BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 25 “A Tough Old Bridge”

Train Bridge at Shirley, Arkansas

A Tough Old Bridge

The railway bridge at edge of my hometown
no longer hears an engine’s  chugging hiss,
no longer shakes with jar of clacking wheels.
Old-timers spin tall tales of how they miss
the whistle blaring near the mountain bend.
Though trains no longer cross the Little Red,
the bridge has earned the honor to remain–
iron-clad above the restless river’s bed.
The swimming hole beneath the overpass
attracts both old and young from off the ridge.
The local preachers hold baptisms there
in sight of that old tough and rustic bridge.

© copyright, Freeda Baker Nichols

A Poem and a Picture

OUTSMARTED

Barn swallows rested on a wire up high.
One carried straw to build a nest this spring.
The other watched, aware of harm nearby.
To warn its mate, the bird commenced to sing.
The little black cat leaped from hayloft door.
The swallows flapped and flew like Peter Pan.
The cat spit-cleaned his paws, to help ignore
the fact that cagey birds outfoxed his plan.

black-cat

© 2016 Freeda Baker Nichols

My Page in Poems by Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas

Rockport, Massachusetts 2006Fantasy’s Friend

Setting my sail on a shimmering sea,
I invited you to skim with me.
Away from the shore to never-never land,
together we swept, hand in hand.
One day my hand unclasped your own,
I drifted then on the sea alone.
My heart became a desert trail
like waves of water, behind the sail,
which opened, then closed a shimmering plane
without you there to whisper my name.

I listen for your voice above the ocean’s roar.
If I could summon you back once more!
But I hear nothing and feel no breeze
to carry me over the shimmering seas,
which mirror your face in a puzzle-like shade
as I reflect on the error I’ve made.
How could I have been so blind
as to leave unlocked the door of my mind,
through which you escaped on the shimmering sea?
Oh, precious love, still sail with me.

© Copyright, Freeda Baker Nichols
From Poems by Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas, 1991

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The Baker Sonnet

I have created a new sonnet form, the Baker Sonnet,  and I’m introducing it in the Poetry Day Contests 2016 with Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas. The Baker Nichols Award contest for this year is open to PRA members only. Some awards are open to Arkansas residents and some are open to all poets.  Information on the contests may be seen here. Entries are not to be sent before June 1, 2016 and must be postmarked by August 15, 2016.

The Baker Sonnet form is fourteen lines of iambic pentameter and concludes with a couplet which may or may not be indented. The rhyme scheme is a-B-b-c-a-a-b-c-d-c-d-B-e-e. Note the repetition of lines two and twelve.

No Longer Mine

The rain falls damp onto the grass tonight.
My heart is sad because your love is gone.
The barren ground is cold where sun once shone.
The moon and stars no longer gleam above.
Somehow they hide their shine of silver light.
The darkest sky becomes my dreadful plight
as I begin to spend my time alone.
How can I go through life without your love?
Another holds you spellbound by her charms
as I give up the goals that I dreamed of.
I wait with aching heart and empty arms.
My heart is sad because your love is gone.
Once, I believed your promises were true.
My heart now breaks each time I think of you.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Note: My poem example here is a work-in-progress. How does a poet know when a poem is ready for the printed page?

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