Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Christmas Poem by Gary Christian

Santa’s Going High Tech
Santa’s going high tech on us. He’s wanted to for many years.
His sleigh’s in a museum.
The elves are fretting as it nears.
No more snowy December nights, no reindeer straddling the roofs,
no flu from riding in the cold,
no more reindeer’s injured hoofs.
He wanted something very quiet
so he could sneak both in and out,
and no one know that he was there, or even that he was about.
Something radar couldn’t detect, you know, with stealth technology.
Something he would not explain nor offer an apology.
He’ll still use elves to make the toys in his toy plant at the North Pole.
He thinks that still is viable,
well, anyway, that is his goal.
He might just hire them all part-time. That way he can avoid health care

or get a small business exemption. They’re doing that most everywhere.
He consulted with the government for help to get his project done.
He’s worked on it for many years out there in Area 51.
Boeing thought he should use drones but stay clear of Afghanistan.

There’s danger in those mid-East skies. That’s where the drone use all began.
He’s built a drone port at the Pole. I think it’s called the Poledrome
and sits at the console controls and guides deliveries to each home.
I guess he’ll call that Santa Air. The cost will not be quite as deer,
of course, the rain won’t bother him and he’ll avoid an aching ear

Friday, December 18, 2015

Spring Festival of Literary Arts

It's coming...March 3-5, 2016 in Southern Utah

Th-Mar 3 Z-ARTS free LECTURE-Plein Art Poetry
      in Springdale's Canyon Community Center 7-9 pm
      Optional overnight discount lodging available

Fri-Mar 4 POETRY IN THE PARK workshop
      at Zion Park Lodge in Zion Park 9 am-4 pm
      Visiting poet-Dr. David J. Rothman from
      Western Colorado State University

Fri-Mar 4-CHAPARRAL AWARDS Program-Free
      7 pm at Social Hall in St. George

       at Social Hall in St. George, outstanding presenters:
      Dr. Rothman-Arrive at the Intellect by Way of the Heart
      Marleen Bussma-Passin' It On: Cowboy Poetry
      Brian Passey-Get Lost-Photo Journalism and
      Marilyn Richardson-Tension in Prose: Why it Matters

DISCOUNTS for UTSPS members See details or

Friday, December 11, 2015

Meet BONNIE ANDERSON of Dixie Poets

Bonnie J. Anderson was born in Salt Lake city, Utah.  Graduated  college 1998. Retired Physical Therapist Assistant. Known by some as  a very old spirit. Deeply loves nature and animals. Dabbled in art and loves to paint with words.  Bonnie keeps busy with Dixie Poets' activities, the St George Book Festival, Heritage Writers Guild, and planning for the Spring Festival of Literary Arts-more on that next week on this blog. 

A Poem

Sometimes the written words 
are a release from your soul.   
Words have been a part 
of who you are, 
for all time and eternity.  
let words fall like stardust…
Hope rises like Fireflies, 
you have wings to fly.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Meet BARBARA FUNKE of Redrock Writers Chapter

Barbara Funke taught English for 36 years before retiring from Duneland Schools in Chesterton, Indiana.  She became an award-winning high school theater director in the state’s northwest area and a member of Indiana’s Hall of Fame for competitive speech coaches. A current member of writing groups both in Indiana and Utah, including Utah State Poetry Society, she is a former director of Redrock Writers, which held both its 19th successful Creative Writing Seminar and its 13th successful national poetry contest in 2015. Her winning poems have appeared in Chaparral Poetry Forum chapbooks, Sandcutters chapbook, and Panorama and National Federation of State Poetry Societies' Encore anthologies.  Her husband Bob is a generous cheerleader for all her artistic efforts.

Ode  to  the  Eraser                                                                                                 

Little bullet of solace
quicker than a Minute Man,
you defend against insurgencies
of graphite or lead.
Your color irrelevant to quality,
your sexual preference moot,
you are firm but resilient,
patient yet alert.
Once called into service
you accept your assignment
without complaint.

So plainly uniform when new,
you soon surrender the crisp edges of inexperience
to work on, in, behind, between the lines,
get down, get dirty.
Irregular as special forces,
disguised as a tired lump of gum, ugly,
maybe maimed, you bear scars of each skirmish
into the next encounter.

The writer salutes you, embattled one,
counts on your humble loyalty,
your innumerable sacrifices, great and small.
Together you fight against peril,
against letters excessive, disorderly,
against the undisciplined hordes of words,
against poisonous clouds of ill-penned gas.
And when you find yourself
diminished through months of duty,
undecorated, retired, replaced,
rest easy and contented, gallant warrior,
assured your gift of self and substance
is mankind's more than modest gain.           

Friday, November 27, 2015

Meet LAVERNA JOHNSON of Dixie Poets Chapter

President of Utah State Poetry Society 2009-2011, LaVerna Laub Bringhurst Johnson enjoys sharing poetry and encouraging young poets. She is a co-founder and first president of Redrock Writers in St. George and has served as a UTSPS board member, president of Dixie Poets chapter, as editor of the UTSPS publication, Panorama, editor of Redrockʼs Chaparral Poetry Forum, and has served on the editorial board of Utah Sings

Poetry in the Park was developed by her while she was UTSPS President and continues now in its seventh year at Zion Park through a partnership with Zion Natural History Association and Zion Field Institute with a UTSPS grant from Division of Arts and Musuems, and National Endowment for the Arts. It's a day long workshop featuring an outstanding visiting poet with participants including scholarshipped high school poets, teachers and poets nationwide. More info available on this year’s PIP program Mar 3-5, 2016 at

LaVerna’s work has been published in Panorama, Irreantum, Nine One One, Encore, Utah Sings, Heritage Writers Anniversary Book, Southern Quill, online at,htm in three chapbooks and numerous newspapers and magazines. Rights to her children's Christmas musical, "Jungle Bells" were sold to McMillan Publishing and money donated to Parker Whitney Elementary school. Other productions and songs have been contributed to worthy causes. What an example and encourager LaVerna continues to be to so many. Her contributions and achievements could fill many pages.

Old Fashioned Cookies

Time was when Grandma’s cookies were
almost synonymous with her.
It was her job (grandchildren’s view)
to hand out hugs and read to you.

A pudding here, a porridge there,
and, unabashedly, gray hair
gave her a look much like my own
but, my Grandma, those days have flown.

Now, Grandma’s working out at gym,
or golf, or tennis—and she’s slim!
I’m out of step, it’s plain to see.
Here, have a cookie. Talk to me!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Meet MAURINE HALTINER of Valley Winds Chapter

Maurine tells us about her life: "A graduate of the University of Utah, I taught English in Salt Lake City for 33 years. I was 2004 UTSPS Poet of the Year with my book A Season and a Time. I also have published a  young adult novel Truth Windows, spotlighting Utah’s Sanpete County. I currently play principal 2nd violin with the Wasatch Community Symphony Orchestra. I have given poetry readings & presented workshops for UTSPS. As participants in the Artists in the Schools program at West High, my students & I created a young adult novel, Torrents of Spring, a rival to Hemingway’s early book of the same name. For me poetry is word-play with serious intentions, even when those intentions provoke a humorous response—hence “Sprinkler Cliff,” my famous seasonal poem. Following a class at Westminster College taught by Boston poet Jill McDonough, I wrote many blank verse poems. “Night in Monterey” is one of those & one of my favorites." Maurine currently serves as our UTSPS secretary.

Night in Monterey

Releasing darkness from their wings, the crows
appear on cue and cross the sky. Their caws
move west from inland trees to mouth of bay.
The sun, once proud distraction, loses light
below a shift of waves and misty hues
of gold and red. I love these migrant crows
that murder day. Death rides upon their wings. 
No longer blind to sound I hear the night,
how water knows its way, rebukes cold cliffs
as hollow cries from gulls defy the wind.
Between each cuff of waves bold silence knows
itself. The sea holds back. The tern is still.
The crows drop down on trees. A thousand eyes
and muted caws attend this brittle peace.