We have some poems from our members for your enjoyment.
♠ The Dark at the End of the Tunnel ♠
Did you ever think as the world whirled by,
that you might be the next to graduate?
You’re living a life as best as you can,
a serious task for any man.
No matter the effort expended
your life’s direction is ‘ebb’,
spending more of your time in bed.
But I don’t have to like it.
♠ No One Ever Told Me ♠
There’s an edge to the edge of town
–out beyond the edge of responsibility.
It’s a place for cock fights and road houses and bootleggers.
No one ever told me the theater used to be one of those edgy places.
It seems Shakespeare knew a thing or two about edginess.
Anything that was fun was on the edge of the river’s South Bank.
He built his theater there alongside brothels and bear-baiting rings
and an ale house on every corner.
Riffraff could spend a penny
and stand all afternoon in the theater’s pit.
They heckled and jeered the actors;
ate and drank; fought and gambled;
and picked a few pockets.
Respectable folk thought the theater to be as a sink in the town
where all the filth doth flow.
Shakespeare may have started out on the edge of town,
but now he’s respectable and wouldn’t you know it,
all the rowdy fun is gone.
♠ The Flight ♠
The plane’s engine roared like a wild beast on the runway
before lifting its wings on its flight.
Below, I see houses march like an army in the distance.
Up in the sky my soul and the plane hum together
a yearning melody for my mother’s love.
I feel happy as a child; I want to touch the clouds
that hang like fluffy sweet cotton candy,
and walk on the cumulus white forest.
I am going home to Picota in the misty jungle,
where shiny yellow, red, and blue butterflies
flutter their wings on the mud puddles.
I left long ago, but I haven’t forgotten your face.
I can’t wait to see your rosy cheeks have the chance
to tell you, mother, I love you and I miss you.
♠ On the Banks of Gruene ♠
Slowly it crawls through ancient hills
proceeding past centuries old cypresses.
The ghosts of the valiant Germans
who followed Prince Solms
into a land so utterly foreign ,
watch, stone faced, at what they wrought.
They built a success in those hills.
Now a center of recreation,
the gentle river becomes the focus
of controversy generated by
the very success they sought.
The river is still as gentle, but its gentleness
attracts a multitude to rest in its cool water,
the multitude is friend and foe of the river.
It is its friend when it defends the river’s purity,
foe when they descend in vast numbers
to partake in the joys of the river.
♠ Magnetized ♠
It’s not the crackling fire in the fireplace
that lures me home this cold winter night,
the flames leaping up, warming the house,
nor is it the thought of stretching out in my old recliner,
It’s not the roast you’ll have cooking in the oven,
though I have appetite enough,
or the aroma of coffee brewing in the kitchen.
It’s not the soft music you’ll be playing.
No, it’s none of these things
that beckon me home.
It’s you, just you,
and the thought of you —
♠ My God Lives Outside ♠
The creek improvements project means my campsite has moved.
The culvert is not the place to be when it rains.
Crackdown on the needy displaces me and my friends.
The shelter is for those who have the same God.
I like Father Mike. He’s alright.
But my God lives outside (except when it goes below zero).
I guess I could pray for a day or two
as long as they still serve that stew.
Marilyn seems to recognize me every time I come in.
I think she’s glad to see me (maybe she needs a friend).
But after a few days, when the sun comes out,
the blue skies call me.
Don’t call me homeless. The world is my home.
♠ Fourth of July Celebration ♠
Texas’ worst recorded drought precludes fireworks
this Fourth, but there’s a lively celebration in the backyard.
Waiting their turn at the bird feeder, impatient cardinals
flash bright-scarlet feathers as male juvenile finches,
resplendent in rose-colored vests, jump up and down
like popping corn, squabbling over reticent females
and the best perch for seed retrieval.
Two yellow-headed woodpeckers scream low
across the yard, black and white jets on reconnaissance
to check sweet, plump grapes ripening in the arbor.
Three gray-feathered mourning doves twirl white-tipped tail
feathers and march orange happy feet in cadence beneath
the feeder, grabbing the confetti of sun flower seeds falling
from careless beaks of grey-tufted titmice and black-capped chickadees.
From the sidelines, like kids clamoring for cotton candy,
four new-fledged wrens screech, ignoring the shush
of alarmed parents noting the shift-eyed road runner
sauntering through the yard, like a hungry pick pocket
working the crowd.
For the finale, five hummingbirds, streaking missiles
of iridescence, shoot straight up, then free-fall dive,
twirling down to the hot pink bougainvillea in a mock
dogfight that would do a squadron of F 16’s proud.
Who needs fireworks to celebrate the Fourth?
♠ Elegy for a Hero ♠
Fake candles flicker in the hushed room,
casting an assortment of dancing shadows.
The flowers, left over from earlier, spread
a sickening sweetness throughout the space,
like a fog that clings to everything in the place.
A false sense of serenity settles across the empty chairs.
The only living thing in the room,
the mortuary technician, moves quietly through the room,
placing programs on the chairs,
straightening the flowers, so the dead ones doesn’t show.
It’s ready, it’s time,
he opens the door to let the people in
to celebrate the life of the man in the casket.
The decorated veteran of two tours,
the PTSD sufferer,
the lone survivor of an IED attack,
the man who lived on the streets, homeless.
There is no one there.
The chapel remains empty,
except for the dead and the working.
The mortuary technician closes the doors when its time
and begins the prep for the next funeral.
♠ Pistols and Paper Dolls ♠
Pearl handled revolvers,
Shirley Temple paper dolls.
Lace trimmed anklet socks
worn with bib jean overalls and red cowboy boots.
In the blink of an eye,
the girliest of girls morphs into the rowdiest of tomboys.
How does she decide which is her favorite toy?
The pearl handled revolver set that shoots rolls of caps
or the Shirley Temple paper dolls?
Then again, she really doesn’t seem to choose
as she interacts with the paper dolls
while wearing the pistols and boots!
♠ Some Days ♠
Some days I just can’t,
I can’t run away from him.
He envelops me.
I try to deal
with this stuff logically,
but to no avail.
I become engulfed
with grief, loneliness, and tears.
Hopefulness leaves me,
like the last drop of water
in the crystal glass.
♠ The Unresolved ♠
Voices argue in my head
but one dominates,
At least the one I call me
seems to take charge,
The others flow in and out,
quietly, angrily, prayerfully,
pleading, threatening remembering.
Sometimes, the young me turns
into my mother, father, brother,
preacher, teacher, nemesis, friend.
Sometimes, an older me whispers,
“Soon, soon.” The wrinkles frighten.
The wisdom wavers in and out.
As does former belief in frail words.
Saddest, my devotion grows weak
as does the loyalty of the tired soldier
or the love of one long taken for granted.
So much input, so many sides, and
nothing, none, remaining firm, fixed.
The me in me shudders, trembles.
‘I am that I am’ resists pursuit, entry.
♠ Prisoner At Home ♠
I’m planning my escape,
no matter the cost.
Can’t take another minute of this, I concede,
and there is no remorse.
I don’t know what made me think,
I could stay in this abyss,
but no amount of money, cajoling,
nor empty promises could motivate me to reenlist.
Vision of my freedom
stays constantly in my head.
Don’t know what direction I’ll be taking,
but I’ll be gracious, and leave the rest, unsaid.
♠ The Moment Right Now ♠
I reach out for tomorrow, search for a glimpse of the future.
I sing a song of happiness, or maybe one that’s sad,
wonder why I don’t hear others singing too.
I sit on rocks at the coast, toss pebbles in the surf.
Watch the circles in the water, the ebb and flow
of waves in the sand.
I watch for seagulls, feel happiness and calm
when they soar into view.
When I walk with someone that I love,
talk about nothing in particular,
I know what tomorrow is —
It’s not tomorrow.
Life is right now.
Today is a lifetime.