National Poetry Month and Melissa Prunty Kemp

A Note To Our Subscribers: This month our posts at 5Writers -and the emails announcing them- increases from six to ten as we celebrate National Poetry Month. Please know that it is not our intent to spam you, nor is this a permanent increase. The number of emails you receive from us will return to normal in May. Thank you for being a part of!

We’re celebrating National Poetry Month at 5Writers by bringing you 30 poems by 10 poets over 30 days. Each poet has contributed three poems each: one that inspired them to become poets, one by a friend, and one of their own. The celebration continues here with Melissa Prunty Kemp of Atlanta, Georgia.

April 13, 2015 – Melissa Prunty Kemp


Melissa Prunty Kemp

Melissa Prunty Kemp is a Master of Fine Arts graduate of Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has been reading, writing and adoring poetry since she published her first poem as a teenager. Her poems tend to cover themes of death, homelessness, social ills, natural disaster, landscapes and historical subjects. She has published poems in anthologies, online, print and glossy magazines and scholarly journals. Some notable titles are Deep Water Literary Journal, Cease, Cows, The Journal of Women and Language, California Poetry Quarterly, We Used To Be Wives (anthology) and Art & Understanding magazine. Melissa Prunty Kemp is a born and bred southerner currently living and working in Atlanta, Georgia.

Spring and All [By the road to the contagious hospital]

William Carlos Williams

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast-a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines-

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches-

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind-

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wild carrot leaf
One by one objects are defined-
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance-Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted, they
grip down and begin to awaken

April 14, 2015 – Melissa Prunty Kemp

Where Were You in ’68?

Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, M.D.

The granola on the counter is homemade.
She’s really warm and soft,
not like the sunflower seeds
knifing their way out of the granola.
I want to go now.
We’ve gotten up early, and the sun is
spreading a rainbow carpet out.
I know we’re going to take a train,
just like when we went to see Grandma.
Mommy stuffs Jonno’s chubby arms into his jacket,
but I can put on my own.
Mommy smiles as she hands me the baggie
full of wet washcloth
rolled up it’s a light green worm.
I want to take my favorite one until she tell me
this is for the teargas.

Contributor’s Note: This poem originally appeared in Affilia and can be found here.

April 15, 2015 – Melissa Prunty Kemp

Ode to Mother Nature’s Spring Cleaning

Melissa Prunty Kemp

Ice, from slab to cracked jam, a spatella
that scrapes trees from river banks and houses
off their foundations, it’s power stellar,

depositing bounteous heirlooms trails.
Uncertain earth detaches, slides
from its mother’s sheltering soundness

to sprawl and be free in the low valley.
It asks no permission. Resigned faces
are dislodged, mud-caked. Why death’s high tally

bitter matriarch, most efficacious?

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