Branches – a Haiku

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Water feeds deep roots
Branches reach up to the sky
Reflected in waves.

9/21/19

My response to Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 145 #PhotoPrompt

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Flight – a Tanka

Floating free in fog
Enthralled by eternity
Unfocused; unbound
Enlightened and unattached
Fluttering, falling; failing

9/11-9/12/19

My response to Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 144 #SynonymsOnly

Colleens-Weekly-Poetry-Challenge

 

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Between the Trees by Kristiana Reed [Book Review]

Between the Trees: Poetry and Prose is the debut poetry collection by Kristiana Reed of My Screaming Twenties and Free Verse Revolution. This is much more than just a collection of verse and prose. Reed has created a vessel for the reader to follow her in on a poetic journey through her life, which is bookended by the poems ‘Between the Trees’ and ‘Beyond the Trees’ (The poem ‘Grown Up’ appears first in the collection, acting as a prologue to the poetic cycle that follows).

Before getting to the title poem, Reed begins with ‘Grown Up’ in which she laments how being a “grown up” involves things she hadn’t imagined as a kid:

I’ll be honest

when I said the words

grown up

aged thirteen

I didn’t see

a tub of ice cream,

crying

and sitting in the dark

listening to the sky

opening.

These lines foreshadow what is to come and masterfully set the stage for the reader. The title poem describes a moment on a train trip when the poet sees her reflection in the window overlay the scenery passing by: a golden meadow filled with sunshine, edged by trees. Between the trees is a shadow, and it is within that shadow that she sees herself:

between the trees

beyond the glass

lining the field of gold;

touching life and yearning

for freedom.

The rest of the book is a poetic description of her metaphorical journey out of that grove of trees, beyond the shadows of the forest. The poems and short prose in this collection tell of a journey through love, loss, and depression. Reed’s poetry is a revealing portrait of a young woman on her journey to find out who she is. The verse written in an easily accessible conversational style in which Reed readily establishes her voice as the reader feels they are eavesdropping on her melancholy thoughts and memories of the past few years. She is vulnerable, though never weak, as she opens her life up on the pages of this book. Many of these poems carry a darkness, one might say the darkness of the shadows between the trees, they convey the heartaches that have occurred and the desire to be free of the pain. The one thing these poems do not contain, however, is despair. The underlying theme of these poems is hope. It marks a journey that begins in shadow, but always looks beyond the current darkness to the light that exists outside the forest.

Kristiana Reed has created a wonderful collection of poetry filled with experiences and feelings all of us have encountered at one time or another in our lives. More importantly, it shows us all that just because we’re under a shadow now doesn’t mean we can’t sunbathe in the meadow later.

Inspiration – a Haiku

Frantic letters spin
Visions, Voices; a message
Fighting to be free.

9/1/19

My response to Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 142 #SynonymsOnly

Arrow in the Wind @ Free Verse Revolution

Pleased to have my newest poem posted over at Free Verse Revolution:

Arrow in the Wind

Capture the Wind

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For Justine

A monstrous sail
On a 50 ft. mast
Can hang limp
Over a motionless ship
If not pointed
In the right direction.

A simple sail
On a 5 ft. mast
Can be stretched full,
If the Captain knows the wind.

But once caught
The wind can be lost,
The sail readjusted
To a new course,
Or the outboard engine
Fired up
To take you
To the port of your choice.

7/3/19-7/4/19

My new book The Darkness of His Dreams: Poetry is now available on Amazon.com. Visit the Books page for more information.

If you enjoy my work and would like to support my efforts beyond just being a reader, please consider becoming a supporter on Patreon. By doing so, depending on the level of support you pledge, you can have early access to content, exclusive “behind the scenes” content, and other bonuses:

The Darkness of His Dreams Book Now Available!

I am very happy to officially announce that my first poetry collection, The Darkness of His Dreams, is now available for purchase on Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle editions. You can also check out my official Amazon Author Page!
A big thank you to all the followers, readers, and commenters on this blog. You have all contributed to this moment!

Coming Soon!

Updated 7/31/19:

The Darkness of His Dreams, my first poetry collection, is now available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Are You Free?

I’m not free,
She said,
I can’t fly free
Among the clouds.
Gravity is oppressing me
And holding me back.

I’m not free,
He said,
From the chain
Of causality
That stretches
From the Big Bang,
Throwing matter into motion,
To the motion of the air
From her lips
To my ear
Telling me its over.

The inevitability
Of cause and effect
Chain me down
Like a tiger in a cage.

I’m not free,
He said,
Because one day
I must die and
There’s not enough time
To do all the things;
Not enough money
To buy all the things.
I’m trapped,
Wings clipped,
By mortality.

But you are free,
Said Epictetus,
You cannot
Glide among the gulls
And cannot avoid
Inevitable endings,
But you are free
To choose
To accept the things
You have no control over
As they are.

You are free,
Said Siddhartha,
If you choose
Not to be a slave
To your desires.
Everything essential
Dwells within.
Let go of fear.
Let go of loss.

Do not expect more
Than the universe
Is willing
To give you

6/5-6/6/19

Are You Free? was originally published on Free Verse Revolution.

If you enjoy my work and would like to support my efforts beyond just being a reader, please consider becoming a supporter on Patreon. By doing so, depending on the level of support you pledge, you can have early access to content, exclusive “behind the scenes” content, and other bonuses:

I Just Want…

For Justine

All I want
Is to be alone
–No one talking,
No one asking—
Alone in the quiet
Of nature’s cradle,

The music of a
Quiet creek’s cascade,
A consoling crow’s caw,
And a croaking tree frog chorus.

I want to hear
My hand-tied fly
Kiss the water,
Teasing unsuspecting trout.

I want to sip
Campfire coffee,
Capture the clouds
Over an orange sunset,
Breathe the scents
Of the forest floor
And just be me.

6/29/19

If you enjoy my work and would like to support my efforts beyond just being a reader, please consider becoming a supporter on Patreon. By doing so, depending on the level of support you pledge, you can have early access to content, exclusive “behind the scenes” content, and other bonuses: