Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

“You Can Have Her” on Masticadores India

I want to thank Terveen Gill for publishing my story, You Can Have Her, today on Masticadores India. Terveen is very supportive of writers, and I encourage you to submit your poems and stories to her. Please visit Masticadores India to read the whole story.

You Can have Her

by Dawn Pisturino

The call came in on his office landline.

       “Tony Blackwell?  We want two million dollars in small bills, or your wife eats a bullet.”

       Tony laughed.  “She’s a whore.  I don’t give a damn about her.  Do you know how many times she’s cheated on me?”

       “Hey, man, I’m sorry, but she’s still your wife.  You must have some feelings for her.”

       “Not at all,” Tony scoffed, and hung up the phone.

       A few minutes later, the phone rang again.

       “Mr. Blackwell, I repeat: we want two million dollars in small bills, or your wife dies.  And don’t even think about calling the police.”

       “Why would I call the police?  I told you, I don’t care about the bitch.”

       The voice on the other end became more insistent.  “We’re not playing around, Tony.  You either agree to fork over the money,

or your wife dies.  I don’t care how many men she’s screwed.”

I would be humbled and pleased if you would visit Masticadores India to read the rest. If you like it, please hit the “Like” button.

Thank you so much!

Dawn Pisturino

December 1, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

21 Comments »

Poetry Book Reviews: Paula Light and Lamittan Minsah

(Photo by Arash Asghari on Unsplash)

Monochrome: Poetry from the Ashes by Paula Light (2018). Available on Amazon.com.

Paula is a California poet whose poetry collection is a delight to read. She writes with a gentle hand. Her poems are like butterflies which attract us with rich colors, feather-weight movements, velvety textures, and delicate wings. She explores the nature of love, loss, sadness, and acceptance with profound understanding and peace. At the same time, she has a sharp wit and approaches life with humor and positivity. When you read her WordPress blog, you will experience both sides of this very talented woman.

“Immersed in words,

Steamed in verse,

Lovesongs burning up my dreams . . .

It must be true:

I still hold

A torch for you . . .”

And from her poem, Grace:

“The night sky knows my sorrow:

An ice wind screams your name,

While thunder booms in horror

And lightning damns this place.

Then softly comes the music;

Gently falls the rainsong;

Rhythms drip down smoothly,

And the moon is bathed in grace.”

Website: Light Motifs

Let’s Talk Bride: A Poetry Collection by Lamittan Minsah (2020). Available on Amazon.com.

Lamittan is a Kenyan poet who has written a collection of poems about a very special person in his life, Apostle Darlan Rukih, also known as the Bride of the Lamb, a minister in the Bride of the Lamb Ministries International.

This book has a fascinating backstory. Darlan Rukih was born a hermaphrodite (someone who is born with both male and female genitalia and characteristics, also known as an intersex person). Since this condition is not accepted in Kenyan culture, Rukih grew up isolated, alienated, and rejected by others. But faith in God and the Lord Jesus Christ helped Rukih to overcome this disability and to serve by helping others. Rukih first married a woman and was blessed with a son. After that relationship failed, Rukih dated a man and got pregnant. Blessed with two children, Rukih is devoted to helping children in need in Kenya. Reference: Mpasho website.

Lamittan’s admiration for the Bride of the Lamb knows no bounds in this fine collection of poems which praise Rukih, God, and His son, Jesus Christ. Lamittan expresses both his joy and his sorrow in these poems:

“There’s beauty walking in Africa,

Traversing a lonely desert –

A damsel formed by the maker

Out of the ribs of Adam, long ago.

There is beauty

Such as one that never was before.”

~

“They nailed our Lord by force.

The heavens roared,

His pain had reached God,

And for a moment,

Darkness covered the firmament

And hid God’s gaze from his son . . .”

Follow Lamittan Minsah on WordPress to read more of his poetry and stories and to learn more about Kenyan culture. His business site, Laminsa Indies, encourages and aids “budding writers, musicians, actors/actresses, self-publishers, photographers, drawing artists, dancers and many other talents from the creative industry.” Check it out!

Website: Laminsa Indies

~

Dawn Pisturino

November 21, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

26 Comments »

Poetry Book Review: Gabriela Marie Milton

(Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash)

Woman: Splendor and Sorrow by Gabriela Marie Milton (2021). Available on Amazon.com.

I met Gabriela a year ago, when she was editor for MasticadoresUSA. Impressed by the quality of the poems and prose I read there, I began to submit poems – both old and new – for her consideration. Well, she published them! And I have been following her ever since. It was her kindness and encouragement which prompted me to start writing poetry again after a long hiatus. She inspires me to reach farther and try harder than ever before.

A Pushcart nominee. A #1 Best-Selling Author on Amazon. The 2019 Author of the Year at Spillwords Press. Gabriela has published two books of high caliber poetry, co-authored anthologies, and edited the recent Amazon Best-Seller, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, which she published with Ingrid Wilson of Experiments in Fiction. She resides in a higher realm of imagination, pulling ideas and images out of the clouds that Wow! the reader and transport him/her to another world. She employs language that is lush, exotic, sensual, and stimulating to all five senses. She is her poetry. Her poetry is her. She pushes the boundaries of creativity and encourages others to do the same. She is poet, teacher, mother, friend, divine goddess of the poetic art form. Many of her themes revolve around the strength, resilience, and beauty of women. She adores children, the magic of childhood, and the blessings of motherhood. And then, there’s Love! — and the perpetual tango between two lovers.

Woman: Splendor and Sorrow is a testament to the hypnotic power of love and its ability to elevate us to the heights of ecstasy or fling us into the burning depths of Hell. Every word is exquisitely crafted:

“each word I write cries on the tunes of spring,

a spring that ends in graveyards and in dreams

the night I abandoned you on that bench and left

snows in my mind the syllable of hell

I wanted to return

I wanted to love you . . .”

Poetry and love are the divine twins that rule Gabriela’s heart:

“Poetry?

Oh, poetry was too good to be read.

We tasted it and ate it with silver spoons.”

Gabriela runs her own publishing house now, Literary Revelations Publishing, which seeks to publish high-quality poetry and fiction that grab the reader unawares and trample down the boundaries of creativity.

Websites: Short Prose

Literary Revelations Publishing

~

Dawn Pisturino

November 20, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

28 Comments »

Poetry Book Reviews: Barbara Harris Leonhard and River Dixon

(Photo by Hayley Maxwell on Unsplash)

Three-Penny Memories: A Poetic Memoir by Barbara Harris Leonhard (2022).

       Available on Amazon.com.

Barbara is a retired English teacher (ESL) whose award-winning work has appeared on Spillwords, MasticadoresUSA, and other poetry sites and magazines. Most recently, her poetry appeared in Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (2022), edited by Gabriela Marie Milton, and a #1 Amazon Bestseller. She currently serves as the editor of MasticadoresUSA.

Penned with heart-felt love, devotion, and pain, this memoir is an honest family portrait that mirrors both the mother and the daughter. The bond between mother and daughter is complex, but Barbara beautifully describes both the comfortable and uncomfortable sides of this relationship. Anybody who has cared for a parent suffering from Alzheimer’s, will relate to Barbara’s experience. Anybody who has missed out on motherhood and lost a child, will find Barbara’s story deeply moving. But there is no self-pity here. She has written about her life with honesty and compassion. She has experienced trauma and heartbreak. But she accepts what life brings and looks hopefully to the future instead of staying shackled to the past. She presents herself as strong, determined, and willing to learn from life’s lessons. She has written a remarkable collection of poems that are powerful in their very simplicity. Whatever trauma and pain you have endured, her poems will edify and uplift you in a positive way. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

In writing about her miscarried child, she says:

“You left my broken womb

as the bloody remains of what

was never to come. I still feel you

in the waves, the flow

of my sacral river – your tears?

Your fears I’ve abandoned you?

No, Honey. No! I’ll never forget you.”

Finally, her experiences with encephalitis and her mother’s Alzheimer’s:

“Not enough that I am

the spitting image of Mom

and her namesake.

We both experienced

a brain injury. The encephalitis

burned away my young memories;

       Alzheimer’s, her short-term ones.”

Barbara has been nominated for a Pushcart award for her poem, Mom and I Play Lassos with Our Hysterectomy Scars, a deeply provocative and sensitive poem which is included in this collection.

Website: Extraordinary Sunshine Weaver

Lost in the Hours: A Poetry Collection by River Dixon (2020). Available on Amazon.com.

River is a multi-talented poet, fiction writer, and publisher at Potter’s Grove Press. His fiction leans toward the dark side. But his poetry is honest, raw, straight-shooting, and direct. The first thing you come to realize when you read his poems is that River is a realist, not an idealist. There are few hearts and flowers here. He writes with power, intelligence, profound understanding, and articulate expression. He shares a healthy cynicism about life and the world in general. I like his poetry because he says what many of us are only thinking. He’s not afraid to criticize the status quo:

“While you drown in a shallow pool

Of only three inches of self-worth

They taught you well

How to hold your own head under

And convince you of rainbows

While they blot out the stars

One by one . . .”

His works are also available from Potter’s Grove Press, along with other avant-garde authors.

Websites: The Stories In-Between

                 Potter’s Grove Press

~

Dawn Pisturino

November 19, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

20 Comments »

Poetry Book Reviews: Kym Gordon Moore and Patricia Furstenberg

(Photo by John Jennings on Unsplash)

We are Poetry: Lessons I Didn’t Learn in a Textbook by Kym Gordon Moore (2022).

       Available on Amazon.com.

I’ve known Kym for about a year now and regularly follow her blog on WordPress. Although we don’t always agree, I’ve always found her to be intelligent, funny, well-educated, and articulate. And, she’s fierce! Whatever causes she embraces, she puts her whole heart and soul into them.

In her latest book, Kym provides a general overview of poetry and her vision for the future of poetry as an art form, a therapeutic tool, and an educational medium. She views poetry as a living, breathing thing that can transform the poet, the community, the country, and even the world. Poetry should be as rich, colorful, and diverse as life itself.

Her book is almost a textbook on creating poetry and would be a useful tool in the classroom. She introduces the concept of ArchiPoetry, which employs architectural ideas to design and perfect poetic creations. As she writes: “By combining the use of language, imagery, metaphors, and specific patterns, the design elements in ArchiPoetry have different disciplines and poetic variations.”

While journaling has been an accepted therapeutic tool for a while in mental health, Kym developed the concept of TheraPoetry, a process through which people can find emotional relief by expressing themselves with poetry. Kym speaks from experience. After the death of her mother, it was poetry – and writing poetry – which helped her through the grieving process.

Illiteracy is an issue about which Kym is very passionate; and she wants to use poetry as a medium to teach our children how to read and improve their reading comprehension skills. We all remember rhymes that we learned as children. Those rhymes stick in our heads as rhythmical pieces of our childhood, bring back fond memories, and encourage us to pass them on to the next generation.

Poetry is creativity, mental gymnastics, lyrical composition, and inner fantasy. Poetry is emotional release, mental growth, and spiritual expression. This is why Kym championed the cause of poetry in 2014 when she persuaded mayors all across North Carolina to submit proclamations officially recognizing April as National Poetry Month. Kym also endorses and supports the Academy of American Poets as a valuable resource for educators and poets everywhere. As she says, “Poetry is a revival and reminder of our aspirations, possibilities, and achievements for all people.”

Finally, I close with Kym’s own summation of poetry:

“Poetry paints emotion

art is imagination and passion

poetry inspires art

expressionism through creativity is art and poetry

-transformation-

poetry and art is creativity through expressionism

art inspires poetry

passion and imagination is art

emotion paints poetry.”

Website: From Behind the Pen

Christmas Haiku by Patricia Furstenberg (2018). Available on Amazon.com.

Patricia is a Romanian poet living in South Africa. Her poetry appears regularly on MasticadoresRomania, Spillwords Press, and other poetry sites and literary magazines. With Christmas right around the corner, I was drawn to read her book of Christmas haiku. Charmed by the simplicity of her verses and photos, I sincerely recommend this little chapbook as the perfect way to get into the candy-gingerbread-tinsel-lights holiday mood! Patricia has written numerous books for adults and children, which are all available on Amazon. So, grab a steaming cup of hot chocolate and enjoy!

“Christmas, snow, giggles,

Young and old around the tree.

Scent of fresh cookies.”

Website: Patricia Furstenberg, Author

34 Comments »

“The Girl on the Bus” on Spillwords

(Photo from Spillwords)

I’m pleased and honored to announce that my poem, The Girl on the Bus, has been published today on Spillwords. I want to thank Dagmara K. and the staff at Spillwords for publishing it. Please visit Spillwords and show them your support. Thanks!

The Girl on the Bus

by Dawn Pisturino

The bus driver watched you in the mirror,

His eyes wide with fear,

When you stood up in the middle of the bus,

Crying like a terrified child.

Passengers waited with bated breath,

Wondering what you would do.

The sharpness of your pain . . .

Please visit Spillwords here to read the rest. Thank you so much!

Have a beautiful day!

Dawn Pisturino

November 17, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

35 Comments »

Poetry Book Reviews: Jeff Flesch and Ingrid Wilson

(Photo by Digital Content Writers India on Unsplash)

Today, I’m continuing with more Poetry Book Reviews.

Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow by Jeff Flesch (2022). Available on Amazon.com.

In his newly-published collection of poems, Jeff teaches us how the human heart, mind, and soul are intimately connected with the natural order. All the pain, sorrow, and happiness which are part of the human experience can be offset and complemented by the awe-inspiring beauty and wonder of nature. WE ARE ONE with the natural world, and Jeff expresses this beautifully through his poetic vision:

“pausing to breathe

fireflies come in a whisper, a wide grin

cascades over the clouds, revealing

the stars’ hearts.”

Jeff is a regular contributor to MasticadoresIndia, MasticadoresUSA, and Spillwords Press.

Website: www.jeffflesch.com

40 Poems at 40 by Ingrid Wilson (2022). Available on Amazon.com.

In this collection of poems commemorating Ingrid’s fortieth birthday, we are given a glimpse into the mind, heart, and soul of an incredibly talented and articulate poet. Ingrid contemplates the misgivings and successes of her own life in astounding verses that speak to the minds, hearts, and souls of her readers. Her honest examination of herself and her world can be summed up here:

“As my own treasure house is my own soul

I have fought long, I have fought hard to keep it

and in self-keeping, still my dreams are whole.

I have fought long, I have fought hard to keep it

you cannot have it now, e’en if you would:

it’s my reward, and only I shall reap it.”

Ingrid has her own publishing business now, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

Website: www.experimentsinfiction.com

~

Dawn Pisturino

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

22 Comments »

Poetry Book Reviews: Bogdan Dragos and Michele Lee Sefton

(Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash)

I recently embarked on a Poetry Book Reading Marathon since so many of my WordPress friends have created and published poetry collections. Since they’ve been supportive of me, I want to support them! I will be posting a series of reviews of their books.

The Muse’s Bad Touch by Bogdan Dragos (2021). Available on Amazon.com.

Bogdan is a Romanian poet who appears regularly on MasticadoresIndia, MasticadoresRomania, and Gobblers & Masticadores. His poetry is dark and rich, like strong expresso, and leaves you questioning your own reality. He explores the darker side of life with characters that can only be described as eccentric, exotic, and deeply disturbing. His ability to test acceptable social boundaries and express a point of view that would shock most people, is what defines his work. In this collection, he writes about his dark muse:

“After all

a poet can’t live without

his demoness

to which he sometimes refers to

as muse.”

Website: www.bogdandragos.com

My Inspired Life: A Poetic Journey by Michele Lee Sefton (2020). Available on Amazon.com.

When I met Michele on WordPress, I sensed right away that she is a woman who possesses a beautiful soul. I regularly follow her blog, which truly is inspiring; so, it was only natural that I would read her book. Michele’s inner music resonates as a lovely song, a joyous dance, a raucous cheer for the strength and beauty of women everywhere. She shares her inspiring journey with positivity and hope, reinforcing those qualities in others. Her uplifting thoughts, words, and emotions make the daily struggle worthwhile. She approaches the world with quiet dignity, joyful pride, and a sincere expression of faith in herself and the people around her. She embraces life for all it is worth:

“Before the brush and palette are put away a final time

I too will live vibrantly and outwardly —

living a life that is uniquely mine.”

Website: www.MyInspiredLife.org

~

Dawn Pisturino

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

28 Comments »

“Nature’s Child” Wins Honorable Mention

Dear Friends,

I’m pleased to announce that my poem, Nature’s Child, won an Honorable Mention in the Arizona Authors Association 2022 Literary Contest. It has been published in the 2023 Arizona Literary Magazine, which can be purchased on Amazon.com. I don’t normally enter contests, so I’m pleased with it!

Nature’s Child

by Dawn Pisturino

She overflowed with poetry and music and laughter,

Spilling the boundaries of her life

With delicious rivulets of innocence and joy.

She danced — naked! — in the pure white light of a waxing moon

On a soft, sultry night at the Summer Solstice

And sang to the icicle stars in the middle of winter.

Her nakedness gleamed in moonlight and candle-light,

Sunlight and lamplight,

But she feared not the shadows or the darkness of night.

They called her witch, priestess, sorceress of the Devil.

She laughed at their ignorance —

These holy men of the Church —

And covered her nakedness with rose petals and fern.

Green ivy adorned her wavy red hair —

Long strands of vine cut from ancient oak —

And, in time, she began to resemble the earth itself.

Green moss sprouted between her virgin legs

And beneath her hollow armpits.

Her toenails twisted and curled at the ends of her feet

Like earthbound roots sunk deep into the soil.

Her arms opened wide beneath the golden sun,

Offering prayers and sacrifice to the deity of Life.

She gathered all the richness of sun and rain,

Exulting in the wild green world of her existence.

She withered with the passing years,

As her limbs grew gnarled and bare,

And the birds no longer nested in her hair,

Until hunters from the village

Found her standing on the banks of a gushing stream

And bowed down to worship Nature’s Child.

~

Thanks for stopping by!

Dawn Pisturino

May 31, 2022; November 14, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

105 Comments »

An Incredible Young Artist

(Painting by Samantha Tucker. Copyright 2022 Samantha Tucker. All Rights Reserved.)

I want to introduce to you an incredible young artist, my husband’s niece, Samantha Tucker. “Sam,” as she likes to be called, just turned seventeen a few months ago. She paints with a keen eye and emotional depth that even some adults do not possess. I am very proud of her, and I believe we will be seeing more of her work in the future.

You rock, Sam!

Love,

Dawn

(It’s raining hard this morning, and the computer is acting up. Trying to get this posted before the Internet goes down.)

~

Dawn Pisturino

November 9, 2022

Copyright 2022 Samantha Tucker. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

21 Comments »

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