Wednesday, August 21, 2019

from Sylvia Manning, Couplets for 2 black men killed by police ....

Sylvia Manning on left with Creekside Poets in Seguin, Texas,
a town between Austin and San Antonio, where she winters.

Sylvia says that this poem came back rejected.  One or two in the group told her to put it on this blog, even though it's not brand new.   In her mind it met the sense of a poem we'd been given as prompt.

Couplets for 2 black men killed
by police in Texas, February, 2016:

Antronie Scott and David Joseph

For these two killed last week
in nearby cities, do we seek


But how is that done
when each of us has one


and only one? How then
does any justice serve? And when

will those who should be here
to save such lives be given clear

demand to stop the killing
of young black men, spilling


their blood and lives needlessly
onto our city streets, heedlessly?

(Forgive these weak and rhyming lines,
but how indeed the sacrifice of lives

dear to us?)

                                                                         Sylvia Manning
                                                                         Seguin TX, 2016

Friday, July 26, 2019

Jean Morris shares her poem, A true.

Jeany read her poem at St. Johnsbury Athenaeum

A true

A true test of a stone, then, is if it feels good
            in both hands; twice enclosed.
            This and no other.

A true test of a beach, then, is what toys it shows you.
            Golden red plastic holds you, on both wrists.
            This color and no other.

A true test of a sea, then, is the song you hear.
            A wind of golden red stone;
            white wrists; enclosed hands.

A test to be true is here.



Tuesday, June 25, 2019

by Judith Janoo

Edge of the Gorge        
           Man is by nature a political animal Aristotle

Judith at Barton Public Library, 2018
Canyons between us we can’t understand.                                         
Tell me stranger at this political divide,
what thresholds you failed to cross,

what you lost, that there’s more
than nothing between us.

Freedom of thought, soft as Lambs-ear,
cashmere, fragrant as thyme-walked
ground. Somewhere between love & hate,

atheist & saint. Even Tolstoy wrote first of war.
Peace falls like spring rain, an eagle feather.

Tell me neighbor of thresholds you failed
to cross, what you lost, that there’s more
than nothing between us.

“Can you divide this apple into three halves?”
your daughter asked, feeding other hungry mouths

as she opened hers. Division as portioning.
Peace drops like a whisper between prairie warbler
and lark bunting, one feeder, tern and gull, one shore,

low tide and high. Over mountains, plains, drop
all your thoughts, friend, until edges give way, tell me
of thresholds you failed to cross, what you lost,

that there’s more than nothing between us. I’m wary
watching the broad-winged hawk circle, dive & rise.

Let stones shake from the ground up.
I want to feel the lift of your breath
on my cheek as you speak.

                                  ~  Judith Janoo

Monday, June 10, 2019

Mark Creaven's poem written in meeting, June 5, Word Slinging....

Mark Creaven, June 5, 2019


Only the way the corners of my mouth                              
Break their silence and curve
Ever so gently
Do I show how pleased I am
To see one line fall upon the page
Followed by its sister
Waiting for a while
Another line burps upon the page.
The air seems to move
To blow the words one atop
The other.
Now the thread that was
An idea breaks and I am
Left gasping, trying
To tie it all up
In a bright and shiny bow.


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Sylvia Manning finds a poem she wrote in Barton in 1973, to Albert Huffstickler.

To see a (not very good) picture of Albert Huffstickler (Huff), you can go to

There are several websites where you can read his poems.  Here's the poem Sylvia Manning found today in old papers, one she wrote in Barton in 1973:

to Huff

I say I cannot write
but to you of course it's true
that there is blue flame
beneath an orange coffee pot
and to you it will continue
to be important that sometimes
in the long October morning
a cow brays
outside a city dwelling
as though to say

                       'since I'm here, and you,
                       another, you will know me.
                       I don't care how long it takes.
                       Your morning will always
                       have blue flames and
                       warmth in small cities.

                       (Friends taught.)

                       My mama taught me to make noise.
                       I'm like you.'

and to this day you are
my coffee memory.

                                                                   Barton, Vermont
                                                                                                                            October 24, 1973

(Now Sylvia is amused that she thought of Barton as a small city; and now Albert Huffstickler has been dead more than 17 years.)

Sunday, March 31, 2019


Carol Waller Youmans

About Poetry Making

When I picked up my pen,
I thought about reading to 34 earnest ears
Circled in a room
(If Jeannie forgot to come)
And I missed them so much
That I picked up the phone instead
And called a friend
I haven't talked to
in months.
                            Carol Youmans

I’ve written about this before,
But you haven’t heard how poems
Have driven me from bed to pin the words
Down before they pop like bubbles and wetly disappear.
I wrote once that a poem had written
Me one morning:
“the words bubbled up in finished wholes,
                        clean as though I’d read them.”
Morning moments on just waking are rich for me:
Images shimmer airily behind my sleep-slugged eyes
And if I don’t have a fast pen
On the floor near my bed and something to write on,
They’ll get away – swept out of my head
By the day’s bright start and a cat
That needs feeding.

                                                                                                      Carol Youmans
                                                                                                      Barton, August 2017

Take down the
Emblems of greed and corruption
Degrading the ridges’ calm
By humans so far removed from nature’s touch,
Perspective, alignment, understanding,
They destroy rather than revere.
They think when God gave them dominion
(as the scriptures say)
She meant exploiters not stewards,
Reverence, honor, humility, not slaughter.
But they will not destroy the earth.
Earth will win when our teeming terms shut down.
When the last of the swarming, brawling, quarrelling race
Asphyxiates or starves or drowns,
The earth will go on serene and free of mange.

                                                                                                  Carol Youmans
                                                                                                  Barton, August 2017