POEM: Mourning Dandelions

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“Mourning Dandelions”

 

I walk in my front yard, the dawn

brings out golden lions

lounging in emerald grass.

Their teeth drip sunlight.

Perhaps later, I will

harvest bright blossoms for

an herbal infusion, light and sweet,

to celebrate May’s arrival.

 

Then I hear the lawnmower’s low growl.

Those sharp lion teeth can’t survive

the sharper blades cutting, splitting,

ripping them from the ground until

 

they come back again

Bright and beautiful.

Nothing keeps them down for long.

 

Upcoming events:

May 4th

Star Wars Day: look for events in your area, follow social media posts and celebrations, or just celebrate the franchise in your own way at home!

May 4th-5th

25th Annual Dandelion Festival at Breitenbach Wine Cellars! I used to take my son to this every year when he was little. There is a dandelion picking contest every year for the little kids, who then turn the blossoms into dandelion jelly. There are vendors and tours of the winery, dandelion wine and jelly for sale, and the big event is the annual Dandelion cookoff!

May 5th

Free Comic Book Day falls on the first Saturday of every May. Participating Comic Book stores around the country give away special edition FCBD comics to the delight long time comic book fans and the enticement of new ones. The special editions are created to be stand alones, so you don’t need to worry about jumping into the middle of an unfamiliar series. Many stores also hold costume contests and giveaways, so don’t miss out!

May 25th

Towel Day is a fan created holiday in honor of Douglas Adams, creator of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and other series, former Doctor Who writer, and all around hoopy frood. In addition to such activities as learning to fly or drinking (Terran versions of) Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters, fans conspicuously wear towels on this day in order to call attention to the author’s work. The idea is drawn from The Guide itself:

“A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

I’m sure there are more obscure holidays this month that I’ve missed, but at least I’ve called your attention to my favorites. Go forth, and May the Fourth be with you…always.

 

*I wrote today’s poem in honor of the Dandelion Festival this weekend.

***image courtesy of http://publicdomainpictures.net/

 

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POEM: License, Insurance, and Registration

police-car

“License, Insurance, and Registration”

 

Please.

 

Shiny black cop cars

compact fuel economying

across city streets and

highways, two counties

wide. An assault of vehicles

by sheer numbers on an

otherwise uneventful day

–no holiday traffic,

no special events,

no reason apparent

for the barrage of Blue

all burnished and new.

 

Bright blue lights

spiral drivers to

the edge. Must be the day

the new patrol cars arrive

begging to be driven,

needing validation

by way of speeding tickets

and arrests, my taxpayer

dollars paying for each

glitzy new vehicle

to slow traffic,

raise my insurance,

and justify the expense

of shiny black cop cars.

 

I hand over my papers,

look the cop in the eye and tell her,

 

You’re welcome.

 

 

 

 

Upcoming events:

April 27th

Akron Nervous Dog Poetry Night from 6pm-9pm. I will be reading for about twenty minutes, so I hope to see you there!

April 28th

Western Reserve Writers’ Conference(9am-430pm) If you get a chance to attend, it’s definitely worth the trip!

 

*This poem was inspired by the day 18 prompt for National Poetry Month, courtesy of Cuyahoga Library combined with an oddly high number of police vehicles in my area the previous day.
*image courtesy of http://publicdomainpictures.net/

 

POEM: Young at Heart

tricot

“Young at Heart”

 

The oldest person I have known

had paper pale skin that hung

in sheets off her

frail emaciated frame,

a thin wisp of a woman

with silver white hair

and glasses with lenses so thick

they opaqued with light

or magnified her

round eyes anime large,

the bright blue orbs

of a young pretty girl

trapped in an old woman’s body.

 

She wore flowers in her hair.

 

 

 

If you enjoyed that poem, please come to the Massillon Public Library’s Local Author Fair on Saturday, April 14th from 11am – 2pm where I will be reading, along with other talented local authors.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the poem.

.

*This poem was inspired by the day 9 prompt for National Poetry Month, courtesy of Cuyahoga Library

*image courtesy of http://publicdomainpictures.net/

 

Book Review: Kisha Nicole Foster –POEMS 1999-2014

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I first had the pleasure of seeing this poet perform one of her poems at the Cleveland Main Library some time ago. I remember she put her whole body into her performance, projecting her voice, and infusing each syllable with meaning and emotion. This book is a testament to how well her performance poetry works on paper as well as in person.

Some of her poems are abstract, relying on sound and impression to create an emotional impact, so that while I did not know what every line meant, my impressions were strong; moods were set. I could hear and imagine each line as I read, and sometimes I read them aloud to make audible connections I might have missed with a silent reading.

Others are all too clear in their meaning. She doesn’t hold back, so that when you read verses about painful loss and heartbreak, you empathise. Much of her work is deeply personal: reflections on loss and desire and how past mistakes inform the better person she has become today.

Absence of punctuation in some poems aids in the blending of lines to create multiple meanings, not knowing where one thought ends and the other begins. She is adept at using color and imagery, and some lines stand out such as (from “POEM. ONE. FOR. EVERYONE.”)

“let’s tell the truth to shame the lies”

The subject matter varies from one poem to another as well: homages, such as “A Viking Story”; love poems, such as “Say Come Love”; and others that are calls to action or deeply personal such as “UNTITLED.”

“in the cold wind of Cleveland you brought me home

to rewalk the path that I laid

move the mountains I made”

This is an eclectic collection, disparate subjects and styles united by her unique voice. I enjoyed this collection immensely and heartily recommend, Kisha Nicole Foster: poems 1999-2014, to any poetry lover.

Current Events: April 2018

Every April is National Poetry Month, as decreed by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. One of the things I love most about living in northern Ohio is the writing community. Cuyahoga and Cleveland have two of the best public library systems in the entire country–for very good reason: both support their writing communities with literary events and outreach programs, public readings, open mics, and free workshops and classes.

During the month of April, for several years now, Cuyahoga County Public Library has celebrated National Poetry Month each April by giving the community a month of daily poetry. If you sign up for their email reminders, each morning you will wake up to a new poem, a poetry recommendation, and–my favorite part–a writing prompt for the day! I can’t recommend this enough; it’s one of my favorite things about this time of year!

As if that isn’t enough, there are tons of poetry events throughout both Summit and Stark County. I’m going to share a few with you, and I’m really excited to be reading at some of them!

Saturday, April 14th, 1030am-1230pm: (free) Literary Cleveland Poetry Workshop
@ Cleveland Main Library
–bring 10-15 copies of a poem you would like to workshop

Saturday, April 14th, 11am-2pm: (free) Local Author Fair
@ Massillon Library This will be my second appearance at this Local Author Fair. I hope you will stop by and discover some great local talent!

Sunday, April 15th, 2pm-4pm: Foolin’ Around with Poetry
@ South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch of Cuyahoga Library
Meeting Room 162 (20)

Saturday, April 21st, 1pm-230pm: (free) Open Mic Poetry Featuring CSA Student Poets
@ Cleveland Main Library
Literature Dept
2nd floor

Friday, April 27th, 6pm-9pm: Nervous Dog Akron Poetry Night
@ Nervous Dog Coffee Bar
I am thrilled to be reading some of my poetry at this event!

Saturday, April 28th, 9am-430pm: (free) Western Reserve Writers’ Conference
@ South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch of Cuyahoga Library
If you are not lucky enough to live in Ohio, you can still check out your local libraries to see what events they host during the month of April. And email knows no state boundaries, so you can still sign up for the Read Write Poetry emails from Cuyahoga library. No matter what you choose to do, I wish you a happy April!

