Poetry Friday: “None Would Call it Home”

Before I get to today’s poem, I just wanted to remind you that this is…

…and here at the ol’ Triple-R I’m hosting a little month-long writing challenge I call “Poetry…Cubed!”

Based on the premise behind the TV show “Chopped!” on The Food Network, here’s how it works: 

  • Use the 3 images below as inspiration to write a poem – any form, any genre, any number of lines, rhyming or not. Oh, and it also doesn’t have to be very good! (Remember, #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading!) This is all about having fun and spurring creativity.
  • The only hitch is that you need to include a reference to all three images in the poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract.
  • PFAC-front-cover-Nov-30-WEB-jpeg-705x1030Then email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here on Fri., April 28. Out of all the poems submitted, one lucky writer will be chosen at random to receive a copy of the Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations (Pomelo Books, 2015).

Ready? Here are your three images (click on any to enlarge):


(All images courtesy of Katherine Esenwine


Last week, I shared my poem, a haiku, and I look forward to sharing yours – so send ’em in to Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com before Thur., April 27 – I’d love to see them!


Now then…the good folks at the Young Adult Review Network (YARN) are hosting a poetry contest called “Finding Home,” inspired by Meg Kearney’s soon-to-be-released novel in verse, When You Never Said Goodbye (Persea Books, 2017),  about an adopted teen’s search for her birth mother.

The contest asks writers to create a poem about what finding home means for them…but of course, as any writer knows, what you start writing and what you finish writing are often completely different things; such was the case with one of the poems I’m submitting.

YARN said we could share our poems with the world, so that’s what I’m doing here; Honestly, I’m not sure where it came from:

None would call it home 

None would call it home, had they a choice –
yet there they are, gathered every day
to sleep and shoot and wrestle with their fate,
as much a family as one can be.
Sunlight rarely touches down here; deep
within the cold crevasse of rusted steel,
concrete, asphalt, cans and tire piles,
young lives and old share space and scarcely more:
arm-scarred wife; outsourced businessman;
only son, whose oxycodone days
now bleed as glass through crawling skin, sores picked
by panic-stricken hands betray his shame.
The alley smells of urine, yeast, and smoke
as one more empty, wayward soul comes home.

– © 2017, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

I’ve been enjoying the beautiful simplicity of blank verse sonnets lately, and the form seemed to fit the harsh subject. I may tweak it before I submit, but odds are this is the final version. Here’s hoping Meg, who’s judging, likes it!


ALSO: Irene Latham‘s annual Progressive Poem is underway! Each day throughout April a different person will add a line – until we have a complete, 30-poet poem on April 30!

Irene is hosting Poetry Friday today at her blog, Live Your Poem, so please check out all the links and fun, and see how she responds to the previous lines of the poem, when she adds hers!

By the way, I won’t be adding my 2 cents worth until later in the month, but it’s fun to follow along and watch the progress; here’s the schedule:

1 Heidi at my juicy little universe
2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Diane at Random Noodling
6 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
9 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Penny at a penny and her jots
11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
14 Jan at Bookseedstudio
15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
19 Pat at Writer on a Horse
20 BJ at Blue Window
21 Donna at Mainely Write
22 Jone at Jone Ruch MacCulloch
23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
29 Charles at Poetry Time
30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids


Due out Sept. 5, 2017 from Boyd’s Mills Press! Pre-orders available now!


poetryfridaybutton-fulllDid 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!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
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!

20 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “None Would Call it Home”

  1. Irene Latham

    Happy NPM, Matt! It looks like you are celebrating in some fine ways. Good luck in the contest! Sometimes the best poems are the ones that creep up on us, aren’t they?


  2. lindabaie

    I promise I will write for your challenge soon, Matt! And as for the one you wrote, such devastation in lives is hard to imagine, but they are there. My quarrel is that possibly they may still call it home. Best wishes for the contest!


  3. My commenting these days is lackluster at best, Matt, but I always enjoy reading your posts. I think it’s great that you used Katie’s photographs in your cubed contest. They’re really striking… as is your poem for the YARN challenge. Good luck!


    1. Thanks, Michelle – my commenting has fallen a bit, as well, as I’ve had less & less time available. (the 3-yr-old is getting bigger and taking fewer naps per week!) But thanks for stopping by, and I do hope to tackle YOUR challenge this month.


  4. Janet F.

    I have met Meg and am eager to read her book. She was at a NYSEC (small-ish) conference in Albany when I presented about my poetry work. We talked quite a bit. I find her work compelling and your poem is that, too. Really a fine, work, in my opinion, Matt. Good luck.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.