POEMS BY MEMBERS
SING OF OZARK MOUNTAIN
Diane Auser Stefan
I ride the roads
up, down, hugging close
the low mountains.
My small car
can fly on these roads
but why would I want to . . .
I’d miss the colors--
white dogwood blossoming
in spring forests
rusty cedars and
bluest of skies.
I’d miss the imagining--
picturing horse-drawn wagons,
fiddle music floating on the air,
wood smoke wisping from cabins.
I’d miss the beauty of the Ozarks
singing its spring song.
alone in the
gentleman kept his
hidden from his
is a puzzlement to the
ind of man.
to remove a
from his gullet –
as it may seem –
in his green color, he was
by unkind remarks of small
who passed him on the street. He
became depressed and ended up
his friends on
Room, at the
They're retired now, free,
to live in a warm gated community.
Acres and miles of level land,
some forested, planned
with lagoons and golf courses
with head-high hedges
along highways intersected
with streets of houses
all built from a choice
of three designs.
Attached garages hold cars
and golf carts.
Dogs on leashes
lead owners along streets
with grassy borders,
When a dog squats,
owner -- hand encased
in plastic bag --
picks up deposit to carry home
Choice of type of plastic bag is optional.
If driving, don't forget your
Some residents do not have cards,
slip in at night
to inhabit the lagoons.
Gates do not stop them;
alligators cannot read.
FATHERS AND SONS
Laurence W. Thomas
We found the way of fathers
sharing laughter and punishments
ignoring primal causes, one's
reasons for having children
fathers' iniquities are not borne by sons.
Our time together after daily stints
at work and school was spent in lessons
showing each other our differences
and similarities. We shared vacations
with the family during summer months
still finding time alone for men's
activities like fishing, sailing, jaunts
through fields or woods while
of a friendship that has lasted since
we found the way of fathers and sons.
Let the Angels count my
before I thrust my praises!
Anger, sadness, fear and
present their states and cases.
Throw them under Jesus' feet
to crush them, wipe their places.
Let the Angels count my
I was once afraid of bumblebees,
One tiny buzz caused to me
But now I watch and wait to see them,
They are a happy sight for me.
Bees comfort me and make me smile,
They remind me of my Bee,
Who had to leave but left behind
-The black and yellow rain boots she wore-
-Notes we wrote on choir music-
-My favorite purple scarf-
-Dark eyes encircled by exotic makeup-
-Random Bee entries in my journal-
-Her blonde hair streaked with darker shades-
-Sharing two favorite drinks at Starbucks-
-That fuzzy black hat she loved.
And even though my Bee is gone,
Pieces of her remain with me:
Pictures, letters, and moments we shared;
Little things to remind me of her,
But nothing brings to mind her face
Quite like a little black and yellow bumblebee.
Poetry, the primary color
of yellow, blue, and red.
FOOL THE WORLD, FOOL THE SOUL
"[A]nd there he
squandered his estate with loose living."
(opens wide; she’s breathing her own air)
(takes her far—but not far enough)
(veils her face, and she dwells there with masked demons)
(drowns the voice, hides the faces)
(makes her feel safe for a moment, but the loneliness always creeps
(buy her drinks, let her come up, smile, then leave; but
she leaves first)
(are her runway; she’s always going somewhere, never getting
(continues on. She plays so well, but she is fooling only herself)
The dog received
His review today
A recap of recent
A reflection on
His setbacks and feats
Between bowls of food
And occasional treats
He did well on barking
Not too bad on growl
A bit weak on listening
But exceptional growl
There will be no raise
We’ve no penny to spare
But given his effort
An extension is fair
I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT SPORTS
I can’t decode the daily
“Queen of the Boys Club”—who is she
and why’d she muscle in a man’s domain?
And “Rams stay mum on fate of second draft”—
since when did sheep talk at the corner pub?
and “Royals drop two to extend streak”—
did Philip and Elizabeth let go
a favored horse or two? And “Late runs save
St. Louis”-- who ran by—did Louis and Clark’s
Missouri dash decide the city’s fate?
Now here’s a headline I can clearly get—
“Ceiling tiles crash swimming practice.”
Oh yes! I see the tragedy, the chunks
falling, knocking divers off the board,
and interrupting laps, congesting lanes,
enraging coaches, scaring tender youths.
If I were the sports page editor,
I’d rewrite every story they mess up.
I’d stop the goofy riddles, cutesy puns,
I’d shake them out of la-la land and drag
them back to solid prose. I’d pitch the truth.
Dewell H. Byrd
Why do you furrow
little crow’s feet
in futile attempts
to understand me
through your reflections
mirrored into tomorrow?
Must we strain
to touch the twain
and miss forever
the joy of now?
I do not ask
for understanding . . .
just the near impossible:
ON HOLD AT A RED LIGHT
There’s nothing more
getting out of the way
of an eighteen-wheeler
or getting your heart
broken for the Second Coming
before the radiant light
turns an insane green.
THIS MAKES NO CENTS
Verse which never tries to rhyme,
or any poem that never earns a dime.
THERE IS A DAY
We are happy, o happy
Talking in regards to things about to be,
Though it sounds like a wonderful dream,
It’s not a dream, it is God’s plans for you and me.
There is a day in new Jerusalem
Where we will worship God in all his glory.
Later one by one we will listen
To all the disciples of old tell their story.
God’s people will no longer be known as Jews
Neither will the Gentiles be known as goy.
Forever, we’ll be known as saints
Living in harmony full of God’s great love and joy.
THE WORK OF TREES
Trees are standing
on their heads
in morning sun,
probing the depths
for oil and ore.
They are nature's
We will no longer
depend on foreign oil
of liquid black
above the water's waves.
Crews are waiting to cap
the hidden wells
the molten crude
along the coast,
then thumb their noses
at the OPEC zealots.
I know, I'm bad.
It makes me very sad.
My desk is buried, oh, woe is me!
Stress can crush creativity.
So this is the poem you'll wish I had.
GIRL ON THE BUS
Out the window–I’m staring.
Hills, cows, here and there a farmhouse;
but my mind’s eye is exploring a different world.
In the depths of loneliness–I’m drowning.
Would someone, please, acknowledge me?
Down, down–I’m falling.
Reaching out, yet sitting still.
I chat with them all–I’m smiling.
They don’t know me.
In ignorance–they’re sitting.
How long will it last?
How many days until there is nothing left?
No reason to breathe?
No one holding me back . . .
Little brown squirrel—
and stuffs its face full,
brings food back to its babies
to provide for its family,
sees a shadow across the street,
and its curiosity gives it pause
and sends it across the black road
to retrieve the unknown.
Little brown squirrel—
now a little brown blob,
failed to make it to the other side,
never saw what the world had in store for it.
Little brown squirrel—
you should have looked before you leapt.
HIS MOTHER TONGUE
Two scholars in a recent book
attest that Shakespeare was
inventor of some 1500 words.
Their proof is that his plays
used words not seen before
in print. I say their case is weak.
When Mother tasted milk gone sour,
she wrinkled up her face and spat,
"That's strong as akky fortus."
I heard these words only at home,
and though I may be first
to use them in a poem,
I did not create them.
For years I thought my mother did.
Then someplace I read
a Roman soldier in Britain
(44 B.C.) tasted sulfur water
from a hot bubbling spring,
wrinkled up his face, and spat,
"That's strong as aqua fortis,"
which probably he learned
second hand--at home in Rome.
I learned it second hand,
my mother learned it second hand,
the soldier learned it second hand--
none of us saw it in print.
I think the scholars should
consider Shakespeare's mother.
She must have had a vocabulary
of 1500 words--all unprinted.
My Cloud: In my cloud I see Sneaky, a white laboratory rat, who
is peeking out from behind a gauze curtain. What do you see in