In the Storm (April is National Poetry Month)

In the Storm (#NPM )

Firstly, my condolences to all those affected by Saturday’s hellish tornadoes. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Many of my fondest early memories [as well as imaginative ideas] were born in Houston county among the pine trees and red dirt, particularly a tiny community called Weches.

Some of you may know a few of my characters have roots in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi – that is not happenstance. Those just happen to be a few of my favorite states.

Again, my heart goes out to those suffering loss and I hope you’ll forgive me for choosing this poem for today.

Confession: My afflictions are bitter-sweet.

In the Storm

I reach for you…

With every crack of thunder

I hear you laugh…

Your smile is every bolt of lightning.

The drops of rain, you touching me,

with unsalted tears…

No more pain; no more regret.

I raise my arms,

as a child beckoning to be held

and it pours.

My grief is washed away by

stinging pellets of a spring rain

Leaving behind a clean slate

with only memories of the most mundane,

most cherished moments of my life.

Credits: I created the heading image (Inside the Storm) from a compilation of images I found at Pixabay. (Thank you Pixabay contributors).

The poem, In the Storm was taken from this twisted book of poems. And… guess what?

For a limited time my partnering experiment with Smashwords lets the reader decide what they will pay. Yep! You decide.

Check it out.

Once We Went Gaily (NPM)

I chose this poem because I felt like horsing around. 😉
Once we went gaily with never a care,
And the bigger the fences, the bolder we were;
Once the wild wind was our spur and our lash,
Once we would laugh at the splinter and crash
As the rails broke behind us, and thrill to the call
Of twelve foot of water or five foot of wall.
Once we could cope with the bucker’s demands,
Once the hard puller came back to our hands;
Once the green four-year-old, fretting and free,
Flinging the foam in white flecks to his knee,
Bent to our bidding and held us our place,
O’er the stiffest of country whatever the pace.
To blood running hotly, to hearts beating strong,
Not the longest of days was a moment too long;
‘Till the evening drew over its mantle of stars
We would ride to the hoof-beat and rattle of bars.
There was song in the gale, there was kiss in the rain;
Ah! Once we went gaily-but never again!
For the harsh years have stolen that magical zest
When with confident courage we rode with the best.
Now swift and unchallenged the braver may pass
On their reefing blood horses, hard held, on the grass;
The nerve is departed, the rapture denied,
And the chase must be left to the young ones to rideOnce we went gaily with never a care,
And the bigger the fences, the bolder we were;
Once the wild wind was our spur and our lash,
Once we would laugh at the splinter and crash
As the rails broke behind us, and thrill to the call
Of twelve foot of water or five foot of wall.
Once we could cope with the bucker’s demands,
Once the hard puller came back to our hands;
Once the green four-year-old, fretting and free,
Flinging the foam in white flecks to his knee,
Bent to our bidding and held us our place,
O’er the stiffest of country whatever the pace.
To blood running hotly, to hearts beating strong,
Not the longest of days was a moment too long;
‘Till the evening drew over its mantle of stars
We would ride to the hoof-beat and rattle of bars.
There was song in the gale, there was kiss in the rain;
Ah! Once we went gaily-but never again!
For the harsh years have stolen that magical zest
When with confident courage we rode with the best.
Now swift and unchallenged the braver may pass
On their reefing blood horses, hard held, on the grass;
The nerve is departed, the rapture denied,
And the chase must be left to the young ones to ride.

By William Henry Ogilvie
21 August 1869 – 30 January 1963

I Run (A Poem & A Picture)

I Run

by Janna Hill

I run into the rising sun

For hope & truth & good, I run

Through dampened clover kissed by dew

By weeping willows without a clue

 

O’er hills of heather and dunes of sand

Through paradise and no-man’s land

By babbling brooks and babbling men

Against the grain, against the wind

 

Snarled lips hiss, “It can’t be done.”

To them I whisper, “That’s why I run.”

Let’s Get this PaRtY Started! (A Poem & A Picture) NPM 2018 Baby!

Above the Noise

by Janna Hill

Above the noise

I hear your voice

With an oh so mellow

crack

Where sunbeams rain

Through nicotine stains

That remind me of your

laugh

… and I miss you.

 

It’s that time of year again…

And here we are–the same bat time, same bat channel as last year.

April is National Poetry Month/NPM. Whether you read my poetry or that of someone else, I only ask that you read; expand your horizons. Poetry is not only for scholars or ‘esteemed’ individuals – it is for everyone!!

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.

______________________________________________________________________________

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.

For Jessica (A Poem & A Picture)

This is my daughter (Jessica’s) favorite poem by Shel Silverstein. I cannot count the number of times we read Where the Sidewalk Ends as she was growing up.

As I was readying to take a shot of the book nestled among jasmine a caterpillar dropped from the sky and pooped! Can you believe it? Hmph! What does he know about poetry?! Gee-sh… and I had just scraped twenty years of boogers off!

Shel Silverstein Where the Sidewalk Ends

SARAH CYNTHIA SYLVIA STOUT WOULD NOT TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT

By Shel Silverstein

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout

Would not take the garbage out.

She’d wash the dishes and scrub the pans

Cook the yams and spice the hams,

And though her parents would scream and shout,

She simply would not take the garbage out.

And so it piled up to the ceiling:

Coffee grounds, potato peelings,

Brown bananas and rotten peas,

Chunks of sour cottage cheese,

It filled the can, it covered the floor,

It cracked the windows and blocked the door,

With bacon rinds and chicken bones,

Drippy ends of ice cream cones,

Prune pits, peach pits, orange peels,

Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,

Pizza crusts and withered greens,

Soggy beans, and tangerines,

Crusts of black burned buttered toast,

Grisly bits of beefy roast…

The garbage rolled on down the hall,

It raised the roof, it broke the wall…

Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,

Globs of gooey bubble gum,

Cellophane from green baloney,

Rubbery, blubbery macaroni,

Peanut butter, caked and dry,

Curdled milk, and crusts of pie,

Rotting melons, dried-up mustard,

Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,

Cold French fries and rancid meat,

Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.

At last the garbage reached so high

That finally it touched the sky,

And all the neighbors moved away,

And none of her friends would come to play,

And finally, Sarah Cynthia Stout said,

“OKAY, I’ll take the garbage out!”

But then, of course it was too late…

The garbage reached across the state,

From New York to the Golden Gate,

And there in the garbage she did hate,

Poor Sarah met an awful fate

That I cannot right now relate

Because the hour is much too late

But children, remember Sarah Stout,

And always take the garbage out!

For JESS A Poem & A Picture

It comes as no surprise Jessica grew up to be a goofball. I thank God every day for allowing me to be her mom.

Reminder:  Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month…

Spring by Edna St. Vincent Millay (A Poem & A Picture)

 

SPRING FLOWERS A Poem & A Picture Spring

From Second April (Courtesy of everypoet.com Classic Archives)

SPRING

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

To what purpose, April, do you return again?

Beauty is not enough.

You can no longer quiet me with the redness

Of little leaves opening stickily.

I know what I know.

The sun is hot on my neck as I observe

The spikes of the crocus.

The smell of the earth is good.

It is apparent that there is no death.

But what does that signify?

Not only under ground are the brains of men

Eaten by maggots,

Life in itself

Is nothing,

An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.

It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,

April

Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Don’t you love the last line(s)? They do strike a chord with me — maybe because I am just living out loud and flinging cake against the wall, right?!

Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month and is now available in digital or paperback. AND to show my appreciation for your support there will be a gift of random books by ‘moi’ each weekend in April. Check in, check them out and follow my Author Page at Amazon for future updates.

P.S. A little history on Edna St. Vincent Millay: After her husband’s death from a stroke in 1949 following the removal of a lung, Millay suffered a great deal; she drank recklessly, and had to be hospitalized. A month later she was back at her farm (Steepletop) where she  passed a lonely year working on a new book of poems. She died in 1950 of a heart attack. For more about her works and life visit Poetry Foundation.