Archives for category: I Am Waiting

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Thank you to the 137 poets from 16 countries and 32 states who contributed their writing to the Silver Birch Press I AM WAITING Poetry Series, which ran from 12/1/14 to 1/31/15 to honor Lawrence Ferlinghetti‘s 1958 poem of the same name and celebrate the author’s 96th birthday on March 24, 2015.

Our appreciation to…

Terry Adams (California)
Jose A. Alcantara (Colorado)
Tobi Alfier (California)
R. Allinson (California)
Sylvia Ashby (Texas)
Suzanne Bailie (Washington)
Michael Baldwin (Texas)
Magdalena Ball (Australia)
Alessandra Bava (Italy)
Bear (New York)
RK Biswas (India)
Michele Bombardier (Washington)
Brenton Booth (Australia)
Carly Bryson (Texas)
Kathy Buckert (New York)
Brinda Buljore (France)
Eric Burke (Ohio)
Jeff Burt (California)
Fern G. Z. Carr (Canada)
Alexandra Carr-Malcolm (United Kingdom)
Sarah Chenoweth (Kansas)
James Ciletti (Colorado)
Joan Colby (Illinois)
Dawn Corrigan (Florida)
Anthony Costello (United Kingdom)
Matt Daly (Wyoming)
Lynn DeTurk (California)
Maureen E. Doallas (Virginia)
Marcie Eanes (Wisconsin)
Barbara Eknoian (California)
Merrill Farnsworth (Tennessee)
Merlene Fawdry (Australia)
Claire T. Feild (Alabama)
Paul Fericano (California)
Jennifer Finstrom (Illinois)
Diane Funston (Nevada)
Jerry Garcia (California)
Tim Gardiner (United Kingdom)
Kerianne Methe Gardner (New Mexico)
Anggo Genorga (United Arab Emirates)
Phillip Giambri (New York)
Gary Glauber (New York)
S. Darlene Gray (Alabama)
S.Eta Grubešić (Croatia)
Mike Gullickson (Texas)
Joyce Gullickson (Texas)
Scott Gutches (Colorado)
Gabor G Gyukics (Hungary)
Hedy Habra (Michigan)
Stephanie Barbé Hammer (California)
Marianne Hales Harding (Utah)
Alan D. Harris (Michigan)
Nancy Jean Hill (New Hampshire)
Trish Hopkinson (Utah)
I.B. (Bunny) Iskov (Canada)
Rosemarie Horvath Iwasa (Ohio)
Richard D. Houff (Minnesota)
Mathias Jansson (Sweden)
Sonja Johanson (Massachusetts)
Daniel Kaczmarek (New York)
Laura M Kaminski (Missouri)
Jane Karina
Sasha Kasoff (California)
Mignon Ariel King (Massachusetts)
Merie Kirby (North Dakota)
Karissa Knox Sorrell (Tennessee)
Laurie Kolp (Texas)
Paula J. Lambert (Ohio)
Katelyn Leboff (Tennessee)
John B. Lee (Canada)
Kate Leigh (New Hampshire)
Charles Levenstein (Massachusetts)
Lennart Lundh (Illinois)
Laura MacDonald (Canada)
Susan Mahan (Massachusetts)
Ricki Mandeville (California)
Adrian Manning (United Kingdom)
Katie Manning (California)
Gloria Denice Manthos (Maryland)
Michael Mark (California)
Susan Marsh (Wyoming)
S. A. McCormick (Canada)
Catfish McDaris (Wisconsin)
Daniel McGinn (California)
Stephen McGuinness (Ireland)
Carlos E. Mijares Poyer (Venezuela)
Cameron Miller (Vermont)
Mark J. Mitchell (California)
Sarah Frances Moran (Texas)
Robbi Nester (California)
Perry S. Nicholas (New York)
Lawrence James Nielsen (California)
Honey Novick (Canada)
Lindsay Oberst (California)
Suzanne O’Connell (California)
Dustin Pickering (Texas)
David S. Pointer (Tennessee)
Nalini Priyadarshni (India)
Jennifer J. Pruiett-Selby (Iowa)
Misti Rainwater-Lites (Texas)
Patrick T. Reardon (Illinois)
Alexandra Rebuck (Pennsylvania)
Brad Rose (Massachusetts)
Roslyn Ross (Australia)
Daniel Eduardo Ruiz (Florida)
Ki Russell (Oregon)
Rizwan Saleem (United Arab Emirates)
Shloka Shankar (India)
Sheikha A. (Pakistan)
Ronald E. Shields (New York)
e. smith sleigh (Kentucky)
J.J. Steinfeld (Canada)
Massimo Soranzio (Italy)
Carol A. Stephen (Canada)
Caitlin Stern (Texas)
Scott Stoller (Illinois)
Price Strobridge (Colorado)
Debi Swim (West Virginia)
Lynn Tait (Canada)
Jeri Thompson (California)
Jari Thymian (South Dakota)
Bunkong Tuon (New York)
Mark Tully (Rhode Island)
Richard Vargas (New Mexico)
Prasanta Verma (Wisconsin)
Lourdes Veronica (Italy)
Daniel von der Embse (California)
Larry Wahler (Illinois)
James Walton (Australia)
Mercedes Webb-Pullman (New Zealand)
Lynn White (Wales)
Connie Wieneke (Wyoming)
Lisa Wiley (New York)
Martin Willitts Jr (New York)
Melissa A. Wood (New York)
Fred Zirm (Maryland)

Photo of Lawrence Ferlinghetti by Christopher Michel (2012).

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WAITING I AM by Mathias Jansson

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The visual poem is composed of  three tables mounted in three lucky wheels. I suppose a fair such as Coney Island has Lucky Wheels. The wheels could symbolise waiting but also the possibilities of combining and creating new verses in the poem from the selected words.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mathias Jansson is a Swedish art critic and poet. He has contributed with visual poetry to magazines such as Lex-ICON, Anatematiskpress, Quarter After #4, and Maintenant 8: A Journal of Contemporary Dada. He has also published a chapbook at this is visual poetry and contributed with erasure poetry to anthologies from Silver Birch Press. Visit him at mathiasjansson72.blogspot.se, or his author’s page at Amazon.com.

NOTE: This is the final entry in the Silver Birch Press I AM WAITING Poetry Series, which ran from Dec. 1, 2014 to Jan. 31, 2015. The series pays homage to Lawrence Ferlinghetti‘s seminal poem of the same name — and commemorates Ferlinghetti’s 96th birthday on March 24, 2015. Cheers!

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I WAIT FOR A NEW WORLD
by Lynn Tait

I wait for the discovery of a new frontier,
          straight up and flying,
          no war of the worlds,
          anarchy to wither away,
          a perpetual rebirth.

I wait for the Second Coming,
          a revival, sweeping wrath away,
          God’s supper served
          to an army of the meek.

I wait for forests and animals
          to reclaim the earth,
          to destroy all nations
          without killing anybody.

I wait for a planet of lovers and weepers
          to lie down together,
          no axe to grind;
          a happiness reconstructed
          with tv rights lost to music.

I wait for clarity, in a wonderland
          where the darkest tower grows
          new each morning in green fields,
          to strains of unpremeditated poems
          embracing a forever renaissance

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  My erasure version of “I Am Waiting” is wishful and whimsical, but I managed to keep a social/political slant to the poem. Ferlinghetti’s poem is just as relevant now as it was the then.

IMAGE: “Edna St. Vincent Millay” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. For more information, visit georgekrevskygallery.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynn Tait is an award-winning poet and photographer residing in Sarnia, Ontario. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines including the Windsor Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Quills Literary Magazine and in over 70 anthologies from Canada and the U.S. She published a chapbook Breaking Away, in 2002 and a book with four other poets, Encompass I, in 2013.

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WHILE WAITING FOR CHOCOLATE
AT CONEY ISLAND CANDY STAND

by Price Strobridge

While waiting in this long sandy line,

I shuffle along with a throng of sugar-low shufflers,
& I read in long faces my need to read. While
Waiting, my cravings rave . . .

I Read of Sad Death
―but
Roar voracious urges for more & more, &
more sweet surging chocolate storms . . . I

Murmur luscious warming whispers, produce sweet

Love beneath my hungry flaming skin. —I’m swept,

Splashing into frothing tangy summer-sizzled lingo ―

Heaving as my august peach-moan-lusts
ripen & my plump-graped tongue

Drives deep, its purpled-diamond-faceted visions
to drape capacious skies & my indigo

Cries “Oh Beauty, Oh Love—
I will never, leave you!”

Howl to sweat together sweetly, one more sweet amore,
a magnum-opus in the Garden’s
lathered honeyed-symphony of

Love yet, while I wait & wait & wait I think of eyes
& mouths & lips & doors & I
Purge with salty sea-foam

Sobs my few squinted-sad-eyed
narrow hows&whys . . . I
Ache but briefly, all those wasted
weighted hollow shadow-fears,

Then can wait no longer, I,

I Rush Oh Rush! Yes Rush!!

Toward another bite of lively lovely levity —

Chocolate.

price_strobridge

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Price Strobridge is a Colorado Springs poet laureate emeritus. As a young man, Price purchased a copy of Lawrence Ferlinghetti‘s A Coney Island of the Mind in the late 1960s from a Manhattan bookstore and was immediately smitten by this beat poet. Price Strobridge has performed Ferlinghetti’s Poem 15 in many public venues through the years.

