Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 2011 Poetry Page

"Christmas! 'Tis the season for kindling the fire
of hospitality in the hall, 
the genial fire of charity in the heart"
- Washington Irving



by Wendy Stevens

In the blink of an eye,
the world can stop turning,
and the heart can stop beating.
But as the last moments arrive...

Regrets fade with the morning fog,
as angels seek and newborns cry.
Harmony fills the soul, a beckoning from within,
a chamber that echoes with voices from the past.

Only a moment left,
the memories are vividly displayed.
A gallery of times long passed,
images overlapping in colorful disarray.

To the outside world, you struggle for breath,
but inside, the rainbow appears over your bridge.
A blast of knowing, the joyful celebration beginning,
you bid farewell to the old life and welcome the new.

Tethered to the last strands of waning life,
the moment lasts for a brief second more,
and as dawn breaks over the crowning cliff side,
you fly away under the new sun's glory, 

into the painless sky.

With sorrow we remember the man you are, 

the man that you were,
with smiles and tears we recount the stories.
With heartache we send you off with a song of farewell,
and capture your memories within our hearts.

Backwards time slides,
the man becoming boy,
pain becoming joy,
and soon the darkness fades.

Only a moment left,
and in that moment the new child smiles brightly,
and he dances in the golden rays
of heaven's loving light.

WENDY STEVENS is a thirty-seven year old retail worker from Lancaster, New York, a suburb of Buffalo, who's been writing poetry since a young age. She has been published in a local arts magazine called Artvoice as well as Ceremony and Ceremony Collected. Contact


by Michael Lee Johnson

Leaves, a few stragglers in
December, just before Christmas,
some nailed down crabby
to ground frost,
some crackled by the bite
of nasty wind tones.

Some saved from the matchstick
that failed to light.
Some saved from the rake
by a forgetful gardener.

For these few freedom dancers
left to struggle with the bitterness:
wind dancers
wind dancers
move your frigid
bodies shaking like icicles
hovering but a jiffy in sky,
kind of sympathetic to the seasons,
reluctant to permanently go,
rustic, not much time more to play.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I like Leaves in December. So many people work so hard to get rid of leaves in the fall, so many filled garbage bags all tossed by the roadside waiting for local pick up and destruction. I see leaves as heroes of the fall, freedom fighters, gallant warriors standing up to the harness of winter’s first snow blow. You can view the “LEAVES IN DECEMBER” video at YouTube

LEAVES IN DECEMBER, Credit: Michael Lee Johnson

LEAVES IN DECEMBER, Credit: Michael Lee Johnson

MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON is a poet, freelance writer and small business owner of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel:, from Itasca, Illinois. He is heavily influenced by Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg. Michael has been published in over 24 countries. He is also editor/publisher of five poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his website. All of his books are now available on Contact      


by Floriana Hall

A sigh, a hush at Christmas Eve
Tintinnabulation of church bells
A calm feeling after the rush
Of preparation for the birth

A cry was heard in the manger
And Jesus was swaddled for warmth
Mary and Joseph were so happy
Angels sang and shepherds in awe

Kings came to give the Baby homage
With gifts of frankincense and gold
A dream of Herod’s wrath warned them
To flee from Bethlehem of his birth

We celebrate Christmas each year
With family and friends so dear
The great-grandchildren make it merry
The reason for the season is here

To help each other and the poor
With deeds of kindness that endure
To assist humanity in every way
Could seem like Christmas every day.

My blessings to one and all
As all the good times I recall 
With each person, near or apart
People who have touched my heart

A message that is so clear
Expressions of love that shine through
The love and peace the Christ Child brings
Better than all material things.

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 Nell M. Berry

In a manger, a bed of straw they laid His Sacred Head. 
No fine linen, no down filled blanket graced 
His lowly bed. 
The sheep cried, the cattle lowed, the cave so dark and cold, this tiny Babe, 
whose mother prayed, the Father her Child to hold. 
They found no place, no friendly inn in which to stay the night; 
so alien, unfamiliar, strange environs was 
their plight. 
It was meant to be, ordained by God, His lowly place of birth. 
His humble beginnings, as a Babe, came He to earth. 
The shepherds saw a bright star, which led them 
to the inn. 
There in a lowly manger, they fell down and worshipped Him. 
Much later as a Man, He began to preach the Word. 
He taught them of God's mighty power, 
And how to seek the Lord. 
He said, "Ye must be born again, repenting of 
your sin." 
He gave them hope, where none remained and asked them to follow Him. 
They followed Him, those who believed, their lives soon were marked. 
Their faith became real in Jesus Christ, this Man that some still mocked. 
They knew that one day they would be, destined to suffer and die. 
And yet they would not turn back from 
following Jesus Christ. 
In three short years He preached to them 
And taught them how to live, to all who would listen He preached; 
eternal life to give. Ordained by God, 
His humble beginnings, 
Destined to suffer and die, on an old rugged cross, 
with a crown of thorns, this Man called Jesus Christ. 
On the cross, His life's blood ebbing, He struggled to draw His last breath. 
He said as His life was ending, "It is finished," 
Our Savior was dead. 
In a borrowed tomb, they laid Him. Three days His body lay, 
in the cold, dark grave He lay until the third day. 
On the third day, the stone was removed, the soldiers had placed on the tomb. 
Out of the grave He came, triumphing over 
death and gloom. 
In the tomb, He no longer was found by 
Mary Magdalene, 
For us He lives to give us life, if we will 
follow Him.

NELL M. 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


 (A poem for Bryanna)
by Edward Hujsak

                            You stand alone
                            Beneath the night sky


                            As someone intelligent
                            As someone fearless
                            As someone vulnerable
                            As someone special
                            As someone special?
                            You'd better believe it!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Edward dedicated this poem to a sad eleven year old girl, desperately in need of knowing that she really does matter. To his delight, it had a profound effect, read to her and discussed 
line by line by her grandmother.

EDWARD HUJSAK, the ninth of twelve children born to Polish immigrants, is a rocket engineer turned writer, artist, sculptor, and builder of fine furniture and musical instruments. A chemical engineering graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Edward worked on propulsion systems at General Dynamics during development of the Atlas and Centaur rockets. He was propulsion engineer on John Glenn’s famous orbital flight and served as chief of preliminary design at General Dynamics Astronautics Division for ten years, accumulating more than a dozen patents in the aerospace field. Edward is the author of seven published books among which are SCATTERSHOT, a collection of unrelated poems, and FOR LOVE OF TREES, a second book of poems. He has also written commentaries for a variety of journals and magazines, including Spaceflight, Space News, Machine Design, San Diego Reader and MAKE magazine. He lives in La Jolla, California and has two sons, Michael and Jonathan, and one grandchild, Karl Alexander. Contact


by Susan Marie Davniero

That time of year 
Our Mother dear 
Is baking again 
Her special blend 
Fruits and spices bake 
It’s Mother’s 
Christmas fruit cake! 

A Mother’s love entice 
Asking; “Want a slice?” 
A looming silent lull 
Meets with a “We’re full.” 
We pass the plate 
It’s Mother’s 
Christmas fruit cake!

SUSAN MARIE DAVNIERO is a published poet listed in "The Poet's Market 2011." She writes in traditional rhyme verse and has been published in various publications including Great South Bay Magazine, Write On!, The Poet's Art, Creations Magazine, Poetic Matrix, Pink Chameleon, Shemom, and others. She has also written essays and letters published in newspapers and magazines. Her blog "Susan Marie" is her writing history. They don't know her; yet, by way of writing they might. She is never at a loss of words. She has found her place as a writer and a poet. With every poem published she is inspired to write more. Writing feeds her soul - literally food for thought. Contact


by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

Our lady of stones
is no one’s icon
but a woman of uncertain age
seen on our country roads.
As if pulled by a magnet
from earth’s core, she bends,
plucks up rocks, gathers pebbles,
rattles stones in her hand.
By the end of each day’s walk,
pockets filled to overflowing,
pants threatening to fall
she heads homeward.

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 Francis Hart

My best friend. I love you more
Than anyone I ever knew
Except perhaps my grandpa, but
That memory's so old the ink is faded.
All is flux and all is change
Which if an improvement's good.
But now for some sobriety,
Common sense and happiness.
You give me what I attempt -
Deep security and warmth -
Two magi in the wilderness
Looking for a Christ -

FRANCIS HART lives in California. His favorite poets are John Keats, Rupert Brooke and Philip Larkin (when he can understand him). He has a BA in Psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills. His poems have been published in Obsessed With Pipeworks, Barbaric Yawp, Ardent!, Open Minds, The Road Not Taken and others. Contact


by H. Tennille Johnson

Walk, walk, walk down a foggy city street 
Clouds and sky embrace, they meet
Unfinished symphonies float in my head
An empty soul not being fed
Given wisdom beyond my years
I wallow in insignificant fears

H. TENNILLE JOHNSON is a music teacher and author living in Houston, Texas. Ms. Johnson’s previously published works include a poem entitled Dealing With Myself, a short story entitled Finding Emily, and a nonfiction piece entitled The Parental Symphony: Opus No. 1. Currently, she is working on a novel. Contact 


by Debbie Hilbish

I see tiny misplaced steps thrusting her
Feet and legs trying desperately to keep up
with head and shoulders
that are ahead in the race,
but unable to match the pace of his long stride,
and I fear I shall watch a tumble.
I hear the favorite
stories embraced by her
told over time and again with a look of magic
giggles and surprise,
as if this were the first
unveiling of their glorious wonder from her lips.
I find myself repeating
slowly and loudly in frustration
at deaf ears that ignore, hearing only
what is chosen to be bright and colorful
like a bird's song on the wind or praise
for her good deeds.
I watch as shaking hands
willing the fork and knife to cooperate
with fingers struggling in a macabre
dance of silverware and meat,
gliding across the china
plate and stumbling onto the table in shame.

I remind myself be patient in all these things
as patient as she
when you,
dear heart,
were the child
on her knee and at her breast.

DEBBIE HILBISH has been writing poetry for over thirty years. After retiring in 2004, Debbie and her husband became full time Rver’s, a lifestyle that has given her the opportunity to pursue her love of poetry, photography and art. She has had poems published in the poetry book Fading Shadows, and in the chapbooks, Magnolia Moon and Counting Sparrows. Debbie also has two of her own works published Bits and Pieces and LifeDream Collisions both of which include her artwork and photography. She holds poetry readings throughout the southwest and has had seminars, sponsored by various libraries, on poetry appreciation for young adults. Debbie also hosts an author’s fair for eight weeks (every January and February) at The Reader’s Oasis in Quartzsite Arizona. Contact


by Patricia Crandall

All glittery and golden
only one star is chosen
to shine on the manger
this Holy Christmas Eve

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 Website


by S. Kumar

You're a mass of flesh and blood 

What makes you so proud

Utterly helpless in drought and flood
Amidst awful mysteries that shroud

Your car and palace, silver and gold
Are nothing better than dust
None at last shall any you hold
When you perish out and rust

Your stature is of brittle bone
And your status of ugly crown
When in pain you cry and groan
Like the wretched dog you own

Why so haughty, why so vain
What seeds have you sown?
'You're born in other's pain
And shall die in your own’

So awake yourself without a sec
Of delay in the theater stage
Else the ship would fully wreck
Under the cruel wheels of age.

Who can liberate, Him you trust
Forsake all sins and greed
If love and passion feel you must
It's to God who fills your need.

S. KUMAR is a teacher living in Kolkata, India. His passion is writing and teaching communicative English. His publications include a published technical school textbook on computer Java programming, a short story and poem published in national daily and international magazines. Visit a website on personality development at Contact


by Larry Rodgers

Music was the savior of the world
And poetry the prince that gave it love.
But verse was suffocated in its sleep
And after came assassins in a slew
To ascertain that it was truly dead.
The death of poetry's not permanent.
It was already dead. You can't kill death.
Poetry is death. It always was.
And likewise love that gives you happiness.
But music wasn't dead. It was serene -
The single blessing from the soul of man -
A soul allotted to so very few.
The others try and yield cacophony.
Who will recognize a melody
And bring the heart of music back to earth
And lift the moribund from poetry?

LARRY RODGERS received his BA in English from Fresno State University. His favorite music is opera, although he also loves piano including Cziffra and Wild. His poems have been published in Mind In Motion, Obsessed With Pipework, Barbaric Yawp, The Road Not Taken, Krax and many others. He lives in California with his three cats. Contact


by Roger Singer

It’s a black sky filled with 
angels falling; their wings fail against
an empty flat air.

Moans of dark words stir cold
in the soup of voices; the dust and dirt of
people are unsettled storms.

A flash of stars signals onto night’s altar.
Wide horizons feel the press from
a wide below
where the agony of continuing advances.

The journey is a circle. The starting place
is opposite of an end.
One more day fills into my breath.
My head lays tired on earth’s pillow.

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 Nance

Burning coals and embers - like a flame -
So the cap of hair upon your head -
With a heart that nobody will tame -
Truth! Like something I have only read -
Slender and diminutive and small -
Spoken like a sailor in a squall -
No gods or angels in your firmament -
Nonetheless as though from heaven sent -
A rapier that's capped - but quick the tongue -
Alma! May you stay forever young!

JOE NANCE likes lots of poets and poetry, but nothing modern except maybe Edna St. Vincent Millay and Philip Larkin. He has had poems published in several magazines, most of them some time ago, and he was twice nominated for a Pushcart. Contact


David Fraser

Before, when it was dark,
you didn’t know it,
but what if after,
when it is dark, you do?

No black void heartbeat,
no whiff of cardamom,
no buzz of stars,
no salt upon the lips,
no soft skin fingers in your hair
no bristle of the hairs
upon your neck, just dark,
not any colour, just dark,
forever and forever dark?

DAVID FRASER lives on Vancouver Island. He is editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine. His poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Rocksalt, An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry and Walk Myself Home. He has published four collections of poetry, Going to the Well (2004), Running Down the Wind (2007), No Way Easy (2010), and Caught in My Throat (2011). He is the artistic director for Nanaimo’s spoken-word series, WordStorm. Contact Website


by DeAnna Lee Pope

I challenge God to a game of cards, see what he has left for me.
I could bet my dog, my wife, my cold feet are under my bed.
When I wake up in the morning. I’ll collect my cards. 52 pickup.
I pull on the switches, crank up the coffee.
Another broken game of bridges burned as the mail is taken in
and placed in the burn pile.
Not one Christmas card this year.
At least my newspapers will keep me warm this year,
maybe I’ll burn books. Trying to stay warm,
I’ve lost so much to the pot—pushing out my life to the tables.
The calendar reads an early June, but it’s been winter forever.
Go fish God- it’s all you.
I challenge him, nibbling on a spoon. Spit. Speed. Sin.
God picks up the ace, gently sets it on the table.
“Take the ace.”
I suddenly remember:
My family, my friends, my life—
What I left on the table.
I bend over, the chips spilling out of my sides, my heart, my soul.
Take my bet off the table. Return it to home.

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 Nell M. Berry

Where has Christmas gone? 
Did someone steal the day? 
We know that Christ was born, 
it’s in His name we pray. 
Where has Christmas gone? 
Who took Christmas away? 
No matter who removed it 
it’s still a holy day. 
For Jesus came to save us, 
we celebrate His birth, 
without Him there would be 
no peace and joy on earth. 
He came as a tiny baby, 
to be our sacrifice. 
God sent His only Son, 
our Savior Jesus Christ. 
So let Christ be glorified, 
to Him our voices raise. 
put Christ back in Christmas, 
and give Him all the praise.

NELL M. 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 Sandra H. Bounds

When Winter comes to trees
and strips them bare
of every sign of life,

when Winter mutes the robin’s voice
and makes that song
a stranger to my soul, 

I trust that Spring will come again,
like some divine surprise
that stirs with resurrection grace
the robin’s melody
and brings to trees the gift of green

SANDRA H. BOUNDS has a Master of Arts Degree in English, and she has taught in both private and public high schools and in community college. An active member of the Mississippi Poetry Society, she was its 2005 Poet of the Year, and MPS published a chapbook of her work. She has been published in EVANGEL, THE LUTHERAN DIGEST, THE LYRIC, SACRED JOURNEY, TIME OF SINGING, and many other journals. Contact


by Patricia Crandall

      in amber coach light
glistening snow drifts
footprints lead to mailbox
and back
burning cold
      to touch
pock marks in snow
blows through icicles
in pale full moon

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 Website


by Shirley Securro

While shepherds watched their flocks by night 
They beheld the most wonderful sight 
An angel of the Lord appeared there 
And glory in the highest was everywhere 
The shepherds were afraid to behold this sight 
The angel assured them things would be alright 

The angel brought tidings of great joy 
That came to earth that night in a boy 
Born in the City of David a savior 
Wrapped in swaddling cloths in a manger 
Suddenly there was a multitude of heavenly hosts 
Praising our God in heaven to the utmost 

The angels went back to heaven that night 
The shepherds had gotten over their fright 
They went to Bethlehem to find their savior 
They did find him lying in a manger 
It was then that the shepherds returned 
Praising God for the things they had learned!

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

May Christmas time bring you joy
And dreams of yesterday,
When times were gentle and thoughts
Were covered with green and red:
When a turkey was in the oven and the
Aroma of sweet things wafted gently
Through the house laced with happiness,
A time when a belief in things lasted, and
Joy was felt, in every song that was sung.
Let us make that all true for today.

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


december celebrity poet

John Clare

(1793 – 1864)

nationality: english

John Clare – Credit: Public Domain


Christmass is come and every hearth
Makes room to give him welcome now
Een want will dry its tears in mirth
And crown him wi a holly bough
Tho tramping neath a winters sky
Oer snow track paths and ryhmey stiles
The huswife sets her spining bye
And bids him welcome wi her smiles
Each house is swept the day before
And windows stuck wi evergreens
The snow is beesomd from the door
And comfort crowns the cottage scenes
Gilt holly wi its thorny pricks
And yew and box wi berrys small
These deck the unusd candlesticks
And pictures hanging by the wall

Neighbours resume their anual cheer
Wishing wi smiles and spirits high
Clad christmass and a happy year
To every morning passer bye
Milk maids their christmass journeys go
Accompanyd wi favourd swain
And childern pace the crumping snow
To taste their grannys cake again

Hung wi the ivys veining bough
The ash trees round the cottage farm
Are often stript of branches now
The cotters christmass hearth to warm
He swings and twists his hazel band
And lops them off wi sharpend hook
And oft brings ivy in his hand
To decorate the chimney nook

Old winter whipes his ides bye
And warms his fingers till he smiles
Where cottage hearths are blazing high
And labour resteth from his toils
Wi merry mirth beguiling care
Old customs keeping wi the day
Friends meet their christmass cheer to share
And pass it in a harmless way

Old customs O I love the sound
However simple they may be
What ere wi time has sanction found
Is welcome and is dear to me
Pride grows above simplicity
And spurns it from her haughty mind
And soon the poets song will be
The only refuge they can find

The shepherd now no more afraid
Since custom doth the chance bestow
Starts up to kiss the giggling maid
Beneath the branch of mizzletoe
That neath each cottage beam is seen
Wi pearl-like-berrys shining gay
The shadow still of what hath been
Which fashion yearly fades away

And singers too a merry throng
At early morn wi simple skill
Yet imitate the angels song
And chant their christmass ditty still
And mid the storm that dies and swells
By fits-in humings softly steals
The music of the village bells
Ringing round their merry peals

Read the entire poem at:

For the poet’s biography, see:

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