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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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morning poem

Influencer – A Poem by Chris Jansen

Influencer
by Chris Jansen

Like a car wreck with a plastic sheet.
Like the place to go where we might meet.
Like a bloody bandaid in the street

next to a penny,
two feathers,
a yellow burrette,
my mother’s unlived life,

I see,
I glow,
I go around.
I run.

And I derive my power from nothing.

Like the sun.

 

 

About the Poet: Chris Jansen is a recovering heroin addict. He lives in Athens, Georgia, where he teaches boxing and cares for a disinterested guinea pig named Poozybear.

Tucson Morning, 6 a.m. – A Poem by Geraldine Connolly

Tucson Morning, 6 a.m.
by Geraldine Connolly

I walk through the neighborhood
past the ends of driveways,
doors locked tight to guard sleepers.

The day opens like a new recipe.
I want to follow its neat
measurements, solve its problems.
Each breeze stirs a blossom.

I smell something, sweet, dusty, earthy—
sage and creosote, a whiff of mesquite.

I find a quail’s nest, its small eggs close

to my shoe like bones about to break.

I often walk, away from the thought
of border crossings, away from breaking
news toward the patient saguaros,
a babble of doves surging up
from the saltbush.

 

 

About the Poet: 

Geraldine Connolly is a native of western Pennsylvania and the author of four poetry collections: Food for the Winter (Purdue), Province of Fire (Iris Press) and Hand of the Wind (Iris Press), Aileron (Terrapin Books.)  She is the recipient of two N.E.A. creative writing fellowships in poetry, a Maryland Arts Council fellowship, and the W.B. Yeats Society of New York Poetry Prize. She was the Margaret Bridgman Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and has had residencies at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and The Chautauqua Institute. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Cortland Review and Shenandoah. It has been featured on The Writers Almanac and anthologized in Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High School Students, Sweeping Beauty: Poems About Housework and The Sonoran Desert:A Literary Field Guide. She lives in Tucson, Arizona. Her website is http: www.geraldineconnolly.com  and Facebook author’s page: https://www.facebook.com/geraldineconno/

Morning Poem – A Poem by Jennifer Judge

Morning Poem

In the moments before the day begins, I am alone.
Almost full moon still visible through
the narrow slit of a window in the back of the house.

Dawn breaks in an instant:
Look out one window and it’s dark,
turn to another and it’s light,
morning flooding the side yard,
instant time travel.

Wet leaves cling to everything this morning,
so much rain last night,
we had to stand outside to
watch it fall on streets flooded with lamplight.

It’s been years now since that fall day I cried
with joy because we moved in,
because we came home
to this town, the only one that
has ever felt like home.

A week ago I stood in
the acoustic room of the Martin Guitar Factory
holding one guitar by its neck
while my husband played another.

It thrummed in my hand
like a living thing,
its vibrations a call and response to the other guitar,
as though they were partners,
as though they could finish each other’s sentences,
as if one could translate for the other.

The house will wake,
I know this the way the dog knows this:
she stretches and sighs in preparation.

Feet will find their way down stairs and into kitchens
as if it is inevitable, a call and response,
the period at the end of my sentence.

 

 

About the Poet:  Jennifer Judge has taught creative writing and composition for 20 years at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  She earned her MFA from Goddard College.  She lives in Dallas, PA with her husband and two daughters.  Her work has been published in Literary Mama, Blueline, Mothers Always Write, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Every Pigeon! and Rhino.

 

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.

Kayaking the Upper Buffalo – A Poem by Al Ortolani

Kayaking the Upper Buffalo

Whitewater rainbows in spray, pool dropping between willows, river birch, driftwood—three buzzards, droop-shouldered, perch in ash. Popping lid on tin of sardines, one bird lifts immediately into flight, begins to turn circles on wingtip. Sun splashes off standing waves, dampens limestone, dries, dampens. Mayapple umbrellas below blackjack oaks. Blue-tailed skink skitters into patch of sun.

drifting hawk,

a broken shadow

circles the bluff

 

 

About the Poet:
Al Ortolani’s newest collection of poems, Paper Birds Don’t Fly, was released in 2016 from New York Quarterly Books. His poetry and reviews have appeared in journals such as Rattle, Prairie Schooner, and New Letters. His poems been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and he has recently been featured on the Writer’s Almanac.

 

 

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.

Feeling of Fall – A Poem by Cindy O’Quinn

Feeling of Fall

The air changes from stale to crisp,
the wind sweeps in coldness,
it crawls into my bones with determination.

I sense the change days before it happens;
leaves drink in the color like ocean sponges.
Along comes the frigid cold to strip them bare.

Forests left unclothed,
naked for all to see.
Wooden skeletons model their new frames.

Full moons mark the season until spring can return.
Nourishment needed is now replaced,
And gives all life a brand new face.

 

 

About the Poet:
Cindy O’Quinn is a writer, RN, and homesteader. She lives in the North Woods of New England with her husband and sons. Cindy’s short stories and poetry can be found in Sanitarium Magazine issue #48, as well as upcoming issues of Blood Moon Rising Magazine.

 

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.

Childhood Prayers – A Poem by Max Reif

Childhood Prayers

Yes, as a child I prayed,
because the nights in bed
were long and dark
and the days
had already shattered my mind
into gleaming fragments
moving quickly upon
a flame of fear.
Yes, I prayed
into the darkness,
for there were holes
in the safe world
and even my parents
sometimes became
strangers in the house.
I tried to hold our family
safely in my arms
so that it would not shatter too,
along the fault lines I knew,
and leave me all alone.
I prayed and never thought
these prayers trying to find
their way upward through thick
layers of tangled, textured shadow
were answered, but it may be
the prayers themselves were
the answer needed then.
 

 

About the Poet:
Max Reif has published three books of poetry, Canticles for Meher, Every Day Music, and Journey from here to HERE. His forthcoming book of stories, Toward an Interior Sun, is being published by The Mindful Word. He has also just recorded a CD of songs, titled The Wake-Up Man. His poem, Jazz Kahuna, which appeared in POETRY BREAKFAST, has been nominated for a 2016 Best of the Net Award. He lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife, Barbara.

 

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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.

various placements – A Poem by Crystal Snoddon

various placements

They say there’s no real excuse for philandering, but a truism persists that after three years a man must spread his seed, leave his weaned offspring to toddle after their tired mother – it is nature, expected, metronomic monotony.

My clock chimes reminders of fallibility wound into my aging carcass. Notice how my meanderings have been tightly circuitous, repeated revolutions in creation, fornication, self-confined to familiar surroundings. But this is where I live, and every four years another man was chosen to minister to this land I inhabit but am not native to, regardless of whether my placental cord grew thickly, was severed, here.

Perhaps I am philandering with a home never given, never truly chosen, spreading weeds into fields never mine.

 
About the Poet:
Crystal Snoddon finds inspiration in the Canadian wilderness. Her poetry has appeared in SickLit Magazine, Waking Dawn, a Canadian anthology, and various flash fictions in 101 Words.

 

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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.

Slightly Ambivalent Homage to the ’60’s – A Poem by Max Reif

Slightly Ambivalent Homage to the ’60’s

Crucible in which we burned,
smelted like alchemical alembic,
stinking as we purified.
What strange mutations
we became, hoping this
was metamorphosis,
not metastasis!
Each saw
a shining kingdom,
and each conspired
to get there
any way he could.
Some did not
survive the effort.
Some lassoed a vision
and pulled it to Earth,
only to find it empty.
Some died in jungles,
Some got mired
in jungles of the mind
and then
went underground
and disappeared,
detoured down to Hades,
only one day
to push up from
the Earth again,
small, bright shoots
of green
 

About the Poet:
Max Reif has published three books of poetry, Canticles for Meher, Every Day Music, and Journey from here to HERE. His forthcoming book of stories, Toward an Interior Sun, is being published by The Mindful Word. He has also just recorded a CD of songs, titled The Wake-Up Man. His poem, Jazz Kahuna, which appeared in POETRY BREAKFAST, has been nominated for a 2016 Best of the Net Award. He lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife, Barbara.

 

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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.

Consigning Mother’s Ring – A Poem by Barbara Saxton

Consigning Mother’s Ring

It shouldn’t have been willed to me.
I’m not an emerald and baguette diamond girl.
I’m set in steel, not platinum.

Technically, it’s called a dinner ring,
but we all knew it as a form
of circular apology
for cocktail hour abuse.
Advance payment, if you will,
for dessert wines
served up with purple bruises.

For twenty-three long years,
I kept it tucked away
in an emotionally
distant drawer.

But Sally’s house needs a new roof,
and something good should finally come
of all that ostentatious glinting.

Before leaving the consignment store,
I kissed those gems that once adorned
a hand now far beyond
her daughter’s loving grasp.

 

From Dual Exposure, A Collection of Poems by Barbara Saxton published by Blue Light Press.

 

About the Poet:

Barbara Saxton has worked as a translator, financial consultant, and educator. She is now a retired English teacher, singer, dancer, relentless outdoor enthusiast, and published poet (Dual Exposure – 2015 – and various literary journals/anthologies).

She lives in Mountain View, California, with her husband Owen and a cat named Kolo. Their two adult sons reside in San Jose and San Francisco.

 

 

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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