November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 23

Today’s prompt is to write a poem that I’m calling the “Been Everywhere” poem. If you’re doing locations, it would be a poem that gives a shout out to all the places you’ve been. This can be made metaphorical, though.


For instance, if you’re writing poems about cancer, you could write a poem about cancer cells that have traveled through different parts of the body. If you’re writing cooking poems, you could write from the perspective of a cook who talks about all the meals he or she has cooked. Definitely keep doing what you’ve been doing and get creative with it and bend the rules to your theme.


Here’s my attempt for the day:




Around midnight, he entered the little pub and set down a bag of wood stakes
before ordering a shot of whiskey. Three other men were still hanging around,
and they all shot nervous glances in the stranger’s direction. Everyone in town
had heard the stories, had heard the screams and howls in the night. Everyone
knew and talked about it, but they talked about it in the same way they talked
of the afterlife—something everyone believes in and fears but impossible to
imagine. Yet, he entered the pub with wood stakes. So one of the men asked,
“Are you a hunter?” “I am.” And the pub again filled with a fog of silence
before the second man asked, “Have you ever killed a vampire?” “I have.”
Then, the third man asked, “Where?” The stranger took a drink of whiskey
and looked up at all three men, who quickly looked down at their shoestrings.

“I’ve killed werewolves in Istanbul, zombies in Pittsburgh, and witches
in Vancouver. I’ve hunted vampires in Louisiana, warlocks in Greenland,

and ghosts in Taiwan. There is little I have hunted; there is little I haven’t

killed. And that includes people who ask too many questions about what I do
and how I do it.” Then, the stranger downed the rest of his drink,

placed some money on the counter, and walked outside and into the night.

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78 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 23

  1. Juanita Snyder

    Been Everywhere
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Well I’ve never seen the Portland Rose Parade up close,
    but I’ve ridden the carousel at the Oregon State Fair.
    I’ve yet to ride the elevator at the Space Needle in Seattle, but
    I rode one down the side of a bluff just to see the world’s largest sea cave.
    Have yet to step inside the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot
    but I’ve toured Yaquina, the tallest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast .

    Have yet to walk on Vancouver’s wild side,
    or hit Puyallup’s sea of bright kitschy shops,
    find time to rock climb Mt. Rainier, ski Mt Bachelor,
    but I’ve scaled the world’s longest bridge in Astoria
    braved the Bridge of Gods on the Columbia River Gorge,
    and whale-watch off Haystack Rock out on Nestucca Bay.

    Well I’ve never petted buffalo in Yellowstone
    but been chased by bears belowYosemite,
    never hunted rattlers at Craters of the Moon in SE Idaho
    but a squirrel did steal my sandwich once at Trees of Mystery.
    Had Roosevelt Elk pose for me among Madrone and Douglas Fir,
    and a Rhino charge my Subaru in the fields of Wildlife Safari.

    Never been to see the brachen-ferns at Multnomah Falls,
    or gather maidenhairs at Eastern Oregon’s Tumalo Falls,
    but took a tumble once down California’s Burney Falls.
    Never been to Valley of Rain Forest Giants in Quinault
    but I’ve camped among the Redwoods in northern California,
    even hugged a 500-year-old Sitka near Cape Perpetua.

    Never seen snow geese & swans on the Snohomish River
    but nearly tripped over snowy plover out on Bastendorf.
    Never backpacked among Grizzly’s on the Olympic Penninsula
    but I did tickle shark bellies at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
    Never seen Pelicans light off McNary National Wildlife Refuge
    but saw Blue Herons dance at South Slough National Estuary.

    I’ve yet to see the blue glacial ice of Mt. Shuksan
    or play on 3500 ft of ice covering Puget Sound,
    but went snowmobiling out on Crater Lake once or twice
    crossed the frozen water inside a sleeping volcano.
    And I’ve yet to brave the Shoshone Ice Caves in Idahi
    but I’ve photographed stalagmites at both Shasta & the Oregon Caves.
    Read about the 9000-year-old skeleton of Kennewick Man
    but never seen ‘em, though I have watched the sun
    come up over the John Day Fossil Beds.
    And I’ve yet to swing by Dinosaur Park in Granger but
    I did kiss a boy in front of good ‘ol T-Rex outside the
    Prehistoric Gardens in sunny Port Orford.

