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  • Jimmy Broccoli

Spotlight: Bonnie Bostrum & Henry Long

Hi All

It's a fantastic day to shine the spotlight on two individuals I find highly talented. Today, it is a pleasure to share with you the poetry of Bonnie Bostrum and Henry Long.

Bonnie and I were introduced to each others poetry months ago - and have been friends since. Her poetry is consistently thought-providing and well-written. She and poet Henry Long co-wrote "Uncommon Constants" - a collection of their poetry - and, I highly recommend it!

Here is Bonnie in her own words:

I am a vintage woman and at soon to be eighty-four. I will have been writing for more than seventy years and have authored or co-authored ten books. I have been on a quest to find outstanding poets and encourage them. I “discovered” the outstanding poet, Henry Long, on PBS Poetry With Kwame Alexander, contacted him and suggested we do a book together. The result is Uncommon Constants.

Here are two poems - one written by Bonnie Bostrum - the other written by Henry Long - both are within the pages of "Uncommon Constants". And, I'm certain you'll enjoy them as much as I do! ______________


This air I breathe does not belong to me It is last breath of one fallen to earth, The exhalation carrying the last words That will come from that source.

I take it into my body, Hold it in my lungs to let the message Move with my blood To lodge like fire in my bones.

I decipher the molecules of meaning Held in this brief crucible of time The unfolding content, a fragment Torn from eternity.

With reverence I hear the entreaty To remember, to hold in heart and soul This last soliloquy, “I am everybody’s brother.”

- Bonnie Bostrum ____

Nearly Halloween (For Ava)

Skeletons hang from trees. Ghosts hover on front lawns. Black cats hunch their backs, yes, on painted white picket fences.

Amber brushstrokes punctuate fallow pastures and meadows while crow-speak staccatos the silvering shadows.

There are skulls, spider webs, and then, of course, the dead.

And my daughter Ava says to me, “They’re only decorations, Henry. They’re scary, but they’re not for real.”

And I tell her she is mistaken. They are, indeed, for real.

Skeletons are hanging in the trees. Ghosts are hovering across the land. For the world’s more full of monsters than we could hope to understand.

And then, of course, there’s the dead. “But you never have to be afraid,” I say.

And we walk in gracious silence over the graves of moldering leaves, into that delicate, crumbling veil of the chilling, autumnal wood.

- Henry Long

Image: "Uncommon Constants" - written by Bonnie Bostrum & Henry Long.

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