Books And More Books!

I should have been
born in a library
to spend my life
a voracious bookworm
digesting its contents
munching my way through
musty old history
pondering poetry
puzzling out mysteries
smiling at rom-coms
sniffling over
heartbreaking memoirs
orbiting the sci-fi.
Horror gives me heartburn!

And, oh, those cookbooks
a feast for the eyes!
Though, sad to say,
bookworms seldom find time
to cook, dust
bulging buckling bookshelves
or sweep Home & Garden.
Yes, I should have been
born in a library.

I probably shouldn’t, but I do, subscribe to Book Cave and Book Bub. So I get ads about new releases and sales on e-books already in print. Which lead to the composition of the above poem. Looking over the ones offered today, I d like to read most of them!

As Frank Zappa once said, “So many books, so little time!” Here are some that non-fiction offerings that have piqued my interest; maybe they’ll pique yours, too?

H Is for Hawk: Helen Macdonald writes about adopting a temperamental hawk in the wake of her father’s death. I like animal stories, as long as the animal has a good long life. 😉

Webster’s New World: American Idioms Handbook. “The origins and meanings of American idioms.” Wouldn’t that be a fascinating read!

Too Much Tuscan Sun: Tour guide Dario Castagno “recounts unforgettable stories of his clients and their outrageous misadventures.” Human as I am, I enjoy hearing about other people’s misadventures, especially in foreign lands.

The Men We Became. A memoir by Robert Littell, who was JFK Jr’s best friend and writes about their growing up years. “Conveys the lasting love that can exist between boys who grow into men together.” (USA Today) Obviously this’d be more interesting to American readers, so I’ve included it here.

WW2 : A Layman’s Guide, by Scott Addington. “Concise read offers a thorough overview–without getting bogged down by minutiae.” I think this would be invaluable for writers setting their stories in that era.

The Roman Barbarian Wars by Ludwig Heinrich Dyck. As I said in my poem, I like ancient history. Gives me an idea of what’s gone on in our world heretofore.

Now a question for older readers: I’m reading a book that includes a flashback to Alabama, 1957. The young man is telling his parents, “I’m eighteen, legally an adult, and I can do what I want.” (In this case, marry her if I want to.)

And I thought, “Oh, no, you’re not! Back in 1957 you weren’t legally an adult until you were 21.” I recall some hot words in the 60s about being old enough for the draft, but for voting. What do you readers say? Is he right or am I. (Bearing in mind that US laws will have varied from state to state.)


This verse was written by Barry Cornwall — which was the pen name of Bryan Waller Procter, 1787 – 1874. Born in Leeds, England, this poet was a contemporary of Lord Byron.

The sea, the sea, the open sea,
the blue, the fresh, the ever free;
without a mark, without a bound,
it runneth the earth’s wide regions round;
it plays with the clouds, it mocks the skies,
or like a cradled creature lies.
I’m on the sea, I’m on the sea 
I am where I would ever be,
with the blue above and the blue below, 
and silence wherever I go.
If a storm should come and awake the deep
What matter? I shall ride and sleep.

I love, O, how I love to ride
on the fierce foaming bursting tide,
where every made wave drowns the moon,
and whistles aloft its tempest tune
and tells how goeth the world below,
and why the southwest wind doth blow!
I never was on the dull tame shore
but I loved the great sea more and more,
and backward flew to her billowy breast,
like a bird that seethe her mother’s nest, --
and a mother she was and is to me,
for I was born on the open sea.

The waves were white and red the morn,
in the noisy hour when I was born;
the whale it whistled, the porpoise rolled,
and the dolphins bared their backs of gold;
and never was heard such an outcry wild,
 as welcomed to life the ocean child.
I have lived since then, in calm and strife,
full fifty summers a rover’s life
with wealth to spend and a power to range,
but never have sought or sighed for change:
And death, whenever he comes to me,
shall come on the wide unbounded sea!

