Friday, November 4, 2011

November 2011 Poetry Page

"We ought to make the moments notes 
Of happy glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days, a silent praise
Of music we are living." 

- Ella Wheeler Wilcox



by Kathy Humenik

Under my bed is an old brown trunk
which is covered with dust and grime.
In it are stored the mementos
that I've collected over time.

These bits and pieces of my life
are not all shiny and bright.
There is grief and anger and arrogance
and mistakes I did not make right.

There’s the birthday card I refused to send
and the debt which was left unpaid.
An angry letter that I wrote to my love
when romance had started to fade.

There is also the picture of a smiling child
whose faith in the world was strong.
And the ring from a man who believed in me,
Regardless of what I did wrong.

Every item was thoughtfully placed
in the trunk I keep under the bed.
Each was selected with the greatest care
for what its inclusion said.

I've cherished the good and learned from the bad,
and stored them all away
for it's the combination of things in the trunk
that will tell my story one day.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: THE OLD BROWN TRUNK was previously published on Fan Story on December 29, 2010. 

KATHY HUMENIK has written poetry off and on for years. After retiring, she has been re-energized about writing and is hoping to find positive publications that would be a good fit for her work. Besides writing, she enjoys traveling, gourmet cooking and a boisterous collection of grandchildren. Contact

TRUNK MEMENTOS, Credit: Connie Pepper

EDITOR’S NOTE: TRUNK MEMENTOS is a drawing created by Kathy Humenik’s sister-in-law, Connie Pepper to illustrate the poem.


by Floriana Hall

What happened to the changing leaves? 
They’re gone 
Where is the warmth of October? It’s over!
November is a month of surprises
Like Thanksgivings we know, like first snow
From Veterans Day to the month of May
We can fill the time with wishes sublime
And cheerfulness wherever we may go
Landscapes may be bare but we should not care
Our hearts will be full of love and grateful
For gifts we are given, not hateful
We spread good thoughts, help family, others
The world is full of sisters and brothers
Who need prayer and help for all disasters
Let’s plead for peace, good will from the Master.

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 Roger Singer

The sky was a different flavor. 
A mischief of gray and steel. 
A thick curtained mist lay draped 
like a fallen hero, while god’s 
wrestled on the floor of a distant horizon; 
The engine of thunder rumbled low. 

An inexhaustible power lay in satin waters. 
A calm sea holds back dawn with 
black winds in the soup of brewing storms. 

The sky coughs, mildly at first, 
like sleep shedding its skin.

ROGER SINGER served as a medical technician at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida for three and a half years during the Vietnam era. While stationed at MacDill, he attended evening classes through the University of Tampa. When discharged, he began studies at the University of South Florida and attained his Associate and Bachelor degrees. In 1977, Dr. Singer attained his chiropractic doctorate from Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had over 500 poems published in magazines, on the Internet and in books. His poetry has appeared in Westward Quarterly, Black Book Press, Avocet, SP Quill, The Unrorean, Underground Voices, Language & Culture and The Tipton Poetry Journal. Contact


by Joe DuBuduo

Sounds like something
you’d cook up she said
with mockery in her voice

thoughts rumble roll and circle
into sizzling uncertainties
scorn cooks composure into passion

adding spice to rationality
silently stirring synaptic energy
mixing it into wayward paths

flowing to dark areas of the psyche
tasting our world from behind
an impenetrable shade of black

jamming logic and rationality
dark thoughts control instinctive actions
taken without thoughts of consequence or penance

simmering feelings crave to boil over
and are only held back by our humanity
lowering the flame

instinctively knowing moral from immoral
separating insane thoughts created
in that black hole called a mind

controlled by god knows what
if we had power to turn off the unwanted feelings
sautéing in our brains

we'd never cook up so many obsessive responses
and wouldn’t stew because somebody said 
a few unkind words

JOE DIBUDUO is a writer who lives in Arizona and graduated from Yavapai College in 2009 in the creative writing program. He has published several short stories and poems online, and has published one nonfiction book. He is presently working on a memoir and novel along with writing a poem a day. Contact


by John Tzikas

I’m Mr. Right All Night, I’m all hands, 
I don’t wear out 
I’ve been a loiterer 4 decades into my life, my mouth is watering now, with songs for you in spite, can you tell 
me has the Good Ship Lollipop stopped by 
for a dry spell 

And I’ve grasped all the basic fundamentals, all 
we self-anointed fortune tellers, cure writer’s block 
guzzling from a funnel, and I may have a Best Seller 
in the woodworks but I’m cramping up 
with carpal tunnel 

I annoy you with the joys of being a forward thinker 
hold that thought I may use it if the funk 
gets any deeper 
and a true renaissance kind would not go down 
so quietly 
Voltaire’s quill killed violently, I’m not your flash in the pan 

The Vice Principal listed me as trouble-maker 
in the brewing 
I have a rap sheet the greatest minds 
would be proud of, once you 
find these rascals, I’d like a word with them, 
I’ll keep it feather light 
for two close chums shooting the bull in the china shop, just like old times

JOHN TZIKAS is a Toronto, Canada based poet, lyricist, and free verse writer with a passion for classic literature and history. His poems have appeared in Long Story Short, Midwest Literary Magazine, Word Salad, Quill's, Ditch Poetry Magazine, Mused- the Bella Online, Hudson View Poetry Digest and Wordbridge Magazine. He has performed readings for more than five years in small coffee house settings, while living in Guelph and Kitchener, Ontario. Contact


by Steve Smallwood

When dawn becomes day,
and day becomes dusk,
and dusk becomes dark,
dark turns to dawn.


STEVE SMALLWOOD is recently retired, and has only begun sending his work out, although he has been writing for several years through several jobs, re-locations and one divorce. Contact


by Cathy Quaglia

It is what it is
until you make it better
It is what it is

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 Terry Foote

I create my own
chasms of craziness

I frolic in fields
of frustration

I traverse the trail
with no end in sight

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, DARKLING, and The Storyteller. Terry enjoys home brewing and wine making and being spiritually renewed by nature. Contact


by James Piatt

Listen to the thunder,
Hear the muted roar,
Tis the call of hawks,
The heralding of war,

Talking heads in soft chairs,
Roaring with false might,
Words as evil as devil’s prayers
Heatedly urging others to fight,

Bodies blown apart, bad luck,
Eyes staring emptily to the sky,
Soldier’s drying running amok,
Dying innocents asking why,

Back home analysts argue plans
Blaming others for failing schemes,
Youth lying lifeless on foreign sands
While bankers amass golden dreams.

When the earth is scorched bare,
And talking heads, and pundits die
A poet will come to share, the
Fallacy of, the greatest lie.

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


       IN CARE
by John T. Hitchner

Once a master of his craft, 
his eyes flashed,
his body moved and smiled
like a classroom dancer
when he challenged us:
“Design, build, and present
a scale model of your ideal city.
Industry and open space,
schools and hospitals,
neighborhoods and downtown.”

We considered.
We drew, crafted, explained.

He questioned.
We explained more.
He agreed, his “Very good”
and “Nicely done” enough grade for us.

Now nurses tap his door
morning, noon, and night.

They feel his forehead,
help him dress and comb his hair
because he can’t do those tasks himself.
They feed him because he can’t feed himself.
They remove his daily dosage
one pill at a time from a paper cup,
slip each pill one at a time inside his mouth,
place a cup of apple juice to his mouth
after each pill
and tell him to swallow
because he can’t hold the cup himself.

“Take care, my friend,” they bid him.

In reply
sometimes he blinks.
Today he utters a sound,
a pinched line without direction
but with purpose.
It speaks words only his heart hears.

JOHN T. HITCHNER teaches Creative Writing and Coming of Age in War and Peace at Keene State College, in Keene, New Hampshire. His poetry has appeared in several journals, most recently in the Aurorean and Backstreet. His new chapbook, SEASONS AND SHADOWS, was recently released by Finishing Line Press. Contact


by Bill Roberts

you're part of the plan,
life's plan,
so get with it, buddy,
find a way out of your hole --
reach out, touch something
or somebody,
say hello, smile,
even kind of cockeyed if
you're too uncomfortable
to start a conversation.
Shrug, say you don't know
what to say,
this is all so new to you --
even admit you once knew how
but forgot,
need help getting back
to Square One in life.
The hardest part is
reaching out, touching.
The words come easy
after that.

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 Nell Berry

Something is happening and not everyone sees, 
It is not new, it’s been happening for centuries. 
Christians more and more are being persecuted, 
they say. 
Oh my friends, you need to get on your knees and pray. 
The Bible gives us warning; 
signs of storms that are coming, 
There are dark clouds that are forming on the horizon over there. 
No need to deny it, and it’s never been so quiet, 
People who decry it are being silenced everywhere. 
It seems this world is shaking, 
a new gospel they are making, 
Their ears are being tickled by another gospel, 
it seems. 
This other gospel denies, the Gospel of Jesus Christ 
But the Word of God, the greatest truth it deems. 
Be it crevasse, nook or cranny, be it palace, 
shack or shanty, 
The Gospel of Jesus Christ shall be proclaimed. 
Some people will detest it, 
some will actually protest it, 
And some, the Word of God, loudly profane. 
Christians won’t be silent, 
their methods won’t be violent, 
The Word of God will forever remain. 
When Jesus ushers in His Kingdom, 
God’s Spirit will bring them, 
every knee shall bow and 
tongue confess in Jesus name.

NELL BERRY resides in West Virginia and has been married to Louis B. Berry for sixty years. She is a mother of four, grandmother of nine and great grandmother of soon to be eleven grandchildren. Her hobbies include cooking, sewing, crocheting and writing. 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 Robert Wooten

And of Troy's fall this woman was asking again;
often that same man was wont to relate in different words.
They had stood still on the shore. There Calypso the beautiful, too,
inquired after the Odrysian leader the divine will of the gods' leader.
With the light staff, the man (for the brave man was holding it)
represented the action, as much as she asked on the wide shore.
He said, "This is Troy" (on the sand he made the walls);
"let this for you be the river Simois; suppose these my military camps."                   
                                                          translated from Ovid                                                                                                 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: CALYPSO is selected from a book of selections, entitled “LATIN UNSEENS” which is translated from Ovid. In this passage, the main character is Ulysses.

ROBERT WOOTEN earned an MFA in poetry at the University of Alabama and an MA with a creative writing focus at North Carolina State University. His most recent collection is a chapbook published by In His Steps Publishing, Famous Last Words, in 2007. His poems have appeared in The Lyric, Poem, and Asheville Poetry Review, respectively, and in many other periodicals. His poetry currently appears in Old Red Kimono, Poetic Matrix, and The Dirty Napkin. Contact


by Joanna M. Weston

fully loaded
waits to turn left
off the highway

we’re stopped
at the stop sign
longer than usual
watch business traffic
hurtle past
until a pause
and the behemoth lurches
into movement
arcs our car wide
belches black exhaust
into thin green air
blasts us
with dust and gravel

JOANNA M. WESTON has had poetry, reviews, and short stories published in anthologies and journals for twenty-five years. Her middle-reader, 'Those Blue Shoes,' is published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, 'A Summer Father,' is published by Frontenac House of Calgary. Contact


by Jad Sheikali

The sweet, tangy crunch of a perfectly placed pickle breaks the silence. 
In my mouth at least.
This damn bland cubby has become my living room, dining room,
and sometimes, bedroom.

I open my chocolate pudding with the eagerness of an inmate,
Awaiting his monthly conjugal visit,
Needing a fix of excitement, something new,
Something to keep my mind fresh.

I delicately open a bag of chili cheese Fritos,
Fearing its crinkly loudness,
Only to be thwarted by the loud crunch of the cheesy goodness,
Attracting a myriad of stares and glares felt through the grey walls.

I pull out my banana with confidence,
Certain that its quiet skin will not alert my peers.
As I peel it back, revealing its sweet, tender flesh,
An explosion of laughter interrupts my bliss,
Clearly a Freshman.

I destroy all evidence of my leisure in the trash bin and get back to work.
As I flip through the pages of my textbook I begin to wonder,
What would Linguistic Anthropology taste like deep-fried?

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 Patricia Wellingham-Jones

The blood-red satin
binding her long black braid
The white road stretching
plumb-line straight
across the plains
The black road worn gray
in its twisting path
through the Rockies
The lake blue cord
binding her slender waist 

unwinding in his hand

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


Maria A. Arana

Just like the tree 
That goes through trials
And tribulations,
My heart will be stable
For the one I miss;
I will stand with you
Rooted in the space we planted

MARIA A. ARANA was born in Nicaragua and moved to California at the age of six where she continues to reside. She had an early start in reading and writing poetry as a teenager even though she trained to be a teacher. Her favorite poets are Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, and Ruben Darío. Currently she is working on a young adult novel. Contact


by Peter Franklin

Wonderfully quiet the morning is...
Movement on the water below is just far enough away
That I have to imagine the laboring grumbles of
Diesel motors...the yeek-yeek of
Gulls swooping behind in hopes of
Snagging a chum breakfast. All silently
To me of course.
Closer in, I'm sure the cacophony of nature and machine is not as
idyllic as I picture it now.
Well past sunrise, the light paints a broad
swath on the opposite shore. It is warmer there than in the shadows
here...beckoning with late summer fingers.
But the sun's presence over my shoulder is nonetheless
I hear it now, the howling of a dog...
Likely left standing at the dock...forlorn and alone...while his
master heads to sea.
The only sound...signaling the end of that relationship.
As with the season underfoot.

PETER FRANKLIN teaches English and Creative Writing at Swampscott High School (Swampscott, MA). Peter received a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of California, Davis, and has a Juris Doctor degree from Concord Law School. He has been published in a variety of publications, including Long Story Short. His forthcoming anthology of poetry, Minutia Underwear, will be released in late fall, 2011. Peter resides in Marblehead, Massachusetts with his wife and two children. Contact


by Joseph Hart

Ugly, wretched, rancid day
Go away! Go away!
Despite what Rupert Brooke may say
Someone keep the sun at bay.
Let the night devoid of light
Hide the planet from my sight
And give me peace and sweet surcease
Of antiquity, despair
In music, poetry, release -
Like precious happy mountain air
Or by the sea when no one's there.

JOSEPH HART became aware of poetry when he read "The Highwayman." His favorite poets are John Keats, Rupert Brooke Philip Larkin (when he can understand him), and Sappho (what little there is). His poems have been published in Light, Obsessed With Pipework, The Eclectic Muse, Audience Magazine, The Road Not Taken and others. Contact


november celebrity poet

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(1850 – 1919)

nationality: american

Ella Wheeler Wilcox – Credit: Public Domain


We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling.
They hang about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives
And conquers if we let it.

There's not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past's wide measure.

But blessings are like friends, I hold,
Who love and labor near us.
We ought to raise our notes of praise
While living hearts can hear us.

Full many a blessing wears the guise
Of worry or of trouble.
Farseeing is the soul and wise
Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
To gladden every morrow.

We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o'er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus. 

Read the entire poem at:

For the poet’s biography, see:

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