They Don’t Know I’m Listening

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
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 tie, something she did
before I’d go to the office, armed
with a thermos and brown paper bag.

- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jumping for Joy

| Filed under

Contributor: Kris Johnson

- -
I am trusting and believing in the light, jumping for joy

Come so unexpectedly through clouds, through wind

(and will it come through life again?) shines on me

And everyone. I am told
like with a period on the end. Who will believe it?

The wind shows itself, reminds me of me--

My shifting to let the sky shine

While the wind plays.

Playing when young, jumping, finding self while

(dancing a jig) the ropes curl around our play, our feet

Touching air, while skipping on earth. And sometimes

Laughter, singing, chanting and love of moving,

While air around us plays. Breath of Joy

And sometimes sun around us

We stop and go, all fun as we
Switch places. Our breath with song and eyes sparkling, knowing ground.

Joy, life, and light will continue coming all again.

- - -
At age 64 I am rediscovering my love of writing and poetry.


| Filed under

Contributor: Gale Acuff

- -
Miss Hooker crosses her legs up high and
locks her right foot behind her left ankle.
She's my Sunday School teacher and I love her
and want to marry her but I don't know
why. And we'll have children but I don't know
how. I just have a feeling, or a hint.
She's too old for me, nearly thirty, and
I'm 9. By the time I'm 30 she'll be
--don't tell me, I'm good at arithmetic
--51. That's pretty darned old, too old
to have babies, I think, wherever they
come from. I think it's against the law. But

in the Bible who's that old lady who
thinks she's too old but has one anyway?
It's hard to pay attention in class, what
with Miss Hooker's red hair and blue eyes. It's
real red hair, too, not out of a bottle,
I can tell, and besides, Father said so
at supper last night. Miss Hooker's dresses
are a little short, Mother says. Father
smiles but doesn't say anything. How short
is a little short, I ask. Eat your peas,
she says. I wonder if her hair is real.
Father says, It's real, alright--I know real
red hair when I see it. He looks at me
and winks. I wink back. Mother doesn't see.
It's our secret. I wish I knew them all

but I guess I'm too young. I can marry
Miss Hooker when I'm 18. That's the law,
I think. That's nine years from now. Nine years is
the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost times
3. That's a lucky number unless you
go to Hell and I sure as Heaven don't
want to and I don't know all the rules yet.
Miss Hooker will be 39--still old
but not 51 and good for babies
but just barely. Where do babies come from,
I ask Mother, during dessert. Peach pie.
She drops her fork. Father tries not to laugh.
Another smile, but into his plate, and
no wink this time. But he says, Yes, Honey
--where do babies come from? We'd like to know.
Mother's face turns the red of Miss Hooker's
hair, or almost. The hospital, she says.
Eat your pie. I want ice cream, too, I say.
Yes, Father says. We want ice cream. Ice cream.
Mother says, You know where the icebox is.

Tomorrow's Sunday so it's back to church,
then Sunday School, for more Miss Hooker.
I tried it myself--crossing my legs and
hooking my foot behind my ankle. Ouch.
I'm almost finished with dessert when I
ask Mother if she can do it, too. Oh,
Father says--I'll bet you can't. He's smiling
right at her this time. She's smiling back. Who
do you think taught her, she says. And shows us.
I wish that I had married her myself.

- - -
I've had poems published in many journals and have authored three books of poetry. I've taught university English in the US, China, and Palestine.
--(Mr.) Gale Acuff


| Filed under

Contributor: Stacy J Maddox

- -
I hear the words of lovers
Whispered upon your lips
Your soft voice is music
That floats all around us

Reaching out with longing
I feel your desire
Quickening my every breath
In an elated bliss

Caresses from your fingertips
Search deep into my soul
Awakening this lonely being
From its longest sleep

Your kisses linger and probe
Tantalizing my bare skin
Passion burns like a flame
Spilling over our aching bodies

Your heart beats the rhythm
In time with mine
When you lay beside me
And we become as one

A thousand times I have dreamed
Of this dance with you
Waited an eternity it seems
For this moment of rapture...

- - -
Stacy Maddox lives, dreams, tends her gardens and writes in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS, USA. Indulging her time in the outdoors, connecting with nature, walking the Kansas River trails and discovering new photo opportunities, is one of her greatest pleasures in life. Stacy is honored to have been published in over 40 books, print and online magazines and websites.

Sometimes I Hate Sad Songs

| Filed under

Contributor: Jun Lit

- -
Sometimes I hate sad songs.
They make me feel the nights are colder
when you’re away –
in fields of endless greens
or islands of pollen-laden winds
smelling sweet nectary yellows
as you chase mimics of monarchs
regal in their black-lined orange capes.
Those dainty fairies never visit me here.
These sheets aren’t warm enough
to keep them flying
to sprinkle dusts for dream-weaving
into these greying strands thinning
on this stubborn head tirelessly waiting.

As Bruno hits the consummated notes,
I reach the empty pages of a companion book of quotes
but nobody close enough to hear soft murmurs
like one Adele begging for love
in one last night together in some distant abode.
The youthful pitch leaves me envious
and squeezes a pinch as my heart argues
for those wasted chances of holding those hands
or missed opportunities of touching your hair
as I pass the now cobweb-covered chair.
The red velvet cover’s long gone and bald
but the hint of Victoria’s still there

The Old Band wails of our yesterday
when our woes were simpler and far away
as adventures in the jungles of our life of awe
become frames in a passing slide show
of demented mementoes – an array
- this bed is the only place to hide away
and the linens cover reverberating questions
of unceasing why’s and what if’s of illusions
but the care-giving pillows have only mute answers.
For all things and persons come, warm wine and verse,
then most will go frozen into long winters
and only a loving heart remembers
and hums the last sweet song of dying embers,
caring not for the ghosts of lyrics that each beat enters
into that long list of departed love letters
now entombed in graveyards of their volcanic cinders.

Fantasies bloomed
as countless Blue Moons guided
the ylang-ylang scented paths
Tales of you, the Beauty inside,
and I, one Beast on the outside,
The rich pink petals have now dropped
But the fruits are golden
and the sprouting of seeds
have never stopped.

Tomorrows may come –
near where Yellow Brick Roads
lead to dead Ends of missed Rainbows,
no pots of gold to find or mend
Yet as a distant Old Harmonica – a rusting friend
I am – blows and gasps struggling for asthmatic tunes,
those still familiar lines – mine’s not a Wooden Heart –
when the now creaking knees had once danced
cha-chas, boogies, swings
but promised the Last Waltz with you, tarried
but not tired. The acid-washed jeans are now faded,
but the double-stitched Love we have
And again
I am Always – Right Here Waiting . . .
For You.

- - -
Jun Lit (or Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.) teaches biology in the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He also writes poems about nature, people and society.

Prometheus Should Have Doubled down for More

| Filed under

Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
Sitting here
where the sky falls,
where the rain pours,
where the gods weep,
where the season shifts,
where the air growls,
where electric wonder
becomes second nature,
I can only smile
as my spine shivers
from a kundalini force
that packs a punch.

Breathe into me
with your sacred whisper
as my bones shake,
as my flesh sighs,
as my blood churns,
as my hope soars,
as my dreams scream,
as my heart opens
to the sound of your voice,
and I will promise
eternity and more
even if I must steal time
straight from the source.

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and books can be found.

our satellite

| Filed under

Contributor: Karly Westfall

- -
a stranger in night
illuminated, still far,
true contradiction.

captivating goddess,
more brilliant in darkness,
ruler of the tides.

an intimate bond,
once. she converted each day,
a stranger yet again.

once exposed, now hidden.
classified with multiple
versions of herself.

each her, still golden
rarely touched, but defiled
by each foreigner.

she forgives and watches
her offenders from afar.
they remain praised.

foolish, we worship
violators; named heroes,
corrupt travelers.

yet they continue,
venturing new ways to touch
her, with tools and body.

still unaware these
journeys not for harm, our only
concrete holiness.

- - -

Pretty Baby and the Poem

| Filed under

Contributor: Michael Kagan

- -
Don't worry pretty baby
Poems will take us to heaven
The poem and I formed a friendship
When a mystery led me to his lair
He's taken me under his wing
Pointing out impending collisions
And arguable fantasies
That refuse to listen
The poem's more relative
Than a brother
When you stop and think
Just how much he knows
Reading me deep inside
I feel anxious
When a poem mouths off
Explaining how you cut to the chase
Hard lessons make you listen
The poem knows
If not for him reminding magic
Between the pages
At the heart of things
Human beings
Would walk round and round
back and forth
Until youth shriveled
And their feet fell off
Don't worry pretty baby
I believe
The dream in a poem
Will take us to heaven

- - -
Michael Kagan is a jazz musician residing in Canada. Published on

Wind Storm

| Filed under

Contributor: Susie Sweetland Garay

- -
The wind raged outside
when we woke up
this morning

but it did not
feel angry,

perhaps instead
she was showing us
her power

through her lament
for the broken ground around us
and all of our children who did not go to sleep safe and warm.

The wind blows hard
and I watch the petals fall
from our magnificent magnolia

and I feel somehow cleaner
than I did before.

- - -
Born and raised in Portland Oregon, Susan Sweetland Garay currently lives in the Willamette Valley with her husband and daughter where she works in the vineyard industry. Her first full length poetry collection, Approximate Tuesday, was published in 2013 and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014. Her second collection, Strange Beauty from Aldrich Press, was published in 2015.


| Filed under

Contributor: Sara Abend-Sims

I’m back
here, mourning
the ground’s far below

I look through the curtain
to where you net-in the fish
fearless, silver sheen

I reach to where you screened off
my ghost state of inwardness
with milky breath of death

Where your vapor-veil
of opalescence is damming
our floods - condemning

Back here
I'm drifting in hung waters
suspended in blurred air

Smudged invisible drowning

- - -
Sara Abend-Sims started as a visual artist and is now weaving images into words.
Her poems, short stories and Haibuns are published online, in anthologies and in hard copy mags.
She is the recipient of two first award prizes (Community Literary competitions – 2009; 2015).


Powered by Blogger.