Poetry Friday: “None Would Call it Home”

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

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…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!

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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!

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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

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

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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!
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“Constancy”

This post was originally published August 3, 2012. It was my first poetry post on this blog, and only my second post ever, following my introduction. But I repost it every year around this time, as my wedding anniversary is August 10 and the poem was part of my wedding vows. I wouldn’t be where I am without my wife, after all – she’s the one who allows me to be a stay-at-home dad who writes for a (modest) living! 

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poetryfridaybutton-fulllThis is only my second posting on this blog, and although I knew I wanted to do something for Poetry Friday, it took quite a bit of deliberation to decide which poem of mine I should spotlight.  Children’s poetry or adult poetry?  Published or unpublished?  Happy or sad?  Funny or serious???

Well, after careful consideration, I decided I would post an unpublished poem I wrote a few years ago for the one person in the world who has done the most for me in my quest to become a published children’s author:   my wife, Jenny. Through her unwavering support (emotional, physical, AND financial), I’m able to pursue this dream along with all the other people who have been so helpful to me, like my kids, friends, and fellow writers.

This is a traditional Elizabethan sonnet (three quatrains with an a/b/a/b, c/d/c/d, e/f/e/f rhyme scheme followed by a rhyming g/g couplet) which I wrote as part of my wedding vows.  No, it doesn’t read as a contemporary poem; it was deliberately written in a sort of old-fashioned, classic sort of style. I wanted to express the thought that even though poets throughout history have written words of undying love and immutable steadfastness, my love for her surpassed all their metaphors, all their similes, all that they could ever have imagined.

Yes, I’m a romantic; I make no apologies.

I conclude my poem with a suggestion for them as to what they should compare their love to…but it’s not a rose or a star.

Looking back on it (indeed, even shortly after I’d written it), there are things I would have changed, edited, or revised – it is a bit over-wrought, I admit – but I was under a deadline, of course, and this was what I came up with.  Unlike my other poems, “Constancy” will never be put through revisions, however.  These were the words I spoke to my wife on August 10, 2008 (in a voice loud enough that the entire state of Massachusetts could hear) and so they shall remain.  These words were part of my vows and are as unalterable as my love and gratitude for her.


Thanks again for saying “Yes,” Honey.

Constancy
For Jennifer

How many have, before me, tried in vain
To capture beauty, constancy, and love
Through fluent phrase, in happiness and pain,
And simile of summer, star, or dove?
Their words so eloquent, imagery lush –
In perfect imperfection testify,
For seasons change, the steadfast heavens rush
To swirl about themselves, and doves will die.
How best to show the one whom I adore
The fullness of my amorosity?
I fail to find a finer metaphor
Than that true love which you have shown to me.
The poets fail! Their thoughts do not dismiss;
‘Tis better they compare their love to this.

© 2008, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

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Did 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)
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Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

 

Poetry Friday: Constancy…and some inconsistency

Welcome to the newly waxed, buffed, and polished Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme!

poetryfridaybutton-fulllAfter 256 posts, 29,560 views and 3,953 comments over the past 3 years, I felt a little remodeling of “Triple-R” was in order. Hard to believe, but it was exactly 3 years ago in 2012 that I began this blog – something I’d wanted to do for quite awhile – and today it has grown from one follower (Jen, my wife!) to 383 followers!

Now granted, that may not seem like a huge number of people compared to some of the tremendous blogs out there, but I’m happy to see it getting close to the 500 mark…and when it does, I plan on having a little celebration! So if you know anyone who might appreciate this blog, please let them know about it.

I have a number of cool things planned for upcoming posts, including an interview with poet/author Rebecca Kai Dottlich, another edition of Poetry Cubed, and big news about my forthcoming debut picture book, Flashlight Night (2017, Boyd’s Mills Press), so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of it!

So the blog has gone through a transformation – it’s clean, contemporary, and more professional-looking. There’s the inconsistency for you. As for the constancy…well, as you may know, I share the following poem every August around this time because my wedding anniversary is coming up this weekend, and it was part of my wedding vows.
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Matt&Jen - WeddingIt was actually my very first poetry post on this blog, and only my second post ever, following my introduction. This is a traditional Elizabethan sonnet and no, it doesn’t read as a contemporary poem; it was deliberately written in a sort of old-fashioned, classic sort of style. Looking back on it, there are things I would have changed, edited, or revised – but I was under a deadline – the wedding date wasn’t going to change!

