POEMS BY MEMBERS
Dinner, then we
forks, frying pan,
Stopper in the sink,
blast of soap.
clean from dirty.
kitchen lights off,
done for tonight.
He screams Olť with the
as the Taurean strikes the dirt floor,
glaring at the red flag held via
the taunting, marvelous matador.
She studies his body next to
bullring and stance unify, as
the matador thrusts the sword
into the heart of the bullís eye.
Then sights the birdís
eagle wed to the cerulean sky--
inclines his head towards her,
the compliant dance crucified.
ALZHEIMER'S HITS CLIVE
There was once an old bee named Clive
Who no longer was allowed in the hive
For the bees were appalled
That he never recalled
Whether comb has six sides or just five!
PRAYER FOR THE STRAYED
I stand along the side of the
straight and narrow,
Forgetting where it was that I got off of the well-
Where do I try to begin?
How do I start when I donít know where I ended?
Precious Jesus, hold me
If left alone, I know I will fail.
very soon, I must swallow
that pine tree whole.
I thought I could get away
with just the lick of a needle,
munching, crunching bark.
But it is inevitable now.
I see it must be consumed
and stopped before it grows
What started out as such an
miniscule seed, has grown into
a decaying spore, lodged in my throat.
It is uncomfortable, but I
breathe. My gizzard grinding away
at this brick, getting nowhere.
I splash down some water, hoping
it will ease the pain, but itís no use.
I must spew this behemoth onto
the beach. I must let it go.
ANNE AND LINDY
On the ground they were
Anne and Lindy.
She with bookish black frames
and a fistful of poems,
Ivy Leagueís finest,
his fingers black with mechanicís grease,
countenance cut by a charming smile,
St. Louisís lone eagle.
But the sky cast a curious spelló
when his plane rattled through
high altitudeís cloudless sun-dazzle,
translucent as liquid gold,
jeweled with flecks of magnified dust motes,
they were a poet and an adventurer.
A connoisseur of words
with her harbor of dreams
and the grandest of aviators,
larger than life.
Maybe it was the thin air,
or the dizzying heights,
or the quiet moments of private conversation
on those afternoon trips to Long Island.
On the ground they were just
Anne and Lindy
But when they flew together,
they tread the dawn.
She wrote in a letter to her sister once:
I am upside down,
completely overwhelmed, and upset.
Heís the most absorbing person
and he doesnít touch my life anywhere, really,
but he touches it everywhere
Home-baked bread spread
with peanut butter
always makes her go ďMmmmmm . . . Ē
Without looking, she knows Iím watching.
Eyes closed, soon to dawn, then
the smile, always that smile,
like sunrises never complimented.
gull rides the shore wind
above the picnic table
Diane Auser Stefan
do as I say, not as I do
so easy to tell another
to Ďwrite it downí
but I did not
Disorganized days and daze
in mind and home and self
I say to me myself
MYSTERIES OF RAIN
Sometimes it falls like a
Upon the window pane
Faint gentle tapping misty
Softly lulls us to restful sleep
Then picks up gusto with
Unmistakable power of assault
Startled from peaceful dreams
To moments of frightful awareness
Rain is welcome, elusive at
Essential to all living things
But always beyond the horizon
Of a brand new day.
WAR OF EMBARRASSMENT
Each day, the news grows
and the senseless loss of lives
less defensible than the day before.
Yet the war goes on, mercilessly.
Insanity prevails over civility,
and the Tigris is awash in blood.
Thousands of innocent lives
every month with no prospect
of resolution. Our leaders cry,
"More oil! More oil!"
Oil at the expense of young men's lives?
Reports of sand swirls in the
are all that give me hope.
They promise a life after war,
if only the war would end.
KNOWLEDGE IS WISDOM
O, ye of little wisdom,
Ignorance isnít bliss.
Hearken to the unknown.
Seek throughout the depth of it;
Explore it to the limits;
Go beyond it into a new horizon.
Celebrate in what you find,
Or close it for what it's not.
Only speak the wisdom you acquire.
As truth, it will be known.
Speak with the fire of conviction,
The passion of desired favor,
Or the strong disdain of hate.
Hark! let it be known:
Wisdom backed up with knowledge
Is more desired than ignorance.
FOR MOSES, FOR YOU, FOR ME
God burns a bush in every heart,
He waits and yearns for man to know.
With love, God sends a fiery dart,
God burns a bush in every heart.
The Holy Ground is but a start
To cleanse and follow as we go.
God burns a bush in every heart,
He waits and years for man to know.
The photographer comes
at the damnedest time
to snap a picture
and drop it in the mail
for posterity. So on that day
may my hair be wild
and uncombed--a nest,
perhaps, for sea breezes
and mermaids' voices
may my eyes be peaceful
two enlightened pools
clear and deep
that make people wonder
what I'm up to; and lined up
in a wide and honest grin,
may my teeth record
their long, beautiful history
with coffee and tea, berries,
red wine. Sirens and humans
and all Creation can do
what they want to behind me.
Just let that silent picture
of a man who lived once
sing--and sing well--
of acceptance, compassion,
and a life steeped in prayer
POETRY IN THE NUDE
The time has come, the
to write another poem.
Personify in formal wear,
pull parallel your form.
Alliterate! Tuck in each
Spruce up your punctuation.
Yet once again I find myself
in hyperbolic consternation.
I wrangle with infernal
That will not tie about the line,
Nor lie straight against
Iíve broken now my metric gauge.
There are wrinkles in my
My diction tore my imagery.
Oops, I smeared my
What the ís a
The time has come, I must
To take this poem and undress.
Naked clauses leave no
Just let my assonance hang out.
And though you may condemn
Iím comfortable in my free verse.
I witnessed it for myself
soon after the dogwoods budded.
The river in an unapologetic way
swelled and splashed through thickets
along the banks and pecked away
at the roots and runners
of the thick cane brakes
Then from the radio
we heard more rain was on its way.
My husbandís stick, his flood gauge,
was goneó just gone, washed away
by the rushing waters.
Conversations became short;
eye contact, scarce.
But the high waters ran here and there
with a menacing noiseó
such a terrible freedom.
And that same sound
mesmerized the two of us.
A funeral could not have made us
I wake as a hand moves
across my line of vision
almost touching my nose
and then it's gone
out of sight
and my breath catches
in my throat
while I force my head to turn
to find the body attached to the hand
and in the glow from the street light
I see my hand on the blanket
and feel the needles stabbing
as blood begins to circulate again.
HAIKU FOR MARCH
walking the old trail
to hear the sound of spring
the maples budding
in the daffodil bed
first day of spring
the full orange moon
a penumbral eclipse
darkening one side
the first hummingbird
squeezing the tea's lemon
onto my green beans
sinkful of dishes--
the bud-vased buttercup
spawns a poem
Laurence W. Thomas
As a neighbor boy
in the frosting of snow, I think
of divinity fudge whipped
to sugary froth hardening
into mouth-watering whiteness.
His father crunches
the crust of snow peaked
like meringue on my driveway
as snow sprays from his blower--
cabbage chopped into slaw.
He chews out a path
in the white layer cake
with icing from yesterday's snowfall.
The weather reports warned us
of healthy helpings
but after so many servings
piled high on my plate,
I worried about overindulgence.
Enter my neighbor whose offer
to clean up the mess
came after he noticed the frosting
in my drive rising like biscuit dough
and he knew I would need
a way to get out. His son
came along, a ginger-bread figure
all wrapped to keep him oven warm
as he stirred up the snow, making angels.
WHERE IN THE WORLD--
Where in the world do I belong? Where
Am I not on hold? What other place
Feels like my garden, yet allows a face
To float among the flowers, and to care?
Who understands transplanting? Who's aware
Of sun that slants, and shadows that displace
The sense of being in a certain space?
In a cocoon I move from here to there.
Who and where would make me feel at home?
The scattered bits of soul I've left behind
Must make a pattern. Everywhere I roam
Someone creates an essence. When I find
A formula for mine, how sweet the loam
Fresh-planted, with its fragrance thus defined!
"Joseph son of
David, do not be afraid." Matthew 1:20
Easy for them to
who slip there to here
like on skyscrapers
knowing the door will open
the way back
never worrying that they
may be tricks of the imagination
PRISONER IN A BIG HOUSE
David Van Bebber, Jr.
Iím stuck here waiting
for joy to walk through that door
to take me to a place I knew before.
They donít speak of me going
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 the falsehood
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 stay
undefined by the plastic tongue of a snake
deceiving even himself.
Will this never end or must I run away?
Fleeing my loving captors,
running from this house to another home
of mine where Iíve never been.
THE SADDLE BLANKET
At twelve I had some
I saw it at the hardware store,
but wising to the wiles of men,
I knew where I could get some more.
Not from my father who had done
his all when he gave me the horse,
but from my guest, my sisterís son
whose tender heart made him my source.
The letter that I helped him write
his parents told of his distress
and, movingly, of my sad plight:
the check came soonóI knew success.
So if I ever break the law
and get caught, I am sure to tell
I went astray the day I saw
that saddle blanket for Old Nell.
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