Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Poetry Series

I am VERY happy to announce my newly-named poetry event, Stone Soup Poetry Series, held on the last Sunday of each month (except for Aug & Dec which will be3rd Sundays) in Louisville, KY at The Bard's Town. This series is a cross-section of the area's diversity in poetry and music.​.php?eid=186011848123904

Stone Soup Poetry Series
Location: The Bard's Town
Time: Sunday, 31 July 2011 5-7pm

I strive to showcase a wide range of poetic styles, voices and age groups, blended with a diversity of musical genres. Everyone from published to un-published are welcome to take the stage to share high-quality works of poetry. There will also be a 15 minute open-mic preceding each show. First come, first served.

The Bard's Town is a great venue for performances, serves wonderful food and libations. Hats off to them for hosting this new poetry series!

Friday, September 24, 2010

New Book

I'm so pleased to announce that my new book of poetry, The Slow Talk Of Stones, is now available for pre-order sales from Finishing Line Press at their website at from now til Nov. 10th. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to view my book and order your copy. I'm always happy to sign one with a personal inscription. All orders ship On Jan. 7th. I know it's a bit of a wait, but I do appreciate your patience. I would even throw in a nice houseplant or homemade cookies if I could, but you'll have to come here for those.

I thought I would give you all a sneek peek at one of the poems, set in Eastern Kentucky:

After The Mines Came

Briars stitch into the hills
where we once watched morning slip over
easy as a promise.
And I think the earth has grown spined and calloused
saving itself against us
and I see the eyes of Hazel Mott who lives down the ridge
a face that impales the eyes of anyone
who peers into the memory of a son
who fell into the belly of the world
when the car snapped its cable
and they pulled out his bones in a sack,
only to re-bury them
as if once was not enough,
that the earth wanted to suck out the marrow,
grind his skeleton to dust
between teeth of stone,
seal the ghost of him under dead words
spoken in a registered letter the coal company sent -
a lapsed policy,
bounced check,
would she please pay the service charge
by September 1st.
We're so sorry.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blooming Thieves

One afternoon, I watched someone admiring the hydrangea bush in the front yard, look to her left, then right, snatch off a bloom and scuttle down the walk. I wanted to chase after her, but I was on the phone discussing something too important to drop. I knew she lived in the neighborhood, thought I'd wait till she walked by again, try the shame game on her, let her stick that in her corsage to display. Now, I know it's just a bloom taken, not something of great value like for instance, my truck. But the point is, the act of taking what isn't ours. And I'll be danged if not an hour later, another woman sharked around the hydrangea bush, yanked away another bloom. Foolish mortal. This one was not getting away. I sped out the door, caught her at the roses, said, "Hey, I"m happy to share. All you have to do is ask". Well, you would have thought I was speaking a Martian from the way her face scrunched up like tin foil, unresponsive, letting someones words fall out of the phone slipping away from her ear. Perhaps two conversations was too much stimuli, too much coordination required to function- a stolen bloom in one hand, phone in the other. I thought her head might blow up like one of those Fem-bots, bless her heart. This was getting fun. "I saw you rip-off that bloom in your hand", I said just to be clear. She finally responded, phone hanging from her ear like toilet paper stuck on a shoe. "Do you want it back", she asked? "No, what's the point in that?" "I'm sorry", she said, busied herself away. But her words were mouthed like a fish sucking air- useless.

Now, as a kid, haven't we plucked a bloom for our mothers, wild or from someones yard. We innocently thought, it's only a flower, or, it's a living thing. How could anyone own that? No one would mind just one bloom. And likely, most folks wouldn't mind a kid gathering affection for their mother. But the two folks in question were grown women, well-dressed, not stealing food to survive. Thieves in other words. I hate thieves. I work hard for what I have. Iv'e been robbed six times over the years, nearly mugged who knows how many. Last year, someone even stole the Buddha off the porch. Go figure.

I thought about boobie-trapping the hydrangea, waiting till the neighbor comes strolling up the walk towards my house , then put my boa constrictor in the shrub. But, snakes have such a bad rap as it is and Iv'e worked hard to change that image. Nix that idea. My sweetie suggested a recording of a Rottweiler having a hissy. We could tape the show, put it on UTube. I'm sure it would go viral. Wouldn't that be fun.
Instead, I made a sign - Flower thieves will be pruned, impaled it onto a bloomless stem. From where I sit, I can see everything that goes on in front of my house. Not that I planned it that way, it's simply a matter of practical furniture arrangement. Iv'e seen a couple of folks read the sign. It's sad, the lack of humor in this neighborhood. Maybe I WILL get that Rottweiler after all.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Feeling Squirrely

This morning, I noticed one of my cats sitting in her spot at the window, indulging in a morning bath. Not four feet away, perched on a fence rail, sat a squirrel grooming itself too, in full-view of the cat. At first, I thought the cat hadn't noticed her bathing partner. I anticipated the sound of plants crashing down from their stands when kitty happened to look up and see her favorite outdoor toy and charged along every window in the house in full-pusuit.
But, to my astonishment, she acted as if she didn't care about the squirrel when she saw it. She simply continued with her bath. The squirrel continued with his. Usually, the sqirrel teases poor kitty from its spot on the fence, seems to laugh as she smashes into the window, skids off the ledge and repeats till the fuzzy-tailed rodent strolls away. But not today. For a reason unknown to me, it appears a truce has been decided upon. Kitty glances up at the squirrel again and I know there is no mistake that she sees it. She leaps down from her spot, off to other important things like climbing the bookshelf. All the more reason to aquire more books, fill up the empty spaces for kitty's safety.
A few moments later, squirrel wanders off to pursue squirrel business. Probably to tease the neighbor's cat. Last winter, I watched two squirrels tag-team three cats from our dogwood tree. Surrounded by felines, the tree-rats took turns creeping down the trunk, daring a cat to chase them up. With no takers, one pushed the envelope and came down from the tree, ran a circle around one of the cats that finally took the bait and chased it up another tree. Kitty seemed stuck, unable to keep up, at a loss for what to do next. But, the squirrel knew. It brushed right past poor kitty, down to the ground, past the others and back up the dogwood with the other cats in pursuit. Both squirrels leaped onto the power-lines leading across the street, disappearing into the deep of a large pine. Game over. Rodents- 1, felines- 0.

I'm sure a lot of folks have squirrel stories. These critters are obviously smart and enjoy play and monkey mischief creating vast amounts of antics we can't help but observe. My favorite story was told to me by former utility co-workers many years ago. One summer afternoon, a crew truck was at a job, there to repair a leaking watermain. While waiting for equipment, one worker passed the time by chucking rocks at a squirrel sitting in a nearby tree. Finally, one rock connected, beaned the poor creature right in the head. It crumpled into the limb for a moment, sat back up, shook its head and when it regained its senses, eyeballed its attacker. It chirtled its little squirrel sound of anger (I'm sure it was an explitive) charged down the tree in a bee-line at the man who was now frantic to get inside the crew truck and close the door. A second later, the squirrel ran to the other side of the truck where the crew-boss sat laughing, his door open, a snarling ball of fury creeping closer. "Shut the door, shut the door", the worker yelled in terror. But the crew-boss couldn't stop laughing. In a panic, the worker jumped out from the truck, ran down the sidewalk, squirrel in hot-pursuit.
I called him Squirrley from that day on. Did I rub it in? Of course. He just didn't get that it was wrong to harm an animal for his own entertainment. But, I don't think he ever picked on a squirrel. again.

Friday, June 11, 2010

From The Inkwell

As promised, though a bit late, I'm happy to announce my new radio show, From The Inkwell, is now on the air. You can hear it Saturdays at 1pm on 1650 chradio am., or catch it live-streaming at
We are working on getting the shows archived just in case you miss it, so please check it out to see if we figured it out. ;)

The show is an hour long exploration of poetry and prose with guests ranging from writers to publishers, playwrights to booksellers who read and discuss their work and experiences in the literary world. And it's buckets of fun too. Ok, it's mainly a lot of fun. Check it out.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Snail's Pace

This morning, I did as little as possible, having exhausted myself with work, my new radio show, a thousand errands and projects. But, at the insistence of the neighbor's cat that chooses to spend it's time on the porch when the possum isn't using it, I drug myself to the stoop let poor kitty curl onto my lap. Not that I had a choice.
While sitting there, pinned down next to the potted pansies, I noticed two snails cruising the foliage, gliding like whispers across the green. One idled to nibble a spent bloom as the other stretched onto a leaf that couldn't bear its weight and collapsed. The snail clung on, upside down, suspended and to my eye, in trouble. I almost reached out to help it, but then, it took the opportunity to feed on a bloom that was hidden to me until I peered closer. So, I let it be. Maybe the snail isn't so dumb. Just then, a neighbor hurried into his car, gunned the engine and whiplashed down the street.
How interesting that these two polar opposites present themselves together, right in front of my eyes. Patience and impatience, grace and speed, opportunity presenting itself and seeking it out. A lot to consider.
Then, to myself, I chided my neighbor for being in such a hurry, careless of anything in his way. What's all the rush for? And is it worth the risk of missing so much, so much that blurrs by in our haste to get it all done. Is it worth draining ourselves to check a task off of our to-do lists, run as fast as we can, g-force winds flapping in our cheeks like derranged sky-divers?
And then it hit me like a cosmic 2x4- who was I calling an idiot, too worn out to pull a few weeds on such a pretty day, struggling to link words into cohearrant sentences. It's a good thing the porch isn't screened in, else that rock I chucked at my neighbor would have bounced back and beaned me in the head. I like my head, tired as it is, wrinkles and all. So, tomorrow, I'm playing hookey, taking a day off. No work, just lazy. And you can tell my boss, I don't care. Her name is Sheri L. Wright. Having one's own business does have its advantages.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Walking The Sun Dog

This morning, before the acidity of java burned through my brain-fog, I wondered what in the world to write about. It turns out that I'm scribbling about something not of this world, at least to a degree. Ever hear of a sun dog? It's a solar phenomenon caused by sunlight refracting through ice crystals in cirrus clouds, creating a second sun, halo, or patch of rainbow-colored light. Sound boring, like something out of your high-school science book? Believe me, it's not boring at all. Imagine looking into the sky and finding a swatch of rainbow suspended there. Better yet, a complete circle of light, colors prismed around it, a friend to share it with, witness that your neurons didn't hiccup your wild days of experimenting with mind-altering wantoness.

Since the first time I saw a sun dog, I've always kept watch for more. It's a reminder to me that the world is a place full of interesting things, that earth is only the beginning in finding them, and that when we do, they can change us in unexpected ways.
One afternoon, sitting in traffic and impatient to get home, I remembered about sun dogs, looked up and sure enough found one, a beautifuly bright one. I looked around to see if anyone else saw it. No, not one person had their neck crooked up, no smile spread on their face. What a shame. This was too good not to share. I looked to my left, to the car beside me- a middle aged guy, starched shirt, pensive expression. I thought, no, this guy wouldn't give a rats' pitootee about a splotch of light in the sky. Likely, he would ingore me at best, give me a dirty look at worst.
But then, I took a chance. I just had to share this with someone, open the door for anyone to see beauty in the natural world. We do spend too much time with our gadgets, hurrying into cubicles of work and home and solitude.
I rolled down my window, lightly tapped my horn. I got his attention, smiled and pointed to the sky. To my suprise, he did look. And then he smiled. He no longer was the middle-aged guy balding in his stiff shirt, mouth down-turned to the world. He became more of himself. At least that's what I like to think. He rolled down his window, asked me what in the world that thing was. When I told him, I had the feeling he was going to go home and look it up, that he may start to watch the sky as well. I also had the feeling that he didn't see me as only someone in painter's whites, driving a beat up truck that had long lost its shine.
The light changed. Time to move on.
It's a wonderful thing to have one's faith in nature to change us proved in unexpected ways.