JusJoJan: the end

So, it’s late afternoon on January 31st and I’m just getting the chance to write my final post for Linda’s Just Jot It January.

Linda’s prompt for today is “write” and my original intent had been to write about the end of Just Jot It January, so two birds with one stone.

I had been trying for the month to prepare my posts a day ahead in order to get them out in the morning, but I didn’t manage it today. I didn’t even check my blog this morning, as I had decided to do some more work on the final layout for my chapbook manuscript, Hearts, to send to Kelsay Books, my publisher.

Of course, I got distracted and wound up sending out a submission of three ekphrastic poems for a contest, which meant writing a more-involved-than-usual cover letter. (I did get some manuscript work done, too.)

I also wound up contributing to a couple of “poetry business” email threads, one for the Grapevine Poets and one for the Boiler House Poets Collective.

I wrote a birthday card and note to a friend – longhand and everything!

And now, finally, this post.

I am happy and relieved to have managed to post every day this month for #JusJoJan. I wrote more “heavy” posts than I intended, but it’s been that kind of month.

I’m not planning to post every day in February, though.

I need to spend some time on other projects and to get ready for a trip to the UK to visit our family there.

That should generate a few posts…
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I hope you’ve enjoyed Linda’s Just Jot It January. Thanks so much, Linda, for making it possible! Find out more here: https://lindaghill.com/2023/01/31/daily-prompt-jusjojan-the-31st-2023/

New poem at Third Wednesday!

I’m excited to share that my poem “April 19, 2022 – Vestal, New York” has just been published by Third Wednesday Magazine on their website and will be included in their quarterly print edition this spring!

This poem began as a Binghamton Poetry Project prompt on that date from workshop leader Suzanne Richardson. We were studying the use of a central image or metaphor. We were meeting via Zoom as I sat at my desk in the midst of a late snowstorm, so snow/storms became the central image.

One thing about writing from prompts in a workshop is that there isn’t a lot of time for planning, so I tend to go with the first thing that presents itself. Fortunately, I had experience with snowstorms, so my mind had somewhere to turn.

I workshopped the poem with the Grapevine Poets and did revisions before sending it out. I’m grateful that it has found a home with Third Wednesday!
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Join us for Linda’s Just Jot It January! Find out more here: https://lindaghill.com/2023/01/09/daily-prompt-jusjojan-the-9th-2023/

Pulling Off Route 79 on a Summer Day by Sharon Ball (ONE GOOD MEMORY Series)

Happy to share another poem from the Silver Birch Press ONE GOOD MEMORY series! Enjoy “Pulling Off Route 79 on a Summer Day” by fellow Grapevine Poet Sharon Ball! Bonus: a cool photo of Sharon and Miss Kitty.

Silver Birch Press

saturday_sun-CfaqmAcQKuw-unsplashPulling Off Route 79 on a Summer Day
by Sharon Ball

1.
Watching the white butterfly stop and sit
on a leafy green sunspot, then lift again
flickering on bright air,
propelled up, down, sideways across the road,
flying toward my open window.
Will it flap in or pass on through the trees to the river?

2.
White butterfly floats
Aspens quake against blue sky
Sun-dappled woods keep secrets.

3.
Through the trees, the river moves fast with yesterday’s rain.
I barely hear the water over the whoosh and hum
of coming cars and going trucks.
In between, leaves whisper of gifts as
the white butterfly melts into quiet woods.

Photo by Saturday Sun on Unsplash. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is the unexpected result of a solo drive through the countryside. At some point, I pulled off the road, rolled down all my car windows, and paid attention to…

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Sweets by Wendy Stewart (ONE GOOD MEMORY Series)

Another poem from a fellow Grapevine and Boiler House Poets Collective friend as part of the Silver Birch Press ONE GOOD MEMORY series! Enjoy “Sweets” by Wendy Stewart, especially those of you who enjoy marzipan treats for Christmas.

Silver Birch Press

fieryphoenixSweets
by Wendy Stewart

For Christmas we make marzipan fruits.
They are as big as my thumbs.

Apples are round and red,
like apples. I get it.

Plums are purple like plums.
I like them best.
Bananas are yellow and long.

I say grapes and she laughs.
I get it. They’d be so little.

Once she says Oh! That one
I thought must be a real plum.

She puts them on the glass tray.
They stay set on the cold porch.

When company comes,
we offer them our candies.
She holds the tray.

I tell how my mum
was fooled by my plum:
That one.

PHOTO:Marzipan fruits by Fiery Phoenix.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote “Sweets” when my daughter was little, perhaps littler than I was in this poem, and I was missing my mother. It is a fond memory. It struck me that you don’t know what’s…

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New chapbook from Jessica Dubey!


I’m pleased to share the news that Jessica Dubey’s newest chapbook, All Those Years Underwater, is now available, either from Kelsay Books or from Amazon. If you happen to order from Amazon and don’t yet have Jessica’s chapbook For Dear Life, be sure to add it to your cart, too.

Jessica is one of my local poet-friends, part of the Grapevine Poets here in Broome County, New York, as well as the Boiler House Poets Collective. It has been my privilege to see the poems in both manuscripts develop over time and come together into power-packed chapbooks.

Jessica has a special talent for writing about difficult issues in a way that is beautiful, but searing. As Marilyn McCabe notes on the back cover of All Those Years Underwater, “Danger is so delicate in these poems; it slides like a stiletto between the ribs. The poems stare you down with their lovely eyes, even as they insert the blade.”

For more information, links to previously published poems, and contact information, visit Jessica’s website. I’m sure she would love to hear from her readers!

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