Happy New Year!
Old Frog Pond Farm & Studio is hosting its first poetry series this season with readings in January, February, and March as follows:
Heather Corbally Bryant and Lynne Viti: Sunday, January 20 at 3 p.m.
Terry House and Susan Edwards Richmond, Sunday, February 10 at 3 p.m.
Moira Linehan and Mary Pinard, Sunday, March 10 at 3 p.m.
As an introduction, the next three Poem of the Month postings will feature work from these poets! If you live near the farm, we hope you can make it to one or more of these readings.
by Heather Corbally Bryant
Holly hedges bloom with pinpricks
Of vermilion, sticky branches
Wind their way, needing to be
Tamed—a row of blue spruces
Grown tall, below yet more
Trees, pear I think, still full
With copper leaves bearing
The shape of their fruit—
Morning mist thickens,
Descending into the valley,
The edges of our terrain wedged
Into a hilly crevice, part of
The Appalachian chain,
Sharp rocks rising out of soil
Where I begin again.
Heather Corbally Bryant teaches in the Writing Program at Wellesley College. She received her A.B. from Harvard and her PhD from the University of Michigan. She has given poetry readings at many universities and bookstores in the United States and also in Ireland. She is the author of Elizabeth Bowen: How Will the Heart Endure, You Can’t Wrap Fire in Paper and the following poetry collections: Cheap Grace, Lottery Ticket, Compass Rose, My Wedding Dress, Thunderstorm, and Eve’s Lament. James Joyce’s Water Closet won honorable mention in The Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition in 2017. Two of her poems were nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize, and Thunderstorm was nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award.
Deep Midwinter After-Party
by Lynne Viti
Empty kitchen. Morning of snow. Small birds
make quick round trips from bush to feeder.
Hardly a sign of the knot of guests who last night
stood by the French doors, beers in hand
or gathered at the table of empty plates,
glasses half full of wine.
Traces of crackers and salsa marinate
with vegetable peels in the compost tub.
We used to be busy with kids and pets,
used to be the ones driving south for winter,
getting home to pay the babysitter,
wondering if we’d ever make up lost sleep.
I saw you lean back in the yellow armchair
listening to the thirty year olds
talk about work, their children, the news.
It made me wonder at how time
had moved up so fast on us, how
we ignored it as long as we could.
We’re old, admit it, I tell myself, don’t have time
for twenty to forty years of reforming the country,
the world—we barely have time
to read the books we want to, plant the gardens,
see the fifty states, see refugees welcomed,
resettled, find a glimmer of a hint of a possibility
of peace on the planet, this home to our
benighted race, drowning in stuff or in our confusion.
Let the younger people take the reins. I’m
straggling at the back of the crowd as it pulses down
Independence Avenue. You might glimpse me there,
like the gray panthers I used to see on the picket lines
–when I was young and fecund—
time biting at their aching heels.
Originally published in Porcupine, Lost Sparrow Press, Fall 2017.
Lynne Viti is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Baltimore Girls (2017) and The Glamorganshire Bible (2018). Her poetry and fiction has appeared in more than one hundred online and print venues, most recently, Constellations, Muses Gallery, Highland Park Poetry, Gargoyle (forthcoming), and Bay to Ocean: The Year’s Best from the Eastern Shore Writers Association. She has received Mass Center for the Book nominations for both of her chapbooks and has recently been nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize. A faculty emerita at Wellesley College, she blogs at stillinschool.wordpress.com.