Saturday, 30 December 2006

Cat haiku by Christine Bruness

winter evening
stray cat becomes our new guest
during the snowstorm

slithering through snow
to dine at our front porch
weathered black feline

In the backyard,
green eyes peering from the bush
kitty is stalking me!

Christine Bruness, New Jersey, USA

Friday, 29 December 2006

My Cat Answers the Question: "Why Are You Standing in the Doorway?"

I am exploring liminal spaces.
A threshold. You will see me at night,
gazing into the lamps—Suddenly!
The moth! A flurry of paws, claws, a fury
that leaves me. . .

So I rest with the moth
between my lips and sharp teeth
and feel the rustling,
the edge of its existence.
I am sad for a moment, and then savor
the power of my closing jaws.

Did not Schrödinger write
of such suspended moments?
Hamlet should have embraced
his moment and understood
that collapsing or not
is not the question. The crumpled paper
of the ruined poem is always
both toy and not. Is the art finished?
That smell from the box…
stench? Or vital information
about my intake of moths and spiders?

But we digress.
I have limned liminality enough.
When I pose in the dappled sun,
stretched muscles rippling
along the sill of the window, remember:
I am exploring, so deeply my eyes creep shut,
the spaces between one state and another.

James Engelhardt, Nebraska, USA

Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Rear of a Horse by Liam Wilkinson

The first snow.
I go out to photograph the frozen landscape
in an effort to jar the numb silence of Winter.
The dead leaves, still hung,
crack and buckle beneath
a gentle deadly layer of perfect white.
The old church stops breathing,
preserved in its reach,
seized in its optimism.
The gipsy caravan hides its colours
beneath the season’s vale.
Its rest seems permanent.
And the horse, rummaging for green,
spots the automatic flash.
Most niggled, he turns away.

Liam Wilkinson, York, UK

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Shelter Against the Storm by James Engelhardt

Our Christmas season
has been haunted by
a frost-ringed moon;
at Johnson's party,
we drink too much
mulled wine chased
with shots of hard liquor
hidden on the back porch.
Every hour we take quick hits
off rarer and rarer joints.

We tell jokes
whose punchlines end
with bodily functions
or four-letter words
that are not 'love'
though we mean them to be.

And our wives
roll their eyes as if
to find some bright planet
away from us.

And we are driven home
by these women
through a gently threatening
Southern winter storm.

We wake the children,
cry with them
if the snow doesn't stick.

James Engelhardt, Nebraska, USA

Friday, 22 December 2006

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Té, chocolate y café. // Tea, chocolate & coffee by Eugenia Andino

Toda la noche por delante.
Una taza de té llena hasta el borde.
El poema no llega.

The night lies ahead.
Cup of tea full to the brim.
The poem doesn't come.

Aire escarchado.
Bebiendo chocolate,
tiro a la basura viejas guías de viajes.

Frost outside,
drinking hot chocolate,
Throwing away old holiday maps.

Café fuerte.
Pies en alto.
Suplemento dominical.

Strong coffee.
Putting feet up.
Sunday papers.

Eugenia Andino, Seville, Spain

Friday, 15 December 2006

Why Did You Come? by Gerald England

Why did you come? Why did you come?
that evening seven years ago?
All the trees were covered in snow
You had no money for your taxi fare
and you laddered your stocking on a broken stair
You drank a whole bottle of very best sherry
You called me "Mon Cheri!"
when I dropped the picture on my toe
that evening seven years ago,
why did you come? why did you come?

Why did you come? Why did you come?
that evening seven years ago?
Handel's second flute concerto
was issuing forth from the gramophone
and neither of us that night ever felt alone
Though we said very little what we said meant a lot
for our passions were hot
I wished in my heart you hadn't to go
that evening seven years ago,
why did you come? why did you come?

Why did you come ? Why did you come?
that evening seven years ago?
I'll never rest until I know
You came at nine and did not leave till eight
Bacon, egg and sausage was the breakfast you ate
It wasn't to wish me a happy December
No! Wait! I remember!
Of course! You came to tune the piano
that evening seven years ago,
That's why you came! That's why you came.

Gerald England, UK

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Compass Points by James Engelhardt

As you drift the winter Mekong River
will you recall the taste of our red wine?

The games of chance and skill, the push-hands
by the lake with the heron, the restaurant patios?

I look into the clouded sky and the stars say
we four have been friends many lives before,

before we shared those hand-carved pipes at dusk,
and, in our shabby clothing, looked at sacred things.

The rains will swell our streams before you return,
and all the green their wet breath brings

will overcome our gardens here
when we gather together one more time

to separate the endless weeds
from the herbs we steep for tea.

James Engelhardt, Nebraska, USA

Friday, 8 December 2006

for KMH by J D Nelson

she's making figure 8's
until infinity.

she is sky-high blue,
sapphire aquamarine.

I'm looking through
the skylight &
she's just getting to work.

J D Nelson, Colorado, USA

Friday, 24 November 2006

Untitled by Eugenia Andino

Luz refractada da color al cielo.
Del negro al rosa, misterioso cielo.

Demasiada luz roba las estrellas,
Las ciudades se han quedado sin cielo.

Posponer los problemas tomando el sol,
Prohibida la pena si está azul el cielo.

Gris plomo de nieve, gris claro de lluvia:
No hay otro destino escrito en el cielo.

Si existe un Dios, nos mira desde lejos.
No es un consuelo imaginar el cielo.

El granjero no ve ninguna nube.
A sus plantas secas las mata el cielo.

El exiliado admira las constelaciones.
Alumbran su casa desde otro cielo.

Los aviones vuelan de aquí al futuro.
Yo no los alcanzo, mirando al cielo.

Refracted light gives its colour to the sky.
Black down to pink, mysterious sky.

Too much light steals the stars.
Cities have lost their sky.

Put off your problems and sunbathe.
Banish all sorrow if there is blue in the sky.

Dark grey for snow, light grey for rain:
Don't read any other destinies from the sky.

If there is a God, He's so far away.
No comfort from an old man in the sky.

The farmer looks in vain for a cloud.
His dry plants are killed by the sky.

Exiles gaze at the constellations.
They light up his home on a different sky.

Airplanes fly from here to the future.
I cannot reach them as I stare at the sky.

Eugenia Andino, Seville, Spain

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Friday, 17 November 2006

Autumnal haiku by Christine Bruness

Autumn evening~
soft moonlight illuminates
the small spider's web.

blustery fall day~
mailman chases the letter
blowing in the wind

autumn shore trip
alone on the beach amongst
an ocean of ghosts

swarms of white & gray
soaring in the twilight...
sky of seagulls

Christine Bruness, New Jersey, USA

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Come in from the cold: November snapshots by Eugenia Andino

Salgo sola, al amanecer.
El viento gélido me envuelve
Mientras mis amigos duermen.

Alone, out at dawn.
The icy wind wraps me up
While my friends sleep.

Dos feroces dragones:
Un niño y una niña con impermeables,
Su aliento de vapor.

Two fiery dragons:
Boy and girl in raincoats,
Their breath of steam.

Una hoja se aferra a la rama.
Otoño helado.
'No te rindas sin oponer resistencia'.

Leaf clings to the tree,
Chill autumn.
'Don't give in without a fight' (Pink Floyd)

Con purpurina de escarcha
la hierba se disfraza:
Un Halloween tardío.

Glittery with frost
The grass puts on a costume:
a late Halloween.

Eugenia Andino, Seville, Spain

Sunday, 5 November 2006

For the Girl Who Had a Crush on Me in Middle School by Corey Cook

The girl with the long stringy
hair, the long greasy hair. The girl
who wore ill fitting, faded clothes
-clothes that had been passed down
& passed down again. The girl
who had a crush on me & wrote
me love letters, letters that said "I
saw you at the tennis court Tuesday
& wanted to walk over, but my father
was home." The girl whose father
had a sailboat stocked with food
& supplies in his backyard, whose
father sent her out for firewood half
-naked at three in the morning, whose
father held the entire family hostage
with a shotgun. The girl who needed
me, needed someone. The girl I didn't
acknowledge until now.

Corey Cook, New Hampshire, USA

Friday, 3 November 2006

Taken Away by Chris Major

it was one Friday night.
Went down clutching
a take away under
a blur of boots,
tattooed arms that
pistoned primary colours.
Red smothered,
masala making things
look worse.....better.
Fortnight in a coma,
before us at rehab;
a weight of careplans
and papers hopefully
squeezing out some
quality of life.
Sentences cut,
few words at a time,
soothing soft syllabled
and mushy as food.

Forced smiles and optimism
before home to 'see ya lata' notes,
nights of no sleeping
'til keys find the lock...............

Chris Major, Staffordshire, UK

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Haiku for Hallowe'en by Christine Bruness

autumn evening
hearing the campfire hiss
from the rain's kisses

October morning
fog rolls across the graveyard
or: phantoms dancing?

glass jack-o-'lantern
smashed to pieces by goblins
this Halloween night

Christine Bruness, New Jersey, USA

Sunday, 29 October 2006

Moonstruck by Chris Major

'Pull your socks up '
and herbal teas,
therapy and pound
a pill Prozac
-nothing bloody helped.

"And in this day and age,
it's like asking for the moon."
She moaned.

I wonder if peace
was found that night?
Purposefully stepping
in to the road,
leaving tarmac puddles
showing pieces of sky,
a gutter of glass
glinting its stars.................

Chris Major, Staffordshire, UK

Friday, 27 October 2006

Lost Cities by Steven Schroeder

Rain remembers every face
it's ever touched, Kohelet, when
it slips unseen to sea, overflows
with rivers of them, lost cities
that rise in clouds sky
cannot contain.

Steven Schroeder, Chicago, USA

Sunday, 22 October 2006

Hawk and Mouse by Jan Harris

Black beats on blue
in wing-torn sky
eye, beak, talon

Instinct holds her taut,
explosion suspended,
on the tip of dive.

In shadow
eyes night-wide
blood shudders
through flared veins
nostrils scent

flight frozen

two hearts
one moment


Jan Harris, UK.

Friday, 20 October 2006

Three haiku on Trees by Sandy Sue Benitez

Maple shakes her curls
covering the naked earth
with shawls of copper

Crabapples fall hard
crashing into frosted soil
red comets on fire

Kites float in gold skies
paper leaves tied with ribbon
tree roots envious

Sandy Hiss, Wyoming, USA

These haiku are now featured on November's Festival of the Trees.

Friday, 13 October 2006

Autumn Song by Lanie Shanzyra P Rebancos

(Tanka and Haiku Collection)

Twigs snap under my boots
on my way home

after work-
black veil
took me

Pumpkin pie
on my plate-
on my sister's

smell of dust and

Cloudy day
a kite
passes by

Autumn song
so lonely
even the leaves

Lanie Shanzyra P Rebancos, Phillipines

Friday, 6 October 2006

Spiders Inside by James Engelhardt

One early October morning I head into the kitchen
and I don't use the microwave but I notice anyway
the thick webs connecting it to the nearby wall.

What I notice really isn't the webs. To be accurate,
I sense the dark shadow of a spider. And then
I wonder how it was hanging there, which was stupid.

A good-sized spider, too, the length of the first bone
of my index finger. I want to say it's smart
because the ones on the floor get eaten by my cat.

But there aren't many other insects to eat
where it's spun it's dense, white webs. I puff on it
to chase it back under the weird, flat-button oven.

My wife doesn't really care for spiders, but likes
other bugs even less. We don't use the microwave
much and I don't see the spider for a few days.

Dana warms up some leftovers, the web tears
but it's repaired next day and I feel good. It's autumn
and the spider and I keep finding enough to eat.

James Engelhardt, Nebraska, USA

Friday, 29 September 2006

Two haiku by Faustina

cold in the distance
standing atop a mountain
travel in shadows

to see this haiku with its accompanying photo, visit this page

one gust of the wind
one breath taking me away
like a leaf falling

to see this haiku with its accompanying photo, visit this page

Faustina, Georgia, USA.

Friday, 22 September 2006

the wind blows my mind by J D Nelson

like a loose leaf,
I flip & twist
as the sky sighs.

far from the tree

where I changed
from green to gold,
I'm flying.

J D Nelson, Colorado, USA

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Escape by Gerald England

It is necessary
every once in a while
to escape
from the oppressive closeness
of the city;
to take a bus
away from the city
to a small village
up on the moors' edge
from where
I can walk up
into the hills
where there is
no roar of traffic
but the rippling of a stream
Though the city
is but a mere
bus ride away
it could be a million miles
for here is not the solitude
of the city,
which is loneliness,
but the solitude
of the country,
which is freedom.

Gerald England, Hyde, UK.

Sunday, 17 September 2006

Cleaning the Saddle by Taylor Graham

I take a rag and wipe away the dust.
The leather’s dry. I rub in saddle soap
in swirls from swell to cantle. Touch of rust
on metal. Scuffs and wear marks. Heels and rope

and smell of horse long gone –
those canters, leaning with the stride
of Molly-black mare. But a girl
grows up, away

from horses; keeps the saddle for awhile.
It’s time to clear out memories and space.
I wonder what this old brown leather’s worth.
I take a rag and wipe away the dust.

Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Multiple Sclerosis (full of darkness) by Chris Major

I had to light your joint
you were shaking that much;
fingers that started with pins 'n' needles
had now lost grip on cups,
cutlery, job and dignity;
no matter how high you got
you never left the rock bottom
of wife in another's bed,
children now with parents.

I wheeled you outside to sunshine,
the looming shadow
of nursing homes.
Darkness leaked,
soaked your jeans crotch,
as you inhaled,
caused blackbirds to rise
and speckle blue sky.........

Chris Major, Staffordshire, UK

Friday, 8 September 2006

Gasp by Anna Piutti

How could one not crave
the kind of truth that makes
trust skip a beat
and fall
amidst wisteria storms
when the rageful season
and sneers, shamelessly
infesting the senses?

Anna Piutti, Vicenza, Italy

Friday, 25 August 2006

epic by Steven Schroeder

Most every time the world ends, it ends
in some imbroglio over noise, too
much, not enough, silent gods fed up
with the clamor downstairs, histrionic
bullies shouting where were you from whirlwinds,
somebody who doesn't like the music,
and forgetting. A bang, a whimper,
the terrible silence of a man
who does not recall his other son,
who makes promises when lightning strikes
or wars begin, who gives up children
because he cannot hold his tongue, because
he will not hold his tongue, because he does
not hold his tongue, because he does. Curses
enough for everyone in this epic,
those who remember, those who forget,
those who will die, those who wish they could.
Steven Schroeder, Chicago, USA

The Amnesia of the Cosmos by Steven Schroeder

She has come in time
to these moments of forgetfulness. Only
yesterday, the whole thing burned
red hot. Now it is cold.
That white chalk feathered
on a background of ice looks so familiar,
and the rattling in the tree, something
stirring that might have been
extinct. She can see her sighs
now, cirrus wisps that grow
heavy, roll into cumulus, cumulonimbus
piled high; and, for the life of her,
she cannot remember how to stop the rain.

Steven Schroeder, Chicago, USA

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

Landscape with Rocks and Trees by Taylor Graham

[Cezanne, 1895]

I think I know this scene.
Boulders clutched by roots,
and the smooth trunks bent
around granite contours
by weather and the immeasurable
growth of rock.

Long green brush-strokes
convey a season’s yield of grasses.
If I looked away – say,
out the window
at my parceled acres
and the newly fallen pine –

and then if I looked back,
how much longer
would those brush-strokes be?
What new shadows,
what graceful bending tree
might have fallen?

Would someone
dreaming a different landscape
have come to drive the first
Would the barb-wire
already be strung?

Taylor Graham, California, USA

Sunday, 20 August 2006

e Equals.... by Gary Beck

Adrift in the chaotic universe,
I urgently need to maintain control
of some elements of existence
that challenge my trivial power.
As my planet speeds through its orbit,
I barely cling to the surface,
pressured by every kind of force,
especially that of gravity.
I fear eco-disaster everywhere,
see man's best creations wasted in war,
yet precisely align my dresser drawers,
in a mostly futile effort
to establish a sense of order.

Gary Beck, New York, USA.

Thursday, 17 August 2006

What Happens to Dead Penguins? by Sally Evans

From living colonies
a path to higher ground,
a worn trail winds.

Here the old and frail
ascend to a pool
of fresh melt-waters.

Deep layers of corpses lie
in wet ancestral vaults,
depth of clarity.

Those few, who age
and do not die too soon,
take penguin stance.

This twice described
at South Georgian stations
by curious, thirsting men.

We face in from the rim,
towards the riddle
of our last parade.

Sally Evans, Callander, Scotland

Sunday, 13 August 2006

Heatwave by Steven Schroeder

Cricketsong smells of rain
on the far side of heat this
evening, but it has not broken.

A shadow of a promise,
a kiss of shade diverts us,
takes our minds off sun.

Steven Schroeder, Chicago, USA

Thursday, 10 August 2006

Low Tide by Bondbloke

Fishing boats lie stranded impotent in the mud,
Having been sitting proud, bobbing sensuously,
In the bustling, water filled harbour.
Trapped by forces of nature without chance of escape,
Until the tide returns again to restore their freedom.

Ropes and chains once unseen beneath the water
Lie now draped with slimy brown and green seaweeds,
Like so many stranded eels writhing in viscous mud.
Resting now in their ineffectiveness, their redundancy,
Their strength to be tested once more at high tide.

Fishermen mill around in groups, hands in pockets,
Waiting for the tide, discussing the weather,
Talking about past glories when fish were plentiful.
Others still are busy preparing for the next tide,
Mending nets, cleaning down boats, simply waiting.

Seagulls scavenge for any titbits they might find,
And people eating ice-creams, fish and chips etc.
Are prime targets for their terror tactics.
Despite all the warnings, DON'T FEED THE GULLS!
People feed them anyway, and deservedly get pecked.

Bondbloke, Leith, Scotland

Sunday, 6 August 2006

Just Waiting by Bondbloke

Little houses by the harbour,
Watch fishing boats at the tide line,
Awaiting its return whilst also
Waiting for a southerly breeze.
Fishermen stand around and talk,
About earth shattering events,
Like whose turn it is to
Buy the next round at lunchtime.

Bondbloke, Leith, Scotland

Friday, 4 August 2006

Dawn by Bondbloke

The rosy fingers of the goddess of the dawn
Slide like the crafty hands of a cat burglar,
Over the window ledge of the horizon,
And begin to jemmy the lock of the day.

Sunrise comes as the visual music of the cosmos;
The soft light of dawn flowing passionately,
Like the lethargic caress of a gentle lover
Over the sleepy, undulating body of the sea.

The sea sucks noisily at the sandy shore,
Like an old man drinking tea from a saucer.
The seagulls plaintive cry greets the day,
Before other birds have even brushed their teeth.

The most precious time of day is dawn.
Aurora comes to the world anew each day.
Stripping off her cloak of spangled darkness
And flaunting her red and gold-flecked body.

Bondbloke , Leith, Scotland

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

Underwater or Plunder by Alan Dunnett

Green bones of cheek and jaw, of shin and thigh
Fall and rise, to silt or sky, while adventurers tilt
Slightly and return in their cabins, trying plans

In argument for doubloons and dead men's eyes.
It is still hot at midnight, even the ponderous blades
Of the fan are sweating. Still talk is breathed

Out, there is as much uncertainty as the sea shifts.
Now the moon blindly searchlights the water, then the wind
Falls from the rigging. They will cast their die

Where incestuous currents twist against each other
And the fish are hunting with poisonous mouths.
That greed-worn map... written with a mixing

Of gunpowder and rum, pestled together
In longitude and latitude in a cave beneath a tavern
In Old Jamaica ! Will you go down

Where X marks the spot and search
Among the moving bones ? This is a chance
Like a fallen angel, and all the jaws work in a whisper
Against seaweed and shin for the taking.

Alan Dunnett

First published in Hurt Under Your Arm (Envoi)

Sunday, 30 July 2006

This Message From Exile by R W Hurst

you receive this message from exile...

short skirts that arrest a youthful gait
the tapered legs with ankle charms
the arms that search and sway
no longer distract me. I am free

once, compelled to linger
fixed, rocking between thighs
my age and energy moved in opposition

the tangle of limbs and twisted desire
were fuel for misadventure and denial

I found not love but incompletion

this ocean beach with sea debris
driftwood, wreckage and stone
laps at ancient footprints, badly eroded
and at mine, alone

Now, aged and disgraced
consumed by infidelity
these seaweed girls sing siren songs
of unity, harmony and home

R.W. Hurst, Ontario, Canada

Friday, 28 July 2006

The Dragon by Sandy Sue Benitez

When you first told me about
the dragon tattoo, I didn't
believe you were preppy 101,
clean cut in your wool sweater
and Dockers. I wasn't sure
I wanted to see your legs,
lean and pale; a runner's body
fed from lentil soup and fishcrackers.

The dragon was a distraction for

the horror that lay underneath.
Creeping and winding itself
through layers of arrogance that
you breathed from your nostrils.
Setting fire to gentle hands
whose only intent was to touch
your heart.

I always thought dragons wore
beauty in unconventionality.
Loners, drifting in solitude, their
wings unclipped. But when I tasted
your fire, it burned my tongue.
So I spit you out, let you disappear
behind pages of myth.

Sandy Hiss, Wyoming, USA

Tuesday, 25 July 2006

Meandering by Mandy Smith

A motorbike splashes the mermaid
sends her reeling through space
watching the lights of the earth
from Greenland's icy mountains
to the fire raging rivers of Hawaii
dragging domestic dragons behind her.

One day her train will come;
for now she stands on a lonely platform
with no-one to hold her
unsheltered from the feral wind.

Mandy Smith , UK.

Sunday, 23 July 2006

Whatsoever Things are Lovely by Christine De Luca

'Whatsoever things are lovely..think on these things.' Philippians 4, 8
A smoor o paets: a simmer foo
a hent fae timeless broos at,
haddin der dark fire, cuppit
fair Lungawater. I da sun
da paety loch glansed
secret an boddomless.
Jöst oot a reck, a tize
o water-lilies flotit,
luscious an exotic,
intae a Monet.

Da day, i da toon,
du skypit up ta me,
alive ta ivery element;
open on a loch o trust.
Afore I gud, du closed
petal airms aroond me.
A flash o Eden, surely,
or a braeth o Lungawater;
a charm fornenst da grummel
steered up itae dis fragile wirld.

A drizzle of peats: a simmer full
to glean from timeless slopes that,
holding their dark fire, cupped
fair Lungawater. In the sun
the peaty lake sparkled
secret and bottomless.
Just out of reach, a lure
of water-lilies floated,
luscious and exotic,
into a Monet.

In the town today,
you skipped up to me,
alive to every element;
open on a lake of trust.
Before I went, you closed
petal arms around me.
A flash o Eden, surely,
or a breath of Lungawater;
a charm against the muddiness
stirred up within this fragile world.

Christine De Luca, Edinburgh, Scotland
This poem also appears on the Scottish Poetry Library website here.

Friday, 21 July 2006

Two Garden Haiku by Christine Bruness

summer morning~
resting on a yellow rose
a black butterfly

Dahlia garden
a cabbage fly dashes through
the maze of pink blooms

Christine Bruness, Lyndhurst, New Jersey, USA

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

The Garden of the Villa d'Este by Sally Evans

Greenness by stone steps in sun,
parades of gremlins in the rain.

and crowds of statues, dark leaves, stone,
water, outward and upwards thrown,

combined to set a garden-star
that stayed with me till Callander,

where, wet with torrents from the crags,
herbage expands while verbiage lags,

and showered petals link their songs
with choreography of stones.

Sally Evans, Callander, Scotland, editor of Poetry Scotland

Sunday, 16 July 2006

Arboles / Tree Cycle by Eugenia Andino

El cielo pesa el doble,
La lluvia es el doble de gris
cuando llueve sobre las palmeras.

The sky is twice as heavy,
Rain is twice as grey,
when it falls on the palm trees.

Sólo falta un tono de verde en Cornell:
Plata mate del olivo.

The only shade of green Cornell misses:
Dull silver of olive trees.

Una llama, fuegos artificiales,
Abanicos rojos, una sorpresa.
Una platanera en un jardín.

A flame, a firework,
Red fans, a surprise.
Banana tree in a garden

La mece el aire,
jacaranda plumosa.
Sueña que es pájaro

Swaying in the breeze,
Feather-leaved jacaranda:
it dreams it's a bird.

En estas calles mías
los ginkgos extienden sus ramas.
me saludan, estos amigos míos,
elegantes damas con abanicos,
niños que quieren abrazos.

Along my streets,
The ginkgoes spread their branches.
They greet me, my friends,
Elegant ladies with fans.
Children throwing arms for hugs.

Eugenia Andino, Seville, Spain.
Translated by the author.

Friday, 14 July 2006

Woodland Walk by Bondbloke

I walk along the woodland path,
The dozy mutt running on ahead,
Having his first exercise of the day.
Brown and yellow, fallen leaves
Rustle and crunch underfoot.
All is still, peaceful in dawn's light,
Except for the croaking pheasant
And the calls of other, unseen birds.
A stream burbling along clandestinely,
Heading lazily toward the sea,
Reflects the sun's early golden rays
Up through almost bare branches,
Lighting drops of early morning dew.

Bondbloke, Leith, Scotland

Sunday, 9 July 2006

Morning Star by Taylor Graham

When you couldn’t climb the stairs
I slept beside you on the floor.
A moonless night, but through the window
some bright planet stood in the east,
beacon for a journey.

Some say, the heavens don’t hold messages
for dogs. Perhaps the sign was meant
for me. Was it Saturn, twisting inside
his iron ring of grief, who kept
my vigil? Or Venus, orb of love

in a cold sky? Morning extinguishes
the brightest star. I took your leash
and led you out the door, first
station of a journey to that place
I trust we’ve known before.

Taylor Graham, California, USA.
Taylor's website can be found at:

Friday, 7 July 2006

We Grow to Resemble Each Other by James Engelhardt

At night, the chairs breathe freely.
If there is a new piece of furniture,
the others turn and introduce themselves:
"I am a chair. And you?" "A lounger."
The couch, footstool, sideboard all ask questions
about the stranger's early life, inspect the newness.
No spills, yet, no tooth marks, no flatulence.
No one has fallen onto it, stubbed a toe.
The imported wickerish thing
asks questions none can understand,
but even the lounger admires the lacquer.

Over time, dining and living room sets
get separated, their howls
so high-pitched even dogs can't hear them.
Grief can make furniture indiscrete,
cause them to snap—even under the delicate weight
of a shrinking grandmother.

Some age proudly, are slim, unobtrusive,
understand more than they let on.
They murmur to each other about Old World values,
about market prices and rates of appreciation,
ignore the Art Deco and Bauhaus pieces,
will not speak to anything designed
by Frank Lloyd Wright, no matter how polite.

Out in the barn, chairs miss legs, seats.
Tables without tops look like andirons.
Loungers sprawl unstuffed, springs shot.
Identifying tags, family histories,
distinctive paint and finials—all have been removed.
Slumping, bruised, they turn to each other,
"What's your story?"

James Engelhardt, Nebraska, USA

Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Untitled by Phil Primeau

things don't fit together
so well

magnetism decreases

swans lift like water
but generate no electricity

come home
& put on nick drake
shower then remove the cassette

eat a bowl of cheerios
against her gravity

wait for blood
to thin bad rain

Phil Primeau is manager-in-chief of PERSISTENCIA*PRESS and editor of Dirt, a print 'zine of minimalist poetry and poetics.

Sunday, 2 July 2006

Breakfast by Anna Piutti

Seven a.m.:

High above the roofs,
the frost-lacquered
crane branch
holds a
plump, radiant

Hungry for warmth,
I grasp the vital
sphere and
slice it
into thick

A paper towel on my lap, I
sink my teeth
into the morning glow:


Sweetly sour.

Anna Piutti, Vicenza, Italy

Friday, 30 June 2006

haiku by Faustina

vast blue. brilliant orange.
where does a sunset begin?
only where day ends.

(to see this haiku with the accompanying photo visit: page)

without seeing, calm
hiding in the trees, cold mist
feel it there, crisp quiet

(to see this haiku with the accompanying photo visit: page)

Faustina , Georgia, USA

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Morning Fog by Bondbloke

A thick cunning fog slinks in from the sea,
Lending the morning a ghostly chill, and,
An uncanny mixture of tranquillity and dread.
Terrifying in its silence and gentleness,
Like the harbinger of some impending catastrophe.

