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Collective Works


Welcome to the OPP world of Collective poetry!
Most collections were created from prompts issued to poets, near & far.
(Visit the page, 'Collaboratives,' which presents Contest & Special collections, here)

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Poem Titles & Poets

An Origami Poems Winter Celebration
•  Prompted by a request from editor, Doug Norris, the poems by Bill Sullivan & Mary Ann Mayer
appeared in a South County, RI publication. •

{mooblock=Snow by Mary Mueller}

    "an elegance of snow…"
               from Waxwings by Robert Francis

Who can think of snow
while summer’s humid air
lingers, thick with lassitude?

Who can rise from beach chair
nursing a muddled drink,
breathing half-breaths
while addled squirrels
watch for falling acorns?

Like the moon, it will arrive –
a lucid flake will melt on a nose
gather with friends on a slushy pool
practice swirls with icy wind
revel late ‘til  morning sun.

Silence, then.
Still, pure.
The landscape turned
a painting in white.
You walk in -
it wakes you up.
At last you breathe
sculpted air.     

Mary Mueller © 2011


{mooblock=Winter by Marguerite Kiel Flanders}

January poaches my warmth.     
Ice: nice, but not for walking.
The white dog's bones move
easily over the crusts of snow,
noting where deer have been.
I stay inside wishing to weep.       
Chill has no limit. I gather
kindling, carry logs.
The splendid insufficiencies
of winter crack and rattle
my sleep. In the morning
the old dog paces, scrapes
his toenails across the planks,
heading for the door.
I shudder at dawn's glimmer,
its cruel syncopated breath.

Marguerite Kiel Flanders © 2011


{mooblock=Snow by Bill Sullivan}

  ...snow was general all over Ireland.  It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen, and further westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves... upon all the living and dead.  -  James Joyce, "The Dead"                                                

Yes, there is the sense that the end of something is here
when the wind is not whistling and the snow flake's fall
is as silent as a monk meditating on a moonless night.
Perhaps it's the death of daring, courage and ceaseless
caring, as Joyce intimates-a time when the snow's descent
numbs our memories, buries our tales of heroic deeds-
when caution and comfort prescribe boots and slickers-
when no lover stands in the rain beneath a window, dying.

But as the quietude of falling snow mutes, flake
by flake, the harsh clamor of years and yesterdays,
we hear the wheel groan then move- sense a beginning
as well as an end-even imagine that before the snow ceased
and the sky turned turquoise blue and the world's whiteness
glistened in the morning sun, a hatless man stood knee deep
in snow beneath his lover's window, calling, in the darkness
of night, "Come with me, come with me."

Bill Sullivan ©  2011


{mooblock=The roofs are alive and reassuring by Mary Ann Mayer}

(For Pete)

You say,
        The snow on the roof
Looks like a swan sleeping in its wing.

I say,
        The avalanche is coming, can’t you see
That iron rooster poke its head out of its clutch of white?

You say, don’t worry,
        The rooster is just a chimney cap
Can we play the snowdrift game some more?

But the avalanche, I say,
        Makes puckering sounds
In the night and I’m afraid.

You say,
I see a whale
Taking a steam bath.

I say, I love you.

Mary Ann Mayer © 2011


{mooblock=Christmas in Florida by Jan Keough}

Here in Florida, miles from RI,
The pelicans and palm fronds,
Skeins of clouds with or without rainfall
Rehearse their routines on a sky worn inside-out
With moist blueness.

Snowmen lawn balloons, puffed by electronics ,
Sway at their lawn anchors
And melt flat once the juice times out.

Snowflake glitterati hang on trees,
Gossiping about their imaginary perfection
Of plastic-poured prisms bought at Walmart.

Coconut palms wear twinkly girdles,
The night is festooned with neon greetings
And Santa rides jet skis.

It’s not the same,
This make-believe Florida winter
Far from mittens pulled-off before a wood stove
And that silent hushing snowfall
Playing in the twilight.
Jan Keough © 2012


A Room
Two musings on Virginia Woolf and her talk “A Room of One’s Own”
“A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf… based on a series of lectures
delivered at two women's colleges October 1928.  The title comes from Woolf's conception that,
'a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction'. – Wikipedia         

{mooblock=My Own Room by Jan Keough}

I would like to think
that a room of one’s own  
is something to be found
like a jar or basket
ready to be filled,
but it is not.
It is a quality hidden inside,
stored,  waiting -
combed from choices
to be untangled,
and pulled away
from distractions
that own the mind.
A room that is nothing
but expansion,
it’s beauty
a reflection of hope.

A safety, a welcoming,
a presence that turns
each key, each insight,
into wave  after wave
of discovery.

It is a splendor
where time becomes lost
like an echo.
Discourtesy fades from disuse.
trolls shores not your own.
by Jan Keough © 2009



{mooblock=The Weight of Stones in Pocket by Lynnie Gobeille}

(Remembering Virginia Woolf)
Back lit by skies winter light
 oceans ebb and flow,
gulls cry, circling us in flight.
I watch the stranger on the beach
as she bends
picking up sea-glass with her hands.
Dusting off the webs of salt and sand
bringing the treasure to her lips
as if to devour it.
Working her fingers
 over the smooth surface,
by the glimmer of lavender dye.

“A rare find,” she tells me
when I inquire.
“more rare than eclipse
of sun and moon.”
Beloved sea-flower
in her outstretched hand,
 ‘Reason enough,” she states
 “to empty my pockets
of their weight.”

by Lynnie Gobeille © 2009


A Cup of Origami
Eight Poems to help you enjoy your cup of whatever...
To commemorate the first Origami Poems Project reading
held at Java Madness on July 12, 2009

{mooblock=Cappucino by Mary C. Mueller}

Steamed peaks
float like meringue
in the swimming pool cup
that warms my hands.
Ready to dive
nose first
into roasted mist,
I pause and sip.
Alchemy of capuchin –
elixir of bliss.

Mary Mueller © 2009



{mooblock=12-Step Verse by Kim M. Baker}

She sat next to me, stoked
on caffeine and cinquains,
compressing her life philosophies
into jazzed up lines of five.
She passed me a pen and said, “Hit?”
“Me?  No. I’m off the ink.
It ruined my life. My muse left me.
Now? AA. Alliterations Anonymous.”
But as she spoke, I craved a toke
off that stoked poetry,
a cuppa that coffeehouse java sonnet.  
I don’t need fourteen lines! Just one
clever couplet and I’m outta here.
Hi, my name is Will and I’m a po-slut!

by Kim M. Baker © 2009



{mooblock=Joltin' Joe by Lauri Burke}

Coffee's the bad boy of beverages
hanging around every urban corner
shouting out with aromatic fervor
bewitching promises of hot leverage.
Joe will prop a girl up when she's low
set blood soaring to race in sluggish veins
excite florid thoughts of unleashing reins
to burrow in arms of chemical flow.
Who cares if Java's a fickle lover
driving a gal to town he won't take home,
yes, you'll limp in spent and round-heeled later no,
Joe won't call or pick up the phone
but when you were with him, didn't thoughts
in same blind ecstasy that births a poem?

Lauri Burke © 2009


{mooblock=Mass Pike Coffee: May 19, 2008 1:30 pm by James B. Rosenberg}

Italy’s favorite
Breath of espresso
Breath of Rome
City of stones
Stepping from past into future
From future into past
Through languid sips
Of Eternity Now.
Dark brown brew
Nurturing moist loam
Explosion of taste
To remember tomorrow.
James B. Rosenberg © 2009



{mooblock=COOL BEANS by Louise Giguere}

Etched, fetching
seafaring vessel
Perked up tizzy
Razz ma tazz dizzy
An old tin lizzy,
Let it fizz, so hip,
Jazzed up java, fresh brew,
Liquid lava, cappuccino syrup
Espresso, latte, decaf blends   
In a clay-fired mug, demitasse cup,
for the java, lava coffee crew
Together we sip, my friends.    

Louise Giguere © 2009



{mooblock=HAIKU #36 by Bob Muir}

In my sitting place
cares will fall like autumn leaves
when I sip my tea
Bob Muir © 2009



{mooblock=Sweet Words by Jan Keough}

It is the sweet words
stirred like sugar in the cup
that brews a friendship.

Jan Keough © 2009



{mooblock=Sips by O.R. Gami}

My tea amigos
sip their delicacies
without haste.
Their pace laced
with caffeine or not.
They linger, they twirl,
they flavor their world
with honey.

Coffee conspirators
want mugs that handle
every degree of need -
am or pm,
Starbucks bold or Dunkin mild;
they steep themselves
in brewed wisdom -
with hopes to unwind.

O.R. Gami © 2009



Fall Realities
An Autumn Celebration
Volume 1 of 2 - Seven Poets muse on the season known as Fall

{mooblock=Autumn Morning by Doug Norris}

Fog in the harbor,
Steam on the mirror,
Frost on the window.

Outside, discovering
The neighbor’s oak
Growing in my garden

And one crazy squirrel
Risking everything
To save a single nut.

Doug Norris © 2009



{mooblock=Elvis by Tom Chandler}

A hundred of you
parachute into a football stadium,
a hundred gilt and spangled jumpsuits
with proud bellies tumble in a tangle
of ripcords and billowed silk,
then square away with weird precision
and give it all you’ve got; who cares
if you’re alive or not?    

Tom Chandler © 2009



{mooblock=Autumn Jazz by Mary C. Mueller}


This mountain night
full moon creeps
at turtle pace
through shadowed
branches   tree tops
then aglow below
the violin plays
African, accordion
his bass companion
kora, drums
command that
wine infused
with rosemary
be sipped
like honeydew  
Mary C. Mueller © 2009



{mooblock=A Little Latitude by James Penha}

The equator circumvents
autumn with forests as green
in October as ever April
is green although leaves here ever
umber to leave their branches
in a fall to feed the jungle’s
perpetual spring to life. Around
this earth it is every day
every season.

James Penha © 2009



{mooblock=Fall Decides by Marguerite Keil Flanders}

Oaks are the last to cast
their burdens. Air is full
of the athleticism of change.
Chickadees greet the end
of the road of night
with their tally: seeds and chill.

The science of what must turn leaves
us bereft. We wait for all to be
revealed, as if choosing  will shift
the relentless  trajectory of stars,
restore what has been felled.
Hawk, oak, brook, co-trustees
of winter’s approach, know better.    

Marguerite Keil Flanders © 2009



{mooblock=Leaf Peepers by Kim M. Baker}

Winter has sent ahead its scouts. 
Those leafy aviators so vibrant
that you wince with their wicked beauty.
They cackle their raucous colors
down highways, along bogs,
or anywhere you might be languishing
in the sun one last time this season.
You forget the brisk wind behind them,
forget this time last year when they jumped,
kamikazes in kaleidoscopic glory. 
The next thing you know, they are gone,
riding the sky just ahead of Captain Snow.
Kim M. Baker © 2009



{mooblock=Falling Towards The Questions That Remain by Lynnie Gobeille}

If this is where I am now…
how will I survive the winter?

God,  how I would like a friend
to just drop in… unexpectedly,

the darkness and cold will continue,
the nights will get longer…

Note to myself:
Develop a God damn hobby.
Lynnie Gobeille © 2009



As Fall Sets In
An Autumn Celebration
 Volume 2 - 7 poems, 6 poets •

{mooblock=I Want To Say Something About Goldenrods by Barbara Schweitzer}

how prolific they are, waiting to be sickled
along the town roads with the touch-me-nots;
how little notice, how little difference
they make in the world, invisible, void,
being the fruit fly weed of New England,
so heartily hardy they stand ignored
like life itself – which just keeps up its end –
creating replicating fornicating,
all the while ignorant of and in its needs,
the thrust necessarily pause-hating,
so that those of us who parse and name, cede
most roadways to ignorant lustful life
that ingratiates itself like the actor rife
with talent to imitate, then move on.

Barbara Schweitzer © 2009



{mooblock=Summer Solstice by Nancy E. Brown}

A raft of mallards
dozes on the dock
as the full moon’s light
dims into dawn.
This short night’s
hot hazy air shimmers
above the lake until
sunshine splinters
onto the gentle ripples.
A garnet-colored dragonfly
drifts onto my sleeve.

Nancy E. Brown © 2009



{mooblock=Ingnish Beach by Louise Giguere}

An August day this summer, it was as if I were
Standing on Ingnish Beach, thirty years ago the
salty air, dampening, tangling sandy strands in my
long hair, in all directions, like thistledown, wild
and windblown, lingering, from dunes, on the
breach of my breath, catches a memory, a glimpse
of a lighthouse in the distance, floating sounds, or
warning calls of buoys on whale watch; a quick
jaunt off Cabot Trail, a stone’s throw from the
opposing Bay of Fundy, is the cliff- cleave haven, a
cloistered valley hide–away, raw, resolute elements
Ingnish Beach – Nova Scotia’s North Atlantic air

Louise Giguere © 2009



{mooblock=September by Marjorie Gaunt}

high tides have almost obliterated
the path by bending beach grasses
hiding the lavender now delicate ashen wraiths
above these gray ghosts
grow great swaths of yellow goldenrod
glowing along the dunes
staunch spartina stands tall at water's edge
wearing russet tassels

Marjorie Gaunt © 2009



{mooblock=Autumn Haiku by Noël Patoine}

Dying thrives in fall,
harvesting nature’s bounty,
caring hands restore.
Noël Patoine © 2009


{mooblock=Autumn Adornments by Noël Patoine}

Autumn Adornments

Breaking my spirit s
oul’s pleasure dies amidst fall,
leaves the only stain
brightening gray October
with gnarly trees adorned.

Noël Patoine © 2009



{mooblock=The Nuisance of Weather by O.R. Gami}

You have to live with weather.
Let it lick your face
elbow your plans
tumble you into the jet stream.

You change and rearrange
the coat, the shoes, the attitude.

Sunshine when you need shade,
Rainfall to muddy every note,
Cartons of slush in the mailbox.
Long, dim days that track
the floor with uncaring -
Tell them to wipe their feet.

O.R. Gami © 2009