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Reader Submissions

Writer's Block | December 28th, 2015

photo by Molly McClain

The HPR prints reader poetry once a month

Plutarch, the ancient Greek historian, essayist, and biographer once said, “Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks”. HPR sent out a call for reader submissions in November via social media and we were pleasantly surprised by the response. Would you like to have your work published for this once a month feature? email sabrina@hpr1.com

North Dakota

By Julie Goeller McLain 1952-2004

Your vast emptiness encompasses me

Your wind sweeps me into being

A place where German, Russian and Norwegian ancestors, hearts rich, plowed out a piece of the prairie

Sometimes the black dirt rewarded them

Sometimes it turned their dreams into seams of doubt

Domed memories reaching out into an endless ocean sky of white clouds waving by

Sometime the plains gave them cash crops and cream

Sometimes the hail smashed the grain flat and as bent as their backs

But they kept working with tornado hope and thunderstorm courage through drought years 

drinking up the prairie picking crocuses and arrowheads and ghost rocks in glacial waterbeds

while fossilized dinosaurs crouched

beneath the topsoil

waiting to be found

like the lost language of the Sioux

and the great buffalo herds

eating bromegrass

I am home

You are my past





Sustained Metaphor

by Julie Goeller McLain 1952-2004

Currently I’m canning memories of cherry evenings

Fermenting fallow feelings and melting wax dreams to seal the mason ball jar storing jellied reflections of you

I will put it on the same shelf with the sour grapes I didn’t squeeze in my homemade hurricane hurry to please you

I will drink store bought wine instead to quench my thirst

Next year leaving berries of your kind alone




Excerpts from Walden

By Aaron Crenshaw

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

I drink at it; but while I drink

I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is.

I cannot count to one. I know not the first letter of the alphabet.

I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.

My instinct tells me that my head is an organ, my intellect is a cleaver,and with it I can mine and burrow my way through these hills.

I think that the richest vein is somewhere hereabouts

and I judge; here,

I will begin to mine.



Goodbye-Hello

By Anna Renner

Chuck E Cheese is just like Jesus

When you're young and you don't know none

We were all twitching in our sleep

Reliving horrors we wish we hadn't done

We all need something kind to hold

It's not Prozac, I don't want a pillow

And now acting on pure impulse- Pretty please please release me

Don't control

Anything

Anything

Anything

Anything

Goodbye Good Samaritan

Bye Hobo Neighbor Man

Bye Old American

Hello Homo Sapien!

Hello Homo Sapien!

Hello Homo Sapien!

All of this intensity

We're in it whether we want to be

Or not

We must grow up now the bills are due

It's April, Sam is coming for your

Money

Just like the hunters that cannot kill

All that ambition, what happened to

Our will?

This world is messed up and I cannot breathe

Acceptance is hard and I cannot see

Clear

Here

Here

Here

Here

Goodbye Good Samaritan

Bye Hobo Neighbor Man

Bye Old American

Hello Homo Sapien!

Hello Homo Sapien!

Hello Homo Sapien!



Pushing the dark apart from the Stars

By Timothy Flick

I am standing as I landed upright sound on the ground I lifted and uprooted in contradiction toward the boundary of wherever I had been stood now.

Now, I plunge the flag beneath my footing.

Slit the ground and pound it in…

Any new found land is only old in the beginning and still it lays as unchanged as something that became the same way.

I leave the untouched nature alone by my hands which lift leaves from which dead flies fall...

By the thousands and fly away alive.

Now, I bring a long list of reasons to spread the gift of Life about and around this untainted land.

Planets revolve around the Sun but not in this picture...

A snapshot flick or flash is not an option in this situation of the Imagination.

Stick a brick in the mud on the Earth and it will not affect the planet I stand on...

Without Me wandering back to my body.

The wind blusters in the breeze and I breath beneath this state of Mind, so I split the difference... Which One can only reach by being destined to distance Zero from the tone of a belief...

To the destruction of a disease,

And leave God as approachable as Me.

Push the dark apart from the Stars'.

Push the dark apart from the Stars'.

Pushing the dark apart from the Stars'.

Let Me take the easy way out without the pressure to stress your direction because the reason for millions of Stars' is ours.

Nothing is left.

Here, to give the soaring thought a more susceptible question than what's between the how, the when, and where.

Why do we do what will instill progress to another generation born to Light the darkness far beyond the stars?

Shining written and livid rhymes really lift the Light of the sight higher in the sky than the farthest Stars'.

Farther than the lonely speck of Earth at my feet.

My rhymes travel through the spaces waves to push the dark apart from the Stars'.

Push the dark apart from the Stars'.

Push the dark apart from the Stars'.

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