Monday, February 26, 2018

Readers Choice Award Contest Poem: “The poet says this is how we should see” by Melinda Coppola

Editor’s Note:  Nominees for the Songs of Eretz Readers Choice Award have been or will be published/reprinted in Songs of Eretz Poetry Review every weekday from February 19 to February 27.  Vote for your favorite in March by sending an email to  The winner will be announced in April and receive a one hundred dollar honorarium.

The poet says this is how we should see
Melinda Coppola

"Kaleidoscope" Watercolor and Ink on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
A prism is lifted to the sun. Imagine 
a million nuances of color and shine, 
fractal languages of symmetry
resting perfectly
between breaths or heartbeats. 

The artist knows the power of spaces,
without which there would be no means 
to shape the eye’s longing. 
Musician has this same knowing,
gleaned through the eardrum’s
oscillations:  there is no song 
without pauses
between notes. 

Someone in your diaspora of friends 
will die tonight, and in the moments 
between last exhale
and the doctor’s legal declaration,
a poem is written on the window
in frost.  It lingers 
only as long as two pairs of eyes can see it,
and if the heart that goes 
with one pair can hear it, 
a song will be born,
and if the soul that goes
with one pair can see it,
there will be a rendering
in charcoal, or paint, or crayon.

This is how life continues;
The poetry between things
must draw the attention 
of some realized aspect of God,
like you, or you,
and your near-desperate desire
to interpret the miracle
becomes the language, the love, the soil
from which
something else can be born.

Poet’s Notes:  I am fascinated with the importance of spaces between things and with the way that art and music and stars and poems and heartbeats cannot exist without them.  Poems come to me when I pay rapt attention to life with all of my senses. They begin as seeds cast off from images and sounds and feelings that long to be born again as words. Sometimes, when fed by my loving curiosity, those seeds can be coaxed to root and leaf and blossom. There must be space, though, for them to grow and flourish.  This poem was born of my desire to convey the immense beauty and possibilities that live in the quiet intervals between our scheduled activities and the things we check off our to-do lists.

About the Poet:  Melinda Coppola has been writing in some form for nearly five decades.  Her work has been published in several magazines, books, and periodicals including I Come from the World, Harpur Palate, Kaleidoscope, The Autism Perspective, Spirit First, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Welcome Home, and Celebrations.  She is an artist, yoga teacher, and mother to an amazing daughter with special needs and enjoys infusing the work of her heart with her voice as a poet.  Coppola nourishes her creative spirit with singing, early morning walks, collecting and making art with beach stones, cooking, spending quiet time with her husband and daughter, and communing with her cats. 

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