April PAD Challenge: Day 5

Whew! I’m tired. Was up until 4-ish this morning (driving home to Georgia from Ohio); tried posting around then; but the site was acting all funky. Now, on 3 hours sleep, I’m hoping my spelling is okay. 🙂

It’s Sunday! Yay! Five days in and still kicking!

 

For today’s prompt, I want you to write a poem about a landmark. It can be a famous landmark (like Mount Rushmore or the Sphinx) or a little more subdued (like the town water tower or an interesting sign).

 

Here’s my attempt for the day:

 

“Touchdown Jesus”

 

At first, I laughed—a giant Jesus

with both arms thrust to the sky—

because of its size and only the top

half showed. Also, there was

the location: same exit as two

flea markets, strip club, prison,

and Hustler store. So, why not,

I guess, is the correct question.

Over time, I’ve grown comfortable

with his consistency. Even awed

when the sun rises behind him

or fog lifts off the water in front.

But still, there are times,

especially when on the phone,

when I can’t help driving by

and saying, “Touchdown!”

 

(To see a picture of my “landmark,” go to http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9786.)

 

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

1,049 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 5

  1. JL Smither

    Kudzu Angel

    She stood, still
    boldly triumphant,
    though long dead.
    Wings extended from her back
    trumpeting over a long stretch of I-10
    between Lake City and Tallahassee,
    an angel swallowed in kudzu.
    How long had that creeping vine
    taken to overcome her entirely
    and camouflage her so well
    with the other vine-riddled trees
    along the highway? Decades, maybe.
    But if you’re careful, and you squint
    just right, you can still pick out
    her outline among the kudzu vines.

  2. Kelly Ellis

    Lady J. Clocks Out
    “I am half-sick of shadows,” said the Lady of Shalott

    Rumor has it that Lady Justice
    ever so often, removes
    her blindfold, lays down
    her sword, swears off
    the scale and
    descends

    from that courthouse tower, for
    minutes, maybe hours, blends in
    or not (being somewhat
    fashion impaired), but
    my question is,
    Why?

    Maybe she gets antsy
    Maybe she prefers mercy
    Maybe she needs bug spray
    Maybe she’s sick of the bird #*@$
    that goes down at the courthouse

    Maybe she’s hungry
    Maybe she smells barbecue
    Maybe she hears a harmonica
    Maybe she wants to find Jesus
    or a man with a Jesus tattoo.

    Maybe she’s afraid
    if her outlook doesn’t change,
    she might go bonkers, throw down
    her scale, trade in that sword for an M24,
    take off her blinders, and when she turns sniper—

    Beware!

    She’ll be firing at anyone, gunning for everyone
    who ever said, Whoever said
    life would be fair?

  3. Beatriz Fernandez

    To the man in the White House

    He was born
    the same year
    I was
    and grew up
    on an island
    like me
    but there we parted ways
    because he became
    a dreamer of the day
    who dreamt with open eyes
    of making it all possible
    and I became one of many
    who dream only by night
    of things that are impossible
    and wake to find
    the dreamer of the day’s
    improbable dreams
    have become true;

    this is why
    I still dream
    my impossible dreams
    in my pink house
    and he now lives
    his impossible dream
    every day
    in the White House.

  4. Claudia Marie Clemente

    ****************************************(revision)*********

    *Prinsengracht 263-265*

    The back house was surprisingly empty
    that summer evening; we alone
    noticed the open museum doors
    and walked straight in through the bookcase,
    up the stairs, to end in the attic.

    After the Westertoren rang the hour,
    I’ll never forget how the stillness
    amplified the outside world’s noise;
    how nearby the banging of a pedal boat
    against canal wall, stories below,

    sounded- as if you could just step
    off the roof into the water,
    or the rustling of chestnut tree leaves
    in the garden, as if you could simply reach
    and crawl down the trunk.

    You disappeared into another room,
    as I lingered listening more closely
    now to locate structural, internal sounds:
    floorboards, and walls settling
    on water-logged piles;

    and it was now that Anne’s pen
    came through – like static,
    scratching line after line
    of heartbreaks and hormones,
    and grand ambitions – to broadcast

    most intimate thoughts, everywhere,
    famously fulfilled, many times over –
    censored by Otto, but still read –
    and most imminently heard here, now, by me
    alone, in the dusk-silence of this emptied room.

