Honeydew Sherbet

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Down the patio walk,
under the trellis toward me
yellow frock, yellow hair
rising and falling

I lie in my lawn chair,
spoon honeydew sherbet, sip
pink ade from a tall glass,
cubes circling

She is almost upon me
I look up and I tell her
I have sand, sea, skies, laughs,
all paid for and nothing
nothing at all to do.

Distance

A Poem by Susan Dale

How far must I travel to find you?
Into the oldest rainforest
Where dwell tree spirits since the dawning of time?

Or deep down inside the bowels of earth
Amongst sleeping locusts and a stream of molten lava
Smoldering beneath earth’s crust?

Past bird song and sunset
Beyond twilight into the darkest night
where even owls are quiet and bats fear to fly
Or down clackety-clack tracks
On a ghost train moaning in the night?

Where have you gone?
I fear into the back of beyond
where winds are fashioned and hurricanes die
Where promises are no longer spoken
And footsteps are silent

Black waters rise around you
Higher
And you sink deeper.

Domestic Mythology

A Poem by A.J. Huffman

I thought if I looked deep enough
into his eyes I could see the future.
But lies layered in smiles are
the only stars in that particular showing.
And I have never held a proclivity
for astronomy. I am my own
astronaut. Floating. Uninhibited
in an atmosphere of self-suffocation.
I breathe — only inside
the poison of my own mind.
A uniquely designed antidote
for the exquisite fairy-kissed mouths
of beach-born boys playing
at being a god.

National Day of Service

From Barack Obama:

This Saturday, Michelle and I are heading out to events as part of the National Day of Service — and I hope you’ll join us.

It’s a day to put politics aside, give back to our communities, and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by following his example. If we want to bring about change, it has to start with us, person by person and block by block.

I wanted service to be a big part of my inauguration because it’s played a huge role in my life.

As a young community organizer starting out in Chicago, I learned that the best ideas, the ones that succeed, take hold at the grassroots. No one needs to wait on politicians or Washington: Change happens when individuals take responsibility for one another and their communities.

At the Day of Service in 2009, I visited with military families and wounded service members at the Walter Reed Medical Center and painted walls at a homeless shelter. Joe packed his toolbox and helped Habitat for Humanity hang drywall in new housing in D.C., while my girls, Michelle, and Dr. Jill Biden filled USO care packages for our troops overseas.

See what’s going on near you, and be part of the inauguration by joining your neighbors on Saturday.

I’ll see you out there on the 19th.

Thanks,

Barack

George Carlin on Aging

George Carlin’s Views on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

“How old are you?” “I’m four and a half!” You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key.

You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

“How old are you?” “I’m gonna be 16!” You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re Just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50

and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn’t think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; “I Was JUST 92.”

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. “I’m 100 and a half!”
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

HOW TO STAY YOUNG
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay “them ”

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets,keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable,improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9 Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10.Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

DESTINY’S SHADOWS

A Poem by Susan Dale

Did you stray from your appointed journey?

Or try, but couldn’t?
Or didn’t try
and so walked the path you took
Deemed from birth to be yours

Rat-a-tat-rat-a-tat
sprayed bullet words
Into an open-air cafe amongst chattering women
An assessment of your life
You did your eight,
You womanized,
Left wives, kids
Other wives: other kids

These the words that summarized your life
But didn’t tell of the demons that drove you.
Nor did any know, as did I
The way you walked on the edge
Between sunshine and shadows
Until consumed by the shadows
To be the shadows
That tried, but couldn’t
Or didn’t try
And so were destined to walk the path
Deemed from birth to be yours.

Swastikas Today on Temple Mizpah

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

The kitchens of Auschwitz
are belching again.

Ancient chefs,
puffed hats askew,

storm once more
the catwalks swaying.

When the ovens are full,
the chefs dig pits

in the kitchen floor, set
silver spits, roast fryer thin

the legs and wings they’ve
cleaned and cleavered. Yes,

the kitchens of Auschwitz
are belching again

Unsent letter #12 [I still think of you when the world gets like this]

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

How you told me 11 is the number for clarity; it’s morning, rivers and sleet. It’s anything wet: sweat on a glass of beer, a splash from fish, silver and sleek, It comes before blood, before we learn how to swallow loss. You love this town, its broken pieces laid out before this Great Lake. The park by the canal is deserted, gulls pick at tourist leftovers. I imagine you painting, writing, listening to your favorite playlist; firefly or lush. I watch the lights on the hill go out one by one by one; count them until everything becomes clear.

Unsent Letter #9

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

Not sure what is left to write. I’ve told you about the birds that nest in winter; the simple pearl of water that glides down my window; an unpainted bridge over Lester Park Creek that reminds me of that summer. We cannot forget what we don’t remember; cannot let it go again. Next time will be forever. This morning the moon was a dim light wrapped in gauze. We are separated; not by distance, not time but circumstance. We will carry each other; two butterflies frozen still on pink petals. Handwritten notes folded in our pockets; everything we’ll ever need.

Four Linked Haiku

Four Linked Haiku by Virginie Colline

the birds are sleeping
under your timber roof eaves
the sky a big stone

late sun visitor
a bunch of white peonies
on the veranda

ferocious brambles
blood and blackberries mingle
on your tender skin

such a stateliness
about the ancient oak tree
he lowers his eyes