Some poems from A Rising & Other Poems by David Sloan


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View/listen to David Reading on YouTube for a virtual book launch 4/23.

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Philemon and Baucis


Here is one beautiful poem by David Sloan from his book, The Irresistible In-Between, (Deerbrook Editions, 2013).

David Sloan was at the MWPA Literary Awards ceremony and it is always a pleasure to see him. He has received a number of awards for poems in the Poetry Short Works category.

It being the solstice, I thought I’d pick this poem as, picking up his book yesterday, it opened to it. I was reminded how many good poems are in this book. Another deserving author with a good book.

 

Philemon and Baucis

The wonder isn’t the gods’ appearance,
nor their beggarly disguises. Zeus

and Hermes love the earth—olive oil,
gullible women, the substantiality of marble,

that peculiar human failing of caring
too much. It’s the old couple themselves,

the way they welcome the strangers,
give up their stools, offer them wine

and apricots, stoke the fire, how they touch
each other’s shoulders. They gasp

when the wineskins refill themselves.
In the sudden light they kneel

before their guests, gold peeking
from beneath the rags, feel the dizzying

closeness of divinity. When the gods
grant one wish to repay their hospitality,

the wonder is what the couple
passes up— a wooden floor, new cook

pot, lifetime supply of firewood,
fleece-lined cloaks, the child

they never conceived. Instead
they ask only not to outlive

one another. It’s the gods’ turn
to gape. When the time comes,

the couple feels the forest taking them.
Sap rises, fingers send out leaf shoots,

bark creeps up, closes over their mouths,
but not before Farewell love,

overheard by hushed birds and caught
in the cleaved air, linden and oak

now a single trunk, entwined.

The poetry of David Sloan


The Spaces Between

 

What insistent whispering crowds out sleep?
It coats me like pollen, buoys me against
the weight of daylight, points to the spaces
between things. When I press my fingertips
together, diamonds appear. Between tree limbs,
stairs spiral skyward. Below birds’ wings,
above pages in books, a sky bowl catches light
and our hope for overflow.
Between pebbles in the garden, a seed,
architect’s plans scrolled and tucked away.
Trapped light waits to climb the stairs
and unfurl. Everywhere the geometry
of branchings. In darkness tree roots
coil over and under each other, fortified
tenfold by their interlacing,
like fingers praying.
The numbers of the body do not lie.
Oneness loves itself into symmetry,
mirrors of arms and legs ending in the surprise
of fives. Between the singing of our skeletons,
the fountain of dead-seeming bones.
We forget where blood is born.
And if every bone fits into its rightful joint,
what is the skull’s socket?
When we press our bodies together,
a raft bobs between two blues.
Sun and full moon seesaw at the edges
of the world. Streaked shavings fall,
float into the middle, where we always
want to be. Even in extremity,
when we fall out of the between, we keep
saving each other, over and over.

 

from The Irresistible In-Between, Deerbrook Editions 2012

David Sloan is a teacher and a scholar of Waldorf teaching, not only instructing high school students in English and literature at the school in Maine but teaching seminars to new faculty in New Hampshire. His life is pretty much consumed by his relationships at home and at work, and this is reflected in his verse. This poem above is one of my favorites though it does not fit into his books usual topic of family, all his verse shows his command and love of language.

A graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast
MFA Poetry Program, David Sloan loves living in Maine “at
the edge of the world” with his wife Christine; they both work
in Maine’s only Waldorf high school. He is the author of two
books on teaching: Stages of Imagination: Working Dramatically
with Adolescents
, and Life Lessons: Reaching Teenagers through
Literature. His poetry has appeared most recently in The
Barefoot Review, The Broome Review, The Café Review, Carpe
Articulum, Innisfree, The Naugatuck River Review, The Northern
New England Review, Passager, The Prairie Wolf Press Review
and Words and Images. He is a recipient of the 2012 Betsy Sholl
and Maine Literary awards, and was recently nominated for a
Pushcart Prize.

The Irresistible In-Between by David Slaon

The Irresistible In-Between cover features a photo by Chris Darling.

