The art of poetry can capture moments in time and immortalize an event forever. Petra Vineyard’s Wine Gallery in Folsom hosted “Verse on the Vine” Wednesday night, with various poetry readings that captured moments in the poet’s life. Writers shared personal thoughts and feelings that dealt with love, courage, honor, pride, relationships, shoes and bras.
“Verse on the Vine” will be a monthly event featuring highly acclaimed poets from Northern California, and the open mic will give other poets a chance to share. This month’s featured the poetic talent of Shawn Aveningo, plus several people took the opportunity to share their poetry during the open mic.
Appetizers were provided by Petra Vineyard, and their specialty wines were served by winemaker Yvonne Norgauer. Petra Vinard is a new winery, and their wine is hand-crafted and sold only through the Wine Gallery, located at 627 Sutter St. in Folsom.
Several of Aveningo’s published books (“Because Red Is Your Favorite Color,” “Stripped,” “And Life Goes On,” “She Has Something to Say”) were available for purchase. Anybody who purchased books also had the opportunity to have them signed by Aveningo.
With several works of art from resident artists hanging from the walls behind the podium, Aveningo brought her readings to the stage. She began by talking about people in her life who have inspired her poetry, including, as she said, “Friends, lovers, strangers, the world outside and the world inside my head. Basically everything, everyone and everywhere. Tonight’s show is all about that a trip to everywhere.”
Aveningo started with “October Memory.” At first it may seem hard to recognize what exactly the poem is about. I couldn’t help but think that it was a poem about love, then about friends, strangers, colors, family, life and those events that change our lives. It was a poignant poem that Aveningo wrote for last year’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a beautiful poem that takes us through one aspect of Aveningo’s life.
Aveningo’s poetry is charming, insightful, thought-provoking, sad, whimsical and reveals much about the poet. Her written work is magnificent and her spoken word delivery makes it all come to life.
Her next poem was about her favorite accessory: shoes. Her poem began, “Can a woman own too many shoes?” The question drew laughter from the audience. The different types of shoes in the poem were read off in rapid succession, making this a quick poetry reading.
Aveningo introduced another poem saying that the loss of a loved one is heartbreaking and makes one appreciate the time we have with them. She delivered a touching poem about being with her dad at a St. Louis Cardinals game and how the memories of sights, sounds, smells and emotions can remain a lifetime. The poem took the audience to the stadium almost as if we were there.
Aveningo’s poetry gives life, brings back memories and inspires. “Arlington Lot 60” brings forth the haunting imagery of war and its effects on mothers, young brides, broken dreams and society. It ends by saying, “…reminding us all that life will go on, regardless of whether we learn from our mistakes.”
Some of Aveningo’s topics were also lighthearted, covering coconuts, a winery and the shape of your mouth. She ended by reading “Favorite Skies,” inspired by Robert Sanders, a love poem that brings memories of the little things in our lives that we share with our loved ones: seeing the beautiful colors in the sky, walking hand in hand during sunset and watching the stars in the evening sky.
After a short intermission, the open mic period followed. Writers had time to share poem or short stories and had a five-minute time limit.
A poet from Denver and a good friend of Aveningo was the first reader to take the stage. Jovan Mays began speaking with a powering voice saying, “They call this place the home of heroes” and read a poem that was an ode to Pueblo, Colo. Mays’ powerful voice and delivery made sure all eyes and ears were on him from beginning to end.
Mays’ poem speaks of four brave and proud military personnel from Pueblo who received medals of honor for their part in different wars. Mays also mentions the devastating flood of 1921 that is considered the worst disaster in the city’s history. Mays’ potent reading started the open mic series and left a powerful impression.
Other performers were Katerina Purrington, Inge Nibblett, Jim Nolt and Stan Ketchum. These readings brought a great evening of poetry to an end. Their poetry touched several aspects of their lives and experiences. Through their poetry they shared love, hurt, pride, courage, life, painting inspirations and even wineries.
Poetry continues to be a medium that can be used by all. I’m sure many people have written poetry or short stories, but I wonder how much of this is shared by poets at heart. How much is shared beyond one or two people? How much have you written that remains unread? Open mic poetry readings give everyone an opportunity to share their innermost thoughts.