THEME POETRY

JUNE 2021 = YESTERDAY

RECALLING MEMORIES

Dimithri Wijerathna

Sri Lanka

On a lazy sunset noon; recalling 

memories whirl up the mind 

the fairytales you chattered with sweet wine 

the sandcastles we built up; with shining sand 

matters most with nostalgia 

your blinking eyes recall our "secrets"

seashells collected; with bonds of promises 

the fragrance of you; still up in the air

it was " Yesterday " we attached to our hearts 

THE TENANT’S FARMHOUSE 1908

Antoni Ooto

United States

http://www.ooto.org/blog/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/antoniooto

With windows open, 

the smell of manure from the tie-up

passing; an accustomed announcement of

hardship through bad times. 

It spoke for all who slept there, and an acceptance

of those who express pain by shrugging

shoulders. 

Poverty— a sore they wore, had only a few words. 

I have little value, 

but I always show up.

PORTRAIT: MAMA OCCLLO HUACO, FIRST COYA

Catherine Lee

United States

https://catherinelee-65222.medium.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Jazz-Ovation-Inn-207063645983338/

https://soundcloud.com/jazz-cat-lee

https://vimeo.com/jazzovation

She wears alpaca wool against Andean chill,

layers of handwoven melkkhay skirts. Unique Peruvian 

genealogy is told, anonymously painted, worn 

as patterned prayers embroidered into puyuta bands.

Her richness, village residence is known 

by how she wears her headdress, wields her power. 

Daughter of the Moon, portrayed as Spanish royalty, 

is she goddess, queen, or consort? All, or which, 

depends upon who postulates her genesis. Unknowing

conquistadors tell theirs in masquerade. She does not

carry food, nor warm her baby boy, in K’eperina shawl, 

but bears in tupo pin a scepter, mirror of her mama’s face. 

Smug, smiling, burly youngster shelters her, this Mother, 

who lives to gossip his maturing personage to leadership, 

distorted Old World vision of intrigue awakens.

http://nationalclothing.org/america/27-peru/31-peruvian-national-costume-woven-clothing-from-alpaca-wool,-unique-patterns-and-bright-colors.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollera#/media/File:Pollera_de_Pomabamba.jpg

http://www.myperu.org/traditional_clothing_peru.html

https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/peru/articles/a-brief-history-of-traditional-cusco-dress/

I REMEMBER YESTERDAY

Julie A. Dickson

United States

https://www.facebook.com/julie.dickson.94/

Once I sat with glee on Grandfather’s knee

as he told me stories of yesterdays

I listened intently and then inquired,

“Yes, but do remember tomorrow?”

He smiled a knowing grin at me, a child.

Thoughtfully he pondered and finally spoke,

“Tomorrow will be a time to wander.”

Grandfather wove me a yarn of intrigue.

My eyes opened wide, and I could not hide

the surprise at hearing what life might bring.

“You’ll grow and learn, perhaps even explore

far off lands where mountains touch the sea.”

Shifted my eyes to a window, I drifted.

I’d journey to the north to see glaciers

or south to Galapagos to find turtles;

I turned back to hear his tales of Mexico.

Years have progressed since Grandfather professed

his wisdom, dancing eyes opening paths

I did not follow, never saw his mountains;

Galapagos turtles long forgotten.

Reading to my son, leading him through geography,

to ask me questions – we explored maps.

my thoughts returned to Grandfather’s stories,

Places like Mexico I’d never gone to see.

We talked over the atlas of far-off lands; my son asked,

“Do you remember tomorrow?”

I saw my Grandfather’s smiling hazel eyes and

hoped my son would see his mountains.

UNFORGOTTEN

Kathleen Chamberlin

United States

It's not hard to close your eyes 

And find yourself a child again 

Small and insignificant 

In a world of adult voices 

Carrying on conversations 

Literally and figuratively 

Above your head.

Someone asked me once

What my earliest recollection was

There are three or four 

I don't know which came first. 

All are of the apartment my parents had

In Astoria,  where they and I 

And my brother were born. 

The apartment was at the end of a hallway 

On the right-hand side 

Of the first floor 

The kitchen sink was a large white porcelain farm sink.

It doubled as my tub

Sitting in it, I listened to the comic strips

Read aloud: Blondie, Lil Abner,  the Katzenjammer Kids 

joined Prince Valiant, Dick Tracy,  and Little Orphan Annie 

While my mother scrubbed my back and washed my hair. 

Our two cribs were on either side of my parents' bed.

One night,, when we refused to go to sleep, 

My grandmother threatened to leave us alone 

If we didn't stop taking. 

We didn't. She did.

Or so we thought as she walked 

Loudly to the door, opened it and shut it.

My brother cried but I was unafraid 

Telling him we'd be safe in our cribs 

Until our parents came home. 

Discipline was different then.

Traumatized children wasn't even a remote concept. 

I can still recall my grandmother's voice

And the smell of the food we ate.

