Cherubic laugh; sly, impish grin;
Angelic face; wild chimp within.

It does not matter; sleep awhile
As soft mirth tickles forth a smile.

Gray moths will hum a lullaby
Of feathery wings, then you and I

Will wake together, by and by.

*

Life’s not long; those days are best
Spent snuggled to a loving breast.

The earth will wait; a sun-filled sky
Will bronze lean muscle, by and by.

Soon you will sing, and I will sigh,
But sleep here, now, for you and I

Know nothing but this lullaby.

 

Kim Cherub is a devout Catholic, an unapologetic conservative, and a lover and patron of the fine arts. She has been writing poetry for more than twenty years, but has only recently begun to submit her work for publication.

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62 Responses

    • Kim Cherub

      Thanks, David. I look forward to reading your poetry and getting to know your work.

      Reply
    • Kim Cherub

      David,

      I was just informed that I won the “Line of the Month” but I’m not sure what that is. If it’s a line in “Lullaby,” I’d love to know which one! Any ideas?

      Reply
  1. Joe Tessitore

    Kim,
    How glad am I that you’ve begun to submit your beautiful poetry for publication!
    I struggle with myself to even mention it, but if you had begun your second verse with “Life is not long…”, you would have been perfectly metered throughout.
    Exceptionally beautiful poem!
    Joe

    Reply
    • Kim Cherub

      Joe,

      I will definitely consider your advice about “Life is not long” and thanks very much for the suggestion.

      Perhaps this is a good omen. I googled your name, in order to find some of your poems, and the first one I found was “Lullaby” (and a very nice poem too). What are the odds?

      I look forward to reading more of your work. I already feel as if I’m among old friends here.

      Reply
      • Joe Tessitore

        From one devout Catholic to another:

        Holy Communion

        As I consume You
        Lord please consume me
        in the fire of your love
        and may I always be
        an undying ember,
        forever aglow
        in the warmth of the peace
        only You can bestow.

      • Kim Cherub

        Joe, I think your “Holy Communion” is both a lovely sentiment and a fine poem. You certainly have a way with words!

    • Kim Cherub

      Dear Joe,

      I got your congratulatory email, and thanks so much for thinking of me! But I’m a bit confused … what is the “Line of the Month”? If it’s a line in “Lullaby,” I’d love to know which one! Any ideas?

      Warmly,
      Kime

      Reply
    • Kim Cherub

      E. V., thanks very much. One of my favorite easy listening songs is “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by the Eagles.

      Do you publish as E. V., or should I look for your work under another name?

      Reply
      • E. V.

        Hi Kim! I, too, like “Peaceful Easy Feeling”. Perhaps the song’s mood contributes to your writing inspiration?

        In answer to your question, I publish under “E. V. Wyler”.

        Thank you for sharing “Lullaby”.

      • Monty

        Just as an aside: it’s just occured to me that there are 2 Eagles songs which – if placed side by side – form some sort of juxtaposition: ‘Peaceful, Easy Feeling’ and ‘Life In The Fast Lane’ . . . do they not?

      • Kim Cherub

        E. V.,

        Despite my Luddite-ish-ness, I did find one of your poems and left my comments.

        I think when I wrote my lullaby, I was influenced by softer-sounding songs and poems. I have long been a fan of lullabies.

      • Kim Cherub

        Monty, that’s a good point about the two songs by the Eagles. Hopefully music soothes the savage beast in the end!

    • Kim Cherub

      David, thanks. “Lovely” is more than I could have hoped for. I have been writing poetry for more than 20 years and have always been shy about “sharing.” So I am very happy to hear such encouraging words.

      I have read some of your poems in the past, and I will be happy to reacquaint myself with your work.

      Reply
  2. David Watt

    A tender poem which soothes as a lullaby should. I look forward to more of your work.

    Reply
    • Kim Cherub

      Thanks, David. I look forward to reading your work and will be sure to comment.

      Reply
  3. Monty

    Good idea for a poem, Kim; and vividly written. It affords a real sense of warmth; whether concerning a human mum an’ baby . . or any other species.

    Of course Mr Tessitore’s astute observation should be considered: it’s a glorious opportunity to attain metrical excellence by just swapping one apostrophe for one letter. How could one resist?

    Just one small aspect I couldn’t quite grasp (if, indeed, it is to grasped . . maybe it’s not): in line 3, what is it that ‘does not matter’? Is it the fact that the child possesses a ‘wild chimp within’?

    Reply
    • Kim Cherub

      Monty,

      I do appreciate the advice about the apostrophe. Is there any way to revise a poem once it has been posted?

      Yes, line three accepts that children can be wild chimps at times, but still deserve calming lullabies. In fact, wild chimps probably need them the most! My son was a little bundle of energy and at times we both needed lullaby-induced rest,

      Reply
      • Monty

        Well, I certainly can’t take the credit for the advice; that belongs to Mr Tessitore. I should tell ya that I myself am a comparative newcomer to SCP; hence I wouldn’t know if one is able to have a piece modified after submission. I’m sure one of the other commenters above would know better. Perhaps ya could offer to sing a lullaby to Mr Mantyk in order for him to make the modification.

        Regarding the ‘juxtaposition’ above: Another line of thought could be . . that in order for one to survive life in the fast lane: one needs to have a peaceful, easy feeling within. In which case, maybe it’s not so much of a juxtaposition after all.

    • Kim Cherub

      Monty,

      I’m afraid I don’t know Mr. Mantyk well enough to offer to sing him a lullaby, nor is my voice good enough!

      I suspect for many of us aging is a process from “Life in the Fast Lane” to a “Peaceful Easy Feeling” because we’re too tired to keep living it up!

      Reply
      • Monty

        I was only jesting about the lullaby, Kim; I just felt that to suggest the lullaby was more humorous than what would otherwise have been the more accurate reply of: “I don’t know, sorry”.

        I must say that I’m mildly surprised one of the above commenters haven’t by now informed ya of the possibility. It may be worth waiting a day or two to see if Mr Mantyk himself happens upon the above discourse; if he doesn’t, just leave it . . and keep it in mind for future offerings.

      • Kim Cherub

        Monty, that sounds like good advice. I will wait and see what happens. Thanks!

  4. Joe Tessitore

    Kim,
    The Holy Communion poem is the closest I’ve come to being published outside of the Society. My cousin made a prayer card of it and has given away close to a thousand of them. Two priests give them to their First Holy Communion classes. It’s been translated into Spanish and one of the Cyrillic languages.
    It is far more than I ever could have asked for, and I couldn’t be happier.
    Joe

    Reply
  5. E. V.

    Hi Joe. The meaning and beauty of “Holy Communion” can be universally appreciated by anyone who believes in a higher power, even by non-Catholics.

    In my opinion (and based upon my experience) any possible challenge you may face in getting it accepted has less to do with the quality of the poem (and poet), but about the bias against rhyming and religious themes. If a poem is both rhyming AND religious, the bias is exponentially compounded. Nonetheless, there are options. You could try WestWard Quarterly, whose editor, Shirley Anne Leonard, is partial to both rhyming and religious poetry.

    Hope this helps.

    Reply
    • Joe Tessitore

      Dear E.V.,
      Thanks so much for this!
      I should have added a further comment in my response to Kim: I couldn’t be more pleased with what the Society has done for me as well. I’m really not trying to do anything further with my poetry. “Getting published” at this point in my life would probably throw my delicately balanced ego for a loop!
      Joe

      Reply
      • Kim Cherub

        Joe, of course it’s up to you, but I think you have the ability to be a published poet if you care to be.

        “First Things” publishes religious poetry and has a good reputation. A. M. Juster is one of the better-known formalists and he recently became the editor of “First Things.”

        “Time of Singing” publishes formal Christian verse.

