All posts by Sharon Ackerman

A Radio with Guts by Russell Thorburn

old radio with buttons and dials
 

  Bukowski talked about it, the one he threw through the window each drunken night and it still played, a radio indestructible with songs that couldn’t help but bead against my forehead. I think of Johnny Rivers, honeyed in his tenor and hair, the way he sweetened even “Secret Agent Man.” Edgar Allan Poe sat with Bukowski throughout those drinking sessions. What- ever he poured down his gullet had to burn like being tied to a stake, when the Raven began talking Plutonian shores. As a young man I remember summer nights of cheap vodka, … Continue reading A Radio with Guts by Russell Thorburn

Reflection by Michael Quattrone

light falling on footbridge over water
 

  The garden bridge, a subtle arc that gathers to its bend the mossy stones of either bank, and to the water lends a stagnant symmetry: the dark tunnel above, the sky afloat below. A tranquil park made upside down, and I, half over, pause upon the brink to watch the willow send its branches heavenward, to drink the light that never ends. Now speak the truth. No shallow gloss will shelter us from moss or earth. Michael Quattrone is the author of Rhinoceroses (New School Chapbook Award, 2006) and the musical album, One River … Continue reading Reflection by Michael Quattrone

Swimming Again to Meet You and In Mist and Gray Light, 2 poems by Roselyn Elliott

two lone trees, highway, fog
 

Swimming Again to Meet You, along some enclosed lane where I pass you swimming in the other direction. Decades, I swam into changing light that guided me to temporary rest— So I begin again— the long drive in the northbound lane, up the highway to the farm. Returned to your house, I let myself down into the water of our lives where you waited, cooking, looking for my car crossing the creek bridge. I leave and return, leave, return, and always, there you are, wondering how I manage to do everything I do. Who is … Continue reading Swimming Again to Meet You and In Mist and Gray Light, 2 poems by Roselyn Elliott

Poetry Contest Announcements, 2021 by Sharon Ackerman

laptop and open window
 

It is always the same with judging contests: Lots of fine poems, only a few winner slots. That funnel can be challenging and a bit capricious, poems of equal merit tossed between editors for some final, defining strength. Let me take a moment to thank each and every contest submitter for entrusting co-editor Frederick Wilbur and myself with your work. We do not use screeners thus every submitted poem was read by both of us with respect and appreciation. Here are the chosen winners for the poetry contest with editor comments listed below: First Place: … Continue reading Poetry Contest Announcements, 2021 by Sharon Ackerman

Casting the Current and What’s Forgotten, 2 poems by Ronald Stottlemyer

river, man and boy fishing in evening light
 

Casting the Current I waited hours on the bank while Dad kept trying for a couple browns. He was far downstream when the first big drops cratered the water. All afternoon, the dark bruise of a storm had been closing in over the hills, but he waded out farther with the rushing current, casting long, slow loops over the ripples, some lifted by breezes, others blown aside like a bird in a gust of wind. Cigarette dangling, he moved carefully, shifting his footing around slippery rocks, past slopes that fell away in darkness below, someone … Continue reading Casting the Current and What’s Forgotten, 2 poems by Ronald Stottlemyer

Wings by Lance Lee

long boardwalk stretching into the sea
 

  ……Gulls feast in freshly furrowed and sown Salinas fields early February, early warmth ……far from the cold Big Sur wind-thrashed waves beyond the Santa Lucias: …………………………………..or startle, confetti ……thrown in the blue sky before they settle again in Carmel River’s dune-protected mouth. ……How do they manage tonight when the wind turns Lear-mad and howls and tears at the eaves? ……I cannot sleep, although sleep smooths the lines of the woman I have grown old beside, beside me. ……All night the storm thrusts inland so morning bares a dust-brown day where gulls ……crouch between the … Continue reading Wings by Lance Lee

Sunday Drive by Charles Springer

pale green field
 

Sam tells his wife and kids that when next Sunday rolls around, they’ll take that drive he’s been promising across the scenic Midwest. No feat to be sneezed at since they live in New Jersey. Sam figures Iowa and Nebraska should only take half the morning. The remainder will go by in a flash so be ready with those cameras! Sunday finally rolls around and in between Bird-in-Hand and Paradise, they stop for gas and for Jilly, Sam’s wife, some pork rinds. Jilly points with a greasy finger at a cornfield in the distance not … Continue reading Sunday Drive by Charles Springer

Looking Ahead by Julia Chiapella

view of city from high rooftop
 

On the last day of the world the children laugh. How can they know? They pick up stones, pockmarked, flat, dap them through rising waters, their voices littered with glee. On the last day of the world no one cries. The neighbor pulls out her cello, plays Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor from the rooftop until the dark pulls its covers over the strings. We look out the window. Count to ten. Forget what ten means. The month of May. How to read a clock. Wouldn’t you want it like this? Oblivion nothing but sweetness … Continue reading Looking Ahead by Julia Chiapella

For Friends Who Lost Both Children and Lingering Over Coffee, 2 poems by Kevin Norwood

crescent moon and venus in pale blue sky
 

FOR FRIENDS WHO LOST BOTH CHILDREN ………………….God is so omnipresent. . . that God is an angel in an angel, ………………….and a stone in a stone, and a straw in a straw. . . ………………………….— John Donne, Sermon VII If you wake at early light, rise, go out, look toward the waning moon, toward the twin stars balanced there. Stand barefoot on newly greening grass; know that weariness of earth, of care, courses through you only, not the stars. If you wake at early light, rise, go out, harken to the echoes of nursery rhymes … Continue reading For Friends Who Lost Both Children and Lingering Over Coffee, 2 poems by Kevin Norwood

Departing in McKittrick Canyon by J.R. Forman

green rocky canyon
 

you and I bedded down in the canyon the nine ply of heaven folded us in rain the next morning the firewood smoldered with dew as you bathed the stones in the springbed trembled like flowers seen through campsmoke then we parted like petalfall as the gibbous old man looked on still early without yet his companion our horses neighed as they turned away they too are old friends over this land of spines and cactus quills the sun and moon keep moving not finding anywhere a soft seat J.R. Forman’s work has appeared in … Continue reading Departing in McKittrick Canyon by J.R. Forman