I spent the first four years of my life there. 

I don't remember many things, but I have seen the photographs 

Black and white and gray and glossy. 

I remember Steinway Street and the walks on

Sunday afternoons,  window shopping after midday lunch. 

On quiet evenings in summer's soft breezes

Or in winter's shrill howl,

Something will remind me of what my life was

What used to be 

What remains somewhere I suppose 

In an incomprehensible universe 

Time may be a continuous loop 

Where my family lives in the places I remember 

Eats those Sunday meals after church 

Hears those dear voices 

Stilled now for decades.

IT’S THE GLOWING LIGHTS I REMEMBER FIRST

T J Barnum

the way they sparkled in a semi-lucent ball

around each streetlamp     soft rain-spattered dirt

steam rising from hot sidewalks in the dusk

horns blaring     spray from impatient cars


too late for our shoes     we hugged the shops

hoping to spare our jeans     water dripped

down the sides of our faces and we

shook it from our hair like dogs


in and out of shops      we followed a steady

flow of people    aroma of alcohol and coffee

you held doors for me      dim lights in local eateries

good beer      soft jazz      overpriced sandwiches


then the long walk-through sweltering streets

everything damp and strange from infrequent rain

laughter from hard partiers       I’m waylaid

by a bedraggled mongrel      matted fur weighed down

 

by rain and abuse      the dog too frightened to come near

we were quiet after that      I was slightly drunk and sad

you squeezed my hand until I could find my way through

thoughts of abandoned animals       abandoned people


after town center we walked faster      porch lights

shining on painted doors      gloom surrounding dark houses

as if civilization ended a mile back with honking horns

and drunken laughter in bars


then    we were walking on the cracked sidewalk 

up to my bright red door      light shining

from the stairwell window     we stepped into cool dry air

removed wet shoes      I brought you a towel 

you found two beers in the fridge


I remember we stood in my tiny kitchen

just looking at each other      then you reached for me

 

the full beers   gone flat      sat on the kitchen counter

the next morning

WHEN LIGHT FALLS ON A PHOTOSENSITIVE SURFACE

Janette Ostle

United Kingdom

Half-filled pages

of time-worn photographs;

cherished images

in monochrome

capture the colour

she needs

to remember.

SWEET MEMORIES OF YESTERDAY

Kathy Jo Bryant

United States

Sweet memories of yesterday

How they in my mind, replay

Now I keep them in my heart 

And never let them e'er depart


Simple childhood pleasures grand

Are flowers fragrant, in my hand

Stamped forever upon my mind

Are the precious moments of past time


Stories I remember well

That happened long ago, I'll tell

I hold them dear, and always will

Circling my mind, like a merry windmill!

I REMEMBER YOU.

Keith Phillips

United Kingdom

when i was little. i remember you. and some of the things that you used to do,

we would play "buckaroo" and you were our horse... i would 

hold your belt tight... but soon fall of course. 

onto the pillows of the sofa, you made... you could make anything. that was your trade x

we all laughed so much and waited our turn...

each of us having energy to burn... you were so patient giving us go after go. the bucking would "stop" only when mum had said so!!! 


you took and gaz and me fishing for our very first time...  two 'proud young anglers' preparing our lines x  

we caught rudd and roach one after the other...  it doesn't  get better than this i said to my brother x

it was a day i will never forget we just kept on landing them, and half filled our net...  

we both carried on fishing all through our lives... and our sons do it, so the family tradition still thrives x

going to work with you was always such fun... and that's were my being handy with tools had begun. now this is a hammer "don't" hit your thumb!! 

this is a saw. let "it" do the work... a nice steady rhythm. no do go berserk, that's why the blade is starting to jerk.  

you're not in a race... just take your time, it will come out just  perfect. 

ah there you go, looks exactly like mine x

i have vivid memories of the pram race... you and your friend colin “always" came in first place x

dressed up like babies and wearing a nappy x seeing you win it, always made me feel happy. from the red lion pub. then to ten others, downing a pint pot in each and beating the others x 

once i recall you throwing up... then you gathered yourself before lifting the cup x  the trophy was yours when you won it three times, i was boasting in class!! so, teacher gave me lines x


we both love our foot ball both playing and watching and playing, duck under the turnstile a can still hear you saying.

you sneaked me in free quite un-ceremonial as we went to see alan mullerry's footballing testimonial.

an old england eleven against eleven old scots... the ref, i remember pointing to both penalty spots x

it was friendly but i didn't look that...  against our old foes  is always a scrap x

the holey grail was when you took me to wembley.

 against switzerland... again, it was only a friendly. 

that did not mater is saw kevin keegan can't remember the score , but i think it was even.

being played under floodlights was the high point for me... never seeing them before really filled me with glee x 

riding the tube train with you, i think that was the best. we had to walk the rest of the way home, when we hit  hounslow west x 

 

i have many memories together with you, dear old dad

mostly all happy not many are sad x 

so, enjoy this poem that i've penned for you , 

this talent i have is also from you!

like many things that i poses , you gave them to me ... now you know the rest x

THE RATTLE OF THE DOOR

William Wren

Canada

https://billwren.com/
Some call it the wind but I know it is ghosts.
That clatter of plastic cups
spilling like dominoes onto the floor—
that’s not the wind. That’s Randy,
Randy always coming home drunk.

The rattle of the door, the endless rattle of Marianne
who never was able to master the house key.
And the rustle you say is the wind in the drapes?
That’s Grandma in her gown, because she was old
and just couldn’t sleep so she wandered the house
looking in darkness for people she’d lost.
Looking for ghosts.

There’s a very soft padding you’re not sure you hear.
That is your cat, the one you called Trixie
whom you loved with no reason, whom you loved
just because, and hasn’t been with you for such a long time.
She, too, is a ghost you think is the wind.

She isn’t the wind. She is a ghost.
She’s the sound of balled paper; a swish in the dark
that moves down the hall as you lie in your bed
trying to sleep. The sound of a cat as it plays in the night.
It isn’t the wind but the slipstream of ghosts;

currents of yesterday. Ghosts of those loves we never forget.
Those loves that we loved and went into the night.
Those loves that we loved, who live in the wind.
In the rattle of the door. The rustle of drapes.
The clatter of cups that always is Randy coming home drunk,
and the hardly-there padding of paws.

The swish of balled paper as it moves down the hall
when you can’t get to sleep because you are old,
and that’s very hard. Old is so lonely.
It is filled with those ghosts that some call the wind.

SAUDADE....

Madhu Gangopadhyay

India

https://www.facebook.com/madhu.gangopadhyay.5

On that afternoon standing by the Sein

When the pale pink cherry blossoms swayed:

And the vernal breeze brushed against her cheeks.

She vacantly gazed at the Bateaux- Mouches

Submerged in the waves of saudade profuse!

How a place, a person, or an event,

Teleport one to a certain time frame!

And all those moments of the past 

Stand in front and squarely cast:

An inexplicable feeling so intense and deep,

The desire to rewind those hours as reminiscence seeps!

Sometimes an empty wrapper of chocolate

Can revive those cherished childhood bit!

The days of Noddy and Famous Five:

Into them the heart plummets and dives!

Those days of budding adolescence when Nancy Drew was a constant friend!

The fervid desire for a Darcy or a Lochinver!

All those moments of impish fun and cheer!

How the yearning for yesteryears erects like a mountain huge!

While listening to the most favourite songs, the mind behaves and waltzes like a stooge!

At times, a novel may fly you back to your exotic days

When melting in his arms, passion blazed.

Amazing how man encages himself where the days of glory repose.

Time over time hopelessly for the lost hanker and grope!

ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED

DS Maolalai

Ireland

https://twitter.com/diarmo1990

I feel life setting,

and very deliberately,

like a barge hooked against

a canal. the dirt

of the motors. the rising

of pondweed. the slow

cautious ingress

of rats. engaged

to be married. an apartment.

a dog. all things which, 

younger, I said I'd 

never do. this evening 

I picked out

a font for invitations. 

what ever became

of that courageous 

young man?

YESTERDAY

LaVan Robinson

United States

https://www.instagram.com/lalathepoet/

https://twitter.com/robinsonlavan1

https://lavanrobinson1968.wixsite.com/lalathepoet

Today is pretty much just like yesterday as nothing much has changed. Racism, prejudice, and hatred against members of humanity continues to be the narrative of the life we chose to live. The senseless deprivation of resources and dreams to all is a travesty to the positive advancement of humanity. Yesterday like today is pretty much the same. Embattled citizens are taking it peacefully to the streets protesting this form of brutality. They are equally met with the same force imposing their validity. Members of a certain ethnic group, background, and skin are persecuted just like back then. Yes, today seems just like yesterday and it seems like nothing has changed. Political leaders still busy lying in the embittered citizens faces while behind closed doors in the sacred halls of justice devise laws mainly to oppress the inferior races. The same people that they consider inferior, they want to fight. Their wars have motives of evilness, subliminal, and ulterior. The same United States that flooded neighborhoods with the fire water and dope which broke up families and took away a whole generations’ prosperity and hope. Yes, today, and yesterday are pretty much the same and nothing or little seems to have changed. There’s so much in comparison to that of both yesterday and today. The solution to the problems is that we need to live together in love, peace, and unity. We need to forgive and move on to a better place and not end up in the never-ending stagnation and vortex of our yesterday.

NEXT FATHER’S DAY

Thomas Elson

United States

He handed the thick envelope to the man he had not seen in thirty years. 

“Before Sunday. Agreed?”

“Yes. Agreed.”

There, it’s done.

He’d never have to buy another Fathers’ Day card.

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM LIFE?

Mel Haagman

United Kingdom

https://www.facebook.com/Girlontheedge90

What do you want from life?

To be heard and understood.

What do you want to do?

Just be interpreted as good.

How do you want to be?

Calm, happy and true,

Not question every action,

Approach each day brand new.

Where do you see yourself?

Anywhere I feel at home,

What do you wish the most?

To never feel alone.

Are you happy right now?

It varies day to day,

Do you have any regrets?

I do but cannot say.

What do you deem as strength?

To be self-assured and bold,

How long do you want to live?

Until I’m very old.

Can money buy you happiness?

No, but it stops a lot of stress,

Unless you are free soul,

I’m not, I must confess.

What wisdom have you got?

To know things always improve,

When frozen with grief and pain,

You’ll soon learn how to move.

What do you fear the most?

To be misunderstood,

To lack the tact I need,

To make the point I should.

When do you write the most?

When strong emotions pour,

The ones you can’t keep inside,

Because they really roar.

Where is your favourite place?

In my dreams, the peace they bring,

And when I’m with the ones I love,

Who give me everything…

BROKEN LAUGHTER

Matt Cummings

United States

https://trappedpoet.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Trappedpoet/

Sitting on the bench
Barren park beyond my view
The clearest picture I could see
Dying trees, scorched grass
I wanted to laugh although
It’s the greatest pain I could feel
I found my soul, wandering around
I tried to ask, all I got was mocking-jay

The game is on again
My sanity or my emotion
Broken laughter
Tell me what’s it like to survive out there
Without me steering us together
When I was born, we were one and eternal
Broken link, my insane self
Put the wall up between us, I feel empty

I miss being in your arms
Being able to laugh
All I wanted to do is to bring life
Into my mind, to feel things
I want to laugh without feeling empty
Emotionless emotions, to feel full
So my world can light up again

LACUNA: YESTERDAY

Jyoti Nair

India

Those mornings enveloped... 

 In ivory dripping tenderness... 

She would wait for his words, 

After cleansing herself as a cerulean sky. 

She wouldn't let anyone intrude 

into their hallowed confinement. 

Albeit the fencing was done using 

shreds procured, 

From those frayed clandestine knots, 

That she stealthily kept knitting. 

Those that none of the velums 

sighing in her knew... 

She is still bewildered... 

How such willowy motifs could excavate that deep. 

That it created a lair there... 

Somewhere there, that she still can't fathom. 

Since then, her lungs feel mowed under a combustible iron box. 

Since then, her gullet is parched, 

Even as she is bathed in pummeling deluge. 

Since then, even her neutral neurons have begun to palpitate. 

Since then, it feels as if... 

Graphite clumps crawl from her arteries instead of blood. 

Wrung and vanquished, she is now being skewered in that lacuna. 

HIGHWAY OF LIFE

Heather C Holmes

Canada

https://heathercholmes.medium.com/

https://www.facebook.com/heathercholmesauthor

Blue ’46 Mercury 

barrelling down  

black asphalt. 

Carefree,  

young love, 

feet on the dashboard. 

Holding hands at the 

Drive-in on a 

Saturday night. 

White ’57 Thunderbird 

cruising  

down the freeway. 

Two kids, 

one puppy,  

loving parents. 

Hugs from grandparents 

and laughing with cousins, 

during cherished 

Summers by the shore. 

Green ’65 Galaxie 500 

Top down, 

Sunglasses on, 

Herman and his Hermits  

wooing Mrs. Brown’s  

daughter on the radio. 

Son heading to Vietnam. 

Daughter protesting it. 

Older dog missing them both. 

Worry, love, pride 

crowd the heart while 

anxiously waiting for letters home. 

Burgundy ’77 Lincoln Continental vinyl bench seats, 

8-track player, 

grey everywhere. 

Ashtrays full of 

memories and ash. 

Son suffering battle fatigue. 

Lawyer daughter  

championing the underdog. 

Grand-kids spilling ice cream. No more dog to bark. 

Big house, 

empty nest,  

emptier arms. 

Brown ’86 Tempo 

cranking the engine, 

tan interior, 

fragile gearshift, 

Tougher than you think. Like the owners. 

No more kids  

to taxi around. 

Grand-kids too busy to visit. Lonely. 

Yearning. 

Needing more time 

to make memories. 

Blue ’46 Mercury 

Cuddling up 

on the drive. 

Dreaming of a 

Life together. 

Carefree,  

Young love 

Stars in their eyes, 

Love in their hearts. 

Partying over the  

County line, 

Delivering  

tomorrow sooner 

than expected.

DOGTOWN VILLANELLE

    —after a walk through fifty abandoned acres in the center of Cape Ann, Massachusetts

Suellen Wedmore

United States

Sometimes even a town falls in upon itself, 

but in spring, when the dead wander at night,

you may find its abandoned heart, toughened


by tears; women defeated by hunger, by grief,

a war hero bleeding in a harbor’s August light;

sometimes even a town falls in upon itself,


in the shadows of a glacier’s rocks and rifts, 

where cellar holes and silent roads are anyone’s right.

