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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - One More Tiger-y Poem Postcard, and... Birds!

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Happy to share one last New Year's Poem Postcard Project gift that stalked its way to my mailbox this week (part of the annual swap organized by our wonderful Jone Rush MacCulloch, whom I get to see soon as she graces this side of the country with a visit!)

 

This card celebrates the Lunar New Year - The Year of the Tiger (as I chose to do with my own card featured a couple of weeks ago in the mix).  Michelle drew a stately tiger in brown with subtle washes, and added a jaunty message on the right side.  On the back is this poem:

 

Tiger tiger

by twilight

are you there

within the night?

Heed their call

prevent their plight

 

©Michelle Kogan.

 

You can learn more about Michelle and her art (she's a fellow Etsian!) here

 

And you can learn more about the plight of tigers, and efforts to save them and many other animals, here

 

Speaking of animals, ones who would generally prefer to be far away from tigers, did you know this weekend is the annual Great Backyard Bird Count?  I'm going to try to participate some again this year - it's been a while since I joined in.  The event, sponsored by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Birds Canada, is now quite smart phone-savvy, with apps (Merlin and EBird), making ID'ing and reporting easier than ever.  No problem if you'd rather use less technology - the organizers welcome results in a variety of forms!  I "attended" a webinar this week in preparation for the Count, and it was nice seeing the dedicated faces who help pull off this oh-so-important project. (I also stocked the bird feeder and cleaned out the bird bath!)

 

The time commitment is up to you - submit as few or as many results over the weekend as you'd like.  The only requirement about that is that they ask you to devote at least 15 minutes to each counting session.  Learn more about how to participate here

 

Now, I have to go do a little research or app-perusing to learn about those lovely birds pictured above; I saw them on Thursday, blending in with the rocks at Hunting Island here, and flying off in a short frenzy before settling back down in front of the foaming waves....

 

In honor of the Count, here are the opening stanzas from a famous poem by our dear Emily Dickinson (1830-1886):

 

A Bird came down the Walk (328)

A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit an Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

 

And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass—
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass—

...

 

(Read the rest here.) 

 

Now flap those wings and soar on over to Small Reads for Brighter Days, where the ever-delightful Laura is rounding up this week.  Thanks, Laura! 

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Poetry Friday - Share the Poetry Love with Linda at TeacherDance!

Greetings and Happy Valentine's Day weekend!  I don't have a real post this week, as I'm busy getting a heart-full of Mama-love with visiting kids today.  But please follow your own heart over to TeacherDance, where Linda is rounding up.  Sending love to you & yours!

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Poetry Friday - More Poetry Postcards! (mine included)

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  

 

Happy Lunar New Year.  This week I'm sharing two more postcards from our New Year Poem Postcard Project swap, and my own, too, which I finally mailed out last week. ;0)

 

First up, one from our fearless leader, Jone Rush MacCulloch, who organizes this postal shindig each new year.

 

Her intriguing image features this haiku:

 

divergent pathways

a new year

alive with wonder

 

 

©Jone Rush MacCullocch

 

I'm sure that like me, you're a fan of Jone's mean camera skills as well as her poetic prowess.  I love the texture in this picture and asked her about the tracks.  She said they were bird tracks on her deck, made during the first light snow.  Beautiful!

 

Side note - I'm super excited to have learned that Jone's own "pathways" are going to drift over toward my side of the world for a trip soon, and I'm planning to hop in the car and go meet up with her!  (We live on opposite coasts.)  Jealous?  Yep, thought you might be - we'll snap a picture! ;0)

 

Second, I received a beautiful card late Thursday from Sarah Grace Tuttle.  The postcard features a colorful, inviting painting of Commonwealth Books in Boston, Massachusetts by Bob Ecksem.  Makes me want to walk right into that shop and not come out for hours!  Sarah's poem on the back offers a celebration of snow.  I know - many of you all have probably had your fill already this year, but here's a fresh and lovely perspective:

 

Let the Snow Come

 

A cool pressure blanket

to soothe the frantic world,

made of fabric in

a purple shadow pattern

threads of moonlight glitter

seams of bare branches

that can cradle me

as I rest.

 

©Sarah Grace Tuttle

 

Well, the frantic world could definitely use a cool comforter!  And we could all do with some rest under threads of moonlight, couldn't we?  Sigh. 

 

Many thanks to Jone and Sarah Grace for these gifts.

 

This year, as I was receiving so many gorgeous, inspired, and inspiring poem postcards (see the last few posts), I got a wild hair.  I thought I'd toss in a chuckle.  So in honor of the Year of the Tyger, which came padding in at the beginning of the week, I had a little fun with "The Tyger" by William Blake (1757-1827).  

 

Poet Poet, burning bright

In the blue computer light

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful syntax-y?

...

Did he who made Iambs make thee?

 

©Robyn Hood Black, after, and with apologies to, William Blake

 

(You can find Blake's original illustrated poem, from his Songs of Innocence and Experience, here and the text only here.)

 

To my pen and ink tiger sketch, I filled in with stripes which are actually snippets from Blake's draft of "The Tyger" from one of his notebooks  (copied from a reproduction in Peter Ackroyd's book, BLAKE).  It was helpful to me that Blake had so many scratch-throughs in several lines.  These offered bold horizontal darks, and also gave me comfort that even poetic geniuses make mistakes...;0)

 

Thanks again to Jone for organizing the swap, and here's to poetry running wild in 2022!

 

Now, go pounce on Unexpected Intersections, where Elisabeth is kindly rounding up Poetry Friday this week.

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Poetry Friday - Couple More New Year Poem Postcards!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

More New Year Poem Postcard love this week, thanks to the yearly swap organized by Jone Rush MacCulloch. Lucky for me and my usual time-challenged nature, we can either go the traditional Western New Year's route or pay homage to the Lunar New Year, with its representative animal.  (Feb. 1 will usher in the Year of the Tiger.)  My postcards, finally, are crouched and ready to pounce into the mail this morning.  ;0)

 

Today I share a pair of gems with breathtaking landscape images on one side, and inspiring words on the other. 

 

First, many thanks to Carol Labuzzetta for her gorgeous photograph of the setting moon at Turret Arch in Arches National Park in Utah.  I am drawn right in to that natural wonder in her photograph, and I love how the circle in the rock is mirrored by the bright, round moon on the right!

 

On the other side of her card, beneath a fetching jumping tiger, is this haiku:

 

Eye of the tiger

Keenly seeing the future

Blinking honestly

 

©Carol Labuzzetta

 

(I would welcome more keen eyesight and honesty in the world these days - just sayin'.)

 

Next, please give it up for Gail Aldous, who explains on her postcard that she took this stunning photograph in the Adirondack Mountains, where she and her husband hike and cross-country ski.  She also offers a nod to her cat, whose name is - wait for it - Tigress!

 

The beautiful natural "layers" in her photograph inspired this poem:

 

cloud layers

mountain layers

life layers

joy

 

(draft  ©Gail Aldous)

 

Boy, do those thoughts resonate with me this year!  Layers, indeed.

 

I feel so blessed to be able to do some armchair traveling with these poem postcards - The warm words and wishes inspire me, and the glimpses of life in other ecoysystems and landscapes is magical.  Thanks, Carol and Gail!

 

 

Fellow Southerner Irene Latham has the Roundup this week - and always a million amazing, wonderful things - at Live Your Poem. Thank you for hosting, Irene!

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Poetry Friday - Blue Horizons in Postcards from Margaret And Linda B.

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  A couple more postcards from our New Year's Poem Postcard Swap, coordinated by the wonderful Jone Rush MacCulloch.

 

Speaking of Jone, please see her poignant haiku featured on The Haiku Foundation's "Haiku of the Day" page for Jan. 13 here - Congratulations, Jone! 

 

This week's additions to the refrigerator door have complementary visuals - I  love that!  Margaret Simon sent a photo postcard with a collage on the front in beautiful blue celestial and warm earth hues.  Having recently seen the traveling interactive Van Gogh exhibit, I enjoyed the bits of Starry Night in this piece!  These envelope a wonderful quote from Emily Dickinson.  The image includes some mountain-y layers in the background under the sun, and a yoga enthusiast under myriads of stars, among other delights.  

 

Her original poem reads:

 

    A new year

     new ideas

  growing buds

 to find a garden

already blooming

 

I love that surprise at the end; the kind of "relief" to feel that we don't always have to start everything from scratch.  I/we might need to take a look around and appreciate what's there. 

 

Linda Baie sent a gorgeous expansive photograph from Colorado - look at those majestic Rockies!  Her greeting reads:

 

     Happy New Year!

Blue Skies Smiling at YOU!

 

I'll take those smiling blue skies, thank you!

 

On the back of her card is a poetic quote from Chandra Kochhar, sentiments that seem to me in keeping with Margaret's inspiring words, too.

 

Here's to smiles and blooms and noticing - wishing you inspirations as you make your way through these winter days. 

 

(And, no - I still haven't sent my poem swap postcards out yet, but working on it.... ;0) )

 

Many thanks to our beloved and multitalented Tabatha for hosting the Roundup this week at The Opposite of Indifference - Enjoy the treasures!

