“Save Your Tears” by Paul Callus

Save Your Tears Image

You’ve seen the writing on the wall
Now time is ripe to heed His call;
It makes no sense to overstay,
The angels wait to lead the way.

When breath is weak and parting nears
Do not betray your pain with tears.
Just hold her hands – she’ll feel your love,
Then leave the rest to God above.

 

Bio:

Paul Callus was born in Ħal Safi, Malta. He is married to Sheila née Ackland-Snow and they have two children. He is a retired teacher, and has been active in the literary field for around 50 years. His poetry has been published in various magazines, anthologies and online sites. His preferred writing mediums are Maltese and English. He is also a proof-reader and translator.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All photos public domain

“Hope” by Paul Callus

Hope Image

When dark clouds converge
as cold winter plots
to dampen the soul
in the face of fear
and adversity…

When crises looms
and dejection
flirts with despair
not all is lost…

A swallow
comes along
heralding

the joys
of spring

Hope!

 

Poetry Form: Diminished Hexaverse

 

Bio:

Paul Callus was born in Ħal Safi, Malta. He is married to Sheila née Ackland-Snow and they have two children. He is a retired teacher, and has been active in the literary field for around 50 years. His poetry has been published in various magazines, anthologies and online sites. His preferred writing mediums are Maltese and English. He is also a proof-reader and translator.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All photos public domain

“Love is a Blooming Rose” by Gert W. Knop

Love is a Blooming Rose Photo by Gert Knop
Photography © Gert W. Knop

Love is a blooming rose
It always blooms in us
Nourished by trust and understanding
A never-ending story
Shelter for our soul

 

Author Bio:

Gert W. Knop – pseudonym André Steinbach – was born in 1943. He lives, since 2009, in Zittau/Saxony/Germany. He studied Grafic Arts at the Free Academy and Werkkunstschule Mannheim, Germany. He was a teacher of lithography, wood, and linocut at the “Academia de Bellas Artes of the Universidad del Norte,” in Antofagasta, Chile. He studied Tropical Agriculture in Germany and in Scotland (University of Edinburgh). Longer work stays in Israel, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Chile. He writes poetry (German / English / Spanish), short stories, fairy tales, and plays.

Find Gert’s Writing at:

Wir, Die Indianer Der Mümling, under pseudonym André Steinbach, on Amazon (Limited Availability)

Der Juwelenvogel: Märchen aus Sri Lanka on Amazon

Tagträume / Daydreams / Sueños Diurnos: Liebesgedichte / Love Poems / Poemas de Amor on Amazon

20 Gedichte Deutsch/ Englisch/ Spanisch/ Polnisch und Tschechisch on E-Publi

Tante Bettys Teegartengeschichten Erzählungen und Märchenon E-Publi

Atacama – Im Großen Norden Geschichten, Gedichte, Drama mit Illustrationen on E-Publi

Bilder und Haiku on E-Publi

More information on: http://www.kulturwegweiser-ol.de/ (only in German)

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

Photo © Gert W. Knop 2020

“Thoughts – Dreams” by Gert W. Knop

Thoughts-Dreams Sculptures Over Gert's Windows in Zittau
Sculptures Over Gert’s Windows in Zittau – Photography © Gert W. Knop

Where walls
are touching you,
unfaded memories
and set with diamonds.
Thoughts,
that soften your heart
remain unknown to strangers
And sometimes
draws a tremor
through the trees,
the earth is shaking,
and with it also the time.
What remains in your mind
are dreams
and when there are still dreams
there is a future

 

Author Bio:

Gert W. Knop – pseudonym André Steinbach – was born in 1943. He lives, since 2009, in Zittau/Saxony/Germany. He studied Grafic Arts at the Free Academy and Werkkunstschule Mannheim, Germany. He was a teacher of lithography, wood, and linocut at the “Academia de Bellas Artes of the Universidad del Norte,” in Antofagasta, Chile. He studied Tropical Agriculture in Germany and in Scotland (University of Edinburgh). Longer work stays in Israel, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Chile. He writes poetry (German / English / Spanish), short stories, fairy tales, and plays.

Find Gert’s Writing at:

Wir, Die Indianer Der Mümling, under pseudonym André Steinbach, on Amazon (Limited Availability)

Der Juwelenvogel: Märchen aus Sri Lanka on Amazon

Tagträume / Daydreams / Sueños Diurnos: Liebesgedichte / Love Poems / Poemas de Amor on Amazon

20 Gedichte Deutsch/ Englisch/ Spanisch/ Polnisch und Tschechisch on E-Publi

Tante Bettys Teegartengeschichten Erzählungen und Märchenon E-Publi

Atacama – Im Großen Norden Geschichten, Gedichte, Drama mit Illustrationen on E-Publi

Bilder und Haiku on E-Publi

More information on: http://www.kulturwegweiser-ol.de/ (only in German)

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

Photo © Gert W. Knop 2020

“Green Rain” by Joan McNerney

willow-1516877_1920

I woke up
looked out
my window
and saw green
pouring down.

Trees cascading
over emerald grass.
This noon
swollen wet
bursting water.

Now even heaven
is tinted jade
as birds linger
under branches
listening.

 

Bio:

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Spectrum Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net (the link is to the Amazon listing). She has four Best of the Net nominations.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All photos public domain

“A Glimpse of Spring” by Joan McNerney

moss-4015780_1920

shy blue morning
black trees etch sky

children skipping
over puddles

bramble on snow
soft birdsong

listening to water
race downstream

winds gently kiss
my forehead

grass shoots push
through first thaw

 

 

Bio:

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Spectrum Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net (the link is to the Amazon listing). She has four Best of the Net nominations.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All photos public domain

“Children” by Claudia Messelodi

night-3078326_1920

They dot the backyards
of late summer
with their feeble presences full of joy
and cheerful cries.
They chase each other and fight
and then hold hands.
They do not know any malice or deception,
blindly believe in tomorrow
in a world that will welcome them
and offer them all that they treasure
in their dreams.
They shine
through the backyards at dusk
under a late summer sky
without stars.
They glow like crazy fireflies,
unaware of the fake lights of a future
hanging just around the corner.

 

Bio:
Claudia Messelodi lives in Italy where she works as a foreign language teacher at a secondary school. She is married and has three children. She is the author of nine poetry collections written both in Italian and English. She particularly loves writing haiku and short forms of poetry. Her poems have appeared in several anthologies and publications since 2010 and many of them were honoured with literary awards.

 

Read More by Claudia:

A Stream of Small Stones (Claudia’s Blog)

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All photos public domain

“Water Path from Frog Pond to the Assabet” by Lynne Viti

Water Path from Frog Pond to the Assabet Image Creative Commons Wiki

Ignore the overturned canoe on the lawn.
Don’t linger studying the lily pads on the green pond today.
Focus instead on the water, on where it’s headed.

The highway thrums in the distance. Here, Queen Anne’s lace
sprouts from cracks in the cement embankment.

Walk around two metal chairs placed at a ten-foot distance from a third
as though a couple came for psychotherapy, then left
by a path through the woods. Do not take that path.

There’s another way from here, by water from the pond
into a lower level, a rill that leads somewhere you haven’t been,
through tall grasses, under a stone footbridge.

Let those souls driving on the Interstate keep driving towards something
they believe will make them whole again, revive them
bring them hope like the hope sung by the grasshopper sparrow
whose staccato notes follow you from pond to stream.

A lone cicada tunes up early for August’s insect orchestra.
Keep following the water path from farm to stream,
from stream to brook, on at last

to the grasslands where the sparrows breed,
where the dragon and damselflies dance above the river.

Old Frog Pond Farm Plein Air Anthology (2018)

 

Bio:
Lynne Viti, a senior lecturer emerita at Wellesley College, is the author of Baltimore Girls (2017) and The Glamorganshire Bible (2018 ) (Finishing Line Press), and the forthcoming Dancing at Lake Montebello (Apprentice House Press).

 

Read More by Lynne Viti at:

Lynne’s Blog

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All images public domain

“Latecomer” by Lynne Viti

Latecomer Image

Last to class, I spread my mat on a spot just inside the studio.
I roll off the mat, nudge it away from the stream of cold air
coming in through the space between floor and door.

Leave my sweatshirt and socks on until we finish neck rolls
until we finish side stretches until we’ve finished pelvic tilts
until we’re going up in bridge pose.

The draft from the hallway no longer concerns me,
the frigid air outside the building no longer concerns me
the ache of grief, fresh or old no longer concerns me.

I sit in sukhasana and bend forward slowly, deliberately, till
I reach my edge. I pose and repose, I switch legs.
That my nose does not touch my ankles no longer concerns me.

When I lie against the wall in viparita karani
when I count the breaths in /out I forget that I was late.
Here is the place of ease, the place of comfort, the place of peace.

After class, sitting in my car, I know I should hold on to
that state of not holding on to anything.
Not switch on the car radio to grasp news. Not check my phone.

Fat snowflakes fall onto my windshield.
The sunless day stirs joy in my heart.

 

Grey Borders Magazine April 2018

Bio:
Lynne Viti, a senior lecturer emerita at Wellesley College, is the author of Baltimore Girls (2017) and The Glamorganshire Bible (2018 ) (Finishing Line Press), and the forthcoming Dancing at Lake Montebello (Apprentice House Press).

 

Read More by Lynne Viti at:

Lynne’s Blog

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All images public domain

“Jamaica Plain” by Lynne Viti

Jamaica Plain Image - Creative Commons Wiki

At a group house down the block from the old stables,
a shambles, derelict— gentrification a long way off—
You said you grew up on an island. I said
my city was full of dying steel mills and railroads.

When the flu had you down for weeks,
I figured you lost my number,
You recovered, you relapsed.
My friends said he’s not healthy enough for you.
You mailed me a ticket to a baseball game, said to meet you there.

I made coffee in my galley kitchen Sunday morning.
We went to the movies, to a bar, had a couple of pints,
went to my place, made a frittata with artichokes.
I stood behind you, watched you wash the dishes.

When the door closed behind you I couldn’t believe my luck.
I recalled the feeling of your hands firm around my lower ribs,
like you were pressing my heart upwards so you might take it.

 

Bio:
Lynne Viti, a senior lecturer emerita at Wellesley College, is the author of Baltimore Girls (2017) and The Glamorganshire Bible (2018 ) (Finishing Line Press), and the forthcoming Dancing at Lake Montebello (Apprentice House Press).

 

Read More by Lynne Viti at:

Lynne’s Blog

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All images public domain

“Let’s Stand Together” by Mary Bone

Helping-Hands

I think the world needs changing-
something for the good.
Maybe some re-arranging,
for the brotherhood.

If we can stand together,
and hold each other’s hand,
no matter what the weather-
this will be a better land.

 
Background and Bio:
This poem was originally published in Mary’s collection of poems, back in 2008, by Xlibris Corporation. The collection of poems is entitled, Passages & Praises. The ISBN for the Softcover version is 978-1-4363-4155-4. All copyrights were retained by Mary.

Bio:
Some of Mary’s poems accepted for this year include “Purity of Snow,” Visual Verse published in January in Volume 07. The Bardo Group published some of her poetry in “The Life in the Spirit” theme on January 20th in The BezineOPA has accepted some of her poems for an upcoming issue in July. The Literary Yard accepted “Storms of Blue,” which was also published on February 27th.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All images public domain


“His Word” by Mary Bone

lighthouse-3013051_1920

His word is like a beacon
that shines in the night.
His word guides us onward,
with the brightness of a light.
His word continually beckons,
to show others the way
and we know he watches over us
at work and at play.

 

Bio:
Some of Mary’s poems accepted for this year include “Purity of Snow,” Visual Verse published in January in Volume 07. The Bardo Group published some of her poetry in “The Life in the Spirit” theme on January 20th in The Bezine. OPA has accepted some of her poems for an upcoming issue in July. The Literary Yard accepted “Storms of Blue,” which was also published on February 27th.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All images public domain

“Hope” by Gert W. Knop

Hope Image by Gert Knop
Artwork by Gert W. Knop

Where hope
is believing,
where believing
is hope
and hope helps us
with all troubles to cope.
Helping each other
during the day
is our aim to survive
and the only way

 

 

Author Bio:

Gert W. Knop – pseudonym André Steinbach – was born in 1943. He lives, since 2009, in Zittau/Saxony/Germany. He studied Grafic Arts at the Free Academy and Werkkunstschule Mannheim, Germany. He was a teacher of lithography, wood, and linocut at the “Academia de Bellas Artes of the Universidad del Norte,” in Antofagasta, Chile. He studied Tropical Agriculture in Germany and in Scotland (University of Edinburgh). Longer work stays in Israel, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Chile. He writes poetry (German / English / Spanish), short stories, fairy tales, and plays.

Find Gert’s Writing at:

Wir, Die Indianer Der Mümling, under pseudonym André Steinbach, on Amazon (Limited Availability)

Der Juwelenvogel: Märchen aus Sri Lanka on Amazon

Tagträume / Daydreams / Sueños Diurnos: Liebesgedichte / Love Poems / Poemas de Amor on Amazon

20 Gedichte Deutsch/ Englisch/ Spanisch/ Polnisch und Tschechisch on E-Publi

Tante Bettys Teegartengeschichten Erzählungen und Märchenon E-Publi

Atacama – Im Großen Norden Geschichten, Gedichte, Drama mit Illustrationen on E-Publi

Bilder und Haiku on E-Publi

More information on: http://www.kulturwegweiser-ol.de/ (only in German)

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

Artwork © Gert W. Knop 2020

“Pictures of You” by Gert W. Knop

In remembrance of Gert’s cousin, Hansgeorg,
who passed away in September of 2019 at a Frankfurt hospital.

Hansgeorg 2019 Pictures of You Image
Gert’s cousin Hansgeorg

The sky
falls upon me,
but between
cloud veils
I see your face

Thoughts wander
to you still in mydreams,
then pictures come
like in a movie,
in unknown space

 

 

Author Bio:

Gert W. Knop – pseudonym André Steinbach – was born in 1943. He lives, since 2009, in Zittau/Saxony/Germany. He studied Grafic Arts at the Free Academy and Werkkunstschule Mannheim, Germany. He was a teacher of lithography, wood, and linocut at the “Academia de Bellas Artes of the Universidad del Norte,” in Antofagasta, Chile. He studied Tropical Agriculture in Germany and in Scotland (University of Edinburgh). Longer work stays in Israel, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Chile. He writes poetry (German / English / Spanish), short stories, fairy tales, and plays.

Find Gert’s Writing at:

Wir, Die Indianer Der Mümling, under pseudonym André Steinbach, on Amazon (Limited Availability)

Der Juwelenvogel: Märchen aus Sri Lanka on Amazon

Tagträume / Daydreams / Sueños Diurnos: Liebesgedichte / Love Poems / Poemas de Amor on Amazon

20 Gedichte Deutsch/ Englisch/ Spanisch/ Polnisch und Tschechisch on E-Publi

Tante Bettys Teegartengeschichten Erzählungen und Märchenon E-Publi

Atacama – Im Großen Norden Geschichten, Gedichte, Drama mit Illustrationen on E-Publi

Bilder und Haiku on E-Publi

More information on: http://www.kulturwegweiser-ol.de/ (only in German)

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

“Barnyard Reflections” by Mary Bone

cock-2522623_1920

In the barnyard, be careful where you step.
Feathers are being preened,
colors shine brightly.
In the early morning hours,
a rooster crows outside my window.
A new day begins.

 

Some Information About This Poem:
This poem reminds me of life on the farm, where you don’t need an alarm clock. When I was little, I would dive under the pillows and try to sleep a little longer after our rooster crowed waking up the household.

 

Bio:
Mary’s poems have recently been published at Family Friend Poems, Vita Brevis Press and Literary Librarian Pantheon of Poesy.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

“I Danced with God Last Night” by Gabriella Garofalo

To Alessio Bettoli, in the name of remembrance

spring-evening-at-inokashira-park-1931
“Spring Evening at Inokashira Park” by Kawase Hasui (1931)

I danced with God last night –
A swanky party, smart guests,
I felt tense, bit shy, so to break the ice
I asked him what he thought of the moon:
‘She’s nice, he said, ‘bit fickle maybe,
To every gazer a different stare,
Don’t you think so?’
To be honest I’ve always seen her true to herself,
So I politely begged to differ –
See what happens then, in the next round
The moon asked me to dance,
Now I was eager, wasn’t I, to know
What she thought of God so I asked her –
Was I being too nosey and bold perhaps?
You never know with those people from the sky,
Such an ilk apart –
‘He’s great, she said, ‘bit slow maybe
When choosing the new furniture,
The sky badly needs sprucing up,
Don’t you think so?’
Actually the sky looks fine by me,
So I politely begged to differ –
At home now, a blue sky against the ice white and a missing teacher,
But I can’t run away, who’s there to feed my garden
And I’m shoeless, but wasn’t that party
Such great blast, after bloody August
When I lay snared among seaweeds, corals, sea stars
And kept knocking on the door for shelter and fire –
Of course to no avail, the fire gone missing,
Radiance never hits the water and where are they now?
Anyway.
Let’s keep cool, a look at the bright side might do:
The water I’m drinking tastes harsh, fine, OK,
Water is life they say and she even had the guts
Of screaming she’s been dirtied from day one:
Over five nights birth loomed over two young lovers –
A force to be reckoned with?
Who bloody cares, so are the veils that hide my skies
And a name starting with G.

 

Bio: 

Born in Italy some decades ago, Gabriella Garofalo fell in love with the English language at six, started writing poems (in Italian) at six and is the author of “Lo sguardo di Orfeo;” “L’inverno di vetro;” “Di altre stelle polari;” “Blue branches;”  and “A Blue Soul.”

Accompanying her submission of this poem was the sentence: “…warmest wishes from Italy, where, courtesy of Coronavirus, we live in a pitch-black limbo, an endless tunnel.”

 

Our best wishes and prayers for Italy; our best wishes and prayers for the world…
~ Amarine Rose Ravenwood/aka Nina Hall/The Literary Librarian.

© The Literary Librarian 2020

“Once The Covered bridge” by Dr. Upma Sharma

image2

Till last fine month
I was poising firm,
Aloft those giggling waters
that often went wild.
Taking pride of
my sinewy timbers,
As brimming loads of
endless desires passed by.
In my days of youth
Condoned the avid,
Drudgery and ambitious,
Smirked evermore.
For years having allured
many adorable twosomes,
Charming familiar faces
grew up in grace.
Now shattered I lie
Beneath that aqua,
As feral waves caress
my deep wounds,
My tears sinking
Tranquil to river bed.
Lost to negligence
my soul kept calling,
As soaked in edacity
you chose to be careless.
Once reckoning picturesque
was my enticing chemistry,
Amidst blooming greens
my stunning brown woodland.
Too late the realm
Severed beyond mend,
Now me, the covered bridge
be commemorated in history
and missed in panorama.

 

Bio:

Passion for poetry can turn anyone crazy, Dr. Upma A. Sharma has proved this so well. She finds time from her busy schedule to satiate her appetite for words, words that rhyme with her heart. She feels that nothing in this world happens without a reason and so is poetry. This indeed is a purposeful expression of emotions and thoughts that are well oxygenated before putting them into circulation, and positive words certainly are a way to serenity.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

“Existential Nature” by Jack M. Freedman

The poem is inspired by and dedicated to Willowbrook Park in Staten Island, NY. I am in love with all she has to offer. My friends and I call her Willow for short. This is one of the trees I’ve taken multiple images of over the span of five years.

Existential Nature Image copyright Jack Freedman 2020
© Photography by Jack M. Freedman 2020

You exist
as the catfish within
these growing ripples under the bridge

You exist
as the cold, fertile ground
where seeds germinate into laughter

You exist
as tall poison ivy
protecting our treasures in the trees

You exist
as bird calls in the wind
billowing and echoing our hymns

You exist
as deer eating clover
near baseball fields and forest clearings

You exist
as summer dragonflies
seeking guidance from a soaring kite

You exist
as lightning bugs at dusk
Illuminating the balmy air

You exist
as grape vines on the edge
of red berries and oyster mushrooms

You exist
as swamps among the oaks
where frogs inhabit trees and lilies

You exist
as every one of us
protecting nature inside and out

 

Bio:

Jack M. Freedman is a poet and spoken word artist from Staten Island, NY. Publications featuring his work span the globe. Countries include USA, Canada, UK, France, The Netherlands, Ukraine, India, Nigeria, Singapore, and Thailand. He is the author of the upcoming chapbook, …and the willow smiled (Cyberwit.net, 2019).

 

Find More by Jack at:

Facebook: @andthewillowsmiled

Twitter: @JacobMoses81

…and the willow smiled by Jacob Moses on Amazon

© The Literary Librarian 2020

“What’s Not to Believe?” by Linda Imbler

 

Whats Not to Believe 03-18-2020

In time
Man will find his wings
In time
Woman will exorcise the moon from her womb
In time
The child will smooth the rough edges of the psyche
In the nick of time
A hero will shift the world
Back onto its feet again
Before it
Stumbling
Shatters its bones.

 

Some Background About This Poem:

What’s Not To Believe is about the passing of time and my own
personal faith that we are being watched over.

 

Bio:

Linda Imbler has five published poetry collections and one hybrid ebook of short fiction and poetry. She is a Kansas-based Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee. More information can be found at Linda’s Poetry Blog.

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All photos public domain

“Good Vibrations” by Linda Imbler

 

Good Vibrations Image 03-18-2020

Through the skylight,
I view
a small rectangular patch
of moon’s shine,
so bright,
like a highway line
under a day-glo light.

The power of the moon
to bring forth altruism.

Championing those,
who’ll walk
across a room,
and put a new member
of a group at ease.

Advocating for those,
unabashed,
while dancing in front of others,
(even if they’re solo.)

Promoting those,
whose smiles reach their eyes.

Upholding those,
who recognize misery,
and work to eradicate it.

The world will truly
be full of music
when the moon teaches the sun
to sing just as benevolently.

 

Some Background Information About This Poem:

“Good Vibrations” is a recently written poem dedicated to
the idea of stepping up to be a positive person and a
proponent of doing what is right to help heal the world.

 

bio:

Linda Imbler has five published poetry collections and one hybrid ebook of short fiction and poetry. She is a Kansas-based Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee. More information can be found at Linda’s Poetry Blog.

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All photos public domain

“Skyward” by Joan McNerney

girl-996635_1920 (1).jpg

Skyward

Another hot day at
the playground filled
with shrieks from kids
tumbling down slides.

Shouting boys hop on and
off the whirling carousel
as girls sing songs to
double dutch jump rope.

Waiting for my chance
on the swing. Finally
one is free as I clutch
the metallic link chains.

I pump myself up
pushing pass trees,
feeling cool breezes
brush over me.

All the noise is far below
as I rush towards
blue skies. My feet are
walking on clouds now.

 

Author Bio:

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle PressDinner with the Muse, Warriors with Wings, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title is “Having Lunch with the Sky” and she has four Best of the Net nominations.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Where Frozen Embers Still Burn” by Dr. Upma Sharma

Meeting you in life was an absolute delight;
Hearts rhymed perfect and eyes were bright,
Glow of a red blush on my face;
With your every blazing fiery embrace.

When souls took a far off flight;
There was a beauty even in the murky sight,
A tender heartache and you were there;
Those days certainly are lost somewhere.

Shunning the present and living in past;
Misery that would move the most obdurate heart,
No mold can shape as I quiver molten;
Memories of best times are frigid frozen.

Illusions of your breath every moment;
Diving deep into heart, flowing torrent,
Red running in my veins has turned auburn;
Frozen embers in my heart still slowly burn.

Author Bio:

Dr Upma Sharma Author PhotoPassion for poetry can turn anyone crazy, and Dr. Upma A. Sharma has proved this so well. She finds time from her busy schedule to satiate her appetite for words; words that rhyme with her heart. She feels that nothing in this world happens without a reason and that this is true for poetry as well as life. This, indeed, is a purposeful expression of emotions and thoughts that are well-oxygenated before putting them into circulation, and positive words certainly are a way to serenity. More of Dr. Sharma’s writing can be found at PoetrySoup and at Whispers in the Wind.

 

“Where Frozen Embers Still Burn” was originally published by Poetry Soup

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“To Choose Betwixt” by Dr. Ashok Chakravarthy Tholana

 

fractal-2622301_1920 Light Blue

To Choose Betwixt

Humanity is caught
Betwixt good and bad,
Betwixt devil and God,
Betwixt hope and desires,
Betwixt joy and distress,
Betwixt love and hate,
Betwixt luck and fate,
Betwixt worship and faith,
Betwixt life and death,
Betwixt mercy and cruelty,
Betwixt ugly and beauty,
Betwixt right and wrong,
Betwixt weak and strong,
Betwixt peace and violence,
Betwixt serenity and turbulence.

Encircled by clouds of desires
And losing the discriminate sense,
The bliss of self-vision gets spoilt
Betwixt hasty and turbulent acts.
How come then,
True wisdom prevail
To choose betwixt ….
Mortal and immortal faith;
The one that confers fleeting joy
The one that confers eternal joy?

Author Bio:

Dr. Ashok Chakravarthy Tholana is a writer, poet, and reviewer, hailing from Hyderabad City, Telangana State, India. Composing poetry for the past thirty years, Ashok has the rare distinction of having had over 1,800 of his poems published in various literary magazines, newspapers, journals, e-zines, anthologies, etc., in no less than 90 countries.
For his unique poetry record, Mr. Ashok has received commendations from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former-President, India, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, former-Prime Minister, India, Bill Clinton, USA, Queen Elizabeth of Britain, Princess of Wales, President and Prime Minister of France, Prime Minister of Switzerland, Senator Viktor Busa, The Lord President, Italy, United Nationals Organization, UNESCO, UNICEF, etc.. As of now, seven of Ashok’s eighteen volumes of English poetry have been published and he has translated twelve spiritual-related books, so far, from Telugu to the English language.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Roll of the Dice” by Mary Bone

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Roll of the Dice

The dice was thrown on the table.
Will there be beans to eat? Will I wear sable?
This was a game of chance.
Hopes were up.
The stocks had fallen as the dice rolled.
Cards were shuffled all around.
Tonight there was no bread to eat.
The harvest ended on a summer day.
Grasshoppers ate everything on the vine.
We wore threadbare clothes,
There were still bills to pay.

