Worth repeating

Hi everyone,

On Friday I posted a picture of my turtles studying my calendar and Jane wrote a witty poem about it. I followed up with this picture and a poem and Susan chipped in a poem as well, but I’m not sure many saw the fun developing. Today I’m reposting all that for anyone who missed the original and maybe we’ll see some further contributions before the day is done.

Jane Yolen

February 10, 2018 @ 7:04 am

The Turtles Escape

The Reading of Turtles
is not too well known.
They sit upon books
that their people all own.

They act as if reading–
–Or sleeping–who knows.
Their eyes are just painted
and they never close.

I worry they’re reading
and planning a trip.
I caution myself
that I must get a grip.

Next morning, the turtles
are missing, away.
I worry about it
for all of the day.

But turtles are careful,
deliberate, I know.
Wherever they’re headed,
It’s going to be sloooooooow.

Hahahaha!

JaneY

The Turtle’s Response

All those nights
he read to us.
All those words
he fed to us.

Now those words
will take us far
cleverly hidden
in his car.

We’ve made our plans,
we’ve marked the date,
we’ve packed our bags,
and now we wait.

He says that turtles
aren’t allowed,
but we can READ!
He’ll be so proud!

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

Susan Hutchens

February 11, 2018 @ 12:17 am

Don’t Judge a Turtle!

Likely ’cause
we walk so slow,
people think
we just don’t know.

Folks judge us by
our outer looks –
We might be green
but we love books!

Like other creatures
here on earth,
we didn’t choose
this reptile birth.

Ever hopeful
we surge ahead,
and know we’re smart
because we read!

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Moon shine

Hi everyone,

Not the kind in a jar. The kind that made a lot of us go, “Oh. My. Goodness!” I wonder how many songs have been written about the moon? How many poems? How many picture books? Jane Yolen knows of at least one. Nearly everyone knows OWL MOON!

Telling the past

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Jane Yolen and I finished a new collection of poems and sent it on its way. During the day we got to talking about the Scottish brogue and that brought back memories of when I was a child in Ajo, Arizona. My dad worked in the payroll department for Phelps Dodge Mining Corporation and one of his associates was a Scott named Harry Poole. The two couples got together from time to time and that was fine with me. I was six or so and I loved to listen to that man talk. He had grown up in the old country and could tell story after story about what it was like when he was a young man. When Mr. Poole retired, he and his wife moved to California. I only saw him one time after that, when we took a trip that way and stopped in for a visit. Their retirement bungalow was cozy with a small living room and kitchen. I don’t remember the bedroom. There was a white crocheted doily draped across the back of the brown sofa. Mr. Poole sat in his favorite chair beside the sofa. This is what I remember.

After the greetings and everyone was settled, Mr. Poole tamped fresh tobacco into his pipe, lighted it, took a few trial puffs, then looked off into the past while my dad and I waited. We were about to be treated to another of Mr. Poole’s stories. I could hear the women in the kitchen, catching up over tea. Mr. Poole said, “When I was a boy, twelve, thirteen, my father sent me to work at a saw mill. The family needed the extra money. A puff or two. The mill was a dangerous place. Lots of noise. No safety features. Accidents were commonplace.” I don’t remember if my dad was smoking a cigar but he was awake so he probably was. Mr. Poole went on, “One day a lad got careless and ran a log too close to the blade. Took his finger off.” The old man’s eyes began to smile. “The lad wrapped a rag around the stump,” he said, “then he slipped up behind the fellow at the next saw and dropped his finger down the back of his coveralls. You should have seen that lad carrying on when he eventually fished the finger out and saw what it was!” I don’t remember if I laughed or gasped. Mr. Poole obviously thought it was a funny story. He closed his eyes as if fact checking. Satisfied, he nodded, opened his eyes, and went to his pipe again, leaving a comfortable silence to drift around the room.

How accurate is this memory? I like to think it’s close to the way it happened. Whether it is or not, who is to say? It’s my memory and has lived in my mind as clearly as a video for nearly seventy-five years. Telling the past is an important part of what writers do.

A challenge within a challenge

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Jane Yolen posted a Word of the Month poem inspired by ESCAPE. In the process she may have invented a new form. She told it in iambic pentameter in four 3-line stanzas and a concluding line with the following scheme:
abc/bca/cba/bac/b. I wrote one using the same form and enjoyed it. If you missed our poems, here they are.
David from 417 Magazine
The Summer I was Hot

My mother made the most amazing cape
To help me capture villains that I fought
Who didn’t know that I was only four.

She sewed it with material she bought
That gave me strength and confidence to roar.
I knew if necessary I’d escape

Because of all the magic that I wore.
Hidden in my secret cave I’d plot
A plan so clever all the crooks would gape

When suddenly I’d fly and they’d be caught.
I’d tie their hands and feet with Super Tape
And tell the cops they’d find them on the floor.

I was four the summer I was hot.
~~ by David L. Harrison

The World So Hot

I remember summers in New York,
the world so hot,
we sat on the fire escape.

The boom box we brought
with us, songs on tape,
much laughter, talk.

Perspiration at the nape.
Air conditioning then? Not
even in the cards. The cork

of the wine bottle shot
into the street below. Its torque
carrying it through the cityscape

where the world remained so, so hot.

©2016 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

If anyone else would like to try this form, I’ll look forward to reading the result.

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
Honeybee
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