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I've Got a Rockin' Roll Heart   by Dolly Dempsey   ArtPoems 2019
Behind The Wheel
    Inspired by Dolly Dempsey’s “I’ve Got a Rockin’ Roll Heart”

         I won’t be barred from life. My world is rich with possibilities.
                                                       JACK KEROUAC

I want to travel to the beat
thrumming in my head, drive 
to a timeless clock.
So I close the book,
grab my Freddy Fender,
the only passenger 
in my blue ’57 Chevy.
On the road I go like 
He said, “Nothing behind me;
everything ahead of me.”
I drive on; don’t look
back from the wheel.
Big Blue , Freddy and me
down route 66 on the road 
to dreams I close my eyes.
Fourteen in Dad’s Chevy,
The world waits for me

    - Joyce Berrian Ferrari
Labor Day
    Inspiration for Ronnie Walter's "Safe Passage"

Over this half-moon black lake
Live all the points of heaven
I knew by heart in the sixth grade

Tonight the constellations
Mock my memory
A bat’s shadow flits
Low to the water

I stretch my eyes into
That space I
Once saw as a ceiling
Curved over my bed
In my first room with a window

There are no loon cries
No rustling chipmunks
Somewhere deep in the woods
Beyond the lake
A logging truck groans
At a hill

In the water must be
Fish too cold to catch
Bugs ready to be eaten
Rocks too long there
To be just rocks

High in the top
Pine on Bluff Point
North of a star
Whose name I have forgotten
Is its highest needle

In the jewel of moisture
Gathering at its tip
Life becomes personal

    - Gary McLouth
Safe Passage   by Ronnie Walter   ArtPoems 2019
Junk Food Junkies   by Scott Guelcher   ArtPoems 2019
Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)
     Inspired by Scott Guelcher’s “Junk Food Junkies”
Sugar has 61 different names
We consume 19.5 teaspoons a day
Cane syrup creates dopamine-
Released in the brain

Children should have three (tsp)
Women six
Men nine
The Standard American Diet
All grains are highly refined

An insulin roller coaster
Real food has fiber
Processed food does not
Corn, wheat, soy and sucrose
The only groceries in stock
As the vegetable oil gets hotter
It becomes toxic!
Preservatives, color and flavoring
Additives in plastic packages-
To feed the Cravings

Junk food junkies
With Pandora’s lunchbox 
Where highly trained scientists
Manipulate the livestock and crops!

    - Edwin Moses
World Series Woes
 Inspiration for Shah Hadjebi’s “World Series Woes”

1958, Game Six, Milwaukee.
    The bottom of the tenth
        Yanks ahead 4 to 3
            Braves still alive
                Stengel signals bullpen
                    Turley starts to warm up
                        Replaces Duren on mound.

1958, Grade Five, Verona.
    Third period mathematics
        Nails bit to the quick
            Head and transistor
                Tucked in textbook
                    Mel Allen’s final plays
                        Broadcast over WPIX.

Yes, Yogi, it’s over!
    Mrs. Radar approaches
        Gloves my red Zenith
            Curveballs it into her
                Carton of confiscated loot
                    Yanks win Sixth and Series
                        I’m sidelined indefinitely.

    - Marilyn Mecca
World Series Woes   by Shah Hadjebi   ArtPoems 2019
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Postcard from Troy   by Kenneth A. Vinton   ArtPoems 2019
    Inspired by Kenneth A. Vinton’s “Postcard from Troy”
There’s a Trojan Horse 
within every one of us,
turning our good intentions
into neglectful bile, 
hidden away in the corners 
of our psyche and soul 
enemies that shroud unheeded call
with a smile, 
exacting from our consciences 
a perfidious toll.

A picture postcard view sits high, 
a veneer of deceit,
an absolution of guilt,
a bulwark against the enemy within.
Oh, not you, not I,
our world of thought, concern, belief
benign, a whitewashed wall repelling
any sense of sin,
to qualms of conscience 
a deceptive relief. 

Hide the reality of the world,
ignore the cacophony 
of the cries for help,
the wounded, starving, sick,
those deprived of the power of Paris, the privilege of Menelaus,
vilified because of color, origin, belief, the pleading sounds 
of babes ripped from mothers’ arms,
refugees from strife and war, death so quick,
begging for asylum, for a taste of the largesse
that for most of us abounds. 

Our gift of delusion,
the postcard spires of a country church,
our rationale of distraction 
from the false front of the bleat 
of the Trojan Horse. 
We sit and watch, a blind eye and a deaf ear 
to the calls for help.
Complacency sends our consciences into retreat.
Don’t let the Trojan Horse within us 
turn light into darkness, compassion into fear.

    - Robert Hilliard
Only If This Pen Could Talk
    Inspiration for Barbara Gage Mulford’s "Only If"
Only if this pen could talk 
It would tell you a story
How it takes long walks
from page to page 
leaving ink in its wake

Droppings of knowledge and truth
Wisdom... seek wisdom 
In all your getting
get understanding 

Only if this pen could talk 
It would confide to bringing life 
It has been my lifeline 
So many times, I've lost count 

But if this pen could talk 
it would share the count 
The ink is the blood as it dries 
Only if this pen could talk 
It may share how my dreams 
feel so far away and in arms reach 
How at times I feel I am drowning 
Right in the middle of a familiar crowd
Despite being family, it feels that nobody is around

Only if this pen could talk 
It may even tell you about the many cries these eyes have had
Cries of should I quit now
Cries of should I still fight 
Cries of maybe this moment is it
Cries of this can't be it
Cries of "You Got This" 
Cries of "I believe in You"

Only if this pen could talk…

     - Jamilla D. Brooks
Only If   by Barbara Gage Mulford   ArtPoems 2019