The Virtual Poetorium For May 31st, 2022

Dear Readers,

I have some major news about the Poetorium to announce! First, it’s official – our live Poetorium at Starlite shows will finally begin again (after a hiatus of two years due to Covid) with our first show to be on Thursday, June 30th, 2022, from 7 pm to 10 pm at the newly reopened Starlite Bar and Art Gallery at 39 Hamilton Street in Southbridge, MA. With this new development, you may be wondering “What will happen to the Virtual Poetorium now that the live Poetorium shows are beginning again?”. Although there certainly won’t be one next month in June, I am committed to continue doing them at least for now, already having scheduled some wonderful featured poets for July and August. After that, we may still stay monthly (with occasional hiatuses) until the end of the year, but next year in 2023, it most likely will change to quarterly, with a new edition every March, June, September, and December (with perhaps a special Halloween-themed Scaretorium in October). It will also probably undergo a name change to avoid confusion with the live Poetorium shows. I promise I’ll keep you updated on this blog as the status of the Virtual Poetorium changes, but meanwhile, here is the link to the May 31st, 2022 edition of the Virtual Poetorium posted last night on the Poetorium website for you to hopefully peruse and enjoy at your leisure: https://poetorium.home.blog/virtual-poetorium-may-31-2022/

I want to thank my fellow bloggers (Gypsie) Ami Offenbacher-Ferris, Poetisatinta, Goutam Dutta, Selma Martin, and tommywart for graciously accepting my invitation to participate which I previously posted on this blog. Once again, I have decided not to repost the entire Virtual Poetorium here on this blog as I have often done with previous editions because I feel that it is probably too long a read and thus far too overwhelming for most of my readers (as a result, some really excellent poetry might be skipped, and that would be a real shame). So instead, I will just post this month’s Poetorium group poem (which is always one of my favorite segments of the Poetorium). I’m not exactly sure why, but for some reason, the response to the group poem this month was tremendous with the number of contributions being probably the most we ever had, and making this perhaps our longest group poem yet. I want to thank Karen Durlach, Ariel Potter, Tom Ewart, Robert Eugene Perry, Howard J Kogan, Selma Martin, Angela (aka Poetisatinta), and the slew of others who wish to remain anonymous for contributing and making the following poem possible:

May Is the Month…

May is the month,
Most pleasant passage
Spring coolness bridged
To Summer’s swelter
Offering a brief glimpse
Of a temperate paradise.

May is the month
To take nature by the hand
Dancing into silent space
Wearing blossom as a gown
And hawthorn
As your
Crown.

May is the month
Of our mothers and May flowers,
Of forsythia and bloodroot,
Violets and sentimentality,
Both genuine and commercial.

May is the month
To tend the garden,
Pull the tools from the shed,
Pinch the weeds from the ground,
Watch your arteries as they harden,
Probe for parasites that are ahead
Of time, boring into the soiled bed
Of your body, leaving you to cast around
For straws that won’t leave you dead.

May is the month
I mourn my mother,
Alive but estranged,
Close in miles
But faraway in heart.

May is the month
Of war on Ukraine
And here at home the war
On the last seventy years
Of progress in democracy.
It’s a May that makes me mad.

May is the month
The air conditioner goes in
And we are not yet
Sick of the heat.

May is the month
The cat escapes onto the air conditioner
And balances on the box outside the window
Until tempted back inside with a bowl of cool milk.

May is the month
My beloved and I sip
Lime rickeys, listening
To a creepy podcast
While the box fan spins.

May is the month
You begin to sweat at the bus stop
(Masks suggested but not required)
As people board the WRTA
Bound for downtown.

May is the month
Sweaters go ignored
At the Goodwill, and
Thrifters sort through
Secondhand sunglasses and visors,
Shorts and sun hats.

May is the month
Of come what may,
Swan song for Spring,
Harbinger of Summer.

May is the month
Of maybes, but a maybe that will be:
There be rain, there be sun
There be color, there be breeze.
There be hellos, there be smiles
There be you, and there be me.
There be less worry, there be more love
There be fecundity, there be more hope.

May is the month
Of “May Be”:
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be blessed
May you find peace
May you find courage
May you find joy
In May, may you Be.

May is the month
Of may we, oh! may we unfurl our treetop leaves to bask in the sun?
May we, oh! may we thrust our tender green tips out through warmed soil?
May we, oh! may we blossom brightly and smile,
Welcome widely to dragonflies, butterflies, wasps, and bees?
Yes, oh yes!
May is the month of YES.

—The May 2022 Virtual Poetorium Group Poem

The Virtual Poetorium for April 26th, 2022…

Dear Readers,

Here is the link to the April 26th, 2022 edition of the Virtual Poetorium posted last night on the Poetorium website for you to hopefully peruse and enjoy at your leisure: https://poetorium.home.blog/virtual-poetorium-april-26-2022/.

I want to thank my fellow bloggers (Gypsie) Ami Offenbacher-Ferris, poetisatinta, and tommywart for graciously accepting my invitation to participate which I previously posted on this blog. Once again I have decided not to repost the entire Virtual Poetorium here on this blog as I have often done with previous editions because I feel that it is probably too long a read and thus far too overwhelming for most of my readers (as a result, some really excellent poetry might be skipped, and that would be a real shame). So instead, I will just post this month’s Poetorium group poem (which is always one of my favorite segments of the Poetorium).  I want to thank Karen Durlach, Dwayne Szlosek, Ariel Potter, Howard J Kogan, and poetisatinta for contributing and making the following poem possible (I hope you will enjoy it):

Photo by Paul Szlosek

Six Different Ways of Looking at a Dandelion

I
Pinching out early weeds from the March mud,
Wet roots giving up easily,
Leaving naked beds to welcome new seed
Careful to leave the rosettes of jagged leaves
That promise of dandelion,
Their golden smile not a weed here
Until their white fluff flies off
To harass the neighbors.

II
Do the mayflowers tremble
When they hear the dandelion roar?

III
Dandelions delight the early bees, frustrate the lawn perfectionist
delight the poet by rhyming with Mayan and Zion
implying there there is a dandelion
in play in the deepest yellow-headed way

IV
“Do not cut off the dandelions’ heads!”
I cried to my father at five years old.
“They are tiny yellow Muppets,
And I love them…”

V
Dandelions are a nuisance to a perfect lawn.
But such a perfect pretty flower of bright yellow
It is bright like the sun,
but if you put the dandelion flower under your chin
your chin will become yellow with fun.
People want to know how it is done.
And you will tell them it is magic
(That’s how it’s done…)

VI
The dandelion’s feathers
have already flown
their offspring rise
and lean towards the sun
peeking over wild grass
sunbeams – everyone.

—The April 2022 Virtual Poetorium Group Poem

An Invitation to Participate in the Two-Year Anniversary Edition of the Virtual Poetorium…

Dear Readers,

I am very pleased to announce that we will be producing our second-year anniversary edition of the Virtual Poetorium this month (believe it or not, we first started doing the virtual version of the Poetorium in March 2020) featuring the popular Central Massachusetts-area poet and musician tommywart (aka Tom Ewart). Once again like I did last month, I’d like to once again open up this March’s Virtual Poetorium for anyone who would like to participate and invite all my fellow bloggers and faithful readers (or just anyone just happening to be reading this) to be a part of our unique online poetry gathering in print.

To be part of our virtual open mic this month, please send us one to three of your own original poems or stories (under 2000 words altogether please) either in a Word document file or pasted in the body of an email along with your name, any opening remarks you care to make, and where your poem has appeared if it was previously published to poetorium@mail.com by Friday, March 25th. Also if you like, you can send us a photo of yourself to be posted above your poem, but that is totally optional.

In spite of the extremely low amount of interest last month, we will also have another go at putting together another Poetorium group poem this month. The group poem for March 2022 will fittingly be Spring-themed. To participate, please send us one to eight lines starting with the phrase “Spring is…”. All contributions (which will remain anonymous unless otherwise requested) will be compiled and included in this month’s Virtual Poetorium Group Poem. Once again, the deadline for submissions is the night of Friday, March 25th.

If you have any questions about submitting to the virtual open mic, the group Poetorium poem, or anything else about the Virtual Poetorium itself, please leave them in the comments of this post, and I will try to answer them right away.

Thank you so very much for reading, my friends! I really appreciate everyone’s continued support of this blog, and hope to hear from you soon with your contributions to this month’s edition of the Virtual Poetorium!

The Virtual Poetorium for February 22nd, 2022

Dear Readers,

Here is the link to the February 22, 2022 edition of the Virtual Poetorium posted last night on the Poetorium website for you to hopefully peruse and enjoy at your leisure. I want to thank my fellow bloggers Melissa LaFontaine, Diane Puterbaugh, Ken Ronkowitz, and tommywart for graciously accepting the invitation to participate which I previously posted on this blog. I have decided not to repost the entire Virtual Poetorium here on this blog as I have often done with previous editions because I feel that this one turned out to probably be too long a read and thus far too overwhelming for most of my readers (as a result, some really excellent poetry might be skipped, and that would be a real shame). So instead, I will just post this month’s Poetorium group poem (which is always one of my favorite segments of the Poetorium). I must confess it was really looking like that for the very first time since the Virtual Poetorium began, the group poem wasn’t going to happen this month due to lack of interest. However, happily, a pair of last-minute contributions from first-time participants Melissa and tommywart rescued it from the sad fate of never being created. So here it is, a bit briefer than usual (I sincerely hope you like it as much as I do)…

The Top Secrets of Gastronomical Pleasure

The secret to a good cup of coffee is heat.
Coffee, bitter, bold, and steaming hot is naturally a bit too much, you see.
You can tone that down with a cool splash of cream,
So you can drink it fully, without sucking it through teeth.

The secret to enjoying an ice-cold can of Moxie,
Like a true veteran Northern Vermont Yankee, is to learn
To embrace the bitterness of the gentian root with its vague
Hints of dandelions gathered from sunlit fields, savoring
The acrid aftertaste of your first swallow, and the strange sensation
In your tongue as if it was sensuously sliding over the nipple-
End of a D cell battery, while your entire body shudders involuntarily.

The secret to a fine dessert is how much you will crave it.
Warm and flaky, creamy, cold, it must satisfy your palate.
Otherwise, so I’m told, there’s no reason to even try it.

—The February 2022 Virtual Poetorium Group Poem