Thursday, December 15, 2011

3 poems by author, artist, and poet Dodie Meeks

Dodie Messer Meeks has poetry in a couple of hundred journals and literary magazines and several anthologies. The Arts Alliance Center of Clear Lake published an illustrated collection of her work, entitled, “When I Got Dressed Again.” She is currently illustrating a children’s book of poetry for the publishers of The Lyric, which she describes as “the only poetry publisher older than I am, which is pretty amazing.”

The Friendswood Public Library carries a copy of Dodie's When I Got Dressed Again. See the Reference desk for assistance.


Outside the window of my room
Big creamy plates of bloom
Keep spilling charcoal seeds.
The bees are slurping out there, dazed,
In two hundred proof magnolia
couched in leathery leaves. 

All up and down the block
The neighbors’ lawns
Are clipped formica neat
But my garden
That they can hardly stand
Is all elbows and knees. 

Salvia slavering down the walk
Ivy shinnying up the stalks
Of three kinds of anemone
Rioting as anemone can
Each stem erupting into ten.
That hospital gift gardenia 

We gave a decent burial
Is pop-corned over with bloom
Enough for a funeral or two
Crowding a candelabra of lilies
Budded so aching tight
It hurts to look. 

Those roses that you sent
Claw through whatever this is,
With veins of tattered blue
On international orange.
And I know I never put in
This goofy garlic patch. 

That sad, young, wandering priest
We let sleep on our sofa for a spell
Was a fussy eater. These might be
From the kernels he threw out.
It’s taking on the mint.
Well. You know mint. 

Smells like a candy cane
Has the soul of a virus.
They said to contain it
But don’t tell me
What to do with my darn mint.
So here’s a carpet of that. 

Too thick to get a grip on
But for a leaf or two, for tea.
And here come some caladium
Unfurling burgundy veined with green.
The brass section. Aren’t they
Supposed to come back small? 

Where you are, in London,
Crocuses peek through snow.
In Holland the tulips are marching along
Row on proper row.
Like ads for laundry soap.
But they have that purple scent. 

It’s illegal to let poppies grow
In Greece. But they do, anyway,
Their hairy stems
Claw up through rock
Gasping for a breath of mist.
Boy. It’s moist here all the time.
I can stand in the middle of my house
And feel my garden buzz and seethe
Like mother, yanking on a sequined blouse
To wear to church. Saying whee.
 Whoop de doo, Jim. Whoop de doo.
 It’s just the gypsy in me.

Dodie Meeks


We are grown unaccustomed now to trees.

They lean above and breathe a trailing mist

that slides in on all sides. They sway and list.

We urban dwellers stand and stare at these 

as the Apaches did. They neared this mound

and signaled for silence. Quivering, intent

the shadowy riders listened, quickly bent,

slid down, and made their way around. 

They saw the shape embedded in this stone.

We are grown unaccustomed now to these

contrivances of seed, these symmetries

of bark and darkened overlapping cone. 

Was it some sudden silence shimmering

in rotted leaf and spears of splintered light

flickered the green gold sun as cold as night?

Or some large eye, half-open, glimmering?

Dodie Meeks

Advice for the Bride

Dear little ladies with dear little voices
Have ended upended on ant teeming slopes
Or, after a tiff, have been dropped from a cliff,
Or dangled forlornly on slow-turning ropes.

Girls who must have the last word every argument
Have eaten their words in a dank dungeon keep
Or languished in stocks or been fed glowing rocks
Or watched cablevision and given up sleep.

Ladies with tongues far less acid than mine is
Gurgled on guillotines, writhed on the rack.
All that I have to fear—tell me I’m lucky, dear—
Is the dank certainty. He won’t be back.

All my proud sisterhood, swearing you will be good,
Wishing indeed you could be still as stone.
Raise your arm. Make a fist. Swear to remember this:
Grammatical errors are best left alone.

All my proud sisterhood, knowing too well you should
Be ever so careful to leave it unsaid.
No matter what you hear always remember, dear,
Never correct a man’s grammar in bed.

