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Ode to a Hollyhock
2001 By Doss

Our fall has not slowed this mini-life;
A green rosette of tiny leaves hugs the ground.
Sticky damp air means the weather is rife
With more rain, whose hammering blows pound;
And sharp winds now gust through, cutting at plants like a knife.
Bending, I pull a handful of dead grass, all browned,
And scatter brown over these rosettes so very green.
And winter? This life
To survive it all, even though snow-be-gowned!
Spring sun will make a miracle where these infants now dream.

Fields of Grain
July, 2003
Writer (WRITER191)

My life seemed full of turmoil; I sat bundled in my tears.
Yet fighting there with my own plight, his words fell on my ears.
At first I thought him senile as he spoke with rambling tone
to ears that rarely listened, as he sat there all alone.

His cigarette was just an ash, in fingers bent and old,
and often, tired eyes would flash, while I heard his tale unfold.
He didn't try to lecture, his air seemed to imply
that if I could conjecture some, I'd see the reasons why.
The old man spoke of times gone by, when men were not as free.
He saw a land much different than the country that we see.
His Pa was a sharecropper, and I tried to understand
as the pictures his words painted helped me come to know the man.

Not native to this country, but his Pa stood just as proud
as if he were, for in his youth, he spoke the oath out loud.
Although the freedoms that he gained seem small to you and me,
to just be free to grow the grain was his great liberty.

They worked the land from sun to moon, for soybeans, corn and grain,
and each year they must start anew, to work the fields again.
Then one night there came a knock upon their shanty door,
A man said, “We are sorry, but you should grow no more."

“There is no profit in your corn, the money’s all in rice,
but just to show we do not scorn, we’ll pay you a small price.”
He said, "We've got too much to sell, and too little to gain,
and so we must compel of you to plow up half your grain."

The boy’s old Pa saw anger then, as his pride began to burst,
and in a fit of rage he said, "I'll burn my fields first!”
“My family works so hard each day, not one of them complain,
so take your pittance, go away and leave my fields of grain."

So when the man had gone from there, old Pa cried on his porch,
and though he knew it wasn't fair, he went and lit a torch.
And as the flames began to cast the evening sky aglow,
he came into the house and said, "It's time for us to go."

The old man got down off his stool,
and drank down one last shot.
His final words still fill my head,
“Be glad for what you got.”

He wavered just a little, as his feet tested the floor,
but then he held his head up high, and shuffled toward the door.
My life has been a rocky road, some sunny days, some rain,
but when I bear a heavy load, I think of fields of grain.



Ode to the Pollen
 by Haggis (SHOES4)

Abundant flowers
have my nose
Perhaps the trees
got my throat
a new frog.

A Daisy, Maybe
provided the

The green, green
grass, a lot
of sneezes

With eyes
swollen, and
dripping tears
Yet still I wonder
how it missed
my ears.

TEV 5/10/00
Ashbury Park
June 2003

Where would you go, my dove?
To Ashbury Park, love!

And when to arrive?
In time to revive!

Oh!  Why would you stay?
To ramble and play!

So, is there room for me there?
Why, just take a chair!



The Answering Machine
July, 2003 by DoubleECircle

Hello you’ve reached Christopher and Yeliz.  We’re not here to take your call. Leave a message and we’ll get back to ya. Thank you so much…Beeep.

What is it that’s so sad
About hearing your best friend's mechanical voice mail
Blowing you off?
We used to be neighbors,
We used to say, “Hey, just come on over.”

I got married.  He got engaged…

We used to skinny dip.
We would climb over the fence of the Prestwick country club pool
And slip into the Jacuzzi at 2 in the morning,
High as hell,
And ducking underwater when headlights came down the road.

We used to run up the High Dive.
Stand in the middle of the air with the warm summer breeze breathing on our wet bodies, Giving the corner of our curled smiled lips that extra twitch,
To know we could get caught at any moment.
Especially if we jumped off into the water doing a cannon ball,
Firing ourselves off into the night with a
And whistle cheer…

We used to do a lot of things.

Its true there is nothing more beautiful than a woman,
Its true they are the only ones who can give you true family.
I would not trade a moment of life, with my wife, for anything.

But sometimes when I get the answering machine from my soul mate…
The “used to’s” chase me like hungry dogs,
They fight and chomp at the bit.
They spit and wrangle my brain.
When so much of what is “freedom” in my life ends in a click and a beep,
Something gets to me,
And turns my heart down.

Its just life I know,
No one is to blame.
But lost connections and dead receptions
Are like funerals to me.
I mourn for the warmth of a real voice…
And the glow from eyes that truly understand me.



The Park
June 2003 Texas Poet


Come with me and let’s take a walk

To a fantasy park that’s so sublime
A place where we can sit and talk
About another place, another time

 A place to see all the art of yesterday

To discuss  Through the looking Glass”
To see the paintings of Claude Monet
Or maybe the comics of Francis Masse

 To study the varied hues of Toulouse

To gaze on the flair of Jan van der Meer
Giving their works our personal reviews
Gaining insight as with others we share

 Works of the Old Masters are on display

Poems both old and new there to peruse
From Da Vinci, and Rubens to Manet
A place to inspire in us, our own muse
Come admire the dancers of Edgar Degas
Discuss Van Gogh’s use of light and dark
Picnic with us upon the green, green grass
At Dara's place known as Ashbury Park