Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package

Archive for the tag “summer”

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.


- © 2009, Matt Forrest Esenwine


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:

Michelle Barnes has an original poem inspired by her daughter:

Father Goose shares a “Couplet at a Metaphor:”

Writing about difficult subjects is Laura Shovan’s subject today:

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche wrote a poem inspired while attending Kate Messner’s virtual writer’s camp:

Catherine Johnson has two left feet:

Irene Latham shares some beautiful Valerie Worth poems:

Diane Mayr shares her experience at a New Hampshire writer’s retreat:

Diane also has a “Cocoon” poem at Kurious Kitty:

And a quote about the “wild mind” from Michael Hettich:

Linda Baie is feeling vacation anticipation:

Liz Steinglas shares a poem she wrote last summer about an iconic summer flower:

Mary Lee Hahn  also has sunflowers on her mind…sleds, too!

Joy Acey shares a modern haiku:

Tabatha Yeats points out some of the highlights of the journal, Still:


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.

Slowing down and catching up

This past weekend, my wife, my son, and I attended my wife’s family’s annual 4th of July cookout.  It’s amazing the things you learn and discover when you’re not constantly up each other’s arses on Facebook and Twitter.

ID-10016558 (BBQ)Before I go any further, I should explain something. This is a BIG shindig. Family, extended family, and friends all get together to hang out, have fun, and eat tons of food. I’ve been to more than a few family functions in the past, but this has got to be the biggest one each year.

How big?

There aren’t just hot dogs and hamburgers. There’s also barbecued chicken, pulled pork, hot & sweet sausages, steak tips, chicken wings, and smoked ribs. And those are just the meats.  There’s a pool, a horseshoe pit, a bounce house for the kids, and requisite beer-pong tournament.

This year, they even rented a Porta-potty!

Like I said…it’s a big party. Which is why I found it so surprising – and refreshing, really – to be able to learn so much from my own family members.

Social media ≠ real socializing

While many of the folks in attendance keep up with each other via social media, several don’t. And the ones who do – Yours Truly, included – are not living every moment of our lives to find out what everyone else is doing everyday.

Now and then I’ll see a Facebook post from someone, and perhaps I’ll comment, perhaps not. Often I miss a good deal of what’s going on because, to be honest, I’ve got a lot going on in my own life.

facebookNot to sound selfish or anything, but I’m so preoccupied with my voiceover business, my writing, taking care of my 3-year-old son, taking care of the house/gardening/firewood/landscaping/etc., and trying to be a good husband to my pregnant, ready-to-pop-any-day-now wife…I honestly twitterdon’t have the time to notice that my step-cousin Susie has posted another duck-lip selfpic or that Uncle Fred finally had his bunions removed.

So being able to enjoy true socializing was like a gift. I was able to relax Pinterestand chat with one or two people, snack on some food, and have a drink, then start another conversation with someone else and have some more food.  (Food figures prominently at this soirée – and in my life, for that matter)

soundcloudAnd by engaging in real, old-fashioned human interaction, without the distractions that come with socializing online, I was not only more focused on what people were talking about, I was also able to enjoy it much more. I wasn’t being interrupted by pop-up ads, I wasn’t checking emails and bank accounts while trying to skim through my Facebook news feed, and I wasn’t finding intriguing news stories that pulled my attention away from my work.

I discovered quite a bit, too.

“You did what?  When?  Where?  Wow!”

I learned that my uncle-in-law (not sure if that’s a real designation, but we’ll go with it) purchased and rebuilt a classic motorcycle which he turned into a trike. However, he left the rear wheel of the motorcycle on – meaning the trike actually has three wheels in the back. Which, I suppose, makes it a quad. Kinda, sort of.

I had a chance to catch up with a second cousin who recently graduated college, who told me a 7-year-old boy she was babysitting tried to hit on her. Not hit her…hit on her.  At 7 years old, all I wanted was a new Tonka truck. Apparently they start young, these days.

I also learned that another relative has started a new job that has tremendous perks; that the rules of horseshoes need to be altered slightly if you want the game to end before sunrise; and that Jello shots pack significantly more punch when they’re made entirely with vodka and no water whatsoever.

Oh, and all that cutting, splitting, and stacking cordwood I’ve been doing is paying off, it seems. While standing in my swimming trunks chatting with my wife and her sisters, one of them asked if I had lost weight. I said I didn’t know; it was possible, with all the outdoor work I’ve been doing.

I thanked her, of course – then immediately began to wonder what type of home improvement project is best for one’s abs.

ID-100177455 (floating ring)

Somewhere…an inner tube is calling you.

Relax, recharge, refocus

Could I have learned these things via Facebook or Twitter? Sure - at least some of them. Although my uncle isn’t online, Jello shots are hard to do on Google+, and since I don’t post shirtless photos of myself on Facebook, I doubt anyone would have ever noticed my muscular, chiseled, near-godlike physique.

But having the opportunity to slow down and leave the electronic distractions behind was not only enjoyable, it was necessary. Hopefully you can find the time to slow down and catch up with the people close to you this summer.

Just like the batteries in our devices need to get turned off and recharged now and then, we need that, as well. That’s why, although I’ll be working through this week doing my voiceover work and writing my children’s poetry, I’ll be on a semi-hiatus, so to speak.

I’ll be spending more time readying the nursery for baby #2′s arrival in August and spending more time with my wife over the weekend – just the two of us, with no distractions. I also will not be posting a new blog entry next Monday.

I do have the urge to go out and cut down more trees, though.


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!



“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.


- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

Poetry Friday: “With her, at midnight”

For my final Poetry Friday post of the year, I’m sharing a fairly new poem that I completed just a few weeks ago.  I wrote this for my wife, Jen, and since it describes a muggy, summer evening, I thought it might help to melt some of the heavy, wet snow that fell in this part of the country yesterday.

This is a tanka, pretty much the only surviving form of waka, a term that once encompassed many forms of Japanese poetry.  You may notice that the first three lines are similar to a haiku, with their 5-7-5 syllabic structure; however, haikus are a relatively new form of poetry, having been developed in the 19th century (haikus were borne of the original hokku form, which dates to the 1600s, but waka forms go back to the 6th century).

By the way, this week I learned that the Japanese word haijin means a crippled person, or a haiku poet.  Figures.

So now that your history and vocab lessons are over, on to the poetry!  And be sure to stop by Carol’s Corner, where you’ll find the complete Poetry Friday round-up.


With her, at midnight

Within the warm, thick
soup of night clouds and orchids,
breaths heavy as air
silence jealous crickets, stars
glisten our damp, moonlit skin.

- © 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?? “


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,
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

Post Navigation

Laura Purdie Salas

writing the world for kids

Eat This Poem

a literary food blog

Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package

The Drawer Of M. M. Socks

Stories - Tall and Short for the Tall and Short

Catherine Johnson

Poems for kids of all ages and dreamers everywhere

You've Got Your Hands Full

Just another site

Jama's Alphabet Soup

an eclectic feast of food, fiction and folderol

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Creative Writing Tips and Authorial Support from Fantasy Writer Victoria Grefer

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

The blog of children's author Tara Lazar

Julie True Kingsley's Blog

Musings on really nothing...

Dave Courvoisier's Blog

Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package

Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package

sharon abra hanen

children's literature, poetry, & other creative magical stuff

crackles of speech.............. poems for all ages................... by steven withrow

Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package

Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package

J.S. Gilbert

Copywriting, Advertising Creative, Voice Over Talent and a few surprises

The Poem Farm

Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package


Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,160 other followers

%d bloggers like this: