AN OZARKS FOURTH OF JULY
—Donal Mahoney, Belleville, IL
World War II was over but still
fresh in the minds of folks who lived
in Bill’s hometown in the Ozarks.
Independence Day was important.
It called for a celebration.
When his father had the money,
and that was rare, he would buy
a lamb for the Fourth of July.
He'd roast the animal on a spit
in the yard, turning it slowly
and dousing it with mop sauce.
Bill was 10 on the Fourth in 1948.
His job was to make the ice cream
turning the crank on the freezer.
His relatives would watch in the yard
and laugh and yell when he had
to pause and go to the bathroom.
Banana ice cream, his father’s
favorite, had to be just right.
Never stop turning the crank.
In 1948, there were no parades
in town or concerts on TV.
No television sets back then and
the town was too small for a parade.
But after the Great War, people
in the Ozarks were quietly proud
of their independence, not silent
or oblivious as Bill believes
some Americans are today.
—Ann Privateer, Davis, CA
No more food,
books, or aspirin
no more to give.
Help the helpless,
bring us back
to one, no one
AN IMPERVIOUS UMBRELLA
There are no
in the valley of the sun
where the spirit
comes before the closed door
where the Maltese cat
licks the buttered bowl
where ghosts still fall in love
where the gaunt woman smiles
there are no guilty people
beneath an impervious umbrella.
THE TORCH IS LIT
—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA
It is sinner time
Sinner school for some
Break out the sinner swimwear
Simmer in sinner
Turn on the TV
Visit an eatery
ESL not going well?
Try the sinner special
All season long
I just gave myself a ********** horoscope!
We visited the pubic library
To gaze at those pubic records
Together, no surprises
The librarian would not, could not
Give us a private booth
So we sat in the pubic area
The hotter we got
The hotter she got
That just made it more fun
So it was out to the
Pubic beach with their
Pubic bathing areas
We were a couple
FUNNY HOW FREEDOM WORKS
High school grad
I knew what there was to know
And this was a full half century ago
Didn’t see it
No recollection, no terrible fear
Wooden crutches for a year
Got lifts from friends
Sometimes rode the bus
But waiting and waiting was such a fuss
I walked home 7 miles
It was fun
Longer strides than a normal gait
Completely free to skip the wait
Life is good
KEEPS ME AWAKE AT NIGHT
On the One Hand:
We need to bring back
Cruel and unusual punishment
Because ever since it was suspended
The criminal element has subjected us
To ever more cruel and dastardly
We put our justice system on overdrive to
Apprehend, prosecute, convict and
Punish people using the law of the land
But the intended message is just not
Reaching the people who cause us
From felons who have the mind of a cave man
To others who have an IQ to rival the judge
Our punishments are too polite, clinical, and sterile
Thus we overfill our prisons with people who willfully
Choose to dismiss any threat of consequences, short of
So enough is enough already!!!
Restore punishments that will really work to
Deter the criminal behavior that so consumes us
Bring on the pain big time, acid baths, cut off heads
Remove limbs, tongues, eyes, any and all comforts
Now we’re talking!
On the Other Hand:
All too often we get it
And we convict and execute people who were
Of the charges pending against them.
recalling, propelling, flying
straying, staying, whirling
gazing down, spiraling up
wondering, emptying, knowing
returning, staying, sleeping
Our thanks to this July 3, pre-Independence Day crew of poets for their various/colorful takes on Freedom, our Seed of the Week, and other things. And welcome back to Donal Mahoney who has been un-free in the hospital for almost two months!
Tonight the Sac. Poetry Center will present the Under 30 Poetry Project Reading and open mic, 25th & R Sts., 7:30pm. Check it out!
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then click on the X in the top right corner to come back