Sunday, April 3, 2016

Happy Poetry Month Again!

Yes, it's April, and in the spring a (not-so-) young man's thoughts turn to... writing a poem a day!  This year I'm doing something different. I will try to keep up with Robert Brewer's Poetic Asides Poem-a-Day Challenge, as I always do, but more importantly, I am participating in Tiferet Journal's "Poem-a-thon", another daily poem challenge which is being run as a fund-raiser for the non-profit journal. Tiferet's mission is to convey a sense of spirituality (of any persuasion) through its poetry and prose. It's a highly-regarded journal that I admire (even though they haven't published me - yet), and I'm glad to help out. What I'm asking of my friends and family is to visit the Poem-a-thon page, find my bio, and click to make a donation. I suggest a contribution of $5 or more, which goes directly to the journal, and which will inspire me to write daily. I won't be posting poems here daily as i have done in past years; instead, you can read the poems I produced so far by clicking my name on the Poem-a-thon bio page, Thanks for your help!

Finally, my chapbook, Hits and Sacrifices, is out! I got my author's shipment about a week and a half ago, and to those of you who have pre-ordered it and have waited since early January, I have been assured that your copies are in the mail and should be arriving any time now. If you haven't ordered one yet, you can get it directly from Finishing Line Press or on

I'm glad that April is here to rekindle my poetic production, nut I really need to start submitting more again. My third of three poems written for the Steve McCurry exhibit at the Hickory Art Museum in NC has been presented and put up with the photo that inspired it. The poem is called "Holi Day", and it may eventually end  up on the museum's website, just as my previous poem "The Yemeni Woman Votes" has been posted there.

I've been assisting my wife with a one-day conference for social workers that she has helped organize. She asked me to do a poetry workshop on gratitude, and I had some fair success leading two sessions. I'll be doing it again this week. I'm also looking at the possibility of doing a regular workshop at a local coffee house

Easter was a whirlwind of preparation and entertaining, and spring arrived here very early - my flowering trees (and everyone else's too) are about two or three weeks ahead of time. I saw my first robin of spring in February. (Global warming?)  My youngest son is in Japan for a semester of exchange study, and he is enjoying it immensely.

Poem: I think I'll share one of the poems I wrote for the Poetic Asides challenge:

Fool's Snow

Waking this morning to wind at my window
I rise to see white flakes whipping past.
I am shocked - snow in April? - but then realize
they are petals from my cherry tree
stripped from their blossoms to ride the air.

The cherries have bloomed weeks ahead
of what we consider their schedule,
thus all but ruining cherry tree festivals
all around the region.  I saw the first
robin of spring in February.

There is madness in the weather these days,
and Nature doesn't give a damn
about our preconceptions. If we do nothing,
predictions will be obsolete, and we fools
will be stripped from our trees in the wind.

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