town on the map.

Finally, for Amy , a haiku that came to me as spring began to fold itself into summer, while we were visiting family in Georgia. We happened upon a nest of robins in a hanging basket just outside my in-laws’ back door, about the time the babies were ready to go. Amy was in my heart as I thought of her sending her firstborn off to college.


approaching solstice
fledgling at the edge
of the nest



[Poems ©Robyn Hood Black.]


I matted the poem and sent it along. For an extra gift, in light of all the kitties Amy and her family have adopted and fostered and found homes for, I sent a new gift pack from my Etsy shop – for Cat Lovers! It includes a pack of my yin/yang – cats-on-a-rug note cards, a pewter bookmark with cats carousing from end to end, to which I’ve dangled another pewter cat charm (which is itself dangling a wee little mousie by its tail), and a magnet featuring a vintage cats US postage stamp.

A little poignant for me this week, as our beautiful Lance who photo-bombed my post a couple of weeks ago got some news that none of us wanted from the vet. He is acting okay for now, but he has cancer. He has had a good, long life and we will give him all the TLC and tuna he wants as we enter this bittersweet season with him.

Many thanks again to Tabatha for dreaming up and organizing the Summer (& Winter) Poem Swaps, and to all in this special community. If you missed any of the treasures I received from Joy, Margaret, or Michelle Kogan, just scroll back to recent summer posts!

Our magnificent Michelle Heidenrich Barnes has today’s Roundup at Today’s Little Ditty, and I’m thankful she and others in our Florida Poetry Family made it through the hurricane as well.  Read More 
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Poetry Friday - Mac & Cheese and Too Many Cooks...

No worries - I didn't deface this particular book. Just wanted to show you the found poem with a little help from Photoshop!


Happy, Hot July!


While I typically prefer something cool this time of year, I do love me some hot and bubbly Mac and Cheese. Happy to join the ranks celebrating Macaroni and Cheese Day today! (Our Poetry Friday Rounder-Upper, Terrific Tabatha, ran with the idea, originally served up by Diane. See link at end of post.)


This week as I was pondered poetic options while in the grocery store, I noticed, to my amazement, an entire magazine devoted to Mac & Cheese! A special publication, it seems, getting a new issue for this summer because of past popularity.


I also noticed the vast array of pre-packaged macaroni and cheese dinners, taking up a good swath of aisle. Remember when it was just the little box of Kraft with the neon orange powder? (If you’re my age, I’ll bet you do.)


Macaroni and Cheese is just one of those comfort foods. My hubby loves to cook, and as kids have grown up and out, I am more likely to “fix” now and then than actually cook. But when a family in our church recently juggled some medical challenges, I offered to take over a little meal, and – you guessed it – I made some mac & cheese.

In the picture you’ll see the basic recipe I use, straight from our circa 1980s Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. . I’m not good at precisely following directions; the artist in me improvises all the time. I usually embellish with a few spices, cheddar cheese instead of American, and a healthy sprinkling of Parmesan all across the top.

I thought it would be fun to find a poem in the recipe, and most of the time I challenge myself to keep the words in the order they appear – pretty much making a black-out poem as it were, much like the one I recently sent to Joy for the Poem Swap. (I used a page from a wonderful old book she’d given me a while back. She shared it last week here. )

This week, I do not know WHAT got into me… the heat, maybe?

An innocent, familiar recipe took a surprisingly sinister turn…. Enjoy?! ;0)



Too Many Cooks: Lot’s Wife Misbehaves in the Kitchen


elbow
1 medium
cook.


all at once
till bubbly stir 1 to 2
more.


Turn into
salt.




©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

Please join all the fun with Tabatha today at The Opposite of Indifference, where you’ll find more Mac & Cheesy poems and other poems for every taste. Eat up! (I’ll see you again week after next, as we’ll have our grown kids here for vacation starting today.)  Read More 
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Poetry Friday - A Florida Orange Juice Toast to Lee Bennett Hopkins!


Today’s brief post is a combination of Throwback Thursday (see the pic) and I-Can’t-Wait-Til-Next-Thursday (read on for that!).

The “throwback” part is that nearly 10 years ago (gulp!), I finally got to meet Lee Bennett Hopkins in person, at the SCBWI Conference in LA, where I had gone to take his Poetry Master Class. He hasn’t changed a bit – I’ve seen pictures and Renée’s NCTE Poet Award interviews - while I’m edging my way along the road from Long-ago Maiden toward Crone. (And that’s fine with me – I don’t worry what anybody thinks of me these days, and more creative time DOES open up after years in the carpool lines.) ;0)

The “can’t wait” part is that next week, I’m driving a wee bit down the coast and taking a right turn past the Florida line toward Gainesville, to go watch Lee be inducted into the Florida Arts Hall of Fame. I was honored, along with many others including some fellow Poetry Friday-ers, to write a nominating letter on his behalf and to include accolades from several Star-Power poets and others supporting Lee’s recognition. [Hats off to poet friends Stephanie Salkin and Jude Mandell, who guided us through the process. ]

Lee’s receiving this honor is especially meaningful to me, because I grew up in Florida. My folks are still there, and I have family members tucked in among the orange trees all around Central Florida from Orlando to the Gulf coast. I always carry a bit of The Sunshine State with me, and visit when I can. The Hall of Fame recognition is the highest honor given by the state to artists in a variety of fields, and the list of recipients includes Ray Charles, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway, among others.

THREE CHEERS to Lee on this wonderful honor, which will have good company with all the red-carpet-worthy awards he’s won over the years. I’ve been blessed to know Lee as someone whose work I’ve admired beyond words, and who, as a mentor & editor, has pushed me into writing stronger poetry. Next week I’ll be a fan, a friend, and something akin to a fellow-Floridian, cheering from his corner.

In Georgia Heard’s THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK, A Book of FOUND POEMS (Roaring Brook), my own poetry first shared pages with poems by some of my poetic heroes. Here is the beginning of Lee’s poem, “First Wins” (from selected words in a SPRINT newspaper advertisement):

FIRST leads.

FIRST moves us forward.

FIRST kicks open the door.

FIRST takes us places
            we’ve never been
            before. …


©2012 by Lee Bennett Hopkins.


I think we could say,

LEE leads.

LEE moves us forward.

LEE kicks open the door.

LEE takes us places
            we’ve never been
            before. …
!


And, I'm grateful.

[I’ll be on the road back home next Poetry Friday, so you can enjoy this post for two weeks. ;0) ]

For today’s inspiring Roundup, please visit poet and librarian extraordinaire Jone at Check It Out.
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