Thursday, May 6, 2021

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Poem: Musings on Autumn

Leaves break free, fly in the wind,

scattering, scattering. Silhouettes bank

against chipping, cracked brick buildings.

Leaves play a whirling dervish beneath the 

sun’s mercurial tempers.

Under a maple tree I sit while red souls

of summer’s spent drop onto my

windshield as shadows dance on the

dashboard—my arms, my face, and

I think of pumpkin pie, log fires,

football games and Halloween. 

Autumn’s nostalgia fades to cliché,

like memories of Maw Maw’s threadbare

Sunday dress, like my vacant thoughts.

Even wistful melodies eventually play out,

as do autumn leaves, as do laughing

children jumping in autumn leaves, 

and love.

                                      by Patty Cole

Monday, April 26, 2021

Poem: Traces

Went walking in the mall where we used to walk

During the cold season.

It was the first time since you had gone,

And your footprints still glowed to me.

And I saw your face in the empty store windows.

Next to me

Shoulder to shoulder

Hand in hand

As we made our circuit around the mall.

I can still feel 

When I put my arm around you 

As we walked

And I pulled you to me.

My innocent,

My little one

Who needed my protection 

When your world had lost

Its color, its light

And so much was grey.

I could feel, and I knew

I was your color, your light

And your connection 

To this world.

So, as I walk this place

You still linger here.

Flickers of motion

Flashes of feeling,

And so much emotion.

My tears realize my pain.

Thank god something remains.

Enough to help me get through

Without you.

It's difficult to come back here.

                                    By George Kauffman 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Poem: To Mis-Carry

“I want her back when you’re done.”

They will toss you out, flush you down.

They won’t know to stop when my Grandpa’s eyes –

like sky – are there.

And your nose? They won’t know.

That’s your daddy and sister –

right there!

“I want her back when you’re done.”

Forty-five minutes of waiting

stacked next to the three months

I carried you.

The brown hands of a nurse handing me hospital Tupperware.

“I want her back when you’re done.”

Tucking you right there in the safety of me.

Self-preservation not letting me look,

but little by little my warmth breaking through coldness.

Carrying you home to the wood of our kinfolk:

Loblolly tall and Maple wide.

Scrubby Oak to decorate your spot

with acorn crowns.

“I want her back when you’re done.”

Your daddy – muddy with earth –

Your sister and I searching the hills and

bases of trees for marble quartz.

Sweating out our grief that day.

“I want her back when you’re done.”

At church it starts and keeps up

through five hymns.

Two creeks flowing, meeting up

at my chin and falling into two open palms:

waiting for the Good Lord to dry them up

so we can pass on dry land.

“I want her back when you’re done.”

In the by and by.

                                  by Elizabeth Callahan Steiner
                                  Previously published with Literary Mama, 2017

Friday, April 23, 2021

Poem: Out West Trip March, 1989

Rising, surprising,

from Arizona’s dry palette,

Jerome is still clinging

to the side of its hill,

its roads steeply climbing

and lined with the houses

and shops built by miners

long since moved on,

where Slim Chance & Friends

are pickin’ nights at The Palace

drinkin’ watered down high balls

in tall, smoky rooms,

where mornings, the locals

are gathered at Macey’s

downing coffee and pies

and the talk of the town,

where Dede won’t stay

in hotels rumored haunted,

where Tracy, the potter,

makes up his spare rooms,

where Still Life With Woodpecker’s

on the shelf in the hallway

signed by Tom Robbins,

still wishing “Good Luck”.

                             by caren stuart   

                             previously published in Wish You Were Here: A Poetry and Prose Anthology 

                             by Old Mountain Press

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Poem: Deer scat

Scat in the rose beds,

scat in the drive, 

under the pine trees, 

dotting the lawn, 

down in the ditches 

where day lilies grow,

scattered on flagstones 

that lead to the porch, 

by the nandina the deer

strip of red berries, 

over to beauty bushes 

and swamp azalea 

they prune for us. 

Two hundred dollars 

worth of tulips

beheaded before

they bloomed.

Whose property do 

they think this is?

my exasperated 

husband asks. 

Ours, their cloven 

hoof falls whisper,

since the dawn of time.

                            By Judith Stanton

                            Previously published in Deer Diaries, 2017 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Poem: All My 1000 Loves (A numbers poem)

We were playing 20 hands of 5-card draw

It was a 4-some, with my best friend, my wife and Jimmie Carter

The prize-2300 match-sticks and pennies by the dozens-

Was just 72 inches away, and tingling. We were in the 9s all the way,

me and Jimmie, cheating under the table and counting 

Up our winnings 20 at a time, fingers and toes worth,

until the talk turned to how many lovers you had? and

lemee tell you me and Jimmie had some low numbers 

being shy Southern Baptist boys with strong mothers

and growing up in pint-sized towns where every girl’s 

daddy carried 3 0r 4 shotguns-meanwhile my wife is

vaulting past 30 while I’m trying to get beyond my ten

fingers and my “friend” is racing forward in his size 13s

enumerating all his 27 rejections and 45 almost-loves

when Jimmie smiles and says “Well, I have sinned in my

heart a time or 3,” and I get that, like a 100 on a math test

and I jump up and shout “All my loves, over 50, more than 200, 

probably 1000!” And that was just high school, 1966-1972.

                                                            by Gary Phillips