Monday, July 4, 2011

July 2011 Poetry Page

Yet, Freedom! yet thy banner,
torn, but flying, streams 
like the thunderstorm against the wind.”

- Lord Byron



by Bill Roberts

We had just returned from a visit to America  
It was wonderful seeing our country again
in all its glory, magnificent in sun and rain.

We saw bison we could almost reach out
and pet from our rental car, elk and pronghorn
antelope with their newborn, still wobbly.

Moose as ugly as I remember, as beautiful as
I care to imagine - real, live, three-dimensional.
Bear came into camp too, trying to steal food.

It was cowboy cookout night - steak, beans and
coffee cooked over wood fires, the bears tempted
no doubt by meat smells, possibly the caffeine.

There were no newspapers, radio or television
up there in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone,
so pristine it makes you weep for their beauty.

A newfound friend on the wagon ride back to our
cars told me Tim Russert died, nearly knocking me
over, so young a man he seemed, so much family.

I wept a little, unabashedly, tried to see where we
in America are heading, then reflected on this great
landscape, still defining who we are, its grandeur.

Where will we go in months and years ahead, trying
hard to hold on to what we've been, uncertain about
what we'll become, this awesome land of ours?

I have a feeling Tim Russert pondered the outcome,
was ready to pose the difficult question: Okay --
do we have the gumption of our forebears?

BILL ROBERTS writes at least one poem a day in fifteen minutes, coaches others on how to do it too, then prepare poems to go to market. He has been nominated both for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and currently does readings with friends on "Strong Voices, Strong Women: A Celebration of Women Poets." He, a wife of 53 years and two restless dogs live quietly in Broomfield, Colorado. Contact Website


by Floriana Hall

July is a booming month
With firecrackers sparkling in the sky
In neighborhoods on the fourth of July

July is a picnicking month
Cozy warm days with roses’ scent
And lazy days although well spent

July is a traveling month
For vacations here and far
With hopes pinned on a shining star

July is a healing month
The earth recovers from devastation
And people recover from deprivation

July is a booming month
Stars and stripes forever
Economy our end endeavor

Like a freedom celebration blast 

Our country will bloom and last

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 Terry Foote

Oh Yeah, The rope has broken
Oh Yeah, The sail is torn
Oh Yeah, We’re taking in water
Oh Yeah, We’re tired and worn

It’s over, we’ll never be the same
Can’t keep playing the same old game
Hope is gone, it looks real grim
Can’t go back to where we’ve been

Oh Yeah, The rope has broken
Oh Yeah, The sail is torn
Oh Yeah, We’re taking in water
Oh Yeah, We’re tired and worn

Everything has changed and we’re standing still
Get out your tin cup and panhandle if you will
Ease, comfort and no concern for tomorrow
Will drive us to the ultimate sorrow

Oh Yeah, The rope has broken
Oh Yeah, The sail is torn
Oh Yeah, We’re taking in water
Oh Yeah, We’re tired and worn

Corporations and their politicians control us all
Lulled into complacency, our eyes off the ball
Those who thump bibles have no fear 
For Armageddon is almost here

TERRY FOOTE lives near Chicago with his wife Pat and the memory of their departed feline. His father ignited his passion for poetry and his work as a nurse inspires him to write. Terry’s poetry has been published by Long Story Short and DARKLING. Terry enjoys home brewing and wine making and being spiritually renewed by nature. Contact


by Shirley Securro 

The United States Military how great that they are
They come from all over from near and from far

All the branches band together in unity
It's a grand thing for the whole world to see

They go without sleep and they care so much
They affect everything they see and touch

They're brave, courageous, and honorable too
They fight for freedom for me and for you

They leave their homes and families alone
To protect us and we need to condone

What they stand for and wherever they go
We need to praise them and always show

Our support for them in bad times and good
And each and every one of us should

Be proud of our military regardless of who
Because they support the red, white, and blue

They fight the storms and where the winds blow
Their wisdom and their power they do show

The United States Military is a force to behold
They are the best that there is and ever so bold!

I thank my God in the heavens above
For the United States Military and their love!

SHIRLEY SECURRO has been published in fourteen anthologies along with other poets and is currently working on her own manuscript for publication. She has designed/illustrated two book covers for other poets/writers and does poetry readings for churches, weddings, funerals, and meetings. Contact


by James Piatt

Come into my vision waves of greenish foam!
Allow my bare feet to know your briny poem,
Let the sea’s tide coddle my lover’s prayer, and
Form sonorous dreams that can ensnare!
Below the mountains so high and green,
The ocean shines so still and clean as
White topped waves come near my sandy scene.
The sun clothes my body in soft warm rays, and
My idle thoughts travel back to youthful days.

JAMES PIATT earned his BS and MA 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 Jad Sheikali

That unmistakable, musty smell enters my nostrils on a bright summer day.
The bitter-sweet scent of freshly cut grass takes me to an unforgettable place.

Blinding stadium lights mark the final scrap of a brutal campaign.
The toxic scent of a newly lined field stings like mustard gas.
The roar of the crowd is suddenly overshadowed by cannon fire below.
The generals march their troops into position, foe facing foe.
The battle has begun.

Passionate emotions infect the soldiers,
Coursing through their veins with the deliberation of a neurotoxin,
Leaving them numb to physical pain and thoughts of retreat.
Humid tension looms in the air.
The fight is fierce.

The deadlock breaks as the invaders strike.
Frothing with momentum, hands still wet from the first kill,
They stage another daring attack.
The crowd retreats into silence,
The ultimate prize at stake.

Defenses begin to run thin,
Blind desperation takes over.
The invaders break through the lines.
One final barrage of cannons signals the end of a long struggle.

A season of glory, one night of defeat,
That unforgettable scent, bitter and sweet.

JAD SHEIKALI is a third year student at the University of Florida. He is currently in his first poetry class, and has really benefited from the content of A Long Story Short. Contact


by Cathy Quaglia

I walk along another way
A pristine path of light and love
In gardens of eternal rainbows
And warmth of summer days.
It leads to peaceful meadows
Silent rivers flowing to the sea
Evergreen forests in the distance
Mountains glistening in snow.
My spirit soars amongst the stars
To another season called joy.
I dream along another way
This life-long gift complete
My heart is at rest in paradise
The journey home so sweet.

CATHY QUAGLIA grew up in New York and moved to Killington,Vermont in 1975, establishing Aspen East Ski Shop with her husband, Lee. With the emergence of snowboarding, they started Surf the Earth Snowboards, and continue to run their retail
and online stores together. During this time, she was a certified professional ski instructor and resort real estate broker. She has hosted many events at the shop, including book signings with best-selling authors, Linda Greenlaw, Reeve Lindbergh, Karen Lorentz
and Wendy Clinch, and The Ski Channel’s movie THE STORY to a large audience at The Summit Lodge in January 2011. She created WATERCOLOR WORDS, a collaboration with fellow Killington Arts Guild member, artist Alice Sciore, combining Cathy’s
poems, “ODE TO SKIING,” “REFLECTIONS ON SNOW,” and “MOUNTAIN HOME” with watercolor paintings that Alice created for them, which are now available for sale as art prints. She is working on a book of poetry and images called LIGHT ON LIFE.  Contact


by DeAnna Lee Pope

A girl is young, but she’s already grown
up in a field, drinking the dripping light like a mouse toasts the gutter water.
But the turbines stand before her
Faceless, strong, cold that smells of metal and oil.
Only action, turning wind into power.
The windmills rip up vines from their sockets, homes, roots.
The dust stirs up and splinters of the old forest whirl, stalks smooth from the cuts.
Its powerful, fearless, shadow never moves despite the whirlwind,
of now unidentified flora.
But she is still a daisy, white and fresh.
She will not be broken.
She is laughing in “the breeze” that circles round her living skirts
her laughter echoes off the rim of a jar.
Her jar.
The Daisy in the Jar,
plucked and cut from the field of gold.
The Daisy is set in a tall glass jar—one of the homemade glass ones—thick,
encircled by a round lip,
etched with little bumblebees into the glass.
The honey will preserve her heart forever.
She’ll stand forever, she will not be broken.
Although the turbines spin, mere glass protects her, a feeble and delicate shell.
She will not be broken.

DEANNA LEE POPE is from the Saint Louis, Missouri area. She has been writing poetry for about four years and has won the St. Louis Metro Arts Poetry Contest for two years and the Wednesday Club of St. Louis Poetry Contest in 2010. DeAnna has about a dozen of her poems that have been published in different magazines and journals including Poet's Espresso, Soul Fountain, and The Pink Chameleon. Contact


by Joanne Oliver

Rising tide! Oh rising tide! How I've watched you from the shore
As others have surfed around you – I just weep in awe
Scared little toes shiver into waters so cool
Remind myself again that I'm nobody’s fool
Rising tide! Oh rising tide! Caress these trembled knees
As my back arches - you are a wicked tease
My heart is aching from what I have denied
Scars in the sand - tears I have cried
Rising tide! Oh rising tide! Have to fight you oh rising tide!
You can never know these feelings trapped inside.
Washing me over with yet another wave
Cannot resist the urge - I need to misbehave
Rising tide! Oh rising tide! You have taken aim
For I am no longer drowning I'm merely whispering your name
Surrendering to your mighty power I simply cannot win
How much do I love you? Where do I begin?

JOANNE OLIVER is a 39 year old poet from Houghton Le Spring in the North East of England. She has been writing since she was four years old. She has been a member of three online writing groups for the past five years and has been published on Bookrix and Storywrite. She was a third place winner in the Momwriters Annual Halloween Competition in 2009, and was also a winner in the Yahoo Adult Creative Writing Group’s August and September's Monthly competition. Contact


by Holly Day

blissful memories of the sun in the middle of winter, the sun
beats down and makes me wish for umbrellas, 
blankets on
the sand, far from here where there is nothing but trees to break up the
endless grass and prairie. Cornfields
stretch faded yellow in all directions, how could this humiliation

ever feel like home? The sun
looks so different here, seems like it's turned on

much longer than back home, against the cool of the
ocean, against the backdrop of a field
of sand instead of dirty cows and dirty ditches too humiliating
to be called ponds. Back home, I would be covered in sunscreen, have my
bathing suit on
and no one would give me a second glance. Here, the

locals blush at naked arms and legs, avert their eyes to the fields
stretching sterile and unbroken to the horizon, humiliated
for me and my daring short-cut jeans. The sun
makes me feel dusty and dirty here, feels strange on
my skin, as though it's drying me out to match the

brittle orange straw flowers that lie flat at my feet.

HOLLY DAY is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Oxford American, The Midwest Quarterly, and Coal City Review. Contact


by Mira Sanz

We’re peering through the telescope the wrong
way round: everything’s too small,
we’ve become giants who live in a world that
can’t accommodate our biology. But then you
spin it on its

and you point the
righted instrument at
me, announcing with a
delicious grin,

it’s okay now.”
We seek out wonder in the breaks of the darkness and
clouded passages of light mixed with dust while
we crave the interruption
of stillness by the honeysuckled breeze.

MIRA SANZ is a writer who has returned to her family and friends in her hometown of Santa
Fe, New Mexico. In the past, she has hung her hat in Denver, New York and Coventry, England, where she studied classical music, theatre and writing respectively. She has a bottomless appreciation for Rainer Maria Rilke, and likes unlined journals, astronomy, a great cup of tea and her embarrassingly cute Shih Tzu, Leela. Contact 


by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

On a glider gently rocking
I revel in the patch of sun
warming my writer-cramped hand.
Rest my eyes on a cloud building
for a mountain thunderstorm.
Smell chicken roasting
in an oven with herbs
picked an hour ago from this garden.
I wonder at the life
sheltered for a century
in the old hotel walls,
secrets mixed with mildew
in the cracks. Wish
the endless rush of women’s words
on blue-rimmed air
would ease like the wind
into silence, 
one long hushed breath.

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 Abigail Wyatt

I remember the day the tide went out,
with my toes in shifting sand,
the day we walked by the restless sea
with our backs to the huddling town:
when the salt breeze lifted up your hair
and I failed to understand
that, on this day, the sky would fall
and the stars flee underground.

We strolled from crop to rocky crop
across the sun-streaked shore,
and laid our fleeting tracks of time
where none had been before;
and I called to you above the wind
but it chanced that you did not hear;
for you turned your steps towards the waves
and I was left standing there.

Perhaps it was the sea’s complaint
that rose and fell in your head;
perhaps, it wasn’t me at all,
nothing I did or said.
I like to think you didn’t know;
that it took you by surprise,
the day you shook the heavens
till the stars fell from the skies.

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 United Kingdom 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 Jon Bowers

She indulges joy of movement o'er
Fields of rye that sway below her
Breast, as billows roll throughout
Inhaling summer's heat

At dawn she skims a mirrored lake
Whose surface shudders, now awake
No rest--move on--no time for doubt
Not prone to be discrete

Savannas bow beneath her gaze
A stand of willows in the haze
Proud trees submit, turn inside out
Deprived of all conceit

Dispersing clouds she leaves a pattern
Of curls and swirls and ions scattered
Defiant crow is tossed about
Concedes a rare defeat

A pause in beauty's wingless pace
Her mood and willfulness displaced
Perhaps caprice, or just blown out
Now calm--she'll soon repeat

Contact Jon


by Michael Lee Johnson

Coastal warm breeze
off Santa Monica, California
the sun turns salt
shaker upside down
and it rains white smog, humid mist.
No thunder, no lightning,
nothing else to do
except sashay
forward into liquid
and swim
into eternal days
like this.

Santa Monica, California Summer, Credit: Michael Lee Johnson
Santa Monica, California Sun, Credit: Michael Lee Johnson

MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON is a poet, freelance writer and small business owner of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel at from Itasca, Illinois. He is heavily influenced by Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg. His new poetry chapbook with pictures, entitled FROM WHICH PLACE THE MORNING RISES, and his new photo version of THE LOST AMERICAN: FROM EXILE TO FREEDOM are available at The original version of THE LOST AMERICAN: FROM EXILE TO FREEDOM and his new chapbook CHALLENGE OF NIGHT AND DAY, AND CHICAGO POEMS are available. His two previous chapbooks are available at Michael has been published in over 23 countries. He is also the editor/publisher of four poetry sites, all open for submission which can be found on his website. All of his books are now available on, and BordersAudio MP3 poems are available and Michael is open to interviews. Contact You-Tube You-Tube


by Shirley Securro

Mountaintops to seashores 
Schoolyards to college dorms
Toddler to senior, heavier to leaner

Student to teacher
Congregation to preacher

Let Freedom Ring!

Storefronts to home fronts
Bustling crowds to lonely hearts

Battlefield to White House Steps
Households to State Reps

La Nina to El Nino
Raindrops to falling snow

Let Freedom Ring!

Heaven above
Cascading below

Let Freedom Ring
For all to know!

SHIRLEY SECURRO has been published in fourteen anthologies along with other poets and is currently working on her own manuscript for publication. She has designed/illustrated two book covers for other poets/writers and does poetry readings for churches, weddings, funerals, and meetings. Contact


by Patricia Crandall

Jet streams pass over 
a cherished heritage 
Eagles soar beneath, 
symbols of righteous freedom. 
I retain 
one part of the main, 
New York 
industrious and powerful. 
Vacationing south, I 
traveled wide 
of New England’s crowning vistas 
and meshed through warm, flat straights, 
wending into Florida, 
poignant with crowded sunshine 
and Mickey Mouse. 
I am 
desirous yet to see 
Colorado Rockies 
California style 
all territories united. 
you have aged well, being 
worthy of infinite beauty and greatness. 
And through all the dark 
you give us light. 

PATRICIA CRANDALL has three books in print: a thriller, THE DOG MEN, a historical volume, MELROSE: THEN AND NOW, and a poetry book, I PASSED THIS WAY. She is currently working on an adventure/thriller novel and a book of bottle mining adventures. She lives with her husband on a lake in the Grafton Mountains in upstate New York. Contact


july celebrity poet

James Whitcomb Riley 
(1849 – 1916)

nationality: american

James Whitcomb Riley – Credit: Public Domain


New Castle, July 4, 1878

or a hundred years the pulse of time
Has throbbed for Liberty;
For a hundred years the grand old clime
Columbia has been free;
For a hundred years our country's love,
The Stars and Stripes, has waved above.

Away far out on the gulf of years--
Misty and faint and white
Through the fogs of wrong--a sail appears,
And the Mayflower heaves in sight,
And drifts again, with its little flock
Of a hundred souls, on Plymouth Rock.

Do you see them there--as long, long since--
Through the lens of History;
Do you see them there as their chieftain prints
In the snow his bended knee,
And lifts his voice through the wintry blast
In thanks for a peaceful home at last?

Though the skies are dark and the coast is bleak,
And the storm is wild and fierce,
Its frozen flake on the upturned cheek
Of the Pilgrim melts in tears,
And the dawn that springs from the darkness there
Is the morning light of an answered prayer.

The morning light of the day of Peace
That gladdens the aching eyes,
And gives to the soul that sweet release
That the present verifies,--
Nor a snow so deep, nor a wind so chill
To quench the flame of a freeman's will!

Read the entire poem at:

For the poet’s biography, see:

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





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