The Guilford Poets Guild has exciting news to share: our Guild President, Juliana Harris, has just released her second Guilford mystery, “Murder at Pine Brook,” which is the sequel to “Murder at The Tavern,” which debuted in March of 2020. Both books take place in Guilford and Julie had the pleasure of doing a reading and signing of “Murder at The Tavern” recently at the Medad Stone Tavern, under the auspices of the Guilford Keeping Society. If you would like to buy a copy or book Julie for a reading, please contact her through our website or at this address: email@example.com. Congratulations, Julie!
In April, the Guilford Poets Guild welcomes award-winning poet Marcus Rediker for its Second Thursday Poetry Reading. The reading will take place via Zoom on Thursday, April 8 at 7PM, hosted by the Guilford Free Library.
Marcus Rediker is Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. His ten books have won numerous awards and been translated into 16 languages. His most recent work is The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist (Beacon Press, 2017), which he has adapted to a graphic novel, a children’s book, and a play he is now writing with Naomi Wallace. He is interested in the poetics of what is called “history from below” or “peoples’ history.”
The event is free and open to the public.
Please register on the Library’s website, http://www.guilfordfreelibrary.org. A Zoom link will be sent to you directly.
SIX – THE SUM IS SIX
There are six
some of cedar or
perhaps of spruce
Six stand upon a hill
along a border
or in a valley
…..Or perhaps they take a walk
Six for shelter
Six for shade
Six for safety
And six for social
Six in a family
Six in three couples
Six in a story
…..How mysterious is theirs?
These six are salient
serene and steady
perhaps in prayer
Perhaps in song
…..or in a dance
Six souls meeting
in 2020. masked
Six selves strong
frozen in time
Poem by Elizabeth Possidente
Artwork: Group Gathering by Linda Edwards
The eyes are blue.
At first glance, blue.
Gaze deep into the blue,
The blue and more blue,
The beautifully blue eyes.
They should suffice, should win.
Tousled hair atop the head.
And, yes, the eyes are blue.
As blue as anything.
As blue as everything.
Above the blue
A furrowed brow.
My God, the life of the mind!
And, yet the eyes are blue.
As blue as…mmmm.
As blue as…aaaahh.
As blue as…yeah.
Poem by Norman Thomas Marshall
Artwork: A Portrait by Scott Paterson
LADY OF SPAIN
she seems about to whirl into a dance
this Spanish lady so precisely arrayed
in a pattern of black and white
with a perky red feather in her hat
curved arm and fist resting on a hip
heart-shaped lips in a pursing pout
eyes slightly slanted mysterious
staring back at those studying her
remaining opaque so that no one can tell
if she’s full of tabasco or sweet cream
Poem by Gwen Gunn. Artwork: Flamenco, a pottery pitcher by Anita Griffith
Forget 2020, Guilford Poets Guild member and community volunteer Juliana Harris is starting out 2021 with a bang! In February, she won the grand prize in a national writing contest; in March, she was selected as Person of the Week by the Guilford Courier; and now, she’s announced the publication of her new book Murder at the Tavern: A Guilford Mystery. Set against the backdrop of Guilford’s historic Medad Stone Tavern, Murder at the Tavern takes the reader along for an exciting sleuthing adventure.
“The book was inspired by an unexpected encounter I had many years ago with a well-known gentleman from Guilford,” says Harris. “It got me to thinking of a plot for a mystery: what if a person like him was framed for murder? This thought rattled around in my brain for about 35 years until it finally made its way to my word processor!”
The result, as the back cover alludes: The body of a young woman is found brutally beaten in the woods behind the Tavern, and the murder weapon turns out to be the walking stick of 73-year-old Ashley Hamilton Reynolds. Squire, as he is fondly known around his hometown, is the scion of one of Guilford’s oldest and most reputable families. He claims his walking stick had gone missing a few days before the murder. But how can this be proved? And, if he is innocent, who is the real killer?
