Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Robert Demaree- Two Poems


Midnight: an unexpected snow
Brightens our court at Golden Pines,
Thick whiteness caught in amber streetlight,
Moist cotton balls, fluffy on our small trees
In the clear Piedmont dawn.
It’s beautiful, our neighbors say,
Thinking of other places they have lived.

On my seventieth birthday I drive into town for barbecue,
Listening to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons,
Their soaring falsetto harmonies
From sorrowful New Jersey towns
Not far from my own,
The undertow of time,
Those unchangeable places of our birth
That took some of us a while to figure out.
At the funeral home, the casket truck,
Up from Mississippi, makes a stop:
The routineness of it.

It is afternoon, sixty degrees,
And, of course, the Carolina snow is gone,
Except for fringes in the roof’s shadow,
And by the curb, graying,
Like other snows I’ve seen.

“Yesterday’s Snow” appeared in Poets’ Touchstone, Winter 2009


1971: moonlight, cool, blue
On crisp, lightly glazed snow;
Wool scarves, boots,
Suburbs of Baltimore.
The young headmaster
Played lacrosse, taught poetry,
His cheerful wife,
Fresh, golden blonde
Junior League beauty,
From one of those Main Line schools
Where our glee club used to sing.
In the dining hall, dark walnut
Panels, linen table clothes,
Boys in blazers raise up
A cheer for their team.
February night pierces the lungs.
He offered me a job.
Late in life I’ve wondered
If I should have said yes,
Followed reluctantly
The path that led
North toward home.

Robert Demaree is the author of four collections of poems, including Fathers and Teachers (2007) and Mileposts (2009), both published by Beech River Books. The winner of the 2007 Conway, N.H., Library Poetry Award, he is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire in the eastern U.S. He has had over 600 poems published or accepted by 125 periodicals in the U.S., Canada and U.K., including Cold Mountain Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Miller’s Pond, MediaVirus, Bolts of Silk, Louisville Review and Paris/Atlantic, and in four anthologies including the 2008 and 2010 editions of Poet’s Guide to New Hampshire and Celebrating Poets over 70.. For further information see 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Justin Rogers- A Poem

Tell Them

“Tell them I found the Lord in this microphone
and I loved him,
I loved him fiercely”
Carvens Lissaint ‘Tell Them’

Tell them
that I thought I found God in these words
but instead found an impostor
dressed with an iron vest
and arrows pulled into the curve of a bow
aimed to war with my heart

Tell them the only reason
I never backed out
was from of fear
of the rigid alleys
any other path would rape me in
with rules knotted like nooses
that only exist
as long as our dirty blue collars
follow them off of a white collar cliff.

Tell the people picketing that cliff,
still wearing their colors proudly,
that i tore my collar off,
committed it to memory
and built a plateau with the remaining fabric
so that i would be recognized
as an ancestor
who left a platform to build upon.

Tell my family
that i have been writing my obituary
since the age of 16,
so when i pass,
treat these poems as such.
give them to the media
and tell them not to waste time
creating something new
to account for what has already come and gone.

Tell them i did it for the children
who weren’t ready.
tell them there are more
than just children being left behind.
tell them there is a mother
in every abdomen
trying to beat her way out of a cave-
that there is a brother
on every tongue
trying to make arms out of teeth
to embrace the grandmothers
stitching together every backbone,
Tell them
that every man is a third world country family
searching for someone to provide for them
and that i knew where to find their provider,
that i led them there
that i lost friends
and hearts
and flesh
and pride along the way
but i wouldn’t go back for them
even if the entire universe
was calling my name

Tell them i hated the pain
but loved showing my people away from it
compare me to Moses
the way my pen parted seas,

make me sound like Harriet
the way i kept going back for more souls
Tell them I had enough tears locked inside
to sink Noah’s Ark
and that you could see waves of the flood
crashing in my feet,
that you could hear its strength
ricochet off of my tongue
that in my presence
there was either silence or roaring
and no one could ever decide
which was worse.

Tell them i treated knowledge
like an unfaithful lover-
that some things are better left unknown

Tell them i believed love
is like a river in the desert-
that it has to flow from something
or someone higher than you.
Tell them i never found that person.

Tell them
I never looked for anyone to be my everything
because everything
wasn’t enough to fill my empire of a heart.

Tell them that i was stubborn,
that i was determined to defend it alone
even if it meant being torn limb from limb
in the same rigid alley
that my detached noose lay
as a reminder of what happens
to anyone who may follow my footsteps.

Tell them i know i was imperfect
but i was never greedy enough
to claw at another man’s past
after he was too far underground to defend it
and i expect to be treated the same.

Tell them
that my existence wasn't a blessing,
it was a response to a call for reinforcements,
and my life was just a term
in the line of duty. 

"Justin A. Rogers (also known as "Jar Thepoet") is a Detroit poet, artist, and educator. His accomplishments include appearances at Youth Speaks Youth national poetry slam Brave New Voices 2009 & 2011. He has been recognized at well re-nownd venues such as the Music Hall Detroit, the Charles H. Wright Museum, and plenty more. He has been twice recognized at Detroit's Jazz Fest Rhythm, Roots, & Rhyme Poetry Slam. Rogers grew as a youth writer through Detroit's primary literary organization, InsideOut Literary Arts Project with outstanding writers like Cave Canem fellow Aricka Foreman, Internationally known Jamal 'Versiz' May, and Ann Arbor poet and educator Ben Alfaro. Rogers has been published in multiple InsideOut anthologies, the Detroit news paper 'Critical Moment', and Wayne State University's 'Wayne Literary Review'. He recently released his first Chapbook, "Sound Off" and returned from the Rhymes & Revolutions poetry tour beside Detroit poet, Deonte Osayande. Justin has also become a part of the Detroit collective known as Witness - a group of young artists dedicated to stimulating personal and community growth, providing safe spaces for artists and promoting creative self expression."

Michael Keshigian- A Poem


His little hole in the Boston skyline,
one window lined with soot
facing Fenway Park.
In the room overhead,
there was a clarinet
that stalked Stravinsky’s Three Pieces
every evening.
During the day it was mostly quiet,
the crowd on the sidewalks
resembled the spiders in the room,
preying with thick overcoats
to catch the unsuspecting
in a web woven with smog
dimly illuminated with the little light
that penetrated the building alleys,
so dark, he could only shave
with a lamp in his face.
Every morning at 7:30 A.M.,
students clamored on the staircase,
rushing en route to classes
at the universities
and colleges around the corner,
the clarinet player would flush the toilet
then turn on the shower.
Once in a while, a bird
chirped or tweeted, like a bell chime,
so close to his door,
for a moment, he believed
he had a visitor.

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. Recently published in Red River Review, Illya’s Honey, California Quarterly, Boston Literary Magazine, and Foundling Review, he is a 3- time Pushcart Prize and 2-time Best Of The Net nominee.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Virginie Colline- A Poem

Haiku Dall’Inferno

Insatiable night
a man-devouring fire
down the devil’s mouth

Cabaret de L'Enfer, Eugène Atget

Virginie Colline is a French translator living in Paris. You can read her latest poems in Seltzer, UnFold, Winamop and Overpass Books.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Paul Tristram- A Poem


Like a wrung-out rag.
A buckled special brew can
upside down in a recycling bin.
A broken tooth
lumping a paving slab
on Sunday afternoon
after landing there
on Friday night.
The blood from a
cheated man’s heart
and innocence and decency
from the freshly starved.
I stand in the post office
queue on giro day
with three people
still in front of me.

Published in The Little White Poetry Journal (USA), Volume Two / Issue Five, March 2007

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches 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.

Sy Roth- A Poem

The Spelunker

He waddles into the room.
They all watch his camel’s walk in their desert.
Heads swing like pendulums as he wends his way their way.
He spelunkles their cave,
lower jaw fixed in a smiling pout.
Ill-fitting teeth make a bat-clacking cha-cha as he moves.
Brillo-tufted chin jerkily moves in synch with them.
A toupee rests on his head like a beret on a bowling ball,
gray hair matted, weighted-stiff with muck
sponged from the air around him.

This day he changed his shirt,
a sere cloth of indistinguishable design.
Pearly-white skin peeps through a four-inch rent
where he clutches his pouch but fails to cover a droopy breast.
He unearths a seat, hidden beneath a pile of jackets,
people on either side leaning Towers of Pisa.

He mines his pouch
as their lemon-sucking faces glower,
and removes a sleeve of Saltine crackers.
gnaws at one daintily, pinky in the air.
Crumbs soon litter the table.

He mumbles garbled non-sequiturs
at the world around him.
Teeth and tongue conspire to splinter it with his presence,
then sighs as the Towers work to ignore him.

Dawnell Harrison- Three Poems

A silent shroud

The winter is cast in ice –
The cold-hooded mother’s

Dregs are in full bloom.
The red-hot cauldron

Of the morning sun cannot
Melt this snow tundra,

It cannot be shaken down.
I watch the flakes descend

In a silent shroud –
The season is dragging

Me down like the pull
Of the ocean’s tide.
Plenitude has no voice here.


The reflection of garnets
Darkens in the sullen night

Of your eyes.
Once they were little crushed

Diamonds of light.
Your body is a stream

That leave me holding

Your eyes are winters
Glazed in ice.

The world whitens
Under the ashes
Of your memories.


Moonlight licks the back
Doorstep eaves.

Shadows whisper
In the deep dark hole

Of the night.
Lost in a black space

The roses bleed the
Backyard red.

The night swallows me
In a quivering circle.

I have been published in over 60 magazines and journals including The Endicott Review, Abbey, Iconoclast, Nerve Cowboy, Mobius, and many others.

Also, I have had 3 books of poetry published through reputable publishers titled Voyager, The maverick posse, and The fire behind my eyes.

Narendra Kumar Arya- A Poem


By my closed eyes you could infer I am a narcoleptic
So could you deduce from the sea of dreams that I splatter around
Also the face of darkness that hangs loose like a pendulum
Provides ample opportunities to your skinned reason
To declare a nocturnal
Is this creature.

Yes, night descends as a respite to your suspicions
But I can flee the nether of the day
Burning with thy presence
So repulsive, so crude
The whole earth, even
Vibrating with your ghostly laughter
Starts spinning with displeasure.

Why do I need open my eyes?
What’s there for me to see?


Narendra Kumar Arya.  Born and educated in Varanasi, India, Did  MA, MBA, PhD.  Had taught Political Science for some ten years.  W
riting simultaneously in English and Hindi for quite some time, involved in getting published recently.  A few poems have appeared on Rabbit, EWR, and Tether.

Mark Nenadov- A Poem

Winter Frost

this is winter, my friend
ice on the windshield
     like flint
my freezing fingers fumble
for the keys.

The engine rattles
     in reply
to my bumbling fingers
as the hibernating creatures
heckle me from their haunts
buried deep in the ground.
 Bio: Mark Nenadov lives in Essex, Ontario, Canada with his lovely wife and their baby daughter. Mark's poems have appeared in publications such as Wilderness House Literary Review, WestWard Quarterly, Three Line Poetry, Northern Michigan University's The Lightkeeper, Driftwood Bay, Calvary Cross, and Pif Magazine.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Kislay Chauhan- Three Poems

Afternoon Desert

Tides in absorbed sunlight, dry sand desert
Whitish glare, seeking mirror boats
Where time is dried, moments sweat
Music in flames, days on the roots
Dewdrops of morning search shadow
Where sun is more leaned, cleaned but hard
The outsized branches, curvy eyes of leaves
Stony feet the sharp fingers digging surface
The labors with spades mining the place
Small spiders with sewing tensing wounds
Blocking airs impelling to breath high
With black and white scenes and sky
Turning years of hooks and scissors without rain
Striving bones, sore throats of birds and beasts
And then steady rocks of bronzed silence
Little weeds the waiters of years
And no one dares, no one hears
Only the tails of trees bounding water
Spongy blue ribs spread out of chest
The boats only mirages peeping far away
Forever a mirage alone never gets any meet
Dazzling waves decorate them hanging mirrors
The last storm all forgot but still the signs there
Desert fencing borders far of the crowds
Where only cheerful nights smile
And afternoon songs are tired unto evenings
When all the stars dine together
On sand-sheet, sand with resting eyes

An Old Age

A mechanical heart, desolated
Standing solemn around weaving silky water
Water of eyes, inveterate healer
On grass of sorrow by wind directing ways
Lifted breath burden on the lungs
Frightened gazes of nerves hugging heart
Dripping sights of memory in front of legs

The day of last heartbeat of his words
Dissolving in fog of all directions,
Peeping shadows of memories from cloak
Someone almost lost the grace of life
And somewhere pulses thunder to get out
Rotten skin with blooming sights and spirit
The layers of irregular breath stiffened

Where every valley is not straight to cross
Distinguished desires without any complaints
Certain limping stick in hand for way
Every step, summing up a journey
Dull head, digging shoulders, wide glasses
Which seems something binocular badges
Lost quartz of teeth, shrugging expression

Occasional smiles filling lonely times
He just needs help to cross that road
And lakes of sorrow and solitude
And listening last seasonal singing of birds
Every step with folding calm days in arms
Preaching eyes of life need assistance of love
An old man carrying belief of life, belief of life

Heart Of Wood

Somewhere a box filled emotions
Of wood, built round bit for life
Different cherishes keeping in
Supplying sets of dreams’ belief
A lock of ego, anger and hate
With key of help, kindness and love
The sides varnished with tender
A sort of wood flinching in fear
Slanted, corners of silence, spiritual
Stiffing to ground, burns in fire
Fire of love, hurt and desires
Wrapping cloths of seasons boiling
Lonely narrow boxes...
Strange boards made of wood
Devouring colors of surfaces
Edges broken, steeping to ground
An old tomb, with torn boundary
A monument lasts for a breath
Breath that unlocks lock, loneliness
Wooden box, clouds, rains and keys
Sunlight heals it up, an artifact
Parallel conditions, stars run above
May be one day, we put it as monument
Lonely, only memory of old swarms
When it used to have everything
Heart of wood, now in a museum
Motionless, a show for strangers
Having life, all of wood, to be painted
Or to be burned to warm some

Bio - Kislay Chauhan is a computer engineer, 25 year old. He has written four poetry books “ Takhir,” “ The Vague,” “Once And for All” and “ The Edges of The Spirit”. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Jason Constantine Ford- A Poem

Death in the Woods 

The taste of many brittle years already spread
Across paddocks without a drop of rain
Is bitterness profound as Death begins to tread
Upon the graves of names which still remain.
Death is slowly passing through the woods alone
With many kinds of trees becoming prone
To loss of grip among the ageing leaves
Succumbing to the might which Death receives.

The air surrounding Death becomes so strong
As winds impose a sense of might upon each tree.
The branches shaking left and right, belong
To the dance of Death declaring how all things should be.
The curse which came upon the ones who died
With wounds inflicted by the sword of pride
Is kept beneath the ground until the day
Death decides to spread to other forms of prey.

Published in December archive of Mad Swirl Online Magazine.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Linda M. Crate- A Poem

there are no quick fixes
your quick fix was wrong
life isn't disposable,
and abortion hurts long after
it's done
the echoes of it linger
in the heart
years after; you never will
get to feel the warmth
of your child's
fingers interlaced with yours or
their laughter, their joy
and their pain -
you'll never be able to shape
the life of someone
who could have been someone's 
hero, and you'll never
know how wonderful they could
have been
if only you allowed them 
to take their first breath -
yet you didn't;
and there's no one to blame but you
because you wanted out of
a bind, a quick fix
to preserve your own freedom and
only guilt lingers.

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

That Old-Time Religion

When I was young and randy, 
I went to church every Sunday
to keep my parents happy.
"Almighty God has given us 
the Ten Commandments,
not the Ten Suggestions,"
the old preacher used to say.
Now I'm old and randy 
but I always go to church 
yet I seldom hear a sermon.
What I hear now is something 
preachers call a homily. 

Homilies are nice.
They let you leave church 
in a good mood, ravenous
for the Sunday roast.
But most homilies shoot blanks.
They seldom strike a chord. 
Machine-gun sermons 
when I was young and randy
sprayed words all over church,
and if they didn't hit you,
you were bobbin' and duckin', 
the old folks used to say

Homilies seldom mention sin 
and almost never mention hell.
When I was young and randy,
sin and hell were the DNA
of any decent sermon.
Now, homilies explain
how much God loves me
and italicize that basic truth
over and over by quoting 
passages from Scripture.

Few homilies, however, note 
that God has standards 
and expects His flock to meet them.
"The elevator goes both ways,"
the old preacher used to say. 
His sermons often scared me 
and I used to stay scared until 
Monday afternoon at school
when I'd let Florence Puppo,
who was tall and fetching
go upstairs in front of me.
God loves Florence, too, 
I'd tell myself, so why not 
let her sway her way 
up the stairs ahead of me. 

Homilies are reassuring 
but I don't know if I'd be 
going to church now
if I had heard homilies
instead of sermons back
when I was young and randy.
A good sermon can leave a scar
old men scratch when the years 
go South for the winter.
"God's not playin' games!"
the old preacher used to say.
I'd like to see that preacher 
in our pulpit now. 
He'd use his blowtorch
of that Old-Time Religion 
and let the flames flare.
He'd make the congregation 
bob and duck every Sunday 
instead of sitting up straight
and smiling on occasion.

Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had work published in a variety of print and electronic publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ivan Jenson- Three Poems

Cheap Date

I have always had used guitars,
women, and clothing
and I have always
shopped secondhand for
boots, books and hugs
but then again I have gotten
some great deals on
bikes, kisses and chipped dishes
but I am saving up now
for a house, wife and car
yet, sometimes it feels 
like I will never be able 
to afford 
real estate, 
real happiness 
real diamonds  
or anything more expensive
than a dollar and a dream
but hey, things might change
for this chump
so I am going to keep
hunting around
for the real deal
on gloves, slacks
and love

Local Yokel

I am not going to gloss over
the power of your lips
nor am I going to neglect
your neckline under 
that necklace
I can't allow myself
to collapse over
your caress and 
lose myself 
like you lost
your earrings
and so I will
stand tall
as the tale
you told me
about having
gone without touch
for so long
so please don't
powder over
the beard burns
I left on your cheek
for that is the mark
of this unmasked
musk wearing
Michigan based


My heavy 
handed words
you take lightly
yet my flippant 
remarks offend
which means
I should cloak
my verbal daggers
in gentle gentility
so that you
would not get hurt
by the sticks
and stones
which catapult
from my tongue
like spitfire
four lettered
fists of fury
also known as
slam dunk
drunk dialing
on a Saturday night


Ivan Jenson’s Absolut Jenson painting was featured in Art News, Art in America, and Interview magazine. His art has sold at Christie’s, New York. His poems have appeared in Word RiotZygote in my CoffeeCamroc Press ReviewHaggard and HaloPoetry Super HighwayMad SwirlUnderground Voices MagazineBlazevox, and many other magazines, online and in print. Jenson is also a Contributing Editor for Commonline magazine. Ivan Jenson's debut novel Dead Artist is available as a paperback and on Amazon Kindle and Nook. His new novel, a psychological thriller entitled Seeing Soriah is now available as an eBook or in Paperback on Amazon.

John W. Sexton- A Poem

Her Deepest Breath

feb 14th 1818 ...
child Edgar's charming
beetle wing necklace

crumbling cakehouse -
nutjelly and peabutter

rope trick …
caught on a minaret
the magic carpet unravels 

chitin tombstones
Bluebeard buried those wives
under his nails

She the gritty pith
of an arbutus fruit ...
O Brightness of Brightness

her deepest breath ...
ravens of spaceblack

e. dickinson zero boned
...  a narrow fellow parts
the couch-grass

dating the 60 ft woman
was a walk-in

translucent songs
of moonstone blue ...
Sirens siren upside-nine

John W. Sexton lives in the Republic of Ireland and is the author of four previous poetry collections, the most recent being Vortex (Doghouse, 2005) and Petit Mal (Revival Press, 2009). His fifth collection, The Offspring of the Moon, is due from Salmon Poetry in spring 2013. He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem The Green Owl won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Night Light

The last visitor before I sleep
is always the old priest
puffing up the stairs to my door,
a wine cask under each arm,
a loaf of pumpernickel in his teeth.
He’s always too late to give the last rites,
and even though I’m usually dead by then,
it falls to me to console him.
So I say, “Father, Father,
you don’t have to hurry.
Faith is no longer a klieg.
It’s a night light left burning all day,
and its bulb is hissing.” 

Appeared in print in Commonweal Magazine
November 6, 2009
475 Riverside Drive, Room 405
New York, NY 10115

Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had work published in a variety of print and electronic publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. 
Some of his earliest work can be found at

Allison Grayhurst- Three Poems


            Strips of clouds,
pink-grey like a snail snatched
from its shell. So many days I waited, waiting
like that snail for permanent protection, waiting
as an activity to delve fully into.
Nirvana was coming. I saw it traced
on the dated sidewalk, etched on the curvy lustre
of a raccoon’s still spine and in the devotion
of the rock dove waiting for its one decided love.
            Nothing was ever enough to saturate my yearning.
Even for a moment, to remember a time before birth, before
the furious fluttering engine ulcerated my stomach lining or before
my sanity became a soft noise, fading. I could hear it
like a basic desire I was forced to forgo - sex, unquenched - like that
but even more. Like a crinkled cloth left on the subway floor,
I waited - dry, malformed, avoided.
            The basement air is grooming me for an alien awakening,
maybe fluorescent, possibly ordinary, but better than
this sitting, tipping sideways on a broken chair.
Salt lamp on, a little fireplace or miniscule sunshine shining,
crumbling between my fingers, waiting
no more, moving at last
to another corner.


Blown like a grain of sand from a hollow twig.
It is beautiful to be blown.
Blown, into the winding forward thrust
where good happens with the movement
of each day and the fire-cracker burn
is a burn of celebration.
Carried through the radar-stream
into an easeful position where
the goal is getting nearer at a slow pace
and old patterns are disintegrating,
remembered but not renewed.

In Front

The line in front
is the line crossed
then left to rot under
the blazing day. The other side
is not to be feared but held
up like a delicate, appreciated toy.
The way out the door
is the door your father gave you when he died
and placed death’s rattle under your pillow
for the rest of your days. It is the door that won’t let you forget
how short a season life is.
The chain around your neck
is a chain of small but frequent miracles
that has sustained and held poverty at bay.
It is to be counted on when the last of the nectar
has been spilled on the rug and indifference consumes
the eyes of friend and kin like roundworm, there
even in the most difficult of barren
January days.

Over the past twenty years Allison Grayhurst's poems have been published in over 120 journals throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and in the United Kingdom, including Parabola (summer 2012).  Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published nine other books of poetry and two collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was recently published by above/ground press December 2012.  She lives in Toronto with her husband, two children, two cats, and a dog. She also sculpts, working with clay.