It’s Poetry Friday once again, and today I’m not actually here! I’m spending three days in Springfield, MA for the annual New England SCBWI conference. This is the conference for which I won the NE-SCBWI’s Marguerite W. Davol Scholarship, and will be getting a chance to talk about one of my manuscripts with an agent from a well-known house (the name of which I cannot divulge).
So as I was looking through some of my past writing to share tonight during Open Mic, I came across the very first poem I ever had published following college graduation. I make this distinction because I actually had a few poems published in local independent collections prior to and during college, but it was at this point I felt I finally had the education behind me and the knowledge inside me to know what I was doing.
Of course, I was wrong; none of us ever has ‘enough’ knowledge. But I was proud of the fact that this was a poetry anthology being published half a country away, in Texas, and that the editor felt it made the grade. Looking back on it, there are many things I’d do differently. I’d have used more internal rhyme, used less obvious word choices, and would have definitely been less…oh, what’s the word…histrionic, perhaps?
I hope you like it, though. It was inspired by a tornado touching down in a small Connecticut town in 1989 and was published in a collection entitled Visions by Metamorphosis Publishing.
Bantam, CT (July 1989)
How little you suspected
……….the cold, dispassionate rage of force
………………..Nature showed you.
Two days ago, a quiet small town;
……….yesterday, a furious maelstrom
………………..of rain and wind and stones from the sky;
today, quiet; too suddenly
……….silent, for a once-thriving village swallowed
………………..by an impassive, swirling vortex.
No lives lost, they say – yet
……….what do you see? A broken window lies
………………..beside a shattered rooftop;
overturned sportscar, once sleek and new,
……….wears the remains of a neighbor’s fireplace
………………..like a penniless child’s rags;
and the church – only as strong as the aged
……….bricks with which it was built – vanished
………………..like faith, replaced by its own dust.
This was once a soul,
……….your town; now it lay still as a corpse:
………………..cold, unmoving, conscious of nothing.
Here, amid the hills and trees
……….Nature took you by surprise…
………………..…and how little you suspected.
– © 1989, Matt Forrest Esenwine
My friend and fellow Poet’s Garage critique group member Renee LaTulippe is hosting Poetry Friday today at her blog, No Water River, so please be sure to stop by and check out all the links and fun!
Want to win a free book? A couple of weeks ago, I shared a new poetry challenge!
If you missed it, it’s my take on the Food Network show, “Chopped!” But instead of using surprise ingredients from a basket to create a meal, you’ll use three photo prompts to create ONE fantastic poem!
(Don’t worry if you don’t think you’re good enough…it’s just to have fun and stretch some brain-muscle. Winners will be determined by a random drawing, so no pressure! Get all the details HERE.)
Irene Latham’s annual Progressive Poem continues to grow! Each day, a different person adds a line to the poem – and today, that person is Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Then on April 30, it’ll be my turn to add the final line!
You can see how the 2015 Progressive Poem has been developing at the following blog spots:
1 Jone at Check it Out
2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
4 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog
6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson
8 Irene at Live Your Poem
9 Mary Lee at Poetrepository
10 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
11 Kim at Flukeprints
12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine at DoriReads
14 Renee at No Water River
15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
17 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
19 Linda at Teacher Dance
20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots
21 Tara at A Teaching Life
22 Pat at Writer on a Horse
23 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy
24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
25 Tabatha at The Opposite of indifference
26 Brian at Walk the Walk
27 Jan at Bookseedstudio
28 Amy at The Poem Farm
29 Donna at Mainely Write
30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme