Featured Poems

Image: graphic - previously featured poems

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 in 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

Permanence Denied
By Theodore L. Shaffer, Jr.

The patient and persistent ocean raised
In waves and dashed against the ageless cliff
Of stone, and then withdrew to dash itself
Again, until, in years unnumbered, wore
The wall of stone away.

The flowing river reached beneath the flow
And gathered tiny grains of sand to be
It's fingers as it scratched and gouged it's way
Down through the frozen stone to carve a gorge
Which future generations would admire
In sheer amazement at the water's force.

And we are less resistant than the stone,
For time will also wear us all away.

"Permanence Denied," Copyright c 2016 by Theodore L. Shaffer, Jr.
Posted April 23, 2016

By James Brown

Somewhere between snow and summer,
And the world's come awake again,
Warm days, soft rain, birds of number,
As God's seasons of life begin.

If I'm too busy to notice,
For behold, the winter is past, 1
No less than that King reminds me,
My time here on earth will not last.

So welcome those winds of springtime,
Reminds us to be at our best.
The storms of life will continue,
That's part of His plan and our test. 2

Though health and long life are welcomed,
And...flowers appear on the earth, 3
Remember, that's showing us proof.
After death, next comes our rebirth.

1 Song of Solomon 2:11
2 James 1:12
3 Song of Solomon 2:12

"Springtime," Copyright © 2016 by James Brown
Posted Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016

Image: Beverley Wittman and Elizabeth Hobbs
Beverley Wittman (right)
with Elizabeth Hobbs
at Poetry in Progress anniversary celebration, 2012


By Beverley Wittman

Resigning from the library
required many a thought,
Should I stay? Or should I not!

The pros of staying far
outweigh the cons,
I could give you several reasons,
but you'd probably yawn....

The staff is great, each one here,
To me they have become so very dear.
Working here I feel very "Blessed,"
That, Dear Hearts, you probably guessed.

Love the patrons who have been pleasant and fun,
made coming to work a joy for one.

But, soon I shall be 77 ...surprise! Surprise!
Difficult mostly for me to realize.
The heart is young, fun and bold,
Hard to believe the body is getting old!

What else can I say, Thank You Dear Hearts,
from me to you I say.........

God Bless You and Keep You all the year through!

Don't forget me...Love and Hugs,


"The Joy of Working at the Library," Copyright c 2016 by Beverley Wittman
Posted February 16, 2016

Editor's Note: Beverley Wittman is dear to our hearts for many reasons, but especially because she was a loyal member, participant, and co-greeter at our Poetry in Progress meetings for most of its four year life.

Due to her light spirit, sense of humor, and caring attitude, Bev endeared herself to the library patrons and staff during her tenure at the DeSoto Public Library for more than a decade. You could often identify her by her Mickey Mouse shirt or at Christmas time, her Mrs. Santa outfit which she joyfully wore as she read stories to the children. The children loved her and the stories.

Bev's generous spirit was evident by the many times she brought candy to the library for patrons and staff and by the way she provided decorations at Christmas time. To say that Bev is a people person is an understatement indeed. Bev might have been a part time worker at the library, but she will be missed full time for quite a while.

We love and appreciate you Bev, and on a personal note, I respect you for your character and your kindness. You are an example for the generations.
- Glenn Currier, Editor


By John D. Call

I try to catch the flakes in flight,
Reflected against the silver street light –

I capture only a few this way,
And those I do but for an instant stay,
Then soon, too soon, they melt away –

Snowflakes are to love, but not to touch,
Like other things we love too much,
Like other things when held too near
Melt away and disappear –

"Snowflakes," Copyright© 1988 by John D. Call
Posted January 8, 2016

Brief Existence
by Chereze Jackson

Have you ever sat in an empty room
afraid this would always be,
your perpetual state of zero reality?
Have you ever picked up a phone
again and again and again?
It doesn't ring, you just check the line, praying
there's a reason that no one's there.
You ever sit like a stray,
on a park bench watching people?
at their lives
that somehow their lives will interchange with yours.
You remain sitting, hoping
a ball might possibly roll over your feet.
Then for a moment you could steal a piece of existence.
Your eyes watered, someone saw
You were visible, they spoke to you.
You ever find pleasure in such a little,

"A Brief Existence" copyright © 2012 by Chereze Jackson

Posted April 4, 2012

by Dave Bates

Image: Roamin - by Dave Bates

Answering the Asked Questions
By: James Kenneth Blaylock

test me, I'm so use to being

toyed with about my knowing,

ask your questions and find my answers;

be they pure genius or merely mundane...

I never claimed Einstein, nor any other

human, as the fuel for my brains' power,

it's simply live and learn or learning to try living

but never losing all my hope and sadly dying

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