It’s May! At last it’s the merry month of May!! And it’s 46 degrees. Oh how I want to feel warm earth surround my fingers as I plant this year’s garden.
But I am going to post my annual May poem anyway. Maybe it will work some magic.
Thanks to all who were able to make it to the ZOOM readings on Tuesday and/or Friday last week. I wanted to give a prize to the person who came the farthest.
Bryan (Uecker, of The Book Nook and Java Shop)! Thank you for all you did to make such a good time happen on Tuesday and for being your kind self as host.
And Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer on Friday blew out 132 WiFi networks with her humble passion.
Imagine! For 13 years–EVERY SINGLE DAY–Rosemerry has sent out a “rough” draft of a poem she composed the night before. Doing so has helped so many people discover the REAL value of poetry, how in the writing you are taken into realizations you otherwise would not have.
John Calipari, who for many lovely reasons is deeply, emotionally a part of the entire Ridl family, has a Facebook Live show on Mondays at 10am where he simply holds a conversation with someone you are likely familiar with. Yesterday I watched Charles Barkley and Cal banter. Of course they told funny basketball stories and argued over this and that; however Cal also spends time with his guests asking about their experience of the pandemic, and what kinds of things they are doing to help.
Here’s what Cal is doing. Before seclusion he made sure every school kid in Lexington was getting breakfast and lunch. Now, many of those kids’ working parents are laid off, so Cal and his wife Ellen are supporting those families with little to no income — some 600+ families–making sure each family receives a week’s worth of groceries — each week. It’s a good season for millionaire watching.
May is closer to being merry for Cal’s families, at least.
The World in May Is Leafing Out
It’s Matisse on a bicycle. It’s
a great blue heron coloring
outside the lines. The show’s
turned over to the aftermath
of buds. You can love
this cliché could turn
to ice. Even nice
can be profound
as worry, even
the creek over the rotting log,
the pansy in the moss-covered
pot. The birds bulge
with song. Mary Cassatt
throws open her windows.
Monet drags his pallet,
sits and waits for the paint
to spill across the patina
of his failing sight. Eric Satie
makes his joyous cling
and clang a counterpoint
to dazzle. The earth is rising
in shoots and sprays.
The sky’s as new as rain.
The stubborn doors swing open.
Originally published in The Listening Eye.
Subsequently published in Saint Peter and the Goldfinch (Wayne State University Press)
Where are the books? Visit Reader’s World or Hope-Geneva Bookstore in Holland, The Bookman in Grand Haven, the Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo, and The Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague to find Jack’s books in West Michigan.
Speaking of Great Bookstores, big thanks to The Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague for hosting Tuesday’s reading, celebrating St. Peter and the Goldfinch.
Innisfree Journal edited by Greg McBride twice each year features a poet felt to be overlooked. This issue features work from each of Jack’s books and his contributions to poetry through his teaching.
Don’t miss subscribing to this podcast. And Then Suddenly is the brainchild of the kind and brilliant Angela Santillo, whose path I’ve crossed once before while working with CavanKerry Press. Her podcast has a brilliant premise… Describe a moment in your life that changed… everything. She’s had that moment, and from it she has made this podcast. Here’s the conversation we had recently. I hope you explore many of the episodes. Because they will change you. In a good way.
Jack’s Homily, “The Devil Went Down to Douglas” is here for those of you interested in marking the occasion.
There will be a Writers Conference for writers at every level, held at The Grace A. Dow Library in the Dow Gardens in Midland on July 21 and 22. Each date has a 1-4 afternoon workshop and a reading in the evening along with a Q & A. July 21 features Desiree Cooper and John Mauk. July 22 features Anne-Marie Oomen and me. The workshops are capped at 20 people.
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Click here for Jack’s entire collection, In Time — poems for the current administration.