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Invisible Prison

Invisible Prison

I look at the wall
	I look at the floor
I look out the window
	I look at the door
No clock on the wall
	No light in the socket
Empty bottles and empty wallet
	Bars in my mind
I am tied to chair
	Longing freedom of the fresh air
Ropes hold me tight	
	Hopes have dulled my escaping knife
Empty room
	Empty soul
I look at the floor
	I look at the wall
I look at the door
	I look out the window
The ceiling is falling
	Fans twirling in my head
I stumble and fall
	Through it all
Mirrors in turmoil
	Dance in the mind
Death's sardonic laughter
	Wishes granted by the latter
Month’s later authorities will demand
	What the hell is the matter?
Red words, all a splatter
	Stoic I sit, nothing to shatter

Police Report

One	No sign of any struggle
Two	Almost looks like he froze to death
One	Door wasn’t even locked
One	No food in the fridge
Two	Odd hardly any furniture
One	Will need a tox screen to make sure
One	Looks like he just sat there and died
Two	How long you figure he was like that?	
One	Month or more, maybe even two, allot of decomposition
Two	Who called it in?
One	Neighbor, said his car had a flat tire in his driveway
One	and wasn’t moved in weeks
Two	Hey take a look at this!
One 	what you got?
Two	The freezer, full of Cash and gold
One	I'd be damned, no food and all that doe
Two	Almost feels like he was in a prison
One	Who knows? The coroner is here
Two	Ya, guess we done here, lab will do the rest
One	Lets go grab a coffee

Some people have convictions, some people have two!

Copyright © arthur vaso | Year Posted 2016

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The Redline

My room at the Hyatt 
Smelled like my ex-wife
She didn't have oodles of class
Or wasn't overly fancy
So, it must be that aroma of 
Almost masking what had
Taken place the night before
We greeted each other with
A welcoming suspicion 
The bathroom lighting flawless 
Standing in the mirror with
Perfect tan and bright white A
Khaki slacks pulled high and
Wise guy hair cut
I wonder if Capone ever went to see
The Cubbies play
Beautiful sunny day, not too warm
Plenty of room on the mezzanine
At Wrigley 
A pleasantly safe distance from the
Big middle aged guys with
Some other man's name on their back ' s
Exhaling brat breath
And beer farts 
the Windy City loves their team

Copyright © Brian Martin | Year Posted 2015

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the muse

The Muse 
I remember it well when in the summer evenings
I went to see her we drank wine and made love
Embraced we slept to morning light.
Stay with me she said to rest a bit longer I will serve you tea
No, I wanted to go home savour the night in privacy 
Feed the dog, go for a walk and write about my love for her.
It ended like a morning dream; she had found a man who 
Drank her tea and stayed with her till he was too old
And she sent him to an old people’s home.
She had been my muse lives in my poems, but no,
I didn`t want to stay with her a painter rarely marries his model 
But she will always be there hanging in some gallery 
Or on the wall in the lobby of some hotel.

Copyright © jan oskar hansen | Year Posted 2016

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Seated at the right hand of the father

at hiding 
won't know to look at
embarrassment, worse than bad breath

must have smacked my head against something
when I was playing good cop, bad cop
and I was the suspect
guilty of something 
no doubt

for interrogation
on why 
we didn't finish everything on the plate

to the experts
on why 
this sorta thing keeps happening 

to a low spot 
on the carpet
that better get clean Right Now mister

Taken down 
to the Department of Motor Vehicles 
where you flunk the eye test 
because you've got a 
something or other 
which explains a lot

Like why I left,
why I lean left
dress to the left
get left holding the bag
feel left out
but don't see left 
because father is always right  
father is right handed

Copyright © Patrick Boyle | Year Posted 2013

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Putting on the Ritz

I pulled up to the Stork Club in a bright Red Coupe Deville. I must admit I felt a bit of pride as I tossed the bell hop the keys. I said "Keep it close Kid!". As he sat behind the steering wheel, I admired the way that the chrome reflected the street lights. I walked towards the entrance and the bouncer motioned me to the front of the line. I smiled and pressed a twenty into his palm, he didn't crack a smile but he did open the front door for me. 

At the entry a pretty young thing took my hat and coat, her smile made up for the doorman's lack of exuberance. She handed me a ticket and I slipped a twenty down her ample cleavage, she didn't seem to mind. In fact she said "My name is Hana and I finish at One." I said "That's good to know doll face."  

There was a large mirror and as I adjusted my tie, I thought "this Havana white suit suits me just fine. I liked the texture of the fabric and somehow the whiteness made my baby blues pop! I walked up to the bar like I owned the place, I ordered "A Scotch on the Rocks." The bartender winked and said "Right away sir." A cigarette girl came by and I ordered some Camel's. She opened them for me and I peeled another twenty of my roll and said "Keep the change."  By this time people where starting to take notice. A gorgeous dame sitting at the bar asked me "Are you going to buy me a drink?" I played it cool and said "Maybe"  she looked surprised, I guess that wasn't the reaction she was expecting. She looked intrigued which was exactly what I was hoping for. I tapped my pack of camels on my forefinger and two cigarettes came out. I offered her one and she put it up to her luscious lips. I removed a gold plated lighter from my pocket and starred deeply into her eyes as I lit her cigarette. She starred right back and I thought "This couldn't be going any better."

All of a sudden there was a big commotion at the front door. I looked up and the Bell Hop was pointing in my direction. There were two uniformed officers with him and they were heading in my direction. I could have ran but instead I reached for the dame and gave her a huge kiss on those luscious lips. I then turned and put another twenty on the bar and said "Give the lady a drink." A moment later my face was pressed on the same bar and handcuffs were tightly fastened to my wrists.  I guess in the end I gave all these fancy folks somethin to jaw about. In the morning they will be reading all about me. A great story to tell the grand kids.

For Cecelia's Dramatic Dialouge Contest.

Copyright © Richard Lamoureux | Year Posted 2015

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The Battle of South Chicago

The freeze has brought them to a winter night
they've made themselves, forgetting what is right,
and though they see their children cry
there's not a one to reason why,
nor think upon, enough to see the light.

Add to this chaos, we have paved the way
for men of opportunity to play
and build their fortunes from it all,
while winter makes its morbid call,
and brings another dark and longest day.

There's no repent for killing as it's done,
and no resistance to it going on,
just hate on hate that only grows,
the hint of peace that never shows,
with lots of blame, enough for everyone.

Their truth is what a baby hears
but laid to rest in later years,
their war is not defined; it just goes on.

© Ron Wilson Arbuthnot
aka Vee Bdosa the Doylestown Poet

Copyright © Vee Bdosa | Year Posted 2016

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                              [] W I L L  W E  S E E  T H E  C U B                            
                              []                                              S
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                              []          H     G  C     A              N                                    
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                              []                     N     5
                              []                    I        JU  
                              []                TS    '69   S
                              []               A               T 
                              []              C                 A G
                              []                 K    A          H
                              []                    C   L       O
                              []                        B         S            
                             GO                          O     T
                           CUBS                      N         OF

      written by Dan Cwiak

      written: 10/15/15      updadted: 10/22/15

      for:  Creative Layouts Contest, Sponsor: Broken Wings

Copyright © Dan Cwiak | Year Posted 2015

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the refugee

A Refugee 
He had been given a lift by a Lithuanian truck driver
to a little town in inland Norway where the winter 
starts in September and is cold and unforgiven as its 
inhabitants. The truck driver had given him money 
for coffee, and cigarettes.
Not dressed for winter this swarthy unshaven Levant 
perhaps Iraq, a flotsam from a war caused by black
 stuff that came up from the earth and cursed them.
He walked into the railway station had a coffee but sat 
So long a guard came and told him to leave.

In the waiting room, he felt strange, sweated needed air
went outside to cool down and collapsed, pneumonia and
lack of nutrition an ambulance arrived people gathered
Around, bloody refugees get everything for free someone
in the crowd murmured. 

Copyright © jan oskar hansen | Year Posted 2016

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I Am What I Am

I am what I am, not what you'd like me to be. I see, do, & believe in all that I believe, do, or see. I'm not on this earth to impress you. I'm a Chicagoan but no I will not finesse you. I leave distress clues for fools; clue's that blue wouldn't even be able to get through. My rule of thumb: NEVER BE DUMB, KNOW HOW MUCH YOU'VE RUN, AND ALWAYS COUNT UP THE SUM! Just because people see me living in a city full of Sun, by no means does that mean my life is full of fun. Sometimes I move like the beat of a drum, erratically; but fantastically I'm FREE! No, I don't live in a tree and no I'm not a bee; I won't sting. But as I continue to write it feels like I sing. I'm so focused and this ain't no joke. Where's the remote so I can change the channel! I'm tired of watching mammals act like animals. Seeing them destroy things like they own things! This is it, I've had my fit; my fair share of all this foolishness. No! I won't be who you want me to be, I'm blind; I can't see what you want me to see, it's my mind; I'll believe what I wish to believe. At the end of my time, I'll still be who I am, not who you thought I should be!

Copyright © Michael Bradford | Year Posted 2015

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If you procrastinate, it may be because you're afraid of fate. You have no faith, so you wait until its too late! You take for granted all the good that could happen!

I hear people state, "well it's never too late" but why wait? Are you afraid that you don't have what it takes?

Excuses are abusive! People use them because they feel that they will lose, when in all actuality all they needed to do is begin, finish, and win! I say that with a grin, because when I put my best foot forward I accomplish all that I put in.

Then there's still the "unbelievers!" The fevers of society. They will sit back and rack their brains over all the skills they lack. Breaking their backs over useless facts. Jack and Jill went up the hill, but they didn't do that by sitting around smoking crack.

There is no pill that will jump start ambition. Its starts within, as you blend your conscious and subconscious attitudes, you gain the latitude to do what you must do. Only losers procrastinate, they will literally wait until it is just too late.

Don't hate those who become great! They let nothing stop them, no excuses of being broke or overweight. We elaborate our faith, never take breaks, and we always make the date. Last and certainly least, they never procrastinate!

Copyright © Michael Bradford | Year Posted 2015

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I Wanted To Get Away

I Wanted To ‘Get Away’   
By Curtis Johnson

Without naming the company, one of my favorite commercials use to be the one featuring ‘embarrassing moments' and closing with the question, “Wanna get away”?  Many years before those commercials were conceived and popularized, I had such a moment in one of my college classes.  It would have been a great time to get away, or disappear, or for a fire drill moments before, or for “The Rapture”.

The class size was no more than 15 plus the teacher, who was a rather friendly and smooth character. I think that it was my second year at Bible college where I was studying for the Gospel ministry.  This was most definitely a required class for anyone seeking to be a public speaker.  So I was well suited to excel in my Homiletic class, or so I thought.  I did fine later on during the year and more that just pass the course.

But for some reason on that particular morning, when it came my turn to stand before the class and preach my sermon, I bummed out.  My subject matter was fine, and my three points were well defined and organized, but just after the introduction of my message, I froze and forgot everything.  The teacher and the class were great and very supportive. I do not remember if I managed to pull through it or whether I was forced to sit down.  What I do remember is that, in spite of the kind spirit in the room, I was very embarrassed.

Yes, I became a pastor and preached hundreds of sermons and spoke in public on many other non church functions.  No, the ‘freeze’ never happened again, and I suspect that I was to ever remain humble and never think myself to be a great speaker.  And also, one embarrassing moment was more than enough for me, and I think that I learned my lesson well.  09282015

Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2015

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A Life Changing 'Misdial'

A Life Changing Misdial

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost’s “Road Not Taken”, which I read for the first time in high school.  I read it again just moments ago, and I was reminded of a similar experience that happened to me many years ago.   There are millions who identify with Mr. Frost’s poem.

Years ago, I made a phone call at Crane Jr.  College in Chicago.  It is presently Malcolm X College. The call was prompted out of a conversation with a neighbor and friend about future prospective schools for my education.  Little did I realize that the call would change the entire direction in which I was headed, and alter the course of my life both physically and spiritually.

Up to the point of the call, figuratively speaking,  there was simply one road who’s sign simply read, “You need an education”.  I was content with the road that I was on at the City College, and the next road that I was about to consider, unlike Mr. Frost’s, did not diverge.  The road continued forward, but I swished to a completely different road.  The courses that I took at City College certainly have served me well throughout my career and into retirement.

In the road analogy, the two schools were built for different reasons and purposes, and therefore were never intended to diverge; and the likelihood of their merger was remote.  However, there were certainly forces at work on the second road that  guided and enticed me to completely exit and enter that road.
Long before there were cell phones, there were phone booths and landline telephones; and I was a young man of 18 with near perfect sight and steady hands.  I had the ‘right’ phone number and a dime in my hand, but yet somehow I ‘misdialed’.  Or did I?  Both schools had initials of C B C.  Therefore, what for years I assumed and thought to be a simple mistake, has in my latter years given me great peace and solace that God in His infinite Providence was guiding and directing me all along.  The phone call that appeared to be a ‘misdial’, in reality was a proper dial by an unseen hand other than my own. 

Before I discovered the second road, there were two phone numbers and two schools.  There was the number I was given for the school I wanted to explore, and there was the number of another college that I never knew existed.  You guessed it.  I enrolled, attended for four years, and graduated from the ‘Never Knew Existed’ school.
04242015 PS Contest, Something Seemingly Insignificant And  Unexpected Changed My Life

Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2016

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My School

The place where I used to stay,
I used to learn and eat and play,
My so many friends and toys
The shared sorrows and joys
The childish quarrels we had
Hitting each other like mad
The teachers' great helps
Our unnecessary yelps
The care and love and courage
Preparing us for the future age
The fun we got
The fights we fought
All these are the memories I weave
My school, I will one day leave...

(A very old piece of writing retrieved from my school diary..)

Copyright © Shilpa Chaganti | Year Posted 2017

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Growing up just outside the CHI I would spy Always wondering what lied inside Waiting for my turn to slide Then I got the call homie Bob had died While chasing a sack inside No time to say goodbye I cant lie I cried while I was high Putting on my tie to see him lie Smoked till I was fried my tears finally dried Now I'm back on stride On my way to find where they hide So they can all die that's my way to say bye
First time in the CHI what a sin Getting redemption for my kin with a grin I knew I would win Then everything started to spin As the bullets sprayed against the tin Hoping I killed the twin Now I'm always sipping gin with an unlocked pin And the lights dim feeling sad for him As I wake not knowing my fate there's a sudden quake Am I to late what a mistake Just need to focus on whats at stake And not flake like the rest of these fakes Do it for my families sake No time to wait cant hesitate Don't want to be late Need to escape the state of hate That's sealing my fate Wishing I would have kept a clean slate

Copyright © Jeremy Smith | Year Posted 2017

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Hat wairers

Hat wairers are people too . 

We deserve equal rites just like the females & 

The black fokes du ! 

We deserve Freedum frum the fashion fashists ! 

And the church-o-holix hoo wish 2 bash us ! 

Weed like 2 form a raynboe koelayshun !

Or maybe even an intyir hat wairers nayshun !

Weed rather wair hats then go 2 church ,

Weed rather wair hats then have lunch with lurch .

Even Jessie Jackson sumtimes wairs hats ,

So all u religious finnattix think about that !...

Copyright © John Hall | Year Posted 2016

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A Place Called Destiny

Deep in the little boy’s heart, he was thinking about a place called destiny. 
His environment provided too little hope for a future of building a family.

When he was young, most of his decisions could not be made on his own.
From his home, he observed how people lived, love, and how they roamed.

It appeared to him that when those above his age finished high school,
invariably, they would head North as if it was the Southern Rule.

They had little reason to remain in the community where they were born.
Work was very hard, and the wages too low for harvesting cotton and corn.

Yes, he took the same route traveled by all the others hoping for a better life.
Though he had no intention of remaining, it was there he met his wife.

