Interview: Follow-Up with Marjorie Maddox on New Books!

New releases 2020:

Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems with Insider Exercises (April 2020)

“Marjorie Maddox knows poetry. If I had to pick one book to introduce students to the joy of writing poems, this would be it. Maddox creates a book full of original poems to show us the inside out of every kind of poem you could ever want to write. I dare you to read a page or two without reaching for your pen and composing a poem of your own. From alliteration to sonnets and the villanelle, Marjorie Maddox makes metaphors meaningful and memorable.”—Charles Ghigna – FatherGoose®

For additional reviews and blog posts, see http://www.marjoriemaddox.com/inside-out-description-and-reviews

I’m Feeling Blue, Too! (August 2020).

“What do you get when you take a morsel of midnight, a pinch of sky, a splash of sea, a flower petal, a bee-kissed mulberry, the hum of blue firs, and a season with lollipops and a brave knight? . . . .Maddox leads young readers across mood-lifting, make-believe landscapes. Feeling blue has never felt so good!”
—David L. Harrison
, author of After Dark: Poems about Nocturnal Animals

For additional reviews and blog posts, see http://www.marjoriemaddox.com/new-page-4

Recent Re-released Books:

Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems (re-released by Wipf & Stock, Dec. 2019)

“Baseball is a game of fine points and grand gestures, small blunders and bold accomplishments—the hook slide into second, the humble bunt, the unexpected wild pitch, the bases-loaded home run. Poet and baseball fan Marjorie Maddox pays tribute to these and other details that make the national pastime an enduring and engaging sport for players and fans alike. Surprising wordplay and keen images offer a unique perspective of the classic American game. John Sandford’s memorable characters and scenes play up the drama.”

Maddox is the great grand-niece of Branch Rickey, the General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who helped break the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson.

A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry (re-released by Wipf & Stock, Dec. 2019)

“You’ve probably heard the phrase a school of fish. But what about a rumba of rattlesnakes, an army of ants, or a crash of rhinos? Derived from both oral and written traditions, collective nouns go back centuries. These terms not only charm us with their sound, but they provide a bit of insight into animal behavior. Readers can find these and other terms—from alley cats to zebras—in fourteen thought-provoking poems by Marjorie Maddox. She and artist Philip Huber create a wonderful combination of rich wordplay and captivating art that piques the imagination.”

Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize, 1 of 3 finalists for the Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes; re-released by Wipf & Stock 2018)

About my father’s unsuccessful heart transplant:

Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation is a luminous collection, navigating the human from the body’s blood and muscle to flights of the spirit. In these compelling narratives and taxonomies, Marjorie Maddox accompanies the reader on a harrowing and joyous journey.”


Interview:

What gave you the idea for these books? Or what inspired you to write them?

  1. Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems with Insider Exercises:
    This book is based on my 30+ years of teaching poetry at the university, secondary, primary, and community levels and encourages young adults and their teachers and parents, as well as poets of any age, to step “inside” the poem to experience the joys of writing and reading poetry. Chat with personification, dance with iambic, fish for sestinas, and text with a triolet. In 27 poems plus Insider Exercises, this book focuses on reaching both those already in love with poetry and those intimidated by the form. For a sampling, here’s the Table of Contents of poems about various poetic techniques and forms. I dare you not to have fun!

And here’s a sample poem!

Onomatopoeia

Bash! Crash! Smash!
Onomatopoeia makes his splash of sound
with each squishy step or booming pound
of movement. He moans, hisses, murmurs, and swishes
his way across the poem.

Boisterous, he usually forgets to whisper.
Instead, he shakes, rattles, and rolls his bellowing voice
until each letter shivers with anticipation
at what soon will be darting, soaring, or swooping
noisily toward the ear.

For more on the backstory, go here: https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2020/08/01/29490/

  1. I’m Feeling Blue, Too!:
    Although artist Philip Huber began this book many years ago, I am proud to have come on board to create the narrative for these stunning illustrations. The challenge and delight was to uncover the story between the brushstrokes! By doing so, I was able to write poems that detail this young boy’s journey as he escapes “the can’t-do nothin’-blues” to encounter the world’s many glorious blues. So the illustrations were my map for writing! In addition, in I’m Feeling Blue, Too! I want to encourage young readers to use their imaginations, whether it be through writing, painting, dancing, building, etc. This is a book that acknowledges sadness but also celebrates creation, adventure, life!
  1. Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation:
    While I love writing for children and young adults, most of my poetry is geared toward adults. Those of you who write about the intersection of body and spirit and/or the medical may be interested in this collection of poems that focus on my father’s unsuccessful heart transplant. Perhaps the most personal and most difficult to write of all my collections, this book chronicles my family’s journey as my dad waits for and receives his transplant. It continues through our grief over his death. The book also contains a long series of poems based on the medical text Gray’s Anatomy, and has been used by medical students to teach empathy for patients and family members experiencing such trauma.
  1. Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems:
    During these strange Covid times, when baseball players strut their stuff to empty stadiums, it’s hard not to be nostalgic for the good old days (last year?!) of the game. Enter Rules of the Game, a poetic take on the rules and terms of baseball, from balks to line drives to grand slams. The great grandniece of Branch Rickey (played by Harrison Ford in 42, that amazing movie starring the great Chadwick Bosemen), I come to baseball with an historical eye. And living in Williamsport, PA, home of the Little League World Series (sadly cancelled this year) doesn’t hurt! I wrote these poems sitting in my backyard in Williamsport, overlooking a ballfield. Here’s an example. This is a perfect fit for anyone who loves the game, including kids and coaches.

Grand Slam

Dreams brimming over,
childhood stretched out in legs,
this is the moment replayed on winter days
when frost covers the field,
when age steals away wishes.
Glorious sleep that seeps back there
to the glory of our baseball days. 

  1. A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry:
    Another collaboration with artist Philip Huber, this book focuses on bringing to life collective nouns: a school of fish, a band of coyotes, a murder of crows, a crossing of zebras, and the like. I am very excited to have this collection back in print as it’s been a favorite during author visits to elementary schools. A play was even created and performed by the Odd Act Theatre group and performed at libraries and schools. Once again, Philip created the illustrations; I then used his detailed scratchboard pictures to create a lively, interactive narrative for each animal grouping. I love reading this one aloud!

What was it like to have TWO books come out during the pandemic?

This was a difficult challenge that contained some surprising blessings. After having worked on I’m Feeling Blue, Too! and Inside Out for many, many years and then sending the books out for over 12 years, I was excited to FINALLY have these texts enter the world. And then came COVID-19 with its cancelled readings and book launches!

What also entered, though, was the generosity of friends and strangers willing to host blog tours and virtual readings. To all these folks (including the host of this blog!), I am very grateful!

Please tell us your latest news.

Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems with Insider Exercises was “an award-winning finalist in the Children’s Education Category” for the International Book Awards.

Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation recently was a finalist for the Philip H. McMath post-publication book award.

•My circulating book, Seeing Things (about, among other things, my mother’s early stages of dementia) was recently a finalist for the Larry Levis Book Award from Four Way Books.

When did you begin writing, what prompted it, and when did you first consider yourself a writer?

I ‘ve always loved writing, primarily because I’ve always loved reading. My first published poem (it was terrible) was in Campfire Girl Magazine when I was 8. I was fortunate to have parents who encouraged the arts. My mother, for instance, would type up my poems into a “book.” What an affirming gift! May we give such encouragement to all young writers and artists!

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

For me, this is a very different hat to wear than being a writer. I’d love to hand everything over to an agent and say, “Go at it,” but that has not happened. Nevertheless, there is something creative about the process of marketing as well. What’s hard is to balance what’s too much and what’s not enough.

In addition, I’ve found that when I am procrastinating writing, I market, and when I am procrastinating marketing, I write. Both take a type of bravery that I don’t always possess because both can be infested by a fear of rejection. Still, I persevere. For marketing, I prefer to work through established relationships. A latecomer to FB (when others were leaving, I was just coming on board), I’ve found it helpful to read others’ posts and learn from their marketing experiences and advice.

What are you doing next?

I have several manuscripts currently under consideration by publishers:

Seeing Things (mentioned above) explores the ways that we distort or preserve memory, define or alter reality, and see or don’t see those around us on both a personal and national level. Woven throughout the collection is a series of odes.

Heart Speaks, Is Spoken For is a collaboration with photographer Karen Elias, based on her composite photographs of a cracked heart-shaped stone and my corresponding poems.

Any additional books coming out soon?

Yes, my poetry collection, Begin with a Question, is slated for publication by Paraclete Press in 2021. Originally due out in Fall 2020, the book has been postponed a bit because of COVID; however, this has allowed me to generate and include new poems!

Do you have a blog or website where readers can go to find updates, events, and special offers relating to your writing?

Yes! I have several upcoming book readings and launches, which I will post here: http://www.marjoriemaddox.com/recent-and-upcoming-events-links

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Write, read, write, read, write some more; don’t give up. 


