Photograph by Kim M. Baker
Dear Poets and Poetry Lovers,
I am awed to be publishing the eighth issue of Word Soup. It is an honor to continue to publish the poetry of those poets who are willing to share their talent with us and willing to feed hungry people in their local communities. Thank you for submitting and thank you for reading. And please share widely.
In this issue, please enjoy the work of Margo Lemieux and Richard King Perkins II. Margo is a wonderful artist, as well as a poet. She donated to Our Daily Bread at the Mansfield, MA food pantry. www.mansfieldfoodpantry.org. Richard is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. He donated to Feed Seniors Now/Comfort Keepers in Crystal Lake, IL. www.nourishseniorlife.com
Our next submission period is open! Let's see your poems!
In Sixty Years You’ll Be Sorry by Margo Lemieux
The summer wind is a constant reminder of altitude
The clouds are close
They have planted on the slope fifty feet from the house
tomatoes and raspberries
peaches and plums
potatoes, sunflowers, and twenty white pine seedlings
Where the morning sun warms the earth.
A house shaded by pine in cold in the winter, I say.
It’s too far away, they say. Don’t worry.
You just wait, I say. In sixty years, you’ll be sorry.
Margo Lemieux has been involved in creative endeavor since the first grade when she got into trouble with her teacher for “decorating” her workbook. After earning a degree in fine arts in painting from Boston University, she worked as a graphic designer, tee-shirt artist, newspaper correspondent and columnist, children’s book author and illustrator, kick-box instructor, and other interesting things. Her picture book Full Worm Moon was reviewed in the New York Times as “well-written.”
Besides writing and illustrating books for children, she paints, creates handmade artist books, and is a printmaker who makes etchings in nearly the same traditional method as Rembrandt. She has exhibited at Art Basel Miami, The Contemporary Art Center in Hanoi, Vietnam, and the Blanche Ames National. “Believe in Water,” a poetry chapbook from Finishing Line Press, was published in 2013. Her article, “Contour meets Gesture,” was published in American Artist Magazine.
She holds an M.Ed. degree in Integrated Arts Curriculum from Curry College and an MFA in Printmaking from UMass Dartmouth. Currently she is an associate professor in the art & graphic design department at Lasell College, Newton, where she co-taught a class on Vietnam, focusing on Vietnamese art, music, and poetry. The group traveled to Hanoi and, as part of the educational experience, worked with street children at the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.
Outside Terre Haute by Richard King Perkins II
So little seems real,
washed in a palette of thinnest yellows
stilled in the abovemost sky.
I look on as you leave,
seeming to me as if you’re driving through the middle
of a fully-grown field of pearl millet.
I’m reminded of how the human brain is easily deceived
as you follow the hidden path of loose stones
winding through a cultivated grassland.
You’re driving a Santa Fe, but as you begin to blur
I see you in a vehicle
built in a decade I’ve never lived until now.
A white Thunderbird smuggles me over borders
as the moon lays down new beams to wield.
Millet will stand against the first frost, but no longer.
The Magic Door
Decades of Christian teaching really haven’t altered my first beliefs.
I guess that’s why it’s called children’s programming.
No one realized I was being raised as a confused Jewish child,
certainly not my parents.
Just because my family was irreligious didn’t mean I was without
In my mind, I went to temple every Sunday morning at 9 am,
watching The Magic Door while nursing a warm bottle of RC
on the couch.
I got my spiritual fix and my sugar fix at the same time.
The TV show was intended as outreach to young Jewish children
in the Chicago area like I thought I was.
For many years, my only image of God was of an elfin, guitar-playing
Jewish man named Tiny Tov.
I learned that Hebrew letters and words had almost mystical powers
and I began to believe that if I chanted the words
Shalom, Tiny Tov, a magic door would open on the world to come;
a primeval forest of giant acorns and mushrooms
and that the candles of a menorah could burn almost endlessly,
guiding lost kids like me through the night
to a waiting hut made from the dried husk of a great oak seed.
a great shadow of water hangs above Galena
and will soon lower a gentle cascade.
A few of us return to where we began.
I don’t want to compare either of us to the others--
we should be happy like this
or at least content to be dry.
breeze unmoistens the yards and the parks
but can’t evaporate what might be
lingering specks of joy
or at least the muffled laughter
from a persistence of puddled raindrops.
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL with his wife, Vickie, and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.