May all your eggs sparkle in the sun

Hi everyone, and Happy Easter,

Yesterday I passed a Methodist church near our house and was stunned by the number of cars parked in every conceivable spot. The church lots were packed and the field across the street was filled with overflow. Men wearing bright orange vests stood at each drive to direct traffic. The reason?

An enormous field beside the church was ringed by hundreds of children and their parents down both sides and along the back. More were arriving each minute. The kids were intent on the field where thousands of plastic eggs caught the sunlight so that the field practically glowed.

The eggs weren’t hidden. The kids could see their goals. They waited impatiently, eager to race over the grass and gather as many prizes as they could. Their anticipation was fun to see even though I only caught a glimpse while driving slowly by.

You can draw your own conclusions and make your own metaphors. Eager kids. Clear goals. Supportive parents. I’m glad I drove by. It made the rest of my day.


bugs everywhere

Hi everyone,

I’m told that the audience had a fine time at the “bugs!!” concert in Dayton. Conductor Patrick Reynolds was kind enough to send me a sound recording of him reading various poems from the book. He did a great job and the kids in the audience loved him. He was excellent at drawing the audience into the readings. Wish I could have attended but these pictures and the sound track helped me enjoy the event. My thanks again to Pat.


Concert Hall






Pat’s back!

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ve decided to leave this one up for a third day. We’re getting a lot of visitors to Pat Lewis’s challenge and poets are still contributing their poems to the fun. Thanks, Pat!

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted that our friend J. Patrick Lewis has just popped up with a devilishly clever new challenge, which he calls “mini-mini-book reviews.” Thank you, Pat, for giving us one that will be a challenge indeed. Let’s see what comes of this. Here’s the entire note from Pat, plus his usual helpful examples.

David, I wonder if your readers might have some fun concocting “mini-mini-book reviews.” To wit:

Moby Dick
(Herman Melville)

Man’s obsessed,
Whale is gored—
Man goes a little

* *

The Catcher in the Rye
(J.D. Salinger)

In its essence:
On society’s
By the golden-
Tongued Holden.

* *

Tarzan of the Apes
(Edgar Rice Burroughs)

A sort of
King of

Charlotte’s Web
(E.B. White)

At the fair, Wilbur (pig) wins!
Charlotte (spider) silk-spins
A reverie
So often,
Saving Wilbur
From coffin.

* *
Fahrenheit 451
(Ray Bradbury)

People read books,
Books are harmful.
Fireman cooks
Books by armful.
People leave home.
Each one learns
A novel, a poem.
Fire Chief burns.

* *

The Pied Piper of Hamelin
(Brothers Grimm, Robert Browning)

Exterminator catches pests;
The town refuses his requests.
He sets out to right the wrong
By playing on his flute a song
Exciting and inviting . . . that’s
When kids start disappearing. Rats!

* *

(Felix Salten)

Trouble’s coming
Here. Hear?
Hunters shooting—
Tearful tale of
Woe. Whoa!
End of Mother
Dear deer.

* *
I’ll go first, Pat. Here’s one effort. I’ll do others. David

Best Christmas Pageant Ever
(Barbara Robinson)

Every year, same play,
Same kids, same way.
Bullies come, loud, rough,
Hijack roles, act tough,
Unimpressed by plays past,
Shout the words to life at last.

My theme of the month poem


Hi everyone,

Our theme this month is THINGS THAT GROW. Here’s mine.

I’m Here
David L. Harrison

Ice was hungry this winter.
Its silent teeth ate my heart,
bit off limbs,
stripped me naked
so all could watch me die.

I wasn’t supposed to see this spring.
No one thought my sap could rise,
find a path through so much rot,
while all around me life is growing,
blooming, leafing, greening . . .

No one thought I’d grow again,
live to shelter one more nest.

Well step a little closer.
See these buds?
I’m making leaves.
I’m here!

Yesterday at Goose Lake


Hi everyone,

We had a pretty weekend with highs in the upper 70s or lower 80s. It was windy with strong gusts that carried cherry and Bradford pear blossoms through the air like snowflakes. Our wind chime seldom stopped reporting on the action.

Sandy and I took a comfortable seat well down the steps to check on our mother goose and enjoy the day. Mama G seemed less disturbed by our presence than when I’ve visited with her alone. Leave it to one female to understand another. She checked us out now and then but spent most of the time tidying her nest, occasionally standing up and resettling. She even turned her back on us for a while.

A few days ago when I descended the steps to walk the bank and check on some plants that look peaked, Mama stood and hissed at me, and her hubby suddenly appeared from somewhere down the lake, flying directly toward me with neck extended, like a winged torpedo. Only at the last second did the outraged male drop into the water a few feet from his mate and swim along beside me, never removing his baleful glare.

But this time our mother goose seemed to understand that we were no threat so she attended to her business as we did to ours. At the north end of Goose Lake a sweeping lot that includes good roosting trees and dense growth at water’s edge provides an inviting area for birds to congregate, nest, or graze. The background music of duck quacks and goose warbles signals when all is well.

Yesterday I noticed that the crows were unusually present and active. They would land among the water fowl, fly off across the lake, take a swing over our house . . . They were all over the place. A buzzard dipped low as it sailed over us on the steps, maybe checking on the health of Mama G or her two eggs, but mostly my eye stayed on the crows.

Suddenly it sounded like World War III at the north end. Crows exploded into furious caws as a dozen or more appeared from everywhere to attack something they’d discovered in the top of one of the lakeside trees. Dozens of geese and ducks responded to the alarm and took off for the safety of the water. Everyone was screaming danger calls and our mother goose duly noted the situation although she remained on her nest.

After a few second of chaos, an owl flew out of the tree and took off across the lake while crows engulfed it in a flurry of angry shouts. The offending owl attempted to make its exit with as much dignity as it could summon but it was clearly rattled and the last we saw of it, it was headed east above the rooftops of houses on that side of the lake.

It took only a minute or two for Goose Lake to return to its normal tranquility. A danger had been discovered and the lake had been defended. Peace settled once more and Sandy and I trudged back up the steps to finish our yard work. Another wonderful episode in our life here at water’s edge.