Poetry for Winter Days

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Poetry soothes our soul, captivates our imagination, and makes us think. Check out the January poems from our wonderful poets.

Can You See the Love?

Last year at this time
I was alone
This year
I am with you
A trade off, as is life
You bring many things to me
Some require work
But you also bring love
And you bring out love in me
Dormant too long

Some of the love between us
Is familiar
Some of it
Is different
From any I have known
We trust each other implicitly
But others cannot see
They misconstrue
Things are not always as they appear
Open your eyes, open your hearts

~ Stephanie Sloane, author of Dear Me: Poems of Loss, Grief, and Hope in New York’s Darkest Days

Your Choices

I do believe there are more good people than bad,
No matter the news we've lately had,
The pundits make a living from spreading awful news,
That leaves us confused and oh so sad,
That does not amuse.

My friends and those I'm surrounded by,
Are lovingly concerned and would always comply,
With the kindness and respect we give each other,
The support we share as perhaps a father or mother,

Sister or brother,
But, this isn't what sells on CNN or Fox News,
These are not the channels for us to choose,
For grownups and me, 
I would rather see,
The Times Magazine about Sex after 70,
Well, sex sells too,
Don't you agree??

~Carol Ostrow, author of Poems from My Pandemic Pen

Losing Control

This is my 11th to last period.
Dr. Romoff says the plan
is to keep me on the pill til 55,
to avoid
the rite of passage struggles
of active menopause.
I have not burned up
and melted from the inside out
like a volcano,
dripping fresh sweat
down flushed flesh
in public places.
Works for me.
I bled early,
just 2 weeks after my 11th birthday.
I woke up at my father’s
so I guess he was the first to know.
I frantically shoved
some crumpled up one-ply toilet paper
in my simple cotton underwear,
and took a taxi to my mother’s house,
filled with feminine product supplies
and a day off from 6th grade.
I remember November 20th, 1978 clearly.
I watched daytime television
with lots of commercials.
I said I had cramps
but it was more of a painful awareness
of the factory activity
proceeding in my uterus,
and a way to get away
with skipping school.
I was a slightly ashamed pioneer
until after I told 2 good friends
and was relieved to learn
that they too got their periods pretty early,
like me.
By the time I got to sleep away camp
6 months later,
I was the opposite of alone.
Several of us were empowered
with the ability to skip instructional swim.
If we didn’t want to go in
the slimy algae filled lake,
we only had to be brave enough to state
“private reason”
and could sit out and sunbathe instead.
And so it went
on and on monthly
like an old friend visiting
with Farmer’s Almanac-like clockwork precision,
leaving me a bit broken out
and a bit cranky.
In college we nicknamed her Aunt Flo.
We were clever
and miraculously synched up
while we lived in one small cinderblock room.
There were 3 long hiatuses
while my body and god
built my babies.
But generally speaking
my inner calendar
has revolved around the red sun and moon
for most of my life.
43 years later
I am counting down
knowing when I will bid farewell
to my monthly companion
who binds me to all of the women ever on this earth.
I will make a note to stop
the automatic renewal at my online pharmacy,
and take sanitary napkins
off my perpetual shopping list.
With each passing cycle
I feel nostalgic
for TV with commercials, tan lines, bunkmates
and all of the women in my life
who can no longer bleed at all.

~ Nicole Freezer Rubens, author of The Long Pause and the Short Breath…Poems & Photos & Reflections on New York City’s Pandemic

Fractured World

Fractures depending on severity heal
Unfortunately some leave scars naked to the eye
Healing and recovery take time
Some lessons we need to absorb and learn
The stubborn and common stupidity of some are making life difficult for others that follow rules whether they agree or not to protect the many
We are supposed to be United?
The world should be more like the Broadway show Hadestown which is the the way things should be
Going forward and not backwards
I won't welcome you into our fractured world
Be patient and then you can come on in when everybody does the right thing not what they want to do

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


  • 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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