Coming to America

I re-blogged this poem in honor of my mother. I can’t imagine what she would say about all that is happening right now. I hope she is not too worried.

Melba Christie at Poemattic

PHOTOS FOR KEEPS 465

Coming to America

She was only 18 years old

Her heart raced in her chest

like galloping stallions on the finca

they left on the island of emerald-green.

Soon their ship would pass by Lady Liberty;

All decks were packed with passengers

Some would salute proudly,

others knelt thankfully

as if at church,

but she simply held her breath

like when you get ready to

blow-up a balloon at a birthday party.

Her dreams danced in her head

like her favorite dancers Fred Astaire

and Ginger Rodgers.

She envisioned herself looking out

her bay window framed with lace curtains

as her two young girls jumped rope.

She imagined her Cape Cod home

surrounded by a three-foot white picket fence,

daffodils and daisies leaning comfortably against it.

That was her American Dream.

Yellow and red flowers growing along a white picket fence in traditional garden Stock Photo - 13865383

She knew there was hard work ahead

No one said it would be easy

her heart reminded her everyday

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Haiku Moments

Dear Followers and fellow bloggers,

I am very proud to announce the release of my first Haiku Poetry book – Haiku Moments available through Barnes & Noble. I appreciate your continued support. Thanks to all who bought The Secret Life of Mandalas.

Remembered

After I wrote The Role of a Poet, I found this post that relates to the premise.

Melba Christie at Poemattic

Remembered

How do you want to be remembered?  asked the poet

There were three poets, one doctor and two teachers present to respond to the poet’s question.

Finally after a long silence and obvious pondering the doctor says, “I want to be remembered  as someone who took my oath seriously.

One poet said, ” I want to be remembered as a poet who wanted to promote peace.”

The other poet said, “I will be remembered as the king of the couplet.”

The remaining poet said, ” I hope people will remember me as the simple poet.”

Then the two teachers looked at each other politely and gestured one another to speak first.

After a few seconds one teacher speaks. “I want to be remembered for my patience,” she said.

The other teacher remains pensive for a few more seconds. She says, “I hope that the students I was not able…

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The Role of a Poet

I often ask myself what is the role or job of the poet? Each time the response depends on what is happening in the world and in my personal life. I ask other poets the same question. Sometimes I wish I could ask my favorite poets, especially those who became well-known after they passed. I could imagine their reaction when they learn in their after life that people finally get and appreciate the poems they wrote.

As I pondered the question I went back to my collection of poetry books and looked for some insights.  Inspired by poet’s biographies and other readings, I wrote a poem that hopefully answers the question. I mean if you have ever asked yourself what is the role of the poet.

 

The Role of the Poet

I believe the world needs a poet more today

It needed one yesterday as well

because a poet is one to tells

truths we may not want to hear

a poet brings to light what is most dear

and helps us to face fear

 

A poet brings you back into your own life

and teaches you how to breathe in and out

in stillness and in meditation

while you listen carefully to your breath and heart beat

and to the divine explanation of why we are all here.

 

A poet is a little god

who soothes your soul

and lets you peek into life’s crystal ball

to see yourself for the very first time

 

A poet sings the songs that make the world go round

and says what matters in free verse or rhyme

a poet knows how to expertly use every utterance and sound

in alliteration or onomatopoeia or assonance

and when it comes to choosing

the right meter

who else can we possibly trust

 

It does not matter what form a poem takes

A poet must not mistake

an epic, a limerick or an ode

As long as a poet can bring back the spring

in the middle of winter.

 

A poet can make you sing

and help you see the purpose of a fly

and you can either believe every word

or decide to defy

its relevance or ambiguity

but we must admit the poet’s acuity

for words and how to use them in a soliloquy.

 

Being a poet is not an easy job

a poet can make you smile

or make your heart throb

 

A poet can also make you think

about so many things that need thinking

and when you don’t understand

the message it can really stink

 

but as for me

I still hope to be

a poet someday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Poetry Month

Happy National Poetry Month!

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” –

                                         – Leonard Cohen

A few suggestions for things you can do to honor the poets of the world.

 
* Read a poem to someone you love.
* Go to Poet.org and learn about A Poem in your Pocket
* Memorize just one line from a poem everyday.
* Post a short poem on Facebook or any other social media format you like.
* Write a poem for someone special.
* Email a poem to a friend.
*Check out your local library for programs that relate to poetry
* Dare to share a live video of yourself reading a few lines from a favorite poem. #mypoetryselfie.
* Finish this line: My heart leaps up when I behold …
and post it to my timeline or messenger and I will collect all into a large poem on April 30 as a culmination of Poetry Month. Write it in any language cause all languages matter.
* Simply make people aware of the celebration.
If you love music then you love a poet. Bob Dylan just received a Nobel Prize for his body of work as a songwriter.
So poetry is always in the air. It is never to late to become a poetry lover. Remember my friends poetry is life and life is poetry. Have a beautiful Poetry Month.

The Secret Life of Mandalas

book-cover

I very happy to announce that my coloring book is now available at www.barnesandnoble.com. Thanks for your continued support.

 

Thinking about the Poetry of Emily Dickinson

A candle in the wind

The Poets light but Lamps — (930)

The Poets light but Lamps —
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate
If vital Light

Inhere as do the Suns —
Each Age a Lens
Disseminating their
Circumference —

My Poetry and Art

Recently I decided to link my poetry to my artwork via several venues. I published my coloring book in September of 2016, The Secret Life of Mandalas, which is available via Amazon.com.

I have always loved graphic design and making my own greeting cards and other products. Zazzle.com and Threadless.com gave me the opportunity to create my products and use my art and poetry.

I want to thank those of you who have been so supportive this past year. I truly appreciate your comments and feedback.

Occasionally, I will post some of my products as they become available. However, my main focus and labor of love will continue to be writing poetry.

handbag-1

 

 

Tribute to Poet Judith Ortiz Cofer

I met Ms. Ortiz Cofer several years ago at a writer’s conference. I was impressed by her presentation and right away purchased her books. One of which  is Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood. The essays contained therein were fascinating to me. Some events reminded me of my family and things they did to keep dancing in their new environment when they first moved to New York in the late 1949.  Silent Dancing was awarded the 1991 PEN/Martha Albrand Special Citation for Nonfiction. Ms. Ortiz moved to New Jersey from Puerto Rico. In 1967 her family moved to Augusta, Georgia.

She was a poet, essayist, and beloved professor of English. After reading her poems I realized we had so much in common. She wrote about her childhood and growing up in a new culture after her family migrated to live in the United States. For me it was the opposite. I was born here and left to study in Puerto Rico. I also suffered from cultural shock. I had to learn many things about my parent’s homeland and culture and adapt to a new way of life. I have just started writing stories about my experiences and my family. I taught for many years and recently retired as well. She lived briefly in the New Jersey town I taught for many years.

“Among Cofer’s works were “The Line of the Sun,” a novel that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and she won an O. Henry Prize for the story “A Latin Deli.” Cofer’s works are also in English literature text books for high school students.”

Sadly, I learned that Ms. Ortiz Cofer died on December 30, 2016 at the age of 64 after battling cancer. She retired from The University of Georgia in 2013 and became ill shortly after. My favorite poems are in her collection of poems The Latin Deli. She was a true role model and I pray that she is resting in peace, silently dancing in heaven. My prayers go out to her husband and daughter.

 

 

Here is an excerpt of one of her poems:

“Blood tells the story of your life

in hearts as you live it;

bones speak the language of death,and flesh thins

with age when up

through the pores rises

the stuff of your origin.”

 

RIP

Tribute to Emily

In honor of Emily Dickinson, one of my favorite poets since I began reading her poems in the sixth grade. I have a collection of books written about her. One of my favorites:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
(254, 1891)