Archive | Poetry

A Small Matter Gone Swimming by John Grey

I tried to drown my anger in the Pacific Ocean,
in the shadow of my favorite sweeping dunes.
I figured that, waist deep in water, my irritation would feel misplaced.
Or replaced. Like my footprints, now foaming white.

My anger was knocked down by waves.
Its nose flooded with salt.
A jellyfish, proponent of that most alien of stings.
stole its virulent thunder.

Digging in sand, I startled a tiny crab.
Fuming as I was, I didn’t crush it.
It zigzagged away from me and anger doesn’t do that.
Rage is so linear. It spreads wider but it doesn’t turn corners.

Finally, the sun took aim and blow-torched whatever remained.
At dusk, I strolled the beach, a movement anathema to anger.
Ocean and horizon, long shoreline, pale sky:
It’s the job of abundance to make a man’s fury small.

About the Author: John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.

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I Play Hooky from Work on Wednesday and Take a Road Trip by Pat West

Sixty-five miles west of Chicago,
I turn south on Route 23.
Here the landscape’s
dotted with white two-story farmhouses,
red barns, and gravel roads that crisscross.
Rows and rows of corn whispering
all the way to Iowa.

So this is rural Illinois on an August
afternoon. Hollyhocks hunch over
from the weight of purple and bright pink
blossoms, wide front porches with swings
and rocking chairs welcome farm folk
after chores.

Out here it’s all so flat,
as if the summer sky’s come down
and pressed this land level with the horizon.
Riding alone, I take in the mix
of freshly turned soil, pollen-thick air
and the long upward-winding curve
of a train whistle.

A lanky man walks down the driveway
to check the mailbox,
all the time keeping an eye on the road,
like he’s watching for someone to wave to.

I feel like stopping the car
right in the middle of the road.
Instead, I raise my hand palm up
and leave it out
gliding over rooftops and fields.

About the Author: Pat West

PatWestBio

Pat Phillips West lives in Olympia, WA. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, her work has appeared in Haunted Waters Press, Persimmon Tree, VoiceCatcher, San Pedro River Review, Slipstream, Gold Man Review and elsewhere.

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Still Life with Sid Vicious by Robert Beveridge

for Jeanne Volpe

“I mean, once started, I
can’t not be with you.”–Chris Stroffolino, “Kiss and Run”

Could I be sure
is what I’m askingl
what I want to know
could I be sure
that you wouldn’t run off
with the neighbor’s cat

or eat all the cajun sunflower seeds
before you come up to bed?

The garlic
at dinner last night
was delicious
spinach and cheese

but the cat didn’t like it
so I had you for another night
without too much fear
of losing you to your ex
at least temporarily

it always seems
like that cat, Sid Vicious
with the stubby tail
noses around where you grow
those Mexican sunflowers
where you like to take me
and taunt me with your body
show flashes of breast in public
as if on the beach where you can
just drop the top of your bikini

I could take you to Nassau
and just forget to buy
the tickets home (this
would get you away
from your ex)

but you insist
we take Sid Vicious
and they don’t allow cats
on that kind of white-sand beach
and where else would we live anyway?

We sat on your back porch last night
and drank whiskey from your roommate
Roxanne’s most expensive green glasses
you cuddled the cat and kept
your nipples hidden

the flowers weren’t up yet
so I just sat and stared
at the view of I-95
you like so much

if this were a drug
it would have to be methaqualone
’cause things
move just too damn slow
around here

you look sexy in advice
it tends to shower you
in white like Nassau sand
but I can still reach through it
and touch your skin

so please
get that cat off your lap
and that mind off your ex
come sit down with me
and let me tell you
all about the garlic plants
I grow with my spinach
and sunflowers in Nassau

and how nice the weather
is down there
this time of year

About the Author: Robert Beveridge

Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Borrowed Solace, Dodging the Rain, and Twyckenham Notes, among others.

The Demands of Art by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

Maybe I gave up a social life
so I could write poems
but since that same gathering
of people with mouths moving,
idle words slithering, empty laughs
braying into non-listening ears
is what drains me, turns me wild-
eyed, desperate to escape,
I’m not at all sure I’ve given up
anything. What I value
is found in quiet, music
in sounds of nature, solitude
the nurturing core with a few
good friends for warmth
and connection.

About the Author: Patricia Wellingham-Jones

PatriciaWellingham-JonesPatricia Wellingham-Jones is a widely published former psychology researcher and writer/editor. She has a special interest in healing writing, with poems recently in The Widow’s Handbook (Kent State University Press). Chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: poems about breast cancer, End-Cycle: poems about caregiving, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, Voices on the Land and Hormone Stew.

