POEM: “Ode for a Dog” *AND* Upcoming Events

Ode for a Dog

You became a cosmonaut,

the Moscow stray taken away

from those frozen city streets–

your unlooked-for honor: to make history,

           to reach the heavens.

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I wondered if they gave you a view,

one last look at the world you left behind,

or was that denied you    along with escape,

buried in darkness   before you ran out of breath

            among those distant lonely stars?

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A window might have stopped your heart:

Earth’s cobalt blue oceans, pale frosted poles,

rust-colored deserts receding    framed in fire as you hurtled

hurled into that azure vault, afraid and alone.

            You survived that long.

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Where is your constellation? My heart breaks

for you, dear sweet dog, your three short years

had not prepared you for such betrayal.

A statue honors you as hero, Laika.

             You made history,

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yet I can’t help these thoughts

creeping unwanted into my dreams:

you would have rather shivered on Earth,

lived on scraps, unnoticed and unknown,

           than burned through the heavens alone.

.

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*Since this month marks the 50th Anniversary of a man walking on the moon, I wanted to share a poem I wrote in honor of another astronaut. I wrote the poem after reading of Laika’s flight, and yes, she did have a view. The video is available, if you don’t mind crying.

*

Upcoming Events

Saturday, July 27th

Literary Cleveland’s INKubator Writers’ Conference:

This all day conference is FREE and takes place at the Cleveland Main Library. It’s an incredible opportunity to take workshops, support local writers, and take part in Cleveland’s vibrant literary community!

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Saturday, August 3rd @ 1pm

Author Talk and Poetry Reading at Snowball Bookshop in Barberton. I will be giving a short talk about my journey to becoming a published writer, followed by a poetry reading from my book, Soul Picked Clean.

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Friday, August 9th @ 7pm – 9pm

Writing Knights sWord Fight: This time I will be competing against motivational speaker and all-time awesome poet Adam Spells!

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Saturday, August 10th @ 10am – 1pm

Local Author’s Fair at Dorrie’s Booktique in Canton. I will be there with copies of my book, along with several other local authors from the North Canton The Write Stuff writing group.

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Saturday, August 10th @730pm

Poetry Reading at Visible Voice bookstore! I’m thrilled to be reading alongside the fantastic Sara Minges and Juliet Cook. It’s going to be a great poetry event!

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Wednesday, August 21st @7pm – 9pm

Latitudes Poetry Night at Compass Coffee in Akron. There is a featured reader, followed by an Open Mic.

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Thank you for visiting my blog. I’ll post again in two weeks, but, in the meantime, I hope you have a lovely time enjoying books and poetry!

*Image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net via Creative Commons Universal License.

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POEM: “Waters”

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Waters

The oceans call to us

Like sirens on the waves

And we listen

Watching

Waiting to return

To those primordial waters

That birthed us

.

Pulling ourselves up, out

To stand upon solid land

Yellow sand

Damp red clay

Dark rich earth

Clover blossoms caught between our toes

As we search for a way back to those pliant shifting waves

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But children grow up, leave home

You can never go home again

Only make one where you are

There’s no escaping you

Only you

And where you are

Now

.

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Upcoming Events (July)

 

Wednesday, July 17th @7pm – 9pm

Latitudes Poetry Night at Compass Coffee in Akron.

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Friday, July 19th  @4pm – 7pm

I will have a table for book sales and signing at Peace, Love, and lil Donuts in Canal Fulton. Please, stop by!

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Thursday, July 25th @6pm

The Write Stuff Author Group will meet at the Canton Winking Lizard for our summer celebration!

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Saturday, July 27th

Literary Cleveland’s INKubator Writers’ Conference:

This all day conference is FREE and takes place at the Cleveland Main Library.

 

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Thank you for visiting my blog. I’ll post again in two weeks, but, in the meantime, I hope you have a lovely time enjoying books and poetry!

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*Image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net via Creative Commons Universal License

 

POEM: “What Can I Do?” *AND* Upcoming Events

What Can I Do?

Watch helpless the slow crawling catastrophe.

See the poison seep deep into our veins,

unable to find an antidote. Don’t call for a doctor.

In this world, we all need to go to medical school.

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Upcoming Events:

JULY

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Saturday, July 6th @7pm

Poetry at Manic on Main Art Gallery in Wadsworth. Poets Sonia Potter, Cat Russell, and Cris Shell scheduled. Free event. Books and other items available for purchase.

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Thursday, July 11th @7pm

Broadsides and Ephemera open mic from 7pm – 830pm at Loganberry Books. I will be the featured reader, and copies of Soul Picked Clean will be available for purchase at the store.

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Wednesday, July 17th @7pm – 9pm

Latitudes Poetry Night at Compass Coffee in Akron.

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Friday, July 19th  @4pm – 7pm

I will have a table for book sales and signing at Peace, Love, and lil Donuts in Canal Fulton. Please, stop by!

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Thursday, July 25th @6pm

The Write Stuff Author Group will meet at the Canton Winking Lizard for our summer celebration!

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Saturday, July 27th

Literary Cleveland’s INKubator Writers’ Conference:

This all day conference is FREE and takes place at the Cleveland Main Library.

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AUGUST

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Saturday, August 10th @10am – 1pm

Local Author Fair at Dorrie’s Booktique in Lake Cable/Massillon.

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Wednesday, August 21st @7pm-9pm

Latitudes Poetry Night at Compass Coffee in Akron.

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Thursday, August 22nd @6pm The Write Stuff Author Group meets at North Canton Library. Bring 6-10 copies of a WIP if you’d like feedback, or you can come and just sit in!

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Thank you for visiting my blog, and I hope to see you at one of these events. Have a lovely week!

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*Image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net via Creative Commons Universal License

POEM: “The Little Mermaid gets her Prince”

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I’m posting this week’s poem early in (belated) honor of Flash Fiction Day! Flash Fiction was my first love, and I loved the idea of honoring this special day with a flash poem: a short story of less than a thousand words with a beginning, middle, and end.

The poem below is based on the ending of the Hans Christian Anderson story, not the Disney movie which has a different ending. At the end of Anderson’s tale, the prince marries someone else and the mermaid dies of a broken heart, but instead of turning to seafoam she becomes a spirit. This is her reward for sacrificing her happiness for his, and she is supposed to use her next three hundred years doing good deeds to earn herself a soul. I imagine her spending her time differently.

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The Little Mermaid gets her Prince

 

death had changed the little mermaid’s mind

she wouldn’t share the prince but haunt

not handsome him but his fleshly bride

become the little voice

whispering not-so-sweet nothings

in his mortal bride’s tiny perfect ears

 

telling her she’d never be good enough

telling her he’d be better off alone

telling her what she’d do to her if she stayed

filling her head with seaweed-scented nightmares

running his bride off into the inky blackness

on her tiny perfect feet

 

then the little mermaid would lie in her prince’s arms

as though he felt her there

as anything other than a cold ocean breeze

prickling the hair on his bare chest

racing his warm red blood

as she shivered him through each night

 

til death would they part

maybe

*

 

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you enjoyed the story and come back again!

*Image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net via Creative Commons Universal License.

POEM: “Our Lives are Borrowed from Tomorrow” *AND* Announcements

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Our Lives are Borrowed from Tomorrow”

 

Each day of sun,

rain, hair-raising wind,

pink blushes, joy,

fear-chilled veins,

apple blossom

snow-capped hours

is taken from another

day by day by day.

greens consumed

staving off the grave,

buying one more

twenty four

until we’re spent,

our final debt paid.

 

*

My poetry collection, Soul Picked Clean, went into its second printing this week! If you would like your very own copy, you can buy one at one of my upcoming poetry events where I’ll be happy to sign it for you! Otherwise, you can directly from Crisis Chronicles or Amazon for $12.

I’m also reading The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton, Watchmen and Philosophy by various authors, and The Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam.

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UPCOMING EVENTS:

JUNE

Every Saturday night CanalFulton has an open mic downtown (weather/schedule permitting). Musicians and poets welcome!

Wednesday, June 19th (7pm – 9pm)

Latitudes Poetry Night meets at Compass Coffee in Akron on the third Wednesday of every month. There is usually a featured poet for the first hour, followed by an Open Mic.

Thursday, June 27th (6pm – 9pm)

The Write Stuff Authors’ Group meets monthly at the North Canton Library to workshop WIPs before adjourning to TD’s Grill at about 7:30pm for general literary merry-making.

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JULY

Saturday, July 6th @7pm Poetry at Manic on Main Art Gallery in Wadsworth. Poets Sonia Potter, Cat Russell, and Cris Shell. Free event. Merch available.

