Poets I Know

 

 NATIONAL POETRY  MONTH SPOTLIGHT 

POETS I KNOW

ventatti.com

(image via ventatti.com)

It has certainly been a pleasure this month honoring famous poets around the world in honor of National Poetry Month. With so many wonderful poets, it was difficult to choose so few. Today’s spotlight will be my favorite; spotlighting poets I  know and admire. I so appreciate their generosity in allowing me to post their poems. Here they are in no particular order. I hope you will visit their sites to enjoy more of their fine work.

“suitcase”

by Wayne Tolbert

Suitcase Pic 1

you had a suitcase
packed and ready to go

brown, like the hallway
narrow
like the minds of those who tried to hold you back

there was so much of life to live
so much packed in your brown suitcase
strewn like tight jeans and wrinkled shirts
cracked belts and fractured memories

i wished for a promise to give you
a rose and a poem wrapped in pink ribbons
on parched paper
written by hand and erased twice

hungry for words and short sentences
i crawled into your life
as easily as i envisioned crawling into your suitcase

it was more narrow than the hallway
and the soiled, dingy walls reminded me of my life
as the lid closed
and the music stopped

 

“The Walk”

by Wayne Tolbert

The Walk

five people walked
on a beach, uncrowded
each alone, hearing waves and demons
wishing for more in life
getting less
cain watched the ocean to his left
as he lifted his arms
and freedom invited him in
he never knew freedom could be so cold
he should have known

four people walked
on a beach, uncrowded
each alone, hearing waves and demons
wishing for more in life
getting less
peter stood before the begging waves
waiting
his tears defined the moment
his feet washed by soft sea foam
as he remembered jesus
had washed his feet
but…
jesus was prepared to die
peter walked into the water
weighted down by his burdens
freedom invited him in
he never knew freedom could be so cold
he should have known

three people walked
on a beach, uncrowded
each alone, hearing waves and demons
wishing for more in life
getting less
david knelt down facing his vast uncertainty
in his mind he would be king
yet his mind was turbulent
like waves, tossing this way
and that
as his future passed overhead
and the waves were more angry
than an empty but jealous monarch
until david ran, insane…screaming
into the hungry sea
and freedom invited him in
he never knew freedom could be so cold
he should have known

two people walked
on a beach, uncrowded
each alone, hearing waves and demons
wishing for more in life
getting less
samuel watched overhead gulls
while wondering if they could fly
seagulls caught the wind
and secrets
samuel heard clapping waves
afraid to look
footprints leading to the water were many
and freedom invited him in
he never knew freedom could be so cold
he should have known

one person walked
on a beach, uncrowded
alone, hearing demons and waves
wishing for more in life
getting less
he watched the others
and knew each was him
conflicted and drowning
as the thick fog of each pill
made him more aware
waves were melodious
inviting him in to partake of the music
as the chorus died down
and no one
walked
on the uncrowded beach
the deceptive voice of freedom invited him in
he never knew freedom could be so cold
he should have known

 

“I Am” 

by Wayne Tolbert

I Am

i felt the ocean breeze biting harshly against my face
tracing the deeply plowed lines
where tears flooded memories
of places i had seen while doing people wrong

like open wounds
the scars of yesterday were tender
yet carved into the gentle places of my heart
as i wept,
drowning in sorrow of an intractable past

I had lived as a philosopher,
a judge, a poet, a liar
floating in caverns of fluffed cotton candy
swimming in molasses rapids,
bumping against golden nuggets
my mind took me to places never found on any map

the cool slap of salty ocean spray
became my link to life
as I drank it in with renewed passion
thirsty
while holding a cup

empty of all but memories long forgotten

Wayne Tolbert on https://kephale06.wordpress.com

——————

 

“THE ORCHARD, A THINKING TREE, AND THE RED HAIRED KID”

by  L DOUGLAS ST OURS

Orchard

The orchard is now a ten story building with a garage,

and the thinking tree gave up the ghost for an annex.

The horse farm is a professional office building

with garden apartments…and the red haired kid

still lives somewhere in the backwoods of my mind.
In the fallow and forsaken orchard

kaleidescope wonders blossomed in the bug eye bushes

and above us branches hung low with apples and peaches

a cinch to reach in trees whose tips

spread out and stretched high enough

to snag hankie tailed kites, and where

cacaphonic crows cawed from the dizzy heights,

their fickle wings seeming to tickle and tear

cauliflower clouds out of a blue sheet sky.
My brother out on a limb got spooked by a goggle faced caterpillar

inching towards certain doom in the beaks of marauding sparrows

swooping down from wires connecting finished trim houses

to shaggy brown poles.
We picked and gorged on wormy staymans, crunchy bartlets, and teeth cracking green peaches.

We stained our hands, blackened our lips, and soiled our shirts gathering mulberries.

We pricked our fingers pulling raspberries entangled in briar patches

and we plucked and sucked honey suckle stems,

and the berries we couldn’t eat, we bagged and took home

to sprinkle on bowls of rice crispies.
One day on the way home, after foraging in the orchard, we found a discarded refrigerator carton.

It had been tossed from the appliance store next to the Chinese carryout

which bordered the lot which bordered the orchard.

Eagerly we dragged that cardboard to the crest of the weedy slope.

Two of the Hardiway kids, my two brothers and I bent our bodies

into tight curls inside the giant box which became for us a barrel.
We kicked and rocked it down that hill

and like a ship on a dry storm sea

we bounced over flotsam and debris.

We squished our berries and lost our loose change

before slamming against an uprooted trunk.

All akimbo and bruised we felt as carefree

as a clutch of Huck Finns washed ashore

after rafting the river.
Usually after filling our bellies we’d bust out in a westerly direction.

We’d claw through ivy and thicket to a clearing in a churchyard

where a huge oak built like a jungle gym offered a nice spot

for us to rest, reflect, and talk a spell.

We called our leafy retreat “the thinking tree”

and after a few visits we each had laid claim

to our designated perches and saddled up on its muscular limbs.
We felt as snug as sail furled sloops in a safe still harbor

planted between a quaint parsonage

and the rear end of a grocery store,

the thinking tree accommodated and sheltered our entire gang

with room to spare for a family of fidgety squirrels

and a flock of nervous wrens.

High and hidden in the lower canopy

we’d raise, discuss, and debate the issues of the day.
If a catholic got elected president would we all be ruled by the pope?

We’d bet a nickel snickers candy bar over who that summer

would slug more homers, Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle?

We’d lie and one up each other over who earned the most allowance,

at that time dad was paying me 35 cents a week.

We wondered aloud whether Mr.Jolsen was the only neighbor

to dig, build, and stock a fallout shelter in case the Russians

dropped the sputnik…you mean the H-bomb stupid.
The Protestant Hardiways ragged us over our Latin mumbo jumbo

and the sissy vestments the altar boys were forced to wear.

We argued as if we knew, whose dad made more money,

figuring we were in clover if it amounted to a $100 a week.

Even whose mom baked a tastier cake became a bone of contention.
We’d drone on and not even be bothered by a southerly breeze

spreading the funky smell of spoiled meat, rotten fruit, gutted fish

and diesel waste emanating from the supermarket loading dock.
On the other side of the parish a horse farm abutted a corner of the orchard

where a creek rose, skirted our fruity bounty, and wound into the woods.

Its surface carrying litter past tadpoles, water spiders, crayfish and slinks

for about a mile before spilling into the mud of the city reservoir.
From a neighborhood on the leeward side of the woods,

the red haired kid and his chubby sidekick, I think we called him Porky,

would wander up the creek and invade our eden, ambush our contentment,

spoiling our bliss. Those two guys were older and bigger than us

and with that advantage they took great pleasure in terrorizing us.
One time as the rest of us beat our escape, they cut off and captured

the Hardiways’ tom boy dauhghter. They shoved her around

then forced her to pull down her trousers then let her go.

In tears she told her dad and he tracked down where the red haired kid lived

and he warned the kid’s parents that the next time he touched her would be the last.

Meanwhile death threat or not, the kid continued his attacks on us boys.
We’d be back lazily picking fuit out of bush and tree when out of the blue

a wicked shower of rosy red apples or acorns arched out of the sky.

We’d take the hint and skedaddle.

If we were up a tree

we didn’t care

if we tore our pants

or skinned our legs,

snapping twigs, hitting the ground hard,

and running for the lot, out in the open,

anything to avoid capture

and being forced to smoke

another Lucky.

L DOUGLAS ST OURS on https://www.facebook.com/lstours.3

 


 

“Exhale” 

by Gina McKnight

Exhale

Gina McKnight on ginamc.blogspot.com

 

 

“A Touch Like Flame” 

by Elan Mudrow 

A Touch Like Flame 1

Remember the first time?

A knot in the stomach

Turning, a grip on guts

Lovers are the best punchers

Closeness measured, sprung loose

Balled up into a fist, a touch like flame

It’s a matter of here to there

The extreme distance of nearness

A long walk into the heart

Pulling the blood, the protector

Up like a blanket, a kernel of warmth

Surging, through intensity’s gate

Enough to scorch the skin off

Peeling, kept in a scrap book

Ancient jars of fruit, in darkness

Basement shelves, containment

The stairway creaks, the furnace flickers

So much fire, two feet, one walk

The wave curls up, reaching

Its cool tongue, licks fresh words

Some shot through, clean kissed

Unscathed, embraced, welcomed

Soft hands, warm toes, new speech

Skin untarnished, sweet flakes of dust

The blanket sprawled on the beach

Is it the sun or the sand, that

Burns the soles of feet? Lover’s

Stern arm, heavy as tenderness

Palms pressed down on life’s dampness

There are specks, grit on the lips

The solid ground is always within view

Towards the hills and houses

Whipped up in grass and wind

The fever rises in ripples, then embers

Sparks, inner image out, die

Whistling, winding up into burnt blue

The sun beats down upon the sand

The feet attempt to remember

Running, running, running, avoiding

Into an endless and connected

Array of oceans that await escape

Using tattered fragments of memories

A Touch Like Flame 2

 

 

“The Rain” (Portrait #4)

by Elan Mudrow

Elan Muldrow Rain 44 poem feedy.com

(image: feedy.com)

Tlaloc speaks to his lover.

“This is a warm rain, an uncommon rain. It feels too nice and the sidewalks don’t like it. It gets into their cracks, swelling, expanding, like my blood feels when a warm drop hits my arm.”

“Your eyes look so worried when you tell me things like that.”

“They do? I don’t think I’m worried, but I am at the same time. I can’t help feeling like I’m two rhythms, pounding together. Each drumbeat telling me a story. I can hear two clearly. Fuck, maybe more.”

The rain became a light drizzle.

“Another story just started. You must think I’m weird.”

“Sure, I like it.”

“I’m weirder than that. I don’t feel anything, just everything. Or I don’t feel everything, just anything. Does that make sense?”

“Yes, kind of. I understand what you mean.”

The rain stopped. Only drips were heard, falling off gutters and tree limbs.

“It’s so humid. That’s not normal for around here. And it’s changing for good. There’s nothing we can do about it—it’s like those stories, those drumbeats. I can’t seem to find an end to them. I want them to end, but I don’t.”

“You can try. That’s what you’ve always done. Don’t worry, it’ll work out.”

“They keep my interest, but somehow they seem to be waiting for something. Look how fast the steam is rising from the streets. You know, I think we’re like the steam. First, we’re like rain touching the street, then we move on.”

The sun poked its heat out from behind a cloud.

“Sometimes I want to touch you, like no one has ever touched you before, but I only have these hands and they’re like everyone else’s.”

“I like the way you touch me.”

“Are my hands warm? I know I can be cold sometimes. There are different ways to touch.”

A couple of heavy raindrops fell unevenly from the sky. As if another downpour was about to occur.