Bio:

Winner of America Magazine’s 2019 Foley Poetry Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 11 collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize, finalist Philip H. McMath Post-Publication book Award, finalist Brittingham and Felix Pollak Book Awards); True, False, None of the Above (Illumination Book Award Medalist); Local News from Someplace Else; Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award)—the story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite Press); four children’s and YA books—including Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems with Insider Exercises (Finalist Children’s Educational Category 2020 International Book Awards), A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry ; Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems; and I’m Feeling Blue, Too!Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor); Presence (assistant editor); and 600+ stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. Her book, Begin with a Question, is forthcoming from Paraclete Press in 2021. She was the chair of the jury of judges for the 2019-2020 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Book Award for the best children’s poetry book that year. For more information and reviews, please see www.marjoriemaddox.com.

Additional links for reviews, interviews, books, etc:

www.marjoriemaddox.com

Twitter: @marjoriemaddox

Marjorie Maddox’s Facebook Page

© The Literary Librarian 2020

Marjorie Maddox’s Poetry Book, “Inside Out”

Links to More Info:

© The Literary Librarian 2020

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

image

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

Seahorse for August Poem.jpg

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

“Fragile” by Gert W. Knop

Photography by Gert W. Knop

Fragile

Moments dwindle
in fragile isolation,
a touch of doubt,
fragile,
as Dresden china,
of past days

Strewn thoughts,
lost in short sentences,
the past scattered
and forgotten.
Fragile future,
silent horizon,
calm sea in the lee

Past days,
fragile as morning dew.
Presence opened in the book of silence,
daydreams,
forgotten in the afterglow

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

Photo © Gert W. Knop 2019

“Turn Of the Tide” by Lynn White

Turn Of the Tide

We will wait for the tide to turn.
It will carry us away
wave after wave
gathering up the debris
which surrounds us
sucking it up like so much dust
getting rid of it all,
everything going
with the flow.
We must wait for the tide to turn.
It will bring us home
leaving new things
there with us.
Bits and pieces.
Leaving them for us to find
so that we can take
what we need
everything
we want.
Or should we swim against the tide?
See where it takes us.
We could try.
It couldn’t be worse.

First published by Ugly Writers, July 2018

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, Peach Velvet, Light Journal and So It Goes.

Find More by Lynn:

Lynn’s Poetry Blogspot


Lynn’s Facebook author page

“Mom’s Apron” by Mary Bone

In memory of Esther Lucille (Harris) Barrick.
July 4th, 1923-January 14th, 2010

Mom’s Apron

Folded neatly, decorated with embroidery
and crochet,
mom’s apron is a reminder of the many great meals
she cooked on the old wood stove.
Wearing her handmade apron,
she would cook skillet cornbread, red beans and
buttermilk biscuits made from scratch.
She would add a pinch of this and a pinch of that
making a gourmet meal, fit for a king.
Her sweet southern tea would steep all morning
on the back porch in the Oklahoma sun.
I can still hear the screen door opening
and mom would say, “Dinner’s Ready!”

Background for this Poem:

This is “a poem I wrote in memory of my mother, Esther Lucille (Harris) Barrick. She was a great mother to her eight children and a wonderful grandmother. Her birthday is on July 4th. She passed away in 2010 and left a great legacy behind. I wrote, “Mom’s Apron” in her memory.” ~ Mary Bone

Author Bio:

Mary Bone’s Poetry can be found at Spillwords, Literary Librarian and other places. A short story entitled, “Koolaid Street” is currently posted at Literary Yard.

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All photos public domain

“Colors” by Linda Imbler

Colors

Back when the water was blue
we told each other secrets.
And we talked through all the days.
But sometimes
colors change,
don’t they?

Background for this Poem:

This woman has experienced the loss of her spouse. She is now looking at the sun setting on her own life, hence the color change of the ocean and sky. The poem is inspired by the recent death of one of my neighbors. His wife is now alone. She is 99. He was 98.

Author Bio:

Linda Imbler’s poetry collections include two self-published works, Big Questions, Little Sleep, and Lost and Found. Soma Publishing has published her two e-book collections, The Sea’s Secret Song, and Pairings, a hybrid of short fiction and poetry.

Examples of Linda’s poetry and a listing of publications can be found at Linda’s Poetry Blog.

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All photos public domain

“Wisteria” by Joan McNerney

Wisteria

Mysterious purple white wisteria
vines of flowery grapes gemmate
on branches wrapping tree trunks
wisteria enormous moonblooms delirious.

Wild mild wisteria wondrous
aromas falling idly from ferns
winding wandering through winds.

Wisteria purple white mysterious
lisping whispering softly luminous
as raindrops sparkle upon blossoms
enormous wisteria starlights delirious.

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

“Morning on the Maine Coast” by John Grey

Here’s dawn, in golden high heels,
and sky pushing teal and ochre
onto the early risers.
I yawn before the uncurtained window.
The colors take sides.
Light blue above, a deeper hue, almost indigo,
to the waters of the inlet.

