"Justice" by Patti Dietrick; https://www.flickr.com/photos/pattidietrick/
About this image: This is a photo of my niece that I took when I was a student in photography, almost 30 years ago... It was the first time I shot infrared film.
The day was unusually windy and cold for a California day. We rushed to the ocean and she stood on the rocks facing the wind and sea.
She was a teenager, outspoken, intelligent and a feminist. Now she's 44 years old, just as beautiful and powerful as she always was, but even more so. It's currently part of my "Tarot Card" series exhibiting at Picture This Gallery in Long Beach, CA. My son, Joshua Buck Weston, illustrated the pen and ink border. —Patti Dietrick
With gratitude, we dedicate this page to 2017 WPWT Arts Patron, Tim Reed. Tim is a poet who started writing in 1990 on a journey of discovery and recovery. He has been featured in, and regularly attends, open mic venues and events.
by Janine Lehane
One blustery moment sets the host of good and quiet days adrift. Undone, I rally with the notion I can simply change my mind, review the evidence amassed for favorable company, defer to health and wisdom—fleet and sober visitant, graceful guide—turn with craft and courage in the face of outworn grievance, call the joyful memories back, lend my friend the comfort of a mighty heart, a deft release, until ghost hurts subside.
by Janine Lehane
He’s painting outside the souvlaki joint— a contented blue—poised on the plank, grateful supplicant. Weeks ago, when his voice broke as he asked me for help, the plea emptied sorrow at my feet. He doesn’t remember me and that is good. His smile is easy now, and the facade is coming along beautifully: his blue-black strokes console the wood.
by Janine Lehane
She stilled her hands by pressing them against the shining wood, her feet bore down upon the floor. Her triumph lay in choosing, then, to play before the crowd of witnesses. I saw my friend laid bare, and holding even notes in aching air— though arms and hands and fingers rocked without abatement—lend her prayer as Bach intended, sustained by will, and send the faithful on their way, her leg, her foot upon the pedal pulsing in a foreign time of rare and solemn loveliness.
Bio: Janine Lehane is a poet and artist from Hobart, Australia. Her poetry has been published by Telling Our Stories Press, along with her cover art; The Write Place at the Write Time; and Hawaii Pacific Review; and is soon to appear in an anthology out of The Poetry Society of New Hampshire and as the Labletter Monthly Note (February 14, 2017). She also co-edited a volume of selected writings by eminent teacher and community organizer, Suzanne Radley Hiatt.
The Women's March
January 21, 2017
by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro
Let us march beneath the rent ozone layer, stitch together a coalition of citizenry. Let those among us who cannot walk be wheeled or carried. Come wearing your headscarf, your hadjib, your sheitel, your pink wool sock cap with the pointed ears. Come bareheaded, unbowed. Bring your daughter, mother, granddaughter, your husbands, lovers, brothers, all your menfolk. Show yourselves as scattered stars brought together in a constellation that is still visible, indivisible, even in full daylight. Whether you are present or not, whether you are for or against, let us come to know each other with the intimacy of the blind touching a face, reading each feature with our palms, our fingers. Who among us can settle for a walled heart?
Bio: Rochelle Jewel Shapiro is the author of Miriam the Medium (Simon and Schuster), nominated for the Harold U. Ribelow Award, I Dare You to Write, Kaylee's Ghost, and the e-book short story collection, What I Wish You'd Told Me. She has won The Brandon Memorial Literary Award and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry, with her poems having appeared in publications such as the Iowa Review, Moment, Harpur Palate, Inkwell Magazine, and the Los Angeles Review.
She teaches at UCLA Extension, and she lives in Great Neck, N.Y. where, like her protagonist in Miriam the Medium, she has a psychic practice. Articles about her psychic ability and essays concerning her experiences have appeared in The New York Times (Lives), Redbook, Newsweek (My Turn), The Jerusalem Post, and more. Her website features further info about her practice and her books, with book reviews and praise for her novels from authors such as Jodi Picoult and Gwendolen Gross, and former MSNBC correspondent and New York Times contributing writer, Dana Kennedy. Stop by her website to learn more. http://rochellejewelshapiro.com/
by Jacqueline Jules
Roberto didn’t have to be on that charter plane, the one that crashed on its way to Nicaragua.
