Earth Sticks, by Dan McCarthy
I decide I’m going out after being trapped in
By the tornado sirens and the silence.
For four months
Everyone has been telling me how they thought
They wouldn’t stay, too,
But that was decades ago,
And here they are, so the path to the parking lot
Has been soaked since it rained fourteen days ago.
Feels like everything isn’t away, though, not ago,
The water ran down the hill
Into the pass and stayed. Now the earth here
Sticks to my boots, so I search
For a stair to scrape my sole clean, sneering
As I waddle and lurch
To the deck steps and drag
My foot across the concrete, leaving
The muck looking like shucked muskrats.
A tree branch landed on my sleeping car.
Passed the shards, I walk downtown with
Wings of earth on my feet.
Expectation, by Peycho Kanev
“Poetry is indispensable - if I only knew what for”,
said once Cocteau, and I am trembling with anticipation!
I had so many hearts in my closet, and now it’s only one,
but I am not complaining.
Obviously I’ve changed. If I could choose between myself
from the past and the one from now, I’ll choose ignorance.
And history will lick its bloody mouth again.
I remember how in the winter in the woods, we were kindling
dry twigs and listened to the cries of the silence.
But today the winter is everywhere.
This is a sad song, I hope will warm me in some cold night,
when I’ll listen to the ticking of the clock, and I’ll dream of
my life lost long ago with the butterflies.
There is not a big difference in living on different continents
if the faces everywhere are all the same.
You apprehend the Grand Canyon only as a great and long hole
if the bluebird in your guts is trembling.
It’s the same with the rest of the world.
In North Dakota an Indian told me that our destiny is not written
anywhere and then he gave me a calendar and a pipe.
And since then I am looking for matches to build one match-stick
soul; I need glue, and one torn Rembrandt to glue together again.
Art! Will it last forever?
I also need tarantulas to pet, words to write in the darkness of
the shortness of life next to a burning candle.
I don’t want credit cards to cut the whiteness of my memories,
and I do not need the virgins of King Solomon to be their God.
And before I say Goodbye, I’ll turn on the next page, where
it’s winter again to start afresh.
Peycho Kanev is the Editor-In-Chief of Kanev Books. His poetry collection Bone Silence was released in September 2010 by Desperanto. A new collection of his poetry, titled Requiem for One Night, will be published by SixteenFourteen in 2013.
His poems have appeared in more than 900 literary magazines, such as: Poetry Quarterly, Evergreen Review, Hawaii Review, Cordite Poetry Review, Sheepshead Review, The Coachella Review, Two Thirds North, Sierra Nevada Review, The Cleveland Review, and many others. Peycho Kanev has won several European awards for his poetry and he’s nominated for the Pushcart Award and Best of the Net.
The Sunrise Burned, by Dawnell Harrison
Deep in your soul
The sunrise burned
As the orange leaves
Of autumn twirled
In your heart.
The sweet smell
Of roses bent over
My soul as the sight
Of a white dove
Glimmered in my heart.
The fires of twilight
Tussled in your eyes
As the rain fell
Into the vast horizon
Of your soul.
Dawnell has been published in over 70 magazines and journals including The Endicott Review, Fowl Feathered Review, The Bitchin' Kitsch, Vox Poetica, Abbey, Iconoclast, Puckerbrush Review, Nerve Cowboy, Mobius, Absinthe: A journal of poetry, and many others. She is also the author of three books: Voyager, The Maverick Posse, and The Fire Behind My Eyes.
The Night Before Your Funeral, by Andrew Stone
Yesterday and tomorrow are synonyms of sorrow
as I sit here biting the last bits of my fingernails,
sucking on sore skin in between sips of rum riddled
Coke. The drink continues to sink in its glass and I
am no longer sitting in my room. I am no longer
feasting on my flesh. I am with you and I see
clearly what you meant when you warmed my ear
with a whisper, when you squeezed my hand for
the last time as your lips met mine beneath the light
of a lamppost just outside your picket-fenced house.
As I walked home that night I remember thinking of
plans for the next day because I misjudged your meaning
that you’ll no longer live life in pain
Andrew J. Stone currently attends Seattle Pacific University, and is originally from Los Angeles. His debut chapbook, "Teenage Angst & the Ekphrastic Exercise," will be available from Collective Banter Press in the spring of 2013. His work has appeared in over 80 literary journals including Hobart, Zygote in my Coffee, and Red Fez. Andrew's website is at http://andrewjstone.blogspot.com/.
Waiting for Sands to Gather, by Sy Roth
A selected stone blinks,
shimmering in a monotonous sea of sand,
volcanic sun melting it into reflective glass.
It rests in the swell of dunes where
nomadic travelers circumvent it,
camels dragged round it, and
separating moats are dug, filled with ravenous creatures.
Bedoins dream of existential cabals.
The stone controls imaginations,
a zillion grains of sand in thrall.
Sand gathers round the minute stone,
a wailing city of dreams and sacrifices,
a granular ziggurat forms, lush hurdle that
bars the desert winds for a moment.
Eras jerkily pass.
Siroccos, in intervals, seize the supporting grains,
drag them to places beyond in granular diasporas,
the tower dissolves,
evanescent spirits surround the stone,
the ancient relic remains.
Camels’ spit and curse its existence,
padded feet plod sweeping sandy stretches
around it, interminably.
Mesmer guards the unending dunes,
one ziggurat heaves in its death throes, while
the stone waits for sands to gather.
Sy Roth has published in many online publications such as BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, brief, The Weekenders, The Squawk Back, Bareback Magazine, Dead Snakes, The Penwood Review, and many others. One of his poems, "Forsaken Man", was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle. He was also selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway, September 2012. His work was also read at Palimpsest Poetry Festival in December 2012. He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics.
Mid-Pack Travelers, by Michael Keshigian
About mid century
my father flew back
from the cacophony of war
in a paper mache plane,
after devouring Hitler
and les femmes of France
while France consumed
les hommes of the world,
to meet my mother
at a GI dance in Providence,
deciding at that moment
she was his forever and followed her
into the crazy boom-room of the 1950’s
with explosions of their own,
leading to an encounter with destiny
and offspring of their desire.
Now I stand
in the entrance of a millennium,
during the last days of their forever,
desperately reaching back
to help them into the hallway
of civilization’s new century,
but they contentedly lag,
playing cards with the Nelsons
while Goodman circles the LP.
The Pool, by Michael Keshigian
as the thermometer
bleeds upon triple digits
and he lounges in the shade
beside the pool,
dripping with relief
that tingles his skin
and though the heated air
the droplets that soothe him,
his heart shivers,
enveloped in cold,
for she has departed
and her empty chair
offers no reciprocating touch,
no banter or giggles
that previous years
As the sun peeks between
hovering branches of white pine,
it creates designs that oscillate
upon his chest
as if to massage
his thawing heart
Michael Keshigian’s poetry collection, Eagle’s Perch, was recently released by Bellowing Ark Press. Other published books: Wildflowers, Jazz Face, Warm Summer Memories, Silent Poems, Seeking Solace, Dwindling Knight, Translucent View. Published in numerous journals, he is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best Of The Net nominee. His poetry cycle, Lunar Images, set for Clarinet, Piano, Narrator, premiered at Del Mar College in Texas. Subsequent performances occurred in Boston and Moleto, Italy. His website is at: michaelkeshigian.com
You Can’t Love a Corpse, by Michael Lee Johnson
You can't love a corpse
cause a corpse can't
love for free-
between being here once,
memories of then
photograph in heart now.
There he is on hard times,
Christmas eve playing
He speaks memories in
your eyes, they keep you twisting.
The cheers, the methodology,
the mirrors pools of dark, still water-
history is the way your face looks
when you wake up this dream.
He was the best of images reflected.
The deep frost
expose his face tonight
the way it was-
of the living dead.
The farm, the farmer,
this way the Ottawa,
Illinois sky covers
it’s face with orange smears.
Little sticks of carrots
pop up from the ground,
farm reports and crop prices,
neighbors’ yellow harvest the corn.
Phillip was/is a good man
gone piecemeal dry.
Everything comes back
in brilliant face,
colors, autumn leaves,
then passes quiet
back into the night.
Somber, sober, this marking
of fragments I share this
space in time with you.
MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in twenty-five countries, he edits seven poetry sites. Michael has released The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 page book), several chapbooks of his poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 56 poetry videos on YouTube. His website is at: poetryman.mysite.com/
The Great Escape, by Linda M. Crate
The oaks and elms sing your vignette,
a hollow hymn that refuses to move me -
it is unlike the sun's song that bursts forth
the trees in golden beams of shifting colors,
that moves my heart to beam again for no
particular reason at all a mirth is released
and an endorphin is freed in my mind and
my lips for once can catch up to the beat
of my heart as i burst through the trees a
bird without wings, that can venture freely
singing a song of her own unfixed melody -
an identity that twines with the trees and
yet remains without them as she makes
her own sojourn through life and all it's
peaks and valleys enjoying it's spelendor
for she knows she will not last forever
immortality is only for fairytales and she
is bound to the limits and confines of a
reality she escapes daily in her mind.
Consumed By Darkness, by William Leer
Deep within a barren wasteland to void of light to describe,
There in that darkness where time is still and never thought of.
That is where you’ll find me, or should I say “never find me”
Because of course no one would venture to look.
Here I sit and sometimes pace, all alone, waiting,
What I wait for, not even I know, no one does.
I felt like this once in a dream, or was it a memory,
I am not sure, but I do know I wait…
Today I ran, to who, what or where I am not sure,
If I ran at all I am truly not certain, or if I went anywhere at all.
It all looks the same now, no matter what I do,
Why do anything at all… just wait…
I have felt something, to which direction I felt it I am not sure,
No matter which way I look nothing changes.
I am unsure how to approach this mountain, although it could be a canyon,
‘Tis confusing here, I want to leave but I do not know how.
My mind is weary, I know not when to sleep nor eat,
Or for that matter how I have not yet had the need, how strange??
Funny how I no longer have use for the things I once could not live without,
Somehow I no longer miss them, but would die for one of them just for comfort.
My body has a resemblance to pain; I felt it in my leg,
I reached down to massage it away, yet I couldn’t find my leg.
Now what did I do with that thing, I could have sworn it was there,
Although I just can’t seem to recall where there is.