I have two very different poems for you to read today. One was just published at a really cool online literary journal, Hello Horror. That poem is available to read online for free in issue three. It’s a free verse poem called “Shades of Blue.” I’m very happy that this creepy little number has found such a beautiful home, and I hope you’ll take a moment to go read it!
Now, turn 180°…
I’ve also had the rights revert back to me on a poem that was first published in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies’ prize anthology Encore. In 2012, my poem “By Example” won second place in the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs Award. And since that book was printed instead of published online — and I hate asking people to buy things — I’m going to share it with you here today. (But NFSPS is an amazing organization, and you really couldn’t go wrong buying any of their publications, for what it’s worth.)
It does seem like good timing to share this one, since yesterday was Father’s Day and tomorrow will make five years since my dad died. It’s hard for me to believe it’s been so long. This month he’s very much on my mind, which is why I’ve been somewhat MIA lately. So I hope you’ll forgive both a delay in my responses and a sentimental poem. (For any who’re wondering, this poem is called a rondeau – my very favorite of all the fixed forms.) Okay, poem below.
You taught me how to work by hand
to build a tree-house on our land
and how to never be afraid
to try new things – with spoon or spade;
you always had a project planned.
The use of oil, rubber bands,
some fishing line, gray duct tape, and
an always sharpened pen-knife blade:
you taught me.
To never buy the fancy brand;
when fresh is better than pre-canned;
that no employer can degrade
a worker who is all self-made;
that pride and humor share a strand:
you taught me.
© Annie Neugebauer, 2012
All rights reserved.