Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Mark Twain wrote “Tom Sawyer” more than 80 years before actors Jodie Foster and Johnny Whitaker were born. But when I picture Becky Thatcher and Tom Sawyer, I’m seeing kid versions of Jodie Foster and Johnny Whitaker. That’s thanks to a 1973 musical version of the novel which, while not the best adaptation of Twain’s work, is unfortunately the one that sticks in my head.

Any time you lift words from the page and set them in motion there’s the risk your interpretation will be met with “I don’t get it” or worse, “That sucked”. But if the alternative is that nobody will ever hear those words if you don’t do it, it’s a risk worth taking.

The founders of the poetry film collaboration project Motionpoems were worried that great poems were going unread because people just weren’t reading poetry. So maybe they’d be more interested in WATCHING it.

Motionpoems pairs contemporary poets with filmmakers to create short film adaptations of poems. Some are animated, others live action, some dark, some funny, some so far removed from what a reader might get out of just reading the poem that you might watch it twice because it’s so interesting.

See for yourself. In the waning hours of National Poetry Month and as spring is FINALLY coming to my corner of the Midwest, here’s the Motionpoem “Ecclesiastes 11:1” by Richard Wilbur, film adaptation by Faith Eskola for your viewing enjoyment.

If you find a Motionpoem that speaks to you, feel free to share it in a comment!

Episcopal Church at Fort Thompson

Episcopal Church at Fort Thompson

Near the clutch of churches
in the center of town,
no one sleeps past 7 a.m.
The bells that peal
from the four brother belfries
summon both saints and sinners.
Joyful Baptists, solemn Lutherans,
Prayerful Methodists, commanding Catholics.
Melodies distinct yet harmonious.
In the brief moments before the ringing fades,
In the breath between sleep and waking,
It doesn’t matter to which you belong.
Just that you believe in something.

Nod to the Del Vikings for inspiring the title to this week’s post…

At the crest of the sledding hill...





The sledding hill glowed in the waning moonlight

awaiting the day’s complement

of sled runners and Spongebob moon boots.

An older man came walking through the pines

carrying a saucer in his leather-gloved hands.

He stopped ahead of my inquiring dogs.

“Thought it was a perfect time to try that hill,” he said.

“How was it?” I asked.

He grinned.

“Great. Fast.”

Then he marched down the Gulch trail, whistling in the darkness.

I watched him go,

wishing I’d thought to ask for a turn.





Swoop, sweep, spiral, spin.

A squadron of sparrows chase past my window.

Wings outspread, feathered bombers,

rapid-fire, they shoot through the treetops.

Seven avian acrobats, over, under,

flight paths cross, they glide in graceful arcs.

Speed round, filing by in formation

like the tethered tail of an unseen kite.

Dipping beneath my view

they skim the surface of the cool creek below

before bursting up through the birch boughs.

Skyward. Cloud-bound.

The truth of man’s existence revealed…on a Soo Line railroad car:

Who knew philosophers carried spray paint and hung around railyards?

I did. Because I looked. What’s the best rolling poetry you’ve ever seen?


I met my brother on an Amtrak bound for Boston.

A stranger disguised, unrecognized,

until my mother said “He’s my youngest”

to the conductor who tried to move him

from the top deck to the bottom,

to an aisle seat from the window.

My sister and I nodded affirmation

and the man with the tickets marched down the aisle,

shaking his head at the boldness of our lie.

For two hours on an Amtrak bound for Boston,

I had a little brother, my mother had a son,

and young Goldman from Connecticut

didn’t have to sit alone.

The great thing about being Facebook friends with artistic people is that they turn you on to other artistic people. Such was the case today with actor Kirk Acevedo who shared a link to his wife actress Kiersten Warren’s blogspot “Ramblin Christian Gypsy”.  Fantastic imagery, diverse themes, quirky humor and some awesome photographs to boot. Personal faves are “Harlan”, “What Was That? Oh Nothing.”, and “I Would Call Her Krosgaard”. Pick your own by checking out Kiersten’s site at