View Issue vol. 12, no. 2
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.
Poem by Phil Brown
Settle a while on a high ridge
Soaked by blue
Breathe in universes
Breathe out the pain
Look around you at the fractures of time
Stretching far below
Your beautiful self
See, no clouds or rain
There’s no need to worry anymore
This place was meant for you
And you will not
Be allowed to fall
The breeze from the south will hold you safe
A humming bird cupped in Mexican warmth
While on the horizon
Ice, sea and land continue to call
They play, like our storied lives,
The ancient game, they ebb and flow
Silent witnesses perhaps
To how, some day, some place, you may
Poem by Rod Stewart
Do you hear
The early edge of Spring,
As the skim of ice
Creaks and cracks
Like old winter bones
Slowly melting away,
Among the wrinkles
Of windborne waves.
While muddy boots, slack line,
And frosty curls of dawn breath
Poise patiently by the rocky shore.
It’s too early
Yawns the pale sun,
To ask the shivering lake
For kippers for breakfast,
While the fish still sleep
And the rest of us
Dream and snore,
Content in our cotton cocoons
Poem by Scott Lynch
the sun shines
the birds are high spirited
I am inculcated
a year of covid pedagogy
leaves the scars of acedia
isolation and limbo
the need of atonement
like the lotus will grant
us hope in inoculation
inimical and obdurate
we’ve been on a singular retrograde spin
surely spring will set us right
Why I Wrote this Poem
A year of life with Covid-19 inspired this poem. Constant instruction and learning what not to do and what can not be done. As spring is the herald of rebirth, perhaps inoculation will be the positive we all need to move forward and beyond Covid.
She Who Was the Helmetmaker’s Beautiful Wife
(a sculpture by Auguste Rodin)
Poem by Janet Brush
Carved in bronze, she sits on a rough stone,
Left hand clutching the edge,
Right hand behind her back.
She looks down at her body
– skin shrivelled like an Egyptian mummy
– breasts like deflated balloons
Only memories of youthful vigor, of love.
I was never a helmetmaker’s wife
But I was once beautiful.
In the sweet bloom of youth
I blossomed, gloried
In the adoration of men.
Now I look at her, and see myself.
I have become she who once was
Someone’s beautiful wife.
The Phenomenology of Broken Claims
Poem by Nathaniel S. Rounds
In the Ethiopian streets
There are a hundred churches
Each making claim as to holding
The Ark of the Covenant
In the streets of Haligonia
There are a hundred people
Each holding an autographed portrait
of your likeness
In the worn recesses of your mind
There are a hundred outcries
Protesting your abandonment
Poem by Jari-Matti Helppi
Not a neuron firing for Shakespeare’s guilt,
or his impassioned steel with a blood grooved hilt,
or Heaven’s hostings of eternal bliss,
or wandering memories to a wonton kiss;
even Perdition’s fearful wakes,
where threats point souless from crimson lakes,
can shake my will lest a barkeep’s stir
will take me back when all things were
as desirous as the human quest
that now seeks solace and direction’s best.
Poem by Jonathan Burchill
A bitter wind in the damp dark
A bleak lonely bus stop, the girl
Huddled in tears over her loss
So I gave her a ticket
It will be alright
She said are you married, no not any more
Lost in ideas I was drifting and sore
Did you say it aloud so she could scold
No, I was quiet since silence is gold
She laughed you’re a fool and maybe a bore
As the bus left she was laughing with a friend
I saw a gentle smile as I
Warmed in the dawn light
It will be alright
Poem by Brian Harding
I saw two leaves dancing in the wind
Twisting and turning across the garden floor.
Yes the leaves plain as could be.
Dancing across the garden floor
Oh to be that free.
It’s but a wish for you and me…
To Those Eyes
Poem by Mike McFetridge
To those eyes who gaze upon this page
Many years from now;
Know you this writer had many thoughts
But, unfortunately, knew not how
To incorporate imagined bliss,
And how thoughts could be ever made real;
This writer wrote, but did not act,
Because of lack of zeal.
Poem by Tim Covell
I pulled to the side of the road
To wait out torrential rain
I don’t remember why
I offered to marry you
You said you weren’t pregnant
The rain slowed
I drove you home
And that was the end of that
Petrichor brings you back
Road trips in a rented Oldsmobile
Your dark dank basement suite
With a single bed
Sheets strong with Tabu
And an offer that did not depend on
A broken condom
And a reply respectfully
Poem by Memel Pound
Oh, you shining paragons
of what can be grown
when best soils are afforded;
best toil for all seeds sown.
For how can two flowers
grow to peak of beauty,
if harvesters or sowers
abdicate their duty.
If they are not seeded
in the same garden air,
with all the water needed,
with the same loving care,
one will surely flourish,
given all its due.
Said the one we didn’t nourish,
“I had potential too”.
Poem by Jake Austin
Friendship is quite a beautiful concept
People come and go in a flurry of existence
After an abrupt separation will we re-intercept
This elemental force never dampens its persistence
Emotions rapidly expelled, spewed, and splattered
We may have come and gone, broken hearts, displaced
A shared human experience is all that ever mattered
The good times, the bad times, the turbulence faced
Friendship is a magical entity standing on its own
The creative collective, strands of tethered existence
A unified love that is never diminished, just grown
Through combat and turmoil, we build its resistance
The forces intimately connect, unify, and mold together
Our directive not unrealistic or in any way elusive
The resilience we have built, that the hide of leather
Our family is not open, free for taking exclusive
Sometimes we take and steal, trusted love shattered
Permeating laughs, joy, and all things positively light
The collective cloth surround not worn or tattered
A freshened perspective, no room for hindsight
The journey has just begun us unique individuals, friend
The story is illuminating only death bringing it to an end
Why I Wrote this Poem
Friendship is the formula of connection. In every friendly union, there are elements that work and some that do not. The poem “Friendship” is inspired by some of the most testing and most rewarding friendships I’ve had in my life. Like a chemical formula, you can have something reactionary and toxic or something beneficial and balanced. This poem illuminates how the elements of friendship disassociate at times, but always come back together in the end. The line “friends come and go in a flurry of existence” is my favorite sentiment in the poem because it demonstrates the un-static quality of a friendship.
Silhouette of Hometown Spring
To My Dear Audiences
Poem by Xiao He
A tranquil March
Vernal drizzle spinning in the air
Veiled the mounts
As ink flooded
Bits of vivid yellow
Bits of fresh green
Came into a noisy blooming event
Amid blurred days and hours
Clipped themselves onto the color of spring.
Haiku by David Mac Eachern
Focus into life
On through conceived scenery
Today is alive
Poem by Georgia Atkin
I would like
one spring platter,
with all the toppings –
and yellow coltsfoot,
soft buds on trees,
sweet chickadee song
and a generous portion
I’ll tip extra
if you deliver
in twenty minutes or less!
A Smile From A Veil
Haiku by Harry Garrison
The clerk was wearing
a mask but she was also
wearing eye makeup.
ADHD: on interrupting
Poem by Sara Moginot
Sometimes silly thoughts approach
and tickle me in the tongue
until I open wide and spill
the words out of my lungs
Healing in Seven Generations
Poem by Mary Ellen Sullivan
Grandmother Earth feels her heart slip.
She is wounded, looks at
oceans of plastic,
aluminum and iron leaching into waterways.
Fields sickened with chemical fertilizers
oil slicks on the panicked ducks.
Water and soil –
greedy men raping the Earth.
Grandmother Earth’s heart aches.
How much has changed since she was born.
She thinks of seven generations,
hugs her grand-daughter and braids sweet grass
into her hair.
There is so little time, action must be urgent.
This child could be the one the Earth is calling.
She looks around. Puts on her glasses.
Quietly she watches small scale farmers
sharing their crops
pulled out of rich, brown soil,
coming together as a community.
Warriors removing waste from water ways.
Fighting to keep oil where Mother Earth put it.
Ah, her heart has slowed, beats strong.
Her chest has become a drum.
There is so much to do, but she can hear
the promise in her grand-daughter’s giggle.
Smell the sanctity of the sweet grass.
Why I Wrote this Poem
The Seventh Generation Principle today is generally referred to in regard to decisions being made about our energy, water, and natural resources, and ensuring those decisions are sustainable for seven generations in the future. But it can also be applied to relationships — every decision should result in sustainable relationships seven generations in the future.
Poem by Earl Bradford
Urban hive of shades & curtains,
Secrets lurk on every sill…
Dusky wine glass guard
a Marigold – Seashells arrayed
Three stories over streetlights;
Venetian blinds twisted half-way,
Another completely stripped,
to a dark room… cracked wood
flaked paint – sepulchered moonlight slips through, as rain
On bus-sheltered beads of amber
Poem by Cathie Panteluk
The watery sun plays hide and seek behind
sharp white clouds
In the cold blue sky,
Smoke wisps from chimneys in houses where
they ready themselves
For the morning commute,
Busy ness takes over their lives as they
plan to step out the door.
Children hustled into snowsuits and zipped
against the morning cold, hats and mitts
pulled on hastily,
While older ones barely eat, too busy
checking phones that ding, buzz, ring,
Electronic devices snap them to attention
with perceived importance,
Ice on the frozen lake sits undisturbed
Where ducks are content to paddle their feet
in the icy wet,
She has been circling every morning
Fishing in open patches of water,
Chased by loudly squawking crows who
dive bomb from above
Trying to steal an easy meal-
She waits and watches from the tall pine
Black feathers shine, white head peering
from side to side
Then majestically soars
Wings gracefully circling upward,
Leaving me to wonder in the quiet –
Do they see?
Poem by Grayson Wallage
It starts to snow.
All the boys and girls.
To make snowmen.
Rolling big snow balls.
Adding twig arms.
Long carrot nose.
Eyes made of rocks.
For hot chocolate.
Was a great snow day.