Spark your creativity, make connections, and share the gift of poetry! Bloomfield Public Library offers readings by notable poets and a warm, supportive atmosphere for sharing your own work. Everyone is welcome!
The Wintonbury Poetry Series is held on the third Thursday of the month, October – April, at 7:00 PM. Open mic follows each program. BPL also hosts two poetry workshops in May.
Residents of Bloomfield and surrounding communities are invited to submit your poetry for consideration to appear on the library’s Poetry Sharing Page. Contact Tom Nicotera at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Flower Fades
“The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people is grass.”
Isaiah 40:7 RSV
When I was young,
my father splashed
Yardley of London, English Lavender
on his face
every morning after he shaved—
fragrant, healing lotion.
This morning, so many years later,
I stepped into the shower
with a new cake of soap,
Yardley of London, English Lavender,
redolent of gardens in bloom.
“Yardley” was sharply etched
into the surface of that soap,
But I know that, with a second shower and more
the name will fade and disappear.
The cake of soap won’t seem to shrink
but after a time I will look at it
and notice how small it has become.
Finally, after weeks of use,
it will be a thin chip
ready to break if thrust against the body too hastily.
How did it get so small without my noticing it?
Day by day, shower by shower, year by year
the cake of soap wears away until
its brittle remainder,
a poor reminder of its fat beginnings,
is ready to be thrown away.
by Richard N. Pierce
Picture a Garden
Henriette paints her garden with
A many hued palet of plants with
Brush strokes of flowers and leaves,
A spectrum of reds, oranges, yelllows,
Blues, pinks, and purples
over bright green stems.
Looking at this colorful display,
One can almost feel the range of texture
From delicate flowers to ridges on
Stems and broad leaves.
There is such a range of color for the eye
That it soothes the brain.
The sound of the bees is heard as the
Hummingbirds sip nectar from flowers,
A Caterpillar munches on leaves before
Forming a chrysalis to
Transform into a butterfly.
This wondrous spectacle is a morning
Treat for everyone’s walk to their cars.
by Michael S. Feinberg
In the Woods
In the workshop of the mind
One can pluck the strings
Of time while singing
And dancing with the
Faeries and spirits
Of the kind that
Dwell in the forest
Of this surreal dream
That can become real
When one embodies
This spirit of being
And in so becomes
The joy of doing
So wonder comes
From this act of work
Which is the power
Of the heart
To do and to be:
I think ……
It is love
by Michael S. Feinberg
Its green stalk broke through the surface—tender and young—
not imagined or planted, like magic it sprung.
At first glance, I thought it must be a hardy weed
but then saw that it came from a tomato seed.
Through the rock garden’s thick, fabric lining it grew—
wild, like no other unexpected plant I knew.
For two weeks I tried not to think about this stray
while I watered my intended veggies each day.
Yet, this bold renegade rose green, leafy, and tall
and made my other tomatoes look thin and small.
Its branches fanned out like family trees—lush and thick,
so much fruit it would be exhausting to pick.
Why would this one plant put my best efforts to shame?
Dwarfing the favorites I’d so hopefully proclaimed,
by the dozens, its fruit expanded, shaped like pears,
not like the modest round ones I tended with care.
Through guilt or despair, I watered its robust stems
and the imposter produced more eye-popping gems.
While my nurtured garden was daily plagued by pests
they never located or bothered my unplanned guest.
For it I drove a stake in the ground for support
but a shattered stick signaled an act to abort.
To bind its fruit-laden arms to my chain-link fence
over fifty feet of sturdy string was dispensed.
As I picked hundreds of its gems I hardly earned
there were peerless pearls of wisdom I should have learned,
but as if by some weird alien I was stunned,
and instead of collecting its seeds, they were shunned.
I now scour the yard for unexpected fruits.
I find none, but in me the maverick has roots.
I must be more ready for the foreign or strange,
my conceptions and intentions to re-arrange.
Someday maybe another wayward seed will land
and grow into beauty I’ll cherish in my hand.
Whether fruit in curlicues, cones, or cubes it bears
I await its essence to cultivate, then share.
by John P. Kneal
Front and center, the teacher seems attached to the screen,
COVID-19-inspired magic on steady display in-between—
to measure the magnitude of each star,
to observe clearly but yet from afar.
For more closeness and less disruption many yearn
while it’s systems initial logistics caregiver or child must learn.
Then books, crayons, markers, paper, scissors, and glue—
For adults an evolving panoramic view.
Lessons seem easier to remember when said in rhyme,
yet, repetition often is not perfectly aligned,
but students’ attention to teacher hardly fades
as they are molded into a scholarly brigade.
When eyes glaze and stray, it’s time for a brief break.
Pupils stand, jump, turn, stretch, shout, and shake.
Basic pictures and letters to give and take,
connections to varied colors, shapes and sounds to make,
‘Great job, Scarlett, Mabel, Jose, and Jack,’
encouragement and praise not randomly given back.
There are no perfect remedies to employ,
just the winding trail of progress for all to enjoy,
and no Einsteins yet to theorize or shine,
just kids being kids drawn together through cyber lines.
by John P. Kneal
Father’s Painted Butterflies
(Elmer Tarwood 1915-2003)
Twirl, glint, suspend free
of time and gravity
five pairs of wings spin wildly
darting in and out, gold-flecked bodies alive with silver-
wire antennae strung off balsa sticks
in three levels
reincarnated in a float dance
from a machinist’s fancy
strung on fishing line and breath
born of a retiree’s craft, hanging unmoved
now like dead insects. I nudge them, send them
whirling erratic again, a circular chase
click-revolve veering, sometimes clinking
mute chimes. Cold, fragile blue
gliding over, under,
around each other, glance-a-chance, click-a-miss,
no win, dreams
of the maker and the watcher
with the dust on their wings
by Marilyn Johnston
Three Hundred Poems
After all that came before, isolation
and a jealous stepfather, crossing the border,
your mother, a mere girl, too young for parenting,
yet you were confident. Under watching
moons you explored miles of railroad, desert
and highway, carried your own blessed heart
out of muddy wetness, walked yellow fields hunted
by hawks, grazed by starlings. You rearranged
your life on the northwest coast at the water’s edge.
Slept in the narrow bed. Kept cabinet doors closed.
Learned three hundred poems to save your own life
and much later, at a microphone,
shoulders squared over flat green earth
your voice sang out, with an opening poem,
a calling, like a deep and heavy bell.
by Sherri Bedingfield
Night Wind in March
It was a monstrous welling sound –
Loosed bowels of acoustic hate –
A rupture working to rebound,
Forbidding one to contemplate.
Then, unquietly subsiding,
A sound felt hollowed out,
With moan that mocked, deriding,
In orchestration of dread doubt.
This wind built of destructive scorn
Cowed me inside my house of brick;
Gored fears with its satanic horn;
My life felt but a card sharp’s trick.
It was a raw relentless rasp
That bound pretension in its clasp.
by Kimball Hunt
After Shave Champagne
I ask her what she’d like me to bring;
cake? A pie? Salad?..WINE?
Ah yes, “BRUT,” she responds.
“Please bring a bottle of BRUT for New Years.”
There are those, the cultured, who know their drink;
fine Scotch, the most appropriate wine, a cordial.
They don’t even have to ask the host;
it’s a given that what they bring will hit the mark.
Then, there are those who are simply guided
by what they remember…
albeit, perhaps forty years ago,
but never the less, a name brand is a name brand.
I mean, think HOOD…KING ARTHUR…CHOCK FULL OF NUTS;
synonymous with consistency for decades! And still here.
And so, the expert on sweets, not booze, concedes; Brut means Brut;
the one Joe Namath spoke for…the ONLY one I know.
The large chain pharmacy still carries it.
Looks like they only have the single-serving size,
so I purchase enough to fill a pitcher.
Twenty-three bottles…should be enough for the get together.
As luck has it, upon opening several, it’s flat…no fizz.
Hey, my motto…”always be prepared.”
I open the bottom kitchen cabinet…still there…
three large bottles of seltzer.
I go to it. Just the right amount. Give a taste…PERFECT!
And you know, the stuff smells nice too!
I arrive. Host doesn’t question the pitcher; I just know
she appreciates this classy, sans the bottle act.
And so, a fine evening. My contribution was a hit, with all asking
how I was able to find such a great vintage.
I’m then reminded of another dinner get together next month…
and would I please bring simple salad greens with OIL and VINEGAR.
I respond with an affirmative;
easy….simple salad greens with OIL and VINEGAR.
Hmm…could have sworn I saw a bottle of Mobil 10W-40
on the shelf in the garage…
by Andy Weil