by Colin Wirth
Towels are very useful.
A simple, white, cotton terry towel can come in handy often.
Douglas Adams says that a man who can travel to the farthest reaches
Of the galaxy and still know where his towel is
Is a man to be reckoned with.
Towels can be a shield, a comfort,
A censor and a godsend,
Especially when hot sand is concerned.
We place them at our feet,
Lie on them,
Wrap them around us,
Lay them on top of us,
And cover our heads with them.
How strange it is
That an unknown towel,
Given the premise that it is clean,
Is picked up and used as if it were familiar.
They're the only strangers that some people trust.
Flashing Red Coke Sign
by Renee Kelly
Below the flashing red Coke sign with its bulbs furiously
flashing crimson and cream colors, stands
a flapping American flag perfectly perched above a frantic
city street while men and women dressed in rustled suits scurry
to cross before the wave of yellow taxi cabs crashes
across an intersection soiled with flyers, newspapers, wrappers strewn
among screaming teens admirably looking up, jumping
at the wall of celebrity tainted MTV windows while ignoring
the cop sitting sternly atop his valiant white horse, trotting
back and forth, passing the homeless mother of two starving, sobbing
in a corner underneath a patriotic Pepsi ad proudly displaying
Britney Spears and her glossy smile staring
down at the square of hustle, overpaid CEO's and Starbucks lattes steamed
to perfection and still no time to stop before the clock strikes
but somehow, an American teenager manages to stand, embrace
and fully absorb the honking horns, annoying pigeons and the beauty
of a moment so silent, even the flashing red Coke sign slows
so she can fully savor the refreshing buzz of a New York minute.
The Creation of Adam
by Ann Youngquist
The fresco depicts an old man -
muscular, aloof, clothed.
His body ceremoniously supported
on the shoulders of shadowy figures,
Lost in the paint and brightness of
his white robes. He looks down his hand,
powerfully, as if pointing out his flight path.
His finger points right past the other
figure in the fresco. An ordinary man -
flaccid, young, naked.
In opposition to his out of reach elder,
He supports his body on the cold stone
of earth. His finger never quite reaching
as he looks up, pleadingly, at
the unseeing face of the one on high.
A Sinful Man Composes a Poem
by Patrick Hawkins
As I began to write, and took up pen,
I pondered on the substance and the form
of the poem to be borne. Then evil
thoughts crept in; I, distracted, started to tear
the sheet of paper, still blank. A mystic
wandered by, bottle
in hand. He carried the bottle
As if it were a precious gift. I moved my pen
across a new page, trying to capture the mystic
before me, not worrying about form.
He sat down on the grass by my bus bench, a tear
starting to build in his eye. He told me that an evil
force was making its presence known, an evil
being that brought naught but ruin (swig from the bottle)
and destruction. This being was going on a tear
through all the hearts and minds of those who would pen
up other humans, eat high fructose corn syrup, and form
alliances. I thought that the mystic
had drunk too much. I didn't think him a mystic
yet; I had too much evil
in my life to form
good judgments about a bum with a bottle
distracting me from my pen.
I went back to my notebook, trying to tear
my mind from the smelly man with a tear
in his bloodshot eye, a mystic
who watched me as I moved my pen
across the page. ``The evil
being needs folk like you'' he said, bottle
starting to move to his lips. The form
of the statement startled me; I wouldn't form
a recruiting slogan for a being I denounced. The tear
in the eye of the mystic
started to roll down his cheek, and into his bottle.
``I doubt that any particular evil
being needs me to help him.'' I said, and took up my pen.
And ink from my pen started to form
words that would bottle up all the evil
seen by the mystic, words that brought forth his tears.