POEMS BY MEMBERS
WAITING IN THE KITCHEN
David VanBebber, Jr.
He rests the weathered deck
on the table
And his stiff aged hand rises from the cards
bringing a cigarette to rest comfortably between his lips.
Gradually, he pulls the smoke
deep into his lungs
as if every ounce were necessary for sustaining life.
The priceless smoke bellows
ďOne more dragĒ
as the ashes near his fingers.
He embraces the fleeting
repeating what heís done a million times.
With his thumb he stubs the
Smoke has clouded the kitchen.
Leaning back he resumes the
the solitary game.
Another day alone again,
and remembering what used to be.
The bright sun
shouts his song
and the grass answers gaily.
I shrug off my shelter
to join the nature noise
and laugh with life and joy.
Sheets of loose leaf paper,
by three steel posts, straining
for the soft graphite pencil resting
in the recess of the writerís hand.
Paper clips, coiling
around multiple drafts of a list poem
Red, yellow, blue, green push
pinned to the mosaic cork squares,
glued to the stained white-washed walls.
Chicken scratching commences
the unwritten wordís desire to exist
beyond the intellect of the writerís will.
OF DAYS TO COME
Come, my new found friend,
sit with me and play
18 holes of golf,
or 27, or 35;
or perhaps as many
as it takes to know you fully.
Itís what I long for.
Your hair is up,
But neither of us knows why.
Your sister suggested it,
but we both know
Your beauty radiates
from your eyes and fills my
soul with wonder.
Each time you
glance my way;
your laugh, charming
my senses. Youíll take me
where I need to go,
though time slips
like grains of salt
in the hourglass. The hour
becomes the minute
that we must part
dying to express
themselves to you,
but fearful of
days gone by.
I know it,
and assure me
of days to come.
A SPRING BREAK HAIKU
Milk flesh, now baked raw
Blisters seep, sweat trickles
Sunburnt in Brazil
there they are:
like two sisters,
the new moon
with the old moon
in her arms.
to my makeró
before a storm.
AS I WATCH
It seems to me . . .
In just spring
The waves beat the shore
With less fury
Brave little flowers
Peek out of their
Sneaking little bits of color
Under the nose
Of the gray sky
Summerís flood of light
Cascades into consciousness
In a golden rush
The hand of Midas
Painted with a rainbow
Tiny drops of glass
Shatter against the light,
Releasing dreams and hope
Catch them in your hand
Where they glow like the
Fireflies that die if you
Try to keep them in a jar
Let go and watch them fly
Autumn celebrates wisdom
The hands of time
Turn in on themselves
To discuss what they have seen
Their memories flare
Into fireworks that silently
Explode from the trees
Until all their lights
Fade into darkness
In the dead of winter
There shines a single light.
Frail, delicate, and indestructible
It dips and spins
Setting aflame cold, dead branches
And hard, frozen hearts
They melt and burn
Exposing fresh green chances
It seems to me . . .
MINE EYES HAVE SEEN
God be merciful to me a sinner.
Let me live in Your peace
Under the shadow of Your wings.
My eyes have seen Your salvation,
And I want Your kingdom to be my nation.
All things are possible with You, Lord.
Deliver me not into the hands of the heathens
Lest I be destroyed and be ground into powder.
Build in me Your temple of prayer
That canít be torn down, not even one hair.
Let me drink the fruit of your vine
And eat the meat of Your bread,
A sure foundation of saving grace
That canít be sifted not even as wheat.
Though I be poor, I have Your peace.
the wine rack,
a sonís Christmas
gift, into my new
home, formerly Momís. She
would never allow liquor
in the house. Later, in winters,
Dad hid his Jim Beam in the sofa.
Mom pretended to be none the wiser.
of white blossoms
on every branch
before the home
like a beautiful virgin
for her bridegroom
PETROGLYPHS NEAR ALBUQUERQUE
your shadow touches rock
Where an ancient shadowís carved,
A sacred kindred spirit
Is released into your soul
And you know your feet are
Where steps forever walked,
With the same heat on your shoulders
Of ten thousand years before.
You want to grasp the
To touch what canít be held,
To live with ancient eyes
And to hear with timeless ears.
