Poem of the Week–A Leave Taking

A Leave Taking

This is what I look forward to every year:
watching A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life with you—
our bodies like crescent rolls on the couch each on opposite ends,
our heads resting on pillows borrowed from our beds,
our feet touching under a shared afghan.

This year something was different—
I reached for your hand
but you withdrew it,
and some part inside of me imploded
like a flower wilting in time lapsed photography.
Your hand from mine took with it
all of our traditions and all we have been to each other,
causing me to file us away into some dark corner of a closet
where I keep cards, photographs, report cards, graduation announcements,
all the evidence of your life.

I never wanted to put your love there,
retire it to some dark recess,
even if only for the time needed
for you to place your hand in mine again.

by D. Marie Fitzgerald
Palm Springs Branch, CA

Pen Women Press News

Spirit, Peace and Joy 2nd edition is available. Take care of your last minute shopping with a click at our bookstore!
Please note: the deadline for members to submit poems for our literary press’s upcoming Poems of the Super Moon anthology is December 20, 2014.
Please send submissions to the Poetry Editor, Treanor Baring, at pwpoems@aol.com with Moon Poem in your subject line. Be sure to include your byline and branch on the page with the poem. For complete submissions guidelines click here to visit our Publications page. Book orders will pay for the printing, so please think about ordering several as gifts. To pre-order, click here to visit our Bookstore.

Poem of the Week–At Miss Kitty’s Home for Wayward Girls

At Miss Kitty’s Home for Wayward Girls

In the aftermath of winter storms,
broken marriages, death, and a quest
for independence a group of women
various ages, hair colors etc. gathered before a fire
to roast marshmallow Easter candies called
Peeps. Creme brûlée on a fondue fork.

Good scouts that they were, creativity
& indoor fireplace saved dinner. A sudden rainstorm
soaked the plan to cook wieners over a bonfire
in the back yard. Every single woman lost a father
to heart disease when those fathers were fifty.
A strange, sad community.

But the elders, this tiny group of survivors,
delighted to shock younger, tales of sex,
older women & erotic experiences, LOL,
collect sex-toys, dream of lovers. One dreamer,
a poet. She read to them while embers, eyelids simmered
low. They slept with dogs, woke up, faced new
adventures. Next morning, poet noticed the fire.

Rekindled through night, ash-camouflaged coals.
Not unlike a metaphoric older woman; holds heat.
One candle continued to waver from mantelpiece after
they’d gone to bed, guarding all sleepers and travelers
through darkness with fragile
constant magic.

by Rachael Z. Ikins
Central New York Branch, NY

Note to NLAPW members: The deadline for submissions to the Pen Women Press Poems of the Super Moon anthology is now December 20, 2014. Poets will be officially notified of inclusion after the deadline. Address any enquiries and submissions to the Poetry Editor, Treanor Baring, at pwpoems@aol.com with the subject line Moon Poems. Be sure to include your name and branch (or MAL) on the page with the poem! For full submission guidelines, click here.

Full Moon Poem–The Moon and the Stars

The Moon And The Stars

When I awaken in the night
full of longing and loneliness
thinking of him,
I close my eyes, pull the covers closer,
and return to the music of the forest.

Crossing all boundaries,
I find my way back
to the golden meadow,
the glowing embers of the campfire,
the smell of wood-smoke and pine.

And once again,
beneath a silver moon
and an eternity of stars,
I fall asleep in his arms.

JoAnna O’Keefe
Cape Canaveral Branch, FL

Pre-order the Poems of the Super Moon anthology from the Pen Women Press here.

