Backroad Poetry: July newsletter and poem of the month

backroad poetry logo2Greetings from Backroad Poetry,

Included in this month’s newsletter is the Poem of the Month, spoken word poetry by Eric Darby, a quick micro poem, and a recent review of our recent release, “Country Songs and Backroad Love Notes.”

Poem of the Month:

Had I met you first, or yesterday


I would have believed in love at first sight

had I met you first, or yesterday.

I knew you before we met this time

and you’ve made me believe in reincarnation.


Long ago we planted a tree, and when it grew last year

it already had our names carved into its bark.

I know I have loved you before, a few times,

while the rest of the country fought the revolution,

or learned to program a VCR,

and I now spend my days battling your ghosts of the past,

keeping them where they’ve been hiding

and not here and now.


But I’m the one who now needs an exorcism,

because time heals all wounds but mine,

and although internal and invisible to the rest of the world,

they are centuries deep, if not more.


And to combat this I love you like it’s today,

but I’ll love you another way tomorrow,

because to me this is therapy.

And as we come to the end of this time around

I am confident I will love you again.


I will find you again, somehow.


“Had I met you first, or yesterday” originally appeared in ‘The Ravens Perch’
Spoken Word:
If you are a fan of spoken word poetry this one by Eric Darby is a classic – his words and delivery are amazing! (and one of the most beautifully motivational things you’ll ever hear)
Please enjoy “Scratch and Dent Dreams”

Monthly Micro Poem:
Please enjoy “Matches”

Book Review:
This is a recent review of the Backroad Poetry title, “County Songs and Backroad Love Notes” by Steven Harz.

“This collection of poetry is a must read. The pieces make you feel warm, fuzzy and loved; the perfect read after a long day. The poetry brings to mind how good it feels to love and be loved.

Some believe romantic poetry only appeals to women. Not the case with Country Songs and Backroad Love Notes. Many of the pieces are written about old cars, young love, coming of age and love gained and lost, which male readers will definitely identify with.”

Poetically yours,
Backroad Poetry



Poetry: “Diner placemat love note”

Diner placemat love note


I have become a

front porch Ball jar wino

looking for yesterday


But all I want is to be

a back alley junkie

freebasing glimpses of tomorrow


And on each day of your absence

I’ve received a morphine drip

of your perceived value


While fearing the dark

and squinting to find

your fading light


At first we loved slowly

as if our touch was a match

that would send up any remaining oxygen


But later we found out we matched

however not each other

causing us to softly fade


Like a cry for help in a soundproof room

or a reframed photograph hung on a different wall

all leading to your evaporation.


So now I’m stuck

and have abandoned myself

on a Formica counter swivel stool


With an empty plastic

methadone shot glass

in one hand


Writing this diner placemat love note with the other

mind failing and my heart barely strong enough

to pump your entire short life.


‘Diner placemat love note’ is contained in my book, “Self Inflicted Heart Shaped Wounds” – available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle format






Poem: Dashboard drawing board

Dashboard drawing board

I do my best writing while driving
using a dashboard drawing board
and rolled down window arm rest.

With a stolen bank ink pen
attached to nothing by
a few remaining links of chain
I write crooked words on the pages
of a drug store spiral pocket notebook.

And just as I would clean myself up
before hospital visits to you,
I neatly rewrite these dashboard thoughts
onto parchment with a quill pen
purchased by a childhood me
at the Liberty Bell gift shop.

Now, during solo trips to
the market or movies or cemetery,
and before feather meets inkwell,
these pages reside between
sun visor and pickup ceiling
until enough thoughts are collected to
assemble them on the hood of my truck
which is just ten feet forward of
our teen aged flesh pressed in
brick wall humidity.

Then, like a reservation blackjack dealer,
I shuffle these wounded heart love notes,
discarding the jokers
and then I deal from the bottom
to the ghosts of us back then.

And doubling down across a
world-weary blue Ford paint job
these brief memories end up
in a logical order, or not,
like a Papier-mâché timeline,
or a never to be completed jigsaw puzzle,
because the lost piece looks like you

“Dashboard drawing board’ was the winning piece in the
2013 People’s Poetry contest.

Please visit my Amazon Author Page:


The poetry of s.c. harz / “My every night one night stand”

tree and star (2)

My every night one night stand


With your hand on the radio and my hand on your heart

your top-of-thigh Levi’s cutoffs and frosted and feathered hair

are riding shotgun in a 20-year-old F150.

As I am look to my right, watching you look to your right,

we pass Sparkle Car Wash and the boarded up Rexall Drugs,

following the end-of-the-road Texaco sign as if it’s a

small town Star of David. Parked behind the

county fairground Cow Palace and within earshot

of the Community Choir onstage the neon flashing

Tilt-A-Whirl swirls dust in our direction.

We, the Prince and Princess of Underneath The Watertower,

with your daisy chain halo and my barbed wire crown,

you smell and taste like baby powder and lip gloss,

and me like Budweiser and bubblegum.


A finger to your lips and a hand in your back pocket

we pretend that we’re not making up love as we go,

and as the carnival fireworks begin above

I say a silent prayer, to God or no one,

that you eventually become

my every night one night stand.

