Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 136

Tomorrow is D-Day. That is, Due Day for Tammy and I and our first daughter, Hannah Marie. We’re super excited (and, yes, a little stressed). If everything goes as it should, I’ll be posting images on Facebook and my blog. So keep an eye out.


For this week’s prompt, write a welcoming poem. You could be welcoming a stranger, a friend, an enemy, a season, a new way of life, etc. Of course, I’m going to use this prompt to write my first poem (of many) for Hannah Marie.

Here’s my attempt:

“for hannah”

these mornings
meteorologists give air quality alerts
and radio commentators
mention the beauty
of a full moon
with smog
filtering the light

i wish i could tell you the world
will be perfect
when you arrive like the moon
on time
but there is a beauty
in our imperfections
and the way
we try to look at things

light shines and reflects
bodies spin
and then
we have faith


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136 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 136

  1. taylor graham


    A manuscript in old Icelandic – puzzle out
    its code, sail with Norse heroes to this New World.

    A Crystal Palace summons from around the globe –
    no more trade secrets – believe a brand new world.

    1860. One farmer learns to plow, thresh, grind,
    and pump by steam-power. It’s a whole new world.

    Telegraph, time-zone travel, internet – who can
    keep his bearings in such a changeable new world?

    Every morning this wanderer walks out to check
    the sky. Every morning is a bright new world.

  2. Walt Wojtanik


    A grand invitation
    welcomes you to the nation
    north of the border.
    The order of the day
    is friendship and camaraderie,
    a rare commodity these days.
    A festival approaches that
    encroaches upon the two shores.
    From Buffalo, a short hop over a Peace Bridge
    into historic Fort Erie where
    you’re greeted with a smile
    and a hearty "Bienvenue" and Good Day!
    O Canada, glorious and free.

  3. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Hi Amy..Not sure, but think you were looking for "The Big Ten" that RLB created for WD…..Here is a quite from RLB’s post explaining…..

    "Okay, I was challenged by Writer’s Digest managing editor Zachary Petit to find a poetic form with 10 lines for their "Big 10" issue in September. That issue will feature all manner of features related to the number 10 (kind of like an episode of Sesame Street). Anyway, I couldn’t find that form (though there may be 10-line forms out there).

    So, for this WD Poetic Form Challenge, I created a form called "The Big 10," and it has amazingly simple rules:
    The poem has to have 10 lines (no more and no fewer).

    Each line has to contain 10 syllables (again, exactly 10)."

  4. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Also at my blog:

    Please come visit all of us who blog (our names are in red), because there is a wealth of non-PA poetry there, and you may find a prompt you want to answer as well as Poetic Asides! Brenda Warren just started A Wordling Whirl of Sundays, for example, and Madeleine Kane has limerick challenges (I’m thinking about you, Walt and Sara Gwen!). Just a chance to open up a bit. Peace to all, Amy

  5. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Hannah Marie, welcome to the world. Blessings to your whole family!
    I decided to do that one-to-ten-to-one syllable form but cannot remember what it’s called. HELP! Amy

    The Mallards

    moments in life:
    A sudden coffee jones,
    his surprise kiss on my neck
    leading to unscheduled bliss.
    Moonlit nights, quiet patio talks…
    And every day, two ducks who waddle by.
    Mallards come and go as they please,
    making their way to the pond,
    diving for daily meals.
    Ducks are good neighbors,
    Perfect mates,
    souls at

    © 20101Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

  6. Marian Veverka

    To our (extended) family’s latest member

    A newborn – all the possibilities
    all the encumbrances of the genes –
    Which ones will he carry?
    What blessings? What problems?

    Will he be like him or like her?

    Neither, for he is unique
    A newly-minted personupon whom all the curses and blessings
    of this world will be visited.
    Be strong, new baby!

    You carry a little piece of all of us
    within your tiny cells
    Precious child entering
    an indifferent world
    Blessings on your soul.

  7. Taylor Graham


    A sapling girl casts
    such a spindly shadow. Hair unkempt
    though combed, a nest of twigs
    and grasses pewter-gold in June sun.

    But today, she stands taller
    than herself. She grows by syllables,
    reciting a poem
    about impossible tasks, and hope.

    Her fingers are ten feathers
    trying to form wings out of sky’s
    blank blue. She’d make me believe
    a fairytale comes true.

  8. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Ah Benjamin ( firstly please post your contact information again …..I lost you) …..the November Challenge is a poem a day writing challenge….. A chapbook is a small, most typically self- published book of poetry. In November poets write each day at month’s end select and submit their best snd "winners" announced. For a more comprehensive understanding go to home-page here at Poetic Asides click on the November Challenge guidelines and there you go…. In a former lifetime I was an English teacher and until I starting submitting online had never heard of a chapbook…they have been around for a looong time. Google chapbook and you will be surprised. Hope all is well with you and yours ….

  9. Mike Patrick


    By my side, you are welcome.
    I can comfort you,
    catch you when you stumble
    and hold your hand.

    Before me, you are welcome.
    I will follow your lead,
    protect your back
    and push you up the hills.

    Behind me, you are welcome.
    I will face you enemies,
    break the strength of the wind
    and turn harm aside.

    Walk with me.
    My love surrounds you,
    my strength protects you,
    my soul cherishes you.

  10. AC Leming

    I just found out on Friday that one of my poems from the 2009 Nov PAD Chapbook Challenge won third place in the Inglis House Poetry Contest.

    It’s in the June edition of Wordgathering, an online journal of disability related poems, essays and book reviews. It’s well worth a look. They have an annual poetry contest for poems related to disabilities.

    You can find it at

    They have a link on the left hand side of the page to the contest winners of both categories (those with and those without disabilities).

  11. AC Leming

    Bruce, my nephew’s baseball coach was ejected from the championship game Friday night over a ball call. But the team won, despite the ump. At least he called crap for both teams! It’s not a job I would want.

    Great poem, BTW. Made me laugh.

  12. AC Leming


    I welcome the softening of flesh
    with the repeated stroke of your hands.
    Deeper your loose fists push, milking blood
    and lymph into and out of muscle fibers,
    cascading the deprived cells with nutrients
    enough to make ATP, the energy required
    to relax the tight muscles of hip flexors,
    hamstrings, to loosen the taut plantar fascia
    of my feet. I welcome your hands upon my body.
    I welcome the softening of my flesh.

    *I had a massage for the first time since January last week. Can you tell?*

  13. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Goodbye Daddy – Welcome Home

    Thought he was home
    until he rose from the
    crisp scented bedsheets
    in that summer sun
    sparkled morning
    and with lifted arms
    smiled, exhaled apricot breath
    and fell into the ever embrace
    of a tomorrow
    so clearly, so completely,
    not of this world

  14. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Fathers’ Day – Sunlight and Shadow

    Welcome to the clench of heart
    as a tiny breath catches
    Life where there was none
    Fantastical, incomprehensible, magical

    Welcome to the emptied fullness of heart
    as a father’s breath stops, and a room sudden silent
    Death, where there was ever-life
    Fantastical, incomprehensible, magical

    Incredible that one’s heart continues to beat
    fluttering crimson wings against and through caged ribs
    as effortlessly as gossamer -the cardinals of spirit soaring free
    into the horizon melting yesterday and today, then and now, all
    One welcoming
    Fantastical, incomprehensible, magical

  15. Heiberg

    Congratulations Robert. This reaches you all the way from DK and I hope that you and your wife and your little daughter are already playing in the sun. Best wishes for you and your family.

  16. Heiberg


    I count your fingers
    and hold your feet
    in one hand.
    I touch your skin,
    so smooth,
    so delicate,
    to understand
    that you are here.

    I see your eyes
    and see
    generations of dads and moms lined up for this celebration of you who came today two hours, twenty one minutes and twelve seconds ago.
    I see that we created generations.

    I kiss you
    and so does your dad
    while he
    and makes me feel my tears
    that were there
    all along
    though I’m happy.

    We’re so happy,
    never knew happiness before,
    and we want to give you the world,
    a better world,
    we want to give you everything,
    we want us to live forever.

  17. Michael Grove

    Hook, Line and Sinker

    He lurked there in the shallows
    for such a long, long time.
    Then he dove to great depths in the lake.
    Swimming all around
    still nothing real was found.
    The bait was cast right there for him to take.

    He always takes the bait when it’s in front of him.
    You could say he is not much if a thinker.
    Throw it out there when he’s out there swimming.
    It’s still the same, hook, line and sinker.

    Take it in with a deep breath and a promise.
    The hook will pierce him sharply when she starts.
    He thought it would be smarter
    to keep more lines in the water.
    But that’s not the way he fishes with his heart.

    He always takes the bait when it’s in front of him.
    You could say he is not much if a thinker.
    Throw it out there when he’s out there swimming.
    It’s still the same, hook, line and sinker.

    By Michael Grove

  18. Michael Grove

    Ice Breaker

    To bust a hole in a frozen pond
    takes a lot of work.
    Sometimes you feel like ice fishing.
    It’s just a funny quirk.

    On thin ice break with caution.
    And don’t overstay the trip.
    It’s sink or swim when the ice breaks.
    Be ready. Get a grip.

    You need a power auger
    when the ice freezes thick.
    And, if you’re fishing for a trophy,
    a chisel and a pick.

    Sometimes you open up the water
    and go fishing for a bit
    but it’s so cold and freezes up again.
    No way to plan for it.

    So chip away at ice again
    you happy fisherman.
    And, drop a line down to the depths
    so you can love again.

    By Michael Grove

  19. De Jackson

    Hey gang.Heard Marie sent out a Facebook APB on me. Just wanted to say hi. I’m on vacation, no internet (just archaic Blackberry.) All is well, home Sunday night. Hope all is well with all of you.Can’t wait to catch up with this week’s prompt, and read all the Facebook fun about Robert’s precious new Hannah. Happy writing! De

  20. Benjamin Thomas

    To Hannah Marie Brewer

    Welcome Wonder girl

    Welcome little wonder girl
    as you take your very first breath
    and it fills your little lungs
    imbibing air
    to a rising, inhaling chest

    A wondrous wonder
    yes, indeed
    and a miracle all in one
    O’ blessed seed
    Grow indeed
    For your life has just begun

    Now flip the coin
    to see you’ve joined
    this wacky wonder world
    it wont make sense, not with hints
    even though at you its hurled

    So don’t be stressed
    but be impressed simply
    with the newness of life
    they’ll keep you dressed
    with hugs and kisses
    the Mr. and Mrs.
    mommy, daddy, husband and wife

  21. Paula Wanken

    WAAAAAY behind on reading AND writing this week…so this is actually my entry for SIX different prompts! (Click here if you want to read the process notes: Catching Up.)

    Plans and dreams unmet, our future slipping through my fingers.
    A brick wall, when viewed differently, could really be the next step.
    I welcome God’s words: “For I know the plans I have for you…”

    …now to catch up on some reading!


  22. Sara V

    Pearl! Never invisible–always noted :-)

    Sara McN–thank you very much for the compliment, I enjoyed your shardoma as well, especially the intro play on words–nice!

    Mike Maher–really enjoyed the flow and how you wove the caring into the actions-it was very soothing and really wonderful thoughts/words!

  23. Sally Jadlow


    In six weeks
    I’ll see your sweet face,
    my thirteenth grandchild;
    hold you in my arms,
    and take in your precious scent.

    Welcome to this world,
    little one.
    May your presence
    bring the peace of Jesus
    to many.

  24. Arash

    Here’s a first draft of my poem, In the Home.

    In the Home

    Lips turned indigo, fingers huddled, no
    movement in the room, no words spoken or
    no words pass through the door. Bodies fixed,
    no, look,
    they move,
    but suddenly,
    hands unclench, as they see him, welcome him,
    no, they greet, their own future in the home.

  25. Daniel Ari

    untitled (about what)

    I’d like to welcome all things without names.
    Not almond slivers, spring fever or motherboards.
    Not baby’s breath, embouchure, heliofranticulating or stein lids.

    But this poem isn’t a muster roll call, award pageant or paean.
    It’s an open field of summer that barely contains its own accord.
    It’s something like the unnamed soul of a fictive goat kid.

    I want to invite not those things either but my own mind to the game
    of conceiving what things might fall through a sky-lintelled undoor.
    Try to describe in a teenager’s vocabulary the face of God.

    Does everything called a dandelion look the same?
    Please don’t label the line between the winter tree and the apple core.
    The phenomena of names is only a grown-up cloud

    that has insertions where some other welcome waterflame
    verbing unaboutly holidays its last shardcords
    (of deselected ancientless pluribus-tethered kiteydids).


  26. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Lovely trip with you SE… As far as Jack he has the grandest gift a chiild can be given, the ability, encouragement, support and joy from others in being and becoming himself in all his varied shades of being. What a lucky little guy surrounded with compassionate, respectful LOVE….Thank you for sharing Jack once again ….looking forward to James as the J’s story continues to unfold. <3. :)

  27. S.E.Ingraham

    Congratulations to you and Tammy Robert, and welcome Hannah! Since we will be doing much the same in less than a week (only as the grandparents – of course,that’s where my sentiments went also).

    Jack’s Getting a Baby Brother

    “Baby! Baby!” Jack tells everyone
    Excitedly as he leads them—
    Chubby little legs pumping—
    Down the hall to the nursery

    “Whee!” He plops his stuffed
    Elephant in the baby swing
    And gives it a hearty push
    Then another – he is sooo happy

    “What does an elephant say Jack?”
    He raises his arm in an eerily
    Correct Nazi salute, or, an elephant
    Trunk trumpeting – grinning wickedly
    (Jack, not the elephant)

    Then, takes the grey guy to the next
    Baby seat – a bouncy contraption
    Nearer the floor and gives him a ride
    On that too – Grandma has visions

    Of the new baby being jostled severely
    But Mom assures her they will be
    “Keeping a close eye on enthusiastic
    Big brother who so much wants to help …”

    In less than a week, James will be the fourth
    “J” in this family of “J’s” – my doing, I’m afraid
    They had thought to name this child Owen
    But I protested, saying – what if you don’t
    have another child? He will be the only non-J

    It seems a small thing maybe, but I refer to
    Them, as a family, as a group, as “the J’s”
    And so do many others – would it be right
    To have three J’s and an O? I don’t think so

    And me, swearing to never be an interfering
    Mother-in-law, mother, grandmother – am being
    Just that, it seems – so tried to butt out gracefully
    But – it seems my work there was done –

    They immediately started considering only names
    That began with “J” – whew – disaster avoided
    At least he’ll know he’s welcome in the land of J!

    As for Jack – as enthusiastic as he is
    He’s also touchy and more closely
    Stuck to his mother than ever …

    A perceptive little person, he knows
    His world is about to be rocked, I think
    And it’s something to behold in one so young

    This propensity to be tough, to try not to cry
    I can even see him grit his teeth at times
    And look away – not always of course
    Sometimes he just dissolves and wants his mommy

    But sometimes he makes heroic efforts
    To be a little man and that’s heart-breaking
    Where does he get that kind of courage?
    Neither parent demands it of him

    And of course, his Grandpa and I are mush
    So how does he know he needs to develop
    This inner strength already? He won’t be two
    Until August – an old soul? Maybe so …

  28. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    To all on " the street" Sheri has been a reader and never a submitter. I encouraged Sheri to give us a try….we really do not bite or even snarl. Sheri has been a no. Fiction writer, now returning to her first love of things poetic. I think we are all fortunate to be gaining a haiku gal. SOOO HAPPY THAT YOU ARE NOW STROLLING …,
    ah. " welcoming darkness together" beautiful line.

  29. Michael Grove

    Magic Bullet

    You’ve been shot with a magic bullet
    Now you will never die.
    You will live forever
    In a mansion in the sky.

    You have been forgiven
    of all the fleshy wrongs.
    Love is now your passion.
    Share it with the earthly throngs.

    The magic bullet hit your heart.
    Exploded into dust.
    From the gun of The One
    who said this is a must.

    This magic bullet never killed.
    It brings new life you see.
    So welcome to a brave new world
    for all eternity.

    by Michael Grove

  30. Dennis Wright

    A Welcome Poem

    Like newly formed snow
    laid upon each other,
    in a long, cold winter,

    I stand in the morning,
    and wait for the sun,
    in the frost of dawn,

    When the sound of the wind
    is a tune upon a song,
    sung by a new voice,

    Arrived just this morn.

  31. Sara McNulty

    Some that stood out for me: Salvatore – so powerful!
    Cameron – "that and the pitted seeds of strawberries" – lovely
    Sara V – "A snapping happy hot fire" – love those words
    Joseph H. – "well-heeled avenues and across venous netting of streets" – wonderful
    Rachel – "rain pours into silent street" – I love that image.
    Patricia H. – "Darkness tries to press my tears through sieving lashes" – beautifully said
    Walt – Feet to the Ground, Head to the Stars – So beautifully written
    Dr. Pearl – Welcome? – so blue and so true

  32. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Frangipangi Found

    From frigid unforgiving freeze
    doors open silken slid
    spilled stunned onto
    tarmac tumbled into
    purpled evening enfolding
    in soft lavendar arms
    the way to the turquoise sea
    whispered wondrous warmth
    wafting perfumed promise
    of ever-land entered

  33. Claudia Schönfeld

    the princess is back

    we’re sitting on the floor,
    unwrapping ten long months
    of vida boliviana – and color
    spreads, mingles with spanish
    conversation as

    she calls a friend to tell her
    that she’s safely back and
    i don’t understand a word,
    just feel the warmth & closeness,
    threads of amistad spreading
    across half the globe and

    this is where she left her
    footprints, where she grew
    those wings, sparkling like
    sunshine in her smile and there’s
    much love as we’re unpacking
    story upon story

    and it feels like she was never
    gone and didn’t change a bit
    but in her eyes glimmers another
    world – i see the mountains and
    the heights and kids with
    darkish cherry ojos writing
    notes of love and asking “Are there
    stars in Germany?”

    there are & i know,
    i met someone precious today .

    (my eldest daughter returned back home today after working for 10 months in a school in la paz, bolivia..)

  34. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik


    "Give us your hungry tired and poor"
    As long as they do not eat our food, need a bed or work for pay

    "Your huddled masses yearning to be free"
    As long as the do not congregate and keep holding to their way

    "The wretched refuse of your teeming shore"
    As long as they do not disembark and expect in things a say

    "Send these, tempest-tost to me"
    As long as they understand that tossed back very well they may

    "I lift my lamp beside the golden door"
    As long as they do not expect to feel the soft light of welcome’s ray

    It is just the way things are today

  35. Barbara Ehrentreu

    I have recently had a few minutes to myself:) People who know me know what I mean

    Welcome to free time
    I have longed for you
    Wanting your amorphous space
    and lack of schedule
    Yearning for the passionate release
    as I surrender myself to you
    and tensions ease in your embrace.

  36. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    For MiskMask

    Welcome to another prompt
    of a week or two ago
    a prompt that many here will
    recall – that with certitude I know
    The prompt dealt with priority
    of which it is plain to see
    that you savoring each precious moment
    have mastered prioritizing your poetic energy


  37. Michael Grove


    Nail your colors to the mast.
    Swim in the Rubicon.
    Never cross that river,
    unless you must move on.

    The point of no return is now
    within your feeble hand.
    the waters flow so swiftly
    past the paralleling land.

    The bridge above you is a gift.
    No tolls to pay or earn.
    A two lane, two way bridge was built
    that was not meant to burn.

    By Michael Grove

  38. MiskMask

    Robert, my very best wishes to you and your family’s new daughter. I hope that all goes well.

    I am reading all of the lovely submissions for this week’s prompt but apologise for not posting a poem of my own. I only have a few days left with my grandchildren before they return to America, so my priorities and energy are with them right now.

  39. Barbara Ehrentreu

    Robert, I’ve come out of my prose world to write this for your new daughter. Congratulations! I haven’t seen the photos, but I’m sure she is beautiful!

    Welcome sweet Hannah

    Welcome sweet Hannah
    Your coming radiates
    Throughout the poetic world.
    As you gradually open
    innocent baby eyes
    would that the world be filled
    with soft, fluffy mounds
    Yupik which your new body
    will lay in slender
    as you make sense
    of the chaos around you.

    Strangers sing your praises, but we are
    outside your world
    and for now you will
    bask in the joy and love emanating
    from your esteemed daddy and the
    warm glowing mommy who hold you
    More cherished than their best poem
    In their loving arms.

  40. Bruce Niedt

    Welcome to the Rectangle

    Step into my universe,
    an imaginary box that floats
    over a five-sided rubber slab.

    I crouch, masked, in judgment,
    a few feet behind, and I decree
    the placement of balls hurled
    into that vicinity, high or low,
    inside, outside, ball or strike.

    Pitchers paint the corners,
    catchers use their body English,
    batters try to check their swing.

    But I am the final arbiter,
    judge, jury, executioner.
    So take it like a man –
    arguments are irrelevant
    when you’re called out.

    Don’t let me find you in contempt,
    or I’ll clear my courtroom of you
    with a thumb thrust into the air.

  41. Sam Nielson

    At the Park

    I sit near the playground
    In a pleasant bubble
    Of children’s voices,
    A yell, laughter burbling
    In a stream.
    In the distance I hear the crack
    Of softball hitting a bat.
    The players with red leggings,
    Ants in a crawling strategy
    Against those in black against
    The green growing.

    At sunset, a breeze shifts around,
    Moseying-in breathy and huffy.
    A snow of cottonwood fluff
    Drifts through like welcomed
    Low-hanging clouds.
    Fluff sticks around my feet
    And gathers against the red slide.

  42. Sam Nielson


    He returned from the war
    With too darkened eyes veiled
    And the rhythm beat of thousands
    Of artillery rounds in his head.
    The concussive whoosh, whistle
    And flash boom terror
    Only stays on in memories
    And in dreams at night
    When his guard is down.

  43. Rose Anna Hines

    Sitting on the cool concrete bench
    in blooming garden
    with basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano
    planters surrounding bench corners
    delicate fragrances tip toe to across my face.

    I scan the tomato plants, peppers,
    squash, peas, cucumbers, corn..
    Get up and pick some lavender, tarragon,
    dill, catnip, and cilantro inhaling their essence.

    Then I begin my ritual chant
    as I circle around each plant.
    "Worms slither and till happily beneath my feet.
    Spiders weave your garments and feel free to eat.
    Lady bugs fly, search for aphid treat.
    Bees most happy to hear your buzz
    and to your presence I bow and you I greet.

    Slugs and snails to my garden plot, please retreat
    leave, you are not welcome, to my neighbors go NOW
    crawl, run, scurry for if I you meet
    You WILL surely by ground under my feet"

  44. Mike Bayles

    Butterfly to a Patch of Ground

    You capture the sunlight
    with paper like wings.

    You ride a gentle breeze
    at the break of dawn.

    Without a word
    you sing a song

    of your becoming,
    the season’s young.

    You are the beauty
    in the midst of parking lots.

    You are a moment’s waking
    a moment’s dream.

  45. Walt Wojtanik


    Little one.
    Home you’ve come to take your place.
    A fresh face shining in the glow
    of a pristine new life. Your eyes
    have yet to see the beauty around you,
    but know you’ve added to it in a big way.
    Today, you join the world a part of the
    solution to the future you possess.
    Inside your small chest beats a heart,
    the spark of life that burns brightly
    through you. It holds the capacity
    to love unbridled and unconditional,
    a traditional vault for the secrets
    you will amass. Locked away for this day,
    and everyday here after. Your mother carries
    you in her heart for much longer
    than her stomach ever did. Your father stands,
    the fortress that protects and provides
    all you will require for right now.
    He will show you how this world will
    embrace you and push you away in the same motion.
    I have a notion you will remember both sensations
    and return for as many embraces as your soul
    will accept. Will you be adept at expression
    as your parents are? Will you break hearts and
    be the shining star in your little galaxy?
    Will you move forward, one step at a time
    all the while with a rhyme and a smile?
    Follow your dreams, new little sister,
    and show every brother mister you can take
    all they have to give and live in their glow
    as they surely will in yours. And love,
    Little One. Because that’s how you will grow.
    Take your place Little One. Home you’ve come.

  46. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

    Beautiful poem, Robert!

    This is what I wrote after rushing to meet my first granddaughter as she entered this world.


    The day began as all others.
    Responsibilities lay in wait as I rushed to meet them.
    Daily tedium rained through the morning,
    The gray skies of doubt and indecision placed
    A pall over the Sunshine of Hope.

    Just as I prepared for rest,
    The call came to rush to our designated meeting.
    Evening descended with fog and rain.
    The sky shone white in the headlights
    As I drove into the Light of Night.

    Just as you pushed into Life,
    I pushed wide the doors of your room.
    Reaching your side, tears rained down,
    Clouds of doubt and longing parted.
    The Sun of Love glowed supreme.

    The day began like no other,
    The first day after my birth and yours.
    Tears had given way to coos and smiles…
    Mornings clouds mimicked the pink of your cheeks
    As I held you close to my grandmother heart.

  47. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Drink Up

    Darkness tries to press my tears
    through sieving lashes
    while the covers gut twist me
    my glass now empty.

    But exhaustion gives way
    to wispy uncatchable dreams
    where I dance in twirls
    my feet not on the floor.

    Morning is not welcome
    through my shaded eyelids
    the sun that yesterday wouldn’t shine
    spills today like curdled milk.

  48. Bruce Niedt

    Sorry I’ve been MIA lately – a lot on my plate, including the West Chester Poetry Conference, which was all kinds of awesome, especially getting to work with Molly Peacock! See my blog for more details.
    Also I just got my copy of the July/August Writer’s Digest and saw my sonnet right there on page 15. Thanks again, Robert! And best of luck on the new arrival – loved the poem!

    I hope to have a new poem for y’all this week….

  49. Nancy Posey


    Like secret markings on the fence
    drawing hungry hoboes to the door
    or quilts upon the line whose patterns
    beckoned passengers inside to ride
    that railroad underground, her door
    brought drop-ins, strangers, friends,
    down on their luck, some more hungry
    for home—any home—than food.

    We never asked what instinct made
    her always cook a little more or
    how she knew beforehand to set
    an extra place at the table. No one,
    no matter how unannounced, departed
    without a gift, food, a clean shirt, coins
    jingling in a pocket arriving empty.

    Since we belonged there at her table,
    clothed, warmed beside her fire—she made
    sure we knew that—it took years to see
    she gave herself away as much for us
    as those in need. The gift we took away,
    going at last out into the world, warming
    our sometimes empty pockets, filling
    our bellies when no food did, the certainty
    that all was ours to give, not to expect.
    From her, we learned the bounty of giving.

  50. Rachel Green

    The Best April in Years

    The warm weather continues.
    Dry days segue into starry nighs
    windows open to the street
    and the blue light of televisions
    flickering behind curtains.

    “The best April in years,” they said,
    “like summer come early.”

    I walk past, the tang of hot asphalt
    occluding the wallflowers of front gardens
    the tang of cat piss and worse
    from the bins at the back of the pizzeria
    my hair escapes its tight bun

    and blows about my face.
    In the breeze I smell the freshness of rain,
    the memory of seaward tumbling
    and the cry of herring gulls
    beneath a green-shrouded cliff.

    Rejoicing in the starless air,
    dancing in the moonlight
    as the rain pours into silent streets
    hissing against the leaves
    of the ever-present sycamores

    “The best April in years,” they said,
    “like summer come early.”

  51. vivienne blake

    I was quick!


    All are welcome in our home.
    We hope for the same whenever we roam.
    Warmth and food are good,
    cheerful conversation better –
    and laughter best of all.
    Afterwards, a thank-you letter.

  52. vivienne blake

    I hope all goes well for you and your wife today, assuming Hannah Marie is punctual. I only just received your Update, which means a zillion others have probably said the same thing already. My good wishes are nonetheless sincere.

    By the time I’ve written a welcome poem, the prompt will probably be history!


  53. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    come follow sweet foal
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    come follow sweet foal,
    into this field of poppies
    red and yellow and green
    beneath your newborn frogs so tender.
    we’ll follow your dam to where
    the best grass lies still
    for hide-and-seek and nap taking.
    i’ll tickle your muzzle hairs
    and pretend-brush the russet down
    that is your hide until you
    rear, or snort, or nip back in jest.
    we’ll spend the coming summer
    catching reflections in one another’s eyes,
    and savoring golden delicious apples
    under blue skies and summer rains
    while you grow into the leather halter
    i made for you when you were but
    a small teddy bear tucked
    safely away in your mother’s belly,
    and i first heard your soft whinny
    impatient against her womb,
    eager to bring the welcome banner
    to us instead.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  54. Domino Diana Terrill Clark

    Welcome to the World

    Birth – it is a glorious miracle.
    Messy, difficult
    but wonderful.

    I remember the moment
    I saw each of my sons
    for the first time.

    And on their birthdays
    I call them
    and tell them how
    beautiful they were.

    And they groan
    and pretend they don’t like it.


    Words of welcome he
    Made to Johnny Ringo: “I’m
    Your huckleberry."

  55. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    well come

    Body slack reclined abed
    Fingers on keys uncoordinated
    As thoughts dance and waver teasing inner head
    Ready simply shut the bright light
    Blocking the velvet darkness of quiet night
    Well come all ready for the soft slipped surrendered peace
    Time has run its course through on this day’s lease

  56. Rob Halpin


    Welcome to the Rest of Your Life
    Like it or not, your yesterdays are gone
    Welcome to the rest of your life
    It begins anew with every dawn
    Like it or not, your yesterdays are gone
    Bring or stow your bags, it’s time to move on
    Less traveled? Well-worn? The pathways are rife
    Like it or not, your yesterdays are gone
    Welcome to the rest of your life

  57. Joseph Harker

    A bit late, but congratulations Robert and Tammy!! :)


    unless you are ready to let the heat in, these summer nights
    when night pools dank and deep along the street corners
    populated by men screaming nonsense

    unless you have an eye for the boys in tank tops and cutoffs,
    wearing sunglasses even when the sun has forgotten
    why it came to such places at all

    unless you straighten your back and plant your heels
    in the jetsam of leaflets and newspapers, when the neighborhood
    throws open its doors and spreads itself

    unless you feel the pulse of this organ pumping feverish blood
    up well-heeled avenues and across venous netting of streets
    pregnant with friends-to-be and old romance

    unless you wash your face with liquid moonlight dropped down
    placid and pale from a great height, summer moonlight
    clotted from a sweatstained eclipse

    unless you can count every crack in the crumbling sidewalk
    and think, this is where I could lay myself to sleep,
    surrounded by ten thousand perfect hollow bodies

    unless you hear the echo of empty people as a concerto in skin,
    finding it the best kind of hospitality, on these warm evenings
    growing ever warmer, and longer, and more alike

  58. Brenda Olmsted

    Welcome, Hannah Marie. And Congratulations to you and your wife Robert. Praying all goes well. Brenda

    I am almost afraid to post as there are so many wonderful poets here. But here is my attempt.


    The evening sky turns red and orange,
    A sudden burst of sunlight penetrates
    The overhanging clouds, casting its bright rays
    To the valley floor before it disappears, leaving
    The sky an ominous gray. The light is
    Gone and dark settles over us like a
    Blanket on a cold winter day.
    Huddled around the campfire we burn
    Marshmallows. Roasting each other
    With wit that has been too long in coming
    This most difficult of days, packing and
    Driving to our favorite vacation spot
    Amidst angry words. Cool night air,
    Soft sounds of the night. It is evening
    In the woods and we are for once silenced by
    Fireflies floating through the air, frogs
    Croaking, grasses shivering, an owl’s hoot.
    Soft shimmers of the night crawl up my
    Spine. And we pause, each sensing the long
    Desired welcome into the presence of holiness.

  59. Marie Elena

    Just now finally got a chance to bop over to pick up the prompt. Congratulations again, Robert and Tammy! Add my prayers and warm smiles to the others. What a blessed baby she is, with an entire poetic family from ’round the world awaiting her arrival. Can’t wait to see photos!

  60. Joseph Beckman

    Good luck Daddy Brewer. I dedicate my bird nest experience today to you and yours:)
    Nature’s Selections
    Bird dad, your nest, it slips from its place,
    I return it with tape and mesh, I hope it is safe
    From slipping, ensuring the bowl will hold all
    Five eggs from your wife she wants not to fall.
    Kids you stay quietly until you can fly,
    If you fall, please hide quietly off to the side,
    For timing is everything in life and in death,
    It matters not wealth but better, the nest,
    If poorly constructed, and not that much room,
    As three siblings find air, but two, perhaps doom
    With their immature flight when mother brings food,
    They are pushed prematurely, it seems a bit rude,
    Now they stand very quietly, their eyes barely open,
    Am I Zeus or the Father, my efforts are token,
    As I gently collect them to move them to cover,
    Can your parents protect you? Will it soon be over,
    ‘Cause canines and talons, they stand at their table
    To define your existence, as musicians or staple,
    For I turn from my role, as judicator of life,
    To gather some twigs and things with my wife,
    To firm up the nest we have built for our son,
    A deified protector, no, I am not One,
    I must look to Another, my eyes barely open,
    I quietly pray please protect our dear son.
    Wondering, pondering, the years become eons,
    The man, like the bird, becomes nature’s wee peons,
    We roll from our mound like a small primate sloth,
    Our eyes arching upward for nature has wrought,
    That we are the begging, and trusting for care,
    For standing like redwoods, humansects are here.

    © June 15, 2011 by Joseph Beckman

  61. Buddah Moskowitz

    Welcome to the Mine

    You need to be prepared
    to outwit the frustration
    work past buckets of sweat
    and mostly persevere.

    We miners
    tinker ceaselessly
    blessed infrequently with
    a sliver
    a sparkle.

    Some days there is
    so much to harvest
    and sometimes it’s a glint
    and that’s all you’re gonna get.

    When you don that prospector’s helmet
    and dive deep into the mineshaft
    where it’s dark and spooky,
    remember, it’s a numbers game
    and sometimes
    all you’ll have to show for your work
    is yesterday’s dust.

    You gotta like the digging,
    the challenge of breaking rock,
    disrupting the Earth
    and finding something new.

    So, welcome,

    now pick up
    your pencil
    and get at it.

  62. Sara McNulty

    Triolet – A Toast

    So good to see you, said she to he,
    What a lovely bottle of wine.
    It’s been many months since you’ve been free,
    So good to see you, said she to he.
    As soon as their first glass was empty,
    He gasped and fell back, supine.
    So good to see you, said she to he
    What a lovely bottle of wine.


    Shardoma – The Meeting

    Well, come in.
    Finally we get to meet.
    Your picture
    on Facebook
    does you a great injustice;
    you’re not tall and lean.

  63. Sara V

    Robert, really loved your poem today. Good luck to you and Tammy! Welcome Hannah Marie :-)
    Haven’t had a chance to read anyone else’s and now it’s time to welcome my pillow….

    Welcome Expression

    “A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet” Will Rogers

    It’s a warmth from within
    That sparks the corners
    Of the smile
    Twinkles the eyes
    Softens the edges on the face
    Listening with
    Sincere delight
    Instinctively each heart opens
    Knowing it will be welcomed

    Welcome Perspective

    Blowing steam frigid temps
    A snapping, happy, hot fire
    Is welcome
    Blazing heat, asphalt shimmering
    An icy drink, rivers of cool racing down
    Is welcome
    Exhaustion, dragging feet
    Deep darkness, a soft bed and pillow
    Is welcome
    Rise and shine ready to rock
    Brilliant sun, cool breeze, running shoes
    Are welcome
    Coming home, from work or war
    A pair of eager arms outstretched
    Are welcome
    Love for all, and peace on earth
    Is the only way we’ll all feel

  64. Shannon Lockard

    Congratulations! Such a wonderful prompt to welcome your new baby girl.

    Beloved baby girl
    An everlasting gift
    Melting your heart
    Answering every wish

    From her first breath
    To first steps
    And even first tantrum
    Each day will bring joy
    You could never imagine

  65. Shannon Lockard

    Welcoming Sleep

    When the night seeps in, I
    ease into my bedtime routine,
    letting sleep settle:
    calming, comforting, cleansing.
    Opening possibilities and ponderings.
    My thoughts frolic and play,
    entwining fantasy with reality.

    "Welcome," I say.

  66. Melissa Hager

    Your very own Sweet Hannah! and Sweet Marie! Love the combination. I pray all goes well in the next bit of time for Tammy and you and, of course, Hannah Marie. – Mel

    "Welcome to the Wall"

    A wall is defined as an enclosure chiefly for defense.
    O’er the ramparts I watch
    Defended from my poetry.
    My usual “come up with at least something”
    has got up and built a fortress around me
    Blocking every good thought, word, and deed.
    It was bound to happen
    especially now that I’m in love with writing.
    I stare at the cold, gray, wordless blocks –

    Welcome to the wall.

  67. Laurie Kolp

    Childhood Summer Memories, Part III

    Every day at four they greeted me with mustard
    pretzels and a Tab, but sometimes I’d splurge
    with a Bit O-Honey and Coke. I’d drink the icy
    refreshment and save the snack for stories
    on the trampoline. When night was a black veil
    we’d sneak out of the cabin and sit in a circle,
    but sometimes we’d lie down and count the stars.
    Trendy girls from bigger cities raved on about
    midnight movies at the Rocky Horror Picture Show
    dressing up as Janet (dammit) and throwing toast,
    but sometimes we’d recreate the War of the Worlds
    scare ourselves silly in night’s darkest hours.

    *Please visit my blog (click on name) if you’re interested in parts I & II

  68. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Revised mine…

    WELCOME, HANNAH MARIE!!! (a triolet)

    When you open your eyes, Hannah Marie,
    the stars will shine a little brighter.
    The countries will no longer disagree.
    When you open your eyes, Hannah Marie,
    how happy your daddy and brothers will be
    when mommy’s tummy is a little lighter.
    When you open your eyes, Hannah Marie,
    the stars will shine a little brighter.

    (c) jh 6/15/11

  69. Taylor Graham

    All best wishes for Hannah Marie (and her parents)!

    This should have lots of indented lines to convey the flow….


    Sirens in the city, all-night traffic
    spinning toward the resorts.
    So many miles and hours of exhaust.

    We were traveling lost –
    turned off on a sandbar,
    river without a name on the map,
    contours fading into hills,
    dusk into shadow.

    In our Monday clothes
    we waded out past the shallows, into
    the welcoming current,
    and let the river do
    what natural water does to every
    nameless traveler,
    washing all
    the dust away.

  70. Joe

    The Real World

    You’re fed up.
    You don’t say.
    Well, I feel the same way.

    You’ve had enough.
    Well, you don’t say.
    We seem to think the same way.

    You work til you’re tired,
    now you’re tired of work
    but retirement is a generation away.

    So we keep plugging away
    til we reach that point
    in life when all the primary
    colors turn grey.

    Welcome to the real world.

  71. Kris K

    Babies, Babies Everywhere
    "A Welcoming Prayer"

    Babies, babies everywhere
    Need lots of love and lots of care.
    Babies, babies all over the world
    Love being held and being twirled.

    This little one has oodles of curls
    This little one has ears with pearls.
    This little one is swaddled tight
    This little one is awake at night.

    All little babies have one nose
    All little babies have ten toes.
    All little babies sometimes cry
    All little babies wave goodbye.

    This tiny tot likes to suck her thumb
    This tiny tot likes to play his drum.
    This tiny tot likes to crawl in the dirt
    This tiny tot needs a hug when hurt.

    Babies, babies everywhere
    All are wished the very same prayer
    That each precious one would always know
    Their pure and perfect heart has freedom to grow.

    You are pure and perfect love, my little one.

    Welcome to this world, Hannah Marie.

  72. Jane Shlensky

    Census Taker

    The door mat’s Welcome
    emblazoned on rubber
    is at variance with other
    notices to the public.
    The flag beside the door reads
    “Enter at your own risk.”
    A metallic piece of planter art
    emblazoned with a toothy schnauzer
    says “Beware of beast”
    in trembling letters,
    and hanging from the porch light
    is a carved panel of wood
    displaying birds in various poses,
    its slogan being
    “This place is for the birds.”
    Reaching for the doorbell, I see
    a skull and crossbones
    whose eyes flash
    when the bell gongs inside,
    perfect for Halloween.
    It is not Halloween.
    Both visitor and intruder
    are fairly warned
    that dropping by welcomes
    a number of responses.

  73. Elizabeth Johnson

    Not quite sure where this came from, other than my wanting to write something unique in perspective:


    She welcomed it like the last day at the beach,
    a long drive home from a too-short vacation,
    returning to bills and dog hair and laundry.

    She welcomed it like dirty socks that pile up,
    dishes and dust mites that whimper for attention,
    grass that grows too quickly, trash that overflows.

    She welcomed it like withered grass in summer,
    colorless leaves floating down in early autumn,
    bare branches waving their skeletal frames in winter.

    Ah, she welcomed it repugnantly, loathing the orders-
    the sharpness of goodbye, lonely pillow, silent rooms,
    time that ticked too long without her soldier’s face.

  74. Andrew Kreider


    This house is smaller than the brochure made
    It look. There is barely room for our bags
    In the front hall as we sign the guestbook.

    Breakfast is between eight and eight thirty
    We are informed, and would we prefer
    A fry-up or just the continental?

    Our hostess has a typewriter. The walls
    Are filled with neat signs telling us things like
    When we may use the bathroom (no long baths)

    And that the lounge is open after six
    For us to watch the TV or peruse
    The two shelves of Mills and Boone romances.

    But this is our first night, and thus we have
    A romance of our own to consummate.
    Pinned above our bed is a note that reads:

    Guests are requested not to talk after
    Ten p.m. We obey, shyly, taking
    Our time, trying not to break any rules.

  75. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    The Bum

    In the dark street unlighted road
    Under a bridge marked by mildewed toad
    In rags of yesteryear when politic was nigh
    Flopped this forlorn, rancid frightening guy
    In that yesteryear absent of empathy
    Before precursors were in mind to see
    Was no sympathy, and certainly no welcome
    For what was then a simple, plain, unadulterated bum

  76. Nancy Posey

    Welcome Mat

    Please come in, step through the door,
    over the threshold, share my comfort,
    multiplied when shared by two.

    Look me up on your way through town,
    call from a block away, make any excuse:
    you’re just passing through, I crossed
    your mind, you have something borrowed
    you want to return. No matter. Dust
    may still linger on surfaces, dust motes
    swirl. No lemon scent will linger, testament
    to a frantic preparation. I’ll offer up a chair,
    a cup of tea, time stretching for hours
    without a glance toward the clock’s advance.

    You don’t have to tell me you are lonely too.
    Who isn’t anymore? My welcome mat awaits
    your footstep. My doorbell yearns to chime.
    Here, rest assured, you are welcome anytime.

  77. Justine Hemmestad

    Welcome to Real Life

    You’re not in a show, you’re not in a trance,
    The life you’re in is real, a mesmerizing, thrilling dance.
    You alone can save your own life, if you throw your defenses to the wind and breathe;
    Find your faith and your courage in the breeze that captures your blade’s sheathe.
    You’re not alone in a world so foreign, nor without truth and devotion –
    The wind is with you, you have already altered your course in one swift motion;
    But the motion, meant to be saving, was tagged with falsehoods array,
    What can we do now, when what is within you has become bleak and gray?
    I see you in all your glory – without the advertisements and preconceptions;
    I see you amidst your show but in my mind, I see through the deceptions.
    Your truth is brilliant and bigger than the house you hold so grand,
    Come out from behind the billboards and take your glorious stand;
    You’ve held your reputation more valuable than gold, greater than God,
    Your pride will not lead you to your destiny, for pride is no Aaron’s rod.
    You’re known to have become the solid person she could not be –
    But in reality, you’re lost, to everyone but me.
    The lie you’re living is what’s killing you to sell,
    For you’re pleasing yourself while you live in your own private cell.
    The California ocean holds the heart of your bond –
    A home not of this world, but of the Great Beyond.

  78. Michael Grove

    Congratulations Robert and Tammy!


    Welcome to this world you little angel.
    Welcome to a world so full of Grace.
    Welcome to this world with newfound vision.
    Welcome baby child to this place.

    With awe and wonderment you shall grow smarter.
    With care and nurturing you will grow strong.
    With love you can then reach your true potential.
    Welcome to this place where you belong.

    By Michael Grove

  79. Michelle Hed


    May the world slow down
    as he looks into your eyes for the first time,
    holds your tiny hand and counts your toes.

    As you grow –
    may each giggle or crystal tear,
    laugh or sassy word,
    angry looks or loving hug,
    give him pause…

    to see the emotions
    arrayed within those eyes
    and hold your hand
    as the world slows
    for you both –

  80. J.lynn Sheridan

    A Mother’s Welcome

    Like an eagle,
    talons gripping
    coifed bedding
    upon a cliffed

    bending low and
    inspecting with
    protective eyes
    upon a cliffed

    her future
    her purpose
    her treasure.

  81. Cameron Steele

    Welcome you now

    The sun is steady
    and grass is neat
    beneath our feet.
    It is what we have
    trimmed and
    tended to ourselves,
    I think.

    We have welcomed
    what we think
    we can never lose
    on a day of true Summer
    And we didn’t even
    bring a blanket
    to tame the yard;
    the blades of grass
    so sweet and neat.

    When you laugh,
    lean into me.
    I will feel the ropes
    beneath your arms,
    stretching and winding
    up again
    when you work circles
    over my thighs.

    And there are hairs
    at attention
    welcoming me now
    soft upon your shoulders.
    I can see them:
    when you’re not looking
    but leaning
    and new.

    We will keep
    for a while, I know.
    Days grow slowly
    still and later
    the grass will seem
    What we feel becomes
    only what we used to see.
    What we welcomed
    we find tired and wild.

    That, and the pitted
    seeds of strawberries.

  82. Megan

    can’t decide which one I like better walt but the first one shivver
    and the last one I read boy Salvatore that was an intense read off to write (unwelcome) bills

  83. Megan

    Welcome Respite

    velvet notes voice
    hot tea and chocolate
    timbre pattern of sound that
    enhances my silent funk
    into a calm respite
    she grounds me roots me
    in the notes of my past
    verbal neck massage unwinding
    the tension of the day
    work knots fade into vapor

  84. Salvatore Buttaci


    war gods lick the spoon of human stew
    where raw boys who fight and die are
    chunks of meat to please divine palates

    welcome to the whole picture
    the meaningless gestalt of war
    pretend you have the power to stand
    within the eye of Odin himself
    looking down on human pathos

    welcome to these battle lines
    there is a war on and it doesn’t look
    as if the bugle boy will blow it quits
    or the flag boy rest blood-stained colors

    it’s a fight to the finish that never quite ends
    a stirring of the spoon
    a burning away of all that should be sacred
    an unheard prayer for mercy


  85. barbara_y

    Best wishes to the (coming soon) new girl on the block.


    It’s so good to see you, honey.
    How long has it been?
    You’ll have been a long while on the road,
    (why don’t you leave those bags:
    we’ll get them later.)
    You want to freshen up a little? Come inside.
    I’ll show you where things are.
    I’m so glad you have fine weather, even if it’s hot.
    Come see my garden, then we’ll rest a while. Your mama,
    rest her soul, used to like the sweet peas.

    There’s a shade tree by the side porch
    (what’s your favorite tree for shade? sweetgum?
    they’re so pretty, the way the light moves
    and the backs of the leaves shine)

    There’s lemonade in the pitcher on the table by the door,
    (but if you’d like a cup of tea, that only takes a minute)
    and a plate of teacake cookies from Kate’s great-aunt’s recipe.

    You take the swing, or the glider if you like it better,
    and I’ll prop up my feet and rock,
    and in a while we’ll string some beans
    and you can tell me all about it.

  86. Karen Legg

    Robert, I adore your welcome poem – what a happy family you’ll be!

    Lucky Girl (for Hannah)

    You lucky girl, your Father and Mother
    chose you to be their little girl-
    you get not one, but two big brothers!
    You lucky girl, your Father and Mother
    love babies and poems and each other
    and now there’s more love in the world.
    You lucky girl, your Father and Mother
    chose you to be their little girl.

  87. Karen Legg

    Library Villanelle

    Don’t hang in the door, whatever you do.
    Come on in – you’ve come this far.
    The library will never hurt you.

    Are you looking for classics, or something new?
    We have computers with no-queries-barred.
    Don’t hang in the door, whatever you do.

    Our colors are muted, our voices are too,
    But you can wear headphones if that’s too hard.
    The library will never hurt you.

    70,000 items, give or take a few.
    Did you remember your library card?
    Don’t hang in the door, whatever you do.

    There are books online, but they make us blue
    We like to see you, not your avatar!
    The library will never hurt you.

    Everything’s free, bring it back when it’s due.
    You can use the bookdrop right from your car.
    Don’t hang in the door, whatever you do.
    The library will never hurt you.

    Karen L.

  88. Jane Shlensky

    Welcome Home

    Forced to be humble
    for too many years
    by circumstances
    not of her making,
    Granny keenly reads
    her measurement in others’ eyes.
    Her easy welcome determines
    who is real in their regard,
    who will treat her as a friend,
    and who will drop a box of goods
    and sprint to running cars,
    duty done.
    Remembering her southern charm,
    she administers this test:
    offer them food and drink
    that you prepared yourself,
    string beans with corn and corn bread,
    milk from your own cow;
    offer them a chair by the coal stove
    where you sit daily
    tinted with charcoal dust,
    the whole room grayed by warmth;
    offer them snuff—just to see,
    and listen to what they have to say.

    Granny has a simple way
    to distinguish nice and good.
    Nice people welcome you into their homes,
    but good ones, looking past
    your surroundings and circumstances,
    give you time and look into your eyes,
    making you feel welcome in your own.

    (I kept humming "Simple Gifts" while I was writing this. What can it mean?)

  89. annell livingston

    The guests have gone
    The house is quiet
    It shivers
    Footsteps echo
    The shadow behind each chair
    Whispers unintelligible pleadings
    Breathable air seeps out

    The body coils into a ball
    Unable to extend it’s full length
    Soft Kitties offer themselves
    The mind screams
    You are gone
    In the first day of loneliness
    One day after exhale

    You were incomparable
    You were one among many
    You were my own
    Your breath was mine
    Your breast was mine
    I look into your eyes
    I see my own soul

    You were my rock
    My touchstone
    Today you go away
    Your chores are all done
    Given all that you had
    Yet the all of you remains in my heart
    I call you Mother

  90. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    WELCOME, LITTLE ONE (triolet)

    When you open your eyes, Hannah Marie
    The stars will shine a little brighter
    The countries will no longer disagree
    When you open your eyes, Hannah Marie
    How happy your daddy and brothers will be
    And mommy’s tummy will be a little lighter
    When you open your eyes, Hannah Marie
    The stars will shine a little brighter

    (c) jh 6/15/11 10:27 am.

    P.S. I hope you like it, Robert! <3
    Off to work now.

  91. mike Maher.


    Wipe your feet,
    you will not actually clean the bottoms of your shoe soles
    but you will at least give the impression of caring
    about what you bring in with you,
    though what is most attached you can’t wipe off.
    I thought watching other people get un-embarrassed
    and unashamed would bother me,
    but I now embrace them for who they are,
    that becoming as I go in trying to figure them out,
    that and their kinds of shoes.
    Even if you don’t believe
    you can pray to someone else’s concept of god,
    the solution actually in the asking and not the answering,
    which is really much better because the answers can get confusing.
    You are already forgiven for wishing upon a death star
    and almost getting your wish,
    and the real welcoming is forgiving yourself,
    even for what you did to the electric roses.

  92. Jane Shlensky

    This one was for my grand-daughter’s birth. Congratulations Robert and Tammy.


    Soft cherrycheeks, poutylips,
    fluff of black hair,
    like a bird-fur halo,
    and black eyes, round,
    opened wide to a life
    still a blur of bright color,
    muffled sound,
    and nameless
    Welcome to the world,
    little life-changer.

  93. Connie L. Peters

    Another Me

    People got us mixed up when we were young.
    We even mixed up ourselves when it came time
    to tell who was who in the photographs.
    We’re still good for a few chuckles
    when our friends do double-takes.
    We were always and still are best friends.
    So glad you’re coming to see me, sis.

  94. Walt Wojtanik


    Hey c’mon in,
    so good to see you.
    Haven’t had the pleasure
    for quite a few years.
    But, now that you’re here
    set a spell. You know darn well
    you’re welcomed into my
    personal hell, not a tough sell
    if the price is right.
    Stay the night? There’s a bed
    in the back, go hit the sack
    and we’ll visit. Is it really you?
    Too good to be true. C’mon in!
    So good to see you.