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Archive for the tag “snow”

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

.

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!

“The Next Big Thing!”

Back at the beginning of the year, I talked about how excited I was to be wrapping up my first 5 months of this blog.  Then just a couple of weeks ago, I told you about the Liebster Award that had been passed along to me. Now, I’m excited to be part of something new:

Many thanks to my friend, children’s author and poet Joyce Ray, for inviting me to participate in the online literary blog called THE NEXT BIG THING!

the-next-big-thingIf you’ve not heard of THE NEXT BIG THING, it’s a sort of “chain blog” consisting of a series of questions about works-in-progress and not-yet-published titles. Many national and international writers have participated in it; Joyce did last week, and now it’s my turn!

The nice thing about THE NEXT BIG THING is that it not only provides some extra visibility for the bloggers taking part, but more importantly, it gives readers a glimpse into the working life of a writer. Part of the fun is tagging someone else, so stay tuned to learn who I’ll be tagging at the end of this post!  Some of these questions require some deep thought, so I’ll do my best to answer them…

What is the working title of your book?

“Anticipation: Poems for a Winter’s Night”

Where did the idea come from for the book?

As someone who writes a lot of children’s poetry, one day I noticed I had written 5 or 6 poems about winter…so it occurred to me they should probably be organized into their own collection.  This was in May 2012.  So I decided to try to get the manuscript completed (written, edited, revised, finalized) by September. As it turned out, I was done by Oct. – so I wasn’t too far off!

What genre does your book fall under?

Children’s poetry.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Ha! Not sure this question fits, since the book is comprised of 23 poems…but since many are written in first-person, I’d say we could get Sofia Vergara to portray the school bus driver, Adriana Lima to portray the teacher, and Miranda Lambert to portray the person I ask to keep me warm outside.  Of course, this is all assuming my wife won’t mind…so I’m really going out on a limb here.

But hey, it’s Hollywood!

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

“A funny, touching, and magical look at the coldest – yet warmest – season of all.”

Y’know, I just thought that up this minute. I kinda like it!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Hard to say, as I edit poems as I go along; I revisit them, revise them, place them in the manuscript, rearrange them in the manuscript, edit them again, rearrange them again, blah, blah.  The first draft was probably done by late September, then it was just a matter of tweaking a few things here and there.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

It’s very difficult – if not extremely egotistical – for me to compare a manuscript by an unpublished author to books written by some of the best children’s poets in America. So I do this hesitantly and with a great amount humility…but as it’s a winter-themed poetry collection, I’d say it’s similar in tone to Jack Prelutsky’s It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing (2006, Greenwillow) and Douglas Florian’s Winter Eyes (1999, Greenwillow), although the number of silly or funny poems in mine outnumbers theirs.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I wish I knew! I always tell people how much I hate winter – the shovelling, the snow-blowing, the slickness of roads, the ice on your driveway, the cold temperatures, etc., etc. – and yet, it was not a difficult manuscript to put together. I’ve already come up with another two or three winter poems since I finished it, and I haven’t even been trying!  Perhaps I like winter more than I realized. I absolutely love Christmas, so that might have something to do with it.

What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?

I think the diversity of poems. Not only is there a good balance of funny-to-quiet poems, but I used a number of various forms: there’s a villanelle, cinquain, triolet, haiku, tanka, and a couple others, in addition to more conventional forms. One minute you’re laughing about my Valentine’s Day dilemma with Beulah Buford, and the next, you’re sitting quietly by yourself in a school bus on a winter morning, scratching at the frosty window.  I really like the fact that each poem sort of has its own ‘feel.’

When and how will it be published?

Funny, I ask m yself that same question all…the…time.  Being an as-yet-unpublished author (other than having various adult poems published in independent journals over the years), it’s been an uphill climb trying to get my other manuscripts accepted. I’ve only sent this manuscript to one editor so far, who I want to give first-refusal. If she decides to pass, then I’ll let all the other publishing houses and literary agencies fight over the rights and I’ll eventually sign a six-book deal and movie rights with the highest bidder.  At least, that’s how I imagine things will happen.

WHO’S NEXT?

It is my honor to tag and introduce to you Catherine Johnson, who is also currently working on a manuscript…

Catherine is a British ex-pat living in Canada with her family. She writes picture books and poetry and has several poems published, and was a British champion twice in Tae Kwon-Do.  (How cool is that??)  She blogs at http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com…so be sure to stop by, and learn about herNEXT BIG THING!”

Poetry Friday: “After the Storm”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllEarlier this week, I was considering sharing another poem from my winter-themed children’s poetry collection.  Then news broke about this major storm that is hitting us here in New England today and tomorrow…and I knew exactly which poem to share.  (Whenever forecasters use a term like “potential historic blizzard” I sit up and take notice)

Tara at A Teaching Life is not only hosting the Poetry Friday festivities, but she also offers a snow storm poem – a classic from Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Enjoy…and stay warm!

After the Storm

Shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel,
shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel,
shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel, .

only just begun…

shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel,
shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel,
shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel,

wind is cold and blowing…

shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel,
shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel,
shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel,

glad it’s almost done…

shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel,
shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel,
shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel,

What?!?

 .

 .

 .

 .

I think it’s snowing!

- © 2012, Matt Forrest Esenwine

"Foot of snow is on the house toniiight..."

Poetry Friday: “Not So Easy”

Ornaments 2Before we get to today’s poem, I need to congratulate someone!  Last Friday, I offered two New Hampshire-made, handcrafted milkweed pod Christmas ornaments to anyone who wanted them, just for visiting my blog and reading the poem I was featuring, “Christmas Tree, Three.”  The poem is from my winter-themed children’s poetry collection, Anticipation: Poems for a Winter’s Night, and I appreciate all the comments and feedback I received – not just for that particular poem, but for all my postings.

So, as a little “Thank You,” I thought it might be nice to have a giveaway in time for Christmas.  And by a purely random drawing, the winner is…

Joy Frelinger!  Joy is a children’s poet and performance artist from Arizona, and the ornaments should add a little touch of New England to her southwest decor.  Congratulations, Joy, and thank you so much for visiting my blog!  (If anyone is interested in purchasing one of these ornaments, just send an email to Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and let me know!  They’re $8 each, plus $2 for shipping)

Now then…today’s poem is one of the first ones I wrote for my winter collection.  The last few poems I’ve featured here have been what many in the kid lit industry would call ‘quiet’ poems – that is, they’re more serious and introspective than silly or funny.  I’d like to think this sort of bridges that gap…but I’ll let you decide!  And be sure to check out all the Poetry Friday offerings at Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup!

Not So Easy

A few have hit my forehead and a bunch have slammed my chin,
A couple dozen nailed my nose – and even gotten in.
I’ve had so many in my eyes I now can barely blink;
Catching snowflakes on your tongue is harder than you’d think.

- © 2012 Matt Forrest Esenwine

Poetry Friday: “Naked”

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., and I’m still trying to work off my turkey coma.  You’d think the energy from the sugar in the tarte tatin I made would counteract the effects of the L-tryptophan in the turkey,  but you’d be mistaken.  Instead of it being a zero-sum situation where the chemical effects simply negate themselves, each of the effects tries to out-do the other.  Sort of like a game of walleyball with your brain as the ball.

Nevertheless, I had a blog post to put together, and no amount of soaring and crashing was going to deter me from my mission.  I wanted to post something seasonal for today…so I decided upon this:  a poem I thought perfect for this time of year.

It is the first of 22 poems I’m including in the manuscript for my winter-themed collection; once you read it, you’ll understand why I thought it best to start the book with this particular one!  Enjoy…and please be sure to check out all the Poetry Friday happenings with Mary Lee & Franki at A Year of Reading!

Naked

The wind blew off their clothes, oh my!
One minute they were fully dressed,
And then before we knew it
They had lost their tops and Sunday best.

The wind blew off their clothes, good grief!
It seemed to happen in a flash.
Now, there they stand quite naked –
Poor old elm and maple, oak and ash.

The wind blew off their clothes, it’s true;
It took away their pants and shirts.
But soon they will be looking fine
In snowy hats and snowy skirts.

- © 2012 Matt Forrest Esenwine

Poetry Friday: “Private Snowfall”

“Hold on, there, Matt!  It’s not even Labor Day yet, don’t rush the season!  What the @#*! are you doing?? “

Sorry.

I’ve had winter on my mind quite a bit lately; not because I necessarily miss the freezing cold temperatures, tear-duct-stinging winds, or thick, heavy blizzards that cause everyone to either slow down to a snail’s pace while driving, or come to a complete stop when they drive off the road into an embankment.

On the contrary, I love summer.

I love the sun beating down on me, whether I’m working in the garden, cutting trees for firewood, or lying on the beach.  I love the fact that there is rarely a summer rain shower that is too cold to enjoy running around in.  And I love the fact that women’s clothing becomes more and more optional the higher the mercury rises.

(Hey, I’m just a guy.  Sue me.)

“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”

You know how people love to say that?  With me, I’ll take either or both.  It’s not that I dislike the other seasons – but spring is muddy, fall means wearing layers, and winter brings freezing cold temperatures, tear-duct-stinging winds, and– well, you know.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered I was in the process of writing a winter-themed poetry collection!

To those who don’t consider themselves writers, it would seem impossible to write something, yet not realize you’re writing it.  To those of us who do consider ourselves writers, it happens way too often.

In this particular case, I was simply looking for a common theme to some of the children’s poems I had already written, when I started realizing how many had to do with winter.  Usually, I write poems first, then figure out what to do with them afterward; but I wanted to create a more tightly-focused manuscript than the loose-knit ‘generic children’s poetry’ collection I had already assembled.  Once I counted a half-dozen winter-related pieces sitting there waiting to be published, I figured I’d best get cracking and give these poems some brothers and sisters.

Hot off the press…

Unlike the previous children’s poems I’ve posted here, which were written one, four, and 10 years ago, this is my most recent one.  And when I say ‘recent,’ I mean I just completed it a few days ago – it’s very new.

I like to say, the ‘think’ is still wet.

It’s a bit different from the other poems of mine you’ve read, but I like to write in all sorts of styles and forms; it not only keeps things interesting for the reader, but it keeps a writer sharp when they force themselves out of their comfort zone (more on that in a later blog post).

So far, I’m happy with the way things have been going, too – I think I’ve written a half-dozen new poems just in the past couple of months!

Apparently, summer loves me, too.

Private Snowfall

School bus,
morning
window seat,
peering through the frosted glass,

winter world
is waking up;
signs and streetlights quickly pass.

Index finger’s
steady nail
carves a path through icy land,

leaves behind
a scrawling trail,

little flurry
in my hand.

-Matt Forrest Esenwine

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