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Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

HELLO MISTER PRESIDENT - from A Neighborhood Child

“HELLO, MR. PRESIDENT!”

We had all been issued small American flags on sticks.
Jack was on probation, as was I, but we were, reluctantly by Mrs. Mengin, finally
Let into the mix.

“Now    boys and girls    when the big black car with American flags comes by
We will all stand at attention    salute with the right hand    wave our flags with the right 
And say ‘Hello Mr. President.’”

“HELLO, MR. PRESIDENT!”

“Good!
Let’s rise and form a single line
No talking!
Jack!    I’m not going to put up with it!
Stay out of the street    folks!”

     (what’s this?    Hadn’t noticed    Hadn’t been listening all morning –
     the excited whispering    all around)
Sudden shuffle    Giggles…………………………………………………
Downstairs          Outdoors……………………………………………….

“The President is coming!”
“Down 14th Street!”

“Boys and girls!
Stay back from the curb
Against the fence!
Don’t forget what we all say
Remember to stand straight”

“Do you think he well really come by this dumpy old school?”
“HELLO, MR. PRESIDENT!”

“Shut up, Earl…………..and it aint no joke!”

………………………………………………………………………………….?

“Is he coming    Mrs. Mengin?    He should oughta be here by now”

“I…………..I can’t see him……..yet………?
I wonder?.............
Oh dear!”
A half-hour passed
                The futility of waiting began to be realized
“HELLO, MR. PRESIDENT!”  Jack laughs
“That aint him    Jack    that’s an old lady….HAW    HAW!”
“HAW    HAW………………………HAW    HAW!”

“HELLO, MR. PRESIDENT!.....HAW    HAW!

Punishing Jack was put off because of the moment’s frustration
“Alright!    Boys and girls    let’s go back inside
Hurry!
Back to work!”

Mr. Roosevelt had gone down 17th Street instead












Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

THE NEIGHBORHOOD NEXT TO MINE

The neighborhood next to mine
Oh, to see it.. it's mighty fine
Their houses aren't made with stick
They're ornate with beautiful brick
Sidewalks proudly mark their way
No overgrown ditch made of clay
Streetlights line their paved paths
Not a single pothole do they have
No better place you could ever find
The neighborhood next to mine

*In my early childhood my family of 9 was very poor and I wondered why we had to live in the "dark neighborhood" without street lights.  By the time I was a teenager my family was affluent.  But I never forgot the dark neighborhood, the best friends in the world, and being grateful for every blessing that comes my way!

Date: 9-12-14

Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

EMMA SUE'S BIRTHDAY PARTY - From A Neighborhood Child

EMMA SUE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY

She’s looking happy    for a change
“Emma Sue’s a ‘Four-Eyes”
We call her that    and other names

First a threat    the stick!
But then her Mother appears with some paper bags
Bulging within    thick

Miss Mengin’s room is at attention
So early too    then
It’s only 9:00 a.m.

The bags are placed within a closet
Then locked away
The entire    LONG    day

Her Mother wears some worried wrinkles
Says a word to Emma’s teacher    frowns
But throws a smile before she leaves for town

At lunch    on the grounds
Emma Sue    as usual    stands aside    single
Doesn’t try to mingle

But    there is something  within
Hope in her eyes
Shoulders  up    elevated chin

By 2:15 excitement of the morning seems forgot
Not so!
By Emma Sue?    Certainly not!

Both she and teacher rise together
All eyes are lifted     puzzled looks
Quite forgotten the grammar books

Girls and boys begin to whisper
‘Four Eyes’    grinning    see her cheeks bloom
At front of a thrilling room

“It’s Emma Sue’s Birthday
See what she and her mother have baked
One for each and every person    little cakes

Put your books away
No more lessons
The rest of the way”

“HOORAY!”

