Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
A few weeks ago, I received the most wonderful surprise in my mailbox. Along with a couple of other treasured cards and catch-ups from poet friends in April's daily mail, an unexpected delight of art and words was nestled in the stack at the end of the month.
The lovely Joyce Ray sent me the postcard pictured above!
First, on the outside, it features some wood engravings by Beth Krommes. (Swoon.) I've been a big fan of hers for a long time, initially discovering her work through some of Joyce Sidman's amazing poetry. In 2009, Beth Krommes won the Caldecott Medal for THE HOUSE IN THE NIGHT, written by Susan Marie Swanson and published by Houghton Mifflin.
Just look at the delicious images above. (Probably daily sights around Amy's POEM FARM, huh, Amy? And Tara's new digs as well??) These vignettes are warm and charming and nurture the soul. (And, pssstt.... the card is SIGNED! What a gift!)
On the back side of the card, Joyce wrote these beautiful lines adding more sensory images to the visual ones, in this haiku brimming with comfort:
a feline purr, pink phlox -
©Joyce Ray, shared with permission.
I love that Joyce made a little phloxy-colored-pencil line box around the poem, and then added some wildly blooming phlox beneath it! How did she know I'm a big phlox phan, too?!
Click here for Joyce's website, where you can learn about her books and snoop around to find her blog and other goodies.
We've probably all been thinking about "home" more these past weeks and months, and some folks haven't yet ventured out beyond familiar walls. Every state seems to have a different approach; here in SC it's been a strange parade of closing then opening varieties of businesses by category. (Much of our family is in Georgia - don't get me started. And all of my side of the family is in Florida - ditto same. Insert imaginary emoji with hand slapping forehead here.)
In the Lowcountry, we feel quite fortunate that we've been able to be outside so much, with sidewalks in our neighborhood and the ability to keep a safe distance from others. Though the crowds of folks using the Spanish Moss Trail over Mother's Day gave me pause (I was riding a bike with a mask on. I mean, I was wearing the mask - well, you know...) I'm a bit apprehensive about this holiday weekend and plan to stay away from crowds. We are lucky to have a front porch, which is where you'll find us when we're not working!
It's a strange time - I am rooting for my fellow business owners to be able to succeed, and most have signs and sanitizer handy and adhere to the 25 percent capacity rule for shoppers. But there are folks strolling downtown without masks, too. My little studio is so tiny I am continuing with online sales but not opening to the public yet until we get a bit further down the road.
What are things like in your neck of the woods? My heart goes out to folks sheltering in apartments in big cities.
Since we're on the subject of home, I'll share a poem I wrote for THE BEST OF TODAY'S LITTLE DITTY, 2017-2018, compiled by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. (Click here for Amazon link & to see Miranda's cover art.) Laura Purdie Salas kindly mentioned it in a comment a few weeks ago, as being timely for this stay-at-home season we've been experiencing. (Thanks, Laura!)
I'll Wash, You Dry
Pile of dishes in the sink -
remnants of our food and drink.
Fulsome meal and laughter, too -
now we have a job to do.
Messy saucepan, crusty cup;
we'll need time to clean this up.
Spray of water, sudsy foam –
we are grateful for our home.
here at home.
©2017 Robyn Hood Black
Thank you to Joyce for sharing some much appreciated cheer across the miles. If you noticed the lovely personal note at the bottom of the postcard, she was referring to some earrings from my shop, artsyletters. I have some fun pictures over on my artsyletters blog today, and geographically, one will take you back from my lovely Lowcountry and up the coast, closer to Joyce's realm....
Be sure to join the ever-lovely Carol at Beyond Literacy Link for this week's Roundup. I'm grateful for our Poetry Friday neighborhood, where ALL are welcome - fresh faces and those who have been around the block a few times, like me!