My poem for June’s Word of the Month Poetry Challenge

Hi everyone,

I’ve been watching ants on our patio. Nights are still a bit cool for their liking but some days warm up enough to draw them from their deep nests down below the pavers. Here’s the result of my thinking.

Waking Ants

Pouring down the funnel into their bed chambers,
the same sun that sponsors weed seedlings
excites their dreams, gets them moving.
In ones and twos, they emerge uncertainly into spring.

Half awake, half asleep, staggering
like extras in a zombie movie,
each ant wanders in a different direction,
as though in search of where it left off
last fall when colding days
numbed purpose and changed priorities.

Somewhere there was a moth wing
that needed extracting from a spider’s lacy net.
Where was that cricket leg,
easily a 2-ant job to lug to the nest?
There was a freshly deceased bee...

Hard work –
when your brain is the size
of a fleck of pollen –
to remember
what page you were on when you fell asleep reading
the sites of your kingdom.

It won’t take long. New food will be found. Lines will form.
Ants, after all, must be ants. 

© 2023 David L Harrison, all rights reserved

Kate Cosgrove rocks

Hi everyone,

Kudos to KATE COSGROVE, the artist for two of my books with Holiday House, and working on a third as we speak.

Both books have done well. And the Bullfrogs Sing, A Life Cycle was a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, and a Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award Honors book.  The Dirt Book: Poems About Animals That Live Beneath Our Feet, was juried into The Original Art 41st Annual Exhibition in NYC by the Society of Illustrators. It was also a New York Public Library Best Book of the Year. It has been named to two state reading lists for this fall, Texas Blue Bonnet and Bill Martin Jr. list in Kansas.

Kate’s most recent triumph is A Day with No Words, by TIFFANY HAMMOND. The subject is autism and it has gone straight to the top of the charts, reaching #1 on the New York Times picture book best seller list and #1 on Amazon for Children’s Books on Disabilities. Here’s what one critic has to say. The American Library Association Booklist starred review boasts, “The story is written from the boy’s first-person perspective, however—a clever choice in that it gives readers a direct look into his mind and reinforces the book’s crucial statement that nonverbal people have as many words and as much intelligence as anyone else. Cosgrove’s art, throughout, does an amazing job of transporting readers into his perspective, employing various color tones, metaphoric imagery, and ‘camera’ angles to reflect the deep expressiveness contained in every page.

Way to go, Kate! I’m so happy for you and glad that we are working on our third book together!

Reflections in my coffee

Hi everyone,

I’m feeling grateful this morning. A growing number of people have been listening to my interview with JOE PIZZO and leaving thoughts and comments. The link for Part One is Part Two could go up as soon as next week. I’ll let you know.

This Life, my autobiography, continues to find readers while the folks at Ozark Studies Institute (the publisher) continue to search for a distributor that can make it available online and in book stores nationwide. There, too, the responses from readers give me much to make me thankful. Here’s the link for anyone interested in book. My thanks again to RANDY BACON for allowing us to use his photograph from the Ozarks Literacy Council exhibition, “Words and Pictures,” for the cover of my book.

I’ll soon be able to direct you to access the new recordings of nine of my poems that have been set to music by my good friend, CHIRS CRAIG and performed by Chris, GALE CLITHERO, and me. Other projects are in the works.

So this morning, I’m drinking my coffee and thinking what a lucky man I am.

I. Can’t. Stand. It.

Hi everyone,

Yesterday’s attempted podcast recording never happened, I’m sorry to say. Gremlins hijacked the whole affair. When JOE PIZZO and I made contact, I could see and hear him but he could only see me. My sound wouldn’t come on no matter what I tried and what we tried together.

I tried rebooting and discovered that my computer was in the middle of some sort of update that I wasn’t aware of so it wouldn’t shut off. In the middle of that failed attempt, I lost my Internet connection. Joe remained pleasant and helpful throughout and I could see why he was such a great teacher. We rescheduled for this afternoon.

Our Internet came on last night at 11:45. No idea why it went away for more than eight hours. This morning the computer is acting wonky but I’m managing to get things to work eventually. I hope that by this afternoon it will settle down enough that Joe and I can get to work. Wish me luck.