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Valerie Esker

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Sunshine Poets chapter
Florida State Poets Association

In the old graveyard
atop a crumbling headstone
        empty chrysalis
**1st Place, Haiku Headlines, June 2002

Aubade A-Bed


My "Martha Stewart" bed is paradise,
bedecked with floral flounces everywhere,
so soft and sensuous . . . and high in price,
I am a princess when I'm snoozing there,
devoid of earthly woes, set free from care.
In flowered dreams, love-dramas I rehearse;
(Sweet night's too brief when romance scents the air!)
the morning light is nothing but a curse.

All daylight woes proliferate like mice!
Yes, all you need is just to have a pair.
By noon their nimble numbers double twice!
They raid my patience-pantry till it's bare.
By five p.m. I'm down to my last prayer . . .
at least, hard pressed my ragged nerves to nurse.
Then desperate I cry, declaim, declare,
"The morning light is nothing but a curse!"

Forgive me Lord, proclivity for vice.
Mistakes?  I've made much more than granted share,
but all in all, think I'm rather nice,
and since your royal judgement's always fair
decree my soul's not wrecked beyond repair.
I know I need to toil to fill my purse,
but hedonistic nest waits up the stair!
The morning light is nothing but a curse.

Yet stay, oh prince of darkness, if you dare.
The heartless hands of time turn back . . . reverse!
Detain the slumber-angels in my lair.
The morning light?  It's nothing but a curse!

**1st Place 2000 NFSPS Poetry Contest;
Published: Encore Prize Poems of 2000



Deceptions


You would not know
to look at me
that I am a she-devil
of the highest order

No, I appear as
someone's grandmother
gray and non-descript

I hang and hover
over houseplants and babies
soft and giving
as Gaea, mother earth

Oh, but descend with me
deep into the caverns of my soul
where rock and sinew
and fire define me

Then you will gasp
and tremble
and wonder at my power
my strength

There, I shout strains of Wagnerian splendor
I leap high and cymbals clash
I bend to no-one
tower over all

In my core
lava boils

**Third Place NFSPS 2004 Poetry Contest;
Published: Encore Prize Poems 2004



Roseate Spoonbill
wades in sunset tidal pool
pink, on pink, on pink

**1st Prize Pennsylvania Poetry Society Contest 2002;
Published: Prize Poems 2002 Pennsylvania Poetry Society

Valerie Esker

Florida Sunset
"in sunset tidal pool"

Valerie is a member of the Sunshine Poets of Crystal River. She is the current Vice President of the FSPA and secretary of the Nature Coast Branch, National League of American Pen Women. She began writing poetry when in elementary school in Youngstown, Ohio, and was named class poet in her senior year of high school. Her work has appeared in Poets Forum Magazine, Haiku Headlines, and Pig Iron Press. Her local newspaper, the Citrus County Chronicle publishes her monthly column, "Lyrically Speaking." Val's favorite pastimes are reading and writing poetry and workshopping with fellow members of the Sunshine Poets. Her husband Jim says she is obsessed with poetry. (She thinks he may be right.)

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Created 060216
Updated 080316

The Florida State Poets Association