Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Garden Haiku


to save the garden
I prune the honeysuckle;
mourning the lost scent

-Andromeda Jazmon

I am struggling lately with some very difficult and painful times in my family. Somehow this picture speaks to the deep sadness and loss. Poetry and photography is a comfort.

Today's Friday Poetry round up is with Marjorie at Paper Tigers

Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: A Strange Place to Call Home

The World's Most Dangerous Habitats & The Animals That Call Them Home. By Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Ed Young. Chronicle Books, 2012. (review copy). We just received this lovely book in the mail the other day. Wonderful poems featuring some of the hardiest creatures in our complex world, living in the harshest, most challenging environments. Singer uses a variety of poetic styles, from haiku to villanelle and free verse. Creatures such as flamingos living on salt flats, tube worms clustered near deep ocean vents, camels and mountain goats are marveled over and celebrated in skipping, swirling poems. None of the verses are too long or too hard to grasp, making it a delightful read for young and old. The EndNote gives a brief description of each animal and it's challenging habitat as well as an overview of the poetic forms. I found that reading the back pages and then the related poems in matching sequence made the most sense, enabling us to get the context of the environment and then understand the amazing adaptability of each life form.

What was really exciting for my son and me was that the same day we read the poem about urban foxes we actually saw one. We went for ice cream after dinner and as we were standing at the edge of the parking lot on the very busy main road of our suburb, we saw a fox run across the yard with a ground hog clutched in her mouth. My son called out "LOOK! A Fox!" and everyone standing around gasped in amazement. The fox looked over her shoulder at my son and just kept trotting along. We watched her run right up to the road and scoot across, disappearing into the bushes by the next apartment complex. She had a lovely russet red coat, perky black tipped ears, short pointy snout and fluffy white tipped tail just as you would expect. I think she must have been bringing home dinner to her kits. Here is the Singer poem from the collection, a cinquain for urban foxes:

urban foxes

They have
quit forests and
fields for sheds, flowerbeds;
forfeited wild berries for shrimp
lo mein.

It seems
an easy life,
but in close quarters, cars,
capture, and contagion take
their toll.

Foxes adapted to
city living find it
full of plenty - but plentiful
in risk.

Marilyn Singer

Friday Poetry is hosted by Mary Lee at A Year of Reading. Enjoy some wildlife this weekend!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

RIP Ray Bradbury

RIP Mr. Bradbury.

Ray Bradbury was my very favorite author when I was a teen. I devoured his books like candy, one after the other, over and over again. The first one I read was a chewed up paperback handed down from my older brother and sisters, that they had underlined and highlighted in English classes ahead of me. I was enchanted by that old-timey story of elm tree lined small town America. I was reminiscing about how much I loved that story with a friend of mine a week or so ago, and he asked what the Black folks did in that book. Um, nothing. No Black folks in that town. Huh.

But I did blog about it a couple years ago, when I included one of his phrases in a haiku I wrote. And on my photo blog I was doing a series on water images in literature I love, and excerpted a paragraph from Dandelion Wine. I love his writing so much!

Today I was talking with another librarian about how much of an influence Bradbury was in my life. She had almost that same story of how she had absorbed his books as a teen.

"What's that one about the kids with the room with huge TV walls, where they are in Africa and the parents get eaten by lions?" I asked. I still have vivid images in my mind of that story and I read it about 30 years ago.

"Me too!" She said. "I still think about that one frequently." What more of a tribute can one give an author? So many of the stories that appeared in The Illustrated Man are embedded in my mind.

Here is Steven Colbert reading The Veldt by Ray Bradbury: (read the text at the link)

Here is a list of his books on his website. What is your favorite? Do you have any stories about how they have influenced your life? Please share!

Friday, June 01, 2012

House Wren Haiku

House wren, originally uploaded by Andi Sibley.

June morning

the house wren's endless chatter

a second cup

This little guy wakes me up and keeps at it all day long. His nest is in the birdhouse on the porch. I know it's summer when I take my second cup of coffee on the porch with him.

The Friday Poetry Roundup is over at Carol's Corner. Enjoy!

(Cross-posted at Sandy Cove Trail, my photo blog.)