Recessive Eyes by Richard King Perkins II

Sunlight flees northward,

prismatic losses
escaping through a net of time.

I’m running in place
on the black and white chevron rug

while you dance everywhere

throughout our bungalow
on the gulf shore.

Glowing from the inside
to the simplicity of my eyes

you’re untouchable—
until you understand touch

and I find myself saying yes
to your binding twine of love.

Triangles and wind chimes
colorless
as recessive eyes

I could say it’s the exertion

but it’s you
who’s held motionless,

the thief of my breath
and all things that fly—

there’s only so much to say
about clouds

until you look at clouds.

About the Author: Richard King Perkins II

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.

Precise Ritual by Rona Laban

Night after night
it happens like this.
Lured to write she picks up the pen,
as if she had something to say,
as if inner turmoil could be explained away.
Polished with a few choice words,
like conflict and despair.
Shooed off like a stray dog,
made to hush, like a recalcitrant child,
or soothed like only a lover can.

About the Author: Rona Laban

Rona Laban is a medical professional. She’s been a copywriter, as well as an editor for a published writer. Her poetry has been published in poetry anthologies and her haikus have appeared in Extract(s)Daily Dose of Lit. Online Magazine. She was the facilitator of a local poetry group and has been a feature reader at the Plymouth Center for the Arts.

After a Relentless Winter by Pat West

you come with a slow strut
and soft buckle
of your body against mine.

Winter’s low, weak light
and even less warmth, over. Now
the sun rises high and strong,

bringing that particular alchemy
of air and earth. The rich pungent smell
of wetness. The earthy musk of damp dirt

after many months,
I open the window
and let you climb in.

I inhale long and deep, remove my apron
like someone drugged
and stumble out the back door

straight into your tenderness,
and the return
of what was absent: crocuses, daffodils

and tulips. Each a splash of color
on the canvas of nature.
A passion stirs within me,

as I sprawl under a pink canopy
of cherry blossoms giddy
in the arms of spring.

About the Author: Pat West

PatWestBio

Pat Phillips West lives in Olympia, WA. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, her work has appeared in Haunted Waters Press, Persimmon Tree, VoiceCatcher, San Pedro River Review, Slipstream, Gold Man Review and elsewhere.

Beginnings and Endings by Bella Cirovic

A refreshing way to begin your day.
For you know not what may come.
Add a simple layer of softness with a bunch of wildflowers.
Their color and aroma awaken the muse and brighten your mood.

A refreshing way to end the day.
The events of which are now long done.
Sit underneath the sun and breathe.
Allow the warm rays to restore a sense of calm in your soul.

About the Author: Bella Cirovic

Bella Cirovic BioBella Cirovic is a photographer and writer who lives with her husband and daughter in the suburbs outside of NYC. She writes on the subjects of self care, body love and nourishment, crystals, essential oils, and family life. Catch up with Bella at her blog: She Told Stories

Holiday Plans by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

No need to pay for a holiday
beside a mountain stream,
I live it daily by a valley creek.
Over this morning’s early tea
I watched swallows swoop
against blue sky, two young robins
cavorted in the sycamores
punctuated by the rattle
of a passing kingfisher.
Over coffee a great blue heron
glided past like a winged
ancient creature, a garter snake
slithered over the bank.
All I have to do is show up
and pay attention, there’s no limit
to the pleasures found at home.

About the Author: Patricia Wellingham-Jones

PatriciaWellingham-JonesPatricia Wellingham-Jones is a widely published former psychology researcher and writer/editor. She has a special interest in healing writing, with poems recently in The Widow’s Handbook (Kent State University Press). Chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: poems about breast cancer, End-Cycle: poems about caregiving, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, Voices on the Land and Hormone Stew.

Feathers by Patricia Wellham-Jones

Gently I place today’s hawk feather
amidst the others bundled
in my grandmother’s
cut-glass tumbler.

Its bold brown and white stripes
contrast with the barn owl’s
rust smudges on cream.

A trio of dusty black buzzard spikes
form a background, graceful
arches from an unfortunate
rooster bracket the group

and tucked into the foreground
the glossy feathers of smaller birds,
scrub jay, crow, kestrel and dove.
I can’t bear to throw away

these gifts dropped on lawn,
driveway, road from birds
busy about their lives,
enriching mine.

About the Author: Patricia Wellingham-Jones

PatriciaWellingham-JonesPatricia Wellingham-Jones is a widely published former psychology researcher and writer/editor. She has a special interest in healing writing, with poems recently in The Widow’s Handbook (Kent State University Press). Chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: poems about breast cancer, End-Cycle: poems about caregiving, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, Voices on the Land and Hormone Stew.

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