As You Grow
by Lea Newman
As you grow
Your mind will grow
You will become
You will view life
In a different way
Minds pt. 2
by Renee Hogan
I love your mind and all your thoughts.
I wish your mind was a palace.
No! a city! That way, I could take a plane
to the center of your thoughts and run
free, exploring the depths.
I could stop in stores and see your favorite
things, trinkets, treasures, toys.
I could see the sights, hear the sounds
of the bustling city.
I could visit the monuments
you’ve put up in the past to people, events, moments
in time you’ve captured.
I could tour the museums you’ve curated to memorialize
times of peace and prosperity,
times of darkness and desperation,
times of war between
your emotions and your logic,
whole exhibits to people you
wish you could forget,
and idols you wish you could be.
I could stop in the cinema and watch the
moments you play over and over
and hear your director’s cut commentary
on parts you liked, things you would change,
people you would recast.
Best of all, I could go to your schools
and libraries and hear lectures and read
books on your innermost thoughts.
I could visit the city council where
your decisions are made and wonder
why you chose to know me.
But your mind isn’t a city,
I can’t go there by plane. So, I’ll just have to
satisfy myself with the carefully filtered thoughts you produce
in writing, speech, and action, those bits of you
that make it through the city gates and out your lips
and from your fingertips;
and wish I could have
more of you, and that I would be the person
you would drop the filter for
and share all those beautiful thoughts.
Down the Road
by Renee Hogan
A businessman walks by a bookstore
Window- heel toe, heel toe
Heel-pauses right before the door
And with red eyes does steal
Quick glances at a single book,
Paperback, scene of an
Open highway, upon closer look
Messy letters, scrawled name.
The familiar name brings him back to
Long days of tapping palms
On a dashboard, staring at blue
Sky, penning pagan psalms
And smoking out cracked window panes
Singing scat scat, scat scat
Like an old drunk stumbling through rain,
Crazy speeding hepcat.
The dull suited man steps inside
Grabs the display copy, now
Thinking far thoughts that hide
Behind broad wrinkled brow.
Slams it down on cracked countertop
Blocking out sale girl’s words,
Restlessly tapping on wood knot.
Out the window, birds.
Sitting down on a rough wood stool
With gin in hand, he stares
Down at the novel, a mind full
Of wonder, slowly dares
To picture his own name on the
Cover – but no, he sighs;
Opens to page one and then he
Reads while loos’ning his tie.
by Renee Hogan
As a child, I wandered and traversed over green hills
With bright dandelions dotting my path and played with the
Rabbits, dog, and chickens; skipping
My toes sunk deep into
The garden mud then splashed calf deep
In candy-colored kiddy pool on sun-sparkled water.
I had oceans, I had deserts, I had mountains, and
I had valleys, all within
The safety of my green wire fence.
Just when the sun sunk beneath the treetops of green leaf fur,
My cousin would appear at the gate calling out greeting
In a sing-song voice returned by
The soft pitter patter.
Pitter patter of my bare feet.
I thought her much older and wiser though only by two years;
Her hair dark as the garden soil streaming behind in the wind.
Telling secrets on the tire swing
Round and round chains squeaking, girls giggling.
In the treehouse atop the green fence wire, we were like
Pilgrims making up languages in tree caves carved carefully
Out of wood using unknown utensils,
Decorating the house with
Rough bark and floral trimmings galore.
Day by day we played until that deep red sun fell off
The earth and colors filled the sky. Then we’d wave goodbye at
The green locked gate and head back
To our respective homes and families.
On the weekends, I got in my dad’s red Ford Explorer
And poking my head out of sunroof towards sky yelled down,
“Go faster, go faster, go-” falling
back down into the plush
seat laughing, letting him buckle me in;
He smiled eyes kind but tired, for he could no longer
See the sky blue and bright so high above our curl-topped heads,
above the opened sky roof,
above treetops, and cloud canopy.
Then we would order the home-style breakfast and share it
With a small OJ on the side; my eyes would greedily
Devour a second pancake before
Finishing my first one.
I flipped through printed pages of words
Pretending I knew what I was reading to be like him.
Peering out the sun-lit windows picking at pastel paint.
I’d kick the foot of his chair
Impatiently when I wanted to leave.
Afterwards, we would fish out of a yellow blow-up boat,
Tip-toes dangling in cool, mossy water letting minnows
Tickle my feet with nibbly snacking.
My father rowed around
With strong arms covered in wrinkling skin
And I’d float, weightless, on my knees, with my neck outstretched
Watching the soaring birds, feeling like I was one of them,
Not knowing, not caring where
I was going, unaware of time.
There were days when my father had to work on the weekend
And I stared into my cheerios bowl pushing my spoon
Click clack click clack and leaning into
My palm, fingers tapping
Absentmindedly on my forehead.
I flipped through the paper, giving up on the news, instead
Glancing over the comics, my mouth turning corners but
My eyes contradicted it,
Glazing over, wandering aimless.
I found one of the rabbits resting peacefully in a nest
Of hay, fur, and grass, paws crossed like a Komodo dragon.
Her spring-like hop wilted in the
Summer heat after eleven
Summers gone by in the cool breeze.
My eyes shed no tear but were opened slightly, while stopping
To rest on her small, speckled body. We buried her
Five dwarf steps away from
The green fence under a rocky mount.