Poetry Friday: “Friends” and Madness!

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a poem titled “Jealous Dancer’s Lament,” which I wrote as part of Laura Shovan’s 6th Annual February Daily Poem Project. I’ve been busy this month writing and doing a lot of behind-the-scenes promotional work for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books), but fortunately I have been able to find enough time to write a few more quick poems to share with the group.

As I mentioned previously, Laura’s poetry prompt is not about perfection. It’s about getting into the habit of writing daily – something a person like me has a hard time doing as a stay-at-home dad with an 8-year-old, a 4-year-old, a voiceover business, and myriad household chores that are still waiting to be done.

Today’s poem was inspired by a sculpture by David LaTulippe, brother of my friend and fellow children’s writer/blogger, Renée LaTulippe (who happens to be hosting Poetry Friday today!) To me, the man’s face looks sad, but almost in a sort of self-righteous sort of way, if that makes sense…as if he is deliberately portraying himself as overwrought (one group member thought “scornful” was a better word than sadness, and she’s probably correct):

“Edward” by Dave LaTulippe; used with permission, all rights reserved

I just connected with that attitude and with our collective, unceasing desire to be happier, better, and more successful than our so-called “friends” on social media…and this is what came out of it.


I see them all –
………………..contentment –
yet, my heart holds sore resentment.
Love and money, beauty, power…
every minute, every hour
witnessing rewards and riches.

Where are mine??

My old soul itches
with the strain of faith, unshaken;
why, Lord, have I been forsaken?

– © 2018 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

By the way, speaking of poetry prompts, Ed DeCaria’s Madness! Poetry competition will be starting soon! Sixty-four “authletes” (including Yours Truly) will be given random words – and just 36 hours – with which to craft children’s poems. It’s a unique, bracketed-style writing competition, and you can join in by voting for your favorite poems as we battle it out, head-to-head throughout the month, culminating with the final showdown between two truly worthy opponents.

Click HERE to see the names of all 64 authletes and who they are paired up against, or click the logo above to learn more about the rules. If you are a teacher or know of a classroom that would like to learn more about poetry and writing and would like to participate by voting, please contact Ed! Each year between 100-200 classrooms participate, and we’d like to see that number grow.

I hope you’ll consider following the competition and voting! And again, if you’re looking for more poetry, head over to Renee’s blog, No Water River, for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup.


SCHOOL PEOPLE are here…and the DINOSAURS are on their way!

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR hits bookshelves April 17!

New dates continue to be added to the Dinosaur Tour! Don’t Ask a Dinosaur co-author Deborah Bruss and I have quite a busy schedule planned:

  • Sat., April 14, 11am:  Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
  • Sat., April 14, 2pm:  Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
  • Tue., April 17, 7pm:  Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur Dual National Launch Party!! (with Holly Thompson, One Wave at a Time reading/signing/discussion)
  • Thur., April 26, 10:30am:  Pillsbury Free Library, Warner, NH, Dinosaur Storytime with Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!
  • Sat., April 28, 10:30am: Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing
  • Sat., April 28, 2pm: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MA, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing (with Sara Levine, Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones reading/signing)
  • Sun., April 29, 2pm:  MainStreet BookEnds, Warner, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing and discussion
  • Sat., May 5, 10am: Barnes & Noble, Burlington, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing
  • Sat., May 5, 1pm:  Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing
  • Sat., May 12, 11am:  Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing
  • Sat., May 19, 11:30am-3pm: Barnes & Noble, Salem, NH, National Storytime at 11am, followed by Don’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing
  • To be scheduled: Books-A-Million, Concord, NH
  • To be scheduled: Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH
  • MORE DATES to be added!


Thank you so much to all the librarians, bloggers, and parents who are still discovering “Flashlight Night!” 


Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new way to purchase personalized signed copies of not only Flashlight Night, but ANY of my books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

I’ve teamed up with the good folks MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH to present an option for people who would love to have a signed copy of one of my books but don’t live anywhere near me. MainStreet BookEnds has ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personalized!

Just log onto my website and click the cover of whichever book you want, and they will get it to me to sign and send it off to you. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)


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23 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Friends” and Madness!

  1. srebeccan

    That little bust was one of my favorite prompts from the month. Your poem was great. Congrats and good luck in the Madness! Poetry competition. It should be lots of fun.


  2. Irene Latham

    Happy March Madness-ing! I think many on social media feel that pang of envy from time to time… it helps to remember that those posts are all fantasy, really… only the best most popular snippet of a life. We are all so much MORE!


  3. maryleehahn

    Good luck with Ed DeCaria’s Madness! Poetry competition! I have fond memories of my years competing! I wrote one of my best poems ever in that competition!


  4. lindabaie

    Best wishes in the ‘madness’ competition. It was fun the times I was in, but hectic. February probably helped a bit! I loved this little man, thought him so filled with regret so he made me sad, too. Perhaps the grass to some is always greener. Your poem shows that.


  5. I like that his soul is itchy 🙂
    He reminds me of a dwarf in the Hobbit, somebody who is annoyed because Bilbo is holding out on him and not bringing enough food…
    Good luck with the Madness!


  6. Yes, I definitely see an old soul who feels forsaken. But I’m leaning more toward sadness… or maybe stoicism. I don’t see scorn at all. Interesting how different eyes read expressions differently. It must have to do with our own personal histories coloring our interpretations.


  7. Kay Mcgriff

    That daily writing practice is so hard and so rewarding! I have loved seeing all the different responses to a single prompt throughout the month as different poets see the same art through different eyes. Good luck with the madness!


  8. Oh wow, look at that sculpture. I’ve been hearing so many reports about the effects of social media on people from my clinical supervisees doing counseling work. It does open up a great deal of resentment, even depression among people who already have a vulnerability, or who simply may not be in a good place.


  9. Your poem seemed to fit the sculpture well! Sad dilemma about social media, I partake in some but there’s so much more to do, working, writing, art.

    Looks like you did well in the first round of the Madness Poetry, congrats, and good luck as you continue on! This was my first year participating in it.


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