View October Issue (PDF) vol. 9, no. 8.
ISSN 2369-6516 (Print)
ISSN 2369-6524 (Online)
Click the author’s name to view a short biography (if supplied) and all poems by that author.
A rap on the door, my Father’s face
He slumped toward the seat
An elderly man full of grace
His hair of whitened wheat.
Driving days, long since gone
He watched me with a smile
Twinkling eyes, I know it’s wrong
But only for a mile?
I let him drive me home that day
Much to Mom’s chagrin
I knew there was nothing I could say
To stop the boy within.
He drove me back with shaky hand
And trembling feet down under
Carefully, traversed the land
His last drive rolling thunder.
A lifetime ago, there was a man
Who trusted a little boy
I think back today, remember when
I gave back my Father’s joy.
The attic floorboards
creaked beneath her hesitant feet,
but the harp was there
in its corner,
not spelled asleep by lonely enchantment
nor diminished by the heaviness of time,
………………………..with bated breath
for the chance to sing again.
Even though I’m told I’m kinda hip,
I find myself in a bit of a bald spot.
Thankfully, there are no hairline cracks;
only wrinkles, and occasionally, ear worms.
So nothing to be bummed out about!
With a bit of elbow grease,
I’ll keep my chin up, and toe the line.
With an eye to the future,
I’ll get on bended knee …
and with a wink and a nod,
I’ll pray for my bod.
Deep in the woods,
down a still meandering river,
away from all noise and activity,
you found me.
Sitting on an old wooden bridge
above a shallow spot in the water,
half covered by the shade of the young
Maple tree, you came to visit me.
Did you mistake me for a flower?
I heard you first, your gentle hum,
reminding me of a thousand honey bees
working together in the hive.
I turned my head, quietly to the right
I wasn’t scared. I was intrigued.
And there you were.
My messenger of joy and hope.
Shimmering in green and little bits of red,
your long pointed beak so close to my cheek
I thought you would fly into me.
But just as quickly as you appeared –
you left, quietly and effortlessly
you were gone.
I lay down on the bridge
under the mid-day summer sun,
and let my bones sink deeper
and deeper into warm contentment –
knowing my life was blessed by something
I couldn’t name but could only feel.
I speak out loud,
But I’m never heard.
I chatter and chirp,
Just like a bird.
I yell and scream,
With all my might.
Just like a warrior,
Preparing to fight.
My words are drowning,
In the pool of nothing.
They are being strangled
By the rope of doubt.
Alas, the words I always speak,
Never come out of my mouth.
Your words never fade.
Your quiet strength never forgotten.
The sweet intentions behind
But I cry.
My memory defeats me
As the sound of your voice
She walks the beach at Taylor Head,
She wishes it could have been her instead,
Whose ship now sleeps upon an ocean bed–
She walks the beach at Taylor Head.
She doesn’t care to speak to anyone,
Nobody sees her when the beach has sun,
But if you follow where her tracks have led,
At night, they’re on the beach at Taylor Head.
They say it fills you with a sense of dread,
To meet her on the sand at Taylor Head.
She looks a starveling, terribly underfed–
It seems her love for him she cannot shed.
His ship was lost just as they were to wed,
What this meant to her is best left unsaid–
The story of her life then lost its thread,
She walks the beach at Taylor Head.
She walks at night, she walks in storm,
When all things warm will come to harm–
She doesn’t know that she herself is dead,
She walks the beach at Taylor Head.
the house to ramble
when twilight stretches
we amble to the art gallery
where he insists on lingering
in front of extraordinarily tragic
————————–on the 2nd
floor we pass through halls lined
————with useless geezers
————note their somnolent eyes
————pouched cheeks & sadness
amble thought corridors of the
historical male gaze on the female
he is always in a fevered search of
while I loiter in the sublime
aspect of following him around
She was finding a home
In the dark woods
In a cloudy night sky
When reality struck her
Home is miles away
She cannot reach there
No matter how much she tries
She burned the woods
To find comfort
In the cold winter night
Yet felt nothing
It was colder inside
She stamped out the fire
With her rugged shoes
And stood up again
As she does in her life
To find a home
She might not get
In a long time.
Flowing like water she puts hands to sand, lets
gravity hoop her down the slope of shore.
Feet aground, she stands, and walks once more
up above tidemark, backbends
slim body to arc, to wheel, inverts there
handbalancing, colt legs astride the air.
She is not thinking, though her body knows,
programmed in cell and gland, that this will be
the last summer of the somersault. Next year she
will walk swaying, hips learning their heritage,
tracing rhythmic infinities through space,
sashaying past the boys with woman’s grace.
Yet maybe on an evening, years from now,
walking with tipsy girlfriends on the sand,
she’ll somersault upon a whim, then land
stumbling, regain her feet; while they applaud,
their vodka-cooler laughter holding fast
to shared and silent memory of summers past.