    **********************************************************

  5. Lissa

    hidden

    Latitude 42’s final squeeze of oppressive humidity
    and we’d migrate
    to Canada.
    On the road before dawn
    with Amy Joy’s dozen for four
    the best blueberry cake and cruellers
    and miles of cassette tape.

    August in Pinery
    where my Michigan farmer tan would finally blur
    to the lines of my bathing suit.

    Days began with my brother and I,
    toes curled at the surf,
    watching as our dad swam out
    farther than anyone,
    well beyond deep.

    Then ducking and diving
    parallel to the shore
    before rolling back on the waves
    to collect his fledglings
    and lead the nonstop route
    to what he had to rediscover
    season after season
    with the shoreline changes.

    Under the cresting water,
    a monolith
    gave us loft
    to thrill into the waves
    leaping, crashing against them again and again.

    Our relish drew more,
    those brave enough to swim that far
    and fly into the spray.
    Linking arms and squealing.
    Bracing against the draw
    of the trough
    to arc into the perfect moment.
    I never remember stopping.

    But always my dad, the leader.
    The rock stolid and quiet
    until his landing.

  6. Linda H.

    My reluctance to see her stemmed from
    the fact that she always enjoyed
    controntation, the type who enjoyed
    discussing topics she was well-versed in
    or those she had given much thought before
    presenting them like one of OJ’s attorneys.
    But I felt confident I could survive a
    mere hour of her company.

    We spoke of Germany—the Wall,
    the food, and Volksfest, where
    waitresses clad in their Dirdls
    lugged huge mugs of beer and
    crowds of people swayed back
    and forth, arms intertwined,
    as they belted out Marmor, Stein,
    und Eisen bricht and other old,
    familiar tunes. But when the
    topic suddenly changed to
    wildlife, I instantly smelled
    the scent of an immortal rat.

    She stated that nobody
    associated Germany with a
    native animal, at least not in
    the way that golden-maned
    lions lurk in one’s mind when
    one mentions Africa or the vision
    of a chubby giant panda gnawing
    on bamboo in Japan.

    On and on she rambled about the
    unique creatures whose sole
    habitat is Australia—kangaroos
    springing around, cute furry
    koalas climbing high in the
    Eucalyptus trees, Dingos running
    free, and wombats snuggling in
    their underground burrows,
    as well as the duck-billed playpus
    that attracts so much interest.

    To add more insult she remarked that
    even a small country like
    Madagascar can boast about
    being home to the lemur, that
    the proboscis monkey is
    endemic to the island of Borneo.
    And Germany?

    These truths I couldn’t deny but
    felt determined to somehow turn
    this chase around and hunt the
    hunter. With mere seconds to
    react, I stared her in the eye and
    said Bears! We are absolutely,
    positively known throughout the
    world for our bears—Steiff teddys,
    Haribo gummy bears, polar bears
    Knut and Flocke, and even poor
    Bruno the brown bear dominated
    the headlines and hearts of people
    around the globe.

    With no words for rebuttle, she merely growled like a grizzly
    protecting her young before scurrying off, determined
    to have that last bit of honey in the jar.

  7. Amanda Caldwell

    Mount Rainier

    Tahoma, they call you, the sacred mountain
    that sits like an elder giant’s white-haired head.
    Shouldering aside buildings and clouds
    and slowing the traffic along I-5,
    because no one, even modern
    and white as the snow on your crown,
    can resist a stare and an incantation
    of awe.

  8. K.E. Ogden

    K.E. Ogden
    April 5, 2009
    Prompt: landmark.

    MIDDLE PATH
    Gambier, Ohio

    Thick July air settles on the shoulders.
    Each afternoon we walk the dirt path in silence.
    Passing through the stone gates, fingers trace the stone pillar.
    Breath rises with the fireflies.
    Pebbles lodge themselves beneath the fat palms of our feet.
    Leaning against the trunk of a maple, you shake your shoe out.
    Caterpillars slide down the bark, and some burn black before
    they reach the grass.

    ____
    A Picture: http://www.pbase.com/fremietfr/image/66317852

  9. Ivy Merwine

    A huge 100 ft. cross visible from the interstate.
    It was put up by a group of believers as a mission.
    Hundreds of people see it every day.
    It stands tall and steady, calling all who see it to remember the Messiah.
    Remember the Savior that died on it. Remember and know.
    Know you need Him. Know He died for you. Know such selfless love that brought the Messiah to his knees. He died to save you. He died so you could live.
    The 100 ft. cross stands by the interstate calling out its silent message, “Remember the Savior and repent“.

  10. Ivy Merwine

    A huge 100 ft. cross visible from the interstate.
    It was put up by a group of believers as a mission.
    Hundreds of people see it every day.
    It stands tall and steady, calling all who see it to remember the Messiah.
    Remember the Savior that died on it. Remember and know.
    Know you need Him. Know He died for you. Know such selfless love that brought the Messiah to his knees. He died to save you. He died so you could live.
    The 100 ft. cross stands by the interstate calling out its silent message, “Remember the Savior and repent“.

  11. Stacey Cornwell

    The Cliffs of Moher

    When one thinks of a cliff
    You already know what to expect
    When standing on its edge to peer down
    But it is vastly different in person

    To look down and know that just one
    Misstep can lead to a fatal end
    But at the same time
    You are entranced in wonder

    The Cliffs of Moher were like that
    I was scared to go to close
    But wanted to be closer
    To bask in their magnificence

    They twisted ever further
    Into a distance not even I
    Could see from my vantage
    Near the opposite end

    I felt very small
    Near something so old
    And endlessly ancient
    Since time began

  12. Lytton Bell

    My Eiffel Tower

    Of all the famous landmarks
    in all the towns in all the world
    the most memorable one for me
    has been the one I never
    got to see

    We did a whirlwind European tour:
    Paris
    Amsterdam
    Prague

    I was three months pregnant
    and not feeling very well
    And the Eiffel Tower, well…
    we just never made it there

    Instead, we climbed Lookout Tower in Petrin
    known as Prague’s Mini Eiffel Tower
    On the way in, when we stopped to use the restroom
    an attendant made me pay two Euros:
    one for me, and one for “vo husbande”

    I laughed rather bitterly
    It had been a difficult pregnancy so far
    and I had serious doubts about our relationship
    Husband was not going to be an option

    But as we climbed the 299 steps to the top of the tower
    I began to see things from a broader perspective
    I understood my love for you was not going away
    I wanted us to be a family
    But did you want the same?

    From the very top, we saw it all
    the castle, the river, the mountain
    You turned to me and said
    “Do you know what I see,
    when I peer out into the distance?”

    What? I wondered
    “The future,” you told me, your voice shaky
    And you took my hand

    And when I see pictures of the Eiffel Tower now
    I laugh, because I feel like I’ve already been there
    like I don’t need to see it, because I contain it
    and the view all around it stretching miles and miles and miles
    my own private Eiffel Tower
    my own endless view

  13. Daunette Lemard-Reid

    The Old Great River Bridge, Jamaica

    The Great River Bridge was built long ago
    For motor and people to rumble across
    The wide open river from city to town.
    It did its job for many a year
    Until it grew weary and tumbled down

    Daunette

  14. Joan Huffman

    Flintstones Bedrock City

    A random discovery, like a surreal mirage,
    on the dusty Grand Canyon Highway.
    An over-size sun-faded Fred waves a welcome,
    toward the isolated Route 64 attraction.
    Dinosaur bones protrude from the rocky parking lot;
    the remote Stone Age campground,
    boasts a vacancy sign year round.
    For a nominal fee, you can board a tattered tram
    that weaves among barren buildings,
    through an extinct volcano;
    see peeling Pebbles and weathered Wilma,
    the blistered Rubbles: Betty, Barney, and Bam Bam,
    or escape the sun into the Bedrock Theater,
    to watch cool flickering cell-animations.
    Who can resist the child-like delight
    of sliding down a Brontosaurus tail, Dino Dog in hand,
    or a photo of a friend in the driver’s seat of the Fred Mobile,
    while “Yabba Dabba Doo”,
    echoes across the windy plain.
    Quirky, all patina, no polish,
    but like every theme park,
    brand name merchandise is proffered.

    Joan Huffman © 04/05/2009

  15. Carla Dodd

    Urban Renewal

    The roof extends its branches
    over weary travelers
    but the ground-floor tenant
    is too busy to notice
    moving in the furniture
    (with proper supervision)
    watching for traffic
    neatly putting together the wood-framed bed
    fluffing the mattress.

