NYR iOS app Android app More

The Fur

Iain S. Thomas   |   March 23, 2015    9:16 AM ET


Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.


The picture and words in this poem appear in the book I Wrote This For You. Photography © Jon Ellis.

Sunrise at High Noon

Amy Elias, MS   |   March 2, 2015    5:05 PM ET

Read More: poem, poetry, huffpoetry


Sunrise at the high noon
Angels sent you to my side
Doubts arising like the full moon
As our hearts silently collide.

The Gods must know the plan --
That higher power thinking of us
As we meet, greet and take command
Of the free, take holds of everlasting lust.

Look way up high, so far above
the stars realign like jupiter and Mars
Showing me the magnetic love
that tugs my orbit like strings on your guitar.

We don't have to speak
We mind meld with eyes flirt
You touch me and my soul gets weak
You hold me and I never feel hurt

We grew up near, yet so far
you lived, you loved and I prayed
That someday, under the brightest star
You'd come, as love, as a total fair trade.

Been years without love,
Been years without you
finally got my chance, love
To fall head over heels, with you

Sunrise at the high noon
Angels sent you to my side
Doubts arising like the full moon
As our hearts silently collide.

To fall head over heels, with you.


Logan Nakyanzi Pollard   |   February 25, 2015    1:36 PM ET

Self-portrait, copyright Logan Nakyanzi Pollard

I met a homeless man once
who drew my picture in pencil on a subway
street people I have encountered
strangely have been the most peaceful people
to me
this man who drew me
it was beautiful
and yet weirdly
I got up and walked away
How could that be me?
I was lost then.

So one day I said Self
Draw a picture of yo-self.

[If u ask a child s/he will not say
Oh I can't draw!
They just do.

Or, are.
I'm a fireman!
a butterfly!
and a doctor!]

Remember your own
Even if it's a dream
That was lost
Or taken
Find it again.

The world can lie
when silly and fearful and jealous
But --
you are brave
and wise and generous.

We are what we make ourselves
And true vision is seeing the light
And the unseen.

I have scars
the time I tried parcours -- running
scraping swing-set bike surgery
the battle and other things
I wear them like ransom
but now I see beyond this
I see what overcame
why I lived
what I learned
what never, never gives in
I see what is peaceful
I see what the artist saw
finally --
and I know.

B. told me long ago they fade with time
she was so right.
Such a profound statement from my friend, who had no faith
but I know she had it --
once, I've found it like a jewel.
now I can finally see for both of us
for many of us
not always looking outward
But inside.
Look inside.
And draw.

--Originally published at findcreatejoy.com © Logan Nakyanzi Pollard. All rights reserved.

Two Poems Commemorating Vietnam's End

J. Randall O'Brien   |   February 20, 2015   12:57 PM ET

Read More: Vietnam War, huffpoetry

On Coming Home From Nam

She cried as he left
clinging to his Saint Christopher chaining around her neck
eyes kissing his as he pressed his face against the bus window for one last embrace.

He cried as he read her letter
clinging to his dreams dying in the important war
eyes waterfalling as he pressed his nose against her perfumed envelope for one last taste.

She cried when he came home
clinging to her prayers that the shrapnel had not been hers
eyes begging as the soldiers pressed the flag over the box and lowered it to its resting place.

END. J. Randall O'Brien

* * * *

Ode to Nam on the 40th Anniversary of its End

He came home from Nam
but never made it back.
I saw him last just before he left for the war.

We all celebrated his return
his presence being our only lack.
Glasses with cheers were raised repeatedly before

We noticed his eyes and long hair were with us
but not his mind.
After the party he walked to the local Vietnam Memorial
and killed himself real fine.


J. Randall O'Brien
February 20, 2015

We Have to Stop Meeting Like This

Lisa M. Sodeika   |   February 18, 2015    4:44 PM ET

So many meetings, so little time. We've all been there -- from the PTA to the corporate board room -- we're drowning in ineffective, poorly planned meetings, frustrated that we can't get better organized to save ourselves precious time for innovation and implementation.

If you can find at least five problems with Mary's Little Meeting, there's hope for you yet!

Mary Had A Little Meeting

Mary had a special Project,
its mission big and bold,
And everywhere that Mary went
she dreamt of Project goals.

Wanting lots of buy-in
fear of failure at the core,
Mary set her first team call
inviting thirty-four.

Attendees living coast-to-coast
received a one- day notice;
No time for proper protocol,
the Project was her focus.

A report laid out the problems
and described the project needs;
Forget that it was way too long,
the key points lost in weeds.

Adding an agenda,
Mary rushed to start her meeting;
Then waited for her peers to join,
but they were few and fleeting.

Oh so many no-shows
and four attendee "fill-ins,"
volunteered by managers,
but could not make decisions.

Another five said Hello
then put themselves on mute,
unhappy they were asked to join
during their 6:00 a.m. commute.

Three over-achievers studied the report
And read the agenda in advance;
they debated Mary throughout the call,
saying her Project had no chance.

Mary tried to explain why she scheduled the call,
desperately noting Project completion by Fall.
The meeting ran over, her colleagues squirmed --
Mary summed up next steps; no one confirmed.

Oh why did Mary love this special Project so,
but had no idea which way to go?
After much reflection, Mary conceded --
another meeting was just what was needed.

The Wet Foot / Dry Foot Song (With Apologies to Dr. Seuss)

Alfred J. López   |   February 18, 2015    2:40 PM ET

Wet foot, wet foot,
Dry foot, Dry.
Beach in the morning.
Beach at night.
Wet foot, wet foot, wet foot, Dry.
This one can stay,
Those go bye bye.

Sand feet, surf feet.
White feet, black feet.
Right foot, wrong foot.
Feet, feet, feet.
How many feet
The Coast Guard meet.

Slow feet, Quick feet.
Tricked feet, sicked feet.
Free feet, caught feet.
Sold and bought feet.
Small feet, big feet.
Capitalist pig feet.
His feet, her feet.
Famous Elian feet.

On the beach,
Then on the street
How many, many
Feet we meet.
Havanan feet,
Cap Haitien feet.
More and more feet
Can't-keep-score feet
Here come
More and more...
...and more feet!

Wet foot. Dry foot.
Feet. Feet. Feet.
How many feet
The Coast Guard meet!

The Bachelor Recapped in Rhyme

Samantha Rodman PhD   |   February 16, 2015   10:24 PM ET


Chris walks down the streets of his town

And Becca turns his frown upside down

She wears yellow and radiates serenity

Or maybe that's actually a halo of virginity

Chris and Becca recline and canoodle

She's very sweet, so I think he'll say toodle

Since as we know from seeing him with Britt,

He only likes ladies who pull dramatic s%&t.

Becca is behaving pretty sycophantically

Which leads Chris to lean in and kiss her romantically.

In the women's house, the drama is back.

Britt says she's leaving, is she on crack?

Britt cries and cries about being Chris's wife

Which shows she is a wackadoo in real life.

Carly tries to strangle herself with her own hair

Sadly enough I doubt Chris would care.

Britt's delusions become paranoid

If she leaves, Carly will be overjoyed.

Jade the porn star is wearing high socks

Even in a stupid outfit she is a fox.

At the ceremony, Chris starts his speech

And Britt sucks up the spotlight like a crazy leech

She asks to have a moment alone

In a very dramatic tone

Britt apologizes to Chris from the bottom of her heart

And he doesn't know what to say, since he's not smart

Whoa- he may be shooting her down!

Maybe Prince Farming isn't such a clown.

Holy moly Britt is done!

She may be crazy but she was fun.

She cries as loudly as she's able

But Chris is unmoved, since she's just too unstable

I guess Kaitlyn is now the front runner.

She is smart, friendly, and a stunner.

Thus I hope she is sent home

So she won't have to live where the buffalo roam.

Britt keeps crying hysterically for a change

But Chris doesn't go back out, because she is deranged.

Who else will Chris now send packing?

Carly, because her sexiness is lacking.

My husband says Carly was the most compatible with Chris

And I'm all like WTF are you even watching this??

Men don't understand reality TV

But at least he usually watches with me.

Now hometown dates begin

And we'll get more clues about which girl might win.

Chris and Becca kayak with joy

As she has never previously brought home a boy

He sits at dinner with all of her relations

The family is bigger than many small nations.

Chris gets along with these affable folks

They would be the type to laugh at his "jokes."

"She's not an intimate person," says Becca's bitchy sis

Who is so jealous she could nearabout piss.

Now Chris talks to Becca's momma bear

Who tells Chris not to touch any other women or beware

The undermining sister tries to get in Becca's head

And ensure that she doesn't take Chris to bed.

Chris steals Becca from her family's clutches

And on a Ferris Wheel they share lingering touches.

In the land of the fried gator

Chris may end up being a devirginator.

Next, Whitney welcomes Chris to Illinois

And they look like J Crew models full of joy

She brings him to her place of work

Which is ironic as she would leave her career for this jerk

"I make corn, I can't imagine what it would be like to make babies," Chris states

And we all hope that he really doesn't know how to procreate.

Chris asks Whitney for her family's blessing for marriage

And Whitney visualizes the baby carriage.

Whitney's family seems pretty great

Chris is thinking he wants her to be his mate.

Then her sister brings up the idea of the small town

What's up with all the sisters cutting the women down?

It's Whitney's choice if she wants to hitch her wagon to a fool

Her sister is definitely not acting cool.

Whitney's sister won't say she approves of Chris

And Whitney is extremely pissed.

Whitney says she loves Prince Farming

Everyone seems to, which is alarming.

Now Chris goes to Canada to a recording studio

His rapping is bad but it puts Kaitlyn in the mood-io

Kaitlyn says her feelings for Chris are scary

I couldn't agree more and hope they don't marry

Kaitlyn's family seems supportive while they are dining

Maybe they won't be horrible and undermining.


Kaitlyn's mom seems warm and kind

And genuinely is letting Kaitlyn make up her own mind.

Kaitlyn surprises Chris with a billboard

So she loves him too, Oh Lord.

Now Chris visits Jade the Playboy Bunny

She hasn't told him that yet though, so that should be funny

Jade's dad says she's "too much" for other guys

The brother calls her a "wild mustang" which "opens Chris's eyes."

It seems to be time to tell him about the nudes

But that could put a damper on the overall mood.

Jade tells her dad she's changed and loves Prince Farming

Her dad cries, which is sweet and charming

Jade starts to tell Chris she's posed nude

Let's see if Chris is a laid back dude.

She offers to show him the naked shots

Chris can barely look her computer and is blushing lots

Chris says it doesn't bother him if she has posed nude

Whatever he is, at least he's not a prude.

Jade is relieved and loves Chris even more

Now that he didn't call her a whore.

Rose ceremony, what do you know

I say Becca will be the one to go

Holy moly he eliminated Jade

Guess the nude pictures made him afraid.

A girl willing to model that way

Isn't going to be fulfilled by cows and hay

Moral of the story is:

Tell guys earlier about your nude photos, gee whiz.

Jade cries and seems really upset.

I think she'll meet a new man while her tears are still wet.

Jade cries attractively as she departs

And Chris goes back in to his remaining sweethearts.

Next week Chris takes the ladies to Bali

And I will continue to document this folly.

However, the hell if I will ever rhyme again

My life is not long enough to stay up past ten.

Till we meet again, I remain

The Blogapist Who Hopes You Didn't Think This Was Lame

For more, visit Dr. Rodman at Dr. Psych Mom, on Facebook, and on Twitter @DrPsychMom.

Reaction Action Time

Amy Elias, MS   |   February 12, 2015    4:46 PM ET

What you do to pull me through
the reaction, the positioned postured action
of devolving, evolving spiraling
down to the bottomed out triangulation-
That's your action... Reaction.
Your step by step.

No action... reaction.
Placed just at the right place
with sticky tape stuck with old thoughts
stale air and crusty old hair stuck on your face
to silence the love action that could have come... but ne'er.

You avoid, you slack, you push away and back,
You slur, you stir, you're curt, you cry UNFAIR
To make even the field of team-playing stale, mate
for your own inside-out lack that you stack
the times you hurt -- against me, choke me, against you
all you and all those record times of reaction.
The attack and the smack away of
the new and the good- and them good ol' days-in a new way.
Thats your action. Reaction.

Chokeholds of no air
in a room where pointed fingers stare
into my face -- dare to not breathe -- in and out
While I listen to you shout with no doubt-
loud, as you breathe in a new reaction,
of no action -- with no oxygen even for a crowd
that stuns, stops and stalls and promises
more times of stave offs of the begin agains...
Action. Reaction.

