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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Blue Worlds by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

 

Greetings from the Georgia foothills, Poetry Lovers!  As I write this on Thursday, we are 300+ miles from our little coastal home and pondering the best time to head back, watching Florence updates.  Our prayers are with all in the path of this and other storms.

 

Poetry is always good medicine in times of stress.  Today I am grateful to Rebecca Kai Dotlich for allowing me to share her beautiful poem from the new anthology by Lee Bennett Hopkins, WORLD MAKE WAY - New Poems Inspired by Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Poetry Friday regulars have no doubt enjoyed peeks into this gorgeous collection, published by Abrams Books for Young Readers in partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You'll see some familiar Poetry Friday names among contributors, too! (Click here for a wonderful interview with Lee by NPR's Scott Simon, which aired on March 31.) 

 

Rebecca wrote in response to Mary Cassatt's Young Mother Sewing (Oil on canvas, 1900).

 

 

Blue Worlds

 

I grow up in a world the color of water.

Sometimes when breezes blow just right,

when sun puddles in blue folds,

mama talks of blue things, wild things;

sea glass and butterflies,

peacocks and poppies.

 

While clocks keep perfect time

ships sail on seas yet named,

and birds sing odes to skyight.

Cornflowers turn to tufted stars

while mama threads light rain,

stitching my name

into air.

 

©Rebecca Kai Dotlich.  All rights reserved.

 

In my corner of the country, as folks react and respond to the power of water unleashed by a storm, I'm comforted by Rebecca's poem.  Its water imagery opens doors to wonder and connection, and to this exquisite painting of a tender bond between mother and child.

 

And, an aside about 'voice': When I first read, excerpted in Lee Bennett Hopkins's foreword, "cornflowers turn to tufted stars," I did not need to see who had written it - I knew that lyrical line must have come from Rebecca's pen. *Swoon*....

 

To learn more about Rebecca and her work, click here, and click here for the website of Lee Bennett Hopkins.

 

For the Poetry Friday Roundup, find some high ground and inspiration at The Poem Farm this week with Amy, who just happens to be one of the poets whose work graces the pages of WORLD MAKE WAY!

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Poetry Friday - Scotland & Timely Verse by Gerard Manley Hopkins

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  We've been blessed with company since returning from our trip to Scotland and Ireland, and I've just taken up a wee space at a gift shop downtown for some of my artsyetters offerings, so I am still playing catch-up with everything else!

 

But I wanted to share a few lines from our dear old friend, Gerard Manley Hopkins.  He went to Scotland in 1881, and upon visiting Loch Lomond, wrote "Inversnaid."  Here's a link to the entire poem, and here are the lines pictured above:

 

 What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

 

 

These words and other literary quotes on the outside walls of The Scottish Parliament were just some of the diversions which slowed my progress down The Royal Mile as we walked to Holyrood Palace.

 

We would all go back to Edinburgh in a heartbeat, and I have a feeling we will!  After all, among its many attributes and siren calls, it's The World's First UNESCO City of Literature!  (More on that here.) 

 

The beautiful Hopkins verses seem so poignant and relevant here across the Pond this week, with the potential for heartbreaking environmental losses with attacks on The Endangered Species Act, and, pretty much everything else offering thoughtful stewardship of animals and plants and places we can never replace. Sigh.

 

Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet!

 

For this week's Roundup, Catherine at Reading to the Core is celebrating GREAT MORNING, the brand-newest Pomelo Books poetry book!  (I'm thrilled to have a poem included.)  Catherine shares her own inspired and inspiring poem in the collection, "Walking for a Cause."

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Poetry Friday - Irene, Emily D., and a Bee… and Book Winner!



Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy November!

The end of October always brings a special week my way – and, most years, the most mentally and physically demanding week, but always wonderful. For several years I've had the good fortune to participate in Cobb EMC/Gas South Literacy Week in a couple of counties just north of Atlanta. These energy companies which fuel homes and bring light to read by brighten the lives of school children through sponsoring author visits, with a dozen or so visiting and local authors fanning out into dozens of schools. This year, I believe the tally was something like 44 schools and 24,000 kids! (I saw close to a tenth of those in my visits.)

I try to keep my presentations lively and interactive and multi-genre-friendly, and I always infuse them with poetry (my own and poems by others). This year I was happy to take along the hot-off-the-press POEMS ARE TEACHERS by our own Amy Ludwig VanDerwater (yep – our giveaway winner is announced at the end of today’s post! Click here for my celebratory post of two weeks ago. )

I remember a radio commercial from when I was growing up in Orlando, with a couple of country-fied male characters arguing at a car dealership. The gist and the hook was, “You can’t put two tons of fertilizer in a one-ton truck!” [I can still “hear” that phrase!] Of course, with school visits and life in general, that never stops me from trying.

I didn’t have time to share everything I’d brought with every group, but a couple of times I was able to share Irene Latham’s beautiful poem from POEMS ARE TEACHERS. (She recently shared it with an image of the Van Gogh painting that inspired it here .)


A Dream of Wheat

After Green Wheat Fields, Auvers
by Vincent Van Gogh



From a plain
packet of seeds

comes sun –
sweetened stalks

seasoned by wind
and rain –

birds diving
mice hiding

grasshoppers singing
mice weaving

in a sea of wheat
that will someday

become bread
to eat.



©Irene Latham. All rights reserved. Posted and shared with permission.


I paired Irene’s poem with this favorite from Emily Dickinson (1830-1886):


To make a prairie (1755)


To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.


Complete Poems. 1924.


I hope the kids enjoyed exploring how imagination can populate a field, or conjure up a whole prairie. And perhaps they learned a new word, if they didn’t know it already – “revery.” (Reverie – such a lovely word and state of mind!) Many thanks to Irene for sharing her poem today, and to Emily, and to bees.

In this season of harvest, I hope your own fields are golden with poems.

Now, drumroll please –

The randomly drawn winner of POEMS ARE TEACHERS, kindly offered by Heinemann, is…..

KIESHA SHEPARD! (Kiesha, email me your snail-mail address to robyn@robynhoodblack.com, and I’ll get it into the right hands at the publisher.) :0)
Enjoy!

For a whole bounty of poetic inspirations, visit Teacher Dance where our lovely and thoughtful Linda B. has the Roundup this week.  Read More 
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Poetry Friday - Our Earth Day Haiku Weekend Recap!

“HONORING THE EARTH” – that was the theme of our Haiku Society of America Southeast Region’s meeting and workshop last weekend, over Earth Day. Eighteen of us from eight states gathered under the Spanish moss and ocean breezes at Epworth by the Sea, a Methodist conference center in St. Simons Island, Georgia. Epworth is home to natural beauty and a staff beyond compare.

Not sure how we managed it, but the weather was perfect. As regional coordinator and facilitator of this shind-dig, I was thrilled that even things out of my control went pretty smoothly, including travel Friday from New Orleans for speaker David G. Lanoue - poet, professor, Issa scholar, past president of the Haiku society of America, and author of several books You’ve met him here, when I recapped a terrific meeting put on by my predecessor, Terri L. French. Be sure to check out David’s multi-layered Haiku Guy website, where, like our lovely Linda Baie, you can learn how to sign up for Daily Issa poems!

Friday evening we got acquainted over dinner and later enjoyed readings by the “Coquina Circle,” a handful of haiku enthusiasts in the northern Florida/southern Georgia area. Paula Moore had a few poems by each member printed up on a gorgeous broadside and gave one to each attendee. (Thank you, Paula!)

I shared Robert Epstein’s new animal rights haiku books , and just before wrapping up, our other two speakers appeared at the door – Tom Painting and Stanford M. Forrester. Both are award-winning haiku poets; Tom and his students have been “regulars” here, and you might recall a brief blog wave to Stanford, a past president of the Haiku Society of America and founder and publisher of bottle rockets press.

The two travelers had driven from Atlanta, after Stanford’s flight from Connecticut was delayed. Stanford was not too weary to share his latest work – a wonderful, hand-printed, hand-bound mini chapbook titled “matcha.”

On Saturday, we added a commuting attendee to our ranks – our own Michelle Heidenrich Barnes! I loved having another Poetry Friday-er in the room. Tom led a workshop about bird haiku, and facilitated a writing exercise that was rich and inspiring. Then we grabbed binoculars and followed him outside. The birds were beginning to quiet down for the middle of the day, but we still encountered several, including an osprey and her chick on their nest at the top of a pole. Over the course of the weekend, expert Tom filled a list of 34 species; he said some more would no doubt come in the day after we left, because of an approaching front. (Of course, Tom was up and out at the crack of dawn each morning, and dusk, too.)

After lunch we had a business meeting, and then the aforementioned lovely and talented Terri L. French led us in a 10-minute standing yoga break outside on the grass. Perfect for loosening up muscles and brain cells. (Thank you, Terri!)

David led an afternoon workshop in an ongoing series he’s developed called “Write Like Issa.” Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828), perhaps the most beloved of the haiku masters, expressed compassion for human and nonhuman animals through his poetry, and touches of humor, despite his personal history of loss and poverty. Children in Japan are well acquainted with his work. According to David, one trick to writing like Issa is to express emotion without using emotional words. (Perhaps not as easy as it first appears, eh?)

During an afternoon break, many of us took Tom up on his offer to lead another bird walk, and we were soon rewarded with observing some active blue-gray gnatcatchers flitting up in the trees, and a couple of gorgeous wood storks, striking in black and white, soaring overhead.

We also came upon a discovery that stopped us in our tracks. On the Epworth campus, in a peaceful setting looking across green space to the river, is a memorial plaque set along a walk in memory of Peggy Willis Lyles. Peggy was a very fine, highly regarded poet, and she had been active in a north Georgia haiku group among many other endeavors. I happened to get serious about haiku around the time she passed away. I remember feeling such a loss that I would never have the chance to meet her. A few folks last weekend had known Peggy, and it was a poignant moment to discover her and her work celebrated in such a way. The plaque is shown above; here are a few poems featured on it:


wind and rain
the hand I reach for
in the dark


I brush
my mother’s hair
the sparks


waves beat
against an ocean
full of stars


spring sunbeam
the baby’s toes
spread apart


dragonfly
the tai chi master
shifts his stance


into the afterlife red leaves



All poems by Peggy Willis Lyles, from a plaque in her memory at Epworth by the Sea, St. Simons Island, Georgia.


On Saturday evening we enjoyed some informal haiku sharing and folks finished up entries for a modified kukai (haiku contest). One of our attendees, Joette, is also a musician and played some beautiful Japanese songs for us. (Thank you, Joette!)

(A few of us might have gone out afterwards to a somewhat hidden local watering hole for more discussion and even some pool-playing....)

Sunday morning, Stanford presented a session on Santoka Taneda (1882-1940). Santoka’s life, like Issa’s, had been wrought with pain and heartache, and his haiku reflect Nature in a much harsher light than in Issa’s poetry. It was fascinating to look at this aspect of works from both men as we assembled on Earth Day decades, and centuries, later.

David led the last session, sharing from his new book, Issa and Being Human. Issa wrote about every class of people, David reminded us, with ability to see from each person’s perspective. (We could use some more of that these days.) Issa could see life from the perspective of even the “lowliest” animals, too.

Our last scheduled event before our farewell lunch was the announcement of the kukai winner. Dennis Holmes (a.k.a. Gobou) judged our contest – and took photographs all weekend. (Thank you, Dennis!) He didn’t know who penned each poem, but the winning haiku he chose was by one of my favorite haiku poets, and all-around great guy, Michael Henry Lee. (Congrats, Michael!!) He received a nice monetary prize donated by a generous member. I’m not including Michael’s poem here, in case he has designs on submitting it somewhere.

But I did ask Dennis for permission to share one of the haiku he posted with his photos. It’s the perfect way to end a post about a weekend which filled our minds and hearts with inspiration and camaraderie.

a tern
in the sunset...
Earth Day


©Dennis Holmes, aka, Gobou

(Thanks again, Dennis.) I’m deeply grateful to Tom, David, and Stanford for leading us, for all who helped behind the scenes, and to all who came - each talented, fun, kind person I’m honored to swim in the haiku soup with: Joette, Sandi, Terri, Raymond, Paula, Michael, Kent, Dennis, Shirley (from Oregon!), Robyn (like the way she spells her name...), Michelle - :0) - , David, Jane, Perry, and Toni (long-distance). Thanks as well to our current HSA president, Fay Aoyagi, who planned to attend but could not because of a family emergency. We missed you!

And now for this last Poetry Friday of National Poetry Day, enjoy all the great offerings rounded up by JoAnn today at Teaching Authors.  Read More 
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Poetry Friday - Haiku Flies When You're Having Fun...


Whew - I don't know about you, but I feel like April is flying by.

I can't believe it's already time for the Haiku Society of America/Southeast Region HONORING THE EARTH meeting & workshop I'm coordinating in St. Simons Island, Georgia! Hence, I'll keep this short, since the road beckons.

For our Earth Day celebration, part of our time will be spent on a birding ginko (haiku walk), led by haiku poet and teacher extraordinaire Tom Painting of Atlanta.

With birds on the brain, I thought I'd share this haiku of mine that appears in the current Frogpond:


our different truths
the rusty underside
of a bluebird



© Robyn Hood Black
Frogpond, Vol. 40, No. 1


Speaking of haiku and birds... Another of our speakers - poet, author, past HSA president and professor, David G. Lanoue - has agreed to allow me to use some of his ISSA translations in art and such. (His translations of haiku by Kobayashi Issa, who lived from 1763 to 1828, number more than 10,000.)

I got out my pointed calligraphy pen, ink, and pencils and such and designed a note card, above, with one of the poems David said he particularly liked. The colors might be more fall-like than spring, but I've gone ahead and listed it in my artsyletterEtsy shop. :0)

Here's the poem pictured above:


traveling geese
the human heart, too,
wanders


Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue


Thanks for lighting on a branch over here today, and enjoy all the poetic flights of fancy rounded up for us this week by the amazing Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.
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Poetry Friday - Robert Epstein Discusses Animal Rights Haiku


Greetings, Poetry Month Celebrants!

I’m happy to share space here today with Robert Epstein, a California haiku poet and anthologist who is also a licensed psychotherapist. I mentioned his new anthology, Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog (Middle Island Press), compiled with clinical psychologist and animal rights activist Miriam Wald, Ph.D., back in December, when I shared the poems of mine that appear in it. I promised more with Robert soon, and here we are!

Before the anthology, Robert also released a personal collection from Middle Island Press, Turkey Heaven: Animal Rights Haiku. I was delighted about the appearance of both of these books, as I’ve been an “ethical vegetarian” for nearly 30 years.

Next weekend is "HONORING THE EARTH" - the Earth Day weekend Haiku Society of America meeting and conference I’m coordinating in St. Simons Island, Georgia. Though Robert can’t join us in person for that, I look forward to introducing these two books to our attendees. And I’m happy to share a Q&A with Robert here today.  Read More 
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Poetry Friday: Edith Holden's Country Diary


Volatile weather, blankets of yellow pollen, blossoms and buds and greening of trees large and small – spring is definitely here! This week I turn to Edith Holden – do you know her? She lived a hundred years ago and captured spring, and all seasons, with her pen and paints. Best known for her “Nature Notes” which became THE COUNTRY DIARY OF AN EDWARDIAN LADY, she offers us a glimpse into a life connected to the land, and to words, and to art – much like that of Beatrix Potter.

