Jun 2011

Ashyr's Summer 2, Bernie White Hatcher

Come back soon to read Ethan Lewis' poem from the June 30 reading. 

Screaming & Falling, Chris Martin

Come back soon to read Aaron Wayne's poem from the June 30 reading.

Lakeview 2, Joan Beeman

Sitting on the lakeside
imagination takes a journey
beyond the horizon
to the river in Southern Illinois
a time long ago

A break from learning
escape from responsibilities
letting the water splash all

Water draws peace within
a time of reflection
allowing two lovers time
to themselves

Leaving this lakeside meditation
we go back to our daily life
refreshed and inspired

K.A.T. Corrigan 

storm clouds rolling in
it's a late afternoon,
Storm Clouds Rolling In, Roland Folse
between April and June,
prime time for dramatic weather.

the prairie's vastness is
overshadowed, dwarfed,
by storm clouds
rolling in
on powerful winds.

the green fields are supernaturally luminous in the
frightful sallow light
of the impending thunderstorm;

cumulonimbus clouds move slowly but
arrive too fast --
great gray angry giants shouldering each other,
vying for the sinister pleasure
of raining destruction.

in an inside room away from windows
I huddle with The Dog
(absent proof that hell may soon be loosed, the fearless cats still snooze on window sills).
my painstakingly crafted agenda
is suspended in negative ions.
I can only wait
for mesocyclone and tornado watch --
or warning --
until the squall line passes

and I'm sure again I have a safe place
in which to pursue my
yet ultimately insignificant tasks.

Thea Chesley 

Working Girl
Munchers, Bernie White Hatcher

If I stood by the fence,
called your name, “Bessie, come!”
Would you trot across the pasture like a horse,
eager for an apple? I think not.

You are no Eve, tempted by what you do not know.
Steady as the rain you stand
and go right on, mouth to ground,
munching sweet leaves of grass
while the world spins
and strangers like me pass.
Oh, you may lift your head as if to say,
“Can’t you see I’m working here? Move on.”

At dawn the farmer’s boy comes,
Leans his sleepy head against your steaming flank.
His fingers deft relieve your heaviness;
then he smacks on your rump.
Now you trot — the working girl —down the hill to your favorite spot.

Corrine Frisch

Mary, Felicia Olin

Come back soon to read Joanna Beth Tweedy's poem from the June 30 reading. 

Bridge between Worlds

She stands in soft shadows, just out of reach,
Classic By Nature, Tracy Maras
sheltered by the golden branches – waiting.
Beyond the rushes and worn wooden planks,
shallows, running cold and clear, entice;
sunlight reflects, warming the rocks and stones,
slippery green moss welcomes the water,
cools the peaceful setting soaked in daydreams.

She can’t see past the edge, lost in tall grass.
Imagination chooses a meadow;
a soft blanket of clover and flowers
on which to rest. Logic chooses a path
much steeper, treacherous to maneuver.

Both hope and curiosity move her
forward when caution brings hesitation.

The bridge between these worlds crosses a stream
neither is able to negotiate.

Words no longer suffice to close the gap.


A Deliberate Presence
(A Beautiful Woman)

Peppers, Pat Kreppert
The harvested fruit
will enter my world
riding my tongue
with the grace
of Genghis Khan,
with the subtle nuances
of a ball peen hammer.
And I am a man
preparing to be
assaulted by peppers.

Arisen from siesta
in Ciudad de Springfield
I have wandered, drowsy in the fog,
to the warm veranda
to revive for the rest of the day.
I shall ingest a right hook to the senses
from this deceptive, deliberate fruit
whose bright hues
invite with a lie,
a plain-spoken patina
over darkest intentions,
riding the sunny serape-topped table
through the serenity of the day until I arrived.

And I am a man
who delights in
toying with tempests,
wallowing in the virility
of my capacity for self-abuse.

I will eat the peppers
and I shall prevail, eventually,
and I will stagger out of the maelstrom
of the senses alive,
revived, ready for what comes next.
It is not for the overwhelming heat
that I engage the kaleidoscope of terrors on green stems.

They are the aphrodisiac,
the catalyst to mellow mirth
fulfillment and redemption
when I conclude my little pre-amble
cut with a knife.
-- I am a man --
And they are not the whole
but the way to the whole,
to the complete cosmic interface
I shall savor
when I drink the pitcher
of tequila that will lift my soul,
and ride the magic carpet
of the sunny serape
that will take me home!

Job Conger 


What Lies Beneath, Tracy Maras
truculent spirit
zest of being
pouring briskly
into its endeavors

there lies
true measure
hard essence
of pure substance

force and drive
expansion and contraction
never letting go
seeking its own path

as it is with the vast sea
formidable, unrelenting
carrying complex elements
swirling and plunging

boundless yet focused
deep and true
rising to challenges
maintaining stride

countenance evolves
on its surface
forming only a glimpse
of what lies beneath

Mark Russillo 

Vachel Lindsay’s ENTRANCE

Vachel Lindsay Entrance, Tracey Maras
Suppose – Just suppose from my position on Fifth Street at Edwards, I am looking inward. 

The writer’s mind sees both this geometrically – this eye to the time of Hughes aircraft – almost stalls.
Almost stalls at her own poetic image – delivered by the artist’s hand.

Do I know the artist’s heart as I grin within? Neighboring nearby, 40 years ago, this poet lived in the shadow  of the Vachel vacancy. Who knew?

A twenty year old in discovery.

She never saw me, a pane. Please, a quick reflection of the Mansion shenanigans – this was feeding a small- town girl. Instant stimulation that limits inspiration.


Eyeing the scenes that would have been. Vachel, offering a shared path as this poet would trek with him across America to touch the common man. Buffooning in prophet form for hope and prosperity that stimulates each individuals “lion to roar.”

Why are we here now? To boast of my body’s reclamation. Yes, my structure, this entry door, this house holds me as I hold the painting, pining, and penning of the Lindsey’s.

The ages                  stages               changes.

I am celebrating this eccentric troubadour of tree bells, lotus, Congo – ah, you have given me permission to share my findings as I have found him later, but not too late. Sharing him now seems to be my fate.

The hand that chose to share this eye –

Rushed memories,

Rushed to pen,

Begs the question, is it Lois Lane again?

Barbara McDonald

“The Owl, the Night’s Herald” ~Shakespeare

Night Sounds, Tracey Maras
Seeing best at night, desire outraces the wind
perches your smell on branch and limb
stretches before me the way darkness presses
against the naked day—as my wings
once did upon you in twilight.

You prepared for death—I slept not—
trying to stop the moonlight
as it crossed the sky—attempting to hold it
and you a little longer.
But all living things merge into shadow.

The past plays in my brain now—
how your lips fit in my lips—
how your eyes fit in my eyes
how you showed me the way to soar    
between my good and lesser self
how you taught me to bend my head    
into the mantle of time.

Memory is a nest, best used for rest, then left in treetops.
Desire, a current to sail, an echo to answer,
a direction to point toward.
Love’s a perfectly pitched song, once heard never gone.

You prepared for death—I sleep not.
On my own—awake, listening through the foliage
I adjust my face, dig claws into wood.

Alone—but for the world, and this need
to grasp each moment’s sacred soliloquy—
smiling—as you would have it—

I cry and cut open life.

Anita Stienstra

Exercise in Freedom
Red Dancer, Richard Taylor

Don’t let the false power overpower thee
Among the eye of day
She floats loving life on the edge of fantasy
Oh Merci Monsieur me
Power is generated when others want what they see
you have
It takes the brave to believe in all the energy
Electricity of years and centuries
Compassionate love and energy
And oh the joy of living the---at---ri---cally

Like a stop sign to others souls
A sun shining or moons or stars unfold,
Possessing connectivity
A match head flicks a fire dance
On the wall shadows unite to join
The ancient rite of human souls
to touch and breath and bailamos

In the bigger sense, it’s all a dance
A touch, a swim, a strum, a run
Throw freedom’s hands up toward el rojo sun
Highways of human souls will elevate
and pulsate fluidity
in the blood vessels of earth’s atmosphere
Rudhira, Shanti, metta y amor
Let’s tap, tap, tap
A drum, a circle,
 it’s rhythm, it’s wild.
It’s electricity, it’s nature’s sensuality.

As we stick our noses in tiny tomes
Of robot intellectuality
That give us the perception
Of reality and interconnectivity
Strong Darlings, now I call to thee
sizzle real red hot creativity.

Lindsey Buis

Sonnet for Debbie’s Waiting
Waiting for Spring, Debbie Megginson

Sunlit window framed soggy yards of green.
Pithy iris reclaimed her promised ground.
Vernal breeze so quickly deceived the scene,
slammed the shutters, pulled my sweater around.

