It has been a long, and very full week…and it’s already two days past Monday, when I usually make these posts. When I’m feeling overfull, I go back to Roden Noel’s poem “The Old” — a poem I first encountered as a child in primary six, and have gone back to from time to time ever since. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s old enough that it’s in the public domain, and you can read it at Gnarled Oak, where editor James Brush included it in Gnarled Oak Issue 07: Dear Friends “The Oldies Issue” — along with my response to it, “Ferry-Luggage” about my gratitude basket overflowing.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Gnarled Oak these past nine days; the fifteenth and final issue of Gnarled Oak will begin posting soon, and it has me reminiscing and appreciating all over again having been able to be part of this amazing journal. It was this poem from JK Anowe, first encountered at Gnarled Oak, that prompted me to seek out its author — and was the beginning of a friendship that means the world to me.
And here is one of my favorite poems from Ehi’zogie Iyeomoan, another dear friend:
Gnarled Oak published Marie Craven’s amazing films based on my poems “Joining the Lotus-Eaters” and “Lilies of the Field” — and also Eduardo Yagüe’s films of “Considering Luminescence” (with his translation of the poem):
It was at Gnarled Oak where Saddiq Dzukogi and I first collaborated in poetry… one my translation of his poem “Sanyi” and a poem we wrote together (“Reserving Judgment”) which I go back to often when I’m having trouble with feeling like the words aren’t coming out right on the page:
And, among the many things I have to be grateful for this week, I received an email from James Brush this morning accepting two small poems to be included in the closing issue of Gnarled Oak. I’ll share those here when they post.
And, in the overflowing gratitude basket, five poems from the Heretic’s Hymnal manuscript were published this week, two in the 2018 print issue of Conclave: A Journal of Character, which went on sale yesterday, two at Verse-Virtual, and one at The Lake.
I’m deeply grateful to editors Lara & William Bernhardt, Firestone Feinberg, and John Murphy for making it possible for these poems to find their way to readers. For those who are interested, you can read the three poems published online here:
In closing, let me share just one more poem from a back issue of Gnarled Oak, one of my favorite-ever poems from poet and friend John L. Stanizzi. Here’s his poem “Train”: