Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Back to School

Here's a poem from my newest chapbook, Not Me: Poems About Other Women. Just 10 more days to preorder. You can click here to order or for more information.



From the Imaginary Journals of Venetia Burney
the math-loving English girl who named Pluto

 

In class, I fly on the backs of winged numbers —
with computations, I can have my plum cake
and eat it too, both the thrill and the comfort
of equality — 12 – 3, 8 + 1, 45 ÷ by 5 —
so many ways to get to nine,
or any number that I like.

But even from my silver hill of symbols and signs,
I sense the warped orbit of fear and scratching here.
Running my finger over the raw letters carved
into my wooden desk, I trace the initials of a girl
I once saw trip a fellow student then
apologize with her lips shaped
in a honeysuckle smile.

Today our teacher drones about Plato’s ethics while I braid
strands of my hair with the hair of the other girls —
bully, witness, victim — a woven rope to read
like braille and bruises when I can’t sleep.

I hear a new planet has been found. Would life be better,
more fair, on the edge of the galaxy?

Maybe in places where only dim starlight shines,
appreciation for each pale ray is multiplied.



This poem originally appeared in The Wild Word.


Friday, August 12, 2022

August 11

Yesterday was our anniversary. Here's a little poem from my book Of the Forest to celebrate.


Love Song 2

          for my husband

 

 

                                       Some things I love aren’t green –

 

oatmeal’s cinnamon steam

juice of peach, single strawberry

easy breaths of blue bedroom

moon-gray shoes

with laces of velvet ink

scrape and burn of crow’s caw

the gleam of Gram’s onyx ring

dreamy depths of our daughter’s

azure paintings

and our son’s red-gold hair

somehow spun from the straw of our genes—

 

                                      but your voice—

 

all sprouts and fronds

and stirring seeds, laughing leaves,

echo of bells over the hills –

up and down and around we go 

every morning, the new, green tips

of possibility.
















Monday, August 8, 2022

Merci Nathalie

Nathalie Le Breton's musical poetry isn't meant to be just read but experienced. 


Her work reminds me of what E.M. Forster wrote in A Room With a View:

          "I only wish the poets would say this too: love is of the body; not the body, but of 
           the body. Ah! the misery that would be saved if we confessed that!"

Le Breton's verse, which is spiritual, is of the body too. Her words don't merely sit on the page: They roll, leap and twirl...and invite us to do the same.

Many thanks to her for letting me share four of her poems with you.






Erzulie

 

Once I met a ghost.

She wore a purple hat

and spoke all languages.

 

She also spoke in tongues.

dancing island tongues,

swirling tongues of joy and

pounding tongues of sorrow.

 

She touched her silver heart.

She told the old story

of women and children,

and she cried.

 

Then there was our goodbye.

Some ghosts come only once

and leave their heart behind.

 

 

 

Thrill

 

I never liked them.

Carousel or Ferris wheel,

name them all,

I never liked them.

But I too wanted to be thrilled,

I too wanted to feel under my skin

the fragile miracle,

and abandon myself in it

and lose the mind

lose the routine

live and feel.

 

One might say I had superior ambitions.

Maybe, but I have been forgiven.

 

So I threw away my shoes,

ran up the green hill

where butterflies flew in circles,

and I danced with them,

in their golden carousel

flapping my own large wings

in a blue sky no Ferris wheel could reach.

I was spinning,

my body electric,

then I rolled down the hill

buzzing like a bee

filled with ecstasy.

 

 

 

Mossy Teachings

 

 "I hold tight to the vision that someday soon we will find the courage of self-restraint, the humility to live like mosses.” Robin Wall Kimmerer - Gathering Moss.

 

Who knows what moss would say

if only she could speak.

She would tell you stories of light

and love stories of rain.

She might also tell you of her own

 

improbability,

of her rootless travels to the little spaces

and how she had to change

when the winds turned around.

She might then remind you of your own

 

improbability,

tell you to take little

and give more in return,

Whisper there is still time

to let yourself glitter.

