This poem was published in Dreams & Nightmares a year ago this month, and I’d like to share it with you now.
One night I walked outside
to look at the full moon,
but there was no moon,
only clouds and wind
that whispered Go, Go
into my ears. So I went.
Without phone or flashlight,
sweater or shoes, I followed
my toes up mossy hills,
down dusty ravines,
through fields of flowering flytraps.
I crossed the path of a black cat
and it ran up a tree in a panic.
I traipsed and trudged
over boulders and sand
until I found myself
at my own front door
which stood ajar, paint peeling,
windows smudged and dim.
I looked down,
saw my toenails had grown long,
my hair gray. My skin
wore the lines of my travels,
etched into once smooth terrain.
And I lifted my aged head
and howled at the moonless night.
In the world of literary journals, it’s unheard of for every single submission to be worthy of publication, but that’s exactly what happened with Issue One (and Done) of the Morose Penguin Review. The pieces arrived for my perusal, and not once was I disappointed. (Unless I was supposed to be, in which case, I was, greatly.) The seven poems featured below were written with such dedication, such creativity, such utter moroseness, that I had no choice but to publish them all. I want to thank the poets for their contributions, the penguins for being such inspiring muses, and winter itself, for being so utterly morose.* May you find a little levity, a little light, and a little laughter from the following poems. And may the moroseness of February pass quickly.
* Please pay no attention to the fact that it is currently 65º in Austin, Texas. Trust me, the cedar allergies still make things seem quite morose.
Morose Penguin Review, Issue One (and Done)
by Emily Stubbe
Poor little penguins,
At the bottom of the Earth.
When you go south,
You also go north.
Bio: Emily is an avid reader of failed-polar-exploration non-fiction and does not discriminate based on the pole. She did not like the movie Happy Feet, but in general, has nothing against penguins.
sullen ill-tempered flightless seabird
by Brian Mahoney
white white endless snow
barren wasteland of nothing
worst part, I hate fish
Bio: Brian Mahoney lives in Texas against his will, held hostage by three Texas women. When he’s not writing poetry, which is literally 99% of the time, he enjoys talking to people, inventing perceived slights against his character, and wandering around the comic book shop.
by Ashley B. Davis
An emperor on
a lonely throne, sharply dressed,
waiting for the one
Bio: Ashley B. Davis writes haikus about morose penguins at will. She also drinks coffee, reads, mothers twins, and blogs at www.ashleybdavis.com.
by Diana Conces
it is always darkest just before dawn,
they say, but in winter it’s dark after dawn,
and not that bright at noon either.
birds of a feather flock together,
they say, but body heat brings body smells,
and none of us has bathed since summer.
grin and bear it,
they say. I may have to bear it,
but I refuse to grin about it.
it’s an ill wind that blows no good,
they say, and I agree–it’s a pretty ill wind.
I’m still waiting on the good.
no penguin is an island,
they say. I wish. I wish I was an island,
a tropical one, with plenty of fish.
this too shall pass,
they say. It had better pass soon,
or I may stab them with an icicle.
Bio: Diana L. Conces is a native Texan whose poetry has appeared in numerous print and online publications, a newspaper, and a city bus. She has a blog (https://dianalconces.blogspot.com/) and enjoys jewelry making, knitting, embroidering poetry onto fabric, and various crafty things she has been lured into by Pinterest.
Bio: Pat Kinder is a long-time consumer of chips and salsa who resides in Flower Mound, Texas, with his wife and son and daughter. He enjoys baseball, camping, and reading his sister’s blog in his spare time.
by Claire Vogel Camargo
his courtship calls unanswered
no egg to care for
Bio: Claire Vogel Camargo, author of IRIS OPENING, an ekphrastic collection, has poems in a number of journals and anthologies, a few award-winning. She lives with her husband and Great Dane.
All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go
by Carie Juettner
Dressing is depressing
when all you have is evening wear,
especially on a continent where
icebergs are plenty
and formal parties few,
and you’re more likely to encounter
a killer whale
than a candlelit dinner for two.
I try not to get my feathers ruffled
over my limited choice of attire,
but it’s hard not to feel bleak
when icicles hang from your beak,
and there’s no Oscars invite in the mail,
and you’re dressed up in black tie and tails.
Bio: Carie Juettner is a teacher, poet, blogger, and the editor of the Morose Penguin Review. She owns no evening wear, but she does have a necklace with a penguin on it.
Thank you for reading the Morose Penguin Review.
Have a lovely day.
The hour draws near for the rest of you to rise to the challenge. Submissions for the one, the only, Morose Penguin Review are due by midnight tomorrow night.
Here are the guidelines:
Theme: Morose Penguins Genres: Poetry Deadline: January 31, 2018 (midnight CST) How to Submit: Send one poem (any form, maximum 30 lines) and a two-sentence bio using the contact formon my website. I will read them all and publish the best. And possibly the worst. Payment Upon Acceptance: Publication on my blog, a virtual pat on the head, and the satisfaction of knowing that you have lessened the gloom (or multiplied it, depending on your piece) of millions* of readers.
(* Actually, probably more like 100 readers.) What I’m Looking For: Poems about morose penguins that make me laugh or smile or think or go “Aww…whoa.”
And here’s a little inspiration to get you started:
Best of luck to you. Remember… the more-ose, the better.