April 22, 2015

Paris by Byron Beynon

I open a book of the seasons,
and find the first page of spring.
I walk to the Gothic 
cathedral of Notre Dame,
with its twin bell towers,
stone gargoyles, and rose windows.
Inside people light candles,
creating shadows on a wall,
groups of daily tourists,
with their necessary cameras,
being shepherded,
as a  priest takes confession.
Later I stood near Pont Neuf
where Oscar Wilde once saw a woman
throw herself into the brown Seine.
I continued the afternoon through
the Jardin des Tuileries, on to the 
octagonal Place de la Concorde
where so many citizens came
to such violent ends.
The three thousand year old
obelisk of Luxor seemed impatient
for take off into the Parisian sky.
The day moved on like the traffic
that lives in all cities.
Buildings, noise, a treasure of sky
under which ordinary couples kiss,
a warm memory, visible.

Byron Beynon lives in Swansea, Wales. His work has appeared in several publications including The Grey Sparrow, London Magazine, Poetry New Zealand, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Poetry Ireland and Chicago Poetry Review. Collections include The Sundial (Flutter Press), Nocturne in Blue (Lapwing Publications),  A Disappearing Landscape (Red Ochre Press) and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).

April 21, 2015

Art by Alex Nodopaka

1975 Circa photo-graphic, Merced River, Yosemite

1980 Circa photo-graphic, Sutro Park, San Francisco

1980 Circa photo-graphic, Yosemite Bridge

1980 Circa photo-graphic, Sutro Park, San Francisco V, Sunset

Alex Nodopaka was immaculately conceived in Ukraine. Exhibited finger paintings in Russia in 1940 before flipping his finger at and leaving during the Soviet shenanigans. Studied tongue-in-cheek at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Casablanca, Morocco. Has been doodling since. Lives in the USA where he self-appointed as art pundit. His interest in literature and the visual arts is exhaustively multi-cultural.

April 20, 2015

Two Poems by Douglas Polk

Morning Drizzle

a morning drizzle,
soft and tender,
fall to the ground,
bring to mind,
tears by a graveside,
celebrating a long gentle life,
now done,
the magic unending,
alive in the rain.

The Cottonwood

biggest tree in the county,
almost a first memory,
here when great grandfather first settled,
a lonely sentinel on the plains,
a meeting spot in the day,
picnics and church revivals,
now more a memory,
than an actual tree,
trunk rotten,
dead branches on the ground.

Douglas Polk is a poet living in the wilds of central Nebraska with his wife and two boys, two dogs and four cats. Polk has had over 700 poems published in over 100 publications within the last five years. Polk was nominated for pushcart awards in 2012, 2013.

April 19, 2015

Poppy Road Submissions Closed

Dear Poets & Readers,

Due to the high volume of submissions I currently have in the review folder, I'm closing the journal to further submissions to include poetry, art, flash fiction, short stories, etc.  As you know, the journal is slated to run until the end of May and then take a 3-month break.  At this point, I probably have enough poems to cover the month of May.  Thanks again for your support of Poppy Road.  

April 17, 2015

The Memory Jar by Bobbi Sinha-Morey

In the spring I dressed
in white cotton, wandering
among the deer and marked
their fawns with my fingertips.
By the daystar, in my idle time,
I sleep among the ferns when
mist lingers over the grass and
the red golden apples are furred
with dew. I'd considered rising
on my own wings to glide away
in the wind. In the spell of the
season I seal all my sensations
in a memory jar; and, come
the dusk, I'd open it shyly to
let every memory brush over
me softer than down; small
hooks on which a whole life
is hung.

Bobbi Sinha-Morey has been published in places such as The Path, Pirene's Fountain, Plainsongs, Taproot Literary Review, and Bellowing Ark, among others. Her books of poetry are available at Amazon.com and www.writewordsinc.com. Bobbi's website is located at http://bobbisinhamorey.wordpress.com

April 15, 2015

The Human Condition by Donal Mahoney

Did I forgive her, you ask?
What a silly question.
Why wouldn't I forgive her?
The mother of my children,

she's been dead for years.
Our long war died with her.
Did I attend her funeral?
I'd have been a distraction.

But I pray for her, 
the repose of her soul.
She belongs in Heaven,
no denying that, up front

in a box seat after all 
she's been through.
If I'm lucky, I'll find 
the side door to 

Heaven unlocked.
I'll sneak in quietly
and if Peter doesn't  
throw me out, I'll sit

in the bleachers.
The question is, 
will I wave if she 
turns around?

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He writes poetry and fiction. Some of his earliest work can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com

April 14, 2015

Two Poems by Don Thompson

Genius Loci: San Joaquin
Crow is too commonplace,
more into roadkill than mythic status.
Coyote has been reduced
to skulking in near silence:
no more night howls,
but only those yips that sound
too anxious—all too human.
Tule swamp Badger is long gone,
gone with the Yokut.
And it's not Hawk who sees everything,
but notices nothing we care about,
makes no distinction
between trees and telephone poles.
Nor is it Wind which, though unseen,
musses hair and unsettles the dust—
an ordinary mischief maker.
So it must be Light then.
Even blurred by endemic haze,
it overflows the gulches
and slips in under the rocks,
saturates the dead grass
until it glows
for an hour after dark.

Hard to say who holds the deed
to this land.  Fence posts
staking out the property lines
have rotted, barbed wire
caught in some sort of legal snarl.
Jack rabbits have always lived here
rent free, burrowing
deep under sage and mesquite.
Long since evicted, uprooted
tumbleweeds hold their ground.
But someone has to pay the taxes,
someone who keeps believing
that next year or the next water
will flow down from Sacramento,
more than a trickle.

Don Thompson has been publishing poetry since the early sixties, including several books and chapbooks in this century.  Back Roads won the 2008 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize. An LA Times profile, “Planted in the San Joaquin,” remains available online.  Visit his website at www.don-e-thompson.com for links to his books.