Sunday, February 7, 2016

Three Poems by Chad W. Lutz


The daylight dances against the porcelain and plywood.
Broken silhouettes of oak trees tattoo the walls in squares.
The morning rays are weak and bend.
They're my only window to the outside world.
I feel compelled to capture this moment and
feverishly begin memorizing everything
from the toilet.

I rush to my room for a pencil.

Outside my bedroom window the light is different.
The sky looks tired, dreary, as if it were late afternoon.
Now all I can think about is fall, and how the trees
will soon be weak outlines of the flesh they are now.
I get angry because I could've taken my time on the toilet
and can't control the seasons; the trees are going to change,
and I won't stay twenty-nine forever.

28 Years of Pressure

A brief look over my shoulder exposes
millions of years of heat and pressure
and the last eight hours of progress by trail shoes.
Four pounds of water sleeping idly in my pack,
and at my ever ready, eventually settle
into my lack of momentum.

I know that I've traveled a scientifically
measurable distance fading into the
backdrop of high desert behind us, but my heart has trouble
swallowing, with my back to who I will be,
once I regain momentum, but we press on.

They call this canyon grand.
We've stopped.  The night is drawing.
The gully is silent, except for our hearts, the wind, and fear.
They drum out the songs left by the ancient Navajo.
We sign our own songs and tell our own stories as distractions.
We've come only as far as we have yet to go.
And the night is drawing nearer.

Solidarity with Colorado Cows

The run took me past lush pastures and big skies.
Twilight fast-approaching, the faint twinkling of stars
seen poking through the blue veil of atmosphere
still hiding the oncoming night.

I was alone, running along a vacant stretch of county highway
on an out-and-back course with six miles in mind.
I passed a couple of ranches full of delightfully curious cows.
One pasture in particular found me quite interesting.

Heading out toward the turnaround, several of the cows perked
their heads in my direction as I strode past,
and a few of them even seemed to stir and trot with me.
Were the gummies I ate from Ft. Collins responsible for this?

Heading back, it was no secret;
I was the evening's entertainment.
The entire herd began galloping,
calves, cows, and bulls alike.

They paced me for a half-mile,
mooing and periodically looking over at me,
as if to acknowledge our shared freedoms
under the boundless skies.

Chad W. Lutz was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1986 and raised in the neighboring suburb of Stow.  His works have been featured in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Kind of a Hurricane Press, Haunted Waters Press, and in EcoWatch Journal.  Chad currently works in North Canton writing content for an online job resource site and manages an online magazine called  An avid athlete, Chad runs competitively and swims in his spare time.  He aspires to run the Olympic marathon at the 2016 games.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Stitched Together Moments

The moon was wingless way back when
I first bounced around being freshly married
While the red birds in the dry branches of the clouds
Turned my front yard into a dream of rain
But now that pine cones are long dead here and
All my memories are so heavy with snow
Even as the fog bleeds in at a crawl
On this ragged unmade bed of an afternoon
Where once soft melting February was unsuspected
And brought us a little closer to everything that was stranger than
And made the shivering leaves to dance
Like ghosts on junkyard windshields
That were chiseled in all of the sadness that I ever had

Falling Helplessly to Visions

Autumn does not exist beneath the tangled roots of all sweets
And it has remembrances as I taste of the empath periwinkles
To think thoughts more lofty than Ozymandias
As they crowd my heart with sun kissed beaches and gardens
That once did the Monster Mash for no good reason back then
Where lemon cream sand met the ocean along a coastline
Whose fresh baked pastry always allowed me to fill her heart with poetry
That was painted in the flashing seagulls that coexisted in my visions so gas lit
And where whose waves like jewels fell
And that always was more than a handful of all that I would ever seek
And which lingers still in each westerly breeze

The Broth of Lanterns

The middle of the night is barely a seahorse
And the orange groves now are the color of Medusa's blood
Near the corn husks that are full of autumn light
As bronze as the trumpet notes that erase the Aurora Borealis
As it dents this winter's afternoon
Till all the starfish in the coral
Become the very air we breathe
In these deserted pieces of tomorrow
Where I trade places with a dream

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  

Friday, February 5, 2016

Three Poems by Ann Howells

Three Geckos

West reflects its final sky-blue-pinks
as I take coffee to the deck.  Three geckos,
finger-length and fluid as cursive
claim space on sun-baked brick.  Lithe,
pliant, glowing like hammered copper,
they appear bold southwest brooches
wrought by a master.  They, unlike birds
we feed all winter or the dog whose dish
we fill twice daily, do not live by largess,
arrive not as beggars or thieves but fragile
and aloof as those weary men who knock,
wanting to rake, paint or repair in exchange
for chicken sandwiches and sweet tea.
I speak softly, grant them dignity as they dine
al fresco on gnats, crane flies, and tiny moths
that beat my lighted panes.


He shuns bait,
subsists on berries, fat grubs,
          ground squirrels, mice--
skulks culverts, slips silently
          through back yards.

Great Spirit whispers
he will inherit the earth--
          meat not tasty
          fur not sleek
not hunted to extinction.

Scrawny, scruffy,
he migrates north and east
populates forests where wolves
          died out.
Trickster.  Talking dog.

Running wild.  Baying,
           open-throated, tilt-chinned,
           at the moon.
Survival of the adept.
Survival of the cunning.

Story for Time of Drought

Thursday afternoon
west of Seattle . . .
silver spikes drilled
into earth,
rendered it malleable.
Rivers spilled.
Fields became mirrors;
and we braked for salmon
darting the road
like squirrels.

Ann Howells' work appears in Crannog, Little Patuxent Review, and Spillway, among others.  She has edited Illya's Honey for fifteen years, recently taking it digital:  Her chapbooks:  Black Crow in Flight (Main Street Rag, 2007) & the Rosebud Diaries (Willet, 2012).  She has four Pushcart nominations.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Three Poems by Srishti Dutta Chowdhury

the mountain goat goes baa-a-a-a

i am alive-still
             looking at the longarch-browed
                           mountain goat go baa-a-a-a
grazing on my potted chickweed;

daddy gifted it to you
              fifteen years ago,
   the whistling orchards
brimming with
                      gold oranges
could contain no more,

       railway tracks
                          had enough
                     stones-tossed about
            for two hands
                             to arrange them
                                                     in a line.

who mowed your lawn before spring?

we should have
                   which is why it is
we did not

it keeps planting
                  crushed seeds of
untimely saplings

brown-orange before

the garden-dry lined
                    empty soil

keep away from pretty places

it was saturday--the air smelt of

it was brown-skied dark
the water hurled onto the edge of the blue boat under
prying fingers
the marmalade laid perfectly on moonspoons,
we messed our happy picnic day

tanned baskets, fussy brown, you
furled across
the darknothing
bunched larkspur pushed

won't you come to my place tonight?

pretty was
you kissed me
like i ain't yours but
going to

only wanted to write more
blue-ribboned yellowbordered gibberish

come to bed, tonight

your waning presence of my
brown frame
only when

gave me no pleasure,
mon cher--only flung my
purple-ink across a few more

i never had you, did i?

unrolling old cassette tapes--sharing a lemon-sicle--smelling gasoline-steel
together was our happyplace till

i learned to hold a pen
and you

to un-love familiar

it was another of our saturdays
prettyplace warmwater strungbaskets
packed racquets, bacon, even your favorite pair of socks, my


without warning you collapsed the mossgreen bridge.

A student of Comparative Literature for most part of the day, Srishti Dutta Chowdhury reads, listens to whatever catches her fancy and writes a tad bit whenever she cannot do without putting some words to paper.  She has been published at Coldnoon Travel Poetics, Bangalore Review, Quail Bell, the Brown Critique Magazine, the Norwich Radical, Kindle, etc.  Besides reading, writing, living poetry, she fancies herself as a food philanderer and keenly follows food photography.  Her photography can be viewed at the Instagram handle "srishtiduttachowdhury"

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Poem by Heather Gelb

Summer Figs

She sits like a sack of potatoes
On the bare back of her horse,
Relaxed, face turned to the sun.
Thin white hairs cling to her jeans.
She brushes a strand of thick hair
From her eyes, and sees
A small boy with hair and freckles
That radiate warmth.
He stands in a patch of
Trampled grapes and
Holds out hands stained with
Hours of playtime.
In each hand is a fig,
Plump from a season of sun and rain.
She accepts his gift,
Savoring the burst of sweetness
While her horse licks the sticky fruit
From the boy's hand.
The boy retreats to his tree,
The girl and horse follow curiosity over the next hill.
Their smiles of summer linger in the air.

Heather Gelb loves moving through nature -- by foot, bike and horse.  She aspires to be a poet, tap dancer, long distance runner, banjo player, holistic nutritionist and photographer.  She has published poems and short stories in various online and written journals, and is currently finishing her memoir of her spiritual journey from Ohio to Rwanda to Israel.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Three Poems by Don Mager

August Journal:  Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The mower plunges through shower wet
late morning grass.  Mulch dribbles out in
pasty clumps.  Where the creek right angles
over small rapids to lose itself
in the woods, along the back stretch of
yard and slippery mud, swirling blades
ride over clay mounds and dark frog holes.
In swift splats, they escape and leap high
into the water.  As the mower
pushes past, gouges of fresh deer hooves fill
with small puddles.  Its mandibles aimed,
a Deer Fly strikes through jeans and sweaty
long sleeves.  Outraged burning welts flare up.
Ignoring them, swirling blades grind on.

August Journal:  Thursday, August 8, 2013

Afternoon shade sucks draperies of
humidity from pools of dark shade
up into indolent canopies.
In their lofts Cicadas crackle with
the dry persistence of small machines.
Their rapid snare drum brushes twirl
in limp vibrations of heavy air.
The ear's horizon stretches far down
the creek cut where on their unseen nest,
quarreling adolescent Hawks caw
like disgruntled crows.  Far above their
ears' horizons, the parents ride the
sky and watch.  Afternoon is hammock dazed--
mosquito wary--and iced tea glad.

August Journal:  Monday, August 12, 2013

Dusk wakes up into deep grottoes of
Tourmaline and Jade.  Air holds itself
captive to the amber light.  Its eyes
sink into indolence.  Its ears rise
to wrest control.  Sounds describe its fourth
dimension.  Dusk's ears are mesmerized
by nameless cornucopias of
crackles, chatters, clickings, buzzes, hums
and distant caws.  They drink them up like
thirsty sponges.  They imbibe pallets
of twangling flavors.  On their nerves, they
gather vibrancies of textures:  crisp,
hard, crinkly, crunchy, wafting, fallow.
Dusk's fourth dimension intones them all.

Don Mager's chapbooks and volumes of poetry are:  To Track the Wounded One, Glosses, That Which is Owed to Death, Borderings, Good Turns and The Elegance of the Ungraspable, Birth Daybook Drive Time and Russian Riffs.  He is retired with degrees from Drake University (BA), Syracuse University (MA) and Wayne State University (PhD).  He was the Mott University Professor of English at Johnson C. Smith University from 1998-2004 where he served as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters (2005-2011).   As well as a number of scholarly articles, he has published over 200 poems and translations from German, Czech, and Russian.  He lives in Charlotte, NC.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Two Poems by Joanna M. Weston

Listening to Flowers

this delicate symphony
rests on my tongue
sliding into cadence
where violin and clarinet
raise a sharp taste
of snowdrops
cutting ice

leaving the flavor
of violet shadows
with notes strung
from finger to lip
while drums sway
a daffodil rhythm

I Know a Bank

where wild thyme tosses
clouds of perfume

trumpets of morning glory
hurry over the fence

whose daisies are these
raging hillside in waves?

thistles fold their prickles
into envelopes of grass

lean into the prayers
of shadowed monkshood

columbine raises
a late masquerade

so many wilds blow
softly through dusk

Joanna M. Weston is married, has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen houses.  Her middle-reader, Those Blue Shoes, was published by Clarity House Press, and her poetry, A Summer Father, was published by Frontenac House of Calgary.  Her eBooks can be found at her blog: