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Rated: E · Poetry · Religious · #2160333
A collection of previously published poetry like a radio station's broadcast day.
The sins of all,
And the granite warrior
watching over the valley.

Sign On
“There are two sides to every coin and two sides to every man.”
advertisement for “Have Gun, Will Travel: The Video Collection”
So it is with all of us.
Each one of us has a side of our personalities that we really don’t bring out all that often;
one which is radically different from the one usually on public display.
That’s what this collection of 40 poems, most of which I’ve had published in various
anthologies, is all about.
The other side of one person: a wacky sportswriter, former “wild man of the airwaves”
disc jockey, and an overall clown.
I’m known around Posey County, Indiana (where I currently live and work) mainly for
writing five pages of copy each week about the games people play: mainly the games
played by teenagers and younger. I’m also known for imitating Fred Flintstone, a few
obnoxious sports figures and fracturing the old soft shoe.
All my life I’ve been this sort of wild man; an overly emotional history geek who doesn’t
always follow the crowd. At least that’s the side of my personality that gets out all the
time.
Then you have “the flip side”.
The wacky sportswriter is also a struggling Christian trying to stumble his way toward
Heaven.
The wild man of the airwaves is also a history geek who tries to understand the lessons of
the past and apply them to the present, while appreciating some of the trappings of days
gone by and lamenting the passing of some of the more pleasant aspects of Americana.
The class (or Church) clown is a sad, lonely bachelor still haunted by a youthful romance
that died before it really had a chance to live.
You probably won’t find much in the way of profound thought here, but you might come
away saying something else like “that’s the way I feel at times.”
You might get a few nerves touched, or have your memories of a special place or person
rekindled.
You might shed a tear or two thinking of a person very special to you who has either
passed out of your life, or has passed away altogether.
That’s how other people have felt in reading my work.
My first college journalism teacher looked at some of my earlier work and said they
showed a sensitive side of my personality that I conceal too well.
I was a disc jockey for nine years. Deejays used to refer to the non-play side of a popular
record as “the flip side,” the side that wasn’t a big hit. That didn’t necessarily mean it
wasn’t a good song, however.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was the flip side of a Gene Autry holiday single, for
instance.
This is that side of my personality.
This is the flip side.
Steve Joos

All is well, except for two things:
In memory of Ginnie Mulkey
1921-2000
In memory of Jim Kohlmeyer
1944-2007

A public service announcement from WJCE
Albert Einstein, Woodrow Wilson, Vince Lombardi, Bobby Knight, Joyce Carol Oates,
Stephen King, Patti Pratt.
What do these people have in common? They were all teachers. When you become a
teacher, you have the power to shape young minds and maybe help make the world a
better place. WJCE encourages you to reach for the power. Teach.
And to Mrs. Pratt, my personal favorite, thanks. The following is for you.


WJCE-FM Radio
Sign on
Morning devotional
The backwoods southern church……………………..9
The cross in winter…………………………………..10
For Nancy……………………………………………11
News, weather, sports and farm report
To innocent children who have died too soon……….12
Melissa’s resting place……………………………….13
A portrait of winter…………………………………..14
An autumn afternoon…………………………………15
Baseball belongs………………………………………17
The proud green Deere……………………………….18
Morning drive the kids to school show
The bog……………………………………………….19
The road pointing somewhere………………………...20
The old toy gas station………………………………..21
The little girl on the bike………………………………22
On this day in history
Into the past…………………………………………...23
The granite warrior……………………………………24
Two Illinoisans………………………………………...25
A Gold Star home……………………………………..26
Questions for The Wall………………………………..27
The unknown soldier…………………………………..28
In the tomb of giants…………………………………...30
Night trains……………………………………………..32
Taking your calls from…
Think of Galena………………………………………...33
Petersburg………………………………………………34
Havana………………………………………………….35
Sad old town……………………………………………36
Love lines
Friday night at the piano bar……………………………37
The request……………………………………………..38
Little lovebirds………………………………………….39
To a pretty girl………………………………………….40
For Terry………………………………………………..41
To a beautiful blonde……………………………………42
Memories and questions………………………………...43
Did you like Patty Beck?………………………………..44
I still see her……………………………………………..45
Evening devotional and sign off
Three lights……………………………………………...46
Through a dirty window…………………………………47
For Holly………………………………………………...48
The lonely janitor………………………………………...49


Morning devotional

The backwoods southern church

A white building
on a dusty country road,
A group of voices singing
without shame or reservation.
A Sunday morning, a breeze
penetrates the quiet.
It’s not elaborate,
the building has a basement
that’s almost natural.
But the Lord is there,
and Christian Love is there,
so the church is suitable,
the building is fine.
A lilac blooms through a
barbed-wire fence.


The cross in winter

It looked familiar from a distance;
the bright, silver light,
A beacon across the cold Illinois ground.
What is this? A light?
It is a light, a beacon,
a Cross among the lights of Christmas,
a light left by someone who’s forgotten his seasons.
A Cross, a symbol of Easter,
of the time when Christ was
slain to save a sin-sick world.
But now? When we celebrate the Lord’s birth?
Now, when we celebrate Christmas?
Why not?
For while we celebrate
Christmas as God’s gift of Love,
Easter is the gift of hope,
The Cross in winter outshone
Lights of the season.


For Nancy

She is slow,
she is halting,
and in a physical way
she is handicapped.
She can’t do what you and I do:
drive a car, ride a bike,
run a mile, sew a stitch,
have a job.
But she holds no grudges,
knows no hate,
hugs those who are kind,
loves those who are near
and we call her…
retarded.


News, weather, sports and farm report (sponsored by your local John Deere dealer)

To innocent children who have died too soon

My heart breaks to know
that your world ended too soon,
That one of us grownups was sick enough
to take you away.
That we don’t care,
that the world is a dangerous place
And people don’t want to make you safer
Or even let you live.
Your fingerprints should only be made
by a toy detective set,
While playing cops and robbers,
And make-believe bad men falling to
Your white plastic pistols
Should be the only gunplay at school.
I cry because it’s not that way,
I boil with rage at the selfishness
Of we adults.
We won’t let you be born and then
We who want you born turn a deaf ear
To your cries for help.
It wasn’t that way when I was your age.


Melissa’s resting place
(In memory of Melissa Rickard 1974-1992)

She eternally sleeps,
forever 17,
In the ground
beneath Poseyville.
Just a face in the crowd
who vanished too soon,
Just another girl at the game,
Just someone else.
Watching the boys on Friday night
or the girls on Thursday
Gone now, so sad
So young, so unfair.
A snowman arose by her stone,
then a heart,
Flowers, a cross,
A soft drink,
a cardboard cake.
A rose, a warning,
Buckle up, be safe
Wherever she is
does she know
How much we still love her?


A portrait of winter

The mill stands quietly in
the midst of a snow-covered field
Softening just enough to show a day
above freezing.
It’s still here on this bleak and
mournful day, with white-caked snow
on the spokes of the wheel and a
stream frozen, but starting to thaw.
A coal-black sky forms the backdrop
as a flock of birds escape the coming freeze.
Naked trees shiver in the winds and close in
around the solitary cobblestone mill.
Once this was a busy place, its stream
a staff of life for the pioneer farmers
who lived nearby; its wheels grinding grain,
cracking corn and providing food.
Now it waits for spring
and old men who were boys
then turn the wheels for
those who never knew it.
The mill sits silent for winter,
the sky darkens in early afternoon
and bone-chilling water is the only
sign of life.


An autumn afternoon

As I drive through the countryside,
The fall colors give off a muted glow,
A golden backdrop as the ground quietly
retires for another year
The sun seems sharper now,
as the silhouettes of trees
provide no cover for it.
The shadows are deeper now
as my car juts meteor-like
down a winding road.
Briefly I glance over the rolling hills,
As I scurry about my various tasks draw
me away from the wonder around my view.
The sun settling in, dodging in and out of view.
On rainy days, the leaves become matted
and form a golden carpet which sticks to
the soles of your shoes.
When they dry, the leaves crunch and crackle.
So many times the leaves dance in the wind
before falling, or skip across the ground in a
bright yellow whirlwind.
It’s a glorious time,
when God dresses the creation in its
Sunday best before putting it to sleep
for another year.
A time to be reborn,
or look at faded dreams.
A time to be surrounded by beauty
for one last comfortable time
The cloudless skies are sharper
and the weather is cooler, but brisk.
The rainy days seem to have more
sadness to them, more gloom, however.


Baseball belongs

Baseball belongs
to another place, another time
another season, another rhyme
to radios and black and white,
Dizzy, Peewee and the like.
Of lazy days which just drift by
And ballparks where the sun
must shine, as the Babe hits them
high, far and gone.
To hot dogs, pop and beer
peanuts only found here,
Ballantine blasts for the Mick
The Man, Gibby and Falstaff.
Grainy pictures and memories
for 40-year-old, 60-year-old
little boys and Bleacher Bums
watching Pete and Mr. Cub.
The National pastime’s
past its time and as we
cry for what was sublime
For baseball belongs
to another time.
17

The proud green Deere

She’s just a tractor,
two tons of metal
and a sound which
pierced the air around
many a country home.
Oh, but she seems like more,
she seems like a queen, a giant,
a legend hulking across the land.
Every bit the pride of the farm.
Her ancestors opened the prairie.
A yellow and green jewel, an emerald,
the pride and joy of many a farm boy.
The solid servant standing like armor
in many a country shed.
And when the farm boys went to war,
she stayed to help plant and bring the
grain that fed them on their vital chore.
Mr. Deere, when you shined you mother’s needles,
did you ever think that you’d make just a tractor
that did all this?


Morning drive the kids to school show

The bog

An hour’s drive and a million miles
from the maddening crowd,
it sits in stillness.
A lush green woods where
foliage grows and closes in
on a dwindling country pond.
The bulrushes rustle,
while the milkweeds bob
silently on this late summer day.
The winds whisper
at the ferns and leaves
as a monster dragonfly
shoots across the water.
So near, yet so far
from the city this place sits.
In country heat where you
can hear the corn grow.
A peaceful bog,
an hour’s drive
and a million miles away.
19
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2160333