Poetry By Frank J. Maduri

These poems have all been either published previously on different platforms or they have been entered into poetry contests or challenges. I thank you for your interest in my work and I hope you enjoy!


“Dawn Arrives”


Lying awake, unable to sleep

Later today I’m really going to be shot

My racing mind cannot keep –

Focused on one single thought.

I think about dawn, the day ahead

My mind tells me I can do it all, instead –

I know that I’ll have to alter my plan

And accomplish whatever I can.

The house is still, quiet surrounds me

Some days I just run through the motions;

Other days I have very lofty notions.

On these mornings I can clearly see

Dawn arrives, with all new possibilities

Which I’ll do my best to seize.






Praying for peace in our society

Losing hope that will ever come to be

The world’s attention now on Ukraine

The protests there were insane

The brutality of the police was horrifying

Images of innocent people bloody, crying

Standing up for what they feel is right

The government punished them with might

Until the people were triumphant

Into hiding their President was sent

A new government was appointed

A country now so disjointed

Airports in Crimea controlled by Russians

This is where international tension begins

The Russians have 150,000 troops at the border

In Ukraine, there is rampant disorder

Some want the old government restored

In other regions, the old regime is abhorred

President Obama warned Russia not to use force

If they do, it will send us on a perilous course

I don’t know how this all will end

But I pray peace to them God will send



“In The Ether”


Days like these, painful days

Where ideas don’t normally flow

When the pain comes and stays

When I just want it to go

The creative process is stagnant

I am uncomfortable in every position

My mind feels small, ideas scant

I could complain, who would listen?

The creative process has a need

To go off into the ether to work

Once I find that initial idea: the seed

But it’s all very hard when the pain will lurk

How will I combat this, rise above

So I can feel somehow fulfilled

So I can write about life and love

About faith, nature, and tears spilled

I go off, in the ether, that place

And everything is so slow or stuck

It’s hard to create in cramped space

I need some faith and some luck

To make all of this right

To move out of the dark, into the light



“Searching for Reasons”


What am I doing here?

I don’t know where I’m going

Why is the path so unclear?


These changes come without knowing

A future that is undetermined

Each day I’m still growing


I continue to take each bend

Willing to see where it’ll lead

Ready for what life will send


Faith, hope, and love are all that I need

As I move on, searching for reasons

For some clarity here I’ll plead


Moving forward, taking it day by day

Confident I will find the right way



“February Storm”


I awoke to sleet pounding the window;

I watched as it gradually turned to snow.

Then I watched it pile up and blow –

Around the yard and into the street.

The morning storm was there to greet –

All my neighbors who stayed at home;

Working from computers, not far to roam.

The snow is coming down at a fast clip;

It will freeze tonight, temps will dip.

A typical snowy, winter February storm;

I’m so grateful for a home that’s warm.


I think of those with no roof over their head

No food, no heat, no decent bed

The huge gap in income disparity –

Is something I dislike about society.

Somehow it doesn’t seem fair

That some people spend money without a care

While others live in complete despair

Spending money on fancy haircuts, fake tans

While others eat out of garbage cans

I hope those people find shelter today

And that our society finds a better way

A typical snowy, winter February storm

I’m so grateful for a home that’s warm.




Why does it seem so frequently

The important discussions in life

We have to have repeatedly

What is it within our makeup

That makes this fact so universal

What component within the human condition –

Disconnects when it comes to issues –

Which are rather significant in scope

Those matters are discussed repeatedly

While others are mentioned once.

Why can’t that information be retained?

Maybe most of us can’t separate ourselves

To have the right perspective needed,

Or maybe we feel differently-

About the message, we disagree.

We think we are capable;

And fail to comprehend our own failings.

Even when the evidence is clear,

And staring us right in the face.

Even when others tell us repeatedly;

We continue forward with disregard.

And those decisions have consequences

That are then dealt with repeatedly.



