Sunday, December 30, 2012

Two Poems by Joseph DeMarco

Going to a Funeral in Another World

The scene is all too familiar
(Except for the purple sky),
Has this happened before?
Deja vu on the edge of a waking dream?
In another life,
Or maybe all funerals are the same?

The same ceremony.
The same casket
(Well this casket is made of Phantom-wood).
The same sadness, fear and joyousness,
from everybody that it is not
THEIR funeral.

We are all lined up
(Along the blue grass)
These familiar strangers.
They look like neighbors from past lives,

The lady next to me looks like
my 1st grade teacher
(Except she has five noses).
She doesn't seem to know me,
Why would she?

Didn't I used to deliver newspapers to that man?
(Except without the eyes in the back of his head)
Not in this life
Maybe that was lifetimes ago

On the way in
I brushed past the doorman
(who looks like this kid I used to play hockey with,
except he is thirty years older).
But we say not a word to each other
As if we don't know each other
(or never did).

The funeral is sad and I cry,
even though I never knew the boy in the coffin
I cry because things have to end.
Why can't they be endless?
I cry cause death is heart-breaking
I cry for his family's pain.

And I am glad to go back to my world,
Where we never die and love is endless.

St. Valentine's Day Massacre

I climbed to the top of the clock tower,
With the wind lightly at my back.
I positioned myself ever so slightly,
And got ready to attack.
I brought back the bow,
And let the arrow fly.
I aimed straight for the spot in the center of the Bull's eye.
My only intent was to make him die.
I wanted to see how he would like it,
When I shot him through the heart.
I wondered if he could pull it together,
After it all fell apart.
I wanted to prove to him,
How he would react,
When the pain came on so strong,
It felt like a heart attack.
Would he wallow in misery
Longing for her scent
Getting drunken and stupid
With his mind half bent
I bet he would.
I don't think he could handle the pain,
And all the confusion
When it all goes down the drain.
Relationships are tough,
Believe me I know.
I wanted to see if he could handle it though,
I let the slings of outrageous fortune go,
And shot Cupid in the heart
With my arrow and bow.
    Joseph DeMarco was born in New York City; he grew up in Buffalo, NY. He has taught seventh grade on the island of Oahu, Hawaii for the last ten years. He is the author of the novels Plague of the Invigilare, The 4 Hundred and 20 Assassins of Emir Abdullah-Harazins, At Play in the Killing Fields, Blind Savior, False Prophet, and Vegans Are Tastier. He worked on the restoration of Pu'ukohola Heiau.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Two Poems by Nels Hanson

The Hole

In the ‘30s my dad forked hay and mended
fence one spring and summer with a thin hired
hand who hours on end told a thousand stories
of strange adventures, one story with a single plot.

Gregor Spadel was Bohemian and spoke his tale
in broken, perfect slang. Trapped in World
War I between Austrian and Russian lines
he had no food. To keep from starving he ate

grass and leaves, then tree bark until he learned
what wood his stomach could tolerate. One day
a German patrol came toward him and he ran
and jumped into the river, found a log and floated

to the Baltic Sea, where Danish sailors on a sealing
ship fished him out. His body was a skeleton
and they hid him in the hold, wrapped in a raw
seal skin and brought food, at first just soup, canned

milk. He never stopped and awake he waited
in the dark for more. The crew made bets
but couldn’t satisfy him and when the boat
docked in New York they rolled him tight

and carried him ashore. Years he bummed
cross-country, wandering, before he landed
at the ranch, a steady worker, good man
with cows and horses, friendly, didn’t drink

or swear, but meals he’d eat a whole pot roast
or swallow two chickens, then dig and chew
potatoes raw, pick green plums off the tree,
before a dozen eggs for breakfast, slabs

of bacon, 20 biscuits. Gregor never gained
an ounce, was strong and never sick, or missed
a Sunday’s chores, but couldn’t staunch the pain.
My father said his craving was too deep, the pangs

too keen, that he’d been too hungry to forget
and spent all his time trying to fill the hole
that wouldn’t fill. He stayed six months, until
my grandfather had to send him on. “That’s

all right, sure, no problem,” Gregor kept saying,
things had gone this way before. At the bus he
smiled and waved goodbye, holding up the sack
of pippins my father bought him for a dime.

 Baldasare Forestiere

The several architects were amazed
by the open skylights—the many
wide arches converged at impossible
angles to let the single citrus trees

grafted to lime, lemon, tangerine and
orange take the sun. The hermit Baldasare
Forestiere (“The Human Mole” the highway
billboard later named him) abandoned

the daylight world to sculpt with dynamite
and pick “The Underground Gardens.”
In Sicily his fiancée chose another. Sick
with despair he sailed to Fresno, dug

deep into the stone earth, the red hardpan,
fashioning a vast secret restaurant
with carved tables, booths and benches,
a subterranean banquet hall for men

and women to eat, dance, drink wine, talk
leisurely and undisturbed, avoiding the day’s
heat. But the labyrinth of dark galleries
and passageways was too complex, long

and twisting, the food would have grown
cold, the waiters lost their way before
hungry guests were served in the cool
earthen alcoves the color of Chianti.

Baldasare was kind to children but screamed
and fired his Winchester at adults
trespassing overhead. Maybe he’d meant
to build a great tomb where his faithless

love and he would always be together, alone
they would have a truce, another chance
and endless time as her laughter echoed
down the turning halls, here, there, just

ahead and patiently he hurried past
the winter light that fell like miner’s dust
never changing with the traitorous sun
and flashing seasons of the other world.

Nels Hanson has worked as a farmer, teacher, and contract writer/
editor. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz and the U of Montana and 
his fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan 
Award. His stories have appeared in Antioch Review, Texas Review, 
Black Warrior Review, Southeast Review, Montreal Review, and other 
journals. "Now the River's in You," a 2010 story which appeared in 
Ruminate Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and "No One 
Can Find Us," which was published in Ray's Road Review, has been 
nominated for the 2012 Pushcart Prizes.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Two Poems by Dr. Smita Anand Sriwastav

Wings of Hermes...

with wings like

gossamer flappers,

of singed moths

in raven nights

wet in the

lingering sweat

of the long lost


my muse sulks

in dark corners

of grey matter


as the rancid moonlight

tastes like stale curd

on tongue of imagination-

in hibernation,

and stars are like

peering geriatric eyes

of a grumpy guard


at rustling trees


on his stolen

hours of slumber.

with sleep refusing to be

lured while insomnia haunts,

as an unwanted house-guest-

reclining shamelessly

on my couch--

etched in wrinkles.

the books arranged

covetingly over now

dusty shelves,

seem insipid, lack-luster-

and thoughts churn within

as the soul's tornado,

yearning gushing

like frenzied wind-

banging on rusty hinged

doors and windows,

and the heart craves

for wings of Hermes,

to soar the skies

of un-scaled contemplation,

spin mystique,

and unravel mysteries within,

erasing footprints of vacuous


threatening to engulf life's alleys...

Unspoken Dialect…

Words are caught within

sentiment clogged throats refusing

to find expression in voiced lucidity and

are heard as mere moan or murmur—

ambiguous expressions left un-deciphered,

translated in shimmering fluidity of gazes

or escaping as multifaceted sighs.

They are never writ in any language--

a dialect alien to habit of script

that finds expression in the racing of pulse,

dilation of pupils and

butterfly wing flutters in the breast--

a pause in time’s momentum

in abeyance on the threshold of

silence and the spoken.

The parlance of gestures,

wherein the tremor of mute hands find

a meaning and an expression,

twitching lips and a quiet blink

garner interpretation,

within silhouettes of the obscure

that unsaid is heard,

like the whisper of a falling feather

gathers meaning from singing breeze.

This language is a tapestry of unspoken words

lingering on the horizon of surrealism,

the mendicancy of voice resulting in

failed interpretation by veteran linguists

their diaphanous realms invisible beneath

the eagle gaze of microscopic vision,

like the soft rustle of leaves in the breeze

and echo of departing footsteps

lost in the catacombs of lost memory,

that half-forgotten symphony

that itches to burst forth

from lips of amnesia—it is a parable

that is like shades of crepuscule

muted yet vocal, obscure yet lucid…
Dr. Smita Anand Sriwastav is an M.B.B.S. doctor with a passion for poetry and literature, has always expressed my innermost thoughts and sentiments through the medium of poetry, uses nature as the most inspiring force in molding writings, has published two books and several poems in journals like the Rusty Nail and Contemporary Literary Review India and one of poem was published in a book called ‘Inspired by Tagore’published by Sampad and British Council.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Poem by Elysabeth Faslund

Merry Guests Of This Season

Crystaline laughter, greetings, and snowflakes.
Tinselled trees draped with ribbons, laces, and
bows. Tiny, sparkling glasses of sherry.
Ladies in delicate chiffon. Red berry

woven wreaths of holly, juniper, wound
with silvered streamers, curling round the door
open to all, this season of Good Will.
Winter not allowed, yet the outside chill

accompanies merry, homeward bound guests.
Blazing fireplaces wait patiently to
warm and cheer those opening the door. Frost
breaths soon disappear. Parties are hosted

each night of this Season. Friends not alone,
family gathered again all at home.

Born on top of an Indian Burial Mound, part of the Mound Builder Culture, I
watched my aunt wring chickens' necks and they fluttered down the burial hill.
Not a good memory, but we cannot hope for all good memories.
The things I did in childhood and beyond, has become the stuff of my poetry and
a varied bunch of stuff it is.
Being born on the Mound near the oak-laden bayou's waters became the Louisiana Writers Society's
Grand Prize winner of 1968...."The Mound Builders of Chacahoula"...and a pretty good slice of
Indian daily life it was...spanning four generations.
My mother and grandmother figure prominently in my writing. Maternal guidance figures they
certainly were not, so love is not spent where not given.
How's that for intimate truth?
Married twice, my first husband quipped one day, "You'll never make any money with poetry!"
The next day I quipped, "Divorce."
Goes around comes around.
The second marriage was a complete disaster, so I find myself living with two cats, Henry and
Tat, in a camper at a marina. Alone.
Who, on this Earth, would put up with a poet who has been internationally published since seventeen,
has major writing friends around the world...Jayanta Mahapatra for one...and holds the Epic of Gesar
a major work of literature, out-distancing the Bible by centuries?
No one, so here I am.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Two Poems by Neil Ellman

Rope and People

(after the painting by Joan Miró)

Born at the end
of an umbilical rope
connecting life to life
then bound to life
tied in bundles and knots
questions unanswered
puzzles unresolved
finally hanged from rope
taut at last
legs reaching for the truth
life unraveled
at the end
of a hangman’s noose.


(after the painting by Jackson Pollock)

Before we disappear
through windowless walls
trap doors, crags and crevices
in the warp and wrap of time
blind-spinning, drifting
motion with neither direction
nor intent
neither argument nor ascent
we converge like thirsty souls
around a waterhole
at the confluence of now and then
waiting, waiting for a sign
never to come, we gather,
grow old and disappear.

Twice nominated for Best of the Net, Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey.  More than 600 of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and based on works of modern and contemporary art, appear in numerous print and online journals, anthologies, broadsides and chapbooks throughout the world.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Poem by K.J. Hannah Greenberg

Munchkins in Braids: A High School Perspective


Munchkins in braids, also Kotex,

Fight over comic books, boys, nail lacquer,

Complain that squared cereal, garbage duty,

Bus fare prices rot, spin their fair heads.

Usually, while asking for money, such girls,

Forego studies of ancient ossuaries,

Compete for places in track and field,

Get crowned Homecoming Queen.

After all, adolescent excrescences, those emotional

Outgrowths of peer pressure, iffy grades, acne,

Coruscate alongside lockers, by cafeteria trays,

As well as in the midst of biology labs.

Kamuros nearly to a one, such frenetic sorts,

Who skite on algebra, succeed, nonetheless, in acquiring

Sports heroes, student body presidents, transfer students;

All become their minions. Some gals’ métier is popularity.
KJ Hannah Greenberg, a two time Pushcart Prize Nominee, one time Best of the Net Nominee, and an actual National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar, gave up all manners of academic hoopla to raise children.  Currently, she flies the galaxy in search of gelatinous monsters and assistant bank managers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Two Poems from Frederick Pollack

To The Lighthouse
I have had my vision.
              -- Virginia Woolf
When you go to meet your secular guru
you will face a trendy problem: whether he
in fact inhabits a lighthouse in the skerries
or a squalid room ashore.
And since the point has been raised, he must
(in some sense other than that of “fact”) do both,
and the questions you must answer –
we can assume they “are” the voyage – are compounded:
whether you will find him.
Whether he wants to be found.
Whether the effort will bring joy or more sorrow.
In another paradigm
it is you who live in that freezing flat,
merely gazing toward the lighthouse
or, lacking a view, not even that:
merely cringing at a foghorn
you alone, on the far side of television or traffic noise,
hear – marking the intervals
of a disease that is its own cure,
like drinking solo.
Drugging, banqueting solo.
But let’s assume everything’s OK
and that you’re you and that he (the hero)
is he, and that he
is on his island.  How bright the gulls in the morning!
How fresh the breeze over the boat
as you set out – with, in your backpack,
an entire oeuvre to be signed, and free,
briefly, of status issues:
does he work the light or own it?
Whoever seeks me out?
Why should they?
And when you arrive and are met
he is everything you hoped – bluff, Hemingwegian,
but totally original and unaffected.  And you
are everything he hoped …
He holds nothing back,
and it is as if – under that sky, with the surrounding waves
applauding – the final mystery of culture
is revealed to you and your era:
sublime failure.
Radical occultism.
He talks on and on, brilliantly, till you feel
(as he might) that the quotidian
disaster you represent has been slighted
in favor of the ideal.
Or the reverse.  You walk round and round
the lighthouse and its cottage, never quite
getting inside, and envy him
the woman you glimpse:
an archaic beauty.
Warm biscuits.  Cleanliness.  Order.
A look of steel.
Till the gilded fortresses of dialectic dissolve
in a desert of bromides.  We must keep
the earth.  (A gesture
at the gulls).  We must retain faith
in man.  But where you –
where you you you I I I I or even he
fit into “man” remains, as always, unclear, and
a dark cloud (as of loneliness or astringency) informs you
it’s time to leave.
You thank the guru.
You rise from his comfortable chair with new resolve.
What you want to hear you must write.
What you want to see you must paint.
At least your friends will value it,
who are as numerous as the stars, though as hard to reach.
What secret plea you make for vindication
or solace sends a wave into curved space;
it will return at the end of time
as vindication or solace.
This knowledge is earned by the truly hopeless.
A part of it would get you through a lifetime.
The whole of it cannot last them a night.
Departure of a Princess from Chaos
Only a peasant-girl
danced and drugged
to pre-genital peace
after dry hours of status-sex
or the rote halitosis of “higher goals”
discharged by the kind of authority-figure
bestowed on those without authority
could be so bored, but I am no peasant,
she thinks, and decides to leave.
Swift and alone
she has soared in awareness
from illusion to intimacy, unicorns
to horses, horses to rock-stars, intimacy to power,
the divine to the human and thence to science,
and is guardedly ready to live.
On a tour of the provinces, she
learned how dragons
temper demands
for produce and virgins
to the curve of inflation, till
the dragon gradually becomes a hill
on which new dragons settle, whom some knight
must bravely, deniably, uselessly fight.
She describes the process to her handmaids
when, moved by whim, she orders
take-out and, moved
by their pronounced anorexia, tries
to share dim sum or spring-rolls,
which the maids (who will starve without reaching her size)
leave giggling to rot.
The Queen, informed of the girl’s resolve
by ranks of equerries who
then gallop for exile, fills
the halls of the palace with howls
of regret?  Envy?  Rage?  Do such terms
apply between mother and daughter,
is a question put to the royal soothsayer
and prisoners on the rack.
The Princess meanwhile
on a battlement wonders
how the purging fires of globalization
allow the gap-toothed, lousy yeomen
below to waggle withered 
carrots at her on their way to market,
and even more obscenely coming back.
And her father, less histrionic because
the role of a King is endlessly, almost
impersonally to mourn
the vast unintended consequence
of history, mentions
the risk she runs: barbarians,
who all her life have been crossing
a notional border.
She expands, briefly, warming his heart
with half her mind, on roads and forts,
missiles and trade; the other half
has entered a familiar, savage bower
where she awaits an unfamiliar power
in which to swoon, and the profile (not
too keen, she hopes) of order.

Frederick Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS, both published by Story Line Press.  Other poems in print and online journals.  Adjunct professor creative writing George Washington University.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Two Poems by Chris Crittenden

Not There
noon found her frozen
in the snakes
of her own veins.
she had married her own medusa,
the fatal event.
to look inside
and turn to shocked stone,
could any pain
squeeze worse?
to shown in eyes
a wound so bright
that blood relinquished fire?
to go down, to seek
a twin in a steep pool,
unaware she is dead
until she kisses you.

in the twilight
people kept shriveling.
kissing wraiths.
what was real
began to hide in wounds less
than scum, entire worlds
crowded into ether
smaller than invisible,
less tangible than deja vu.
no ear saw,
chins couldn’t focus,
image outpaced tongue.
holes yawned
for faces soon childish
in the rabbit twists.
such ample blurs
of half-pleasant tunnels.
it was easy to
succumb and
jab the needle,
drone the ride.
Chris Crittenden writes from a spruce forest, fifty miles from the nearest traffic light. His full-length collection, Jugularity, was recently released from Stonesthrow.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Three Poems by Ben Nardolilli

How to be a Communist

Mao or Lenin; communists stand for workplace
And later city, country,
And sanctions for political office.
You should most likely disavow your countries past.
Was this the future?
“Communism" a modern world? No.

