A couple of years back, I attended a writer’s conference for the arts in Orlando and happened to walk through a gift shop when a young lady asked what I did to make ends meet. When I revealed that I made a living through a word processor, she replied that she likewise did a little writing. Casually, never expecting anything further, I politely asked her to send me something she had composed. Months later, I received a collection of poems by Rhonda George and I remain overwhelmed by her talent.

My favorite telephone chats are with Rhonda, and I predict great things ahead in her vast future. Rhonda is young, on her path to a degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and is mature beyond her years. Poetry comes easy for her because it’s something spontaneous from deep in her soul. I know because she has recited yet unwritten masterpieces to me.

Read the works of this remarkable person. Remember her. You’ll soon hear about her from those far away places where excellence is honored.

We are proud to introduce our readers to Rhonda George:

Painting: Adonai

There is a man I touch on occasion.
We stand front in front,
me behind blue velvet ropes
Up gazing with arms wrapped around me—
he in pose.
The sweeper,
coat and bent rimmed hat,
comes late at night.
His streets are black and speckled;
gray and bone flints are packed
thickly into the ground
he pushes rough bristle over.
Houses around emit dim glows,
the tired, sleeping inside.
Moon and stars do not shine but dust and dirt
up and hover and fall
into his next brush
that extends far;
he hums a humble rhythm,
his arms out and back
gripping the slender wood stick like a Shepherd Prince guiding.


I enter reluctantly this institution where I am wings, clipped.
Stay put. Be good. Don’t do. Expected to be the universal
person described in category: Pink and Blue, Red and Green.
These years are the white walls. They say be Pollack and mimic
Dali. Black and white is still what they like. I am redundant.
Everyday. So chronic. So over and again that red blood stains the
walls because, in a fit, my own hand has grabbed my neck
and slammed me hard, just so a better I might pop out to deal
with the day. My talent is everyone gets a smile. Everyday, those
are free; I have plenty. When I finally break my porcelain pig,
nothing’s there but a five cent feeling. Crazy is inevitable so they
request you serve your sentence in the company of others. And that
is why there is something called sanity. I misrepresent on occasion.
Purple and Orange, I think like a queen, but that is not routine.
I sound to myself like a tart sweet lemon, but that is why I write--
so I can flesh out what I need to flesh out. And to bury this big
balloon of angst. Not to deflate. Not to pop. Not to inflate.
Just to hide away underneath a cloak, a thick one, a heavy one,
while I learn the caged bird’s lullaby.

Blow below

child nomadic

woman at hand

where did she go?

Boom and blah

you know that girl,

the one with the hung up dancing shoes…

she drinks a few

downs a few

blows a fuse

Boom and blah.

Detour Ahead

I go the jazz beat
Coltrane, Holliday
the style of “x” crossed glasses
tilted toward tall bottles of red
and late night walks
under sophisticated October skies.

I find some subtle road

especially at dusk in June
when the cricket’s choir plays faint
and heat perfumes suffocate
the evening breeze’s deep exhales.

I go the detour

in a plastic chair,
stereo propped close,
the blue-gray sky
into the button
down shirt,
panties and bra
(that hint at what they hide)

secret part of me

loud lumps of life
smooth inside my head
and the pompous moon—
too early to reign, makes

the mellow night tip toe slow,

as I lay my head on its feathery pillow
drifting with the naked voice that saunters east,
strolling beyond this sultry boulevard to
the twilight lounge in blue,

where martinis, stirred
by long olive-topped toothpicks
are sipped and mood is sung
like smoke from a film-noir cigarette.

Snapshot: Girl Walking

Umbrella forgotten.

White tank, low jeans, red flip flops,
feet brown and spotted

by the burping mud
from a gray and cracked sidewalk

curved some miles away from
anyone’s business.

Hands in her back pockets,
looking like a beautiful she--

Going somewhere until further notice.


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