All posts by Fred Wilbur

The Garden Club Ladies Visit the Historical Society by Fred Wilbur

Photo of small blue/purple flowers
 

I’m not squeamish about getting my hands dirty, knees soiled, but I never thought I’d be writing about garden club ladies. The county Garden Club (founded 1935) recently donated their records to the local Historical Society of which I am a member. By happenstance, I began reading the Minutes book for 1937-1939 and was immediately taken by the many and varied activities of the group. Beside the flower growing and arranging and public space beautification that you would expect, the club took on many civic causes such as supporting rural dental and immunization clinics, sponsoring … Continue reading The Garden Club Ladies Visit the Historical Society by Fred Wilbur

Apologizing to Ferlinghetti by William Prindle

Photo of woman reading among shelves of bookstore
 

William Prindle has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2021 Poetry Contest Apologizing to Ferlinghetti You never took                       the deal the hand             America dealt what did         you have to lose            anyway father             and mother            dead or                                  gone mad you spoke                 French first             so why not    bat the English words                       way out there fungoes of the mind screw the form         screw the State just write and how you wrote wrote and sold                    sold like hell turned on the Lights            published Howl                screwed the Court didn’t thank                  the Academy           that did … Continue reading Apologizing to Ferlinghetti by William Prindle

Salt by Les Brown

Photo of salt mounds
 

What man would not look back when claiming a celestial voice commanded him to go away from pleasures of wine, games of chance, lust, secular music, dance, art, poetry? The men who deny life’s gifts and joy, who kneel and coerce in the name of one unknown, unseen, beyond reason or proof, men who control by unified power and fear deemed it so that woman should not turn lest she turn to a pillar of salt. The greater choice is to turn, to escape the clutches of piety and power at any cost, becoming salt … Continue reading Salt by Les Brown

Each Year by Whitney Hudak

Photo of alarm clock and calendar
 

feels this way. Familiar like the abstract place you grab for when you’re curled in despair on your own kitchen floor begging to go home, not knowing where you mean. No matter whose hair and breath lend the other pillowcase its scent, which farm grew this squash so delicately sliced, whose face you lean toward, lips to their ear, cupping a joke. No matter which gone person you scan the crowd for year after year. Whitney Hudak is a CNM and poet living in Newport, R.I. Her work has appeared in Burningword Literary Journal and … Continue reading Each Year by Whitney Hudak

Simple Instruments by Fred Wilbur

Drawing of shapes within a circle
 

I have always thought that John Donne’s metaphor of the drawing compass in “Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” one of the most ingenious in English poetry. Not simply about two lovers parting, it describes a coming together through love. Another metaphor I greatly admire (along with everyone else) is the choice depicted in “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. These two ideas in juxtaposition seem to conjure the structure of ‘theme and variation’ so elemental to art: the certainty of the circle with the uncertainty of lines pointing in different directions. Not exactly opposites, perhaps, but … Continue reading Simple Instruments by Fred Wilbur

The Cold War in Poland (Ohio) by William Heath

Photo of red sun above skyline
 

  In school we learn to lie down in the face of Evil from the skies. “Take cover,” the first commandment during air-raid drills as we duck under our desks, then “All clear.” No one dares to say that with or without these precautions, if a bomb fell, we’ll all be toast. All day we wait on the edge of seats for firehouse sirens to sound the alarm. Part of the Civil Defense system, we Boy Scouts chop trees, clear brush for a circular space deep in the Poland forest, use the logs for an … Continue reading The Cold War in Poland (Ohio) by William Heath

Hi, This is My Trauma by Ron Riekki

Photo of barbed wire
 

Hi, this is my poem. Hi, this is my poverty. What’s that? My poverty. The poem and my poverty shake hands. Everyone ignores my trauma. I go over to my trauma, start talking to it. It tells me about a helicopter on fire. I tell my trauma I can’t talk about that. I got hypnotized to not be able to remember that. My trauma gets quiet. My poverty walks over. My poverty is drunk. My poverty wants a ride home. I realized one night, like this thunderbolt, that I’ve lived in a horror movie. I … Continue reading Hi, This is My Trauma by Ron Riekki

Afternoon Shower by Benjamin Nash

Photo looking up through clear umbrella
 

It was a shower and gone quickly. The sky was only gray a short time. It reminded me of a gray fox that I spotted in the city when I went to buy two pizza slices, the unseen people that pass by us, ghosts that we think that we see out of the corner of our eye, lightning that we are not sure if we saw or not, or a rat late at night on a lonely street bolting to the drain opening. It may be me one day if I decide not to go … Continue reading Afternoon Shower by Benjamin Nash

Millionaire by Steven Deutsch

Photo of man putting wallet into inside coat pocket
 

I heard him say it dozens of times, but the first time I said it I laughed out loud. Dad never had two extra nickels to rub together— my parents the king and queen of getting by— and, get by they did— money not nearly as important as a house full of family. He was a soft touch— never able to say no to a friend. I often wonder how he’d fare today when money is god and we worship those who have gobs and gobs of it, like we worshipped the gods of mayhem … Continue reading Millionaire by Steven Deutsch

Singing along with Mellencamp’s ‘I Need a Lover that Wont Drive Me Crazy’ by N.S. Boone

Photo of muscle car
 

Speeding between the endless fields of corn and beans 70 . . . 75 . . . “This old junker might make it to 80” . . . Some girl who knows the meaning of, uh, ‘Hey hit the highway!’ I sang it, shouting it, shoulders and head rocking. I was cradled between those cornfields so well I could love the song and the singing and feel secure, even when speeding, so that the world would blur into color and sound as I jetted on my desires. Yet behind the words were the truths all … Continue reading Singing along with Mellencamp’s ‘I Need a Lover that Wont Drive Me Crazy’ by N.S. Boone