All the scales that were hidden till January
Are returned to their places – it’s customary!
Although a diet is wise it can frustrate
As I dig through the larder and ruminate.
Broccoli, bananas, butter-free fare
Are all I’m allowed from my Frigidaire
Try to sleep through the night and ignore all the dreams
Of feasts and deserts and sweet buttercreams!
Sleeping till dawn, waking to a day new
Being grateful that sleep saw the night through.
Eggs and wheat toast, all the tea that I want
Turn away from the table, ignore that croissant!
A diet requires that all thoughts are of dining
Just get on with it and stop all this whining!
--by Kate McKay
Wind took the ashes
Ripped from a tightly closed fist
Forced to let you go.
--by Kate McKay
Partners In Rhyme is for writers who also write poetry, or wish to. We get great joy and encouragement from each other. We support each other in our efforts and inspire each other. Some of us are accomplished poets with published poetry. Others have been learning their poetic voice by being in the group.
We invite any member of The Writers’ Guild of Delco to join us. The more of us, the more inspiration and support we can share.
Will Scull, Host
Partners In Rhyme
Men grind on like wheels they have created.
Nature moves with the growing leaf and the water from the sky -
Drop by drop,
uniting with each other,
Man moves by wheels of opposition and conflict,
And the sound of it deafens ears to the lighter sounds of the water
Man builds his wheels.
He challenges Nature.
He harnesses her for energy.
The water makes the wheels move.
He dirties the water, and it keeps rising behind man and his works.
like Nature herself.
In the crisis one wonders,
has man conquered Nature,
or will she conquer him.
The way of Nature is never to conquer -
except in desperation.
She prefers to create -
even out of death.
For dead leaves contribute to the new shoot,
as water does.
Men grind each other on their own racks
and say it was “necessary” for the wheels of progress
We would hate to think it was natural!
--William Kincaid Scull
There on the shelf,
On the table it sits.
So full of the world,
With its own glowing bits.
It needs no power,
But its strength is within,
Just open the cover,
The words take you in.
Page after page,
They will slip through your fingers,
Your eyes savor the words
The bright phrases linger.
A story, a poem,
A novel, a song;
It’s what we all know,
A book for which we long….
--Steven R. Butler
When love shines through the dappled golden leaves,
Impervious to gentle summer rain
That once upon a time brought untold pain
Yet now brings forth a memory of peeves.
Who knows beyond the heat of summer’s love,
Of passions soaring like a bonfire’s heat.
The agony, longing, hopelessness, defeats,
The calling of the soul from up above,
Who will cease to fear Winter’s icy breath,
Tree branches clack against the wind’s duress,
But Autumn’s colors flare their last caress
Erasing fear of Loves cold Winter’s death.
My search for oneness is now complete.
And fate’s dark obstacles defeat.
Leaving out my dialogue,
Point of view
Now I knew,
Readers don’t read
Their character’s minds,
Antecedents are an annoying chore
Can’t readers remember what came before?
Squinting modifiers confuse my mind,
I must need glasses in order to find
The noun for which they claim to own,
Is hardly really ever known,
Why can’t the lamebrained readers see,
The movie that plays inside of me,
My editor has to be a saint
To listen to my rebel complaint
Thank God for her, thank God for me
Or this writer would be in misery
Who is the Cheater?
This question I ask
Does the yearning for love have to be forsaken?
When the promise of devotion has never awakened?
Try as one may to forgive and repair,
Both partners are needed to respond and to share
If one partner has no time or interest to give,
How is the other encouraged to live?
So where has the cheating really begun
Is neglect to nurture sign number one?
Communication, sign number two,
Lack creates loneliness, doubt, and the blues
Lack of respect, sign number three
Creates hatred, and distance, to fight or to flee
The cheater is not the one who seeks more out of life
After attempts to connect are ignored through the strife
The cheater is the creator, of this partner to be brokenhearted
Who has neglected the duties of the vows, and is now departed
And when another has fulfilled those lost expectations
Of the partner who has longed for that loving relation
Now stands accused of being the cheater
Why? Because this partner’s life is enriched and much sweeter
So could it be that the one left behind
Is the one who has cheated with no chance to find….
A way to recover this love so broken
With no feeling or words left to be spoken.
Flowers, Jo Nivison Hopper
The equanimity of your soulful amber eyes
As present in the warm early autumn breeze
As they were in life,
Reassuring with the perspicacity
Of one who truly knew what mattered,
Intolerant of sanctimoniousness
Yet ever sensitive to fragility
The sangfroid with which you bathed
This planet could placate
The most irascible of temperaments
Extirpating the negativity
While honing in on the goodness
Of all who crossed your path.
