MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons reflects the Maine I know and love. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author The haiku above written February 2022. Photo taken from back field (farmstead peeking through) on a perfect snowshoe day as winter’s landscape begins to transform itself into spring.
Below is a sampling from Winter Tales.
Winter Tales 🌲
(Selections from—MY MAINE, Haiku Through the Seasonsby Bette A. Stevens)
Sheets of diamonds Glisten on frozen meadows Perfect snowshoe day
Icicles weeping Tears of joy from the rooftops Winter jubilee
Dawning feels warmer Daylight slowly grows longer North tilts toward the sun
Afternoon shadows Scrambling through frozen forests Sing—Joy to the world
Black and white portraits Etched below an azure sky Disappear at dusk
Thanks so much for taking time to enjoy a bit of late winter in MY MAINE, Haiku Through the Seasons.
Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons by Bette A. Stevens takes readers on a poetic journey through the state’s four distinct seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate. The collection opens with Maine Pines and People. The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of Spring Awakenings and Summer Songs; then on to more of Maine’s extraordinary places and people in Autumn Leaves and Winter Tales. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.
Lovely poetic snapshots of Maine
“This collection of haiku takes about an hour to read, but I recommend a slower…
Today I share another excerpt from my work-in-progress novel portrait of the Victorian poet Christina Rossetti, The Dove Upon Her Branch to mark the birthday – July 25, 1829 – of Elizabeth (Lizzie) Siddall, muse and wife of Christina’s brother and Pre-Raphaelite artist and poet, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
We found her hidden just behind those screens, that mirror gave back all her loveliness.*
Miss Siddall was sitting slightly hunched, her arms reaching, resting between her knees, just below which her hands were clasped. Thick, mahogany hair was loosely ballooned on the nape of her neck, her chin stretched forward. Her waist, like most of the wicker chair she perched on, was lost in the bunching of her skirt, but even with her torso swallowed in billowing fabric and her shoulders slumped, there was no doubt she…
As the Meet the Author’s series comes to an end, time to catch up with recent releases by authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.
Today a showcase for Mary Clark’s poetry collection Into the Fire: A Poet’s Journey Through Hell’s Kitchen
About the collection
A young, aspiring writer comes to St. Clement’s Church on West 46th Street in New York City looking for a job in the theater. Soon she is helping run the church’s poetry program. The New York Poetry Festival at St. Clement’s features many well-known poets of the 1970s and 80s as well as up-and-coming and marginalized poets. The poetry scene, occurring alongside Punk rock and the waning days of experimental dance and theater, is part of the last widespread grassroots artistic era in the United States.
Into The Fire: A Poet’s Journey takes place in the rough-and-tumble Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood on Manhattan’s West…
Like an infant discovering sound after sound
A voice is finding its tongue
And we, in whom earth chose to light
A clear flame of consciousness,
Are only beginning to learn the language—
We who are made of the ash of stars,
Who carry the sea we were born in,
Who spent millions of years learning to breathe,
Who shivered in fear at the reptiles’ feet,
Who trained eyes and hands in the trees
And came down, slowly straightening
To look over the grasses, to see
That the world not only is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . But is beautiful—
We are Earth learning to see itself,
To hear, touch, and taste. What it wants to be
No one knows: finding a way
In starlight and dark, it begins in beauty, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . It asks only time.
The Hundred Wells of Salaga, by Ayesha Harruna Attah, Other Press
This remarkable book with its themes of forgiveness and resilience is set in Ghana at the end of the European slave trade. The British, French and Germans no longer participate, but the social and economic fabric of life in the area is being torn apart. One of the complex issues is the involvement of Africans in slavery and the slave trade.
Two women from different backgrounds experience this social, political, and economic upheaval. Their stories illuminate a history largely untold in Europe and America. One of the complex issues is the involvement of Africans in slavery and the slave trade.
Wurche, who belongs to a royal family in Salaga-Kpembe, is wild and restless. She wants to help her father with strategy, but as a woman she is often rebuffed. She has an affair with Moro, a slave raider, but her father wants her to marry another man. When Wurche finds Aminah in a holding cell in Salaga, she sees the reality of slavery. She flees to another town with her son and Aminah to escape impending war. Aminah lives far from the coast in Botu, where camel caravans bring supplies and crafts, and the villagers sell food to the travelers. She is the daughter of a shoemaker who goes with the caravan to sell his shoes in Timbuktu and Salaga. Horsemen raid villages across the land, taking people to sell as slaves. Aminah is kidnapped along with others from her village and marched toward the coast to be sold as a slave. After several ordeals, she is sent to Salaga, where she becomes a servant to Wurche. She meets Moro and they fall in love. In the end, the two women have matured and must make decisions about their freedom and survival.
The writing is clear and straightforward but shows promise of a strong voice as she learns her craft. The subject matter is difficult and has to be pieced together from scarce sources, so it is this combination that makes the book exceptional.
‘I have come hither to tell Of the jurisdiction I have in the North; Every region’s beauty is known to me.’
The Dialogue of Myrddin and his Sister Gwenddydd
Many people have heard of Merlin and a few of the northern British wildman, Myrddin Wyllt. But what of Gwenddydd, Myrddin’s twin sister, who was also an important prophetic figure from the Old North, whose legacy has been overshadowed by her brother’s?
Gwenddydd and Myrddin lived during the 6th century and their father’s name was Morfryn. From the poems attributed to Myrddin in The Black Book of Carmarthen (1350), we can derive that he was a warrior of Gwenddolau. His deep fondness of his lord suggests the twins grew up at Caer Gwenddolau (Liddel Strength) in Arfderydd (Arthuret).
What kind of upbringing did Gwenddydd have? Gwenddolau was renowned as a ‘Bull-Protector’ and cattle-raiding warlord. Many legends surround…