Archives for posts with tag: photography

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Getting the Picture
by d.r. sanchez

After life in rural high school,
before college in the mountains of country roads,
my summer was spent on a corner in Queens.

My daily commute a subway, a bus, a transfer,
and ten-block walk to a lot near a hospital bus stop
where I watched employees and patients.

Some were safe, others harassed, few threatened
yet I was unafraid, protected by the window locks
of the Foto Hut with conditioned air, and no phone.

Just enough room to stand, four feet wide, six deep,
drop off bins under the counter in front of me, film and flash
inventory above, stacked to the ceiling, within easy reach.

I locked up for grilled cheese with pickle and bacon,
for daily lunch at the diner across the street, and an egg cream
which has no egg, has no cream.

Business was slow, the delivery driver stopped
mid-afternoon to pick up, to drop off
what the customers dropped off, picked up.

Books and solitaire to fill the between
and I honed my ability to pry open seals on envelopes
careful that none witnessed me examining the contents.

It was 1978, no selfies, no smart phones or computers
people used cartridges and rolls to capture their exposures
and trusted their private secrets to curious teens.

PHOTO: Artist’s rendering of Fotomat from 1970s — a business similar to the Foto Hut described in the poem.

Sanchez

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have written and rewritten about this job in several ways over the years. I challenged myself to convey my experience as concisely as possible and decided that a poem was the best vehicle to meet that challenge. It brought back memories that made me smile, and some that made me shudder. My cousin Paul got the job for me. Memories are all we have of him now. I dedicate this poem in his memory.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: From left, my cousin Paul, me, his sisters, and my brother (Queens, New York, 1978).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Debra Sanchez has moved over 30 times and has lived in five states in two countries…so far. She leads and attends various writing groups in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area and also hosts writing retreats. Her writing has won awards at writers conferences in various genres, including children’s stories, poetry, fantasy, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Several of her plays and monologues have been produced and published. Other works have been published in literary magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. Visit her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Kelley_College_Photos_Balloon
Osco Drug
by Kelley White

was my first real job
when my summer boyfriend
came to pick me up
the manager asked me to keep
an eye on him. Shoplifting
suspect. Hanging around too
much. But I was the real criminal.
Peeking at the nude pictures
of my neighbors in the one-hour
photo developing lab. You’d be
amazed at the shots people take.

PHOTO: The author in New Hampshire (summer in the 70s).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My first job started out as a cashier at one of the first chain drug stores in our area. I was lucky enough to advance into a kind of specialty position behind the camera counter. My mother took a full-time position at the same store when I went back to school in the fall. I worked about 24 hours evenings and weekends throughout the school year from 14 on. It was my mother’s first job since my birth. We both had to hitch rides there as the family had only one car.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural
 New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals, including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, and JAMA. Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books). She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

Father's Flower Girls
Father’s Flower Girls
by Jeannie E. Roberts

   “Bless you, my darling, and remember you are always in the heart ―
   oh tucked so close there is no chance of escape ― of your sister.”
   ~Katherine Mansfield (1888 – 1923)

Sisters stood steadfast,
beside one another, fused
in a foreground of phlox.

Blossoms imprinted, found
torn and faded, a memory
tucked close to her heart.

Flower girls, he called them,
from a photo once taken.
Now sisters stand distant,

apart. Like the wheel
of seasons, summer releases
its fullness to fall, bows

to the call, departs on its passage,
surrenders, detaches, decays
but recalls―all that’s lost, is found.

This seasonal motion, has essence,
devotion, no escape, exit or door―
flower girls, he called them,

from a photo once taken―
sisters together, blooming forever-
more.

PHOTO: The author (right) and her sister, Mary, near Ellsworth, Wisconsin, circa 1967 or 1968 (image credit: Donald E. Roberts).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This photo was lost for many years, and after finding it I felt more grounded, at peace really. I recall the day my dad took this picture of my sister and me. I was like most kids, not thrilled to be photographed, but our dad insisted on it. He compared us to the phlox that were blooming near our driveway, naming us his “Flower Girls.” I also remember that my grandmother (Gram) displayed this photo on a table next to her favorite reading chair.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeannie E. Roberts writes, draws and paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings. Her fifth book, The Wingspan of Things, a poetry chapbook, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. She is the author of Romp and Ceremony, a full-length poetry collection (Finishing Line Press, 2017), Beyond Bulrush, a full-length poetry collection (Lit Fest Press, 2015), Nature of it All, a poetry chapbook (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and the author and illustrator of Let’s Make Faces!, a children’s book (2009). Her poems appear in online magazines, print journals, and anthologies. Born in Minneapolis, she divides her time between Minnesota and Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley area. Learn more about her at jrcreative.biz.

wood-man-people-men
A Treasure Chest
by Terri Miller

A treasure chest
of whispers from the past
lost.

In a home with
devastating memories!

When my mother and brother
went to their
final resting place.

The family home
was padlocked by
the bank.

It took several years
to obtain entrance
into the home, just

to find rubble three
feet high in
every room.

I frantically looked
room by room, on
my hands and knees,

to find pictures of
memories past.

As I cleaned the
rooms, I reached my
goal.

Recovered the pictures
obtained
foreclosure at last.

PHOTO: “Box of photos” by kaboompics.com, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In July 2016 I returned home to Rhode Island from Florida. Finally, able to settle the estates of my mother and brother. They died in 2012. This process took me four years to enter the family home. In the end all I wanted to retrieve was the pictures.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Terri Miller was born and raised in Rhode Island, but now resides in the country part  of Florida. A country girl at heart, she has been writing since grade school. In 2013, after the death of her brother, her poetry became darkened. Around 2015, the darkness lifted. She is a lover of life’s simpler things. Her inspiration for poetry is rooted in faith and family, in love, nature and words.  She believes life is poetry waiting to be written!  What she looks at seems to make her write. She can’t wait to get her thoughts written down, but it’s not always at the right time, because there are so many other things that she should be doing. Like anything else, she is a work in progress and is presently under Major Construction. She has recently been published in the Awakened Voices literary magazine, Silver Birch Press, and Wild Women’s Medicine Circle. Follow along for inspiration or for simple enjoyment at Mia’s Wisdom and My Poetry Express.

Toner
Snow Duck on the Ides
by Sally Toner

I see the stone creation, smaller than
my neuropathic hand. All thumbs, I stop
and fumble a shot. He’s pocked, throat slit by sleet
and sun, but once upon a time his beak
was bright, the yellow of daffodils that cry
beside him. They’re already dead, whether
cased in glass from weather or man.
The flowerpot man on the corner flashes
with flags on the Fourth of July—a Santa hat
in December; when wind or rowdy kids
destroy, they fix him to resemble human
form again. The duck is different; his grief
is real, compounded and ignored, like poison
in the veins, until the statue, now
a stranger to himself, stares at me,
black spotted face reminding in a whisper
of precipitation, “I’m still here.”

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The Snow Duck (a reflection of the author at present) — March 14, 2017.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Most “lost and found” stories are from a person’s past, but this one literally happened this week. On a very cold, short walk to try and counteract the effects of chemotherapy, I came upon a lawn ornament I have never seen the countless times I’ve been down this path before. It was 70 degrees just last week. There’s no reason why it should be this cold this time of year, and I found myself falling into that self pity trap because I couldn’t even make it halfway around a route I jogged six months ago. Then, walking backwards against the wind, I saw the snow duck and stopped to take a picture. I wondered how long he’d been there, unnoticed. Then it occurred to me that, when awful things happen, we can become unrecognizable even to ourselves. In the end, though, the tiny statue reminded me that, no matter what form I may take in the present, “I’m still here.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sally Toner
is a high school English teacher and mother of two who has lived in the Washington, D.C. area for over 20 years. Her work has appeared in Gargoyle Magazine, The Delmarva Review, and The Great Gatsby Anthology published by Silver Birch Press. You can follow her on Twitter @SallyToner.

white
A Picture of Maud
by Lynn White

I had a sister once.
Her name was Maud.
She never grew old,
never even grew up.

My father cried…

I never knew her,
never even knew of her.
But I know now.
I have a photograph
so I can see her,
picture her as she was.
And I won’t forget that
I had a sister once.
Her name was Maud.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Maud with her brother and our father, about 1923, in Sheffield, England

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: A few years ago my half-brother’s eldest son got back in touch with me via an online family history site. I phoned him and two weeks later he was at my front door. It was the first time we’d met in almost 60 years! He brought with him a load of photos of my father and his first family, which was wonderful — I didn’t even have a photo of my father. The photo here was very special. Until that moment I had never heard of Maud, didn’t know she had existed, had no idea that my father had a daughter as well as a son from his first marriage. It remains a prized possession. I wrote the poem as a tribute to Maud at the time.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 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. Her poem “A Rose For Gaza” was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud “War Poetry for Today” competition 2014. This and many other poems have been published in recent anthologies, including Stacey Savage’s We Are Poetry: An Anthology of Love Poems, Community Arts Ink’s Reclaiming Our Voices, Vagabond Press’s The Border Crossed Us, Civilised Beasts and Vagabonds: Anthology of the Mad Ones from Weasel Press, Alice in Wonderland Anthology from Silver Birch Press, and man other rather excellent online and print journals. Visit her on facebook and at lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com.

copeland
Afterlife
by Beth Copeland

A little girl’s gold shoes
fill with wind-blown sand

left behind as the ocean
leaves at tide’s edge—lightning

whelks, scallops, angel
wings—to remind me that my body

will be filled with light as I wade
barefoot into waves.

SOURCE: An earlier (and longer) version was published in Of Sun and Sand by Kind of a Hurricane Press in 2013.

PHOTO: Little Girl’s Shoes, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina (photo by Beth Copeland).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: On a visit to Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina, I was looked for shells and found some abandoned shoes a little girl had left in the sand. I wondered about the child the shoes belonged to. Why did she leave them? Was she sad that she’d lost her pretty gold shoes? I took a photograph of the shoes and later wrote the poem.

beth copeland

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Beth Copeland’s second book Transcendental Telemarketer (BlazeVOX books, 2012) received the runner up award in the North Carolina Poetry Council’s 2013 Oscar Arnold Young Award for best poetry book by a North Carolina writer. Her first book Traveling through Glass received the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award. Her poems have been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including The Atlanta Review, New Millennium Writings, The North American Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Poet’s Market, Rattle, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Tar River Poetry, and The Wide Shore: A Journal of Global Women’s Poetry. She has been profiled as poet of the week on the PBS NewsHour web site. Copeland is an assistant professor of English at Methodist University in Fayetteville. She lives in a log cabin with her husband in North Carolina.

Alford-Gagnon
Lens (a haibun)
by Elizabeth Alford and Chase Gagnon

Would that I could see the beauty in the crumbling of remains of this city: in the broken windows and smoggy skylines eclipsing urban life; in traffic signs and bullet shells and train stations resembling cathedrals; in the graffitied walls of factories, or old men sleeping on the streets. Would that I could hold a camera so steadily; with your certainty, precision, integrity. Would that I could wait ’til the light is just right to capture moments both light and dark — to see the world with open eyes, shutter, and heart.

city haze…
the homeless child wishes
for stars

PHOTO CAPTION: Two people coming together digitally (6/12/16, Detroit, Michigan).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHORS: A haibun is a piece of prose or prose poetry followed by a haiku/senryu that adds an extra layer of mood or meaning. The senryu included here, “city haze,” first appeared in Chase’s e-chapbook No Regrets (soon to be available in print). As a couple, Elizabeth and Chase frequently find inspiration in each other; and though Chase is very humble about his photography skills, Elizabeth greatly envies his talent.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
AlfordElizabeth Alford is a magna cum laude graduate of California State University, East Bay (B.A. English, 2014). She currently lives in Hayward, California, is an amateur photographer, and spends much of her time writing Japanese short forms of poetry. Her work has recently appeared at Silver Birch Press, Hedgerow, and Failed Haiku. Follow her poetry adventure Facebook.

Gagnon

Chase Gagnon is a twentysomething city boy exploring the streets of Detroit during its renaissance, looking for moments to snap. His poems and photos have appeared in magazines all over the world such as Failed Haiku, Prune Juice, and Frogpond. His chapbook No Regrets has been highly praised in Blithe Spirit, the journal of the British Haiku Society. You can view many of his photos on Facebook.

nancy drew 1 4 30 16

By popular request — including from members of the Nancy Drew Sleuths fan club — we have extended the submissions deadline to Sunday, 5/22/16 for our NANCY DREW ANTHOLOGY. (We are also trying to address a mix-up, where the listing was eliminated on Duotrope — a writers’ resource site — then reinstated.)

Since her 1930 appearance in The Secret of the Old Clock, amateur sleuth Nancy Drew has inspired generations of girls — including this one — with her moxie, intelligence, determination, but most of all independence. After 86 years, Nancy Drew is as popular as ever — with avid fans around the world.

Let’s celebrate this female icon and role model with the NANCY DREW ANTHOLOGY: A Collection of Poetry, Prose, Art & Photography Featuring Everyone’s Favorite Female Sleuth. 

