Vol. 3, No.11      An Online Chapter of Missouri State Poetry Society     1 November 2004


It takes a special grace to welcome November!  [October is such a beautiful month even if you fall and break your arm halfway through it.]  November has few if any pretty leaves.  Still with care a poet can find November compatible.  Jean Even's father, James Fortune, captured this sunset recently, showing us nature's beauty without leaves. This Halloween-like sunset  reminds us, however, that we have let another October [and half of November] get away without our big poem being completed, without our contest entries sent in, without our 2005 dues paid.  Ah ha, did you find that segue skillful? that leading from the trees turning loose of their green to you turning lose of your green to pay your 2005 dues to THIRTY-SEVEN CENTS?  Here is where our chapter's name becomes significant, for most of our correspondence each year is by e-mail, stamp-free, up to the last quarter of the year when we pay our $4 annual dues.  Now write your check payable to MSPS and mail it escargo mail to me: Tom Padgett, 523 N. Park Place, Bolivar, MO 65613.  Remember if you pay dues to another Missouri chapter, your additional THIRTY-SEVEN CENTS dues is $2, and if you pay dues to two other Missouri chapters, your additional THIRTY-SEVEN dues is only $1.  But we need to pay dues immediately to meet the National Federation's January 1 deadline.  Several of you have been with us here from the beginning [or nearly so], and we hope you stick with us even if you find a poem a month tires your Muse.  Just send old ones.  Our rule is that we take previously published poems [for they need second wind] as long as the poem was not published here before.  We will even help you remember which of your poems we have published.  So turn lose of your green this November.  We want to keep you in THIRTY-SEVEN CENTS.                                                   

                                                                                                                          -- Tom Padgett, editor



<Past Issue Present
  Poems by Members

 Missouri State Poetry Society

Winter Contest

Spare Mule Online

National Federation of State Poetry Societies
Strophes Online


Visit the workshop and write a poem for one of the lessons.  Send it along to be included for next month's issue.  If you have an idea for a lesson to challenge other members to write, send it to me, and we will try it.  Click Workshop.



Remember to read Spare Mule Online and Strophes Online. You can keep up with members who get newsletters by mail by remembering to read them on the Net. The October 1 issue of
Spare Mule Online and Strophes Online are available to you. 

Check out the Poets & Friends Contest sponsored by our Springfield chapter.  Click
Bulletin Board.  Remember February 15  is the deadline for our MSPS Winter Contest.  Details are given on the Winter Contest page at the state web site.  Click
Winter Contest.


In the picture above we see displayed another definition to "being on the shelf."   Left to right Mark Tappmeyer and Tom Padgett, both members of THIRTY-SEVEN CENTS, sport their broken arms in matching slings, and as always Tappmeyer hams it up for the camera while the more serious Padgett conducts poetry business by cell phone.  Note Padgett has a broken right arm to Tappmeyer's left--both are right-handed--and Padgett also shows twice as many wounded knees.  There is no doubt which poet suffers more.  The picture is included in this issue not for sympathy but rather to help explain November's late arrival.  However, sympathy is welcome.  


Begin by visiting the Academy of American Poetry site for a bio and seven poems, including one Bishop reads:

Additional criticism and poetry may be found at these sites:


Welcome to new member Nancy Powell from Arkansas.

Nancy Powell
Take warning
Merely say
Good morning
Or good day

Cry alone
At midnight
Delight gone
What a sight

Worse than sad
Eyes show red
Sun-up mad
Covers spread

Day appearsĖ
Stoic wallĖ
Thin gauze sheers
Keep it all

Hold on tight
She pulls back
Showing fright
In deathís track

No relief
Love should say
Respect grief
One more day.

Judy Young

I love driving under bridges
When itís raining.
At seventy miles per hour,
The soft cat paws of misty droplets
Which hit the windshield,
With continuous sound like a brush on a cymbal,
Suddenly cease.
A break in time.
A split-second warp,
Blatantly here and then gone.
A moment of silence.
First breath, last breath
Promises made, promises broken
Dreams fulfilled, fears realized
A rash decision which forever changes the future
A final moment concluding long made plans
All happen in the time
I drive under a bridge
In the rain.

Gwen Eisenmann

I think that all the crises we endure
Are training for the greatest one of all:
The separation from what seemed so sure
When we were young, our present self.  To fall
From life we hold to so tenaciously
But wake before we land, as in a dream,
And feel our cherished senses floating free
From Spirit self, with no return, must seem
The greatest crisis we will ever know,
The greatest loss.  But freedom so profound--
With unadulterated love to show
The way beyond with shining all around--
The great adventure we are training for
Must make death seem a tired metaphor.

Mark Tappmeyer

You should be warned:
this poemís into murdering before morn,
Clean kills, most say, work best:
those piercing traumas to your chest
of wits, your clutch of verbs, the trite thatís stored.
You, like the diver luckless with his cord,
thus fall into whatís new.
Earth, welling up, to him affords
an arresting view.

Todd Sukany

Once while I strummed,
My passions stirred.
I arrayed a joyful noise
And emphasized the clatter.

I sought Your pleasure.
I sought to serve
The object of my affection,
But You were away

Surrounded by beings
Whose whole purpose
Is to cover You
With redundant praise

Like rains on the ocean,
Like sands on the desert,
Like lights at noon,
Like children at playground.

Suddenly, You were closer
Than my jangling plunks.
Like Adamís in Eden
With nakedness at attention,

My ruddy hue
Exposes nothing more
Than Your
Converting noise to worship.

Tania Gray

We watched a matinee, those three--
Pallas and Britches and Nestle--and me.
Pallas stretched out on the table and slept
and Britches curled up on my stomach
and kept me quiet, not moving,
while Nestle stayed cool on the floor
as Gene Kelley acted the fool.
Walter Slezak was evil and Judy was pure.
When all looked most hopeless,
a tragic death sure,
Gene saved her virtue, his neck and the town.
I most liked Miss Garland's elaborate gown.

Phyllis Moutray

A day, a week, a month, a year?
A life, a family, a state, a nation!

A cough, symptom of a cold--
one alone is a bronchial tic,

a few are a nuisance,
the many of spasms or spells

rack a body
ultimately threaten life.

So, what's in a number?
A word, the microcosm of everything.


Pat Laster

Itís Veteransí Day, and in my mind
I see the flags and guns aligned,
parading down the thoroughfare,
cheers and chanting everywhere.

With wholeness gone, but proud and free,
from wheelchair, an amputee
waves tearfully, perhaps through pain,
and hopes it was not all in vain,
                                               his sacrifice.

Memories, still vivid, swirl,
blitzing those who served at Pearl;
the Rangers now, though all old men,
smile proudly as they think again
                                               of Normandy.

Gunnerís mates, ensigns and chiefs
remember all their various griefs
and hells, awaking still to screams
of slogging through the swamp in dreams
                                               of Vietnam.

Returned to glorious accolades,
the troops of Desert Storm parade,
proud of their work in blinding sands
defending Kuwaitís borderlands
                                               on Persiaís gulf.

And in my mindís projection room,
I hear the drumís resounding boom,
reminding me of sacrifice,
of pain and death: the awesome price
                                                of freedom.

Valerie Esker

from trouble
before it swamps

Jean Even

Run, if you can, from God above in heaven.
Hide, if you will, from the King of Kings.
Be secure, if you're able, in your hiding place.

He knows where you are in your underground.
He sees what you do even cloaked in secret.
Make yourself ready to meet His Holy Ghost.

Stand up like a man to meet the Savior.
Ask pardon and partake of His bread of life.
Drink the wine from His cup; it's full of mercy.

Run, if you can, into God's loving grace.
You can't hide from His bright light.
His light, if you're willing, will shine through you.

Harding Stedler

I am sending you
some Conestoga wagons
through the mail today,
though some will need refurbishing
before going on the road again.
That trip to Oregon
you've talked about for years
can happen now,
but go before the snow flies.
And fatten the oxen
before you leave
because the trip
will take many weeks.
I've licked the wagons well
so you can cancel your way
across state borders
between here and there.

Velvet Fackeldey

You left a path of destruction
in my life that once was calm.
Your unexpected appearance
gave no warning of what was to come.
I was fooled by your pretense
and the discovery
left my heart tossed and torn.
You breezed in and out of my life
like a tornado leaving tears behind.
No time to catch my breath
until you were on your way
searching for another innocent target.

Tom Padgett

We had seen the panda at the zoo
and sympathized with that big furry
creature suffering in the heat--until
our Chinese guide tore us away, walked
quickly on to speed us through the day
he planned for us. The English slogan
on his shirt should have warned us what
was just ahead: NO PAIN, NO GAIN, it said.

As leader of ten American teachers, I
occupied a middle ground, trying to slow
the guide a bit for those always late
wherever we had gone, wherever we would go
on our contract to see the city's sights,
clambering in and out of a hired van
for one more day, then if we were still
alive, catch the Hong Kong train at five.

Two stragglers photographed a bear
from every possible angle. Our guide
kept tapping at his watch. I shrugged,
sent several with him to the van, turned
to stumble over a wall, caught my camera
as I fell, crushed into the rock, and broke
my arm, adding a hospital in Guangzhou
to our list of sights not to be missed.

The "expert" doctor pressed and pulled
and said there was no break, still we should
take x-rays. A helper led me blocks, I swear,
to a dingy room run by someone rousted out,
where sharp intakes of breath informed me he
was wrong, the "expert" who referred me next
to still more medical men to wrap my arm
in a plaster cast and let me go at last.

All this, of course, witnessed by whole halls
of ambulatory patients who wanted me to stay.
The sulky guide was pacified when
I rejoined the group, climbed tall pagodas,
shot many pictures of the goat statue,
paid due respect to schools and auditoriums
honoring Chairman Mao, then caught the train,
quite sure of the pain--not so sure of the gain.