    Her friends fly off to their nests
    and she sits quiet and content
    until dinner time
    breakfast lunch.

    I never understood her choice
    this urban garden spot
    with its asphalt lawn
    big square concrete foundation
    rolling metal boxes surrounding her in their nests.
    Maybe the distant roar of highway
    hum of engines
    soft breeze through the manicured hedges
    sounds like the rise and fall of the waters near her vacation home.

    I sit across the parking lot
    welcome this reminder
    amidst the grey edges of winter
    fighting against the weather
    sitting in dignity
    waiting
    watching
    patient
    for the coming chirp of arrival
    fuzzy clumsy newborns
    follow her intently
    today
    only the traces of their flight
    linger tomorrow
    leaving me waiting for five o’clock
    sometime next spring.

  16. Jennifer Terry

    "Stolen Steel"

    An entire town,
    breaching the entire world,
    changing, rearranging,
    refining and reforming.

    My grandfathers,
    your uncles,
    his mother,
    her father,
    all connected.

    Muscle, blood and sweat
    entire lives
    pushing to leave a mark
    refining and reforming.

    Work so hard
    with pennies to show for it.
    Big wigs in desk chairs
    staring out windows- smoking cigars
    paid for doing nothing at all.

    Cigar smoke
    brilliant-less ideas
    disconnecting the entire world
    ruining lives-
    refining and reforming.

    I stared long at the smoke stacks
    as the last column of blue flame went out-
    The buildings stood empty,
    yet residulant for many years,
    still hoping to leave its mark.

    Now what have they done?!
    More big wigs with buck but no brain
    Promise more jobs and recognition of our town.
    As the Bethlehem Steel is stolen from view-
    refining and reforming.

    Jobs- yes.
    Drugs, prostitution…
    more police officers to cut back on the crime
    when the caSINo’s gamblers go broke.
    Those are the new jobs this community will receive…
    Wait! Do I hear our relatives rolling over in their graves?

    So refine and reform all you want-
    good for nothing, money hungry weasels-
    Don’t lie to us that you are going to make
    Bethlehem great.
    It once was, and would have continued to be-
    if your kind kept their hands out of the pot-
    now that’s all that’s left- stolen steel.

    * Dedicated to all of those who have earned their living at the steel, and to those who had a say in tearing it down.

    (My landmark’s Image can be found at: http://www.rense.com/1.imagesH/md15.jpg )

  17. Kathryn Hessler

    The Sunflower Landmark

    I believe it was in or near
    St. Louis, (oops, maybe not)
    That I saw a huge sunflower.

    Upon asking my parents,
    I got Kansas,
    And the web yielded, Goodland, KS.

    Well, it was a Van Gogh, really,
    A painting on a large easel, we saw,
    Though I believe there were real flowers nearby.

    It seems to be a permanent exhibit,
    It really marks the spot, and we walked closer to see.
    And you can glimpse it from the highway.

  18. SB Williamson

    Landmark Driving

    Don’t give me GPS.
    Don’t make me MapQuest.
    I want to travel on sight and solid
    visual aids.

    I’d tell you all the shortcuts
    from here to Southern Pines,
    the ones those mechanical voices
    and internet map minds always miss.

    Turn right at the old red Esso sign,
    down Cane Creek Road
    til you see the horse farm with
    the gaudy green barns.

    Take a left and stay on Jones Farm Road
    until it runs out, and
    you’re right there on Highway 5,
    thirty minutes sooner than you
    would have been, had you taken
    the safe and proper path.

    Stay alert, though.
    Just last year I got a little lost
    when the horse farm people painted
    their barns.

    Drove right by it, I did, but
    saw a great sunset, and found
    another shortcut down Baker Lane.
    (Take a left, right passed the cow pastures.
    The momma’s will show you their babies
    this time of year).

  19. Michael Roy

    “Church Steeple”

    Up the hill there is a church with a white steeple
    Steeple so high that it touches the sky
    You can see it from miles away
    Like a beacon waving to the people please meet me here

    The white steeple long ago
    Gathered people from all around
    Designated spot for all to unite
    A single community not divided
    Supporting each other in order to survive

    Bells hidden in the steeple
    Once rang out to gather all and meet at this spot
    Times of joy, sorrow, and warning the bells sang out loud
    For all to unite and be as one
    Gathering all for times of need

    The town has grown
    People no longer gather as one
    Designated spots are chosen from many
    Survival is no longer a question
    The bells have stopped the gathering song

    The white steeple still stands proudly for all to see
    Over shadowing the new designated spots
    The steeple once gathered the people from far away
    And made the town what it is today
    The steeple knows when trouble comes back
    The bells will be ringing to unite everyone once again.

  20. Carol Berger

    “The Land of Matt”

    In the not-so-distant past,
    landmarks were about survival –
    a lighthouse steering sailors to shore
    on a stormy night far out at sea;
    a mountain, rock formation, or river
    guiding explorers or pioneers to their destination.

    Spotting a landmark meant
    that you were headed in the right direction,
    and failing to see one or missing the “mark”
    could cost not only time and distance,
    it could cost you your life
    in an often violent and unforgiving environment.

    I thought I had studied you well,
    knew your terrain,
    learnt your geography,
    had memorized where the riptides and sand bars were.
    I thought I was going the right way
    and would arrive safely.

    But when push came to shove,
    I found myself wandering lost
    in an alien and desolate land,
    on an endless and cold ocean,
    with no landmarks to guide me
    to safe harbor or shelter.

    Were they there, and I just didn’t see them?
    Or did I stray too far in one direction?
    Whatever went wrong in my journey
    may not have cost me my life,
    but it cost me my dreams –
    dreams that were a long time coming
    and not soon again fulfilled, if ever.
    Where was GPS when I needed it?

  21. Raven Zu

    A local landmark.

    monotone monotonous grey
    coils and curls and
    thrusts up into the sky.
    well-padlocked,
    mysterious doors at base.
    strangely creative storage,
    or council sculpture of questionable aesthetic ?

  22. H. Marable aceable

    Mighty Niagara

    Just what is it about you “Mighty Niagara?”
    Your loud rushing waters; your dangerous torrents?
    “Mighty Niagara,” Hungry Niagara.
    Seventh Wonder of the World.
    You have devoured so many, too many.
    What is your lure? What is the cure?
    Your rushing waters calling everyone to you?
    “Mighty Niagara:” The Cataracts,
    and Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Bridge,
    Maid of the Mist, Whirlpool Rapids.
    What is your lure? What is the cure?
    Casino Niagara?

  23. Jodi Adamson

    Lafayette Cemetary No. 1

    The bright sun sears his image into the fabric of time
    And brings the scene to my rational mind.
    Outline etched in charcoal,
    Horse and rider’s transparent form,
    Made of mausoleums of sad stone and posies.
    The cemetary’s hoary gates crack open for a time.
    The somber soldier is seen
    Guarding the restless citizens from intruders who would do harm.
    I blink,
    And the gates are closed and peaceful again.
    Yet, his eyes still watch me.

  24. Nadia Kazakov

    “Statue of Liberty”

    It was amazing being able to see you
    After wanting to do so for a long time
    The very moment I saw you I knew
    I didn’t not waste my time
    Coming to New York

    You stand proudly
    Displaying liberty
    Reminding everyone
    Of the freedom we have

  25. Maureen Hurley

    San Quentin

    As I cross the Richmond Bridge,
    through a fame of steel girders,
    Mt. Tamalpais rises up like a blade
    against the clear throat of the sky
    cleaving dawn into such tender pastels
    even San Quentin Prison is dressed
    in candy box hues of bon-bon light.

    The prisoners on Death Row
    will not witness the event.

  26. Sonia L. Russell

    The Brooklyn Bridge

    Oh if only I got a dollar
    For every single time I heard
    “Hey I can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.”
    Then my wealth would truly be absurd

    And if I would use those new found gains
    To purchase that historical span
    I would keep it free from levied tolls
    For cars, bikes, trucks, SUV’s and vans!

  27. Lisa W.

    Hollywood

    I saw the sign
    in the rearview mirror
    of a friends car
    driving on the other side of the valley

    It was a tribute to the glory
    of a town full of unfulfilled dreams.
    A city that crushed many under the weight
    of its constant stare and accusations.
    It also filled the mirror
    tall, majestic, and shone
    with inner fire
    across the distance.
    It looked as if it were floating
    apart from mundane life, somehow above everyone
    and everything who survey it;
    and I wondered how often they
    have to paint it,
    for even the god’s have
    tarnished halo’s.

    By,
    Lisa A. Wooley

  28. Laura Kayne

    Turning

    A modern landmark, this wheel,
    Gliding in endless circles
    Overlooking London’s South Bank,
    Already shaping the landscape to fit around it,
    Even as it allows the observation
    Of it’s fellow capital city landmarks.

    On this summer’s day, my birthday,
    You succeed in drawing my attention,
    Away from the spires and domes
    Of the London skyline,
    To you, on bended knee.

    In the city of my childhood,
    You show me something new,
    Ask me to be yours forever.
    All I can say is ‘yes’.

  29. Tori Grant Welhouse

    L E A V E

    Poplars edge the conversation.
    The family sits in their assigned seats,
    a mirror image of themselves.
    The trees whisper warnings.
    dot dash dot dot dot

    Poplars huddle like gossips.
    There are too many daughters.
    The mother is depressed.
    The trees turn up their felt palms.
    dot

    Poplars yearn beyond the periphery.
    The father frets about money.
    The oldest daughter pretends she’s a guest.
    The trees worry their foliage.
    dot dash

    Poplars dream of uprooting.
    The family knows itself too well.
    One of them keeps a journal.
    The trees pull up their bark like stockings.
    dot dot dot dash

    Poplars beckon the horizon.
    It’s time to go.
    She packs for the long haul.
    The trees seep their resin.
    dot

  30. Issa

    edsa shrine

    it has been standing there
    on a main avenue,
    a silent testimony
    commemorating a milestone —
    when a third world country
    showed the entire planet
    what "people power" really means,
    that change could be attained
    without a single trickle of blood,
    that peace could be gained
    through peace.

    She was enshrined there
    She who’s perfectly named
    "Queen of Peace" —
    the Mother of the Nation
    the Hope and Refuge
    of all generations.

    the Shrine and the Enshrined
    have both been standing there —
    a perfect symbol
    of national pride
    of hope, of change, of peace…
    until opposing groups
    thought they knew better.
    and now i wonder
    if we all still look upon it
    with the same fervor.

  31. Vaughn Stelzenmuller

    Boudicca’s Revenge
    “Along London’s Coronation Route“

    Without a kiss from a princess,
    HRH EdwardVI marches in dignity to Elgar,
    (who graduated later to graduations)
    but for now generations get
    a democratic dress rehearsal

    although the crowning route needs security
    and Lloyds issues securities against
    missed routes or heads bopped by periscopes
    but all is well because they bring two Elizabeths,
    one of which really does get to be HRH Two.

    Now Eddie VI gets seated in Willie I’s chair
    next to Eddie III’s weapons (how on earth
    did Big Ed hold a two-handed sword and
    one-handed shield, with only two personal hands?)

    but first gotta’ go past bronzes of Geo III/Gen Gordon/Geo Washington, all rebels,
    all forgiven by all that matter,
    then past Pall Mall, not the stogie

    then past Tyburn, America’s gift being
    its absence, finally it’s King Time
    all over: Hong Kong, China, India,

    God, what a party!

  32. Noreen Ann Jenkins

    I want to thank you, Robert, for having this April Poem-A-Day challenge. This is my first year participating and I am having so much fun. Thanks !

    Library

    A place to go for reading
    to expand your knowledge
    and it’s free.
    A place to go
    to let your mind
    wander and fantasize
    as you read a good book.
    A fun and exciting place to go !
    Not just for kids only
    but for adults also.

    By Noreen Ann Jenkins
    author of You’ll Learn to Love Me
    http://www.freewebs.com/noreenannjenkins

  33. Fenella Berry

    Wainhouse Tower.

    Standing proud-
    black spike pointing accusingly
    to the heavens.
    Flying high through grim skies,
    Rooks circle and roost.
    Cold shadow cast across
    valley grit, over grey roof-tops
    and chimneys.
    Ghostly echoes of old conflicts;
    striking through sombre horizon.
    Monument to industrial past
    visible to all for miles around.

    http://snipurl.com/fcsxh

  34. CJ

    Long Live the Corn Palace

    Long live the Corn Palace
    Every year you wear a new design
    Your hues of yellow, red, brown, green and orange
    shine against the sun.

    Long live the Corn Palace
    Your display of the fruits of the harvest
    created with bushels of corn, grasses,
    oats, grain, rye and wheat.

    Long live the Corn Palace
    You’re a structure of splendid workmanship
    Mirroring a Russian palace
    Not a Midwest sight.

    Long live the Corn Palace
    You’re the agricultural showplace of the world
    Yet not many are apt to admit
    They’ve seen you before.

    Long live the Corn Palace
    In the hometown of my birth
    You’ll stand longer and stronger than most.
    I’ll always love you.

  35. Juanita Snyder

    Cape Arago Lighthouse
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    It’s not far,
    this sacred place where we return
    the bones of our salmon every August
    to the ancestors of the sea.
    A storm battered island,
    it is shaped like the right-handed fist
    of a wise old Chief,
    index finger pointing north,
    with sheer cliffs looming
    behind him like protective brothers
    ready to war at a moment’s notice
    against the bullies of wind & water.

    By 1866, men of Eve came courting
    building the first of three Lighthouses
    on Chief’s Island,
    to guide shipments of lumber & coal,
    and later fishing fleets
    amid shallow shoals of
    barking seals and thrashing surfs.
    Cape Arago Lighthouse
    remains primitive despite facelifts of
    wood, wrought-iron, brick, and concrete,
    as well as cremated remains of
    lighthouse keepers rumored to
    have been buried under floorboards
    just to keep their spirits busy.

    A frontier outpost on the high seas
    it’s life reads like a docu-drama:
    – lighthouse construction, 1866
    – new bridge to island added, 1876
    – new lifesaving station constructed, 1878
    – new cable tramway replaces bridge, 1891
    – new fog signal building constructed, 1909
    and so forth until full light automation in 1966
    ends with it’s official decommission
    some 40 years later in 2006.

    44 feet above sea level,
    a rickety bridge is the only connection
    now left ‘tween Isle and mainland,
    while below, a graveyard moat
    of Japanese glass fishing floats
    continues its ebb to and fro
    against the bullies of wind & water.

    © 2009 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  36. Linda Black

    Hot Springs

    People come from miles around
    they come from near and far
    some with many bottles
    to taste of the pure pristene water.

    Others come to take a bath
    right downtown on Bath-House-Row
    So take a detour or a holiday
    and visit Arkansas today.

    Hot Springs, named for its pure
    hot spring water (yes, it’s true), is a remarkable place.
    Bring a bottle or two and catch some of that
    hot spring water just north of the bath houses.

    To enjoy the great spas, hiking, fishing, boating,
    crystal hunting, and so much more,
    leave the big roads and find it nestled
    serenely in the Ouachita Mountains.

    Take a tour on the "Duck" or on the riverboat
    "Belle" and learn a little of its’ history.
    When in season, the horse racing is a joy,
    or visit the gaming rooms right on site.

    When you visit Hot Springs, Arkansas,
    You won’t go away empty-handed or empty-hearted.
    You’ll fall in love with this extraordinary city,
    and you’ll want to visit again.

    (this is the website of my town)
    http://www.hotsprings.org/

  37. Jacqueline Cardenas

    Sorry if this is a repeat of anyone’s landmark. At 1006 posts on this thread by the time I got to it, I couldn’t read them.

    “Turn Left at the Big Chicken”

    Really don’t matter
    If you live North of Atlanta
    For a year or a minute
    At some point, ya hear it

    Directions t’ the cleaners
    Don’t take I-75
    Take US 41
    You cannot miss it

    Tryin’ t’ find a street fair in
    Marietta Square?
    Pass right by it on the left
    A 56-foot high chi-kin

    Folks don’t mind
    Its’ eyes rollin’ round
    Kids all love the way the
    Beak opens up and down

    So, if yer in North Atlanta
    On yer way to the Water World
    Be sure t’ put yer arms in a
    Chicken wing stance and

    Give the Big Chicken a “bok-bok” and a
    Little chicken dance

  38. Cami

    What Vietnam did to Antonito: The Vitamin M House

    Because the Tower of Babel boasted that it could reach the throne of God
    It fell,
    Like the Titanic,
    Like any structure that challenges the Alpha and Omega.
    Yet I believe a mini model has been erected,
    Not so much as an ode to its precursor
    But rather as a glimpse of humanity seeking aesthetic gaudiness in building form,
    atonement for a past architectural fallacy.
    This Antonito castle, rises, silver reflecting sunlit beams,
    Gleaming with recycled prophecy screaming:
    “I will be useful! Reincanation will bring my Nirvana!”
    Aluminum cans, faded blue Pepsi, Coke tins rusted that dry blood color,
    Glass bottles,
    All line the window frames.
    Scrap can metal forms ceiling domes.
    Engine dead-truck tires stand like sentinels, rigid by the entryway.
    Signs pleading, acknowledging, informing,
    creating the mind-flow to wonder what the hell “Vitamin M” means,
    giving credit to Jesus and acknowledging his future return,
    writing biblical quotes in black sharpie.
    I consider this a qualifying Babel penance.

  39. Sarah Averill

    Landmark

    The White Lady is a mobile
    landmark, viewable
    on Elmwood Avenue between
    five and eight a.m. She wears

    a white suit suitable for NASA
    a white hood
    a white mask. She buys

    toilet paper and bananas
    at the 7-11. We speculate

    on the why of the bananas.

  40. Lisa McCool-Grime

    The Estranged Wife Stands
    Before the Corn Palace

    In a time of drought,
    there is only enough corn
    to repair the cowboys,
    not replace them. The birds
    show no favorites and peck
    at all thirteen murals, all thirteen
    colors of corn: red
    bull, black stallion, green
    lasso, white R-O-D-E-O.
    The estranged wife could go on,
    visit the gift shop, buy a princess
    doll with hair of corn silk
    but instead turns her back
    to the palace and walks
    through the shadow of a cloud
    to her car. Of course, there is
    bird shit on the window.

  41. Erin Sway

    The Barn

    It’s old
    It’s been sitting there for years
    Sentinel of the boondocks crossroads
    Rotting boards guarding
    a multitude of decisions and quandrys
    sheltering those who have lost their way,
    but never offering any direction.
    To some, it’s a scar on the pastoral landscape
    To others, it’s a sign of home
    an oddly comforting signal for all its grimness
    that journey’s end is near.
    It was there for every turn west
    or east to the world
    or north to other familial venues
    and then south home again.
    Trip trip trip trip –
    an absence more scarring than its presence.
    Decrepit monument turns to grassy field
    as the voyage loses a bit of joy.

  42. Celia Shaneyfelt

    Easy Enough

    It’s easy to find,
    turn left at the water tower,
    right at the old armory,
    sixteen miles out you’ll see
    a house with a slate roof,
    says in the slate, 1847,
    just .3 miles from there’s
    a red barn with
    weathercock,
    make a left just past that barn,
    there’s a stone house at the corner
    peeking through overgrown shrubs,
    might not be able to see it,
    used to be a great landmark
    back when the old folks was living,
    Missrus Pence kept a mighty fine garden,
    anyhow, turn left there,
    we’re the third drive on the right,
    got a purple clematis climbing the mailbox,
    end of the drive,
    you can’t miss it.

  43. Sarah Provence

    Muddy field

    Some large truck, night driven
    backed into our field
    Leaving two deep ruts in the rain soaked
    turf, then pulling away

    I need a row of rocks to
    guard my feelings
    in the saturated field at night.

    The tires always dig in
    and I, mowing,
    may break an ankle
    before another comes to sink
    then pull away towing
    someone else’s broken down heart.

  44. Shirley Plummer

    THE SIGN
    In the southwest roads follow dry, dusty rock-lined
    beds
    At some time scoured with uprooted trees, cars,
    lean-to sheds
    Fifteen-foot high tree branches display captive
    Bits of fence, plastic bags, a striped shirt sleeve

    Driving down from the ridge
    To cross a broad gravel bed
    A sign: NO FISHING FROM THE BRIDGE

  45. CLJohns

    Gnome
    Twenty feet high
    A paradox by existence
    Loveable creature?
    Concrete monstrosity!
    Lips pulled back in grimace smile
    Red lights for eyes
    One hand beckoning
    One hand preventing
    Guarding the highway
    Poised to spring on the confused
    Good thing I don’t drive
    I shudder and cannot look.
    Whose bright idea was you?

COMMENT