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