Brackenridge Park inspiration photo by Gary O. Smith.
Brackenridge Park inspiration photo by Gary O. Smith.
Melanie Robinson Profile
Don Mathis Headshot

Whether therapy or protest, we are people of stories and not much else. Don Mathis and I often play dress up in poetry, writing of our musings and the feelings that bury us on pieces of paper. We frequent readings and writing workshops and are apart of a dying breed of mammals who still believe in words. It is our belief that there is poetry in all of us; you just have to listen closely to the beating.

With this column, Don and I strive to bring poetry from a variety of local authors into the community as a device for growth and self-reflection. Each month, we will issue a topic from which we ask all submitted works be loosely based and will feature about five poems. We encourage authors of all ages and backgrounds to submit their works. “Winter” was chosen as the inspiration this month.

People don’t need poetry, but they do need magic. Read. Enjoy. Submit.

Winter by Charles Darnell

A smile flutters like snowflakes,
Seeking an appropriate face,
And finding none,
Vanishes teeth first.

Charles Darnell lives in San Antonio and is a member of the Sun Poet’s Society. His work has appeared in “Voices Along the River,” “di-verse-city,” “Still Crazy,” and “The Enigmatist, Nebo: A Literary Journal.” He is a past winner of the San Antonio Poetry Fair Award and the Tempie Skerritt-Hickman Award. Darnell is presently seeking publication for a volume of poems inspired by characters and stories from Judeo-Christian writings.

North Texas Winter by Don Mathis

Poets have historically disregarded convention and authority. Don Mathis keeps the tradition alive. Photo by Lea Lopez-Fagin.
Poets have historically disregarded convention and authority. Don Mathis keeps the tradition alive. Photo by Lea Lopez-Fagin.

I’ve seen cities,
silent as a forest,
in the falling snow.

The path I shoveled
in Germany’s January
watched March’s thaw.

Slush and slop-turtles
in D.C.’s streets
shows ugly freeze.

But I have never seen
the same white blossoms
in a variety of trees,

Signs with teeth
fearsomely demanding
respect for the road,

Teeth that bite,
in a North Texas Winter,
with a bitter cold.

Don Mathis served as president of the Texoma Poetry Society in 2011, was crowned champion of the McKinney Poetry Slam, is a founding member of the San Antonio Poetry Fair and participates regularly with the Sun Poet’s Society and La Taza writers’ group.

Peter Holland, poet.
Peter Holland, poet.

Holiday Traditions by Peter Holland

To keep my mother
from a melt down
Dad would take us
to wander the malls.
Back when decoration
was more than
simple bows or
fancy dangles,
when Santa slept
on a fluffy cloud,
twelve days sang,
little happy elves
danced and sang.
We would venture
from mall to mall,
no pressure pursuing
seasonal treasures,
just a desire to see,
to watch, to wonder.
We built memories
which have faded,
but have not gone.
Memories I savor
when I look again
at what passes for
decoration today.

Peter Holland is a lifelong San Antonian. The beauty of the land and history are an endless wellspring for his inspired pen. Holland shares his love of language at several local open mike events around town.

Winter Love Poem – Rayner Shyne

YouTube video

When she arrived she kissed me like
She missed me for years.
Winter in her palms,
She straight disrespected my clothes,
And touched my Texas summer warm body like she owned it,
And pulled me in.
Whispered me stories around bonfires about the howling windscapes that had taken up shop in her chest.
She believed herself all cold fronts and black ice.
Her love was a deep freeze in January,
Cold Nights with clouds made by heavy breaths,
And frost covered mornings.
Had me convinced she wasn’t jaded,
Just, cold.
The first night I laid in her icebox,
Felt furnace and burned for her.
She told me I’d only end up a field choked in snow,
I said fine.
You wanna be an ice queen, cold hearted, and frozen?
Then let’s do it,
Smother me in snow blinds and blizzards,
And I will prance all over this winter wonderland singing “what’s this?”
And this,
Can be beautiful!
You wanna be winter,
Then baby I’ll play Christmas, New Years,
Drown this snow in rainbow lights and good cheer,
I’ll spell our name in the stars via Christmas trees,
We can kiss to endless fireworks!
Down here we can’t make much of snow angels,
But we can make love,
And get lost under covers and each other.
I don’t care how hard or barren a winter you can think up,
I’ve got fire wood for months,
And good pair of long johns.
So let’s do this.

Rayner Shyne is poetry. He breathes it, eats it, drinks it, loves it, calls it his Mommy, and takes long walks down the Riverwalk holding its hand. Mr. Shyne was a member of the 2011 PuroSlam team, 2012 PuroSlam Fall Classic Champion and is currently San Antonio’s 2013 Grand Slam Poetry Champion.

Week And Weak – Michael Christopher

5:30 am hit 24 hours
As my eyes overlap the very minute they open
I can barely make out the snowflakes in your eyes
It’s too late to make sense of the broken English in your bed
It too early to grasp the importance
But it seems so right
to tell you of my life
Or to warm your soul
I can barely hold your head up
Over where there is nothing left
What is there to give other than a broken man?
You let me in with one regrettable decision on my mind
But have stayed for the coffee cups and conversation
Now we play off one week that covered our first name basis

Michael Christopher is a musician and poet from San Antonio. His bands RMRS and You and I Underwater occupy the majority of his time, but he still finds moments to scribble and share the words that move him.

Faced with Winter’s Cold – Gary O. Smith

Brackenridge Park inspiration photo by Gary O. Smith.
Brackenridge Park inspiration photo by Gary O. Smith.

Faced with Winter’s Cold
Naked trees bare all
Faced with Winter’s cold
Warm colorful sunsets
Promising Spring to come
Earth all connected
Unseen air embraced
Beneath roots anchoring
Life Force sap safely stored
Waiting ever patiently
Surely Spring to arrive

Gary O. Smith studied Theatre Directing at Southern Methodist University and lives in San Antonio. Since May of 2005, Gary Smith has been re-directing much of his time, focusing on photography. His aim is to reflect the love and beauty with which each photo was created. Smith has been married 45 years to his high school sweetheart.

For more information on how to participate in or submit work to Word of Mouth, contact Melanie Robinson at January’s new year theme is “2013, A Year In Review,” please send in submissions by  Dec. 31. 

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Melanie Robinson

Melanie Robinson is a San Antonian writer, poet and musician who currently works as the content writer for Tribu, a digital marketing firm, and freelances for the Rivard Report, San Antonio Current and...