Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

The Listener – A Poem

(Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

The Listener

by Dawn Pisturino

As a small child,

I lay in my small bed,

Listening to the mourning doves

Crying softly, “Coo-hoo! Coo-hoo!”

From the woods across the road

In the early morning light.

At night, the owls called to me –

“Who’s there? Who’s there?” –

A comforting lullaby that

Quieted my childish fears

And lulled me fast to sleep.

The thunder spoke to me

When the rain called my name,

Throwing his fierce lightning bolts

Across the black, menacing sky.

And when the storm passed away,

A hungry mosquito berated me,

Demanding a bloody feast.

~

The world is not a silent place.

Nor a place of peace.

~

As I grew,

The sounds of life grew louder:

Crashing metal when a truck turned over on the icy road.

My mother screaming,

My father shouting,

Then silence . . . when the unknown driver breathed no more.

~

Published in Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology (2023), available on Amazon.com.

Dawn Pisturino

February 1, 2023

Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Co-Author, #1 Amazon Bestseller, Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology (2023)

Co-Author, 2023 Arizona Literary Magazine (2022)

Co-Author, #1 Amazon Bestseller, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (2022)

42 Comments »

Available Now! – “Hidden in Childhood” Anthology

Already an Amazon #1 Bestseller in New Releases of Poetry Anthologies, Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology, is now available on Amazon.com! Two of my poems appear in the collection, The Listener and I HATE SNAKES.

Amazon Description

“From authors featured on NPR, BBC, and the New York Times, and from emerging poets, comes a monumental anthology in which every poem sends shivers down your spine. Childhood’s joy and trauma expressed – with stunning talent and sincerity – by over 150 poets in more than 280 poems. Childhood spaces magnified by the human memory, populated by good and bad, by trips to hell and heaven, in an almost Hieronymus Bosch type of atmosphere. Over 150 voices call you to read this book. Read it. You will learn that childhood never goes away. You will be reminded of the beauty of the seraphim and the need to protect children from any form of abuse. 150 voices knock on your door. Open the door. A chorus of childhoods will tell you that our children need love.

Literary Revelations is proud to bring you this anthology and deeply grateful to all contributors for pouring out their hearts into the pages of this book.” (Gabriela Marie Milton, Editor)

It’s a wonderful collection, full of wonderful poems by talented poets.

Get your copy today!

Dawn Pisturino

January 30, 2023

Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Co-Author, #1 Amazon Bestseller, Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology (2023)

Co-Author, 2023 Arizona Literary Magazine

Co-Author, #1 Amazon Bestseller, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (2022)

All are available on Amazon.com.

25 Comments »

Poetry Book Reviews: Fritzinie Lavoile and Khaya Ronkainen

(Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash)

Ruminative Words by Fritzinie Lavoile (2022). Available on Amazon.com.

Fritzinie is a young Haitian poet whose poetry reflects wisdom beyond her years. Her verses are tender, insightful, beautiful, and filled with hope. Though young in years, she freely shares her thoughts, emotions, and experiences on various topics: love, heartache, disappointment, betrayal, survival, racism, and the deep and abiding love and support found within her own family and faith. Her poetry is a vehicle for helping others find their “safe space” and become their own “safety net.”

From the very first poem in the collection, I was hooked:

“May our love be like the branches on a tree . . .

which not even the strongest of winds could break.

May our love rise above obstacles . . .

that block its path towards the light.

May our love stretch its every inch

as it reaches for life.”

Surviving an earthquake, she writes:

“Sometimes I feel like I am still that six-year-old girl in

Haiti.

In the middle of an earthquake.

Stuck under that brick wall.

Everyone tramping on top of me

yearning to survive,

deafened to my cries.”

In spite of difficulties and pain, she perseveres:

“I press my eyes

begging for tomorrow to come.

The night insists on being a little longer

teaching me the importance of longing.

Of being patient.”

