Poem of the Week–A Blazing Glimmering Lake

A Blazing Glimmering Lake

The day dawns still and crisp.
A skin of ice covers the water to the east,
A morning stubble of black saplings outlines the mouth of a stream
Where Beaver skinny dips in the frosty water, pattering mud
Over a lumpy lodge to keep his family snug in the coming months.

Tentative rays peek between land and low-hanging sky. The boldest ones are grey,
Then by turns they all appear: violet, purple, puce
Mauve, cimarron, rose, shocking pink,
Orange, tangerine, peach,
Lavender, amber

And finally, Regent appears
At the end of the opulent procession;
Flashing a blindingly brilliant white-gold grin
Before tucking back under the steel velvet cloud cover
For a few more winks

And I realize
That Beaver and I
Have plenty to be thankful for
Without Anyone
Saying a word.

by Angela Hunt
Minnesota Branch

Poem of the Week–A Prompting in Winter (Prince’s Cove)

A Prompting in Winter (Prince’s Cove)

1.
The sand is frozen in the hourglass,
and if this is the day the sailboat is trapped,
moored a hundred yards from shore

and if this is the sign — the ebb tide, ice-bound,
leaning slab by white slab, like dominos,
dry stacked on the boat ramp,

when your dog sniffs a chain
padlocked to the scarred piling, and the
stench of gutted fish clinging to the dock

releases in you a raging sense
of theft         of loss         of the unspent life of a woman —
then this is the time.

2.
The midwives are the blazing sunrise and
the sounds        crack         crack
like a rifle shot, echoing loud in the cove.

Wary of hunters,
you seek your dog, all golden and familiar,
who sits unfazed, intuitive about these things:

it’s the ice that’s causing the commotion,
it’s the ice breaking the rule of winter’s prey
— to lie still, to feign death —

so far out of the realm of possibility
because its essence
is flow.

3.
This is something you aspire to
so you chant your fear
inside a labyrinth of half shells

and before your verve depletes,
before your day is wracked with shoulds
will you emerge out of the frozen —

lit with the dawn and
glinting in silver
when the wild geese call?

Diane McDonough
Cape Cod Branch, MA

Poem of the Week–Valentines

Valentines

 

The background is not well known…

Love went for a walk one day

and was surprised to be hit by

armfuls of white arrows

that upon touch

exploded into a sky cascading

with ageless red hearts

caught by many then, and…

the word is that the air

is always full of these reds and

whites; we cannot see this, but

the floating likenesses

invisibly aim and,

Inexplicably,

directly hit our

signaling hearts.
 
Lois Howard

Palm Springs Branch, CA 

 

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Poem of the Week–No Redemption from Pitch

There’s No Redemption from Pitch

There’s no redemption from pitch.
Sometimes in the sunlight there’s a sheen to it,
a tempting shine in its darkness,
and it seems yielding, aqueous.

The iridescence calls to your eyes–
it’s damnably attractive, this stuff.
Lies there in its patch, preening.
You touch it–ignore the warning signs–
reaching out across the barrier space,
fingers happily anticipating warm smoothness,
wanting to share the touch of the embedded color,
the age-old charm of oil.

No one can tell you.
No one can pull you apart from the pitch,
fingers stuck to the darkness
that went from enticing to something else.

by Jean Hull Herman
Diamond State Branch

Poem of the Week–Before You Were Born

Before You Were Born

My arms caressing my basketball sized stomach
I held you
as I spoke to you
holding long conversations
telling you everything I was doing every day.
You were for that interval detained,
floating dreamlike within your aquarium globe.
I would speak to you whenever the outside volume
became too distracting–
when the threat of impending violence tensed the surrounding air.
He would be ranting about something,
and so I would sit on the edge of the bed
and sing to you,
“Don’t you listen to him; mommy loves you”–
my arms around the you inside of me–
placing my palms just where I thought your budding ears might be,
to keep you, I hoped, from hearing his voice.

Once, before you were born,
I ran from him down the street,
and again my arms desperately held you.
This time they formed a kind of lift, a restraint
against the jostling of juices
as I held my bountiful belly
like a young boy who has just kidnapped a prized ripe watermelon
from the neighbor’s yard.

Before you were born,
as your first endocrinological seas were forming,
establishing their own recipe transmuted from his ocean
and mine,
I did not know then you would always hear those voices
that you would always be running.

D. Marie Fitzgerald
Palm Springs, Ca. Branch

Publications News and Poem of the Week-For Kate

The Pen Woman magazine is hot off the press and will be going out in the mail shortly. Members will be receiving the magazine in a few weeks to a month. click here to visit our Pen Woman magazine page to subscribe if you aren’t yet a member or to order additional copies. Winter2015cover

The deadline for The Light Between Us submissions is February 25, 2015. NLAPW members, please submit your true story of the impact of creative expression on a personal healing experience or the impact of a life experience on your artistic expression in 1200 words or less.
Use 12 point type and Times New Roman Font.
Submit your manuscript to: penwomenpress@nlapw.org with Light between Us in the subject line.
Include your name, address, phone number, email address and branch affiliation or Member-At-Large in the upper left hand corner of page 1.

Order our upcoming anthology, Poems of the Super Moon, on our bookstore page:poemsofthesupermoon6x9

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Poem of the Week

For Kate

Your hair smells like gin.
Crisp, of-the-forest, cold.
You spent a day hoarding
sunlight, posing on one
windowsill after another.
Washing yourself of winter.
You followed the light
east to west. By evening
you’d soaked so many
rays, you were gravid
with heat, gold, and
that juniper

scent. You hold my wrist
between your teeth, your
pupils dark moons, your sky-
blue eyes. You do not break
skin. I push my face into
your flank. I cannot resist you.
You murmur, one-syllable
seduction. Throw yourself
onto/into weave, stories,
oriental rug. Bare pink,
pink belly to night’s
rain-spangled
kiss.

Rachael Z. Ikins
Central New York Branch, NY

Poem of the Week–


All That’s Mine

It’s an ugly, ugly word
Alzheimer’s
It’s an alien, foreign word.
Difficult to say,
Difficult to spell,
Difficult to live
It ravages through brain cells like Nazi troops
Razing, burning, taking no prisoners.
It’s a terrifying word, a thunder jolt,
Jarring and scarring time
A lightning bolt zig-zagging across minds
Setting fire to tangled piles of dead dendrites
that smolder, turning all memories into smoke
Taking all that’s mine

Oh, give me a kinder word
Like dotage or a softer word like senility
Give me an old fashioned, fuddy-duddy word like forgetfulness
Or a new self-conscious word like senior moment
Or deceptive words like mild cognitive impairment
Maybe a funny group of words like
Off your rocker, lost your marbles even geezerhood
That’s a word that makes me smile- geezer
Better yet
I’ll take Shakespeare’s hand and walk across the stage of life
“Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything” into my second childhood
But speak not the ugly word, the hated word, the terminal, terrifying word of
Alzheimer’s.

Susan Bassler Pickford
Member at Large, ME

Poem and Art of the Week and a simple New Year’s wish

Click on the image to see it larger.

Yosemite in Winter White, Meggie Raeder, Santa Clara Co., CA

Yosemite in Winter White, Meggie Raeder, Santa Clara Co., CA

There’s Always Tomorrow

Whenever bad things happen
Think about tomorrow.
Tomorrow is another day
And may erase your sorrow.
So wake up, get going
Forget a face that’s grim.
Exchange it for a smiling one
To hide the state you’re in.
If you smile at others
They’ll smile right back at you.
Suddenly your outlook
Won’t make you feel so blue.
Tomorrow is another day
New mornings offer hope.
Keep busy and productive
It doesn’t pay to mope.
No one said life’s perfect
Our plans often go astray,
Don’t give in to sadness
Tomorrow is another day.

Marlene Klotz
Boca Raton Branch, FL

Happy New Year to everyone. Many blessings for health and happiness for 2015. May 2015 be filled with music, art and meaningful words.

Treanor Baring
www.nlapw.org
Website Editor

Poem of the Week–December Delights II

December Delights II

Tonight,
a ride through our neighborhood
is filled with lights pulsating to music,
scintillating crazily,
outlining window frames,
roofs and doors,
a manic celebration,
full of high energy and intensity.

My favorites are still
the large tear-shaped
bulbs that glimmer mutely
red, yellow, blue green, white —
over-sized versions of the ones that decorated our tree
when I was young,
the ones that glowed softly
after I turned off all the lamps,
sat in the living room
filled with anticipation

Nancy Haskett
Modesto Branch, CA

Blessings to all of you for a safe holiday and may we always be mindful of the needs of others.–
Treanor Baring
Website Editor
Poetry Editor
NLAPW

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,
diplomas—
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.