Sandy Patton

Sandy Patton is a Norfolk, Virginia native.  She is a member of Virginia Beach Writers, Hampton Roads Writers, and

Poetry Society of Virginia.  In Sunlight & Shadows, Poems from The Seasons of Life is her first Chapbook.

Her honors include winning the First Place Award for Poetry for Swan Song Seduction, at the Hampton Roads Writers Conference, 2013, and for her poem, Shelter, currently displayed at the Virginia Beach SPCA.

This poem was written for her daughter, Alyssa.

My Mermaid

In early years, any attempt to brush

or comb through wild, untamed

locks proved futile.  I prayed neighbors

wouldn’t call the police upon hearing

the theatrical shrieks of pain coming

from our daughter at bath time.

At four, with a Kool-Aid mustache grin,

hands on hips, and a toss of blond curls,

my impish child firmly announced,

“I’m a mermaid,” and that was that.

And, indeed, she fit the image in every way,

except of course, for the detail of the tail.

This enchanting, eternal child of the sea

relished those carefree, bathing suit days,

where blazing sun and salt water ocean

bronzed her skin, adding highlights of gold

and silver threads to honey-colored tresses,

gathered up in her perpetual ponytail.

She danced at water’s edge, swam with the

expertise of a her beloved mermaids,

built sandcastles, raced the waves to shore.

She’d breathe in familiar scents of sea air

laced with tropical oils, smile,

and know she was home.

Time drifted deliciously by,

and it was there, on that white stretch

of beach, my charming chameleon

came of age, transforming from sunburned

Tomboy to sun-kissed beauty; a cascade of

curls tumbling all around, catching light.

Summers fly by, and it seems I’ve only

blinked, and now before me stands a

breathtaking woman, witty, brilliant,

a huge heart, so confident in her skin,

so certain of who she is, where she’s

going, and what she wants.

And always, the pull of the ocean

will flow through her veins,

soothing her spirit, calling her name

like a lost child,

beckoning her home.

My magical, mystical mermaid

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Neil Ellman

Symphonic Poem—Fine Day

 (after the painting by Saturo Hashegama)

It is a perfect day

to hear the music of the wind

violins gently playing songs on gentler leaves

and chimes mimicking the sound of birds

a fine day, indeed, to feel the ground

beneath your feet, giving but unyielding,

and clouds changing as we watch

as does the universe itself

a fine day to know the universe

as if it knows your name.

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John Grey


I sit in a cube

with a nameplate

on its outside wall

so visitors can readily

identify the occupant.

Other than my breath

and perhaps the blinking

of my eyes,

nothing heralds my existence

like those eight letters

imprinted on metal,

precise and dignified,

and referring to me

and no one else.

No interpretation needed.

No need to view it sideways.

Or backwards.

Yes it’s cold to the touch

but it’s warm with information.

So go ahead.

Introduce yourself.

Or point to the name-tag

that’s pinned to your chest.

You have business with me.

I could possibly help you.

It’s the first step on

the road to relevance.

God, don’t you just love it

when you’re who you are.

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Harris Tobias


They called him Otto, the great desperado,

But really he wasn’t that great

He would ride into town

Turn lives upside down

But the town’s population was eight

There was Nelle, the town belle,

And bartender Zelle

And a couple of children named Fred

Bea, the school teacher, and Lee, the town’s preacher

And a store keeper couple named Zed

Bea, the school marm, 

Would sound the alarm

When Otto rode down from the hills

The Freds and the Zeds would hide under their beds

Giggling from fear induced thrills

Otto would shoot in the air, 

Give all a good scare,

Then he’d ride off as fast as he came

He’d holler and yell and raise all kinds of hell

To him it was all a big game

Though he was called Otto, 

The Great Desperado,

It was said with tongue firmly in cheek.

For though he looked mean and acted extreme

In reality Otto was meek

He lived in a shack

Somewhere out back

And spent his days largely ignored

But then just for fun he’d pick up his gun

Simply because he was bored

One day sheriff John Brown

Rode into town

And announced that he was the law

The Zeds and the Freds all nodded their heads

And said, “That’s what we pay taxes for.”

When Otto rode down

From the hills into town

The Sheriff was waiting, guns drawn

Hand over your gun it’s an end to your fun

This behavior cannot go on

Otto was stunned

Whatever he’d gunned

Was nothing more than celebration

His shots in the air were devil make care

No threats or intimidation

Once faced with the law

Old Otto saw

That his fun was being suspended

He thought why not and fired one final shot

And here my tale is upended

John Brown got mad

And said that he’d had

Quite enough of someone like Otto

So he shot him, of course, right off his horse

Shoot first, that was his motto

Now the folks in the town

All gathered around

And accused the Sheriff of police brutality

What have you done? Shot a man having fun

That’s not how we show hospitality

The whole town was shocked

And the sheriff was mocked

They told him to pack up and leave

He left in a hurry while Otto was buried

And preacher Lee led the bereaved

Nelle and Zell 

tolled the school bell

And bid old Otto goodbye

The Freds and the Zeds just shook their heads

And wondered why he had to die

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Laura Zucca-Scott

Fall Memories

Rainbows of late fall

Leaves of many colors

Crinkling under my feet

Robin red dancing

With yellow and brown

Swaying with the rythm of life

Winter wind and silent snow

Memories yet to come

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Eddie Awusi Debuts

When I Awake To The Dunes Of Dawn. 

By Eddie Awusi

When I awake to the dunes of dawn,

and morning’s bloom,

Stirs with much ado,

and I hear the wind’s howl,

and crackle against the idle eaves,

and the pouring of vials,

of golden sunlight,

Ink into the face of the sky,

I wonder not to wonder.

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Bobbie Troy  Returns

When the Poetry Has Gone

By Bobbie Troy

I feel empty sometimes

as if purpose and meaning

cannot be found

and I am afraid of today and tomorrow

I feel empty sometimes

even though my life has been full

and I’ve had more good times than bad

I feel empty sometimes

because passion and romance

now elude me

and even memories are fading

I feel empty sometimes

because the poetry has gone

and I don’t know how

to get it back

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