Unlike my other poems, “Constancy” will never be put through revisions.  These were the words I spoke to my wife on August 10, 2008 as part of my vows, and are as unalterable as my love and gratitude for her.

Constancy
For Jennifer

How many have, before me, tried in vain
To capture beauty, constancy, and love
Through fluent phrase, in happiness and pain,
And simile of summer, star, or dove?
Their words so eloquent, imagery lush –
In perfect imperfection testify,
For seasons change, the steadfast heavens rush
To swirl about themselves, and doves will die.
How best to show the one whom I adore
The fullness of my amorosity?
I fail to find a finer metaphor
Than that true love which you have shown to me.
The poets fail! Their thoughts do not dismiss;
‘Tis better they compare their love to this.

© 2008, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

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Tabatha is hosting Poetry Friday today at The Opposite of Indifference, so be sure to visit her blog for all of today’s links!

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Did 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!

Poetry Friday: “Thoughts of the Falconer”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllAs I was perusing some of my older writings, I stumbled upon a Creative Writing class assignment from back when I was a senior in college. I read it and couldn’t remember if it was the 2nd or 3rd Elizabethan sonnet I had ever written…but I knew it was definitely one of the first few.  I also knew I wanted to feature it here.

One can tell this was written by a person who was still learning – the language is extremely formal and there are many things that could probably be changed – but for what it is (or was), I like it.  It certainly helped me to learn and grow as a writer of poetry by helping me utilize imagery and metaphor and alliteration and such, so for that I owe the poem a debt of gratitude.  It was also an experiment with an original rhyme scheme; it strays from the standard a-b-a-b of a typical Elizabethan, but again, it was a learning process and a college class assignment, so try to cut me some slack. 😉

Today, Diane Mayr is hosting Poetry Friday at Random Noodling, and is also in a bit of a reflective mood – although her memory goes back 40 years! Visit her blog and find out more!

“Thoughts of the Falconer”

Away, young fearless guardian of sky;
Your graceful wings shall steal the summer blue
In search of perfect prey.  Yet, as you fly
The dignity you hold with peerless pride
Is carried full and strong, embodies you,
The falcon; strength and spirit strictly tied.
An open world is yours to claim anew
From rocky cliffs to meadows warm and green,
But for that honour, savage winds you ride
To breast – confront – your feral foe unseen;
The hood removed, you sense the urge inside
And with no hesitation you are gone.
Though years may pass and fainter be my sight
I shall fore’er admire the falcon’s flight.

– © Matt Forrest Esenwine, Dec. 15, 1988

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PoetsGarage-badgeDid 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!  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!

Poetry Friday: “Sonnet 10”

Y’know…now that I think about it…

I should’ve come up with a title for this poem.

For some reason, I just never got around to it.  I wish I could find the original, which had the date of completion on it (I’m sure it’s packed away somewhere around here) but I’d guess that I wrote this around 2000.  We were living in Highgate, Vermont, at the time and I was home on the front porch, looking at the field across the road and the line of multi-colored trees that stretched behind it.  I think it was late September, but it must have been a cool, early fall because I recall the trees had already lost at least half of their leaves, which spurred me to write this.

It’s an adult poem, never published, but one of my favourites; I hope you like it.  For more poetry, please visit Laura Salas for the complete Poetry Friday roundup!

Sonnet 10

The dark green trees, so tender yestermonth,
Have now begun a turn of gruesome hue
And sanguine shades make manifest a life
With which the leaves the sun cannot imbue.
Where once youth’s shine had bourgeoned through these hills
And sweetness of the air perfumed the land,
Now sullen limbs hang low, with fingers crack’d
As if by Hodur’s cold and mighty hand.
The souls come creeping, seeping through worn skin –
An erubescent glow becomes a cry
To Heaven; stately corpses standing tall
Are beckoning us all to watch them die.
And while tears drop so silently to ground,
To tread upon them ‘tis a deaf’ning sound.

– Matt Forrest Esenwine