Poetry Corner: A Collection Of Reader-Submitted Poems

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CLOUDS
By Valerie Zarbock
Massive figures hanging in the sky
leaning, lunging, posing
Fierce dragons, clumsy clowns, stately cathedrals
seeming to watch the scene below
demanding recognition in silent majesty.
Slender fingers of wispy puffs
slithering across the heavens
urged on by the wind
seeming to reach out to each other
or floating off toward a distant plain.
Gloomy, brooding harbingers of storm
Lumbering across a darkened sky
Ever-changing and ever-moving
Driven by nature's fury
Until spent; - calm and quiet returns.
Colorful streaks spreading quietly across the eastern horizon
welcoming dawn's first light

THE PERFECT SUNSET
By Lisa Levine
Bright and beautiful
The sun hits the horizon
Unfamiliar formation of clouds
Unusual weather during this time
Looks to be snowing
Birds are flocking
Skies darken early
Smells of barbecue surround the city
Fresh burning wood inescapably known
Troubled faces all around
Perfect tranquility quickly subsides
True colors are shown
Through this perfect sunset
Hard to breathe
Must stay inside
Fear is dominant
The city weeps tonight.

A note from the author: Bless mother nature and wildlife and pray for those who have lost, or may lose, their lives and homes. No amount of thanks is enough for the firefighters working in the heat, fighting to save thousands of lives while risking their own.

CULP'S HILL: (Battle of Gettysburg - July 2 & 3, 1863)
Tim L. Kauffroath © 2004
An autumn leaf thus now detached
From its summer home - its mooring branch
Spirals slowly downward to lie silent, cold and still
As men who bravely died at the place they call "Culp's Hill"

Into this hallowed peaceful scene one fine October morn
There strolled a couple up the hill - walking arm in arm
Intent they were together this lovely autumn day
To take the time and see what monuments might say

To contemplate the fate of those who fought ... and may be then learn why
So many died one fateful day - in that long ago July
These fields from war - long silent - yet from that sacred ground
It seemed that in the silence came an "Opaque" sort of sound

A noiseless sound perhaps -- the couple felt much more than heard
Much as a look is oftentimes much louder than a word
And that brisk October breeze? It turned deathly still and stopped
That autumn chill -- no longer there was suddenly July hot!

Yet in that summery blast at once a chill rose up their spine
Thus grew the realization they'd just stepped out of time
Into a day long years ago -- unknown to them, it seems
But now their eyes beholding these new, yet olden scenes

And thus within the stillness grew a deafening silent roar
Of a dreadful day occurring in that long ago fought war
And the sky grew dark as midnight -- with gun smokes shadow tinged
The trees -- once green, now smolder from cannon's fire they're singed.

But when this awful day is spent, comes terrors of the night
That time when without war men rest, yet now it's fear men fight
The dark creeps o'er these bloody fields -- the heat all breathing stifles
While the reaper's scythe its garner yields, in fear men hug their rifles

Soldiers risk small candle light, writing letters to folks back home
Knowing the death angel may call their name with the coming dawn
Some long for daylight to resume the fight and forge ahead
While others pray the night will last -- the next day they so dread

In the darkness each rock or shadow strikes its special fear
Uncertainty rules now -- amplified by the terrible sounds they hear
The echo of the horses' hooves in the thick dark cloak of night
Causes men to dive for cover -- and long for dawning light

The moans and sighs of dying men -- released from this life's fray
Yet medics tend the wounded be their coats of blue or grey
Hymns are sung and prayers are said -- men no longer boast
Appeals to the almighty to have mercy on their souls
Officers meet in tents -- the next day's plans to poll
While couriers grimly bear the news of the battles deadly toll

Yet this night can't last forever nor could this mighty vision
In spite of death, life must go on -- those living have their mission
Just as quickly as the scene had come, it suddenly was gone
By tourists interrupted -- that unsuspecting throng

With interest little more than what some monuments might say
There for recreation on a lovely autumn day
Yet the couple stood transfixed -- they'd experienced far more
Ne'er to forget things seen and heard from that long ago fought war

Can anyone explain just what it was? This silent deafening sound
Where brave men die, great deeds yet rise as a Phoenix from the ground
And these men -- they died with purpose, so war and strife may cease
As the sun now sets across Culp's Hill there spreads a quiet peace

HOME RUN WISHES AND AUTOGRAPH DREAMS
By Jared Nickerson
I swing the bat at the ball,
I close my eyes and wish.
I hear it hitting leather.
Once again I have missed.

When school lets out and kids are at play,
I'm anchored to my yard.
For you see, I have a dream,
To appear on a baseball card.

In my head I can see it,
I'll have a bat in hand.
A ball will be sailing through the air
And end up in the stands.

For now I'll have to be happy
Just practicing for my shot.
Till the day I'm signing autographs
On the ball some fan has caught.

SOMEDAY
By Valerie Zarbock
I feel alone at times
Almost out of touch
I don't know what I want
But at times I lack so much
A pleasant companion beside me
A friend to cheer me and be cheered
A laugh, a story, the day to share
The touch of a hand to show you care
A scene of beauty enjoyed together
Lightness of heart whatever the weather
These things not bought for love or money
I search for and yearn for every day
I haven't yet found them but still I know
Somehow, some way they'll come my way.
Reds, pinks, oranges facing into daylight brightness
until colorful streaks spread quietly across the western horizon
proclaiming day's end.

Poetry Corner is a regular feature in the Roundup's printed edition.

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