Susan Steven's Chambers poem, "Weather Advisory," was selected for the 2009 cycle of mnLIT by writer Joyce Sidman. PLUS: The 2010 mnLIT call for Minnesota poets and writers closes for the year MAY 16!
By Susan Stevens Chambers
May 10, 2010

Photo courtesy of the author

Weather Advisory

It is an oatmeal sort of day.
Morning ice clings to bare branches,
trees groan under the thrust of north wind.

She dots the pan of water with raisins,
knows they will plump up her horizon,
encourage a watery sun to break
through her snowstorm,
heat the praying furrows.

She adds oats; not instant
but good old-fashioned ones
cooked soothingly for ten minutes,
filling the kitchen with steam and comfort.

She wishes to turn the day around.
She spins this last day of winter
into a hope of blackbirds,
those sparks of spring, always the first back.
They swirl up from a snow-smothered wood,
a plump black comfort
in the bowl of one last winter storm.


Juror comments: Weather Advisory was selected for the 2009 cycle of mnLIT by Joyce Sidman, who writes, "This is a quiet poem, but I love the deliberate magic of it: a woman throws raisins into a pot and conjures up blackbirds. The language is lovely, spare, and sure ('trees groan under the thrust,' 'praying furrows,' 'plump black comfort,' 'snow-smothered wood'). Every word works toward this snow-globe-like moment, this foiling of late winter melancholy. The woman 'wishes to turn the day around' and, like a good witch with her cauldron, cooks up a harbinger of spring: blackbirds, which are 'always the first back.' Repeated words (comfort, plump, last, snow) serve to reinforce the echo of kitchen and forest, making metaphor come to life. Nicely done."

About her writing life, the author writes: "A 'lawyer poet' seems a bit Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde: lawyers state things in the most detailed form possible, the poet pushes language and tries to be brief. But there is a common thread -- both professions love words. For 29 years I squeezed my love of writing around a very demanding law practice. I never had enough time to write, but last year I retired to concentrate on mediation, which frees me to write more. Throughout my law career, I concentrated on poetry. I create new poems relatively quickly and do my revisions in spare moments. I attend local poetry writing retreats two times a year, and occasionally attend writing conventions, which revitalize me. My daughter and I challenged each other to write a poem a day for one year. We alternated assigning subjects and gave ourselves permission to write the worst tripe. We found, of course, that we got some extraordinary poems. The best part of this exercise: I find writing comes more quickly and is a more natural process for me." 

About the poet: Susan Stevens Chambers has published in some unusual venues: Minneapolis Regional News; UU Minister's Publication; Minn. Law and Politics Magazine; Family Law Forum -- a magazine for divorce attorneys; The Legal Studies Forum "Off the Record, an Anthology of Poetry by Lawyers." She won the NFSPS Grand Prize ($1,000 and $1,500) on two separate occasions. She is published in numerous anthologies and has presented poetry, copyright, and publishing contract speeches in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Utah, Iowa, Louisiana, Arkansas, Indiana, South Dakota and Wisconsin. She brings presentations to public schools and universities, churches, Kiwanis clubs, senior citizen, poetry groups, and anywhere else someone wants to hear poetry.

______________________________________________________ is a joint project of the Walker Art Center and the McKnight Foundation

Membership on is FREE. Find step-by-step instructions for how to join and how to use the free resources available on the site. If you need assistance, contact Jehra Patrick at [email protected]. Any Minnesota resident is eligible to participate in's mnLIT competitions for poetry and fiction; there are no entry fees, and writers at all levels of skill and experience are welcome to enter work for consideration by a revolving panel of established authors and publishing professionals in mnLIT's blind adjudication process.

The 2010 competition cycle of mnLIT is now open. Deadline for submissions by MN poets and writers for's flash fiction and poetry competitions is midnight, May 16. Click here for the detailed call for writers, to find out more about this year's fantastic line-up of jurors, and for full information on the series.







As a result, the process of passing is as follows: open a new sector on the galactic map; immediately look, in which system which databases are located and whether there are text quests there; we fly into the vending system, meeting there some random event or opponent; We are engaged in the passage of quests, the repair of the ship and other routine; We buy a new sector map and go further. The ultimate goal - scanning the system behind the system, find the five messengers who found themselves in the world of the game by the will of script writers, who managed to clothe everything happening with a single global storyline. Probably, in order to somehow compensate for the lack of graphic embellishment, the staff of SNK-Gamesplaced on the main gameplay screen the main pride of any ranger - his spaceship. There are only three variants of the case - for a pirate, a warrior or a trader (a class that has little influence on the gameplay can be chosen at the start of the game). On the exterior of the model, which has nothing to do in every way possible twist and turn in an airless space, does not affect the damage to the skin or "pumping" equipment. So "feature", of course, pleasant, but absolutely useless. Approximately the same can be said about the built-in calculator, which, perhaps, will not be useful to you in the process of passing through never. The right word, it would be more appropriate to do some sort of notebook for personal notes. There are other nedokruchennye solutions: not completely tuned to the player soundtracks and the lack of a counter of days or something in this spirit. Hurry in the game is not necessary, but the time is still there - in particular, the effect of a variety of stimulants and additional effects lasts a specific number of days, so the calendarer still would not hurt. It causes some perplexity and the fact that every textual task in the game can go through an infinite number of times, "farming" thus loans. Yes, the amount of rewards for repeated races will decrease, but after all, efforts to perform quests after getting to know their algorithms are often reduced to zero. Plus, the lion's share of the tasks is the classic familiar to veterans, studied along and across. New texts are encountered, but this, without a doubt, is a drop in the sea of ​​the former literary exploits of the authorship of the Space Rangers. So it turns out that in fact, Space Rangers: Quest is not so far gone from the original format of the player of old adventures. But this is not as bad as it might initially seem. Just need to understand that the game is designed for a very narrow audience sector. You should be a big fan of "Space Rangers" and a connoisseur of text quests. Well, it would be nice to be positive about mobile gaming as well, since on tablets this kind of entertainment looks, perhaps, more appropriate. Yet, despite the above-mentioned shortcomings and generally secondary to secondary tasks, I want to praise the developers for being too lazy to create some sort of their own, a new, original concept, for listening to the fans and their requests for mobilization (in all senses) of the friv game, and for the fact that after this small and quiet release we know that the series is still alive - together with our hope for its full-fledged continuation. Pros: good old text quests; The original and functioning shell for their playback; beautiful models of ships; the opportunity to play in the "Space Rangers" on mobile platforms. Cons: little new content; all that accompanies the reading of quests, in fact, its tinsel.

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