Thursday, February 28, 2013

Two Poems by Michael Lee Johnson

Moon Sleep

I stick
my hand
out toward
the sea,
roll out my palm.
I offer a plank,
a trail for you to follow
into the salty stars,
where you stretch out
and give your heart
to this final moment
of the glass night sky;
draw me in—
sketch my face
on the edge
of a wave—
over ages of celestial
moon sleep and dust.


more playful
than a gray
moth dancing
- skeleton wings-
and a green-eyed
cat prancing
-paws swatting-
around a
lit kerosene
-shadow boxing-
and we all
had fun
in the

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet, freelance writer, photographer, and small business owner of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel:, from Itasca, Illinois. He is heavily influenced by: Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Herman Hesse, Krishnamurti, Charles Bukowski, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg. His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available at: The original version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, can be found at: New Chapbook: Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems, by Michael Lee Johnson: Michael has been published in over 25 countries. He is also editor/publisher of seven poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his Web site: All of his books are now available on Borders: Barnes & Noble:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Poem by Nels Hanson

Mother of Water Lands


Under the lake it is always summer
there, the river and green meadows
full of game and the aspen trees
never turn in fall, it never snows,
the river never freezes. The ancestors
grow young again, no one gets sick
or fights. They live almost happily
in the village of teepees painted with
orange suns and yellow moons
where everything is perfect, except
for one sadness. A child sleeps and
won’t wake up. He groans and cries
out and they can’t do anything to
rouse him from his bad dream.
They watch over him, they sing
to him and fan his face with ferns
and eagle feathers, but nothing works
to stop his nightmare. He dreams
the things we all do here, the lake
his green clear eye that never sleeps.


One day when things are better
in our world the dreaming child
will open his eyes— The wind blows,
the sky turns black, full of clouds.
Birds call and circle above the green
water. Then a basket rises on the lake
and floats to shore with a baby
dressed in clean deerskin. He’ll bring
a rattle of buffalo horn and wear
a necklace of blue stones. An Indian
woman without a husband or child
will find the basket. She’ll raise
the boy who won’t learn to speak,
but when you look into his eyes
you remember and know who he is,
the one forced to watch us and cry.


All the time many things are rising
from the lake, songs and spells
carved on antler and bone, medicines,
special roots that don’t grow here,
fresh berries wrapped in green grass
stalks sweeter than grass our horses
eat. Elk pemmican and smoked
salmon in baskets woven so the water
can’t soak through. The child and his
mother find them on the shore and take
them home until their house is full
of good medicine the Old People
send. All the deer come and the bears.
Owls roost on the roof, by sparrows,
mourning dove and the line of crows.


One day the Sleeping Child’s mother
is sick, so he goes alone to the lake.
He finds no medicine or food, just
a book with a bark cover and pages
made of reed. In the book is the story
of all things and all things to come.
He takes it home to his mother. She
opens the book and reads it and gets
well. The next day a young woman
brings a sick child to the house and
reads the book and the child is all
right. People from all over hear about
the book and come to the Sleeping
Child’s house to read it and be
healed. The book isn’t long, it has
only one word. Everyone learns it,
the Word spreads across the mountains,
all across the world so on everyone’s
lips and in everyone’s heart, so even
the wind knows it, and the animals
at night when they call to one another,
is the one Word and only true sound.


The Word gets louder and louder,
like a whirling wind. One day, when
everyone knows it, wherever you go
you hear it, the silent Sleeping Child
speaks. He says the Word that’s quiet
like water, but louder than thunder.
The Earth shakes, the green waters
in the lake go away, up the mountain
to Moose Lake. The green eye closes
and the door to Mother of Water
Lands opens. The two worlds
are connected, people live in the stone
city where they used to live, where
the lake used to be. The Old People
come to visit the Sleeping Child and he
returns the horn rattle and necklace
of blue rocks, then tells many things
about waking in the dream world.

Nels Hanson has worked as a farmer, teacher, and contract writer/editor. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz and the U of Montana and his fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award. His stories have appeared in Antioch Review, Texas Review, Black Warrior Review, Southeast Review, Montreal Review, and other journals. "Now the River's in You," which appeared in Ruminate Magazine, was nominated for a 2010 Pushcart Prize, and "No One Can Find Us," which was published in Ray's Road Review, has been nominated for the 2012 Pushcart Prizes. Poems have appeared in Poetry Porch, Atticus Review, Red Booth Review, Meadowlands Review, Emerge Literary Review, and other magazines.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Poem by Laura Winton

Please           Elapse          Asleep
Purple fog
lights the amber
evening I stumble
across the river home
snow white the sky fluorescent
even you cannot turn the light out on this night.

Every day the clock stops
late in the
afternoon, the hours
pound through my slow pulse ears the
scraping of pencil to paper,
eraser to words.

Afternoon drowses warm in the
sunlight your shadow
lingers on me my
eyes concentrate on wires and cable
earnest to seek you on the other side.
Prickled fingers are typing your name.

Laura Winton is a poet and a spoken word and performance artist currently living in Minneapolis. She has performed her work in New York, Chicago, and London in addition to the Minnesota Twin Cities and her poetry has been published in dozens of little magazines and websites around the country. She also published Karawane: Or, the Temporary Death of the Bruitist, a journal of experimental performance texts from 1997-2008. She is also an academic whose work is on the liberation of the imagination as a political act. She likes Dada, Surrealism, and any writing that is not immediately understood by the conscious mind.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two Poems by Dusan Gojkov

the vernal

I know that the poplar beneath your window
is shooting
young leaves
and that the magnolias and tulips
across the road
are in blossom
yet I give your street
a wide berth
as, gods knows why,
I remember the beautiful vow
we made long ago:
“my body will wait for yours
under a rock somewhere”—

by what accident
through which torn pockets
did we ever lose
those mornings
the grey ones
the warm ones
mornings of every kind
those evenings
spent to a glass of wine
quiet music
and glances exchanged
through sunlit eyes
those nights
in which I was
calm, quiet,
curled up next to you

on the other hand
the rumors are true
I still manage
to bring a smile to a woman's face
every now and then
and some of them even venture
to my distant suburb
for no other reason
but to bring me chocolate
fruit cake
a bottle of wine
a new book
to have a cup of tea
or a different drink

”life goes on”
say the wise
but I suspect that
those pictures
which spin around me all night
and all day
that hole in my guts
that void in my heart
will not be mended by time
or modern medicine

I know
we have wasted much
deliberately or accidentally
much that we could have done
for each other instead
I know, I know

under a
I slide down Lorca street
(it is quite clear that new shoes are
long overdue)
I arrive home
feed the turtle
sit in the armchair
taking strict care not to
look at the corner of the room
where your painting gear used to stand
your easel
and things

on the table next to me are
a bottle
a glass
coffee untouched since this morning
and a vase
with those weird little yellow flowers
I can never remember the name of
which (OK, I’m ashamed)
I stole for myself last night
from the little park
across the road

I light my cigarette
gaze at nothing in particular
and let the yellow petals
quietly shed on my shoulder

other people’s memories

I remember
portobello road
where I first touched you
to draw your attention
to a beautiful façade
the passers-by
were running from the rain
the fruit-sellers
closing their stalls
I remember
the church portal
where we listened to
the warmth of silence
I remember
watching you sleep
with your lips puckered
and listening
to your deep breathing
I remember the sheet
over your hips
in a tender
I can’t remember
what your eyebrows were like
I remember
the row of trees
which cut through the vineyard
the persistent wind
and the way we walked slowly
with your hand
in the pocket of my coat
this may sound corny
but before I met you
there was really something missing
I remember
your letters
which you left on the pillow every morning
while I was still asleep
I remember
how you waited patiently
for me to finish
looking at three paintings by monet
and remember
watching you dance
to music
all alone
and our long walks
in the streets around the covent garden
I remember us
in a train
tangled together, sleeping
as we travelled
or our little room
for rich tourists
above the café de la paix
too expensive but that’s what you wanted
the square
was teeming with people
I remember
the record that played
on and on
over and over again
(tom waits, closing time, I think)
I remember
holding your hand
when you were afraid
I remember
the restaurant with the name I’ve forgotten
but which I could
still find
with my eyes closed
and our silence
stretching for hours
to a bottle of wine
hell, that was an ugly silence
and this is the book
I bought that Saturday
when I waited for you to finish at the hairdresser’s
the streets were moist
with last night’s rain
or the street washers’ efforts
it was early morning
still a bit nippy
and we went
to have coffee together
but we didn’t have coffee
because we had to shout at each other a little first
so things felt awkward afterwards
I remember you
watering the flowers
singing to them quietly
so they would grow better
and how, cheeks flushed, after work,
you downed a tumbler of cognac
to which I objected
have some respect
that’s good stuff
I remember
the spring in Greece
when you sobered me up
with olive oil and vinegar
you followed the advice
of the women in our neighbourhood
that’s how they tortured
their husbands
then came the summer
and the two of us, sunburnt,
lay prostrate in our room
with a big wet towel
across our backs
and we whispered: listen
the heat is so strong that it buzzes
at night
we sat on the terrace
nuzzling the cold chenin blanc
that’s when we discovered it
I look at your profile
as you take your shoe off
to shake out the beach sand
and at your foot
my God, what a foot that was
I remember
how you fought with the waiter
when he brought me the wrong drink
not the one I’d ordered
how we made love
with the TV on
a romantic movie blaring
I teach you my tongue
by rolling poetry off it
I see you
sitting on the edge of the bath
while I am shaving
you are massaging in face cream
the hydrating make-up base
I see you collecting dry leaves around the garden
only the beautiful ones;
they still fall out
from books long left unopened
I remember
when you went to another room
to make secret phone calls
I pretended to read the paper
the financial reports
God forgive me, I was so…
I remember
your dog
our puppy, rather
who came up to the bed every morning
and burrowed between us
I remember
The first time you left
I looked out of the window
into an empty street
into the night
there was a poster for a cowboy movie
across the road
the radiators were cold
the boiler in the bathroom
your eyes
were there as soon as I closed mine
I remember
the smell of your clothes
forgotten in the cupboard
a large cardboard box
full of photos
God, what did I do with them?
Which one of my house moves
was the end of them?
I remember
quiet evenings
you painting
and me writing
or reading in the armchair
I remember
The flowers which kept arriving
each morning
suffusing the apartment
with their oppressive smell
perhaps I should have asked
who was sending them
I remember the night sounds
your breathing
and the muffled song of the drunks
coming from below
I remember how,
when you were to go “somewhere”,
I hurried you along
so you wouldn’t be late
pretending to have no clue
and how you came back
from hospital alone
with blue
rings around your eyes
something needed saying
I know
As soon as I was away
you packed your suitcases
toiletry bags
some of the things even spilled over
into the woven basket for the market
I remember
your silence in answer to my question
I remember
my silence in answer to your silence
I remember gazing through the window
and the sound of your key on the kitchen table
and the sound of the apartment door, opening
I remember
hitting you on the face
(All my life, my hand will follow
That trajectory)
and I remember you crying
well before impact

DUŠAN GOJKOV is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, journalist, radio drama director. Published few books, and some prose and poetry in dozen Yugoslav (Serbian / Croatian / Bosnian / Macedonian) and foreign anthologies. Translated to several languages.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Three Poems by Anca Vlasopolos

Duck Economies

technically i’m so inferior
expensive for me
still under $five hundred
scope only
child’s toy
for thirty-five-years teaching

so i mostly
with frozen hands watery eyes
           at beak color
           wing tip
           ringed neck
know regal shapes of canvasbacks
can tell horns and clarinets of tundra swans

when home
i google
thinking luminous close-ups
will vivify
my fading visual snaps

among the photos
of these serenes
—illusionists on lake skin—
one microsecond caught in lenses’ round
next arching
vanished as if they’d never been

i see shots
            of children triumphant
high-tech guns slung over shoulders
holding aloft
            dogs’s jaws clamped on
lifeless bodies

see carcasses
by game cooking tips

This Mid-September Day

swollen with rain-to-be
stands so very still

canes of raspberries sway
with weight of bumblebees
sucking at late flowers

globes on the fuchsia that
            fatigued in summer heat
            held itself barren
impossibly hotpink
pregnant look on
to bursts of purple frills

hydrangea blooms long past
their prime
now move to green
as if to tell us
            despite crickets’ vibrato
            nests of yellow in the linden trees
there’ll be another

Once in Seven Billion

on the grass median a modest family
Canada geese and two offspring

the gander did check out the coming car
could not conceive anything would move at such a speed

we on the other side horror-struck
forgot about the changing traffic light

watched as he herded his mate and goslings
into three lanes of fast-approaching cars

and then it happened
the first car stopped then another and another

for once some humans making up
our crimes of paving over other lives

stupid male got his small family
across to another grassy berm

all our machines took off
some drivers giving others the thumbs up

Anca Vlasopolos published the award-winning novel The New Bedford Samurai, the award-winning memoir No Return Address: A Memoir of Displacement, two collections of poems, Walking Toward Solstice and Penguins in a Warming World, three poetry chapbooks, a detective novel, Missing Members, and over two hundred poems and short stories. She was nominated several times for the Pushcart Award in poetry and fiction. She is associate editor of Corridors Magazine.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Three Poems by Patricia L. Goodman

Another Chance

Catkins from
my red oak break loose,

race for the ground,
twist into tousled heaps

like wiggles of young boys.
Across the yard

a cherry tree sheds frills
of pink petals -- laughing

little girls pulling off tutus
after ballet.  I try

to catch them all,
as though I could capture

another chance at spring.


Trapped in the pond's ice --
a motionless mound of fur,

too far from the edge to reach,
to obscured to identify,
elusive as the reasons
my husband
took his life.

The ice is too fragile
to support my weight.
I must wait for the thaw,

for the day weeks later
when a desiccated raccoon
re-surfaces in the reeds.

I fish its soft body from the water,
realize I will never
have an answer.

Wing Shot

a hummingbird tries in vain
to get nectar from my feeder

checks out the metal flowers
the sides of the red bowl

never finds the feeding port
flies away hungry

like when life is wing-shot

in a hail of feathers
what feeds us

cut off, no nourishment left

in the world


Patricia L. Goodman is a widowed mother and grandmother and a graduate of Wells college. She spent her career raising, training and showing horses with her orthodontist husband, on their farm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. She now lives on the banks of the Red Clay Creek in Delaware, where she enjoys hiking, photography and spending time with her family. Her poetry has been published in both print and online journals, and in anthologies and she is putting the finishing touches on her first full-length manuscript. Much of her inspiration comes from the natural world she loves.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Three Poems by M.V. Montgomery


                        1. NAUTICA

When you stepped into the water, we said you had upset it, but it would forgive you. And the sun cast a mesh of light over the waves and lit up their tips like birthday candles. We set sail in boats of our own fabrication, sometimes gluing coffee cans or stitching citrus peels together. They left suds in our wake the little fish loved, leaping and boiling in the water like macaroni. Which in turn interested the big fish, and still bigger fish, until we formed a jolly party, coasting along with giants in our wake. Back then, the shore birds weren’t so timid of humans, had no reason to be, might just look down in disdain as we navigated through their long legs. And we sought passage between lakes like voyageurs, parting the cat-tails and reeds with our fingers, following every rivulet and portaging our fruit-peel canoes through the woods. They were light, easy to carry overhead, and fragrant. Of course we were just kids then, had always to deal with curfews and the like, and our exploring range wasn’t the widest. Yet there were still dangers, instances of elk poking their heads out through the undergrowth and snorting and blowing their snot at you. And you had to watch for mosquitoes, which back then swarmed so thick that they could drain a face of all blood in less than a minute. You might grow faint afterwards, and then have to hurry home to swallow a whole plate of spaghetti sauce just to get your color back.



We used to say to the ants, Shoo, little ones, it’s not your turn to inherit the earth yet! Gnats were everywhere also, and if you held open your mouth, liked to settle upon your tongue like snowflakes. An adult might have to warn you, Stop that, you’ll fill up before dinner! Of course, it was considered a high crime for a kid to loiter around the house at all; they would send you out with just a half-sandwich or apple and tell you not to come back till supper. So we built our fort-houses in the woods and led second lives there. And we flew moth kites and held beetle races and sampled strange colorful bugs on a dare. Yes sir, I guess you could say we were always hungry . . .


If I had superpowers, I would glide up and down stairs at the mall so all the shoppers there would scratch their heads and ask, Hey, where do you get on the escalator?

If I had superpowers, I would go into a shoe store, point to a random pair and say, I think I’ll try on those, and then do crazy jumps and flips to make the teenage boys jealous.

If I had superpowers, I would pass someone in the street and say, Hi, and then quickly circumnavigate the planet, pass that same person, and say hi again, just to send out that creepy feeling of déjà-vu.

If I had superpowers, I would visit the cheetah habitat at the zoo and challenge the sleek cat to a race—and then, after I had won, look into the panting creature’s eyes and remark, World’s fastest animal, huh?

If I had superpowers and saw a bully beating on someone, I would offer, Why not hit me instead?—and then, after he’d busted his knuckles on my steel jaw and chest, taunt, Gee, you hit like a girl.

If I had superpowers and passed a homeless woman on the street looking cold, I would focus my x-ray vision upon her blanket or meal, saying, Here, let me heat that up for you.

M.V. Montgomery is a professor at Life University. His most recent collection of poems is What We Did With Old Moons.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Three Poems by Duane Locke


Perhaps, we should appropriate a Deleuzian ontology
And replace essential traits, essences, with a morphogenic processes,
But during this segment of temporarily, I am more concerned
With something else. I am standing on black moist mud
That borders a large water varied brown puddle
And my attention is focused upon
A local manifestation. This occasion is an action in a location
Between two cypress knees near the spread-out bottom
Of a cypress with pink and green lichen. What I am observing
Is a mobility, and currently it is swimming away from me.
The motion is swirls and small silver wakes in the water.
I struggle to avoid a conceptual modification of the occurrence.
I try to subdue what has been imposed upon my corporeality by
Folklore, scientific biological accounts, and the myth of
The Garden of Eden. I must exorcise so much if I am to
See and interpret the distinct singularity of
These two snakes swimming away from me.
I think these two beings are designated in man-made parlance
By the name of Eastern Mud Snakes. Names are unimportant,
What matters is being able to overcome one’s past learning
And experience the the swirls of these two snakes swimming
Side by side as they swim away from me to disappear.
But names can be a mnemonic aid when I need to recall
The beauty of their faces, a beauty
With a power to transform one from a cipher, a slave mentality,
Into an authentic human being.


On the earth, an acorn pile, each acorn
Touching with its curves the curves of another acorn,
Each acorn streaked with a white variation on an “S”,
The reflection of an existence very far away, the sun.
I pick up an acorn. Feel the share point at the end
Denting my thumb, and the slickness against my fingertip.
Its tops is rugged, and is shaped like a cap oriental warriors
Wear in B movies. Does an acorn have oak-qualities,
Or acorn-qualities?-- a verbal game that philosopher play.
What is the mathematical interpretation of its chemical content?
When looking at the wonder of an acorn, all these learned
Pastimes seem like nonsense, useless. What is real
Is the generative power of the acorn’s shape that when
Intensely observed excites and transforms my life.
How the dark brown unique color below and the color
Of beige above enhances, enchants, transports.
Observing an acorn transfigures time, changes
The elusive short-lived presence into a time
That is a present, a past, a future at the same time,
And cannot be measured by clocks or man’s mind.


Unambiguous linguistic representations can be metaphorically
Expressed as being sawdust from a chain saw ripping down a young
Cypress tree to have its bark stripped off and turned into a fence post,
As fences make good neighbors. Technological enframing of
Amorphous human minds has produced
The dehumanized person who is capable of being excited
By sawdust and lumber, but is incapable of being excited
By a living tree unless the tree become a fiction, falsified by such
as Joyce Kilmer.
Sawdust and lumber are apotheosized and a living tree
Is relegated to the being a resource. Trees are tolerated because
Their leafage provides shade, not for their mystical transformative power.
Trees, if intensely observed as obscurities, ambiguities, concealments
And if the observer can exorcise
The technological attitudes spoken by the public into his corporeality, trees
Can contribute to the humanization
Of a population now dehumanized into robots and artificial intelligences.

Duane Locke lives in Tampa, Florida near anhinga, gallinules, raccoons, alligators, etc.  He has published 6,701 poems, includes 29 books of poems. His latest book publication, April 2012, Is DUANE LOCKE, THE FIRST DECADE, 1968-1978, BITTER OLEANDER PRESS. This book is a republication Of his first eleven books, contains 333 pages. Order from, Or Amazon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Two Poems by Kevin M. Hibshman


My hand stirs the water, opalescent and thinning like a fog may thin.
The morning.
Milky eyes prepare for the shock of bright.
Cutting clear,
Tiny diamonds sparkling their worth.
They settle to a shimmer as a thrill grips me.
My reflection!
I gloat alone.
I am transparent to be carried off by the next wave.
Lulled to sleep by a stray siren's song.
Lucid only in a swift flash of memory I hope will haunt you.

Cat Goddess
Obsidian and moonstones under her pillows.
She gazes long into the clear quartz and feels the pulse beat of the earth.
She knows when you sleep and reads your dreams.
Her mind fills with pictures.

Stealthy, on silent paws, she rides the air.
Her fur stands on end as she connects with every breath alive in the night.
Emerald eyes bright and fixed on her target, her prize.
She moves to the pulse beat and danger dances wild in a world of night sounds.

She arches her back.
She winces at firelight.
Warms her fur and purrs.
The hum of the universe in motion.

Later, she dabs scent behind each ear,
Slinks into pearls.
Instinctively leaps to hide under the bed at the first peal of thunder.
Preening before a hall of mirrors.
Divining aspects of a personal mythology.
She is sleek and sure with a fierceness reserved for any true adversary.

She leaps from your lap to lie in a pool of golden sunlight.
Her athletic grace unmatched.
Her sense of poise never compromised.
Her balance an art form.

She licks her lips and luxuriates.
A lounging seductress.

Kevin M. Hibshman has had poems published in numerous magazines and journals over the past decade and a half. In addition, He edits his own poetry newsletter: FEARLESS and has authored thirteen chapbooks of poetry. 
The latest, INCESSANT SHINING is currently available from Propaganda Press.  Kevin received a BA in Liberal Arts from Union Institute And University in 2010.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two Poems by Neil Ellman

Elephants Remember

Elephants remember
when they were small
amphibians evolving, plodding
to land on ponderous legs
how they grew and grew
developing tusks and trunks
thick skin and attitude
marching across a continent
all their own
without a predator
to challenge their size
but they now gather
around a stagnant watering hole
after a century, waiting to die,
nostalgic for their ivory days
wishing that they had evolved
to fly that they had evolved
to fly away on pterodactyl wings.


Swan's Way

After so many summers
In white-resplendent silk
like a Japanese fan unfolding its wings
after so many afternoons
admiring its own reflection
in a vernal pond
dreaming of youth, beauty
and elegance
even the swan will scatter
its feathers on the wind
even the swan will die
a lonely thing. 

Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey. His poems, many of which are ekphrastic and based on works of modern art, appear in numerous print and online journals throughout the world. The latest of his eight chapbooks, Double-Takes, is available as a free PDF download at

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Poem by Zach Fechter

Un Blodymary

Hear the moaning Bedouins
In the desert night
Across the dunes
And upon the dead shrubs

See the sunlight
Spreading across the hot flat desert
Floor the shockwave flattening the rocks
And puffing the dirt in the night
The ship descending behind blue lights
And rotating orbs of bass

Sling your arm over the chair back
And lean into your forearm
Resting your head at a slight angle
On your palm

And drink your bloody mary
And close your eyes
Close your bloody eyes
Zach Fechter lives in Southern California and has been published in multiple editions of Poetry Quarterly. He studied accounting at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. He is 24 years old.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Poem by Nicole Yurcaba

Greeting Autumn
Ah, yesterday you arrived.

      I greeted you by conversing while wood-cutting with my Muse:

our contemplations, self-inquiries, introspections and questionings
mingling with the tractor engine’s purr,
the wood-splitter’s hydraulic sighs,
the soft “clunk” of quartered cherry being stacked.

What drew you--my eternal Muse--
to kiss my neck below the right ear
inbetween ranking newly split oak logs
and justifying our infidelities as "accidents"?
Was it Lady Stetson swirled with unseasoned sycamore,
tinged with the wood-splitter's spent hydraulic fumes,
balancing what you love secretly--my lackluster femininity and devout tomboyishness?

flushed, with Desire's burning
midnight moonlight's pale spell washing his skin,
  a minute-too-long touch ignites a soul;
   two bodies, willing to mistake for fate,
    awkward chance's falling, flaming meteors.
     heavenly words, memorized
      --the yes and the now-- fading to gone,
       circumventing others unsaid.
        freckled constellations dotting a hand's back
         waiting to be read, to navigate
          lust's fiery orbit.
Nicole Yurcaba is a backwoods feminist hailing from West Virginia. Her childhood icons were Daniel Boone, Bettie Page and Rosie the Riveter. An adjunct instructor, farm hand, and substitute teacher, her work has been published in a multitude of places including Referential Magazine, VoxPoetica, Rolling Thunder Quarterly, The Literary Burlesque, Floyd County Moonshine, and many others.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Poem by Doug Bolling

Just There

Summertime in field pond.

Water moccasin drowsing
under stone bridge.

Water lily parade, algae
pond scum providing
the tapestry effect.

It's 90 degrees and we swim
in half trance
memories sluicing into
present time then

We are actors in a film
being shot by
invisible cameras.

Beginnings ends the reels
slithering on and on.

We dive to bottom and walk
the mud floor past

turtles barely noticing.

Tough to resurface and begin
all over again.

But Joanna I say.

Did we come to this.
How do we climb out and
twist the calendar
into some sort of

Where our love,
our carefully crafted words
of a somewhat I-Thou.

Joanna saying only:

we don't know whats around
the next corner,
don't know what we;ll find
if we come here next winter

and scratch for what we
left behind,
what we lost here.

If we light a fire,
which way might
it blow.

Doug Bolling's poetry has appeared in Poetalk, Blue Unicorn, Tribeca Poetry Review, Hurricane Review, Indefinite Space, Illuminations, Iodine Poetry Journal and Convergence among others.
He has received three Pushcart Prize nominations and currently resides outside Chicago in Flossmoor, Illinois. His poetry has been both experimental and traditional.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Poem by Bradley Morewood

the snake in the pool

the little wriggler signaled with sun and water
distress and will to writhe
it acquiesced to my net
then examined the chlorine web on the grass with its tongue

it was a kind of snake I’d never seen
greenish with a big head

could be the sudden death of someone in a year

I released it because it was beautiful
because it wanted to live
because its ancestors slithered here long before the first houses
and I admired its ability to stay alive
among the fences, cats and pesticides

I would want a second chance
or even a third or fourth
if the world mistook me for poisonous
if I’d made some mistakes and trapped myself
in a pool of social and financial madness

Bradley Morewood writes poetry and enjoys life in Tampa, Florida.