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Archive for the tag “seasons”

Poetry Friday: “Message to Autumn”

I have to admit, I’m surprised I wrote this.

poetryfridaybutton-fulllAs I mentioned earlier this week, I’ve been extremely busy lately.  Between the voiceover biz, my children’s writing, taking care of the kids, and helping my wife market her new business venture, I’ve barely had time to blink. (In fact, I’m considering scheduling my blinks to make sure I have time for them)

The reason I mention this is I’ve had this photo, taken by my daughter, Katherine, sitting in my computer for awhile now. She took it in November 2010 – and the poor photo has been waiting patiently for me to write a poem about it. I’m not sure why it took me so long – I just finished editing it (for now) last night – but I’m glad I can finally give it some life! And yes, I realize we’re nowhere near autumn at this point – but I thought it might be nice to share my most recent poem with you, anyway.

Click to enlarge

Message to Autumn

Come, come, my friend, it’s getting late;
your leaves have turned and lie in wait.
Give up your faded, lifeless fate –

Old Man Winter’s at the gate.

© 2014, Matt Forrest Esenwine

For more poetry and all the Poetry Friday links, be sure to visit Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche!

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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!

Thanksgiving Day: The one blessing we overlook

This post was originally published on Nov. 20, 2013, and because I am working on a limited schedule this week, I thought it might be appropriate to dust it off and re-post it for any of my followers who hadn’t caught it the first time around. I hope you enjoy your week, whether or not you’re celebrating Thanksgiving here in the U.S., and be grateful…that you have the capacity to be thankful.

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Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. will be here in two days, and everywhere you turn, people are talking, writing, and blogging about all the things they’re thankful for.  I, for one, am growing weary of it.

Now, please don’t get me wrong; it’s good to be grateful.  Indeed, we should be thankful – and display that thankfulness – every day of our lives.  We should reflect upon our blessings on a regular basis and never hesitate to show our appreciation for what we have.

My problem is not so much with the thankfulness; it’s that we’re missing an important reason to be thankful.

The Usual Suspects

Again, please don’t misunderstand me; I’m glad people are thankful for their blessings.  But there are certain blessings that show up on nearly everyone’s lists – our faith(s), our families and friends, our lives, our pets, our homes, our talents.

Some people may be thankful their loved ones made it home safely from being abroad; others may be grateful that they received a year-end bonus, or even have a job at all.

Even the poor and destitute among us may be thankful for things like the warmth of the sun or the kindness of a stranger.

I can say honestly that I am truly, truly, TRULY thankful for all these things…but you probably could have guessed that, even if you had never met me or had never even heard of me or this blog.

These are the blessings that most of humanity celebrates – and the acknowledgement that we should be grateful for these things is rooted in the love, compassion, and empathy that separates our species from the rest of the animal kingdom.

We recognize the importance of both gratitude and thankfulness.

A quick vocabulary lesson

Gratitude and thankfulness are not necessarily interchangeable.

I’m no lexicographer or linguist, but it has always been my understanding that these words had different meanings.  To be thankful means you’re appreciative that something that you wanted came about; to be grateful indicates you are appreciative towards someone or something.

(Any English professors in the house?  Please correct me if I’m wrong!)

The reason it’s important to know the difference is because gratitude is directional; thankfulness is not.  Feed a hungry animal and it may be thankful it received food, but it might not be grateful toward you for feeding it.  I know pet owners will disagree with that – having two dogs and two cats of my own, I’ll admit that some animals probably are grateful to the person taking care of them – but how many of these animals understand what it means to be grateful or thankful?

And therein lies the rationale for my previous statement that our recognition of the importance of both gratitude and thankfulness is one of the important qualities that elevates us above the rest of the animal kingdom.

Little blessings, and the BIG one

As I ponder this, I come to the conclusion that the human condition of feeling gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation is itself a blessing.

Yes, I’m thankful for all those things we talked about earlier.  I’m thankful for my family, our friends, and our pets.  I’m thankful I live in a country that promotes freedom of speech, religion, and personal excellence.  I’m grateful to God and Jesus for their love and sacrifices; I’m grateful to my wife and family for supporting me as a self-employed stay-at-home dad; I’m grateful to Al Gore for creating the internet.

(I’m also thankful - or grateful – to whomever or whatever was responsible for getting my 2-year-old to finally stop waking up at 5am…daylight savings time really screwed up the poor little dude’s internal clock for a couple of weeks!)

But I don’t want to overlook this very important aspect of our humanity; that is, the recognition of the importance of gratitude and thankfulness.

Thankful…for being thankful?

Yes, that is basically what I’m saying.  Chuckle if you’d like.  However, when you actually think about what it means to be thankful for having the comprehension of what gratitude, appreciation, or even indebtedness mean…I hope you will understand why I believe it is so important.

