Archives for posts with tag: spring

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Ode to Spring
by Jo Taylor

Open the door to springtime
to strawberries debuting
in raised beds of earth,
their red heads peeking
from under tender foliage.
Greet show-stopping tulips,
chins up and chests out,
standing at attention, ready
to salute the sky. Throw the
gate wide to mockingbird’s
early morning trill, to tender
Zephyr winds and caressing sun
and April’s rain on clothes and
eyelashes. Hail the budding
birches, skint from winter’s
abuse, birds’ nests nestled high
on naked branches, moss
embedding trunks like inkblots.
Welcome, Ruby Reds and Pink
Lace and ornamental dogwoods,
their blood-stained flowers
and crown of thorns acclaiming
another spring, another open door.
O grave, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?

Horses
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jo Taylor is a retired, 35-year English teacher from Georgia. Her favorite genre to teach high school students was poetry, and today she dedicates more time to writing it — her major themes focused on family, place, and faith. She says she feels compelled to write, to give testimony to the past and to her heritage. She has been published in The Ekphrastic Review,  Silver Birch Press, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, and Poets Online.

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The lovely month of May is here! While many (or most!) of us are sheltering in place and missing many of spring’s delights, we hope to offer a remedy — a FREE KINDLE version of our May Poetry Anthology (available from 5/1-5/5/2020). Originally issued in a full-color paperback version in 2014, this 84-page collection features 31 poems about May in its many forms, along with thirty-one full-color paintings by Gustav Klimt.

BACKGROUND: The May Anthology is a response to our previous call for submissions requesting poems where the word “may” appears in the text. In the collection, many of the poems speak of May-related subjects  — flowers, birds, and spring  — while others range in topics from dark to light, with the word “may” buried somewhere in the text. Some of the poems display sly humor — and more than one poet has fun with the word “mayhem.” The collection also features four erasure poems and one found poem.

It’s always fascinating to see the type of material that evolves from a random starting point — and the word “may” has the kind of ambiguity that sparks the creative mind to action. It’s a noun (a woman’s name, a month of the year) and a verb (“expressing possibility or opportunity”). It’s part of other words (Mayflower, mayor, mayonnaise, Mayan). Scramble the letters and it spells Amy. Read it backwards, and it’s yam. Yes, May is meaningful, versatile, mysterious, and fascinating. And it has its very own collection of 31 poems — one for each day of the month!

Featured poets (in alphabetical order): Thom Amundsen, Brinda Buljore, Joan L. Cannon, Mary-Marcia Casoly, Allison Chaney, Subhankar Das, Daniel Patrick Delaney, Deborah DuBois, Paul Fericano, Adelle Foley, Jack Foley, Philip Gordon, Benjamin Grossman, Donna Hilbert, Clara Hsu, Mathias Jansson, J.I. Kleinberg, Roz Levine, Tamara Madison, Karen Massey, Catfish McDaris, Victoria McGrath, Marcia Meara, Paul Nebenzahl, Gerald Nicosia, D.A. Pratt, Hayley Rickaby, Disha Dinesh Sahni, Joan Jobe Smith, Caitlin Stern, Jacque Stukowski.

Find your FREE Kindle version at Amazon.com. (You don’t need a Kindle to read the book — if you have an Amazon account, you can view it on your computer.) 

Happy spring!

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in the measure of spring
by Joseph A. Farina

outside the open door
half the horizon
holds up an illusory sky
barren fields melting
form their own inviolate border
a lone raven lifts its wings
a shadow over muddy mirrors

stacked summer chairs wait
to be used again defrosting
in the returned sunshine

the air whispers a tentative welcome
the scene floating weightless
mirage-like change begins
the resurrection unfolding before tired eyes
the contours of earth reappearing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joseph A Farina is a retired lawyer in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Several of his poems have been published in  Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, Ascent ,Subterranean  Blue  and in The Tower Poetry Magazine, Inscribed, The Windsor Review, Boxcar Poetry Revue , and appears in the anthology Sweet Lemons: Writings with a Sicilian Accent, and in the anthology Witness from Serengeti Press. He has had poems published in the U.S. magazines Mobius, Pyramid Arts, Arabesques, Fiele-Festa, Philedelphia Poets, and  Memoir (and)  as well as in the Silver Birch Press “Me, at Seventeen”  Series. He has had two books of poetry published—The Cancer Chronicles  and The Ghosts of Water Street.

