Thursday, November 27, 2014

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

autumn's bittersweet kiss

is always so bittersweet for me
so many memories of
people forged
that have danced around me
before blowing
forever away and i hate losing people
it hurts deeper than any
scar or bruise
i've ever received in the past,
and i don't know
how it is so easy for them to keep wandering
down the road without me
as if we were always strangers;
i am a raven in a flock
of swans,
i've always stood alone
and while i've always enjoyed my own company
no one wants to forever stand alone—
i have always tried too hard
to fit in,
but now i've recognized my need to be me
standing out
in a world of carbon copies
they all want me to conform as i try to persist they
resist everything they've learned;
perhaps, it's too painful
for them to change but if autumn leaves
why can't they?
perhaps, they would rather know the truth of their beauty
hiding in their beautiful scars they make excuses
of why they're like everyone else,
and i just dance like a leaf
in the wind
spinning my own circles in a world that would have
you walk squares.

longing to hear the whispers of the trees

i remember
being young and standing staring at the
trees wondering how old they
grew to be and how
tall they were,
and i wondered if at one time
they didn't dance;
sometimes i still wonder as i gaze
upon tree roots
lifted from
the ground, and if they did dance
i wonder what
them stop?
i want to hear their whispers of all their
stories good and bad,
of all their wisdom
and of all the
times they danced;
but perhaps that is only something i'll come to
know by the whistling of the wind
and birdsong
that nests in my ears in spring—
i'd rather hear from the trees themselves
because second hand information
is rarely reliable.

the immensity of my dreams

the dragonfly
so close to me i thought
his wings would
touch my
but he did not touch me
merely came close
and he feared
but i caught his photograph
loving the gleam of
the sun bent on his beautiful wings
he was so serene and
i wanted always to fly with him
a breath in time
dancing in the sky
just didn't want to let that moment go—
i find myself in nature
when i'm lost to all concept of man
and what i should be,
thinking only of all the things that are yet to
be achieved in my dreams because
nature always reminds me
anything is possible;
the only limitations lay within in the mind
and so i look into the tapestry of sky and land and sea
promising myself that i will have likewise
allow my dreams to be immense
so i can catch them
like falling stars from the skies into my palms
burning away all illusion of reality.

Nancy May- Three Poems

sunlight beams
broken cocoon
in wasp hives

on the shore

ice on the shore
sunlight ripples
on the sea

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal- 3 Poems


In your mind’s castle
made of crystal on
the edge of a cliff
you move like a snail.
Birds of paradise
burst in bright colors.
In your mind’s island
a wildflower bed
is planted.  In your
grape-sized brain there is
a cinema of
sunlight bursting out.
A mere laugh destroys
the castle made of
crystal; the island
destroyed by a wave.
A scintillating
hummingbird takes flight
into the white clouds
and sings of lost love.
I was created in the lab.
My eyes were fashioned
from a ray of sunlight,
which is why my smile is
just like warm sunshine.
My feet were made out of a
lucky rabbit’s foot,
which is why I can run
so fast and why I pick
all the right horses.
My arms were designed from
Sequoia trees,
which is why I try to stay
out of fights because I
could pack a real wallop.
I do not know what else to
say except that these
doctors are pulling out of
the air diagnoses
that do not make sense.
I find no bliss in my ignorance.
I look at my hand and imagine a foot.
I desire to walk on my hand foot.
I want to do a hand stand
and fall asleep in that position.
I do not snore and this is where
I find my bliss.  I argue with
my ego and it pays me no mind.
My ego is in a state of bliss.

L.K. Twaddle- A Poem

Spells  And Incantations
Three witches slid on britches and went down to vote.
They patted the dragon and flew over the moat.
The warlocks and demons had lead for too long.
Their spells and incantations had gotten all wrong.

Three votes for lady blind justice to lead,
not strictly a witch but still one of their breed.
A lady of wisdom, though blind she may be;
she still sees the truth through the wizardry.

Honest and good a female by sex;
if she sees evil she casts a mean hex.
Dingbats and newts had best beware,
for lady justice is always fair.

Magic and wisdom the legends say;’
joined forces for good that election day.
No more black magic was found in her realm,
female hocus pocus now powered the helm.

Scott Thomas Outer- Two Poems

On Down The Line 

So carry on down the line
all your crimes
are carried out through the night
                                      the sin
The Light
reflecting back wrong from right
                                      the same
The stain
mirror fades into dream            

So it all comes down the line
Karma’s time
to bring the scale into sign
                                      the stars
The fire
burning out all that’s sown
                                      to reap
so show me one damn return

The Urge 

That’s blood
That’s self created wound
That’s victim played by you
          and you alone
It’s the same old tired song

That’s enough
That pretty much says it all
That’s written on the walls
          for God to judge
It’s the same strong will to Love

That’s truth
That’s piercing through a soul
That’s the urge of all we know
          to evolve
It’s the same old dance and crawl

That’s fun
That’s the same sold circus clown
That’s the jester begging
          for his life
It’s the same old joke tonight

That’s train
That’s the wreck we all predict
That’s the same cynical snitch
          in the ditch
It’s the same old run off lines

Nancy May- Three Sweet Haiku

dolphin on seas
kingfisher wings unfold
on the cool air

ice on ice
moonlit sunset
in the Sahara

droplets of dew
butterfly sway
in air whispers

Gary Beck- Three Poems

When I was young
I asked myself
how the Founding Fathers
conceived the ideas
that created a nation
based on democracy.
Of course I knew even then
that all men weren't equal
and government of, by, for,
was only for some of us.
Yet now that I am old
I still ask myself
how those rebels
managed to produce
such noble documents,
and frequently wonder
why our recent leaders
are completely incapable
of exalted heights.
I try to be charitable
and remind myself
that film, tv, Youtube,
dilute the quality of expression
by constant bombardment
of visual information
reducing originality,
but am forced to conclude
we now breed lesser men.

Art Clips
Og painted bison on cave walls.
The Pre-Renaissancers depicted saints.
Van Eyck composed exquisite details.
De La Croix presented the heroic.
Then the Impressionists came along,
soft and shimmering,
made it difficult at first
for common folk to grasp,
but they finally caught up
just in time for Kandinsky
to divorce realism.
From that time on
critics intervened
between artist and viewer,
glibly explaining
what we're looking at.

The sun rises later,
sets earlier,
the days grow cooler.
I take in the patio furniture,
put up the storm windows,
restock the pantry
with cocoa and oatmeal,
get out the down quilt,
put away the t-shirts,
unpack the sweaters,
make sure there's enough firewood,
saddle soap leather boots,
grease the sled runners,
final check that all's ready
for the season of winter,
then sit back in comfy chair,
plug the IPad in the charger,
pick up weighty volume one
of the Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire,
settle in, content
to await the coming of spring.
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 7 published chapbooks and 2 others accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways (Winter Goose Publishing). Perceptions and Displays will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) Acts of Defiance (Artema Press). His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City

John Grochalski- Three Poems

no snowcap

love you like a blackmail
one of the girls at the bus stop sings to the other

twelve years old and they’re both
in the tight pink pants that say juicy on the ass

i don’t know if you can call them lycra or spandex
…spanx, is what i think i’ve heard them called

but the patriarchy is alive and well this morning

the two girls are in each other’s face
fists to their lips like microphones

love you like a blackmail, baby
love you like a blackmail

girls looking decades older than the boys
who will one day decide what their daughters will wear

boys chasing girls chasing boys
standing right beside them singing pink and juicy

love you like a blackmail

boys pounding on video screens
and trying to push each other in the street

crafting the continued history of violence
in this fashion parade

i wonder what these girls
will be wearing in four years
at the ripe, old, overly sexualized age of sixteen

just what the mass marketing machine
will come up with next

like the two girls i just passed
twenty-two degrees this morning
with another winter of our discontent
breathing down our necks

sixteen year olds in thin jackets unzipped
with high-school PE t-shirts cut to mid-drift
like glorified bras

bearing, red, chapped stomachs

the one girl telling the other
that brandon is so cute
she might rape him tonight

rape like love
love you like a blackmail, baby

on a friday night
in digital camera supervised america

without a pair of gloves
and no snowcap on their heads.

the mentor

a wise man once told me
that every step in this life is a step forward

and through the pleasure
and the pain of this existence

the failed jobs and failed relationships
the failed cities and broken cars

all this sickness and death

i’ve held on to that
in some form or another

today i’m thinking it’s my turn
to be the wise man

to be the mentor

to the nineteen year old girl
who wants to discuss her future

a lost kid in college
who may be in over her head
or who might just need to blow off some steam

so we sit there face to face
her talking about the confusion of classes

me squatted like buddha
like the gray and grizzled sage i think i am

remembering nineteen

just waiting on the point in the conversation
where she finally makes her decision

finally sees the enlightened path that her life must take
with my guidance, of course

so that i can say
every step in this life is a step forward, kid

pat her on the shoulder and walk away
feeling good about myself for a change

because as you get older
i’ve learned that it gets harder to feel good about yourself

as the mistakes mount and the failures collect
like debt or old baseball cards in the closet

but we never get to that glorious conclusion

instead of feeling good about anything
the girl starts crying a slow, soundless wretched burn
that turns her eyes red and milky

she makes no sound
as she wipes and tries to look away from me

her plastic guru
her dim leading light

twenty-one years older than her
and none the wiser than whatever burden she’s got

the things she can’t discuss anymore

with someone burning down the road
in the same jack kerouac flannels
that he was baptized in before she was born

just another sagging old man
waiting until she’s finished crying
so that he can lean in and ask her

if she’s all right.

shadows of brooklyn
            --after richard hugo

it’s true here

that the shadows from clouds
don’t take the shape of boats
sailing in all of this concrete

and when the sky rolls away
white and blue in between the gray and mist
it’s most likely filled with soot and dirt

carcinogenics heading off toward the ocean

but there are shadows of buildings
that can kill the light for blocks on end

and in mornings, cold and warm
i walk them to escape the sun

my own moody blue-black oasis
where i can sink into the urban gloom
for as long as i want to

watching the shadows of cars
locked in morning gridlock duels
make the shadows of stalling snakes

their horns honking frustration
at all of this black

dodging dog-shit temples
cathedrals of up-ended garbage cans

the shadows of people like ants
trying to cross the street

waiting for buses in dull lines
checking cellphones and watches

a facsimile of the shadows
of the people who came before them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stefanie Bennett- Three Poems

WINTER OFFENSIVE 2014          
It must be The Night
Of The Long Knives
For there’s
Fate’s arduous wolf
In the thicket –,
A hundredweight bone-chill
Half moon –,
Boot-heels fracturing
The desensitised dusk and
An obsidian Manticore
Sartrean shack
I’ve come upon that
Looks like
There is no train –.
There is no station –.
The stopping point
... It’s beyond recall.
Yet, there was a house.
A lamp. A window
Through which
The forest
A sky-rail
And tomorrow’s
Once there was a frown, acceptable
As a frown can be.
It never caught sight of itself;
It stopped cybernetics at their play;
It transgressed so well the maps
  Of the world rearranged them-
  Selves into globular rigidity.
The doctors operated on the maps
  Trying not to be apprehensive...
The village officialdom bought the idea
  Of tub-thumping maps,
  And squaring globes...
Once there was a frown, so the story
  Goes. It hasn’t
  An ending
It’s still not... acceptable.
Stefanie Bennett has published eighteen books of poetry and one novel. She has acted as a publishing editor and worked with Arts Action for Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee], she was born in Queensland, Australia, in 1945. Her latest poetry title ‘The Vanishing’ is due at year’s end. Publisher, Walleah Press.

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Collateral Damage

For the entire office
a death like his
coming as it has
the day before
complicates the holiday
for everyone. It makes
things difficult
for all: the wake
the other matters.

Cockfight at the Bus Stop

As the snow swirls around them,
one old man in a wheelchair
uses sign language to tell
another old man standing 
at the bus stop, "Friend, 
you creak when you walk."

Neither one can hear any better 
than when they were classmates  
at a school for the deaf eons ago.
They learned to sign by writing 
in the air with fingers honed 
on the whetstone of banter.

Amiable as ever, the creaky man   
counters with fingers quicker than 
beaks in a Tijuana cockfight.
"Amigo, how can you tell 
that I creak when I walk?
Do my knees sign that well?"


Chauvinist's Manifesto

There's a football field between us.
I'm in one of the end zones bellowing
and you're in the other one bawling,
the cliffs of your cheekbones
streaked with mascara.

Betty Friedan is screaming. 
She says the problem is my fault.
Bella Abzug is cackling 
that she agrees.
Gloria Steinem
is at the microphone, 
ready to sentence me
to decades of marriage
with children by the score
though she didn't marry till 60.

These ladies must be right.
I'm just a man so I give up.
I accept all the blame.
Mountains have risen 
in the middle of the field.
I can no longer see you.
And if I can't see you
there's no reason for us
to get together again.
I have to be able to see you.
It's always been your hind
and never your mind 
that I favored.

We were having a wonderful time  
and all of a sudden you got serious
like all the others.
They wanted to get married, too.
Listen up. 
I'm going to announce 
the best solution
I want to be generous.
I hope you can hear me:
"You keep the ring.
I'll punt and go home."


Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.