M. Kelly Peach Writes

(whatever his muse demands)

Read below for an excerpt from the poem

For giggles, poke his side then finger-walk
Two fingers over silken yellow head
And down the other side to tickle stalk
My hat and sneaky snatch it back. Instead,
He plops it, laughing, back on ’Ampa’s pate.
We play this silly game until we reach
The Amish produce stand.

You can hear me reading this poem (and others) at: https://www.wnmufm.org/2023-04-24/national-poetry-month-m-kelly-peach

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About the Writer

The writing started with reading. Voraciously, constantly, as if my life depended on it. I won a who-can-read-the-most-books-in-a-given-time-period contest in 2nd grade. Maybe it was 3rd grade; I don’t remember what the prize was. My 5th grade teacher was a bibliophile with a huge, personal library he shared with his students. Marshall Rafferty introduced me to a slew of wonderful authors. Feeding the reading beast within me only increased its ravenous appetite.

I believe most people, upon reaching a certain level of reading, will be compelled to create the written words they love so much. My first two publications were the poems An Alleged Allegory and hypothetical whimpers appearing in the fifth edition of The Seed, the Garden City East High School literary magazine. I remember going to the editorial room as an underclassman and reading the poems to the senior editors. One of them said they were good and wanted to put them in the magazine. I blushed with pride and felt a rush of pleasure to my core. I was hooked on putting together strings of words and am still addicted. Later that year An Alleged Allegory was chosen for an honorable mention in a high school poetry competition in one of the two major Detroit newspapers. The thrill was real but somewhat diminished when they misspelled my name as Michael Perch.

At Lake Superior State College, I had a couple of poems published for free in the U.P. Times Sunday Supplement, long since defunct. Some while later, a cute girl at a kegger house party approached me and asked, “Are you M. Kelly Peach?”

Surprised and a little taken aback, I suavely responded, “Uh, yeah.”

She nodded, told me, “I liked your poems in the Sunday paper.”

Ever debonair, I said, “Um, thanks,” then, panic-stricken and lost for words, I stared at her for an eternity of several seconds until she grinned and said, as she was turning away, “OK. Well, keep writing.”

“I will,” I whispered to her retreating figure as she disappeared amongst the partygoers.

The next year I had four of my poems published in the LSSC literary magazine The Woods-Runner and in 1981 I had a poem, Winter Coming, win First Honorable Mention in the LSSC Osborn Poetry Contest.

For the next thirty-two years I kept writing but never submitted anything with the exception of a humorous creative nonfiction piece that appeared in a well-known Upper Peninsula weekly newspaper who published it without payment or even notification it had been accepted. A friend had to tell me the first part of The Horrible Eyeglass Eating Pit Toilets of Stonington was in that week’s edition.

In 2013, my two youngest daughters challenged me to start submitting my work and keep submitting it until I either got a paid publication or one hundred rejections. It took six months until, finally, Punchnels published The Open Road as Receptacle…and I haven’t looked back.

About the man

Home is where my heart is

I was born in Detroit and raised in the west-side suburb of Garden City but northern Michigan, especially the Upper Peninsula, has always been where my heart is.

But my wife, my children, and my grandchildren will always have my heart.

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