House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

Regional website for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, in partnership with the Reader's Loft.

GREEN BAY / NORTHEAST

Celebrating, sharing and inspiring poetry throughout Wisconsin.

Featured Poems

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OCTOBER 2014

Featured Poems


Drunken Cow

Louis Clark/Two Shoes

Omro

Continuing the Iroquois Oral Tradition

Drunken Cow

 

I went down to the canning factory

Sitting on the edge of town

Where they pick up all the corn

And sell it all year round.

They tear off the stalks, the leaves and the cobs

Then throw that all away

So the Farmers come and pick it up

And feed it just like hay.

 

Drunken Cow.

 

It sits there in the noon day sun

Until it’s raw and ripe

I never smelled anything that bad

Not even pickled tripe.

Still the Farmers go and gather it in

On the checkbook it makes no dent.

They stuff it in a storage bin

And leave it to ferment.

Drunken Cow.

 

Now cats and rats and mice and dogs

They won’t touch them a drop

But to Bessy and Bossy and all their friends

It’s become their favorite crop.

They gather together underneath a tree

And munch it all the day.

I do believe it’s a coming trend

For a cow to join A.A..

 

Drunken Cow.

 

I feed it to my cows and then

They grin from ear to ear.

They stagger round and some fall down

Upon their derriere.

I tell you this it ain’t no joke

Though some call it a spoof

I put up with these crazy cows

Cause their milk is 90 proof.

 

Drunken Cow.

 

Drunken cow I don’t know how

I’m gonna get you in the barn

But I swear to you and you know it’s true

I’ll do you all no harm

It’s not your meat that tastes so sweet

It’s the milk sitting in the pail

I’ll live my life with a happy wife

Sipping a Guernsey cocktail.

 


Ain't That Something

Louis Clark/Two Shoes

Omro

Continuing the Iroquois Oral Tradition

I strove to be

All that I could be

A man who said yes

When he meant yes

A man who said no

When he meant no

 

I tried to be

By my history

One who was kind

Walking the line

Showing no fear

Protecting those

he held dear

 

I tried to be

Forgiving and free

A man who was strong

Ashamed to be wrong

A man who knew pride

On the honorable side

 

Between you and me

There are secrets you see

My beautiful wife

The love of my life

I think on a dare

Bought me orange underwear!


Big Black Dog

Louis Clark/Two Shoes

Omro

Continuing the Iroquois Oral Tradition

Big Black Dog your teeth look sharp

Big Black Dog like an Asian carp

Big Black Dog sends a chill down my spine

Big Black Dog almost every time.

 

Working on the road

Trying to earn my pay

dueling traffic

each and every day

When a big black dog with teeth so white

Who the owner said, “will never bite.”

I’d heard it before as my blood ran cold

And my dreams of pain were taking hold

 

He was stalking, to and fro

licking his chops cause I would know

That when I turned my back I feared

that stupid dog thinks he’s thinning the herd

instinctively taking out the lame

Put an old man out, out of his pain

 

It’s not that I have the greatest pride

As I hear his paws and his toenails slide

Across the asphalt out of control

I fall like a Viking at the superbowl

 

This surely ain’t clean poetry

This ain’t no glorious prose

I was a lying with that Big Black dog

Lying there nose to nose

 

I guess I was wrong

the owner was right

I’m half dead

But the dog didn’t bite

 

He took off running

Scared out of his wits

do I look,

do I smell,

like bacon bits?


Fractured

Amy Crane Johnson

Green Bay

My mother, she killed me. My father, he ate me. My sister Marlene, she gathered all my bones.
Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm, The Juniper Tree: And Other Tales from Grimm

I’m asleep           fields of poppies               pretty, pretty poppies

still        a little green pea bruises dreams full of Prince Charming

his mighty sword              once upon a time             a wolf dressed as a sheep.

 

One would-be suitor                       begs me to let down my hair                                     

create a braided ladder to happily ever after

Another  swoons over my sleeping form                 

leans close                         contemplates a kiss         dares to lean closer                       

 then by moonlight                          I climb beanstalks             never swipe an egg         

never find a golden goose             there is no beginning      no end                  no marriage takes place.

                                            

Little mermaids walk on knives.   Breadcrumb trails dissolve.                          I’m lost                              

end up sleeping in someone else’s bed                     eating something too hot              too cold

I build a house of sticks & bricks while gingerbread boys bake in a big hot oven.

If I make it to Grandma’s               my goodies are safe                       keep dreaming

an ice queen       a deck of cards shuffles itself       becomes a  boy named Jack                       

an Ace of spades              a King (almost as good as a Prince!)                         

a huff and a puff               I cry wolf once too often.              A clock strikes.  

 

I awake                trip through real morning                             a sleepy wooden puppet

following a barefoot piper.           Damn!                 I’ve lost my slippers                        the ones that really fit.


Midnight Sailor

Doris Bezio

Green Bay

Originally Published in Your Daily Poem

Stars have fallen to earth,

their light

quivers on indigo waves.

He raises white sails,

sets an even course

down the silver path

of the moon.


Old Woman

Doris Bezio

Green Bay

Originally Published in Fox Cry Review

No one knows who she is,

this ghost of another age,

body like gnarled driftwood,

pale eyes reflecting the sea.

 

Strings of white hair

whip her face like seaweed,

thundering waves

echo her heartbeats.

 

There are stories told

that she lives on sea air

and the tide

flows in her veins.

 

There are stories told

that she sees living things

far out under deep water.

They call her name.

 

Some day she will answer.

She will walk out to sea

and turn into foam.


Basket Weaver

Doris Bezio

Green Bay

Originally Published in the Peninsula Pulse

A woman crosses the mossy earth

as she sings an ancient song.

She loads on her back willow reeds,

gathered close to the river’s edge.

 

By the light of a fire

she begins to weave,

under the drying grass moon.

She weaves in her songs,

memories, dreams,

to the sound of drumbeats

fading in the night.

 

Cool winds remind her

of snow that will come

and when the warm sun

will melt it into streams.

The rivers will fill

before the moon

of budding trees.

 

Memories take her

to roots that go deep

while dancing shadows

circle and spin.

She sees in the shadows

her mother’s kind eyes,

a grandmother’s smile.

 

The pliant willow

begins to take form

as skilled fingers weave

far into the night.

She carries within her

a secret joy

as she weaves a fine cradle,

to shelter new life.

 


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