    I’ve never panned for gold anywheres along the Cascades
    and I’ve never dug for opals in Spencer Idaho,
    but I’ve combed for shells and driftwood on Nye Beach & Horsfall
    and spent some time sandrailing out on the Oregon Dunes.
    Someday I hope to explore the Lava Tubes & Flows in Washington
    and compare ‘em to central Oregon’s beds & cinder cones.

    Never been to Stonehenge State Park on Hwy 14 but I’ve
    seen 2,000-year-old tree stumps at low tide on Neskowin Beach,
    when earthquakes dropped the ghost forest 6 feet into the Pacific.
    Never been to Spokane, home of the World’s Fair in ‘74 but I’ve
    walked the perimeters of Fort Stevens, home of the only
    American soil ever fired upon by any enemy during WW II.

    Never gone mule deer hunting with my father in the Steens
    but I have picked roadside blackberries in Oregon & California,
    and I’ve never been to the fine vineyards at Yakima
    but did get kicked out of Enchanted Forest once for cussing,
    and when my father died, did a road trip back to Klamath Falls
    to both reconnect and try to face head on the pain.

    Turned down the chance to tour the Boeing plant in Everett once
    but did stand inside the Spruce Goose at Evergreen Aviation Museum.
    Have yet to stand on deck and stargaze out of Pine Mtn. Observatory
    but did manage to knock over a display at OMSI as a kid.
    And I’ve stood on the very hangar up in Tillamook where
    blimps were once manufactured during the second world war.

    Wasn’t there in 1980 when Mt. St. Helens puckered up and blew,
    but drove to Nampa once to tussle with family if that counts.
    Would have rather dodged Security at the Britt Music Festival
    or fight 185 mph winds out on the bluffs of Cape Blanco,
    ride a mule-train down the throat of Hell’s Canyon or straddle
    a 2000-lb bull fresh out the chute at the Pendleton Roundup.

    Came this close to scoring tickets for the Jazz Festival at Mt Hood,
    and just missed the deadline at the Oregon Bach Music Festival,
    but saw Kitaro’s Moog perform at the Hult Center in Eugene
    and caught McBeth at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival,
    missed out on jousting at the Shrewbury Renaissance Fair,
    but caught the Christmas light display at Shore Acres near Coos Bay.

    I’ve never sat in on a Beaver or Duck’s game
    but then again not that much into College ball,
    would rather life-raft down the Snake or Rogue,
    body-surf through the Devil’s Punch Bowl near Newport,
    or cover eardrums amidst a bray-fest in a covered metal barn
    at Roseburg’s Oregon Mr. Long-Ear show!

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. Terri Vega

    Underground where most never
    venture I raised myself
    up and out into the world

    I pulled my milky stalk high
    branched out my yellow florets
    and waited
    until the time was right

    As the winds came I changed
    willing myself to become
    something more than I was before
    I floated off into a new world

    I saw the earth below me and
    watched the birds feed on my
    brothers. But I, I have been everywhere
    and that done
    my return to the underworld
    is full circle.

  3. Kate Berne Miller

    Where I’ve Been

    I’ve been to the edge of madness
    more than once—the place where
    the world telescopes in around me,
    words slow to molasses in my mouth,
    where I hear every single heartbeat,
    can’t stop hearing every heartbeat,
    where I am askew and I can’t escape
    the wrongness of myself, where pain
    blossoms like night flowers, fragrance
    like corpses, where I understand those
    who chose to move sideways, and I
    forgive them all.

    I’ve been back to first loss, old grief,
    visited and revisited -abandonment,
    missing a woman without a name,
    yearning for my own blood, first story
    replayed-familiar song, same melody
    with a new riff, the brother who lies,
    lovers who leave, the father who dies,
    first betrayal in the body’s long slow
    decline, trust is transformed when solid
    ground turns fluid, animal hide rippling
    underfoot, earthquakes, tornadoes,
    tsunamis, everything changes.

    I’ve been to the top of the mountain,
    witnesses the way light bleeds back
    into sky-welcome like breath after
    absence, I’ve climbed that high again
    in ecstatic conversation and prayer,
    understood what holy is for me, shared
    momentary flashes of insight so brilliant
    only an afterimage can be retained. I lived
    on that mountain for four days and four
    nights, heard owls laughing, smelled fear
    in the wildfire’s smoke, I have held you
    in my arms as you wept, my chest cracking
    wide open as the wind.

    Kate Berne Miller

  4. PSC in CT

    Still no time to read . . . still way past my bedtime, but putting this in before I go to bed. By tomorrow morning I’ll be behind again, but this will catch me up for now, so I can get to sleep. :-)

    I’ve Been Everywhere

    I’ve traveled some
    I’ve seen the world
    Been down this road before
    I’ve been around the block
    About a dozen times – or more

    Once or twice I’ve seen Cloud Nine
    And walked a mile in shoes – not mine
    I’ve roamed the wrong side of the track
    I’ve also been to hell and back

    I’ve jumped through hoops
    I’ve swum with sharks
    I’ve sailed all seven seas
    At times I swear I couldn’t see
    The forest for the trees

    Been under the weather
    And out of the loop
    Stuck up Shit Creek –
    Without paddle or scoop

    I’ve been in some tight spots –
    Sometimes it’s been said
    That I’m off of my rocker
    And out of my head

    But, still I’ll keep searching
    Until I find me –
    Not the person I am
    But the one I could be

  5. A.C. Leming

    Wikipedia rocks! And now for the poem that actually addresses the prompt, two days late and very rough.

    Voyager II

    Every 176 years
    these planets align:
    Jupiter, Saturn,
    Uranus, Neptune
    and poor dwarf
    Pluto, making a
    space probe’s job
    easier – just fly by on
    a planetary grand tour
    designed to increase
    the knowledge of those
    stuck back on Earth,
    sqabbling over
    budgetary woes,
    cancelling missions
    to observe the outer
    planets, whose orbits
    align once every 176 years.

  6. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    Somewhere in the World

    Somewhere in the world
    It is always winter
    Always white, with always snow
    Somewhere on Gaia
    The ice builds and freezes
    The rain pelts and hail shatters
    The thunderclouds rumble
    And people take cover
    They hide and whimper
    At the cold
    The icy world
    Shards piericing even warmest of clothes
    Despite Gaia’s efforts
    In turning the seasons
    Somewhere in the world
    It is always winter
    Where it’s always cold
    And no life stirs
    And winter doesn’t care
    As it turn its icy gaze
    From the death
    That it brings
    Somewhere on Gaia
    There is always
    Who brings destruction
    Who turns away
    Who’s heart
    Is frozen
    And made of snow

  7. Margaret

    Traveling Man’s Blues

    It used to be that all you’d need to travel round the states
    was just a couple of buck and nerve to tempt the fates
    by sticking out your thumb. Then you could get to anyplace.

    I hitchhiked up to ski country and there I learned to ski.
    I found a real nice place to stay, at least it seemed to be,
    but after just a month or three they all got tired of me.

    I moved on to Connecticut to swim in Candlewood Lake.
    I camped out in the summer. In the fall I tried to break
    into a cozy cabin. Boy, was that a big mistake!

    They threw me in the slammer for a year or two or three.
    That was the end of traveling for quite some time for me,
    but I’ll be out of here real soon. And then, to where? We’ll see.

  8. Monica Martin

    I’ve built all kinds of homes
    all across this country-
    from flats in Philly
    to Tudors in Tulsa.
    I’ve built ranches in Raleigh
    and bungalows in Boston.
    Each one different, unique,
    but I remember them all.

  9. Vanessa O'Dwyer


    My name is Indifference
    And I travel ‘round.
    I’ve traveled the
    World so much!

    I lived in the South
    When the black man
    Was beaten and treated
    Worse than an animal
    But I saw no man beaten!

    I was just outside the gates
    Of Auschwitz as the ashes of men
    Of women and children
    Rained down like snow.
    But they were so inferior!

    I was there as young girls
    Were made wives
    And forced upon
    By their elders
    As their faith dictates!

    I was there for certain
    As a young girl was sold
    So that another may
    Please himself with her.
    She was such a burden!

    I was there in Zimbabwe
    When some were threatened
    And not allowed to vote
    Ah yes, I was there
    But when does it count, anyway?

