Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Loaded with convincing reasons to go..." by Mark W. Ó Brien



"Sunset Road."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015/17

My father loved his big Irish Catholic family. One of the things he always wanted was a house to support it and a car to move us around in comfortably. In 1960 he got the house, but it took a few more years before he achieved the vehicle necessary to haul us all at once. That car, was a Madeira Maroon colored '67 Vista Cruiser! Equipped with a "Jetfire Rocket V8" engine powered by 315 horses, a sporty "Vista View Roof" and the patented "forward facing third seat" that "made everyone feel like members of the family!"

Three years separated my younger brother and I from our three older siblings. They sat together in the middle row of seats and enjoyed the "Unique Tinted Glass Vista Roof Views" as we tore down the highway. In many ways my younger brother and I were more like a second family. Although we faced forward, we knew we were in the caboose and tended to watch scenery out the back window instead.

Most weekends during the summer months Mom and Dad would take us up to the local John Boyd Thatcher State Park, in the nearby Helderberg Mountains, for family picnics. I remember hiking the Indian ladder trail, swimming in Thatcher Park pool, and playing tag with my siblings along the split rail fence lining the cliff edge. All the while the smell of hamburgers and hotdogs wafted about on the breeze...

Afterwards, just for fun, or to make the day last a little bit longer I suppose, at my Mom's request Dad would often drive the long way home through the mountains. Those were happy times, their sunsets and landscaped silhouettes left lasting impressions in my mind.

My thoughts would drift and blur with the activities of the day...

I learned to appreciate
how life and beauty recede 
out the back window.

~

© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015/17


Monday, May 22, 2017

"One autumn evening, in the long shadows." By Tess Lecuyer

"One autumn evening, in the long shadows."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015


The wild red barns herd their gangling offspring
slowly to safety and rest. 

snug by the cowling
of crisping forest
down at the throat of the hill

~
©Tess Lecuyer 2017

Tess is a long time member of Albany Poets and further examples of her work may be found here:  Tess Lecuyer.

Monday, May 15, 2017

"Angel Lights." by A.C. Everson

"Live in each season as it passes..." 
-Henry David Thoreau
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2016


Her shoulders carried the pack full of fine repast and blanket waiting for just the right spot, thinking the ridge above likely but for grumbles caused by too small a breakfast, rushed due to a change in the weather and the sure feeling that today was the day for this hike.

Crossing the field her load that weighed heavy in her soul lifts when looking up she sees Angel lights. Yes Angel lights, that’s what old mother called them. Long ago stories told to young ears that believed everything, wonders now who visits today. Could it be him?

She said they come when
The light is just right maybe
Doors in clouds open

~

© A.C. Everson 2017

A.C. Everson is a home grown poet, sculptor and performance artist. Her words can be found at albanypoets.com. Her art can be seen at Breaking My Art on Facebook. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

"Sometimes There’s a Glimpse." By Charles Rossiter

"Touch."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2016


Lying flat out on volcanic ash at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho looking up at the million million starsor standing on the National Mall in DC surrounded by buildings of power, tears streaming because the gospel choir broke on through. Evening shadows climb slowly up a steep hill outside Taos. Venus on the horizon, the first stars. Somewhere a cloud reaches to a mountain, or does the mountain reach to the cloud?

moonlight on the water,
ocean waves along the shore,
my feet sink in wet sand

~

© Charles Rossiter 2017

~

Charlie Rossiter is the host of: Poetry Spoken Here--new podcast 1st & 3rd Fridays
http://www.poetryspokenhere.com/ 
His free ebook "Poems People Like" is available here:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/39347
and you may hear Charlie read here at: www.poetrypoetry.com

"where you hear poems read by poets who wrote them."
 

Monday, May 1, 2017

"Untitled." By Thomas E. Bonville

"The view coming down Cass Hill."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015

I only knew it from Cass Hill really, you can catch a glimpse of it over your shoulder along Cass Hill Road.  Off of Cass Hill Road was Dunbar Hollow Road, more of a path than a road, as I recall it.  I remember being told by my buddy that the road was closed, part of the year, when the weather was bad.  I believed it.  His old Plymouth had trouble enough climbing the hill to get to Dunbar Hollow, and that was in good weather.  It couldn't be any other way.  Cass Hill was a place that held a situational attraction at a certain time in a young man's life, in my case, me and my best friend's life, both of us 18, who wanted to have a swim and privacy on a summer night and a bonding with the universe.  

There was a sportsman's club on Dunbar Hollow Road.  My friend's parents had a family membership at the club, which allowed us to use the grounds without thinking we were doing anything wrong.  I never once in an entire summer saw anyone else there.  No hunters.  No fishermen.  Nobody.  The pond on the grounds was small, but it never was weedy, it had a dock with a diving board, and the water was deliciously cool on hot summer nights.  We would listen to the crickets, the cicadas, watch lighting bugs fire up their flickers as night descended on the day.  We would stay past sunset, watch the stars reveal themselves and tell their stories.  We would smoke pot, eat pretzels, chips and bags of popcorn, drink Genesee Cream Ale, and we would talk about the meaning of life, whether it was about the Vietnam War, rights and privileges for all Americans, who was better, Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays, what girls in our graduated high school class were prettiest, and who was the greatest guitarist who ever lived.

It was Hendrix, of course,

Ononta'kahrhan?  Never came up.

But I heard voices.


        My spirit brother,
was it you in the stillness
        that said to rebel?

~

©Thomas E. Bonville 2017

Thomas is a lifelong resident of the Hudson River Valley.  He writes, reads, listens and discusses poetry with The Rensselaerville Poets and the Posey Café.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Because God's grace has spilled over into our lives..." By Mark W. Ó Brien

"Because God's grace has spilled over into our lives..." 
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015/2017

I dreamed I found the Seanchaithe's buried treasure and hoarded bequests in my mind brimming with the light of great stories. Inside my head I stood beside Ononta'kahrhon as nightfall arose from an expanding afternoon. Suddenly, I knew I must pour this light out like a bucket of sunset upon the heads of my children's children. The light, of memories of a future far away place in June. The light of an unexpected fire that I drew on a chalkboard, as an apprehensive child, when I looked out the window 'til the window disappeared...


It was a good dream,
I saw my dark haired grandchild
climbing up your hill!


~

© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015/2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

"Into Great Silence" by Tom Corrado

"as I sat before the cliff..." 
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015
~

9 PM. Snow. I’m in the woods feeding my outdoor wood boiler. I do this twice a day during the colder months. I live out here in the mountains 30 miles southwest of Albany. My property abuts a 5500 acre preserve. I’m pretty isolated. The woods. Something about them. Something enigmatic. Intimidating. Daunting. Humbling. Indeed, as Frost reminds us, they are lovely, dark, and deep. But they are as well refreshingly invigorating. They spellbind me. Renew my sense of something. Hope, perhaps? I stand before them. They envelop me. Captivate me. I listen to the woods. I listen to the life of the woods. Their silence deafening.

the trees talk to me
as I enter their kingdom
at peace with the world

~

Tom Corrado, a musician, visual artist, and poet, coordinates the poetry group at the Rensselaerville Library, and blogs at scriptsfortoday.blogspot.com.