Millie (For My Grandmother)

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Contributor: C.V. Ellis

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Life was never
easy for Mildred,
difficult an adjective
of insult.

in conditions
darkly mundane
with a heaping
plate of misery
on the side.

Some would have
slipped into madness

But not her
not Millie

Survived on
a regimen of
Solitaire, puzzles,
Crosswords & Camels.

Possessed a
fragile strength,
endured disease,
perpetual pregnancy,
the burdens of
spousal folly,
payday dollars
poured into a glass.

She triumphed
in a losing cause.

Deserving far better
receiving much less
hers was the stuff of
heroic saga.

Her legacy was love.

She passed
in the night
ravaged by disease,
years of misuse...
silent heartbreak.

I stood in my
dress blues
like a lost child
as her casket
slipped into

by her loss,
sorry for her life,
for myself,
mystified by life's
cruel ironies

Grateful for
her newfound

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Charles loves all things literary. He's a survivor of the machinations of insanity and holds a deep, abiding love for his family. Writing has been his salvation.

Childhood Kisses

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Contributor: John Evans

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Dutch canals and childhood dreams
Windmills that color the sky and touch the clouds –
Or so it seemed.

Icy ponds that hibernate till spring
Where salamanders feed upon leafy greens.

Bavarian woods and snow of tender ground
Where little boys trod without a sound,

And fence-lines filled with blackberry vines
Which muse the hearts of kindred minds.

A bus ride home from days in class
Fills men’s minds with childlike pasts –

As my aging heart breathes this memory’s bliss
I ponder love from a little girl’s kiss…

As a lonely man’s heart has thus revived
Filled now with splendor –

Wisdom’s fruit has come alive!

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Poetry has been my greatest passion for most of my life. I write specifically of a childhood trauma which prompted myself to begin writing. Writing is creating and my way to be close to God.

Remote Control

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Contributor: Richard Schnap

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She watched the morning talk shows
To make sure she knew what to say
When someone asked her what’s new

Then browsed the latest issue
Of a fashion magazine so she’d know
What costume was the season’s disguise

Next she searched the Internet
To learn what trends were dead
And which ones were still alive

Till she finally felt she was safe
From being erased from a realm
Whose number one rule was to fit in

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Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

Star Fire

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Contributor: Jan Aubrey

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He runs bronzed fingers
through my hair
while I sleep.
He holds my delicate face
in his hands and kisses
my lips...
Pausing, he says,
To smell the sweetness
of skin.
He presses his hard body
against mine with a
gentle force and whispers
Wiccan spells that mend
my broken self.
But when I lay like the sea
beneath him,
spread out and split open,
His green eyes turn brown,
Blonde hair melts into black
and it's your face I see.
Because only you
set fire

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Jan Aubrey studied Fine Arts at UW Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has been writing poetry for three years. She presently lives in the inner city of Milwaukee.


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Contributor: John Kropf

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In the morning
even the sun seems lethargic
a runny red yoke, reluctant to rise above the horizon
its tired rays bathe the street in sepia and melancholy
your lush green lawn of May
is now a patchwork of dead spots and desiccated wisps
like the whiskers on an ancient holy man
A scattering of scorched brown leaves
-- the ones that weren’t strong enough to make it until October --
lie in the backyard like a school of beached Starfish
In town, the streets are empty
public places without any public
as if its part of some government experiment
vaporizing all signs of life
except the white noise of the cicadas
or maybe everyone has gone to the beach to swim and sleep
trying to forget the end of summer.

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I'm an attorney and writer living in Arlington, Virginia. I have two books to my name: Unknown Sands: Journeys Around the World's Most Isolated Country, a first hand account of traveling the central Asian country of Turkmenistan and a legal reference book that has nothing to do with poetry. I keep a blog on books and poems on an unscheduled basis,

The Nones

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Contributor: Dominic James

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In winter the tree is a small thing, a pulled root,
with earth kicked off on the heel of the boot
but in the summer, vastly garnered in green,
'I think that I will never see, a poem lovely'
& etc.

it chimes strangely then Yggdrasil, the giant Ash,
tree of life, in the roots of words comes back
a gallows, above the shield shine of Valhalla’s roof
a goat, chomping down its shoots, those compound leaves,
to make strong milk.

The barrow’s tree long signified the rise of man:
flowering in Spring, his generations in the Fall,
un-bound this tree - as the race - grows tall, its branches
reach into the eye’s deep well, blot out the sun,
where birds nest

and Ratatock, a chattering squirrel, runs the trunk
from eagle to worm: most like the rat in the brain
that defeats us all. Three weird sisters tend the great tree.
Witches at the well of fate dredge up white mud to salve
a wilted stalk.

Give me, three girls at a drain, drinking cider,
talking cock.

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Dominic James lives in Hungerford, on the M4 corridor. A new interest in Old English verse is dragging him hollering and whooping back into the Dark Ages. He takes the open mic from Guildford to Covent Garden.

Meditation for Saint Genevieve

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Contributor: Theresa A. Cancro

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Soft drops gather, fall faster,
they flush the conduits where
gargoyles speak in guttural
of knights who strode before
myriad grids of lead pulling
hours of color together.

Once liquid viscous hues,
frozen by heat, now keep
out the sky's gifts
to mortals, plants, any
kin that run, but should
frolic in the proffered puddles.

Cathedral bricks drink in long
douses plying buttress shoulders,
wet knees of dome flex
over relics and wretches
who bring their lives, lost loves,
within dark pillars of stone.

Downpours cannot genuflect,
simply pummel contrite
heads -- veil-covered, hats on-off --
yet see no washing away
of their sins, what never
completely dissolves. Raw thunder

holds the past, is fickle in its release --
they know cool summer rain
remembers all it observes,
clings tight to shouts, strikes,
envy, the seven transgressions,
exploding over and over.

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Theresa A. Cancro (Wilmington, Delaware) writes poetry and fiction. Many of her poems have appeared in print and online publications internationally. She also enjoys music, dance, and gardening, when time permits.


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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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In the waiting room, I squeeze
this old rosary a nun gave me
the day I got back from Iraq.

I was still in a daze on a gurney
and I still had sand in my hair.
Some of it remains, no matter

how many showers I take.
Sand from Iraq lingers, I'm told,
until you go bald, and then

you are able to concentrate
on other things.
What might they be, I wonder.

But today, in this waiting room,
I squeeze the rosary tighter
when I hear, louder than

the gunshots crackling in my dreams,
the real screams of that little boy
right over there, the one who's

rapped his elbow off the radiator.
Lord, listen to him scream!
Each week he comes with his mother

for her follow-up appointment.
He sounds like the jet
that takes me back at night

to that little village in Iraq
where the sand puffs up
in mushroom clouds

above the bullets
as the children scream
in their hovels louder

than that little boy
screaming over there.
Maybe everyone

in this waiting room
listening to him scream
can come with me now

to that village in Iraq.
Sitting here, I know
that boy's pain so well

that in my fist
this rosary no longer
knows my prayers.

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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Where Were You? (9-11)

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Contributor: Brittany Zedalis

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Where were you...
When hearts stopped,
Jaws dropped,
Everybody's movement stopped,
As the buildings fell apart,
So did many hearts,
Dust fell to the earth like snow,
Covering everyone below,
How could anyone have known,
Daddy's not coming home.

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I'm 21 years old, married, and studying at Francis Marion University to be an elementary teacher. I enjoy reading, writing, photography and doing crochet in my spare time.

People Who Live Above Stores

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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It's two in the morning
and people who live above stores
have sprung from their beds
this cold winter night.
They're leaning out of their windows
and bellowing into the street

at the deaf baker who launched the alarm
in the Rogers Park Donut Shoppe.
It's been ringing for hours
and the police haven't come.
Not even the firemen.
The donuts will never get done

and it appears now that
people who live above stores
will remain in a rage
leaning out of their windows
waving cigarettes like strobes
and bellowing the rest of the night.

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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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