Category Archives: Poetry!

Hero – a poetic challenge

The following poem originated from an informal challenge put forth by another blogger. The first two lines were supplied, with the remainder being written by yours truly. I really enjoyed this unique ‘challenge’.


A hero is born not from the laurels

of victory but from the quiet repose

of a life lived to others’ best vantage,

senses deaf to every accolade;


with noiseless eyes and

strength pooled in wells deep,

trinket nor treasure

ever bends the aim

of nobility.

~ Joel Howard ~


Langston Hughes: “Harlem”


What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?
Langston Hughes was born in 1901 and died in 1967. His poetry is enduring, echoing widely held experiences and thoughts in ways as simple as they are eloquent. 

Turning: A Poem



by Joel Howard


the trees chatter in tones

of ocher and umber

as a season swirls ‘round,

taking small shelter beyond bare

limbs trembling;


and the dark must soon

crowd the sun

earlier of a day, a woolly season

rising strong as cold seizes

life large and small;


when soon the gathered clouds

cry rivers fast and gray,

the first whisper of blossoms

and birds beckoning trills

gather as a presence to

send a season still;


the dank days

bid farewell, exiting in haste as dense

heat trumpets its joy

center stage, calling children

to dance barefoot upon the dry earth and

seize the tallest of days with revelry

and deep abandon.