In recognition of Poetry Month, poems by local poets are read each April.
Watch the events here. Original poems by our local poets are below. 


Original poems written by our performing local poets will be added soon.

I've Loved this Life Too Much

I know I am going to die.
Sightless through these windows unblinking.
That time will come when new words,
words unknown to me today,
maybe not even words,
descriptive in how and what
I can't conceive, will come to me.
What I've become,
will become,
or not become.

Am I moving forward, intangible?
The comprehension fails me of this state.
Fear behind the dark wardrobe,
watching, engulfs me.
The mystery overwhelming.

Oh, faith, where is thy surety?!
That this wondrous life will be matched
by all I do not yet know?

A bereft longing fills me.
I've loved this life too much.

Miraculous Someone

I met a little baby
Who knew more than I knew
About the living essence
The brew she just ensued
The teaming moving aspect
Of a million morning suns
A newly-living, breathing
Miraculous someone.  

Covid 19

Clouds darkened the day, glow now circling ‘round the ragged edges,
sun going down.
Covid has me trapped! But am I?
Seems quieter.
Did you catch that?
The quiet.
The clock is ticking.  As always.  But I can hear it.
That usually only happens at night, when trying to sleep.
At first, dull ticking, but as you close your eyes, striving for sleep,
it becomes much louder.
Until it keeps you up.
Sort of like this virus.
At first so quiet, almost silent,
But then it gets louder and louder,
Until it's all you hear.

All That God Asks of Us

Observing the Muslims,
knee deep in obsequiousness,
bowing prostrate
before something greater than themselves.
Far greater.

Yahweh, Allah?

Who else will lord man bow before today?
What is greater than thou?

If we bow to no one,
then on a pedestal we've become,
to be honored,
whether deserved or not,
the meaningless lovely lady.

Muslims, prone, then rising, then repeating, head bowed.
Such faith.
How many times a day required?
Me, in my Americanism, don’t know.

Those of faith all seem to bow.
But what else do they bow to?
That bank shining on distant hill?
The influence peddlers?
The power brokers?

When I see Muslims,
those bows seem so I-am-lower,
beneath, and so need, need this thing so much larger than myself.
In admission, no questioning, no academic analysis,
prone in this lifetime to not be in the next.

It must be better than this ragged slum,
Tin against my shoulder,
Tired daughter on the other.

I still hold her like you hold your daughter,
but not in confidence, like I can give her this best world.
No, this daughter, we escape bombs,
safe finally in refugee camps.

What is our connection?
The haves, the have-nots?
Shouldering the same intractable human condition?
Just getting through our day,
Though so much harder for some than others,
because that’s all we have?

But what of having and giving back?

The poor will be with us always,
but finish the sentence.
The fewer the better, for all of us,
and we ourselves will make that difference,
by trying and trying again,
to make it better,
and that is all god asks of us.


Perhaps you heard a bell tolling
Through the clouds descending
It flattens the earth
And the dark sky opens
And rain falls like loss
Soaking everything
Driving down the street drains
Beating on the tree leaves
And then it clears
The sun will come out again
But grief is part of the land
And it will come out again
Sometimes hard
More times soft
But stay with you
With memories and heart
And always more than a tear in your eye.


Dare to dream
so big that nothing makes your idea seem small

Speak out so your voice can be heard
Shout if you must

May it be your choice
to be out of the kitchen or in it
May no glass ceiling restrict your rise
to earn dollar for dollar

Know you are able and equal
May our body and heart be safe and secure
on the bus in the office and at home
May your heart catch on fire when you find your love
someone to go where you go
Be together at the table
Be friends for the journey
This is my prayer for you


Old hands gnarled, crooked and sore
so many tasks they can’t do anymore

They used to dig worms and gather small stones
snatch lightning bugs from thin air
dressed tiny paper dolls
learned to color and write
played jacks and batted the ball

They learned to thread needles
sewed dresses from scratch
for proms and weddings
babies’ dresses to match

They hand stitched quilts
did cross stitch and wove
knitted sweaters and mittens
made wreaths for the door