Now and again


Where it Goes by Martina Reisz Newberry

Where it Goes features a photograph by Eleanor Bennett

Where it Goes, the latest book of poetry from Deerbrook Editions by Martina Newberry, features a photo by Eleanor Bennett, a promising young UK photographer. This second book of poems by Martina Newberry has been praised as “Revealing intense human vulnerability and wondrous irony . . . With honesty, wit, imaginative breadth and prosodic grace . . . Newberry explores the painful themes of death and life, youth and aging, prayer and spirituality”

Anne Tammel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only Now, poems by Stuart Kestenbaum

The cover features a print collaboration by Susan Webster and Stuart Kestenbaum

Only Now has been a best seller at Blue Hill Books and selling well in general. A welcome review of this book appeared on The Line Break by Tom Holmes of Redactions magazine. This is the third book of poems Deerbrook Editions has published by Stuart Kestenbaum over the years.

 

From the back cover of Only Now:

 

Stuart Kestenbaum’s Only Now is a rare accomplishment: a collection of poems that takes on the fragility of the world and our own mortality, and does so with unflinching directness and, most impressively, with wit and a sincere prayerfulness. Many of these poems are what I would call strangely hopeful warnings, elegies-in-advance. They worry about the world in ways that register the beauty of what is in danger of being diminished. —Stephen Dunn

Other recent good books post here: for Freeing the Hook by Peter Harris

Freeing The Hook by Peter Harris

White Waves on Sand, Maine by John Marin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and here for David Sloan’s The Irresistible In-Between. David received Maine literary awards for poems in the book.

The Irresistible In-Between by David Slaon

The Irresistible In-Between cover features a photo by Chris Darling.

All books can be found on the front page of Deerbrook Editions Website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Only Now for poetry month


Only Now, poems by Stuart Kestenbaum

The cover features a print collaboration by Susan Webster and Stuart Kestenbaum

Only Now, poems by Stuart Kestenbaum, now only on the Website, for poetry month from Deerbrook Editions. Next week Stuart will be reading at Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine, with two other poets who have recent titles (2013) of poetry from Deerbrook Editions. Mark April 17th at 7pm on your calendar.

From the back cover of Only Now:

Stuart Kestenbaum’s Only Now is a rare accomplishment: a collection of poems that takes on the fragility of the world and our own mortality, and does so with unflinching directness and, most impressively, with wit and a sincere prayerfulness. Many of these poems are what I would call strangely hopeful warnings, elegies-in-advance. They worry about the world in ways that register the beauty of what is in danger of being diminished. —Stephen Dunn

Books_Q_A__Maine_poet_Stuart_Kestenbaum_expresses_optimism_and_awareness_of_mortality_in__Only_Now__.html

 

The other poets reading on the 17th are Peter Harris and David Sloan. Peter Harris had the poem Ode to Popcorn , and Villanelle  for the Pond, featured in Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry which appears in the Portland Press Herald, edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate, and produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Stuart Kestenbaum also has had several poems appear in Take Heart: A conversation in Poetry.

Peter Harris  had his chapbook, Blue Hallelujahs, win the Maine chapbook competition in 1996.

David Sloan received the 2012 Betsy Sholl award for the poem Bad Math, and the 2012 Maine Literary Award for Poetry in the Short Works Competition.

Davis Sloan is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program and loves living in Maine, at the edge of the world, with his wife Christine where they both work in Maine’s only Waldorf high school. He is the author of two books on teaching: Stages of Imagination: Working Dramatically with Adolescents, and Life Lessons: Reaching Teenagers through Literature.  His poetry has appeared most recently in The Barefoot Review, The Broome Review, The Café Review, Carpe Articulum, Innisfree, The Naugatuck River Review, The Northern New England Review, Passager, The Prairie Wolf Press Review and Words and Images.

All books will be available at Longfellow Books for signing the night of the reading. This should be a great night for poetry as all of these poets are excellent readers.

Freeing The Hook by Peter Harris

Peter’s cover features White Waves on Sand, Maine by John Marin

 

The Irresistible In-Between by David Slaon

The Irresistible In-Between cover features a photo by Chris Darling.