Poetry

Poem of the Moment

The most solid structure is the one that shifts form 

Lace over the pond splits morning’s light.

Wind is wind, but sun brushes my forehead to ease the bitter.

Ghosts of hydrangea hold tight to stalks. Their future is new color asleep in the stem.

Three doves: black eyes, buff chests, gray backs that triangle into flight

Nights freeze and days melt. Galaxies and amoeba conceive themselves in potholes, at the edge of the pond.

Light combed from hemlocks’ small needles silvers the whole of the pathway.

At the end, a divet of asphalt holds water ringed with brown leaves, their tips all pointed toward the center. 

          An offering for the melting. 

          Everything is water now. 

Receiving my Poet Laureate proclamation from City Council President Homar Gomez

Greetings! I’m Carolyn Cushing, a lyric poet inspired by nature and currently focused on the places where life and death meet. In April 2023, I was named Poet Laureate of Easthampton, MA for 2023 – 2025. I read this poem at the celebration at the start of my term.

Subscribe to My Poetry List

* indicates required

Upcoming Events

Featured Reader for Crumbs Open Mic at The Roost (1 Market St., Northampton) at 7pm

Poetry & Practice: A Presentation by Easthampton’s Poet Laureate Carolyn A. Cushing

Tuesday, February 27, 6:00 – 7:00pm at the Easthampton Public Library (9 Park St.) Learn More.

Walking & Writing Sessions with Carolyn Cushing, Easthampton’s Poet Laureate 

Three Saturdays, March 2nd – March 16th, 8:30am meet outside the Easthampton Public Library to begin walk, 9:30am reconvene inside the library. Learn More.

Press On: Indie Publishing Fair on Saturday, April 27th from 11am to 5pm

Poets in the World: Visioning and Skills Building

What is the power of poetry? How can poets claim this power? What skills do we need to use and grow this power?

These are questions at the center of my term as Poet Laureate. I’d like to explore this with fellow poets and have created a survey as a first step. If you identify as a poet, you are invited to respond to the survey.

More About Me & Poetry

My poems have been published in local, regional, and national poetry journals. I also am honored when my poems are shared in ways that speak to collective needs of the moment, such as Mass Poetry’s Hard Work of Hope series and CitySpace’s memorial tribute to those who lost their lives to COVID-19.

As an active member of the Connecticut River Valley’s poetry community, I attend and have helped facilitate poetry readings, literary events, and gatherings for writers. Inspired by seeing the collaborations of Easthampton creatives since moving here in 2000, I seek out ways to collaborate with fellow writers and artists as well as share poetry in more dynamic formats, resulting in projects such as the Poetry Oracle (2020) and Chapbook in the Street (2022).

I am a recipient of grants from the Easthampton Cultural Council and Massachusetts Cultural Council, and was a finalist for the Philbrick Poetry Award of the Providence Athenaeum (2012) and the Tarantula Poetry Contest of Pilgrimage Journal (2018).

Poems are sometimes part of my moonthly missives and writings about soul tending here at Soul Path Sanctuary. Find these posts collected here.

Poetry Pamphlet

Encounters Poetry Pamphlet
Encounters Poetry Pamphlet
Pamphlet with Tarot images, link to tips for contemplative work with word and image, and 5 poems, including First Anniversary Prayers. Postage and handling included.
Price: $6.00

Past Events

City Poets ~ Poetry in Unexpected Places ~ September 2023

I created a gift chapbook of poems by all five Poet Laureates to-date and about 150 copies were picked up in the Deli/Bakery section of Big E’s or at our Art Walk reading in the parking lot. Check out the Hampshire Gazette’s story about this project (or read on the ECA site if you can’t get through the paywall).

Featured Reader at Straw Dogs Writers Night Out at the Forbes Library ~ December 5th

Stay Connected

Soul Path Sanctuary

Offering ~ I tend the sanctuary as gift to seekers on the unmarked path. If you find this site inspiring, I welcome a gift to continue serving you sustainably.