Category Archives: Poetry 2020

ADR Poetry published in 2020

Caged by Marsheila Rockwell

I know what it’s like to be caged

So I perform your rites of acceptable outrage
Though your anger, so loud
Accomplishes so little
Still, I send my sternly worded letters
Call and voice my grave concerns
I share fact-checked articles
And funny but pointed memes
I go to one of the facilities
And get pepper-sprayed
Peacefully protesting outside
It’s not enough, of course
How could it be, when they are holding
Children in cages?
Continue reading Caged by Marsheila Rockwell

S I N-T H E T´-I K by Jerry Buchanan

Before dinosaurs stirred, marine plants and animal bodies fell, decomposed on sea bottoms. Under pressure and intense heat two miles down, organic sludge turned to crude that crewmen drill today from offshore oil platforms.

Laboratory scientists create synthetic threads from polymers. Tailors design smart suits, hanging slacks; a finger-touch snaps fabric snug. New outfits reform waists, shoulders, thighs; sculpt bodies to look powerful, create modern colorful personas.

Synthetic -man buys melons in plastic mesh; packages sweet corn in Saran; protects and cools kids at soccer in vibrant uniforms; outfits firemen for burning buildings; produces cutting-edge medical tools; makes travel lighter, fuel-efficient; sends rockets to Mars.

Advertisers spin recycling myths, dump waste into oceans, ignore ancient forces astir among brand-colored logos in the Mariana Trench nearly seven miles down: Bald Barbie heads, skateboard wheels, broken combs, medicine bottles, plastic straws.

Break it down! Break it down! But natural rhythms cannot digest it. Silvery minnows, stinky salmon eggs–mimicry entices birds and fishes, their bellies swollen with hunger. Nanoparticles cut with hazardous chemicals infiltrate humans through faucets, food, and air.

Vivid marketplace-signage shouts: “Come! Look, buy, consume!” Investors watch daily stock prices, ignore future consequences of a money-driven market. Synthetic’s children begrudge ancestors’ myopic viewpoints firing up the marketplace.

Dust storms stain southern sunsets, trigger off a new generation of rocket boosters aimed at planetary habitats. Spacemen, wedded to the red Martian surface, hope their desperate quests will prove to be élan, vital, and spark a friendly environmental niche.


Image credit: Blue and Red Abstract (Steve Johnson on Unsplash) with superimposed plastic/fish composite (Ocean Plastics Lab)

Abigail Grows Brave by Julie L. Moore

After I Samuel 25

Years later, after David made love to her
and Chileab was born, after she was safe,
did Abigail still wake to the dog-
like face of Nabal, that Calebite mate
who reminded her time and again
of her place, for she was woman,
small compared to his great stock,
his barbaric body with rough hands,
his 3000 sheep and 1000 goats
amid limestone and laurel trees
dotting the lush hillside? Did her dreams
rehearse his churlish speech
inviting slaughter, claiming the chosen
one was nothing but a runaway
slave his bread and meat were not worth
sustaining? And in that subconscious state
where she desperately gathered yet again
loaves of bread and raisin cakes,
five dressed sheep and jugs of wine,
fig cakes and seahs of grain, to appease
the future king, did she sweat
like the husband himself, cry out for mercy?
She was never Nabal’s beloved.
He never cared what beat beneath her breast
or ran, keen and quick, through her mind.
Does such a wife, so well acquainted with pain,
grow brave? And whence did her wisdom
come that day she fell on her face before David,
saying Yahweh would make a house for him
that endures? Her prophecy a stone
she pulled from an unlikely pouch,
then slung with the power to slay all un-
anointed men in the way of the throne,
striking, and settling, first into the heart
of her narcissistic spouse.


Editor’s Comment:

Chileab, also known as Daniel, was the second son of David, King of Israel. He was David’s son with his third wife Abigail, widow of Nabal the Carmelite. Unlike the other of David’s three elder sons, Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah, Chileab is only named in the list of David’s sons and no further mention is made of him [Annotated from Wikipedia].


Image Credit: Statue of King David by Nicolas Cordier in the Borghese Chapel of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.


The Tourney by Patricia Hope and Keaton Lake Hope

If people concentrated on the really
important things in life, there’d be a
shortage of fishing poles.

—Doug Larson

He prepares his tackle box
by adding the buzz bait
and crankbait—his favorites.
He has caught hundreds of bass

with both lures: smallmouth,
largemouth, and spotted bass;
white and black crappie, too—
he landed a three-pounder once.

Each time he casts, he hopes
for a smallmouth—they fight
the hardest, but the fisherman
is confident he can win the battle.

After eleven hours on the water,
he comes ashore, hopefully with five
keepers. And if he’s lucky, a top-five
win before he throws them back

so they can swim, and he can fish,
another day.


Image credit: Impressionism image of a fish (staticflickr)

Conversation with Cousin by Wesley Sims

Cousin Mack from upstate Maine
snapped his syllables clean
and crisp like green beans
dropped in my grandmother’s lap.
Jimmy Joe from Arkansas
plopped his words like handfuls
of new Irish potatoes
tossed into a bucket so we
missed the sound of some.
And cousin Marlow from Georgia
extruded his, pushed them out
like sausage, long fluid flow
with soft, squishy pauses
and periods held and strung out
so they seemed like dashes.


Image credit: Just A Pinch Recipe Club superimposed with Microsoft WordArt

Five Children on a Boat by John C. Mannone

Five Children on a Boat
off Dauphin Island, Alabama

They say five is a figure of grace
and these children are a testimony
to that. Boisterous laughter fills
the air, drowns the squawks of sea
gulls that some of them imitate:
the swoop and hover, the taunt and
impatience for food thrown off
the stern by people in the bay-bound
boat in Alabama waters. They follow
us from shore wanting more bread,
fresh or stale, it doesn’t matter, they
are happy and unashamed to beg
food from us. We humor them,
mimicking their cries, which often
sound more like laughter.

Continue reading Five Children on a Boat by John C. Mannone