Years and years ago, Jeff gave me a paperback copy of Edith’s COUNTRY DIARY, and I’ve managed not to lose it in all of our moves. I love that it’s reproduced as she penned it, with lettering in brown sepia and images brought to life in watercolor.

One hundred and eleven years ago today, on April 7, 1906, she recorded this:

Another glorious day. Cycled to Knowle. On the way found some Marsh Marigolds and Blackthorn in blossom. The Tadpoles have come out of their balls of jelly and career madly about the aquarium wagging their little black tails. A Gudgeon which had put into the aquarium has made a meal of a good many of them. Ground ivy in blossom.”

Isn’t that lovely?

She shared some poetry on these April pages as well. Here are the shorter excerpts:

”And wind-flowers and violets
Which yet join not scent to hue
Crown the pale year weak and new.”


Shelley


“Long as there’s a sun that sets
Primroses will have their glory
Long as there are violets
They will have a place in story.”


Wordsworth


”Now lav’rocks wake the merry morn
Aloft on dewy wing:
The merle, in his noontide bower
Makes woodland echoes ring
the mavis wild wi’ many a note
Sings drowsy day to rest,
In love and freedom they rejoice
We’ care nor thrall oppressed.

Now blooms the lily on the bank,
the primrose down the brae;
The hawthorn’s budding in the glen
And milk-white is the slae!


Burns


The book is apparently not currently in print, though I found some used copies online. I also found an English website devoted to it, and to Edith, at http://www.countrydiary.co.uk/ .
From the biography there:

As was common at the time Edith and her sisters were educated at home by their mother and they were taught to appreciate literature, including poetry which was a particular interest of Edith's parents. Sketching, painting and knowledge of nature were also considered an important part of a girl's education.

Here is also a short, interesting bio on a Unitarian Universalist site, which highlights her work as an illustrator of children’s books.

Happy Spring, to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and Happy Fall, to those in the Southern. And Happy Poetry Month to all! Enjoy poems blossoming all over this week at Live Your Poem, where the Incredible Irene has our Roundup, AND today’s line in the Progressive Poem, which is her brainchild, AND a new poem in her ARTSPEAK series. 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 - BUGSCUFFLE! - Please Play Along...


Greetings, Poetry Friends!

If school bells are ringing in your neck of the woods, hope all is starting smoothly.

A couple of times on Facebook recently, I've posted pix of our resident Golden Orb Weaver this summer. (It's a habit - I did the same thing a couple of years ago, too.) She started out in the carport, a Baby Daddy came and went, and then she disappeared for a couple of days - I'm guessing to lay her egg sacs?

Lo and behold she returned and strung up a web adjacent to the first one, but this one RIGHT next to the kitchen door. (So close that I put a sticky note warning on the inside.)

Anyway, I think it's the same spider - I consulted my Go-To naturalists/children's authors - our own Buffy Silverman and my SCBWI Southern Breeze long-time-buddy Heather L. Montgomery. They said it was plausible, so we're sticking with it.

Interesting behavior note: When my hubby enters and exits the house, this goddess-size spider scurries up her web to the tippy top. When I go in and out, she stays put in the middle. It doesn't seem to matter if we are holding our wee Chihuaha, Rita - I thought maybe that was the trigger - but she's fine if I've got the dog. Jeff is about five inches taller than I am; maybe that's it? Or maybe he just gives off stronger vibes?!

You'll see the latest photo I shared above. I was mighty impressed that our outdoor house guest caught a big ol' cicada for a meal. (And if you think that's creepy, at least I spared you the visual of her actually dining on her supersized lunch...) Yesterday she enjoyed what appeared to be an ill-fated Junebug.

This week, in addition to spider-watching, I also took our youngest back to college for his senior year, sniff-sniff, up in the North Georgia mountains. You come across some pretty fun names of roads up there.... I actually turned around and pulled off the road to snap the picture of that sign. [Some of you would have done the same thing, I know!]

I absolutely love that word, "Bugscuffle"! And I thought, I wonder what kind of inspiration some of you might find in it? (Google tells me it's the name of a town in Texas, but otherwise I don't know much about it.)

So here's a Poetry Friday pick-me-up just for fun. If you are so led, please leave a short (up to six lines) poem with the title "Bugscuffle" in a comment below, and I'll post your literary works of art in this main post throughout the day. (Legal housekeeping: By posting your amazing words, you are agreeing that they are yours and that I can share them here with a copyright notice with your name.) Thanks!

What Say You?

*****

Well, look who's swinging in Spiderman-style Thursday evening to start us off with a delicious, raucus rumble! (Thanks, Matt.) :0)


"Bugscuffle"

A bug stole a chocolate truffle,
which started a crazy kerfuffle.
The beetles and ants fought with fists, jeers, and chants -
It was quite a colossal bug scuffle.

- ©2016 Matt Forrest Esenwine



And a wonderful, early and inspired poetic gift from Down Under - Thanks, Sally!


At the Web-Club

Bugscuffle
Bugshuffle
Bug wiggle
Bug jiggle
Bug prance
Bug dance!

- ©2016 Sally Murphy


[And here we go Friday morning. This Come-As-You-Are Bugscuffle Party is even more fun than I was hoping - Thanks to all you crazy-talented, challenge-loving poetry people for jumping in!]


Bugscuffle

In amongst
the corner dust
one bug scuffles,
another is trussed.

- ©2016 Diane Mayr



Bugscuffle

Right on Hardscrabble and left at Flack-Fluffle.
Go round the gob-smacked moose
(his lady played fast and loose).
Just stay to the right, then left at Bugscuffle,
We'll be waiting with a cup of juice.

- ©2016 Brenda at friendlyfairytales



Bugscuffle

One bug wander
Two bug tango
Three bug bustle
Four bug scuffle

- ©2016 Julieanne




Bugscuffle Banquet

Courting a glance,
arthropods prance;
defensive stance …
slowly advance …


Bugs bustle,
           toes tussle,
feet shuffle,
           bugscuffle,
victor guttles …
           No rebuttals.

-©2016 Kat Apel



BUGSCUFFLE

You sneezed, Gesundheit!
my retort, as Ms. Spider
untangled eight legs.

-©2016 Linda Mitchell



Bugscuffle

What’s a bugscuffle?
Wondered Miss Tuffle,
Who scampered in ruffle
Unpacking her duffle.

Not knowing how to scuffle,
She scampered & shuffled,
With her flowing ruffle
Proudly swaying her bustle.

~©2016 Carol Varsalona



Bugscuffle

A good bug scuffle
May ruffle some feathers
No matter whether
You choose to kick
Off your shoes
And get into it
Or sit this one out.

-©2016 Linda Christoff



BUGSCUFFLE:
Unarmed and be-
Guiled by
Solicitous
Correspondence,
Ulysses Butterfly
Fell
For
Lady
Earwig

--©2016 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes



Bugscuffle

Spider spun a sticky line.
Cicada crashed into it.
Spider thought that she would dine--
but cicada frazzled through it.

--©2016 Buffy Silverman



They can't can-can

A line of millipedes readied to Rockette,
to do high kicks and bum wags in high spirits,
but the dancers were reduced to a pile of rubble
when their legs tangled in a buggyscuffluffle.

- ©2016 Tabatha Yeatts


[Happy Saturday. By the way, there's a Baby Daddy on the scene again in the big ol' web....]

Alice chimed in that she did a "bugscuffle" Google search and might have to write a post about it, beginning this way:

Bugscuffle?
Bugtussle?
The Bugs don't seem to care
'Cause they've . . .




And from Heidi:


Bugscuffle Road

It's a dead end down at Bugscuffle Road
where the skeeters rumble horseflies late at night.
The "best" insects live up on Dragonfly Bluff,
big rolling fields under wide blue sky.
Just below that is Honeybee Hill,
where hardworking folks take their rest.
I make my home here on Ladybug Lane
in a snug spotted cottage. It's the best.

-©2016 Heidi Mordhorst


(Ha! Love those buggy social classes!)


and from Catherine:

Bugscuffle

The air was so humid and hot,
the cockroach simply forgot
to scurry away
at the start of the day,
not bugscuffle at dawn down Broadway!

- ©2016 Catherine Flynn



*****

--And after you've said what you have to say, please go visit To Read To Write To Be for this week's Roundup!  Read More 
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Poetry FROGday - a Student Poem Postcard and More...


Rrrribbittt!

That’s amphibian for, “So glad you’re here!”

I’m delighted to share one of Jone MacCulluch’s 2016 student “poem postcards” today. If you’re not familiar with Jone’s terrific project, each year during National Poetry Month (April), folks can email media specialist/poet/Cybills volunteer, and all-around wonderwoman Jone to receive an illustrated poem from one of the students at her Vancouver, Washington, elementary school. Last week, Jone posted about this projects ‘ripple effects’ here.

Glad to share another ripple from an appreciative recipient!

Please celebrate with me Dakotah’s fine work, pictured above.


                       Fantastic frog
                  I am as slimy as a slug
        Jumping gliding swimming are ways I move
                I can live seven to nine years
                     Rana catesbeiana



Dakotah L.
3rd Grade



SO much to love about this poem and illustration. First, don’t you love both the poetic imagery and the scientific information presented so seamlessly here? Dakotah’s attention to structure, her syllable count and line length, but not at the expense of the poem itself? And, how brilliant is it to use the Latin name for bullfrog as a lyrical last line?!

Then there’s the art. Take a look at the wonderful facial expression on our dear bullfrog, and the hat! I love that hat. The cattails are beautiful, and the composition of the whole picture works wonderfully, with strong lines leading our eyes into and out of the poem and around all the elements.
Congratulations to Dakotah on a terrific piece!

Here’s a link to some National Geographic info about the American bullfrog.

As I prepare this post, we’re in the midst of a yearly occurrence around these parts, especially with all the recent (& current) wet weather. We have a cute plague of baby toads hopping all over yards and sidewalks. Zillions of them it seems. (That’s one on my hand in the picture.) And crazy choruses from the swampy low areas to the tops of trees at various times of the day and evening. Is this a springtime event in your corner of the world?

Not sure if these wee ones were frogs or toads (I found opposing opinions online), I did what any Poetry Friday hanger-outer would do: I emailed our own Buffy Silverman. Of COURSE she knew right away. In fact, she wrote a whole book on it! (I should have figured.)

Buffy says:

          That cute little critter is a toadlet (American toad.) We have swarms of them too, but ours are still in the toadpole stage. (HA! “toadpole”....) To be accurate, frogs and toads are really not distinct biological groups, more groupings that we use in common names.

(Hold on a sec. Let us pause, close our eyes, and delight in the word, “toadlet”.… Yep – it is in the Oxford Dictionary.)

When Buffy hosted Poetry Friday last month, she included some great pictures and an original poem paying homage to her own resident noisy toads. Here’s the link in case you missed it.

She also shared a couple of links for further hops into this field. This one from Animal Diversity Web tells us more about the little fellow on my fingers in the picture. (Did you know an American toad can eat up to 1,000 insects in one day?!) And this link at Wonderopolis explores the frog/toad question. Enjoy!

Then catch yourself a lily pad and glide on over to Margaret’s for this week’s Roundup at Reflections on the Teche. Something tells me she knows a few things about frogs and toads over there in Louisiana.

Many thanks to Dakotah, Jone, and Buffy for contributing to this fun froggy (toady) post today!  Read More 
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