Vespers at Sunset: Poems: 2005-2007

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AuthorHouse, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 384 pages
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The sixth collection of poetry to be released by Thomas Porky McDonald, Vespers at Sunset: Poems 2005-200 7 sees the poet alternately reaching back and looking forward, with the usual five-book format along For The ride. Up first is the Fat Parrot Diaries, a volume which contains a number of reflective pieces, like "Deuce" and "47," about Frank Brady, a friend whom McDonald has alluded to often in the past. The passing of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks inspired the impassioned verse "The Buses Won't Be Running in Heaven Tonight" And The growing specter of aging exballplayers spurred the longing ode "As Those Years Deplete the Roster." Diaries is complemented by its immediately succeeding set, Drfling Shadows, whose title piece contains lasting images also seen in both "Lookin' Out Mikey's Window" and "A Vision of Kirby," written for an old friend and a baseball icon, respectively. The present is even more in evidence in Shadows, with a country visit ("At Lackawanna," and "The Life Goes on and On") and a Midwest trip ("The Guy From Midwood," "The Other Side of the Street") supplying the muse. In the Alley brings the poet back to New York, As the day-to-day ("The Room That Con Ed Missed"), The great beyond ("Till the Canyons Evolving Are Done") And The most evil day of all ("At 8:45") each pitch a tent. As always, baseball is well represented, with the city of Baltimore ("Legends House," "Ripken County") providing the latest stop on the tour. Alley also contains thoughts of impending doom ("A Feeling, As Yet Unknown") and Eternal gratefulness ("Those Who Set You Free"), balanced by a seminal classic ("A Time"). The final two books of Vespers are Frankie Rules, a book centered on the memory of Brady ("Frankie's Cure," "Frankie's Sport," Frankie's Heart And The title piece), and Old Phenoms, where the soon to be razed Shea Stadium ("The Space Beyond 1' Street," "Queries to an Usher on Doomsday") stands astride a pair of more personal farewells ("The Bond of the Eternal Souls," "The Window on the Second Floor"). Another representative collection from the kid from Queens.
 

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Contents

3 On the Fringes
23
2 Remembrances
27
3 Applause
47
A Standard Entry
69
Book TwentySeven Drifting Shadows
71
2 Joyous Replays
92
3 Lasting Visions
114
A Sweet Eventuality
135
A Child Remains
163
Could Read My Fathers Plaque
169
Legends House
175
The Greatest Christmas
181
Through the Crystal Ball
203
Book TwentyNine Frankies Rules
205
2 Haunts
229
Copyright

One Shelf More
157

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About the author (2010)

Thomas Porky McDonald is a poet and writer who often comments on both baseball and life. His first five poetry collections, each of which contained five smaller volumes, spanned the 1990's on into the early 21st Century. Ground Pork: Poems 1989- 1994, Downtown Revival. Poems 1994-1997, Closer to Rona. Poems 1997-1999, Still Chuckin': Poems 1999-2002, and in the Cameo Shade: Poems 2002-2005, all presented a writer whose work was often distinguished by the use of baseball And The ballpark venue. Other previously published poetry came in the form of two thematic volumes, Diamond Reflections, Baseball Pieces for Real Fans, which takes the most vibrant baseball-related poems of the chronological collections from the many other life-related pieces contained in each five-book set, and Dem Poems: The Brooklyn Collection, born of verses written from 1985-2005, two decades when the writer's jobsite was based in the Borough of Churches. His book on poetic process, Does the Toy Cannon Fire Still at Night? cited 62 poems from his first three collections, giving the actual story behind each piece. Beyond the poetry landscape, his most recent book, The skipper 's scrapbook, was inspired by his own Queens upbringing and told the tale of two men And The journey they took together through the final season of their home ballpark, Shea Stadium. McDonald has also released Series Endings: A Whimsical Look at the Final Plays of Baseball 's Fall Classic, 1903-2003, a distinctly different view of baseball's World Series than most mainstream histories, At a Loss to Eternity: Baseball Teams of Note That Didn 't Win it All, a celebration of great, non-Series winning teams, Never These Men: One Man 's Look at Baseball 's Creatively Cultured Characters, a biting rebuttal To The pervading need of the media to brand people for life and Where the Angels Bow To The Grass: A Boy 's Memoir, which is taken mainly from the writer's childhood days of the 1960's and 70's, describing the bond between McDonald and his father, Bill "The Chief' McDonald. He has also published a three-part anthology series, which includes an Irishman 's Tribute To The Negro Leagues, Over the Shoulder and Plant on One. An Irishman 's Tribute to Willie Mays and Hit Sign, Win Suit: An Irishman 's Tribute to Ebbets Field. Each volume contains short stories, historical material and a small dose of McDonald's trademark baseball poetry. McDonald has also published a book of short stories, Paradise Oval and his singular New Yorkers' take on 9/11, The Air That September. Born in St. Albans Naval Hospital in Queens, McDonald has lived in nearby Astoria his entire life.

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