Endangered Species (Sublime Planet) – National Poetry Month Day 22 with Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Welcome to National Poetry Month day twenty-two.  Happy Earth Day everyone!  Volunteer to clean up a park, pick up some litter, or just get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

Today I have Twitter friend, fellow author and poet,  Carolyn Howard-Johnson.  I met Carolyn on Twitter and if you are a writer, you must visit her website.  She is very generous and has a wonderful newsletter that is filled with writerly advice.  Enjoy the following poem!

I am pleased to be part of Sonya’s poetry month blitz. I took the long road to poetry–from journalism through public relations (the writing of media releases), copy writing, fiction, and finally–only recently–poetry.  I hope you like this poem that won the Franklin Christoph prize of $1,000. I used it later in a book of poetry called Sublime Planet.(http://amzn.to/SublimePlanet). It was coauthored by Aussie poet Magdalena Ball and we wrote the book with Earth Day in mind, though it is good reading for anyone interested in Planet Earth or the Universe.

Sublime Planet

Sublime Planet

Endangered Species

A dragon, hiding as dragons
do, to pounce upon prey, shock

them into submission with forked
tongue, spiked tail, blue-green

scales, brimstone breath. But not
a sea dragon, this—nearly misnamed

a seahorse—dainty—
disguises herself in briny

fronds, sways with the current.
her delicate horn-shaped

snout trumpets silence.
Long like a dragon,

long as a water-lily stem,
soft, and—presumably,

slick. She flourishes
her leaf-like fins, the translucent

shade of her underwater forest
of amber seaweed pads, exactly,

matches her dance to that of the kelp,
ballet in slow motion

so the visitor to her underocean
home will not see her. She will take

them by surprise
with tenderness.




Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Accepted in Poets & Writers prestigious list of published poets, multi award-winning novelist and poet Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list “14 San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts. She was an instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program for nearly a decade. In addition to Tracings, published by Finishing Line Press, she and Magdalena Ball coauthored the Celebration Series of chapbooks including Cherished Pulse (www.budurl.com/CherishedPulse) for someone you love, Imagining the Future: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions for the men in your life (www.budurl.com/Imagining), She Wore Emerald Then (www.budurl.com/MotherChapbook) for mothers and other women, Deeper in the Pond, for the feminists in your life— both men and women (www.budurl.com/DeeperPond), and Blooming Red (www.budurl.com/BloomingRed), to use as Christmas cards or incidental holiday gifts.  You also will find an entry intended to please the tree-huggers in your social circle. Sublime Planet is at http://amzn.to/SublimePlanet and the selections for Sonya’s blog today is from that book.



 Suzanne Lummis, UCLA poetry instructor and LA’s unique contribution to the poetry world says, “Sublime Planet begins with Carolyn Howard Johnson’s love poems to the living world, rapturous poems, expansive in spirit yet precise in detail: ‘An impossible moth,/dark eye at its center, opaque//helicopter blades buzz and blur… .’ In Magdalena Ball’s darker meditations, hurt and thirst have entered the world facilitated, in part, by the machinations of civilization. While Howard-Johnson’s poems praise, Ball’s seem to sound a low warning. I recommend Sublime Planet particularly to those individuals who reside on the planet.”

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