He didn’t have to organize supplies for earthquake victims. Or use his baseball stats to fight the status quo.
He had 3,000 Major League hits, 12 Gold Gloves, and 2 World Series rings.
Why didn’t he go to a glitzy dinner with his wife, like other stars on New Year’s Eve?
The same reason he ran baseball clinics in the off season, visited children in hospitals.
Roberto Clemente played on a team larger than the Pittsburgh Pirates, bigger than Puerto Rico.
He saw his own success as a chance for others to swing the bat and run the bases, too.
Bio: Jacqueline Jules is a Northern Virginia author and poet who writes for children and adults. Her books for young readers include the Zapato Power series, the Sofia Martinez series, and Never Say a Mean Word Again. Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications including The Write Place at the Write Time, The Potomac Review, Gargoyle, Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Burgeon, Hospital Drive, and Imitation Fruit. She is the author of two chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum and Stronger Than Cleopatra.
everything that needs to be lifted gradually descends here, through the woods hangs silent—
light, the shape of branch it fell from,
ground accepting, sifting,
keeping soft and green a small resting place beneath so what used to be survives.
Bio: Sarah Rehfeldt lives with her family in western Washington where she is a writer, artist, and photographer. Her publication credits include Appalachia; Written River; Weber—The Contemporary West; and Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry and The Orison Anthology. Sarah is the author of Somewhere South of Pegasus, a collection of image poems. It can be purchased through her photography web pages at: www.pbase.com/candanceski
Mirrors and Windows
by Steve Pollack
"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And, if not now, when?" —Hillel (110BCE-10CE)
Look at a mirror! The face that greets you is but an image, a silvered reflection you show the world. Look inside, reflect on that glass self and speak out as one who best knows. Be shatterproof. An indifferent world may yet see who you are and find your message in a bottle across oceans. Then, they may understand and stand by your side.
Look through a window! Gaze with an eagle’s sharp view as if from towering height you see all and your heart’s attention calls you to witness a world of faces, each pair of eyes urgent. Discover what those faces show the world, find their messages even blushing whispers, then understand and stand by their side.
by Steve Pollack
Ewes smeared and streaked marked possession by shepherd or ram frightened by wolves who growl black and white on hillside of forty emerald hues
If human bodies were painted each in our own shades, subtle or bold scarlet, gray and gold blushed with each passing hour
Every mood in tints and stains shining highlights or haunting shadows visible as wrinkled age, clear as a child’s earnest eyes
Instead of pigments skin deep colors seep from inside deeds bleed over deeds a masterwork layered in oils
Character is a complex palette like a mixture ground exotic salty and bitter, sour and sweet— neither are spring lambs pure white by summer
Bio: Steve Pollack is retired from a career in engineering and facilities management. He found poetry (or poetry found him) about five years ago. His work has been published in various online and print journals. He participates actively in several poetry groups, workshops and open-mics. Thanks to Linda, his wife of 48 years and to four grandchildren, his life is busy and grateful.
Long Coat by Jada Yee
I think with a curious but child-like mind. I am a spongy, but lonesome brain. So it should come as no surprise that I’ll be a little consumed with putting things in colorful and numerical order. It should come as no surprise that only when I drive, I’ll want to know how many dashes are painted on the road. I’ll be a little concerned if you’re hurting. I’ll appear a little bit strange for lingering. And even if you don’t care, I’ll feel like I should care. It’s as if I was born with a long coat stitched into me, and the smallest observation goes inside a pocket. Instead of an IED, I’m adjusting the sensitive weight of two parts of my brain on an empathy scale, trying to figure out who among the crowd is more important. I remind myself to observe from a distance, all the while, worried that I’m sending everyone away with a guilty verdict. And, at home while vacuuming, if I come across a small spider who frighteningly hugs the wall to avoid its demise, I’ll feel a strong inclination to let it escape. There’s this noose that I’ve tied around my very own heart, and the one thing that keeps me from pushing it out of my body without a last-minute parachute is this inclination. It’s this belief that something or someone will need me to listen. It’s never felt that strange to give away the time; to offer a moment. Even if I only exist as five minutes in their day, or in their life, I’ll want to be there, just to be there. Because, for those five minutes, I have purpose.
