Sunday, May 25, 2014

Three Poems by Martha Landman

Pardon the Setting Sun
I linger at the bridge; and I remember another time on this bridge,
I was the child painting the sky orange; but, here now,
my hair has bristled; — the sun fingers it, but
I sink deep below the shadow on the horizon.
O vineyard below the hills!  Carry not my dreams, my forgetfulness,
bless not my days as I pardon the setting sun.  I see no
message cradled in these clouds; I beg not.
O torrid truth!  Has my day mellowed like wine and cheese?
An equanimity of brambles and nettles, a final spark of sun
cluttering up every confined space, for a myriad of reasons.
O continents and new moons!  O confused collection
of constellations! When time has come to meet me
with a cold shoulder, I dare not order another whiskey,
nor hold my breath; I triple the colours on my palette: —

I yield every transgression to the cloud curtain behind which
the sun, now mellow, trails off in slow motion below the horizon
Almost unnoticed night slips in as the last daylight skirts towards
upside down orange on a peace-silver sky, glistening bright
All along the river-walk lawnmowers sing their final songs while
flocks of magpie geese nestle their young in lullaby-croaks
The mango trees, in a stir of night preparation, stretch out and
offer their branches to doves and cockatoos and honey-eaters
Down below along the riverbed, fishermen smiling, carry
buckets of daily catch, their rods in single file like holy men
And as the day quiets in pure thought, rests soft in sound,

I find deliverance and toddle off to kiss another earth.

Porcupine Gorge
Dry as dust the canyon lay like a lazy secret
in 44 degrees. Embalmed in its bosom it
held the truth of all the past and all the future
There, in an unexpected jubilation surrounded
by densely vegetated savannah plains and
peace-blue skies, birds reveal their mysteries
With water bottle and no hats we made the
descent like an easy chapter down the rocky
slopes, loitering from shade to shade around
the devil’s elbow, eager to be lured into the
murky pools below. The air held its breath
as we were challenged to stay ahead of the sun
marking its way to a cloudless noon.  Shortly
ahead was a lone traveller, as silly as us, unwilling
to forego this exhilarating experience. All around,
layered in basalt and coloured sandstone, the
cliffs stood erect, prominent, unperturbed and
silent with authority, a picture of appreciation, a
pyramid of respect. Through the soil and in the
air every moment breathed tradition, yearning
the honour of the Yirendali people, stone upon
stone. Together with needle-thin cows grazing
around the cliffs’ edges, our laughter concerted
in joyous chatter with the fathers of this land
Their presence nuzzled us back to the top where,
bathed in sweat, we sipped sacredness from the

gorge – a beaker of greatness, eternally bewitched.
Martha Landman writes in North Queensland, Australia, where nature's beauty is the muse. Her work has appeared in Every Day Poets, The Camel Saloon, The Blue Hour and other online journals and anthologies.

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen

endless heat in southern winds                                                     
withered, grey forest leaves 
underbrush and grass crumble 
with the slightest movement                                                 
keen, rugged boars scour
brush and dry creek beds 
loose, clever magpies render                                                      
black-and-white guidance 
the rain still doesn’t fall

ayaz daryl nielsen, husband, father, veteran, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs), hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (24+ years/119+ issues), poetry’s homes include Lilliput Review, The Stray Branch, Eye On Life, High Coupe, Shamrock, SCIFAIKUEST, Shemom - ensembles include Concentric Penumbras of the Heart and Tumbleweeds Still Tumbling, released 2013’s anthology The Poets of Bear Creek - beloved wife/poet Judith Partin-Nielsen, worthy assistant Frosty, and! (translates as joie de vivre)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Three Poems by Heather M. Browne

Icicles hanging from our eaves
Slowly catching winter’s tears in frozen fingers.
Hundreds of sorrows dripped
Now trapped in iced memory.
We lick them to taste the sky and mourn the earth.
Breaking them off
Cracking their plight
Freeing them from their cascade of sorrow.
We hide them away from their memories.
To pull from freezer
On blazing summer days
When fire and burn is all we know.
To cool our tea
And remind us of pinecones and snow
And winter’s tears
Melting in summer sun.
My Mountain Hill
Sun came too quickly for my tired hill,
wanting longer to rest in blues and grays of stony night.
Waking achingly into softened salmon stretch
of morning light.  Gently rising,
maple oak to bask golden in new day dawn.
Looking upon my little hill, I see slumber
cuddling rock and crack in mossy blanket dawn.
My mountain yawns.



womb's warm

too open
hiding behind
leaf & branch

trickles through
cascading coral copper
saffron gold stained-glass
flutterings radiate
land a papered winded beat
upon his wings
softly stroking

breezes brushing
calming caress
mother's kiss
to touch
her lips
full, open
ready to fly

Heather M. Browne is a faith-based psychotherapist and recently emerged poet, published in the Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia Review, Poetry Quarterly, The Poetry Bus, Red Fez, Deep Water Literary Journal, Electric Windmill, Maelstrom, mad swirl, and Dual Coast.  Her first chapbook, We Look for Magic and Feed the Hungry has just been published by MCI. She just won the Nantucket Poetry Competition and will be featured on their website. She has been married 20 years to her love, has 2 amazing teens, and can be found frolicking in the waves.  Follow her:




Monday, May 19, 2014

Three Poems by April Salzano

Blow Job
It always catches me a bit off guard
when she does it, despite the time of the month,
our climate. I am waiting for something else,
expecting a better ending to my morning
when I walk from house to garage and get slapped
with a gust of Pennsylvania wind.

Hers is a hot-whore sun that burns fast,
a high humidity that suffocates thoughts,
stifles breath, thickens blood. Slow flow
is a plodding draft horse trying to reach
trough gone dry. Heavy
head fails at floating, weighted
by pollen thick enough to see, a coating
of tennis-ball yellow veiling
surroundings, dense with drawl.

Running Dead

Dear people who live
in the house near my nest, today I am going
to commit squirrel suicide. Know that
it was nothing you did. Next chance
I have when the man is driving (because
the woman will risk her life not to hit me),
I am going to run headlong into your tire,
make it to the other side
of the car, run 5 feet while dead,
dive for a tree on pure instinct,
and collapse in a tail twitching tragedy.
There will be no other explanation
for what did not appear to be an accident.
It is simply too cold and I am too tired
of attempting to gather my nuts.

April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons.  Most recently, she was nominated for two Pushcart prizes and finished her first collection of poetry.  She is working on a memoir on raising a child with autism.  Her work has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle.  The author also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Poem by William Davies, Jr.

Spring Cantata

The day begins
a fledgling symphony
then the score
is rearranged by wind,
a Treble Clef is flattened
by the slog of a turtle.
Peepers, in superfluous half-beats
usurped by hooves
that sink into
a baritone of mud
and a trilling
is the hook
as a requiem of clouds
portend the curtain.

William Davies, Jr. lives in a town surrounded by dairy farms.  He has been happily married for thirty-eight years.  His work has appeared in the Cortland Review, Bluepepper, The Wilderness House Review, Gloom Cupboard, and many others.

The writer lives in a town surrounded by dairy farms. He has been happily
married for thirty-eight years. His work has apperared in the Cortland Review,
Bluepepper, The Wilderness House Review, Gloom Cupboard and many others.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Poem by Ken L. Jones

Two Octaves Below the Stone Quarry

My garden has grown calluses as we sip the wine of serpents
Night glows green and then shatters into brittle chocolate splinters
While the dead leaves fill an empty bottle long thrown down
Autumn is a boxful of ornaments a soft jungle sliding
A glistening betrothal to a red gingham unknown fiddle
The color or rotten apples that forages on the strands of roads.

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, May 11, 2014

A Poem by D.L. Tricarico

April Soul

for the first time
this season

the choir of birds
sing their pre-dawn

blues in the
bruise-colored sky

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Poem by Fain Rutherford

Winter Ops 

It’s so cold outside, flies
lie along the doorjamb
where a little heat leaks.
They’re lined up like fighter jets
de-icing on a vertical runway.
Stealth black fuselages conserve fuel,
vibrating just enough not to freeze.
Bug-eyed cockpit canopies defrost.
.When the door opens,
the squadron suddenly scrambles
into the studio’s steamy warmth,
flying missions against assigned targets-
coffee grounds, egg shells and toilet lids,
evading all countermeasures until,
one by one, acting on higher insect orders,
they crash into the window glass and die.

Over the years, Fain Rutherford has worked as a soldier, lawyer, university lecturer, rock-climbing guide, survival instructor and at-home-dad. He currently resides in Washington State.  His recent poems appear or are scheduled to appear in Subliminal Interiors, Right Hand Pointing, Poetry Quarterly, Front Porch Review, Eunoia Review, Connotation Press, and Apeiron Review.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Two Poems by Marianne Szlyk

Walking Past Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Winter
The last snow (for now) melts under soft gray skies.
Even now it clings, like cobwebs, to corners.
The holly hedge’s red berries and sharp leaves
hold the eye until the next snowfall.
Geese graze for grubs on the hillside.
The size of toy ponies, they do not fly.
Just like the waxy magnolia, the spiky cypress,
the leafless, last black locust,
they persist.
Somewhere in the city a woman on a patio
spoons sorbet.  The nearby quince blooms.
Somewhere else a bronze nude on a tabletop confronts
the indoor birds of paradise, the bittersweet.
They too persist.
Looking Out to Spectacle Island in April
The beach this time of year
is nothing but rocks.
She ignores the man
who is placing one
on top of the other,
trying to balance them.

She ignores his dog.
She is waiting for the summer
of bare-chested boys in shallow water,
baseball on the radio,
and the reggae ice cream truck
with its flavors
of soursop, mango, and rum raisin.
She is waiting.
Marianne Szlyk is an associate professor at Montgomery College, Rockville, and a member of the D.C. Poetry Project.  Her poems have appeared in Of Sun and Sand, [Insert Coin Here], What's Your Sign?, and Something's Brewing.  Other poems have appeared in Jellyfish Whispers, Aberration Labyrinth, Linden Avenue Poetry Review, Napalm and Novocain, and The Ishaan Literary Review.  This April she will be among the performers at DC's Performetry: Old Poems, New Poems, Your Poems.  Her poem, "All About Rosie," is among poet Mike Maggio's 30 Poems by 30 Poets: A National Poetry Month Celebration at

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Poem by Chad W. Lutz

This moment,
Like a callous,
Rough and memorable,
Life penetrates,
But never painful,
Just uncomfortable,
Full amalgam:
Birch bark blowing in the breeze at dusk.
I sit listening,
Ears craning,
Mouth part agape,
The sunlight
does my listening for me.
My mouth stays open.
I wish the sky stay lit forever,
But then I would never see the night,
And the dark stretches just as far.
Chad W. Lutz was born in 1986 in Akron, Ohio, and raised in the neighboring suburb of Stow. His works have been featured in Diverse Voices Quarterly, The Dying Goose, Haunted Waters Press, and prominently on, of which he serves managing editor. Chad currently works in North Canton writing web content for an online job resource website. An avid athlete, Chad runs competitively for a Northeast Ohio running club and swims in his spare time. He aspires to run the Olympic marathon at the 2016 games.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Poem by M.J. Iuppa

In defiance of snow, she puts her shovel away in
the recesses of  her old barn, behind boxes of stuff
collected over years of wishful thinking, the odds
‘n ends of  invention  left with unread  instruction
manuals that would tell her how to use her time
wisely. She hides the shovel next to elaborate
cobwebs that appear gray and filmy, dripping
 like wisteria blossoms . . .
She looks all around and realizes that too many
 things have complicated her life. However, snow
will no longer be one of them.
M.J.Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. For the past ten years, she and her husband Peter Tonery have been committed to food sustainability. She has numerous publications (poetry, fiction, nonfiction and plays) in national and international journals as well as two full length poetry collections Night Traveler (Foothills, 2003) and Within Reach (Cherry Grove Collection, 2010) and five chapbooks; her latest prose chapbook Between Worlds (Foothills, 2013). She served as the poetry adviser (2007-2012) for the New York Foundation for the Arts, and since 1986, has worked as a teaching artist in the schools, K-12 for a variety of agencies (RCSD, BOCES 2, Young Audiences, Genesee Valley BOCES, Project U.N.I.Q.U.E. and V.I.T.A.L. Writers & Books, and others) Currently she is Writer-in-Residence and Director of Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Poem by Al Ortolani

Kansas as Wine Dark Sea
Sometimes on misty mornings—
I stand as Odysseus at the window,
floating on the roof of a barn.
The pitch is steep so I have to straddle
the peak, each leg planted
by a rubber-soled shoe. I hold
the weathervane, one of the few
originals roosters in the county, and
by leaning left or right, I pretend to sail
through waves of fog, lightning rods
trailing behind like untied
ropes from a mast. Pretty much
that’s where it ends—a few curtains
of disguise. Chickens rattle through
the open doors. A black snake
muscles below the hay bales.
Penelope teaches Honors English
to ninth graders in Overland Park.
Telemachus, a KU graduate,
has moved to an apartment
near a micro-brew in Waldo.
Al Ortolani is a high school English teacher. His poetry and reviews have appeared in journals such as Prairie Schooner, New Letters, Word Riot, and the New York Quarterly. He has four books of poetry, The Last Hippie of Camp 50 and Finding the Edge, published by Woodley Press at Washburn University, Wren's House, published by Coal City Press in Lawrence, Kansas, and Cooking Chili on the Day of the Dead from Aldrich Press in Torrance, California. He is on the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Writers Place and is an editor with The Little Balkans Review.