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Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.


In School Days


John Greenleaf Whittier

Still sits the schoolhouse by the road,
A ragged beggar, sleeping;
Around it still the sumachs grow,
And blackberry vines are creeping.

Within, the master's desk is seen,
Deep-scarred by raps official;
The warping floor, the battered seats,
The jack-knife's carved initial;

The charcoal frescoes on its wall;
Its door's worn sill, betraying
The feet that, creeping slow to school,
Went storming out to playing!

Long years ago a winter sun
Shone over it at setting;
Lit up its western window-panes,
And low eaves' icy fretting.

It touched the tangled golden curls
And brown eyes full of grieving,
Of one who still her steps delayed
When all the school was leaving.

For near it stood the little boy
Her childish favor singled,
His cap pulled low upon a face
Where pride and shame were mingled.

Pushing with restless feet the snow
To right and left, he lingered; --
As restlessly her tiny hands
The blue-checked apron fingered.

He saw her lift her eyes, he felt
The soft hand's light caressing,
And heard the tremble of her voice,
As if a fault, confessing.

"I'm sorry that I spelt the word.
I hate to go above you.
Because,"-- the brown eyes lower fell, --
"Because, you see, I love you!"

Still memory to a gray-haired man
That sweet child-face is showing.
Dear girl! The grasses on her grave
Have forty years been growing!

He lives to learn, in life's hard school,
How few who pass above him
Lament their triumph and his loss,
Like her, because they love him.


We Real Cool   by Gwendolyn Brooks

       The Pool Players.
       Seven at the Golden Shovel.

               We real cool.  We
               Left school.  We

               Lurk late.  We
               Strike straight.  We

               Sing sin.  We
               Thin gin.  We

               Jazz June.  We
               Die soon.



"Poetry has become much easier to write ... and much harder to remember." *

* Stanley Kunitz, referring to the proliferation of free verse that sounds like prose paragraphs chopped up into lines.


Poetry by Friends -- Poesie
des Amis


When the words stopped,

She heard the words,
sinking through layers of silence,

saw them
counter-weight the morning sun,

she could not feel
the air vibrating,
she had no sense
of spaces filling.

""I am dead, "" she said,
""I am dead and gone"".

Scheherazade knows.
She knows the light,
the weight, the threat,
of a morning sun;

knows that words
at breakfast
can eat you for lunch;

she knows a thousand
and one things
that cannot save her --

now that the light
has found Schahriah.

""I am dead,"" she says,
""I am dead and gone""

Scheherazade breathes,

She does not feel
the air vibrating
she has no spaces
which need filling

all that remains
is this quiet

""I am dead,"" she says,
""I am dead and gone""

Copyright Dennis Greene 2000


Caps Turned Backward...

Caps Turned Backward...Cooks Hill.
Down the long causeways of pavement.
Passing in row the Federation housing.
Pastel colours rejuvenated after
The patchwork quilts of graffiti...
Picasso'd in phosphorus.
A sublime communiqu?
Trees upheaving the black bitumen
dismantle themselves.
Their leaves falling.
Crisp crinklers undertow a walkers papacy.
The children on rollorboards wear
brightly coloured clothing.
Their caps turned backward.
Weave cross-stitch in the patterning air....

Copyright  David Markey 1999



You asked me, Shay, to spin a yarn
before your ears do chill,
so since the seas are calm tonight,
and you seem eager still . . .

We'll count my tally, this tale be true,
as all true stories go--
I'll tell you, friend, about a lass
that swept clean through my soul.

I bought a sloop, the "Thompsonpass",
and from Kinnaird's Head did sail.
For years along the Moray Firth,
I delivered up the mail.

At the Greenman's Pub in Kelvingrove,
that's where I met Lenore;
her father owned the tavern there
and lands to the western shore.

Black hair, blue eyes, a winsome smile--
no slimmer craft there be;
I drew her from father's door,
and she sailed away with me.

At Creebridge House in Wigtownshire
we dusted down through life;
three children raised--now grown and gone,
along with family strife.

Fair haired Edie was the first to fly,
her braids in Bill Durk's hands;
then Eric with his staves and hoops
in the cooperage trade did land.

Maude, sweet Maude, our serious child
to black Ireland's shores did flee;
a schoolmarm and a spinster still--
no grandfather she'll make me.

Aye, we tasted from our fingertips
the salty Northern Sea,
but cold and damp a damned wind blew
between my love and me.