        “Tiferet” also publishes religious poetry, although I’m not sure how receptive they are to formal verse.

        So there are markets, if you’re interested. There are even more markets for secular verse.

        I’m a Luddite, and I found these three publishers with a simple Google search. I’m sure there are others.

        Whatever your decision, I wish you good luck!

  6. Joseph Tessitore

    Thanks very much, Kim.

    Being published outside of the Society is not something I even think about. As you already feel that you’re among friends here, I feel that I’ve found a home here and have been accepted as a member of the family.

    In addition, I can’t imagine that a more educated, diverse and accomplished audience exists for poetry than exists here at the Society. If you are just starting with this page you’re in for quite a treat – there are poets here that are going to blow you away. In fact your first attempt blew me away!

    Joe

    Reply
    • Kim Cherub

      Dear Joe,

      I do feel as if I’m among new friends, and I have started out by reading the work of poets who took time to comment on my poem, which I truly appreciate.

      I am very happy that you liked my poem, and thanks for your kind words!

      Reply
      • Kim Cherub

        Joe,

        I have a new poem that I’m working on, a villanelle, which is a new form for me. Would you be willing to offer your comments and suggestions if I post it here?

  7. Monty

    Cheers for taking the time to read my little piece, Kim. Regarding your suggestion that I “should post more” . . if only I had more to post. For such an avid reader of poetry (I read nothing but), for some unknown reason I write hardly any of it. Since attempting my first about 20 years ago, I’ve only averaged one per year since; and they’re predominantly long poems based on various truly-unique occasions/episodes of life in which I and others have found ourselves, hence any given poem would’ve been wrote as a sort of record of a particular happening . . and as such, it’d only make sense to those with whom I shared said happening: and that’s how it was meant to be. Even the one that ya read was written unintentionally: I’d been sat for many hours writing something else unrelated, with no idea of the time; and I literally did hear the first cheep of the morn’.. glanced straight round at the clock.. and realised it was 5am! And I just stopped what I’d originally been writing . . and sat for a few moments contemplating with sheer wonderment how easily Time can be rendered in abeyance when one’s on a deep train of thought whilst writing . . and the words to Writer’s Clock practically fell-out on their own. They only required placing and polishing . . within an hour it was completed.

    But the times they are a ‘changin’: Since discovering internet poetry in the last few years: and especially since discovering SCP late last year . . I can now feel a real urge to start writing a bit more; ideas are unequivocally simmering below the surface.
    Not to mention the fact that I feel a bit of a phoney on SCP due to my severe lack of submissions: I’ve hitherto been content to just read all the submissions of others . . and learn what I can from the accompanying comments. But now . . .

    p.s. I feel sufficiently boastful to inform ya that there IS another piece I recentlywrote which is available for public consumption: Just go to the SCP 2018 Rhyming-Riddle Competition . . where my entry is listed. And, if ya choose to have a peek, see if ya can suss the Riddle.

    Reply
    • Joe Tessitore

      Dear Kim,

      Of course I’all take a look at it.

      Also, a day passes and, as is usual with me, I see things differently. I will submit to First Things. I’ve written so many religious poems that have never seen the light of day.

      PS. If you post your poem here I don’t think that Evan will accept it for future publication.
      We can ask him to exchange our email addresses in private and do it that way.

      My thanks to you and to E.V.

      Joe

      Reply
      • Kim Cherub

        Joe, thanks for the warning about posting poems in these comments!

        My email address is kimcherub@yahoo.com

        If you email me, you won’t need to make your email address public. I can then email you the poem to see what you think. I do appreciate your time and consideration!

      • Kim Cherub

        Dear Joe (or anyone who can help),

        I’m excited to learn that my poem just won the “Line of the Month” but I’m not sure which line it is, or how it was selected. Can anyone enlighten me?

        I am such a Luddite, and sorry to be a bother!

        Thanks so much,
        Kim

      • Kim Cherub

        Joe,

        I didn’t want to get involved in the comments about Dusty Grein’s new poem, but I thought the attacks on you were wrong. I also thought you handled the attacks quite well. I didn’t finish the poem myself. After a few lines I decided that it just wasn’t that good. No one should be condemned or attacked for not wanting to keep reading a poem that doesn’t seem that good to them. I thought your poem was better. Again, I didn’t want to get involved, but I wanted you to know that you weren’t the only person who didn’t read the poem to its conclusion.

    • Kim Cherub

      Monty,

      I’ve never been good at riddles, but I will take a look and see if I can guess the answer.

      If you do choose to write more, I will look forward to seeing what you come up with!

      Reply
      • Monty

        Not only would I not know how they’re selected, Kim; I didn’t even know that a ‘line of the month’ existed on SCP! How did ya learn of your triumph?

        I’d be surprised if one of the commenters on here couldn’t tell ya more . . but, then and again, I was surprised last week when no one replied to your request about the potential for a slight amendment.

        Félicitations pour le ‘winning line’.

    • Kim Cherub

      Monty, I see that you were the winner. Congratulations! You were very good about giving clues, so I suspect the answer in ink it its various forms throughout human history.

      If I remember correctly, Francis Bacon said that three inventions changed the world in his day: the compass, gunpowder and paper. The compass so navies could sail far from shore without getting lost. Gunpowder so small nations like England could conquer much larger nations. Paper so the royals could keep track of all their new possessions. But he forgot that paper is no good without ink! You should travel back in time and give him your riddle!

      Reply
      • Monty

        Well played, Kim: the answer is indeed ink.
        And the clues are:
        ‘feathers’ (quills, before pens)
        ink ‘wells’
        ink ‘pots’
        ‘fountain’ pens
        ink ‘jets’
        ‘invisible’ ink
        ‘under man’s skin’ (tatoos)

      • Monty

        Forgive me, Kim: I’ve only just noticed the comment which ya left under ‘Writer’s Clock’.

        I must confess that it was originally written (2 years ago) with no regard to meter; and only the slightest regard to syllabic-equality. Having since then become affiliated with SCP (thus learning about meter), I’ve been able to see clearly that it wouldn’t take a lot of tweaking to make it metrically equal. But, there ya go . . we live and learn.

        To which Francis Bacon were ya referring above: the Painter or the Philosopher? The former’s a bit of a hero of mine.

    • Kim Cherub

      Monty,

      The Francis Bacon in question was the famous philosopher. I do remember the painter by that name doing some very original self-portraits!

      Do you paint?

      I will revisit your ‘Writer’s Clock’ and take a look at the meter. I don’t think metrical regularity is always an absolute requirement. Shakespeare and Milton employed quite a bit of metrical variation, as have more modern “singers” like Wallace Stevens. Let me re-read your poem and I will give you my thoughts, for whatever they’re worth.

      Yours always,
      Kim

      Reply
      • Kim Cherub

        Monty, I revisited your poem and I think the meter is fine throughout, but might be improved in one line:

        But till birds cheep . .

        I think “But till the birds cheep …” improves the meter. Also, an ellipsis is normally three dots rather than two.

        But otherwise I think the poem is fine as it is. And you should only change it if you agree that the revision is better. If you prefer what you have, by all means keep it.

        I think it’s a very nice poem.

      • Monty

        I must confess, Kim, that I’m not acquainted with any complete works by the first (by birth) Francis Bacon, although I’ve noted many of his quotations/aphorisms in books of such. But I do consider myself brimmingly acquainted with the works of the brush-stroking Francis Bacon; owning books of his work, a biography, and having been to several exhibitions around europe. I can’t say I’m a connoisseur of Art in general, but I’ve always been into two particular genres: Street Art and Surrealistic Art (especially the cubist movement in Paris in the early 1900’s: Bellmer, Ernst, Dali, Picasso, et al; which subsequently inspired Bacon). I don’t paint myself, but have become increasingly curious in recent years; which might suggest that I’ll one day pick up a brush . . . just to see what happens!

        I see what yer saying about the metrical merits of adding a ‘the’ to ‘But till birds cheep’; but I feel that to’ve done so might’ve implied that I was referring to a specific group of birds (e.g. the ones outside my window); whereas without the ‘the’, I feel it refers more to the species in general, as intended.

        I must thank ya for introducing me to the word ‘ellipsis’: how ironic to learn that there’s a word for something I’ve been using for decades, without ever knowing that it even HAD a name. And what a splendid word it is . . it sounds so elegant. Additionally, I wasn’t aware that the number of dots should be fixed at ‘3’: I’ve always varied between 2 and 3, depending on how much I wanna emphasise a separation in text. In verse specifically, if an ellipsis falls at the end of a line, I’d always favour using only 2 dots if I felt that 3 gave the line a visual imbalance. Am I breaking the rules?

        Did ya find out any more about the ‘line of the month’? Surely someone must know something about this, otherwise why would someone congratulate ya on winning something which doesn’t exist? There’s no smoke without fire!

        p.s. Regarding the above references to meter, there is another poem of mine on SCP which totally disregarded meter, but maintained strict syllabic-equality throughout. If yer interested, look for a poem by Bruce Dale Wise titled Am-air-ica . . under which I wrote a responsive poem in the comments section.

      • Kim Cherub

        Monty,

        I have seen some very wonderful street art in my travels through Europe. If you decide to give art a whirl, please be sure to share with your friends!

        If you use “the” without being specific, readers can’t pin you down too much. If I say I’m going to the stars, there are still trillions to choose from. But it’s your poem and of course your call.

        I think ‘ellipsis’ is a very nice word, so thanks for the excuse to use it! Yes, you are something of a rule breaker if you only use two dots, but I don’t think there are any major penalties. 😉

        No, not a peep about the mysterious ‘line of the month’!

      • Kim Cherub

        Monty,

        I did check out ‘Am-air-ica’ and I must say you have a way with words. (I also saw more rebellious double dots!).

        You are very inventive with those aliases!

  8. Kim Cherub

    Monty, your clues were clever, and even I was able to get them. On an interesting note, my grandfather had an India ink stain on his wrist. It was like an accidental tattoo. So I got the part about “under man’s skin” right away. My poetry may be more of the “invisible ink” variety, however!

    Reply
    • Monty

      Coincidentally, Kim, I laboured for many minutes to somehow insert the word ‘India’ into the poem – as a further clue. But I couldn’t find a way of doing so without making it either too obvious or too obscure; so I (reluctantly) left it out.

      Now you’ve found SCP, I can think of no excuse for you to not now transform your poetry into ‘visible’ ink. If I submitted a poem for the first time, and it received as many favourable comments as your ‘Lullaby’; and I had others available for submission . . I’d be rampant to submit more!

      Get ‘em out there, girl . .

      Reply
      • Kim Cherub

        Monty, thanks for taking the time to reply!

        Joe congratulated me for winning the “Line of the Month” which I assume is a line in “Lullaby” since it’s the only poem that I’ve published here. But I don’t know which line it is, or how it was selected. If anyone can shed any light on this, I will be very grateful!

    • Monty

      I think that ya may’ve got mixed-up, Kim: they’re not MY aliases in Am-air-ica. The aliases belong to the author of that piece: Bruce Dale Wise, who often (maybe always) writes under numerous pseudonyms at SCP – which are always anagrammatical to his given name. As an example, you’ll notice that Mr Wise’s 3 poems each have a different author: all of which are anagrams of his name. MY only link with Am-air-ica is the fact that I left a query in the Comments section, in the form of a poem (which is what I was referring to).

