Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Poem by Michael Lee Johnson

Fall is Golden

The last golden yellow apple
hangs like a healing miracle
bow down old apple tree
winter is coming.
Life is a single thread this time.
Golden woman is a sharp eye fall woman.
She watches leaves turn shy,
around, turn many colors,
colors dance of joy then death.
Winter is a vampire,
she is a prelude to Spring:
walk days into faith, grace, and salvation.
Sparrows perch on bare branches nearby,
more interested in my bird feeder, now,
than they will be in the early spring.
Life is on its way to seasonal heaven's door.
My old willow tree, shaking, wind dances.
Its narrow leaves splinter yellowed,
spin loose fall down.
In a short time winter must learn
to write straight, complete, surrender, forfeiture.
World outside my balcony window
is compelling, cold yet,
I return to my bedroom, tuck in, restful.
Nikki, kitten beside me, dreams
of gold, hints of Jesus forever sleep.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era:  now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in 27 countries.  He edits 8 poetry sites.  Michael is the author of The Lost American:  From Exile to Freendom (136 page book), several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems.  He also has over 70 poetry videos on YouTube.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Two Poems by Jane Roken


All round the stylish hunting lodge
cool-green lawns extend
smart, smooth, reserved,
-- green dream green --
while somewhere else
a fat little horse is sauntering
in blue-green grass,


I'm an old catfish
rolling idly
in the mud
under the rushes
under the bridge

A shadow up there -
a human
a leg
a foot
a toe
a toe
Rise . . . Snap!
yuck -
Tastes like shit
but one must
do something
to keep them alert
up there
one has responsibilities

I'm an old catfish
twisting slowly
in the cozy mud
poised near bottom
arching back
relaxing gills

A twinkle up there -
a fire
a flyer
a dragonfly
banking out
of chrysalis on reed
breathing sun
the light

Life sparkles
on its wings
The lake takes shape
in its eyes

I'm an old catfish
veering sleepily
in my mud
eyeing the dragonfly
up there -
That's what I want to be
next time around

Jane Roken lives in Denmark, on the interface between hedgerows and barley fields.  She is fond of old tractors, garden sheds, scarecrows and other stuff that, in the due course of time, will ripen into something else.  Her writings have been published in many different places, mostly online.

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Poem by F. Stanton Blake


Buried in sand and rock and ocean for years
My solitude a trickle of salty tears

Hidden from sight and love
Hard shell protects

My life gone in a flash like gunpowder
Don't take me for your chowder

F. Stanton Blake is a Bronze Star decorated U.S. Army Veteran.  He served as a Captain in 1/8 Infantry Battalion, 4th ID during OIF I.  F. Stanton has the proud distinction of being the fourth generation in his family to serve in the 4th Infantry Division during combat.  His is a published photographer, advanced SCUBA diver, licensed general contractor, ordained minister, entrepreneur, and proud husband and father.  His poetry career began during his sister's wedding.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Poem by Sydney Peck

Lost in the Mist

Grey fingers soft as a pickpocket's,
Soundless and sightless, have taken the sun--
Poacher in the kingdom of the blind.
Guests and ghosts of the realm steal in and out,
Cozened into thinking that
Feet pressed to the ground--
Ensure the lost land will be restored,
The theft of the sun will be recouped.

Sydney Peck is a schoolteacher of English, and a keen musician.  Writes and composes poetry and songs for a hobby.  Married with three grown up children, he has lived in Canada, USA, Ireland, England, and Russia.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Poem by Joanna M. Weston


a lion hides
behind the walnut tree

his whiskers twitch
as I pull vetch
among the lettuces

will he pounce
take a bite?

I listen while
the lion watches
me in prayer

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: 

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Poem by Leilanie Stewart

On a field trip
my tutor pulled apart a clump
of what looked like rotten seaweed
clinging to a battered rock
but turned out to be
7000 year old reeds,
flattened, paper-thin
and I thought about the people
who busied around,
moulding pots or knapping flint
and may have knelt
on those very reeds
before they folded
into the golden-brown
of their autumn years
Leilanie Stewart's poetry has appeared in numerous print and online magazines and anthologies in the UK and US. She worked as a professional archaeologist in Northern Ireland and her forthcoming pamphlet from Eyewear Publishing, A Model Archaeologist, explores the theme. Her writing blog is at: http://

Monday, December 22, 2014

Two Poems by Miki Byrnes

Flooded Landscape

A landscape lies flat.
Curves, hollows,
Tussocks, fences,
Rolled by an obese weight
of water.  That fell like nails
hammered into the earth.
Now we are but flecks
upon a mirror.  Stubborn marks
where silvering has rubbed through.
Clouds reflect
an unending metallic plain.
Pierced only by spires,
huddled island communities.
Sharp black spikes
of mud-trapped trees.

Lickey Hills

A steep path.  Steps too high for comfort.
Straining calf muscles at each knee-bend, mud-slick in rain.
It rose behind the training center.  Boys hung like apes
on tree strung ropes.  Learned team spirit, rules of convention.
Their shouts twined under thick boughs.  Higher up trees clotted.
A green palisade that blocked road, view, noise.
Pine cones littered ground cushioned upon a million shed needles.
Mottled, fragrant.  Dotted with open lobed cones.  Light fell
in dancing patches.  Flickered over the ground in mirror-ball splashes.
Silence lay pure.  An open mouth into which I fed thoughts,
worries, an expansion of optimism.  That returned to me
chewed into more recognizable shapes.
Going down was best achieved on ones backside.
Hands gripping each steps edge.  To arrive at the road
mucky, nails filled with earth.  Head softly rested.

Miki Byrne began performing her poetry in a Bikers Club.  She has had three collections of poetry published and work included in over 160 respected poetry magazines and anthologies.  Miki has won poetry competitions and has been placed in many others.  She has read on both Radio and TV and judged poetry competitions.  She was a finalist for Gloucester Poet Laureate.  Miki is a member of the charity Arthritis Care's People Bank.  She has been disabled for many years.