What’s Under The Dirt?



Hi everyone,

Yesterday I had a fine time talking with kids and teachers in Leeton, Missouri for my first live outing since the pandemic began, thanks to my friend Deanna Schuler whom I met when she was in first grade and is now a wonderful librarian. Her library makes you feel like you want to be there from the moment you walk in. I loved it! My books were on display. Thank you for that, too, dear Deanna!

I introduced and signed copies of THE DIRT BOOK for the first time and provided some book marks, thanks to the book’s artist, Kate Cosgrove. Thank you, Kate. It was great fun to explain to the kids that they were the first in the world to see the new book and hear me read from it. The first book I signed was the first I’d signed anywhere. They thought that was cool and so did I.

After talking about THE DIRT BOOK, we took a group of students outside to look at the ground for signs of things that live there. The kids found more than I did.

davidlharrison | June 11, 2021 at 7:44 am | Tags: c, Deanna Schuler, Grace Maccarone, Holiday House, Leeton School, The Dirt Book | Categories: David L Harrison, Deanna Schuler, Leeton School, The Dirt Book | URL: https://wp.me/pBt27-8BA

Mud Season

by Jane Kenyon

Here in purgatory bare ground

is visible, except in shady places

where snow prevails.

Still, each day sees

the restoration of another animal:

a sparrow, just now a sleepy wasp;

and, at twilight, the skunk

pokes out of the den,

anxious for mates and meals. . . .

On the floor of the woodshed

the coldest imaginable ooze,

and soon the first shoots

of asparagus will rise,

the fingers of Lazarus. . . .

Earth’s open wounds — where the plow

gouged the ground last November —

must be smoothed; some sown

with seed, and all forgotten.

Now the nuthatch spurns the suet,

resuming its diet of flies, and the mesh

bag limp and greasy, might be taken


Beside the porch step

the crocus prepares an exaltation

of purple, but for the moment

holds its tongue. . . .
Jane Kenyon, “Mud Season” from Collected Poems.

Copyright © 2005 by The Estate of Jane Kenyon.

Used by permission of The Permissions Company,

LLC on behalf of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota,


The Writer’s Almanac for Friday, June 11, 2021

remembering brings them to life…


this illustration and poem are from my friend and famous poet, David Harrison.

It expresses perfectly our gratitude to our veterans and families.

Definition #210 Frog Chorus

Listen to me!

Listen to me!

David Harrison on blogging:
One of my poems in a Georgia Heard book is about a frog chorus. It’s told in sounds only. Sometimes I divide an audience into fourths so that each group can sing out in a different voice. And so we all sing our songs with our different voices, and some of us sing from the comfort of our snug little blogs.

The wonder is that others hear us and sing back.
Cheryl Harness:
May 13, 2015 @ 9:43 am
this frog shall marvel at your tenacity & many-splendor’d life until I croak

David Harrison:
May 13, 2015 @ 9:54 am
Thank you! And until then, we shall sit on our respective pads and sing to the moon.

David Harrison shares my progress since 2011

Rock 'n Roll @ David's Poetry Workshop

Rock ‘n Roll @ David’s Poetry Workshop

New post on Children’s Author David L. Harrison’s Blog

Update from Jeanne Poland
by davidlharrison
Hi everyone,
I asked for updates on writing experiences from anyone who has attended previous poetry workshops. One of the original SWAP 8+1 members, Jeanne Poland, was the first to respond. I am not surprised. Jeanne is always prompt and I relied on her to keep me on schedule at the workshops she attended. She is a former nun, retired teacher, gifted artist, and dedicated poet. Here are her own words. Thanks Jeanne!

1 David introduced me to a blog on WordPress, and to daily posting.
I was able to purchase media space and post high-res photos, films, links and marvelous graphics which satisfy my appetite
for illustrations.

2 The replies and comments on various poetry blogs enrich my days immeasurably.

3 Highlights Foundation is my new Writing, Illustrating and Publishing Academy.
The artists are a dignified social circle too.

4 Blurb, an independent author/publishing firm, has guided me in the publication of 13 books.
You can see previews of them for free at:


5 Working on-line has saved me much travel time, and linked me to the global world of art.

6 I continue to be stimulated by the networking with “live poets in live time” and the art shows held at the galleries here in NY.

7 Finally, my days are sprinkled with the joys of the 3 and 5 year old grand children, who also love to rhyme and initiate great art:


Jeanne Poland

davidlharrison | October 22, 2014 at 7:29 am | Tags: Highlights Foundation Poetry Workshop, Jeanne Poland | Categories: Jeanne Poland | URL: http://wp.me/pBt27-36w

Definition #14 Psychic

Photo by David Harrison Sunrise on Goose Lake

Photo by David Harrison
Sunrise on Goose Lake

sees clearly;  third eye

in the dark, intuits, knows –

empowers God’s touch!

Maracas Night @the Barn

Harrison plays the calabash Michelle the maracas Photo by Jeanne

Harrison plays the calabash
Michelle the maracas
Photo by Jeanne

Who shakes his gourd? by
fireside? shakes his shells, hips, jaw?
rocks stones with his rhythm?

a pair of hollow club like gourd or gourd-shaped containers filled with beans, pebbles, or similar objects, shaken as a percussion instrument.

denoting a type of traditional Mexican folk music, typically performed by a small group of strolling musicians dressed in native costume.

an evergreen tropical American tree that bears fruit in the form of large woody gourds.

Report from Honesdale PA: Skype with J Patrick Lewis

The Highlights Foundation set up this wonderful Skype Session For David Harrison’s
Workshop: “Poetry For the Delight of It” here in Honesdale, PA.
Patrick agreed to answer questions about Poetry and share some of his poems with us.

Lewis encouraged us to use many forms for our poems, as shown in: “The Shapes of our Singing”.
We left the 30 minute session with a hardbound copy of “If You Were A Chocolate Mustache” by J Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Matthew Cordell, a gift from Highlights.

Patrick read from a poem he wrote for Oct 1st, The International Day of the Elderly.
“So many things you anticipate, you won’t want to do when you’re old.”
“A rose is a gift to the air”
“Is sadness the reason for rainbows?”
And in a poem for Helen Keller, wrote the refrain: “I’m not alone; Ann Sullivan’s with me”

His most significant advice was to use:
“strong, personified action verbs”
(Delete the adjective-clutter)
As Mark Twain said: “If you catch an adjective, kill it”
Patrick quoted a phrase from a haiku to illustrate a personified verb:
“The bee staggers out of the peony”

We will prompt children to sing, create poetry and rhyme their little hearts off.
Lewis says “he’s a loner” but his poetry and scholarly techniques pluck our strings. We play along like an orchestra in a pod! It’s a setting sun symphony!

David Harrison’s Window

Here’s my Word of the Month poem, inspired by my plane rides to and from Honesdale.

The Window
by David L. Harrison

There’s something about looking out
an airplane window.
Do you feel it too?

Perhaps it’s the land drawn
like history’s checkerboard pages
recorded endlessly beyond
my horizon,

tree-fortified rivers shouldering
down valleys of least resistance,

Lilliputian towns –
miniature yards with droplet pools,
fans of ball diamonds,
ribbon streets –
like board games sliding
out of view, out of mind.

Something about looking out
an airplane window
makes me want to respond,
to write about . . .

We land and once again
I forget
the question.

Dearest David:(Off your trapeze)
You were suspended
Now you’re grounded;
But words take flight
And fly to me:
Storks bring baby truths
To soothe and smoothe and schmooze.
Jeanne Poland

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