Jane’s killer rhyme scheme

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Jane Yolen laid down a challenging rhyme scheme in her contribution to September’s poems inspired by VINE. Here is it again in full. I liked the aabbb pattern in each of the first three stanzas and to make it more interesting, Jane uses the same opening line for each of those stanzas and the same line for each of the three transitional lines between stanzas. And then she wrapped up the whole affair with a witty couplet, cc. Wow!

Jane Yolen
September 1, 2019

Vine Thoughts

Every day I think it fine
To end up with a little vine.
But truth to tell (and this will stink)
I actually do not drink. . .

Which leads me to another think.

Every day I think it fine
To end up with a little whine.
(But truth to tell (and wink, wink wink)
I think a whiner is a fink.

Which leads me to another think.

Every day I think it fine
On darkest chocolate to dine.
But truth to tell this makes me drink.
So into depths I start to sink.

Which leads me to another think.

Every day from now I’ll try
To stick to veggies and stay dry.

©2019 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

With thanks to Jane, here’s my effort to follow her pattern.

Vine Lessons
David L. Harrison, September 2, 2019

When I was young and tasted wine,
if some was good a lot was fine.
The more I drank the more I bought,
till one night as I grew besot,

I had another vine-fed thought.

When I was young and tasted wine,
tipsy I kissed a sweet fraulein
and she kissed me till we were caught
and a painful lesson hubby taught.

I had another vine-fed thought.

When I was young and tasted wine,
I learned the grape is not benign.
The morning after’s not so hot.
My stomach churns, my brain is rot.

I had another vine-fed thought.

Every day from now I’ll try
to stick with vodka until I’m dry.

©2019 David L. Harrison all rights reserved

“It’s Me” again

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I received a request from Didier Editions — a French publisher who included my Marilyn Monroe poem, “It’s Me,” in a previous book — to bring it out in an English textbook this fall. The book will be for French students aged 15-16 years old and titled “IN FULL SWING, 2de.”

Not long ago I told you about this poem and how it pops up from time to time. Chalk up another one for Marilyn. And out goes another thanks to Jan Greenberg for inviting me to write a poem inspired by an Any Warhol diptych painting for her winning book, HEART TO HEART, which appeared in 2001.

A poem for the picture

Hi everyone,

The picture of me with my first fish, which I posted yesterday on Facebook, reminded me of the poem I wrote for CONNECTING DOTS, POEMS OF MY JOURNEY, Boyds Mills Press, 2004, inspired by that picture and memory. Here they are together.


Hidden in the mountains, fed by snow,
The lake was small. We stayed there every year
And got to know our neighbors camping near
In tents like toadstools growing in a row.

I found a secret pool, a little nook
Where I could lie and watch the fish below
But no amount of coaxing made them go
For worms, or bits of bacon on my hook.

At last a fish too hungry to be wise
Took my bait so hard its body shook.
“A fish!” I cried. “Big enough to cook!”
I held it high to show its mighty size.

Even though the lake is far away
I remember posing with my prize
And grinning at our neighbors’ happy cries
Just as though it happened yesterday.

I’ve caught some bigger fish but this is clear,
They’ll never match the thrill I felt that day.
No matter what those larger trophies weigh
The first fish will always be most dear.

(c) 2004 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

My Italian Sonnet

Hi everyone,

Inspired by Steven Withrow’s sonnet,steven_withrow and spurred on by Jane Yolen’s witty example.

Comes now my contribution to the cause.David as bookends IMAG2753
by David L. Harrison

Honeybee, a vibrant buzzing thing,
Humming through the sultry summer hours,
Dipping in and out of willing flowers,
Sipping, pausing, sipping, taking wing,
Known more for her industry than sting.
Nature-blessed with honey making powers,
Performs her alchemy in hidden bowers,
Spinning gold with sisters as they sing.
Honeybees for twenty million years
Have met their fated daily rendezvous,
Pollinating blossoms in return
For smuggling pollen home to feed their peers.
So much depends on what the humans do,
And if the greatest predator will learn.

Jane Yolen
The little honeybee has buzz.
A taste for something sweet and runny,
Like a clown, she seems quite funny.
Body’s mostly stripes and fuzz.
She’s looking as she always does.
When she sells her cache of honey,
Her golden glow, bespeaks of money.
Why do we love her—just because.

But ask the little bending flower
Who gives up her hard-earned pollen
Whether she feels raped and fallen,
Or is filled with certain power.
There she is, all pollen laden
Virgin, violet violated.
By a bee much recreated,
Set aside, nor more a maiden.

(c) by Jane Yolen; all rights reserved

A pleasant reminder

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I received a nice note from Chong Yiu Hei Yom, a reader in Hong Kong about a poem of mine from THE PURCHASE OF SMALL SECRETS that appears in a textbook there. It’s called “Leaving Corky” and I talked about it in 2012. Here’s the link to that post.
https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/leaving-corky .
I seem to be on a dog and cat roll this week. Well, that and spiders of course. I’m glad to know that my memory-based poem about the day I had to leave my cat is still alive and well in another part of the world. Corky always did get around. I’m grateful to Chong Yiu Hei Yom for letting me know.

FYI, today I’m not working on dogs or cats or spiders. Today it’s the king cobra. More about that some other time.