Arts’ Watch: April Is National Poetry Month: Write a Poem

Published 10:19 am Saturday, March 26, 2022

National poetry month begins in less than two weeks.

Are you ready to try your hand at writing a poem? No? Well, below are two poems. The first, “Request Denied” is by local poet Marie Parsons, whose book An Echo in the Wind (Main Street Rag, 2021) is available from the publisher or on Amazon.

The second poem is by Rev. Tony Stang, pastor of First Baptist Church, Lexington Ave, Winchester in addition to preaching, is a poet. His poetry comes in two styles—what he terms “blackout theology” and a more traditional style.

Rev. Stang’s Blackout poetry is where he takes pages from a book and blacks out all of the words except those that create the poem.

Unfortunately, the poems don’t work well (I could not get his preferred poem to retain its formatting). So I chose his more traditional “32 E. Lexington Ave” for inclusion here. For more about him and his poetry visit https://www.blackouttheology.com

Request Denied
By Marie Parsons
My Muse so seldom makes me wait
When I seek words that elevate,
Or even words that irritate.
But she’s gone silent now of late.
When I seek words to medicate
A wounded world,
She hesitates.
She’s gone silent now of late.
I ask for words to ease the grief
Of a war-torn world that’s wounded deep,
Soul-soothing words to give relief,
Words of hope and strong belief.
But still my Muse says not a word.
She acts as if she has not heard.
She bows her head,
Avoids my eyes,
As if to say,
Request denied.

32 E. Lexington Avenue
By Tony Stang
For over 150 years you have been a fixture in the community.
Sermons preached—
Some landed, others flopped.
Prayers offered—
Some eloquent, others fumbled.
Coffee made—
Always strong, rarely decaf.
Business meetings had—
Best laid plans made, best laid plans undone.
Members received—
Some stuck around, others soon left.
There was a dawning of hope—
But the pandemic did its best to smother it.
Hope will rise again—
But the church will look different, and the people will be different.
Joy is in the morning—
But there has been a crushing in the night.
As the pandemic ends—
I count the days until we dream again.
We will continue to be a fixture in the community—
But it will be because we are together,
And together, in Christ.
Now you are the body of Christ,and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27

Whether you find these poems inspiring, or now think, “I can do that.” To quote a great marketing slogan, “Just do it.” Send a poem you have written—and that has not been previously published—to miles.layton@winchestersun.com by April 8 and I’ll select a few for publication in a future column.

Sun columnist Bill McCann pens Arts’ Watch.