“Is all rain alike? I swear each raindrop hits the ground differently. I notice stuff like that. It’s soothing to me to listen to each storm, how they are so different from one another. Do you think it might be true, that each raindrop creates a new life?”

“I don’t know. If you say so, then, I guess it could be like that.”

“The rhythms increase when I don’t hear the rain. It’s like dry voices chattering away, not making sense. I can make one or two of them out, for a while, then I write them down. Then, I come back to read them. It’s gibberish, all just a bunch of gibberish.”

The clouds part into large stretches of blue sky.

“The rain is always stopping. Can I touch you now? I need to know.”

“Will it help?”

The RAin Found on 500px.livejournal.com

(image found on 500px livejournal.com)

Elan Mudrow on tricksterchase.com 

 


 

“attente”

by Susie Bertie

Attente picture

.. don’t know when it happened   –   exactly
~ which hour of which day ~
the palatable exubruance & thirst for sun
gave way
to a lament for the moon

my movement
my being
my hours
spent
in
quiet unruckus’d preparation
for
ducks-in-a-row clarity
corners cleaned of cobwebs
piles of life linear with logic
dust swept devotedly
from the totem objects of my accumulation
flannel smooth
moonlight quickening
tassels trimmed & pressed
set free from their lingering gypsy dreams
as if ….
should the wind be just right from that place of sun
well then …
everything will be
as if ….
I was never here
or maybe
my departure will come with
no burden
no adjustment
or maybe
I am just merely passing thru
pausing here
waiting … …
for the
just right
wind

‘tyto alba’

by Susie Berti

Susie Poem

the wing span of a barn owl is 42 inches
42 inches of ghost feathers & furl
lifted on particle currents of atmosphere
dip & dive
dip & dive
silent nocturnal flyer
dip & dive
find me
there in slumber beneath worry & bramble
trembling in stasis
exultant in dark possibility
wrapped in skin with age & aspirin
I am waiting for your sharp golden piercing
dip & dive

capture
me

 

“chrysos anthos melting..”

by Susie Bertie

Chrysos

i can hear the slight
electric-buzz-rumbling of blood pulsing steadily past the
the petrified tautness of whatever the hell that muscle is called …
ears thrumming
thrumming
in this black quiet train-whistle-of-a-night
40% chance of something coming down ….
while
i

stand                 here

desiring

melt
an all-system-shut-down-melt
an isabella chrysanthemum melt
puddled there beneath these

mock legs
petaling out towards light & rest
tendrils of something smelling of

rain & destiny sweep past my focus
as
i
dream
of
melt
surrendered acceptance
if your arms encircled me now, would my body respond ?
is this calling weariness but a memory of you
riding the storm cusp
closing eyes ….
breathing slows and time wavers in lines of mint amethyst
pulse slows
and
i
require
melt ::

magic-fingers-motel-bed-melt cotton-mouthed-wet-orgasic-gasping-melt
holding your hand melt sunshine-melt blazing fire & jamieson melt
a moonlight-knowing-melt

yes
there is no such thing as mistake
there is no control here, only release & forgiveness
untie the bandage & open wide arms . .
melt into story …
flowered blossom thunder
and
a 40% chance of something coming down

———

an aubade – a mondayish morning poem

“Day #6: Aubade”

by Susie Bertie

Day 6

shaking off dreams of suspension over impassable rivers
… and goldfinches
morning drifts in with smells of rain and restlessness
a small-brown-dog lands upon the tumble of blankets to pull the waking along
soft clothes
fire lit
coffee warm
gray domed haze sets apart the cardinals
from the ashen bark of oak
japanese maple branches tremble
under the weight of the retreating moon
with breezes shaped
from the wings of sandhill cranes
blue jays scold the absent sun
stretching
before raindropped-windows
i touch the edge of regret and the fallow of these days
the dim of this day pushing pushing against these pale arms
pushing
gravity trumps the attempt as possibility becomes found in the spaces between
feather and familiar
rain to robin red
slumber to dawn’s wonderwaking
day waits

Susie Bertie  on sooziebird.blogspot.com

—————————-

 

 

“You Wait At My Door”
BY JULIETTE KINGS

Vampire

You wait at my door

Your bite still fresh,

Your cries

Your pleading

Your banging

The scratching

Your love

Astounds me

You will not give up

Fangs set

Love forever

I must let you in

For after all

Despite all

Forever all

I laugh

I smile

I let you in

You are my cat.

