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October, 2021
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Poems on this Page:







My Hummingbird

by Jenene Ravesloot
My fire-bringer. I can wear you like a pendant now that you are dead, imagine your feathers of iridescent blue slowly fading beneath three small disks of the palest hue. What an odd trophy, you—A precious curio. You will be my world shriveled to a thumb where the blood thrums—my fallen brave warrior with a stilled heart, stopped song.


(First published by Highland Park Poetry, 2021)







Pandemic Pounds

by Marie Samuel
Once again we face the fact that 
Isolating may have its charms but 
New habits and idle snacking 
Create an excess pounds alarm

And other side effects remain
We forget to walk our daily norm
Watching life unfold on screens
Cannot use nearly enough energy 

So now we try to shed the gains
That again creep daily as we mope 
The time has come, it's really here
To fight the silent enemy of sloth. 

A plan to move and shake our stuff
So clearly strive to save our selves
No treats nor teas between meals 
Past Health culprits we now shelve

Each day means  resolves are made
We won't forget to keep on track
And firmly keep resolves we make
Pandemic pounds not forever facts.


(From Here We Go Again)







March Madness

by Marilyn Peretti
Now it's competition
to see who got
their vaccination —
mine was Monday,
yours is next week
his is Thursday,

vaccines pouring 
out in piles of needles
so ready to stick you
into harmless health.

After one long year
the double mask
has been relieved,
at least for times with
fellow-immunized,

a cover which hid 
my anger, and sadness; 
feelings twisted into 
loneliness, boredom 
and madness. 

Vaccine Days are here again,
the skies above are blue again,
let's sing a song of cheer again,
Vaccine Days are here again! 







Room at the Inn

by Court Williams
The vast desert wilderness is silent,
As a sea of stars stare down in mute
Witness to the desperate, furtive glances
The two scared travelers give to the night.
 
As they approach the House of Bread,
Tears well as fears are confirmed.
Desperate pleas denied, apologies given,
As there is no room at the inn.
 
Tucked in with the animals, as if
Beasts themselves, a blessed horrible event unfolds.
Legs spread, skin flushes, sweat beads,
Moans and cries are heard as blood and water flow.
 
In the midst of simple animals and dung,
With straw clinging to wet, sticky skin,
And a backdrop of panting and tears,
God With Us pushes out of the woman who said, "yes."
 
Men stand at the stable door, simple
Faced and quiet, the dirty, smelly,
Lowest of the low in society, yet sent by
Angels to worship a king.
 
The soon-to-be fugitives, collapsed in exhaustion,
Sleep fitfully amongst the beasts,
Tomorrow they will be strangers in a foreign land,
All because there was no room at the inn.
 
For two millennia, an implacable God
Has searched for a place, a heart of love
In which to rest, in which to be born
Again into the creation he loved into being.
 
In the midst of humanness and temptation,
Living lives of fear desperately seeking certainty,
Divine love meets a conflicted humanity,
And finds no room at the inn.
 
And yet, a poor soul, suffering in need,
Alone in a world of so many, invited by God,
Reaches out a hand in love to another,
And the child of eternity finds room at the inn.







My Barren Hamlet

by Charlotte Digregorio
I wake to a sunbeam and the robins' chitchat,
fifteen long miles from the heart of Chicago.
From my window, I see a mother fox and two kits
with thick tails, crossing the neighbor's yard.

They are bold now, with few humans in sight,
leaving the nearby woods to explore and hunt
possums and skunks.

Rising to take my morning walk, I don
virus gear, a homemade checkered ski mask
and old cloth gloves once worn for dusting.  

Streets, normally vibrant with quaint Tudor
buildings, are bare on a Saturday. 
The homeless man is missing. There are
no children riding their bikes on sidewalks.

A fawn stops in the middle of the street,
staring from a distance. Am I strange,
masked, like someone from
"The Twilight Zone"?

I see the corner where the violinist
performed, scratching tunes in the wind 
for a few wrinkled bills. I had pitied him 
for his grating notes, tossing a few coins
into his worn case.

In the town square, there's an artful bust of 
Honest Abe, face marred 
by a disposable mask.

I pass the shuttered gallery that had portraits
of ordinary people. Their penetrating eyes
told me stories.

