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Arts & Artists  

New Hampshire Poet Showcase
From NH Poet Laureate, Walter E. Butts

At my request, the NH Arts Council is providing me with a link to the poet laureate page on their website in order that I may continue to showcase poems by a number of New Hampshire Poets. The poets will be by my invitation only, but I plan to include those who are seriously working at their craft from many areas of the state.

Featured Poet: Don Burness, Rindge

Don BurnessDon Burness was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1941.  He has lived in eight countries and traveled in more than sixty.  He speaks seven languages.  He is the author of 23 books including 11 collections of poetry.  His twelfth book Tombstones (twenty three books, Baltimore, Maryland) is due out early 2010.  Books of his have been published in Nigeria, Italy, Portugal as well as USA.  He is the American correspondent to Odissea (Milan, Italy), a paper devoted to cultural and social issues.  An exhibit of his paintings, Poetry and Painting, was held in September-October 2009 at the Hancock, NH Library.  He has been given the title Ojemba Enweilo (traveler who makes no enemy) by his friend, the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. 

The very poor health of my wife Mary-Lou has changed our lives.  She is at home now with me in Rindge.  She needs 24-hour care.  For over a decade we spent winters in Portugal, but a stroke in early 2008 ended that stage of our life.  Last winter she was well enough to go to St. Augustine, Florida.  So yesterday when the first snowstorm arrived, I was looking out on Lake Monomonac; I happened to be reading the poem “Fallen Snow” by Alykul Osmonov of Kyrgyzstan – and I looked at Mary-Lou lying on the couch – and I wrote the following poem.

Fallen Snow

                                                it has been many years
                                                since I have spent a winter
                                                in New Hampshire
                                                a december snow
                                                is burying the land
                                                mallards dressed in flakes of white
                                                decorate the lake
                                                I had forgotten
                                                winter in New Hampshire is beautiful
                                                and beautiful you my dear
                                                every season with you
                                                has been a festival
                                                now you are old and frail
                                                in need of care
                                                I look at you and I’m aware
                                                how great it is to be alive
                                                always a mixture
                                                of the old and the new
                                                and how blessed I’ve been
                                                to share it all with you!

                                                                                                            9 December 2009




Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases

Last updated: March 4, 2010

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