We humans are not simply grateful, or thankful.  We comprehend – and celebrate – the importance of being grateful or thankful.

So this Thanksgiving Day, while we’re giving thanks for all we have, think about why you are thankful.

Think about why you are grateful.

And give thanks that you are.

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PoetsGarage-badgeDid 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!  To 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: Seasonal haiku

poetryfridaybutton-fulllHere’s something brand-new I wanted to share: it’s another poem I’m considering including in my Autumn-themed collection.

I tend to title all my poems, including my haiku – which is technically a no-no, as haiku are not supposed to be titled. So I’m gritting my teeth here, trying not to tell you the title is “Protector.”

Dang.

Oh well, try to forget the title and just enjoy the poem, if you can now…and be sure to visit Katya at Write. Sketch. Repeat. for the complete Poetry Friday roundup!
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Winter’s first snowfall
arrives just in time to catch
Autumn’s last leaf.

- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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PoetsGarage-badgeDid 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!  To 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: “Last Autumn”

IMG_9185

photo courtesy of Pat Cooley

“Last Autumn”

Do you remember
when we almost got lost
down by the creek
near that old stone wall?
It all started with an apple.

One of us (I don’t recall)
had twisted the season’s last McIntosh
from a withered branch.  Sharing
small bites, we ate
all the way around
save for a dark blemish where something wild
and hungry
had gnawed its flesh.

Tossing the core deep into woods
we ran across the field
for no reason
other than to run
and laughed
for no reason
other than to laugh.

When we finally reached the creek
(were you first, or me?)
remember how we spent our time
dodging briars
walking the rocks
and making sure neither fell onto the slick
smooth stones beneath
the glassy current?
Table Rock, we called it, flat and mossy
under a beech tree rose
up to meet yellowing leaves
wind chimes
dancing
to a silent song.

I helped you onto the stone
or perhaps you helped me
and we sat there
talking of fish
and books
and apples
while the call of a lone wood thrush
made melody with the water.
For a time, we simply listened
because our ears wanted to
watched
because our eyes needed to
and before we knew, color had disappeared
from the leaves
the warm October breeze had cooled
and Venus was peeking out
from behind pale sunglow.

Not sure how we had gotten there
but knowing enough to follow the creek
I helped you
or you helped me
down from the rock
and we wandered back
retracing steps
under trees and over stones
only this time
as friends
confidantes

conspirators.

And it all started with an apple.

Do you remember?

- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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For all of today’s Poetry Friday happenings, please visit Irene Latham at Live Your Poem!  Also be sure to join these folks on the Mortimer Minute blog hop today:

Violet mug-2Violet Nesdoly is a former International Christian Poet Laureate and regular contributor to Poetry Friday.
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papa j funk logoPapa-J Funk, meanwhile, never claimed to be a poet – although he is quite adept at creating fun and unusual rhymes in his picture book manuscripts!

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PoetsGarage-badgeDid 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!  To 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: “Walking Among Stars”

If you read my post from earlier this week about my fantastic trip to a Highlights writer’s workshop, you know how inspiring those 4 days were. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, I encourage you to do so – even if you just skim the good parts!  It was one of the best professional experiences of my life, and I can’t say enough about the staff, the workshop leaders, and my 14 fellow writers.

I managed to write a number of poems because of that trip, and this is one of them.  I hope you like it! And for all of the Poetry Friday links and info (along with a powerful and somber poem about Jan Palach, the Czech citizen who set himself on fire in 1969 to protest the Soviet invasion), please visit Laura Purdie Salas’ blog!

ID-10017569 (Fall leaves & trees)

“Walking Among Stars”

I watched the leaves turn yesterday
one by one and tree by tree,
like little rainbow-colored stars
falling from the sky for me.

From all around they tumbled down,
dainty painted-paper suns…
I slowly strolled through red and gold.
I was one of the mighty ones.

- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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PoetsGarage-badgeDid 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!  To 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 , Facebook, Pinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: A Two-Haiku Kind of Day

poetryfridaybutton-fulllI don’t often write haikus, as they are simultaneously the easiest and hardest poems to write.

On the surface, they appear very simple:  3 lines, nothing to it, right? But then once you start, you realize you need natural imagery, human emotion, a twist in the 3rd line…and suddenly you start disliking every word you write down.

The fact is, a haiku is the easiest poem in the world to screw up. Anyone write a bad one; it’s extremely difficult to write a good one.

So…are these any good?

Hard tellin’, not knowin’.  I like them – and have put more time into them than you might think at first blush.  So hopefully you’ll like them, too! The first is my newest poem, something I wrote for the autumn-themed children’s poetry collection I’m writing. The second one is geared to an older reader and was published last year by the online literary journal, YARN (Young Adult Review Network).  I’m sharing it today because…well, because I felt like it!

