Sunday, August 31, 2014

Day Go By

by Dario Jimenez

Joe did not know
he was going to die that very same Sunday.
In the morning
bought a blue Chevy, sedan.
For lunch
had a double cheese sandwich with beer
as he always did for his birthday
and sat in the porch
to watch the day go by.

Floating a Reunion Plan

by Todd Mercer

Dusty Springfield singing Son of a Preacher Man
inside the clock radio, between queens
in a two-queen special at the Ramada.
The day began with idol-smashing, smoothed
to ritual, to sacraments. It sweetened.
She said Let’s come back
after ten years. Future talk
is healthy for you. Clean up
whatever you’re predisposed to
muck-up repeatedly. Stop
serial stupidity. Don’t rip
head-boards from their moorings
out of enthusiasm. The desk clerk,
that jaded atheist, will smirk
and add sixty-nine bucks and tax
to the MasterCard. Before they split
he over-tips the maid. It’s justice
for the muss left. Dusty wraps the song,
the one that makes this woman
in the future wonder
what became of a pastor’s son, the one
who reached her, here.

Give and Take

by Miranda Stone

In sleep, the fight has left you.
Face slack, lips parted, you gasp
as if taken aback in your dream.
With sprawling limbs you encroach
upon my side of the bed. A wrist bone
prods my shoulder. A toe grazes my shin.

I press my palms against your ribs
and push. You roll across the dividing line,
the sheet gliding over your bare skin.
I marvel at the distance between us.
You have relinquished half a foot of space.
In sleep, you are the picture of compromise.
Awake, you refuse to concede a single inch.

Spectrum

by Kindra McDonald  
                                                                               
Black list, black board, black
tie, panthers, black sheep, magic black
and blue blood, blue streak, blue in

the face, blue laws, blue
collar, hair, blue plate special, agent
orange, blood orange winter

green, belt, green with envy,  green-eyed
monster tickled
pink movies, caught red

handed, seeing red, red cheeked,
alert, blood-red silver
screen, silver-tongue, silver

spoon, lining, silver fox,
quick brown nose, brown
sugar, derby, how now brown cow

yellow bellied coward, mellow
yellow man, white as a ghost, a sheet,
white supremacist, lie, white on rice

The Dodo’s Gone To Sleep

by Amit Parmessur

Each step up the staircase and each heartbeat brings
me closer to you, like a black magnet.
The only good I can do in this city’s emptiness
is to anticipate your squawk;
remember, when the sun sets, we’ll borrow wings
and fly into the night full of fast clouds.
Strumming my sitar I’ll watch over
your yellow feet, green beak and curly feathers,
with you preening in Wonderland.

Reaching the rooftop I meet only a ghost
as your name means fool. With each memory
of you I shed a cold tear. I go down.
The nuts in my hand, the seeds in my pockets
I wish to see you in my room and
fool the whole world, cracking jokes with you,
rolling on the ecstatic floor.
But the butterfly clock on the wall
whispers to me that you’ve gone to sleep
early today with the dogs and monkeys.

Vision

by Taylor Graham

Almost blind now,
he walks out under the night sky
that used to guide him through the dark
fields. The moon – closer
than it will ever be again in his lifetime;
bigger, brighter than he remembers;
a super-moon – is arcing into August,
peering down at him through oaks.
Above the house, a ghost-gold arrow.
Comet? It doesn’t move, but holds
its place as comets appear
to do, until like eyesight they’re gone.
And now the forward point extends
farther to the east, lengthening
its flight. What can this be?
He calls his wife, who gazes up to see
the TV antenna, vestigial skeleton,
almost prehistoric. Who has
a TV antenna on the roof anymore?
The old man has forgotten.
Moving above the oaks, finding gaps
to shine through, the moon
stretches that pale arrow farther
dimming as it grows, each instant,
older.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Do Thee Bidding

by Marc Carver

I see a man in a pin striped suit wearing a bowler hat
He has been crucified to a cross mid way through hailing a cab
and running for it
His legs are astride one arm in the air showing his expensive watch.
The other is lower behind him umbrella in hand
They are at ten to four
I can't see the nails but I hope they are rusty
The top arm is nailed below
the bottom arm above.
He is frozen
no expression on his face
stopped in motion
he will never get that cab home.

Farm Sale

by Robert Nisbet

The notice just gave details of acreage,
of arable and pasture. In The Journal’s later piece,
the interview, Owen’s phrases seemed to have halted
within him before they were written down. He simply said,
It wasn’t just a livelihood. He made some reference
to the obvious things, the shearing, branding,
calving, milking, the haymaking when cousins
and neighbours came, swigged brown ale from flagons
in the top of the barn as the heat built up.
But Owen did not mention, could not explain,
the one green image haunting him, those last few days:
the centuries’ clump of foliate oaks,
up by the main road, overhanging the milk stand,
the churns, the milk leaving for the creamery.

Islamic Greens

by Steph Walker

Islamic Green trees
– sick mottled eucalypts
burn against International Klein Blue sky

where dark nights cry
upon snaggletoothed pillars, wrecked by movement
and wind-torn gestures

prolonging, a tint of the past
fear of future:
blazing bright colour with cool degrees of difference

as satellites drift
and beach waves beach, biting and fermenting
along limiting shores

rich rations ripen
with hands that turn cards

the greenest, tartest apples
fracture amongst voices

the whitest of noises
as gravel rests on grass
with cold dust and sand-smoothed glass, once sharp

water lashing warm faces
the high-pitched wail, the sound of soil-wrung hands
ringing themselves

only in footprints
of the past could we recall
the moments before:

fractures, steps of elevation, falls

steps over swollen beaten country
borders running courses, running
from one end of the atlas
to the other

as broad dusty hands
stretch

hands stretch – over cards and hips,
the way you think of wings, shoulders
and jaws
as broad and powerful

a diversity of fear
mottled, grafted, fused like vines
the strain of wrists and fingers

feel this: a flutter of wings meeting
torn torsos
warm hearts beating

clawing young stems with course leaves floating
rising to the sun

not for Islamic Green vines
but for gloveless,
dirty hands, wrenching
in fracturing caress

soil rung hands, draped and wrenched
and clawed down,
swollen beating – beatless

beach waves beach
and bleary eyed satellites drift away
from wind-torn jetties that remain
toothless, motionless, beneath
International Klein Blue
sky

Learning to Touch

 by Marilyn Hammick

I stand and watch, minding
that everything is very hot.
With oven gloved hands
Grandma slides the cake tin
onto the kitchen table.

There's two minutes to go
but this oven cooks quick
The top is like the inside
of my satchel, its edges
sneak from the metal.

Good sign, she tells me,
and sniffs, that's cooked,
but                   she takes
my middle finger in her hand,
hover, press, release

you’re not ringing a door bell,
or poking your brother’s arm.
The depression rises, the surface
levels, the sponge is ready
for the cooling rack.

Map

by J. K. Durick              

Now we know the distances and begin
To measure the time we’ll spend;
This is the mother-lode, the raw
Materials of journeys, of visits, of
Getting away, of arriving there at last;

Its legend and lines, place names
And route numbers, the slight color
Variations to mark mountains and
Forests, various forms of water,
Rivers, lakes and the like, assure us,
Provide us with a plan to go on;

We unfold it, and then lay it out full
On the floor, on the kitchen table,
Draw a line with our eye, set up
The trip in our minds, imagine all
The turns and towns along the way,
The best places to stop for food, for
Gas, for just stretching, walking a bit;

Things like these can’t be left to chance,
We rarely just set out as if destinations
Didn’t matter, as if we were explorers
As if guidance wasn’t always available,

Instead we head out, catch 189, then 89
Heading east, call ahead for reservations,
Watch mile-markers and exit signs, and
Keep the map, folded just right, handy
Ready to consult, always ready to confirm
We are exactly where we need to be.

Monks in the Orchard Picking Peaches

by Donal Mahoney

Young monk
and old monk
in the orchard
picking peaches,
sunny and plump,
ready for canning.

Carrying bushels
to the wagon cart,
the young monk
asks the old monk
what to look out for
when growing old.

The old monk
pauses and says
not much.
Life stays the same
for the most part.
Monks work and pray
but an old monk
works slower and
prays faster.

But not to worry,
the old monk advises.
He admits he's
going deaf
but that's just
an inconvenience
since God uses
sign language.
Peaches like these
have no need to talk.

Rolling the Joy

by Tapeshwar Prasad Yadav

Sphere the morning light
Rolling through the hills
And wheeling the fields
Horn the buzz, chirping
And twittering the sequel
Swaying live the delight
Leaning golden rocks
And ocean waves dear

Wiping the fading grief
All spotless and clean
There comes jolly joy
Full of golden gleams
Bursting and thrusting
Pattering the ground
Propelling life rhythm

Mingle universal fraternity
With harmony blend
Distancing the enmity
In a bag full of tinkling coins
And storey skyscraper
Feeding the belly
With a pot full of jelly
Rolling towering joy!

Saul

by Michael D. Brown

surely my son not
my son in law, even if
I must hurl a javelin;
for what is the death
of one destined for my
crown, the end of
succession, my line
my heir, my son, my Jonathan;
surely one who killed ten thousand;
who skinned the foreskins;
who leveled Goliath,
needs no more honor,
no purple seat, or robe
but how to justify the
death of a hero,
a musician, a psalmist,
a would be future king
of Israel, a son in law.

Venus at the Drive-Thru'

by Stephanie D. Rogers

Her hand suspended
hung lazily from a
pearl pale arm

palm up
index out
not quite pointed
not quite crooked

disinterested
disengaged
detached

DeMilo's
lost appendage
awaiting tribute
or change

whichever
comes first