Protective Coloration is the author’s latest release from Kelsay Books. It’s available from Kelsay or from Amazon.com. You can open a sample in PDF format by clicking on the cover photo.
In this splendid collection of engaging and unmistakably American poems, David Jibson manages to find beauty in utterly unexpected places: piled up on a back shelf at the Salvation Army Store, for example, or strung along the bedraggled length of the Ohio Turnpike—or perhaps in the lovely, tentative dance of a blind woman learning to walk with a white cane. Along with a faint echo of Ted Kooser or Billy Collins at their conversational best, you’ll be captivated by Jibson’s own irresistible voice: that of a witty, insightful observer of the astonishments that surround us.
Marilyn L. Taylor, Wisconsin Poet Laureate, Emerita
To read David Jibson’s poems is like leafing through a pile of photos of your life and suddenly rediscovering feelings and events you had forgotten or never knew. Each snapshot is replete with carefully selected images organized to create unity and fulfillment. His poems range from trivia to exotic, from people we recognize to those we would like to meet. Topics include science, religion, philosophy, history, music, art, and (the requisite for all good poetry) basic old-fashioned entertainment.
Lawrence W. Thomas,
Founding Editor, Third Wednesday Magazine Honorary Chancellor, Poetry Society of Michigan
Writing ekphrastic poetry is a great way to break out of slump (I never say writer’s block). Here is a technique that makes an ekphastic poem seem to write itself. To demonstrate we’ll use a poem that was originally published in The Ekphrastic Review. It was insprired by the famous photo of the same title as the poem.
The poem is written in three parts, each part it’s own stanza, though that is not any kind of rule. It’s just how I chose to work with this short poem. I think it’s brevity contributes to it’s impact.
The first stanza is a simple description of what’s seen in the photograph. It’s best to concentrate on just one or two details and extend them, perhaps through comparison using simile or metaphor.
In step two I have brought in sensory experiences beyond the visual. This animates the photograph, turns it into a living scene that includes movement and the senses of hearing and smell.
The final step is for the poet to enter the photograph and to interact with the visual elements. This is purely imaginative and the most engaging part of writing the poem. You can talk to people, touch or pick up objects, use tools, taste food etc.
There you have it, short and sweet; 1) Describe, 2) Animate, 3) Enter and interact.
This poem was featured at the fall meeting of the Poetry Society of Michigan. It was a response to a prompt from Elizabeth Kerlikowske, the current president of the organization. “Write a poem giving someone advice. It could be an extended metaphor. And fun/clever/don’t even think of rhyming.”
I wrote Honky-Tonk, which originally appeared in Fried Chicken and Coffee, with a particular road house in mind. Its name came from the fact that its distance from each of three small towns in rural Michigan was seven miles and it was owned for a period of time by my mother. The poem is now included in Protective Coloration (Kelsay Books, 2020). It’s available from Kelsay and from Amazon.