Tag Archives: poem

psalm

by Meta Marie Griffin

 

I will not ask for relief;
only for stamina to make it through the night.
I cannot ask for a convenient belief,
instead an enigmatic mosaic full of darkness and light.
 
I do not desire magic in a bottle.
but the need to pay attention
to the miracle of butterflies and flight,
and all the life around me that is so often unseen.
 
I do not desire a throng of friends,
help me to find love in my own skin
so that when we meet,
you will recognize my face.
 
I will not wish for a cure.
I only need the strength to take that next step
and when I reach the top I will wait for you there.
I will leave behind this little prayer.

verna

by Traci Barr

My grandmother, Verna,
was a true Southern belle,
worried what the neighbors would think,
exquisitely beautiful,
delicate, fragile, willful, vain.
 
My Lord, she had cotillions and corsages,
the vapors, gentleman callers,
the whole damn archetypal nine yards.
 
I imagine she bought her groceries
at the local Piggly Wiggly.
There wasn’t a Whole Foods to shop in –
not back then.
 
When I was little,
I called her long distance every Sunday,
just to hear her sweet Southern drawl.
I had a long list of favorite words
that I would ask her to repeat.
And then I, a budding cook, would beg her to tell me,
for probably the hundredth time,
the story of how hushpuppies got their name.
“Hush, puppy,” she would say, over and over again,
as she described how those little balls of fried cornmeal
were tossed to quell the yapping of hungry Confederate dogs.
 
Ever the paragon of Southern manners,
she always patiently obliged me.
 
Grandma often drank too much
and during the summertime,
when I would visit her in Kentucky,
a universe away from my home at the Jersey shore,
she would creep into the guest room at night where I slept,
wake me and tell me
I was the most beautiful little girl
in the whole wide world,
stroking my hair and slurring her words.
 
Of course,
because she was drunk,
and believing I was, in fact, the ugliest little girl
in the whole wide world,
I did not buy it for a single minute –
the evidence was so distinctly in my favor.
 
Grandma was very radiant and a touch crazy
and her vanity eventually got the best of her.
She faded and slipped further and further away,
refusing to allow even me, her favorite, to see her
when she became completely disfigured by illness.
But in my mind she remained
a true Southern belle to the very end.
 

groundhog day in august

I am not a groundhog by Nan Lundeen
I am not a groundhog by Nan Lundeen
Brown fur, legs a blur
scurries through tall
grass, goes to ground—
a hole beneath
a storm drain slab.
Round ears
hug his head
like a teddy bear’s.
He didn’t ask for company
this cool August morning
yet
he stares
cautiously wondering.
We are strange companions.
 
–Nan Lundeen

the sign says

by mary ellen lives

Musing in the Park by Ron DeKett
Musing in the Park by Ron DeKett
Playing in or around
The river
Is strongly
Discouraged
 
It is not forbidden
It is not illegal
You will not be punished
 
The sign is not my mother
Spreading guilt
Like overflowing water
Brown with silt
 
It is not my father
A boulder
Beneath the white water
Chastising
 
The sign is calm
The sign is quiet
And only
Slightly
Discouraging

 

odd number

by chris thackston

Poet in the Park by Ron DeKett
Poet in the Park by Ron DeKett
Yes, I am the odd number,
It is I, the lonely worm,
Feeling trapped in a flock of birds
They fly through the trees,
Evil eyes staring at me.
 
Yes, I am the odd number,
Alone and rare as a black rose,
The Daisies that surround me,
Are full of color and light,
My darkness, a shadow of life.

 

 

river watching

by m.m. griffin

Boulders in the Park by Ron DeKett
Boulders in the Park by Ron DeKett
I hear cackles from earlier generations
and echoes of past conversations
in the water’s thucks and bubbles.
The voices are wet branches against the sky.
 
I see images of vaguely familiar faces
and distant places in the foamy water
crashing over rocks and swirling
in the river’s spiral.
 
I want to wade in the shallow water
and revel in the current’s resistance,
but there is not enough time.
 
I watch a man toss his rod into brown water.
After three attempts, he catches a small fish.
 
I try to remember something unseen
and wonder how far the river flows.
I want to stay and play for a while,
but I must go.

 

summer solstice tree

Solstice Tree by Ron DeKett
Solstice Tree
Photo by Ron DeKett

Summer Solstice Tree

Saluda, North Carolina

by: Nan Lundeen

On Summer Solstice
this Blue Ridge
Mountain
stream
the tumbling
Pacolet
turns white
draped
over Pearson’s Falls,
turns dark
wending between
boulders

rolls under
leaved
limbs

past turtles
orange jewelweed
plantain leaf sedge
hydrangea white and wild
scent of mint

skirts sand
bearing
bobcat prints
black bear
scat
roasting

thrums
his jazz tune
ever improv
whoosh-slap-lap

nudges
a block
of mossy rock
set in by a childlike
God
one day.

Bravely
holding
itself above the fray
a tiny tree
rises
from
the middle of the block

rooted
in such a precarious
spot
eternal
in the now
having chosen
sun.