April Showers, May Flowers. What is it about the month of April. In memory of a loved one, our poet for today is Barbara Force.
Written by Barbara Force
Our poet today is Laura L Mays Hoopes
Who Is Spring
written by Laura L Mays Hoopes
Spring is a teenager
Wet and windy,
Filled with noise.
What a season,
Lively and changeable
Innocent and treacherous
Filled with roses.
Spring goes its own road
Takes no direction
Blows hot and cold
Filled with red noses.
Spring is a believer
Whatever you think
I will yield to months
Filled with summer ploys
Keep a poem with you all day long! Pocket Poetry can be found at http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/406 or create your own! Our Poets today are LIz Eisen and Erica Jamieson.
written by Elizabeth Eisen
A mother buried her son today, a brave young man who gave his life for the country he loved. Nineteen-year-old boys should be studying for midterms or texting friends during dinner or going to the beach, they should be leaving their clothes on the floor, not their blood in a foreign country. Warm spring days are for driving with your son to buy new socks, not for riding in a black limousine following the hearse. Just shy of his twentieth birthday your son is laid to rest and I pray that you saw that we were there, thousands of people lined the streets of your path from church to grave with our hands across our heavy hearts and our flags poised high, tears blurring the sunny day. Gratitude to the Patriot Riders, the veterans whose motorcycles rambled through to pave the way for your solemn journey and to the four-year-old boy holding a sign that simply said Thank You.
In honor of U.S. Army Spc. Rudy A. Acosta
written by Erica W. Jamieson
There are trains in our past. Wooden tracks that we placed introspectively through our hearts winding down hallways, in and out of bedroom doors underneath the crib and below the double sized bed that still doesn’t fit him well. Once I was the passenger to his engineer. I did double duty reading my novel as we traveled through phosphorous towns of make believe. Then came bicycles, a pair of skis, a scooter, a broken arm and always boats. He sails over wings of waves. Fish and yellow birds protect his travel. A father follows in the dingy. In thirty days, is it less? It will be a car, no chase boat. Locomotion fulfilled by a small rectangular slip of freedom. He will say Can I have the keys, and I will watch him go. I feel those small tiny knees across bare floors wobbling tush motoring his first ambulations. See how those antecedent steps propelled him away?
Poetry goes viral! Check out YouTube for poetry. Search Taylor Mali, Speak with Conviction, or What a Teacher Makes. Search the Dodge Poetry Festival to find clips of Sharon Olds, Coleman Banks, or Lucille Clifton reading poetry. Celebrate poetry in cyberspace!
Two more poems from our writers…
In The Name Of
written by Barbara Straus Lodge
A story of mine came out in a book.
I couldn’t believe it, wanted to hide in a nook.
I used a fake name, protecting from shame
But then I wondered, at what cost comes fame?
Opportunities presented and even more as well.
My work was recognized and I felt swell.
Some readings, a radio show, even a New York literary award,
Suffice it to say, my inner critic was floored.
Pieces of me float everywhere “out there” and beyond.
But wait. Who am I? Am I lost, or am I found?
Is my pen name really me, or different as syllable and sound?
My words upset, shake down, maybe even more.
But still they’re my truth, born straight from my core.
As a writer, I think, my story should be pure
I must present the truth and not be demure.
The time has come to reclaim my name.
Leigh Stuart will retire; she will suffer no pain.
Barbara Straus Lodge is here to stay.
She’ll say goodbye to her pen name,
come whatever, what may.
written by Laura L Mays Hoopes
Radio, radium, rays, radioactivity. Quaint, quiet, quick, quashed. Roseate, russet, radiant, rusted. Energy, enlightenment, evasiveness, entombment. Plutonium, Pluto, plumb-line, poison. Iodine-laden, invisible, inaudible, invidious. Wind, water, wildness, winter. Icy, inclement, iridescent, indecent. Human, hubris, hint, hollowness. Promising, pellucid, pallid, porous. Trembling, towering, trumpeting, trampling. Dubious, doom-laden, disastrous, dismal. Murmuring, muttering, mastering, moaning. Mutation, misery, mystery, mockery. Authority, augury, agony, anger. Politeness, pragmatism, pontification, procrastination. Tradition, trust, tsunami, tragedy. Handful, hope, heaviness, horror. Rushing, running, rowing, raving. Dim, darkness, drama, downfall. Trees, trucks, trains, tables. Cars, cables, clothes, children. Traveling, traipsing, trailing, tumbling. Regular, rocking, roiling, rickety. Walking, wandering, wasted, wailing.
Celebrate Poetry Month by having a poem emailed to you each morning! Just follow the link here: http://www.poets.org/poemADay.php. And from our own, Mary Rose Betten and Laura Beasley add their voice to our Poetry Month Collective!
written by Mary Rose Betten
Who cares for my words
once they are written?
Do they go homeless
once they have been penned?
of my mind
from their bath
I catch them
tuck them in
Lie with them
in the dark
The Easter Bunny
written by Laura Beasley
The Easter Bunny came early this year,
But he gave me something I truly do fear.
Like an egg in my neck, they call it a mass.
It means I’ll be put under by gas
On the day the surgeon cuts into my neck
To remove the egg-mass, oh what the heck!
It could be cancer or it might be benign,
Perhaps I’ll die soon or for decades, be fine.
I’ll get a scar in my neck, something real I can feel,
Just like this pen with the ink that is teal.
I grab for my life and I try to grip hard
To all of my dreams that seem broken like shards.
My future is hazy, my future is dim.
Will I be there to love him, her, him and him?
Will I ever hold my grandbabies in arms
And swaddle them tight like burritos so warm?
If you think that it’s easy to write of these things,
Then close your mouth tight and then try to sing.
In 1996 the Academy of American Poets established April as National Poetry Month. For a month we give our attention to poetry, living poets, poetic history among all other things poetic! There are events city wide celebrating the Poem, and poets inspiring or being inspired. Check out the poetry links in our side bar under blogroll. To celebrate April’s gift of poetry, the writers at TLS are dedicating our blog to poetry. In a challenge even to ourselves, our goal is to put up a new poem each day of the month, if not more!
Poem for April, 2011
written by Laura L Mays Hoopes
Words slip onto the page quietly
A little unwilling to be pushy when
So many around the world wonder
How long they will live?
How high the radiation?
How long until the government helps?
What is coming tomorrow?
Might it be water? Food?
But they often give thanks
That humans reach out to
Each other in spite of all the
Negative news and complaints.
That there is a tomorrow.
That we can survive.
That we love each other.
That families help.
That strangers, even strangers
The Keyboard Clatter
written by Erica Jamieson
I wonder if the keyboard feels to me the way the
quill felt to the writer of centuries ago. My fingers
find peace in the constant dance, t to h to e – the
rhythm drum of the space bar . The pointed
quill would have dipped and then brushed
against the parchment in similar song
but perhaps without so much clattering.
written by Laura Beasley
Every year for an anniversary present, my husband and I find poems to read to each other. It is our island of romance in a storm-tossed marital sea. There are some years when it would be easier to buy a gift.
Our wedding for twenty-five guests at the Deer Park Villa Restaurant cost less than four figures. We had written our own vows, which included some of our favorite poetry and song lyrics. We were lucky with our choice of a minister from the Yellow Pages who advised us, “In difficult times, look at your ring and remember this beautiful day.”
For our first anniversary, I chose these pragmatic words by Amy Lowell: Now you are like morning bread, I hardly taste you at all for I know your savor, but I am completely nourished. Bob responded with e. e. cummings: i like kissing this and that of you. The only time when we selected the same poem to read to one another promising there ain’t no nothing we can’t love each other through (lyrics to the theme of Family Ties) was followed by one of our saddest years.
Expecting absolute devotion, I used poetry to enforce fidelity, insisting that we spend every single anniversary together. After Bob’s return from an optional business trip to Germany, I tearfully read to him I never dreamed you’d leave in summer and now I find my love has gone away (Stevie Wonder). He responded with I marry you all dark and all dawn and have my laugh at death (John Ciardi).
Years later our children joined our anniversary celebrations. In 1990 (after a dinner for four at Burger King), we read our poems in our backyard between breastfeeding and toddler-chasing. I chanted Nibble, nibble, nibble goes the mouse in my heart (Margaret Wise Brown) and Bob read to me, Bob Dylan’s words: If you want me, honey baby, I’ll be here.
I usually wait until the last minute to search for my gift-poem, but in 2000, diagnosed with lymphoma and weak from chemotherapy, I expended my limited energy to find the poem for the next anniversary almost a year early. I put it where Bob could find it after my death: Tell me right now, am I the one who inspires all your dark thoughts, all your sadness? (Nigar Hanim).
Happily, I have lived beyond cancer to share more anniversaries with my high school sweetheart. This year’s anniversary celebration in a bluff-side park included reading more than fifty poems we’ve collected over twenty-five years. After I read, How can I leap to the heights of refrigerators weighted like this? (Ellen Bass), Bob shared John Ciardi’s poem about a marriage that is most like an arch– two weaknesses that lean into a strength.
I never thought we were creating a special tradition. As a young bride, I assumed we would spend hours and hours reading poetry to each other. But now, years later, our marriage has included financial struggles and life-threatening illnesses as well as romance and passion. Even in the darkness of depression, even when I felt more anger than affection, I have read poetry at least once a year to the man I married on August 4th, 1978.