A Poet’s Haven~Alan Boles, Administrator~Poet in the Spotlight

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Our Choice For This Early Tuesday Afternoons

Best Poem And Our Poet In The Spotlight,

Josie Cook


An Unexpected Summons

Come, you fragile poets filled with the sea’s liquid.

Come and leak your speech upon our parched beaches!

Come and sing with the ocean’s primordial influences.

Come and sanctify our living dictionary.

Come and listen to our seas–rivers–the many lakes.

Come and offer a levy to our tributaries.

Come and accompany us.

Come with your mask of shifting personas falling away.

Come with your torches burning.

Come add your bouquet to the existing aroma.

Come bring your artfulness for our sake of the art.

Come with your lacerations, tender and red.

Come with your heart brilliant or obscure.

Come with your words for the distinguished dead.

Then go to the notorious graves and remember their souls.

And recite all of your remembrances.

Yes, come and find your passion; your true natural ability:

The marriage of thoughts to be esteemed hydration.

–J. E. Cook ©2016

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My poetry on The Dear John Show

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Welcome to The Dear John Show, Sunday 16th June 2019, live poetry readings of works by poets from across the world, here on Facebook. With Nina Thilo, Christine Barker, Chris Edridge and myself, Your Host, John Kavanagh.

My poem is the first one read by Christine Barker at this link on Facebook.

 

A Ride Around the Lake

Going into the woods
Among the brambles
Upon my horse’s smooth
Back,
Footing at times
A bit too slippery
For this ride,
Over the hills
Of Kiser’s lake,
Passing under low branches
And ducking,
As the mud sucks at her
Hooves,
I can feel her blood
Pulsing beneath her
Skin,
Smoke in the air,
She does not spook,
Not even when the pheasants
Fly out of the low bushes,
Or when we see deer
Drinking from the streams,
We jump over a fallen tree,
In the thickest part of the
Woods, my eyes feel almost
Closed with the darkness
During broad daylight,
Marshes here and there,
With golds and browns
Reflecting on the surfaces,
Herons among the tall grasses,
Inlets of the lake
Muddy and full of minnows,
An old apple tree
Surrounded by wild berries
Catches my eyes,
The ghost resides there
From a skating accident
Many years ago,
She fell through the thin ice
Her body recovered too late
For her to survive,
The icy waters causing too
Much damage,
In her hand now,
A frozen apple of red,
Captured in time,
Today it is warm
Unlike the day she passed,
Paintings of rowboats against
Starry nights were hung
In her childhood home
Her pale locks of hair
Tucked in a dresser drawer
From her first haircut,
Along with a first tooth lost,
Some yellowed school papers, and
Her doodles of winter sparrows,
It is said, her mother
Had hair the color of roses
After her death,
The girl reappears at this
particular Apple tree,
Greeting onlookers with her
Gentle smile,
Her white ice skates over her shoulder,
And a rusty compass hanging
Around her slender neck,
I whisper, “I’m not trespassing,
My horse loves apples, too”
The bright sun rays cutting
Through reveal her tears
On white cheeks that shine like
Diamonds,
She returns, “let the horse eat”
This touches my ears,
My eyes blink at the light,
I think about vodka over ice,
And the gin she had before
Her encounter with the pure, clean
Snow on the lake’s surface,
It was a party of teens that night,
Skating together,
She was the only unlucky one
To fall into freezing waters,
This would bring tears to anyone’s
Eyes,
I still can’t remember the date
Of this sad event,
But, her story is told
Around campfires,
So her legend never dies,
Her ghostly image is mild
And friendly–not scary at all,
Pale blue eyes,
A straight, narrow nose,
Looks a lot like her surviving
Brother,
Many call it a screwed-up
Family,
With many things buried
In their closets,
I actually think the tree
Is quite beautiful
But isolated from view,
She must be lonely here,
With her own sorrows,
It is so plain and simple
To me now,
That I am here,
Light glaring off the marshes
And her pretending to be happy
Beneath this apple tree,
I feel sick inside
Looking at her tired body,
Thinking about the broken
Hearts of her past,
She looks chilly,
As a flock of blackbirds
Pass over us,
Her words still ringing
Inside my head,
As she fades into the
Foilage of green,
I know I must go back. –J. E. Cook © 2019

The Dear John Show

Another Poem of mine included in the live show this Sunday. 

Welcome to The Dear John Show, Sunday 26th May 2019. Live poetry readings from around the world, here on Facebook. With Nina Thilo, Christine Barker, Chris Edridge and myself, Your Host, John Kavanagh.

Visions in my Sleep

I am looking for the most
Beautiful place on Earth,
With long, blue & green views,
And silhouettes of black twisted trees
On the distant skylines,
Fields of sunflowers in a variety of
Colors,
Sweet air drifting in on a slight breeze.

Endless expectations with lovely views,
Possibilities for fresh blue waters with
Cascades of showering droplets
Among the grasses of flowing fields.

The evening star against dark blue skies
Filled with pinpoint lights,
Pastures of horses & ponies roaming freely,
With moon against the black indigo at
Midnight,
Purifying richness in the hills of green.

Fading silver lights at dawn as the woods fill
With watchers of the night like weasels and
Raccoons and the lonely owls up high.

It’s a dream and it is mine. I am hypnotized by
The beauty of it in the visions I see. Gorgeous
Views with mild darkness set after the remains
Of the day.

To disappear from my bed into this world would
Be pleasant with a life of freezing coldness gone
Forever with roads of climbing beauty before me
Often without any real stress to bother me.

Reality returns in my old house with fifty plus years
Spent and my battered coffeepot filling the air
As it brews with a scent of waking,
As I think about the philosophy of living and death
Of strangers,
Dreadful histories glancing through my brain,
Outside my window, the birds sing and their pretty
Voices sooth my ears hiding the pain of all my years. –J. E. Cook © 2019

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The Dear John Show live today~

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Artwork by Josie Cook from the 1980’s while attending Clark State.

Hello to all!

I had another one of my poems read by the host, John on this Sunday’s edition. You can listen via this link:

 

 

Life of a Girl in 2018~

She said, “long live chocolate, vodka, and Heroin.”

As she pulled the blankets over her head.

She only sought the darkness and warmth

Within this enveloping cave

Of close rapture,

And then her mind went on…

“I hope you’re thinking about me.”

She touched her hair,

“Why do we close our eyes when we

Pray?”

I do this when I kiss you,

The most beautiful things in my life

Are felt inside my heart not seen.

I watched the white roses die

That you brought me

Littering my window sill with them

all those

Dried, brown petals.

We were naughty together

Two days ago,

Sleeping in your parents’ room

Sharing a cold bottle of Gin,

We found in their kitchen

Mixing it with jarred cherries

And ice-cold Sprite,

While we

Snapchatted us,

naked

Bodies to our close friends,

I see nothing better // I keep him forever,

Plays over and over,

It is printed inside my head,

The smell of sulfur

Penetrating my senses,

As the Disneyland Princesses

Dance to the musical notes,

so, I’m still at that confusing stage,

I can’t wait to go home. –J. E. Cook ©2018

Sunday on the Dear John Show

Welcome to The Dear John Show, Facebook live poetry reading, Sunday 14th April 2019, with Christine Barker, Chris Edridge, And, Your Host, John Kavanagh.

Christine read my poem on this live show. Thank you, Christine Barker and John Kavanagh for picking one of my poems for this April session of poetry. 

**This session was live with Shannon Larisse Sharpe & Christine Barker.

Dear John Show-live Broadcast

My poem, titled, Keep Me Pristine and Alive, requested by the host. on 04/14/2019 it was read by Christine Barker from Germany live.

Distance from it. A Poem by J. E. Cook

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Distance from it

I was frustrated with myself;
I told myself to try harder; however,
my anger did not end. 
I was frustrated with my situation:
I told it to leave, my anger kept growing.

I was bathed
in my inner fears,
Night & morning, I had tears:
I sought the sun with its smiles
And warmth,
And with it came the softness of
moods.

I grew with it in both day and night.
Till I bore a bright smile myself.
my foe became something
that shines even now,
Before me and keeps me anchored.
into my garden to steal this light,
When the night has arrived;
In the morning, I will be glad I see;
My foe is outstretched beneath the
Distant treeline so far
Away from me.–J. E. Cook © 2019 (in memory of William Blake)

Reviews:

Rick Bird Very nice poetry and artwork.

Lee Todd Lacks An inspiring transformation. Insightfully written.

Innocence seeking Knowledge by J. E. Cook

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Innocence seeking Knowledge

To see a newness of this 
World in a 
Grain of pebbled 
Beach sands,
With the
Heavens echoed in a lovely
Wild Flower, to
Hold an Infinity in the palm of my hand
This new
Eternity in this hour,
As the
Robin of
Redbreast sings far away,
This vision
Puts all Heavenly thoughts away,
Where a
Dovehouse is filled with
Doves and another being the gray crying
Pigeons,
Shuddering with their inner fears,
Predictions will ruin the State of this
Earth,
Horses and ponies upon the murky
Roads
Of dirt and rivers of muddy waters,
For Heaven is now full of
Human blood,
With the outcries of the hunted Humans,
Every fiber of their
Brains are tearing apart.

As a lone
Skylark is wounded,
the wings tattered, 
As Cherubs do cease to sing among us,
Game Cocks are now fighting for their lives, 
As the Rising Sun shines on them,
Every Wolf & Lion 
are running for their lives,
Rising from Hell are
the Human Souls of intense evils. 
These make the wild deer seek here & there, 
Keeping our
Human Souls from 
Caring for
Our
Lambs in the green pastures, 
And yet– they are given to the
Butchers knives among us, 
A Bat flits so close to
The Eve of the morning,
Believe in
The Owl that calls upon us in the 
Night, this one
Speaks to the Unbelievers fright, and those
who shall not hurt the
little Wren crowned in purple,
beloved by Many that cherish
life, by Woman of love, as a wanton
Boy kills those that
Fly, and 
He torments the
Sprites of the forest deepness,
As he 
Weaves… into the endless blackness…
The night where the 
Caterpillars on the Leaves 
Repeat their journey,
Kill not these
Moths nor the Butterflies –yet not born to our eyes.

For our
Last Judgment has not arrived, 
He who shall be at
War in our lands,
Shall never pass to peace, for
The Beggars & Widows are needing
A Feeding as
The Gnats 
Poison their only means, 
This poison of the 
Darkness in black,
Is the sweat of rich devils among us, 
They poison 
the Honey Bees and are the dirty con
Artists with Jealous souls, 
Princes in 
Robes of black, as the
Beggars wear
Rags of hopelessness and dream of
Toadstools where fairies lead them to
Morals of gold.

A Truth is not told, as 
Beats in the Earth 
Are all the Lies
they can invent, 
It is not right as it should be so 
Men have made us filled with
Woes of sickness, death, & despair, 
And when we are rightly repairing 
This World as we go safely for
Parts unknown, 
Joy & Woe are woven finely together
Becoming 
A Clothing for our souls so divine, 
Under every grief thought, we pine for
a joy with silken heart, a 
Babe with longing for the
all these Human Lands, where 
Tools are made to solve,
Born to the hands of
Every Farmer that
Understands our
Every Tear from Every Eye
Among this world.–J. E. Cook © 2019

Reviews:

Lee Todd Lacks What a brilliant allegory for the subversion of Nature. So powerful, Josie!

St. Paddy’s Day with Poetry on the Dear John Show~

This one (below) by me was read by Nina Thilo this Sunday on the show.  She does such an excellent job of reading my work live. 

 

The Small Town Life of Rae Michaels

Cigar boxes, old trailers, and

a Texaco station

Past the Gardenia patch,

Skipping through the woods

On the dusty path,

Watching a group of tramps eat out of cans

By the still tracks,

Rae was restless and she wanted more

Than this small town gave her,

She thrashed in her cold sheets

This morning,

Rising early to greet the bluebirds,

Bucky right at her heels,

Scaring those little birdies away,

 

Her hands were empty of silver coins,

She wanted more from here,

Gleason’s Barber Shop was

Hopping with male chatter,

Her daddy was fixing stuff again

Outside the garage doors,

Bucky still by her side

With his tongue hanging out,

Jimmy across the street collecting

Nehi bottles in his wagon,

Hardy walking with him,

Telling him about the weather

Down South,

Curls & Stuff Salon

Full of ladies under pink dryers

With glam magazines in their laps,

And a cup of tea or coffee

nearby them,

Why couldn’t she find her

Happiness here?

 

Miss Martha lets her

Hangout at her place,

Her son a bit slow in the head,

Wears his hair clipped short

Because his mom wants it

That way,

She brings him sweets from

MacAlister’s Drug store

And Miss Martha

Always treats him like a baby

Still at the age of eleven,

Wiggly in his seat on the porch,

They watch the silos being filled

Together while Bucky naps near,

Mac arrives clutching his ball and bat

Against his chest,

Asking them to join him at the park,

Rae sits aside her book in her lap,

Miss Martha is inside making fudge,

Rae puts her nose to the screen

To tell her they’re leaving,

They race across the open fields

Of mustard and tall grass,

Bucky chasing them from behind,

Another afternoon in the sun

With friends on the baseball diamond,

The gang is there,

Daisy, Alice, Teddy, and Sam.

Rae decides maybe, life isn’t so

Bad here after all.

The game starts and she finds

Herself lost in the gathering of

Friends as the sun beats down on

Them together in the dust, the heat,

And the beauty of sharing with close

Friends and also competing for just a little while.–J. E. Cook © 2019

Listen to the show here:

Special Thanks to Nina Thilo for reading my poetry again this weekend! Always a pleasure to be featured on this live show with John Kavanagh as the host.  

Ali Cobby Eckermann wins $215,000 literary prize~Unemployed Indigenous poet~ Some Dreams do Happen.

The Windham-Campbell prizes are unique in that authors generally have no idea that they are in the running for one. Administered through Yale University in the US, they do not have an open submission process but take nominations from appointed members of the literary community.

Ali Cobby Eckerman

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/01/unemployed-indigenous-poet-ali-cobby-eckermann-wins-215000-literary-prize?fbclid=IwAR2NR9ORkWDXrx0c1WXNGQuAg7X7uqwFiEz0RljDHdb4JHDVGuTgNacpZV8

All information from the link above.  Just passing it along for all poets to read!

Her words:

“My son and my grandsons are moving back to South Australia in the next few months, and it will just allow us some stability to grow up together under the one roof,” she said.

“I haven’t really had that option before in my life. Just the thought of maybe being able to purchase a home or rent a home, and for us to be together and have that stability is something pretty new to me.

“I’ve been so grateful for the recognition of my work so far, and could never have foreseen something of this magnitude.”

The awards will be presented in September in a ceremony at Yale.

“It also feels like an award that is honouring my family’s story, and the three generations of us that didn’t grow up together,” said Eckermann.

“I want to accept this award on behalf of my grandmother who walked out of the Maralinga bombs [the British nuclear testing that occurred near Maralinga, South Australia, in the 50s and 60s to the great detriment of local Indigenous people] with her little children, and then my mother was taken from her – to my grandmother and my mother, who were so dignified in their pain. Life changed so dramatically for them, and they stayed really dignified and that’s the legacy they’ve given me.”

I love it when people are given a chance to be something better because they worked so hard for it, and finally, it pays off, even though it is their passion to create instead of working in some dead-end position where they will never bloom into what they dreamed of being during their lives.

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