"THERE HE WAS HOLDING HIS HAND OUT"
God, can I hold your hand and follow you?
My child, it is I who will walk with you! You walked down my path with and without faith. You took my protection to ease your pain. My shielded wings comfort you during your moments of suffering while your life staggered across earth. Your love and devotion are what made you strong. Every time your dreams were broken. You managed to build more dreams in their place. You called my name during your happiest and saddest moments. You ran to me when you fell behind. Your secrets became our private talks. The key to your heart was always unlocked. I was there during your trials and troubles and tribulations. We could not speak, it was my light that kept you from going weak.
God, are you a dream of beauty? The holy book.
My preacher spoke of the afterlife, calling it paradise.
I remember now, I felt this company once before, this light.
Many times, I forsake the light and still you never left my door.
I felt it on the day I was born,
the day I became baptized in your holy name.
I felt this light before, can you explain it once more?
Lord pleases clarify the day I fell down to my knees, accepted Jesus as my savior?
On that day, I felt as if you stood away and walked on by, allowing me to face my failures’.
Was my life a waste in this impossible world?"
My child, this is the everlasting light you will feel every time your body is re-born onto a new road. This light never left you.
My sweet child did you not listen,
Matthew *19:26* MY SON looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with ME all things are possible.
My child, you were not searching for the right answers.
My Lord everyone told me if I prayed you would come. Did I not pray enough?
My child sometimes your heart asked for more than life itself,
I always answered even when you shunned heaven away from your eyes?
The obvious question is whether this is the final immersing of your soul's disguises.
Lord, I have other questions to ask.
What should I expect out of my personal sins?
My testimonial sits in the palm of your hand
My mind and my heart's inner core have been wicked since my adolescence--
How is it that I am in your promise land?
Getting right with me has brought you here!
One more question My Heavenly Father
Can I see My Daughter, Mothers, Sisters, family, and friends?
Copyright © Poet Destroyer A
I remember as a young boy, going out to play, I would sometimes see old Mr. Kimball, sitting on the steps of his porch, often reading the paper. World War II was in full swing so the newspapers and radios were avidly sought out for the latest news. Mr. Kimball was a fireman, and probably not even that old, but he seemed that way to me.
Sometimes, he would invite me to sit with him and we would talk about everything and nothing. I loved spending time with him because, he was the only grown up I knew that took the time to entertain the mind of a young boy.
In his front window hung a small flag. It had a red border surrounding a white field, upon which there were two blue stars. I was always curious about it, so I asked him what it was. He said “It's a Sons in Service flag. One star for each son serving. You remember my boys don't you?” I did of course. Chuck, the oldest, used to tease me, calling me a sissy to get a reaction. Bobby was a couple of years younger, and the bike I was riding once had been his.
Mr. Kimball went on to explain how Chuck was now in the Army and fighting in France. Bobby was in the Navy, aboard a ship somewhere in the Pacific. He didn't say it, but I'm sure he was worried about both, communications being what they were back then.
One day, when I was walking over to see him, I noticed that the flag had changed. It now carried one blue star, but the other one was gold. With the innocence that comes of being a child, I asked what the gold star meant. He quietly said “It means Chuck is coming home”, and without further comment, he turned and went in the house.
A couple of days later, I saw a hearse pull up to the Kimballs house, and four men carry a flag draped box up the porch steps. That is the moment the meaning of war came to a small boy. I knew Chuck was home.
Copyright © Bob Quigley
Have some time to spare in-between a work schedule
burning me from the inside, out.
Wasted too much time on the computer already,
my body aches from physical inactivity.
Thoughts are racing faster than the speed of light,
the routine of modern life is trying to cage in a free spirit-
a pen for a wild horse with boundless energy,
a strong kick and large teeth.
Haven't come down to this part of the bay for years.
Not sure why anymore?
Not too sure about anything right now.
Believed I was too young to be having these thoughts,
but here they come like a booming drum beat,
keeping time with the pounding of my heart,
but always just a little louder,
to remind me how this warning isn't about to depart.
The putrid stench of kelp and dead crabs
baking in the afternoon sun,
curls up my nostrils, awakening memories of childhood....
....the salt in the sea is the salt in my blood;
we have been one since conception.
The salty, deep green rot, smells like bliss to me,
compared with the scents of over-heated wires,
burnt coffee, and industrial-gray carpeting.
Sit down on a large chunk of driftwood.
The waves aren't crashing in their usual rhythmic crescendo,
but lapping quietly like chortling laughter.
The ocean is chuckling,
laughing at my insignificance
in comparison to its almost limitless horizon
of cruel, cold water.
A familiar pungent aroma creeps my way-
the high citrus scent of bergamot
mixed with the sweet perfume of skunk.
Two young punks are hauling on some reefer
up the beach from where I am sitting.
Can hear their youthful, carefree chatter.
The last time I smoked weed, seems eons ago now.
The smell invokes the rebel still alive inside,
giving a glimpse of who I had once been-
eyes blazing red,
mind full of humble awe
flying high above the clouds like an eagle.
The shrill cries of gulls fighting over a starfish
breaks my stupor of reminiscence,
reminding me of the hungry ways of nature-
the hungry ways of mankind and money.
Damn! My stupid job awaits!
As I make my way back,
pant legs causing the sand grass
to sigh in dry moans and whispers,
I make up my mind to visit
this old stomping ground more often.
In fact, I might start coming out here
on all of my lunch breaks.
Out here, the wild horse has ample room to roam,
even if for only a few moments of escape-
an illusion of escape is far better
than having only stifled dreams
and no hope left at all-
feel much better already.
Copyright © Chris D. Aechtner
What the Quack!
I dont want my poems in Poem Zoo!
Copyright © Ruben O.
Your face and rotting teeth and heavy jowls
and sunken breasts with bulging waist and
Your image of laughter, lovemaking, seeking
bourbon tweaked philosophies
of life begins
The hands that tremble as you tilt
the glass that begins another
Tirade thoughts, empty lies, money spent on
lipstick coated leeches who prey on
Through these wintry days pass faces long past
into what was then
while with the coming spring ...
at last! at last!
One can remember
and want no more
what could never be:
Copyright © Sue Mason
I washed my white lace tablecloth and hung it out to dry
The bleach did the best it could-it was worth the try
'Though no one else can see, the stain still remains
As old as time itself
Stubborn as mildew rot
One false step, one careless word forever etched in time
Travels the universe, endlessly
In search of a place to rest
What would I not give to reverse that step
To retrieve that hateful word
Tread lightly in your daily walk, o'er hills and valleys in between
Plot well your steps and weigh your words
So you'll have nothing to regret, like the
Unkind words carved deeply upon your heart
I wash my white lace tablecloth again, again and again!
Copyright © Annalise a.k.a. Audrey Haick
September tries to convince herself,
Making pretend that she is really, truly,
A Summer month, albeit one of dying fire,
Holding at bay the chill of Autumn winds.
October plays temptress with her Duality;
Sun to warm the back of your flannel shirt,
With punkin' frosting nights, crisp and cold.
Air so clear it sears the throat like a glass of cider.
November comes dark, wet and gloomy.
An ancient harridan forced to bridal bed.
Chanting "fools, there's time before winter comes,
Still time enough for love."
December mutters in her sleep........
Copyright © William Kershaw
Mornings are dreadful time in life unless waking beside gorgeous woman hopefully
a not married one husbans can be such a downer.
And when ya wake to a warm beautiful creature by your side.
And the first thought that comes to your mind is i wonder whats for breakfest.
Then ya probaly cant read the menu to start with and desserve
to have a oversized weight lifter re arrange your ribs.
Im a southern man once means several things non of which means im normal.
And this morning finds my yerning for a trip and widespread mischief.
My amigo had vanished after are trip south of the boarder I remember saying
to myself as i watched him running naked across the dessert being chased
by the flying monkeys he was surley seeing after his consumption of a foreign substance
There goes a fine american.
I would have ran after him but but i didnt want thoose things to turn there attention to me
I herd they had a thing for southern actscents.
And theres nothing worse than a bunch of horney flying monkeys trust me
Ive delt with this problem befor.
and being it was happy hour i knew my slightly insane amigo would understand
in all his naked glory.
Besides I left him some sneakers and a sixpack.
And kept his credit card for safe keeping.
Naked men have no place to keep credit cards and I figured he was in no state to handle
So as i sit behind the wheel ready to to get lost in the madness of fast food and
the ant hill of insanity that is wall mart i turn my thoughts to vegas.
For where would a lost nude slightly insane person run to and feel at home.
I had turn the music up to drown out the sound of whoever was in the trunk.
I figured if i had put sombody in there in a drunken moment.
It had to be for a good reason.
And so with slightly hungover mindset are road begins.
and so with that do the games also.
And i figured hanging around with a cops wife wasnt the smartest idea.
That and im allergic to bullets.
My muse and 16 year old spirtiual advisor had phoned me to say that.
I probaly needed to Invest in the spirt of Jack Daniels today.
And hey she had went to church more than once so who was I to argue.
With a five five spitfire by the name of tinker.
so with A unknown companion in the trunk not helping my hangover i was off
to the races Untill next time kiddies.
Adios and im off to find my amigo.
Copyright © John Patrick Robbins AKA Gonzo
I push the buttons,
You push mine.
The light above your head flashes,
I'm in for the ride.
The elevator begins.
Off to a shaky start.
As we move further, and further astray
from the building's foundations,
And closer to the heart.
The awkward silence looms.
We pretend we don't notice the glances.
You study the floor,
Whilst my eyes explore,
Making out the warning signs
By the side of your door.
As another person enters
And pushes, yet, another button
Your eyes look up.
We go down.
Back down to the ground,
Back down to the start
Copyright © Brian Morton
The clouds are now fading,
as the rainbow of life breaks through,
once my tears fell heavy,
but now only a trace of misty blue.
Sometimes we have no reason,
answers can't be found,
but we still stand on our Faith,
praying for stable ground.
Many pathways are given,
that's where common sense can't be blind,
for what we choose today,
can push us forward, or leave us behind.
Years are a blessing,
if we learn from where we've been,
but if we never humble our self,
the clouds will come again.
Everyone has a story,
our journey of tears, and smiles,
we are the keepers of the memories,
and all those lifetime miles.
Copyright © Christy Hardy
We bound down the stairs, out into the light-of-day, and into the blue of the
misty breezes, heavily laden with the smell of wild sea salt roses that grow in
perfusion along the winding road, that bends and turns in gentle lifts and dips to
the other side of the bay, where it crosses the bridge and rises up and winds
away, over the hill.
Overhead the seagulls screech and glide over the ocean spray that washes on
the rocks on the lower banks behind our house along the Fundy Bay, where we
run like the wind through the fields of fresh cut hay and make our way to the
rocky mantle below .
There in the volcanic plateau, worn smooth as glass by the constant rolling
weight of the ocean, is our pool, known by all in our village, as ‘Lizza’s Bathtub’,
created by the eruption of the earth’s inner core, millennia’s ago.
We slip into the still, salty water that has been warmed beneath the blazing sun,
and float with the perry winkles and tiny crabs and listen to the sound of the
ocean, that roars beneath us as it leaves in the receding tide, while we drift
away, in our minds, my little brother the ‘King’ and I, the ‘Queen’ for a day on
the ‘Fundy Bay’.
Copyright © Elaine George
On my journey,
through this thing,
that we call our life,
I have taken so much for granted,
choosing wrong over right.
I have hurt so many people,
with the choices that I made,
Then a voice whispered,
in my ear so tenderly,
you are my child,
take my hand,
I offer eternity.
With open eyes,
that once were blind,
and a heart,
so full of love,
I was saved, in the nick of time.
Sin is all around us,
and our Free Will,
shall be untouched,
but God offers forgiveness,
because He loves us that much.
Now my journey,
is headed somewhere,
I'm not spinning in my tracks,
God fixed my broken engine,
I will never go back.
Forward, and upward,
His word is leading me,
as I share,
what He gave,
words for all to see.
Thank You Dear Jesus,
I speak these words so true,
for the cross that You died on,
freed my soul,
so one day, I'd be with You.
Copyright © Christy Hardy
Winter be but two weeks old and already they lament.
No passion seems as strong as their loudest prayer for spring.
Spring will come when it will and wake the grasses and willow.
Let Natures brief time of slumber last long enough to rest her.
The winter be time for beauty to be found on ice etched panes,
And bayonets of glass, hanging from every eave to be seen.
Winter be found in crystalline air so pure only heroes inhale it.
And footsteps crunch like breaking luttuce upon the snowy ground.
Beyond winter times will speed and rush their way forward.
Spring then Summer and Autumn sprinting to their ultimate ends.
Let winter luff her way on tiny frozen feet while fire warms yours.
Add another log and settle in for a long nap and a dream.
Copyright © William Kershaw
Don’t you remember, love, how we danced that first night;
beneath the sun’s rays, toes dipping in the cooling sand,
to the tune of our favorite song –
with me humming the best I could –
(I sounded terrible, but you told me I sounded divine, remember?)
while falling all over myself, and your delicate feet;
and you, trying so hard not to laugh as I made such a fool of myself!
Did you ever think we would go
from being love-sick teenagers dancing on the beach,
to a couple of old-timers reminiscing
about our best years – our long ago days together?
If there is any part of that teenage girl
left within that beautiful head of yours…please;
please, just look in my eyes as you once did…
look at me, sweetheart…
Don’t you remember?
My love, do you hear?
They’re playing our favorite song…
*Inspired by Izzy Gumbo's Solfege Contest
I really hope I did this right! :)
Copyright © Kristin Reynolds
Hello to all four-legged and two-legged friends in the big world
The people who take care of us, do not know as much as they think
We are probably smarter than they are
Take for example, that little cell phone that our people
always have with them wherever they go
What we do.....lift the foot and "send a message" to a friend
When I am out and walking with my people I get many interesting "messages"
Some "messages" are very interesting and take a little longer time to "read"
Then my people impatient, pulling and struggling the leash
What they can not understand that I must "answer" to all "messages"
Our "conversations" and "messages" are equally important
Think about it....they are also free....there is no expense
When their cell phone call or pling they take time to respond
Hello all two-legged humans our messages are just as important as yours
A-L Andresen :)
Copyright © All Rights Reserved
Copyright © Anne Lise Andresen
There was a little boy whom I called “Joshie.” He had a face like sunshine. He would play outside all the time; never coming in when I said to. He loved to skateboard until the sun went down. I would say “Joshie come in; this is going to get the best of you!” He would just smile that silly grin and look down. He loved to help the elderly for he felt their pain. He charmed them with his compassion and passion. He loved pen and paper, brush and paint, too. For art was his talent, it was what he loved to do. Awards were plenty, recognition was abound. Once they found Joshie’s work, nothing could turn them around. He loved his dog Oliver, just a little thing at that. Whenever he would lick me, Joshie said he was giving me a bath! Joshie was good with the little ones for he knew how to play. Make believe was his specialty and it was always a good day. Grandma K-K and he were very close; little spats now and then. The best she only wanted, so she gave much attention to him. Jonathan, Joshie’s little brother, was the greatest of all. He did want not to be called Jon-Jon because that made him feel small. Joshie taught Jonathan to ride, and Jon taught Joshie to skate. It really did not matter for they always stayed up late. Jingle bells and peppermint sticks; our favorite time of year. Houses lit with colors. What is your favorite pick? Joshie awoke with the sun, while Jonathan wanted none. So, the stairs down Joshie would go ready to take a peek; deciding to open everything just so we could sleep! But, they grew older. And, Joshie moved to the city. He was not well, but he did not dwell,
He just did not reach out to us. The evils of this world encircled my son and slowly took him in. The devil and all his workers really did a number on him. I reached, and reached stretching my arms long.. I called for help, but no response for he was gone. He was going down a path of destruction, and there was no reason or deduction. I thought I would watch him simmer that the bad habits would slowly evaporate. But, the more I watched, the more he detached and Joshie seemed to dissipate. Merry Christmas, Mommy!..... I love you, Joshie. But, can we go back to bed?.....Only if you take me, ‘cause there is no one I want instead. The last time I said “Goodnight”... they were burying him in the ground. The pain remains; the memory will not fade. I just want him around.
Holly P. Moore
Copyright © HOLLY MOORE
On a train going south on business
For what seemed an eternity,
I chanced upon a memorable man
Who changed the path of my destiny
He was itinerant to look at
With tatty coat and shabby shoes,
An unshaven face, his hair unkempt
And string, as a belt on his ‘trews’
He boarded the train, peoples heads dropped
For fear that his gaze they’d meet
He walked down the aisle, disappointed,
As no-one would give up a seat
I offered the seat beside me
He thanked me for making the space
I replied with a sincere ‘you’re welcome’
And a smile warmed his weathered face
He asked me about my journey
And I asked of his in return
I felt in my heart, that by talking to him
There was much about life I could learn
I bought us both refreshments
As he told of his life’s history,
Once in a while I would interject
With a small anecdote about me
Behind the shabby persona,
Was a man of intelligent mind
He’d lived on the edge in finance,
Made his fortune, left it behind
As his bank account grew he’d lost everything
His family, his friends, his wife
He’d found out, too late, and at great cost
That there was so much more to life
‘You have to stop and smell the roses,
Make some time for those you hold dear’
And as he spoke, down his rugged cheek
I saw the track of a small, salty tear
As we reached the end of our journey
He clasped my hand at our time to part,
He thanked me for my company
And told me I had a good heart
When I got to my lonely hotel room,
I called my daughters on the phone
And told them ‘we’ll be together soon
I’m taking some time off when I get home.’
Sometimes it takes a chance meeting
To give your whole life a shake
I felt I had met my ‘Hermes’
And now had decisions to make
When I got home, I made a decision
The missed years with my girls I’d amend,
My life took a different direction
All down to my indigent friend
You can’t judge a man on appearance
But if you look in their eyes you can,
I knew in the instant I gave up the seat
I had met a remarkable man.
Copyright © Janette Fisher
As I think back to that dark time in our community I don’t know if I’d ever seen anyone quite
like that (Cinder Girl). We girls thought she had (Lovely Bones). The last time I saw her alive,
she was sitting on her porch blowing a (Dandelion Wishing) for a long life.I think she knew
that (Before Night Falls) her (Worst Fear) would be realized. The beast from the nether
world, who I think directed everything was that (Dog That Wears a Cone). He sat in her side
yard staring at her. The locals called him Cujo, he was (By Any Other Name), (The Beast of
Our Making). Cujo aside, (That Guy Paul) Cujos’ minion, was one (Bloody Bastard). He was
going to involve Cinder in (A Rural Tragedy) of epic proportions.
It went down on a (Heavy Slush)y winters’ eve guaranteed not to be a pastoral (Scene On a
Road in Winter). I had entered the old abandoned farmhouse on my way home from town. I
was cold and my feet were wet from the slush. I sat down in a small room out of the draft. I
heard voices outside. Paul endured (The Wait) for his accomplice in the cold. When she
arrived he began talking to (The Girl Who Wears the Dragon Tattoo). Then I saw what he
(What was I Thinking) (What If) they found me hiding (Inside This Little Room). Paul and the
dragon lady were sweaty (Toilers at the Trench), digging frozen dirt in winter is hard work. I
heard Paul laugh as he said to “TATS,” this time we’re (Cleaning House)… Was I next?
Suddenly, the opportunity for escape from this nightmare arose. Jake the bumbling county
snow plow driver unknowingly swung the truck onto the farmstead with its’ halogen lights
probing deep (Into Night). He had (Thwarted) their hiding this heinous crime. The sight he
illuminated gave me the [That Potent Urge(Gotta Go, Gotta Go Right Now)]. I ran from that
house into the night. No one ever knew I was there and since Jake was the only witness the
court needed, I never came forward.
Jake had never been (My Kind of Apple) because (Jake Sure Loved His Beans). Regardless,
Jake unknowingly saved my life that night. I never thought it would happen but over time I’d
grown accustomed to the gas. We were married late last fall and as we left the reception I
saw Cujo on a nearby hill wearing that ominous cone. I thought to myself as he watched us
leave, he knows…
Oh God, he knows I was there!
*This narrative derived from the titles of one poets work here on the Soup.
Copyright © John Trusty
I dream about a day that may never come,
I watch my life unravel, simply come undone.
My feet begin to drag as I walk across the floor,
Still I cannot wait for what the future has in store.
I go out for a walk as the sun is getting low,
The sky explodes in colors as I watch it go.
It kisses the horizon and then it goes away,
It seems to mark the end of just another day.
I stand upon a hill as the light begins to fade,
I think about the day, decisions that I made.
Light begins to falter as it all goes dark,
I feel this spark growing inside my heart.
I look into the valley as the darkness grows,
I see the sparks of fireflies they seem to glow.
I hear the birds sing they soon will retire,
I look up at the moon it appears to be on fire.
The stars up above look like diamonds in the sky,
I watch the lights on planes as they streak by.
I think of the darkness filled with all these lights,
They seem to be like beacons to guide me through the night.
I lay upon the grass and gaze upon the stars,
They sparkle so bright in a sky dark as tar.
I close my eyes and imagine I can fly,
Travel to the moon as it rises high.
The day has give way to the wonders of the night,
Everywhere I look, I catch another sight.
As time flies by, I wonder where it went,
A breeze blows, carrying a floral scent.
I climb from the hill it’s time to go to bed,
Visions of the night still dancing in my head.
Soon tomorrow shall become today.
The sun will rise and the stars will go away.
Copyright © Mark Russell
I remember a riding pony I had as a lad which was born blind. A filly she was born during an
Arkansas blizzard and we did not know that she was blind at first for we kept our horses in our
barn for several days because of the winter storm. We all had fallen in love with her by the time
we learned she was blind and could not bear to put her down. I remember training her to ride
after she was mature enough and I named her “Pet” for she was my riding pony.
We spent many happy days together riding inside the green pastures.
I remember she never refused to let me ride her even the first time. And she learned very
quickly to respond to my voice and she trusted in every command that I gave her.
I would say, “easy Pet” when we would come to rough terrain or an eroded ditch in the
pasture. She would slow to a careful walk, in response to my voice.
I would ride her down into the lower part of the pasture to the creek in hottest part of the day.
Pet could of course smell the water and when she would come near the bank of the creek I
would again say, “easy Pet” and she would respond by slowing to a snail’s pace down the steep
Pet would wade out about belly depth into the water where she would drink her fill of the cool
clear water. And I would use her back as a diving board launch and swim to my heart’s delight.
After she was through drinking I would climb on her back again and give her head to her and
she would trot to the barn where she knew I would give her treats, such as carrots, apples,
sugar cubes and so on.
I remember I never did have the heart to make her run full speed as
I supposed that her blindness was burden enough in her life for her to bear.
It is said of truth that one gets to keep in heaven those things of this life that were loved sufficiently.
I know that my beloved Pet shall be my precious playmate again in the heavenly ethereal of the Spirit.
Pet lives on even now in the depths of my childhood memories. Her loving low neighs as she
approached me by smell, and her nuzzles into my pocket for the sugar cubes she knew would
always be there for her. In heaven I shall see my Pet again, and this time she will see me,
maybe for the first time.
For and in honor of Carol Brown
Copyright © john freeman
Daddy, were you alive when Jesus was born?
No honey, he was born a long time ago, over 2000 years ago.
Where was he born Daddy?
In Bethlehem, a small town in the desert in a manger,
Whats a manger Daddy?
It's a place where they kept animals to feed them.
You see when Jesus was born the Inn was full, so
they had to get Mary to a warm place to give birth to Jesus.
that was the only place they could go.
Daddy who is Jesus' Daddy?
God is his Father honey?
But who is Joseph?
The Chosen Father, who God chose to raise him, Mary's Husband
I don't understand Daddy!
God wanted a son, he could not have a son without Mary and Joseph's
help. God asked them both if they would help him, without even thinking
they said yes. God gave to them a great gift, God gave them Jesus.
At that moment God gave us all a great gift, He gave us the Son of Man.
The Son of Man Daddy?
Yes honey, you see God is not Man, not one you can touch, Jesus
was, he healed people who were sick, He showed people how to love God
and how God loves them. There is one more important thing
I want to tell you honey.
What's that Daddy? Jesus did a coupla more things I think are
important, there are many of course but two I like.
Go on Daddy!
Jesus taught us how to love without conditions, like the way I love you
and you love me and your Mom and Brother. But how to love everybody
like that. The most important thing is, is that he died because we humans
broke God's laws, which means we sinned. He died so God would
Wow Jesus really did love us didn't he Daddy...?
