POEMS BY MEMBERS
A WRITER'S CHRISTMAS GREETING
cannot find them though I've looked
All through the house and then once more again,
In every little cranny, every nook
But still can't find the words I want to pen.
I've looked amongst the
presents ‘neath the spruce
And searched behind the wreath of mistletoe.
The relatives I've called were of no use
For where my words hide no one seems to know.
I thought that they might
While watching old man Scrooge on my TV
Or stirring Christmas pudding, but alas,
I simply do not know where they could be!
And so good will to you this
Are all the words that I can find to say.
loneliness stopped by this
sat at table and shared a beer
then another and another
until bobby fell asleep
restlessness entered dreams
of failure and deadlines
then another knock
as darkness demanded a nightcap
the cards played themselves
over and over until he slumped
on table and pretzels
restlessness and hopelessness fought all night
tossing one another
around his sheets
until a hollow "g' mornin'"
When winter came in curtains
and all else was invisible,
I could see and see through
the misty rain.
Like sheers blowing
outside a summer window,
of tropical October
blew sideways across the lake.
such as these
are all I need for privacy,
and all that herons need
to protect their young.
At windows's edge,
I stood mesmerized
and counted winters
of the geese.
PINEAPPLE EXPRESS STORM
hours in Yakima,
swamping roads and bridges
like we’d cover our pancakes
with syrup. Rangers had to close
Mount Rainier National Park--the first
time in twenty-six years--from now till spring.
Lying beside a babbling brook
thumbing pages of my favorite book,
bright sunbeams through giant oak leaves
bring a peaceful feeling all over me.
Cool gentle breeze stirs the daffodils,
reminder of spring across the hills.
There is nowhere else I would rather be
than beside the brook under the giant oak tree.
LOCK AND LOAD
to pack a clock, and sewing kit,
some Band-aids, spot remover, vitamins;
take half a case of bottled water, too,
your head set, book, and extra batteries.
You need warm shoes, your fuzzy slipper socks,
and yoga pants to wear at end of day."
Those cautious words from elder daughter are
a contrast to my younger, laid-back girl's
advice. She said, "Just pack for all the best!
Believe that nothing will go wrong: it won't!"
I took to heart what each one said. Behold!
My pile of gear is like celebrities'
on tour, and I'll be back in just a week!
cleaning up the house
placing my shoes next to yours
inside our front door
my feet skip about the room
from such small pleasures
X-MAS IN THE
"[S]he was found to be with child . . ."
found to be with child
says Matthew in
a voice as grammatically passive
as any to hide the finder
of this monstrous wrong
that would pivot her
young life to
the back of Joseph's
plans and make her
now the object of a love
even subjects act at
the mercy of one
beyond the period.
TALKIN' ANTHILL BLUES
It’s Tuesday, almost midnight here on the hill,
and we’re alone for a change so I sneak a kiss,
because next Friday’s Moon Harvest Dance
seems so far away.
My little firefly lights up at the strange romance,
and so do I, but the boss looms and lurks and
tortures my mind--that pheromone queen
who tracks and knows everything,
because she’s about to check our progress again:
too few tunnels, too little sweat, food’s runnin’ low,
so tomorrow we’ll pay--triple output, she’ll say.
We’ll comb the countryside for more dead insects,
load ’em up, drag twenty times our body weight
into freshly dug chambers while she looks on with
her iced tea and loose collar, tapping her ugly feet.
Sure, the 5 p.m. work whistle will blow in three days
and we’ll lose ourselves for a few precious hours,
but sure as subterranean heat
the weekend will slip into Monday, and even
our short-lived bliss will seem like an illusion.
WHAT'S THAT I HEAR?
The bells are ringing,
The angels are singing,
do you hear?
They are telling the story
The Son is exalted, exalted
Handel's Messiah is heard
in heaven, as always.
What a gift God gave us
through one man,
willing to listen.
listen with your heart,
what do you hear?
PRISONER IN A BIG HOUSE
David Van Bebber
I’m stuck here waiting
for joy to walk through that door
to take me to a place I knew before.
They don’t speak of me
or the torment of this stay.
I am disregarded like the
rules of this house;
no one listens and everyone cares.
Servants to themselves and
to which they have pledged.
The photographs on the wall
give testimony to a life of lies.
Their smiles reek of pain.
When I speak,
no one hears my silent ache.
I am lost in the lies of unspoken promises.
The assurance of a short
undefined by the plastic tongue of a snake
deceiving even himself.
Will this never end or must
I run away?
Fleeing my loving capturers,
running from this house to another home
of mine where I’ve never been.
Sappho has said there is a
useful to say a single
in brevity and as matchless
as sunrise can be.
Hearing the star uncommmon
in its ringing,
three wise men met
considering its meaning,
traveling far, following its
showed us the way home.
IF I AM TRULY BLEST
If I am really blest enough
For luck to pass through my door,
I'll reach up for this stuff,
And spoil myself some more:
"Please mail me a check of time that sped,
A prize for years the locusts ate,
With a promise of success ahead
Indeed to ameliorate my fate."
Nothing more I need to ask,
Nothing for a poet's task.
Even as I choose my prize
Receiving is bliss in disguise.
the muse in me gently
in an inner room but watches the visible
she lets her mind move everywhere, while
the key and speaking her heart. She
me at every turn like a keen wind to
abandon myself with absurd words, but to
on a life on earth that breaks loose from
fog and day sleep--to awaken to the
Mystery that promises another birth.
abounds in life today
no one wants to get involved
“I’m too busy,” they curtly say
seems everyone has an opinion
but few will speak them out
they seem to think what they believe
won’t carry any clout
they’ll walk right by the needy
never see the drugged or poor
thereby themselves they so deceive
as they shut their lives behind closed door
what causes this lack of interest,
lack of concern or compassion anywhere?
well, don’t ask me because, you see
I simply do not care
UNDER THE COSTUMES, THE MASKS
They come from their castles and
harems, their kitchens of mothers with make-up to help in assuming
their guises. Little breasts heave large under some stuffing of
tissue as the Prince leans from his dashing stallion to sweep them
away from their scullion schools to live happily ever after their
homework and dishes are done. Swords drawn drip blood as young,
dashing stalwarts kneel before kings granting knighthood and gold
bars of chocolate. All in camouflage, the hunter steadies his gun,
hoping to bag his limit, thinking of tables heavy with pheasants and
ducks as the shrieks of three witches shrouded in black chanting
incantations as they add eyes of newts and entrails to their
cauldron. Cinderella bemoans her fate till, shedding her rags, she
discovers a gown so jewel laden even her suitor is beguiled at the
altar, but the spell ends at curfew and all that remains is one tiny
shimmering slipper soaking up rain by the side of the driveway.
JOHN'S CHRISTMAS CAROL
My friend is playing
Scrooge this Christmas
so he won't be at our meeting.
He'll be too busy Bah-Humbugging
to write a Christmas greeting,
at least till Marley--the
guy in chains--
brings warnings from Beyond
and ghosts appear, one by one,
three ghosts who correspond
to Ebenezer's Christmas
Present, and Yet to Come.
John--uh Scrooge--will age on stage
and laugh with little Tom Thumb.
No, that's not right--it's
that eats Christmas goose
when John--uh Scrooge--metamorphoses
and all bells break loose.
So the play with Christmas
ends on a happy note,
but Scrooge--John--won't be at our meeting
to read a poem he wrote.
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