Friday, August 16, 2013

The Time Has Come…

Hello, friends! A happy Friday to you all.

The time has come, as the Walrus said, to talk of many things
—well, perhaps not many, but one or two of some importance to this little corner of the internet cosmos. Today is the fifth anniversary of the Robert Frost’s Banjo blog, & I'm here to let you know that the blog will go on indefinite hiatus after this post.

Now please be assured: this blog isn’t going to go anywhere—it will remain online as long as Google in its infinite wisdom keeps Blogger blogs available & free; however, I don't anticipate adding any content either generated by myself or others in the foreseeable future. This is not an impulsive or precipitous decision—I’ve been thinking about it for some time, & it’s become clear to me over the past several months that the blog has simply run its course in terms of the content I can create for it & the engagement I can bring to it.

Of course, the blog never was just me. It’s always been a place for collaboration, & I have nothing but thanks & gratitude for the friends who have contributed to Robert Frost’s Banjo & who have done so much to make it a space people have enjoyed
—on alphabetical order: my old friend Audrey Bilger, who has contributed some of the most popular & widely read pieces; dear Barbie Angell, whose poetry & illustrations absolutely won me over, & who has been such a big part of the blog the past couple of years—Barbie’s poem posts are always popular, & deservedly so; Brittany Newmark, a cherished old friend & remarkably talented poet & fiction writer who’s been generous enough to contribute her writing;  Carmen Leone, who has conscientiously &  generously supplied me with his wonderful poems; Eberle Umbach, who brought the Weiser River Pillow Book, poetry, music, & stories about everything from Jane Austen to the Rock Band game & much more—& who was the source of the blog’s name, which was a stroke of genius in my opinion—the blog certainly never would have been what it has been without Eberle's major contributions, & they are much appreciated; L.E. Leone (or Dani as I know her), a dear friend whose poems have been a mainstay on the Tuesday poet’s corner & who also has contributed music as part of Homegrown Radio; my dear friend Mairi Graham-Shaw, who has such creative energy & for whom I envision such a bright future, has contributed her high energy poetry; & & Nancy Krygowski, who stepped in & contributed poems of first-rate quality. All of these people have been so much fun to work with, & I’m grateful to call them all friends. If I were to include all the many people who contributed to such series as Writer’s Talk, Homegrown Radio & Musical Questions, the list simply would go on & on. But check them out in the blog archives & in the label section! These are the folks that made Robert Frost’s Banjo a special place.

& thank all of you who stop by to read, whether regularly, sporadically, or once in a blue moon. You’ve also been a big part of the blog! I wish you all the best in your endeavors, wherever they may take you, & if we meet in this space again down the road, so much the happier.

So how shall we send the blog off to rest? Well, it is Robert Frost's Banjo! See below.

Happy trails!

Image is of course by John Tenniel—one of his illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. It links to its source on Wiki Commons, & is in the public domain.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Vagabond Thoughts…."

Vagabond Thoughts….

You were a part of my speech.,
the unexplained break in my voice.
You wrote the song in my head,
and I promise this wasn’t my choice.

You were the spin of the stars,
the sweet chaos of all I could see.
You haven’t uncovered the truth
of the wonder and magic of me.

You were the start of a thought
that I was too cautious to think.
Unable to fend off your charms,
you lured my heart to the brink.

You were a part of my speech.
A whisper too loud to ignore.
The voice that coaxed me to sleep,
the one this poem is for.

Barbie Angell
© 2011

Thank you, Barbie : )

Friday, August 9, 2013

“blood hymn”

blood hymn

my God
likes him some destruction
sodom and gommorah style

He says
you gotta beat 'em
til they stop moving
and then some

only through blood
and broken bodies
on the far side
of that all too carnal war

only there
is His joy
and your salvation

and His angels
have scars
that are mountains and valleys

and they count them
like blessings

but i said,
and i said
something about flies
and vinegar

and i said
can't you cut them
some slack ?
some fucking slack

and i wasn't really talking about
syria, or cancer, or anything
just about you

some fucking slack,
i said
some things are fragile
breakable, you know
handle with care
with fucking care,

and He said
but isn't it neat
how many directions
the shards fly in
when they shatter?

and i said yeah,
and get stuck in my foot
i said
get stuck in my fucking foot

(He smiled,
at that)

Mairi Graham-Shaw
© 2013

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons - public domain image

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Fall of the Rebel Angels (1562)

Thanks, Mairi : )

Wednesday, August 7, 2013



Whatever it means,
how could you not love its squirming sounds?
The only place I’ve seen it used in context
is in a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins,
so I still don’t know what it means.
He speaks of a falcon swooping,
And this reminds him of embers that
“fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.”
Vermillion then is something that can be gashed,
something that can be gold.

I could look it up,
But what if it doesn’t mean “a million tiny worms”?
I picture them in a bowl,
twisted and tangled like thin spaghetti
in bright red sauce.
If sprinkled with tiny cellos instead of cheese,
they become vermicelli.

Don’t, please don’t look it up.
Or if you do, don’t tell me what you find,
Or the word will be nothing more
than a city southwest of Cleveland.
It will no longer squirm
in my concave bowl of a brain
making me happy as Sunday dinner.

AUG 09

Carmen Leone
© 2009-the present

Image links to its source at Wiki Commons; public domain

Thanks Carmen!