Author Bio:

Some of Mary Bone’s poetry and short stories can be found at the following places: The Literary Librarian Pantheon Of Poesy, a short story entitled, “The Dog Days Of Summer,” is currently posted at The Literary Yard. Several of Mary’s poems can be read at www.bestpoetrywebsite.com.

“Stargazing” by Karen O’Leary

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Stargazing

Silent sparklers twinkle;
Sisters carry my dreams.
Spotlighting the new moon,
September’s gentle beams
Showcase a fresh pathway
So new for this seeker.
Soothing lights…heaven’s hope.

 

 

Background for this poem:

In research about the Pleiades poetry form, I found it is seven line form to represent the Pleiades or Seven Sisters star cluster. Each line has six syllables because only six of the stars are readily seen readily by the naked eye. The form was developed in 1999 by Craig Tigerman.

*poetry form Pleiades

 

Author Bio:

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, North Dakota. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including The Literary Librarian, Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. She edited an international online journal called Whispers for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

Find Karen’s Writing at:

Whispers journal

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Lost” by Lynn White

stripy-socks

Lost

All those lost souls wandering sadly
in the space of their imaginations.
Where are they?
I can’t find them,
can’t help them.
All those lost socks swallowed.
by the washing machine.
Eaten up
Digested.
Where are they?
Odd,
but I can’t find them.
All those lost words tumbling
through the dictionary.
Sometimes I find a few
and catch them
hold them,
write them down.
Then, sometimes
a few more find me
and I grab them too
and re-arrange them all.
Sometimes they are worth reading
found and picked up for keeping.

 

Background for this Poem:

The poem was inspired by all the odd socks I seem to accumulate!
First published in Silver Apples Issue 9, People We Left Behind, 2017

 

Author Bio:

Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy, and reality, and writes hoping to find an audience for her musings. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Light Journal and So It Goes.

 

Find More by Lynn:

Lynn’s Poetry Blogspot
Lynn’s Facebook author page

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All images public domain

“August” by Joan McNerney

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August

The sun is a giant beach ball.
See it splashing through
waves all red violet blue.

Waters creep over my feet.
Should I stand shivering
or go swim? Lose my footprint?

Off I run, falling over myself,
a mug of salty cider. This
wave an insecure bed. Seaweed
pillow. Carried by moon to
an abyss.

The floor of my mansion is
not tidy. I shall have sponges
for lunch. Ride with seahorses
perhaps.

On the far shore, my lover
smiles, kiss of surf.

Author Bio:

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle PressDinner with the Muse, Warriors with Wings, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title is “Having Lunch with the Sky” and she has four Best of the Net nominations.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All images public domain

“Silent History” by Gert W. Knop

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Near Toconao, Atacama, Chile (pencil drawing) by Gert W. Knop

Silent History

Bright clouds
let the lapis-lazuli coloured
sky shine.
And at afar,
mountains uncover their
innocent faces.
Sunrays immerse them
in golden colours
and feverish red.
Snow shelters the peaks
of the Cordillera
and the desert empties
its dust over lonely rocks.
The desert keeps its silent history
like a valuable treasure.
Words of a lost language
fade in the wind,
with the call of a condor

 

Author Bio:

Gert W. Knop – pseudonym André Steinbach – was born in 1943. He lives, since 2009, in Zittau/Saxony/Germany. He studied Grafic Arts at the Free Academy and Werkkunstschule Mannheim, Germany. He was a teacher of lithography, wood, and linocut at the “Academia de Bellas Artes of the Universidad del Norte,” in Antofagasta, Chile. He studied Tropical Agriculture in Germany and in Scotland (University of Edinburgh). Longer work stays in Israel, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Chile. He writes poetry (German / English / Spanish), short stories, fairy tales, and plays.

Find Gert’s Writing at:

Wir, Die Indianer Der Mümling, under pseudonym André Steinbach, on Amazon (Limited Availability)

Der Juwelenvogel: Märchen aus Sri Lanka on Amazon

Tagträume / Daydreams / Sueños Diurnos: Liebesgedichte / Love Poems / Poemas de Amor on Amazon

20 Gedichte Deutsch/ Englisch/ Spanisch/ Polnisch und Tschechisch on E-Publi

Tante Bettys Teegartengeschichten Erzählungen und Märchenon E-Publi

Atacama – Im Großen Norden Geschichten, Gedichte, Drama mit Illustrationen on E-Publi

Bilder und Haiku on E-Publi

More information on: http://www.kulturwegweiser-ol.de/ (only in German)

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

Artwork © Gert W. Knop 2019

“Summer Impressions” by L. Shapley Bassen

Summer Impression

If you were Summer,
born so rich
your medians are filled
with four kinds of wildflowers:
blue sailors, Queen Anne’s lace,
purple clover, yellow toadflax
(wild snapdragons also called Butter & Eggs),
then would you need
a tattoo? Cut and bleed
to heal in this humid heat?
Born so rich
no one to impress,
how you dress the cynosure
of all seasons. The others
are either putting on or taking off,
Winter’s poverty naked for all to see.

Originally published on The Original Van Goghs Ear Anthology

Author Bio:

L. Shapley Bassen is a poet and author who has many published works to her name. Her “Portrait of a Giant Squid”was the First Place winner in the 2015 Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest. She was an editor at the Prick of the Spindle[archived], and is now an editor at Craft Literary. Bassen indie-published Summer of the Long Knives (Typhoon Media), Lives of Crime & Other Stories (Texture Press), and Showfolk & Stories [Inkception Books]; she was a finalist for the 2011 Flannery O’Connor Award, a first reader for Electric Literature, won the 2009 APP Drama Prize, a Mary Roberts Rinehart Fellowship, and was a poetry/fiction reviewer for The Rumpus, etc. Her first poetry collection, What Suits a Nudist? is forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House.

Find L. Bassen at:

L. Bassen’s Official Website


Read More by L. Bassen:

Coda chapter of NEW MARWA
(a novel, unpublished, and a quick read)

L. Shapley Bassen’s “Portrait of a Giant Squid”
The First Place winner in the 2015 Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Two-Way Gratitude” by Karen O’Leary

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Two-Way Gratitude

Eighty-year-old Sid
steps behind the till,
waving off his wife.

Stevenson’s Gift Shop
is an icon on Main Street
of our small town.

“Two bits minus
two bucks credit,”
he says with a smile.

He slips my book
into a brown business
bag, “Come again.”

I hand him a twenty,
“Keep the change.”
His wife sighs.

Our town was built
on kindness & respect,
something I honor.

Background for this poem:

“I grew up in a small town in central Minnesota. People help people. My Dad has Alzheimer’s and the support he and Mom have is so heartwarming. The kindness and respect are models for those fortunate to witness or be a part of it. This poem is based on life in our town.”

 

Author Bio:

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, North Dakota. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. She edited an international online journal called Whispers for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Concise Writing—The Cinquain” – an article by Karen O’Leary

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Concise Writing—The Cinquain

By Karen O’Leary
JUNE 21, 2019

 

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from editors over the years is that they hate poems that ramble on and on. Poetry is communication. Oh, how we cling to our lyrical imagery, a bunch of flowery words that end in a sea of nothingness, leaving the reader with “so what?” The message we are trying to convey should drive the poem. Anything that doesn’t forward that message should be weeded out. It’s not always easy.

I don’t always succeed in trimming enough, but short forms have helped me hone and weed out more of the frill. One of my favorite short forms is the American Cinquain, invented by Adelaide Crapsey. Though there are other ways to write cinquains, I would like focus on the syllable count “2-4-6-8-2” format, for this discussion. These poems are typically un-rhymed. I cannot begin to cover the development of the form over the years.

It’s hard to ramble too much when the structure only gives the poet a total of 22 syllables to work with. The title is pivotal. Those that are seasoned in the art of cinquains often use the title as a sixth line—launching the poem without repeating something that is stated in the five lines.

Below are a couple of examples which I hope will be helpful and that you will enjoy—

 

Enya’s Star

a touch
of magical
words, shining to uplift
souls, blends the grace of heaven’s light
in song

 

Tapestry of Dreams

weaving
rainbow moments
and fields designed with dreams…
the collage reflects a passion
for life

 

I know what you are probably thinking—”she repeated dreams in the title and in the poem.” I was going to choose another example but I wanted to convey the tapestry as a weaving of strands and yet, it was essential that the reader know this is about dreams and desires that go into that passion for life. It is very different than starting that same poem with “Weaving Rainbow Moments” as the title. I hope you agree. Sometimes we get caught up in semantics instead of focusing on the piece as a whole.

I would like to invite you write one cinquain, or more. Please post them as comments – one poem per comment – so that every cinquain becomes a highlight all it is own. This should be approached as an activity to try without worrying about the perfect poem. This way we can enjoy them without being overly critical in hopes that we can learn from each other.

I am grateful to Amarine for inviting me to share time with you at this beautiful journal. She is wonderful to work with. Please consider sharing poems for regular submission too.

 

About the Author:

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, North Dakota. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including The Literary Librarian, Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. She edited an international online journal called Whispers for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Island Paradise” – A Poem Video by Bruce Rowe

 

Background for this Poem:

“I wrote the poem while working out of town and missing my wife. Using nautical visuals is a result of my loving everything that has to do with the ocean. For many years, I was an avid scuba diver and immersed myself into everything piratical.

“I was born in the Deep South of Louisiana, where folklore and myths are as plentiful as fireflies in the Bluebonnet Swamp on a midsummer’s night. I love integrating the supernatural elements from those myths, in addition to others from around the world, into my stories.” ~ Bruce Rowe

 

Author Bio:

Bruce has short stories published at Spillwords, DastaanWorld, The World of Myth, and CafeLit. His story, “The Rider,” was nominated for Publication of the Month in October of 2018. “Grandfather’s Clock” was a featured piece at Spillwords, as well. “The Lonely Traveler” received a special mention at Cafelit.

Bruce presently resides in Southern California.

 

Find More by Bruce at:

You can read all of Bruce’s short stories, flash fiction stories, and poems that have been published in one convenient place – Bruce’s Writing Room.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

Poem written by Bruce Rowe. Video Poem Video Composition created, using public domain images, by Amarine Rose Ravenwood at The Literary Librarian. Music by Alexander Blu at OrangeFreeSounds.

“Footsteps to Nowhere” by Gert W. Knop

Footsteps to Nowhere Art by Gert W Knop
Crocuses, felt-tip pens and ink on parchment paper by Gert W. Knop

Footsteps to Nowhere

The years melted away
like short rain in the sand.
The past has lost its face
with grueling thoughts,
which circle
without beginning and end
I follow the footsteps,
to nowhere
and repeat like daydreams.
Sadness paralyzes my thoughts,
falling down from a leaden sky,
like autumn leaves

 

Background for this Poem:

I was on a forest walk on a cool autumn day and walked across a meadow with many crocuses on my way home. Back in my flat I decided to draw this picture and thought it would go well with my poem.

 

Author Bio:

Gert W. Knop – pseudonym André Steinbach – was born in 1943. He lives, since 2009, in Zittau/Saxony/Germany. He studied Grafic Arts at the Free Academy and Werkkunstschule Mannheim, Germany. He was a teacher of lithography, wood, and linocut at the “Academia de Bellas Artes of the Universidad del Norte,” in Antofagasta, Chile. He studied Tropical Agriculture in Germany and in Scotland (University of Edinburgh). Longer work stays in Israel, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Chile. He writes poetry (German / English / Spanish), short stories, fairy tales, and plays.

 

Find Gert’s Writing at:

Wir, Die Indianer Der Mümling, under pseudonym André Steinbach, on Amazon (Limited Availability)

Der Juwelenvogel: Märchen aus Sri Lanka on Amazon

Tagträume / Daydreams / Sueños Diurnos: Liebesgedichte / Love Poems / Poemas de Amor on Amazon

20 Gedichte Deutsch/ Englisch/ Spanisch/ Polnisch und Tschechisch on E-Publi

Tante Bettys Teegartengeschichten Erzählungen und Märchen on E-Publi

Atacama – Im Großen Norden Geschichten, Gedichte, Drama mit Illustrationen on E-Publi

Bilder und Haiku on E-Publi

More information on: http://www.kulturwegweiser-ol.de/ (only in German)

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

Artwork © Gert W. Knop 2020

 

 

 

“Walking in Time” by Karen O’Leary

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Walking in Time

grandpa’s hour glass broke
years ago…
for him
time
stood
…still…
time
ticked on
at a pace
that left him silent
our hearts had bonded
so we walked
in love…
still
time

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem, while fictional, is born of the special bond I had with my grandpa.  We often walked in silence, content just being together.  He patiently taught me how to wash eggs as a preschooler, a task that probably took him twice as long.  His quiet strength has been a model for my life.  For those stuck in the past, time does stand still, but yet time still continues on. My grandpa is in heaven now but is still tucked in my heart.

