Monday, August 31, 2015

Three Poems by Bob Brill

Blame it on the Moon

At ninety-two
she no longer played tennis.
Dressed in party clothes
she raced her car
toward the rising full moon.

At the funeral
her life was displayed in photos.
An infant in her mama's arms.
An awkward girl of twelve, tall and skinny,
squinting in backyard sunlight.

High school tennis team,
second row, third from the left.
Poised on tiptoe,
ready to deliver a smashing serve
when she was a pro.

Bride and groom cutting the cake.
Posing with her kids holding tennis rackets.
In the last shot her grownup children,
their spouses and kids surround her,
she the only one not smiling.

Her daughter gave the eulogy.
Said her mother never failed
to admire the moon,
a true lunatic
who drove too fast.

Her grandson told his friend
she went and totaled
the Mercedes
that she promised
would one day be mine.

Could be the moon
drew her eyes from the road
as she floored the pedal.
Didn't turn where the road did,
slammed into a tree.

Or maybe she just had enough.
Dressed up to go out in style
and look once more at the moon.
If you can't get the ball over the net,
what's the use of playing?

Bird on a Bike

Every morning the old guy has coffee
and a walnut scone at the same sidewalk cafe,
sits in the same seat
at the same table
where he can watch the world go by
at the intersection of two busy streets.
It pleases him
to have a front row seat
at a spectacle he can observe
without participating.

Today he is annoyed to find
that someone else has taken possession
of his table, a couple who are laughing
and clinking their coffee cups,
wearing jog pants
with white stripes down the legs.

And what it worse
a new waiter takes his order.
Maurice never had to ask.
He just brought the cafe au lait and the scone.

A group of sparrows are pecking
at the crumbs around his customary table.
They always do, but seen now from a distance,
at a different angle, it's a different world.

Behind the couple two bicycles are parked,
leaning on their kickstands side by side.
A sparrow lands on one of the bicycle seats,
jauntily perched, looks around,
hops up to the handlebars,
pauses a moment, takes wing
and is gone.

The old guy smiles.
This is no caged bird constrained
to keep returning to the same perch.
This bird is an improviser,
free to park
on whatever perch is handy,
then off to the next adventure.

The old guy calls over the waiter.
Please put a shot of rum in my coffee.
A week later he's snorkeling
in the lagoon of Bora Bora.

No Words Suffice

Late last night I saw the full moon
spread a carpet of light up my driveway,
turning the garage door into a luminous voice
that whispered of the mystery
that peeps out
thru every crack in the universe.

Now that our celebrated astronauts
have impressed their footprints
in the lunar dust,
cracking jokes and
swinging their golf clubs,
some say the moon has been defiled.

But it will take more than that
to domesticate the moon.
Even the earth,
after centuries of insults
from the bustling human hordes,
still harbors undiscovered secrets.

Some of us humans
like to suspend our quest for riches
long enough to gaze
at the glowing goddess of the night
and glimpse the world
behind the world we know.

Words can describe anything
but fall short of being it.
No words suffice
to express the ineffable
as well as a garage door
swimming in shimmering moonlight.

Bob Brill is a retired computer programmer and digital artist.  He is now devoting his energies to writing fiction and poetry.  His novellas, short stories and more than 140 poems have appeared in over forty online magazines, print journals, and anthologies.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Three Poems by Diane Webster

Door of Captivity

Entering from summer sun
I am blind inside the entryway
and stop abruptly hoping no one else
dominoes my back side until
my vision returns enough
to venture further inside
the antique shop to see the old owner
smile in the knowledge
that if he had been a spider
this fly would have died in his parlor
so I smile too; safe I'd here his step
approach across creaking wooden floor
as I peer inside displays
and squint along crowded shelves
praying floorboards don't splinter
beneath my almost-tiptoe stealth
popping throughout the shop
almost feeling a slender hand
graze my shoulder or elbow,
"Can I show you anything, deary?"
as I escape to the brilliance outside
like a convict held in spotlight glare
in the door of captivity
whether inside or out.

Glass Stain Musings

Memories like grass stains
on white shoes return
in epiphany moments jogged
from life's clippings
as I hack through chores
until in a second
to catch my breath
I see grass stains
and remember sitting on the front steps
spitting watermelon seeds
farthest down the sidewalk
and wondering if Dad was right
if I swallowed a seed
I'd be pregnant.

Bridging Gaps

The bridge grasps the other side
like a trapeze artist clutching
a novice petrified to release
the bar securing her to one side
now stretched between
with no net below
just a yawning chasm
bored by the tiny drama,
confident the glacial movement
of its sides separating minutely
will break the hand hold,
tumble the bridge
into bottom rubble
where grass and trees
fill the cracks in between
with root systems bridging gaps.

Diane Webster enjoys the challenge of picturing images into words to fit her poems.  If she can envision her poem, she can write what she sees and her readers can visualize her ideas.  That's the excitement of writing.  Her work has appeared in "The Hurricane Review," "Eunoia Review," "Illya's Honey," and other literary magazines.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Poem by Wayne Russell

Cold Machine

This cold machine
slinking along the
bleak ghettos
of heartache
in sleazy attire
a prostitute vagabond
caught up in societies
blood lust undertow
slimy underbelly red light district
victims of a murderous rat race
chances of survival
at an all time low
spikes in veins
riding venomous highway's to hell
drunken pimps sway
like palm tree shadows
on cocaine beaches
I see the green fading in her eyes
where once there dwelt the innocence
of the child
before heroin and whiskey
reigned supreme
and before her god became
the crumpled bust of dead presidents

Wayne Russell was born and raised in the Sunshine State of Florida in the US.  His work often centers on themes such as loneliness, rejection, loss, and the social justices and injustices that shape the world around us.  In the past, Wayne's poetry has been published in The Graveyard Cowboy, Far Off Places, and Poetry Quarterly.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Two Poems by Susan Sweetland Garay

The First Time We Hear the Coyotes After a Long Winter

I leave the window open,
no matter how cold,
so we can hear them
as she falls asleep,
high pitched and sweet.

Later as the rest of the house sleeps
I think about each choice I have made,
what I did and what else I could have done.

Maybe if I had made another choice
things would be better, perfect even.

Or maybe we would still be here in this,
or some very similar, uncomfortable place.

So I try to listen to a friend who tells me,
You are one hell of a mother,

and this time I am glad
to be alone and awake at this hour.

I have missed this song.


After falling head first
into her, into what she made me
with no thought of what would happen
if I drown,

I sink slowly
enjoying the fall.

For days and weeks and months
I swim happily underwater
not realizing how much
I miss the air.

But then
I begin
to rise.

I find some essence which was hibernating,
resting quietly, waiting for me to
morph into some altogether
different animal-

one who has already learned how to be both.

Born and raised in Portland Oregon, Susan Sweetland Garay currently lives in the Willamette Valley with her husband and daughter where she works in the vineyard industry.  She has had poetry and photography published in a variety of journals, online and in print.  Her first full-length poetry collection, Approximate Tuesday, was published in 2013 and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014.  More of her work can be found at

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Poem by Steve Klepetar

In the Great Cold

What you want is information, finding patterns
in the flight of birds or the way frosty clouds
streak winter sky.  Down, down you must endure,

along the frozen river's path, crawling through
caves tunneling toward Everdark, that space
of gloom and mist.  Once there you must leave

your only gift, a clammy, breathing soul.
The rest is waiting.  You might hum to pass
the time, or find, in your memory's trembling

thread, a song you thought you had forgotten,
one that shivers along your spine and makes
you think of hands familiar to lips and eyes.

Nostalgia will not make you smile down here.
When he rises up, your phantom father, try
three times to embrace him, through strong arms

won't be enough to hold the fog he has become.
Maybe he'll whisper your secret name.  As warmth
floods back, his mournful longing burns the earth.

Steve Klepetar's work has appeared in nine countries, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Deep Water, Antiphon, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Ygdrasil, and many others.  Several of his poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.  Recent collections include Speaking to the Field Mice (Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013), My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press, 2013) and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein (Kind of a Hurricane Press).

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Poem by Barbara Tate

Child to the Angels Borne

I am shadow, made of mist,
second block, third house down.  I wait
for the Dipper to pour out it's stars
on the edge of questionable, where scavengers find
my scattered bones.

The fatted mooncalf creeps closer, slinking in,
grounding himself, talking foolish madness,
whispering to a vacant mind.

Sucked into the vortex of earthbound vapors
of yesterdays tomorrow, places and faces disappear
in a lightless shadow where tentacles fling venomous spit
in the name of righteousness.  Your manifesto turns
to ashes and smolders as you stomp away
muttering incantations and threats to return next winter.

I attempt to hide and melt in a haze, a faraway yesterday
where the roses grew, second block, third house on the right.
I was shadow made of mist.
You were future's past.

Barbara Tate is an award winning artist and writer of Native American descent.  In 2015, she was awarded 2nd place in United Haiku & Tanka Society's Samurai Haibun Competition; a finalist in United Poet Laureate International Alexender Fui Sak Chang Award for short free verse in Chinese or English; 1st place in Gulf Coast Writers Assoc. Competition (Poetry Category) and had 2 poems chosen as finalists in Poetry Society of Tennessee NE; and won Best Poem Award in January Poet's Digest.  Her work has appeared in Modern Haiku, Contemporary Haiku Online, Frogpond, Cattails, Bear Creek Haiku, The Heron's Nest, Santa Fe Literary Review, Storyteller Magazine, Iconoclast and Switch (The Difference) Anthology.  She is a member of Gulf Coast Writers Assoc., Haiku Society of America, and the United Haiku & Tanka Society.  She currently resides in Winchester, TN.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Two Poems by James Sanchez

A branch floating in the ether
Dead, barren
A cry filters through melancholy
Ripples like ribbons of flesh
The descent steeper near the end
Smiles wane
Waxy memories
Specks of ash
Evil raises fingerprints
A song hangs on to memory
Laundry across thought lines
Standing across from your mirror
Face chiseled by hard fought answers
Morals, proverbs fail
Babies bounced off gravel roads
Insight honed on deception
Perception clouded by intent

The vines crisscross his face
Lattice work of lust
Pollen drips down a throat scuffed by lies
Love handled delicately
Saffron fingerprints dust her clever mouth
Witty words mean nothing to you
Fallow shallow hollow
Autumn brings second guessing
Car rides along once newly paved roads
Passages towards away
Chances sought
Recovery along the tar black roads of the new America
A garden grows in my chest
Cultivated with serpentine caresses longing for the last drop of moisture

James Sanchez is a poet and teacher from Hieleah, Florida.  He holds a B.A. in English from Florida International University.  He teaches English and Creative Writing at Ronald W. Reagan Senior High School in Doral, Florida.  He resides in Miami, Florida with his wife and son.  His work has been published in The Acentos Review, the Apeiron Review, Mother is a Verb:  a Red Paint Hill Anthology, Blue Heron Review and Lost Coast Review.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Poem by Margaret Gish Miller

Blood Moon Weather
Tomorrow an eclipse is
forecast so I eat fiber bars--
it’s Indian Summer & I’m sixty-
no period in sight.
I feel great grief
for Cooper who lost
his Grandma Joan
Rivers. In last night’s
dream I embraced him,
the gift of grandsons
tumbling into adolescence.
Know his loss his loss his loss
Now I’m falling
asleep. . .sighing into
the comfort of my body, grateful
to be free of cramps-bloat
endometriosis--that malady
mimicking labor pains--
the uterus shredding itself--
shedding a month of Sundays
44 years worth with nothing
to show for it, except your friend,
the curse. No more!
Just a blood-red sky & great relief
in long baths dreaming
of whirlpools
available at Lowe’s,
a therapeutic necessity, these brittle bones
cracking down my spine, one disc at a time,
each time I bend down into the fallen leaf.
Margaret Gish Miller, born in 1946 in Palo Alto, California, lived, worked,and taught in the San Joaquin Valley, California for over 30 years.  Retired, she and her husband Ron live in Gig Harbor, Washington where she continues to write poetry.  Her work has been widely published, including The Paterson Literary Review; Verseweavers; Poets & Writers; and To Topos, an International Journal.  Most recently, 12 of her haiku are included in the anthology The Knotted Bond: Oregon Poets Speak of their Sisters.