Although I do not know Fritzinie personally, I feel a connection to her after reading her lovely collection of poems. Her strength and resilience shine through her words, giving me hope that even the darkest days will still produce young poets with the energy to shine through the clouds and write to inspire and uplift those around them.

Website: http://www.ruminativewords.com

The Sheltering by Khaya Ronkainen (2022). Available on Amazon.com.

Khaya is a South African poet living in Finland. Her impressive collection of poems is written with thoughtful consideration, deep emotion, and keen observation of the world around her.  Written during the COVID-19 pandemic, she addresses issues like depression, isolation, grief, friendship, and family. Her experience with the pandemic and lockdown reflects the experience of so many other people who suddenly found themselves suffering in silence and alienation: Why did this happen? Are we doing the right thing? Will it ever end? Will life return to normal? What is the end result of such a dystopian event? Finally, leaving the shelter of home prompted new concerns: Is the world a better place? Are we better people now? Did we learn anything new? Will it happen again?

The world is already divided

No sooner have we all agreed

that this pandemic knows no colour

than we witness reality

Life is cheap for those who can afford

The common enemy encircles

gathering strength, widening the gap

between the haves and have-nots

Inertia and action, fraternal twins

whose distinction seems unimportant

yet change hangs in the balance”

Expressing herself through poetry helped Khaya get through the pandemic. Yet, while humans sheltered at home, nature continued its orderly routine. Flowers still bloomed. Birds still warbled. The earth still turned. And when that final autumn came before the restrictions were lifted, leaves still burned with color and hope:

“Nothing depicts autumn like October’s blazing

sun before it dips beneath the horizon. While

I toast marshmallows in the evenings and

drink apple cider sangria deep into the night, I

acknowledge you are a multifaceted season of

the soul. A season to dance with things I

cannot control and reclaim freedom. I’ll

indulge and celebrate on your good days.

Because I cannot stop leaves from falling.”

We could not stop the pandemic, but we endured. What we choose to do with that is up to us. The world is still a beautiful place:

“A blue tit puffed up with boldness

reminds of its presence

and calm outlasts

the storm.”

Website: http://www.khayaronkainen.fi

~

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today!

~

Dawn Pisturino

January 16, 2023

Copyright 2022-2023 Fritzinie Lavoile. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2022-2023 Khaya Ronkainen. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

16 Comments »

“Hidden in Childhood” Anthology Acceptance

I’m pleased and honored to announce that my poetry has been accepted for inclusion in the upcoming anthology, Hidden in Childhood, edited by the wonderfully gifted Gabriela Marie Milton, and published by Literary Revelations Publishing House. The anthology will be released in late January 2023. Submissions will remain open until January 3, 2023.

Thank you so much for including me!

Dawn Pisturino

December 22, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Co-author, 2023 Arizona Literary Magazine (Arizona Authors Association)

Co-author, #1 Amazon Best-seller, Wounds I Healed: Poetry of Strong Women (edited by Gabriela Marie Milton)

58 Comments »

Spotlight on Aparna Jagannath, Writer

(Photo by Vigneshwar Rajkumar on Unsplash)

Today, I want to shine the spotlight on Aparna Jagannath, a dear WordPress friend who lives in Chennai, India. Her passion for reading and writing is unsurpassed. She is a prolific reader with an M.A. in English Literature. She possesses impressive knowledge about writers from various cultures. She also writes wonderful poems and stories that will knock your socks off with their profound wisdom, wicked humor, and keen insight into the human condition. She does not mince words but gets right to the heart of the matter. Aparna is also a strong advocate for women’s rights in India and around the world. Right now, two of her books are available on Amazon.com:

This collection of stories offers valuable life lessons for children and teenagers alike. Aparna covers many topics: cheating on exams, rude behavior towards family, making healthy decisions, coping with harmful friends, bullying, indifference to school, kindness to animals, and others. My favorite story is “Trapped inside a Smartphone” because it is clever, well-written, and thought-provoking. If your child enjoys reading books about other countries and cultures, he or she will find this book highly enjoyable.

Excerpt:

“A maze of wires surrounded him from all the sides. He was lying beside a giant motherboard. The place was air-conditioned. He almost started shivering. He looked around for his family, but couldn’t spot anyone. ‘Can you hear me, mom? Where are you, daddy?’ he screamed his lungs out, panicking. . .”

Aparna writes from the heart in this fine collection of poems. With honesty and openness, she speaks about the loss of friends, her father, and honor and compassion in the world. She fiercely advocates for herself, her daughter, and all women around the world in their struggle for freedom, dignity, and respect. Her hopes and dreams form the foundation of her writing. In spite of the crushing injustices she sees around her, she conveys a spirit of hope that the world can be a better place.

“Is it my dream? Are you really visible to my eyes?

Thirty long years have passed since we met each other.

Now we are chatting over a video call.

What a wonderful surprise! . . .”

~

“Why should women observe silence?

Why shouldn’t they raise voice against domestic violence?

Why should they submit to male chauvinism?

Why shouldn’t they protect their feminism? . . .”

~

“I thank you, Mother Nature, for supporting all forms of life.

You tolerate our misdeeds with a smile while we are busy with the knife.

I thank you, Mother Earth, for enabling us to live.

We have hurt you in many ways; yet, you always forgive . . .”

~

“Let’s tread carefully on this dangerous path of life forever.

These roads are sometimes narrow and slippery.

Let’s try not to lose our balance to their treachery . . .”

~

You can visit Aparna at her WordPress blog here.

Dawn Pisturino

December 19, 2022

Copyright 2022 Aparna Jagannath. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

27 Comments »

The Poem that Inspired Simon & Garfunkel

Richard Cory – the poem that inspired Simon & Garfunkel

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Whenever Richard Cory went downtown,

We people on the pavement looked at him:

He was a gentleman from sole to crown,

Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,

And he was always human when he talked;

But still he fluttered pulses when he said,

“Good morning,” and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich — yes, richer than a king —

And admirably schooled in every grace:

In fine, we thought that he was everything

To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,

And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;

And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,

Went home and put a bullet through his head.

~Edwin Arlington Robinson~

~

In 1966, Simon & Garfunkel borrowed Robinson’s poem, “Richard Cory,” modernized the language, and set it to music. The song is both thought-provoking and astonishing – just like Robinson’s poem – and was included in the duo’s hit album, Sounds of Silence.

I personally think the song lyrics are infinitely better than the poem. But, listen for yourself!

~

Bio: While Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) is not remembered much now, he was a highly prolific and enthusiastically praised poet in his time. He often wrote on “themes of personal failure, artistic endeavor, materialism [and wealth], and the inevitability of [progress and] change” (Robert Gilbert). Robinson self-published his books of poetry until Houghton Mifflin agreed to publish his book of poems, Captain Craig, in 1902. The book was not successful, and Robinson became a drifter and alcoholic. In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt became aware of Robinson and his book, The Children of the Night. Roosevelt convinced Charles Scribner’s Sons to republish the book. He also obtained a job for Robinson at the New York Customs House. Job security allowed Robinson to continue with his writing. Robinson won a Pulitzer Prize for his Collected Poems in 1922. He won a second Pulitzer Prize in 1924. In 1927, he won a third Pulitzer Prize. Robinson died of cancer in 1935.

Thanks for visiting!

Dawn Pisturino

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

#1 Amazon Bestseller. Get your copy today!
19 Comments »

Official Anthology Launch Date: June 18, 2022

Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women anthology officially launches on Amazon and Kindle on Saturday, June 18, 2022.

Here’s the official Amazon description:

Award-winning authors, Pushcart nominees, emerging poets, voices of women and men, come to the fore in this stunning, powerful, and unique anthology. Their poems testify to the challenges that women face in our society, and to their power to overcome them. A memorable collection of over 200 poems by more than 100 authors, this anthology is a must-have for anyone. We all can benefit from the poetry of survival, and of healing. We all can benefit from the experiences so beautifully evoked in this book. We can all come together to emerge triumphant from pain.”

Editor and Curator: Gabriela Marie Milton

Publisher: Experiments in Fiction/Ingrid Wilson

Artwork: Nick Reeves

Get YOUR copy soon!

Dawn Pisturino

June 17, 2022

20 Comments »

Reprise: A Writer 24/7

(Turn of the 20th century writer’s corner – Bonelli House Museum, Kingman, Arizona. Photo by Dawn Pisturino.)

Adopting the writer’s mantle places us instantly in the spotlight. Everything we say, write, and do is being evaluated and judged by people we don’t even know.

With this in mind, it’s important to display our best writing at every opportunity.

I recently read a blog post by an English writer that was poorly formatted, riddled with errors, and unprofessional-looking. The purpose of the blog was to dispense writing advice to budding young authors. But what can a young author learn from run-on sentences and words that blend into one another with no punctuation or spaces? Needless to say, I no longer follow that blog.

Many self-proclaimed authors haunt Facebook and other social media sites. They promote their books with quickly-composed, ungrammatical sales pitches that reflect poorly on their abilities as writers. My thought is this: if they can’t write a simple post on Facebook, how can they write the next Great American novel? The answer is obvious.

E-mail tends to be a casual form of communication, but some people take it for granted that it’s okay to write in texting jargon and incomplete sentences. Clear, concise communication should be even more important when writing e-mails. I check my grammar and spelling every time I send out an e-mail because I want my readers to see me as a real writer.

My elderly aunt fills her hand-written letters with poetic descriptions of the seasons and countryside where she lives. She’s not a writer, but she knows how to write. She knows how to turn a phrase and color a description so that it sticks in my head. She makes me imagine that once upon a time she wrote poetry in some dark garret. That reminds me–I need to ask her!

Writing is a 24/7 job. And everything we compose should reflect our abilities as a writer. Our readers expect it. Our profession demands it.

Published in the July-August 2012 issue of Working Writer.

Dawn Pisturino

June 13, 2022

Copyright 2012-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

26 Comments »

June 4th Twitter Discussion: “Wounds I Healed”

On Saturday, June 4th, please join Gabriela Marie Milton and Ingrid Wilson at 10:00 am ET (USA) [7:00 am on the West Coast] for a discussion and updates about the upcoming anthology, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women.

Here’s the link on Twitter Space (word has it you don’t need a Twitter account.)

https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1lDxLLreevkxm

For further information, please visit Gabriela Marie Milton’s blog.

Thanks!

Dawn Pisturino

June 4, 2022

10 Comments »

“Wounds I Healed” Anthology Acceptance

I’m pleased and proud to announce that my poem, Boudica’s Soliloquy, has been accepted for publication in the upcoming Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women anthology. I want to thank Gabriela Marie Milton (editor), Ingrid Wilson of Experiments in Fiction (publisher), and Nick Reeves for their hard work and dedication in bringing this project to fruition.

As you may have guessed, the poem is about Boudica, the fierce Celtic Queen of the Iceni tribe who reigned in the East Anglia region of Britain. In 60 C.E., she led a revolt against the Romans. Bravely driving a chariot against Roman forces, she fought for the liberation of her tribe and vengeance for the rape of her two daughters by Roman soldiers. Although defeated, she went down in history as a tragic figure and a British folk hero.

For some reason, when I heard about the anthology, Queen Boudica immediately popped into my head. She was a woman who lost everything but died with dignity and honor.

Please visit these sites:

Gabriela Marie Milton (Short Prose)

MasticadoresUSA//Gabriela Marie Milton, editor

Ingrid Wilson, Experiments in Fiction

Nick Reeves

Thank you!

Dawn Pisturino

May 9, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

52 Comments »

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