Poetry Travel

Visiting the Grand Canyon

Over the Grand Canyon


Are you wondering above the smog

over the canyon

the bright sky that hugs

low humid afternoons

about the sound of a gunshot

wound tumbling, echoing off

ancient carvings, rocks that fall.

The coveted beauty turned

a shoulder to our societies’

ignored warning

the warmest summer on record

for America cried

the glistening drops of honeysuckle

blooming a month too early.

A shadow glow of misty morning dew

rising foot in front of foot step wide

paths with wind sounds river melodic

like living next to an ocean, but here

in the desert the shifting of low wheat tassels

blow together, wind making an offering

to the hot hot sun.

Poetry Travel

The Grand Canyon

Small World

We walk like tourists

in our soft shoes

scuffing the earth

with or eyes

we listen to colors

watch rainbows and forests

blow over with the storm

of a flickering candle.

Poetry Travel

Praying in the Desert

Praying in the Desert

Long shadows on the hollow rock

walking among monuments of the desert

the agave century plant blooms pads of self-rising yellow buds.

The Ave Maria of the mountains

field song swelling in the Chapel of the Holy Cross

the red risen church with low benches for praying

and viewing the psychedelic flowers of the desert.

Poetry Travel

St. George Utah

American Earth Rim

Leopard print hills are just

out in the Mohave desert

south and east of Las Vegas.

To the north of The Rim

sits St. George among steeples

of church and mountain.

Four times a year eighteen

galleries open to the night

to be closed by curfew.

Architects build on black lava rock

just beneath the peaking faces

of snow canyon

the quilted hills

diminish a climbing figure and crawl

slowly back into a covered earth.

Just miles away from the spotted hills

stained south of The Rim.


Alice Saw the Beauty

ML from Smoke N Mirrors

Mary Lucille Deberry read from her new book, Alice Saw the Beauty Saturday, January 10th. Lori Wilson introduced her to the many who were in attendance. Mary Lucille gave credit to the audience members and spoke about the workshops and classes which had given life and refinement to the poems within this new book. She read Under the “Turtle Bush,” The Garden, and “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” the latter one with one of my favorite lines -So many times that beauty/ grows familiar.

If you are not a gardener, or familiar with flowers, after her reading you were sure to look up the flora she described.

Smoke N Mirrors 2

Populore Production provided production services for this book.

Mary Lucille decorated the backdrop of her reading. Beside her where she read from her podium a quilted blanket upon which the bed spring and a wooden framed photograph of a gate stood. She referenced the sepia picture of the gate as she began to read Swinging On It.
Smoke N Mirrors 3So many of her poems remind me of prayer -the soft chanting, the turn of the earth, the images of scrolls of flowers and gates, her memories and forget-me-nots. She kept us warm in her poems that welcomed spring as we all sat in the theater on a ten-degree January day.

Snow Days in West Virginia (January 8, 2010) received an automatic applause as she concluded her poem naming every county in WV.

All photographs here are by David Bruffy of

Smoke N Mirrors Photography

~ View here for his Gallery Hours ~

Smoke N MirrorsThank you to everyone who attended, and thanks to Mary Lucille for sharing her beautiful work with us! It was a lovely afternoon of celebration.


Publishing Poetry in Journals


There are hundreds of poetry journals. As a reader and a writer I was interested in which of them would most likely imitate the style and subject of poetry I enjoy. I found the Poets Market to be a published source, and an online source at Poets & Writers Magazine.

poets and writers

~    Those that speak to me are below. ~    2014_ftremeraldcover_1
Fairytale Review





Anomalous Press


Appalachian Heritage


James Dickey Review (About the south and Appalachia)


Kudzu House Quarterly – (Where is human’s place in world?)


The Literary Bohemian (Travel?)


The Monkey Puzzle – Cultural Awareness

Nat. Brut(Architecture?)

Blueline – (Adirondack and similar landscape poems)


Lines and Stars

Poecology (about place)

Assisi – personal, academic, drawings, poetry 

 Hope you find journals that speak to you at this wonderful resource.



West Virginia Poets


 In the last year I have enjoyed many new and familiar poets in the state of West Virginia.

A few of my favorites are below.  51W3L56qYHL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

WV Poet Laureate Marc Harshman recently released A Song for West Virginia to commemorate WV’s 150th year as a state.


Susan Shaw Sailer read from two books at a reading hosted at the MAC this past year; Coal (above) and Ship of Light. The Morgantown Poets host readings followed by an open mike every third Thursday of the month.


 Erin Veith, a young poet and friend recently published I Closed My Eyes to Tell That Story through Latham House Press. I enjoyed every poem. Read one poem at The Citron Review here.

maryannS  Renee Nicholson Book

Mary Ann Samyn and Renee Nicholson are both professors at WVU. I’m fortunate that West Virginia University has offered the opportunity for people in the community to be a part of the English Department lectures.

house where a woman  MaryLucilleDeberryBook   alice-saw-the-beauty-4

I have also enjoyed the books of two women who I have had the opportunity to workshop poems with over the last year, Lori Wilson and Mary Lucille Deberry.

Book Review Poetry

Breathing Poetry

This past fall I participated in a Madwomen in the Attic Workshop led by local Morgantown poet, Lori Wilson. The class of five women, including Lori, provided an intimate setting in which I felt comfortable reading raw work in an effort to produce better poetry. The class also made me focus on writing. Lori’s insightful comments have continued to echo in my thoughts while I rework many of the poems presented in class. Last year I read Poetry for Dummies for the first time, which gives additional suggestions for inspiration and refining poetry. I thought I’d share a few examples from it below.

poetry for dummies

I’m finding these exercises below very helpful:

Chapter 9 – Going for the Breath: Framing individual lines

As you read poetry you become sensitive to the way you breathe. You read a group of words and then pause before reading another group of words -it’s just natural. Pay attention to that when you write poetry as well. Let those natural pauses determine where lines end. The breath, as it’s called in the poetry world, is a natural way to frame individual lines. -pg 162

My poem went from this:

To this:

Chapter 10 – Working with Traditional Forms of Verse : Traditional Ballads

Ballads take many forms. A popular one is the four-line stanza in which the first and third lines are written in iambic tetrameter (four iambs) and the second and fourth are written in iambic trimeter (three iambs), with a rhyme scheme of ABXB (the third line, X, need not rhyme or may rhyme with A).

Here’s what two such stanzas may sound like:

The winter moon had tipped and spilled
Its shadows on the lawn
When Farmer Owen woke to find
His only daughter gone;

She’d taken all the clothes she had
Against the biting cold,
nd in a note to him she wrote,
“I’ve taken all your gold.”

pg 170

Chapter 10 – Sonnets

  • It must consist of 14 lines.

  • It must be written in iambic pentameter (duh-DUH-duh-DUH-duh-DUH-duh-DUH-duh-DUH).

  • It must be written in one of various standard rhyme schemes.

If you’re writing the most familiar kind of sonnet, the Shakespearean, the rhyme scheme is this:





Every A rhymes with every A, every B rhymes with every B, and so forth. You’ll notice this type of sonnet consists of three quatrains (that is, four consecutive lines of verse that make up a stanza or division of lines in a poem) and one couplet (two consecutive rhyming lines of verse).

Ah, but there’s more to a sonnet than just the structure of it. A sonnet is also an argument — it builds up a certain way. And how it builds up is related to its metaphors and how it moves from one metaphor to the next. In a Shakespearean sonnet, the argument builds up like this:

  • First quatrain: An exposition of the main theme and main metaphor.

  • Second quatrain: Theme and metaphor extended or complicated; often, some imaginative example is given.

  • Third quatrain: Peripeteia (a twist or conflict), often introduced by a “but” (very often leading off the ninth line).

  • Couplet: Summarizes and leaves the reader with a new, concluding image.

    pg 172


Chapter 11 – Writing exercises for Poets pg 184-185

1. Using language from one subject to write about another. (By Bernadette Mayer)

2. Hiding half of your poem from sight. Take one of your poems and fold it in half horizontally, so you can see the top half of the poem but not the bottom half. Rewrite the half you can’t see- without looking at the original. Compare the original to you revisions. (By Maxine Chernoff)

3. Reworking poems you don’t like. Select one of your poems that you’re dissatisfied with. Read it through. Now put it away. Try to write the same poem again without referring to the older version. (By Maxine Chernoff)


house where a woman

Check out Lori’s work, and join the Madwomen in the Attic local class as we host Mary Lucille DeBerry in the celebration of her new book. Hope to see you next Saturday, at 2:00 on January 10th at the MAC in Morgantown, WV.


Community Poetry

Join Local Morgantown Poet




Learning the program is almost as difficult as the following title.



The wrench has not a parallel side.

Our tools are changing.


Riveting, reviting, revealing,

Collapse the ribbon panel.


There are option bars full of properties.

Where one once played with the heaviness of a pencil,

My cursor chooses buttons,

Pressing project browsing for ideas.


There is a parameter of bounding edges,

Tip-toeing the thin line between getting it in and

getting it right.

The palate, please, an application for the tongue

-the menu taste, something to fight this hunger

to finish.


Could a structural model link to my center?

Allow just something to let me stand where

Navigation leads into crisscrossed streets?


Statues, these, drawn with everything in plan

but referenced where?


Lost on a layer, in an object

Gone to modify, those deep wells,

A spring of unknown dimensions.


And, someday you will swim,

Break the surface of a mountain reflection.


Tip, clip, clasp, and snap.

Pin walls to their places.

Hold roofs where they are associated

Or losing the foundation,

When the earth shakes and

Work is left in clouds.


What a constraint

To the opening and closing of a mind.

Standing soldiers are pushed off the ledge,

The world now thinks in a computer.

The instances are fleeting in our visual world,

Virtually useless.