I was thrilled to be notified by email a week ago, that five of my poems were selected for publication in Galway, Ireland with a new Blogazine on WordPress called Dodging The Rain. These poems will be appearing on October 1st, so I will post again once they are visible.
This creative blogazine was started by three graduates of the National University of Ireland-Galway’s Masters in Writing Programme, and one graduate of Uversity, the NUI recognized Creative Process Masters of the Arts.
It is a visually beautiful blogazine, that is welcoming to emerging writers and artists and I would highly recommend my poet and artist friends check it out.
I have never been to Galway, but I have looked across Galway Bay from the Flaggy Shore. I miss you Ireland, and hope to return soon— in the meantime I am honored to be included in this wonderful new creative adventure.
I am honored to have my poem “Elegy” published in SHARK REEF – A Literary Magazine, Issue Twenty-Nine-Winter 2017.
SHARK REEF is a online journal that as described on their website “was launched in 2001 to give voice to emerging as well as established writers of the San Juan Islands of Washington State.” It has now expanded that opportunity “to all serious writers committed to producing original writing of high quality – regardless of where they live.”
Last week I was in Austin, Texas for Thanksgiving, and received the news that my poem “The White Album Summer” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Cirque, A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim. Thanks so much to Sandra Kleven and Mike Burwell, Editors.
The leaves on the trail I walk are dry—a jig-saw puzzle in shades of orange, red, brown and yellow. The air smells sweet with heavy-breasted blackberries still clinging to their vines. The light is softer. The is air cooler, and I finally begin to slow down after the hectic energy of summer.
My husband wrote a sonnet for me in the Fall the first year we were dating and somehow in the mess of moving to eight different homes it was misplaced. This weekend he found it, while once again organizing a new garage.
As I read it again this morning, I am grateful. Grateful we have weathered well the different seasons each marriage contains. Grateful I chose him. Grateful he chose me. Grateful we are entering this season of change together. Grateful we have made a life filled with warmth.
Grateful we have poetry to express what so often gets unsaid.
Two Drops of Warmth
The silent, dusky streets I tread tonight Were warm with evening sun a month ago. The autumn sunset sheds it meager light, And distant windows through bare branches glow.
Familiar smells of leaves and smoke return, And crystallizing in the eastern sky The Pleiades with icy brilliance burn To punctuate the loss of years gone by.
And yet the wind seems warmer as I roam Despite the chill of winter in the air. The Earth seems less aloof; more like a home, The lonely evenings easier to bear;
For in this world two drops of warmth abide, And in your eyes the green of summer hides.
This morning I read a poem in a collection I have been reading by John Daniel called “Of Earth”, and decided to share it on my blog. Of course it wasn’t enough for me to just share the poem, because through the process of reading the poem, I began thinking about the writing process in general, and how reading poetry is my way of staying accountable to my writing self.
I first met John at a writing conference in Edmonds, Washington, and we chatted a bit while he was signing a book for me. The book was a memoir called “Looking After” and it affected me so much, I sent him an email telling him so. Months later he returned the email, appreciative of my reaching out and sharing with him how much his story moved me.
I had just begun writing in earnest when I sent him that email three years ago. He was kind to respond, and ended his response with—You have just the right attitude toward creative writing: that it’s a worthy path in and of itself, regardless of outward forms of success or failure.
As a beginning writer, I am sure I was happy just to be writing, and did not care about measuring myself by publications or acceptances and since I had none, it was easy to say it did not matter. Now that I have some however, I find his words even more meaningful, because everyday I must return to that pure state of writing, and fight hard not to measure my success on numbers of poems accepted or not.
Everyday I work hard to flush the voices (and there are many) of ego and distraction out of my head and find my way back to my pure place—where I write to understand my world and how I fit in it.
When I read words like these from John’s poem, we walk here in the light of this unlikely world that isn’t ours for long, I am gently reminded of the path I need to stay on and how small a window I truly have to write about this homeland of all welove.
Here is John’s lovely poem “A Prayer among Friends.”