Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Three Poems by Gary Beck

Avian Hierarchy
My terrace is a study
of the laws of survival,
as the birds struggle daily
for the limited food supply.
Sparrows chase the finches,
blue jays chase the sparrows,
doves chase the blue jays,
and pigeons chase everyone.
My guests who relax outdoors,
enjoying a taste of nature
in a city of concrete,
all suggest liberally
that the birds should just get along.
Spring Fever
The sum is shining brightly
and we have come out of our warrens
shedding layers of garments,
eager to leave behind
the storms of winter
for outdoor enjoyment
before nostrils flow
with seasonal snivels.
Perilous Nudity
Winter having run its course
despite groundhog predictions,
we shed layers of garments
until it's warm enough
to bare sun-deprived skin
that must be protected
from ultra-violet rays
with cancerous intent,
eager to penetrate
artificial shields.
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. His chapbook 'Remembrance' was published by Origami Condom Press, 'The Conquest of Somalia' was published by Cervena Barva Press, 'The Dance of Hate' was published by Calliope Nerve Media, 'Material Questions' was published by Silkworms Ink, 'Dispossessed' was published by Medulla Press, 'Mutilated Girls' was published by Heavy Hands Ink and 'Pavan and other poems' is being published by Indigo Mosaic. A collection of his poetry 'Days of Destruction' was published by Skive Press. Another collection 'Expectations' was published by Rogue Scholars Press and 'Dawn in Cities' and 'Assault on Nature' are being published by Winter Goose Press. His novel 'Acts of Defiance' is being published by Trestle Press and 'Extreme Change' is being published by Cogwheel Press. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry has appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City .

Monday, July 30, 2012

Four Haiku by David S. Pointer

displaced fish
swim along inside
the high speed train

search boats
floating on whole patches
of empty blue

rural dog
rides atop a fishing dock
to Cat Island

blue reef surfers
rumble and ride
a dream

David S. Pointer new chapbook is entitled "Sinister Splashplay" from "Virgogray Press" available at www.lulu.com.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Poem by pd lyons

only august

almost quiet
only feather sounds
almost still
only slow
steady beating
as if horses
taught themselves
to march in order
across the fields
almost green
only smoky
spiral dust
almost damp descending
as if insects
finally taught themselves
to sing
like falling rain
across midday
almost yawning
only august
pd lyons has been writing for a long time now and hopes to continue doing so for even longer. Work has appeared in many mags & zines through out the world. Has two collections of poetry published by Lapwing Press Belfast. For further info please visit pdlyons blog for poetry publishing info and new releases:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Poem by Patrick Lawrence O'Keeffe

Kitchen Clock

You have to wait for tomatoes—
just as you do for any poem.
Oh—I know—I've done it too.
A wink from bi-focal man
at the rear of the hardware store
who slips you a bag of secret dust.
Guarantee of early ripening.

A tomato's true love is manure
my brother taught me when I was six
the summer he came home from the army
and had me help start a garden late.
Withdrawing spade from dark pile
heaped high in the wheelbarrow
from a mound behind the barn
he one-eyed it over extended thumb.
"Exaxctly half a shovel each," he pronounced.

Oh—I know—fertilizers you work in
may push rythms well past the ear
induce artificial rhymes to blossom.
Pick poems early with a gardener's grin
and alone under the pale glow
of late-night kitchen clock
they just won't slice right.
Hollow spaces in secret places
where seed ought to plenty.
Unfinished fibers vein the fruit.

You have to wait for tomatoes—
just as you do for any poem.
I know—having grown one with manure
from a garden late that summer
my brother finally came home.

Patrick Lawrence O’Keeffe is a poet and freelance writer. Raised on a Pennsylvania dairy farm, he resides in Port Clinton, Ohio, with his wife Karen. Published materials include humorous Op-Ed essays in the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune, book reviews in the Morrow County (Ohio) Sentinel, poems in the Blue Lake Review and Erie Wire, and self-published works of poetry and fiction. When he is not machining crankshafts on the evening shift, he scribbles verse and stories in a red pocket notebook. A participant in the Firelands Writing Center, he reads his poems at Mr. Smith’s Coffee House in Sandusky, Ohio.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Poem by L. Ward Abel

The sunset colors red brick
behind tall azalea and boxwood
unkempt from someone’s aging.
None of these tints stay
the same, imperceptibly range
from pinkorange to reddish bluegreen
then gray to lack of light.
Birds sing past and before days.
Wings recede from thermals
and go somewhere to doze
after the evening always with
a memory of poplars, strange dialects,
with an aversion to agriculture.

L. Ward Abel, poet, composer and performer of music, teacher, lawyer, lives in rural Georgia, has been published hundreds of times in print and online, including appearing in The Reader along with, among others, British Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, and is the author of Peach Box and Verge(Little Poem Press, 2003), Jonesing For Byzantium (UK Authors Press, 2006), The Heat of Blooming (Pudding House Press, 2008), Torn Sky Bleeding Blue (erbacce-Press, 2010), and the forthcoming American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012). A limited edition, short Selected Poetry has just been released through West Virginia College of Law.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Two Poems by Pamela Sayers

Colibris on Plaid Blankets

Chiseled hips window the secrets of grief
on mountains; I’ve photographed these:
flowers blooming in a hummingbird’s view

Where I’ve rested a hand amongst colour’s
marrow in my desert sky, crocuses
spread wide as breastbones grasp
deep within stillness

Pivoting, adjusting to massive
spaces, a clatter of constellations
perhaps leads to silence

Memories Like Silver Spoons

I. Snow and ice

I ran grabbing flurries,
melting in my hands,
wishing angels beneath
me with wings to take frozen flight,
as you watched crimson drops
sliding down my face — I cried

II. Buds and greenery shine

I sat cross-legged, touching dandelion
petals, kissing the day’s
wishes, ants scurrying before my
feet, moving the earth into
their kingdoms — I dreamed

III. Sun and sand

I floated on waves, buoyant,
light as a wisp of salty wind,
grazing sunlight brushing my
skin, turning it a tender, pinkish
hue, when an angry undertow pulled
my toes and tried to pull me
from you — I breathed

IV. Burnt leaves changing colours

I pounced, chanting on freshly
raked piles, mud staining my clothes,
each smear an adventure, an ending
of cycles, living and dying where
fires singed my senses — I wondered

Each season my universe …
Pamela is an English teacher living in Mexico.
She traded in her city high heels for Doc Martens and a different,
spicier life ten years ago. She writes mostly about what she
sees going on around her. Now living a stress-free life with her
husband and their happy animals (4 dogs, a cat and a parrot).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Two Poems by Barbara Ehrentreu

The earth lays brown
covered with ice and snow
until the sun’s rays melts it
awakens the sleeping seeds
dormant within the rich
humus to begin the process
a milligram at a time until
the delicate embryo
sprouts a tender green
stem and pushes hard
imagine how strong the
effort to spring forward
free in the sunshine!
The new green shoot
cracks through struggling
toward the light. Rushing
from the womb of Mother
Earth to feel the touch
of first sunlight
upon the newborn leaves.

The sun the star of the sky
descends in a death defying slide
until it reaches the horizon where
lavender and pink burst as if an
airplane were skywriting in streams
across the wide expanse
The colors bleed to gray
until light is extinguished
in summer the gap filled
with fireflies dancing over
the grass. Their backs
glowing intermittently
as they flutter in the twilight
Evening comes as a whisper
Always a surprise when the gray
Turns to black as the streetlights
Appear. Hard on the heels of day
Birds begin their evening tweets
Flying to trees for safety and we
Slip back into our homes to
Locked doors and lighted
Living rooms waiting for evening
To turn to night .

Barbara, a retired teacher with a Masters degree in Reading and Writing K-12 and seventeen years of teaching experience lives with her family in Stamford, Connecticut. She has been editing for 4RVPublishing for several years. When she received her Masters degree she began writing seriously. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, Barbara’s first YA novel published by MuseItUp Publishing, was inspired by Paula Danziger. In addition she has a story in the anthology: Lavender Dreamsand three poems in Prompted: An International Collection of Poems. Barbara was a NY Literature Examiner for Examiner.com with several articles for them. Her blog, Barbara’s Meanderings, http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com/, is networked on both Facebook and Blog Catalog. She hosts Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages on Blog Talk Radio every 4th Thursday. In addition, her children's story, “The Trouble with Follow the Leader” and an adult story, “Out on a Ledge” are published online She has written book reviews for Authorlink.com. and several of her reviews have been on Acewriters and Celebrity Café. She is a member of SCBWI. Writing is her life!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Poem by Linda Hofke

Daisies After the Storm

When she arrived home it looked like the scene of a massacre,
as if a clowder of stray cats slaughtered a flock of unsuspecting
doves, silky white feathers scattered on moistened soil,
a few drops of crimson-colored geranium petals mixed in.
She shook her head in disbelief. Only two weeks before they'd
come into bloom; now they'd been reduced to a bunch

of bare-headed discs on twiggy green bodies, puddles of petals
below. The poor daisies appeared old and battered, stripped
of their beauty by a three-minute hail storm in the middle of June.

Staring at the damage, her mind wandered to memories of years
gone by, distant yet unfading, those delicate buds suddenly shaken
from her womb, expectations thwarted by forces unforeseen.
Linda Hofke, a native Pennsylvanian, lives in Germany where she writes, takes photographs and puts her lead food to use on the Autobahn. Her most recent work has been featured or upcoming in MiCrow, Bolts of Silk, The Fib Review, Prompted, and The Poetic Pinup Revue. She blogs at http://lind-guistics.blogspot.de/.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Poem by R.C. Davis

into the
grapevine and disappear,
If I don’t move they won’t find me,
for days, I am the green man in a town
where even gunslingers don’t survive for
long, so depart with short notice; no remorse,
passing wall after wall of moss covered limestone
on their way out to the highway, a deeply, rutted mud
filled byway sunken into the forest where one can pass without being seen
until you reach the bridgeless stream, there you will wet your feet, or your wheels,
the little fish won’t mind as you pass, unless you get stuck, then you will be in
their way, impeding their motion and then they will set upon you and do little fish damage
in only the way little fish can, so it is better to go unnoticed in this little town, so I fall into the english ivy
and disappear,I won’t be found for weeks,green on green, the green man until the brown of autumn days
you may find my tracks leading out to the path that passes for a road in this county, horseshoes
and wagon wheels littering the ditches where virginia creeper and poison oak seek them out,
skeletal remains of turnip karts and wooden wheel barrows would go unnoticed,
were it not for the tale-tale bones projecting up through
the layers of vegetation, pungent and attractive to those
who may not be from this town, drawing them in,
only to be a
sad reminder
on their way
out, because
only I can be
here without
being noticed

R.C. Davis is a Poet,Writer/Author presently residing in Iowa City ,Iowa with his Jack Russell terrier, Daisy.
He has been writing poetry and prose since his twelfth year of life and has been published in the Wapsi Almanac,
Amber Waves of Grain, an anthology of short stories and by Strange Cage Press of Iowa City.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Poem by S.P. Flannery

To Be Known

Sandstone outcroppings in a dell
hide endemic etchings
from those who came long before,
graffiti they left for all to see
of their world perception
creation, destruction and protection
by failed ancestral spirits
who reside within their totems,
creatures real or imagined
when summer smoke inhaled
relieves apprehension of its chains
to allow the lonely mind
to paint what it sees.

S.P. Flannery was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and now resides in
Madison. His poetry has appeared in Random Acts of Writing, The
Alembic, The Mayo Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and Revival. He is
currently a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison. His work may also be found at:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Two Poems by Duane Locke


I was born on a farm.
At four I was forced to live in city.
I wanted to stay on farm,
To see every morning a green heron atop
The new green, sunlit-brightened green
New growth of a pine.

Now aged, I observe a farm, airplane, poison,
Tractor, treeless, no pines, and the urban life of farmers.
Although I never liked where I was,
I now understand the farm is no place to desire.


Old gold that spreads over fallen pine,
Now crumbled into loose piles
Of blonde and beige wood,
You and your splendor was brought
To my attention by the arrival
Of a false-eye, black beetle.

I should call this small beetle,
True professor or true priest, for this beetle
Has revealed the sacred and enchantment,
The old gold that covers the decaying pine.

Duane Locke lives in Tampa, Florida near anhinga,
gallinules, raccoons, alligators, etc.
He has published 6,640 poems, includes 29 books of poems. His latest
book publication, April 2012,
This book is a republication
Of his first eleven books, contains 333 pages. Order from
Or Amazon.
He is also aphotographer of Surphotos and Nature. Has had 405
surphotos published in e zines
And many were used for magazine and book covers. A book of 40 of his
surphotos has been published by Blaze box—POETIC IMPRINTS, RESPONSES

Friday, July 20, 2012

Two Poems by Rishan Singh


You have persisted arboreality,
modifying your traits for us, Homo sapiens.
Occupying SE Asia, the savannas, tropical and subtropical forests,
you’ve paved the way, leaving prints of your pride,
prints of puberty, prints of perfection,
the scars of your historical scavenging.

Enviously today, our eyes, eye your primal deeds,
nevertheless you confer these features of forward-directed eyes.
Your skeletal repertoire, an advantage to bonobos and man,
with backbone and bipedal astroundment;
latterly freeing our once grounded hands,
for movements of opposition and prehensition.

Our bow-shaped jaws and mixed diet habits,
an inheritance of primal inheritance,
programming us with skills of ironic complex social-unity
and language agility through arboreal neural enhancements.

You (Tarsoids) live, still giving medium glamourfication
to great-Earth origins by the billions,
tho’ extant between Prosimians and Arthropoid changes.
But, who are you? Are you Post-theos?


(Unlocking speculation, Neanderthals unveiled unexpectedly in 1856,
a place of self-derived entitlement, the Neander Valley in Germany)

Modern humanity personified by your disappearance,
traces of your extantion preserved for popular
unearthed pro-extinct hominin scientific exhibitions.

You were the foundation of pre-human,
leaving traits of (great)cranial-intellect 128 000 years old
in Krapina Croatia, sharing landscapes for 60 000 years in
Uzbekistan and Siberia fossilizing,
for Homo sapiens fame-fossilis.

You diverged genetically from H. sapiens,
but set the branch of modern speech that’s abused.
Everyday, we turn over a new stone,
exploiting your contemprous tool kits to
care and adorn, metabolize but not cannibalize.

Enduring cold conditions to ‘extinction’,
you fought with pain, slendering stocky bodies
to symmetrical torsos of civilization,
now exposed to earth’s crisis of excess greenhouse gases.
But, what happened to you? Are you still alive?

Rishan Singh is a South African, prize-winning, poet who was born in KwaZulu-Natal, a province in which the city of Durban in based in the Republic of South Africa. He has had poetry published in journals and books and is recognised in 5 different countries. Writing is one of his professions.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Poem by Pamela Gross

In the Garden                                                                              

        A sudden wedge-
shaped shadow
from the hemlock’s

arms at garden’s

Wings outstretched,
                                 it stoops
 to enfold its prey,
 just feet before
 me on the path’s
of brick.

           Then --
fast as its fierce
approach -- it
away. Not a
whisper of wingbeat
in this spring

                       The maned
oriental maple, fine-
has just this week begun
                                         to open
its burgundy, die-cut hands.

Epimedium’s rubra fringe
bibs a hexagonal
of basalt planted
to cup and pool

I bend toward
a river of oxalis
to pluck
a single bouquet
               of shattered breast coverts
that nests
among these good-luck

She lives and works in Seattle, Washington. Her first poetry collection, BIRDS OF THE NIGHT SKY/STARS OF THE FIELD, was published by the University of Washington press. A new collection, LIKE FIREWEED LEAPING, is in progress.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Two Poems by Patricia L. Goodman


Handsome harbinger of winter,
you saw it all,
the bird feeders that blew over
in the storm, seed, broken
suet cakes
scattered on the patio.

You saw tiny finches who flitted
through the tangle,
seeking the seed that remained;
crows and squirrels
who came to feast,
making the most of misfortune.

You saw new-widow’s tears
as I righted everything,
refilled feeders with hands
too cold to function,
retrieved pieces too broken
to repair.

Far above, you clung
to the penteave of the house,
observed upside down
the chaos that was the same
from any angle.


          With a raspy Erp!
a nuthatch flies to my feeders.
           As I stand on the deck he
       snatches a sunflower chip, takes off
                 to the safety of the oak.

Across the creek, patches of snow
                   from the recent storm melt
           in welcome warmth.
Chickadees, finches wait
               in the beeches for me

      to go inside, and I have
                       filled the suet feeder
for the woodpeckers.
           The creek riffles on the rocks,
sustains wildlife

       of the watershed but
its gentle music always brings
                 tears. It feels good to cry,
even though it cannot
           bring back my husband.

I would stand here longer but
            the birds are hungry.

Patricia L. Goodman is a widowed mother and grandmother and a graduate of Wells College with a degree in Biology and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She spent her career years running a large horse business with her orthodontist husband on their farm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Her work has been published in numerous online and print journals and her first full-length manuscript is currently being presented to publishers. She now lives in Wilmington, Delaware on the banks of the Red Clay Creek where she is surrounded by the natural world she loves.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Poem by Bradley Morewood

orangutan in a hammock looking up at me through a clear floor

when I look into the eyes of the juvenile orangutan
I see the peace and trust in him
which rose from the green and silent rainforests of Sumatra
I remember the look my Alzheimer’s ridden grandmother gave me
one night when I put her to bed

the history of the primates
a lost expedition of consciousness looking out for survivors

I am a prefect among the marching columns of marble
marching up the hills of Sumatra
unconscious of the songs of the orangutan
the history of a planet giving birth over and over
flying in the arms of a galaxy

Monday, July 16, 2012

Two Poems by Ben Nardolilli

A Blue Lobster's Claws

They could be called blue,
So go closer to turquoise,
therefore closer to green.

Preserved by the dive
of the deep sea that embraces
all ruins managing life,

The pincer movements
share a world with triremes
that have long lost their rowers.

Green Revolution

Out of a skyscraper window,
The neglected patch
And verdant reserve
Looks like a spot of paint
That has missed the awning
It was meant to illuminate.

Passing by on my feet, I see
A broken savanna,
Missing wild animals,
Nothing but a crown of grass
Crashing against a hydrant.

Up from my knees
It appears to be
A coiffure erupting
From the exposed dirty scalp
Of the sidewalk.

Sitting down in the middle,
I swim in shade
Up to my shoulders,
And then when I lay down,
Suddenly a jungle
Has rushed in all around me.

Ben Nardolilli currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. His work has
appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, One Ghana One Voice, Caper
Literary Journal, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, THEMA, Pear
Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. His chapbook Common Symptoms
of an Enduring Chill Explained, has been published by Folded Word
Press. He maintains a blog at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is looking
to publish his first novel.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Three Poems by Phillip Maguire

Autumnal Words

Solstice approaches
compacting colorful days
between dark ends

Bulky blackbirds bank
beneath a liquid blue sky
as sun-reflected rectangles
blossom from hillside houses
and painted letters tumble
from deciduous paragraphs
while leathered leaves
scrabble across sunlit streets
and wind chimes sing
long tubular tongues
their colors combining
in mixed moments

Mid-Winter's Night

and imbroglios
of snow surround the
ground around the house

round moon and mad Mars
ignite the night while
white winds chime the dark
moments until dawn

Tibetan Bells

a spider’s wire
bows in brisk breeze
between brick and post
wind chimes ping steel
cylindrical sounds
while rusty Tibetan
bells clunk bluntly
asking me to be
fully present
to embrace the
and exquisite
of being human
and share in the
grand indifference
of Being

Phillip Maguire is an Emergency Medicine physician and self-proclaimed Zen Baptist. His hobbies include bicycling, gardening, cooking and creative writing. His short stories and poems have been published in print and online. His collection of short stories and poems, "Thunder Under Water", and poetry, "Reversed", are available at Amazon.com.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Three Poems by Michael H. Brownstein


July opened into my life
sweat stained
with a low slanged sky
full of curse words and abominations,
and the heart of a beaver.

Why the heart of a beaver?
someone in the back of the bus asked.

Why not?
They are brave warriors able to use what they have.

It doesn’t matter,
the voice from the back answers.

But it does.
In this poem the beaver is aging,
his heart near collapse.
There is a trap outside his dam.
His teeth are decaying.
His tail is frayed and graying.
Another beaver lusts for his wife.

But this poem isn’t about a beaver’s heart
or the low slanged sky of curse words and abominations.
This is a love poem on sweat stains
and I’m at the edge of the page,
my skin raw with the redness of sunlight
so I guess this poem is not about that either.
All my life
the low stung tree on the hilltop,
the river birch near the stream,
one mulberry tree in a field.
White branches no longer able to hold a weight in leaf,
the birch dips its roots into water,
the mulberry plans its invasion.
The path lacks shade,
the path lacks humor,
honor a seed hibernating into soil until its time of need.
Three days of hiking with only bottled water
is penance enough for one lifetime,
the path littered with opera and breath-beats,
the sarcasm of the bullfrog, the yelp of the red fox.
Every night enough stars shoot across the sky
to grant every wish for a hundred years of wishing,
every aspiration, every melody, every quarter note.
Sweat streams puddle down the corridor of my back,
my ears open into mouths, my tongue catches sound on its tip.
Near the end of the trail, resting, every goodness within me,
within my back, my hands, my blistered feet, my muscles,
everything thyme, sage, peach water, an essence of Aradia. (light)
In the end I did not enter the shiny box of darkness.
I dyed my hair instead, removed my teeth,
fell back in love.
That was what was written on the exit sign
at the beginning of the trail
leading back home.
Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetrysuperhighway.com and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks includingThe Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), and I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).
Brownstein taught elementary school in Chicago’s inner city (he is now retired), but he continues to study authentic African instruments, conducts grant-writing workshops for educators, designs websites and records performance and music pieces with grants from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oppenheimer Foundation, BP Leadership Grants, and others.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Poem by April Salzano


Next to the Hosta, once
established, we are the most resilient,
the least needy of the lot.
Unchecked we have been
known to eclipse entire houses, making them
as irrelevant as a garden hose.
We rely on rain, but remain
informal, not showy or ornamental, dismissing
our distant cousin the Azalea
for bragging about better heat resilience. Hybrid bitch.

The sunflowers, neo-hippie
heat-whores turn their smiling faces
to the sun, not realizing they have become
a cliché, woman’s self-designated symbol of freedom
and happiness, spawn of bird seed relocated by the squirrels.
The passive aggressive petunias swivel suspended
on hooks like needy preschoolers
on the playground, waiting for validation, requiring
obsessive compulsive deadheading in order to bloom
bright and rotund in their baskets.
Miracle-Gro addicts themselves, they have no right to judge
the bright fat feather of the Celosia Plumosa, albeit
a gaudy shade of red. The histrionics of the pink
Hibiscus is another story altogether, personality
split between flower and tree. The Robin’s
nest dead in her center says it’s the latter. Parody.

We won’t speak of the insecurity
of the Rose of Sharon, in blue chiffon,
given as a gift from someone with abandonment issues.
She never did come back.

Alyssum serves only as ground cover, space-filler,
a dash of white. As if it were that
simple to put order to life.
The narcissistic Rose bush battles the Day
Lily for space in the bed
to which they are all confined like stepchildren
on visitation weekend.
The marigolds scorching in the sun
make us laugh. The intention of orange and yellow fail
against brown singed leaves, almost
as humorous as what’s left
of the Violets. Pansies.

The Japanese Maple has a serious superiority
complex. Being covered at even the threat
of frost has created a confusion. She isn’t sure
if she’s strong or weak.
The Korean Lilac is struggling and won’t
flower this year, if ever. The Clematis, insecure despite
her continual wall-climbing gymnastics, fails
to sublimate the need for greener grass.

No one talks of our flowers, but expects
them just the same, as necessary as neglect.
Khaki shorts and flip flops comes to water the others,
squeezing the trigger with one hand while texting
about topics like overcompensation.
We never hear anyone say, did you remember to water
the rhododendron? Just once it would be nice
if someone picked the spidery tendrils from
our flower-remains in mid June. A touch
or acknowledgement before the purple
fades and landscaping becomes arbitrary.

April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in Poetry Salzburg, Pyrokinection, Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Rainbow Rose, The Camel Saloon, The Applicant, The Mindful Word, Napalm and Novocain and is forthcoming in Jellyfish Whispers, The South Townsville Micro Poetry Journal, and Inclement. She is working on her first collection of poetry and an autobiographical novel examining the beauty and pain involved in raising a child with Autism.