Poetry Friday: “Night Light”

poetryfridaybutton-fulll2015 is getting off to a simultaneously wonderful and frustrating start. After everything my wife and I have been through the past couple months – with boilers blowing and electrical panels needing replacement – I’ve finally gotten some great news!

…and some not-so-great news.

The good news that I’m thrilled to share is that I have received the New England SCBWI’s inaugural Marguerite W. Davol Picture Book Critique Scholarship for pre-published authors! I will receive a critique from author Mary Brigid Barrett and will have an opportunity to revise it prior to submitting it for critique by an agent or editor at the 2015 New England SCBWI conference.

(Many thanks to the judges, Jeannine Atkins, Jo Knowles, and Brian Lies…I’m so glad you liked the manuscript! Congratulations also to Mary Morton Cowan, winner of the same scholarship for published authors, who receives a manuscript critique from author/poet Jane Yolen.)

I’m also excited to be a Second Round Judge in the CYBILS Awards, where the Poetry Book finalists have been announced! I’ll be working with fellow judges Renee LaTulippe, Linda Baie, Laura Shovan, and Diane Mayr to pick one winner out of seven fantastic children’s books of poetry.

Cybils-Logo-2014-Rnd2And now, the bad news…

…is that we woke up to no heat downstairs on New Year’s Day after one of the pipes burst. Alas, if that was the only issue, it wouldn’t have been that bad; the problem is why it burst.

You see, we live in a 100-year-old house that has been added onto and added onto over the years…and apparently, underneath the newest section of the house, there’s no insulation. None. There’s isn’t any barrier of any kind preventing the wind and cold from blowing underneath the house and freezing every pipe it happens upon. The only reason we’ve learned this just now is because usually there’s so much snow up against the house, IT acts as a barricade. But this year, no snow – no barricade.

And yes, you read that correctly – the newest part of the house is the part that needs the most work. The older part of the house is in pretty good shape, ironically.

So, while my wife & I try to figure out how to pay for yet another extraordinary home expense, I thought I’d work on a new book idea. It’s a revision to a poetry collection I’ve been working on for a couple years, and I think I’ve finally found the “theme” I need to make this manuscript marketable. I’ll tell you more in this coming Tuesday’s post – but for now, here’s my latest poem, which I plan on including in the book.

If you have the time, please consider taking a moment and checking out this past Tuesday’s short post about my blog in review – there are some surprising things I learned about what was happening with my blog in 2014! And for all of today’s Poetry Friday links and hijinks, head on over to The Miss Rumphius Effect!

Night Light

The sun’s reflection on the moon
reflects upon the ground below.

But are we sure that this is so?

Could it be, the gleaming snow
is what gives moon its midnight glow?

© 2014, Matt Forrest Esenwine


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39 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Night Light”

  1. It isn’t as bad, but my garbage disposal started leaking on Christmas Day. How do those inanimate objects know when the most inopportune time is to break? So sorry, again, about the house woes. I had a few while selling my ‘other’ house, but eventually, all done. Best wishes for a better new year in the ‘fix-it’ area, & in all other things, of course.
    I remember other poems in which you post a question. And I remember enjoying them, and now this moon one, too. I love all poems about the moon, & this gives that wonderful “orb” a new look. (Looking forward to our discussions…)


  2. Congrats on the PB critique scholarship!

    Sorry to hear you’re facing more major home repairs. We had frozen pipes in our other house — it was a brand new Cape and the builder failed to insulate the eaves upstairs. We returned from vacation to find water upstairs and downstairs. 😦

    Good luck with your poetry collection revisions and with fixing the house. Love “Night Light”!


  3. Irene Latham

    Congratulations, Matt, on the scholarship!! I, too, love poems that pose questions. And you know, if you can turn your woes into poetry, it’s a pretty good life. Keep going!


  4. Remember the movie “Money Pit”? Sounds like you are doing a remake!
    Our retirement home that we are currently renovating is having recurring bouts of water in the basement, burning out sump pump after sump pump. We are hoping that a combination of suggested solutions will finally work to rid us of the river that runs through it, so we can someday move in!
    Congratulations on your critique opportunity! That is so wonderful. Nice to get bits of good news to temper the bad! BTW: will have your poem posted next Friday for Poetry Friday on my page – I found my picture of the birches in our yard. And thanks again for both the poem and the ornament!


    1. Good grief, I hope you can get YOUR Money Pit straightened up! Thank you for your thoughts, and I’m glad you liked your ‘winter swap’ surprise – I look forward to seeing your post!


  5. dmayr

    Congratulations, Matt!

    Yes, the lows are really low, but if you think of them as fodder for poems and stories, you could be sitting on a bonanza! Have a great new year.


  6. Hooray on the good news! Argggggh on the bad. I agree with Linda– it must be some kind of inanimate object conspiracy. We just had three appliances kick the bucket last month– Christmas was all about a new dishwasher and vacuum for us. Wishing you well and wishing you warmth, Matt.


  7. margaretsmn

    House problems are the most frustrating. So sorry about all your home ownership woes. But excited to pass on the Cybils baton to such able hands. Also excited about your poetry progress. All my best for your 2015!


  8. Matt, I am so thrilled for you on your award, Marguerite W. Davol Picture Book Critique Scholarship but so sad that your home is giving you such problems. I thought of the movie the Money Pit and realized that you thought of it also. Old homes have character but who knows what is lurking beneath. The addition to my home is not insulated either and it shows in the winter when it is cold. The recourse was to put up the heat in the house so the 4th bedroom that is flanked by an outside wall be heated for my sister, a Christmas guest. House problems seems to come in bundles so weather the storm (so to speak).
    As for your new poem, it is such a visual delight! Thank you for sharing that.
    Today, I am showcasing a second look at the Finding Fall Gallery in NYC museum-like style and an official invitation to the new gallery. Please consider writing for this new one. From comments received, your Finding Fall poems were a hit. Best to you.


    1. Thank you so much, Carol! The plumber & I learned yesterday after doing some investigating that our heating pipes are located in the crawlspace below the addition – TWO INCHES from the ground, with no insulation! >sigh< So that's the next project.

      We're planning my son's 5-year birthday party this weekend, so I'm not online much, but I hope to check out the gallery soon…thanks again!


  9. amyludwigvanderwater

    Matt – First…many congratulations! That is fantastic news and something to look forward too. I feel your pain in the old house story. Ours is about 150 years old, and the newest parts of it are the worst parts of it. A couple of years ago, our bedroom window BLEW OUT OF THE WALL into the snow. My husband duct taped it back in until we pulled that 20 year room off with a chain and a car. Your moon poem is lovely – nature seems to work together, each part of it complementing each other part at just the right time, and you capture that magic. Happy happy 2015, and many blessings to you and yours on Pumpkin Hill…


    1. Wow, I can’t imagine the window blowing out of the house! (Oh, wait…I probably CAN imagine it, considering what our house has been doing lately). Glad you were able to tackle the problem! Have a great new year, Amy, and congratulations on the new book contract!


  10. maryleehahn

    I love your poem! It seems to need one about shadows as a companion.

    Even in a sub-100 year-old house, there’s always something. Mr. Mary Lee trenched the entire west side of the house last summer, replacing the drainage tile and subsequently giving us a MUCH drier basement. Lotta effort…lotta benefit. Stay the course. At least you’re not pulling parts of your house off with a chain and a car, like Amy. (Yet?)


  11. Karen Eastlund

    Hey…. Happy New Year and huge congrats on your excellent good news. As for the house…. all I can say is UGH! Sorry. What a bloomin’ bummer.

    I do love the poem. Nice way to reconsider the moon/earth situation. ;0)

    Better luck soon!


  12. Keri Collins Lewis

    Congratulations, condolences, and a very enjoyable poem. I’m delighted you’ve had a breakthrough on the theme for your book, and hope to hold it in my hands someday!


  13. Dear Matt,
    “Night Light” is an intriguing way to think about snow, as if it emanates light itself.

    This doesn’t compare to Your. Old. House, but the holidays found me with a foot break, so I hobbled around & the difference is that hobbled pipes are more serious – no water.

    SCBWI is so wonderful & winning the critique is an honor – bravo! to you.

    ~ j a n annino


  14. I like how sparse and meaningful this poem is – especially with the backdrop of the story about your house. While not directly related, there are threads that can be discerned. Hope things get better for you and your family.


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