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Beate Sigriddaughter, who is a great networker from Silver City, not too far from here, has posted one of my poems .from my new chapbook, “Transported” on her website, Writing in a Woman’s Voice.” The poem is “Centripetal Forces” a fancy title for a poem about family traveling together. Find it here.

If you check there tomorrow, she promises she will have added “Ground Level” which combines an adult sense of geography with a child’s perspective.

If you wait longer, you’ll have to scroll down to find me. I am in awe of Beate’s ability to keep up her blog on a daily basis.

And I’m grateful.

Two links

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First, the promised link for the Giveaway of my chapbook Transported on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/320806-transported

Second, a link to two poems not in the book, but also about my birth family, published on One Art week before last.

Giveaway for Transported

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I’ve been getting some very positive comments from early readers of my poetry chapbook “Transported.”

I’ve set up a giveaway on Goodreads to reach more folks. It should go live on Thursday, 3/11.

Link will follow when it goes live.

Transported is out in the world

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My Chapbook, Transported, is out.  The poems center on the two years of my childhood when my family traveled in Europe and Egypt.

They include the sense of family:

Five lean on each other,
two parents, three children,
no child’s star, pointing outward.
            (Centripetal Forces)

Things seen from a child’s point of view:

Tales of moats and castles frame
my picture of a king.  The Queen
is a prim lady in a trim suit, matching hat.

Alice’s nemesis is dwarfed
by the real, living Elizabeth,
her patient smile akin to my mother’s,
            (Parallel Lines)

The way the experience affected my later life:

She has come home
to the familiar: classmates, neighbors. 
Two years older, she doesn’t know
what’s changed, how corners of her mind
have filled with images foreign to her friends,
dropped in like squash seeds in compost,
            (Returns 1)

Contact me to buy a copy or go to Finishing Line Press.
Same price, but I include the postage and sign them.

My Unicorns Have Escaped

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My new book, Lost in the Greenwood, is out in the world. 

The poems circle around the unicorn tapestries of 500 years ago.  There’s much more than unicorns: the making of the tapestries, the world that made them, magic, nature, belief. 

It’s a book of poems about all of this, but I still think of these poems as “my unicorns.”  And these unicorns are not the modern, friendly kind. They are goatlike, feisty and as dangerous as the world in which those who imagined them lived.

In their honor, I have a new website, http://www.ellenrobertsyoung.com

The book is available at atmospherepress.com, or by contacting me.

Political Statement

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In the form of a haiku:

Presidents, whether
red or blue, were never meant
to be our saviors.

May 2021 be a year that brings good things to all.

Just Ten More Days

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to order my new chapbook, TRANSPORTED with Finishing Line Press:

Here’s a sample poem, which focuses on the after: the effect on my life of the travels when I was twelve:

Greece

A school year in Egypt,
most of the next
in Rome, but it was Greece
that grabbed and held me.
In three weeks Athens’ high
templed hill, ruined porches
of the Agora, theater of Dionysus,
tucked themselves into memory
like a candle-filled side chapel
that roused my senses
in the cathedral called Europe
so packed with past centuries
it overwhelmed. 
                                    I left
to become an American teen,
romantic, imagining gold
jewelry, Latin lovers.
Greek stones pulled me back.

Greece was my field of study for years, and the fascination with times past has continued into the present.  Before Greece, there were ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, as I explain in “Beginnings”:

Everywhere mysterious signs.  Baffled
by Arabic script I copied the crisp symbols of antiquity:
            n, the running river,
            alef, the vulture
            m, the owl.
Letters I could not weave into words became
ciphers to conjure with.  This was the first time
I chose the past over the present.

Somewhere I still have a notebook filled with those enchanting symbols.

If you haven’t ordered a copy yet, please have a look.

Thanks and Praise for San Pedro River Review

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The latest issue of San Pedro River Review includes a poem of mine.  More on that below.  It’s an all poetry journal which fits some sixty poets into an issue.  Some of the names are familiar to me from their submissions to Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders, which makes me feel that there is indeed a community of poets.

And I like the fact that they don’t print the poems in order by the poets’ last names (being a Young, this has often bothered me) but take the time to arrange the poems in an interesting sequence.  This is something I’ve recently learned to do as an editor of Sin Fronteras.

The poem they’ve printed is, for me, a longer one called “Crossing the Heartland,” It draws on over a decade, now past, of driving from New Mexico to Maine and back every year.  It attempts to combine the routine of such travel with the ruminations of the mind as one drives.

Wind hits the car as an old
eighteen-wheeler without deflector passes.
Shielded in metal and glass we drive
for hours between corn fields and bean fields,

Here is my view of two familiar highways:

U.S. Highways, sensible and straight
in the west, trick us: Highway 54,
so lean and lovely through Kansas,
winds into Missouri hills, the main street
of bustling lakeside resorts.  Highway 50,
broad and smooth into West Virginia,
turns Appalachian, weary, worn
and ragged as the homes it passes.

San Pedro River Review is edited by Jeffrey and Tobi Alfier.  It comes out twice a year.  More information can be found at http://www.bluehorsepress.com

A Tanka for the Solstice

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The shortest day here has ten hours of sun, making eleven hours of daylight.

At my house the sun comes up over the mountain at 7:20 a.m., nearly fifteen minutes after the official sunrise for the city.  There is still light at 5:00 p.m.  This is a nice place to spend the winter, though it has been a bit cold lately; any day the morning temperature goes below freezing feels cold to us.

On good days I am at my desk before the sun shows up.  I watch the increasing light on my back yard tree and bushes.  Here’s what I see:

Signals on stone, light
through gaps between branches as
sun clears the mountain,
friendly wave of a morning
walker not breaking his stride.

What else do I do to honor the solstice?  I close out my summer/fall writing folder and start one for winter/spring.

Time and Time Again

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Last Sunday was Christ the King Sunday.  We sang one of my favorite hymns (I admit, I have many) “Crown Him with Many Crowns.” The last verse begins, “Crown him the lord of years, the potentate of time.”

That phrase, “the potentate of time” is marvelous in sound, with its string of “t”s, its long vowels. its strong iambic rhythm.  But what is a potentate of time?  After it stuck with me awhile, I decided to explore the idea in a poem:

The Potentate of Time

As CEO, I cannot allow loss
of minutes dropped by badly
calibrated clocks, seconds

split by timers racing after
ever faster miles, or precious
nanoseconds sliced, spit out

by precision machines: all
the clumsy human attempts
to alter time.

I dispatch work crews to
sweep corners and gutters, sift
bits from curbs and drains,

bring their gathered goods into
my laboratory where skilled
artisans sort, stitch, splice.  My

expanding universe requires
recovery, repair, reuse
of every particle.

I chose to put this poem in first person in order to leave it to the reader to decide for her- or himself whether the potentate is male, female or beyond gender.

Paley front coverThis poem is included in my book, Made and Remade, which has a whole section on the theme of time, as is fitting for a collection that starts with a text 200 years old.  (More info on the Books page.)

 

Now the cycle of church seasons moves on to Advent, another year begins, and Sunday by Sunday the Christian story is told all over again.

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