How do man and woman, make an umbrella,
A convincing place?
By writing political fiction, amusing and socialist
One day, avoid revisionism,
A positive message does not need to be cleaned up,
Google bookmarks smash oppression forever.

To keep it safe, amusing, and caring,
Be more curious with any other Western national,
Explain your ideology to others up to dialectical materialism
Google for revisionists and former members,
They stop the spread the glory of man, woman, and child!

Our Mighty

Dinner and supper with
Me as an ugly pushed apart,
I am on relief today.

Equality is you all.
I must redeem
The land by one above.

I am the machine, but
I am the broken down too,
I am America again--

Surely not me? a good boy,
Except for the dream,
Everyone’s like me.

The rape and afterthought
Was all too kind, never death, no
Freedom to build a homeland.

The Attic Somewhere

He refused to contrast
with the wildernesses,
his phallic body ropes

instead every last section
where a bloated waist
can postpone the Earth,

life must remain a theft
to build him a world, our
schism walk in failure,

each of his sins against us
makes him feel brutal,
a mountain he lives under

Ben Nardolilli currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. His work has
appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine,
Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, THEMA, Pear Noir, The Minetta
Review, and Yes Poetry. He has a chapbook Common Symptoms of an
Enduring Chill Explained, from Folded Word Press. He blogs at and is looking to publish his first novel.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Poem by Jill Kelly Koren

What She Doesn’t Know

Leaving therapy, my daughter sees the leaf truck

its hum a hypnotism, a magnet

we stay to watch, parked by a big pile

as slowly, the leaf truck ladies

work their way down the block.

The one with the leaf-blower has her cap

on backward and smiles

at Esphyr, who lifts a small hand

from her stroller to wave. I wave

too but my eyes dart away as Backward Cap’s

smile fades—she knows

that I know what the yellow

jumpsuits and standard-issue navy toboggans

mean. She knows

I can’t stop myself from wondering

Was it drugs? Theft?

Surely not murder.

But they all smile at Esphyr in her stroller

for what she doesn’t know.

All she sees are the beautiful Leaf Ladies

hard at work—Backward Cap, of course,

but also Buzzcut with Sunglasses,

Surly Diva with Rake,

and the young girl

working the black-striped vacuum

twice her size—

sucking up the fallen leaves that,

now so beautiful in their borrowing

of every hue of fire, threaten to rot

and muck up the streets of the city.

Jill Kelly Koren is the author of While the Water Rises Around us, a chapbook of poems. Her poems have appeared in publications such as The Louisville Review, Women. Period., Red Lion Sq., and Literary Mama, among others. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Spalding University. Koren currently teaches at Ivy Tech Community College and maintains a blog with poet Matthew Vetter at She lives in Madison, Indiana (which is in Jefferson County) with her husband and their son and daughter. Her website is

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Poem by Chris Butler

Wild Fire

Fires run wild
across the dry countryside.

Orange glowing coals
roar with the souls
of the damned,
crackling like
the laughter
of devils,
whistling like
the wick of
imminent fireworks,
hissing with a
vacuum of oxygen
while bringing
the smoldering world
around it to silence.

Chris Butler is a twentysomething nobody shouting from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Poem by Christopher Kenneth Hanson

Fields Of ChickenSaw

Indeed, they have been waiting

They- whom long and linger

for new stories of ChickenSaw

As once, a fierce battleground

Now, overgrown by tumbleweed

and tall prickly grass.

And the deer which have pecked and pawed

are here, no longer witnessed.

However, bodies do seem to preach from

under the ground-

As they relate pulp tales to humble tramps

in attempts-

that no one return with merriment ever

to the fields of ChickenSaw.
Christopher Kenneth Hanson (ckhanson81)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Two Poems by Anthony Ward


Fear erupts inside my ear,

The sound of blazing

Submerging my brain

With piercing pressure,

My body all pins and needles

Until I’m feeling pixelated-

As if being transmitted,

And I’m gone...


