Dirty nails, knee-worn jeans
battered old straw hat.
Peek 'neath the brim -- a Garden Queen,
kneeling on a mat.
Those flowers know her expert touch,
Just look at how they thrive.
Shee gives them water, food and mulch.
They BLOOM -- oh, man alive!
With fertilizer she's a whiz,
"just right" amounts dispense.
Besides her smarts in all that biz,
she's full of common sense.
Garden pests had best beware.
She "knows the book" on them.
Insecticides she'll use with care,
and not just a whim.
So, here's to you - O, Garden Queen,
a lady through and through,
with fingernails not quite pristine,
my dear, we're proud of you.
written for the Garden Club of San Miguel de Allende, and
in honor of Michelle's sister, Shirley Williams, on her 60th birthday.
O'NEAL (who is dying of cancer) by Michelle Smith
Ruth O'Neal, that
a rascal and rogue in
She's ever the lady,
and never you fear it,
we'll sing you her
praise to the skies.
But more, so much more
is our dear lady--
We're hoping her past
is just a bit shady,
because of the gleam in
We met her down south,
in old San Miguel,
this one with the
She left California,
tho' she loved it well,
in Mexico made a new
She's been our dear
friend a good many years.
We love and admire her
We've shared lots of
laughter and very few tears.
How lucky to call her
RENEWAL (a haibun - prose/haiku) by Allen McGill
Manhattan high-rises glint gold and silver in the light of the early morning
I slow the car to savor the view, aware that I may never see it again.
Whether I'm running from something or towards something I'm not sure, probably
but I'm on my way. A tunnel takes me into the city, and another one out of it.
Jersey Turnpike ~
in my rear view mirror
the twin towers
Endless highways and moderate motels are all I concentrate on, heading for
I'm giddy about leaving a stressful job in a frenetic city, and excited about
a new lifestyle
in San Miguel de Allende. A more affordable life at that.
I laugh when I think of the comments received when I spoke of my plans.
"Mexico? Oh, that's nice. I have family in Albuquerque."
"Mexico? But aren't you afraid of bandits?"
"Mexico? Heh, heh, heh. Don't drink the water."
Driving while it's still barely light is a challenge. I'm not an experienced
driver, and unhappy
without a full night's sleep. The windows are kept open and the radio blares
rock music to
ensure I stay awake.
Even the interminable toll roads signify freedom when you've endured a
constricted city life.
Stops for food and sleep while driving south are revelations: foods, accents,
before each order,
"Praise the Lord"
the broken neon
flashes VAC NCY
City thruways confuse my sense of direction. There is no rush, I tell myself.
No need to panic.
Texas -- the urgency that has tightened my neck muscles begins to ease.
Mexico, my goal,
in near. The land is flat, but soon fields of Bluebonnets carpet the land like
patches of sky fallen
After a night in Laredo, I approach the border crossing at dawn. Mordida
--bribe-- is first and
foremost on the inspector's mind. He jokes openly about it with his cohort,
unaware or uncaring
that I understand. Playing dumb gringo saves me money.
After time, money and aggravation, I enter Mexico. It's a twelve-hour drive to
San Miguel, so I
stock up on bottled water and pesos.
The country is bleak. Miles of desert stretch to the hazy mountainous horizon.
I pass near
modern Monterrey. Across the river lies a hill town of shacks. On one lonely
stretch of road,
women and children approach selling snake skins, wild birds and tarantulas. I
wonder if anyone
ever stops to buy.
on desert cacti
It's dark when I arrive at the outskirts of San Miguel high in the Sierra
Madres. The Parrochia --
parish church -- of pink limestone rises in spires above the main square,
copied from a postcard
of a European cathedral. The rear is unfinished -- no postcard.
The streets are cobble-stoned, the building facades 17th century, the pace
slow, and the air
festive with serenading mariachis.
the main plaza swarms
4/26/04 FOR JENNY
by Sylvia Berek Rosenthal
when I am an old woman I shall wear purple.
Well I am an old woman
I do wear purple, pink, and polka dots.
lots of polka dots
yet more than that
I don't finish every book I start.
sorry mama, you were wrong
I don't HAVE TO finish everything.
I'll read anything that is fun
that touches me
that suddenly tells me something
I didn't even know I wanted to know.
but writing that is turned in on itself
I have to dig and burrow
to find some meaning.
my time now is flexible
there are very few "have tos"
nevertheless my time now is valuable
and I choose to husband it.
I won't stay to the end
of a lackluster play
a pointless movie
a tedious lecture.
It’s bad enough the money's spent
I won't also squander my time.
but oh there are compensations!