Wonder

Why do we hate the snowy white
The breath of cool fresh rushing delight
The magic of a falling sky
Otherworld fantasies sprung to life
The beauty of a stark clean scene
Crisp white edges filled with soft lush cream
The closeness of God as gray skies hold Him near
Like the whole wide world was known right here
While we’re chosen to feel and see it all
As we explore this new land, flushed and enthralled
Why do we hate the snowy white
When such wonder is so rarely seen in life?

~~~~~~~

Composed 1/12/19
Description: I’m a midwesterner; I love the seasons. Today, after a winter of very mild, slightly wet weather, it finally snowed — in abundance. It felt only fitting to compose something befitting of this lovely change
.

This season it’s struck me how people loathe winter and snow so — even people that live here! Perhaps it’s my slightly optimistic nature, but, yes, while there are inconveniences, I mean, it’s snow; does it not make you even a little excited?

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Endgame

There are no cheat codes to life
No player’s guide online
No master’s mapped out the best path
Though many have tried
Many stream their trials
And many like to watch
But despite their hacks and advice
I struggle to min max my life
The worst part is the mystery
The best choices are uncertain
And despite a billion finishes
No one knows the end
But I guess that’s the fun
So let the games begin
I’ll just button mash through the challenge
To level up and win

Composed 1/2/19
Description: For today’s Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Mystery.

The Wall

Why am I left here standing while my friends crumble to their knees?
It’s not that I do not know the shadows or the wind
Fogs roll around me but my skin does not absorb their toxin
Instead I look to the water’s edge
See obscured, grimaced forms of once familiar faces
And try as I might I can’t wipe away the spray
And friendly hands turn to mist in my grip
I can only see the pain
Caused by this plague of corrosive mind and boiling blood
Feel the burn on the barest tips of my fingers
Never better have I understood the sensation of standing before a burning bush
Only now it’s my friends on fire

I stand behind a wall of Light
Uncertain of why I’ve been chosen to fight
From this side
All I can do is offer a flat palm
Let my presence be known
Spotlighted and empty handed like so many before me
In my dreams did I whisper send me?

A calm history
Attempted empathy
The curse of seeing clearly
While the earth and its creatures shatter around me
I am the one to know best how poorly
I’ve handled this
When I should be the most equipped
If only the Light could help me see
Through the wall of water that separates me
I could give my hand and pull out
Pharaoh’s armies from the sea

Composed 12/30/18

Apple/Tree

Our similarities might not be seen by the eye
(Like a certain someone else and I)
But they’re found in way my excitement peaks
When the clouds grow dark and lightning streaks
Across the fields in the early morning
And radio static cries out in warning
It’s found in the way I appreciate
A costume that is truly great
And the love of a well-crafted story
Whether sci-fi, fantasy, or gory
But really similarities lie
In a better than average artistic eye
In the calm way we flow about our day
In the comfort we both take from faith
And anyone who looks can see
We are both in good company
And neither of us has to pretend
The way that we are truly friends

Composed 12/22/18
Description: For my dad.


Published!

Despite my recent silence on this blog there has been a fair amount of excitement to share with regards to my poetry. Most notably I was just published in Z Publishing’s anthology America’s Emerging Poets 2018: Midwest Region. 

The poem they chose to include in the anthology was “Words of Affirmation,” which is actually a personal favorite of mine.

If you are interested in the anthology it can be purchased on Amazon here.

Finesse

I reach out
Aim to connect and shape
Pass down knowledge and strengthen faith
But often words are of wisdom drought
And the effectiveness is anyone’s guess
I wish my tongue had more finesse

I reach out
Aim to sweeten and please
Show wit and kindness to those I seek
But responses are rushed, shallow, and often route
Thus my words fail to much impress
I wish my tongue had more finesse

I reach out
As the sky grows dim
Introspection recorded through word and pen
Eloquence flowing like a fount
Past blunders transformed and simply expressed
My fingers find my only finesse

 

Composed 11/11/18
Inspired by life today and the Word of the Day: Finesse. 

 

2018 Riley Festival Written Poetry Contest Winner!

I am excited to share that I recently won first place in the Riley Festival Written Poetry Contest!

If you are not aware, the Riley Festival is a local arts/crafts/poetry/music festival that celebrates the birthday, life, and legacy of local poet James Whitcomb Riley. Known as “the Hoosier poet,” he is famous for poems such as “Little Orphant Annie” and “The Raggedy Man.”

James Whitcomb Riley, circa 1913. Copyrighted by Moffett, Chicago. Link.

The festival, affectionately called “Riley Days” by the locals, includes shutting down several major streets in the historic downtown area and setting up booths where local vendors can sell goodies that often include homemade crafts, antiques, baked goods, toys, and clothing. The festival also includes a fine arts gallery that awards prizes for photography, cooking, painting, quilting, and other needle-crafts. There’s also an entertainment tent (or two) with several performers varying in fame and style.

In recent years festival organizers have also tried to stay true to the origin of the festival by promoting poetry events such as open mic nights and a poetry slam. The written poetry contest, however, goes back to the early happenings of the festival (or, at least, it was still a prominent part of the festival when I was in elementary school — and before poetry was a thing I did seriously). The contest is divided by age/grade with winners in each age group.

Each year has a theme, which is always a poem of Riley’s, and this year the theme was his work “Out to Old Aunt Mary’s.” All poems in the contest have to somehow relate to the theme.

You can read the poem here, or, as a special treat, listen to Riley read it himself.

My poem was titled “Wishful Thinking” — a nod to the tone of innocence and freedom Riley writes about (and my struggle to relate to it). Honestly, I was a little surprised my angsty poem did so well.

Of course, another exciting thing is that the winner receives actual prize money, so this is one of the few poems I’ve actually profited from!

You can see the announcement of all the winners (including yours truly), in this article. According to the contest, publishing first rights are granted to the media, so if/when I get the ability to share or post the poem I will certainly do so!