Nite-Writer's International Literary Arts Journal

Dangerous 2

Carol Frances Brown - New York, NY

 

Committed to each other

We long for each other

like cupid arrows

But we're tortured

of the first degree

with an unfulfilled desire

that fuels the latent erotic fire

burning our naked souls

on Love's pyre,

bound by some psychic energy

unknown,

then the cage is thrown open

and the captive birds

fly ...

can we ever know?

Why?

Why us?

Birds in a Storm

 Carol Frith - Sacramento, Ca.

 

 Light fades.

There is a lyric chatter

from the west,

a puff of song,

a breeze.

Four birds

lift in the wind and scatter

to the east, then disappear

like skeet.

 

Afterward

Lyn Lifshin - Vienna, Va.

 

I go thru her night stand

drawer where I once found

"Love Without Fear," and

read it, gasping in the

bathroom with the door

locked. I still feel I'm

sneaky, wonder what if

her ghost should rise up out

of the wintergreen mints and

nylon stockings and slam

it shut, my heart loud.

The dresser drawer sticks,

crammed with too many knit

shells I bought her when

I learned they wouldn't

still be made pale pink

ones, turqoise and black

so her 38D breasts wouldn't

seem so big. In each drawer,

gloves I slip my fingers into

as if the space in me, too

was starved for fingers and

hands. Cotton gloves, still

ticketed together, like

couples clutching in a cattle

car east, never sure they

would see light. Suede and

leather, softer than her

hair was after months of

i.v. Next to her partial,

a small cough syrup and a

bottle of small teeth, "Lyn's

first tooth, lost November

7th" deep in a drawer of

satin and flannel night

gowns, as if even that loss

needed to be smoothed.

Innocent

Joe Buffin - Smyma, Ga.

 

If never I had seen your face,

how completely free of your image

my mind would be.

 

If never I had held your hand,

your touch I would not constantly

crave.

 

Filled with emotions that would be

better left alone ... How do I put

aside my heart?

 

How do I forget your smile

or the way your eyes blend with

mine?

 

How do I discard that anxios feeling

I have when you're near, or the rush

of adrenalin when you enter the room?

 

Most of all, how do I get past

and live without someone who haunts my

every thought?

 

Forced to admire from a distance, love

will remain a forbidden thought.

 

Winter Walk

Dave Tubb - United Kingdom

 

 Falling flakes,

dressing hill - tops clothing trees for a season

and spinning in drifts.

Holding the say in shrouded silence

white as a princess

cold as a broken promise

Like half-an-hour in heaven

Silent as two lovers embracing the fields.

 

A Departure from Solidity

Timothy Hodor - Vienna, Austria

 

Railroad tracks were different

When I was young.

I use to like

To balance myself on them.

When I couldn't do that,

I stood back and watched

The trains go by.

I never knew where they were going.

Today I find that I know

Too much about destinations.

All the things

Pointed towards the future

Seem to have an end,

And the infinity

I thought I once played on

Was a childhood

I had to walk away from.

I remember now

The time I had to leave

The iron tightrope behind.

 

 

The Drought of 1988

 Amy S. Withrow - Carey, Ohio

 

The local newscaster warns that water

levels are dropping at the reservoir

and urges everyone to stay indoors;

temperatures will only get hotter.

Veins line farmers' fields, steel soldered

to steel, irrigation pumps working more

each hour, forcing water down corridors

until sources dry and systems falter.

 

The Chickasaw raindancer comes to town

early the thirty-third day of drought.

Thundering drum beats rumble through the air;

bare feet pound earth, feathers bounce in his hair.

The sky grays. We stand rooted in doubt,

staring at wheat fields withered and brown.

 

Upon 40

 Jo Anne E. Yost  (JEY) - Perris, Ca.

 

Upon 40, she realized

Mother wasn't

always right.

Upon 40, she dusted the Bastard

bellowing "Five-by-Joe"

in the schoolyard, Forever.

Upon 40, she learned

it was okay

to feel and say "no"

with a smile

on her face.

Upon 40, she stood

at the mirror

and it shouted:

"Curves are the

best revenge."

Upon 40, she remembered

her poetry

as the traveling

shoes of her soul,

and continued walking,

at peace.

 

Storm

 Mary Hauck - St. Charles, Il.