Bio: Jada Yee's poetry has appeared in A Quiet Courage, Literary Orphans, Ibis Head Review and elsewhere.
by Lew Caccia
It isn’t your celebrity, or mine, or where we attend or don’t attend, or how we breathe, or our mien—it’s more understated, and through the fields going first rabbits scurry and possums skulk unequivocal in their pattern.
Those timeless forays into froth and fodder pass about, be steady; every burro grips fair weather, and stubbornly lingers: it dulls the high ground inward. At the precipice of dawn a diminutive sight appears and goes the same way.
But you sense it that night: the hot, the sultry, the aberrant chill, winds lisping without motion giving light to dying embers grotesque in their dance. Yet we drift forward. At the tip we feel the sawgrass bloom—no past, no passing.
Bio: Lew Caccia serves as a professor at Kent State University at Stark, where he teaches courses in composition, rhetoric, professional writing, and literacy. His recent poetry has appeared in Praxis, The Storyteller, hedgerow, The Write Place at the Write Time, and The Penwood Review.
by Lois Greene Stone
Although the tree branches awake and the bare spaces fill with small buds, spring suggests something different for me. Yes, shrubs shake off quiet periods, and underground bulbs push stems of green and sprout flowers. Worms wiggle on asphalt then birds find seasonal food. Me? I see a rhythm of my existence. Increased darkness of winter’s days gives time for introspection, and autumn’s colors, that encouraged me to notice, fade and fall. Summer is brief; full blooms, green grass will grow whether I water or not. But spring says "new" and my "new" has fewer ahead than behind and reminds me to cherish each loved one as eventually my being will end. Each caring moment is my bud springing into the minds of my grandchildren; seasons will be their repeated events.
Bio: Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard & softcover book anthologies. Collections of her personal items/photos/memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian.
Woodstock Christmas Eve 2016
by Mary K. O'Melveny
The snow has shrunk a bit. Kind of like my mind some mornings when the news is so grim I decide to go back to my bed to seek the comfort of my very worst nightmares.
Snuggled in there, it could still be early fall when laughter had not been lost, geese still circled around the pond and russet trees were the only things in flame. When trust still mattered.
It is almost Christmas. Our fire is chipper, flames darting about like hopeful children. Today I thought my innocence might still be intact as I yelled out at our wily squirrels
as if they might listen and head away toward the neighbor’s bird feeders. In their briefest absence, the pure red cardinal landed gently, promised that we might yet survive.
by Mary K. O'Melveny
In Asian philosophy there is value to cracks, splits and lacerations. Once whole, a pot descends to ground only to be repaired by golden threads.
Thus restored, resplendent in metallic ribbons, the vessel takes on new life, proof of resilience shines forth, imperfections twinkling in the daylight.
So it is with lovers. Their history can be read like a delicate bowl, tea leaves swirling past edges of loss and joy, each day bonds growing tighter.
Joy in broken things is needed now. We gather shards of hope scattered like fallen teardrops. We will bind, polish them with care until they glow like new.
