Sunday 27 January 2013

A Valley Fable by Kyle Hemmings

When I grow tired of the city's chalk downs & clay people
 who have disowned rock, I visit the girl melting in the tunnel valley,
her fragile fjord walls and her flat bottom ships. With a violent
avalanche of our pasts, our shoulders shudder, we hang ourselves
 over brooks, become reborn in a cirque. So high over a divide,
we chance standing on a terraced floor on one foot. She borrows
 a bridal veil from a mis-spent cloud. We blossom near a vast alluvial fan.
 We erode into the lips of a river that whispers hollow, that seeps
our sentiment into the hands of a woman longing for her children,
drowning in her reflection.

Kyle Hemmings, New Jersey, USA

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Pelham Parkway on a Tuesday Night by Joseph Harker

March 28, 2011: an adolescent female Egyptian cobra escapes from the Bronx Zoo.

You might see her sliding along, painfully thin and supple,
keeping to where the ceramic wall adheres to the cement platform
in the semi-darkness. You might see her lift her head to look up

and down the tracks, sighing and flicking her forked tongue while
she waits: for this is her jailbreak, her Great Escape to see (at last!)
the sarcophagi at the Met and the cold monkeybar trees of Central Park,

to go to Times Square, and Broadway to finally see Aida, after waiting
so long. She's anxious to catch the downtown 5, and she asks you
(you, who are sitting terrified on the bench, afraid even to blink)

if you have the time, in that silky and slightly disaffected whisper.
A hint of an accent; an unspoken dare to be impolite. You check
your watch and tell her, and she just nods, wiggles her hood.

You might see her perk up as the telltale rumble quivers the girders.
You might see her sway her neck forward and suddenly
snap at something to her right, and you might catch a glimpse of

tail disappearing between her chapped lips, her throat curiously
swollen. And you think, well, that's one way to keep the rats down:
but you still creep onto a different car and hope she's not offended.

Sunday 20 January 2013

Measured Movement by Kevin Cadwallender

This clock that keeps ticking
From the past to the future
As if time were linear
And we were not transient.

All the photographs mapping
This progression between
Now and then,
Behind and beyond,
Now and not now.

Haunted memories,
Clicked onto paper.
Tricks of light
And chemicals.

These hands that have
Existed consistently,
Insisting on
measured movement.

one sun that keeps burning
from the past to the future
as if stars were immortal
and not as transient as us.

all the astronomy of the ages,
charting the progression between
now and then,
behind and beyond,
now and not now.

Kevin Cadwallender, Scotland 

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Not Another Death Poem by Janet Lynn Davis

–for Judy

This poem is not about death;
there are too many of those.
It is about everything else:
the long discussions of when
we were seven or twenty-two;
how we fancied being “great writers”
(both of us, even then);
how we were otherwise unalike,
you protesting in the streets,
      me watching,
you flirting with any and all
who would flirt back,
      me blushing,
you with the wild hair and umber eyes. 

It is about anything but now;
anything but the slow fading,
anything but the white lilies
that will cover you before
the next hint of frost on the meadow. 

Loch Raven Review, Vol. 1, No. 1, Fall 2005

Janet Lynn Davis,  Texas, USA

Sunday 13 January 2013

I Tried to Speak Hemingway by Daniel Dowe

I tried to speak Hemingway, but she wanted Faulkner.
I thought my words were spare and evocative and true
Little ominous blasts bursting from staccato notes.
But she heard my monosyllables,
My crafted and considered signposts.
And thought they were just vague and noncommittal
When I thought they were symphonies.

What she didn’t know was that to be florid,
To be languid and verbose,
To unleash the words in a volley of spray and sound,
To give her as many meanings as she might ever want,
To ponder, to cry over, to envelop her, to fill her with atmosphere,
Would rob me of my sense of beginning or end.

I’ve been in those Southern evenings,
Where the sweet kudzu conspires with jasmine
And wisteria and a muggy sunset to addle
Your brain and make you shinny up a sweet dialect
Only a debutante at an orange blossomed cotillion can love.

But I live in a world where straight lines meet straight corners
And up is never down.  
Too many words can mean too many circles,
And too many explanations can leave very deep holes.

I don’t mind lingering in the spaces between and above the words,
I don’t even mind repeating them,
well maybe once.

I just want truth and the certainty that comes from
Not having to know.

I just want the least to do the most.

Daniel Dowe, CT, USA

Thursday 10 January 2013

Whispers by Taiba Khan

After ages it seems
this day has come

You have, I have
recalled some things

And again a desire has cropped up in the heart
On the lips have halted all words

Never were we this helpless

Taiba Khan, India

Sunday 6 January 2013

Poem 1 by Mary Wogan

Art is longing.
A dance with paint,
or words, or marble or stone...
A lipsticked mouth in a kiss
where colour collides
with emotion.
Where birds dare
the journey.

Mary Wogan, Dublin, Ireland

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Magic by Taylor Graham

For ten days the old dog growled
and grumbled at the new
pup, and begged us to make her
disappear. She ragged him, 
hung from his ruff, bit him on the ear. 

An old dog only longs 
for quiet, his peaceful cedar-bed, 
a slow amble 
down the grassy swale 
to sleep beside the running stream.

But this morning, he lifts his paw
and bows, as if asking her
a question; looking her life in the eyes -
puppy eyes. Magic,
this old-dog invitation to the dance.

Taylor Graham, California, USA