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.
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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Upon Reading The Life After
by Mario Susko, a survivor of
the war in Bosnia.
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
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
emerging in small, kind degrees
a bright, blue-sky dream
to carry you through the night
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
like some snuffling
perhaps a mole
or a possum.
No, more like
of a wounded swallow.
His hand caresses
the salt shaker
moves on to
fumble past spoon,
fork, over napkin
on the fluted
glass of sherry.
my father smacks his lips
returns the half-full glass
to the exact same spot
struggles to quiet
almost howling breaths
sends out his hand again.
His hand ropy and spotted
his hand newly trained
his hand shaky
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
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
seed and song.
And you shall ski
to where I cannot go.
Poetry workshop leader, event coordinator, book published (Spirits and Oxygen)
Performance Poets Association®