Juliette at vampiremaman.com

 

JOSE’ ANTONIO ORELLANA ARTOLOZAGA

I muse over _ Jose 4

JOse 2

Jose 3

Jose 6

Jose test

Jose 5

Jose’ Antionio Orellana Artolozaga on http://facebook.com/jose.antonio.orellana.artolozaga. 

 


 

“The Medicine Wheel”

by Coyote Poetry – John Castellenas

Old Native American wisdom. We need to gather as one people to save earth and all people.Medicine Wheel

Wisdom of the Medicine wheel.

(I have been lucky. Many kind Native American took me under their wing and taught me how to find peace.)

At the Mall I went to the so-call Native American store.
A Middle East man tried to sell me a China’s made items.
I touched a Medicine Wheel.

I told the man.
“A proper Medicine Wheel has the power of the four winds.”
I touched a Dream Catcher.
“A real one would protect your spirit and keep bad dreams away.”

He grins at me.
He didn’t understand a word that I spoke.
He told me.
“Does the same things.”
I leave the store with nothing.

Sitting with my Apache Friend outside the gate of Fort Hood, Texas.
I sat and listen to him.
His skin harden from the Texas sun.
I came and sat with him every Saturday for many months.

He had a story for every item he sold.
I brought him food and water.
His stories were passed on to him by family and elders.

He gave me a Medicine Wheel.
He rose up and made a circle with his hands.
He told me. “All people are part of the circle of life.”

“We all have a purpose.”
With sadness in his voice.
“Us Apache and Native Americans were responsible to protect Nature.
We did a poor job.”

“The white people were responsible for the fire.
They shared their gift and now fire is held in every corner of the planet.
Eyes looking at the ground.
Then he raise his eyes and look to the sky.
The fire was taught(Atomic and nuclear) too well.”

“The black people held the strength, wisdom and honor.
The wisdom of the black people lost direction.
We need their strength before we kill off all that is good.”

“The yellow people have courage, leadership and clarity.
The gentle and calm souls will be necessary for this world to seek peace.”

“The medicine wheel is a compass to all life.
We must know all four directions.”

At a Pow Wow in Texas.
A few Native Americans danced and invited all to dance the dance of friendship.

A old Apache man moved around the circle.
Burning sage and blessing everyone who came today.

He welcome us.
He begin to speak.
“We were the last Americans allow to dance our Native dances.
We were the last allowed to speak our language in public.
We have not forgot.
We go on and hope for better days.”

He blessed all of us and his kind eyes show respect for all.
He raise his hands and spoke to the sky.
“Teach us four winds.
Give us wisdom.
Teach us humility.
Show us clarity.
Allow us to trust our brothers.”

I’m proud of my Ojibwa heritage.
I’m proud of my Mexican/white heritage.
The Medicine wheel showed us we are one.
We need to work together.
Red, black, white and yellow were given gifts.

Old Apache raised his hands to the sky.
Then create a full circle.
He moved slowly around the inner circle and looked in all our eyes.

“We are one.
Let’s pray for peace.”

East wind-Yellow people–Path of light-Spiritual-courage.
West wind –Red people-Path of vision-physical-prayer
North wind-White people-Path of quiet-Mental-wisdom
South wind-Black people-Path of peace-natural-trust

(This is a view of many years of learning. Every teacher tells the story different. I believe we are one people. Peace will come when we learn to work together.)
Black, White, Red and Yellow are the four corners of the Medicine Wheel. All with important gifts to bring peace with each other and the planet.

(This is a view of many years of learning. Every teacher tells the story different. I believe we are one people. Peace will come when we learn to work together.)
Black, White, Red and Yellow are the four corners of the Medicine Wheel. All with important gifts to bring peace with each other and the planet.

“Poesy”

by Coyote Poetry – John Castellenas

Gérard_Edelinck_-_John_Dryden

Portrait of John Dryden (1631-1700) by Gérard Edelinck after Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Thank you Dryden for your poetry. Gave me reason to write today.


Poesy

(For Dryden)

True Poets dodge the fakeness of fame.
They allow praise to fall from their thoughts.
Old Poets understand the beauty of the sun rising from the east.
Allowing opportunity for new dreams and new places to come alive.

They enjoy watching the sun falling into the western sea.
Allowing the night to overcome the excitement of the day.

A wise Poet behold the beauty of the woman.
Tried to describe the softness of her skin and the feel
of her warm sweet kisses.

The Poet must feel the burden of war.
A writer must taste and know death, poverty and suffering.

A empty journey leave nothing for the pen and the paper.

Writers are neither revolutionist nor a martyr.
Just observers.

Great Poets left us with real description of war.
Many died in combat in the old wars.
Their poetry was longing for home and the beautiful valleys of youth.

Best honor for a writer.
Have more Poesy written because of their words.

This poem is for my favorite Poet Dryden.
His words will never be forgotten.

“War, our consumption, was their gainful trade.”

“What peace can be, where both to one pretend.”
(Dryden words.)

I tell the young writers.
Honor the old words.
Never be a naysayer to a up and coming writer.
We need more word-man and word-woman.

A real Poet love the word.
Written with skill or not.
Words written from the heart.
We need to read with a kind heart.

 

 

Diamonds and Gold

“Diamonds and Gold”

by Coyote Poetry – John Castellenas

I held wealth and traveled to the four corners of our world.
I lost and gained love. I thought I knew what life and love was.
I wear an old man face now and I remember every kiss and every embrace.
I remember old faces missed. Old voices telling me to slow down and enjoy life.
The kind teachers and elders gave me good direction to find the proper journey.

I became my Grandfather. I hear his voice when I speak. His old fashion wisdom became my way. My door is wide open for the kids and I cherish my time with the grandchildren.

The diamonds and the gold of life is love shared and earned.
Love given without demand. Holding child when they have bad dreams.
Whispering you will be fine. Grandpa is here.
Telling friends and family. Please call me if the life become too hard. I will help and support you. I need you happy and strong.

Love is defined in many ways. Young love is of beautiful places and faces.
Middle age love is for new life to be cherish and to watch grow.
Old man love. To have the children at your feet. Laughter always loud and strong in your home. To lead with kindness, concern and love.

I have the diamonds and gold of life. Family near and grand children in the house.
I tell the kids. Slow down, take pictures and know love.

Coyote Poetry – John Castellenas  on www.writerscafe.org/castellenas and https://johncoyote.wordpress.com

 

 


Poetry quote soul

Once again, a huge thanks to the poets who contributed – I am beyond grateful!

4:30 DiAnne for WordPress Blog 4-30        DiAnne

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About DiAnne Ebejer

I am retired and live on the East coast of Florida where I spend much of my time reading, playing with photography and trying to write some "poetry and then some" at dianneebejer.wordpress.com. I care deeply about many things and wish there was much more love and compassion in this world today. I also have a part time blog "Thought You Might Like This" diannesthingsat.wordpress.com used for special projects and occasional things of interest
This entry was posted in Poetry By Me I. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Poets I Know

  1. Oh DiAnne, these are wonderful. I know I will be returning to this post again and again. So many of these poets brought me back to poetry through their beautiful words. I smile when I see these names that inspired me, made me smile, and made me think. I’m honored to be here among this group. Thanks you – everyone.

    Everyone needs the power of poetry – even if they don’t yet know it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. johncoyote says:

    Amazing poetry. Thank you for making me part of the outstanding poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. johncoyote says:

    Reblogged this on johncoyote and commented:
    Amazing poetry. Please read and enjoy.

    Like

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