Friday, February 27, 2009

Chatter in the Canopy - Backstory

In 2000, I asked my father, Dick Roberts, to illustrate some of my poems with the goal of self-publishing a small book. I’ve always admired his artistic talents and, not having been close over the years, I was interested in us doing something together that might outlive us and show someone someday that two creative people had been here and had contributed something of value to the culture.

I liked the results, and, thinking I may have only one opportunity to complete a project like this, I asked another old friend whose work I liked, Doug Heinlein, to illustrate additional poems.

In 2008, I stumbled across a book called Speaking Fire at Stones: Poems by William Carpenter and Drawings by Robert Shetterly (ISBN 0-88448-105-0 Tilbury House, Gardiner, ME 1992). It knocked me out. People familiar with that book will, I hope, forgive me for my obvious “homage” with Chatter in the Canopy.

Chatter in the Canopy was a glorious pain to finish, and I hope it will be considered one small contribution to what makes life worth living.

To buy a copy, visit Etsy or Amazon. (Etsy copies get signed.)

If you get one, read it, and have something positve to say about it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.


– JR

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Rookery

In late October, a chill settles in the basement.
In the third floor bedroom, an antiqued-blue chest
At the foot of the bed becomes a nesting ground.

Several species of shorts winter here: cut-off denims,
Silk boxers, one-hundred-percent-cotton chinos.
Plaid baggies puff their pleats to scare interlopers.

Mating pairs entice each other with floppy pockets.
The shorts breed; they rear; they remain for months,
Fighting off wash-day trespassers, day-old underwear,

Wallets, wedgies, and wanderlust. In mid May,
When the Bakhtiari herd their goats back
Into the highlands; when the Pennacooks hike north

To Concord; when martins, swallows, terns, and warblers
Wing their way up coasts, the shorts tentatively explore
The second floor, testing the breezes, warming to travel.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chatter in the Library

I'm happy to announce that Chatter in the Canopy has been accepted for inclusion in the general circulation departments of both the Stevens Memorial Library in North Andover, Mass. and the Haverhill (MA) Public Library.

Now locals can read it it for free, so ... please do!

And, if after you read it you have something positve to say about it, please help with marketing by leaving a brief review on the page:

Thanks everyone!