Friday, July 30, 2021

Writing in Summer (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure and visit Becky at Sloth Reads for Roundup.

This week for ArtSpeak: Four Seasons, I found myself writing about writing. This happens from time to time, I think because I need these words for myself. (I often feel like my poetry is me talking to/coaching myself!) Poetry in particular feels like a bridge to my subconscious mind. 

The art for this one is by Claude Monet. (In a recent inventory, I discovered that I have written the most ArtSpeak poems after work by van Gogh, and Monet takes second place.) I want to draw your attention to a lovely new picture book biography about Monet entitled MORNINGS WITH MONET by Barb Rosenstock, illus. by Mary GrandPre. I loved learning about Monet's boat studio! And like Monet, I adore creating art in the early morning hours. Beautiful!

Monet also said this: "Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love." - Claude Monet 

LOVE! And now, here's "Writing in Summer." Thank you so much for reading.

Writing in Summer

Not enough
to walk amid
waving wildflowers
and buzzy bees.
Keep going,
push into the wind.
Invite ocean's breath
to steal your hat
and collapse
that (safe) parasol.
Now is not the time
to whine about theft
or wet salt spray.
To discover your
best story,
you must dance
on the          edge.

- Irene Latham

Friday, July 23, 2021

Instructions for a Sunwashed Sunday (poem)


Beautiful 13!
Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Kathryn Apel for what's sure to be an inspiring Roundup. 

I'm away from my desk this week—celebrating my little sister's 13th birthday and also helping my mom through hip replacement surgery. (!)

For my latest ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS, I totally should have written a "girl time" poem, but maybe that will come later! 

Instead I am again focusing on weather... it's been a rather wet summer here in the Alabama foothills! Thank you so much for reading.

OH. And I have beautiful new Home and Books pages at my website! Please head on over there right now and check them out. :)

Instructions for a Sunwashed Sunday (After a Week of Rain)

stash galoshes,
forget strife;
let go of pain—
step into
               your life

- Irene Latham

Friday, July 16, 2021

Because No One's Cheerful All the Time...

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone for Roundup.

There have been some exciting things this week, including: early morning phone call with Radio Europe (in Spain!), sharing about THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO.

...the arrival of a single author copy of WILD PEACE. I would buy this book for its endpapers alone... bravo, Il Sung Na

...also in the mailbox, the Japanese edition of CAT MAN. (You can imagine how special this is to Yuko Shimizu!)

...Betsy Bird's cover reveal of AFRICAN TOWN (and interview with me and Charles) over at A Fuse #8 Production.

...and a new octopus friend to add to my collection, thanks to a dear one among us. 🐙 I'm so grateful for this community!

For today's ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS poem, I return to van Gogh. We've had a lot of storms lately, and that kind of shows up in this poem! Thank you so much for reading.


Clouds rise,
thunder calls—

a raven:

caw caw

Sun sputters,
cypress shudders.

No one's cheerful
all the time—

not even 

- Irene Latham

Friday, July 9, 2021

An Accidental Wedding Poem!

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure and visit Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for Roundup. Thanks to all—especially the teachers among us—who shared experiences about transitioning to summer. I'm lifting a glass of homemade strawberry lemonade to all of you!

Something fun this week: My friend & poet & anthologist Nancy Tupper Ling invited me to be part of her Author Acrostic series! Be sure to check out all the authors in the series at Nancy's website. I'm on a social media hiatus, so I'll share mine with you here:

In the beginning, my parents

Read to me. I learned the joyful

Exuberance of words!

Now I'm learning there aren't

Enough words, and even less time.

- Irene Latham

Also, this week, I've been updating my website! More on that soon. And Tabatha helped me format a little zine to go with WILD PEACE. Link coming soon! Creating digital content sure does gobble the time, doesn't it?

For my ARTSPEAK: Four Seasons poem this week, I knew I wanted to write after this Klimt apple piece, and I decided to use a 7-line mentor poem with an odd rhyme scheme. I couldn't figure out my beginning, so I started building the poem from the bottom up... and I'd only got the last four lines done when I decided it was a poem! (I'll try the 7-liner poem another time.)

Mountain Wedding

Afternoon rain
becomes summer's champagne
as sunbeam marries shadow in a forest chapel—
and outside, trees carry bouquets of apples.

- Irene Latham

Friday, July 2, 2021

Twilight Time (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Laura Shovan for Roundup.

This week I have been learning again how to relax! I don't know if this happens to you, but after a period of intense activity (2 months of many presentations and mad revisions!), it's taken me a couple of weeks to wind down... and this week, finally, I felt myself sink into the days, my mind not constantly cataloging what needs to be done next. Also this week I was able to connect with some dear-to-me folks, so that certainly has added to my sense of peace and contentment. I guess I'm summering! And I hope you are too.

Here's my latest ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS poem. Thank you so much for reading.

Twilight Time

When night rises,
shadows fall—
warm stars
welcome all
across the yard,
across the dark—
where lightning bugs
leave their mark.
How these summer
Each blink
both a heartbeat
and forever
as Sun settles in
to dream.

- Irene Latham