the sun is sparkling, the rain rumbling, and we badly need some poetry...

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Joan McNerney - Two Poems

I Believe in Trees

Those silent citadels
standing against long
nights of wind and cold.

Broken willow bramble
scratches a pale sky after
yesterday’s ice storm.

Each spring small buds
blossom as bugs and
butterflies orbit boughs.

Green new leaf fits
your hand so perfectly.
The future lies in your palm.

Birds reciting litany in woods.
Each rainfall the forest
grows taller, more verdant.

Summer afternoons…trees
sashay in sunshine showing
off their emerald gowns.

Winds sway maple branches.
Leaves drop like butterflies
falling to the warm earth.

Red yellow brown carpets
of crunchy foliage spread
over roads welcoming us.

When the Moon is New

Groping through darkness
knocking everything down.
Down into enormous night
where thoughts unravel.

Memories moan past us as
shadows quiver across walls.
We lie pinned to bed sheets
like captive butterflies.

Dry butterflies...our throats
are brittle, eyes turning
from light. Sore arms reach
for anything soft to hold.

Remembering seasons gone by.
So many lost promises.
This huge moment surrounding us.
Wide awake we wait for the new day.

Jessica Otto - One Poem


Winter is as ignorant as it has always been.
What sky we have is clouded gray.
The river that cuts through the city has frozen.

Last year my mother ran down
to the dock, threw
her hair onto the ice and
let her brain crystallize.  My sister cracked
open her skull and crunched
her nickel plated stuffing
as she would cotton candy.  She thought
the round tumors of rose quarts
nestled there would
make her fertile
since the preacher’s flogging didn’t.

Today I will burn a salt cake
at the slum’s edge,
behind the power plant.

You can come along if you want,
suck at the teats of some rabid wolf
with me.  There are so many three
headed mothers who ate their
little ones in the famine.  Screw
prudency, soon we’ll all be running
around on eight legs braying insanities
at the spot where the corn husk moon used to be.

Monday, 18 April 2011

S.P. Flannery - Three Poems


Boar tusks pierce
the abdominal wall
to spear the organs inside,
remove discarded flesh,
the rest left behind
to perish under the sun,
but the smooth inner coils
still have life, pulse on
those competitive blades
until constriction flips
the male beast on its back,
lying near a rotting log,
sounds of dogs in the distance
become closer to lost parts
that are retrieved to reunite
with the whole child,
a funeral pyre lights next to
the roast that will feed
those who grieve and keen.

The Pianist

When I press the keys,
those white and black wooden
blocks, no song echoes out,
I wail and pound, but
my fingers cannot create
notes strung together to
please the ears.
I have the same bones,
muscles, and tendons;
they are not clubs
or hammers to deafen
the tunes produced when
the cords are struck,
but he must have something,
whether from nature or nurture,
to be able to glide above
those keys without touching,
a dance of digits
few see because they
sit transfixed, transported
from their theater seats
into a world of auroras
curved along the black and white
remembered stars of closed eye lids.

The Hill Mound

Rain beads on the weathered blocks
of stone hauled up the raised knoll
built to give a noble view
now covered in creeks of mud.

Three teams tow with hand-spun rope
while ground slides under damp shoes
made from fallen hart-beasts' hide,
gifts from their life stricken sire.

He died in the autumn war,
in defense of the clan's herd;
lithic points rest in his chest,
shards carved by a banished son.

The ash they entomb when snow
covers the eastward glazed mound.
Three drawn spirals direct his
energy towards hidden planes.


We circle the eroded hill
to capture an image for
books to pass amongst our friends
of sights found on calendars.

Even with our modern tools,
the builders remain unknown
to everyone but those who
dwell between shade realms shrouded.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Karina Longo - One Poem

Water and Other Fluids

Sometimes it's clear, sometimes it's thick -
Colour of nothing, colour of drunken insanity
Taste of the world - taste of no words
Rivers and showers - of gold and iron
It's only water, it's not wine anymore
Go on, move on - someday we might find home
But now you're alone
Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes you shiver inside
Colour of rainbows and wonders, colour of beige and denies
Writing 'love' on your fists
The baby doesn't know what it means
Ink; black, red or blue -
They don't go through the soul
It's just the superficial skin

Saliva in our mouths
Sweat in our bodies
Liquid from me, liquid from you,

I only want to know the truth -
No lies, no broken promises, no excuses
Clear as water, not dirty like other fluids.

Peter Magliocco - One Poem

The Defiling

Rain revolves around me as I jog
over the precipice of hillsides.
Somewhere in the German forests
I watch the depot workers arrive

each morning to begin work,
molding the natural edifice
into a thousand barked sentinels
of sap & shadow, still resilient

to their touch from rooted ages
falling rain bleeds life into.
What my booted feet tramp over
in a luxury of motion we caress

rich soil preparing its saturation,
for whatever humanity defiles,
the way I once did a lover's skin
so endlessly fecund beneath me.

Joseph Farley - One Poem


the US government
is no longer about
the people

it is not about
the US

it is about

but that “us”
does not include

that “us”
is only for “them”

and “them” is
a series of names

on a secret list,
written in gold and oil

Gary Beck - One Poem

One Summer

The sounds of summer,
the little legs
running field to field
that fall, roll,
dirty knees smiling.
O evening,
clouds like tarnished nickels
smoking home to bed,
the last bugle from a nearby camp,
voices whispering,
kiss, parting…. Promise.
The night falls a sudden ballerina
landing in grace
on love’s wet earth.

Laury A. Egan - Two Poems


Grace is in your hands, strong and slender.
I watched them while you were writing,
as the cool lake wrapped air around us;
I watched them in gesture, in repose,
in the kitchen, grasping a wooden spoon.
I watched and knew they were his to hold,
not mine, and yet I hope. My touch
is lighter than the lightest whisper.

A Woman Like You

A woman like you will know
    the word that precisely unlocks the trick of my heart,
    the phrase I’ve yearned to write.
A woman like you will know
    the invisible road for us to follow, sifting present,
    finding future, while I light the space around us.
A woman like you will know
    how to imagine each touch without it happening,
    who will sense my presence on a breeze.

A woman like you will know
   that joy springs from sadness like reds
    and yellows against gray skies.
A woman like you will know
    how to translate who I am, where I am,
    even when I am unsure or have strayed beyond reach.
A woman like you will know
    my love, profoundly so, as I will know your love,
    profoundly so, and that I am a woman like you.

Laila Abdulmalik - One Poem


The deep water fails to wash the sins off my face
Indenting on my dignity,
          plastic spoons used as pistols.
I twirl my sock monkey as the wind chaps my ears
I can't see my reflection
          or myself.

C.B. Anderson - Two Poems


I laugh at grief
And grief laughs back at me.
On bended knee
I beg relief,
But all I see
Are shadows in the night.

Time is a thief,
And I come off as trite
For saying so.
A while ago
My hair turned white
As freshly fallen snow.

Lakeside Property

The wind blows harmlessly on every hill,
But when it falls upon a placid lake
There's hell to pay for any kayak or
Canoe in open water.  Heaven's sake
Is not a telling factor -- with a will
All of its own, wind batters my back door.

Hal O'Leary - One Poem


The time has come, and spring has sprung.
Soft earth below, blue skies above,
The time is now, and we are young.
What better time to fall in love.

Soft earth below, blue skies above,
What more could anyone desire
What better time to be in love,
Our heads awhirl, our hearts afire?

What more could anyone desire? 
The future is at our command.
Our heads awhirl, our hearts afire.
So here, my dear, your wedding band.

The future is at our command,
I'm yours to honor and obey.
So here, my dear, your wedding band.
I'm yours forever, come what may.

I'm yours to honor and obey.
The time is now, and we are young.
I'm yours forever, come what may.
The time has come and spring has sprung.

Dave Schwartz - Three Poems

Things Spring Into Bloom

Things spring into bloom
By crawling from the ground
Yet I've not seen it yet
You've not been around
they say that it is seeds
Which when planted start to grow
Well, I've been planting ostrich seeds
And they do not ever show

I Shake My Head

I shake my head and lose my thoughts
They fall abbot and leave me dead
Oh, I'm not dead for sure
It's just that I forgot
Now pleased tell me true
aren't you being a bit silly
if you ask what I am doing
I forgot you silly Billy

I’m So Sad About You

I’m so sad about you
I can’t live without you
With everything I do
I just want to be with you
I’m so sad without you
I can’t be glad about you 
With everything I do
I just hope to remember you

Russell Streur - Three Poems


She was there
A very long time
Until it finally
Came to her.

When the noise faded
She dusted the place
Pulled oceans
Out of rock
And cooled her heels
In cyanic water.

Then one day
She danced
And the skies




Lips melting
A long moment

Over the edge.


Purple saxophone
Loose ends of the moon
Water rising
In cobalt and petroleum

I paint you nude tonight
In oak and neon gold
Spanish moss 
Between your legs

The trace of lilac on your lips
Chocolate of your breasts
Ochre and sienna of your skin
Your carmine tongue

Broken glass and rain
On Rue Toulouse.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Ben Nardolilli - Three Poems

Played By

Anything free is diluted,
Anything given away is clear
Of substance, of essence,
If it floats or if it cannot fly,
Anything worth paying for
Sinks right to the bottom.

So pay just a little bit, enough
So that they cannot call it
A loss for their gain,
No evidence of generosity
On either side’s behalf,
Pay to keep it away from free.

Springtime Reformation

You have gone out with a coat
To enjoy the sun, believing
Those layers and the heat
Would help remind you it burns
Far away and makes you hot,
Friend, remove your coat,
There is heat enough without it,
And open your eyes, the sun
Is still high, bright, and beautiful.

Why Do You Weep For Him?

Why do you weep for him, why
Between the talk of heaven do you cry?
Sisters, brothers, ladies and gentlemen,
All of you agree he has moved on,
Feels no more pain, rests eternally
In a better world than ours,
Wherever that might be, yet
Your eyes make the air taste
Like the air on the shore, so bitter,
Where is the song for dancing?
Where are the colors of the rainbow
That your clothes ignore to make shadows?
You all know he can feel no more,
His sorrows are gone forever,
Why do you take that yoke upon yourselves?
Oh familiar ones, ones who knew him
As well as I, we should know better,
Did he live his life as an overture
To such wailing, to such beating of breasts?
Why do we weep for him, he lived,
Passed on, is in a sweeter garden,
My jealousy  is enough to make me cry.

iDrew - Three Poems


i hate you for the emptiness
when you’re not here
and when you are
you give me trembles
and a shortness of breath
help me please
i seem to be in distress

i hate you for my racing pulse
loss of appetite
i’ve weakness in the knees
and a wonderful unnecessary
in my nether-region
someone tell me please
what’s happening

i think
i’m being assassinated
with kisses
all my heart beats
have been stolen
i think i need a doctor
and possibly the cops
some one call an emergency vicar
i need to pray
that these feelings
never stop


when i’m electric
separated from
on my own little moon
in a glitter milky way
of a thousand
laser lights 
and nothing else exists

except there are beats
and tunes
my big love theory
of how my heart
is the sun
in this is my universe
in verse with bass
and drum

i suddenly realise
in a thousand
star-lit gleams of heaven
i don’t want to go home
without you tonight


the very breath of your hands
as i close my eyes
exhales to linger
where i am wet
and i feel your weight
press dreams into me

and oh so


as the very length of you translates into 


inside me you are radiant
inside me you are beautiful
inside me you are oxygen

Michael Brownstein - One Poem


(for Linda Panky, Elmer Johnson, Leonard, Rachid, Greg, etc. etc. etc. who may have contributed great things if it hadn't been for racism)

The flow of my life a beaver's dam
thick with mud and muddied breath,
muddy graft and the mud of corruption,
corruption of language, corruption of use.
Death is always an inconvenience,
the dialysis machine filling itself with souls,
blood pressure rising, falling, rising.
On the best of days she is too old to vote;
on the worst, too young to abandon ship.
Once she published a newspaper article
bylined everything good with this world
so much to begin, so little left at the end.