Month: April 2019

National Poetry Month: William Shakespeare

Everyone knows who William Shakespeare is. He has graced many classrooms, theaters, and households for generations. As a student who found herself in many literature classes, my time with Shakespeare was one spent analyzing the structure, decoding the metaphors, and connecting the words and events to social and political happenings in the years in which the pieces were written.

As a graduate, and as someone who spends her time amidst countless books, across multiple genres, I was drawn back to Shakespeare. Mostly because of the beautiful editions that have since been published of The Bard’s great works, but partly because I wanted to read them without the pressures of responding to them in essay format. I wanted to read for the sheer purpose of enjoyment rather than academic excellence.

And so, in honor of National Poetry Month, I started with his Sonnets. They can be found all over the internet, but I wanted to share one of my favorites them. I encourage all of those who have read Shakespeare, or any author for that matter, for the sole purpose of academic requirement, to go back. Fresh eyes allow us a new opportunity to appreciate the works of centuries past without the pressure to see the author’s meaning/intent. Instead, we get the opportunity to feel it.

 

Sonnet XXV

Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlook’d for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes’ favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun’s eye,
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil’d,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toil’d:
Then happy I, that love and am beloved
Where I may not remove nor be removed.

 

 

About Corinne

CA Bio ImageCorinne has her MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University and her MPS in Publishing from George Washington University. She has been an editor at Ink Smith Publishing and Native Ink Press since 2013, taking over the company in 2019. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites, and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve.

Independence Day (1996) by Greg Lehman

Name something good
about a place where nobody dies,
some endless beach of a world,
temperate, well-lit, so calm
the ennui has room to grow solid
on the air,

and the people you’re with
will never go anywhere else, every
bit of them, inelegant,
prone to bumbling
the weight of balance I need
to be who I am, their pact
against composure
unbreakable, keeping peace
from ever hovering down
to find you again.

I can’t see it either.
The way things are
there just isn’t a way
around moving from one spigot
to another, draining worlds
into our hands and the hands
of our young. Come on. You
do it, too.

Still, like anyone,
we could be mistaken,
so if you can do better
we’ll hear you out.

But do not expect us
to not be proactive
in the meantime.

 

 

About Greg LehmanGREGGGGGGY_B&W-25

Greg Lehman earned an MFA in creative writing from Lindenwood University and a BA in journalism from California State University at Fullerton. He has published and edited as a professional journalist, and continues to pursue the field through his website loudowl.org. He also enjoys writing short fiction and novels, as well as poetry, sometimes

  

Ghosted by Greg Lehman

I never saw the poet again,
leaving things hanging
is far from silent, quiet
like a needle’s pain

around a sound
that must be there
between skin
and the finest of points, I

can’t name its pitch, maybe
she heard it, but would not
lend her volume, unwilling
to lend a clear medium

as this puncture sank, pulling
a knot that caught nothing, not
one word, graceless or the limit
she put on grace,

but what better reply
than the one that tells you
which timbre
lacks credence?

What is more graceful
than the clarity of pain
as explicit as skin
and a needle? Poise

is a gift, a plunge,
a finely cut form for knowing
where rhythms will land
before the first stanza
can end.

 

About Greg LehmanGREGGGGGGY_B&W-25

Greg Lehman earned an MFA in creative writing from Lindenwood University and a BA in journalism from California State University at Fullerton. He has published and edited as a professional journalist, and continues to pursue the field through his website loudowl.org. He also enjoys writing short fiction and novels, as well as poetry, sometimes.   

Running in Santa Ynez Mountains by Greg Lehman

1. I told myself
I went left at the river,
that taking the sound
of water
would bring me back home.

2. The bobcat glared
at the edge where asphalt
meets earth, until
she looked my way,
took her time disappearing
long before
I was anywhere close.

3. No matter where
a raptor might find you,
or which one it is,
osprey, owl,
hawk, harrier, kite,
vulture, eagle,
or caracara, they are always
above where they are,
even the trail
we share for a moment,
the steps I take
are worlds below eyes
that see everything
and see through it, decide
what to take
with talons as hooked as fate,
just as sharp, sparing nothing.

4. The downgrade gentles impact,
robs the brunt of each footfall
in tandem with how much restraint
I let go, trades
prudence out, it’s scary,
this is steep, this
can fuck me up
riding legs
that have never been
more my own.

 

 

About Greg LehmanGREGGGGGGY_B&W-25

Greg Lehman earned an MFA in creative writing from Lindenwood University and a BA in journalism from California State University at Fullerton. He has published and edited as a professional journalist, and continues to pursue the field through his website loudowl.org. He also enjoys writing short fiction and novels, as well as poetry, sometimes.   

Searching by Melissa Myers

The tribe has lost their emperor.
They wander in darkness
calling to the shadows of ghosts.
They cry to the cold moon for solace,
but rest is always outside their reach.
Their tears carve canyons
and flood riverbanks.
Devil’s claw and chaparral wither under foot.
They fall to their knees
below an empty sky.

 

About Melissa Myers

My name is Melissa Myers. I’m from Tennessee, and I live in New England. I love exploring the rich history of this region, and I jump at every opportunity to do so. Poetry holds a special place in my heart because of its ability to connect people on an emotional level. I often find inspiration in life, love, and nature. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Accepting Crumbs by Melissa Myers

Summer dusk
Shades of pink and amethyst
Beach grass
Edge of sand
Fire bed
Tinder catches
a thousand sparks
Floating from the flames
You write villanelles by the glow

 

About Melissa Myers

My name is Melissa Myers. I’m from Tennessee, and I live in New England. I love exploring the rich history of this region, and I jump at every opportunity to do so. Poetry holds a special place in my heart because of its ability to connect people on an emotional level. I often find inspiration in life, love, and nature. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Old Oak Bridge by Melissa Myers

Weathered oak planks graying and cracked
Rusted steel girders overgrown with twisted vines
The quiet rush of the river running underneath us
We sneak away and meet there
Scorching summer sun and cool autumn moon
Clasped hands out on the middle of the bridge
Legs dangling over the side
Wishing the train still came through
so two hobos could catch a ride
Making big plans to get out of a dying backwater town
before we’re choked and dragged down to rot
like this old bridge in its grave of weeds and briars

 

About Melissa Myers

My name is Melissa Myers. I’m from Tennessee, and I live in New England. I love exploring the rich history of this region, and I jump at every opportunity to do so. Poetry holds a special place in my heart because of its ability to connect people on an emotional level. I often find inspiration in life, love, and nature. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Bed of Thorns by Melissa Myers

Whatever it is
I don’t want to
I’m busy
Staring at the ceiling
And feeling the sound of my breathing
Life revolves around resting
even if my bed is made of thorns
Holy philosophers say
it’s a sin to be so still
How is it possible to offend God
without ever moving?
Pondering the mysteries of my morality is exhausting
I need another nap

 

 

About Melissa Myers

My name is Melissa Myers. I’m from Tennessee, and I live in New England. I love exploring the rich history of this region, and I jump at every opportunity to do so. Poetry holds a special place in my heart because of its ability to connect people on an emotional level. I often find inspiration in life, love, and nature. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

National Poetry Month: Shel Silverstein

When I was in the third grade, my teacher, Mrs. Froriep, was insistent upon our class reading and writing in tandem. It was not enough to read the words and enjoy them in the way authors organized them, but also to use our imaginations and create our own writings, and to respond to the books we were reading. I attribute a lot of my joy in writing to this woman. But I also attribute that joy to the authors and books that she connected me to as well.

As I get older and engage with different books and writing styles I always look back on those times in her class when she would pull books out for us to read together. It was always followed by those quiet moments of reflection and digestion of the content we were currently ingesting. One of the first poetry books she introduced me to was Shel Silverstein, Falling Up. In honor of Poetry Month Ink Smith has decided to dedicate today to this childhood author. His work has, and continues to, grace the bookshelves of countless classrooms across the nation inspiring children to both read, and perhaps, to write.

 

“There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.”
Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein

 

What was your favorite Shel Silverstein piece? Share in the comments!

 

About Corinne

CA Bio Image

Corinne has her MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University and her MPS in Publishing from George Washington University. She has been an editor at Ink Smith Publishing and Native Ink Press since 2013, taking over the company in 2019. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites, and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve.

jazz is by Peter Carlos

jazz is
    (for Michael Castro)


a call out
and a response
jazz is
e-motional
jazz is
ex–pression
jazz is
exploration
jazz is
hot
and chill
and cool


jazz is

              Peter Carlos

 

 

About Peter Carlos

Peter Carlos has attended the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in Vermont in 1976 and 1979, where he studied under Mark Strand and Robert Pack. He graduated with a M.A. in Creative Writing from Middlebury’s Bread Loaf Graduate School of English. His poetry and photographs have appeared in American Poetry Review, Image, River Styx, The Oakland Review, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, among other small literary journals. He is author of a chapbook, Praise the High Grass, and a book of poems, Dreamfish. He is the Program Chair of Cinema Arts at Lindenwood University.