Literary Hook: ‘Midwest Winter’: A poem filled with originality and playful quality

By Christine Swanberg

Author and Poet

Perhaps you have a friend who likes literature. A delightful Christmas gift could be The Rockford Review: Pooling Our Talents. Perfect bound with a lively, full-color cover, this collection includes poetry and prose sure to stretch your imagination. To quote outgoing Editor David Ross: “Writers come in all ages, stages, sizes and shapes. The same could be said of individuals who gather together at swimming pools. In that context, the Gala edition of The Rockford Review surfaces as a symbolic pool party where all levels of talent make a splash. The names of those who take the plunge are swimming in the iridescent water on the cover of this book.”

The 124-page book has two sections. The first, Part I, includes the work of members of the Rockford Writers’ Guild, a thriving writers’ support group that has a longstanding history in Rockford and has nurtured many success stories. Part II features the Ides of March contest winners. It’s easy to locate writers in Part I since it is alphabetical by author’s last name. The collection also includes information about the Rockford Writers’ Guild itself.

The Rockford Review is published twice a year by the Rockford Writers’ Guild, P.O. Box 858, Rockford, IL 61105. Single copies are $9. In addition, copies are available at Rockford Area Arts Council, Poska, Katie’s Cup, Enders Flowers, J.R. Kortman, Coronado Gift Shop, Stone’s Hallmark, North End Coffee Bar and Just A Second.

As promised in last week’s column, here is a poem by contributing long-time member Cindy Guentherman. This poem seems very appropriate since winter came early this year. Cindy’s poems sparkle with originality and a playful quality sure to delight.

Midwest Winter

I am thirsty for bugs.

There has been too much snow

and this wind is too angry

to romanticize.

I want that drone of bee buzz

dripping over me thicker

than the honey itself.

I crave cricket sounds

in a sweet licorice night,

a flutter of little brown moths

against the porch light.

I know that tulips wait underground

like backstage ballerinas.

I dream their sensual sway,

their bold red, yellow, orange calls

to the iridescent fairy wings

of bugs.

* Used by permission of the author, Cindy Guentherman.

** Copyright © 2009 by Rockford Writers’ Guild. Used by permission.

Christine Swanberg has published about 300 poems in 70 journals and anthologies. An interview with her appears in the 2008 Poet’s Market. She is available for mentoring through Jane’s Stories Foundation. Part of her mentoring is suggesting possible journals. Her books include Who Walks Among the Trees with Charity (Wind Publishing, Kentucky), The Red Lacquer Room (Chiron Publishing, Kansas), The Tenderness of Memory (Plainview Press, Texas), Slow Miracle (Lakeshore Publishing, Illinois), Invisible String (Erie St., Illinois), Bread Upon the Waters (Windfall, Wisconsin) and Tonight on this Late Road (Erie St., IL). She teaches writing at The Clearing in Door County, Wisconsin, and gives workshops and readings thoughout the United States.

From the Dec. 23-29, 2009 issue

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