Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press

Community In Poetry, 4th Edition

April Is National Poetry Month!


Dear Readers,

April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poetry and poets. This is the fourth issue of “Community in Poetry,” which will run throughout the month of April in honor of National Poetry Month. The Merced County Times will publish poems in print and online that celebrate our lives, uplift our spirits, speak on important issues, and offer hope to our community.


First Light 




I step out, shy

as a fawn,

into the grey shawl

of dawn.

The only sounds —

Whispers of rain,

Breath of trees,

and the whistle

and sigh 

of the Wood Duck



Jasmine Marshall Armstrong is a published poet, teacher of English, Literature and Humanities living in Merced.



Our Shelter


Days at home pass by as we keep hope as our guest
So many in the world going through this same test

Feeling deep sadness, questioning the unknown
Balancing our lives with this feeling of being alone

Nothing lasts forever yet the ending is unclear
Staying positive, moving forward, putting aside fear

Being forever grateful for the help on the front lines
Thankful for their kind hearts and clear thinking minds

These heroes remind us that strength is alive and well
With a focus and desire to do their jobs without fail

Heroes are the shelters that keep us safe in our homes
They face challenges as we pass the time on our phones

When social distancing is over make it a priority to say
Thank you to those that help us by bravely paving the way

Karen Pritchard is a Merced resident.





As I look into the garden
I see it beginning to bloom
Each time I am delighted
With the arrival of this tune

Plants sway in the breeze
Bulbs poke up from the ground
Insects are already exploring
A friendship safe and sound

Listen closely and you can hear
The bees as they softly buzz
Working off in the distance
Doing their job perfectly, because

Impressive sounds of Spring
Very quiet, calming and fresh
Another beautiful season
That nature will put to the test



Please feel free to send your poem to Kim McMillon at [email protected] with your name, a one or two line bio, and a photo (optional). The poem should be specifically created for this column and no longer than 30 lines. You retain all rights to your poem. The poem should be an original work that would be helpful to people coping in these challenging times. You do not need to be a poet. Poetry is from the heart. It is the use of words to expand our horizons, to move beyond pain, hurt, whatever you are feeling, to come to love. It may not be that for all people, but whatever has you reaching for the pen is perfect. If the poet is less than 16 years of age, please send a note that says we may publish with the parent’s approval.

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