Little Squirrel

Little Squirrel

Little squirrel
In the tree
I see you
Looking at me

Your color is red
In your furry coat
You look at me
Sitting in the boat

You’re eating the acorns
Found in the tree
A smile on your face
Dropping the shells on me!

© 2009 Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.


Originally published in:
WORDS…RHYMES…POETRY & PROSE
May 2011

Going Out to Eat

Please enjoy my reading of the poem “Going Out to Eat.” Going Out to Eat was written in May 2013 in Estes Park, Colorado, and originally published in vox poetica Magazine on January 27, 2014. Annmarie Lockhart is the founder of vox poetica. Nathan Gunter is the current managing editor of vox poetica. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did writing it.

Going Out to Eat

Sweetheart, do you have a preference for where we go out to eat?
…..No. Anywhere you want is ok with me, dear.
Great. There’s a McDonald’s. They have a senior coffee discount.
…..Oh, but look! There’s a Subway. I think that would be better.
OK. Subway it is. I’ll let you off at the door and then park the car.

Do you see anything on the menu you prefer?
…..No. Anything you want is OK with me, dear. We can share a foot-long sub.
Great. How about a foot-long Italian meatball sub?
…..Oh, but the Black Forest ham … I think that would be better.

OK. Make it a foot-long Black Forest ham on wheat bread, please.
…..Oh, get whatever you want, dear, but white bread …
Ma’am, can you change that to white bread, please. And American cheese.
…..Dear, pepper jack … I think that would be better.
OK, make it pepper jack cheese.

We’d like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, green peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos …
…..Anything you want, is OK with me, dear, but maybe not the tomatoes and pickles.
Ma’am, hold the tomatoes and pickles, please.
…..What if we skipped all the peppers and just got black olives?
OK. Make it black olives and mayonnaise instead of green peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos.
…..Maybe you should go with light mayo. Remember your waistline.
Yes, dear. Ma’am, we’ll take light mayo instead, please.

“Sir, do you want to make that a combo with chips and drink?”
Sure, that sounds–
…..Dear, we’ve got water and apple slices in the car. No need to splurge, but …
OK. Just the sub, not the combo.

That was a very good lunch.
…..Yes. Thank you for taking me out to eat. Aren’t you glad I let you have whatever you wanted?

And I recalled the words of the Apostle Paul,
…..Love is patient, love is kind.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Written in Estes Park, Colorado
May 2013

“Going Out to Eat” was originally published in vox poetic in print and electronic form. The electronic version can be accessed at: Kepler, Jimmie A. “Going Out to Eat,” vox poetica, January 27, 2014, Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://voxpoetica.com/eat/.


When I read the first draft of this poem to my late wife, I was shocked at how visibly upset it made her.

“You’re making fun of me and telling the whole world!” she said.

I was taken aback by her comment.

“I don’t understand,” I said with honesty.

“That’s what I did at the Subway Restaurant at Amarillo,” she said. She didn’t smile. She only lowered her head.

It was apparent the memory was fresh on her mind.

“It’s a composite of so many of the older couples we see at restaurants. It seems the wife frequently tells the husband to order what he wants. As he orders, she tweaks the order to what she wanted,” I said.

Again, she did not smile. She rolled her eyes.

“It’s not about you,” I said attempting to reassure her.

“It’s about me. Everyone will know it’s about me.”

“But it isn’t about you. Even if it were, who do you know that reads poetry?”

“So you admit you wrote it about me.”

“Sweetie, it’s a composite of so many of the older couples we see at restaurants,” I said trying to reassure her.

“And you’re going to submit it for publication?”

“Only with your permission. I don’t want it to upset you.”

“So it’s my fault if you don’t submit the poem?”

This time I rolled my eyes.

She glared at me for a minute and then sat silent for another five minutes. Finally, she started laughing and said, “I guess if I’m honest wives do that to their husbands. Go ahead and submit your silly poem.  No one publishes or reads poetry these days.”

I submitted it. It was accepted for publication. And no, it wasn’t about Miss Benita. It really is a composite of so many of the older couples I’ve seen at restaurants. It seems the wife frequently tells the husband to order what he wants. As he orders, she tweaks the order to what she wanted and then hands him a coupon to use.

 

Urban Pigeons

Please enjoy my reading of the poem “Urban Pigeons.” Urban Pigeons was written in August 2009 and originally published in vox poetica Magazine on August 26, 2012. Annmarie Lockhart is the founder of vox poetica. Nathan Gunter is the current managing editor of vox poetica. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did writing it.

