Merced County Times Newspaper
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The Times introduces ‘Community In Poetry’

April is National Poetry Month: Let's share poetic words of love, hope and joy!


Dear Readers,

April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poetry and poets.
This is the first 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.
The following poems and community poets have started things off. Make sure and read below on how you can submit your own poem to Community in Poetry!


Wash your hands,
don’t touch your eyes


I am frightened,
I am scared,
There is something, 
A Virus, 
Floating In the air.

It does not see color
It does play fair
It just takes life
Sucks out all your air.

Life is scary
At this time.
Wash your hands
Don’t touch your eyes

Make a mistake
It may be your last
Wash your hands
Stay inside

Some people listen
Some think it’s jive
Last time I checked
Some had died

I believe this “too shall pass”
Until then you could pass
A deadly virus, accurately unintended
From not listening, touching your eyes
Gathering in groups, 
Acting like you’ve got nothing to lose,
Ok, you may not, but I do.

So, I ask you please adhere to the facts
There’s a Virus floating in the air
That will, that does, that is 
Killing families, friends and lovers
Everyday, Every minute, Every hour
Sadly, right now the Virus has the power
So wash your hands
Don’t touch your eyes
And please, please stay inside


Michelle Allison currently serves as Board Chair for the Boys & Girls Club of Merced County, Community Advisor Chair for Valley PBS, Dignity Health Quality Committee Chair, and Director with Winton Water District.




My Knight In Shining Armor


My knight in shining armor wasn’t young,
He was in his seventies when he rescued me
his armor was a suit, tie suspenders, and the word of God
His sword, the Bible
With Love, he took me into his home 
Every week we went to his castle (the Antioch Baptist church)
filled with other knights called Deacons
Women called Mothers 
Children who became my cousin
He taught me how to make community family
How to Love everyone
See beyond the outside
Bring people together 
And though the Knight has been gone these 33 years
I miss my Uncle as much now as then …
Thank you, and I Love You
Rev. Tomas Coleman Wynn 


Necola Adams is a realtor with Coldwell Banker Gonella Realty in Merced, and the owner of Mrs. Adams Gourmet cookies, the cookies with an attitude.



All The World


We don’t have to touch
We just need to feel
We don’t have to empty stores
Feeling we will never have enough
We don’t have to close our hearts
Like doors left unopened
Separate our minds
Like borders that can never be crossed
We just need to feel
Feel what, you ask?
To feel that we are not alone
To feel that we are connected
We don’t have to touch
We don’t have to hug
We don’t have to kiss
We just need to feel
To open our hearts
To refuse to let go of hope
Of our ability to heal
To know
To understand
That All the World
Is us.


Kim McMillon received a Ph.D. in World Cultures at the University of California, Merced, with an emphasis on African American Literature. Ms. McMillon is a contributor to the anthology Some Other Blues: New Perspectives on Amiri Baraka which will be published by Ohio University Press in 2021. Ms. McMillon’s radio show Arts in the Valley aired every Saturday on 1480 KYOS AM in Merced, California from 2010 to 2014.













Taking care of people

Being There

Al Young is an American poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and professor. On May 15, 2005, he was named Poet Laureate of California by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Al suffered a stroke in late 2018 and is focused on healing.




Send Us Your Poems!

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.

The Poetry Matters Project

Community in Poetry is partnering with The Poetry Matters Project.  If you are interested in submitting your poem to the Poetry Matters Poetry Challenge.

Whether you are a published poet, have never written a poem, or have the writing of a poem on your bucket list, the Poetry matters Project invites you to take the “Poetry Challenge” where participants challenge their friends, and family to write a poem of no more than 30 lines in 30 days.  Entries can be posted at You can send the file as an audio recording, document file, mp3, or video file.

The entry rules are listed on the Poetry MATTERS PROJECT SUBMITTABLES PAGE. You must be at least thirteen years of age to enter. There is no cost to submit your poem to the “Poetry Challenge.”  Only two poems are allowed per contestant and must be original works that have never been published.

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