Poetry Sharing Page

You are invited to submit your poetry for consideration to appear on the library’s Poetry Sharing Page. Contact Tom Nicotera at tnicotera@libraryconnection.info.

Kindergarten, Remotely

Front and center, the teacher seems attached to the screen,
COVID-19-inspired magic on steady display in-between—
to measure the magnitude of each star,
to observe clearly but yet from afar.

For more closeness and less disruption many yearn
while it’s systems initial logistics caregiver or child must learn.
Then books, crayons, markers, paper, scissors, and glue—
For adults an evolving panoramic view.

Lessons seem easier to remember when said in rhyme,
yet, repetition often is not perfectly aligned,
but students’ attention to teacher hardly fades
as they are molded into a scholarly brigade.

When eyes glaze and stray, it’s time for a brief break.
Pupils stand, jump, turn, stretch, shout, and shake.

Basic pictures and letters to give and take,
connections to varied colors, shapes and sounds to make,
‘Great job, Scarlett, Mabel, Jose, and Jack,’
encouragement and praise not randomly given back.

There are no perfect remedies to employ,
just the winding trail of progress for all to enjoy,
and no Einsteins yet to theorize or shine,
just kids being kids drawn together through cyber lines.

by John P. Kneal

Father’s Painted Butterflies

(Elmer Tarwood 1915-2003)

Twirl, glint, suspend free
+++++++++++++++++++of time and gravity
five pairs of wings spin wildly

darting in and out, gold-flecked bodies alive with silver-
+++++++++++++wire antennae strung off balsa sticks
in three levels

reincarnated in a float dance
++++++from a machinist’s fancy
strung on fishing line and breath

born of a retiree’s craft, hanging unmoved
now like dead insects. I nudge them, send them
+++++++++++++whirling erratic again, a circular chase

click-revolve veering, sometimes clinking
++++++++++++++++++mute chimes. Cold, fragile blue
yellow-gold monarchs

gliding over, under,
++++++++++++around each other, glance-a-chance, click-a-miss,
no win, dreams

of the maker and the watcher
++++++with the dust on their wings
++++++++++++merely basement

by Marilyn Johnston

Three Hundred Poems

After all that came before, isolation
and a jealous stepfather, crossing the border,

your mother, a mere girl, too young for parenting,
yet you were confident. Under watching

moons you explored miles of railroad, desert
and highway, carried your own blessed heart

out of muddy wetness, walked yellow fields hunted
by hawks, grazed by starlings. You rearranged

your life on the northwest coast at the water’s edge.
Slept in the narrow bed. Kept cabinet doors closed.

Learned three hundred poems to save your own life
and much later, at a microphone,

shoulders squared over flat green earth
your voice sang out, with an opening poem,
a calling, like a deep and heavy bell.

by Sherri Bedingfield

Night Wind in March

It was a monstrous welling sound –
Loosed bowels of acoustic hate –
A rupture working to rebound,
Forbidding one to contemplate.

Then, unquietly subsiding,
A sound felt hollowed out,
With moan that mocked, deriding,
In orchestration of dread doubt.

This wind built of destructive scorn
Cowed me inside my house of brick;
Gored fears with its satanic horn;
My life felt but a card sharp’s trick.

It was a raw relentless rasp
That bound pretension in its clasp.

by Kimball Hunt

After Shave Champagne

I ask her what she’d like me to bring;
cake? A pie? Salad?..WINE?
Ah yes, “BRUT,” she responds.
“Please bring a bottle of BRUT for New Years.”

There are those, the cultured, who know their drink;
fine Scotch, the most appropriate wine, a cordial.
They don’t even have to ask the host;
it’s a given that what they bring will hit the mark.

Then, there are those who are simply guided
by what they remember…
albeit, perhaps forty years ago,
but never the less, a name brand is a name brand.

synonymous with consistency for decades! And still here.
And so, the expert on sweets, not booze, concedes; Brut means Brut;
the one Joe Namath spoke for…the ONLY one I know.

The large chain pharmacy still carries it.
Looks like they only have the single-serving size,
so I purchase enough to fill a pitcher.
Twenty-three bottles…should be enough for the get together.

As luck has it, upon opening several, it’s flat…no fizz.
Hey, my motto…”always be prepared.”
I open the bottom kitchen cabinet…still there…
three large bottles of seltzer.

I go to it. Just the right amount. Give a taste…PERFECT!
And you know, the stuff smells nice too!
I arrive. Host doesn’t question the pitcher; I just know
she appreciates this classy, sans the bottle act.

And so, a fine evening. My contribution was a hit, with all asking
how I was able to find such a great vintage.
I’m then reminded of another dinner get together next month…
and would I please bring simple salad greens with OIL and VINEGAR.

I respond with an affirmative;
easy….simple salad greens with OIL and VINEGAR.

Hmm…could have sworn I saw a bottle of Mobil 10W-40
on the shelf in the garage…

by Andy Weil

But Do I Need to Buy a Gun?

But do I need to buy a gun?
Rightwing radicals spurred on by Trump
threaten to rend apart the fabric
of our lives, seek out and destroy
the liberals who they believe are ruining America.
They believe it because their President
tells them it is so.

But do I need to buy a gun?
Sure, they have attacked the Capitol in DC when
things did not go their way, when their dear
President said “they have stolen the election, steal
It back for me.” And yes, some were armed
with assault rifles, knives and pipes
to beat down police. Some even carried spears
like barbarians of old set to pillage, rape, destroy.

But do I need to buy a gun?
Others have said they are afraid, they wonder
what this country has come to, they fear
Civil War, like in the 1860s, the Brothers War they called it,
when families split over whether slaves
should be the decision of individual states,
not for the U.S. Government to decide.
States Rights they called it, disregarding
the rights of Africans ripped from their homelands.

But do I need to buy a gun?
Books are my life. I work in a library.
Books are stacked in piles on my floors
because my bookshelves overflow
and I cannot release a single book.
They provide slight protection against the rampaging hordes
of voters gone wild, brandishing their hatred like armor,
like knives, fed and nourished by lie after lie,
till they revel in hatred and treat it like a joy.

But do I need to buy a gun?
Will I be safe when they pound upon my door,
demand of liberal Dems to come out
to face the mob, or they will come in?
But Do I Need to Buy a Gun?

Shall I hurl my books at their scowls,
say “knowledge is enough,
harm to others is the greatest sin,”
and then should I let them in?

Or do I need to buy a gun?

by Tom Nicotera


Each day in glass my outer self is on display
and the chains that encage whims and brainstorms give way,
for when I remove the resurgent stubble
I release the prior day’s lingering troubles.

I clear a path to acclaim with purposeful strokes
and in newborn revelations I wondrously soak,
for moments saturated by mental cream lush and sweet,
goddesses and muses to not so subtly entreat.

I’m a hero who rescues a damsel in deep distress
or champions a worker with woes and worries to address.
I’m a dashing dancer who smoothly steps long and far
or with sweat makes another a sparkling star.

I’m a fireman who fearlessly quells raging fires
or with a hose cleans the community churches’ spires.
I’m a designer who fashions towers stirring and steep
or provides a former addict a proper place to sleep.

Oh, what brief bliss covers me in a lather-filled shave,
for in that mirror it’s my inner self I engrave.

by John P. Kneal