Photo by Jon Walton
Those of you who enjoy my poetry may find five of my favorites on Verse-Virtual’s September page. Seeing a group of my poems stirs my interest in assembling a book. I’d want to employ a certain photographer, however, and the kid is busy!
I’ve learned to stick with a story through years and years of rewrites. “Train” is a perfect example. I’ve torn it up and tinkered with it for twenty years and now it has a home. The folks at Mysteriacal-E were amused by my genre-stretching, noir meets Sf story. I hope it will amuse you, too!
Pete Noyes, retired newspaper and TV reporter, wrote a great book about his experiences in L.A. during the sixties and seventies. It’s called “The Real L.A. Confidential”. I befriended Pete through mutual friend Ed Foley and he inspired one of my favorite fictional characters, Al Murphy. I’ve also mined his book for story ideas. “Last Date” is one of these and I’m happy to tell you that it’s just been published on the Every Day Fiction site.
Photo by Jon Walton
John Miller and I have great, though far too infrequent, conversations over campfires. Our most recent talk over embers at Courtright resulted in this poetry unit. John asked me to look into classical Chinese poetical forms. He has a plan for an enhanced Minecraft unit with poems embedded in the world the kids construct. I played around with Tang Dynasty forms and came up with a few that should be accessible to 6th graders and serve as models for their own writing. At any rated, I’ve posted the unit at Teachers Pay Teachers http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Poetry-for-Middle-School-Students-1394002
Wind in fragrant pines is with me
Singing of life’s small harmony
With melt-water’s descent from ice
For senses only now suffice.
Sunlight glints on peaks black and torn,
On blue snows where wind was born.
Cock-robin, saucy on a branch nearby,
Awaits my smile before he’ll fly.
The lieutenant of artillery looked down upon a scene he never imagined and would never forget: hundreds of men in blue torn apart by point-blank cannon fire. He turned to General Mahone. “We’ve held them, sir.”
Mahone continued staring at the slaughter. “It’s a turkey shoot.”
Today is the sesquicentennial of the Battle of the Crater. I wrote of the battle in Dawn Drums. I’ve posted that selection, along with a reading comprehension exercise, on my Dawn Drums website http://dawndrums.wordpress.com/blogs/. Please feel free to use it with your students.
A selection of my previously published poems is appearing in the new eZine poetry journal Verse-Virtual.
I am grateful that editor Firestone Feinberg chose “Dawn Drums”, the villanelle I composed to begin my novel of the same name, as the lead poem. I spent a lot of time on that villanelle! It was a case of a poem grabbing the poet and hauling him kicking and screaming to better craftsmanship!
The Society for Classical Poets published a poem of mine I began many years ago after Jo Hansen died. I’ve been to many funerals since and each helped me shape this poem. It feels right now. Here’s the link:
And here’s a photo by Jon Walton – just for the heck of it!