2014 Adult Poetry Contest
Stark County District Libraryâ€™s
15th Annual Poetry Contest
We would like to thank all 96 participants for their had work this year.
Final Judging was done by a committee of community volunteers. Thank you for volunteering your time to read poems. Your hard work is very much appreciated.
Table of Contents Introduction ............................................................. 1 Award Winners......................................................... 2 Poetry ...................................................................... 3 Index of Entries ........................................................ 44
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
Award Winners JoAnne Burkhart McKinney Recipe For a “Seasoned” Life ...................................... 41 Amanda Lamadanie Portrait of Youth ........................................................... 42. Tyler Maag Baseball In Me ............................................................. 34 Cheryl Voiklis Summer Berries ........................................................... 36. Connie Kramer String Theory ............................................................... 22 Eric Schlabach Collector ...................................................................... 24 Margaret Hassen The Day Before Was the Pay Before ........................... 22 Andi Michelson Untitled ........................................................................ 29 Desire Diehl You & I ......................................................................... 10 Dominique Mayle The Last Fight: Fifth Times a Charm ........................... 25
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Have you ever wondered? Have you ever wondered? No, have you really really wondered? Have you ever dove into wonder, or are you afraid of heights? Afraid to get wet? Afraid you don’t have the right attire? Afraid of busting your head on the edge of the swimming pool?... We all just need to wonder. Things are not ok, I wonder why they’re not ok.. I knew something was right when I heard Canton #2 on America’s Most Dangerous Small Cities list.. I mean this place is depressing! I don’t mean to sadden your mood but laughs and giggles in a room can’t change the confused state that this state’s accustomed to.. Wonder. People are dying, have you ever considered the cause? I mean, wake up! Have we got so routine that we don’t notice? So used to walking out the front door you forgot about your backyard and the fact it’s sprouting with weeds, someone ain’t doin’ their job.. Wonder. Who even wonders anymore? People give up their morals and ethics because they have a schedule. They say they can maybe give that homeless man some money if time was only willing.. but you can get them on a Saturday if you can catch them quickly.. Have we given up our responsibilities to hopeless imaginations? Because nothing is so without action. Would you take out the trash if you didn’t have a trashman, or are you waiting for someone else more experienced in the fashion? Wonder. I hate schedules. It robs people of their freedom. It blinds them to the issues because their issues are more needed. Or at least it seems that way because it’s always first come first serve and since they already plan to serve themselves serving you would be like a curse.. Wonder. Feel free to throw your schedule off balance.. I did so, I got antsy but I did what needed to be done. I wanna change the world.. (To the people) Live a little! When you live, they live. We all need each other. People die in orders. Rules and regulations are like prison cells that you’re in, lonely and naked, all you’ve got is yourself. When people think of freedom they think of the sky. They think of the birds and how they spread their wings and fly in any particular way they choose to and they long to be like that. That’s why the #1 super power people wish they had if they could get one would be the ability to fly. The next one would be going through solids, because no one likes to be trapped. Wonder. When we wonder our mind escapes. We’ve got so used to thinking of things that we’ve stopped thinking about things.. Wonder. ..Take your schedules and rip them up.. either ponder or play. Start an invention, take an adventure.. plan to escape. Plan to start a change, set your mind out to go out more. But always make time to Wonder. Jessica Lee
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
Jesus I love you Jesus I love you You never let me fall You answer my every call Jesus I love you!! Jesus I love you!! You healed my body You saved my soul and made me whole You cleansed me from all my sins You’re my comforter when I’m sad or upset You’re my father and my mother You’re the lover of my soul You’re my provider so I am not in want Jesus I love you!! Jesus I love you!! Patricia A. Laury
Parents Observe And Scratch Every Tick Going to a play, son George iterated Quickly as he ratcheted out the door, Got in his Taurus, squealed down Brown St. and onto to old 408. He was alone. Mother Ernest and father Linse barely Had enough air to breathe let alone time To ask him if he was coming back, or what Hurts him. George was not like meaning. The day before he had told his parents He was leaving; going to Virginia To be with his wife and child finally, and Wouldn’t be back until next year. Ern and Lin had never met either one. Sure, they had seen pics, but no Bodies or attitudes about foreign orphans And water. They cried awfully meshed About that. Still, they were happy ones. Thrilled everyone was in good health. And elated that George had a job. He Liked writing obituaries for newspapers. Daniel Gallik
The Bench We walked along the barren path, when what comes into view? a sweet enchanted wrought iron bench just big enough for two. We stop to sit and chat a while, but how the time flies by.. and all too quickly, it seems to me, its time we say good-bye
Await Masked within the cubby Hummed the sweetest song Channeling the resemblance of safe Haven the tiny heart had longed. From whispered prayers to an eerie Silence For the end of the battle war violence Then suddenly the eyes of daylight Sprung through Craving pathway For the safe and sound to live anew. Cassidy Davis
We promised to meet again, perhaps in summer or early fall. but it seems to me some promises, should never be made at all. As time goes on and life moves by, It seems that we have too. I’ve given up another chance, but then what comes into view? A wrought iron bench hidden, with a man that is contemplating.. I approach it slowly, as he stands and says, “my dear, I have been waiting” Michelle R. Stoffer
2014 Adult Poetry Contest The Bouquet, “You’re an old fool” she said with a sly grin As she took the bouquet of freshly Picked wildflowers from his shaking hand. While he, standing demurely, Noticed the slight sparkle in her hazel Green eyes before she could turn Away to stir the black bean soup That with an arugula salad was to be Their dinner. “Flowers, even these cost money and they die so quickly,” she reasoned to him. He did admit to a spend thrift streak Upon occasion of which she was careful To remind him “They cost nothing my love, For they’re God’s gift to us from the public park.” He was quick to defend himself, though in truth he had given the little girl who had picked them two shiny quarters
Yet Another Wave of Grief Welling up inside, growing in strength, Surging, advancing, Gaining momentum. Powerful, unavoidable, frightening, It follows its own course. Once in motion, it is impossible to stop. It cannot be controlled or averted. It continues. Moving, approaching, impending, Devastating, powerful. It builds to a magnitude that even its origin Cannot direct or command.
“Well, what’s the occasion and what are your Expectations!” she stated firmly because she Had firm ideas of what men expected From their gift giving. She found it difficult To believe after forty years of marriage That “no reason” would be the only or real reason Yet as she stirred the soup she couldn’t help But stare at the quiet beauty of the Multicolored bouquet and the smile on The face of its giver “No occasion dear, No expectation, just because I know That you always appreciate beauty” He knew she would find it difficult to Really believe his answer for they’ve traveled This road many times before. But he said It anyway. And maybe he really believed it true. “Come, supper’s ready,” she said placing the food On the table while he placed their bowls and silverware And before he could sit she walked to his Side of the table and gave him a hug and A kiss before returning to her seat and Carefully ladled the soup into his bowl And he, having all his expectations met, Quietly ate his soup. Terrance Smith
It impacts. Crashing, pounding, Encompassing, enfolding, consuming, Assaulting all that it encounters, Possessing everything within its reach. It plays itself out. Silent, still, at rest, Its strength and fury now depleted. Everything it touches is changed, Altered, never the same again, Transformed by its presence. Yet another wave of grief. M. Paprocki
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Solitude I sit secluded in lull of my reverie, the bluster of the depleted structure pricks my pelt to rival my Psyche. The stench of mortality is burdensome in the compass I preserve. The only remnants of Vitality resides in the din of the decrepit grove. The fabrications that attribute to the core of the Legend have all surfaced for nothing more than rueful retrospection is there veracity in a Fraudulent universe, or is the obscure running’s of my disposition genuine….. Sara Bell
WEDDING DAY To have you with me Each and every day Will be more wonderful Than words could say To have you near When I am blue To know you love me As I love you To have you hold me So tenderly Alone together You and me To know, my darling That you are mine Each day together Will be divine From one day to another I want to say I’ll always love you As I do today. Stella Roberts
Superman 04/03/14 Faster than a bullet stronger than a train even clouds between my knees cannot stop the pain. I am here alone – there’s no one of my kind. My cousin came and left me for others left to find. This Kryptonite is tempting to take away my strength. I’m on this planet’s tether – a leash of super length. And if I leave, what happens? Does chaos come again. And if I stay who sharpens the wits of men? I’m blessing and I’m curse – true alien inside. Jump starting evolution? Or letting progress slide. I think that Luthor’s right and only hurt I bring. I could be the God of Earth. I could be its king. But my species is over and I have no child to raise. I want to take it easy and relinquish all this pain. As long as I’m here to save you, you’ll always need my help. It’s time for me to leave and let you save yourself. Azriel Johnson
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Images of Spring Frozen ground and snow Thawed by radiant sunbeams Forms a brown mud sponge Past Saturation The pliable shifting earth Topples great boulders Wild midnight torrents Flashing lightning, whistling winds Serene new morning First flowers reach up Only to be beaten down By stormy weather
The Passed The past, it is no such thing It’s who we are, it’s why we sing It’s what we write, it’s where we go It’s how we learn, from what we know Without our memory, we cease to LIVE We damn our peace, and cease to LOVE Our past suppressed = Our future depressed While Communication = Nothing to be guessed With QUESTions removed, much less regret More GOoD to remember, less bad to forget As Harmony brings us better songs to sing The past, it is no such thing John Stone
Afternoon raindrops Line the long thin curved tree branch Like a pearl necklace Earthly Angels
Moist softened soil Warmed by a bright golden sun Gives way to green life
Two small wonders with eyes the blue of bachelor buttons, hair soft as spun silk, the color of a sun's ray.
Pale yellow-green growth Where bare branches bent last week Will be dark and dense
Two sets of hands reaching, touching, exploring with a faith and trust that belongs only to the innocent.
Nest in the pine tree Built through cold and rainy days Bringing Spring’s promise Karen Soldo
Two smiles that can set my heart on wings. Two treasures, gifts on loan. Yellow days No poem is known by man every year I see more dear things No youth can exist forever but my days are numbered Everyday I get younger My life makes the cow steer It’s easy to see when I won’t be me yesterday’s gone James Orack
Earthly angels. Patty McConnell
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
Seasons of Life Spring New life is born Joy abounds Happy people All around
Summer Growing up ups and downs Stuck in between smiles and frowns
Fall Changing colors On my own Lots of people All alone
Winter Wind is howling Empty nest Looking back Did my best
Big boy, big girl So proud of you Encouragement In all I do
Body changing Mind is too Understanding Confusing you
Working hard now Rise to the top Determination Never stop
Family growing Grandkids kissed Retirement party Bucket list
Playful spirit Life is fun Never a worry On the run
Falling in love Just a crush So much pressure What’s the rush
Met my someone Settling down Trade big city For small town
Body weakens Mind does too Time is short Still much to do
Growing quickly Changing fast Never stopping Present turns to past
Only June now Forever young August ending I’d just begun
Kids are growing Way too fast Wishing somehow To travel back
Breathing slowing Time is near Take me home, Lord Into your care
Victor Halitzka The Old Man Sneaks I walk, I tread through valleys and peaks For, in my life, sometimes the old man sneaks He puts me in a sinful way Lord, in this cause, to You I pray Smile him with grace’s blinding light To shut his eyes and give me sight Close his mouth so I’ll not hear The things he whispers in my ear Bind his hands so he’ll have no hold To drag me back to ways of old Make him lame upon his feet Nevermore for us to meet Marc Wiseman
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Dedication To My Father DADDY, YOU'VE BEEN GONE FOR NEARLY ELEVEN YEARS NOW, BUT NEVER TOO FAR, YOU'RE NOT IN A JAR. YOU ARE BOLDLY DISPLAYED IN A DETAILED WOODEN BOX, WE KNEW SOMEONE HAD MADE. IT REMINDS ME OF YOUR OWN WOODWORKING SKILLS, THE WAY THE WOOD IS TEXTURED, WITHOUT ANY FRILLS. THE TOP OF THE BOX HAS A SHIP OUT TO SEA, JUST WHERE I KNOW YOU WOULD'VE LIKE TO BE. YOUR NAME, BIRTH DATE, AND THE DAY YOU DIED ARE DEEPLY CARVED ON THE OUTSIDE. YOUR ASHES ARE THERE, BUT YOUR SPIRIT LIVES NEAR. NOT JUST IN A BOX, BUT FOREVER IN MY HEART. Linda L. Medley
A Predawn Tail of Happenstance I met a raccoon on a walk this morning Given the ivy and the dark little warning The Sunday paper had been my task When I came upon this stranger in mask No pleasantries exchange of names And gauging our moods it was well just the same We both jumped back to afford each their space And we took it all in while each frozen in place What started as panic, fright, fear, and alarm Resolved to us both that we meant each no harm He hobbled away like a recluse old man And I hobbled back to my original plan As I read through the news my thoughts are reflective The common ground we both shared when it was not expected. Brian Hartley
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
You & I A bad day for you is not like a bad day for me. See, A bad day for you is realizing that you forgot a paper is due. It is 8am. You see the sunrise, you open your eyes and you arise and you realize that you have a paper due. A bad day for you is spending a day inside writing about the symbols in modern literature. Luckily, this is a bad day for you. A bad day for me, however, goes quite differently. You see, a bad day for me comes slightly out of nowhere. When I open my eyes there is no sunrise, because my blinds are closed. When I open my eyes I realize that it is 3pm. I turn over and place my head back on the pillow and I stare at the wall hoping maybe one day this will all not be so tough. Then I fall back asleep, thinking of better memories. I am fully aware that the darkness
is taking over again. For me, a bad day turns into a bad week and this bad week turns into a bad month. I have a paper due, an exam or two, bills that are due, and a job to go to. I sit here and envy you, because a bad day for you does not turn into a bad week or a bad month. A bad day for you does not turn into losing it all and a bad day for you does not end in these terrible thoughts of ending it all, ending it all. Desra Diehl
Still Goes the I From the very eye Twirl round The planets three One the sun Another the moon A third this place That baits and swoons Trickery be damned In this illusion entrusted My love as pure Release me from this mortal bind. Jon Kurtis Keppel
2014 Adult Poetry Contest "A MOTHER'S DAY TEAR" SHE LOOKS THROUGH OLD PHOTOS OF FOND MEMORIES PAST... OF HER CHILDREN WHO HAVE GROWN UP WAY TOO FAST...
SITTING THERE IN A ROCKING CHAIR BY THE TELEPHONE... SHE FEELS SO FORGOTTEN,EMPTY AND LEFT ALL ALONE...
NO PRETTY FLOWERS OR LOVING CARDS HAVE BEEN SENT... NOR EVEN A PHONE CALL TO SAY HOW MUCH SHE HAS MEANT...
SHE CONTINUES TO ROCK WAITING FOR A KNOCK AT THE DOOR... BUT THIS DAY SLOWLY PASSES BY LIKE SO MANY TIMES BEFORE...
SHE TURNS OUT THE LIGHT AND HOLDS THE PHOTO ALBUM NEAR... AS SHE PRAYS ALONE IN THE DARK WITH A MOTHER'S DAY TEAR… Randy Logan
Old Age Old age takes over the body. The child inside wants to run, play, and have fun! The bones creak, making running impossible. Playing consists of solitaire, how Boring is that? I want to go fishing, but the arthritic hands can’t pull the fish in. I want to climb a mountain, but the body says, “No way.” It creaks and groans with every step. Inside the child is throwing a tantrum he can’t have any fun! He sees himself as wrinkled and old. When will I leave this decay and fly Away? Dawn Thomas
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
When the Children Go Away Stop the Rain Tears run down her face Like rain drops on a window pane. How can I stop the rain? Through the transom of her eyes I see her pain I see the hurt that I have caused. How can I stop the rain? A wind blows like a cruel force Carrying branches of her love away Leaving silence between us to stay. How Can I stop the Rain? Lightening strikes like a burning laser Making night into day My eyes ablaze, I can no longer see her. How can I stop the Rain? Our breaking hearts explode like thunder Shaking the ground we stand on My arms can no longer hold her.
The children are gone and now living on their own. You really never paid attention to how fast they had grown. The house is actually clean, yet you miss the children’s messiness. So you try to hold back the tears. There are no handprints on the walls, nor toys lying all about the house. It’s as quiet as a mouse. There are no muddy, dirty floors to scrub or beds that you must make, no rules that must be made, for your growing child’s sake. No one always saying “mommy, I’m hungry” can you make me something to eat? No more cuts, scrapes or wounds that you will need to treat. It seems like such a hassle these things we do each day. We don’t know how much it’s missed Until our children go away. So, cherish your children’s years with you and make do with these things you abhor. For when the children have gone away You may miss these things you don’t have to chore. Carla A. Cook
How can I stop the rain? Blushing Flush Went to the ladies’ powder room, Was selective about the stalls, But every one I peeked in, Had scribbling on the walls, Knew this was no shortie, So I closed the door behind, And started an education, That nearly blew my mind, Flushed my worries down the drain, Only to realize when, In my rush to piddle, I forgot my pen. Barbara Lee Flagg
The storm calms, the sky clears. Leaving only her footprints And clouds of fear That she is gone evermore. Tears run down my face Like rain drops on a window pane. How can I stop the pain? Paul M. Herrera
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Eviction Notice (true story) Dear Mr., this is a notice for you to vacate You are late with payments and have 2 weeks to pay If you do not pay by then, you must leave the premises We are for charging you for all of the rent you’ve missed Dear Mr., this is a notice for you to vacate It’s not our problem that you’re jobless and all your bills are late Your car title loan maybe due, but wouldn’t you rather have a place to stay If you do not pay in a week you will be forced to leave Inform us when you are able to make a payment please Dear Mr., this is a notice for you to vacate We’ve taken action to the courts of the state You have no one to help, but that is not our concern You don’t know responsibility so and it’s time you learn Dear Mr., as we sit here in court It seems that we may have made an error of sort The judge is ruling in favor of you He’s ruled that you’ve paid, how can this be true The lease agreement says one thing but our records another We have made a big mistake, oh brother oh brother Dear Mr. this the last time we will speak It seems you will be moving in a week You found those to help, and you don’t owe us a cent Because you were never late on your rent Dear Mr… Gabriel Polk
BREATHE Close your eyes Fade to black Inhale deep And relax Awareness has begun!! Michael Dickson
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Evening Reflection The summer stomps through the city, Its inferno greens the unshaded river. Morning contentions in the marketplace that earlier buzzed like hummingbirds threading mandevilla flutes, have dwindled to lazy murmurs by afternoon. It’s an azure evening now and the swaying silken manes of swept grasses languish limp and heat weary, stooping to breathe the cooled air. The flowers I picked this morning dangle their flimsy tendrils and drop heavy perfume into this evening’s infuser. There’s the pale circle of the street lamp, Its languid arm lifted like a last farewell, its climb towards the black sky hung heavy with drowsy stars, halted, as if it were wearied by the effort, and swan ghosts, river sentinels, pull me along as they glide, bathed in glints of diamonds. Wonder swallows the languor where I hung. Anita Graber
Sleeping In On my side, curled in a ball Under quilted covers I hear the shuffle of bare feet across carpet, You climb up Pressing your back against mine My miniature, mirror image. We are silent for who-knows-how-long, In that place of in-between… Half-sleeping/half-waking I dream of days gone by When your feathery white hair Wisped against my lips As my arms enveloped your small frame I turn and hold you now, Kissing the top of your head, Squeezing you tight, grateful that you still love to snuggle. “Good morning,” you smile. “Good morning,” I return. We take in crisp, fall morning air Through the open window of our souls. Donna J. Noble
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Kristin’s Inspiring Journey She responded to a journey, calling her for quite a while. The value of this excursion is reflected in her smile. Slowly, but timely, beaming rays of light came. This precious one realized that part of her was lame. Not an easy awakening, the new awareness kept thoughts spinning. However, her brightness saw this discovery as a new beginning. Hope, then bravery, began filling her soul. The picture of success led her to pay the toll. Steps to health came forward, then backward but onward this soldier went, steadily climbing a zig-zagged trail to a then-mysterious event. Struggling tears to trust fostered warm arms wrapped around her. So freely did the fire of love flicker. A strong young lady she became to be. Confidence exhumed and eyes began to sparkle, a most pleasant picture of health to see. BLACK SHEEP There was a little black sheep His heart was pierced with sad Because of his black color Everyone thought he was bad
Recovery brings wisdom to teach that the race to winning is not over. The rejuvenation of such an undaunted spirit will liken to the freshness of clover. May the fragrance of flowers follow your path forever. Charlotte Lucas
Black is the color of coal A diamond in the rough So don’t judge a sheep by its color Don’t make life for him so tough Because someone might be different Doesn’t make them bad or wrong Show a little kindness Try to get along Don’t pick on someone smaller Just to make yourself look taller Don’t cause another’s pain There is nothing there to gain Who wants a reputation of being mean and cruel It doesn’t help your image it just makes you a fool What if it were you that was left out and alone Would you think different, would life have a different tone? Life is more rewarding when you get along (it’s like singing harmony) Different notes together make a beautiful song Vikie Huff
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
Bundle It Up I needed a hat to Cover my ears. The cold cruel wind was Bringing me tears. And my head had grown balder Over the years. And it had to come in from the cold. I needed some boots to Cover my feet. The frosty air Was full of sleet. And patches of ice had Covered the street. And they had to come in from the cold. I needed some mittens to Cover my hands. A blanket of snow had Covered the land. And the thermometer dropped 'bout as Low as it can. And they had to come in from the cold. I needed a coat to Cover my bod. I was out in the cold and was Scantily shod. And iron hard frozen was the Snow covered sod. And I had to come in from the cold.
To put on my feet. They would keep my feet warm as I walked down the street. Then I went back outside. Out into the storm. Strait across to a friends house All comfy and warm. We talked about weather. Both good kind and bad And of spring 'round the corner. Of that we are glad. T. David Zwick
My Nice Day I run, I play. I eat every day. I skip, I hop. I play with a top.
I touch my nose, I touch my toes.
So I went in the house and put on Hooded parka. I zipped it way up and looked out From the dark there. I reached in the pocket and There I found mittens. As warm, cozy, soft as Cute furry kittens. And I found some soft boots
I say good morning, I say good night. But by the end Of the day I turn off the light, I say good night And hug myself very very tight! Malia Lewis
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Beautiful You may not be beautiful in society’s eyes But when it comes to inner beauty you wear no disguise, You have poise, style and grace And the glow of an angel illuminates off your face! You’re always happy even though you’re sick And when you’re in any room there’s nothing your smile can’t fix! Even though it’s said that your mind is not fully grown, You are smarter than a lot of people that I’ve ever known, There’s not much of anything that you can’t recall And though you have lots of obstacles you still walk tall! You have no idea what prejudice is All you know is to be happy and just live, There’s nobody more unselfish than you And for this reason you deserve for all of your dreams to come true You are so beautiful in everyway Those who know you are blessed everyday. Shaun Kabakole
My American Hero My Love, as I write to you tonight, knowing you have “given” with all your might, please know I miss and love you so. You are My American Hero. The hard work of Freedom was never for the weak. For this noble cause you so bravely stand and speak. May the land held hostage be unbound and released, through a power from above, rushing in on wings of peace. Remember the RED… For the Hardiness and Courage of women and men who have stood tall for Freedom time and again. Remember the WHITE… May it always signify the Purity and Innocence of a nation, harmless in intention and blameless. Remember the BLUE… Without it we would have just left things to chance, for it stands for Justice, Perseverance, and Vigilance. These high standards, the vital elements of peace… without them, can there truly be any relief? The tie that binds us is even stronger for these demands. America’s prayers for Freedom outnumber the sand! Peggy Aston
T.W.T.C. 9/11 They tried to frighten us Hit us unaware Enemies from afar With our hearts hurting Our friends came together Reciving LOVE Learning about each other Depending on our friendships Teaching about ourselves Reaching out with LOVE Angry with what they did Deciding to fight back Every one coming together Crush them we said Enemies beware Never underestimate us There’s strength here Every ones standing together Refusing to be frightened Susan E Long
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Purify Myself, a Father, an organ player, and two older aids Being there in a twilight home during the Advent tides of winter wondering how things would be handled Then, the unforeseen had occurred I was asked to hold the white, soft towel for the father after preparing the Eucharist I did so, after his hands had washed, he turned and… handing it to him on reflex; he dried his hands After this, from this event as he handed it back I froze in time unable to move as tempests of light roared into me A nuclear blast radiating purity came in cleansing all my body, mind, and spirit Unable to comprehend anything for a moment from the sheer impact and force of the blessed ripping, tearing, and obliterating myself of shadowy vice When my mind was able to form coherent thoughts: “Why me? Why was I picked for this task? There are others more qualified and worthy than I. What made me, one who never carried a cross for mass… to help in such a way as this?” Benjamin Dine
Angel in the Dark Laying in the dark of night nothing can be seen, The moon has gone to bed and darkness has taken over. I begin to worry and wonder where she is, A cold chill creeps into the bedroom filling her empty space. Finally there is a faint glow that begins to emerge, I know she is home, only her beauty can create that light. She comes into the room scaring darkness to the shadows, Gliding into bed beside me the chill is set aside. Her beauty changes the gloomy room, It now returns to the warm, cozy, place I call home. Her long brown hair flows across her body as she sleeps, Even then she still seems to have come from heaven. Her soft breathing is calming music, Adding to the aura of peace and love. I can finally rest with my love beside me, My angel in the dark. Kiefer Hinkle
2014 Adult Poetry Contest WIND winds flow, grass waves winds join, swirls begin clouds darken, rain falls winds gather, tempest forms winds twist, earth shreds village shatters, deaths occur winds fade, child cries wind gone, world continues A.D. Adams
I turned to Nature when I suffered a broken heart. Look at the Sycamore, like a work of art. How tall she stands, how strong. She’s been by herself all along. I turned to Nature too When I hadn’t a clue. Look at the fawn, how he stands on trembling legs. He has faith; neither pleads nor begs, Holding a simple belief that these legs will work and carry him forth. I turned to Nature when I believed I had no worth. Look at the sunshine, how it plays on the water rushing over the rock. It is simply beautiful to behold; no need to mock. The water itself doesn’t need the sun’s smile But that doesn’t make it not worthwhile. I turned to Nature when anger invaded my soul. Look at the soil, how it allows the flower to burst from the hole. Soil does not begrudge the bloom. It shifts itself; it gives it room. I turned to Nature when I needed a friend. Look at the breeze, through the branches does it bend To stroke my cheek and fluff my hair To fill my body’s lungs with air. I turned to Nature and this is what I learned. I can stand tall even when I’ve been burned. I can turn to faith when I don’t know the answer. I can be worthwhile just as I am; self-doubt is a cancer. I can shift my hatred and allow love to grow. I can allow my body to be my own best friend if I only say hello. I have all that I need right here inside. I just needed Nature to be my guide. Abby Kutscher In The Blue Darkness In the blue darkness under the lake, The breath of life was seeking escape.
Sunset The lake is hushed As the sun slides into it Like a raindrop on a leaf First slowly Then faster and faster Until it breaks into pieces Of red and gold and orange And disappears. Carrol Ostrum
Oh, little brother, I loved you so, Why was it now that you had to go? Your pain is gone now. I feel it in my heart. It is said, “that we must all,” Someday depart. But…in a little, We will be together once more. For I too, can not make it, From this lake to the shore. Jane I. Fox
2014 Adult Poetry Contest HALLOWED BE THY NAMES
From Dulles Airport I grow impatient Not knowing my way around. It has taken all day Leaning on my cane To make final roll call at The Wall.
The snow has melted Off the high peaks Water cascading Down rocky, broken slopes
Anguish long repressed now incites A Mekong marsh, splintered bones, Shattered futures. At peace, brave ones, We muster at this destitute, This blessed knoll. Amid offspring celebrating credulity The black gates loom high in the sky, A magnificent shrine that enrolls your names Among forgotten gods. This vanquished leader weeps in his joy. Here hobbles the barnswallow Who once led eagles into the sky. And such good fortune is more than I deserve. Consummate honor to you, brothers all, From the remnants of the spark to my soul. Stephen Brown
Rivers overflow Into yellow dandelion-filled fields The mountains rise in stark contrast To my normal spring Flat, mud-filled fields Homeless men stand in the Mall parking lot With no hats on it’s so warm These wayfarers pose Starving artist’s models Signs flashing in the sun “Will work for food” “Four hungry children at home” “Lost my wallet, need to get to Seattle” I look away after giving
One my last dollar bill
April is here, but Spring is reluctant to come and stay. Like children, we long to go outside and play. Sunshine teases by coming and going, Peeking through the clouds, but never showing his power to keep the green things growing. Oh! To hear the sound of people mowing And enjoy the scent of a freshly cut lawn. To bask in the warmth of the sun at dawn. Sip a cup of coffee ‘neath an old oak tree. And chat awhile with a friend like thee. Millie Swigart
Thinking that Maybe I should get My own sign, “Last 5 years I was full, Now I’m hungry. How much happier Could I be?” Vera Hurst
2014 Adult Poetry Contest When the Wind Breathes There are certain smells, sounds, tastes that take me back to my childhood. Smells that can transport me back into an old stale smoke filled room or next to the lilac bushes that lined the gravel driveway, which led to the two car garage with a dirt floor and smelled of oil and gasoline from the old cars and lawnmowers that grandpa use to fix. Sounds that transported me back on the porch of my grandparents house. They called it the davenport, or at least that’s what I thought they called it. Actually, they had referred to the couch that sat on the porch. Chimes hung from the over hang and rang whenever the wind breathed on it. I can still hear their voices, both raspy from many years of smoking, grandma quit when she was seventy. She called my grandpa Bill even though his name was Carl, made home made bread often and let the butter sit out on the corner table so it was soft to spread. We spent some evenings watching an old television set, no cable while lying on the floor drifting in and out of sleep only to be woken up each time grandpa struck his ring on the old wood table while playing Poker, his way of saying pass. An old black, very worn down piano sat against the wall in their dinning room. It was never tuned and some keys were broken but that didn’t stop us from making music. I never understood why it was there, I had never seen them play.
When I was eighteen, my mom would
always tell to me to make sure I visited my grandparents and tell them that I loved them because they were more frail than before and in poor health. I did as my mother told me and the following year we said our good-byes to grandma, just a year later grandpa would follow. The house is no longer standing. A school occupies its grounds, but I am reminded of them often. Whenever I hear the sound of chimes ring when the wind breathes. Grandpa was the only one that called me Blueeyes. Christine Bialota-Wright
Bobcat Bobcat Loud, big Scooping driving spinning It can go fast Machine John Shew
Daughter Delight A daughter is like a beautiful sunrise in the morning. She brightens a father’s heart throughout the day, sets beautifully in the night. Then it’s time for rest as the father waits for his daughter to rise again to his delight Roy Zimmer
2014 Adult Poetry Contest The Before Was The Day Before I’m having a repeat day. It’s just like the day before. Playing on the PC and lookin at the TV. Wishin someone would knock on the door. Wore the same sweats yesterday. And had a passing thought. Of how we used to hold hands wherever we went. And how we never fought. I’ll get out and about tomorrow. I’ll even change my clothes. But for now I’ll kick back and remember. How I got to this life I chose. There were things I did I wish I hadn’t. Things I didn’t do out of fright. The biggest regrets were the failures. When doing the things that were right. I’ll get out of the house tomorrow. And try to look at things like they’re new. Like a child sees a rainbow for the first time. Like I did when I first saw you.
The Opening Folded and closed, hiding in shadows, ignoring my truth. Sneak-peaking from behind walls and through dirty windows, not wanting to see. Afraid…but (maybe) willing this time. With deep breath I whisper in darkness, “I’m ready.” I begin to open and move inward, light exposing my truth. I begin to see, revealing subtly the fear and blemishes that dirtied my windows, blinding who I am, and blocking the radiance and love within my spirit. As I unfold, I accept what I had feared. The worst is over. Now, relying on faith, I enter through more doors. I fan away dust then clutch water and rag. I begin to shine windows; embracing that which has been exposed. and knowing the brightest light is within. Patti Wollenberg
String Theory There is an anchor in time in December at midnight; it’s ‘79, and it’s far from silent: ‘MMS blares from our Impala’s speakers, Bob’s drumming the dash and driving us home after ski club; Steve Tyler and Jeannie Don’t walk on by and ignore me. belt out Walk this Way; I’m sprawled I’d like to wish you well. in the back seat, rubbing my knee, I try only to remember the good times. shouting the tale of my worldclass wipeout And those are the ones I tell. on North Bowl. There’s a ring on the moon, the Pleiades shine right beside it; Bob parks And if we have the chance to talk. the car, we tumble inside, three half frozen hats, It will satisfy my mind. liftticketed If you tell me that your life is good. coats hit the floor. Our parents And that you’re doing fine. and brothers are sleeping, but we are creating: Bob churns out for us masterpiece milkshakes, And if you did things you wish you hadn’t. Or there were things you didn’t do out of fright. Jean brews our cocoa from hot milk and Quik. I am the master of grilled, gooey miracles: Have no regrets for the failures. When you were doing what you felt was right. butter on Roman Meal, Guggisberg cheese. The world’s held together by hot strands of Baby Margaret Hasson Swiss, stretched from the mouths of a blessed trinity. Connie Kramer If you’re out and about tomorrow. And we pass along the way. I hope you remember those good times. And that you’ll have something to say.
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
Almost Not Winter This is that kind of weather. This is that sort of day. This is the type of 60 degrees and sunshine That gives dead white form poets wood. They rapturously dig quill into parchment All because of dew drops and sun shadows. This is the poem that I hate when people read. We all know the weather’s sometimes superb And perpetually delusional But it’s just been too doggone long. Too chilly, too wet, too gloomy. Previous respites have been too short. Four months of wind chill— On the molecular level, no less— And this one nice day Have scrambled my poet brain. Bottle this day up. Then I would savor it in nibbles and sniffs When the temperature is more Negative than positive. Please, nature gods, Make me photosynthetic, Just for today, So I can absorb more than Vitamin D And sanity With this glorious sun bath. Whatever it takes to stockpile sunshine. The weather people Say tomorrow will be a return to the living deadness. So I might just have to delve into My cellular sunbeam storage Before next winter. This season has another stanza left. Skylark Bruce
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Collector The photo hangs above our kitchen table,
FOREIGN EXCHANGE She taught me the German word for day was pronounced talk, and that’s what our days did, conversed with each other and coiled around our ankles like the summer grass tugging at skirt hems and pant legs. The hot air vibrating over the horizon, clear currents pulling our bodies northward as sweat trailed down our backs. Our words hung like wind chimes from our molars, at times dragged into a song by the wind, but mostly they hung there like men, lifeless cavities that once held thoughts. She gathered kernels in her damp palm and scattered them like her grief, sowing the fields with future fingers. I knew only the tilt of her dress, and her eyes when she left, asking Why didn’t you say something? Greg Deinert
a reminder of the morning I got the call. That day was the start of my collection of his former possessions: a pocket knife, a jigsaw, the display case filled with model trains. I make excuses about accepting them, tell Jen the trains are for our future son. But they’re for me, a way to cling to the grandpa I should have visited more, spoken with more, listened to more. I wonder about the untold stories he’ll never get to tell about growing up on an Amish farm, about leaving his family, his life behind. I want to hear those stories, but I can’t.
The Trail Clear crystals fall from heaven Saving us from a dry damnation. A golden orb burdens us by day; A silver orb drifts us away. Deep into a nightly slumber Where we let mortal minds wonder. A symphony graces the windSo we know this is not yet the end. A deceptive wooden catacomb Hides a life in its womb. Tenderly the tall giants protect As a new birth resurrects. Lowly whispers make way Ascending melodies of a new day. An unwinding darkened tail slumbers in the woods Patiently waiting to be understood Our paths are not always what they seem; Life is more beautiful than we have ever dreamed. Jonathan Thorn
So instead, I find the stories in the objects of my collection while I wait to add the next piece. Eric Schlabach
Grandpa My grandpa passed away today. It was a dark and dreary kind of day. I cried a little and hugged my sister. Then something happened and I was surprised, my heart felt joyful and light. The journey happened so peacefully. There was no labored breathing, just a hush and a peace. Serene as a baby, He had made the full circle round. As I drove home I felt his presence near, He said, “Thank you for sitting with me.” “You’re welcome.” Karen Warner
2014 Adult Poetry Contest The last fight: Fifth time’s a charm Momma, are you okay? THE ENDLESS JOURNEY Smiling child, welcome to our world! Such beauty, wonder, and mystery await The road you take has many turns Some out of choice, some out of fate Be mindful of those who join you A fool’s paradise is seldom kept Easy shortcuts produce painful mistakes For which many tears will be wept The loud and the proud have great dreams The only voice they hear is that of their own Lacking wisdom and humility they venture off Only to be found wanting and without a home There is a spirit inside you Pure as a mountainside spring Let its quiet power move through you Never doubt the beauty it can bring In the endless journey we take We seek rest in a place beyond sight Take the path that is lasting and true And you will find the place of everlasting light. Charles Wachunas
Wide eyes glazed over. You’re lying on the floor. Ten days sober Your body’s been at war. Reaching for your shaking hand Tears slip down my face. Wonder if this is God’s plan Like the Devil’s Fall from Grace? Warmth runs through your ripped top Down the creases of your jeans. You craved an out, an end, a stop. Anything to keep you in your dreams. Light shines in from the window pane. Momma, are you okay? Dominique Mayle
MY GERANIUM The lovely flowers outside my window – I greet each day with a smile… They give me so much joy you see – by their presence and their style… They hang so stately on their poles – that gives them so much grace… And as they turn – from each breeze that comes – I get to see their face… There pink and red and fuchsia – in pots as white as snow… There green leaves give an accent – that presents and incredible show… My friends will ask what is that plant – when they come to spend an hour… I answer back – a Geranium of course – why that’s my favorite flower… Lee Chovan
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Santa’s Christmas Poem
Endless winter Trapped Cemented in place by a snug white straight jacket
C is for children Blessed as they are Each one is special Like a bright shining star
Hushed is the world outside Sedated birds curl up
H is for happy It’s that time of year When Chad, Susie, Matt and Tommy Are filled with good cheer
Perched on the bare branches Immoveable force Penned in on all sides Heavy
R is for raindrops Which turn into snow Because this is the season The north winds do blow
Under the weight of an oppressing force Maddening
I is for icicles All shiny and bright They glow in the moonlight On a cold winter’s night
The street, white with salt Fierce Constant Waiting for release
S is for St. Nick’s great big sleigh It’s the love that’s carried on Christmas Eve For all to rejoice And believe
For a path Artificial sweetener Powdery
T is for toys and toys and toys Santa’s presents on Christmas morning For all the good little girls and boys
White Damaging Seems a grand thing at first
M is for merry Merry Christmas, I mean Sleep tight my children, and get to bed early Santa doesn’t wish to be seen
After so long a time It breaks you. H.C Iser
A is for angel A top the Christmas tree Smiling down and blessing This wonderful family
S is for Santa He’s always on the go Filled with holiday spirit And a belly full of Ho Ho Ho’s! We just spelled Christmas It’s that time of year When peace, love, joy and happiness abound But wouldn’t it be great if we had that spirit all year ‘round? Merry Christmas, and remember keep that twinkle in your eye!!! Larry Durian
A scant silver years ago“With this ring, I thee wed,” Binding words we both said. A bond so tightly glued With laughs and tears, And memories we treasure. As husband, and wife. Love has grown too much to measure. Precious is silver we’re always told… But let’s see, let’s go for the gold. Rachel Chevraux
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
What Does Not Happen The unlocked door with no intruder The near miss car accident The rolling pin that fell away from my infant daughter Today I choose to be thankful for what could have happened, but did not.
Our son’s test results that put our worries to rest The time I tried to rescue my sister, but her panic nearly drowned us – until the lifeguard saved us both That long hike in the Smokies where the bear paid more attention to the berries than to us Today I acknowledge the graces that did not have to be.
Like an optical illusion, I can see more than one picture. I do not deny the fear that burned within or the vulnerability that knocked on my door. But I also felt my growing smile of thankfulness and heard my exhale of relief Reality can turn on a dime – and a dime always has two sides.
It has been written “Seek and ye shall find.” Like a drawing in a children’s magazine, I can find the many things wrong with any picture: the bad traffic, the awful weather, the expensive bill, the foolish decision, the petty remark. But I can also choose to circle all the things that are right: The well-lit parking lot on the walk back to my car The salted sidewalk during the ice storm The massive tree branches that we saw crash onto the grass just seconds after we left the park And so I hug my children close and think – “This warm, close moment does not even have to be, and yet it is here. And for this I am thankful” Can you see that which does not happen to you? Karen Dhyanchand
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Finding Me Outside My Window* All is forgotten Breath makes hot clouds on stippled glass, The promises made my finger draws swirls like the east wind The things I have prayed outside, dusting up layers of snow. My self-esteem shot by the words From my hilltop cabin, la cittá— that were said a vision of dusky indigo Trying to recover —is falling fast asleep. The girl once inside And as the twinkles of incandescent lamps Oh how I cried fade into the night, The pain won’t subside the heavy yellow moon climbs above la montagna. Reaching deep within The crescent shines like a beacon Pushing past sin in the still, dark evening, To find the true me painting the clay rooftops with white brush strokes. To get to my destiny La luna and her children, the stars, My heart is so full they bless this tiny place. I feel such a pull In the blustery, winter cold, A pull to finally see this celestial family whispers into sleeping ears: All that I can be speranza, hope. Helper I sit awake at my speckled-glass window, A lover admiring the stars— A keeper like a million shining diamonds A seeker —and watch as each little stella Best friend to the end blesses my home. Oh but my life depends On seeking God *Inspired by The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, 1889 Trusting him Amanda Stovicek Loving him He betters me Molds me Completes me Dawning He’s taking me to a place From a dank interior, movement towards the intended promise So that I might win this race Bones chilled, the dying winter ache unwavering with the time Focusing on his plan Helping save man Head heavy, shoulders weighted by the somber, stale vibe Corkisha Pledgure Apathy for the moment, new thoughts non-existent. Stepping out, first light in the east is found Colors diffuse, the glimmering intimation of hope Beginning to ascend, breaths deep, clearing the mind's shadows Climbing higher, aspiring to soar, assurance of the sun's kindness Fervor building as gelid pessimism melts into the recesses of the mind Intense rays holding favorable intuition in tact Only warmth radiating, affirming the guarantee of renaissance. Laura Staley
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Untitled i die more every day— not physically— but emotionally, spiritually and yes, maybe physically too these stabbing pains in my chest every day and every night, my arm lying helpless at my side and tired, always tired so i cannot get up in the morning
the churning of my stomach starts when i hear his van in the drive what will it be tonight? i can tell when he comes in the door if this is the night to mention that it’s time for the kids’ checkups or the insurance bill is wrong
Flutes and trumpets blare
he shoves the lunchbox onto the crowded countertop “i’m making dinner,” i apologize he goes into the bedroom, locking the door behind him the children look at me; i have no answers i yell at them because there are toys on the floor and their hair is messed up and because they’re kids and i can’t yell at him
Polished sleigh bells ring Twenty-fifth of remember Ho, Ho, Holidays.
Carolers’ sweetest refrain Children’s voices ring.
Frosted breath warm heart Poinsettias filling the room Ornamental eyes.
dinner is ready the kids perch on the edges of their seats i call him again and try not to sound demanding the food on his plate is cold when he sits down “how’s the meatloaf?” i ask “marginal,” he sneers
Holly wreathes glitter
the children look at me
“today we cleaned out the basement and took clothes to goodwill we hoed the beans and picked tomatoes i mowed the yard we…”
Peppermint brandy tasted
he shoves his plate away and dismisses me and all my efforts with, “did you remember to call about the hunting license today?” at the look on my face, he grunts, “figures!” and stomps down the hallway click! locked out again
Cold season, warm hearts
Families once again share Decorated pines.
fourteen quarts of tomatoes shimmer in their jars on the counter i hate myself for throwing all that i’ve done today as an offering at his feet i know it’s never enough tomorrow i will offer it again i’ll try a little harder Andi Michelson
One long kiss hello.
Stockings full of emotion Melt your frigid thoughts. Lloyd Wilson
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Beautiful Seasons Each season has gifts of color unique To the time and the treasures and changes it brings. Summer, to start, has a glow all its own. Brilliant blue skies and mint ice cream on cones Plumberry Passion polished on toes Shades of hot pink on a freckly nose A sparkling white smile on a happy tan face A lime cotton sundress with eyelet and lace Sounds of laughter and children at play Add to the joy of each colorful day. Autumn, however, brings a different feel The shades a bit warmer, earthy and real. Leaves in deep hues of auburn and crimson Plumped-up orange pumpkins for family fun Skies looking grayish, trees growing bare We stop to give thanks for all that we share. Thankful indeed, a new season is coming Winter chills the outside yet is soul and heartwarming. Houses adorned with rainbows of light A cherry red suit seen on rooftops one night The Light of the World arriving on Earth In a dusty brown stable to show us our worth. As snow fades away, anxious hearts cannot wait For Spring to arrive and the cold to abate. Flowers in bloom and grass turning green Bluebirds and cardinals and mockingbirds sing. The sunshine ablaze once again in gold splendor Brides in pearl dresses, a day to remember Miracle babies arriving at last Parents experiencing joy unsurpassed Spring comes to life and we, in turn, with it. New beginnings to cherish, hope abounds without limit. Heather Shanmugam
Sheets of Granite In the war in Vietnam Almost 58,000 died Among them all races All had fought a good fight Some had died by bullets Some blown away be mortars Many by hand grenades But there are also the living The wounded who still suffer Both mentally and physically From the horrors of that war Coming back to protests Never receiving honor Being looked down upon Yet perhaps then we can Give the honors deserved With this memorial Of names who died so valiantly Glenda Derwacter
My Garden The hyacinths do not gently sway their finely detailed, poodle tails. The daffodils do not shade themselves under their yellow sunbonnets. The tulips do not beckon with their cherry looks atop lollipop stems. Hours of light are few, among days that are many. My garden is waiting, beneath an overabundance of winter white. Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
2014 Adult Poetry Contest A Tree Lives On A tree lives on when it’s gone from the ground, Some for short and others for long. Lyfe’s Love Lyfe’s love is a fantasy A fantasy that I wearn for A dream that I hope will come true Lyfe’s love is a dream A dream that I wearn for A fantasy that I hope will come true Lyfe’s love is something that is in your heart Lyfe’s love is me, Lfye’s love is you Cheree Davis
Milled to lumber that becomes a house, Crafted into a table, or for comfort a couch. No longer able to offer cooling shade, It can still give warmth through a dying blaze. But an ageless wonder it becomes, When flattened and inked for once And all time. From wood to words. I sit and ponder, reading in my rocker. And my interest grows as the pages flow. And outside my window I can hear the wind Whisper through the limbs, the secrets of the boughs. And be it fiction or non, It matters not, as I read on. Word by word it works its imagery: imparting knowledge, Driving thought, revealing history. A written tapestry on a former tree. Finished and set aside, it rests, Read, but not dead nor alive. Until opened again to breathe once more, From cover to cover like an open door. Rollie Dreussi
Rainbows I love the color green because it means to me The color of the trees and grass which grows during the spring I love the color yellow because it means to me The color of the sun and how it can brighten my day I love the color orange because it means to me The color of the sun when it is setting on the horizon I love the color blue because it means to me The color of the sky which is in heaven above I love the color red because it means to me The color of blood which Jesus shed for me I love the color purple because it means to me The color of royalty which Jesus is King forever more Elizabeth A. Macli
2014 Adult Poetry Contest THE FREEDOM FIGHTER’S FATHER AND ASK “GOD” TO WATCH OVER YOU, FROM ABOVE THAT WHILE YOU ARE ON THE BATTLEFIELD YOU WILL BE COVERED BY A BLANKET OF LOVE AND I WILL PRAY THAT YOU WILL COME HOME TO YOUR MOTHER AND ME, THAT THIS WAR WILL NOT TAKE YOU FROM YOUR FAMILY
A SOLDIER LEFT HIS HOME BOUND FOR A DISTANT LAND HE HAD TO FIGHT FOR FREEDOM HE HAD TO TAKE A STAND HIS FATHER TOLD HIM “SON I KNOW WHAT YOU WILL BE GOING THROUGH, I HAD TO LEAVE HOME ONE DAY TO TO FIGHT FOR OLD GLORY, TOO” SOME PEOPLE WILL NOT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU FIGHT ON FOREIGN SOIL SOME WILL EVEN SAY YOU FIGHT TO LOWER THE PRICE OF OIL BUT ONE OF THE THINGS YOU TRULY WILL BE FIGHTING FOR IS SO THEY CAN SPEAK THEIR MINDS WITHOUT A LATE KNOCK AT THE DOOR YET MOST ALL OF AMERICA WILL LOVE AND APPRECIATE WHAT YOU DO THEY WILL KEEP YOU IN THEIR PRAYERS
BUT IF SOMEDAY BY YOUR FLAG DRAPED COFFIN I SHOUD STAND I WILL REMEMBER ANOTHER SON WHO HAD TO LEAVE HIS FATHER TO FIGHT IN A FOREIGN LAND THE BATTLE THAT HE FOUGHT WAS TO BRING ABOUT FREEDOM TOO, HECAME TO SHED HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD FOR ME AND YOU HE CAME TO FIGHT FOR FREEDOM AND FOR LIBERTY THESE TWO THINGS GO HAND IN HAND YOU SEE SO IF PERCHANCE TO HIM IN A BLOOD STAINED UNIFORM YOU SHOULD GO HE WILL EXCHANGE IT FOR ONE THAT IS WHITE AS SNOW Orpah Moore
Blushing Flush Went to the ladies’ powder room, Was selective about the stalls, But every one I peeked in, Had scribbling on the walls. Knew this was no shortie. So I closed the door behind. And started an education. That nearly blew my mind. Flushed my worries down the drain. Only to realize when, In my rush to piddle. I forgot my pen. Barbara Flagg
LUCY Lucy is a full grown cat she loves to bat around a ball. we may find it in a hat if she doesn't take a fall. Julie Gingerich
Orpah Moore Page 32
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Vision For Mission Sandy Paths, color splashed everywhereWhere You commission, You are there. Clay pots, busy streetsEvery human need, want , desire You already meet. New worlds, foreign beliefs, people to embraceAll come searching and seeking Your face. Words not yet spoken yet birthed in the SpiritBecome keys to chains, healing to pain, encouragement to despair. Every corner of the Earth, You are there. In eyes of playing children, in the dances of young girls, In speech of wise leaders, In every unwrapped smile, Creator of the world, designer of humankind, Your glory conquers any darkness anywhere. From East to West from North to South, From every mountain topYou, God, restore, rebuild, and renew Your children, Your creation. Kimberly Rininger
Runner’s Reflection My venue for victory A time to dream My battlefield with pain and strife My source of happiness And giver of meaning In a sometimes woeful life A way to hold hands With the stars and the sun My truest friend When there are none My forever faithful My daily run Frank Lancianese
The Unbroken Circle Mirrors, Like a never slowing revolving door reflect the mediocrity of our existence. Life, revolves as a door in a continuous circl. We believe we have freedom To come and go, to see the same people and places. If this is freedom, hand me a brick that I may break The revolving “mirror.” and hope the “seven years” Last a lifetime. John F. Hiles
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
-Baseball in MeIt’s the name of the game. It’s as Simple as Pie. It’s also the reason I live and I’ll die. It’s humbling. It’s taunting. It points out my flaws. Yet three out of ten times you get a standing applause. It’s quick to point out the various things I may lack. It gives me just enough to keep me coming back. It’s awesome. It’s crazy. It sucks, now I hate it. Was that Ump even watching dude!? I swear I freakin’ made it! You’re Safe! You’re Out! Which is it I’m lost? ...What do you mean I’m out Blue!?...This is when I get tossed. You win some, you lose some, and sometimes it rains It’s the drive and the motivation that numbs all my pains. I was born with a passion for the love of the game. The baseball gods chose pine tar instead of blood for my veins. I love it, I hate it. I’ll be back out here tomorrow. Does anyone have a box of curveballs I can borrow? Squaring up a round bat on a little round ball, Reminds me that a game that’s so simple…is not so simple at all. It’s the game I chose as a life to help guide me, It’s the game I know has, is and will, always be inside me… Tyler Maag
There will never be another day like today. Tomorrow is never promised and nothing ever stays the same. So live your life, don’t be afraid to cry, as long as you are brave enough to try. Live with love and love your life, be strong enough to thrive…towards each and every dream that makes you smile. And always remember deep down inside..that YOU is all you need to survive. Randii Loland
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
STILL HERE Once upon a time, I was like a child. Born into sin and placed in captivity. Breathed iniquity. Swaddled for comfort My head wrested on a peaceful shoulder, Yet within, the unknown--battling a spiritual war. Won’t say one word about it—No, Won’t shed a tear, because it’s not until I’m a little older that I understand what this all meanWhat it means to live unconsciously in fear. I got little older and this is what I found— What once was a battle for my soul just became a lifestyle. Ignoring the knock of reality— Well this is just the spin of life, my friend”—Yeah-Yeah Until a preacher came to me and said, have you experienced what it is like to be Born Again? To be born into the world And then rescued by Grace, To become a child of God, resting in Jesus name. To Walk in Peace Living without chains, No more subjected to my flaws, Removed from myself for a purpose every time I surrendered all Subjected, No More!! to the principalities and powers that once held me bound every day and every hour. To be given a new name, I walk brand new To send prayers up and meet Heaven…silence has never been so good. Damaged by sprits that was not seen by natural eyes, Yet I remain in faith because damaged doesn’t mean broken— I still look to the king to be revived. Summer Givens
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Summer Berries Warm caramel swirls of thoughts in my head of walks in a so amber sun-dappled woods. Berries so heavy and plump - full of juice each !ny pocket burs!ng to lose the pungent juice tart and then warm full of the sun and sweet. My pail is filling but not quite complete. My face has a small and sa!sfied grin the deep purple black stains clues to my sins. One heavenly pie will be baked instead of the two. Well worth the scold and out of the kitchen Shoo shoo! The hums and lazy sounds of Summers long passed. Golden as honey strands taking me all the way back To warm caramel swirls of memories in my head of walks in the woods and warm sun on my young golden head. Cheryl Voiklis
Nature’s Rung Noticing venetian blinds through spotted glass I see gray mist, black bark, and feeding tray surrounding an oak tree. The stretching limbs invite the small to climb upon and feel the wind’s rhythmical romance gliding past, so smooth and real. The slender fingers swaying avoid a sullen touch; their reaching for the limitless compares to man as such. The roots are hidden far below, But nourishment arouses; new sprigs That hold fast to the strong and grow from rain’s cool douses. Chris M. Singh
MELODIC TUNES Caress my soul Eardrums filled with melodic soundscapes Beautiful tunes awakening my caliber bass whooping my eardrums, I awake Private conversations intertwining through my conscious No verbal communications, I don’t speak, but listen Vocals raging in excellence, wordplay swarming my aura Metaphors on a rage as I listen to your thoughts bleeding through your existence; Feeling your agony, pour your heart out against the instrumental soundings Expressions written in ink, recorded through a device This is my music diary, for you to listen to and see Melissa Cook
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Old Age Old age takes over the body. The child inside wants to run, play, and have fun! The bones creak, making running impossible. Playing consists of solitaire, how Boring is that? I want to go fishing, but the arthritic hands can’t pull the fish in. I want to climb a mountain, but the body says, “No way.” It creaks and groans with every step. Inside the child is throwing a tantrum he can’t have any fun! He sees himself as wrinkled and old. When will I leave this decay and fly Away? Dawn Thomas
BITTER TEARS A small boy cries in the wilderness Outside his mother’s womb, No waves of love wash over him So his eyes cry no more His feet weep from blisters of a lifetime Walking with a hole in his soul, His heart sheds bitter tears ‘Cause his eyes don’t cry no more Mirages of happiness peek through the dark Clouds that drench this man-child, He drowns in a sea of purposelessness But his eves don’t cry no more See me…! Hear me…! Save me…! Please let me of love have a taste, Cries of pain that went unheeded Now his eyes don’t cry no more. Pat Grant
Beautiful Seasons Each season has gifts of color unique To the time and the treasures and changes it brings. Summer, to start, has a glow all its own. Brilliant blue skies and mint ice cream on cones Plumberry Passion polished on toes Shades of hot pink on a freckly nose A sparkling white smile on a happy tan face A lime cotton sundress with eyelet and lace Sounds of laughter and children at play Add to the joy of each colorful day. Autumn, however, brings a different feel The shades a bit warmer, earthy and real. Leaves in deep hues of auburn and crimson Plumped-up orange pumpkins for family fun Skies looking grayish, trees growing bare We stop to give thanks for all that we share. Thankful indeed, a new season is coming Winter chills the outside yet is soul and heartwarming. Houses adorned with rainbows of light A cherry red suit seen on rooftops one night The Light of the World arriving on Earth In a dusty brown stable to show us our worth. As snow fades away, anxious hearts cannot wait For Spring to arrive and the cold to abate. Flowers in bloom and grass turning green Bluebirds and cardinals and mockingbirds sing. The sunshine ablaze once again in gold splendor Brides in pearl dresses, a day to remember Miracle babies arriving at last Parents experiencing joy unsurpassed Spring comes to life and we, in turn, with it. New beginnings to cherish, hope abounds without limit. Heather Shanmugam
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Reflections Black birds perched Upon a barren branch Silhouetted gainst A silvery sky Warm breeze blowing, briskly Through the trees Paints a pleasant picture For my eyes. Soon the sun will set And shelter they will seek Fighting, friendly for A cozy place to sleep Beaks tucked barely Under feathered wings One eye open For emergencies. Comes the dawn And daylight decorates the sky Finding food now Fills the stomach cry Cheerful chirping Echoes in the wind Playful, playing Starts the frolicking. Once again Upon the barren branch Black birds perch Till daylight slowly ends Night is still And silently they sleep Warm and cozy, Only to repeat. Bessie Vlahos
The Widowers Walk (A Humanist’s Elegy) In this my autumn, where solitary days, all-too-quickly, dapple from patterns of yellow morning sun to gray, evening shadows, I stop and listen to the prophetic rustle of wind-swept branches, high over head. From the corn stubble and stone, of their sparse bit of Eden, jade mallards return my gaze, waiting for my intrusion to pass, before continuing their courtship, and then through the high weeds, reptilian movements of running mink! Startled birds flash red and blue, always in couplets; I hurry on, now anxious to be with my departed. Through out my afternoon and into my evening, I walked the world’s winding roads, felt, no—savored the greenings and browning of woods and pastures, relearned yet again to accept the constant change. And now, it is that time of day when waning sun reflects orange off the world’s black-top roads, illuminates living and dead, all carnage of the silent call, and I, having completed my lonely rendezvous, tire and turn towards home. William Lally
Gold From Java Island coffees to Atlanta Mountain cold For centuries their men have given Arab women The gift of finest Gold And over ages great tales Of their beauty have been told. Their color being more like Gold than any other hue The men do well to give it, For no lesser gift would do; And so my darling dear, This Gold is for you. Thomas Chevraux
2014 Adult Poetry Contest Only This Blue water tower, Hoover plant smokestack, steeple: A skyline haiku.
And yet ravens still soar, Fathers string Christmas lights, The earth spins with glee.
Days of paradise In North Canton, Ohio: Trees in September.
Why does it bother? Why so much extravagance? Moonlight on the driveway.
I say “I love you” To freeze time in its tracks but There is only this.
Sharp winter sunlight, The gilded edge of morning, Wednesday in my hands.
After all the lies, I don’t believe much; I just look at things.
The end of sky Where the deep blue turns to black: I want to live there.
I’m nosy, you know: I watch you undress at night, I stare into trees.
Is this the Pure Land? Do you plan to dream tonight? Does it smell like spring?
Rain on my windshield; Every drop knows what to do; How do I reply?
Driving home at dusk, Twilight melts to whisper; I want only this. David W DeLong
So much damage done Trying to be somebody: Win or lose, I lose. You postpone death today, A million billion neurons: You’re just a snapshot. Half my friends are dead; they didn’t think they would die: ring around the moon. It’s not what I thought: The majesty of living, the wonder of death. What part did you get? Male or female? Rich or poor? Beauty or the troll? God is a monster: the slaughter of animals; the rape of children.
“The World of Winter Cold” #@<&!#@^*#&! Blows like no one knows Its mind is at its task And soon we read it’s thoughts Through the prairies and over the woods It comes, and we feel it’s wrath. Winter coats and gloves protect us, But we can not stop it’s annual visit. We who live in it’s path can take our leave. Off to Florida, Hawaii or South America we go yet it knows next year it’ll get us, if we don’t go to those distant lands. Toughen we learn to live, Perhaps enjoy a snow flake or two. But be our friend, winter wind And don’t last too long. Alton J Myers
2014 Adult Poetry Contest One Minute Sermon To be a survivor in this amazing race with a need for speed, you need God’s Grace. And if you’re desperate like housewives watching days of our lives, you can’t cope without hope and that’s not on a soap. If you’re looking to Oprah or Dr. Phil, you can shop non-stop or pop a pill but the void won’t fill and the pain won’t heal ‘til you love the one that hung on a hill. Kick ‘em back in your La-Z-Boy easy chair watching who wants to be a millionaire. Nah! You’re not going to find it there. No American Idol or Council Tribal has the final answer that will satisfy you. CSI ain’t got a clue. SVU don’t know what to do. Not the ER, The OC, nothing on a CD, TV, DVD, or MP3 can save you and me. CNN’s got no good news. Here’s the headline, “you must choose.” It’s not a simple life Paris Hilton. It’s treading on thin ice living in sin. You can be an Apprentice for Donald Trump or eat Fear Factor fast food from a dump. You can be a heavy hitter of Wheel of Fortune winner. A Fox News no-spin spinner or flat out sinner, but you better check this life that you’re livin’ and make sure your sins are forgiven. I bet you 50 cents: Elvis done came and went. And eventually every Black Eyed Pea, Gwen Stefani, PDiddy and Britney, every wanna-be on MTV with their icy bling, every Dixie Chick that sings, they all gonna see the king of kings. I don’t care if you’re J Lo, Leno, or Bono. One thing you gotta know, someday you’re gonna die bro. Then where are you gonna go? Hey, I’m not talking some punk jumk that is irrelevant like your grandma’s church from way back when. It’s not some preacher feature on TBN that you need to be liking or listening. The real superstar is Jesus Christ. He’s the way. He’s the truth, and the life. One day he’s going to split the sky. He is the brightest light and the highest high. And so, what I came to say and what I’m telling you is don’t buy that stupid stuff they be selling you. It’s all designed to fill your head and waste your space until you’re dead. Here’s the bottom line in my rhyme. Give your life to God while there is still time. Alex Becker
2014 Adult Poetry Contest House Wife’s Lament Up at seven is the usual rule. Husband to work and kids to school. Start the washing right away. It’s just the beginning of another day. Dress the baby and get her fed. Time is wasting gotta make the beds. Down to the basement to take out the clothes. How many more loads nobody knows. Back upstairs to clean the house listen the baby’s as still as a mouse. In the bedroom up to one of her tricks. Trying to put on her sister’s lipstick. Clean up the mess and wash her face. Have to put her in her place. Wash the dishes and sweep the floor. Answer the phone and then the door. To the basement a dozen times at least. Now it’s time to fix this gang a feast. After all this and more besides. There’s just one thing I can’t abide. My husband who Is usually late. When he does come home this loving Mate will look at me and invariably say “honey, what did you do today.” Michael Kalpac Jr.
Nature’s Rung Noticing venetian blinds through spotted glass I see gray mist, black bark, and feeding tray surrounding an oak tree. The stretching limbs invite the small to climb upon and feel the wind’s rhythmical romance gliding past, so smooth and real. The slender fingers swaying avoid a sullen touch; their reaching for the limitless compares to man as such. The roots are hidden far below, But nourishment arouses; new sprigs That hold fast to the strong and grow from rain’s cool douses. Chris M. Singh
Recipe for a “Seasoned” Life LIFE: a blend of ingredients, recipes of our choosing; A selectionof seasonings pleasing our taste. Bland, pungent, tasteful, sweet, sour, using Each moment carefully; no thyme to waste. Renewal in springtimes of coriander flurry, Youthful activity basil with green; Oregano-flavored with touches of curry, Childhood’s a pleasant, innocent scene. Parsleyed adventures stir summer’s glow; Peppered with learning, baked in the sun. Rosemary leisure kneading to flow; Teen, young adult years too quickly done. Gingerly folding to saffron Septembers, Autumn years more deliberately greet; Bright mustard melodies fondly remembered, Middle-age memories so cinnamon sweet. Powdery winter hills, sugared with snow, Salted roads traveled at much slower pace; Minted treasure discovered, eat in or to go, Accepting the outcome with wisdom and grace. Seasonings of life include bitter and biting, Candied and luscious, sprinkled with zest; Attitude flavors each dish, inviting A pleasurable palate of life at its best! Joanne Burkhart McKinney
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
The Darkest Day The darkest day the darkest night “I lie awake pushing time on one of the darkest nights, staring into the moon dressed in its whites. It does its duty and never skips a day, A lesson I learn in a very simple way. Tomorrow is another day for me to show; that all my kids are growing up. Good Night little baby don’t you cry daddy going to song you a lullaby”. Johnny Guy
PORTRAIT OF YOUTH Our blood is young, our spirit’s old. Our tongues carry stories Waiting to be told To souls we trust. Our feelings are fire, That sharpen the blades of our minds, Quicken our steps To leave our ugly parts behind To outpace apathy-eternal race against a lesser Fate. Our blood is young, our spirit’s old. Hearts waiting to be brokenSo they might hold The universe. We are autumn leaves, Burning so bright we fall. Bearing through winter, Til’ we remember what we are, And we bloom. Our blood is young, our spirit’s old. We walk a thousand steps, To know where we want to goDiscovery. We’re builders of who we are With unfinalized blueprints. Fear and opportunity Are all that shy us away fromAdventure. Our blood is young, our spirit’s old. Our iron is hot, If we don’t let our eyes grow old. Passion. Timeless battle, we are soldiers. endless chase, we are runners. If we put apathy behind us and light before us, It is ours. The universe. Our blood is young our spirit’s old We carry fire, to forge, to mold. We are young; we are free. This is ours, testimony. Amanda Lamadanie
2014 Adult Poetry Contest
Adams, A.D. ....................... 19 Aston, Peggy ...................... 17
Becker, Alex ........................ 40 Bell, Sarah ............................ 6 Bialota-Wright, Christine ..... 21 Brown, Stephen ................. 20 Bruce, Skylark .................... 23 Chevrau, Rachel ................ 26 Chevraux, Thomas .............. 38 Chovan, Lee ....................... 25 Cook, Melissa .................... 36 Cook, Carla A. .................... 12
Davis, Cassidy ..................... 4 Davis, Cheree ..................... 31 Deinert, Greg ..................... 24 Delong, David ..................... 39 Derwacter, Glenda ............. 30 Dhyanchard, Karen ............. 27 Dickson, Michael ................ 13 Diehl, Desra ....................... 10 Dine, Benjamin ................... 18 Dreussi, Rollie .................... 31 Durian, Larry ...................... 26
Flagg, Barbara .................... 32 Fox, Jane I. ........................ 19
Gallik, Daniel ......................... 4 Gingerich, Julie .................. 32 Givens, Summer ................ 35 Graber, Anita ...................... 14 Grant, Pat .......................... 36 Guy, Johnny ....................... 42
Hinkle, Kiefer ..................... 18 Huff, Vikie .......................... 15 Hurst, Vera ........................ 20
Paprocki, M. ......................... 5 Pledgure, Corkisha ............. 28 Polk, Gabriel ...................... 13
Iser, H.C ............................ 26
Ranaldi-Adams, Valentina . 30 Rininger, Kimberly .............. 33 Roberts, Stella ...................... 6
Johnson, Azriel ................... 6
Kabakole, Shaun ................ 17 Kalpac, Michael Jr. ............. 41 Kramer, Connie .................. 22 Kurtis Keppel, Jon .............. 10 Kutscher, Abby .................. 19
Lalley, William ..................... 38 Lamadanie, Amanda ........... 42 Lancianese, Frank ............. 33 Laury, Patricia ...................... 4 Lee, Jessica ......................... 3 Lewis, Malia ....................... 16 Logan, Randy ..................... 11 Loland, Randii ..................... 34 Long, Susan E ................... 17 Lucas, Charlotte ................. 15
Maag, Tyler ........................ 34 Macli, Elizabeth A. ............. 31 Mayle, Dominique .............. 25 McConnell, Patty .................. 7 McKinney, Anne Burkhart ... 41 Medley, Linda ....................... 9 Michelson, Andi .................. 29 Moore, Orpah .................... 32 Myers, Alton J .................... 39
Noble, Donna ...................... 14 Halitzka, Victor ...................... 8 Hartley, Brian ........................ 9 Hasson, Margaret ............... 22 Herrera, Paul M. .................. 12 Hiles, John F. ..................... 33
Orack, James ....................... 7 Ostrum, Carrol ................... 19
Schlabach, Eric .................. 24 Shanmugam, Heather ......... 30 Shew, John ........................ 21 Singh, Chris ......................... 41 Smith, Terrance ..................... 5 Soldo, Karen.......................... 7 Staley, Laura ...................... 28 Stoffer, Michelle R. ............... 4 Stone, John .......................... 7 Stovicek, Amanda ............... 28 Swigart, Millie ..................... 20
Thomas, Dawn .................... 11 Thorn, Jonathan ................. 24
Vlahos, Bessie..................... 38 Voiklis, Cheryl ..................... 36
Wachunas, Charles ............ 25 Warner, Karen .................... 24 Wilson, Lloyd ....................... 29 Wiseman, Marc ..................... 8 Wollenberg, Patti ................ 22
Zimmer, Roy ....................... 21 Zwick, Thomas David ......... 16
Locations Main Library
Madge Youtz Branch
DeHoff Memorial Branch
715 Market Avenue N Canton, OH 44702 330.452.0665
2921 Mahoning Road NE Canton, OH 44705 330.452.2618
216 Hartford Avenue SE Canton, OH 44707 330.452.9014
189 25th Street NW Canton, OH 44709 330.456.4356
East Canton Branch 224 N Wood Street East Canton, OH 44730 330.488.1501
5710 12th Street NW Canton, OH 44708 330.477.8482
Jackson Township Branch 7487 Fulton Drive NW Massillon, OH 44646 330.833.1010
Plain Community Branch 1803 Schneider Street NE Canton, OH 44721 330.494.3399
Lake Community Branch 565 Market Avenue SW Uniontown, OH 44685 330.877.9975
Perry Sippo Branch
Sandy Valley Branch 9754 Cleveland Avenue SE Magnolia, OH 44643 330.866.3366
715 Market Avenue N Canton, OH 44702 330.458.2820
Published on May 30, 2014
Poetry book containing poems by the adults who participated in the 2014 Stark County District Library Poetry Contest