Poetry for October Days

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

Never Give Permission To Take Your Power

Today my feelings were very deeply hurt,

I sought an opinion from someone too curt,

Who did not like what I had shown,

Suggesting my work was quite overblown,

The approval sought, turned into a deep, deep groan.


Why do I need an approval at all?

And why does it always turn into gall,

When not received, causing a serious fall,

In my own, frail,  self esteem,

What, in fact, does all this mean?

I reverted into a childish retreat,

Behavior remembered I attempted to defeat,

With hard work, a therapist, for years once a week,

That frankly I hesitate to ever repeat,

Causing me to feel empty and to over eat.

Funny, sometimes we fall backwards like children.

Well, so what!

Perhaps this is a lesson learned?

Give no one the power to take away your fun.

They cannot do it without you allowing it.

I feel better now.

I only ate one piece of chocolate.

Does that mean I am a grownup again?

  ~Carol Ostrow, author of Poems from My Pandemic Pen

It Was Always the Lake

It’s in my nickname

It’s in your email

It was always the lake

We were children there leading separate lives

Long days immersed in water like silk

And it was always the lake

We met as teenagers

We knew each other’s siblings, parents, even grandparents

And it was always the lake

Then there were spouses and children

Boats and barbeques, movies and dinners

And it was always the lake

All that changed and we led parallel lives

The lake became the keeper of memories

Except for dreams, I left the lake

Now we are the grandparents

We are together, life is good again

And we return to the lake

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

New York is A Walking City

I feel the cobblestones on Fifth Avenue are mine.

As I press the weight of my aging body

on each hexagon

I sense that I have pressed this path over and over

since I learned to walk.

When my mother

took me to the Central Park Zoo

to dance with the sea lions

and get swallowed whole

by the big blue whale,

my tiny right foot and red Mary Jane

began to mark my territory.

I possess the streets of New York,

as with each and every stride

I have ever taken here

strength from the schist

beneath the city

is absorbed through my feet

and sustains me like high octane gasoline

fuels a car.

The energy is unavoidable.

Each rumble from a savior siren,

subway transport

or mediocre street musician hoping for bills over coins,

sinks deep into the concrete earth

and filters into the polluted ether.

Each time I hit the pavement,

step by step

I am renewed with the particular power of a city

that absorbs the hell that is here

equally as the true and subjective beauty.

This is my noise:

my park

my red lights

my construction

my melting pot

my past, present and future.

My ancient oak tree that fell hard in Hurricane Ida

may have made a sound,

but who could hear it with the howling winds racing

and the sheets of sideways rain

that crashed at record pace.

The nerve center

of intricate gangly, dusty yet muscular exposed upturned roots

that were already deeply entrenched in original soil and rock

when my mother put my right red shoe over my crisp white sock,

still came up to announce the fall.

Surrounded by yellow caution tape

and waiting to be sawn, shredded and recycled,

the tree looked elegant and stately to me.

There is so much talk

about the decline of New York City,

the homecoming, the reopening, the crime, the homeless,

the spread and the withdrawal,

but my middle aged feet

keep stepping out

for my daily grounding.

As I walk and pace myself, I breathe.

I am home.

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

Your one and only

The blue macaw kept squawking
The red panda played hide and seek
The penguins were with their forever partners
Then you came to mind
Dear friend stop looking
Hope he drops from the universe
Pops up in Starbucks
Finds you at Reagan or LAX
Heath row ir wherever you go
Your one and only is out there
Hope you find him
Want to dance at your wedding
Find him
Who you are looking for
He is looking for you, too.

~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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