For Poetry Readings and News about National Poetry Month 2022 Click here
A Tampa Welcome
by Cath Mason
Lights bright as graffiti flash broad smiles
while the city lifts its face to the night.
Rivered lights loosen and spread like rumors,
shift multi-colored narratives over
Woven Waves and a repetition of bridges
on Brorein, Laurel, Kennedy and Cass.
Lights pulse, stitch seams of mint, blue and pink
tether the Hillsborough with rainbows,
they hold the city open like the mouth of the river
or the mouth of the mural, those wall poems
in rooster-red and orange blossom
in hello yellow and electric blue
made for the love of this city, its people
Agua Luces, lights that link sides
separated by the river, lights that say
Hey! See how Tampa welcomes you
Loveletter to Tampa
By Evelyn Romano
I choose you over other cities
because your dance card is
full, like a ballroom dancer,
you have all the moves —
obvious beauty of hibiscus and
palms, Beethoven in Spring,
waterfronts of gold, Gasparilla
YBOR CITY (Tampa’s French
Café con Leche, black beans and
rice, canoes on the Hillsborough,
southern charm, arias at the Arts
summer classics at Tampa
“Baked Alaska” at Berns,
runners from Kenya crowning the
Lightening strikes at Amalie Arena,
Buccaneer cannons blast pride,
span sunshine across the Bay,
in backyard ponds alligators split
the waters like an ancient miracle.
The Reluctant Chef
By Kathy Winarski
Seductively crooking fingers,
Flashing gorgeous cover photos.
Choose me, whispers a voice from my Regional Italian Cookbook.
Weakening, I page through to Rome.
Remember how you first fell in love with Cacio e Pepe?
Oh, yes, I sigh, spaghetti with black pepper and Pecorino Romano cheese.
Wait, I’m here, too, cries a voice from Chef Prudhomme’s New Orleans.
Remember day drinking and shrimp gumbo?
No, please, don’t! I say.
Y’all blew off that work convention pretty fast!
Really, jambalaya’s not that hard. You’ll just need…
From the crowded book shelves chorus, others demand attention:
Will you at least TRY to make pierogis? My Polish cookbook insists.
Lazy garlic habits and lack of available ingredients, Gut Health fumes.
Hey, wasn’t it you who ran away from the gushing toilet at La Summa?
Taunts Boston’s well-worn North End Italian Cookbook.
Chicken Marsala is on page 84 by the way. Shouldn’t you know that?
I do love you all, I say, but it’s almost six.
We have nothing for dinner.
Hmmm, leftover pizza?
I muse for a moment.
I pull my Ultimate Book of Cocktails off the shelf.
Cath Mason’s poems are forthcoming, or have appeared in Palm Prints, Literary Mama, Woman’s Weekly, Pennine Ink and Sandhill Review. Her poem “Dent in the Day” won an honorable mention USF’s Poetry Competition 2015. Her poem “The Out of Body Experience of a Potato” won the humor prize in the 2012 Southport Writers’ Circle International Poetry Competition. Her poem “A Tampa Welcome” is on display on the Tampa Poetry Post at the downtown Municipal Office Building.
Evelyn Ann Romano was a member of the Lifelong Writers at USF for several years and has been a member of OLLI since 2016. She has taken OLLI courses in poetry, writing, technology and laughter yoga. Her latest collection of poems, Ripe, is available from Amazon and other book sellers.
Kathy Winarski has taken many OLLI courses in poetry, literature, art, architecture, music, history and science. She is also a member of Write Time for Poets SIG.