Friday, February 27, 2015

John Swain- Three Poems

The River Sang

The moon in urn
between your breasts
hangs a casting amulet.
I seized for breath
when I threw myself
into the pool
of blue snow melt
on the mountain
in the darkness
of a silent brown owl.
The sky is patient
with the grief of leaving
the whole we destroy.
The river of fish
sang with one voice,
I heard you speak
painting the trees
until we wake in the grace
of a cloud fire.
A white deer sprang
from the jawbone
in my hand
then disappeared
into clear water.

The Turning Hawk

With lightning in my eyes
I watched the turning red hawk turn white
against the winter trees.
The sleeping earth wakes in crystal lines
as the river shatters ice
moving to flood the oak bottomland forest.
My chapped lips groaned to hold the sun
in a maiden song dawn
until the passing hours took its antler shine.
Deep in the snow like a sky of nix roses,
I remained in the blinding white, drowned
with a brook horse riding.
Then the mirror fields flow 
into a grey palace for our desired privacies,
the ring of your world floats like a candle.

Sycamore Field

In the center of a field
one sycamore spread
from her breasts
under the curved horn
of white branches
toward the darkness
of the horizon forest,
the seer is a woman.
I crossed the depth
of untouched snow
for the owl in the well
of this tree’s mouth,
the clipping winds
filled with glass
to speak the meaning
of the hollow within.
In the winter evening,
she lives her body
under tarot blue robes
for a fire
burning our histories
in a cleansing incense
to the seekers
of her unending heart.

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Red Paint Hill published his first collection, Ring the Sycamore Sky.

Richard Schnap- A Poem


I see a grey ship
Blown by a bent wind
Over a poison sea

Under stars that weep
As they watch it fade
Toward a barren shore

Buried in shadows
That slowly open
Like a door that lies

At the end of a corridor
From which there can be
No returning

But high on its mast
Sits a silent bird
Beneath the darkening sky

As if it’s a guide
To find the last path
Beyond the edge of sight

Adreyo Sen- A Poem

The Muse

Does anyone ever know
a woman who is in repose?

Sitting, still, she could be
the delight of her graceful ease,
or the stern belief
in her rigid silences.

Standing on the touching slenderness of her feet
she may call the poet who resides in us
to admiring comparisons to an ageless
elm tree.  
But still be in the quiet arrest of her beauty,
a complete mystery.

In vain we read the elegance in her dress.
Vainer still are we 
in reading poetry in the wind's playfulness
with her hair.

Perhaps we know her only
when the faint melancholy of her lips
suggests the sweetness of a smile - 
a smile that perhaps is
the metaphor of her story,
or the first faint music
of a future she hopes to write.

Joseph Donnelly- A Poem

Creepy City trees
A tree touches me at night
Creepy shadows embrace my body
I shiver
Wanting to let go but he has too many arms
Pulling me in near the trunk
Showing me its bark
All moldy and grey
I’m too scared to tell the grounds keeper
Worried he will get chopped down
Made into fire wood
burned for everyone to see
The shadows hide other victims
They leap in and out of the darkness
Confident in a cowardly ways
Watching me struggle not to become them
In the day time I only see branches with blue birds
Singing sweet songs and making sounds of Spring
Last night’s thunder storm falls from their appendages
Making the ground too wet to walk on
People pass by and smile
Temporary daytime visitors
The ones who will never understand
Why the leaves fall to their own death

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen- Three Poems

two-fisted drinker
let me buy you 
the cab fare home

white moonlight
the color of her
late night prayer

no matter my words
this rock
isn’t interested

ayaz daryl nielsen, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (25+ years/125+ issues), homes for poems include Lilliput Review, SCIFAIKUEST, Shemom, Shamrock, Kind of a Hurricane, and! online at: bear creek haiku  poetry, poems and info

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Arif Ahmad- A Poem

Barack Hussein Obama

A person of color and you find the going a little rough
Feel a lot coming at you, some say tough luck

Now imagine you hold the top office in the world and that you are black

Welcome to the world of a man they call Barack

I cannot find a better example of the state of race in 2015 America than this one person

A man of color called unpatriotic, communist, liar, shown a finger in his face, that he was never a born American

Not to mention the new curse word, Muslim

If on the receiving end of all this is the President of the United States, what are the odds stacked against a child of color standing at a street corner

Yes when it comes to race in America we have come a long way and yet have some distance left to cover

Still the story here is not what has been hurled at him for the color of his skin

The story is his response or lack of to all this

The real story is of inspiration in the mold of Ali, King, and Mandela

That history would add another name to this distinguished list

That of Barack Hussein Obama

For carrying his color and poise the way he did

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Stefanie Bennett- A Poem

WEN & THE RED CANDLE ...Wen I-to, Executed in 1946    
Putting on my flag-ship colours,
My work boots, my worn gloves,
I go out to greet you, dark visitor.
You went by the way of the Western-bank.
You will rise, in that same place – this time
Carrying the whole of China with you.
Brother poet, the chronicles have been
Reshuffled: thankfully
Your works are no longer set alight.
No! I do not wish to cause discomfort, but
The news I bring is... desolate.
Millions now join you in exile.
Confidentially, there are no safe crossings;
And reason drifts with the river-wind.
We must turn again from the T’ ie-an-men.
All is circumspect, my dark visitor.
The garrisons of greed are treacherous and
Conduct slavery quite openly. The globe –,
The globe of precious change has shrunk
Ten thousand times since
You blessed it with your tears.
As you prophesised, the ‘dead water’ has risen.
Peking’s paper-ghosts are the same
As their Western counterparts.
You said... ‘build a bridge! ...cross over’ !
Instead, they built a star-ship to heaven
                    - A red sun so bright
None can see the way back...
I go out to greet you, dark visitor –,
Your old war-cry at my throat. Our white flag
Is no surrender,
                    Just a soiled heart
Tattered by grief.
{Previously published by Flinders University’s ‘Literary Responses to Asia’}
Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a novel, and a libretto. Her poems
have also been published by VerseWrights, Galway Review, Jelly Fish Whispers, Communion,
Shot Glass Journal, Aleola Journal, Bijou Poetry Review, IS&T, The New Verse News and
others. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee], she was born in Queensland,
Australia, in 1945.

Martin Willitts Jr- A Poem

Coming from a Dark County
There is no fitting of silence, no secrets
in stones huge as doors.
There is a solemn weariness to the dark.
Pieces of the world the birds cannot sing
without being shot.
Leave the forsaken behind.
Do not look back. The past is burning.
A shade is pulled where secrets hide.
Someone swings a lantern in the fields
like a single firefly.
Huge stones open like fresh dug graves.
A crow sound flushes the woods.
A sorrel tilts its head towards that disappearance,
anticipating a week of tremendous loses.
The horizon of wind has overtaken breath.
Bitterness extends to the man in the yard
until his anger takes a turn for the worse.
Martin Willitts Jr won the 2014 International Dylan Thomas Poetry Award for the centennial. He has over 20 chapbooks, and 8 full length collections including forthcoming “How to Be Silent” (FutureCycle Press), and “God Is Not Amused With What You Are Doing In Her Name” (Aldrich Press).

Denny E. Marshall- Art

                                                          Behind A Small Web

Scott Thomas Outlar- Two Poems

Cutting the Circle
Slaying the angels
one at a time
with fire, brimstone and bloodletting
then onto the archetypes
drained of all vitality
with a deathblow to collective consciousness

Leave the puddle of chaos
whimpering in defeat
with soggy tarot card enchantments

It’s out with the old and
in with the new

No cycles this time
as we march in a straight line
toward the future

Daily Bread
I will work for food.
I will work instead of food.
I will work in spite of food.
I will work because it is my food.

Scott Thomas Outlar spends the hours flowing and fluxing with the (sometimes chaotic) tide of the Tao River while laughing at and/or weeping over the existential nature of life. More of his words can be read at