Betray the Light

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Image Source: Flickr

glass hides behind
a touch of rebel skin
self-regulating air

we breathe with
anxious feet left
tapping as thoughts
thaw –

jealousy remains,
counted in stale cups
of coffee

sideways glances
louder than pop
music can betray
the light.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

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Summertime

Every month I meet with my poetry group, as part of The Mid-Ohio Fine Art Society. We discuss weird things, write and share poetry. It’s a lot of fun and if you’re in the Marion Ohio area, I encourage you to join us. You can find the Facebook group here. During the last meeting three of our members, including me, wrote a short poem together. I would like to share it with you today.

Poem composed by Agnew Pickens, Ben Ditmars, and Brittany Larson.

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Image Source: Flickr

The Summertime brings me such great bliss
getting drunk on dandelions
full of vinegar and piss
not enjoying the taste
feeling in my loins
the taste of pain
no more gain
insane
depth.

Book Review: Lurking in the Deep

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Lurking in the Deep

4/5 stars

Lurking in the Deep is an anthology of water and fear. I enjoyed most of the stories, but had favorites: The Water’s Edge, The Reluctant Seamstress, Wrath, and Dark Waters were by far the most frightening. I enjoyed the dark twists and original plot in The Reluctant Seamstress, whereas the beauty of The Water’s Edge was something to be marveled. My only criticism is that though the stories are individually good, it felt there was too much emphasis on dark creatures.

Sweet William

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Image Source: Flickr

I hear a lifetime of regrets
in so few words – slender
leaves and lovelorn wild red
his cries say more than I
can bear of war; spiced
clover near the white base of
his grave; the naval guns fall
bittersweet in silence:
father will forgive
your sins.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

Between the Cracks

fall undone between
the cracks, overpass me
on the bridge to bitter pills

swallow pain with sadness
we could buy the moon,
I’ll meet you there

blood red and jaded
when the world is burning
and you’re young

good looks can’t help
you fall in love, they fade

but she sees beauty
in unlikely places:

her eyes are made of
water and adventure.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

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Image Source: Flickr

Shadows are the Shade

shadows are the shade within
clear boundaries; deep desired
whispers we have found.

imagine artificial light
and you will see our lust
corroded with despair,

the cotton fabric of existence
torn as waves crash down
resounding change.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

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Photograph Courtesy of Jacqueline Smith

Thank you to Jacqueline Smith for her amazing photograph.

Find more on her blog.

Calling All Writers: Fun Facts

The Great Jackie Smith (not unlike the gift giving pumpkin) did an awesome online hangout and wrote a post about it. She challenged other writers to share fun facts and how they got into writing.  Since, I’m reclusive and seldom post more than poetry and the occasional joke, I thought it time to open up.

Admittedly, how poetry became my thing is kind of convoluted and not exactly clear. I wrote a lot of stories when I was young: for friends, myself, siblings, or anyone who would read them really. Poetry was more of my guilty pleasure growing up: something I did secretly and never shared. It’s hard letting people see what goes on inside your head and poetry might reflect that better than anything. I was a shy, insecure kid (though totally different now of course. I mean it. I’VE CHANGED, DANG IT!). I don’t think I really shared any of my poetry publicly until my high school English teacher noticed some of my fiction and started a writing club. Though I mostly did read my fiction for the group, I felt brave enough to try some poetry. And it wasn’t until college I got back into it.

My creative writing professor was really instrumental in that, as was his belief in students submitting to the college literary journal. My first try, I didn’t get in and felt devastated. Like I said, it’s hard to not take rejection personally, especially when poetry comes from somewhere deep inside of you. But I kept writing and tried again. And that’s all you really can do: you can’t fear failure or not being any good. Poetry is brave, even when we aren’t. I managed to get some poems into my college literary journal the next year and placed second in a contest. It was an amazing feeling as I’d never really won anything before.

I wish I could say it was all history from there but frankly I’m not that great and it continues to be a journey. There’s so much life left to live and life more than anything creates words. My greatest cure for poetic writers block has always been to be alive and let it inspire me.