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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday: Moon Poem (one of mine) for Irene's Roundup


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  I'm chiming in at the end of a family beach vacay to join Irene Latham's "Moon in June" poem party as part of this week's Poetry Friday Roundup.


Irene is celebrating the upcoming launch of The Museum on the Moon: The Curious Objects on the Lunar Surface, illustrated by Myriam Wares, and published by Bushel & Peck's Moonshower imprint. Click here to learn more about it and land a copy for yourself! 


Congratulations, Irene, and all the creators of what looks like an out-of-this-world collection. 


We've been back in the Beaufort area, in the same rental house on Harbor Island where we've gathered for years.  I do miss this charming coastal town! I still sell some artsyletters wares in a couple of shops here, and yesterday I took a few items downtown.  On my drive over the bridge from the sea islands, I realized that this bridge will always remind me of the early evening a few years ago I was crossing it from the same direction and saw a shimmery crescent moon suspended over the river and the rooftops, inspiring a little poem that ended up in Highlights Hello in the fall of 2021. (The beautiful illustration is by Denise Hughes.) I thought, Hey, I could share it again for Irene's poetic lunar soiree. 


So, please excuse the repetition for those who have seen it before!  But it's fun sharing a lullaby poem during a trip with our oh-so-active one-year-old baby grand here, where our daily schedules have revolved not around moonrises and moonsets but around mealtimes and naptimes.  Our Sawyer's been a trouper with all things sand and sea and pool.  In fact, he's probably swallowed a wee bit of sand and sea, as those toddler hands move fast.


Another fun poetic note, we've all read him Two by Two by Lisa Lowe Stauffer countless times.  (It's a rollicking Noah's Ark tale illustrated by Angelika Scudamore and published by Zonderkids - click here for more info.) Quick backstory: I coordinated a children's poetry weekend workshop for our Southern Breeze region a dozen years ago, and Rebecca Kai Dotlich was our fearless leader.  Lisa was there, and this manuscript, her first published children's book, grew out of that weekend.  Irene was there, too - an accomplished novelist and poet, but she hadn't published her impressive bevy of children's poetry collections yet! 


Grateful for all these connections, for adventurous human spirits, and for the moon. 


Good Night

by Robyn Hood Black


Crescent cradle

In the sky

Sings a silver




with golden light

Wink and kiss

The world good night. 



 ©2021 Highlights for Children.


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Poetry Friday - Wee Little Break... Go see Linda M.!

Happy SUMMER!  Taking a wee break with some traveling thrown in these next couple of weeks.  Please go visit Linda at A Word Edgewise this week, and Irene at Live Your Poem on the 30th.  (And bring your favorite moon poem to Irene's!) See you soon and Happy Reading, Writing, Creating, and Sun-Basking.... xo

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Poetry Friday - Old Poems for a New Season

The lake at Furman University.  Photos by Robyn Hood Black. 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Summer officially starts next week. Here in upstate SC, we've had a record cool June.


We've also had some haze from those Canada fires last weekend, believe it or not, though nothing like you poor folks in the Northeast have had to deal with (and Midwest now?).  Last weekend, after a front passed through and the wind changed direction, the air was clear and beautiful.  One great thing about living near Greenville is that we are only about 8 miles north of our alma mater, Furman University.  It has a gorgeous campus and a lake that we walked/ran around 40 years ago and enjoy walking around now.  On Sunday, I snapped the above photo after that front moved through.


On South Carolina Public Radio, we have a feature I've always loved - "Nature Notes" with Rudy Mancke.  It's a minute-long segment sprinkled throughout each  weekday's programming, often featuring a question from a listener about some kind of creature discovered in a back yard or under a rock or such.  But often Mr. Mancke will share a classic poem about the natural world, as he did this week, and I thought the verses went well with the fulsome green glory of summer.


From his June 13 post:


this excerpt from a poem by James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)


And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:


[You can see more here.]


and these words by English author Mary Russell Mitford (1787-55)


What a glowing, glorious day -

Summer in its richest prime,

Noon is in its most sparkling brightness,

Little white clouds dappling the deep blue sky.

