June Sciortino: Featured Poet

June Sciortino—Featured Poet

One of the great side-effects about writing together through the month of April has been the connections I’ve been lucky to make with other poets from around the world.  June was gracious enough to share some of her work with me, and I’m passing it along to you.

When asked, June shared this about herself: “ I have always written poetry,” she writes,  “from time to time, when something touches me.”  She admits that she only became serious about poetry after her daughter died.  “I had been caring for her, so was completely devastated and lost. I decided to join a creative writing course and at the beginning wrote short stories … but was never satisfied until I rediscovered poetry.”  She goes on to say, “It has helped me cope with my loss because I can pour my sorrows into poems for her (these of course are private).”

I hope you enjoy her work—I certainly have!  To visit her blog, go here: http://googlepoet.blogspot.co.uk/

Behind the Door (inspired by Prompt #14, Behind the Door)

Behind the door
lie in tatters
the bits n’ bobs
our yesterday
dreams thwarted
love departed
but yet in mind
buried in heart
behind the door


If my name was Aloysius,
All I made would be delicious,
I’d bake a cake so auspicious,
That would also be nutritious,
Oh Aloysius, so ambitious.


It might seem to you that I’m wasting my time.
When trying to find a most excellent rhyme.
Well it’s my time I’m wasting, now is that a crime?


Naughty proposals, wild laughter,
Tasty food, desserts to lust after,
Lager and wine, loads no doubt,
Stag night? Oh no, it’s girls night out.


I could cry a hundred trillion tears,
For all those lost and lonely years.
Trillions are simply not enough,
Without you life’s been very tough.

Need some space to think it through.
Chaotic thoughts — but what is true.
Time to gather done facts together.
Before I blow and lose my tether.

One gaunt wrinkled stubbly face,
Plus a toothless crooked smile.
Include a giant chip chocolate cookie,
Rejoice for it made his day worthwhile.


When love was blind, one’s desire heartfelt,
Dreams became saturated, swamped by intense needs.
You wept as aspirations vanished in the storm.


Half Way There!

It’s been a lovely weekend here on the Great Plains.  My husband was home and the weather was Spring in that fabulous way only Kansas can be.  So I took a break from poetry and lived my life a little.

Saturday was spent at Art at the Arb hosted by the Bartlett Arboretum.  I’ve mentioned this place before, but each time I visit, my imagination is fired by the eclectic collection of trees and fauna from around the world… plus it’s great for music!

Then I attended the Kansas Author’s Club Dist. 5 meeting and listened to poetry from Bill Karnowski, author of Catching the Rain and sponsor of the Karnowski Youth Poetry Contest.

Needless to say, it’s time to get back to the poetry.

If you’re in the Wichita area this week, there are several events you might like to attend.  In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Wichita Sexual Assault Center, along with the Independent WordArtists of Wichita, are sponsoring Poetry events.

Open Mic with Special Quests at Barleycorn’s. Everyone Deserves to Feel Safe, is on Tuesday.Independent

The Second, Change The Rules Poetry Slam, will be at Anna Murdoc’s at 2019 E. Williams, Wednesday.

And while this isn’t a “Wichita” thing, April 18th is the annual Poem-in-your-pocket day!  Be sure to carry around copies of your favorite poem to share your love of poetry.

And Playing ‘catch up,’ here are the poems that were inspired by the prompts over the last few days.

Prompt # 10: Keeper Image

Night at the Keeper

There was that time we
stopped, shivering in our
fluffy down jackets, my
bottom inches above the
cement steps beneath us,
the chill aura seeping past
my layers, too cold to sit
all the way down, stooping
and waiting for the flames
to ignite, burn and climb
in sheer orange glory, the
reflection spread over the
black waters, your arm
wrapped tight around me,
knocking me off balance,
only to land ungracefully
in a frigid sprawl just as
the fire lit up the night sky.

Prompt #12 Why Write

Why Write-the answer subject to change at any given moment.

I write
to remember all the things
that are better left forgotten,
all the moments that haunt
and swirl the taste of my coffee,
all the times my life left marks
on my body, those faded scars,
how did that get there?
I write to figure it out,
to dig past the singular
moment and feeling,
to capture that singular
event and emotion,
to pen that epistle
that passes it on to everyone
else. I write
to survive,
to enjoy,
to please,
to thank,
to welcome,
to smell,
to taste,
to mourn,
to worship,
to live,
to be.

Prompt #13 Ten Things I Know to be True

Ten Things April Knows to be True

1.  Everybody poos
* the Pope
*The little old lady driving the lime green camaro with
her matching lime green sweater
*the brat in my 5th hour class
Why does this matter?  Remembering this reminds me that we are all imperfect, holy, and free, that we are all gloriously human

2. Johnny Cash was a great man (he poo-ed, too)

3. If more people concentrated on following Jesus, rather than speaking for Jesus, the world would be a better place.

4.  Farting is funny. Knowing that about myself explains why I teach middle school.

5. If I put a smile out there, chances are pretty high that someone will smile back

6. 1 in 4 people will not like me, no matter how much I smile

7. I hate being a grown-up, but I love being a mommy

8. I will never understand calculus and I will never be a speller.  But I can still write.

9. It’s totally okay to have a list that includes Jesus and poo and Johnny Cash.

10. More folks should worry about becoming the best person they can be and spend less time worrying about everyone else.

Prompt #14 Behind the Door

Since I DID know what was behind that door, I’ll explain.  The image is of an old door, repurposed to block access to stairs leading up to the Bartlett Arboretum Tree House.  The roofless deck gives a fabulous view over the pond and grounds, and I had the opportunity to sit up there last summer and just contemplate the world and life.  I never wrote a poem for that experience, but would like to go up those steps again to really do the lines justice… so I’m not quite ready to write a poem in honor of that yet!

Prompt # 9: Scent Memory

Welcome to the 9th day of writing poems together! Are you enjoying yourself?  Speaking only for myself, I have really enjoyed looking around for other prompts than just my own.  If you find a particular prompt that you like, and you would like to share it with us, please feel free to do so in the comment section.  Writers are always looking for new inspiration.

On another note, The Wichita Sexual Assault Center is hosting a poetry slam on April 17th  in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness month, at the Anna Murdoc Cafe from 7 to 9.  As soon as more information becomes available, I will post it here on the blog, with links to the appropriate sites.

So without further ado…

Prompts in honor of National Poetry Month…
feel free to share poems via email or in the comment section below.

Prompt #9: Scent Memory

I have an extremely sensitive nose.  I can walk into a room and the aroma will unexpectedly take me back in time to some memory from childhood.  Dollar bills smell like the roller rink to me.  Explore your sense of smell in a poem.

April is National Poetry Month

npm2013_logoJack Heffron, author of The Writer’s Idea Book, says that “writing is an act of hope.”  Each time we make the effort, we are taking that huge emotional risk that what we write may be worthless.  But if we never take that risk, we never gain the chance to write something truly great.

April is National Poetry Month.  For fun, and in honor of great poetry the world over, I’ll provide a writing prompt each day.  Feel free to respond to the prompt, or ignore it if it doesn’t suit you.  The goal here is to write a little every day, if for no other reason than to experience the joy of writing.  I imagine that not every prompt will inspire a full poem, but like Natalie Goldberg espouses, we’re going to write for the practice of writing.

Feel free to participate in any way that you would like.  Poets.org offers a variety of activities, including a Poem-a-day.  On April 18th, thousands of people will celebrate poetry by carrying around a favorite poem in their pocket.  For more information and for more ideas, visit: http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41

So let’s make the most of this month by creating our own bodies of work in celebration of poetry!