Although the Mid West became the second home to him and his family;
so deep in his heart, he was still looking for a place called destiny.

And so it was that he went to a place he never wanted to go;  his future plans
were changed because he never went to Texas where he had purposed to go.

O, he understood that destiny is not simply a place of geography.
And indeed, heaven is the final destiny at God’s chosen arrival time.

Destiny is not just a place we are going; it is also a person we are becoming.
Destiny is also a state of being and a fulfillment of the ultimate purpose.

Attached to our purpose is a process so subtly added to our employ.
And there is a journey in the mix that we must learn to enjoy.

Many years have come and gone; and, I have lived here and resided there.  
Through the good, the bad, the ugly, God is always there with loving care.

Therefore, I am filled with confidence that my present journey is being guided by God, and will without fail, usher me gently to that place called destiny.
04062013; 11302016 PS Post; Contest, Any Poem NA'D June-July'17,Janice Canerdy, entry 8/30/17;June Standard, Brian Strain;NA
June Premiere Contest 05312017, Brain Strand; NA

Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2016

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Long Distant Love

The college town of Evanston was where we first met.
It was the summer of 1970, when Mr. Nixon was president.

It would be two years later before we’d be married;
And we were forced to be long distance lovers.

Before the internet and wide use of cell phones, we made                           expensive landline calls, or otherwise wrote letters.

Yes, we did ‘the otherwise’ and wrote letters between the lakes.
My lake?  Lake Michigan in Chicago. And hers?  Winona Lake, Indiana.

The letters are most revealing of two people engaged to be married.
They portray simple facts, figures, people, places, and things.

One of the envelopes reveals a postal date of March 8, 1972,                         and a .08 postage stamp with the face of President Eisenhower.

My future wife indicated that it arrived the very next day.
This was long before Fed Ex and US Postal Next Day Express.

It seems that some things, like mail, take longer now and rises in price;
But life and love were simple and beautiful then, as we read our letters.

Between weekends; between two lakes; and between two states;
Love and romance were sweet, even though separated by some 90 miles.

Long before Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, there was love and romance.
Long before the instant gratification of email, there was long distant love.

Yes.  The love was tried, but it thrived.  The time and space were long.
Moreover, the love not only survived, but has lasted more than 40 years.
10122016 PS Contest, Long Distant Love, Nicola Byrne

Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2016

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Chicago's Sin

Another body dropped as the evil ran through the night 
He was on a spree to start a war 
The screams blistered the silence 
As the metal hit the floor, 
As the metal hit the floor. 

Red and blue blind the darkness 
The sirens piercing the hidden and fleeing 
Feet splashing in rhythm 
Their breathing turning ragged, 
Their breathing turning ragged. 

T.V.’s light up with another face 
Another cell grows crowded tonight 
Never a smile always a frown 
The bail isn’t ever going down, 
The bail isn’t ever going down. 

Phones ring like a symphony 
The room is filling up and draining out 
New and old faces enter with disgust 
Crying and yelling is all too familiar, 
Crying and yelling is all too familiar. 

Jailed and killed is never a shock 
Growing crime is always ends in a record breaker 
The defenders of the city never sleep 
More evil is always lurking within, 
More evil is always lurking within. 

The innocents and guilty are no longer separated 
Heads looking over shoulders at every street corner 
From the alleys to the roofs 
A trigger is pulled and a man has shot, 
A trigger has pulled and a man has shot. 

The beginning could be the end 
The young dying younger 
Pounds of sin infect the mind 
The parents spend and their children suffer, 
The parents spend and their children suffer. 

Silent night is all but a myth 
For sirens, shots, and screams invade the midnight 
Those soundly sleeping leave both eyes open 
An intruder knocks at the bedroom door, 
An intruder knocks at the bedroom door. 

The black of night shadows the filth and carnage 
The sun shining brightly, 
Spotlighting the aftermath 
Clean up is ignored and the nightmare pushed aside, 
Clean up is ignored and the nightmare pushed aside. 

Through the city a flame ignites 
The sky filled with many chills and frights 
Angels take the sinless away 
The demons and criminals come out and play, 
The demons and criminals come out and play. 

Time dances by as it glances near and far 
Storms bring more destruction all around 
The flames rage on like a burning chariot 
So many men, women, and children who need to be found, 
So many men, women, and children who need to be found. 

Years go by and it’s all the same. 
Goodbye to the days, weeks, months, and years 
They smile their last smiles 
It’s nothing but a lie to cover up the pain, 
It’s nothing but a lie to cover up the pain. 

Down go the buildings as they fall 
Bomb after bomb, the villains wicked song 
Just another incident 
Who cares just walk by, 
Who cares just walk by. 

This is the life of all who live 
In a city known for its extraneous crime 
Where every cent is stolen, penny and dime 
Those who fear are just brand new 
The slaughter takes some getting used to, 
The slaughter takes some getting used to. 

Copyright © Marek Stryker | Year Posted 2016

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The man in the waistcoat

West coast, east coast 
This question is for you in the waist coat
What about us in the mid-west?
People like to boast 
Pork and beans and roast beef
And other simple stuff
Like dumplings and toast
All the things that perish with the eating
Sleeping through productive meetings

I know you think I'm tripping
But get a grip 
I'm also guilty. No kidding
You ask me how I know all this
And the answer is simple
I saw you sitting under the fig tree
Go figure, you are the whiz kid
But in a moment I'll clue you in

You say people look like trees walking
Singing twisted lyrics about feelings
You say you just want to make a killing
No hard feelings
It's all about the Benjamins
Images of bags filled with greenbacks 
But I doubt it, and I'll tell you about it
Some are drowning

Runaway notions about emotions
I see you loud and clear 
You'll have to know I'm not far but near
You keep on causing commotion
With your explosive concoctions
Contorting misdirected souls

She sang beautifully in the choir 
But is now hooked on synthetic fire
Unfettered thoughts and desires
I hope you feel my ire
Tooting horns and screeching tires
Choo-choo, there it goes
Iron centipede

Runaway train speeding across town
Stop the world I want to get on
Collection of lost souls chasing a lost cause
Moving fast, hurtling past, grabbing about
Hoping to get their name announced
Jostling for their name to appear somewhere
Stop the car I want to get on
Get me on the fast track, I'm going nowhere
Stop the train I want to get off

Copyright © Kenny Gwena | Year Posted 2017

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Fool's Gold

On the main floor of the bus station in the windy city,                                      I was being fooled, and my deceiver was going for the gold.
He was a con artist straight from the heartless streets of Chicago.
He spotted me long before I saw him, but I never saw him or ‘it’ coming.
I was an innocent naïve 17-year-old, straight from the Delta of Mississippi.
Where I was from, no one lurked, stalked, or skimmed to take advantage of me.

Like Eve in the Garden, I was alone,                                                        and an easy prey for anyone set an on evil deeds.
Like Eve, I was told what to do, but the deceiver                                      was much more clever, and twisted things around.

Also like Eve, I listened to the lie of another, and before I knew it,                   I was believing his words and handing him a five dollar bill.
He was a pretender, but I learned the hard way to discern                              the difference between the reality and make believe.

Fast forward nearly 30 years, and the picture looks very different.
By then, I had learned about a brassy yellow material that looked like gold.
On a hot summer’s day, on my delivery route, I took a break on a river bank.
I stood on the banks of The North Folk of The American River in California.       The clever deceiver was not human, but it sparkled and looked like the real deal.
I picked it up, and in a way I said, “You can’t fool me.  You are ‘fool’s gold.”
11162016 PS Contest, But It Was Not Real, Lewis Raynes. Pl 8th

Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2016

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My Chicago Bike

My Chicago Bike
By Curtis Johnson

There was once a Christmas past,                                                             that never seemed to last;
Just like everything else,                                                                           that slowly came,                                                                                    and quickly passed

I prayed and prayed,                                                                                that I would be granted,                                                                       wheels that ran fast.

I desired a bicycle,                                                                                   for fun and play,                                                                                        not to improve                                                                                         my daily task

But a bike for my great desire,                                                                never came to pass,                                                                                 not even for Christmas

I grew up and moved on                                                                         away from home,                                                                              forgetting the wheels                                                                                   I wanted to own.

A licensed driver now,                                                                                   living in a much bigger town,                                                                        of loud and massive sounds.
But still I bought a bike                                                                             with money of my own;
Not for fun and play,                                                                                but to go to work,                                                                                   and to get around

Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2015

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Time And Space

Time And Space

In the class rooms from the very first grade,
we played with trucks and toys in the sand box

We learned side by side to read, write, and do math
At recess, we took to the swings and merry go rounds

We were just boys, so far removed from becoming men
For a long while, it was simply about friendships and sports

At seventeen, separation began as I set sail in search of my new world
Years passed and opportunities knocked; the space between us stretched

No one told me how time and space would separate our lives
Some of us went North, searching for a better life in The Windy City                

There were a few who stayed close to home, in their familiar South.
Dreaming of sweet fruits, some went East toward The Big Apple.

And me?  I went every direction until settling West, where eagles nest.
No one told me how time and space would separate our lives.

From 2000 miles away, I have sadly gone to too many funerals.
Does knowing the ‘pain of distance’ make a difference? Only God knows.

From a distance, I have gladly returned for far too few family reunions. 
For nearly forty years, from The Golden State, I have visited family and friends.

But I have been partitioned from friends, unseen since early childhood.
No one told me how time and space would separate our lives.
06092016  PS Contest, Distant Things, by John Lawless

Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2016

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One Night In Chicago

 In the black of night, it was an uninviting neighborhood; but there I was, all alone. During the day, all seemed trouble free, but the darkness creates a whole new world. Even though new to the community, Why did I not know to be vigilant at nightfall?  At nineteen, whether naïve or unthinking,  I paid the painful price via a strong armed robbery.  On that one summer’s night in the early 70’s,  I lost the $90; but I gained a sense of focus and sheer determination that  have served me well for a lifetime.

I was simply one among thousands who were victims of crime in the big cities.
I was also among the many who refused to be immobilized by the fear of criminals. What was it within me that compelled me to carry on with my plans for the night? Why did I not rush home in panic mode, and lock myself inside until the break of day?

There is a “God planted” device in the human spirit that overflows with sheer determination. There lies within the human psychic a mentality that will not be bullied into a lock down zone. Conscious or not, there is a voice within us saying, “I’ve got people to see and things to do”.  ‘There are people who need me; I’ve got places to go”.   “Fear can’t bind me; so stop me if you can”.

That is why I was able to go home, freshen up, and walk right out the door to catch another bus on those same dark and dangerous streets.  Recovering drug addicts on the North side of town were waiting to go to church that night; and as a volunteer driver, it was my job to take them.

There was nothing different or special about me; Like me, thousands on a daily basis refuse to be held captive.  My bold and small framed grandmother would have said to me, “Do not be afraid. Get on it, and get it done”.

07242015 PS Contest, In The Dark, Russel Sivey

Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2015

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An event horizon,
Mysteries of the sun,
Love is the foundation,
Look at what we've done,
Ending our beginning,
A generation of greed,
Be careful what you wish for,
Sower of the seed.

Copyright © Leonardo LoBianco | Year Posted 2015

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Voice Of America - VOA

It's the cadence we hear.
Even when we're not near.
That's smooth soft slang.
As if there, phone rang.
Just so worthy to listen.
Even when you're beside the kitten.
What an incredible sound!
Which makes us sit around.
An advantage to the continent of Africa.
Yes, it’s the 'Voice of America'.

How marvelous when broadcast on-air!
How spectacular when broadcast on-line!
At the office, when you sit on the chair.
At the school, when student can't decline.
It's obvious the news is made simple.
Which make the smile reveal the dimple.
The record lies in history.
And it's easy to tell the story.
An institution to all names which end with 'ca'.
Yes, it’s the 'Voice of America'.

Copyright © Ike Boat | Year Posted 2017