Monday, June 30, 2014

Two Poems by Marianne Szlyk

Black Locust in September
Beneath the blue-black clouds
that promise storms
but do not deliver,
the cherry tree’s bark
cracks open.

Even the chicory
fades away, 
its flower turning
to straw.
But the trunk
of the black locust
is as dark as asphalt
after a downpour.
A trace of moss grows
on its bark.  
Still green
leaves shade the pit bulls
tame as unicorns
on the grass below.
End of the Journey North
Heavy clouds hang from the sky,
promising more showers
of deer flies and mosquitoes.

James Bay is the mercury
on the back of the mirror,
hiding what lies below.
The airstrip stretches
out to the ends of the earth:
Attawapiskat, Nunavut,
Ellesmere Island, the Pole.
The planes are not grounded,
but we are.
Let someone else brave
the turbulence above.
Marianne Szlyk is an associate professor at Montgomery College, Rockville, and serves as an associate poetry editor for Potomac Review. Her poems have appeared in Jellyfish Whispers, Poetry Pacific, Napalm and Novocaine, Aberration Labyrinth, The Muse, Walking is Still Honest, and The Ishaan Literary Review as well as Kind of a Hurricane Press' anthologies Of Sun and Sand, [Insert Coin Here], What's Your Sign?, Something's Brewing, and Storm Cycle 2013.  She now has started a poetry blog at 


Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Poem by David S. Pointer

Untitled Haiku String
new tire swing sandals
three barefoot girls crying
by backyard tree rope
cammie duck hunter
confronted by old woman
sharing loaf of bread
brush pile jack rabbit
zips by bail jumping felon
law dog is chasing
ice cream man owns all
until merry go round truck
turns at the corner
windowless oak tree
woodpecker touches down
construction begins
David S. Pointer is author of the horror poetry book entitled “Beyond Shark Tag Bay” sold at “Blurb Books” online. David has recent publications in “Main Street Rag,” “Dead Snakes,” and “Poiesis #6.”

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

The Broth of Daybreak

The sea urchins sing soft lullabies
Beneath a sky pregnant with seagulls
Near a popup book moon landing of a lagoon
That spreads out into a beach full of
The rarest fossils now abandoned
It does shimmer as all is blanketed by
Mumbling drops of rain
As the lighthouse plays a foghorn fiddle
So sad and violet tinged as it transcends
And yet remains unfettered
On this lazy Sunday that rode in on
A horse of hammered brass
And brought me here to write
This impassioned letter
To this eternal ocean side
Where I inhaled the coming summertime
On this harshest day of winter


Leopold Bloom’s Feast

My koi pond is a poetry book
Its well worn waterfall lisps with metered rhyme
And I have fallen asleep by its overflowing jewelry
That acts like prisms on this Freon cooled night sky
And as angels dance in on moonbeams of unsnapped amber
Like pink petals floating across the bluffs
Even as unkempt midnight slithers in like a snake
Casting long shadows that look just like Buddhist monks


Seashells No One Else Can See

These coastal regions have a mockingbird’s plume
On this Hitchcock thriller of a day
While handmade hotrods prowl
Like saber tooth cats near the red vine licorice
Rolling hills where John Steinbeck’s words
Are still a deep mahogany as they echo
On an alchemical combination of ocean breezes
Atop train tracks that are long vanished
Yet are still rolling on the river
On the river where I woke up
To the seepage from corroded Popeye cartoons
In the silver haired farm fields there

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.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Poem by Allison Grayhurst

Bowl of candy
                It falls and it dies, dried
blood on a tombstone -
palliative care, parallel petals
of varying hues. Leaning against
a concrete pole plastered with posters of faded
dreams, dreaming their last gasp - ambulances,
lawnmowers, bird sounds - feeling the sun’s
rough tongue circle and slide with moist intensity
over the sleeves of my new jacket.
                I feel the civilized crowd, absent of judgment,
crossing streets, side-stepping grates. What does it mean
to be disguised as a butterfly or hospital nurse? Pacing
the torrid tea stores, listening to the woodpeckers, wishing
I could be so industrious. But my hands were made heavy and
I continue dragging my head like a rock, lifting it
into the sky, over airplane tracks,
and vegetable patch gardens.
                Sorrow is open, festers like boredom,
breathing an unmarked passage
through my vascular system. Wobbly and wanting only
to be taken, to let my thoughts be devoured
by survival and sensation -
one more week of salt without substance,
to be a mole in a wave
of fragrant calamity, to awaken in a bed with hands
covering my chest and trembling in the shower stall -
walking, walking - vines and the roots of old trees -
whistling in my ears - flint and enlightened temperatures,
silver and worn. How does everything enter?
                Am I the sea? Am I a balcony or a rooftop?
Away from this place, I will never be pardoned or at peace.
Maybe this is just wilderness and burning,
but never once did I know stagnation or
was I afraid.
Allison Grayhurst is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 370 poems published in more than 190 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers in 1995. Since then she has published ten other books of poetry and four collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay;

Monday, June 23, 2014

Two Poems by Dah

In sheer fog
the Santa Lucia's wear a thin
silvery gauze
as if earth's body has transformed
only to guide me beneath
the morning’s moon
Spread across the meadow
a herd of dappled light
like sheep set out to graze
Lifted by this chilled wind
a tired yellow leaf rises and flutters
as if a leftover pulse
from autumn’s old vein
and I am enchanted by
the features of
mist and mountains
leaf and light
and the discourse of crows
above the stillness of sheep
silence / mindfulness
a faded April moon
Solo Flight
In this valley of earth
the wind
comes with the same gift
the same solitary wind
that carries
faith without speaking
with the same sightless purity
that sees everything
as it is
that causes the same quiver of branches
that have pulled their skins
out of the soil and rocks
The wind’s long horn blows
into this valley’s earthen jug 
and applies its wisdom
as thin as
this silver hair that holds the heat
to my bones
this wisdom that assembles and
stirs above me watching and
me standing
in this valley as cold as heaven
where there has always been
and even now a river’s
unsaid oath and lyrics
where birds drop feathers
where birds balance the wind
even in sleep
even when nothing moves
even when knowing that
each feather dropped
can fly
each one
gifted with the wind’s wisdom 
Dah’s poetry has appeared, most recently, in The Sandy River Review, Stone Voices Magazine, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Orion headless, Words & Images In Flight, and Miracle Magazine, and is forthcoming in Eunoia Review, Perfume River Review, River & South Review, and Literature Today. The author of two collections of poetry from Stillpoint Books, his third collection is due for publication in 2014, also from Stillpoint. Dah lives in Berkeley, California, where he is currently working on the manuscript for his fourth book.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Three Poems by Carol Amato

Imagine, Stones

a stone thrown
rolling to a perfect fit
amongst other stones
or not
perching instead precariously
wobbling wanting balance.

Then imagine
a young meteorite flung
with fury from
a mother asteroid
because the laughing child
defied gravitas
even when told she should not
must not.

Now imagine
such pure joy when she left
the cold stony bone tips of those fingers
her blazing into the bedazzled universe
and plummeting toward Earth
diminished by then to a
rolling to a perfect fit
amongst other stones
or not.


Freckled bottom-dweller
the fin-winged cod, like a gilled
bird flies into the net
so shocked that she sprays her
last progeny into the sea
barren of milt and at least
the slim chance of their survival.

The daughter,
in a hungry fitfull sleep,
calls to her father who cannot
leave the long lines until he
finds a way to feed her
by the only means he knows.

Speak to the Fisher of Men
whose blessing of abundance
we remember but abused;
who watches us pit man against
man in the struggle between necessity
and patience for renewal;

who might consider both the
weeping child and the beast whose
glassy eyes mirror ours but cannot
blink or cry.

In the Distance, Crows    

Heading to the roost
the way they do with
single-minded determination
flying alone or with others,
she sees them from the window.
On the table the steam from each
bowl rises to meet the faces of
silent strangers.
The salt is passed and spoons
clink against the Delft-blue scenes
into the shimmering broth.
She imagines the crows stopping
at staging areas to gather forces.
They sound their clarion calls and
then, at dusk, hundreds meet in the
silhouettes of trees greeting one another
with a cacophony of welcomes!
Fussing and preening, fluttering
leaves darker than night, they
finally settle into their joined warmth
Carol Amato’s poems have appeared in several magazines and journals.  She feels the goal much of her poetry is to help the reader to visualize and appreciate the interconnectedness between humans and nature.  She is also the author of several nature-based children’s books and a natural science educator in the greater Boston area. Her Let’s Find Out Program carries her across the state in pursuit of the wonder of children!  As an evaluator of children’s books for Barron’s Educational Series (one of her publishers), she is devoted to encouraging writers who also inspire wonder.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Poem by Ralph Monday

Summer Sits on the Cedars

Summer sits on the cedars
dark outside.  A waning
moon, perched in Aries,
flies westward seeking
the call of nocturnal geese.
Somewhere the sky's umbra
flows into a pew where
cedars in winter heave
frosted, writhing obscurities
on grieving windows.
There are walkers to the west,
unknown pupils tasting education
in those shadowed, stained glass
windows, knowing only a
vague penumbra
unconnected to the quiet trees.
Their arteries, the moon, is rock.
Behind them a declining tone
of summer/winter hallelujahs
etched on smeared fingerprints,
geese honk at the revelation.
Three cracked buttons, a
discarded shoe, summer
settles in, late today,
brooding at the moon.

Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN, where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses.  In fall 2013, he had poems published in The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Weekly Literary Review, and was represented as the featured poet with 12 poems in the December issue of Poetry Repairs.  In winter 2014, he had poems published in Dead Snakes.  Summer 2014 will se a poem in Contemporary Poetry:  An Anthology of Best Present Day Poems.  His work has appeared in publications such as The Phoenix, Bitter Creek Review, Full of Crow, Impressions, Kookamonga Square, Deep Waters, Jacket Magazine, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Crack the Spine, The Camel Saloon, Dead Snakes, Pyrokinection, and Poetry Repairs.  His first book, Empty Houses and American Renditions will be published by Hen House Press in Fall 2014.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

The Alligator Attacked

the infiltrator of his perceived territory
just as we crossed over their bridge.  Two
huge mouths, full of teeth, ascended
from water, locked against each other,
screamed outrage and indignation.  The wooden
planks beneath our feet shook with aggression,
but only momentarily as the younger,
sensing defeat, raced for cover of foliage
and the older smiled at us, a victor
graciously granting humans passage.

The Squirrel Tried

to get in the baby’s stroller. I guess he was tired
of running around, begging for nuts from strangers. 
The little girl seemed nice enough. She waved at him,
didn't try to hit him in the head with empty shells,
though she was surprised when he sprung
onto the seat next to her. She let him rest
his tail a moment before her mother shooed him away.


A frozen sea stands, a fort against the sun,
Invisible, an artist picking at its own
edges.  Sharp.
to show the blue of forever
it holds like a key
to a secret


A.J. Huffman’s poetry, fiction, haiku, and photography have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.