Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Poem by Joseph Ek

Precipitation Dream
Autumn leaves stained black by rain, the
wind blows and they
take off from the tree like strange indifferent birds

Joseph Ek: the unnatural male, well, Joseph Ek is a veiny purple flower with dirty blond hair, sexual, of course, though happiness for Joseph Ek arrives in many strange and fleeting forms. Joseph Ek is no artist, Joseph Ek can be reached at, Joseph Ek loves everyone, Joseph Ek experimentally hopes for the best, Joseph Ek prays for your unsafety.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Poem by Harmony Hodges


Inside egg walls

Orchestral chorus
an amniotic vessel.

Vibrating crescendos
singing without breath
pecking without beak.

Audience tearing
mama hen waiting
mice return to holes.

Fleas jump off coop
thunderous pecking.

A drainage of fluid
a race through the stanza
chips of eggshell
the ceiling shatters.

Mama stands up,
audience gasps
baby has broken
soloist has spoken.

The end
of the beginning
of a beginning.

Harmony Hodges is an artist living in Portland Oregon. She writes poetry and fiction and her work can be found in the online journal With Painted Words.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Two Poems by Maureen Kingston


I tend to them all spring>>my fragile buds of basement box
& auction fame>>I ply them with practiced hands>>deadhead

their spent glass flames>>unwind ganged vines>>reunite
sockets & plugs>>& when I’ve gathered just the right palette

of bulbs>>red & green>>blue & orange>>I fashion a special strand
>>a rosary of nightlights>>to keep me safe from the blinding bright

of long-lit days>>in the coming weeks I might fiddle some
with draping<<a hook here<<a staple there<<but once

the solstice starts all fiddling ends<<as the south wind blasts
my mood<<as dune & doom become one insurmountable mound

then only the stained-glass glow from my mantel can bring relief
<<its promise of snow & Christmastide a sleight of mind<<a feint

that lets me forget I’m part of the hated five percent<<a squinting
beach leper<<a summer-onset depressive

The Molting Bison at Custer State Park

Shagging, shedding, casting off his old quilt batting
in clumps, bunches, uneven brown tinsel strips,

a thousand bad combovers floating above him
in the spring breeze. He bellows, snorts, paws

the ground, urinates in a rival’s wallow, shakes
his horned helmet in agony, sideswiping boulders,

fences, rubbing the bark off trees. After the storm
he rolls in mud chrism, cooled at last, soothed,

accepting the baptism. And I see my novice self
for the first time, as others must have: the mullet

diction, the ragged iambs—my wild poetic pelt
budding sprouts, itching to come of age.

Maureen Kingston lives and works in eastern Nebraska. She is an assistant editor at The Centrifugal Eye. Her prose and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Bookends Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Gone Lawn, Humber Pie (UK), Lily, The Meadowland Review, Rufous City Review, Stone Highway Review, and Wild Orphan (UK).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Three Poems by Bill Jansen

I'm not convinced that it is snowing.
I could have lapsed into a stealthy coma
after shutting off the engine
in a Safeway parking lot.

A seal pokes its head
up out of a hole in the asphalt
into the flurries.

off the rail
I float it
on Main St.
music in armpits
then flick flick flick

--times I will
times I doesn't
it flop..
it wasn't.

clickety click

ah cigar relit

skate board

admiring everything.

Between Clouds
She had enough towels
to soak up Bonneville Reservoir.

I took over the cockpit
with an unexpected quip
and a can of Draino,
told the pilot to wash his prurient wit
down the sink.

Alice--who got to be the stewardess
by sheer perkyness--
had totally fooled the TSA,
and me.

Submissive passengers
ordered to keep their dirty hands
out where Alice could see them.

It all started on an economy flight
from PDX to Phoenix.

I swear I saw my face
floating on a body of water
far below between the clouds.

Bill Jansen lives in Forest Grove, Oregon. His works appears here and there in various ezines, including The Centrifugal Eye and Asinine Poetry.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

The Reach of Heaven Holds Many Kinds of Souls

and there go dream streams, popsicles of color,
rude shapes of violet red scarlet green,
ghosts of skin, happy teeth, excited eyes,
sand filling hourglasses, every hour of our lifetime.
Still the course is clearly marked, the inlet set,
the island chained between two paths of river.
Spring comes again into our consciousness,
the tall hickory, a Rose of Sharon, thick oak.
A jaybird stranded last November

welcomes the songbirds to surround her
and we who have one gold coin fixed to our hand
let it fall onto earth to become seed.
None of us with to pay for safe crossing.

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses.  His work has appeared in The Cafe Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, and others.  In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The 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), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011) and Firestorm:  A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012).  He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Poem by James Diaz

In the way of our way, there is no room for the other, yet more

If I were to motion toward you, it is only to indicate ‘beware of brevity’,
of trees that will be cut down because they are in the way, because
they don’t look like houses, and are only a novelty carefully planted
and spaced on the side of commercial highways, after seeing all that
I have seen, there will be a devastating walk that we all make, to a
place we sleep, that for some, is only ‘the idea’, and for others, even
less, the heart doesn’t go out to these things, that indicates a distance,
whereas the heart is already fully immersed in them, even born in the
same pool, with its first breath given, added to the spaces of this hard
sleep- detailed life and asking for detail from life – then things are exposed,
one momentary forgetting and then being handed back that forgotten item
of ourselves, as receivable only after it has been lost and returned to us,
then ‘brevity motion’ is ‘composure motion’, and many provisional refillings
follow, un-sped, the way items slow themselves down, and then our own
body/heart itself, put to rest in ‘the idea’.

James Diaz was born in North Carolina and raised in various parts of the south. He currently resides in upstate New York. He is previously unpublished.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Poem by Barbara Sutton and Lance Sheridan

the sand grain witness

the sand.  the sand grain desert sand.  a wind sweeps along
an arid earth, takes it in its mouth to satisfy its desire for

moisture.  with blinded eyes, it seeks the darkness in the
light.  it moves in a circular motion, walks sideways to

feel its shadow; losing itself on the crest of a dune, the
shadow in the depth of a sea; so drowns the moisture;

a prophet man sows the sand, reaps the grain; under the
silence of the sun.  he breathes the rain, brushes his hand

along the desert texture, his fingers paint his face.  he does
not seek the false truth.  speaks with a languid artesian well

voice.  he eats the night air, he is not afriad.  crosses a barren
land like a child's pull toy; the heat fills his sandals with cold

from desolation; his soul dangles from a watch chain; the
timepiece glass cracks from a second hand ticking backwards,

backwards.  rest he bequests in an oasis, the mirage envelopes;
thin, fragile layers of imagination tempt him, hunger kisses him,

he eats the fruit, sown in the cold desolation of his desert soul
willing time forward; seeking to leave the gritty reality of barrenness,

moisture seeping slowly into a body desiccated from
the journey across the sandy desert his live had become

feels once again the warm coursing of hope through
a heart cold and empty

startles at the rhythm of his heart; remembering the beat of life
long denied from too much pain barely endured

the sand shifting as he moves again
wind gentle with the music not heard for so long

movement forcing hiim over the last dune
out of the frozen heat and back into

a landscape painted by colors
of a life to be lived.

Barbara Sutton and Lance Sheridan began writing poetry together in January of 2013. Having penned almost a dozen poems in visual freestyle, eight of those have been accepted into numerous journals. What other poets are saying about their writing, "you send the reader on a journey through his own soul;” "symbolically thought provoking"; "the imagery is amazing;" and, “this is a sort of writing which deliberately flouts grammatical structure and any form of restriction. It is not words. It is more music you relax to, curl up listening with an abstract ear.” All of their writings are in Visual Freestyle Works® ’We sift the human storm, the life storm, through the dust and debris of their souls, animating it into thoughts and words. And then we write, not guessing where it might go, exhaling our last breath toward the light.'

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Poem by Korea J. Brownstein


--Based on a sculpture created by Mayo Turner while serving time for bank robbery. The three dimensional piece is made from rope, wooden sticks and velvet on a plywood frame.

Empty eyed
Tall tale signs
Broken wing
Straw heart
Stuck in a web
Dead child
Below the womb
Looking upon
Colorful moon

Korea J. Brownstein is a college student living in Missouri, but hails from Illinois. Her poems have appeared in a few small presses and her novelette, "The Dream Group," is in search of a publisher.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Poem by Korey J. Brownstein

Infinite Nature

A phantasmagoria
of a blind man
and lacrymal mountains

Autumn leaves
gently kiss a river
Thu Hien

Overmorrow, he will know
Love, naturally
Love, forever

Korey J. Brownstein is currently a National Science Foundation fellow studying plant biology. He is the author of the philosophy book, A THESIS ON THE THEORY OF PARALLELISM. His poetry has appeared in the Camel Saloon, BRICKrhetoric, and others.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Three Poems by Larry Crist

Return to Redwood Valley

Curiosity draws me back
thousands of days, hundreds of moons ago
That same sun-drenched heat
the same smells—a kind of dark baked licorice
infusing the redolent air with a sweet tang
of uneatable apples
Dragonfly descendants, cricket and butterfly ancestors
Slow moving green & blue-bottled flies, laze, buzz
weave through the pollenated air, as i crunch over
weeds, wild flowers, purple thistles, bits of broken
colored glass, concealing ancient patches of busted
asphalt and reclaimed concrete
from these trails we used to tread
38 years -- a fraction of a drop in the cosmological bucket
but long enough, apparently, to have erased all trace of
us, we who tore through our lives in dog and pony years
I sift through the tall dead grass, searching for Rosebud clues
Where did all those rotting trailers and car husks go? The large
spool tables, rusted appliances, stolen contraband, cassettes
and 8 track players, the million and one beer cans and whiskey
bottles we used to line up upon decrepit tilted fence posts and
execute with stolen rifles? Where did those horses go?
Or the fences that we used to perch on and watch the yellow
mountains fade in the brilliant sunny gloam?
The reaching oaks and tallest redwoods
high above, with us
so inconsequential in their sights?

Something stirs then within the thick walls of glistening poison oak
and i freeze to listen, thinking a deer will come bounding out, until
a definitive snort and snarl, brings the hair on my neck upright
and quickly, silently, i tip-toe back the way i came, recovering
from nostalgia, and ample slaughtering distance to where i left the
car, its windows open, a sandwich still on the back seat, a rekindling
of old forgotten terror
the kind we used to take to town
all those years ago

We nearly succeeded
in killing them off
Not the brightest of beasts
socially adept, bad eyesight
stampedes easily
ready to race off a cliff
or into a ravine
with its head as hard as a hood ornament
an ass barely in attendance
They like to rut and butt
romp and stomp and roam
saunter briskly through flower filled fields

Too lean of meat for caucasians
but all essential for the Indian
back when the west was being won
as so much was increasingly lost

Here in Yellowstone, where these beasts
are no smarter than anywhere else
they have no memory
of what a gun blast can do
and have lost their fear of us, and
ordinarily that is not good
but for now
it doesn’t matter
as they click and clack
across the asphalt
holding up
all the smiling traffic
it’s more than okay
as we fire away
getting one after another
with our digital cameras

this creature once so common
we have come so far to see

The Frenzy of the red berry
They appear en masse like some outlaw biker gang
descending like locusts, raining like toads, pelting the earth
like children spilling into the playground,
drunk and tumbling pie-eyed into the 2 a.m. dawn,
racing full throttle around the yard, swooping then flashing
in rust colored autumnal solidarity
Swoosh swoosh, they dive, their wings beat frantic like all existence hinged on it

Beating one another out as if embroiled in multidimensional chess
without deliberation, like huns chasing down the Sabine Women,
screaming, shrieking Aerial dynamos, daredevils, hot-dogging hotshots,
rebels without a pause
Engaged in some cosmic carte blanche ribbon cutting all-you-can-eat heat

Orbs of red clusters, vulnerable as testicles, bright like lanterns
beacons of temptation, picking them off in their yellow beaks
gorging greedily, ripping at ‘em like Promethean entrails, stealing and
resting their feathered corpulence on bobbing branches, hearts rapid-fire,
pitter-patter swallowing as they seize another and another, more and more

They are everywhere in a flash—20, 30. . .
hurtling and Hitchcockian, spinning, twirling like spastic lariats
dashing dipsomaniacal, magically avoiding collision
without yielding one feather of cartwheeling cocksurety

Four robins, i imagine to be the senior sages
splash, giddy and gaga in the concrete birdbath
the anchor of this hub
Wiser perhaps, fatter it seems, more mature, possibly, they vie for perspective
like old men with little hard-ons they cheer the youngsters on
splash and wade with uncontained zeal. The flurry of
berrymania, berrypalooza, berryphillia, filled with an insatiable gluttonous crimson
fed narcotic-fused, feather-stuffed, birdbracing ecstasy
these seniors shake their heads, pump their birdy fists, catch their reflective colors
splash with glee and rejuvenating joy, dip, flap, flutter, lowering their
bright plump bellies, displacing the brackish water, shake the wet from their wings
before rejoining the youngsters
Join or Die, and maybe join then die
in between which—fly fly. . .
And then it is over
as instantaneously as it began, as if some secret alarm had sounded
and they take to the greater elsewhere, the big blue, beating passage
returning the scene back to the calm that prevails
as the yard settles
beneath the yellowing maple and its stripped bare branches
its nearly fallen leaves, spinning twirling seeds, concluding
with bunches of untapped berry clusters
left behind like random booty from an interrupted robbery

The air reverberates with their departed energy
like a battlefield after the fact only no where near as sad
as a big sleepy orange tabby crawls out from under somewhere

This brave voyeur saunters out, watchful cautious, travels the seed
laden lawn, the crab grass, moss, clover, twigs, scattered berry husks
shell-shocked worms, nervous beetles. . .
leaps up upon the birdbath, sniffs the tainted water
does not drink
gazes philosophically into the sky
then continues on, disappearing slowly
into the dying azaleas and fallen foxglove

Larry Crist lives in Seattle and is originally from California, mostly and specifically Humboldt County. He has also lived in Chicago, Houston, London and Philadelphia where he attended Temple U, receiving a useless MFA in theatre arts. He has been widely published.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Two Poems by Patrick Williamson

Shadow walking

Lush pastures lick the brook's tendrils
lilies & brambles caught
in an undergrowth of grit.

Rumbling buses race the valley stillness,
the rose blouses perk up
roadside hedgerows,

dawn, hill hidden
fragments between my footsteps;
trains & stealthy cyclists
catch me

I watch shadows
eyes alert freeze
at the slightest sound

half wraith, half hidden face
moon in the grey blue

slinky felines watch
my shadow
an early morning game.

where breath's dewy veil
in pale
sunlight touching my hands.


Dry pastures and dusty stream beds round
the oak tree, rooks fly past pylons, stony
roads, gushing islands - the black-coated
leave a bare fisted salute bound

with thorns, you utter a choked sob.


Over that hedge a demon roars, in its ravine
sunshafts slice golden stubble, at high noon

starless, bible black, ,pasture lean,
where you go nobody knows

cloud concealed, unseen.

Under the tree giving the finger - rook, fly
over blackened cornfields

up the flanks dense to the horizon,
never believed so many undone.


Barren ridge, a stormwind howls
on the face, grass to caress 'n' tumble
down scree - see, the bushy valley

we enter to come in -
hollow protected by grace - darn be –
rooks fly out of mists

droplets slowly descend
the hidden pasture valley – shelter in
the crevice, the womb.

Patrick Williamson is an English poet and translator currently living near Paris. He has translated Tunisian poet Tahar Bekri and Quebecois poet Gilles Cyr. In 1995 and 2003, he was invited to the Festival International de Poésie at Trois-Rivières in Québec. He is the editor of Quarante et un poètes de Grande-Bretagne (Ecrits des Forges/Le Temps de Cerises, 2003) and editor and translator of The Parley Tree, Poets from French-speaking Africa and the Arab World (Arc Publications, 2012). Latest poetry collections: Locked in, or out?, Red Ceilings Press, and Bacon, Bits, & Buriton, Corrupt Press, both in 2011.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Three Poems by J.K. Durick

Glaciers are Melting!

We prize the tropics, cruise them,
Dream of beaches and slight breezes,
Warm ourselves with thoughts of
Escaping south, turning away toward
A constant sun, a sun to reassure us that
We deserve heat and comfort, that we
Were born for light and small shadows,
For beauty and bounty, for greenery and
Growth, deep flowers and dragonflies,
That we should float gently across the day,
Trailing a hand, a hand to write our names
In the warming water.

Humming Birds

If you watch to see
the solemn grace of them,
the face of them -
they're so hard to imagine -

they hover, move, maneuver,
a study of control this
small in proportion,
beyond explanation.

They sip the feeder
with a dignified calm
the other birds lack;

their wings blur, hold them
steady, like that.

Surprise us so quickly
we want to call someone
else to see them arrive,
then pause.

They seem oddly curious
so serious about their objective
to eat so daintily
and then they are gone.


They’d swoop and
stir the darkness –

one place
then another

they’d dive
attack like bees

but silent
unless we screamed

or our running
doors closing.

Their sinister intent
was vague at best –

catch in our hair
drink our blood

ruin bedtime
flapping the room

the stuff of dreams
and dark night

vampires and
willful witches

a part of the thrill
of innocent fear

easy to watch for
so easy to avoid

a childhood fear
so easy to describe.

J. K. Durick is presently a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Four and Twenty, and Literary Juice.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two Poems by William G. Davies, Jr.


The day metamorphoses
by molecule, particle, atom
one collating with the other
in what we might
understand as pixels
and the more there are
the more expensive.
So I’ll look
out my window
a little longer,
I’m feeling
like a millionaire.

On A Windowsill

Their tiny, white petals
touch the cold glass,
a bargain is struck
if the flowery shamrock
can hold up
against an element
whose invisibility
is suddenly reflected
by delicacy.

William G. Davies, Jr. lives in a town surrounded by dairy farms. He has been happily married for thirty-eight years. His work has apperared in the Cortland Review,  Bluepepper, The Wilderness House Review, Gloom Cupboard and many others.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Two Poems by Anthony Ward


I hear House martins like spitfires
Firing heat rays over roof tops,
Starlings mimicking a firework display of sound,
Swallows chattering upon the telephone wires,
The Nightjar croaking like a computer connecting,
Amidst the woods where the Chiffchaff chafes like a wheel
Stridulating against the Bullfinch’s metallic trill,
Where the Woodpecker raps impatiently through the day unspotted,
Only heard like the timbered calls of Tawny Owls throughout the night,
When the Nightingale practices rolling its rrrrs
Before the Song Thrush begins its overture to morning,
Back to the garden where the Robin gets fruity
Agitating Tits with their high pitched notes,
As Collard Doves chant united
Amongst a cacophony of crows that squabble and bicker,
Murdering the cheery sound of the Blackbird
Whistling the weather after the storm has cleared.


We witness the resilience of nature,
Bared to the bone as we layer ourselves,
Playing dead so that we may leave it alone,
Looking intensely beautiful amongst condensed afternoons
Where night lingers with crepuscule light throughout the timid day.

The silhouettes of solitary birds perched upon closed gates,
Attached to open fences
Exposed in their decrepitude,
While the robin’s breast,
Lacerated by the serrated leaves of holly,
Colours the berries with shades of intrepidness

While we reminisce upon those vibrant summers
Once apparelled in eternity,
Before the smouldering cindered embers turned to ash
Beneath the hoary fog-
The sky having decanted its delicate crystals
With the presence of life captured like light upon a film.

Anthony Ward 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 The Faircloth Review, The Pygmy Giant, Shot Glass Journal, Pyrokinection, Turbulence, Underground, The Bohemyth, Torrid Literature Journal and The Rusty Nail, amongst others.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Poem by Karla Linn Merrifield

Watershed Moment

Crossing wetlands
on parkway bridges
I travel June’s distances
in time to the Ice Age
its retreating glaciers
that scarred the landscape
creating Long Pond,
shaping Braddock Bay,
the “lakes” of Durand Eastman Park.
Did those swans first get their feet
wet in the Pleistocene?
Did geese pause in migration
parsing summers to come
as cold set free this inland sea
named Ontario? As if through
a geologic trick, I arrive
on Solstice Eve at the warm
watershed of grief,
with tears for my brother unfrozen
then dried by dragonfly wings.

Karla Linn Merrifield recently received the Dr. Sherwin Howard Award for the best poetry published in Weber - The Contemporary West in 2012. A seven-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, she has had 300+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has nine books to her credit, the newest of which are Lithic Scatter and Other Poems (Heartlink) and The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica (Finishing Line Press). Forthcoming from Salmon Poetry is Athabaskan Fractal and Other Poems of the Far North, and Attaining Canopy: Amazon Poems (FootHills Publishing). Her Godwit: Poems of Canada. (FootHills) received the 2009 Eiseman Award for Poetry. She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye ( Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Poem by Christopher Kenneth Hanson

In Echo Bloom

As shadow blown
except entwine
in yonder breaks
Of drawn sea lurking
these, burst of dawn-
Comely, now rise-

In echo creeks-
Into the falls
Of lone sea groping:
Now eleasticity calls- in calamity fades-
Into the fall, into the falls

Oh, brandished kite:
Winds nigh the west
heed the land
As from the sea
As burnished now
In shadow bloom
As shadow fades
An echo would
now call.

Christopher Kenneth Hanson (ckhanson81)


Friday, March 15, 2013

Two Poems by Lance Sheridan and Barbara Sutton

winter flight

winter flight of the cold, of geese,
unfolds the frost, snow has no

the depth of the freezing temperatures
is in the reflected pond, the geese cannot

snow laden wings tire the unforgiving snow
below waiting to entomb the silhouettes of

the breath of the wind on the bough of the tree,
melancholy are sounds of warmer days

timelessness of the hills where inhabitants existed,
they feel the loneliness, the grip of frost, forgotten

the sunset opens the window to the night, flurries
begin to fall like brittle glass, moonlight guides their

to dream of summers past
soaring, endless into


wooded silence.


chain saw cracks bark, cracks the spine;

trees measured out with yardsticks; after,
lay fallen like dead cotton on a homeless


water fails to creep,
fails like a high school

both, now unemployed
in a dead−end

penetrating preachers arrive to give last rights
with pageless bibles,

more an exorcism…

boss man stands smoking cheap cigar,
tosses it, slow motion,
lands−smoke and fire


forest floor heats up
similar to a wood stove;

firefighters paid off
like street hookers…

wooded noise.



“light touches the dead wood of
my soul and brings forth the
tender growth of hope.”

Lance Sheridan—Published writer—Bits and Pieces to Ponder/Self-Help/2002 .  Published poet—Poet Interview on November 8, 2012 by a Salisbury University Journalism Major/Salisbury, MD; poem 'Night into Day/Goodnight Till the Morning Sun'/11-12/napalmandnovocain.blogspot; poem 'Night into Day/Goodnight Till the Morning Sun' has been accepted for inclusion in the 2012 Best of Anthology, Storm Cycle.  blog—; has received over 75,000 views since June 2012. One poet on my work, "Whoa … ur writing is incredible." April Pardocchi.

Barbara Sutton—Yet unpublished, she writes with great depth, emotion and feeling. Her imagery is exceptional. She has a style which I like to call, "a stimulating vibration"—one is greatly awakened by her words. Working with her helps me to articulate the necessity for change, to push the boundaries of conformity, to delve into a new poetic existence. You write more on instinct and inspiration, and you deliver that to the reader.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Two Poems by Gary Beck

Dead Zones, a poetic explanation

A dangerous process begins
when nitrogen-rich nutrients
from agriculture and sewage
spill into coastal waters
by way of rivers and streams
and stimulate the growth
of photosynthetic plankton
on the surface of coastal waters.
When organisms decay
they sink to the bottom
and are decomposed by microbes
that consume large amounts of oxygen.
As oxygen levels drop
at the bottom of the sea
most animals cannot survive.
Dependents of the sea,
human and animal alike,
suffer the consequences
of diminishing food supplies
as our oceans become sterile.


The doves sit in the tree
afraid to come to the terrace
because big dove is here
and will peck any bird
who tries to share the feeder.
When he's eaten enough
the other birds land
and the struggle begins,
the feathers fly,
in the age old conflict
for dominance.

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 was published by Indigo Mosaic. A collection of his poetry 'Days of Destruction' was published by Marie Celeste Press. Another collection 'Expectations' was published by Rogue Scholars Press, 'Dawn in Cities' and 'Assault on Nature' are being published by Winter Goose Press. His novel 'Extreme Change' was published by Cogwheel Press. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry and fiction has appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City .


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen

Often I go up the mountain
and rest against a quiet
rock that rose from the earth
millions of years ago
Again, this black brim hat
for a light mist this quiet
rock as my back rest
under dry aspen leaves
among the pasque, aster,
columbine and penstemon
Maybe there's more I can do
beyond what I have willed
and may have accomplished
Resting beside a quiet rock
under aspen leaves
among pasque and aster
Plenty enough for this day
ayaz daryl nielsen, poet/editor/husband/father/veteran/x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/x-hospice nurse, is editor/custodian of print pub bear creek haiku (20+ years and 110+ issues), has poetry in awesome homes including Lilliput Review (ed. Don Wentworth), Barbaric Yawp (ed’s. John and Nancy Berbrich), Shemom (most favorite person ed. Peggy Dugan French), Yellow Mama (check it out online/Cindy Crosmus most exotic of editors), Lalitamba (possibly coolest print pub in existence), ayaz has three collections of poetry in print, blog site is (which translates as joie de vivre).   

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Poem by Bob Bradshaw

A Man Whistling in the Semi-Dark

The surf beckons
with her muffled voice,
but the baby sea turtles move
toward a fog bank of hotel lights.

Forty years ago we stood
under a sky powdered with stars.
Today we commute
in a haze of headlights, and return home

to well-lit evenings, our souls
as washed out as the night sky.

I wander outside for a smoke.
The stars have vanished, like the nightingale.
Can I still mimic its whistle?

How did it go?

Bob Bradshaw is a big fan of the Rolling Stones. Mick may not be gathering moss, but Bob is. Recent work of Bob's can be found at Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Eclectica, Chantarelle's Notebook and Slow Trains.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

Come stay with me and be my night,
We’re done with dinner’s clutter
As stars blister through the moonlit light.
Water anchors moon streams white
Across the wake, across the cutter.
Come stay with me and be my night.
The children at peace, everything’s right,
Goat milk, huckleberry bread, apple butter.
Stars blister into pimpled light.
The children dream, the wind grows slight,
The storm is but a mutter,
Come stay with me and be my night.
Now comes a fullness full and bright,
Leaves skip across the gutter
As stars blister into moons of light.
My love is strong. It knows to fight.
I no longer need to stutter.
Stars blister through the moonlit light.
Come stay with me and be my night.
Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Cafe Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The 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), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011) and Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Two Poems by Damien Healy

Stifling heat subdues even the firefly.
Lime greens sucked dry by the inferno.
Stems weakly bent over like a centenarian.
High pitched buzzing cicadas notched down an octave or two.
Hot air rippling up from the tarmacadam.
A cacophony of air conditioning hums.
Sweat dripping from knuckles.
The psychological cooler chimes now and then.
The bamboo beat of the water trough.
All life secluded in shadows.
Nothing to do but wait for dusk’s reprieve.

The winter morning

The rush of wind like an icy blanket.
The visible exhalations of breath.
The faint traces of dawn on the horizon.
The damp carpet of dying foliage underfoot.
The distant rumbling of moving trucks.
The reflection of street lights on the dirty grey road.
The rustling of wind through the naked branches.
The smell of freshness in the air.
The taste of coldness in the back of your throat.
The rhythmic spatter of raindrops from the bus shelter roof.
The expectation of things to come.

Damien Healy was born in Dublin, Ireland but has been living in Osaka, Japan for the past 20 years. He holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and teaches English language at a Japanese university. He has written three textbooks for Japanese university students and has published several papers on language teaching. He has recently found the time and energy to start writing poetry again. He has had poems published in "The Weekenders" and "Ofipress".

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Poem by Emily Strauss

Hiking the Storm

On the cliff, blackberry bushes tumble
Down the gash cut by winter run-off
While clouds fill the void below
Waiting to catch the falling fruits.

The cries of swallows rise from the rock
Face, wings beating against the air
Currents, the wind licks the edges
Of the crumbling limestone like
Needles in a smoke stack, tears
The vines off their moorings, dashes
Green berries against nervous mothers
Vainly pulling fledgling chicks
From beneath the rock ledges

As the storm tears bits of oak leaves
grinds them with rotten acorns
And throws them at the base of the cliff.
I hike with my head down.

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. More than 80 of her poems appear in public online and in anthologies. The natural world is her framework; she focuses on the tension between nature and humanity, using concrete images to illuminate the loss of meaning between them.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Poem by William G. Davies, Jr.


The woods
against the grey
of morning
are like a dark,
open mouth
full of rotten teeth
and mossy breath
that comes through
as if in church
it were at your nape.

William G. Davies, Jr. has published in numerous literary reviews such as The Cortland Review, Wilderness House Review, Gloom Cupboard and most recently,Miller's Pond and Absinthe.  He lives happily with his wife on ten acres in rural Pennsylvania. He is hoping to publish his very first book of poems in 2013.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Poem by April Salzano

Battle at the Birdfeeder

Blue jays are bastards,
deceptive in their coat of contrasts, the first
to be admired by those who have spent less
time observing their terrorist tactics.
But I’m on to them. I know their tricks: steer
the cardinals away from the corn, pretend
the suet tastes better, then dive
bomb. Strength does not come in numbers.
They hate indiscriminately. They are not working
as a team, but by lunch, ten cardinals
are losing to half as many jays.
Red blends with the remaining dead
leaves so that the cardinals look like decorations,
poised in defeat, waiting for leftovers.

April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania and is working on her first (several) poetry collections and an autobiographical work on raising a child with Autsim. Her work has appeared in Poetry Salzburg, Pyrokinection, Convergence, Ascent Aspiration, Deadsnakes, The Rainbow Rose and other online and print journals and is forthcoming in Inclement, Poetry Quarterly and Bluestem.