April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poetry and poets. This is the second 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.
By JOYCE DALE
Lord bless my friends and family
On Easter Sunday 2020
The coronavirus won’t steal all our blessings
Because we have so many
Sure, we have to stay at home
Thank God for the roof over our heads
Our God is an awesome God
And His powerful spirit is not dead
We won’t be going to the mall
To buy new Easter clothes
No need for patent leather shoes
Or fancy panty hose
We won’t be hiding Easter eggs
For children in the park
We won’t be playing dominoes
And hanging out till dark
We won’t be getting together in person
Because we have to stay at home
So how about we Zoom together
By computer or by telephone
Let’s all Zoom together for Easter
Share your love with family and friends
Share your stories and count your blessings
In Jesus’ Holy name. Amen
Joyce Dale is a Merced poet and motivational speaker. She discovered her gift of writing at a very young age. She went to Washington D.C. in 1989 to accept a Poet of the Year award. She has been published in several World Of Poetry Anthologies and currently has three books of poetry available at www.lulu.com.
By CHRISTINA ACOSTA
You held me when graduate school was tearing me to shreds
I didn’t know if I could go on at times
But you, with your wide grins and belly laughing people
People who had to learn to laugh so they wouldn’t cry
You kept me going
Now that this pandemic is sweeping the world I know you are still living, still thriving and laughing and dancing and singing Merced
Because despite everything that has tried to dim your spirits, you are shining
Thank you beautiful souls
For being so breathtakingly strong and still tender enough to calm anxious minds like mine
Karaoke at Kewl Cats and tacos at J and R are in my heart
Merced Theater productions and Gottschalk drum lessons and Cue Spot Billiards still tug it’s strings
I loved you Merced and I always will
You deserve everything the big cities get and more
Because you are a song that plays even when there is no music
You are the melody that I sing because I can’t get you out of my head
Be safe, be well, and keep smiling
This will all pass
But you, you never will
You’ll live forever Merced
Your people will keep stomping their feet and hollering so that we never forget
That you are not a place for the faint of heart
Christina Acosta is a recent UC Merced grad. She received her MA in Sociology and taught for one year in the Ethnic Studies Department at California State University, Stanislaus. She recently returned to Southern California to be near her aging mother and was a substitute teacher until the schools were closed due to Covid-19. Recently, she has been writing, meditating, and running on her treadmill while sheltering in place in Long Beach.
By ANYA GIELING
Everyone is away from their friends.
It feels like this time has no end.
Some people may be grave.
Though you need to remember to be brave.
Look to your family as your guide.
They will be there by your side.
Doctors and Nurses are the highest in rank.
They really deserve our thanks.
These are scary times.
But, remember you can always watch Amazon Prime!
Anya Gieling is 9 years old and attends McSwain School. She loves reading and writing. She is involved in McSwain 4-H, and her projects include goats, horses, communications and arts, and crafts. She recently won Gold at the Merced County 4-H Communications Day for an interpretive reading. She also plays soccer and basketball, and attends Yosemite Church.
By CHARLES MARIANO
all through Merced High School
when it came to cool,
bad clothes, bad hair,
couldn’t even talk right
about the coolest thing i ever did
was not stare
and keep my mouth shut
did people talk behind my back?
did people feel sorry for me?
i mean yeah, maybe
back then, being cool
meant more than one thing,
and not the temperature
all through high school
i didn’t drink or smoke weed
which was a small miracle
for the times
i mean, the song, “Talkin ‘bout my generation,”
was My generation
so i might’ve been considered square,
or close to it,
eventually i woke up,
to be cool,
you can’t just say
someone has to say it
like an introduction
“That’s Charlie, he’s cool”
as in, not square
the highest level
someone could say about me
“That’s Charlie, he’s good people”
which was sort of
a bundled stamp of approval
good guy, cool, hip, and best of all,
not a narc
what i wanted to do at first,
when introduced like that,
was point out
how grammatically incorrect,
the phrase was, and say,
“But I’m not people, I’m just one person”
kept my mouth shut
Charles Mariano was raised in Merced and currently lives in Sacramento.
SUBMIT YOUR POEM!
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.