Poets for Peace poet, Robert Okaji; listen here…

Robert read for our Poets for Peace gathering in San Antonio, February, 2017.  We were mesmerized.  Have a listen here…then order his forthcoming chapbook, From Every Moment A Second, Finishing Line Press, Oct. 2017 (link provided in his post, so click through).  Congratulations, Robert!

“Bottom, Falling” was published in Into the Void in October, 2016, and appears in my forthcoming chapbook, From Every Moment a Second, available for prepublication order at Finishing Line Press.

via Recording of Bottom, Falling — O at the Edges

“catchment system”

New poem published in Voice de la Luna, Vol. 9 #3, May, 2017, p. 30.  I am sharing my poem published in the May issue of the magazine here but please do check out this San Antonio quarterly magazine of arts and literature and subscribe here!

It’s a steal at only $35 annually that includes four jam packed issues featuring some of San Antonio’s premier poet’s and artist’s work.

water from the downspout via CC Shoshanah

image courtesy of Soshanah via Creative Commons.  Rights reserved.

catchment system

thoughts dangle

hang

from the eaves

need

untangling

~

these:

stacked in corners

in cabinets

on pages

on shelves

—a life

in leaflets

what to do

with what doesn’t’

have place

 

~

 

that transistor radio

we keep in the drawer

in case of nuclear war

 

—all those batteries

a glossy ad

for gutters

we’ve never had

 

~

 

thirty years

—the gush

 

ducked under

gallons      pouring

off the eaves

water

we could have

saved

but didn’t

 

~

 

we needed:

designer lincoln

sprinkler system

augustine

green

granite countertops

slate floors

swimming pool

 

a catchment system

that never happened

or did it

 

~

 

when batteries die

transistors desist

perhaps:

merciful sky

we’ll shower

under the gush

mouths      wide open

drinking

while we can

poem in pictures: river. tree. lizard. knee

look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better

Albert Einstein

guadalupe state park, hill country, texas

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cypress trees with knees

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d. ellis phelps is the author of Making Room for George, Moon Shadow Sanctuary Press, 2016:  a tender love story about family and one woman’s journey toward her true self.  Free for kindle unlimited users.  Softcover available for Prime shipping.

My birthday poem by Robert Okaji!

My poem “It was 10 A.M. When the Angel Said You Have to Go Now” is among today’s offerings of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project (9 poets have agreed to write 30 poems apiece in 30 days, to raise funds for Tupelo Press, a non-profit literary publisher). I am grateful to D. Ellis Phelps, alum of the 30/30 […]

 

via Day Twenty-six, Tupelo Press 30/30 Project, August 2016 — O at the Edges

So, I’m a bit tardy at sharing this fun yet poignant piece written for me by Robert Okaji on the occasion of my blankety-blank-eth birthday.  I love it!  The poem brought me both laughter and tears.  Thank you, Robert!

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new publications: art & poetry

 

how many painters does it take to change a nation 12X12 in mm on paper 2016

how many painters does it take to change a nation 12X12″ mm on paper, 2016 (c) d. ellis phelps

Voices de la Luna

A San Antonio based, Quarterly Literature & Arts magazine has published this painting and one of the poems I wrote for the  Tupelo Press 30/30 Project in March, 2016.

These two pieces represent the beginnings of an increasingly political bent in my art & writing.  To my surprise, the painting has sold.  So much for trying to “make things pretty” when they are decidedly not.

Here you see the matriarchal warrior goddess questioning:  how many painters does it take to change a nation; how many $ does it take to trump justice.

It is not simply a female leader we need.  It is a compassionate, honest, dignified, just, intelligent leader (of any gender) we need.  & since the populace seems blinded and deceived by drama and captivated by fear, I wonder what kind of cataclysmic event it will take to bring us again to our metaphorical knees or whether All that is Whole and Good and Pure and True will move us to redemption.

How does Great Spirit move in you?  This is how it moves in me:

if 

i had attended

the workshop

i would have missed

this:

visitation of cranes

follow this link to read the rest of the poem in Voices

 

 

Readings! Two in August & Poets Needed

 

visual diary flickr cc
image:  courtesy of the artist, marcel van den berg via creative commons.  Rights reserved.

 

save the date!:  August 11, 2016, 7PM

I’ll be reading at Malvern Books in Austin again!  This time, I’m reading for their monthly event, Novel Night from my novel, Making Room for George, Moon Shadow Sanctuary Press, 2016 alongside Marcia Feldt Bates, the author of The Oys and Joys.

