Story Time Friday: Returns Again…It’s Been Awhile

New Year Story Time Friday Banner

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It’s Friday. Its’ Story Time Friday. And none of you probably remember what that is. I just looked back at the list, and I haven’t done an STF post since last April. There were a series of Poetry Month posts meant to kickstart the STF series and that didn’t work as planned.

But STF is back, at least for this week. And it will be back for weeks to come as long as I have authors and poets who’d like to be featured here. Find out how to submit work at the end of this post or click on the image above.

How better to make a come back of a series called STORY Time Friday…than with a poem? Yea, I couldn’t work both stories and poetry into the title, so instead I just tell people “poems tell stories too, jerks!” I’ve never actually had to do that, but there’s your answer if you were wondering.

I wrote this story early in the month and it’s very rough. I borrowed a thick book of poetry from the library and since I was trying to find some more positive, happy poems for an open mic that week, I ended up having this reaction to the collection. Aside from that, it’s actually a really great collection of 20th Century poetry. I’m going to have to get myself a copy some day. Or, you know, my birthday is in October. Someone could always send me a copy 😉

Here’s that collection if you’re curious about it. I was joking about the birthday present thing. The 20th Century in Poetry. There seem to be penny copies on Amazon, so the next gift card I get, this book’s mine!

And now for my poem…

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20th Century, Ugh

by Robert Zimmermann

I picked up a book
the other day.
It was full of
poetry of the 20th century.
It turns out, it wasn’t
the greatest hundred years.

What I found within
were decades upon
decades of war.
Just when I saw
a section 
with the word
I got hope.
But even in those
years, we were troubled.

Humans aren’t a peaceful
species. We’ve never
been content for long enough.
So why would it be
surprising to find the 1900s
fulfilling of our true nature?
Well, I wasn’t surprised.
I was ashamed.

As the 21st century
moves along,
keep this in mind.

Are we just doomed to
keep up this cycle?
Death, war, false senses
of an ending?

Instead, as we reach
into this new century
let’s do so with a hug
for those who need one.
With a hand, open
to help, not clenched
into a fist.
We can be happy to
make it this far,
to make a place in
the world, but to also
help out our fellow

If the darkness we’ve
kept going doesn’t stop,
why should we keep
going into the darkness?

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For those who wish to be part of Story Time Friday in the near future, you can send submissions to (normally just a review email, but also for STF submission, nothing more). Be sure to use the subject “Story Time Friday Submission” and send your piece as an attachment (.doc/.docx would be best). Any other questions, feel free to comment here or contact me through the blog’s contact form.

Hope to hear from some writers soon!

Story Time…#Christmas

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christmas lineToday is Christmas, for those who celebrate. And for those who don’t, it’s simply another Friday. Either way, it’s time for another installment of Story Time Friday.

There have been a lack of STF posts, as many of you probably noticed. Because of this, I decided to do my best to gather a group of authors for a special holiday post. Turns out my reach isn’t that far these days, but I did have two veteran poets jump at the chance to help me. For today’s special post, I have returning poets Ben Ditmars and Mari Posa. I also have a poem I wrote recently. I have a few others I’m still working on, but this one felt polished enough to share. I hope you like it. I’m sure you’ll like Ben and Mari’s work. And if you do, be sure to check out their other pieces. You can find links to their sites and where to get their books near the bottom of the post.

Don’t be shy if you’d like to be a future guest poet or flash fiction author for Story Time Friday. I’m always looking for people to feature. More info on how to go about submitting a piece is below, as well.

Hope you enjoy these poems. I hope you’re enjoying whatever holiday(s) you do or do not celebrate. And I hope the new year gets off to a great start, if I don’t talk to you before them. Happy Christmas everyone. (Yes, I’m American, not British. But Merry just doesn’t make sense. Happy is for all the other holidays. Christmas doesn’t have to try to be better than the rest.)

One last thing…I have another present for everyone. At the end of my poem, I’ve put a coupon code to use over on Smashwords. You can get a copy of From Where I Stand with it, just add the book to your cart and enter the code at checkout. That coupon’s good until the end of 2015.

Shall We Stand?

by Ben Ditmars

we shall not stand
or come to pass, this way
with tinsel strewn
across an ocean warming
lights submerged by
a melody of peace,
a memory of frost
and what went wrong.

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Who Will Cry?

by Mari Posa

Who will weep for him, this little Syrian boy
Adorned in red soaked cloth and filth
This little boy who once knew joy
He feels pain and sadness and fear
He loves and laughs and cries as you do
If you could pick him up and save him would you?
If you could wrap him in your arms
My bank account can’t reach so far
I cry for your sisters and your mothers and fathers, too
If I had the means to answer this call
The same as you do
But my country has the potential to be great
If we weren’t so fueled with fear
I imagine a world where everyone is free
Not how we are, no, see they’ve lied to me
I know that’s what I’d do.
Unable to be his star
But I cry for you, sweet soul
If I could I’d save you all
They call for a bigger wall
They call for deeper pockets
They want to ship others back
Keep them hidden away
No one should stay
You’re unamerican they cry
If you don’t like it leave
With hate
Why have I been blessed to feel
Ironically it says “In God We Trust”
They are wolves in sheeps clothing
Parading False Prophetic Paradigms
Teaching the youth to fear what they tell them to
I weep for you
I weep for you
God, tell me what can I do?
So much, so much
But there is no God here,
God, please tell me what to do

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Some Trees

by Robert Zimmermann

Some trees
are covered
in lights,
glass balls,
and sparkle
with glitter and

Some trees
more or less
of one thing
or another.
While some trees
are a mess
of color and bright,
blinding cheer.

Some trees
are better
left outside.
Left to grow,
thriving for another
new year.
Left to be
in fresh snow.

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For a free copy of From Where I Stand use:



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About the Authors:

Ben Ditmars is a bestselling author of gnomes, plays, poetry and more.  He was first published in his college publications the Cornfield Review and KAPOW.  Since then he has been featured in several online literary journals including: Flurries of Words, Samizdat Literary Journal, and Shine Journal. You can find his collections of poetry, plays, novel, and short stories for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Ben lives in Marion, Ohio and is currently working toward his Master’s Degree in education at the University of Findlay while substitute teaching. He hopes to instruct high school social studies full-time within the next year.

He loves historical documentaries and all things gnome.

Find out more:

Website | Twitter |Facebook |Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Smashwords Author Page

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Mari Posa is the adult child of a substance abuse parent. She lived in various locations, Colorado and California mostly, but found her way up to the state of Washington after her mother’s death. Here she worked hard to overcome her past and the obstacles presented to her. Mari now spends her days living her dreams as a wife, mother and writer.

Mari has published a collection of poetry, written when she was still a child. She chose to publish these poems because she felt they showed from an adolescent perspective what it is like to live as the child of a substance abuse parent.

Mari is currently working on a full length novel, Clipped Wings, a memoir of her time before adoption and how she overcame the odds.

Find out more:

Website |Twitter | Amazon Author Page

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How to Submit:

For those who wish to be part of Story Time Friday in the near future, you can send submissions to the email address that I formerly used for review requests (but don’t anymore since I’m retired . . . don’t try to be clever and slip one in 😛 ): Be sure to use the subject “Story Time Friday Submission” and send your piece as an attachment (.doc/.docx would be best). Any other questions, feel free to comment here or contact me through the blog’s contact form.

Hope to hear from some writers soon!

A New Chapter: Down Valley Voices

As many of you may have noticed: I don’t get much writing done lately. When’s the last time you saw a Story Time Friday post? September? Yea. It’s been awhile since I’ve had something new to share.

This may be about to change. I know I have stuff in my head to get out. I have to have something in there. I moved 2,000 miles across the country this year. I saw things. I keep seeing things. Just yesterday, a donkey (maybe a mule, I don’t know the difference at a glance) ran through the neighborhood and around a bus unloading kids. It was a strange sight, and I’ve seen some strange things before. If it would have been a deer, like I first thought at a distance, I wouldn’t have thought it too strange. But it was a donkey. How the hell does that happen? Well, maybe some poem or story will come of it. And there will be others from other things I experienced while traveling cross-country, for sure.

Another reason I feel that the writing slump may end soon is and even better life-change. I’m now in a writing group. Well, sort of. Back in October, I attended an open mic night at one of the local coffee shops. Being that I didn’t have new material to read, and no one there knew my work anyway, I brought my copy of From Where I Stand to read a few poems from. That went over well. But it also reminded me that I haven’t published a collection since Winter’s Homecoming in 2013, and Words was the last thing I published…it’s a single poem. I need to do more. I need to give you all more to read.

Well, anyway, this open mic stoked the fires of needing to write even more than I’d been letting them be persuaded. And now, I’m going to be a regular at the open mics. They’re organized by Brittany Rose, a fellow East Coast native (from Massachusetts, I’ll let that slide…GO YANKEES!). She also came up with the idea of Down Valley Voices. It’s sort of a writer’s group of whoever’s at the readings, but I feel like in time it’ll be MUCH more, and I’m looking forward to it. There are many writers in the area and in the two open mics alone, we’ve seen a nice variety of writing and reading styles. Inspiration should be aplenty. I’m hoping that DVV will grow and as we get to know each other, more than just open mics will take place. I think I need that in my writing life. Maybe some writing sessions. Sounding boards for new work. A little push here and there. AND, I’ve already started formulating a collaboration. Possibly a chapbook (or larger) with Brittany since we both crossed the country around the same time (small world!) this year. Seems like a great reason to get together for a collection of poems. I have a name for it already, but I’m keeping it to myself until writing actually begins and more discussion starts. Can’t let the ideas get out too soon. Who knows, there might be more writers coming out soon, and we could get a larger variety of migration poems. There seems to be a lot of people moving out to Colorado from all over the country.

So, that’s what’s been up with my lately. Down Valley Voices may be new, but it will be great. I can feel it. And there’ll be new work for you to read! there has to be. Get on my case if there isn’t and PLEASE, yell at me if you’re really in need of reading material. It helps to hear from my readers!

Before you go, if you’re curious about the open mics, we had the last one recorded. Brittany uploaded the videos to YouTube yesterday. You can find them all here (be sure to subscribe for future videos): DOWN VALLEY VOICES CHANNEL.

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If you don’t want to jump over just yet, here are two of the poems. One’s me reading I WOULD (which you can grab an ebook of for free by clicking the title back there <— ) and the other is my favorite from the night, CIRCLE by Brittany Rose. Oh, and you can read some of her work over on her blog, Sustainable LiteratureThere’s some great stuff over there.

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Story Time Friday – To #NationalPoetryMonth

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fancy lineresizeToday is the first day of May, May Day if you will. Aside from it being the start of a new month, it’s also the end of another. It signals the end of April. But April is more than just another month on the calendar for many. It’s National Poetry Month (which is really international thanks to today’s global communications systems).

As you know, I make a big deal out of NPM. I also make a big deal about poetry year-round. Just because NPM ended, I’ll keep shoving more poetry down your throats (unless enough people make a fuss…then I’ll consider calming down a bit, haha). That means that for today, the first day of May and the first Story Time Friday post after NPM, I’m extending NPM for one last day.

In honor of all who gave poetry even a little more attention in April, here’s a poem to National Poetry Month.

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To National Poetry Month

by Robert Zimmermann


(may I call you that?)
you were fun
while you lasted.
I wish you didn’t have to

You were filled with words,
both written
and read.
You were a month full
of appreciation
for an ancient craft.

the poets and
lovers and
innocent bystanders of unnecessary rhyme,
thank you.

Thank you, April.
For being there
for tortured souls and
inspired dreamers alike… 

Until next year,
A Poet

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For those who wish to be part of Story Time Friday in the near future, you can send submissions to the email address that I formerly used for review requests (but don’t anymore since I’m retired . . . don’t try to be clever and slip on in 😛 ): Be sure to use the subject “Story Time Friday Submission” and send your piece as an attachment (.doc/.docx would be best). Any other questions, feel free to comment here or contact me through the blog’s contact form.

Hope to hear from some writers soon!


Warm Memories – A new #poem

Today’s post is a new poem I wrote about two weeks ago while out on a walk in the woods. Fall comes early where I live. The leaves have been starting to change for over a month now. Aside from winter, fall is one of my favorite seasons.

You may recall an announcement from last year in which I mentioned that I was working on a new collection of poetry. As you probably were able to tell…nothing came out of it. Well, I haven’t forgotten about it. That collection has some work to throw into it, and this poem will probably be in there too (if no one thinks it’s the worst thing I’ve written). It’s just that I haven’t been able to write much in the last year or more. I’m hoping that more of these random bouts of inspiration hit me so I can work on this collection more. Fall plays a big part in the theme, so this is the best time of year to work on it more. Time will tell. For now, here’s my newest poem Warm Memories. I hope you enjoy. I also added a photo I took a few days ago looking down the valley at a colorful section of trees. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments, and let others know about it if you like it. We all need to be exposed to as much poetry as we can. It’s healthy 😉

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*please note that this poem is still a work in progress and hasn’t undergone final revisions at time of posting*

Warm Memories


Falling leaves
fill our noses,
not with decay
but with warm memories.

Piling leaves
jumping in

Picking apples
and baking pies.

Morning walks
through crisp air.

through crisp air.

The world is quilted in warm hues,
the canvas of summer painted over.
Soon the wood stove scent will fill the air
and wearing sweaters will be for more
than fashion.


#PoetryMonth: A little help? and a #free ebook

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Hi everyone! You’ve probably seen that I put my poem Words out as an ebook. It was already posted here and on Wattpad, but some people like reading on ereaders more than a computer screen, so I wanted to make this a free poem to take with you everywhere you go.

The poem is already published and FREE on Smashwords, B&N, and Kobo (hopefully iBooks soon, but they’re slow with that stuff). It’s also published on Amazon, but as we all know, in order to get a book free (not through KDP Select) it needs to be reported as being free elsewhere for them to price match it. That’s where you, my generous fans, come in.

If I could have a few minutes of your time (today and if you can, for as many days as it take to make this happen), would you head on over to Amazon and tell them about the lower price? If you haven’t done with before, it’s simple. At the end of the “Product Details” section of the Amazon page, you’ll find the “tell us about a lower price” option. Simple click that, paste the link to the free book, and type 0.00 into the other two boxes. Then repeat for the other stores. Amazon pages more attention to B&N and Kobo, and normally doesn’t give a shit about Smashwords. So if you can only do one or two, please do those two first. And again, the most often you can do this, and the most people who help, the faster this process will be 🙂 Then my Kindle user fans can grab the book free! But for now, you can grab the mobi from Smashwords and read it on your Kindle, as well.

Below, you’ll find all the links you need. And I’d like to thank you in advance for anything you can do to help. Please share this with your friends if you can, as well. Maybe they’ll enjoy the poem if they check it out. Maybe you will 🙂 If you’d like to review it as well (I know it’s hard to review a short piece, but even a few words would be a great big help) please feel free to do so.
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Amazon –

Links to report:

B&N –
Kobo –
Smashwords –
iBooks –

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Words Cover (200x300)Words is a short poem that’s a taste of an upcoming collection of poetry that I’m working on. The poem started out as a simple observation of the snow in moonlight, and turned into a poem with more to offer.

I’m offering it free to my readers. I’ve had it on my blog, where it’s gotten much response, and wanted to give everyone another way to access it.