Timekeeper, where are you?
Who has the stop watch that clocks
the match, the game, the mocks?
The words, the labels, the tables
uneven, still... I can't fight.
I'm no rock, nor the cock in the morning light
doodle-doing and only screwing
and fighting, as cocks do...like you.

No, I have a light, an empowered light
turned on by the moonlit sun
that promises new days begun, yet spun
with gifts of golden courageous might
to grow old, up and over-not having to be right, but together as one.

I take the flight up, and out of my life
and whisk up the stairs
to the depth in the deep dark
to the breath of fresh free air
to the pitch of the ebony-toned char nightlight
to be with you, my partner in a midnight kind of love --
and into my mind I play you -- again, on repeat.
You are the song within me, sung into me, sweet --
Your song in me with you -- oooh, my vision
Out of my misery... no longer your mission.

Action. Action up and away
to the promised land of the everyday
And of the hopeless chase,
the illusion of the fusion, again,
that time can't erase, yet one I must face.

I wait. I wish. I wonder
through the slumber
that is at best-unrest -- as my chest
rises and falls to the beat you make
of a heart broken off the wall like
Humpty Dumpty and his great fall.

In the springtime or the fall of my life
waiting for an action of no reaction.
Waiting for actions of utter delight
Given open-handedly, most candidly
in the airy free space of my bed, with room
presented free, embraced by the night
time of action, a-loving reaction action.
Never taken back by the lack of your
inside, your pride, as a continued moral deride.

No more heaves of swallowed tears
Or imaginings of another year.
No more wallows in the chase, the face of fear...
Or fearlessness of soft action, your one-of-a-kind desired suave reaction.
Hope ran dry as I reached out to the colors in your eyes, cold and cool, to leer.
But I heard them calling... I did.

I am free to be, oh so loved.
I am free to love and receive you from above.
I am free to be gently lured into the criss and the cross
of intersected strings of fuzzy, moist, potently wet life-giving earthy moss
that you plant around me, in me and water, with your sweet dripping heart.
I am free to be it all by the fullness of you.
I beg. Still.

My dream?
Go find you, that true blue cool you -- the fullest you.
Stop looking out, to see in.
And give that to me.
One Day. Any Day.
Live to Give. Give to Live.
Act. React. Attract.
Me, in every way.



Amy Elias, MS   |   January 28, 2015   10:34 AM ET


Turn me on
With your sweet desire
To please - to appease
To admire, in this hour.

You want- I want.
With Our bodies near
The pulse of my woman
Rides your fluid hand.

It reaches. It touches.
It brushes. It rushes
Up from the toes
To the open flower
I'll call my soul.

Mates as we are
In another place
Or time. Even space.
Drawn together souls
Soul Lifetime Mates.

The yearn of the spin
That whirling twirling
Of my mind -my heart
As you dance behind me
Catching my breath
In the nape of my neck
That you tell me is mine
For you only --it's meant
That only you, know the scent
And you're full with me.

My womanly desire knows
As the mix master
you play me so well.
With your beat, your throb
I am your band, your instrument, the piece
You pick, pluck and strum
To the hmmmmm of my hum.

Your pleasure you say
Is to please, please and please.
Who could it be? Me.
Never before was that the gift.
But never before did I want to stay
Full, with you, and my woman
Slides, slopes and slithers deeper into
The wrapped, woven depths
Of endless summers, weeks and days.
Mostly... endless yous.

I hear your want.
I want your want.
I never knew.
I want to know.
That you loving you
Nudges me closer
To you wanting me
Me wanting you
Pulling me magnetically
As I'm so,
so very in-
Into you.


Margaret H. Freydberg   |   January 27, 2015   12:16 PM ET

Read More: blizzard, poetry, huffpoetry

It takes courage to see beauty
in a world spread deep and silent
with interminable whiteness;
and to keep on being awed
by such uncommon splendor
while trying to suppress
a fundamental fear
of being buried by it.

But know it as it is:
Beauty is everlasting.
And winter's burial is not.
Underneath cold winter bone,
the flesh of summer sleeps.


This poem will appear in the upcoming book Poems from the Pond: The writings and wisdom of Peggy Freydberg.