Saturday, December 14, 2013

Three Poems by Leilanie Stewart

There is a lone                                 stack
standing out at sea,                         a sad
promontory that’s                             jutting
beyond the riptides.                         I often
watch it and wonder                         why
there’s only one,                              because,
surely if it was formed                     by erosion
there’d be more along                     the coast
This is a desolate beach                 to walk along
and when I go there by                   myself, I try to
imagine that under the       surface of the water
the cliff and the stack are touching, holding
onto one another through the swells, and
though the peaks and troughs will do their
damage, what is under the surface will
never be erased, and never be separated
Snowball Effect
I’d like to introduce you to
Miss Lauren Tide
She came all the way
From Greenland
And is planning to stay
for a while,
an epoch perhaps.
She’ll be bringing along with her
Miss Tundra, Miss Glacier
and Mister Permafrost
She was forced to emigrate
from her home, up North,
by convection currents-
hot air brought on by CO2
She’ll cool the seas before her,
Push the Gulf Stream further south
It’s a waiting game now
for the snowball to come
She’ll wipe out the arrogance
of humankind, with one swipe
from her terminal moraine
Clam Diggers
It’s funny
how when I was little
I used to wear clam diggers
to pick cockles
Some people called them
pedal pushers,
but I never wore them
on a bike
It’s sad now
that the beach in which
I wore pedal pushers
to pick cockles
has been closed to the public,
for commercial use,
by proper diggers,
not clam diggers,
for cockle digging
Leilanie Stewart is one half of a writing couple - the other half is Joseph Robert. By day she runs creative writing groups for teenagers and by night she writes and promotes her work at spoken word events in London. Her poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK and US. More about Leilanie's writing can be found at

Friday, December 6, 2013

Two Poems by Michael Lee Johnson

Even as Evening
Even as evening
approaches night-
dandelions shake
dust loose from their yellow-
a robin pulls
the last red worm
from the moist,
but callous
shadows fade, flake,
into fresh fall night-
small creatures
with trumpet
sounds dominant
the adjacent
A virtuoso!
I am Looking for Something
I am looking for something-
desperate within the shattering
of green glass, Coca Cola bottles made
entirely from grass, bark, corn husks.
Between rain, grey clouds, a spot of sunshine
cast on a shadow's fear-
green grass sprouts, not grey bark
nor branches dead.
Truly, I am telling you,
I am looking for something-
not the specking of rain
on my windshield,
nor the wipers that
habitually sling the drops
away, left, then right.
I am looking for something.
Exploring deist compared too theist
I was confused, an academic note
on the side plate of my day.
I believe in a God, but perhaps my God
is just an auto mechanic.
I think God is wrapped in a 4-leaf clover
sinless, searching Illinois farm lands for something.
Not in commercials, billboards, sales pitches, on the highways,
nor in text messages, double negatives hidden,
or the static of cell phone drama.
I find my Savior in the bluebird,
grasslands, scattered trees, slightly out of range.
Bring me a fluffed pillow, Wal-Mart special,
a dream of wine, vodka mixed orange
in a season lacking reason,
the bluebird flies.
Everything dreams and flashes away-
I tell you something, I am looking
for something.
Savior bluebird.
MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era:  now known as the Itasca, IL poet.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in 26 countries, he edits 7 poetry sites.  Michael is the author of The Lost American:  From Exile to Freedom (136 pages book), several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems.  He also has over 69 poetry videos on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Two Poems by Smita Sriwastav

Echoes of a Dawning Morn...

filigree dawn
is a latticework of sunbeams~

fragmented to be
scattered into reflections
in the glance of
peppering drops of dew.

clouds are a crotchet
of burnished oranges
swirling pinks
and breathy purples;

while a moon is
a remnant silver sliver
that lingers as a sigh
of nostalgia in today's face.

pole star
rubs sleep-worn lids to slip
beneath blankets to escape
mischievous rays,
its lethargic form cuddled
into marmalade pajamas.

sunflowers awaken
from drooping stalks to simper
while with erased haziness
of mist from cheeks of glass panes,
morning matures on
rejuvenating aroma of hot coffee...

Harlequin Whispers of Night Sky...

moonlight is
a soothing, serene drizzle;
starlight sparkle of
sepulchered memories,
constellations crotchet
a refulgent veil.

stars wink
ancient anecdotes in
ambiguous stardust scribbles
within blackberry silence.

psychedelic sighs
echo in abeyant moments,
as photon whispers
knock on indifferent eardrums~
too entranced by moon's serenades
to interpret them.

Smita Sriwastav is an M.B.B.S. doctor with a passion for poetry and literature.  She has always expressed her innermost thoughts and sentiments through the medium of poetry. A feeling of inner tranquility and bliss captures her soul whenever she pens her verse. Nature has been the most inspiring force in molding the shape of her writings. She has published two books and has published poems in journals like the Rusty Nail ( Rule of Survival)and Contemporary Literary Review India (
spring lingers),four and twenty, Paradise Review, Literary Juice, Blast Furnace and many more and one of her poems “Unsaid Goodbyes” was published in an anthology called ‘Inspired by Tagore’ published by Sampad and British Council. She has written poetry all her life and aims to do so forever.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Poem by Jenny Qi

The Magnificent Capacity of Two Fireflies

When stars flicker out, you want
to believe in reincarnation.

Maybe in another life, you’ll be
a firefly, and I’ll be a moth
following, drawn ceaselessly
into your light.  Or perhaps
I will chase you like daylight,
follow from the in-between.
Or I’ll become a firefly with you
so in untainted darkness, you’ll find me
still believing the wisdom
of white flames and gas.

Jenny Qi is a PhD student in biomedical sciences in San Francisco, which is a fancy way of saying she’s putting off adulthood by pretending to cure cancer.  In her spare time, she draws science cartoons and writes for Synapse. Her essays have been featured in Huffington Post and The Atlantic,  and she has published poems in various journals, including the vanderbilt reviewTabula Rasa, and The Quotable.