Saturday 30 August 2008

Further Adumbrations by Frank Praeger

Nights that could not be passed over,
days that seemed to linger,
a reach in taught, desire remaindered,
trees that budded and are not remembered.
Purple, gold crocuses, late summer's golden rod
to fetid,

There have been dreams,
magnanimous withdrawals,
shaky gradual drops,
tricked by an unfocused dearness.

Ah, the sun's revivification.

I have heard prayers,
and I have heard their answers:
sharp, dull, flat to full.

After a night's furious sleep
an edgy fatigue,
still, stubbornly resistant to null.

Frank Praeger, MI, USA

Wednesday 27 August 2008

Coupled by Tom Sheehan

The long rope of evening
tightens its soft noose.
Slack falls away from the barn
and sits down in goldenrod field
like a Guernsey waiting for hands,
tired of heavy suspension.

By the window your eyes
catch neither star nor firefly,
nothing shaken to superlatives,
just a small scar of light stolen
from the art of darkness itself,
just the thinned edge of dream

working out of a dim retreat.
We always separate this way,
as if night is a wedge or wall,
final hard divider of the day,
a bolt thrown home by pale hand
sounding ultimate punctuation;

you, dashing into tomorrow
before it takes a first breath;
me, at our history’s lectern,
a professor of yesterdays,
calipers in hand, measuring
littered wayside and foot paths

bringing us to schismatic twilight.
We stand apart, form and matter
of arguments, apt deliberations,
one part silk and one part burlap.
Oh, how we love differences,
and shadows’ falling threats.

Tom Sheehan, MA, USA

Saturday 23 August 2008

Arctic Tern by Carol Thistlethwaite

Changing technique with the tide.
from headfirst dive
to web-foot-drop,
hesitant with

Wings and streamers
into the shingle,
freshly salted and abandoned
by the now receding

Carol Thistlethwaite, Lancashire, UK

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Teatime on Keir Street by Claire Askew

An obscure moon - porcelain-pattered, or pocked
like an orange drawn by a child - sobs its way up
into a purple sky. Somewhere close, a dog barks

beneath a canopy of sun-faded green, is answered
with the human chime of its name. On Keir Street,
a young man folds light-shards under the bonnet of his car;
vacuum cleaners sing from open windows, shovelling
their strange music out onto flagstones. Elsewhere,

raucous bells reel off their repertoire, bathing
the slate-roofed sandstone streets in audible dusk.
With hosepipes out of bounds, resourceful housewives
serve up dish-water to their spluttering plants;
children thread their Meadows daisies into chains,
a talisman. A solitary aeroplane passes, ladders the delicate skin
of the sky - the swallows dive like graceful spitfires; winged stars.

Claire Askew, Edinburgh, Scotland

Sunday 17 August 2008

Townscape by Sally Evans

Summer Sunday's ribbon strips:
the tarmac road for tour buses,
motorbikes, cars towing boats,
next a wide pavement, crossed by groups,
the old and families, ice-cream
and purchases, zimmers and prams.
The row of shops' dry caves of wares
are cool and casual. Stairs and doors
show gardens built within stone walls,
a wild track where the railway ran,
a steepening brae you climb to view
the river, pooled below the rest,
reflection mirroring the strath
of skies above the town.

Sally Evans, Scotland

Friday 15 August 2008

The Lonely Heart by Fiona Dunn

The whizz and zip of the moped,
Rocketing down the dry sodium street,
The teenage girl’s laugh cracks the dusk.
Behind brick and mortar,
Six o’ clock signals the chink of tea-plates onto the table …
The rusty hinge on the gate
Scrapes with the cheap high heel
As the girl turns aside …
A fragile shudder, a throaty rev -
And the new-minted squire of the road,
Inclines his head with the certainty of a later conquest,
And the teenage girl’s eyes shine with a timid lust.
Behind wood and glass,
The thin hand with ghost wedding ring twitches the table-cloth …
Whizz! Zap! Brr-00-mmm!
The acrid smoke her solitary love-token,
And like a whisper,
Stains the tea-plate
As she places it, unused,
In a dark and lonely cupboard.

Fiona Dunn, Kent, England

Sunday 10 August 2008

To Reach by Amir Elzeni

The days get lost
in the shadows
of living,

in the primal pain
of existence,

the dance often isn't,
to sweet music
my beautiful friends,
most times it's
sirens, hate, intrusiveness,
let downs,

the con is evident
yet the skill to avoid,
seems elusive, for most,

and I search for the smile
that makes it all alright,
the words that make nights

lifetimes between souls,
forgotten times between
strangers, moments
like melting butter
on hot biscuits,

the treasure
within grasp
of those willing.

Amir Elzeni, USA

Friday 8 August 2008

marbles by Jack Henry

marbles on an uneven floor
blue ones, red
big fat shooters
oxblood, turtle, clambroth
dropped, rolling
holding up a wall
at the far end of the earth

dance gray on tattered glass
sit on low chairs in
dimly lit rooms
marbles scatter as cats
drag the dead and dying
across brown faded hard wood

tilt-a-whirl sunrise
breaks my mecca moment
light breaks through branches
of a coral tree out back
i reach for a marble,
ammo for my slingshot
first window drops
and the breeze
feels so fine

footsteps sound against
the grain of my waking
she steps through blended
light trapped from starlings

she sits on her knees
flips a thick round shooter
to my hand
i smile and take out the door

Jack Henry, California, USA

Wednesday 6 August 2008

Pond by Sally Evans

Cats lie in squares of shade
under the chairs beside
a pond - no one to watch
when golden frogs, black toads
splash and submerge,
or fishes rise,
silver minnow, surprised.
We wait and wait
for waterlily flowers -
fat buds, like minarets
across the flat-roofed pond
in no hurry to show
their colours, or expand -
poems that remain in nub.

Sally Evans, Scotland

Sunday 3 August 2008

L’Etang, Mougins by Gordon Mason

Poplars stoop over the lake.
A random breeze mocks

the water into small waves.
Sleeping ducks extract beaks

from backs and exhale in disgust.
A twitch of swallows is pitched

off a poplar and scatters like glitter
over the water. The water calms

to hold a cup of sun on its saucer.
The poplar looks morose now

his friends have left: frustration,
resignation. Laying down his sack,

the woodcutter sets to work. A branch
falls into the water. The sun disappears.

Gordon Mason, Scotland and Spain

Friday 1 August 2008

sun never slows by Jack Henry

i watch the sun climb through
barbed branches filled w/
fat green leaves and
orange trumpet blooms

koi, yellow and white and black,
jump from thick water as tiny
bugs skim across the edge

i am a child in my fears,
waiting for the news to
brighten my day, although
simple words do not seem to sway

metal bars bend as the heat
of my dying litters across
unmarked graves, yet birds
continue to sing and the
sun never slows

Jack Henry, California, USA