Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jennifer Lagier- 3 Poems & Photos


This old girl has endured storm winds,
salt mist, another cycle of drought.
Time and termites have conspired to topple;
severely deformed, she still holds her ground.
Blackbirds and squirrels invade with impunity,
navigate sagging limbs, explore bark and roots.
Her trunk bends from dowager humps, spine
twisted, branches lopped leaving silvery scars.
Recognizable landmark, she clings to hillside,
keeps hikers on the trail, points lost wanderers home.

Vista Point at Leffingwell Landing

Sun slides downhill toward ocean
as a ranch wagon drawn by
identical gold Percherons
clatters along motel row.
Seagulls and pelicans
ride cooling wind currents,
flaunt aerodynamics, glide
north above radiant beach.
Moonstones rim gilded surf,
accentuate flaming sky,
invoke indigo nightfall
above burnished bay.


Swollen planet glows, silverplates
oak forest, floats above pine.
Crows and turkey vultures vanish.
Woodpeckers have called it a night.
Roof and walls seem claustrophobic.
Darkened patio, chill chaise beckon.
Supermoon awakens odd yearnings,
overwinds the imagination.
Cool sister, shadow doppelganger
of sun, slides across blackened heavens.

Jennifer Lagier has established a sordid reputation as an unrepentant snake aficionado.

Cristine A. Gruber- Three Poems

Empty Nest

I miss the summer evenings
when you came home warm,
a lightness to your step,
a smile a glance away,
a clear twinkle, a lighter air.

There was more noise in summer,
though we never thought of it
as such. It was merely the vitality 
that season brings, resonating 
throughout the hills and valleys. 

Winter is quieter, and colder too. 
We walk through the frost
in black and white moods,
hugging frozen sweaters
to freezing extremities.  

"Empty Nest" was first published in The Poet's Haven in December 2013.

I hear you
through the cries
of stoneware,

each clash and clatter
bemoaning the pains
of a misguided life.

I pause
in sympathy
for the pots and pans,

absorbing the brunt
of the blunt force
trauma. Flatware

fares no better,
to the floor

as you curse
their innocence.
I cower,

remain behind,
choosing to heed
the wailings of the

cabinet you kick,
the door you slam,
their mutual cries

fair warning;
stay clear.
After You Left

It took but five days for me
to realize how much I enjoyed
parking my car in the garage,

the newly-cleared space
motivating me to clean house,
take stock, sort through, let go. 

I cleared the closets of all you’d left behind,
donating personal items to charity,
selling the furniture on Craigslist.

Your tools I gave to a neighbor,
while the books I kept for myself.
The food, I ate. The wine, I drank.

Your mail I sorted, then forwarded
appropriately, every decision logical,
each choice perfectly sound.

The broken walls in your study
I accepted I couldn’t restore,
the foundation cracked beyond repair

in your unprecedented haste to leave.
I stayed but a few months more,
then quickly moved on as well

to a new home across town,
a precise miniature version
of all that had come before.

Come the spring of the first full year
since the day you walked out,
I found a pair of sunglasses

tucked away in a near-hidden
compartment in the console
of my car. Never used by me,

the eyewear was yours,
present all this time, but
unacknowledged ‘til now.

I held them but a moment,
then dropped them to the ground,
crushing them with the heel of my red Payless pumps.

The air was crisp and healing
as I finally drove home at last,
clear radio blasting, Let it Bleed, by The Stones.


Cristine A. Gruber has had work featured in numerous magazines, including: North American Review, Writer’s Digest, The Endicott Review, The Homestead Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Miller’s Pond, The Penwood Review, Poem, Thema, The Tule Review, and Westward Quarterly. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Lifeline, was released by Infinity Publishing and is available from

Denny E. Marshall- Art

                                                     The Weightlifter

Denny E. Marshall has had art and poetry published, some recently. He does have a website with previously published works. The web address is He also has a “Guest Artist Page” on his dot net site if any artist would like to submit. (See Guidelines)

J.J. Campbell- A Poem

naked fools

so many faces
in the crowd

not enough time
to think of all of
them as naked
fools just dying
to hear me speak

sweaty palms
and a dry mouth


just vomit and get
this shit over with

and since when did
you start drinking
the hard stuff

chasing ghosts will
only get you to the

you have to become
one to run the damn

J.J. Campbell (1976 - soon) lives and writes on a farm in Ohio. He's been widely published over the years, most notably at Thunder Sandwich, Chiron Review, Fearless, Zygote in My Coffee, and Underground Voices. his latest book, Sofisticated White Trash, is available wherever they happen to sell books these days. You can find him most days whining and complaining about something on his blog, evil delights. (

Paul Tristram- Two Poems

Broken Fingers

“You wanted me to prove my love for you,
Well I have!
You wanted to know how much I love you?
I love you this much!”
He held up both hands
bandaged and with finger splints
before her gobsmacked face.
“I walked in ‘The Swansea Jack’ 5 hours ago
and declared my eternal love for you
to your brothers, yes, all 6 of them
and in front of the entire gasping pub.
I had to used my bloody elbows just now
to knock on your front door, Jesus Christ!
Well, don’t just stand there gawking like an idiot
it’s raining, let me in or I’ll get pneumonia as well!”  

© Paul Tristram 2014

Those Drunken Heights Of Absurdity & Glory
In Between Hangovers!

The scars, bumps and lumps.
Fractured, broken, flaked and chipped
teeth and bones.
The tattoos both decorative
and gang related.
The days ticked away
in different prison cells in different prisons.
The countless nights dragged in through
and kicked out of
the ‘Wooden-Pillowed Hotel’
revolving police station doors.
Fighting the system, each other
or whoever came along first
both winning and losing loads of times.
Running team-handed down back lanes
well past midnight
escaping the flashing blue light menace.
Nights freezing in skips and bins,
shivering under a thin blanket
of loose cardboard and paper.
The first Roast Dinner and pint of Ruddles Bitter
after a 4 day walk to get home, ah!
Bedding down with deranged, psychotic women
nearly half as crazy as your demented self.
Smiling bravely or sometimes idiotically
through the torrential rain and pain of it all.
Waking up and sharing a flat flagon
with those 2 rigid fingers
that have been sticking up in your face
ever since the hour of your birth.
Insanity, nervous breakdowns, addictions and excess.
The complete fucking derangement and self abandonment
of the mind, body and soul.
The punk rock, the adrenalin, the energy and the vice.
Realizing that both losing and winning
are part of life’s game and not slowing down
because of either.
I would not change any of it, nor spare the rod once.
For on my deathbed I’ll smile because I will know
that I did not waste my life at all,
I experienced it and lived it to the full
and squeezed out every last drop before leaving.

© Paul Tristram 2014 

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography
published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids
instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Douglas Polk- Three Poems

Malaysia 17

worlds collide in mid air,
summer time dreams,
vacations serene,
lost in a moment of naked rage,
hate and destruction no longer contained,
exploded over the sky of the Ukraine,
lives needlessly lost,
the evidence heart breaking,
evil ripples and grows,
expanding across the world,
while bodies collected and counted.

they talk of God,
and watch children die,
speaking always of a better tomorrow,
when will tomorrow be today,
or what if it never comes at all?

the wounds inflicted fester with age,
Bin Laden with 9/11,
his death warrant signed,
quietly waited,
knowing the poison spreading throughout this nation,
debate and discord replaced with chaos and fear,
politicians quake with indecision,
hard choices demanded,
but faith in the system gone,
Khrushchev buried,
but not his words,
echoing through the ages,
heard now on new lips,
"We will bury you."

Arif Ahmad- A Poem

For the sake of heavens, for heaven’s sake 
“The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”

The world bleeds around this most chronic ill
The mother of all conflicts
For such little space, a tiny area on the map
The history of hatred is mind-boggling
The central issue, the bottom line, is NOT ENOUGH LAND,
LAND which the World can help create over the sea
Or little some the expansive neighbors can graciously add

If Abraham was to come alive today
Would he not gather his entire family and probably say
“Do it over, do it better, step it up.”
“Come on people, get your act together, enough is enough.”
Would his say in this day still carry any weight?

Moses, Jesus, Muhammad
How do I feel they are faring up there?
How do you think they are holding out?
Content, ecstatic, full of joy?
Or disappointed, dejected, thoroughly annoyed?

You are so wrong, I am so right
And together we create
For the sake of heavens, for heaven’s sake
Unending bloodshed, this never ending plight
Never pausing, never thinking
That at the end of the day
It is the same genes, the same blood on both sides of the aisle
One Big Unhappy Family
Where misery is shared and so is the destiny

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Hope and Mr. Neery

I saw Mr. Neery,
ninety if a day,
wobbly on his walker

on his way to Sunday Mass.
He won't accept a ride,
insists on walking.

He's easy to spot,
a St. Louis Cardinals fan 
in a bright red jacket

and a Cardinals cap
that halts a hurricane
of snowy hair.

It's his first Mass  
since burying his wife
a month ago when

someone lent him
a black suit to wear.
Now he's in red again,

a sign of hope,
even if he's bent over,
his humped back 

question mark growing.
But he's no different now
than he was before.

He still comes to Mass
like everyone else
looking for the answer

and to pray for the Cardinals
who play the Mets
at 1 o'clock this afternoon.

Old Stag Giddy

Elmer's an old stag now
shedding antlers
snorting among the trees

but sometimes Martha 
after her shower 
is a doe beckoning  

and he becomes giddy 
and heads for the salt lick
happy in the breeze

Carousel of Marriage

Harry and Grace had a carousel
of marriage while it lasted.
There were arguments galore
and children by the score 
or so the neighbors thought
as they counted kids
running across their lawns
causing divots to fly and 
dogs to barka canine 
tabernacle choir.

Fireworks on the Fourth
were peaceful in comparison.
The kids would light their 
crackers in the yard while 
Harry and Grace sat
and swirled vodka on ice
in plastic tumblers. 

Harry and Grace had arguments
so loud the cops would come 
but no one was ever arrested.
Grace would say Harry was wonderful
and Harry would say Grace was too.
But eventually Harry moved out 
and Grace got a job doing hair. 
Harry sent money for years
and the kids went to college.

Decades later a neighbor saw Harry
at the Mall and they had a nice chat.
Harry said he was happy his kid
got degrees and it was good Grace 
had married the farrier and moved 
to Wyoming where there were horses.
Not much work for a farrier in Brooklyn.
He had time to break up a marriage.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Brittany Zedalis- A Poem

Crocodile Tears

nicknames splattered across the pages
dripping ink and crocodile tears
egocentric induced lack of morality
feigning agony in hopes of compassion
a tragic misfortune self-induced
this twisted script professionally penned
each minute detail crafted precisely
with only a single malfunction
a severe lack of authenticity

Brittany Zedalis is a 21 year old college senior who is studying to be an elementary teacher. She has been writing poetry for 7 years. She has a poetry blog at:

Jonathan Beale- A Poem

The bag woman in the rain

The delicate
Motionless: branch’s (getting smaller to an invisible point)
Among the air

Still within the  air
Pure symmetry

One down
And one up
Torso twisted

In a frozen second
Stillness, just momentary

Amongst a green
Audience unaware
Nor caring

As the midnights
Magic dust
Somehow fell and found

This moment.
just had to to be
to retain this.

All tomorrows’
And yesterdays
And a state of being

The motion
Took me round
So in seeing

The other side.
Of beauties back
Touched by the eye

Like an accidental
Private view
Her lifeless frame

Retaining the life
In apparent motion
Gone in the horizon