Tell A Tale of Cotton
by Robert Filos

blue jeans growing in October fields
the Georgia sky singing the blues
red dirt roads pave sights with color
as turkeys scratch along the sides
kicking up feathered echos in union
copperheads sleeping in the mist
fading away in elegant rows distressed
their small puffs roll away out of sight
tiny twisters, southeastern tumble weeds
worn til the threads dangle flags battered

Jewels Of The New South
by Robert Filos

blue stone walkways drenched early summer rains
the palms arching above casting fronds earthward
row houses each painted a pastel rainbow shade
porches dangling crooked stacked pale blue skies

oaks live return glances toward uncivil grave stones
weathered to a smoothness engraving distant past
narrow alleys posted with old ornate wrought gates
a century and a half of cobbled streets concealed

contrasted the battery retains the sea and its guns
brown pelicans glide in a seashore symphony flight
ever present the dolphins join adding their melodies
land and seascapes on easels abounding artistry

old and young all sing the southern song of crabbing
sandbars expose a treasure chest of spiral shells
bottling shark teeth and sand dollars a starfish prize
looking afar off as tides resume the ancient parade

inward salty trawlers return to barnacled creek docks
a plate of shrimp and grits greets diners races lost
sweet the baskets crafted as the hands that weave
old markets bow themselves a symbolic confession

while the color of flags and dignity both are attained
elders purchased misery of bonds in whole grains
glory in compassion and absolution dot their crowns
jewels of the new south treasured neighbors uniting

One Avenue or Shade Separated
by Robert Filos

darkness falls midday
out in the street where
children play

stacked as shoe boxes
in a closet, tenements
block the light

no horizon seen here
winter’s tide rises
in the city

subway prophets call
the cold and lonely
reply, coins ring

uptown the lights ignite
the blessed, curse
the called’s plight

colored wrappings under
the bright white
families trees

again, drug store presents
those caught without
means or ways

no sympathy for Satan
found here, just
a living hell

excess in both directions
so closely related in
place and person

just one avenue or
one shade of skin

Imagine With Me What Could Be
by Robert Filos

incense burns silently infusing the earth with songs of caring
crafts a new blending of medley within the children’s orchestra
notes splendidly shaping harmonies along the staffs of rainbows
this superior highway bridging cultural waters no longer troubled
walls now laid out neatly a libretto softly to follow unifying us all
mandolins dancing with the wind do shine in a golden cadence
their chords ribbons flying gracefully strum out a last waltz to war
in a symphony filled with a resonance to embrace each a virtuoso

(Editor’s note: NonDoc publishes poetry and creative writing in addition to commentary and news reporting. To submit your poetry for consideration, email

Robert Filos is an author of poetry and short stories highlighting social and world issues. He was born and raised in The Bronx, and now makes his home in the South Carolina low-country with his wife and nine children.