Heaven Smiles for Falun Gong O you who stand so strong through wind and rain, So like those statues lasting through the years, Impervious to time’s assaults and pain, Unfazed by human doubts and crippling fears. With hearts of gold and wills of diamond made, With fliers in hand, compassion in your eyes, In darkest night you are the light of day, And seek out all those fooled by evil lies. So carry on and be strong in your quest, Expose the false and let the beauty shine. Upholding justice, kindness never rests; Your grace is etched in hist’ry for all time. When Truth flies free for all the world to see, All heaven smiles and angels dance with glee. The Last Patch of Snow Beyond the cars parked in the lot, alone And back against the building’s wall of stone, A patch of snow is shrinking in the sun, As rising Spring sends Winter on the run. It seems as if the weather elves forgot About this icy monster in the lot, Built up by months of shoveling that froze— A monument to Winter’s blust’ry blows. But time goes on and Spring must have its turn, The warming sun is gentle, doesn’t burn, Its rays embrace, caress, and softly glow And shine upon that lonely pile of snow. So day by day as Spring draws ever near, The sun grows stronger, higher, with no fear That Winter will return with frigid wrath To foil its progress or obstruct its path. And in one final, quick, and rapturous flow, The brilliant sun assimilates the snow, And in its place a patch of green appears— A single flower, watered by its tears. An Ode to Punctuation I say all this has got to stop Before I call the Grammar Cop It’s out of hand, it’s gone too long— There’re commas, where they don’t belong, No periods are there in sight A crime I say it’s just not right Their raison d’être is to be Our instruments of clarity The words run on and on so fast: Just use a colon—or a dash— Include ellipses here and there To slow things down … to get some air … To take a breath … to stop and think … You surely won’t run out of ink! These little marks with power great Can seal a deal, or seal your fate. O Comma, thou art writers’ friend! You Period, confusion end! And Semicolon, save the day! You’re all worth more than we can pay. Connie Phillips is a former English teacher and editor living in Massachusetts.