‘My every night one night stand’ is included in my book, “Country Songs and Backroad Love Notes” – available in paperback and Kindle / ebook at Amazon:






To receive the Backroad Poetry Poem of the Month, please send a note to


Article / “Poetry can help cut depression rates”

daily mail


Using poems to help people with depression could save the NHS nearly £200,000 a year, according to research published today for National Poetry Day.

A new report based on 196 people with psychological problems found that 75% found writing poems was an emotional release.

Two thirds found reading or listening to poetry helped them be able to relax and feel calm.

And 7% weaned themselves off anti-depressants or tranquillisers using poetry and with the help of their GP.

The research is featured in a new report “Arts, Health and Well-being” that is due to be published at the end of the month.

Author Dr Robin Philipp, a consultant in occupational and public health at Bristol Royal Infirmary, said anti-depressants cost around £530 per person for a year.

Based on his findings, if poetry helped 7% of people with depression or anxiety come off medication that could amount to a potential saving of £190,000 annually for the NHS.

The study was sparked by a letter to the British Medical Journal in 1994 in which Dr Philipp and colleagues asked if reading or writing poetry helped people with mental health problems.

Dr Philipp received hundreds of letters from the general public, from people of all ages and all walks of life, as well as healthcare professionals.

“To my great surprise the letters I was getting were full of testimonies about their personal lives and experiences and the way they had found poetry very beneficial,” he said. “I was taken aback by that.”

He used 196 of the people who wrote to him to study the impact of reading and writing poetry on people with psychological difficulties.

He said there were several reasons why poetry could be beneficial and it linked in with therapies in which people were encouraged to talk about their problems.

“One person told me, if you had a whole batch of things you had to do and felt all tense and irritable about it, you would write a list.

“You would feel better about it because it was more ordered and I suppose poetry is an extrapolation of that.”

Dr Philipp is a founding member of the organisation LAPIDUS (the Association for the Literary Arts in Personal Development) which is supported by the Arts Council.

National Poetry Day is held annually and this year tomorrow October 10, the theme is Celebration.

During the day events to celebrate poetry will be held up and down the country.

Read more:
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Backroad Poetry June Newsletter/Poem of the Month

backroad poetry logo2

Greetings from Backroad Poetry,

Included in this month’s newsletter is the Poem of the Month, spoken word poetry by Rudy Francisco, a quick micro poem, and a recent review of our recent release, “Self Inflicted Heart Shaped Wounds.”

Poem of the Month:

The wrong North Star

Word by word you built your story
and I listened intently, so now I know
that I need to sing you a lullaby nightly and
say prayers of hope each morning.

And in case those don’t protect you,
I will surround your heart
with barbed wire and discarded fireworks.

You search for peace halfheartedly,
as if you’re panning for gold
that doesn’t exist.

You try to unlock the hushed and
frail secrets I once told you
but, like your happiness,
you’ve lost your skeleton key.

I understand your decision to
search for something, or anything,
but it is my hope
that you don’t end up
following the wrong North Star.

But in case you arrive at
whatever place you were hoping to go,
I’ll send you with a quarter
so you can call me to let me know
that you got there safely.

(“The Wrong North Star” originally appeared in ‘The Ravens Perch’)

Spoken Word:
If you are a fan of spoken word poetry this one by Rudy Francisco is terrific! (“I want to be your ex-boyfriend’s stuntman – I want to do everything he was afraid to do…”)
Please enjoy “Love Poem”

Monthly Micro Poem:
Please enjoy “Laundry”

Book Review:
This is a recent review of the Backroad Poetry title, “Self Inflicted Heart Shaped Wounds” by Steven Harz.

“Just finished Self Inflicted Heart Shaped Wounds. I’m speechless, and if I had been using a real highlighter on real pages (rather than reading this on my Kindle app) I would have run out of ink. Steve’s writing gets right to the heart of things, and I like writers (and people in general) who can do that with brutal honesty and grace. This work reminds me of a line from Jerry McGuire — “The Things We Think But Do Not Say.”

I can’t recommend this collection highly enough. Thank you for writing the things we think but don’t often (or ever) say.”

Poetically yours,
Backroad Poetry

(If you would like to join our mailing list, please send a note to:


The poetry of s.c. harz / “Unknown battle” @BackroadPoetry


Unknown battle


My written words

are in an unknown battle

with your unspoken thoughts

and since neither are

audible or discernible

to the other

or to us

the fight will silently rage

into the darkness

until we are deafened

by the peace

that could have been

s.c. harz



poem of the month:

Please visit my Amazon Author page:


The poetry of s.c. harz / “Yo-yo love”


Yo-yo love


As you know ours is a

yo-yo love

we are up and down

and in an out

Imperial and Butterfly

rotational energy

held together by

thin twisted twine

we are equal parts

Walk-the-dog and


but now I am made to Sleep

and before I awake am sent


over hill and dale

meadow and mountain

brook and bay

you hither and me yon

and once back in your hand

peeled polish and soiled palm

from digging for something new

I will take a moment to remember

our ups and ins and

loops toward and not away

because what I discovered

during my reverse orbit

of our lives is that

our string is about to unravel

Please visit my Amazon Author page:

Poem of the Month – send a quick note to: