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Poetry Breakfast

Serving a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry book reviews to feed poets' and poetry lovers' souls.

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All Poems

Accepting Submissions – From Poetry Breakfast to Politics

Okay – sorry – no, Poetry Breakfast isn’t accepting submissions.  We had our final farewell.  However, I now find, not only do I have the freedom to do something new, but that there is something urgent that needs to be done.

I made a deliberate effort to keep “politics” out of Poetry Breakfast.  Too much division and hate came flooding into our world when Trump came onto the political scene.  I used Poetry Breakfast as a tool to guide us back to what we all had in common, to our humanity and oneness.  In hind sight, I suppose the act of doing that was in fact political.

Now, however, I am openly doing something political.  I have started PoetsAndArtistsForPete.com.  It is an avenue for poets, artists and musicians to share their work in support of Pete Buttigieg.

So, it 4:24 am.  I’ve just gotten the new site live online after a mind numbing week of building and designing it.  And for what?  Why?  That guy?

I don’t know where any of you stand politically.  I think it’s safe to guess that most of the Poetry Breakfast diners who live here in the United States are Democrats or maybe Independents.  And I hope this doesn’t feel like an intrusion.

But my heart is 100% set on Pete for President.  I wish I could put into words why.  All I can really say is, when I hear him talk about his vision of America, the knot in my stomach goes away and my heart opens again.

After these past years of hate…of a president that cyber bullies a teenage girl because he’s jealous that she’s on the cover of a magazine instead of him, the pettiness — and the terrifying nearly WWIII moments.

I’m a poet.  I should have the right words to say why.  Why my heart and gut know Pete is the one who will step us into a better future.

But my words fail.  So, I’m counting on a few of you to have the words.  Well, more than a few of you.  And not just words – art and music too.  There’s a place for all of it at PoetsAndArtistsForPete.com.

You can find the guidelines and submission form here.

Well, whether or not you like Pete, you’re welcome to stop in now and then and see how the new site is going.

This does feel more like a birth announcement than a call for submissions.

Birth time February 15th, 4:24 am Eastern Standard Time.

Name:  PoetsAndArtistsForPete.com

Poetry Breakfast just got a little sister, and I have a feeling she might turn out to be a feisty one.

I hope you’re all well and still writing and sending your poems out into the world.  Maybe a few of you will take a moment to come visit my new baby.

Best Wishes Always,

Ann Kestner

 

The Final End to Poetry Breakfast

I know it comes as a shock.  But Poetry Breakfast has come to its final end.

There comes a time for all things to pass.  I’ve taken breaks and put the journal on hiatus before.  But I know now, it is time for me to permanently move on.

I’ve been honored to receive your poetry submissions and I am humbled to know that you let Poetry Breakfast be the journal through which you shared your work with the world.

Poetry Breakfast will remain online with the poems archived for as long as I can afford to keep the site up.

I want to thank Sarah Russell for ending our journey on the perfect note.  The last post was a review of her book I lost summer somewhere.  In that review the final poem to grace Poetry Breakfast appeared.  That poem, by Sarah Russell, is called “The Cottage” and its last lines are:

“Afterwards, I tidy up, wipe away
drops spilled in the pouring. I save
the leftovers though they’re getting stale.
I may crumble them on the porch rail
tomorrow for sparrows
before I garden.”

The words bring tears to my eyes, thinking of cleaning up our morning coffee cups and crumbs.  And knowing it is time now for me to find a new garden to grow.

Thank you to everyone.  We had a good long run.  The kitchen is permanently closed.  Go tend to your gardens now.  Grow.

Love Always,

Ann

Poetry Book Review: “I lost summer somewhere” by Sarah Russell

russell_front_april_19_revised_360x

It’s no surprise Sarah Russell’s poems have appeared in Poetry Breakfast a few times.  She has a unique way of taking our life experiences and trimming them down to the emotional core.

In I lost summer somewhere she tackles relationships, hopes, losses, and the inescapable events we experience in our lifetimes.  With each poem there is a raw tenderness – a very rare thing to find – but something she does almost instinctively.

She has the gift of both illuminating what we already know of our life experiences and simultaneously guiding us to see them in a completely new light.

 

Details:
Available from Amazon and Kelsay Books
Paperback: 78 pages
Publisher: Kelsay Books (April 20, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1949229793
ISBN-13: 978-1949229790

Sample Poems:

When I told truth to go away

we were girls –
blossom-cheeked,
skipping rope with life.
“I can’t be your friend,” I told her.
“You know my secret.”
Truth shrugged. “OK.
I’ll be here when you need me.”
She waved goodbye, and went
to live in the hills
with hummingbirds and foxes.
I stayed behind, secure in my choice,
though joy was hard to find, I never
trusted love, and I reacted oddly
to the seemingly mundane –
lilies made me nauseous, Black Beauty
gave me nightmares, a breeze against my neck
could make me cry. After fifty years,
I looked for Truth again.
She hadn’t changed – still young,
sweet, smiling, glad to see me.
But I’d become Wilde’s portrait in the attic—
haggard, bitter, burden-stooped.
I asked what would have happened
if I’d let her have her way.
“You’d have suffered” she said. “People
would have shamed you. They’d say
you made it up. But you’d be free.”

 

 

The Cottage

I’ve grown quiet here. My mind
has opened to woodsong
and the smell of earth turned
by a trowel.

I enjoy solitude, even when regrets
and the throb of an old lover happen by.
Sometimes I invite them in, make
a ritual of teacups on starched linen,
a silver server for the scones.
We reminisce ‘til shadows trace
across the floor, call them away.

Afterwards, I tidy up, wipe away
drops spilled in the pouring. I save
the leftovers though they’re getting stale.
I may crumble them on the porch rail
tomorrow for sparrows
before I garden.

Reviews:

Melancholy, exuberance, nostalgia, fulfillment, contentment, longing—Sarah Russell hits all the spots, and there isn’t one poem where a woman won’t be able to identify in some way. She’s singing all our songs, putting into magical words things we felt so often but never knew how to tell. This book has deep sadness matched by laughter, gentleness, love and a sense of adventure. It was a privilege being there with her, living what she remembers, identifying with every line. “‘I want to live,’ she said, / and this time I knew / she didn’t mean forever.” Indeed—who hasn’t been there. I LOST SUMMER SOMEWHERE is a book of poetry you will find difficult to put down. A rare gift, a gentle journey from life’s morning into the evening, and deeply moving.”  —Rose Mary Boehm, author of Tangents, From the Ruhr to Somewhere Near Dresden, and Peru Blues

“Sarah Russell brings us into her world, a world of “dream-filled summer nights,” where “leaves are October butterflies.” Readers will connect with poems about love found and lost, the end of a long marriage, illness, new love, aging, and death. Russell’s poems sing the important moments of life. It’s a song that stays in your mind, drawing you back to the poems again and again.”  —Nina Bennett, author of Mix Tape and The House of Yearning

“Sarah Russell’s poems don’t have to crawl under your skin. They have always been there. If you haven’t known a suicide or gone through divorce or cancer, you’ve known the fear. If you’ve never had a love you’d marry twice if you had three lives, you’ve felt the longing. Russell may have lost summer somewhere, but she has found what makes us human.”  —Alarie Tennille, author of Waking on the Moon and Running Counterclockwise

 

About the Poet:  Sarah Russell has returned to poetry after a career teaching, writing and editing academic prose. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Theory from the University of Colorado. Her poems have been published in Kentucky Review, Red River Review, Misfit Magazine, Third Wednesday, Psaltery andLyre, and many other print and online journals and anthologies. She has won awards from Goodreads, Poetry Nook, and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. This volume of poetry received an Honorable Mention for the 2018 Concrete Wolf Louis Award. She lives in State College, Pennsylvania, with her husband Roy Clariana. They spend summers in Colorado to be near children and grandchildren. She blogs at:  SarahRussellPoetry.net.

The Gathering, or Years that Fall Apart – A Poem by Ann E. Wallace

The Gathering, or Years that Fall Apart
by Ann E. Wallace

I think they come
in waves of seven,
the high tides rolling
with luck and comfort,
so slowly and staying long
enough to tease permanence

but in time,
the waves grow
weaker, forget they
once reached so far into
the highlife years and
took up residence

in abundance,
where the joyful
past is now stranded
but I cannot go
back before
my time

because
these are my
years for falling
apart, when the
easiness of
just

a few
years ago
collapses under
violent force
and must be
gathered
anew

 

 

About the Poet:  Ann E. Wallace’s poetry collection, Counting by Sevens,is forthcoming in summer 2019 from Main Street Rag. Recently published pieces in journals such asMom Egg Review, WordgatheringSnapdragon,Rogue Agent, and Riggweltercan be found on her website AnnWallacePhD.com. She lives in Jersey City, NJ and is on Twitter @annwlace409.

Family Tongue – A Poem by Rahat Tasneem

Family Tongue
by Rahat Tasneem

My father has many tongues,
but little feelings to go with them
and is sparse with his words.
Maybe you don’t need too many words
when you have a miscegenation of languages
at your disposal.

My mother is certain, and verbose in her monolingualism.

I struggle between my two languages-
one found, one forgotten.

All of us still fail to understand each other.

 

 

About the Poet:  Rahat Tasneem, a writer of prose and poetry, is a development professional and a social researcher. She has recently enjoyed a creative writing workshop in Paris at Paris American Academy taught by the likes of Major Jackson, Elliot Holt, Rolf Potts, and Dinnah Lenny. She is currently editing her first fiction manuscript titled, “A Thousand Dark Rats”, which she hopes she will be able to share with the world someday.

Link to social media pages:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rahatasneem

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rahatasneem/

Persephone – A Poem by Dawid Juraszek

Persephone
by Dawid Juraszek

Has she been trapped
too deep
in darkness by desire
away from the sky she grew up with

Has she been a captive
of the underworld
for too long
fuelled by its attractive forces

Has she been held
under too enthralling a spell
to renounce the powers
of making things wither

Is it now too late for her
to emerge out into the light
fresh-faced and innocent of heart
and believe everything is going to be fine

 

About the Poet:  Dawid Juraszek is a bilingual author and educator based in China. A published novelist in his native Poland, his fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in The Remembered Arts Journal, Amethyst Review, The Cabinet of Heed, Amaryllis, The Esthetic Apostle, Artis Natura, The Font, and elsewhere. Visit https://www.amazon.com/Dawid-Juraszek/e/B01DJBWC2K

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