by Mary Boren

Joan Kemple immediately recognized the inherent beauty in this scene behind our church’s maintenance shed on her way to the Nature Sanctuary. She sent me the photo, thinking I might be inspired to write a poem about it. My muse has gone on an extended (and unexcused) walkabout, but I passed the challenge along as a contest prompt on a poetry site I frequent. The winning entries, though completely different in style, each capture the metaphor’s significance in a unique way. They are republished here with permission of the authors.

Among Abandoned Things

by Mark Vincent

     Have you observed our Maker lift His brush
     in springtime, painting primrose on the plain;
     and how, come fall, He fills His brush again
     to burnish forests with a russet blush? 
     Oh, have you seen Him when the sky is flush
     at eventide; oft draped with silken skeins
     of pinks and purples as the summer wanes,
     occasioned by the singing of the thrush?

     If so, you may have seen His brushstrokes spread
     where least expected, strewn to lift one’s gloom;
     surprisingly, they’re never out of view.
     Just yesterday I found behind the shed,
     among abandoned things your favorite bloom;
     a testament His brush paints just for you!

Chair With Impeccable Charm and Amazing Karma

by Robert Richard

            I'm sure you 
            would have enjoyed explaining
            this scene.
            How entropy requires 
            no effort
            no need to maintain
            polish or preen.

            From here
            you told us
            not that
            objects in the mirror
            are closer than they appear
            but why.

            About light years
            about war.
            Moon landings, 
            kindness and
            just things.

            that the best time to fish
            is when it's raining
            and when it ain't.

            you had a dollar
            for anyone who could
            lick their elbow.

            taking Ozymandias 
            and you to dust.

            You acquiesced peacefully
            your patina 
            perfectly wrinkled
            and mind-
            still brilliant. 

            So I stopped by to say-
            If there is another life after this one, 
            I hope to come across your soul again. 

            And that
            I think of you 

            when it's raining

            and when it ain't.

things discarded

by Doug Curry

            a haggard stray dog following
            a lost man playing blues
            rhythms on a washboard 
            a lonely old man listening

            things discarded
            find in each other use 
            not envisioned before
            what is left was left

            to rust and fray
            tumble about 
            in the cast-off
            wastes of a junkyard

            a rusted barrel
            becomes support
            under a chair's torn seat
            the chair its anchor

            each making use
            of the other's need
            creating anew one 
            new thing of two 

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