Sunday, November 30, 2014

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Ferguson in Black and White

Would the death in Ferguson 
have been as black and white
as many seem to think it is

if the victim had been 
white as anthrax,
and the shooter 

black as tar?
Would the aftermath 
have been the same?

Would Pastor Sharpton
have flown to Ferguson
to address the masses

while the President 
spoke gravely from afar?
Would businesses

have burned as bright 
long into the night while 
frozen cops watched?

I watched it on TV
with a cup of hot cocoa. 
I’m the one to ask.

Donal Mahoney lives 20 minutes from Ferguson, Missouri. Unlike the speaker in “Ferguson in Black and White,” he doesn’t know what happened in the death of Michael Brown. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Gene McCormick- Art

Nat "King" Cole Trio

Gene McCormick is a writer who paints without preference for either discipline.  His art is in private and commercial collections and he has illustrated a number of books.  He is the illustrator for

Scott Thomas Outlar- A Poem

Happy Holy Days or a Little American Cheer from an Otherwise Incorrigible Grinch

Be thankful for your family.
Be thankful for your friends.
Be thankful for your tribe.
Be thankful for your community.
Be thankful for every nightfall.
Be thankful for every sunrise.
Be thankful for every heavy cloud.
Be thankful for every clear sky.
Be thankful for the young innocence.
Be thankful for the aged wisdom.
Be thankful for the pure air we breathe.
Be thankful for the clean water of the Tao River.
Be thankful for the flow of the process through which life ebbs.
Be thankful for the wave pulled in by the tide.
Be thankful for the sand carried out to sea.
Be thankful for the honey stored in the hive by the bee.
Be thankful for the nectar of the flower.
Be thankful for the pillow upon which you rest your head and sleep.
Be thankful for the clothes that offer warmth in the winter.
Be thankful for the naked sweat of summer’s swelter.
Be thankful for the music of the spheres which raises the vibration of your spirit.
Be thankful for the consciousness with which your flesh is ensouled.
Be thankful for the lessons of life that you are given to learn.
Be thankful for the opportunities.
Be thankful for the challenges.
Be thankful for the trials, tests and tribulations through which the possibility for progression, evolution, development, maturity and growth are presented.
Be thankful for the lofty heights.
Be thankful for the lowly abyss.
Be thankful for the perfect balance of the middle path.
Be thankful for those who have been saved from suffering and sorrow by finding the key to a song of serenity.
Be thankful unto The Lord.
Be thankful for the vegetables and fruits that resonate with life-energy and assimilate into your electrically charged being.
Be thankful for the teachers who are humble in the dissertation of their heartfelt lectures.
Be thankful for the gravity which holds the material world in form and place.
Be thankful for the one-pointedness of space and time in which the Infinite and Eternal Nature of the spiritual dimension of reality is manifested and made known.
Be thankful for the memories of the past.
Be thankful for the future pretense.
Be thankful for the present moment in which the Nowness of the entirety of life is centered in the circle of cyclical experience.
Be thankful for the healing power of Forgiveness.
Be thankful for the magic of Unconditional Love.
Be thankful for the miracle of Awakened Consciousness.
Be thankful for the jeweled web of interconnected synchronicity.
Be thankful for the angles which coincide at a Divine Degree.
Be thankful for the Angels.
Be thankful for the Animals.
Be thankful for the alchemical procedure through which the two are made one.
Be thankful for the wedding from which emerges the fully realized potential of the Human Being.
Be thankful when departing from those you care for; be not sad.
Be thankful when reuniting with those you hold dear; rejoice and be glad.
Be thankful for your eyes and the sights that are seen.
Be thankful for your ears and the sounds that are heard.
Be thankful for the vision behind your eyes and the Humming Frequency between your ears which reveal the higher senses of truth.
Be thankful for the chirping of the birds that calls you forth from slumber when the time to awaken has arrived.
Be thankful for the violin orchestra of the crickets that soothes you into sleep when the need to rest arises.
Be thankful for the candle’s light which guides you out from a cave of darkness.
Be thankful for the moon whose face reflects the glowing prophecy of a New Dawn.
Be thankful for the stars and the intensity with which they shine.
Be thankful for the passion and inspiration through which imagination is brought to life by a Creative Design.
Be thankful unto The Lord.
Be thankful for the rhythmic beat to which vibrations dance in harmonic geometric patterns.
Be thankful for the three points of the triangle: body, spirit and mind.
Be thankful for the boxed squareness of the cube.
Be thankful for the curved shape of the cylinder which acts as an attracting funnel to spiral cascading energy toward cohesion at a vortex.
Be thankful for the place of nexus where all forces are compressed in a unified singularity of Oneness.
Be thankful for the formula by which all equations and theories are synthesized at a resonance of collective connectivity.
Be thankful for the nest in which all variables rest in embedded peace.
Be thankful for the house which bars none.
Be thankful for the castle whose doors are ever open.
Be thankful for the kingdom in which no hierarchy reigns, but where every soul exists as a shard from the same holographic whole.
Be thankful for the gatekeeper whose heart is large.
Be thankful for the farmer whose fields are full.
Be thankful for the carpenter whose hammer is steady.
Be thankful of the Phoenix, who, for the rise, is ever ready.
Be thankful for the moneylender whose generosity is rich.
Be thankful for the prophet who is wealthy with wisdom.
Be thankful for the margin by which a profiteering spirit is lifted.
Be thankful for the shamanic oracle whose liquid crystal visions foretell the coming of a Golden Age of Awakening.
Be thankful for the White Wall upon which all color has come together in confluence to create an environment of unlimited, endless and infinite possibilities.
Be thankful for the Eternal Truth that is etched upon the canvass of your heart by an Awesome Blessing through a brush stroke of Grace.
Be thankful unto The Lord.
Be thankful for the psalms of selah.
Be thankful for the humility of surrender through which the empowerment of courage is received.
Be thankful for the intuition of God’s Guidance that is generated through intention within your guts.
Be thankful for the tranquility of silence in which the still, small voice within can find calmness and peace to sound out in speech.
Be thankful for the symphonic opera whispered into existence through the first breath of the Maestro.
Be thankful for the Festival where energy concentrates its gathering force.
Be thankful for the Natural Tao Order of life’s winding course.
Be thankful for the Heavens and the rain from which there pours.
Be thankful unto The Lord.
Thus sang Numa as a song of Thanksgiving.

Previously published in Dissident Voice with a link...  Happy Holy Days

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

autumn's bittersweet kiss

is always so bittersweet for me
so many memories of
people forged
that have danced around me
before blowing
forever away and i hate losing people
it hurts deeper than any
scar or bruise
i've ever received in the past,
and i don't know
how it is so easy for them to keep wandering
down the road without me
as if we were always strangers;
i am a raven in a flock
of swans,
i've always stood alone
and while i've always enjoyed my own company
no one wants to forever stand alone—
i have always tried too hard
to fit in,
but now i've recognized my need to be me
standing out
in a world of carbon copies
they all want me to conform as i try to persist they
resist everything they've learned;
perhaps, it's too painful
for them to change but if autumn leaves
why can't they?
perhaps, they would rather know the truth of their beauty
hiding in their beautiful scars they make excuses
of why they're like everyone else,
and i just dance like a leaf
in the wind
spinning my own circles in a world that would have
you walk squares.

longing to hear the whispers of the trees

i remember
being young and standing staring at the
trees wondering how old they
grew to be and how
tall they were,
and i wondered if at one time
they didn't dance;
sometimes i still wonder as i gaze
upon tree roots
lifted from
the ground, and if they did dance
i wonder what
them stop?
i want to hear their whispers of all their
stories good and bad,
of all their wisdom
and of all the
times they danced;
but perhaps that is only something i'll come to
know by the whistling of the wind
and birdsong
that nests in my ears in spring—
i'd rather hear from the trees themselves
because second hand information
is rarely reliable.

the immensity of my dreams

the dragonfly
so close to me i thought
his wings would
touch my
but he did not touch me
merely came close
and he feared
but i caught his photograph
loving the gleam of
the sun bent on his beautiful wings
he was so serene and
i wanted always to fly with him
a breath in time
dancing in the sky
just didn't want to let that moment go—
i find myself in nature
when i'm lost to all concept of man
and what i should be,
thinking only of all the things that are yet to
be achieved in my dreams because
nature always reminds me
anything is possible;
the only limitations lay within in the mind
and so i look into the tapestry of sky and land and sea
promising myself that i will have likewise
allow my dreams to be immense
so i can catch them
like falling stars from the skies into my palms
burning away all illusion of reality.

Nancy May- Three Poems

sunlight beams
broken cocoon
in wasp hives

on the shore

ice on the shore
sunlight ripples
on the sea

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal- 3 Poems


In your mind’s castle
made of crystal on
the edge of a cliff
you move like a snail.
Birds of paradise
burst in bright colors.
In your mind’s island
a wildflower bed
is planted.  In your
grape-sized brain there is
a cinema of
sunlight bursting out.
A mere laugh destroys
the castle made of
crystal; the island
destroyed by a wave.
A scintillating
hummingbird takes flight
into the white clouds
and sings of lost love.
I was created in the lab.
My eyes were fashioned
from a ray of sunlight,
which is why my smile is
just like warm sunshine.
My feet were made out of a
lucky rabbit’s foot,
which is why I can run
so fast and why I pick
all the right horses.
My arms were designed from
Sequoia trees,
which is why I try to stay
out of fights because I
could pack a real wallop.
I do not know what else to
say except that these
doctors are pulling out of
the air diagnoses
that do not make sense.
I find no bliss in my ignorance.
I look at my hand and imagine a foot.
I desire to walk on my hand foot.
I want to do a hand stand
and fall asleep in that position.
I do not snore and this is where
I find my bliss.  I argue with
my ego and it pays me no mind.
My ego is in a state of bliss.

L.K. Twaddle- A Poem

Spells  And Incantations
Three witches slid on britches and went down to vote.
They patted the dragon and flew over the moat.
The warlocks and demons had lead for too long.
Their spells and incantations had gotten all wrong.

Three votes for lady blind justice to lead,
not strictly a witch but still one of their breed.
A lady of wisdom, though blind she may be;
she still sees the truth through the wizardry.

Honest and good a female by sex;
if she sees evil she casts a mean hex.
Dingbats and newts had best beware,
for lady justice is always fair.

Magic and wisdom the legends say;’
joined forces for good that election day.
No more black magic was found in her realm,
female hocus pocus now powered the helm.

Scott Thomas Outlar- Two Poems

On Down The Line 

So carry on down the line


all your crimes

are carried out through the night

                                      the sin

The Light

reflecting back wrong from right

                                      the same

The stain

mirror fades into dream            


So it all comes down the line


Karma’s time

to bring the scale into sign

                                      the stars

The fire

burning out all that’s sown

                                      to reap


so show me one damn return

The Urge 

That’s blood

That’s self created wound

That’s victim played by you

          and you alone

It’s the same old tired song

That’s enough

That pretty much says it all

That’s written on the walls

          for God to judge

It’s the same strong will to Love

That’s truth

That’s piercing through a soul

That’s the urge of all we know

          to evolve

It’s the same old dance and crawl

That’s fun

That’s the same sold circus clown

That’s the jester begging

          for his life

It’s the same old joke tonight

That’s train

That’s the wreck we all predict

That’s the same cynical snitch

          in the ditch

It’s the same old run off lines

Nancy May- Three Sweet Haiku

dolphin on seas
kingfisher wings unfold
on the cool air

ice on ice
moonlit sunset
in the Sahara

droplets of dew
butterfly sway
in air whispers

Gary Beck- Three Poems

When I was young
I asked myself
how the Founding Fathers
conceived the ideas
that created a nation
based on democracy.
Of course I knew even then
that all men weren't equal
and government of, by, for,
was only for some of us.
Yet now that I am old
I still ask myself
how those rebels
managed to produce
such noble documents,
and frequently wonder
why our recent leaders
are completely incapable
of exalted heights.
I try to be charitable
and remind myself
that film, tv, Youtube,
dilute the quality of expression
by constant bombardment
of visual information
reducing originality,
but am forced to conclude
we now breed lesser men.

Art Clips
Og painted bison on cave walls.
The Pre-Renaissancers depicted saints.
Van Eyck composed exquisite details.
De La Croix presented the heroic.
Then the Impressionists came along,
soft and shimmering,
made it difficult at first
for common folk to grasp,
but they finally caught up
just in time for Kandinsky
to divorce realism.
From that time on
critics intervened
between artist and viewer,
glibly explaining
what we're looking at.

The sun rises later,
sets earlier,
the days grow cooler.
I take in the patio furniture,
put up the storm windows,
restock the pantry
with cocoa and oatmeal,
get out the down quilt,
put away the t-shirts,
unpack the sweaters,
make sure there's enough firewood,
saddle soap leather boots,
grease the sled runners,
final check that all's ready
for the season of winter,
then sit back in comfy chair,
plug the IPad in the charger,
pick up weighty volume one
of the Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire,
settle in, content
to await the coming of spring.
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 7 published chapbooks and 2 others accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways (Winter Goose Publishing). Perceptions and Displays will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) Acts of Defiance (Artema Press). His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City

John Grochalski- Three Poems

no snowcap

love you like a blackmail
one of the girls at the bus stop sings to the other

twelve years old and they’re both
in the tight pink pants that say juicy on the ass

i don’t know if you can call them lycra or spandex
…spanx, is what i think i’ve heard them called

but the patriarchy is alive and well this morning

the two girls are in each other’s face
fists to their lips like microphones

love you like a blackmail, baby
love you like a blackmail

girls looking decades older than the boys
who will one day decide what their daughters will wear

boys chasing girls chasing boys
standing right beside them singing pink and juicy

love you like a blackmail

boys pounding on video screens
and trying to push each other in the street

crafting the continued history of violence
in this fashion parade

i wonder what these girls
will be wearing in four years
at the ripe, old, overly sexualized age of sixteen

just what the mass marketing machine
will come up with next

like the two girls i just passed
twenty-two degrees this morning
with another winter of our discontent
breathing down our necks

sixteen year olds in thin jackets unzipped
with high-school PE t-shirts cut to mid-drift
like glorified bras

bearing, red, chapped stomachs

the one girl telling the other
that brandon is so cute
she might rape him tonight

rape like love
love you like a blackmail, baby

on a friday night
in digital camera supervised america

without a pair of gloves
and no snowcap on their heads.

the mentor

a wise man once told me
that every step in this life is a step forward

and through the pleasure
and the pain of this existence

the failed jobs and failed relationships
the failed cities and broken cars

all this sickness and death

i’ve held on to that
in some form or another

today i’m thinking it’s my turn
to be the wise man

to be the mentor

to the nineteen year old girl
who wants to discuss her future

a lost kid in college
who may be in over her head
or who might just need to blow off some steam

so we sit there face to face
her talking about the confusion of classes

me squatted like buddha
like the gray and grizzled sage i think i am

remembering nineteen

just waiting on the point in the conversation
where she finally makes her decision

finally sees the enlightened path that her life must take
with my guidance, of course

so that i can say
every step in this life is a step forward, kid

pat her on the shoulder and walk away
feeling good about myself for a change

because as you get older
i’ve learned that it gets harder to feel good about yourself

as the mistakes mount and the failures collect
like debt or old baseball cards in the closet

but we never get to that glorious conclusion

instead of feeling good about anything
the girl starts crying a slow, soundless wretched burn
that turns her eyes red and milky

she makes no sound
as she wipes and tries to look away from me

her plastic guru
her dim leading light

twenty-one years older than her
and none the wiser than whatever burden she’s got

the things she can’t discuss anymore

with someone burning down the road
in the same jack kerouac flannels
that he was baptized in before she was born

just another sagging old man
waiting until she’s finished crying
so that he can lean in and ask her

if she’s all right.

shadows of brooklyn
            --after richard hugo

it’s true here

that the shadows from clouds
don’t take the shape of boats
sailing in all of this concrete

and when the sky rolls away
white and blue in between the gray and mist
it’s most likely filled with soot and dirt

carcinogenics heading off toward the ocean

but there are shadows of buildings
that can kill the light for blocks on end

and in mornings, cold and warm
i walk them to escape the sun

my own moody blue-black oasis
where i can sink into the urban gloom
for as long as i want to

watching the shadows of cars
locked in morning gridlock duels
make the shadows of stalling snakes

their horns honking frustration
at all of this black

dodging dog-shit temples
cathedrals of up-ended garbage cans

the shadows of people like ants
trying to cross the street

waiting for buses in dull lines
checking cellphones and watches

a facsimile of the shadows
of the people who came before them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stefanie Bennett- Three Poems

WINTER OFFENSIVE 2014          
It must be The Night
Of The Long Knives
For there’s
Fate’s arduous wolf
In the thicket –,
A hundredweight bone-chill
Half moon –,
Boot-heels fracturing
The desensitised dusk and
An obsidian Manticore
Sartrean shack
I’ve come upon that
Looks like
There is no train –.
There is no station –.
The stopping point
... It’s beyond recall.
Yet, there was a house.
A lamp. A window
Through which
The forest
A sky-rail
And tomorrow’s
Once there was a frown, acceptable
As a frown can be.
It never caught sight of itself;
It stopped cybernetics at their play;
It transgressed so well the maps
  Of the world rearranged them-
  Selves into globular rigidity.
The doctors operated on the maps
  Trying not to be apprehensive...
The village officialdom bought the idea
  Of tub-thumping maps,
  And squaring globes...
Once there was a frown, so the story
  Goes. It hasn’t
  An ending
It’s still not... acceptable.
Stefanie Bennett has published eighteen books of poetry and one novel. She has acted as a publishing editor and worked with Arts Action for Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee], she was born in Queensland, Australia, in 1945. Her latest poetry title ‘The Vanishing’ is due at year’s end. Publisher, Walleah Press.

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Collateral Damage

For the entire office
a death like his
coming as it has
the day before
complicates the holiday
for everyone. It makes
things difficult
for all: the wake
the other matters.

Cockfight at the Bus Stop

As the snow swirls around them,
one old man in a wheelchair
uses sign language to tell
another old man standing 
at the bus stop, "Friend, 
you creak when you walk."

Neither one can hear any better 
than when they were classmates  
at a school for the deaf eons ago.
They learned to sign by writing 
in the air with fingers honed 
on the whetstone of banter.

Amiable as ever, the creaky man   
counters with fingers quicker than 
beaks in a Tijuana cockfight.
"Amigo, how can you tell 
that I creak when I walk?
Do my knees sign that well?"


Chauvinist's Manifesto

There's a football field between us.
I'm in one of the end zones bellowing
and you're in the other one bawling,
the cliffs of your cheekbones
streaked with mascara.

Betty Friedan is screaming. 
She says the problem is my fault.
Bella Abzug is cackling 
that she agrees.
Gloria Steinem
is at the microphone, 
ready to sentence me
to decades of marriage
with children by the score
though she didn't marry till 60.

These ladies must be right.
I'm just a man so I give up.
I accept all the blame.
Mountains have risen 
in the middle of the field.
I can no longer see you.
And if I can't see you
there's no reason for us
to get together again.
I have to be able to see you.
It's always been your hind
and never your mind 
that I favored.

We were having a wonderful time  
and all of a sudden you got serious
like all the others.
They wanted to get married, too.
Listen up. 
I'm going to announce 
the best solution
I want to be generous.
I hope you can hear me:
"You keep the ring.
I'll punt and go home."


Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Richard Schnap- A Poem


I passed a man today
Carrying an umbrella
Under a cloudless blue sky

While an old woman
With a thrift store coat
Posted a sign for her lost cat

As a grey-faced crowd
By the drug rehab center
Buried themselves in smoke

Next to a girl who sat strumming
An old battered guitar
That somehow stayed in tune

And it seemed like the world
Was filled with tightrope walkers
Negotiating a thin wire

Without ever knowing
That if they should fall
Someone would catch them

Rose Mary Boehm- Picture


Picture that inspired "Fish Talk" by Rose Mary Boehm

David L. Paxton- Three Poems

Foreign Terrain, Third Month

Buried behind rims of steamed glass lenses,
Breathing deep the smoke’s coffee aroma,
He balances with a book, a quota
Of figures from his bank account, creases

Accentuating his darkening hands
Scarring with frustration, the cold daybreak
Stressing his bones and joints.  He chose the shock
Of sitting stark naked inside the rounds

Of daylight misting through the window screen
Though the temperature froze guava trees
Orcharding the yard, his fingers tense, knees
Trembling, eyes dry, hair erect, and scalp thin.

The young man chooses his suffering well
Especially after the move, his flight
From standard home to new home.  To his right
A balance book, to his left a gray cell.

Kapoho Mongoose

Out of a whistle, a bolt of brown fur
Shot scampering for banyan safety roots,
Belly tight pulled by pain from a hunger

Screaming with infant tones.  Kukui nuts
And flowers struggle with satiating
Centuries of inherent grooming.  Plates

Of asphalt cracked and pushed by thick reaching
Roots the mongoose jetted for, leaf terrain
Where a coral or corn snake coil resting

In wait for a meal of its own, the sun
Filtering through red-brown bark arms, maybe
The mongoose might be able to sustain

The devilish hunger in its belly
Only to discover a scavenger
Built the same, no extinct snake, no treaty.

Springtime 2009, Sunning On the Deck 

The mountain and the ocean are neglected.
Flesh foams over lava rock. Brush webs over dead tree trunks.
Everything between these two is lauded.

From onset holiday seasons, men and women,
Groped over by necessity complexes,
Dispute which are real and which are fake by sign

Of a paid day off from work or day of rest – 
Pending they can stand family or solitude.

The gods don’t seem to stress their mood
Over these days even if they don’t exist.
But if they do, we would mean little more
Than blip jokes under their feet.
                                                    Our lives whore

Out for tasks that break us down; and once finished,
They hold insignificant reward and missed
Economic independence.  The mountain

And ocean rely on good looks as they strain
Their resources.  They pawn off their fish and chunk gold,
Divvy their innate nutrients to provide

For symbiotic lice fattened with pride.
After conceit fades, we shiver reflexes,
Considering shivering repels internal cold.
David L. Paxton (website has previously been published in Poetic Hours, The Flagler Review, Splizz, Purple Pig Lit and The Nocturnal Lyric, and received his Masters of Arts Administration from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013. He currently resides in Middleburg, FL. working as an independent arts professional as a painter and poet, growing with various curating opportunities for exhibitions. His poetry deals primarily with situational location and reaction due to his travels across the United States from the East Coast to Hawaii.