I breathed a sigh and held her tight,
she took a step or two,
then turned and cried--"I'll love you, Newt,
whatever we go through!"

Lenore, my wife of thirty years
went sickly on the vine;
she died of fever from the pox,
and passed before her time.

So my love, like no other love,
left me alone and free;
no, not of my own choosing,
for changelings are but we.

Copyright  Donald Somersett 2000


I's a browser as I graze through
Brushability is my game when I search throughout
For the whereabouts of brunizem

O away with dials yo' hold gainst' ears
Can grow old on hold as yo' utter
Words ya' hear:
Sneers, clicks, no tones, screeches,

Which causes jolts of brusquerie if you dare
Intrude, such arrogance this bucko
biz,' risk being
Cloned a brute to spin as a buffoon
Who suffers buck fever, or a bucksaw gnawing
On a bassoon.

But on the Net one can join a salsa set
Cyber to discuss da' Met
Meet Bill's as you scan through mates,
Chat thru spats
Can ignore a dull bloke faceless
Who tells jokes
As going sleeveless in Siberia
Chillin' out ta' smoke

OLE' grannies scan through Seniornet
To scout aah' cruise
Where either can do a buck-and-wing
Or join a karaoke partee' to sing,
"Nothing like an oldster"
Grown bolder da' tune
"I placed a bet on the Internet,"
Scroll a mouse, boot a lout
Who ignores a TOS

Surf murf, drink Smirnoff,
Cappuccino, tea or cocoa
Send e-mail, order a snail, swell a rat
Who clicks to chat
Gnaw and chew over the news,
Placate a simpering fool
Loop da' Web over Timbuktu and Tibet
Glance at Japan,
Taipan or Zululand
Scroll on da' way to Pakistan,
Then surf to Togaland.

Perch on a chair anywhere
Be an elephant-tusk
Or donkeys-rear
Who can fart and not
Smell up the hemisphere;
While digits do da' trot
Whar' eyes reveal da' spots dat' sizzle
Drizzle or fizzle.

Ya'll can be aah' democratic nerd
A nude who sits before a screen
With a modem dat' broadcast
Wheezes, groans, with erratic stops,
Locks and pops.
If yo' choose, can be ah' looker
Who view a hooker
To gawk,
Salivate til' jaws lock.
Or shop for BVD's, motor-ease
Until yo' drop

I's aah' yowl yowl browser,
A download whizzer
On how to build a Kayak,
Control a Bat;
Seeking the denizens of the deep
>From the woo, woo world,
Accessing mo' mo' bytes
Than you can snake a pipe.
Lol Lol! Y'all

From The Pinder Poet:

"COME TASTE THE SUGAR CANE--A View From The Staircase With Dialog."

Copyright  M. L. V. S. Hopson 2000


Final Reunion

For everyone my brother
there is this last migration:
kindled autumn leaves fall innately
to winters stroke,
continuance wafts in warm,
passage, across the stars,
beyond the residue of earths light.
In your final
fleeting flight, I knew with you,
I was carried within.
Cruel circumstance tore us apart
shattering hours, minutes
of our expansive occasions together.
And we acknowledged
the appointed seasons set on us
by our upbringing,
losses endured, our parallel lives.
moments, our rendezvous'
short-lived reunion.
You traveled unclear paths
Years, to find seeds scattered,
and the trackless earth delivered
at the end.
And all that you sought in life
stood unearthed,
my brother,

Dedicated to:Richard Henry William Barnes
1946 - 2000

David deBarnes July. 2000 -14


The Greatest Secret in Poetry

"Its like dirty socks' ...He said.
after reading my first concentrated effort at stanza and rhyme.
Tears formed in my eyes; I was absolutely speechless.
My whole body trembled as hurt turned to rage
ignited by anger.
I was unable to utter a word, before, he looked up and said:
"It is not your eloquent display of form or your execution of discipline,
it does sing a harmonic song ... with your usage of synonyms
and antonyms, but the element which separates good from
great does not exist ...
Without it ... it's like dirty socks
that you wash before wearing again.
It is only read once, then fogotten."

I answered; ...Everything! ...I have been taught is there.
what element?
He pulled his glasses from his face and, spoke:
"Lean your head over here ... so I can whisper into your ear ...
the greatest secret in poetry."
When he had finished,I realized that he was right!
From that day to this,I have been writing as he said
On humor, jokes, love, death, nature ...
anything and everything.
Attempting to pull from the pith of my soul the missing element...
Awaiting..the day when the critic's say:
"He has STYLE!"

The Quill 1999



Dialogues in blue
Ascending to
The flying of hieroglyphics
Balancing purpler songs
Tossing flowers into the winds
Giving light
Into the nights
An enigma 22
Like some circus performer
with birds
Painting dreams
Pointing to infinity
Absolute endlessness
I wonder-
I wonder
Were the progenitors to
The cosmic confrontations
What were the dialogues
Some descending angel?
The view of life
From the emerald planet
Crab nebula man dissections
Playing in the clouds of
Your bubble dances
Poets won
Poets too
In awe of you
The astral thinking
Farewell shots ringing
In my bed
How did you become
the ultimate
Kite flyer
Electric future man?
The sky exploding into dust
transcending into

Copyright Val Magnuson 2000

Reclining Figures

High tide
carved sheer faces
across the coastline
skeletal trees
upright once more
bleached reclined figures
against the Ink-streaked
Manuka skyline
Plangent winds
sculpt dunescapes
reduce headland
blood-red clay
to sand

2 .#
Skeletons arise
from shoreline
death beds
Tales of
cut the anchor and run
run the in-going tide
Smashed Hulls
Spanish Galleons
Dutch, English traders
Riding the channel bareback

The sea bed is
cruel fate
A sunken prehistoric
Kauri forest,
Screaming lostmariners stumble,
salt eye blind
The mighty Kaipara Bar
Harbinger of shipwreck

Low tide,
I walk this
ancient coastline
In footsteps of
I feel you
I hear you
Tangata Whenua
those who lived the Kaipara
those who died
entering her

Now, resting
I search
Flotsam and jetsam
spindle pieces
Ovals with points
And knife edges
Bleach boned
Soul cleansed

(Dedicated to the mighty Kaipara Harbour and Henry Moore)

Copyright Doug Poole 2000



Blue herons fly on witches' wings;
the egret, on angels' feathers.
The black/the white, the day/the night,
who is to say one is better?

I live my life in sunshine;
fight hard for every ray.
I walk the straight and narrow;
But sometimes loose my way.

I ride the high, wide rainbow,
am struck by lightning bolts.
I wonder at the thunder,
wild-eyed like a colt.

I am a springtime spirit
locked fast in winter's frost.
I fight it though I fear it,
to be warm again at any cost.

For I live my life in sunshine.
Will not wallow in the dark.
To be and do 'til it's been and done.
I will have left my mark.

Copyright Karen R. Springer 2000



It's frightening how my brainwaves see
The truth both stark and real
How fantasy enlightens me
With visions I can feel
And often times in deepest gloom
I sit midst fleeting clouds
And listen as the thunder falls
In deafening sonic shrouds

The inner kingdom's vast domain
In lofty shouts conveys
A sense of hopeless destiny
From which I cannot stray
And when it's dark uncertainty
Conceals the light of day
I patiently await the wind
To blow my mind away

Oh can't you see the things I've said
Are not the works of men
They're not the fast enclosing world's
Commitments to the end
They're feeling hoping joy and love
For things I can't convey
The words cannot express the need
For living every day

I'm festering within myself
I'm blocked at every turn
By hypocritic pantomimes
Of lessons yet to learn
For education procreation
Both to one point lead
Fulfillment of a longing
An in-born basic need

Lord give me strength that one day soon
I'll break the chains that bind
And vomit forth in gushing streams
The dreams that fill my mind
That from these wastes the light shall grow
And wrench the blinding steel
From those who strive to hinder me
From saying what I feel

Copyright Ed Allen 1999


A Pastiche of my own work




"You can't be Superman", I thought,
As your wheelchair slowly spun around;
But the crowd ate up the words you brought.

The frustration and the pain you fought
Made quicksand out of solid ground --
"You can't be Superman", I thought.

The attention of the crowd was caught,
Though you didn't exit with a bound --
The crowd ate up the words you brought.

The understanding that you sought
Relaxed you as the night unwound --
Still, "you can't be Superman", I thought.

Your gallant words won't go for naught;
We'll search until a cure is found ...
The crowd ate up the words you brought.

The lesson that your courage taught
Grows stronger with each ringing sound.
"You can't be Superman", I thought;
But the crowd ate up the words you brought.




It's midnight now -- portentous hour --
With time unfolding like a flower ...
While deep in dreams, I toss and turn;
And in my heart strange fires burn:
A sultry heat that, truth to tell,
Not even Death can hope to quell.
I dream of piercing, smouldering eyes,
Electric shock of cheeks and thighs --
Nights of love, entrancement, wonder,
Lightning flash and roll of thunder.
In memory, I live again
A sweet embrace, a careless grin.
While on the roof, a drumming rain
Recalls old joys and searing pain.
Ah, wondrous dream -- nostalgic giving --
That lets the dead embrace the living;
While lovers, ripped from out my grasp,
Entice my touch, and dreaming clasp.
Alas, if only I could take
That dream ... concrete ... as I awake.




If race becomes important,
Then some deny ties,
While in the night, eyes
Ominous with portent
Mark things superficial
Which estange and divide us.
How can Heaven abide us?
Yet traits, artificial,
Serve only to show
That stupidity shines --
And just how far we will go.
So the standard declines;
But honest people know
Discriminations designs.

* (The essential is invisible to the eyes), a quote from "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupé²¹.



To decipher emotions doesn't take a machine,
Though emotional roller coasters might leave you green.
The mathematics are simply so far from immutable --
It's not easy at all to "unscrew the inscrutable". *
Wild women warriors sweep through the night,
Riding the storm like the Norns in their flight;
Great jagged bolts of lightning flash by
Silhouetting a goddess athwart the dark sky.
Bold brigands of battle riposte sword to sword
In bright, blazing lights that illumine the horde;
Clouds rent and tattered show glittering stars
As red as the War God who calls himself Mars.
Like Valkyries soaring on carpets of sound,
Fluctuations and differences wildly abound.
Windbursts through the treetops whistle and hiss --
As strong as the arc of a goddess' kiss.
Through tumult and turbulence, warrior-maids sail,
Dark Queens of Inferno who ride on the gale.
Wild wingbeats flutter and soar through a mist,
Dodging and weaving with each turn and twist.
Lesser beings that cower in cellar and cave
Can postpone many years their descent to the grave;
But the shame of it all is the guilt that they feel
In denying that anyone thought it was real.

* Robert Heinlein in "Time Enough For Love."

STAND ALONE, July, 1998


Could Nostrademus only see
How much our world has changed,
Would he applaud, or wonder
If the whole race were deranged?
His direst prophecies of doom
Seem destined to occur --
You have to wonder just how much
Old Earth must still endure.
The Appocalypse seems imminent;
The horsemen thunder by...
Famine, pestilence and war
Force many ways for men to die.
We pollute the very oceans
And denude the land of trees --
Couldn't we have found a better way
To discharge our energies?
If we would unreel the future,
Yet can't rewind the past,
Where does that leave tomorrow?
Will Armageddon come at last?
The world is on our doorstep --
There's no way to shut it out.
Our strategic, slow retreat
Could become a bitter rout.
Our prolific, fecund billions
Pollute and slash and burn.
Like the dodo and the dinosaur,
Will we vanish in our turn?
Though reality's a bitter pill,
It's time to take a stand...
Or the ending of man's story
Won't read QUITE the way he'd planned.



Proud Venus shines on a knight vainly searching
Through lonely days of rain, snow and hail --
In desolate wilderland, honor besmirching,
Sealed to the trail of a dream, and a Grail.
He knows full well that the end may be dreary,
His hopes unfulfilled, the ending uncertain,
But still he plods on, fatigued and bone-weary –
The future a mystery, a nebulous curtain.
Yet golden light glinting as day draws to close,
Beckons him onward, through trials and grief.
He yearns for a taste of the dew on the rose.
He envies his Lord’s final words to the thief.
Still he knows, though the end be in tatters,
That life is, itself, the journey that matters.


Main Page


How may the big bad wolf pursue
Right to his humble digs
The contents of his favorite stew --
Three clever little pigs.
How cheerfully he huffs and puffs
To blow their tiny dwelling down --
How cheerfully his pot he stuffs
With hamhock lean and brown.

* re: 'How Doth the Little Crocodile',
         with apologies to Lewis Caroll

Woodland Winter

As the equinox nears, days grow shorter;
the earth lies fallow, frigid, brown—
winds hiss and shriek and give no quarter.

Snowflakes fall on farmhouse, field and town;
no sound competes to break the solitude,
though Jack Frost winks and plays the clown.