Summer Stillness

We’ve been having some very warm days lately, which brings to mind a few heat-related poems. This verse is my latest exercise in “finding” a new poem; I’ve derived it from Archibald Lampman’s HEAT and included his verse below mine. I’m still learning, so if you have any insights on writing found poetry, please feel free to share them in a comment below.


from plains southward
the road beyond,
upward melts into the glare
nearer the summit
a hay-cart moving,
the wagoner slouching
half-hidden in the blur
of white dust

from sky to sky
the heat-held land
beyond me in the fields
the grass, the marguerites,
the buttercups are still,
on the brook not a breath
disturbs spider or midge

where far elm shadows
patch the burning grass
the cows, with peaceful cud,
lie waiting in the depth
from the slope nearby
a thrush’s thin tune
cricket, grasshoppers
spin small sounds in my ear 

the burning sky-line
blinds my eyes,
the woods far off blue,
hills drenched in light
in the shadow of my hat
I lean at rest -- I think
some blessed power
has brought me
wandering here
in the furnace of this hour

by Archibald Lampman

From plains that reel to southward, dim,
The road runs by me white and bare;
Up the steep hill it seems to swim
Beyond, and melt into the glare.
Upward half-way, or it may be
Nearer the summit, slowly steals
A hay-cart, moving dustily
With idly clacking wheels.

By his cart’s side the wagoner
Is slouching slowly at his ease,
Half-hidden in the windless blur
Of white dust puffing to his knees.
This wagon on the height above,
From sky to sky on either hand,
Is the sole thing that seems to move
In all the heat-held land.

Beyond me in the fields the sun
Soaks in the grass and hath his will;
I count the marguerites one by one;
Even the buttercups are still.
On the brook yonder not a breath
Disturbs the spider or the midge.
The water-bugs draw close beneath
The cool gloom of the bridge.

Where the far elm-tree shadows flood
Dark patches in the burning grass,
The cows, each with her peaceful cud,
Lie waiting for the heat to pass.
From somewhere on the slope near by
Into the pale depth of the noon
A wandering thrush slides leisurely
His thin revolving tune.

In intervals of dream, I hear
The cricket from the droughty ground;
The grasshoppers spin into mine ear
A small innumerable sound.
I lift mine eyes sometimes to gaze;
The burning sky-line blinds my sight;
The woods far off are blue with haze;
The hills are drenched in light.

And yet to me not this or that
Is always sharp or always sweet:
In the sloped shadow of my hat
I lean at rest and drain the heat;
Nay more, I think some blessed power
Hath brought me wandering idly here:
In the full furnace of this hour
My thoughts grow keen and clear.

Haiku in Dialogue

Good morning everyone.

I shall leave complex issues, such as I wrote about yesterday, and rather write about some quick glimpses of life. I’m happy to see one of my haiku was chosen for inclusion amongst the many others at Haiku Dialogue this week — and also last week. This week’s topic was : a simple dwelling place. Last week’s topic was a simple daily task. If haiku interests you, you should check out these posts. It’s amazing how clever some folks are at putting these concepts into haiku verses.

My last week’s verse was:
another pill
the old clock

This week’s verse, a monoku:
fixing up the old house laughs again

The latest issue of Heron’s Nest just came out. I stand in awe of poets who can come up with modern haiku that twists, or entwines, two ideas together so ingeniously. To give you an idea, I’m restating the concept from one verse. The original was much better but I dare not violate copyrights. 🙂
my multicultural
dinner plate

Sometimes my mind has to work to make the leap and get the connection. 🙂 Here’s one of mine that stems from reading the news a few months back:

purging fires
burning banned books
warms a nation


Thank God For Home

by American poet Grace Noll Crowell
Oct 1877- Mar 1969

I cannot thank Thee, God, enough
For this small plot of ground, this roof,
These lifted walls that close me in
And hold me tenderly; this proof
Of Thy kind care for my great need
Of shelter and of daily bread;
But, oh, there are no written words,
There are no words that have been said
That could express my gratitude
For the companionship of love
That shares my simple fare—dear God,
A gift I would be worthy of!
And I would thank Thee for the tasks;
A fire to tend, a loaf to bake,
A floor to sweep, a seam to sew,
A clean, white-sheeted bed to make,
A lamp to light at evening time—
I thank Thee, God, for all of these:
For home, my home—for every home—
I thank Thee, God, upon my knees.

From her book, LIGHT OF THE YEARS
I see that Amazon lists a number of her poetry books.