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Archive for the category “poetry”

Poetry Friday: Summer tanka

Sylvia Vardell is hosting Poetry Friday today at Poetry for Children, with a poem by her friend and publishing partner, Janet Wong, and news about a BRAND-NEW upcoming Poetry Friday anthology!

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Window Box graphic

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poetryfridaybutton-fulllDid you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

PoetsGarage-badgeTo keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

 

 

Poetry Friday: “In the Glen”

Now that I’m finally able to see my computer screen again, I’ve been spending my week furiously trying to get caught up on my voiceover business. I have auditions I need to record, scripts I need to write, and commercials I need to produce – and deadlines that are staring me down. So today, I’m reposting something I originally shared exactly one year ago, on July 19, 2013.

It’s a poem that will always be dear to my heart, not only because it was published but because it is both an adult AND a children’s poem – and since I’ve gained many new followers in the past year, I wanted to give them an opportunity to read it, if they wanted to.  For all of today’s Poetry Friday links and info, Tabatha Yeats is hosting the roundup at The Opposite of Indifference!

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I don’t think I’ve ever posted a previously-published poem here, since I started this little blog nearly a year ago. Today, I am!

poetryfridaybutton-fulllThis was written at least 3 years ago, possibly longer – I wish I could find my original copy that had the completion date on it. But like most poems, it went through several revisions before I was finally happy with it, so it is the most recent revision I’m sharing now.

As I mentioned, this was previously published in the Tall Grass Writer’s Guild’s anthology, Seasons of Change (Outrider p|Press, 2010).  Although it’s a poem more geared to adults, younger folks may very well understand what I’m describing. (And I’m eager to see if you know what the poem is about, too!)

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“In the Glen”

Old stump
rotting, torn by time, shredded with age
browned and blackened through fires and storms,
impassioned hooves and finely-honed axes.

Long ago, abandoned even by ants and mites and worms
who took what they could, consumed their fill
and, satiated and exhausted,
left
to scavenge elsewhere.
Rings once worn proudly
perfect, circumscribe –
nearly inscrutable
like the history they keep.

In younger years
its boughs bore fruit;
lush canopy,
shade;
firewood,
home,
a vessel.

Now
years after boy,
as old stump dies
softly
bark and pith and fiber
fall away
to compost
and one lone leaf –
green, young,
hopeful –
sprouts forth
from the remains…

old stump
once again
gives.

- © 2010, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

PoetsGarage-badgeTo keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: “I Never Wanted to Fly”

Poetry_Friday logoLeave it to me to go on vacation and consequently miss an email about a poem being selected for publication! I just learned TODAY (even though I got the email a month ago) that my poem, “Coming to Terms” has been selected for inclusion in the upcoming anthology, Trigger Warning: Poetry Saved My Life, being edited by slam poet Zachary Kluckman.

I’m thrilled to be part of this important book, which is due out late August-early Sept. And I’m also excited for Zach for another reason…He has been nominated for 2 National Poetry Awards – Slam Artist of the Year and Slam Organizer of the Year – and has been asked to be a Featured Performer at this event next month.

So today,  I thought I’d share something a little more mature. This is a poem I wrote about 3 years ago based on a poetry prompt about flying. Because I often find that my creativity flows when I take contrary or unlikely perspectives, it makes sense that this is more about not flying than it is about flying!

(Then again, it’s completely about flying. It’s all a matter of how you look at it!)

And as always, there’s a lot more to Poetry Friday - Linda Kulp has the complete Roundup today at Write Time!

I Never Wanted to Fly

I never wanted to fly;
height never seduced me.
Soaring above trees and planes,
only Heaven above,
seemed careless
reckless
abandonment of the firmness of ground –
foolishness, it was.

I never wanted to fly;
flight never enticed me.
I had no need of grace and speed,
beauty of motion,
no higher calling;
the effort fruitless
as a dead Macintosh.

I embraced
gravity,
…..density,
……….security;
refusing capricious aspirations
a life time
and time again, and now
bound to earth
eternally
I wonder
why
I never wanted to fly.

- © 2011, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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Added at 3:53 PM EDST:
This is for you, Margaret! Thanks for stopping by!

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

PoetsGarage-badgeTo keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: “American Discontent”

Happy Independence Day!

celebrations,fireworks,pyrotechnics,special occasions,festivals

My fellow citizens here in the U.S. are celebrating our country’s birthday today. Some might be going on trips to visit relatives, others might be having cookouts at their homes. Still others may be headed to the beach.

poetryfridaybutton-fulllMe? I’m heading out with the family to go pick some strawberries before it gets too late in the morning and they’re all gone! (By the way, if you missed my repost this past Tue. about what you can learn from berries, please check it out!)

Today I’m sharing the type of poem I rarely, if ever, share:  an unpolished one, and a hastily-written one, at that – I only spent about 30 minutes on it, at best.

The reason I’m sharing it is because, even though it can be tightened up, I thought it would be appropriate for today, the Fourth of July. It was originally written from a prompt by poet and blogger David L/ Harrison, who asked visitors to write couplets about the sun – or lack thereof. What’s funny about writing poetry is, you never quite know how a poem is going to turn out until it’s done – even if you know the ending, the punch line, the hook, the twist, or anything else. It’s always a bit of a surprise.

So I hope you like it! There’s more to Poetry Friday, of course, so head on over to Heidi Mordhorst’s Juicy Little Universe for all the links and fun!

American Discontent

In winter, we complain it’s cold –
then summer’s heat starts getting old.

As soon as there’s a drop of rain,
we wish to see the sun again.

When life’s too fast, we want a lull.
When life slows down, we say it’s dull.

I wonder if we’ll ever be
content with simply being…free?

- © 2014, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

PoetsGarage-badgeTo keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

 

Poetry Friday: Out of the ocean and straight into “Halcyon”

It was an enjoyable time I had, spending a week on the beach with my wife and kids…but it’s good to be back, because I was just published in the summer issue of Halcyon  Magazine!

poetryfridaybutton-fulllThe irony is that I no sooner left the ocean side, and came home to find my poem was published.   The poem is titled “Oceanside.”

It was one of those poems that I was never sure what to do with…it was too high for a children’s poem, but I wasn’t sure it qualified as an adult poem. So I’m glad Halcyon editor Monique Berry liked it enough to share it with her readers. You can read the poem – and the entire magazine, for that matter – online HERE. Just scroll down a little to the cover with the big blue wave on it (If so moved, you can also purchase a hard copy at the link.)

The thing I like about Halcyon is that it’s bright and colorful, unlike most stuffy, dry adult literary journals. Berry really tries to appeal to the masses in tone and design – and I think she succeeds. I hope you like the poem!

Also, I just received news this week that at least two poems of mine have been selected to appear in a children’s anthology about food and agriculture, being edited by Carol-Ann Hoyte. The title has not yet been disclosed, but the book is due to be out this October. It’s quite an honour to not only have been chosen (along with 33 other poets), but to also be one of only 9 poets who will have more than poem featured in the book!

As we get closer to publication time, I’ll be sure to fill you in on the details. In the meantime, for all of today’s Poetry Friday links and info, please visit my fellow Poet’s Garage member Buffy Silverman (who will also have a poem in that anthology!) at Buffy’s Blog!

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

PoetsGarage-badgeTo keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

 

 

Poetry Friday: “The Ballad of a Lost Ice Cream Cone”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllAs you may know, I’m spending each day this week at the beach with my wife and kids while she’s on vacation. So in keeping with that theme, I present this summertime story! For all of today’s Poetry Friday links and info, visit my fellow Poet’s Garage member, Buffy Silverman, at Buffy’s Blog!

The Ballad of a Lost Ice Cream Cone

Ice cream cone, ice cream cone,
once in my hand –
what are you doing down there in the sand?
Moments ago, such a fine, tasty treat…
now you’re covered in sprinkles that no one would eat.

Ice cream cone, ice cream cone,
sweet on my tongue –
one lick too many, and suddenly flung
out of my grip and without any sound
landed softly right there, upside-down on the ground.

Ice cream cone, ice cream cone,
I’m on my knees –
let me try rinsing you off, if you please.
Wait, what is this?  Oh, I’ve caused a disaster!
The water is making you melt even faster!

Ice cream cone, ice cream cone,
once in my clutch,
why did you leave me?  I miss you so much!
Into the ocean, so swiftly you slip…
I just hope the fish all like chocolate chip.

- © 2011, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

PoetsGarage-badgeTo keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Book review: “S is for Sea Glass”

I write poetry in a variety of styles and forms – some rhyming, some free verse. Some structured, some not quite so.

You can therefore imagine how refreshing it was for me to see a children’s poetry collection that offered this same sort of variety – not the cut-and-paste sing-song of simple rhyming verse, nor the page-after-page of non-rhyming, uneven line-length free verse (which can sometimes get heavy for children’s poetry). In the case of Richard Michelson’s S is for Sea Glass: A Beach Alphabet (Sleeping Bear Press, 2014), we’re talking about a smart, well-structured book that carries one theme – poems about the beach – but presents that theme in 26 different ways.

Sea Glass cover

Because a trip to the beach or ocean carries with it so many different moods, sights, and feelings for a child, this book makes good use of poetic forms to highlight those differences. One minute the reader is contemplating the ebb and flow of tides, and the next he or she is chuckling over the author’s query of what, precisely, a mosquito is good for.
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H is for Horizon

Where does the sea stop and the sky begin?
Where does the sun rise when the dawn slips in?
Where does the ship sail when its sails disappear?
Is it under the ocean? Is it up in the air?

If I travel the world or stay here on this beach,
The horizon will always be just beyond reach.
But its real as my dreams and it’s always nearby -
That magical line where the sea meets the sky.

- Richard Michelson, reprinted with permission, all rights reserved

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Doris Ettlinger’s illustrations perfectly match the poems, as they are neither trite nor bold nor ornate…but are simultaneously happy and calm, fun and reflective, cool and warm. The fact that it’s an alphabet book is almost superfluous.

Which, I suppose, is a good thing, as I feel many of the poems – most, in fact, read above the level of a child who would need to learn the alphabet. As a collection of poetry, as a book about the beach, as a book that reflects the wonders, mysteries, and joy of being ocean side…S is for Sea Glass is beautiful. The fact that it’s an alphabet book seems unnecessary.

Here’s another one of my favourites:
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R is for Rain

Nobody’s  at the beach today. ‘Most everyone’s complaining.
…..The sky is dark. The clouds are thick. And I, the Rain, am raining.

…..…...Folks let waves splash them head to toe. Do you hear any whining?
……….……….No!
…..…..…..They think it’s fun to get wet when their friend, the sun, is shining.

…..…..…..…..I cool the breeze. And fill the seas. Who’s not a rainbow lover?
…..…..…..…..…..So why, when I come out to play, do they all run for cover?

- Richard Michelson, reprinted with permission, all rights reserved


Like I said, smart, beautiful, relatable  poetry. And it’s poetry that makes children think as much as smile. Hopefully, the next time they go to the beach, some of the images will be fresh in their heads. I know many of the images are fresh in my head – but then again, I’ve been spending all week here by the ocean.

And I think it’s time I did some more refreshing. I hear the surf calling my name…

York beach

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

PoetsGarage-badgeTo keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

 

Poetry Friday: “The Skipping Stone”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllI’ll be on vacation next week, but the blog will still be going strong…and as I contemplated what to share today, I thought this little vignette from a few summers ago might be just the thing. (It didn’t quite happen exactly the way I describe it!)

And be sure to say hi to Catherine Johnson, who’s hosting Poetry Friday today!

The Skipping Stone

While walking by the lake, I spied a perfect skipping stone
that lay there nestled in the sand, half-hidden, all alone.

It seemed in need of company, and so I thought I’d throw
the stone across the water, to the other stones below.

It skipped along the surface once, then twice, and thrice, and more,
and kept on going, ‘til I was alone there on the shore.

I smiled and turned to walk away, but wait – what did I see?
From far beyond the dock, my stone came skipping back to me.

- © 2011, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

PoetsGarage-badgeTo keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

 

Poetry Friday: “indecency”

indecency (graphic)

(click to enlarge)

 

The Poetry Friday roundup is at Carol’s Corner today, so be sure to check out all the links and poetry there!

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

PoetsGarage-badgeTo keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Friday: “Problem Solved”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllA few years ago, my daughter Katie was walking home from school when something unusual and shocking happened.

She met a moose.

Keep in mind, that here in rural New Hampshire, moose are not uncommon; however, coming upon one only 15 or 20 feet away from you is not only startling, it can be dangerous. If one decides to charge at you, you’d better hope your health insurance is current. If not, it’ll be your life insurance that will be getting tapped.

Image courtesy of puttsk / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As she tells the story, she was only about a half-mile from the house, minding her own business, looking at her iPod, when she looked up and saw a giant moose about 15-20 feet away, standing by the side of the road. She stopped cold, and had no idea what to do. As she watched the moose, it looked at her and then sauntered past, into the woods.

Needless to say, she made it home as fast as she could and told us the story.

It got me thinking about what kind of story I could create, poetically…and this is what I eventually came up with! Want more to read? Check out Diane Mayr’s blog, Random Noodling, for the complete Poetry Friday roundup!

Problem Solved

On a bike ride to school one day who should I meet
but a moose on the opposite side,
and he seemed rather tired when he stopped and inquired
if I’d possibly give him a ride.

Well, I tried to oblige, but because of his size
there was not enough room on the seat.
So we then both agreed and decided that he’d
take the pedals and I’d use my feet.

- © 201o, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

PoetsGarage-badgeTo keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

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