Featured Poets https://danmurano.com/ en Lucia Liang https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/lucia-liang <div data-history-node-id="208" class="node node--type-featured-poets node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item">February 14, 2022</div> <div class="field field--name-field-biopic field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-02/Xuhua_Liang2.jpg" width="338" height="450" alt="Xuhua Liang" title="Xuhua Liang" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p> </p> <p><span>Xuhua Lucia Liang, (pen name: Cao Yu) was born in a beautiful island in southern China-- Amoy,  Fujian Province. She received her BS in Spanish language from Beijing Foreign Studies University. In 1986 She went to study at SUNY at Stony Brook where she received her Ph.D. in Latin American Literature. In the U.S. while dedicating to the teaching and research of Spanish language and literature, she wrote poems in Chinese, Spanish and English. In her poetry she develops her unique style which ethos the voices of Chinese, Hispanic and American cultures. In 2019 she published her poetry anthology “A Lily on the Cliff” (Chinese) and her works have been published in different newspapers, magazines and web sites. She is also a co-author of “Orientación a la lengua española” (Spanish-Chinese, to be published in China, 2022).</span></p> <hr /> <p>My name is Lucia Liang and my Chinese name is 梁旭華。36 years ago, in 1986,I left  China and came to the US.  That was also a year of tiger. Before my departure, my grandma gave me a small  packet of rice, a small bottle of water, so I could cook with them my first meal in the US, so I would not reject the water and food of the new land. 36 years have  passed,  it is tiger year again. Today  I am standing here celebrating lunar new year, full of gratitude and nostalgia.</p> <p> </p> <div class="poem1"><strong><span><span><span><span>Suitcase, Tiger</span></span></span></span></strong></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>That old canvas suitcase,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>half</span><span><span lang="nl-NL" xml:lang="nl-NL" xml:lang="nl-NL"> open, </span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>as a hungry baby tiger </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>waiting for food, for dream,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>for the waves, Pacific....Atlantic</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>the blue air waving to the East.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>1986</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>A capsule of </span><span><span lang="fr-FR" xml:lang="fr-FR" xml:lang="fr-FR">Amoy</span></span><span>’s soils</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>a red packet of rice, grandma’s kitchen, </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>a handkerchief soaked with </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>her tears, the parting, the unbearable pain.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span>“<span><span>Pour the water and rice into your first bowl in America ”.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>Let </span><span><span lang="de-DE" xml:lang="de-DE" xml:lang="de-DE">Yangtze</span></span><span> River kiss Potomac,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>let Island’s palm seed dig into the field,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>awaiting for the first girl’s cry!</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>36 years,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>From icy <span>loneliness</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>I woke up everyday </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>to mockingbird’s songs,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>to the symphony of “Good morning”, ‘ Bonjour”, “Buenos días”,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>to a land that extends its warm arms, </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>embracing me, an adventurer, a journeyer, a dreamer.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>At the hill of Sugarloaf,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>azaleas bloomed fiercely</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>as that fearless ocean bay </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>washes day after day the long nights ink,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>witnessing the harvest of love, of hope, </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>of the joy of climbing and falling.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>The tiger suitcase,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>fully packed,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>firecrackers,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>sleigh’s</span><span><span lang="it-IT" xml:lang="it-IT" xml:lang="it-IT"> silver bell</span></span><span>s,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>endless joy</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>endless hope! </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"> <p><span><span><span><span>© Lucia Liang</span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /></div> <div class="poem1"> <p><strong><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">虎年的大皮箱</span></span></span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p><strong><span><span>—<span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">梁旭華</span></span></span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">那</span></span><span>只</span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">磨損萬分的大皮箱,</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">張着合不攏的嘴巴,</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">有如一隻嗷嗷待哺的小虎</span></span><span>崽</span><span>,</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span>盼着食物</span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">、</span></span><span>盼着酣睡</span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">,</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span>盼着</span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">一波波的</span></span><span>海涛</span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">,</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">太平洋</span></span></span></span><span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">...</span></span></span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">大西洋,</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">那向東</span></span><span>摇曳</span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">、藍色的風</span></span><span>。</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN">1986</span></span></span></span></span></p> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">盛着一</span></span><span>撮</span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">海島故土的小玻璃瓶,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">小紅袋袋外婆米缸裡的糙米,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">還有那方浸滿淚水、</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span>镶满</span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">別離痛楚的</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">小手絹。</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span>“<span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">把水和米倒進第一鍋異鄉的飯</span></span><span>”</span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">讓</span></span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">扬</span></span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">子江湧入波多馬運河,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">讓小島的棕櫚扎進你家的後院,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">靜待小女兒一聲聲</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">啼哭。</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">三十六年</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">天天,從黑夜刺骨的寒風中,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">在知更鳥啼唱的晨</span></span><span>曦</span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">里,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">我,孤獨的冒險家、懷夢的流浪兒</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">迎着“</span></span></span></span><span><span>Good morning, Bonjour, Buenos días ”</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">缓缓醒來,撲進這片</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">張開雙臂的大地,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span>融入</span><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">它溫暖的懷抱。</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1">  </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">在高聳的</span></span></span></span><span><span>Sugarloaf</span><span> </span></span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">脚下,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">杜鵑花放肆地綻放,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">有如那無知無畏的海潮,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">日復一日洗刷着長夜的黑暗,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">與我收獲友誼、</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">收穫希望,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">還有那登高、跌落的悲與悅。</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1">  </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">虎年的大皮箱,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">盛滿了爆竹的炸響,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">雪橇銀鈴的叮噹,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">還有那</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">無盡的喜悅,</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN" xml:lang="zh-CN"><span><span lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW" xml:lang="zh-TW">無邊的希望!</span></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <p>© <span><span><span><span>Lucia Liang</span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="poem1"> </div> </div></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6" hreflang="en">Poems</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/poetry/featuredpoets" hreflang="en">Featured Poets</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Mi querida amiga Lucia, gracias por mandarme este mensaje. Espero que el día de la amistad sea muy feliz para ti. Acabo de leer tu poema y he visto la película completa, no he podido evitar que se me saltatan las lágrimas. Felicitaciones por tus logros personales y profesionales.<br /> Un fuerte abrazo.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Mon, 02/14/2022 - 23:13</div> </div> <div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Muchísimas gracias, por la amistad , comprensión y cariño</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Thu, 02/17/2022 - 09:14</div> </div> <div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Querida Lucía,<br /> Me gustan mucho tus poemas! Muchos años han pasado desde tu llegada a Los Estados Unidos, pero siempre quedarán vivos los recuerdos de tu país y tu familia en tu mente y corazón. Muchas felicidades por todos los éxitos alcanzados, y espero que obtengas muchos más! Con mucho cariño🌹</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Thu, 02/17/2022 - 09:14</div> </div> <div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>These poems are so beautiful! and I can relate to all of them.<br /> Today I am remembering our conversation at Panera (so long ago) about ✍️. </p> <p>Especially like the imagery of SugarLoaf mountain.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Fri, 02/18/2022 - 12:26</div> </div> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=208&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="tA0KFAGPEfESn6Rp-APusVsnrbT-5ueLGV5n_aBxL0M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Mon, 14 Feb 2022 13:29:16 +0000 Grace Cavalieri 208 at https://danmurano.com Linda Joy https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/linda-joy <div data-history-node-id="142" class="node node--type-featured-poets node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item">August 23, 2017</div> <div class="field field--name-field-biopic field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2017-08/Linda_Joy_Burke_biopic2.jpg" width="333" height="500" alt="Linda Joy Burke" title="Linda Joy Burke" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a></a>If you hear her once you’ll never again forget the voice of Linda Joy Burke. She calls words out from their caves of sleep; she slaps them alive; she makes hymns out of longing; and she apprehends what is wrong, saying its name, for what it is— all this in lyric song. Poets through time have described the world’s suffering and Burke is in this tradition, taking the painful, and moving through to find language of clarity and strength. Words are just symbols. It takes passion and skill to make meaning, to transform and to liberate. <em> -Grace Cavalieri</em></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Performance poet, writer, percussionist and picture maker</strong>, Linda Joy Burke is a 2002 Distinguished Black Marylander Award recipient for Art from Towson University’s Office of Diversity, a 2004 Coca Cola Company/NFAA Distinguished Teacher in the Arts nominee, a 2004 Poetry for the People Baltimore Legacy Award recipient, a 2008 Fox 45 Champions of Courage nominee, and a 2013 Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame inductee. She is currently a contributing editor to Little Patuxent Review Literary and Art anthology and a Co-host with Laura Shovan and Ann Bracken of the Wilde Reading Series based in Columbia, Maryland. </p> <p>Burke’s poetry, fiction, op-ed columns, reviews, profiles and feature stories have appeared in numerous publications including: <i>The Little Patuxent Review, Obsidian II Black Literature in Review, Beltway: An On-Line Quarterly, Passager, Healing Design; Practical Feng Shui For Gracious Living, Thy Mothers’ Glass Poems for Mothers and Daughters, Gargoyle 54,</i> <i>When Divas Laugh: The Diva Squad Poetry Collective,</i> <i>Maryland Voices -the 9/11 Project, Poetry for Peace; An Anthology of Maryland Poets on War, Peace &amp; Social Justice.