Friday, June 21, 2013

Three Poems by Diane Webster


Lilacs lilt the air

with alluring scent

for honey bees

to home in on

while iris bloom

beneath the buzz

and snapdragons birth

bumblebees daily.



The bird calls

“kitty, kitty, kitty!”

through the trees,

and the cat

twitches her ears

as if annoyed

that a bird thought

it could fool a cat --

“Bird brain.”


Climbing the steps

to the post office

the metal hand rails

support an inch of snow

until near the top

thawing curves the line

still attached but sideways

like a little girl searching

for her father while upside

down on the monkey bars.

Diane Webster's goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday life or nature or an overheard phrase and to write from her perspective at the moment. Many nights she falls asleep juggling images to fit into a poem. Her work has appeared in "Philadelphia Poets," "Illya's Honey," "River Poets Journal" and other literary magazines.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Poem by Marianne Szlyk

The River Always Captures Me

The Blue Line train crosses the river—
on one side the city,
the power plant, and rows
of brick houses, on the other,
the park with its paths
like veins of a broad leaf.
Below a tiny figure walks
a tinier dog.  Someone else
bikes alone.  No one rows

Soon the river will begin
to smell like spring.
More people will walk its paths.
Then it will reek like summer,
a regatta of rowers sweating,
dogs dripping,
tadpoles dying in
drying mud.
In fall, the leaves
will cover the ghosts
as the last rower skims past.

Still later the flat opaque water
will freeze in patches.
From the matching sky,
snow will fall
past the tiny figure
and the tinier dog
that trace the paths
that are like
veins of a leaf
by the river
below the Blue Line.

Marianne Szlyk is an associate professor of English at Montgomery College, Rockville as well as an associate editor at the Potomac Review.  Most recently, her poems have appeared in the Blue Hour Literary Magazine and Aberration Labyrinth.  She has also read her poems at Montgomery College and the D.C. Poetry Project's open mike.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Three Poems by J.K. Durick


She lives in this moment, like any other,
noting every shade of meaning in my tone
and gestures, reads me seriously, a book
she knows well, dog-eared, grimy, almost
biblical, the first of the things she consults
mornings and nights. She has seen me in
my weakest moments and easily forgave me,
has seen my best and easily forgave me. She
quietly watches for hints about what’s next,
peeks around corners like a spy, follows me
like a stalker, shows a patience so Job-like,
so dog-like that I’ve spent hours trying to
imitate the immediacy of it, her endurance,
how being so perfectly in the moment can last
so long, can stretch out just like she does on
the floor right here, while I write poems, poems
she is always the first to hear.

I’ve slammed on the brakes so hard,
risked a rear-ender, to save them from
their childlike lapses,
found myself shouting warnings after them
as they bound away defiantly –
indifferent to my caring.
Trimming the Bushes
We counter nature’s progress this way.
We like to say, hey, they look shabby, as if 
they were homeless waifs we have taken in,
rebellious children we must tend to and
shape to our notion of a proper fit to
the lives we play for the neighbors, for
the world driving by. They should merely be
part of the scenery, a backdrop, a prop,
an extension of the script we’re playing out.
They should be a glimpse, a whisper, a little
out of focus, almost unnoticed, as subtle as
an earring, or a slight accent, a part of the
whole, without a separate role to play, with
no lines of their own to say. They should
conform to the norm we’ve set, like the lawn
and the deck chairs do, like the flowers and
the robins do. They need us this way, ask us,
call us to come out to play, a barber this time,
or like an ax man, a crazed tax man cutting
and pruning back to almost nothing. Why, I
have gone after these babies with a chain saw,
like some serial killer let lose at last, their worst
nightmare. Why, I’ve stood on my step ladder
and cursed the sun in my eyes, the fall I might
take, and the one last branch they put out there
just beyond my reach –  way the hell out here
just beyond my metaphoric reach.      
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Literary Juice, Napalm and Novocain, Third Wednesday, and Common Ground Review.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Poem by Steve Klepetar


Somewhere there are horses
loose in a canyon of clouds.

I listen for hoof beats wreathed
in silence, for whinnying cries

and the harmony of many colored
manes. I listen for the northward

flight of birds and all their rainbow
song.  It’s April and still snow

crowns every hill. Eagles fall
from the sky, feathery meteors

of hunger and lust.  All over
America the auctioneers have

started the bidding for spring. 
Money changes hands. 

Somewhere there are waves
and dolphins leap through distant

surf.  Somewhere whistles blow
and streams swell; tributaries flood

their banks.  River towns hang
in the rising tides. Our bridges

are lost, they cannot hold; our canals
were never made to hinder the sea. 

Waters thunder around our ears.
Somewhere a pebble rolls down a hill,

gathers dirt and rocks; whole mountains
shiver and skip and crumble into dust. 

Steve Klepetar teaches literature and creative writing at Saint Cloud State University.  His work has appeared all over the U.S., as well as in Canada, England, Northern Ireland, France, Australia and India.  His latest collection is Speaking to the Field Mice, recently released by Sweatshoppe Publications.