Sunday, July 31, 2016

Three Poems by Rose Mary Boehm

Cemetery in Southern Spain


From far we could see it, the long path,
cypress lined, planned for long
processions to contemplate
what lies ahead, coffin
or urn, locked up
forever behind grey stone.
We imagine yet another funeral,
yet another accepted loss
in a small community.


As God wills.
Clutching her rosary
a mother re-arranges
dark curls on a white silk
cushion,  She was only six,
holy father.


The old men sit in the square,
their black boinas shoved
to the back of their heads.
It's hot.  Walking sticks
between their knotty hands.
They know they soon won't
need them any longer.
The only question, Who'll be next?


Forty days of mourning.  The women
stay in black.  There are not enough
days without the dead to
dance the pasa doble in
flirtatious floral skirts.
Slowly their backs bend
to the will of their church.


I remember a time
when nothing could keep me from
floating, especially when I was in love.  I'd rise
easily into the clouds and rest
in their fluffiness.
Since then earth gravity
has increased.
Or, while I wasn't watching
I may have changed planet.
I fight the pressure
every day.
Getting out of bed
I seem to turn
into a heavy sack
of flesh and bones.  Every time
I get up from my chair I weigh more.
Climbing the steps
out of the pool
my specific weight
increases to that of iron.
Even my brain has shrunk
into itself, my will is defeated,
my powers of observation limp.
Spiders walk across my eyes,
bees buzz in my ear canal,
algae and dry moss fill
empty spaces
where only yesterday
my poems grew.
Mornings shiver me and
evenings leave me shriveled.
My steps are smaller now, hesitant,
and the heart is confused,
shaky and indecisive.

Do Oceans Have Underwater Borders?

Do mermaids speak
Indian or Atlantic?
How do the waters know where
to turn back?  How do turtles,
who don't take a blind bit of notice,
know where they are?

Perhaps there's a Pacific border police:
"No salmon allowed beyond
this point."  Can you make out the different
oceans from space?  What is Earth's name
for South China Sea?

As the whales breach from North to South
and back again, I imagine them
saying in deep whale-sized voices,
"Thank God, Hubert, they didn't ask
for our passports when we crossed
into the Arctic Sea."

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru.  Author of Tangents, a poetry collection published in the UK in 2010/2011, her work has been widely published in US poetry journals (online and print).  She was twice winner of the Goodreads monthly competition, and a new poetry collection is earmarked for publication in May/June in the US.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Four Poems by BZ Niditch

Whitman and I

On back roads
we remembered our hands
opening our letters
on landscapes of wind
visible except to dreams
of those who hold lamps
to itinerant poets
with an alembic alphabet
motionless as our body
in a new language hour,
nothing is foreign to us
Walt, but earthy to everyone
as trees, springs, shadows
cool off all hidden tongues.

Marathon Day

Rumors in the city
that a poet takes chances
in hours of days
barters for warmth
under his back pack
fixes on breathing in
enigmas and omens
unchained from words
in an absurd time
of a language
that feeds us on patience.

Those Sixties

When Warhol
opened his Factory
everyone wanted
his fifteen minutes
to get known,
but other realized
dreams would be uprooted
as entangled graffiti
on city walls
stars in films would fall out
bend and fade by morning
and Andy himself
in a self-portrait would be
a manifesto's assassin's target
within publicity's range
of a once familiar face.

Urban Recital

Taking a taxi
in a wintry snow
late for my sax gig
riffs of flakes
on the windshield
a flagon of vodka
and fried potatoes
next to me,
the scent of notes
full of whispering words
and probabilities
as the driver intimates
in Russian
he is not charging me
if will play a solo
my hands not knowing
any boundaries
as we crash
and barely escape through
a half opened door.

BZ Niditch is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher.  His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including Columbia:  A Magazine of Poetry and Art, The Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, Hawaii Review, LeGuepard (France), Kadmos (France), Prism International, Jejune (Czech Republic), Leopold Bloom (Budapest), Antioch Review, and Prairie Schooner, among others.  His latest poetry collections are "Lorca at Sevilla," and "Captive Cities."  He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Poem by Evie Ivy


It was some confusion that
Caused the rash, though you
Have always thought you could
Walk on half destroyed.
And you've dreamed that you
Stood still as your mind

Moved on to explode on distant
Roads you had to travel.
While you walked you worked
To understand him, as you saw
Him kick and be the one to cry.

Playing god you threw out
His words to start time new
Again, but he became his words
And walked toward obscurity.
You could still see his anger
Yet now can't hear him.

Now you move on and look
Toward the smiling world,
And keep the pillows fluffed
So you can wake-up and walk
Altogether in the morning.

Evie Ivy is a poet/dancer in the NYC poetry circuit.  She hosts one of the longest running poetry series in NYC, the Green Pavilion Poetry Event.  She has 3 chapbooks out, including "Selected Cinquains" (Grey Book Press).  She has a book out called "The First Woman Who Danced," poems based on her experiences as a dancer/dance instructor and her latest is "Living in 12-Tone . . . and other poetic forms."  Her work has also appeared in various anthologies and websites, including Luvure litteraire, Versewrights, First Literary Review-East, and others.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ten Poems by Lyn Lifshin

It Wasn't Even Valentino But Tony Dexter, Made Up With Slick-Backed Hair, Eyes Of Soot

that stared thru me
at the Campus Theater
and made me always
choose men with dark
foreign looks, men
from Iran or Greece
or Turkey.  A glance
scorched, a tango and
I buckled.  At 11, I
dreamed I was Pola
Negri, a name as
exotic as the words I
imagined whispered
deep in the tent of
his skin.  I ached to be
his slave, his harem,
would grow clove
nipples, longer lean
thighs.  If he didn't talk,
no matter, I went for
quiet men, no blonds
I vowed, no Swedes.
Bad boys who would
not smile, strutting
boys, the hoods with
hooded eyes I'd write my
own subtitles for, my
hair, my words a veil I
could be whatever
I wanted to behind.
Blood lips, those
eyes behind dark glasses
let you imagine what
isn't as when Valentino
moved past the tent
flaps as if they were

That Woman Near The Graves

disappears behind granite
and is never heard from
again.  We don't quite
believe this.  She could
have gone to the museum
or called her girlfriend
to meet her for lunch
but instead took the
metro to the cemetery
as if to lie down with the
dead one who always said
her lips brought him
back to life.  It was a warm
day for December even
tho it was the day of
the least light.  She was
wearing the denim mini
I had in my closet,
her hair almost as long
and red as mine.  Some might
suppose I'm that woman,
it seems there are clues.
But listen, the buried
man was already dead to
me before he slept
under the grave in this
city and the me who would
have banged myself
raw on his metal
door had already grown
skin too thick to feel

The Child We Will Not Have

will be a boy.  Dean Michael
will go to law school and play
football.  I'll listen to September
get loud and then quieter,
sneak into the smallest room

to write S.O.S. notes in returnable soda
bottles, my belly crinkled as the toe nail
that falls off after a torturous summer
of pointe.  This child you always wanted
swims in my arms like that gone nail,

I talk to it with my mouth shut.  It teaches
you to sign, lip read my nipples.  In the movie
of September, some of the stills are missing.
I clutch the baby like someone at a crash site,

hear glass fall.  The child we will not have
is all we wanted, all that holds us together.

In Rexall's, Middlebury

the dark booth held us like a cove.
My mother put on high heels and lipstick.
Fruit parfait in glasses, a sweetness.
A comfort to eavesdrop on the others talking.

My mother put on high heels and lipstick.
My father never cared if we had a real house
where my sister and I wouldn't be ashamed to bring friends.
In the dark of the booth, I could imagine, someday, being a beauty.

My father never cared if we had a real house.
My mother never wanted to come back to this town she eloped to escape.
She went out with realtors for 15 years.
In her last weeks she said if she could go anywhere she would pick New York City.

My mother never wanted to come back to this town,
imagined the bustle of cities, the theater, the subway.
My father sat in the yellow chair, read the Wall Street Journal without talking.
My mother played gypsy music and Cab Calloway, "Raisins and Almonds"

I imagined the bustle of cities
where what happened mattered.
My father sat in the yellow chair, quiet as stones.
Bits of my mother's red lipstick swirled in fruit parfait.
The dark booth held us like a cove.

Late November

Today in Virginia, unseasonably cold,
               high only in the mid 30s.
I think of a night drive from Austerlitz
an hour north to bring in my plants, early September.
The sky tangerine, guava and teal.
My own house strangely quiet, my
cat at my mother's.

When I think of a night I drove from Austerlitz
to bring in the plants, my mother young enough
to swoop up suitcases, my cat,
I was looking for someone.  "Aren't you glad you
still have me?" my mother purred.  The cat I
got after that one, now going on 21,
the ice yesterday a warning.

I was looking for someone.  Each time I
left my mother's rooms, drove thru
Vermont leaves there was an ache becoming myself.
When the wind tore thru yesterday, on the stairs, a
shape that looked like lint with claws.
Later I tucked the geraniums in quilts
like putting a child under flannel or leaves.

That ache, a wind under my hair.

My mother tucked in the earth.
The headless fur shape with its pink claws
or feet, on its back, a mystery.
Today in Virginia, unseasonably cold.

Champlain, Branbury, The Lakes At Night

always women in the
dark on porches talking
as if in blackness their
secrets would be safe.
Cigarettes glowed like
Indian paintbrush.
Water slapped the
deck.  Night flowers
full of things with wings,
something you almost
feel like the fingers
of a boy moving, as if
by accident, under
sheer nylon and felt
in the dark movie house
as the chase gets louder,
there and not there,
something miscarried
that maybe never was.
The mothers whispered
about a knife, blood.
Then, they were laughing
the way you sail out of
a dark movie theater
into wild light as if no
thing that happened

Thirty Miles West of Chicago

paint chips slowly.
It's so still you
can almost hear it
pull from a porch.

Cold grass claws
like fingers in a
wolf moon.  A man
stands in corn bristles

listening, watching
as if something
could grow from
putting a dead child

in the ground.

The Daughter I Don't Have

won't see the moon
as fractured.  She won't
be drawn to what is broken,
men so shattered and cracked
nothing can keep them
together.  She won't seek
out lovers with pieces
gone or so damaged no one
can restore them.  The
daughter I don't have
won't pick men like land
scapes all color's seeped
from, pale as bleached bones,
men whose dreams of quiet
drift from --bodies that
fold themselves into a beer
daze by dawn.  No Vietnam
veteran who lives in flash
backs of his leg exploding
on the other side of the
road will tattoo "mine" on
her heart, remembering the
mine that got him.

The Daughter I Don't Have

would ride the horse
I was scared to ride
bareback.  She'd leap
over wild sorrel, taste
the lilac finches glide
through.  She won't hear
"a nice Jewish girl
wouldn't come in
shoes smelling of manure."
Her hair will smell
like the wind.  She'll
see what I hadn't in hill
sides before the light goes,
shapes in tall grass that
could be whatever she
makes them into,
magical animals, rainbows
in leaves.  She'll be one
with the horse, leaping,
feel each muscle tremble.
The daughter I don't have
would move with ease, not
wait on the sidelines
for someone to ask her
to dance but make her own
way thru shadows and
quiet, still as a woman
in an Edward Hopper
painting but with more
to look ahead to,
confident in darkness,
her own maple hair.

Edward Hopper

The thing about Sunday is
the light moving across
a two story red brick
building, shops on the
first floors, four dark
doorways and a barber
pole.  The shops are closed.
They'll stay closed all
day.  1930.  Sunday floating
in space, beating out
Saturday for quiet.  It's
an old neighborhood that
has known better days.  You
never ask what day it is.
Sunday feels like Sunday.
A Sunday kind of a love,
never on Sunday.  When Emily
Dickinson wrote "there's
a certain slant of light
that oppresses . . ." it must
have been Sunday, a day like
wide water without a sound.

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.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Poem by Bonnie Quan Symons

My Stargazer Lilies

               desymbolized my wedding day flower
               of two decades ago.

When my son told me that his Dad
had brought his mistress to Swiss Chalet,
to join him and his grandpa for dinner,

I was glad I spent the day with my love--

               YVR Fairmont Hotel for afternoon tea,
               dinner at his brother's home.

Despite my ex's insensitive behavior,
I focused on the positive.

As I medicated myself to sleep,
my lilies' scent infused the air.

Bonnie Quan Symons' poems have been published in Canada (Ricepaper Magazine and Vancouver Courier), United States (Four and Twenty, Resurrectionist Review, and Kind of a Hurricane Press), and Australia (Skive Magazine).  She is a member of Pandora's Collective, Poetric Justice, and Writers' International Network (WIN).  She works as an Administrative Assistant at the BC Teachers' Federation and lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Poem by David James

With Or Without Hope

Not a cloud in the sky, not a fish
in my bed.  It's a good day to be
alive, the kind of day that makes a terrorist

regret having a bomb strapped to his chest.
Officially, we're into fall but the leaves
remain, mostly green, and have not turned against

us yet.  They will.  Everything does.  No one
down here gets a free pass with the purchase
of a decent life.  Some days, even a blue sky hurts

as it spreads itself into oblivion.

David James' third book, My Torn Dance Card, was a finalist in the 2016 Next Generation Indie book award; his second book, She Dances Like Mussolini, won the 2010 Next Generation Indie book award.  He teaches at a community college in Michigan.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Poem by Beth SKMorris

Let Me Down Easy

"Let Me Down Easy . . . 
We are broken by others but we mend ourselves"

                               -- Paulo Nutini

Yesterday, the Tooth Fairy left two dollars
under her pillow, payment for each space
in her mouth, the whooshing sound she makes

when she speaks.  Abigail showed me the baby
teeth she lost, saved in two boxes:  one for the top
tooth, the other for the bottom, and I thought--

wouldn't it be soothing to have a box or two
for my own useless losses; to close the lid,
bury them deep inside my dresser drawer

knowing that the Tooth Fairy could still
find them, exchange the dried-up regrets
for something joyous and surprising?

Yesterday, I took a picture of Abigail smiling
for the camera and realized, The Tooth Fairy's
done her job, for both of us

Beth SKMorris is the author of two books of poetry:  In Florida (2010) and Nowhere to be Found (2014).  Her poems have appeared in Atemis Journal, Avocet, Poetica, the PEN, and online in Screw Iowa! and Bridle Path Press, as well as in anthologies by White Oak Press, the International Library of Poetry, and Poets of the Palm Beaches among others.  Beth is a member of the Hudson Valley Writers Center in New York and a seven-year participant in the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Delray Beach, Florida.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Poem by Sanjeev Sethi


I never received emotional citizenship
in dominion of nanny days.  Without
kedge of State sponsorship.  I swam
in whirlpools.  During my oceanic
phase you and I:  you as flotsam
I as me, stroked and stoked rough
weather.  In menu of our meeting
happiness was hazy.  I elected for
other amusements in an island of
my making.  Kelp, sea lion and seal
are natant as caret is incised over me.
Muse, its mysteries are caretakers.

Sanjeev Sethi has published three books of poetry.  This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015) is his latest work.  His poems have found a home in The London Magazine, The Fortnightly Review, Ink Sweat and Tears, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Amaryllis Poetry, Desiblitz, Gogyoshi Monthly, The Galeway Review, The Open Mouse, Otoliths, Literary Orphans, The Helios Mss, Anti-Heroin Chic, Right Hand Pointing, Futures Trading, The Aerogram, Thirteen Myna Birds, Random Poet Tree, and elsewhere.  Poems are forthcoming in The Bitchin' Kitsch, Chronogram, Yellow Chair Review, Postcolonial Text, A New Ulster, First Literary Review-East, Drunk Monkeys, Harbinger Asylum, The Corner Club Press, Of/With, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, and Cavalcade of Stars.  He lives in Mumbai, India.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Poem by Robert Nisbet

Men's Voices:  Miners

He lived in the capital for twenty years
but often, in a near-sleep dark,
recalled the men's pub voices,
family voices, confidential, cordial,
with their narratives of work and character.
He rarely heard the voices raised in anger
(as they must at times have been)
but would sometimes hear, distantly,
as on a hillside, rising to sky,
the voices, with the women's,
drawn, by funeral or simple impulse,
to four-part harmony.
Sometimes, hushed and husky voices,
shadowed by dust and time.

Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who has one chapbook, Merlin's Lane (Prolebooks, 2011) and has over 200 poems published in magazines in Britain and the USA, including Main Street Rag, San Pedro River Review, Red River Review and Illya's Honey.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Poem by John McKernan

One Note on a Guitar

Can yank my skull
To outer space

Two notes on a violin
Can pour lava
Back inside the volcano

Three harp notes
Can bring
A friend back
From the grave

Sometimes I'll be listening
To a sheet of Heaven
When a friend will tell me
About Susan's return
To the Valley of Crack

You should hear me scream
Bang pots & kettles
In the kitchen
Beat my drums
With a crowbar
Set my guitar on fire

John McKernan grew up in Omaha Nebraska and recently retired from herding commas after teaching for many years at Marshall University.  He lives in Florida and West Virginia.  His most recent books i s a selected poems Resurrection of the Dust.  His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, Field, and elsewhere.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Three Poems by Jeffrey Park

Deflationary Theory

Are the stars out tonight?
Oh, you know they are,
out and just a little bit angry
and headed your way
like white-hot raisins in
a fast collapsing cake.