Harris says she remembers writing her first poem when she was a freshman in high school for a school assignment. The poem went on to win a prize in a statewide contest and she has been writing poems and essays ever since. Her work has appeared in publications across the country and her two novels are available online: The Fork in the Road and Pacific Heights. An award-winning professional actress, she is also a singer/songwriter. She joined forces with guitarist Stephen Roane to form The Harris/Roane Duo in 2008. The Duo has performed concerts across the state and are recording their third CD. Harris receives constant artistic stimulation from her participation in the Guilford Poets Guild, the results of which can be found in the chapbook Portraits, about her family with the help and support of Guild members.
To read Harris’ winning essay “The Great K-10 Race,” and to purchase copies of her books, visit http://www.guilfordpoetsguild.org.
I’LL TRY TO REMEMBER
When I look at your face there’s something familiar,
I’ve seen you before, I’ll try to remember,
Perhaps it’s your eyes, those long lovely lashes,
Or maybe your lips, rosy red and mysterious.
I’ve waded the waters on tropical islands,
Clear and warm, my feet in soft sand,
Bermuda, Grenada, Barbados, Tobago,
Aruba, Bonaire, Saint Kitts and Nevis,
Antigua, Saint Martin, Saint John, and Saint Lucia;
I thought I saw you there, your mermaid hair
Floating in the ripples of the sunlit sea,
Frolicking over the glistening waves.
At night with my father on the way back from Mattituck,
Just the two of us sailing, homeward bound,
My hand in the water glowed green as lime jello,
The luminous plankton excited and smiling,
Or was it your tail, swishing and splashing?
On Lloyd’s Neck, Long Island, across from Stamford,
Stones, oval and white, my father had gathered,
The remnants of glaciers worn smooth by the waters;
He sailed them to Stamford, and painted on faces,
By the picture window, in our home he displayed them,
The sun in the west, warmed and caressed them,
In my long-ago memory, they remind me of you.
Poem by Daniel E. Goldberg. Artwork: Empowered by Cheryl Tuttle
Eighth grade celebratory trip was to Play Land
Our local amusement park
We all bought tickets and spread out
I went to Dodgems where you drive around in small cars
Trying not to get hit
But if you do—if, say, George keeps bumping you
It means he has a crush on you.
And then the House of Mirrors
If you’re fat you can look fatter
Or thinner, how you think you really look
And if you’re thin, don’t look
And then the Roller Coaster
Open only to ages 12 and above
Don’t stand directions say
Absolving Play Land of suits
When thin is thrown to standing
And maybe even killed
Next are the Biggest Wheel cages’ gentle rides
Up and around with distant views
I went with Hillary, most popular eighth grade girl
And shared my binoculars.
She turned away and oohed and aahed
Oohed and ached at far away Long Island Sound
And when we disembarked, I had to ask again
For my binoculars back. Not once, but twice
As George ignored me but greeted her.
Mom asked later, was your day amusing?
I answered, Hilarious!
Poem by Jane Muir. Artwork: Wonder Wheel by Julie Ryan
Grayson Books announces the publication of Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis. Edited by Connecticut’s Poet Laureate Margaret Gibson, this poetry anthology includes work by Connecticut poets, including Guilford Poets Guild members Gwen Gunn, Patricia Horn O’Brien, and Jen Payne.
Each poet writes of their relationships with the earth in a time of climate crisis. The scope of the poems goes far beyond Connecticut to the whole ecosystem we humans share. “It’s hard to believe that the poems in this essential collection all come out of a single small state,” writes Chase Twichell, author of Things As It Is and Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been. “But make no mistake; these are not poems about Connecticut. They are poems about the world—our one and only world—and the damage we inflict upon it. Ranging from expressions of profound love for and intimacy with the earth and its many creatures to grief and rage at our species’ self-destructive blindness, each poem is a testament to our planet’s preciousness and a grave warning of its fragility. Waking Up to the Earth is a resounding wake-up call.”
Guilford Poets Guild poems include “Of Stones and Time,” by Gwen Gunn, “Getting to Prayer,” by Patricia Horn O’Brien, and “When I Call it the Zombie Apocalypse, Neither of Us Is as Scared as We Should Be,” by Jen Payne.
Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis is a 138-page paperback book available through Ingram Book Company, Grayson Books, from local booksellers or from amazon.com for $20.00. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.graysonbooks.com.