My Word of the Month poem

Hi everyone,

Here’s my Word of the Month poem inspired by our word: ZONE. I hope to see a lot more poems before the end of the month. So far we have eight thanks to Cory Corrado, Jeanne Poland, Bryn Strudwick, Jane Yolen, William Joe Pyles, Robert Schechler, Elizabeth Neubauer,, and Jane Heitman Healy.

The Road

Together down the road we go.
Where we’re going we don’t know.
Most prefer it nice and slow.
Some are in a hurry though.

Those who like a slower gait
Have no sense of running late.
If now and then they pause to wait,
The fun of getting there is great.

For others slowpokes make them groan.
Winning is all they’ve ever known.
To get there fast and first, alone,
They live inside the passing zone.

Together down the road we go.
Where we’re going we don’t know.
Most prefer it nice and slow.
Some are in a hurry though.

(c) 2019 David L. Harrison
all rights reserved

Word of the Month update

Hi everyone,

For some reason the word for May — MOUSE — isn’t resonating with many of you. Through this morning we’ve had only five poems, counting mine, posted all month.

Interestingly, of the four other poets, Cory Corrado, Jeanne Poland, Bryn Strudwick, and Jane Yolen, three countries are represented, four if you count the time Jane spends in Scotland. Also, Susan Hutchens posted a mouse poem that I overlooked earlier.

Have I missed anyone? Sing out if you posted on a regular post rather than on Adult “W.O.M.” Poems because I might have missed you. Otherwise, let’s see more mouse-inspired poems, people! Squeak up!

Oomphing right along

Hi everyone,

My thanks to Jeanne Poland for providing such a fun word for August. So far we’ve had seven takers. Jane Yolen, Cheryl Harness, and Teresa Robeson posted their poems on the daily posts and Jeanne, Bryn Strudwick, Linda Boyden, and Karen Eastlund posted theirs on the Word of the Month page.

For anyone not familiar with the Word of the Month page, click on the “Adult W.O.M. Poems” box in the bar above the daily post. You can post your poem there anytime all month, see what others have done with the monthly word challenge, and leave a comment if you want to.

We also have a page for student poets that you reach by clicking on the “Young Poets W.O.M. Poems” box on the same bar. We don’t get as many student poems as we used to but now and then we’re blessed with a few and we always love to see the kids join us.

Thanks, everyone. Keep them coming!

Playing to a mixed audience

Hi everyone,

I don’t know all of you who visit me here equally well. I’ve tried in the past to figure out how my visitor-ship breaks down among authors, poets, artists, teachers, librarians, administrators, professors, agents, young people, parents, friends, family, and supporters of literature in general and children’s literature in particular. I wish I did know but most days I can only go by raw numbers: X number of visitors clicked on my blog.

What makes me think of this is the humorous poem published on my blog yesterday by poet Bryn Strudwick. Gentleman that he is, he was kind enough to ask in advance if I would be comfortable publishing it. I decided it would be okay because the poem isn’t about prurient sex and because the animal kingdom abounds in stories of reproduction and death. If by chance I have some young reader who spots that poem, my question to myself was whether the reader would be exposed to anything his or her parents might find objectionable. I voted for humor.

But I turn to you for input on this subject. A number of you have, over the years, offered poems seasoned with slang that I’ve asked you to rephrase and you — ever so sweetly — have readily complied. If you are a classroom teacher preparing to throw my daily post onto the wall, I trust that you check it out before you do. BUT, if you happen to be in a hurry and trust the blog to be classroom friendly, would this cross a line?

Thanks for helping me out with this.

David

Meet Bryn Strudwick

Hi everyone,

A few days ago I heard from a gentleman in England who wrote, “On 7th February, I am reading poetry at Basingstoke Discovery Centre ‘to celebrate the joy of words and language’ as part of an event to mark National Libraries Day and would like to include your poem ‘My Book.’ May I please have your permission to do so? I live in Basingstoke and write and perform poetry although, on this occasion, I shall mainly be reading other people’s.”

With best wishes
Bryn Strudwick

I immediately looked for Bryn on Google and was delighted to agree to his request. Here are links if you’d like more information about Bryn. https://www.facebook.com/search/more/?q=Bryn+Strudwick&init=public and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-qNOxwAX1w .

Bryn was kind enough to send me one of his poems and so, with his permission, here it is.
Bryn Strudwick

PAPERBACK EULOGY

Dearly beloved, I stand here today,
A weight on my heart and a tear in my eye.
Everything’s mortal and passes away.
A time when friends gather to say goodbye
Books have been with us since something B.C.,
On velum, papyrus, parchment and bond.
But now you download them from any P.C..
The books that we love have been “Amazoned”
Shakespeare’s complete works, the Bible, Koran,
Austen and Dickens, every author you know,
All on a screen you can hold in one hand
Carry your library wherever you go.
But remember one thing as book sales dwindle.
You can’t press a rose twixt the leaves of a Kindle

© Bryn Strudwick

I enjoyed the poem very much and asked for more information. Bryn obligingly sent this brief bio. I thought you might like to meet this English actor and poet too.

“You invited me to talk about my favourite subject – me! So here’s a potted history. I’ve tried to make it brief but quite a lot has happened in 77 years.

I was born in 1938 in Enfield, Middlesex and moved to Hampshire in 1966, first to Alton, now in Basingstoke. Widowed with three sons, a step-son and step-daughter.

All my working life was spent in local government housing until having the luxury of retiring at 54. For the next six years I ran a large charity shop with my wife.

I have been writing poetry since my teens and, more recently have extended my writing to short plays and stories, winning several awards in creative writing competitions. My poems have appeared in about twenty anthologies although, to date I have managed to retain my ‘amateur status’, having never been paid for anything I’ve written.

My other main interest is the theatre. I started acting in am-dram at fifteen and continued, on and off, over the years. For the last fifteen years I have been with the Proteus Theatre Company in Basingstoke. This is a professional touring company, going as far afield as Edinburgh and even Broadway but I belong to its amateur ‘wing’, the Proteans. We have the benefit, not only of using the company’s facilities but also having productions directed by the Artistic Director.

Since 2013, I have turned more and more to performance poetry, having had two full-length shows of my own work and taking a shortened version to various social clubs. This has the advantage that I can read the poems and don’t have to learn everything!

Over the years, I have also played a lot of sport, mainly cricket.

Sorry, that was a bit longer than intended. I think the term “Jack of all trades, master of none” might well have been written for me.

Very best wishes,

Bryn”

Bryn, thank you for the delightful bio. I am confident that you’re about to make new friends in America. Rather than “Jack of all trades, master of none,” I’d describe yours as a life well spent.

David
P.S. “My Book” originally appeared in SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK, Boyds Mills Press, 1993. It has been sandblasted into the Children’s Garden sidewalk at the Burton Barr Library in Phoenix and painted onto a bookmobile in Pueblo, Colorado. I’m happy to see it jump continents to seek other readers. Thanks, Bryn!