 

Flashed the storm last night

God in His might, let loose

Lighting my room with brilliance

And sound to shake the walls

 

This morning all is fresh

The air clean, pure, and sweet

The grass as green as can be

And the trees, gone from naked to clothed

 

The birds sing of the new day

And flying, swooping and playing

Their sounds are the sounds of life

Joy in the voices we cannot understand

 

The animals also rejoice, the storm gone

They eat, drink and frisk about

For it is spring, the time of renewal

And time to bring forth new life

 

Sunset, July 14th

Carol Schmidt - Setauket, NY 

 

Just as you were doing that ...

the sun descended in the sky

slowly, deliberately, reddening

along its predetermined path

as powerless to veer from course

as you were when you did that.

Suddenly, so fast that when I turned to listen

for the sound of someone on the steps,

an unseen presence grabbed the flaming orb

with scalding fingertips and pulled it down

beneath the boundary of the sky to earth.

- I had missed the chance to see its

                                                                 final glow.

 

 

Byron

Doug Holder - Somerville, Ma.

 

What will he wear this morning?

A Greek fisherman's hat,

or the white captain's cap

Will he hobble with the clear plastic cane

carrying the African statuettes -

porcelain cats with hollow eyes

holding his hand out

an excited child at show and tell

to show you their size.

 

Will he be the grumpy old man ...

railing against the world

this cold morning

cursing the homeless ... lecherously eyeing

the young girls

mourning how his wife let herself go

the too ample rump

the sagging bust

the gray hair

how she mirrors him

he blinds himself.

 

Will he be my friend this morning?

The private jokes

jocular slaps on the back

his tongue in his cheek.

 

Will he be the dotting father

the unsolicited advise

world weary wisdomsad truths

continued hope.

 

What will he be this morning?

What shall I be?

  

Wardrobe

 Maria Shockley Erman - Carnegie, Ok.

 

Last night love left my heart,

Quietly packing feelings

Like stale clothes

Scented of mothballs.

A black camisole spilled into the suitcase

Like the July night

We swam together.

A cotton gown colored of magnolia

Blossoms fell on top.

It smelled like the garden outside the chapel

Where we were married.

A black maternity dress lying against

the others.

I looked at the other garments -

A hat from Mexico.

Cowboy boots from Texas.

Then I closed the suitcase

And locked away the pieces of my life

I once wore.

 

OH MUTE NIGHT, OH MUTE MOTHER!

 Walter William Safar

 

Driven by the darkness above all that is dark;

driven by human vanity,

and by resounding envy,

I once again return

to the glory of the poetry eternal.

I branch my verses into the sky;

I return to the earth with my verses

I am blessing my verses in tears.

 

Haunted by the scream of my own solitude,

I am calling out to the mute night

to hear its poet’s confession;

to hear the crystal tear

banging against the dry crust of Life.

 

I am calling out to the mute night:

“Be my mother, oh night, so mute!”

Sing loudly and proudly,

like you did that day

when I first called you mother;

Sing and bestow your kisses on me,

moist and silent,

warm and dreamy.

Take me into your tender and yearning embrace,

just like you hug the southern wind.

 

Now I sense your restlessness,

oh mute night,

oh mute mother.

In the maelstrom of my dreams you are looking

for a place to rest.

Do not worry,

oh mute night,

oh mute mother!

Your son shall sing instead of You!

I, the poet, the vagabond, the minstrel of Liberty,

I am calling You my mother,

because I could never gather the courage

to address my own mother like that.

 

Inside me, there might be something of Yours,

oh mute night,

oh mute mother!

There is a sad and endless loneliness,

there is a timid and trembling longing.

Inside me, there is something of You,

oh mute night,

oh mute mother.

 

MEMORIES

Walter William Safar

 

I am standing in the street of my childhood,

and the blue April sky

rises above me,

glittering like a dreamy eye.

Down here, the wind is marching

behind my dark memories,

tiredly,

but unfaltering,

like a tiller behind his plow.

Tell me, steady wind:

How shall I escape the screams of the past?

For years you’ve been pushing me to all corners of the world,

as I was your unwanted child.

You know, wind,

that with my restless spirit, I belong more to You

than to myself.

From You, I inherited the yearning

to travel the world and seek:

the Morning in a golden cradle,

the Day in an angel’s embrace,

the Night in a bloody dress,

and midnight in black,

that preys on lust

like death preys on life.

 

I am standing in the street of my childhood,

next to the same window

from which I used to gaze at you, wind,

during my childhood,

and dream of the day

when I would fly on Your soft, sweet back

to a better world,

far away from poverty;

the flies captured in the spider’s web,

the miserable cries of worms

eternally crawling beneath the feet of soulless masters,

far away from the grass

and the tear-swept flowers.

I am standing next to the window

in the street of my childhood,

as if standing next to a bloody cradle,

and the memories,

my ashamed children,

cry out into this April night

with their silent screams,

reaching their invisible hands

out to me.

And I,

driven by the gales,

I am rolling across the world,

like a raindrop

looking for its grave,

in the cracks of the arid crust

of the betrayed earth.

 

AS IF THEY COULD DANCE FOREVER

Steve De France - Long Beach, CA

 

A bright & cloudless day in LA

the sun is sleek & leaves no shadow.

Every where it is still---quiet---heat vapors

rise along streets & sewers & cement benches.

8 to 5’ers are pulling into parking places shaped like coffins--

ready to deal with life as seen on the computer screen.

Their dead lips rehearse words from a list of

politically correct things they have been taught to say.

Slowly they are dying. . .

 

Across Washington Boulevard sits the

Los Angeles Boxing Club.

Young men from Mexico & other Americas

arrive on foot, bicycle, or by bus.

They care nothing for political correctness.

They are here to live. . .or die.

Here to practice assassination.

Eyes smoldering with eternal resentment,

they strike the speed bag as if it was injustice itself,

they practice footwork, as if they will dance forever.

 

They slug it out with each other.

Sparring & sweating.

Some missing teeth & hearing

some times sense itself.

The cost does not matter.

They must have a dream that promises a way out. . .

out of downtown, out of their cheap room

out of aview of the alley,

out from under peeling yellow wallpaper

out from behind drill presses,

out from bending in the picking fields

out of their distant homes of burning poverty.

 

Rings at the Boxing Club have roped-boundaries,

but fighters’ dreams have none.

Like matadors or cliff divers,

they see this as their only way out:

grunting,sweating, elbowing & clenching

faces swollen & bloodied

they stagger toward a distant PRIZE

in a land called America.

Even though fate has already spoken.

Even though the die is cast.

Even though the odds are a million to one.

Most battle with hearts full. . .most leave

with dreams broken.

 

Still they come for that chance

always a new crop, proud & brave,

believing in miracles.

 

The InvisaBLE mAN

Haven Aisling -

 

He’s the invisible man

Notice how they look right through him?

See how they act as if

He doesn’t even exist?

 

He disappeared one day

No one’s seen him since,

They haven’t even tried looking

Though he’s still looking at them.

 

The outcast he’s become

Has made him cold and bitter,

But no one cares about that now

Because no one cares to see him.

 

He hides away in the shadows

Never speaks a word,

He tries but he can’t seem to find

Anyone who remembers him.

 

 

 

Grandfather’s Hands

Dusan Colovic - Belgrade

 

I remember…

in the hands of my grandfather

a gleam taken from the plough

radiated. He hurried

toward the sunny distance

where tirelessly

he sewed and reaped

our daily bread.

Now old and toothless

beside the hearth

he grinds tenderness

to his grandchildren.

 

New Knowledge

Dusan Colovic - Belgrade

 

straighten the bridge

of the eternal presence.

Do not linger

on the crossroads of life

there are more roads left

under the sun

do not accept

to shrink.

For the new knowledge

for the new crossing

for the other side

Son of the Man!

After you, may

the flame of a poem leave trace.

 

Coin

Anastasia Clarke - Springville, UT

 

For an outing

do not look (anymore) for support

you left


in a hurry today


the shirt you wore to bed


the night before lay


crumpled on the floor


holding your warmth


long after you had gone

 

The year the gods went mute

Bee Smith - West Cavan, Ireland

 

The year the gods went mute

people went crazy.

They mounted civil wars.

They waved machetes.

They rattled their swords

the way lap dancers

shake their tits and ass.

 

When the gods fall mute

people act and act and act.

They put on classical Greek masks.

They play cartoon consequences

pretending someone else -

anyone else - is Elmer Fudd.

 

When the gods go mute

there is no answer

to this behaviour,

nor meaning to the action,

no reason to the reaction.

The gods are silent.

The people are deaf.

 

 

Bog Oak

Bee Smith - West Cavan, Ireland 

This is what is made by

time, temperature, water,

the patience of insect life

underground

 

under the cover of peat

its acidity burnishing

earth’s black gold.

 

When the man with his

mechanical digger exhumed

the three bog oak logs

prehistory

 

reached out

and shook me

by the shoulders.

 

Eternity is not hard won

or over in an instant.

What means the millennia

that was in the making?

 

Now the light and air

gives the appearance

of brittle bark

 

but let them stand in the rain -

their heart is ancient

and indissoluble as

stone dolmens

 

Fog

Steve De France - Long Beach, CA

 

Fog rolls over a seaweed mottled beach,

swirls across a busy Ocean Boulevard

and gathers at the San Francisco Zoo.

Settling in ethereal shrouds on

animal exhibits & making mystic

the evergreen trees.

 

Caged flamingos with legs too delicate

to survive this world--- stand etched

in the mist like plastic sentinels surrounded

by Styrofoam shards. Depthless flamingo eyes

follow as a flurry of shrieking kids flush me

toward another more obscure path.

 

Monkey Island.

I was here once as a student.

I think I was in love.

But time has changed all.

The Island’s gone now & love savaged,

so to its rock-to-ground-to-tree inhabitants.

 

Today it’s a grubby caged pit

occupied by two decrepit chimpanzees,

a shambling shaggy gray---the other

a black & white with a prosthetic leg.

 

I speculate on these two veterans.

Were they part of the original

island population?

Gothic Punks from The City,

pierced & tattooed---shout & throw

peanuts at the cage. The chimps

tilt bored glances at them.

 

I consider time and destruction.

The chimps eye me---strangely.

I, too, have grown older---

do they recognized me? We stare at

each other--- looking for answers

or maybe new questions.

The temperature dips as a Northern wind

rolls a second screen of fog across

a wrinkled slate-colored sea toward

the ruinsof what was once Monkey Island.

 

Soon the three of us are bound together.

Blinded inside our memories

by time, and enveloping fog.

Everyday Betrayal

Nina Sokol - Denmark

 

Whispers to ripped

pages still murmuring

a heart, imitating

 

not what is heard,

at night, when words

written defy those

 

listened to by day.

A heart is listened

to, linked not

 

just to a certain

sound system, beat

rhythm.

 

A heart speaks

Between beats

Suddenly like

 

The soul found

in between pho-

nemes of certain

 

sound systems.

But not the one

I speak, everyday.

 

Nights are spent,

then, on ripping

pages out of note-

 

books, writing the

same words again,

over and over,

 

trying to remain

a soul in the

spaces between

 

them.

 

The Score

Sharon Anderson - Hopwood, Pa

 

He was a drummer

rhythm in his body,

rebellion in his soul.

He was a drummer.

I was the drum.

I feared his power over me,

his orchestration,

how he tapped my weakness.

He was a drummer.

I was the score.

He read me like sheet music,

played me like a demo

and with a clash of cymbals

was gone.

 

Brothers of a Kind

Michael Fraley - San Francisco, CA

 

While I for sport did swim alone,

My brother sat upon a throne

And spoke of how his rule would feed

The multitude with golden seed.

As I was climbing on a hill

To seek the beauty that can thrill,

My brother laboured through the night

Constructing engines fuelled with fright.

Although we both were born of one

Whose life was open to the sun,

I have chosen simple pleasures--

He prefers corrupting treasures.

 

 

Customary Grace

Michael Fraley - San Francisco, CA

 

The comfort given by a bowl of soup

To one who frequents this establishment

Is something that cannot be quantified.

Arise and take note of the open smile

Upon the face of our fair customer

When the waitress sets his bowl before him.

Porcelain cups perched on the counter top,

Waiting for the pouring of hot coffee,

Strike a note of quiet contemplation.

Another seasoned veteran arrives

And settles down in her favorite place;

The day takes on its customary grace.

 

 

Mother

Bing Liu -  Chicago IL 

 

Old Chinese woman

my life

getting

shorter

together 

 

grandfather raven

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen - Boulder, Co

 

oh, grandfather raven!

here you are again, with

us for another season!

please, sir, stretch your

wings beyond these

cold winds and teach

us the hidden stories!

 

 

Your Lover Awaits You

Robert L. Martin - Bangor, PA

 

 

You who think you’re so ugly

Have powers you don’t know

A charm that you who cannot see

To someone you can let it flowYou are to him a breath of heaven

No matter what you think you are

He’ll keep coming back times seven

From distant shores away so far

 

Your power is in the laws that hover

Written by the hand they brought

Males and females seek each other

Since love so blind begot

 

How that magic works within you

Far beyond a wizard’s spell

Don’t cry my love for witch’s brew

A hidden paradise to fore-tell

 

 

 

Silent Music

Robert L. Martin - Bangor, PA

 

Love and music are wandering spirits

Moving upon the face of the waters

Born from the womb of time

Their eternal voices scour the earth

 

They lift me into their quiet depths

Music that is so soft and serene

I dance even though the sound is hushed

Love is a silent thunder that

Strikes at the peak of the storm

 

They set my heart aflame as they

Sing to me a song composed by

Bitter joy and sweet pain

The song can’t be heard but its

Vibrations reach into my heart

With their hidden soft hands

And grasp my soul

Sweet love, silent reveries

Virgin dreams, incited passion

Exalted spirit

Silent music, thou art love’s calling

Silent music, I am thy devoted slave

 

SUMMER GUSTS

Diane Webster - Delta, Colorado

 

A bit of limb ripped from its host tree

by wind gusts tousling branches

like an uncle rubbing a boy’s head

looks like a squirrel

leaping across the pavement

to get to the other side

faster and faster and faster

until it runs into the curb

wilting, drying under July sun;

waiting for a rainstorm

to canoe the rapids downhill,

racing boys on bicycles

splashing water onto sidewalks

for evaporation at the sun’s leisure.

 

 

THE LAST VOYAGE

Walter William Safar – Sherman, Tx

 

I am returning to the valley of my childhood;

To see the old home one last time,

To see the old walnut tree one last time,

under which my mother used to read

Mark Twain's wonderful stories to me.

Nothing is the same anymore, everyone is dead,

Apart from memories and the old walnut tree;

Its old, trembling, bare branches

are impatiently waiting

to hug me one last time.

When destiny leaves you alone in the dark;

When your mother and father leave you early,

All you have left are Faith;

All you have left are dreams,

Yes, my friend, life rolls along the road of dreams,

And each dream is finished soon;

Just one more time,

I'd like to touch the coarse face of the old walnut tree,

To find a long lost tear

below its tired feet.

When I started on this long voyage,

The night was bright, and our beautiful walnut tree cried,

Yes, my friend, trees can cry too;

Just one more time,

I'd like to touch the old walnut tree,

To cling my face against my old friend's face,

Like a beloved son,

To hear the happy voices of my mother and father;

When your memories fade, drop down to your knees

To feel how the earth loves,

So your memories can find their sacred sanctuary.

When they want to kill your memories,

hoist your flag of dreams

And keep on marching your way,

like a noble soldier of Faith,

like a noble soldier of Freedom.

 

What Not

Doug Bolling - Flossmoor, Illinois

 

 

Joanna when I watch you

in these autumn fields

I think always of that

thin line between

life and death,

how far we have come

pushing the limits

coming closer and closer

to the unspoken

margins.

 

I want all over again

to call you wife

knowing it will never be,

no more than our

footprints in soft mud

of rained out furrows

will outlast the winter

and permit us back.

 

I know you say some words

are better never spoken,

leaving what might have been

to solace or pain

of silence.

 

I begin to believe love

is of what holds away

almost within reach

but never quite there.

 

When you turn your eyes

on me

I see oceans there

I will never travel.

 

Timeless

Lulia Sincraian - New Westminster, BC Canada

 

 

Under a canvas of black

 

I watch the way my sky burns back.

Back home, under familiar stars

Constellations shine; illuminate the road

Back, back home

To a foreign countryside, innocent to the ravages of time 

  

 

Closure

Lulia Sincraian - New Westminster, BC Canada

 

Somewhere in the midst of love

I awaken

And step out

See

What yesterday I was but blind to

Outside of love I can perceive

Mistakes, mishaps

Deceptive damages

I shielded myself from yesterday

While lost in the fog of romanticisms

Outside of affection

Refusing rejection

I find myself all over again

Outside of love, I can be free

Outside of chains, I can let myself see

Outside of you, I can be

 

Monday Morning

Judi A Meisenhelter - Pittsburgh, Pa.

 

One eye open

Watching you dress

I envy your clothes

As they caress the bits of you I love.

I wish I could be

The line of pearlescent buttons draped between your breasts,

The silver necklace resting in the hollow of your gentle collarbone,

Or the dark trousers embracing your sweet, sweet curves,

Then I could be with you

Then I could be touching you

All day.

 

When you kiss me goodbye

My heart cries out,

"Don't go! Stay here, with me, in bed…"

But you cannot hear my heart

And I don't want to make you late

So, with a sigh,

I let you go.

 

Hibernation

Judi A Meisenhelter - Pittsburgh, Pa.

 

Restless, I get out of bed.

It is cold.

The window is dressed in a delicate lace of frost

And snow lightly dusts the trees and houses.

I shiver,

Like a winter's kitten,

For want of noon-day sun.

 

I crawl back into bed,

Our sweet, soft, soporific bed,

Burrowing deep into the blankets.

You reach for me

From the other side of sleep

And we spoon.

Cuddled in the curve of your body,

My head at your breast,

The rhythm of your breathing

Gently lulls me back to sleep.

 

Silence

Kyra Cooper - West Des Moines, Iowa

 

There's a certain cling of silence

An appeal to the clang of its grasp

A relief found in the relieve of expectations

And a sanctuary found in its temple.

While the school boys degrade its existence

And exude the demand for demise

There's a beauty in silence, and a preference to its life

Silence is a sparkly silver, or perhaps a hue of gold

A precious metal that can only be found

As everything fades to nothing

A lifelong search that is only discovered when no life is left

As we attempt to attain silence, our own body defeats us

There is never silence until everything is gone

And then there is no one to appreciate its cling

I've never heard silence

But I hear it makes the most wonderful noise.

 

Other

Kirsten Marino Walz - Asheville, NC 

 

I.  October

 

It is the month of departures:
Leaves leave their hanging posts
Greens leave their trees.

Mists inhabit lakes

Having shed their skins.

 

October is my month.
Left my job once.

Disconsolate and alone,
I left my life.

Didn’t look back.

 

I dreaded all things social.

But who’s this I?

The terrible child?  The mad girl?
The moon would have nothing to do with her.

I do not miss her.

 

October is the mouth of God

It is cavernous.

It has swallowed saviors and demons.

I have been savior and demon

 – both –

To myself. 

 

II.  Glimpse 

 

I have learned to sit.

These soft moments

Have blurred the edges of  I

To emptiness.

I am an eye.

I am the moon

Watching from my sky socket.

 

I am a grain of sand

That I see the universe in.

I am a sea – I must be –

Spanning such distance!  My tears are salty.

I am an it.

I sit.

 

Nothing famous is occurring

But nothing usual.

I sit.

Rains drop from a vast attic.

Parting clouds are grumbling.

The moon has a ring around it.

I sit.

 

Have I done something wrong today?

Did I yesterday?

My mind would have me believe

Things I have no business believing

Even if they were true.

I ignore its declarations.

Soon I don’t hear them at all

As I sit.

 

The only calamity

Goes on in a part of a synapse

That doesn’t fire.                                                                                                     

I sit.                                                                                                                            

here is no calamity.                                                                                                

This is it.                                                                                                                   

It is sanity.    

 

Winter Secrets

Kirsten Marino Walz - Asheville, NC

 

Trees stand still

     at dawn

Guarding secrets.

Overnight

     they donned

Tidy cloaks

     of bareness

Where slant of sun

     can reach

But not define

     or clarify;

Winter trees

     hoard no light,

Preferring moon’s

     cold eye. 

It’s moon’s world

     in winter:

Sun lends light,

     moon complies

Sun drops done:

Perpetual

      bargain.

But

Moon is trickster,

     feigning

           solitary form

Yet is

Ubiquitous:

First, alluring beacon

     leading us

          in soft blackness 

 

Then straggler,

     caught

          in every gap

Between bare limbs

     as we walk along.          

 

Indentations in the Female psyche

Tony Walton - Cayman Island

 

There has been an empty space to the 
left of her for some time.
All that remains is an
indentation. 

Those who slept on that side were
kind,
some she will not forget, 
others are
             forgotten,
Some stayed for just one night
faithless arms and legs entwined,
others for years and years.

Once
a wanting voice flailed against the
gated silence, until exhausted and left there
in the empty spaces between words,
for the less loving one was
rarely her.

