JAILBAIT

I was not a rebel
Just a mature sixteen-year old
In love with the “boy” next door
Whose friend came by in his ’52 Ford
And picked me up
That summer’s day
Joe’s friend Irwin
Best friends since kindergarten
Me sixteen
A junior in high school
They twenty-five
Joe a doctor
Irwin in textiles
Joe introducing us
Implying I’m in college
Irwin calling me
Two hours later
For a date
Me who never went out
With a boy who had a car
Whose mother forbade it
Now convinced her
To let me go
Provided Phyllis
My up-the-street college friendAlso went.
Joe’s father Benny
My father’s friend
Trying to assess
How much I knew about
The birds and the bees
A little concerned
With me going out that night
With Irwin, Phyllis, and her blind-date
Driving to the Staten Island ferry
Crossing the Narrows for a nickel
Then returning home
Walking me to my front door
Never kissing me
But being gentle, kind
Taking me to the beach
The next Saturday
Reading Keats
From his worn anthology
Of English verse
As we sat on his Army blanket
Then together folding it up
At the end of the day
When I decide to tell him
I am only sixteen
He saying with astonishment
“Jailbait!”
Me asking
“What is that?”
Then embracing
Holding each other
On Brighton Beach
Embracing for eternity.

by Florence Ames

Select all writings of  Florence Ames

Select biography of  Florence Ames

OUR FIRST SUMMER

We met the summer of 1953
I a junior in high school
He a college graduate
We met that day I found a job in the city
The day I wore my mother’s dress
The day he saw me in front of
His friend’s house
Joe, my neighbor
Who introduced us
Implying I was in college
A lie we maintained
Even after I told him the truth
Following our second date
Something we never mentioned
To his newlywed friend
Phil, who we learned
Would be teaching English
That fall at my high school
Never said I was a student there
Even when we played Scrabble
And I would win
That summer we listened
To “Ebb Tide” on Phil’s radio
And I cleverly provided
A romantic scenario
Words describing our second date
To Brighton Beach, Brooklyn
Where I confessed to being sixteen
And he said with a grin, “Jailbait”
The word Phil would scream out to him
When he phoned to say
He saw me pass his classroom
That first day of school
Nervously exclaiming,
“Do you know what you are doing?”

by Florence Ames

Select all writings of  Florence Ames

Select biography of  Florence Ames

 

I WENT OUT WITH IRWIN AMES

I went out with Irwin Ames
Who was Joe’s best friend
Joe my secret love
Puppy love they said
For I was twelve
And he a medical student.

I loved him
The day I saw him cry
Sitting there on the curb
His puppy dead
Struck by a car.

The summer I was sixteen
I purposefully passed his house
Coming home from
My first day of work
When I wore my mother’s dress
And seemed so confident
Feeling bold to speak to Joe

Who was standing outside
On his front stoop
And I stopped to tell him
About my job
When Irwin pulled up
In his ’52 Ford.

We bantered
Joe made it seem
I was a college student
Irwin called that night
And we went out
On our first date
Sixty-four years ago.

by Florence Ames

Select all writings of  Florence Ames

Select biography of  Florence Ames

Moon

Like to say forever
Maybe before that
Sun has had no rival
Double check the stat
Shines so bright
Flaunts its heat
Cooks the sand
Burns your feet
Then there’s mr moon
A cool and welcome light
Always so damn chill
Not spoilin for a fight
Rarely thought of daytime
Couldn’t give two fucks
Time to dip and slumber
The sounds of rooster clucks
But then they say that word got back
Mars and his big mouth
A peaceful planetary friendship
Was quickly headed south
Sun was boasting, not that strange
“Moon freak ain’t so hot”
“Whose a mighty, giant-ass flame
And whose a scrawny dot?”
“Burn his ass!” said Venus
“Stay cool, bro” from Mars
“Thanks so much dear planets,
I’m the king of stars”
Once the plot was planned out
Moonboy zipped it tight
21st of August comes
I will make things right”
Crowds began a forming
A hundred million, maybe more
Toe to toe and arm to arm
From Chuchtown to Port, OR
The day for Moonies sneak attack
Had dawned this day, alas!
The dark turned dark as night and then
Ol Moonboy zipped off fast
He headed home and tried to hide
Lay low till things cooled off
But Sun Kings heat, it hardly waned
Would Moony broil like broth?
But rest assured this all ends well
And cooler heads won out
The prankster made a solemn vow
To steer clear of Sun’s route
Now everything is normal
But one day that will change
And Moony will appear once more
To share the daytime stage

by Acy Burnes Crawford

Select all writings of Acy Burnes Crawford

Select biography of Acy Burnes Crawford

 

Wait

I Sit Like Stone
Upon Stone
I Wait Without Think
You Sit To Listen
But Stone Won’t Say
Get New Stone You Say
You Pray
Stone Don’t Talk
Maybe You Walk
I Sit Like Stone
I Wait
Sunsets Down
You Hear Now
In My Dark
I Sit Like Moon
Above Sea So Dark
You Pray
Now I Say
Now You Hear
See Your Fear
I Sit Like Stone
Upon a Moon
And In My Ear
You Howl Croon
Your Moon You Say
I Go Away

by Nicholas R. Nashick

Select all writings of Nicholas R. Nashick

Select biography of Nicholas R. Nashick

To My Wife

Norma Jean

When I say “I Love You” I mean I love you absolutely

I will not Love you more tomorrow …
Because of your noble and magnificent works
Nor will your failings cause me to love you less …

I love you not for the title that you bear in this world
Nor for what you may do or have
Though all that is a part of you …
I love you for the deep down hidden part of you that is real …

The part of you that knows joy and laughter …
and pain … the part of you that knows fear …
and hunger … and loneliness, the you that knows grief
and loss of love … ecstasy and exhilaration …

I am moved by you … I am touched by your need …
your vulnerability …
and I am inspired by your courage
your willingness to go on, your great capacity for love

I know who you are and I am in awe …
My love for you is complete
There is nothing left
to make it better, or more …

Now you know how it is that I love you …
know also that in that way I know you love me
It is finished … our love is perfect …
Let us now simply live and enjoy it!

My Darling, I will love you forever … 

by Alan Wills

Select all writings of  Alan Wills

Select biography of  Alan Wills

 

We Lost

(the day John Lennon was murdered)

Four tiny insects, came from afar
four hairy Beatles, one day would be stars

One was named Paul – the joker was he
one was named Ringo – a Starr you see
one was named George – quiet he be
and one was named John – for peace was he

They all sang together and opened our eyes
with music called Rock, men screamed, women cried
Hero revolutioners because they created
a sound most applauded, a sound some debated

You see they grew out of reach
and they grew far apart
we all regretted hearing
about the Beatles depart

But we remembered what they did
and we remembered who they were
and we prayed for that day
we’d see them together once more

Those reporters and promoters
who had tried to secure
but like Humpty, who remained parted
we never saw them anymore

Cause they exited to their own lives
but we still held a torch
for that one day they would surface
but on December 8th, WE LOST

By Robert Solomowitz

Select all writings of  Robert Solomowitz

Select biography of  Robert Solomowitz

A Heavenly Pizza

I couldn’t lose in despair, I wouldn’t beg in defeat
As I set out to find the perfect pizza to eat

Searched the high seas, even sailed Down Under
Hired a private eye, but that sure was a blunder

No it had to be me, me by myself
No expense would be spared, not even my health

If I were to find the perfect pizza to eat
I needed to focus on one miraculous feat

To amass enough wisdom which I could empower
As I searched for the pizza that I would devour

I rode cars, boats and buses, trains and I flew
To the White House and Buckingham Palace too

No oven unopened, every chef would be checked
Stadiums, commissaries, lakes where teens necked

I was dying to find the perfect pizza to eat
Nothing would stop me, I could not be beat

Days turned to weeks, then to months, then to years
A taste of that pizza would end all of my fears

Then one day I was stunned, it was hard to perceive
That incredible aroma, I just couldn’t believe

I died as I knew that I had found my true love
A Heavenly Pizza, a gift from Above

By Robert Solomowitz

Select all writings of  Robert Solomowitz

Select biography of  Robert Solomowitz

A Place of Stillnes

I leave the condo early in the morning
eager to get to the beach
before others disturb the see-through water.
I walk quickly on the asphalt path
carrying a beach bag stuffed
with my towel, snorkeling gear,
torso board, and underwater camera.
Palm trees flank me heavy with
their bunches of orange fruit
and alongside me on the grass
cattle egret move jerkily.
The soft blue sky is beautiful
as is this morning’s stillness
except for the cooing doves
and the distant sound of a mower
which fades as I approach the beach
and see that I am alone on this
sheltered space on the North Shore of Oahu
my place to be, to take my pictures
of Nature’s presents, gifts I cannot
describe but try to capture on film
and on the lens of my mind
the embrace of the gentle waters
welcoming me to their wonderland.

Though I walk in gingerly
sometimes with my flippers
but always with my beach shoes
aware of my aloneness
defying the unwritten rule
not to snorkel without another
I know how far I can go
to reach the underwater complex
where the fish reside
and where I can remain afloat
bouncing gently, watching, waiting
for the perfect moment to take
their pictures, to capture their
bold yellows, deep blues, golden stripes
silver schools of fleeting fish
swimming beneath and around me
in this place of stillness where I stay
suspended on Turtle Bay.

By Florence Ames

Select all writings of Florence Ames

Select biography of Florence Ames

The Students’ Sacred Space

Genius Reserve

I will not move from this place
but stay here
where the soft breeze
brings coolness
not allowing the patches of sun
to disturb me
and where I hear
the quiet of the wind,
the interruption
of the birds’ chatter
a layered collage
of their speech
and that of the airplanes
their engines seeming
to blend
working their sounds
into the overhead periphery
of this place
making the return
to quiet, not silence
even better.

I am at peace
and I am not on my yoga mat
or in a directed meditation
or in my bed
but sit upright
on my fabric folding chair
resting my feet on a log,
and I allow myself to listen
to know that the meowing-like
sound is that of a peacock
I have not yet seen
nor even want to see
but have heard.

I want to stay
in this quiet place
that is not silent,
a place I do not
want to see now
but hear
until I know
it is time to let
the subtle sounds go
and let my gaze lift
when I can say,
“I see you”
and I am still listening.

Winter Park, Florida

By Florence Ames

Select all writings of  Florence Ames

Select biography of  Florence Ames

A Place of Yellow

I WOULD LIKE TO RETURN TO THE TRAILS
OF HARRIMAN STATE PARK, NEW YORK
BE THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF AUTUMN
WHEN THE LEAVES ARE STILL ON THE TREES
THOUGH THE GROUND CAN BE CARPETED
AS IT WAS THAT OVERCAST, COLD DAY
WHEN WE STARTED TO DESCEND
I, IN THE REAR OF THE GROUP
WALKING MORE CAUTIOUSLY, SLOWLY
WATCHING EACH STEP I TOOK
UNTIL I FELT SAFE TO LOOK UP
AND THAT IS WHEN I REALIZED
I WAS IN A PLACE OF YELLOW WHERE
ALL THE ENCIRCLING TREES HAD YELLOW LEAVES
AS DID THE GROUND ON WHICH I STOOD
THE TOPS OF MY BOOTS COVERED WITH
LAYERED LEAVES OF YELLOW THROUGH WHICH
I WALKED NOT WANTING TO CONTINUE
ON THE TRAIL, BUT WANTING TO STAY HERE
IN THIS PLACE OF YELLOW LIGHTNESS WHERE
I FELT WARMTH ON A DAY THAT WAS COLD AND GRAY.

By Florence Ames

Select all writings of  Florence Ames

Select biography of  Florence Ames

Reflections

The lake calm as a mill pond
The picture mirror images
Mountains and trees
How easily answers came
The peace my own reflection

Blustery winds icy cold
Lake transformed
By constant turbulence
My mind engulfed
By upset and turmoil

My mind now owned
It became impossible
To reason those answers
That had been so easy
During the calm

By Alan Wills

Select all writings of  Alan Wills

Select biography of  Alan Wills

It’s Good Being a Man

 

The name on your luggage never has to be changed.
The garage is all yours.
Home Depot is your personal toy store.
Wedding and vacation plans take care of themselves.
You can be president.

You can wear a white T shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
You don’t give a rat’s ass if someone notices your new haircut.
You never have to drive to another gas station because this one’s just too icky.
Wrinkles add character.

You don’t have to leave the room to make emergency crotch adjustments.
Wedding Dress $5000; Tux rental $100.
People never stare at your chest when you’re talking to them.
The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet.

Your pals can be trusted never to trap you with:
“So, notice anything different?”
One mood, ALL the damn time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.

You can open all your own jars and doors.
Dry cleaners, and hair stylists don’t rob you blind
You can leave the motel bed unmade and leave the lights on.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
Your underwear costs only $8.95 for a three-pack.

You don’t have to talk to enjoy a car ride from the passenger’s seat.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You don’t have to clean your apartment before the maid comes.
You can watch a game with buddy for hours without a word.
You don’t mooch off other peoples desserts because you’re on a diet.

You can drop by to see a friend without having to bring a little gift.
You don’t have to stop and think of which way to turn a screwdriver.
You don’t ever ask the way.
You are unable to live with wrinkles in your clothes.
No one gives a shit what color your roots are.

You always have something to wear.
No one notices that you wore the same suite at the last three parties.
If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit,
you just might become lifelong friends.
It’s good being a Man.

by Alan Wills

Select all writings of  Alan Wills

Select biography of  Alan Wills

somewhere else but here

it’s a puzzle,
the effect of Music
on people
on people with Alzheimer’s
you can talk ‘til you’re blue in the face
no reaction, guess they’re asleep
their glassy eyes stare at something
like a blank wall
but play a tune and eyes open wide
a frown becomes a smile
and from silent lips
comes a melody with words
sometimes, after the music stops,
the awareness lingers until their eyes close
and they return
to somewhere else but here.

by  Sam Glenn

Select all writings of  Sam Glenn

Select biography of  Sam Glenn