I have used a line from his poem, "City," which is found in City I Love (Abrams, 2009):
A hydrant is my swimming pool.It is the inspiration for a cherita and I've altered a photo by John Vachon, taken in 1941, to illustrate it.
© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
a hydrant is my swimming pool
a respite from city heat
mere minutes in the moment
laughter of friends the memento
--a valve waiting to be reopened
at a moment's notice
I never had the opportunity to meet Lee in person, but I did participate in a Highlights Foundation workshop back in 2017 in which he video conferenced with the attendees. I corresponded with him briefly about a poem being considered for a future anthology. Sadly, the project was subsequently canceled by the publisher and I wasn't able to brag, "I'm in a Lee Bennett Hopkins anthology!"
Find more tribute poems at The Poem Farm where Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is hosting today's special celebration #DearOneLBH. Many thanks to Jone MacCulloch for originally suggesting we share LBH's poems by using them as a springboard to something new.
Yes - "mere minutes in the moment" - it all seems to go so quickly sometimes, but the "laughter of friends" keeps us in a spirit of hope. Thank you for joining us today, for coming back from your hiatus to celebrate Lee. Happy Poetry Friday, Diane! xxReplyDelete
Thanks again Amy for hosting this celebration. I am in the middle of a move into a small apartment. It's been painful in more ways than one. I finally moved the cat over this afternoon, so tonight is our first night "living" here. Wish us luck!Delete
What a perfect summer moment caught in the photo and your words! I love it. "laughter of friends." is such a great phrase. Lee said in one interview that laughter was his favorite sound. Good catch, you!ReplyDelete
It's more a matter of synchronicity, Linda, than a catch!Delete
Oh, I'm so glad you interrupted your PF break to share this, Diane - such an apt image, that "valve waiting to be reopened" at any time - for poetry, for friendships, for the kinds of inspirations Lee will continue to splash us all with whenever we read his books. XOReplyDelete
It's nice to be back visiting with old poetry friends, it's just too bad it's as a result of Lee's passing.Delete
Several are writing from "City I Love", a favorite of mine, too, Diane. I'm glad to see you here, celebrating Lee's life together, & love that cherita's "laughter of friends the memento" - perfect!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Linda! I'm going to try to visit all the LBH poems this weekend.Delete
Diane, I have missed you and am so glad that you are here today. Because of you, I have moved beyond my comfort zone and have tried cheritas. I love learning from you. Your fire hydrant poem reminds me of a splash site in Winchester, VA that we passed last week in Olde Town. While there were no hydrants there were many children running in and out of the small geyser-like water sprouts. "a respite from city heat" - Yes, the heat in Winchester warranted many children taking advantage of cool water runs. We are all here, "laughter of friends the memento." May I capture this image poem for my Embraceable Summer Gallery collection/ This is an embraceable summer moment cherita.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you're trying cheritas. They've become my favorite form! And, yes, you may capture my poem for the collection! Thanks for asking!Delete
Many thanks, Diane.Delete
I like all the Ms. Thanks for this!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Ruth!Delete
Love this phrase, "laughter of friends the memento" and the idea that Lee's words are the valve that can be reopened again and again. Thanks for joining the celebration.ReplyDelete
I'm happy to celebrate with all the P. F. peeps once again.Delete
Welcome back! (Good luck in your new apartment!)ReplyDelete
This roundup has been as refreshing as a hydrant-swimming pool!
This is the line that speaks to me most:ReplyDelete
a valve waiting to be reopened
I know you didn't use it in this context, but I feel like that describes my state of poetry limbo that I, more or less, walk around in most of the time. It's not all that comfortable, but I do like when the hydrant lets loose.
Such a delight to find Random Noodling on my PF rounds this weekend, Diane!
As others have noted, that line "valve waiting to be reopened / at a moment's notice" just jumps off the page. Thank you for this lovely memory poem, Diane!ReplyDelete
I love reading your cheritas--you make it look so easy (but not so easy when I try to write one myself). This is just lovely, and the combination with the photo is perfect. Good luck to you and your cat with the move. I hope the first night was peaceful.ReplyDelete
Your cheritas inspire me to try one. One day soon, I'll give it a go!ReplyDelete