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ArtPoems 2017 Gallery
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Deport Yourself, It’s Later Than You Think
    Inspiration for Berry van Boekel's "Deport Yourself"

Deport yourself, it’s later than you think,
Deport yourself, or you’ll end up in the clink.
The year’s gone by, economy’s on the blink
Deport yourself, deport yourself, it’s greater than you think.  

You’ve worked at jobs no gringos want, you’re always on the go,
To make enough for your family here and the one in Mexico,
But every time you settle down and think you’ve got it made,
You lose your latest job again to another Migra* raid.

Deport yourself, it’s easier than you think,
Deport yourself, stop standing on the brink,
When you’re back home, your life will be in synch, 
Deport yourself, deport yourself, have a tequila drink.

You’ll let our tomatoes go unpicked and rot upon the vine,
There won’t be places cheap enough where we can sit and dine,
Our lawns and grounds will go ungroomed, our beds will be unmade,
But you’ll be rich in your home town where no one’s ever paid.

Deport yourself, your green card’s long extinct,
Deport yourself, get back into the pink,
Your wife and kids will either swim or sink,
Deport yourself, deport yourself, it’s greater than you think.

    - Joe Pacheco

 * Immigration authorities
Deport Yourself    by Berry van Boekel   ArtPoems 2017
Tamiami Trail    by Scott Guelcher    ArtPoems 2017
Tamiami Trail
     Inspired by Scott Guelcher's "Tamiami Trail"

Big Biff got into his old Ford Taurus.
Dents told of history, bad parking places,
trees he didn’t see, routine back up scrapes.

He starts a trip out to the Tamiami Trail on
this bright sunny day. No one knows where
it will take him down the smooth black tarmac.

Biff stops for gas at Wawa, knows the girl there,
buys sunflower seeds to spit shells out the window.
He wouldn’t be caught dead at an Exxon-Mobil or Shell.

Biff goes off the main road, into a nature preserve.
Looks for a Flamingo, even a plastic one. None there,
He did see one Alligator, not sure it wasn’t stuffed.
Angry, he runs over a Snake, and splatters two Frogs.
No sympathy, they needed to die. We all need to die. But 
not her. Not her. Biff leans on the steering wheel and cries, 

Yes, this trip is about death, and the cancerous road
that takes you to it. Fast food, lousy alcohol, cigarettes.
Stale relationships that grow empty and often violent on
both sides of this highway. Biff takes the exit off towards 
the hospice. Cement cage where he sat by her bed, day after 
day, until he heard the death rattle. But he wasn’t done with her.
Friends say, move on, Buddy. Forget her. Get back to the golf course.  
Biff wants to pick up a golf club and bang it on God’s head. Why her?
He buys a pint of vodka, orders two McDonald's double cheese burgers 
with fries and heads North on the Tamiami Trail, in search of nothing.

When the last fry has been chewed, tears start again and won’t stop. 
Makes Biff floor the gas pedal. The Taurus almost lifts it’s front wheels.
Faster, wilder, until he rams into an unmoving concrete bridge ramp. The 
Taurus ricochets, spirals in the air, enters the water like Eleanor Powell, 
ending upside down. The coral rips it open. Biff hangs by his seat belt,
and the empty McDonald’s bag joins everything else red with his blood.

    - Sidney B. Simon
The distant hum
grows to a roar
an airboat crashes 
  through the grassland
swamp buggies plow
  across cypress forests
the gladesman camouflaged
whiskered face
tobacco stained teeth
forages in a changing world
he keeps remnants of the old
  weaves tales
he loves his miserable hard life
a florida cajun sequestered
in the neighborhood of contradictions
  lawless honorable
  wasteful hardworking
  ascetic indulgent
marshy glades his sanctuary
of tranquility and dangers
he listens and watches
whip-poor-will and warbler
alligators amongst sawgrass
deceptive manchineel trees
pious cypress
  limbs outstretched
carnivorous bladder plant
  erect above still waters
  traps creatures below
cowhorn orchid thrives
  amidst poison wood
tonight the gladesman returns 
at dusk he sits at his table
  grits and gravy served
  by his bony wife
tonight he sleeps and dreams
the ghosts of Okeechobee
echo the stories 
of ancient gladesmen
of the almost vanished
Mescosukee and Seminole
  specters who live
  deep in the primeval forest
listen carefully to detect
the rumble of rickety oxcarts
a hooting barred owl
chanting tribal rhythms
lull the sleepy swampland
bojangles lifts his heels
  dances to an ancestral ballad
red-haired smelly skunkape
rambles on big feet
  wary of invaders in ochopee
the ghost ship waits
to return the gladesman
back to his place of honor
and glory

    - Joyce Berrian Ferrari
Almost Vanished
    Inspiration for Eleanor Dominek's "Through Cypress Glades"
Through Cypress Glades    by Eleanor Dominek    ArtPoems 2017
Divorce    by Linda Lally    ArtPoems 2017
   Inspired by Linda Lally’s painting, “Divorce”
The word slides, slippery, off her tongue
He understands once uttered,
The process has begun.
Shudders, as he envisions it unraveling, undone.
Unhappy ending for their children, still so young,
Caught in this wreckage they’ll create
Where once love lived, he senses growing hate.

No longer will that slip of gossamer lace
Dangle off her shoulder like a romance to be read
No late night movies
Or languid mornings spent in bed
“Leave me now” is what she said.

He cannot comprehend his sin
Feels unjustly punished
As anger and confusion mount within.
All those words they’ve sung, then later flung
Circle, scrambled and competing
In his head.
He remembers when his heart caught
At just the sight or scent or thought of her.
His desire to capture what’s been lost
Nearly overwhelms his need to prove she’s wrong,
Has been all along
Accuses her, again, of being the Drama Queen
A song he never chose to sing.

Sadness settles slowly, like a fog
As his mind wanders this labyrinth of love and loss
Refusing to recognize the pattern that has caused this pain
Failing to understand
Why love will not remain.

    -Sandy Greco
     Inspiration for Honey Costa's "Rainbow Memories"
I memorized that beach day with Mommy
Sand, sand, the everywhere sand 
to crunch under toes
fill metal pails
sift through fingers, drift 
into ocean breezes

Mommy laughed when the swoop 
of seagull snatched my sandwich
Hugged away my terror cries
shouted oaths damning all 
flying creatures foolish 
enough to dare a return

Innocence soaking in sunshine health
drenched in delicious Coppertone 
UV fears a generation away 
I announced each passing
of the Piper Super Cub
towing the back and forth banner
as Mommy read out loud 
over and over 
“All You Can Eat 45 Foot Salad Bar Buffet”

Couples necked under beach blankets 
not seeing
plane, waves, gulls, wind, sand
Mommy watched them smooching
I saw her look to a place 
far away where Daddy 
smooched with another lady and I 
began to forget the smell 
of Lucky Tiger hair tonic and scratch 
of whiskers kissing 
my forehead good night
I memorized that beach day with Mommy

   - Dan Reed England
Rainbow Memories    by Honey Costa    ArtPoems 2017