In fizzy heat half past the month of May,
purple passion hung o’er petals of white.
My hair uncurled and limped around all day,
for lilac’s sweet had barely stayed the night.

Freon cooling poured out with much disdain.
Then came a tweet and twit outside my door!
Hardy lily-of-the-valley remained.
Had lilt of life returned to me once more?

Pious gardens bespoke such loyalty.
Now sounds again this symphony for thee!

Pam Miller


Phase I
Azurean birds copulate in the feathery
Tiny, Little, Felicia Olin

Trees of Paradise while leanly long-limbed

Eve licks the juice that runs across crimson

Skin, one deep and delicious bite filling her throat.

Phase II
Cobalt birds tweet tempting tunes to rival

Even the temptress Helen, whose queenly

Persona keeps the ship of state afloat while

The crews of a thousand ships perish on alien soil.

Phase III
A sky of bird blue covers nests of mothers and

Their babes, free of fathers, as Mary caresses

Her own swelling belly, a fertile womb never sown

With lust and desire, foreign to paternal pleasure.
Phase IV
Clear-headed Sophia, in her belle-shaped gown,

Tarnished and a poor fit besides, leads her

Exaggerated happiness to avian gallows—blue,

Yes, but capable of contentment after all.

Ted Morrissey 

Gloaming, Bernie White Hatcher
rainbow hues lengthen
as the sun nears
its horizon bluing
the trees the roof
of the distant sheds lavender clouds
preside over evening
vespers a candle-lit moment soft

when I first moved
in the ground was nearly bereft of life
my gnarled hands carried water reviving green foliage every sprout painstakingly tended but today’s
rows diverge ragged
as my wheezing

though I can’t see
the vanishing point
from where I sit,
I hear the nighthawk
murmur its benediction between the falling light
and rising darkness
its wings bending time calling me to fly
beyond porous bones

Pat Martin 


Deep in the ancient redwood forest
Deep in the heart of the Redwood forest,
Voice of the morning wind in the treetops:
“Raven made you, Raven made you
Foolish men with Gods of marble,
Proud, vain men in stone cathedrals,
Raven made you, Raven made you,
Stole your voice from the cry of the eagle,
Stole this sky from the wings of the eagle,
Counting moon from the eye of the eagle,
Raven, Raven,
Stole the sun!
Stole the sun from the heart of the eagle!

Trickster rent the Manitou’s darkness,

Rolled out men on the tongue of the water,
Made us a world he stole from the eagle—
This is a trickster’s world!”

That’s what the winds in the redwood chant,

Cloaked in false dawn just at dawning:
“Strive or fail, win or love,
This is a trickster’s world!
First men freed from the Manitou’s prison,
Timid, cunning, weak and frightened,
Tore down the forests, poisoned the waters,
Forgot they were born of a trickster, trickster—
Turned their fear into man-shaped Gods.”

Raven trickster

Raven con-man
Carnival barker, fortune teller
Did not intend to make a world.
Did not make us in his image,
But in the image of his boredom.

Only meant to cheat the eagle,

Fool the eagle,
Mock the eagle! So raven stole the sun!
Stole the eagle’s prized possession!
Raven, Raven, Raven, stole the sun!

Hugh Moore 

A Hidden Place in My Heart

Wildflowers, Tracy Maras
The little, hidden cove by the way 
Covered in cool greens.... Sprinkled with yellow surprises
The blue pond where I dreamed up dreams
Balancing on rocks submerged, there I stood
Asking questions of all the "Whys" of childhood
The way things worked...or I thought they should
Hey...is that "Mopsey, Flopsey...or CottonTrail?"
I can still see my toy boats sporting their sails
Snuggled down in the satin grasses
Waching the ants traipse back and forth in endless passes
At least they know where they're going
Little songbirds fultter against the leaves above my head
Singing songs that only they know
But it's still pretty...though I wish I could sing along
Then I whistle...and they cock their heads to listen
Trying to interpret...I wonder.... Do they wish the same?
I look intently at the gnarly wood next to my face
Wow...this tree must be a thousand years old
Was this the first one that god planted?
As time rolls back in my memoires
I hear the faint remembrance of trilling over the meadow
"Come on home...it's dinner time!"
The mother's voice is calling a new child playing in these woods,
But Gee Whiz...it surely was just getting good!

Janice J. Robinson