Friday, July 31, 2015

Meet MARILYN BALL-originally from the Uintah Basin

Marilyn Ball tells us: "As a kid growing up on a rather lonely ranch in the Uintah Basin, I appreciated nature and life, and began at age fourteen putting down my thoughts in poetry.  As time went on with much effort while in college majoring in Nursing with no electives allowed, I continued writing and won honors.  I won awards for my poems with UTSPS, League of Utah Writers, Z-Arts and in the Mesquite Fine Arts contests. UTSPS and Dixie Poets have been a great help to me in publishing a book of my poems about Lake Powell called Stepping on Water and Stones." Available for $10 from mball at sunrivertoday dot com.

  by Marilyn Ball

Likely God saw the earth, a swirling mass,
turbulent and wild. Arms lifted, He reached
the whole, encasing all with passion peculiar,
placed it in the right confluence of the universe.
Each end of earth a trifle pointed, He said.
The middle greatness--equator.

Letting go, a step back, He decided to peel
earth’s crust, tipped this sphere upside down,
tapped, thrust, serenely set it right: great pieces
of the shell fell away, deep cracks appeared
where birth of the southwest slot canyons
were born and opened.

Sequestered by high red stone walls, one serpentine
walkway through—He stepped along, saw the light
of pink-cream beauty, a sacred, golden glow
painting the huge up thrust walls.

Meandering past curves, juts of stone, He caressed
each a last time, felt the chilled, rough stones rest.
Using His fingers, sanded a rock in the shape of a heart,
then walked on—out into the sun…

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Meet MARLEEN BUSSMA-Dixie Chapter's Cowboy Poet

Marleen Bussma was raised on a small farm in North Dakota where horses and cows were part of daily life. As a young girl, herding cattle on horseback stirred her imagination to want to be just like Dale Evans. Farm stories and intriguing tales of the old west have had a big influence on her writing. She crafts verses on the plight of women of the west from frontier days to modern farm and ranch times. Marleen has won nine Art Spur Awards from and served as the director for the Annual Mesquite, NV Western Roundups in 2014 and 2015. She has published a collection of her cowboy poetry entitled She Wanted To Be Like Dale and a CD is Scrapin’ By reading her original cowboy poems. She has been honored by being invited to perform at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV next January.


His four feet pound the thirsty dirt that paints the fence posts gray.
The wind weaves fingers pulling through his mane and tail’s display.
The phantom that he’s racing lives within his feral mind,
while teasing thoughts of freedom flicker, fade, then fall behind.

What dredged this distant dream of open range that has no gates
and fills his belly with the fire that sparks and motivates
his actions like a wild stallion flaunting fearlessness?
This craving for a life untamed is all he will possess.

His captive body cramped by the corral betrays his ache
to run unfettered, loose, untouched like moonlight’s glow, to shake
the bonds that separate him from his distant past.
Equus caballus swings his restless head as if to cast

himself back through to early years when horses all ran free.
Their bands ran with the elk and bison nursed by liberty.
The endless prairie fed them while their numbers gained and grew.
They filled the west with thunder racing towards a rendezvous

with man and fate that shaped their world and set the modern stage.
Does this horse know his brothers still run free through desert sage?
The barriers and fences work to keep his dreams repressed.
Though conquered, tamed and tethered, he’s an icon of the west.

                                                                                    Marleen Bussma 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Meet LOUISE COOK, UTSPS Hospitality Chair

Louise Cook was born, raised, and educated in Evanston, Wyoming. She tells us…the small town atmosphere was wonderfully conducive to freedom in my childhood. I enjoyed good neighbors and a great life. After attending BYU where I received my bachelor's degree in education with a minor in history. I married DeLynn Cook, a rancher out by Flaming Gorge, We had five children, making our home in Sandy, Utah. My husband died in 2010. I stay busy doing church work, family history, gardening, writing poetry, and reading. I have also been writing a book about my grandparents and their children and their ancestors

I am a member of Valley Winds-UTSPS Chapter in Salt Lake City. My daughter Crystie got me started in poetry in 2009 by convincing me to enter the beginners category of UTSPS’s annual contest. I won and found I enjoyed the creativity of writing. I have been hospitality officer for several years along with Marney Zambrano, and last year I helped arrange for the judges for the 2015 Poetry Festival. I think the UTSPS group has wonderful poets who are very nice people!

Isaiah 8:8 And the stretching out of his wings
shall fill the breadth of thy land...

I buy the world at takeoff.
Sun whispers on trees, outlines mountains.
Ground flashes like 16mm film on fast reel.
I smile and laugh as I scrape the heavens.

Freedom! I bank, I glide, I arch
to horizons and beyond, explore glory,
reach zeniths, slice space,
my companions eagles, hawks.

I ponder cloud tops bumpy like oatmeal bubbles,
zip through wisps leaving dew
on my eyelids, kisses from God.
My ear and cheek caressed
by breezes, I soar to bliss.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Join a UTSPS Chapter

There are currently ten UTSPS chapters: click here for info on how to join.  Click below on links of Chapter presidents in your area.

(1) St. George-Dixe Poets-Alma Richie
(2) St. George-Redrock Writers-Markay Brown 
(3) Cedar City-Pete Wilkins
(4) Davis County-Rhyme & Reason-Kolette Montague
(5) Ogden-Ben Lomond-Donovan Obray
(6) Salt Lake Valley-Valley Winds-Paul Ford
(7) Tooele-Oquirrh-Marney Zambrano
(8) Utah Valley-North-Write On-Cindy Bechtold
(9) Utah Valley-South-Word Weavers-Pat Johnson 
(10) At Large members not living near a regular chapter-includes poets from: Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada, Ohio, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. We are looking to enroll more At Large members and experiment with an online critique group through It's pretty amazing. So far Susan Roche and I have loved it. Contact Chapters Coordinator-Lin Floyd for more info or Membership Chair Rose Ostler to pay dues.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Meet SUSAN ROCHE, At Large Member of UTSPS

Susan Roche is from...Kansas, a girl whose one and only hobby was reading. She’s lived all over the world and worked with students with disabilities, designed learning materials plus training for empowerment and micro enterprise creation with economically vulnerable groups both overseas and in the U.S. Along the way,  Susan discovered... poetry I hadn't known before and began to write some of my own. I believe in our power - as learners, writers, listeners, and readers - to make our own meaning. I love the paradox of poetry: sliding on a poem’s words into that word-less space, that attention-place floating beneath words. 

Susan tells us…After wandering in the desert every chance we got for ages, my husband and I decided, nearly on the spur of the moment about three years ago, to move from the Washington DC area to the red rock desert of Castle Valley, just outside Moab. We were recently retired and wanted to answer the call of this landscape before we got too decrepit! Early on, I joined Moab Poets and Writers, and the Utah State Poetry Society as an at-large member––(someone who doesn't live near a chapter of UTSPS.) A new friend of mine had showed me some older Utah Sings volumes published by UTSPS, and I wanted to be part of this amazing Utah poetry community. I've been lucky enough to participate in several valuable UTSPS workshops, conferences and to receive some wonderful poetry mentoring from the Critique Bureau. I'm grateful for the ongoing inspirations on the UTSPS website - and on the new Blog! 

Though I've published a few poems, it's still hard to gather courage to send pieces out, so I was thrilled to be featured reading a poem this June in the Utah Division of Arts and Museums Bite-Size Poetry video series: