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Madelyn Eastlund

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Gingerbread Poets chapter,
Florida State Poets Association

Journal Entry: July 10th 2054
A Malayan Pantoum

From across the dark hills of yesterday
in a robe of green as fresh grass he came
to our village once known as Fishnet Bay
when the summer sun was a ball of flame.

In a robe of green as fresh grass he came
(some say that roses sprung up by his feet)
when the summer sun was a ball of flame
and the village dogs lay limp in the heat.

Some say that roses sprung up by his feet
(some say he carried dreams from far beyond)
and the village dogs lay limp in the heat
while birdsong followed the lone vagabond.

Some say he carried dreams from far beyond
in a ball of light from fifty years past—
while birdsong followed the lone vagabond.
He brought them from dark to the light at last.

In a ball of light from fifty years past
— a dream to people who no longer cared —
he brought them from dark to the light at last
with tales of long ago heroes who dared.

A dream to people who no longer cared!
He erased fifty years of burning shame
with tales of the unsung heroes who dared
to kindle new dreams with hope’s brilliant flame.

He erased fifty years of burning shame
in our village that was once Fishnet Bay
and kindled new dreams with hope’s brilliant flame
from across the dark hills of yesterday.
Epilogue
Tonight we throw the bitter years away
Tomorrow we become New Fishnet Bay.

*2004, 1st place NFSPS; 2004 NFSPS Prize Poems: Encore



A Constant Sign

A Roundeau Redoublé


When I was young the world was mine
Each day's adventure shining bright
With confidence my star would shine
A beacon in the darkest night.

Someday I knew youth would take flight
While I matured like sparkling wine
To still enjoy life's pure delight;
When I was young the world was mine.

Life was a feast on which to dine
And never quell my appetite
So when I reached three-score and nine
each day's adventure would shine bright.

Each year would come and pass from sight
And all life's memories entwine
Each day still able to excite
with confidence my star would shine.

And now my years are in decline
And now my hair is turning white
With still my star a constant sign
A beacon in the darkest night.

Some spend their years without a light
Some spend their days in mournful whine
But I was taught age could be bright
And so I worked on that design
when I was young.

1980, 3rd Place NFSPS; NFSPS Prize Poems 1980



Days Inn: Tallahassee

(beside the pool: 7a.m.)

Only the traffic droning, air-conditioners whirring and if I listen, sharp above these sounds—birdsong. The motel is waking up: a maid glides silently, hands slid into sheets; the maintenance man pauses here and there to pick up stray pieces of paper and rights the chairs beside the pool. The air is cool, the breeze a coaxing scarf. A door clicks, voices are subdued and steps are light on the path. The maintenance man stands at the top of the stairwell looking surveying his domain—or listening to the birds? Does he hear them? Traffic zooms. More doors open. Suitcases are flung down; steps are heavy along the path to the front office. The gray sky lightens; just a hint of sun coming-going-shyly, not sure it wants to shine. The hose in the pool writhes; a probing, pulsing snake it shoots a spout against the wall. The splash—a new sound—reminds of waves lapping the shore back home. Back north. But I know I am not there. Trucks snort, air-conditioners churn monotonously. No, I am in Tallahassee as the sun comes up poking a thin pink shaft through the gray. More doors open. A child shouts. I must leave my chair-soft oasis; the birds no longer sing and my stomach reminds me it is past time for breakfast.

Cold Mountain Review, Spring 2001

Madelyn Eastlund

sunrise.jpg; (c) FreeFoto.com
"a hint of sun coming-going-shyly"

Madelyn, a native of Brooklyn NY, migrated from Oyster Bay, Long Island, to the San Fernando Valley CA before making Beverly Hills FL her home 27 years ago. A retired instructor in Creative Writing and in Poetry Writing for Withlacoochee Institute and Central Florida Community College, she has been a free lance writer since the 1950s, as well as a journalist, and then editor for several community newspapers. Currently she publish/edits Poets Forum Magazine and Harp-Strings Poetry Journal. Madelyn is past president of FSPA (1984-1988) and for fifteen years edited its 20 page magazine Of Poets and Poetry. Immediate past president of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, she edits the federation’s 8-12 page quarterly newsletter, Strophes.

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Created 060315
Updated 080316

The Florida State Poets Association