Russell - front door
Front Door Denizens
by Sarah Russell

The door itself is nondescript, a faded forest green, like others in the complex. Yesterday I hung our cherry blossom wreath on its hook, dancing pink blossoms against the dark panel. The remnants of our finches’ old nest⸺intricate grass lace and a bit of mud for glue⸺hide in the silk flowers. The finches come back every spring, and this morning, there they were, flitting from porch to maple tree, warbling a love song, as if they’d been waiting for their wreath, our door. While they’re in residence, we’ll put a note on the post asking folks to come round to the back.

old nest with new life
open mouths searching, peeping
daffodils in bloom

Russell, finch nest

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The Haibun form seemed perfect for telling about the finch family who leases our front door and wreath every year. The above photo is of their eggs last spring.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Russell’s poetry and fiction have been published in Kentucky Review, Red River Review, Misfit Magazine, Silver Birch Press, Rusty Truck, Third Wednesday, and other journals and anthologies. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her first poetry collection, I lost summer somewhere, was published in 2019 by Kelsay Books. A second collection, Today and Other Seasons, will be published by Kelsay this summer. She blogs at SarahRussellPoetry.net.

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Flavours of May
by Brinda Buljore

blending textures of
seasoning sunshine
together with winter hues
 
tall filaments become
seeds of luck and
petals of fate
 
kneading the dough
of fright and faith
into malleable stars
 
substance thin
like muslin yet
resistant as silk
 
May morning brings
stamina and vigour
rolling down the stairs
 
bridging the taste
within the flavours of life
to the pestle of destiny

ABOUT THE POET/PHOTOGRAPHER: Brinda Buljore is a writer and artist who lives in Paris.

PHOTO: “Muguet, French Moments” by Brinda Buljore, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

NOTE: King Charles IX of France received lily of the valley (muguet) flowers as a lucky charm on May 1, 1561. He liked the gift and decided to present the flowers — known for their delightful scent — to the ladies of his court each year on May 1. Around 1900, men started to bring their sweethearts bouquets of lily of the valley flowers as a symbol of springtime. On April 23, 1919, the eight-hour working day was officially introduced in France, and May 1 became a public holiday. May Day was not observed during World War II, but again became a public holiday in 1947. May 1 officially became known as La Fête du Travail (Labor Day) on April 29, 1948. In France, May 1st remains an occasion to present lily of the valley flowers to loved ones.

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WHILE IT WAS MAY . . . 
by Disha Dinesh Sahni

For my eyes were bright
And the Sun blinked away
While, it was May.
My blue cloak was busy painting the sky,
The green mantle shading the grass.

For my eyes were still
And the trees went away.
While, it was May
My cheeks were blushing the apple red
My heart filling the semblance with love

For my eyes were raining
And the world rejuvenated away.
While, it was May
My tears dewed the grass
Tenebrous tresses embroiling with the empyrean

For my eyes were opened
And the night henced away!
While, it was May!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Disha Dinesh Sahni is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Production Engineering from Jabalpur Engineering College in India. Currently a poetess at Keynotes Poets and writers, Sacramento, California, she is an author at Creative Talents Unleashed.

PAINTING: “The Maypole” by Peter Miller. Prints available at fineartamerica.com. Read more about the maypole at wikipedia.org.

