“Silent History” by Gert W. Knop

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Near Toconao, Atacama, Chile (pencil drawing)

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

“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

 

 

 

“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