The Poetry Porch presents

the sonnet scroll x

Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Wilson


Cash Cow
By Victor Howes

    Cash cow, I raised you from a spindly calf.
    I nourished you with nickels, dimes, and quarters.
    Now that you’re grown, don’t let’s do things by half,
    Bring living dividends, bring lowing daughters,
    Bring milky mothers ambling down the pike.
    Butter me wealthy, whip me cream a-plenty,
    Lead in those heavy heifers that I like,
    Let each wear in her horns a crisp new twenty.
    I hear those bells. I see those swaying beeves.
    Why keep me waiting till the cows come home?
    Where have they wandered, to some den of thieves?
    Cash cow, cash cow, O wither do you roam?
    Are all my dreams but fading hopes of last year,
    And all my yesterdays still out to pasture?

    Copyright © 2010 by Victor Howes

Eve’s Boast
By Victor Howes

    Adam was lonely in his garden, slept
    Mateless, alone on an unpeopled planet,
    Watered his lettuce, pulled the weeds, and wept
    Among his plants, his animals, his granite.
    So he complained. The Maker sent him ease
    For pain, and from his ribcage drew one rib
    To form a mate. He knew what shape would please
    A lonely man. This is not any fib:
    Adam was moulded out of clay, damp earth,
    But I arose from bone and living tissue.
    No heaping up of dust brought me to birth—
    Women, we women are of finer issue.
    You might say Adam’s made of sterner stuff—
    But, well, you get my drift. I’ve said enough.

    Copyright © 2010 by Victor Howes

Three-headed Dog
By Victor Howes

    A stranger tricked me. I learned to my cost
    It was Aeneas threw me opiates.
    Drugs. When I woke he had sneaked past Hell’s gates
    Where I stood guard. Fired! Finished. I was lost.
    Where can a lost three-headed dog find home?
    Who in the upper world wants such a freak?
    Could poet Virgil keep me, back in Rome?
    I eat a case of dog food in a week.
    Think hard. I’m thinking. Using all three heads.
    Could I perhaps sing opera? Howl Otello?
    Or maybe Tosca? Bawl three roles instead
    Of merely one? Am I that clever fellow?
    Call me a lucky dog. Would that be classy?
    I might find fame. I might. Then watch out Lassie!

    Copyright © 2010 by Victor Howes

    Organismic Compensation
    By C. B. Anderson

    Resilience and fragility go hand
    in hand. An organism is a whole
    dependent on its smallest part. The role
    each cell, each separate organ plays—a gland
    secreting crucial hormones, or a strand
    of muscle tissue tailored to control
    the focus of the eye—subserves the goal
    of making sure the body works as planned.

    The failure of a single system spells
    calamity, and yet one often hears
    of compensations: cortical brain cells
    performing tasks for damaged ones; deaf ears
    assisted by an eye which somehow tells
    what lips say; hearts thus broken shedding tears.

    Copyright © 2010 by C. B. Anderson

    A Dim View from Above
    By C. B. Anderson

    The rocking chair inside the screened gazebo
    Is worn and rickety, but it must do
    As staging for the ritual placebo
    Of gazing out across the pond. A screw
    Has loosened where a rafter joins the wall,
    Unnoticed till long after labor for
    The day is done—no man can do it all.

    A spider weaves a web above the door.

    The single man is lost, and that is why
    So many marry. Structures boasting screens
    Forfend the creatures swarming in the sky
    That make a killing field of village greens.

    The work, the rest, the worry, und so weiter
    Are unimagined whimsy for the spider.

    Copyright © 2010 by C. B. Anderson

    By Tony Peek

    Don’t send that email to your mum just yet
    She might not understand what we’ve been through
    Or care about the true cause of our debt
    When she herself has many problems too
    Perhaps it’s better for us to pretend
    That all is fine and that we can afford
    To live without the money she might lend
    If our electronic begging strikes a chord?
    For must we not each face life on our own
    And try to make ends meet when fortune shrugs?
    Perhaps I should take back my mobile phone
    Or maybe we can give up drink and drugs?
    But lets not ask your mum, who’s such a snob
    She’ll probably just suggest I find a job.

    Copyright © 2010 by Tony Peek

    For Gluttony
    By Tony Peek

    For Gluttony keeps me busy, just like greed
    I love to shop for things that I adore
    Though buy one get one free’s not all I need
    But more and more and more and more and more
    Six cars and sixteen brand new shiny suits
    Three houses and a twenty-five foot yacht
    Ten pairs of sixteen hundred dollar boots
    Another golden bling-ring like I’ve got
    So tell me why you think that I should share
    When everything’s still not enough for me
    You cannot win, but why should winners care
    If you can’t feed your children. Can’t you see
    That Capitalism doesn’t make mistakes?
    The rich man should be proud of what he takes

    Copyright © 2010 by Tony Peek

By Paul Fraleigh

    He’s not sure why he has this urge to write—
    Perhaps it’s just compulsion. Maybe still
    It’s all a futile wish to match the skill
    Of those old masters of poetic flight
    That keeps him weighing, night by sleepless night,
    Each word, each syllable, each stress, until,
    Dawn’s chiding beams into his ponderings spill.
    And though he never may attain that height
    Of fame those bards acquired, taking his wing
    In ever-upward flight as flawlessly
    Above the Helicon mountain’s sacred spring,
    He still can know that rare delight to see
    His own creations take on form and hue—
    That very same delight those masters knew.

    Copyright © 2010 by Paul Fraleigh

Monet Paints the Cathedral
By Ann E. Michael

    You stood before the cathedral: looked up
    at the rose window, at the peak of roof,
    at sky; you stood for hours as daylight made
    your shadow long beside you and rebuffed
    you for your goal: to memorize all light,
    the way it flexes, bends, and climbs hand over
    foot on balustrades and arches high
    above crowned saints. You watched each season cover
    stone with hue: Lent, purple as bruised fog,
    late Easter blooming with the callery pear,
    gold-red autumn’s dusky parapets.
    So many days entranced in visual prayer,
    you understood the light. Began to trace,
    with your brush, the changed cathedral’s face.

    Copyright © 2010 by Ann E. Michael

By Ann E. Michael

    The witnesses are called to tell us what
    they heard or saw, no more; the judge decreed
    speculation’s for the court of gossip,
    it isn’t where the questioning should lead.

    “Reasonable” men—or women—are,
    in juries, made from those who otherwise
    are not so wise and let emotion sear
    their lives—branding them with love and lies—

    but in the jury box, as listeners
    and peers, a ruling’s less uncomfortable,
    seems less their own. The heat of yearning’s gone,
    even the weight of law seems manageable
    within their minds. They find they can decide.

    Once dismissed, though, love and anger wrangle outside.

    Copyright © 2010 by Ann E. Michael

    By Lee Evans

    “You can’t read that? It’s up there plain as day;
    No wonder you’re not doing well in school,
    If you can’t see the blackboard! Time, my boy,
    For you to have your eyes checked.”
                                                            That’s the arc
    My learning curve described; and even now,
    Myopic in more ways than one, and sure
    I see clear truth in what is just a blur,
    I am too apt to over-generalize.

    A trip to the optometrist soon proved
    That what I needed was to feast my eyes
    Through the corrective lenses he prescribed.

    “Voila!” he said, as he drew back the shades.
    I stared across the parking lot, surprised
    At seeing autumn leaves for the first time!

    Copyright © 2010 by Lee Evans

    Bee Balm
    By Donna Johnson

    You arrive in June in bergamot frock,
    and for two weeks a shocking pink bejewels
    your head—coronation of homely stalk,
    the fluffed top knot of a starlet’s poodle.
    Next to foxglove’s smooth and dappled orchid,
    your tinted Mohawk looks disheveled, punk.
    If rose is pure scarlet ego; you’re id,
    minty leaves seeking unabated sun.
    You were an afterthought—easy grower—
    not adored like my black-hearted poppies.
    The hummingbird stops darting to hover
    slowly, mesmerized by your nectaries,
    as if it knows its beak’s narrow lumen
    can admit such pleasure only in drams.

    Copyright © 2010 by Donna Johnson

    By Thomas Gothers

    The heat came in overnight
    and pulled back our sheets
    I woke up so early
    you were lying there
    with your hip uncovered
    a silhouette in the early light
    of summer

    I went to the balcony
    and watched the sun rise
    so early it was low
    on the horizon, slow to move
    through the trees
    not wanting to wake
    up either

    Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Gothers