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Living Poets Society

To celebrate National Poetry Month in April 2024, the “At The Parish House” arts series of Emmanuel Church hosted a poetry event featuring local poets of all ages reading their work. 

Their poems are below for you to enjoy, too!

The Dove

Philip Dutart Carter, Middleburg

So say you like to shoot doves,
and have done the humane thing,
the civilized thing, the decent thing
and plucked a wounded dove’s
head off and stuffed its body in your
blood-stained hunting sack.

So say you ate that dove (and others)
that very night and praised your wife

Grande Dame

Philip Dutart Carter, Middleburg

Do you imagine we require

that all the working class perspire

so risen middlers may climb higher?

 

Think you not? Then stand by me,

look down and tell me you can't see

what's creeping up my valley:

 

Everywhere below, les faux chateaux!

Kensington Gardens

Romey Curtis, Middleburg

A nightingale sang in the eve of the day

As the shadows came whispering by;

And his song was the promise of beauty to come,

Of full-blown roses in mid-July,

Of soft-sighing petals that drift and die--

But nobody waited, nobody heard,

For you have to listen to hear a bird

When the tides of life wash past and are gone

And will not wait for a nightingale’s song.

Immigrant, 1950

Romey Curtis, Middleburg

They told me that New York was great,

They spoke of gleaming spires;

They never mentioned all the dreams

That she inspires.

They told me of New England,

Of white houses and blue seas;

But they forgot the wild, red fall

With flaming trees.

They told me of the city, Washington,

The Keeper of Songs ~~~

Frances Marie Farley, Middleburg

This Robin’s breast

So small, softly feathered

Encloses heartbeat symphonies

Achingly glorious harmonies

Soaring eternally within this

Lonely Keeper of Life’s Secret Songs

Untitled Haiku

Frances Marie Farley, Middleburg

~~~Our hearts never heal

    Time puts patches

            Over the broken places~~~

Player

Alice Galbraith, Middleburg

 Understudy of the mind

 Awaits patiently stage right

Watching for implosion

To finally get their night

Discipline of the player

Keeping them out of sight

 Focused on the line

Pretending it’s not trite

Living for the kiss

If I Change

Alice Galbraith, Middleburg

If is not is

If is just the dream

If the possibility

 If breaking routine

If is a premise

If the promise of hope

If only an excuse

If for the mind to cope

If this then not that

Gravity

Diane Kincannon, Clarke County

I want it back,

the fresh-swept face, the one 

with no abstract etchings or saddlebag cheeks.

I want back my body before gravity got it.

 

I want my grandfather’s old Rambler, parked

in the library lot. I want to find the note

under the wiper, I LOVE YOU, in that

unmistakable hand.

Monk's Prayer, Osney Abbey, May 1222

Diane Kincannon, Clarke County

Again, o Lord, in spirit heavy laden

do I bend this struggling soul to thee

in prayer most hesitant and humble,

so to name vague misery.

That propensity of tears were mine,

for pain might sting my cheek in blessing,

then be gone. Yet cold my countenance,

yet sear my heart from burning grief hard-pressing.

Poem #1

Eric Lucas, Marshall

Capture lightening in a bottle

And save it for a rainy day

A woeful

Willful

Waning of a day

A day of no regrets

Steal past the middle distance

To a long horizon

Lone in its majesty

Poem #1

Val Prochaska, Middleburg

Walking down hallways, streets, sidewalks -- feels like judgment day. eyes everywhere but nowhere, looking, glancing, perceiving. acknowledgement of my existence as i am physically sickens me. to be seen is not to be known. to be seen, is another thing entirely. to be seen, is to be judged. i think the judgment i fear the most, is unintentional. it’s an assumption, a passing thought, an observation. and it scares me how much i fear it, how much i wish i could not exist just to avoid the scorn of a 

Poem #2

Val Prochaska, Middleburg

I lament on the time we’ve spent together. I stay smothered in a love that does not exist nor did it ever, really. I dwell, and brood, and sulk over something that brings tears to my eyes when i know it should not. You left me -- you chose to leave. But now you’re with her, and i’m alone, now you’re with her dancing in the rain and i am drowning in the sea. You are the reason my lungs feel as though they’ve been infused with tar ... so why is it that your soul still has such a pure glow? Why must purity 

When I Die

Camilla White, Leesburg

When I die,

Will I belong to fire?

Or will I belong to earth?

Will I get a chance to say goodbye?

Will my loved ones ever really, really let go?

Will I ever really, really let go?

Would I be happy

laying idle in a box

encased by cold, dark earth?

Untitled

Camilla White, Leesburg

The omnipresent blanket of darkness 

surrounds my resting figure, 

comforting in contrast 

to the hard ridges of the Jeep’s seat digging into my skin.

We rumble along the road, 

sounds of rubber on asphalt drowned out 

by the music blasting from my navy blue headphones. 

I let the symphony of sounds flow through my head, 

electing odd wonders from the choir of instruments.

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