A Place to Start a Family

Hi everyone,

The proofs arrived the other day for my upcoming book from Charlesbridge (1/6/18), A PLACE TO START A FAMILY. Giles Laroche (NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T) has done another exceptional performance with his art. I wish I could show it to you. The collection is about the kinds of structures that some creatures build in which to procreate. The variety is fascinating. Have I given you a poem from this one yet?

Yellow Garden Spider

You throw a line of silken thread
and let it flutter where it will,
to catch on limb or windowsill,
then use your ancient weaver’s skill
to make it hold you when you tread.

Back and forth you bridge the gap,
spinning out the thread to sew,
crafting in the dark you go,
putting on your magic show,
creating your artistic trap.

Now to build your strength you wait
till fragile moth or careless fly
has bad luck to blunder by
so you can greet it eye to eye
and at your leisure, seal its fate.

And when the tiny eggs you guard
hatch, as baby spiders must,
spiderlings the size of dust
sail away on gentle gust
to decorate another yard.

(c) 2018 by David L. Harrison
Published by Charlesbridge Publishing, U.S.A.
Posted by permission of the author

17 comments on “A Place to Start a Family

    • Thank you, Rosi. This is essentially an Envelope Quintet with four iambic feet per line and a rhyme pattern of ABBBA.

    • Thank you, Matt. It’s an interesting challenge, especially when you’re telling a story in multiple stanzas.

    • Hi, Mary Nida. This poem brought back childhood memories for me when I, armed with trusty butterfly net, often encountered these marvelous creatures during my hunts.

  1. I can tell this book will be another hit with the kids in Colorado! (and me, too!) Can hardly wait to see it!

  2. I only have 6 months to wait.
    Meanwhile , a story about my song sparrow family on my front porch. Every time I go out to dead head the plants, the adult flies from the nest to a tree and chatters to scold me to stay away from the babies. I chatter back reminding her that i am a friend, but she continues to warn me. One day a snake took her eggs, and I breathed him away. Love to interact with these magnificent song birds who come every spring for their little bird house in front of my house!

    • Ah, those snakes will be snakes for sure. We watched a parent mockingbird attack a snake a few days ago that was threatening its fledgling. The snake lost and hid in the bushes.

  3. Really skillfully written and fun, too!
    We heard a startling thing on the TV show American Pickers. They found a large Audubon piece of art–the kind that has a large number of different paintings of birds scattered over it. And the guys revealed that Audubon was a fervent hunter…and killed all the birds he painted! Can that be true??? WOW!

    • Good morning, Tina! I’m glad you liked this effort. I’ve read that Audubon was a hunter too but haven’t taken time to check it out. I’m reading RIVER OF DOUBT about Teddy Roosevelt, also a hunter, whose trip in the early 1900s brought all sorts of skins to the American Museum of Natural History.

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