Bio: Mary is a retired labor rights lawyer living in Washington, DC and Woodstock, NY. Her poems have been published in various print and online journals (including The Write Place at the Write Time) such as FLARE: The Flagler Review, Into the Void, Allegro Poetry Magazine and The Offbeat. Like so many, she is struggling to figure out paths forward.
by Simon Perchik
From just dampness, nourishment and rust seals the bolt in place—the carriage
already there and nearby, it rains though you take hold a single spoke as if the enchanted palace
stopped moving—why is it a parent favors the weak one and the crib early on
strengthened with blankets, around and around the way they dance in fairy tales scented with midnights
with a gate half iron, half this wrench, its gardens, ponds no longer coming apart.
Bio: Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, including free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website:
The climate is vital, quite cold. In spite of frozen elements, we experience an underlying and pervasive fertility. The trees will lose their leaves. Yes, Winter will require that; yet Demanding Mother Earth also has a plan for her children: the leaves will drop, and the trees will bear fruit in due season. The climate’s vitality burnishes the surface of the earth, rubbing its brownness through the land and the air, proving its potency by what it creates. The ground is so cold, but elements beneath the surfaces are working there. It is not yet time to push up, to break through, but the time will come and, until then, there is much movement—each silent push and pull using its given space, each expanding molecule defining itself before it implodes, making way for other visiting droplets, so small they cannot be seen or imagined, yet vital, and performing their part in endless chain reactions, even in their forces, but later uneven and volatile in their potential to erupt. Listen to the silence!
Not much resting there. We do not discern the noise of the underground movement, just as we seek to obliterate the wind in our faces. These forces, loved or unloved by us weaker beings, we face only when there are no alternatives. We attempt to resist this wintry force, we take it on, sometimes with fists raised and heads tilted toward its force; other times we acquiesce, amazed by its perfect completion—like a prime number divisible only by one and itself, sifted and baked into a full loaf, offering no lack and no redundancy. Winter will have its way. Its fertility will reveal itself, regardless of whether we blink or sleep. It alternately shrinks or puffs out. It knows its exact time of fullness. It performs to its own measured beat, swelling in the frozen lakes enwrapped by crusty soils, and whirring through northern winds. Immobilized, yet rooted, we observe winter’s trek toward its own appointed time of completion.
Bio: Carole Mertz has recent essays, poems, and reviews at The Write Place at the Write Time, The Society of Classical Poetry, Indiana Voice Journal, WestWard Quarterly, Prairie Light Review, Pyrokinection, Arc Poetry (online), MOM Egg Review, Working Writer, and elsewhere. She resides with her husband in Parma, OH where she teaches music theory and piano performance to young children.
by Pascale Louissaint
Naked or drawn, I’m not your favorite scene. But I need you to watch my story. Even if you spy. Learn my story. I’m every child but one
who crafts her silence with touch, turns her dance into a play and her stage fright into a plot with character as her place. She signs her name “In Memory Of” but walks as an immortal.
I’m the child still in womb. Facing the outside in a womb. Not out of fear but obedience: to hear what I must hear, know what I ought to know and preach
with falls and kicks—if I must. Though you command birth. The best I could do is shine, or maybe throw my shadow at you. Will you, please, feel something? If not in your heart, then, with your eyes, consult me. Reach in and sense my nerves; I don’t have a skin thick enough for a shield so stop
your blows and scratches. If you won’t hold me, at least, spare me. I’m every child but one.
I’m but an object on this stage. Not your favorite display. Still need you to watch
my shape and cracks; the way I pose, how I fall and remain. I cannot tell but have you watch my story.
by Pascale Louissaint
He won't call you ugly. He'll ask you to look in the mirror. He won't name your attitude, but he'll say
you got one. He won't say sorry. He'll show you why he's not. Not that he doesn't love you. He LOVES you, but...
Go to that mirror. If you can love yourself as is—less work for him. He won't call you weak but debate on how often you failed. Child, hush; he ain't gonna beat you. He'll work to have you do it yourself. Not that he's insensitive, but just too wise to care. He won't call you dumb. If he does, you might try to be smart. Then how
would he win?
The best he'll do is have you wonder: what is right? If you guess wrong, he'll understand. He likes that you're human, and he's proud of his rank
beneath God and over you.
by Pascale Louissaint
Turn on your vision, shut down all breathing, scrape off those scabs of emotions then listen: a beat inside takes struggle for a game and won’t stop playing; it screams for silence but silence sleeps.
Spring—scream higher! Spring like seasons: no risks, no permission. Just be
there. Take and be. Take the fear and shame along. Let aching smile at your tears and no, they don’t belong to cowards. Take ‘em back! Take the ride—loud or bumpy— while rolling down the hill. Spin till you’re transparent. Take in the flashes (back or forward; legs or faces). Let in the ages born and miscarried. Fast- forward to the light you’ve wished to tear with a vision. No bulbs or fire or screens; just lightning Robins in their heaven performing for their guardians, while angels camp with their flocks. If only you could touch their song or cry out their names. But like crumbs snatched from a beggar, a whirlwind takes you and you accept to convert
You’re the eye of the hurricane now. Watch all undated moments and their daughters rip like pages of a sentenced journal on death row. Blink, now. You can. Like drips. Sleep, after all the debris spins into daylight. Just for that moment
Bio: Pascale Louissaint (AKA Tia Paul-Louis) is a writer, wife and mother from Florida with an MFA degree in Creative Writing at National University. She began writing songs at age 11 but later, became a lot closer to poetry. Inspired by poets such as Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes, she continues with her writing which has appeared in journals such as As/Us, Eye to the Telescope, The Write Place at the Write Time, Rattle and several others. Additionally, through poetry, she has escaped much of her fear of speaking out and revealing herself to others.
Harmonic Divide (January 2017)
by Cheryl Sommese
You lay aloof on your side and I lay on mine, yielding to the anguish of ignoble disguise. Resolute in our visions of decency and truth, we continue in silence, with no compromise.
Their husbands were tender, supportive, and kind, as I stood with my sisters, drawing strength from their might. You didn’t stand with me like I'd hoped you would, you held firm in your thinking, as if you were right.
Tomorrow’s illusive and yesterday has passed, inaccessible landscapes both primeval and new. Let’s tread softly along our contentious-like path, for I simply won't change—and neither will you.
by Cheryl Sommese
He bought way too many adapters, apparently assuming we were destined to utilize every plug-in we packed at the same time. Staying high on a Jerusalem hill, sacred sounds resonating from Bethlehem below as if ancient proclamations hauntingly decoding life’s mysteries. Small— exposed, marveling at their blissful melancholy like a wandering child curiously observing worker bees dutifully go about business. Surrendering myself to the oscillating octaves eventually culminating to one unifying chord. Opening my mind’s eye to see you can never really have too many adapters.
Bio: Cheryl Sommese contracts part-time as a freelance writer. Additionally, she volunteers as a CASA GAL advocate. Her creative works include a screenplay, short stories, essays, poems, and a book that undoubtedly could benefit from consistent, as opposed to sporadic, addressing. Penning poetry is her favorite, however, as she feels this medium more fully expresses the path God chose for her and everything she can become.
The Most Beautiful Music(prose poem)
by Beate Sigriddaughter
"Now I have time only for the most beautiful music." —Jonas Ingimundarsson, pianist and cancer survivor
My world is not well. I seem to wander in the midst of a great cancer of the soul. Trinkets have multiplied and grown out of control. This fear in my bowels I have never felt before. I try to learn from others as I stumble on.
A gentle neighbor, eighty-three, Hispanic, walks with a limp. He is afraid. He mentions praying often. He suspects God is punishing us and we don't even know what sins we have committed.
Up in the bones of the mountain I sometimes meet a woman who tells me she spends hours each day sitting with the sun and the rocks, summer or winter, sending healing energy out into the world.
Grandfather Golden Eagle tells me to bless the world with my eyes each time I look at anything. Make every sight count. I try. I am afraid.
A friend posts on Facebook, three lines of gratitude each day to counteract the terror in our bones.
Earth is our bones. The sun. I listen to Mariachi bands, church choirs, poets—oh, the poets, so diligent in coming across with blessing and caressing this world.
We are not here to be overtaken by trinkets. We are here for the song of the sun, the light of many-throated birds and Mariachi bands with golden sombreros, the decency of offering each other beauty and joy, the pleasure of being alive at sunrise, and at sunset still.
We are the voice of God. Let us fill the narrow margins of reality with beauty.
Rules for the Road
by Beate Sigriddaughter
High on the mountain things are carved solidly into the tender granite of your soul:
Life is a gift, not a duty. Honor it. And celebrate.
Honor yourself, your tenderness, your loud exuberance.
Honor your spirit of passion.
Honor your ancestors.
Honor your children. This one is very important.
Honor the rocks you walk on and the trees who give you breath.
Honor your hunger, your desire.
Honor the ravens and the flies.
Honor the fears that meet you in the middle of the night.
Bio: Beate Sigriddaughter lives and writes in New Mexico, USA, the Land of Enchantment. Her work has received several Pushcart Prize nominations and poetry awards. In 2018 FutureCycle Press will publish her poetry collection Xanthippe and Her Friends. She orchestrates a women's writing blog at: https://writinginawomansvoice.blogspot.com/.
I am a moon child I dance under the cool velvet sky amid the pale midnight flowers Whirl through the unsilent night A sweet cacophony to my ears
I am untethered-gypsy-blood-hear-me-howl
So... No You ask too much of me I will burn shrivel under the garish sun My spirit-though-strong cannot withstand insistent heat I have no desire to leave My mossy home
Please just let me be
Yes, yes I know Yes...yes I hear you
Perhaps I can start by stretching my toe to the border of dawn Then my foot My leg My torso My arms My neck And finally my head
Maybe, just maybe I can find my soul On this unexpected unwelcome horizon If you are waiting right beyond there To slice through the rays with me To seek others such as us With stardust in our eyes
Will you be there?
Bio: Michelle Soley's passion is to express herself through writing. She enjoys taking risks with format and subject. Presently Michelle is working on a novel and seeking publication for a children's book she's written.
Works of Art Attract Works of Art
by John Grey
I don't go to a Museum for the painting but to appreciate the people who appreciate the art. Old Masters, Impressionists, Fauvists, Pre-Raphaelites... and that's only in the cafeteria sipping coffee, nibbling on overpriced watercress sandwiches.
Bent pensioner in faded jeans, beret atop, grey-pony tail trailing behind, peach-cheeked russet-haired young girl, middle-aged woman, saturated red skin, thin bones knotted by tight bun, pale, almost-transparent eyed waif in long white floating floral dress... first I frame them…
I Am a Pianist Available to Play
by John Grey
Dear war-torn country, Invite me to play the piano in your fields. I will turn your day into a stage, the half-baked smoky sunshine spilling through parlor curtains into a spotlight.
Know me like the good things you remember about the dead.
I can tap, tap, tap on the black and white machine, hands straight-backed, rhythm fodder, not a stumble in that well-tempered genealogy from lessons to Liszt.
So calm the withering collage of bunkers and Ml6's. soften the edges of the two feet that failed to find the land-mines.
I am a concert waiting to heal, scored by the relief of sheet music, after too many years of what I've seen fitting so sloppily into what I know.
Let that incongruity release in a gift of hammers pinging steel, tied up in a bow of ivory. Hold your fire. Listen to mine.
The Shell and the Rock
by John Grey
Alicia claims mystical powers, plucks a clamshell from the sand and pressing it to her ear creates, in her mind, the Atlantic from the foam dropped at her feet to the distant shores of Africa. She feels the depth, the power, of its waters more so than the ocean does. To her, every drop, every pinch of salt and sea creature is nothing if it's not one side or other of her human equation.
I have within me, ruined Australian landscapes, a harsher mysticism, with trappings of mankind on its perimeters but a dead dry center. Identity is hard-won here. It must please itself before it bothers with me. I pick up a rock, hard and smooth. rugged and strong. It's already doing its best to survive me.
Bio: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.
Sing it Frank, Physical Therapy
by Michael Lee Johnson
Sing it Frank I'm busy at physical therapy struggling with back spasms looking out this window, these clouds this rain, slice this thunder, listening to your songs over again on the Muzak for the 6th week in a row, peddling this mechanical bike, might as well be a mechanical bull with a heat pad on my spinal cord. I'm deep inside your larynx 10 minutes 3 times a week tickling it back and forth, jousting and reviewing those playgrounds of all your illicit affairs. With a few shots of vodka peddling these wheels with intensified pressure I can appreciate Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall, even Marilyn Monroe. "This is my kind of town Chicago is, my kind of town Chicago is."
Iranian Poetry Lady
by Michael Lee Johnson
The first time I saw your face, cosmetic images, dust, dirt, determination fell across your exiled face. Coal smoke lifted with your simple words and short poems. Your meaning drawn across a black board of past, rainbows, future fragment, still in the shadows. Muhammad, Jesus, twins, only one forms a halo alone. One screams love, drips candle wax, lights life, shakes, love. I encrust your history in the Ginkgo tree, deliverance. I wrap in the branches the whispers in your ears a new beginning. I am the landscape of your future walk soft peddle on green grass. I will take you there. I am your poet, your lead, freedom clouds move over then on. I review no spelling, grammar errors; I lick the envelope, finish, stamp place on. Down with age I may go, but I offer this set of angel wings I purchased at a thrift store. I release you in south wind, storms, and warm in spring, monarch butterflies. Your name scribbles in gold script. Night, mysteries, follow handle, your own.
Flight of the Eagle
by Michael Lee Johnson
From the dawn, dusty skies comes the time when the eagle flies— without thought, without aid of wind, like a kite detached without string, the eagle in flight leaves no traces, no trails, no roadways— never a feather drops out of the sky.
Bio: Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.
Mr. Johnson published in more than 945 small press magazines online and in print. His poems have appeared in 28 countries, he edits, publishes ten different poetry sites. He also has 109 poetry videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos.
The chandeliers constantly jingle In this house in abandoned New York Shaken by starlings that tear past The cracked window teeth of the mansion’s maw
There is life in here as well It comes from the dreams of the ghost Now descending the collapsing stairs A polar opposite of clumsy shadow
The crooked corridor paintings Watch as it drifts by Its determination casts No reflection in their eyes
Once again it makes its way Into the sunlit ballroom Whose broken glass is everywhere Like a smashed up crystal tomb
The skeleton of the piano Is wearing a menacing smile As if to say, Oh, you again? Are we giving it one more try?
But a ghost knows how to ignore things And focus on the task at hand It gathers all of the life in its dreams To speak the name of a woman
Who hasn’t been seen since long before These parts were blown apart Who had promised to return If only he would ask
Bio: J. E. A. Wallace has been a hotel night porter, an abattoir security guard, and a barman in The House of Lords. Born and raised in England, he is now a happily married poet who lives and writes in New York City.
By the Moose
by Richard L. Provencher
a wooden bridge is more than a whisper of creaking like grandfather’s rocking-chair.
The river creates a soufflé of meringue-filled current in its southerly flow.
Around the bend ripples overcome a sand dune. Aware of my presence, a squirrel skitters tree-upwards.
I am a child of my past— peanut-butter fingers fishing with a night crawler dangling low.
Etched upon an old plaque: “Three men entombed In '36 141 feet below, seeking crowns of gold within the granite, one man died.”
Like a page in time this village is sketched at attention as if stapled to a gravel road
where peace and simplicity is not forgotten.
Bio: Richard enjoys writing, especially poetry. Many poems have been published in print and online journals. He and his wife, Esther are co-authors of Kindle e-books which are now available on Amazon.com. They are born-again Christians and very busy in their church, Abundant Life Victory International.