"I Couldn't Believe My Luck . . . ."


Grounded. Broken.
couldn't move   couldn’t bend

Trees grow despite hardships
Sway   despite being broken
Bend   despite turning diverse ways

We all turn towards the sun
Every bad thing    to grow
Every good thing   to reward

--K. Butler
Good Plans, Simple Blessings

The turn of key
Ends a simple day.
With determination,
No day is destined for a crash.

Work all week,
make plans to treat all tiles,
plans for fun
and simple errands.

Renew a license and change
Banks But the brilliance of planning
Makes it all rewarding.

Time sits stacked
Like each detailed effort
One after another, until
Each domino falls.

--C Verduzco

Unexpected Sermon Application
“If God dresses grass in the field . . . though . . . tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace“ Luke 12:28

Looking right.
They weren’t going to stop.
Slamming on the brakes.
Swerving left.
Collision, center mass.

From North to South.
Sliding to a different lane.
Skipping the medium.
Glass shattered.
Passenger side
destroyed,    yet
not a scratch on my skin.

--D. Thomas
Unfortunate Catch

The ringing of the alarm
Was like getting a nibble on a hook
With your favorite lure

And moments later
The biggest fish you’ve seen
Swims up to the dock

The line instantly becomes taut
You begin reeling
But he continues to fight

You finally bring him up to the dock
And he gives one last burst
to break free

The line snaps
And the prize rapidly swims away
Just as my sleep for the semester

--B. Rezabek

Summertime Twins

That day spent by her side
A favorite of mine that I cannot hide
To end our summer and sever our ties
Or to cement a bond that never dies

A seemingly ordinary day
Where we got lost along the way
Meeting those she praises most of all
Before going our separate ways that very Fall

Her own suggestion they performed on stage
A rap about pickles... THAT topped her gauge
In all of the screaming and the mess
She was the one that loved them best

With black tears streaking down her face
It was time for us to leave that place
A day that was cherished by me and by her
Passed us by in such a blur

--R Mack

Mom's Freak-out

All her co-workers thought
She was crazy the way
She was screaming.

"My kid is going to play softball in college!"
"She did it!"
"I'm as deranged as a student with an A on a test!"

She has never flipped more.

--L Pattillo

Lost Treasure

found one.

Never know what

will have.
Or where it will be.

Only shop at used

more to see.

Search through every

every dusty shelf,
every meaningless name.

Better when
one is found.

--M Hartley

Innermost Difficulty

Problems and stress . . . are the best,
Especially with automobiles.
Every clank and thud catch our attention.

Day in. Day out. Fire up the motor. Await a smooth ride.
But on this crisp, October morning, she sounds different.
Every clank and thud catch your attention.

You drive her to the mechanic, barely.
She’s bumpy and choppy like a roller coaster.
Every clank and thud catch attention.

They say she doesn’t have long, to give up.
You ask for a solution, they have only one,
sweetheart . . . chemotherapy.

--T Callahan
Salt Water City

First day, raining in Miami
Like the splashes of a Marlin above the surface
In the middle of the Atlantic ocean

Second day, all I could see was the sun.
Hello bright beach, I don't need a blazer.
Bye-Bye dark and cloudy weather,

But the time in the city was better still
This city hooks me like a fish,
Lures me like bait .

--K Mouliom
The Final Countdown

A mere game of football
A game filled with people of fame
Stands packed with screaming fans
And a tiny, odd shaped ball
That can make or break dreams

Little did I know what my uncle had in store
He had a surprise for me
But to my discontent
My patience was to be tested
As I wouldn’t find out until the very end

As the game wound down
My anticipation rose high
As the clock hit zero
We began to walk
The final destination unknown

My excitement reached its breaking point
Standing in front of me
Were star players
Dak Prescott and Tony Romo
My disbelief was unexplainable

I watched in fascination
As they signed MY t-shirt.
And I put on my cheesiest grin
As I posed with the two stars
For a photo

--Y Gonzalez

Calculation of a Lifetime

Dragging to school on a warm August
Tuesday until A dog hops the fence and
Starts chasing me.

As soon as I see Tito
I Take Off running
Faster than Usain bolt

Through every person’s yard
around every obstacle
around Ol' Lady Weaver

About a block down the street
Jackie is waiting.
And we sweat through
our first math test.

--T Woods
Marsupials, Sand, and Blonde-Haired Beach Blokes

From afar, Oz is an oasis
filled with finger-length cockroaches,
and oceans of experiences.

The Land of Nineteen Crimes:
with blokes, sunburned toes, and reversed roads.
with challenges, new experiences, and growth flourishing
… from the inside.

Marsupials, sand, blonde-haired beach blokes,
heat, tea, and brekky,
create a unique vicinity.

With mission,
with insecurities,
we set sail into the unknown.
With trust. With faith.
With Him, our mate.

--J Martin

Phones Don’t Float

Like a weight slicing the air,
my phone
plummets to its death

Dancing on the seat before
splashing into the cold,
Mourning this tragic event,
Unaware that this fall
was just the tip of the

Could the rice-jacket keep my cellular device

I hope it will soon be saved by a 

--B Bowe

A love, and a focus,
is possible. It begins with belief,

A position, practices, and games.
a single teammate, a story,or a thought.

A thought. Playing is an opportunity,
something to be accomplished.

A distant possibility brought to light
through pain and hard work.

A tiny freshman, talking with a senior
a seemingly simple conversation

A tiny freshman, a starting goalkeeper
the senior, the starting center back

A pair coming together to achieve
a seemingly distant goal, a reality

A single soccer season where a simple game
transforms into a puzzle and a dream.

--L Carpenter
Somewhere in Paradise

Time slows down.
Peace drifts In.
Sun so bright.
It’s time to take flight.
No thoughts, no worry, no pain,
my mind Is a playing game.
can say that I am alive?
Mere minutes holds years.

--H Coons
Car Money

The engine lights started bleep
The radiator begun to cheep
More money gone

The oil started to seep
The car is no longer cheap
More money gone

The repairs costs were cutting deep
I began to weep
More money gone

The costs were steep
More money gone
So I had to sleep

No more car bleep
No more money gone
No more job to keep
No money means time to weep

--M Deatherage
I Am One,

lost in the sea of the lost.
Lost but with open eyes.
Eyes that draw to a light.

Light that has never been touched.
Touched by a hesitant hand.
Hand suddenly joins hands with others.

Others that become one.
One no longer refers to isolation.
Isolation becomes the one that is lost.

Lost in the sea of the lost.

--D Dougherty
Gelid Waters and Bacon

Never before had I experienced the crisp smell of saltwater mixed with bacon.
A sloth. I crawl out of bed, late, and follow the succulent aroma to the kitchen.
From my chair on the patio I munch and watch waves crash and sun glisten.
Sun bakes skin golden brown like the bacon that’s now gone.

In this vast expanse of water, I, an ant, like a puppy in a puddle
until shouts, stir surprise in this sinking swimmer’s stomach.
I never questioned what a moment was until I saw my life sink before my eyes.
Brief moments of peace are just some of life's lies.

--C Eldridge

We been Sukanyed

Supreme-leader Sukany did overact
Though his knowledge we would need
For his answers were riddles . . . abstract

We were afraid his class would be humorless as a fact
Yet the humor he did seed
Supreme-leader Sukany did overact

The attendance took forever to enact
‘cuz his jokes sprouted like a weed
For his answers in riddles were abstract

Then suddenly our papers he attacked
Public humiliation was the deed
Supreme-leader Sukany did overact

The trifecta’s third R he would subtract
So if we tried, we’d succeed
For his answers were riddles, indeed, abstract

A terrible vengeance on our papers he would exact
To make the paper a superior breed
Supreme leader Sukany did overact
For those answers were not riddles nor abstract

--E Galindo
Venomous Escape

Maintenance men. Recycled ancient air filters.
Unplugged power drills. And rusted roofing nails.

The nail snake grabs hold and punctures,
the sharp pain hammers my foot.

Fear pounds to the edge of infection.
A roofing nail. A pierced shoe. And an unharmed foot.

-C LeClair

The water feels so smooth.
Without supervision
My fun had just begun.

The sun shining on a beautiful day.
I ride like a stallion on the loose
But my gallop comes to an end,
When boat patrol arrives to settle my play.

He sat at the opening of the cove,
Looking for a colt riding majestic and free
He pursued my way
I bolted in the other direction in a panic.

Settled in a slot, hidden behind a boat,
The jet ski was tied up as he followed my tail.
He sat and searched as I escaped out of sight.
I knew, with no license, my chance of freedom was slight.

Young with a reckless mind,
I knew the risk of my ride,
Could put me in a noose.

--M Pack
Eight in Two Days

Throwing up
Mom scared,
Kidney failing,
dad staring.
Bags of IV
flowing through me.
Thinking to myself
Was basketball
worth my life.

--M Ridder
English Paper

I remembered to check my bag,
but the paper was not there.
The final draft was finished
the night before.

I went to bed very late.
The next day I was running to class.
I had time. Time to go to my room
and time to go to class.

I forgot to put the paper in my bag.
I couldn't believe my luck.