Enraptured men praised youthful woman seen.
A font of beauty and of luscious arts,
Erotic trophy pierced by cupid’s darts,
Virile men claimed, possessed the artist queen.
Their judgment drowned by narcissistic undine
Embracing beauty, but forsaking hearts.
Desire disappears as youth departs,
Transparent woman will no longer preen.
Artist frees voice, wielding age as a feint,
Gains true insight when beauty is unmade,
To change the world with bold dreams and new paint.
Yet crone’s voice and wit are not seen by men,
Invisible, she rages as dreams fade,
What good insight if men’s sight is so faint?
I was Pretty once
Then they cut my curls
And I became a boy.
Then sadly they stole
So I became a man.
it’s the knowing really
the longing too
each exquisite vista
red hills with golden strikes
oranges punctuated by russet and green
fleeting in a stoic light
angled to tease, to awe, and to exalt
it’s the knowing that all of this
will fall away
will be buried
be gone in just days
the haunting grey of metallic skies
too soon to dawn
it’s the savage dichotomy of the two
of this soon to be monochromatic world
like the joy of water to the parched
these halcyon days
we are hypersensitive giddy
aware that each moment is
precious transitory and glorious
leaves like lemmings
poised to soar
It is never as
bad as you think that it is.
It is always worse.
Mindin’ my business
An’ just scratchin’ by,
While summer shone high,
Doin’ my two-step
Head pumpin’ rap
Kickin’ up dirt,
By my tumble down shack.
Getting’ the groove
An’ looks from the ladies
Preened an’ right plucky
An’ I don’t mean maybe!
I’s got two drumsticks
An’ more jive than Jove,
An’ a hope to go travellin’
For fortune an’ fame,
When that day came,
Weren’t no scarecrow
‘Neath that crooked straw hat,
Just plenty o’ plaid
An’ a wicked black axe.
“ ‘Ur comin’ wit me!”
Glinted that rotten gold tooth.
“On the road?” I clucked.
‘Twas my last two-step
Before darkness fell,
An’ now I’m prancin’ blues
Next ta St. Peter’s bell.
The weighty round reminder
of gravity’s constancy,
centering me down, placing me,
in time and geography
is rather oddly a tethering that frees me.
I am, it says.
And you are
and so too are We.
So go. Do.
Make your discoveries
in this world.
I will bring you home
to tell your tales of awe and curiosity.
And the stars and stones will listen,
and the wind will bear them,
and tides receive them
in a wild and passionate grace
that befits this tumble
of heart and mind and being.
Fading night letting go, rising light
Among the people, time seeming clear
Facing into day, a lively sight
Feeding on another’s breath, standing near
Nothing without the other, office team
Coming then going, each second passed
Means of survival, a profiting theme
Making it work, union to last
Chain of events, well synchronized flow
Peaceful adventure, heading home once more
Approaching an evening, round trip show
Yet again one’s dream world scored
Stars, are so pretty.
Stars, have been around
forever. Stars, all have different
names. Stars, are in everything.
Stars, are something to be seen.
Too Early by Far for the End
Exquisite Corpse Poem 2018 (online only)
(Exquisite corpse is an artistic technique from French surrealism, where a group creates something with limited knowledge of the other contributions. In this case, visitors to our table at Word on the Street were invited to add two lines to a poem, but only shown one line before.)
What villainy is this?
She shouted, words flying
out of her mouth like a gaggle of geese
as she looked out over the ocean blue
and said, how I wish my name was Sue
like that guy in the song about how boys
should learn softness thru fighting,
learn gentleness thru listening,
release your joy.
Stop chasing boys
and open your big blue eyes
I now see the world is open to me.
From the clouds in the blue skies
to the falling leaves on autumn trees.
I dream of Summer days and beaches,
look forward to Apple pie and juicy Peaches.
Raspberry Pi will lead you in a technology direction.
We all need help as social media and fake news abounds.
Seek out truth, embrace its positives
Unbelievable scurrilous negatives
Make my life misery, make my face haggardty
Hidden in a fog, breaking free
enlivening reaction, growing blossoming leaves
as evening falls upon the gloomy plain
and the fires flicker into glimmering life
firefly, flitting over dew-covered lawns
diving, living, waiting for dawn
I exalt life on my front lawn
Ah, my front lawn,
Not looking well after this summer.
The plants are not growing,
the rivers and streams are not flowing.
But our cars were driving,
Why isn’t Gaia thriving?
Walking through the clouds,
his paintings are a map of his brain
Glorious library day, sun, trees
So many books, so little time
Standing in line, waiting for you.
We arrive, late as usual.
Too early by far for the end.