Thursday, July 11th @7pm

Broadsides and Ephemera open mic from 7pm – 830pm at Loganberry Books. I will be a featured reader, and copies of Soul Picked Clean will be available for purchase at the store.

Wednesday, July 17th @7pm – 9pm

Latitudes Poetry Night at Compass Coffee in Akron.

Friday, July 19th  @4pm – 7pm I will have a table for book sales and signing at Peace, Love, and lil Donuts in Canal Fulton. Please, stop by!

Thursday, July 25th @6pm The Write Stuff Author Group meets at North Canton Library. Bring 6-10 copies of a WIP if you’d like feedback, or you can come and just sit in!

Saturday, July 27th

Literary Cleveland’s INKubator Writers’ Conference

This all day conference is FREE and takes place at the Cleveland Main Library.

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Thank you for visiting my blog, and I hope to see you at one of these events. Have a lovely week!

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*Image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net via Creative Commons Universal License

POEMS: Time Haikus *AND* Upcoming Events

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The last couple months have been wonderful, incredibly busy, and absolutely packed with awesome poetry events. My reading schedule is a little lighter this month to fit my family’s summer plans, and I also have plenty of exciting writing things in the works. In the meantime, enjoy these haikus on the theme of “Time.”

 

Dating my journal

ahead each night–a promise

my next day will come.

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In my mind, I go

back, tell myself not to ask

permission: just do.

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Firefly lives lit

on the thunderstorm’s sharp edge:

birth, sex, death, rebirth

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The broken timepiece

parts scatter. Sun dials only

work on sunny days.

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Discontented, she

breaks the mirror. Its sharp shards

accuse her with stars.

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The rising sun lets

us see with its beams, dispels

the darkness of night.

 

Upcoming and Current Events:

Sunday, June 9th (3pm – 4:30pm)

Second Sunday Poets is a round robin poetry event that takes place monthly at the South Euclid-Lynhurdst branch of Cuyahoga County Library. If you attend, plan to bring a couple poems to read!

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Wednesday, June 19th (7pm – 9pm)

Latitudes Poetry Night meets at Compass Coffee in Akron on the third Wednesday of every month. There is usually a featured poet for the first hour, followed by an Open Mic.

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Thursday, June 27th (6pm – 9pm)

The Write Stuff Authors’ Group meets monthly at the North Canton Library to workshop WIPs before adjourning to TD’s Grill at about 7:30pm for general literary merry-making.

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Thursday, July 11th (7pm – 8:30pm)

Broadsides and Ephemera Open Mic takes place on the second Thursday of every month at Loganberry Books, and I am so excited to be July’s featured reader! If you are in the Cleveland area, they will also have copies of my poetry collection, Soul Picked Clean, available for purchase so I can sign one for you!

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There is also another July reading planned, but I am waiting for the details to be finalized before I post them. In the meantime, thank you so much for visiting my blog. I hope you enjoyed the poems and I’ll get to see you at one of these events. Have a lovely week!

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

 

POEM: “Traitor” *AND* May Highlights

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Traitor

 

This morning I awoke to the news

our world leader may be a traitor

a sexually harassed girl was burned alive

a disturbed man brought gasoline

and lighters into Saint Patrick’s cathedral

a rock icon committed suicide

a local poet died

 

and yet this smile is traitor

to this world I inhabit,

because as I

smell the warm toast buttering the air

and hear my son’s videogame downstairs

 

all I can think is

I’m still breathing.

 

#

 

There has been so much happening in the last few weeks, with more ahead, so I’ll just do a quick recap of the highlights. Last Friday (5/10), I competed against poet John Walters in the Writing Knights sWord Fight and won! Then on Saturday (5/11) I read my poem, “Catching Fire,” at the Hessler Street Poetry Competition; I did not win, although my poem was well received and was included in the anthology. Yesterday (5/16), I achieved a lifelong dream and saw a book I wrote on a library shelf, just waiting to be checked out!

This coming Tuesday (5/21), I will be reading my poetry at the Spring Into Action Fundraiser, which supports scholarships for first time candidates running for local office. My friend, musician Ed Amann, will be performing as well! So, as you can see, I’ve been truly fortunate to be part of such a supportive community of writers and readers. Thank you, all!

If you want to keep up in the interim between now and my next post, you can follow me on Twitter, FaceBook, or Instagram (links to the right beneath the blogroll). Until next time, have a lovely two weeks!