Yes he did baby, and the really good thing is he still does and always will.
Come on it's time for bed!
Not until I say my prayers Daddy!
How bout we Pray together tonight?
I'd like that Daddy!
So would I baby, so would I .
Jump up on my back and I'll give you piggy back ride!
I love you Daddy!
I love you too baby, I love you too.........
My Christmas wish is you all have Conversations like this with your
kids. Trust me they bring tears of joy!
May God Bless you all this Christmas Season as he has Blessed me.
From Mary, Josh, Shay and myself MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR
Copyright © Richard Pickett
Summer scent is the smell of freedom
where we can escape the flavor of boredom
so we plan to have our vacation on the beach
where we can relax and fresh air is within our reach
The warm wind tenderly embraced my spirit
I felt excited on this first visit
on an island where refugees can find paradise
an island where spending time is wise
The dulcet breeze gently kisses lush green trees
and the mirthful sun smiles over the vast seas
Where surfers play with gigantic waves
and are not certain on what road it paves
The fluffy clouds are smoothly sailing
the birds are singing and harmoniously dancing
There are butterflies that are colorful in hue
like enchanted fairies changing colors from pink to blue
I need my sun block, it's time for swimming
the tables are full because later we're all eating
Ladies are smiling to many cool surfer dudes
Children are hungry seeing delicious exotic foods
I picked a shell that whispered peacefully in my ears
and we built castles that we fancied over the years
out of the small grains of white sands
and all you need is helping hands
God was really great in creating splendid wonders
that were loved by all especially the nature lovers
There are numerous oceans that are aquamarine
and abundant trees and grasses that are green
The brother sun was slowly hiding
because the sister moon was coming
I guess it was our time to pack
but there will come a time for us to go back
Go back to a place of leisure and freedom
where you'll not taste the flavor of boredom
It would be hard for us to say goodbye
because truly we will come back and say Hi!
Copyright © Nadine Fababier
As I enter, I look around taking in how the seating is arranged. Not merely looking for a place to sit and rest or eat. I am looking for a place to study. No, not from a book or laptop or tablet. But from those around me.
I look for a seat that will set my back to a wall. Not because I am afraid of whats behind me. But merely because if a wall is behind me or better yet a corner I will know that I have a view of everyone. If I can view everyone it is less likely that I will miss the story they have to tell. Everyone here has a story to tell and I for one would rather not miss a single one.
I believe that all stories have merit. Whether it be to entertain or teach a lesson. All stories deserve to be heard. That is why I am here. That is why I came.
I came to listen and observe. To hear every story. To be entertained and Learn.
I may even tell my tale. Maybe even a story or two. Though I am not as eloquent or well versed as others here I am new and I am learning so bear with me as I will with you.
As I spot the seat I am looking for I walk over and before I can sit I am welcomed by Thomas Simunsen and several others. I apologize for not getting their names because my memory is crap. They laugh and I immediately know I like here, especially when I find out they serve beer.
I order my beer and I sit down.
I listen and I drink.
I sit there until closing time. Never did really want to leave.
But leave I must and come back I shall.
As I walk home I hear my stomach grumble. I realize I never ordered any food. I just sat there nursing my beer all night, listening as everyone told their stories.
I may not have eaten any food while I was there but I realize I am leaving with a warmth and fullness of spirit that will bring me back for more.
Copyright © Timothy Aull
On the banks of the mighty Skagit,
where the rushing waters flow,
sat a fisherman of merit,
the one known as Farmer Joe.
Long he sat there, long he fished there,
always waiting for the day
he would catch a mighty salmon
and it wouldn't get away.
He had lived upon the prairies
where crop farming was his life,
working hard to care for family,
seven children and a wife.
Times were hard and for this farmer
it was toil and toil some more.
If good crops the price was lower,
if good prices, crops were poor.
He worked hard, did this poor farmer
and he fed his family well,
for he raised this big truck garden,
pigs to eat and milk to sell.
He thought often of his childhood
on the banks of the Wabash,
where he spent his youth just fishing,
some to eat and some for cash.
Rationed waters on the prairies,
in the years when it was dry,
made him long so for the rivers.
Even tough old farmers cry.
Family raised he quit his farming,
and he headed for the West,
where he'd heard of powerful rivers
and of fishing at its best.
Once he saw the Skagit River
in the State of Washington,
said he then, "We'll go no further
for I know this is the one."
Stayed he there by that big river,
never straying far away;
stayed he there and fished it daily.
It was now his time to play.
Grown old he had at farming,
he had just a few years left
for to catch that wary salmon,
the great one of mighty heft.
When the fishing season opened,
he'd get up at break of day,
fix his breafast, fix his lunch sack.
He'd be on that bank to stay.
There he met his fishing cronies,
all retired with leisure time.
Sat they fishing by the river,
all these fellows past their prime.
Then one day at last it happened.
He pulled out that fishing prize.
Then they weighed and then they measured
and declared it super size.
