Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
My warmest thanks to all participating poets who have graciously allowed us a glimpse into their lives through their poetry....
R O N
My road is sun baked dirt and stone,
my yard a field of wild grass grown,
and at my furthest boundary,
tall rows of corn stand guard for me.
At dark the stars become a torch,
the brightest light from my back porch,
and fireflies mime the stars in flight;
I find I see much more at night.
My neighbors are the maple trees
and swooping wrens and bumble bees,
a snowshoe rabbit running wild,
a tawny doe with freckled child.
We share a home near glacier's gift
of arctic waters left adrift,
one lake of many lakes around
a place called Colon, my home town.
N A N
The bridge is for Ron...
The waves roll on and gulls above soar high,
Lone foghorns chanting Cape Cod's solitude.
The dunes at rest beneath the autumn sky
Envelop peaceful beaches once imbued.
Bright foliage adorns the countryside,
Surrounding sundried bogs of cranberries.
This summer tourists' verdant welcome tide
Now boasts majestic hues of burgundies.
Synthetic lakes spew forth from each bog's moat
Releasing berries for the harvest day,
And bouyant crimson carpets lie afloat
In just abeyance to be scooped away
The ferries from Wood's Hole to Edgartown
From Falmouth's harborfront over a mere
Resplendent view of Martha's Vineyard Sound -
"America the Beautiful" born here.
Hometowns are very special, by that now you know.
Each one or more can and will, on you certainly grow.
Iíve lived and stayed in many towns, traveling east to west
now Iím in the middle, and certainly loving it best.
Grew up in CA, where seasons failed to come,
lived awhile in Illinois, then that time was done.
Really enjoyed good olí Michigan, for the apples galore;
then returned to CA Ďcause death was at the door.
Happenstance and circumstance sent us then midwest
now living in a ďsmall townĒ where I really like it best.
Have my cows out in the country, can know folks by name;
truly not Chicago, but weíre very far from tame.
We can travel not too far, visit one-horse, one-lane towns;
watch to love kids play in yards, always horsing around.
Thereís magic in all seasons, youíve certainly read of them;
each month is so very precious, each season is a gem.
This little town I live in, has me by my roots;
ladies of all types, I go from heels to cowboy boots.
Men in trucks and limos; kids with spiked hair and not;
Iíll come visit your home town, and return happy to what weíve got.
Beside the burn black she lies, this cotton kings smoke layered town
With tired red bricked terraced eyes, each street ranked and falling down
This valley perched upon a hill, which owes itís shape and dour form
To each empty dark satanic mill, once echoing to the sparked clogs worn
Gone now the chimney stacks, that belched forth smoke to stain the rain
Removed the trams silver bright tracks, yet cobbled stones left still remain
And gone all hope and pride, disused and demolished or worn down
Leaves me living at the graveside, of a long dead Lancastrian town.
I Hate My Town
Iím sitting here with pen in hand beside the apartment pool
kids laughing, splashing, playing generally acting just a fool.
I wrote a pretty good poem about the town where I grew up
but Balladeer says not to post it here, I said why.. "its good enough!"
But he is really bossy so Iíll let him have his way
and write a poem about the town in which Iím forced to stay.
OK you want a poem about the town where Lucie lives
about the feeling of the city and the culture that it gives.
Well Iím not gonna write of that instead Iíll let you see
the city as I see it filled with crime and poverty.
The children who run down the streets littered with trash of man
find the beauty of my city in these few words if you can.
The bums on every corner holding up their signs to view
"I need a beer give me a buck" at least they donít lie to you.
The Metro bus thatís packed so full of people on their way
to every corner of the city at any given time of day.
The heat that makes you sweat the moment you step out the door
though you just took a shower doesnít matter any more.
The fact you plan your life around the setting of the sun
donít get caught outside at night unless youíve got a gun.
Cause there are things outside my door that I donít care to face
the city where I live you see is not the safest place.
But as I sit and watch kids splashing, what really amazes me
are the things as adults theyíll pull to mind from childhood memory.
They wonít remember the crimes on TV or the murder down the street
just all the friends who came to play in this big pool where they meet.
Theyíll remember friends with which they all played ghetto basketball.
"Oh you donít know how to play that game? Well let me tell yíall."
You take a grocery basket and you hang it upside down
on the dumpster, now donít laugh its a popular game here in my town.
I guess we all have memories of the places where we live
though I will paint no pretty picture hereís the one thing I will give.
Houston is a city just like LA or New York
the place to go for money if you have the skills to work.
So please donít let my poem keep you from visiting this city
It is a place thatís filled with people and great human diversity.
So Balladeer here is the poem about this poetís town
and I am going inside now cause the sun is going down.
But before I end this poem, though I know that you donít care
Iíll dream about my small town life and that other really good poem that you wouldn't let me post, that took me there.
Home Is Where You Hang Your Heart
There's so many place I've called home,
Some say I have roamed and roamed,
For a space to call my dome.
For where I was born, is where I ended up.
A place so hot, everyone carries a cup;
Even my dog, he's actually a pup.
It' humid most of the time,
Sanity comes with my rhymes,
People talk like they don't have a dime.
Flat land and erratic seasons,
Not to fear there is rarely a freezin',
In Fall, people do their sneezin'.
At night we walk in fright,
for ya' never know who's out of sight,
prepared to take your last bite.
This isn't the only place I've been,
Colorado and Oregon with a grin.
Beauty as much, should be a sin.
I miss the mountains and the lakes,
climbin' so high with all it takes,
only to feel an occassional quake.
I may live in Houston,
but my heart is in confusion,
among these lost souls...usin'.
I chose a home where I'm kinda safe,
away from people that will take;
I don't know if tommorrow I will wake.
It's hard to be where you are,
wishing upon that twinkling star,
Passions In Poetry, in 1st so far.
Out of ashes, a Phoenix was born, that bird gave us our name
ashes are the desert sands, southern winds fanned the flame
Famous for our dry heat and searing summer sun
Ďsnowbirdsí migrate in the winter, to have a little fun
Weíve got Rattlers, Diamondback, Cardinals too
got a giant wave to ride and a we have world class zoo
Cultural diversity is fostered in this place
every religion, every age and certainly every race
Colleges and old folks homes exist side by side
the cleanliness of our city, is a source of our great pride
Not too far from winter snow, nor from lakes in northern clime
We even hope to have a beach, if an earthquake comes sometime
While driving home from work, you can fry an egg on your hood
Burn your hands on a steering wheel, donít tell me this sounds good?
The engine heats up, your car explodes, tempers begin to run short,
Pools are full, the fans are on, so we move to a northern resort.
We may sweat and we may moan, and ask ourselves why,
Why we stay when itís so hot! But remember, the heat is dry!
Natural rivers flow as summer rains pour from the sky
But donít worry, we donít get wet! Our rain is also dry!
My hometown... a place that's in need.
Overrun by dirt, by crime and by greed.
Dealers walking streets, they're everywhere.
Even with kids around, they just don't care!
Staying up all night, the tweekers aren't rare.
Taking out razors, and cutting up their share.
Our government's come, "to clean", they say.
Come here to purge all of the slime away.
And yet I know the truth, of this too common tale.
Learned what can happen, when drugs are for sale.
I watched my brother, every time he would fail.
Fearful of the day, when he would end up in jail.
Often he'd falter, really never that tough.
Rail at his demons, until he just had enough.
Now he's back with us, though life still is rough.
I still worry though, about those out there still.
All over the world, it's not just here that it kills.
My hometown is not so different than any others.
I've been everywhere this side of the Missouri Stink
It's a town of trees and mountains and oh brother!
It's got a river right thru town where I used to sit and think.
Or surf on the raft that was tied up to an old gnarled oak.
The train depot sits at the top of Vista and its red paint is turning pink.
The college is expanding like some big balloon I'd like to poke.
But they gotta have somplace for students who pay to think.
The park is still downtown amidst the roses and the zoo.
Used to party there years ago and listen to amps blaring from the 'shell
Things have changed so much in the last decade or two.
Can't party at the park, cops said it's now illegal. What the hell!?
They put a Greenbelt in though the path was always there.
Goes from Boise now to Lucky Peak and the other way to Eagle.
They paved it now so joggers can go safely anywhere.
Or so the older folks can walk their yorkies and their beagles.
But all in all I must say that I'm happy to be home in my town
With all the changes it has gone thru and its growth expansions
I find myself grinnin' like a stupid foolish clown
Living large in Treasure Valley. Boise Idaho is what they this bastion.
-There's never any silence,
With all these cars passing by.
At night there's some violence,
I hardly see a sunny sky.
With their fancy new rides.
No one ever smiles,
Everyone always hides.
-The mini mart next door
Is where the kids run to.
This town is such a bore,
There's nothing ever to do.
-I want this all to end,
I'll marry a rich man if i have to !
I have a few friends,
They're what makes it all worthwhile.
Bubbles floating through the air
that small hands try to catch.
The glow of a philly blunt
lit up with a match.
Little girls calling rhymes
as they jump their rope.
An old weather beaten face,
eyes that lost all hope.
Crickets sing their song
scattered in the trees.
A sweet scent lingers:
honeysuckle on the breeze.
The sky is void of the moon,
there is no heavenly glow
to cast its light as night falls
on my home in the ghetto.
As I sit down to write this, I tremble in fear
For all my previous attempts have ended with a tear
But as I read your challenge, oh ellusive Balladeer
I begin again, pen in hand, maybe the time is near.
My home town was like non-other you will read
At a tender age of 6, mom died,leaving 5 from her seed
I recall the snow so deep and the bitter wind did blow
Leaving us to fend in the world,little did we know!
So off we went from place to place
Shuffled with each relative in hase
Were WAS the next town, the next open door?
Would they have a bed or would it be the floor?
As we ventured into every cozy little town
I recall one year we got to see a clown
Mr. Johnsons hardware had big things hanging from the wall
"here's a sucker", a kindly smile, "be careful you don't fall!"
The buildings and the schools were all the same to me
Each town, each street,27, before I was set free.
So your challenge I have met, oh lofty Balladeer
My home town was all the places in my heart
that only I hold near.
And the strangers loving hands who helped me on my way
Take me back to my hometown each and every day.
So many thoughts come now to mind
-Reflections of the fondest kind
Fun happy days of childhood
Spent in my town - my neighborhood.
Familiar faces - some still here-
Some only dwell in yesteryear
Familiar spots, a sound, a scent
Can take me back to days since spent.
My town's one full of history-
Fair birthing place of liberty
Her patriots of ages past
Have built a land that's unsurpassed.
Miss Betsy Ross - who sewed so well
George Washington and William Tell
Ben Franklin, too and many more
Shall dwell here always - evermore.
My town's called Philadelphia
And though it's not Utopia
There's nowhere else I'd rather dwell
Than right here with that cracked old bell!
Get Me Outta Here!
I traveled to the River
and left behind the Lake
I wish I'd never come here
my homesick heart still aches
Nearly a year I've lived alone
in this rather blue-haired town
I was starting my life over
but its only brought me down
I found real quick if you need a job
Its not what but who you know
and if you don't go to bars at night
you've got no place to go
The local businesses will screw you
out of every cent you've earned
If their service is bad its YOUR problem
as far as they are concerned
For now it seems I'm stuck here
it feels like I'm buried alive
Give me back the lakes and pine trees
Where I know I can survive
(Somewhere in Florida)
I live in Erie,PA.
Mistake on the lake"
Don't know who said it or who wrote it
But truth be told I certainly believe it.
My life these past years
Has turned right around.
I am facing concrete walls
which make unnatural sounds.
I yearn for the times
When I was a kid.
The days in the fields
with the grass as my bed.
I played outside,
Never once had to worry,
If the man down the street
Would do something "dirty".
I loved the country,
My parents encouraged it.
I climbed every tree.
I was a free spirit.
Now I am grown
And moved into town.
My spirit is wilting
These walls tear me down.
The gray of the pavement
Saps me of my powers.
Like Superman and Kriptonite,
I no longer can flower.
I yearn for the green,
of dirt and of trees.
I look to the sky,
Was that all in my dreams?
Did I not run once
With boundless freedom?
Just to see what I could
My memories, I feel them.
My family watches in horror,
They beg me to move,
My finances are begging
To be rescued from me.
I can't afford the move.
It's wait and see.
Till that day that I run in the fields,
I run with the memory of my spirit in my head.
I'm right here in Ft. Lauderdale
One of the few not out on bail.
The city of fun in the sun.
I saw it once - in '91.
I see palms swaying in the breeze
And watch for swimming refugees
Who've risked it all - all that they own
To come and make our town their home.
The snowbirds chase the early birds,
Attack the Rascal House in herds.
We have a big state lottery
And Indians sell smokes, tax-free.
Each year the tourist hoards invade,
Wear yellow shorts...drink Gator-Ade.
Though they invade our beach like leeches
We smile at all those sons of beaches.
Why do we smile? The simple fact is
Thanks to them, there's no state taxes
So we just smile and say hello
Then cheer the day they finally go.
Our bird - the plastic pink flamingo
Our slogan - "Hot damn! I've got Bingo!"
With Spanglish our official lingo
And foreigners are known as "gringo".
If one can disregard the lootings,
Pay no mind to the drive-by shootings,
Laugh at corruption in city hall,
This is a great place, after all!!!
[This message has been edited by Balladeer (edited 10-17-1999).]