An October “Treat” from Poet Marjorie Maddox

marjorie maddoxI’ve mentioned that I’d be bringing you a review of Marjorie Maddox’s new book Local News from Someplace Else. Well here is a preview, and a poem which is just perfect for these early days of October.

The book is about living, not just surviving, but growing, finding hope in a dangerous world. In Marjorie’s words:

We don’t define home the same way anymore. School shootings and natural disasters populate the headlines.Tragedy and disease infiltrate our neighborhoods. We not only must survive in an unsafe world, but also persevere in it. By confronting fear and embracing family, Local News from Someplace Else rediscovers both grace and joy.

I am off momentarily to hear Marjorie read at the James V. Brown Library in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In the unlikely event that you read this in time and are in the area, it’s at 6:00 pm, just under two hours away! Otherwise, you and I should start looking up these local readings on a regular basis. Support your local art and poetry scene, and don’t let another good-for-the-soul evening slip by!

Here is my reading of Marjorie’s poem from this new collection. It’s called “Treat.”


by Marjorie Maddox

Shadows bloom and wilt across the patio,
our new home sheds flakes of bright paint,
and, of course, it is October; the neighbors we don’t know
hang pumpkin lights like lamb’s blood over the threshold,
and from their porch rocking chairs stare at us, the strangers.

We disguise ourselves with smiles and wave.
And why not? Let the leaves fall and the grass grow high,
our new life floats around us in the frost-free air,
and we own the chaos of autumn; the weeds
would grow between our toes if we’d linger

into another two seasons. We are giddy enough
for a picket fence or a pink flamingo
and bring out Baby to see the splendor.
“Here,” we say like good parents, “is the color red
and over there, the irrepressible orange of joy.”

“Treat,” by Marjorie Maddox
Local News From Somplace Else
© Copyright 2013 WIPF and Stock

10 Comments Add yours

  1. slpmartin says:

    Indeed your reading of her poem was a lovely treat.


    1. aw, thank you, Charles!


  2. Jamie Dedes says:

    Well written. Well read.
    Enjoy your evening. Looking forward to more.


    1. Thanks, Jaime! It was a small group as these library readings often are. But it was a lovely intimate discussion about poetry, family, home, tragedy and writing.


  3. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    What a terrific poem. I loved this for many reasons but perhaps most of all because it just bursts “Autumn” to me. Thank you so much for sharing this.


    1. I’ll make sure Marjorie sees this comment, Jeremy. She will love it. Thank you!


    2. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

      You’re quite welcome. I hope she does see it since I love her poem. 🙂


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