Monday, November 24, 2014

Richard Schnap- A Poem


The soul of humanity
Is not to be found
In the speeches of award winners

It is to be discovered
In the shadows where few
Would think to look

In the backs of buses
On seats scrawled with signs
Only the wounded can read

In the eyes of old men
Seeing a world
They once called their own

In a thrift store’s corner
Where somebody’s diary
Lies gathering dust

Victims of the wind
As the cold-blooded clock
Triumphs once again

Rose Mary Boehm- Three Poems

Fish Talk

Deep under.
Right next to the river
which could break through
any time. My little girl
doesn’t like it either.
She’s uneasy.
It’s dark.

We walk through the tunnel
made of glass. I feel the weight
of the water. The shark
glides past overhead.
Cold eyes.
It reminds me of someone
from my past, the strong, silent type
with an appetite for sex.

The manta ray is all elegance
and smiling indulgence.

Public Relations.

From the other side of the glass
a smaller fish is vying for attention
and bobs close whenever I lift
the camera. Puffs up. Ready to talk.
Face of a round, ambitious politician.
We might as well all be talking to the fish.

When the ducks skated on the pond

It came overnight.
That winter when I skied to school
straight from the window
because the snow piled up
high against the front door,
when the hares begged by the
fence and our mothers wondered
where the carrots had gone,
and the deer came to where
the wood met the open field,
bewildered eyes.

White begat white. Not a melt
in sight; the branches heavy
under their burden,
the pump in the yard iced up.
My woolen gloves stuck
to the brass knocker on the school door,
icicles shimmering in the sharp
morning sun.
And there was silence.


Madelaine used to scream
her orgasms. Summer-night windows,
blue beat from next-door’s deck.

Humid gardens.
Deadly nightshade.
Poison ivy.

Lustful Madelaine,
you and your lover
made beautiful music.

Let it be, let it be.
The cat slinks
through the hedges.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of two novels and a poetry collection published in 2011 in the UK, ‘TANGENTS’, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a good two dozen US poetry reviews as well as some print anthologies, and Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet. She won third price in in the 2009 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse (US), and has been a finalist in several GR contests, winning it in October 2014.

Jonathan Beale- Three Poems

A Strange Friend

The strange friend was there
When needed least
The showdown was cast.
The foundry of fury
Not beholden
But not not forgotten
Released against
The adrenaline lined belly
Where truth and differences
Somehow never meet.
Just as they say; just different
A pact to agree something written
In future in blood in weak words.

To know the living are there
By a state of redness against blackness
People starved and deformed – reformed
A sense that electric a state provides
An unwritten or knowable tomorrow.
The heat beats on like a devil in play
Consuming, resuming its pleasure in pain
The playing with the stranger who unknown
Is meeting and greeting and is grooming fate
The private passion devoid of the others leaves alone
A strange place with a strange friend the meeting was…
A state gain of my pleasure and also my loss


In The Night

An Anticipation that can be caressed
Dark long haired gypsy women running
            With tongues as long as rivers
 And as cruel as currents that draw

Children bawl that makes up the night
Some hidden hierarchy of mood
            Casting ever long shadows
The grass lies low and cold

After the after – the final light goes
The town under a sheet retreats
            The night gives light
To those who play across the wider stage

The 52, cigarettes and a non- compliance of tomorrow
The hidden spaces as moles burrow around
            The clock seems tick backwards
In this marriage of dark and dark

The men in town dream of the gypsy women
Never knowing as their women dream
            Of tomorrows tomorrow
Their warmth is unknown by all

Still night rests over the lands apathy
Like a big bolshie sister does as she pleases
            Time is forced out of the scene
The hour’s decreases and decrease

The new day is penned drafted and planned
The night life slips on to its days act or hides
            The gypsy women’s wits sharpen
Against the first light of the sun   


The breeze

Where does that passing breeze end?
Like you
            the fleeting butterfly.
As I, the staid aged oak – unthinkable, unmovable.
…waiting, held by a different pendulum
            a lost optimism an oh! So staid view
                        from my window pane:
The desk remains full and chaotic -
Life, like us and the wastrel mindset
            As is our garden without order.
            The breeze goes by
We look               we wait.
                                    The butterfly wisps past, and is gone        
            The moment…past…

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen- A Poem

I, myself and me-ku

a snockered fool yells
‘some more scotch! and some more beer!’
everyone looks at me

she leaves the room
her dog
bites my leg

peeing on fresh snow
trying to carve
your initials

thunder cracks
a young girl shrieks
or was it me?

a favorite pen
perched behind my ear
falls in the urinal

faulty mirror
this one reflects
last year’s fool

begging forgiveness
another mask

ayaz daryl nielsen, husband, father, veteran, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (25+ years/120+ issues), homes include Lilliput Review, Jellyfish Whispers, Boston Literary Magazine, Dead Snakes, Shamrock, and! (translates as joie de vivre)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Donal Mahoney- Two Poems

At Bus Stops on Thanksgiving Day

Before dawn, people
who work on Thanksgiving Day  
wait in the wind for a bus 
to arrive or maybe not.
It's too cold to talk  
so the people stand 
like minutemen and plan 
a revolution that would shock  
nice families who drive by later, 
children tucked in scarves 
and mittens, laughing 
all the way to Nana's house  
for turkey, gravy, stuffing 
and later in the day 
ballerina of whipped cream 
twirling on pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving is the day 
America asks for seconds
and sorts its servers 
from the served.

Teddy Will Be Home for the Holidays

This year Teddy phoned me
from who knows where
instead of one of our siblings.
This year I’m the honoree 
but it’s only a matter of time 
before he gets angry again. 
He’s stifling his anger 
because of the holidays. 
He wants a place to eat
and a share in the family glee.

But Sissy is right about Teddy
being nice when he reaches out 
after going away for months. 
He likes to fly in for a holiday,
enjoy a bountiful repast, 
fall back in his chair and
issue the old accusations
recited whenever he visits.

He’s the youngest of seven
and swears every time he comes 
that Mom and Pop treated us better,
that he got the hand-me-downs.
I’m afraid if he’s not on his meds, 
there’ll be an encore this year. 

Right after coffee and dessert
and several snorts of brandy,
Teddy will become a blowtorch 
and burn for at least an hour
scorching us with memories.
The siblings will go up in flames 
along with Mom and Pop
gasping in their graves.

If it happens again this year,
I’ll take the floor after him
and point out that Gertrude Stein 
said a rose is a rose is a rose
but failed to point out that  
a twit is a twit is a twit.
And if reincarnation awaits us,
as Teddy says it does, 
he’ll return as salmonella.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Joe Brennand- Three Poems

Small Blossom Poems
in a shower of rain
blossom branches sway
we break up

spring breeze
blossom branches
woman in white

camera flashes
in the church yard
cascade of blossom

Melanie Browne- Two Poems

"When I haven't any blue I use red"-Picasso

All Picasso's women
look the same to me,
the same eyebrows,
the same sharply lined noses,
the same lips,
the same dark hair,
maybe I'm not looking
close enough
I always knew I would have
been one of Picasso's women,
that I could have been the one
to crush him up and chop him
into little cubes for a painting,
or sifted his soul with a little
flour and baking soda into a
poem or a story, but I know
it isn't true, a vampire has
sharp teeth and files them
sharper at night,
vampires are so attractive
you can smell the blood
on their clothes,
and sense the death
in their eyes,
even so,
All Picasso's women
look the same to me

Moon Rocks Don't Appeal to those who Lack Imagination

I am planning
Thanksgiving deserts &
reading an article about
the price of moon rocks,
the writer was not impressed
said it was "just a rock"
but, I would love to have one
because it gives you magical
powers, like if you rub it all
over your body you become
invisible, and you can use
it to make your skin blemish-free,
I would use it for creative
inspiration like a talisman
or use it like a cell-phone
to talk with some aliens
that drive nice interstellar
vehicles with awesome
speaker systems that blast
sound for millennia,
I am easily impressed
by moon rocks and
all things space oriented,
if I was queen of England
I would demand my crown be
encrusted with moon rocks
to make it that much

Rose Mary Boehm- 3 Poems

Small Assassins

So we did this thing.
Buried the monkey
under the decaying floorboards
of the old woman’s house.
Then we waited.
We always waited. Hungry
ghosts in children’s bodies.
'Pranks’, they called our deeds.
We stayed in the shadows
merged with our hollowness.
On the prowl.

When the old woman hobbled
out of her hut we held
what goes for hands
and advanced, left the children
under the dark pine trees
at the edge of the field.
For a moment
she thought she saw us.
Came down on her swiftly.
Didn’t leave any marks.

Swamp Woman

In slow-moving waters swamp woman makes her home.
Swamp children are born in the flower of water lilies,
rocked to sleep by the toads on giant lily-pads,
dragon-fly formations their entertainment
and taught by the bespectacled caiman.
There’s no land like wetland.
When swamp woman passes
she exudes the odor of mold and rotting wood,
there is a greenish tint to her skin
which is too large for her body.
She lives in splashes of recognition
and the word ‘drainage’ for her means death–
which is ninety percent certain.

She had asked for a Court Order

The ice was singing under her wheels
and deep inside her bones. She had chosen
to drive North.
And North.
The winter tyres bit into the thin layer of snow
which barely covered the glare, blinding
her wherever the wind had swept the white dust
from gelid roads which had been a dull grey
the night before. The thermostat said three below zero,
the radiator barely getting the inside
of the Subaru above that. She’d left her gloves
at the last motel. She vaguely wondered why
her fingers were blue.
She couldn’t stop herself
from moving at speed. No other cars were out
on this arctic, bright Sunday morning.

A murder of black rose into that white on white
as she passed, startling her. She stepped on the breaks,
leaning back, stiffening her arms. Low branches
unloaded their winter weight. She could hear scratches
on metal. It occurred to her that he’d be furious again,
and that she wasn’t ready for another beating.
When the car sunk slowly into the lake
the world became dark, and she thought with a smile
that she may have forgotten to turn off the stove.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of two novels and a poetry collection published in 2011 in the UK, ‘TANGENTS’, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a good two dozen US poetry reviews as well as some print anthologies, and Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet. She won third price in in the 2009 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse (US), and has been a finalist in several GR contests, winning it in October 2014.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Danielle Keating- A Poem


We have grown, we have aged.
We have performed on life's stage.
The world we have lived in changed along with us
We have laughed, we have cried
Over dreams that came true and that have died

Time can only move forward, like I know I should do
Although my past is over, I just like to

A time when ignorance was truly bliss
When we all still had our innocence
A time where we could rely on a promise
Where we thought it would never come to this

Life is short, it is fast
Many times I have been bypassed
By its joys and shining opportunities
But I guess it is time for me to move on
Because no matter how much I yearn for my past, it'll always be gone

Robert Demaree- Three Poems

October 30, 2012

A poetry reading at the college:
Several of us, different ages,
Different journeys and ways
Of saying whatever it is
Poets have to say.
But a common thread shows through:
Our fathers all smoked cigarettes
In a time of dangerous innocence.
Lucky Strike Green had gone to war:
A common urgency, a
Conduit to loss,
And reason for words
That grieve and warn.


The English teacher had asked
A Latin student of mine
About the mood of a piece;
Dark, foreboding were answers
He had in mind.
Subjunctive, the boy replied.
Others laughed,
As though wit might somehow lie in
The hand tools on my father’s bench,
Which I could neither name nor use.

The conditional sentences of our days,
Lives of if, what if, if only,
Jobs accepted, those not offered,
The place her mother had passed up
On the waiting list at Golden Pines,
The sorrow of the pluperfect tense.

If I was you, I joked,
I’d pay more attention
To the future less vivid,
The present contrary to fact.


1. 1961

Filled with turkey and family,
I recall another late gray November,
An Army post between wars,
Brave comrade clerks
In the Dental Detachment.
We nibble on celery,
Stuffed with cream cheese
And watch the Lions on TV.
My friend, from Grosse Pointe,
Wonders if his parents are there
This year, the first he has missed.
Our commanding officer,
Who had perhaps expected better,
Has put on his dress blues,
Walks around the room,
Makes himself greet
Each of us
Where are you from, Soldier;
What did you do on the outside?

2. 1995

On the last day of middle age:
Our daughter’s turkey dressing,
Not to her mother’s recipe.
Walking her dog after dinner,
Joints scrape, metal against metal,
In the crystalline air,
Those sharp November days
They have up there.
We drive back south in a gray rain,
Road getting harder to see.

“Thanksgiving 1995: appeared in Maelstrom, January 2000; “Thanksgiving 1961” appeared in Foliate Oak, December 2011.

Robert Demaree is the author of three book-length collections of poems, including After Labor Day, published in April 2014 by Beech River Books.  In 2013 his poems received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the  Burlington Writers Club He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, where he lives four months of the year. His poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals. For further information see