Merced County Times Newspaper
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Community In Poetry, Edition #2

April is National Poetry Month!

Dear Readers,

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.


Easter 2020




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


Merced Community




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.


Have Hope




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.



Late Bloomer




all through Merced High School

when it came to cool,

i wasn’t

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, 

definitely clueless

eventually i woke up, 

i think

to be cool, 

you can’t just say 

“I’m cool,” 

someone has to say it

like an introduction

“That’s Charlie, he’s cool”

as in, not square

the highest level

of cool

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

being cool

took practice


Charles Mariano was raised in Merced and currently lives in Sacramento. 



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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