Friday, February 24, 2023

sky a ripe peach (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit beautiful Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for Roundup.

This week's ArtSpeak: Light poem is inspired by a sunset...and peaches! 

As a genuine Georgia Peach (born in Georgia), and because my granddaddy made sure his grandchildren had the best fresh peaches (Elberta peaches, anyone?), peaches pop up in my poems from time to time.

Aside: did you know it's incredibly hard to farm peaches? Peach trees need near constant attention! So next time you bite into a beautiful, sweet peach, remember those very dedicated farmers. I'll be getting my peaches this year from Indian Creek Peach Farm.

Can you tell I've got gardening on my mind?? 

This week I attended a workshop on Community Gardens, and I also put in my lettuce seed. Yay!

Back to this latest peach-y poem. My favorite peach poem of all time is "From Blossoms" by Li-Young Lee. It begins:

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward   
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

Such joy! So I knew I wanted to include joy in my poem. Thanks so much for reading.

sky a ripe peach
juicy light dribbles down our chins
warm, sticky joy

- Irene Latham

Friday, February 17, 2023

A Writer's Prayer (poem)

Mama, me & Lynn

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

February has been full to bursting, as it usually is for me. My sister and I took our mom to Graceland, because it was on her bucket list. We had a great time singing Elvis songs and shopping thrift stores. Oh, and we rode in a pink Cadillac. :)

While in Memphis, Charles and I were notified that AFRICAN TOWN was awarded the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction! Of all the things I write, historical fiction is the genre I return to most often...AND I have always always loved reading historical fiction. I can remember going to the library as a girl and looking specifically for Scott O'Dell-winning books. So it's quite a happy thing, and we're so grateful to the committee for recognizing this story of the Clotilda shipmates' resilience, triumph, and creativity. I'm on a social media break, so special thanks to those who have reached out - it means so much! And just look at that lovely gold seal! Kossola is somewhere smiling...

Today's ArtSpeak: Light poem is inspired by a piece of art that I could just stare at for days. I love this painting by Rembrandt, and how it reminds me of Shel Silverstein's "A Light in the Attic." I played for quite a few pages before I latched on the idea of making a writer's prayer. Maybe you can relate?? Thanks so much for reading!

A Writer's Prayer

O Light, awaken my Imagination

O Courage, deliver these Words from shadow

O Fire, warm me when page goes Cold

O stairway of Hope, lead on!

- Irene Latham

Friday, February 10, 2023

The Trick of the Candlestick (poem)

flame, just starting to grow

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit wonderful Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink for Roundup.

I have been running behind all week, so I am late getting this poem written and posted...AND I am away from my desk (again). 

But it's all good! Earlier this week we got out on the lake, and we also enjoyed the fire pit. Perfect for my "light" year, yes? 

This week's ArtSpeak: LIGHT poem is a miniature, and instead of using a title, I decided to go Emily Dickinson and just jump right into the poem with no title at all. (How do you feel about title-less poems??) Thanks so much for reading!

the trick
of the candlestick
is simple—
you oh so gently 
it says hello

you spit,
it quits.

- Irene Latham

Friday, February 3, 2023

Forgiveness poem

Hello and happy Poetry Friday! It's February—my most favorite month! :) Be sure to visit lovely Laura's Blog for Roundup. 

A couple of newsy things:

Irene, Carol, Charles
at Highlights Oct. 2022
1. AFRICAN TOWN is now available in paperback! Yay! Charles and I hope this means more readers find this powerful story of resilience and family.

2. Charles Waters and I will again be teaching (with special guest Carol Hinz!) on campus at Highlights Foundation. Our workshop is called Poetry for Kids: A World of Publishing Possibilities. Join us April 16-19! 

3. You're invited to check out my new post up at Smack Dab in the Middle entitled "On Time, Sacrifice, and Difficult Choices in the Writing Life." Thank you!

Today's ArtSpeak: Light poem features... snow. And forgiveness, which—whether for others or for ourselves—is rarely an easy thing. But sometimes it just...happens. Like snow. xo

Sometimes Forgiveness Comes Like a Spring Snow

all hush,
no hurry

you wake
to glints
and glimmering

the old wounds
in downy light

welcoming you
back to yourself

yet again

- Irene Latham