</i></p> <p>Her work can be experienced on her blogs <a href="http://www.lindajoyburke.blogspot.com/"><i>Moods Minds and Multitudes</i></a>, <a href="http://www.lindajoyburke2.blogspot.com/"><i>The Bird Talks Blog Too</i></a>, and <a href="http://birdpoet2.tumblr.com/"><i>I Grew Up to Be the Neighborhood Nosey Lady</i></a> - <a href="http://birdpoet2.tumblr.com/">http://birdpoet2.tumblr.com</a>, and her photo blog - or you can follow her on twitter @ljoybird – and on Instagram as Birdpoet. </p> <hr /> <h4><strong>For Carlotta Who Died at the Age of Twenty – A Soldier in Angola</strong></h4> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>We want our daughters to be able to </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>dance again, In firelight and moonglow.</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>We want them to pass their blood to fertile</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>ground through rites of passage,</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>rather than from the pressure of shrapnel</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>stopping their hearts.</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>We do not want to be here</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>merely to make the men laugh</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>or the boys to lick their lips and drip</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>obscenities on our breasts.</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>We do not want to bare down hard</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>in our bellies to have children born</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>into this loveless cruel world.</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>We want our light like aurora</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>like simmering heat </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>reflected from shafts of golden grain,</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>to come not from M16 and grenades</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>but from round tables filled with </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>fruit and brown bread and hands</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>not afraid of holding each other.</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>We want peace because we’re</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>tired of giving up our children to </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>orphanages and the stench in the fields</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>of gasoline burnings of week old flesh.</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>We want peace because</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>it’s been so long since we could</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>dance unafraid,</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>and we want so much</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>for our mother lands to heal. </span></span></span></div> <p><span><span>Originally published in Obsidian II, Black Literature in Review, and When Divas Laugh.</span></span></p> <hr /> <h4><strong>Filaments</strong></h4> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">You try not to think of</div> <div class="poem1">them doing anything other</div> <div class="poem1">than the daily changes</div> <div class="poem1">subtle things like hair and clothes,</div> <div class="poem1">then more obvious things</div> <div class="poem1">like closing doors</div> <div class="poem1">once and for all on the</div> <div class="poem1">last grade, job, marriage,</div> <div class="poem1">and opening to the next</div> <div class="poem1">best thing, new love,</div> <div class="poem1">brighter day.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">You try not to imagine</div> <div class="poem1">that someone</div> <div class="poem1">may careen and crash</div> <div class="poem1">or confuse them</div> <div class="poem1">til their heart breaks</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">or feel the need</div> <div class="poem1">to blow them away</div> <div class="poem1">or that their hands</div> <div class="poem1">may grasp for</div> <div class="poem1">things better left alone,</div> <div class="poem1">or that their psyche</div> <div class="poem1">would deceive them.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">You try not to</div> <div class="poem1">think of them leaving,</div> <div class="poem1">constantly cull through</div> <div class="poem1">mental artifacts</div> <div class="poem1">suffocate.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">You try to</div> <div class="poem1">remember the first minute</div> <div class="poem1">your eyes met,</div> <div class="poem1">try not to forget the last breath</div> <div class="poem1">block out the spiritless</div> <div class="poem1"><a></a>face.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">You try to grasp</div> <div class="poem1">lingering filaments</div> <div class="poem1">dream forgiveness in signs</div> <div class="poem1">bargain for different endings</div> <div class="poem1">rearrange internal ancestor’s rooms</div> <div class="poem1">with each leaving - become more mortal.</div> <p> </p> <div class="poem1"><span>Linda Joy Burke</span></div> <div class="poem1"><span>February 15, 2009</span></div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <h4><strong><span><span><span>Next to Nothing to Do</span></span></span></strong></h4> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>I</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>after praying </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>and candle light rituals</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>after anger, tears, speculations,</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>after finger pointing,</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>and calls for sanity,</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>after social media</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>unleashes its bytes</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>of how we see it, </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>before damage settles </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>in as change,</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>before grieving </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>grows numb and cold</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>evolution reveals a new</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>distraction for masses </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>wallowing in a</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>current angst. </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>II</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>That's how it is in this</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>tricked out</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>fast tracked</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>multi tasked America </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>- of lack of attention spans,</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>and jerry springer show </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>like impulse control. </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>We're a melting pot of </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>vehemence </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>seasoned with a</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>pungent desire</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>for the best thing yet. </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>III</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>we start off on the orb</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>as beings fixated </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>on a heart opening wide </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>life </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>and end up</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>facing off against </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>humans afflicted by</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>pernicious heart wounds</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>wars ensue </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>broken pieces of </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>hearts taint futures</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>damage spans generations</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>circles break</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>over the smallest insult</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>children die – children</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>die every day – every day</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>children will tell you</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>someone raises hands</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>raises guns, raises Cain</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>a child dies – every day </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>everywhere - </span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>I’ve heard a child say</span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span>and <i>there’s really</i></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><i>nothing we can </i></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><i>do about it</i></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><i>nothing to do</i>. </span></span></span></div> <p> </p> <div class="poem1"><span><span>Linda Joy Burke</span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span>December 18, 2013</span></span></div> <p><span>Written in response to the shootings in Connecticut, and after viewing the following program on Frontline. </span><a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/interrupters/"><span>The Interrupters</span></a><span>.</span></p> <hr /> <h4><strong>Reasons to Pray</strong></h4> <div class="poem1">I</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">When I was 16</div> <div class="poem1">I lived in a dorm</div> <div class="poem1">with other castaway girls</div> <div class="poem1">whose lives were set</div> <div class="poem1">squarely on the slick</div> <div class="poem1">edge of wreckage.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">We yearned for the</div> <div class="poem1">sweet sticky salve</div> <div class="poem1">of a honey kissed love</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">received instead a</div> <div class="poem1">a level spoon full of</div> <div class="poem1">“baby, baby please…</div> <div class="poem1">I promise I won’t leave…”</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">these</div> <div class="poem1">dirty old type lies</div> <div class="poem1">turned into some girl’s</div> <div class="poem1">sorrow song,</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">dripped</div> <div class="poem1">from lips of spent men</div> <div class="poem1">with no faces,</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">who freely</div> <div class="poem1">invaded the only spaces</div> <div class="poem1">that we could designate</div> <div class="poem1">as our own.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Inside</div> <div class="poem1">our minds our familial</div> <div class="poem1">lives were a disorganized</div> <div class="poem1">litany of thing gone wrong.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Where was the space</div> <div class="poem1">to be reborn?</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Where do you go</div> <div class="poem1">when you will never</div> <div class="poem1">“belong” back home again?</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">II </div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">I disappear</div> <div class="poem1">to where trees wait</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">where ancient aspen crowned with spritely</div> <div class="poem1">birds in the quiet of winter sway,</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">where the scramble of squirrels causes</div> <div class="poem1">a muffled crinkle of dead leaves to be music</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">where impressions in slick ice on a frozen pond</div> <div class="poem1">reveal my kind of lodestar</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">in the face of the looming presence</div> <div class="poem1">of things gone wrong -</div> <div class="poem1">I disappear to pray.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span>Linda Joy Burke</span></div> <div class="poem1"><span>March to August 2017</span></div> <hr /> <h4><strong>Stockpiling Stones</strong></h4> <div class="poem1">It is in an un American culture</div> <div class="poem1">some say, to let these strangers in –</div> <div class="poem1">tantamount to original sin</div> <div class="poem1">proclaim self-righteous prime time preachers</div> <div class="poem1">whose unresolved pernicious heart wounds</div> <div class="poem1">justify them stockpiling stones.</div> <div class="poem1"> Jesus hasn’t been around for a couple of</div> <div class="poem1">millennia or more to weigh in on</div> <div class="poem1">all these religious power plays -</div> <div class="poem1">and contrary to the whole resurrection plan,</div> <div class="poem1">the alchemical fog released In His name has</div> <div class="poem1">embodied the worst qualities of human nature.