Thursday, January 30, 2014

Three Poems by Marianne Szlyk

Chicory at Castle Island
For now,
the powder blue flower
in the cool wind
and lingers
at salt water’s edge,
reclaiming the sand
for plants.

on the underside of a fallen tree
or the summer lawns
after heavy rains.
open to the possibility
of our presence, our poison,
our many colors, shapes:
spheres, dribbles,
            split-gill flowers, and scraps.
Spring Snow
This morning snow falls
like a chain-link fence
between us and Spring.
Cherry blossoms and magnolias
mingle with coarse flakes
that cling to the trees.
The sweet ground
that was beginning to green
now smells of nothing.
The shovel’s crunch returns.
Only the pond is the same
opaque water
despite the snow.
Marianne Szlyk is an associate professor of English at Montgomery College, Rockville.  Every so often she thinks about going on a walking tour in England, but for now she is happy to explore East Rockville and parts of Washington, DC.  Her poems have appeared in Kind of a Hurricane's print anthologies beginning with Of Sun and Sand as well as in online venues such as Aberration Labyrinth, Poehemians, and the Blue Hour.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Why Technology Tastes So Awful To Me Now

The koi fish fat and lazy
Arches up in the moonlight
Tickles breadcrumbs from my palm
Then disappears in a shatter of water
That turns the lily pads  into flying saucers
Warping through a 1950’s universe
Of Christmas tree lights
Seen though pin pricked
Black velvet covered cardboard.
Handwritten Notes In Top Hat and Tails
 An outdoor oil derrick
Goes about its work 24-7
A greedy vampire
On the sandy beach jetty
It sucks the land dry
It taxes the topography
Until it speaks in tongues
And begs for nuclear power plants
No matter how unsafe or unproven
A perfect blonde in almost
Nonexistent beach wear
Teeth full out like a horse
Sniffs at the killer lake
That is being born
In the tidal pools at her feet
Everything so silent that
Not even a single seagull can be heard
Nor even the phosphorescent ping
Of a seaweed pod being broken open
And I am afraid that this
Frost Giant’s daughter
Is going to cry
Oh sad mysterious elder sister
Of the moon over the sea
Let me look at your hair unbound
What a gentle mysterious shipwrecked child
Must live within you
Whose gills throb in the throat of
These dream journals of mine
Chrome and steam and wind swept
Her flesh becomes pristine scrapbooks
To be read in the human cathedral
Where wind chimes shift to slow
In the brutality of ocean breezes.
A Few Choice Lines About The Deities of the Mad Tea Party
Green husks everywhere
Bamboo like stalks
Now divested of their
Ripe golden roasting ears
Filaments of silk
Blow on the wind like manna
The most wonderful and yet neutral
Smells of the kernels themselves
The ruts in the cultivated earth
Dark and brown
And moist and fertile
And all beneath a painfully
China blue sky
Agog with chicken and dumpling symmetryed clouds
On this most perfect of harvest afternoons.
Ken L. Jones has written everything from Donald Duck comic books to dialogue for the Freddy Krueger movies for the past thirty plus years.  In the last three years he has gained great notice for his vast publication of horror poetry which has appeared in many anthology books, blogs, magazines and websites and especially in his first solo book of poetry Bad Harvest and Other Poems.  He is also publishing recently in the many fine anthology poetry books that Kind of a Hurricane Press is putting out.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Poem from your Editor, April Salzano

Weeping Willow
I am finally afraid to die, though I know
that was not my husband’s intention
when he planted a willow tree at the edge
of the driveway. I know this
is where I will sit in twenty years
when the trunk has finally grown tall
enough so the embrace of branches forms
the canopy where I will wait for my grandchildren
to arrive on a day not unlike today,
autumn a mere threat against September sun.
They will say, there is grandma under her tree.
I know the roots my tree is forming
will ensure that it outlives me, them,
their own children, just as I know my roots
extend only just beneath the surface.
April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons. She recently finished her first collection of poetry, for which she is seeking a publisher and is working on a memoir on raising a child with autism. Her work has appeared in journals such as Poetry Salzburg, Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Montucky Review, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle. The author also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Poem by Freya Pickard

wandering, drifting
choreographed dance,
downwards and sideways,
I watch, entranced;
white from grey falling,
white on white lying,
snowflakes whispering,
hissing, then sighing.
Freya Pickard is the author of Dragonscale Clippings and writes poetry in order to release her creative flow. She runs two blogs at and

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

Before the Winter Storm Drifted East
As day changed color to color
and the great light went out in the chamber,
someone gathered straw to bury the earth.

