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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

The Original Pocono Putt Putt

By: John Kearns

The original Pocono putt-putt

Lies empty by nine-forty,

Its greens now dirt and straw,

Their wooden boundaries paintless.

The sun-bleached free-game smiley

Has all but disappeared.

Some obstacles have vanished.

But lighthouse, windmill, and jail

Withstand the elements.

A cowpoke’s silhouette

Still leans against the lamppost.

The tumbling dice on lucky

Thirteen recall the rolls

That came up fleeting summer:

The boy who spied his crush

Rejoice at the wishing well

The moon shining through the pines.

The girl whose grandpa cheered

When he could come and sit

Upon the purple bench

As she played the loop-de-loop.

Now the players are all grown

And likely gone.

And only forest creatures

Traverse the railroad crossing

Or stop at the old saloon

And, at times, a passer by

Discerns the ghosts that float

Among the wisps of fog.


John Kearns is the author of the short-story collection, "Dreams and Dull Realities" and the novel, "The World" and playwright of dramas including "Sons of Molly Maguire" and "In the Wilderness." His new novel, "Worlds," was a finalist in the 2018 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition and the 2002 New Century Writers’ Awards. John’s fiction has appeared in "The Medulla Review" and "Danse Macabre." His poems have appeared in such journals as the "North American Review," the "Grey Sparrow Journal," "Cathexis Northwest Press," and "The Razor’s Wine."

"I live in New York City but during the pandemic, I have spent a lot of time in the Poconos. I have often driven past an abandoned miniature golf course that was likely put out of business by the slicker golf and arcade complex down the road. It occurred to me that some people must have happy memories associated with the old mini-golf course from when it, and perhaps the Poconos themselves, were in their heyday."


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