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Poetry Friday - Go See Mary Lee!

 

Hi there - Friday snuck up on me this week, what with working on some freelance writing and Etsy orders and having a hubby under the weather and other family members farther away juggling Omicron (fortunately mild for them). But be sure to enjoy all the tasty poetry being rounded up by our fearless leader, Mary Lee, at A(nother) Year of Reading!

Stay warm and safe this weekend.  Active winter weather looks to be pretty dicey for us Southerners, after it sweeps across the Midwest and before it heads North. Brrr.

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Poetry Friday - Into the LIGHT with Poetry Postcards from Linda M & Mary Lee...

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  I hope you're having a good start to the New Year.  

 

I was too smothered in holiday Etsy orders to participate in the Winter Poem Swap this year, but I usually can't resist the call of Jone Rush MacCulloch to join in the New Year poem postcard swap. (It's a lovely way to start the year, and there's usually an optional nod to the Lunar New Year, meaning I have a few extra weeks to get my act together....)

 

What a delight to already receive two postcards from poets way more on the ball than I.  And they both celebrate one of my favorite things:  LIGHT.  (How much am I drawn to light?  I'm probably part moth....)

 

Linda Mitchell has been busy with her art supplies again, including vibrant stampings/printings on her card, and a gorgeous collaged star ornament.  On the front of the postcard, she included a mesmerizing poem by Sara Teasdale from 1926:

 

 

Dark of the Moon

 

There will be stars over the place forever;

Though the house we loved and the street

we loved are lost,

Every time the earth circles her orbit

On the night the autumn equinox is crossed,

Two stars we knew, poised on the peak of mid-night

Will reach their zenith; stillness will be deep;

There will be stars over the place forever,

There will be stars forever, while we sleep.

 

 

And on the back, an original poetic message:

 

Between joy and sorrow,

all I need to do is look up

to know the stars are above you too.

Remember to look up.

Happy New Year!

2022

 

And on the handcrafted star, a found/haiku poem also taking its inspiration from Teasdale's (direct quotes, in fact):

 

stillness will be deep

stars forever while we sleep

circles on the night

 

©Linda Mitchell

 

While Linda's gift has me gazing at the mystical and magical night sky, Mary Lee Hahn's beautiful card has me warming myself in the glow of close-by candlelight. (I love the immediacy of the flames and the texture of the bricks in the background of her original photograph on the card's front.)

 

Mary Lee's poem also takes a haiku turn:

 

each flame provides light

we illuminate this world

us all - together

 

©Mary Lee Hahn

 

Oh, how I hope 2022 can bring the world some much-needed togetherness and warmth for its human inhabitants, guided by starlight and all kinds of light.

 

For more poetic illumination, head over to Beyond Literacy Week, where Carol has 2022's first Roundup!  Thank you, Carol. 

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Poetry Friday - Rainer Maria Rilke Quote for the New Year

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  I hope you are enjoying your holidays.  We are still in and out visiting family and grateful for time together.  Just a quote from a poet today - the beloved Rainer Maria Rilke. I discovered the words and their source on this curious quote-gatherer's website here.

 

Here's the whole sentence, written by Rainer Maria Rilke to his wife Clare in a 1907 letter:

 

          And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.

 

If you like the clicky-tap-tappy sound of a typewriter, feel free to check out the video I put on Instagram (artsylettersgifts) - and click the little volume symbol to unmute it -  or Facebook (artsyletters) with a portion of the above quote.  Just my wish for us all for 2022. (Note - for the first video version I posted, I used my laptop's video editor and added background music from their list of options. It was a Ravel string quartet.  I got an email saying it was removed because of a copyright violation - I didn't know those built-in tracks could violate copyright!  Wouldn't ever do that intentionally.  So, version 2 here is just the keys tapping - and an occasional bong from the windchimes!) 

 

Enjoy this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Carol's Corner - Thanks for hosting, Carol!

Here's to good health and joy (& lots of poems!) to you and yours in the New Year.

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Poetry Friday - Go Ring the Bells with Jone!

Greetings, Friends - I'm still all wrapped up in packaging tape and bubble wrap over here, getting out holiday Etsy orders... but I was delighted to peek up long enough to enjoy Jone's double golden shovel poem, and Linda B.'s poem, over at Jone's place this morning.  She has this week's Roundup - follow the jingling to enjoy all the goodness here

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Poetry Friday - Go Visit Cathy!

Howdy - Still happily covered up in Etsy orders over here and burning too much midnight oil.  I didn't get a post conjured up, but I hope to drop in a few others this weekend.  Enjoy all the poetic goodness over at Merely Day by Day, where Cathy is hosting this week! 

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