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)

41 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 »

Rain – A Poem

(Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash)

Rain

by Dawn Pisturino

Drizzling rain

On the windowpane

Calms my stormy brain,

Bringing sunshine again.

~

My husband and I have both been going stir crazy with the gloomy, rainy weather. Plus, it’s freezing cold!

We welcome the sunshine!

Dawn Pisturino

January 20, 2023

Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

45 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” Coming Soon

Gabriela Marie Milton has put together another wonderful anthology of poems, this time about childhood and how it influenced us as adults: our memories, values, experiences, character, and goals. I am lucky enough to have poetry included in the collection. Published by Literary Revelations Publishing House, the book will be available in late January.

Ciao!

Dawn Pisturino

January 13, 2023

Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

22 Comments »

“Baudelaire” on Masticadores India

I am proud to announce that my poem, Baudelaire, has been published today on Masticadores India. I want to thank Terveen Gill and her wonderful staff for publishing it. Please visit them and show them your support. Thank you!

Baudelaire

by Dawn Pisturino

when i saw you there

lying on the cold stone slab

your virgin beauty pure as white marble

i remembered why i loved you

and all the promises we made

you no longer see me

except in dreams far away

you no longer hear me

except when celestial angels

open your ear with a golden horn

but i can touch you . . .

Please go HERE to read the rest of the poem.

Thank you!

Dawn Pisturino

January 3, 2023

Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

24 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 »

A Tudor Christmas/Pearl Harbor Day

(Photo by Al Elmes on Unsplash)

Green Groweth the Holly

by King Henry the VIII of England



Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.
Though winter blasts blow never so high,
Green groweth the holly.

As the holly groweth green
    And never changeth hue,
So I am, and ever hath been,
    Unto my lady true.
            Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.            
Though winter blasts blow never so high,            
Green groweth the holly.

As the holly groweth green,
    With ivy all alone,
When flowerys cannot be seen
    And green-wood leaves be gone,
              Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.              
Though winter blasts blow never so high,               
Green groweth the holly. 
                

Now unto my lady
    Promise to her I make:
From all other only
    To her I me betake.
                Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.               
Though winter blasts blow never so high,                  
Green groweth the holly. 

Adieu, mine own lady,
    Adieu, my specïal,
Who hath my heart truly,
    Be sure, and ever shall.

Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.
Though winter blasts blow never so high,
Green groweth the holly. 

 

Greensleeves –

Attributed to King Henry VIII but actually published in 1580 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1865, Englishman William Chatterton Dix “borrowed” the musical composition, changed the lyrics, and turned it into the Christmas carol, What Child is This? While Greensleeves remains a popular folk song in England, the Christmas carol is uniquely popular in the United States.

~

December 7, 2022 is Pearl Harbor Day. Remember Pearl Harbor!

Dawn Pisturino

December 7, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

24 Comments »

Poetry Book Reviews: Bartholomew Barker and Stephen Page

(Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash)

Milkshakes and Chilidogs and Other Food Poems by Bartholomew Barker (2017).

       Available on Amazon.com.

Bartholomew is one of the organizers of Living Poetry in North Carolina. Since he is also a food and wine aficionado, it is not surprising that he wrote a poetry book about food. What surprised me is what a great little book it is! His poems are witty, analytical, and chock full of delightful morsels about dining and the things we consume. You will not find any anorexic rejection of edibles here. Bartholomew is absolutely shameless in his love of food. And that’s what makes this book such a wonderful read and a delicious gift for other food-a-holics.

“Cold long nights

are best spent cuddled

with macaroni and cheese.”

Who can argue with that?

“Tomatoes

Firm as your breasts

Red as your lips

On a night out

Drenched in Merlot.”

Believe me, I will never look at tomatoes in the same way again! And finally –

“I want to die fat and happy

I want to meet my chiligod

With a milkshake in my hand.”

I know a lot of chili lovers who would agree with that!

Website: Bartholomew Barker, Poet

The Salty River Bleeds by Stephen Page (2019). Available on Amazon.com.

Stephen Page is an award-winning author whose work has appeared in numerous publications. In this unique collection, he uses poetry and poetic prose to create a realistic portrait of life on an Argentinian ranch. The ranch, its owners, and caretakers, are all fictitious; but Stephen writes with authenticity and conviction. For him, the story is real, from the ambivalent feelings of the owner about leaving the city and isolating out in the countryside; to the lazy, conniving employees; to dealing with bad hombres like cattle rustlers and horse thieves; to birthing calves, riding horses, and watching the crops grow. He expresses concerns about rain and drought; the effects of pesticides on the land; the annoying insects; mechanical issues; and constant repairs on the ranch. The owner’s frustration comes through loud and clear. Life is difficult. But it’s the raw beauty of nature that keeps him going. He has his family to provide for and a loving wife to lean on. In the end, the struggles seem to be all worthwhile.

Stephen’s style is eloquent and simple:

“The tree frogs called the rain last night,

but the rain did not answer.

The intermittent croaking, about

every hour or so, was followed by

a gust of wind and the scent

of water, but no sprinkle, no pour.”

~

“When I am in the city,

I remember why I escape

To the ranch. When I am

On the ranch, I remember why

I want to live in the city.”

Website: Stephen Page

Dawn Pisturino

November 22, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

27 Comments »

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