A toast using the last glass

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted that the first pre-ordered copies of THIS LIFE go out in the mail today. Let me know when your books arrive!

On other matters, I’m spending this week getting out a few manuscripts that have accumulated in the files. This is a bad time of year for submissions because editors are either busy or on break. But I’m busy the rest of the year so all I can do is send out my work now and wait for editors to get back to their offices after Christmas.

While searching through the files, I was reminded of one of my old favorites about the last crystal glass from an original set of eight. Something about setting elegant tables this time of year sent me on a search for the old poem, which was part of the ALLIGATOR IN THE CLOSET collection illustrated by JANE KINDALL and published in 2003.


In the beginning
There were eight
Graceful glasses
By our plates,
For dinner parties,
Special guests,
Sunday best.
Their elegance gave
A touch of class,
But time is hard
On fragile glass,
Cracks and chips
And hardwood floor
Reduced the set
From eight to four.

Still their number
Dwindled down
Till this last glass
Was left around
To gather dust
All by itself
Forgotten on
The cupboard shelf.

I love to use it
Now and then
And think of parties
Where it’s been,
For it was made
To grace a plate,
This one of a kind
From the elegant eight.

(c) 2002 David L Harrison, Alligator in the Closet, WordSong, Boyds Mills Press

Another dirt poem

Hi everyone,

I keep thinking of previous dirt poems I’ve published over the years. Here’s one that appeared in THE PURCHASE OF SMALL SECRETS, a Wordsong book by Boyds Mills Press in 1998.


What creature
tilled the grass
to tunnel here?

A hole in the ground
always makes me wonder. 

Is this one empty,
choked with dirt
that trickles through the roof
and rattles down abandoned halls?

Or is something there,
heart pounding,
sniffing me
down in the dark?

A hole in the ground
always makes me wonder.

(c) 1998 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

Meryl, who has illustrated as many books as I've written, was asked for a cover design to meet the catalog deadline. I don't think she'd seen the manuscript yet because when I saw it, I loved the picture but pointed out to my editor that the cover showed a girl and I was a boy. After some quick tweaking, the cover character turned into a boy. But waste not, want not. The original cover character, altered just enough, appeared on the last page of the finished book.  

I’m reading on POETRY PALS today

Hi everyone,

I hope you are listening when KSMU Radio broadcasts POETRY PALS each Wednesday morning at 9:45 Central Standard Time in the United States. The segments are five minutes long so you have to be ready or risk missing them. Here again is information about how you can listen in.

If you live in the area, here are your dial locations.
91.1 FM in Springfield
90.5 FM in Point Lookout/Branson;
90.3 FM in West Plains;
88.7 FM in Mountain Grove;
98.9 FM in Joplin;
103.7 FM in Neosho

If you live anywhere else in the United States or in another country, you can hear POETRY PALS at KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio live-streaming on its website: http://www.ksmu.org. If you try and have problems, let me know and I’ll pass it along to the station for clarification for next time.

POETRY PALS is a collaboration of KSMU, Springfield-Greene County Library District, and me. Please consider providing support by sending your positive comments about what they are doing to News Director Jennifer Moore (jennifermoore@missouristate.edu )

Today, June 24, it’s my turn to read again and I’ve selected poems from CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS, which is illustrated by Julie Bayless and published by Wordsong, an imprint of Boyds Mills & Kane. This is all great fun and I hope to see the listening audience continue to grow each week. Tell everyone you know!