“Long Live The Night”


Everything really slows down

In this quiet small town

The crickets and bugs roam the ground

Some nights you can’t hear a sound

The days are sunny and bright

Long live the night

Where peace of mind comes easy

Hit the diner for a burger really greasy

Drive the desolate state highway

Be thankful for another day

Watch the wind in the trees under the street light

Long live the night

Watching the TV all alone

Talking to your girlfriend on the phone

Meeting friends at the ballgame

Enjoy them all the same

Reading a letter in very low light

Long live the night

If you drink to hide the pain

An escape from a world gone insane

You try to hide the fear, the scar

You want to run away far

Go away far from sight

Long live the night

Coming back to the ones you love

Praying to God far above

Reaching out to those in need

Trying to do a good deed

Visit someone who’s dying

Kicking a bad habit, or trying

Losing your husband or wife

Picking up the pieces of your life

Lying in bed trying to pray

Feeling like you have nothing to say

Resting your body, tired of the fight

Long live the night




“Daylight Savings”


The two words I dread

Happen each year: “Spring ahead”

Daylight savings, and I lose

An hour in bed to snooze

The first week goes fast

Trying to make days last

But they only fly

And it’s Friday, I sigh

Daylight savings is so dumb

I’m stressed, need some rum

Fighting with the clock on the dash

Wishing for extra time to stash

It reads 1 PM instead of Two –

Daylight savings time leaves me blue

I try to go early to sleep

Time just seems to leap

And I’m still awake

Daylight savings, and I need a break

It’ll be back again next Spring

I’ll say the same thing

I know we do it in the Fall

But the extra hour doesn’t bother me at all!


“Laid Bare”


Scared at the future unknown

Searching in the dark for light

My true feelings now shown

Trying to make what’s wrong, now right.

In a ball on the floor crying

Laid bare for only God to see

To be a better person, trying

As the world moves on around me

The quiet here is a curse and a blessing.

Laid bare on the floor with tissues

The loneliness can be so distressing;

Next task is to work on these issues.

To face them like I know I can

To face them with bravery

To come up with a master plan

Laid bare all the things unsavory

All the stuff others find strange

To pick it up, mend, and fix

To move, clean up, to change

To get back into the mix;

The mix of living like before

Before the darkness came to destroy

To stop looking at it all as a chore

Laid bare, healing, seeking joy.





Sand is here all around me

Sand as far as I can see

Sand sticks to my toes

I wonder where it goes

Some gets washed into the ocean

Gone until who knows when

Some gets blown away in the wind

So much sand, it is hard to comprehend

Sand from crushed rock

Sand on the side of my block

Sand running through an hour glass

Marking days, weeks that pass

Sand piled off to the side

About to be moved to a truck so wide

To be brought to other jobs to the south

I watch as sand blows in my mouth!

Sand, its origin can be pondered

It was in the desert where Jesus wandered

It was on the island coast

When Columbus made his New World boast

Sand was here in the beginning

Through the struggles, wars, and sinning

Sand will be here in the end

When Jesus will once again descend





“When We Were That Young”


I watch them at the table next to me;

They’re a young couple: 18, 19 no more than that.

I look over at them and all I can see;

Is a table where we once sat

Back when we were that young.

They’re holding hands, in love, so sweet;

Before the pains of life have stung.

Reminds me of the summer nights we’d meet

After we got off from work – we’d drive

We’d walk, talk, kiss under the moonlight

I never felt more carefree and alive

But even now our love’s strong, we don’t fight –

Like other couples we’ve seen or know.

I think of the past, think of things today;

The challenges that this couple has for their love to grow.

We had challenges in a different way;

Back when we were that young.

Thoughts of our college days back in ‘97

Before our incredible marriage had begun

Before our world was changed by 9/11

This young couple has grown in a different age.

We had a time that had some innocence, grace.

They have seen terror, war, constant rage

He touches her, like I still touch your face;

It makes me think back to when we were that young.

When we were that naïve about society;

When about our later years we would dream.

I look at them, and all I see is you and me

It’s a long time ago – though not as long as it may seem.

I love you even more now than when we were that young.





Days go by quickly and I do my best –

To separate myself from the rest.

But I feel I need a new directive;

To make my work hours count, more selective –

With the projects which I choose.

I fear that I have no time to lose.

In the Lord I have put my trust;

In order to stay sane I must –

Trust that He guides my life.

Through all the tumult, chaos, and strife.

He guides my ideas and my mind;

So the path to His goals I’ll find.

Trust to ignore what’s important to society.

Trust that God’s voice is guiding me –

Toward all that is a part of the plan

To make me a better person, a better man

I look to tomorrow and the next day –

As the Lord continues to guide my way.






“Listening to Springsteen”


Born in the U.S.A.” was the first album I got

Tunnel of Love” was a great one also

Listening to Springsteen in a parking lot;

In my college dorm – anywhere I go.

The music is part of me, a soundtrack –

Of my life from back when I was a boy.

Those days you wish you could go back;

Days of confusion, hope, pain, and joy.

Listening to Springsteen wherever I was;

Sitting in my room just reading

Or at a college party getting a buzz.

Sometimes quietly, others, the chorus I was leading

Or listening in the afternoon on a Sunday while cleaning.

Alone in the car, or driving with a date.

Listening to Springsteen all along;

With my sister at a concert on my 30th birthday.

Home just chilling with my beautiful wife.

It is a part of all I do, my song.

A part of me in a special way

Listening to Springsteen throughout my life.



“The Paper”


The paper glows so pure and white

It’s a shame, I think sometimes

For me to use my strength and might

To fill it up with all of these rhymes

The paper is empty and free

Until I scratch on it with my pen

The blank paper filled with opportunity

Until I get done writing and then –

Its purpose and destination is set

The paper now bears marks and scars

That others may or may not get

Some paper sits empty, unused bars

Of unlimited potential in a store

Or pages in the back of an old notebook

They’ll never know what purpose they’re for

They’ll never be given a second look

The pages of inspiration they could provide

The many ideas they could’ve brought

In a home of an inventor they could reside

The countless hours of boredom they could’ve fought

The page, when full, could provide peace

To those who have had none

Could bring to the downtrodden, a new lease

So they choose to see a new day’s Sun

Could inspire others to love, overcome, or heal

The paper, when full, has so much to reveal



“In Park”


The lot is pretty crowded today

But I’m able to find peace anyway

In my car, parked in a tight space

I’m pushing my thoughts to a place

Far away from here, this spot –

In a large shopping center parking lot

I think of those I love, wonder where they are

As the sunlight glistens into my car

I hope that they’re well, that they’re okay

And that they get time like this today

A few minutes to rest and evaluate

After tackling all the stuff on my plate

I think of those struggling mightily

With life and all of its uncertainty

I hope that solutions they will find

As they toil through this daily grind

I think of those with various illness

I pray God helps to alleviate their stress

I think of those living out in the cold street

I pray that kind people they will meet

So they can have a place to live

And focus on the love that they can give –

Back to others in that same position

Here, in park, I hope God will listen


I think of all the support in my life

From my family, friends, and loving wife

I watch as condensation clouds the windshield

I wonder when my pain will finally yield

I can resume life like it was before

And let my pursuit of dreams really soar

Other days I just push myself – no limit

Because my dream is there for me to get it

I think of others with physical disability

That must know the pain of limited capability

In a society that ignores their every need

Because of its pursuit of greed

I pray that they get the help they deserve

So with their talents, they can serve

Help others develop a sense of belonging

Instead of a culture of blame and wronging

I hope that those with wealth

Will come to help others, not just themself

Here, in park, I pray behind the wheel

That kid in a gang will no longer steal

That teenage girl will keep her baby

I know bad things happen, but maybe –

My prayers will matter – it may seem odd

But here, in park, these moments, I feel closer to God.



(Frank J. Maduri is a freelance writer with publishing credits for a variety of web sites. He has written hundreds of poems as well as a novella. His chapbook length collection of poetry will be published in the Spring of 2015. He has served as a judge of a national poetry contest held by a well-respected literary journal. He is currently working on writing lyrics for a collection of songs for submission to music publishers.)


Copyright – 2015 – Frank J. Maduri –All rights reserved. No copying, retransmission, or reuse of this material is allowed without the express written consent of the author.




China Floods International Steel Market

I was running at the gym yesterday morning and watching Fox Business channel where I saw that the Chinese are flooding the international market with surplus levels of steel because of the downturn in demand in their country. China produces more steel than the rest of the world combined which is an astonishing figure, and the influx of Chinese steel at a lower price has had a dramatic effect on the Western economies.


The production of steel in China has caused the amount of steel imported into the United States to increase by 34% in February 2015. This massive influx has triggered layoffs at U.S. Steel and Nucor, among others in American steel marketplace. Overall, the U.S. steel industry has seen 22 companies declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


The cumulative effect of the market flooding by China has led to the discussion both in Europe and the United States of whether a tariff should be instituted on steel. This is due to the fact that Chinese steel is made far cheaper than the rest of the world primarily because of the dramatically lower labor costs.


I disagree with the editorial in Forbes on this subject, while some of the information in the article there is sound, the author is against the implementation of a tariff on Chinese steel. The main rationale for that position being that he maintains that with the escalating costs for companies to manufacture products in the United States they should be entitled to access to materials such as steel at a cheaper cost to them.


I disagree with this position for two reasons: the impact it has on the American middle class worker, and I believe it is unfair for any country to dump excess products into the market and essentially undercut a particular industry, in this case the steel industry. This maneuver by China to flood the marketplace with surplus steel has hurt the American steel industry at a time when our country needs to keep as many manufacturing jobs as we possibly can. It has caused the layoff of the average American laborer which will have a profound effect on the already shrinking middle class in this country and will impact entire families as well.


The implementation of a tariff would be at least a prohibitive measure to safeguard the marketplace against this type of surplus flooding. It would allow American companies to level the playing field in their competition with emerging Asian economies.


In Our Defense


In all the commentaries and reports on this topic I have not seen anyone else mention an important aspect of this situation which is the fact that the U.S. government does not allow parts from China to be used in a Defense Department contract. The cheaper steel from China would not be able to be used in any of the products procured for the defense purposes of our country. Therefore, the American steel companies will have to produce to serve those contracts with a decreased labor force due to the market conditions changed by China’s actions within the marketplace over a period of years.


The lack of a duty or tariff on steel also means that the Defense Department could be paying more for domestic steel which is an issue that effects all taxpayers since we are footing the bill. Other Western nations are feeling the same effects to their respective domestic economies due to the activity of the Chinese companies handling of the supply dumping of steel.


The reports that I have read regarding the analysis and testing done on the quality of Chinese steel is that it is substandard when compared to other steel sources in the market and that is part of the rationale behind why certain companies and the Federal government will not use it for the defense contracts.


In India, also an emerging world economy, their steel production companies are asking the Indian government to impose a tariff to offset the impact of the influx of Chinese steel imported into their marketplace.


In the end, the tariff should be adopted in order to preserve fair market competition regarding the commodity of steel so that the Chinese companies will be forced to think twice before dumping excess product and disrupting the market conditions in the future.


(Some background information courtesy of Fox Business News, Forbes, WSJ.com, and Economic Times.com)


Major League Soccer Expansion Update

In a follow up to an evolving topic I have covered previously on Frank’s Forum, Major League Soccer (MLS) made an announcement recently about their expansion efforts. The premier soccer league in North America plans to expand from their current level of 20 franchises to 24 franchises by the year 2020.


In my prior coverage of this expansion effort I detailed the bid from Atlanta which was approved and they will enter the league in 2017. The league also sold Chivas USA and the new ownership group renamed the club “LAFC” which will join the league in 2017 after rebranding and attempting to build a second soccer-only venue in the Los Angeles area for their team to have a whole new identity.


This leaves two expansion positions and many potential bids from interested markets. The interest is so strong regarding expansion that MLS now appears to be considering the idea of going beyond that 24 team goal for membership in the league. The following are the latest potential candidates and the latest news on the bids:


Minnesota / Twin Cities: MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced that the league has entered what he termed “advanced talks” with the Minnesota United bidding group regarding an expansion franchise. The Twin Cities area originally had two bids in play for MLS expansion: the Minnesota United bid organized by the ownership group of the minor league team currently playing there, and a bid from the owners of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings who are currently building a new state of the art multi-purpose stadium that could be used to host an MLS soccer team. However the league office announced that the Vikings bid has been eliminated and that MLS is moving ahead with the United bid. That group is rumored to have plans to build a privately financed new soccer stadium somewhere in downtown Minneapolis. The fact that this announcement was made comes as no surprise because MLS has been eyeing expanding into Minnesota for a long time and for many reasons. It fills a void on their league map as far as regions where they lack a geographic presence, it is a big television market, and the fan support and interest for the Minnesota United is very robust. It is likely that they will be one of the bids selected in the next round of expansion.


