Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The Music Man by Matthew Wanniski

“You don’t have to look,” he says,
“Just listen.” And we do—
His melodies soothe like a balm, or thunder
Like the passage of a thousand stallions.
We are transported to the apex of joy
Or are buried in valleys of sorrow.
The music slips through the cracks
Of our disregard, a furtive, velvet-soled thief
Unlocking all the doors from the inside.

This is how we picture him,
In our warm and cozy homes—
A romantic hero of legend, a troubadour bold.
Not this disheveled wretch,
This slumping, loose-limbed pauper with one shoe
Carrying his life slowly, like a snail, on his back.

If you were to ask him, he would say
“My music is my mansion—
Seek me there if you must.
There are many rooms, and I do enjoy the company.”

Who was this man? (Who is he now?)
This gatekeeper of our morning commute—
What right does he have to be here,
Dragging a stick of horsehair across trembling strings
As if they were our hearts?

When he is gone and the music stops,
Tell me, who is homeless then?

Matthew Wanniski, Los Angeles, USA

Sunday, 27 June 2010

An Impossible Affair by Penny Smith

Ripples spread across the silent surface
of the day, and disappear into infinity;
their subtle vibrations touch my heartstrings,
which resonate and sing with music.

But a cocoon of family wraps you close
and keeps us in separate, secret worlds,
where time stops and starts only to order.
Meanwhile, in a place of time out of time,

our intertwined beings create
their own universe of surreal reality,
where edges blur and the core melds
our two selves into one complete whole.

Penny Smith, Havant, UK

Monday, 21 June 2010

Simmerdim by Nat Hall

we have aligned to sun & moon,
.........what does it mean to the shalder?

bright calishang,

cockiloorie instead of ice,
linties & waap,
feverish song of the blackbird,
wings slashing through a lavish sky,
patchworks of matrimonial cotton grass
where men and birds share same hillsides, where peat turns into pyramids.

ever ending,
over-saturated sense of life –
flick of feathers, twisting below this industrious horizon,
fishermen, birds, as if tradition never dies…
that perpetual canvas of blue in defiance to hands of time,
like a gigantic bonfire, we look through the eye of the sun.

Nat Hall, Shetland, UK

Poet’s notes on Shetlan wirds:

simmerdim = nightless sky associated with the summer solstice
shalder = oystercatcher
calishang = boisterous commotion
cockiloorie = daisy
linties = twites
waap = curlew

Saturday, 19 June 2010

In Plight by Rachel Kalyna

Pull the shorebird
from its home; notice:
Pelican has a battleship
in his throat. It is bitter
and absurd.
He wants to sink
below the tin-rain, spit
torpedoes at barracuda,
sip its fresh salt again.
The risk of madness will fray
brown pin-feathers.
Pelican does not comprehend
an unfamiliar hue.
He does not feel the ocean
beyond battery weight
and whale bone,
erosion and decay.
Only the shifting fever-wave
can polish his name.
Pelican is a maelstrom
of mistake, with metal toes
tipped for navigation.
Magnetic North,
petrified; too fixed upon
passing. The tanker
has elapsed degree,
enough spin.
Siphon, pipe and blow
the horizon back
several more miles
before inspection.
Pelican cannot count how
many days have gone.
He will forget and dive
one last time. Below the slick,
deeper still, to find another way.

Rachel Kalyna, Atlanta, GA, USA

Friday, 11 June 2010

Swans by Robert Demaree

The swans glide quietly by:
Do they know that turtles
Lurk below the rippled
Brown-green surface?
Does anyone know
What will happen next?
The bench by the pond,
It comes to me now,
Is where we would pause
To rest,
My mother and I,
Easing her wheelchair down the path,
On late spring afternoons at Golden Pines,
Twenty years ago,
Watching other swans.

Robert Demaree, USA

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Sun tears by Alison Ross

The sea bows in prayer to the sun,
then shrinks back into the temple
of itself.

I drink in the solitude of the sea,
its dark wine filling me with the ecstasy
of emptiness.

But the sea is restless with nightmares.
It fears it will awaken a desert:
the corpse of an ocean
bled dry by the sun.

Tomorrow I will have nightmares
that I am drowning
inside the sun.
I dissolve into haloes,
and breathe.

I awaken, and hear god’s voice
trapped inside a stone,
from its center of silence.

And I cry,
weeping tears of an ocean
bled dry.

Alison Ross, Atlanta, USA

Friday, 4 June 2010

The Plume by Rae Spencer

The seabed disgorged its hoarded store
Of compressed ages, liquefied ore of fossil
Climes tapped by the drill and pipe
Toxic artery braced open, uncapped history

Spewing toward this current delicate
Shore, this frail balance in air that spoils
What earth and time preserve, sifted
Over with sand and ash, crusted

With stone, ruins of bone recorded
And lost beneath layers of investigation
Which quarry for the line that leads
Back, the shale trail to before

Blossoming plume of rune and tale, raw
Mix adrift, dangerous slick atop the waves
Tempting prism of our past set aflame
By cryptic sparks of scholarly interpretation.

Rae Spencer, Virginia, USA

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Approbations 212 by Felino Soriano

—after Dexter Gordon’s Don’t Explain

A whisper untangles,
as if each worded infant
crawls toward relevant freedom.
The dark is outward, a mother’s
hold, violently in love
until aged enough, child,
roams into existential awareness,

A local voice, dreaming portion
resting—holding onto juxtaposed
concepts: bury, run, the irony
alive burns trails but
bruises only half of a loving,
distant expedition.

Felino Soriano, California, USA