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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Coupla More HSA Haiku :0)


Greetings, Poetry Lovers! 


Whew.  It's been a wild ride in the Southeast the last couple of days.  Sending love & prayers for those whose lives have been forever altered by Hurricane Zeta. 


I couldn't believe that here on the Lowcountry coast, we were texting our kids early Thursday morning about the TROPICAL Storm that was shredding their corners of real estate in the Appalachian foothills.  Is this still 2020 or what?! [AND, at almost Halloween - past the peak, or so we all thought.]  Our crew is fine - but trees are down everywhere in their part of north Georgia. 


Our Cobb EMC/Gas South Literacy Week - all vitual this year - was going great... until everyone in the region (also north of Atlanta) lost power and we had to cancel/reschedule all the Zoom visits set up for Thursday and Friday.  


In the Lowcountry, a couple-three hundred-ish miles from the storm, we did get some wind Thursday morning. In fact, I had been putting off calling some tree folks to take care of the heavy live oak branch that was precariously balanced above our fence in the back yard... Mother Nature did not care about my excuses.  (Um, picture above.)


Well, to calm all our nerves, I'll share another recently published Frogpond poem, this one from the current issue. It has to do with rain but was inspired by quite a less intense afternoon of weather. 



gentle rain the wren sings through it



©Robyn Hood Black

Frogpond Vol. 43:3, Fall 2020



And, speaking of the Haiku Society of America  (Frogpond is the HSA's journal), the Members' Anthololgy for 2020 just landed in our mailboxes.  


Here's my poem in it:




on the line

the fisherman wades back



©Robyn Hood Black

Bundled Wildflowers - Haiku Society of America 2020 Members' Anthology 



AND, speaking of all kinds of weather, I've been thinking of our host this week almost every time I've caught national weather news stories lately, as she hails from Colorado.  In fact, I'm not quite sure whether this week she's dealing with smoke from wildfires or a snow storm... but I sure am grateful she's such a vital part of our Poetry Friday community, helping to make welcome poetry friends old and new.  Wade on over to Teacher Dance, where the ever-lovely Linda has the Roundup.


(And hang on tight, everyone - whichever way the political winds blow next week, and beyond, we'll need to keep our balance!) Happy Halloweeeeen!


(Little Family Update... It's 8 p.m. on Saturday night, and my daugher and her hubby JUST got their power back on!  They were all in blankets - dogs, too.) ;0)

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Poetry Friday - A Haiku That Seems to Work for This (Voting) Season....


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!


Just a short haiku this week.  As I'm posting this before the Thursday night debate starts, I'm thinking that a haiku of mine appearing in a recent issue of Frogpond might be timely.



decisions, decisions

the weight of ink

on paper


©Robyn Hood Black

Frogpond, Vol 43:2, Spring/Summer 2020



And, unrelated - wish me luck as I venture into my annual week of school visits north of Atlanta next week as part of Cobb EMC/Gas South Literacy Week, along with several other authors.  EXCEPT - this year, we are just venturing to our computer screens for virtual presentations!  I'm still a novice at all this (guessing many of us are?) so all good vibes appreciated - ha!  But I've been learning, and learning from mistakes... so hopefully good moments will outweigh the glitches.


Happy Weekending, and DO visit the ever-spirited & thoughtful Jama at her Alphabet Soup blog for the Roundup.  She and I have long shared a love of fall, and today she shares both the colorful moments and the somber shades. 

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Poetry Friday - My Poem, "Trail Ready," in HOP TO IT

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!


Just hopping in this week to celebrate the launch of the newest collection from Pomelo Books, HOP TO IT!  Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong have put together an oh-so-welcome collection of poems to get folks moving - perfect for young readers who have been sidelined as we all have this year.


I'll have more about the book when the HOP TO IT blog tour stops here on November 13, and you'll know lots about it by then because the tour will park at several wonderful blogs.  It started a couple of weeks ago at Jone's place. Yesterday the tour stopped at Kathy Temean's blog, here.  And Sylvia is telling us all about this week at Poetry for Children.

There are giveaways along the way! 


Congrats to Sylvia and Janet and all the poets in the Pomelo Universe for this wonderful new anthology.


Here's my contribution, for those answering the call of the Great Outdoors:



Trail Ready


We're going on a hike today!

I'll get my backpack ready.

Jacket, flashlight, extra socks –

Can you hold it steady?

Trail mix, thermos, bug spray, hat,

notebook, pencils, this and that.


Binoculars and whistle

dangle from my neck.

Blue bandanna, walking stick.

Map and compass? Check.


Through the leafy canopies

to fields, where sun is brighter –

Next time (huff) we hike (huff puff),

I'll pack a little lighter.


©2020 Robyn Hood Black


(Note to my family - hold your tongue about my pack-rat tendencies.  Thank you.)


Grab your own backpack and head to Salt City Verse to stuff it with poems.  Thanks for hosting, Janice!

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Poetry Friday - A WORLD FULL of POEMS!

The world needs a lot right now.  And Sylvia Vardell knows just what to fill it with - poems!


Sylvia's beauftiful new anthology, A WORLD FULL OF POEMS - Inspiring Poetry for Children is JUST out from DK/Penguin Random House.  I know what I'll be giving folks for the holidays....


With works by 110 poets, from classic to contemporary, there's something for every cup of tea in the following sections:  Family and Friends, Feelings, Animals and Nature, cities, Towns, and Travel, Fun and Games, Science and Art, Body and Health, and A World of Learning. 


British illustrator Sonny Ross brings the collection to life with a pastel-friendly palette, playful characters, and pops of bold color here and there (as seen on the cover).  The bright yellow endpapers let you know you are in for some word-joy.  And the large type and gracious negative space on each page make each poem inviting.  


And because this is a book by Sylvia, an activity section at the end provides helpful tips and ideas to guide budding poets as they pen their own poems. 


Our wee Rita says the best section is the one with animals.  I was delighted to see one of my own childhood favorites included, "Eletelephony" by Laura Elizabeth Richards.  I share that one in my author visits.


And here's another fun classic (sharing the double-page spread with Laura Purdie Salas's "Petting Zoo," in fact).



At the Zoo


by William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)


First I saw the white bear, then I saw the black;

Then I saw the camel with a hump upon his back;

Then I saw the grey wolf, with mutton in his maw;

Then I saw the wombat waddle in the straw;

Then I saw the elephant a-waving of his trunk;

Then I saw the monkeys - mercy, how unpleasantly they smelt!




I'm beyond thrilled to have a poem of mine included, "Sincerely," originally published in 2015 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations by Pomelo Books (Syliva Vardell and Janet Wong), and making appearances in two other PFA books, HERE WE GO: A Poetry Friday Power Book (2017) and GREAT MORNING! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud (2018).


It's a special treat to have this poem in a DK book, as I've been a fan of Dorling Kindersley books forever, and always have several keeping spots warm on bookshelves or balancing in piles in various places.  


Congratulations, Sylvia, on this wonderful, welcome, timely, and bright collection! I am enjoying revisiting favorite poems by poet friends, and favorite classics, and discovering inspiring new-to-me voices as well. 


For more sneak peeks into this anthology, visit Sylvia's Poetry for Children blog and scroll down to posts in recent weeks.  :0) 


And for a Poetry Friday Roundup all the way from Switzerland (!), visit our lovely Bridget at Wee Words for Wee Ones.  

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Poetry Friday - Old Autumn, and Letters - to Rats?


Greetings, Poetry Lovers! And - just like that - it's October?!


Possibly my favorite month, with bright skies and crisp air and color and anticipation of gathering with family before tucking in a bit for winter. Multiple threads in the weave, for sure, as we all balance heaviness and sorrow in the news (praying for eveyone out West right now, especially) with our own moments of joy and light in a day.  So I've got both pensive and playful here today.


First, these lines from Thomas Hood (I DO have to find out if there's some ancestral connection!), who lived from 1798 to 1845 and opened his poem, "Autumn," with these words:


     I SAW old Autumn in the misty morn
     Stand shadowless like Silence, listening
     To silence, ...


and, a later passage:


         But here the Autumn melancholy dwells,
     And sighs her tearful spells
     Amongst the sunless shadows of the plain.
     Alone, alone,
     Upon a mossy stone, 
     She sits and reckons up the dead and gone
     With the last leaves for a love-rosary,
     Whilst all the wither'd world looks drearily,
     Like a dim picture of the drownèd past
     In the hush'd mind's mysterious far away, 
     Doubtful what ghostly thing will steal the last
      Into that distance, gray upon the gray.


For a cathartic read of the entire poem, click here


But if you rather need a wry smile instead - or in addition to - I have that too, below the next paragraph. 


Tonight I'll finally re-open my little studio doors after six-plus months for our downtown's First Friday celebration.  (My space is small; if we get more than a person or two, folks will have to mill about in the hallway outside! And masks are required.)  I'm offering a free, optional activity if visitors want to help spread some cheer.  We'll be providing blank cards to convey messages to some of our locally based service men and women who are deployed.


With these thoughts of letter-writing, my heart was warmed when, searching for October inspirations, I again consulted my copy of THE ILLUMINATED BOOK OF DAYS (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1979) by Kay & Marshall Lee, with illustrations by Kate Greenaway and Eugene Grasset, mentioned a couple of weeks ago & earllier, too. 


Just under the listing for October 4 as the Day of St. Francis of Assisi (a personal hero), an October 5 listing explains that "There is an old American belief that you could get rid of an infestation of rats by writing them a letter and persuading them to go elsewhere.  The letter should be rolled up and put into one of their holes."  Then follows an example, a letter dated October 5,1888:


Mssrs. Rats and Co.,

-- Having taken quite a deep interest in your welfare in regard to your winter quarters I thought I would drop you a few lines which might be of some considerable benefit to you in the future seeing that you have pitched your winter quarters at the summer residence of ***No. 1 Seaview Street, I wish to inform you that you will be very much disturbed during cold winter months as I am expecting to be at work through all parts of the house, shall take down ceilings, take up floors, and clean out every substance that would serve to make you comfortable, likewise there will be nothing left for you to feed on, as I shall remove every eatable substance; so you had better take up your abode elsewhere.  I will here refer you to the farm of ***No. 6 Incubator Street, where you will find a splendid cellar well filled with vegetables of (all) kinds besides a shed leading to a barn, with a good supply of grain, where you can live snug and happy.  Shall do you no harm if you heed to my advice; but, if not, shall employ "Rough on Rats."




(Are you, as I, wondering what the letter writer might have had against the poor farmer of Incubator Street?  Ha!  Still, here lies evidence that civility was once valued on many levels, and here's a raising of a glass of Victorian lemonade to the hope that it returns at the highest level.)


Also, another glass raised to Irene Latham for a brand new book in the nest, THIS POEM IS A NEST.  Congratulations, Irene! Here's a link to Irene's interview with the book's fabulous illustrator, Johanna Wright. 


AND, speaking of links, I'm delighted to join many fellow Poetry Friday pals on this list from Feedspot:  Top 40 Children's Poetry Blogs & Websites To Follow in 2020.  Click here to see the list, and many familiar faces! (Many thanks, Feedspot Folks.) 


The ever-civil, ever-wry, ever-compassionate Tabatha has our Roundup today here. Thanks, Tabatha! 

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