Poem

Cicada Emerging and Some Poetry Updates

Greetings, friends!

Today I’d like to share a few poetry updates, and a poem.

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Poetry Updates

First, I’m proud to announce that my poem “Night Walk” was published in the most recent issue of Dreams & Nightmares. If you’re interested in obtaining your own copy, here’s how to do it, per the publisher’s blog:

Try out a pdf of any issue for $1 or a print copy for $5 (paypal to jopnquog at gmail dot com). Lifetime PDF subscription for $39 includes all back issues; $90 gets you a lifetime subscription to both print and PDF editions, including all available back issues. Search the archives of this blog for “contents” of recent issues. And right now, get pdfs of the last TWO issues for a buck. You can pay by check to David Kopaska-Merkel, 1300 Kicker Rd., Tuscaloosa, AL 35404, if you don’t use paypal.

My poem is in issue #106.

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Next, Best Austin Poetry 2015-2016 is now available at Lulu.com for only $5.32. This lovely little volume of winning verses from the Austin Poetry Society includes two poems by me: “Rooster with a Guitar” and “I Hate Those Poems.” The prizes for this year’s Austin Poetry Society Annual Awards will be announced this Saturday at the Yarborough Branch Library in Austin at 1:30 p.m. It’s free and open to the public, so if you’d like to hear some award-winning poems, come join us!

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And finally, I’m happy to share that my poem “The Morning After” will be reprinted in the 2018 Texas Poetry Calendar, which is available for pre-order from Dos Gatos Press. If you order by Monday, May 22nd, you get 20% off!

And now, as promised, a poem

This poem won third place in a National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) contest in 2016, and was published in their anthology, Encore. It seems fitting to share at this time of year, when the school year is drawing to a close and students everywhere are shedding their old shells for new, more mature forms. I wish them the best of luck in their transformations.

Cicada Emerging

You perch atop your former self—
a crisp brown casing
with a family resemblance.
(It has your eyes and legs.)

Not yet ready to say goodbye,
the new you pauses—
glistening, green,
still holding on to your shell.

I get it. Change is hard.

For seventeen years you lived underground
putting one stiff leg in front of the other,
unaware that your future awaited
in the treetops.

Now, you’ve journeyed through the earth,
climbed into the open air,
broken free from your restraints,
emerged into a world abuzz with life.

As soon as your wings harden, you’ll fly.

But lurking within rebirth
is a memory
of shadowy spaces
and struggling steps.

Even when you take to the sky,
some part of you
will always remember
what it was like to crawl.

© Carie Juettner, 2016

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Clean

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Greetings, poetry lovers! As National Poetry Month draws to a close, I wanted to share some poetry-related news with you.

First, I’m excited to announce that my poem “The Morning After” has been chosen to appear in the 2017 Texas Poetry Calendar. The calendar is always beautiful and I know I’ll be in good company there. My piece will most likely be in the month of December because it’s a Christmas poem of sorts, but that’s all I’ll say about it. You’ll have to pick up a copy of the calendar to find out more.

But wait, I have more good news! Last week, The Bohemian Freethinker interviewed me as a featured poet on her blog. What an honor! To read the interview, click here.

Also, my good friend Ashley Davis—horror writer, poet, and mother of twins—posted a great list of poem recommendations on her blog. While many of the selections are ones I knew, “Sleep Suite” by Sharon Olds and “Home (Initial Findings)” by Franny Choi were both new to me and both blew me away. Plus, Ashley was kind enough to include one of my poems in her list, and I thank her for that.

And finally, last Thursday was Poem In Your Pocket Day. I spent the afternoon with some lovely students at McCallum High School, talking about poetry and sharing some of my work. And, of course, I carried a poem in my pocket.

Below is my poem, “Clean,” published here for the first time:

Clean

Thursday, April 21st
was “Poem in Your Pocket” Day—
between folds of denim
I tucked a haiku away.
The verse gave form to my footsteps
and structure to my weekday.
Seventeen lightweight syllables,
a literary stowaway.

April 22nd was Laundry Day.

productivity
eclipses poetry—I
wash my pocket poem

Unfolding the damp remnant,
I see the poem has transformed,
gone through a cold-rinse revision.
Words/melt/together,
            syllables slide
from one line
            to the next,
abandoning the rules of the haiku
for something softer,
           fresher
and entirely
            more free.

 

© Carie Juettner, 2016

Wildflower Season

Spring has sprung here in Austin, and the roads are decorated with our state flower. In honor of these brilliant blooms, I’d like to share my poem, “Wildflower Season.” This poem won first place in the Austin Poetry Society’s Mary Oliver Award in 2015 and is published in Best Austin Poetry 2014-2015.

Wildflower Season

Highways are bridges across red seas,
oceans of blue—
bodies of color that wave
when the wind blows.

Tourists in our own land, we wade
through ankle-high blooms, then venture deeper—
trying to capture something
that can’t be caught in a photo.

What we want to remember
is our moment of awe
when we crested that hill
and gasped at the painted landscape.

One bluebonnet looks just like the next
up close.
They are not zebra stripes, nor snowflakes.
Their power lies in the collective,
beauty in numbers.

Let’s put down our cameras,
keep our kids in the car,
stop stopping on the side of the road
to see the blanket turn to threads,
the ocean of blue become a dried up lake
of bald spots and litter.

Let’s just drive, look,
enjoy with our windows down.

Make a U-turn if we must.

© Carie Juettner

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Bluebonnets at dusk, photo by Carie Juettner, March 15, 2016