Friday, November 30, 2012

A Poem by Ben Rasnic

The Eleventh Month

In the chill of receding twilight
we manipulate swirls
of fallen leaves.

Gold, saffron, scarlet red
& amber crackle
like small campfires gathered

in the metronome sweeps
exposing frame
after frame
of forest green grass.

A thin veil of gray cirrus
drapes the Maryland landscape
as pumpkin tinged sun
extends its ephemeral rays

dissipating like fine silk
into distant smoke
of horizon.

I pause to contemplate
the light of another day
drawing to a close

and the comforting cloak
that is infinite darkness
closing in.

Ben Rasnic is a native of Jonesville, a small rural town in Southwest Virginia with a population <1000.  His poems have been published in A Small Good Magazine, Bird’s Eye reView, The Camel Review, Camroc Press Review, Flutter Magazine, Gutter Eloquence, The Orange Room Review, Right Hand Pointing, The Rusty Truck, Short, Fast and Deadly, Subliminal Interiors, Victorian Velvet Press and numerous other print and online journals.  He is also the author of “Artifacts and Legends”, a chapbook collection of poetry from Aldrich Press and “The Day the Looking Glass Shattered” an e-chapbook from The Camel Saloon. A Pushcart Prize nominee in 2011, Rasnic still considers as his greatest literary achievement, electing to publish two short poems by Yusef Komunyakaa while serving as editor of his college literary magazine, Jimson Weed, in 1978—16 years before Komunyakaa received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.  Ben currently resides in Bowie, Maryland.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Two Poems by Alan Britt


Banana pepper sways
above firma, single
toe scratching
upturned earth.

Another pepper curves
her waxy thigh around
teal tranquility
of solitude.

Little breeze pulls
her glistening fingertips
through the dusky hair
of golden tomatoes.

White aluminum recliner
creaks when little breeze
rubs her mercury waist
against my cheek.


Palm trees evoke a cross between
Elephant Man & octopus spread-
eagle across sea breezes that tickle
3rd husband where he hasn't been
since wife number 2 lost her mind
to a cave-in years ago.

Palm trees nuzzle shadows like star
nosed moles or levitate like pudgy
buddhas flailing nihilistic arms
& legs above the foaming Atlantic.

Alan Britt's interview at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem ( will air on Pacifica Radio in January 2013. His interview with Minnesota Review is up at He read poems at the World Trade Center/Tribute WTC Visitor Center in Manhattan/NYC, April 2012, at the We Are You Project (WeAreYouProject.Org) Wilmer Jennings Gallery, East Village/NYC, April 2012, and at New Jersey City University's Ten Year 9/11 Commemoration in Jersey City, NJ, September 2011. His poem, "September 11, 2001," appeared in International Gallerie: Poetry in Art/Art in Poetry Issue, v13 No.2 (India): 2011. His recent books are Alone with the Terrible Universe (2011), Greatest Hits (2010), Hurricane (2010), Vegetable Love (2009), Vermilion (2006), Infinite Days (2003), Amnesia Tango (1998) and Bodies of Lightning (1995). The Poetry Library ( providing a free access digital library of 20th & 21st century English poetry magazines with the aim of preserving them for the future has included Britt’s work published in Fire (UK) in their project.   Britt’s work also appears in the new anthologies, The Robin Hood Book: Poets in Support of the Robin Hood Tax, by Caparison, United Kingdom, 2012, American Poets Against the War, Metropolitan Arts Press, Chicago/Athens/Dublin, 2009 and Vapor transatl├íntico (Transatlantic Steamer), a bi-lingual anthology of Latin American and North American poets, Hofstra University Press/Fondo de Cultura Econ├│mica de Mexico/Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos de Peru, 2008. Readings & Presentations: Panel Chair for Poetry Studies & Creative Poetry for the PCA/ACA Conference 2008 in Boston, Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ (2009 & 2012), the WPA Gallery/Ward-Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY (2008), Ultra Violet Studio, Chelsea/NYC (2008 & 2009), White Marsh Library, Baltimore (2011 & 2012), Enoch Pratt Free Library (Canton Branch) Baltimore (2011), Pedestal Magazine Reading at the Writers Center, Bethesda, MD (2012). Alan currently teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University and lives in Reisterstown, Maryland with his wife, daughter, two Bouviers des Flandres, one Bichon Frise and two formerly feral cats.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Poem by Dr. Smita Anand Sriwastav

she of the sun-kissed frangipani...
the summer's elastic daylight
finally wraps up its realms of gold,
as tall silhouettes of trees
blessed with lush verdure and avian chirps,
stretch themselves over
technicolor bosom of crepuscule,
etching a rippling chiaroscuro
over the visage of sapphire lake.

the mangoes wink 
at the sun that retreats on
footprints of glowing amaranths of red,
indifferent to forlorn droop of sunflowers;
and cicadas begin quaint threnodies
on reverberating strings of cellos,
while fireflies of aster-face 
twinkle as plucked constellations of wishes
on the stalks of slumbering bushels.

mascara-tinted clouds enshroud
the darkening face of the once azure sky,
pregnant with raindrops' emotion,
thunder's heart wrenching cries of endurance
and with lingering whim of a rainbow,
this is a prologue to summer's rain.

she of the sun-kissed frangipani
that hides a glowworm of fluorescence
within its petals of sublime,
paints with colors of twilight on
the sublime breast of sailing, soaring clouds
etching variegated characters,
that whisper their own tales to rising stars.

she of the sun-kissed frangipani,
gathers stardust on fingertips of intrigue
from the vacuum of infinite,
to sprinkle as dream-seeds on eyelids
closed with hope of sweet siesta,
filling moonlight in secret cisterns
to polish her gorgeous smiles.

she collected night jasmines 
of insomniac smiles from myriad octopus limbs,
in her skirt frills to scatter on threshold of tomorrow,
through her sparkling irises of amber
peeps her soul that tenderly caresses 
all my faults, mistakes, errors
erasing them from the window pane 
of bittersweet existence... 

Dr. Smita Anand Sriwastav is an M.B.B.S. doctor with a passion for poetry and literature, has always expressed my innermost thoughts and sentiments through the medium of poetry, uses nature as the most inspiring force in molding writings, has published two books and several poems in journals like the Rusty Nail and Contemporary Literary Review India and one of poem was published in a book called ‘Inspired by Tagore’published by Sampad and British Council.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Poem by Diane Webster


The flagstone rock leans
like a spread-eagle suspect
against the house
with a fluffed up sparrow
resting atop the crag
in full south side sunshine
while siding and granite bounce back warmth
toastier than cousins wing to wing
as insulation on telephone line
while the neighborhood cat
lazes on its lookout windowsill
just above and out of sight.


Diane Webster's biggest challenge as a poet is to remain open to idea opportunities whether that's by noticing a blooming pansy in a pavement crack or seeing a hawk scowling from its perch or a woman guided down the sidewalk by a man with his hand on her neck.  Her work has appeared in "Illya's Honey," "The Hurricane Review," "Philadelphia Poets" and other literary magazines.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Poem by Diane Webster


Red-winged blackbirds fright fly in formation
as scarlet-headed house finches
cock their heads to get a bird’s eye view
of the person standing in the window
as she stands everyday.
Nothing to fear
like juncos feeding on the ground
wary of the gray cat who occasionally stalks
with red tongue licking between
gleaming white fangs;
black eyes wide around the corner
charging like silly blackbirds
who heard a seed drop
like the click of a feline claw on gravel.

Diane Webster's challenge is to remain open to poetry opportunities and to write what she sees whether by walking across the parking lot or watching the hawk scowl from its tree. Her work has appeared in “Illya’s Honey,” “The Cape Rock” and other literary magazines.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Poem by Marilyn "Misky" Braendeholm


Another frosty morning,
and my dreams are wading
through lofty mist. Awake
grey day, another iced
morn as you sleep beside me.
Birds’ song long flown
on thread-bare branches,
and perhaps, just maybe
I should have done the same.
And I stare with silver shivers
at Mother Nature’s New Clothes.

Marilyn 'Misky' Braendeholm lives in the UK surrounded by flowers, grapevines, bubbling pots of sourdough starter, bottles of fermenting vinegar, a Springer Spaniel, and a small camera that she keeps in her pocket. She never buys clothing without pockets.
Misky’s poetry and flash fiction are at and Misky Cooks at

Monday, November 5, 2012

Three Poems by Anthony Ward

The Browning
What mirth this melancholy brings
With melatonin augmenting tannins
Through verdant serotonin
Shed lachrymosely like upturned flames
Doused by a hibernal ash
Through drawn out darkness
To nourish those new spurts of life.

The Robin

Perching upon the gatepost
Projecting its boastful breast
Appearing ensanguined against
The cold winter flesh
Staking its territory
With melodious triumph
A portrait in prominence
Instilled within your mind
Warming our familiarity
To the dormant chill.

Upon the riparian verge
A stagnant stream settles into itself
Within a glade
Exhibiting nothing but
A sprite of colour
Causing enclosed conferences of precipitation
To disturb the serene harmony of natures psalm.
Anthony tends to fidget with his thoughts in the hope of laying them to rest. He has managed to lay them in a number of literary magazines including Enhance, Drunk Monkeys, Speech Therapy, Turbulence, Underground, The Autumn Sound, Torrid Literature Journal, Jellyfish Whispers, and The Rusty Nail, amongst others.