WHAT: Poetry, prose, paintings, drawings, photographs, and other work inspired by Nancy Drew.

TYPES OF WRITTEN MATERIAL: 

  • Poems (up to three — either original work or found/erasure poetry based on a Nancy Drew book)
  • Short stories (up to 2,000 words)
  • Essays (up to 1,500 words)
  • Creative nonfiction (up to 2,000 words)
  • Short plays or screenplays (approximately five typed pages)
  • Other literary forms (up to 2,000 words)

TYPES OF VISUAL MATERIAL (send jpg files of at least 1MB):

  • Photographs
  • Collage
  • Paintings
  • 
Drawings

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Sunday, May 22, 2016

ESTIMATED RELEASE DATE: Summer 2016

HOW TO SUBMIT: Please email written entries as MSWord attachments (title the file with your last name, e.g., Smith.docx or Jones.doc) and visual entries as jpg attachments to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com, along with your name, mailing address, email address, and one-paragraph bio written in the third person. (If submitting a found poem or erasure poem, provide the title, edition, and publication date of the Nancy Drew book. If the erasure is taken from one page, please also provide scan of original erasure.) For all submissions, write NANCY in email subject line. (Note: If you don’t have MSWord, send the submission in the body of your email.)

PAYMENT: Each contributor will receive a copy of the Silver Birch Press NANCY DREW ANTHOLOGY.

NOTE: The submissions will appear exclusively in a printed edition and will not appear on our blog.

SHOUT OUT: A heartfelt thank you to Jennifer Finstrom, whose poem “Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life” in our ME, IN FICTION Series and the subsequent enthusiastic feedback we received about it from readers, inspired this collection.

Cover image by Elizabeth Stark, used by permission. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: NANCY DREW is a registered mark of Simon & Schuster, Inc. This book and the contents thereof are not endorsed by, sponsored by or affiliated with Carolyn Keene, the author of the NANCY DREW series, or its publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc.

nancy drew 1 4 30 16

By popular request — including from members of the Nancy Drew Sleuths fan club — we have extended the submissions deadline to Sunday, 5/22/16 for our NANCY DREW ANTHOLOGY.

Since her 1930 appearance in The Secret of the Old Clock, amateur sleuth Nancy Drew has inspired generations of girls — including this one — with her moxie, intelligence, determination, but most of all independence. After 86 years, Nancy Drew is as popular as ever — with avid fans around the world.

Let’s celebrate this female icon and role model with the NANCY DREW ANTHOLOGY: A Collection of Poetry, Prose, Art & Photography Featuring Everyone’s Favorite Female Sleuth. 

WHAT: Poetry, prose, paintings, drawings, photographs, and other work inspired by Nancy Drew.

TYPES OF WRITTEN MATERIAL: 

  • Poems (up to three — either original work or found/erasure poetry based on a Nancy Drew book)
  • Short stories (up to 2,000 words)
  • Essays (up to 1,500 words)
  • Creative nonfiction (up to 2,000 words)
  • Short plays or screenplays (approximately five typed pages)
  • Other literary forms (up to 2,000 words)

TYPES OF VISUAL MATERIAL (send jpg files of at least 1MB):

  • Photographs
  • Collage
  • Paintings
  • 
Drawings

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Sunday, May 22, 2016

ESTIMATED RELEASE DATE: Summer 2016

HOW TO SUBMIT: Please email written entries as MSWord attachments (title the file with your last name, e.g., Smith.docx or Jones.doc) and visual entries as jpg attachments to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com, along with your name, mailing address, email address, and one-paragraph bio written in the third person. (If submitting a found poem or erasure poem, provide the title, edition, and publication date of the Nancy Drew book. If the erasure is taken from one page, please also provide scan of original erasure.) For all submissions, write NANCY in email subject line. (Note: If you don’t have MSWord, send the submission in the body of your email.)

PAYMENT: Each contributor will receive a copy of the Silver Birch Press NANCY DREW ANTHOLOGY.

NOTE: The submissions will appear exclusively in a printed edition and will not appear on our blog.

SHOUT OUT: A heartfelt thank you to Jennifer Finstrom, whose poem “Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life” in our ME, IN FICTION Series and the subsequent enthusiastic feedback we received about it from readers, inspired this collection.

Cover image by Elizabeth Stark, used by permission. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: NANCY DREW is a registered mark of Simon & Schuster, Inc. This book and the contents thereof are not endorsed by, sponsored by or affiliated with Carolyn Keene, the author of the NANCY DREW series or its publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc.