This collection of extraordinary poems tells the story of vivid, African-American characters who have passed through the life of the author in a small, rural town in the South. Sometimes they entertain and sometimes salty tears burst, overflowing the eyelid wells, for the terrible tragedy of a life. Park has reached deep into his soul to let you know that these people lived and died and mattered, without any judgment from him. If these characters were not noticed in life, they will remain with the reader for a long, lingering time.
In all his honesty, Park reports on events that happened . . . and didn’t happen. When dreams blossomed with hope for a community and were taken away leaving disappointment for many who worked hard, giving their all, to bring about ideal living. The author exudes love of his community. He shows this caring by continuing to encourage the arts, the love of words and writing to anyone who wants to participate. I love this book.
Tag Archives: poetry
LOVING WHAT I DO
Arlene Sandra Bice
Finishing my memoir-interviewing for the next ghostly book-reaching for submissions for this year’s anthology-seeking recipes for the cookbook, accepting stories for the grandmother’s book-writing lesson plans for the writers’ groups-formatting a teaching program-planning a new poetry book-publishing books for others!
It’s about to drive me over the edge
there are not enough hours in the day, yet
I love what I do
cannot give up
time with friends
will not give up
Tai Chai Chih
I love what I do
of gratitude for it
thankful for it
so there is no answer
I just love what I do.
The September First Friday continues to exceed my expectations! I thought that the holiday weekend would bring us a small group dedicated to our efforts of bringing poetry and oral expression to Warren County. Instead, the Warren Food Works (WFW) was packed with a diverse crowd from 18 to 80 mingling, enjoying each other while eating, drinking, and soaking up the words cast out into the atmosphere.
A wide range of poetic subjects seeping from the hearts of writers-Warren County writers, and Virginia writers, too, silenced the room with absorption. The always-welcome songs sung so beautifully by Shavon Russell Jones and afterwards, her sister, (forgive me I didn’t get her name.) A big surprise to everyone when volunteer from behind the bar, Cris Hunter ended the evening with the most beautiful rendition of Nature Boy. It brought some tears for the beauty of it. Their voices were like melted chocolate, velvety smooth and mesmerizing to everyone.
Miranda Medlin offered a stirring presentation, taking all into her realm. Devonte, a poet from our last year anthology Sitting with a Drunken Sorceress gave us his words and Travis Bullock continues to bring people in just to hear what he has to tell us.
So many others came to read, to share thoughts, feelings, and to merely listen. It was a very full night; a night to show Thomas Park what his dream has wrought; a night to make him proud for all his efforts.
It was a magical, mystical night on Lake Gaston
the first full supermoon of the year promising to
revive enchantment, serendipitous messages of
nature, a culmination of the summer of 2015 before
the Virgo harvest of planting in the earth began in reality.
On this evening when the world gazed at the same
full supermoon at the same time; our moon would
follow the path of the late winter sun and the sun’s
path for six months; a supermoon indeed.
All water vehicles had gone home, hooting as they
passed, not knowing the sacredness of our laden boat
or the independent meditations and ceremonies
planned with great care and anticipation.
Wanting to free my soul of entanglements
ethereal currents ran through me as surely
as passing water crafts created currents to
rock our boat, a way to gain our attention.
Yet it was the moon teasing us by peeking
in and out of the mournfully colored clouds
that caught our thoughts and held them until
we pulled up anchor, quietly, and slowly made
our way home.
Arlene Sandra Bice (C) 8/31/2015
Photos by Lisa Hagan
While tending bar is a lot of work, although good bartenders don’t appear to be working hard, if you like the study of people, it is grand. I love people; our differences, our sameness, and our stories. For as many as we are on this earth, we each have a personal story that is unique. We have reasons, whys, and wherefores that mold us into who we are today.
While Stanley Dancer was a great horseman with a good reputation as an individual, I had met him, but did not know him on a personal level. I did come to know many of the people who worked for him and for other horse trainers in the Plumsted Township area. They were teachers about their professions to me. Working with and around horses was a daily chore; no taking off sick days, or Christmas. The animals must be fed and tended to and these people chose a life style that did not afford them luxuries. I admired them greatly; came to love them for who they were, what they were willing to sacrifice to be where they were, and what jobs they did.
Please enjoy an excerpt from THE HORSEY SET
they came with bruised, calloused hands
coarser than sandpaper
to lift a shot of whiskey chased by a
cold mug of beer,
for hard work done out in the elements,
thanks not given
what they gave themselves;
not a lot of time
to linger; even on
horses had regular schedules
workers were there
to keep ‘em
A friend, who missed coming to FFPN at the Warren FoodWorks last week, asked me what I read. Attempting to step into the absent Thomas’ shoes, not an easy task-he is a natural emcee, I read a bit more than usual. As he is always asking everyone “Why do you write?” Reading one of my pieces from Jyoti Wind’s, The Creative Arc, An Anthology on Writing, seemed appropriate. My well-read copy is pictured here. Reading again and since WH Auden is one of many favorite poets, I read:
W H AUDEN QUOTE
“A poet is, before anything else, a person
who is passionately in love with language.”
W.H. Auden (1907-1973)
This quote from one of my favorite poets
sits with truth on my lips, slides down to
my heart and nestles there, as it finds a home.
In love with language, words that tickle me,
making me laugh; sometimes outright giggle
words can impress me with their sincerity
depress me without any reason just because
they are a word that forms an unhappy picture.
Poets take these words and move them around
write one higher on the line to make it jump
or rest quietly to let you sigh, take a deep breath
be happy to see it, special words can be italic
to touch you, you will remember those words
so precious that they imprint on your mind
and stay there
Bards play with accents as in persona poems
where you use the voice of another, allowing
your words to come from their mouth or is it
their words from your pen, after stepping into
their shoes, testing their waters, feeling how
someone else thinks. Is that possible?
Or is it guesswork and misunderstanding.
Playing with words on paper is part of that
love of language; moving them around
forming an outline of a heart or a tree
simply for pure delight. The power of a
printed word is image, to impress another
or catch their eye while playing like a child
hoping to leave a mark on the reader.
Arlene Sandra Bice © 3/2015