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