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Stone chicken - a Poetry Friday post

This month, my poetry sisters and I are doing ekphrastic poems again (poems based on a piece of art). Andi sent us a bunch of truly lovely photos she took at the Glencairn cloister, and we each picked an image to work with.

I've been doing lots of work on my picture biography of Adelaide Crapsey, who invented the cinquain, so I decided to write one about my favorite image - a column with a carving of a chicken at the top of it.

copyright 2016 by Andi Sibley

Here's my poem:

somehow, perhaps
because rendered in stone,
puff-chested, far-seeing

And here are links to the works of my lovely poetry princesses:


You can reach today's Poetry Friday roundup by clicking the box below.

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Fell off the blog for a month.

You can likely guess why, if you know me, my world view, and have any notion at all about my politics.

I am working to get back here, and back on my feet in general.

See you soon. Probably.

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This month my poetry sisters and I undertook the writing of terza rimas, a poem written using three-line nested stanzas. It can go on for an age, as in the case of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alligheri, or it can be as short as a sonnet, as in "Acquainted With the Night" by Robert Frost. It can even be combined into sonnet-like stanzas, as with Keats's "Ode to the West Wind". Basically, they go ABA BCB CDC DED etc. And usually end off with either a single line that goes with the middle of the prior stanza (in this example, E) or with a rhymed couplet of the same (i.e., EE). Tricia Stohr-Hunt wrote one that ends with a single line; Sara Lewis Holmes wrote one that goes as far as G, if you map out her rhyme scheme. I went with the shorter sonnet version.

They can be kept in separate three- and one- or two-line stanzas, or jammed all together, as Laura Salas opted to do. They are typically written in English using iambic pentameter, but Tanita Davis did a magical job using fourteeners. We chose to write on a theme involving gratitude (or similar) as a tonic for this troubled electoral season.

Here is mine:

Each night before I settle into sleep,
I make a list of what I’m thankful for,
of memories that I would like to keep.

Curled tight against the man whom I adore,
reviewing what occurred during my day,
I listen as my sweetheart starts to snore

and count my blessings. First, there is the way
my lover loves me, metaphoric warts
and all. Then there’s my kids, who live away

from home, but who’ve developed as the sort
of people anyone would like to know.
Then there’s the cat—my sweet familiar. Short

as this list is, it fills me with its glow.
And always, there is room for it to grow.

Here are the links to my lovely poetry sisters' work:

Laura: "When Hope is Not Easy (Wait, is this an election poem?)"
Liz: "Gratitude in Rhyme" and "Half Empty or Half Full?"
Sara: "A Terza Rima for the Poetry Seven"
Tanita: "paean"
Tricia: "Untitled Terza Rima"

You can reach today's Poetry Friday roundup by clicking the box below (which takes you to Laura's post - she's pulling double duty today).

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Yesterday was the official publication date for the new anthology, One Minute Till Bedtime, edited by former children's poet laureate, Kenn Nesbitt, who organized the book into four sections, each one introduced by one of his poems. The collection has already earned three starred reviews, all well-deserved given the variety of poetry in the book (and the caliber of the poets with whom I am keeping company)!

My poem, "Baseball Season", is in there, and here's what it looks like:

I am thrilled to be part of this anthology, and to be in company with so many poet-friends, including fellow poetry princess, Laura Purdie Salas, who has a poem entitled "We're Bats!"

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Well what do you know?

I have been telling myself a story for a while. The story goes something like this:

"Once upon a time, you were a poet and an author, but those days appear to be gone. You aren't getting things out much. You aren't getting things accepted at all. Maybe you are done with that, even though you intended for this to be ongoing until death (or really old age)."


As I posted two weeks ago, I had a poem published online at Silver Birch Press.

And as I posted last week, I continue to inch along with progress on my Adelaide Crapsey biography.

And though I forgot to mention it, I recently got an acceptance from Chanterelle's Notebook for a poem. And yesterday, the current issue went live online. You can read my poems, "In a Whirl" and "postcard, post-conversation", at Chantarelle's Notebook. (And do check out the rest of the issue - it's good!)

