rim of turquoise

dancing to a black

hole of secrets

 

light to impulse

to absorption

 

aperture to

unchartered beauty

 

purified extracts

of myself

 

i sink in the

unruliness

of your gaze

 

it infiltrates

with merciless

ease

 

the pinnacle

of our union

is now in

prologue

 

 

the unencountered

 

we move in portable cells,

sealed circles that lock

intruders in and soul mates

out; like feathered trail horses

we parade borrowed wares,

treading prescribed tracks

with unswerving eyes;

in the thick of comfort

the mind blunts itself;

we remain unamazed

by the thousands – no,

millions unencountered,

raising the white flag with

our habitual few;  those

haphazard wanderers

into our lives who fell

like shuffled lottery

balls into our spaces

when the fence planks

momentarily parted;

we call these our dear ones -

and yet, in the unplanned

sneaky silences we feel the pallor,

the void at our centre:

the knowledge of those

that remain foreign,

who skirt the peripheries

of our existence; of those

who are denied passage

and are not given

the slightest

opportunity

to visit

 

 

Letters

 

I no longer get to see the curls

of your f’s and g’s, the frantic

 

slant of your scribbling, the ink

smudges and uneven spaces where

 

your soul peers through.  I no longer

get to press my nose to the scent

 

of you on thin paper, to study the

finger marks of your re-reading,

 

the slight grey folds of it having

waited in your pocket.  Your words

 

are now Times Roman soldiers,

revised, spell-checked, blinking

 

at me from the same slick screen

as my speed dial and calculator.

 

                                        Amanda Anastasi









Amanda Anastasi is a two-time winner of the Seagull Poetry Prize and has also won the Laura Literary Awards’s C.J. Dennis Poetry Prize.  In addition, her work has been commended in the Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Competition, the Eaglehawk Dahlia Arts Festival Literary Awards and the Page Seventeen Poetry Competition.  Amanda has been published in two Short & Twisted anthologiesPoetica Christi’s Horizons and the Central Coast Poets’ Close Up & Far Away, as well as literary magazines in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK.  Her poems have been featured on the scrolling text screens at Melbourne’s Federation Square and she has performed her work on Channel 31’s Red Lobster, 3CR radio and various Spoken Word events around Melbourne.  Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts with majors in both Professional Writing & Editing and Literature.

 

 It's Better Not To Know.....What I Know



On cool summer evening,
sitting in home garden,
warmed by chiminea,
I instinctively understood
man's fascination with fire.

Watching the glow
from flames and embers,
sparks scribbled in orange,
on the darkening canvas
of another days end.

With beer in hand I recalled
the wood burners arrival,
around seven years ago,
left on front drive,
the day after being circumcised.

Managed to carry it through,
strange sensation for any weight lifter?
It had to be done, just as with the lifting,
something had become bigger or smaller,
I think it had become smaller.

Before succumbing to female
anaesthetists reassuring words
and drugs,
I asked her to tell the surgeon to be careful,
as it might not be much, but its all I have.

Laughing, she told me to not worry
and try to have good thoughts
as I went under.
Truly, I was so tired from work,
I was just glad for the rest.

Well I don't know if she told him,
but now with around 40% of sensitivity lost,
maybe she didn't,
Or possibly I have exactly the same
level of pleasure as my religious friends?

If so, I really feel sad for them,
As they will never know what they're missing,
Yet the loss will continue, as bullring cruelty faces end,
But just like the day your going to die,
it's best not to know.......what I know.

As I watched the flickering flames,
for a split second I swear I saw a face?
then from out of nowhere, a large moth
flew straight into the flames
causing a small glow, then gone.

Drinking my beer I thought to myself,
What on earth was the moth doing?
and why are young boys still being circumcised?
Nothing will ever change,
so much for Darwin's theory of evolution.



                                                                Jeff Bell

 

Jeff  Bell, poet and musician, originally from South Shields in the North East of England, now living in London over  last thirty years. Has recently started writing poetry/prose and finds it a release from the restrictions of songwriting. Has had several poems recently accepted in various magazines. A sample  of his music can be heard at www.myspace.com/quangomusic
  
 


  Someone Nudged Him.   

 
The Right Honourable for Poshington East
Surveyed the crowd.
His plump fingers grasped the lectern.
Promises fell like autumn leaves
from his mobile lips.
He would...He could...He did...He was.
His fluid phrases attached themselves to him.
Like a thousand post-its overlapped
On the notice board of his self awareness.
Rhetoric bandaged him.
Each grandiose delivery layered like onion skin.
His words ribboned in the air to swirl about him.
Attach to his body like lampreys and wrap their tails
about his portly figure.
He thickened until his face peered out
from a skein of self aggrandisement.
Inflated jargon added to his girth.
Still he chuntered on.
He grew rounder. Ranted harder.
His hands and feet protruded like carbuncles
from a swelling orb of conceit.
His mouth was a gaping hole that sucked
and swallowed.
Gasping for approbation that did not come.
The crowd stood in mesmerised silence.
At this point he became completely spherical.
Someone nudged him
And he rolled gently out of sight.
 
 
Men in Dark Coats.
 
Their lives made them feared.
Their deaths made them legend.
Johnny Hart-hard man-
crawled up from the markets.
Fenced with his Mother
And had half of Digbeth nick in his pocket.
He was handy with a rope.
Strung victims over a fire
Till they were lightly toasted.
Eddie the Club-founder of nightlife.
Entrepreneur of the dark and dodgy.
Protection for sale. Ringers and cut‘n’shuts.
Off–the-lorry goods filtered through club land.
Door men roped in.
Muscle at the end of a pony.
Paid other men’s debts with knuckle currency.
Colin M and the Monday club.
Bank managers’ nightmare.
Tooled up in case some hero should stand up.
Their demise elevated them.
Leaving bull-necked henchmen
to bragging Tavern talk.
Bigging up their own roles.
A gofer became a Minder in the telling.
Gang fights, hand fights and the sawn-off
left in the boot in respect.
The Quinton Mob tore through the estates
bringing pain and havoc.
Their leader hid his brain
in spats of raging aggression.
Never able to admit he wrote a play
and the BBC used it.
 All dead now, or decayed beyond reason.
With the Crombie left brushed in the wardrobe.
To remind them of the good times.
 
 
Lost in Transit.
 
The post card struggled through
the clenched teeth of the letterbox.
Lay on the mat like a pale exhausted bird.
It had flown around the world for months.
Journeyed from Rome to countries
that were blobs on a map to us.
Places of dreams.
It held the last living molecules of him.
Tucked under the stamp.
Impressed into a fingerprint.
It had travelled where he could not.
From before the distance in time.
Before the accident and the fruitless vigil.
We had moved on, we thought,
in our sluggish stagger through life.
Carrying our grief like suitcases.
We had made progress.
Could look at the photographs again.
Almost remembered how to fix a smile
onto our slack faces.
Up until this ghost of him that said.
‘Having a great time-be home soon’.
 
                                              Michele Byrne









Miki Byrne has had poems included in over 25 respected poetry magazines & anthologies. She reads her work at festivals & open mic’s. She has read her poems on Both TV & Radio, won prizes for her work and judged poetry competitions 
 


Lost dandelion seeds
 
Knee to knee this whirlwind,
from hi-tech Victorian dreams,
to the female protagonist muse.
While lazy pigeons,
plunder our worst fears.
 
Crazy zig-zag places
could be lost dandelion seeds,
in ever best,
intentions faithful.
Yet almost always cancelled.
 
Caught up in that
three days --
dancing on tables feeling,
presently crumbled down;
to the tear-filled floor.


 

 

Always hate intersections
 
Always hate intersections --
especially if you want to forget rotaries,
take cross road-hardest lessons.
 
Silence often leads to commentary,
perhaps more appreciated,
than the standing still defiance.
 
Not moving forward stagnant,
tossing time capsules:
corner drug stores
along with soda fountains --
fill corrupted searches.
 
Never easy to end,
for all unwelcome silences hurt,
mired by petals and asides.
  

                                        D.E. Baris

 

D. E. Baris was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970, studied creative writing , journalism and communications- and a former charity worker , now works in public service.

 Soap

 
When the days were out of kilter
between the daylight and the dark
our mother set a limit:
7.30 and bed, a watershed
marked twice weekly
by the funereal brass that drifted
off Coronation Street:
its title sequence disappearing
into a Land of Nod
beyond terraced roofs.
 
Trailing upstairs
to functional bedrooms,
we mumbled slipshod prayers
before plunging, breathless,
into chilly sheets ...
 
Late one night
I am dreaming voices –
a woman still young,
who has her brood, and a man
who is buoyed by pub talk,
the craic, his cronies ...
 
Her litany is a wall
he won‘t get past, until he, too,
has learned that patience has its limits.
 
 
 
 
Grammar School
 
It had all started so well with a brand new
leather briefcase, its status enhanced
by its clasp and key, and its concertina sections
for work we now called subjects.
 
The first time I opened it up
I got the whiff of weighty matters –
a prize that was only eclipsed
by the drop-handled racer
 
they bought to get me there;
and which was to prove almost fatal
when a juggernaut caught me
on its blind side, pulling off at the lights.
 
Two months later my bones
were fixed. The bike barely survived –
a few parts salvaged, then grafted on
to a botched-up frame
 
that was hand-painted, hulking.
Up Berkley Avenue’s slow incline
it sapped my strength
like a lifetime’s disappointment.


 
 
Chemo
for John Durr
 
The six months they gave you and which,
in no time, became a year
are stretching out into another.
 
It seems that minutes and hours
are made of stubborn stuff. They are filled
with nonsense that keeps you going –
 
your repertoire of dud jokes
and the crazy hat you wore all winter
to show the world you hadn’t gone.
 
The chemo chases through your system,
erupting here and there: your blistered throat
so raw, it quietens you for days;
 
the scurf that scalds
your face. You have shucked off
loosened toe nails
 
and hold out your fingertips.
They are blank, abraded.  You claim, defiantly,
that now the cops can’t trace you.
 
 
 
                                                      David Cooke


David Cooke's poems and reviews have been included in numerous publications. 'Soap' and 'Grammar School' will be included in his collection Work Horses which is due out later this year. .
 


Brontes                                            

“I wish I had finished it.” Diary entry made by Anne while writing Agnes Grey.

            I

In childhood’s lonely kingdom it was our comfort
to be each a queen in a presumptive sisterhood.
 
We broke free in sorties like the wilder goddesses,
reeling from the baize table, from Father’s scattered homilies

through the cold parlour, trampling over, sidling round
memories of Mother thrown in our path like stitchery 

(kerchiefs of domesticity we would not take up);
tip-toed past the brother whose untidy black body

sprawled in the schoolroom in a masculine knot
while his tongue thickly practised classical verse;

so we found out the moors, our wind-dizzy playground,
where we fluttered like kites as our minds learned to soar.

            II

Years later, when the moors – like everywhere – had become
criss-crossed with failures like narrow paths much travelled,

we were blown home again, blown together by winters,
and we sat sighing or smiling and tilting our shadows

across snow-blank pages, where with deliberate black strokes
we turned daydreams to architecture, but broken like monasteries – 

or like ourselves in age and in childlessness. Emily
bequeathed us all a labyrinth, where circular winds

chased down the generations, and predatory eyes
saw casements slam down on our bleeding ghosts;

Charlotte took local scarecrows, favoured the limp males,
and stuffed them full of bitter-sweetness as Christmas puddings -

to store in our doll’s house of delusions concerning the rich.
I was the youngest. Pale-faced, I tried to echo their truth  

in my stories, while my sick days closed about me like stones….
Sisters: closest to silence, I spoke only to mark the end.                                                                                    

                                                              


This poem came third in the Save As Poetry Competition.



Visit to the Font de Gaume Cave Paintings, Périgord

            I

In the sunlight, I was walking dreamily
in step with that unknown family-group
which I turned emblematic: the tall father
his bland money-making brow shadowing
his quick eyes still measuring useful space
in terms of long spear-casts, and close, sure thrusts;
the mother, whose light gestures and fluttering words
I could no more catch and hold than the gleams
in that day’s stream running at our feet;
and (most important) the processional
children in life-order of size and strength,
while the morning sun audited their limbs
in sharp-edged shadow-strokes notching the sand…
until noon was reached, its blue-green blur,
and we all stood waiting, a frieze of thought and sweat.

               II

The daylight betrays us
to crimes and to aging.
We return one by one 
to the stone vulva of earth.

What are we, or were we?
We still share a darkness.
Mind your head now and follow
our sure-footed terror.

             III


The first lesson 
                        was the right approach
to darkness.

It was getting beyond 
                               (dust in the nostrils and lungs
(but still breathing, well enough)

ends that were visible – 
                                trusting the mind
that flared ahead like a torch

and the ache in the feet,
                                   joyful and agile
as they found and retrod 

an internal path of exile.

            IV

What dust hands, identical to ours,
Shaped with earth’s pigments these paradisal beasts – ,
their tusks and tails in curling symmetries,
and bodies all so mysteriously fraught
they seem, perpetually, to give birth to themselves?

Equally incapable of understanding
and misunderstanding, we stumble 
like astounded shepherds among these 
visionary suspended herds, only aware,
with or against our will, we are being stalked

by the primal, the savage ambivalences:
two mammoths in heraldic confrontation:
a pair of Absolutes, in their lives slaughtered
by incremental hackings with stone axes;
horses stroked into being by the remembering hand

and made so lithe and graceful that their flanks tremble
with the myths of flight they shall one day
assume; but here they linger, contemporary,
with their palpable bodies stampeded over cliffs… 
But everyone’s favourite is the kneeling deer,

collapsing sacramentally, bewildered, with human eyes. 

            V

Outside again, it is a different day –
the feeling just after the festival – remember? –
with campfires still wisping, and speech 
rising pentecostal from all the nations, 

and smiling like satisfied idiots, we eye 
each other and then the absolving blue
of far overhead and turn back in the meantime
to our empty cars, shadeless, and ticking in the heat.




                                                            Alan Gleave



Alan Gleave was a secondary school teacher in Liverpool for thirty years. Taking early retirement, he wondered whether it was too late to turn to trying to write poems and short stories of his own. Encouraged by Deal Writers, he has had poems published in The Reader, and the international academic journal, Dante Studies. One of his short stories was short listed in the Meridian short story competition of summer 2009.


Snow in the air
 
Snow, in the air taken, dizzy,
To the origins quite coming back.
(White cloud falling back
On the landscape, silently.)


 
 
As a vast dream lying

As a vast dream lying
You stare at the sky
Back to the air, fleeting.

                                   Nicolas Grenier
 


Nicolas Grenier is published in fifty literary rewiews and is professor at HEC. 



Stain


The distant stain is gaining ground,
It spreads out across the fabric,
Becoming a potato-print,
And then a skull-shaped spill.
The furthest star emerges as a sun,
Whose rays offer us no warmth,
Pulls no plants out of the earth,
Unpeels no life from engrained guts.
Fills up our optical scope,
Blackens the silver-spoked engine,
Darkens the frost-scoured idle sky.
We pick at it with younger fingers,
Then attic it away hermetically,
With the board games and annuals.
Older we find we cannot hide from it,
That it stalks our thoughts tigerishly.
It will blot out every crumb of light,
Shoving our designs out of sight.



Sand


We turned abruptly and it was there,
Stretched between outcrops of pinkish rock:
The sea, tautening brine-primed biceps,
Rippling its baby-oiled muscle structure.
We’d brought that babble of beach bric-a-brac:
Armbands, ice-box, oversized umbrella,
Endless toys, and self-concious sunglasses.
I traipsed my signature across the sand,
The grains so hot the soles of my feet stung.
And I weighed up the expressionless sky:
Such perfection prefigures the vacuum,
Which erases all and before us looms.



Buzz

When remembered scenes are bleached of sound,
Only a static buzz swarming enormously,
With forfeited mouths gagged on white noise,
Foregone motion  fuzzed in taciturnity,
Kodak-calcified carvings of dead things
Denuded of all phonic density.
I see a watchmaker skulking upstairs,
Hunched over the algebraic cogs and wires,
Sniffing through the midget mechanisms,
He stops his work  and looks down at me:
The purring wordlessness
Sonically shaping eternity

                                                            Saul Hughes



 Saul Hughes is a 42-year old Welsh writer living in Toulouse, France and he has a poetry blog at: http://saulspoems.wordpress.com/




Endangered Species


 
A Pterodactl  and a Tyrannosaur
Came to my door
And rang the bell, 
Light flipped on,
A “trick or treat!”  shout
Bags thrust out with
Grubby handed claws. 
Apples , oranges, and candy
Plopped in and did not
Hit the bottom of
The sacks. 
They wheeled and left with a
Perfunctory growl.
I watched them walk across the
Street,
Sorting what they’d eat. 
They threw away the fruit.
Dropped the candy wrappers
On the lawn,
Gobbled down snickers and candy corn.
They’ll be sick by dawn. 
No wonder dinosaurs became extinct
 
                                                      Ken Karrer

 

Ken Karrer grew up in the area just outside of Austin, Texas hauling hay, working on oil rigs, pumping gas and playing football. He received degrees in English, history, and education and worked as a teacher,coach and high school administrator for 32 years. Ken lives in Austin and now works for the Texas Education Agency. He is a musician and an avid car restorer. His poems have recently been featured in Vox Poetica and The Caper Literary Journal.


Bequest


 
My grandmother’s print
now hangs on our wall –
a picture from Japan
to help us to remember her:
a mountain plunging down
or perhaps a waterfall.
And trees formed like letters.
 
To us, the print recalled the place
where it used to hang –
and my grandmother
who had hung it there.
 
Already
it has begun to fade
into the colours of our life,
reflecting more of us
and less of her,
as though its shapes began to merge
into the patterns on our wall.
 
I am saddened.
The picture has changed.


 
Bedroom Scene
 
In my dream
I am screaming your name.
I am screaming your name
in reality also.
You turn in the bed like a wave
to wake me.
My brow is sticky.
Our baby is banging his dummy
on the bars of his cot
like a jailbird with a metal cup.
 
Mouth a frozen bud,
mind maintaining the rhythm of your name,
I wait, I wait,
until waxy lips unstick
and there is a flowering.
 
Even as I yell out your name, I know
the sound has found you, I know
I have made you hear.
 
I come round
calmly.


 
Mind Games
 
Stone inn, hill top.
To each new face
a question:
“To which do you incline?”
 
From this window: streets and houses
armour-plating the hills,
rows of sloping roofs open to egg-shell sky.
A church spire pointing
like Plato’s finger in Raphael’s painting.
 
From the other: deep emptiness.
A filthy patch of lingering snow
like the body of a dead wolf.
Wind-driven silence, and low threat
in the throats of hidden cattle.
 
“To which do you incline?
Or do your thoughts decline towards the grey sea,
a wave collapsing thinly
like a shipwrecked sailor
onto the hard sand?”

  
                                 James Kilner



James Kilner lives with his wife and two young sons in a small house clinging to the side of a windy hill that overlooks the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the surrounding countryside and the distant North Sea. He is a poet and freelance journalist. His PhD thesis, 'Hearing the Horizons Endure: Silences in the Poetry of Ted Hughes', was completed in 2009 and can be viewed in the Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds. His own poetry has appeared in Message in a Bottle, The New Writer, Aesthetica, Words-Myth and other publications.

 Behind the Shutters


for Elisabeth Hautevill
 
 
La petite expédition
Driving a little Renault along the highways and byways
Flying through a dream
Village after town
All the senses are provoked
 
The neat lines
Of poplars and vines
The history
Such secrets French girls keep
The cheese and bread and fruit and wines
 
Across the combed fields, a sunken farmhouse
Along a sandy roadway in the distance vaguely leading there
A Velo Solex in full flight, buzzing in the evening summer air
A distant sound of bees
A cloud of summer dust rising from its noisy wheels
 
He is on an urgent two-stroke mission of the heart
Flat-out in a hot pursuit
She is in the kitchen, barefoot on the grey stone floor
A cool tap running
The seams of hot yellow light  
Around the outlines of the part-open shutters
The closed back door
 
An hour or so after dawn
She lifts the heavy metal latch again
Releasing the window’s doors of cared-for powder-blue
Just enough to breathe a drink of morning air
To peep at France
This time-deep secret place
And you are there
 
 
                                                Hay Machine (e)

 


                            Spring Storm


            The wind ran roaring down the walkway
            this morning, snatching and bashing trees,
            shaking and breaking their branches,
            dislodging and shredding nests the birds
            have built so carefully these past two months.
            The birds can cope with the tree-bashing, 
            even though they don’t understand it, but the
            destruction of their nurseries is beyond
            bearing. They flutter, swoop, grab hopefully,
            all the time cursing the wind, wishing
            it would get lost in some vast open space,
            or, even better, get blown itself to
            smithereens, weak, helpless zephyrs
            that fade and die for want of breath.


                                                                        Joe Massingham


Joe Massingham was born in the UK but has lived the second half of his life in Australia . Major employment has been as a Navy officer, university student from first degree to PhD, tutor, lecturer and Master of Wright College, University of New England, NSW. He has run his own writing and editing business but retired early because of cancer and heart problems and now spends time waiting to see medical practitioners, writing poetry and prose and smelling the roses. His writing covers a wide range but he has a particular interest in migrants’ experiences and views, especially relating to resettlement in Australia. He has had work published in Australia, Eire, India, NZ, UK, and USA.


                                        Return to Ethel
 
                  This could have been my life,
                  could have been my home.
 
                  "It's funny how things turn out."
 
                   Did I hear remorse in his voice
                   (Or was it just the gnawed core of shock
                    stuck in his throat?)
 
                   She climbed in the truck
                   So like an over-stuffed sweet
                   oozing everything but sincerity
 
                   as she smiled at me
                   smiled that banal grin...
 
                   And there was something ferocious in
                   the studied blankness of her face
                   As if she'd finally found her place
 
                  here, at these witless crossroads.
 
                                                             
                                                                     Susan Morritt

Susan Morritt is from Ontario Canada. She has been published in various small magazines in Canada, US and UK. Her visual art has been in exhibitions. presently she is a fitness instructor.




Ambiguous Air


In a certain ambiguous air
(No less lost than empty fields and disenchanted clouds)
An embrace with a reminisced being is longed for
Rapidly moulded into a dream
Rather than a sure memory
So that all presence is lost in an aching of existence
So pure
It weakens the tip of a blade
And bludgeons a guillotine
The devil’s passion is simmered
By mischievous clouds that hang lowly in limbo
As others would dream of substitutes


A common interest
 
We have nothing to say
And we bore each other
But in denial
Flash teeth clenching smiles
That are hidden once we suck our first
Social cigarettes
The taste makes me
Feel
Sick
But i relish in it
Like a bulimic
I suck like there’s no tomorrow
You suck like a whore on minimum wage
We suck in sync
Having something in common is always great


                                                  Grace Newton


Grace Newton currently writes poetry as a hobby and feels that her skills are developing well. She briefly studied Journalism at university but felt that it restricted her freedom in writing. She loves reading modern American literature feeling that the gritty almost 'ugly' writing techniques tare often featured are a classic example of society today. Her favourite poet is Charles Bukowski  feeling that he expresses a lot of what 20th century poetry is about- interpretation rather than the actual words or rhythm per se.

And Then Our Names


Hold!
That pose, that note,
as long,
well, as long as you and I can not do better.
I can not recount
our spaced out trips,
nor can I remember
the flaunted colors,
the hours.
If there ever is to be,
but, then, we went on
as if it had always been,
like fire, like lightening, or rain-besotted selves
wandering in the woods.
Soon, time may take on another dimension.



Particulars and more particulars - what do they come to?

A dripping spigot, treadless tires.
Surprised by our aging and its changes,
anxious rides, Emergency Rooms,
or agates and driftwood on wild beaches.

At some point we can even put away our names,
they won't be needed.




A Few of the Smaller Things


Sweep them off the table, peanut brittle, 
Turkish taffee, sweet rolls, minimize 
pasta, potatoes, rice, fruit juices, 
regulate and regulate,
trying to delay.                        
Stupefying recital of interventions as bats head out at evening.
Tomorrow's generals toast defeat and victory,
beadyeyed, evenhanded; frogs, large and small, settle in, 
and a lonesome snakeskin tucked into a shirtpocket
acclimated to souvenir.  Dispassionate inquiry as to home
brings no one closer; though greetings can flatter gaps widen.
But let a person tell something about another, 
or an occasional ex-lover 
caress somebody's genitalia,
then, not so disparate,
not so detached. 

Names for each imaginable particular,
blue commingled with loud,
background to sour,
and an overheard sustained vibration near sleep,
near that perennial water's edge,
rosebush lined, pear tree overhung.
No more than broken stems, crushed shrubs, 
boot marks in the soil are circumstantial,
as small unidentified birds, smaller beetles,
abalone shell or a consort of viols relieve,
so a toppled weathered hornet's nest,
detached hubcap
predate things unheard of.
 



Irreconcilables


Spackle board, 
buzzard's guts,
breathless
pony-tailed teenage girls
twirling their batons
culminate in cul-de-sacs.
Trade winds in the Andes, 
a whispered lullaby,
a tiger's whiskers catapault
down precipitous don'ts.
Contact avoided, jokes that resonate.
Dismissal of the surely right,
of plagues of silence,
charades of orders
that no one cares to obey.
Past snow slides, 
precipitous roof tops,
nocturnal spaces that a raptor haunts,
a high wind separates yesterday from today.
 

City of glass

 

through an empty glass
the sun split into a million colours
like an oil slick
and that is how it is
that is where I live
populating my own love story
in a city of colour
a city of faces
a city of voices
a city full of love stories
a city of wildness
a city of streets going nowhere
a city keeping the wilderness at bay
keeping it away
a city that wears you out
makes you mad and sane
makes it possible to grab the next line
to see the words transparent meanings
pregnant with possibilities
or know where it is coming from

somehow the future is getting shorter
the time available less
the days that once seemed endless
pass almost   almost    almost
unremembered
although I come here alone
I am surrounded by voices
in a city full of love stories
and I tell you I’m here
you have no memory of it


no memory of it

you have never been through the woods
or walked the secret paths
to my midnight ballroom
some things you may know of
some things I have written of
some things are on photographs
may have left an impression
but you will not know the
rise and fall of paths
the ladder rocks
the smells of the wet ferns
unless I tell you

unless I tell you

you may think you know
how I sit and watch the Dee
the Welsh Hills
those you know from other places
but on that bench    on that hilltop
it is mine and only mine
and as the sunlight towers
reach down to the fast flowing river
it reflects upon the shortening future
and the lengthening past

this I know and only this
for most people here is a now
made from words    images  and hope
they go like Prufock’s children
to inherit coffee spoons
while my life has been a gift
I spend walking between towers
in cities of glass
a million fly eye reflections

these are the places
I made for myself
and populate with my dreams
here in this city of class

 the city of glass




                                                                Frank Preager

 

 

  

PALIMPSEST

We bought a house of two stories,
one of forty new-built in what had been 

a farmer’s field. A horse pasture lay beneath 
nearby power lines. The streets were named
for trees cut down, Maple, Pine and Plum.
We didn’t know that every time it rained

water would pool under the house’s foundation,
pool and spread and stand there
all through the rainy northwest seasons.
Frogs found their way into the house.
On my walks, I coaxed the horses 

to eat from my hand. They stretched their noses 

through strands of barbed wire, over the single strand 
of electric fencing. Even in dreams 
I could hear the burble of a stream, the crick of frogs. 

Deep in the pasture the horses grazed.

Three apple trees raised hoary limbs, 
then blossoms, then red, red apples.


 
WHAT TONGUE BUT MY OWN

At twenty, I was in love 
with the idea of marriage, its matched linens 

and flatware, the shine of polished linoleum. 
If local boys failed me, I would place an ad 

in some Midwest weekly, The Farmer’s News 
Tribune, The Nebraska Digest. I dreamed 

of steering a tractor between fields 
of ripe corn, my blonde stepchildren 

running behind me. Even then I knew
it was a story from the pages of a romance novel,
only a dream. But in that dream I held up
my side of a white sheet and matched a daughter’s, 

corner to corner. Here was meaning, 
my childhood done over, this time 

without the burden of feeling. 
Hens offered blue eggs. Cows waited 

in their stanchions to be milked. 
Horses galloped along fences.

Spring water ran unbridled by swamps. 
Nights, from my husband’s arms 

I watched the horizon sway like a boat full of stars. 
Who would grow up to leave Paradise? 

What tongue but my own 
could unbraid me from that Eden?
 

                                                Bethany  Reid



Bethany Reid's poems have recently appeared in Crosscurrents, Floating Bridge, The Sun, Hayden's Ferry Review and Superstition Review. I blog atwww.awritersalchemy.blogspot.com.

 FOR THE SOLACE OF AGE


 
For the solace of age
past the years
spent with crowds and drink
in the blazing sun
or with cafe silhouettes
...their laughter and their tears
 
...in that more English dusk I find myself
craving only two things, lover
 
....a few brief solitary hours
untangling memories
of such tragic chatter
and such flowers
 
...and you
your quiet paintings and their depth.
 
For this union beyond noise
I always laughed and wept.

                                               Sam Silva



Sam Silva has published at least 150 poems in print magazines, including Sow's Ear, The ECU Rebel, Pembroke magazine, Samisdat, St. Andrew's Review, Charlotte Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, and many more. Has published at least 300 poems in online journals including Jack Magazine, Comrades, Megaera, Poetry Super Highway,physik garden, Ken again, -30-, Fairfield Review, Foliate oak, and dozens of others.Three legitmate small presses have published chapbooks of his, three of those presses have nominated work of his for Pushcart a total of 7 times. Bright Spark
Creative of Wilimington purchased rights to his first full length book 
EATING AND DRINKING and put the book out through author house at there expense. He now has many books and chapbooks available as print and kindle books at Amazon.com And his spoken word poetry is avaible at the major digital markets such as Apple i tunes

 Happiness,

a wiseman blogged-
'can’t be shared, only
its reason can be',
in a bout of euphoria,
I put a 'Like' to it
and a Happy smiley too,
not knowing why.

                   Shriram Sivaramakrishnan 



Shriram Sivaramakrishnan enjoys experimenting with new forms of poetry to convey emotions. He believes in the structure of the poem, in the literal sense , the way a thought is conveyed breathes life into the themes, just like a rhyming pattern,



 

 


Plain Sailing

 
He liked to remain in the doldrums
So as not to sway his head
Which he kept well balanced
To prevent his thoughts toppling
Overboard
 
Where they would be washed away
And become soluble with the crowd
Creating waves that could throw him off course
And upset his equilibrium
Of the unfathomable.
 
Stumbling
 
I panicked in the stall,
My heart punching through my chest
As she flicked the fetlock of her eyes,
That trod into me like hooves,
Causing my mind to gallop-
My thoughts racing into my mouth,
Only to fall at the first hurdle,
Speaking with silence
That she heard loud and clear.
 
                                     Anthony  Ward



Anthony Ward is an AutoCAD operative from the North of England and has been writing in his spare time for a number of years. He finds himself extremely contemplative about the world around him which often invokes him to have to set his thoughts to rest.


 



Abbad II al-Mu'tadid (1042–1069 CE)



Abbad II al-Mu’tadid, King of the Moors in Spain,
commanded his generals from his fortified place,
the Alcazar in Seville. He had a strange habit
of preserving all the skulls of his enemies:
the princes his army slaughtered he preserved
in specially constructed walnut boxes lined with velvet.
But those skulls that were not of royal blood he used
as ordinary flowerpots throughout his extensive gardens.






At the Feast of Lupercalia


At the feast of Lupercalia
Venus offered a young maiden in a lottery
for a very substantial sum of money.
Bachelors who were willing to pay
were eligible to draw
for the name of the girl.
The winner was free to do
whatever he wished with her
for the next entire year.






A Wedding Ring Made of Human Hair



One night Father Alano de Rupe,
a monk in the Dominican order,
recognized the Virgin Mary miraculously
entering his locked monastic cell.
At once she cut off a curl of his hair,
wove it and twisted it into a rustic wedding ring,
and slipped it onto her ring finger.
Then entering his bed she enticed him with kisses,
guided his hands to fondle her breasts,
and embraced his body tightly
urging him to make love to her
as a bridegroom would enjoy his bride.

                                                                       Bill Wolak


Bill Wolak is a poet who has just published his third book of poetry entitled Archeology of Light.  Recently he has been selected to be a featured reader at the 2011 Kritya International Poetry Festival in Nagpur, India.