POEM: Thinking in Poetry

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“Thinking in Poetry”

Narrating my day
as I go about the hours,
silently writing in my mind
that the corn on the cob I examine
is yellow with absorbed sunlight,
its golden white kernels
its own clouds and sun,
huge globes plump with the rain
of so many seasons,
and the taste of spring

the drowsy sun fades
behind the black silhouette
of a springtime tree

the air smells of lilac
or honeysuckle or apple blossoms,
the pungent sweetness
of blooming spring flowers

 

 

 

 

*Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the poem.
*image courtesy of http://publicdomainpictures.net/

Friday Flash: An Optimist’s Journal of the End of Days

forest-fire

Favorite Things Journal

Wednesday, December 20th:

I suppose, in light of what’s happened and happening, I should try to look on the bright side. I kept a Favorite Things Journal before recent events caused the world to fall into chaos, so in the interest of trying to keep spirits up and sanity intact, I shall keep up the practice of only writing the good things going on in my life.

Today I was given the gift of life. An early Christmas present perhaps? We live in a smallish town about sixty miles outside Cleveland, so luckily we were spared the brunt of the explosion. We have sufficient food, toilet paper, and–Thank goodness our well water tastes awful!–cases of water. The food and water does not require refrigeration. We have plenty of batteries. It would seem we prepared for eventualities, but I’m simply a bit of a hoarder when it comes to things like that. So that came in handy.

 

Monday, December 25th:

Merry Christmas to us. My son and I still have enough food to last awhile. We are avoiding tap water, since some unpleasantness in the neighborhood has led me to be suspicious of its contents. However, thanks to some forward thinking, unusual for me, I have been collecting snow to melt over the fire. We don’t normally use the fireplace, so in the absence of firewood I have been burning things around the house. Some things work better than others, though I confess burning the bills was the highlight of my week.

I actually haven’t had to burn any furniture yet. It’s amazing how much crap we can rid ourselves of in a pretty good fire. I had some broken chairs, treated wood unsuitable for burning anyway, so I broke them down and used them to board up the windows and the door. I turn on the small battery powered radio once a day to keep informed. Since we live in a less populated area, the looting has not made it to our house yet.

 

Monday, January 1st:

I should probably write in this journal more, since it’s a new year and all. My son and I are home all day every day, so we have been reading the paperback books and magazines we have, rationing our food supplies, and brainstorming survival strategies. For fun, we imagine breaking into bookstores for new reading material, as well as requisite materials from other places: gas, matches, batteries, food.

Since we no longer have a car, we are not tempted to drive anywhere far, which is probably for the best anyway. The longer we stay home, the safer we probably are.

I’ve found a way to strain the melted snow through cloth and double boil it to rid it of contaminants. I’m sure we’ll be able to go to the doctor, just to be safe, once everything gets back to normal. In the meantime, I will keep writing. When this is all over, this might make me famous, right?

 

Wednesday, January 3rd:

So far the new year continues to smile on us. One of our neighbors finally noticed the smoke from our chimney (why did it take them so long?) and managed to get into our garage. Luckily, I was able to club him over the head with a shovel. I’m contemplating crossing the street to his house and raiding his cabinets for supplies. He might have some meds that will come in handy, since ours are running low. Hopefully, he will have something to help us recover from whatever is wrong. He doesn’t look good, so maybe he was sick too, but now we can raid his supplies so blessing in disguise, right? Only positive things in this journal. Plus, he was pretty thin, so disposing of the body shouldn’t be a problem.

He broke into our home. Breaking and entering. When things get back to normal, we have an airtight case. It was self defense.

 

Friday, January 5th:

Positive things. Positive things. The radio still works. The garage is emptying fast so less to clean come springtime. Hair falling out so less hair to clog the drains. No electricity, so don’t have to worry about a short causing a fire.

Saturday, January 6th:

My pen still works. One less mouth to feed. I’d say he’s in a better place, but there’s no such place…just nothing. I’m glad there’s nothing. I want nothing. I have plenty of aspirin left, so hopefully my exit will be painless. It shouldn’t take many anyway, since I’m so weak. I’m glad there’s no afterlife, because telling off any sadistic deity I’d meet would take too much energy anyway.

 

 

 

 

*Today’s flash was inspired by the fact that I do, in fact, keep a Favorite Things Journal. When things don’t go well, it’s sometimes a struggle to find a positive thing to write, so this story is a natural extension of that. I hope you enjoyed it.

*image courtesy of http://publicdomainpictures.net/