November 7, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Mark Gunn photo



Linda Imbler




What Old Portraits Warn



Portraits on dusty bookshelves

where dire warnings rule

bad beliefs disabused,

good sense overruled.

We on the upswing,

their memories slipshod,

best advice not taken

their cautioning declarations.

We become roped in,

doubtlessly shaken,

we skip along sidewalks

ignoring the roadblocks

pinning us in to taste sin.

We, like shipwrecks that had been,

from back when

fires were set near rocks

to draw prey in.

Weren’t those ancient tales just meant to shock?

Walking those burning sidewalks now on feet unshod,

tells us the hindsight of those portraits

were not just facade,

and what they wish to tell,

their retrospect alarm bells

delivered from their watchfulness

and their cautiousness,

we should heed.






Choices In Frontier Towns



Amid tumbleweeds and clapboard buildings,

standing upon dirt roads or a sawn timber dais,

snake oil men, extolling their potions,

their curing wares depleted by end of day.

Risky whiskey,

the magic elixir

of 19th-century self-proclaimed wizards.

Was it truly hope in a bottle

or just sanctioned intoxication?

The Old West version of paper or plastic.






Linda Imbler

Linda Imbler is an internationally published poet.  Her poetry collections include “Big Questions, Little Sleep,” “Lost and Found,” and “The Sea’s Secret Song.”  

Her newest e-book “Pairings” is due out soon.  She is a Kansas-based Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee.  Linda’s poetry and a listing of publications 

can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com

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