Earlier this year, I read at Malvern’s during an event they hosted featuring Tupleo Press 30/30 Project Alumni (a fundraiser for the press during which poets wrote 30 poems in 30 days).   Here’s a link to the July, 2016 30/30 poems.  If you’re a poet, consider volunteering for a month coming soon!

save the date!:  August 10, 2016, 6PM

I’ll be reading for the Voices de la luna poets in San Antonio from a chapbook of poems written during the 30/30 Project last March. The reading is free and open to the public:  Lynn Belisle Studio.   To tease you into coming, here is the April 17, 2016 poetry reading at Malvern’s:

 

 

National Poetry Month: 30 poems in 30 days

DMotherBelov back-001

What to do first?

Once, a writer friend, visiting my studio, viewing a bronze sculpture of mine (still sitting on my hearth today) said, “It must be hard for you to decide what to do first when you get up in the morning!”  She said this because I paint, I’ve done some sculpture, I write (poetry, a novel, a blog…sometimes) and I do body & soul work with private clients.  She was thinking all that doing and going in so many directions might be causing me some conflict.  She’s right.  But I don’t seem to be able to stop.

I’ve been working in this circular way as an artist for twenty-five years, each media delightfully informing the other.

However, last month (March, 2016), I agreed to write 30 poems in 30 days for Tupelo Press’s 30/30 Project.  This very creative way of raising funds for the small press was a wonderful challenge that, as you can imagine, kept me quite focused!

It was a thrilled to see my DAILY work “published” on the Tupelo 30/30 blog pages alongside the other six accomplished poets who also wrote during March.  The poems are still “up” through the end of April,  National Poetry Month  & you can read them here.

Pick up the pen…

This coming Friday, April 15, 2016 from 7-9PM, I will be very happily reading in Austin at Malvern Books, with other awesome Tupelo 30/30 alumni from previous months and/or years:  Robert Okaji, Christine Beck, Pamela Paek, Katy Chrisler, D.G. Geis, & Ronnie K. Stephens.

Yesterday, I re-blogged a post by Rober Okaji:  How to Write a Poem.  The reason I like the poem he posted so much is because it beautifully describes how poetry happens for me as well.  I do just what he says to do:  live and let the words come.    But during March, I picked up my pen.  Every day.

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image: used with permission via Creative Commons by Antonio Litteri0

 

The pen is the difference between simply living a life and living a writer’s life, the pen, the art of listening, and a strange penchant for recording everything!

One of the most interesting things that occurred to me during this writing exercise is that as Naomi Shihab Nye says, poems are everywhereBut you have to be listening.

I didn’t want to “cheat” myself out of the chance to learn this (again!), so I decided that I would wait, each day, for the prompt life would provide.  Life did not disappoint.

 

windshield wiper in the rain cc Kezee

image:  used with permission via Creative Commons photographer, Kezee

Have you ever prayed for rain?

Close to the end of day #24, I still had not written anything, but on my way home from the grocery store, I stopped at the intersection, turning left to go home.  Here is the poem that stop prompted:

 

stopping

 

at the intersection

i nod

 

allow

the cement truck

to cross

 

—huge tumbler

rolling

 

i think      about

ingredients:

 

shells

shale

 

limestone

 

too much

or

too little

 

causes

 

—disintegration

 

~

 

the day       you

announced:

 

i’ve joined the army

 

how i thought

this        might

 

harden      you

 

how it did:

 

pills for rage

pills for sleep

pills for pain

 

~

 

too much

 

for years

 

you wouldn’t

look up

 

your back

to every wall

 

~

 

have you    ever

 

prayed

 

for rain

for a job

 

for a soul

 

      ~

 

today      you call

 

full

overflow

 

of the old      you

the one     i knew

 

mama

 

i want

 to tell you

 

i have     

so many

ideas

 

      ~

 

i think      about

intersections:

 

of faith

of mistakes

 

how i

came to

call you

 

my son

 

by making one

 

~

 

i think      about

 

the time      you

& i         prayed

 

for our lives

 

—perpendicular

roads

 

in front of

the cement plant

 

that day

the tornado

 

turned up

trucks

 

only yards

from us

 

~

 

how we shook

how the deluge

 

(almost) overtook

 

how we bow

 

to a god

neither of us

 

understand

 

d. ellis phelps is the author of Making Room for George, A Love Story (Moon Shadow Sanctuary Press, forthcoming 2016.)