By: Donna Janec Karambelas
At the urging of friends and family, Donna Janec Karambelas began painting professionally in 2007. Her primary medium is watercolor and she "loves the myriad of ways paint and water join to create that which is sometimes beautiful, sometimes odd but always interesting". Two examples of her work are shown. Urban Gardner highlights the joy of flowers and gardening wherever. Walk in Sunny Climes was completed from a photograph taken while walking in Florida. It's bright vibrant color scheme and peaceful fountain are meant to encourage viewers to seek the positive, i.e. the sunny aspects, of their journeys. Donna lives in Oak Brook, Illinois with her husband, John. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
Editorial Comment: Poetry takes many forms: words, painting, watercolors, photography, etc. Paintings and photography capture poems; they engulf them, they contain them. Here are two lovely works by Donna Janec Karambelas that I’m proud and lucky to have displayed here. Feel free to leave comments or communicate with Donna.
By: Donna Janec Karambelas
Willow Tree Night and Snowy Visitors
By Michael Lee Johnson
Winter is tapping
on the hollow willow tree’s trunk-
a four month visitor is about to move in
and unload his messy clothing
and be windy about it-
bark is grayish white as coming night with snow
fragments the seasons.
The chill of frost lies a deceitful blanket
over the courtyard greens and coats a
ghostly white mist over yellowed willow
leave’s widely spaced teeth-
you can hear them clicking
like false teeth
or chattering like chipmunks
threatened in a distant burrow.
The willow tree knows the old man
approaching has showed up again,
in early November with
ice packed cheeks and brutal
puffy wind whistling with a sting.
Editorial Comments: Poem by the editor.
(the doctor's waiting room had a dry erase board
by a seated skeleton: here's patient comments)
Doc said diagnosis isn't very good.
What do you mean? You need an x-ray!
I lost so much weight.
Dr. in yet? I can't wait much longer.
No more shots, OK?
I'm chilled to the bone.
I'm boney, I'm boney, now leave me alonie.
At least I don't have to worry about hospital gowns.
So much for the Atkins Diet!
The pharm rep has only been here a short while.
Post-traumatic stress thrives on disassociation:
doublethink hits anytime, is equal opportunity
making one block real feelings, fear explanation.
To reach the core, the causation
and end a war of internal disunity
should seem logical, an obvious exploration
but core terror causes brain fragmentation
so we flee self-scrutiny
as if the hottest conflagration
what Freud compared to demon visitation-
this retrieving that seems pure lunacy
is really the mind's attempt at reconciliation
to what caused the terror of this aberration,
while trying to behave as people do usually
without the doublethink compensation.
Such stress signs were once viewed an aggravation
that shock treatments should end fully.
Post-traumatic stress thrives on disassociation,
making one block real feelings, fear explanation.
The Re-Education of Zhu Yufu
By Rick Hartwell
There is much to learn
in re-educating the poet –
You can’t take away all
desire he sees in the world, or
remove hunger seen in the land; or
blind the beauty he sees within you.
You can’t take away songs
he hears of birds singing,
or the raw tinkling sound
of spiraling wind chimes;
soft sigh of wind in trees.
You can’t take away earthy
smells of honest days’ labor,
or the pungency of dung
strewn, plowed into fields;
whiffs of rice cakes with
jasmine tea allowed others
on their last visiting day.
You can’t take away the taste of
brass in the poet’s mouth after his
most recent protocol lesson,
or a remembrance of wet lips;
last kisses before parting.
You can’t take away fingers
tracing old scars as if they were
nipples of a first and lost love;
mixed feelings of shame and
satisfaction as the poet voids
his bladder after marching on
parade for most of the day.
You can’t take away a mind’s
longing to be known by the
simplest names: writer, poet, man.
Perhaps it is true, poet Zhu Yufu
can be broken, can be re-educated;
however, only the point may break
leaving the body of the pencil intact.
honed, whetted, poised to write again.
Note: this poem was 1st published at Writing for Human Rights:
Bio: Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember,the hormonially-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley,California, with his wife of thirty-six years (poor soul, her, not him), theirdisabled daughter, one of their sons and his ex-wife and their two children,and twelve cats. Yes, twelve! He believes in the succinct, that thesmall becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, thatthe instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing poetry, Rick would ratherstill be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.
Editorial Comment: As a Vietnam resister many years ago, I generally avoid "causes" at this point in my life. The above poem may not make a lot of sense till you look up Zhu Yufu in Google and study it for awhile. This link will how you the simple poem this man received 7 years in prison for, in China: http://uncut.indexoncensorship.org/2012/01/zhu-yufu-subversion-poetry-china/
In A Record Store
By Brad M. Bucklin
In a record store in Hollywood there was
a woman as big as a line backer
singing to the Michael Jackson CD
playing over the loud speakers.
Big breasts pushed out, silicone or plastic.
Skinny legs hurriedly unhaired by a quick shave.
Skirt dancing, face wanting and not wanting to be seen,
a detectable five o'clock shadow.
We looked away,
there was nothing about her that was real.
After she danced out the door
the evening made her disappear
or, perhaps, transformed her;
in the dark things change.
Bio: Brad M. Bucklin received a Bachelor=s Degree in English and Theatre from Windham College where he studied with John Irving. After moving to Los Angeles at 25, he worked as an actor for a number of years on such shows as "One Day At A Time," "Waverly Wonders," "Facts of Life," "Days of Our Lives" "Picket Fences" and in films that included "World War III," "Wavelength" "No Place to Hide" and more. He is a credited writer for "The Wedding Channel," and his stories have been published in the “Brentwood Bla Bla,” “Anemone,” “Windham Free Press.” His poems have appeared in “Autumn Leaves,”” Bijou Poetry Review,”” Short Story.”
Tanks Rev Their Engines
By Andrew Grossman
The body in daffodils, the blood in azaleas, the bones in opening branches;
Sun like a blender spinning in your chest and no blades:
It is campaign weather.
I shall study the topographical table
with potatoes standing for hills, unripe tomatoes slit open
in a grove of cauliflower.
I shall rush to embrace death in spreading white tendrils,
for once be tender in the grave of spontaneous form.
Bio: Andrew Grossman is a poet, writer and cartoonist.
He was one of the pioneers of the online
business model for selling creative content. In 2000,
he launched CartoonResource.com, a cartoon licensing agency.
With a worldwide clientele in print, presentation and advertising
media, CartoonResource.com helped show that online content was
His poetry, stories and cartoons have appeared in thousands
of newspapers, magazines and book collections around the world,
including The New Yorker, Stern, The Washington Post and
Mainichi Daily News.
Editorial Comment: Andrew has a way with imagery that is hard to ignore.
by Barry Basden
This place was once selected
by a glossy magazine full of
color photographs as one of the
five best retirement havens
in the world.
No, I won't tell you where it is; I can
only say I once drove by a grand
house there and saw a tall balding
man with a pony tail that swung back
and forth as he yelled at another man
working in the garden.
Down the road a ways, near a hillside
fragrant with coffee blooms, I passed
a row of tin-roofed huts next to a river
where women were washing clothes.
Men watched from the doorways as
they sharpened machetes.
I can also tell you the flowers
there are lovely and the
coffee is fine.
Bio: Barry Basden writes mostly short pieces these days. Some have been published in various online venues. Some have not. He is co-author of CRACK! AND THUMP: WITH A COMBAT INFANTRY OFFICER IN WORLD WAR II, and edits Camroc Press Review at www.camrocpressreview.com
Editorial Comment: Over and over I say I’m a sucker for a poem that tells a story with good imagery like this one.
By Daniel Ames
they are stashed everywhere
placed with no master plan
no collective time frame
for final resolution
I can hear them like
a schizophrenic orchestra
at night when I can’t sleep
tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick
perhaps one is in a cupboard
another beneath the foundation
probably one is concealed behind a half-truth
another slipped between the veils of exaggeration
the only consolation may be that while
this field of imminent destruction is a composite of our lives
there is a certain security in knowing that each
little surprise package found its quiet private home
via our own pale, gentle hands
Bio: Daniel Ames is a poet living and working in Detroit, Michigan. He has had poems recently published in Magnolia: A Florida Journal of Literary and Fine Arts, The Centrifugal Eye, Nefarious Ballerina, Flutter Poetry Journal, Opium Poetry, Bijou Poetry Review and The Inquisition. More poems are slated for 2009 publication in Edison Literary Review, Thieves Jargon, Iodine Poetry Journal, Pulsar Poetry UK and Thick with Conviction. To view links to some of his published poetry, you can visit his website: poetdanielames.com
Editorial Comment: I’m always impressed with large volume of talent that submits to my poetry sites, this being one of them.
By Martin Kimeldorf
I hang suspended
by a spider, fine
silk of emotion
and I’m not afraid to fall
head and heals loving you.
In this precarious moment
I hear a doubting voice...
I care not!
Let love remain a fickled story.
Tonight I feel completed.
I find a new gravity
to hold me firm−
dwells in mystically soft night
she adds fluorescence
while the window shade soaks up moonlight.
play with me,
more charades of sensuality,
be kind with my flimsy self,
and don't tell me
when you must go,
make love joyous, instead of confusing.
Love waits subdued.
Chain Ring Mama
(Big gear on the front)
By Martin Kimeldorf
Takin the dusty road
full of bee bites
and strewn with toothless wonders.
Takin the uphill road
with narrow path
and sweaty chests.
Takin the downtown route
with cars a-plenty
and sleepless shopping malls.
Takin the road
I want to travel
with wedding ring
and my chain ring mama.
She spins about
in a stylish cycle suit
I wanna tag along
Bio: Over the last 30+ years I’ve written about 30 non-fiction trade and education books (Ten Speed, Petersons, Educational Design, Free Spirit Press, etc). During that time, I also wrote my wife Judy 3 poems a year, and compiled the collection of poems and photo-art this year. I recently began sending out sample poems and photo-art work. The first batch of 15 samples got accepted for publishing online/print within 8 weeks. Now, I’m motivated to try a second batch.
Editorial Comment: The first poem is a bit of an eccentric love poem. The 2nd poem is tough to handle like bicycle steering on a mountainous road full of pebbles; thoughts jumping from one setting or environment to the next; slang broken and used like old bike tire wheels.
By Bobbi Sinha-Morey
In the pale sky
when daylight begins
you seek serenity
under the aspen tree
its snowy leaves
fluttering around you,
glowing in the sun
like an owl's soft
down. Opening like
a new leaf on a spring
day, you lay cloaked
in the stillness of
the shade. Your skin
like a broad ivory lily
exalting on the first
morning it uncurls.
Listen for the gentle
rhythm as the wind
the sweet grass and
hear it quietly say
know the secret
The Mist Of Daybreak
By Bobbi Sinha-Morey
In the mist of daybreak
when the sun eclipses
the waning night sky
I hear the oriole echo
what the blackbird
has began to sing
and waken by the side
of the stream seeing
a pigeon beside me
with transparent wings
and as the sun rises
above red pastures,
bright September casts
no shadow in the old
walnut trees and the
water is so still I can
see the light shine on
its surface saying hello
to the earth this is
Bio: Bobbi Sinha-Morey is a book reviewer for the online magazine Specusphere and a poet. Her poetry's appeared in places like Ceremony, Falling Star Magazine, Poet's Espresso, and Smile, among others. Her latest books of poetry, The Quiet Scent Of Jasmine and Stillness In The Garden Of Light, are at ebooksonthe.net. Her e-mail address is Isedmorey1@aol.com.
Editorial Comment: I’m a sucker for natural poems of every day events made special with words. Poems don’t always have to have a start, a plot, a middle ground, characters and a climatic finish point; though, some of these elements are here. Sometimes it relaxes the spirit to unwind with the flow of nature for what it is and nothing more. Feel the images, don’t worry about the structure, just read.
By Ray Succre
May Maisy, is green all around,
gifted green but rife with color,
and to deny her a porch of
pots and wooden boxes is
to blight her as frost on vines.
She only passes a plant
and its roots will rut deep,
will soon grow as quick
as the hair on her head.
For a week, she has the back
porch, two hands, a trowel,
And a flat of creeping jennies.
She is twenty-two and
a cautious gardener sprite.
Work in the Ground
By Ray Succre
He was hired for the tilling.
Tires were hiding among the weeds.
His nails were dirty and chipped,
his hands were bruised, but the land turned.
Tired in the lea, he put down his sack,
propped his head on a smooth stone,
and slept beneath it all.
He woke to a dullness, burned napping
in the field by the oven that sunned
from abroad, late afternoon Wisconsin.
Coming Up the Porch
By Ray Succre
The geometrid moth I like
gets digested by a white spider.
I see his husk in the web at noon.
That’s a pity, I decide.
You’re a faster pity, I say,
and you, to a bloodied, fighting-fresh
cat, are a heartier one.
I collect and carry, frustrated,
and take the stairs again upward
to shut myself in and let Mishap
venerate her pretty victories.
Inside, I am exponential more of me.
Outside, I barely seem colored
within the lines.
By Ray Succre
In the weedy woods neck wherein I am local,
townster or variant, I eat and am digested,
binge being a sore rose, and fasting
staffing my eye for leaner stalks.
As I wake, I tend to sleep,
and as I stand, I'll often sit.
In cogitating, a citing goat to gigantic
commonwealths, I toy mental, digging
through a ragman's anagrams, writing,
a composition clinking, ink and cling,
as by time spent I mop to coins.
In my sod like head, sudsy and topped
in warm grime, I am asked by my loves
to be steady, repetitious, a rhyme of sorts,
but prefer to be dilator, tidal bore to a bridle.
The days heal one after next. So heal assholes,
hearts, haters, solvers and lovers alike.
I go rapturous, a petrous rig into purgatories,
wherein I am friend and local, at peace last
and satisfactory most.
The sea's currents are created in hiding, you know.
Bio: Ray Succre currently lives on the southern Oregon coast with his wife and baby son. He has been published in Aesthetica, BlazeVOX, and Pank, as well as in numerous others across as many countries. His novel Tatterdemalion was recently released in print and is available most places. He tries hard.
For inquiry, publication history, and information, visit me online: http://raysuccre.blogspot.com/.
Editorial Comment: Ray comes as close to my own writings as anyone I have published to date. This will be a compliment or a real cuss word. Ray is in constant need of revision and editing with an image oriented mind that is second to few. I have decided to publish all four of his poems, he can also be seen at Poetic Legacy. Oh, yes, I call Ray: “poetic license man.” Note “townster.”
20 April 2008
By Phillip A. Ellis
The evening that you left
on the northbound train, it rained
so hard the ground shimmered
with the reflected streetlights.
And something unsaid stopped
you from speaking, a word or phrase
that maybe should have been said
between us, but we were late, sad.
The rain, as it came, as you turned
your face up to be kissed, fell
amongst tears, it seemed to me
in hindsight, hearing you speak.
Inconsequential words were all
we said. avoiding silences
like an animal avoiding trees
in the overwhelming evening.
We spoke of time, but it was time
we spoke of something else, passing
moments, perhaps, or distances
of day's travel or mere millimetres.
Anything but the promises
that we failed to keep, in our hearts
and safe, lying even hollowly
to ourselves as we said them.
Did you sit there, passing northwards
through the city, looking out the window
at ephemeral streets, or did you turn
the corner up and read, forgetting me?
Bio: Phillip A. Ellis is studying English Honours at the University of New England, over 2008 and 2009. His work has appeared in a number of countries and publications over the last ten years, including the USA, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Finland, and Fiji. He will also have a chapbook published by Gothic Press in October 2008.
Editorial Comment: I love poems with a story. This is a classical love story, or at the least, someone special. It takes us into the private last moments of a relationship all revealed in a few lines.
By Russell H. Grafton
I cried again last night.
My tears had hardly dried
Since my heart first broke.
And now, you too are gone.
Alone, we shed our tears.
Alone, your babies cry.
You did not want to go,
To leave us here alone.
I could see that in your eyes.
You fought so hard to stay,
While silently and earnestly we prayed.
I could see the struggle in your eyes.
How we wanted you to live!
But you simply could not stay.
I could see that truth in your eyes.
So, reluctantly I kissed you goodbye,
And my heart broke a second time,
As you slowly closed your eyes.
Wear No Black
By Russell H. Grafton
Wear no black when I am gone,
For sadness should not define me.
Bright colors you should put on,
Though none that signal glee!
Celebrate with me that I had lived
To see my newborn babies grow,
Who lived and loved and who did give
Such joy before they had to go.
Sing with me a heavenly strain,
With no thought of sorrow endured.
For more I could not hope to gain
Than love, my poor heart to cure.
Wear no black when I am gone,
I wish to see no more crying.
Memories you have to lean upon,
And send me off to my dying.
The history of my poem "Sarah" started many years ago with the birth of my son, David. David was a victim of Muscular Dystrophy and died in 1990 at the age of 22. He was a remarkable young man. Sarah was my daughter, and was four years younger than David. In 1997 she was a young wife and mother of two young children when she had some cosmetic surgery performed by a doctor whose gross negligence would kill her (He went to prison for criminally negligent homicide). When I first saw Sarah in the hospital after the incident, the thing that caught my eye was that she was so desperately trying to open her eyes and focus on us. But as the few days passed, I could see that she just couldn't fight any more as her brain activity diminished. So, David was my first heartbreak, and Sarah was my second.
My other poem, "Wear No Black" addresses the feeling I sometimes have that when folks think of me, they have a hard time getting past the things that have caused me heartache. I want them to know that I am no more, and no less than any other person. They should celebrate my life, just as I chose to celebrate my kids lives and not their deaths, as painful as that was. When I die, I want my extended family to see me for what I am - a generally happy person who hopefully contributed to the quality of their lives.
Editorial Comments:I like the poetry but I feel the real person behind them. Life is not always about how academic a poem may sound, but rather the story it tells and the hearts it touches. These two poems, and the bio that accompany them speak a volume about life and the people and memories behind them.
By George Anderson
At the backdoor I wear ice skates,
shiny blue pants with white stripes
red socks pulled to each thigh
and mountains of protective pads.
By the woodstove you chop wood
the kitchen smells good, of apple pie
and I listen to the crackling fire as
you tug off my skate and then the other.
I’m still in the park gaining momentum
speeding past the awkward defenseman
dekeing the goalie out of his net and
flipping the puck into the top corner.
My father sits at the table reading the paper
he grunts unaware his life is about to change
unaware that his entire life of careful
construction will soon come tumbling down.
Before entering the house I knock the snow
from my skates. My feet are frozen. I want
to sit by the fire and listen to you tell me again
how you found a bunch of 4 leaf clovers in the park.
Bio: George Anderson grew up in Montreal and presently lives in Wollongong, Australia. He has published hundreds of poems in mainstream and alternative magazines over the last five years. In 2008 the first of his collections will be published through Banksia Press in Sydney. He edits the student poetry journal Ephemeral now in its fifth print edition.
Editorial Comments: I’m a sucker for poetic stories, I will admit it. Here again I find a nice story with rich images that keep my mind entertained in a brief but revealing free verse form with a little twist at the very end.
Homeless Man 2
By Kathleen Walsh
Father time sits
On the corner of state
In front of the cafe
Teaching philosophy and
Playing a banjo
With tree-branch fingers
Shaking his head
Along to the music
Causing the flowers he's
Plucked from public displays
That now rest in his head scarves
To shed their petals
They fall into the threads
Of his ragged knit purple sweater
Where they rest and stick
In between the stitches and
Unnoticed, remain there.
Bio: Kathleen Walsh is a student at Bowdoin Collge in Brunswick, ME where she is studying English and Gender and Women's Studies. When not in school or writing she works as a raft guide on the Kennebec River in Maine.
Editorial Comments: Kathleen’s play with words forces you to think, to come terms out of your natural lazy state. Here conveyed by wonder images, Kathleen ties life, death, wonderment, and the smallest of details into a tight package picture of a homeless man.
By Jacqui Dunne
Crew cut brains
crawl mud fields
barb wire fences off reality
hit the ground, give me five
Bio: Jacqui Dunne is a Liverpool performance poet with a Celtic and European background. She regularly reads her work, which covers a wide range of issues from politics to the female dilemma. Jacqui recently gained an M.A. in Writing Studies. Her work has been aired on the BBC and published on line and in journals and anthologies. For more go to jacquidunne.co.uk
Editorial Comments: Jacqui has created here a quick, almost with form, narrowing like life to a tragic
end starting with basic training then rushing downward right to death as the final result. Well said in a very small, form to fit the topic, space.
He Was Staring At Something
Phil was saying how some of the boys in
his platoon killed a Vietcong guerrilla, caught
him murdering innocent civilians so they
stripped him, hung him up
from a tree and blew his balls off.
One of his victims had been a pretty young
pregnant woman he raped, then killed
by stringing her up naked and screaming,
cut open her belly with one of those big
jagged-edged jungle knives, just like that, out
there in the open in the village for all
the others to see. So Phil and the boys
caught the dirty yellow bastard yes indeed,
and strung him up naked like the pregnant
woman, then shot away his balls, watching
him squirm and splutter and scream
his head off, eventually bleeding to death.
And it sounds terrible, certainly, and is
terrible, but they were glad of it, so glad
to watch him die like that. They had to do it,
Phil said, or they'd never be able to live
with themselves, ever. And during the whole
while he was telling the story there was this
glazed over look in his eyes like he was
staring at something far far away that never
really could've happened, ever.
Peeking Through Mom’s Drapes
I blurted out, “What is it!”
in the middle of the night.
“I’m just going to the bathroom honey,
go back to sleep.”
Seems I was in the midst
of a not-so-nice dream,
perhaps even a nightmare,
shadowy figure floating through
our bedroom, but I cannot recall it
completely now: something
about being alone in the old house
I was raised in, around the time
that Daddy died,
in the living room peeking through
mom’s drapes at some strange people
coming slowly, steadily,
towards the front door
from across the lawn.
Dreams, thank goodness, are often
like bubbles caught in the wind.
Over the years Michael Estabrook have published a few chapbooks and appeared in some terrific poetry magazines, but you are only as good as your next poem and like a surfer looking for that perfect wave, he is a student of poetry prowling incessantly for that next perfect poem. Right now he is looking for that perfect poem about his wife, who just happens to be the most beautiful woman he has ever known.
Editorial Comments: Michael is another poetic story teller which I am fond of. Since I lived in exile during the Vietnam War, I can relate to horror stories about that American tragedy. This poem, “He Was Staring At Something”, reflects the combination of a horror story, a sense of strange pride, and a nightmare all in one poem. “Peeking Through Mom’s Drapes”, I like as it winds through a small story and pop the dream goes as quickly as it entered. Nice work, Michael.
The Lullaby Hours
By Carol Lynn Grellas
When you love this child−
remember the tang of cough syrup
sliding down a stinging throat;
a stream of maple sugar that veiled the bitter,
as your mother rocked the mattress
counting sheep with strands of your hair.
When you love this child−
pretend you have a stomach full of gumdrops
but you smell the grenadine of a maraschino cherry
and soon you’ve piled an orchard
in your doll-size mouth, praying no-one
notices, an empty jar in the fridge.
When you love this child−
listen to clatter as it might claim your soul.
Every jangle a chance some big-foot
is loose in your rickety house,
while snoring prevails in the master bedroom
and silhouettes snatch you from warbled mirrors,
absorbing you inside reflections.
When you love this child,
think of eating rhododendrons in the rain,
teddy bear in toe needing extra clouds
of tuft, to make him look new again.
Feel the binding near your face
of powder-soft satin, from the coverlet
that’s scented with the songs of carousels−
because you can breathe music,
taste color and listen for love,
without ever hearing a thing.
Bio: Carol Lynn Grellas is a Northern California-based writer. She attended Santa Clara University where she was an English and Art major. She has had numerous poems appear in magazines and online journals, including most recently, The Oasis Ezine and The Oasis Online, Las Cruces for Poets and Writers, Munyori Poetry Journal, Words on Paper, The Pregnant Moon Review, Moondance, Dogzplots and Twilight Musings Anthology. She has poems forthcoming in, MSU Great Falls Literary Guild, The Storyteller Magazine and The Verse Marauder. She has one book published titled, I'm Packing Things for Heaven. She lives with her husband, five children, three talking birds and a blind dog named Ginger, who inspire much of her poetry.
Editorial Comments: Again, I like the story telling element in this poetic work; the personal touch of real life that one can’t escape from. The poem is a poem, but it is real, and a real life experience.
Listen to Me
By Suzanne Nielsen
Toby Walker had listened to everyone
around him for his entire 43 years. One
day he woke up and realized living in Taipei
proved healthy as far as diet was concerned
however he has never spoken Mandarin
and does not have any idea what people are saying.
I look at their faces and that is my translation,
he said in an interview. I reminded him what
Stein said so many years ago when living in
Paris: “Let me listen to me and not to them.”
He has no idea what I meant. I watched him
walk away and noticed him searching the faces
of the strangers he passed. After passing a woman
with a lollipop, he turned to face me and was smiling.
Web of Life
By Suzanne Nielsen
Last evening Miriam raced home from work
after a quick detour into the corner gift shop
that had signs in the window: 80% off. The
miniature hand-carved Italian nativity that she’d
been eyeing for two years was now 40.00. Christ,
she wanted that, but knew money was tight for
the next several weeks. Miriam took the tiny wooden
baby from the manger and hid it in the corner by the
children’s books. If she couldn’t have it no one could.
On her way home she felt guilt and remorse
so she called the store from her cell phone to notify the owner
where the orphan rested. She was referred to an automated
recording instructing her to go directly to www.freebabyjesus.com
for further instructions on leaving a message. In the background
she could hear the soft cooing of the wooden infant
that she would rename Pinocchio.
Bio: Suzanne Nielsen, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, teaches writing at Metropolitan State University. Her poetry, fiction and essays appear in literary journals nationally and internationally; some of these include The Comstock Review, The Copperfield Review, Mid-America Poetry Review, Foliate Oak, Identity Theory, The Pedestal, Pindeldyboz, Rosebud, Rumble, Thunder Sandwich, Word Riot and 580 Split. So’ham Books released her collection of poetry titled “East of the River,” in December 2005. So’ham will publish her collection of short fiction in September of 2007, titled “The Moon Behind the 8-Ball & Other Stories.”
Editorial Comments: I love poetic stories, Suzanne, does a nice job; I pick these poems since it caught my fancy. I think there is a misunderstanding about free verse having no form. These poem are examples of free verse with a natural story form. It allows the freedom to write the stories naturally.
Dissimilarities Within One
By Felino Soriano
I walked in silence
slouching near the bending of
a white oak, whose branches
resembled gnarled tiredness,
yet also resembled a posing
exhibiting multiple styles of
avifauna perched within its splayed
and peeling branches.
Bio: Felino Soriano, from California, is a case manager working with developmentally disabled adults. He is also a philosophy student. The existence of being a classic and avant-garde jazz enthusiast juxtaposed with his philosophical studies, one can ascertain his poetic inspirations. His poetry appears widely in print and online.
Editorial Comments: I picked this poem because of a balance of the abstract nature and notions of life; combined, blended with concrete images that display concretely the realities.
By Richard Lighthouse
within each brain clock
we shift with the sun,
tide with the moon,
and hang at evening's edge.
cheating the ticking gods
of things miss understood.
sacred in our cycle.
blessed rhythm of sequence.
and when we leap forward
of convenience, does the moon
wince in despair?
begging - how much can we
borrow and still give back?
even the owl wants
mix 2 parts anxiety
1 heap ice cream
4 ounces tequila.
shake vigorously. (the drink,
Bio: Richard Lighthouse is a contemporary writer and poet. He holds an M.S. from Stanford University.
His work has been published in: The Penwood Review, West Hills Review, Mudfish, and many others worldwide.
Editorial Comments: Richard has a way with free verse that has it’s own sense of form within his moment; he has a style that is his, breaks that come in nearly regular places-but the free verse form (contradiction of sort) is not contrived.
By Lauren Scharhag
Good woman, good bread,
snug in waxed paper,
clean sheets on the bed.
Soft hands worn dry by years
of kneading and folding.
Little spurs catch flesh on fabric.
The arts are not wholly lost,
the hearth secrets.
To know the heft of things,
as well as scent and flavor.
We were the ones who looked at the moon
and baked bread round.
Lauren Scharhag was born and raised in Kansas City, MO. Her poetry has appeared in KC magazines Novum Ovum and The Mutiny, and in New Wine and Compass Rose. She is also a screenwriter, as well as a fiction writer. She is currently at work on a novel.
Editorial Comments: This poem is wonderful. A lady after my own style. Rich with rewarding imagery.
She is a star in my poetry eye.