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Voting -- Poet Laureate of MSPF


Vote for One Poem

Poll ended at Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:19 am

My Pen is.
Show me your friends. . . .
No votes
North on the Starliner
Night Crew
Total votes: 5

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Voting -- Poet Laureate of MSPF

Post by Tom » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:19 am

Vote for one of the marvelous poems.  The author of the top vote-getting poem will be the Poet Laureate of the  MSPF and shall serve in that capacity until a successor is chosen at next year's fest.


My Pen is.

My pen is running
short of ink
I'm getting old
is there a link?

Its robust lines
are now quite thin
its getting rather
slow to sin

When I hold it tight
and press it hard
I get the feeling
that I should discard

But I cannot shun
my little friend
when he is ill
for he could mend

Born together
friends for life
once or twice
he met my wife

My little Richard
was once a rock
he's softer now
my ageing cock.


Show me your friends....

Genetically speaking
I'm a freak,
a spider fearing wimp
in fluffy slippers
with immaculate nails,
feminine scents, and 
a 5 o'clock shadow.

Who's to blame
for the me I am,
for unusual preferences, like
pink lacy knickers
instead of y-fronts,
the love channel
instead of cage fighting.

My wife says
'toughen up you wuss'

and I realise 
how much she sounds 
like Dad.



I am no longer acquainted
with you;
when you speak to me
I do not know
what to say

I wonder sometimes
if you remember
the birch trees
from the Beach Road house

They walked at night, moving
to different locations
in our yard, trying to warn us
about the future

The one at the corner
looked like a naked corpse,
like you look now: white
leafed hair, black spots
on slender branches

I remember cutting it down
in 1972; it was diseased,
and you said it was the right thing
to do

We cut it into smaller pieces,
stacking them like body parts
against our cellar door


North on the Starliner

Wooden crosses from a former life
lift and lower power lines
from glass-studded arms.

The landscape closes in and widens out.
Angus graze their way across
Moore-ish sculpted hills...

The Men's Colony State Prison,
San Luis Obispo,
looms and fades.
I do not tell my fellow riders
there is a man I know inside:
I see him smile in bed
late on Sunday mornings.

I am wounded by the innocence
of grapes
pruned and staked between
windbreaks of gray-green eucalyptus
and the flat-pan fields where Norma Jeane
was crowned queen of artichokes
and set upon her journey.

The sun crossed the train three times,
got too close to the sea,
was drawn down,
is gone.

In the semi-dark
white neon surf underlines
glitter-city oil rigs
strung up the coast,
each an island, like the train,
stays awake and running
through the night.

And we are running through the night
to Jack London Square
where sheet-metal cut-outs
of London's wolves
caught mid-stride
are backlit by marina lights.

And beyond, the bay,
a span of black suspended:
the endless bridge.


Night Crew

Jagged light bands hover dream-like
over downtown. Korean spoken
on 29 through 40.

Dok Suni cleans a women's restroom:
eight times she kneels down,
hand wipes around
white porcelain toilets,

flanks them in their stalls
with plump new rolls of paper
and fresh bags in receptacles
for used hygiene products,

does not look at her reflection as she
polishes mirrored walls above the sinks,
checks for surface streaks,
fills soap dispensers--
globes glow yellow-green.

She hears Shang Nyun stop his vacuum
to chide a fellow worker: she does not smile,
changes paper towels and activates
to make certain they unwind smooth and quiet,

turns back to approve her work
before she kicks loose the safety brake
on her cleaning cart and moves on.