Dream Muse

Dream Muse

I seek the diction for my poem 

and lonely as a cloud I roam

the pages of anthologies; 

but finding there no words to please, 

I gentle go to that good night 

and in my dancing dream I write

a poem as clear as ear has heard 

then wake–and can’t recall a word.

Posted on the Website “Author Amok” 

 http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2012/04/30-habits-of-highly-effective-poets-3.html  ]

April 3, 2012, with permission.



It’s always a wonderful and somewhat serendipitous pleasure to find others wanting to post my poems on their Websites. This poem was actually solicited on the blind during National Poetry Month in 2012, but it took me about another month or more to actually visit the Website and see my attempt at humor posted to the world.

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News Alert: publication and prizes

My poem, “A Shorthand Note for Alex,” has been published by the Maryland Writers Association (MWA) in its new anthology, Life in Me Like Grass on Fire, edited by Laura Shovan and released on April 2, 2011, at the association’s annual conference in Baltimore.

Here is my poem, from page 16 of the anthology:

A Shorthand Note for Alex

Dear Sir:  this steno’s shibboleth
retrieves his brief, slender form;
Alex, my friend ripped from studies

in the banter years of boys confused
but captive to coy female eyes.
We entered class in perfumed air

as naive males, two isolated boys
growing in stature, growing familiar
with 15 girls decoding Gregg

and framing flirtatious gambits.
Alex died, and left me shorthand notes,
graceful curves he’d chased in class.

Could I revise, I’d frame a “Dear Sir” plea
to have him live my trials of afternoons
in shorthand stalled, in ecstasies begun.

The anthology can be ordered at the Maryland Writers Web site, www.marylandwriters.org/publications.html

In addition, I have been awarded both first and second place in the MWA’s Short Works Poetry contest for 2011.  “Elegy for a Newfoundland Cousin”  won first place, and “Boys Learning to Swim Naked” was awarded second place. Neither of these prize-winners has yet been published.

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Singing From a Crouch

By Allan Roy Andrews

I am of a line of catchers
whose knees creak at the bend
and whose cheeks protrude
from their embrace of ’baccy.
Even my mother’s smile shows
the legacy:  a chipped tooth
smashed by a bat that swung,
missed, and slid through
the cross-bars of her mask.
And she recalls in her telling,
“I held the third strike.”

My father beat death in Korea
with baseball, plucked from
a platoon of gunners who died
on an Osan hill and shipped
to special services to catch
the professional offerings of
Curt Simmons, ex-Cardinal,
ex-Phillie, and to tour
the spas of Switzerland
and the baths of Russia
between ballgames.

His father before him
made it to Double-A and
dirtied his Raleigh-Durham
uniform and the spikes of
opposing batters with wads
of Red Man expectoration
just before each pitch, or
so my father tells it
in boyish admiration that
I cannot mimic, as I cannot
hold his pitches.

Dad speaks from a crouch,
lowering himself to
Little League level
and acting out memories
of the diamond, skipping
the dead boot-camp buddies,
lily-white locker rooms,
brawls with German teams,
and Curt Simmons cutting
the big toe off his foot
with a lawnmower.

I pitch him hints
that a singer roars in
my breast, not a catcher,
and no chest protector can
keep it from getting out
and hurting in its hatred
of a boys’ game for men.
He sees me behind my guitar
and tells me I look like
a catcher with an oversized
mitt for knuckleballs.

“From behind the plate” —
his favorite entree to a story —
“you look into the faces
of all your teammates.”
And, yes, one thousand
times he reminds anyone
that a catcher squats legally and
of the nine waits alone
in foul ground.  I fouled
his ground as this poem
swelled in my hands and mouth.

“My Daddy — your Granddad —
was a singer,” he told me,
and I was captive to surprise.
“He loved to sing old hymns.”
(My father’s faith died
with a letter from Korea:
“God,” he insists, “throws
nothing but curve balls.”)
“And your Grandmother
played the organ,” he added.
“She loved to play ‘Largo.’ ”

When I hungered for more,
he sang me ingrained lines
from “Abide With Me,” and
“Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
And when I was vulnerable, bent
in the heart’s probe for details,
he told me Granddad stopped
singing when Grandmom died
young.  “I guess,” my father
concluded, “he discovered
you can’t sing from a crouch.”

*Published in Aethlon:  The Journal of Sport Literature,
Vol. XIX, No. 2, Spring, 2002, page 111.

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By Allan Roy Andrews


Geese screech southward in boomerang families,
chasing the brightening horizon.
Phalanxes against a gunmetal sky,
they bend to no wind or word
save the Master’s and bear down the cloud-pocked
boulevard of heaven their servant songs.

Lone stragglers trail in the East, widows, spinsters
or orphans whose undisclosed sin left them adrift.
Darting, swirling, they chase the winging wedge,
dancing like gypsies behind a royal caravan.

Suddenly, catching a cross-wind or zephyr,
one alone streaks into the flock and quietly —
without ceremony or celestial explanation —
flies wedded to the winged oneness.


*Originally published in
Theology Today, Vol. 58, No. 2, July 2001, page 222.

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Death of The Lone Ranger

By Allan Roy Andrews

He galloped to an era unmasking
foibles in electronic heroes and
tarnishing spangles with slick songs.

His tacky mask, a harlequin’s ploy,
coyly hid his love-need; he misplaced
his loins on a pale Arabian stallion.

His magnanimity with silver bullets,
squandering precious metal,
sullied his ride into radio’s West.

Beside him, Tonto:  A little lower than
the Ranger; a sidekick, a faithful companion,
a bit of a bloodhound, but not a brother.

I query my mirror of age:  “Who is he,
this masked stranger?”  It ciphers my years
and replies:  “He died in this decade.”

A finale.  Rossini’s “Overture”
succumbs to synthesizers, and I must
conquer desperadoes without him.


*This is a slightly revised version of a poem I posted online at
The American Reporter [http://www.american-reporter.com]
in a column I wrote dated Dec. 30, 1999.

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Faith Quandary

By Allan Roy Andrews

Peter repented and received
keys to the kingdom;
Thomas believed when offered
the test of wounded flesh;
But Judas stands abandoned, left
holding the accusing sop.

He threw a silver bribe
at the feet of murderers,
and they laughed at him.
I hear even disciples
laughing at Iscariot as well
(and he about to hang himself).

Don’t bedazzle me
with manifest theory
or predestiny doubletalk.
A disciple has fallen;
a believer turned traitor;
a lamb is lost and never found.

I know of cowardice
in discipleship.  I’m craven
when it comes to following.
I like to think Jesus
had forgiven Judas
when he hanged himself.

*Originally published in Theology Today,
January 2002, Vol. 58, No. 4., page 573.

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By Allan Roy Andrews



Slender, thinner than one ought,
Her thighs taut, her back sloped
To drive body-force into revolutions,
She conquers nature, a captain
At the helm, married to the wind
And snarling at her upstream cruise.
A jogger on jagged steel;
A devotee to the derailleur; a lover
Lashed to drooping handlebars,
She gloats in unstepped speed,
And the sprocketed ticking
Of her spoked feet rises and fades,
A hissing siren kissing asphalt,
Luring my legs to her ways.


*Originally published in
Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature.
Vol. X, No. 2, Spring, 1993, page 60

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