Thank God, the nightmare’s behind me
and boats bob, the fishermen unfold nets,
at the wharf below.
Beasts arose, men were slaughtered,
and all because I ate late.
But everything’s coming out of cold storage.
And above, birds are in the ascendancy,
mostly gulls but the one dark solemn crow
that remains from my sleep.

No storm today.
Not when the morning sings to me like this.
Nothing ominous.
A sparkle on the surface.
A good catch out at sea.
The demons would tell me
that this is all outside of me
and they’re the ones
that have the inside running.
But maybe on such a day,
I am also outside of me.
Find me there,
not back in my brainwashed head.
I inhale warm air.
I exhale intentions made clear.

Author Bio:

John Grey is an Australian poet, and U.S. resident. Recently published in
That, Muse, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Hawaii Review and The Dunes Review.

“Palace Amusements” by Jack M. Freedman

This poem is dedicated to my father, Reginald Freedman (1948-2013)

Palace Amusements

Asbury Park
greets me
within your thin lipped
toothy smile

At the end of every labyrinth,
you straddle the seashore’s yen.

You are a funhouse mirror
distorting my figure
yet always finding
abundant embodiments
within my gut

My navel yearns
for that connection
to amusement within
these vibrant walls

Love was the product
of jackpots
won from slot machines
dispensing ducats

Tokens tossed from one hand
Arm pulled by the other hand

You were the windfall
stashed within this chest
of hazy nostalgia

Adulthood proves more haunting
compared to the cart
carrying me through
those mysterious halls

Wishing I could be hypnotized
just so I could catch a spoonful
of what once satiated my satisfaction

One taste of the sacrament
derived from riding the roller coaster
before it became a cliche
denoting a diagnosis

Before mania
surged through my synapses
like a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo

After bumper cars foreshadowed
the accidents I’d face
throughout these
static frequencies
of depression

If you were a Eucharist
I’d be an idolator

For you were the body of a god
I tasted before knowing what it meant
to be a righteous Jew

You were the excuse I needed
to play hooky from Sunday school

You were the choir who greeted me
before I possessed the voice to echo
any calls I desperately needed to answer

You were the calming voice I needed
before my own soothsaying emerged

Now the tongue with which I speak
needs to taste the honey
into which I dip my apple

Now this fruit
stores nectar
of passing years
in a cloud

Accessed via my digital thumbprint
Repressed via my carbon footprint

Pollen is carried by a generation
of workers and drones

If I left an intention on my doorstep…
I’d wish for it
to be carried
by the Westerleigh wind…

I’d hope the corners
of the crown
in my castle
mirrored this palace
of amusements

I’d pray the pleasantries
could be contained
by the channels
from which we feel joy

May our data be easy to transmit
even if our devices are outdated

May said devices be reused
as analog anecdotes

Let them be paperweights
for the childhoods we cherish

Preserving a trail
back to the inner offspring
struggling to spawn and survive

Background for this Poem:

Palace Amusements was an indoor amusement park in Asbury Park, NJ. I went there when I was six years old and miss it terribly. It closed back in 1988, but the legacy remains with Tillie. This was the mascot of the palace I make reference to in the first stanza.

Author 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 2019

All photos public domain

“Two-Way Gratitude” by Karen O’Leary

image

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.

“A Mother’s Treasure” – A Poem Video by Amarine Rose Ravenwood

 

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

“This Morning” by Joan McNerney

ladybug-1320563

This Morning

Between deep night
and soft dawn the
mist covers fields
spreading over daisies
climbing bunchberries
wetting seeds, leaves.

Milky smoke roams
back and forth
wandering voiceless
through mountains
of morning.

Whistling in fog
past sycamores
warblers seesaw
up cloudy layers
up up circling
toward heaven.

 

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

“Grandfather’s Tree” by Mary Bone

“In memory of my dad, John Ray Barrick, Purple Heart recipient and recipient of other medals, from Burneyville, Oklahoma.” ~ Mary Bone

Treehouse
Grandfather’s Tree

Grandfather’s tree stood high on a hill.
The branches held him when he was a child.
He once played in its green leafy fingers.
Long limbs splayed
out in a tree house,
as he watched the clouds float by.
Grandchildren play in the tree now,
knowing grandfather slumbers below.

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem reminds me of my dad, who had a cot under a large tree in our front yard, in Burneyville, Oklahoma. He used to sleep on it at night, sometimes. He was a veteran of WWII and enjoyed the great outdoors. He is buried in Burneyville, Oklahoma, not too far from his favorite tree.