They planted flowers and gardens
gathered beans for the freezer
tomatoes for sauce
dug potatoes
picked squash

They stirred cookie batter
rolled out pie crust
scrubbed and mopped
and wrung out the cloth

They typed term paper, theses
stories by the score
played piano with vigor
But such things no more

Everything’s harder
to open, to zip, to button, to chop, to pour, to lift
to scribe with a pen in presentable style
haven’t reached the octave for a while

These hands gnarled and crooked
may be worn to the bone
but there’s much they can still do

They can wave to a friend
embrace with a hug
hold the book and turn the page
They can dial up a call
send an email with care
drink tea with both hands
pick the flowers

They can hold a hand gently
brush a cheek tickle feet
count blessings one to ten
make high fives thumbs up
press palms in prayer
carefully clap for the encore


What do you pack
when the time has run out
to be safe in your home
in your country?

What do you pack
you don’t know where you’re going
don’t know if you’ll ever be back

Grab your passport your ID
your phone and the cords
Solid shoes, extra sox
warmest mittens
The picture of Grandma
of Christmas with Daddy
her blankie and his Mister Bear

Frantic steps, throbbing heart
close the door, take the key
ThIs train can’t promise return


Don’t waste the crisis
as days drag on
masks and six feet limits

Vaccines and boosters a plenty
but caution is center stage
Do we move ahead?
Pick up our baskets and go on?

Don’t look back!
What used to be
isn’t there anymore
Old ways no longer suffice

Look all around
take time to ponder and create
take nothing for granted

There is fertile soil
so plant again
sew seeds of kindness
bulbs of joy
turn the soil over
revealing awe and wonder
water with love
fertilize with ideas

Sunshine will warm the earth
Be alert to a change of heart
a renewed soul
a harvest of hope
Expect it

February 2022

I shall cherish small moments, practice wonder and fun.
Return to the sunsets and finish the song.
Keep writing real letters, read only good books.
Make calendar appointments, leaving blanks.
Stop for teatime and naps.
Call the children and friends
having long talks and leisurely walks.
Say “I love you’ more often.
Say, “No” and stick to it.
Erase fears and shed tears without shame.
Live by faith in obedience.
Meditate on The Word.
Pray that my witness speaks Truth.

Look over your shoulder
We’ve made history, my friends.
Grieving thousands while we live to tell
the story of the year time stood still.
We endured, persevered.
We lived simply. Kept hope.
Look toward a New Time.
Oh, people.
Choose well.


Can I care too much
Can I love too much
till it hurts both you and me

Do I hold too tight
Do I squeeze the trust and love
Press til the listening subsides

It’s not the words I utter
It’s the love that lies behind
Believe me when I say

I don’t mean to be a bother
I’m just reaching out to rescue
Forgive me if I love too much

I don’t intend to meddle
My advice may be too seasoned
out of touch or past it’s prime

When you tell me you are hurting
are you asking me to listen
Just be there but don’t ask me to change

I don’t mean to be a bother
I’m just reaching out to rescue
Forgive me if I love too much

But virtue has no season
Values do not fade
Reason isn’t out of date

There’s still time for work and wonder
Dreams of wanderlust and fun
will be there when you’re finished sorting out

I don’t mean to be a bother
I’m just reaching out to rescue
Forgive me if I love too much

January 2021

The Adjective

Out east the stories start on the Hill
We got the Green for same stories still
Start from a school short on supplies
Ease of access, another plain lie

Need a roof over your head
Family needs to be fed
So you do what you have to
It all comes to bread

Train hard from the time you can walk
Learn to run, hit, maybe even trash talk
You can do it, just do it, so we all told
When the truth is not a matter if you bold
One in a million if you lucky
Franchise operations got the odds, truth to be told

Flippin burgers or breakin my back for some green
When instead, twice the cash, ride the line in between
My cousin Darnell signed up with Uncle Sam
Came back in chair, don’t seem anyone give a damn

I got choices they tell me
Opportunity abounds
Slammin doors and no thank you
Most familiar sound
Seem like some folks just don’t see
out on the streets

High ideals and empty words
truth it is, they just ain’t
Ain’t no school or courtroom found
Equality rules the room, not the green
That abounds.

So, maybe
if I elevate my vocabulary
and strive to increase my salary
and maybe, send a representative
to discuss the ramifications,
‘stead of my boy to give you a holla’.
you might be able to understand,
that in this justice system,
for my brothers and sisters, and I
is just
an adjective.

Lone wolf howl
The image manufactured:
The ranger walking;
Rawhide bootstrap of
Rugged individualism;
Set apart from the rest
Making life the best

Lone wolf howl –
The nature observed:
awaiting a reply
to gather once more
tashuunka wakan
family medicine -
plain to see
call for community

Green Fuzzy
I watch you there napping, your thumb and green fuzzy
The friend who won’t judge, nor hold any grudge
Knitted by gramma from bamboo with care
Your trusted companion who is always there,
At the end of the worst, or the best day,
Support and safety, a snuggle away.
The world will soon say you must grow apart
From the friend who’s been there from the start,
Because, after all, the need for such things
Are outside the realm of what adulthood brings.
They tell you, be strong, independent, above all compete
For without winners and losers, a world incomplete,
and unable to accept the humility we should share
they find it better to pretend not to care,
than admit no control at the end of the day -
send teddies and green fuzzies away.
The strongest and bravest would loudly decry
The need for associates of the lullaby.
Yet, the searching goes on in all different ways,
through many heart-broken or otherwise frightened days,
with cocaine or whiskey the battle sometimes fought
or divorce an answer when all seems for naught,
and the truth that so many evade
wishing our human frailty, our weakness,
from others sight might fade.
Even God and Creator, no matter what some might say
Are part of the search to send darkness away.
So, instead, when our answers don’t work the same way
With a knee prone to jerk, we say send them away,
We tell little ones whose days are hard too,
Who know less of this cement and cyber zoo,
We push them to lose what we cannot find
The green fuzzy that comes with
At least some peace of mind.

To Play in the Rain
Staring out the window, alone
The bills overdue, the house not shown
Another broken window
Another misplaced key
The law that all’s wrong
In his life too long
As far as he can see
Loss of dignity
This day seems eternity.

The steady tapping of rain on the roof
Stirring memories and more
Of words heard and repeated
Life’s challenges greeted

Plans cancelled or altered giving cause to complain,
Did you take any time to play in the rain?

Through the sweat and the tears and sometimes pain,
Did you make any time to play in the rain?

While the children were growing and going through change
Did you teach them how to play in the rain?

Catching drops on your tongue
Splashing puddles for fun
Did you show them
How to play in the rain?

He gets up and walks
Out the door.

He walks to the street
Stepping onto the black
Takes the shirt off his back
Turns his face up, arms outstretched
Feels the drops land
Face, arms hand,
His neck and his chest
beads become lines of water
Covering, coursing, cleansing
Rinsing away the gray
Deep inside
He remembers
From storms he rarely would hide
But rather, outside
To play in the rain

The Willows
Before –
Whispering willows
speaking soft gentle breezes,
joyfully announcing the sound of
cold, clean succulent life moving in trickling steady
spills over time-washed stone and filtering sand,
a scent of green, mossy spring sprinkled with sage,
lavender and lilac, surrounded by the songs of sparrows,
finches and more, blending with the cries of the hawk as
the soft-soled feet of honest, aware and respectful ones move
through without disturbing, make themselves a part of the harmony,
not apart from it.
After –
Weeping willows
softly crying quiet sorrows,
sadly telling the tale of
gray, murky lifeless waters moving quickly
over plastic remnants and thick frothy spills of unnatural origin,
a scent of acrid, burning metal and brick
mixed with clanging, cutting, breaking sounds,
winches and more, blending with the shouts of foremen as
thick, metal-toed boots of conquering, careless ones move
over without thought beyond self, creating their world from the
belief they are apart from it.