 

 

  

For You

 

Come sit with me,

We’ll smell jasmine

Spell the word wind

Eat strawberries.

 

You’ll kiss the sun

I’ll watch the bees

I’ll sing a song

You’ll smile at me.

 

Come sit with me,

We’ll drink iced tea

Spell the word sweet

Wiggle our feet.

 

My Darling you could be,

Come sit with me.



About the author: 

Nathalie Le Breton is a French native speaker who has relocated in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys exploring a different language as a form of personal discovery and melodic expression. She also enjoys reading poetry and children's books, knitting, drinking tea, and walking slowly through the seasons.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Fabulously Unapologetic

Just three more weeks to preorder my newest book, Not Me: Poems About Other Women. This collection is a little different from my last one because it's all fiction...or is it?

Thanks to the sublime Claudia F. Savage for this early praise:

The real and imaginary women chosen for Linda Ferguson’s Not Me: Poems About Other Women fulfill every woman’s desire to be contrary, individual, and luminous. Fabulously unapologetic and brilliantly aware, Ferguson gives them their due amplification—“this is me, this is me” declares Constance Hopkins, “the scrape of a metal file across an old axe blade. / The screech of violin strings when a bow touches them.” “I will not… I will not…” defies the Princess in Pisanello’s House of Este. These women are feral (“today I’m a creature, breathing,”); their voices sure. Every poem offers the subject’s clear sense of self and her awe at the world. In Ferguson’s deft hands, we wonder “what else she might become.”

Claudia F. Savage, author of Bruising Continents





Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Carolyn Martin's Praise for My Newest Chapbook

 













An ocean of thanks to the sublime poet/editor Carolyn Martin who wrote this early praise for my newest chapbook, which can be preordered through August 26:

What is so striking about Linda Ferguson’s Not Me: Poems About Other Women, are the startling imaginative leaps the poet makes throughout these persona poems. Whether she is writing about historical figures, literary characters, or fictional women, Ferguson’s intention is clear: “It’s not the house/I won’t leave./It’s the forest of my imagining.” She fills this forest not only with unique voices and stories, but with language  that gives readers pause and invites them to savor each line. When she proclaims, “... this is the way things are for everybody:/art and motion, ecstasy, ovation, encore!” these words describe the way this collection is for us: one that will continue to engage our imaginations with its artful motion and ecstasy. 

 

– Carolyn Martin, poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly: journal for global transformation 


 


Saturday, July 23, 2022

July 26 Verseweavers Virtual Reading!

 


I'm happy to be among the prize-winning poets at the Verseweavers virtual reading on Tuesday, July 26 at 7 pm! Please join us by registering here.


Thursday, July 14, 2022

Knock Knock

 



The moment I've waiting for: My Bluebird uniform has arrived, and I can't wait to wear it to school, smiling, with my two front teeth missing. 

The only hitch is Bluebirds have to go door to door selling candy, too. I like eating it (especially the mints), but selling it, no thank you.

My family comes to the rescue. My soft-hearted dad takes the candy to the office and sells it to his workmates. Then my grandmother, who has a sweet tooth, buys several boxes for herself and stacks them on top of her refrigerator where they'll be close at hand.

Today, in 2022, I'm faced with trying to meet another selling quota. Not candy this time, but poetry. I have two new books this year, and my publishers, understandably, would like me to promote them.

So consider this post a light knock on your door. My newest chapbook, Not Me: Poems About Other Women, is available for preorder until August 26 and can be ordered here

My award-winning chapbook, Of the Forest, was also released in February and can be ordered here

Here's some praise for both books:

Not Me: Poems About Other Women

Through a prism of voices, both real and imaginary, we gain new understanding of women's lives in a world that is not always made for them. At once subversive and strong, Ferguson's imaginative language both heightens and deepens our awareness of ourselves and others. Diane Averill, author of Beautiful Obstacles.

Of the Forest

Though she tells us this is a 'simple suburban story,' every poem in this collection is a jewel, obscured by a diaphanous curtain of imagination, beckoning us to look behind. –Judith Armatta, author of Twilight of Impunity.