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Poetry Breakfast

Beginning March 20th, 2016 Poetry Breakfast will once again serve 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 related creative non-fiction such as letters to and from poets, essays on poetry, and anything else that might feed a poet and poetry lover’s soul.

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Loretta Diane Walker

Poet Dreaming – A Poem by Loretta Diane Walker

Poet Dreaming

No sky could hold so much light.
—Mary Oliver

Poems are nomads paddling through darkness
collecting words from the arms
of Orion, Sagittarius, and Perseus
before camping in a poet’s dream.
She sees souls as colliding galaxies,
holes of light burning
with millions to trillions of stars
too bright to fit in the cavity of sky.

Those stars are poems
crammed in the dusty envelopes of mortal bodies,
shimmering beneath white ribbons of bone.
A silhouette of stars floats in the window of her eye.
The energy of need forces tiny hands to brush
against the small wings of a sigh hovering in the evening.

She hears the silhouette speak
in a voice the timbre of a piccolo,
“Look Mommy! I caught a butterfly.”
On the other side of her dream, she sees the light of joy,
and a moth beating its powdery gray life
in the basket of a child’s palms.

 

 

From “In This House” published by Bluelight Press.

 

 

About the Poet:
Loretta Diane Walker won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House. She is a five time Pushcart nominee. She has published three collections of poetry. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. She teaches music in Odessa, Texas.  Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

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Out of the Fog – A Poem by Loretta Diane Walker

Out of the Fog

This morning came galloping
with a hot vengeance
after I had only three hours of sleep.
Oh, to roll time back,
make the hours a black umbrella.

Even the gas pump is impatient.
When I lift the nozzle and insert my card,
it demands, remove card quickly.
Or what? It will not blink its eyes,
hold me hostage in the sun’s yellow breath?

How I swell with fatigue, helplessness, anger
under the command of an one-armed soulless dictator.
I squeeze its metal tongue until my tank
and the creases in my palm are full with its salvia—
the smell of someone else’s money.

I release after hearing gas spill onto my feet.
The splashing taps me out of my drowsy fog.
It’s the same type of fog I found myself falling
into when you asked, “What does the poet mean?”
then answered.

Do not ruin poetry
with that question, coax with your interpretation.
Let your students open a poem
with sticky fingers and find their own way
with gummed words in their hands.

Let them crack it open like a raw egg,
prepare to their tastes,
tell you the rose is a woman.

Once I hurled a smooth stone upwards
and turned before the stone plunged its hard life
back into the earth.

I don’t know if it struck, woke
some sleeping desire, startled it into curiosity.
When I looked up,
morning and eggs and stone were the color of air.
I saw only blue dripping from the sky.

 

 

From Word Ghetto published by Bluelight Press.

 

 

About the Poet:
Loretta Diane Walker won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House. She is a five time Pushcart nominee. She has published three collections of poetry. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. She teaches music in Odessa, Texas.  Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Poet Census – A Poem by Loretta Diane Walker

Poet Census

Numbered like centuries of chipped stars,
we stood, waited to be counted, categorized,
divided like sheep and goats
by poetry’s crooked staff.

Angelou, Atwood, Oliver were lined
behind Browning, Dickinson, Rossetti,
their mouths fat with words,
tongues thick with gossip.

I leaned closer to hear. They spoke simply
of beauty, love, and how the corners of death
fold us into ourselves and sometimes
it is the wings of poems that lift us back to life.

 

 

From Word Ghetto published by Bluelight Press.

 

 

About the Poet:
Loretta Diane Walker won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House. She is a five time Pushcart nominee. She has published three collections of poetry. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. She teaches music in Odessa, Texas.  Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

 

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Shadows – A Poem by Loretta Diane Walker

Shadows

“Poetry is the only art people haven’t yet learned
to consume like soup.”
— W. H. Auden

I want to slip acceptance into a bowl
of Campbell’s Alphabet Soup.
Maybe she will swallow it then,
give up this fixation
with bony bare shouldered teens
displayed on glossy pages of deceit.

Seduction is too large
for their thin young frames,
but some photographer stretched
their pubescent smiles.

How can I tell a modest girl
who writes poetry and plays Bach
she is beautiful, when she can only hear
pimples complaining on her face?

And how can I convince a man
who walks in the shadow
of his brother’s wealth he is valuable?
That his dirty honest hands,
sweaty blue collar uniform,
and steel-toed boots
helped build gold dreams?

How can I mold a dream,
use images like a scaffold,
snag strong verbs from the deep throat
of a full sentence, make them desirable
as the white stone of acquittal?

 

This poem also appears in Loretta Diane Walker’s book Word Ghetto  published by Bluelight Press.

 

 

 

About the Poet:
Loretta Diane Walker won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House. She is a five time Pushcart nominee. She has published three collections of poetry. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. She teaches music in Odessa, Texas.  Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

 

 

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Memoir of Shoes – A Poem by Loretta Diane Walker

Memoir of Shoes

This box packed with shoes
is the history of my mother’s feet.
Will these soles continue to tell her story
after this container is hauled away?
Especially this pair of black pumps
she wore to church.
The throat of one has a tiny scar.
Dye can conceal the bruised place,
but what of her memoir?
Can they voice how her heels rubbed
against the quarters, pressed down
the hard edges of single motherhood?
How can they, without a tongue?

Will the new owners feel the pen of her feet?
Decipher a scribbled Sunday morning
filled with passion and perspiration?
Survive the heated hands of a West Texas July
pressed against church pews and walls?
Hear the water of her soprano voice
splash Amazing Grace over the sanctuary?

Listen to the congregation wave their fans,
pray for the gospel of a cool breeze,
as the choruses of God’s mercy leak out
the raised windows?

 

This poem also appears in Loretta Diane Walker’s book In This House published by Bluelight Press.

 

About the Poet:
Loretta Diane Walker won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House. She is a five time Pushcart nominee. She has published three collections of poetry. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. She teaches music in Odessa, Texas.  Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Guilt Eradication – A Poem by Loretta Diane Walker

Guilt Eradication

You can smell the past
–Zahi Hawass–

It’s hard to live under layers of guilt—
thick as scents of cinnamon and garlic.
I inhale and exhale my mistakes
as though they are who I am, not what I did.

The sour arms of history embrace me
as though I am drowning in my first offense.
They rock me reeking with condemnation
as I perfume myself with good deeds and self-denial.

Who ordered me to pay penitence for the past
by sabotaging my future?
To walk in the present as though absolution
is a golden apple on the forbidden tree?

I’ve lived half a century, punishing myself
for being ten, nineteen, human.
If I am going to forgive myself,
I must admit first I am not God.

 

 

This poem also appears in Loretta Diane Walker’s book Word Ghetto  published by Bluelight Press.

 

About the Poet:
Loretta Diane Walker won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House. She is a five time Pushcart nominee. She has published three collections of poetry. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. She teaches music in Odessa, Texas.  Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

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