 

Author Bio:

Mary Bone’s Poetry can be found at Spillwords, Literary Librarian and other places. A short story entitled, “Koolaid Street” is currently posted at Literary Yard.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All photos public domain

“Mountains” by Amarine Rose Ravenwood

 

Mountains

Mountains

Poem text (repeated for legibility)

Mountains, creased and crumpled high,
Reaching fingers to the sky,
With their feet spread down below,
And their heads covered with snow,

Do they know of what we think,
When we look upon their brink?
Do they sit in silent slumber,
Bearing under ice and thunder?

They withstand the harshest blows,
And bear up tall under such snows;
Resolute, moored fast and firm,
Inflexible of root and stern,

Sentinel to many ages,
Faces steep with many gauges;
Representing permanence,
They impress their imminence.

We can’t help but gaze in awe,
And we can’t help but feel their draw;
For immovable though they be,
There’s nothing more we want to see.

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem was written while thinking about the Colorado mountains. Some places are known for their trees and forests; some are known for their plains and prairies; some are known for their fruit. Colorado is known for its mountains. This is how many people who live near mountains feel about them. This is how I feel about them.

 

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

“Daffodils” by Jack Horne

daffodil-1446420_1920 (1)

Daffodils

Missing you, the grey sky matches my mood –
head down, I pass daffodils
and brighten at the sight…

 

Background for this Poem:

A long time ago, my beloved dog, Paddy was very ill. We all thought he would die that Easter, but the vet gave him some medication, which seemed miraculous to me, when Paddy really perked up. He was soon leaping around the garden again. We had an abundance of daffodils that year and it looked to me like the garden was also filled with joy to see him. Although we lost Paddy many years ago now, I still think of him when I see daffodils.

Poetry form: Kimo

 

Author Bio:

Jack lives in Plymouth, England, and writing is his main interest. Quite a lot of his short stories and poems have been published in various anthologies, newspapers & e-zines, and also two poetry books and two novels (a third novel is soon to be released).

 

Find Jack’s Writing at:

Jack’s Blog

A Ghost Hunt e-book on Amazon

Loving, Living & Legends e-book on Amazon

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

 

“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

 

 

 

“r-e-u-n-i-o-n” by Karen O’Leary

r-e-u-n-i-o-n Image

r-e-u-n-i-o-n

first one
that enticed her
after years of stilted
honey…the homelike sing-along
drew her
the folk
music, a balm
of childhood memories,
rich in acceptance and warm zeal…
at home

 

Background for this poem:

The poem is a culmination of family reunions over the years. As a child, extended family reunions on my father’s side usually had some type of sing-a-longs. There were some talented musicians to lead us. With our printed music sheets people belted out folk songs. Off key or not people enjoyed the memories that went with the music. I enjoyed catching up with various people in the relaxed atmosphere.

 

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

Interview: An Interview with Poet Megan O’Keeffe

Book Name and Description: Where I Ache

Where I Ache Cover

This collection is broken up into six chapters ranging from themes such as depression, jealousy, grief, and strength. These delicate subjects can be difficult to talk about and most people avoid them because of the uncomfortable vulnerability. This collection features content that can be triggering for some. I’ve always written and shared my poetry with the hope that readers would relate and feel less alone. I hope you feel a sense of community to all of those connected throughout this collection.

This book is available on Amazon: Click Here

 

Love Song
By Megan O’Keeffe

When times get hard and I’m losing myself
you sing the song my heart needs to remember itself.
I hope you’ll always be here
because through the chaos you’re all I hear
even when the darkness scared my love away
you gave me yours and promised it will always stay.

 

What gave you the idea for Where I Ache? Or what inspired you to write it?

Where I Ache focuses on various aspects of mental health, such as depression and self esteem, which are definitely important to me and my writing. Mental health can be such a delicate topic and often gets avoided because of that. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to publish this book because I didn’t know if I could put that vulnerability out there. But then I reflected that because of the silence, people with mental illness feel even more alone, so then I knew I wanted to publish this collection, so that the readers could be their own little community of support and unity.


Tell us about your past books and stories?

My first book focused on a journey of love lost, then found. Not all poems are happy, as not all of love is. But the poetry is vulnerable, real, and honest. And in that honesty, I hope each reader can find comfort, community, and strength to continue on your own journey of love.


What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like? What have been the biggest influences on your writing?

There’s definitely an ebb and flow to my writing process – weeks without writing and then days with 4-5 poems in one sitting. I tend to think of poem lines while driving or they’ll just randomly come to me during the day, in class, in conversation, etc. The first 6 years of my writing were heavily influenced by love and now I have some more influences: like nature, mental health, and grief are also present.


How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I definitely think I’ve branched out my topics for my poetry more. I’m also playing with the real estate of the page a lot more and emphasizing words more for impact. Lastly, I’m working hard on getting rid of cliches in my poems, trying to be original and as creative as possible.


