July Poetry

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July Poetry
Photo: Nicole Freezer Rubens
Enjoy these inspirational and thought-provoking poems from our poets!
Sleepless Night
 
Words swirl in my head
Trying to make sense of it all
The latest trend
Seems to be pandemic fallout
Why else would people from my past
Suddenly be contacting me?
Out of the blue
Does this strange new world
Make us seek the security of long ago?
 
 
Lonely No More
 
My lonely, lonely
Lonely life
Is lonely no more
 
Waking up happy
Is a gift
To be savored
 
~ Stephanie Sloane, author of Dear Me: Poems of Loss, Grief, and Hope in New York’s Darkest Days

Let them be gone

If you enabled them
Shame on you for letting it go that far
Shame on them for not stopping you
Part of their toxic complexion and makeup
Now that you set yourself free
Be sure to take the very best care if yourself that you can
Somehow along the way you lost sight of that
Be happy for them
Leave the door ajar
Never say never
Let them be gone

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


Being True to Your Own Feelings
 
I am listening to a moody love song,
That reminds me in words, loud and strong,
That love, that elusive feeling,
Is warm, joyous and completely healing.
 
It does not matter who or what you love,
Those judgements, disregard like an ill fitting glove,
No one has the right to critique your choice,
This is your heart that you give as a voice,
Loud and clear for all to hear and see,
To feel, to share, just there, to be.
Remember, I don't judge you, don't do that to me,
My choice is deep, remarkable, so truly free,
It does not matter if a She or a He,
Is the recipient of this gift you give,
It is a sign that you breathe and still live.
 
I want to live every moment!
 
 
~Carol Ostrow, author of Poems from My Pandemic Pen

Unpacking My Life 
 
On the craziest most important 
presidential election last November, 
which also happened to be
my 53rd birthday, 
the sky actually fell down. 
Just before 4pm 
I heard a muffled volcanic eruption sound 
in the wall behind my double stainless steel kitchen sink, 
and then for an hour 
water shot and gushed through my halogen high hats 
like an upside down geyser. 
Water filled every bucket and plastic garbage can I could find. 
Water is wicked and wild 
and seeps silently like a snake. 
Water found its way 
under each and every orangey-blond wood slat 
of my engineered floors throughout each room. 
Everything had to be emptied out of our home of 21 years. 
5 people’s stuff, significant and not 
packed tightly into every closet, drawer and shelf 
like teetering Jenga blocks destined to collapse 
with one wrong maneuver. 
It was not only our stuff 
but the remains of cleaning out 
the objects and keepsakes of our bloodlines, 
Sunny, Nathan, Viviane, Ira, Jacob and Don. 
During lockdown 
we cleaned out and pared down 
like so many seeking control in chaos. 
Before we packed up to move to temporary housing, 
we tossed some more. 
There was simply too much dust encrusted stuff. 
We completely emptied out our protective shell. 
 
After 5 months and a beautiful new old house, 
I am preparing to return. 
Opening each cardboard box delivered from storage, 
marked books, kitchen, family room decor, 
is a ritual in and of itself. 
I easily slice through the sealed tan tape with the sharp X-Acto knife 
and pull out ball after ball 
of crumpled white packing paper. 
The sound is symphonic 
as I gingerly open each sacred vessel 
hoping to find some treasure 
I forgot I had. 
I did not recall the passage papers from my grandparents’ voyage 
as they immigrated to Lady Liberty’s land 
to escape the Nazi reign. 
I had not seen the brittle old cracked photo of my father as a fat boy 
sitting on the hood of a vintage sports car, 
since I slipped it into a cabinet 
shortly after he died. 
I have been sifting through 
my kids’ runny finger paintings, 
smocked red velvet first birthday dress 
and kitchen gadgets I never used. 
Each box opened is the start of another seance, 
a visit with another time. 
I throw away more objects 
that I saved for decades 
and never referenced. 
The process is reminiscent 
of cleaning out my mother’s apartment 
after she died 
which was a grand mix of painstaking, enlightening and cleansing. 
It felt very much like I imagine 
Christmas morning. 
There are several items I cannot decide about 
so I pack them away on an out of reach closet shelf, 
and know they will not be touched again 
until my girls empty out this renovated house 
and unearth their past. 
 
~ Nicole Freezer Rubens, author of The Long Pause and the Short Breath…Poems & Photos & Reflections on New York City’s Pandemic

Author

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

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