Featured Poet: Ken Allan Dronsfield
The Poet: Ken Allan Dronsfield
Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran and poet who was nominated for 2 Best of the Net and 3 Pushcart Prize Awards for Poetry. His poems have been published world-wide in various publications throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. He has been published in The Burningword Journal, Belle Reve Journal, SETU Magazine, Blue Heron, The Literary Hatchet, The Stray Branch, Now/Then Manchester Magazine UK, Bewildering Stories, Scarlet Leaf Review, EMBOSS Magazine, and many more. Ken loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cats Willa, Hemi and Turbo. His book, "The Cellaring", a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through Amazon.com. He is the co-editor of two poetry anthologies, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Dandelion in a Vase of Roses also available at Amazon.com.
The Poet's Bookshelf
1. Edgar Allan Poe. I have, as well as millions of others, been stunned by many of Poe's works, "The Raven" is a special piece as well as "The Telltale Heart."
I must admit, his quotes, "Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality" and "I became insane with long intervals or horrible sanity", have always been favorites of mine.
2. William Butler Yeats. One of his quotes, "Come fairies take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the
mountains like a flame." One of my favorites! One of his poems, "A Prayer for My Daughter" is just magnificent.
3. Leonard Cohen. His poems are iconic at the end of the Flower Child era in American, but his song, "Hallelujah" was and is top shelf all the way.
4. Sylvia Plath. The heart and mind of a true poet. Her poems, "Daddy" and "Lady Lazarus" were wonderful but I especially loved some of her quotes, such as: "Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call". and "I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am."
5. Seamus Heaney. His epic, "Sweeney Astray" and so many other wonderful poems. His book, Heaney, Poems 1965-1975 is a must have. his quote, "History says, Don’t hope On this side of the grave. But then, once in a lifetime The longed-for tidal wave Of justice can rise up And hope and history rhyme.
6. William Shakespeare. What can one say here. I was so entranced by his writings, I kept a book of his work near me all through High School. Checked out of the Library at School, and finally gave it back my Senior year....LOVED that book!! His works consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, etc. He is considered the preeminent greatest writer of the English Language. One of his quotes has always stayed with me, "Love is a smoke made with a fume of sighs".
Others on my list of favorite reads would be:
7. Robert Frost, an American Poet, 1874-1963.
8. Pablo Neruda, Nobel Prize winning Chilean Poet, 1904-1973.
9. Maya Angelou, African-American Poet, 1928-2014.
10. Walt Whitman, American Poet, 1819-1892
Torrent of Tears
Yet another vestige of love lost
whetted cheeks and swollen eyes
life's cruel moments wreak havoc
within the softness of one's heart.
Blasphemous tides slap ruby lips
take a soul with an innocuous glee
in a moment you're smiling wide
blood stained teeth devour again.
a heart stops beating with malice
the breath gone in a rattle and hum
final whispers and the brain quivers
dormant pulse and a bluish pallor.
the tempest roars insatiably loud
a body can be lost, never to be found
great ships disintegrate upon granite
lives are left, penned on parchment.
the Reaper watches jubilant on rocks
as a grand lighthouse loses once more
clothing and splintered wood float by
as rubble and rabble left on the shore.
in a stormy gale, glows a freakish orb
slapped by the tail of an iced stingray
harbinger doomed in a soulless sky
tears in the torrent beget a dark light.
Waltz of a Firefly
You can steal away with my sun;
but never take the night sky from me.
Green the grass with gentle rains
and inspire adventures in soft breezes.
Keep me warm as autumn arrives
humming, "Fly me to the Moon" while
kissing stars in a twinkling flourish
my light will touch a child's memory.
Allow me life for this moment in time
cherish me as I’ll be gone very soon.
But, I’ll touch your heart again next July,
the lovely luminescent waltz of a firefly.
A Turning of the Sea Grass
I turn slightly to the left to enjoy
the warm sunshine kiss my face.
I still don't know who my mother or
father were but that doesn't matter.
I think about it from time to time, but
I always find myself with only thoughts
of birds, insects and harsh winds.
I rejoice as the tides rise and watch
with amazement as the little crabs
scurry about like shoppers during
Christmas eve buying one last gift.
The cat-o-nine tails are changing
color now, from bright green to a
light brown. Looking down, I see
even now I'm slowly feeling the
effects of Autumn; soon I'll fall
away as salt grass turns to hay.
As days of the fall season pass by;
colors turn along the tidal pools,
ducks and minnows now disappear
and large flocks of bird’s head south.
Winter's gift of frost and snow shall
finally pass and once again we'll return
next spring as sweet green sea grass.
That Tinge of Winter
The old barn moans and groans
my bones creak on this coolish day.
Stepping outside into fields of corn
now cut leaving an apocalyptic view.
I watched the winds conspire with
shafts of wheat tickling the sunset.
From a dark cloud drifting above,
a lone snowflake floats down and
stings the tip of my cold red nose.
I'm feeling a tinge of winter as the
warm summer dreams disappear,
replaced by frost on windows and
cold floors greet bare feet each day.
Twilight time chases away the sun
near the dead crab apple trees on
the old farm where I once roamed.
I Died Today
I think I died today.
Staring at the bare walls;
a knife, a fork, a bottle and
red candle lay before me.
The sounds of blaring horns,
screeching brakes and shouting;
echo from a sweltering street
through a shaded open window.
The smells and hell of the city
permeate the entire room and
the fan in the corner just quit;
but...... I think I died today.
I laid there, on the old mattress,
sweat running down my face.
I dozed off for a bit, and awoke
in lovely fields of green grass,
with white crosses all about.
I watched friends of old
tossing roses of red into
the hole of eternal darkness,
landing upon a shiny casket.
I think I'm there, tucked inside
wearing my dark gray suit,
white shirt and my hated tie...
Oh yes, I think I died today,
can someone tell me why?
(First Published, Rasputin Poetry Thread)
Ken's Life and Thoughts About Poetry:
I spent many years working a full time job, whether in the military or driving long haul trucks throughout the United States and Canada for many years. After retiring in 2004, I began writing full time. I began writing inspiration work for several Animal Rights websites and Native American pages on Facebook as well. I love the work of Edgar Allan Poe, Leonard Cohen, Sylvia Plath, William Butler Yeats, Shakespeare and Seamus Heaney. I began reaching out to get my work published in 2015, and since that time I have 914 published poems world-wide the United States, Canada, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. I enjoy writing rhyming poetry, but the market is very thin now, so I work primarily in free-verse imagery filled pieces. I love writing about Nature, the seasons and animals. But horror, the weird and wonderfully odd is a great joy to write. I've recently begun to work with Sonnets, Pantoum and Villanelle poetry forms and have had several published, and in addition, have started writing short stories, mostly flash fiction, and find it an extreme challenge, but rewarding as well. So basically, to put it all in a nutshell, I love to write, explore different genres and share my work with any whom enjoy reading it. To new writers I can only say, have a thick skin, you will be rejected by different publications, but keep submitting, never take rejections personally. ALL editors and publishers look at the work and are subjective selecting what they think their readers will enjoy. It doesn't mean your work is bad, it's just not what they may be looking for at that time. Wait for a time and resubmit new work....keep writing and good luck!
An albino raven preached
to an alabaster moon.
Shadows reached from darkness
to grasp a throat.
Hideous cries echoed in valley’s
of the mystical mountains.
Ghosts from another time appeared
as swirling mists in canyons.
Magpies jousted upon the old roof
of a decrepit burial mausoleum.
Hooded ones chanted to a lesser being
who fulfilled their twisted dreams.
The encrusted scabbards were empty as
white flames expanded.
Cactus blossoms scattered in the grip of
the heartless tempest.
Meteors impacted the golden mountain;
the stark truths were finally told.
Food was scarce in the old miner's day,
a pantry stored nothing but memories.
