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Archive for the month “June, 2013”

To Summer by William Blake

Another excerpt from Silver Birch Press’s Summer Anthology. Enjoy!

summer_anthology_cover_medium2

To Summer

O thou who passest thro’ our valleys in
Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat
That flames from their large nostrils! thou, O Summer,
Oft pitched’st here thy golden tent, and oft
Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld
With joy thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair.

 
Beneath our thickest shades we oft have heard
Thy voice, when noon upon his fervid car
Rode o’er the deep of heaven; beside our springs
Sit down, and in our mossy valleys, on

 
Some bank beside a river clear, throw thy
Silk draperies off, and rush into the stream:
Our valleys love the Summer in his pride.

 
Our bards are fam’d who strike the silver wire:
Our youth are bolder than the southern swains:
Our maidens fairer in the sprightly dance:
We lack not songs, nor instruments of joy,
Nor echoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven,
Nor laurel wreaths against the sultry heat

 

Summer: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose (Silver Birch Press Anthologies) (Volume 3)

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The Manicurist by Phyllis Schieber

manicurist

My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

I really wanted to love this book. Really. Phyllis Schieber’s short story in The Firefly Dance touched me, and I immediately downloaded The Manicurist in order to enjoy more of her work. The sad part is, I didn’t actually enjoy the book at all. It is a very dark, Read more…

Heat Sink by Caitlin Stern

summer_anthology_cover_medium2

Heat Sink

 
As a child
I splashed and shouted in a pool with crowds
of other children
free during summer vacation
Every half-hour or so
I’d emerge
blue-skinned and trembling
and climb the playground’s concrete vertical tube
yellow
and holed like Swiss-cheese
scrambling to the top
to plaster my damp skin against sun-warmed concrete
and bask in absorbed heat
before the sun
chased me
to cool chlorinated blue waters

NOTE: To read more of Caitlin’s work, check out:

Summer: An Eclectic Anthology of  Poetry & Prose

Summer: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose

summer_anthology_cover_medium2

New Release!

Finally! The third book in the Silver Birch Press Anthology series is out! I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book, and not just because I’m lucky enough to have three poems included in the collection. There’s so much more to it than that, believe me! 

Summer is filled to bursting with a collection of summer-themed poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, memoirs, essays, and prose poems from 74 authors around the world! There are examples of classics by William Blake, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Edith Wharton, side by side with work from dozens of contemporary writers, and all with a hint of summer sunshine to illuminate them. 

The 220-page, 7″ x 10″ paperback is now available on amazon.com, and it will soon be out in Kindle format, as well. I simply can’t wait to get my copy! Hope you’ll check it out, too.

Summer: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose (Silver Birch Press Anthologies) (Volume 3)

If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit.  If you are enjoying  my reviews on Bookin’ It, it’s a great way to let me know!  Thanks

The Firefly Dance Anthology

firefly

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Finally managed to get a book read this past week, in between everything else that’s going on in my life right now. The Firefly Dance is an anthology, featuring four character-driven, coming-of-age novellas that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have seen some lackluster reviews of the book, and I think this could be a result of readers who are much more attuned to high-concept novels, filled with lots of action, and very little introspection. Nothing wrong with that, but I happen to be lucky enough to enjoy both. These poignant stories each had a vintage feel to them, both in style, and in some cases, the eras in which they were set. I loved that, where others might not find it their cup of tea.

Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite writers, so I was drawn to the book due to her story. However, I thought all of the entries were pretty strong, and I’m looking forward to reading  more written by the three other authors: Kathryn Magendie, Augusta Trobaugh, and Phyllis Schieber.  I was particularly drawn to Magendie’s story, “Petey,” because it was set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are near and dear to my heart. The feeling this one evoked was perfect for the era, and for the beautifully described connection to the mountains.

If you like anthologies, especially with a gentle, old-fashioned feel to them, check this little book out. It’s worth it!

The Firefly Dance

If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit. If you are enjoying my reviews on Bookin’ It, it’s a great way to let me know! Thanks!

Bed In Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson

crepuscular-joy

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

 

NOTE: I wonder how many parents have heard that plaintive cry, “But it’s still LIGHT out!” Oh, how I hated to come in for my bath and get ready for bed. Games of Mother May I and Red Rover, Red Rover and Simon Says all coming to an end, and it wasn’t even dark yet! Well, not completely, anyway.

Summer In The South by Paul Laurence Dunbar

male-baltimore-oriole 

The oriole sings in the greening grove
  As if he were half-way waiting,
    The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
      Timid, and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep
  And the nights smell warm and piney,
    The garden thrives, but the tender shoots
      Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,
  Streams laugh that erst were quiet,
    The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue
      And the woods run mad with riot.

NOTE: The woods are running mad with riot down here, for sure, because the rains have been coming down in a “torrent sweep” daily. Florida. Always either drought or monsoon. You just gotta go with it. More summer poems coming later. What can I say? I’m in the mood!

Ambush

8th_Place_-_Mountain_Lion_(7487178290)

Because I’m in the mood for poems, I thought I’d throw in another one. This time it’s one of mine, from a series I’m writing about a ten-year-old boy’s summers in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Hope you enjoy it.

Ambush

–by Marcia Meara

Silent, sleek, deadly,
The predator climbs high, high,
And stretches out full length
On the smooth, sturdy limb.
Well hidden within heavy green foliage,
The wait begins.

Panting slightly as the sun climbs
And dappled light pierces the shade,
Heat rises, but keen eyes miss nothing
And sharp ears catch the first soft footfalls
Of unsuspecting prey, moving quietly
Down a curve of narrow trail.

Patience is everything.
Lie still, still, still!
No slight movement to cause alarm.
Hunger growing, mouth watering at
The smell of food coming ever closer.
Body tenses, ready to leap.

Humans are slow, pitiful creatures,
Lacking panther senses to warn them
Of danger lying overhead.
Teeth bared, growls erupting,
Body drops downward, 
Ready for the kill.

With a shout, the man falls,
Hand over his heart.
You got me, you little panther, you!
Don’t eat my fingers!
Don’t eat my toes!
I brought you peanut butter and jelly.

Gotcha good, didn’t I, Dad?
I was patient, like you taught me.
Grabbing a sandwich, he dances away,
Calling over his shoulder,
Race you to the pond now!
After lunch, I want to be a fish.

 

My Star by Robert Browning

procyon_canis_minor

All that I know
Of a certain star,
Is, it can throw
(Like the angled spar)
Now a dart of red,
Now a dart of blue,
Till my friends have said
They would fain see, too,
My star that dartles the red and the blue!
Then it stops like a bird,—like a flower, hangs furled,
They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.
What matter to me if their star is a world?
Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.

 

NOTE: And this one is irresistible, as well.

The Falling Star by Sara Teasdale

shooting-star

I saw a star slide down the sky,

Blinding the north as it went by,

Too burning and too quick to hold,

Too lovely to be bought or sold,

Good only to make wishes on

And then forever to be gone.

 

Note: Too beautiful not to share on a summer night.

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

ishallwearmidight2

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

After finishing I Shall Wear Midnight at . . . midnight . . . last night, I realized immediately that I was very sorry to say goodbye to Tiffany Aching and her fellow witches, her family, and even her sheep. But most of all, I was sorry to say goodbye to the Nac Mac Feegle–the wee, free men. Never have I met a more  Read more…

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