My bugs are creeping away

BULLETIN: Congratulations to our friend Mary Nida Smith who just received the following review of her book, HEROES BENEATH THE WAVES. Way to go, Mary Nida. Proud to know you!

Hi everyone,

As I say goodbye to some of my old favorites, here are a couple of poems from BUGS, published by WordSong, 2007, and illustrated with brilliant humor by Rob Shepperson.

My editor for BUGS (as well as PIRATES) was Stephen Roxburgh. Both titles were selected by NCTE as notable books of poetry. Other nice things that happened to BUGS included being chosen for the “Seeing Stories” exhibition at the Westchester Art Center, 2007 and making the New York Public Library’s annual list of “100 Children’s Books for Reading and Sharing,” 2007. In 2014, BUGS was featured (cover on overhead screen, poems read on stage) in the Dayton, Ohio Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Dayton Ballet II concert, under the direction of maestro Patrick Reynolds. They named the concert: BUGS!!

Here’s a picture of the concert hall. It was quite a deal and I was sorry I couldn’t attend. My book was on sale so I could have even signed a few.

Bad Beetles

Beetle hooligans
Under rocks
Wear smelly boots
And dirty socks.

They beat up bugs
And knock them flat,
Cuss and yell
And things like that.

But toads know how
To deal with beetles —
Be they beegs
Or be they leetles –

With one slurp
They gobble them.

(c) by David L. Harrison


Never kiss
The centipede,
Pick him up
Or hug him.

The centipede is
All you’ll do is
Bug him.

In his youth,
The centipede
Never learned
To play,

Never learned to
Or kiss.
Now he’s
That way

So never kiss
The centipede.
I say
Not once
But twice,

The centipede’s
A waste of time.
He simply

(c) by David L. Harrison

bugs in concert

Hi everyone,
I just ran across some pictures in my files sent to me by Patrick Reynolds, conductor of the Dayton, Ohio Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in 2014. I must say they perform in some nice digs!concert-hall The program read:

Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Together with Dayton Ballet II Present BUGS!, the Final Concert in the 2013-2014 Family Series

On Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 3 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Conductor Patrick Reynolds and the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will present the DP&L Foundation Family Series Concert entitled BUGS!. This final Family Concert of the 2013-2014 Season is sponsored (rather fittingly) by Extermital Termite and Pest Control Company, because BUGS! in costume on the Mead Stage dancing to music performed by a highly talented orchestra of accomplished students are a must-see for families, while bugs in your house are not.

The concert will also feature delightful poems from David Harrison’s children’s book, “Bugs: Poems about Creepy Things”. Illustrated by Rob Shepperson, the book will be available for purchase in the Wintergarden before and after the concert.img_0835

How I wish I could have been one of the 1,200 who attended that concert! Maestro Reynolds conducted some of the numbers with a fly swatter. BUGS was on the NCTE awards list for Notable Poetry in 2007.

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






For the love of bugs


Hi everyone,

Dr. Patrick Reynolds sent a couple of pictures from yesterday’s BUGS!! concert in Dayton and promises more when they’re ready. All the copies of bugs sold out so Rob Shepperson and I are doing a victory dance somewhat off stage.

Thanks, Pat. Thanks, Rob. Thanks, all you little buggies.


Illustrating poems

Hi everyone,

Our son Jeff Harrison  posted on Facebook yesterday’s article about the opening of a display of my work this Wednesday at Missouri State University. So, by the way, did my friend and wonderful actor Michael Frizell. Thank you, too,  Michael!

One of the comments under Jeff’s post is from Kathy Johnson Zwahl, who teaches art to elementary students in Atchison, Kansas. Kathy’s father, Ed, and I were fraternity brothers at Drury and spent more than one evening sitting behind the Lambda Chi house, pondering the mysteries of women in general and our sweeties in particular, wondering how we were ever going to persuade our beauties — Sue and Sandy — to marry us. Eventually we were both successful and we produced four wonderful kids, Ron and Kathy Johnson and Robin and Jeff Harrison.

So now Kathy is teaching art and at an upcoming school event called Poetry Palooza she plans for some of her students to illustrate poems of mine. Is this a great connecting of generations or what? I’m so pleased that my friends’ daughter is introducing her own students to something of mine.

This afternoon at 3:00 is the BUGS!! concert in Dayton, Ohio where, thanks to conductor Patrick Reynolds, Rob Shepperson’s witty art and my poems from BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS, will be featured. Too bad that Kathy’s student art couldn’t be displayed on stage, too, during the concert! Thank you, Kathy. Love to you and the family.