And the sun, now partially veiled and bursting through with an intensity of light.


[I am not sure if this was originally written as prose or poetry; apologies if my formatting is all wrong!]


Finally, on a walk around Furman's lake again Thursday afternoon before storms came through, I came upon a plaque I'd never investigated before.  It bears a poem by Frank Burt Morgan Jr., and I can't really tell you who he was.  I did look online and found information on findagrave.com about a Frank Burt Morgan (1887-47) who lived in these parts, graduated from Wofford, and was in banking and business for many years.  


Nature's Shrine


Have you not wandered in the wood

To some secluded spot and stood

Surrounded by sublime beauty,

And all forgetful of your duty,

Contented thus for hours to stand

And admire works of God's great hand

In a veritable flower garden where

You drank the perfume of the air,

Sweet music's temples were resound

Strains, melodious and profound

Harmonious about you heard

The gurgling brook and singing bird?


Ah yes, there is a brighter shrine,

A place where all is bright sunshine,

A grander calmer of our hours,

A world with birds and scented flowers,

A place of music where each day

Soothes us in our angrier way;

Here lies a royal painted throne

Where each is monarch of his own,

And under his supreme survey

The rounded world pursues its way.


Frank Burt Morgan, Jr. 




Here's to a summer full of hours surrounded by sublime beauty!  I will mention that though I hadn't planned to stop on my walk (it's almost a two-mile jaunt around the lake), I was drawn like a magnet to a bench in front of a wee pond just off the path.  I was glad I sat there for a short bit, because I got an unexpected chuckle.  Late yesterday, daughter Morgan had sent me a video of one-year-old Sawyer carrying on from his playpen because she had dared to leave his sight to fix his dinner. While sitting on the bench, I was drawn to a dramatic little raucus on a patch of grass across the pond.  A young crow was harrassing a parent with incessant cawing and hopping about, my guess is for a snack?  The parent continued pecking around on the ground and "ignoring" the youngster.  The smaller bird hopped off into the cool undergrowth for a moment.  Then it came back out and pulled the same routine with (I'm guessing) the other parent - or at least another grown-up crow. With no satisfaction there either, it finally quieted down and then hopped into the edge of the pond for a quick splash.


Hop yourself on over to Michelle Kogan's colorful corner of the web, a place most welcoming to birds and flowers, and enjoy this week's Roundup!

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Poetry Friday - Bop on over to Buffy's

Wellll.... been in and out of town and didn't scare up a post this week for Poetry Friday, but lots of other folks did.  Be sure to visit the oh-so-talented and super smart Buffy Silverman for this week's Roundup!  Thanks, Buffy. 

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Poetry Friday - First Birthday Poem!


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  How did it get to be June so fast?


We had a delightful visit from our baby grand, Sawyer, last weekend.  (The picture was one of my favorites from the weekend - that's my hubby, Jeff , aka "Baba.") In a few days, we'll be celebrating Sawyer's first birthday! 


He's grown from a beautiful wee bairn into a snuggly, music-loving, baby-engineering, dog-bowl splashing, truck-admiring, mischief-making singer of mysterious songs.  He is a voracious lover of books, and has recently started "reading" them himself, with the pictures turned the right way, even. Also, he's a dumper of laundry baskets, little trash cans, and toilet paper from the roll. He's on the move most of the time, except for the occasional "Ms. Rachel" break in his special chair. He's stolen all of our hearts and we can't wait to see where he'll go next!  (Babyproof, people!)


Here's a little ditty to celebrate.


                  You're the ONE!

                   (for Sawyer)


              Look at you, Baby - 

              Look what you've done.


              You made your first trip 

              around the sun!


              Here's to another

              year of fun.


              Here's to you - 

              Hooray!  You're one!


             ©Robyn Hood Black.


We're so proud of his parents - our Morgan and hubby Matt, and their oh-so-patient lab, Maggie.  Uncle Seth (& Aunt Ginnie) keep Sawyer entertained & full of joy, too.


Wishing you much to revel in this summer.  Speaking of which, Happy Pride Month to all who celebrate!


For bushels of poetry, visit the ever-talented Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for this week's Roundup. 

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