Safe Places

Safe Places

 

There was a time when parents sent

the children off to school with homework

done and packed lunches. A time when

children rode a bus ,and played in the fresh air,

and teachers taught arithmetic, reading, spelling –

and no one worried, because it was

a safe place.

 

There was a time when the people gathered

to worship in their best suits and dresses

and the children wriggled in the pews, trying

to stay quiet. A time when preachers preached

and choirs sang and the people prayed – 

and no one worried, because it was

a safe place.

 

There as a time when families went to the beach,

drive-in movies, walked on the sidewalks, picnicked

in parks, making jokes and sandcastles, and memories –

and no one worried, because they were

safe places

 

Where can the children learn?

Where can the people worship?

Where can the families gather?

 

Where have the safe places gone?

 

  • Candace Kubinec

On Prayer

On Prayer – a Cento

“What can I bring to prayer?”
“Little soul, do you remember?”
It’s “Sad isn’t it (not a bit)”

“What was it like to listen to the angels?”
Or see “The writing in the air of swallowtails”,
“And all the beautiful things that lead our thoughts and give us reason”

“Modern times are too cautious.” Our
“God’s toes are buried deep in the earth”.
“Ignorance will carry me through to the last days”,

“And Reason’s self shall bow the knee”.


Lines from the following poems –
“Faith” by Michael Schmidt
“Wood. Salt. Tin.” by Jane Hishfield
“What Lights Up…?” by Keki Daruwalla
“An Altogether Different Language” by Anne Porter
“Swallowtails” by Allan Peterson
“A Time” by Allison Hedge Coke
“The White Campion” by Donald Revell
“The Present” by Jim Harrison
“Psalm to Be Read with Closed Eyes” by D. Nurkse
“The Indian Burying Ground” by Philip Freneau

Time’s Up

Time’s Up

This poem is not ready to move on,
but its adjectives have abandoned the rhyme
for warm, blue waters and sandy shores. The nouns are
running a marathon with the moon and it
finds itself no longer (verb)ose.
This poem is left with only two feet and no rhythm,
and the meter is almost on empty. It has become
un(in)formed and blank. Maybe now is the
time to stand(za) up, pack up its ink and go.
But it will be back to repeat the refrain.

One Last Chance

One Last Chance

This poem has one last chance
to play the game, make a name
for itself. It (day)dreams of fame and
glory, the hero of a story staring
moon and muses. It refuses to give up –
turns up, tuned up and ready to poem
It’s running out of time, maybe you could
spare a rhyme – a little rosemary and thyme
But don’t worry my dear, there’s
always tomorrow

Just Out of Sight

Just Out of Sight

This poem has seen it all
Trends the come and go – waiting


around the bend to return in
a slim disguise that can not


fool this poem
Long hair, short hair, no hair, facial hair


Wide pants, narrow pants, no pants
streaking across a field


Spikey heels, flat soles, flip flops that
used to be thongs, but now that is


something entirely different
Pop beads, love beads, crystal beads


Moon rocks, pop rocks, pet rocks,
Rock ‘n Roll


This poem has watched it all come and go,
but it won’t stop looking until


it sees peace

About What Counts – a remix

About What Counts – a remix

He counts the birds of many hues
The names of most, he doesn’t know,
but they must count for something too.

His favorites are the noisy blues,
the yellows putting on a show.
He counts the birds of many hues,

this window gives a perfect view.
The black one – oh, it’s just a crow,
but they must count for something too.

He still remembers quite a few
it’s memories that do not flow.
He counts the birds of many hues

until they’re gone, all but a few,
and like them memories have flown,
but they must count for something too.

He sees a face and wonders who,
should he remember them – but no.
He counts the birds of many hues,
and they must count for something too.

A Reply From Narcissus in the Laundromat

A Reply From Narcissus in the Laundromat

When I stumbled into the laundromat I saw
you fluffing and folding and was instantly smitten.
People think I’m vain, egotistical even, but

every time I looked in a mirror or caught my reflection
in a window I was looking for you. I was daring to hope
that someone like you might be following me. Suddenly,

there you were, so I went from machine to machine trying
to glimpse your face because I was afraid to look into your eyes
in case there was no love reflected back.

* from Day 5 at NaPoWriMo

Not a Morning Person

Not a Morning Person

Morning starts with the raucous music of birds,
like a choir with too many sopranos.
I rouse myself from sheets tangled as if
I survived a shipwreck during the night and
stumble awkwardly down stairs that seem to
descend into the center of the Earth.
Only the whistle of the tea kettle, like a siren
call to a sailor, keeps me on course to the
kitchen and your smiling face – a beacon
into the safe harbor of your arms.