Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

The Sleeping Beauty

I’m pleased to announce that my poem, “The Sleeping Beauty,” has been published today on Gobblers & Masticadores. Thank you, J. RE Crivello and Manuela Timofte, for publishing it. Please visit Gobblers & Masticadores and show them your support. Thanks!

Gobblers & Masticadores

by Dawn Pisturino

Lying there in sweet repose, Lips as red as any rose, The Sleeping Beauty rests her head Upon a gold and velvet bed; Golden tresses fair displayed Around the shoulders softly laid, Be-decked in sequined, jeweled dress, Her slender hands across her breast. Fair Maid! -- What evil cast you here To sleep a full one hundred year Until a Prince with noble pride Into the castle court should ride And climb the steeply winding stair To find a maid with golden hair Lying on a couch asleep, Lost in dreaming long and deep, And drop upon the tender lips A kiss so pure the magic slips. And, lo! -- the eyelids flutter wide And see a vision at her side: A handsome Prince so near and nigh, The maiden cannot help but sigh And stretch out pleading hands to him Who kissed her softly on a…

View original post 95 more words

6 Comments »

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 »

“Hold on to that Dream” by Dawn Pisturino          

I want to thank Barbara Harris Leonhard and her staff at Masticadores USA for publishing my poem, “Hold on to that Dream.” It’s always a pleasure to create new poems for them. Please visit their site and explore all of the fine offerings. Thank you!

MasticadoresUsa // Editor: Barbara Leonhard

To hold a dream in our hearts is a means of survival –
HOPE which buoys the human spirit
And comforts the troubled soul;
A mighty fortress in which to hide from daily cares;
Or a foothold when we stumble and fall.
You were my dream in difficult years:
A shining arrow pointing the way;
A golden sun rising in my line of vision;
And I held on to that dream
When I should have let go.
But some dreams are beautiful,
Perfect, and chaste;
And no amount of cruel living
Can taint their rainbow hues.
If I could reach the core of that dream,
And yet remain sane,
How much better would life be?

Copyright © 2022 Dawn Pisturino
All Rights Reserved

Dawn Pisturino is a retired nurse in Arizona whose publishing credits include poems, limericks, short stories, and articles. Her poetry has appeared in several anthologies, most recently…

View original post 100 more words

49 Comments »

Electronic Addictions, Las Vegas Style

(Photo by Nathana Rebouças on Unsplash)

When people go into a casino, they are mesmerized by the colors, bright lights, and dinging bells of slot machines that, nowadays, look suspiciously like video games. In fact, the video game craze has influenced what kinds of games casinos offer to their customers. The live-action table games are slowly being replaced with interactive video games. Not only is this cost-effective for casinos, but machines can be manipulated to take more of the customer’s money.

But why are people so attracted to the Las Vegas type of bells and whistles that they find in casinos, amusement parks, and video arcades? Why are they mesmerized by these same effects on their video games, computers, and smartphones? Are consumers being trained to use electronic devices like toys – and not just tools for business and communication?

According to an article posted on the Psychology Today website, “the typical American spends about 1460 hours per year on their smartphone” (Brooks, 2019, para. 2). The author attributes this behavior to the variable ratio reinforcement schedule, a conditioning process that draws users over and over again to their electronic devices, and in particular, video games. With the right psychological rewards in place, users can quickly become hooked (Brooks, 2019, para. 3).

In a variable ratio reinforcement schedule, rewards are delivered randomly so that the electronic device user has to use the device more and more in order to get the psychological reward. If the user stops using the device, he gets no reward. But if he keeps going, the reward will eventually be delivered, hooking the user even more (Brooks, 2019, para. 4-5).

Why does this happen? Dopamine is released by the brain when the reward system is activated. A random reward reinforces the reward system further, leading the electronic device user to unconsciously look for the stimulus that delivers the reward (Brooks, 2019, para. 7).

The anticipation and expectation of reward entice the device user to keep using the device and receiving the reward once more . . . over and over again . . . until the user has lost control over his own impulses. Unless the user has strong sales resistance and self-discipline, he may find himself glued to his device, drawn there like a bee to honey. This is why the mental health diagnosis of impulse control has become so pertinent to the abuse and overuse of electronic devices (Brooks, 2019, para. 8).

Reference

Brooks, M. (2019). The “vegas effect” of our screens. Psychology Today. Retrieved from

       http://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-happy-life/201901/the-vegas-effect-our-screens.

Dawn Pisturino

Thomas Edison State University

January 7, 2023; January 23, 2023

Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

34 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 »

Reprise: Lessons from Lewis Carroll

Have you ever felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole? It wasn’t until she hit rock bottom that she found the tools to cope with her environment.

Or what about the White Rabbit? His obsession with time makes him sound like a classic Type A personality.

We all know people who act as if they are running a marathon race against Time. The most familiar thing out of their mouths is, “I’m busy. I don’t have time. Not right now. Good grief, I have to be somewhere in five minutes!”

Like the Red Queen, they are always running in place and getting nowhere fast. And no matter how hard they try to catch up, they never will. And no matter how much we try to convince them to slow down, they never will—until they suffer a heart attack or some other misfortune.

Appearing and disappearing like the Cheshire cat, they smile smugly and proudly tell us how terribly important they are; but they may as well be saying, “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat,” or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Alice had many curious adventures in Wonderland, but even she had her limits. When she finally got tired of the Queen of Hearts screaming, “Off with their heads!” and all the other zany, madcap characters, she stood up and cried, “I can’t stand this any longer!”

And with one pull of the tablecloth, she was back home again with her beloved kitten Dinah.

The wacky world of Lewis Carroll can be seen as a reflection of our own crazy world. And, just like Alice, we sometimes have to pull ourselves in many directions to adapt to our environment. But when we can no longer tolerate living in this way, it’s time to stand up and shout, “Enough is enough!”

(White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane)

Dawn Pisturino

2007; January 18, 2023

Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, September 11, 2007.

Copyright 2007-2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.





38 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 »

Andrew Carnegie Libraries

(Vintage postcard of our town’s Andrew Carnegie Library, built in 1913)

When I was a child growing up in Southern California, our town’s public library was an Andrew Carnegie Library, built in 1913. I always admired the historic architecture and felt quite heartbroken when the city decided to tear it down and replace it with a more modern structure. Yes, the newer building was easier to navigate and filled with light, but the old, beat-up structure had more character. It reeked of history and days gone by.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated with his poverty-stricken family to Pennsylvania, USA in 1848. With only a few years of schooling behind him, this self-made millionaire managed to rise — through hard work and shrewd investments — from a lowly factory boy to a railroad worker to a powerful steel magnate. He sold the Carnegie Steel Company to banker J.P. Morgan in 1901 for $480 million. After retiring, he spent the rest of his life and most of his fortune on philanthropic projects.

Carnegie believed that the wealthy have “a moral obligation to distribute [their wealth] in ways that promote the welfare and happiness of the common man” (The Gospel of Wealth, 1889). He funded the construction of Carnegie Hall in New York City and founded the Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Carnegie Foundation.

A devoted bibliophile, Carnegie funded the construction of 2,811 public libraries in America, Europe, and other parts of the world. Some of these buildings are still in public use as libraries or government centers. He is buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in North Tarrytown, New York.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Dawn Pisturino

January 11, 2023

Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

15 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: