Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Two Poems by Erren Geraud Kelly

Blood Oranges

the flesh of the orange is a sunrise
in my mouth
it tastes like neruda's words
falling from
trees like dreams

the girl cutting vegetables
has the face of
even in the dead of

i taste flesh and i taste
i taste fire like jazz from
this fruit
lingering like

On Reading Brautigan

Like a lonely ruby slipper
In search of its mate, a melody lingers
Still, inside me; if I had
A piano, I would play the story of you.

Hearing all of your tones, colors and nuances.
Instead, I hear your song, walking in the breeze
Like a breath from within, you are
The smoke that lingers, giving birth
Only to dreams; I clutch the ruby slipper
Next to my heart, the song lingers

Erren Geraud Kelly is a two-time Pushcart nominated poet from Boston, has been writing for 28 years and has over 300 publications in print and online. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Three Poems by Cleo Griffith

Symmetrophobia Says It All

for my sloppy fear of static forms,
barriers to
motions of leaves,
swish of water along gutters,
fluttering wings of walking pigeons.

Squares of cement sidewalk
trap my rounded toes,
double panes of window
press my curvature dimensions,
and the door, rectangular,
splays me against it.

Hard-line shapes corner me
the way cowboys cornered ponies,
to capture, bring in, tame.

I fear the regularity
of squares, envelopes,
the box of flattened-grain cereal.

Even words I write
tie me down,
bind and straighten,
try to make me
un-rounded as the letter "I."

The Shift Beyond Silver

Here is the shift--
perspectives drift from night
to where there is neither night nor day,
no moon to which to speak of heartache,
no sun to represent the higher truth.

The shift is slight--
does not alarm--new sight reveals
the falseness of identity,
does a raindrop have a singleness?
It shows us the opposite of complexity.

Shift slowly,
life the clock from its stand,
it means nothing now, its sand
neither stops, starts, nor exists.

We are but a silver memory
held between two green leaves of the apple tree
or lying against the soft lips of a poet.

Certain Wheels

when I hear the sound of certain wheels:
longing . . .

not those of the red convertible next door
or the motorcycle another neighbor loves
but the distant train wheels catch me
by the throat and heart each time

there is a town I know
beneath towering cliffs
of the Columbia River Gorge--
trains rumble several times each day,
echo across the wide rush
of green-gray water,
do not stop, carry only goods,
no passengers, none allowed to board
and go away, nor does any bus
do more
than travel through non-stop.
Residents must send their hearts west
to the Pacific on cold erratic waves or
join the unresting east winds,
sweep out of twon
toward rolling hills of golden wheat.

I am far away from the solid touch
of that familiar old pavement beneath my feet,
the sound of trains that pass and never stop,
but still, at the sound of certain wheels,
longing . . .

Cleo Griffith was Chair of the Editorial Board of Song of the San Joaquin for its first twelve years and remains on the Board.  Widely published, she lives in Salida, CA, with her husband, Tom, and their tabby, Tank.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Poem by Richard L. Ratliff

A bunch of old photos

I can smell the moments
And taste the thoughts
As you are on the tip
Of my tongue
Like a favorite wine
Complex and lingering

I open my eyes
and see your words
Moving in space before me
And feel that perfect rhyme
Glide across the page

Like waves across the sea
I hear the color of the rhythm
That shapes your words
Like twine rolled into a ball
As I pull on the loose ends

Richard L. Ratliff is a baby boomer, born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana.  His Mid-West ties have built the foundation and setting for his poetry.  He is a Purdue University graduate, with two years of engineering that turned into a degree in English Literature, along with being a two-year letterman in wrestling.  All of these eclectic combinations have given him a career as a boiler and combustion expert and poet.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen

couldn't settle down
always on the move
in the language
of loneliness

ayaz daryl nielsen, veteran, hospice nurse, ex-roughneck (as on oil rigs) lives in Longmont, Colorado, USA.  Editor of bear creek haiku (30+ years/140+ issues) with poetry published worldwide (and deeply appreciated), he is also online at

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Two Poems by Faleeha Hassan

Raising the War

Like a pet
The tyrants raise the war
At first, they feed it
Their sick dreams
Their reviews of the soldiers under the heat of the summer sun
Maps they have imagined for their conquests
Speeches they have written in dark rooms
The future of our children
And when that war grows
It chews away at us
Every day
Every hour
Every moment
Like a ruminating animal

Two Soldiers

Let's celebrate
Let us run to that hill
Let us climb up the remains of that tank and sing
Let us drink tea under this burned tree
Smoke our last cigarettes
It is not every day that the war can make dead bodies and we are not with them
The rain smells of war

Faleeha Hassan is a poet, teacher, editor, writer, playwright born in Najaf, Iraq, in 1967, who now lives in the United States.  Faleeha is the first woman to write poetry for children in Iraq.  She received her master's degree in Arabic literature, and has now published 20 books.  Her poems have been translated into English, Turkmen, Bosevih, Indian, French, Italian, German, Kurdish, Spain, Korean, Greek, Servia and Albanian.  Ms. Hassan has received many awards in Iraq and throughout the Middle East for her poetry and short stories.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Two Poems by Denny E. Marshall


Cell phones
The smaller
The smarter
Maybe giants lurk
In a single cell
Hidden in angles


Took wind and water
Millions of years
To carve the great canyon
In brief span
Mans garbage can fill it
While building forward
An inch of river

Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry & fiction published.  One recent credit is poetry at Altered Reality.  See more at

Friday, February 9, 2018

Three Poems by Carol Alena Aronoff

This is Not a Drill

I woke up this morning
with twelve minutes to live.
Cell phone bleating, "extreme alert."
"Ballistic missile threat
incoming to Hawaii.
Seek immediate shelter.
This is not a drill."

Stunned like a butterfly just pinned--
by disbelief
the unreality of the unfathomable
I text a few friends and family,
tell them I love them and wait.
Blank except for, "This is not a drill."
"Everything is impermanent."

Unmoving, waiting.  Nowhere to go
in this paradise of palms and plumeria.
Apprehension, a slow burning,
not cold.  Still as winter leafing.
Thirty eight minutes to the official
"false alarm."  I decide I must get
to the ocean, soak in the sky,
wear velvet.


If I wait among
the roses
for rain to soften
thorns, lie down
among speckled
eggs readying
to hatch,
I will miss
the thrum of deeper
woods, wilding paths
with no promises.

Resisting the perfume
of convention,
the air of authority,
I feel
compelled to follow
lines of desire,
pirate paths.
No maps needed,
only awareness.
Out of stillness,
signs will naturally

Wisdom Blooms

Without the need to label
mind's endless conversation
is a flower
and feelings rest on leaves
by gusts of wind
to settle near marigolds
and water lilies.

A bowl turned up in smile
holds the movement of water
with the stillness
of pond.
No need for misgivings
or even for dream.
Everything is
just as it is.

Carol Alena Aronoff, PhD, is a psychologist, teacher and writer.  Her poetry has been published in Comstock Review, Poetica, Sendero, Buckly&, Asphodel, Tiger's Eye, Cyclamens & Swords, Quill & Parchment, Avocet, Bosque, 200 New Mexico Poems, Women Write Resistance, Before There is Nowhere to Stand, Malala:  Poems for Malala Yousafzai, et al.  She was twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, participated in Braided Lives, collaboration of artists/poets, Ekphrasis:  Sacred Stories of the Southwest, and (A) Muses Poster Retrospective for the 2014 Taos Fall Arts Festival.  The Nature of Music was published by Blue Dolphin Publishing in 2005, Cornsilk in 2006, Her Soup Made the Moon Weep in 2007, Blessings from an Unseen World in 2013, and Dreaming Earth's Body in 2015.  Currently, she resides in rural Hawaii--working her land, meditating in nature and writing.