Wow, that was a beautiful...
Alone Again, Naturally

“Shut Up” screams the old man at the song birds.
“Go away” at the kids playing basketball across the street.
James Earl was mowing his lawn.

Suddenly he stops
grunts and stomps to the house
yells one more time before slamming his door.

The children become silent
However, the silence doesn’t last long.

James stays inside
Naturally

B Jones
Life In Como Beach

The sun rises better at home
The bed feels softer in my room
The smiles are whiter everywhere I look,
There is no place like the one I know

The center of the state echoes MIZ-ZOU
Tiger Pride runs through my veins
No Jayhawk or Razorback will ever understand what I see
Let my starting place be my finish,
Everything is better in Columbia

K Williams-Gadsen
Exploding Independence

BAM, POP, SNAP, POW,
Purples, red, blues, plow
 
the night sky, into smoke line streams 
 
that lasers dance off, in dazzling gleams. 
 
Sizzle, spark, flash, and flare
Flames shoot thirty feet in the air. 
 
Cannons in the background shutter my peers,
concusions are made, muting the ears.
 
Can a church really put on a show?
Before that day, I didn't really know.
 
A Fanger
Her Song

There is a tale of a beautiful maid
Her name was Summer
When she was here the trees celebrated with the wind
They joined together in a duet and danced,
the hearts of many are full of joy and warmth.

All was well until the evil one came
He came with a vengeance, and with an evil intention.
He surrounded the world with cold and devastation
The evil one took the light
Winter killed the song of summer.

P Meacham
Transfiguration

Vintage paintings, abandoned
Among others, in hallways, on walls
Wearing dust like a coat, conceal

Mountains       Rivers       Wildlife
         Yellowstone
           . . .. . . or Heaven?
Not breathing, shaken.
A simple painting
Suddenly. Lights. Warm breeze.

K Shive
A Painter’s Sunset

The light is glowing bright orange like a well-fed flame
And deep dark purple like a bruise.
Lines like a master artist pastel, the color of ash.
God, with his broken hands, uses a blank slate for each sunset.

M Borders
The Guide

I slouch in my chair
Preparing for another long year
My eyes droop as I’m handed a paper

Another paper full of important writing
Important and eventful, just like this class
Full of assignments and readings

My heart begins to sink with each line
Lines I have read before, repetitive lines
Repetitive. Important

Full of information needed for success
To succeed and finish this class
This syllabus is my guide

L Sease May 22, 2014
The Wait

Shifting the weight back.
Watching the ball float to the plate in slow motion.
Striding forward,

Feeling the power traveling up,
Through the leg, hips, torso, arms, hands and bat
Finally leaving the when contact is made.

Hearing the crack,
The sound of perfection,
Like the crisp sound of biting into an apple.

E Davis
Pink Flowers

Their makeup shimmers in the spotlight
like the moon’s reflection on water.

Music sways with the dancers
like breeze blows through nature.

They lean and leap across the stage,
harmonized, like Dahlias in the wind.

M Stevens
Dark Angel

Wow,
that was a beautiful death.
She fell gracefully into his claws
without second-guessing,
Not even realizing
the Devil was catching her.

He smirked,
knowing it is impossible to fall upward.
Her innocence was shattered
like broken glass hitting the ground.
 She fell in love with the darkness
and let it consume her light.

DJ Johnson 21 May 2014
Strong Woman

In the midst of it all
I am strong.

Through the pain
I am strong.

Through the kicking in my womb
I am strong.

In the spring of 1992,
I am strong.

Through all the constant pushing,
I remained strong.

I’m still strong, After a 7-pound baby boy.

W Tindal
Morning

White sand, pure and clean like snow
Rough and cool between my toes. 

Pounding barefoot across the shoreline
I wear wet sand on my tanned skin

past delphinium water clear, reflecting a tangerine sky 
Fifteen minutes of wholesome perfection.

It is finished.

J Whitson May 17, 2014
Passing by my Dream House

Like a kid on Christmas morning,
Awestruck the time seemed to halt.

Glancing from the ground up
          At titanic bay windows,
          three-car garage, made purely of sun baked bricks
          and oh, a bulky, cherry-stained oak front door
          blue shingles the color of sea blue eyes

As we speed away time sped back up quickly
          Smaller…
          Then smaller..

Soon, all I could see was the house surrounded by autumn leaves
          and down a narrow dirt road all by itself.
   
T Jeffries

Wow, I never thought I'd feel...
A Possible Reality

Scientists say there could be an infinite number of realities

I went to the store and bought a shirt
Usury and exploitation in everyday life

I checked my phone to search the internet
Cyberspace filled with hollow lives
 
I ate at a restaurant near my home town
A fallen state of unknown horror

Imagine a world where people are traded like animals

R Dressler
Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away

Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away,
roses were wilting and violets undoing me
but you know the truth, I was stressing.
but don't worry about me
because now I have to write this stupid poem.

Unlike Billie Collins with his “Sonnet”
I'm not on top of this, Doc.
I keep racking my brain to fix this train-wreck of a project
and yet, I keep thinking of home and how I'm broke,
and speaking of broke, the back tire on my car is flat
but,

don't worry about me Doc.
don’t worry about my petty problems.
I know your class is the only important thing.

So now I'm finished.
I'm done.
I've composed this stupid poem.

C Holden
"Home" bound

College seems familiar.

My room bright white, passion fruit scented
and familiar sights of my cousin, Anna.
Pink-lined mirror re-tell me of who I am.
Clean laundry from outside,
all reminding me of home.
The vision of my yellow curtains strung over my smudged dorm window.
Settled in…finally. 

One foot in front of the other
while extending my clammy hands
to the metallic doorknob.
Reach.
Turn.
Pull.
Out.
Shut.

Leaving again the familiarity of "home."

M Burgess
New Semester

Sweaty palms and wobbly knees
Travelling across the green campus.
Passing by other students
Throwing a Frisbee on the forum, enjoying their sunny day.

Sitting through classes with other tired students
Listening to long lectures in hard desks.
My head was spinning from all the new information.
College is a highway, everyday is a new journey.

K Windes
An Injury’s Greeting

An unrelenting pain
Greets me when least expected
A lifelong knee injury
Taking its toll yet again

Like a patient predator
Waiting for the perfect prey
Eventually. It will eat.

A small flap of tendon
Squirms with reckless abandon
The right knee grabs,
Holds like a cobra
And constricts.

C Moles
First class meeting

Today I am thankful for a special reason,
I will not leave this classroom unbeaten.
Today the teacher wins;
All glory goes to him.

It’s only the first class. We’ve only just met.
But this class I must say, my favorite yet.
Never have I wanted to be the teacher’s pet.
As interesting as this man is.

I’m not one who’s attending school out of lust; it’s a must.
If I can enjoy class along the way, that’s a plus.
Just playing football and seeking a degree,
This class smooths the road for me.

T Brinson 5-18-14
The Rush of Time

Time flies as you write  a trillion words
Only to catch that paper that has your diploma  year
Become strong in Writing
Maybe today or master it tomorrow

today I burst out of the starting blocks
tomorrow I  break a new time record
What will time have for you today
Who's time will I replace tomorrow


A pile of needles grinds into my feet
I must keep moving and jumping to eat
Time is a rush and a pleasure I can't enjoy

Oh but there is that paper with my name at the top
The people cheer and my future is steered to a career
Time has passed
Thank the good Lord I'm done
I graduated at last

N Sawyer
Windowless Season

Trudging across campus to get to still another classroom
with broken clocks hanging in windowless rooms.
Incessant hummming of a projector.
More language rules on a board.
Pencils race across papers.
Rules of derivatives drone on

as arctic air blows from the vents
making my muscles numb.
My eyes droop and my body sags
while I try to concentrate.
As the instructions continue
an incessant throbbing starts in my head.

Flowers bloom and die while I diligently copy “Frost”
Snow falls and melts while I factor the formula.

Why should I bother with the square of,
or the pronouns that come before?

Yet, with unwavering devotion
As I listen, the teachers prattle
on meaningless topics.

Time stands still as I look around
at tiny metal desks all perfectly aligned.
In front each room teachers lecture,
as though rehearsing a scene,
repeating it throughout seasons
in the windowless rooms.

B Baker
Driven to Finish

Found wanting more
Many years I’ve been wandering
    Heartache
        Heartbreaks

Dreams that make the rubber burn
Tires turn, 2 straights and 4 left
    Turns to make
        It to finish

Flags wave in the end
Champaign flourishes with the grin

J Swearengin
Growing Up

Moving away from the people I love
The People that raised me

Going to football games with my dad
Eating the roast beef my mom prepared
. . . and now its time for memories I haven’t had yet

The day has finally come
Time to put down the sippy cup
And time to pick up the steak knife

J Castillo 20 May 2014
Dedication

Barely edging out of bed my whole body aches
let alone having to gimp around campus in excruciating pain
stabbing me in my back and stomach.

Couldn’t be sure if I would survive
but there was no visual blood.

~K Bays 5/20/14~
Dawning

Suddenly
a smile
warm and inviting
like a soft candle
come closer
it’s safe

flickering conversation
through the night

burning
filling voids
illuminating love
consuming our lives
with intensity and fragrance

M Skupa  April 12th 2014
And Finally Comp II

I stride into the classroom,
into a lair of youth.

Freshman chatter and giggle.
They can conquer every matter.

But at my age, confidence has taken root;
I have been waiting this moment.
________________________
E Coleman  May 2014
In the Spring

Into the classroom I stride
Overflowing with guff.

This is where the youth abide.
Comp II is not tough.
They throw the professor’s threats aside,
Blowing-off his sarcasm and bluff.

My laughter is filled with song;
My confidence is an investment, never completely spent.
I’ve been waiting so long
For this moment.
________________________
E Coleman  May 2014