A Conversation in Poetry

Edited by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

As we say goodbye to April, which was National Poetry Month, it’s the perfect time to introduce Take Heart, my new column for Maine newspapers. Take Heart will feature one poem each week by a Maine poet. The column’s first poem, by Stuart Kestenbaum of Deer Isle, urges us to join him in welcoming spring.

April Prayer

By Stuart Kestenbaum

Just before the green begins there is the hint of green
a blush of color, and the red buds thicken
the ends of the maple’s branches and everything
is poised before the start of a new world,
which is really the same world
just moving forward from bud
to flower to blossom to fruit
to harvest to sweet sleep, and the roots
await the next signal, every signal
every call a miracle and the switchboard
is lighting up and the operators are
standing by in the pledge drive we’ve
all been listening to: Go make the call.

Stuart Kestenbaum
is best known as the director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, a position he has held since 1988. He is an honorary fellow of the American Craft Council and a recipient of the Distinguished Educator’s Award from the James Renwick Alliance. He’s also a poet. Kestenbaum is the author of three collections of poems, “Pilgrimage” (Coyote Love Press), “House of Thanksgiving” (Deerbrook Editions) and “Prayers & Run-on Sentences” (Deerbrook Editions).

Take Heart:
A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2007 by Stuart Kestenbaum. Reprinted from “Prayers & Run-on Sentences,” Deerbrook Editions, 2007, by permission of Stuart Kestenbaum. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at 228-8263 or [email protected].