Sunday, October 19, 2014

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Long-Term Unemployed

Before he's had his morning coffee
he puts a silencer on the pistol,
goes from room to room, puts 

a bullet in the head of those
sleeping in their beds, takes 
a drive in the country and calls 

his neighbor Walt and asks him 
to check on Martha and the kids.
He’s at their country home, he says,

closing it up for the winter,
something he does every year
the weekend before Halloween.

He tells Walt that Martha and the kids
should be home from church by now
but no one's answering the phone.


Two black cats
come over the fence
this morning 

circle each other 
all over the yard
hissing and leaping 

into a ball 
rolling like sagebrush
into the pool.

I fish them out 
with a trout net.
Two wet mops 

in silence 
drying on the lawn.

They Don’t Know I’m Listening

So here I am, all decked out
in a new suit from Brooks Brothers,
haberdasher to corporate stars.

My wife just got here, rattled.
The kids have been here for hours, 
flying in for the occasion.

My wife will make certain  
I look as spiffy as possible. 
The oldest boy just told her

a neighbor has agreed
to cut the grass, rake the leaves 
and shovel the snow, chores 

I performed for decades in return 
for a mug of coffee and wedge of pie.
Now my wife is asking the undertaker  

to puff out my tiesomething she did 
before I’d go to the office, armed 
with a thermos and brown paper bag.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

J. K. Durick- Three Poems

The leaves have lost their green,
Their promises of bud
Of bloom and blight.
They have added some color
And variety and contour, but
The leaves have lost their trees,
Now stretch out on lawns,
Lay claim to their moment.
They tumble and toss themselves,
Kick and crumble, crackle under foot.
The leaves remind us, whisper
About our beginnings and endings,
They remind us now of the feel
Of inside places, of a warmth
They will never feel again.
The leaves are losing their hold
On us, like this they drop down
Into time and are going, blowing,

                   Suspects Sought
Each time, the pursuit seems to fit the crime.
Whose fault — that early morning assault
the late night burglars burgle and break
the hustling smash and grabbers take, and take
the bustling purse nabber, the old wife stabber

– they line up the newspaper columns,
police statements and photo ops for
eye witnesses and neighbors who swear,
quite regularly, that things like this never
happen around here, around here everyone
knows everyone, never lock doors, and watch
for strangers, except like last night with all
that mugging and that slugging and that lugging
everything away,

so today there’ll be a suspect or two, or a few,
others of interest – the tall dark one, the stocky
one with his backwards hat, or that gray get-
away car with a too loud muffler, and there’s
always a reward and a number to call if we saw,
or see it, or any suspicious doings being done.

It’s just as we thought — always there’s a suspect
or suspects being sought.

                         What to Do and When
So many things remain to do, were left undone and now to do.
There could be a list of things to do, but it’s not done
and would be on the list too, if I had done a list of things to do
and haven’t yet done, even the list of things to do, but I digress,
which is something I do too often, too often I digress when there
are things to be done, things to do and not digress, I guess,
like right now when I have so many things to do, things
that need me and my attention, not to mention the intention
of being done. There are so many things I need to get done,
things to do that I lose patience with myself and things undone,
and one, one of these days I’ll digress into the mess  and confess
that I have left undone the things I should have done – the tsks
and tasks of my untackled time, my unfinished life, my yet to do.
There are so many things to do -- that I don’t know when or
where to start –  it’s become something more I have to do.

Kelley White- Three Poems

Song of the Concord Coach
I never went to prison but
I spent a few nights in jail
No I never went to prison but
I spent those few nights in jail
They tried to find my lover
When they did he wouldn’t post my bail
I play over and over
The voice of a man I once loved
He’s in a smoky barroom
His voice is smoky too
And the loop says over and over
I remember the time when you. . .
I had a little dog named Fido
Her other name was Faith
Just a little dog with white fur
And dark eyes in her little face
And I let that man watch her
She never showed him any teeth
He’s outgrown his first name
You’d better call him by his last
He’s let go of his first name
He could never make it last
Got no driver’s license
Playing much too false and fast
I hear sweet voices of children
Speaking a tongue I do not know
Three rows ahead
Their mother tries to quiet them so
Nobody’ll ask where they come from
Nobody really needs to know
The blind man in the back
His white cane folded in his lap
I might ask to sit beside him
I don’t think anyone would laugh
Except the man himself
He’d know I haven’t got a chance
Two men in conversation
I catch just one or two words
I have the ‘wheelchair seat’
Quite accidentally I didn’t ask
Over my head three straps are flapping
I can’t make out their laughs
The whole bus is kneeling and embracing
Three heavy straps above my head
Everybody’s got a seat mate.
I’m alone. That man is dead
To me. He wouldn’t bail me out.
Was in somebody else’s bed.

(found poem)
Racing great John Henry, 32, euthanized at Ky. Horse Park
The gelded son of Old Bob Bowers out of Once Double won four Grade I races and
Horse of the Year honors at age 6 and 9 and collected seven Eclipse awards from 1980
through 1984.
To the end, John Henry remained cantankerous, said Cathy Robey, who runs the park’s
Hall of Champions, where the horse was stabled.
“He has always been nasty, from day one,” Robey said. “John has always had a little
attitude problem. He’s like the little guy with the chip on his shoulder. He has so many
people that would never actually touch him or get near him, but they love him.”
Your dogwind tastes of oranges and sweat.
A horse blanket on the tongue, ocean salt lit
by a bellowing moon. That red wind. That
forgetful moon. What will this lover do
about dawn? Push it back into night and feed
it darkness. Let the clock make it new. She’s
flying from her heavy shoes. His memo staring
with its stupid dull I’s. White eagle of anger—
she’ll tear it with her claws. Yes-she’ll try
harder. Yes-she’ll come to work on time.  Yes-
she’ll bow to your pretty scraped heels. Push
a bigger stone? Carry sharper knifes in
her hair? Next time you ring her she’ll have
a blizzard in her ear. You’ll know it’s headed
for you. White white white. Cold. White.
I delight in your criticism. Productivity?
As if my voice is a ball bearing to rivet in
a groove. Look,  its turning like a rock in
the purple see. I’ll praise myself. Bite your
dogwind and swallow honey. Now. Walking
to Georgia with a be in my hat. Dr. Watson OK’d
the corral and I know my gun,  Hun. I know
the clockwork in a killer’s ear. I know the roll
of ghost dice and the ointment in your hair.
So long, Balm of Gilead. Shalome. Salaam.

Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA.  Her most recent books are TOXIC ENVIRONMENT (Boston Poet Press) and TWO BIRDS IN FLAME (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

Douglas Polk- Three Poems

The Contagion

the sickness spreads,
along with the Ebola,
yet its presence real,
seen in the moment,
hands extended,
remaining unshaken,
people nervously go about their day,
looking out for only themselves.

The Contest

martyrs made,
day after day,
while the political games continue to be played,
the contest deadly,
no side will ever win,
the score kept,
by the numbers of martyrs made,
and the actions taken,
day after day.

An Autumn Day

winds blow and leaves whirl to the ground,
days lived,
and ended,
shuffled through,
and ignored,
crunching under foot,
the cold wind continues to blow,
empty the ache in the soul.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Richard Schnap- A Poem


Once it was a travel agency
That handed out free brochures
Of wonders the laid-off would dream of

Then it was a video store
With a private room in the back
Where lonely men rented prefab love

Next it was a pizza shop
A place of refuge for the disabled
Drinking beer till they wanted nothing

Now it’s an empty cavern
Haunted by the ghosts that made it
A haven where they could blissfully forget

Monday, October 13, 2014

Melanie Browne- Two Poems

Las Vegas flight 10:57am

Two couples are talking about gambling as we eat our breakfast burritos and drink our coffees. Last night we watched two shows about gambling, one about a whale and another about a group of Christians who count cards ( and seem more like charlatans by the end of the documentary) this is my first time in Vegas and I pack lots of western clothes (a quick trip to Cavender’s boot city will suffice for belts and shirts and the like. ) I regretted wearing the western shirt with the bling because it caused me to get felt up at security (welcome to Vegas!) We are flying Southwest, the friendliest airline imaginable and even though it is way to early, I drink a Jack and coke, I am going to Vegas after all. The flight is full of mostly young people, but for some reason more little girls than I've ever seen on a flight. Something in the air in Vegas perhaps? One of them is playing “I spy” with her mother until I can't stand it any more and another one is drawing pictures. A stick girl with a triangle dress and long, abnormally long eyelashes. When I get up to go to the bathroom I spy a little boy watching a Michael Jackson video on an iPad. I feel a bit disturbed by that but the wait for the bathroom is long and I can only focus on my bladder. The flight attendant is eating a sandwich in a very stoic way. The pilot lands the plane the way you would expect an old navy veteran to land, distressfully. My body slumps forward my head against my ribcage.

Return Flight 4:00 pm

The return flight was delayed four hours. I didn’t wear the western clothes nearly as much as I expected. I was thinking about the movie “Electric Cowboy” with Robert Redford but Vegas is hot so shorts and t-shirts are fine. The main thing you wear in Vegas is money. People glue it to their lapels and stick it to the bottom of their shoes. They stuff it in large suitcases and toss it at the tables. Sometimes they take baths in it. The other thing I thought about while in Vegas was Hunter Thompson. I also watched Leaving Las Vegas when I got home. Big Mistake. It was even more depressing and I wanted to slap Nick Cage about a hundred times but i like the scene where they hang out in that sleazy hotel in the desert. Did I mention I really liked the Titanic-themed slot machines? It was so romantic you didn’t mind losing. Again, and again, and again. I didn’t drink a Jack and coke on the way home, I had a water. The pilot landed the plane even shittier than he did the first time so I knew it was the same guy, but this time the passengers started clapping after we sped back to the terminal. I think they were happy they made it out of Vegas in one piece and the Mob didn’t kidnap them for ransom.

Eric Evans- Three Poems

The Greater Good

“Richard says, “Hey man, let’s dress up
like cops – imagine what we can do.”
-          Television, “Venus”
Imagine, indeed.
Aviator shades, shiny badge, jackboots,
helmet and gloves, over-sized cycles
purchased at auction, saddlebags filled
with all sorts of illicit and who would
            Who would suspect, knowing
that power is always safe in such confident
hands, might and right and the formula
of allegation?  Who would guess that
something is other than it seems?
Who and why and how?
                                So, yes, let’s
ride the back alleys and make trouble
for ourselves, let’s lie and cheat and
steal in the guise of the greater good,
let’s trade in fear and hope and trust,
belt to hip, hand to holster, aiming
for the night and making the most
of what illusion affords us.
To A Forty-Something 
I'll leave you to luxuriate
in the room temperature of your
nostalgia now, to melt back
in to your well-thumbed books
and mouth along the words of
movie scenes committed to memory.
I'll draw the shades so you
can play your old music in
new formats, the sound ever
so crystalline, all the better
to catch the echoes of who
said what way back when.
I'll light some candles and
turn the lights low before I
leave, setting the mood for
you to once again reacquaint
yourself with yesterday, its
outstretched arms always ready
to receive you, its smiling
lips always ready to assure
you that things will never be
as good as they once were.
George Carlin and Richard Pryor Debating The Meaning Of Life
I saw Willie Nelson and Ray Charles
playing chess on a bus one day,
Brother Ray and the red-headed
stranger trading blows with pawns
and bishops and rooks, sharing secrets
and telling tales, admiration of the
mutual kind.
                Greedily now, I want
such visions each day, random and
revelatory.  I want to see Neil Young
channeling the ghost of Otis Redding
at the supermarket entrance, guitar
case open and littered with bills
and coins.
             I want to hear Nina Simone
sing on the steps of the corner church,
her voice quelling the restlessness
of the hottest of summer nights
followed by Joni Mitchell serenading
us in the morning as our eggs sizzle
in the pan with Charles Mingus
at our weathered piano keeping his
singular time.
                 I want to find Wallace
Stevens standing at the door of the
local library reading my journal
entries aloud like mythology and
claiming them as his own as obscure
Beat poets wait their turn to the
side while selling ice cream cones
and dog-eared chapbooks to bemused
               I want to happen upon
George Carlin and Richard Pryor
debating the meaning of life in some
upscale cafe, patrons wide-eyed and
unsure, amused in the most uncomfortable
of ways.  And at the end of the day,
I want Chet Baker at the foot of our
bed playing us off as he steals
the darkness and anything else within
reach, his muted trumpet guiding
us through such late hours, unafraid
of where we'll find ourselves come
first light.

Eric Evans is a writer and musician from Buffalo, New York with stops in Portland, Oregon and Rochester, New York where he currently resides. His work has appeared in Artvoice, decomP magazinE, Tangent Magazine, Posey, Xenith Magazine, Anobium Literary Magazine,, Pemmican Press, Remark and many other publications and anthologies. He has published eight full collections and three broadsides through his own small press, Ink Publications, in addition to a broadside through Lucid Moon Press. He is the editor of The Bond Street Review as well as the proud recipient of the 2009 Geva Theatre Center Summer Academy Snapple Fact Award.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tim Gardiner- Haiku Sequence

Phoenix rising
ashes to ashes –
a blackened shroud
lit by pink orchids
grey morning –
raindrops collect
in yellow-wort cups
tears running
down my cheek –
chicory flowers
dusting of fly ash –
a distinguished spider
needs good eyesight
the birch bulldozed –
banished bees return
to a promised land
mating balls writhe
by sandy burrows –
mining bees thrive
humming in the rain –
power lines crackle
its daylight
cover blown –
the fox flees
by the jetty –
green lizards bask
in old tyre tracks
a sprayed siren
smothers the seawall –
‘owww she’s bad’
This haiku sequence was written about post-industrial ‘brownfield’ sites along the River Thames in south Essex, England. This brownfield land is of national importance for its populations of scarce and rare invertebrate species. At one site, West Thurrock Marshes, pulverised fuel (fly) ash (PFA) forms an important habitat for the declining brown-banded carder bee, sea aster mining bee, distinguished jumping spider and a range of wildflowers such as yellow-wort, chicory and marsh helleborine orchid. These brownfield sites are threatened by inappropriate residential and industrial development along the Thames and encroachment of trees due to a lack of active conservation management.  

Jonathan Beale- Three Poems

Cheap Trick

One slight; one night; once among the neon
and the bar room noise.
The chaos!
Everything seemed to be alien,
vaguely relative, yet somehow familiar.
The action: something invisible, something unreal.
Although important for the need of mankind
For the need - when all else has drained
Down, down, away... away... away….   

All their eyes were distracted by
The neon, billboards, and garbage blowing about...
Now forgotten.
Yesterday’s wants - now gone - bellies empty. 
Unrequired - yet to cut out as a cancer
To forget the image. just forget. 


Those boys by the water found
This harmonising: the lure of men
And one young one forgot to tie.
Passed by with his line of oarsmen
They themselves not blindfolded
He took in his youth
The reckless key to –
Fates sweet thought victory
And seen from a far
He looked a mad fool, lost all
Of his reason – their song and laughter
Called, called, called him without
Without ever uttering these words.

He in one swoop managed
To lose the love of those oarsmen
Whom he had known and loved
All his life.  And as the sirens
Slipped along and away: while
He found and floundered
Alone and drinking in the
Brine of his misfortune.
Gone now!  Gone!
Never to be heard again
Now only fleeting in the memory
And under the full moons
Fullest sky.

This dark mountains shadow

I.m. Robin Williams et al

Under this mountains shadow - Light has shone
Somehow finds a way back again. Sometime
Splits some heat: an historic fissure.
The anonymity of the shadow -
They who know; know too too well.
Seek the lighthouse: seek the light.
The hidden rocks beneath rip & tear,
In the randomness of fate. The curses coin
 is spun - From the worn grimly dull side
To that dawns glistening sheen.
Who flips, flicks this way, why & when?
The God of mood among the dulling cloud -
The weight of the cross: is never heard aloud
In this private, closed, and unwanted den.    

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen- Two Poems

Tan Faces

A small matter of deleting was and will 
be from a moment’s fertile timelessness, 
a shimmering translucency as opinions 
and thoughts disappear from the faces 
of each moment, faces, finally, open 
and serene, forgiven, and forgiving.


The days, so cold
The nights, so long
Another tundra
wind from
above timberline
Wild geese and
blue heron
months ago,
black bear, deep
mule deer and elk
among pine and
leafless aspen.
The clock ticks
toward midnight,
the year,
about to end.
Here, beside this
glowing hearth,
you gently
place your lips
upon mine.

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, Shamrock, Dead Snakes, and! (translates as joie de vivre)