As usual, your eyes are soft
and misty with romance,
but the unceremonious arrival
of a few trillion tons of
superheated plasma
should take care of that.

Long Drinks

A wavy line,
the shortest path between
two drinks.

Three parts arsenic,
one syrup of ipecac,
shake well and salt the rim,

try not to notice that
the olives
are watching you.

Why do they call it
a cocktail?  she asks,
oblivious to the little signs

that should be telling her
it's getting ready
to rip out her throat.


dancing on ivory
little French worms--


Cut myself shaving
must be the third time
this morning.

Jeffrey Park lives in Goettingen, Germany and is lecturer for Scientific English at the Georg-August-Universitaet.  Links to all of his published work can be found at

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Poem by Larry Jones

The Goddess of Creativity

The studio is empty.
Strasberg's in New York.
The Goddess of Creativity
stands on the balcony.

She wears a wide brimmed hat
a Salvation Army dress
with brown leather boots.

The Observer is invisible.
at first sight.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Poem by Natalie Crick

The Garden Outside the House

She was out there again that morning.
Talking, laughing, singing,
The garden filled with sweet birdsong
And the aroma of summer.

The sunset leaked red blood,
Annihilating him.
A love gift or a
Romantic invitation.

She had one eye, he had two.
He was waking from a fitful dream.
It soon became dark,
The sky full of storms.

He saw her solemn death dance,
Wet and electric,
An Autumn widow wearing grey.
It was starting to happen again.

Natalie Crick has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl.  Her poetry is influenced by melancholic confessional Women's poetry.  Her poetry has been published in a range of journals and magazines including Cannons Mouth, Cyphers, Ariadne's Thread, Carillon and National Poetry Anthology 2013.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Poem by Nancy L. Meyer

The Tongue Settles


We strew our animosities
in fistfuls, like fertilizer
flicking greenish swerves left
and right.  Word by word
each syllable a propeller
kicking dust.

Where is the berry pie,
whipped cream to cut the acidity?
Tongues check the corners:
no sweet quiet, no
let up of this wagging muscle.


Lips clamp.  Parched
clay in a court-
yard.  Sun scrubs anything
that moves.


From some untended gutter,
from a forgotten cranny
seepage through a crack
in the adobe--
damp inkblot we stand
and stare at,
each decipher
our own way.  Inhale
a hint of cool.


And our tongues
like puddles
in the soft gullies of our mouths.

Avid cyclist, grandmother of 5 and End of Life Counselor; Nancy L. Meyer lives in Portola Valley, CA.  Sitting with a blank page, she says, is her greatest thrill and terror.  Published in:  Colorado Review, Tupelo Quarterly 3, Bitterzoet Magazine, Poet's Touchstone, Wordland, Kneel Downe's Stolen Indie as well as five other anthologies.  Forthcoming in Bitterzoet webzine, Persimmon Tree, Indolent Press HIV project and Tupelo Press 30/30 chapbook.  Finalist in New Orleans Poetry Festival 2016.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Poem by S.E. Ingraham

The Ghost Corps

It was the flood of the century, everyone said
And I felt foolish at first, worrying about the zoo
But the more I thought of the place
built on an island, and the waters rising
ever higher--the sicker I felt--
But it seemed like all was well, at least
it seemed that way until I heard about them.

Them, being the giraffes, the gangling goofy
big, lumbering, spotted, long-necked mammals
that have no distinctive sounds and ugly black
snake-like tongues.  They, it turns out, really
hate change, and aren't too fond of cold and wet.
Imagine, as I couldn't help doing, how these
almost domesticated ones must have felt,
locked in their pens, with no fresh water or food
appearing, for days and days--it ended up being
over a week--and no light at night, which they
were used to, no human voices or touch
which they were also used to . . .

I couldn't help picturing these gentle giants
with their long-lashed, doe-eyed faces
looking so perplexed-- and they can,
I've seen them--looking askance when
the male lions are upset and making
their grunting noises that can be heard
all over the zoo.  I'm betting there was lots
of that going on, amongst other perturbed
animal sounds.

Did you know there are many varieties
of giraffes in the world?  And all of them
endangered of becoming extinct?
Some can only be found inside the pseudo
protection of zoo enclosures
and many cannot be found anywhere at all
now, hunted or starved off the earth already.

In my dreams these long-legged ones
from the flood gallop silently as if racing
with eternity; they look peaceful.
I get the sense they think they're winning.

S.E. Ingraham continues to pen poems from Edmonton, Alberta.  Her work of late has tended toward that of poet of witness, and she is pleased to announce her poem, "The Inevitability of Light" appears online and in print with, Poets 4 Paris, plus several poems from her "Baby M" collection appear on the I Am Not a Silent Poet site.  Ingraham remains committed to honing her craft, and to that end completed the MOOC's The Art of Poetry, plus, Sharpened Visions, recently, and has been selected to attend the Home School Hudson this summer.  She will also remain a CTA with the ModPo MOOC out of University of Pennsylvania.  More of her work may be found here:

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Poem by Evelyn Deshane

Wax/Wane (Meditation)

The journey is two sided:  looking back
& coming home.  The moon waxes and it wanes.
You are surrounded, then alone.
We dance like an acrobat walking the tightrope
when we don't know where we're going
forward or backwards.  Nothing or something.
But it is all the same.  I see the sun over
the horizon; the dawn, the daybreak.  I flex
my toes & dream a little, knowing there are
too many places still to go.

Evelyn Deshane has appeared in The Fieldstone Review, Black Treacle, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and in The Human Echoes Podcast.  Evelyn received an MA from Trent University and is now attending Waterloo for a PhD.  For more information, please visit:

Friday, July 8, 2016

Two Poems from Eric Dodson

For Being Old

To be old
is to wonder
how much older
you would be.

To be very old
would see your
friends disappear
slowly from reality
into dreams.

To be very very old
could be like
a Tudor pot
appearing at an auction
unscathed and admired.

To be very very very old
is to be asked
for the recipe
for being old.



The word thumped him in the heart
cruised through the crises in his life
brushed shadows from the way ahead
and gave his earth the gravity of a moon.


He tiptoed an imaginary waltz
beamed grinning white teeth to the crowd
put money in a box, grasped hands,
developed an impetuous laugh.


Doctors rushed to explain
that although benign, the tumor--
its ultimate design . . . in that position . . .
but nowadays . . . possibly can . . .
comfortable . . .
for the few

Eric Dodson is retired in Tauranga New Zealand, a quiet backwater where things happen in a thriving poetic atmosphere.  His work has appeared in many NZ literary magazines.

Friday, July 1, 2016

A Poem by Henri Bensussen

The Problem of Heat

Pale puffs of fog
like smoke
from long-ago cigarettes
Luckies, Pall Malls

What's left when a cigarette
burns to nothing but a stub
red lipstick on thin paper
   a silver tray of ash.

Parked at the bluffs, window down
as far as it will go halfway and not enough
to sweep out heat trapped inside--
you wouldn't think that a problem
   on the foggy north coast

Ice-plant a thick smothering mat
spills down the sand headlands

Cold and foamy ocean gorges
on what's left, gnaws
tunnels and blowholes steady
waves of there-ness a reassurance--

To know even as the sea ebbs
its slam-back comes on schedule.

          Grateful for a steady truck
          even as its aging body shreds itself
          steel bumper rotting in sea air
          flaking rust, we together in this.

END the sign screwed to a thin pole
leaning away from its imminent fall
as if crawling up that eroded edge
to a wavering mirage of dates and camels.

Ocean churns below, bowled stones
grumbling, tumbled tight.

Shedding rounds of heat,
                    they settle into cold.

Henri Bensussen serves on the board of the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, and manages its blog (, is a Colrain Conference survivor, and has a B.A. in Biology.  She writes humorous stories and tragic poetry that seems to turn out humorous anyway.  Her chapbook, "Earning Colors" was published this year by Finishing Line Press, is a collection of 21 poems whose subjects range from being lost in Chicago to the dark side of love affairs.  They are contemporary, and written from a place of truth.  Her poems have been published in So to Speak, Sinister Wisdom, Blue Mesa Review, and other journals.