Let the frozen fire of ice and snow collect its belongings,
let it settle into seed and burrow, weed and grass,
the tumbledown mesa over to the east.

This is a suicide land, a rock and pictograph,
a grape for encouragement and a grape for the downfall,
a green apple for the rest of us.
Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published. His latest works, Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah ( (Camel Saloon Books on Blogs) and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missori, 100F Outside and other poems ( (Barometric Pressures--A Kind of Hurricane Press). The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100F Outside And Other PoemsHis work has appeared in The CafĂ© ReviewAmerican Letters and Commentary, Xavier ReviewHotel AmerikaMeridian Anthology of Contemporary PoetryThe 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), and I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011: ( He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Poem by William Davies, Jr.

Because they cannot
differentiate time,
birds do not know
the seeds I put
in the feeder
on New Year's Day
come with aspirations
like everything else
on this day,
that the hand
filling the trough
will have been the one
to point the way
as peace paces ahead.
William 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's hoping to publish his very first book of poems in 2013.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Poem by John Calavitta

Winter's Tale  
Pine trees change their stance 
bringing what we ask
carrying dead boulders
North into the future
looking at the sky through a knitted hat 
the shirts we sleep in 
like a fraying stocking
our hunting guns tucked in bed
no one pays attention 
to the oracle of a barking dog
or a wet dog lying on the floor
waiting for the word dismiss
now an entity, like a random moon 
that trees askew 

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Poem by Joan McNerney

The watching clock
pinches each second,
holds a minute in
its hand...drops,
catching another.
Snow gently falls,
frost gathering upon
the pane.
As gulls
proclaim this
new morning,
the sun rose...
another golden flower!
Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications.  She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net.  Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Two Poems by Susan Dale

A Fierce Winter Night

The wind roars with polar bear breath
And cuts with silver rapiers

Hoof beats thunder
Across the mountain of night

Shuddering atop the pole
A flag wildly furls
Wind swoops down the chimney
And shouts imprecations to the fire
In the stove___
to greedily gobble up logs, cringing

In the basement the sub pump
Gurgles and swallows

Scratching at the windows,
Steel nails of sleets’ white-bone fingers

Ah, we shiver inside, for we know
we are held hostage
by the blinding white wrath
of a fierce winter night


December ringing in high wild notes
Winter nailed to the earth
Its leaden jaw set until April
Mornings whittled thin
Under a frosty halo sun

Days drip with snow blossoms

Float in twilight clouds
Faint and pink as infant dreams
Shivering in the wind

Winds flare from winter’ nostrils
Bringing in the knobby knees
Of bone-cold nights
With secretive stars

A slivered, thin-promise moon
Lifts above truth
Rises beyond time

Susan Dale’s poems and fiction are on Eastown Fiction, Ken *Again, Penman Review, Inner Art Journal, Feathered Flounder, and Hurricane Press. In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Poem by Robert Halleck

The Hawk at the Beach

He doesn't belong here
on the lamp post looking 
below. His beak has
a smile, his eyes a gleam.

I don't belong he thinks.
Surprise, surprise. They
will be surprised as I
drop in for breakfast.

Robert Halleck is a retired banker who lives in Del Mar, California with his wife Terry and three retired racing Greyhounds. He has written poetry for over 50 years. He has published two collections of his poems: IT'S NEVER TOO LATE and OTHER PLACES OTHER TIMES. His poems have appeared in The Boston Poetry Review, The Camel Saloon, San Diego Poetry Annual, The Scapegoat Review and other journals.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Poem by Lance Sheridan

of a run aground ship and winged crows

marked depth of saltwater by a
yardstick in inches,
storm clouds receding like
playground children
into secret places, oak timber
painted white
painted red
ran aground in a mist,
in a rainy fog, crew abandoned...
fallen sails and 
mitered joints left
to rot in mud, on a forgotten
shore, winged crows 
to nest in a timbered mast,
reeds grab and choke
the oxygen 
out of splintered wood,
last breath taken, gasping,
a trickle of saltwater,
then a torrent, canvas hoisted
by an updraft, 
sets sail, no longer moored,
crows cast adrift 
in flight, wings like
oars in clouds.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Poem by Martin Willitts, Jr.

Celtic Images of Water and Wood 
            1.             Alder Zodiac Sign: March 18 – April 14 (the Trailblazer)
The alder tree near the river purifies the soil.
Everything is fluid and in balance.
Its roots are in water and land,
and under its roots are trout and salmon.
Leaves decompose in the water to feed the fish.
If only we were so generous and provided shelter.
Tranquility is something that nurtures everything.
The alder lives in two worlds of air and fire.
When things are in balance, they swim
as leaves across the soil like fingers messaging
until our body becomes air.
We can burn alder until it is red-orange,
turning into charcoal, for forging metal,
then cool it in water.
The cycles of things are always in balance.
You are a trailblazer.
A person so confident in themselves,
others will follow.
           2.             Willow Celtic Zodiac Sign: April 15 – May 12 (the Observer)
You are container of wood and moon.
The Willow is used for intuition to understand the things around us.
What do we know after all? Nothing!
Things pull at us, from different directions.
The Willow is flexible, able to bend without breaking.
How many times have you had to bend over backwards?
No wonder you ache. No wonder there is heat in your spine.
The message here is to be adjustable in life.
Follow your spiritual path, no matter how it wavers.
Always remember: testimony is a part of survival.
A Willow thrives in the most perplexing circumstances;
its broken branch can take root in a marsh.
You are an observer.
Take your time noticing things
until they become amazing,
watery as morning.  
          3.         Reeds: Oct 28 – November 24 (the Inquisitor)
It grows over 20 feet tall in swamps.
It connects and networks
long before we gave these words new meanings.
It was woven into thatched roofs lasting decades,
remaining after the builder had died.
How many people you know are this loyal?
Reeds are a natural insulator,
useful in cold, wet months that pull out of the earth
until we cannot seem to take any more of it
and still, more cold comes, air thin as reeds,
until we would forget the word for “warm”.
Reeds have a faint sweet smell,
so the Celts would use it for floors
deodorizing the house. Reeds were used for candles,
or whistles for poets, or for visions
especially useful for seeing beauty
in the most common-looking. Sometimes,
in the swamps, they make their own eerie noises,
otherworldly voices, much like a mother-in-law.
Sometimes, it is a matter of asking questions.
Since you are connected to everything,
you know secrets. Find the hidden through layers,
but avoid gossips and their hollow words.
You would make a good historian or detective,
and interpreting people, sometimes manipulating them
like water does to land. Make truth tall enough to see.
Martin Willitts Jr is a retired MLS Senior Librarian living in Syracuse, New York. He has an echapbook with Barometric Pressures: “Late All Night Sessions with Charlie “the Bird” Parker and the Members of Birdland, in Take-Three”(A Kind Of a Hurricane Press, ebook, 2013). His forthcoming poetry books include “Waiting For The Day To Open Its Wings” (UNBOUND Content, 2013), “Art Is the Impression of an Artist” (Edgar and Lenore's Publishing House, 2013), “City Of Tents” (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2013), "A Is for Aorta" (Seven Circles Press, e-book, 2013), "Swimming In the Ladle of Stars" (Kattywompus Press, 2013), ) and he is the winner of the inaugural Wild Earth Poetry Contest for his full length collection “Searching For What Is Not There” (Hiraeth Press, 2013).