Poems and Poetry

memory poems

When the Light Does Not Shine as Brightly | A Poem by Roy Pullam

The clock
Has no more time
The cheerleaders
Left their pom moms
For marriages and careers
The letter jacket
No longer fits
The strong body
Gone to middle age
With the slow erosion
As years pass
But his heart wishes
The cheers never ended
The fight song
Still plays
Young girls
In their prime
Still smile
In recognition
Of Friday’s glory
He thumbs
The brown headlines
Calling back memories
That have no equal
In the life
He lives today


Memory | A Poem by Richard Kalfus

Love remains
never lost
though you are gone.

Before me daily
Your image never fails
to warm me.

You call me from a business trip.
You check on the children nightly.
You dig in the garden.
You speak long distance
to parents in another city
who nurtured you
before you came to me.

I am forever grateful.

It was a risk you took,
to share a life with me
whom you loved,
but hardly knew.

Yet you knew
Long before I did.
So very sure you were.
Sure that:
Different cultures
Different language
Different religion
Were powerless

In the face of love.


Legacy | A Poem by Roy Pullam

The stone
Bears evidence
Of her interment
The closing
Of the book of life
But she gave me breath
Nurtured me through
Hard lessons
Held me
When my heart was broken
Helped me
To hold my head up
When my stock
Was down
And I still
Hear her voice
When shadows
Gather around me
When I need her most


Halloween 1957 | A Poem by Roy Pullam

I had no mask
As in so many times
I was forced
To improvise
I rubbed the soot
From the chimney
On my face and neck
Borrowing my father’s bib overalls
Pants that swallowed
My nine year old form
Rolling the legs up
In a giant cuff
I wrapped his shirt
Around my spare body
With his miner’s hat
I was ready
To join my friends
Heading away
From houses like mine
Houses where
There was no candy
This opportunity
Too important
To waste time
No general
Planned so carefully
Straight up Broadway
Where houses
Were well lit
Houses with hard candy
Small suckers
And an occasional Hershey bar
I hated apples
Or popcorn
Poured in my bag
I followed
A mental map
Plotted form past experience
Through the community
Until late
In the evening
Nearing ten
I made my way home
With the only
Store-bought sweets
I would see
Until Christmas
Mother scrubbed hard
On my face
The carbon
Not wanting to give way
Finally not satisfied
She allowed me
To go to bed
With the promise
Of a more dedicated
Assault on the black
The next morning
How the thought
Of the bounty
Kept me awake
As I lay
Beside my brother
Tomorrow would bring
Such sugar blessings
As I gorged
On my Halloween blessings

My Son’s Thirtieth | A Poem by J.K. Durick

We brought out baby pictures, a whole album’s worth
and passed them around, both sons and their girlfriends
laughed and commented, but so much of the humor was
lost for my wife and me, so many of the people in those
pictures are dead now; a life begins and still goes on, but
many of the others have disappeared into that dark night;
he’s the child of our middle years, old enough to be his
grandparents, so we bring out the pictures, pictures of his
real grandparents, relatives and friends hoping to capture,
recapture moments like this, like in the pictures we were
in then, commenting and laughing – birthdays are like this,
a moment we look back, look forward, and try to catch
the moment as if we could, in pictures that will continue
after we are gone.

Bill | A Poem by Gareth Culshaw

I couldn’t believe he was still alive.
It is a decade since I saw him.
He looked ill even then.
His hair still trying its best to cover
his head. The slumped shoulder that
carried a wooden ladder.
Rolled cigarette like a budgie
perch in his lips. His eyes brown,
needed cleaning too. He use to
have a swinging bucket from his hand.
It held water that never seemed
to drain away. The rag was a fist
in his pocket, ready to unleash
greyness to the glass. He would sip
pints from every pane he cleaned.
When I saw him the other day
it took me back to when he squeaked
on my bedroom window, while father’s
voice filtered up to him like chimney smoke.
In reply he only ever grumbled.

Life Lessons Learned at Your Knee | A Poem by Roy Pullam

I was not prepared
For the long separation
A complete independence
I never wanted
You did not see gray
Your values
So absolute
That I often felt
I fell short
In your eyes
You had no time
For hate
Though to many
Poverty and trash
Went in the same bin
And though
You were knocked down
You never stayed down
With the feeling
That only cowards
Bemoaned their faith
That I
Should never stop trying
Should never settle
For ease
It rings in my ears
The bell of truth
The sound of your voice