I remain the trivial sentiment of yesterdays arduousness

The significant consequence of my identity

I’m the silence beneath the space between purpose

Nothing but the position of my consideration

I am everything I was meant to be

And a whole lot more

I am you when you cannot be yourself

I am after all

A human being

Part of the universe

My consciousness corroding my aberration

Evaporating into effervescence

Where I am the suddenness of existence

In this immediacy of eternity

Experiencing the intensity of the moment

As I forfeit certainty

And liberate myself from the confines of conscience…

Anthony tends to fidget with his thoughts in the hope of laying them to rest. He has managed to lay them in a number of literary magazines including The Faircloth Review, Drunk Monkeys, Jellyfish Whispers, Turbulence, Underground, The Autumn Sound, Torrid Literature Journal and The Rusty Nail, amongst others.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Poem by Carol Alexander

A Bed of Snakes

The child sleeps on a bed of snakes:

spotted, striped, neon pink, a dense vivarium

of soft things with their flickering, felted tongues.

Some wag with a spliff between his yellowed teeth

wanders into the darkened room, his inscrutable jokes

lost on the prepubescent child, still acrid to the nose,

and even the leathery skins prickle and grow hot.

They surround those skinny limbs, looped head to tail,

making the sign for infinity, encircling fetid night;

the snakes raise their flattened skulls and begin to stir.

Below deck, shot glasses clink, and a woman’s screech

is a seagull preying on strange worms and tortuous forms

emerging dark as some mythology or cast back by the sea.

The child, uneasy, shucks off the flowered quilt, limp sail

on becalmed night ship. Thirsty, she drinks from rusted taps,

and you would think her glad to lie above the sea, the shore

where city children come by rail to grow so nicely brown.

But that strange wind mounts like fire from the beach,

scorches screens, tickling the tongues of snakes.

It smells, it reeks, this evening breeze, of nothing else but skin.

From the peeling deck comes the crunch of heels on sand,

sprayed by that concupiscent breeze, blinding dilate eyes.

The child toes boards down the papered hall, pricking ears.

See green vines wriggle into myriad forms, like nothing

so much as a nest of snakes. Rows of yellow teeth shine.

On a table, there is beach plum in its crackled vase,

smelling sweet enough as offering for human or for snake.

Mornings, the mothers spread warm lotion on their legs,

toss spent cigarettes onto sand. Children freckle and burn.

There are the sandwiches, egg and cheese, and buckets

of damp grit and the view of fathers treading out to sea

so that only pinheads bobble in the swell of cresting waves.

The children bury their willing victims deep in the sand,

sunny schadenfreude on full display, the mothers smiling,

beach umbrellas fully spread against the heat of the day,

full rigged ships sailing so tantalizingly close to the eye.

Folded on her mother’s crooked knee, the child finds the arc

in the history of sand, tracing faint undulations of the snakes.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Poem by Sy Roth


the saints-go-marching-in procession
passes streets and waiting beings.
somber cortege, a boa constrictor,
slithers along winding streets
lights blinking and choking traffic.

mourners talk of picnics and politics
while they pass McNulty’s Ice Cream Parlor,
and droopy teens licking their  ice cream cones.
neighbors peek out from behind curtained windows
as his rhumba line slugs along
and bops out onto 25A,
weaving between morning traffic
to a rustic, moss-covered cemetery.
moldy tombstones marked 1885, 1924, 1948
speckle the hillside with their silence
beloved sons, and daughters,
uncles, cats and dogs
molder under ancient, twisted trees.

when his casket could pass nothing else--
not the mound of dirt covered by green fabric
not the funeral director in his black, well-worn suit,
not the platitudes of the priest,
not the leaden overcast day of  his last passing,
time descending froze.

Sy Roth retired after forty-two years as teacher/school administrator, he now resides in Mount Sinai , far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace.   He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in Visceral Uterus, Amulet, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, Barefoot Review, Haggard and Halloo, Misfits Miscellany, Larks Fiction Magazine, Danse Macabre, Bitchin’ Kitch, Bong is Bard, Humber Pie, Poetry Super Highway, Penwood Review, Masque Publications, Foliate Oak, Miller’s Pond Poetry, The Artistic Muse, Word Riot, Samizdat Literary Journal, Right Hand Pointing, The Screech Owl, Epiphany, Red Poppy Review, Big River, Poehemians, Nostrovia Poetry’s Milk and Honey, Siren, Palimpsest,  Dead Snakes, Euphemism, Humanimalz Literary Journal, Ascent Aspirations, Fowl Feathered Review, Vayavya and Kerouac’s Dog.