Featured Poem: Legacy of Love

Anne Bonner
Cape Canaveral Branch


as the old lady stares into space
slender twig bent and broken
I remember Mama
a beautiful young blossom
role model in days past
admonishing sister and me
pretty is as pretty does


remember those not as fortunate
urging us to become good citizens
using our minds and creative abilities
a kaleidoscope of dreams
patchwork of portraits
assurance of self-worth


mothers  grandmothers  great
grandmothers second class
citizens in days long ago
surrounded by barriers of barbs
visible and invisible boundaries
never forget your roots


unsightly deeds covered by
apologetic men as women today
take their rightful place in the world
sympathy for the downtrodden
providing sustenance to husbands
children and to themselves
to thine own self be true


thank you, Mama
and those ladies before you
legacy’s tapestry is woven
into my heart
golden threads of love



Featured Poem: Ancient Roads

Nancy Haskett
Modesto Branch


At Brú na Bóinne,
Neolithic people walked on ancient roads
through sacred Irish land
toward prehistoric passage graves
and ceremonial temples like Newgrange,
where grass grows atop a rounded mound,
over white quartz walls layered with earth and stone,
carved circles, spirals, chevrons, arcs;
created by a people older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge
who feared the loss of light in autumn’s abbreviated days,
this holy place keeps a secret all year long
until dawn of Winter Solstice
when the rising sun peeks in through a roofbox
aligned to capture the rays,
sends them to the inner chamber,
flooding the floor with light —
an annual miracle providing reassurance that the days,
once again,
will begin to lengthen



Featured Poem: The First Snowfall Prediction

Susan Bassler Pickford
Member-at-large, Maine


Thirty minutes after the weatherman’s prediction
The snow commences to fall
December 9th at 12:30
Pretty delicate flakes
Waft to the cold ground
Covering the ornamental cherry trees
Like a set from the Nutcracker Ballet
This storm has come across the south and up the East Coast
And is predicted to be gone by tomorrow at noon
Would that our lives could be predicted as accurately
Problems arriving around 6:30 p.m.
Probably gone by 9 a.m. tomorrow
Followed by a light dusting of consequences
Yes, it’s time for snow
We’re not surprised
It’s actually pretty
It benefits from being the first snowfall of the season
Those following will not be so beloved, so pleasing
Eventually, we will loathe the word “storm”
Yearning, longing for the ornamental cherry trees
To bloom
Flowers instead of flakes



Featured Poem: Furious, Too

Diane McDonough
Cape Cod Branch


(after reading fury by Lucille Clifton)


Mama’s hand delivers
rhymed and metered stanzas
natural as blue trumpets
of a morning glory vine
unfolding in an incubating sun.


Papa fears the shape of those blues
she wears like a crown, fears her thinking
she’s some star like Billie Holliday —
singing her poems as she pulls
wet clothes from the laundry basket,
pins them to the line,
towels and shirts slapping
in the wind like applause.
So in a 1940s cold spell, like Jack Frost,
he freeze-dried those vines,
said, No. You won’t publish no poems in no book.


Mama freaked, her eyes severed connection
with everything but her pages,
and she scooped them up,
cradling them like some precious stillborn.
Dashing to the cellar, she threw them
into the belly of the furnace.


Papa fertilized the garden with the ashes,
wins prizes for roses, long-caned Bourbons
with lipstick pink petals, and prickly rugosas
he planted in a hedge ‘round the house
crowding out every last morning glory vine.


Featured Poem: Warm Sunday Afternoon, Thanksgiving Weekend

Judy Crystal
Greenwich Branch


In Byram Park
West wind whispers, branches dance
Glimpse of sun-burnished water
Through the red and orange leaves
Promise of winter beauty


Young man, sweatshirt discarded
Park bench sheltered from the breeze
Eats his brown bag lunch
Unthreatened, summer lingers


On the Avenue
Shadows lengthen, dusk approaches
Marking the advancing season
Evergreens in window boxes
Wreaths and roping on the doors


Fairy lights glimmer in windows
Stores adorned with Christmas wishes
Coats unbuttoned, couples amble
Turkey dinner afterglow


Before the long, cold nights begin


Featured Poem: Canvas of Life

Barbara Clarke
Atlanta Chapter


Life’s journey is played out beginning on the upper part of the canvas

bright colors are intermingled at the entrance of a new soul.

Love between us is heighten with hues of a symphony of emotions

when we welcome a new being into our fold.


In times of despair and downtrodden state of affairs

dark cacophony of colors swirl around us and

we strive to live above ordinary circumstances that

drag us down to the bottom of the canvas.


It is the Creator that lives within us that provides

the White Spirit to push on through the grey abyss

of troubles and tribulations that plague us in this canvas life.


When your soul is bleak and the canvas has you stifled

where your creativity seems to have subsided,

you stumble around not being able to bring forth. . . 


a friend calls with yellow enlightenment and words of promise

encouraging you to pick up your brush and paint pushing through,

you then see the rainbow that shines through friendship

propelling you to move higher up the canvas

breathing life into the continuation of your masterpiece.


The ups and downs of canvas life are captured in your journal,

it holds your most heartfelt sentiments and feelings

about this journey you’re treading on. You paint in your journal

expressions and impressions, memoirs as you move on down

the canvas of life. You speak in your journal about the

emotional highs and lows that ebb and flow from living.


When one looks into your journal after you have moved on

into the other realm; gaining insight and a glimpse of the

picture you painted expressing your innermost secrets

and emotions about the canvas of life. They take your memoirs

and hold them in their hearts and keep you alive forevermore

from the picture you created on your journey collage.


It is a way of safekeeping you high up on the canvas

for the picture you painted is held within their view

never forgetting the journey you made

and the love they held for you


Featured Poem: The Nature of Waiting

Jenny Santana
Iowa City Branch


I sit

on a park bench

quiet and still

watching the ants

scurry hurriedly along the pavement

and above me

the sparrows fly

puncturing the sky

like liberated darts 

while the monarch butterflies

bounce and weave

on circuitous routes

and wistful bees

perch upon

flowers’ buds

trembling in the air


a breeze comes by

and lifts them



Beneath the shifting daylight

of a cloud-speckled sky

as the world turns

with ferocious



I sit



for you

to love me.