When the sun reappears
on the weekend, even late Sunday
The cover comes off the BBQ
Quick hurry-trips to the store
Bricks, Beer, Burgers  and Brats
Top the list
Chips, and dip, and salsa
carrots and celery, Tomatoes and onions
for the fresh breasts
grapes dangling from bunches 
firm between the thumb and forefinger
sweet to the tongue

Early watermelon and whole-freezer corn
don’t forget the foil, the butter
the paper plates
the ice
Faces change for many
from work-week-desperation
to frantic-anticipation
All are desperate broken down
a weekend respite—rejuvenation
away from the tedia
Weather changes plans
and all are confronted with each other’s malaise
dammed to indoors with no sports-summus
When the sun reappears
the race to the store is on
a weekend pass

Can you hear me?
Do my words have meanings?
do they manifest  insight,
as you hear them,
by the fire?
Or do you just hear the sounds
weaving together,
without the meanings?
“There, I’m done
I heard every word.”
What do you know,
about me?
What insights have you gleaned?
from the stories I have told?
I am more than a set
of symbolic sounds crucially placed
next to other collections.
With each word, each sentence
I paint a picture for your mind
Futures not remembered,
pasts revealed, visions of the present
meanings live between the words
I ask only that you take
what is freely given
I am keeper of the oral history
past, future, and present
I am storyteller, knower of signs and omens
I am spoken

I am poem

WINNERS & HONORABLE MENTIONS – Poetry Works Workshops –

Mary Margret Carlisle, Director

2014 National Poetry Month Competition

May 15, 2014 at 10:39am
Thanks to the many poets who submitted poems and helped to judge the work of other poets, and many thanks to the final judge (a poetry editor from Missouri) who wishes to remain anonymous.  In celebration of National Poetry Month (April, 2014), Sol Magazine Projects – Poetry Works Workshops awards four Barnes & Noble gift certificates, and one book award in the 2014 National Poetry Month Competition.  Congratulations to the winners:  Nelda Curtiss, Rebecca Jackson, Gary Wade, John Salacan, Harold Rodinsky.  Honorable Mentions follow prize winning poems.  If you are a prize winner, please MESSAGE me privately (do not post your address publicly) with your full mailing address so I can send out your prize.
Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Nelda Curtiss
Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Rebecca Jackson
Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Violets are thick
in that part of the forest
Jack was scattered there.
~Gary Wade
A COPY OF S.A.L.V.A.G.E by Phill Doran
and what do you have?
a blip in the night
a gaggle of gawking electrons
you pay for a wink
a chink in the dike
that keeps the words in place
& where will the used ebookshops be?
& what pages will scent the air as you flip…flip what?
(& who will be changing the banned into right?)
it took an army for qin shi huang
to bury the scholars (books no longer needed)
now it takes but a flick of the snake’s tongue
~John Salacan
Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Then, Now and In-between~Harold Rodinsky
The mind tantalizes with assorted images of then and now
growing up at the ocean’s edge tide pools to explore
boy’s life dungeness crab, razor clams, fishing from the rock jetty
smell the salt air, feel the fresh cold ocean spray on your face
when the waves throw themselves on the beach
another time walking the streets that Rexroth walked, when he was 20
riding the orange line train past the old stockyards, see faces of workingmen
mark the corner where the Haymarket Riot took place
Rexroth stood over there, a boy really, watching soldiers shoot civilians
Waiting to go to jail, for a month, a suspected sympathizer
looking out at a garden, buds summoned by the warmth of the sun
early bees setting up housekeeping for the summer
birds signing while building their nests, dodging the cats with ease
lemon and pomegranate trees survived the winter
and the chilipequin is leafing out nicely, next to the still sleeping lantana
where will I live today?
white fire of daytime
brings forth the cricket’s wing
and night’s chill song
~John Salacan
Home Made Bread
I can smell it in my sleep
A sour dough dream come true
Bread kneaded by arthritic hands
Rising early to meet the day
We wait in the kitchen
Like expectant fathers
Pacing, drinking hot coffee
Counting down the arrival of the prize
Setting out butter and may haw jelly
My mother feeds us loaves of love
~Diana Meade
Bastard Cabbage reigns
Where once Blue Bonnets flourished
Diversity lost
~Rebecca Jackson
Howling winds, dust clouds
pranksters to Cavaliers
halt highway mayhem
~Nelda Curtiss
warm thundering rain
dark limbs sprout tiny green buds
pink of dawn clears clouds
~Julia Tanner
The End of Keystroking
Ladybug lays claim to my desk
As her personal gymnasium.
Tiny legs tickling computer screen,
She awakens its touchiness.
~Kathy Kehrli
the empty of blue
stretches over the green pine
one black bird looks down
~David E. Cowen  
silver rain shifting
something sudden from the sky
rainbow hued sunlight
~BettyAnn Whitney
Friday~Harold Rodinsky
like an adoring groom waiting for his lover to arrive
she promises to come but only on the appointed day, at the appointed hour
the grains of sand move slowly in the glass
Helios appears chained in the east, his transit a snail’s pace
Friday night at sundown the queen arrives
each Saturday, at sunset, she leaves and the longing begins anew
each passing day is filled with hard hands and sweat stained clothes
sunrise to sunset the substance of toil never ending
but in mindful of her, relief comes marking off the days
until she returns again
Lady Luck
Luck won’t be a lady; it’s just not her thing.
She is fickle, flirtatious – with many a king
gracing coins in her pockets; from fountains that spring
up: hope! – love! – desire! Eternal, but fading.
Like a gambler who lines extra Aces-of-Spading
inside his jacket, Luck does the same thing,
with too many chances that never took wing.
Maybe you’ll see her, one fortunate day,
when her bright fickle eyes may just look your way.
~Lois Mintah
Top of Form

People, fill up locations in memory: picture and lists
habitually disconnected images, but with purpose and effort, eventually associated, 
or at least, connected in  imagination
looking with effort, through many albums, and old phone books
‘nice to see you again…’ causing a puzzled look, frequently followed by ‘don’t you remember?’
thinking, “No.” But pretending, for the sake of kindness, head-nods in agreement,
“Yes, Yes I do.”
more space is needed,  new faces without names, new names without faces,  arriving everyday
more head-nods, the utility of politeness,  taking up space
housekeeping is commanded, throw out the old,  the fictitious, the pointless.
heartless housekeeping eliminate the casual, expel the pointless
memories that give no comfort,  
that don’t temper the relentless winds of loneliness and regret , that come in the darkest hours
sweep the dust from the corners, along the passages, between the stacks,
make space for  new faces, new names,  new purpose,    useful memories, 
like lamps in the hallway when the clouds obscure the moon

the kid went to the far side of the bridge avoiding the stares and jeers from the locals
put his pole up against the guard rail, and opened his tackle bag
he took a hook tied to a leader and a small weight, and tied this to the line from his reel.
He fished around and found an old sandy clam neck and impaled it on the hook
he drop his line into the heavy tide-current in the river and watched it drift downstream
the weight he put on wasn’t heavy enough.  he didn’t have another
he only had stuff he stole from his dad or found on the bridge

all of sudden, BAM wham, a fish,  the fish grabbed the clam neck and raced down stream

Is it politically correct,
In the realm of social media
    (Where you are right now!)
Not to point out typo’s,
or incorrect word choice,
or punctuation errors?
On the other hand
Is it appropriate for citizens of  this virtual community
to point out fallacies, inconsistencies, and untruths
of their fellow citizen’s  politics?
To criticize their neighbor’s religious beliefs
To defend their religious beliefs
To argue ad nauseumbehind seemingly anonymous ‘screen names’ ?
Or Perhaps
to voice what will not,
or can not
Be voiced in the other reality?
It takes some time
to practice and learn political correctness,
it is not easy
to tweeze apart:  There, from Their, or They’re

or see John the Baptist with a water board