March 2008 – Poetry

• The Vatican Rag – Marvin Klotz
• Tell Me Again – Mary Getlein
• Greedy Night – Lynette
• Hope Is Hip – S.A. Griffin
• Praise for a lost Woman – hillary kaye
• Applause – Paula Ross
• After the rain – Jim Smith


 The Vatican Rag
Headline: “Vatican toughens rules on sainthood” 
By Marvin Klotz 

Some headlines grab you by the throat,
Some by more primal parts.
But this one knocked me for a loop–
(Brash theocratic arts).
The last pope’s liberality
Created quite a stir.
He canonized five hundred saints–
(The most to date–by far!).
But worse than that, he bent the rules–
Cut short review time spent.
Beatified a host of folks
(Most, just in time for Lent).
Mother Teresa, all in all,
Was J. C.’s humble student;
But Pius Twelfth’s grim Concordat
(Dismissed as merely prudent!)
Creates some questions for this church.
The Fathers must take pause,
And delve more deeply, search the lives
Of new intercessors.
Sainthood is rare, and should be so.
So let’s slow down a bit.
Or risk a heaven SRO,
With no place left to sit.
And that might sour older saints,
Turn situations odd–
I wouldn’t want disgruntled help
Petitioning my god!

Tell Me Again

By Mary Getlein

Things that are no more-
can’t get them back-
all the trees that are cut down
all the people that were cut down-
what would you do with them if they were here
piled up trees and piled up people-
we can’t worship the dead
we can only take notice and appreciate them
for what they gave us
Just like the trees-
just take notice of how beautiful they are
how beautiful the sun going down-
it’s beautiful when someone dies
just as it’s beautiful when someone is born
The tide goes in and out, in and out,
follows the path of the moon
the planets are round
rocketing through space, always moving, always changing
A tear falls then another one-
every day someone is crying, someone is laughing
Trees are cut up for firewood!
Who is more important? The woman or the tree?
The spirit within the tree or the spirit within the woman?
A woman give birth and then takes the child away
Everyone is mad at her
the tree is gone, the woman is gone, the child is gone
Where did they go?
Somewhere they are welcome…
not on this planet
Women are born with an x on their back!
Women are murdered every day by husbands, lovers, 
brothers, sons, fathers, friends, strangers, no one, everyone
Women are murdered by people who do not even know them
Women are murdered for being pretty or not pretty enough
Women’s spirits are murdered for being pretty or not pretty enough
Women are murdered for being raped or having sex freely
Women are murdered for having cosmetic surgery
Women are murdered for having “fat” surgery-
for being too fat- gotta have surgery to deal with it
Women are murdered by the media-
Media murders women day after day after day
Media murders women for being bad mothers
Media murders women who kill their children and themselves
A man can kill but not a woman
Somehow it’s worse when a woman does it
A woman kills for the same reason as a man!
frustration, anger, mayhem, drugs, alcohol, a lousy childhood
too much rap music
too much media
no community, no nurturing, no loving, no one there for her
she murders her children so no one else will hurt them
she murders herself so no one else will hurt her
yes, there is a limit to hurt- death
death is the final end to hurt
being homeless used to mean
“freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”
living in a place can be like a jail sentence
you have to live there because you can’t afford to move out
Landlord is just a title!
it doesn’t mean “king”, even though they might think so
“king” of all he owns-
his tenants live in fear of what he’s going to do next
I live in America
I live in America
I live in America
I turn on a tap and hot water comes out
I don’t have to gather fire wood in the Dafur, to make
a fire and boil water.
I don’t have to be afraid of being raped, when I go
out to get fire wood to make a fire.
I still am afraid of the dark, here in America
How many women end up in someone’s fire pit,
with the guy saying: she did it to herself,
all I did was burn the body?
How many times must a woman be called “BITCH”!
to her face before she gets it!
This country is not ready for her?
This shit just keeps going on and on and on
The princess women don’t get treated like this?
only the poor? The rich women get killed too,
by their husband, boyfriends, etc. etc.
tell me again why you won’t vote for a woman
tell me again about a woman who acts like a man
tell me again about a woman unleashing her anger
tell me again how hormonal women are
tell me again that a woman just can’t do a
man’s job-
What was that job again?
dropping bombs on children?
shipping jobs to other countries?
cutting off benefits to poor, elderly, children, mentally ill,
homeless services?
sending back $800 this time, to people who file for taxes,
in an effort to “boost the economy”?
Look around
see all the homeless living in the street?
they are not invisible- they are here, in front of you-
how do you think they got this way?
is this a joke to you?
This is the direct result of some man being in office.
with trickle – down cruelty!
It’s another government trick to fool us!
doing one thing while telling us it’s another-
killing is killing, bro-
That’s how this country really makes money-
even if it means killing its own citizens-
at a war, or at home, on the street.
tell me again why you won’t vote for a woman.


Greedy Night

By Lynette

One more,
Grotesque screaming faces
pressed against a rain-streaked car window,
Teenage vultures descend upon another Pop-culture carcass…
What do you want from me?!
A thousand hands clawing at clothes and flesh,
A simple song,
My suit of regulation black leather,
My disheveled hair,
My money,
My body,
On stage
staring at the manic tapestry
of writhing and flailing pubescent bodies,
Bright lights blind the tired performer,
Seduced by commercial demand
I am your shallow, sexual robot…
Every city a ravenous, undulating crowd,
Caressing a plastic idol,
Searching for a secret, 
In my pocket
precious, furious jewels,
Folded scraps of paper,
This is me…

Will you listen to my words?
Can you feel my private 


Hope Is Hip

By S.A. Griffin

first of ‘08 and already
history has been
and is
being made
no need to spell it out here
but this ranks right up there with
first flight
moveable type or 
“Mr. Watson, come here.
I need you.”
first time since the 60’s were assassinated
that there’s been anything like genuine hope
sparkling in the drinking water
humans, wear your vulnerable skin
to the hungry dance
where dreamers
jump to such a song
sounding on the bones of
this nations’s 
weary jukebox
a place where somebody with an open heart
knows the future on a first name basis
and all last laughs are
on the house


Praise for a lost Woman

By hillary kaye

A life covered
in the blood of betrayal
A cremation of dreams
A fire pit
of loss
A woman’s
the life of the soul
in sorrow and joy
She gives birth and nurtures
and still is slandered
by a world enthralled with
its own destruction
And yet she loves the very things
that hate her
and is buried by the
same blood as her sons


(5 from The Haiku Series)

By Paula Ross

Chet Baker
Bare bones of a boy
Raspy whispers tear a heart
Naked horn/stinging

Sarah Vaughan
Sounds of liquid gold
Flowing from her heaven place
As we chant…DIVA

Miles Davis
Gravel voiced guru
Painting rainbow trumpet strokes
Cosmic Chameleon

Betty Carter
Listen in the night…
Far away/Beyond Birdland
Shaman woman scats

Dizzy Gillespie
Oh, ancient father
There are secrets in those cheeks
Tilted toward the sky

(Paula Ross, Venice artist and poet died Dec. 19 – see last month’s Beachhead for details. A memorial for her is being planned.)


After the rain

By Jim Smith

After the rain
the gulls were flying low
over the boardwalk.
I turned to see
if Philomene was near.
For days the air
had been thick and sweet
like a fragrant jewel.
I thought of you.
Is this how the dead
communicate with the living?
Philomene, our rain maker.
Poems floating in the air.

Categories: Poetry