Archive for December, 2008

I tried to write a Christmas poem, but this one came out instead. So it will have to suffice. This time of year makes me think on a deeper level about loved ones. This one’s in honor of my mother. .She has been so good to me.


Time Warp

Julie Buffaloe-Yoder

I felt sorry for myself

in the 1980’s when

I headed for college


with a taped up suitcase,

no handle, three faded

blouses, dollar t-shirts,

fifty nine cent flip-flops,

old jeans, then I opened


the suitcase; there

was a wrinkled

ten dollar bill

and my mother’s

best outfit,

far older than

anything I owned.


White polka dots on

a navy blue blouse,

huge sailor collar

with a tie,

studded pumps,

pencil skirt


nylons with lines

up the back, big fat

plastic red beads,

bracelet to match..


I put on that outfit

ready to fight anyone

who might laugh,

went to a keg party.


It was a hit—the rich girls

thought I was retro cool.

The guys thought I

had Bette Davis eyes.


The next morning,

I thought of my mother

dreaming of her girl

the only one in college,

clicking down echoing halls

instead of scrubbing them.


I thought of Mama’s

sweet red knuckles

washing, ironing, folding

her best, not dreaming


her girl was at a kegger

in that polka dot blouse

hopping up and down

like a purple-eyed fool


to The Time Warp

and Combat Rock.






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Every now and then, something comes along that gets me so excited, I have to make sure everyone knows. You may have already read ouroboros review, but if you haven’t, please check it out. .If you have, then read it again!

Edited by Joe Hemmant of florescence and Christine Swint of balanced on the edge, this  journal is overflowing with talent. I was already a fan of Christine and Jo’s poetry, but now I’m impressed on an even deeper level. As one who has dabbled as a “helper” in small presses, I can tell you that the creation of a literary journal is no small task. Many poets come up with the idea, yet many have fallen by the wayside. Christine and Jo have truly risen to the occasion.

The poetry in ouroboros is astounding in its excellence. The artwork is breathtaking. Some of the contributors are amazing poets, writers, and artists I have met in blogland, and I’m already a big fan of their work. Other contributors are new to me, and I am very excited to read their work. Everything in the journal is a pleasure to read.

Another thing that struck me while reading ouroboros is that all of the pieces were chosen with care. When looking through the pages, it is obvious that the editors are lovers of poetry and art.

The layout and design of ouroboros is also excellent. I have read several online journals that contain great work, but I either find myself squinting to read or the layout just seems dull. That didn’t happen at ouroboros. It’s very pleasing to the eye and “user friendly.” I also love the way the pages turn.

But that’s enough of my gushing. Click here and read for yourself! You’ll be glad you did..

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Last week, I met a truck driver who goes by the name of Ham Bone..I was thrilled to hear that Ham Bone and a group of truck drivers from out west like to read my work! .Seriously, that is one of the biggest honors I will ever have.

That’s what poetry is all about to me.. Poetry is not part of a secret handshake society, and it is not meant to be locked away in lofty, academic ivory towers.. It is meant to be enjoyed by the people.

Ham Bone is a philosopher, a gentleman, and a hell of an interesting political commentator.. He made me laugh, and that is the greatest gift of all..He also gave me an assignment.. I was to write a lighthearted political poem that is also not a political poem.

This one’s for you, Ham Bone. .Happy shifting.

Making History

.Julie Buffaloe-Yoder


For a fifth grade unit on

government, they made us

swamp rats put on shoes


and ride in a sweat-funky bus

to visit the legislative building

in Raleigh, sit in the galleries

for hours, and watch politicians

who liked to pontificate and nap.


This is a privilege, our teacher

glared at me over her glasses,

Don’t you dare embarrass me

by acting like a wild, crazy fool.


Me and Scoochie and the boys

hung over the balcony

of the huge white column room

enjoyed the echo of belches,

farted and threw spitballs

at Senator Jesse Helms.


We didn’t know who he was,

but he made us laugh the most

when he stood up, turned red,

pointed his finger at heaven

and hell and us.


Later that day, we were told

we brought shame to our class,

teacher, principal, mamas,

daddies, district, and Jesus

by being the only fifth grade

hell raisers in the history

of North Carolina to ever

get kicked out of the senate.


Our next unit was about

occupations–I wrote a poem

that made the whole class laugh

about how things will change

in that white column room

when my face turns red

and I get myself elected.



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Julie Buffaloe-Yoder.



I breathe clay, salt laced edges 

of a bank, jagged black–

a swamp’s reflected darkness.

Upside down the cypress grow

rooted to water, to sky.

Where is the beginning, the end?

Water has neither.


My soul is three fourths salt,

rusty anchors, rough red hands,

clay that smells of clouds

clouds that smell of water

foaming at the mouth of bays.


Salt marsh fertile with the rot

of logs, the dark green thick

of twisted trees, where blue

the herons breathe and breed

all fall, all washed clean.


Through the sneak of trees,

quiet bayous curve, then turn

to busy boated sounds.

Closer, the earth swallows.


I breathe the cypress.

Knotted shapes of faces

I have known

rooted in the mud for life.

If the roots are cut,

will the cypress die?

Or will they grow new knees,

water twisted, wet?

The water fills with dirt,

thick black asphalt, rows

of same faced houses.

Blue gilled thunder clouds

are growing; marshland

dying with the birth

of bulldozed earth.


We will be eaten, too.

Women who sweat nets,

men with bent backs,

shacks, little lapping boats,

all fall, all cut clean.


The bank will feed

the water clay;

drop by drop the clay

will make the circle break.

Quickly the water drinks.

Is that the reason

for the breath,

to die?


I sit with clouds;

multiply, divide.

Drop by drop the sky

will feed the water clouds,


on the changing surface.


Just when I thought

the puzzle solved,

I taste the clay again,

fall softly in the salt


and faces in the clouds

will float downstream.



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