September 2020


View Issue vol. 11, no. 7
ISSN 2369-6516 (Print)
ISSN 2369-6524 (Online)

Scroll down to read all poems, or select the poem title to go directly to that poem. Select the author’s name to view a short biography (if supplied) and all poems by that author.

Janet BrushFairies

Harry GarrisonIntersection Which Has Only Scarlet Lights

Greg GoubkoNighttime Holes

Brian HardingThe Red Bus

Xiao HeA Lost Summer

Jari-Matti HelppiAs I Died

Jim HoyleAfter Pope’s “Essay on Man”

Scot JamiesonNight Bike

Scott Lynchshameless

Mike McFetridgeThe Ant and the Microwave Oven

Lorie MorrisHome

Nicole MyersOn Top of the World

Richard S. PayneMeditative Haiku

Nathaniel S. RoundsBristles

Jasmin StofferWhat is today? A Poem of Self-Isolation

Blynn TeeftHide

Leah Woolleylift-off

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Night Bike

Poem by Scot Jamieson

I am old and inactive and 4AM’s when
I often must wake. But I quietly take
My bike off its hook, go outside … listen:
Quiet city, a suppressed anxiety, unawake,
This 2020, when I cannot see clearly.
There’s no traffic, so I can take my pick
Of all the streets, so empty it’s eerie –
Willow off Dublin, down Harvard to Allen,
I do a full circle at Quinpool and Robie,
No car anywhere, disregard traffic lights,
My roulette, deciding on Bell Rd., takes me
Past the Lancers horse stables’ good smell.
The Public Gardens flowers are heavy
In the still summer air. Then I spin,
At Spring Garden Road, another 360,
And this time there’s a witness –
A cop car – still, all I get is a stare.
Hospitals whisper at me, down University,
Ceaseless mechanical activity everywhere,
To help poor old Sapiens with the untold
Sufferings, all part of life’s vast flow,
Of which death’s a part, and not apart …
This world is night, our imagination, not,
But if I must say so – arguments we’ve got.
These don’t need belief: science, progress?
These do: love, magic synchs from above?
To which does it matter I say No or Yes?
I turn right to North St., my home address.

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After Pope’s “Essay on Man” *

Poem by Jim Hoyle

Art’s in Nature found,
…………………….with aspect changed a bit;
All direction’s chance unbound,
…………………….selected as found fit;
All life’s a balance, unstable harmony;
All evil’s man made,
…………………….beneficences not so many.
Holding justice, law and reason all in spite,
One truth is clear;
…………………….whatever’s mine is right.

*Epistle One, lines 289 – 294

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On Top of the World

Poem by Nicole Myers

being preoccupied with a
a rustic redwood cottage
on the very top of the world
brimming with strings, secrets
poems, ivories, antiques, and
Tiffany stained glass windows
where the sun pours through – it
is all I need to forget that the
world as we know it is at an end

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Poem by Scott Lynch

devil spawn
profoundly everywhere
summer plague
especially engaging
in nose mouth and eyes
spellbound they vanish
as quickly are back
minuscule locusts
swarming in packs
a billow
a brume
maybe a mist
their drunken behaviour
giving me in fits
cussing them often
abhorring their name
fruit fly barbarians
with no sense
of shame!

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Nighttime Holes

Poem by Greg Goubko

The key fit perfectly
Into a dime bag of certainty

I danced to the rhythm
Of my numbed emotions

Eyes on flesh
Flesh in mesh

Questionable intentions
Actionless preventions

Peter doesn’t need to know.

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Poem by Janet Brush

I’ve never seen a fairy –
Unless you count the delicate gossamer traces
……….they leave in the dew on morning flowers.
Unless you believe Tawny Owl who told me
……….raindrops bouncing off pavement are fairies dancing.
Unless you believe we Brownies were a fairy ring as we
……….danced around the toadstool singing.
Unless you believe in Tinkerbell
……….flying around sprinkling fairy dust.

All pleasant harmless stories – fairy tales.
But there is a dark side.
That fairy ring – a ring of toadstools could be
……….a portal to the fairy kingdom. Step into it
……….and you are carried down to Fairyland.
Fairies, trolls, pixies – whatever you call them –
……….can cause bad luck, put a spell on you
Worst of all – steal your child and leave you
……….a changeling in her place.
Be wary of the fairies.

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The Ant and the Microwave Oven

Poem by Mike McFetridge

One day I opened our microwave oven,
And in walked an ant, all of a sudden;
It knew not the dangerous peril it was in,
‘Zapped ant for breakfast’, I thought with a grin;
Closing the door and clicking “cook” on,
I was confident the ant soon would be gone;
When I opened the door, out walked the ant,
As healthy as ever; then I knew that one can’t
Microwave an ant!

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Poem by Nathaniel S. Rounds

Saw the first turning leaves

When they arrived in the door,
A corn broom’s rebuke
Swept them out again
Into flames that unfolded
Like a crackling pop-up book
Of maps curling into ash.

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A Lost Summer

To memorize the little child of all adults

Poem by Xiao He

A night with fireflies
Fuzzy halos and sparkling eyes
Waves of sapphire balloon flowers
Rippling, rush towards the sky
So like a secret ball
Held in a summery July

As the wind was blowing
The whole forest gave a weary sigh
Then chuckled, a land of flowers
The levelly garden
Lambent in the gentle moonlight
A bashful smiling cat

The starry starry night
I merely remember
Splendid and enchanting
As in Van Gogh’s painting

At the moment of daybreak
I caught a glimpse of glimmer
Was that a brush of naughty starlight?
Sitting on a departing train.

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Intersection Which Has Only Scarlet Lights

Ghazal by Harry Garrison

Ships are becalmed on an ocean of scarlet. Nothing intersects on an ocean of scarlet. Frustration is a failure, an aching agony. Something connects on an ocean of scarlet. Desperate ones are also those undeserving. Everything relates to an ocean of scarlet. Perfection's attainable, not maintainable. Folks get dejected on an ocean of scarlet. Decency's all it takes to prove your love. There's disrespect on an ocean of scarlet. There is graffiti painted on hell's walls. Society's confused on an ocean of scarlet. Harry's afflicted by foolish restrictions. Why can't we diverge on oceans of scarlet?

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Poem by Leah Woolley

the cars look like silverfish
sunlight catching on exposed scales.

trees a textured tapestry,
rows of scarlet and ochre stitching.

the rivers – blue garden snakes,
winding through this province of mine.

I miss you already.

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As I Died

Poem by Jari-Matti Helppi

Flabbergasted, I stood on the Roman arch
of a mushroom cap
and gave my homage to the wee folk
dancing just beyond the wildflowers.

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The Red Bus

Poem by Brian Harding

Catch me if you can
Run, run, it’s your last chance
Catch me if you can
Fares if you please
Double Decker to Nowhere Land
Will that be a return “sir”
Yes please, longer if you have such a fare.
Catch me if you can
Ring the Bell
Stop at the traffic lights
I can walk from there.
My feet never touched the ground.
Catch me if you can.
If you can…

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Poem by Lorie Morris

Home, is where you live.
Home, is where you find peace.
Home, is where the people
you love are at. Home, is where
your heart is at.

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What is today? A Poem of Self-Isolation

Poem by Jasmin Stoffer

Today feels tender
Like a wound, trying to heal
After being left to fester
But if we can all feel this wound together
Does that mean we can
Feel each other suffer?
Does that mean we can cultivate
More compassion for one another?
Does that mean we can resolve
To a non-violent existence forever?
Does that mean we can love
One another?

I hope so.

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Meditative Haiku

Haiku by Richard S. Payne

Becoming mindless,
in stillness and timelessness,
will reveal one’s soul.

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Poem by Blynn Teeft

all I want to do is cry
but the tears won’t fall
why won’t they fall
hold it in close
no one should know
put it behind
and move on

all I want is a hug
but my arms won’t reach
can’t reach that far
arms won’t work
don’t touch someone
for fear misunderstanding
fearing a touch

all I want is to release
but don’t know how to express
pain doesn’t go away
doesn’t have words
yet screams in my ear
nothing goes away
gets pushed down farther.

all I want to do is cry
but don’t want to disappoint
let myself release
let go of everything
but I hide away
from those I should not
story of my life.

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