Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Poem by Rick Hartwell

Reclamation Project

I watch antics reminiscent of adolescence,
gold butterflies in wanton flight,
wandering from bud to bloom to blossom,
to voyage again sans duplication.

Seemingly random, indiscriminant soaring
without filing a flight plan
appears appropriate for fragile butterflies,
then why not for me?

Although no longer randomly pubescent,
we are alike, butterflies and I,
not flitting nor wandering, past flourishing,
but with life comprehended

Tired and tattered wings signal our lives
near spent, cycles completed;
slowed by exhaustion, yet fulfilled, we too,
flutter finally down to earth.

Such is the way and the path and the plan,
all remains to be recycled, any
butterfly remorse or personal repentance
overcome by newly freed spirits.

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school English teacher living in Southern California.  He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity.  Given his druthers, if he's not writing, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.  He can be reached at

Friday, April 17, 2015

Three Poems by William G. Davies, Jr.


There are blossoms
strewn across the chair
where you were sitting
last night talking to me
and now, lovely reminders
of your sentences reincarnated.


The birds, lithe
on the new snow
buoyant as channel markers
in a vast, white sea.
They bob;
red, blue, black.


The trees are lesions
on new snow
the way Beelzebub
diminishes God's beauty
one mirage at a time.

William G. Davies, Jr. will have a collection, "Before There Were Bones," published by Prolific Press in 2015.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Two Poems by Judith Skillman

Quail Trail

A highway of arrows, pointed diamonds left in the snow by birds who never take to the sky.  A sensible direction, yet they are invisible and have left the fatigue of injury, of an accident on ice.  Mascots for the family, the domestic mis on scene.  In spring you became one of them--a woman lying down, warm-needled grounds belonging to human and bird alike.  They appealed because they moved as one, flocking for grubs, and for the worm from which the color cinnabar came.  As if these prints were bread crumbs you'll follow them to the edge of the earth, believe in flatland, the violin, the book with its soft covers to open and read.  Nothing backlit, no beeps nor virtual reality, only the trill--sharp beaks pecking.

The North Stream

A little brook singing to itself
as only water can, music
of descent from cold, snowmelt
lacerated by dawn, the telling
of nothing again and over,
that refrain soft in the body,
that tapestry palpable
as a drawer that sticks.

A coming to, as from sleep
or grief, pain lessening enough
to run a little secret past the greats
who intimidate.  If it's only water
so much the better.

Goats beard flocking the uncles
and aunts, the fancy of that--
she pauses, puts the instrument
down on the bed, wipes sweat
from her neck, thinks of Hemingway
how he killed himself at sixty,
looks over the score--aha,
an entrance just there, after
the first violinist's impeccable solo.

A little fountain spurting.
Rules broken, contingencies not let
matter, the forever bird
tuning up.  A little squeak
as the conveyance continues,
its mistakes ignored, its meanderings
beholden to principle:  the audience
remembers the beginning and end,
these deep waters pouring for her
green-blue then, grief-blue now.

A little creek by which she numbs
her lips with ices, says, if only
to those eucalyptus trees that stumped
her with the scribbly sap and curls
of bark, yes, I will practice being
the music, yes, I will stay inside
the sheets, sleep my way back
into a small dream about very much.

Judith Skillman's new book is Angles of Separation, Glass Lyre Press 2014.  Her work has appeared in Tampa Review, Cimarron Review, Tar River Poetry, Prairie Schooner, FIELD, Seneca Review, The Iowa Review, Southern Review, Poetry, New Poets of the American West, and other journals and anthologies.  Skillman is the recipient of grants from the Academy of American Poets, Washington State Arts Commission, and King County Arts Commission.  She has taught at City University, Richard Hugo House, Yellow Wood Academy, and elsewhere.  Visit

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Poem by Rachel Weisserman

October is a Liar

I dreamed the corn grew too fast
and we were lost in it.  I felt a crow
brush her wings against my back,
promising wisdom if I'd just feed her
and her babies.  One eye could sate
their hunger all winter.  The other
could see the way the crops grew.

I dreamed the clouds were hurting
the sky.  The rain was slick and warm
against my skin, and then needle-cold,
I asked a tree to protect me; she gave
me fire, a blanket of leaves, and the
storm tore it to shreds.  That night
I woke up and smelled smoke.

Rachel Weisserman somehow managed to graduate from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor's of Science in English.  She has written several stories under the name R.W. Whitefield for, and has self-published one chapbook.  In late 2012, she began hosting Spirit Spit Open Mic in the Woodbridge neighborhood of Detroit.  She is the proud owner of two cats and Elmore Leonard's breakfast table.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Two Poems by Susan Dale

A Page of Spring

A morning song climbs the skies
Ah, the loving kindness
          of April


Cherry blossom in bloom
Melting the fortress
          of winter


Ribs of rainbows
     arching to
A ceremony of sun and skies

Winter's fat form
Steel white, to silver
slivers of ice
To rumble with thunder
To melt into puddles
To a rain of promises
To mushrooms under oaks
To forsythia's arms spread wide
To leaves on the trees
To April shouting
a golden splash of daffodils

January Morning

Melancholy season
devoured in a single breath
by a chenille veil
Thrown across
a January morning

Susan Dale's poems and fiction are on Kind of  a Hurricane Press, Ken*Again, Penman Review, Inner Art Journal, Feathered Flounder, Garbanzo, and Linden Avenue.  In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan.  She has two published chapbooks on the internet:  Spaces Among Spaces by and Bending the Spaces of Time by Barometric Pressures Author's Series.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Poem by Duane L. Herrmann

The Wasp

In the window trapped
between two panes of glass,
it flies up, down, across,
trying to find a way
through invisible glass.
It can't get out,
I won't let it in.
It will die in prison
and I will be relieved.

Duane L. Herrmann, 1989 recipient of the Hayden Poetry Fellowship, lives on the Kansas prairie reflected in Prairies of Possibilities.  His poetry is in:  American Poets of the 1990's, CyclamenandSwords, Flint Hills Review, Little Balkans Review, Midwest Quarterly, Orison, Planet Kansas, Whirlwind Review, Map of Kansas Literature (website) and others.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Poem by David Lymanstall

Spring Spectacle

Skeletons of rosemary and stonecrop,
Hydrangea and aster,
Their roots still clinging to the soil,
Were left with intent
To brave a winter harsh and cold,
To stand tall through stinging winds,
Witness the rebirth of a garden about to stir.

Their brittle remains,
Like elderly souls
With wisdom and grace,
Seem to welcome and foster
Every emerging sharp blade of lily,
Every feathery, soft clump of new yarrow,
Every unfurling green fern.

Timeworn seed heads, tired and bent,
Look down with a doting glance
At each tender shoot,
The brown with the green,
The old with the new,
What was and what is,
Shepherding the spectacle of rebirth.

There comes the day each year,
Just after the vernal equinox,
Before full blown spring,
When the gate to the garden
Adorned with a grinning green man,
Opens after being closed for the winter,
Inviting all to enter for a celebration.

David Lymanstall is a teacher, artist and musician.  He has taught in classrooms ranging from Montessori Middle School to the college classroom.  He enjoys learning himself and likes to ignite that love of learning in others of any age.  In his spare time he teaches illustrated journal workshops, plays the fiddle in an Irish session group and enjoys writing science and nature related poetry that hopefully inspires others to look at the world around them a little closer.