My twenty third poem for 30/30, “Mourning Dove” is live. For more information about Tupelo Press, 30/30 & donations and incentives, please see my previous post or visit the project blog. This poem was inspired by the mourning dove nesting on the third floor of the building I teach in everyday. I’ve always thought of mourning doves as kind of frumpy, but there is something stoic about this one.
My twenty second poem for 30/30, “Catacomb Saints” is live. For more information about Tupelo Press, 30/30 & donations and incentives, please see my previous post or visit the project blog. Thank you to Emily for your support & amazing prompt! Here’s the article that inspired the poem: “Meet the Fantastically Bejeweled Skeletons of Catholicism’s Forgotten Martyrs” by Rachel Nuwer.
Awhile back I came across and open call from Katie Woodzick looking for poets who would like to have a poem of theirs recorded. I thought this was a really neat idea, so I sent my poem, “Starling,” in for consideration and today the recording popped up on my Facebook feed. It’s excellent and I can’t thank Katie enough for giving me this artifact to share with others.
For Roger and Beth Young
This morning I shot a starling straight from the sky.
The shiny, black bastard drove the sparrows and wrens
from your carefully kept feeders, then strutted
about the branches of our old apple tree.
You do not approve, Beth. Your gentle soul gives grace
to all creatures, even your sisters who just arrived.
You are pouring tea as I walk around the front of our house,
shotgun resting over my right shoulder.
Three sisters swoop down on your small
frame, pulling at your arms, pressing against your back.
Their cackling disrupts our quiet home, dark
eyes move over our stone floors,
pine paneled walls, and the small, cast iron stove
smoking away in the corner. You look away,
your eyes light, but your mouth a thin, rigid
line slicing your face in two.
As the youngest you bear their burden, the blame
for lost children…
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If you follow my blog, you know that I blogged about Leesa Cross Smith’s amazing first collection, Every Kiss A War. In addition to being an amazing writer herself, Leesa is also founder & editor, along with her husband Loran Smith, of the online journal WhiskeyPaper. I love everything that Leesa writes, so I was extremely flattered when she asked me for some poems to feature on the WhiskeyPaper blog for National Poetry Month.
I’m also very honored to be have my work alongside poems by Michael Dwayne Smith, who edits & publishes Mojave River Review.