Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dec. 2010 Poetry Page

"A good poet is someone who manages, 
in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightening five or six times; a dozen or two dozen times and he is great."



by Nell Berry

Listen my children, I’ve a story to tell.
It’s Christmas Eve and all is well.
Outside the snowflakes softly fall,
preparing the scene for Santa’s call.
When out of the sky there is such a noise,
you’d think St. Nick had lost his poise.
“Be careful Prancer, Dancer and Cupid.
Rudolph, watch out for that wall, stupid.”
While Rudolph’s red nose lights the way,
Santa’s keen eyes, clears the way for the sleigh.
Just as they are about to land, forsoothe,
Nimble Dasher kicks a hole in the roof.
“What’s the matter with you, you dumb reindeer?
It’s the same thing every year.
You’re so awkward and clumsy,” 
he bellows and bleats,
“Why can’t you be graceful and land on your feet?”
As soon as the hole in the roof had been patched,
Santa picked up his pack, 
and stopped dead in his tracks.
A look of confusion is replaced by surprise,
he rubbed his gloved hand over his eyes.
“What’s going on here? Where’s the chimney?
My gosh, I don’t think they have any!”
Just then Rudolph’s nose gave a blink.
“That’s all I need!” Santa thinks,
“If Rudolph’s nose goes out while we’re here,
I won’t find my way home with these silly reindeer.
Oh well, I’ll think about that later.
Right now, there’s this other matter.”
He thought for a minute, then as before,
again took his pack, “I’ll just use the door.”
But suddenly without warning, he slipped and fell.
Almost before he could stop, he started to yell.
Then in a flash, he sprang to his feet,
brushed off the snow, he wouldn’t be beat.
He wasn’t to be stopped 
when he found the door locked.
After all that had happened, he wasn’t too shocked.
“Maybe there’s a window that was left ajar,
now let me see, where’s that crowbar?”
Looking like a burglar, he entered at last,
placed the gifts round the tree, none too fast,
for he hadn’t much time, it soon would be day,
he had to get finished and be on his way.
But his problems weren’t over, 
there was still Rudolph’s nose,
he ran to the sleigh and stood on tip toes.
“Is your nose okay, Rudolph? 
Will it give enough light?
Can you find the way home, 
on this night of all nights?”
Nodding his head, as if to reply,
Rudolph shined his nose right in Santa’s eye.
Santa blinked, and jumped in the sleigh,
and as they were leaving, I heard him say,
“Boy, oh boy, has this been a bummer!
Why didn’t God make me a plumber?”

NELL BERRY resides in West Virginia and has been married to the same man for sixty years, June 24. She is a mother of four, grandmother of nine and great grandmother of six. She is a published author of one book: GROWING UP IN MISSOURI AND OTHER SHORT STORIES about her growing up years. She is a Christian who writes all inspirational poetry, song lyrics and short stories. Contact

Nell Berry (left), her daughter, Catie (center) and husband, Louis (right).


by Chris Hansen

Give me a special Christmas,
A great big Christmas tree,
Snow drifts piled up high,
And lots of gifts for me.
Toys and gadgets and candy too,
And clothes would be alright.
Fill me with excitement
On Jesus’ special night.
Give me a special Christmas,
I don’t need a great big tree, with
Snow drifts piled up high outside
And blankets for my folks and me.
These things would be alright:
Warm clothes, a hot meal,
A safe place to sleep tonight.
God grant me a special Christmas,
With food and clothes, I’d be content.
I’ll accept with humble thanks
Whatever else is sent.
You promised I would live
For as long as time shall last.
You said that you would love me,
And forgive my sinful past.
Lord, what have we given You?
A humble bed of straw,
A life of hardship and rejection,
Death by Roman law.
Yet You give us more than we deserve,
More than human words can say.
On Your cross You paid a price
That we could never pay.
Lord, I have a special Christmas,
A heart that beats brand new...and
When my heart can beat no more,
Eternity with You.

CHRIS HANSEN is an author and Sunday school teacher who is happily married and lives in Modesto, California. His books include REVELATION REVISITED, a dramatized version of John's story, SECRET OF THE PSALMS, proof that the life of Jesus was predicted centuries ahead, and GRANDFATHER'S JOURNAL, a touching story about a boy who overcomes his terror of death through faith.  Contact 


by Abi Wyatt

Ten days, they said, ten days:
your fragrance filled that room
where photographs and well-worn books
bore witness to the pressing in of years.

Sometimes we’d sit by candlelight
to watch the angels dance;
or you’d pretend to sleep in peace
that I might softly weep.

Fond lies we told like bedtime tales
before we said our prayers
when your cool hand crept into mine
to find a certain warmth.

Ten days, they said, ten days.
You could not stay so long
but waited till I turned away 
to cast your boat adrift.

Returning before dawn, I found
your subtle fragrance gone
but thought, beyond the bay,
I caught the plashing of soft oars.

ABIGAIL WYATT writes for her life in the shadow of Carne Brae in Cornwall. Formerly a teacher of English, she is now a freelance writer whose poetry and short fiction have been published in a wide range of magazines and ezines, both in the UK and overseas. These have recently included Words with JAM, Word Salad, and Ink, Sweat & Tears; Kohinoor, Phoenix and One Million Stories. Her poetry is also regularly featured in Poetry Cornwall. Abigail is the 'house' reviewer for Palores Press in Redruth. Her poetry collection, MOTHS IN A JAR, was published in October, 2010. Contact


by Floriana Hall

Our family's story is a little different each year, 
Some joy and triumph, 
Some disappointment, some tears.
But the Christmas story remains the same,
The Babe was born in Bethlehem
And at His birth we honor Him.
The love He showed us is here to stay
No matter what, come what may
The Christmas story remains the same,
And turmoil all around us cannot mar,
Nor tornadoes, snowstorms, even war,
The love we feel for God's only Son,
A love we must feel for everyone.
Christmas merriment, and peace the same,
Gifts of help for mankind living,
Gifts of love for family's giving.
Pastor's celebration in homilies
Eyes of children opening toys that please.
Feast of food, with all the trimmings
Smiles on faces with happiness brimming.
Christmas this December is as sacred as the rest,
Putting aside worldly fear and all unrest,
Believing in good overcoming strife,
Brushing aside brouhaha so rife.
The Christmas story of two thousand ten
Makes us feel safe, makes us feel fine
With ongoing love shown by you and me
Love more powerful than hate can be -
Christmas love is meant to stay
Through next year from New Year's Day.

FLORIANA HALL is the author of twelve books, six nonfiction and six inspirational poetry books. Her nonfiction book, FRANCIS, NOT THE SAINT has recently been translated into Spanish (FRANCISCO, NO EL SANTO). Her new poetry book SELECT SANDS OF RHYME AND REASON and young children's book SIMPLE PLEASURES are now available at and Floriana teaches poetry at under YOU, ME, AND POETRY. Contact  Website Website


by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

The Christmas tree 
came down early this year
even before that special day.
One of the cats 
knocked the thing over. 
Shards of glass
threatened my feet,
little Santas scattered on the rug,
a rope of lights tangled
from table to floor.
I could have reset the tableau
but with relief 
I put Christmas away
early this year.

PATRICIA WELLINGHAM-JONES has a longtime interest in 'healing writing' and the benefits people gain from writing and reading their work together. Her poems, stories and articles are widely published. Her chapbooks include DON'T TURN AWAY: POEMS ABOUT BREAST CANCER, VOICES ON THE LAND, and END-CYCLE: POEMS ABOUT CAREGIVING. Contact 


by B.J. Lee 
We tamed the world, I know.
It needed to be done, because…
well, there must have been a reason.
It frightened us, perhaps.

December comes in with mild air,
soft breezes over a captured inlet
of still water.
Somebody rolled the sun in gauze,
its fire muted; a clever bit
of engineering.
Sit quietly, listen:
machines hum behind the scenes
keeping it all in place.

Twilight descends across the inlet.
A lamp post’s gentle glow
unfurls over shadowed depths.
An osprey perched on the post
beats its wings powerfully,
then plunges toward the water’s surface…
there are no screams
while the world shatters in unstrung fragments.

B.J. LEE is primarily a children's poet and author, although the adult poem/novel seems to slip out with increasing frequency. She has many publication credits to her name. Formerly a music librarian at The Boston Conservatory, B.J. has a M.L.S. from Simmons College in Boston and a B.A. in English. She lives in Florida with her husband and toy poodles.  Website  Contact  


scribbled fleet
by cm

i find it strange
to have
of handwritten notes

who am i writing to?

i find these scraps
between notebooks
of post-its
newspapers, napkins,

whatever surface
the ink lands

captured something
truly magnificent
even if at the time
didn’t know

even if
in this lifetime
i never get to it

it’s there
a failsafe, a backup
mark the spot
feed the fires
to success and glory

the one word
one line
that just may launch
a thousand ships,

or sink them.

CHARLES MARIANO is the author of THE WHOLE ENCHILADA:  Recipes, Photos and Stories from Merced, CA, available at Charles is, in his own words, "Elusive, reclusive, and otherwise quiet."  Contact 


by Frank De Canio

A winter’s morning flurry fell
like makeup on this ancient belle.
But she’s not haughty or distraught
at what these frosty lashes wrought.
For she now dons a vestal glow
as if it were a bride’s trousseau.
And revelers in masquerade
of winter garments, serenade
with ruby faces, bright and gay,
delighting in her special day.
Still, this loquacious socialite,
parades in silence through the night,
beside an elongated train
of softly swishing cellophane.

FRANK DE CANIO was born and bred in New Jersey. He loves music of all kinds, from Back to Amy Winehouse. Shakespeare is his consolation. His work has appeared in Sunken Lines, Genie, Write On!!, Red Owl, Nuthouse, Love‘s Chance, Words of Wisdom and many others. On the web, you can find him on POETZ, Contemporary Rhyme, Language and Culture, and Thick with Conviction.  Contact


by Brian W. Osborn 

On a dark December morn,
Reinforced with Farmer’s Blend,
I contemplated the day’s work,
The duties that bind me
To this house, to the wood
That wanted cording.

At the kitchen sink I fixed
My eyes through the curtains
And the frosted pane to test
The shape of winter’s mantle,
The newly drifted porch
And frozen jumble.

As I tried my eyes
I just did spot, at forest’s edge,
A stealthy silhouette,
Trotting the lane between
Fern and field. Her shift complete
I supposed.

Forgetting the promise of
Breakfast I stretched closer
To see if she might stray.
Might she notice the kitchen glow,
Or that she was not alone this hour?

No, she could not consider these,
Nor once did her line swerve
From the warren that christened her,
Beckoning, ‘ye come now, home.’
Her silent course pressed in me
The urge to go forth and follow.

BRIAN W. OSBORN is a 51 year old jet mechanic, living in Tucson, Arizona, who enjoys reading and writing poetry.  In his own words: “I consider myself more a craftsman, a mechanic of words than I do an artist. I have always written, since I can remember, and probably always will, for as long as I can remember.” Contact  


by James Piatt

Melancholy thoughts of aging summer
Give flight as gentle rains of autumn
Rinse away the dust from Spanish moss
Clinging like urchins to shadowy oaks
Dotting the soil in verdant pastures.

Sweet vestiges of private dreams
Narrow blades of worry vanishing
Slipping away covered in white mist
Leaving only golden gilded memories
Of glimmering and serene sensations.
Woven strings of recollections
Merge with cloudy cool evenings
Next to glowing fires in hearth
Easy conversations of braided delight
Flow contentedly in peaceful minds.

JAMES PIATT earned his B.S. and M.A. from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from Brigham Young University. He is retired and spends his summers along the river, reading, writing, and penning poetry. Two relatives, John James Piatt & Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt, were prolific poets who wrote poetry in the 1800's. Contemporary American Voices (featured poet), Word Catalyst Magazine (featured poet), Apollo’s Lyre, Caper Journal, Vox Poetica, Shadow Poetry Anthology, The Penwood Review, Wilderness House Review, Front Porch Review, A Handful of Stones, Autumn Leaves, and Hanging Moss Journal, have published or will be publishing his poetry. Contact


by Bill Roberts

Everyone deserves an instance of stardom,
no matter how brief, how insignificant -
mine enjoyed long ago.  Alas, the memory
of that golden moment faded so badly
I may be the only one left to recall it.

It was the fall of 1943, the big war raging,
we at home asked to sacrifice in all ways
possible, forsaking mainly foodstuffs
like sugar and butter, meat and selected
produce that went to the boys overseas.

We saved our pennies, nickels and dimes
bought stamps that we turned into war
bonds to support the cause, everyone
caught in the fever to do something for
The Cause - willingly, proudly, religiously.

Metal was precious, no matter what kind,
so I turned my industrious hands to
collecting tin foil, rolling it into a ball
that grew bigger by the day, my search
never ending, until darkness invaded.

At a ceremony at one of the church halls,
I lugged my formidable ball in my wagon,
pulling it to front stage when called upon.
My tin foil weighed twice as much as
my nearest competition, awesome indeed.

The crowd stood, their ovation lasting for
several minutes, until it died down and
I was called on to say a few words.
Nothing came out, until prompted by
the boisterous man who had introduced me.

I thought and thought, somehow delivered
a speech that was reported in next morning's
Times Herald.  I said, War is bad.  I'm too
young to fight.  So, I collect tin foil, hope
it helps.  
It was a precious shining moment.

BILL ROBERTS is a Pushcart-nominated poet from Broomfield, Colorado. He has been widely published in online and small-press magazines (nearly a thousand in about 200 journals). He has had a poem nominated for Best of the Net in 2009, and another poem in 2010. Bill offers a seminar on how to write a poem a day in 15 minutes, and then take it to market.  He has a new Australian terrier, Princess Honey, who is trying to discipline him to use the big bathroom outdoors.  Contact 


by Tim Ouellette

We sit among embers,
The speaking stones glow in the fires warmth.
On impulse I reach in and grasp the nearest stone.
I tense against expected heat, 

But its surface is smooth, cool.
I close my eyes.
The stones power engulfs me, loosening first
My heart, then my tongue.
I speak in songs and tales of old- you sit, silent,
Listening rapturously.
Together we delve through shadows deep,
Through clouds of knowing and unknowing.
Desires, fears, truths and lies first
Sink to the bottom then float to the surface.
Blinding light erupts among the ashes-
I stand, and am alone.

TIM OUELLETTE is a 44 year old writer, husband and father. He has been writing poetry and short stories for a number of years. His poems have been published in literary magazines.  Contact 


by William McCurrach

She graces us with her presence each day,
Each of us sees her in our own way.

She is here though, in all ways for us,
A beauty with charm and grace,
An Angel that brings light,
To, all of our hearts, right down, 
To our deep, dark parts.

Her presence is mostly in silence and strength,
But her beauty shines through,
Each word she speaks causes a pause,
Each laugh, an applause.

She knows not that she is the Angel we adore,
Because so many of us don’t say it enough,
Of that I am sure!

We appreciate her polite ways,
Her style, her grace,
The smile on her face.

She is like the hostess from above,
And she brings hope and love.

Heaven sent her down to us from above,
An angel with peace, intelligence, humor and grace,
It beams from the smile in her voice and face,
And she spreads her love all over us in this place.

We don’t tell her we notice or that we care,
Well this is my way of saying to you, you angel,
That we do care, And my way of letting you know 
I do share.

WILLIAM MCCURRACH is a 54 year old poet who retired from the navy and lives in Connecticut with his wife. Contact 


by Nell Berry

A Gift came to Mary two thousand years ago,
a newborn Baby Boy of which the world would know. Ultimately He grew to be a Man and
According to God's plan, His ministry began.

God sent His only Son to us, a sweet and tiny Child,
to be the Savior of mankind and live with us awhile.
His ministry lasted three short years; 
His life was sacrificed, On a cruel cross He died, 
He let them take His life.

He suffered tremendously, unimaginable pain.
That cross He endured, my eternal life to gain.
This Baby brought to all the world 
the greatest and sweetest of treasures, 
Grace, goodness and mercy, 
boundless love beyond measure.

This Baby, Jesus, is symbolized 
by our gifts at Christmas time.
On Christmas Day, we celebrate 
the greatest Gift sublime.

Oh come all true Christians,
let your voices be raised,
We give glory and honor to our King,
and give God all the praise.

NELL BERRY resides in West Virginia and has been married to the same man for sixty years, June 24.  She is a mother of four, grandmother of nine and great grandmother of six.  She is a published author of one book: GROWING UP IN MISSOURI AND OTHER SHORT STORIES about her growing up years. She is a Christian who writes all inspirational poetry, song lyrics and short stories. Contact


by Cathy Quaglia

Snow’s origin, not so obvious
as glancing in a mirror
catching your image in a puddle
or standing at the edge of a lake.

Snow possesses more depth and magic
falling flakes slowly pile up
like minutes and months and miles
nature’s glistening white story.

Each unique shape, a cold ornament
artfully decorates the forests
roofs, hillsides, brooks all transform
into one resting blanket of silence.

Sun warms and combines invisible crystals
rising moon provides a vast night light
wind patterns the landscape
and the elements play their game.

Past child imagines and excites in the wonder
creates and plays out an adventure
now skillful gliding curves renew the freedom
as we soar over varied frozen surfaces.

Drifting thoughts suggest balance found
in snow’s purity, truth and promise
reveal meanings in winter’s bright gift
ever grateful for mountain life.

CATHY QUAGLIA is an avid skier and windsurfer living winters in Killington,Vermont and summers in Haiku, Maui. In 1975, she and her husband, Lee, founded Aspen East Ski Shop and when snowboarding became popular, Surf the Earth Snowboards, and continue to run their retail and online stores. She was a certified professional ski instructor and resort real estate broker, and has hosted successful book signing events at the shop with authors, Linda Greenlaw, Reeve Lindbergh and Karen Lorentz.  Contact 

EDITOR'S NOTE: “REFLECTIONS ON SNOW” is an artistic collaboration between Killington, Vermont artist, Alice Sciore's paintings and Cathy Quaglia’s poetry, known as WATERCOLOR WORDS. They are currently working on a third project together, "MOUNTAIN HOME."


december celebrity poet

randall jarrell 

(1914 – 1965)

nationality: american

Randall Jarrell- Credit: Public Domain

A Man Meets a Woman in the Street

Under the separated leaves of shade
Of the gingko, that old tree
That has existed essentially unchanged
Longer than any other living tree,
I walk behind a woman. Her hair's coarse gold
Is spun from the sunlight that it rides upon.

Read the entire poem at:  

For the poet’s biography, see:

Quoted for educational purposes only. 
All work the copyright of the respective authors.