Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
~
February 2024
HP Poet: Jamadhi Verse
Age: 39
Country: USA


Question 1: A warm welcome to the HP Spotlight, J Verse. Please tell us about your background?

Jamadhi Verse: "I was born and on and off raised in a small town in Northern New Jersey, about 25 minutes outside of New York City. My childhood was a constant, unstable state of motion. As a little girl I was always changing homes, schools, and states every year, dissolving possessions, driving back and forth across the country in all directions on the open, endless road. Always beginning new chapters that required the courage to say hello and the inevitability of saying goodbye. The only thing that remained familiar and everlasting was the acceptance and necessity to repeatedly let go of everything and everyone and have faith that there was nothing that could not be regained in some new form, in some new place. I studied at Pace University in Manhattan and Middlesex University in London, as an Anthropology major with a minor in Religious Studies. I have spent most of my adult life in Seattle, Washington and have lived very simply. I have never felt a pull toward a specific career or setting down permanent roots. I don’t wish to own a home or become a parent. I am inclined only to explore and learn as much as I can, to watch and marvel at unpredictability, and to write of my witnessing it. I am blessed to have had many adventures and I have a lot of interesting and strange stories."


Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Jamadhi Verse: "I have been writing poetry on and off since I was a child, but words did not become a flowing torrent for me until I was in my late 20s. The unaddressed and unspoken suddenly wanted outside of me. The silence and stoicism that my childhood strictly enforced could stand its firm stance no longer. The dam broke and the river roared and suddenly for the first time ever, my true self was speaking and I was learning about the woman that it turns out that I am.

I have been on HP for almost 8 years. Through this site I grew loud my own inner voice, discovered my strength, and broke away from my shyness. I learned I could allow myself to write without trepidation. HP has allowed me many close friendships and even a loving relationship with another poet here. This site has been a true gateway and an unexpected journey."



Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Jamadhi Verse: "A thin, crescent moon hanging in the black sky. The reverberating sound of the waves. Longings that run so painfully deep they create a chasm in your being. Nostalgia that cuts deep with illusion. The magic of a moment dancing its circles around you. Everything comes to me, wanting to be put into Words."


Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Jamadhi Verse: "I found poetry as a means to finally use my voice. I grew up in traumatic circumstances as a child, learning very early on that the best way to stay strong was to be quiet and keep all opinions, needs, and desires to myself. I was inwardly a very intense world of observations and dreaming that was completely stifled and uncharted. I was so good at dismissing my own feelings that as I moved into adulthood I had to admit that I knew nothing of my own self. I never let anything inside me, out. Poetry was the unraveling confession. The voice that refused to stop speaking until my eyes and heart were finally wide open to who I am and my stance in life. It was my complete release into trust, gratitude, and acceptance through full honesty. Once I discovered I could closely connect to others through this medium and realized that poetry helps to inspire, heal, and even walk other’s through their most challenging points in life, it became my central meaning. Poetry is our inmost intimacy, grown ripe when given to the light. It feeds others through their famine and plants new seeds."


Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Jamadhi Verse: "Rainer Maria Rilke, Rumi, Pablo Neruda, Ann Sexton, T.S. Eliot. They are the light and shadow in everyone."


Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Jamadhi Verse: "Photography is as crucial a part of my life as my writing. I love to take walks deep in nature. I am a passionate music enthusiast and see as much live music as possible. My record is 76 concerts in a year. I love to travel and have visited 14 countries so far. I have a deep kinship with animals and enjoy birds and dogs best. I enjoy reading, puzzles, live theater, and museums. I am interested in all subjects that fall into the realm of mystery and the paranormal. I practice psychedelic exploration, meditation, sensory deprivation, and other forms of exploring our consciousness."


Carlo C. Gomez: “We wish to thank you for giving us this opportunity to get to know the person behind the poet, J Verse! We are honored to add you to this series!”

Jamadhi Verse: "Thank you with all my heart for allowing me to speak today and for your receptiveness to my words. I heal because you listen."



Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed coming to know Jamadhi Verse a little bit better. I surely did. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez

We will post Spotlight #13 in March!

~
~
January 2024
HP Poet: Melanii
Age: 27
Country: USA


Question 1: We welcome you to the HP Spotlight, Melanii. Please tell us about your background?

Melanii: "My real name is Arianna. I was born and raised around Dallas, TX and am currently still living here. As it relates to writing, my background draws heavily from exposure to the arts as a child and the fascination, I guess, for beauty that this instilled. My parents (but especially my dad) were enthusiastic about music, art, history, literature, and the sciences, and my interest in all of these topics was piqued by association. Growing up I can recall countless visits to the local art museum, watching documentaries in the evenings after school, attending operas with my parents, and running home after school in the early days of each month to see if the latest issue of National Geographic had arrived so I could soak up the pictures and get lost daydreaming of faraway lands and peoples.

With time these influences grew into a general interest in the humanities. I attended the University of North Texas in Denton from 2014-2017 and studied anthropology, French, and Russian after doing a 180 on my initial intention of studying and pursuing psychology as a career path at a different school. At the time it felt kind of reckless, but in hindsight it was definitely the right decision.

After graduating, I was working as a barista and somewhere along the way ended up going to Prague for a month in the summer of 2018 to do a TEFL certification, fell into poetry that fall, and then returned to Prague for 11 months in 2019 to teach English. It was very much the best and the worst of times: I met some amazing people while there, took the opportunity to travel around a bit, and lived and learned from a horrendous relationship that also transpired during that year. I definitely went into that experience without any clear objectives or expectations; looking back, life definitely took that complacency and turned the tables with it, and while it took several years afterwards for the dust to fully settle, I've made it out the other side stronger, more intentional, and more assertive than before.

Since then, life has really just been what it's been. There have been ups and downs, of course, but the lows don't hit as hard anymore. Right now, there's not much to report and I plan to keep it that way. It's nice. Peaceful. It's a new year, and with it I will continue to focus on working, saving money, making a dent in the hydra that my reading list has become, and overall just living well and building towards the future."



Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Melanii: "As a teenager I’d scribble fragments of poems here and there, but never considered writing to be a hobby. That all changed around September 2018 when, for whatever reason, I decided that I enjoyed writing and wanted to dedicate more time to it. As mentioned in Question #2, this was right around the time I was preparing to relocate to Prague. It's kind of hard to describe; maybe it was just the excitement of the unknown, but that whole period of time had a sense of magic and beauty about the way it was unfolding which the “discovery” of poetry as a creative outlet only elevated."


Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Melanii:  "At first, it seemed like “there was inspiration around every corner”, to quote another poet I read here on HP one time (can't remember who it was or the title of the piece, but they were describing how great poets like Bukowski seemed to find inspiration so effortlessly, and the way they phrased it has stuck with me). Fast forward five years to today, and while I don't write as prolifically anymore the words come when I have something to say.

Inspiration comes from many sources for me: music, art, and nature; random thoughts, feelings, ideas, and observations; the works of other poets; travel when it happens; disappointments in family and other relationships; loneliness…

As far as the actual writing process goes, it's pretty random. More often than not, I'd say the poems write themselves and I just jot them down once they're ready, or as they evolve and refine themselves to fruition. Not the most thoughtful approach, but it comes from the heart."



Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Melanii: "To me, poetry is a language — specifically a language of consciousness in its purest, most elemental form. Poetry has the ability of transcending and even defying the typical rules of language without losing cogency, and for me it's this inherent flexibility that makes it at once so unique and so impactful as an art form."


Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Melanii: "Federico García Lorca, Li Qingzhao, and Pablo Neruda are the top 3 names that come to mind. I enjoy the unique way that each one of them uses language and imagery to illustrate the pieces of their lives and humanity which they decided to share through their writing. There's an element of surrealism, sensuality, and expansiveness running through each of their writing styles that speaks to me in the way it encompasses the beauty and complexity of life's possibilities across good and bad times alike."


Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Melanii: "I enjoy traveling and would love to be in a place someday where I can do so more often. The urge to explore again has been gnawing at me recently, so after a little bit of research and number crunching, I renewed my passport and booked a flight to Peru for three weeks in March. I had promised myself to visit a new region the next time I traveled, and despite growing up in Texas I have yet to visit Latin America. The plan is to start in Cusco, sightsee there, then head south into Bolivia to tour the Salar de Uyuni, which has been on my bucket list since learning of its existence from National Geographic. I couldn't believe that a place like that was real, and words cannot express how excited I am to finally experience the landscape in person! With March marking the beginning of the end of the rainy season, I'm hoping to still catch some of the “mirror” effect that the salt flats are so famous for. After touring the flats, the plan is to take an overnight bus back to La Paz before heading north again towards Lima with some sightseeing stops along the way and a few days left over in the city before flying back home. So we'll see what happens!

Languages are a long standing interest as well. I studied French for 7 years between high school and college, and Russian for the 3 years I spent at university. Since graduating, I've kept up with both through podcasts, YouTube videos, news articles, and music, and despite being far from fluent in either it's helped a lot with retention and comprehension. Learning ancient Greek has also been an on-and-off endeavor since 2017 after reading Euripides’ plays and deciding that I'd like to read Medea in its original text someday. Time will tell if that ever happens, but I did recently complete an online introductory course to the language which was a nice memory refresher and helped with unpacking some of the grammatical concepts that threw me for a loop back when I first started and which are part of the reason I fell away from Greek in the first place. After Greek, I would like to learn some Coptic, Farsi, and Turkish, and would be satisfied with learning to read at least one sentence in Mandarin in my lifetime.

Outside of travel and languages, I enjoy researching and cooking dishes from various cuisines, reading, taking walks, trying out different exercise classes on days off (recently I've done tai chi, pilates, barre, aerial silks, and kickboxing, but in the past I've tried pole fitness, archery, aerial silks, cycling, and horseback riding), visiting art museums, dropping by the symphony or opera once in a blue moon, and watching videos and documentaries on philosophy, history, theology (not religious, though, just curious), and science."



Carlo C. Gomez: “Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to get to know the person behind the poet, Melanii! We have loved adding you to this series!”

Melanii: "Thank you so much for having me and for all your efforts conducting this series of interviews! It's truly a pleasure having the opportunity to break the ice and learn more about our fellow poets."



Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Melanii little bit better. I indeed did. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez

We will post Spotlight #12 in February!

~
~
December 2023
HP Poet: Marshal Gebbie
Age: 78
Country: New Zealand


Question 1: We welcome you to the HP Spotlight, Marshal. Please tell us about your background?

Marshal: "My name is Marshal Gebbie and I write under "M" or "M@Foxglove.­Taranaki. NZ". I am 78 years old and a native son of Australia. I came to New Zealand for a looksee with a pack on my back and a guitar under my arm, intended spending six weeks but absolutely fell in love with the Kiwi people and this magnificent little jewel of a country nested deep in the waves of the great Southern ocean of the South Pacific. I've now been here 54 years and counting. I married darling Janet back about 35 years ago and we produced two fine sons, Boaz and Solomon both of whom have great careers, wonderful partners...and in Solomon's case, produced a delightful granddaughter for us to love and spoil to bits.

From ****** agricultural college I went to the darkest, deepest wilds of Papua New Guinea as an Agricultural Officer, returned to Australia two years later to become a secondary college teacher in Ag Science. Easily the most satisfying profession of my life in that I succeeded in drawing the pearls of enlightenment from within the concrete mass of the, then, recalcitrant, brickheaded studenthood to realise the wonder of discovery, involvement and engender, within them, a genuine spirit of endeavour. Stepping off the boat in NZ I took a bouncers job in a rough public bar, three months later I started my own brand new tavern @ the Chateau Tongariro in the skifields of Mt Ruapehu.

Seeing a unique opportunity and with no money of my own I bought a derelict motorcamp in the small country township of National Park, named the place "Buttercup Camp" and set about making the enterprize one of the very first destination holiday venues in New Zealand. I pioneered paddle boat white water rafting on the wild rivers of the North Island, commercial adventure horse trekking in the wilderness trails, guided adventure hikes across the active volcanos of Ruapehu, Nguarahoe and Tongariro. Cheffed three course roast dinners and piping hot breakfasts for up to 150 house guests daily and initiated an alpine flightseeing business and air taxi service to and from Auckland and Wellington International to the National Park airstrip, a long grassy, uphill paddock liberally populated by flocks of sheep and/or herds of beef cattle.

Somewhere along the way I earned myself a Commercial Pilots Licence and owned, through the duration, 7 different aircraft. With the sudden fiscal collapse of tourism in the late 80s along with several inconvenient local volcanic eruptions, I divested myself from "Buttercup", moved my young family to Auckland and took up a 20 year lease of a derelict motel in Greenlane. Within three months I had converted the business into Auckland's premier truckstop providing comfortable welcoming accommodation, piping hot dinners and early breakfasts with the added bonus of a pretty young thing serving drinks in the bar....Super service with a smile for the nations busy truck drivers.
It worked like a rocket for ten years then the local matrons objected to the big rigs starting up at 4am and the Ministry of Transport and the Local Authority shut me down.

I worked the last 12 years of my serious working life as a Storeman and Plant Coordinator for a major construction company building motorways and major traffic tunnels in and under Auckland city and in rural Hamilton. I loved every minute of it all and objected furiously when they retired me at age 75.

Now I'm happily a Postman Pat in a little rural country town on the coast called Okato, have been for three years and shall continue be, gleefully, until they put me in the box. It has been a helluva run....and I wouldn't have missed a minute of it all."



Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Marshal: "Poetry started for me when I wrote a beautiful ditty as an exercise at high school.....and the caustic old crow of a teacher said, publicly,...."You didn't write this!" That got the juices flowing and set me off on the tangent of proving my worth as a writer....and I have never stopped."


Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Marshal: "Falling in love for the very first time kick started the romanticisms....it took me years to mollify that. Since then and throughout life Poetry has hallmarked discovery, achievement, white hot anger, combat and delight!"


Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Marshal: "It is the medium of expression which allows the spirit to enhance and colour my world."


Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Marshal: "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Emily Dickinson, WL Winter, WK Kortas, L Anselm, Victoria (God Bless her), and a character, sadly long gone from these pages, JP. All favourite poets of mine."


Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Marshal: "With the slowing of my battered body these days I commit myself to my darling wife, Janet, our kids, now grown and living out there in the big wide world, and in growing and nurturing the truly magnificent gardens of "Foxglove" ......following the All Black rugby team and enjoying the serenity of a cut glass noggin of Bushmills Irish whiskey (neat), sitting in my favourite chair, watching the sun set in golden array over the grey waters of the distant Tasman Sea, far, far below."


Carlo C. Gomez: “Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to get to know you, Marshal! It is an honor to include you in this series!”

Marshal: "Greetings Carlo and thanks for the opportunity to unload on my fellow poets."



Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Marshal better. I learned so much about his fascinating life. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez & Mrs. Timetable

We will post Spotlight #11 in January!

~
Below are some of Marshal's favorite poems and links to each one:

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1620867/windwitch-of-the-deep/
Windwitch of the Deep by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
hellopoetry.com

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1274911/running-the-beast/
Running the Beast by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
hellopoetry.com

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/386523/so-wetly-one/
Once, so wetly one. by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
hellopoetry.com

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/435103/perchance-in-a-bus-shelter/
Perchance, in a Bus Shelter by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
hellopoetry.com

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/389195/white-foggy-days/
White, Foggy Days by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
hellopoetry.com

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/266893/cheetah/
Cheetah by Marshal Gebbie
Click to read the poem and comment...
hellopoetry.com
~
November 2023
HP Poet: Lori Jones McCaffery
Age: 84
Country: USA


Question 1: We welcome you to the HP Spotlight, Lori. Please tell us about your background?

Lori: "I was born Loretta Yvonne Spring in a tarpaper shack on Lone Oak Road, Longview Washington, on New Years Day in 1939. That means I’ll soon turn 85. In high School a boyfriend changed my first name to Lori and I kept it. At 29 I married and became Lori Spring Jones. (I signed poems “lsj”) I had one child, a daughter, and when 20 years later I divorced, I kept the Jones name. I married again, in 1988 and became Lori Jones McCaffery, sometimes with a hyphen, sometimes not. I’m still married to that Brit named Colin and I speak “Brit” fluently. I sign everything I write “ljm” (lower case). I didn’t know about handles when I joined HP, so I just used my whole name and then felt I may have seemed uppity for using all of it. If I had a handle, it would likely be POGO. Short for Pogo stick. Long Story. I have an older sister and a younger brother. Both hate my poetry. My parents divorced when I was 12. My mother’s family was originally from No. Carolina. I’m proud of my Hillbilly blood. I went to college on a scholarship. Worked at various jobs since I was in high school. Moved to Los Angeles in 1960 just in time to join the Hippy/summer-of-love/sunset-strip-scene, which I was heavy into until I married. I read my stuff at the now legendary Venice West and Gas House in Venice Beach during that period. I’ve been an Ins. Claims examiner, executive secretary, Spec typist, Detective’s Girl Friday, Bikini Barmaid, Gameshow Contestant Co-ordinator, Folk Club manager, organizational chef, and long time Wedding Director. (I’ve sent 3,300 Brides down the aisle) "


Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Lori: "I wrote my first poem in the 5th grade and never stopped. I had an awakening in 1957 when I worked at a resort during school break and met another poet, who unleashed a need to write that I’ve never been able to quell. I joined Hello Poetry in 2015, I think. Seems like I’ve always been here. I tend to comment on everything I read here. I’ve received no encouragement from my family so I feel compelled to encourage my “family” here. I do consider a large number of fellow writers friends, and value the brief exchanges we have. I don’t know if Eliot intended HP to be a social club but among us regulars, it kind of has been, and I love that."


Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Lori: "Living inspires me. The intricacies of relationships, and the unpredictability of navigating society. A news story often does it. A song may stir words. Other poetry often sets me off on a quest of my own. I write very well to deadlines and prompts. I adore BLT’s word game and played it a lot in the beginning. Seeing the wonderful job Anais Vionet does with them shamed me away. I have hundreds of yellow lined pages with a few lines of the ‘world’s greatest poem’ on each, all left unfinished because I’m great at starts and not so great on endings. Some day, I tell myself….some day."


Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Lori: "Poetry has been a large part of my life as long as I can remember. I would feel amputated without it. I recited the entire “Raven” from memory in Jr. High School. I still remember most of it. More recently I memorized “The Cremation of Sam McGee” Poetry is my refuge - with words I can bandage my hurts, comfort my pain and loss, share my opinions and assure myself that I have value. It is where I laugh and also wail. I would like to think it builds bridges."


Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Lori: "My favorite poets include Edgar Allen Poe, Robert W Service, Amy Lowell (I read ‘Patterns’ in a speech contest once), Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein, and Lewis Carroll."


Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Lori: "I’m a collector. Whippet items, vintage everything, I read voraciously: 15 magazine subs, speculative fiction (SF) and anything else with words written on it. I try to read everything every day on HP. I watch Survivor religiously and keep scorecards. Ditto for Dancing with the Stars. I’m a practicing Christian with a devilish side and involved heavily in Methodist church work, which includes cooking for crowds and planning events."


Carlo C. Gomez: “Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to get to know you, dear Lori! It is an honor to include you in this series!”

Lori: "Thank you so much for this very undeserved honor. This is a wonderful thing you are doing. I know I write with a different voice than many, and it is empowering to be accepted for this recognition. I apologize for being so verbose in answering your questions. When you get to my age you just have so many stories to tell."



Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Lori better. I learned so much. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez & Mrs. Timetable

We will post Spotlight #10 in December!

~
~
October 2023
HP Poet: Maddy
Age: 65
Country: USA


Question 1: We welcome you to the HP Spotlight, Maddy. Please tell us about your background?

Maddy: "Retired Teacher now Media and Digital Literacy Educational Consultant and writer."


Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Maddy: "Been writing since I was eight. Three years now as an HP member."


Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Maddy:  "Poetry wakes me in the middle of the night on airplanes and when I walk. It is still one of my best friends other than my husband, sister, and Best BFF Irene."


Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Maddy: "It is my friend and companion and is a precious asset. Without it my life would be empty."


Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Maddy: "Thoreau, EE Cummings, Sappho, MAYA Angelou, Carole King, Emily Torres, Mary Oliver, Millay, and many here on HEPO."


Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Maddy: "I love Travel, Photographer, Nature, Cooking, Theatre, Concerts, and Reading."


Carlo C. Gomez: “Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to get to know you, dear Maddy! You are a wonderful addition to the series!”

Maddy: "Thanks and looking forward to it and your review of my book on Amazon."



Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Maddy a little bit better. I indeed did. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez (aka Mr. Timetable)

We will post Spotlight #9 in November!

~
Maddy: "My books 'Put Your Boots On and Dance in the Rain' and 'Beautiful Heart' are both available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and local bookstores in the US. My best poems are here on Hello Poetry, you can choose."

"Here are five of my favorites." - Carlo C. Gomez

Anatomy of a Poem:
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/4440901/anatomy-of-a-poem/

Special Someones:
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/3265576/special-someones/

Isles of Skye and Iona:
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/4427746/isles-of-skye-and-iona/

Only You:
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/4731877/only-you/

Beautiful Heart:
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/4569936/beautiful-heart/
~
September 2023
HP Poet: Old Poet MK
Age: 80, but feels 79
Country: Canada


Question 1: We welcome you to the HP Spotlight, Old Poet MK. Please tell us about your background?

Old Poet MK: "I was a poor scholar…difficult concentration issues from grade school onward…very little was known about dyslexia in those early years…it’s a bit of a different world…many blessings and all kinds of curses. I was fortunate to invent and able to patent a few things that people were willing to pay for. My wife and I opened a small factory and manufactured decorative accessories for interior designers in the commercial market, offices…malls…lobby’s, etc. Making a living doing something you enjoy…feels good…and for almost 40 years It was hard working fun…I was inventing day and night."


Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Old Poet MK: "I recall attempting poetry when I was in my early 20’s…lyrics for tunes, etc…but I didn’t keep a record of that period, it wasn’t until my early 50’s when Leonard Cohen captured me in the magic of his rhythmic language…it was a melodic trap…the lyrics blew my mind and my world got a little bigger, from that time on I wrote frequently…and read the work of many poets trying to figure out how it all works….I wrote for my own enjoyment and a deep desire to improve...I began to submit my poems on a couple of sites about 12 years ago…I finally found Hello Poetry in 2016…the best of the lot in its own way…There are talented wonderful people here…"


Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Old Poet MK: "There’s no particular formula or pattern….I think it happens when I get a little edgy…and my unconscious has observed a puzzle untamed…for me poetry is self discovery, it emerges raw…and I do my best to tame it."


Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Old Poet MK: "Poetry is important to me….a sense of fulfilment digesting the work of the great poets…incredible philosophies between the words….reading the work of fellow poets…learning from heartfelt insight…I take my own work seriously and work ******* interpretation and refinement…it all feels a worthy time spent….squeezing meaning out of abstraction and allegory tongues or plain words. The freedom of poetry is a gift….the lightning speed of brevity conquers a complex point in a flash….compared to a few pages of prose…it is a fascinating creative process using colors of your own choice…up down or sideways…verse rhyme or hybrid…you birth an original poem."


Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Old Poet MK: "Leonard Cohen…I understand his misery. Irving Layton…another Canadian poet…a close friend and mentor of Cohen…fascinating love poems. Bukowski…for his genius and dignity. Mark Strait…amazing work that surprises. Billy Collins…the lightness of his heart. Emily Dickinson…who forced me to find the voice in a poem and it’s attitude to help me understand and interpret (as important as writing itself) and I don’t always get it…"


Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Old Poet MK: "It is wonderful when one retires and has a few hobbies and deep interests. I’m an Audiophile…with a proud record collection and old vintage gear. I clean, preen and constantly improve. I paint large abstract expression (acrylic on canvas), they take a long time, sometimes one will surprise me and end up on a wall. I’ve been playing saxophone since I was a kid….never could read worth a nickel, yet it’s been very rewarding…the challenge and joy of improvisation trusting your ear. In the world of jazz I’ve met and performed with amazing people…"


Carlo C. Gomez: “Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to get to know you, my friend! You are a wonderful addition to the series!”

Old Poet MK: "Thank you Carlo…Appreciated….What you do is not easy…"



Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Old Poet MK a little bit better. I indeed did. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez (aka Mr. Timetable)

We will post Spotlight #8 in October!

~
~
August 2023
HP Poet: Amanda Kay Burke
Country: USA


Question 1: We welcome you to the HP Spotlight, Amanda. Please tell us about your background?

Amanda: "It just so happens my HP handle is my actual full name. When I originally signed up on this site it was wordybirdy333 but a friend of mine suggested my real name would seem more professional and I was inclined to agree so Amanda Kay Burke it's been ever since. I am 28 years old physically but will forever be a kid at heart. And I was born and raised in the US; Alaska more specifically. I have to admit I haven't accomplished a whole lot yet in my life, seeing as how I suffer from recurring depression/addiction problems. Which is probably an excuse, but hey everyone has their issues. I have lived in a small town called Willow, AK basically my whole life; I have only been out of state one time (that I remember) but I would love to travel and see the world one day. My mother passed away last year so since then I have been keeping my dad company trying to provide whatever emotional support I am able to. I have a Chihuahua named Mocha and she is my best friend and one of my only friends these days but the few people I do hold close to my heart make my life worthwhile."


Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Amanda: "I have been writing poetry since I was just a kid, probably nine or ten years old, but I remember being eleven when I wrote the first poem that I knew was actually good. I have been a member of HP since April 2017 so that makes six years now huh? Wow time flies..."


Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Amanda: "Patty m described it perfectly when she said that it feels like they write themselves at least the truly superb pieces do. I don't know where the words come from sometimes they just flow from the pen and when I'm done I read it over and get goosebumps because I can't believe that it came from my hand/brain. But the majority take a lot of effort. I like to challenge myself to always keep writing when I can, even when I have writers block and don't approve of the result. And I always post it eventually just to compare against my other works. (No matter how cringey) those I derive inspiration from my daily experiences mostly heartbreak/relationships/depression/substance abuse I am not very good at writing happy poems I try about nature and other positive subjects but they lack the raw talent and depth of my darker poetry."


Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Amanda: "Poetry for me has a very loose definition I have crafted everyday conversations into poems before for instance. I also believe some experiences in life can be considered poetry or at least equates to it in some manner such as making love or the setting sun if that makes any sense to anyone besides me."


Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Amanda: "My favorite poets are Dorothy Parker, Ogden Nash, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Leonard Cohen, and Eminem who is in my opinion the greatest poet of our generation by far. After all, rap stands for 'rhythm and poetry'."


Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Amanda: "My other interests are art such as coloring, painting, and I recently received a pottery wheel that I haven't tried out yet. Music is also a huge part of my life, I love writing lyrics to instrumentals, listening to different artists to broaden my tastes, or just singing along to old favorites. I have also recently gotten into online gambling such as slots and blackjack."


Carlo C. Gomez: “Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to get to know you, Amanda! You are a wonderful addition to the series!”



Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Amanda a little bit better. I indeed did. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez (aka Mr. Timetable)

We will post Spotlight #7 in September!
~
~
July 2023
HP Poet: N (Neville Pettitt)
Country: UK


Question 1: Welcome to the HP Spotlight, Neville. Please tell us about your background?

N: "Although I currently post my little scribbles here under the initial N, I once used to sign myself off with my full first name which is Neville and in fact, I may well do so again .. For anyone interested, my full pen name is Neville Pettitt and it is only after much deliberation that have I decided to reveal it here today .. My birth name is different .. The reason for my caution is entirely due to my line of work .. I am employed as a clinical specialist in adult psychiatry, with special interests in substance misuse, personality disorder and clinical risk management .. Consequently, from time to time I may be called upon by the Coroner, local Mental Health Trusts, or very occasionally the police dept, to conduct in depth investigations into serious adverse events for example, murders and or suicides .. I hope the reason for my transparency becomes clearer as you read on (that is, assuming anyone actually does read on) .. I studied at both Middlesex & Hertfordshire universities and have occasionally served as a volunteer in psychiatric facilities overseas .. The longest was a few years ago at Tanka Tanka Hospital in West Africa the Gambia and Senegal to be precise where I managed to last just under six months .. I am as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth, I was born and currently live in a beautiful part of England by the sea in the county of Somerset and in an old converted Banked Barn that dates back to 1547 .. I know I am very lucky .. I have two grown children .. My daughter heads up the hepatology department at a local hospital and my son has his own business .. My wife was previously a partner at a General Practice .. In 1995 I registered as a Kongo Zen Buddhist and am also a black belt student of Shorinji Kempo which I also used to teach .. "


Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

N: "I guess I have been writing poetry for the best part of my life to date, certainly from around ten or eleven and I have been posting here at ‘Hello Poetry’ for around three years or thereabouts .. "


Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

N: "When asked what inspires me, I often find myself lost for words because there are so many things, I love nature, people generally, travelling, my work occasionally and those I encounter during the course of just being .. There’s probably not a lot that I have not been inspired to write about at some time or other .. Relationships of course do tend to feature a lot, as do both losses and gains of various kinds .. My lovely parents, now both deceased were also a great source of inspiration too .. I would be lieing if I denied getting pleasure from writing .. I get a great deal of pleasure from it .. and I enjoy trying to give others pleasure too .. Sometimes my muse deserts me for a while and I get those dreaded blank page days but always carry a pen and notepad around just in case something tickles my fancy or I get one of those light bulb moments .. "


Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

N: "As already mentioned, poetry in many of its various forms has been a major part of my life, if not a friend and comfort for almost as long as I can remember .. I also use it as a means of expressing my self and communicating with others .. However, in the last five or six years, I have been publishing anthologies in order to raise money for each of my chosen charities .. Mental Health of course features, but also for Breast cancer since my wife had this .. More recently however, Brain Tumour research has been included following the death of my sister in law and my little niece developing a similar brain tumour too at age four years .. I currently have eight books/anthologies of poetry in print which are available almost anywhere on the planet from Amazon .. and these are listed in chronological order below a ninth is due out in early 2024 and called A Handful of Ghosts and a Woman in Blue .. a bit of a mouthful I know, but it features an old image of my wife on the cover ..

Turquoise & Other Shades of Blue

Somewhere Behind These Eyes

Victims of Indifference

Beautiful Bruises

The Logic of Fools

Cotton Girls & Paper Chains

Chasing Light

Slaves of Eros"



Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

N: "My favourite poets are Leonard Cohen whom I kind of grew up with and who incidentally once wrote to me twice in fact .. or to be absolutely correct, the first time, he answered one of my letters to him .. I am also a fan of the late great Sylvia Plath, Charles Bukowski and oh’ so many others both classical and more modern .. "


Question 6: What other interests do you have?

N: "Other interests include travelling in particular foreign travel, dining in and eating out, gardening painting and drawing when I have time .. (hardly ever these days) I still practice zazen as per Kongo zen and I enjoy reading and listening to music .. "


Carlo C. Gomez: “Thank you so much for taking part in this series, my friend! You have truly enlightened us about yourself.”

N: "Finally, I would just like to say what a real and great honour and a privilege it was to be asked to post a little about myself here on this mighty fine poetry site and to express my very sincere thanks to anyone that follows me or reads just one of my works .. Many thanks to one and all .. Peace, Love & All Good Things, Neville"




Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed Neville's story. For certain I have. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez (aka Mr. Timetable)

We will post Spotlight #6 in August!
~
N: "Having been asked to list a few of my own favourite poems has proved impossible .. not because there are so many, but because, I truly feel that my next one will be it .. however, I do sincerely hope that others here who are kind enough to visit any of my scribbles will each have their own .."

Carlo C. Gomez: "I highly recommend Neville's book 'Turquoise and Other Shades of Blue.'  It's an anthology of 200 journeys. Open and direct, Neville allows us to be privy to his disquieting thoughts about life, love, loss, ***, curiosities, and travails; whether they be his successes or failures. The poem  ‘War Is Not for Lovers’ is an essential read."

War Is Not For Lovers:
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/3333072/war-is-not-for-lovers/

Link to book:
https://www.amazon.com/Turquoise-Other-Shades-Neville-Pettitt/dp/1699210268/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3MYUAAWTXINAK&keywords=neville+pettitt&qid=1688237395&sprefix=neville+pettitt%2Caps%2C146&sr=8-2
~
June 2023
HP Poet: Patty Mager
Country: USA


Question 1: Welcome to the HP Spotlight, Patty. Please tell us about your background?

Patty M: "I was born an only child in a 3 generation household. I loved books, and playing imaginary games, and chasing my mom with really long nightcrawlers, my Grandpa raised in a washtub. I was a banker, and a financial banker for many years. I quit to do hospice for my Dad when he was to go into hospice. My husband had heart problems and my little Mom eventually got Cancer. So I nursed and loved them all. My Dad for a year, the others over an 8-year period. I saw the transition of each and the way each handled their ending, and I was there for them all. I consider that a special blessing."


Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Patty M: "I always wrote, but I found a poetry site 20 years ago, and began to write seriously. I've been published in many anthologies both in the US and abroad. I was nominated for the coveted Pushcart Prize twice and I once had a three-page spread in our local newspaper. I came to HP in 2014 and I love this special place with amazingly wonderful poets who have become really great friends."


Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Patty M: "Sometimes poems seem to write themselves, almost like automatic writing."


Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Patty M: "Poetry is spiritual, and a lifesaving rope that carries me through both good and the horrible times of my life."


Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Patty M: "My favorite Poets are: Sylvia Plath, Neruda, Billy Collins, Maya Angelou, Poe, Ginsberg, Anne Sexton, and Longfellow."


Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Patty M: "I love to cook, do crossword puzzles, read, and play card games like canasta, and spider solitaire. Being with family is my heaven."


Carlo C. Gomez: “Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you, dear Patty! I learned a great deal about you!”

Patty M: "Thank again Carlo. Thanks so much for all your help and kindness."




Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Patty a little bit better. I indeed did. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez (aka Mr. Timetable)

We will post Spotlight #5 in July!
~
Carlo C Gomez May 2023
she is inescapable
fringe coefficient
a strange perfume tonight
lips to the phone
he took her on a laptronica trip
bitters and Absolut and pistachio
listening to the frightful sections of an unused movie score
and playing a new game
—studies in paralysis
no sympathy, no violins
just musette and drums
just an avalanche of images
frame-by-frame
Next page