Thirty Days of Poetry. Day #19

Day #19: Arkana

Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary publishers who produce poetry you can listen to, watch, or read, in 5 minutes or less.

Do you have a friend who is happiest in the dark, always willing to fling themselves into mystery for some kind of enlightenment? This describes my friend Alicia who also happens to be happiest when traveling. Anywhere. Any how. Always trying to learn something from someone she doesn’t know. For Alicia, and fellow explorers, I recommend Arkana: A Literary Journal of Mysteries and Marginalized Voices.

From the “About” page:

Arkana lives in the Arkansas Writers’ MFA Program at the University of Central Arkansas. The magazine was spawned in Spring 2016 and launched its inaugural issue in November that same year. This fully online publication is staffed and edited by graduate students and accepts submissions from the whole universe at large.


Arkana seeks and fosters a sense of shared wonder by publishing inclusive art that asks questions, explores mystery, and works to make visible the marginalized, the overlooked, and those whose voices have been silenced.

There are so many excellent poems in the current issue online, but for Alicia, I must recommend two poems by Alyea Pierce, a National Geographic Explorer, an award-winning author, educator, international speaker, and performance poet. Alyea Pierce’s work, according to an interview in National Geographic, is “aspiring to provide a voice for the voiceless, I center my creative projects around the exploration of Latino and Hispanic, Caribbean histories, the celebration of all things woman, and the untold narratives of marginalized persons.”

You can listen to her, and read for yourself, “28 Days” and “Return” in Arkana’s current online issue. The words have haunted me.

“Return” begins like this:

On her first morning 
back in this village
her mind is empty
and bones numb to the smell of heat

She tells her body 
to unbind itself into loose change
and bury high-tide shoulders 
back into its place…


Explore a little more today. Ask a hard question. Listen well.

Thirty Days of Poetry. Day #18

Day #18: The Acentos Review

Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary publishers who produce poetry you can listen to, watch, or read, in 5 minutes or less.

There’s a stunningly quiet, incisively observant, kind and curious young woman I know. I’ll call her L because she’s also shy. L asked me a while back why it was so hard to find poetry reflective of her experiences, a life spent often in overlooked shadows of well-known cities here and there.

For L, I found The Acentos Review, a multi-lingual, quarterly online journal featuring poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art and translations.

From the Mission Statement:

The Acentos Review shoots from the spring that is the Acentos Bronx Poetry Showcase and The Acentos Foundation in supporting the work of Latinx writers. 

The Acentos Review publishes poetry, fiction, memoir, interviews, translations, and artwork by emerging and established Latinx writers and artists four times a year.  The LatinX community is international and so, too, do we pledge to represent that international community.  We welcome submissions in English, Spanish, Portuguese, a combination of two languages, as well as the use of indigenous languages.    

The debate may rage forever as to who or what constitutes Latinx art. Here, there is no such identity crisis. We are already here, writing the histories of our neighborhoods, following the traditions of our ancestors, as well as the poetic traditions that came before us. To paraphrase Baldwin, the poet’s task as historian is to keep the story new, even when the telling is costly. This is the aesthetic we foster at Acentos. It is always about the word, the work, and it all begins here.

“Loneliness” by Marcella Peralta Simon

Because L is a native Californian, I chose two poems by Jesús Cortez set in Anaheim, California.

The first one begins like this:

Lincoln Avenue

I sometimes gaze at the palm trees,
such a California thing to do,
cliches and romanticism—
but nobody thinks of 
Lincoln Avenue for postcards
or for poems or tales of
magical realism—


Keep talking to your neighbors, yes, and also to those you pass on the street on your way to somewhere else. Keep listening more.

Keep reading poetry.

Thirty Days of Poetry. Day #17

Day #17 The Ekphrastic Review

Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary publishers who produce poetry you can listen to, watch, or read, in 5 minutes or less.

Visual artists of any media have my deep respect. My talents don’t extend to that kind of creative expression, but I try to sketch or paint on vacation as simple practice for noticing detail. The Ekphrastic Review is a recommendation for my friend Christina. She walks through the world seeing patterns and shapes, auras, and color; she’s a multi-media artist and this journal suggestion is for her, and for you, if the visual arts stir your ability to be creative in language arts.

The Poetry Foundation defines an ekphrastic poem, for readers new to the word, as, “a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.

The Ekphrastic Review offers regular a regularly updated online poetry publication, online workshops, biweekly prompts, writing contests, and special events. From the journal’s “About” page:

The Ekphrastic Review  “is an online journal devoted entirely to writing inspired by visual art. Our objective is to promote ekphrastic writing, promote art appreciation, and experience how the two strengthen each other and bring enrichment to every facet of life. We want to inspire more ekphrastic writing and promote the best in ekphrasis far and wide.”

One of my recent favorite poem groupings in the journal is inspired by a collage art sequence by Pam Chadick Aloisa. Three poets, Thomas McGuire, Sarah Nance, and Jessy Randall, respond to her work.

The beginning of the first poem goes like this:

Peace Lily (with Peace Walls Leading to a Haiga)

Good fences make good neighbours
So chimes the grey-haired poet.
But what of walls?
Sometimes it takes a wall to keep the peace–
That’s what the Ulster Irish say and exactly 
What I saw standing on the Falls Road, Belfast…

From “peace Lily (with peace walls leading to a haiga) by Thomas McGuire

May your day be colorful.

Thirty Days of Poetry. Day #16

Day #16: Button Poetry

Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary publishers who distribute poetry you can listen to, watch, or read,  in 5 minutes or less.

This one’s for me (and my family.) We’re heading to the beach. So, dear reader, you’ll be on your own for a bit. But I’m leaving you with one of the big, bigger, BIGGEST poetry resources.

There’s no way you could experience even a fraction of all the offerings on Button Poetry before I return. And yes, I’ll continue when vacation is over so you get 30 full days of poetry pairings. Thank you so much for all your comments and matchmaking requests.

Button Poetry, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, publishes books, hosts workshops, and poetry slams and is widely known for its viral poetry slam videos. 

The Vision Statement is direct:

We seek to showcase the power and diversity of voices in our community. By encouraging and broadcasting the best and brightest performance poets of today, we hope to broaden poetry’s audience, to expand its reach and develop a greater level of cultural appreciation for the art form.”

One of my recent favorite recordings s is “Thunder Thighs” by Lia Hagen.

It starts like this…

I’m 10 years old and wearing my first pair of short shorts…

May we all strut with Lia’s confidence, and may we never behave like mean moms.

In case you get lonely for a daily poetry fix, I’ll set you loose on this task: Prepare to enter the first ever Button Poetry Poem Cover Contest. It’s free. Check out the details. Let me know if you enter. Open April 29 – May 16, 2022.

And let me know what you’re reading, listening to, watching, writing until I return.

Thirty Days of Poetry. Day #15

Day #15: EcoTheo Review

Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary publishers who produce poetry you can listen to, watch, or read, in 5 minutes or less.

Today’s journal recommendation is for my gal pals, my soul sisters, my neighbors. We share lives, lemons, lavender, and ideas while living and walking on Acjacheman land. There are no fences; we share space with wild things. Rattlesnakes. Great Western Owls. Bats. We water each other’s gardens, know almost every trail out our back doors. And we talk constantly about how to coexist.

“Who has rights to the pomegranates I water? Me or squirrel?”

“What do you think about turning off my fountain because the coyotes come to drink at night?”

“If all is predator and prey, why shouldn’t I exterminate the gophers?”

If you love to consider, and reconsider, what it means to live in harmony with all creation, then EcoTheo Review might be a nice poetry match for you too.

From the “About” page:

EcoTheo Collective envisions a world in which care for the places we inhabit, the people we encounter, and the lives we lead makes for lasting beauty in art, nature, and community. 

In the work we publish online and quarterly print editions of EcoTheo Review, we cultivate conversation and connection with artists and writers to bring original work to a wide audience invested in the relationships between ecology and theology, earth justice and social justice. ETR was founded in 2013 at Princeton Theological Seminary as a literary journal dedicated to “enlivening conversations and commitments around ecology, spirituality, and art.”

EcoTheo Review, the literary journal, is just one of many offerings from the EcoTheo Collective. You can join a virtual Book Club on April 24 to discuss chapters of Our Biggest Experiment: An Epic History of the Climate Crisis by Alice Bell with journal editors, or participate in an online poetry event on May 3 featuring Victoria Chang and Elisa Gabbert.

What should you read today? There are so many favorites I could share from the recent EcoTheo Review. But I’ll give you Burrowing Habitat” by Jacob J. Billingsley because it stayed with me long after I finished reading.

It begins like this:

My neighbor says he hopes to kill
the woodchucks, thinking they are moles.

How old do you have to be
to want to kill something

so harmless. I tell him
they are good 

for the soil—keep 
it breathing.

burrowing habitat by jacob j. billingsley

Do follow the link and read the rest of this poem, and many more if you’ve got some time.

I hope you keep breathing.

And reading poetry.

And living close to those you live close to.

Keep questions and conversation open and always keep talking to your neighbors who may, if you listen well and share generously, become friends you cherish.

Thirty Days of Poetry: Day #14

Day #14: RHINO Poetry

Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary publishers who produce poetry you can listen to, watch, or read, in 5 minutes or less.

Maybe you’re like my friend, S, who has endured so much loss, too much pain. She uses art to get closer to healing. If that describes you, and if you find a deep appreciation for words rendered with sculptural virtuosity, then RHINO Poetry might your kind of journal too. 

The RHINO Poetry “About” statement:

The Poetry Forum/RHINO Poetry is a non-profit literary organization, primarily devoted to the publication of RHINO Poetry, an annual high-quality print journal featuring well-crafted, diverse poetry, flash fiction, and translations. While remaining committed to our print journal, all poems will be placed online throughout the year.

RHINO Poetry occupies a niche somewhere between academia and the emerging poetry scene – devoted to creative work that tells stories, provokes thought, and pushes the boundaries in form and feeling – while connecting with our readers and audience.

Here’s a RHINO Poetry bonus: In addition to reading the journal online, you can also virtually attend RHINO Reads, an online quarterly reading and open mic poetry event. The next event is April 29, featuring poets Paul TranNan Cohen, and Teresa Dzieglewicz.

My current RHINO Poetry journal favorite is “Father Weaver” by Jamaica Baldwin, winner of the 2021 RHINO Editors’ Prize.

It opens like this:

If he wasn’t janitor he’d be gravel artist, he’d be glitter farmer, he’d groove skate
down beach hill to Isley Brothers. If he wasn’t janitor he’d be tennis racketeer,
ocean tamer, cicada sequencer, he’d turn his knit cap upside down to catch fire

flies, load them into pitching machine, point upwards and shoot stars into sky.

Father Weaver by Jamaica Baldwin.

If your heart hurts today, be gentle with yourself.

If you find a poem that heals, please share it. 

Thank you all for reading along.

Thank you for all your suggestions, and for trusting me to be your poetry matchmaker. 

Thirty Days of Poetry. Day #13

Day 13: Please See Me

Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary publishers who produce poetry you can listen to, watch, or read, in 5 minutes or less.

In my circle, you don’t have to look far to find someone working as a medical provider or caregiver, either paid, or unpaid. Today’s literary journal, Please See Me, is for all my caregiver friends collectively, and more specifically for my friend Michael, a doctor who works in a hospital palliative care clinic. He wears his compassion, kindness, intellect and vulnerability as naturally as his white coat.

Please See Me, according to the Mission Statement, is “an online literary journal that features health-related stories in the form of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and digital media, including photography, podcasts, and short films. Our mission is to elevate the voices and stories of vulnerable populations, and those who care for them. At the heart of our publication is the cultivation of meaningful patient–provider partnerships in the spirit of wellness. To that end, we publish work written by patients, family members, creatives, caregivers, and providers.” 

One of my favorite poems in the latest issue is “Love Lost & Found: For Qi Hong” by Yuan Changming.  It begins like this:

1. Missing in Missed Moments

Each time I miss you
A bud begins to bloom
So you are surrounded by flowers
Everywhere you go

“Love Lost & Found: For Qi Hong” by Yuan Changming

You can hear the poet read aloud. And if you have a little more than five minutes, take a look at the 13 other poems, or watch the three and a half minute film titled, “Please See Me.” Its dialogue is like a poetic play; the film is the inspiration behind the journal.

Be well. Be kind. Share poems that touch you. 

Thirty Days of Poetry. Day #12

Day #12: Mithila Review

Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary publishers who produce poetry you can listen to, watch, or read, in 5 minutes or less.

My friend Nita inspired this post. Do you know someone like her? Every conversation opens a portal into philosophical depth. She has one foot firmly grounded in the maze of the present, while her spirit dwells in the possibilities of futuristic fantasy.

For your speculative, most imaginative, most wild-minded friends, I suggest Mithila Review.

Mithila Review is an international science fiction and fantasy magazine founded in late 2015. One of the co-founding editors, Ajapa Sharma, describes the journal like this: 

“Mithila is a referent. It is a symbol. It can speak to the times when we have felt that we don’t quite belong. It can speak of the times when we have felt the urge to lurk away and disappear or the times we’ve felt the need to stay. It can speak to the time when we liberated our anger and pain in ways that have only fed the creative river within us. Mithila Review is space for our collective celebration and playful engagement with language. We hope that it can speak in all kinds of ways.” 

