272nd Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 272nd Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Paul Engle, recited by Dylan Stuntz:


I have heard the horn of Roland goldly screaming
In the petty Pyrenees of the inner ear
And seen the frightful Saracens of fear
Pour from the passes, fought them, brave in dreaming.

But waked, and heard my own voice tinly screaming
In the whorled and whirling valleys of the ear,
And beat the savage bed back in my fear,
And crawled, unheroed, down those cliffs of dreaming.

I have ridden with Hannibal in the mountain dusk,
Watching the drivers yell the doomed and gray
Elephants over the trumpeting Alps, gone gay
With snow vivid on peaks, on the ivory tusk.

But waked, and found myself in the vivid dusk
Plunging the deep and icy floor, gone gray
With bellowing shapes of morning, and the gay
Sunshaft through me like an ivory tusk.

I have smiled on the platform, hearing without shame
The crowd scream out my praise, I, the new star,
Handsome, disparaging my bloody scar,
Yet turning its curve to the light when they called my name.

But waked, and the empty window sneered my name,
The sky bled, drop by golden drop, each star
The curved moon glittered like a sickle's scar,
The night wind called with its gentle voices: Shame!

I have climbed the secret balcony, on the floor
Lain with the lady, drunk the passionate wine,
Found, beneath the green, lewd-smelling vine,
Love open to me like a waiting door.

But waked to delirious shadows on the door,
Found, while my stomach staggered with sour wine,
Green drunkenness creep on me like a vine,
And puked my passion on the bathroom floor.

I have run with Boone and watched the Indian pillage
The log house, fought, arrow in leg, and hobbled
Over the painful ground while the warrior gobbled
Wild-turkey cry, but escaped to save the village.

But waked, and walked the city, vicious village,
Fought through the traffic where the wild horn gobbled,
Bruised on the bumper, turned toward home, hobbled
Back, myself the house my neighbors pillage.

I have lain in bed and felt my body taken
Like water utterly possessing sand,
Surrounding, seething, soothing, as a hand
Comforts and clasps the hand that it has shaken.

But waked, and found that I was wholly shaken
By you, as the wave surrounds and seethes the sand,
That your whole body was a reaching hand
And my whole body the hand that yours had taken.

What do you think?

Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis

Source: Running Press
Paperback, 304 pages
On Amazon and on Kobo

Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis is a roller coaster ride at the circus, complete with big top, illusions, and creepy mute-like clown/mime.  In a town named for the whales off the coast of an eccentric town where everyone is just a little bit odd.  Skylar Rousseau tells her story in the first person and as she unravels the mystery of her three-month disappearance, readers will be pulled into the underworld of a circus that thrived 16 years earlier.  Ellis’ novel is atmospheric, creepy, and foreboding, as Sky reconnects with the friends who thought she had died while she thought she went on with her normal daily routines of going to school, studying for tests, and hanging out with her friends in a town where a weathervane is haunted.

“Sky shook her head.  Madame Curio was well known in Blackfin, even though she was avoided by most.

‘How did you even get in there?’ The woods had been secured against intruders for as long as Sky could remember, the talk of roaming wolves and lightning trees that electrocuted passing children not being enough to keep out idle teenagers.”  (page 70 ARC)

Skylar sets on a path to uncover what actually happened to her and where she went for three months with the help of Sean, her friend that she wants to be more.  Along the way she uncovers secrets in Blood House, the family home, as it opens attic doors and pushes her in the right direction, learns things about her family and her mother that upend her world, and gets even closer to the truth through a series of unimaginable journeys.  Ellis’ ability to create a believable world in which the circus becomes a prison and gifted people are anxious to leave but unable to do so is fantastic for a debut novelist.  Beyond the darkness, however, Ellis sprinkles in the humor, making it easy for the reader to relate to these characters because they are not overly serious and the novel is not too dark.

“Sky joined him as he leaned against the back of the Jeep, looking out over the twisted townscape of Blackfin.  The houses looked like precariously stacked playing cards, balancing against the hillside while they waited for a gust of wind to carry them off into the sea.  From this height, Sky saw the thirteen black dots of the cemetery cats lazing on top of the tombstones lower down the mountain slope.  Further still, the school teetered at the seafront, with Silas’s iron form spinning crazily on the roof.”  (page 150 ARC)

Ellis balances characterization, atmosphere, and mystery well and Blackfin comes to life with all of its quirky characters.  She bends the light to reveal new dimensions and hues of the town, its residents, and its history, while maintaining readers’ interest and passion to find out how it all ends.  From the mundane routines of going to school and hanging out with friends to the traveling to the circus for answers, Sky must find the strength within herself to accept her new reality and find a way to save herself and everyone she loves.  Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis is light refracted, speeding up and slowing down, as Sky uncovers her own truth.

About the Author:

Kat Ellis is a young adult writer from North Wales. Her debut novel, BLACKFIN SKY, is out now in the UK (Firefly Press) and the US (Running Press Teen).

Check out her Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, and her Website.


59th book for 2014 New Author Reading Challenge.





My 1st book for Peril the Second!

Reflections of Hostile Revelries by Jennifer C. Wolfe

Source: Poet Jennifer C. Wolfe
Paperback, 108 pages
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Reflections of Hostile Revelries: A Collection of Political Poetry Musings by Jennifer C. Wolfe is another collection of political poetry ripped from the headlines, as the narrator comments on the mistakes made by our political leaders and political campaigns gone wrong.  These poems read more like critical essays, rather than verse, using a narrative prose style that grabs a headline and picks it apart with a fine-toothed comb to unveil the unsupported facts of today’s political platforms and the flip-flopping of candidates eager to please the masses.  She covers topics ranging from immigration enforcement to the “nanny” state laws, and some of these poems are hilarious in their re-appropriation of pop culture.

Not Quite the Flintstones (page 87)

In honor of everything having to do with our fumbling friends at the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), I would like to present
A memorable TV cartoon sing-song within a new light:

FEMA! Meet the FEMA!
They're a large disaster family;

From the town of D.C.,
They're a sad page out of history,

Someday, maybe they will get things right,
Then they'll be able to fix a plight.

When you're with the FEMA,
It's a Yabba-dabba-do time,

Hard to find food time;
We'll have a dismal time!

[insert cherry, twelve second big band musical interlude]

Repeat: We'll have a dismal time!
(Screaming): FEMA!

Wolfe has an uncanny sense of humor, while still calling attention to the problems in today’s government. Like the horrifying news we hear and see on the radio, Internet, and television, these poems call attention to the problems in government — ones as voters we should be paying attention to and looking for ways to resolve them when voting for candidates — and brings to life the humor of the situation, and sometimes in a particularly ridiculous way.  Wolfe does not stop at just politicians, poking fun and holes in big business like the banking sector’s use of fees to charge money to its own customers for using their own debit cards provided to them by the banks that issue them.  She even crosses the U.S. borders into international politics.

Benghazi, Libya Aftermath -- A Haiku for You (page 69)

Barack Obama,
On four dead Americans:
"A bump in the road."

Reflections of Hostile Revelries: A Collection of Political Poetry Musings by Jennifer C. Wolfe uses longer narrative poems to critique the world around us, but she also uses haiku to comment on events.  And a haiku may be the best way to comment on some of the most tragic events that have occurred in recent years, particularly those that have left us speechless.

About the Poet:

Jennifer C. Wolfe grew up in Maplewood, Minn., and studied fiction writing and poetry at Century College in White Bear Lake. Mississippi. Wolfe has five previous publishing credentials: a poem “If” included within the Century College (White Bear Lake, MN) Spring 2008 Student Lounge literary magazine along with three poetry manuscripts, Kick the Stones: Everyday Hegemony, Empire, and Disillusionment published as an eBook by BlazeVOX Books, New York, October 2008, Yukon Rumination: Great Fun for All in the Land of Sarah Palin’s Joe Sixpack Alaska, published as an eBook by BlazeVOX Books, New York, June 2009, and Healing Optimism, and Polarization, published as an eBook by BlazeVOX Books, New York, February 2010, and two poems “St. Patrick’s Day” and “Roller Coaster,” published within the online edition of Scrambler Magazine, Issue 39, June 2010.

Other Reviews:

Book 24 for the Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge 2014.

Lust by Diana Raab, Read by Kate Udall

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My Mother’s Secret by J.L. Witterick and Giveaway

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271st Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 271st Virtual Poetry Circle! Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful. Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her […]