ID-100196945 (acorns)Acorns

Mother oak
kisses her babies goodbye,
their caps warm and snug.

- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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Abandonment

Sparrow sweetly sings
melancholy melody;
her mate, on the ground.

- © 2012, Matt Forrest Esenwine

For all of today’s Poetry Friday happenings, please visit Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference!

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PoetsGarage-badgeDid 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!  To 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 , Facebook, Pinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: “New Hampshire Rock Garden”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllToday I thought I’d share something summery, for adults.  I wrote this a few years ago, and deliberately used a simple, straightforward, prosaic style…because it just felt like that’s what the subject required. Consequently, it’s nothing fancy, but I like it. Hope you do, too!

“New Hampshire Rock Garden”

My wife wanted a rock garden
I preferred vegetables
so I pulled out stones
and planted tomatoes
pulled out more stones
watered the squash
pulled out more stones
thinned the cukes
pulled out more stones
weeded the beans
and when it came time for harvest
pulled out more stones.

She has a rock garden, all right.

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- © 2009, Matt Forrest Esenwine

POETRY FRIDAY LINKS:

Sherry at Semicolon was scheduled to host Poetry Friday today, but since she doesn’t seem to be around, I’ve provided a list of some of the folks participating. If you have a post, please feel free to leave it in the comments! I can’t guarantee I’ll have time to repost everyone’s links, but hopefully visitors will scan through the comments and see what piques their interest!

Robyn Hood Black interviews Margarita Engle: http://www.robynhoodblack.com/blog.htm?post=919998

Michelle Barnes has an original poem inspired by her daughter: http://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com

Father Goose shares a “Couplet at a Metaphor:” http://www.charlesghigna.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-couplet-as-metaphor.html

Writing about difficult subjects is Laura Shovan’s subject today: http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday-writing-about-difficult.html

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche wrote a poem inspired while attending Kate Messner’s virtual writer’s camp:  http://reflectionsontheteche.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/sometimes/

Catherine Johnson has two left feet: http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/two-left-feet/

Irene Latham shares some beautiful Valerie Worth poems: http://irenelatham.blogspot.com/2013/07/valerie-worth-poems-about-pocket.html

Diane Mayr shares her experience at a New Hampshire writer’s retreat: http://randomnoodling.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday-last-laugh.html

Diane also has a “Cocoon” poem at Kurious Kitty: http://kuriouskitty.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday-cocoon.html

And a quote about the “wild mind” from Michael Hettich: http://kkskwotes.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday_26.html

Linda Baie is feeling vacation anticipation: http://teacherdance.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday-anticipation.html

Liz Steinglas shares a poem she wrote last summer about an iconic summer flower: http://elizabethsteinglass.com/2013/07/sunflower/

Mary Lee Hahn  also has sunflowers on her mind…sleds, too! http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday-speed-of-time.html

Joy Acey shares a modern haiku: http://www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2013/07/modern-haiku.html

Tabatha Yeats points out some of the highlights of the journal, Still: http://tabathayeatts.blogspot.com/2013/07/still.html

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Did you like this post? Find anything interesting somewhere in this blog? Want to keep abreast of my posts?  Then please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right! (I usually only post twice a week - on Tue. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day!)  Feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter or Facebook.

Poetry Friday: “Summer Frost”

Funny how poems sometimes materialize from the oddest of circumstances.

poetryfridaybutton-fulllFour years ago, when my wife and I were discussing possible names for our baby – who was due right at the very end of 2009 – several winter-related names popped up. Since we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, Noel/Noelle, Crystal, Winter, Merry, and Janvier (French for ‘January’) all came up as potentials, although we didn’t like any of those enough to put on our “list.”

One name, however, stuck: Frost. We thought Phoebe Frost would make a beautiful name for a girl born in the winter; plus, my wife noted that it would also be apropos because of my fondness for the poetry of Robert Frost.  (Being the comic book geek that I am, a reference to Emma Frost was a cool little bonus)

Fast forward to last month.  We were again discussing baby names, this time for our little bundle of joy who is due to arrive this August.  Since we had a little boy 3 1/2 years ago, we had to start from scratch with the boy names.  The girl names, however, were all fair game – but I questioned if the name Frost would work, considering the time of year he or she will be born.  One name my wife suggested was Summer Rose; when I countered with Summer Frost, a light went on. Those two words stuck in my head and refused to leave until I had written this.

“Summer Frost” may be off the baby name list, but it’s finally on paper…a poem four years in the making. For all of today’s Poetry Friday posts, please visit Ed DeCaria at Think Kid, Think!

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“Summer Frost”

It was unexpected.

Deep, deep in July, all humid, torrid,

when blushing Brandywines, full and ripe

hang heavy, tearing from their vines

and dragonflies dart between empty rows

where sunflowers were to grow (thank the crows),

a killing came. Subtle death

settled lightly, gently wresting life and breath

swiftly, softly, barely touching –

but with such a thing

as a summer frost

it should not

be unexpected.

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- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

Poetry Friday: “Lost Spring”

I hope you’re enjoying National Poetry Month! Since it’s been about 6 weeks or so since poetryfridaybutton-fulllI posted a poem that was not a children’s poem, I thought I’d share this. I wrote this almost two years ago, but like most poems, it has undergone numerous edits and revisions since that time. I’m pretty sure this is the final version…but then again, I can never be sure of that sort of thing. I should just be quiet.

I decided to record a reading of the poem, but I’ve been fighting allergies all week, so it almost sounds like me.  Of course, if you’re looking for more poetry, there’s plenty of it to go around; Diane Mayr at Random Noodling is hosting today’s  Poetry Friday festivities!

“Lost Spring”

Winter has been hanging on.

Like a corpse
refusing the grave
or bloody barbs deep
in the fish’s gullet
unrelenting
until
irresistible force
pulls life and flesh away,

yes, winter has been hanging on.

Ugly clouds crawl across
late April sky
slow as war machines;
snow again, soon.
Ashen drifts high
to the windows,
beg
for release.

Frigid air breathes heavy
across a landscape sacred
and desolate,
locked in rigor mortis
while barren trees hold frost
covered infants
swaddled
at their tips.

Summer,
they say,
will be here soon.

But winter…

winter has been hanging on.

- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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Prog poem 2013 graphicBy the way, Irene Latham’s 2013 ‘Progressive Poem’ (at Live Your Poem) is going strong! It’s a poem that started with one blogger April 1 and is travelling from blog to blog each day, with each blogger adding a new line to the poem. (By the end of the month, we’ll have a completed poem!) Yours Truly added his line back on April 3, but I provide a complete list of all the participating bloggers at the bottom of this post.

Here’s the list of all the participating bloggers in the 2013 Progressive Poem, so you can follow along.

April Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterJoy AceyMatt Forrest EsenwineJone MacCullochDoraine BennettGayle KrauseJanet FagalJulie LariosCarrie Finison 10  Linda Baie 11  Margaret Simon 12  Linda Kulp 13  Catherine Johnson 14  Heidi Mordhorst 15  Mary Lee Hahn 16  Liz Steinglass 17  Renee LaTulippe 18  Penny Klostermann 19  Irene Latham 20  Buffy Silverman 21  Tabatha Yeatts 22  Laura Shovan 23  Joanna Marple 24  Katya Czaja 25  Diane Mayr 26  Robyn Hood Black 27  Ruth Hersey 28  Laura Purdie Salas 29  Denise Mortensen 30  April Halprin Wayland

 

Poetry Friday: “Crocus”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllI’m guessing this will be the last poem I feature from my winter-themed collection of children’s poetry; with April (National Poetry Month!) just around the corner, winter is definitely behind us.

I wrote this last year, specifically because I wanted a poem that would serve as an appropriate end to my manuscript.  Aside from the fact that the collection is all about winter, I organized the poems chronologically, starting with one about trees losing their leaves, moving on to the holidays, through January and February, and finally concluding with the promise of spring. I thought a crocus would be the perfect image for the two competing seasons, considering it often grows through snow…so I hope you like it!

Mary Lee and Franki at A Year of Reading are today’s Poetry Friday hostesses – so pop on over and see what else is happening in the kidlitosphere!

“Crocus”

When winter’s winds are on the wane
And sunshine warms young April days,
When snow gives way to slushy rain
The crocus springs anew.

While crouching ‘neath the frosty crust,
On tender bended stem it prays
To fend off one more crushing gust
And melt the frozen dew.

- © 2013 Matt Forrest Esenwine

crocus-in-the-snow-spring--thumb1294868

By the way, speaking of National Poetry Month, I’ll be participating in Irene Latham’s 2013 ‘Progressive Poem’ at Live Your Poem.  No, it has nothing to do with politics – it’s a poem that will start with one blogger on April 1 (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater) and travel from blog to blog each day, with each blogger adding a new line to the poem. By the end of the month, we’ll have a completed poem!  (I’ll be adding the third line to the poem on April 3 – so please check back, and follow along with all the bloggers!)

I’ll also be featuring poetry in all of my April blog posts (each Tue. and Fri.), so I hope you’ll join me.  Remember, if you subscribe to this blog you’ll always be notified when a new post has made made!

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