--M Schellert
tsum glik, tsum shlimazel*

oy how i couldn’t believe my luck
before her, there was no reality
me, with no luck, such a schmuck
the joy of my jubilee
maybe it was trickery
yea, this would be the day of Unity
a day of nerves would leave me awestruck

there is a popular sigh:
“oy oy, i wouldn’t wish that on a dog”
with the sighs ring out the cries
of goyim masses endlessly
yet my vows ring differently
“i would wish that on a dog,
tsum glik, tsum shlimazel... till you die”

--Z Shelton

*for better, for worse
A Cup on the Corner

A walk down a culture-confident street
The shop on the corner
The doors open to complex aromas
A warm welcome from the shop on the corner

A welcome to the wafting of the brew
The clinking of the cup
The spurting birth of espresso
A frothing of the creme

A fruity, floral sip
The counterclockwise pour of perfection
The brewing, the dripping, the extraction
A fruity, floral sip

Enjoyed in tranquility
Enjoyed in the busy
Enjoyed through the inevitable
Expression to the notes of life

--B Sherwood
Successful Racket

English words are scary.
Since I came to the United States,
bringing my rackets and bags,
a thousand new things begin.

I see myself
in a land
of opportunities.

A mix of winners and aces,
but the pleasure of learning
              is bigger than I.

But, here I am .
and I fight against my fears
and that is what keeps me strong.

--L Souza Soares
Morning Lense

I step down from heaven
to the earth and check my reflection

My roommates do not appreciate
the commotion I make

My likeness is blinding
Like waves crash and roar

Fear strikes
And we test our faith

Red and irritated

Just my luck
my contacts
are still in my eyes

-A Stratton
At Attention

AIT graduation had been--

Sam has served in the United States

He stands and follows orders yet runs

For eight grueling months he serves and sweats

training is completed and he is

to graduate today. How-

AIT graduation is--

he should ship out to Korea

Words cannot describe the fear and pride
      he feels

for his Country. Yet he bleeds Red, White,
      and Blue.

--S Vogel
Four Stories of English Comp 2

I entered a dead man’s house
and saw a flock of birds
They sang with the reaper
and tried to peck….

I survived….

I tripped over talking chickens
and fell upon a pack of wolves
They licked their lips
and tried to bite….

I survived….

I entered a cave with monster teeth
with drool that fell like rain
They chomped down
and punctured my leg….

I survived….

I came across a cemetery
Filled with nameless ghosts
They screamed their names
and deafened my ears….

I survived….

At the end of a lingering road
a four leaf clover stood
green as grass, drizzled with rain
Finally….I had some luck

--D Wagner


Heaven is the shape of a baseball field,
a Busch Stadium, a sweet aroma
of fresh-cut grass and hot dogs on a grill.

A blue clear sky and my idol on the field.
I too wear number five on my back
bleed red through and through.

Albert Pujols, big as Goliath
fearless like a lion
gentle as a lamb

An eternity full of memories
Made at Bush Stadium
every year on my birthday

My idol
My best friend
My hero
My Dad.

--L Winfrey
Bicycles Are Not Always Fun

Parentals don’t know the problem . . . exactly
Child reactions tend to be ugly
 A day of rest is essential
To find if pain is real

Death may be part of the journey
Surgery . . .  immediately
Make it to the doc with seconds to give
Intestinal obstruction pain is oppressive.

--K Breedlove
middle-Missouri church camp counselor:

I'm in charge of
free-range chickens,
hopped up on sugar,
and they know
they are sugared-powered chickens.

summer Days drag-
so hot

the little chickens go
from activity to activity,
not in a line
scrambled like eggs

by the sun.

sleeping at night
surrounded by sugar comma chickens

sun rise
the chickens crow...

I’m in charge of
free-range chickens.

--A Brewer
Senior Football 2015

pain restricts my numbers from showing,
My body slumps to the field, crooked.
My stomach starts to swell.
The pain is sharp
and covers my whole torso like a jersey.

My injury did not come from the game.
The doctors say I need surgery,
bursting appendix.
Like the Madden curse
a senior year fails expectations 
--A Carter
My Family and I...

were blessed enough to meet
presidential candidate
Barack Obama

Year 2008
Springfield, MO
Obama stopped

Along his campaign route
To meet the people
ready to vote for him.

My family and I
My family and I
were late.

were not able
to go inside
Yet, somehow,

just by luck,
he decided
To step outside

my family and I.
my family and I
my family and I
met the 44th President

--M Gilmore
Titanium Man

I rolled my left ankle
on the first day of practice

This blessing allowed me
to be in a hospital

a place of dreams and miracles.
After surgery, I awoke with my family

and an extra ten pounds in my foot
making me a true man of steel.

--S Haley

Moving from place to place
has given me
to meet new people.

Suburbs in Kansas
Mountains in New Hampshire
Even small towns in Missouri
Have molded me into who I am today.

In Kansas, Jerry, introduced me
to my savior.
In New Hampshire, Lisbon Bible Church
challenged my faith.

Missouri changed me most--
lost friends very close
to bad choices mixed with alcohol.
And my mother’s fight with cancer.

--P Hall
A Brilliant Run

I get to shred the Keystones
with three others
all expenses paid

my sister
her husband
and Cody

smooth slopes
fresh powder
packed trails

moguls no difficulty
chair lifts mastered
double diamond trails like bunnies

family and friend
slopes and mountain
pleasures and perfection

--C Hicks
My Cousin's Horse Ranch

The horse was called Angel.
Ironic. She was evil as could be.

Inside was the soul of a demon
Her looks were an illusion

A flowing white mane
like a halo

I tried to mount, but she reared
Threw me off,
Ruined my clothes,
And kicked my head.

At the hospital,
Another angel left me in stitches
And a bump rides my head,
A saddle for my halo.

--A Jensen
Musique Jargun

i past it awl
i knew i would;
with a hundred perecent.

it was no shock to me
i did not study very hard;
music comes naturaly.

i started, my, music training
very early in High school;
i studied jazz and choral orcestrations.

i have beenefited from my experience.
i guess it is no shock that i did good
on my theory proficencies.

i should do well in theory because i am a musician.
i wonder if my musical abilities
will slur through my english skills.

--B Jester
Luck of the Irish (2017)

There’s one day in high school where things will
Not go wrong . . . and it’s prom, but locked
in my car, the keys mock me. To say
I have never been more embarrassed.

Is an understatement. My date was
Agitated. Then started the rain.
Panic ensued as my mind raced
For the solution to the problem.

It was hot and humid. The windows
Were cracked. My date had a lanyard
With Irish clovers. I borrowed it.
I delicately lowered it through

The window crack to unlock the car
As lightning flashed across the sky
I began to thank my lucky stars
Saturday at Fulton Senior High

-K Kaminski
Whirlybrains; MermaidPants

I got home and the big tv wasn’t occupied.
I couldn’t believe my luck
and my happiness I could not hide.

I rushed to find the remote as fast as I could,
then plopped down on the couch,
and got comfortable, as anyone should.

I realized my luck had not ended,
when I made a beautiful discovery,
and it seemed my faith in humanity could be mended.

Not bright and sunny afternoons.
Not rhythmic melodies on i-tunes.
Not a nursery filled with pink balloons.

The reason is very simple,
but it is what my happiness depends upon
Two full hours of SpongeBob episodes on.

--M LaGrand
Love, Loss, and Red Lobster

  An overpowering sensation full of heaven or hell
    One possesses this for friends, family,
      even Food
        blinds you but also opens your eyes

  Engulfed in emptiness, coated in anguish
    A wave of uncertainty and frenzy sweep over
        But you find the Strength to go on

Red Lobster
  Smells that overpower the nostrils
    A trip under the sea
      Crisp crab with crafty composition
        Decadent shrimp toppling fresh lobster

Love, Loss, and Red Lobster
  Is it the leftovers
    disintegrating in the acidic hole of your stomach
      or the last meal you ate with your soulmate
        before he passed into eternity

By Olivia T. Mackey
My Fourth Concussion

The defender did not stop
right into me

With an elbow
to the face
and a forceful push

I go
to the ground

Not moving
hoping this isn’t
like concussion number two

--T Paterno
Corny Dream (2017)

I was hunting in the Smoky Mountains
 tracking a deer when I found a case, 

 in the middle of the lush wilderness.
The month was September. And in that case

 was a treasure map. The map revealed
 that under my garage was a long lost treasure

Put there by a well-known Cherokee Chief,
 native to the region. I walked to the cellar

 door near the garage and began to dig.
I found the prize . . . rotting corn stalks.

-R Skeens
Leap of Faith

One scholarship is all
it took to spring me on campus.

Only two weeks ago,
by the grace of God,
I jump into my second day here.

I don’t know my new town
I don’t know my new university
I don’t know my new team
I don’t know God's plan

I don’t know these people
and yet it all claims me.

--E Thompson
The Journey

With one task, one goal in mind,
To make life easier for myself,
I begin an adventure.

I check my map for directions
But remain lost and confused,
Uncertain I will survive

Until a scholarship is given to me,
I fear uncertainty,
But I remain grounded in my faith.

The final destination was in sight,
Buried deep down, a chest
Filled with gold, brighter than the sun`

With one final push of strength and courage
The buried treasure, 
Was now mine for the keeping
My journey has now commenced..

--A White