And in yesterday's mail, I got my contributor's copy of One Minute Till Bedtime, the new anthology of children's poetry from Little, Brown, edited by former Children's Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt. Inside, you can find my poem "Baseball Season", on a page that looks like this:

All of which just goes to show . . . something. That there is still life in this here writing and publishing career, even if it's not the sort of amazing! overwhelming! success! that I once envisioned.

For today (and every day, really), I am grateful for what I have.

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Today was one of those days

As I posted on Facebook earlier, today was one of those days:

One of those down days. Haven't slept well three nights running, joints are extra achy. Good thing I have an infusion tomorrow (first full-strength one). Just hoping I can avoid the jaw pain that came with the half dose!

All true.

But. Then I asked myself what do I need to do today to not feel badly about myself?

Get out of the house, I thought.
Work on Adelaide, I decided.

So I packed up the printed manuscript and took myself to Starbucks, where I had a cappuccino (turns out I needed that caffeine) and read through the manuscript, making edits, taking notes, and writing helpful things like "fix!" in the margins.

I feel better now. Still tired. Still in pain. But so much better, in some of the ways that matter most.

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If I Had to Say - a link to my own poem

This week, I was lucky to have my poem, "If I Had to Say", posted by Silver Birch Press on their website. It's a poem I wrote several years ago, while in the midst of a divorce.

Here is the link!

You can get to the Poetry Friday Roundup at Irene Latham's by clicking the box below.

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Over at Guys Lit Wire

It's my review of TETRIS by Box Brown. It is a biography of the game itself, which is a fascinating concept to me (and one that caught me a bit off-guard.)

And now, to share the cover. Which will likely make you think the image is tilted, but no - the cover art is all at an uphill angle, which just makes you THINK that the entire image is crooked.

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Today's Poetry Seven post is supposed to be an ekphrastic poem based on an image that I chose. On photos I created, as it happens, when I was in Lyon, France, earlier this year and visited the Musée des Beaux Arts with my sweetheart. There were lots of gorgeous paintings and sculptures there, and it is SO worth your time if you are ever in Lyon - it's the largest art museum outside Paris or somesuch.

What really caught my eye while there was a statue in the middle of a gallery. It's a masked boy/young man, named Arlequin, and created by René de Saint Marceaux out of plaster. He was so smug and cock-sure, and you could get right up to him for photos.

copyright Kelly Ramsdell Fineman 2016

And here he is for his close-up of his looking down on you:

copyright Kelly Ramsdell Fineman 2016

The thing is, while I LOVE LOVE LOVE this statue and these images, I don't have a poem to offer about him. At least not yet. Life got in the way, between health issues and High Holidays, and time got away, and I am delinquent.

But these ladies are not. Please go read their spectacular work:


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The Baltimore Book Festival

On Saturday, I was at the Baltimore Book Festival, where I was invited to read inside the Story Share - a new tent that is a cozy reading spot. It is also a cool art installation, designed by my super-talented cousin Stewart Watson, who is written up in Baltimore Magazine this month along with Area 405 (the art space she manages).

The name of the installation is Goodnight Moonlight Nightlight, and the tent featured a HUGE nightlight that changed colors and involved a moon cover that Stewart made . . . somehow. I neglected to ask. The tent was lined with colors and patterns inside, and contained beanbag chairs and poufs and pillows, plus bins of books for the reading.

Heres are some photos:

Here's me, before getting to the reading.

Stewart Watson and me inside the Story Share

My sweetheart, Morris, next to the giant nightlight

It was a great day - I got to read my picture book, At the Boardwalk, a number of times for people who stopped in, and also read poems from other anthologies and from my chapbook, along with fielding questions about writing for children and visiting with an aspiring picture book author who was really fun to talk with.

Glad I rested all last week in advance of it, and not sorry that I'm still wiped out because of it!

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