The ranch on which I hang my hat, though short on most the frills,
Is thirteen sections, give or take, of rugged trails an’ hills.
We call it ‘home’, our little world, our very own frontier,
Amongst the cattle, sheep an' goats; the varmints, hogs an' deer.
Today I watched the breakin' dawn an' whiffed the mornin' air,
A time I often set aside for things like thought an' prayer.
A Mockin'bird an' Mornin' Dove, an' other birds at play,
Were there to sing an' set the mood to start another day.
This mornin' saw the strangest thing, like time itself had merged,
An' all the souls who once were here, appeared an' then converged.
In swirlin' clouds of mist an' fog, right off the bluffs they rolled,
Till all had gathered in the glen, the modern an' the old.
The Indians, conquistadors, an' other ancient men,
The soldiers from this country's wars, an' cowboys from back when…
They all had come from yesterday to help me understand
Our link with those who came before, to heritage an' land.
A crazy notion, so I thought, that they could just appear,
But as the morning went along the reason got real clear.
They rode along with me that day to show me things I’ve missed,
The things I’ve seen a thousand times an’ some I’d just dismissed.
Those wagon roads of long ago, still evident today,
Are carved in rock an' rutted earth, not apt to wash away.
They linked the missions, forts an' towns those many years gone by;
An' left their mark for all to see, as modern times grew nigh.
The artifacts an' weathered ruins attest to yesterdays,
When others came an' lived their lives in very different ways.
We've seen their skill in arrowheads they honed from fired stone,
An' craftsmanship in beads an' tools they fashioned out of bone.
At ever turn and trail we took was something to remind,
The Maker must have had a plan laid out for humankind.
The Earth He made’s been feedin' us a half-a-million years,
An' used it's wonder, force an' change to challenge pioneers.
I do not know if they'll return or if they’ll feel the need,
But I’m prepared to ride the trail, where ever it may lead.
We all are spirits ridin’ time with bodies of the Earth,
Whose time has come to take the reins an’ offer up our worth.
The land has been the legacy we cultivate an’ reap,
The life has been the heritage our father’s fought to keep,
An’ we are bound throughout our time with those who came before,
To put our hearts and souls to it, and make it something more.
Dead men tell no tails, or so the winds of
On judgment hill from on high,
Voices do echo downwards, as the
Noose does sway, back and forth, on the
These gallows, of oaken branches, act as tethers,
Shackles, holding the forsaken, souls prisoner.
Ghost phantoms cling, to it's rotten limbs,
That break beneath times endless rampage.
Regrets fallen horsemen, of the old west,
Stand guard, sentinels on horse back,
Wearing a tarnished tin star.
God's law keepers, are branded, sworn,
By their honor, to protect even after death,
The gates of heaven, from this spawn of hell.
Beware evil desperadoes, no mercy will
This the lord's posses show unto you,
For these riders bare a different mark.
A silver cross of justice, given by
The Almighty’s hand himself.
Say thy prayers, all lawless men,
For on this day, does the rope tighten,
Around your neck, there is no reprieve,
No salvation for evils deceit.
Hell bound are thou, the devils breed.
But beware, there is no escape,
From this grave site.
At dawns first light, as it spreads
Across the western horizon.
Know that yee, are one of many spirits
Doomed, to be weaved within the
Tangled limbs, called the hang
BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN
Tea Leaves On The Bosphorus
Seated at a table by the stirring water,
My eyes absorb the shore of Asia.
Minerets and aged worn stone
Stand haphazardly along the banks.
Istanbul is a lady with secrets
She'll lure you with her unrevealed virgin beauty,
Then seduce you with her ancient lovers.
Grilled sardines filled my charger
Fish pulled from the strait just minutes before,
Lay garnished with parsley and mint .
Red pickled turnips and warm flat bread
Are the implements that help feed me
And scoop up the humus,
Turkish nourishment for my soul.
The empty plates are cleared by a handsome waiter
With dubious intentions I feared,
But I was flattered none the less.
A bowl of yogurt was placed before me,
And my admirer arrived with a comb of honey.
He held it high above the creamy cloud and let the heavy ochre
languidly pour atop the milky whiteness of delight.
After his seduction,he left me alone to my pleasure
As I lapped at the sweet and sour heavenly temptation,
that parted my lips and elevated my being.
As I recovered from my rapture, two eyes caught mine.
The heathen that destroyed my diet approached the table uninvited.
He pulled up a chair and sat down across from me.
In his hands, a cup.
He offered to tell me my future.
White, small, as fragile as an eggshell with the top lopped off.
Within was a dark tea with floating leaves.
In a chivalrous attempt at English conversation,
He handed me the libation and the offer to read the remains.
I, alone in a man's world, unmarried, and of a certain age,
Did not need encouragement and I accepted his offer.
I drained the tea in one gulp and returned it to his hands.
He placed the cup in one palm , then turned it upside down,
Allowing the remaining fluid to drip out around the cup and onto the table.
Once the cup was upright again he studied the leaves, then he spoke.
His voice was soft, at times , unintelligible
His reading was honest, and truthful, and painful.
His prophecy, amusing, and entertaining
His vision and it's accuracy were astounding.
Fifteen years later, the leaves delivered on their promise.
Long fluid lines inside the cup foretold of a marriage,
To a man who would cross a sea to find me.
Two shorter drippings were the children that now delight me.
The tea ring that he was able to complete around the cup ,
Was the warmth of a love that would soon envelop me.
I do not know?
are like my thoughts
falling down into my mind
sending goose bumps down
Their cool aftermath
cleanses me of my thoughts
of fear and uncertainty
about what tomorrows
pain may bring
They make me feel,
wet with creativity
drenched in my optimistic
raindrops, my thoughts
leave paths of pleasurable
distress, and hope of success
which road, less traveled
may be the best
Forget an umbrella
when these raindrops
arrive, I walk outside
arms open wide
Ready to Receive
the mind storm may bring
because raindrops are
as my thoughts, falling
down into my mind
sending shivers down
My brain, yearns
for the rain, to wash away
the pain, tomorrows worry
One special drop
could speed up life's clock
to the time
I can handle my own
and not dwell inside my controllers
For raindrops are,
like my thoughts
falling down into my mind
sending goose bumps
down my spine
The sun shines again
for he smiles.
The indeterminable day no longer flees or hides
for its end is sought, as is its beginning
for he smiles.
Confusion though abiding
must wait the laggard servant
scolded by the Mistress Aphrodite
for he smiles.
Want must find a different dwelling
for the moment un-housed by sweetest joy
for he smiles.
The sun shines again.
In the middle of my plain white wall
There is a plain white window
And next to my plain white window
Is where I sit in a plain white dress
On a plain white chair
And every morning the sun rises
And every evening the sun sets
I see them all from my window
They are very pretty
With many colors
And then one day
A man stops by my window
He calls to me as I sit
In my plain white dress
On my plain white chair
He calls to me to tell me of the world
That I may come and join him
But I have seen the troubles of the world
All beyond my window
And I say to him I'd rather stay
And sit here by my window
Where troubles cannot reach me
He smiles a sweet sad smile as he walks away
Though the next day he is back again
And he talks to me of grass
Of green lush grass that is soft enough to walk on barefoot
I tell him of the glass that is hidden among the blades
He just smiles a sweet sad smile as he walks away
And back again he comes
To tell me of the ocean and sandy beaches
With white sand so pure you can lay naked upon it
I shake my head and tell of the pirates
That come to kidnap young and pretty girls
He smiles his sweet sad smile as he walks away
The next day he walks softly to my window
And he tells me of a garden untouched by men
Where flowers are the size of children
And blooms reach to the heavens
He tells me of the grass that hides no glass
Of a sky that is of the brightest blue
And a stream that is so pure you can
Be unwary of drinking from it
He talks of fish and birds of indescribable beauty
All this he tells me is mine
I must only leave my window and I may see it
I shake my head sadly as I tell him
I am afraid the world holds too much danger
For even if there were such a place
What misfortunes may befall me
On my way to this so called garden
He smiles a very sad smile and as he walks away
He says that paradise belongs to those who
Take risks and battle hardships to reach it
These are the words I remember as I watch the sun set
And the next day when he comes
To my plain white window
He will see me missing in my plain white dress
On an empty plain white chair
For I have gone to walk on glass and battle pirates
On my way to paradises garden
Early one morning a group of rookie's and veteran's ballplayers emerge onto the prac-
tice field destine to began an grueling season of hardwork and a dedication to an common-
goal of Superiority. They come out of the locker room after the coach has given assign-
ment's and now everyone minds are on one accord, one agenda and together they all say to
themselve's. "The road to a Championship began when the priority to be the best", "is know
from one and all roads to success is gear towards teamwork and passionate loyalty to suc-
ceed at any means there is". Loyalty to push on through the inclimate weather, hardwork off
the field as well on the field is approachable only when a championship atmosphere surrounds
itself with ballplayer's and not attitude's disrespectful to the cause of the challenge's to be-
come the best at what you do, and do the best at what not to do. Teamwork is a do-able part
of the puzzle, but there's more to it then that. There is hunger, and then all the pieces falls
together when that hunger is fed an astronomical desire that fill-up the body and your minds
with offensive and defensive individual's that love's victory and enjoy's a desire to not finish
the race in last place. So out emerge's a champion in his relationship to his fellow ballplayers
and to his family as that of maturity and that of unlimited resources of the uncoachable en-
tangable fortitude that seperate the advantage's over the disadvantages that make his or her
teammate's reach the level of sportsmenship unseen and redeem as the fans come to see a
player that value's himself and value the diffucult task of Sunday to Sunday ability to be not
only a scholar athelete but also The road of a Champion is what make's him love to compete:
Boundaries imprison order
Free me from margins and marginal minds, my soul flies.
From behind the crimson curtain,
The skylark sings within her
Gilded cage of musical notes,
To please her dark lord and master.
Beauty's prisoner of the forsaken,
She raises her voice in clarity's
Beneath crystal chandeliers opulence.
As if a bird taking flight within
This youthful diva sheds
Her physical shackles, released
By a spiritual reclamation, of liberty's
Beyond her earthly form.
This mistress of song captures
Liberation’s heights, beyond freedoms
Escape, to soar high above the heavens.
She is set free, released within the music itself.
In the mind of the phantom, he plays
Along with the orchestra of the dammed.
A pianist of great renowned, with loves
Sweet melody, is inspired by jealousy’s
Conquest, she is his, always and forever.
The dead’s musicians, play on, with their
Instruments precisely in tune,
A delicate balancing, is each textures
Movement, it is harmony's perfection,
A Graceful sounding, carried across the
Stage of this twisted tragedy.
On destiny's piano the grand master sits,
With his candelabra lit, from loves eternal
Flame of desire.
It's light softly flickering, by gentle winds
Breeze, calling her name, Christine.
Oh angels of mercy, here the meadow lark
Singing, beneath the cobbled streets,
And sawyers chambered walls.
Love's prince does slay the beast,
As fire shatters the opera house, leaving
Nothing but ashes residue behind.
Yet in echoes voice, he screams by nights
Breath, her name once more, he calls unto her,
The phantom of the opera, Christen.
BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN
It is the blazing light show, crossing the northern skies,
Flickering rainbows shining, in radiance's degrees of texture,
Of multi-colored extremes, behold God's palate array, bursting
Forth on the horizons canvas.
A shimmering brilliance in motions eloquence, a vaporous mist,
Infused with variations shifting hues of color.
It is the true imagery of magnificence, flashing amongst the heavens
Vast divides, an ever changing masterpiece, created by the hands
Of a divine craftsman. whom lives on the heights beyond our mortal
In awe's amazement I sit in wonders after glow, bathed in such
Inspirational emotions, I'm at a loss for words of expression,
What can one say, I'm quite, a hushed to splendors silence.
On the freshly fallen white snow, it's reflective surface
Illuminates the beauty as rays of waves, that dance in
A waltz of rhythm with nature in tune, so soft a melody
That only angels can truly comprehend it's meaning.
Blessed am I so to witness, God's light show of the eternal
Flame, a woven miracle displayed admist the stars above,
How small do I feel here, in this place so remote,
But would I trade this experience, never will I.
I'll treasure this memory for a life time to come,
And ponder forever the treasure of this moment,
As long as I live.
In this cold enlivenment no shivers of cold can
Touch my soul, for the Lords warmth of inspiration.
Has ignited the poetic heart within me.
Radiant wings from which I pluck the feather's
Quilted pen from, striking the blank page before me,
The black ink, I shall drip, to write this poem
But the words will never capture the beautiful
Images I've seen this night, yet I shall try.
With imaginations help, but mortal am I.
A simple earth bound creature, inspired by
A deities mightier hand.
Humbled before this miracle called the