    I have been there, but you’ll not find me
    I can read, but I know nothing
    I watch the news, but am not involved
    I watch videos, and comment freely
    I socially network, but sit on my ass

    Yes, I’ve been around
    The world you can see
    And that world knows me as

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  10. S.E.Ingraham

    Earl – I loved "The Things I’ve Seen" – a wonderful autobiography in a few well-chosen lines of poetry; thanks for sharing this glimpse of your travels through life, quite the amazing journey! Sharon I

  11. Bruce Niedt

    This is "just for fun" because I wrote it a while ago, but it seems to fit today’s theme perfectly. I’ll post a new one later.

    Poe Boy Blues
    by Bruce W Niedt

    Well, I woke up this mornin’,
    there was a raven in my bed.
    I woke up this mornin’,
    there was a raven in my bed.
    If I didn’t know better,
    I’d swear that I was dead.

    When I went downstairs,
    I heard a thumpin’ under the floor.
    Yeah, when I went downstairs,
    I swear I heard thumpin’ in the floor.
    It sounded like a beatin’ heart,
    so I ran right out the door.

    I’m pinin’ for my Annie,
    I’m pinin’ for Annabelle Lee,
    Yeah, I’m pinin’ for little Annie,
    and pinin’ for sweet Annabelle Lee.
    I’m a morbid Victorian lover,
    wallowin’ in my misery.

    Well, I got them Poe Boy Blues,
    my face’s a perpetual frown,
    Yes, I got the Poe Boy Blues,
    my face’s a perpetual frown.
    I ain’t felt so sad and lonely
    since that Usher house fell down.

    If the booze and drugs don’t get me,
    It’ll be a broken heart for sure.
    Yeah, if them booze and drugs don’t get me,
    That ol’ broken heart will for sure.
    I’m a Poe boy, baby,
    and I’ll be happy Nevermore.

  12. Iain D. Kemp

    Just wanted to add a couple of comments to those that posted after I went to bed…

    Sharon & SaraV excellent

    Connie superb as ever

    My poem of the day came from S Scott Whitaker – genius. Well done!

    And I see the new prompt is up already… on we go…


  13. Taylor Graham


    I’ve followed my dog up Thunder Mountain, and wandered
    the Wonderland of Rocks, calling a stranger’s name.
    At the Roxford city dump, I waded through castoff
    mattresses and spoiled milk, looking for a little girl
    called Ebony, but she was sleeping at the bottom of a pool
    on the other side of town. I’ve picked my way through
    green-creeper of Mt. Zion, and manzanita at the Geysers.
    I know Bradley Forest in the dark. On American Divide
    my dog led me to an open mine-shaft and a small boy
    huddled in Easter-sunrise chill. In Yosemite I stood
    at the dropoff where a hiker took the short way home.
    My dog showed me the chaplain who met his Maker
    under cathedral pines of the Cosumnes. And here we are below a hogback on an unnamed creek that joins the Middle
    Fork somewhere out of sight. I’m looking up through
    conifers and fog, trying to get my bearings. Looking
    for the boy named Josh.

  14. Tyger

    Swing States

    Of course, you had Chicago!
    and New York
    graciously presented by Hillary
    California was a given
    with its freethinkers and non-conformists
    as were other traditional Blues
    But you also snatched up Florida
    and we watched Ohio
    turn blue-blooded and noble
    Indiana and North Carolina
    shuffled over to cool navy
    Yet, to my shame
    although in the deep South Hispanics
    rallied to your side
    Texas still burns crimson

  15. Shann Palmer


    Sometimes I put all my efforts
    into the wrong people, waiting
    for some change to bring me out
    from under this dissatisfaction.

    Write me a love song to9 carry,
    smooth as your honeyed words
    when I feel every lover’s hand
    I ever let slip away from mine.

    I’ll map the lines on my palm
    with my fingertip, see how far
    I get before I’m in the wilderness.

    Point me in a different direction,
    I’ll walk across Egypt alone before
    anyone notices I’ve slipped away.

  16. linda

    Rodney, Thank you SO much. For just one person here to think I am talented floors me because I have only been doing this since February and my with my hectic schedule every piece I write is a struggle to complete.

    I am not sure which poem you are referring to but am assuming your mean the second of the three I posted todaY. Lot of anger in that one, I know, but I guess it got its point across.

    I have only about 10 of the 20 some prompts completed but will work into December if I have to to finish them all. Wish the words flowed as easily for me as they do for you. Every day you post good stuff. And I love the line "where his knee-highs are swishing", reminds me of my fishing with my father.

    Thanks again. You made my day :-)


  17. S.E.Ingraham

    Absolute Pathology

    For so long it was easy
    Routine-like, by rote
    The pathways were clear
    Like canals, and I followed
    The same ones over and over
    Going in and out of the gates
    Enjoying the thrill of the up-
    Take whenever it occurred
    Taking for granted it
    Would always be thus
    Until one day, a gate jammed
    There was a pile-up and
    no up-take took place;
    The smell of burnt synapses
    Crispy, like black toast,
    Filled the area where I was
    I admit it, I panicked
    Tried to skitter down
    Another pathway
    Was met by a flood of chemicals
    Acrid, bitter, toxic-smelling chemicals
    Chemicals unfamiliar to me
    Then, a blessed darkness
    Fell over us all
    And things were never
    Quite the same
    Since then

    Recalling the first awakening
    In the rude web of confusion
    Still makes me feel an ache
    Of alien notions
    I’d rather not remember,
    Things I’d rather not know
    But at least I survive
    There are many of my ilk
    Who no longer exist
    Having been annihilated
    By poisons artificially introduced
    To try and right the chemistry
    Within, and re-open the gates
    Usually, to no avail
    Still – their demise was kinder, gentler
    Than that of those who
    Were sent to their deaths
    By means of the electrical
    Stimulus; also designed to
    Re-adjust the chemistry
    Convince the gates to go
    Back to opening and closing
    Normally – allowing the up-take
    To occur with its original
    Regularity, putting everything
    Back to rights – a fool’s game
    But still, they can’t just
    Let the person shut down completely now
    Can they? Of course not –
    And there are brief periods of lucidity
    Purchased with experimentation,
    Fate, luck or serendipity
    That make it all seem worthwhile.

  18. Bruce Niedt

    World Music

    “I’ve been everywhere, man,”
    the Man in Black sang,
    and I’m sure he had.
    I’ve been here and there,
    but I can’t string together
    destinations like he could,
    unless you count the music.

    When it draws me in,
    I follow his dusty road a while,
    then take a sharp left turn
    to places even he didn’t list
    and follow the sound of bagpipes,
    a didgeridoo, sitar or kalimba.
    I’m in another country,
    overlooking highlands
    or the outback,
    Sahara or Ganges.

    There are no wheels
    or wings involved –
    the only thing turning
    is the CD in my player.
    And when the voices
    join the instruments –
    In Gaelic or Arabic,
    Hindi or Swahili,
    I know they’re getting up
    to dance, so I get up too,
    and though I don’t understand
    a word they’re saying,
    I sing right along.

  19. Earl Parsons

    So busy today. Sorry so late. Sorry so long. Here’s Day 23 for SS:

    The Things I’ve Seen

    You’ve sure been around
    You’ve sure seen a lot
    Some you remember
    And some you forgot
    But I’ve seen it all
    And stored it away
    So here are a few
    Reminders, if I may

    For nineteen short years
    Maine was your home
    Not much for travel
    Little did you roam
    Then you graduated
    With no good employment
    You saw the recruiter
    For Air Force deployment

    You flew off to Texas
    Six weeks of basic training
    Christmas and New Years
    Okinawa was waiting
    Eighteen long months on a
    West Pacific island
    Thought you were ready
    For time on the mainland

    So they flew you away
    To Missouri, USA
    Whiteman was the place
    Two years for to stay
    What great fun you had
    In this po-dunk place
    But soon it was over
    Ramstein was your base

    You loved your time
    In West Germany
    The people and places
    Were great as could be
    You traveled a lot
    The food was the best
    But the very best fun
    Was the season of fests

    Then came your orders
    You got your C.O.T.
    Consecutive overseas tour
    Japan you would see
    But between assignments
    You crossed the USA
    From Maine to California
    In just 35 days

    You stopped in Alaska
    What a beautiful state
    Then on to the Far East
    Just a few hours late
    Before your plane landed
    Out the window right side
    Majestic Mt. Fuji
    You’d finally arrived

    Five years you would stay
    Made rank and got wed
    Two beautiful children
    You were moving ahead
    Then came down the news
    Your job was topped out
    No rank if you stayed
    Your field was in doubt

    Your new job came up
    An assignment you got
    Mississippi for training
    Then move on to Scott
    Illinois you new home
    For seven long years
    Your family split up
    Your children in tears

    But before you moved on
    A new love you met
    Her child and your baby
    Better, it couldn’t get
    Until orders came down
    A gift from above
    Moving to Hawaii
    And the children you love

    30 days in a hotel
    Time to move on base
    The ex give the news
    Take the kids to your place
    God answered a prayer
    Kids were coming back
    You drove to her house
    And helped them all pack

    So Hawaii turned out
    The best assignment ever
    It was also your last
    Your career was near over
    But where would you go
    How about Rapid City
    A one-year mistake
    That place was a pity

    So on with the family
    The Deep South was calling
    A little town called Crestview
    And a U-Haul for hauling
    Your roots are not planted
    You’re part of the town
    You know all the neighbors
    And your way around

    You’ve found a great church
    Got right with the Lord
    He’s keeping you busy
    Nice to be on His board
    You’re taking your travels
    Your experiences, too
    Using them for the Lord
    What more could you do

  20. SaraV

    What was

    A feather floated
    In the air
    After the massacre
    When the wild Husky
    In full on wolfish glee
    Had ripped every chicken
    Into niblets
    My vision blurred with red rage
    I wanted a gun
    13 chickens lay twitching
    on the lawn
    My babies, my pets
    My happy, clucky good mornings
    All gone
    Fifteen years later
    A feather floats on the water
    A grey goose calls out
    Good morning
    When I open the door
    The familiar swell of joy
    Floods my heart
    Taking me back to my flock
    That greeted me each day
    Again my feathered friends
    Follow me to their bowls
    And greedily dive into their
    And later they roost in the shade
    On the grass where the chickens
    Scratched and played
    Where the feather floated
    Above the bloodshed
    That fed
    The soil and
    The grass that the geese gobble

  21. Connie

    This kind of takes off from the confession prompt.

    Some Day

    I was raised in Pennsylvania
    Had no desire to stay too close
    I swam and rowed in Delaware
    But never toppled dominos

    Met my husband in Wyoming
    In Nebraska Loren proposed
    We honeymooned in New England
    But never toppled dominoes

    Had two kids in Colorado
    And hot-air ballooned in Montrose
    I down-hill skied at Steamboat Springs
    But never toppled dominoes

    Small planed and rafted in Utah
    Climbed at Vedauwoo as I chose
    Hiked the beautiful Grand Canyon
    But never toppled dominoes

    Painted murals in Lafayette
    Writers’ conferences coast to coast
    Sang in most of the southern states
    But never toppled dominoes

    Toured the Needle in Seattle
    And saw Old Faithful, “Thar she blows”
    I stood in awe at Mt. Rushmore
    But never toppled dominoes

    Boogie boarded in New Jersey
    And I stood at Liberty’s toes
    Boated canals in Chicago
    But never toppled dominoes

    Saw the seals in California
    Watched The Price is Right tape their show
    Biked and shopped in Santa Barbara
    But never toppled Dominoes

    I traveled to forty-six states
    And I only have four to go
    I like to see and do new things
    Some day I’ll topple dominos

  22. patti williams

    Linda – I’m glad you jumped in! I miss our writing group too and look forward to picking up where we left off after the holidays. And I’m really not a nice person during Christmas so trust me on this one! Whacked for sure!

    Iain – loved the poems! Both of them …

    Everyone, all sing together! – "I’ve been everywhere man, I’ve been everywhere man" Contagious … been singing the song all day …

  23. Karen H. Phillips

    The Tour
    The sailboats bob in the harbor at Trouville,
    and farther on, the beach boasts blues of every hue.
    The River Seine at Montes contrasts its peacefulness
    with the factory around the riverbend.
    Cranes in the marsh in an unknown part of France
    stretch beneath the moonrise as the sun sets.
    Near a morning meadow in the Bourbonnaise
    a woman launders in the river, with other folk nearby.
    Another–or the same–silent French river flanks a bluff.
    An isolated rock dominates the seashore.

    An angry wave crashes a beach, another scene in France.
    The tide rises at Pourville, whitecaps dancing.
    The setting sun backlights and silhouettes French field workers.
    The Islets at Port-Villez whirl in mauve, chartreuse, turquoise.
    The symmetry of the Doge’s Palace in Venice juxtaposes with the
    wild yellow glint of sunlight off the canal.
    The cathedral at Vernon stands like a sentry.
    At Moret a flood hints mild threats to the red-roofed houses.
    A French apple tree blooms, an odd gray-mauvey color.
    The vineyards and gardens at Cagnes envelop the reader lady.

    At Bellport, Long Island, bathers scatter in the water.
    Three Gibson Girls sit primly on an American hillside.
    Poppies—red, pink, peach, white—bloom on the Isle of Shoals.
    A lone man in a wagon drives a single horse up
    a grass-overgrown road.
    The Willimantic Thread Factory stands symmetrical, white,
    and window-lined.
    Children rollerskate with abandon in a city.
    A lighthouse towers stark-white, perhaps in New England.
    In Central Park, the early spring manifests in baby-leafed trees.
    A woman dressed in red and wearing a yellow-cream straw hat
    reads beside the water at La Roche-Guyon.

    The farmer harvests hay at La Marcellarie.
    Muted gray-greens dominate the scene at a French homestead.
    A tug chugs into the harbor at Honfleur.
    An afternoon passes in the shadows of straight trees at the river at Graz.
    Light plays on the stream at Val d’Aosta.

    My whirlwind tour takes my breath,
    yet leaves me wanting more.
    In one morning, I was whisked away to France
    and swept back to America to new sights there.
    In the space of a few hours,
    I traveled and became wiser and
    satieted with beauty.

  24. Judy Roney

    The Search

    We moved to St. Petersburg, the Poconos, Plant City,
    Brandon, and then to a mountain in Maggie Valley.

    We searched in Asheville, Waynesville, Franklin
    and Bryson City, Tampa, Brandon, Seffner, Tennesee
    and Texas.

    We moved to a condo, an apartment, a home with land,
    two different mountain ranges, and then to the ocean.

    We went to Italy, tried to retrace our steps when we
    were there with you, we walked through Rome and
    Venice, to the glacier we skied on in the alps.

    We walked the streets of New York to just be in the
    same places you once walked, ate at the places we ate
    saw the same museums and took the same tours.

    We went to Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, Portland,
    Savannah, Georgia, North Carolina, on my mom’s
    porch in South Carolina, at my brother’s homes in
    Nashville, Kissimmee, Winter Haven, Orlando, Prosperity,
    to our families in Texas, in Garland, Richardson, Corinth,
    and we find ourselves still searching for you.

  25. S Scott Whitaker


    Came out of California with a knife and a car
    And scar across my heart so wide it would take years
    Before I could say more than a few words to lovers.
    Went on through Ohio and stayed because I had nothing
    And decided to be a layabout for a while.
    Then table waiting in Kentucky, floor washing in Virginia
    And then tomato picking before the farmer
    Offered me a job at his stand. He wanted sex, too
    And I was so thick by then I let him have his bidding
    With my body. Then onto Philly and Boston.
    Half way through the fall I decided New England
    Was too much and ended up here in Florida.
    I figured you can’t sweat to death, right?
    By January I had transformed into my mother
    Only thing missing was the truck driver
    In the kitchen, the gin, the jerky way of my wrist
    From all the speed and coke. The only way out
    Of the portal is for me to stop its construction.
    I vowed then that to have children was forbidden.
    That the only way to save myself from myself
    Was death at the end of a long life of loneliness,
    That or maybe the church. My mother would cry
    With tears at that one. Next winter it’s Seattle
    I got some friends out there; they got things going on,
    And I like the rain, especially when I’m driving
    And the radio reels in those voices and it’s like
    They’re speaking only to me. Like someone has reached down
    And touched you. That kind of love you can’t beat, no way.

  26. Rodney C. Walmer

    Linda, you are truly talented. But, this one today, was beyond your usual work. Very very meaningful, and thought provoking poem. I usually have time to read, but none to write comments, this time I had to comment.