#PoetryMonth – Poetry by @BenDitty

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Today’s Poetry Month post is from Ben Ditmars, aka Ben Ditty, aka Gnomy of the Ditmars…ok, maybe I made that last one up. Either way, I’m glad to have him back on the blog. This poet has been a big help on A Life Among the Pages for years. You can find his work in the Story Time Friday and Prose Verse Babel archives, along with past poetry events. He’s even one of the poets who I worked with on the Four Paws anthology (haven’t heard of it? Click that title back there and check it out!)

To add to his generous contributions to the blog and the poetry community, here is a little bit on why Ben loves poetry. There are also two short poems to follow that up.

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Why I Love Poetry

by Ben Ditmars

Why do I love poetry? I guess it’s an easy way to figure out how you feel. Being a guy, I don’t always know or understand these confusing things called emotions. Writing is good exercise for the fingers too and let’s face it crying hurts. So, if I can write and avoid that stingy eye pain, it’s more than worthwhile. I can’t say the same when I’m reading poetry. In fact, when I’m reading the stingy eye pain isn’t so bad. It’s kind of an eye sweat: getting’ the rods and cones back into shape. Feeling for other people’s pain is sometimes easier than realizing your own.  Or at least there’s distance.  Distance and deflection are two things artists get good at.  Imagine processing emotions in a normal way… It might get boring. Or I might start crying and not know how to stop. That would be the worst. So, basically I love poetry, and emotions are complex, but less complex when you can read with words.

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Demons

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Turned Pink

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About the Author:

meBen 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:

#PoetryMonth – Indie Poetry Recommendations

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It’s the first Sunday of Poetry Month. I thought it might be a fun idea to keep my Sunday Themed Book Recommendations posts going. What better way than with poetry? And to make it more interesting, I’ll be recommending some of my favorite (or probably favorite, once I read them) Indie poetry collections.

Even for me, being an Indie poet, it’s not easy to find many of us around. Yes, we’re around all over the internet, yet I find it hard to find a large amount of us out there who are as easy to find, connect with, and read up on as Indie novelists. Let’s try to change that! Put pride in your work, Indie poets. Get your name out there and build your platform…and say hi to me. I’ll help promote you if/when I can.

I’d love to see some fresh names on this list next time we do Poetry Month. Let’s get more people reading Indie poetry!

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Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

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
hurricanes
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
tinsel.

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
decorated
in fresh snow.

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For a free copy of From Where I Stand use:

CODE: ZV92W

Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/253778

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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 😛 ): miztrebor88@gmail.com. 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 Friday, #NationalPoetryMonth edition – where @BenDitty finds a poem in poetry

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This week, I’m letting Ben Ditmars take the reigns. I won’t talk his poem up too much. He’s capable of doing that himself…
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I haven’t done many found poems. They are tricky and often come out forced having originated from other voices. But for National Poetry Month I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and help promote some poets in the process. So, please enjoy Dirt Road Embers.fancy lineresize

Dirt Road Embers

by Ben Ditmars

Human beings are powder kegs
Electric lightbulbs burning out and
Waiting to explode; we carry on
Please carry me I’m broken
Caught between the gloaming
Wine-stained fringe existence
Broken places bleeding midnight
On a savage rose where
She is strong and I’m inhaling
Smoke through laughter
Birthing madness; nothing left
But pulse and sadness slipping
Into evening; we can’t lose.

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Found poem composed from titles of: Dirt Road Dreams by Susie Clevenger, Nocturnal Embers by Helle Gade, Slinking Under the Electric Lightbulb by Adam Moursy, In the Gloaming by Amber Norrgard, Wine-Stained Parts and Dirty Talk by Adam Moursy; Dizzied by Chance: Poems of a Fringe Existence by Adam Moursy, Broken Places by Rachel Thompson, Savage Rose by Helle Gade, Inhale the Night by Ben Ditmars, Birthing Inadequacy by Natasha Head; Nothing Left to Lose by Natasha Head, Pulse by Natasha Head, Slipping into Evening by Amber Norrgard

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And before you go, here’s a special bonus that Ben did. He recording himself reading this poem for you. And since I’m a big advocate of listening to poetry, along with reading it, I couldn’t pass up the chance to share it with you all. Enjoy

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About the Author:

meBen 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:

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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 😛 ): miztrebor88@gmail.com. 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!

