Why can't you just let us be?
Why do you want to change us?
Can't you accept me for me?
You argue and make a fuss
Over every little thing,
Like the way we dress and act.
Then you say: "The way you cling
Onto religion is whacked!"
I say: "Why? Because we think
That it is wrong to go out
On a date or have a drink?"
Stop real quick and think about
What it is you are saying.
You want us to give up right
Over wrong? To stop praying?
I think this is impolite.
What would you tell a sad child
When he's told he's different
By other kids that are wild?
"Just be yourself. Don't get bent
Or give in to their pressure,"
Is exactly what you'd say.
We are all grown and mature
Adults living our own way.
So please, spare me your jokes, lies
And traitor accusation.
We should Americanize?
Kiss my assimilation!
It simply won't do
in this day and age:
a tombstone that merely says
or "he was magic"
along with the dates
the deceased touched down
on the world's runway
and later, took off
for a destination
without an address.
So, my children, take note:
when my time arrives,
forgo the numbers, the epithets,
and even my name;
just chisel my stone
with a matrix code
who want to know
my who what when
where how and why
can whip out their phones
and scan the maze
of tiny squares
that will take them online,
where I'll ever abide.
Plans were to meet at the café, but she shied away.
Walking through the rain, her will melted away.
Coffee cooled before him – the descendant of Frey.
Thoughts of her on his mind -- he didn't walk away.
Why couldn't she hear his thoughts and weigh
his intentions before deciding to walk away?
The wind blew hard in the city. The sky was grey.
Snow sprayed crystals on her, as she walked away.
He might not care to make babies, or may betray.
Careful she always was – it's better to walk away.
The simple question was — what could she say?
I love you? Facing the truth, her will melted away.
Frey is the Norse god of fertility.
On an endless cookie sheet spread thin
slices of white bread lathered
with cream cheese
Neat as a rolling pin
miles in every direction
soon meld into dry whole wheat toast
winter's barren breakfast left on the plate
soon gobbled into waffles
powdered with cinnamon sugar
and chopped walnuts until
cool whipped peaks swirl
in unfamiliar patterns
reaching upward to meet
sprinkled with dark chocolate flakes.
Occasionally a knife's sharp blade
cuts helter skelter through the bread dough
or finger prints of bakers' hands
make artful ridges in the pastry
capped with powdered white cheddar,
paprika, and just a pinch of dill.
The white ground covering
stretches into an opaque sky
like an empty page of paper
readied for a new story.
The dark trees all reach upward
into blank nothingness, branching
then diverging into a net of delicate
fingers begging something
from the diffused sunlight.
They seem like so many hungry souls
at the indistinct graces
of their annual Easter ablution.
A new season of faith?
Over time, trees will still be
branching and reaching;
but come springtime
their faith will be vividly
crowned in green.
(First published by Creative With Words)
night is hollow
dark and deep
snow will follow
its gypsy hand
by a window
the children sleep
remains an impossibility
I ache for you
stand cup in fist at daybreak
(Dedicated to the memories of Jon Benet Ramsey, Sherrice Iverson and Ryan Harris)
Sometimes I reach down to hold your tiny hand
And I come up feeling powerless and helpless and
Unable to understand, why I will never see you
Playing in a schoolyard, backyard or
Playground because someone decided to take
What the world had found:
Three beautiful little girls,
With ponytails and bright faces
Whose pictures and stories have
Turned up in so many places
To tell stories of torture and abuse
To show the world that you refuse
To die down and disappear
Because if you do I fear
That no little girl will be able to play alone
Without the benefit of a bodyguard or chaperone
Increasingly, day after day, I wake up
In the morning and I hear in the news that
Another little life has been taken by a crazed
I then immediately think of my precious
7-year-old and quickly react:
I say dear God, sometimes
I reach down to hold her tiny
Hand, and I still come up feeling
Powerless and helpless and unable to
Understand why I must never let go
Of her hand... But God, I still thank
Heaven for little girls.
I was adopted a few years ago. Time goes so fast I'm not quite sure
It's not that my adoptive family doesn't treat me well or that I'm not a
whole lot better off than I was, but deep down I can sense that I'm not
one of them.
The way they look down at me.
Sure they buy me nice toys, but I know the toys they buy for their
biological children cost a lot more than mine.
They tell me they love me, and I love them too - maybe even more so.
But there was the time a few weeks ago when they had company and
they locked me in the basement. As though they were ashamed of
me or something.
And then the crowning blow came just two days ago when they left
for Disneyworld. I thought we were all going on vacation together
but at the last minute they dumped me at the neighbor's house to stay
until they got back. Imagine how I felt.
The neighbors are nice but they're a little standoffish also. For
instance they won't even let me sit on their so called "new" couch.
... and now I have to pee real bad. You would think these folks
would realize that when I'm scratching on the kitchen door that I
have to go to the yard and pee.
Our humble tribute to you
The illuminated woman
Of Word War II
Oh! The courageous Miss Noor Inayat Khan
Great grand daughter
Of the Sufi king Tipu Sultan
The Tiger of Mysore
You were bestowed
With the highest military awards
For your splendid valor
Oh! The most charismatic heroine
Of World War II
Oh! The beloved daughter
Of the legendary Sufi master
From whom you learned
The jewels of spirituality
Love, joy, harmony,
Endurance and beauty
And when he passed away
You nurtured your mother
And siblings with benevolence
We truly cherish your munificence
Oh! The kind hearted woman
Of World War II
Oh! The emblem of
Purest beauty and grace
You, the poet and musician
You, the writer and champion of languages
Your stunning tales of inspiration
Now captivating the children's attention
You, the amazing air force lady
You, the brilliant wireless operator
You are Madeleine and Nora
The master of disguises and aura
Oh! The dynamic spy
Of World War II
Oh! The incredible tigress
You were betrayed
And tortured with the high level of severity
Yet you stood firm and never gave up
For the sake of humanity
You challenged the wicked hegemony
Against the horrendous evils
You sacrificed your precious life
Uttering the last single word, "Liberte!"
Oh! The Freedom Fighter
Of World War II
Oh! The Sufi princess
You are the sweetest martyr
That we all madly admire
You are the icon of integrity
Dwelling in our hearts for eternity
You are now the radiant star
In this glorious universe
May God, The Almighty, All-Compassionate and All-Loving
Bless your gentle soul, rest you in peace
And grant you the highest place in heaven
Oh! The most magnificent woman
Of World War II
I'm just some old guy,
the world has passed by.
Like so many others,
I had another try.
there's not much more,
in store for me.
when I look back;
I see a lot more track,
instead of ahead.
I would bet,
I'm not the only one
filled with regret.
For as I look around,
I see a lot more of us
People who fear,
opportunity came and went.
That their whole life has been spent,
who'd do anything for a second chance,
I like the company
of your noises
Cleaning the house
master of the ship
Never been able
to make it work
as you do
More than one place
at the same time
has your care
Moving the speed
of light hands
I feel dead things
in your control
and form a home
of your power
how I lived
If they said there are only months to live,
I'd creep to the river bluffs,
And sit in the sun for hours and hours
Watching eternal waters flow
Oceanward, rippling burdens onward
In a few days the cave would beckon
Its cavern a gaping yawn
For old ones to leave offerings
Til greed would reign for a time
Now the cave is my window to tomorrow.
But here by the house clouds streak by
Aiming to shine in the stirring water
And over its mirrored floor at dusk
Stars and the Moon greet world weary eyes
A proper place in which to live and die.
Leonardo always had a tradition,
of never finishing his commissions.
Someone would assign an art project,
he'd start it, only to leave it in neglect.
Leonardo was not a religious man,
but God, nonetheless, had a plan.
The Last Supper was something he promised,
from Judas all the way to doubting Thomas.
To him, the Bible might've been a fable,
but he still captured the banquet table.
Up until that point in history,
no art created such mystery.
He used many people's faces for the apostles,
The wall it was on began to age like fossils.
Judas Iscariot, the ultimate traitor,
held a knife, pretending he was greater.
The painting was an incredible work of art,
it created the church of the Sacred heart.
The food and faces looked quite real,
it showed them dining on oranges and eels.
It also showed them drinking bread and wine,
He put lots of thoughts into his design.
Jesus took the bread that he blessed,
and passed it around to all the rest.
Leonardo captured it with precision,
I guess that God had given him a vision.
By the summer of 1497,
the last supper was looking like heaven.
Then came the "bonfire of the vanities,"
where Florence judged art as insanity.
art was destroyed and set on fire,
the Pope ordered the founder of this to retire.
Leonardo's art was not destroyed,
but most of it escaped into the void.
Even the Last supper barely remained,
Bad weather left it totally stained.
A French King wanted to steal it from the wall,
transport it to France, a piece of it all.
Different wars unsettled the piece,
all over Europe they prayed for peace.
The finite nature showed its limitations,
many artists tried imitations.
Modern methods have tried to restore,
this masterpiece that is hard to ignore.
But if you want to picture the way it looked,
Open the Bible, and read the book!
Music has hardened into bricks.
Mortar of smoke and wine.
The door's mouth opens
to swallow me whole.
I become the ivory
on your piano,
to my dampers
into my wires
as you stretch
to a perfect fifth.
(Previously published in
they will send me notice
so they tell me
if I will furnish
my cell phone number
since I will always
have my phone with me
but for me
this isn't Star Trek
it is not my personal
it is only a phone
sometimes it is
in my car
on my desk
on the table beside
where I watch television
it is seldom
in my pocket
and I don’t have a holster
to carry it
like a gun
while for some people
is a lifeline
a constant companion
they cannot live without
for me it is a tool
handy when I need it
when I don’t
Two butterflies alighted on my hand for a little while.
I touched them
and they flew away before I was ready,
just a tad before I was ready.
I knew they would.
I know they're gone.
They will not come back.
They flit about
in my rose garden
just outside my kitchen window.
For just a little while.
They will not stay.
I must let them go.
I must be quiet.
I must not let them know that I am watching,
following with my aching heart
the distant flutter of their shimmering wings.
I must let them go …
Stay out of the creek,
Mother warned again
and again. You might
fall and split your head
on a rock. You might
get polio. What she meant
was You might drown
like your cousin Junior.
But in summer the water
ran cool and rainbows
narrow banks. Each
winter, the surface froze
a white short-cut winding
through the neighborhood,
an Arctic adventure awaiting
after school each day,
till a neighbor called
to tell Mother, I saw
your daughter in the creek
(First published in
It began as a tiny bud, the promise
of its beauty and delicate fragrance
hidden within tender young leaves that
enfolded and protected its essence
kissed by rain in the springtime of its life
the rose felt the stirrings of its purpose
reaching toward the warmth and light
the petals opened in answer to its song
drawn by its perfume, passersby paused
to search for the source
enchanted by its radiance they caressed
soft velvet and were blessed
in innocence the rose existed
for the sheer joy of existence
unmindful of the benediction it
bestowed on all it touched
with grace and beauty by love disposed
it followed its destiny, petal and thorn
in predawn stillness the gardener came
to gather the rose, though not full-blown
teardrops of dew clung fast to the leaves
and half-opened petals of scarlet hue
as the rose lay in his loving hand he smiled
then gently pressed it to his heart
Beneath this pale Caucasian skin—
the skin of my mother's mother and father's father,
beneath this unremarkable brown hair
and behind these ordinary brown eyes
that are the eyes of all my family, even the dog,
beneath, behind, beyond this mundane commonness,
I am the Deluxe Box of Crayons:
one-hundred-twenty unblended colors
scribbling exotic names—Cerulean, Burnt Sienna,
Mahogany, Maize, a crowd of immigrant pigments
unwilling to melt in my melting pot.
This Deluxe Box holds Fuchsia to attract hummingbirds.
Quaker gray for silent sitting. Outrageous Orange for
stumbling over politics. In the company of Blue, I can
match that patch of sky, her silk shirt, his denim jeans.
See me here, fiery Red as habanero; there—White as arctic ice.
Some believe I should defect from every hue but one,
become a solitary color's citizen, wear a single country's seal.
But I am the Deluxe Box, dressing my heart in tie-dye,
rainbows, confetti; waving on the hill of each moment
its hand-made, one-of-a-kind flag. I am the Deluxe Box
whose skin is red and yellow, black and white,
male and female, flower and beast, bright light and midnight.
Come close, look inside. Watch me search
my chameleon stash for a deluxe handful of myself
perfectly matched to you.
The lithium moon sleepwalks
a misfit river. Stars like golden
nail heads in the coffin lid of night.
Along this lobe of Big Muddy
we worship a blessed bricolage of
trotline, slagpools, cold tablets
and a hollow porcelain cross
rising to meet the second coming.
I think you should watch this
mildewed double-wide as
a child tumbles past a willow-
framed web of dreamcatcher
through a duct-taped fly screen
into the pet mouths of two
pit bulls and wakes with Jesus.
Our dead are not really dead.
A trophy buck steps lightly from
his shroud of woods into the red
eye of a camouflaged .30-30 fetish
called sport and a boy's quick knife
parts the bouncing vein. Slashed
kerfs of coal dust along a black spine,
chokedamp cough from labor I loved
and, unexpectedly, a withered bronze
bough of tenderness. I think you
should know how the shadows of geese,
songs wild in the October sky, can pull
one's heart along to acts of good or evil.
That the twisted dogwood bleeding
beautifully its crown of thorns and
the wet jewel splashed on a white
wing of snow are one single thing.
(Previously published in Big Muddy,
Volume 11, No. 2)
Dear Moma Mary I would like to
Intercede for my friend
He mourns the loss of his Mother he
Knows it's not the end
Please Virgin Mary orate to him that death
Is only a different state of being
Death only changes our bodies into the
Spiritual realm we are not seeing
I heard a intuitive voice say, " convey to
Your friend that I've closed my Mantle around
His Mother and she has gaiety that she chose
His Mother is safe and well taken care of
In God's Holy conclave
Should you ever want to see her apparition
Just close your eyes and be brave
Think of a context of your Mother from the
Past and you'll see her appear
The woman that brought you into the World
That you deem so very dear
I'm just a channel that the Virgin Mary
Adopted to give you consolation
So I say unto you may peace be with you
And to your Mother's spirit, she lives
under the reign of fears and suspicions
guns stare out the darkened windows
their twinkling sights
all aim at the deep hollow eye
of the insomniac night
on the screen
engage in a ferocious fight
bullets streaking in the air
chant on and on and on
the sacred 2nd Amendment
soon the siren will sound
a mother's wail
When one's Muse returns
from a multi-year absence
in undisclosed locales,
the avenues in the mind
host a parade of images.
The inner church bells ring,
confetti flutters down
from open windows,
mothers hug the children,
fathers hug the mothers,
and it is just a dandy time.
Her Grace rides elegantly
in the back of a convertible,
waving, throwing candy
to eager running children
and kisses to everyone else
on both sides of the mind.
After the parade is over
she enters one's abode
and seats her welcome self
within the heart of the soul.
Copyright Notice: Copyrights for all of the above poems remain with the individual authors. No work here is to be reused without permission from its author. To request permission, contact a member of the ISPS Web Committee.
Note to ISPS poets: Poetry posted on the Internet may be considered published by some publishers and agents.