Poems and Poetry

When Carbon Paper Was King | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

All the rest are dead
except for Joe and Ed,
both ill and long retired.

They linger miles apart,
keep in touch by email,
a tool colleagues didn’t have

when they and Joe and Ed
used telephones and typewriters
to get a magazine out on time,

their hands always in a dither
with carbon paper, paste pots,
pica sticks and galleys.

Every month the magazine
came out on time, glistening.
Now many years retired,

Joe and Ed wonder by email,
Gosh and Golly Gee, how
did they do it without computers.

Colleagues have no answer.
Except for Joe and Ed
all the rest are dead.

Visit Donal at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com/.

Three Ways of Looking at a Father | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Dead these many years,
Dad’s still there for me
every day, pointing

from a star
toward excellence,
the goal we shared.

I missed two free throws once
at the end of a high school game
and we lost by a point.

On the way home
after the game, he said,
“Why did you miss

those free throws?”
Years later in college
I came home with all A’s

and one B. I showed him
my grades and he said,
over his newspaper,

“Why did you get the B?”
After graduation I was thinking
about getting married but I

wasn’t certain. So I asked him
what did he think. Once again
he was there for me.

Sipping his tea, he said
“You asked the girl, right?
Follow through.”

Visit Donal at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com/.

Why the Golden Plover Stands | A Poem by Trish Saunders

I came to study the language of trees,
an ancient tongue assumed extinct,
like the Laysan honeycreeper or
shave-ice shacks on
Like-Like Highway, where Aloha Gas now sits.

I came to study koas and palms.
I found an old brick wall with a
golden plover standing motionless
beside it, though he flies
1,600 miles from Alaska without rest.

Like the plover, I came expecting more.

Silver Ball | A Poem by Neil Fulwood

He’s dragged a barstool
in front of the quiz machine
and neglected his pint,
has worn for this last half hour
the look of a tennis umpire
who hates both players.

A forefinger taps morse
on a knee jolting out of time
to the jukebox. The other hand
flexes, rises, hovers –
two fingers shaped like a pistol
shoot forward at a known answer,

bang off the touch-screen.
Half a century since he played
the fruit machines as a lad,
oranges, apples and limes
clacking into place, nudge and hold
making a smidgin of difference

if you were sharp enough,
but really all down to luck
and how much loose change
was an acceptable loss. Pinball
was better: the silver ball,
the buzzers and bells, the slam

of the hip against the machine,
a shop-floor nobody locked
into a fantasy of leather jacket
and Route 66, motorcycle
parked on a dusty strip, Chevys
and Peterbilts and neon signs.

Where Do We Go from Here? A Poem by Ashley Morgan

We’re at an impasse. Any decision is the wrong decision on some
level, even the easiest decision is probably the worst: doing nothing at all. Let everything stay the way it is. Keep living in the pretend reality that everything is okay. Keep letting the years go by without making a decision. Keep hoping things will change. You know you keep repeating that stupid quote in your head “The definition of insanity is repeating the same action and expecting different results.” And yet you keep doing it. Because the moment you stand on the precipice, the moment you look at the edge at what’s unknown at the bottom, you pull back. You recede into what’s known, what’s comfortable. Even though you know it’s irrational. Even though you know it’s holding you back from progress.

This year you have come the closest yet to making the jump. Have
faith. The therapist is right: you are immature. You are not mature enough to stand on your own. You are not mature enough to take what
you already know and put it into practice. That one statement twisted your reality so far backwards, that now you aren’t sure what to do with yourself. It really is your fault. You put yourself here and only you can bring yourself out.

So, I ask again, where do we go from here? Do we continue on this path through the fishbowl we have been pretending is the world? Knowing that eventually it will end, but allowing someone else to make that decision for us? Are we that weak? Maybe we are. Let’s fade back into our false reality for a bit longer. It’s comfortable here with the wool pulled over our eyes.

Visit Ashley at https://ashleyjmorgan.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/where-do-we-go-from-here-an-inner-dialogue/.