UK Wildflower Meadows v. Illinois Prairies/ Learning to Appreciate the Subtle

In an article in The Conversation about Roadside Wildflowers, the author states that…

Since the end of World War II, 97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have been dug up or destroyed. Many won’t remember a time when the countryside was filled with grassland that rippled with rainbows of flowers, but they are likely to recognise the intense yellow glare of pesticide-soaked oilseed rape fields that dominate rural landscapes today.

(See here for the article: http://theconversation.com/roadside-wildflower-meadows-are-springing-up-across-the-uk-and-theyre-helping-wildlife-in-a-big-way-120014)

Here I am in the Midwest USA and I cannot imagine the joy of finding a roadside wildflower meadow! I do try to find parking lot beauty, sky beauty, nature’s beauty wherever I can, but I have yet to find a wildflower meadow.  I do notice lovely small colors in early and late spring, weed like plants in the Midwest that must do for us, but no riot of colors as seen in UK wildflower meadows.

Meadows of flowers? I cannot imagine such joy.

However, I grew up near a native Illinois prairie, but rarely appreciated it. The colors are much more mute, scruffy somehow compared to a wildflower meadow.

Nearby, a group of conservationists at the Morton Arboretum have preserved this mostly now gone natural wonderland, the Illinois Prairie.  I must visit and report back, keeping in mind that no, the colors won’t be as dramatic, but I am practiced in finding beauty.

I have often used this more subtle beauty in my poetry and fiction, and I do appreciate nature’s beauty and healing properties–but admit to loving the dramatic colors of autumn more.

Thanks for reading.  May you find beauty everywhere as well.

 

milkweed in prairie  (Image of milkweed in a prairie from the Creative Commons.)

 

Beginning of Fiction Rough Draft

A boy, on the verge of being what is referred to as a young man, asked for his mother.

 

Where is she? What have you done to her?

 

And because he was a boy mistaken for being older, they answered him.

 

She is gone. She won’t becoming back.

He knew not to cry in front of those men with the prickly faces and matter of fact voices.

And he knew that this news, of the loss of one person, changed everything. (Image from The Art Institute of Chicago, Mark Chagall’s Chicago Windows.)

img_5249

 

Conversation with the Woods

“You said good-bye already.”

–I know. I thought I’d risk it, because–because–

“You need me. Go ahead and say it.”

–I need you.  It’s because–

“I don’t need to know the reason.  Just don’t expect me to ask the insects to leave you alone like you did last year.”

–I won’t.

“Better get your sunglasses.”

–I won’t need them.  I am feeling better.

“No, you are not.  I don’t care if you weep in the woods because I hear death all the time.”

–How did you know?

“I hear death all the time.”

Caught

“You didn’t get out of the car at all?” he asked, returning from his walk.

“No,” she answered. “There’s too–just too much out there. And I don’t have my sunglasses.”

“You’re not talking about the woods,” he said.

“No,” she said.

 

Submitted Nonfiction Today

img_3954I submitted a piece of nonfiction today; it felt very scary. No hiding behind poetic license. It was an essay about grief, something we all know about as we get older.

But even though submitting nonfiction was very scary to me, I was able to enter this essay title and information on the excel sheet I created after learning from another writer; I followed his suggestions for creating a submissions excel tracking sheet. I added color coding for Rejected, Accepted (that’s in green), Pending, Withdrawn, and Unknown. Too many unknowns, it seems!   I am learning to sort by these categories as well.

I am having fun working with this!

I don’t think I will become a nonfiction writer now, for I really need that poetic license and I do tend to look at the world through a poet’s eyes.

But I am still trying to grow as a writer.

Thanks for reading.

Goodbye (for now?) to Tuck Magazine and Coffin Bell Journal

 

two red candles beside plant in pot

  Two LOVELY journals I was published in during the last year have closed their internet doors/ sites. I am sad about this, for each brought a different  point of view to the world. One was very political and one was very psychological. Sad about this, but hoping their words last out there.

Good bye (for now?) to Tuck Magazine and Coffin Bell. The first published some of my political poetry and the second a feminist poem disguised as a horror story.

 

 

Measuring a Year By What I’ve Published in the Last Twelve Months

antique-clock-face-pocket-watch-280392  As I get older, it is interesting  to me how time passes quickly and slowly and quickly again. And for the first time, I can “measure” a year with what I’ve had published.

One fine journal, Tuck Magazine, recently and suddenly closed down.  That is sad, for Tuck Magazine published fiction, nonfiction, and poetry with social justice themes.

In any case, here is what I’ve had published the past year, thirteen poems and one short story. (I seemed to have lost a short story somewhere…)

“Where You Are Not,” a poem, June 2019, in Esthetic Apostle, here.

“Swamp Pearls,” a poem, May 2019, here at: Prometheus Dreaming.

“Not Sleep,” a poem, in Cagibi: A Literary Space, April 2019, here: Cagibi.

“The Professor and the Gravel,” a poem, 2019, at Wingless Dreamer.

“Saltwater Faces,” an ekphrastic poem inspired by paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago, High Shelf Press, 2018, https://www.highshelfpress.com/saltwaterfaces.

“Click,” “The Night is our First Language,” and “They Left the Bed,” poetry published in The Poetic Bond VIII print issue, December 2018. Available at Poetic Bond VIII. 

“Moving Gravel” a short story at Crack the Spine – Themed Anthology Submissions, “Routine”, print edition, 2018. Available at Crack the Spine Anthology.

“Walk with Child” at https://www.snapdragonjournal.com/  September 2018 Issue, “Here and Gone.” http://pub.lucidpress.com/9b90935e-82ec-4edd-a09e-725a9cf574b8/#Vu72fBijlewR

Coffin Bell Journal,2018, “Herstory,” October 2018. https://coffinbell.com/herstory-lesson/

Spillwords Press, “Stopped,” 2018, http://spillwords.com/stopped/.

Tuck Magazine, June 2018, “Teach to Kill” http://tuckmagazine.com/2018/06/06/poetry-1528/.

Tuck Magazine,  May 2018, “Refuge,” http://tuckmagazine.com/2018/05/29/poetry-1511/.

 

**Thanks for reading.