Friday, June 17, 2016

A Poem by Joyce Joslin Lorenson

Fox Dreams

Walking to the vegetable garden
while morning is damp and wrinkled,
north side of the old addled stone wall
near the pass-through gap,
a single gooseberry bush grows
contemplating the seasons,
fouled with prickles,
lobed leaves clustered
along arching branches,
dangling fruit, ovoid,
pallid green, the color
of jade droplets
adrift on plaited silk,
translucent as an old woman's
skin revealing the veins
in her quavering hands,
slippery with dew.
In the night
I wake and hear
the hum of it's whirling leaves,
the rattle of it's celadon beads,
footsteps of a fox
circling near the bush,
the swish of her tail
under a swale of stars.

Joyce Joslin Lorenson lives in Rhode Island, grew up on a dairy farm and records the daily happenings in nature around her rural home.  She has been published in several print and electronic journals.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Two Poems from ayaz daryl nielsen

once upon the tree limb
of an old box elder in a
woodland I remember
I was a boy, yes, a
careless and happy boy
singing a hymn to my future
and yes, I remember,
and it comes to me now,
it comes to me now

evening path into the country
an owl hooting in a maple
apple and cherry trees in bloom
monarch butterflies on milkweed
murmurs from wild geese
grazing on these stilled fields
squat pines in the swamp
hold up a flock of blackbirds
the brown squirrel watches quietly
from the limb a nest rests upon
today's journal entry written full
and sometimes my life opens
its eyes a little bit more

ayaz daryl nielsen, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (25+ years/125+ issues), homes for poems include Lilliput Review, SCIFAIKUEST, Shemom, Shamrock, Kind of a Hurricane Press and online at bear creek haiku.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Though Memory Allows You To Deepen

Darkening seagulls on wings of great fragility
Glide on the wind cries time machines
During this fermenting summer
That lasts through all of October
Now that comic book spinner racks
That once grew like wild flowers
Are so rare that it makes one wonder
Why superheroes rule the movies and the TV air
But I think very little of that
Lost as I am in shadows of orange groves now long gone
And of a station wagon that smelled of deep fried giant fantailed shrimp
Eaten at the Pink Spot burger joint way up the street
All of this like some other planet to me now
But one I would gladly journey back to if only I knew how.

Thousands of Windmills

These blue smoke ducklings at day's end are hard to part with
Now that nighttime blooms as if it is on a trampoline
Near the soft ground of the cornrows
That loom so briskly in all of this blue jade emptiness
As they echo through every ripe cherry
And all of this is evaporating yet as eternal
As any summer beach you've ever trod upon in this life
Or the one that is promised beyond the prism of the clouds
Beyond all this sorrow and all this strife.

Songbirds Again and Again

There is a tingle in the air
As this February morning's tentacles trail behind it
And as all vaporizes like torn silk whispers
Inscrutable is the tree's benediction
As the gray squirrel waves goodbye from deep within it

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Three Poems by Lynne McEniry

kemp ridley

kemp ridley, I see you
with my dream eyes      braving New England
waters         so early in the season
I see you

swimming in the deep here with
right whales and jellies       although
freezing, you flock to  chockfull
feeding grounds--neither of us
can spare the worry of why we traveled

to these forbidding waters        so far
from the welfare of warmer shores       neither
the time to wonder whether it's courage
or cowardice that leads more quickly
toward extinction


do you like to listen
to the birds?  I ask as we lie
quiet in the morning light

I'm listening
to at least six different
birds, I think--warble, whistle
and caw, a chatter,
a trill and a tweet--
songs and calls that carry me

back to Mr. Weitz's seventh
grade Listening to Today's
Music class          my desk
on the third   step up   my eye's
closed, ears open to the sound
booth         all its mysterious
knobs and boards that somehow
flooded our classroom with sound.

Mr. Weitz played a game with us
where we had to pick out each
instrument we could hear in the song.
When he said, needle to vinyl now we knew
we really had to listen.
He's start us out slow with acoustic
vs. electric in Ramblin' Man, maybe move
on to the brass ensemble in some
Chicago song before quizzing us
on the Orchestra Baobab, a melting pot
of sounds that carried me into
a world outside the classroom walls.

I like to listen, too, you whisper as
the yellow-bellied sapsucker   pecks
busily at some bark just outside
our window     I wonder how
I'd missed his sound earlier, and
I wonder where the birdsongs and calls
had carried you in that quiet morning light.

A Fractured Sand Dollar, A Sliver of Sponge

On the window sill at the Villa Caprice rests
a fractured sand dollar
a sliver of sponge like a hand signing peace
a crew of coquinas stripped to delight
each bathed clean

of sand, of salt.  A fractured sand dollar
a sliver of sponge demand their own attention
in spite of coquinas striped to delight.  Each
bathed clean they rest refreshed upon the sill.
Window screen dew drops

envy the sliver, envy the fracture that rest
refreshed upon the sill, so they drip down
to striped crew of coquinas, bathing them
in a dazzling glaze.  Now dew drops do envy
the crew of coquinas, knowing that sun will shine

will claim praise for the gift they gave.
Palm fronds wave in the sun, scatter
dew drops, dry up envy,
a fracture, some dazzle,
a hand signing
peace:  life:  window:  Villa Caprice.

Lynne McEniry has poems and reviews published or forthcoming in 5 AM, Adanna, The Stillwater Review, Paterson Literary Review, The Lake Rises Anthology, The Wide Shore, and others.  She won honorable mention for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  She is a regular guest editor for Adanna Literary Journal for which she edited several special issues including, "Hurricane Sandy:  Students Speak Out"  and "How Women Grieve."  Lynn earned her MFA in Poetry from Drew University and works at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Two Poems from Stefanie Bennett

Blanks from the Other World

Suppose the Sassafras spreads its leafage
As far as the far-off "danger man"
Nodding at symbolic warheads.

Suppose the dispirited Mountain Woodchuck
Turns her back
On the Wojak land of legend.

And suppose the fortune-telling Chickadee
Refuses to whistle
"Abide with me . . ."

The cryptic tempest flower wouldn't
Bear too well
                      No sir!


As Lady Day
To fade
The yellow
Voices freedom . . .

In the blink
Of an eye
                 & working
Overtime he
The sky
And its Saviour.

Stefanie Bennett has published several volumes of poetry & has had poems appear with Dead Snakes, The Lake, The Fib Review, Poetry Pacific, The Plum Tree Tavern, High Coupe & others.  Of mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Queensland, Australia.  Stefanie's latest poetry title is published by Walleah Press & is available from Walleah, Amazon & Fishpond Books.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Three Poems by Jonathan Beale

The Daffodils

After Marianne Moore

Under the demonic winter air
From beneath the tuber
Ridden in black:  this interlocked
World woven in kindness.
And anticipation of light
Waiting until the invisible
Grows yellowingly visible.
A clock chimes.  The trumpets
Call, they look to congregate.

As they genuflect under
the new sun light.
Offering a simple thought
To their own god for their own existence
As they rotate in the breeze
Facing their god's passing
Their days:  privately offering
Their wishes and desires upon the altar
of the new dawn air.


Here the golden weave--impenetrably obvious
               Golden gods whisper and wish their dreams, to you
To be caught, by you--cast your mind's eye imagination

               The gold is now beginning to fade:  drowned in new black
Only the few find the nights heart here
               Only us human dogs find the solace of here & now

The night is found in a darken Byronic mood
               This desire for desire as the morning claws toward . . .
. . . Breathing; awaiting the first days air on our skin.

Low Mood Months

The eyes slowly sag
With the expiring October
The day of the day brings
A new opening; a new gate
Into another garden, most
Would rather not enter.
The leaves red fire
Cannot fire a passion
In these dark dark days
In these low mood months
The expiring light
Chased away by the
Freezing cold wind--
Hides behind the blankets
And the wood fires
Cinders breathe some
Hope, some life, some light . . .

Jonathan Beale has 400 plus poems published in such journals as Decanto, Penwood Review, The Screech Owl, Danse Macabre, Danse Macabre du Jour, Poetic Diversity, Voices of Israel in English, Miracle E-zine, Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal, The Journal, Ink Sweat & Tears, Down in the Dirt, The English Chicago Review, Mad Swirl, Poetry Cornwall, Leaves of Ink, Ariadne's Thread, Bijou Poetry Review, Calvary Cross, Dead Snakes Review, The Bitchin Kitsch, Poetry by Birkbeck alumnus, The Dawntreader, I am not a Silent Poet, Pyrokinection, Festival of Language, Festivalwriter, Don't Be Afraid:  An Anthology of Seamus Heaney, Ygdrasil, The Four Seasons Anthology, The Seventh Quarry, Van Gogh's Ear Anthology, The Curly Mind, The Beatnik Cowboy, and Dali's Love Child.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Poem by Edward Ahern

The Swamp Oak

Balding leafage
lets the eye slip through
to scabrous bark
that runs past rot holes
hiding squirrels.

Twisted branches
contort around power lines,
reaching upward
and straining to
recover grace.

The tree sways
toward a century
it will not reach,
and strews its seeds
with wanton hope.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Three Poems by Kyle Heger

A Torch

A maple has managed to
catch the last light from
the setting sun, which
throbs now through golden
leaves:  imprisoned, prolonged,
sheltered and shown off in
a burst of proprietary pride.
But, far from harmless, the
flickers threaten to consume
their golden covers as easily
as a flame does a paper lantern,
or the hand that dares to touch
it, and so the branch tips make
a point of holding their treasure

Narrow Strip

All it takes is the narrowest of strips
to kill a tree:  a simple ring of exercised
tissue just beneath the surface.  While
all around it, other redwoods survive
with great hollows burned out or deep
gouges running up and down there
trunks, this one member of the grove
stands slowly dying from one-foot up,
victim to a precision that can barely
be seen.


Just this side of cold blood,
cormorants throng the bluffs,
wings suspended flightlessly,
striking poses of crucifixion,
an eruption of the prehistoric.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Three Poems by Ken Poyner

Out of Reasoning

You realized
mid-season that
with warmer water
coursing the ocean's veins--
making it torrid and sassy and carnal
and not the water you would bring in a bucket
home to mother--that not
as much of its salt
would, with traveling cold water--
even boxed with glacial metl
and the oblivion of icebergs,
caught in the metronome of a dying world--
sink:  so much so
that the ocean
near shore
would seem saltier
even as the ocean stored less salt.
And that is what excites the fish,
draws them closer in,
makes them comfortable in the crowded
neighborhood of the expiring land.
Some of the fish,
no less enticed than the least,
would be shark, and so
the regrettable number of
human encounters
would sympathetically go up.

And we think of it:
we are such easy prey.

The Final Tiger

This particular expiration
was the end of the show.

He did not think of extinction.

He did not look around as if to acknowledge
similar tigers yet free, others breathing in his moment.

His memories, if he had memories,
were not of the long sentence
of his kind, now resolved.
His worrisome, glass-edged memories
would have been of the need to start
with a burst of low, leathery, unbottled

speed--acceleration and not endurance--
an angle to cut off the most
laggard of the herd.  Only the most laggard.
Never the best:  the best could go on,
breed, build an ever stronger species, a species
that would last past the sacrifice
of its slowest, the sacrifice of the ones
at the uncelebrated back of the pack.

His loss was foretold to us by those of us
lingering unchallenged at the back of our pack.

They are looking over their shoulders still.

The Fishermen

The angry trees are collecting.
They wash in from miles away,
greet each other with esoteric
twists of raging branches, affectionately intermingle
their livid roots.  Tirelessly
they arrange.  How many canoes
could be made from their sparkling trunks!  Leaves
balled into fists, they glare,
canopy to canopy, at us.  We
are mere marveling creatures.
We did not know trees could harbor
such cellulosic enmity.  What
has anyone done to the trees?
What picayune tribute do they want?
More trees arrive, the list
of species growing bellicosely encyclopedic.
They crowd collegially in on one
Another, and still
they come, leaning forward as though
coming with a burden they carry not
out of bondage, but carry privately in praise.
We try to gauge the limits of their roots,
contend within groups over casual
estimates of the numbers of their leaves.
There will be a chronicle of this.
We will teach our children about the day
of our angry trees, trees with their leaves
wooden in rage, with serrated bark and
cascading branches and competition scowls.
Some of us are so rapt in observance
that vendors are rushing out with box
lunches, bottled water, imaginative folding chairs.
There are so many trees that they look
like the bone bed of our ocean, or
the boneless, brave skeleton
of a seasoned maritime weather.
Oh my.  See:  a forest.

Ken Poyner often serves as unlikely eye-candy at his wife's powerlifting meets.  His latest collection of brief fictions, "Constant Animals," can be located through links on his website,, and at  He has had recent work out in Analog, Asimov's, Poet Lore, Sein und Werden, and several dozen other places, both in print and on the web.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Poem from C.E. Ayr

Black and White

Mediterranean sunshine
unique beauty
a small separate world
of light 
and shadow
a butterfly
aimlessly waltzing
on a striped awning
a pigeon
nodding through
early morning
black-headed gull
seen from the bay
across a cliff face
a boat
in shining silver sea
a lizard
flash of grey
under a dark rock
colorless hills
sparkling steel water
all shades
of black and white
a world
seen only
in chiaroscuro

A Scot who has discovered paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Cote d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his live in the west of Scotland and a large part elsewhere.  His first job was selling programs at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success.  He is somewhat nomadic fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Three Poems by Diane Webster

Ripples Below

The trout sees the rock drop
and marvels at the underside
of the plop ripple concentric rings
exactly like when it jumps
for the blue water overhead
but not far enough so it falls
again and again like pieces
of the above world settling below.

Fog Swallows

Lying on the dock
the coil of rope
is as thick as fog
merging with ocean
where one trip
would be a splash
swallowed by the vastness.

Rock Wizards

Like wizards shore rocks command
lake waters to wash over them
in wakes of splash to soothe
their summer swelter in sun
same as they conduct colors
to ignite clouds in sunset
splendor so reflections ripple
into slumber breeze tickling
like goose bumps over skin.

Diane Webster enjoys the challenge of picturing images into words to fit her poems.  If she can envision her poem, she can write what she sees and her readers can visualize her ideas.  That's the excitement of writing.  Her work has appeared in The Hurricane Review, Eunoia Review, Illya's Honey, and other literary magazines.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Astonished Even

The sky is asleep the moon is a frail whisper
And its icy sepia creamy shadows
Whose Achilles' heel is a tangle of crows
Is a half formed piano ballad
That echoes down to the complex Chinese indigo stallions below
And what is happening tonight is my redemption
Thought provoking and exquisite in all of its dimensions
September was a sad and lonely, lonely muse that slowed the moments down
But now the brush strokes of dancey December are ripe for gingerbread men
And things as indefinable as a fairy tale

Blue Symphony

The night sky has aged well above these mountains
That are as soft as Blackbeard and are laurelled
Most appropriately by clouds that are seed pods
And there are mended hearts in its January chills
As my thoughts gain traction on this perfectly curated afternoon
That is weathered to a nice patina until I return to streets
Whose great poetry will be forever beautiful and crumbling

How Strange is This Sun Kissed Winter

The almost unrecognizable anthills are noticed
By the sparrows upon the telephone poles
And their eyes shift across these pregnant continents
But I am about to take that exact journey to where the fractured clouds
Provide much more than just the promise of rain

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Poem by Gail C. DiMaggio

The Desert on Sunday

You have climbed on ahead of me while I stop
          to tally what's here and alive--

screwbean mesquite, its spiral fruit.
          Prickly pear, one spongy hand

popped out of the palm of another.
          A labyrinth spider,

deep in the pouch-shape of her web.  Strands
          beard the web mouth, speckle it with food,

with tiny corpses.  And you have climbed on.
          Ahead of me.  Deep

in her thousand egg sac, Spider Old Woman
          is weaving an entrance

and a path.  Stars, and a night to hold them.
          I am an empty cup in the kiln of the desert.

Gail C. DiMaggio watched her husband pursue his music in a world where no artist ever gives up a day gig.  She refuses to become discouraged.  Besides, she's obsessed.  Her work's appeared recently in Blue Lyra Review, Adanna, Antiphon, Allegro and elsewhere.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Three Poems by Don Mager

June Journal:  Thursday, June 20, 2013

Like balls hanging in tight rows on each
twig and bough to trim a tree, small hard
peaches glow in lime and rouge and sun
bright orange.  The squat tree's maladroit limbs
long to stretch high and embrace the high
east light.  Their small crinkly leaves long to
sing high notes in the key of green but
plentitude and lavishness share a
different scheme.  Fruit conspires to pull the
tree earthwards.  Brokeback branches stretch and
bleed their sap's shiny amber blood.  Large
black ants nibble at the gum-hard scabs
and sun's daily deep massage weighs down
each fruit with succulence and juice.

June Journal:  Friday, June 21, 2013

The kitchen window, hands washing last
night's wine glasses in warm suds while
coffee steams, wants to recall the vow
to the indelibility of
sunset.  The vow holds vacancy as
wide as grief, for its out-flowing light
flowed out.  Morning shadows entice the
window's new found infidelity.  They own
half the shaggy grass.  Crisp and sparkly
with dew, the other half is kiwi
green.  Free of promises, chickadees
twitch and skip from shade to light and back.
Both halves of lawn join voice and command:
Drink your cup, we want our fresh mow now.

December Journal:  Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Beneath the shelf of clouds, darkness wakes
its appetite.  The pre-dawn air is
lemon sherbet crisp.  The tongue wraps it
up within its breath.  It savors the
long draft ride down the wind pipe to fill
the lungs with sassy tang.  The sun hangs
back in the wings waiting to bring on
the main course.  It tosses small puffs of
raspberry pink chilled shrimps up against
the underside of clouds as a tease
again the palate.  The palate stands
solitary in the presence of
its naked consciousness.  Taste and breath,
tongue and lung are fused as one organ.

Don Mager's chapbooks and volumes of poetry are:  To Track the Wounded One, Glosses, That Which is Owed to Death, Borderings, Good Turns and The Elegance of the Ungraspable, Birth Daybook Drive Time and Russian Riffs.  He is retired with degrees from Drake University (BA), Syracuse University (MA) and Wayne State University (PhD).  He was the Mott University Professor of English at Johnson C. Smith University from 1998-2004 where he served as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters (2005-2011).   As well as a number of scholarly articles, he has published over 200 poems and translations from German, Czech, and Russian.  He lives in Charlotte, NC.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Three Poems by Michael Keshigian

Lunar Light

It enjoys the placid lake
devoid of activity
at the black hour of midnight,
illuminating the surface
like a lightening bolt
parting a starless sky,
the startled eyes
of aquatic dwellers
staring upward from the silt
as if seeing the path to heaven
for the first time.

Lake Dance

Peaceful undulation
gently raps
the brownish-green
barnacle pier

as the crystal blue pulse
of the extensive lake
abounds with life
below its pristine surface

fettered only by
a rustling breeze
that instigates ripples
to momentarily dance

out of step
against the placid mirror
which reflects
its tranquil message,

enrapturing my mind
to join
in a serene
pas de deux

gracefully waltzing upon
the wavering crests
till the whispering breath

Vernal Clues

In the cool fragrance
of an early summer breath,
minute buds
and tender seeds awaken,
splashing trees
and barren landscape
to a verdure froth,
the fertile air of renewal
invades the blue dome
on chariots
which dash toward the gold medallion
beyond the green arrows
of giant white pines.
The lingering snow melts,
awash with winter memories,
a river of arctic mornings,
frost bitten windshields,
and dangling icicles,
which like a transparent pen
of invisible ink,
scribbles disappearing messages
upon the emerging sidewalk.

Michael Keshigian's tenth poetry collection, Beyond, was released in May 2015 by Black Poppy.  Other published books and chapbooks:  Dark Edges, Eagle's Perch, Wildflowers, Jazz Face, Warm Summer Memories, Silent Poems, Seeking Solace, Dwindling Knight, Translucent View.  Published in numerous national and international journals, he is a 6-time Pushcart Prize and 2-time Best of the Net nominee.  His poetry cycle, Lunar Images, set for Clarinet, Piano, Narrator, was premiered at Del Mar College in Texas.  Subsequent performances occurred in Boston (Berklee College) and Moleto, Italy.  Winter Moon, a poem set for Soprano and Piano, premiered in Boston.  ( 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Poem by J.R. Campbell

The Most Beautiful Word

"Cuspidor," James Joyce averred,
Is English's most beautiful word.
Eschewing the romantic, "Mary,"
"Crystalline," "pristine," and "aerie,"
"Amaranthine," "alpenglow"
"Whippoorwill" and "mistletoe,"
The maestro used his ear and wit
And said it's a can where people spit.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Three Poems by Harry Underdown

By the Wind Deformed

A cypress clings stubbornly
to life atop the ocean-side
bluff, pressed close to the
sands and rock, deformed
by the wind, pointing out
the direction in which its
daily oppressor has fled,
not the direction from
which it always arrives,
apparently more intent on
accusation than on prevention.

A Gordian Knot

Unable to simply slip
the hook from a blue gill's
mouth because it has
disappeared down the fish's
throat, unwilling to lose his
quarter-dollar's worth of
tackle by cutting the line,
a father hacks clumsily at
the blinking head with a
dull knife to "put the poor
thing out of its misery,"
uses the blade to open its
throat, tears out the hook,
and, as he kicks the body,
still twitching, into the
lake, explains to his son,
"Now it will deteriorate
and go back to nature" as
if congratulating himself
on a job well done.  Let's
hope people express
similar sentiments when
the time comes to dispose
of his remains.


Two crows confer
on a spruce snag,
sizing up their
opportunities down
below and sharing
a wink.  They've
seen something
shining in the
undergrowth:  an
aluminum candy
wrapper or a
wedding ring.

The anatomically superfluous Harry Underdown is a man of many tongues who has his finger in many pies.  He keeps his ears to the grindstone and his noses to the ground.  All of which makes him a natural at "X-treme Twister," but is hell on his posture.