A Bell in the Word Barn (a poem by Kelly Belmonte)

Dive into this great new poem by fellow poet and friend, Kelly Belmonte.

All Nine

This past Sunday evening, my friend Julie and I adventured to The Word Barn in Exeter, NH for a reading by the poets Ben Moeller-Gaa, William O’Daly, and JS Graustein. It was a privilege to meet the poets before the reading, shake their hands, and share how I’ve been experiencing a bit of a writing dry spell of late (and they understood!). Such a gracious and renewing evening, which opened up a small crack in the writing dam, out of which streamed this short piece below.

A Bell in the Word Barn
Revelation at a Poetry Reading

A barn-full of words and whimsy,
wooden beams and beer –  the rooster
crows at just the moment
to save us all from drowning
in ourselves. We laugh
and I think: Poets are strange.
But then again, so are preachers
and politicians, all so sure
of their words, so sure

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Lament – A Psalm About Faces

innerwoven

Last summer I was privileged to prepare and lead a class on the Psalms. A big part of the experience was, upon completion of our more “formal” study, we’d write our own Psalm. The class produced some powerfully moving, deeply personal works. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, mine came out as a Lament.

I share here that Psalm and encourage you to share some of your own work in the comments!

Sketch found here

O Lord, God of faces, where now is your face?

And why have you hidden from us your gaze?

Where once we walked together,

now we thrash and reel and hack.

Darkness has become our only ally;

and hopelessness our truest friend.

For those of insolence and hatred rule over us;

the ruthless and ragged become our destroyer.

Therefore, falsehood and lies bind us;

and the absence of truth shackles us.

We have become party with wolves and…

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The sound of your laugh.

Happy birthday, babe.

Rob's Lit-Bits

I first posted this a few years ago. The reason I did so then is the same I do so now, to celebrate my wife’s birthday. In the digital age, discovering a person’s age is as easy as a cursor, a mouse, and a nosy desire to know something. But, in the interest of propriety, I say simply, “Happy _____ birthday, babe!”

Like thunder in rain-Rae's birthday16.jpgBabe, you still brighten the road before me…

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This pedlar in impatient thoughts

This pedlar in impatient thoughts

travels light but burrows down, heavily

down, and down and down again;

to the parsonage of promise, wall-papered

in the sweat of dreams.

 

The days, carefully patented against

her own times, roll out

like dried tobacco leaves, the inhalation of

a promise, made, kept,

broken, and made again.

 

Pencil sketch clouds smudge

a looming graphite across the vast skin of sky.

The forest, sotta voce, stock still, looks

nowhere but down to the nourishing dirt,

kneels up to the humming heavens.

And, for all this cantabile chorus,

throats out a steely enervation,

where none but she can hear the silent praise.

 

She grapples in morning still

and shivering, licked up from bowls

of her own gratitude, there

to shimmer hints of the new,

bridal day.

“Your honest, sonsie face…”

innerwoven

Robert Burns, given his widespread fame (and infamy) to Scottish and English literary crowds in the eighteenth century, one would think him even better known than he is. He is heralded by an annual recognition of his life and work on this very day, January 25th. The great irony of Burns was the praise lavished upon him by both Edinburgh and London poshies despite his very tongue-in-cheek poetic invective against the same. He was after all a product of his era. A fiercely nationalistic Scottish socialist who wrote comical and approachable poetry for everyone. 

In honour of dear Mr. Burns, I post here one of his most famous works, “Address to a Haggis.” It is, in essence, a socio-political statement meant to solicit a laugh or two at the expense of those uppity French, and others, whose social delicacies were no match for the beefy Scots.

Enjoy, and happy Robbie…

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Soon, but not yet.

Thanks, Laura Jean Truman.

innerwoven

As you have seen, I am a fish on the shore right now, flipping and gasping for words to write. About anything. I’ve learned at these times to read until my eyes fall out. Others are not in this place. They’re producing page-turning material worthy of my consumption and consideration. 

One such soul is fellow blogger and faith-er, Laura Jean Truman. In a writer cop-out for which I seek neither escape nor make neither excuse, I share her better words here. Go, read in pride as I did, how Advent is a time uniquely prepared for both the prophet and the artist. For the artist-as-prophet.

They speak the same language. Maybe that’s why so much of the bible is poetry? Yup. I think that’s probably it.

Laura Jean, thank you. My readers will too, I believe.

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