Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Poem by Mark Zelman


I want heaven above shattered,
I want its scattered silver splinters
prickling my soles like leaves of grass
among soft clumps of green clover.
I want a taste of salt-in-the-wound sweetness.
From below I want hell's molten
madness searing my soles like hot
summer dunes above the bay.
Bring the heat of smoky Scotch, cool
burn of gin, kiss my sunburned skin.
I want it now.  I want to know
what I'll be missing.

Mark Zelman teaches biology and interdisciplinary studies at Aurora University.  His work has been published in The Cortland Review and regional journals such as The Aurorean.  When not teaching or tinkering in the lab, Mark hikes rocky trails and paddles cold waters of the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Poem by Hillary Lyon

This Day You Are

this day
you are
a stream of snow melt
running cool and clear

this day
you are
the blinding spark
of sunshine on polished chrome

this day
you are
the bowstring
taut and ready for release

this day
you are
the star rising at dawn
the deepest breath yet drawn

Since 2000, Hillary Lyon has acted as editor for the small press poetry journals, The Laughing Dog and Veil:  Journal of Darker Musings.  She holds an MA in Literature from SMU.  The author of 21 chapbooks, her own poems have appeared in journals as varied as The Midwest Quarterly, Red Fez, Red River Review, Eternal Haunted Summer, and multiple anthologies.  She lives in Southern Arizona.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Poem by Andrew M. Bowen

I Have Been a Slave in Babylon

I have been a slave in Babylon,
naked, tormented by the lash,
but now I sit and watch the rains
come from Indiana.
Soft they fall as I watch
Sir Falstaff trod the board for the nth time,
and I am the nth knave,
drunk on wine, enjoying lightning,
who has watched,
for in London's old smokes
men did watch, as drunk as I,
and when my children's children are dust,
in glowing fields of rainbow energy,
men, and not-men, will watch.

I have been a slave in Babylon,
aye, and a king who learned too late
that none command the wind and tide.
I have sent honors to the Wickerman
and burned for jealous priests.
I have lived long in obscure dust
and shone like midnight meteors.

I have been a slave in Babylon
and know each brother and sister
has felt the keen, cutting lash
and worn the jeweled crown.
My roots extend deep into earth
past hates of vermin and seeds of diamonds,
and roots of love and hate
touch each of my sisters and brothers.
Those I love, I will love again
and strive again with enemies;
rolling and tumbling we will seek
God and be one again.

Andrew M. Bowen works as an insurance salesman in Bloomington, IN.  He has published 75 poems and recently submitted his first poetry chapbook and his first two novels for publication.  He is also an actor who has appeared in eight independent films, seven stage productions, and two radio teleplays.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Poem by Barbara Bald

Under Catcher's Spell

Lying on the bedroom floor, my knees bent,
I stretch, unfold like a lazy morning.
When the cat climbs up to roost full-length
on my chest and belly,
the eleven pound heft of his body
hampers deep breaths, curtails yogic poses.
But I invited him up to rest his all-day pacing
from winter doldrums.  I asked him up
to hear his rhythmic purrs, relaxing
as ocean waves on their incoming journey,
as mesmerizing as the quiet hush inside a whelk
washed up on shore.
More than hear them, I longed to feel them,
wanted them to penetrate through muscle and bone
until core to core, all lines between us blurred,
leaving us as one species singing in sunlight.

Barbara Bald is a retired teacher, educational consultant and freelance writer.  Her poems have been published in a variety of anthologies and journals such as:  The Northern New England Review, Avocet, Off the Coast, and in multiple issues of The Poetry Society of New Hampshire's publication:  The Poets' Touchstone.  Her work has been recognized in both national and local contests.  Her full-length book is called Drive-Through Window and her chapbook is entitled, Running on Empty.  Barbara lives in Alton, NH with her cat, Catcher, and her two Siamese Fighting Fish.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Two Poems by Jo Simons

Joe Fonda, Jazz Bassist

The strings were at his mercy.
He tamed them,
whipped them,
crawled inside them,
ate them.

The bass was his lover
as it cried out
in pure ecstasy
at his caress.

We had never heard such sound.
It was delicious, x-rated jazz.

Just Add Water

I hope you don't mind--
I captured your essence
one day when you were
caught unawares.

Folded and shrink-wrapped it down
so it fit inside a pill box that I can easily
fit in a hip pocket to carry
around with me.

You are easily reconstituted
to full glory with a drop--
just one--of pure spring water
applied to your edge.

Such richness it adds to my life!
M soul resonates with your muse-ic--
poetry springs forth!
It's all I need.

And last time I saw the real-deal you,
I noticed you did not seem the least bit depleated,
despite my secret robbery.

This leads me to believe
that essences are infinite,
and there for anyone to partake of
whenever tranquility is needed.

Thank you for lending yours to me.
You can't have it back by the way.

Jo Simons teaches piano and music together in Madison.  She started writing poetry in 2011 when her father announced his life was over.  He's still here at 99!

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Poem by Karla Linn Merrifield

Peace Movements

This will not stop the tanks
in Iraq but bounces on wings
of early butterflies, dragonflies
off Army steel, olive, camel flanks
of decommissioned armored vehicles

come to an artificial halt
at Georgia's Memorial Veterans
State Park.  It does not deflect
the bombs into Andromeda from
surgical trajectories toward insurgent

strongholds near Baghdad, being
as it is of catbrier tendrils, spider
silk as it glides off the fuselage
of a B29 Superfortress parked
behind barbwire just beyond

twin howitzers my husband
was taught to repair during
the first war after the war
to end all wars of his boyhood.
It merely flutters, darts, twines,

spins away from commemorative
military grounds, battlegrounds
half a planet away, into the
longleaf pinewoods to stitch
tranquility into the morning after.

A nine-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, Karla Linn Merrifield has had over 500 poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies.  She has eleven books to her credit, the newest of which Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada (FootHills Publishing), a sequel to Godwit:  Poems of Canada (FootHills Publishing), which received the Eiseman Award for Poetry.  She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye (, a member of the board of directors of Just Poets (Rochester, NY), and a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, the Florida State Poetry Society, and TallGrass Writers Guild.  Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Poem by Jennifer Fenn

Writing Poems with Kids Around

Between their questions,
a word.
Between catch games,
a phrase.
During naps,
a poem.

Jennifer Fenn has been writing poetry since high school.  She is published in fifteen different journals, including Song of the San Joaquin, The Homestead Review, Nomad's Choir, Time of Singing, and Tiger's Eye.  She self-published two chapbooks for church fund raisers.