Welcome To The Poet of the Month

Every month we will strive to introduce a new poet and allow you to read a sample of their work.

This section will be updated monthly so please continue to check back often.  If you would like to be considered for Poet of The Month, click the link to Submit Your Poetry To Doc.

To review the previous Poets of The Month, click on their names at the left to select their bio.
Val Magnuson
Val Magnuson's bio includes holding an MBA. She is also the author of many books and has been included in many poetry anthologies, works featured in the "dachshund annual", stained glass art work featured in the Royal Ontario Museum, and beadwork featured in The Flint Museum.

Stained Glass
I noticed it along my path
A lovely, random leaded glass
Twigs and branches formed the lines
Framed by spruce and balsam pines
An unknown and unseen but mighty hand
Appeared to have a master plan
Beveled light and trilling wren
Became the transient cartoon
From the artist's pen
Fractured, antique, crackled transom
Rays twisted, bent but truly handsome
I thrilled at the ethereal leaded light
And marveled at the master glaszier's might
Dorothy Bills
Dorothy Bills is the most talented, loving, caring mother a man (Wally) or woman (Debbie) could have. Not only is she is a great mother, she is an example of how a Christian life should be led. If I grow up to be a fraction of the person my mom is, then I will have accomplished a major feat. This fine woman is an example of giving. She still visits the "elderly" although she is .... herself. No I will not give her age as she would not want it to be common knowledge. She takes cassettes of the sermons to shut-ins.

Next is her talents.
1. She sang in the Chews Methodist Church choir for 50 years. (so she is at least 50). And she stills attends church there, driving herself from Pitman Manor. (OK sometimes her wonderful son-in-law Russ drives her, and yes Russ she said you were wonderful)
2. She has written poetry since she was a teenager growing up in Philadelphia. There are literally hundreds of poems. Her poems are published in the Church Mouse, the monthly newsletter from Chews.
3. Dorothy is an amazing friend to one and all. She volunteers her time without expecting thanks or praise.
4. She used to cook, now she just eats because it is time to eat. She still makes the best coleslaw! I can almost duplicate it now.

Gathering Apples
I am gathering apples
and there are quite a few
we planted a tree
when you were just two
It was really quite small
not more than a twig
but just like you
we knew soon 'twould be big

You climbed in its branches
and hid midst its leaves
I could tell you been there
by the tears in your sleeves

Ere long it bore apples
picked when it got cool
by that time you know
you were in high school

As I gather apples
I need muse on each past event
how quickly it seems
off to college you went

This old tree and I
are now left all alone
and you're gathering apples
from the tree of your own

The Journey
We find that life’s a journey
As we travel day by day.
It’s not just the destination,
But the sights along the way.

Follow carefully the road map
Placed within your hand
To avoid the many pitfalls
As you journey through this land.

Enjoy the precious life you have
And the people that you meet.
Praise the Lord every day
As He lovingly guides your feet.

Some folks are set along our path
To share their joy and love.
The peace new friends offer us
Are truly blessings from above.

We must not give in to sorrow
Nor cower in despair,
But press forward on the journey
And rejoice with God in prayer.

Hold faithfully the road map
‘Til you reach the heavenly light.
He’ll lead you on your journey
And keep your pathway bright.

Peggy Mott
A ‘late bloomer” Peggy did not start her college career until the age of 48. She received her BA at 50 and her Master’s at 52. Both degrees were earned at then Southwest Texas State University which is now Texas State University at San Marcos, Texas.

A fifth generation Texan, she a retired adjunct professor of Sociology at Palo Alto College in San Antonio. Although sociology is her profession, poetry is her avocation and obsession.

She has served as past president of San Antonio Poets Association, a member of the Texas Poetry Society, a lifetime charter member of the International Society of Poets, Clipper Ship Poets, the San Antonio Poetry Fair and the Alamo Area Poets of Texas.
She was selected Poet Laureate of San Antonio Poets Association for the year 1994-195 and was first runner up for the years 1995-1997.

She has had works published in a number of poetry journals, anthologies and online on the Poet’s Porch and on Poetic Dreamer. Her first book Screaming Silences was published in 1994. She is working on a second volume which is yet to be titled.

Dark Side of City Life
Windows like concrete slabs
block out sights but not sounds.
Singing death music
ghosts moan sordid symphonies
of decay and rot.
Haunting screams relate
ugly sacrifices of skin,
blood, bone, and life.
Steel towers pierce
night shadows like needles
knitting monstrous webs
of electric lines.
Children building bombs
in their bedrooms,
taking guns to school.
Graffiti defaces any available surface.
Drug dealers ruining lives
in every neighborhood.
Blindly devouring poisoned
words of hate,
citizens become prisoners
surrounded by broken and dieing dreams.
broken and dieing souls,
broken and dieing bodies.
Cities, once known as places of light
have now become dark locales
filled with ugliness and despair.

Looking For You
I look for your face in every crowd.
I listen for your voice in every group.
I watch for the size and shape of you.
When we are apart I long to see you
to touch you, just be in the same room with you.
Without you, my life is not my life
because you are the heart of it.
There is only empty loneliness
and aching desolation without you.
When I see you my skin comes alive.
I cherish the sound of your voice.
I am held captive by my love for you,
mesmerized and enthralled by that love.
And so my heart is no longer an empty grate
filled with cold dead ashes of a long gone love,
since the love and passion between us ignited.
And whenever we are apart
I watch for the size and shape of you.
I listen for your voice in every group.
I look for your face in every crowd.
I watch through my front windows for your car.
Driving down the street
I look for you out my car windows.
My days and nights are a continuous search for you
so that when we are apart
I am always looking for you.

Looking Through the Glass Darkly
Remembering a long ago love
is like looking at old black and white photos
turned sepia toned after being buried
in the dark corners of the attic of my mind.
Memories of love that are pressed
between pages of my life
like preserved wild flowers
found in between pages of a book.
Memories that often are hard to ignore.
Memories brought back by a scent
or a fragment of a song heard in passing.
Memories blurred by the passing of time
yet seemingly sharp and clear
as though they took place only yesterday.
Memories of a broken heart
leaving only shards and dust behind.
Memories of laughter, tears and kisses.
Memories good, bad and hurtful.
Memories real or only imagined.
Memories viewed through the dark glass
of time long gone by.
Memories both painful and sweet.
Remembrances of a long ago love.

Regis Auffray
Originally from Peace River, Alberta, Canada. His parents and all of his extended family are from Brittany, France. He is of Celtic descent. Bretons are not of "French" ancestry thus, as far as he is concerned, not French although at least one of his siblings disagrees. But he loves all nationalities and origins of people. He is convinced that "compassion" is the answer to all of this gem of a planet's problems. He admits that he just does not have a clue how to make it happen. His first language is French but he learned English when his family moved to a town 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Vancouver, British Columbia. The first poem he can remember writing was in grade 9 in English class. It rhymed and had the proper rhythm. His English teacher thought it was good and encouraged him to continue to write. (Thank you, Mr. Stolee). Regis is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with an Education Degree majoring in French and English. He has also done some post graduate work in counseling psychology. He has taken early retirement after a career of thirty-two years as an educator in middle and senior high school. He has been greatly influenced by the romantic poets and the symbolists (in French) but many others - Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Lamartine, Frost, Keats, Dickinson, and so many others who don't come to mind at the moment. Regis published his first book in December, 2012.


There’s always the hope
Of tomorrow...

...Right now it seems
There is nothing certain anymore
My soul is beyond sore
How trite, banal, passé, and stale
Are such sentiments, a bore?
Yes I know
But one cannot change the truth
Of what one lives and feels
What has happened was never my intent
I do not do well with broken promises
I guess I am naïve
I suppose they were right about me
Never growing up
It’s just that I really believed and trusted

If another day is granted
Another gift
I hope I will feel like opening it

© Copyright 2013 Regis Auffray


I am

An enchanted butterfly
Drawn to the enigmatic essence of your petals
A spellbound hummingbird
Intoxicated by the nectar of your nature

A rushing river
Seeking to lose myself
In the ocean of your femininity

A restless sea
Compelled by the pull of your lunar mystique
That awakens the tides within me

A falling star
Seeking a resting place in your inviting tenderness

A wandering comet
Searching for a resting place
Within the dimensions of your love

A lonely sailor
Captivated by your siren’s charms
Lost in your mystical magnificence

I am
I love

© Copyright 2013 Regis Auffray

Eric Mellen
Eric Mellen is a young freelance writer who currently writes poems and short stories. He has been published in Poetry Life and Times and Nostrovia! Poetry, and is currently pursuing multiple publishing opportunities. When he is not writing, he is studying under the psychology curriculum, and plans to one day become a clinical psychologist.

Roller Skates

I rode the streets
On my tarnished roller skates
Wondering why fat men
Never saw the glamor
In the sweat trickling
Down a furrowed brow,
Laboring only in thought.
Thoughts which crossed
The minds of the masses,
Like how that kid on his roller skates
Probably never worked a day in his life.

“How will we ever teach them how to live”
He thinks, as I roll along
Thinking on the pleasantness of the day,
My comrades at each side of my shoulders,
My zest for life.

“Never worked a day in my life.”
Because all of life was twisting in a spiral
Between my thumb and forefinger.

Gretchen Fosket
I have been an Iowan all my life. I was a stay at home mom with six children. At age 45, I went to work in an insurance office for 20 years, then retired. I have my mother to thank for encouraging us to fully use our imaginations when we were growing up. And living just a block from the library as a child was like having a doorway to another magic world. I am thoroughly enjoying old age. I also collect hats.

Between the Bars

Whenever I feel like I'm in a cage,
and I can see only the bars,
I focus on the space between,
for there is my view of the stars.

When life closes in and my spirits sag,
tomorrow feels far away.
Yesterday's still a lump in my throat,
and today seems here to stay.

This moment can be too much to bear,
then I remember the stars.
My blessings aren't really lost from view,
I can see them through the bars.

Why Old Guys Buy Playboy

When an old geezer gets out of bed
there's a drive that keeps him forging ahead.
It keeps those old gray whiskers growing
starts his day with juices flowing.
Though some may deem it slightly risky
he still has need to be a bit frisky.
Hugh Hefner knew just what he was doing
when he begin his centerfold brewing.
From the model's seductive eyes
down to those luscious inviting thighs.
The old guy ogles from bottom to top
with nobody's modesty making him stop.
He can enjoy voluptuous breasts
when he's bereft of live bedroom guests.
So give a cheer for the Centerfold.
It helps old guys to never grow old.
There's nothing new, it's the same old fluff
and helps old geezers stay up to snuff.
Gary Spain
G. K. Spain dropped out of college (he likes to say) to get an education, a proper one being obtainable only by refusing to accept much that is taught therein. This has meant his only decent job was as computer programmer back in the 80s: since it stunted his ability to write poetry, he quit and turned to driving for a living (cabs, limos). Having been raised on Shakespeare's plays (his father's passion), life without poetry seemed more inconceivable than life without an apartment (indeed since the turn of the century he has lived in his van). His current obsession is ancient Welsh (and Irish) forms and the cynghanedd (consonance, harmony of sound) required of trained bards. He lives in L.A., where he attends the occasional open mike. His only substantial accomplishment in life (besides poetry) is his as yet unpublished (save here: Origins of Tarot) findings in the process of reconstructing the nexus of ancient bardic tradition and Kabbalah: the lost core teachings of the latter was he thus able to restore (from the flotsam of its sinkings).

Geared: The American Dream (in British 6th-century style verse

Geared to the gospel of progress, the possible made subtle gains:
owning others’ toil fell; then rose the airfoil; now chained currents spoil lazy brains.
Then our ill-coursed ark hit the 2C mark, and suddenly darkness reigns!
Advances in kind, to clogged lanes confined, got stuck behind status quo trains.
Physics, stuffed full of what’s theoretical, theocratic, and dull, now wanes.
Feel a duty to Newton’s pains!

Interesting, this living during decline.
Our chance passed, lost during last century’s climb
when physics found the four elements sound—a shock whose rebound sealed a rich mine!
For earlier, being rude, science had poo-pooed that paradigm.
But there they were, four types of cur in the quantum bloodline.
Ancient alchemists—men from the mists—had, nature insists, been right the whole time.

Oh drat! Can’t have that! Let’s bat that gnat down!
We’ll fashion for our Imperator a new gown.
Two into one’ll fit: quark let’s call it—a brand new noun!

Let’s bind it with force from a magic source, so it won’t lurch
when a stronger impulse seeks to stir it from its perch.
(In truth, partons are parts, not pawns, of the particles they besmirch.)

What was most deft in learning has been left bereft and reeling.
In public forums, madness has quorums, it’s so appealing!
Hence be careful to whose prim pull you’re kneeling.

In law’s arena, ’twill be thought an era where paranoia leered—
when forward, once rewarded, became feared!
to such blind schemes has the mind seen its shiny machine of newness geared.

The Human Condition According to Alchemy (Withering Quasi-Sestina Sans Envoi)

Life is the vestibule of tombs.
The land where thoughts reside is parched.
O what a sorry thing is man,
who compasses all types of soils,
some needing, some eschewing rain,
yet each shunning wisdom’s embrace.

Mirages are what lusts embrace.
What even love aspires to, tombs
have dared to interrupt, warm rain
its substance. (To decide that parched
is better soils both wit and man.)

Yes, it is such a course that man,
though puzzled by it, must embrace,
where soils he tests become his tombs
and his tongue parched in pounding rain.

For it is tears that rain in man.
For that is what the parched embrace
to scour out tombs in hardened soils.

Lust soils the rain that carves our tombs.
And what man can’t embrace stays parched.

Parched soils embrace the rain, as man his tombs.
Michael R. Burch
Michael R. Burch’s poems, essays, articles and letters have appeared more than 1,700 times in publications around the globe, including TIME, USA Today, Writer’s Digest, and hundreds of literary journals. His poetry has been translated into Czech, Farsi, Gjuha Shqipe, Italian, Macedonian, Russian, Turkish and Vietnamese. He also edits www.thehypertexts.com.

Epitaph for a Syrian Child
I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.

Autumn Conundrum
It’s not that every leaf must finally fall,
it’s just that we can never catch them all.

Love Has a Southern Flavor
Love has a Southern flavor: honeydew,
ripe cantaloupe, the honeysuckle’s spout
we tilt to basking faces to breathe out
the ordinary, and inhale perfume ...
Love’s Dixieland-rambunctious: tangled vines,
wild clematis, the gold-brocaded leaves
that will not keep their order in the trees,
unmentionables that peek from dancing lines ...
Love cannot be contained, like Southern nights:
the constellations’ dying mysteries,
the fireflies that hum to light, each tree’s
resplendent autumn cape, a genteel sight ...
Love also is as wild, as sprawling-sweet,
as decadent as the wet leaves at our feet.

for the children of the Holocaust and the Nakba

Something inescapable is lost—
lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
immeasurable and void.
Something uncapturable is gone—
gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
and remembrance.
Something unforgettable is past—
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
and finality has swept into a corner where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.

Jim Dunlap
Jim Dunlap's poetry has been published extensively in print and online in the United States, England, France, India, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand. His work has appeared in over 90 publications, including Potpourri, Candelabrum, Mobius and the Paris/Atlantic. He is the co-editor of Sonnetto Poesia and and is serving as co-editor of a new sonnet anthology currently in production, The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. He is also the chief proofreader for the On Viewless Wings Anthologies, published out of Queensland, Australia. In the past, he was a resident poet on Poetry Life & Times and the newsletter editor for seven years with the Des Moines Area Writers' Network.

Paean to a Lost Love
You were my whole being, my everything--
the years long, nights longer, days
interminable, my lone taste of spring.
Your memory alone sets my heart ablaze.
Others came, and left, but no bonfire flared--
physical love waned, lost all intensity.
The divining rod of my love grew impaired,
emotions withered, lost focus and density--
your face haunts my dreams, a will o’ the wisp
that, fading in and out, lit up my summer
and burnishes still my autumn, so crisp,
so refreshing, so inducive to slumber.
I can only hope with my dying breath
that your face accompanies me into death.

While the Cat’s Away, the Mice Will Play
Alas, alack, I cannot write --
my muse is gone on holiday.
I fear you'll find this no delight;
I seldom dare to write this way.
She's so possessive, yet so grand,
she dictates everything I say.
You'd think her queen of all the land,
and gads, the row if I should stray.
But what the heck? It's spring I vow,
and poems are like lambs at play --
some gamboling she might allow;
though heavy be the price I pay.
While favors, all, she might withdraw,
it's not as if I broke the law.
Michael Moore
Michael Moore brilliantly captures the haiku moment paying homage to the tradition style of 5-7-5. Michael whose extensive writing has previously focused on contemporary or the free verse style of haiku. Now he journeys into the formal or the traditional haiku style providing readers with extraordinary descriptions of everyday objects and events. Mr.Moore’s passion for haiku is apparent in his sixth book of poems and through his teaching of haiku in schools across Texas.

Books: Chocolate Haiku, Chocolate Chips, Home Grown in the Haiku Garden, Contemporary View of Haiku, Haiku Landscape 1 and 2. Information can be found at (Michael Moore Haiku)

Traditional Style

Red river salmon
Jumping over river rocks
Summer reflections.

Leaves of autumn burn
On a cool misty morning
Rusty golden tears.

Contemporary Style

Fishing birds
dive into the night
swallowing shimmering comets

Spider leaps
from the ceiling fan
ancient bungi jumper
Val Magnuson
Val is a lady of many talents who has won awards for both her beadwork and poetry. Please enjoy a sample of her poetry below.

Chill Factor
When all the world is sky
And every cloud unchained
May, long crested as a harbinger-
To some, discordant bay
Every summer song stilled
Scattered to iced woods' dreams-

The hemisphere no longer clear
Dripping wind and rain
Stardust suspended
Like evening shadows
Against timeless winter days-

The Gray Lady's palette is unpacked
Bristled tools and pallet knives
Monochromatic tones arrayed
Intermixed in dreary ways
And, how, she stays-

The captive audience held in chains
As the colors from the world are drained
Her work the only piece displayed
"Winter Still Life in Shades of Gray.”

Val Magnuson
Jim Dunlap
Jim Dunlap's poetry has been published extensively in print and online in the United States, England, France, India, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand. His work has appeared in over 90 publications, including Potpourri, Candelabrum, Mobius and the Paris/Atlantic. He is the co-editor of Sonnetto Poesia and and is serving as co-editor of a new sonnet anthology currently in production, The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes.

To No Avail
The staccato tap, tap, tap of raindrops,
As they march in multitudes across the roof ...
The vacillating tenor of their starts and stops,
Like stampeding, tiny horses on the hoof--
The soothing cadence of the rushing waves
Of water pirouetting down the eaves,
To drought-dry, dusty earth that craves
The moisture that caresses and relieves:
Yet all this soothing, natural aid to sleep
Appear to no avail this winter's night;
The hours and minutes seem to barely creep.
Behind clouds the moon is extra bright.
Although the words seem rather lame,
Insomnia has won the game.
Poet of the Month

Val Magnuson (Second Time)
Dorothy Bills
Peggy Mott
Regis Auffray
Eric Mellen
Gretchen Fosket
Gary Spain
Michael R. Burch
Jim Dunlap (Second time)
Michael Moore
Val Magnuson
Jim Dunlap
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