Archives for posts with tag: friendship

Monongahela Incline in Pittsburgh, PA.
i am brave
by Linda M. Crate

fishing through my mind for a good memory,
this one comes to mind: when marcie, alicia,
and i went to pittsburgh;

it was a fun day out in the sun celebrating
the birthdays of alicia and i—

i think my favorite part was the part that
scared me the most,
having a terrible fear of heights the incline
wasn’t the most comfortable of feats for me;

but i faced my fear and showed myself that
i could do difficult things—

sometimes you don’t know the power of
a moment
until it’s gone,

but i will never forget that despite my fear
i pressed on;

so whenever tells me i am a coward
or i am weak
i will steel myself with the knowledge that i am brave.

PHOTO: Monongahela Incline in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a funicular designed in 1870.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I read through the prompt of “one good memory,” and I thought surely there must be one good memory to think of. As I sat down to think about it, however, I found the process a little more difficult until I saw a picture of me with my friends standing at the top of the incline with the backdrop of Pittsburgh skyscrapers behind us. That was a really good, fun day and so I decided to immortalize that memory in this poem.

PHOTO: The author (center) with her best friend Alicia (left) and their friend Marcie (right). Taken July 2021 at the Monongahela Incline in Pittsburgh, PA.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Linda M. Crate (she/her) is a Pennsylvanian writer whose poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has 11 published chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press, June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon, January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017),  splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018), More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019), the samurai (Yellow Arrowing Publishing, October 2020), Follow the Black Raven (Alien Buddha Publishing, July 2021), Unleashing the Archers (Guerilla Genesis Press, August 2021), Hecate’s Child (Alien Buddha Publishing, November 2021) and fat & pretty (Dancing Girl Press, June 2022). She’s also written three micro-chapbooks: Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018), moon mother (Origami Poems Project, March 2020), and & so I believe (Origami Poems Project, April 2021). She is also the author of the novella Mates (Alien Buddha Publishing, March 2022).

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The Summer Tree
by Clive Collins

One day that August you took me to a park in Bovey Tracey
where I stood with you beneath a tree full dressed for summer,
a canopy of Lincoln green in Devon, and I was happy in ways
beyond my power to explain.

Months gone since then. How long I am without the means to say.
A year? Another year’s full quarter? Does it, after all, much matter?
But, for my birthday, then or maybe it was later, you sent a card
of what I think must be that summer tree.

Which I have kept caged now in a little frame I found. Tiny really,
planed white-painted wood edging in the green, the day, the season.
It sits upon a shelf, ambered by fancy, momentary memoir,
sweet joy recalled.

PHOTO: Bovey Tracey, Devon, England. Photo found at Parke, National Trust, Bovey Tracey.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In August 2011, I stayed with an old friend who lives in Devon, England.  We rented a holiday cottage on Dartmoor and one day visited the small town of Bovey Tracey, where we walked in Mill Marsh Park. It was there I saw what I now always think of as the summer tree. Sometime later my friend sent me a card featuring a watercolour painting of a tree in full leaf. I kept the card, framed it, and wrote “The Summer Tree.”

PHOTO: Framed card in the author’s home. The image on the card is a print by Devon artist Susan Deakin.  Find her work at suedeakin.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in Leicester, England but now long resident in Japan, Clive Collins is the author of two novels, The Foreign Husband (Marion Boyars) and Sachiko’s Wedding (Marion Boyars/ Penguin Books). Misunderstandings, a collection of short stories, was joint-winner of the Macmillan Silver PEN Award in 1994. He was a short-listed finalist in the 2009 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction.  Carried Away and Other Stories is now available from Red Bird Chapbooks.

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As I call my poet friend Sharon in Arizona
by Abha Das Sarma

Springing army of hands
grip from sides of the lazy-boy couch,
contrasting in color to my hair
now a pure white.

Get the hair brush, quick—
commands the elder by three years
as the little one shoots back and forth
with combs, headbands and a box full of hair coils.

No, not black! Get the others—
Which color do you like, Dida? the sisters chatter.

Is it Sharon? Sharon in Arizona? I try to hear
still in captivity of tiny fingers,
Yes, I’m calling from San Francisco.

My granddaughters continue to part my hair
into as many strands as the colors of ties—
Alcot and Merry still at my feet
purring, their tails up, joining in celebration,
sensing ultimate victory as I surrender
to pulling, plaiting, and simply knotting.

Why don’t you comb mine?
I hear my husband say in distance—
After you color them white
the answer is clear, a blessing
that I have carried for the last thirty years.

Oh Sharon, are you still there—
Can you hear my granddaughters?

Two faces and four eyes swoop over my mobile
swift as an eagle on its prey contemplating flight
with growing dusk and fading light.

I’m going back to India in two days
I struggle to complete—
Is Sharon your friend? the eldest asks,
Yes. Would you like to talk to her?

There is silence—
It is ok to be shy, I tell them
as I say goodbye to Sharon.
My granddaughters continue to install a bun
out of my scant hair
with the dedication of a monk.

IMAGE: Telephone lines by Ray Wong.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I miss my granddaughters, the way they would surround me, push me and take charge of my hair, their tiny fingers working swiftly, parting and pulling it. I never imagined that graying can be such a blessing, giving me some of the best moments of my life.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: An engineer and management consultant by profession, Abha Das Sarma gets most enjoyment from writing. She has a blog of over 200 poems and her poetry has appeared in Muddy River Poetry Review, Spillwords, Verse-Virtual, Visual Verse, Sparks of Calliope, The Ekphrastic Review, and Trouvaille Review, among others. She spent her growing up years in small towns of northern India, and currently lives in Bengaluru.

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How to Stay Connected During a Pandemic
by Nina Bennett

Forget Zoom. Order colored pens, note cards,
stickers. Wait three weeks to hear a thud
as the package is tossed on your stoop. Select
a pen, fuchsia or teal, begin. Find a pithy
upbeat quote, copy it on the card with butterflies
migrating across the front. Write with calligraphy
you taught yourself while awaiting your order.
Push beyond I miss you. Try I remember
the day we met for happy hour, and you sang
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer along with the jukebox.
Include praise—I hear your voice, true as a mountain
stream—and an affirmation—Thoughts of getting together
sustain me. Close with a wish. This can be simple,
such as I wish we lived closer. Dig through desk
drawers for a stamp, and as you place the letter
in your mailbox, picture your best friend trudging
through snow to her mailbox.

Photo by Olga Zarytska, used by permission.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My best friend of 42 years lives a little more than an hour away. We used to see each other frequently, including girlfriend weekends away, but Covid has put a temporary halt to our get-togethers.

PHOTO: The author (left) with her best friend, Michele.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of The House of Yearning, Mix Tape, and Sound Effects (Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series). Her poetry has been nominated for the Best of the Net, and has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications, including South85, I-70 Review, Gargoyle, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review. Awards include 2019 finalist Jack Grapes Poetry Prize, 2014 Northern Liberties Review Poetry Prize, and second-place in poetry book category from the Delaware Press Association (2014). Nina is a founding member of the writing group TransCanal Writers, publisher of Five Bridges: A Literary Anthology.

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Hiding What Could Be
by Barbara Eknoian

If I wear a mask
and you wear one too,
how will we get to know
the real us?
On the surface
you may appear
snobby, disinterested,
hiding your shyness,
and I might hide
under my mask
because I fear rejection.
Let’s take a chance
and stop hiding
under masks
and reveal our true selves
tender and caring.
Or else we might find out
too late
that we could have been
soul mates.

PAINTING: “The entrance of the masked dancers” by Edgar Degas (1879).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Among some people, I’ve always felt shy. They never really got to know the real me.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Eknoian’s work has appeared in Pearl, Chiron Review, Cadence Collective Anthology, Red Shift, and Silver Birch Press’s Silver, Green, Summer, and Self-Portrait anthologies. She is a long-time member of Donna Hilbert’s poetry workshop in Long Beach, CA. Her recent novel, Hearts on Bergenline Avenue, is available at Amazon.

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 ”Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” MARCEL PROUST, author of Remembrance of Things Past

Illustration: Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh by E.H. Shepard

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“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ALBERT SCHWEITZER  

ILLUSTRATION: Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet by E.H. Shepard

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Morning Poem 
by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser

I want to describe my life in hushed tones
like a TV nature program. Dawn in the north.
His nose stalks the air for newborn coffee.

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Find more poems by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser in BRAIDED CREEK: A Conversation in Poetry, available at Amazon.com.

Illustration: Label by Ray Troll for “Wicked Wolf: Raven’s Brew Gourmet Coffee” available at ravensbrew.com.

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AUTUMN 
by Taigu Ryōkan (1758-1831)

My beloved friend
You and I had a sweet talk,
Long ago, one autumn night.
Renewing itself
The year has rumbled along,
That night still in memory.

Illustration: “Early Autumn” by Qian Xuan (1235-1305)

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Night Poem
by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser

The moon put her white hands 
on my shoulders, looked into my face,
and without a word
sent me on into the night. 

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Find more poems by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser in BRAIDED CREEK: A Conversation in Poetry, available at Amazon.com.