      Musically, there used to be an underground band in Britain in the 80’s called ‘The The’ (seriously hard-hitting lyrics): but we’ll concentrate on the other ‘the’ . . the ‘the’ to which ya referred above. If I can elaborate upon my feelings for the omittance . . . If one were to say: “I was woken by the dogs at 3:30am”, that would imply that they were woken by their own pet dogs. But: “I was woken by dogs at 3:30am” has a different implication. Hence, in the sense of the poem: “But till ‘the’ birds cheep” might imply to a reader that I had 2 pet budgies in my house. I realise that that’s unlikely, but even if just one individual reader might’ve interpreted it in that way . . then the omittance of the ‘the’ was justified. It could thus be described as Eliminating Potential Ambiguity.

      Being one with a belief that it’s challenging, if not impossible, to live a full and satisfying life without breaking a few rules along the way (even if only minor ones) . . I ain’t gonna change now. Hence, I will remain rebellious with the number of dots I use in an ellipsis: but not just for the sake of it. I only ever use 2 or 3 anyway (there could never be a 4th): but I sometimes feel that 3 can create a more emphatic separation of text than I wished to convey at that particular juncture; and a semi-colon too little. I have a habit (some may say a fault) of using a 2-dot ellipsis where a semi-colon might’ve sufficed: but I tend to treat 2 dots as (sort of) something in between a semi-colon and a full-stop.
      It could be said that I’ve afforded myself an additional tool . . a tool only obtainable by breaking the rules!

      How odd about the ‘line of the month’. It must now be the case that the only person who can enlighten ya . . is the same person who congratulated ya for winning it. For my own part, I’m just anticipative to learn whether or not such a thing exists at SCP.

      Take it easy . . .

      Reply
  9. James Sale

    A beautiful poem – really sweet and lovely; I like it a lot. Also, how blessed: to have the surname, Cherub!!! Love that too.

    Reply
  10. Kim Cherub

    James, thanks for your kind comments. Did you notice that I started the poem with Cherubic, as a way of admitting that I have had my impish moments too?

    Reply
  11. James Sale

    I certainly did, O Cherubic one – there is certainly something of the fairy in you. What could be lovelier for all its impishness?

    Reply
    • Kim Cherub

      James, I’m glad you approve!

      I am working on a new poem, my first villanelle, and it’s impish in a different way. Would it be possible for me to get your opinion of the poem? Joe Tessitore and his wife Chris were kind enough to comment. But please feel free to say “no” if you’re too busy.

      Reply
  12. jame sale

    Hi Kim, I am assuming you want me to comment once it is published on these pages – which I am more than happy to do. I particularly like Villanelles as a form, so look forward to it.

    Reply
    • Kim Cherub

      Hi James, I was told that posting a poem in these comments might disqualify it from being published here. Do you know if that is correct or not?

      I am a fan of villanelles. Just one of many reasons poets should not abandon the grand traditions!

      Reply
  13. Kim Cherub

    Hi James,

    I was trying to get suggestions before I submit the poem. If it’s too much trouble, please don’t let me be a bother. I emailed the poem to Joe because I was told that posting it in the comments might disqualify it for publication here.

    Reply
    • James Sale

      You can Kim – my email address is james@motivationalmaps.com. Encouraging poets cannot be too much trouble, though I am not sure I will be able to help in that I don’t like amending poets’ work and make a habit of not making suggestions. That’s not to say I don’t have a view, but in my experience most people want validation, not correction. As an ex-teacher I have done enough correction, but let’s see if in your case – an exceptional case – and only because I love the name Cherub – I can be useful.

      Reply
      • Kim Cherub

        Thanks James. I will take you up on your very kind offer.

        I’m not looking for validation. I wrote poetry for over 20 years without even trying to have any of it published. I did some unpaid “volunteer work” behind the scenes to help some of my favorite literary journals. One put me on the masthead many years ago without informing me, but it wasn’t anything I requested.

        Any comments or suggestions you have will be welcome. I don’t mind informed criticism; rather, I welcome it.

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