East Valley Poets

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EVP Poem of the Month


September-October 2017


by David Nicoll, EVP Poet


The Road Taken


They say it may make all the difference

If you venture where few have explored

And the path with the least resistance

Is often the one that’s preferred.

 

And it’s one of life’s little conundrums

That we never could seem to recall

Should we be on the High- or the Free- Way

Or should we take this road at all?

 

But now it no longer matters

As we look back from many years hence

There were three hungry kids in the back seat

And that has made all the difference.



Copyright ©. Rights to individual poems are retained. All rights reserved, except as otherwise noted. Reproduction done for other than personal or internal reference use without                                                                                                         expressed permission is prohibited.


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July-August 2017


by Rhonda Brown, EVP Poet


Urban Morning


Clock and radio mesh

At the determined time

Signals are snagged

From the airways


Familiar voices without faces

Drift into sleepers’ consciousness

With the news of local crises

And the state of traffic

Between home and work

Obstacles to be avoided

Hazards detoured around


Breakfast

Eggs or protein bars 

Coffee from home

Or from a drive-through


Tensions of city traffic

Freeway delays

Snarled streets

Drivers too slow or too fast


Morning

Fresh beginning

Or a maze to be caught in?



Copyright ©. Rights to individual poems are retained. All rights reserved, except as otherwise noted. Reproduction done for other than personal or internal reference use without expressed permission is prohibited.

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May-June 2017


by Howard Gershkowitz, EVP Poet


A Slow Walk

 

There’s a blue sky above the smog of discontent,

an endless boardwalk beyond the clutch of stale emotions,

a stretch of sand so soft

it absorbs the residue of disenchanted dreams.

 

Rivulets of rain wash stale memories down the beach

as the weight of loneliness dissolves in tears.

The debris of disappointment evaporates

in the hush of a new day.

 

Eyes wide; awake; alert;

the gulls sweep lazily along the shore

to the smell of salt and sunrise

as hand in hand, we walk barefoot

leaving footprints in the sand.



 Copyright ©. Rights to individual poems are retained. All rights reserved, except as otherwise noted. Reproduction done for other than personal or internal reference use without expressed permission is prohibited.


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February-March 2017


by Bill Brown, EVP Poet


Band of Brothers


Greater love as no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

 John 15: 13


 

Gentles and commoners stand shoulder to shoulder on the field of Agincourt

Harry’s Band of Brothers facing the arrayed power of the French

Lance and longbow ready to repel ant assault.


The armored knighthood of France charge forward on their steeds

Meeting a sky-filled cloud of yew-wood shafts

Yard-long arrows decimate the flower of French nobility

Victory belongs to the yeomen archers.


 

English, Dutch, Mexican, Pima

All are just Marines crawling up the Suribachi slopes

Volcanic caves stew out sulfurous steam and Nambu rounds

No place to hide, black sand no good for digging in

Each life depends on the others of the Few and he Proud.


Half-dozen survive to the top

Flag is fastened to a pole and raised on a rock pile

Creating the iconic photo of the war

Only three survive to receive honor and fame.



American troops stand ready to protect the Germans

from the godless commie hoards

MP's ready to protect them from the

barbarian American hoards


Good ol’ southerner, lover of drinking and wenching;

Giant Black man from Oakland, frequenter of gay bath houses;

College boy, concert and museum goer;

Together form of one these teams.


Bermuda love triangle of Black lover and Aryan wife has broken up

Cuckolded spouse stealing a tracked 105MM solution

To blow up their rendezvous in the village.


Plan A is to arrest without harm,

But the armored monster doesn’t stop

Plan B is all that is left

Time for help from the L.A.W.* team

Quick gesture starts my own people toward safety


Launch tube flares in the darkness

Shaped charge blasts molten copper through plated side

Blowback slams me to the mud.


Countdown to oblivion has started

Only a few seconds to the Big Bang

But my boys are back (size does matter)

Dragging me out of the blast zone.


Sun-bright conflagration consumes machine and perp

But all my parts still seem to be there

Gender preference and life-style don’t seem that important now

No man left behind

Is all that matters.


 

*L.A.W. — Light Anti-tank Weapon — From the 1960’s, a tube-launched rocket with a shaped charge fired from the shoulder.

 

Copyright ©. Rights to individual poems are retained. All rights reserved, except as otherwise noted. Reproduction done for other than personal or internal reference use without expressed permission is prohibited.


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November-December 2016


by Eva Willis, EVP Poet


                                                                                                          Wildflower Hillside 


profusion of orange, red and purple wildflowers

delight as I walk through them

leaning over to take in their heavenly scent


ranges of mountains, the highest snow-capped,

make me feel expansive and,

at the same time, small


a blanket of grayish-blue sky

salted with cottony clouds,

drifting and causing dancing shadows


the richness and pervasiveness of green

grass, ponderosa pine and fir

soothing to the eye and the soul


 

Let the field be joyful (psalm 96:12)

Let the hills be joyful together (psalm 98:8)



Copyright ©. Rights to individual poems are retained. All rights reserved, except as otherwise noted. Reproduction done for other than personal or internal reference use without expressed permission is prohibited.

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October 2016


by Bill Guthrie, EVP Poet


How Can I Keep From Singing


                                                                                                                                                                 My life flows on in endless song;

                                                                                                                             Above earth's lamentation,

                                                                                                                                        I hear the sweet, tho' far-off hymn

                                                                                                                          That hails a new creation;

                                                                                                                                    Thro' all the tumult and the strife

                                                                                                                        I hear the music ringing;

                                                                                                                                It finds an echo in my soul —

                                                                                                                                   How can I keep from singing?  


                                                                                                                                   Robert Wadsworth Lowry, August 7, 1868

                                                                                                                                    (only first stanza presented, full poem on page 2)


Lord of my soul

Your sun too has melody

how can I not sing

 

Your sparrow's song

illuminates my day

how can I not sing


Your starry heavens

whispers sweet hymns to me

how can I not sing


Your Rock is life

to It I shall always cling

how can I not sing


Your sweet spirit lives

for I'm a new creation

how can I not sing



(page 2, the original by Robert Wadsworth Lowry)

 

My life flows on in endless song;

Above earth's lamentation,

I hear the sweet, tho' far-off hymn

That hails a new creation;

Thro' all the tumult and the strife

I hear the music ringing;

It finds an echo in my soul—

How can I keep from singing?

 

What tho' my joys and comforts die?

The Lord my Saviour liveth;

What tho' the darkness gather round?

Songs in the night he give

No storm can shake my inmost calm

While to that refuge clinging;

Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,

How can I keep from singing?

 

I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin;

I see the blue above it;

And day by day this pathway smoothes,

Since first I learned to love it,

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,

A fountain ever springing;

All things are mine since I am his—

How can I keep from singing?


"This poetic sequence is my homage to that beautiful old song."

                                                                                                                                                       William Guthrie


Copyright ©. Rights to individual poems are retained. All rights reserved, except as otherwise noted. Reproduction done for other than personal or internal reference use without expressed permission is prohibited.

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September 2016


by Bill Brown, EVP Poet


Ex Nihilo


Before the Beginning was Nothing                                            

No height for soaring raptors                                                     

No depth for cavorting dolphins                                                 

 No width for galloping antelope                                                  

                                      

No atomic fire to light the stars                                                  

No matter to form the planets                                                    

No time to mark our days                                                          

                                               

There is only the eternal Three-in-One                                     

Alpha and Omega                                                                    

Then the Word spoke                                                               

         And there was light                                                                           

                                                          

Singularity births space itself                                                   

Bursting with incalculable matter and energy                          

    Cosmic clock starts he ticking of time                                           

Interstellar dust clouds coalescing into stars and planets       


 Out of billions, one is just right                                                 

 Just right air for flyers                                                               

Just right water for swimmers                                                  

Just right earth for creepers and runners                                 

  Just right days and seasons for all creatures                             

                     

Just right garden for the Man an Woman                                 

Made in the image of the Three-in One                                   

"Be fruitful and multiply"                                                           

       "Fill the Earth and rule over it"                                                         

And it was very good.                                                              



Copyright ©. Rights to individual poems are retained. All rights reserved, except as otherwise noted. Reproduction done for other than personal or internal reference use without expressed permission is prohibited.
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JULY - August  2016


by Stephanie Frances, EVP Poet


A Dream


I woke from a dream,

Felt it was heaven I’d seen,

Why, “It was Yellowstone,” I screamed!

SO beautiful it was. Pure as cream.


Wow! It was Yellowstone.

I was only a kid,

Even then, it stirred by bones.

We climbed, or tried to, up to Mt. Gallatin


Yes, we did.


Oh, let me get back into my dream.

Hundreds and hundreds of Trout,

Swimming down stream.

This is heaven, I have no doubt,

That the stream came from a majestic fall.

I saw trees, Aspen, Whitebark, Laderpole

Birds and squirrels gave their call,

Rabbits coming out from their holes.


I swam in a river of clear, clear water.

I saw bear that didn’t care if they saw me,

All around me they loitered.

They had better food in all the trees.


I saw beauty as I climbed up Gallatin Mountain.

Yes, in my dream I really did.

From out of the earth spurted a fountain.


Silver, backed buttes,

A family of ducks,

This dream, this dream,

“Don’t leave me,” I scream!


But a dream can only last just so long.

And here I am in this forsaken desert

My dream – my dream,

It faded away like an old song.



Copyright ©. Rights to individual poems are retained. All rights reserved, except as otherwise noted. Reproduction done for other than personal or internal reference use without expressed permission is prohibited. 

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JUNE 2016


by David Nicoll, EVP Poet

In recognition of Mothers and Daughters on Mother’s Day 2016.


IN PRAISE OF PERFECT DAUGHTERS


If I were to choose how a daughter should be

Then you are the model that comes to my mind.

A  mother, a sister, the eldest of three,

Considerate, caring, and one of a kind.

And as the time passes and seasons unwind

You nurture your children unwaveringly,

Ensuring life's lessons get passed up the line

From the roots to the shoots of the family tree.


You have, as you pause at this half-century

A character strong and of substance refined.

You are loving and thoughtful, a blessing to me.

And I feel very humble to know you are mine.

Come what may, if you say blood is thicker than wine,

Then the vintage we share is as rare as can be,

With no shadow of doubt we are from the same vine

For the fruit never falls very far from the tree.



Copyright ©. Rights to individual poems are retained. All rights reserved, except as otherwise noted. Reproduction done for other than personal or internal reference use without                                                                                                              expressed permission is prohibited.