. Forever Nine My bare feet merge with weathered, knotty pineAs dripping swimsuit water cools the pier.The day belongs to me, for I am nine,With end of endless summer drawing near. My tanned and sunburnt skin soaks in the sun;My heartbeat hastens with adrenalin;My back foot thrusts me forward as I runAnd soar and plunge into oblivion. The snow-cold lake enfolds me in her wombAnd births me back into the world again,Which picks me up and sweeps me like a broomFrom boyhood back into the world of men. A carefree day preserved in memory;The child I was; the boy I’ll always be. . . Summer Days Beneath a broad-leafed maple tree, the sunSpreads shifting green-shade shadows on the lawn.As overhead, where new life has begun,The chirps of hungry hatchlings greet the dawn. The coolness of the morning dew beliesThe mid-day heat that soon will sear the airAnd fall like silent rain from cloudless skiesTo bathe the earth in whispered, wordless prayer. Yet underneath the tree a freshing breezeAnoints the sheltered shade as sacred spaceWhere angels, dressed as butterflies and bees,Descend as earth and heaven interlace. And there the little child who leads them plays,And idly whiles away his summer days. . . James A. Tweedie is a retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He has written and published six novels, one collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry including Mostly Sonnets, all with Dunecrest Press. His poems have been published nationally and internationally in The Lyric, Poetry Salzburg (Austria) Review, California Quarterly, Asses of Parnassus, Lighten Up Online, Better than Starbucks, Dwell Time, Light, Deronda Review, The Road Not Taken, Fevers of the Mind, Sparks of Calliope, Dancing Poetry, WestWard Quarterly, Society of Classical Poets, and The Chained Muse. He was honored with being chosen as the winner of the 2021 SCP International Poetry Competition.