updated post: swimming in the warm springs

I’m watching Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts and thinking of my best friend Don Brody, who was stricken with polio as a child. I wrote this poem a while back while flying over the empty places between Utah and California. Don, a fine musician, used to tell me about the therapy he’d received at Warm Springs, where FDR recovered from polio.  Brody was one of the last of my generation to contract polio. In fact, the vaccine was available when he came down with the disease, and his father, a physician, had some vaccine, but it was still new to the market, and his dad was concerned about the safety of the product, so he made the decision not to administer the vaccine to his son. That decision plagued him all his life. Both Don and his dad, Dr. Stan Brody, are passed now, two of my greatest friendships. Enjoy one of Don’s songs at the link below.


swimming in the warm springs

The requiem that lowered
my old friend into the ground,
plays on, never long escaping
my memory

Looking out over dark patches
that once held life,
barren now but for the twinkle
of water in moonlight,

I think of him as a boy
swimming in the warm springs,
one day to be joined there
by me


©Daniel von der Embse

The Day Roy Orbison Died, by Don Brody



Sometimes I just need to share things I write down in my notebook. This is one of those times. Thanks.

Lies hurt
not so much
as truth
revealing in me
toward those who
would be trusted
but cannot
because they
withhold love
without which
life slowly
into shadows
with no room
for hiding
only to be seen
naked and

border song

Along the broken glass road
Leading to a graveyard
They are herded like animals
Drawing looks of hate
From dark hearts
They ask only for a place to rest
Not to be sent back
To live among the dead
Their struggle is ours now
We can turn them away
But they will never be gone from us

©Daniel von der Embse


We sit in stone silence
while you consider your response
to the question of how long
you have felt your life was all wrong

How much of you is left
now that I have taken away your soul
leaving you thin and airy like a dead blossom
helpless in the wind

Living in the realization that being alone
is better than sitting in silence together
acceptance is all that I have
and all that I want – for now

©Daniel von der Embse

Question and answer: the first year MFA experience and application process

Just pressed, look forward to following them.

The Workshop

Image: Siebuhr

Once a month we’ll be answering any questions you have about the first year MFA experience and the application process.

Please send your questions in by October 6th. You can email us through our contact page, leave a comment below, message us on Facebook, or tweet us.

Questions will be answered by our first year contributors on this blog and through Twitter in mid to late October. Your questions can be general or tailored to a specific program.

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