Gone is the farmers' market with a bounty of color. 
Picking through crates of lush tomatoes, red apples,
succulent peaches and pears was my pastime.

Most of all, I miss the faces of grandparents and
toddlers who idled along brick-paved streets, 
living in the moment.







YOU SAID

by Phil Flott
the baby would cry.
All I heard were mourning doves' minuets.
You said the girl's feet would root
to the finer concrete aggregate.
She proved to be a wispy weeping willow seed.

You thought masked brigands would ram your door.
They showed you the hidden exit they'd found.
You said the pine trees would sere into a popping fire.
You didn't say they sheltered in the mountains
from the persistent wind.

I knew all that before.
I could see the sway in them,
feel their gentle green,
their ancient speech,

sap rising into their leaves,
landmarks for me.







Sacred Music

by Emory D. Jones
(A gloss on the following lines from "The Aeolian Harp" By Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Methinks it should have been impossible Not to love all things in a world so filled; Where the breeze warbles and the mute still air Is Music slumbering on her instrument.) Methinks it should have been impossible Not to feel the rhythm of the spheres, The joyous music of the Lord's which still In undertones so permeates our ears— Methinks it should have been impossible Not to love all things in a world so filled With symphonies of His created score With chords so firm and melody that's trilled By every living thing that we adore— Not to love all things in a world so filled Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air Is but the pause before the music swells Again in great crescendo of our prayer Of praise to Him from everyone who dwells Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air Is Music slumbering on her instrument In dreams of the eternal song to Him Who orchestrates the harmonies He meant To elevate our souls—our silent hymn Is Music slumbering on her instrument.






Phraseology

by Arthur Voellinger
If you refer to
"Throwing someone 
under the bus"
    
Distinguishing
between literal
and figurative
is a must
    
Language, of course,
need not be chilling
unless, of course,
there is a killing






The Ides of All Hallow

by Marie Asner
One by one, in late afternoon, 
the cul-de-sacs dim to charcoal gray,
as autumn grasshoppers prepare
a path for moon rays that crackle
through dry leaves lingering
by door after door, promising
a visit come midnight
when cat-shaped clouds arrive.
 
In someone's front yard,
Inflatable Pumpkin is flattened by a prick
from a sharpened claw that slowly
withdraws into shadows.
 
Tonight, a forest behind the houses,
is a meeting place for those
who walk the Earth and those
who live under the Earth.
 
Halloween in this time period,
is a parlor trick compared to
Days of Olde,
when the real things were not
made of plastic, and brooms
did fly across an orange moon
with lightning in its eyes.






A String of Islands

by Melissa Huff
A persistent fog sits on the future
I can hear its breathing
can feel its murky gloom
just inches away
behind its expressionless mask

yet this morning
sunlight floods
my eyes while I sit
sipping Earl Grey
in the courtyard

two cardinals whistle
in tandem
trading phrases

I trim dead leaves
from last year's oregano
fingers coated
in brown dust nudge
the new growth
to claim its space

dirt softened by rain
exhales its earthy scent
as I kneel to rescue all
the daffodils
before tonight's frost

each moment clears
a tiny space
in the fog

each moment
an island of now






autumn aside

by jacob erin-cilberto
share my shadow
 
 
         connection lives within
 
and the sun of love
 
              only hints of a burn
 
share my shadow
 
                   there is a shade of maples
 
      in my heart.






Amazons

by Caroline Johnson
High in the Rockies, I used to walk the Continental
Divide, my companions Dall sheep and aspen.
I brushed by lichen, forget-me-nots, lime green
moss growing on large boulders. So long ago

I embraced the sky as I hiked tundra and valleys.
To look at the mountains set me free. I trekked,
ambled, climbed, camped. I aimed to go far away
from civilization, found others along the way.

Now, post-surgery, my scars permanently tattooed
on my chest, I don't hike the Continental Divide
anymore. I don't stop to smell lavender, thistle,
aster or Indian Paintbrush. Instead, I dream 

of fourth-century BC Scythian women who rode
horses into battle. What spears! What iron daggers!
What perfect quivers and bronze-tipped arrows!
Oh! The perfection of a Scythian bow—small, powerful.

Amazon Sisters, what gifts did you give Penthesilea,
your queen? What wounds did you procure? You
smoked pot, got tattooed. You were buried maimed,
scarred, some with legs askance like an isoceles 

triangle, as if you were still riding. Next to you lay
horse bones and tackle. I wonder if I could make
a spear out of lodgepole pine, deciduous leaves,
Rocky Mountain maple, fireweed and harebell. 

Maybe I should pray to Cybele, goddess of the moon,
like the Amazons did, ask her to carve a path of light
to protect Pink Sisters before they go to battle, before 
they become warriors and go into the dark night.


(Previously published in Verse-Virtual, July 2021)






It's So Amazing

by Idella Pearl Edwards
It's so amazing...
How do geese fly in perfect formation
Like an arrow pointing to God?
How does a beautiful flower emerge 
From a seed long dormant in the sod?

It's so amazing...
How do the dolphins know how to commune,
Each one with the other?
And is it clear how a brand new baby
Forms a bond with its mother?

It's so amazing...
Why does the sun never burn itself out
Although it keeps burning and burning?
How does a brain, full of knowledge and facts,
Keep on learning and learning?

It's so amazing...
How does a cut on the finger heal
So you can't even tell it was there?
Why does starvation not occur
In the long hibernation of a bear?

It's so amazing...
How does the precious blood of Jesus
Cleanse me from my sin?
How do His love and faithfulness
Give me such peace within?

It's so amazing!







Uplifting Gift

by Rita Yager
every day as I walked
into our high school classroom
I just couldn't wait to see you
your smile, dazzling
eyes twinkling, breathy laugh
you made me feel so appreciated
I felt that I could
never do enough for you
watching your body
raised up into a Hoyer lift
swung onto a couch
every day after lunch
to let you stretch out
so we could perform
range of motion
on your twisted limbs
you taught me
with quick stiff fingers
to program the newest
voice enabling apps
onto my iPad
you love having people
chase you in gym class
hiding the refs whistle
in your lap
you deserve so much more
with bent body
stuck in that wheelchair
braces on both legs
contracted arms
garbled speech,
it was you
who gave me purpose
yet you were the one
sitting all day
in a wheeled prison
not bitter
never in a foul mood.






My Role ?

by William Lederer
Relax.Take it easy.Let it come.
Be it the universe or the One.
So much to see but I must choose
or be blindsided by the muse.
		
All is wonderful in the end.
Meadows on Mars round the bend.
That cancer under my shapely breast.
Think of the pyramids and get your rest.

Look at my face .Then look at yours.
Don't we have splendid features?
Kiss one then kiss two.
Sigh,cry and be through.

Don't tell me a thing.I've heard it all.
Just keep me running down a winding hall. 
But if I stop don't tell me to stay.
I've been there done that hey nonny nay!

For I'm an actor.Surprise me with a bit. 
Tell me it's a melodrama and I look like shit.
Don't worry. I'll perform as best I can.
Just give me the will to be a man.






Burnt Island Memory

by Lucia Haase
Today, the harbor's cool and calm
nearby Burnt Island shore.
The gulls cry out and there's a balm
that taps upon my door.

Ghost fog has lifted past the morn
and now across the bay,
my view expands as sun adorns
the sparkling waves that sway

in kinds of lyrics.  Winds rejoice.
To me it is a song
that calls one in a misty voice
to harbor low and long.

The lighthouse stands.  It is as I—
a kind of sentinel
that gazes out to sea and sky
and beckons my inkwell.







The Beautiful Other

by Kathy Cotton
I know you now
as I knew you then:
unfurled with jonquils,

still dusted with pollen
of first bloom,
nonage painted in pastels

and pale auras of spring,
even as years unfolded
beneath your feet.

You, the fecund meadow
grown and mown
a thousand times,

you, reddened into wild rose,
into flaming maple,
a sparkle of ice,

moonlit snowfall—
and still a lingering whisper
of chicks and mayfly wings:

that beautiful one you were,
speaking from within
this beautiful other you've become. 


(From Common Ground, 2020)






Quilting Circle

by Michael Escoubas
After a quilt designed by Sharmagne Leland-St. John
The Circle met every two weeks,
ten ladies came each bringing
squares they had sewn at home.

They arranged them piece by piece
into a tapestry of truth about life.
It's what you did in Appalachia,

in the remote hills of Kentucky where
folks were poor and didn't expect or care
about gettin' rich. They had somethin'

special, these ladies, because they
were as faithful to the Circle as to Holy
Communion which they seldom missed.

One day a girl appeared, a young'n,
as they liked to say. Seein' that she
was dreadful down, almost to tears,


those ladies embraced the new spirit
among them. They didn't pry into her
life, instead offered sugared tea

and a biscuit spread thick with butter'n
marmalade. By and by the girl began
to tell how she was abused, and given

a parting slap, told she was nothin'
more than trash. She knew of drastic
means that could be done . . . that's when

tears commenced, dampening what
was left of her blue denim dress. She would
later say she had never known such kindness.


This is why, to this day, I love those Circle ladies:
You see, it was my own life that they saved.


(Selected from Images: A Collection of
Ekphrastic Poetry, by Michael Escoubas)






What Makes Us Whole

by Karen Fullett-Christensen
What breaks our hearts are all the things we can't control
and then there is the tiny thread
gold and shimmering:  acceptance
barely seen, but doing its work
to mend the tears, fill the breaches
only shown in a certain light
rainbow prisms
gentle tugs, until the end
when the heart itself is hidden beneath
all the fault lines, all the cracks,
broken paths where we have stumbled
the fits and starts
that have made us whole.






Dew Drop

by Hahn Chau
A fresh dewdrop like a tear drop
                              Falling from its eyes 
Display through 
                              the tiny crystal silver drops
Lingering on the exquisite 
                              Soft petal rose
Quenching the green 
                               Thirst flourish leaf
Through the early misty morning rise
              waiting for the gentleness caressing 
With warmth nurturing sun bright 
              Ease away the misery bitterness frosty cold 
With a reviving hope and embrace 
                         To uplifting the weary soul 






In Pieces

by Donna Pucciani
Morning fractures the darkness, 
then divides itself among motes of sun.
Before reality filters dreams,

my father visits, his Parkinsonian tremors 
meeting my mind's lost reach for the past,
his square hands once spinning a tennis racket,
or, eyes on the sky, readying his serve. 

Dawn brings the visage of cousins 
across an ocean. I breakfast while they lunch. 
They will die without my farewell. 
I send books in English for the children. 

Years fall apart like brittle bones, 
broken toys, syllables of a harvest moon 
turning tides into undertow.

Time now to rise from my bed 
and chase the day, which disappears ahead 
like stars that die before I can catch them.


(First published in Lucky Jefferson)






Halloween Heroes

by Mark Hudson
I had a dream last night,
I had the whole Friday the 13th set,
DVDS that made me upset,
because they brought me fright.

I wanted to go to the record store,
and exchange them for rock 'n' roll.
Either way, I hoped I had a soul.
But for Halloween, I just want more.

I remember when I saw Freddie Kruger,
for the very first time, it brought fear.
It was at the house of two girls from New Trier.
I would have preferred to get some sugar.

I was a freshman in high school, then,
full of raging hormones as a youth.
It wasn't my fault, it was the truth.
I wanted the girls to treat us like men.

But they put Freddy Krueger on the TV,
and their mother drove me home.
That's why I write this poem.
The girls then laughed at my poverty.

You see, New Trier was the school for the rich,
not a place I would ever attend,
a place hard to make a friend.
Freddy Krueger would not find his niche.

For some reason I came back the next week.
I wore a black t-shirt, a mistake.
They wore pink sweaters, they were fake.
They looked at me like some kind of freak.

Although my high school years prepared me for
worse things than this character Freddy.
Or even Iron Maiden's Eddy.
It prepared me for a world-wide war.

So for Halloween, I won't be scared,
there's nothing worse than being wed.
Not even if you happen to be dead.
If death comes, I am prepared.

Look out the window, haven't you heard?
The zombie apocalypse is here!
Everybody is living in fear!
Think of all the things that occurred!

So I look back on my teen years and laugh,
they who laugh first, laugh last.
I'm laughing at my tortured past.
Die, Freddy Krueger! You psychopath!






Night-Blooming Cereus

by William Marr
a child
awakened one night by his mother
to see it blooming
petal by petal
but in the dim light
his sleepy head drooped
before it withered
though he knew
it would appear later in life
over and over again
 

in the wilderness where flowers bloom
at the water edge
where light and shadows intertwine
in the white clouds drifting over the treetops
a beautiful tune
a line of poetry
a glance
a smile
he often catches a glimpse
of its grace
 

tonight under the bright light
it finally appears
in splendid, perfumed attire
patiently waiting for him
to wake up his long-asleep mother
and watch together, mesmerized
a memory
that has never withered






The Banquet

by Wilda Morris
We might remember the teacher's name,
the moniker on the airline agent's nametag,

but who knows the names of those
who pick up garbage; trim trees between
 
sidewalk and street, sterilize toilets at O'Hare,
Heathrow or Charles de Gaulle Airport; scrub stairs,

halls and cafeterias at schools our children attend?
When we enter the gates of heaven, if there is

a hereafter somewhere beyond time and space,
the custodian will sit near the left hand
 
of the Almighty; the man at the shoeshine stand
who polishes dusty footwear will kneel
 
at the feet of his savior and be raised up
to a place at the messianic banquet

where J. P. Morgan or John D. Rockefeller
will polish his golden sandals; and my mother—

who spent years in a white uniform changing sheets,
cooling feverish foreheads, cleaning up vomit,

and emptying bedpans at the University Hospital—
will be an honored guest at the head table.






Summer Day

by Lennart Lundh
(after the painting by Christian Schloe)
Garbed in gentle shades
of beech bark and lilac,
she sits on sturdy privets.

Her cheeks are sun-kissed.
Breezes weave dark hair. 
The clouds hold no rain. 

A curious bird observes
the platter's rotation
on the old gramophone. 

The sound they hear
is the ancient song
of flowers praising light.






Fragments

by Sherri Baker
A small stream of light peeks
through the curtain, scatters fragments
of my past around me—
falling gently through my fingers,
sailing silently to the dusty floor,
mixing with dreams I had for the future,
dreams, not for me,
but for the ones I love. . .
things that will never be.
This sadness that has settled into my life
is knowing that all I have touched
has become stained.  Right or wrong,
I believe it started with me:
the common denominator in a family
riddled with pain. Picking up pieces
of what anyone else might see as pictures
of a beautiful family, all I see is sadness
behind thinly veiled smiles. All I wish for,
is to disappear.






Little Red Honda

by Rick Sadler
I am on my way to San Antonio
As by way of my GPS alone I go,
A pure voice of the Mystical Rose
Nestles in my Ears detects repose,
The Diva of the nice Blue Bonnets
Is growing along the road in sets,
Guide me to my daughter's suite
Who am proud as a Peacock, sweet!
As in the city of St. Anthony that I view
On the Horizon I can see her Avenue,
Thus cruising down a long highway in
A little red Honda car as to see my kin,
I hope the weather Mom is there above
To make the driving scene safe for all
That are no tears should ever befall,
Vast Spirit Mother of the long highway
To our Oracle I most definitely will pray,
Take way my anxieties and all my fears
That another day of my story still appears,
In a relationship that's a special something
Between a father and daughter kind of sing,
Won't you watch over me my Morning Star?
As hover horizontally over my little red car






Pioneer Ten

by Jim Hanson
Pioneer Ten died January 23, 2003
its last message weak and garbled
then silent not to be heard again
gone in space 7.6 billion miles away.

Its whereabouts is now unknown
tracked last in route to the constellation of Taurus
the great white bull standing in the sky
representing Zeus once the greatest of gods
perhaps still there in the lives of believers
to receive Pioneer Ten and listen to its records
and Carl Sagan talk about billions and billions.

All living entities may end in void places
gods or movers or creators to be sure
also sentient beings and Heidegger's being
not of the dust of planets or stars
but of the cosmic or over soul
to be found beyond the constellations
and the space and time of human existence.
Then again, where may be the place of rest
for Pioneer Ten gone out of this world
like Eddington's infinite arrow
or for you and me at the end
of our short time of life?
Our destination is a destiny
not with presence in this world
but with absence out of this world
where nothing may be known
as accounted for by our cosmology
or dreamt of in our philosophy
or promised to in our eschatology.

We are destined to venture out into
dimensions before the beginning
of time and beyond edges of space.
through the stars of Taurus that light
the way to endless possibilities
still explored by Pioneer Ten.






An Homage to All Inspiring Poets

by Carole R. Bolinski
There's a tear I can't dry,
it keeps my heart moist and in want
of remembering your words.

It's the unexplained images
you've given words to,
those choice syllables that
make leftovers taste like caviar.

It's your breath of compassion
that turns the wheel inside me,
the scent of a deep-seated truth.
A bubble of emotion
cries to surrender.

Your world always seems
to prick something in mine,
a realization, something learned about me
that lay hidden and secret,
because you've found a way
to make me shine.






Never Give Up

by Doreen Ambrose-Van Lee
When you feel life is showing you its bottom tier
	and friends and family are being terse and abrupt,
My friend, keep on pushing, keep on fighting and please, never give up.
When the days seem longer than normal and the nights seem shorter,
My friend, please don't look at it as a curse, look at it as Divine Order.
When the words you want to say won't reveal themselves but your 
	feelings overwhelm you and overflow your cup,
My friend, I say to you, don't falter, don't look back, and by all
	means NEVER GIVE UP..
When it seems that every door you approach is like trying to decipher
	the combination to a bank vault,
My friend, I am telling you to keep on trying, keep on pushing,
	don't cry, don't place blame or
	fault.
When circumstances and situations don't seem to be in your favor
	and everything you produce seems odd,
My friend, all I can say to you is to NEVER GIVE UP because all
	the while you are being carried by God.






Marking the Trail for April Fools in Zion

by Barbara Funke
Dark's First of April elves were hard at work
to stack the graduated river rock
in sight of where the Virgin sheds its shadows
and Narrows trail-flow
rushes from aeolian ribs of blushing Navajo sandstone.
Two hundred cairns stand tall on graveled shores
in playful witness
to the date and snowmelt's gush.
Markers in legions raise their droll salute
to those who sojourn and emerge alive.
 
For those who don't,
who learn the current's punch line but too late—
misguided, baptized wildly, struck with awe—
cairns rise as monuments
that hail with hope,
lead with a gentle hand,
announce two hundred times,
See, here you go.
Your path resumes right here,
right here, right here, right here,
right here . . . .






Harold's Halleluja

by Michael Talaga
This is a special event called: Harold's Hallelujah
So a huge congratulations are in order to ya
You have waited long enough to see the day of your retirement
It is all basically for your health in this environment
Now let us party on during "Harold's Hallelujah"
You can certainly rest assured we are not trying to fool ya
No more nose to the grindstone and shoulder to the wheel
Just spend quality time with your family and a touch of zeal
"Harold's Hallelujah" is what you sing to the Lord your Provider
Because He has broadened your horizons and made them wider
The Almighty also made this big day a wondrous possibility
For all of the time and effort you put into the best of your ability
And being such an important asset at your facility
Therefore, you may put your mind at ease and in neutral
Knowing the years of hard work and labor have proven fruitful
Thank your Maker that you are finally retired
Yes, you are free to sleep late and do anything you desire
My dear cousin, you are blessed with God's Holy Fire
"Harold's Hallelujah" says:
'Goodbye, employment-hello, enjoyment!'






downpour

by Tom Chockley
downpour
a walk in the park
waits for tomorrow






Destination Sevilla's Warm Winter Embrace

by Emma Alexandra Kowalenko
Beholden to truck drivers, motorists, 
we hop into yet another stranger's car.
Hitchhikers in Europe eight months plus,
Timberline tent, carried on our backs, 
traveling on our own two feet. We repeat,
this camping life can't be beat.

We respect,
Volkswagen camper vans, 
towed camper, motorhomes,
cars of all sizes and makes.  
We, rely on borrowed wheels. 
Next stop, auto stop, 
destination warm winter.

Find a campsite? 
Generous ride givers,
Confidence, accompany us. 
in gratitude to borrowed wheels, 
in cities, towns, villages, parks, farms,
we pitch our tent, our home,
traveling on our own two feet. We repeat,
this camping life can't be beat. 

Migratory, hitchhiking Estados Unidenses, 
United Statesians, USians, camouflaged
in green Timberline tent cloth.
French border, behind us, hola Espaņa.
Wanderlust brings us to you Sevilla.
Backpacks have everything we need, 
travelling on our own two feet. We repeat,
this camping life can't be beat.

"Next stop, auto stop, south, south, south...
This stop, Sevilla. Southern haven for idyllic camping.
Sevilla, protect us from winter's chill, 
January, February, March, April...
Sevilla, envelop us in your sunny embrace."







Walk in My Moccasins

by Teresa Harris
Walk in my moccasins and try to understand
How to roam when you have no land

Travel swiftly and stealthy with all your might
Move like a panther in the dark of the night

Step with the ancestors and remember the loss of kin
Feel the formidable warmth of skin against skin

Through leaf covered forests where so many have cried
The hard red rock and the sting of cacti

Be aware of the earth as you stand tall on solid ground
Travel the winding path but make no sound






Moon's Call

by Irfanulla Shariff
Last night, the moon
Woke me up
To look at the stars
The smiling beauties
I then realized
How glamorous
This night is
Moon's call
Got me indulged
In the gorgeousness
Of Mother Nature
Oh! Moon
Indeed, you are a magician
By birth






That Evening in the Fall

by Gari Light
As Pushkin* said: 
the time when eyes are charmed  
dispenses favors so cautiously and gently,
it's almost reckless,
and so inherently it slows and beholds,
as if bewildered, stopping for a while,
and then proceeds towards this phase
of miracles and tenderness in autumn,
so unpredictable and even borderline.
A trembling leaf announces farewell
to the remaining—very last of butterflies,
whose image, as celestially seen—
reflects in Scorpio, which is a stubborn woman
so tired of appearing to be fragile,
and yet she does appear so 
while veiled in dancing solo.

It is that seasonal forgiving
that streamlines the blessings
and the novelty of love...
Or so it seemed during the springtime of emotions
while settling through the summer into this
untouchable prelude, with songs and teasing...
Becomes foreseeable and even sort of magic—
a sky that lately lingered quite low 
instead of rain dispenses snowy lace and covers all,
not following the rules, creating routes,
so carelessly imagined in flowing dreams
which vanish in the slow morning dusk,
defining as useless subtle movements
that for a bit controlled the narrative as such.


The glance discovers refuge in horizon,
and then it gradually, slowly disappears
while discovering—it is, of course the lake,
and not the ocean for a change,
that is imperative to knowing—indeed,
what Pushkin said so long ago, rules eternal 

*Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837) -
 was a Russian poet playwright and novelist. He is
 considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet.






The Light That Never Fades

by Mark Hammerschick
There's something about random memories that can stop time
how those cemented moments
bind us to ourselves
like Elmers glue from a lifetime
forgotten in musty moldy photo albums 
when there were no wrinkles no mistakes 
no lost opportunities no lost things left unsaid 
no unmade beds to make 
only the steps ahead to an unknown future 
where those first wobbly steps across the living room floor 
are all that mattered all that made our small lives magical 
as we forged those bonds those sinewy strands of light 
hurtling along at 186000 miles per second 
where every second mattered in the evolving story of self 
where the me of a me became something tangible something visceral 
like now when I hold your weathered whittled fingers
soft like the inside of a Twinkie creamy frothy foamy loamy
it's this moment that defines us 
and defies the certainty of this silent moment 
cradled together in a sterile white room scattered with blue and green lines 
how you never stayed within the lines never strayed into conformity 
forging a self, confident in its differenceness 
knowing that the meaning of living is loving 
and in that love we hug the lost raisins so they don't explode 
knowing in our heart of hearts that a raisin in the sun needs that sun 
needs that love to survive so we hold your hand 
and in that holding a life is lived
a life rises every day and a life sets every day 
and in that setting we remember those musty moldy moments 
like some foreign letters posted in the time to come and the time of the past 
in the hopes that the time now matters 
that the time now is a single strand 
connected to your eyes of pure blue brilliance depths unknown 
as infinity dances it's continuous jig 
in the light that never fades...






Needle's
Eye

by Alan Harris
seeming
triumphs,
  no avail

years of
striving,
  renounced

done,
  all deeds

enjoyed,
  all joys

bought,
  all toys

suffered,
  all pains

goods
nor
dollars
fitting
through
this
  eye

proceeding
keepless,
  cleansed

on ahead,
beyond this
strict way,
  light seen

atomless,
  now out
  and into


From 
Checkered
Opus






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