Spring 2005 Edition
April through June
 © 2005 Sol Magazine

Sol Magazine, A Poetry Journal:    An international organization of Members and Volunteers interested in the education of poets.  For Submission Requirements and Membership information, visit: http://www.sol-magazine.org.

The condolences of the entire Sol Magazine staff go to 
John Rice, who recently lost his sister, Susan Stein, from San Antonio, 
and to the family of Houston poet Lorenzo Thomas, who passed away on July 4th. 
We hold you in our thoughts. 




Note: These links are on separate web pages and will exit you from the current edition.
  • Poetry Works: "About Publishing" 
  • Poetry +: Paula Marie Bentley

    CONTENTS of this page
    Contact info




    Dozens of Indian Blankets

    bloom by the roadside
    petals tipped in bright yellow
    deepening to red-orange
    touching rusty-brown seed centers
    like giant pinwheels spinning in the sun.
    They whisper my name
    sending their words
    on the lips of the wind.
    I sit and spoon in the sun
    like lemon sherbert, sip
    a glass of wind, taste
    pink sky, fully opened
    to the language of nature.
    I speak Flower to the world.

    Carol K. Cotten, Galveston, TX, USA

    COMMENTS:  Original and surprising imagery, each line daring the reader to revel in a different sense.  Wonderful contrast with cold sherbert uniquely and refreshingly juxtaposed next to the sun.  And how could one resist a wind that tastes of pink sky?  Blessed with freshness, this poet opens us to nature.  Beautifully written!
    Bluebell Girl

    Delicate crinolined ladies,
    in every blue hue,
    dance on the breeze,
    carpet the floor between the oak and ash
    where you used to walk.
    Their heads nod sunwards,
    a splash of vibrant colour,
    all too brief in this short season.
    Like the bluebells you came and went,
    filled my days with love and laughter,
    then left your impression of spring,
    imprinted on my memory
    and in your picture
    painted on my wall.

    Celia Lawton-Livingstone, Colchester, EG, GBR

    COMMENTS:  Vivid imagery takes us for a walk through the mind of the poet, each line delicately balanced between the real and the remembered.  A love story briefly told that makes the reader beg for more.
    Bluebonnet Fields Forever

    Fields blanketed in vibrant color and scent,
    among paintbrushes, and mesquite trees
    stand tiny blue sentinels, some a rose-purple
    hue, waving in the soft Texas breeze.
    Blue upon blue with white tipped tops
    standing at attention in natural formation
    creating a picture of the expansive
    Texas bluebonnet nation--
    the field which holds the eye and soul
    of the retired couple on vacation
    seeking all five distinct varieties
    of the Texas flower approbation.

    Robin Pelata Stone, Houston, TX, USA

    COMMENTS:  Well-painted beauty that word by word draws the reader into the picture.  The well-placed rhymes are suble yet cohesive and bring an underlying structure to the poem.  Wonderful ending phrase.
    Lupins Dance

    Lupins sway by summer's roads
    Tossed to and fro by each passing car
    Unseen by white-knuckled drivers
    Bent on quiet retreats at any price
    But the children chant, "Lupins, lupins!"
    Breathless with each sighting of white
    And blue undulating wildness, common
    As the earth that grows as the city
    Fades and white knuckles loose
    Their grip on things best left behind
    Lupins spread their tribal dance
    While children sing in primitive joy
    Somewhere along summer's roads

    Betty Dobson, Halifax, NS, CAN
    COMMENTS:  This poem is itself a chant as we repeat the endearing song of "lupins, lupins" and find ourselves on the roadside, grinning at the beauty surrounding us.  Draws the reader in.  Very well done.

    Flame of the forest

    The cool breeze dies, and the curtain rises.
    They bloom, suddenly, profusely,
    A warning of scorching days ahead.
    The gold mohur, beautiful, but not romantic,
    Wild, burning red, on branches too high
    for the cows to pluck and eat.
    For them it would only mean a meal.
    From humans, a collective groan: summer’s here,
    Burning heat, in the deep dark green;
    A brief, passionate fling, just a month or two.
    Then, they will flounce out and fade,
    As dramatically as they came
    And the dry earth will sing.
    The Flame of the Forest will be doused
    When the monsoon blows, bringing life-giving rain.

    Meena Menon, Mumbai, Maharashtra, IND
    COMMENTS:  Lovely and particular language tells the story here.  Well-told.  Nicely phrase, and interestingly ended.

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    Street Life

    Like jellybeans displayed in crystal jars,
    forbidden, sequins strut for all to see;
    in twilight, spangled hands pan crowded bars
    where loneliness pays gold for company.
    Cigar smoke hangs in tongues around the room
    while bleary eyes lose focus; fingers curl
    and bid each bartered bride to join a groom
    who, open-mouthed like swine, awaits the pearl.
    As hollow hours fumble to the west
    and night no longer master becomes slave,
    the users use, then leave like all the rest;
    the used left curbside watch yet never wave,
    but shimmer, in the red tail-lights of cars
    like jellybeans, displayed in crystal jars.

    Phill Doran, Johannesburg, RSA

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    cherry blossoms
    snow descends on verdant grass
    April in England

    SuzAnne C. Cole, Houston, TX, USA

    COMMENTS:  Beautifully written work from a master poet, and prior Poet Laureate of Sol Magazine.  The reader immediately knows the place and season, as this moment is frozen in time.
    after spring storm
    rainbow old tree
    freshly colored

    Marek Kozubek, Zywiec, Silesia, POL

    COMMENTS:  Wonderfully succinct, yet complete.  The time of year is celebrated in just a few words.
    Deer grazing on slope
    snow melt streaming down mountain
    mirrors daffodils

    Frances Schiavina, Ardmore, PA, USA

    COMMENTS:  Beautiful ending line, with a hint of surprise.  This poem sets the scene, gives the season, and embraces nature in a direct way.  Well done, poet!
    petaled maple buds
    tinged late april peridot
    erupt from drab bough

    Kathy Kehrli, Factoryville, PA, USA

    COMMENTS:  Rich language.

    one grasstip dewdrop
    refracts early morning sun
    prismatic promise

    John E. Rice, Houston, TX, USA
    COMMENTS:  Excellent word choices, well-placed line turns.

    chunk of river ice
    tumbles over waterfall
    melts in sunlit pool

    Avonne Griffin, Greer, SC, USA
    COMMENTS:  Lovely natural scene.

    deep in plum tree foliage
    two song sparrows

    Jeanette Oestermyer, Roswell, NM, USA
    COMMENTS:  Terse, tender, gently treated.  Nicely written.

    Each of these poems is in the genuine voice of its creator.  Some fit the forms requested exactly on the mark and to the point.  Others drift gently into musings far from the intent of Haiku or Miku.  It is up to the reader to discover which is which.  For more information about Haiku and Miku, please visit POETRY FORMS.
    warm rain
    apricot blossoms
    under rainbow

    Jim Applegate, Roswell, NM, USA
    glorious sun scraped skies
    golden mist and mornings
    soft blur of spring

    Kristina Villasenor Cajipe, Las Pinas City, MN, PHI
    wisteria chokes
    live oaks
    spring is born

    Lois Lay Castiglioni, Galveston, TX, USA
    sand ripples in pools
    rainbow arcs across dark clouds
    bright sky breezes scud

    Lynne Craig, Terrell, TX, USA
    rain falls on parched fields
    soaks through partly frozen soil
    tender shoots spring free

    Betty Dobson, Halifax, NS, CAN
    attack crows
    nursery safe

    Kay Lay Earnest, Smyrna, GA, USA
    Pre dawn
    Bird chorus

    Mary E. Gray, Newport News, VA, USA
    crystal clear
    spring rains unite
    bloom seas of wildflowers

    Carol Dee Meeks, Artesia, NM, USA
    vultures circle sky
    invitations sent air mail
    dead bull banquet feast

    Yvonne Byrd Nunn, Hermleigh, TX, USA
    outside my window
    tiny bird with
    big song

    Janet Parker, Leesburg, FL, USA
    blonde squirrel
    unfolds last year's acorns
    spring cleaning

    Kathy Paupore, Kingsford, MI, USA
    young leaf
    dew drop languishes
    water of life

    Eileen Sateriale, Bowie, MD, USA
    sprouting clouds of cotton
    sugary wafting
    swaying a drumming beat