For Emma Sue I must say
Those tasty cakes made all the difference
Well?    At least for one day
 









Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

His Neighborhood

Of things to admire, or heroes I've known
One to consider, I wish I had known
I say "Mr. Rogers", and eyebrows will raise
Considered, perhaps, a strange man to praise
With so many to choose from, with much greater fame?
An ordinary man,  with the soft velvety voice?
Simple, and modest, you think an odd choice?

He came on the screen when my children were small
With a neighborly song, he would open the door...
He would hang up his cardigan on that hook on the wall
And change into his sneakers that lay on the floor

His presence was gentle, his manner was kind
Never demeaning to children, he used puppets to tell
Many stories, with magic and storybook rhymes
And a neighborhood trolley that tooted a bell

The postman, McFeely, and Lady Aberline...
Neighbor Aber and nice people, with warm friendly faces
Each feature, a lesson, and heartwarming feelings
Taking my children to fantasy places

Yet...more than those things....Mr. Rogers had heart
His endearing examples, the lessons he taught
Of loving your neighbor, or losing a friend
How grief could be gentled,  or when worlds come to end

He would help my children take things out of that box
When parents get tongue tied, and stumble a lot
He could kindly, with wisdom, look into their eyes
They could trust, better understand, each cloudy day sky

Why, did I pick, Mr. Rogers, you say?
Why did I cry when he left us one day?


---------------------------------------------

Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

LATE AUGUST - from A Neighborhood Child

LATE AUGUST

It’s late August    with Labor Day on my mind
Something sharp and indistinct is in the air
I sense it all along my prickled skin
My forehead    in my hair

Kids would seem to play more frantically    as though to say
“All is quit right after Labor Day.”

Denver always has a big parade
It’s really not for us
Men have traded guns for overalls
Tanks and silver helmets for baker’s    builder’s trucks
The bands are poor and few    plain-shoed players not too fine
The working men    keep tipping hats   walk in staggered lines

One good thing late August brings
A smell of football’s in the air
A roll on churchyard grass –
You’re tackled    miss a pass

There are a few good things late August brings
To soften thoughts of school opening
                                                          BUT
Mother’s busy with needle and thread
A trip downtown
To Gano Downs
The dread “Back to School Sale”
                                                        











Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

INNER CITY - old neighborhood today

INNER CITY – old neighborhood today

Not at all what it was
Not yet what it must become
Voices once so dear    drowned out
      by decadent color
Noise so disgustingly near
Sit and think longingly on old neighborhood
Shrug
Shed a tear

Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

RETURN TO NEIGHBORHOOD III

RETURN TO NEIGHBORHOOD III

Where kids had the run-o’-the-place
Noisy
Dirty
Smelly brats
In-and-out
Everywhere!
Like a shot!
There was imagination.
Games ad lib
A terrible    wonderful use of neighborhood
An awful    rollicking use of the day
Where a poor aproned mom must scrub and scrub
The tub on Saturday nights
No begging a child to go to bed
Hell! He fell asleep at the dinner table
There were bed-wetters
Nose pickers
Clothesline-tent revealings
All secret explorations not even the adult will 
    admit to

I blush in shame for just a minute or two
Oh    I fit so furtively    so sweaty    red-faced young



Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

RETURN TO NEIGHBORHOOD II

RETURN TO NEIGHBORHOOD II

There were sidewalks
The way to everywhere!
Tread of resoled shoes
Step-over cracks
Upward slabs    mountain making
Skated-on
Spat upon

There were personalities
Runny skin to lifebuoy
Screaming!
Laughing
And then    the flow
When sun     when lights
    were low
too tired to care

There was love
    slightly understood
                               but needed
those mother-eyes
the womb-warm feeling
all mixed with kitchen smells
    powder    rouge

oh    I fit so lightly
    so actively young













Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

THE BULLET TREE - from A Neighborhood Child

THE BULLET TREE

No one knows how long the bullet has been lodged in the big    old maple tree
Mr. Ailey claims he knows    but    Mr. Ailey is an old    old man
No one    till Teddy    so far as we know    ever tried to dig it out
Mr. Ailey says the growth    at last    will push it out
Ailey says    “The shot was fired at trailin’ injun’ horsemen”
He rubs the wrinkles down off his face    and says
“It was a Wells and Fargo stage    a rollin’ down what now appears yer Downin’ Street
That there tree was jist a sturdy pole when ‘Ugly Ben”    a sittin’ shot-gun fired a round
At them    them injuns”    Then old Ailey clucks his teeth
The bullet tree is just down the terrace from the deaf lady’s house
It stands on the dear lady’s property  (Mrs. Troutman)
“That there house ya see”   Ailey’s pointing with one crooked finger
“That there house useta be nuthin’ but prairie dog territory”   He coughs    spits a string
“I come huntin’ buffalo afore even that there tree was more’n a shootin’ twig
Ta git back ta Ben    Now    Ben come back one day ta see ifn he could find a shell or two
When he come upon the bullet lodged in tha tree
So he drove it in and pushed the empty shell casing in in back of it
Thet there bullet    Ya see?    Goes tat ha very heart o’ thet there tree”
Even at our age we didn’t believe half of what the old man said

Teddy tried to pry the bullet out one day
But the deaf woman crackled threats from her porch
Her voice    we thought    what a porcupine might sound like
Anyway    the deaf woman’s cackle was a bad omen    we thought

The bullet tree    at last    became a challenge
To dart    after careful observation    then
To touch the dented    weathered    circled end
Without arousing Mrs. Troutman 
 









Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

FALL LEAVES - from A Neighborhood Child

FALL LEAVES

First    color catches the eye
Yellow    tan    brown
Parented colors of sun and sky
Bronzed    gold-crusted
The breeze seeming to sift 
A finest dust into the air    to lift

Above all    a leafy hill
The PILE!
Raked by Brother, Bill
Beside the bullet tree
Mixed up by the breeze
I’m buried clear up to my knees

My first impulse was to run and jump atop
To roll around    
Yet    I flopped
Rising    quite soaked through
By the still green heavy mass
Of hidden October grass

Still it’s time to roll around
Looking upward
At the twiggy web above the ground
As a few stray leaves    given up
Flutter down
Golden yellow    milk chocolate brown

The great round trunk of the bullet tree
Reaches    its fingers bare
Standing alone so painfully    
The sky sorrows down
With here and there a tattered    black-fringed cloud
I standing     SHOUTING!    sounding comically proud










Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

BACK TO SCHOOL - from A Neighborhood Child

BACK TO SCHOOL

In 1939    give or take a year or two
Most neighborhood kids walk to elementary school
The trip is a mile    or less as a rule
No back-pack
Just the familiar    brown    lunch sack

It’s a time of brown knee-patches
Black    glue-on rubber soles
Girls in plain dresses    patched-over holes
Fingernail examination
By teacher at her mothering station

You walk along the high    wire fence
That first day back
Walk slowly     swing your brown lunch sack  
Dreading view the entry way
Recalling summer fun    those lost days

It’s not so large    not so high -
The fence – but Emerson School reaches the sky
Three stories tall
Twelve rooms in all
Though now    in retrospect    quite small

In your pocket you’ve a nickel or a dime
To spend at the school store before bell time
A nickel buys a lot of candy in 39
But    oh my gosh    a dime!
The bag’s still half-full at lunch time

Dreading that step onto school grounds
Boys lean against the high wire fence
While girls    some    squeal    seem to relish suspense
Make joyful cries
Much to the boy’s surprise

At last      The ring-a-ding     alas at last      
And we    all downcast
With lowered heads we climb the steps
Doors open wide  and fast
Then the blast!
That OILY    STIFLING    AWFUL  smell of school!



Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

The Neighborhood That We Once Knew

Illegal business trafficling
boldly on the streets
in broad daylight
so everyone can see.

The addicts are searching
high,low and even on their elbows
wondering how they're going to get
their next "hit" of crack or blow.

While the hustlers are trying
to get rid of the "hot" merchandise
that they have stolen.

all have l can't help but to see
the "once" beautiful neighborhood
now invested with all types of rodens.

Why did we, the people,
let it get this way?
It's so dangerous that 
it's unsafe even for the
children to play.

It used to be a community
with businesses/flowers in full bloom
but now you look around, you see
homes/buildings in an area invaded by gloom.

To make it better though
there's so much we all have got to do
because we all can agree that it's
a far cry from the neighborhood
that we once knew.


Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

HALLOWEEN - from A Neighborhood Child

HALLOWEEN

Frightening things
Bats
Just at twilight
Flying
Darting
Low
O’er the churchyard green
At night
Also frightening

The Baptist Church
ITSELF!
Eerie windows
Barely lit
An organ playing
Halloween music
I hate it!
Always Halloween music

Troutman’s cat
Swishes her tail
Around the bullet tree
The deaf woman calls
Sandy voice
“Tabby!    Tabby!”

The narrow way
Between the houses
Up    down
The alley
Vacant lots
With rotting
Hollyhocks

Instead of “Handouts!”
Big Bill Pritchard
Without a word
Lets the loudest 
Contra-bass
Utterly disgusting
BELCH!
You’ve ever heard

Barren trees
Finger
The sky
Poke at clouds
Have eyes
Moon
With rings
Eyes
Other black things

Wind
An old kite
Caught in a tree
Flaps its tail
Looks down
At ME!

Run!
Feet hit
Like shots
Against the wind!
Chimneys
Roofs
With goblins!
Laughing!
Crawling!

AH!
Friends!
The least
Appalling masks
With familiar voices
Behind
Run!
Laugh!
Shout! 
“HANDOUTS!!!”









Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

THE PLAYGROUND - from A Neighborhood Child

THE PLAYGROUND

It hasn’t changed much    what is seen
Except    nowadays    kids are better dressed    kept clean

There  still are those things which always try to hide
Are ever pocketed
Brought    in secret    from outside -

Outside    that is    from what the Board
Of Education
Would abide –

There are turtles    pocket knives
Horny toads    and    small reptiles
For a while derby hats were in style

The yard itself is lightly sanded
And just enough to skin some knees
Pelt the skin in chilly autumn breeze
There is a teeter totter     swings    other fun things

One need I can’t recall - decisions
A need for adult supervision
We play kick-ball    dodge ball
Both sides of the ground’s division

The games in ‘39’ are organized by kids
For teachers    parents    there is no need
Had the parents asked to watch our noisy play
We all had shouted    “STAY AWAY!”













Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

THE BULLET TREE - from A Neighborhood Child

THE BULLET TREE

No one knows how long the bullet has been lodged in the big    old maple tree
Mr. Ailey claims he knows    but    Mr. Ailey is an old    old man
No one    till Teddy    so far as we know    ever tried to dig it out
Mr. Ailey says the growth    at last    will push it out
Ailey says    “The shot was fired at trailin’ injun’ horsemen”
He rubs the wrinkles down off his face    and says
“It was a Wells and Fargo stage    a rollin’ down what now appears yer Downin’ Street
That there tree was jist a sturdy pole when ‘Ugly Ben”    a sittin’ shot-gun fired a round
At them    them injuns”    Then old Ailey clucks his teeth
The bullet tree is just down the terrace from the deaf lady’s house
It stands on the dear lady’s property  (Mrs. Troutman)
“That there house ya see”   Ailey’s pointing with one crooked finger
“That there house useta be nuthin’ but prairie dog territory”   He coughs    spits a string
“I come huntin’ buffalo afore even that there tree was more’n a shootin’ twig
Ta git back ta Ben    Now    Ben come back one day ta see ifn he could find a shell or two
When he come upon the bullet lodged in tha tree
So he drove it in and pushed the empty shell casing in in back of it
Thet there bullet    Ya see?    Goes tat ha very heart o’ thet there tree”
Even at our age we didn’t believe half of what the old man said

Teddy tried to pry the bullet out one day
But the deaf woman crackled threats from her porch
Her voice    we thought    what a porcupine might sound like
Anyway    the deaf woman’s cackle was a bad omen    we thought

The bullet tree    at last    became a challenge
To dart    after careful observation    then
To touch the dented    weathered    circled end
Without arousing Mrs. Troutman 
 









Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

A NEIGHBORHOOD CHILD

One Christmas eve    my ceiling hung
With thready webs    a glow behind
Cast lace patterns on my bed

That Yule    eight reindeer ran the covers
Then through every midnight room
I cried to mother    father    brother

All of whom had shed    by dream
Their task of season’s rush and bother
Free    but lost to my entreat

“Can’t you see them paw    prance?
Oh    mother    how they rear and point
At Santa – that jolly     Christmas    ghost”

All filmy things    once designated
Then    not real    evaporated
And I sat straight up in bed

Rubbed the cobwebs from my eyes
Memory of tinsel    candy
Presents in my drowsy head

Awake to silence    angel hair
Little men in forest dress
Imaginary pixies on the stair

And then    remembering the tree
(all hazy else    it seems    had been a dream)
The tree that by our fireplace rose

In thought it glowed above the dreamy web
Those blue    green    red    silver lights    
Had formed quaint phantoms on my bed

I’m up    on tiptoe    and carefully
Am sneaking toward the living room
(Inky blackness    don’t you see)

Don’t you see the little man
Dressed in Santa suit   belt     and boots
Spreading presents neath the tree

Now truth be known    so sorry am I to say
‘Little boy blue’ is yet in bed
Those phantom figures swimming his head

And late that eve    ceiling bright
With visions of the coming day
The wisest Angel of the night

Makes visit    singing    of the play
A song of filial brotherhood
With child invests the neighborhood

Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

The Neighborhood Barked At Midnight

Hovering
Antiquated
Perplexities
Pronounced
Yonder!

Newsflashes
Earth-quaking
Wakefulness's

Yodeling
Enrichment
Anniversary
Reward

Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

EMMA SUE'S BIRTHDAY PARTY - from A Neighborhood Child

EMMA SUE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY

She’s looking happy    for a change
“Emma Sue’s a ‘Four-Eyes”
We call her that    and other names

First a threat    the stick!
But then her Mother appears with some paper bags
Bulging within    thick

Miss Mengin’s room is at attention
So early too    then
It’s only 9:00 a.m.

The bags are placed within a closet
Then locked away
The entire    LONG    day

Her Mother wears some worried wrinkles
Says a word to Emma’s teacher    frowns
But throws a smile before she leaves for town

At lunch    on the grounds
Emma Sue    as usual    stands aside    single
Doesn’t try to mingle

But    there is something  within
Hope in her eyes
Shoulders  up    elevated chin

By 2:15 excitement of the morning seems forgot
Not so!
By Emma Sue?    Certainly not!

Both she and teacher rise together
All eyes are lifted     puzzled looks
Quite forgotten the grammar books

Girls and boys begin to whisper
‘Four Eyes’    grinning    see her cheeks bloom
At front of a thrilling room

“It’s Emma Sue’s Birthday
See what she and her mother have baked
One for each and every person    little cakes

Put your books away
No more lessons
The rest of the way”

“HOORAY!”

For Emma Sue I must say
Those tasty cakes made all the difference
Well?    At least for one day
 









Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

A Summons From the Neighborhood Association

A Summons From the Neighborhood Association

By Elton Camp

Into Fred and Penny, the letter brought fear
The Neighborhood Association tells ‘em to appear

“To certain regulations you have agreed
To them, your addition seems to exceed.”

“These rules are for the benefit of all.
For removal and a fine, we may call.”

“With our decrees you must cooperate.
Towers and turrets we surely do hate.”

“So appear before us right away
If in this area you want to stay.”

“Your house we have a legal right to seize
And then do with it exactly as we please.”

“They have no taste at all,” said Fred
“I told you to check first,” Penny said

“Those dopes can’t tell me what to do.
With their silly rules I am through!”

Fred learned the term “binding agreement”
Still, of his defiance, refused to repent 

On them, vengeance was soon wrought
And their place became an empty lot


Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

We Were Enjoying a Stroll in Our Neighborhood Just Past Dark

We were taking our nightly walk in suburbia.
Every evening after dark, the same routine-
 
Well, that night we were in for a surprise
Every light in the neighborhood went out!
Right then, I slipped off of the sidewalk.
Excruciating pain radiated from my ankle.
 
Even though I could see nothing, I reached.
Never had I felt so helpless, in my life.
Just when I was about to lose my balance again, I felt his hand.
Obviously, he saw that I needed help, I, screaming loudly.
Yet, again he calmed me, pulled me close, and held me.
I knew we had to look at my leg.
Not that it was broken, but probably sprained.
Getting home seemed like it would be impossible, ominous.
 
Almost apocalyptic!

Strongly, he shouted, “Come on, we’ll make it if I have to drag you.”
To my surprise, I felt his big hairy hands grab me.
Right as I was about to sink to the ground again,
Over his shoulders I was tossed!
Like a sack of potatoes, I hung there…not walking.
Laughing inside because I knew I was safe with him,
 
I clung on for dear life!
Not knowing what was next, and scared.

Ominous thoughts began to flood my imagination.
U. F. O. s appeared in my mind’s eye…abduction!
Reality turned fuzzy.
 
Nuclear invasions by aliens seemed factual. 
Explosions boomed all around.
I Screamed, not with pain, but with terror.
Gasping, I cried, “Get me out of here! “ 
“Hurry, please!”
Blackness everywhere and he looked at me weird.
Oh, how I wished for a flicker of light.
Raw fear was overpowering reason.
He, on the other hand, seemed to brave it well.
Often, in the past, he had shown courage, too.
Oblivious to the real world, I pounded his back.
Delighted to be safe, although half upside down!

Just then, he started hysterical laughing.
Usually, he was calm in every situation.
So, I wondered what was going on.
Terrible thoughts intruded; even shadows frightened me.
 
Practically frozen with fear, I could hardly breathe.
Afraid my heartbeat would be heard.
Sane, but wondering if I were crazy.
Trying to talk, but my voice kept cracking.	
 	
“Desperately,” I shouted, “Look up in the sky!  
Aliens are coming to get us.  We are going to die!  
Reassuring me, he said, "You are going to be all right.
Keeping hope, he took me down the dark streets to the hospital!

©February 18, 2011
Dane Smith-Johnsen


Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

BALLET DANCERS AT THE MUSIC SCHOOL - from a Neighborhood child

BALLET DANCERS AT THE MUSIC SCHOOL

Like a field of mountain flowers
Arching    bending    tip-toeing
The music?
A wonderful waltz
By Tschaikowsky
The girls
So slender
So light
Expressionless and swift

But then!
Laughing
Dash into the hallway
Costumes
Green    red    yellow
Bright white
I smile with
Mild delight

AT ONCE!
A tall    green weed
Chewing gum
Glares
Clear through me
“Get lost    PUNK!”
They bang the door
Fill the air with
Their sweaty leotards
Swan Lake continues







Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

Go Jo, Our Neighborhood Nun - Rhyme Schema

Sister Josephine, our neighborhood nun.

No longer fit for ministry; 
although she’s quit the nunnery,
she sits at our day camp nursery.
Go Jo uses every amp of energy
so as to champion or otherwise dampen
the spirit of grit in our scamps.

Sister Josephine, power shavers couldn’t stun.

Noise is born in my son.
Enjoying his horn on the run
from morn till night with the sun, 
Boy Roy is fun, delightfully won.
Toys are Sprite cans, squiggly egg whites,
old cobs of corn and badly worn kites.

Sister Josephine, our savior you’d want. 

Nursing their aches and their sprains,
reversing the stakes in their games, 
she takes on blessing their brains.
Interspersed with pain, her tests will train,
coerce and arrest their thoughts with some stress.
Her heart makes and breaks their quests. 

Sister Josephine showers favors - on good done.

Rhyming Words:

Stanza one:
no, although, Go, Jo, so
fit, quit, sits, spirit, grit
ministry, nunnery, nursery, every, energy
camp, amp, champion, dampen, scamps

Stanza two:
noise, enjoying, Boy, Roy, toys
born, horn, morn, corn, worn
son, run, sun, fun, won
night, delight, Sprite, whites, kites

Stanza three:
nursing, reversing, inter/spersed, coerce
aches, stakes, takes, makes, breaks
sprains, games, brains, pain, train
blessing, tests, arrest, stress, quests

Random rhymes in the the single lines:
our, power, showers
(neighborhood), (shavers could), (savior you'd), (favors/good)
nun, stun, want, done


 

Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

The Neighborhood Grouch

I suppose in every neighborhood there is bound to be,
An old grouch who with everything tends to disagree.
It matters not whether it happens to be a her or him;
He or she will zoom into orbit at the slightest whim!

The neighbor's pooch performed an indiscretion upon his lawn.
With that a figurative line in the sand was severely drawn.
Said he, "If again over that fence your scruffy cur hops,
Me and you will have a little chat with the local cops!"

A car flew down the street like a bat out of you know where.
All the old grouch could do was shake his fist and swear!
A kid with his boom-box on max drove him out of his mind.
The grouch told him to cool it or he'd kick his scrawny behind!

The old crab was kept awake all night by packs of barking mutts.
The sheriff he will call tomorrow, no ifs, ands or buts!
When the neighbor kids trampled all over his blooming flowers,
They scurried home to mommy as a result of his fiendish glowers!

The old curmudgeon has had many acrimonious conversations,
As upon the neighbors he has expressed his manifold frustrations!
The old grouser will undoubtedly start a heated debate,
When attempting to enter Saint Peter's Golden Gate!

Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
(© All Rights Reserved)

Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

TAKING CARE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD - JOURNAL VII

TAKING CARE OF THE
NEIGHBORHOOD
      Journal VII

“Citizen know thy
neighbor”
Yes, maybe in the
days before radio,
television,
       and the
internet      but
In today’s warped
use of indoor
activity, few,
      saving those
devoted soul-saving
souls, will
      go about
knocking on doors
No    walking along
outside,  each
cloistered   
       domicile
presents an air of
mystery to this 
       searcher
What paralysis grips
these families?
I firmly believe in
taking care of the 
      neighborhood
If each block-pair
throughout the land
were
      properly
treated to loving
care by inhabitants
      would not a
multitude of
problems be 
      solved?
One is limited to
the homeless, those
cast out
      in our
touchless, indoor
society, mainly by
      citizens
refusing to spare
time or a dime
In these last few
one is limited to
tramps, cats,
      birds and
squirrels
            


Details | Neighborhood Poem | |

A Tale of a Neighborhood and its Nightly Ritual

When the day's dark intermission begins
And the people prance off stage
Locks of wind move in
And crochet grotesqueness 
In shaded sheets shielding the moon. 

Hearts leak into the streets;
Hallowed horns belch with glee
And echo across an ether.
Phantoms ooze ice and sepulchers 
(Spectres? Or sculptures of spectators?)
Eat with their shoes off. 

Here the trees teeter 
And suck the teat of
The Great Mother's bosom. 
Here baying bicycles wind around the ground
Talking with the other flock of totter-ers. 
Here light unwinds itself
Disperses like dew in the depths of day
And here, bone dust creeps up 
From under our lawn chairs. 

Blackened figs sing howling
On burned birch sidewalks
"Who left you back at school,
Thumping into a night?"

Clawer, your sharp talons
Cornered your kleptomania
Into another sticky fingered situation,
(Zeus is that you?).  

You'll never see it quite
Like it was before
But there it is, if you
Look around a little less.