The water from the pump was a hazy red
with the taste of rusted sulfur.
Within the golden fantasy of dreams
where screams invaded the senses.
Descry a path with shovel and pickaxe
as flames rose higher, ash fell like snow.
Breath of the Sandhill Crane
A morning hush along the great Platte River as
wing beats rush.
The Sand Hill's awaken, grand birds now rising
in unison heading south.
Feathers float about the air like gently falling
They twist and dance like orange rinds in a shaken
iced tequila sunrise.
Autumn mornings bring a crisp to the inhale as
we walk the worn path.
Rising higher in a circular hover, the flock
slowly moves away into the haze.
Red-winged blackbirds sit resting on branches
preening and are now ready for the day.
Along the winding Platte River, Canadian Geese
whisper au revoir to the Sandhill Crane.
Medley Upon the Boughs
Keeper of the trees, au pair of the great forests
please tell me why you leave bare stark branches
until the spring arrives?
Where is the beauty of the majestic oak leaves always
shading me from the sun? I hope the Maples are well
and keeping their sweetness.
I remember the lovely sparkling beauty of the Alders
as their leaves shimmer in the breezes of the cool
late summer sunshine.
Each day, as snowflakes drift down, like leaves during the
autumns calling; we remember the beauty of our green forest
and wait patiently for warm days.
Most leaves left after winter, but in a moon's beam, I still
hold tightly in the grasp of ice joining a weeping willow's tear
lovingly left to fade, fade away.
An Absent of Present
Has anyone seen me?
I know I used to be here,
perhaps there, somewhere.
I feel so lost, gone like old
bones ground into nothing.
Dust in a strong breeze.
I once felt like a cat nine tail,
standing there, proud and tall
now, bent by marsh winds
waving to all lake side,
a lost fantasy skyward.
I once bloomed; life après.
Depth of a cranky shade
of listless yet excited bliss.
Blessed by the thoughts and
prayers of strangers, love
enhanced by a whisper.
But has anyone seen me?
Life is right; the veil left thins
muddle and prattle rambling
liars in power speak in tongue
decree of pious virtues iced
Hell opens; unveil the dybbuk.
absent of present, I'm right here.
Rêves de soie (Silk Dreams)
In the breath of a cascading waterfall...
I hear the voices of child spirits reciting sonnets,
fallen leaves that silently land upon brown grass
weaving a colorful quilt in the wood and meadow.
Trout cruise the pools along babbling brooks in
search of small meals of worms, grubs or flies.
I watch them feed, as a lone red leaf floats by
gathering speed then disappears downstream.
Chickadee's and Nuthatches flutter in the pines
as Blue Jay's squawk at me from higher branches.
Walking the path, I feel a sting below the ear,
the seasons last mosquito has found me out here.
In the breath of a cascading waterfall...je rêve. (1)
Snow white sails billowing in the warm trade winds,
rolling seas of a turquoise blue, reflect silken clouds,
terns and gulls from the tropical islands hover above.
Flying fish leap and glide as dolphins follow behind.
In the breath of a cascading waterfall... je me réveille. (2)
A thermos of hot tea sits next to me under the great
oak, sparse of leaves now, but splendid and regal.
I slowly sip my cup as a flock of geese fly over,
I smile, close my eyes and find myself by the lake.
In the breath of a cascading waterfall... Je pars. (3)
(1)…je rêve – I dream.
(2)…je me réveille – I wake.
(3)…Je pars – I depart.
Interested in being our next Featured Poet?
When you submit for the next issue, make sure to submit ten poems and tell us a little about yourself. Your work might be picked for our featured poet section, or as a featured collection. However, only one poet and one collection will be chosen each issue, so only one or a few of a poet's work sent together might be published in the journal. The Basil O' Flaherty requests the right to only publish one featured poet and one featured collection, and to consider all collections of poetry submitted for each issue as also part of the general submissions (i.e. we can pick and choose the poems we like if your work is not selected as the featured collection.)