The corners of her disobedient
dreams flash images
in which the empty space grows,
like a stain and
she is awakened
drenched in silence, her breath pooling
around her.  Some time ago there was


a lamp on the left side, men’s fitness magazines,
and a watch of some rugged wear,

now the leaves of the trees tremble on
windless days and their circling rings
advance into evening.     We must ask:
What will become of this left side?

Ah! But stop! - and not overanalyze!
Rationally  there is a tantalizing thing that 
she declines to see:

Through those curtained windows
under these same stars that we sleep
down winding streets
humming with air conditioners 
behind the manicured lawns with
cool sprinklers,
each night,
there are many such
indentations.

A pleasant sunday drive

Tony Walton - Cayman Island 

 

There are no disagreements as we drive along,                                                              encased safely in the car, a road
split by the center line.
Practiced vowels, consonants and syllables
roll predictably with the hum of tires.  Each topic
measured as the roadside poles, 
the conversation's selected tone
mirrors the
ca-thump   ca-thump   ca-thump
of the the paved highway joints.

We stare at the windshield and                                                                                                 
think of things that must be said - instead,
the words shift, twist, and turn
in our mouths
like worms, then sit angrily, 
before we
brood them out of separate windows in 
silence and

continue down the road  
somewhere,
the receding light of the sun 
searching through glass then
fading
in the rear window,  
frame by frame
until the light is
gone.

 

snakeskin

Lulia Sincraian - New Westminster, BC Canada

 

You are somewhere, geographically locatable

In my memories,

Versions of your faces

I can still see (you who changed to often)

Shedding the older camouflages abruptly

Never letting anyone see what is underneath.

I started, mesmerized

Hoping for a glance

Of who you really were

Yet even if you’d let me see

Even for a moment- I’d be too late

You’d change to someone else;

You’re already somebody new.

 

Photographs of A Beautiful Day in June

Scott Thomas - Dunmore, PA

 

His photographs celebrated the solace

He found in nature--

A bush drowsy with multi-flora roses,

Bunchberry blossom moonlike

On a dark forest floor,

And the spotted fawn sunning herself.

He will never post this last one.

Even in the photo taken in haste,

You can discern

The flapping tongue and bulging eyes,

But only when he got closer

And saw the wound

Did he regret the shutter’s wink.

“Sunning” now seemed a cruel word.

He made a drinking bowl

Out of a sandwich bag

And emptied his canteen.

With stealth, he plopped

The bag of water

At the nose of the fawn.

She stood unsteadily,

Ran a few yards,

Tumbled into a ditch,

And uttered a tired bleat.

Then all was quiet.

Look at the photos.

It was a beautiful day in June.

 

A Collection of Text Messages

Scott Thomas - Dunmore, PA

 

1.

Path is covered in dew.

Crickets get quiet when I get near.

I’ll keep walking.

More crickets up ahead.

Cascading hush.

Hush.

2.

Dragonflies around your head?

Wear dark glasses.

Repels them.

LOL

3.

The healing garden is on grease hill.

Gerry the electrician calls it that.

Grew up near here.

Used to slay ride.

Privet blooms.

Bee changed pitch when it flew past like a siren.

You know doppler shifted.

4.

At the cemetery dump.

Plastic trays and dead annuals.

Would u like a wooden angel?

5.

Don’t worry.

Look down.

I’ll catch u.

No one will know.

6.

Heading home.

Heard thunder.

 

That Sentimental Style

E. V. Wyler - Fair Lawn, NJ

 

If our high hopes

and a rainbow’s slopes

collide,

wide scopes of kaleidoscopes

raining

bold, forgotten designs

upon old, cotton twines

we’re staining

still bind the gentle mind,

after all this while, to

tie-dye’s sentimental style.

 

An ANGEL’S TEARS

David A. Forrester - Canal Fulton, Ohio

 

I found a photo of my father

Standing next to his car

He was already younger than me

And in his face

Sorrow filled my heart with love

As I peered at the photograph

It seemed a tear ran down the picture

I very lightly touched the image of my father

There was no tear

 

But then I could see my father

Looking at a picture of his father

Standing next to a fishing boat

His father was already younger than his

And sorrow filled his heart with love

As I watched my father

He gently touched the picture he held

And the vision changed

 

I could see my son

Looking at a picture of me

Standing next to a motorcycle

I was already younger than him

And sorrow filled his heart with love

As I watched him peer at the photo

I could just make out the image

Of an angel looking over his shoulder

And a tear fell from the angel’s eye

Thanksgiving at Grandma's

Allison Waskow - Canton, Ma.

 

Going to Grandma’s house

Is the best felling ever,

Especially on Thanksgiving.

Everybody is coming together

Playing games, making food, and

Telling stories.

 

My favorite part is playing tennis,

Always with my cousins and grandpa.

The sun is shining,

Not too hot, but not too cold either

But just right.

 

When it’s time to leave from the park, we talk.

We talk about Grandma’s apple pie,

We talk about my aunts potatoes.

We talk about turkey, and

We talk about homemade ice cream.

There was a lot on our plate.

 

If you listened to us, you could tell

We were ready to eat.

So as we walked through the door

We smelled those delicious smells of Thanksgiving.

It smelled better than bacon in the morning,

Even better than the smell of flowers given by a friend.

 

Then as all twenty of us took our seat

We prayed,

We loved, and

We thanked God for all we had.

This was Thanksgiving at Grandma’s house.

COOKIE-CUTTER DAGOS

Anthony Cristina - Richmond Hill, ON, Canada

 

 lie with me forever   Rest your life on mine    Align our limbs to cast in sand      The desert’s silent for my ashes I don’t call it peace     but compromise      fighting ancient seas and picturesque     we’re beyond     People passing over and under      never bother us   Chain-link floors, neon paint, foreplay pointed to the sun    Colonies form our histories           dangling from a cigarette     When you speak I don’t understand    so I watch our life      on mute     Holding hands at Coney Island, Trapani, and home        wearing too many faces, I take my dance with you                 Others say you’re mute               I wanted to know your voice

Priorities

Candy Schock - Overland Park, KS

 

Score tied

bottom of the ninth

two out

man on third.

 

Dust blows

pitcher launches the ball.

 

Bleacher wives

lean forward

knuckles whiten

lips tighten

eyes brighten.

 

Crack of bat, then…

 

Squeak of baby carriage wheels

Coos of infant

Heads turn

Attention drawn

Memories smile

 

Who won the game?

 

Wildflowers

Becky Sutherland -

 

the grass was still wet underneath us
as we laid down on the ground
by the playground of the school
where he grew up but i did not.
and the sky looked threatening
as he said to me,
“we’re not supposed to be here.
if anyone sees, they can call the cops.
so if you hear sirens, run.”
but i didn’t care what happened.
i just wanted to be near him.
we curled our hands together
and lied to each other.
i told him i loved him
and he said the same
and as the wind whipped
and the rain started to pour
i just wanted to curl up in his arms
and have him explain the world to me.
that’s all it was:
he was always so much smarter than me,
and he thought he could keep me safe
if he just held on tighter and talked softer.

the greatest thing

Becky Sutherland -

 

 

posted on craiglist
timestamp 10:43 pm est:
“looking for a travelling partner,
must be willing to take risks.
pack your bags.”

they met up at the airport.
a bright smile and
brighter neon green suitcase.
he said to her,
“that’s the greatest thing i’ve ever seen.”

they toasted paris
from a french hotel balcony,
the pedestrians below like ants.
he said to her,
“that’s the greatest thing i’ve ever seen.”

they stood under a blazing sky
and he fell trap to that old cliché:
her eyes on the sunset, his on her.
he said to her,
“this is the greatest thing i’ve ever seen.”

posted on craigslist
timestamp 2:39 am est:
“looking for a travelling partner,
last one didn’t work out.
please limit baggage.”

 

Lord

Walter William Safar – Sherman, Tx

 

When angels,

Like timeless travelers of all heavenly paths

March down Your roads,

Have them let me call you by Your name,

So my voice, too, shall echo down Your roads;

Where the human tear reverberates;

Where man walks with bandaged eyes;

Where the wind carries away the screams;

The prayer of giants and paupers

Can be heard.

I know, Lord!

You will come

As a savior,

Not a conqueror.

When death puts on its attire,

Many shall call your name,

Silence will float around people

Like a humble servant,

And many a soul will fly into heaven

To melt into one heavenly soul,

Like new life;

You, who can hear all human prayers;

You, who are entering human souls,

As if they were the most sacred of cathedrals;

You, who are hovering among people for millenniums,

Like wind,

Like pollen,

Like a poem.