Poetry form–Fibonacci

 

Author Bio:

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, North Dakota. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. She edited an international online journal called Whispers for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

 

Find Karen’s Writing at:

Whispers journal

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Vignettes” by Sunil Sharma

This poem is political and is dedicated to all the workers, male and female. The struggle of these workers is grimmer in a developing, post-colonial, Asian country but things are improving slowly.

Vignettes

A middle-aged female worker
sits on her haunches under the
shade of a frail tree, middle of an
open ground, near
some shops, rudely constructed,
asbestos sheets for roofs, where
lean men toil
for a bleak livelihood.

Craggy and broad visage,
hair matted, eyes blank. She
lights up, inhales deeply,

coughs her lungs out,
yet, persists in smoking,
on this Sunday morning,
hot and humid.

After some time,
she gets up unwillingly,
wipes forehead,
walks slowly to a
low-paid job
in a vertical house
unsmiling,
in dream-city Mumbai.

Her recess over.

On old cell phone,
she sings softly:
Coming, madam!
Coming!

Two teenage girls.

Under a wide
red umbrella,
in the courtyard
of a food franchise;

they casually
light up and
banter simultaneously,
their boyfriends, equally
loud and bawdy.

The young group unwinds and
enjoys the cool breeze, being
served by lean-faced servers,
otherwise invisible.

The lucky consumers
of pizzas, coffees
and ice-creams

wear brands and
indifference on sleeves,

light years away
from the grim
struggles of
another India,
working at the cash
counters or outside
in a sun that shines
extra harshly over
them.

Inspiration for This Poem:

These twin scenes were witnessed in real-time and provided an impetus to a recording mind. They are a kind of documentation of the contemporary Indian life in metros and extended suburbs.

While smoking is a fatal release for the gaunt woman, it is fashionable for the young women, kind of assertion of identity in a repressive culture. A subtle but injurious-to-health rebellion.

This poem also shows the freedom of the women in public places and an openness, otherwise denied in smaller towns, for women.

 

Author Bio:

IMG20181222110526Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 19 published books: Six collections of poetry, two of short fiction, one novel, a critical study of the novel, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.

Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal, Setu, published from Pittsburgh, USA:

 

Find Sunil’s Writing at:

Sunil’s Blog

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

 

“Delicate Strength” by Amarine Rose Ravenwood

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Delicate Strength

In her very breath, she’s womanly:
Soft and calm; refined and elegant.
But beneath the soft, a strength of steel;
Intelligent, kind, clever, and relevant.

Indeed, her words may pierce or caress;
A sharp-edged tongue with a velvet underside;
It’s not a deceit, but a complexity;
A duality of form, undefined.

And while she nurtures, she is fierce;
Ready to defend; equally to solace.
While she is loved, held most dear,
She’s not liked by all, and hardly flawless.

The depth of her life contradicted by beauty;
The surface denying what lies underneath;
The softness of voice, that sounds so gentle
Deceiving in every vocal upbreathe.

For under the soft exterior shell,
lies the heart of a lioness, strong and resilient.
As what is all soft cannot fully exist,
The harshness of life creates a balance that’s brilliant.

When you go to judge by a beautiful face,
A beauty that’s elegant; decorated with grace,
Remember that softness belies a great strength,
A gentle exterior with an iron base.

 

Background for this Poem:

I was thinking about the conundrum of duality in women, and how we are often judged as weak, inferior, or lacking in strength because we are beautiful and appear to be frail in comparison to men. When I think of some of the women who have influenced my life, I cannot see any true frailty, only gentleness and a strength of steel hidden beneath their delicate beauty. My own grandmother was one such woman. She was kind and gentle, soft-spoken, elegant, and a lovely person. And inside her was a strength you might never suspect would be encased in such a delicate form. She met every opposition in her life with her chin held up and her shoulders squared. She did not flinch from life’s hardness or its cruelties, but accepted them as a part of life, and wherever she could, she turned them into something good. She made opportunities to show kindness to others. And there are many other people in the world who function in the same way, kindness over a firm foundation of strong will and spirit. This is woman’s dual nature.

 

Author Bio:

Amarine Rose Ravenwood writes poetry and fantasy fiction for children, preteens, and teens. She has been writing since her early teens. As well as being an author and poet and the owner, manager, editor, and publisher of The Literary Librarian journal, Amarine is also a freelance fiction editor for Night Sky Book Services and also provides services as a poetry editor for Poetry Passions Editing Services. Amarine’s poetry joins the hosted poems of The Literary Librarian’s Pantheon of Poesy as just another poem, and Amarine abides by the same guidelines The Literary Librarian has set up for all poetry submissions to this site, as just one more member of a larger writing community.

 

Find More By Amarine at:

“A Mother’s Treasure,” “The Free Spirit,” and “A Grandmother’s Promise” in Voice of Eve, Issue 2, pages 50-56:

“The Fairy Queen” poem in the Cadence anthology by Clarendon House Publications

Amarine’s Facebook Author Page

Amarine Ravenwood’s Magical Realm (WordPress blog)

Amarine’s Twitter

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

The Pantheon of Poesy Guidelines

The Pantheon of Poesy Logo Wide

The Pantheon of Poesy is a new area of the Literary Librarian dedicated to showcasing and endorsing poems from published poets in a further effort to promote and support authors.

If you are a published poet who has a poem you would like to see hosted on the Literary Librarian, please use the contact form found in the menu to send an email requesting to submit your poem to the Literary Librarian. The poem does not have to be published to be showcased here, but the author must have at least one previous publication somewhere. Indie authors are always welcome. Upon the poem’s addition to the Pantheon of Poesy, the author will receive a link to the hosted poem to share anywhere, be it on an author page, social media, website, or elsewhere. That link belongs to the author as much as it does to the Literary Librarian.

A new poem may be submitted for hosting on the Literary Librarian’s Pantheon of Poesy by any published author once per month, and the poem will stay on the Literary Librarian indefinitely, unless the author requests that the poem be removed from the site for whatever reason. This ensures that the link to the poem will not expire, and the author needn’t worry about it no longer working where they have shared it. The poem will have a permanent home here, and although it is hosted here, it still belongs to the author in its entirety – the author retains the copyright to their own work.

Please email us a verifiable link to a previously published work (indie/self-published is fine), and your poem, along with an image that relates in some way to the poem (or a photo of yourself), a short bio to be included, your dedication if you want to include one, and a paragraph about what inspired the poem, if you want to include that too. You may also include links to your website, Facebook author page, Twitter, book product pages, and anywhere else that readers can follow you or read more of your work. The photo should be a decent-sized (400 x 400 pixels minimum) public domain image or one that you own because you purchased it, or because you took the photo, yourself. In case you’re not sure where to look for public domain images, one great place to find them is at www.pixabay.com. Another is at www.pexels.com.

