October: I'm eighteen, shortcutting home
through an autumn-burnished churchyard -
copper-lustred leaves, moss-skinned stone -
a jaunty swing of skater skirt and arm,
college folder square-sturdy in my hand.
In the moment. In the last pale pulse of sun.
"Hey, can you tell me...?"
I halt. I turn...
Cold earth. Colder blade dimpling my skin.
My coral cameo earrings scatter,
daisy-dotting the green.
My back is spiked by needles of yews.
Sun skews, sky side-slides
until his face is the firmament.
I'm staring into the tumid blank-bloat of blue;
the ground hardening beneath me,
the death-spike trees stiffening.
Heavy Special Brew breaths.
Grubby, moist fingers
like grubs crawling over my breasts,
and, weirdly, I'm smelling pepper -
horror-spice of pungent lust,
its acrid nose-thrust -
and woodsmoke is drifting from somewhere...
of searing words - his words -
blazing like the umber tumbling leaves.
Fear-forced bargaining, but I'm beyond care.
And I'm aware
of the church steeple rising,
its phallus penetrating sky.
The tilting church could topple
as tears crystal-crush in my eyes.
Fear-faint, already half gone
in a soundless scream, my muted mouth
mouths silent goodbyes
to Sarah, to Mum.
Time slows to a crawl.
I try to call. Nobody comes
but the man who has me ground-pinned.
Bleachy stink of semen
whitening my ripped skater skirt,
but some things don't fade
and there is no clean in this, just dirt,
wet leaf-mulch, shame.
Sacred soil is soiled, sullied.
Stunned, I stumble
into the trees and heave
into the mud, into the leaves
strings of spittle-sick,
my thoughts strung out,
reality spun out.
From stinking, pulped leaves I retrieve
crushed coral earrings,
my white court shoes
that whitely scream the 80s,
the scattered tatters of essays -
white, like fallen feathers, sunk in the sludge,
muddied, the red-inked words bloodied.
I gather them together.
forward into my future, stained from pain
and tainted touch, the smears of fear, self-disgust.
And oozing slime-soft into my ears
the mire of incongruous apology: I'm sorry
don't tell anyone - I won't.
Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2016
T'were the night after Christmas, 'n' the house was all dark.
Not much money for 'lectric in the ol' trailer park.
Ma waitin' tables at the club on the base,
jist me and my sisters alone in the place.
A big ol' blue norther, t'were a hard winter storm.
We's all snuggled up close, jist tryin' ta stay warm.
The trailer's as cold as a well digger's ass,
cause they come out that mornin' and turnt off the gas.
I shore kinda hated to git out of that bed,
but ol' Mother Nature made me git up, instead.
I'd gotta go out if I wanted a leak,
'cause the toilet had bin all plugged up fer a week.
Outside it 'peered warmer, which was a suprise.
As I peed on the tree, sumpin lit up the skies.
Them lights shined down on the yard, and I froze.
Shore prayed it warn't one of them weird UFO's.
As I stood thar turnin' round and around
there was white stuff fallin' and coatin' the ground.
I grabbed a big buncha it up in my mitts.
I thought it was snow, but turnt out it were grits.
I heared a big motor runnin' up overhead
and down come a monster truck painted all red.
It bounced on the front 'n' bounced on the back,
then the driver clumb down 'n' grabbed a tow sack.
He was white-haired 'n' husky, with red overalls,
long ZZ Top whiskers 'n' blood-shot eyeballs.
A red John Deere work cap was perched on his nut
and a WalMart white T-shirt half-covered his gut.
He look like he just come off'n the farm,
'cept fer them tattoos of elves on his arm.
As I stood around there jist like a complete dick,
he says, “Boy ain't you gonna say crap to St. Nick?”
“Yes siree Bob”, says I, “I got sumpin to say.
I'd shore like ta know where you was yesterday.
The toilet's stopped up and we's all out of heat,
ain't got no money and they's nuthin' to eat.”
“I was fixin' ta make it on time”, he then said.
He look kinda sheepish, and hung down his head.
“But I stopped at a bar when I finished my rounds.
And run inna St. Paddy at the Hare 'n' the Hounds."
"Ya know that he's the very best pal of St. Nick.
But there's none who can put 'em away like that Mick.
And the next thing ya know, we's over at Chances
Where that Tooth Fairy is doin' ten-dollar lap dances.”
“The Tooth Fairy a stripper? That done give me the chills!”
“Yessir”, says he, “Where ya think she gits all them bills?”
“Jist a minute”, I goes. “Where's the reindeer and sleigh?”
He turnt even redder, and then looked away.
“Well, we had a poker game goin', I thought I would win.
I was holdin' four aces and bet everthang in.”
There was a palpable silence, a terrible hush.
“Then that damn Easter Bunny laid down a straight flush.”
“Well, I cut cards with a redneck and won me that truck
But as for the reindeer, they was squat outta luck
They throwed a big barbeque, and cooked 'em up slow
But I must say them reindeer's good eatin', ya know?”
No Dasher, no Dancer, no Prancer and Vixen!
No Comet, no Cupid, no Donner and Blitzen!
For hung on that red-painted monster truck's nose
was eight pairs of antlers, lined up in two rows.
“Anyway, I brung vittles for you and the girls.”
And out of the sack he pulled seven skint squirrels.
“I jist bagged 'em thar in yer neighbor's back yard
Fry 'em up well, boy, with plenty of lard.”
I goes, “Them squirrels is rilly fine eatin' fer shore,
But ta git past tomorrow, we's gonna need more.”
says he,“Well, I's a bit short on cash fer today.”
And he give me six lottery numbers to play.
Then up drives my ma with bad blood in her eye
Draws out her six-shooter, jist primed to let fly.
Then lowers her arm down and commences to bawl
says, “I love you, you bastard, you tol' me you'd call!”
He says, “Boy, looks like it's not healthy to linger
Sticks his mitt out 'n' goes “Just pull on my finger.
The truck is fer you, son. I bid ya goodnight.”
And on a column of wind, he plumb riz out of sight.
I feels fevered and flushed as I stands there in awe
And I reckons this redneck St. Nick was my paw.
A voice far-off hollers, “Merry Christmas, now, y'all!
Then adds, “Don't fret none baby, jist wait fer my call!”
P.S. Them lottery numbers worked out good. We
bought a double-wide on our own lot 'n' a giant
TV and had still had lots of money left over fer
me to go to big rig truck driving school and Ma
to that there beauty college. And on top of that
a Nigerian guy is going to deposit over a million
dollars in my bank account.
Copyright © Roy Jerden | Year Posted 2013
Scurrying on my way home, a little leaf catches my eye, and I am compelled yet again to slow down.
a whirlwind of thoughts
compete with swaying of trees~
lone leaf on my shoe
I am not sure exactly when my fascination for falling leaves started, there is just something so beautiful and artistic in which they drift to the ground....I recall one particular moment in my college literature class when my professor inquired into my choice of the word "wither" in my leaf metaphor for a dying old couple.
My explanation involved telling him that for me, that particular word had a certain gracefulness to it, and that was how I saw that couple in their twilight years. But I deviate, for I merely intend to write about the interesting tree that I saw the other day. I do not know what species it is, but it bears its berry-like fruits on its branches and it has cordate leaves.
barren branches touch
newborn leaves on other side--
a paradox tree
A smile languidly forms together with my memory of seeing that same tree six days post double-faced state. It proudly donned a full crown of leaves in less than a week. With this image in mind, I can’t help but feel mystified, with the constancy and dichotomy of change….It seems like everything around me is continuously evolving, revolving. I can’t help but feel lost.
Almost in defiance to this line of thinking, I shake the leaf off my shoe, and trample on it. Instead of feeling satisfied, I feel guilt. I never did forget that Enid Blyton tale of how dried leaves were actually fairies.
littered autumn road
I stomp on the frail fallen….
my feet crushing death
Rolling my eyes with my melodramatic thoughts, I continue my walk home. It’s crazy how leaves can make me go philoloopysical. I am tempted to actually stop in the middle of the road and simply sit there—be among the trees as the wind serenades them, with the leaves swaying gently, some choosing to pirouette, some doing the salsa dip.
Being the practical person that I am, I just run my fingers along my wind-discoed hair. If it were possible, I would like to be a leaf. I find such nobility and grace to it. Imagine being able to capture light, transforming energy to create nourishment. Giving, breathing life. There is a delicate artistry with the changing of its colors—a complex, fascinating chemistry in each blade that I’m sure God is so proud of.
eyes gently follow
dying trail of withered leaf;
wind sighs its mourning
I pick up one leaf to remind me...
Copyright © kabuteng P.iNk k. | Year Posted 2015
I was born, Bronx, New York, in the year 'Thirty-Nine,
the first child with a brother who followed in time.
Ten years later, moved North, Hudson Valley, same State
where I've settled, lived on with my loved ones to date.
But when young, in my school, two fine talents emerged,
and my teachers took time to encourage my urge.
I enjoyed my young years while I painted and penned;
lots of canvas and paper used up without end.
At nineteen, I then married the love of my life
and enjoyed my new path of becoming a wife
to my US Marine, very handsome and true;
Paris Island, our home for a year, almost two.
By the age twenty-five, I was mother of three;
a fine son, two sweet girls, a complete family.
We worked hard every day and our life was so good.
I wrote poems and painted whenever I could.
Later, painting with oils was the pastime for me
and I studied six years at an art gallery.
Varied art shows, displays, and a job filled my time.
Soon I sold many pieces, and life was sublime.
Yet, the years went by fast and at age thirty-nine,
I enrolled in a college to study part-time.
Six years later, I earned my prized English degree—
a BA—and a Minor in Business for me.
Then my pictures with words replaced those done thru art,
and I soon published poems of life and of heart.
Yet along in this time of my great writing spree
I worked hard every day as our business VP.
For a full twenty years, we worked hard faithfully
after hubby retired as the Chief of FD,
selling our fire equipment, all types, big and small
to FDs, factories, district schools, and the malls.
Our dear children all married with families too
are involved happily in whatever they do.
Happy grandma of five—late twenties to eighteen,
and one granddaughter married two thousand thirteen.
We retired, sold our business thirteen years ago,
still so busy with life, with its ebb and its flow.
We are proud and so blessed and thank God up above
for our days and our life of good times filled with love.
Sandra M. Haight
Premiere Contest: Where Are You From
Sponsor: Joseph Soper
Contest: Bio of a Poet
Sponsor: Tammy Reams
Form: Anapestic Tetrameter (12 syllables, 4 feet per line)
Copyright © Sandra Haight | Year Posted 2015
Math, physics, English, and so on--
alas, are tiresome!
All the professors here go on
with a prime axiom.
A stuffy, college campus where
knowledge and books abound,
freshmen and co-eds are clueless
and confused all around.
Mid-terms and finals I do dread
as each semester ends;
the pressure's on me to study
as the semester wends.
School's oppressive this semester,
I'll see my old provost
and leave 'ere I rot and fester
to take up a new post.
William & Mary's M.B.A.'s
are just worthless BS;
degrees from the home of “The Tribe”
are crap that obsolesce.
I'll do rhymes as “Poet's Delight”
as poems are my forté--
not tomes or stuffy scholastics:
ballads are my métier!
1.) poembender; 2.) Philosophical motif; 3.) for "Impress me III ! (Old / New)" Contest
Copyright © Ngoc Nguyen | Year Posted 2014
My piano sits alone a lot of days,
Waiting for someone to come along who plays.
Usually that someone is my son or me,
But lately since he's in college, it's been me, you see.
My piano knows when I am angry,
and lets me take out all my anger on the keys.
My piano knows when I am sad,
and lets me play it until I am glad.
My piano knows when I am in grief,
because of the songs I play, it's really beyond belief.
And of course my piano knows when I am happy,
I play songs of contentment and joy and lots are snappy.
I can be feeling blue and play a harmonious melody or two,
And in no time at all I will feel like new.
But my piano is loved best at Christmas time
Playing all the Christmas Carols and Christmas Chimes.
Songs of Jesus love for us and how He came to earth.
Songs of Angels singing and about His lowly birth.
Songs about three wisemen, my piano plays them all,
"White Christmas" "Blue Christmas" and songs played at the mall.
I love to play my piano for people to enjoy,
Elderly, mid-age, young folk, and every girl and boy.
But listen carefully dear hearts, take heed in what I say,
My piano knows that most of all, God gets the praise always!
Copyright © Marty Owens | Year Posted 2009
You say: Wrong place—wrong time,
Maybe: Wrong place—not right time,
Not right place—but wrong time?
I say: This's right place—right time,
In times and places,
What is the time?
Where is the place
For right not wrong?
Is this like signs
Tearing up the scenery;
What about my mind?
Don't what? I can read the sign!
Oh—Signs of the time?
What’s wrong is not right,
Lord, I will sing this song!
Fight for what’s right
Correct what's wrong!
In all times and places
Please, be alright,
And make it—
© Joseph, October 11, 2008
© All Rights Reserved
Joseph S. Spence, Sr., is the author of "The Awakened One Poetics" (2009), which is
published in seven different languages. He invented the Epulaeryu poetry form, which
focuses on succulent cuisines and drinks. He is published in various forums, including the
World Haiku Association; Poetinis Druskininku, Milwaukee Area College, Phoenix Magazine;
Möbius Poetry, and Taj Mahal Review to name a few. Joseph is a Goodwill Ambassador for
the state of Arkansas, USA, a college faculty, and a military veteran.
Copyright © Joseph Spence Sr | Year Posted 2008
"The clock is a useless tool, measuring mortality,
narrowing vitality. Don't let it tick-tock away the waning moments
and fine components of your final days." (last stanza of Heather Ober's "Clocks")
A brand new day
Tick tock tick tock
You grow, you learn
You take that walk
To get your fine diploma
Fond friends get left behind
Blink one eye
To keep a tear at bay
Tick tock tick tock
You get a job
Or first you go to college
Find a mate and settle down
Tick tock tick tock
So soon your first child’s prom!
Blink both your eyes
Try not to cry
Tick tock tick tock
A grandchild’s birth
And then a whole lot more
Folks you used to know
Have passed away
Tick tock tick tock
Blink back those tears
Of joy and pride
And also tears of pain
Tick tock tick tock
For the good and for the bad
You must adapt
Or fade. . . . . .
Tick tock tick tock
Sit back in your recliner
And simply close your weary eyes
There will be no more tears
To blink away
For Tracie Edwards' Homage Poetry Contest
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2013
Physically unable to deal with all this stress
a clinical Psychiatrist said that I am depressed
No shat Sherlock you are such a genius
10 years of college for this uneducated guess
Yah you're just an Idiot with an ego to caress
Pockets full of pens and eyeglasses to impress
Yes we all notice the impeccable way you dress
Armani styled striped suit all ironed and pressed
It looks quite expensive only the best for the best
No I don't want to do your magic ink blotter test
You act as if by the Almighty you are blessed
Just like the Preacher trying to get us to confess
So how do I know this won't end up in my arrest
I guess I'll just have to remove you in the end more or less
Now who is the one that's stressed???...
Copyright © Brian Davey | Year Posted 2016
Jake took to the stage, limping with a leg brace
And more than a mere trace of fear on his face
The humorous speech competition was on
He’d made it to finals, prior contests he’d won
Jake’s lifelong bout with muscular dystrophy
Generated sadness and much empathy
He shook and stammered as he started his speech
Competitors thought his composure he’d breach
“Stage fright is shared by many,” the boy explained
And as he began, his eye contact seemed strained
We wanted to rush to his side, offer aid
Little did we know Jake’s point was being made
He’d soon have us laughing at the “crutches” WE use
To gain confidence when stage fright ensues
“I’m picturing you all naked,” he laughed, smiled
Soon his sharp wit had us rolling in the aisle
His strength and courage built fast as he spoke
Jake finished up with a memorable poke:
“You thought I would fail; I read it in your eyes
Seeing only my handicap, I realize.
Those who can’t see beyond disabilities
Are mired in self fear; YOU have MY sympathy.”
Out of four thousand entrants, Jake took first place
Impressing us all with his wisdom and grace
Oh, how we all cheered when his win was announced
Jake’s humor skills were by far the best pronounced
Today Jake coaches a college debate team
Having mastered the art of building esteem
*I was fortunate to see Jake give his amazing speech at the national collegiate speech and
debate finals in Niagara Falls. Like many others, I had feared he was truly
experiencing “stage fright.” But he used his humor to make us see that people often exceed
beyond the abilities others think they have. If he didn’t see himself as “disabled,” why
should anyone else? And what tremendous success he’s had in his career! His message had
a profound impact on a lot of other college students.
Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2010
The rose colour of your mouth
stirs something primordial inside of me –
I smile along with you.
Plump little hands reach for my face.
I hold still
while you explore my heart with a feathery touch.
When you are asleep,
I look over the papers of your college fund.
We could make it
if we would forsake frivolities.
It will be no hardship for me to do so.
I smile contentedly.
The boxer puppy lying at my feet;
its stomach pink and extended:
he ate too greedily
You will grow up together
and share our unconditional love.
The cricket bat,
signed by the national team,
takes pride of place in its brackets on your bedroom wall –
a pale dove blue
(matching the colour of your eyes).
A gift from your dad –
sure that you would follow in his footsteps.
A rainbow of possibilities prostrate at your feet.
I check every now and again
whether you are breathing.
neither a frown upon your smooth face,
nor a care in the world.
Your long, black eyelashes quiver slightly,
as though following a dream –
a dream we all shared:
a dream of boundless expectations …
Exhuming long forgotten memories;
mingling with my fevered tears –
echoing my breaking heart.
They lead you away.
Assaulting the arresting officer
had sealed your fate.
best laid to rest
together with the memories of you.
The sky has lost its colour,
as I step outside the courtroom.
Closer By Chris Aechtner
“If frozen within caged snapshots of mildewed expectations”
3 July 2013
Sponsor Debbie Guzzi
Contest Name Referential
Copyright © Suzette Richards | Year Posted 2013
College party red cups all across the room.
we caught each others eye.
Inbetween dances if eyes were a camera they'd
be caught in zoom.
I know you came here with another guy.
Sixfoot four football player.
Tried to say whats up but blockhead just told
me hey jerk dont even try.
But when the doors locked the window will always
Time to make ya smile and make your roomate
We'll stay up allnight andi dont mean watching laurel and hardy.
Just put a tie on the door handle.
Cause this a private party.
No people no chips and cheap beer.
Will play hide in seek in the dark.
Honey iI hate to say it's no aciddent i just
grabbed your rear.
Just as the real fun had just begun sombody
kicked in the door.
It was that linebacker and his band of unmerry knuckleheads
All pissed off and standing six foot four.
Punches thrown and more than feelings were hurt
as my private party came to abrupt end.
Thrown from a window.
Impaled on a garden gnome
Does anyone have a hopital they can reccomend.
At the ER I met this hot nurse.
Who had a mini pharmacy hidden
in her purse.
I knew it wasnt good when she gave me a pill and said
got put in the nut ward spent the night
talkin to my left toe.
Caught a ride home with my best
He said man what caused all this.
And I replyed I was trying to have a private party
Copyright © John Patrick Robbins AKA Gonzo | Year Posted 2009
Strobe lights loud music
silver glitter balls
reflective tiny stars
dot the dance floor hall.
She was grinding and pumping
body toned tight and fast
she was the centre of attention
her choice her last dance.
She expertly glided
up and down the polished pole
her red satin outfit
simply amplified the show.
As she flawlessly moved
to the chants of the men
drawing into herself
shone a dazzling grin.
Becoming one with the pole
giving it her very all
this was her last song
head high standing tall.
As she smiled and waved
searching deep within her core
for this one final bow
were loud whistles and roars.
She quickly grabbed her outfit
running to the door backstage
in the comfort of her robe
kissed a picture daughter Paige.
I did this for you
my sweet baby girl
for college bound you are
with the money I have earned.
