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The Standard

16 April, 2021: The Standard

Read a Poem

The Standard

By r ferris

at the bar
at the Standard 
on 185th
iceberg wedge
bacon and blue
cheese threaded
slovenian sausage sliced
sweet cabbage bedded

my eyes open
salad staring
from my lap
knees to head
my fig manhattan 
water glass
bar lamp
sausage plate
blue and bacon
the whole room
breathing deeply 
i accept the
bar towels
while someone 
wipes at my shoulders 
a single two by two foot
missing above
“the Standard” by r ferris. Copyright Richard Ferris 2020. Used by permission of the author.
Richard Ferris is an artist, poet, business person, and lifelong Clevelander. He highlights everyday miracles. Very occasionally he may post at or

Write a Poem

In the Boro language, the word onsra means, “I have loved you for the very last time.” Write an onsra poem to a person, a place, or an object.
Doc Janning
An onstage poem. For me easy, yet a difficult venture from many viewpoints. Both soul-baring and soul-tearing.
4/17/2021 6:10:41 PM

Sierra Polsinelli
I have loved you
for the very last time.

It has been a long time

From many moments
where you lost my love.
Little decisions that
minimized me.

Passed around
while you pursued your dream.
Left alone
to watch the rain
dancing on the pavement
as the street lamps lit up.

My sadness grew
yet you never knew.
I tried so hard to make you see me
and love me.

I have loved you
for the very last time.
Years of trying
Nights spent crying

Some things are just
not meant to be.
We can’t change fate.

I have had to accept
you have no place for me
to purge my heart
to do without you.

I have loved you
for the very last time.
Good-bye Mother.
4/16/2021 6:36:41 PM

Mary M Chadbourne
A deus ex machina and the Muse collaborate on a great poem!
4/16/2021 5:09:41 PM

Bill Ritz
Reminds me of a letter I once received...

We started at the top in a lofty place;
I, so young and foolish.
I loved you at first presence;
Your wit and perception stole my heart.
I found comfort in your different ways,
and in your almost purposeful slowness.
But the more I got to know you,
the less comfort I found.

I loved you as I lost my confidence
and began to question purpose.
But your patience and encouragement
held me tethered to your soul.
And as I better knew you,
I was loving you less.

You showed me the intimate you,
And it was you who warned me
that I had gotten to close.
But growth seemed to veer
off to a different reality,
and I loved you less.

You revealed everything,
but obscured everything with distraction.
Oh, how time with you
has opened my eyes
to the obvious I had missed.
And I loved you for the last time
when I found myself at the bottom
of that lofty place.
4/16/2021 3:54:03 PM

A delicious everyday miracle!
4/16/2021 2:14:58 PM

Fantastic! I could totally picture this event. Or should I say catastrophe?
4/16/2021 1:30:17 PM

RE: The ignominious; fresh and pragmatic...with just a sprinkling of hopefulness! Kind of made me glad we stopped going to restaurants in honor of covid. A great poem!
4/16/2021 11:28:03 AM

Poem Day 16 prompt: Write an onsra poem to a person, a place, or an object.

I Have Loved You For The Very Last Time

To My Little Brother

Try to be serious.
I can still send messages.
Nothing’s blocked, you idiot.
Oh, I get it. Our mother is ignoring you again.
It happens to me. Actually it’s never ended.
There she goes on the road to the crematorium, dentures in hand
again, again and again…

There’s no place to talk to her.
Where do we go? Have you figured that one out yet?
Backyard? What are you talking about?
That’s where she is. Seriously? The garden shed.

Truthfully, I understand that…the time will come.
You’ll find her a place.
You know, I think she blocked me. No, really.
It doesn’t work though. When I need to talk to her,
I open those boxes I packed, all her things organized for the
first time ever, everything she touched.
It’s like sifting through dust and crushed bone…one box, then another.
It’s tiring, my eyes water, but it’s something close to conversation.
Basically, I’m overcome with boredom.

I know, I understand:
for you it’s loneliness mixed with abandonment.
You search, but I climb into bed and fall asleep.
Sometimes I dream of calling you just to see if you have a place yet;
but you’ve blocked the question,
and fallen for location instead of solution.

Then, there’s always this annoying knock on my bedroom door.
It interrupts everything. I know it’s our mother. She wants to talk.
Just as she gets started with a real good, unusual story,
she catches fire, a residual look placed deep inside her eyes.
She begs forgiveness for having rotten teeth, gives a little shrug,
blames everything on making us love her for the last time.

She’s a pocket of air trapped in a cave…
actually…have you thought of that—Hebron?
The cave for matriarchs, perhaps?

Oh well, never mind;
the time will come; there’ll be a place…
…something festive, with many visitors
and no need to unlock doors or windows…
we’ll just show up.

© Tovli 2021
4/16/2021 11:24:55 AM

Laurie K
Marvelous poem, Richard. The fig manhattan, sweet cabbage bedded--so descriptive and evocative. (And so pre-Covid!)
4/16/2021 11:22:58 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.