Here now, in spring, find this town’s heart, toughened


by recalcitrant fields and a battlefield’s slight, 

men scraping by on berries, on waylaid wildlife. 

Sometimes even a town falls in upon itself


and cries: a granite doorstep worn by life’s

fickle tread, prosperity gobbled by blight: 

come spring, you may find a town’s heart, toughened


by ridicule and scorn, by history’s rebuff.

Time, please bless us now, as is our right,

for even a town may fall in upon itself.

Open this once noble heart for us, softened. 

EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

Agnieszka Filipek

Ireland

https://www.facebook.com/polmnieapoltobie


on the edge of yesterday

I stood at the crossroads of my heart

and killed two loves with one stone

God has forgiven me

you would forgive me too


on the edge of today

I forget myself

I cut my hair and shamelessly

put on a white dress

the priest forgives me


on the edge of tomorrow

the sea of sadness

will come under my feet

I will turn my back on memories

God will forgive me


on the edge of life

in a black dress

I will finally

remember

and forgive myself

GLIMPSES OF MY MOTHER

Deborah L. Staunton

United States

My mother met fear in the devil on a store window in the Bronx.


And scared my grandmother to death in a bungalow in the country, when at four, she wandered down the road and disappeared.

Later, her older brother taught her to throw fistfuls of watery mud at frogs in a misguided attempt to catch them.


And convinced her to let him carve her initials in the back of her neck in case she got lost. She changed her mind at the bottom of the first line of the "B.”


Back in the city, she cried tears of disappointment into her pillow when a baby doll vanished from another store window, until she felt the small foot of the doll beneath her head


That summer at the bungalow, he cut her hair with six-year-old abandon. My grandmother, her eyes swollen shut with a trio of poison ivy, oak, and sumac, was left to feel the devastation with her hands.


When rain pelted the city skyline, she coaxed her baby sister into the closet hiding together as  the sky lit up the world outside their fifth story window.


She snuck drags of her mother’s cigarette behind her brother’s back at a wedding and hid from his disapproval.


At seventeen she hid from herself at her own wedding to a boy she thought she could save.


Seventeen years later she came out of hiding to save herself.

SPRING OF DECEPTION

Brittney Marie

United States

https://www.facebook.com/therealBrittneyMarie/

https://www.instagram.com/brittneymari3/

Seasons come and weeks go

Yet time begins to rainbow.

Warming hours and no more snow 

Help the trees and flowers grow. 

Nature awakens, and songs echo 

Around the frozen scarecrow.

 

A reminder of yesterday’s Eskimo 

Smothers the green and yellow. 

It’s Spring and yet a dark shadow 

Covers the freshly sprung willow. 

The temperature swings mild to low 

Keeping us in this wintery limbo.  

 

Here today, and gone tomorrow 

From the numbing and the sorrow. 

The icy grasp had one last show 

Killing things from down below. 

The sun shines with its bright halo

Blooming to Spring’s ebb and flow. 

ONE WEEK A YEAR

Kassie J Runyan

https://www.kassiejrunyan.com

the sun is setting

in hues of purple and red.

your thin legs fold up

underneath your body,

trying to stay warm

in the cooling evening air.

it’s hard to remember just

how your skin burned

earlier today

under the blazing sun

as you ran full speed

down the old wooden dock.

it creaked beneath your small weight

before you launched awkwardly into the water

trying to cool off.

dunking quickly under

just before your brother dove in

laughing and splashing.

mom looking up from her book,

the third one this week,

as she lay catching the rays of the sun

on the other end of the old dock.

looking anything but awkward,

a smile curling up the edges of her lips

that were spotted by summer freckles.

now the summer heat, a memory

as you push closer to the dying fire,

trying to stay warm.

licking the stickiness from your fingers,

the remains of melted marshmallow

that was cooked crisp over

the previously orange flames.

something buzzes by your ear and

you swat at the air

trying to shoo it away.

your eyes grow heavy

from content exhaustion.

i watch you from your future,

remembering the summer nights.

the promised week each year

where i felt more happy and childlike

than any other week.

i watch my young self

drift to sleep

in the memory of the past

just before dad leans over and lifts you

like you are nothing more than a doll.

snuggle in his arms

while he takes you to the safety inside

the small cabin

that sits next to the dying fire.

a loon coos in the distance.

you drift to sleep…

and dream

of what would come tomorrow.

where you will create more memories

just like this

to last the rest of your life.

​​

GHOST MAIL

Mike Ball

United States

https://www.facebook.com/harrumph

https://twitter.com/whirred

Both SENT and INBOX are cluttered.

SENT nags the most, with its corpses.


More than a decade after her death,

my mother is not likely to read email.

Nor are other friends and relatives who,

as we are wont to blather, have passed, 

joined the angels or other euphemisms.


The alleged afterlife appears without

laptops and email. Yet somehow… 


I cannot bring my mouse to highlight 

and to delete those ignored messages.

I also lack the sangfroid to winnow

my contact lists to remove the dead.


Sometimes, auto-fill pops in one of them

and I confess I like seeing the familiar,

if unreachable — deaf and blind to me.

FROM WHEN I WAS TWENTY-ONE
Bilkis Moola

South Africa​

https://www.facebook.com/Poetic-Shores-103759598212110/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC78xK4tUFoITRG7APfkm9vw

You were my yesterday -
from when I was twenty-one.
You wove a gold thread around my neck,
wrapped a bracelet of charm on my wrists.

I return to when I was twenty-one -
my future when you promised yourself as my love.
Then -
you left.

I did not know the landscape of memory
where you would float in a cloud -
a fog, a mist from my past.

Your eyes still stare into mine
with a love that I believed was true.

From when I was twenty-one
when you were my yesterday -
I remember you.

Life surpassed my yesterdays
in a frenzy -
a career,
more of you in everyone I met -
I looked but you had gone.

It is twenty-five years since those yesterdays
when you cast your spell of promise.
I never saw you again.

All my yesterdays and tomorrows
circle in what could have been.

The twenty-one when you promised a future of love -
was not to be.
My passage of youth has faded
for the twenty-one years that float in a frenzy of tomorrows.

You were my first poem -
the shock of abandon,
sudden -
oh, so sudden!
tore my heart for a
what could have been if you remained.

Your bewitching eyes as hazel drops -
crooked smile.
The rose that you laid at my feet
in a yesterday -
from when I was twenty-one.

A kaleidoscope of colour
whirls from yesterdays of love lost -
betrayal.

I am no longer twenty-one -
you remain a memory of melancholy
for a future that could have been.

I said, “Goodbye” -
bid you farewell from my heart.

Regret taints yesterdays
for the future of tomorrows
when for all my past years
rotate with each day,
revolve around a sun
when every year of my yesterday
is locked in a memory of you.

YESTERDAYS ARE REAL

Alan Bedworth

United Kingdom

They generally say yesterday has gone,
look forward to today and the future.
But surely things of yesterday
shape your future.
That's where all your memories are.

Forgetting yesterday can't work
how do we learn from our mistakes.
Perhaps those not wanting yesterdays
have ulterior motives for not
advocating past memories.

I'm sorry I am who I am
due to my yesterdays.
Understanding memories of family
and friends have developed
the person you see in front of you.

In my conclusion memories
and yesterdays have a place
in our society.
How to love and forgive was
learnt in all our yesterdays.

TWISTY SMILE

Frank Modica

United States

https://twitter.com/fcmodica53

I’ve grown older 

since he died,

married and moving on. 


I try to let go 

of so much sorrow,

focus on better 

memories of a lifetime. 


From his wedding pictures 

he looks back 

at no one in particular, 

his sad, ambivalent smile.

THE DAY AFTER THE CLOCKS GO CUCKOO IN THE FALL OR THE UNEXPECTED INQUISITION OR WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES—25 LITTLE HOURS

Ken Gosse

United States

https://www.facebook.com/ken.gosse/

The throng implored in earnest

as they stalked me to my chair,

why supper wasn’t ready

(they were feeling rather heady

and their legs became unsteady);

at this hour it should be there.

 

I pointed to the grandpa clock

which stood watch in the hall

and to the cuckoo which would mock

from high upon the wall,

then to the lady, very bare,

whose clock obscures her groin

(a gift my mom-in-law put there,

which she was told was very rare—

the one for which we still don’t care—

a fire-sale in Des Moines).

 

Three clocks concurred, one more, one less:

there was an hour to go:

the first was just a trifle fast

but by the morning came in last;

the third was always rather slow

(its second hand swung to and fro);

but in-between I’d always seen

the cuckoo clock would hold the mean—

a drop of oil mixed with caffeine

ensured a finely-tuned machine—

before their food arrived at mess

come rain or shine or snow.

I had no choice and so I changed

our clocks the night before:

just yesterday I rearranged

our lives forevermore—

that is, until some months from now

we’d move them back again,

or is that forward?—anyhow,

it’s odd that we, such mortal men,

have magic which can move the sun

upon our will, and fast,

though none of us, alone, can shun

the laws which men have passed,

demanding that we change the hour

our minds and bodies sense,

by means of some uncanny power,

to thither from its whence.

 

But dogs and cats and chickadees,

the aardvarks, rabbits, bumblebees,

all snarks and sharks and chimpanzees,

and every camel and its fleas,

plus alligators, manatees,

the gentle cows who give us cheese,

our poltergeists and families

are made to feel quite ill at ease—

the Universe itself agrees—

when mealtime brings them to their knees,

delayed, in spite of earnest pleas

by whims of their trustees.

 

And so, in comfy chair’s embrace,

assuming the position,

I sink into profound disgrace:

another hour I’ll watch them pace—

an hour which I cannot replace—

the longest hour, in which I face

my spaniels’ inquisition.

