Thursday, April 2, 2020

Goldfinches, by Jed Feffer

Jed Feffer
Day by day
more of the goldfinches
are sporting
patches of canary yellow
on backs
on throats
on tails
and today
looking up through
I saw the star
shape of flowers
breaking open
on twigs.
There were flocks
of robins
on a farmer's field
ducks erupting
in the sky
and the tweedling
and wheezing of blackbirds
in the trees.
It is spring
It is muddy
It is spring

Saturday, January 18, 2020

for Ella, poem by Sylvia Manning

Ella Goodwin stands on porch of Hovey Sanitarium, Glover, 1910

for Ella, para ella

Yesterday with sun and moon
both high to see in bright sky
me wishing my dearest was still around
for me to ask, to tell me why
           it was so
I remembered you
by 1910 a young widow

probably with things to ask or say
to him whom you’d loved
         who’d passed away
too soon, even of this
of the sun and the moon
El sol.  La luna.
Masculino, femenina
El, la, El la, El, la … Ella Ella
but discovered soon, another way,
the two are visible every day
somewhere, anyway,
anywhere, really,
except for the one day
after the night the moon is full.
Then the masculine sun will be alone,
solamente él, el sol, solo, en soledad.

She rose at sunset, then,
to be gone when he’d return.

                                                                     Sylvia Manning, December 2019

Friday, December 6, 2019

by Fran Blake Smith

Apologies to Fran and all from the blog-keeper, who just discovered this poem that had been left as an unpublished draft, for two years!

“The place I live in is called the Northeast Kingdom.”
(author's note, Mark T. Creaven, a life lived backwards)

Well, where’s the king?
And does he reside with royal entourage
On a hardscrabble hill
Almost too rocky to farm?

What has this word “kingdom” to do with wealth?
And why is wealth reckoned in currency, not poetry?

Why indeed when on this Fall mornings
Kings and queens can look out the kitchen door
To see gossamer rising from emerald fields
And spot the early-turning leaves like jewels
Sprinkled by nature’s lavish hand around their property?

Their property.
Something to be said for that.
Our collective property, we Royals all:
Our Northeast Kingdom.

Fran Blake Smith
Wednesday Poets

Sunday, November 17, 2019

from Judith Janoo, her poem Snow Travels

Snow Travels  
Judith Janoo, probably taken on a summer day

light and down
in this kingdom

sweeps parallel
as supine you gaze,

question why remain,
and miss the great escape

south or west
still braced against

last week’s freeze
that wheezes, moans

bone scrapes bone
until at once unleashed

into white silence
you travel as wind crystals

over neighbor’s blue van
abandoned, up to its wheels

in white, over roofless shed
left open to soft fragments    

falling over the woodpile
lining the drive

lighting on fir saplings
bowed down and higher,

birches regal parchment
cleaving and even these

peeled, dried,

Monday, November 4, 2019

Wednesday Winter Poets Meeting Again

Here they were last February.  Isn't it worth a thousand words?  2:30 p.m., Barton Public Library, Wednesdays

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Dolores Chamberlain's poem, My Maple Tree

Dolores at a poetry reading by Charles Simic,
summer of 2018, the Old Stone House in
Brownington, Vermont.  [photo credit, Sylvia Manning]


Your branches all around,
Green leaves clinging, still abound.
I left that morning -- you were there.
Your lofty branches filled the air.

When I returned, all I could see
Were piles of what you used to be.
I was saddened to the core;
My maple tree lived there no more.

A trunk, dismembered, stood in place
Where once you were, now empty space.
Six decades you grew and proudly stood.
Gone is your shade, and it was good.

The squirrels around your trunk gave chase.
How fast they moved!  Was it a race?
Birds sang softly high above:
The goldfinch, robins, mourning dove.

How I will miss you, lovely tree.
You really meant so much to me.
I won't forget you, maple tree,
For you live on in memory.

Maple tree across the street from our Barton Public Library where Wednesday Poets meet
at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, for the second year of winter meetings.

Dolores' poem was published in the Orleans County Chronicle
and the Green Mountain Trading Post

Monday, October 28, 2019

For Friend Stephen, Bibliophile

Below is Sylvia Manning's prose poem for Stephen Hickey as published in the October, 2019 issue of Waterways:  Poetry in the Mainstream (NYC, Ten Penny Press)

For Friend Stephen, Bibliophile                                     
Stephen Hickey, a Wednesday Poet
and all-time, any-time bibliophile

Years ago when asked if he had a plan for what might happen to his collection, thousands of books, 65 years of his collecting them, some printed before wood pulp, books worthy of opening but handsome inside and out, he said it was his worst nightmare, not knowing.

His house has two stories, two apartments, both used mostly by these nonpaying guests – bound to his largesse for their continued existence.  Many were bought for pennies at village church rummage sales or library weed lots -- to make shelf space for mass market shiny covers -- however costly they once had been.

Someone tells him there’s a city that brags of its new library that hasn’t a single book.  He’s not surprised.  He himself has discovered online books even he doesn’t have; he reads from paper less. But if someone mentions a title he thinks they’d like to read (or even just hold), he goes right to it.

They’ve been his family and friends almost all his life, and he accepts now that they may not survive him.  They’ll hopefully become soil after they’re thrown to darkness too deep for any reader, wood pulp and pure rag, paperback and cloth. 

Recently he said he doesn’t have many nightmares anymore.