January 30, 2015

In the Valley of Cause and Effect by Steve Klepetar

In the valley of cause and effect, particles fly

apart with fierce intensity. Weather
never changes, but rolls and rumbles through
a symphony of clouds and rain. Sky taps
its fingers lightly on barren rocks, on trees
bending to wind’s whispered will, on moss
and grass and fissures carved in angled cliffs.
Cafes remain full, cups and glasses clink
against wrought iron. Chess pieces tumble
off boards of inlaid wood, bishops and knights
and pawns. Unaware, the long day yawns.
Tomorrow barrels on, then red shifts
into yesterday. Years pile onto years as we
gather to watch the parade – blaring bands
and columns of men with their helmets
and swords. They stab our ears with trochaic
drums, sheared notes, heavy tread of many boots
thumping tarmac, scent of blood and powder in the air.

Steve Klepetar’s work received three nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net in 2014.  Recent collections include: Speaking to the Field Mice (Sweatshoppe Publications), Blue Season (with Joseph Lisowski, mgv2>publishing), My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press) and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein, (Kind of a Hurricane Press).

January 28, 2015

Seeds by Michael Holme

I knew our whirlwind would last.
We’d hit the epicentre.

I gained trust from your sunflower hearts
that you always offered wearing pyjamas.

My microcosm was novel to you. Even jays
were won; their beauty fooled.

Robin performs, but frustratingly
his love’s a tease too. Only the stillness
of an angler can seduce him.

I’d shifted the leaves. They die to foster growth
on the bed our randomising rescue dog fouls.

Snow is due. Your silhouette will trace
regularly. I hope it will prosper.

Maybe you will synchronise with spring.
Last year wrens built in the rusty alarm box
that not even magpies could infiltrate.

Daffodils form a strong wake from crocuses.
Monochrome days miss them, till summer’s promise
gifts beyond feeding trays.

Innocence appreciates.
Right now the seasons are precious. 

Michael Holme is a late forties UK writer specialising in poetry. He is also a pianist and an art collector. His website www.michaelholmepoetry.com mirrors previous publications. His wisdom is “Embrace your aloneness.” He marries his second wife on Valentine's day 2015.

January 26, 2015

Beyond the Sky by Richard Schnap

I was the one
That saw a young girl
Talking to a tombstone

That heard the slow toll
Of a distant church bell
Beneath the grey clouds

That watched an old woman
Dressed all in black
Buy a bouquet of lilies

That awoke when a siren
Screamed toward the nursing home
But didn’t come back

That read the obituary
Of the reclusive man
That had lived next door to me

That wished I could know
The meaning of the wind
That comes for us all

Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

January 23, 2015

And so it's gone by J.K. Durick

A strategic nail
or peg or two
held out
and so
the barn held up,
stood up longer than
we hoped it would
and so
last Sunday we did
the ripping and tearing
necessary to remove
a century of Sundays from 
and so 
last Sunday night we
sat in the rubble and toasted
our ancestry
with paper cups half full
of cheap red wine
and so
last Monday afternoon we
sold the boards and what
else we could

and so we
watched the sun go by
without “that ugly old barn”
our great-grandfather built.

J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Camel SaloonBlack MirrorDeep Water Literary JournalEye on life Magazine, and Leaves of Ink.

January 21, 2015

Language by Maryam Mir

you say love you i

english was never your first language.

it’s 3 words i say 

how hard can it be to remember

you say you like putting you and i together, 

it means we’ll never be separated by words

i say is that all love is to you? a word.

you say it may precede you and i but it will never

come between us.

i say you were always good at making simple things profound.

you say english was never my first language.

Maryam Mir is still searching. born in europe / raised in the middle east / studied in the states / south asian origin. not one thing.  

January 19, 2015

Of Sailboats and Salutations by A.J. Huffman

I escaped my reality for an afternoon on the deck
of a borrowed sailboat.  The crew was rented
and anonymous, paid appropriately for discretion
and silence.  I sat for hours in the sun, unconcerned
with the red quickly spreading across my back and neck.
The new coloring would be a testament to my decision
to transform, to slip from one world into another. 
Wind flowed over and around me, a slipstream
of embracing relief, before catching in massive sails,
pulling me forward.  I picked up pen and inked my own
epitaph:  Dear Life, I am leaving you for the saltier side
of the waves.  Sadly, you will not be missed.  

A.J. Huffman’s poetry, fiction, haiku, and photography have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. www.kindofahurricanepress.com

January 15, 2015

Art: Florals in Green by Don Schaeffer

Florals in Green by Don Schaeffer

This drawing was made on a tablet using drawing software.