Thereís a thirst for more
An eternal saddened song,
That winds through the chamiza
And leaves its shadow with the dove.
So you think of shapes and
While the sand shifts underfoot
And the locustís song is carried
By a time forgotten wind.
If the only thing
that's the end of the world
is the end of the world itself;
Then, why does my self
feel like ending itself
just because your self left?
Is it that my world
begins and ends with yourself?
Or, was it my "sense of
that just left?
Where in the world
could I have lost my self?
BONDAGE BY CANINE
Dogs, as masters of their
walk them on blacktopped trails
through woods and hem the lake
with cushioned footsteps alongside dusk.
Owners have no control;
dogs are out of control.
It is my lesson in slavery,
and not a pretty picture.
It is all about foolishness,
and stupidity at its best.
I learn things I have no
desire to know:
about subservience, about control.
I want to pretend I did not see
the chains and shackles
or the meanness in the eyes of dogs
or despair in the eyes of those
who enable them.
THE ICEMAN LEAVETH
This balmy breeze and
morning sun are warm
enough to thaw my frozen bones. A swarm
of bees tickles the redbud's blossoms tight
the dogwood trees unfurl new petals white
the wind chimes strike in Key of G
the robins chirp in Key of Glee
O happy fuzzy lamb-days end of March
Like cats, we stretch, releasing winter starch.
APPOXIMATELY EVERY MORNING
at two, then three
dress socks spread out: misfits.
Though instead of releasing ex-
I take comfort knowing
my odds for a match next pick get
a new turncoat
mocks me. Ten's the limit,
at which point all bets on tantrums
What vision here confronts
What bright-hued apparition?
You feathered water-dweller
Who also lives in air,
I dream-like see your beauty,
You changed my disposition,
From dark and dingy cellar,
To flight-of-fancy fair!
RIDING THE DC METRO
Diane Auser Stefan
it is cleaner than any other subway
Iíve been in
and easiest to navigate
people are crowded together
wearing i-pod ear-things or
each in their own world
donít meet any other eyes
doors open, people pushing, pulling
GLIMPSE OF THE PAST
She walked by me and I turned to stare.
Dressed in polyester slacks and flowered blouse,
as most elderly women her age.
Nothing to grab my attention, except
white unruly hair badly in need of attention,
shoulders slumped with a notable hump in back.
Tears came to my eyes and I almost rushed after her.
Watching her struggle to cross the busy street.
Someoneís Mother perhaps but not mine!
As I continue my walk I remembered,
my Mother is walking streets in Heaven.
Everyday I see them
walking through the
sliding glass doors.
Eyes sparkling with anticipation
as they hear the
of each scanned item.
the poetry they seek to find
as they watch us who have sold
our souls to the Big Man Sam in blue.
IN THE CLOSET
I asked the Father in the night,
"Please ease my pain with thy sweet hand
And lift my burden, make it light."
I asked the Father in the night.
He said, "Be still, child, do not fight.
We're drawing close to Jesus-Land."
I asked the Father in the night,
"Please ease my pain with thy sweet hand.
Sweet, sweet to wake to
sound of raindrops in the spring,
the oriole pipes his sad accented whistle-ing
into the muted music of the rain.
Or does the rain accompany the oriole's words?
Which is the water's voice and which the bird's?
Pipe softly, Oriole, there
is a distant thrush
that sends his vibrant call to echo in the hush
of early morning's quiet April rain.
of trees poke through pallid snow
from the horizon by a distant city.
no leaves shrouded in darkness,
stark silhouettes like an old print with Pilgrims
dutifully to worshipóno sound intrudes
white down upon branches and the expanse
grass. Nothing upsets the quiet balance
at work extending to edges
tiny lights reflect across the snow
distant houses, auguries
solitude has limits and order is constrained.
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you" (Luke 1:35).
full of grace
God's birthing place.
But this maid
BAD TIMES IN THE THIRD
I learned my ďtimesĒ tables
from a pretty, blonde teacher whose career
was ending, for she made it clear
though all her times with pupils here
age eight times one were very dear,
she chose a man thirty times sincere--
their one times wedding day drew near.
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