My Poems

Three of my poems published in Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands by Shabda Press

Cover art: “On the Road to Perilous” by John Sokol

I am honored to have my poems “The Next State,” “Denial,” and “What” published in this amazing poetry anthology Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands with so many wonderful writers. Proceeds from the anthology are being donated to the Women’s Center in Downtown Los Angeles. I’m particularly proud of this poem below, which I wrote as part of a workshop taught by Meg Day at Art Access in the Spring of 2015.

A tremendous thanks to Shabda Press who not only created a beautiful collection of poetry, but is also helping to connect contributors for readings all over the country! You can learn about the readings by following the Facebook page here. For those of you in my neck of the woods, we’ll be having two readings in Utah in April and May. More to come on those soon. Here is my poem “The Next State”:

The Next State

“To remember Hiroshima is to abhor nuclear war. To remember Hiroshima is to commit oneself to peace.” –Pope John Paul II on his visit to Hiroshima at the Peace Memorial Park, Feb. 25, 1981

Every moment becomes
the past in an instant.
Our hands ache with despair,

the inability for reparation.
The unimaginable loss of thousands
imprinted into a copper etching.

The wax melted onto the surface
of subsistence. Curls of copper
burr into engraved cities

and the crosshatching of civilizations.
The ink of history seethes
into grooves, awaiting impression.

This is the first state.

Every moment becomes
the past in an instant.
One divergent force, an impression

so high-pressure, the plate
can no longer produce
a distinct replica—

the hollows disfigured, the edges
distressed. It takes years of work
to repeat the process, to resurface.

This is the second state.

We are stationed here in copper,
in dark ruts and muddy ink.
We are the products pressed

onto paper, products of all
that came before us, products
of passion and of pain,

products of art and wisdom
and learning and of the other,
the not-knowing,

and the witnessing of all
this through individual experience.
The impression is lasting.

This is the next state.

Please consider purchasing one of these beautifully printed books or request it at your local library. You may have noticed the incredible artwork on the cover, which is “On the Road to Perilous” by John Sokol.

Shabda Press is a small, independent press that publishes a few books of poetry a year in print. They also publish in eBook and audio formats (Poetry CDs). From their web site:

“Our goal is to produce beautiful, high quality, well-designed poetry books. With that goal in mind and with our limited resources, we put our full attention into designing and publishing a few exquisite books of poetry each year.

Shabda is the Sanskrit word for ‘sound, speech.’  Shabda is the sound current vibrating in all creation referred to as the Audible Life Stream, Inner Sound, and Word. Founded in June 2011 by Teresa Mei Chuc, Shabda Press’ mission is to bring forth the diverse, luminous words and sounds of new, emerging, and established of voices. “


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13 replies »

  1. congrats!!!!

    Joan Leotta Author, Story Performer “Encouraging words through Pen and Performance” Giulia Goes to War, Letters from Korea, A Bowl of Rice, Secrets of the Heart. now available from Desert Breeze Publishing Simply a Smile–collection of Short Stories WHOOSH! Picture book from TheaQ All are on Amazon in paper and e-form Free mini-poetry book to download http://www.origamipoems.com/files/Books%20/2016/Joan_Leotta_-_Dancing_Under_The_Moon_2016R.pdf http://www.joanleotta.wordpress.com 910-575-0618

    Liked by 1 person

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