    Beth Shipper, Pearland, TX, USA
    sun melting

    Craig Soderquist, Bend, OR, USA
    gold feathers
    flutter high
    in fresh leaves

    Katherine Swarts, Houston, TX, USA
    raindrops shake petals
    from streamside flowering crab
    beauty gently flows

    Gary Wade, Seymour, IA, USA
    spring rain fills dry creek
    sending rivulets downstream
    dormant tadpoles wake

    Anna Wilke, Conroe, TX, USA

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    Street Life

    Like jellybeans displayed in crystal jars,
    forbidden, sequins strut for all to see;
    in twilight, spangled hands pan crowded bars
    where loneliness pays gold for company.
    Cigar smoke hangs in tongues around the room
    while bleary eyes lose focus; fingers curl
    and bid each bartered bride to join a groom
    who, open-mouthed like swine, awaits the pearl.
    As hollow hours fumble to the west
    and night no longer master becomes slave,
    the users use, then leave like all the rest;
    the used left curbside watch yet never wave,
    but shimmer, in the red tail-lights of cars
    like jellybeans, displayed in crystal jars.

    Phill Doran, Johannesburg, RSA

    COMMENTS:  Strong, clear imagery. Good handling of iambic pentameter.
    To Vera-Ellen in Yellow

    Wasp-waisted elegance
    to buzz on taps
    hovering a note
    and then a dozen
    zealous steps

    because? - why just because
    she could stay
    with Danny Kaye
    his fingertips just touching
    that hint of hip
    and long, long
    wrap-around legs.

    Three -
    Three Little Words
    with Astaire
    staring as they dance
    a chance caress
    and remember

    the slow, dreamy snow
    in a yellow dress
    to fade, fade
    Vera -- fade away.

    James M. Thompson, Baytown, TX, USA

    COMMENTS:  Wonderful image, feeling and flow carried by word choices ( e.g. wasp-waisted, slow, snow, yellow.)
    Aubade II

    While the tea is steeping, the toaster ticks away the time it
    takes to toast a bagel - as good a measurement as any other.

    While the tea is steeping, there is time to watch the cock
    cardinal, his feathered cassock flaring, as he forages among
    the five-lobed leaves creeping the beds along the fence -
    vestal vermilion against Virginia viridian.

    While the tea is steeping, first sunrays backlight Phalaen -
    opsis butterfly blossoms into a glowing offering of pale
    pinks leached from languid lavender as the first four notes
    of Beethoven's Fifth leap from the radio announcing their
    centuries-old code yet again.

    While the tea is steeping, there is time to reflect on the
    passing of princes and popes, commoners and criminals
    and all the people weeping, singing, each mourning in his
    own way.

    While the tea is steeping, there is time to consider the terrible
    darkness which breaks at last when mourning conquers the
    night, resolving, to no one's great surprise, into a scattering
    of crows which was waiting, as were we all, for the first
    faint flare of light, the light of the newest day.

    John E. Rice, Houston, TX, USA

    COMMENTS:  The innocence of the metatative act of steeping tea gently leads the reader into each stanza as the poet skillfully heaps up particular details of his peaceful surroundings, providing a strong contrast to the reflections of outside events.  Wonderfully rich particular and referential word play and usage throughout the poem.  The word "mourning" for "morning" in the final stanza highlights the underlying theme of sorrow.  Excellent use of color.   Gives new meaning to "layered complexity" that masquarades as a simple poem.
    EDITOR'S NOTES:  An "aubade" is a song or poem with a motif of greeting the dawn, often involving the parting of lovers, or a call for a beloved to arise, as in Shakespeare's "Song," from Cymbeline.  In painting, "viridian" refers to a cold green color, while "vermilion" is a hot orangish red.   The Phalaenopsis amabalis, aka Butterfly or Moth orchid, is a hardy orchid popular for use in corsages and wedding bouquets; it thrives in low light, and its blooms can last for two to three months.

    When Gravestones Turn to Dust

    Like statues in Saint Peter's square, tall stones
    sit acid-etched in fields of daisy heads.
    A flash of granite streaks up toward the sun
    and bounces back to tab the births and deaths.
    Beneath the sod remains of saints lie still
    as orioles intone their lullaby.
    I wonder if old bones keep time with song
    content to rest until all time is past
    and need for mounds a thing of by gone days?
    What patience lies in wait of rapture's call
    when future saints arise in jubilees,
    when all is new and gravestones turn to dust.

    From winter's hibernation life springs forth,
    a resurrection march across all time.

    Yvonne Nunn, Hermleigh, TX, USA
    COMMENTS:  Interesting composition.  The question of the narrator becomes the question of the reader, as we all ask if graves are really necessary...

    Love Poem

    Maybe I'll die at daybreak--vanish
    in a fog bank, and reappear
    as a swan.
    I want to write a love poem
    using routine words like forever
    before I go. This might be the road
    that leads to nowhere,

    because there's always that mouth
    with its permanent pout, those eyes
    that registered nothing but …
    anything you can imagine here
    is probably true.  But from this point on
    don't bother trying to read between the lines,
    I've weighed each word--trust
    is a precious thing.

    I loved before I knew
    love can come and go
    quick as hail
    and leave you
    somewhere between the prayer
    and the answer, feeling like a synonym
    for disposable.

    Judith Schiele, Brandon, MS, USA
    COMMENTS:  The narrator speaks in an original voice with wry and subtle humor.

    There is much to be said for the splendor of a spring garden, for each flowerbed holds many beauties.  What follows is a garden of poems.  Each unique, each beautiful in word or idea.
    Tete a Tete

    I caught your eye as it slipped to where it
    Shouldn't be looking and quickly looked away.

    I dressed this way for my husband.  A
    Reminder of what life was like before Barbies

    -- and dance lessons.  When two was a
    Perfect number and three had yet to

    Open our consciousness to the infinite possibility
    That more is somehow better ... definitely

    Better.  Better.  Better up.  Can I hear four?
    Four?  Four to the Gentleman with the

    Gleam in his eye.  Four to the Lady
    With the smile on her lips.

    Going once.  Going twice.  "Sold"
    To the couple full of infinite possibilities.

    SJ Baldock, Lancaster, TX, USA
    COMMENTS:  Good choice of couplets to structure the poem, and underscore the theme.
    Threshold Metamorphosis

    As the first light of dawn whitens the window
    Kelly Edjhy rises, dons impeccable gray flannels
    Leaving promptly to be first at the office
    To share his wit and wisdom with new arrivals

    He spends the day helping others complete tasks
    Listens to each person as they explore
    The inner oceans of their minds
    Their waves of anger, sadness and delight

    Everyone is amazed that so much
    Warmth, love, vitality and joy in life
    Could be embodied in one person.
    They envy his family for living with a prince

    Mr. Edjhy is the last to leave work
    And at the moment of twilight,
    Crosses his threshold to become
    Mephistopheles in a Brooks Brothers suit

    Lois Lay Castiglioni, Galveston, TX, USA
    The Artisan

    How are you, my friend across the miles?  What
    are you thinking today?  Are you writing, letting
    your mind wander through ideas that will inspire you?
    What words are even now flying from your hand
    as if  you sculpted thoughts with a  feather pen?

    Did you escape this morning to the cold and walk
    to the mailbox with a knot of larking cats trailing behind
    you?  Did you enjoy the view of your lovely woods?
    Did you let your mind wander through ideas
    that will inspire you?  Do you sing of their magic?

    Is anything now happening in your life that will swell
    your thoughts until they come splashing forth
    from your pen?  Oh, let me hear the crescendo,
    as exquisite as your heart.  Has the beauty
    of the world imbued your soul like billows of sails?

    Your words take on wings of gossamer and pulse before
    my wandering mind, making me stop and listen,  fearful
    that I will miss a beat of mystery. I gaze at your words
    of fragile beauty, waiting, waiting for the silence to steal
    softly upon me, so the song you sing will complete itself.

    Lynne Craig, Terrell, TX  USA
    May Manna

    Under bottlebrush
    Moving from bloom to bloom all
    Iridescent blurs swing to thimble-sized
    Gently approaching nude
    Ruby Throated Hummingbirds deliver
    Dipper of nectar for

    Kay Lay Earnest, Smyrna, GA, USA
    calla lilies

    past the garden gate
    they fly like a flock of swans
    low across a sky of green

    pure with yellow tongues
    as if they sip the sun
    and sing its praise

    when the wind overcome
    with white and white and leaves
    low across a sky of green

    they lift and tilt their heads
    for more and more and more again
    before the setting

    circle stone and land
    to watch and wait the rising
    low across a sky of green

    Avonne Griffin, Greer, SC, USA
    Semper Fidelis

    Harry fought a Japanese general in WWII,
    hand-to-hand, to the death, seizing his enemy’s sword.

    A delegation from Japan was sent to retrieve it.
    They were blunt. “Give us the General’s sword.”
    Wrapping his hand around the hilt, Harry said,
    “You can have it the same way I got it.”

    In the 60’s, Harry worked for the War Department
    carried a cane, ‘cause his wounded leg went bad.
    One day a gaggle of “long-hairs” chose his turf
    as a comfy spot for a sit-in. Harry reminded them
    of Semper Fi, of faithful brothers dying in Vietnam.
    The chant “make love, not war” answered him.
    Harry straightened his back and waded in.

    The efficacy of satyagraha was challenged
    as the sea of bodies parted and
    Harry walked through on dry land.

    With cracks that rang like gunshots
    the invaders were routed, fleeing in waves
    from the ancient warrior with a crippled leg
    whose gnarled arms still boasted the swing
    that bested a Samurai.

    Heather Jensen, Cheyenne, WY, USA
    A Seasoned Affair

    On summer days carefree and temporal,
    We danced the passion dart of fireflies.
    Tucked safe beneath the arbor of umbral,
    Love barely blinks before it chokes and dies.

    Yet autumn dawned; you breathed a hue of hope,
    Sprinkling my jaded heart a fiery gold.
    And to your hinted promises I groped,
    Clinging as if one last desperate hold.

    Like winter flecks of frosty flakes of snow,
    My icy innards stirred then crystallized.
    Blinded by the tempting prismic glow,
    Too late your deceit finally realized.

    As spring unfurls its annual debut,
    I too must yet again begin anew.

    Kathy Kehrli, Factoryville, PA, USA
    POET'S NOTE:  Shakespearean Sonnet.
    Albuquerque-Basketball-NCAA Mania

    He walks down ramp, a crowd in awe.
    His presence known stops clocks on wall.
    The coach for Cards, Kentucky Son,
    in Pit we march to madness, fun.

    The competition goes ahead
    loud yells and jeers do give me dread.
    They rain down threes, our team is done,
    in Pit we march to madness, fun.

    We watch our team fall far behind.
    We sit in crowd with cheers unkind.
    Tight lips soon fade, our team makes run,
    in Pit we march to madness, fun.

    Before our eyes the game is tied,
    the opposition flows outside.
    Our shots fall in by running gun,
    in Pit we march to madness, fun.

    The game is over, our points more,
    mad opponent now stomps through doors.
    Their face of blush facades’ whose won.
    In Pit we march to madness, fun.

    Carol Dee Meeks, Artesia, NM, USA
    POET'S NOTE:  French Kyrille.
    Life, Like A River

    You choose to rush on through years
    seeking remnants of summer romances,
    playing “Theme From Picnic-Moonglow” medley,
    surging swiftly – your way to the sea.

    Hearing sighs of lovers alone in the night,
    you roll forever beneath summer skies.
    First dawn, slower pace, wind tempers your way
    through fields and farms flow boundless and free.

    Sights and sounds, heard from your bed,
    voices of joy, of love, pain and strife,
    stories in faces some happy, some sad.
    I walk near your banks… to look deep inside.

    I rush through summer – like a river, bereft,
    through broken streets, deserted – left lorn,
    recall our parting – she feigned tears – yet laughed
    at love’s raging rapids – lost times unseen.

    I roll on alone searching summer days
    for hopes and dreams now drowned to rise no more.
    A joyful, winding way my heart belies,
    as tributaries trap new worlds to snare.

    Jeanette Oestermyer,  Roswell, NM,  USA
    Seed Catalogues

    Gurney's comes in January,
    she digs through the pages, picks
    seeds and perennial flower offers.
    Pastiche sunflower, bon bon squash,

    royal burgundy beans, and more.
    Out goes an order.  During the wait
    there's Breck's bulb catalogue.  She
    circles wants, writes a poem about

    Narcissus poeticus, but can't
    find that one particular flower.
    Snow melts.  In the mail, Michigan
    Bulb and Spring Hill, she doesn't

    place any orders.  In comes Gurney's,
    seeds first.  When northeast weather
    warms the dormant Wilder currant
    bush and perennial roots arrive, then

    another Breck's with a coupon
    on the cover, $25.00 worth free.
    There on page 53, that flower.
    Now she awaits poet's daffodils.

    Kathy Paupore, Kingsford, MI, USA
    eccentricity of an interior designer

    madame observes dwellings' angular ways
    moving here placed there hands wave cubed distance
    multiple objects retain select stays
    rearranging a piece requiring glance
    colors rich, antiques reveal haunted tales
    she purposed fixtures unveiling their past
    majestic oak armoire staged soon entails
    portioning drama forming the laid cast
    but now fantasy does not become real
    positioning sentiment has mute strive
    she must face her destiny fate sealed
    a waiting china doll postures alive
    feeble blind eyes glazed staring outward now
    choreographed forms stay dreams somehow

    Beth Shipper, Pearland, TX, USA

    Heat's great army
    Mid-June's first advance
    crumbled all resistance outside.
    Ruthless strength-sapping rays
    infiltrate the walls
    Air conditioner outflanked.

    In the window
    cat lies comatose
    flat as a deflated balloon.
    Stretched full length on the sill
    motionless in sleep
    happy prisoner of war.

    Must keep fighting
    complete work today
    On comes the relentless advance.
    Maybe rest just a bit
    let guard down this once
    Conqueror again prevails.

    Katherine Swarts, Houston, TX, USA

    The doctor's words
    popped from his lips like
    Bazooka Bubble Gum
    slowly expanding...

    Then bounced
    up and down
    the walls
    of his office,
    a pink Spaldeen,
    briefly lodging
    in my throat.

    Benign... Benignnnnn.
    The most beautiful word
    in the English language.

    "Be nine," said he
    and I agreed.
    Tag, you're it,
    pick up sticks.

    Nine again --
    Going on ten.

    Marie Delgado Travis, Houston, TX, USA

    I used to look into your eyes and feel so helpless
    Because I could not help you
    At birth, I was not aware
    That your life on earth would begin differently than most
    I was first in denial that you had special needs
    And not out of shame
    I was just trying to protect you like fathers do

    I love you so much for your strength
    The lengths you’ve gone to learn are incredible
    We’ve adapted and overcome so many obstacles together
    And continue to do everyday
    In a way that may seem unorthodox to some
    But to us it has become our normality
    And sometimes I wouldn’t want it in any other way

    Your smile can brighten my darkest days
    As your laughter always brings a smile to my face
    When you call me daddy
    I feel my eyes swelling up with tears
    As years go by I can’t wait to be there
    To see you achieve
    Because nobody has more faith in your ability than I

    J. Daniel VanDerbeck Jr., Riverside, CA, USA
    Hour of Red and Gold

    in the bird garden
    where bored cats slink away
    black sunflower seeds wait
    I tiptoe out
    pausing between steps
    to stand by the far fence
    very still
    not daring to flinch
    barely daring to breathe
    first comes a young squirrel
    then doves and chickadees
    last come birds of red and gold
    and bright, bright red
    the shutter opens softly then closes
    capturing all in light's golden glow

    Anna Wilke, Conroe, TX, USA

    Back to contents




    As children, we caught June bugs,
    Tied threads to their back legs,
    Constructed shoebox houses
    With living rooms, and bedrooms,
    Plus a pantry filled with berries.
    At day's end we cut the threads
    Setting them free to fly away.

    From my nursing home shoebox room,
    I watch fat green beetles scale
    Fuchsia bougainvillea vines.
    As memories flash upon my inward eye
    My heart with pleasure fills
    And soars like those liberated
    June bugs a half century ago.

    Lois Lay Castiglioni, Galveston, TX, USA

    COMMENTS:  Very interesting, and inside-out, glance at an old ritual now seen from a new perspective.  Beautiful weaving of present and past, with just the right amount of wistfulness tingeing each line.  Very nicely done.  Wonderful use of imagery and metaphor throughout this well crafted poem.
    Redolent Somnolence

    Gone are the mellow days of May when gentle colors
    ran low across meadows of burgeoning hay, when music
    of pastels constantly sang among blue-eyed cornflowers,
    stately bluebonnets, and pale pink primroses in their frills;
    and spring mixed all their colors in giant whorls.

    But June is come and has chased away gentle spring,
    so that sweltering blossoms must climb the spreading
    branches of crepe myrtles, mimosa, and sweet magnolias
    to reach cooling breezes.  Only brown-eyed Susans
    and coreopsis still spread their blooms over glowing fields
    so that meadows seem blanketed with the drowsy sun.

    And the whirr of the air conditioner
    is heard throughout the land.

    Lynne Craig, Terrell, TX, USA

    COMMENTS:  A wild riot of color and motion, this poem fairly dances off the page with its fervent nature.  Beautiful song of June's impact on a world slumbering, waiting for the warm hand of summer to waken it.  Wonderfully delightful image of June "chasing away" the "gentle spring" and taking over with its "sweltering" ways;  the last two lines are especially familiar to Southerners.
    Summer, timed.

    Within each seed, an innate sense of time
    ignites as silent roots unwind, uncoil
    into the warm wet earth. A hidden vine
    embedded in the velvet mole-dark soil
    while overhead a potent ocean swells,
    in swirls of verdant fuses wildly sowed.
    Fulfilled, the secret of the germ compels
    the pollen-drowsy swollen heads explode;
    to sift the humid breeze with tousled hair
    or drink from rains as laden clouds sail by,
    to clamor for the favors of the air
    and daub gold on a taut blue canvas sky.
    Ablaze, a thousand temples stand undone,
    thrown open on the summons of the sun.

    Phill Doran, Johannesburg, RSA

    COMMENTS:  Unique word choices (e.g. velvet mole-dark soil) and good use of iambic pentameter throughout this poem serve it well.  Nicely written, a beautiful comparison of sleeping seeds with the coming summer's beckoning waking them all.  Excellent word choices, lush in diction and imagery.  Nice personification throughout, and the final two lines inspire in both rhythm and imagery.
    June on Church Road

    Queen Anne's lace lines the way to the church:
    roadside royalty with a flaming entourage,
    day lilies that ring out the reminder -- today
    a wedding, and the bride looks like a princess!

    Down the road in a garden, roses poise
    well armed against assailants -- the battle ensues.
    Beetles with appetites and iridescent armor
    march to the beat of insatiable need.

    Behind a sprawling oak the swimming hole
    awaits children tumbling off the school bus.
    Shoes and socks fly; book bags slump unneeded.
    "First one in gets the computer after dinner!"

    Avonne Griffin, Greer, SC, USA
    COMMENTS:  The poem's fresh language and imagery bring a June day to life with a fun, surprising end.
    Houston Junetime

    Longest day of the year is not the hottest
    (Would it were--it's hot enough!)
    Three holidays little appreciated
    (Flag Day, Father's Day, Juneteenth--
    few jobs give days off!)
    School days are past for a couple of months--
    kids keep busy doing nothing
    while we drowse all day at work.
    Junetime, funtime, strangetime,
    time of paradox, time of love,
    there is no time like this month,
    no time like the center
    of the year
    when June comes.

    Katherine Swarts, Houston, TX, USA
    COMMENTS:  The use of the word "time" unifies the poem and gives it a syncopated rhythm, especially in the second half.
    June (In my neighbourhood)

    A thin bare branch reaches into the sky
    Guarding russet leaves as they fade and die,
    A winter sentinel of southern lands
    Where sap is dormant in drought- stricken sands,
    Waiting for the call of the turning season
    To give neighbourhood plants good reason
    For bursting forth in abundant delight,
    Spreading greens and purples, a glorious sight
    Changing the barren streets of brown June days
    Into a frenzy of colourful ways.

    Gillian Beatrice Wilkinson, Saxonwold, RSA
    COMMENTS:  A sprite of a poem that sings itself, neatly personifying June as something that is ever-changing, showing how the world spins from the lone bare branch into the gorgeous profusion of color that is summer.

    June comes dancing
    at your door
    dressed in fragrant
    summer gold

    Fields of berries
    ice cream cones
    sunlit skies
    sandy shores

    Riding waves
    spitting salt
    dancing on
    the lawn at dusk

    closed books and opened shores
    blooms in June
    the rose of love

    Frances Schiavina, Ardmore, PA, USA
    COMMENTS:  Almost breathlessly written, it fairly sings of June's many wonders and delights;  the very style it is written in makes it seem as if everything must be told as quickly as possible lest it be missed.  Delightfully sung.  It's risky writing about roses, but this poem has an innocent, song-like refreshing quality.
    The Broome Property

    Carl is riding Mr. Broome’s shiny red lawnmower. He wears a brown baseball cap, white t-shirt, khaki pants, white tennis shoes. His dark skin glistens. He stops the mower, turns it off, takes hedge cutters from the back, and begins to snip at Sago palms planted in front of a cute beige brick pump house, a scale model of the main house, its white-paned windows open to catch the breeze. Carl bends slowly to the task of trimming and filling the wagon. Then he gets back on the mower. I think he is going to another location far off, but he isn’t. He drives ten feet to another side of the structure. He clips, steps back, looks, bends, picks up one branch at a time. The sun is scorching hot. He rides the mower a few more feet away to the shade of an ugly tallow growing on the property’s edge. He stops the engine, lights a cigarette, leans back in the seat, and blows a hopeless little cloud of white smoke into the hot June air.

    Carol K. Cotten, Galveston, TX, USA
    Dance of the June Bugs

    June bugs flick
    against my pane
    crave the light
    dance the night
    not long before
    days end

    Betty Dobson, Halifax, NS, CAN
    Summer Show

    June showcases birds, bees and bugs
    Meadowlarks burst into song
    Talking Canada Geese glide onto lake
    Bees hum while filling pollen baskets

    Meadowlarks burst into song
    Gyspy moths sip from gardenia cups
    Bees hum while filling pollen baskets
    Seas of lightening bugs rise in waves

    Gypsy moths sip from gardenia cups
    As night arranges herself around the garden
    Seas of lightening bugs rise in waves
    June showcases birds, bees and bugs

    Kay Lay Earnest, Smyrna, GA, USA
    June’s Jades

    So great is June with sated, jaded joys
    for school is over, finished for a spell.
    As recess starts, we spring to summer ploys.
    The brood will bond, look like a Southern Belle.
    When June is fresh, a shower’s mist will fall.
    Humidity is dabbed in days awhile.
    Night matinees must move inside the wall
    cause drizzle drops its dew in outside aisles.
    As June matures, the boys of summer soar.
    Adults’ day dream ole baseball days through kids,
    and Father’s Day comes round like days of yore.
    “Best dad around,” and “old cars show,” take bids.

    More memories in June mount busy time
    like potpourris, mosaic walls in rhyme.

    Carol Dee Meeks, Artesia, NM, USA
    June Burst

    June crowds summer street,
    beans hang from mesquites.
    School's out.

    Kids invade retreats,
    pools to beat the heat
    and shout

    "Play ball, you athletes,
    share the bitter sweets
    and pout."

    School sets in concretes
    and twelve years completes
    first bouts.

    Yvonne Byrd Nunn, Hermleigh, TX, USA
    POET'S NOTE:  This poem was written in the French Lai form.
    What is So Rare…?

    Euphoria abounds,
    there’s magic in the air.
    A spell of love is cast around
    as roses bloom in colors fair.

    The mockingbird mimics sounds
    while honeysuckle climb and dare,
    and finches search across the town
    for building sites to build  their lair.

    It’s time to buy that wedding gown,
    in June – love flourishes – beware.
    Then fall in love with love, newfound,
    a time to share this season rare.

    Jeanette Oestermyer,  Roswell, NM, USA
    June Blooms

    At the end of May
    fragile trilliums blush pink,
    as day lengthens and warms
    June is on the brink
    of busting out all over.
    In cold rain we plant seeds,
    and in early heat
    come persistent weeds.
    First bouquet of dandelions
    in a child's innocent grasp,
    cherished in a cup of water.
    How long will they last?
    White puffs of seeds disperse,
    they will last all June of course.

    Kathy Paupore, Kingsford MI, USA

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