Category Archives: Poetry

August 6, 1945

August 6, 1945 by Millen Brand Excerpted from Local Lives: Poems About the Pennsylvania Dutch, ©1975 Fred Braun has just leaned out on a low windowsill that needs painting. There are cracks in it, but so far they have let no rain through. They can wait a little longer. This moment is his to enjoy, …

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Murals of Greyscale

A Good Day by Kait Rokowski (website) Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries, took the bus home, carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment and cooked myself dinner. You and I may have different definitions of a good day. This week, I paid my rent and my credit card …

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And it stoned me, to my soul…

The Rainbow by Millen Brand Excerpted from Local Lives: Poems About the Pennsylvania Dutch, ©1975 Herbert Berky tells this story: When he was a boy, he used to work in two hill fields Josephus Gerhard had given his father. “You went up a lane that started between the Borneman place and Uncle John’s, and made …

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He Stands

One of the wonderful things about Local Lives: Poems About the Pennsylvania Dutch, ©1975, by Millen Brand, is that it’s not just a book of poems– it’s a local history. Ralph Berky is the real name of a real person, and the poem describes his real life: Ralph Berky by Millen Brand A German of …

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Just For a Moment

Elda Maria Smiling by Millen Brand Excerpted from Local Lives: Poems About the Pennsylvania Dutch, ©1975 Elda Maria visits her grandmother in the evening, and there is evening over the aging eyes. Her grandmother thinks, How I loved her father when he was small! And everything about this child is my son again– see him …

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Such and such a cabin

I bought this book of poetry on a whim, and have been enchanted from the first page.  Millen Brand reminds me of Carl Sandburg, only friendlier: The Last Families in the Cabins by Millen Brand Excerpted from Local Lives: Poems About the Pennsylvania Dutch, ©1975 At a bend in the Bally-Dale road, in a low …

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The Life of Mama Fruh

The Life of Mama Fruh by Millen Brand Excerpted from Local Lives: Poems About the Pennsylvania Dutch, ©1975 A day of fall, a windless day when from a summer cornice dogwood hangs its fire of dying leaves over signaling buds. It is Mama Fruh’s birthday. In the kitchen of the large farmhouse she sits with …

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Local Lives

I found an amazing book at the used book store:  Local Lives: Poems About the Pennsylvania Dutch by Millen Brand, ©1975. He had kept a poetic diary for thirty-four years documenting the real people and real events of the community he lived in, publishing it almost as an afterthought. His character sketches are simply amazing.  …

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Statues

We don’t have any statues of Confederate generals where I live, although a lot of roads and schools are named for them.  Our only statue is in the park downtown, and it’s of a dolphin.  That’s a bit odd for a city roughly 250 miles from the ocean, but, there you go. Some people are …

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Fleeting Temples

Small Kindnesses by Danusha Laméris The New York Times (9/19/2019), Bonfire Opera I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you” when someone sneezes, a leftover from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying. …

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I have traveled a long way since then…

The Saddest Poem I Have Ever Written by Debbie Millman You didn’t realize I had died until you walked in and found me freezing under the beige blanket we both hate. While relaying the news to my friends you decided it was good that I went so quickly. In mulling this over since, I am …

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Zombie Fan Fiction

From the blog Reyna Writes Things: The poor cried, “We are starving. There is no more bread, and we have nothing to eat.” The rich man said, “Not my problem you don’t work for your bread,” as if he did not snatch away the grain by his own greedy hands and create filling bread for …

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