YESTERDAY

Zhivanka Morris

North Macedonia
We talked 
About the moon and the stars,
Over late-night dinners
When you smiled.

We drank whiskey together
And talked about the sunsets
When you told me that you like me.

So we became the Moon
And the Stars.
Inseparable, stronger,
Addicted to each other.

You would hold my hand
And tell me all about
The universe, the planets,
We will count the stars and make wishes.
I liked that.

The people around us
Were like the rain,
They would try to flood us,
But we would swim our way to the shore,
Underwater, with one single breath.

One night, one dire night, the doorbell rang.
There was no more moon and stars,
There was no more us.
Only pain, excruciating pain.

Pain that indicated you were real.
Lingering pain, till today.
All because yesterday you chose her.

THURSDAY

Jane Fitzgerald

https://www.facebook.com/JanesPoetry/

https://www.amazon.com/Jane-H.-Fitzgerald/e/B01MSW2FLO

I wish it was yesterday

When I was with you

It seemed as though

I'd arrived

at fields 

distant

far too long

Touching you is

surrounding gentleness

My heart alive 

in your eyes

Hours on time of

just being

Feeling the closeness of

possibilities

without many words

Waiting for 

tomorrow 

When you will come

again

Longing for yesterdays

MY MOOSE

Sharon Cote

How not to remember that August day, 

the wild lake lined with spruce? 

A time can come to reject the tether

of parents and brothers, worn paths, shared air.

I was twelve. My parents had sensed 

that they should let me loose.

        ***

I’d entered a cabinless cove of what

was to me an enormity of lake. 

Before this sharp turn, I’d braved subtler ones,  

following the reedy curves of shoreline. 

Few boats marked this first solo cruise, just one 

or two drifters catching sweet-fleshed lake bass.

The lake shimmered in fickle shades of blue.


My outboard motor coughed its soft putt-putt,

echoing in the cove, as I piloted

slow (slow, in case of shallows), watching the

water more than the woods. Muddy swirls, gold 

glints of bait-stealing sunnies. Yes, not deep.


Then to my right, some movement more steady

than fitful gusts of summer breezes.

My eyes were pulled to shore        and to the log-long 

nose of a grown female moose.

I stopped the boat (near sure I could restart).


She froze, ears flicked, then stepped again.

I traced her outline in the shade. I was 

but yards of lake from her half ton of life. 

The trees were less tall in her presence.

We were breathing together there, staring,

and I wanted to tell her that it was 

wonderful, and frightening, just a bit,

to share this sharpened moment with her 

the trees, the sunnies, the lake.    Ah, that was 

what she wanted, of course, the cool lake water.      


I nudged my motor into hushed rebirth,

suddenly thirsty myself, gentled out 

of that cove, sped towards our cabin dock

still feeling a commingled life in me, 

the lake, the sky—and wondering too if  

maybe we’d all toast marshmallows that night.

WASH, RINSE, REPEAT

Judy Taylor

Wash, rinse, repeat.

I follow the rhythms of the day.

Is today yesterday or tomorrow?

Each day’s footprint the same.


The rhythms of the day follow me.

I run from them, but

my foot prints, the same each day, 

like assembly line snowflakes stamped in stone.


So I’m running away 

to a place where the days can’t follow me, 

where the stamp of days become like snowflakes

etched in ice, glittered with sun,


where only you can follow me,

where today is neither yesterday, nor tomorrow, 

where each day is etched in fresh, glittering icicles.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

YESTERDAY IS YESTERDAY’S NEWS

(Yesterday, 1143 W. Addison Street.)

Mark Hudson

United States

In Chicago, there was a yellow shack,

in Wrigley Ville,  since 1976.

It’s been demolished, not coming back,

it’s been torn down brick by brick.

It was originally owned by an 88-year old,

Tom Boyle, who died in December.

Sports memorabilia and antiques were sold,

replaced by a three-flat, who will remember?

Just one block from Wrigley Field,

the store was known for top-notch collections.

Something for everybody there appealed,

now it is just a saddening reflection.

Sports memorabilia is worth a lot of favor,

but it’s the memories themselves that we savor.

YESTERDAY

Mowmita Sur

India

https://www.facebook.com/mou.sur

It's like yesterday,

When you were here Papa.

Holding my hands in immense care.

Who knows, there will be a chapter

Called sinister!

Who knows there will be trauma & tears!

As we pray to God,

To wipe away all your pain, 

To enfold you, embrace you, 

Comfort and bless you in heaven.

I succumb to the feelings of extreme agony and despair,

As you are physically not here,

But blessing me in abundance from above.

When I completely unfazed by the events, Happening around me, 

And fail to realize, 

The bitter yet eternal truth of life, 

That death is inevitable.

Today I can feel the wisps of hope,
Fluttering into my heart.
You taught me how to start,
When you are apart.
Take the words that they say yesterday.
I still want you back today,
I know, you are looking upon me.

With a grin on your face.

When the brightest star shine

Up above the sky,

I know, it's you

That similar smile,

You smiled yesterday.

You were the phenomenal father!
That I will remember.
Letting  the embers,
Of my fire, fly away to you,

How I miss you,

My prayers for you.

Letting your divine love,

Be my guiding light, 

On the path of spiritual quest and salvation.
It was like yesterday,

When you were here Papa.

NEW JERSEY YESTERDAYS

John Laue

United States

After eastern cold,

Warm west coast winter. I miss

Writing on windows.


Beside a west coast

Pool, I remember fireflies,

Their lit reflections. 

 

I shot targets at

Kid’s camp, then in the Army.

No more shooting now!


Nanny’s twenty-two 

Still in my closet after

Sixty silent years.


I turn the key, put

It in gear, begin to move.

Ice slides off the roof.


Ice coated tree limbs

Littered the town’s central square.

Our hardest winter. 


I don’t miss those cold

Dark days coal slid down loud chutes

To dusty basements.


No one wants coal now.

What will idle miners do

If they don’t read well?


I remember the

Carnival, Merry-go-round,

Ferris wheel, her lips.


Milk bottles froze on

Porches then. We skimmed from the

Necks. Voila! ice cream.


Delaware River, 

Rocks, hellgrammites, mussels,

Trout, bass, sunfish, fun!

Perfectly smooth stones

Lined the riverbed, I’ll bet

Most were once sharp-edged.


All around the church

He chased me with his Christmas

Bow. Minister’s son.


The plane fell among

Cows. Behind an electric 

Fence we watched it burn.


When freighted limbs dripped

Melted snow, we kids threw hard,

Defended our forts.


Lovers kiss on the

Dark footbridge. Frogs below croak

Hopeful mating calls. 


In a wooden box,

All that’s left of a childhood---

Camp medals, small stones. 


Summers I recall

The long days when little boys  

Could play forever!


I meet three young boys

With long reed spears they blithely

Hurl at each other.

 

Walden Pond larger

Than I thought. Then the light touch

Of inspiration!


I lie in this canoe

Gazing at a calm blue sky. 

Water’s slap, slap, slap.


In a blue hammock

Viewing stars, the moon, sudden

Bright meteor trails.

Delaware River

Where I used to swim. Mussels,

Turtles, pollution.


Hercules Powder Plant. 

Every floor had escape chutes.

Sometimes I wish that.


Somewhere under this

Snow there must be a stream. I

Hear a faint gurgle. 


Please don’t disturb that

Harmless blacksnake sunning. He’s  

Sooo comfortable!


I remember Dad,

His unsurpassed strength.

Five handfuls of ash. 


Mother’s window to  

The world open. But I saw

Dead bees on the sill. 


New Jersey fireflies 

Blinked on and off, on and off.

Her transient love. 


I know there’s a white

Rabbit in this morning’s snow.

But where can he be?


Fall colors the most

Beautiful of all. But where are

The oldtime scarecrows?

GONE

Laura Glaves

United States

I lay in bed unable to sleep, feeling lost and bereft.

A childhood memory plays over and over in my mind.


I’m five years old in a motel room with Mom and Dad.

I lie in bed and touch the nubby texture of my teddy-bear, Ted.

I stare at the coarse black threads crisscrossing his back, 

a gaping wound Mom has closed.


We wake early the next morning and pile into the car.

Miles down the road, I realize Ted is gone. 


He must be at the bottom of your bed, Mom says.

The maid will find him 

and give him to her little girl.


I toss and turn, touching Ted’s texture in my thoughts.


My wound grows wider. 


I yearn for comfort.


Mom is gone.

RESTLESS

Kate Meyer

United Kingdom

Yesterday was the restless 

First of a week off, where 

I had not yet detached 

From preoccupations; 

Work still nipped at my 

Pyjamaed ankles, as I 

Yawned and blundered 

In the fug of fatigue from

Sofa to kitchen, toking 

Coffee, in a smoky haze 

Of half-formed poems 

That smouldered in my 

Ashtray brain, like spent 

Cigar-butts. I could not 

Light up and inhale their

Potent vapour, or draw

Upon cogent thoughts

Sharpened by the tang

Of coffee. I had not written 

For a week and it left a 

Bitter aftertaste; an 

Uncertainty that the 

Urge of ideas and clarity

Of focus were lost forever 

In the fog of tiredness:

Even by mid-morning where 

I was reproached by my 

Cluttered rooms and a

Slumped body that was 

Just a couch-potato, still

Muddy in its unwashed 

Skin, shoots of intention

Sprouting sluggishly 

Towards the light, lost 

Behind grey sky and 

Blustering, chilly wind. 

But it was still the breeze,

Slicing through the 

Open window, which 

Chivvied me to act; to

Martial drifting scraps 

Of thought into gradual

Actions which spoke 

Forth as words on the 

Day’s empty page.