Friday, June 22, 2018

A Poem from Susan Dale

Leaving to Promises

If mom left when spring was arriving
What does that say about life?
For while we were committing her to eternity
Violets were unfurling their purple capes

But how do we accept the thrust of blossoms
On bare branches
And the smiles of daffodils
At the same time
She was taking her place
On the top of a hill
Where the winds of heaven
Were meeting the promises mom could not break

Nor could we halt the jubilant feet of spring
Dancing into our collective sorrow

Susan Dale's poems and fiction are on WestWard Quarterly, Mad Swirl, Penman Review, The Voices Project, and Jerry Jazz Musician.  In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan.  Two published chapbooks, The Spaces Among Spaces from and Bending the Spaces of Time from Kind of a Hurricane Press's Barometric Pressure Chapbook series, have been on the internet.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Poem from Heather Gelb

Under the Tree

Supine on a spherical covering
Of buttery flowery petals,
I gaze up through the feathery branches
Of a flowering tree,
Each twisting branch sculpted from a
Solid center and reaching towards a light
I can still see when I close my eyes to hear
The soothing hum of bees that fill the spaces
Between the ephemeral and the enduring.
Beyond the bee song I hear
The light tread of gazelle leaping through
A nearby field, finding space between
The stalks of golden grain . . .
And still the golden petals rain down,
Released by the light touch
Of dancing bees.
I am aware of a slow mounting marvel
That fills the spaces between
The holy and the mundane.

Heather Gelb grew up in Colorado and Ohio before leaping off to distant hills in Africa then Israel.  She is an aspiring writer, poet, yoga instructor, tap dancer, banjo player, holistic nutritionist, world traveler and long distance runner who is raising her five children among the Judean hills in a house that her husband built.  Heather Gelb feels most fulfilled leaping from hilltop to hilltop as she writes in her published memoir about her journey from Rwanda to Israel:  Her poetry has been published in such diverse works as Poetica Publishing, Deronda Review, Green Panda Press, Pyrokinection, Dead Snakes and NatureWriting.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Two Poems from Phil Wood


No zebra crossing, close-by a menace
of lionesses; flies swarm, wildebeest fidget.

And then the rain.  The river's rain-happy.
A flock of pink flamingos flight a sunset.

I take a photograph.  The guide and you.
A hippo yawns.  The crocodiles smile.


That canopy of russet forest
beguiles the crowd.  On Cannop Ponds
a cacophony of mallards,
moorhens and coots, a herring gull;
along the track the herds of bikes
and hikers, kids and dog walkers;
an oak, squat like grandma's clock,
dazzles, unthreads his hooded tale.
Her weathered cloth warms his morning,
the dreams of wolves whisper once more.

Phil Wood works in a statistics office.  He enjoys working with numbers and words.  His writing can be found in various publications including:  The Open Mouse, Autumn Sky Daily, London Grip, Ink Sweat and Tears.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Poem from Lily Tierney


A dust storm engulfed wind-carved thoughts
as a polar ice cap suppressed her most fiery desires.

She was forced to live life with a volcanic mountain of thought
in an unforgiving solar system.

Looking up at the two asteroids, she remembered a love song
that collided with the past, present, and future.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Three Poems from Linda M. Crate

spring's arrival

spring has burst open
with all her flowers:
daffodils, tulips,
flowering trees including
the magnolia
pinwheel phlox,
and many others arm the earth

winter faded the crocus
song long before
their time
should've been over,
but now spring has the upperhand
disarming winter
with all her flaming hands;

the sun is no longer
to play hide-and-seek
with the clouds
old man winter cannot creep in
destroying our dreams
any longer
he has been put to death.

no more snow

bumble bees
the size of my pinky
around the dandelions
i feel a peace
that winter is gone
sometimes sadness lingers,
but the seasonal depression
is gone;
flowers are good at making
me forget my sorrows
so is the creek
washing away all the ugly things
in me that keep me
up at night--
as i get caught up in the fragrance
of spring
summer is treading lightly
i know her song will be here, soon,
but as i was born of her flames
she means me no harm;
i smile thinking of all the lovely things
that will crest like ocean waves
where winter snow cannot pull me into
long white sad silence.

daughter of the flames

i have met
so many
thorns of winter

that thought their
cold and snow
would kill me,

but i've endured
showing them
my summer flames;

no will will hold me
back from the whispers
of my dreams

i will catch them all
and my roses have thorns, too,
they shall cut the coldness

until it stings my flesh
no longer
until winter realizes

he has no power
over my pretty little red heart
and stops chasing me--

i am a song of white suns
the lyric of golden moons
daughter of the flames.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville.  Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print.  She has five published chapbooks:  A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press -- June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon -- January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January, 2018).

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Poem from Tim Gordon


La nature devrait tout dire ou rien . . .
                        -- Pascal, Pensees #72

Beyond the Latilla fence nothing to harvest
but gritty sand, bunchgrass, all prickly flora,
real failures to launch verdantly or in frippery,
as is their wont, until you breach the imaged coppice,
wild plum and crab-apple, mulberry maidenheads
taken by insatiable chatterbox silkworms, a veritable
veldt of desert beneath the widow's-peak shadow
mountain brow where fall almost ends, winter blossom
begins, back-channeling its Endless Summer trope,
color amok yet on front- and- up-range slopes, on the undreamt
an unloved, humpback butte and mesa, seamless plateau,--
gully, gulch, arroyo, ravine, dumb dry wash until every
evening prairie star torched just for them in the falling blue
half-life before the first blanched clutch of ice and frost
radiates everything and nothing with quicksilver white light.

Tim Gordon's Dreamwind chapbook was accepted by Finishing Line Press (April 2018), its full-length complement is concurrently under publisher review elsewhere, his seventh book, From Falling, was published by Spirit-of-the-Ram Press (Autumn 2017).  His work appears in journals like Agni, Cincinnati Poetry Review, Kansas Quarterly, Louisville Review, Mississippi Review, New York Quarterly, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Rhino, Sonora Review, Texas Observer, Texas Literary Review, and Baseball Bard, among others.  Everything Speaking Chinese was awarded the SunStone Press Poetry Prize (AZ).  Some recognitions include NEA &  NEH Fellowships and nominations for four Pushcart Prizes and The NEA Western States' Book Awards.  He divides professional and personal lives among Asia, the Desert/Mountain Southwest and coastal Maine.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Three Poems from Darrell Petska

Two Sticks

Two lean sticks
descend the muddy shallows--
the great blue heron is cloud and sky
above the water's edge.

Light languors at the surface,
lulling time and sense.
The great blue heron rides the earth
like a wispy wetland willow--

at a ripple in the murk,
light breaks the plane
to grasp and swallow in its flash
what swam in blue sky's shadow.

January June

Snow sun cannot melt.
The shaded trail white,
the creek banks,
the downy air.

White caps for the owl chicks.
Nest liner supreme.
Grand sport for children
turning with the breeze.

No gutter is immune.
Screens gasp for breath.
Leaf blower blizzards
spiral into lawns.

The Avenue of Cottonwoods
strews its watery course till
green's lush primacy rights
June's January lapse.

Porch Light Tango

On our mad dalliance
throw the switch,
oh pitiless light bulb
I once thought the moon.
My true destiny fades
against your searing tongue.
Must I throw myself upon you
till I drop, battered hull
spent at your feet?

I am Progenitor Rex.
Generations unfold within me,
yet time contracts, your glow
chancing the unborn.
How heartless your heat:
I falter, I fry.
The common toad of existence
eyes me for its meal--I beg you
snare some other wayward planet
with your blazing tractor beam.

Darrell Petska's writing has appeared in Mobius:  The Journal of Social Change, Chiron Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Star 82 Review, Bird's Thumb, Verse-Virtual, and elsewhere (see  Darrell worked for many years as communications editor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, leaving finally to focus on his own writing and his family.  He lives in Middleton, Wisconsin.