Boastfully, I regret no deeds,
my sins are minor, lame, and weak.
These children, though born dead, are strong,
like a necromancer, I make them dance.
Machineries, and wretched whores,
all linger midst my core's hollow depths.
So violent, I reproach their names,
like demons, they return the favour.
Silence now, no not a sound,
save for my gears, grinding gold.
A littany, these vicious lines,
meant to be enjoyed in Death.
So let me sleep, wake me not,
the Grave is my truest home.
Quietly, I shall decay,
and I will become my art.
Burn this body, this sinful cage,
bound to Earth's pleading ways.
My soul is chained within,
the keys just out of reach.
Pleasantries, I crave emotion,
intoxicated, I find them here.
Cells may rot, the better then,
so that the soul may roam.
Spread the ashes near and far,
somewhere left unseen.
Not valiant, not brave,
I am the Coward's King.
So still my heart of violence,
let the impurities flow.
Diminish all your foolish laws,
this soul belongs to me.
Copyright © Saint Alphonse
My list is long today.
But the voice says sleep --
Don't make the bed --
My mind falls to empty thought --
Is this dementia?
Will my mind curl up
and sleep to death?
Will I follow my mother into the depths
of lost thought and fabricated reality?
Will I know my husband
when I see him again?
Will I even find him?
The depression lulls me back into myself
dulling the memory of lost tomorrows,
nine years ago.
Copyright © Judith Angell Meyer
Early darkness; as oil we drip
Through the heart`s engine
In black; lemon-faced we
shadow the next,
We hesitate with tears and
stutter over earth; arms linked,
distant and cool
To scare a circle of crows
And a falling steeple,music and
words break the shocked ring,
then that is all.
Copyright © Leslie Philibert
Something about January
Broods my blood to slush.
A new year's unknowns
Hearkens hope to hush.
It's a dark visage that stuns,
Heritage of Januarys past.
Death calls my loved ones
With winter's harshest blast.
It seems we're trying to cope
By saying "Happy New Year!"
Yet one must toast the hope
That a wish can fight a fear.
But I think—I'm sure I'm right
The Reaper so deathly scary
Will call me an ice-enameled night
In the cold heart of January.
Copyright © Paul Schneiter
If these eyes shall become blinded, and if this
hair shall come to be combed thinly and grey;
No, it would not be the end of the world.
I would still see beauty therein this world through
the songs of Crickets and Feathered Songsters.
The breeze would yet whisper and trees still dance.
I would yet smell the freshly bloom of Spring.
I'd still endure Summer's sweltering heat.
I'd yet feel Autumn's leaves crunch 'neath these toes.
I'd still long to be fireside with Winter.
Disabled or not, perhaps I'd yet walk
therein wonderful imagination.
How I'd be forever young at heart!
Then just as one journey came to an end,
I'd indeed greet another with a smile.
Copyright © Anthony O. Mitchell Jr.
At the beginning of her life
the flower blossomed big and
her pedals were bright.
Her skin shined with glow
and her laugh was delight.
Then one day
the storm came and
loosened her stem
by a nudge. More and
more it came around
as it kept getting
stronger. Even through that
she still kept her smile and it
has yet to knock her crown.
The wind blew
and the sun tried to shine
She cried herself to
sleep and tried to stay in line.
Her imperfections impacted
her greatly and she'd scream as
her leaves fell off.
Eventually, like the rest, all her
dreams were doffed.
When the next storm came back around it knocked her stem half way and she was forced to look down
But stood so droopy was her crown
Then her hope grew less as she wasn’t
able to grow from the sight of the sun.
Her roots were giving out
as she finally realized it was almost done.
When I went to visit that beautiful flower while the others came along she told us her time left wasn’t long
So the bed gathered to tell the flower
How beautiful she will always be.
She will always be bright and big
No matter how tall the trees got to be
As her Dark purple became lavender
Everyone got to say good bye, all except one.
