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!
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National Poetry Month: “Young Adult Review Network” Poetry Contest Results!

national-poetry-month 2016


One of my poems?

One of the winners of a national poetry contest??? 

It began on World Poetry Day, March 21…the good folks at the Young Adult Review Network (YARN) began accepting submissions for a poetry contest they called “Enchanted Spaces and Places,” using the hashtag #EnchantedYARN.

Inspired by Margarita Engle’s award-winning memoir, Enchanted Air (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015), the editors at YARN invited writers to submit poems about their own enchanted places – where they have lived, visited, or even spaces they hold inside their hearts. (You can learn more about the contest HERE)

The poems were all judged by Margarita herself, who I have to imagine must have been worn out from entries pouring in from all over the world! Entries were judged blind (that is, names were not attached to the poems while judging), so Margarita had no idea who had written the poems while she was reading them.

She had no idea mine was one of them…

And the winners are:

Winner: London Shah, “Desi Donations” 
Cynthia Grady, “Early Morning”
Runner-up: My poem, “Last Autumn!”

You can read YARN’s complete post HERE, along with all three winning poems. I hope you’ll check them out, because I’m very honored to be in such good company with these two other poets! Many thanks to Margarita for all her hard work, and to everyone who entered the contest – because ultimately, the important thing isn’t winning, so much as it is the writing. Remember what I always say, #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading!

Although in cases like this, it’s nice when they DO read!


2016 Kidlit Progressive PoemDon’t forget: Irene Latham’s 2016 Progressive Poem continues today as poet/blogger Renee M. LaTulippe adds her contribution, so be sure to stop by the No Water River and see how it’s coming along!

You can follow the 2016 Progressive Poem at the following blog spots:


1 Laura at Writing the World for Kids

2 Joy at Joy Acey

3 Doraine at Dori Reads

4 Diane at Random Noodling

5 Penny at A Penny and Her Jots

6 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink

7 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass

8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem

9 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

10 Pat at Writer on a Horse

11 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog

12 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty

13 Linda at TeacherDance

14 Jone at Deo Writer

15 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

16 Violet at Violet Nesdoly

17 Kim at Flukeprints

18 Irene at Live Your Poem

19 Charles at Charles Waters Poetry

20 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town

21 Jan at Bookseedstudio

22 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

23 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

24 Amy at The Poem Farm

25 Mark at Jackett Writes

26 Renee at No Water River

27 Mary Lee at Poetrepository

28 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

29 Sheila at Sheila Renfro

30 Donna at Mainely Write


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)Cybils-Logo-2015-Web-Sm
Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: FOUR new poems at YARN!

This has been a busy poetry week for me!  My interview with J. Patrick Lewis was posted at the Poetry at Play blog, I’ve been in touch with two different editors about two different projects, I’m trying to finish up a couple of poems I started awhile back, and now – more news to report from the good folks at YARN!

Back in October, I told you about the online literary journal, Young Adult Review Network (YARN).  They had published my poem, “Apple Stealing,” as one of three poems they were using to promote their “Fall Treats” poetry contest.  Well, this time around, they’ve published FOUR of my poems! (I actually have my own page – I feel so special!)

These aren’t children’s poems, but I was never sure they really fit the ‘adult poetry’ niche, either…so I’m glad they found a home with young adults.  I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed creating them.

And as if having four poems published simultaneously in an online journal such as YARN wasn’t enough, I was just notified by one of their editors that they are nominating “Apple Stealing” for a Pushcart Prize , which you can learn more about HERE.  This honour reflects upon the journal that publishes the prize-winning poem as much as it does the person who wrote it – so I wish YARN the best!

Like I said, what a week – whew!  But that’s still not all; for more great Poetry Friday offerings, please visit Amy at The Poem Farm.

Poetry Friday: Fall Treats at YARN!

Click to go to the Young Adult Review Network and my poem!

Last week, the folks at the online literary journal, Young Adult Review Network (YARN), published three poems to promote their “Fall Treats Poem Drive and Contest.”  All three poems had been submitted by individuals from different parts of the country who did not know each other, did not know what the others were writing about, nor even when the poems might be published, if at all.

Coincidental, then, that they all had apples as their subjects!

YARN, apparently, knows a good idea when it hits them on the head (Get it?  Like Sir Isaac Newton?  The apple fell, and hit them on the – ok, you get it), so they decided to use apples as their October theme.  I’m pleased that they were inspired by one of my poems not only for publication, but for helping them formulate their contest, which just began this past Monday.  You can view all three poems here…then write one of your own and send it in!

And be sure to see what else is happening today for Poetry Friday with Irene at Live Your Poem!