The tea-tray flat sea, a mirror no more,
The curious, creamy, smooth water covered
By a nebulous shroud of bleached opaqueness.
Blurring the outlines of all it encounters,
Deadening, distorting the disembodied sounds.

Beyond the shore we hear the putt, putt, putt,
Of a boat's engine as, tentatively, warily,
It gropes its way through nature's curtain,
Following the mournful wail of the fog-horn,

Trying to attain once more the safety of the harbour.

Bondbloke, Leith, Scotland

Sunday, 25 June 2006

Whitby Jet by Sally Evans

Black stone soft to carve
beads, ornament, brooches.
Stone, fine and intricate,
to wear, to revel in,
and slowly break.

Below gull torn skies
in the fishing town,
by Staithes, under quayside sails,
the sharp glitter, a dark rainbow
in booths.

Night flowering, a perennial glow
of east coast darkness, the poet-monk
Caedmon's fire.

Sally Evans, Callander, Scotland

Monday, 19 June 2006

Welcome to Bolts of Silk!

The title, Bolts of Silk comes from Dark Matter, a vivid poem by the wonderfully talented Rebecca Elson, who died tragically young. Unfortunately copyright permission is beyond the budget I have for this project, but I would definitely recommend looking out for A Responsibility to Awe, the collection that contains this poem.

Another inspiration for the title is the fact that bolts of silk were traditionally given as prizes in Japanese poetry competitions.

I hope this blog will feature poetry from across the world, poetry that has something to say and says it beautifully. Beyond that it is of course, down to my personal taste!

Biographical details where available will be included in the comments section underneath each poem. Aditionally, contributors will have one link to a blog or website (if they have one) in the side panel as well as in the post that contains their poem. If you like what you see of their work here, please visit their online homes to read more!

Tuesday, 30 May 2006

Please Read the Submission Guidelines

Bolts of Silk aims to showcase beautiful poetry with something to say. Submissions are welcome at any time. If you would like me to consider your work for publication, please send between three and six poems of up to 40 lines in length in the body of an email, with 'Bolts of Silk' in the Subject Line (this is important as it helps me to keep an eye on submissions!) to Juliet.M.WilsonATgmailDOTcom. Poems should not have been published in the past six months, unless on a personal blog or website. Please note that there may be problems publishing poems that are not simply formatted.

I can accept poems in English, Scots dialects, German, French, Italian or Spanish. I will also consider poems in other languages, especially Rumanian, Dutch or Scandinavian languages. Please however supply English translations! Poems in English will use American or UK (or other accepted variant) Spelling depending on the poets usage. Please proof read your poems before sending them, numerous errors in spelling and grammar reduce the quality of a poem in the eye of an editor and can lead to rejection.

Please include the address of your website or blog if you have one, so I can link to it! I will include your biographical details, where offered, in the comments section under poems. Please let me know your Twitter username if you have one so I can maximise publicity through Twitter!

As Crafty Green Poet I have a particular interest in poems about nature or environmental issues. However, I am keen for Bolts of Silk to cover a range of themes, so send me poetry on any subject, though please no obscenity or indecency. Poems with a seasonal reference are published in the season they refer to, in the hemisphere they were written in.

All contributors will have one weblink in the side panel as well as in the post that contains their poem. Due to the large number of contributers, I can now only offer one sidebar link per poet. This will be to the poet's blog and only if the poet doesn't have an up-to-date blog will it be to a website. I can link to Facebook fan pages but not to Facebook personal profiles.

I will reply as soon as possible to all submissions, this will usually be within a month. If I haven't got back to you within six weeks, please feel free to remind me of your submission. I will publish as and when, depending on how many appropriate submissions I get at any one time, usually two or three poems a week.

Please wait at least two months before sending another submission after publication or rejection.

Rejection is a necessary part of poetry journals. I may not like your poem, but equally I may just feel it won't fit in well with other current poems lined up for publication. Please don't be too disheartened if I do reject your work, but note I can't enter into correspondence about why I've rejected your work.

Although not an essential criterion for publication, I'd like to encourage contributors to link to Bolts of Silk from their website or blog and/or to follow the blog through Networked Blogs or Google Friends.

Copyright for all poems remains with the author.