Once your poem is published to the Pantheon of Poesy, we will send you a link to your poem that you can share or host anywhere you like, just as you do with your author interviews. This is just one more way that the Literary Librarian supports and promotes authors. Use the Contact form in the menu or send your poems to literary.librarian.authors@gmail.com to email us.

We at the Literary Librarian look forward to seeing what will be submitted and to having another avenue by which we can offer author support! As this is a publishing service, we must now assert our standards. Therefore, let it be stated that reprints and simultaneous submissions are welcome.

Please, do not send us submissions that are graphically violent, erotica, suicidal, hate speech toward the self, or toward any group, culture, person, race, sex, etc.

The Literary Librarian performs this service in a voluntary capacity, free of charge, and therefore retains the right to refuse service to anyone or to decline to publish any poem. Poetry copyright information is located Here.

Interview: An Interview with Wesley Butler

Book Name and Description: Passage to Portrainia

The world of Portrainia is like a fairy tale where things you never thought imaginable exist – a common ground for lucid dreamers. It is seen through an unconscious body, mind and soul, where three young teens discover their dreaming lives are just as real as their waking lives.

This book is available for Kindle and in print on Amazon: Click Here.

 

What inspired you to write Passage to Portrainia? How has this published work evolved throughout your stages of writing?

While the concept of dreams has always fascinated me, Passage to Portrainia has gone through about five or six drafts before it reached its current, published form. I remember the first time I began to write it (around 2008), it was a fan-fiction based on a well-known (within the gaming community) video game that had been cancelled, and eventually transformed into a different story. I decided to turn that around.

I had written a full story from start to finish set in the world of Portrainia, although, at the time, it was not a literal dream world; rather, I had taken the “high fantasy” route and created a world set in an entirely different place other than Earth. The format for the story was blog post-like and episodic: I would post a new “chapter” every few days until the story ended. For the most part, I got positive feedback from it.

About a month later, I planned a sequel to this “draft,” (how I consider it now), which would be more interactive in nature. People who signed up to this gaming forum could “role play” their own characters, but the project never took off. At that point, proud that I had published an entire story (even in a non-formal way), I was becoming more interested in dreaming – lucid dreaming especially. I would borrow dream dictionaries and books from my local library and analyze certain elements I’d experience in dreams. It’s amazing to think about how accurate “meanings” are. Not necessarily paranormally, but, for example, if you’re experiencing undue stress in your life, and you dream of murky water and sky, that “illustrates” your feelings in real life.

This was the real inspiration for Passage to Portrainia. I always loved the name of this world and wanted to incorporate it into one of my writing projects. About four years ago, I decided to marry my interest in dreaming with this fantasy world, and create a place meant only for those who had the willpower to lucid dream. A literal dreamworld is not a concept explored widely in fantasy and science fiction, so I wanted to present how something like it could potentially play out.


What got you into writing young adult fantasy?

It’s a genre to which I’ve been attracted ever since I could remember. In my spare moments growing up, I would spend hours daydreaming of make-believe places, even drawing full-color maps of different landmarks, locations, dungeons, etc., that a protagonist in a story would travel to.

When I’d play video games such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask (the latter of which I believe to be the most compelling story I’ve ever seen in a video game), which I’ve owned for nearly 18 and 17 years, respectively, I’d be enthralled with the thought, attention to detail, and creativity that went into the development of storylines, and how different locations and fictional creatures interacted with each other.

As a genre, fantasy can have various categories (young adult, general audience, and more mature themes), and children’s literature is still my most favorite to this day. It allows for important morals to be incorporated and taught to its audience, life skills that can be used in the real world. Throughout my childhood, I would think to myself, “Wow, I hope I can create a rich world and story just by using my imagination.” That’s what really got me into writing young adult fantasy.


How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing ever since I could hold a pencil. I can’t begin to tell you how many unfinished drafts I have stored in my home, from the ages of 5 and 6 to the present. Professionally, I’ve been writing for many years, on a freelance basis and in my current role. I have experience writing journalistically, mainly feature stories with human interest.


What is your favorite book, as a reader, and why? Has any author(s) influenced and inspired your work?

Although I equally admire all seven Harry Potter books, one of the most significant turning points occurs in The Goblet of Fire, the fourth in the series. The atmosphere is foreboding, almost as though you expect something dastardly to happen at any moment. Although the main event (literally, the Triwizard Tournament) is meant to showcase the power of wizards and witches, and have them compete against one another, its outcome was manipulated to resurrect one of the darkest, sociopathic villains ever created. Even rereading the book for the third and fourth time, I still get a sense of panic that a formidable force is about to terrorize the world, as if I was reading it for the first time.

J.K. Rowling, Ransom Riggs, Charles Dickens, and Roald Dahl have influenced my creativity, because their works have challenged me to build multi-dimensional worlds you can lift off the page. A lot of mental labor goes into creating a fantasy plot, because you must establish a living, breathing society of its own, just like we do in the real world.


How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

By exposure to new ideas and life experiences. I find when I write, I’ll first spend time “researching” my credibility to the topic, even if it’s fiction. When I read a new fantasy book, watch a movie, or play a new video game, I think about how the writer/creator drew on their own hardships or positive “flashbulb” moments in their lives (which happens frequently in literature) to tell the story.

Writing and publishing a novel has granted me the practical experience needed to hone my skills.


What piece of your own work are you most proud of?

I’m proud of my debut novel, Passage to Portrainia – particularly the fantasy world I’ve built with my imagination. I’ve always admired the raw talent authors possess and I feel accomplished that I’ve done something similar. As fantasy authors, I believe it’s our duty to create safe havens to which people can escape. Reality can be harsh at times, so it’s important to be able to lose ourselves in a world separate from our own. It’s a good way to recharge.


For those who haven’t read any of your stories, what story/book of yours do you think best represents your work and why?

Passage to Portrainia best represents my work. I lean towards “high fantasy” worlds connected to the real world in some way, but not accessed by normal means. When it comes to the places themselves, I try to introduce fantasy elements seldom or never seen. I build them up to the best of my ability, including places to travel to and quests to complete.


What are you doing next?

I have a couple of writing projects in progress. At one point, Passage to Portrainia’s plot was going to be merged (although I didn’t know it yet; I hadn’t separated the stories) with another idea I have, and that would have served as its own story. For now, I’m working on a plot that incorporates this idea as the main theme.


Bio:

Residing in Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada, Wesley Butler works in academic administration & communications for higher education. Passage to Portrainia, his debut novel, was released December 2018 under Amazon Kindle Self-Publishing. A former freelance writer, Wesley has served as associate editor of FAME Canada, a music and cultural news website, and as a columnist/reviewer for Independent Music Promotions.

 


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