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PLANNING MAY
by Paul Nebenzahl

(Forth from pen the plan unfolds
I am mapping the light fantastic, the
End of April teasing me with cool
Nights and teary-eyed dream-pen days
Calming out air-traveling thoughts + a dew-stalking lens)

May’s start

Running to Vienna down
Streets transferred buck to sole
And into the yellow fields, a black cloth over hidden murder camps
Listening to the Gypsy wind, standing with
Fired clay in pockets, with hands outstretched

by May mid month

I’m moving east packing enchanted boxes my fingers tapping
Head laying astride up old Hudson River, water flowing south
Jimmied out Nyack across the water steady rocking
Our light travels water west to Edward Hopper’s house
Gifting ‘round our world Rex-ly miracle color-y eyes

I Hope May

To plant two gardens, to elongate splashed flair hues @ waterside Sleepy Hollow
+ Plant in Asheville, North Carolina what needs my hands, there
Where the road to nowhere
Has never been more determined
To end up somewhere

As May ends

All my dreams will come true and still where is the vanished, vanquished plane?
June will unfold we’ll be looking ‘neath ocean for that plane on the floor, then
I will be the water thundering the rocking boats under your willows
Whistling up the ever windy ‘long craggy Palisades aft fore
That comes my pretty penny way

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Nebenzahl is a writer, musician, and painter who lives in Evanston, Illinois, and Sleepy Hollow, New York. As a performing multi-instrumentalist, and composer, Paul has created works for film and television, and has performed extensively in theater, stage, and club settings. In 2012, Paul’s poem “Gusen Station” was published in English, Italian and German by the International Committee for Mauthausen and Gusen. His poem “Charles Bukowski” appears in the Silver Birch Press Bukowski Anthology (2013) and “Here’s to the Singer of Songs” is featured in the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology (2013). He is the author of Black Shroud with Rainbow Fringes: Poems 2010-2013 (Silver Birch Press, 2014), available at Amazon.com.

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OH! THAT WE TWO WERE MAYING (Excerpt)
by Charles Kingsley

Oh! that we two were Maying
Down the stream of the soft spring breeze;
Like children with violets playing
In the shade of the whispering trees.

MORE: Read “Oh! That We Two Were Maying” by Charles Kingsley in its entirety at poemhunter.com.

IMAGE: “Spring Violets on White” by Elena Elisseeva. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charles Kingsley (1919-1875) was a priest of the Church of England, university professor, historian, poet, and novelist. His novel Westward Ho! led to the founding of a town by the same name (the only place name in England that contains an exclamation mark).

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Grey (doesn’t always) Matter
by Jacque Stukowski

G is for this dull grey April day.

The blanket of solid clouds as far as the eye can see, dampens my mood severely. Even just a thought of small ray of May sunshine gives me the tiniest glimmer of hope that my grey-matter is so desperately in need of now.

As I sit staring out at the frigid, icy waters of the Fox River, the ducks seem immune to the dark slate skies. The Mergansers are back in town, and as the dive and duck under the cool semi-flowing waters, they seem glad to be back to this river they call home. Their quacks tell me that spring is coming soon-but not today.

The horizon speaks of what looms, yet those dark gloomy storm clouds can’t suppress the many signs that spring is near.

The ducks arrival on the river, small buds forming on the trees, birds chirping happy sounds, the cool crisp Northern air smell sweet like spring dew.

Even while my mood is somber from the blanket of grey overhead, I wrap myself up in these other signs of spring, knowing that even the forecasted winter storm can’t get me down!

The signs are clear SPRING IS NEAR!

Signs of hope, but only if we look and listen quietly to see the signs…

Today, my hope came in the form of a quack, quacking!

Thanks to the playful splashing of Merganser ducks, I’m smiling
those clouds of
 grey away because May is almost here!

PHOTO: “Common Mergansers, Fox River, Illinois” by JPatR, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jacque Stukowski‘s blog God[isms] is her personal space to vent and share stories of growth through life’s ups and downs living with BP and ADHD. It’s a place where her writing and photos collide with spirituality, a dash of 12 steps, and a sprinkle of the daily trials of being a Christian wife, mother of two boys, and a full-time graphic designer. She frequently uses metaphors and symbolism to connect the reader to real life things in nature to convey the message she’s writing about.

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SPRING HAIKU
by Issa

may the wind send
this plum blossom scent
to Kyoto!

IMAGE: “Plum Blossoms” by Cindy Lee Longhini. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828) was a Japanese poet and Buddhist priest of the Jōdo Shinshū sect known for his haiku poems and journals. He is better known as simply Issa, a pen name meaning Cup-of-tea. He is regarded as one of the four haiku masters in Japan, along with Bashō, Buson, and Shiki.