Poetry Month Day Three…

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.

Radiant 100

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.

Poetry Month Day Two…

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!

Love Children

written by Mary Rose Betten

Who cares for my words

once they are written?

Do they go homeless

once they have been penned?

They tumble




of my mind




naked children


from their bath

I catch them

towel 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.

April Is National Poetry Month…

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

come through.

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.

Memories of My Cancer

Written by Laura Beasley

There should be a new movie rating, “CVD” for “Cancer Victim Dies.” That way I will know to avoid seeing that movie. I hate all those movies in which a character gets cancer and is dead by the end of the movie.  Many of us survive years beyond a diagnosis of cancer. I have lived almost eleven years.

Easter weekend 2000, I felt a hard, painless lump on my neck the size of a super ball. I knew that it was cancer although it took several weeks for doctors to diagnose lymphoma, cancer of the lymph glands. They considered radiation combined with chemotherapy but the tumor board decided that I should have six cycles of CHOP chemotherapy.

At the time of my diagnosis, my children were 19, 12 and 9 years of age. I had been married to my high school sweetheart for 21 years. I realized pretty early in my cancer journey that things were more difficult for my family and friends than they were for me. The worst case for me was that I would die. I believe that there is a better life after death. It was very difficult for my husband to be the caregiver and to be strong for me when he was so afraid. I was grateful that we went to The Wellness Community weekly where I got support from other cancer patients while Bob met with other caregivers.

We did not choose to have the Internet and email in our home until 2009 so when it came time to notify friends and acquaintances about my cancer diagnosis, I used the telephone. I called dozens of people and re-told my story. I am grateful for the prayers, love and support I received. I chose to keep my volunteer commitments leading weekly Girl Scout meetings and telling stories at the elementary school every Friday. I gave up doing the dishes and driving the car. I felt “fuzzy” from “chemo-brain.” My 19-year-old son, Theo took a semester off from college to drive his siblings to and from school and ensure that his 9-year-old sister could continue her daily ballet and dance lessons and other activities. Friends brought meals for my family for six months. One friend gave me a massage every week.

Every time I went to chemo, I would reread the get well cards from my friends and family. I read extensively (books not the Internet) but I would stop reading when the book would discuss survival statistics. I knew my odds would be either 100% or 0% so the statistics were meaningless for me as an individual. I continued to write daily in my journal. I started to write obnoxious rhyming poems about cancer as well modern fairy tales. After I completed my chemo, I wanted a long-term project so I decided to write one hundred short stories over the next decade (10/year). I recently completed my 100th story.

I have met cancer patients who wanted to complete their “bucket lists.” One friend postponed chemo so that she could take a vacation to Europe.  Chemo couldn’t start soon enough for me. I didn’t have a bucket list. My dream life was living with my true love, raising my beloved children, having friends, writing and volunteering in my community. I didn’t need any adventures beyond the life I was leading. I am grateful that my cancer is a memory and a reminder that when I needed care and love, friends were there to lift me up and carry me.