April Poems

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The Three Tomatoes’ poets, have new poems that cover a range of emotions that will make you think, make you laugh, and pause for just a moment.

Lighten up

When I’m upset and holding back tears,

I hesitate to admit my innermost fears,

Holding back, perhaps with clenched fists,

Doesn’t allow for unexpected twists,

Life, my goodness, as we all know,

Can change on a dime and will eventually show,

The sadness we feel now will evaporate in time,

The answers come without a whimper or a whine,

Have confidence, have faith with decisions made,

All the sadness will eventually fade,

Remember, a sense of humor makes all things lighter,

Not always necessary to be a fighter,

You will survive,

It’s good to feel alive!!

~Carol Ostrow, author of Poems from My Pandemic Pen

Til Death Do Us Part

I had a death dinner

with my oldest friends

the other night.

We gathered at Vicky’s.

Inside the grand breadth

of her Jonah and the Whale

boned Tribeca loft,

our voices echoed and bounced

as we discussed thinking about our wishes

for what ifs

and paperwork to be considered,

while we ate curried vegetables

with napkins on our laps.

The pressed linen and lace squares

had escaped and unfurled

from colorful elephant napkin rings

once belonging to Belda, Vicky’s mother.

I brought 4 pints of Van Leeuwen ice cream

we scooped on to pretty porcelain floral dessert plates,

eventually to be divided

among Vicky’s daughters.


Death is a trending topic,

one of the many items the 21st century

is trying to de-stigmatize.

The piece about ancient Jewish rites

of burial and mourning surfaced.

A Jewish body is never alone.

It is carefully cleansed,

dressed in a simple shroud

and watched over

around the clock

until it returns

to the ashes of the earth.

We discussed sitting in shifts

for each other

to protect us from desecration.

This is the image from the other night

that I cannot get out of my mind.

Some of us will sit next to

the essence of a true friend,

in some fluorescent lit institutional basement setting,

softly singing, reminiscing

and probably sharing a pint

of that body’s

favorite flavor,

with tissues in our laps

instead of napkins.

~Nicole Freezer Rubens, author “The Long Pause and the Short Breath”


Why am I feeling all this great emotion?

Perhaps I am thinking of poor Mary,

Moving away after so long living

In a quietly familiar and convenient place.

Mary, audibly rocking and rocking in the

Same chair above me as she aged into invisibility…

And soon I too will leave this same place.

For how long did I live with illusions,

Locking away all transitory possibilities

And realities and choosing instead to

Dwell inside mercurial fantasies and

Interior delusions and then grounding a still life?

Now the fading obstacles hardly matter.

The grey heavy details carved and set in stones

Have been kicked away by newer shades

Of sharp pastels that do not even belong

To me in my particular smallness.

Fog is moving in from the Hudson River,

Passing over yesterday and all the

Layered stories and everything

That came… before.

~Marjorie J. Levine, author of “Road Trips”

Ringing the Bell

For beginnings and endings
For Excelsior, Onward and Upward
For honoring and remembering
For new stars in the galaxy
For marking time and place
Ring them long and loud
Ring them strong and clear
Ring them as you mark your personal victory as a survivor
Ring them so friends and family can cheer
Ring the bells and and let the chime carry you through
So you do the very best you can and more than you thought you were capable of
Ring the bell and listen…..

~Madlyn Epstein Steinhart, author of “Put Your Boots on and Dance in the Rain”

Alone Again

When the move takes place

I will be alone again, a state chosen

But one with which I have

Very little experience

I went from sharing a room with my sister

To sharing a room with my husband

Trips don’t count

I always knew he would return

For now, we fit together like

Two pieces of a puzzle

Both having been in

Long, happy marriages

~Stephanie Sloane, author of “Dear Me”



  • Poet Laureats

    Poetry is back in vogue and through The Three Tomatoes Book Publishing we have the honor of publishing books by five poets—Madlyn Epstein Steinhart, Stephanie Sloane, Nicole Freezer Rubens, Marjorie Levine and Carol Ostrow. Check out their poetry submissions each month.

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