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Roy Jerden's Blog

About Roy Jerden
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I starting writing poetry again in 2012 after a 50 year hiatus.

Born and raised in West Texas, I lived all over the area as a child until my mother remarried, as my father was in the oil drilling business, which required constant moving. I grew up in San Angelo, home of Fort Concho and the Buffalo Soldiers, but spent quite a few summers working on my grandpa's farm in the Texas Hill Country.

I met my wife Toni while I was stationed at Aviano AFB, Italy. I learned to speak Italian fluently and we still speak it at home interchangeably with English. My three sons, all born in Italy after I got out of the USAF, also speak Italian.

We moved back to the USA in 1972 and settled in Missouri, where I went back to school.

We moved to Atlanta in 1988, when Toni relocated here with AT&T. I got a job with McKesson (then HBOC) working with medical information systems, which started my career in this field. I had a natural talent for application design and parlayed this talent into a great R&D management position with an internet startup.

We are now retired. We spend time traveling the world and visiting our grandchildren in CA and NC. We also spend some time in Italy almost every year visiting and traveling with friends in Europe as we have a small apartment there in Sacile near Aviano, not far from Venice.

My other passions are mushroom hunting (the edible kind), gourmet cooking and bread baking.


Images for my Spring sonnet


Blog Posted:3/10/2014 7:56:00 PM
There are some plants, critters, and birds mentioned in my poem, "San Saba Springtime"
that might be unfamiliar to someone from another part of the world. As the poem was
written for young people, I also wished for them to become familiar with these as well
and to enlarge their vocabulary. So here are some images with descriptions, followed
by the text of the poem:


A field of Bluebonnets, a type of lupine (lupin), and the state flower of Texas.
The Hill Country region can be carpeted with these in certain years. There are
also some small Mesquite trees here. They are like the acacia in Africa, edible
leaves, but thorny. They also produce an edible bean, which the cattle in
Mexico released by the Spanish ate and eventually spread the seeds to Texas,
where it did not grow previously. The wood is aromatic and used for smoking
BBQ.

These Rainbugs are quite a bit bigger than the ones found in Texas, but look
the same. They come out after the rain to reproduce and can easily be
spotted. They are quite harmless and pretty. They are consumed in India,
where they are known as Indian Viagra.

The Organ Pipe wasp or Dirt Dauber is iridescent blue-black and not at all
aggressive. Its nest is cast from dirt and the wasp's saliva. It preys on 
spiders and lays its eggs in their bodies.

Ant Lions, also known as Doodlebugs, make an inverted cone-shaped trap to
catch ants in. You can see it here just above the ant lion's wandering tracks,
which look like doodles, hence the moniker. You don't want to see a picture of
the ant lion, which is harmless, but really ugly.

The Mockingbird is well-known to Americans, so this is for the rest of the
world. It's scientific name is Mimus polyglottus, which is a perfect description
as it is a perfect mime, singing all the other birds' calls. Some birds will sing
over a hundred different calls. You are lucky if you have one near your house.

The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is also known as the Texas bird-of-paradise,
one of the most beautiful birds in Texas.

The poem depicts Spring awakening in the San Saba valley of Texas, the northern
edge of the Hill Country, arguably the most beautiful part of Texas. Texas at one
time was a republic, hence a sovereign land.
I wanted to involve several senses in the poem, so it starts with a far view of
the land, then changes the focus to the ground close-up and some critters (the
butterfly seems to get all the good bug PR, so I am trying to focus on some
others). Then back overhead, then to sounds and birds flying, and finally to 
some fragrant smells. In particular, that heady smell of the earth after rain on
dry ground, Petrichor, very pungent in Texas, and it brings me home every time.
I remember 
landing at Love Field in Dallas in 1967 just discharged from the Air Force.
I got off the plane via the stairs so I was immediately outside. It had just rained and
the combination of the hot ground and the rain just gave me a rush. It just said
Home....

San Saba Springtime

Cold cobalt skies unfold their lanky limbs 
The sovereign land awakes in zealous time
Where low mesquites abide the feral winds
Defiant blooms the lupine in its prime
Rainbugs pepper the earth in velvet red
Hungry ant lions lurk in lethal lairs
Dirt daubers cast organ pipes overhead
Mockingbirds merrily try out their airs
Scissor-tailed flycatchers' semaphores flash
Silent songbirds seem incited to sing
The wispy wraith of Winter whispers past
And harbingers heady odors of Spring
Petrichor, the smell of rain on dry ground!
Bluebonnets, the sweetest scent to be found!


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  1. Date: 3/12/2014 3:27:00 PM
    Beautiful pics.

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  1. Date: 3/11/2014 2:52:00 PM
    What lively colors!!! So vibrant Roy!

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  1. Date: 3/11/2014 11:50:00 AM
    Masterful Roy--I truly hope it brings the spring!

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  1. Date: 3/11/2014 9:30:00 AM
    Enjoyed the pics, Roy. I know most of these, as I am right over in Arkansas.

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  1. Date: 3/11/2014 2:26:00 AM
    That flycatcher is something else. Don't believe I have ever seen one. I have seen doodle bugs. You take a tooth pick or small stick and run it round and round down in the doodle hole, while saying "doodle bug, doodle bug, come out, come out. Your house is on fire." That'll bring'em out every time.

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My Past Blog Posts

 
"AT SEVENTEEN"
Date Posted: 9/30/2014 10:57:00 AM
Cowboys in the Badlands - Part 3 and Epilogue - Roy Jerden
Date Posted: 9/25/2014 3:41:00 PM
Cowboys in the Badlands Part 2 - Roy Jerden
Date Posted: 9/21/2014 7:30:00 PM
Cowboys in the Badlands Part 1 - Roy Jerden
Date Posted: 9/19/2014 10:32:00 PM
The Pedicure Virgin
Date Posted: 9/11/2014 8:19:00 PM
How to make an image out of a long poem
Date Posted: 9/3/2014 12:58:00 PM
How to do a scansion of your poem to verify the meter
Date Posted: 8/19/2014 6:03:00 PM
Too Subtle?
Date Posted: 8/15/2014 1:39:00 PM
New Feature -Poet's Notes About the Poem
Date Posted: 8/2/2014 12:31:00 PM
Free Verse: Start here or finish here
Date Posted: 7/21/2014 7:04:00 PM
Bogus Entries in Contests
Date Posted: 7/19/2014 6:46:00 AM
Punctuation and Capitalization in Poetry
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 6:35:00 PM
About Poem/Poem Notes/Inspiration, etc.
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 8:17:00 AM
Bawdy Limericks II Judged
Date Posted: 7/6/2014 2:48:00 PM
To Footnote or Not to Footnote?
Date Posted: 7/3/2014 8:47:00 PM
User trying to set a password
Date Posted: 6/24/2014 10:01:00 PM
Centering, Bolding, and Italicizing in a Poem
Date Posted: 6/9/2014 9:51:00 PM
Bawdy Limerick Contest Complete
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 4:38:00 PM
Limerick Contest Update - Last chance
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 5:31:00 PM
Bonnie Parker's Poetry
Date Posted: 5/24/2014 2:48:00 PM
Limerick Contest Update
Date Posted: 5/22/2014 2:48:00 PM
Kudos on the Miltonic Sonnet Contest
Date Posted: 5/13/2014 4:06:00 PM
Limerick Contest
Date Posted: 5/4/2014 7:56:00 PM
Roy's Ramblings - The Final Invention
Date Posted: 5/4/2014 9:42:00 AM
Contest Enhancements I'd Like to See
Date Posted: 4/24/2014 10:12:00 AM

My Poems

123
Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
9/22/2014I'm a 4Clerihewtribute,
9/15/2014The Empty QuarterAlliterationearth,nature,stars,
8/31/2014Bad GoldilocksAbecedarianhumorous,
8/25/2014Pussy RiotChastushkahumor,
8/23/2014Matryoshkan MultiverseHaibunhumor,
8/18/2014A Roll of Duct Tape - FootleFootlehumor,
8/10/2014The New OneBlank versedark,
8/5/2014Picket Tupp and Poteeta WheyQuatrainchild,children,
7/22/2014A Brush of WingsVersebird,
7/16/2014Great A'Tuin - the Giant Star TurtleHaibundeath,journey,stars,
7/13/2014Blood on the SaddleLimerickfunny,vacation,
7/8/2014Willow: A FableRhymechildren,death,dream,fant
6/30/2014Ragnarok: The StormEpyllionweather,
6/28/2014Dante's PathQuatrainspiritual,
6/11/2014Bill's DrillLimerickhumorous,
5/26/2014Albert EinsteinClerihewhumorous,science,
5/22/2014John Cougar MellencampClerihewbio,humorous,
5/19/2014SoupQuatrainpoetry,satire,
5/14/2014Into the SunlightHaikunature,
5/12/2014RainierHaikunature,
5/9/2014JanuariesHaikunature,
5/7/2014Jonah Falcon He's NotLimerickfunny,
5/6/2014The Well Traveled LinguistLimerickhumorous,
5/5/2014Raise the MastLimerickhumorous,
5/4/2014Are you glad to see me or is that just a wrinkleLimerickage,funny,
123

My Photos


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