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(A prose poem. Sort of)

What are you driving at?

Steer around potholes

Shakespeare married an Avon lady

Farmers and cowboys stand hat-to-hat

The parade’s gone by

Freelance grouch inside

Let’s not fight about it

Semi-colons are ungainly

No. Just no.

Support decoupage

Insinuate subtly

Are squirrels happy?

Set no river on fire

Play more whist and euchre

You’re too close

Spell ‘Pneumatic’

Be humble and unpretending

Self-propel

Scratch senior itch

Does your cat kvetch?

Reflect in silent awe!

Excuse the vulgar rich

Bless the mute button

Dogs are people, too

Read Keats

Don’t pet baby bears

Save your breath

Honk if you love licorice

It is what it is

Resist camel-wrestling

By Corky Simpson

SEARCHING FOR HOPE

I am searching for hope

To fill the hole of despair

That is ripping my heart to pieces.

I am finding strength from sisters and brothers

Like me on the same path.

Their chants “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”

“TIME FOR REAL CHANGE ”

Can this be so?

Their faces tell me yes,

Their actions tell me yes,

But history tells me no.

How many more deaths?

How many more inequities?

How many losses, hurts, despairs?

And yet, I see a hand reaching out

I hear a voice of calm

I see a smile, a tear …

A hope … a small hope

Enough, I pray to get through one more day.

By Melinda Louise

Insight at Twilight

The sun dresses the mountains

in flimsy pink nightgowns,

shading daylight to twilight

before turning on starlight,

as I walk two dogs and a cat.

(I call the nightwear flimsy

not as a bit of whimsy,

but because the mountains’ ridges,

their dark, bony edges

pierce black through the rosy gowns.)

Sister and Mister on lead

can be curbed by me, indeed,

while KittyBoy, sans tether,

unfettered altogether,

can scamper about at will.

He runs ahead to create

a trap and he lies in wait

to mew, to pounce, and then veer

as he swats Sister drawing near;

he’s flaunting his liberty,

Yet often the cat will lag

behind us, whine, mew, and nag

until I heed him and halt

as I sense the gestalt

of the need to be free, yet belong.

Then I ask him to stay with us,

and go on our way with us,

for from this tableau I find

that ties do not only bind,

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By Miriam Burt

BURDEN

As I walked down the road

I was toting a load

In the form of a toad

I will say.

Oh why did I bring it?

Why not just sling it?

Why do I cling it?

I say

So I tossed it away,

it landed in hay.

I did not betray

so I say.

As I walked down the road

relieved of my load

my mind did me goad.

Guilty I say.

So I returned to my crime

and I dug in the grime.

I gave of my time.

So I say

But I found and restored it

Loss couldn't afford it

and I happily record it.

So I say

By Kate Crilly

Loss

Ah So, Mr Moto

what

a masterpiece

you are

arrayed in

your ancient

finery

accepting

all there is with calm

acquiescence:

grand prince dear

one: you are

without peer

in a world of confusion

agony and loss

of cosmic reflection

By VA Levine

WHAT DO I ATTEND TO?

I spend time writing my thoughts

and reading certain books, some for pleasure,

some for their beauty, and I learn from all of them.

I keep up with the news to a moderate extent,

never wanting to bury my head in the sand.

Being organized is my way of life.

I remember birthdays of members of my extended family

as well as those of my friends.

At this time several hover around the age of seventy,

and I like to let them know that they are old enough to be my children.

I spend time with friends who like to deep talk

and when one friend dies, I find another

often younger one.

I cheer young people on to finding

an occupation they love.

I note the injustice I read about and sometimes see

right in front of me.

I started my life playing music and teaching music.

And now I listen to music—for it soothes my mind.

©Margaret Ann Adams

Do You Smell Smoke?

I once told my wife

I wanted to be cremated

she made an appointment for Friday

just kidding

she wouldn't do that

she was frugal and had her own matches.

By Cal Lambert

Untitled

I hear the tractors working up and down the fields

Planting corn and soybeans hoping to up their yield.

Starting early in the morning before the rising sun.

Ending in the moon light, and the stars blinking "right on."

So, this is it with farmers here in the Hoosier-land.

In a few months will be fall and a harvest, oh, so grand!

By Bob Cripe