#8 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2012.
Children’s poet and author Robyn Hood Black is here! She’s one of several newish online friends I’ve met through Poetry Friday, and I have so enjoyed visiting her blog Read, Write, Howl every week to see just what this multi-talented, animal-loving gal is up to.
Will she post an original haiku or a piece of her beautiful artwork? Will she share pictures of the wolves she cavorts with as a volunteer for a nearby wildlife preserve, or maybe poetry and drawings created by some of the many children she’s met through school visits and community presentations? No matter what she does, Robyn’s passion always shines through.
Like the best of potluck guests, Robyn’s brought along both grog and grub — a previously unpublished, bewitchingly amusing, finely tuned recipe poem, and a batch of her newly renamed Oatmeal Bars (I am understandably highly partial to these). She also created a gorgeous relief print to go with her poem. Lots to savor here, so don your black bibs and enjoy every delectable word and crumb!
Robin: My brother Mike and I used to transform our circa-1970 ranch house into a haunted house each Halloween — we charged admission and everything. We had a spooky secret passage in a tunnel under his built-in bed, bowls of peeled grape eyeballs on the bathroom counter, headless people sitting at the dining room table — the whole nine yards. I was usually a black cat or something, but Mike, who grew up to be an engineer, was a haunted house himself one year. Very impressive.
The idea for this poem came to me one day earlier this year when I was out walking the dog — a crow was cawing above us, and I just started thinking of tangible and intangible things — in black and white — that might go into a “spooky brew.”
Spooky Brew in Black and White
Take caw of crow.
Take flap of bat.
Sift early snow
into your vat.
Add bleat of sheep
and lava chunk.
Add cricket leap.
Add whiff of skunk.
With iron spike,
stir ink of squid.
Add lightning strike —
then hold the lid!
Now take your time
to fill your cup.
Inhale the slime,
and drink it up.
Copyright © 2012 Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
Here is a recipe for Oatmeal Jam Bars, which you can see from the photo of the recipe from an ancient newspaper, I’ve made forever. Today I’d like to rename them, “Oatmeal Jama Bars” — not quite as prestigious as an honorary doctorate, but pretty close, don’t you think?
Ingredients: All you need, really!
OATMEAL JAM(A) BARS
2 cups oats (whole or quick-cooking — either will work)
1 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine (easy to make these vegan, like I do for my hubby, by using a non-dairy margarine)
1 cup whatever jam you have in the house (strawberry is yummy).
Blend thoroughly all ingredients except jam. Spread half the mixture in a greased, floured 9 x 9 x 2 pan (or something close). Spread jam over dough. Sprinkle and pat down remaining dough over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until light tan. Makes 24 bars. (Bars are firm when cool.)
Robyn Hood Black writes fiction, nonfiction and poetry in the foothills of north Georgia. Two of her poems are included in the just-released THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK, a collection of found poems edited by Georgia Heard (Roaring Brook). Her books include a rhyming Rookie Reader, SIR MIKE (Scholastic Library) and an interactive, nonfiction book, WOLVES (Intervisual Books). HIGHLIGHTS has published her fiction, and her poetry has appeared in HOPSCOTCH and been accepted by LADYBUG. Her work appears in leading haiku journals. She coordinates conferences for SCBWI Southern Breeze and volunteers at a local wildlife preserve. Some of her best friends are wolves. Her human pack includes husband Jeff, daughter Morgan (20), and son Seth (17). Find her online at robynhoodblack.com.
Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.