Dodie Meeks
Other poems and illus. by Dodie Meeks:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

4 poems by teacher, poet, and naturalist Richard Peake

Richard Peake in an African village in
Sierra Leone on a birding safari.
A native Virginian, Richard Peake became a Texas resident after retiring from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He published early poems in Impetus alongside John Ciardi and in The Georgia Review. Collections of his poetry include Wings Across… and Poems for Terence published by Vision Press, which also included poems of his in A Gathering at the Forks. He published Birds and Other Beasts in 2007. A member of The Poetry Society of Texas he has recently published in Avocet, Asinine PoetryBoundless 2010 and 2011, Nature Croons, Ides of March, Raven Images, Skive, Sol Magazine, Shine Journal (one nominated for the Pushcart Prize), The Book of the Year PST 2010, 2011, and 2012,  The Road Not Taken, The Texas Poetry Calendar 2012, and elsewhere. A life-long naturalist, a father and grandfather, he teaches birds, Shakespeare, and writing in OLLi.

Richard Peake has been a featured poet at Friendswood Public Library poetry readings and we look forward to having him back in early 2013.

Electric Wings for Ars Poetica  

Like arctic terns in flight
from pole to pole
or swallows speeding to new nests
or metallic birds
that outpace the speed of sound
words grow wings
to fly around the world
as we let our thoughts migrate. 
For sad or happy thoughts
there is no transport like a poem
to speed emotions forth.
Across barriers of land or sea,
a poet’s words
can bring us serious things
or just a clever jest
to lift the poet’s wit with wings. 
With the speed of wireless phones
or the internet
words fly faster than terns or swallows
or sound-barrier-breaking planes
So let my poem
ascend on electric wings
to speed my praise
of a time to honor poetry.  

published in The Book of the Year 2010

My Cousins’ Fledermaus 

Their ID erred dismally.
I’m sure they didn’t know tequila can’t exist
without bats flying like night moths
to pollinate agave plants. And being only five
I was just as ignorant of the good bats do.
My aunt and cousins, confused by the German,
treated the poor flying creature
as if it were a mouse they dreaded
and might have stood on chairs to avoid
unaware that bats gobble night-flying insects,
not Mississippi women afraid of mice.
For them the flying mammal wandering in that night
brought dangers from a dark, bloody world
to tangle in their flowing locks
and suck their luscious virginal blood.
My cousins wielded weapons against this flying fury
whose fangs appeared ten inches long
to them, though to the young boy
hiding under a convenient table
the bat seemed fangless, distraught, befuddled
by the lights and by the brooms
belaboring it in awkward pursuit of its frantic flight—
a beast thought at the very least to carry rabies
from the haunts of vampires.
Screams and commands and deadly swipes
filled the room with eager mayhem
as bloodlust born of fear prevailed.
The flying mouse could not escape into the night.
Amazon warriors soon displayed to me its limp,
lifeless body—exulting in their victory
over the dark forces of the summer night. 

published in Raven Images, Nov., 2010

I Favor Three-toed Sloths
          for Theodore Roethke

Volcano watching, ungainly two-toed sloth
fell out of a scenic too-slender tree,
broke limbs, narrowly missing me—
clambered, slipperied back up with baleful wroth.

Clumsy two-toed, too-inquisitive sloths—
less careful how they climb and doze
than clever species with three toes—
should try pledging visitors troth.

Canny three-toed sloths know slow
moving. You might deem them smug
as they give branches a hug,
ex-as-per-at-ing-ly slow they move from high to low.

You jump and yell and try to wake them
but deep in sleep slowly they go
swaying in the breeze by their three toes
unheedful of your stratagems— 
they blink—you know they know they know.

published in Asinine Poetry, Feb., 2010

No Meals, No Songs

Unnatural landscapes breed no song,
provide little food for nestlings.
Like blue gum forests in strange lands
yards of aliens yield no songsters.

Insects loiter in native plants
not aliens they cannot digest.
Where no caterpillars devour
live trees and bushes, no birds sing.

Exotic herbs planted for show
live free of bug bites and cocoons,
free of warblers and tanagers
who find no insects to digest.

published in Nature Croons, Apr., 2011
More poems by Richard Peake:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friendswood Public Library: 5th highest ranked library in Texas within our budget group

The Library Journal has ranked Friendswood Public Library the 5th highest ranked library in Texas within our budget group! That is 5th out of 70 Texas public libraries.

A warm thank you to everyone who makes this a great place to work and grow!