Happy poetry month!

The 2011 National Poetry Month poster, designed by Stephen Doyle.
Request a free poster for April 2011

From the Poets.org website:

“Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.”

It’s not over yet

In honor of National Poetry Month, I am featuring three poems by one of my favorite poets, Terry Lowenstein. This poet, in fact, had a huge influence on my own pursuit of the pleasure of words.

Q: Just why was this poet so influential in my life? Scroll down after reading her poems to find out!

A Kaleidoscope of Days
By Terry Lowenstein
From Searching for Tea Leaves in a Pot of Coffee
Published by FootHills Publishing

Yesterday open windows and screen doors
were as common as clothes on a line.

Summer meant hopscotch,
bike riding or roller skating.
We savored ice cream,
Popsicles and picnics.
The sun’s haze wove magic.

Dreams rode soap bubbles
that floated on laughter.
Secrets were whispered
among cousins who lived
just houses away.

Best friends shared
pinwheel days of youthful energy
and hours were busy
as we tested our life’s boundaries.

Then imagination ruled
even as ice cubes melted in a glass
and fireflies floated in the air.

Perhaps this is why we didn’t notice
the dog days of summer wag by.

Learning to Strip

By Terry Lowenstein
Originally published in Verse Libre Quarterly

Preparation is important.
The right music matters.
So too does a slow hand.

Suggestions followed,
anticipation grows.

Gradually, the floor fills
with discarded remnants.
Until finally, the job is done,

the old wallpaper removed.

Tiptoeing Up the Stairs
By Terry Lowenstein
Originally published in Retrozine

They crept slowly.
Remembering the creaking board,
they stepped over it and paused listening.
Undiscovered, they advanced intent on surprise.
Sign language replaced whispers.
They moved on each step deliberate, measured.
Sunlight brightened the hall.
Dust particles floated on the breeze.
Here they paused
listening for the faintest whisper,
then advanced again.
Their footsteps mute upon the floor.
A feather floating on the air was louder.
Thus they entered triumphantly
sure they had succeeded
on this journey fueled by imagination.

But whether it was the wind or the bird,
or perhaps the beating of their hearts,
the alarm was sounded.
The surprise was foiled.
The little girls still had not
caught their dolls at play.

Brief bio for Terry Lowenstein:

Terry Lowenstein believes that parity is the gift we give our children, that knowledge and education are their birthrights and that poetry is sustenance for the soul. Tea is one of her favorite beverages but coffee with biscotti is, to put it simply, one of life’s pleasures that demands to be shared. She invites you to pull up a chair and join her.

Here are a few of her favorite places where samples of her work can be found: The Centrifugal Eye, ken*again, Enpowerment4Women, Poems Niederngasse, Lily, The Copperfield Review, Triplopia, Wicked Alice, Moonwort Review, VLQ, Vermont Ink, Iodine, Muse Apprentice Guild, Blackmail Press, Coffee House Press, Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry, and The Maxis Review.

Her most recent poetry credits include the release by Foothills Publishing of her second book:  Beyond the Grocer’s Shelves

She was pleased too, when her work was among the poetry featured in the recently released anthology, Women of the Web. Other projects she’s been involved with include: Poets Against the War and two anthologies for the victims of 9/11: The Book of Hope and the World Healing Book . Following the publication of these she was invited to New York to read her work. Her poem “A Season of Change” is featured on the website devoted to the books. Click here for that link.

She is currently working on her next book: The Land of Cotton.

Wondering what the answer is to the question posed above?

A: This poet is my sister!

Snapshots of sky

By Annette Marie Hyder

(taken in April)

a skirt of birds

goosed by the wind

(taken in June)

crisp white cloud blouse

slips off blue shoulders
of summer sky

(taken in September)

those are not birds flying
crazily through the air
but leaves

(taken in January)

I can’t see the color
of the sky’s shoulders today —
she is clothed in too many layers

At the end of the rainbow

Annette Marie Hyder

The rain streams in jewels down the window
clinks its coins on the street.

I turn away from its showy display of wealth
to trace the path of space between us.
My eyes mark the rainbow curve
that arcs from me and ends at you.

Are you the pot of gold at the rainbow’s end?
I’m Irish enough to reach for you.