Coffee Stains

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Contributor: J.K. Durick

- -
A river of coffee flows through my life
Strong, dark, sweet, warm at first, but
Cooling after all this time; it flows, pours,
Cascades, leaves its mark on the things
I do, have done, it marks out who I am,
Have been, part of the ritual of being
Who I am, domestic magic and science
Coming together, beginning the day,
Punctuating morning and afternoon;
The cups, a sequence to measure time,
Propel me forward, mark my place,
Keep me going, become a distraction,
An excuse, a polite enough invitation,
Another addiction I carefully attend to.
Coffee has colored my life, left marks
All around me, pale circles everywhere,
Dots, spots on my clothes, the carpets,
Odd places in the car, like evidence,
Proof that I was here, passed this way
A cup of coffee in my shaky right hand,
Slopping, gesturing, making some point,
Letting the coffee do most of the talking,
Leaving a mark on my small world.

- - -
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Black Mirror, Third Wednesday, Thrush Poetry Journal, and Rainbow Journal.


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Contributor: Juan J. Gutiérrez

- -
Feathers, gold, fall evermore from silent sky, forlorn
Tint of fire, immortal blaze, touched and it is ashen cold
In repose upon the ground, flick and flutter, summer born
Sundered gloom beneath its fell, spirits from the years of old
Bloodlines lived in winged' words, but from the lips are torn:
"Under the Sun's eye, painted in the sky
He is born of the air, the Summerbird,"
Bloodlines lived in winged' words, but from the lips are torn

- - -
Juan J. Gutiérrez was raised in Sunland Park, New Mexico and now lives in Desert Hot Springs, California with his wife and daughters.

The Miserable Physicist II

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Contributor: Teddy Kimathi

- -
He finds nothing new to be excited about; a bottle of whisky, dark humor,
and a packet of cigarettes are his companion.
“All the breakthroughs and works that I have done will end in a flash,
when another Big Bang occurs”, he mourns deep inside his soul,
as his wife and children play in the summer sun.

- - -
Teddy Kimathi has poems published in Leaves of Ink, Shot Glass Journal, Three Line Poetry, Every Day Poets, & a fiction work in Every Day Fiction.

Night Lit Bright Their Signal

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Formerly, one knew on sight the ones
who walked with economic purpose.
One had criteria: the color
of their robes, the meter
of their stroll, the semaphore of their
cosmetic blare.
One knew that night for them was dawn,
that night lit bright their signal.
Today, my pastor claims,
one must inquire of them all.

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

Bones & Such---

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Contributor: jacob erin-cilberto

- -
you held my melting heart
in your dry, brittle hands
the bony curves of your love
a skeleton of what it once was
i felt the dust absorbed by my skin

welcomed the grave
so we could sepulcher together
enjoy infinite feasts of worms
and wine
dine in utter naivety
realize what we had been
really would decompose

when our rose colored glasses
we would be wrapped within each other

- - -
jacob erin-cilberto, originally from Bronx, NY, lives in Southern Illinois and teaches at two community colleges. He has been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. erin-cilberto's 13th book of poetry Intersection Blues is available from Water Forest Press, Stormville, NY.

NYC Subway

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Contributor: DS Peters

- -
Bells ring twice and doors whi-hi-hiiiine open,
“Stand clear of the closing doors.” Zip shut.
“This station is 42nd St., Bryant Park,
the next station is 34th St.”
Wait… wait… wait… go!
Here? No. This isn’t it.
I missed it. I’ll walk from here.
Watch out! Calm down! Move.
Stay to the right. Your other right.
I’m lost. I’m not. Look at the map.
Look at the size of that rat!
Can you help me? Goddamn tourists!
Oy mamacita! Pretty girl! You bitch!
Moving closer, closer, more people more
more more, gum-chewing, gum-snapping,
open-mouth gum-slobbering,
beer drinking, pasta eating…
In this filth? Cigarette butts, spit, bottles,
plastic bags, dirt, and human dust…
Waiting, waiting,
lean towards the tracks, peer down the tunnel.
Do I see a light? Do I feel the stale breeze?
Is that a rumble? Is that it?
No, it’s not the B, another goddamn D,
why does this always happen to me?!
Goddamn train. Goddamn transit system.
Goddamn union. Goddamn New York.
Here it comes… where will the door be?
Get away from me! What the hell?!
Stop pushing! Is there a seat?
“Let them off first!” A seat!
I have a seat for the ride home, yes!
Breathe, smile smugly, relax…
Stop moving over, stop falling asleep,
get your head off me, get your purse off me.
Don’t step on my foot,
you’re standing too close,
your breath stinks. Is this my stop?
Is this it? Is this it?
Where are we?

- - -
DS Peters is a writer, a traveler, and a plotter.


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Contributor: Craig Kurtz

- -
We were right decorous,
unassuming and punctilious;
we observed all forms
and were proper to the core;
chivalry and probity
were our creeds and covenants;
little did we know
. . . we’re really carnivores.

We were conscientious,
distingué, and quite courteous;
we observed deportment
and acknowledged abstinence;
gallantries and beneficence
were our code and catechism;
but in the end
. . . we’re only savages.

What do the neighbors think?
We’re civil and so circumspect;
we polish our façade
with good taste and comity;
demotic weal obliges us
to uphold pudeur and devoir;
but underneath our frocks and cloaks
. . . there’s naked skin that’s ravenous.

We were scrupulous,
above reproach and virtuous;
we concurred the norms
of rectitude and politesse;
gentility and etiquette
informed our moral consuetude;
but late at night, in the dark
. . . we’re uncontrite cannibals.

- - -
Craig Kurtz lives at Twin Oaks Intentional Community where he writes poetry while simultaneously handcrafting hammocks. Recent work has appeared in The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Blotterature, Reckless Writing and The Tower Journal.


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Contributor: J.K. Durick

- -
Like the face of a friend, his head finally
Going under a wave, drowning, the sun
Goes down, sets in a flood of mountain,
Of Cloud, of night, goes down, beyond
Our reach, no lifeguard in time, no boat,
Hope dims; like survivors we gather on
The beach of the day, helplessly there
To watch as time rehearses the end we
All know is coming with the waves of
Time, and we stand helplessly back and
Watch the sun setting,; the promise of
Morning, the continuous afternoon, now
Wear down to this, and we watch as
The face of our friend, his whole head
Goes under the ominous wave of night,
The darkness we all know is waiting.

- - -
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Black Mirror, Third Wednesday, Thrush Poetry Journal, and Rainbow Journal.

What the Salt Shaker Said to the Pepper Shaker

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Contributor: Jolie McCarty

- -
We spend every meal together, but we rarely seem to speak -
you’re always heading the opposite direction:
in the space of one table, you wouldn’t think it possible
to stay so far apart.
In older, well-mannered days, we’d travel
but instead I must watch as you are passed carelessly
from hand to hand,
endlessly smudged by the parade of
grimy fingers that hold you.
I must stay forever jealous that I will never
be allowed anything more than a
casual brush,
and perhaps, on rare fine days,
the privilege of standing close to you.
Every once in a while,
we clank together -
you stare reproachfully at me as you
pass onward to another man, woman, being;
all I can do is hope you can read the apology
in every trickling grain of me.
You and I are complementary vessels,
seasoned and spiced with age.
Dust of my dust,
I hope we linger together
in another life.

- - -
I am a student at St. Olaf College, working towards discovering what kind of voice I have.

a Bird's Bones Reflected in a Cat's Eye

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Contributor: jacob erin-cilberto

- -
fickle, flaky feline
with your nine-lives
an agenda for each
the further we go
the stealthier you move
emotions perfectly protected
while mine become a cat's treat
you gobble up my heart
with one swallow
and spit me out like a hairball

while my one life
drains into the sandy litter
of what and whom you dispose
you just lick your superficial wounds

while i become a defeathered bird
flying sidewise on my broken wing
into a tailspin
falling from the gravitational pull
of your whirlpool witted
cunningly coercive
treacherous tenders.

- - -
jacob erin-cilberto, originally from Bronx, NY, lives in Southern Illinois and teaches at two community colleges. He has been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. erin-cilberto's 13th book of poetry Intersection Blues is available from Water Forest Press, Stormville, NY.

As Thick As Thieves

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
As thick as thieves
We all sat around.
As thick as thieves
We needed £90.
When it was decided
I got out the gear.
We snorted a line
Finished up our beer.
We put on our coats
Slid out of the door.
The cravings as fuel
We needed some more.
As thick as thieves
We threw the stones.
As thick as thieves
Breaking many bones.

- - -
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poetry published in many publications around the world.

January 2006

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Contributor: DS Peters

- -
Ads for Saturn cars hang
from the roof, four huge
banners, four-times the size
of the American flag hanging like
a leftover decoration from a forgotten
party, 20 feet away

Drafts near the rafters can not
move the banners, they hang ponderous
and speak in large print
that all observe

but the flag moves, perhaps not
with the breeze, perhaps
it weaves to a different wind, a wind
I can not feel but should know
is there, twirling the rafters
and causing the flag’s east corner
to raise and lower gently
like a hand waving or
feebly calling for help

- - -
DS Peters is a writer, a traveler, and a plotter.

New Life Begins

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
white hips a soft fist
for the wrist of your waist
black hair in a spill

on your shoulders
small whirlpools
your ankles

green streams ride
your calves
blue rivers your thighs

I finger the flute
on the back of your neck
rise and slip in

at that moment dawn
and new
life begins

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

Displaced Affections

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Contributor: Jennifer A. Hudson

- -
For J.B.

A jet cuts the sky in half and my thoughts travel back to the 18 hours that carried me across the Pacific to Melbourne,

how my stomach tumbled as I exited the jet bridge after landing

how my eyes teared at the sight of you seated on one of the benches near the arrival gate

how your graceful neck elongated and made a slow twist in my direction

I remember our combined exclamation chorus, the shrill octave of shared breathlessness,

how in perfect synchronicity our arms became robes that fit snug around each other

how your boyfriend exclaimed “You’d think something bad happened!” as our bodies swayed to the rhythms of our sobs

how your kaleidoscope eyes searched within my clear ones for some kind of illumination I was unwilling to offer.

I remember turning my focus to the luggage that twirled on the carousel, though my bags had already arrived,

how I couldn’t think of what to say from the back seat of your hatchback and stared at the drooping crescents of eucalyptus leaves

how you walked in on me changing my clothes and I hid myself from your view

how I watched your hand draw a blade through lush kiwis and crisp fuji apples,
and I nearly dropped the bowl you offered me.

I remember the freezing nights when my warm-wept tears chilled on my cheek, while he kept you warm in your room across the hall,

how you sat on one end of the couch painting while I sat on the other reading, neither of us uttering a word

how you looked like you didn’t know what to say, except for whispering “Bite me!” when I offered to buy your lunch

how, while you huddled over the toilet vomiting vodka and VB, I stifled sobs in between the unsatisfying drags of my Marlboro.

- - -
Writer. Poet. Essayist. Madwoman.

Serenata Crepusculo

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Contributor: Juan J. Gutiérrez

- -
Regal idiosyncrasies,
As you walk round a nimbus cloud,
You are draped with a cosmic cloak,
Of virgin black and spattered stars.

Moonfire, burning bright, rends
Your silhouette of silken flesh, ashen cold.
For your beauty is beheld by nocturnal light.

A raven wreath lays on your brow
Making more evident your ivory skin,

So perfect is the daedal carving of your face;
Your ebon lips wisped by the fingers of night.
Seductive guile rests in your eyes,
Sublimely wicked with sidereal blaze.

Your poignant grace in arcane arabesque
Fulfills a perpetual lust.
Your scarlet whispers of enticement and carnality
Send me to the path of nostalgia.

Remembering and frolicking
In the time when you were once mine:
Being held in your loving embrace
My head on your shoulders
Wishing, hoping
We would lie in this rapture for all eternity.

Your religious stigma infecting me to this very day
Please remedy the sorrow and disease ...
My twilight queen

- - -
Juan J. Gutiérrez was raised in Sunland Park, New Mexico and now lives in Desert Hot Springs, California with his wife and daughters.

to adverb or not to adverb, that is the question

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Contributor: jacob erin-cilberto

- -
i smilingly reviewed my poem
seemingly intrigued that it profusely used adverbs
of the vociferous kind

as i began to revise extensively
with some extremely strong resistance
from my sharply dissenting heart

i commenced quickly
to start cutting violently
and then to my utter surprise

i reread my no longer long poem
and saw clearly
i had cut it to exceedingly bleeding ribbons

and was totally left
with only an eerily mere skeleton
of my unhappily banished idea.

- - -
jacob erin-cilberto, originally from Bronx, NY, lives in Southern Illinois and teaches at two community colleges. He has been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. erin-cilberto's 13th book of poetry Intersection Blues is available from Water Forest Press, Stormville, NY.

Swan Feather

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Contributor: Marie Kilroy

- -
This foggy Tuesday morning,
I dawdled around the room,
dissatisfied and grumpy,
for no particular reason,
other than it was a Tuesday,
and there was much work to do.

I lingered by the window,
with my tea,
and actively avoided,
getting dressed and going out into the world.

I rolled the marbles of discontent,
back and forth,
in my mind.

Staring at the leafy, motionless trees below,
I felt my heart surge
as I saw a white swan feather,
fat and fluffy,
a bit of down,
floating down,
just for me,
past my white window frame.

Maybe I wanted to see a sign.
Or maybe the sign wanted to see me.

Either way, I don’t know why
some Central Park swan
swung southward
and over my brownstone

But I felt some magic
and considered a change of mood.

So I came down from the sky
and glided through the street,
a concrete lake,
mine to explore.

- - -
Marie Kilroy has been published in publications like The Driftwood Review and Lines + Stars. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in English. She lives in New York City.

My Therapist’s a Lady

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
It’s all so simple now,
yet it took 30 years
to begin to understand.
It’s as though someone
stole the primer I had
and gave me another
in my own language.
It’s because you are
who you are
that I’ve begun
to become who I am.
That sounds too dramatic.
All you did, really, was scream
when you opened the bathroom door,
saw me wrapped in a towel,
standing at attention on a mat,
waiting in my thirtieth year
for the steam to clear
from the cabinet mirror,
waiting for someone
to shout, “At ease.”

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

The Meadow

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Contributor: Rachael Welch

- -
I am a meadowlark,
Wandering through the thick oak forest
Longing for clearings in the dense brush, so I can
Embrace the miniature grasses again.
“Tickle my naked feet and shock me sideways!” I exclaim.
One leap,
I am immersed in an infinite field of creamy sagebrush,
Flicking away the crickets and praying bugs from my kneecaps.
I surrender to the ground,
And let my back ease itself into the dampness of dew.
The stars are bright and ominous,
Speaking of worlds far away and places unseen.
I listen,
I hear,
I feel,
It all.

- - -
I'm a weirdo going to school in Seattle. I like observing people.

a Courting Order

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Contributor: jacob erin-cilberto

- -
my heart is filing a lawsuit
against yours for harassment

i had
no resistance
to your insistence
lost composure
from your exposure
you incriminated yourself
in decrees of degrees
of sudden coldness
as you abbreviated your stances
towards my advances

now my damaged emotion
is filing the motion

to restrain your love
at least a heart's length
away from mine.

- - -
jacob erin-cilberto, originally from Bronx, NY, lives in Southern Illinois and teaches at two community colleges. He has been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. erin-cilberto's 13th book of poetry Intersection Blues is available from Water Forest Press, Stormville, NY.


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Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
I watch an old man
Trudging past from the liquor store
Who becomes a bent tree
With amputated limbs

And a young mother struggling
To soothe her crying child
Who becomes a bird building
A nest in a wild storm

And a boy with a guitar
Its case filled with pennies
Who becomes a stray dog
Abandoned by his master

And a sad-eyed girl
Pulling petals off a flower
Who becomes a bright star
Burdened with a world of wishes

- - -
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.

Seven Haikus by Cody Stetzel

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Contributor: Cody Stetzel

- -


A child walks down
Streets paved by stone with hand held;
the pigeon flies off.


Clouded day turns bright,
peon clouds part for monarch,
or eyes shift to you.


Ceramic empty
plates reach, stir the pots again;
Distended stomach.

First Love

An empty meadow
the lark sings toward its mate;
no call is returned.


Tiger pounces out
from brush to land in water;
darkness cloaks lanterns.


When is dinner time?
It depends on what you are
eating: words or meat?


One fruit is bitten--
juice drips down his curving chin.
Demand another.

- - -
Cody is a senior college student majoring in English and Professional Writing. He has been published before in Neovox and the Cortland Writer. He aspires to impact the writing community in a positive fashion.

Domestic Dispute

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Contributor: John Roth

- -
A girl shouts
from the front porch.

Her hair, caught on a rusty swing hook,

snaps like braided fishing line
as she works it loose.

What he plants in her scalp

are bent bobby pins and bruises
in the shape of a question mark.

How long will it take to remember
something she can never forget?

Later, she looks in her bedroom mirror,

dabs at her face with cover-up,
runs a scented Speed stick

under her armpits.

Still, the sweat comes out
all the same.

- - -
John Roth is very secretive about his writing. His poems have appeared in The Orange Room Review, The Eunoia Review, Toasted Cheese, and Bird's Thumb, among others.

Final Moments on A Confidential Sidewalk

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Contributor: Bob Eager

- -
Side effects are apparent and understood,

Far Out removed from

Specific purpose and intent- protection

Partial notification is warranted,

Thief of Identity loss of complete dignity.

Ironic situation to finally end up in,

Consequences are left After Earth.

Ramifications of Secrecy,

Increasingly clear the only solution

As a result of your

Final Moments on a Confidential sidewalk.

- - -
Bob Eager would like to point out a unique circumstance. Imagine if nobody could tell your family what happened to you. Yeesh, Unlucky you. Bob has appeared in Inwood Indiana, Rusty Truck, Chronogram, Vision With Voices and The Glass Coin.

Mastered Thesis

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Contributor: Joseph Robert

- -
Socrates hinted that the best answer was a better question
So Xenophon led a rich, full life and got stuff done
Plato meanwhile believed in fairies which he called forms
But what he really wanted were the answers to come,
So he found art dangerous and poets beyond conscious pale,
For, as he said, whispers from beyond moved their styluses so,
And he was right, that fairy at least is real,
Then Aristotle screwed the pooch insisting that
Schematics were the true, valued things,
Not fairies, not deeds, not questions, but schemes:

“It’s all laid out here, nice and clear, you idiots!
Learn it by rote; pay me, debate within my lines,
and you’ll be better, more efficient little Titans
Oh, and read my Poetics, too, all of note is there.”
Now, Aristotle was a genius, there is denying that, but
At this point it would be merely academic, for he won the bid,
To structure how a lot of us think about thinking
And by extension, blah-dee-blah-dee-da-a-rum-pum-pum-blah.
. . . anyways, it remains that the schematic epistemology
Of Aristotle’s extroverted, intellectually authoritarian style
Is, for good or ill, one hell of a powerful tool, and thus
Two ancient Athenian heroes had their heritage
Usurped by scholars, and there were academies and lyceums too,
But that wasn’t centralized enough for the myopic minded,
And thus was born University!

[Pause for applause]

“Sour grapes?” you ask. Sure, fermented that’s wine,
And isn’t drinking what an undergraduate’s made for?
But, you’re messing with me, getting me right off my track,
Piss off with your intrusive rhetorical chops,
I especially don’t care, where you learned them,
Cos this is MY show!
Now, quiet down class, and let me talk at you some more. . .


Right, now, there is beauty and pleasurable technique in these
Analytical pirouettes of the tongue, Literary Criticism?
Yes please! I’ll get me some, even Aristotle’s old trope
Has some hope of exciting my interest, HOWEVER, (the tone of
Voice used here makes it clear that THIS will be the crux
Of the make or break exam) when an extroverted answerer
Dresses in the drag of The Introverted Questioner and tells
You they can teach quality and not merely craft, they, sirs
And madams, are right proper douche bags.
For there’s only one way to talk to your own fairy of art,
or Muse, if they will you to jot that down and allow it,
and that’s to shuttup your mouth, plug up your ears,
and figure it out your own damn self.


Thank you and goodnight!
Thanks for supporting live haranguing!
Tips are graciously accepted, but I won’t charge a flat fee.

- - -
A bottleful of wind from Joseph Robert. A votre santé!

That Being Said

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Contributor: Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

- -
When her love became too vast to contain
her heart began to seep past walls
into her lungs and tinged her breath with hope

and a kind of sweetness that almost made her choke.
And when she spoke her words had a trace
of melancholy that could be heard through

a wistful breeze and the silence of bowing trees
that nearly broke from carrying her voice
until it passed overhead and vanished through an opaque sky.

Why she would ask in a litany of prayers on walks
past gardenias as though the wind would answer
and move her in unison with billows of clouds

that began to form shapes of people she once adored,
some of them saintly, like parables in the bible
that came to life when she closed her eyes. Each

more lovely than the next and she began to weep
for the children she never had and her children’s
children and every child yet to be born

When her love became too vast to contain
in one solitary thought, every moment felt swollen
with all possibilities never realized and her body

trembled with lament as if she knew fate
was calling her name and as if she knew nothing
and everything at once, as if she knew she would

never remember a moment like this again.
And she thought about life having just one beginning
and she thought about life having just one end

and she remembered how all shadows disappear
with light and how all darkness is disrupted
with one glimmer of brilliance no matter how small

even the slightest star was a magnificent disruption
and she imagined herself glowing with bits of memories
in a wild array of untamed haloes that exploded within

and without under what might be named a starless
night. And she wept for her parents, and for her parent’s
parents and all the missteps she’d ever made or still to come.

When her love became too vast to contain
in her own being she was thankful for knowing
the kind of love that made her life steady yet breakable

uncertain and sturdy with its breadth of magic
though often paired with a plethora of unbearable pain,
and its indelicate balance of eventual sorrow,

the kind of love that made her gasp, the kind of love
that made her unable to speak, and the kind of love
that made her weep for the knowing and unknowing

of things, and the never-ending glimmer of grace
that brings an untouchable force, an unnamable
beauty beyond her being into the overwhelming

wakefulness that hallowed her with the ongoing
yet all too temporary need for weeping.

- - -
Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a six-time Pushcart nominee and Best of the Net nominee.She is the 2012 winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook Her latest collection of work, The Nightly Suicides, can be found at Kattywompus Press

Hams of August Smother

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
The folks are angry, really.
They can’t explain the diaper,
yet they would explain poor Jack.
It’s a plot, you see, to show
poor Jack’s been had.

Folks can’t see why
no matter what Jack does,
even if he scrubs
in water warm enough
to soften turnips,

sheathes himself
in eaus, colognes,
dons, perhaps, a silk of talc,
folks can’t see why the night
still squats on Jack,

jiggling its hams
of August smother.
Or why the cleric in the courtyard
chants, ”Elements of Jack
will always reek.”

It’s a plot, you see, to show
poor Jack’s been had. That’s why
the folks are angry, really;
they can’t explain the diaper,
yet they would explain poor Jack.

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

Politicians Lie

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Contributor: Gary Thomas Hubbard

- -
Speeches made by fools in tails
Lies by false tongues it never fails
Promises made that will be broken
Deals made before one word is spoken


Selfish deeds by poorly selected thieves
A tapestry that only the sighted blind weaves
Laziness displayed by the sheepish mass
To spot these offenders we need to go back to class


Stealing the future they wasted our past
Take back the control and do it fast
Knowing they care nothing for our child
Spending their future crooked and wild


Replacing them all is our only hope
Limiting the length of their proverbial rope
Replace them again when they get out of line
This country isn't just theirs, it's yours and mine

- - -
Born and raised in Ohio, now living in Florida. Father of two and a PawPaw. Don't get any better then that.


| Filed under

Contributor: Roy Blokker

- -
I know why I’m on this earth,
Put here to scream at you.
But I have been far too polite,
Too shy, too quiet,
Too wrapped up in inoffense
Despite my two strong lungs
And my well camouflaged
Convictions. I sing in silence
The ancient songs handed down
Parent to child, like lessons
Meant for survivorship
And custodial care,
Monuments freshly polished,
Archways scrubbed clean
Of blood, fresh cut flowers
Blooming, and my purpose
No longer hidden in the shadow
Of my mausoleum.

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I was born in Holland in 1950. Now retired, I am concentrating on the art and craft of writing. I am the author of six books, including four volumes of poetry, as well as numerous articles, stories and poems published by magazines as diverse as "Black Heart," "Clever," and "Highlights for Children."

Six Haiku by Jane Blanchard

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Contributor: Jane Blanchard

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out of the office

vacation to use or lose

respite from routine


beware the doldrums

summer autumn winter spring

no wind at low tide


single male grackle

perched on the peak of the roof

boat-tailed weather vane


too late for rescue

search resumes by air and sea

this somber morning


monarch butterflies

flitting through the autumn air

near the King and Prince


answering machine

still taking calls for someone

stuck on island time

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Jane Blanchard divides her time between Augusta and Saint Simon’s Island, Georgia. Her work has recently appeared in Concho River Review, Mezzo Cammin, and Orbis.


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Contributor: John Kropf

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Time won’t come out to play
It won’t bargain
for a return trip
or make an exchange of
…a year, a week, a day
For any reason
No matter how devout

Wrongly condemned prisoners
Released after decades
Must hate time
For not opening up
And giving back
what everyone agrees
should not have been taken

Or a persistent old scientist rediscovering
a long lost critical element
He once encountered as a young lab assistant
The one that could have made all the difference to his life experiment

Killjoy time
Has firm rules against a do-over.
And I suppose it likes having sayings written about itself…
If I knew now what I knew then…
Making up for lost time…

Since time won’t play along
I compensate (in my own case)
Transmitting and receiving
in concentrated but dangerous doses
Pressed into as short a span
As the moments allow.

Take that time.

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I'm 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,


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