Strawberry Moss: A Compilation of Poetry

I am introducing a compilation of poetry I copyrighted in 1986, called Strawberry Moss. Ever since 1969, when I got my first poem published--an elegy on the death of Martin Luther King--I have been avidly submitting poetry and prose to various publications. The title of my earliest compilation is taken from two poems: "The Moss" and "Wild Strawberries." These poems are ecologically based and symbolically linked, containing warnings about GMOs and endangered species. Moreover, inside the manuscript is a poem called "Strip-Mined Canyons," which symbolically warns of mountain top removal and the dirtying of air and water. The poem also exposes past tactics of mining bosses opposed to unions. Coal miners are hardworking folks who deserve better treatment and working conditions. I am generally optimistic throughout the compilation but "not the commanding general." I try to expose some of society's ills and also talk across the aisle to skeptics and what we used to call the silent majority. I recall a lyric originally written by Pete Seeger and inspired by the Bible called, "Turn, Turn, Turn," (i.e., "a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing"). Despite rough times, there is no time like the present to "keep on trucking," as Robert Crumb says. (Thank God for Biden.) I ride on the shoulders of many poets and lyricists who've come before me. In addition, contained within the volume are poems I got published in UT-K's literary magazine, in the '70s, called The University of Tennessee Phoenix. Moreover, also in this submission are "Graffito poems" and "Penny Haiku poems" as abbreviated poems. Note: Penny Haiku is a phrase I have coined. I have written many Penny Haiku online. (See under my pen name, Steve Plonk, in the Studio 8 site, and the Literary Kicks site, under "Action Poetry." Many of my poems have a lyrical bent and comment on social/political change.) Many poems are experimental. I use humor and satire in other poems. "Creative Evolution" is an example of one of these.

by John G. Willis

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