News Flash! THE ORCHARDS Has Published Poems by Sally Nacker and by Me

I am so happy to share the news that one of my favorite publications, The Orchards Poetry Journal, has just published its third issue, and it includes three of my own poems: “The Widow Dreams of Sweet Breezes;” a sonnet, “Transportation;” and a villanelle, “To a Former Friend Whose Affections Are Withdrawn.”

Making this publication even more of a pleasure to me is that my friend, Sally Nacker, also has two lovely poems in this issue: “Robins” and “Night Snow.” (And our contributor notes are next to each other.) Regular readers will recall posts on Sally’s collection of poems, Vireo, and on her scholarship on the work of Amy Lowell.

I took the images here on recent trips to one of my favorite museums. These apple blossoms, offering up the most delicate and slightly spicy fragrance, were photographed in the courtyard of the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. They seemed to me an appropriate complement to the spirit of The Orchards.

You can enjoy this new issue of The Orchards online now,  including not only an interesting group of poems but an interview with their first featured poet, Siham Karami. And you can also look at the first two issues of this fine publication. After all, what is more delightful than a lovely day in June, unless it is a fine June day with the music of a new poem!

Happy Reading!       Leslie


April 14, 2017 Poems: A Trio of Clerihews for Benjamin Franklin

A Trio of Clerihews for Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin was no fella
to lift a limp umbrella.
On stormy days, it was he
who lofted that kite with electrified key.

Is Franklin the source of every invention?
That would be his own contention;
with lightning rods, smoke-less stoves, bifocals,
and more, he stands benefactor to us, the yokels.

Still, when I think about Benjamin Franklin,
there is something prickly and ranklin.’
Through the lenses of his inventive glasses
he seems to be laughing at us.

Leslie Schultz

Today, I followed the prompt from the NaPoWriMo site to write a little humorous poem called the Clerihew. If you are curious about the form, visit the NaPoWriMo site using the link below. I found I had such a wealth of material in my subject that I ended up writing three!

For anyone who has read the English satirical classic 1066 and All That, or enjoyed an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus or Jeeves and Wooster, you will recognize the strain of humor straight away. Harder than it looks, but fun to attempt! (Full disclosure: I am listening now to a seventeen-cassette audio book version of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson. It creeps into every conversation!)

The photos below come from the college visit trip I made with Julia last year to Philadelphia.


“A penny saved…”

Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!


April 10, 2017 Poem: “Music So Loud We Can’t Hear”

NaPoWriMo 2017 April 10

Music So Loud We Can’t Hear
for Luke
(Joe Bonamassa Concert, March 18, 2017)

It’s as if all the thunder
and bison hooves
pounding over the Great Plains
for centuries,
the spiral winds turning
skies green, and
all the demon freight trains
who shriek across burnt horizons
have gathered here,
in Minneapolis, on stage
at the Orpheum Theater.

Thanks to Benjamin Franklin—
his kite and key and legacy
of innovation at G.E.—we
are temporarily deafened,
our ears sheared free
of their function, and
hearing itself driven deep
into our chests, nearing
the knocking of our own hearts
and even deeper, toward
the lost hell of Orpheus
himself, into the mineral
music of our very bones.

Now we’re tuned to a new key,
flung beyond anticipation
into agitated deep seas:
those inky blues of desperation.

Leslie Schultz

As you will know if you saw my post of March 20 this year, the Joe Bonamassa concert was a high water mark for me. I am still thinking about it, “hearing my memory” of it, and playing the CD I purchased that evening.

Here’s to those sharp peaks, moments of not-so-easy but profound listening!


Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

Poem in Progress: April 7, 2016

Number 7


Forsythia suspensa

brighter than sunlight—
high folded blossoms chatter
perched on wet black twigs


Scilla siberica

bluer than water—
pooling blooms wash these green lawns
tide rising each year

Leslie Schultz

Scilla Pools

Always coming before the leaves arrive, just when we Minnesotans are starved for color, these color wheel botanical opposites thrill and cheer me. This year our back garden is especially lush. (Tim and I agree that on that mythical day when our ship comes in we will celebrate by buying 1,000 new scilla bulbs to colonize the front garden which currently has only one handkerchief-sized patch.) I would also like to plant our own forsythia someday. (I am inspired by ones on our street and dazzled by the ones I saw–glimpsed at in this photograph–recently in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.)

Until tomorrow!  Leslie

News Flash! THIRD WEDNESDAY Has Published My Poem, “The Cannon City Creamery”!

Red Letter

Wings and Windows Envelope Back

You’ve heard of Red Letter Days? Around Christmas, I received something extra-special in the mail: my contributor’s copy to the Fall/Winter version of Third Wednesdayan excellent journal that combines poetry, fiction, photography, and essays on craft and life. There was also a small check, a rare event in the life of a working poet, and a testament to the serious way the editorial staff regards the work they review. I am enjoying the introduction to the work of other poets, writers, and artists, and I am really happy to have a poem of mine in such fine company.

In addition to publishing the journal, Third Wednesday, holds an annual poetry contest. The deadline is in the last week of January each year; three winners will receive not only publication but also a prize of $50. You can send up to three poems (none to exceed two pages) and a $10 contest reading fee to be considered for the prize (address below).

Do you have some work you’ve been planning to send out? Consider Third Wednesday. You can be sure that your words will be read with respect by experienced editors who are themselves writers.

Third Wednesday Cover

Third Wednesday Back Cover INSERT

Wishing good news to each of you, Leslie