Poetry Month

2013 Poetry Month Supplement

Table of Contents

Note from the Editor
Match – by Mary-Jo Lord
Birch – By Nancy Scott
A Baby’s’ Birth – By Terri Winaught
Empathy – By Camille Petrecca
Blindness – By Valerie Moreno
Mother’s Day – By Sally Rosenthal
Break Away – by Ann Chiappetta
A Friend – By Ray Holland
Early Blooms – By Marilyn Brandt Smith
Miss Em Speaks – By Sandra Streeter
Opening Day – by Bonnie Rennie
Spring Lilacs – By Karen Crowder
Untitled Submission from Kate Chamberlin

You may skip to a new poem at any time by using your browser or word processor’s Find or Search function to look for the ### symbol.

Note from the Editor

Hello Everyone,

We have a great offering for you all this year, as multiple writers have chosen to share their poetry with us. Thank you to everyone who submitted for this special supplement. I hope you all enjoy the works represented here as much as I did.

Take care, and thanks for reading.

Sincerely,
Ross Hammond, Editor

###

Match – by Mary-Jo Lord

Looking
for a
match to spark
the embers of creativity
and inspiration forming ideas that
fill my white page
with the black
flame of
words.

###

Birch – By Nancy Scott

I knew you were God
calmly standing alone
in early spring grass.
Whole at your base,
trinity above, twisted,
sincere. Three rough-
fingered hands reached
palms up. You were not
tall, not smooth, not straight,
not afraid.

I read your carved
life of wrinkled parchment.
It said, “This is
how it really is
and it is enough.
Touch me and remember.”

###

A Baby’s’ Birth – By Terri Winaught

In March, I would have my first child.
My emotions were just running wild,
But when she came too soon,
My fears flew to the moon!
My fears were in full bloom!
And my feelings were not at all mild.

As I sat and labored to give birth,
I felt a closeness to God’s earth.
When I first touched my baby,
I was smitten! No maybe!
I was so filled with love, joy, and mirth.

She was born on Saint Patrick’s Day.
As I stroked her, on my chest she lay.
When I then fell asleep
And I made not a peep:
“Thank you, God,” was what I did pray.

###

Empathy – By Camille Petrecca

Run, young target-child, from chants and taunts!
Flee from word-stones hurtled by your peers.
Your only fault is being far less agile.
Move above their arrows and their jeers.
Climb high to rise from hiss of whispers spread.
Hide; confide within your tree-retreat.
Safe, in the sky, observe and grow and know,
So you will be another’s wisdom seat.
Yes, someday, young ones nestled next to you,
Or jostled gently on your wiggling knees,
Will learn from you who counsels, guides, and cares,
The gift of empathy which shares and frees.

###

Blindness – By Valerie Moreno

Stepping in to the world,
my white cane taps lightly
on ground, grass, making music.

As I walk, I am
confronted by assumptions-
“Oh, that poor thing!”
“How does she survive?”

Someone grabs my arm,
begins to tell me of
an operation or prays for my sight

I’m embarrassed, humiliated, irritated-
am I such a intolerable object,
only damaged eyes?

I shake my head,
no, it’s not being blind I contemplate
each hour, every day…

It’s the sound of music,
children laughing,
the purring of my cat,
the voice of a friend

I am not helpless or hero,
triumphant or tragic-
I just want you to open your eyes
to realize I am like you.

###

Mother’s Day – By Sally Rosenthal

On the second Mother’s Day without her,
my mother’s daughter woke to the ache of memory
and, as her mother had done, wrapped arthritic hands
around a coffee mug for warmth
and stroked the yellow Labrador who loved them both.

Honoring a legacy of fortitude and resilience that
had served her mother well through wartime England
and a life peppered with hardship,
my mother’s daughter, not giving in to sadness,
slipped a body grown lean through loss,
into new black jeans and topped them
with a rose pink sweater that called to mind
the flowers her mother had tended
in their small-town Pennsylvania garden.

Fastening her guide dog’s harness, my mother’s daughter
stepped out to find herself in a bookstore cafe
where, with the weight of a sleeping dog’s head on her foot,
she wrote this poem in her head
and held it in her heart.

###

Break Away – by Ann Chiappetta

She Hurts
I soothe by
traveling to the past
Littered with obsidian precipices
and blackness

caring for her
stirs vulnerability
like a cyclonic eye
determined to maim the heart.

Helping means
Chiseling grooves
The hammer blows striking
Shard by shard

Her prison begins to break away
As I fall apart.

###

A Friend – By Ray Holland

From the beginning of life until the end
There is always someone near you that you can call a friend

When you are walking or riding in a car
Your friend will be near you wherever you are
To find this friend you must open your mind
With a little concentration He will be easy to find

If you need comfort or just a thought to share
When you have a need for Him your friend will be there

There is no need to wonder or cry out His name
When you have problems He will appear without blame

Remember daily your friend is near
When Jesus embraces you there is nothing to fear

###

Early Blooms – By Marilyn Brandt Smith

Hello, yellow daffodil,
Forsythia, and tulip;
How did you find your way out?
It’s been so cold for so long;

Does Old Punxsutawney Phil
Have a vision problem too?
But Mother Nature promised!
Did you get your strength from her?

Welcome to our world again;
Tell your pink and purple friends
It’s safe, and it’s warming up;
Thanks for believing in spring.

###

Miss Em Speaks – By Sandra Streeter

“Forever away?”
This, my plaint,
Occupying days…and days… and days…
After that ginormous, wheeled parcel of human garb
Has followed you I-Don’t-Know-Where!
Only so much to dine, and drink, and recreate,
Before retiring to my lonesome bed.

Click! Sweet, familiar signal.
The great xyloid shield swings inward!
“Oh, boy! Oh, boy! Oh, boy! Oh, boy!”
(Have I memorized the ad, or what)!
So, I, with unabashed longing,
And unfiltered glee,
Shout my greeting,
Sing like Etta James!

Your Humanian response, in Mother-Dialect,
Is worthy salutation:
Bidding me to close pursue,
As you fast unload all
That left with you, and then some.
Swept up in your embrace,
Once…again… again…
My tuxedo smoothed–
I give my low assent,
Depart for but a moment, then
Seek your hand once more:
I work from the soprano score:
“Please, miss…I want some more…”
And that is Truth entire.

###

Opening Day – by Bonnie Rennie

Hurray Hurray, it’s Opening Day!
Time to chase our blues away.
Yes, there’s work to do and bills to pay,
But it’s time to play
Baseball!

Since Halloween we’ve been bereft.
The field’s deserted, our team has left.
But a spark of hope we’ve faithfully kept,
For February and Spring Training will come around.

The players will report, the manager will explain,
The feel of the sun, the pungent March rain,
This year will be better, will be the refrain,
Aspiring pitchers will take to the mound.

The mistakes of last season are forgotten at last.
Bitter stolen victories finally put in the past.
The new year’s a clean slate and will go by too fast.
Maybe this year our team will be crowned.

So we drop what we’re doing, because life is too brief.
It’s now early April, fans turn over a new leaf.
Source of towering joy, alas, also great grief,
Bat connecting with ball, how we love the sound!

Hurray Hurray for Opening Day!
Hope springs eternal, it’s supposed to be that way.
The Boys of Summer are here to stay!
We’re all ready to play
Baseball!

###

Spring Lilacs – By Karen Crowder

These fragrant shrubs bloom everywhere in the Northeast,
Filling homes and yards with their sweet gentle scent,
They bloom for too short a time in April and May
I smelled there fragrance off my parent’s back porch
Mom brought them in placing them in vases on windowsills in our kitchen and living room.
They’re pretty blossoms filling our house with their delicate perfume.

At school you could smell their sweet scent through open doors.
Their elegant shrubs in tall glass vases in every cottage,
I was happy discovering this scent came in bottles,
You could find lilac perfume everywhere from the five and ten to door-to-door catalogs
Inhaling lilac cologne during winter reminds us of spring days to come.

Lilacs are hardy even blooming in the cold of Northern Maine
Their fleeting sweetness reminding us summer with its heat will soon arrive.

###

Untitled Submission from Kate Chamberlin

I am not a poet
And everyone knows it.
I cannot make things rhyme
So, I’ll not waste your time.

###

End of Poetry Supplement

2012 Poetry Issue

This is the Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind
2012 Poetry Issue

Table of Contents

Editor’s Note
Nancy Scott – Advantages of Not Knowing Mirrors
William Shake ‘N Bake – An Epicurean’s Epigram
Sally Rosenthal – Solace
Bunny Maginnis – I Saw a Sunset
Ann Chiappetta – Appearances
Cathy Brotz – Growing Old and The Golden Door
Valerie Moreno – Wake Up Call
Marilyn Brandt Smith – The Walk Home
Floris Brown – You dressed me in purple
Lori Castner – Window-shopping
Claudia Del Real – Another Day
Carol Fleischman – Braille
Rosetta Brown – A Poem Is
Carole Rose – Swinging
Rex Leslie Howard, Jr. – Force Unseen
Abbie Taylor – I Walk Alone
Ray Holland – The skies I remember
Ed Neiman – Meditation on the Memorial Wall
Karen Crowder – Country Folks
James Boswell – Oh Kapten My Kapten
Ruth E. Coleman – The Promise Keeper
Norma A. Boge – Longing
Bonnie Rennie – Okay I Can’t See
Kalu Ndukwe – A Third String Gratitude

For your convenience, each poem is separated by the ## symbol.

Editors Note: Poetry is literary art, and forces the artist into a habit of intricate deliberation as they carefully place words into a confined space–like a watchmaker gently laying the gears and springs into the body of their work. Every element is meaningful and has a defined purpose as they build rhythm and meld to fulfill the function of the artist. But where time is static, poetry is like a cloud–constantly changing and experienced differently by each observer.

I would like to thank everyone who submitted material for this year’s poetry issue. You have all done a fantastic job.

Enjoy!
##
Nancy Scott – Advantages of Not Knowing Mirrors

I’ve forgotten again
what color
my clouded eyes are.
People have said grey,
but someone said blue once
and I like the sound of that.

I want to hear my face’s
laugh lines and heart shape
and wishful forty-five-year-old skin
but I don’t ask,
not wanting the sound of truth
unknowable by touch.

I can feel
my Irish-bent nose
and the breathlessness
of twenty pounds I should lose.
But the sound
of my still-thick hair
is silver.

Now isn’t that more fun than seeing?
##
William Shake ‘N Bake – An Epicurean’s Epigram

Eat what you love, and love be what you eat
O you who snack on care’s perfidious crimes.
A fool’s content lies more with white than wheat,
and diet is a symbol of the times.
Love is a dish of gusto-garnished veal,
and steak is not outwitted by the rest
of Cupid’s saucy arrows, for his meal
contents love’s least sad labour with the best.
If low-fat yogurt adds but little spice
to salad dressings creamy and divine,
it is the diet’s demons dour device.
Love and be loved with fat and flavour fine.
If counting calories you do despise,
then grab a chocolate milkshake and be wise!
##
Sally Rosenthal – Solace

I brought my mother a dog
to polish the dullness
of a nursing home routine and
make it sparkle
with Labrador enthusiasm.

I brought my mother a dog
to remind her she was the same person
whose ninety-one years had been graced with canine devotion,
from the wire-haired terrier of her native England
who, being averse to grooming, buried his brush in a neighbor’s garden,
from the mastiffs bred and shown by her late sister at Crufts,
from the Boston terrier, assorted brown mutts, and retired hunting spaniels
who had Christmas presents under our family tree
to the yellow Labrador who, with my hand on her harness,
deftly guided me through the institutional halls
on her missions of comfort.

I brought my mother a dog
to salve my conscience for
the care I could not provide
and to assuage my guilt for
the luxuries I had at home of
meals of my own choosing,
hot cups of tea,
and quiet privacy.

I brought my mother a dog
a few hours before she died.
As I held her waif-like hand,
listening to her changing breath and
bidding her safe travel, I prayed
the woman in the nursing home bed
that held no hint of home realized
I had brought us both a dog.
##
Bunny Maginnis – I Saw a Sunset

I awoke in darkness, the hour seemed quite late.
How long had I been sleeping, I tried to concentrate.
I must have closed the curtains, that’s it, without a doubt.
Or perhaps, a storm came through and then electricity went out.
I felt my way across the room and when I found the door,
I opened it and stood there, bewildered and unsure.
The birds were sweetly singing and folks were walking by.
At first I felt fear and anger, and then I began to cry.
For it was my eyes, I lost my sight I knew it had to be.
But I felt so alone and frightened, how could this happen to me.
I cried my God, where have you gone,
Why have you left me all alone?
You know on you I will rely,
But must I be blind until I die?
And then, in my mind’s eye there did appear,
A vision bright, and very clear.
A blue sky, puffy clouds, lovely to behold,
Surrounded a suspended ball of crimson, orange and gold.
My mind’s eye filled with wonder, I shed not one single tear drop.
For you see, I viewed this lovely scene standing high on a mountain top.
It was this that made me realize,
That I could live without my eyes. Though physically they are quite blind,
I’m not sightless in my mind.
Whenever a thing I wish to see,
I activate my memory.
Yes, that’s a day I’ll not forget.
I lost my sight, but, I saw a sunset.
##
Ann Chiappetta – Appearances

Once, not long ago
the details of life consumed me
Images of wild flowers, riotous colors in a
blanket of green
were picked, not left untouched.

Dependence on Televised Greek tragedies
Indelible Portraits, live feeds and last breaths
Possessed me.

Now a sound or smell overrides the lost optical cues
Memories ribbon the air with Familiar scents
Warm, pungent earth after it rains
Reminders of ripening tomatoes
The brace and sting of crisp winter wind
Recollections of hikes in the snow tipped pines

The soft, clear tinkle of ice on a windowpane
And my husband’s breathing deep in the night
Comforts the troubles
Lulls me back to sleep
##
Cathy Brotz – Growing Old and The Golden Door

Author’s Note: The first poem was written by my grandmother, Katherine Gilbert Cullerton, who was blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa. She wrote the poem in January 1985. She passed on in January 1988, just shy of her 98th birthday.

The second poem was written by my father, John H. Cullerton, on January 16, 1988, the day that his mother passed. He is legally blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa and will turn 87 on May 20, 2012.

Growing Old
Katherine Gilbert Cullerton

You’ll never know how sad it is,
What growing old can be like,
Until you’re near the Golden Door.

My eyes are dim, my hearings’s poor;
The arthritis in my back
Gets worse with every twist and bend.

So enjoy yourself while you are young.
Get the things you can afford.

My greatest pleasure was helping others
And lending a helping hand.

I have a wonderful family
And kind friends by the score,
But I hope it won’t be very long
Before I reach the Golden Door.

The Golden Door
by John H. Cullerton

She sees it now… the Golden Door.

Slowly, nearer, nearer, nearer,
Even nearer, nearer more.

She is there now…

Then turns to take a final bow,
And returns to former state,
Of passing through that Golden Gate.

We do not know what lies ahead,
But see her smile as she does tread,
Along the beauty flower bed.

She slowly disappears from view,
As the Golden Door askew
Gently closes.

She is gone.
##
Valerie Moreno – Wake Up Call

Brooding too long
in bare branches
absent vitality

A touch stirs
sleeping resolve energy
time to imagine

untangle
unravel stiff boredom and respond-
universal wake-up call
##
Marilyn Brandt Smith – The Walk Home

I seldom walk this way, but since it’s late,
The highway tempts me, offers smoother tread.
Approaching from the woods, my traps all set,
I see that rain has left a silver sheen;

Lights from a passing car direct my gaze;
Am I the first to come upon distress?
Tendrils flutter, motion draws me near.
A child, a wounded dog, what have we here?

Hurry home and call for help from town?
Lift this bundle, see what I can do?
I touch the unfamiliar, pull away,
My God! It’s only broken bales of hay!

I murmur thanks, and soon go on my way.
##
Floris Brown – You dressed me in purple

In my grim loneliness
I also want to love
touch you
feeling with passion
the curves of your face
until I have my picture
of how I think you
might look

your voice, your warm
presence
your smell, your footstep
your laughter, is all I have
to hold on to
to know
you are mine

your explosions of fury
your intolerable manner
of screaming at me
no patience venom
the purple dress you always
clothed me with
as doctors told

dimmed my light yesterday
like the branches of a willow tree
your dark side
hovered over me
clothed me enfolded me
and I wanted to elope
away from the dark side in you

then you give me your shoulder …
##
Lori Castner – Window-shopping

I spent those weeks
Before each childhood
Christmas
Yearning to possess
The store display.
I stood in crowds
And peered through glass
Unable to afford
The porcelain doll
That begged for
Unconditional love.
I longed to caress
Sumptuous blonde curls
Knowing they would feel
Soft as down.
My fingers ached
To stroke supple skin
Certain it would prove
Lifelike and warm.
Eyes that shut in sleep
And opened wide in pleasure
Tantalized and beckoned.
Each day I stood adoring,
And anticipated Christmas
Sure she would be there
Beneath our tree.

The year I turned thirteen
I ceased to hope,
Too old for dolls,
Anyway.
Instead I received
A synthetic coat
My parents scrimped
All year to buy
And wore it six Decembers
Against Chicago chill.

Loving you is like
Those childhood times.
I return day after day
To bask in your smile
While your eyes look beyond me
To the nearby crowd
Or watch your own
Reflection in the glass.
Faithfully I wait
In reverence.
Eagerly you seek your own.

I long to relive
That yuletide season
When I put aside
Childish things.
And gratefully accepted
A gabardine cloak
That warmed me in seasons of cold.
##
Claudia Del Real – Another Day

Another day
Has come and gone.
Yet every day’s
like a new dawn.

So full of promise,
So full of life,
So full of hope
And sometimes strife.

Another day
Has come and gone.
Yet every day’s
Like a new dawn.

Love with your heart,
Live with your soul,
You’ll shed your tears
And sometimes lose control.

Another day
Has come and gone,
Yet every day’s
Like a new dawn.

Enjoy your life,
Conquer your fears,
And always know,
These are your best years!
##
Carol Fleischman – Braille

Fog hides the loops and lines of print.
A hand sails over a sea of dots,
Letters, words, and sentences flow past.
Fingers, like a silent ship, read forward.

A pattern of six dots plots a course.
The treasure is mine; I know the code.
Steady fingers ride the waves of dots,
Taking me as far as my mind can travel.
##
Rosetta Brown – A Poem Is

A poem is a bequest to leave behind
It is a treasure the poet bestows upon mankind
The poem is part of the creator that can be read and recited many years later

It is a brief moment in time
I dedicate it to the reader for it’s no longer mine
The poem may give them some insight
Or lessen burdens for some plight
##
Carole Rose – Swinging

The swing sits quietly in the early spring sunshine,
Waiting for me.
It has been months since our last voyage together.
I climb onto the swing
and grip its warm, strong chains.
The familiar sense of anticipation returns.
I swing gently at first
listening to birdsong
savoring the cool breeze,
and then:
I begin to push harder and swing higher.
I stand in the seat, my muscles straining,
willing myself to soar even higher.
I am oblivious to the other children on the playground.
I am wild with joy.
The wind speaks to me.
My heart is singing
my smile is radiant.
The swing is even with the bars.
I am free!
I am reaching for the sky!
I want to kiss the sun, to capture a fleecy cloud!
Suddenly I realize I can go no higher.
The swing slows.
I am spent, yet exhilarated.
I tumble onto a grassy carpet
and bury my face in its greenness.
A swing is just a swing and I am just a child.
One can only swing so high.
And yet
Imagination offers endless possibilities.
My swing and I will soar again.,
ever higher until we touch the sky.
I will kiss the sun,
I will capture my fleecy cloud.
##
Rex Leslie Howard, Jr. – Force Unseen

I come from places far and near.
I’m a moaning, whispering voice of force.
I’m not transparent though I am clear,
and nature guides my course.

I bring the world refreshing reprieve,
on the hottest days of spring,
In the Fall I prune away last year’s leaves.
while southbound birds take wing.

I bring the flurries of whitest snow,
with the chill of winter days.
I wonder aimlessly to and fro,
and sing in ghostly haunting ways.

I amplify scent when the days grow long;
I give waves to the heat and shimmer to the light.
I bring the tune of returning birdsong.
I’m the sweetness of remembered summer nights.

I’m an endless cycle not to be undone,
always beyond the hands that grasp.
Angry, I can be stopped by no one.
Even the oceans yield to my task.

I comfort, enrich, bless and curse
and spread life around the globe.
I suck vast waters up when I suffer thirst.
yielding only to God’s control.

I bring down cities and entire nations,
with only a whispering sigh.
Never tiring and constantly patient,
I live on though I frequently die.

I am the one thing physical eyes will never see,
And against which Mortal man is helpless to defend.
I am the thing I’ve been and will always be,
I am the awesome force of wind.
##
Abbie Taylor – I Walk Alone

In favorable weather, I take the sidewalk
to the bank, pharmacy, post office, jewelry store,
card shop, senior center, library.
My white cane sweeps from side to side in front of me.
Alone except for the cars that whizz by.
I find peace of mind.
##
Ray Holland – The skies I remember

Beautiful was the deep blue of a clear morning sky
Fluffy white clouds that floated in every imaginable shape
A large white whale followed by fluffy cannon balls in the wake
A sitting dog begging for scraps of food, than falling on his backside
A bowling ball disappearing into a floating ship
Oh those unlimited, wonderful cloud pictures in the beautiful blue sky
Jet streams that criss-cross the sky on clear cloudless days
Each day gave off new dramatic scenes as my head turned upward to observe them

Dark stormy clouds in a grey sky that blot out the sun and warn of impending bad weather
Bright streaks of lightning followed by rolling booms of thunder usually followed
The bright sun breaking through any break in the clouds was and is a never forgotten warmth of nature

The night sky is a wonder to behold on a clear dark night
Stars that twinkle and shine as pinpoints of white light are uncountable
Each night the moon changes its size and brightness
Was that a man’s face that is on the full moon?
Birds fly, bugs skim and flutter about the sky

Now without sight all the memories of that greatness above live on in my memory

However, are they still all there?
There is warmth that flows from above to cover my face and arms
Clouds and shadows blot out that sunny warmth from my body
Today is that great sky looking just as I remember?
Or is it just a nebula,
Nothing that I now seem to perceive?
##
Ed Neiman – Meditation on the Memorial Wall

Author’s Note: A perspective, in reverie, upon a visit to The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., and Remembering my brother, Gary Preston Neiman: (1951-1969).

Diaphanous, incorporeal, wrought of reverie,
A soldier’s image looms in fantasy
Over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.
His arms, (as The Wall), extend in earnest plea;
And thus perceived, the colossal eidolon speaks to me:

“Serving America, I perished in far-off Vietnam,
Bereft of blithesome youth’s due aspiration.
Dauntless, facing adversary’s pestilential gun,
Was I forfeited to vicious strife’s abomination.
My arms entreat: Come, see what this war has done!
As now they stretch inert in resignation.”

These arms are a wall of burnished granite, (black for mourning):
Poignant is the somber metaphor.
These arms are a ledger unfolded:
Grim chronicle of commitment’s tariff.
Names of this war’s casualties mortally wounded, (so many treasured thousands),
Here, with profound tribute, are enduringly told.

Not all the rain that bathes these gargantuan arms
Could fade the taint of blood surged from Kinsmen dispatched;
Nor could all the sunshine that warms their graven panels
Disperse the torrent of tears shed by those who loved ones here ennobled.

These arms, downward cant, seem heavy laden,
As ponderously burdened with eons of precious years unspent.
These arms are spread like a tormented V,
–For venture? … Or for Vietnam?

A V, devoid of conviction, shallow, inverted, signing distress,
Like flagging wings of a valiant Eagle aggrieved,
Or like a shaken Nation’s countenance woeful shown.
But yet, A V that strengthens structure,
Bulwark ‘gainst the surge of time and tide’s obliteration,
Forefending inhumation.

Oh, this palpable commemoration!
Its majestic simplicity!
It’s enthralling democracy!
Its fervent solemnity!
Pledge of perpetual veneration!

Meditate upon this stately, humble, Wall.
Apprehend its pleading call.
Mute, it speaks with myriad tongues in silence,
Despite the stifling hand of violence.
Listen to the eloquence of hush:
A whisper midst quotidian rush.
Gaze into deepness ‘neath its lustrous sheen,
Mirrored in glaze, perceived, unseen.
Touch the singled symbol of address,
As once was dealt the fond caress.

Each name here scribed: a history hewn by tragic conflict,
–Abridged amidst a battle breaking.
Each cherished soul bethought: a private echo in the heart of its beloved,
–A throbbing, wistful, aching.
Each past: some future’s fabric weft of sacrifice,
–Demand of calamitous leave-taking.

Honor those absent.
Recall them present.
Wonder: what if…?

GRIEVE.

But these arms, alas, cannot embrace to grant surcease
Of sorrow’s pang, or abate the timeless anguished breath;
Nor ever can they, tranquil, folded be in pose of peace:

THESE ARMS, INSENSATE, ARE INELUCTABLY FROZEN by DEATH.
##
Karen Crowder – Country Folks

We awaken not to the sound of honking horns,
We are not disturbed by the constant sound of roaring traffic,
The melody of chirping birds wakes us from sound slumber
The quiet whisper of breezes coming through our open windows,

Early mornings are not nerve jostling with jarring sound of rush hour traffic
People always rushing down streets to subways and busses
In the country the smell of growing things fills the air,
Unhurried people arrive at work content with the gentle chatter of rustling leaves and barking dogs.

Late afternoon horns blare in the mayhem of oncoming traffic
People wishing to escape the cacophony of city noise,
Cars glide home with already planted gardens
The melody of robins and chickadees greeting them as they arrive

Nighttime falls with city sound of boom boxes and slamming car doors,
Serenity and rest are hard to find with loud music and sirens
The peepers chirp, birds serenade us through the evening
Sitting on porches, we love the tranquility of the country.
##
James Boswell – Oh Kapten My Kapten

Oh Kapten my Kapten, I broke down and cried,
Becausse I was bewildered by your study guide.
Oh Kapten my Kapten, directing toward success
With MP3 player, FM, and GPS.
Oh Kapten my Kapten, global navigation
Your system will point the way to my destination.
Oh Kapten my Kapten, global navigation,
Announcing streets in my town and across our nation.
Oh Kapten my Kapten, I need to be aware
Of where I am, where I’ll go, and how I will get there.
Oh Kapten my Kapten, when I choose to roam,
Your voice will declare to me
How I will get home.
##
Ruth E. Coleman – The Promise Keeper

In all the things that have happened to me,
God’s given me ability to see.
How to make it to the other side,
Whether I walk, jump, slip or slide.
He’s given me ways to conquer my foes,
By sniffing their deception, with my keen keen nose.
So far as attacks,
I ignore the whacks.
Like Ziggy and his dog,
I am victorious in smog.
Never knowing which way is up,
My way is made sure by my faithful pup.
Who is lead by the Powerful unseen Hand,
The Lord and Redeemer of mortal man;
The same who once walked on water,
Who healed the sick and raised Jairus’ daughter.
Who spit on clay and made the blind to see,
Who told His Disciples. “Even though they Crucify Me…,
I’ll shake off death on Day Three.”
and His Promise to you and to me,
“I’m coming again, and ALL WILL SEE!”
Can we trust Him? Sure we can,
Even better than sighted man,
Because we know who leads us, not our dog,
He’s the One who created and sees clearly in the smog.
He knows where we’re going, and our end.
He’s the One Who made us… Jesus, Our Best Friend.
##
Norma A. Boge – Longing

When days are dark and the world’s so cold
And memories are all I have to look forward to
I think about you, so sweet and so playful
And how I loved to see the boy inside the man
I know you loved me for your own reasons
And my heart holds a special place for you
Time and space conspired to keep us apart
And I’m sorry fate dealt the hand it did
I will carry on, as will you, down separate paths
And I’ll meet you where the stars collide
##
Bonnie Rennie – Okay I Can’t See

Some say “So sad that you can’t see!”
But that simply seems so silly to me.
The sights in sounds, in symphony
So sensational, not to be scrapped or scorned, sincerely!
I savor the songs, and seriously!
No room to perceive them, if I could see.
The shouting sea, the sandy shore,
The sheltering sunset, who could seek for more.
The other senses see how to celebrate life.
Were I to see now, it would surely bring strife.
So please don’t say “sorry” that I can’t see.
Glad to set aside the shallowness
Love what my heart can see.
##
Kalu Ndukwe – A Third String Gratitude

Though not a 1st or 2nd string,
Which the world may call east or west,
But my heart truly sing:
Thanks, thanks for your best,
Life’s battles fiercely fought,
That the blind everywhere:
Their joy and independence no more hurt,
And peace to all found so dear!
##
END OF POETRY EDITION 2012

Poetry Month Submissions

It was brought to my attention that April is National Poetry Month.  I always enjoy opening the magazine up to our readers, so I asked for anyone who was interested to submit their own poetry to create this section.  Below, you’ll find a collection of poems submitted by a number of talented Ziegler Magazine readers and writers.  I enjoyed reading each and every poem that was submitted, and I hope you do as well.  Each poem is separated by the ## symbol for your convenience.

Cynthia Groopman – Tomorrow is Just a Smile Away

When nights are sleepless and rather long,

When I feel down, lacking energy, nor am I strong.

In my mind I remember what my mother used to say,

“Tomorrow is just a smile away.”

When raindrops pound, frightening me,

When my night seems void and empty,

I just remember what my mother used to say,

That tomorrow is but a smile away.

When the day has been tiresome and too occupied,

When I feel lost or mystified,

I remember what my mother used to say.

Tomorrow is just a smile away.

Thus, I look forward to that smile tomorrow will bring,

With mirth and sunshine, my heart will once again dance and sing.

##

T. Winaught – Seeds and Trees

 It starts as a small seed,

But in time you will see

When watered with encouragement,

Hope can become a tree.

At first it seems not much,

But it won’t take too long

For this tiny seed-turned-tree

To become tall and strong.

But trees can become bruised:

Their branches bent and broken.

Like us, they can feel despair;

The word “hope” not spoken.

Their leaves, drooping and sad,

Have given up on hope.

They look like people crying:

It’s all a downward slope.

Then palms become ashes

from which hope’s plumes arise,

And clouds, once black and brittle

make way for sunny skies.

All of us are those trees

which means we bend and slope.

Like the trees, we wave our hands,

And say “hello” to hope!

##

Nancy Scott – Basic Truth

I have a friend who always helps 

with cleaning and with driving. 

She does the things I cannot do 

so people think I’m thriving. 

And all the things I do not like 

she does without complaining. 

She’s helped me now for years and years 

and never needs my training. 

The other day, a closet top 

she couldn’t reach for dusting. 

She went to get a longer brush 

and talked about adjusting. 

She wanted to explain to me. 

It didn’t take much thinking. 

With tool in hand, she stated firm 

“the step-ladder is shrinking.”

##

Valerie Moreno – Springlight

After winter

lasting seemingly forever

hope awakens

vibrant color

endless possibilities

for beginning again

##

Karen Crowder – May Sunshine

May days with warm inviting sunshine gently arrive

Lilac bushes and irises blossom, perfuming the balmy air,

Afternoon sun dances on flowers and newly-mown grass,

We can now step outdoors in cotton dresses or shorts

May Day pageants and first communion celebrations enliven May

Now Memorial Day surprises us with bands and parades

Swimming pools open, hamburgers and hotdogs waft through the air,

Dairy bars and amusement parks open for the summer months

June will arrive with its heat, entrancing us with the delightful promise of summer

##

Ann Chiappetta – In Those Dark Moments

In those dark moments

When eyesight doesn’t matter

Where light burns and stars stay undiscovered

The grip of the handle

Eases the panic like a mother’s hand

Before the fear rises

Warm nose finds the way down the hall, up the stairs, into the store

Like the familiar sounds of morning

The light click of toenails on tile reassures

I grip the handle and follow

the soft jingle of leather and brass

and faint canine scent

conveys that

in those darkest moments

I am not alone.

##

Marilyn Brandt Smith – Run for the Roses

Mint Juleps, Derby pie,

The favorite? Blitzen, a big bay.

Media begs stars and strategists for picks,

Tradition draws one hundred thousand fans.

Sprinkles worry the track;

The bugler blasts his “Call to the Post,”

“Oh, the sun shines bright”

Echoes across the Downs.

“And… they’re off!” the announcer cries,

Owner’s colors fly by,

Winners all, the thoroughbreds thunder on,

A place in history, just two minutes away.

The bugler likes Annabel Lee,

She’s four to one odds, but you never know.

Could have won the fillies’ race yesterday,

But the “What if” dream finds her here.

Museums, movies, memoir celebrate

Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed;

Fancy-dressed ladies and gents

Savor the unbridled spirit.

Down the back stretch, the bay owns the lead.

The crowd smells victory.

His girl crowds the rail, moves up;

“Faster, girl!” the bugler cries.

Blitzen wins by two lengths, Annabel Lee is fourth.

Watch the bay prance blanketed in roses.

Jockey, owner, trainer claim the winner’s circle.

It’s on to the Preakness and the Triple Crown!

His girl will run again,

Bare a bold contender one day;

Blitzen is his favorite now,

Kentucky claims another hero.

##

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega – Laughter

A snicker shows tarnish

And is a little unkind.

A snigger is worse

So I always find.

A laugh can be brittle

Like shattered glass.

When it lacks joy

It is only brass.

Sometimes it’s tinfoil

Wrapped tight round a pain.

To hide it from others,

And help you keep sane.

The worst kind of laughter,

Is meant to hurt.

It’s scratched and it’s ugly,

All covered with dirt.

A laugh can lift spirits

When you’re feeling down.

Can make you feel better,

And banish a frown.

A horse laugh is loud,

A dog laugh’s a chuff.

They both think that people,

Do such silly stuff.

The one thing I know

Is entirely true

They don’t mean to hurt

When they’re laughing at you.

A baby’s giggle is silver

Like a tinkling bell.

Young girls and most children

Can do it quite well.

A guffaw is bronze

And sounds best from the old.

Joyful laughter is sunshine

All shining and gold.

I think that laughter,

Can really be fun,

When it is shared and not

At the expense of someone.

Things weren’t always easy

There were days that were sad.

But we’ve always shared laughter

And for that I am glad.

So know that I love you,

When I venture to say,

You’ve brought me gold laughter

And joy in each day.

##

Karen Clark – My Invitation

If you smile at me

I cannot see you,

But, if you speak to me

I’ll say hello.

If you wave to me

I cannot see you,

But, if you say hello

I’ll answer your greeting.

If you nod at me

I cannot see you,

But, if you voice your thought

I’ll respond to you.

If you have pictures to share

I cannot see them,

But, if you describe them

I can enjoy them too.

If you invite me to an event

I cannot see your friends,

But, if they say their names

I can look at them

And talk to them.

If you wink at me

I cannot see you

But, if you come close or touch my arm

I’ll smile and connect with you.

If you’re wearing a new piece of clothing,

Or jewelry

I cannot see them,

But, if you tell me about them,

Or, let me touch them,

I can enter your place of joy

And, share with you.

If a sunset or rainbow or beautiful clouds

Make your soul sing,

I cannot see them,

But, if you share your sense of awe,

I can enjoy your wonder

And share my treasures.

Like, kitty purring

Or dog kisses,

Or owl’s song at night

Or sweet melodies

Or harmony of symphonies.

How about the joy of singing together,

The taste of a delicious meal, dessert?

How about a baby offering you a cookie

Or the fragrance of a flower

Or the excitement of a good book.

I can share excitement with you,

Sadness, frustration, anger, or togetherness.

Please include me so all our lives will be richer in spirit, friendship, and love.