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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Some Great Haiku, the Red Moon Anthology, and Seaside Workshop


Greetings, Poetry Friends.

When I first began exploring haiku years ago, I got my hands on a Red Moon Anthology, among other things. Founded by Jim Kacian and now in its 25th year, Red Moon Press publishes a yearly anthology of the best English-language haiku from around the world, in addition to publishing collections by individual poets, critical works, haiku-related novels and smaller anthologies.

If Jim's name rings a bell from this blog or your other haiku journeys, he also founded The Haiku Foundation (with its extensive resources, poet directory, and teacher-friendly articles ) and compiled the comprehensive Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years, published by W. W. Norton & Company.

But back to the Red Moon Anthology. I was thrilled to receive notice that my haiku

wedding invitations
the press and release
of the nib


would be included in the 2016 anthology - the 21st! - which just rolled off the presses. (This poem recently appeared in FROGPOND as third-place honorable mention in the Harold G.Henderson Memorial Haiku Award contest.)

The new Red Moon volume, dust devils, features 173 poems, eight linked forms, and five critical pieces. I ordered a couple of copies and received them this week.

Upon perusing, I ran across several names of poets who will be attending and/or helping to lead our upcoming Earth Day weekend Haiku Society of America meeting and workshop on the Georgia Coast in a couple of months. I asked for permission to feature their anthology poems here today, and they all kindly agreed.



stack of books
the Russian novel
cold to the touch



©Stanford M. Forrester. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared on OTATA blog, 2.

(This poem appears in Forrester's new hand-printed, hand-bound chapbook, matcha.)



happy hour
everyone's glass
half-full



©Michael Henry Lee. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared in MODERN HAIKU, 47:1.




lunar eclipse
I lose some sleep
over it



©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.
Also originally appeared in MODERN HAIKU, 47:1.



Also, though he is unable to attend our workshop in person, Robert Epstein will answer a few questions about two new animal rights haiku books he has just published and I'll share those with the group l. Here is his poem in dust devils:



Father's Day
I give myself
a good talking to



©Robert Epstein. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared in MARIPOSA, 25.




Finally, I asked Jim Kacian if I could feature one of his poems from dust devils. (In case you're wondering, the anthology is the product of the work of 11 editors, with strict requirements for voting and poem inclusion.)



traveling alone -
the darkness around
each star



©Jim Kacian. All rights reserved.
(This poem was an award-winner in a contest sponsored by the Italian Haiku Association.)



My sincere thanks to these poets for allowing me to share their work. (And if I missed anyone attending in April, my apologies -- let me know so I can add your poem.)

Want to know more about the April meeting and workshop? Here's my latest blurb for HSA, with a bonus haiku from Tom at the end:


BYOB –

That’s Bring your own BINOCULARS!

What better way to celebrate Earth Day in a couple of months than with an HSA meeting and workshop at St. Simon’s Island on the sunny (fingers crossed!) coast of Georgia?

“Honoring the Earth,” Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23, 2017, will offer opportunities to explore what it means to be human, living with and among the rest of the natural world. We’ll hear from David G. Lanoue, Tom Painting, Laurence Stacey, and Fay Aoyagi, and also enjoy a reading by Stanford M. Forrester. I’ll share a couple of new books by Robert Epstein. And, several talented poets in our region will be on hand to participate and serve up some famous Southern hospitality.

Why the binoculars? In addition to a session on bird haiku, Tom will lead us on a birdwatching ginko (a haiku walk)! The area is a magnet for avid birders.

Whether you are a well-seasoned poet or want to learn more about haiku, working on your “life list” or can’t tell a titmouse from a turkey vulture, you are welcome to join us. Details and cost information can be found on the HSA SE regional page,
http://www.hsa-haiku.org/regions/Southeast.htm

Two updates –

1. Meal times (of interest to commuters if you are planning day trips) are:

Breakfast 7am-9am
Lunch 11:45am-1pm
Supper 5:30pm-7pm

2. If Epworth by the Sea has enough available rooms, I can be a little flexible with the March 5 date for receiving final payment. I will have to provide a final count to the staff there a couple of weeks after that, however, INCLUDING any meals for commuters. Feel free to email me with any questions.

Here’s a hint of spring to whet your appetite, kindly shared by Tom:

spring plowing
a flock of blackbirds
turns inside out



©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.
Frogpond XXV:2



Maybe all this haiku will help get you through the six more weeks of winter promised by Punxsutawney Phil. Along with all the offerings for Poetry Friday, of course, rounded up for us this week by another famous "P" - our own Penny at A Penny and Her JotsRead More 
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Poetry Friday - DNA Diversity Discoveries


As Christmas gifts, my husband and I bought Ancestry.com DNA testing kits for our kids, our new son-in-law, and ourselves, with the promise of a future trip to some ancestral turf. We spit in vials over Thanksgiving weekend, and I shipped them all off together. Before Christmas, results called from our inboxes.

We’ll be headed to Great Britain it seems, as that’s our main stock –Scotland primarily with the family trees I’ve found on my side (which pleases my Outlander fan daughter). There are some Irish roots among us, too (who knew my hubby was almost a quarter Irish?), and some Western Europe, Finland/Northwest Russia, Scandinavia, Italy/Greece, Iberian Peninsula and European Jew.

While most of their tests came back 100 percent European, mine was 98 percent. The other two percent? Middle East (1 percent) and Senegal (1 percent). Knock me over with a feather. Because of family stories, I was expecting some Native American in there somewhere, but apparently not.

I’m thrilled to possess some drops of diversity in my personal genetic cocktail. This knowledge led to much immediate consideration, and questions. As a white woman who has never borne the burden of racial discrimination, I wondered about distant ancestors… Senegal was a notorious gateway for the slave trade from the 16th through 19th centuries.

We now live in a small Southern seacoast town brimming with history. The first European settlement in the country, though it didn’t last, was on Parris Island. Downtown Beaufort boasts many antebellum homes, still standing because when the Union showed up in 1861, landowners simply fled.

Just across the bridge to the Sea Islands, you can still explore Gullah culture in food, art, and at The Penn Center , a treasure of African American history. Founded in 1862 as a school for freed slaves, the site was also used as a meeting and retreat center by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

While visiting the small museum there with a friend a year or so ago, we wondered about an object on display. I thought initially it was something used with livestock. She figured it out before I did - shackles. I’d never seen them in person before.

It was chilling.

On that day, I felt sad and sobered, but not personally connected to that history. I never had to live it. But now I wonder if, perhaps, an ancestor long ago did.


DNA results
how song carries
over water



In President Obama’s moving farewell address this week, he said, “Regardless of the station we occupy, we all have to try harder.”

He also said, “I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans who are just as patriotic as we are.”


one percent
still a thousand drops
of blood


poems ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


Recently I visited with a brave and thoughtful family member, and the subject of a ban on Muslims, proposed by the incoming President during his campaign, surfaced.

“If there’s a ban on Muslims,” he said with a wry smile, “we’ll all register as Muslims.”

Amen.

Big thanks to the wonderful Keri rounding up Poetry Friday this week at Keri Recommends. Enjoy the offerings!
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Poetry Friday - Haiku Taking Flight...



Happy New Year!

I'm still getting my sea legs back after travel up in the hills to see family for the holidays, and after the little retail rush of December in my shop. I hope you and yours had a lovely holiday.

For haiku fans, I've just updated information on the Haiku Society of America meeting/workshop Earth Day weekend I'm coordinating in April on the coast of Georgia. Here's a link to that recent post below (or you can find it on the SE Regional page at the HSA website). A registration form is available on my Haiku page, at the top left.

Since we're going on a birdwatching Ginko (a haiku walk) that weekend, here are a few more of my own bird haiku that seem to work for this time of year; both light and dark and in-between, as I am feeling all of the above right about now:


new year
the twitter of a hundred robins
in the oak


Modern Haiku, Volume 45.1, Winter/​Spring 2014


gathering dusk
the unanswered call
of a dove


Frogpond Volume 35:3, Autumn 2012


winter chill
turkey vultures circling
one of their own


The Heron's Nest, June 2012

Poems ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


[Pssst.... A little bird has told me a Poetry Friday-er or two might attend the St. Simon's weekend!]

Our beautiful Linda, no stranger to writing haiku, has this week's Roundup at TeacherDance (with a Japanese proverb and intriguing picture of birds at the top of the page, I might add!)

Here's wishing you a 2017 full of poetry, and light....
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"Honoring the Earth" Haiku Society of America Earth Day Meeting and Workshop Weekend


Happy New Year!

Here's an updated schedule/info for the upcoming Haiku Society of America Meeting/Workshop we're hosting on the coast of Georgia Earth Day weekend.
Can't wait!

HONORING THE EARTH – HSA Meeting and Earth Day Celebration

Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23, 2017

Epworth by the Sea (a Methodist Conference Center – meals included from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch.)
St. Simon’s Island, Georgia

TENTATIVE Schedule (subject to fine-tuning!)

Friday – Check-in/Welcome at Epworth by the Sea begins at 4 p.m.

Evening:
Dinner
Welcome by HSA SE Regional Coordinator Robyn Hood Black, introductions
Greetings from Paula Moore and the Coquina Circle.
Robyn will kick off our Earth Day theme with a brief look at Robert Epstein’s new animal rights collection and anthology.
Modified Kukai/contest introduction by Dennis Gobou.

Those so inclined might visit a local watering hole on the island for continued socialization.

Saturday
Morning
Breakfast
Welcome, Announcements, Introductions
Nod to the Book Sales Table with special guest Stanford M. Forrester of bottle rockets press, reading from his new mini-chapbook, “matcha” (printed and bound by hand).

Wear your walking shoes – workshop and a birding ginko with Tom Painting!
Bird is the Word – Tom Painting

“We will explore the magic of birds in memory, imagination and the here-and now,” says Tom. “Participants will call upon some the many fine haiku written in English about birds to act as models and inspiration. A discussion of how birds are linked to seasonal awareness will further enhance our understanding.

“With spring migration at its peak, participants will be invited to go on a bird-walk. We will identify birds in a wide range of breeding plumages and especially through their vocalizations, which make every species that much more unique.

BYOB – Bring Your Own Binoculars. (Tom will have a few extra pairs.)
ALSO, Tom would like everyone to bring a bird haiku (written by someone else).

Lunch
Afternoon
HSA Business Meeting – HSA President Fay Aoyagi

Imaginary Creatures in Haiku – We’ll follow Fay Aoyagi straight from the business world into a fanciful one.

Write Like Issa Workshop– HSA Past President David G. Lanoue
David will lead us in the ninth workshop in this series. He says: “Explore Issa's poetic style to see what he has to teach us about writing haiku in 2017.”

Late afternoon break – Enjoy the natural surroundings, polish those haiku drafts, or finish a conversation with a new friend over a cup of tea.

Dinner

Evening
Finish Kukai voting. More socialization – informal visiting at the conference center or carpooling to a local spot for grown-up beverages.

Sunday
Morning
Breakfast (Eat your Wheaties – Some high-level thinking ahead….)

Issa and Being Human: a discussion – David G. Lanoue
Based on examples from Issa, a sharing of ideas about what it means to be human on this planet.

Sidewalk Daisies: Haiku in the Context of Social Ecology (tentative title) – Laurence Stacey
A discussion of contemporary haiku poetry within the context of Social Ecology. This lecture will examine the ways that haiku allows us to enter ecological "contact zones."

Q&A
Kukai Results & Prize
Lunch

Farewell!

COST:

Lodging and meals (2 nights + 6 meals) plus $50 contribution to slightly offset speaker travel and cover coffee/snack breaks:

Single Occupancy: $372 total per person for weekend
Double Occupancy: $272 total per person for weekend

Day Rate/Commuters – Please see options on registration form.
TO REGISTER, please print off the form linked at the top left of the HAIKU page of my website and mail with payment.

TO RESERVE A SPOT: Please send a $40 non-refundable per-person deposit, made out to Robyn, as soon as possible:

Robyn Hood Black
PO Box 1022
Beaufort, SC 29901

Balance will be due (to Robyn) March 5.

Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis as long as the conference center can accommodate our numbers.

Epworth's cancellation policies:
Any individual cancellation after March 24 will result in a forfeiture of $40 per person. Any individual cancellation within 72 hours of arrival will result in forfeiture of entire per-person charge.
[Please note: alcohol and pets are not allowed on the premises.]

TRAVEL NOTES: Delta flies into the Brunswick airport and local volunteers will attempt help with pick-up from there to the meeting depending on schedules. (PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHECK INTO THIS OPTION - advance notice required!) The closest large airport is in Jacksonville, FL, which is a bit over an hour away, and attendees will need to make their own arrangements from there to St. Simon's.

Birds of a haiku feather flock together!

Questions? Feel free to contact Robyn, HSA SE Regional Coordinator.
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Poetry Friday - New Animal Rights Haiku Anthology


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

If you’re an animal lover too, this post is for you.

Hot off the Middle Island Press press is an anthology of animal rights haiku called Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog: Animal Rights Haiku by Robert Epstein (author and editor) and Miriam Wald (editor). The book features poems from contributors across the globe.

Actually, the volume is so new I don’t even have my own copy yet! I’ve just ordered one.

Here are the poems of mine that were accepted for the book:


Thanksgiving
plenty of room
for dessert



cruelty free
eye shadow weightless
on each lid



closet floor
the balance of
man-made materials



following me
eyes of the ones
I didn’t stop for



spring dusk each crooning frog sentient



Poems ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


I’m honored to have this work included. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 29 years now, and have tried in that time, sometimes imperfectly, to make cruelty-free choices as much as possible. I’m happy there are far more options in the marketplace these days for makeup, toiletries and household products that don’t test on animals than there were back in the day when I lived near Raleigh, NC, and first became aware of all these issues (even hearing animal rights author and pioneer Tom Regan speak at some meetings).

My “advice” to folks interested in a more humane approach to life continues to be: start where you are. If you are conflicted about gray areas (vaccinating children or obtaining medical care that is somehow tied to animal testing), well, most people are. But there are many daily choices which should be black and white.

Our own children received recommended vaccines growing up. But if my choice for laundry detergent is between a brand from a company which essentially forces bleach into the eyes of rabbits and causes suffering and senseless animal deaths, or a product from a company which makes safe, effective, and far more humane and eco-friendly options, I’m happy to pay a wee bit extra for the latter. (I always read labels!)

In the new year, I’ll be welcoming Robert Epstein to the blog to discuss this anthology as well as a recently-published collection of his own poems on this theme, Turkey Heaven. Robert is a San Francisco Bay Area licensed psychotherapist in addition to being a haiku poet and anthologist. He’s been a vegan since 1975.

Our upcoming interview will do double-duty, as I plan to share these two new books with attendees at our upcoming Haiku Society of America-Southeast Region meeting and workshop Earth Day weekend on the Georgia coast. (That informational post is two weeks back; for some reason it's not linking correctly.)

For more great poetry this week, strut, plod, swim, or hop over to The Opposite of Indifference where the amazing Tabatha has our Roundup, probably being supervised by her pets.
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Poetry Friday - Heads Up: Earth Day Weekend Haiku Meeting and Workshop - by the Sea!



Greetings, Friends!

Before my actual post, I'd like to convey fervent thoughts and prayers for those here in the Southeast who have suffered unspeakable losses because of the recent fires and tornadoes. I was born in Knoxville, and though I only lived there as a baby, my childhood was laced up with treasured family excursions to Gatlinburg ("the Burg" as my grandmother would call it), and Pigeon Forge, and the greater area. We took our own kids there for family vacation time and a birthday weekend or two. The Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation has a donation button at Gatlingburg.com to benefit those affected by the fires.

In more cheerful news, I know it's not even officially winter yet, but if you have fallen under the spell of haiku, I invite you to think about spring... . Specifically, April 21-23, when I'll be coordinating a Haiku Society of America meeting and Earth Day celebration weekend here in the Southeast Region.

Here, it will be easiest just to share all the details I have so far:


HONORING THE EARTH – HSA Meeting and Earth Day Celebration

Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23, 2017
Epworth by the Sea (a Methodist Conference Center – meals included from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch.)
St. Simon’s Island, Georgia

TENTATIVE Schedule (subject to fine-tuning!)

Friday – Check-in at Epworth by the Sea begins at 4 p.m.
Evening:
Dinner
Welcome by HSA SE Regional Coordinator Robyn Hood Black, introductions, mingling. Robyn will kick off our Earth Day theme with a brief look at Robert Epstein’s new animal rights collection and anthology. Kukai/contest introduction by Dennis Gobou.

Those so inclined might visit a local watering hole on the island for continued socialization.

Saturday
Morning
Breakfast

Pack your walking shoes – workshop and a birding ginko with Tom Painting!

Bird is the Word – Tom Painting

“We will explore the magic of birds in memory, imagination and the here-and now,” says Tom. “Participants will call upon some the many fine haiku written in English about birds to act as models and inspiration. A discussion of how birds are linked to seasonal awareness will further enhance our understanding.

“With spring migration at its peak, participants will be invited to go on a bird-walk. We will identify birds in a wide range of breeding plumages and especially through their vocalizations, which make every species that much more unique.
Those interested in the walk should bring binoculars. I will have a number of pairs to lend out for those not owning them.”

ALSO, Tom would like everyone to bring a bird haiku (written by someone else).

Afternoon
Lunch

HSA Business Meeting– HSA President Fay Aoyagi

Imaginary Creatures in Haiku – We’ll follow Fay Aoyagi straight from the business world into a fanciful one.

Write Like Issa Workshop– HSA Past President David G. Lanoue
David will lead us in the ninth workshop in this series. He says: “Explore Issa's poetic style to see what he has to teach us about writing haiku in 2017.”

Late afternoon break – Enjoy the natural surroundings, polish those haiku drafts, or finish a conversation with a new friend over a cup of tea.

Evening
Dinner
More socialization – informal visiting at the conference center or carpooling to a local spot for grown-up beverages.


Morning
Breakfast (Eat your Wheaties – Some high-level thinking ahead….)

Issa and Being Human: a Discussion– David G. Lanoue
Based on examples from Issa, a sharing of ideas about what it means to be human on this planet. Here's a question from David to ponder: "What does it mean to be alive, and how can haiku help answer this question?"

Sidewalk Daisies: Haiku in the Context of Social Ecology (tentative title) – Laurence Stacey

A discussion of contemporary haiku poetry within the context of Social Ecology. This lecture will examine the ways that haiku allows us to enter ecological "contact zones."

Q&A

Kukai Results
Lunch
Farewell!

COST:
Lodging and meals (2 nights + 6 meals) plus $50 contribution to slightly offset speaker travel and cover coffee/snack breaks:

Single Occupancy: $372 total per person for weekend

Double Occupancy: $272 total per person for weekend (Please let me know name of person you’ll be sharing a room with.)

Contact me if you will be coming during the day only; I'll need to collect money in advance for meals, workshop contribution, and a small Epworth fee.

TO RESERVE A SPOT: Please send a $40 non-refundable per-person deposit, made out to Robyn, as soon as possible:

Robyn Hood Black
PO Box 1022
Beaufort, SC 29901

Balance will be due (to Robyn) in early March. (After the holidays, I’ll make a registration form available for balance/full payment and to collect dietary needs info, etc. I can email or post on the haiku page of my author website for download.)

Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis as long as the conference center can accommodate our numbers.

Epworth's cancellation policies:
Any individual cancellation after March 24 will result in a forfeiture of $20 per person. Any individual cancellation within 72 hours of arrival will result in forfeiture of entire per-person charge.

Birds of a haiku feather flock together!

********

I didn't realize until I went looking that a large percentage of my own published haiku are about birds! Here's one to leave you with:


lingering afternoon
the ebb and flow
of birdsong


©Robyn Hood Black
This World - Haiku Society of America 2013 Members' Anthology


Now, be sure to fly on over to Wee Words for Wee Ones, where our generous and lovely Bridget has this week's Roundup, and some thoughtful comments about "community." Makes me thankful to be a part of this one!
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Poetry Friday - Teaching Poetry!

Happy Poetry Friday!

Many of you are at NCTE in Atlanta - what a wonderful weekend of poetry is planned in many of those sessions! Do report back.

I'm on the road too, just slightly north of that, in the North Georgia mountains. On Friday, I'll be helping daughter Morgan lead a small group of young poets (2nd and 3rd grade) at her school. We'll be playing with found poems, and I can't wait to see what they come up with.

I love sharing any kind of poetry with students. This week over at The Haiku Foundation, I'm honored to have a guest post about teaching haiku to Morgan's third graders last spring in Greenville, SC. Click here for that.

If you've been watching the news, you know the Southern mountains have been plagued with wildfires in recent weeks. Our youngest, a college senior near the Georgia-North Carolina border, started sending us pictures of smoke and haze a couple of weeks ago. (We plan to see him too this weekend, as he's on his college's homecoming court!) And though I wouldn't relish driving in rain, I do hope they get rain, and soon.

I'll close today with a recent haiku of mine, written when afternoon showers prevailed here on the Lowcountry coast:



summer storm
pavement steam rises
to meet rain



©Robyn Hood Black
Acorn, No. 37, Fall 2016


Whether you're hanging out with other poetry-loving teachers or savoring Poetry Friday in some quiet corner, thanks for coming by, and be sure to follow the trail at Friendly Fairy Tales, where Beautiful Brenda has our Roundup this week.  Read More 

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Poetry Friday - Howdy from Poetry Camp, and Haiku News!


Happy Poetry Friday!

I'm posting from Bellingham, Washington, where many of us are gathering for Poetry Camp at Western Washington University this weekend. Can't wait to catch up with poetry friends, and meet many others whose work I've admired for years. Friday night I'm leading a Found Poem Mixed Media Makerspace activity at the three-stories-of-awesome Village Books. On Saturday, I get to co-lead a workshop on picture books with Julie Larios!

As if this weren't enough poetry good news, I received news at the start of the week that one of my poems was awarded "third honorable mention" in the Haiku Society of America's 2016 Henderson Haiku Contest. Pinch me! I've posted as a picture above, but please click over to read the winning haiku and always insightful judges' comments. (This year's judges were Cor van den Heuvel and Scott Mason, so I'm beyond honored to have received an honorable mention.) My poem was:

wedding invitations
the press and release
of the nib


©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

I'm also delighted to share links to award-winning haiku by names you'll recognize from my blog as shining haiku stars who happen to live in our Southeast region. Tom Painting took FIRST place in the 2016 Brady Senryu Contest, and Terri L. French was awarded second place in the
2016 HSA Haibun Award Contest. Congratulations, Friends!

The wonderful Karen Edmisten has the Poetry Friday Roundup today - Enjoy!
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Poetry Friday: Daily Issa and Creatures Great and Small

I don’t know about you, but to counteract the weight of the daily news, I could use a daily dose of Issa!
[Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) is regarded as one of the primary masters of haiku. He endured much hardship and loss, and his heartfelt poetry is known for its sensitivity to all living things.]

Wait -- Now I have a daily dose of Issa!

For years, Issa scholar and past-president of the Haiku Society of America David G. Lanoue has offered a random Issa poem delivered to your inbox or your Twitter account (or both!) . [Here’s a post about Dr. Lanoue (David) from my blog a couple-few years ago. A professor at Xavier University, he has translated upwards of 10,000 of Issa’s poems.]

His Issa website was launched in 2000. Click here to get to know Issa and sign up for daily poems. After my own unsuccessful attempt a while back to receive this daily treasure (operator error, I’m certain – it’s really quite easy), I finally got myself subscribed and love reading an Issa poem each day.

Thursday’s made me smile:


at an honest man's gate
honeybees
make their home


1824, translated by David G. Lanoue.


It reminded me of our summer guest I blogged about before – the golden silk orb weaver who took up just outside the back door and is still with us. She’s apparently going to go for a third brood?

Issa wrote about spiders, too. And lots of animals. Lanoue’s book, Issa and the Meaning of Animals – A Buddhist Poet’s Perspective (2014), offers accessible insights about this special poet and many of his haiku – a must if you are an Issa fan, a double-must if you are an animal-loving Issa fan.

Here’s one I love:


corner spider
rest easy, my soot-broom
is idle


Translated by David G. Lanoue.


And one more – this goes out to my newlywed teacher-daughter Morgan. They have seen deer a few times in their in-town neighborhood in Georgia this week; a buck, twice!


the young buck’s
antlers tilting…
“cuckoo!”


Translated by David G. Lanoue.


The book provides background and unlocks potential meanings for the poems, which give us beautiful imagery with or without explication. Hope you enjoyed this taste!

Are you a teacher? Click here and here for David’s website pages designed just for you. You can “test” your haiku/Issa knowledge with the first link, and find out about how to share Issa’s life and poetry with kids at the second.

Also, if picture poetry books call your name, you might enjoy sharing Matthew Gollub’s Cool Melons – Turn to Frogs! – The Life and Poems of Issa, illustrated by Kazuko G. Stone (Lee & Low, 1998, 2004). This colorful paperback combines some biography and sample poems to offer glimpses into Issa’s life and writing.

That's what’s going on in my universe this week. For the Poetry Friday Roundup and lots more poetic goodness, please visit poet and teacher extraordinaire Heidi over at My Juicy Little Universe.  Read More 

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Poetry Friday - Memorial Day



We live in a military town. In fact, when you drive into Beaufort and pass the Marine Corps Air Station on your left, you'll see a billboard which says, 'The "Noise" You Hear Is The Sound Of Freedom.'

I think of that phrase when I hear the familiar roar overhead, more roars than ever since The U.S. Marine Corps opened the doors of the first dedicated F-35B Pilot Training Center here a couple of years ago, training the next generation of pilots flying the F-35 Lightning II. I remember when we first moved here, we went downtown to help welcome those new military personnel, and as usual, there was music and and lots of giddy kids running around the Waterfront Park lawn and warm speeches by local dignitaries. And fireworks. This town loves fireworks. It was fun to see such support, from both sides of the political aisle I'm certain, coming together to honor our men and women in uniform and their young families.

I really have gotten used to the sound of jets darting across the sky, almost like they are resident birds! Loud birds.

We have neighbors who are pilots, male and female, and there is certainly something about putting faces with the sounds of those jets, and with stories on the news from across the world, that makes the dedication of our service personnel more real and personal to me. I wish them safety, pray for their safe returns from deployments, and appreciate that they put themselves in harm's way to serve our country. They are very fine folks who take their work seriously, and we miss them when they are away.

This weekend, of course, we honor those men and women who have given their very lives in such service. Words fail, but we hold their families in thoughts and prayers.



Memorial Day
a flag flutters above
its shadow



©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

Frogpond, Volume 36:1, Winter 2013


Many thanks to all who serve or have served, and to those who support them.

Please join the super-talented Julie Larios today for this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at The Drift Record.
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