Saturday 29 September 2007

If I Were Young Again by Michael Lee Johnson

Piecemeal summer dies.
The spread of long winter blanket again.
For ten years I have lived in exile,
Locked in this rickety cabin, shoulder
Pushed up against the open Alberta sky.
If I were young again I’d sing of the coolness of high
Mountain snow flowers, the sprinkle of night glow-blue
I would dream & stretch slim fingers into the distant nowhere,
Yawn slowly over the endless prairie miles.
Prairie & grassland where in summer silence grows
& spreads eagle wings out like warm honey.
If I were young again I’d eat pine cones, food of birds,
Share meals with wild animals; I’d have as much dessert as wanted,
Reach out into blue sky & lick the clouds off my fingers.
But I’m not young anymore & my thoughts torment,
Are raw & overworked, sharpened misery from torture
Of war & childhood.
For ten years now I have lived locked in this unstable cabin,
Inside the rush of summer winds,
Outside the air beaten dim with snow.

Michael Lee Johnson, Chicago, USA

Friday 28 September 2007

Throw Aways by Frank Praeger

Such mournful music
over throw aways,

over the unfathomed,
neglected. . . undone.
Dirge for the abandoned:

expunged -



drums on.

Frank Praeger, MI, USA

Sunday 23 September 2007

Love in a caald climate by Christine De Luca

Hit wisna his widden palin
nor da openwark o steyns set
ta brack da wind, nor
da hedder he prammed
atween fences; nor

da tang he tör fae da ebb
an turned an turned, nor
his fingers brackin clods;
nor wis hit da sun scrimin
peerie-wyes. Na, hit wis

da draem shö planted
an a rösin ithin her luik
as shö stakit hit, willin
da wan rose ta oppen,
ta hadd mirknen.

Love in a cold climate

It wasn’t his wooden paling
nor the stone latticework set
to break the wind, nor
the heather he stuffed
between fences; nor

the seaweed he tore from foreshore
and turned and turned, nor
his fingers breaking clods;
nor was it the sun making things out
gently. No, it was

the dream she planted
and the praise within her look
as she staked it, willing
the one rose to open,
to hold twilight.

L’amour sous un climat froid - translated by Jean-Paul Blot

Ce n’était pas sa palissade,
ni le mur en pierres sèches
pour couper le vent, ni
la bruyère pour boucher
les clôtures, ni

le varech qu’il tirait depuis le rivage
et qu’il tournait et retournait, ni
ses doigts brisant des mottes ;
ni le soleil faisant doucement
ressortir les choses. Non, c’était

le rêve qu’elle plantait,
encouragement dans son regard
tandis qu’elle l’étayait, désirant
que s’ouvre la rose,
qu’elle retienne le crépuscule.

Christine De Luca, Edinburgh, UK

Thursday 20 September 2007

Leaves by Mike McCulley

I walk a moonlit path,
listen to eastern voices
and sleep in the day.

I'm like fallen leaves
scattered by an autumn wind,
not to be together again,

not to be a tree again,
not again to be with blossoms
that went before to earth.

Mike McCulley, Montesana, WA, USA

Tuesday 18 September 2007

The Enigma of Arrival by Howard Good

Night coming down,

and I’m crossing a bridge
where suicides wait their turn,

climbing steep stairs
that lead to no discernible good,

while the storyteller loses
the thread of his story

and you, who walk beside me
but whose face I can’t see,

pretend to be interested
in the sound of still leaves

Howard Good, New York, USA

Sunday 16 September 2007

The Day I Googled Nicky Boehme and Discovered - She's a Woman

What kind
of self-loving
gay man has a portrait of a church
fixed above
his head-board?

Autumn-kissed leaves?

Patches of flawless

A glimpse of a blue-black
by a cool, protective
gray, rock bridge?

The kind of
gay man
who realizes
the frame
by itself
without the Nicky Boehme
painting, sells
for more
than $4,000,


You don't have to be
a lesbian
to be able to

them earth-tones.

Bryon D Howell, Connecticut, USA.

Thursday 6 September 2007

Among the Lesser Loves by Ray Succre

A voyaging mind bickers through cold
rooms. Its woman grasps at pictures
and speaks in American south idiom.
What she says is also cold, and the pictures
show drinking people spanning chairs.

She curdles inward about a pretty man
she once knew that could make her
skin tip over with a certain touch.

A cartoon man walks from a woman
into a bar. Timely music plays.
Then the bar twists in half and people
fall out like drops from a dilated lime.

The woman grasps at pictures.

Ray Succre, Oregon, USA

Monday 3 September 2007

The Writer As Libertine by Paul Squires

(A honeymoon waltz)

an idea like a decadent intoxicant whereby,
in character, one can discover
that armed with acoustical resonance, one
can conjure a silk future too
in which wigs and wit return us
to Versailles.

(after, with memories of eminence, I manifest
Caliban in a nightclub amid sprites, raging
Against Curs’d Fate which enslaved his witch mother
to the arrogant masteries of Prospero
and experiencing epyphynys
with dancers whose nakedness
hid a naked life.)

then Strauss in Vienna in August
as autumn turned in on itself and
under white lace décolletage
the masked ladies
soft skin touched by delicate ribbons of
sound, by the waltz and the sense of eternity
in the architecture, shivered,

the last age in which eminence was celebrated
gives way inevitably to a chaos
of hangovers in sunlit motel rooms
surrounded by bottles and two bodies strewn
in velvet dressing-gowns, ours,

Remind me again of the Russians,
The Hermitage, the tears which struck that marble floor, ours,
at one man’s slender
tenderness for his new wife,
in white marble, in the waltz,
etheria made eternal

thru violins in gypsy camps at night
since Europe is in decline,
in Prague,

where finally, in a garden, we slept
glowing under chandeliers of stars.

Paul Squires, Australia

Saturday 1 September 2007

the slow machine by Jeff Crouch

the slow machine
when a glacier
on sight

to rescind
all things

the summer’s end

I photographed
your firm
your tender skin

traced the wrinkle
by way of increase
to reach no socks

there you were
posed again

when I tried to reach
your response

Jeff Crouch, Texas, USA