#NationalPoetryMonth Challange!

That’s right: I’m CHALLENGING YOU! As we all know, April is National Poetry Month (international if you want to say. It’s spread pretty far by now.) I like to celebrate it on A Life Among the Pages, and this year is no different. Bringing awareness to poetry and new poetry to readers is always a great goal, even if just one more person gets into poetry. It’ll still be a win. So let’s kick this month off by bringing back a graphic you may remember from last year…

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Poetry Month FB Banner

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Remember that? Either way, you’ll be seeing a lot more of it this month.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what I’m challenging everyone reading this to do: Read a book of poetry. Simple enough right?

I challenge each and every one of you to go out and find a book of poetry that you think you’ll enjoy. Then read it. It could be a single poet collection. It could be a multi-poetry anthology. And if that’s a little too much for you, maybe try easing yourself in with some single poems you find online. As long as there’s an attempt to try to read more poetry, that’s all that really matters.

I know many of my readers read poetry even if it’s occasional. But maybe some of you would like a few suggestions. I’m not sure if I’m good at suggestions, but I’ll try by listing some of my favorite collections that I’ve read and some poets, as well.

A few verse novel suggestions might help those not ready to dive right in.

And here is a list of Indie poets you might have seen on the blog in the past. They’re definitely worth checking out. I’ll link a collection into each name.

I don’t really know where to steer anyone looking for an anthology. I own so many and many have overlapping selections. You can’t really go wrong with one. Read a few poems from them and if it seems like it’ll click with you, that’d probably be a great choice.

ALSO, as a little self-promotion and a help for you (maybe), you may notice the prices on my ebooks have dropped. For the month of April, on Amazon (since 99.9999999999% of my five sales each year come from there)…

From Where I Stand is only $1.23

and

Winter’s Homecoming and other Poems is only $0.99

AND, because I want to be generous, if anyone would like to read one of these collections/chapbooks but can’t afford to buy one…let me know. If you’re serious about reading it (and hopefully leaving an honest review when you’re done), send me a message and I’ll hook you up. I can give out Smashwords coupons for you to grab it for free. You can get it in any format through them. I’m here to spread poetry and that’s what I’ll do my best to do!

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Have I tired your eyes out yet with all this reading? One most big of housekeeping to do and then you can run off.

STORY TIME FRIDAY and PROSE VERSE BABEL…let’s get them going this month! A lot of poetry has been featured on STF so far, but we’ll keep that going if we can this month. PVB hasn’t been alive in a LONG time. Let’s fix that.

So I’m asking for you all to help by contributing. Find out more on how to submit work to each here:

Story Time Friday

Prose Verse Babel

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Ok folks. That’s all for now. Help spread the poetic word and come back often to the blog for most poetry fun all month!

Story Time Friday with poet @BenDitty

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Poetry by Ben Ditmars

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Deficiency

I crash inside deficiency
near shaded trees,
unclimbable, lifeless
as the grieving blues.

leather bound promises
eclipse an achromatic wilderness of
tenderness and strain.

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Feelings Bleed

these feelings won’t
go away, feelings
can’t go away, feelings
bleed, could go away,
pale death, go away.

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Red Sea Revolt

war was always a red sea,
waiting to revolt, my dear,
and we have felt the burning sky
speak fire as the drones strike hearts.

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About the Author:

meBen 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:

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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 😛 ): miztrebor88@gmail.com. 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!

#NewRelease: Inhale the Night, by @BenDitty

Inhale the Night

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Join Ben Ditmars, author of Night Poems and Haiku in the Night, on his final journey through the Midnight hours. Explore and breathe with him as night descends and stars emerge into new memories. Through free-verse, epic, and haiku poetry, some roads are darker than others….

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If you’d like to grab a copy of this collection, you can find it on Amazon in:

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About the Author:

meBen 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: