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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: S Stephanie, Manchester

S StephanieS Stephanie lives in Manchester, NH where she teaches English and Creative Writing. She also works as a nurse. Her work has appeared in   magazines such as The Birmingham Poetry Review, The Café Review, The Larcom Review, Third  Coast, The Southern Review and The Sun. Her chapbook, Throat is available through Igneus Press. She published and co-edited the poetry magazine, Crying Sky: Poetry & Conversation 2005-2007. She has a second chapbook coming out with Pudding House in 2009.

This poem came out of the frustration I sometimes feel when I watch the news. That feeling of ones hands being tied in the midst of so much negativity. It may have been my attempt at taking back my day.  We do go on with the things we deem important, despite what is happening around us. At this time I was working with Alzheimer's patients. What the News Seemed to Say is also the title poem for my new chapbook.  I put the chapbook together after realizing I was a bit of a "news junky" and had several pieces inspired by or incorporating news items in them. I then expanded on the theme news to broaden the theme of the book. 

What the News Seemed to Say

So easy for us to lose things,
and so many things for us to lose:
the wallet gone from the back pocket,
the car from the curb, a woman
and her child—yanked from the corner
like laundry from the line.
According to the newscaster, even our
tempers can be lost in plumes of “road rage,”
kick-the-dog rage, kill-the-boss rage;
dark clouds of pent-up anger, gathering
along the streets and arteries of America.
Fat clouds that can travel fast and settle
as far away as the Middle East. Now there’s
a place where it rains heavily.  Souls
rising like cheap umbrellas caught by wind,
dark balloons rising higher and higher,
leaving us little hope that someone
on the other side will find them.
And rain forests and dolphins seem to disappear
as easily as sunglasses and galoshes.  Lost
dogs who can’t smell their way back.
Homes to flood,  Pictures to fire.
Wedding rings lost in all kinds of weather.
Memories locked behind broken neurons,
lives behind broken laws.
But some group in Nevada believes
they can save what’s left with Anthrax,
Who knows what
they think they are saving.  I don’t
understand them.  Today,
I spent the morning helping a woman
with Alzheimer’s remember her husband’s
name.  She said it wrong, yet fiercely.
And she said it too loudly.  The sound
of rocks hitting the bottom of a wheel-barrow.
As if the road she had been traveling before the war
suddenly ended.  And now, the country
between them was impassable.



Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases

Last updated: September 3, 2009

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