Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Early Explorers by Lark Beltran

Theirs was the untrammeled,
the undistilled and utterly alive;
they, the intruders, as bacteria
joining a lifestream for good or ill.
One imagines those extinct byways
where local color underwent no tampering
for tourist benefit, and the alien
was absolute for all five senses.
Hungry? Eat the local grubs. Bask
in sewage smells amid Shangri-La
movie-backdrop; listen with quickened
heartbeat to war drums; observe amazement
on faces fierce above necklaces of bear
claws or precious stones not for sale.
What cornucopias existed then
for the channeling: today's parsimony
of wilderness throbs for its lost kingdoms.

Lark Beltran, Peru

Friday, 25 January 2008

Notes from a small boat by Kate Burrows

Sweeping from darkening skies
come fisher bats gulping
young piranha in the gloaming
consumed in a rush of algae ripe in
fresh water

Symphony of cicadas and frogs
drown my thoughts
pushing them to Amazonian depths
to asphixiate in primordial mud.
Chaos of Times Square and the Roman Coleseum
collide on a hand-hewn boat

Our engine stopped.
One paddle for eight.

Dusk shifts to night
draining sunrise from my cells
to replace lightness with the
anaconda spirit within.
I become the river and the
river is the night.

Kate Burrows, New Jersey, USA

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Cloud Idyll by Chris Crittenden

clouds have nothing to do
except fascinate me
with whatever i need to see.

i ask them, "what's this?"
and they say,
"a white replica of your mind"


"eighty-three takes on the jowls
of your dreams."

"what do i crave?" i want to know.

the clouds bulge various chins,
conferring over a drift of hours

then realize

the answer
is a fluffy sundae
with mountainous cream on top,

or maybe a ten-humped camel
wallowing in blueberry

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Such Things by J D Heskin

Inside, they say, inside this block of marble
hides a magnificent statue-
-of a kind to be admired by those
who know and need such things:
such things that personify the nature
of what is considered beautiful,
such things that define the poet's determination,
the artist's passion,
such things that fire a composer's page
with notes that permeate the senses,
such things that intensifies the intellects
of those who live for perfection.
And when the statue has been revealed,
it will be left for me to shovel
and haul away the bits and chips that remain.
Only later, will I wonder

what all the fuss was about
as I stand outside waiting for my pay.

J D Heskin, Minnesota, USA

Thursday, 10 January 2008

On Becoming Vieuxtemp's Lover by Cynthia Marie

Vieuxtemp's violin bleeds
songs filled with melancholy notes
that mourn and chafe the heart.

Gentle as a girl he reposes
in his nude room a breath away
from the sound of falling rain in Brussels.

He allows Martine inside. And she takes
him beneath the moaning drapes,
his face shrouded.

Cynthia Marie, New York, USA

Saturday, 5 January 2008

The Diary Cure by Eric Burke

I am reclaiming my own,
my memories, my words,

not my history, my story,
what made me me,

but my metaphysic, my cure,
what made the world

the world
when I was young

and invisible to me.

Eric Burke, Ohio, USA