Once again I have the good fortune to celebrate my birthday (July 21) and Moon Day (July 20th) at my Sanibel home with my wife Marjorie, my daughters Randy and Allegra and all four of my grandchildren, It will be the 88th year of my journey on our planet and my Moon Day poem celebrates a great moment in that journey.

Click the first link if you wish to hear the 2013 broadcast of the Moon Day poem.
http://news.wgcu.org/post/where-were-you-july-20-1969

Click the second link to read the poem as it appeared on the website Your Daily Poem.
http://www.yourdailypoem.com/listpoem.jsp?poem_id=1535

Thank you for sharing these moments with me.
Joe Pacheco aka Sanibel Joe

IN THIS HOUSE

Prone on the sagging divan
I see the breeze flirt with the curtains
Through the open window

Bolts of sun shoot into the room
Archways caress them
Into shadows of themselves

Landscapes warm wheat-hued walls
Taormina, Taranto, Rockport Harbor
Dream tips

Just when sleep soothes my aching back
Wind gusts the French doors wide
Waking my wandering mind

I could die in this house

Gary McLouth

 “Eclipse” is a villanelle which appears in my weekly poetry column, “Poetry Place” at SantivaChronicle.com

Eclipse

Beyond my window blooms the moon
Hangs ripe and full before sunrise
Moonbeams scatter round the room

Awakened from night’s cocoon
Circle of light before me lies
Beyond my window blooms the moon

Over the moon a shadow looms
Watching it grow I’m mesmerized
Moonbeams scatter round the room

Lunar light will darken soon
Earth masks moon as it arrives
Beyond my window blooms the moon

Penumbra passes light resumes
Emerging from its dark disguise
Moonbeams scatter round the room

Serenely shining ancient rune
With the power to hypnotize
Moonbeams scatter round the room
Beyond my window blooms the moon

Lorraine Walker Williams

“Orlando” has been published in the 2018 Winter issue of Pen Woman magazine, a national publication of the oldest literary organization for women in the US.

Orlando

I have driven through you,
I have stayed in your city—
Visited Disney with my daughter.

Still… Orlando, I had to be
almost three thousand miles away
to be touched by you,
to be at the edge of tears.

The Rose Bowl Parade, bands marching,
flower-filled floats, the pageantry, then
you arrive in a rainbow of bloom,

white stars on a blood-red sea,
a dove rising. The message—
Honor and Remember Orlando.

A cold and shrouded January sky,
a slow procession as the crowd
claps chilled hands. Hearts fill
and spill for you, Orlando.

I was horrified after the shooting,
glued to the screen as the tragedy
unfolded, yet no tears fell,

Orlando—until this flower-filled
morning of hope and healing,
at the beginning of this New Year.

Lorraine Walker Williams

Lorrainewalkerwilliams.com

Brooks, J — Beautiful You Are

Beautiful You Are
by Jamilla D. Brooks

 

Beautiful You Are! is a book of Inspired Poems. Each poem is a part of my uniqueness. My greatest hope is that one of these poems inspires you to share your beauty and uniqueness with the world because the world needs your greatness! These poems will take you on a journey. So are you ready to embark on your journey? The beauty of this book of poetry, is that it will shine a light on some issues and it encourages you to speak your truth!

Purchase at Amazon

 

Jim Gustafson — Waffles

Waffles

You should eat a waffle! You can’t be sad if you eat a waffle!
― Lauren Myracle

What the Three Wise Men thought was a guiding star was really the glow of a big yellow Waffle House sign shouting loud in the night. They followed its light for hours, through dew drip darkness;
dodging eighteen-wheelers thundering along the interstate.

At the sight of the Waffle House, they raised their hands in praise, as they prayed a prayer of thanksgiving. There was plenty of room at the counter. A friendly server named Mary and a short-order cook called Joe greeted them with warm smiles.

They chatted with Mary, while they waited for waffles. It was obvious from the way Mary and Joe
at each other, the way their hands touched when she handed him their order slip, and the slight patch of purple on Mary’s neck that she and Joe had a thing going on.

The Wise Men watched the batter ooze and flow. The steam streams rose, the hot iron genuflected and rounded the white dough. An aroma, sweeter than the holiest incense, lounged.

All three had maple syrup. What self-respecting wise man would have anything else?

As they poured the syrup, it seeped through the land of little cross on the gold sacramental wafers.
Road sounds were drowned by the satisfied smacks of their lips. Slight rainbows spread in buttery spills across the maple juice sea.

“Is not the architecture of the bee, designed as this catacomb cake?” said one,
“Is not their honey homage?”

“Is ice cream not best waffle coned? Has ever there been a more divine form?” asked another.

Could any fair maiden’s smile not spread with the gift of this well-plated pastry?” said the third.

When their plates lay still and sticky, in the afterglow of the well-buttered, syrup soaked waffles, they paid their check, and left generous gifts for Mary and Joe.

Having been told of heavy traffic along the interstate, they returned home another way.

Jim Gustafson
From Driving Home
Aldrich Press, 2013
Available on Amazon.com

Poem by Joe Pacheco

A Nuyorican Child’s Christmas In Vieques
(My First Tropical Christmas)

No hableh ingléh en Viequeh,”
(Do not speak English in Vieques)
I still remember my mother’s words
a few days before Christmas
and after we had just completed
a five-day steamship voyage to Puerto Rico
and a long drive in a público to Fajardo
where we were waiting for “La lancha
to brave the choppy straits for two hours
and land us on my mother’s home island,
Vieques, an island off
the eastern shore of Puerto Rico,
itself an island in the West Indies.

And I still remember
that when half the island came
to greet my mother
and see the first americano
born in the family
and hear him speak English
and kept demanding
Habla ingléh, habla ingléh,.”
that I held out for as long as I could,
repeating after each request
my mother’s admonition,
“No hableh ingléh en Viequeh.”
but the bribes of bananas, oranges,
sugar cane and pennies were too great
for four year old me to resist
and I succumbed by reciting
the first stanza of the Star Spangled Banner
that my brother had taught me
before I left New York
and even though I was not too sure
of the meaning and pronunciation
of many of the words,
a shower of applause and pennies
rewarded my first adventure
into performance poetry.

A few days later
I wowed the crowd even more
at my uncle Agustin’s house
when I remembered it was Christmas
and added to my repertoire
“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”
but when I asked,
“¿cuándo viene Santa Claus?”
I was given the bad news:
Vieques was one town
Santa (San Nicolás) didn’t go to.

Everyone watched my reaction
in a careful silence
until my devastation was relieved
by my uncle’s revelation
that there were Tres Reyes,
Gaspar, Melchor and Baltasar
who delivered presents
not on Christmas Day
but on January 6 because
the camels on which they traveled
were much slower than reindeer.
They would be tired and hungry
and if I left some straw for them
in a shoebox, the next morning
I might find presents.
‘Three Santa’s! Three times more presents!’
I remember thinking in English,
‘and they don’t even have a list
of who’s naughty and nice.’

I obeyed and did not speak English in Vieques
except on those performance occasions
and that one time when my Uncle Braulio
tripled the ante to three pennies
to hear me say curse words
but the Spanish I spoke
was an equal source of delight  —
larded with English words and syntax
hybrid utterances such as
me comí five bananas and no me gustan anyway
were preserved in family lore for decades.
I didn’t realize then —
I was one of the pioneer speakers of Spanglish.

There were parties every night,
and three of my uncles were the island’s musicians
and my cousins and I
would accompany them on parrandas
to people’s houses where they played
while everyone sang aguinaldos
and danced and ate and drank
and partied on to the next house
with many of us being carried sleepily
and piled on beds and hammocks
at each stop.

On New Year’s Day, I wept with my cousins
who were heartbroken over the slaughter
of their pet suckling pig, Cucharón,
but that evening we fought over the rights
to his cuerito — roasted crinkled skin,
that tasted better than candy.

Barefoot and happy the entire time,
I spent my second remembered Christmas
with coconut palms instead of pine trees,
sand instead of snow, sleeping in open shacks
without doors, rocking softly in hammocks
canopied with mosquito nets,
with Three Kings and camels and straw
and hand-made gifts in shoeboxes,
and family singing and dancing every evening —
the rhythmic joy and faith of the aguinaldos
shining through their poverty,
illuminating and deepening
the memory and celebration
of all my Christmases to come.

~ Joe Pacheco

Chistmas Poem by Joe Pacheco

The Night Before Christmas on Sanibel Isle

Twas the night before Christmas on Sanibel Isle,
Not a gator was stirring, not our one crocodile.
The Roseate Spoonbills wore pink underwear
While Blue Herons were sleeping legs up in the air.
The shops had been emptied of I-Pods and stones,
And last-minute shoppers dialing cell phones.
The Drawbridge Protection was in its last throes,
And from Lake Okachobee poured freshwater woes.

But I with my Flo-Max and Ma with Botox
Were just settling down to our new cable Box,
When all of a sudden nothing bright did appear,
A Lee County Light outage — the one hundredth this year.
The cordless phones in an instant went dead,
No television programs to be watched while in bed.
But the land line we’d kept and the cellular phone
Brought assurance from police we weren’t alone.
When would lights go on? —the police had no clue,
But ‘twas holiday season and they were only a few:
The rest had all gone to Bell Tower Fair
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.
The generator purchased after Charlie’s big blow
Had gone back to Costco when FEMA said no.

So with one trusty flashlight we walked to the beach,
Met snowbirds collecting every shell within reach.
The moon shining down on red seaweed below
Made some of us wish we had stayed north with snow.
But Sanibel’s no-see-ums not blinded by light
Had all come to wish us Merry Christmas that night.

So back to our houses we ran like a flash,
Closed all our windows and pulled down the sash,
Called Lee County Electric on our cellular phone —
Their message informed us they had all gone home:
In the spirit of Christmas they were proud to say,
An emergency crew would work Christmas Day.

Till then, it concluded, cheerful and bright,
“Merry Christmas to customers, from Lee County Light.”

~ Joe Pacheco

The Time We Make in Passing
by Gary McLouth

The Time We Make in Passing

 

McLouth’s poetry, while sublimely personal, connects us to the most basic and essential of our shared histories, hopes and fears. The poems, confident, curious, humble or confiding, unmask his vulnerability and caring, which gifts us with feeling that someone or something is “whispering my name.”

This collection of works across decades of McLouth’s career showcase depths of insight, humanity, melancholy, and humor. [more]

Finding Your Way
by Valerie Galante, Ph.D.

Finding Your Way

Finding Your Way  is an eclectic collection of ‘lessons’ drawn from everyday observances mixed with pivotal historical events that reveal essential themes and truths about the human experience and how each one of us can find our way through this amazing experience. Think of it as a modern-day kind of Aesop’s Fables, but with fewer animals.

Finding Your Way serves as a guidebook to navigate the path of life by providing inspirational, insightful, and informative lessons from diverse sources to the reader for the purpose of encouraging, engaging, and empowering you to make the most of yourself and your life.  Building upon her background as a highly experienced Licensed Clinical Psychologist and ordained Interfaith Minister, Dr. Galante uses humor, cultural references, and every day events to enlighten readers about the nature of being human and how to live their lives with meaning and fulfillment. [more]

Purchase at Amazon