Each poem in Mithila Review is accompanied by gorgeous artwork, and most include a recording of the author reading. One of my recent favorites is “We’re Refugees Who Found Love Searching For Atlantis.”  Bonus: there are two versions of the same poem.

Poet Holly Lyn Walrath, writing in English, uses pantoum form to explore the drift dream of displacement, and there’s also an Italian translation “Siamo profughi che hanno trovato l’amore ricercando Atlantide” created by the late Marco Raimondo. You can read more about the collaboration between Holly Lyn Walrath and Marco Raimondo on her blog post titled:“New Poem Up at Mithila Review.”

The opening stanzas, in English and Italian go like this:

The ocean is a vessel cast in the heat of the stars
We walked there in the twilight and sang skysongs
Our bodies were translucent and full of darkness
How we carried our homeland in our bones

L’oceano è un vaso forgiato nel calore delle stelle
Vi siamo giunti al crepuscolo e intonato astrocanti
I nostri corpi ormai traslucidi traboccavano oscurità
Custodendo la terra natia nelle nostre ossa

After your poetry pause, take a minute today to connect with your deep-thinking friend. Ask how they’re doing, what’s on their heart. Do you dare share a poem with them?

Thirty Days of Poetry: Day #11

Day #11:

Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary publishers who produce poetry you can listen to, watch, or read, in 5 minutes or less.

If you’re the luckiest person in the world, you have an Anne in your life. My Anne is my neighbor, more than a generation older than I in years, but infinitely younger in spirit. She walked the wilderness where I now live before she was a newlywed.

Anne, a trained biologist and former orange rancher, is the first person who taught me the ways of the trails out my back door, after I moved to our canyon. She patiently named the wildflowers and birds, taught me how to clap leaden mud from boots after a rainy hike, how to avoid stepping on rattlesnakes. She gives my grandchildren birdseed to attract the next generation of songbirds to our oaks and sycamores.

Today’s recommendation,, a project of the Academy of American Poets is for Anne, and all the elders who patiently, gladly, pass along traditions and knowledge to upcoming generations.

The Academy of American Poets was “Founded in 1934 to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry—the producer of, Poem-a-Day, National Poetry Month, and more.” You’ll find poems, poet biographies, lesson plans, videos, events, and a poem-a-day feature.

With thousands of poems to peruse, it might seem daunting to begin. But with Anne in mind, I selected “Eye on the Sparrow,” by Georgina Marie Guardado.

It begins:

I woke to rapid flapping, the air cold
the time unknown. The dog’s paws tapping
on chill hardwood floor. Sudden
commotion. Jumping to corral what was
assumed to be an animal fight, I find
a California Towhee in my dining room.

from “Eye on the Sparrow” by georgina marie guardado

Listen to the poet read “Eye on the Sparrow” to you.

“…We sit
together for what seems like hours…”

Good poetry can do that. Slow down time. Fill you with wonder.

May your day be long enough. Slow enough and filled with enough wonder and beauty.

Thirty Days of Poetry. Day #10

Day #10: Heron Tree

Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary journals that publish poetry you can listen to, or read, in 5 minutes or less.

May you forever keep the spirit of adventure within, and use it to explore and stay curious. This recommendation is for my son, James. From the minute he could walk, he was inquisitive. Daring. He’s grown now, but still greets life with open arms and is truly one of the most interesting people I know. He listens deeply and always finds a way to make everyone feel comfortable in their own skin.

For all you likeminded curious, yet calm, literary adventurers, I offer Heron Tree. In addition to traditionally presented line poetry, Heron Tree also offers Visual Poetry, “poems that especially communicate through their presentation on the page.” Words swirl and over-write each other to create something new again.

And there’s more. One of my favorite sections is “Found in the Public Domain.”  “All works in the series were constructed from materials in the public domain in the United States.” 

The source material is wide: Interviews from the Federal Writers’ Project Slave Narratives collection; a US government poster providing directions for the evacuation and internment of people with Japanese heritage during World War II; Emily Dickinson poems.

My recommended poem in the newest Heron Tree issue, Volume 9,  is “John Mills’ Letter of a Radio Engineer to his Son on Electricity and Matter.” It’s a found poem. 

Poet M. E. Silverman says, “I was immediately struck by the poetic language, the imagery, the science, and mostly importantly the affection that pours through for his son.” It begins:

My Dear Son, 

I hope you will one day be interested in radio-telephony and will want me to explain it to you. Here
is the simplest explanation I can give
and still make it possible 

for you to listen. 

Poetry helps make it possible for us to listen to one another, to share what’s on our hearts. May your heart stay open always.

And when you find a good poem, remember to share.