How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

I do most of my marketing through social media, mainly Twitter (@Ddateable) and Instagram (@megokeeffewriting). I’ve started working on email newsletters as another marketing tool. My best avenue is probably my blog, Debatably Dateable. I can really connect with my readers there, and have been growing that connection for the longest.


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

I really do love my piece, ‘War Cry.’ It’s in the form of a pantoum, which is hard to explain, and makes more sense when you see an example, but it repeats two lines from each previous stanza so you have to take the readers on a journey with not much material to do so. I think the creativity needed for the form could go unnoticed if you haven’t tried it before. I also love the world news topic I wrote on for that piece.


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

I think Cracked Open represents the poet I started out as, which is very much the foundation of my work. But I think Where I Ache shows where I’ll be going as an artist, so I would recommend Where I Ache to new readers.


What are you doing next?

Obviously, I’ll be marketing Where I Ache for the rest of the year. But I’ve also been organizing my next collection, which I hope to publish in 2020 – but one thing at a time, haha.

 

Bio:

Up and coming Poet, Megan O’Keeffe has been writing poetry for the past decade and published her first collection, Cracked Open, in 2018. The love and support Meg received from her blog, Debatably Dateable, encouraged her to make to make this leap yet again for Where I Ache. When she’s not writing, Meg is bingeing “Brooklyn 99” or walking her dog, Maverick. You may spot her touring the newest spot on Long Island, NY with her sisters and boyfriends…

 

Links:

Where I Ache on Amazon

Megan’s Instagram

Megan’s Twitter

Debatably Dateable (Megan’s Blog)

Megan’s Amazon Author Page

Megan’s Goodreads

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Vessels and Vases” by Mary Bone

dew-drops-of-water-green-56860 Edited Cropped

Vessels and Vases

Vessels and vases
Holding water
Sweating on the outside,
Watering plants,
Containing moisture
Pouring out refreshment
To parched souls.

 

Background for this Poem:

I wrote the above poem after thinking that I tend to sweat the small stuff and I pour myself out daily as if I were a vase or vessel. When I pour out words hopefully I am blessing others as I have been blessed.

 

Author Bio:

Mary Bone’s Poetry can be found at Spillwords, Literary Librarian and other places. A short story entitled, “A Time To Rejoice” is currently posted at Literary Yard.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All photos public domain

“Recalling the Past” by Gert W. Knop

Abandoned House in Zittau Germany
Abandoned house in Zittau, Germany. (deliberate blur)

Recalling the Past

Memories come back
lost in the thicket of time
volatile writing on yellow paper
diary the past years
now unreadable

 

Background for this Poem:

For this poem I was inspired when I went for a walk across Zittau, Saxony. Unfortunately, this abandoned house was demolished about two years ago. The blur of this photo is wanted.

 

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

Photo © Gert W. Knop 2019

 

“Rain Over Vietnam” by Paul Callus

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Rain over Vietnam

There is the calm before the rain
It’s almost silent all around
The clouds expectant in the sky
Foreboding birds are homeward bound.

The soldiers stare at looming clouds
There is the calm before the rain
And yet there’s tension in the air
Will all this waiting be in vain?

They know the feeling well enough
The sun gets left out in the cold
There is the calm before the rain
They have to be prepared and bold.

The sound of planes will soon be heard
Torrential bombs will fall again
But ‘til the heavens burst in floods
There is the calm before the rain.

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem, written in Quatern form, was inspired by the song “Have you ever seen the rain?” sung by Credence Clearwater Revival. It has an underlying reference to the Vietnam War.

 

Author Bio:

Paul Callus was born in Safi, Malta. He is a retired teacher, and has been active in the literary field for around 50 years. He writes poetry, short stories, and lyrics for songs, mostly in English and Maltese. His work has been published in various anthologies and online sites. He is also a translator and proof-reader.

 

Find More by Paul at:

Paul on Poetry Soup

Paul’s Twitter

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

Interview: An Interview with Lucie Guerre

Book Name and Description: Land of Memories Forgotten, Shattered Memories, A Day for the Living, and Soulstice.

4 Covers

Land of Memories Forgotten: In the American Southwest is an antique and souvenir shop owned by the elderly Muriel Adams. When a stranger breaks into her store, Muriel is confronted with a decision from her youth. As she struggles with the important choice of her past, it is her present-day and future that hang in the balance. Lucie Guerre’s debut short story will leave you wanting more.

Shattered Memories: Vanessa and her father live in the heart of the desert, the perfect place to sell repurposed goods and forget about her mother. As Vanessa digs through other people’s memories, she never imagines her own would come back to haunt her.

A Day for the Living: Though they may look alike, twin sisters Maria and Isabel could not be any more different than one another. Maria is still mourning her mother’s death and trying to make sense of inhabiting a world without her whereas Isabel would steamroll over her if at all possible. She destroys Maria’s every attempt at keeping her mother’s legacy alive, but when the two are forced to be around each other for just one day, their emotions collide and together, they learn what it truly means to be alive.

Soulstice: A collection of poetry moving through the seasons of life, accompanied by full-color photography.

Please Visit the Links Section Below to Access Her Books.

 

What gave you the idea for Land of Memories Forgotten, Shattered Memories, and A Day for the Living? Or what inspired you to write them?

Honestly, my husband and I took our honeymoon out in the Southwest – Arizona, to be exact – and while he was driving, I snapped a bunch of pictures of certain scenes that inspired me: a dilapidated jewelry stand, a souvenir store, and nature. Oh my gosh, the nature out there was so unusual to me, a girl from the Midwest. Suddenly, as he was driving, I yanked out my tablet and began writing stories. Stories that just spilled out of me.

 

What got you into writing in this genre?

I struggled for a long time in identifying my genre. I hated calling it “Fantasy” because that didn’t seem accurate. I called it “Slipstream” for a while because that seemed to work. “Weird Fiction” also seemed to work, but it was never a perfect fit. Finally, upon re-reading some “Magical Realism,” I realized that’s what I wrote. I just like the idea of magic in everyday life. I like the idea of it running through the normal events of the day. I don’t always write magical realism. I don’t choose the genre. It chooses me.

 

How long have you been writing?

I began writing when I was seven years old. I was struggling to differentiate between the letter g and the letter j (actually, believe it or not, this is something I still struggle with from time to time; the word, “jig,” is a trick for me, haha), and I was practicing writing my letters. I got so comfortable writing my g‘s that I wrote an entire short story and illustrated it. It was called, “Gum Drops, Gum Drops Make me Hungry.” So, I’ve been writing for around twenty-five years, now.

 

Tell us about your past books and stories?

I have published a volume of poetry, called Soulstice. It explores the seasons of my life in a metaphorical sense. Each season represents a different phase of my life, but hopefully, the poems are ones that most people can relate to: love, heartbreak, loss, passion, friendship, memories. Since then, I have published my three short stories: Land of Memories Forgotten, Shattered Memories, and A Day for the Living – as described above.

 

What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like? What have been the biggest influences on your writing?

I wish I had more of a process. However, right now, I am in college, so I squeeze writing in where I can. I enjoy fitting it in early – if I can – before classes, but my most productive creative hours are later in the evening. In the early mornings, I’ll drink a cup of coffee and my dog will rest her head on my leg, and I’ll write. In the evening, I usually just fall into the story. The biggest influences on my writing are my life, itself, but various authors have also inspired my style. My life has inspired my writing in the sense that my poetry tends to be semi-autobiographical, whereas my fiction utilizes metaphors and similes. I would not use as many metaphors if it weren’t for my background. I was taught to hide my stories and my feelings, so I think part of me still hides behind metaphors like they’re security blankets, shielding me from the fire of truth.

 

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

Absolute favorite? That’s tough. I really like Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, White Oleander by Janet Fitch, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon van Booy, and the short stories of Jeanette Winterson. I don’t like to speak poorly of other authors, but I am sometimes shocked at what becomes “popular” in fiction, whether it’s the Twilight series or 50 Shades of Gray. I just don’t understand commercial literature. Jeanette Winterson influenced my work, years ago. I had never heard of her, and a friend handed me her book of short stories, and I was enthralled. My friend compared my writing to hers – and of course, the compliment went to my head – so I read everything she had ever written and scoured her website. Similarly, I read White Oleander years ago, and I constantly re-read it. The language in it feels familiar, yet it pivots the reader into a new way of thinking. I had the pleasure of having an email exchange with the author, and she is kind and wonderful. Another influence is Laurie Halse Anderson, the author of Speak and Shout, in addition to other pieces. I was so excited this past March, when I met her and got her autograph. I listened to her speak, and she just inspires me as a human being and an author. She does so much good, and someday, I want to write, instead of from my imagination, something that comes from the heart. I want to write something to change people’s lives.

 

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

My style has improved so much, over the years. I have tightened it and honed it. When you write poetically, as I do, sometimes, it comes across as purple prose, and I wanted to avoid that. So, to make my writing more succinct, I had to practice. It’s still not perfect, but there are certain pieces that I look at objectively and am proud of. Also, my basic mechanics of novel-writing have greatly improved. I am in a few writing groups on Facebook, and their tips challenge me to be a better writer. I am still learning to incorporate more of the senses, but I think my writing has a lot of great creativity.

 

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

  • Access to a good dictionary
  • An open mind that’s always willing to learn
  • A story to tell
  • The Emotion Thesaurus
  • A good support system that believes in them
  • Also, a good group of critics that teaches them how they can improve

 

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

“The thing is, the average reader doesn’t care about how a book is written, only that the story is good.  If you do both, you’re in great shape.  They won’t know why they love it so much, only that the story is so compelling.” That’s advice on balancing lyricism and telling a good story, directly from Janet Fitch. Although I’m sure I have other gems saved on my phone, that’s the first one that popped into my head.

 

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

I’m not the greatest at self-promotion (raised not to brag, and promoting myself feels a lot like bragging), but I do post excerpts and graphics relating to my content on a lot of social media. I usually use Twitter and Facebook, but sometimes, I use Instagram, as well.

 

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

I’d have to say, I am really proud of my volume of poetry, Soulstice. A lot of heart and soul went into writing those poems. I cried over some of them, and it is amazing to me to see how strongly others react to the poems. My favorite is the first poem in the whole collection. It’s called, “Arson.”

 

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

A Day for the Living, my most recent work, best represents my work. It has compelling characters, a good balance of plot and lyricism, and an interesting story … in my opinion.

 

What are you doing next?

I am working on finishing my novel. It’s with my editor right now, and then it’s up to me to fix what needs revising. While I am sending that off to publishers, I plan on working on a second volume of poetry. I already have part of it started. I’m organizing it, as we speak.

 

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Read, read, read. Don’t take rejection personally. If the story is important for you to tell, for God’s sake, find a way of telling it. Don’t give up. Never give up. It might feel like Hell, but finishing it is so rewarding.

 

Bio: Lucie Guerre is a pseudonym. Lucie is derived from a Latin word meaning “light”, and St. Lucy lost her eyes either through her own volition, through torture, or due to an admirer’s liking of her eyes. I personally love the idea of my writing providing vision to the blind.  Guerre stems from the phrase “nom de guerre”, which essentially means a name of war. Generally, it comes from names chosen in times of combat. Idiomatically, it is another word for a pseudonym. My pseudonym is used mostly with pieces I’m too ashamed (or too afraid) to write under my real name, but I feel like I am stepping into war with a pen as my weapon when I write.

This is where my pen rests as a sword. This is where I do my best to snuff out the shadows and make darkness light.

 

OR (“If you prefer a more traditional bio,” she says, chuckling):

Lucie Guerre Author PictureLucie Guerre (born in 1987) was raised in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri. She began writing at the age of seven, starting with her original work, “Gum Drops, Gum Drops Make Me Hungry and Other Stories.” She has been married to her wonderful husband since September of 2017. They enjoy hiking and cooking together. Lucie enjoys discovering new music and creating collage art and pen-and-ink art, in addition to reading and writing. Since 2017, she has published a volume of poetry and three short stories. She hopes to release her novels, soon.

 

Links:

Lucie’s Facebook Author Page

Lucie’s Twitter

Lucie’s Website

Lucie’s Instagram

Land of Memories Forgotten on Books 2 Read

Shattered Memories on Books 2 Read

A Day for the Living on Books 2 Read

 

© 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

“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

“Imagine” by Joan McNerney

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Imagine

Imagine to be a bird
slicing air with wings.

Up up over that horizon
soaring through clouds
away from solemn earth.

Shining, shimmering
far above this sphere
into clear blue light.

Cutting through sky
gliding over oceans
eyes open all seeing.

Awake all day all night
brushing rushing
against the four winds.

Imagine to be a bird.

 

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

“Outdoor Voices” by Mary Bone

Outdoor voices in trees,
bees buzzing,
birds singing,
in the great outdoors.
Owls are hooting
in the moonlight.
I join my voice with the frogs
who croak at night.
Coyotes howl
in the woods beyond.
Outdoor voices
are all around.

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem is based on the call of spring all around us. Everything around us is celebrating new life and the trees and flowers are so pretty to behold.

 

Author Bio:

Mary Bone CroppedMary Bone has been writing poetry and short stories since the age of twelve. She has written two books of poetry. A few of her poems can be found at https://www.bestpoetry.website/. Her poems have been published in magazines, journals, and other places.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Sundown” by Karen O’Leary

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Sundown

Dakota dust clings
to dad’s sweaty skin.
We bring cold water
& ham sandwiches
to the men working
to get the crops planted.

Today they beat
the storm as steady
rain soaks the parched
soil, nourishing water
for the tiny seeds
they just tucked in.

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem is born of my growing up in rural Minnesota as a child that appreciated the opportunity to share in the farm life on vacations with my cousins. We brought the sandwiches out to those that were working in the fields. Rain was deeply appreciated when the crops were in. I’ve lived in North Dakota for most of my life as an adult. The rural life is a vital part of the Red River Valley.

 

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