Tuesday, June 28, 2016

POETRY FRIDAY: "Trespasser at Qwik-Mart"

I don't think I'd want a bear's life, but I  do empathize with them. We'll be seeing more and more large predators in places we don't expect, and I hope that doesn't result in us never seeing them at all.

Trespasser at Qwik-Mart

Black bear climbed the fence behind the store
And lumbered toward the garbage bin.
Mother of two,
She’d had to let her hunger win
Against the cautious hollow at her core.

Night clerk, out for a smoke, had tossed a box
Of sausage pizza—a tiny sliver,
But it would do
Till morning when they reached the river,
So she tried to thunder softly as a fox.

Tranq dart struck her cleanly in the leg.
It took three more to bring her down.
The shooter knew
Bleak need had led her close to town,
For a black bear out of luck can hardly beg.

© 2016 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

Friday, June 17, 2016

POETRY FRIDAY: "Close Combat"

After reading that the fisher, a kind of weasel, is one of the porcupine's few predators, I wrote about human beings and survival of the fiercest:

Close Combat

Even at peace
We flex our wills,
Fisher circling
Certain what kills,
Marten and prey,
Is striking a place
(Belly or face)
Bare of quills:
Whetting our skills.

© 2016 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

Image Credit: Painting by Consie Powell from Kays and Wilson's Mammals of North America, © Princeton University Press (2002)

You can hear me read the poem aloud by clicking this link.

This week's POETRY FRIDAY is hosted by Carol Wilcox at Carol's Corner.

Friday, May 27, 2016

POETRY FRIDAY: "Mosquito Season"

Ah, lively, deadly life! With Zika and other viruses on the rise, I've heard many variations on "The only good mosquito is a dead mosquito." As frightening as the health threats are, the closer I look, the more I find to admire about these graceful, resilient creatures.  

Mother Culex quinquefasciatus (southern house mosquito) with her egg raft
Mosquito Season

Mother fends off  
Net and swatter,
Hovers over
Standing water

Where she works
Her subtle craft,
Conjures up a

Made of eggs,
Laid with care
In the hollow
Of a chair

Puddled by a
Passing storm—
Perfect place to
Raise a swarm.

© 2016 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

You can hear me read the poem aloud on SoundCloud by clicking here.

Aedes mosquito larva

This week's POETRY FRIDAY is hosted by Julie Larios at The Drift Record.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Barding Around Massachusetts for National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month has brought me and my "Syllable Sounds: The Poetic Power of Vowels and Consonants" presentation to schools and libraries across my home state of Massachusetts. The month culminated in my being guest poet at the Quills & Quotes Poetry Awards for the Falmouth Public Schools (grades 1-12). Here are a few pictures!

Photo: Andrea Carter/Falmouth Enterprise

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Children's Poetry Career Takes Off in 2016!

Bloomsbury/A&C Black, August 2016
Little, Brown; November 2016

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Crackles of Speech: Poems by Steven Withrow is here!

BIG NEWS: My first collection of poems, CRACKLES OF SPEECH, is now available for purchase (along with a preview) at this secure link through Lulu.com. 

This book is a gigantic milestone for me -- more than a decade of work and play -- and I am grateful for your support!