The Wild Honey Buzz: Serenity in '23, April Edition: Poetry Reading for National Poetry Month
Happy April! This month is National Poetry Month in the States, and in celebration I am happy to share this video of me reading my poem, "Sleeping with the Serpent." I filmed it on Easter Sunday since it has a "resurrection" theme. It can be read on my website and will be the opening poem in my forthcoming collection, "In the Grip of Grace" which will be released next May by Finishing Line Press.
While our Aries friends wrap up their birthday celebrations, we get ready to usher in Taurus season which begins on April 20. Taurus is an Earth sign which makes this season perfect for the observance of Earth Day on April 22. Spring is such a beautiful time of year, especially in the Pacific Northwest where I am blessed to live. As I type this, the cherry trees are putting on an incredible show with their blossoms, along with the magnolias, camellias, forsythia, quince and many other flowering trees. Meanwhile, hundreds of acres of tulips are blooming in the Skagit River Valley. This show will climax next month when the rhododendrons, azaleas and peonies burst onto the scene and I will become absolutely giddy! All of this riotous bloom compensates for the incessant rain and grey skies common to this area. This spring we've had temperatures 10 degrees cooler than normal!
Taurus rules the throat and the vocal chords which makes this a great time to sing and read poetry and perhaps dress up the neck area with pretty scarves and necklaces. My friend gave me the lovely scarf I am wearing in the video above. She hand-dyed it herself! I am hoping to participate in a few public poetry readings this month (in person and on-line) as National Poetry Month kicks into high gear, and it's always a joy to "sing in the spring!"
While the trees and tulips flower out in the sunlight, deep in the shade of the Pacific Northwest woods, a stunningly gorgeous flower emerges from the mud! She's called a Swamp Lantern and grows in wetland areas much like a lotus flower. On a recent hike through a local park, we ran upon a number of these lanterns and I fell completely underneath their spell! They are also called "skunk cabbage" because apparently their leaves have an odor similar to a skunk, although we didn't smell anything offensive when we saw them on our hike. The day we encountered them was a dreary one with clouds and drizzle, and there they were casting their defiant light on us, reminding us that grace abounds in nature, and beauty and life persists in seemingly impossible circumstances. We are living in dark times in which many are suffering from significant trauma and loss. My prayer is that some goodness and beauty like the swamp lanterns might emerge out of this darkness, might shed light on our paths and lead us toward a more peaceful and just world.
In writing news, I have received wonderful endorsement blurbs for "In the Grip of Grace" from two notable authors: Erica Wright, author of "All of the Bayou Stories End with Drowned" and Roberta Schultz, author of "Underscore" and "Asking Price." I am humbled by their generosity and kindness and filled with gratitude. I look forward to sharing their comments on the book in a future post. I've also been given the expected release date for "In the Grip of Grace" which will be May of 2024! The book will be available to pre-order in January. In addition to reaching out to other authors for endorsement blurbs, I am beginning the task of line editing the manuscript for final submission and have scheduled my author photo shoot with my friend, Jean (the Queen) of the fabulous Kercheval Photography studio!
I am grateful to Marcia Winston Terry, another talented photographer from Southwest Virginia for providing the beautiful photo for the cover art for my book which I will share in a later "cover reveal" post. More of her work can be viewed on the Facebook page, "Be Still and Know Photography by Marcia Terry."
In closing, below are some of my favorite quotes about spring. I am wishing everyone a magical springtime filled with the joy of being alive on this small and exquisite island home we call Earth.
Stay Wild, Stay Free, Stay Serene,
~Marianne (aka Wild Honey)
"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." ~Margaret Atwood
"Nothing is so beautiful as spring." ~Gerard Manley Hopkins
"Oh give us pleasure in the flowers today, and let us not think so far away to the uncertain harvest; keep us here, all simply in the springing of the year." ~ Robert Frost
"When bees from other hives joined her...they greeted each other in the most beautiful word of their tongue: Spring." ~From "The Bees" by Laline Paull
"Let there be no spring that does not lick you with its tongues." ~Tom Robbins