THE WANTING

 

Isn’t this what we want?  Stop me if I’m wrong.

Poem like a car accident.

Poem written on a sheet over a body by the car accident.

 

Then we’d notice the lines, the way the words hang over the face,

and sit on the nose, and rest in the eye sockets.

(See it quickly, the policeman is waving us away.)

 

Stop me.  Go ahead and stop me if I’m wrong.

Isn’t this what we want?

Poem like tripping to your knees on a brick walk,

knowing in an instant you will hurt for a week,

knowing in an instant you will think for a week.

 

Stop me anytime.  Why listen to words at all?

Music is enough to pull the heart into the open air.

 

But, my God, the human voice, everyone’s unmapped treasure,

a piece of metal drawn in a long fine wire and each of us

are seen fit to be the forgers of the signature coil of human resonance!

 

We design our walls and our echoes.

We command and we retreat.

We give the infant place and habitation.

We bid the aged gentle sleep.

 

Stop me anytime.  Stop me anytime.

Just say the word.

 

Jay Johnson as The Poet John Kicker

Performance poet, stand-up comic,

DVD and documentary available

THIS IS A PRAYER

 

for the quiet ones who cannot speak

the weary ones who cannot sleep

the angry ones who cannot rage

the melancholy ones who cannot weep

 

for the chained ones who need wings

for the ones who swing

from their own rope

for the ones who slip the wafer of fear

under their tongues

for all living things that ache and bleed

and eat of bitter herbs

 

let their wounds be healed

let their soul mates seek them

across mountain and sea

let their sorrows be soothed

by the soft glove of loving

and let every man find his god

or his god find him

 

Gloria g. Murray

First place winner of PPA’s second contest,

many awards won, many publishing credits,

three chapbooks published

WADING THE TIDAL POOLS

 

He has climbed to his feet, startled from the narrow bench

where he sat all morning, watching.  He shades the sun

from his eyes with hands cupped around his mouth,

my father calls my name and gestures that I should come.

 

Beyond his shuddering and over the black rocks I scurry,

making my way back to him.  Above the horizon

the sun pours crimson; my hair and face are on fire,

a child’s tee shirt covers my newly formed breasts.

 

Morning has given way to his cry and I leave behind tidal

pools filled with blameless creatures I have baptized,

giving them names, smoothing their perfect bodies

with my fingers, watching sadly as they escape from

the imperfect prison of my cupped hands.

 

Men have begun to walk slowly down the hill towards

their boats and have stopped to admire what has emerged

at the waters edge.  My father measures their closeness

to me by the lines of the falling tide but nothing

will stop its flowing.

 

Gladys Henderson

Poetry workshop leader, three first place prizes won,

working to establish a Poets House on Long Island

•  Annual Literary Reviews 

available at all events

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Winners

       Upon Reading The Life After

       by Mario Susko, a survivor of

       the war in Bosnia.

 

Beast

 

i read your words

and wish i could send up sweet snow

to fall on those bruised gray lines

 

the horror of an ancient snorting beast

loose, insane

inside the breakable green forest

 

human vowels cry from the closed mouth of survival

where one counts each footstep to avoid the sky

too blue to bear

love curls up and hibernates in some dark cave

lets pass the black shiny boots of war

 

i think they must pass still, strangely silent

in the cavern of your midnight sleep

 

i light a candle with this poem

a prayer for cool pure snow

to fall gently on your eyes

until you see only white

 

and then

emerging in small, kind degrees

a bright, blue-sky dream

to carry you through the night

 

Victoria Twomey

Frequent local and radio poetry feature with several publishing credits

My Father’s Hand

for my father gone blind at 91

 

My father reaches

across the kitchen table

his hand

like some snuffling

searching animal

perhaps a mole

or a possum.

No, more like

the fluttering

of a wounded swallow.

 

His hand caresses

the salt shaker

moves on to

circle plate

fumble past spoon,

fork, over napkin

to settle

on the fluted

glass of sherry.

 

Satisfied

my father smacks his lips

returns the half-full glass

to the exact same spot

struggles to quiet

those gasping

almost howling breaths

sends out his hand again.

 

His hand ropy and spotted

his hand newly trained

his hand shaky

his hand.

 

Ginger Williams

Poetry teacher, member of many poetry groups, poetry conference participant, two chapbooks published

 

AT YOUR BEDSIDE

            (For Matt Connors)

 

You slowly sip water

from a trembling cup

ask for pillows

for your knees,

pen and paper

for your poems.

 

You fade in and out

of this room,

whisper your dreams

so that I may take them

where you cannot go.

 

We talk of grey vistas,

barren oak and melting snow,

I yearn for Blueberry Lake

and landscapes.

You mumble Margaretville,

mention your last, missed ski trip,

. . . will go this weekend for sure.

 

The sky, the chimes,

the feeder at your window

will remain fill

with wind-voices,

seed and song.

And you shall ski

to where I cannot go.

 

Yolanda Coulaz

Poetry workshop leader, event coordinator, book published (Spirits and Oxygen)

Performance Poets Association®