I have come to the point of decision
And I have decided in favour of love
Wisdom is not solely measured by experience
But more by capacity for it
I have glimpsed deep into history
I have sieved through its successes
...for the soundest advice I could find
Most profound I have received from the greatest achievers in its archives
I am a Student of Life
I am a Wordsmith of Optimism
And I am a Mason of the Castles of Dreams
This Trinity of Purpose for me goes hand in hand, side by side
Each benefits the other
Issue is, they set me apart from the others
Here I am, young when I should be intoxicated with the fads of modernity
Fortified with skills that are eager to pay the ordinary wages
But nay, I am not to be beleaguered
I focus ahead to perceive the greater rewards at the summation of days
For I place most value on the greatest wealth: WISDOM and HAPPINESS
I have come to the point of decision
And I have decided in favour of love
I choose to commit my heart entirely
To the work I love best
For it is this calling that shall liberate the sanctity of my humanity
The world I dwell in fathoms not a shred of my quest
For it views life through the lenses of reality
True as it may be that my work suffices not to endow me
...with common currency in these economic times
The rationale of my perception discerns far beyond this temporary mist
Let them roar their throats in laughter at my perceived stupidity
But it is their children and their children’s children that shall benefit most
...From this shelter of thoughts and dreams that for them I build
I expect no immediate remuneration for my onerous undertaking
For I rationalize it as a selfless gift to humanity
Hence I shall tap deep within to give all can give
I am determined to build this Shelter of Thoughts and Dreams
I have the basic skills hence I commit my willingness and ingenuity
The Good Gods shall present the mortar and bricks
The fear of failure has been permanently exiled from boarding my being
As my eyes are fixated on the prize
I am ready to pay the price
Copyright © Wiseton Prins
There's a white line
Dead center of the empty road
The sky is clear, the sun is hot
I am sitting on the edge of this blacktop world
Waiting for a tow
Some shortcut huh? A back road error in judgement...
Sitting in this no-man's land of desolate boredom
A missed appointment, a disappointed friend waiting
Frustration billows up in the heat of Indian summer
Peafowl graze in the tall brown weeds behind me, hunting grasshoppers
Territorial hens and cocks at their banquet
The patriarch, with his vast train, reigns aloof
In the shade of a vagrant oak, that shadows the place where I sit
One lone hen, wanders onto the white line, and looks at me, with disdain
I am an intruder, in a world I don't belong....
I have been sitting here for nearly an hour
Mesmerized by the long white line that meanders into the distant horizon...
I'm wondering how long has it been
Since I've had such a moment
To contemplate such a trifle...as a white line in the center of an asphalt road
Who put it there? What sort of man? Who drives the machine, that paints this line?
Did he do this all day...draw these straight white painted stripes?
Does he give it much thought? This artist,...this Da'vinci of roadways?
Does he think of the life he might save?
The order this brings? His touch of white on a blacktop world?
Does he do this all day.....day after day?
This artwork to pay for his wife's medicine?
Or for a son's braces, or a daughter's tuition?
Trivial contemplation, perhaps, while one ponders by the side of a road.....
You say.....it is just a white line......so what??
To someone....even a trifle....a white line on asphalt....
might be important......
Copyright © Carrie Richards
I am your champion, I fight for your cause,
my love and devotion give some people pause.
When I saw you I knew you, just like with your dad.
I guess our deep happiness makes some people mad.
I work hard at my job, so that we can live,
and hear me now, son, when it's time to give,
I am the one who ups the amount,
I've done this more often than I can recount.
I also work so your dad will be covered,
for doctors and dentists and allergists and others,
and who do you think pushed him to go
to the skin doctor some two years ago?
From the moment I met you, you felt like my son,
but this is a battle that cannot be won.
When your dad and I married, I didn't steal him away,
he's just as devoted to you to this day.
I heard someone had told you that I was "controlling,"
(I can't even write this without my eyes rolling).
Who insisted your dad fly to LA to see you?
Who worked overtime to pay for this venue?
I encourage his freedom, I've not clipped his wings,
his happiness, above all, is the important-est thing.
I will not be silenced, nor be vilified,
and it just breaks my heart when you take HER side.
I am LOVING and GIVING and ALL THAT IS GOOD,
and I'm tired of being so misunderstood.
So, pardon my migraine, it wasn't intended,
my strength just gave out as your judgement descended.
I lost a whole weekend, I slept like the dead,
I was just too defeated to face down my dread.
I kinda' felt reality shatter, unsure what was real,
like in "Jacob's Ladder."
We're getting no younger, your father and I,
the older we get, the faster time flies.
I love you as if you were my own child,
I'll not carry this burden unreconciled.
Copyright © Danielle White
FROM OUT OF THIS EARTH, IN EVERY GENERATION
MUST ARISE A MIGHTY PROPHET...
SO DON'T YOU HAVE NO FEAR, YOU HAVE DONE YOUR SHARE, YOU ARE THE HONOURABLE
YOU BROUGHT US OUT FROM IGNORANCE,
AND FOR THIS WE WILL THANK YOU HONESTLY.
ALTHOUGH WE KNOW THAT IT WAS WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE THAT MANY WOULD BE
CALLED,BUT ONLY FEW OF THEM WOULD BE CHOOSEN.
ROBERT NESTA MARLEY, HE LIVED HIS LIFE FOR WE.
AND NOW WE HAVE GROWN, WE ARE THE SEEDS HE HAS SHOW, TILLED BY HIS IMPERIAL
OH BROTHER BOB YOU WERE ONE.
YOU WORKED FROM DAWN TILL DAWN.
NOW IN THE PHYSICAL YOU HAVWE GONE, BUT IN THE SPIRIT YOU WILL CARRY ON,
THE WORKS OF MARCUS GARVEY.(CHORUS)
NOW BOB ARISE,
OPEN THY EYES.
BECAUSE WE WANT YOU TO KNOW, I 'n' I HAVE DISCOVERED YOUR FOE,
TRAMPLED BENEATH THY FEET.
SO IF YOUR TRODDING IN A STREET,
OR IN A HIGH MOUNTAIN.
DON'T YOU HAVE NO SHAME,
REGGAE MUSIC HAS BROUGHT YOU FAME,
YOU ARE THE HONOURABLE NATTY DREAD.
(C)1982, 1996, 2006 ALBERT WILLIAMS
Copyright © Albert Williams
Every once in a while I lose myself
But I’m glad the dreams are coming back
I feel the thrill filling me
I feel my heartbeat rising
I see redemption rising in the days ahead
I still realise once again that I’ve earned another chance to begin anew
Still glad that it’s early in life
...and I can apply the lessons I’ve learnt before I’m twenty five
Phew! Boy, my heart’s beating fast
I shall no longer look at my past
For the past is just that
...opportunities gone with the wind, never to come back
I look towards the days ahead
I spend today to dream of the future I intend
For I know now tomorrow is bound to come
Today was but a dream ten years back
Had I realised then how soon today would come
I’d already be rich riding on the wings of independence
I pledge never to make that mistake again
Today I shall live like I plan
...and not like my neighbour Mr. Wright
For I know not how much he earns to spend the way he does
Today I shall not live like the society around me
For I don’t know whether they think ahead
...of the days that are bound to be raining with storms of emergency
I pledge to live as befits me
I plan to live today in a way that enables me to save
For now I know I was right ten years ago
But I hadn’t the courage to follow a route of my own
Now I’m determined ten years to come...
I’ll be riding on the unicorn of delight
I pay no care for what those here and there may air
I wanna be happy today in my moderate ways
Knowing all too well I’m headed where
There, in the future where my heavy dreams will float in the air
I’m no hater so for the rest of the players here
I wish all the goodwill and good wishes my subconscious can air
Copyright © Wiseton Prins
Summer days in a mining town
Lunch box sitting by the kitchen door
Whistle blows at the Colliery
Time for work, all my muscles sore
Long day’s work for little pay
No complaints, we’re doing fine
Wednesday, got a half day off
Have a few beers, forget the mine
Down inside that mine we give it a go
No panic here, no need to be hurrying
Mice are moving kind of slow
I’ll start to panic if I see them scurrying
The Colliery overshadows the town
Sometimes causes a bit of strife
A sense of pride putting that hammer down
For a miner it’s a way of life
Wife stays home to raise the kids
When that alarm goes off sometimes she’ll cry
Town waits quietly to hear the news
There’s a self-respect that money can’t buy
A constant struggle from day to day
Months pass quickly and the bills come due
Most times they are larger than the pay
But somehow, Thank God, we make it through
Though the times are hard trying to make ends meet
We get a perspective of what’s important in life
Our riches aren’t measured in the material things
They are children, good neighbors and a loving wife
There is a brotherhood within the town
A sense of belonging, a sense of pride
The colliery may have been shut down
But the spirit of the miner has never died.
Tamaqua, Pa. USA in the 50s.
Copyright © Vince Suzadail Jr.
It Takes A Whole Village to Raise a Child: The Farmer
It has been said that it takes a whole village
To raise a child; How does a farmer help
Families raise the children?
Farmers live near the village; and together,
Everyone helps raise the children.
How do they help?
The farmers near the village grow food to sell.
They plant, tend, and harvest vegetable crops.
Veggies: lettuce, beets, cucumber, and tomatoes
Collard greens, cabbage, onions, and potatoes
Green beans, artichoke, peanuts, the list and work
Goes on and on and on—
Farmers hire many workers to harvest their many crops.
Products are then, sold and sent to many vendors.
Although there are still some independent farmers,
Some farmers, like those in olden days, grow on rural farms.
Families, men, women, and children working together,
Using hoes, beasts of burden and hand plows to work the soil.
Children helping along side watching adult examples—
However, these days, big agriculture businesses own farms.
They use huge machinery to operate their many acres.
Food producing farms: planting and harvesting to feed masses.
Their products, like smaller independent farmers’ products,
Are sent to markets in their homelands and abroad.
In the process of providing food and cotton for people,
Agriculture businesses and farmers alike set examples.
Good or bad, the children watch wide eyed
And ears perked!
Copyright © Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
Oh Lord, I know you know I have been thanking you a lot lately
But today I want to pray
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
You know me and you know how in life I pine to succeed
I know all that I want
And I know what to do in order to get it all
The will power, emotional power, confidence... certainty
...and all that entails the achievement of a dream
But there is one thing I specifically need
For with it my success is guaranteed
Please give me the discipline of a student
Please make me endear my keenest efforts on my chief pursuits
Just as though I’m about to sit for an exam... for I know in a way I am
Please give me the sense to properly manage my time
And take from my heart the desire to waste time
...and the vice of procrastination
In its place fill me with the fear of punishment and failure
...if I go about work like a truant does
...spending too much money here... and too much time there
Please sharpen my focus like that of a student aiming for that higher diploma...
...knowing the realisation of it will chance him a higher degree
Help me aptly execute the duties entrusted unto me
For its exceptionality will lift me to the reach of even higher doors
Almighty, please fill me with the discipline of a student
To sacrifice my little peer pleasures now... and invest all my heart into my pursuits
Knowing all too well that as that an empowering reality awaits me
...at the end of my truest efforts
Help me to be honest with myself
...knowing that all I do now
...is first of all for my own benefit
And that if I do it so well
It will benefit and inspire even many more to garner more of their potentials
Now my Almighty Lord,
Think of this as a business proposal
I have the dream and capability
You have the power over reality
If you take my dream and capability seriously
...and assist me with your power over reality
Very soon I will succeed, and there will be many wanting to be like me
All these shall be to your gain too for I shall direct them your way as proof
So you see Lord, your help and my efforts will tomorrow make us both a happier lot
Think about it
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Mhmm... Who am I kidding, I know you did think about it and that’s why you
decided to make me live
Copyright © Wiseton Prins
It was still dark when I arrived at five o’clock
I commenced the day by going to the wrong dock
I was a little concerned that I may be late
When I arrived they were still loading bait.
The boat started up with a thunderous sound
You must stay the channel so you don’t run a ground
Next you head into the safety of the bay
Everyone’s quiet with not much to say.
As we turn the corner the sun divides the sky and sea
A blend of orange, purple and blue explode in front of me
The sea starts to pick up and the boat gets tossed
A peace grows within all else is lost…
You pull the traps up in what’s called a set
You winch them on board to see what you get
My job was to restock the bait
It seemed kind of an ironic fate.
It was pretty hard work yet so much fun
Me, the boat, the sky and the sun
We had a pretty good catch and turned to go back
The auto pilot planned our course of attack
On the way in you wash down the boat
It cleaned up quite well with water and soap.
As I view around me as it was time to go
The sea put on its own picture show.
When we returned to the river the tide had come in
All of the lobsters had been placed into bins
The boat was too tall to fit under the bridge
Like smooth sailing and then hitting a ridge.
We had to unload the boat so the catch wouldn’t be lost
Our pride and a little work was all that it cost
When we had finished it was time to rest
Having comfort in knowing we did our best.
We cleaned up and had dinner to end the day
This is my lobster tale of today
Everyone found humor in what I had to say
Then we said goodbye and went on our way.
When I got home I fell fast asleep
I dreamed of a bottom far too deep
It was a long day and I needed to rest
The lobster became someone else’s dinner guest.
Copyright © Mark Russell
What do you do when you walk into a Pizza Place? You order, wait at least 30 minutes,
right? Yes, and then the only other option is to listen, never dreaming you can also learn.
The delivery lady, a young, black who is exhausted bolts through the door carrying the same
large pizza warmers that she left with an hour ago. Bedragled and void of smile, she stops at
the counter saying, "Whew,what a night I done had!"
"Girl, what chew doin back here? You still got dem pizzas? What happened"?
"It wuzn't on the boulevard. It was down dis gravel road and my car bumped all over all dem
holes. Dey ain't on the boulevard, dey ain't! Aint no people dere"!
"Girl, Waz da matter wit you? I gave yew a map"!
"Yeah, I knowed but dey didn't have no money to pay me wit"
"Girl, dey done paid by credit card. You gotta go back dere now!"
An older delivery man is sitting at a table waiting to pick up his order to deliver
it "somewhere" and he shouts loud, "Girl, Welcome to my world!" then he adds
"I gotta go pick up my daughter but if I can work an extra hour, I'll get a friend to pick her
OMG, I can feel their pain but do they really have any pain? This is a normal work week for
them and they are grateful for that extra hour of work to get that pay.
This is the real world. I don't live in the real world and I don't think that I ever did.
Talk to me..
Copyright © Judy Konos
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch some pails of water
Jack climbed some trees while Jill was picking some pretty flowers
After some hours Jack realized that he was wasting time
So he called Jill to hurry up before ‘tis half past nine
So off they went to continue their very long journey
‘Till they passed by an old beggar and gave him some money
When they both reached the well Jack and Jill filled up their buckets
Near the well were some berries which they put in their pockets
When they reached home their momma and papa were so happy
For dinner they had meatballs and soup and chicken curry
And five bags of bananas which a rich neighbor gave them
The good that you do to others will always be returned
Copyright © Mariam M.
had a hectic day with
lots of things to do
so glad i found my way
home from work
did not think i would make it
not with the dark, the cold and
the exhaustion conspiring against me
opened the door after some time of
fumbling with the keys
not sure what goes where
slummed the door shut and
dropped the bag on the floor
why let it burden me after
what i had gone through today
was hungry but it could wait
had only one thing in my mind
my sweet little comfortable bed
finally reached the room did not
think to turn on the light and
just fell on my bed
did not think i would wake up
did not care if i did
all i wanted was just a little sleep
was that too much to ask
forgot to draw the drapery
and when morning came
i felt a kiss of sunshine
as the morning rays raced
to my face, i smiled a little
and got a glow on
reassuring and brightening my day
because there was still hope
working under the sun
Copyright © sharon anena
Some time ago
A late night supper
Was set for me
Solitary salt and pepper
In silver trim
All waited for me
On white linen.
I sat back
Drink in hand
Life takes many roads
Others narrow and endless
Glowing in the night
Dot the lonely highway
Pointing in different directions.
Take nothing for granted
Until it’s done
Take what you need
And need what you take
Half of something is better than all of nothing
Keep your life simple
You need only one home
If you choose the monastic life
You need less than that
Only a reckless fool lives like
They’ll die tomorrow
No one can go back
To start a new beginning
But everyone can start today
And make a new ending.
Keep your word
People work hard for their money
Count yours carefully
And spend it wisely
Believe only God
An enemy can never betray you
Only a friend can.
Your family is all you have
Provide for them
And they will stay with you.
Every mistake tells a story
Be willing to learn
Experience is hard to come by
Book learning is good
But hard work and talent
Will unlock your dreams.
In the quiet of night
When the beating of your pulse
Is all you hear
Know the difference of
Following your heart
And reading between the lines.
Copyright © Edmund Siejka
You must go,yes!
Go against slumber,
When even early birds ignore worms,
But the falling thorns purnish gurus
As the roaming anti-mother blanket kills faint gurulings.
Here we march marshals,
Along grumbling swift paces,we shall!
Walking-yarn appetises expectations,
Since many paths leads to the road.
Diverging to coverge,we must!
As swarming of the apocalyptic plague of the book,
Brushing along all along that belongs,
Into the shipping tower,we all plunge.
Now blinking sea-eyes of a naked mind,
All beholding spoons for a bloodless war.
Its too late to retrieve and hot to hold.
An often dreaded monster you face,
Must in "Government call" retire.
Yes! warm to hum,
like a soldier into war,
triumphant but not victorious.
When asked why? we say,
this is the ROAD TO FSLT.
Copyright © tutuola michael
Worked hard all his life
When I was
I remember him
Sitting in the dark
By the kitchen stove
On cold winter nights
Rubbing his calloused hands
Over and over again
Not saying a word
Listening to the voices on the outside
Whistling in the winter wind.
Once I walked
In by mistake
Breaking the silence
I asked what he was thinking about
Nothing he said
The his voice changed
Listen to me son
Everyone has a lesson
To learn in life
You’re young now
But later on
You’ll need to know
When to grab life
In your own two hands
And shake it
Until you get
What you want.
The sudden anger
In his voice
Startled me like a
Short fuse in the night
And I ran from him.
Grandfather didn’t work during winter
It was too cold he said
To work more
To buy more
Never suited him.
What he needed was nearby
A pair of old work boots
A jacket carelessly slung
Over a chair
A pair of cotton twill pants from better days
And a bottle of brandy.
For him, winter was
Meeting old friends
After Sunday Church
Congregating in the park
In small groups
Standing their ground
Against all outsiders
On days when the snows receded
And winter’s end seemed close.
Some rested on canes
Others stood tall
Survivors of another winter
Talking about this and that
And how well their grown up children were doing.
Life can go on without us
They seemed to say
To the empty park
And the gray skies
We will meet again one day
But for now
We’ll stay here until the sun goes down
And winter returns.
Copyright © Edmund Siejka
I’m not sure I understand my boss
He does it all and credits me
He makes the plan, and says I did
He works the plan, and states it’s me
Writes the report, and crowns it mine
My mysterious Boss!
He called me today
And washed me with praise
Shocked, my boss seeks to know
How did you, modest, manage
The tusks of this beast alone?
With husky confidence
He shoots my pay and says
Measure for measure, my valet!
There’s more to come.
My Boss will burn it all
The mid night wick and moil on end
First in, Last out. The office smells his balm
His cologne is everywhere
He sweats on the printer, the copier, and the phone
His ink flows, his paper is busy
The keyboard is worn, the letters have gone
He knows them by heart
ASDFGH and the index at J, he types
His seat sags and his elbow is coarse
The backrest is new, he never rested
His fingerprints are faded
Filing, citing, binding, signing, sending, recalling, working
Reading, doing, redoing, searching, researching, working
Calling, waiting, reminding, mending, thinking, working
Reviewing, checking, approving, panting, working
But he says I did, all he did
Great works, look and marvel!
They want me! Ready to bleed money
And charm me, they are down, bended knee
Abroad, the internationals are hinting
Aboard, the nationals are bidding
And Bored, the locals are winking
They want me! The postman is dizzy
My inbox congested and messengers grumbling
The deeds have spoken
And my boss is depressed
Who shall do it, says he, all the work
His hand is calm, my shoulder feels it
Go my child, my boss, your meteor is bright
And never will it set.
Copyright © peter Onyancha
One sunny morning in a class of thirty-one
They were asked to draw an image one by one
Each student stood up, with pastels at hand
Being enthusiastic to draw something grand
The first group was decided to start the task
Talents in drawing they've started to unmask
The paper came to life with colors, curves and lines
Will it end up like a garden or fields of mines?
Time passed by and the paper was almost full
Of drawings and colors made by their tools
There were animals with mustache on their faces
Each and everyone belonging to their places
Now the artwork was finished and the students sighed
Looking at the masterpiece they've done with pride
They didn't care what the paper looked like
For in their hearts it was a true work of art
Copyright © Eunice Adrados
The day of Pentecost, Church celebrated
Administered Holy Baptism
St. Peter declares
“Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”
The apostles offer baptism to anyone who believed in Fr. Christ Jesus
You will be saved
You and your household
St. Paul declared to his baptized and with all his family
Baptism is birth into the new life in Fr. Christ Jesus
In accordance with Lord God’s will
It is necessary for salvation
As the Church herself, we enter by Baptism
Baptismal grace includes forgiveness of original sin
Birth to a new life by man becomes an adopted son of the Father
A member of Fr. Christ
A temple of the Holy Spirit
Those who die for faith
All those without knowing the Church under the inspiration of grace
Seek God sincerely, strive to fulfill his will
Can be saved even if they have not been baptize
With respect to children who have died without baptism
The Church invites us to trust in God’s mercy
The angel of Lord God said
The babies are safe in heaven
Copyright © Jacqueline R. Mendoza
"Do you know such a work place
with racial discrimination?"
Asked some homo sapiens friends
who aren't so tall but with fair complexion.
By the way, you can make a guess,
if it is in your local place.
Maybe here, maybe there,
or perhaps abroad or somewhere else.
For this is an absolute experience,
for some who migrate in other places,
When it comes to work payment,
their compensation isn't that worth and fair.
Many are also asking questions,
like those with more responsibilities and work load.
"Why those workers with less but receive more?
Is it because of their color?"
However, "Yes" is isn't the answer,
especially that black and white are paid higher.
Then, they continue to wonder,
and make other presumptions on this matter.
"Aha! The sharpness of the nose maybe
and not either based on work load or one's ability."
So, they think their presumption will come more precisely
to the fact or to the reality?
But, they thought they need not to waste their money
to plan with the doctor for a surgery.
Because if they do and they're getting low salary,
their employer may think they came from a well-to-do family.
It's really hard for them to think
what is the real gauge and basis.
"Is it the height or color of skin?
Aha! It's the color of the hair, they concluded finally.
So, those poor homo sapiens friends
went to beauty parlor in nearby places.
They asked the beautician for help
and colored their hair brown, red, blond and some were golden.
After all of what they did, nothing had happened
because their reward from their effort and work is still the same.
So, they just kept calm and never ever whine again,
realizing that racial discrimination really exists.
Hence, they work harder instead
and never ever I heard their complains.
However, one of them had mention then
that they'll get more reward if they work for God in Heaven.
Copyright © Leonora Galinta
Marla was a friend of mine
I knew from working at UTMB
Over 10 years we worked together
In the department of pathology
Though we actually worked
In two different locations there
We still became pretty good friends
Leaving me memories of times we shared
Besides her friendship with me
To all, Marla was very helpful
She knew her job exceptionally well
And was always professional
Our department felt confident
As we knew Marla was the one
To work in an accurate manner
And get any task completely done
Marla attended a few SSP luncheons
We would both go there to meet
She came as my guest a few times
And we would save each other a seat
I’ll carry the memories of Marla
With me throughout my living years
I know that when it’s my time to go
She’ll be saving a good seat for me up there
Florence McMillian (Flo)
Copyright © Florence McMillian
I do not know what work there is as many feel
I have always worked with love and taste
In my teens my second home was Library
Reading Gulliver travels and one-act plays.
After getting my master’s degree in English
I got a job in the university campus as a lecturer
And never felt teaching as a work but joy there.
My house was where I could hear college bells.
My class-room lectures were for three hours
And reading at home for next day preparation.
I *dramatized great works for the college fine arts
Even I *directed those works in my spare times.
After retirement my sons look after my needs
I enjoy looking after my needs for the fine arts.
*The title of the poem is a famous
quote of Great Urdu Poet Khalil Zibran
*P.S. I shall be posting some photographs of my activities in
France and England, 1989. in my blog shortly
Eighth place winner in
Contest: The work you do in Honor of Carolyn Devenshire
Copyright © Dr.Ram Mehta
Looking at an old photo of myself at age 13,
I see a girl, rail-thin, but on the verge of womanhood.
Her hair hangs in long pigtails and she wears a modest top with shorts
as she sits posing on her brand new bike, grinning happily at the camera.
The purple bike in that picture was a Schwinn Stingray.
Not just any bike, this one had high handlebars and a banana seat.
It was just about the hottest property of any kid my age
at that time in the late 60’s when Stingray was at its pinnacle of popularity.
In our family of ten, Dad worked hard just to pay the bills.
Our bikes were second-hand, and I never had one all my own.
My new bike, therefore, represented for me, a summer of very hard work!
I’d spent a good part of my summer vacation that year
peddling greeting cards, even Christmas cards, door to door.
Each day I’d walk many blocks in the humid heat of our hilly town,
knocking on the doors of folks with no interest in ordering boxes of cards.
Some days I'd hardly get any sales at all, and always my profits were small.
Toward the end of my summer, a few large, painful boils appeared on my arms,
and I suppose they were evidence of the stress of my many hours walking.
However, I persevered, and at last I prevailed!
How proud I was to finally walk into the bicycle shop
and lay down on the counter my $45 I’d worked so hard to earn.
Never again did I have to borrow a family member’s bike.
With my purple Stingray, I could get across town to the Weed Park pool
in a quarter of the hour it normally took me to walk that distance.
Through all of junior high. that Stingray was my companion
when I would breeze down the long hill of Eighth Street to my school
and then have to trudge that hill on foot walking my bike to get back home!
Sometimes I would just take it out for fun, but mostly I used it
to ride over to friends’ houses or take it downtown, parking it near stores
while I shopped for 45’s, clothes or cosmetics,
the new items slowly replacing my thoughts of bicycling and play
as I began making money more easily babysitting or picking berries in summer.
My 13th summer soon became a vague memory
with only this black and white picture to show for it.
I don’t recall when or if that bike finally gave out on me or whether it just got tossed.
But looking again at the photo, I see not just that beautiful Stingray bike,
but also a young girl who smiles not just with happiness,
but with the pride of working hard for her very first time with an "eye on the prize!"
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich
He was all fired up
he had it all figured out
this was it, the end of us
"I need my space" or so he thought
until she entered the room
dressed totally different
to what is “her norm”
a black dress
with high heels
legs that go on forever,
he almost walked into the bathroom
mouth hanging open
"Err did you go to work like that?" he
“Yep of cause I did, I always
do,"was her reply
Uhm, it's the first time I see you
dressed like that
Nonchalantly while getting rid of her
clothes she replied,
“Well now if you more at home and
less "at work"
You’ll see me more in my work attire
then in my pajamas”
Gawking at her scanty underwear,
He saw her swing her hips as she left
Confucius Joe was left behind,
feeling less desperate for space and
more a need for closeness
Copyright © Wilma Neels
Old Rinzburger was dead,
only his wife has doubts.
Death certificate had been signed.
by the banker, his best friend,
He will soon take bids on his property.
An ancient once busy windmill
dominates the old Rinzburger place
as a memory that comes and goes
in the mind of great-grandma.
Her dementia is getting worse.
Her only child and his wife,
the last of the Rinzburgers,
have five grown daughters.
Sixteen grands smile, recalling
Gram's special Christmas feasts.
Like the old family mill
grandma is one of a kind;
she was driven by the wind
to serve her family and friends
especially during the holidays.
This Christmas may be their last
Grandma has come as a guest.
Someone brought fried chicken,
deep-fried from KFC, with lots of
biscuits and gravy and sides.
The younger male cousins
brought sacks of White Castles,
and mom picked up a couple of
salads from Kroger-deli
and Haagen-Dazs for dessert.
The winds of Christmas blow,
winds of the past, winds of the almost gone,
winds of the present, and future winds.
Will the Rinzburger fortune be lost;
will the family will drift apart?
Grandpa died last Christmas season
and the old windmill may succumb
but both memories will survive
being torn down, demolished.
Thoughtfully, a grandson asked:
"Why just tear it down?
It would make a fantastic museum?
Folks could visit and learn so much
about their ancestors' way of life.
And another spoke up:
"We could remodel or modernize it.
Maybe build an addition with electric
power. We could provide
jobs for people at a new plant.
Still another grandchild said:
"My vote is to sell it, and donate the funds
to support medical research on
would have done that for Gram."
Then Gram herself waved a fragile hand.
In one of her more lucid moments
she commended all their ideas
"The Rinzburger name may die
but your Grandpa's spirit lives strong."
He would be proud of all of you.
Two years down the road, Rinzburgers gather;
Gran left them on last Christmas Day.
Building and hiring for a new mill - well-underway.
The windmill stands in front - a museum.
AFA is slated to receive a generous yearly check
from the Rinzburger Winds of Christmas Fund.
Copyright © Reason A. Poteet
the quiet of the spring day was broken
by the noise and shouts in the fields
belching smoke the great iron beast
dropping its sharp blades into the soil
took large bites into the soft belly of the earth
warm and moist the soil yielded to the blades
as the monster moved quickly forward leaving
straight lines of soil like long ribbons
following was yet another of the beasts
smoothing the rows and carefully planting seeds
into the long ribbons of soil
the season of planting had begun
and another year awaited for the time
when the soil would give up
the long awaited harvest of its crops
the call of that grand lady welcoming all
to our shores with her message: "bring me
your hungry and tired, and we will care for them", was being answered
America's feeding of the world's hungry
had begun, and the great food basket of the country
was about to be filled
the first tender shoots began to appear -
small and fragile at first - and then with the aid
of a soft rain grew stronger and taller
looking over the fields the long green ribbons of
the manna of the soil - soybeans, corn, sugarcane and
the once king of them all, cotton, now reduced to
a lowly position due to cost and price - all were about to fill the
breadbasket of the world
the great crops of the South all in one of many fields
spread out as far as the eye could see
great green ribbons - swaying in the soft summer breeze
majestically saying to the world that the time would soon
be near to provide a filling of the baskets of the world
another season, another planting, another feeding -
the busy cycle had begun as had been done
since the earliest days of the nation
corn planter, bean puller, cane cutter and cotton picker
of the world, the great smoke belching, iron monsters of
the fields had begun their work.
rest would not be an option until the work was done
and the plates of the world filled with the products from
these southern fields
Copyright © Richard Moriarty
My ears are grander and eager
They eat a lot; infested with words
And I heard it all! Crystal clear
From masters of rumors, spot-on!
Bulls eye roomers
My new Boss is slow, slow down, and look
He wants you by froth or crook
You toil he soils; he, a spoiled vote
You strain, he claims; that way, he gains
He is strange, the new man
He works from a distance
Never there till there’s fire, when He
Comes to fire – Who lit the fire?
The workers have mastered his greetings
Happy new years – those are many
The workers bow, hug and pray
Peace be with you, in case you go
It is okay, it is well, it is fine, they hiss
With swooning souls
They know him well
Quick to hire, quicker to fire
His pay is dear, his fire – dire
He wants a worker
A worker who never swells
If he eats the venom, the Boss shall spill
But he is fine with words for now
God help me, I grapple
(Facing heaven – the right hand side – seeking the light)
Should I or Should I not
Leave this tenfold share, he wants to pay
Copyright © peter Onyancha
From the time of creation
Adam was brainwashed into
Believing that he was the brainiac
Behind the Garden of Eden fictions
Women got tired of men carefree life styles
They laid back personality, they sanctions,
And Most of all they diminished sex drives
It’s too late now, it’s too late now
Too many wrongs, not enough rights
This world belongs to everyone
Not only Your average Tom, Dick and Harry
Men and women have lost respect for each other.
It’s no longer a man’s world theatrical standards
It's more of a mad, mad world with so much mental attitudes
“I was on first; “I was here first kind of society
Some of us are human hyenas that
take advantage in human suffering
Not so hard to believe… but it is the truth.
however, it is so hard to swallow
Copyright © Annie Lander
(The rehab of a supervisor)
My eyes! Saturated
with industrial crap, eventually
to intoxicate what’s left of one’s
My sight! Shackled to the
delusion of corporate inconsistencies,
when leading one’s head through each
My ears! Burn with unprincipled
mispronunciations, after boardroom
lampoons of delinquency miss the
mark, especially when delivered
within the queerness of each
insidious secretion, only then to be
viewed with suspicion, when basking
within the formulation of one’s own
“Labeled” Non aspirant
when introduced to those
emerging within the endearment of
one’s company charter!
The blind clown of managerial youth
articulates, one score and five
not an option in this perfidious
Astute! The annual assessment
in place, only to bolster
A feedback, to aid keep one
in one’s place.
The first phase of corporate
correctiveness, complete with subtle
Barriers! Put in place to analyze
inflexible overtones, before pleading
guilty of being in possession of too
But alas! Enlightenment validated, only
if, of a positive kind.
Ah! Is this the answer! Positivity with
in this negative world, where truth has
lost its meaning in a labyrinth of
Seminar after seminar concoct to
intergrade somewhat aimlessly with
today’s intellect, corporate logic
filtered through hidden agenda, systems of
corrective surgery implanted, to keep
“Shop floor” On track.”
“I! And some, from
a bygone era, ridiculed, insulted,
with in the classroom.”
Harry Horsman for Chris D Aechtner contest
Let the mask fall
Copyright © harry horsman
It was just another December day
Not cool yet - due to global warming they say
I’d taken leave and was feeling restless at home
A bit depressed and all alone
Stepping outdoors would do me good
Walking some miles would change my mood
As I stepped outside and turned right
The sun was bright and gradually reaching its height
Past the kids I walked, who were out at play
And headed for the busy highway
Walking along the asphalt road
Past the hospital crowd of anxious faces of young and old
Crossing giant pillars rising from the ground
Supporting prefab blocks and tracks on which carriages would move around
Changing gradient and plunging underground
Carrying masses to work or passengers homeward bound
Not finding my rhythm, I retraced my steps
And headed west, to a lake which comforted me in bygone days
The park around lay ravaged by our man made ways
Trees which survived and construction equipment were cloaked in a dusty haze
The Metro eventually would connect the city’s east to the west
For now, winter’s migratory birds have forsaken this haven of roost and rest
And we are anxiously awaiting this work to end
Allow time for Mother Nature to heal and mend
Copyright © Sumit Majumdar
A two-story house stands silent,
no longer prideful of its bay window,
running water in the kitchen,
and a shower in the basement,
or of having erased memories
of shotgun houses with no heat
and back-yard water pumps.
Its blank windows stare
onto fields where cotton once grew
tall and green; where stinging dirt clods
flew from our brother's straight arm,
whose aim my sister and I could never match.
Its closed face once laughed
at red noses, dust-crusted necks, muscles
tightening under skin worn waxed-paper thin
by twelve-hour days under burning skies
and the bitter taste of ashes
blown in by a greedy little weevil.
Our minds hung heavy
with hard-packed dirt and skimpy crops
as our hoes wielded strength and hope,
our toil fueled by dreams
of emerald fields and rain-kissed rows,
our memories ripe with younger days
when we swam in creeks, bucketed
minnows, and climbed trees
in search of possum grapes.
Copyright © Cona Adams