POEMS BY MEMBERS
HE HUMS AS HE MILKS
He hums as he milks
and the cows stand quiet
at dawn, in the barn
sunlight through the open door
their auburn coats.
Are they aware,
do they hear those geese calling?
Our child turns six
months old and my wife
says, we're bad parents:
we haven't been
There's all the research,
you know . . . and
of course she's right,
so I panic and scramble
to salvage something
in life--for the poor
plebeian at our feet.
I wiggle out (desperate
times, desperate logic)
and offer a long-shot:
But Mozart didn't
listen to Mozart
as a child, right?
Hope rolls in slowly,
settles around us like
a welcome fog,
chills us out awhile.
But the fog horn intrudes
somewhere in the distance
(and the sun always wins
in the end anyway),
reminding us deep down
that some lies
you just can't buy.
Mozart, after all,
was Mozart, not Joseph
And besides, he actually
did listen to Mozart
as a child. He just wrote
down the notes from
playing in his head.
HOW NOT TO WRITE A POEM
Step ONE and Step TWO
Do not think, do not stew.
Step THREE and Step FOUR
Less is never more.
Step Five and Step SIX
All words really do mix.
Step SEVEN and Step EIGHT
Gotta love the hate . . .
Step NINE and Step TEN
What did that last line mean?
Because I am pretty sure
it did not make sense. I mean really. Come on. What
kind of poem is this? Oh poems!
HIDE AND SEEK
Ian Scott Paterson
If beauty were in season,
how might one hunt it?
Be it me, Iíd start with rod an reel.
I'd tie to heavy-test line the ugliest,
most appalling lure I could find.
Beauties do eat uglies don't they?
But what if beauty
doesnít take to bait?
I suppose Iíd try to trap it.
Iíd use a ray of light or two
and a shutter to catch and contain.
But where would I find a shutter fast enough?
But do you think that
beauty can be caught?
Maybe the best that I can do is
just to let the pictures speak
their thousand words.
And just sit back and listen.
COME UNTO ME, LORD
Bring unto me a day of peace
Where love abounds with your grace.
Home is far away from this rat race,
And Iím so alone in this place.
My heart cries out for Your
And the sight of light from above.
Though I walk near a cave in daylight,
The cold darkness surrounds me like a plight.
Come unto me with heavenís
joy for this day.
As I pray in earnest that you wonít delay,
Tonight Iíll watch Your universe on display
And remember life is like a child at play.
I know that I shall never see
a poet quite as glib as me.
Now I've said that, mon ami,
I'll bet I've made an enemy.
HIS NAME IS WONDERFUL
Henrietta W. Romman
We wonder at our
Great Good God
Who takes big steps to rest our mind.
In His sure Word he hides a rod,
We wonder at our Great Good God!
He hears our cries, and he would nod,
He made the heavens and mankind
We wonder at our Great Good God
Who takes big steps to rest our mind.
WOMAN, NINETY-THREE, DIES
She leaves the bank accounts,
and a small gray house to her ten nieces and nephews
in faraway places who did not visit. In the living room,
a Zenith television glows on two snowy channels.
In the yard, the heart-shaped leaves of mournful treetops
click and clack restlessly as if they might tell lively
secrets before the sky brews up a storm.
Then I find the light of a
summer day in what seems
a dim picture of a withering world. It reflects off
the uncut grass and gilded weeds around her house.
I, who had come on a whim,
sit low and watch from the fiftiesí dinette set.
From there, I decide to buy the bedding,
only a trace of her; that way I can lay my winter head
on Irmaís flat pillow she leaves behind.
THE HESITANT MAJORITY
Indecision is the valley land
we live below the mountain Certainty,
which shows a sunlit face some days each year
but usually remains obscured by fog,
unknown to all except the brave who climb
to set a flag to prove they fear no more.
Most of us will never climb
its first levels, unsure of who we are
or where we want to be, forgetting names
of places we have been, remembering
an odd melange of things--barnyard smells,
school medals won, descants of nightingales.
We lie in meadows white with
and coax a marmot near to photograph,
but stop to raise binoculars from time
to time to see the scalers on the peaks.
We shun those crags, deny the glories of
their heights--and live with others like ourselves.
When it comes to
you must think like a child.
Simply stare off in Space--
let your imagination run wild.
Some may be an artist,
a musician, or a dreamer.
Some may be an athlete
who strive not to break their femur.
But all in all I really am
quite the creative gal.
Be sure to keep your "wild" thoughts
a little bit moral.
I'm creative because I wrote
this poem for you!
I KNOW WHERE ALL THE SLOPPY DRINKERS ARE
I know who prefers malt Bud
Light or Coors
and those who tipple and then topple cans
from off the railing of their porch or pitch
their semi-empties from the car to street
I know who drops their silver cylinders
amid detritus of a late night bash
especially in college parking lots
at Rush I'll find the metal mother lode
for twice or thrice a day my terrier
and I conduct a seek and seizure search
we are relentless we police our beat
and pick up what can easily be had
so far we haven't tried to dumpster dive
we pick up flattened roadkill and the fresh
catch of the day still dripping amber ooze
you see aluminum is ready cash
the price they pay per pound has gone way up
and trashy drinkers keep our pets in treats
NOT IN MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE, OR JOHN
"Jesus did many other
things as well." John 21:25
Below the heap
where limbs strayed
in spaghetti disarray
and hands groped
for knotted-leather seams
and strong arms plied
their pile-on schemes--
the Nazarene, under all,
would not give up his grip
upon the sheep-skin ball.
VISIT WORKSHOP FOR AN
Top | Workshop |
E. A. ANDREWS
E. A. Robinson
Whatever Mr. Andrews chose
he took, no matter who picked up the tab:
His scoundrel ways, deceits, were widely known
to us, succumbing to his gift of gab.
He out-talked anyone he
chose to cheat.
And we fell victim once within his pale.
Try as we would, we never could compete
against him; somehow we would always fail.
Oh, he had power, the might
that money brings
to ruthless ones who use it to promote their goals
at the expense of others who, as underlings,
fall prey to tyrants to become such hopeless souls.
We suffered cruel treatment
with no hope
of besting Mr. Andrews. It wasnít funny
the way we lived, until one day, this dope
appeared to us and gave us all his money.
If I went out hunting
For the indigo bunting,
One I would never see.
But today Iím just walking,
Not at all stalking,
And I happened on three.
David Van Bebber, Jr.
Her brown eyes sparkle and
as her hopes that rose up subside.
Another disappointing day
has quickly come and gone away.
She will die again there in her bed,
rest her broken heart and head.
Then rise again renewed and refreshed,
and with her new life she will dress
with a new dream, on a new day.
A completely different game to play.
The sparkle returns, her new eyes shine,
leaving the old life dead behind.
INCHING TOWARD A PYGMY
Suddenly, top shelves
are beyond his reach;
tree limbs he used to hang from,
beyond his grasp.
Aging may have absconded
with his height
and given it to baby giraffes
that they might stand taller.
A frantic search is on,
in roadside ditches,
for missing inches.
Shrinkage in recent years
has reduced him
from 5'10" to 5'6"
without his knowing it.
As he inches toward a pygmy
in the sunset years of life,
he ponders the mischief
of thieving ghouls.
An unusual suspect nudged
late this morning: too much sleep.
The usual culprit: an alarm,
which leaves me to be comforted by just
five more minutes and,
soon enough, five more.
Home again for a season of sweat,
a season to catch up on boredom, sleep, and more.
Trees are through blooming.
Birds are raising juveniles.
The essence of my own juvenile days
linger like dark chocolate on the palate,
sweet moments contrasted by bitter tears.
Friends are gone. But thankfully,
my familyís still here to catch up with.
where sandprints dissolve
under incessant undulations
in opals and diamonds
violets and teals
girdled by laughing gulls
bandied by sea breezes
augured into sandwarmth
I pick through shells
of autumn orange
translucent as parchment
startled by timpanied waves
Diane Auser Stefan
Iíd see you on my morning
sometimes barking a greeting,
always wagging not just
your tail, but your entire south end.
One thick misty morning not long ago
I saw you silhouetted
racing across the field, hair
and you as graceful and fast
as the deer you might have been chasing.
Then yesterday morning
I was stunned and stopped
by the sight of golden hair
at rest by the side of the road.
A close look told me
youíd run no more
and though I hated the task
I knew your family needed to know
why you hadnít come home.
I donít know your name,
but I knew your spirit,
your joy, your curiosity,
your dutiful guarding and
your friendly barking,
and I will miss you.
In my garden,
between the rows
of cucumbers and tomato plants
and green beans and carrots,
are many rocks.
The Ozarks ground produces them
in great supply.
The rocks grow wild and need no care.
Too bad we can't eat them.
When the summer days grow long
and my children whine,
"There's nothing to do!"
I send them to the garden
to pick rocks.
Just once each summer
curs the whine.
Next summer, when they forget,
there will again be many rocks
for kids to pick.
THE MYSTERIES OF THE MIND
The mysteries of the mind are ours to unravel.
Is it possible to reveal the truth?
What lies in the deep?
Is it too sacred to fool with?
Will we ever know; should we want to know
The great secrets inside--
Memories of good times
Dreams of the future
--What lies behind these thoughts?
Ah, the great treasures there to be unfolded,
Shall we ever know their value?
Can they be appraised?
(The careless days of youth are treasured there;
The feelings of growing up are held in pain there.)
Is it right that we should try to solve the mystery?
Something says not to ask, but just to accept.
I shall try.
Stores and ads display the
fireworks stands dot the highway.
We have cause to show and brag;
souls paid dearly for this day.
Daring men march into Hell
forfeiting all, chancing fate,
so we can hear freedomís bell,
always pealing on this date.
Honored emblemĖstars and
for servicemen who gave life,
families with tears unwiped,
hearts pounding with drum and fife.
"Just a piece of cloth!", you say.
It stands for flesh, blood and bone,
parent, child, and graves in clay.
Waving peace, itís proudly flown.
Today I realized
Orange and Black
indicate the beginning
and the end
of spring and summer
When I heard
the cheerful song
and finally spied
the bright plumage
of an Oriole,
I knew the frost
had truly gone.
When I see
carved pumpkin faces
and black-clad children
dressed as witches,
I'll know it's back
and will stay.
Yellow and Red make Orange.
Warmth and learning,
passion and action.
There are no colors
in Black . . . nothing.
And so, Orange and Black
there's nothing I can do
to hurry spring
or delay winter.
Just enjoy both . . .
when it's time.