Monday, September 15, 2014


This week, my poetic buddies, we are featuring a poem by our very own Mary, who writes at In The Corner Of My Eye. This poem really speaks to a poet's heart, from one poet to another, and as soon as I read it, I appointed it our Poem of the Week!

There is a poem at the end of the world
it is by an unpublished poet
it is not a war poem or a political poem
it is not obscure and not divisive
it is a poem of the heart not the hand.

it is the poem many have tried to write
but only a lone poet has achieved
it is the poem that gives universal hope
but does not drip with maple syrup
it is the poem I wish I had written.

Actually, Mary, I think you just wrote that poem. It really says it all - what we feel when we tap the keys or pick up the pen - wanting to express that elusive thought, not always as clearly as we wish. But at least we try! I love this poem. Especially "There is a poem at the end of the world...." Beautiful!

"Thank you" is not enough words, Mary, for all that you do to keep Poets United alive and thriving. We appreciate you so much. 

Do come back to see who we talk to next, my friends. Who knows? It might be you!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Poetry Pantry #218

Natasa Dolenc's Photos of Italy

Basilica of Aquileia

Candles in Basillica

Castle Duino

Inside Basilica of Aquileia

Monument of Romulus and Remus in Aquileia

Roman Settlement Aquileia

A fellow Natasa met in Aquileia

World War Memorial in Redipuglia

Greetings, Poets!

Glad to see each of you here this week for Poetry Pantry.  It is always enjoyable for me to get to know you through your poetry; and I hope you feel the same.  Admittedly, I personally appreciate those with whom there is a feeling of reciprocity, which makes for a feeling of community.  I think we ALL tend to visit (after a while) people with whom we reciprocate.  I just don't GET people who link and enjoy visits, yet don't bother to visit others -- even those who spent time making comments on their poetry.

This week I am sharing a second set of photos that Natasa Dolenc has shared from her trips this past summer.  This week the photos are of Italy.   How wonderful it is to be able to visit so many parts of the world through the Pantry. 

Be sure to visit Poets United Monday to see what Sherry Blue Sky  has planned to share.  Will it be a featured poet?  A featured blog?  Or a featured poem?

Glad to see there is always a  great turn-out for Midweek Motif.  We hope to see you this coming week for another challenging prompt by Susan Chast!  (And, ha, perhaps many of you have noticed that if you look at one week's prompt Susan gives  a clue about the following week's prompt as well, so you can get a head start.)

And on Friday, remember to see who Rosemary Nissen-Wade features on "I Wish I Had Written This" or  "The Living Dead."

Again:  I issue an invitation here to those of you who participate in Poetry Pantry.  If YOU have special photos that you would like me to feature some week, let me know what kind of photos you have.  There are participants here from many different cities, many different countries.  I think it is great fun to see different areas featured. I am especially interested in scenic views of your area or an area you have visited.  Send inquiries first to letting me know what you have.  I am interested in city or country views - in your home area or places you have traveled.

Link your ONE poem.   Then leave a comment below. Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  (If I miss your poem, visit me, and I will visit you... I am like anyone else, appreciating reciprocity.) We ALL like comments, so if you link please DO spend time visiting others.  That is part of the fun as well.  We really like it if you link back to Poets United too, so we spread the Poetry Pantry word in the blogosphere.

Come back a few times on Sunday and Monday to see what's new.  Visit some strangers, and they will become new friends!  Making new friends and reading new poetry, what more could one want?

If you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And is the procedure, for those who are new here:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Wish I'd Written This

by Samuel Peralta

The streets
weft breeze-swept sheets, texts,
letters, sentences never ended:

Next bet, Everest! Ever been
there? They tell me extreme,
WTC-sheer. Yes! Wherever
there’s extreme, there’s me! Tell

See Excel sheets 20-23, rev 7.
The VP feels the new Eng’g Dept
spend needs exec check. Prep
NYSE. Then pre-Dec 3, delete

These extensions skew the
expected rent levels. Next term,
they’ll exceed the free expenses
precendent. Nevertheless

When we met, speech deserted
me... Never expected the sweetness,
the perfect tenderness... Melt me,
tell me the deepest secrets... Let me

September 11.
The breeze sweeps the letters.
The letters never sent.

I couldn't make up my mind what to use today, though there were several possibilities. I procrastinated ... then I came across this on facebook and knew it was the one I'd been waiting for. 

Perhaps others of you will already have seen it on facebook too; it's still worth sharing here for those who haven't. With what magnificent understatement it evokes that massive and sudden interruption to so many individual lives. It's an original approach, which doesn't tell us how to feel or how the poet feels. There is no need. We all know in any case what we did and do feel about this particular tragedy. In these imagined, different fragments, though — presented almost without comment — somehow there is great tenderness. The brief framing verses, with the merest mention of the breeze, the sentences never ended and the letters never sent, provide sufficient poignancy in just those few unadorned words.

Whether or not you've seen this poem, probably many of you have encountered Sam and his poetry — on twitter @semaphore, on facebook, at his 'Semaphore' blog, or as a presenter at dVerse for some months, where he taught us well about traditional forms (and cured my fear of the sonnet). I first became aware of him in 2009 when Collin Kelly and Didi Menendez compiled a collection by poets on twitter, which included us both. (It was issue #24 of a magazine called OCHO). Ever since then I've been a huge admirer.

You can always count on him for originality. Even when he is using traditional forms, he finds new ways to use them, such as writing a sonnet which is also a ghazal. And I find his use of language very beautiful.

He has not merely one distinguished career but several simultaneously, in literature, science and business. He also writes music. Here, concentrating on the literary, are the impressive details taken from his facebook profile:

Sam is the author of five poetry collections, all of which rose to #1 on the Amazon Kindle Hot New Releases in Poetry, and all of which have hit the Top 10 Bestsellers list in their Amazon Kindle Poetry category.

Sam has won awards for his poetry in the US, Asia, the UK, and Canada. At 19 he was the youngest to win a Palanca Award for Literature for his manuscript 'Pacific'. At 24 he was a winner in the BBC and the UK Poetry Society’s National Competition for 'Hush'.

The League of Canadian Poets included 'A Mother', 'Concatenations' and 'Savannah' in its award anthology series. In 2000, an analysis of 'A Mother' was included in provincial examinations.

In 2002, he accepted an Innovative Technology Achievement Award from the Digital Literature Institute for ebook software development. 

Until 2009, Sam took a hiatus from literature to write music and lyrics as 'Sam Parr', and for other musicians and bands. His music garnered thousands of followers on MySpace, and played in front of thousands more in live venues. 

In 2010, Sam placed # 1 in the voting for the Best Poetry on Twitter; and was listed at #29 in a compilation of the Top 100 Twitterers in the Book World. 

In 2011, he placed 12th in a Facebook reader's poll of favourite classic and modern poets; a poll topped by William Shakespeare, Robert Frost and Pablo Neruda. Samuel was the #2 favourite living poet on the list, behind Leonard Cohen.

In 2011, Sam was also named to the Top 10 List of Most Influential People on Twitter That You Don't Know. Also in 2011, his poem "Radar" was shortlisted for the ARC Poem of the Year.

In 2012, he released "Sonata Vampirica", which rose to #1 on the Amazon Kindle Hot New Releases in Poetry, and #1 on the Amazon Kindle Bestsellers list for poetry. His subsequent collections all hit #1 on the Hot New Poetry Releases list, and all hit the Top 5 Poetry Bestsellers list.

In 2013, Sam was tapped as a juror in the Scholastic Writing Awards, for Poetry. "Sonata Vampirica" was shortlisted for the Elgin Award.

Over 2013-2014, he branched into support for independent filmmakers, helping fund nearly 50 short and feature films; becoming Associate Producer for "Trust Me", "Splinter", "Decon", "Rest Stop", "All the Marbles", "Mai Mai Miracle"; and Executive Producer for "Closure", "Flower Girl", "Dorsal", "A Letter from Vienna", "Butterfly", "Little Fishes", and "A Murder of Crows".

His music continues to be produced and performed by independent musicians, notably Friedrick Ryan and Paul Grai.

By day, Sam is a high technology business executive.

His poems have been featured in Combustus, Existere, The Malahat Review, Metazen, MiPoesias, OCHO, Poets and Artists, Undercurrents, Scholastic, Seedpod, and elsewhere. He has written a regular column on poetic form for the Dverse Poetry online blog, and edits The Semaphore Anthology, a journal of poetry he wishes he'd written, but didn't.

Lately he has been bursting into print as a fiction writer. His Amazon page connects you to both his fiction and his poetry.

You can sign up here to his newsletter to keep up with his latest literary endeavours, and even receive gifts of new reading matter now and then.

Samuel Peralta has become one of my favourite poets. He's also a very nice person, generous to others and showing no signs of the conceit to which he might seem entitled.