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January 11 , 2007

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For John Engle

Even these strips of cloth he spurned
fall inevitably into anapest before they leave
the realm of his tender influence.
They lie now in a scan of short and long                   
on a heap of formal suits he long ago rejected
for treebark familiarity of tweed.
Donating his disregarded neckties to Goodwill
should not add to my anguish; his only tolerated tie
went with him to the flames, a clip-on he clipped off
as soon as he accepted the award, served on
the panel…read before the audience he
cherished soul by soul. If I open this black box
the size of two stacked bricks
I can search his ashes
for a little molten metal clip-on clump
as enduring as a word he’d use
to turn a sift of ordinary syllables
into root-regenerating loam.

Marietta Ball
Xenia, OH


Love Ain’t Easy

Why can’t love be easy?
Oh how much sweeter
Life could be!

The sorrow of heartache
Would sail away
Like playful bubbles
Cascading over ancient rocks
In a happy woodland stream.

The tears of disappointment
Would float away
Like feathers on the fickle wind.

Without love, hope will wither
Like a reluctant flower
Kissed be a November frost.

Children are not afraid of love,
They understand trust and faith,
They wear it on their face
And in their eyes.

So why can’t love be easy?
Perhaps we should ask a child.

Charles Clevenger
New Boston, Ohio



I found you in the autumn of my life
when seeds of spring had borne their summer fruit
and frost had sealed a winter promise with a kiss.
The glorious burning blaze 
of Indian Summer daze
made me forget that this was just a fleeting imitation.
How foolish I to think that there could ever be
another summer now.
Quick as it comes, it goes
and nothing left except a fading autumn fire
and a winter promise to be kept.

Linda Swift Reeder

Paducah, KY



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