I met L.L. Barkat because I had a bike crash and broke several ribs. It took a few days to figure out that I had broken bones (and a partially collapsed lung), and leaving a few nights later for the emergency room, I grabbed Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places from my “to read” pile so I’d have something to do while I was in the ER. I got to spend the night in the hospital (first time in 35 years) and, hospitals being what they are, stayed awake and read the book straight through. It was a great reason to lose sleep. When I got home, I checked L.L.’s blog and left a comment, and today we’re co-editors of this TweetSpeak space with Eric Swalberg.
And then there’s her poety. She published InsideOut: Poems in January, and I am a fan. They’re simple yet deep, containing unexpected layers of meaning and evoking unexpected layers of thoughts. Or you can read them for the sheer beauty of the words.
We did a poetry giveaway here in February, one a random drawing and one an editor’s pick for the best 100-word answer to “Why is poetry important?” For National Poetry Month, I’m doing another giveaway for InsideOut. Just leave a comment (your name or a simple “hello” will be sufficient) in the comment section between now and next Monday evening (April 19 at midnight eastern time). We’ll pick a name at random – and that person will get a copy of InsideOut.
For National Poetry Month, here are three poems by L.L. Barkat, from her InsideOut: Poems.
Alone tonight, beside
an open window.
I hear trees moving,
whispering to wind.
Would that in my dark
places, I could lean in,
let you tender move and
make me whisper too.
your sorrow, I
open my mouth
and it is like
the promise of apples,
a barely there
wish. I swallow
In Lieu of the
New York Times
If words were
I’d pluck mine
and lay them
at your doorstep,
retreat to shade
watch you become
a child again,
poke past purple
spikes, nip tender
white tips with
teeth, freely sip
raw sugar, lick
Related: The International Arts Movement continues its celebration of National Poetry Month by posting L.L. Barkat’s poem “Porch” from InsideOut.
Postings and News Updates:
See “Steingraber the Poet” by Maureen Doallas, about author and ecologist Sandra Steingraber.
Read “The slave soul” by Justinian at Delight and Glory and Oddity and Light.
“All the Real Dudes” – one of poetry’s fastest growing movements looks for new friends. Article by Paul Constant for the Poetry Foundation.
“How to Write a Sonnet” by poet John Lavan.
Bruce Bond’s “Wake, ” new post at How a Poem Happens.
Actress Tyne Daly read W.H. Auden’s “But I Can’t” for Poets & Writers Magazine.
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