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ArtPoems 2018 Gallery
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Have Yourself A Donald Trump White Christmas
   Inspired by Scott Guelcher’s “Holidays”

Have yourself a Donald Trump White Christmas
Like you used to know,
No blacks near 
And rapists back in Mexico.

Have yourself a Donald Trump White Christmas
No Obama care
In the ER 
Hope you find an intern there.

Here you are as in olden days,
All white golden days of yore,
No Kwanzaa hype or Chanukah light,
Christ is back in Christmas once more.

No more fears of black and white together
Or what courts allow---
Just hang a terrorist from the highest bough
And have yourself 
A Donald Trump White Christmas now. 

   ~ Joseph Pacheco
Holidays   by Scott Guelcher   ArtPoems 2018
After My Evening Meal
   Inspiration for Claude Lyles’ “Sanibel After Dinner”

After my evening meal
      I wander the garden,
      leaf through palm fronds,
      promenade past bromeliads.

Slow my pulse to the pace
      of this world,
      drops form and fall,
      frogs chirrup in the cooling air.

Feel the soles of my feet
      on dewy ground,
      kiss of sunset on my crown,
      inhale the incense of life.

See the first star
      unmask its grace,
      shine across light years
      to this perfect place.

   ~ Holly L. McEntyre
Sanibel After Dinner   by Claude Lyles   ArtPoems 2018
Down the Rabbit Hole   by Kenneth A Vinton   ArtPoems 2018
Down The Rabbit Hole
   Inspired by Kenneth A. Vinton’s “Down the Rabbit Hole”

The layers upon layers of brilliant light led Mitch Gilbert
down the rabbit hole. He knew there would be zones of despair, 
but maybe auras of genuine happiness and joy down there, too.

We’re not talking real rabbits. They just haunt the painting.
And it’s not a burrow for dreams of baby rabbits, but one where
people face the Life they’ve carved, the connections we built.

Each layer has at its heart, all the things you’ve accomplished
plus the dusty, musty depths of every dream we’ve left undone.
Mitch has quit any longer pretending not to know what he knows.

Piled up in one of the layers, he faces the three jobs he quit, 
just walked away, like the marriage, like the Daddy place he left
unfilled for their two sons and the wandering dropout daughter.

The ex-wife reminded him of the daughter’s birthday and 
the guilt she pounded out with the date. Mitch stayed out
of the bar three nights and had money to buy the kid something.

He’s alone in The Rabbit Hole, no one to consult with about
what you get a 16 year old soon to be 17. Alone, an idea came.
He didn’t have to be completely a lousy Dad. He counted the money.

Went to a pet store and bought a cage, and not for a cat. Yep for a rabbit.
He would help her set it all up. A dish for water. A pan for its food. Maybe 
he’d tell her about the life down a rabbit hole, but for now, she’d just get a rabbit.

   ~ Sidney B. Simon

Boat Basin Blues
   Inspiration for Roy Rodriguez’s “When Life is Only Memories”

His torso forms an apostrophe,
an inconspicuous human curl,
hunched deep into himself,
hidden from the $20 burger crowd
at the 79th Street Boat Basin. 

A breeze off the Hudson River
cools his weather-lined face. 
Smudges of New Jersey fill
his vision and his empty time. 
There is nowhere for him to go.

People on the promenade pass,
purposely oblivious, skirting
his body and his odors, denying 
his existence. There is no space 
where he does not offend. 

What erased him, made his life
slide inwards, then dissolve?
Did he once ride a limo to his
wedding and a bright future?
Play stickball with a son?

From a park bench, close enough 
to see, yet not be seen, I study him 
as a work of art, a flawed statue
that fate sculpted with the wrong
mix of dreams and disappointments.

   ~ Marilyn Mecca
When Life Is Only Memories   by Roy Rodriguez   ArtPoems 2018
Shadow Rays
   Inspired by Lesley Morrow’s “Orchid”

      The orchid grows where others cannot, 
      enduring hardships of hunger and thirst, 
      and is only loosely tied to the things
      that support it

She was sure it died, bare 
stick in crusted glass bowl, dried
silhouette screamed before grime 
of winter on her kitchen window, until 
one trivial bud on the spindly stalk 

emerged out of demise, tinged
by myriad hues to glow, white
flame and shade, joined in time
with other tiny blossoms lined
up free style dancers, perfume

climbing over stale coffee, yesterday’s  
dishes, piled for the time clouds creeping
from her brain’s back corners can be blown
by breeze her gray, dread wide-awake 
nightmares will never let return. 

She feels shadows lean against skin
admitted into her chest, purple and gray
current, deep red in blood, caressing 
its path in sinew and bone. She drinks 
in steam as scalding water 
fills the sink.

   ~Dan Reed England

Orchid   by Lesley Morrow   ArtPoems 2018
Good Work
   Inspiration for Buck Ward’s “Kindling Spirits”

Poetry doesn’t pay much, does it?
The woodsman sighs to me
As he pulls the axe blade from
A near split piece of cedar
And cuts another arc over his head
Like an Indian laboring over a log 
He is digging out
And lets it slice the air silver
Straight through the cedar’s crack
To the chopping block

How much you gettin’ for splitting the wood
I ask
He lays the axe on the block
Steps into the September woods
That overhang the shed

A man pissing outdoors
Draws companionship
I step in and find a mossy rock to aim at

The maples are flaming, oaks
Just beginning to turn
A solitary red and yellow tipped leaf
Meanders to the ground

Not enough he says
But it’s good work
And I can piss anywhere I want to
Any time

   ~ Gary McLouth

Kindling Spirits   by Buck Ward   ArtPoems 2018