Yorick Radio Productions

Scintillating Stories: Erica September Carrington and Other Poems

April 21, 2023 Rosie Beech Season 4 Episode 10
Yorick Radio Productions
Scintillating Stories: Erica September Carrington and Other Poems
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we are sharing a collection of poems by Martina Reisz Newberry.
 Martina Reisz Newberry is the author of 6 books of poetry and her work has been published in several magazines and collections. Her most recent book is Glyphs. 
 Her books are available here:

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I want both hands full and then a third hand. 

I want my hands to have shiny new things 

to have and to hold and to ride out on– 

things to wear with long trains and exquisite 

embroidery, things that sparkle and dangle 

from my hair and earlobes. I want horses


to lift their fine heads when I go by and 

fear to cross the faces of the wicked 

when they see me. I want silence to sit 

on my shoulders and on your shoulders, Child, 

and I want long days and nights with laughter 

poking through the dark skies calling themselves


stars. I want the faithful to fling their hearts 

down for me to walk on and the desperate 

to thank me for the gifts of their ailments 

and their troubles. I want recognition 

and praise for droughts and plagues and dead forests, 

for how little it takes to be truly 

happy and how much it takes to secure 

a dignified place to die. I want one 

million children’s voices to sing  You Are 

My Sunshine, or Om Mani Padme Hum, 

or On This Day O Beautiful Mother.  

When all that you know, Child, dissolves in front


of you, I want lit candles, incense, and 

milk in cool pottery at my jeweled feet. 

When all that you love disappears, I want 

you on your knees, a beatific smile on 

your face, hands folded, appreciation 

tattooed on your forehead. If you do all


these things without resentment, or question 

or exhaustion, I’ll bless you for all of 

your life. You won’t know how you are blessed and

sometimes blessings will feel like punishments.

Though the skies fall, you may never doubt me,

nor ever again ask me what I want.


when you’re a child, when you’re no longer a child–

at your best and at your worst– they leave and 

there is a space to fill, a cold place that wants 

the blanket of your attention.  Your bewilderment 

at these exits are ice sculptures and unsung melodies 

in the backyard of your dreams– Wonder, silent, melting. 

You recognize and choose what you think 

might stay with you forever:  

a fancy cuckoo clock your uncle brought back from Germany after the war,

the changing color of your sister’s eyes, 

dawn on the day you were called beautiful for the first time, 

the smell of wet laundry hung on the lines in back of your aunt’s house.  

All these things come with price tags and you sift through them. 

Most likely, you’ll buy them all, light them up with devotional candles 

in red glass holders against the darkness of abandonment

coming to embrace you. 

Be ready for these things, Children. 

Let go gracefully or hang on with the deliberation born of knowing.


Daniel L. – Twitter 2021

This past year, I noticed,

when I start to cobble a poem 

from the detritus around me, 

I begin to cry. Sometimes 

I don’t even notice that I’ve started up. 

Sometimes there is a splat 

and the ink on my notebook will smear. 

Sometimes I dot an i or indent a line 

and I taste a salty drop on my lip. 

Joni Mitchell says laughing and crying– 

you know it’s the same release.*  I disagree. 

When my tears are happy, 

I write about learning to eat with chopsticks, 

skyscrapers, which days are best for mail, 

supermarkets, and kisses–all kinds of kisses. 

When the tears are not from happy, 

I write about empty rooms, 

abandoned factories, 

dead friends, 

and regret. 

Once, long ago, I confided this 

and offered my tears to my mother. 

She said, “I’ll tell you something 

to cry about: I wish I was dead.” 

Oddly, that did not make me cry 

and I wrote no poems that day.

*Songwriter: Joni Mitchell, People's Parties lyrics © Crazy Crow Music


Late afternoon–twilight–depresses me. 

The autumnal light speaks of menace

and weeping women and silent terrors.

I wish I could unsee the day’s colors 

being peeled off, stripping the day into gray. 

All the red & orange & blue potentials 

leave, they are gone, 

lying in a heap at the southernmost corners 

of our television screens. What use is the 

green parrot, the yellow canary, the 

brown-and-white owl when all the air is the color of tin 

and every direction I look appears the same? 

Day is simply Night disappeared. 

There’s no joy in watching my surroundings become pale.

 When I go out in the morning, I keep a close watch 

 on the time. I want to be in the dim-lit 

lobby of our building before the outside atmosphere drains, 

weakens, and is dragged, as are all of us, into the dark.

There is nothing to do except nap, eat a meal, drink

wine, get entertained, then sleep. As we all do, I wish for 

those things which are just and true. The late afternoon, 

the dark mocks our wishes. And so it is that I offer 

this vision: Morning will be along after a while. 

Gather, then deliver, your thoughts in waking light, 

through luminescent lenses. The morning comes in living color.


for Bill

I am having my morning coffee 

with a photograph of one of my sons. 

He is 50-something.

He is tall and thin. He is wearing 

a tutu and a tee shirt. 

He stares at a partially-lit stage 

and the dim light around him 

is blessed with yearning and wonder 

and wishes. Something in his heart

is waiting to be roused– 

he’ll set it free 

and it will be beautiful.


Words don't fail me. 

I can always find them somewhere. 

They try to hide–in silence, 

under cover of fear, in the dark 

of confusion or the burden 

of near-unbearable grief. 

I find them, though. 

I know their hiding places: 

jam jars 

a bag of jelly beans 

cooled-off mugs of coffee 

small sinful thoughts 

a whiff of eucalyptus. 

It can take hours or days, 

but I root them out, 

use them to my advantage.