the moment after which nothing was the same . . .

9:07 am

Nine in the morning,
on July twenty eighth, I walked
through the long, empty
hallway. I finally arrived.

I could smell the cleaning
products and feel the cold air wrap
around me, causing
me to be chilled down to the bone.

The dreaded noise of
he heart monitor flat lining
but it was her time.
Staff rush in trying to save her.

After that moment the doctor
looked up "Time of death”

--H Arnold
In a Ditch in the Middle of Nowhere

I stare at my brother
Is covered

Is cold

Heart beating
Until I realize

I am alone
He does not know
But I do

--A Bell
into the batter’s box

with Kershaw on the mound
supposed to be so good
the bottom of the ninth
runner on second
ball game tied

starts his windup
throws a misplaced fastball
which I hammer
up the middle

Ben rounds 3rd
into a celebration of teammates
I’m still stuck on

--T Cantrell
Uncertainty at the Hospital

a warm morning
“The Call”
a BOOMING beep

humid air
like a statue
clocks ticking

louder and louder
seconds and suspense
and the drive becomes


and heavy as
the anticipation
of knowing

--A Gallaher
that bitter November morning

my heart broke like a china plate
with one phone call
my greatest role model was gone

but put on a brave face
pick up the pieces

the pressure of acting
the pain of losing

her       that moment
  I would never feel again
    I would never be the same

--A Loyd

A painting of Napoleon's coronation
Ruling France, Belgium, and Holland
Paris becomes the hub of an exploration
Controlling Austria, Italy, and Poland

Ruling France, Belgium, and Holland
All eyes are on the crown
Controlling Austria, Italy, and Poland
The Arc de Triomphe in town

All eyes are on the crown
Conquering Spain, Germany, and Switzerland
The Arc de Triomphe in town
Retreating Russia, Portugal, and England

Conquering Spain, Germany, and Switzerland
Paris becomes the hub of an exploration
Retreating Russia, Portugal, and England
A painting of Napoleon's coronation.

--S Martin 8 May 2016

Ekphrastic: Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on 2 Dec 1804.
The Fourth Horse

Earth trembles, burning trees
Light a bomb studded-sky

but that’s not the horse that came for me

Bloat till bursting
Ripe flesh peels away in ribbons

but that’s not the horse that came for me

Flesh wrapped about bone
Bodies fold paper-like to desolate ground

but that’s not the horse that came for me

A series of soft popping
A new refrain outside my window

I choke as fog creeps into my vision

Crumpled on the floor I see a figure in the mirror
White contrasting myself, a red-faced creature

Breath of the pale horse

from periphery
to center

-C McAnamy
Everyone is Gone
I can see no one.
Feel Nothing
My life?
space without stars
Surely this is nothing,
just a dream
my friends?
my family? 
Perhaps just me,
wandering aimlessly.

--R Northcutt
Good News

I always knew how to feel,
What to say and do.
Like riding a bike, The feeling of flying
The wind blowing through.
This was the beginning
Of something new.

This moment of flying colors
all around me
faster and faster,
And now I am free.
Enjoying the view
Of the colors around and within me.

Goodness and Joy take over.
I am full

--S Phillips 11 May 2016
Kindergarten Room

Like bottles of glue and glitter given

a storm rages

Lunch tables     a pile of broken

--K Phipps 4 May 2016
Changed for the Better

One question and everything changed
My day-to-day had been rearranged,
She said yes to being my girl
And my life was in a whirl

My heart was at peace finally
And my actions spoke loyalty
I no longer spent my time on just anything
I spent it helping others because she changed everything

Every moment I am with her
I start to see my old crooked ways start to blur,
She challenged me in incredible ways
Together I wanted to spend all of our days.

--N Purvis
January Affair

The front door creaked.
I ran to my parents --
bags under their eyes
and filling their hands.

Mother turned to greet me,
sweat crawled down her brow.

A pink patchwork blanket
births feelings
of sibling wonder.

--I Schwarz
Rodeo Drive and Sunset Boulevard

Crowds, Applause, Fans,
Bright lights, Glitz, Glamour,
Riches, Fame, Prestige
not what I found there.

Drinking, Drugs, Sickness,
Homelessness, Starving,
Poverty, Longing, Heartache, Desperation
. . . however,

what we left them
Prayer, Hope, Love
Greater than Hollywood

--A St. Clair 11 May 2016
Free Man

No longer handcuffed
to the elderly, I am a free Man

Hungry? Movie? Hot Date?
Yeah. Sure. Whatever. I'm a free Man

The road is my jungle
mine to explore

--R Thompson 21 Jan 16
Friday Night Lights

Moments created but never forgotten
the desire to be great,

Whether catching a ball or lifting weights
I Worked my craft everyday,
To make the big play

Summers spent differently
No parties but working to be the best

Friday Night Lights, and the crowd is focused
coaches are wowed by the talent showcased

--D Walker

Parents watch a History Channel
special on the Pentagon​, waiting
for Brandon to come home.

Returning from Austin’s house,
two​police officers speak a word
that calculates​a critical​emotion, “murdered,”

and now the family is in exponential​agony.
The sine​of depression sets in.
Sole brother sums​up the situation.

--A Acosta
The Last Practice

The timing of the tides caused the fluster--
Missed two ships to the southern theater.
The third trip began with a successful plan
Found myself on the next tin can.

Before we arrived, the men got the news:
No bonus, no tax-free pay, postage now due.
No sounds on the bridge, no sounds on the wardroom
The purpose of us “crypto techs” now moot.

No cheers, no celebration, from the crew
The only sound came from the “screws.”
The only movement? The ocean’s swell
      Returning to our base: delivered from Hell.

--J Allen
Gone Before the Goal
“Let me describe the moment after
which nothing was the same.”

The world is a soccer ball,
kicked and tossed around.

Juggling back and forth,
what once was a dead ball
now handbagging.
No mercy is given,
Not even a spot-kick.

The earth sucks up
every breath I release,
being selfish won’t give it back.

--M Ballard
“Can we talk?”

I motioned my dad over.
Had this ache in my heart.
Like a glass vase, thick and opaque.

The ache in my heart turns to peace.
My eternal destiny becomes bright.
Heaven becomes clear at amen.

--K Fleming 10 May 2016
Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye doesn’t mean you’re no longer my friend
                      doesn’t mean it’s over
                      doesn’t mean it’s forever
                      doesn’t mean it’s the end

Saying goodbye simply means I miss you
                      until I see you again

–-B. M. Frank 5 May 2016
Pinning a Decision

The moment after which nothing’s the same
I wrestle, on the mat, home crowd chanting
Yea I transform, with no shame
Yea Hillcrest High school wants me there, coaching

I wrestle, on the mat, home crowd chanting
Coaching’s great, hope to do it full time
Yea Hillcrest High school wants me there, coaching
Decided what to do for a lifetime

Coaching’s great, hope to do it full time
Views reverse, for the better, I understand
Decided what to do for a lifetime
Major change, I feel excited and grand

Views reverse, for the better, I understand
Yea I transform, with no shame
Major change, I feel excited and grand
The moment after which nothing’s the same 

--E Hungerford
summer before my senior year

Like I could hear
God whispering
      Follow me.
      Trust me.
      Serve me,

--L Johnson
Starting Life

the catcher gives the sign
an outside fastball
I feel the seams
get a good grip,

step back with my left foot,
set my right foot on the rubber
raise my left knee to my chest,
push with my leg and stride.

keeping my eyes on the catcher’s glove,
I rotate my arm, releasing the ball
to stay low in the strike zone,
toward home

--J Kaufman
step on a plane

at eighteen
      and travel
      a long map of mile markers

a place to challenge
      challenge your heart
      challenge your cultural lens

a place of different races
      of laying down expectations
      of laying down agendas

a place to learn to accept
      to accept the grace-gift
      of living with open eyes

--A Moreillon
Miles Apart

No fight for a spot in the bathroom,
     or a stool at the end of the bar.
No “Jump” by Van Halen in the rec room.
No rush for the last bowl of Trix,
     last drop of milk,
     or three-month-old Pop Tart . . .

No number of miles can separate the longings,
     that have brought us so close.

--T Parks 19 Apr 2016
Divine Relationship

But that relationship
Comes with grace
No one can repay

Creates new meaning
A purpose
All before it seems worthless

Life change
Like a grain of sand
To a boulder

That turns nothing
To everything

--D Pruitt
Winter Day

Crack open a window
breathe the cold, crisp wind
howling through the screen.

The streetlight
glares off the ice
while snow conceals the barren ground

Like a blanket
over the seeds
of dormant vegetation

I too reluctantly lie down
and close my eyes.

--R Sell
Tidings of the Twins

Thundering sirens move nearby pedestrians.
Vociferous and rapid as a storm on the shore.
Loud as blue whales whistle, the downward current
Cold bumps. Surfing bodies and many hush.
As swift as a coursing river,
giant brothers topple emphatically

--I Washington