And the fisherman of merit,
the one known as Farmer Joe,
grinned and said, " I'm glad I did it,
before it was my time to go."
God in heaven must have noticed
how he longed for that big fish.
Said He then, "I'll let him stay there
long enough to get his wish".
On the wall there hangs a picture
of that farmer and his prize,
for that farmer was my daddy
who a few weeks later dies.
Called he then to old St. Peter,
standing guard at the Golden Gate.
"Welcome Joe", said that old fisherman.
"Come on in, the fishing's great".
Won 3rd place
For Mac's Best poem contest. (It may not be my best but it is the one of which I am most
proud. It hangs on the wall beside my daddy and his big fish.
Copyright © Joyce Johnson
Pink faced, and warm, I stand at the kitchen counter
rubbing flour and butter briskly
through my fingers into a large mixing bowl...
Apples are already peeled and sliced, that lay
like petals, pale green, in the pie plate, waiting for a crumbled topping
I know they are mine, these hands, I see, deftly working...
So skilled, they are, that even I am amazed,....
Even before my own eyes, there is a moment, I watch, from outside myself
Yes these hands are mine... proven by the swirls and the valleys
as I when I'm asked to write my own name,...
as when I scribbled this new recipe, in a familiar, weary yellow notebook
Yet, as if I were wearing gloves,
my hands seem to live inside the skin of others...
I watch their motion and have no control of every small detail,
Rote tasks, of which I have seen before
No hand has held the amber weight of sun
or tugged in summer wind, but silently
some root has crooked a finger into the flour,
intent to foster a long connection, some ancient comfort,
a deep knowing, of heart and bone, of mind, and soul
that assures me, I never will stand alone, with flour on my hands
I will always have centuries at my elbow
Submitted for Nette's Contest: With These Hands
Carrie Richards 12/21/13
Copyright © Carrie Richards
The last time I took Pop to the big lake, the wind was so strong,
it nearly blew his wheelchair over, I knew just where to stop...
at the top of the hill, the windiest place!
I left him alone, he just looked out on the lake unblinking,
rewinding moments, that made him who he was.
In days past.....
He told me the story of his best friend in high-school, who wanted
Dad to go along with him duck-hunting on that sunny, warm morning in fall...
1940, Dad had promised my Mom (not yet married!) he would go with her
on a picnic in the bluffs along the Mississippi.... so he declined.
From sunshine and 70... to freezing white-out conditions up and down the river,
many lives were lost that day, including my Pop's best friend....
the Great Armistice Day Storm lived on in Pop's heart...
Dad went to his friend's funeral.
Or the time.....
Dad took my Grandpa (Mom's Dad) on the first vacation he had
ever been on! Grandpa worked until he died...... the Company
he worked for had tricked him, letting him work 29yrs. 11 months,
and 28 days, then firing him two days before his pension would kick-in.
Pop took him fishin' for the first time in his life! bought him a straw fishin' hat too!
Dad kept baitin' his hook and Grandpa caught 6-fish before Dad could cast a line!....
Pop called him 6-fish Bumford after that! and us kids weren't allowed to touch
Grandpa's straw-hat from that fishin' trip..... Dad kept it on a hook in his work-room
in the basement, with the words "Six Fish Bumford...My Best Friend"
scrawled under it on the wall (I still have it)
In a while, I knew it was time to bring him back......he had finished
looking out on his life....
.......he was ready to go
Copyright © James Marshall Goff
I am sorting through the pictures, in a weathered leather album
And sorting through the questions, that are tethered in my head
If time is relative, as they say, then,...what defines this moment?
I am living here missing them....but is it me that's really dead?
Am I here? Am I there? Is it now? Is it then?
Am I living in the future, or has tomorrow already been??
All the familiar faces, here before me, in sepia faded poses...
I sense the comfort of their arms, with voices, soft and lingering...
how can that be, if they are gone......yet still a part of me?
Perhaps they still live and it is me, who is fading, all along?...
Wind at the window, and an old ticking clock,
keeping me counting, pondering thoughts
While the questions unanswered circle the room...
I re-memorize the faces, ....each page is a story,
the story keeps weaving, .....in memory's loom
My mother, alive, long brown braids, as a child...
Younger than I ever knew her to be...
My father, so strong, ...before he was frail...
The faces before me, did they follow my trail?
Or did they come first, ...with stories to tell?
Yes, here is my grandmother, who cradled me well.....
Where did she go? She lives in me still...
Or is she still here, looking down from above
while I still feel the love, as I look down at her now?
What is time, what is death, where am I in the scheme of things?
Can you help me unlock the spell...
Tell me, ....tell me......
Do we circle around the wheel of life, of death, of time....
In sepia, faded yellow and brown?
Copyright © Carrie Richards
Hot August, 1974, I was back for my second year at college,
having just settled into a new place at Anita Apartments,
right next to the guys’ apartment complex called Tanner’s.
My first night, we answered a knock at our door.
Steve Dietrich, a friend of my roommate, entered our apartment,
but my eyes went immediately to the younger man with him.
That would be his brother Joel, there for his first year at BYU.
My first thought was this: How shy he is, so reserved. . . but so adorable.
He was tall and thin and cute as the dickens.
They stayed for just a while, and by the time they left,
I’d formulated my big plan:
to get to know this boy Joel (who everyone just called Joe).
There was to be a parking lot dance that weekend,
and so I waited expectantly, hoping all week
to catch a glimpse of this boy I’d found so attractive,
but no matter how often I strolled past his apartment,
my opportunity for a “chance encounter” never occurred.
The night of the dance arrived and I was right there,
all decked out in my colorful tight top with bellbottoms,
long luscious lashes curled and pink frost lipstick applied.
When I caught sight of Joel, he was slow dancing with some girl.
A blonde with glasses, she was rather plain and smaller than me.
I was not pleased to see her with Joe, and I thought to myself:
Hmmmm, who does she think she is? I saw him first,
and he is NOT going to stay with her tonight.
As they danced, I fixed my eyes on him,
my beautiful, long-lashed, sultry green eyes.
He looked up and saw me then. I must have taken him by surprise
because I did not lower my gaze.
I wanted him to know that he was going to be mine,
so I willed him with my gaze to break away from that blonde
and come to me.
And so he did. . the rest is history.
Beside me at this moment, lying on our bed, watching TV,
is the man who today bears little resemblance to that
very young man I met 35 years ago.
I turn to him and ask, “Do you remember the VERY first time you saw me?”
He replies, “I don’t know; a parking lot dance?”
Well, at least he came close. . .
For Frank Herrera's Contest: Love Story
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich
America, why did you stray from the old way.
A constitution put forth, the foundation of our land,
barely recognizable what was originally Jefferson's hand.
Tarnished and smudged by misinterpretation,
overindulgence and greed, to satisfy political,
judicial, and journalistic need.
Once majority rule, now bordering on ridicule,
the law of the land, ever changing, meeting demands,
of whoever takes a stand.
America, why did you stray, parents unable to discipline,
fear children undisciplined now rule, school in chaos,
students unruly, guaranteed to pass, unprepared for their future,
parents unsure, wish for the past, hope the next generation,
won't be like the last.
America, why did you stray, streets used to be a place to play,
neighbors knew one another, socialized every day,
doors left unlocked, nothing to fear, families stayed close,
helped one another, took care of mother.
Now drugs rule the day, hate and crime more common than play,
multiple locks symbolic of today, rarely talk to a stranger,
living in fear; life no longer precious, taken away,
day after day, the bloody count rises, a country in crisis,
victims pay, guilty appeal, courts give them the best deal.
Nobody protests for victims rights, put a murderer to death,
they scream all night.
America, why did you stray, hatred and bigotry alive
and well today, nationalities split, long for the old way,
when an American, was just an American, now hyphenation,
the accepted way.
America, why did you stray, once an industrial giant
you gave it away, too high a standard for industry to pay,
moved out of country, the new American way, unemployment,
poverty, homelessness rapidly increasing, ruined lives,
while billions are spent on so called allies.
America, why did you stray, what's written today,
barely address the wrongs building every day,
religion is accepted, God is not,
country divided, politically split,
presidential bashing provides journalistic wit,
hatred and bigotry, live for it.
America why did you stray, new chapters every day,
really a damn shame.
Copyright © Mac McGovern
The old man sighed
Sitting on a rock next to a pond
Crookedly balancing Yin and Yang between his eyelashes
Conversing with the Lady of the pond
Jade eyes and un-wrinkled time
In Her beautiful face
Held in his hands
An old fishing rod
Bends and flexes with the times
It holds and catches even the biggest
Devils in the water
The lotus flowers embrace the jade tide
Soft-hearted water caressing unmovable rock
Trees bent in silent reflection
The ultimate knowledge, the Lady whispered
Lies between the murmur of the leaves
The laughter of the lotus
The bend in the trees
These will outlast everything
I shall give knowledge to my sons
And teach them
The old man contemplated
The secession of his life
There is a time to hold on and a time
To let go
This time, his time
Is over, long gone with the Maiden on the Moon
Beckoning him home
He taught the young men
To bend with the rod
To bow to the spirits
To be one with God
To be forceful, to be soft
To listen and to speak
Wise Man’s words
And Foolish Man’s dreams
He told the Old Stories
He sang the Old Songs
Traditions and ancient verses
To light their path through life’s courses
And as each of his sons threw the rod on the ground
Frustrated with the old man’s ways
Outdated methods and foolish wishes
The heavens opened and unleashed
The ultimate Father’s Rage
The rain pounded on the once peaceful pond
Dismantling the flowers and smothering the land
With a wrathful urgency
Drowning the Lady in the lake
Her beautiful jade eyes never again to reflect philosophies
Hidden in the reeds
The lotuses closed onto themselves
Never again to give such a sweet smell
The old man sighed
It’s out of his hands now, it’s out of his hands now
This will outlast
Copyright © Bella Cardenas