NYBG - Monet's Garden
The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) and the Poetry Society of America present Monet’s Garden Poetry Walk: Monet to Mallarmé, through October 21. If you’re planning to be in New York, take a stroll. Meanwhile, you can find out more about the exhibit and read the poems on the NYBG website.

Saving Power Creek*

May 30, 2012

Jacob Hartsoch ~ Saving Power Creek

2012 Merit Award
By Jacob Hartsoch

Saving Power Creek

I found you here, flush with mud,
twisted over your shovel in silence,
the headwaters choked in silt.

Dig, you said, and shoulder to shoulder,
we learned about each other,
until after dusk the sound came back,
metallic whir through culverts
a sparkle in your ear.

My boys should know of this I think.

When the spawning starts we come again,
work down through the drainage,
slant light popping through alders.

You kneel down next to a discarded roe,
put a single egg in my son’s tiny hand,
pink on pink.

Further down we spot the coho,
taller than the flow, skittering upstream,
the boys dancing in rubber boots.

*Copyright 2012 by Jacob Hartsoch. Placard design by Egress Studio.

on poetry…

May 29, 2012

“I always write a lot of drafts, and when I do this, I like to write the whole poem out each time, in order both to fix it in my head and to see where my hand catches on the paper, so to speak — which words it snags on.” Julia Copus

Judy Orvik ~ Another Kind of Leaving

2012 Walk Award
By Judy Orvik

Another Kind of Leaving
(remembering Nancy)

We read stories about the first women adventurers
to each other in your tent above the Arctic circle,
at the end of each day’s trek.
We followed ancient caribou trails
deeper into the country while
carrying the weight of our bounty on our backs.

Mornings held the retelling close
as we picked our course carefully, listening
as wolves sang old songs from memory.
We talked of leaving this country
on a day like today between migrations
without knowing you would be the first to depart.

That plane of yours is still
stuck in the tundra somewhere.
They say your wings fell off.
I imagine the moss growing over your skeleton
softening you into an otherwise hostile terrain.

*Copyright 2012 by Judy Orvik. Placard design by Egress Studio.

another poetry walk…

May 27, 2012

Stanza Stones ~ Ilkley, Yorkshire, England

Here’s another poetry walk for your world poetry map, this one in West Yorkshire, in the north of England, near the town of Ilkley.

Stanza Stones” is an ambitious collaboration between poet Simon Armitage, stone carver Pip Hall, the Ilkley Literature Festival and numerous other individuals and organizations. Six poems by Armitage — Rain, Mist, Snow, Dew, Beck (a creek or brook) and Puddle — describing forms of water in words “inspired by the language and landscape of the Pennine Watershed” were carved by Hall into slabs of stone on a 47-mile walking trail between Armitage’s home town, Marsden, and Ilkley. The 18-month project involved a number of workshops and master classes with young writers, who also collaborated with dancers and film makers in responding to the poems and the landscape. A book, Stanza Stones: The Anthology, includes the poems, photos, maps, artists’ statements and details from the collaboration.

You can learn more about the Stanza Stones on the Ilkley Literature Festival website or on Facebook. To see other poetry walks, scroll down to the Poetry Walks section of the links, at right.
photo © Pip Hall

My Ladder*

May 26, 2012

Don Cramer ~ My Ladder

2012 Merit Award
By Don Cramer

My Ladder

An aluminum ladder hangs on the wall outside my shop.
Extended, it’s nearly as long as the building.
      Smoke-blue paint spots adorn its upper steps,
      Flakes left after painting the house three summers ago.

Remnants of needles have nestled into the treads,
Left over from the annual cleaning of the gutters.
      When I tried to lower a dangling widow-maker,
      It fell and bent the ladder’s bottom rung.

Credit the manufacturer, the rung did not break.
Credit my prep, the ladder stayed tied to the tree.
      Annually I brace the ladder at the angle of the roof,
      Then carry shingles to patch it before the rains.

I take it on junkets to help neighbors harvest apples.
Its neck sticks out and waves a big red bandana.
      My stability depends on how well I plant the ladder.
      I gauge my stamina by how much vertigo I experience.

I am handing this marvelous tool over to my grandson.
It can get him from down here to up there and back.

*Copyright 2012 by Don Cramer. Placard design by Egress Studio.

Annie Vought
Annie Vought
is an Oakland, California, artist who works with words. She explains: “I have been working with cut out correspondence for the past four years. I meticulously recreate notes and letters that I have found, written, or received by enlarging the documents onto a new piece of paper and intricately dissecting the negative spaces with an Exact-o knife.”

These are astonishing, obsessive, exquisitely-wrought word-works. See more. Look here.
photo (and thanks to Colossal for the heads-up.)

got five bucks?

May 24, 2012

Copper Canyon Press
For just five dollars (but hopefully more), you can become a Copper Canyon Press Poetry Patron and get a free book of poetry. Support your local (Pt. Townsend, WA) publisher! Check it out, then make a donation to this wonderful non-profit, now celebrating its 40th anniversary.

poetry and peace…

May 23, 2012

World Poetry Canada International Peace Festival 2012
The second annual World Poetry Canada International Peace Festival is coming up this weekend, just over the border in Richmond, BC, Canada. Sue Boynton Poetry Contest judge Betty Scott has been honored as World Poetry Empowered Poet 2012 and will read at 2pm on Saturday at the Richmond Cultural Centre. Learn more about the festival at worldpoetry.ca.

Carole MacRury ~ An Intimate Look at a Slug

2012 Walk Award
By Carole MacRury

An Intimate Look at a Slug

Poor slug—
like you, we secrete
but prefer to keep our moistness
hidden from the public eye;
we perspire,
slow our flow with astringents,
deodorize; stay dry.
A repugnant moist muscle,
we watch your naked gloss
pull like molasses
across the paths we walk;
your horns palpate
and you reach — retract — reach
towards a glutinous future.
With a moue of disgust,
we watch you smear
through the dust of the world,
an unshelled mollusk,
unable to hide; vulnerable
to the cling of debris,
to dryness.
Poor slug
without a shell;
you not only repel,
you remind us.

*Copyright 2012 by Carole MacRury. Placard design by Egress Studio.