The men cheered loudly
she reached her last goal
turning from the mirror
freely flew her soul.
Copyright © Lynn Marie | Year Posted 2006
The silver ring Virginia gave to me
has been in my possession many years.
And though it's only costume jewelry,
how beautiful to me it still appears!
The first time I saw shining on her hand
the silver ring Virginia gave to me,
I was amazed. I said I loved it, and
she parted with it so unselfishly!
So pretty is its pattern - filigree.
She took it off her hand, and it became
the silver ring Virginia gave to me,
its stone of azure blue bright as a flame!
This year I learned Virginia passed away.
To think in nearly half a century
I'd seen her not, yet kept until this day
the silver ring Virginia gave to me.
Written Nov. 3, 2016 ,
For Broken Wing's Old Jewelry or Just Old Things or Old, Old Poems Contest
(Virginia was a few years older than me when i saw this ring on her finger during church youth group. I was maybe 13 years old and was so surprised
when she just took it off her finger and let me have the pretty treasure!
I heard she lived a very good life. I never saw her again after I left for college.)
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2016
I come from Valdosta, Georgia, the lovely peach state,
Where everyone uses a southern drawl to communicate.
Valdosta is known as the “Azalea City” for its gorgeous flowers.
In the spring this splendid sight has a captivating power.
I’m afraid the azaleas are forgotten by the summer,
When it gets so hot we are running for cover.
When we have a storm, I pray the electricity doesn’t go out.
In Valdosta, having the ac cranked is what it’s all about!
I grew up the daughter of a Pentecostal minister.
There are four siblings, including Barbara, my twin sister.
We went to church faithfully three times a week,
Sitting on the pew trying not to make a peep.
We may have grumbled about getting so much religion,
But down the road it has helped us all make decisions.
My Dad has now gone for his reward in Heaven.
I wish I could hear one more of his sermons God-given.
In high school my twin and I were members of a championship band.
We won so many contests, the Marching Cats was the best in the land.
The famous band director in Valdosta was the amazing Frank Butenschon.
His talent and dedication made us all winners, and we shined!
My best band competition memory was as good as it gets.
We won, and performed a half-time show for the Miami Dolphins and Jets.
The other piccolos and I marched out for a solo in front of the crowd.
That’s when they cut to commercial at home for my parents so proud!
To move along, fresh out of college I married a man 15 years older.
I was naïve and mesmerized, he was so much bolder.
We moved to Houston, where I taught high school.
Life was exciting, and being a newlywed was so cool.
Several years later we moved to New Hampshire, his home state.
The mountains, the snow, and especially the summers were great.
We opened a business that lasted for 25 years.
I was company President while we were entrepreneurs.
In NH for 20 years I was a member of the Upper Valley Community Band,
Playing my flute and piccolo for parades and summer concerts so grand.
We also played at Faneuil Hall, Germany, Austria, and France on tour.
Carole Blake, the renowned band director, put us on the map for sure!
After thirty years being man and wife, our marriage hit the rocks.
I moved back to Valdosta, where my family is mere blocks.
In my hometown, what others think of me does not keep me up at night.
I’m enjoying my freedom, and God has me in His sights.
Copyright © Brenda McGrath | Year Posted 2017
Sometimes, I think about my life
And the prices I have paid
All the places I have been
The choices I have made
Seems somewhere along the path
I stumbled upon a stone
At that moment I realized
I’d forgotten my way home
My home became a prison cell
My memory was forgotten
My soul was like an egg
An egg that had gone rotten
Sorry I had to go away
You didn’t deserve my shame
I moved very far away
No connection to my name
My life has always been a lie
One I kept hidden from you
When you thought I was in college
Serving time up in the zoo
On the day I was released
You thought I graduated
The moment you were most proud
Another lie to be hated
I have learned it’s never to late
I believe those words are true
Grandma I’m on a mission
I will graduate for you
I really want to earn the pride
You gave me so long ago
I think it will bring some peace
Releasing guilt up in my soul
I’ve learned in the game of life
We must earn our pride
Even if the people are gone
Resting on the other side
I’ve learned in the game of life
Even though they may be hard
Choices aren’t like rolling dice
They're not like flipping cards
Choices define who we are
I know these words are true
Every choice I know make
Are bringing me back home to you
Grandma, I know where heaven is
It’s right here inside my heart
Inside of mine your memory
Until death will never part
During the time I have left
I vow to always let it show
All the seeds you sowed in me
I shall nourish as they grow
In the end I’ll sit with you
Just like when I was a boy
We’ll sing and praise Jesus’ name
With eternal everlasting joy
Copyright © Michael Jordan | Year Posted 2010
By : Dulce Santiago
“ I can ”
Where were you when I needed you
Where were you when they were ripping my skin and soul
When I was trying to scape, my horrible childhood
When my only friend was the silence
When I was trying to, cope in with the world
Why couldn’t you drag me, and tell me “everything will be okay”
Why couldn’t you give me the spark of joy to my heart that I much needed
I was like a lost child at Walmart , searching for her mom
Why couldn't you just give me what I wanted
Why couldn’t I have a “ good job” or “ a pat in the back”
Why couldn’t you just tell me I could have everything if I worked hard for it
Instead of handing me out “ You cants “
and drowning me with negativity and no hope
Well guess what
“I can dad”
I can triumph without a man on my side and away from the Hispanic stereotype
I can not have a child in my womb
but what I can’t have is your negativity
I can do things, my mom didn’t have the chance to do
I can finally speak for myself
I can , have a job and do what I love to do
I can go to college
but lastly I can make you proud like i’ve been trying to for the past 14 years.
Copyright © dulce santiago | Year Posted 2015
Oklahoma cowboy, tough coal miner’s son
Born in Henryetta, south of Tulsa some
Raised by daddy’s momma, taught him wrong from right
Daddy taught him ropin’, taught him how to fight
Herding made no money, its stock was really down
Mamaw feeling poorly, dad mining at Old Town
December seventeenth, in the year of twenty-nine
Dad was shoring timber, 9th west entry of the mine
The gas ignited close to him, he never smelt its breath
It belched out fire and thunder, and everlasting death
Sixty-one they counted, who wouldn’t see the sun
Twenty-five weren't recognized, they buried them as one
On that fatal Tuesday, the boy became a man
Had to make a living, had to have a plan
Heard about the oil patch, got a chance to try it
Drill the earth for all she’s worth; keep it turnin' to the right
Some they called him weevil, some they called him worm
Some they wouldn't speak to him, figgered he was just short term
They told him "Open up that vee door; go to get the key
It's in the possum belly, in doghouse number three"
Took his turns at floor hand, at first a little green
Became the fastest broke out hand the driller ever seen
Morning tour, evening tour, working day and night
Drilled the earth for all she's worth, kept it turnin' to the right
The driller called him partner; the pusher called him son
The other roughnecks shook his hand, and took him in as one
Got up on the monkeyboard; learned to spin the chain
Pumped that mud and shed his blood, and worked right through the pain
On a bitter frosty evening tour, in a cold December snow
He saw derricks lit like Christmas trees in distance far below
He saw the fairyland of the refinery, shining through the night
He saw Mother Earth and the universe, all turning to the right
The oil patch was a hard life, moving all the time
But he saved a lot of money, didn't waste a dime
Morning tour, evening tour, working day and night
Drilled the earth for all she's worth, kept it turnin' to the right
Sent his kids to college, working through the years
One became a teacher, the others engineers
He hung up his hardhat; he shed his steel-toed shoes
Then one day he passed away; he'd finally paid his dues
Made it to the Pearly Gates; they handed him his wings
Handed 'em right back to them; said "I don't need these things.
I want to do some drilling. That's my heavenly plan."
They said "Go talk to the Devil then, cause he's the company man."
Old Scratch needed hellfire; he always come up short
Too many politicians and others of that sort
When he heard they had a driller, he jumped up with delight
He danced a jig, "You've got your rig. Keep it turnin' to the right."
Now he drills for hellfire; in the derrick he's got Jake
Buck and Sam on the platform; Sonny's on the brake
They all grin like demons; they're all where they belong
Doing what they love to do, they sing their roughneck song
"We all eat caliche and drink the devil's brew
Play dominos with Satan and skunk him at forty-two
Work all day on Sunday and honky-tonk all night
We're oilfield trash and we'll take cash to keep it turnin' to the right
We all love West Texas; it's like the Promised Land
Horny toads and rocky roads, and even dunes of sand
Dust storms every morning, northers every night
We get tans and freeze our cans to keep it turnin' to the right"
The lingo used around the rig you won't hear much in church
It'll curl your hair and make you stare and leave you in the lurch
So close your eyes and realize it's gonna get much worse
Drink your beers and plug your ears; here comes the final verse
"We p*ss longneck Lone Stars; we f*rt Frito pie
Give us ****, and we will spit some Red Man in your eye
Don't **** with us, or we will cuss and bring you to the fight
We're low class, but we kick *** to keep it turning to the right"
Coal mining, oil drilling and Hell - Doesn't get much darker and deeper...
Copyright © Roy Jerden | Year Posted 2012
Confined in one boundary, living together
showing different reactions in changing weather.
Stabbing each other, hoping to reach same destiny
creating a stumbling block as the way, what an Irony.
Loving outsiders in possession of a different gene
to the point patriotism withers and becomes lean.
It is time for one side to enjoy the rain
then the other sits and curses in envious pain.
Hatred and marginalization then becomes the trendy skill
compressing the mind, even to the point to kill.
Nepotism and bigotry are fertilized to cause so much evil
interaction between distant compatriots liable to be far from civil.
One nation, one people, if this family can together not see
then for humanity sake, let everyone simply be.
Separation entices, building up the end
enemies of each other, yet can attempt a mend.
Seeing through the binoculars of what lies tomorrow
love, patience and unity, there’s a need to borrow.
Diversity is a blessing, like departments of a college
one can function as the nutrient, the others as the roughage.
Copyright © Funom Makama | Year Posted 2016
"You really wanna know? Cause I'll tell ya if you really wanna know. You'll be thinkin' I'm crazy before I'm done, but I'll tell ya... ifn' you really wanna know."
The day started like any other, up before dawn, breakfast and fuel for the combine. Outa' the window I saw the sun rise above the horizon, no clouds in the sky,
waves of heat pulsing like slow heart beats above the drying wheat fields.
Already the fields are half bare. The twenty two acres out past the barn were harvested last week before the weather started to change and the 40 acres at the bottom of Rocky Point was finished just yesterday, hell'uv-a-place to plant wheat, what with all them rocks that broke three disc blades and the boulders that we had to plant around, too late to dynamite 'em by the time the rain stopped last spring. The plow got stuck in the muck for a whole day before we got the seeds in. But we did it and reaped a good return on our efforts that first year, thank God.
I remember that piece of land from when I was young. We used to have an old green barn out there where we kept the live stock. Paw said it wasn't much good for nothin' else, said you couldn't grow anything out there. I think he was just scared to. There'd always been rumors 'bout that place. Some folks said that Indians had buried their Chiefs under the big boulders, and prayed to their heathen gods up on the hill that looked over the valley, said that some day they was gonna come back and reclaim this land for themselves, at least that is, that sacred part below the hill.
Every morning around 6 o'clock me and Johnny would run out to that barn to feed the chickens and slop the hogs. He was always faster 'n me so he got to choose whatever he wanted to do. He liked slopping the pigs even though they smelled to high heaven. He liked ride'n on there backs. I'd laugh my head off when they threw him in the mud and he'd have to hide from Paw so he wouldn't know. Paw would wack him good if he found out. I can hear him now, "Boy I'll burn your hide if'n you don't keep off of them pigs. Your gonna break their backs. Your gonna wind up kill'n one of 'em, one of these days." Johnny would always be quick to reply, "But paw we're just gonna eat 'em anyways." Hard to believe I always like them hams so good at Easter after smell'n 'em for so many years.
"I know, I know, I'm git'n to it. Give me a minute. I wanna get it straight. It ain't easy to talk about and you weren't there."
I saw the clouds rollin' in long before I got out to the good fields on the other side of the creek. This was where our best grain was grown. We bought this land the year that Paw passed. I remember the tears Maw cryed when we got it. It'd been a dream Paw had for a long time. He was gonna put a road through it to the main highway so's to cut our drive to town by five miles. I've always felt bad that he never got to see it. I went on watchin' them clouds wonderin' if we might just have us a late fall twister brew'n. They was nasty look'n and it's been nasty hot for this time of year. I pulled the choke on the old combine and it coughed to a stop.
Didn't see any rain fall'n as I neared the creek from the Rocky Point side but it was get'n aweful dark, and the clouds were startin' to swirl and boil way up in the sky. As I watched I swear on my Paws grave that I saw a horse runnin' across the sky. It was like the ones you see when your layin' on your back in the grass on a hot summer day lookin' up at the sky and pickin' out shapes in the clouds,... but it wasn't. It was breathin' and glarin' at me with fiery demon eyes. Then out of the darkness I saw another shape. It was a face, all white with dark puffy round cheeks. It looked like the pictures of Santa Claus we used to take with the kids after the Thanks Givin' day parade downtown. He'd huff and he'd puff and his cheeks would billow out and all-a-sudden he'd let out this big bellow, "Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas," but when the face in the cloud bellowed no sound came out, just ice cold wind. It near 'bout froze me to my seat in that old combine. The windows glazed over with frost and my hand got stuck to the steerin' wheel for a second, pulled some skin off get'n em free. I turned on the headlights and wipers and as the Window cleared I could see ice twinkling like jewels on all of the wheat stalks. Down by the bridge I could see the weeds reflected in a thin layer of ice covering the water.
Then all Hell broke loose. Thunder so loud I couldn't think clear, and lightnin' everywhere striking every rock and boulder. Mist rose up after each hit like ghost risen' out of the grave. I forgot about the cold cause the storm froze me solid. A bolt of lightnin' hit the top of the combine and the thunder shook the cab so bad I hit my head on the back of the seat. For a few minutes I was in a daze but as my head cleared I could see fires all over Rocky Point. I didn't have time to do anything but start the engine of the combine and move it over the bridge to the next field so it wouldn't burn up too. I watched as all the grain left at Rocky Point burned to cinders. Funny thing is all the other fields around that one were OK. Not one never burned. It was like someone drew a line around the place, strangest thing. The weather guy on TV tried to explain it. What'd he call it? Oh, a micro... something, blow, burst, something like that. He didn't explain what I saw, but that don't matter no more. It's over and done. Lost all that good grain, though.
Had some scientist from the college down in Lawton come by and do some lookin'. They kept scratchin' their heads and mumblin', looked kinda befuddled to me. We talked and they said something about the soil ph was wrong and there seemed to be salt all through the dirt, maybe all the way down to the bedrock.
Well, All I know is I'm guessin' nothin'll ever grow in that field again. Can't rightly say for sure though, never plan on findn' out.
Copyright © James Inman | Year Posted 2015
At Texas A & M, he played at quarterback.
The young man led a prolific offensive attack.
He gave up his last two years at college.
Apparently, he needed money more than the knowledge.
He was selected by an NFL team in the first round.
This fall, at a football field in Cleveland he will be found.
Johnny, put on that helmet and pads right away.
Browns fans are hoping you will save the day.
Copyright © Robert Pettit | Year Posted 2014
Going through some old things that just had to go,
I came upon something that nearly got tossed.
Memories came to me from long ago. . . .
I thrilled that my treasure was no longer lost.
Toys come and toys go. In the 60’s, one fad
was to own an odd doll not seen much today.
This doll had long hair and was scantily clad
but wasn’t a Barbie with which I would play!
Its body was squat and it had a pug nose.
I probably loved it because it looked droll.
Its hair could be orange, green, yellow or rose,
but if you don’t know yet, that doll was a troll!
How I wish I could dredge up some memory
to know what was happening inside my head
as a pre-teen with friends and what it might be
that we did with those dolls and what fun things we said!
The trolls that I owned must have been at least four -
both sexes so they'd make a small family -
their hair different hues, each a doll to adore.
But one day they no longer mattered to me. . .
I can’t say where all of my playthings got stashed.
When I left for college, they vanished from view.
But knowing my mom, they must have got trashed.
She doesn’t hang on much to things like I do.
Now four decades later, I looked at my prize,
bare naked and smudged but its hair still jet black.
It stared up at me with its cute amber eyes.
I couldn’t believe how I got that thing back!
It somehow had ended up in my new state.
Good luck for that troll, I throw few things away!
That doll would be learning soon of its new fate
and meet other troll dolls with whom it would stay.
Just like Peter Pan, I refuse to grow old,
and new trolls I’d bought with long bright spiky hair
when troll dolls again in the 90's were sold!
But I had to recall where I’d stored them….. oh, where??
(I found the dolls and added the old one to the new collection,
but my daughter's family moved in with me a few months ago.
My daughter is a clean freak like MY mom is (apparently it skips
a generation or something), and my daughter took my troll dolls
and put them out of sight somewhere so currently they are floating
around who knows where!
For Paula Swanson's "Yard Sale" Contest
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2011
O Teacher! My Teacher!
I would dare to channel a master just for you.
I know not if I am up to this lofty task,
but it is to your expectation that I try to rise.
You never asked for anymore than my best
and I love you for never demanding any less.
O Teacher! My Teacher!
If you had not opened a locked door,
the engulfing rays of enlightenment
may never have caressed my yearning face,
or held me tightly in her awakening embrace
releasing the song desperately trapped in my soul.
O Teacher! My Teacher!
You always said I had a great gift.
If that is true, I heap all praise on you.
You have the most wonderful offering of all
for within you rested the ability to recognize
the potential now flowing freely under my pen.
O Teacher! My Teacher!
I will forever hold you in the highest esteem.
I am not certain if mere words could ever express
the appreciation I have long held for your guiding hand.
Undaunted by the impossible task now in front of me,
this student will once again try to impress his teacher.
This piece was inspired and written for Professor Judy Davis who taught at the College of Central Florida until she retired. She was my English Literature and Composition teacher the first time I went to college. Many go into teaching, but the special few, like Judy, are called to the profession. She is now enjoying her retirement, but her old student here still communicates with her occasionally.
Copyright © Kim Morrison | Year Posted 2013
Our granddaughter loves cupcakes.
Someday, she wants to run a cupcake business.
Someday, she wants to be a beautician.
Someday, she wants to specialize in makeup.
Someday, she wants to be a singer.
Someday, she wants to be a songwriter.
Someday, she wants to go to college.
I’m voting for number one
and number seven.
I love cupcakes.
If she goes to college,
her cupcake business might succeed.
You go, girl!
Copyright © Cona Adams | Year Posted 2014
The knowledge…from ‘The College’…
Is any other high school greater…maybe later…?
From a tender age…what is the stage…?
The motto…never yield…but be brave…
For five years…no fears…some stares…many cheers…
The academics…the challenge of schools…
The athletics…the lane makes the pool…
The football…makes it to the hall…
Of fame…to dominate the game…no shame…
The teachings of life…the overcoming of strife…
The offerings…the differing…
The camaraderie…the rivalry…
The victories…what a history…?
From whence we came…we cherish the name…
Boys only…never a lonely…
The journey to school…the learning; our tool…
The subjects we take…the times we awake…
The visits to the library…we never get weary…?
The varied of our surroundings…the range of our moldings…
Branded as downtown….never to frown…
Few without shoes…never to lose…
The focus…like most of us…
To be leaders…role models…
To be life changers…confronting dangers…
Embracing of strangers….being re-arrangers…
As the journey unfolds…some stories told…
Many have stated…the times have been dated…
The meaning of ties…the words to the wise…
The creation of a bond…which blended beyond…
The school-term years…the classroom chairs…
The running up stairs…the books of theirs…
The memories of an institution…the carvings of a tradition…
The initiation of a plan…the creating of a man…
Look back…take stack…
It’s not an assumption…neither an assertion…
‘The College’…is it the greatness of foundation…?
Copyright © Michael Robertson | Year Posted 2016