Poetry Niche

Anticipation

The vivid hues of flowers are muted by the dust.

The radiant green of leaves now dully turned to rust.

The nightly coquetries of dews,

Prove but a faithless lover’s ruse.

The empurpled glory of jacaranda bloom,

lie in dusty heaps beneath a gardener’s broom.

The barbed-wire whine of the cicadas,

disturb the heated air.

Pelican bereft, the listless lake,

looks skyward with a vacant stare.

The hills adorned in somber gowns,

Gaze down with pensive eyes.

Furrowed fields lie fallow like dusty, open thighs,

beneath the knife-blue, sterile, unresponsive skies.

All await with bated breath the groom with all his train,

his attendant, cloudy lords and life producing rain.

Steve Griffin

*****

Dressed in All Our Decades

from Poems for Flourishing 

We’re dressed in all our decades,

in rich brocades of life

well-worn, and regularly mended.

Vivid restoration patches—

the hip, the shoulder, the knee–

make us into living art!

Our tatty brains

save us from the trivial

forgotten things,

spare us for what matters.

Delightfully scuffed by life’s great dance,

we’re rubbed, at circle’s end,

to the luster of original wonder.

In the spacious present called aging,

we rouse and wake,

more alive than we have ever been.

Susa Silvermarie

*****

from When to Say, “When?”

Two crutches tied to

the seat of his motorcycle.

The old man, losing control,

falls off.

Unscathed, he tries to

right himself.

Too frail, he’s unable.

A stranger, happens by,

offers assistance.

That day, a short time later,

falls off, again.

Sitting on the roadway,

he attempts once more, to stand.

Struggles, but on each

of several attempts,

comes to the realization,

he’s unable.

And so, he sits

on the side of the road,

and ponders, maybe,

just maybe….

When is it time to say,

 “When? When is it enough?”

When is it time to walk away?

The mental acuity to make

split second decisions, when

life or death may lie in the balance.

One wrong choice after another,

one too many?

When is it time to say “When?”

 Martin A. Bojan

*****

I Am Learning

I am learning to love myself

the way the shore loves the ocean

and accepts waves that diminish it.

I am learning to love my body

the way b’s and d’s are shaped

like the bellies of pregnant women

because everything I write is birth.

I am learning to love my name

even after I learned it was not my name

because my father had been adopted

and was given his step-father’s name.

I am learning to love the warm sun

although I always consider

I have a limited number of days.

I am learning to love the night because

the moon climbs over the city

the way a reader waits for a story to build to a climax.

I am learning to love the future although

it may not be what I imagine

because it is uncertain like opening my eyes

in the dark room of forgiveness

and receiving what I have not earned

so I always give money to beggars

at the stop lights and topes.

My mother always kept a separate plate and cup

for men who came to our door for a meal.

I am learning to love life

although I think about death

and the sadness it will cause others.

Mel Goldberg

*****

Jacaranda

Purple on powder blue, it’s hard to tell

where jacaranda ends and sky begins:

across the morning haze, a single bell

summons the faithful to confess their sins.

It’s hard to tell where living seems to end

and death begins. The tendrils ache

towards the blue, and move and blend

in silence with the wind – for living’s sake

they die, and flake by secret flake

carpet the earth which once they canopied.

The azure tent above shakes in the breeze:

behind and beyond the village bell

I almost hear a sound – it’s hard to tell –

a memory of distant deep blue harmonies.

Michael Warren

*****

Meditation

Love of another human with whom

we are able to share our dreams

alters our perspective and grasp

of what it means to be human in a

world filled with glitter lined alleys

that lead into route-less, empty

landscapes devoid of life. Within

this rock filled darkness of blind

existence, life looses all meaning.

Perception opens infinite doors

locked by the hand of ignorance,

in a time and universe where

isolation clouds our focus and

blinds our future eyes so that what

we see has no meaningful form.

The emptiness we wrap around us

becomes a useless coat against

the cold reality of this mutant

world in which we now exist.

Challenges offer the way forward

as we cultivate plantings whose

fruit is wisdom which sets us free.

Rob Moore

*****

Refugees

 All it took were two: the primordial man

and woman were the first to be expelled.

The soil, the orchard, the pile of leaves

on which they dreamed, the beasts that 

they had named—the sum of the familiar 

they thought was theirs.  

A sword at the back corrected them. 

They did as countless refugees to come: 

no questions asked, they placed one foot 

before the other until they crossed a line. 

Pained witnesses of forced flight—

whatever the flame that drives them out—

we weep for the home land lost.

Margaret Van Every

*****

The Paper Bark Tree

The dropping of leaves by deciduous trees 
Leaves fall forest floors all but drowned in debris.
Evergreen droppings: cone, seed, and nut
Lure rodents and birds to indulge in the glut.

We too have an evergreen, larger than you’ve ever seen.
Linnaeus first named him: “I dub thee Melalucca,
Just as I dubbed the saguaro and yucca”

But the eight-storey monster that looms in our yard
Has a popular name conceived by a bard.
The Paper Bark tree, as it’s known in the wood,
Is the shaggiest tree in this neck of the hood.

Brown envelope brown, but spongy and worn;
Like wallpaper peeling, shredded and torn,
Parchment-like bark—papyrus-like pages;
Evolved for some reason according to sages.

To our brawny beast, crown to root:
Your majesty is absolute.


Mark Sconce


August 2022 Issue

El Ojo del Lago – Home Page

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com


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