The Final Friday of April * Farewell NPM & Hello Mice

There are a few days left in April but this is my farewell to 2017’s National Poetry Month.

(Cue the mice in the attic!)animated-mice gif

Thank you to everyone who participated and to everyone who endured the participants.

If you have read, written or shared a poem this month congratulations – you have truly expanded your mind as well as your horizons. Now [for me and the mice] it is back to the surreal world. Speaking of mice (urrumm) this is one of my favorite scenes from August Wolf which happens to be zero dollars right now. Yep, $0.00 April 28th – April 30th.

Excerpt from Chapter 3

“What do you think he meant?” Dale asked, running his thumb over the mouth of a half-empty bottle. “What could they do to you that would be worse than killing you?”

“I can think of a few things.” Jason answered, as he slowly pushed away from the table. “Any number of things.” His eyes remained fixed on a dim corner of the kitchen while his hand quietly seized the shooter at his side.

“Like what?” His friend asked, following the bead of his gun.

“Oh, they could…” Jason slowly cocked the pellet rifle and braced it against his right shoulder. “They could lock me up and throw away the key.” He squeezed the trigger and the pellet landed with a dull ping, leaving a miniscule hole near the baseboard.

“But your record was wiped clean. The bogus charges are gone, the punk that caused the trouble is gone and heck Jason, I think the judge is a goner too.”

“That doesn’t matter. They have more punks and more judges – they always have more.”

Dale craned his neck in the direction of the shot. Between the barrel of Jason’s gun and the hole, lay a small brown mouse. The creature immediately rolled onto its side; its tiny chest rising and falling; its caviar eyes staring frantically at nothing while its front legs scratched hopelessly at the air. Jason propped his rifle against the chair, and walked toward the mouse.

“They could cripple me.” He said solemnly as he picked up the tiny crippled mammal. Jason stroked the mouse with the pad of his finger, studying the wound he had inflicted. “They could torment me.” He clasped his palms around the animal and pressed. “They could mess up my mind and lock me away in a nursing home… just like they did August Wolf.” Dale watched the color drain from Jason’s face, saw his eyes glaze over with tears as squeezed until the panting and twitching stopped. Jason snorted, cleared his throat and regained his composure. He gently laid the mouse inside the garbage can. “I can imagine a lot of things that are worse than being dead, old pal.”

Okay, that was just one mouse but you know there were more lurking in the shadows – or the attic. There’s always more…

You should hear S. Scott Berger narrate the story! He is very entertaining. Hey, you could get the book free [April 28th -30th] and read along as Scott tells the story.

The Titmouse (A Poem & A Picture)

Q: Why The Titmouse by Ralph Waldo Emerson?

A: Because I have a few photos that need a home… and Titmouse’s are adorable.

Here was this atom in full breath,

Hurling defiance at vast death;

This scrap of valour just for play

Fronts the north-wind in waistcoat gray,

As if to shame my weak behaviour;

I greeted loud my little saviour,

‘You pet! what dost here? and what for?

In these woods, thy small Labrador,

At this pinch, wee San Salvador!

What fire burns in that little chest

So frolic, stout, and self-possest?

Henceforth I wear no stripe but thine;

Ashes and jet all hues outshine.

Why are not diamonds black and gray,

To ape thy dare-devil array?

And I affirm, the spacious North

Exists to draw thy virtue forth.

I think no virtue goes with size;

The reason of all cowardice

Is, that men are overgrown,

And, to be valiant, must come down

To the titmouse dimension.’

 

This was just a small snippet to accommodate my poor pictures. If you would like to read the poem in its entirety I borrowed it from Poem Hunter.

Oops, I almost forgot to plug Getting Me Back (The Voices Within)

Let’s Talk About It Tuesday (A Poem & A Picture)

Let’s Talk Poe(try). What would National Poetry Month be without some Poe?

Talk Alone A Poem & A Picture

It seems Edgar Allan Poe was born an orphan and subsisted as a lonely dejected urchin all his life. His father David Poe Jr. abandoned his mother Elizabeth early on. A couple of years after his disappearance Elizabeth Poe died of tuberculosis; all before little Eddie was three years old.

A couple named John and Frances Allan took Edgar into their home and fostered him until adulthood or the age of eighteen. At 18 Poe joined the United States Army under the alias Edgar A. Perry claiming to be twenty-two years old because he could not [reportedly] find gainful employment

Tick tock tick tock.

Frances died and Poe was disowned by John Allan—the men had been at odds for some time. Poe did not turn out be the man Allan expected and Allan turned out to be a man Poe despised. One could not abide the other’s vices. That is my summation.

Poe had problems. He drank too much, dreamed too much and lived with depression. That’s undoubtedly obvious.

Tick tock tick tock.

Poe married his first cousin Virginia when he was 26, she was half his age.  Yeah, and after a decade of harmony guess what? January 30th 1847 she died of tuberculosis.

Alone again and in failing health Poe became increasingly unstable. On October 3rd 1849 he was found wandering the streets of Baltimore bedraggled and in a state of delirium. Four days later on October 7th 1849 Edgar Allan Poe died in hospital. Alone.

Alone

From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were – I have not seen

As others saw – I could not bring

My passions from a common spring –

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow – I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone –

And all I lov’d – I lov’d alone –

Then – in my childhood – in the dawn

Of a most stormy life – was drawn

From ev’ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still –

From the torrent, or the fountain –

From the red cliff of the mountain –

From the sun that ’round me roll’d

In its autumn tint of gold –

From the lightning in the sky

As it pass’d me flying by –

From the thunder, and the storm –

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view –

The poem was never printed during Poe’s lifetime. It was first published by E. L. Didier in Scribner’s Monthly for September of 1875, in the form of a facsimile. The facsimile, however, included the addition of a title and date not on the original manuscript. That title was “Alone,” which has remained. Doubts about its authenticity, in part inspired by this manipulation, have since been calmed. The poem is now seen as one of Poe’s most revealing works. Original available Maryland Historical Society

The official cause of death is not recorded, perhaps it is not known. Speculations abound. Alcoholism, tuberculosis, syphilis, encephalitis, concurrent disease, murder…

All I know is this: He was only forty years old and was (like most of us) his own worst enemy. Despite his inner darkness I think Edgar Allan Poe managed to shine a light. I pray he is not alone and that the demon no longer hinders his view.

His remains are buried at Westminster Hall Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

Mull it Over Monday (A Poem & A Picture)

We are going to mIx iT uP this final week of NMP. Today (Monday) let’s take a look at Poet Dreaming by Loretta Diane Walker and mull it over.

Mull it. Ha! That sounds like a fish or a bad haircut.

Tsk!Tsk! Ignore the clown behind me and clear your mind.

poet dreaming A poem & A Picture

Poet Dreaming

By Loretta Diane Walker

(Originally found at Poetry Breakfast)

No sky could hold so much light.

—Mary Oliver

Poems are nomads paddling through darkness

collecting words from the arms

of Orion, Sagittarius, and Perseus

before camping in a poet’s dream.

She sees souls as colliding galaxies,

holes of light burning

with millions to trillions of stars

too bright to fit in the cavity of sky.

 

Those stars are poems

crammed in the dusty envelopes of mortal bodies,

shimmering beneath white ribbons of bone.

A silhouette of stars floats in the window of her eye.

The energy of need forces tiny hands to brush

against the small wings of a sigh hovering in the evening.

 

She hears the silhouette speak

in a voice the timbre of a piccolo,

“Look Mommy! I caught a butterfly.”

On the other side of her dream, she sees the light of joy,

and a moth beating its powdery gray life

in the basket of a child’s palms.

From In This House published by Blue Light Press.

Now let us ponder…

I was immediately captivated by the first line poems are nomads paddling through darkness. I could literally perceive souls as colliding galaxies and got lost in the poetry until I felt like Loretta Diane Walker pressed me [unwilling] into a mortal body and awakened me to the wonder of a child’s voice. I regret I do not have a better photograph to compliment the imagery of the poem. I even added stars among the fireworks in this picture but it does not suffice… Oh well. In short, Poet Dreaming was a relatable piece and by golly I liked it! As a matter of fact I heard a little bird say I will be getting a copy of In This House for Mother’s Day.

I wrote some poetry once Getting Me Back (The Voices Within)

From Getting Me Back (A Poem & A Picture by Me & of Me)

I cannot count the number of trips taken in that old station-wagon, but I do recall the passengers (nine, twelve and sometimes fifteen) packed liked sardines in a can; damp and smelly and filled with anticipation.

janna 1976

Looking back: It is like sitting in the third row seat of an old station wagon, staring ahead at the road behind you…

It is not enough to sit in the front seat and see where you were going – you didn’t know anyway. To understand how you got here you have to look at where you have been.

In that third row seat facing backwards you might be tempted to stare at the floorboard or the marks on your shoes or the stripes on the asphalt that never seem to end, but don’t. To understand you must look up, look back and accept the scenery for what it was.

When the pain and fury and fear rise up —  remember it is only a hill in the distance, you have already passed over. That queasy feeling in your stomach is no more than a sour memory.

I speak as if caressing scars and lament but what of the scars I have inflicted? Do I grieve for them? The answer is yes; indubitably yes.

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Reminder: This is the last day Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) will be FREE  (April 18th through the 21st). It is also the last “A Poem & A Picture by Me & of Me” for this year’s NPM. You can do your happy dance now. 😉

Oh, and Clan Destiny (Unjustified Favor) Book 3 in the series is your complimentary title for April 21st -23rd. Have a super-fantastic read filled weekend and I’ll see you next week.