On Seriousness

Carmen Herrera

Ah, the Gift!
To take Troubles
with a grain of salt
to weep at others’ pain
to laugh at our own
conscious the gift
of resilience

In childhood
we expected Life
to end at toothache
worlds to stop turning
for our discomforts
sympathy potent
as analgesic

In old age
we carry Pains
about as old friends
who’ve moved`in to stay
hands ache in grasps
find tranquility
in opening

“He had seriousness – extreme seriousness – for others,
but never for himself. Tranquility was to him.” ~ Herman Melville

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On Living

Joan Fullerton        joanfullerton.com

by beautiful art
live stagnant lives
frozen by fears
of losing all

throw open
doors & windows
inviting`in the light
the salty`breezes
the bird`song

is letting go
of what owns us
to receive that which
God would give
if we’d but

“To know what flesh inherits
learn the art of the little boat,
leave the solid footing,
row out upon the water.” ~ Wendell Berry

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On Resurrection

Joan Fullerton

It has taken awhile
to understand my own aging
The first half of my life
dominated as it was by learning
mastering my vocation
My mind obsessed in wrapping
itself around the Truth
by which my machine humming
made profit of potential
My staff proud in its succeeding
It has taken awhile

My mind I’ve found
is little more than a bucket leaking
It cannot hold the truths
which the free`market’s preaching
Can no longer adapt to
technology’s incessant re`booting
This last part of my life
finds much peace in not`knowing
leaving my heart open
to embrace community By loving
I’ve found my heart

“At 75, I am an empty flagon. Tap me and you will hear an awful
hollow sound. My head is a tomb quite as empty as the one Jesus is
supposed to have walked away from.” ~ Gore Vidal

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The Wheel [A Sabbath Poem]

cycling tattoo

The wheel
is meant for rolling
Its spokes tuned like strings
of a classical violin
for music

Hub to rim
the spokes integrate
the wheel’s power`potential
multiply its strength
Axle to tire

The peddle
propels the chain
drives the gear on the axle
the wheel moves
the world

You and I
are wheel`spokes
in society’s great machine
In Sabbaths rest
we re`tune

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which
he had made; and he rested on the seventh day.” Genesis 2:2

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On Reading

The Sketchbook Project

In your book
between the pages
in the creases crumbs
of last night’s cookies
witness my progress
in your story

I’ll never sell
a tale so calorie`rich
marred but by a snack
at mid`night as I read
but when I am dead
my kids’ll tell

by the crumbs
where I lingered
over your paragraphs
where I sped onward
to find the moral
of your story

In your story
between the pages
in the creases crumbs
of last night’s cookies
witness my progress
in your book

“Always read something that will make you look
good if you die in the middle of it.” ~ P.J. O’Rourke

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On Imagination

Charlotte McDonald

It is October
still the earth burns
The couple stands ankle`deep
in charred remains
dreams’ ashes

Wind & fire
are our hurricanes
if we live in the parched West
trees large & small
but kindling

crush some people
leaving them broken impotent
but others destined
to build anew

is tomorrow’s lens
for those who have eyes to see
in today’s seedling
vintage wine

“Even the worst fires clear the way for new growth.” ~ David Brooks

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The Day the Poet Died


One sunny day
in early August
the poet up and died
The song died with him
dried up in his throat
like a cut blade
of summer hay

What can I say
he succumbed
to poetry’s nemesis
[what the coroner said]
overcome at last by
all the sunlight
all the fresh air

He could not sit
pondering words
for hours at a time
when life bade him live
love bade him love
The bumble bee
went for nectar

The poet is dead!
Long live the poet!

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August Ends

Frank Cappello

August ends
a drip from a hose
long ago disconnected
from its wall`faucet

The onions
peel in their rows
their pale orange skins
browning in a sun

crawl over the last
of the summer lavender
fragrant to the end
of an old aunt

All nature seeks
a place in the shade
Jonah praying for a vine
to shield his shame
for silence kept

August ends
not with a thunder`
clap but the faint sizzle
shorting`out wires
on water`pumps

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Old Man

Jordan Clayton

They say
he lives in the past
that now the only room
left to him in his old age
After breakfast they wheel
him out into the garden
for bird`song now gone
inaudible to his ear
Old man

For colors
on the green`way
of trees bushes boxed`
flowers he no longer sees
fragrances beyond his smell
the commotion of his day
a child’s kaleidoscope
in his brittle mind
Old man

a door locked tight
against his imagination
by his ancient superstitions
where all he has known waits
precisely as he remembers
warm flesh cool sheets
a breath at his neck
Old man

They say
he lives in the past
his refuge the memories
stacked albums on the shelf
of the times & places he lived
all the people he had loved
who loved him in return
On his room’s door
‘Old Man’

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August Weeds

Kate Williamson

What is it
about weeds
when the faucets
of heaven turn off
and earth turns to dust
they find their own
when azaleas die
out of thirst
What is it?

What is it
about weeds
lets them thrive
green leaf and stem
yellow butter`cup`like
flower`​up overnight
as though to say
Owners Gone!

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A Running`Tide


They say
a tide runs
but I wonder
where it goes
when it lopes
off to the west
leaving behind
kelp in the sand
mussels on rocks
for the sea`gulls
to peck`over in
frenzied feasts
sandy bubbles
for clammers
to dig up for
big pots of

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Marlane Wurzback marlanewurzbach.com

Blueberries hang
like fat little ornaments
on the bright green shrubs
reminding me of Christmas
after 48 years of gathering
sleighs & bells & angels
each with a story

It is a good thing
they do not ripen all
at once or we would never
be able to keep up with them
before the neighborhood
birds cleaned them up
one berry at a time

During August I’ll
pick a gallon every week
to bag & toss in the freezer
Purple ornaments to sweeten
the gray days of winter Gifts
from bright green shrubs
that keep on giving

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