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Contributor: Jan Aubrey

- -
To be abandoned by you,
was everything
and nothing:
Those blackened wounds
fading with hours, days,
But especially blue nights,
when your blood mixes
with mine,
forging a beautiful
river of ink:
Those razored breaths
As I dive into an ocean,
A sea of pearls,
stringing together
a fresh,
necklaced being.
Take my hand
and bring me to you,
Because I know
no other way,
than to love you,

- - -
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.

Weekly Washing

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Contributor: Dylan Weir

- -
They told me to pray
for you
one day I’ll learn forgiveness
and we can start
on my knees, my hardwood floor,
our pew
I bite my lips just like I did
with you

- - -
Dylan Weir is a Chicago poet. He works for Young Chicago Authors, was a semifinalist for the 2014 Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award and is currently getting his M.A. in English at DePaul University.

The Drought

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
You drive down
the same country road
every day at dawn

and see through
plumes of dust
this tall thin woman

straight as a scarecrow
in front of a field of corn
holding a hoe like a flag

tugging at a straw hat
and staring at the corn
till she goes in the house

and sits at the table
looks through the window
past ancient curtains

and prays for the deluge
she and Elmer will need
for the slightest harvest

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

Tear Up All Of The Windows

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
Tear up all of the windows
I do not want the outside.
Tear up all of the windows
they spoil the nice inside.
I don’t need to have a view
for my imagination will do.
World, you simply annoy me
I am now finished with you.
I only want peace and quiet
my life it could be sweet.
If I did not have to see
that cold and dirty street.
Leave me with my solitude
yeah, go on and leave me be.
Why do you not understand?
every visitor’s killing me.
Go and tell the neighbours
That I’ll have to complain.
If I ever catch a glimpse
of their nosey faces again.
Tear up all of the windows
go and throw them all away.
For then, at last, just maybe
I’ll have a nice sunny day.

- - -
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.


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Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
He long ago lost the desire
To travel and see the world

So he filled his apartment with things
To deliver him to other lands

The Japanese pachinko game
To transport him to a Tokyo arcade

The statuette of the Eiffel Tower
To take him to a café by the Seine

The black and red Chinese mask
To carry him to a Beijing theatre

The clock whose numbers were dice
To send him to a Vegas club

And even though they were just
Vehicles on which to dream

They helped to keep the color
Of his life from turning grey

- - -
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.

Saint Francis: On the Pacific Ocean

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Contributor: "Weird" Ace Blues

- -
The beating heart of poetry they butchered out
of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years,
an eloi eloi lema sabachthani shout,
Oh God of me! Oh God of me! You man of tears!
Why you forsaken have me, Jazzman Saxophone!
The rhythm of ten thousand in those hearers' ears;
angelic flapping wings above the singing stones.
The speechless, unintelligent that shake with shame:
What is the sin tax and the measure of your bones?
Poor human prose is nothing but a pose, a name,
a rosy-fingered dawn above a raging howl.
How are you? sad? to blame? Are you not glad you came?

- - -
"Weird" Ace Blues is a left over Hip-pie of the Beat generation.


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Contributor: Ben Riddle

- -
tears run down my face,
blazing twin trails to a sad
kind of freedom;

each drop falling away,
leaving everything behind
to pursue dreams of escape.

I wish I could do the same;
to run until I could run no more,
then finally be still.

my eyes linger
on the splashed, shattered
tears, and I know

that one day I will be the same,
but not yet.

- - -
A nineteen year old aspiring poet and athlete from Perth, Western Australia, Ben Riddle studies Political Science and English and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia. You can find more of his work at riddlesocialcommentary.tumblr.com

Missing Sedona

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Contributor: Judith C Evans

- -
Monsoon-soaked fallen leaves
Cling to the window screen and porch floor,
And perfume our last evening in the cabin by the creek.
In a farewell show, blue-gray clouds
Cast magenta shadows over red rock giants,
And lightning bleaches the twilight Arizona sky.

I shove our packed, half-open duffel bags
Against the living room wall, as if to prevent our leaving.
Two hours ago, we ate the remnants of our weekend groceries:
A half-eaten rotisserie chicken, bagged salad greens,
Whole wheat bread and mayo, and complementary herbal tea.

My love sleeps in the next room as I stay by the screen door
And listen to the quickening pace of raindrops on the porch.
A few clicks of my camera shutter preserve the wicker table and chairs,
Where his genuine smile brought tears to my eyes two days ago.

I want to pour the evening into an inkwell
And draw on this muse at will.

The September chill and rushing creek
Have revived us, refugees from the lingering south Texas summer.
We see ourselves anew
And speak vows that soften our hearts and sharpen our sight.

Tomorrow we’ll drive up to Flagstaff,
Where the altitude seizes our breath and slows our steps,
And the San Francisco Peaks take their turn
At courting our imaginations.

- - -
Judith C Evans is a freelance writer, blogger and poet. She received a JD from Vermont Law School in 1992 and has been writing professionally since 2009. Born in New Hampshire, Evans now lives in Idaho with her husband.

The Gift

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Contributor: Jan Aubrey

- -
Even my hair
reaches out to tangle you.
Sweat dripped curls
cling to every pore you possess.
Ends split apart and twist
like a lovers body
in throes.
Strands slink through
quivering fingers
into crevices
of the forbidden.
At times,
I desire only your death.
For my hair to slip around
your neck and strangle
This mad love that
keeps lovers insane,
driving to the edge

- - -
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.

Quick as Piranha

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Tucked in a booth in back,
the last customer of the day
cracks a fortune cookie,

sips Oolong as Mr. Hong
locks up. It’s time for his supper.
Two tall sons bear

from the kitchen dishes
his wife won’t allow
on the menu.

Platters of meat
red, green, brown
huddle and steam

in the middle of the table.
When the Hongs
drop in their seats

chopsticks fly
like beaks. So many bright teeth,
quick as piranha.

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

You Used To Drink

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Contributor: Kevin Richard White

- -
she asks for a drink
and the man says yes.
she wishes there was no ceiling
so she could see the stars
that frame and edge
such a beautiful broken night.

and in this
she asks for
to bring her to a better something
to bring her to a better enough
so she does not have to go to extremes.

she asks the bartender
for some kind of sign.
he says he's only here to serve drinks.
she looks back into herself,
hears the music,
sees the nothing.

(you used to drink with her
and now you no longer do.
you used to watch that sky
and you didn't know why,
you just saw it
as a something.)

she saw it as an anything.
a perfect way to avoid her problems.

she finishes the glass.
it's on the house, the bartender says.
she chuckles.
that's the way my luck goes,
she says,
on such a beautiful broken night.

she gets into her car
looks for the nothinganythingnothing
and winds up
as a drop of paint
on some tell-all
that God is in the midst of finishing.

- - -
Kevin is previously the author of Handprint on the Windshield, a poetry collection, and Steep Drop, a novel. A second novel, The Face Of A Monster, is forthcoming from No Frills Buffalo Publishing. He lives in Pennsylvania.

Millie (For My Grandmother)

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Contributor: C.V. Ellis

- -
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

- - -
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

- -
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!

- - -
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

- -
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

- - -
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

- -
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

- - -
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

- -
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.

- - -
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, http://compulsivelyaimless.blogspot.com/

The Nones

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Contributor: Dominic James

- -
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.

- - -
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

- -
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.

- - -
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.


| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
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.

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

Where Were You? (9-11)

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Contributor: Brittany Zedalis

- -
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.

- - -
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

- -
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.

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


| Filed under

Contributor: J.K. Durick

- -
Summers were endless back then, or seemed to be,
But we lived in a neighborhood filled with kids our age,
Older, younger, we didn’t distinguish by age so much;
The games we played could run a dozen deep and go
On for hours, whiffle ball, hide and seek, kick the can,
Spud, the list wasn’t that long but kept us going, kept
Us busy, kept us in a state of not quite innocence; we
Could be thieves, we could be bullies, we were learning
To balance our knowing and our doing, what we could
Get away with and what would catch up with us; life
Was like those long summer days, empty till we filled
It with noise and games, so many wanting to play and
So many wanting to be heard, rules had to be simple,
Sides had to be clear, disputes never ended a game,
Just became part of it, some pushing, some shoving,
Then on with it, there was too much time to fill and
The shades of meaning, of winning and losing were not
Essential to what we were doing, we were children and
Understood we were in training for more serious things,
Adult things we watched out of the corner of our eyes,
Things we sometimes played at, imitated, but we knew
Our games weren’t for keeps like the adults’ were,
We went home tired but happy, knowing tomorrow
Our place would still be there, our friends still 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.


| Filed under

Contributor: Theresa A. Cancro

- -
saccharine prose, the sateen proposal
supposes that I love the über
sweet tackiness it shoves against my tongue,
while its fleeting euphoria cripples my eyes

to always crave beautiful people,
glossy ones, moving along grain of the mundane,
smear ordinary, to become the new 'it' and 'them' and 'those' who knock, knock knock
at my door, my screens, my toes,

and if I don't bite, they jeer, snicker,
then sheesh with awful grins, their smiles
frozen in that glacial care-no-more land
where everyone lives happily ever after.

I stand at the equatorial where I watch them melt
and shatter.

- - -
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.

Black Planet

| Filed under

Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
She told me she had a strange dream
Of traveling to another world

Where animals had the power to speak
And act as if some spell was upon them

She heard the oration of a lion
Whose ambition was to conquer the globe

While an audience of snakes and spiders
Swore to help him achieve his goal

Then as she continued to listen
The screaming of sparrows rang out

Wondering where they might find shelter
As if all of them feared for their lives

And just as she started to waken
She asked an old horse who seemed wise

The name of this realm of darkness
And he replied it was once called Earth

- - -
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.


| Filed under

Contributor: Dario A Jimenez

- -
Cold morning dripping
on my hand to write
an unknown history of
forgotten passions,
worn out kisses,
and nights lost
on absurd mental questions and
In trips to nowhere.

