Posts Categorized: Poetry

Twitter Poem Experiment

Take three statuses and try to make them something greater than an individual tweet.

Review: The Sleepwalker at Sea – Kelly Grovier

The Sleepwalker at Sea is a wonderful collection of poems by Kelly Grovier. The poems meditate on aging, loss, love, and memory. These concepts spill into the dark passageways of childhood, the echoes from halls long empty. Not only does Grovier tie in a love for language and books, but his deft observations of nature position the poems as part of life.

It’s part of the human condition to experience loss. There are natural cycles involved with aging, forgetting, and dying, as well as in the movements of a “murmuration” as:

It rises in a bright shatter
of wings and lifts like a great
mind over the water’s still
uncreasing canvas,
each feathered filing an end

of thought, a pause –
each dip and wheel a mute
inflection in its organic
grammar: a poem of pure

punctuation, a ballet of full-
stops, lunulae and ellipses
flailing, falling, flicked

by a pointillist’s wrist
against the deep unweaving loom

of sea and sun and sun and sky.

Full of beauty and sadness, The Sleepwalker at Sea is a must read collection, which readers may find themselves returning to again and again.

Published: First Issue of Scintilla

As some of you are aware, this year I started work on Scintilla/Scintilla Press. It’s been a work in progress. How do you start a literary magazine? How do assemble an editorial board? How do you collect and manage submissions? There’s a lot to plan. Another consideration was how to effectively deliver an online literary magazine?

To tackle that problem I re-familiarized myself with php and learned how to use WordPress as a CMS. This website ( was my first test. When I felt confident in my abilities, I started designing Scintilla.

Now, the first issue is published. There’s wonderful work from writers I respect. It’s a joy to make something, but it’s a greater joy to make something that showcases other people’s work. That’s what Scintilla is: a magazine full of rich voices and unique perspectives. If you’d like to submit work to Scintilla, you may do so here. Otherwise, keep checking in and enjoy the magazine.

Poem III: Draft II (Contact)

I finished the second draft of my third poem for the week.  I still don’t have a title for it, but am thinking something to do with the sounds of clippers or lost in the sounds of clippers.


As boys we never
said I love you to
one another, but in the summer
haze beneath the sounds
of mom frying chicken
wrapped in the smells of green beans and bacon
which simmered through the windows
we cut each other’s hair.

The clippers electric buzz shook our hands
as one boy sat on a five gallon bait bucket
shirt off in the heat
while the other boy held down ears
hands against scalp, wrists
brushed skin, the back of the neck
tan fading along thin shoulders.

At times, we shaved mohawks and patterns
ran barefoot into the house to hide
the clippers, the footsteps and yells
the snap-swing of the screen door
always close, always near
a chaotic melody to the steady
rhythm of old men mowing yards.

Back on the concrete porch
white paint peeling, we always returned
apologies shrugged off, light
in our bodies and the breeze
as the hair fell beneath one boy’s touch
and we became light enough
to float away like the fluff of a cattail
coasting on water’s edge.

Poem: Draft I

Another poem for my writing challenge.  This is the second poem of the week.  Currently, it has no title.

~               ~               ~

Sunday afternoon, I joined you
on the porch to apologize, to talk
as the voices of neighbors crowded close.

Birds flush in spring, chased
and sang, their songs suffused
with sunshine and ritual.  I watched
our dog snuffle, his hound’s
nose deep in the grass
drawing his line taut.

Like another line, our future
an unspoken idea
stretched into the distance.

The conversation turned, I said
I don’t have a ring, but
would you marry me?

Yes, you said, leaning forward
and then back, really? You asked
and again said, yes.

All of the possibilities and joy
I felt, seemed to radiate from your eyes
as well, your smile, my smile
the tears trapped under our lashes.

I held you close, your body warm
against mine.  The argument forgotten
we watched as little girls played
next door and the dog pulled
on his line, longing for a sparrow
that pecked the earth.

Review: The Art of Attention: A Poet’s Eye – Donald Revell

I’m going to try and not be flippant.  In order to save you time and money, I will condense  Donall Revell‘s book, The Art of Attention: A Poet’s Eye, to one sentence.

Pay attention.

For those of you who have time for more than two words, I’ll expand to three sentences.

  1. Pay attention.
  2. Fall in love with the world
  3. Write.

That aside, Revell does spend considerable time on select poems.  Those instances are worth reading, but can become tiresome as the same points are reiterated.