Thursday, May 29, 2014

MAYA ANGELOU - in memory

" A Tall Black lady smiling..."

--from a letter to her Arkansas family apologizing for the missed appearance at the Fayetteville Public Library due to an 'unexpected ailment...' (J. Roberts, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 29, 2014)
In Memory
            Excerpts from her book/poem, "Amazing Peace" which I purchased in the Garland County (AR)Library's Used Book Room for fifty-cents in July, 2013.
           "Amazing Peace" [Random House] was read by the poet at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, Washington, D. C. December 1 2005.
Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Floodwaters await in our avenues. . .
We question ourselves. What have we done to
    so affront nature?
We interrogate and worry God.
Are you there? Are you there, really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold? . . .
Hope is born again in the faces of children.
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they
   walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth, brightening
   all things,
Even hate, which crouches breeding in
  dark corridors.
In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.
We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by
   its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds. . .
We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the
   word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into
And we say without shyness or apology
   or hesitation:
                            Peace, My Brother.
                              Peace, My Sister.
                                Peace, My Soul.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Cameron Cemetery, Salem/Benton (AR)
teaching the lad
about Decoration Day
son spies a turtle
PL, idea from Jay Grelan's column, 5. 26. '05]
butterfly alights
on the open haiku book~
Memorial Day
[PL, 5. 28. '01, actual]
decorating the graves
that no one's left to visit
gold and crimson leaves
[Dorothy McLaughlin, Somerset, NJ, published in CONNECTING OUR HOUSES, a flip calendar]
Memorial Day
her arms full of flags to place
near the headstones
[PL, from a picture, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, published in '03]
motor home gone
likely through
Memorial Day
[Dion O'Donnol, from day to day, '02]
Decoration Day
waiting motor cars out purr
the sounds of summer
[Dion O'Donnol, from day breaks, '00]

Thursday, May 15, 2014




by Jeanie Carter, from Spendrift, 1977
Wheels spin in dust,
dust whirls in wind,
wind twists his hair,

as Tony follows
the fading siren,
warm familiar dust
squishing between his toes,
then rising to rim
the legs of his jeans.

The sun stripes gold
down his straight brown hair
and waves a long, thin
shadow-boy before him.

His father is at home, alone,
standing on the porch,
staring down the road.
His mother is in the wailing
whirlwind of dust
speeding down the road.

Tony spins, whirls, and twists,
playing the game of losing
the shadow-boy in the dust.

He does not yet know
he knows
his mother will not be back
to mend his clothes,
wash his ears,
and hold him close.

This poem of Jeanie's was published in 1977 when she was 46 years old. Just think of all the ensuing years she had to continue writing.
            At the end of the Garland County Community College literary journal where these poems appear are thoughts by each contributor. Jeanie’s was: “Creativity is often joyous, often painful, but I keep trying.”

            Her life, like her creativity, was often joyous, and in later years, often painful. Now, Jeanie Dolan Carter rests from her efforts. God bless her soul.


Thursday, May 8, 2014


A  nyone from anywhere who’s
P articipated in a Writers’
R etreat even once will
I mmediately remember the
L uxurious landscapes,
I mmense gingerbread houses,
N arrow streets holding shops
T hat tempt us into buying,
H ealthy (or not) eateries––all
E nlivening the main reason for
O ur being in the O-
Z-A-R-K-S in the first place:
A chance to improve our art,
R aise our level of skill, and
K nuckle down to revise,
S o that next year, we’ll be better.

[Published in Lucidity Ozarks Poetry Retreat, 2012]

Thursday, May 1, 2014

At the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum

PL, Ozarks in the fall
Hasten, hasten all
writers –you who’re interested
in ‘one true sentence.’
Come to the old barn
where E. H. once wrote
parts of A Farewell . . . .
Surrounded by ghosts,
his typewriter, leopard-skin
rugs, whispers of lust,
we focus efforts
hoping to channel Papa:
whittle words to nubs,
to gist and gut--tight.
Here, imaginations flit,
soar, break boundaries
found at home, office.
As if drunk, we do battle,
fill page upon page,
exult in fatigue.
A Story. Begun. Finished.
Let’s drink to Papa! Hear, hear!
[PL, critiqued, Lucidity workshop, 4.23.'14, with no suggestions for improvement. Thanks to PRA state critic, Todd Sukany, for encouraging me to work on the original, published in an earlier H-P anthology. The result was this poem.]