All posts by Fred Wilbur

On A Cappella Lane by Fred Wilbur


At university, I lived on A Cappella Lane, which dead-ended at the railroad tracks. Elm cool, the house had ivy as a front ‘lawn’ chaperoned by a short picket fence. The landlady had a walk-in basement apartment and lived between hot-water heater and oil furnace so that her children’s rooms could be rented out. My first night the trains woke me in a nightmarish sweat, bed shaking, books falling out of alphabetical order, coat hangers chiming in the closet. Soon enough I slept unawares. On occasions thereafter I would wake in the middle of the … Continue reading On A Cappella Lane by Fred Wilbur

A Study in Red and White and Keeping Up Appearances, 2 poems by Valerie Griggs

Photo of bright red rose

A STUDY IN RED AND WHITE Perhaps a poinsettia-shaped arrow, aimed perfectly by the mischievous son of Venus, brought pomegranate seed mayhem to this soul of mine. A red velvet cake secret snowballed sweetly until I was pale with no sleep, no appetite for anything but you. A December rose blooms above fresh fallen snow— how did you slip between my silver lining? KEEPING UP APPEARANCES On our bones we painted strawberries to hide cracks made by life in the desert. Hidden grief lives in our bones; the painted life of the desert hides what … Continue reading A Study in Red and White and Keeping Up Appearances, 2 poems by Valerie Griggs

The Puzzle Club by Fred Wilbur

Photo of leaves and sticks on ground

  In this time of social distancing, I have opened the box as Pandora must have done; 1500 pieces dumped like a pestilence onto the table, but like school children, all begging to know their place. During my working life there were business conundrums enough, but now in seclusion (which is a more positive word than quarantine), I have turned to picture puzzles. 3-D puzzles don’t have the same attraction to me because once you figure out the ‘trick’ you tend to remember it, the fun is gone. And besides they seem head-splittingly mathematical. Same … Continue reading The Puzzle Club by Fred Wilbur

In the Catacombs and Lost, 2 poems by Susan Muse

Black and white photo through an alley

In the Catacombs Ice hangs from the glass lantern, its dive caught midstream. It is patience itself, suspended in immense loneliness. Inside the fire flickers like a sunset descending behind the cedars out back. Only the crackle in the ashes disturbs the silence of the house. And I read leaning into the words that are tangled and brazen flaring the pending darkness like unknown corridors winding their way into the catacombs. Lost I was asleep when a lone rabbit ran through the night, his tracks spiraling the snow-burdened yard like he was lost, bearing the … Continue reading In the Catacombs and Lost, 2 poems by Susan Muse

Alan’s Odyssey by Sharon Hostler

Photo looking out over fields

69 Killed on Eastern Jet in a Crash near Charlotte New York Times,September 12, 1974 Like Odysseus, you sail the ocean in howling winds. No arm chair academic in corduroys, you are my red-bearded oceanographer in foul weather neoprene. Like Odysseus, challenged by Poseidon, far from the home fires of Ithaca, you, too, are tempted to taste the water nymph’s petals, but unlike Odysseus, you do not fall out, drugged and dreaming. Like Penelope with sulking Telemachus, I have little ones and sick patients. But, I have no need to pass the shuttle. No need … Continue reading Alan’s Odyssey by Sharon Hostler

Days like Clouds by Greg Luce

Waterfall over mossy rocks

Low clouds and the slate- colored river glimpsed through the trees, the train jolts into the day. A day like this compresses your thoughts into scraps, I said. One day’s like any other, they flicker along silver like that river, she said. Until the water breaks around rocks or heaves up with tidal surge, I said. The water marries the clouds, they billow along together, she said. Lead on lead, I said. Look at the clouds again, she said. Look at the water. Gregory Luce, author of Signs of Small Grace (Pudding House Publications), Drinking … Continue reading Days like Clouds by Greg Luce

The Pines and Finish Line, 2 poems by Frank William Finney

Photo of pines against clouded sky

The Pines Behind Snow Drive, rusty needles led to a pine grove, where we made little circles with dirty rocks and lit little fires with matches lifted from the corner store. These days the pines that survive make little circles of shade in a trail of three-car garages and realtors’ signs. The old store stays open in our heads. Finish Line The knees will need braces. The bones rebel. The memory turn traitor: rust to dust. Hoops and hurdles. Heartbreak Hills. Fast as a mayfly or slow as a sermon. Either way, you’ll finally cross … Continue reading The Pines and Finish Line, 2 poems by Frank William Finney

Capturing Clouds by Fred Wilbur

Photo of clouds in blue and orange sky

“I change, but cannot die.” Shelly “The Cloud” As my wife and I are on our morning walk, I often comment on the clouds above: the constant change they float themselves through, the subtlety of hues they dress in, the animal shapes and deities we conjure. And one day I must have said I’d like to paint clouds once too often—forget that I am not much more than an occasional house painter— because next birthday my kind and, no doubt, loving wife presented me with an online course simply titled Painting Clouds. With tabletop easel, … Continue reading Capturing Clouds by Fred Wilbur

While I Waited There by J.R. Solonche

Photo of people in airport

While I waited there in the terminal at Newark, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. It was a bird flying back and forth along the ceiling, and because I was in an airline terminal, I thought a small ironic thought and smiled a small ironic smile and made a mental note to write a small ironic poem later, but just then another passenger turned to her companion and said, Look at that bird flying around trying to get out, and her companion turned to her and said, No, I don’t think … Continue reading While I Waited There by J.R. Solonche

Peace Offering and Bridges, 2 poems by Kevin Pilkington

Photo of busy city street

Peace Offering I still don’t know what to do with the jacket hanging in my closet. It’s not that old but like a Brautigan novel is out of fashion. Maybe it all comes down to math and how for the first time in my life I understand subtraction. After losing two close friends, a number that never seemed large is now a mountain. Of course raw fish has always been worth the risk and my last job offer was not. The same tall priest in a black suit I’ve seen a few times on the … Continue reading Peace Offering and Bridges, 2 poems by Kevin Pilkington