Poetry

Book Title Poems From a Stormy Night

Last night, thunderstorms and a pot of evening coffee proved to be the perfect combination for pulling books off my shelves and making some more book title found poems. Here are a few of my latest creations:

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The Arrival

In the lake of the woods,
strange little girls
wait ’till Helen comes
out of darkness
(beautiful darkness)
the girl from the well
extending the shade,
inhaling the silence.

Old friend from far away,
time you let me in.

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Growing Pains

hard times,
brave new world–
the flag of childhood
catching fire

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Why the Dwarf Had to Be Shot

Miss Nelson is missing!
The walls around us red as blood,
the creeping shadow leaving a trace
a darker shade of magic.
Mortal coils fuel
smoke from this alter.
All that lives must die.

I am not a serial killer.

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Journaling the Apocalypse

Vampires in the lemon grove
howl the sound of water.

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
speak of the devil.

Places left unfinished at the time of creation
linger

The sky is everywhere
when you are engulfed in flames.

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Listen Louder Than You Sing

It’s hard to believe that just two and a half months ago I was still substitute teaching. I feel so at home in my new classroom and so involved in the lives and lessons of my seventh graders that I sometimes forget I didn’t start the year with them. They feel like mine now. My kids. And that feels really good.

The truth, though, is that ten short weeks ago I was still spending my days with other people’s kids, and I was reminded of that today when I found something in one of my notebooks.

Subbing can be a hard job. That probably doesn’t surprise anyone. But it can also be a really fun job, a really inspiring job. There are so many amazing teachers in Austin, and once in a while, as a sub, you get to see those teachers in action.

On September 2nd, I “subbed” a girls’ choir class at Bowie High School in south Austin. I put the word in quotes because sitting in a chair and listening to beautiful music for an hour and a half does not count as work. The class I was in was co-taught, so, as the sub for one teacher, I just had to sit by and watch while the other teacher– Randy Cantu— flawlessly and fearlessly taught/encouraged/conducted/coached 50+ high school singers.

I was mesmerized.

The girls were so talented, the class flowed so smoothly, and Mr. Cantu worked so hard every minute to make them better singers, better students, better people.

For an hour and a half, I listened, and I wrote what I heard. Words, phrases, advice, small admonishments, questions, answers, lyrics, and laughs. I filled my page and then some with the language of the lesson. Later that day, I sat down with my notes and wrote a found poem from the list.

I’m so grateful that I had the pleasure of watching this teacher do his job. His enthusiasm and work ethic and joy has stayed with me and, I hope, carried into my own classroom.

Here’s the poem I wrote from the words of Mr. Cantu and his students:

Listen Louder Than You Sing

1, 2, 3, ready and
so fa me fa
let me hear the la
big beautiful brave sound
tall vowels, lots of space
make sure you travel
sing what you see
la ti la so la me re do
tone, posture, contour
now we are here

ma meh me mo mu
think about that for 30 seconds
ma meh me mo mu
sing it in your head
ma meh me mo mu

Do it again from the same place
so me re me do
it gets more complicated
it’s breathy, uncomfortable
don’t give up
this business—it’ll get better over time
keep singing
from the beginning
starting from scratch and it’s ok
1, 2, 3, ready, be brave

– Carie Juettner

[found poem composed of phrases heard while observing Randy Cantu’s choir class at Bowie High School in Austin, Texas, on September 2, 2016]

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(Take a moment this week and thank a teacher!)

 

 

My Words in the World

It’s always a thrill to find out something I wrote will be shared with the world. Nothing beats receiving an acceptance. Writing requires patience and thick skin and endurance, and it’s nice to be rewarded once in a while. I’m grateful to each editor, judge, and small press who has given my words a home.

Lately, I’ve had the good fortune of placing several of my pieces in anthologies. Here’s where you can read my words, if you choose.

Recent Publications:

Cover_1024x1024From “Teardrops and Watermelon Seeds”:

“Just as I rounded the corner, a ladybug from the garden flew across the grass, landed next to the teardrop-shaped mark on my left hand, and disappeared. All that was left was the shadow of her insect body on my skin, my freckles masquerading as her spots. I drew in my breath and blinked, but the image stayed.”

I’m so happy that my story “Teardrops and Watermelon Seeds” found a home in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume VII. This magical, coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old girl and a summer full of changes is a personal favorite of mine. I’m elated to finally be able to share it with readers.

My haiku “writing with a view” and my series of haiku titled “Get a Cat (or Don’t)” were published in the Poetry Society of Texas 2016 Book of the Year, and my poem “Underneath” appears in Encore: Prize Poems of the NFSPS 2015, which just came out.

“The Morning After” will be in the 2017 Texas Poetry Calendar, which is available for pre-order now at the Dos Gatos Press website. The poem takes a humorous look at holiday decorations after the holidays have ended.

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Coming Soon:

I’m grateful to the judges of the 2016 Austin Poetry Society Annual Awards and the 2016 NFSPS Annual Awards who chose a few more of my poems to receive prizes. “Rooster with a Guitar” and “I Hate Those Poems” will appear in Best Austin Poetry 2015-2016 coming out later this year, and “Cicada Emerging” and “The Footprints” will be published in Encore: Prize Poems of the NFSPS 2016 next summer.

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A big thanks to my friends and family who support my writing career, to my poetry critique group for all their wonderful advice and companionship, and to anyone who reads my work and smiles. :) I appreciate you.

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To see a list of all of my published work, click here.

Have a question about my writing? Post it in the comments or use the “Ask the Author” feature on my Goodreads page.