When the last storm came it knocked her whole stem down. She laid there looking up at the dark sky crying and screaming “why?!”
And as her delicate heart gave out, her crown laid side by side to the beautiful flower that shriveled up
While everyone buried her and her coronal I cried because I never got to say goodbye.
And what I’ve learned from this beautiful flower and broken stem is to never take the time you have
with people for granted. You never know how long you have with them.
Copyright © Julie-Marie Alvarez
He seemed an ordinary boy
until he found the supreme joy
of snowboarding, made it an art
in which no one can take a part
without recalling Craig, and how
he was the start of all that’s now.
He is recognized by his peers
as one of a few pioneers
who brought snowboarding up to par,
esteemed as other snow sports are.
It now is an Olympic game,
bringing other young folks fame.
He attacked his sport with verve and vim.
World accolades belonged to him.
He made the loved sport his life’s work.
Craig Kelly was not one to shirk.
He took responsibility
for safety to the nth degree.
It’s such a sad, ironic touch
the mountains that he loved so much
would be the reason for his death.
Their treachery would steal his breath.
Craig well knew the danger there
and went about his work with care.
Craig had his followers and was
Idolized by them, because
He was the master of his game
Teaching them how to be the same.
Unassuming and understated,
Craig was simply, dedicated.
Dedicated to work and play,
And to his loved ones all the way.
How many long-lived men can say
When they have met their final day,
“My life too short when it was done,
But every year of it was fun.”
For Chris Matt's "Gone to Soon" contest
If you are a snowborder you know his name.
If not just google-- Craig Kelly Snowboarder
b. April 1966--died January 2003
He was my step-grandson
He died in an avalanche in the Canadian mountains in January of 2003
Copyright © Joyce Johnson
Born January 31, 1953 – Rev. Rebecca Guile Hudson – Died January 30, 2048
HeRe, tell the truth,
liEs The Right Reverend Hudson
reBorn almost a century ago –
thE time was winter,
suCh long, long hours
baCk in cold, cold days
SaFety was unim-
poRtant for women
whO were married –
noNe spoke of
By God! This woman
refUsed to let that
get In the way of
her Living –
she Excelled at life
she Understood her birth
diD not define or restrict
her Self, her choices, her
lOve, her presence, or her death – she
kNew, with certainty: only truth is true!
Nota Bene – January 30, 2048 is the 100th anniversary of Gandhi’s assassination
We Thank All That Is Good She Was Here!
Copyright © Rev. Rebecca Guile Hudson
Her eyes amused me, slices of January that held April tightly....
she could rain in snow, drop from upside-down skies, and we held tightly to the tears that
only appeared on the opposite side of closet doors as we marked our claim on unusual with
hand prints that never saw the sun.
Two days could have passed underneath us before we blinked, my windows whispered glorious
promises but we kept them closed for safety, for the opposition of who we could be, and
she knew the secret of every season, she knew how to laugh when bedroom doors...
I drew her behind the mirror and we created October across December stars, we became
disobedient underneath the glorious names we sang that night for lips speak magic when
they pretend to lie and dishonesty was but a kiss away from sunrise.
Time stung me come August, come March, come the age of thirty-two, her eyes had been shut
for years now and she sunk beneath flowers I am positive would be beautiful enough to
photograph had I the courage to glance, but my feet have never crossed the grass that
blankets her and roots her promises...
tangled beneath tomorrow with a tight grasp on yesterday, and I wonder if the days have
yet to fade the color of her hair.
It rained in January when I existed miles away, teardrops of memories that fell as softly
as the whispers of her name, I closed the bedroom door tightly and listened intensely for
the echoes of dishonesty, for she remained there, somewhere, behind mirrors that painted
her and the lies that bit my tongue, that reassured me...
our hand prints would hide from summer...
covered in ice-cream secrets that screamed her pain from a smile, from a foolish wish that
spoke us inseparable.
Her eyes, blue as October, slapped me, that day, as they painted themselves the secrets
girls are never supposed to witness, as they refused to allow April to fall but declared
with the beauty that she
could never see.
Copyright © JeanMarie Marchese
The cold wind blowing
Across shadowed timber beams
Death becomes open-space.
Copyright © Matthew Sample
“Buy me a scarf” she said and curled her toes through snow to demonstrate the color of
“Buy me a scarf and I'll wrap our memories around my neck, you can watch me smile in
storms as I contemplate warmth and look at you beneath the sky.”
I wrote promises on windows with fingers that touched shadows and counted snowflakes
crystals as I destroyed their patterns in a feeble attempt to claim love...
There, in the house that spoke one thousand tears, I thought about the secrets we
whispered when the year turned and purple was fantastic on the other side of frozen lakes
despite the voices that named us something unspeakable.
Rings and silver and I wore one on my toe, polished perfectly, my feet felt summer and I
laughed in lilts of June and breaths of lilac bushes that lined my backyard, but I kept my
closet door shut, winter stitches on shelves so January's voice would never be heard...
I boxed up photographs and letters that quoted songs we had sang together, I covered up
her haircut and placed her eyeliner in an envelope but I knew, beneath the ground where
lilac bushes rooted themselves...
she wore the ring I had placed upon her finger on her fourteenth birthday, on the day
August spoke up and we listened intently, mocking
and bedposts that wrote her name...
and I sat, cleaning prints off of windows, erasing promises and eluding love, wondering,
if I had learned how to knit, would sidewalks have been so convincing?
I listened to memories and bought myself a scarf, wrapped stitches of January around my
neck and heard her, in laughter, as she whispered through the wind that numbed the fingers
that broke promises...
“Lend me your scarf, and I'll see you, I'll hold your hand when August knocks you down.”
Copyright © JeanMarie Marchese
Exercising belief about unknowns.
Makes sense to take your best guess.
Using history, numbers, extrapolation.
Getting the trajectory right for re-entry.
Few dissenters left for climate change, evolution.
Nuclear power brings a process to earth
that occurs only in space. Dangerous
but necessary? Not a risk-averse weasel.
One among many mammals is the weasel,
not known for its consideration of unknowns
but, for its extreme caloric needs, considered dangerous.
My wife says in England violent gusts
forced a locomotive off its tracks. One interpretation
might reasonably be that the mother, earth,
has stopped mothering man. We're entering
a period of unknowns and must evolve.
What might this involve
and what adjustments are possibly feasible?
Walking rather than riding to the subway entrance,
using less electricity until more is known,
preserving agricultural soils and forest land,
buying fewer plastic contraptions.
My brother's washing his pajamas less often.
None of this may make the slightest difference
in how the earth and the sun and universe revolve.
But we are human and addicted to action,
the probable less attractive than the possible.
Also, there's no percentage in respecting death
unless it's imminent. Better to remain centered,
focused on food, child-bearing, war and the poem.
All driveways plowed, all lawns mowed.
Just in time before the first snow, I raked our leaves.
Two eight hour days. What percent of all time is that?
Draw a ray with point A the first pile of leaves
extending to the extrapolating end of universe.
.01 of Aaron. Zero of Zach.
Hawks playing, hunting, mating, canaries in the mine.
Having been too many places to count.
Sex bars, infant formulas, fire crews, last rites, permanent jobs, traffic
tickets, judges' chambers, out houses, wedding banquets, boiling
teapots, frantic centuries, facial tissues, presumed innocent, clear
intentions, stainless steel.
Spiderweb glove. Deerfly earring. Daddylonglegs seeingeyedog.
Memorized songs. Privatized loans.
You cannot know what you're doing until you've done it.
Erudite sweep the floor. Articulate make the bed.
Infrared town hall. Crab nebula. Your last crap.
Eye of the tropical January sun. Slouching toward temperate zone.
Copyright © Robert Ronnow