Monday, August 25, 2014

A Poem by Joyce Kessel


Carnival lights and sounds
fill the night
beyond the bridge
before and after fireworks,
We wait for twinkling tentacles in the sky.

But the silvery evening star,
small & moonless,
shining in a luminous afterglow.
Earth's sister-twin planet
home to her own
Guinevere & Aphrodite
depends on us
to reflect her beauty.

Joyce Kessel grew up crossing into Canada to go to Crystal Beach which had a terrific roller coaster, The Comet.  She has been published in Kind of a Hurricane's B, Point Mass, and A Touch of Saccharine.  She is getting refueled at a writers retreat this summer in Woodstock, NY and is a co-editor at Earth's Daughters.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Two Poems by Theresa A. Cancro

Berceuse In Terra

Each rumble of the 'quake
holds in its grip last gasps,
babies' first breaths, end tucked in
at the beginning, a heart tremor,
lost as it falls.

Blue sky catatonic soon folds
with swells off the reef, isn't truly
shaken.  Cloud eyes dim, brighten
when pressed to the sea,
taken to cradle.

Long striations on the horizon
mimic uneven lengths of energy
fingers clawing thin crusts
through scree, pumice,
plied clay and rocking beds.

Earth crack elongated by sun's glare
carries bright songs birds continue
to warble, while it rends the selvage of
sateen hours:  in complacence,
gaping wide, it exhales.

Spring Burgeons

I probe the air, the ant byways
for luxe grass, foliate limbs,
seek in the margins for scraps
from last summer, scathed
to lacy bits along garden walls.

I pray to the ether for rains
to heal the ice burn among magnolia,
limp under gray prism light breaching
tired clouds.  Nimbus waifs hunger
above, long to lap at misty trails.

I provide moments of un-
orchestrated reverie, am loathe
to leave the gate open, fear
these scattered keepsakes
might be wrangled away.

I pluck recalcitrant motes from my eyes,
while aeolian murmurs issue
above the curve of blooming tulips,
snowdrops and smug violets
that shield faces from northern gales.

Theresa A. Cancro (Wilmington, Delaware) writes poetry and fiction.  Many of her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print and online publications, including Napalm an Novocain, Pyrokinection, Kind of a Hurricane Press anthologies, Dead Snakes, Kumquat Poetry, Leaves of Ink, The Artistic Muse, A Hundred Gourds, Cattails, Shamrock Haiku Journal, Chrysanthemum, and tinywords, among others.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Poem by J.J. Campbell


when i pour
water into the
bowl for the
oldest cat out
here on the

she sees her
reflection and
gets ready to

the other day
she actually
threw a punch
at the water

i patter her on
the head and
said good girl

that's the kind
of self-hate i
can admire

J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) lives and writes on a struggling farm in Brookville, Ohio.  He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Dead Snakes, The Camel Saloon, Pink Litter, Midnight on the Stroll Poetry Contest, and Zygote in My Coffee. His book, Sofisticated White Trash, is available wherever books are sold these days. You can find him most days on his blog, evil delights.  (

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Poem by M.J. Iuppa

Small Gestures


Sunlight lingers on cherry blossoms . . .
Its blush becomes a syllable held tenderly in
a song filled with maybe-- wanton kisses--
you can scarcely breathe


At the feeders, anxious birds
dither over fresh seeds with exquisite grace,
a difficult balance of beak & body, un-
swerving swoon disappears


The night's rain smells like flood.  Don't
interrupt love's quandary.  Ophelia's face
is a water lily tethered between two worlds,
floating eternally

M.J. Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario.  Between Worlds is her most recent chapbook, featuring lyric essays; flash fiction and prose poems (Foothills Publishing, 2013).  She is the Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College.  You can follow her musings on writing and creative sustainability on Red Rooster Farm on

Friday, August 15, 2014

Two Poems by David Chorlton

A Rattlesnake in Summer

In her place on warm concrete
where a board has come loose
from the house,
a rattlesnake wound tight
has come from the dark space
to soak in morning sun.
                            She's golden
with brown angled all
along her body, and her eyes
look out from a current of scales
when she shifts to accommodate
the light, sliding
                 against a metal tube
lying on the ground to mark
how close is safe
for anyone approaching,
until hunger leads her
to the grass,
               and she stutters forward
to where it slopes
toward the road winding through
the mountains that cut
into the sky's every storm
                       and settle back
in place when the universe
at night flows overhead
after lightning has passed,
                       in the calm
that follows a bite.

Arboretum Afternoon

A bobcat's scent lingers
beneath the bridge that swings
across the shadow cast
by the cliff face leaning over
a thread of water
on a day too warm for February.
An agave rooted in darkness

leans into the light
with a raven holding to it
by a talon and a call
that flies into the trees
from every continent
which find asylum here
among the sheltered trails,

one of which climbs
a twisting course
to the lookout point
above the lake, in the dry air

through which the desert
floats all the way
to the final ridge before infinity.

David Chorlton came to Phoenix from Europe in 1978 with his wife Roberta, an Arizona native.  He quickly became comfortable with the climate while adjusting to the New World too longer.  Writing and reading poetry have helped immensely in that respect, as has exposure to the American small presses.  Arizona's landscape and wildlife became increasingly important to him both as a source of pleasure and a measure of how precarious the natural world is.  Thirty years ago he regarded the idea of "nature poetry" as one tainted with sentimentality but today it appears ever more necessary as an element of resistance to the conformity that Edward Abbey confronted so well in his writings on the Southwest.  FutureCycle Press recently published his Selected Poems.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Rebuilt Another Day

A Jackknife made of birds and bees
Explores the quicksilver chimneys
Near the mill pond that sleeps
The death of dark long years
Beneath the brass and broken clouds
On this whirligig of a cold day
Whose dim streets open the stale pastry
Of my old wounds
Till I retreat to my garret room
To paint all this with quill and ink
And rhymes my pigments that I carefully mix
So that I might better fill these "canvases"
With what grows on vines
And had the power to make sleep the mind
Way oh way back in most ancient days
Gone forever now as if by ocean waves
Carried away to the junkyard of old deities
No longer even in the thoughts of the humblest birds or bees.

Even When Silent

The intricately carved monastery soars like a carousel
The red hot polka dotted riverscape will have its fifteen minutes of fame
As a flock of origami cranes glides up its cliffs
That are like a room full of mirrors
As they go to where the story takes them
As all becomes like it belongs on stilts
As I let out a long sigh of rusty salt spray
And all of this is after the snow melted
And left behind only giant saxophones
To pollinate the nearby gardens that were scribbled long ago
On a blackboard salvaged from hillsides covered
In neon yellow autumn leaves and quartz crystal stone

A Forkful of Violins

The constellations in the winter sky
All start to blur together
As we watch the fog roll in
On an island surrounded by kelp
Where plum blossoms covered with snow
Come unbidden upon us like an absinthe dream
And strange and sparsely lit is the ocean view
That has all the shrouded loneliness
Of a mournful train whistle
Built with the cinder blocks of midnight
And sounding pure and perfect
Like a pink conch shell
Never wavering in pitch nor timber
Even as it waxes and wanes
Like the moon tiptoeing like an elf in the darkness

Ken L. Jones has written everything from Donald Duck comic books to dialogue for the Freddy Krueger movies for the past thirty plus years.  In the last three years he has gained great notice for his vast publication of horror poetry which has appeared in many anthology books, blogs, magazines and websites and especially in his first solo book of poetry Bad Harvest and Other Poems.  He is also publishing recently in the many fine anthology poetry books that Kind of a Hurricane Press is putting out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Poem by Joan Leotta

Summer Storm at the Grand Canyon
Black clouds hang low over the canyon
a sudden, swift snap of light
claws across the sky,
ripping into the rim’s stone flesh.
The helpless fury of the wounded stones
roars throughout the canyon.

Relentless, the
fiery cat-o-nine tails
strikes again
at the stones.
Reddened rocks answer each stripe
with rolling roars.
The whip now cracks
angrily around the canyon rim
etching agony onto
the entire semi-circle of rocks
When I can no longer bear to watch
such naked pain and anger,
I retreat, running down the trail.
The rocks cannot run.
Their pain continues.

Joan Leotta is the author of the Legacy of Honor Series: Giulia Goes to War, Letters From Korea, and A Bowl of Rice from Desert Breeze Publishing, Cottonwood Grove published by Western Trail Blaze (April 1, 2014), and Tales Through Time: Women of the South: April Publishing.  Blog: