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The following poems are listed on this page, and in this order:

Two poems    by Marj Schroeder 
Garden Queen   by Michelle Smith
Ruth O'Neal (who is dying of cancer) by Michelle Smith
Renewal (a haibun - prose/haiku) by Allen McGill      
For Jenny Joseph   by  Sylvia Berek Rosenthal      
Joy - a poem about cats      by Sonya Oppenheimer
San Miguel Streets    by Adeline Medalia
Best Friends          by Sylvia Rosenthal
Blessed (a birthday poem for Florence)    by Joe Ershun

7/3/04 Two poems by Marj Schroeder 


Holes of San Miguel


Black holes

Left by friends


Gaps grow greater

Gulp and

Swallow my life.

I gobble gorditas




Sunlight spills over the hills

Tile roofs blaze and sparkle

Like mirrors sending

Distress signals.

5/15/04 Garden Queen    by Michelle Smith

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.

5/15/04     RUTH O'NEAL (who is dying of cancer) by Michelle Smith

Ruth O'Neal, that elegant spirit,

a rascal and rogue in disguise.

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--

intelligent, charming and wise.

We're hoping her past is just a bit shady,

because of the gleam in her eyes.

We met her down south, in old San Miguel,

this one with the "traveling" heart.

She left California, tho' she loved it well,

in Mexico made a new start.

She's been our dear friend a good many years.

We love and admire her no end.

We've shared lots of laughter and very few tears.

How lucky to call her our friend!

5/8/04   RENEWAL  (a haibun - prose/haiku)    by Allen McGill

Manhattan high-rises glint gold and silver in the light of the early morning sun.
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 both,
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 Mexico.
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."
"Mexico? WHY?"

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, attitudes, customs.

waiter ~
before each order,
"Praise the Lord"

the broken neon
flashes VAC NCY
nearing twilight

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
to earth.

border town's
Spanglish culture
dust everywhere
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.

yellow blooms
on desert cacti
noonday sun

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.

I'm home.       

Saturday night
the main plaza swarms
with strollers

           4/26/04   FOR JENNY JOSEPH   by  Sylvia Berek Rosenthal                     

 You said

                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 

                so convoluted

                I have to dig and burrow

                to find some meaning.

oh no!


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!

                                I dare things.

                                audition for a part in a play?


                                write a story?

                                invent a poem?

                                                but of course!

                                climb a mountain?

                                swim a lake?

                                ford a river?

                                                if I can dear, if I can!


                now that I am failing

                                I can allow myself              

                                to fail

                but I do dare

                                And sometimes I succeed!


4/25/04    Joy - a poem about cats    by Sonya Oppenheimer





















March 26, 2004     San Miguel Streets       Adeline Medalia

Gross vehicles
squeeze into medieval streets
planned for buggies, burros, and leaner people

Here and now
a love affair with sports vehicles
pickup trucks
huge camions of coca cola

Easter near, a holiday pattern prevails:
Tear up the paving!
Dig holes to drop into!
Walking or riding, mismo risk
Movement at snail's pace
or none at all

A pause, however
leaves time for viewing
Shop doors display
little museums

The wait's not wasted

March 20 2004             BEST FRIENDS          by Sylvia Rosenthal  

Dinah and I were best friends

We played after school

Dressed our dolls and

Combed each other’s hair


Wore my mamma’s clothes

Put on her jewelry and powder

We knew we would be

Best friends forever


Then Miranda moved in downstairs.

She had a Shirley Temple doll

You could comb its hair

That doll even had ice skates


Miranda wanted to be my best friend

I told her I couldn’t

Dinah and I were best friends



Next day

Dinah came and said

“You and I can’t play anymore“

“Miranda and I are best friends now”


I hit her

What else could I do

But she still wouldn’t be

My best friend

March 6, 2004    Blessed (a birthday poem for Florence)    by Joe Ershun

When I first met you so many years ago

it was as if I had fallen into a field of brilliant stars.

Their sparkles lit my heart.

From it flowed love, pure love.

Much has changed.

My wrinkles on just one hand

outnumber the rings on the stump

of recently cut down tree in front of our house.

Yet each morning when I awake

and see you lying beside me

sleeping the sleep of the beloved

I still feel I have fallen

into that field of stars

and they still sparkle brilliantly

still lighting up my heart

and even deeper purer love.

And I am blessed.

Objectives of this page: this section will contain all "poems" that meet the criteria described in Instructions .   All poems will be published in the date order of receipt, with the latest poems on top (the oldest nearer the bottom).



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