For the enjoyment of poetry and its creative process


Image: Currently Featured Poem

Editor's Note: Several months ago out of the blue I get this poem submission from someone I had never heard of out there in Internet Land. Since then I have come to know Mark Dykstra as a good man who has an artistic and poetic talent that will not be denied. I am so very gratified that today he released a video made from that poem that haunted me so back in August of last year. I hope you take time to stop and watch and listen. The lines of the poem below are the original ones, and the video has the lyrics altered a bit. Congratulations Mark on this beautiful piece. - Glenn Currier

Image: Fire from the mines

Fire keeps burning in the mines
By Mark Earl Dykstra
Please see the incredible video just released today, Friday April 28, 2016

I need to Hold on to the light,
And never give up this fight,
laced in sulfur I lift my hands,
and give thanks to the life I hold.

Mornings are freezing cold in these hills,
There's always smoke along the mountain ridge ,
Satan chuckles and turns his head ,
And the fire keeps burning in the mines.

Sunday's the only day I see God's light ,
The only day To see my children or to hold my wife,
There's no getting out its all I know,
the company camp to my life I owe.

Kentucky coal breeds a certain kind of man,
their two men short when sun sets down,
one home dying while the other holds his hand to pray
And the fire keeps burning in the mines.

Author's Note for the original poem above - submitted 8-25-15 : A few words on "Fire keeps burning in the mines." I had just had emergency gallbladder surgery, which didn't go well. I had been released after five days and sent home , I'm not sure why, maybe the word stones triggered some thought or the fact that they restarted my heart in the hospital but I picked up my guitar to noodle around with it for a while. Somewhere during this I hit a D chord but only played half the chord, I went down two fret and slid upward with the same notes, it sounded like the Appalachian Mountains to me. I then looked up a site on Appalachian coal mining, thus a song began in my head starting with ,I need to Hold on to the light. I play locally and the song has gotten some good responses. I wrote the words in two days and I wanted to share it somewhere more than just here when I play . So I searched the net and found this site and what a great opportunity to pass it along to all you.

"Fire keeps burning in the mines," Copyright © 2015 by Mark Earl Dykstra
Posted August 25, 2015


Current Poetic Challenge
Each month a new poetic challenge will be posted here. Email your poem to me (Glenn Currier) if you know my email address or send it via the Poem Submission Form. This time the challenge is:

Poetic Prompt # 18
Write a poem about a physical challenge and/or victory – either your own or someone else's.

Please see the poems below submitted for this poetic challenge.

By LaTanya Michael

Rape became a garment she hid yet so descreetly wore
Shame held her hostage while guilt nailed her to the floor
one strike, three strikes
a couple more
Pressed baby girl down
Made black woman angry
Tried to desecrate her heart
Disintegrate her being, almost-maybe
She say little girl within is dying
She's slowly vanishing inside
Black woman made crazy-
that man dismantled her pride
Seized her regal robe
Robbed her illustrious crown
Man used his undoubtable power
Woman shockingly laid hers down
Heart beat -silence
Heart beat - stop-
No sounds just echoes
No life, no clout
Heart faded spirit lifted
The soul was given
Her heart , an extension
The Father blessed her, re-risen
Steady, the rhythm comes back to life again
Not only her lover,
husband, became her friend
God reunited what man tried to obliterate
God quickened two hearts that in a moment one man tried to take
A Lion roars inside her
Black woman, rise again
Take your crown back
Let the devil suffer the sting
She's not giving up now
The Father's on their side
Little girl smiles again
Black woman claimed her pride
For it was never his crown to take
Never his pride to taint
God fights our battles while we silently wait
Weakness is just strength waiting her turn
Power is useless if nobody's won
The mission is our mission
And Christ is the key
If my marriage is redemption then Christ is the key.

"Garment," Copyright © 2016 by LaTanya Michael
Posted April 26, 2016

Image: Sunrise

Second Chance
By Roland Ruiz
Audio Recording of Roland reading his poem | MP3 format | WMA format

Dedicated: Those who are offered a second chance
In their venture down life's road
May they heed the warning of the roar
May they accept the change in the remaining years

Is it to late to change my fate from what it used to be
Can I change from what I was to another me
Life does dwell so quite in a second it can change
Can turn a soul upside down completely rearrange

I've faced this point in recent time
Came close to death was redefined
Heard death knock upon my door
Was it a warning as in a roar?

From faded memories unresolved
Creates the fantasies we notate
I've learned how precious hearts which throb
Upon a road we all partake

Which leads me to my destiny
This warning I will truly heed
For I have words still left in me
This gift granted has become my creed

So I'll accept this new lifestyle
This difference will help to set me free
For I have years still left to trial
This second chance has become the key

"Second Chance," Copyright c by Roland R. Ruiz
Written June 17, 2015
Posted April 26, 2016

Reflections of a Caregiver
By Glenn Currier

What colors are your heart?
Are they grays for the clouds hanging there?
Or red for the anger you wish you wouldn't feel?
Shades of maroon to bruising black and blue?
The dirty browns of the mounds of guilt
    guilt for the selfish indulgence of these colors
    when she is the one with the wound?
Heavy shades of sadness and pain?
The strained purple of anxiety
     or its magenta cousin fear
          on the cusp of a foggy frontier?
Dullness extruded from muscle-exhaustion
     that beckons you into sleep?

I pray the loss of twilight
and this journey into night.

I am grateful for the early morning light
     where shades of sadness fade
     the frights of the night are past
     and I am keen
     with shades of green.

Red with the oxygen of Grace,
I thank the Spirit
who sorted my dreams
sewed up the seams
to make whole my soul
and renew my heart.

What color is your heart this day?

"Reflections of a Caregiver," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted April 25, 2016

Author's Note: My wife recently had hip replacement surgery and is presently in the process of rehabilitation, recovery and healing. This poem is about my own journey with her.

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