Miami: I covered this bid in my earlier coverage but essentially this bid has a leg up on the others because David Beckham is the key. Some background for those who do not closely follow MLS, Beckham had a clause in his contract when he came to the US to play in the league for the LA Galaxy that he could get his own franchise for a greatly reduced expansion fee and choose the market it would play in. Beckham and his business partners chose Miami for the expansion bid. The one main issue since that announcement about 14 months ago has been the stadium. MLS stated that it will not approve their bid without a solid plan for the construction of a new stadium. Miami has been unwilling to approve the sites that Beckham has proposed. A temporary stadium has been approved by the city officials at FIU Stadium on that college campus for the team to use until the permanent stadium is constructed, which Beckham thinks could take 3 years. Some other land in the greater Miami area is under consideration at this point. The Miami bid should be accepted by MLS once the stadium issue is resolved. The demographics and size of the market there in South Florida make this expansion a good fit for both sides involved. However Beckham needs to get the stadium land deal secured soon in order for that to happen.


Las Vegas: This bid will be easy to summarize and update. MLS sent a letter about six weeks ago to the Mayor of Las Vegas stating that the city and their bid for expansion was no longer in the running. The league has walked that statement back slightly in now repositioning and some sources report that Las Vegas is out of consideration for this current round of expansion to 24 teams, but they may be a candidate again in the future. So the door is not closed, but I never got the feeling that MLS would fit well in Vegas, it is so hot there in the summer during three months of the league’s playing season, I also think MLS does not want to be the first pro league to expand there.


Sacramento: The Sacramento bid had (up until the announcement regarding Minnesota) made the most progress and built the most momentum. The ownership group has grown to include business leaders who own the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL. The Sacramento Republic club in the USL Pro league has set attendance records consistently over recent years. The city leaders support the construction of a privately financed soccer stadium, which after the MLS press release regarding Minnesota’s bid, they emerged yesterday to state that they are refining their pitch to MLS specifically around the stadium proposal. Some sources report that this bid made such a positive impact on the league office that MLS may decide to go beyond the 24 team limit to add Sacramento by 2020. I have seen other reports that state that the league will eventually expand into this city at some point if the last two spots do indeed go to Miami and Minnesota in this round of the process.


San Antonio: MLS officials have met with the delegation from San Antonio in the past and in my view I think the market makes sense for MLS from a geographic, population growth, and demographic perspective. They have a minor league team in place with a solid fan base (which is a preference of MLS for expansion candidates) and they would have to approve expanding their current soccer stadium to meet MLS specifications. In the end perhaps the biggest issue with their bid is the fact that MLS has two franchises in Texas already and the league may need to use the 2020 round of expansion to enter regions where it does not have a presence currently.


St. Louis: This city is very passionate about soccer and has characteristically drawn large crowds for numerous events involving the sport. However it lacks a current minor league team and the bid is very closely tied to the proposal for a new NFL stadium for the St. Louis Rams that would also accommodate an MLS team. The approval for the stadium plan on the riverfront is still in doubt, and it is unknown whether the Rams will remain in the city or move to Los Angeles, as it has been rumored. St. Louis is considered the birthplace of American soccer and the local support for an MLS franchise is undoubtedly there, but they need to still put together an ownership group and they need a stadium. When you consider that the last stadium built there for the Cardinals in 2006 was done with mostly private funding, their bid requires an ownership group with deep pockets that could afford both the expansion fee and financing the construction of a stadium.


MLS has stated that they will make an announcement in 45-60 days on expansion of the league. The television ratings have been up significantly over last season in the nationally televised games particularly. The popularity of MLS is growing, and soon the league will have an announcement regarding the growth of the number of teams in the league and people in many cities wait for that news eagerly.


(Background information courtesy of NBC Sports.com, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN, The Sacramento Bee, St. Louis Business Journal, Miami Herald, USA Today, and the Associated Press)