The Poetry of Valerie Esker
Sunshine Poets chapter, Florida State Poets Association
In the old graveyard
atop a crumbling headstone
**1st Place, Haiku Headlines, June 2002
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
You would not know
to look at me
that I am a she-devil
of the highest order
No, I appear as
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 wonder at my power
There, I shout strains of Wagnerian splendor
I leap high and cymbals clash
I bend to no-one
tower over all
In my core
**Third Place NFSPS 2004 Poetry Contest;
Published: Encore Prize Poems 2004
wades in sunset tidal pool
pink, on pink, on pink
**1st Prize Pennsylvania Poetry Society Contest
Published: Prize Poems 2002 Pennsylvania Poetry Society
"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.)