Urban Pigeons

White clouds
Fill the Columbia blue sky,
Like hundreds of cotton balls.
The brilliance
Of the summer sun,
Reflected even brighter
Off of the clouds.
The clouds remain
Suspended in the sky
With little movement.
A flock of pigeons,
Land on an adjacent building.
They stand on the edge
Of the ten-story structure,
Peering downward
Looking
For some crumb or morsel of food.
They also eye the sky
And the roof,
Of a neighboring building.
The birds are watchful
As a red hawk
Is perched waiting,
Waiting,
Waiting
For one of the pigeons
To let its guard down
And become his next meal.
The sounds of cars,
Trucks
And an occasional motorcycle
Fill the air
As they travel
From their point of origin
To their destination
Using the freeway
That passes
Through the building’s shadow.
A panhandler
On a nearby corner
Looks up at the sky
Shielding her eyes
From the bright sun.
She looks to see
What the airborne commotion is about.
The sun temporarily blinds her
With its brilliance
And then she sees
Dozens of feathers
Slowly descending to the ground.

August 2009

Kepler, Jimmie A. “Urban Pigeons,” vox poetica, August 26, 2012, Retrieved August 27, 2012, from http://voxpoetica.com/words_to_linger_on.html and August 29, 2012, Retrieved from http://poemblog.voxpoetica.com/2012/08/29/urban-pigeons.aspx.

Meet the Poets: Sylvia Plath

 

Poet Sylvia Plath’s grave at St.Thomas’ Churchyard, Heptonstall, Yorkshire, England, UK

Sylvia Plath
1982 Pulitzer Prize Poetry

Mad Girl’s Love Song”

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

by Sylvia Plath
Source of Poem: Hello & Poetry

Smith College and Newnham College, Cambridge

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist and short-story writer. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she studied at Smith College and Newnham College, Cambridge before receiving acclaim as a professional poet and writer. She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956 and they lived together first in the United States and then England, having two children together: Frieda and Nicholas. Following a long struggle with depression and a marital separation, Plath committed suicide in 1963. Controversy continues to surround the events of her life and death, as well as her writing and legacy.

The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel

Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two published collections: The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel.

Won Pulitzer Prize Posthumously

In 1982, she became the first poet to win a Pulitzer Prize posthumously, for The Collected Poems. She also wrote The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death.

For more information about Sylvia Plath: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Plath

Photo Source: Photo Used Under a Creative Commons 2.0 License from the Photographer

Meet the Poets: Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg NYWTS

Carl Sandburg
1919, 1951 Pulitzer Prize Poetry
1940 Pulitzer Prize History

His Own Style

“I make it clear why I write as I do and why other poets write as they do. After hundreds of experiments, I decided to go my own way in style and see what would happen.” – Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) was an American writer and editor, best known for his poetry. He received three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and another for his history, a biography of Abraham Lincoln.

Influence of Poetry Magazine

Sandburg was almost unknown to the literary world when, in 1914, a group of his poems appeared in the nationally circulated Poetry magazine.

Chicago Poems, Cornhuskers, and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Two years later his book Chicago Poems was published, and the thirty-eight-year-old author found himself on the brink of a career that would bring him international acclaim.

Sandburg published another volume of poems, Cornhuskers, in 1918, and wrote a searching analysis of the 1919 Chicago race riots. These collections lead to the 1919 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Rootabaga Stories

More poetry followed, along with Rootabaga Stories (1922), a book of fanciful children’s tales.

The Rootabaga Stories prompted Sandburg’s publisher, Alfred Harcourt, to suggest a biography of Abraham Lincoln for children.

The success of Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

Sandburg researched and wrote for three years, producing not a children’s book, but a two-volume biography for adults. His Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, published in 1926, was Sandburg’s first financial success.

Abraham Lincoln: The War Years and the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1940

With the financial success, he moved to a new home on the Michigan dunes and devoted the next several years to complete four more volumes, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940.

Sandburg continued his prolific writing, publishing more poems, a novel, Remembrance Rock, the second volume of folk songs, and an autobiography, Always the Young Strangers.

In 1945 the Sandburg family moved with their herd of prize-winning goats and thousands of books to Flat Rock, North Carolina.

Complete Poems and the Second Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1951

Sandburg’s Complete Poems won him a second Pulitzer Prize in 1951. Sandburg died at his North Carolina home on July 22, 1967. His ashes were returned, as he had requested, to his Galesburg birthplace. In the small Carl Sandburg Park behind the house, his ashes were placed beneath Remembrance Rock, a red granite boulder. Ten years later the ashes of his wife were placed there.


Photo Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carl_Sandburg_NYWTS.jpg
Articles Sources:  Pulitzer Awards 1919, Pulitzer Awards 1940, and Pulitzer Awards 1951

For more on Carl Sandburg see: http://carl-sandburg.com/biography.htm