Lonesome Whistle

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Ameneurosis: the half-forlorn, half-escapist ache of a train whistle calling in the distance at night. From The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

We stood in the sandy

road, Annis and I.

She talked about

her childhood, lonely

woods where her

father was cook at

a lumber camp,

the lonesome sound

of the train whistle.

Lying in my berth

I see the lights in the dark station and

wish I’d talked to

her again.

August Postcard Poetry Wrap-up 2015

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The 25 cards I received during the 2015 August Postcard Poetry Fest.

This year is my 3rd year participating in the August Poetry Postcard Fest.  I sent out 34 poems and received 26 as of September 7.  The $10 fee this year didn’t seem to make a difference in the number received.  On the other hand, some people seemed to be confused by the several lists and the new way of being in a circular group for your first 32 poems – that, is I sent to and received from the same people and may have sent poems to other people by mistake.

Although I enjoy receiving the cards and reading the poems, I like writing them even more.  I write a lot about my yard and the light and the leaves and the green and the rain.  Perhaps I need to get out more and write from other locations.  Or maybe over the years I will hone my short poems about my yard into their essence.

I usually write short poems anyway, so it wasn’t a change to fit them on a postcard.  At some point I started doing the American Sentence with 17 syllables.  This made it hard to write directly on the card, as I had to make sure there were 17 syllables. I ended up writing in my little notebook, working out the necessary changes to make 17 syllables and then writing it on the postcard.  The more I wrote, the more I saw those sentences in everything as I went through the day.  I recently discovered the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows and several ideas came from there.

This year I found blank postcards that have a back like a regular postcard and are a nice weight. I figured out how to print photographs on the front so that i didn’t have to paste them on. In addition to these made cards, I also had many left from Pomegranate and various other sources.  Last year I used the image on the card for ideas for poems while this year I tended to have the poem in mind and then look for a picture to match it.

As I look at everybody’s wrap up postcards collages, I noticed a lot of people must have ordered the same Pomegranate postcard package that I did, because I kept seeing those images looking back at me.  I think that this year I will spend some time sketching, printing, collaging and putting original photos on cards to use in 2016.  You can read more about the August Poetry Postcard Festival on Paul Nelson‘s blog.  He was one of the originators of the Fest and he keeps it going year after year.  Next year will be the 10th year anniversary of the postcard fest.cards sent 2015.jpg

The cards I sent in 2015



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"Sodder: The realization that each random passerby is living a life as
 vivid and complex as your own."  The Dictionary of Secret Sorrows.

A partial view across

the way.

A story to complete from

a lighted window

friends gathering,

crowded bookshelves.

Men sitting outside

a culvert as

the train speeds by.

A house in Norway

with lace curtains.