Monday 29 October 2007

Fire Ranger by Bob Bradshaw

From here it feels like I'm living
in a bonsai garden. Mountains
in the distance are smooth stones.
Scattered clouds
glow at sunset like Japanese maples.
Deer move through the grounds.
Headlights on the roads below
are as fuzzy as paper lanterns.
From this nest in the Sierras
I see a green cloudscape
of forest. Are you lonely?
everyone asks.
It isn't lonely in a tree house,
I answer. It's peaceful. Smoke
threads up through the trees
like smoke from a pipe.
My job's important. It's not
an escape, as you suspect. Why
don't you visit me more, you ask?
I'm not living on the upper floor
of a fire station, with a fire pole
to slide down from.
Don't worry. We'll keep in touch,
I promise. But friends up here
are like birds on a roof.
One by one they disappear
as the snow flies

Bob Bradshaw, California, USA

Monday 22 October 2007

Jesus Walks by Michael Lee Johnson

Jesus lives
in a tent
not a temple
coated with blue
velvet sugar
He dances in freedom
of His salvation
with the night and all
days bearing down with sun.
He has billions of ears
hanging from His head
dangling by seashores
listening to incoming prayers.
Sometimes busy hours drive Him
near crazy with buzzing sounds.
He walks near desert bushes
and hears wind tunnels
pushed by pine stinging nettles.
Here in His sacred voice
a whisper and
Pentecostal mind-
confused by hints of
Catholicism and prayers to Mary-
He heals himself in sacred
ponds tossing holy water
over himself--
touching nothing but
humanity He recoils
and finishes his desert
walk somewhat alone.

Michael Lee Johnson, Chicago, USA

Sunday 14 October 2007

SCAR by Howard Good

I can’t explain how I got it
I was too young I don’t remember

and the people who might be
expected to know

they’re dead

It’s a kind of hieroglyph
unfathomable until

you touch me
here and here and here

Howard Good, New York, USA

Tuesday 9 October 2007

Forked in Itasca by Michael Lee Johnson

I am so frustrated
I want to chew
the dandruff
out of the internet hair implant
and dislodge it,
for a lost love affair I never cared
about and hardly knew.
Don't tell me about my sentence structure,
I am human in these simple words.
I swear to you I curse.
Then the ram of my affair falls short
frustrating my approach to the world
at my fingertips.
No Yellow Pages here my love.
The dial up of my local connection
is wretched, stuck unincorporated
in the land I approved to live in,
monopolized by Comcast the
robbers of the poor and the humbled.
All I hear is the rambling of the railroad tracks.
I grow numb in my deafness faint with my hearing.
Did I ask for your opinion?
I am a frustrated foreign camper
in my own community.
Of a village I don't live in,
but I love this local village I lie about.
I am estranged.
I tie knots in contradictions
when I travel light and far,
visit home I long for a journey
past where I have never been.
Is this the reason I am lost
forked in between
the poet I think I am
and the working man
my bills dictate?

Michael Lee Johnson, USA

Friday 5 October 2007


October is a stadium
of flashbulbs
going off

trying to get a picture
of that quarterback,
throwing a pass
into the end zone,

trying to freeze-frame
the ball
in perfect mid-arch

before it descends
and crashes
into winter.

Linda Jacobs, NH, USA

Tuesday 2 October 2007

haiku by J D Nelson

after the shower --
just a few scattered blackbirds,
a low-flying hawk

J D Nelson, Colorado, USA