Poem of the Week–Escape


On the plane
In a row by myself
I don’t have to talk
I don’t have to listen
Soothing hum of the motors
Air pressure so loud
It blocks out other voices
Look out the window
Why can’t troubles,
Heartache – hurt
Be as quiet as
Those clouds.

by Bea Doone-Merena
Boca Raton Branch, FL

About this poem: This poem was written by Boca Branch art member Bea Doone-Merena at a recent poetry workshop conducted by Marlene Klotz, Boca Raton Branch Poetry Chair. Ms. Klotz describes the workshop:

Marlene Klotz, left, Boca Raton Branch Poetry Chair, at a recent poetry workshop

Marlene Klotz, left, Boca Raton Branch Poetry Chair, at a recent poetry workshop

Our workshop turned into a memorable experience.
Everyone got into the act, even the nurse who accompanied
a member who has trouble walking. I based our theme on
the inspirational poetry of Maya Angelou, with special
emphasis on her book, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.”

Our ladies are not caged birds. We give ourselves the
freedom to be our own selves. At the same time I introduces
the women to the poetry and quotes by Angelou, I made sure
to throw in lots of humor. We had a noisy and happy afternoon.

Some of the poems were funny. Joni Sack made us all laugh.

As I explained, poetry begins with a thought, a feeling, well chosen words,
then best words in the best order.

Poem of the Week-The Ice Queen


Moon-white the Snowy Owl flies
swallowing December’s darkness like prey,
waiting for the sun,
being the one
instinctively driven
to hunt by day
scanning an Arctic tundra.
Through amber goblets
she spills lasered beams earthward
pearl talons in tandem impose closure,
marking an Athena victory
melding wisdom with vision
in a twice turned head,
ready to avenge a counter attack.
Flaunting she rises,
her conquest grasped in flight,
then swoops to a-light an Arctic rise.
Momentarily she sits, an alabaster statue
carved in ice.

Joyce Gregor
Pikes Peak Branch, CO

Poem of the Week- Winter Rage & more


Orphaned at seventy-six
She knelt on the window seat
Lover of the stars
But frightened by the night;

Her mother, her best friend
Died in the fall
Father was a faded soldier memory
Killed in France;

The house, a gingerbread ghost
Of cornices and porches
Stood like a Victorian scrapbook
In the punk rock ruin of the city;

Lone curator of a private museum
She pressed herself between its pages
Like the nosegay
From her first cotillion;

Familiar objects conjured up
Their histories
As her life was auctioned off
Piece by piece;

The nursing home waited gravely
And the house would vanish
Into the greedy night;

For all the days
That could not come again
She smashed the stained glass windows
With her cane.

Linda Texter Hall
Diamond State Branch, DE

Editor’s correction: the deadline for submissions for The Light Between Us is January 1, 2015.
Click here for more info on submitting to our upcoming Pen Women Press publications.

Art of the Week-Pumpkins & Poem-Saga of Lois Lane #1

Pumpkins Chella Gonsalves Modesto Branch, CA Oil en Pleine Aire

Chella Gonsalves
Modesto Branch, CA
Oil en Pleine Aire

Saga of Lois Lane #1

Never fall in love
With a wild roaming Superman.
Just call me Lois and be patient
While I write a story about this cosmic creature of a man.

He travels through constellations
That I watch fade with the rising sun.
I cry a billion tears
Missing my galaxy-driven, ever moving
All American Jedi on the run.

When again
Will he land on my porch and tell of his travels?
One year, two, maybe three?
Oh yeah, next summer
He said he would fly by here again
And I will be waiting on the porch, as I have been.

Despite my constant trying, year after year,
No matter my left brain’s song
And my heart meat spreading everywhere,
I can’t, I don’t, I won’t it appears
Erase him from my script
Delete him, find a new hero
Give a girl a princess ending
A carriage ride and then
Stop loving him,
My wild roaming, galaxy-driven, ever returning
Loveable, Jedi Superman.

We are not different;
Very much alike we are.
My travels require no movement.
I’ve already read where he travels to
And done what he is going to do.

Marilyn Lewis-Alim
Huntsville Branch

Fall 2014 Pen Woman magazine for sale! Click here to order.(scroll down-pumpkins on cover)

Poem of the Week-When I was Nine

When I was Nine

When I was nine,
my father taught me baseball.
Not how to take a stance
and grip the bat
or slide into second base…
but how to listen —
to close my eyes and visualize
the game.

And we would lie on the floor
near the hi-fi
in the dusk;
screen door open,
cushioned atop the loops
of the new, nylon wall-to-wall carpeting,
imagining every fast ball
from Sandy Koufax,
every base stolen
by Maury Wills —
almost tasting the peanuts
and feeling the metal seats,
listening to Vin Scully
making it seem real
play by play

side by side

just the two of us,


Nancy Haskett
Modesto Branch, CA

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Poem of the Week–Aubade

An Aubade: A Visit to the Museum

I stand alone
among the Pre-Raphaelites,
before the Romeo and Juliet.
Maddox Brown paints the
lovers’ departure already scribed
by the Bard.

It is the lovers’ sweet lasting lament, and yes,
I see it is the lark, morning’s messenger
painted here. This immortalized departure
reminds me of you and our
missed mornings,
tender trysts,
when life’s intrusions refuse to
blanket us with darkness and the
down of soft dreams.

Does the dawn bless or break
their first argument?
When to part?
Or perhaps,
this thinly disguised parting
portioned with passion and deception,
is let go with longings that last.

It does not matter whether it is
nightingale or lark, or
who was right or wrong; or
whether it is fiction or life,
it only matters that all lovers
long for the length
of a quiet evening’s balm.

Like water that seeks its level,
my passion seeks its own capacity:
a warmth of comfort, a promised portion,
a reverie of thought so gentle that
all moments linger and fill
my aubade afternoon.

Then my museum visit
is cut short by time and memory.
I hurry home
to wait for you ‘til evening
when our new dawn
will yield nocturnal bliss.

maria keane
Diamond State Branch, DE

Check out our News and Events page for what’s happening, including a dance program in the Pen Arts Building this Saturday, free and open to the public. For more info, click here.

Poem of the Week–Orange Moon, and a call for submissions

Orange Moon

Somewhere up there
there’s an orange moon.

Once in a blue moon
there’s an orange moon.

There’s a cloud cover
like a down comfort
thrown over the earth.

I am on the earth side
so I will not see that
there’s an orange moon.

I have seen such a moon.
In an unobstructed view
from the dock on the New River
a lusterware platter
held me transfixed.

I will not see this orange moon
but I can imagine
a giant luminous lusterware platter
above the fresh green
of the oaks and willows of the Delta.

I will remember, when it is said
“there’s an orange moon,”
and know that
blue moons are a measure of time:
orange moons are a measure of faith.

by Bet Wooten
Delta Branch, MS

Got any good pics of the eclipse? Send them and we’ll post them!

Call for submissions for Poems of the Super Moon

Poems of the Super Moon, a volume of poetry by Pen Women, will be published by the Pen Women Press by the end of the year. Submissions are welcome from Pen Women in all arts classifications, Art, Music or Letters.

It all started with the first lines of Nancy Haskett’s “A Poem about the Moon,” which was featured on the www.nlapw.org blog in August, right in time for the Super Moon event in the sky:

Recently, I heard someone say
that every poet needs a poem about the moon

Pen Women met the challenge and soon, NLAPW poets were sending in wonderful “Moon Poems,” new and newly revisited. A series on the blog was begun. Stay tuned to the blog for more moon poetry.
Submission Guidelines

NLAPW Members: Please send your “Moon Poems” via email to pwpoems@aol.com for consideration for the new volume to be published by the Pen Women Press. Art, Music and Letters members are all welcome to submit. And to help me keep “organized,” please include “Moon Poems” as your subject line—I need all the help I can get!

Deadline: December 8, 2014

If you’ve already sent in a poem for the blog and would like it included in the new book, please let me know.

Donations and Pre-orders will be accepted to defray the costs of the first printing. Check the website, www.nlapw.org, for more info.

Treanor Baring
Pen Woman Magazine Poetry Editor
Website Editor

Visit the www.nlapw.org Bookstore to pre-order Poems of the Super Moon, the upcoming publication of the Pen Women Press.

Visit the www.nlapw.org blog to read more poems about the moon.

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