February 2016

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ISSN 2369-6516 (Print)
ISSN 2369-6524 (Online)

You can also read the poems by scrolling down or clicking the titles.
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Jamil AdasAthazagoraphobia

Tyler BrownTall Tales Told

Janet BrushPrejudice

Brent CosgrovePrincess Plague

Brian DockalSmidgen Of This

Cathy HanrahanSea Song

Jari-Matti HelppiHell

Luke HibbardSo It Goes

Jim HoyleReminiscences – Part 2

Scot JamiesonThe Longest Shortest

Erica LewisWhat You Have Done

Lara LewisUntitled

Scott LynchFebruary

David R. MacLeanBetrayed

Lorie Ann MorrisLOVE

Naomi SlaterThe Spark

Elzy TaramangalamA Thousand Lilacs

Ryan TaylorOld Ships

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Princess Plague
Poem by Brent Cosgrove

Shackled by my own accord
I scream to hear my name.
I could just save myself from this,
But it wouldn’t be the same.

I long to meet Prince Charming:
So brave and loyal and true,
He’d find this petty mess
And do what no one else could do:

He’d scale walls insurmountable,
Of steel, and of stone,
Slay every beast, sweep me off my feet,
And take me to our home.

My true love found, feeling fulfilled,
I would outgrow my youth.
But, though in many ways insightful,
I am blind to the truth:

The love and sense of self I seek
Can’t come from someone else.
And I shall die a lonely dame
Who never loved herself.

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February
Poem by Scott Lynch

morning
blunt days of light
while night sways
this long short month
days but a blink
colour crushed
by arctic abstractions
snow as constant as waves
skeletal trees transfixed as coral
we somnambulists shuffle
sliding slowly
like Gregorian monks
cloaked in the mystery
of seasonal
disorder

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Untitled
Poem by Lara Lewis

Should have looked before I leaped

Now falling …… again

Falling ….. again
Falling ….. again
No?
Not falling.

But quietly accepting the consequences.

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Prejudice
Poem by Janet Brush

Prejudice is born of fear –
….. fear of the unknown,
….. fear of losing one’s power.

In time, fear turns to hate.
The hated will suffer
….. but will survive.
The hater will be consumed
….. by his hate.

Saint Jerome said
….. “The eyes, without speaking,
….. confess the secrets of the heart.”
Do not fear the colour of a person’s skin,
….. the clothes she wears,
….. the god he worships.
Look instead into the eyes.
If you see evil,
….. turn away.
If you see good,
….. look deeper.

You may find friendship,
….. even love.
Then fear will vanish
….. and with it, hate.

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What You Have Done
Poem by Erica Lewis

You fed them to me, one at time –
your rotten grapes, fermenting in my gut;
your wine seeping from my pores.

You have set me off
on a slow-moving wave;
stranded me on an atoll,
writing help in the sand.

You have dropped me
on the side of a deserted dirt road
with only dust for company;
a cicada’s lone cry echoing my own.

You have left me
uninspired, wanting nothing more
than to sleep without dreaming,
write poems without thinking,
make love without feeling.

This is what you have done.

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Sea Song
Poem by Cathy Hanrahan

A rocky coastline with craggy nooks
Lines the pillow of his troubled dreams
spray from the boats as they toss on the waves
are absorbed by the feathers and seams
The boy dreams of his Dah on the trawler
hauling traps up on board from the sea
But each one ends with Dah tangled in trap lines
and the boy struggling to pull him free.
Life changed forever on that cold April morning
While slippery winds blew a chill through the air
No augury that could offer a warning
And no chance for the boy to prepare.

The pastor beckons as cathedral bells chime
calling all to gather quickly and pray
Troubling news of a local boat gone missing
beyond the town’s rainy, windswept bay.
The old man recalls a childhood chilled morning
Listing gently, he bears down on his cane
Salty tears from his eyes streak his cheek
as they mix with the dark skies cold rain.
Cheers greet the coast guard’s discovery
As the pastor sinks down to his knees
Praising the benevolent return
of the missing Cape Cod from sea
The old man smiles and blessings give grace
To his recall of a long ago day
When the sea reached up without mercy
and stole his dear Dah away.

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Athazagoraphobia
(A Morbid Fear of Being Forgotten)
Poem by Jamil Adas

From a kid to a man in a blink of an eye
Many tears I shed for every blink I cry
Hopeful dreams a second ago alive
A stagnant second later they die
Piercing my heart the concept of time
How any moment may be the sound of my chime
To settle a body within dirt beneath stone
To become a soul with no body to hold
Pondering forever about what to do next
Next never came, I’ve rather grown perplexed
Like a queen in chess; cornered and vexed
Blocked by its pawns; destiny is death
Without a rightful cause, goal or an aim
Finished off static; existence in vain
Phobia set sail to my heart through my vein
To force the world to remember my name

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So It Goes
Poem by Luke Hibbard

I am a mortal.

I forget the truths I learn.

I spin in circles all night.

Thieves they salute me,
….. and confusion gives me praise

Forgotten by lovers
….. alone in the summer,
….. singing songs about rain

So little to gain.
I am a mortal.
I forget why I came,
….. I forget that I die

Cans are crushed.
Things turn sour.
Apples come in season.

Mystery digs its snow caves and
….. ships motor on south.
I count the days,
….. 8, 358 days a mortal.

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Tall Tales Told
Poem by Tyler Brown

Tall tales told
Around pints after dark
Hidden exponentials
Within kernels of truth
Exploits and valor
Unfinished, undone
Tall tales told
Among fake networking friends
Inflated budgets and egos
So busy all the time
Tall tales told
Because the truth is boring.

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The Longest Shortest
Poem by Scot Jamieson

No holiday, the stunted month.
Valentine’s is no day off.

Yes, August once had all to give,
and wanted you to loll and live,
but the shortest month on paper is
the longest in its favour as it
drives each human frailty to the wall,
freezing expectations as it
cancels hope of Spring,
erasing every memory of Fall,
sweeping many on toward a dreaded end,
chilling the heart, befogging the head –

so cold, you’ve ceased to wonder
if it ever will be over,
but still it bears down on your senses till
you commence to apperceive
the bitter gist and import
of its vested will . . .
………………………………….. It insists;
its voices lift, to importune
and tax and grieve and shrill:
“And February is no man’s friend,
and February wants you dead.”

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A Thousand Lilacs
Poem by Elzy Taramangalam

Fragile looking soft
Fragrant lilacs pale pink, mauve, white
Flourish and bloom.
Survive storms, droughts
Biting winters, late frosts
Out live robust bushes
Crusting hills
Crashing valleys, covering plains
Perfume of peace, hubris
Sorrows, sighs on breeze
A thousand lilacs
Welcome.

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Reminiscences – Part 2
Poem by Jim Hoyle

Streets lit by gas lamps,
….. kick ‘em and they light up,
Rag and bone man up the road
….. with his tired old donkey,
Cartload of horse manure,
….. dumped in the driveway,
Barrel organ grinds away,
….. penny to the monkey.

Fish and chips in newspaper,
….. salt and vinegar,
Bonfires, Guy Fawkes,
….. fireworks and parkin,
Chestnuts and roast spuds,
….. pork pies, brandysnap,
Woodhouse Feast,
….. all the dogs barking.
…..  …..  (chairoplanes made me sick)

Busy seaside beaches,
….. black with people,
Hankies on their heads,
….. trousers rolled to knees,
Donkey rides a tanner;
…..  Punch and Judy show,
Changing on the beach,
….. no tellin’ what tha sees.

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LOVE
Poem by Lorie Ann Morris

Love is pure and sweet.
Love is for free.
Love is real.
Love is easy and fun.
Love is kind and true.
Love is the only thing that is friendship.

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Hell
Poem by Jari-Matti Helppi

I strolled ‘the primrose path’
and smelt ‘the everlasting bonfire’
as it burned with the selfsame sulfur.
As I whiffed I thought,
“This is not what I meant at all, at all.”

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The Spark
Poem by Naomi Slater

A Gentle Touch
With Understanding
Calms the Fear Inside
We are not so Different
We are not too Alike
Somewhere in Between
We are the Same
A Knowing of What Love Is
True In Its Lasting
Without Reason
Words only Portray
A Small part Of Our Hearts
A Gentle Touch
Begins The Spark
Emotions can Build
Or Erode Our Road
Watching For Holes
We should Be
Looking at the Sky
Hold My Hand
Touch My Heart
It Is Yours
If You Want
Allow Love To Be
A Gentle Touch

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Smidgen Of This
Poem by Brian Dockal

Hey, soupçon!
No, silly…
Soup’s on!
Cedilla said so…

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Betrayed
Poem by David R. MacLean

Can you smile for me?
That quick white smile
like a sudden crack on clear polished ice,
the deep black stillness glimpsed, and gone.

Will you laugh with me?
That low quick laugh,
an avalanche tumbled on itself
kicking up frozen life, and gone.

Will you lie to me?
That dappled deft lie,
woven loops of twisted words
entangling my trembling heart, so alone.

Can you speak to me?
with lips that rise and sigh,
hesitate . . .

Speak your feelings, in kindness?
Speak in clear words, in love?

I didn’t think so.
I am alone . . . I am done.

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Old Ships
Poem by Ryan Taylor

i am beat
i am done
i want nothing to do with this
yet there is more wine
and the hour
early
and the time
always sliding easy
sliding towards and
away from friends

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