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LOST SOCK
by Alan D. Harris

We’re always searching
for the lost sock
its partner and me
hoping for a reunion
We’ve waited days
weeks
once nine months
for its return
Fearing to ask
where it’s been
who it was with
or why it left
Until what remains
is silence
emptiness
and adventures unshared

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Unlike Lawrence Ferlinghetti [author of “I Am Waiting”] I am no longer waiting for the rebirth of wonder in others. That will never happen in my lifetime. But that’s okay. Wonder has been reborn in me. But I do listen to the silent voices of friends, family, and total strangers who whisper in the darkness who and what they are waiting for.

IMAGE: “Lost Socks” by Mark Satchwill. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alan D. Harris writes short stories, plays, and poetry based primarily upon the life-stories of friends, family and total strangers. Harris is the 2011 recipient of the Stephen H. Tudor Scholarship in Creative Writing and the 2014 John Clare Poetry Prize winner from Wayne State University. In addition he is the father of seven, grandfather of six, as well as a Pushcart Prize nominee in both 2013 and 2014.

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CONTRADICTIONS
by Nancy Jean Hill

I am waiting for my numbers to go down —
the ones that go up with too much eating and age
and I am waiting for wings or maybe a crown

I am waiting to be seen, for applause to be loud —
and I am waiting to die, to be freed from this cage
I am waiting for my numbers to go down

I am waiting for my eyes to go from blue to brown —
to look more like my mother, keeping my father away
and I am waiting for wings or maybe a crown

I am waiting for the rain, and I am waiting for a drought —
I am waiting for a knight to make me a dame
and I am waiting for my numbers to go down

I am waiting to succeed, to stand out from the crowd —
and I am waiting to fail, more food for my rage
I am waiting for wings or maybe a crown

I want to be silent and at the same time shout —
I want to write boldly on every page
I am waiting for my numbers to go down
I am waiting for wings or maybe a crown

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  This is a new poem, inspired by this prompt and rereading Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “I am Waiting.”  Although I write many free verse poems, writing in form often helps me take leaps I might not otherwise have taken, especially when the subject matter is personal.

IMAGE: “A Crown” by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nancy Jean Hill is the author of the chapbook BERYLLIUM DIARY (Pudding House, 2007), a collection of poems that speaks to the tragedy of industrial disease. Her poems have also appeared in several literary journals, including CALYX, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women; Pheobe; Omphalos; Concrete Wolf; Slipstream; and The Café Review. Hill is very active in the Seacoast, New Hampshire, poetry community and has been nominated two times for Portsmouth Poet Laureate. She lives in Stratham, New Hampshire, with the poet Bill Burtis.

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WAITING FOR CHANGE
by Kathy Buckert

I’ve waited for the possibility I’d change, not for me but for you.
I know who I am, I accept it.
But I also know who you are and you don’t.
Now, I am waiting for you to see I am divinely created.
I am waiting for you to see I am fearfully and wonderfully made
I am waiting for you to see past my ugliness,
the madness that creeps into your healthy mind.
I am waiting for the infinite possibilities of my moods to
stop raging against your black and white reality.
I am waiting for the deepness of my despair to
stop leading you to your booze and video games.
I am waiting for my mania and moments of exultation
to stop creeping into the center of your utmost fear,
simply because you cannot control it.
I am waiting for you to see the beautiful me, not on the outside
like a trophy on the mantle to admire or to have on your
arm admired by your friends.
I am waiting for the fulfillment of my lingering desires, an anticipation
constantly postponed because I am lost in the chasm of your longings, not mine.
I know who I am. Now, I am waiting for you to see the prettiness of my soul.
To be the man who took me for better or for worse.
To stand by my side when the storm rages inside me.
To love the moments when I am rapturous.
To pull me up out of the depths of my despondency.
Now I am waiting for you to change, not me.

IMAGE: “The Hesitation Waltz” by René Magritte (1950)/

Kathy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathy Buckert holds a Master’s Degree in Education from St. Michael’s College in Vermont. She also holds an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Goddard College’s low residency program in Plainfield, Vermont. Her work has appeared in Stories: The Magazine, The Barefoot Review, Riverlit, The Blue Hour, Black Mirror Magazine, Electric Rather, and other publications. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York.

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Waiting for the rock to sing
by Susan Marsh

I am waiting for the rock to stir
as it has waited to do since
a glacier unceremoniously dumped it
on this lakeshore.
I am waiting for the rock,
cold and unyielding beneath me,
to warm with the faintest trace
of pulse, to tell me stories of
its eons-long sojourn
from pluton to beach sand.

I am drawn to places
that have no reason
to draw me. This table-sized heft
of granite lies far from the trail,
not the best view of the lake
and mountains rising beyond.
I am drawn to the wonder of swans’ wings
cutting through a November sky,
the reflected light of lake water
dancing in the shadows,
the chorus of cliffs in the wind
singing from the mountainside.

Today the sky lacks swans,
the light sits out this dance
and no wind tears music from the cliffs.
This rock has sung its song forever
but I did not know the words.
The miraculous does not wait for me.
Fog peels back like a rind
from the mountain front,
revealing fresh snow,
a skim of ice at the shoreline,
the surface of the lake
besilvered with dawn.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem began as an older draft that I had set aside until a member of my poet’s group mentioned this I Am Waiting anthology and read a poem he was working on. I liked the idea, loved Lawrence’s original poem, and decided to put it to work on my stagnant idea. In this poem, I am attempting to reflect Mr. Ferlinghetti’s struggle between what one sees and is angered by and the wonder of life that we so often forget to notice. Instead of political dilemmas which often do nothing but anger and do not inspire poetry (at least in my case), I am trying to play with a more subtle idea, of expecting the miraculous while participating in it all along.

IMAGE: “Canyon Walls, Yellowstone” by Thomas Moran (1871).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Marsh is an award-winning writer living in Jackson, Wyoming. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Orion, North American Review, and Fourth Genre, and anthologies such as Solo (Seal Press, 2005), and A Mile in Her Boots (Solas House, 2006). Her books include War Creek (MP Publishing, 2014) and A Hunger for High Country (Oregon State University Press, 2014).

cliff-near-dieppe-in-the-morning
waiting for dreams to end
by e. smith sleigh

I read or heard if you hit the ground in your dreams you will die in your sleep

at the rim of some precipice some building’s edge some cliff face teetering waiting for the shift the tenuous balance the tip over the final fall the plummet into the unknown strength or death at the end of the run

what compelled me why did I approach the edge allow the danger did I manufacture it or did others I never hit the ground or water the surface beneath me never breaks the hurt never manifests in my dreams death never comes I grab something I back up I fly I do not fall

I heard if you hit the ground in your dreams you will die in your sleep

the other night in a dream on a bridge I lunged plunged drove into the water sunk hit the bottom escaped the car pushed upward toward the surface air freedom end of another dream or is it I’m waiting

I’d run but I can’t my dreams paralyze me

IMAGE: “Cliff Near Dieppe in the Morning” by Claude Monet (1897).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: e. smith sleigh writes poetry and historical fiction. She was educated at the universities of Delaware and Michigan, taught at the college level, and has traveled extensively. She now lives in Robert Penn Warren country. Within the year, her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Paper Darts, Squalorly, Kumquat Poetry, Kaleidoscope, the Fukushima Response Bay Area poetry project, Words Fly Away, Pankhearst’s Slimline Volume: No Love Lost, the 4th Issue of PRISM Ekphrasis, and The Criterion, Vol. 5, issue 5. On her website she blogs about Post Structuralism and Poetry.

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TRYING
by Jennifer J. Pruiett-Selby

I used to hope for a window
clear of the plus sign now all I want
is a latent beacon of promise

We used to say trying is the fun part
Now trying means hCG injections
and I’m feeling more than a little bipolar

I subject myself to these shots—the natural course
but nature has nothing to do with popping hormones
though I prefer this method to the next steps

Three years later, twelve near-misses
our babies—just blood in the stool
not even 1 fetus to bury

I’m consumed; I dream of plump cheeks
my waves & your color, eyes like aggies
of jewel, gifted in math, an early reader

Trips downtown to Dr. Wiccan’s for
acupuncture and spiritual healings
stone messages, couples’ yoga

I’m tired, but still no closer. Oh,
imagine if when it works—the
specialist bills won’t even matter

We go for walks, spend afternoons
watching kids, their moms and dads,
unaware of their blessings

I don’t allow the use of certain words:
infertile, premature, ectopic, miscarriage,
Rejection. Loss. Futile. Barren. Empty.

We stop waiting. We stop talking
about the process, the treatments,
the failure, the babies, and the deaths

I take one more test. One final test.
One last moment waiting for a sign
of life. Uncross my fingers, and I see
two lines

IMAGE: “Baby” by Gustave Klimt (1917).

FB Profile Jennifer 2-13

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A woman of contradictions, Jennifer J. Pruiett-Selby joined the military to find peace. She lives a life of anything but intrigue with her husband, poet Jason Selby, and five children in rural Iowa. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Calyx, Red River Review, Rust + Moth, and Black Denim Lit,  among others. She was the featured author for March 2014 in Lunch Ticket Magazine‘s monthly issue of “Amuse-Bouche.” Her search for peace continues in the form of meditation through writing.