Poet’s Corner at Scarritt Bennett Center/August 22

Brenda McClearen will be the featured speaker at Poet’s Corner

August 22, 2013. (7:00-8:00 pm)
Free & open to the public
Fondren Building at Scarritt-Bennett (2nd Floor)
1008 19th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37212

Most convenient parking is in SBC Parking Lot A which is accessible from 18th Ave. S.

Plan to join us for some laughter, misty eyes… and basically a little fun.


Here is a sampling of Brenda’s work:

Greta Mae Skelton (Oct. 2011) 

The saucy gal with bosoms…
The one that had ‘em.

She stood out.
Her tall stature,
taller than reality
for the spike heels made her so.

Mama Skelton used to say that only Greta
gave her trouble.
The youngest child of 5

The one with fiery temper… flair,
and a zest to grab life
Make a whirlwind of it… really

Greta must have given her mom a real run…
more than the others
It was true.

She pushed the boundaries.
She jumped those fences.
She flew.

I’d guess the bosoms
helped to carve her personality
to bold.

Confident, head high and lilted… sure.

Not many have the luxury of such a physical trait
that enables a creation to become an eye magnet.

Such a shame for all the other Skelton girls
that Greta got all the bosom genes…

The whole linage of bosom blood…
all went into Greta.

And the small leftovers…
dispersed sparingly to the remaining three.

But the Lord knew that Greta Mae
could handle them, I guess.

And she did, they served her well
and all her days
they made her proud.

Her beauty of face and ready smile…
Her tiny waist, caramel skin…

Flashing beauty, bosoms…
turning heads with the ever slight of strut

The power to win men and gain women’s envy
with a simple drifting move
that cuts a room in two.

Colored lips, bright red always,
dark hair

Stunning, she glided…
confident she posed… perky

Fireworks followed her path
She captured the man…
the handsome, lively one

Natural they were together.
She loved her bosoms
and so did he.

Early to marry, they did,
cause her bosoms needed capturing.

Safe in hand
And a family fast – they made.
One, two the children came.

Her fire grew into a graceful
woman with age.

Her hair grew too, piled higher still, black.
She doted on her man, spoiled him sure.

This matriarch coddled her family.
She drew them all to her.
She loved deep.

We gathered round the casket.
Gone, she was.

The preacher praised Aunt Greta.
He described her love of flashy dress,
and shopping expertise…
her famous cherry cobbler… a perfected achievement.

He shared her love of God and family
and service to her fellow flock.
Then accolades more in detail…

But glaringly… absent to me…
all those words
and not a mention of those bosoms,
famous as they were.


Roll-y Veins 

It looked like the virus that had visited all at the office
was finally settled in to live with Mom.

Her labor in breathing and failure to rebound was becoming obvious.
The trip to the hospital changed from an if, to a when.
And I saw that it was coming.

What I dreaded most was watching the small, frail victim be so scared.

I knew the drill and had my “roll-y vein” speech ready.

“You know she has roll-y veins
so when you try to get blood
bring in the best blood sucking, vein catcher that you have

‘Cause this woman’s veins run, they roll
they dodge a needle with the best of skill.
You’ll puncture and poke, sweat and swear…
Then, you’ll give up… you’ll run find the best vein catcher you have.
So if you’ll start with the very best vein catcher in the east…

You’ll get those precious few drops…
quite a bit earlier than later
(cause that’s all you’ll get)

Plus, know at the onset that we can’t fill those tubes…
This blood river is slow, thick and dry… so get your drops and go.”

Then, much to my awe and amazement the vein catcher came,
poked, hit that roll-y vein… first snag!!
Wow, I thought… now that woman is a vein catcher champion, as she said
“That blood is like molasses”,
then skipped out with her vials,
in professional vampire form.

And we rest… Mom in her fancy bed
and me in my cushy straight chair,
with a fat pillow in my lap to hug.

It seemed like hours went by…
and it probably was,
but I had left home without a watch,
Thank God.

Our personal vampire returned with the scary blood pressure cuff.

In my mind… I knew where this fatal scene was headed.
I braced myself… I felt her fear that would come,
as sure as her next breath
I screamed, as loud as my mind could shout it

Please, Take my arm, Take my arm… with its plump fat cells and massive muscle…
It would be a more likely match against that boa constrictor cuff that makes its rattle, hiss,
then squeeze…
that painful squeeze…
And hauntingly, at the height of it’s control…
it begins to release it’s hold right before your arm is dead.

“Take my arm against that thing,” I cried.
But no, it was hers they wanted.

She cried “Mama, Mama”…

and I was there…
holding the hand that looked like mine.



Anticipation… fret… worry.
Such useless emotions
‘cept anticipation’s good sometimes
I guess.
Depends on the topic, you know.

But ‘fret and worry’…
I’ll single those scoundrels, scourges… scraps of venom out…
then chatter and chew on those two.
Crap… such a worthless duo,
just a waste of breath and brain.
I’ll wallow in a bit of time with them.
Then send them on their way.

They gnash.
They creep over your body like a virus.
Like disease…
like plunging in a river of cold,
cold to the core…
you can’t shake off.
You live with the shakes ‘till your seized.
Seized up and trembling.

Dentist, such an ugly word.
Just feel it in your mouth.

It causes you to ‘bite’ something.
It almost sounds like scraping…
crying, carving, pulling, prying.
Carcasses of teeth on the floor…
pomegranate red, everywhere, wet… messy

Crowbar that pried them out.

Stabs to your mouth, needles,
knife stabs and blood…

And those hands… the size of a lumber jacks………… huge.
She tries to get all 4 of ‘em
in the cavity
that’s much too small for that.

Using my front lower teeth
the loose ones…

Using them, those poor weak precious teeth,
the ones trying their best to hold on for life.
Using those poor fellows
for her pivot point
To anchor her crowbar, against.

How very cruel.


Rhymes with Satan.
Don’t you think?



Once it was the carrots
in my garden
planted in bad soil
starved of care and water

I’d pick those knarly carrots
pulling them from the earth
some small
some large
mostly bumpy and misshaped
not like a carrot at all
one would see at the market

But each carrot represented
to me, a sin to pluck
some deeply rooted
some shallow

My goal to tear all out
like weeds

I fed them to my dogs
who surrounded me
ready to catch, to devour

they didn’t mind them
small or large or gnarly

They gulped them down
as God would say,
“Give them to me all.”

“Can you find more?”
“Look hard within the
plowed rows.”

“Lay them at my feet
until they’re gone
and you can pluck no more.”

Then just for fun
I pulled two onions and tossed them to those dogs
They looked at me so funny

I betrayed them,
with a smile.

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