In places bushes and small trees extrude,
immersed in sweeping waves of white;
a regal hawk soars, scavenging for food.

A rabbit darts away in futile flight—
destined to be that majestic hawk’s meal.
A blur of wings, and weakness yields to might.

Small creatures shudder at the victim’s squeal;
Nature’s implacable law brooks no appeal.

Snipping the Threads

Talking to you yesterday, I realized
that love never really dies, at all ...
and that, although you empathized,
you’ve moved on, far beyond recall ...
while I’ve kept the embers fanned,
and still see you in nightly dreams.
The chasm truly can’t be spanned,
nor time embroidered at the seams.
We’re rather different people now,
though to me it seems just yesterday.
Our last goodbye became a vow,
and your black and white, my gray.
I've gathered threads I cannot sever:
see you on the far side of forever.

Reminiscences of a Lost Love

Over a quarter of a Century’s passed,
and still, there’s an ember burning—
the residue of a love I thought couldn’t last,
and now I see, as the millennium’s turning,
that predicting the future’s a canard.
No one can ever anticipate the results
of a lost love, behind a door long barred—
yet the heat radiates through and insults
my senses, brings memories of hot flesh
pressed against me, of long blond hair falling
across my face, the welcoming crèche
of your arms and legs: I hear you calling
even now. And even though you lied,
the pain has only ... only ... intensified.

Van Gogh: Man of Myth and Mystery

From a peaceful, quiet field in France,
a gunshot echoes down the years—
whether cold precision ... or terrible mischance,
mired in myth, truth fades or disappears.
The gun, the easel and the paints, not there
when the gendarmes arrived on the scene,
tous évoquent un air de mystère *
which Sherlock Holmes might find ... routine.
Yet could even the great Holmes deduce
what truth lies cloaked by misdirection,
or feel his way down winding paths, abstruse,
unravel rumor, myth, prevarication?
No matter — Vincent's short years, rife with strife,
still render him legend, larger than life.

* all evoke an air of mystery

A Call from the Clouds

A missed phone call, can it redefine life?
It was mid-morning-ish, that fateful day
I was tired, sleepy, missing my wife.
What a price I'd eventually pay.
The phone rang and rang, I covered my head.
Voice messaging could answer the call.
At last, I arose from the clutch of the bed,
And fumbled my way to the john down the hall.
Then I entered the code, put the phone to my ear,
And nearly collapsed from the shock.
Mary's soft voice shrieked, alive with fear,
As I glanced at the time on the clock.
Goodbye, my darling, we'll meet in Heaven.
She died 2001, 9/11.

Sonnetto Poesia, Fall/ Automne, 2005

Date Rape Dandy

No one would believe a word she said:
the whole school knew the dumb broad was a whore—
he still could not believe how much she'd bled—
he'd been sure that she was "doing it" before.

His hungry lips had smothered her protest;
his ardor grew with every stifled "Please!"
His hands left black and blue marks on her breast—
he thought he'd really fixed the little tease.

He'd never once imagined she'd say no—
he really only gave her what she wanted.
He was hot and shaking, head to toe—
and couldn't bear to feel his manhood taunted.

He'd risked a lot for just a piece of tail—
he'd risk it again—once he got out on bail.

Writer's Digest top 100 rhyming poems, 1994

Frissons d'au revoir *

I've shopped around for something that suits
your natural elegance and style—
something which enhances, not dilutes
your unctuous demeanor and engaging smile.

        flower shops
            by the
                   score ...
                   in colors
                       and tints,
            the search
                          a chore;

though fate was perhaps dropping hints.

The blossoms varied from carmine to mauve,
carnations were gorgeous, but roses passé;
I chose only the best for someone so suave;
in the end, time only still stood in the way.

My eyes fell on an orchid—and then I just knew
it was right. Black as midnight: in the light cobalt blue.

* Mafioso, black orchid

Woodland Winter

As the equinox nears, days grow shorter;
the earth lies fallow, frigid, brown—
winds hiss and shriek and give no quarter.

Snowflakes fall on farmhouse, field and town;
no sound competes to break the solitude,
though Jack Frost winks and plays the clown.

In places bushes and small trees extrude,
immersed in sweeping waves of white;
a regal hawk soars, scavenging for food.

A rabbit darts away in futile flight—
destined to be that majestic hawk’s meal.
A blur of wings, and weakness yields to might.

Small creatures shudder at the victim’s squeal;
Nature’s implacable law brooks no appeal.