Cold morning to write about those
repeated days of loneliness
walking the same roads
ending in the same cliff.

Cold morning
To wordy paint the anguish of
one eye into the past
and the other one
anxiously looking at the stars
for future promises of
warm skin-oceans and
sweet silences shared.

- - -
Dario Jimenez grew up in South America, and his poetic roots are somehow tied to the literary traditions of South America. A mixed combination of elements feed his poetic expression as he is a Sociology graduate with vast experience in Computer Information Systems.

The Concert

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Contributor: Kharis Lund

- -
We are lying on a grassy knoll, just you and I
Your green-grey eyes speak of happiness, long lost
Happiness with me
The couple next to us is topless, drinking cheap beer and smoking spliff
You laugh a little and say, “So these are hipsters, eh?”
You in your plaid shirt and bad jeans, me content being sober
We stand out like aliens in the crowd of young drunk stoners
My Father and I

The crowd quiets, and beyond the stage, the sun sets between the Rockies
And the sky is bathed in streams of gold and pink and blue
I lie back on the checkered picnic blanket next to you
Down on the stage, with a beard and voice like some Wisconsin Jesus,
He laughs and begins to sing
The woman beside me is dancing – she’s happy and high as a kite
We jump up and join her, dancing and laughing
My Father and I

“And I told you to be patient, I told you to be fine,”
A million voices reverberate across the hill as it comes alive
We’re swaying together you and I like a dream I always have
But I know this moment is ephemeral.
Tomorrow I’ll wake up and look at my ticket stub
And that day and Justin Vernon’s angelic voice will be but memories
We are back to silence and nothing
My Father and I

- - -
I'm on a quest for happiness and truth and sushi. Sometimes, it's hard to tell which is which.


| Filed under

Contributor: Debbi Antebi

- -
The earth drank greedily
the blood of the dead
as the sun started bleeding
into the sky.

War was everywhere –
between the corpses
and the speechless trees,
in the cold silence
broken by the whimpering wind.

The world became
a still-life picture,
where no one moved
and no one won.

- - -
Debbi Antebi (@debbisland) writes short stories and poems, which have appeared in Every Day Poets, vox poetica, Long Story Short, and Modern Haiku, among others. She lives in Istanbul, Turkey, where she works as a college counselor. Visit her at http://debbiantebi.wordpress.com/

Thoughts brewed in my kitchen

| Filed under

Contributor: Dr. Smita Sriwastav

- -
Tea leaves bleed
aromatic synonyms in water
as it bubbles to fill
piquant anticipations in gaze
of lethargic, mist-draped winters,
poured into chiseled transparencies,
insinuating russet delights
of sweet apple cider.

Cookie crumbles
voicing soft innuendos
of honeyed pleasures,
unheeded by a tongue rolling
in hurriedly munched bites
tinged in caffeinated sips
as preoccupations enshroud
sensibilities of an overwrought mind.

As currency crisp afternoon
crumble like stale scones,
into twilights crocheted in wildflowers,
warming cold-numbed fingers
over brewing warmth of coffee
I rifle through lists of ingredients
needed for impending supper.

Appetizing breath of curry
fills the blandness of shivering nights,
preening in starry tiaras,
as moments shell and crunch
their oxymoron moods
like fire-kissed peanuts,
seasoned in finger-licking spices
luring gluttony from
routine monotony of dinner table.

Ice-creams relax
their realms undiluted by winter nights
cuddled in snowflake sighs,
while hot chocolate sauce laces
their frozen dreams in passion,
and chilled spoonfuls
are gulped in rapture
to frill cold in icy pleasures.

- - -
I am an MBBS doctor by profession and a poet at heart. I am an emerging poet and my poetry has been published in literary journals like efiction India, pyrokinection, jellyfish whispers, CLRI, Torrid Literary Review, Literary Juice, the Rusty nail, Dark Matter Journal etc. to name a few. I have also had my poems published in anthologies like Inspired by Tagore, Something Brewing, Tic Toc, Storm Cycle 2013, A Golden Time For Poetry and Just a touch of Saccharine.


| Filed under

Contributor: Suez Jacobson

- -
Six days in the canyon.
Its river,
Its wind, sand, and sun,
become my only reality,
quiet my existence,
make it simple.
Time measured
by sun and stars.
Up, out of the depths,
away from the magic.
Weeks pass,
in the city,
traffic, people,
noise, grit,
washed-out skies,
frazzled consumers,
lined up,
electronics everywhere.
And yet,
At night,
when my eyes close,
I see the red-rock walls,
hear the river,
imagine the stars,
and feel the earth,
the sand,
and the wind.
The canyon is mine.
It is part of me.
And I am grateful,
for memory.

- - -
Economics professor trying to escape the numbers racket.


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