Tuesday 27 November 2007

Friday 23 November 2007

Manic is the Dark Night by Michael Lee Johnson

Deep into the forest
the trees have turned
black, and the sun
has disappeared in
the distance beneath
the earth line, leaving
the sky a palette of grays
sheltering the pine trees
with pitch-tar shadows.
It is here in this black
and sky gray the mind
turns psycho
tosses norms and pathos
into a ground cellar of hell,
tosses words out through the teeth.
"Don't smile or act funny,try to be cute
with me;how can I help you today
out of your depression?"
I fell jubilant, I feel over the moon
with euphoric gaiety.
Damn I just feel happy!
Back into the wood of somberness
back into the twigs,
sedated the psychiatrist
Scribbles, notes, nonsense on a pad of yellow paper
:"mania, oh yes, mania, I prescribe
lithium, do I need to call the police?"
No sir, back into the dark woods I go.
Controlled, to get my meds.
Twist and rearrange my smile,
crooked, to fit the immediate need.
Deep in my forest
the trees have turned black again.
To satisfy the conveyer.
The Lord of the dark wood.

Michael Lee Johnson, Chicago, USA

Thursday 15 November 2007

First by Frank Praeger

But first, not always loss,
rhapsodic claims,
a cow inflexible but for its tail,
a horse's reply.
But first, compelling as a thought,
desire for unspent inner spaces
that neither mountain scapes or waterfalls satisfy.

A customary smile restored,
a zeroing out of each interrogation.
But first, braced for the next,
as an inattentive prompter looks away.
A permanent remorse settles.
The sky closes down
to grosbeaks on a branch,

to a stream's asynchrounous beat.

A lengthening shadow comprising three parts magic
covers an unfettered inside.
Coifed hair,
collapsible chairs
characterize a sun stunned patio.
And who was it that was once there,

who was it that collaborated in timely banter
as any two heads deal in closely held secrets?
What singular event holds steadfast?

Black-capped chickadees feed at the birdfeeder

A crow tops off a telephone pole.
Interpolated, dispelled,

whispering from among the fallen.
Results tabulated are inconclusive.
Still, the sky is breached,
an ancient resemblance redeems,
the shore clear of debris.

Frank Praeger, MI, USA

Thursday 8 November 2007

A Poem of the Night by Michael Lee Johnson

a poem
is a thought
of flowers
near frost,
dangling stiff
bitten by
the vampire of
late fall,
hanging desolate
near dusk
from a pot
on a patio porch-
with a yellow bulb
light beaming
conspicuously outward
over chilled
yellow green
glazed grass.
While my cat Nikki
hunches over a coffee
table, toasty & warm,
nose pressed
super glue
to the window
on guard for
passing birds,
utility vans
with large bubble eyes.

Michael Lee Johnson, Chicago, USA

Monday 5 November 2007

Firewirks owre Bressa Soond by Christine De Luca


Licht fades peerie-wyes i da simmer dim;
hills cut-oot, black on a egg-shall sky.
Toon lichts mirl, da Soond flat calm.
You hadd your breath an Shetland sinks
her clooers athin you, beds her doon.
At da crack o firewirks fae da Bressa side
a sel skoits, dooks him ithoot a soond.
Rockets burst heich owre dark watter
een eftir tidder. Abön wis, da sky is
a swirl o cotts, a birl i da darknin.
Der somethin aboot beauty poored oot
at catches i da trot; aboot da prodigal
at laeves wis moothless, winderin,
lik wi da ocean, da lönabrak.

Fireworks over Bressay Sound


Light fades gently in summer twilight;
hills cut-out, black on an egg-shell sky.
Town lights shimmer, the Sound flat calm.
You hold your breath and Shetland sinks
her claws in you, beds down.
At the crack of fireworks from the Bressay side
a seal scouts out, slips under soundlessly.
Rockets burst high over dark water
one after another. Above us, the sky is
a swirl of petticoats, a whirl in the darkening.
There’s something about beauty poured out
that catches in the throat; about the prodigal
that leaves us speechless, wondering,
like with the ocean, the breaking surf.

Christine De Luca, Edinburgh, UK