</div> <div class="poem1"> Some would have you believe that</div> <div class="poem1">kindness and loving peace are for the weak</div> <div class="poem1">but the weak have learned how to deceive</div> <div class="poem1">evil – and shape something spiritual into</div> <div class="poem1">the struggle of their ancestral lines –</div> <div class="poem1"> They coax exotic antidotes from gardens</div> <div class="poem1"><a></a>with edges of perfumed scents</div> <div class="poem1">and delicate monarchs hovering</div> <div class="poem1">they cast spells into streams and tides</div> <div class="poem1">where everyone can see them but no one does,</div> <div class="poem1">they pray to open heart paths – for the</div> <div class="poem1">sake of their children and to honor the</div> <div class="poem1">brokenness of their elders,</div> <div class="poem1">their kindness is their forcefield</div> <div class="poem1">against the culture of stockpiling stones.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span>Linda Joy Burke</span></div> <div class="poem1"><span>2/8/2017</span></div> <hr /> <div class="poem1"><em><span>© Linda Joy Burke, all rights reserved</span></em></div> <div class="poem1"><em><span>Photo, © David Hobby</span></em></div> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/poetry/featuredpoets" hreflang="en">Featured Poets</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Dan's site is one of the great sanctuaries for poetry and art</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Wed, 08/23/2017 - 10:10</div> </div> <div class="indented"><div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Many thanks for that.</p></div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Wed, 08/23/2017 - 10:10</div> </div> </div><div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Inspiring, Linda Joy. Thanks for your heartfelt work.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Sun, 08/27/2017 - 17:38</div> </div> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=142&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="Gi91w6AaKqT9rOJRR4AYACGBRd50aonujw32eH7ykoU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Wed, 23 Aug 2017 12:06:11 +0000 Grace Cavalieri 142 at https://danmurano.com https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/linda-joy#comments Frank X Walker https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/frank-x-walker <div data-history-node-id="141" class="node node--type-featured-poets node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item">July 24, 2017</div> <div class="field field--name-field-biopic field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2017-07/Frank_X_Walker.jpg" width="640" height="425" alt="Frank X Walker" title="Frank X Walker" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><strong>Imagine Frank X Walker</strong> as a little boy in Kentucky, second oldest of 11 children, getting up early to read books when the household is still quiet. Now know the man, former athlete, scholar, professor, and author of the books others will wake up to read in the early light. His poems about Medgar Evers will teach more than any history book. His poems about York, slave to William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, tell how it all feels. We know what the explorers wrote—now we know more— the truth of the experience. Frank X Walker loves his students as much as he loves to write. These are the gifts Walker gives to the world. Not the least of which—he’s a leader among us. - Grace Cavalieri</p> <p><span><strong>Frank X Walker</strong>, former Kentucky Poet Laureate, is a professor in the department of English and the African American and Africana Studies program at the University of Kentucky as well as the founding editor of <em>PLUCK! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts &amp; Culture</em>. A Cave Canem Fellow and co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets, he is the author of eight collections of poetry including the recent <em>The</em> <em>Affrilachian Sonnets</em> and <em>Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers</em>. Voted one of the most creative professors in the south, he is the originator of the word, Affrilachia, and is dedicated to deconstructing and forcing a new definition of what it means to be Appalachian. The Lannan Poetry Fellowship Award recipient has degrees from the University of Kentucky and Spalding University as well as four honorary doctorates from the University of KY, Spalding University, Centre College and Transylvania University.</span></p> <div class="poem1"> <hr /></div> <h3><strong>Ink Stains &amp; Watermarks</strong></h3> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span><em>for Faith A. Smith</em></span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>The color of ink squeezed from walnut hulls,</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>she was born too dark to be rocked to sleep at night.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>Her spine was not really too firm to be cradled</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>and caressed. She was perfectly legible.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>Her mother was just too hard to read.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>The car her father was driving did not crash.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>She did not fly through the windshield</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>before children could be perfect bound. </span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>That was not a scar across her forehead.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>It was her publisher's colophon.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>It was an exclamation point dotted by her nose.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>It was the beginning of the sign of the cross.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>No ex-husbands, just a coffee stain and a slightly visible tear</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>where two pages formerly yoked had been ripped apart.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>No miscarriage, just a chapter</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>she wrote in haste that her editor rejected.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>She did not have a stroke while she carried me.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>She was just teaching me how to be still,</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>to focus on each little sound,</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>to grow up crazy in love with words.</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span>So she marked me,</span></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> <p><span><span><span><span><span>and now every time I open a book, I see her smiling face.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span> -From <em>Ink Stains &amp; Watermarks </em>(forthcoming)</span></p> <hr /></div> <h3><span><span><span><span><strong>Sorority Meeting</strong></span></span></span></span></h3> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><em>Myrlie Evers speaks to Willie and Thelma De La Beckwith</em></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>My faith urges me to love you.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>My stomach begs me to not.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>All I know is that day</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>made us sisters, somehow. After long</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>nervous nights and trials on end</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>we are bound together</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>in this unholy sorority of misery.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>I think about you every time I run</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>my hands across the echoes</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>in the hollows of my sheets.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>They seem loudest just before I wake.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>I open my eyes every morning</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>half expecting Medgar to be there,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>then I think about you</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>and your eyes always snatch me back.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>Your eyes won’t let me forget.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>We are sorority sisters now</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>with a gut-wrenching country ballad</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>for a sweetheart song, tired funeral</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>and courtroom clothes for colors</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>and secrets we will take to our graves.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>I was forced to sleep night after night</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>after night with a ghost.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>You chose to sleep with a killer.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>We all pledged our love,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>crossed our hearts and swallowed oaths</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>before being initiated with a bullet. </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span> -From <em>Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers </em>(2013)</span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><span><em>Killing that nigger gave me no more inner discomfort than our wives endure when they give birth to our children. –Byron De La Beckwith</em></span></span></span></span></span></div> <h3><span><span><span><span><strong>After Birth</strong></span></span></span></span></h3> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>Like them, a man can conceive </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>an idea, an event, a moment so clearly</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>he can name it even before it breathes.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>We both can carry a thing around inside</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>for only so long and no matter how small</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>it starts out, it can swell and get so heavy</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>our backs hurt and we can’t find comfort </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>enough to sleep at night. All we can think </span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>about is the relief that waits, at the end.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>When it was finally time, it was painless.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>It was the most natural thing I’d ever done.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>I just closed my eyes and squeezed</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>then opened them and there he was,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>just laying there still covered with blood,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>(laughs) but already trying to crawl.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>I must admit, like any proud parent</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>I was afraid at first, afraid he’d live,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>afraid he’d die too soon.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>Funny how life ‘n death</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>is a whole lot of pushing and pulling,</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>holding and seeking breath;</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>a whole world turned upside down</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>until some body screams.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <h3><span><span><span><span><strong>Sundays and Christmas</strong></span></span></span></span></h3> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><em>Because of York’s duties as Clark’s traveling full-time body servant and the fact that his wife was owned by another family in Louisville, they lived apart and saw each other infrequently.</em></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>I cares plenty for my wife</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>but I been told a slave can’t truly know love</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>being as Massa an white mens in general</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>have an take certain privileges with our women.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>I suspect the deepest hurt in the world</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>be to risk being tied to a woman’s hearth</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>then standing on the front porch</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>while the massa part her thighs</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>knowing that any cry raised</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>is inviting death or worse.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>But what else but love</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>make you hold that woman even tighter</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>try to rock her back to whole</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>long after the tears dry up</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>an the hurt</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>turn the ashes</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>back to flames.</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> <p><span> -From <em>Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York </em>(2004)</span></p> </div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <h3><span><span><span><span><strong>Kentucke</strong></span></span></span></span></h3> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span><em>for James Still</em></span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>Kentucke</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>once bloody ground</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>hunting Eden</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>for native tongues</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>apologetically eliminating buffalo</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>for sustenance</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>not sport or profit</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>or pleasure</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>un common wealth</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>repopulated</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>with immigrants</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>and freedmen</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>who discovered black lung</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>was as indiscriminate</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>as calluses</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>&amp; hunger</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>you remain north &amp; south</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>interstate highways</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>your crucifix</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>blessing yourself with</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>64 and I-75</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>you have derbied</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>and dribbled yourself</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>a place in a world</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>that will not let you forget</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>you</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>co-Rupped basketball</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>your cash crop causes cancer</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>&amp; the run for the roses</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>is only two minutes long</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>kin tucky</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>beautiful ugly</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>cousin</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>i too am of these hills</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>my folks</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>have corn rowed</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>tobacco</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>laid track</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>strip mined</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>worshipped &amp; whiskied</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>from Harlan to Maysville</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>old Dunbar to Central</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>our whitney youngs</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>and mae street kidds</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>cut their teeth</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>on bourbon balls</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>and though conspicuously absent</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>from millionaires row</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>we have isaac murphied</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>our way</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>down the back stretch</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>cassius clayed</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>our names in cement</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>we are the amen</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>in church hill downs</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>the mint</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>in the julep</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>we put the heat</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>in the hotbrown</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>and</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>gave it color</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>indeed</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>some of the bluegrass</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"><span><span><span><span>is black</span></span></span></span></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><span> -From <em>Affrilachia </em>(2000)</span></div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /><em>© Frank X Walker, all rights reserved</em></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"> </div></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/poetry/featuredpoets" hreflang="en">Featured Poets</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>blown away high into the poplars</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Fri, 07/28/2017 - 09:55</div> </div> <div class="indented"><div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thank you Alexis.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Wed, 08/02/2017 - 10:19</div> </div> </div><div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wellspring! Congratulations to Kentucky for recognizing her best.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Wed, 08/02/2017 - 10:19</div> </div> <div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>People need to look closer at Kentucky and what the space and the experience of being Kentuckian produces. What a great person and way to re-pin Kentucky on the map.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Thu, 08/03/2017 - 11:39</div> </div> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=141&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="yeVoi7hyE5wgtqWutKPWCkSUemYGk2jLh1Z182UA2Yg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-audio-link field--type-link field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Audio_link</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/kbpnh5fqr39ll13/Frank%20X%20Walker.mp3?raw=1&amp;t=.mp3">Listen: Grace Cavalieri interviews Frank Walker</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:16:19 +0000 Grace Cavalieri 141 at https://danmurano.com https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/frank-x-walker#comments Didi Menendez https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/didi-menendez <div data-history-node-id="138" class="node node--type-featured-poets node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item">July 07, 2017</div> <div class="field field--name-field-biopic field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2017-07/Didi_Menendez.jpg" width="800" height="534" alt="Didi Menendez" title="Didi Menendez" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>What I like about Didi Menendez's poetry is that she sees honesty and vulnerability as essential to the palette. Forget showboating, Forget verbal tricks; she uses language as an arrow that never misses the heart and brings with it personal history, longings, dreams, wishes, and fabulous attitude. The only thing better than a person who knows who she, is that person turning it into art. She works 26 hours a day creating, producing, and presenting. This is what I call Holy Work. Making things that did not exist before. -Grace Cavalieri</p> <p>Didi Menendez was born in Cuba and now lives in Illinois. She's a curator of 21st century visual art, hosting annual exhibitions throughout the country. She has a publishing house for poetry books (GOSS183) and is the Editor/Publisher of several periodicals featuring either Art or Poetry and many times both: i.e., Poets&amp;Artists, MiPOeseia, Ocho. She's a painter, as well as a presenter, working in oils, acrylics, and electronic methods.</p> <p>She says her favorite poets are Grace Cavalieri, Bob Hicok, Nin Andrews, Ron Androla, John Korn, Matthew Hittinger, David Lehman, and Denise Duhamel.</p> <hr /> <h3><strong>Free Bird</strong></h3> <p>I stop for Coup de' Villes and blue eyed men who run</p> <p>marathons of ghosts and what if I was in love with a </p> <p>boy named Roberto in our Spanish class in High School</p> <p>who was half Japanese and half German and preferred penises </p> <p>to my virginity and what if the boy next door was in love with the</p> <p>other girl next door and not me and what if her name </p> <p>was Maria and what if my husband later would leave me </p> <p>for a Maria and what of it if I break to admire the canary</p> <p>yellow long cars parked in front of the old Ozark House</p> <p>filled with men who were shipped off to Viet Nam when</p> <p>they were 17 and what if I ride my bike past the golf course </p> <p>across the Ozark House at sunset as these same men search</p> <p>for their keys after three scotches on the rocks and who may </p> <p>have been my father but are not because my father was </p> <p>too busy tripping on LSD as his lobotomy hummed a little tune </p> <p>from long ago when he was young and living the life of a prince </p> <p>in Havana, the prodigal son who should have taken on the family </p> <p>business but instead was imprisoned by Fidel in a cold cell naked </p> <p>and as his paranoia sank in, the rest is history and here I am and what</p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">if </span><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US"><em>Free Bird</em></span><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US"> starts to play in my headphones and I fly </span></p> <p>like a little boy catching the moon while I think of you?</p> <div class="poem1"> <hr /></div> <h4><strong><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">Moondance</span></strong></h4> <p>I used to dance the discos in Miami.</p> <p>Now I ride my bike down the blocks of the Midwest.</p> <p>I pass the good ole boy's house with the confederate flag.</p> <p>I look the other way to the playground with children playing.</p> <p>The sun is hitting my eyes and my photochromic lenses turn black.</p> <p>I turn around the golf course but it is too hot for the bankers, insurance</p> <p>salesmen and brokers. Cars are filling up the local dive as I turn past to </p> <p>the houses with recently mowed lawns and the buzz of air conditioners</p> <p>while the scent of lilacs still lingers in the air, my headphones filled with </p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">Spotify1970's stream starts to play Van Morison's </span><span lang="nl-NL" xml:lang="nl-NL" xml:lang="nl-NL"><em>Moondance</em></span><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">. I start to bop</span></p> <p>my head like those little dogs in the back of Low Riders cruising down</p> <p><span lang="fr-FR" xml:lang="fr-FR" xml:lang="fr-FR">Sepulveda Boulevard </span><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US"> and I am back in Hollywood High as I sit across</span></p> <p>the cutest boy in class and Mrs. Baxter is talking about syntax and I </p> <p>remember how rejection pierced through my heart and although </p> <p>the pang is a long distant ache, I continue back to my little </p> <p>house filled with recently watered sunflowers as my </p> <p>dog wags it's tail when I open the door.</p> <div class="poem1"> <hr /></div> <h4><strong>Reaching for the Stars</strong></h4> <h5><strong>August 12, 2016</strong></h5> <p>Dear John,</p> <p>I’m leaving you for Keanu Reeves.</p> <p>Sure he lives in another State and is a movie star and you are someone I have met in person and have a million and one things in common with.</p> <p>Sure Keanu tends to wait by bus stops for a bus which never seems to arrive and you live in town and have a car.</p> <p>Keanu seems to to be someone I could share a Cuban sandwich with while we wait for the bus. We could talk about Quantum Physics, poetry, art, the next great American novel, and baseball.</p> <p>Sure he has had tragedy, despair, and love lost just like any other Joe.</p> <p>I think he would appreciate my company and homemade flan along with a demitasse of espresso while we tatty tattle about politics and the current State of Affairs.</p> <p>He would get to know and understand me realizing that I am in fact a nice, smart and funny girl. I could amuse him with my antics and maybe make him laugh now and then between the sorrow.</p> <p>Sure Keanu is not my Facebook friend and not on any other social media and is not listed in the phone book and I don’t know where he lives, or have his email and is probably somewhere in China filming another failed movie but so what! He is just as unattainable as you are so I might as well reach for the stars.</p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US"><span>Sincerely,</span></span><br /> <span lang="es-ES" xml:lang="es-ES" xml:lang="es-ES"><span>Dulce</span></span></p> <div class="poem1"> <hr /></div> <h4><strong>IDAKNOW</strong></h4> <p>I’ve got my hair teased like a B52.<br /> I am a potato publisher.<br /> Ida know about potatoes.<br /> Pink plumb potatoes.</p> <p>I used to publish penguins.<br /> Penguins can be difficult.<br /> Penguins pounce.<br /> I used to photograph potatoes.