Toni Ortner lives in Vermont. She has had 26 books published by small presses. The most recent are Daybook I and II by Deerbrook Editions and Daybook III by Ardent Writer Press. Read More
 

Recent Books

Daybook III: Morning is Long Since Gone

Daybook III: Morning is Long Since Gone

Toni Ortner’s Daybook III, Morning Is Long Since Gone infuses her inner life’s dreamscape, her singing tree with realities that scream over the land. Ortner’s surreal meditations in corridors persistent with memory evoke a world of redemption shattered in the ashes of...

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Daybook II

Daybook II

Prose poems on memory, inner and outer landscapes, musings of all kinds, lyrical but rooted in the present tense, interwoven with observations, mysterious thresholds between reality and the imagination, even imagination as reality, with a blending of past present and...

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Daybook I

Daybook I

From the Back Cover The writing in Toni Ortner’s Daybook I is lyrical but rooted in present tense, observations deeply felt. It consists of spiritual musings, political musings, musings about Life. The writing is unselfconscious, but finely hewn. Many of the passages,...

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End Rhymes for End Times

End Rhymes for End Times

In End Rhymes for End Times Toni Ortner uses a wide variety of genres to dazzle the reader. She addresses the urgent issues of our times, history, and visions of the future. In "Lucid Dream" a survivor of the Apocalypse speaks. "Night Prayers," "Report," and "Midnight...

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Giving Myself Over to J.S. Bach

Giving Myself Over to J.S. Bach

In Toni Ortner’s Giving Myself Over to J.S. Bach, intensely lyrical poems interweave grief and love (sexual, family, even love of a pet) The voice of the poems is intimate, consistent, fluid and musical as the poems move among the different topics, tied together by...

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Fractured Woman

Fractured Woman

Fractured Woman by Toni Ortner utilizes the prose poem to confront the urgent social, political and environmental events of our times. In "Report on Easter Sunday from the Third Planet from the Sun" the writer responds to the devastation caused by climate change, acts...

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Recent Poems

Chanting

How did it begin and when. At first I was alone wandering down the street looking for something. Then came the drums the shouts the horses the men. It was a big parade and everyone marching was shouting and the crowd was the one man and the one man the crowd. They...

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Jumper I at the World Trade Center

If you saw me at all you must have seen me falling as a dark image against a white sky legs scissor out and wondered if you imagined me or if I existed like you but was falling through thousands of feet of air as if I were swimming towards the pavement through water...

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Change

You cannot find the word you need. The sun is shining/ your shades are down. When you wake /you want to sleep.   The afternoon light is dirtied with indifference Nights filled to the brim with grief.

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For the 10 year old girl from Syria

The mirror stopped laughing when the bullets shattered the window. Shards of glass flew through the startled air. Familiar voices stopped when the wires were cut. Description fled in dust. It was the end of metaphor. You huddled on the floor in the dark arms of...

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For Earl Thompson (Yakima Indian nation)

He tried to see red and blue horses galloping across a plain, but the horses would not come. His wife was crying by his side. He thought if he saw them he would live to see another day. It was a full moon night in April, and the willows were about to bud. He tried to...

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For the gardener who is gone

The dried stalks of the sunflowers are snapped in half, and the wooden slats of the porch are split and broken. Fake spider webs are draped across the columns of the porch, and a plastic skeleton hangs from the branch of a tree. The front door is half open but blocked...

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