Posts Tagged ‘Midwest’

Blonde with Fingers: A New Free Kindle Book

January 20, 2019

Blonde with Fingers: Poems of Love and Joy with Art Photography of Original Necklaces is now available on Kindle. This new book presents sixteen short poems. They make me happy and I hope you will enjoy them.

The text is supported by art photographs of necklaces I made. These photographs present the necklaces as still lifes rather than as fashion accessories.

Like the other books I have published on Kindle, this new book is listed at the minimum price of 99¢.

If anyone is interested, Blonde with Fingers and my six previous books are all available free, Sunday & Monday, January 20 & 21.

You do not need a Kindle device. The book can be read on a PC, Mac or phone. This book can be reached by clicking on the image below or with my earlier books on

my Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/mikesmetzer

 

Blonde with Fingers cover - Mike Smetzer

Report to the Air: A New Free Kindle Book

October 14, 2018

My new book Report to the Air: Poems of Loss & Change has just been published on Kindle. This is a book about home. It is also about loss and change and about life in the rural Midwest.

The book consists of fifteen poems supported by photographs & artwork. The poems included here were published in earlier versions in Cincinnati Poetry Review, Cottonwood, Hanging Loose, Kansas Quarterly, Little Balkans Review, Tellus, West Branch, and Wind. The photographs included were taken by Vera Lisa Smetzer, Bernie Smetzer and Viola Smetzer. The paintings and the chip mosaic are my own.

Report to the Air is available for free on Kindle for two days, October 14 & 15. You do not need a Kindle machine. You can view it on PC, Mac, or phone.

 

Report to the Air by Mike Smetzer - cover

 

That’s All There Is

August 13, 2017

 

A row of fence posts
down the road.
You don’t see the man
who dug the holes
and planted the posts
and stretched the wire.
You don’t see him.
You just see posts going by
and the wire
and off in the distance
the sky.

 

First published in West Branch.

 

Minimalism in Writing and Art

Minimalism in writing and art focuses on a few key details and gives them a straightforward presentation. Such work is simple, stark and yet resonant, often implying more than is described or shown. Minimalism is rich, but not like a kaleidoscope is rich. It is rich in its simplicity, like the color of a gemstone or the light a single firefly in the night.

 

Bridge Superstructure - detail from photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Bridge Lines – photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

A Kansas Anthem

August 6, 2017

 

The wind and dust blew up the hill,
        the dust from the wind fell down.
And I awoke on the windless side
        all clothed in a fine dust gown.

“Oh see,” said I to a passerby,
        “my suit of Kansas Gray.
Come feel the loft of the down so soft
        our sky has thrown away.”

“I swear,” swore he, “by a cottonwood tree
        run through with a fencing foil,
your Kansas dust smells sharp as rust
        and feels like tractor oil.

“I’ve been to Maine and I’ve been to Spain
        and filled my sight with riches,
but my eyes are filled in Kansas land
        by dirt blown out of ditches.”

Oh hey hum hey for a Kansas day
        when the sky is gray and swirly.
Oh naw de naw for the gritty jaw
        that turns bright strangers surly.

 

First published in Midwest Quarterly.

 

Discussion

I wrote this poem after a small dust storm blew through Lawrence, Kansas. In eastern Kansas it was a rare event and also a wonderful reminder of the nature of the land where we lived.

After centuries of use, the ballad stanza remains a wonderful asset for the poet, especially when the poem has an element of humor. Meter and rhyme are natural choices for those who want to dance with language and life. They contain a magic formula for joy more powerful than any happy pill.

While meter and rhyme work less well in serious poetry today, poetic rhythms (as opposed to meter) and subtle rhymes can create beauty and enhance significance, even for readers accustomed to prose.

But as they sing in the theater, “Tragedy tomorrow, Comedy tonight!”

 

Bernie Smetzer and the chickens

Dad with his Chickens

 

Bernie Smetzer and the chickens 2

Dad and the chickens

Bernie Smetzer reins in the chicken

Dad reins in the chicken