It is mornings like these
That I seek the pabulum
Of your wisdom, and
Of your spirit,
To guide me through my day.
What Is A Son?
To me, you are sweet kisses, giant hugs, and walking dogs.
Collecting frogs at dusk, pockets of cool bugs and jumping over logs.
A kind and gentle soul to every living thing, always there to show you care.
Sometimes I have a scare when you ride your bike on a dare.
You play hard and your clothes may be tattered, but when I am with you, I know that my love mattered.
What Is A Daughter?
To me, you are smiles, giggles and chocolate kisses.
Sunshine, butterflies and dandelion wishes.
A breath of fresh air, tea time and a comfy chair.
A heart that is pure with lots of love to share.
Everything that is wonderful and good.
You are someone, who when I am with, I am understood.
Night Windows, Edward Hopper
I am shredding night.
I am always crawling through dreams, through time- through wombs of light, with fingers curled, and back sloped through impossible darkness over desert hills.
In wolf-man posture- spitting lunar phlegm from broken jaws. Moving from, treetops and barren fields out into sun-fueled office buildings- dry and tame. Where C.E.O. level Akhenaten's in golden, sun lapels watch me with dread, while midnight oil burns- and the sun dips again.
On my lunch break, I watch YouTube videos of 22nd-century messiahs sink into battery-acid lakes during American Ninja themed competitions.
They come out real ghosts, leaving smoking skeletons in their place. It can be a real shame.
At home, it's the same.
I kill hours in a panic that there aren't enough hours in a day.
I drink like a real drunk at the clock, in a madness for more, and more- that seems to steady my hands for a time.
I go stumbling through each minute, like crashing through bar doors.
Flagged all over town.
From minute- to- minute news scrolls, at the bottom of TV screens. from wrist watches, from the sky, and from huge, structural timepieces at the center of public squares.
I wait for a ripe moon to go thieving.
For the dark to go over the sky like a robber's mask.
I want then, only to feed over orgies of Pentecostal doom.
To be among heaps of blooded, twitching things in my wake.
When the morning comes-
like a cop to take me in.
And fingerprint shrinking claws.
I crawl out from those dreams then.
From under broken broomsticks and black hats.
My back aching, nursing a splitting skull.
Later, the sun and its branded henchmen find me.
They tell me, once more, that I'm unfit for my position in their company.
Pre-order Today! The Guild's book, The Writers' Guild of Delco, is available for purchase. Featuring poems & short stories, this collection offers fresh, local voices. Place an order by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here I sit
With my hands on my head
No more words to be heard
Nothing else to be said
But the tense atmosphere
Can be cut with a knife
Would this be the last chapter
The ending of my life
I patiently wait
Thoughts wondering why
What did I do wrong
I let out a deep sigh
Then foot steps I hear
My heart starts to pound
The end is near
As closer comes the sound
A turn of the knob
The door opens wide
A figure steps in
I wanted to hide
“Let’s talk my child”
She said to me
I looked up so scared
I wanted to flee
“I gave you this time
So you could think”
Are you feeling better?”
My heart began to sink
“Oh mother, I’m sorry”
Was all I could say
She gave me a hug
Then sent me to play
Sonja Kuehler, 6/18/21
Betwixt and Between
I am in that place between giving thanks
And procrastinating the onslaught of Christmas cards,
Shopping on the internet, will my gift arrive on time?
Choir practice and commitments to family and friends
I exist between euphoria and anguish,
Energy and exhaustion,
As leafless trees reach a grey sky.
And brilliant flowers are dried out and brown.
It is that time of year of expectations,
frustrations, and permutations.
The garden is now bare of its crops,
Brown garden awaiting coffee grounds and eggshells.
Halter tops exchanged for bulky winter coats,
And sandals for boots
And within my being
I am betwixt and between learning to love myself,
While caring deeply for another.
One night, probably Christmas Eve,
The magic dust will fall,
Transforming the bareness of winter’s black and grey palette
Into a fairyland of shining lights
On freshly fallen snow
And a wish will be fulfilled.
Heather Koelle, 12/2/21
The Joy of Friendship
Should the whisper of moon light
never grace the peaks of a crystal mountain lake
Should the sweet sounds of a child’s laughter
never pleasure the soft hum of a summer breeze
Should the thundering heartbeat of a playful ocean tide
never hug the sands of a pristine beach
I shall not be lost for I have lived
the perfect moment
I have looked into the eyes of a friend
And have seen all the warmth and love of a perfect world
I have lived the joy of your friendship.
Piano Practice: This Week
Cramming notes into my head
I slowly imprint chromatic combinations
Internalizing intricate webs of sound
That must become second nature
In order to play freely
Anxious about the looming performance
Where notes will escape
And broadcast on screens
My front brain
While behind a curtain
A pain taps along with the rhythm
Reminding me of our friend with a brain tumor
Who called to say he treasures our friendship
A ball hardens in my throat
The two-beat rest gives me time to find my place in the music
A minor chord lingers
As my dear sister with a terminal illness weakens
The sister who defined the meaning of a sister
Who got me like no one else
Who visited often, plunking herself down on our/her favorite chair
Listening with delight to family updates
Engaged, boisterous, humorous, and compassionate.
My fingers highlight the notes of the melodic passage
That I yearn to play over and over.
A close friend’s fever cannot be taken down
I call the hospital daily
Fearful of the fine line on which she balances
I pound out chords laden with sharps
I damn the difficult key
My tense fingers phrase the melody much too loud
I draw back while the beat marches on
The tempo thrusting forward
Leaving the moment, now two measures behind.
Our daughter calls - crying about Black Lives Matter
“I haven’t done enough, I’ve let me friends down.”
My jagged breath whistles against the phone
I remind myself to breathe evenly through the two-handed arpeggio
Preparing to land gracefully on the resolving chord
I am weary of technique and counting notes.
While memorizing the music’s larger form
Layers rustle behind a curtain of consciousness
Sounds trigger an upset stomach and panic
My brain combats swarms of fear
Locusts in Africa are devouring miles of plants
We have an infestation of a stunning red moth
During a riot my daughter and son must board up their store
My best friend’s daughter dies from an overdose
Muscles tense from frightening news reports
We hide in our houses from the virus
I tell my children -
“We must be strong, prepare ourselves.”
Forte, Bravura. Marcato.
But then I become unhinged
When a familiar song floats from the stereo
“Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style…”
James Taylor’s plaintive voice, dusted with longing,
Drapes over minor chords
Words find passage through protective layers
And slice through my heart.
My eyes fill
My spine contracts
In a millisecond, I break like a rock that has been strategically split
Mourning the loss of our world,
Suffering near and far,
And those gone.
“You dream maker…you heart breaker…”
Becomes an ear worm
I find myself folding at evidence of beauty
Roses in their prime,
Hung laundry, billowed by circular breezes,
The intricacy of a yellow iris,
Children whiz by on bikes,
Their screams spilling laughter into the rushing wind.
Moved by our magnificent world,
I bathe in the impressionistic colors of a jazz chord
Surrendering to the impulse of improvisation.
“We’re after the same rainbow’s end
Waitin’ round the bend”…
The soundtrack of our adolescence,
Once played from our parent’s stereo console
Shuttles me into the past
Conjuring vignettes of carefree days
My mind chases the memory of languid comfort.
The world has changed in a sixteenth note’s time
Everything spins and I lose my place
My hands call on muscle memory,
Improvising a rebound
I long for melodies from innocent times
When harmony was simple, asking for nothing more
But years of piano study has placed demanding pieces before me
That must be practiced and practiced with dynamics and skill
I interpret musical stories
As layers surface, dissolve, pass
Or return with their refrains.
The last chords of the piece are clustered with dissonance
I wrap my fingers around smooth, ivory keys
Add a forte, then a pianissimo
Which brings me to the last note.
I have traveled a thousand miles in one song
Where the root of the final chord brings me home.
Patricia King Haddad
January is my month of decluttering.
Taking inventory of material things,
And the parts of myself
And let go.
The old dining table has been recycled for a needy person.
Old lamps and table cloths, too
Are donated or sold.
Material things are easy to let go of,
I can’t take them with me.
But still some, I keep,
Grandchildren's drawings and shapes made out of clay,
The copy of my first novel,
Composed poetry and music .
My journal, which nobody will ever see but God.
I must let go
Of people, places, and things
Which no longer serve me.
To hang on to resentments
To worry about the future
To take the whole world upon my shoulders.
I hope to send them out into the vastness of deep space
Where all the junk of mankind,
Floats above the earth.
In doing so, I am missing todays little miracles;
A bird taking a bath in our ice-cold fish pond.
Our fallow brown yard, waiting for the first snowstorm
To transform it into white fairyland,
reading a good book,
While sitting in my reading chair by a crackling wood fire.
Those joys I can savor.
When I declutter the trash I no longer need to survive.
And replace them with
Both depth and lightness of spirit,
Savoring cool water
As I swim strongly,
buoyed up and challenged by its resistance
There is so much room is made for life anew,
When decluttering the residue of the self.
Wind took the ashes
Ripped from a tightly closed fist
Forced to let you go.