<br /> Potatoes in veils.<br /> Potatoes in bibs.<br /> Potatoes in gowns.<br /> Graduation potatoes.<br /> Potatoes on the cat walk.<br /> Sweet Sixteen potatoes.<br /> I’ve got my hair teased like a B52.<br /> I am wearing purple passion pants.<br /> I am practicing my percussion.</p> <p>Ida know.<br /> I used to play the piano.<br /> I am pointing at you.<br /> You You You!!!<br /> You beautiful potato you!<br /> You are going to be big potato.<br /> Huge.<br /> I can see it now.<br /> Don’t forgot your cashmere sweater.<br /> Where is the coca-cola?<br /> Here is a straw.<br /> Now smile.</p> <p>Ida Know<br /> I used to play hot potato.<br /> Miss Mary Black.<br /> Dressed in black, black.<br /> Jumped so high she kissed a potato pie.<br /> I used to paint potatoes.<br /> Potatoes in silhouette.<br /> Pixels of potatoes.<br /> Potatoes in black and white.<br /> I prefer sepia potatoes.</p> <p>Pass the potato please.<br /> Reject that potato please.<br /> Give that potato a raise.</p> <p>Where is my Pulitzer?<br /> Where is my Pushcart?<br /> Where is my Best American potato?<br /> Pennsylvania?<br /> Pittsburgh?<br /> Phlorida?<br /> Hey stop that penguin!!<br /> He has taken my cashmere sweated potato.<br /> Poor poor potato.</p> <hr /> <h4><strong>The Cult</strong></h4> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">I grew up in a cult.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">We were the minority.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">until we took over the city.</span></p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">Other cults tried as well.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">They dressed in orange and red,</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">shaved their heads,</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">sang songs at the airport.</span></p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">Their tambourines jingling in the air</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">between the baggage claim and the tourists.</span></p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">Unlike them,</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">my cult was submissive.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">We tried not to stick out.</span></p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">Although most of the outsiders thought</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">we were loud and boisterous,</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">we were quiet between ourselves.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">There was unification in our cause.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">A silent understanding of what</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">had to be done.</span></p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">And so, we set out</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">to infiltrate the universities.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">We earned the degrees</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">in the language of the locals.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">We built houses, temples,</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">churches, schools.</span></p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">We renamed the streets</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">after the names of the executed.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">We married and procreated</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">and taught our offspring</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">the language of the cult.</span></p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">Some of us infiltrated</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">New Jersey and Chicago.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">Our community there was not</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">as vivacious as the original city</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">we took over.</span></p> <p><span lang="it-IT" xml:lang="it-IT" xml:lang="it-IT">Miami</span><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US"> was the city</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">which most reminded</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">us of home.</span></p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">And there I lived.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">In that city</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">among my cult</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">until one day</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">I had to leave.</span></p> <p>And so it is written.</p> <p><span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">I settled in the prairie</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">where the seasons changed.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">Where there was no shore to escape to.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">No shore to wait for others to arrive.</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">And here my offspring</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">will grow among the corn stalks</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">where I will <br /> never look back</span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">when I become </span><br /> <span lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US">the salt of this earth.</span></p> <div class="poem1"> <hr /></div> <div class="poem1">© Didi Menendez, all rights reserved</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Note: Didi Menendiz was also featured on our site in 2013: <a href="/featured-poet/dulce-maria-menendez">Dulce Maria Menendez</a></div> <div class="poem1"> </div></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/poetry/featuredpoets" hreflang="en">Featured Poets</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comment comment--type-comment comment--view-mode-default ds-1col clearfix"> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Beautiful poems by Didi</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-comment-changed-date field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">Sat, 07/08/2017 - 11:41</div> </div> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=138&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="nIaFLnLhuMdzGXHOU9dWh9I_4L0DR0Bwu6FnuvMl_-U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Fri, 07 Jul 2017 15:13:22 +0000 Grace Cavalieri 138 at https://danmurano.com https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/didi-menendez#comments Terry Blackhawk https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/terry-blackhawk <div data-history-node-id="136" class="node node--type-featured-poets node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item">July 02, 2017</div> <div class="field field--name-field-biopic field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2017-07/Terry_Blackhawk_301x350.jpg" width="301" height="350" alt="Terry Blackhawk" title="Terry Blackhawk" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Terry Blackhawk is a<em> lyric</em> poet which makes her timely poems of ecology and social justice all the more memorable. She turns a phrase as if it’s liquid gold; and she can talk about human trafficking, water pollution as well as the many species of birds. This is because she’s an important member of a tribe of poets holding the conscience of the world in their hands; and when throughts are said clearly and beautifully, they makes a difference on earth. -Grace Cavalieri</p> <p>Terry Blackhawk, <a href="http://www.terrymblackhawk.com">www.terrymblackhawk.com</a> founded Detroit’s InsideOut Literary Arts Project (<a href="http://www.insideoutdetroit.org">www.insideoutdetroit.org</a>) in 1995 and retired in 2015. She is the author of <i>Escape Artist</i>, winner of the 2002 John Ciardi Prize from BkMk Press, <i>The Light Between</i> (Wayne State University Press, 2012) and five other books of<i> </i>poetry<i>. </i>In 2015, with Peter Markus, she co-edited <i>To Light a Fire: Twenty Years with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project</i>, a collection of essays by the program’s poets-in-residence. She was twice named Michigan Creative Writing Teacher of the Year and received the Michigan Governors’ Award for Arts Education as well as grants from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment from the Humanities.</p> <p>Blackhawk received the 2010 Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize from <i>Nimrod International</i> and is a 2013 Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellow. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies and on line at <i>Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Solstice, ONE</i> and she has essays in <i>An Emily Dickinson Encyclopedia</i>, anthologies from Teachers &amp; Writers Collaborative, and on line at the Collagist.</p> <p>Her most recent book is <i>The Whisk &amp; Whir of Wings</i>, a chapbook of collected poems about birds. She is a past board member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and blogs for the Detroit Huffington Post.</p> <hr /> <h4><strong>A Puzzle</strong></h4> <p class="poem1"><strong><em>—after Rene Magritte’s “The Therapeutist”</em></strong></p> <div class="poem1"> <div class="poem1">Maybe he lost his body</div> <div class="poem1">and they healed him </div> <div class="poem1">with a cage.</div> <div class="poem1">Maybe his questions dissolved</div> <div class="poem1">his brain.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Why is he called a survivor?</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">There is a brass drape</div> <div class="poem1">over the headless shoulder</div> <div class="poem1">and a bird who considers</div> <div class="poem1">            entering its cage.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">How peacefully the air</div> <div class="poem1">must flow through him.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">He has opened the cage</div> <div class="poem1">and that fuzzy bird, his heart,</div> <div class="poem1">sits on the ledge looking in.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">The head has sunk below</div> <div class="poem1">his shoulders, while on the far wall</div> <div class="poem1">a weapon oozes blood.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">He has left a space</div> <div class="poem1">for the answers to our questions.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">He has left a space</div> <div class="poem1">for the whispers of children,</div> <div class="poem1">for belief in humanity,</div> <div class="poem1">for our chance to take a stand.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">The hand rests calmly</div> <div class="poem1">on its walking stick.</div> <div class="poem1">The children still have questions.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Where do their gazes go?</div> <div class="poem1">Why doesn’t he have a body?</div> <div class="poem1">How can he smell the air?</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><i>-The Dropped Hand,</i> Marick Press, 2007</div> </div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /></div> <h4><strong>The Eggplant</strong></h4> <div class="poem1"> <div class="poem1">Today, in my sweeping, my Swiffer pulled out,</div> <div class="poem1">From behind the kitchen cabinet, a desiccated </div> <div class="poem1">Eggplant, shrunken and flattened down. </div> <div class="poem1">With the sunken stem curled in its center,</div> <div class="poem1">It suggested a plum on a Japanese scroll,</div> <div class="poem1">But I knew it was an eggplant</div> <div class="poem1">And I gave praise to the eggplant for keeping</div> <div class="poem1">Its form, even as it shriveled to this light</div> <div class="poem1">Porous thing—a dried vegetal discus</div> <div class="poem1">That I could flick across the floor.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Obeying laws of collapse there in the dark,</div> <div class="poem1">It had released no swarm of fruit flies,</div> <div class="poem1">No scent of rot or mold, into my unwitting air. </div> <div class="poem1">Secret nightshade, sucking in its cheeks,</div> <div class="poem1">Drawing the luscious skin down, emptying</div> <div class="poem1">Cells in slow abandon—it had kept itself </div> <div class="poem1">For me to discover, to pick up and test</div> <div class="poem1">The exquisite husk. It had transformed </div> <div class="poem1">Silently, and without obvious flourish,</div> <div class="poem1">Until I poked around and found the beauty of it. </div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><i>-The Light Between,</i> Wayne State University Press, 2012</div> </div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <h4><strong>ICE MUSIC</strong></h4> <div class="poem1">ice melt ice lace ice</div> <div class="poem1">breaking up upstream</div> <div class="poem1">coming down from up</div> <div class="poem1">north in variegated </div> <div class="poem1">quilts of floes </div> <div class="poem1">no <i>instant’s act</i> this</div> <div class="poem1"><i>crumbling</i> an entire</div> <div class="poem1">season sends broken</div> <div class="poem1">continents our way</div> <div class="poem1">once-miles-wide chunks break</div> <div class="poem1">and bob or push up</div> <div class="poem1">against the shore</div> <div class="poem1">in spun sugar turrets</div> <div class="poem1">they rise fall glistening</div> <div class="poem1">dissolving ice lace</div> <div class="poem1">ice music I seem</div> <div class="poem1">to hear a tremolo</div> <div class="poem1">in the trees</div> <div class="poem1">but it’s March no leaves</div> <div class="poem1">no breeze just the score</div> <div class="poem1">for the scene</div> <div class="poem1">before me silvery</div> <div class="poem1">glissandos rising</div> <div class="poem1">from a streaming swarm</div> <div class="poem1">of glinting</div> <div class="poem1">creatures herded</div> <div class="poem1">by the current</div> <div class="poem1">in a living touching</div> <div class="poem1">clinking singing surge</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><i>- Michigan Quarterly Review</i>, Summer, 2011</div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <h4><strong>SHE AWAKENS IN A TOWN BY THE SEA</strong></h4> <div class="poem1">The street, milling all night. Old lace —</div> <div class="poem1">faces peeking out into drifts of blossoms,</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">drifts of bloom. Tell me about yourself, Sweetie.</div> <div class="poem1">Everything you say may be held against you.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Drifts of blossoms, studies of bloom.</div> <div class="poem1">Or boas. Boas and other entanglements.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">The auditions go on regardless.</div> <div class="poem1">Mammatus, <i>Mami Wata</i> — clouds</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">begin to break. When she steps outside,</div> <div class="poem1">a soprano’s song saturates the air.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Shards of shells on the walk beneath her</div> <div class="poem1">feet. Gardens tuning up in a minor</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">key. Before their petals fall away, she will lift</div> <div class="poem1">a shattered glass.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">A gull coasts over the jetty. Drifts</div> <div class="poem1">of blossoms, curtains of bloom.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1"><i> - ONE Literary Journal,</i> #12, May 2017</div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <h4><strong>FLORIDA</strong></h4> <div class="poem1">The dream tells me where I am:</div> <div class="poem1">nose close to a tulip tree</div> <div class="poem1">filled with lime green finches,</div> <div class="poem1">one that sports a spectacled mask</div> <div class="poem1">miming my every move. But here</div> <div class="poem1">all the palms look the same</div> <div class="poem1">and I am lost again in the parking lot</div> <div class="poem1">outside the hospital, searching</div> <div class="poem1">for my rental car, no stars,</div> <div class="poem1">no bearings, while across the planet</div> <div class="poem1">actual birds are falling from the sky.</div> <div class="poem1">At night I swim in the hotel pool</div> <div class="poem1">and look up past the trees. I have placed</div> <div class="poem1">the beach flotsam we gathered</div> <div class="poem1">next to the outdoor sink, said farewell</div> <div class="poem1">to sponge and seawrack,</div> <div class="poem1">and paid up the cottage and thrown away</div> <div class="poem1">the food we bought to move across town</div> <div class="poem1">into emergency housing. I have called</div> <div class="poem1">your children and sorted and shipped</div> <div class="poem1">your things and have ridden the elevator</div> <div class="poem1">up through the indoor atrium, past</div> <div class="poem1">the potted ficus trees and the pianist</div> <div class="poem1">playing holiday songs, and held firm</div> <div class="poem1">with the nurses and social workers</div> <div class="poem1">and moved your tray and adjusted the blinds,</div> <div class="poem1">the bed and the television and watched</div> <div class="poem1">the TV until it was time to go.</div> <div class="poem1">I rode in the ambulance and</div> <div class="poem1">crossed the bridge and trembled in</div> <div class="poem1">the waiting room and met the doctors.</div> <div class="poem1">While they operated I drove out to the shore.</div> <div class="poem1">I walked the beach and picked up a shell.</div> <div class="poem1">I practiced the slow steps I knew would come</div> <div class="poem1">later, after they opened your heart.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <p><em>- First place, 2013 Springfed Arts Poetry Prize, Denise Duhamel, Judge</em></p> <hr /> <p><em>Photo by Desiree Cooper</em></p> <p><em>Poetry © Terry Blackhawk, all rights reserved</em></p> <p> </p> </div> </div> </div></div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2017-%5Bpoetry%5D/Terry_Blackhawk_Detroit_snob_0.jpg" width="458" height="532" alt="Terry Blackhawk" title="Terry Blackhawk" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/poetry/featuredpoets" hreflang="en">Featured Poets</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=136&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="pW0ZCGgT0OQDUyjfk-qTY-H7-_SPjqMTchJb9X71Akk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-audio-link field--type-link field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Audio_link</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/mrrbollj7031423/Terry_Blackhawk_6_2017.mp3?raw=1&amp;t=.mp3">Listen to Grace&#039;s &quot;Poet and the Poem&quot; interview with Terry Blackhawk</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 29 Jun 2017 03:55:56 +0000 Grace Cavalieri 136 at https://danmurano.com https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/terry-blackhawk#comments Pam Winters https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/pam-winters <div data-history-node-id="134" class="node node--type-featured-poets node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item">June 23, 2017</div> <div class="field field--name-field-biopic field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2017-06/Pam_Winters2.jpg" width="147" height="185" alt="Pam Winters" title="Pam Winters" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em><span><span>Pam Winters. What I like are her energy shifts within the line and her unpredictable equations. She's one of my favorites because I can see every word she says; and I can feel something I'd lost since our mothers were in their rutted yards. I admit it. I'm in constant sorrow for the past. But wait. It didn't go anywhere at all. We can live again, this time with our black cherries. Grace Cavalieri</span></span></em></p> <p><span><span>Pamela Murray Winters grew up in Takoma Park, Maryland, and some of her first poems appeared in the anthology Takoma Park Writers 1981. Other work has appeared in Beltway Poetry, Gargoyle, the Gettysburg Review, and other journals and anthologies. Her first collection of poems, The Unbeckonable Bird, will be published by FutureCycle Press in June 2018. She lives on the Chesapeake Bay and longs for a house with central heat and air.</span></span></p> <hr /> <h4><strong>Monster Movies in Separate Flats</strong></h4> <div class="poem1">Under the old back steps, this cheese-colored<br /> half-plate soaks up history. Rusty Breedenbaum,<br /> we’d fill it with black cherries from the tree<br /> between the yards. They didn’t help our pies:<br /> grainy mud pies, nothing like chocolate.<br />  <br /> You weren’t my best friend, just my nearest.<br /> That only summer, we went to Bible School<br /> at the Seventh-Day Adventists’, a church not ours<br /> but available. Our mothers in your rutted yard,<br /> waving us off. We rigged tin cans and string<br />  <br /> between our kitchen windows, watched Channel 5<br /> separate but together. Your voice a buzz, a boy’s whine.<br /> What if Godzilla pounded up Maple Avenue? And then<br /> you were gone. I can’t remember missing you<br /> until later. The other night, up late with the laptop,<br />  <br /> I found a Russell with your strange surname,<br /> dropped a line: By any chance...? The reply came terse<br /> from a man I never saw: <em>Rusty changed his name<br /> when his mother turned him against me. He didn’t<br /> tell me your new one. Who broke this dish I hold? </em></div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /></div> <h4><strong>Night at the Artbreak Hotel</strong></h4> <div class="poem1">She and her guitar might be just the other side<br /> of the door, so close I can hear the shrieks<br /> of her left hand on the strings. She sings,<br />  <br /> a little, a song by a poet who died a week ago.<br /> Tonight, it could soothe, but it breaks. To my<br /> right, out the window and deep in the night,<br />  <br /> the voices of young men joust, mad or laughing.<br /> Engines purr, tires sigh. She gets her footing.<br /> The melody is true. Her voice lifts. I begin<br />  <br /> to sing along. Who hasn’t heard this song,<br /> covered so often that its maker requested<br /> we all stop singing it? At least for a while?<br />  <br /> But he’s dead now, and this slagheap hotel is alive,<br /> only a few souls trying to sleep. A bus whooshes,<br /> like a gritty eraser, to wipe it all out. Buses,<br />  <br /> like young men, are made for the prowl. So much<br /> sound to my left, to my right, Am I a wall, a veil?<br /> <em>Do you?</em> she plaints. And I wonder what I do.</div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <h4><strong>To the Very Young Yellowjacket Who Flew Between My Foot and My Teva on the Hollins Lawn, June 18, 2010</strong></h4> <div class="poem1">Heedless of shoes and heels, the twin-<br /> mouthed machine that closed and<br /> opened, closed and opened on your green town,<br /> you looked for sweet nooks, entered<br /> the wrong close darkness, yielded<br /> a hair of a sting and your life.<br /> I’ve felt it before, from some ancestor<br /> of yours, tangled in my hair, so thick then.<br /> Maybe another time, as well—so small<br /> the pain, I can’t remember. To you, in<br /> your soft body so dressed up, so<br /> broken, it was everything.</div> <hr /> <div class="poem1"><em>© Pam Winters, all rights reserved.</em></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> </div></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/poetry/featuredpoets" hreflang="en">Featured Poets</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=134&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="erRjJByygEJPKY3ZAwNqMgLOiegh4VoUDFqnJcr0WNo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:59:35 +0000 Grace Cavalieri 134 at https://danmurano.com https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/pam-winters#comments Pat Valdata https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/pat-valdata <div data-history-node-id="1" class="node node--type-featured-poets node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item">March 01, 2016</div> <div class="field field--name-field-biopic field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-10/pat_valdata.jpg" width="133" height="200" alt="Pat Valdata" title="Pat Valdata" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>March is National Women's Month and Pat Valdata helps us to honor women who are extraordinary, and who broke through glass ceilings to reach high into the sky. -Grace Cavalieri</em></p> <p><strong>Pat Valdata</strong> is an award-winning poet and fiction writer with an MFA in writing from Goddard College. In 2015 she received a Raveel Grant toward a two-week residency at the Dickinson House in Olsene, Belgium, which she attended in September 2015. Valdata has twice received Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council. In 2013 she was awarded a grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation for a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Thanks to this grant and residency, she completed the manuscript for a book of poetry that was awarded the 2015 Donald Justice Prize. Her award-winning manuscript, <em>Where No Man Can Touch</em>, was published in June 2015.</p> <p>Her other book publications are the poetry book <em>Inherent Vice</em>, published by Pecan Grove Press in 2011, the same publisher that printed her poetry chapbook <em>Looking for Bivalve</em>, which was a contest finalist in 2002; the novel Crosswind, published in 1997 by Wind Canyon Books; and the novel <em>The Other Sister</em>, published by Plainview Press in 2008, which won a gold medal from the Hungarian Association’s Árpád Academy. Valdata’s work has appeared in literary magazines including <em>Little Patuxent Review</em> and <em>Passager</em>, and the anthology <em>Challenges for the Delusional</em> (Jane Street Press 2012).</p> <p>A native of New Jersey, Valdata lives in Elkton, Maryland. She is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), where she teaches writing and literature in online and hybrid formats. She is a sailplane pilot and founding member of the Women Soaring Pilots Association.</p> <hr /><img alt="Pat Valdata's book" data-caption="Where No Man Can Touch" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="44c132d6-2cc3-4311-bfd0-ec3a31471828" src="//localhost/drupal8b/sites/default/files/inline-images/valdatacoverfront_0.jpg" /> <p><strong>Selected poems from </strong><em><strong>Where No Man Can Touch, </strong></em><strong>published in 2015 by the West Chester University Poetry Center and winner of the 2015 Donald Justice Poetry Prize</strong></p> <p>The Donald Justice Prize is sponsored by the Iris N. Spencer Poetry Awards at West Chester University. The Iris N. Spencer Poetry Awards were created in 2005 through the generosity of Kean Spencer, a successful businessman and benefactor of the arts. The awards honor his mother, Iris N. Spencer, and recognize the important role of the arts and letters in American life. Under the auspices of the Iris N. Spencer Poetry Awards, the Donald Justice Prize was created as a national poetry award in memory of acclaimed poet Donald Justice.</p> <hr /> <h3>La Prima Donna</h3> <p><em>Thérèse Peltier (1873–1826), first woman to solo an airplane,<br /> September 1908</em></p> <div class="poem1">I flew two hundred meters in Turin—</div> <div class="poem1">Not high, not fast, but first.</div> <div class="poem1">I flew an aeroplane, no zeppelin.</div> <div class="poem1">I flew two hundred meters in Turin.</div> <div class="poem1">I’m being called a heroine</div> <div class="poem1">In papers sold by Mr. Hearst:</div> <div class="poem1">I flew two hundred meters in Turin—</div> <div class="poem1">Not high, not fast, but first!</div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /></div> <h3>The Human Arrow</h3> <p><em>Hélène Dutrieu (1877–1961), first woman to carry a passenger, 1910;<br /> first woman to win an air race, 1911;<br /> first woman to pilot a seaplane, 1912</em></p> <div class="poem1">I wear no corset when I fly,</div> <div class="poem1">Perform motorcycle stunts, or race</div> <div class="poem1">Cars. I’m the first woman to place</div> <div class="poem1">First in a flying contest, but I</div> <div class="poem1">Am not famous for that. Why?</div> <div class="poem1">Newspapers claim I’m a disgrace:</div> <div class="poem1">I wear no corset.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Sometimes I want to slap the face</div> <div class="poem1">Of reporters who love to vilify</div> <div class="poem1">Me. I’ve won the Coupe Femina, I cry!</div> <div class="poem1">What endears me to the Belgian populace?</div> <div class="poem1">I wear no corset.</div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <h3>Plans</h3> <p><em>Bessie Coleman (1892–1926), first African American woman pilot,<br /> 15 June 1921</em></p> <div class="poem1">White men in Waxahachie plain won’t</div> <div class="poem1">Teach me, nor any men North or South.</div> <div class="poem1">Being female, and black, they say, I can’t</div> <div class="poem1">Learn such things. But my full-lipped mouth</div> <div class="poem1">Loves <em>aileron</em>, <em>chandelle</em>, <em>empennage</em>.</div> <div class="poem1">So while I file the flapper’s smoke-stained nails,</div> <div class="poem1">I practice <em>aerodrome</em> and <em>fuselage</em></div> <div class="poem1">And save my tips. One day, I’ll do a tail-</div> <div class="poem1">Slide overseas, and split-S slow roll where</div> <div class="poem1"><em>La vie est belle</em>; instructors, color-blind.</div> <div class="poem1">Then, when I’ve joined those masters of the air,</div> <div class="poem1">I’ll glide beneath the cloud base unconfined,</div> <div class="poem1">Make my way back home, barnstorm the sky,</div> <div class="poem1">And watch the white folk pay to see me fly.</div> <p><span>Originally published in <em>Rhymes for Adults</em>, ed. Mary Alexandra Agner, Virginia Reals Press, 2006.</span></p> </div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <h3>Albatross</h3> <p><em>Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906–2001), first woman in United States to receive a<br /> first-class glider license,<br /> 29 January 1930</em></p> <div class="poem1">Above the pines, supported by the air</div> <div class="poem1">Like the gulls over the sea, whirling.</div> <div class="poem1">With them I share six minutes of solitude, each</div> <div class="poem1"><em>Where </em></div> <div class="poem1"><em>No man can touch,</em></div> <div class="poem1"><em>No shout can reach.</em></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Savoring the sense of altitude to spare</div> <div class="poem1">I turn north from Mount Soledad, hearing</div> <div class="poem1">Nothing but the seagulls’ raucous screech</div> <div class="poem1"><em>Where </em></div> <div class="poem1"><em>No man can touch,</em></div> <div class="poem1"><em>No shout can reach.</em></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Like them, I bank upon a pair</div> <div class="poem1">Of long, thin wings while gliding</div> <div class="poem1">In this Albatross just a mile from the beach,</div> <div class="poem1"><em>Where </em></div> <div class="poem1"><em>No man can touch,</em></div> <div class="poem1"><em>No shout can reach.</em></div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">Later, when sitting in the courtroom’s glare,</div> <div class="poem1">Or hounded by the ever-present press,</div> <div class="poem1">I’ll close my eyes to block discordant speech,</div> <div class="poem1">And for perhaps six minutes will again be here,</div> <div class="poem1"><em>Where</em></div> <div class="poem1"><em>No man can touch,</em></div> <div class="poem1"><em>No shout can reach.</em></div> <p><span>Refrain quoted from “Even,” in <em>The Unicorn and Other Poems,</em> Anne Morrow Lindbergh.</span></p> </div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <h3>Zoom</h3> <p><em>Ann Baumgartner Carl (1918–2008), first American woman to test fly a jet aircraft,<br /> 14 October 1944</em></p> <div class="poem1">She’s dancer-sleek, but without a prop looks</div> <div class="poem1">Almost naked, a ballerina minus her tulle.</div> <div class="poem1">She looks light as a dancer, too, with dual</div> <div class="poem1">Wing-mounted air intake scoops.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">There’s an acrid smell of jet fuel until I close</div> <div class="poem1">The canopy. Taxi is easy, takeoff so smooth it’s eerie.</div> <div class="poem1">I hear the turbine’s whine but all the roar’s behind me.</div> <div class="poem1">Throttle up, pull back, wow, she sure goes!</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">In moments we’re at 35,000 feet.</div> <div class="poem1">Even throttled back, she’s fast when she rolls;</div> <div class="poem1">With such power, she responds well to the controls.</div> <div class="poem1">In much too short a time my tests are complete.</div> <div class="poem1"> </div> <div class="poem1">I could fly this sweetheart all day. Check off one more:</div> <div class="poem1">WASPs have flown every plane in the Army Air Corps.</div> </div> <hr /> <p>© Pat Valdata, 2016, all rights reserved</p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/poetry/featuredpoets" hreflang="en">Featured Poets</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="TPDftITiSkK7fDcIvkjj1cDUjEih2r6BVIhw_dm-H4I"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Sun, 28 Feb 2016 21:18:58 +0000 Grace Cavalieri 1 at https://danmurano.com https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/pat-valdata#comments Alexis Rotella https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/alexis-rotella <div data-history-node-id="10" class="node node--type-featured-poets node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item">April 01, 2015</div> <div class="field field--name-field-biopic field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-10/alexis_rotella_biopic_0.jpg" width="139" height="175" alt="Alexis Rotella" title="Alexis Rotella" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>Alexis Rotella's images and word must be in collaboration with the Divine. She captures this life on earth - for all its beauty and wisdom - with new awareness - a sacred thing. In the art world she's fashion-forward; in the poetry world she's a prism of light. She's made a huge difference combining originality and lucidity with spirit and passion; but best of all, looking at her work is all you need to know of love. - Grace Cavalieri</em></p> <p><strong>Alexis Rotella's</strong> latest book of haiku Between Waves (Red Moon Press) is due out in 2015. She won the Kusamakura haiku grand-prize in 2007 where she traveled to Kumamoto, Japan. Her work is widely anthologized including Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open YourHeart (Patricia Donegan) and most recently Creative Writing: An Introduction to Poetry and Fiction (St. Martin's Press ). Having published many books in various genres she served as President of the Haiku Society of America (Japan House) and has started and edited several poetry journals.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Images © Alexis Rotella, all rights reserved</em></p> <p> </p></div> <div><div class="juicebox-parent"> <div id="node--10--field-fp-juicebox-photos--rss" class="juicebox-container"> <noscript> <!-- Image gallery content for non-javascript devices --> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_00.jpg" alt="A pair of hands" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">A pair of hands</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_01.jpg" alt="That one bird" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">That one bird</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_02.jpg" alt="Too many watermelon seeds" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Too many watermelon seeds</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_03.jpg" alt="First customer" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">First customer</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_04.jpg" alt="Between snow storms" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Between snow storms</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_05.jpg" alt="Enough light" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Enough light</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_06.jpg" alt="Counting the minutes" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Counting the minutes</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_07.jpg" alt="Condolence card" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Condolence card</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_08.jpg" alt="In love" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">In love</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_09.jpg" alt="Gypsy Lane" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Gypsy Lane</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_10.jpg" alt="Winter" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Winter</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_11.jpg" alt="Practicing" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Practicing</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_12.jpg" alt="Between customers" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Between customers</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_13.jpg" alt="Rushing home" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Rushing home</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_14.jpg" alt="White gloves" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">White gloves</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_15.jpg" alt="White lotus" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">White lotus</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_16.jpg" alt="Swan" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Swan</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_17.jpg" alt="Ten pounds" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Ten pounds</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_18.jpg" alt="Deeper" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Deeper</span> </p> <p class="jb-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-%5Bpoetry%5D/alexis_rotella_20.jpg" alt="Quarrel" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <br/> <span class="jb-title"></span><br/> <span class="jb-caption">Quarrel</span> </p> </noscript> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/poetry/featuredpoets" hreflang="en">Featured Poets</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=10&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="YckVX30_aqr-xobBuxYh1_EWuyROHe8PdCJuREjuTIY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 22:16:15 +0000 Grace Cavalieri 10 at https://danmurano.com https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/alexis-rotella#comments Sistah Joy https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/sistah-joy <div data-history-node-id="2" class="node node--type-featured-poets node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item">March 01, 2015</div> <div class="field field--name-field-biopic field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-10/SistahJoy-HeadShot-Purple_220-2_0.jpg" width="200" height="188" alt="Sistah Joy" title="Sistah Joy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>I've known Sistah Joy for 20 years and she is always  a new sunrise, a warm cup of tea, light on the lake, bluebirds in the snow, a source of the Divine.  -Grace Cavalieri</em></p> <p><strong>Sistah Joy's</strong> first collection, "<em>Lord I'm Dancin' As Fast As I Can</em>", includes an introduction by former Washington Post award-winning columnist, Dorothy Gilliam. Sistah Joy also authored and self-published two chapbooks: <em>"This Garden Called Life"</em> and <em>"From Pain to Empowerment - The Fabric of My Being."</em> She has received the Washington, DC Poet Laureate Special Award (2002) "for her outstanding contribution to the art of poetry in Washington, DC" and is an alum of the Washington, DC Poet Laureate's "Poets in Progress" reading series. She periodically attends the "Writers on the Green Line" a writer workshop series in Washington, DC, and has attended each of the Mariposa writers retreats in Pennsylvania.</p> <p>Sistah Joy also hosts occasional poetry workshops as well. In January 2015, her group, Collective Voices, presented its 19th annual Poetry Extravaganza, a free-to-the-community literary arts event honoring Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr. at DC's MLK Library. The series, which is attended by hundreds annually and has on several occasions featured DC Poet Laureate, Dolores Kendrick, has presented over 120 poets to the Washington community. </p> <p>Described as a "pioneer poet" (... E. Ethelbert Miller), Sistah Joy is a spiritually inspired poet and literary activist who works to bring poetry into the lives and minds of citizens who are often under-served or unconnected with the arts.  She has served as president of the Poetry Ministry of the Prince George's county mega-church, Ebenezer AME Church, for the past 12 years and currently also serves as Poet in Residence at Black-owned, community-based Annie's Art Gallery (<em><a href="http://www.anniesartgallery.net/">www.anniesartgallery.net</a></em>) where she has for the past 8 years hosted the free inter-generational "Family Night Poetry Open Mic" from 6-9 pm on third Thursdays.  Formerly the poetry editor of ACE Dialogue, a quarterly literary Black arts publication during its 5-year run, Sistah Joy co-produces and hosts the award-winning poetry-based cable-television show, "<em>Sojourn with Words</em>," which airs on CTV, the Prince George's County, Maryland local access station.  The show's numerous recognitions include, among others, two (national) Telly Awards for excellence in cultural programming.</p> <hr /> <h4><strong>The Harvest</strong></h4> <div class="poem1">This plot</div> <div class="poem1">This small acreage which I plow</div> <div class="poem1">Shall yield good crop</div> <div class="poem1">For I shall tend it with great care</div> <div class="poem1">Till the soil</div> <div class="poem1">Weed it regularly</div> <div class="poem1">Keep it free of vermin &amp; fetid things</div> <div class="poem1">I shall keep watchful eye</div> <div class="poem1">Irrigate it without wastefulness</div> <div class="poem1">Plant only the purest seed</div> <div class="poem1">Watch as the fullness of bounty bursts forth</div> <div class="poem1">And then--</div> <div class="poem1">Then I shall harvest</div> <div class="poem1">Blessing my brethren and any in need</div> <div class="poem1">For this plot shall yield good crop</div> <div class="poem1">Mighty and abundant</div> <div class="poem1">Providing all I have need of and more</div> <div class="poem1">And I shall offer it</div> <div class="poem1">And honor it</div> <div class="poem1">As I have been honored</div> <div class="poem1">To receive</div> <hr /> <div> <h4><strong>Reflections</strong></h4> <div> <div> <div class="poem1"><span>We must look back</span></div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Vision, you see, is premised –<br /> Predicated upon the universe<br /> In which it is formed</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">To see tomorrow’s vision, to dream<br /> Eyes must have a frame of reference<br /> A vantage point through which we assess what is</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">But not only eyes -- minds and hearts<br /> Indeed souls can be lifted by vision<br /> And cursed by lack of it</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">So we look back<br /> Name and claim our mournings,<br /> As freely as we seek the glory and glee of victories<br /> Not to dwell in yesterday<br /> Nor she in us<br /> But to gain from her legacy, good or bad</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Ancestors, elders, and tomorrow’s seed yet born<br /> Each has or shall witness<br /> With earthly short-sightedness<br /> That which limits vision to all this side of Jordan</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">So whether we be born strong of spirit<br /> Or weak of flesh<br /> We are the same<br /> And since neither war nor any of the “isms” which afflict mankind<br /> Prevail beyond the grave<br /> Neither free nor slave escapes the final call</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">We can only look back<br /> In prayer and faith that tomorrow brings rebirth<br /> In hopes that before or after we return to earth<br /> Some purpose is made clear<br /> Some deed aligned with need in a way<br /> That our fellowship lifted another<br /> That perhaps someone rejoiced in our being<br /> That at least one was helped or healed by our walk<br /> We look back</div> </div> </div> </div> <hr /> <h4><strong>A Woman Once Laughed</strong></h4> <div class="poem1"> <div> <div class="poem1"><span>Her laugh</span></div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Was gentle, soft</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Warm and inviting</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">She shared it often</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Some said, a bit too often</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Such was her way</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Throughout her life</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1"> </div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">She was mother</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Grandmother, aunt and friend</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Each role suited her just fine</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Not one to shout</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Not her style</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">She preferred to smile</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">And laugh</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Gentle and soft</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1"> </div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Often tinged with nervousness</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Her delicate laugh</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Danced like ripples from</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">A stone skipping</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Across a satin lake</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1"> </div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Her pain</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Like the bruises</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Beneath her make-up</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Remained hidden</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Behind her smile and her laugh</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Such was her choice</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Such was her way</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Throughout a life</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Riddled with pain,</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Heartache and sorrow</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">Punctuated by punch-lines</div> </div> <div> <div class="poem1">That had nothing to do with laughter</div> </div> </div> <hr /> <h4><strong>This Freedom Thing</strong></h4> <div class="poem1"> <div class="poem1"><span>There are some that have come to know freedom</span></div> <div class="poem1">Only through ancestors’ woeful echoes<br /> Those whose chorus of un-ripened dreams<br /> Were turned nightmare<br /> Work songs from field, chain, even church<br /> But seldom CEO<br /> Songs sung and clung to for life</div> <div class="poem1">Pain-birthed melodies from slaves<br /> Whose souls uttered<br /> Unlettered words of hope<br /> Courage and resolve<br /> Such was and is our story</div> <div class="poem1">It is for them that I lift prayer<br /> For them, they who sift spirit from sorrow<br /> While searching the horizon for signs of the familiar</div> <div class="poem1">They who bid me, even now<br /> To sing their song<br /> Of loss and pain<br /> In verse made plain</div> <div class="poem1">They plead me to release it<br /> To the universe<br /> Shout it from faith's<br /> Highpoint of hope<br /> They say, steal away<br /> Search out this freedom thing</div> <div class="poem1">Claim it<br /> Revere and hold it dear<br /> Create it when necessary<br /> But always keep it safe <p>Grow it from whisper to shout song<br /> Then, hand it down<br /> Tender and prideful to the young ones<br /> Teach them to make it their own</p></div> <div class="poem1">So I hold fast to the thing<br /> So many never knew</div> <div class="poem1">It is for them that I write<br /> For them that I strive<br /> To create beauty from tears<br /> Certain that this freedom thing<br /> Which some would deny me – is near</div> </div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <p><em>© Sistah Joy, all rights reserved</em></p> </div></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/poetry/featuredpoets" hreflang="en">Featured Poets</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=2&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="F49PdYXTo9nYIabImP7ytdb_O42_SRqoEM-rbvtsxlo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 22:13:09 +0000 Grace Cavalieri 2 at https://danmurano.com https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/sistah-joy#comments E. Ethelbert Miller https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/e-ethelbert-miller <div data-history-node-id="6" class="node node--type-featured-poets node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item">March 01, 2015</div> <div class="field field--name-field-biopic field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2016-10/e-ethelbert-miller.jpg" width="135" height="180" alt="E. Ethelbert Miller" title="E. Ethelbert Miller" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>E. Ethelbert Miller has been breathing poetry and fire into the poetry world for more than 35 years. He believes that words matter and that they can change the world; and so he sets about doing that in the guise of personal and intimate verse. But each whisper packs a punch and so his love/ family/ and historical writings are about social justice and individual freedom for all. That's why we're proud to present these poems by a leader in our poetry republic. -Grace Cavalieri</em></p> <p><strong>E. Ethelbert Miller</strong> is a writer and literary activist. He was born in 1950 and grew-up in New York City. A graduate of Howard University, he was one of the first students at that institution to major in African American Studies. Today he is the board chair of the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank located in Washington, D.C. Miller is the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University. He is editor of POET LORE, the oldest poetry magazine published in the United States. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from Emory and Henry College. Mr. Miller has been a Fulbright Senior Specialist Program Fellow in 2004 and 2012.</p> <p><span>Miller is the founder and former chair of the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C. The author of several collections of poetry, he has also written two memoirs, FATHERING WORDS: THE MAKING OF AN AFRICAN AMERICAN WRITER (2000) and THE 5</span>TH<span> INNING (2009). FATHERING WORDS was selected by the D.C. Public Library for its DC WE READ, one book, one city program in 2003. In 2013, FATHERING WORDS will be released as an E book by Black Classic Press. Recently Mr. Miller began serving as host and producer of the television show THE SCHOLARS which airs on UDC-TV. In August 2012, he started writing E ON DC, a monthly newspaper column published by Capital Community News.</span></p> <p><span>Mr. Miller’s poetry has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, German, Hungarian, Chinese, Farsi, Norwegian, Tamil and Arabic.</span></p> <p><span>Mr. Miller has taught at UNLV, American University, George Mason University, and Emory and Henry College. For several years he was a core faculty member with the Bennington Writing Seminars.</span></p> <p><span>Mr. Miller is often heard on National Public Radio.</span></p> <hr /> <h4><strong>After Phillis Wheatley Sailed</strong></h4> <h5><strong>To England</strong></h5> <div class="poem1"> <div>Master took me into town</div> <div>where the big boats dock.</div> <div>I stopped loading the wagon</div> <div>and stared at the water.</div> <div>The horizon had a familiar</div> <div>glow. I touched my skin</div> <div>and remembered chains.</div> <div> </div> <div>An elder in the Square</div> <div>was weeping. He said we</div> <div>could only return home</div> <div>after the invention of the</div> <div>airplane. Is this true, Phillis?</div> <div> </div> <div>Until then, must we stand</div> <div>in the middle of the fields</div> <div>with our arms open?</div> </div> <hr /> <h4><strong>CLASS STRUGGLE WITH WINGS</strong></h4> <div class="poem1"> <div>Birds fighting for food</div> <div>near my bench.</div> <div>Why do I feed them crumbs?</div> </div> <hr /> <h4><strong>TAKING FLIGHT WITH MY IMAGINATION</strong></h4> <div class="poem1"> <div> <div class="poem1">So you're gone-</div> <div class="poem1">Up North where I hear there are still abolitionists.</div> <div class="poem1">What is love but slavery-</div> <div class="poem1">Is freedom still to be found in your arms?</div> <div class="poem1">I fear a long winter- a gray sky and much darkness.</div> <div class="poem1">Still the thought of you walking across the room naked</div> <div class="poem1">brings light to my eyes.</div> </div> </div> <hr /> <h4><strong>MORNING</strong></h4> <div class="poem1"> <div class="poem1">You rise thinking it's just another day.</div> <div class="poem1">But the first African is being captured down near the shore.</div> <div class="poem1">It’s going to be a long history.</div> </div> <div class="poem1"> <hr /> <h4><strong>POEM FOR N</strong></h4> </div> <div class="poem1"> <div> <div class="poem1">Yes, and then you arrive-</div> <div class="poem1">and we all go crazy and fall</div> <div class="poem1">In love.</div> </div> </div> <hr /> <p><em>© E. Ethelbert Miller, all rights reserved</em></p> <p>These poems by E. Ethelbert Miller have been published in: <em>The Delmarva Review</em>, <em>Saranac Review</em>, and <em>Huizache.</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/poetry/featuredpoets" hreflang="en">Featured Poets</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=6&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="7H2NushWfAU6Qys0xeMiKDyrLvbqw6kb1N4k7BFyk50"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Mon, 02 Feb 2015 01:27:11 +0000 Grace Cavalieri 6 at https://danmurano.com https://danmurano.com/featured-poet/e-ethelbert-miller#comments