Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"Encounter" in Verse-Virtual

Delighted to have my poem "Encounter" published in the July issue of Verse-Virtual.

It's a special treat to be in the issue with Karla Huston, the Wisconsin Poet Laureate, as well as Neil Creighton, who has given me helpful critiques on some of my past poems.

Please read as many of the fine poems in this issue as you possibly can. My thanks to editor Firestone Feinberg.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

"Unseen" in Young Ravens Literary Review

I really wanted a poem in the "Prayers for the Planet" issue of Young Ravens Literary Review.   Yet though I played around with the idea for several weeks, nothing formed.  Then one day in April, Bob and I took our usual walk to Manitou Park and my prayer for inspiration was answered.

Many thanks to editors Sarah Page, Elizabeth Pinborough, and Jorden Hinrichsen for including my poem "Unseen" in their Summer 2017 issue.  Also, thank you to my friends in the Modern Poetry critique group who were my earliest readers.  

You can read the poem here.  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing

I'm very pleased that my poem, "Newcomer," is in the June 2017 issue of Snapdragon:  A Journal of Art & Healing.  The theme of the issue is Surrender.  It's an honor to be represented in this journal, which is dedicated to the notion of creativity as a healing art. My thanks to editors Cyndi Briggs and Jacinta V. White! 

The issue, with my poem, is available here.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"Changing Weather" and "Escarpment"

Thanks to editor Zvi A. Sesling, two poems of mine are in the Spring Issue of Muddy River Poetry Review.  You can read them here: 

Zvi is also the Poet Laureate of the city of Brookline, Massachusetts.  I'm honored that he selected my poems for his journal.  And I love its title.

I am also really honored to be featured in the table of contents with two poets from the Rat's Ass Review poetry critique group:  Alicia Coles and Sergio Ortiz.  They are amazing poets, both of them edit poetry journals, and I'm in pretty august company, wouldn't you say?

I hope you read and enjoy my poems as well as the others in the issue.  

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Lenten Rose

Charles Portolano, editor of The Avocet, has kindly included my poem, "The Lenten Rose" in The Weekly Avocet number 229.  The Avocet is completely devoted to poetry about nature.

I wrote "The Lenten Rose" during NaPoWriMo 2016.  That April was a colder, wetter one than April in 2017.  I love these flowers, which I first met while living in Athens, West Virginia. When walking home from  Concord United Methodist Church in early spring I looked for crocuses.  One day a light snow had fallen earlier.  I walked across  our yard, looking for yellow and purple petals.  I found none but almost stumbled upon a Lenten Rose, a beautiful surprise.  That encounter inspired this poem. Thank you, Charles.

The Lenten Rose

Not everyone sees
the Lenten rose
beside the
fallow garden,
a creamy teacup
against spring's onslaughts.
Wet snow meets
open milk mouth.
Sturdy sepals hold
purple veins
in liturgical shades.
Lent's privations
are passing.
Go outside.
If you see a rose
your spring is here.

first published in Weekly Avocet, #229, April 30, 2017.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Outsider Poet

Have not been revising or submitting this month.  Just scratching out 30 poems in 30 days.  Will try to resist the temptation of posting any of them here.  Nothing works without multiple revisions.  It's all so awkward.

In explanation of the post title, I think I'm an outsider poet.  No B.F.A. or M.F.A. or D.F.A.  No credit classes at all in creative writing in higher ed.  When young, I got my education at the public library.  Read poems with capital letters, centered on the page, about common, everyday things.  Life.  Love.  Work.  Anger.  Nothing hard to understand.  Nothing that required parsing out or interpretation. Then that merged into feminist poetry, which drew from confessional poetry, which introduced me to imagistic and modernist poetry.  But I'm just a street poet who is no longer in the street. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


This week I'm studying ghazals.  I wrote one yesterday, one today.  Today's was full of longing and sentence fragments.  At least one of these qualities is typical of a ghazal.  The one yesterday was about climate change.  They are fun to try.

Here is a list of resources.  So far small, but useful.


Ghazal Poetic Form (Academy of American Poets)

Ghazal (Poetry Foundation)

Ghazal Poetry Generator
Provides a fill-in the blank ghazal generator that counts syllables, offers rhymes, and will create a finished ghazal from your work.  Be prepared to realize how far from done your highly polished ghazal is with this helpful tool.  Good luck.


Agha, Shahid Ali.  Call Me Ishmael Tonight:  A Book of Ghazals.  Norton, 2003.



Caplan, David. "In That Thicket of Bitter Roots": The Ghazal in America.  VQR 80.4 (2004).  Web. 18 April 2017.

tspoetry.  "Ghazal Poetry:  How to Write a Ghazal and Playlist!" Tweetspeak.  7 Oct. 2013 Web. 21 April 2017.


"Very Sad Urdu Ghazal of Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi live in Mehfil E Moseeqi."  YouTube Video.  25 April 2016.  Web.  20 April 2017.

A very expressive performance.  I haven't a clue as to the words, but the singer sounds vulnerable, hurt, and full of yearning.  I love it.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Song of the Mountaintop, Removed

Really thrilled to see my poem, "Song of the Mountaintop, Removed," in New Verse News today. Can't help but think it's an appropriate poem for Good Friday.  It's illustrated by excellent resource.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

NaPoWriMo 2017

Yes, I am going to write 30 poems in 30 days!  These I'll share with friends in a closed group. They're drafts.  Anything that still looks promising after the end of the month I'll revise and share.

Monday, March 27, 2017


It's great to have my poem, "Forewarned" published in the Eunoia Review today!  Thank you to editor Ian Chung.

This is another confessional poem from me.  As a former diarist, I naturally take to this form.  I postponed my career as a writer/poet because of my discomfort with revealing my life, my feelings, my experiences.  But I will no longer squelch or censor myself.  There's just not enough time for that. As Al DeGenova, publisher/co-editor of After Hours, writes in the Winter 2017 issue:  "Write the true sentence, our only last defense--bear witness."

I bear witness to my life in the hope that it also bears witness to larger social themes.  The only way to find out is to write.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Am Writing

How many drafts is it? At least seventeen. Then I came upon this bit by Ai, who thought “first person voice was always the stronger voice to use when writing.” At what we'll call the eighteenth draft I shifted to first person. And everything fell into place. Yes, that's it. Thank you, Ai.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Pilgrimage Home

So honored to have my nonfiction work published by Peacock Journal. Thank you to editors Bill Landry and Kate Fitzpatrick! I love the art they selected to accompany it. Look for it here.

Friday, March 3, 2017

"Patriot" is now published!

It's great to work with Roderick Bates, the editor at Rat's Ass Review.  "Patriot" is part of the Such an Ugly Time collection.  Check it out here: