Category Archives: Poetry

Big Jazz by Julie Wenglinski

Color photo of a jazz band
 

Brass soldiers line up and pitch to his tune. Piano man rules the room. Hot, not sweet, the band chases the beat. Strings of guitars slice the air into bars and a velvety sax swings for a splash while drums punch a groove, cymbals ride crash. Bones blare the blues as these Vikings of swing, in tux suits of noir, embellish and round the sound that winds down, then swells, slams to the ground. Julie is from St. Louis and moved to Titusville, Florida in 1964 because her father worked on the space program. She … Continue reading Big Jazz by Julie Wenglinski

Return To My Old Neighborhood by Yvonne Leach

color photo of empty street of old neighborhood and brick storefront
 

As I pass the willow-lined pond, the wheels on my bike click over new cement cracks from the toll of winter’s thaw. How is it that not much has changed? The arms of the same cedars droop over the same sidewalks. Patches of drenched lawn sprout through snow, and the two-story houses still sit clotted in time. The early spring sun braids through the pine-dotted park. I turn the familiar corner toward my elementary school; the now-faint rain paints a black scrawl across the playground. The old oak we climbed, stark gray trunk blotched and … Continue reading Return To My Old Neighborhood by Yvonne Leach

In My Dream by Stuart Gunter

Purple sky with lightning bolt
 

For Steve Gray, in Sarasota The pine tops burn orange, loud and strange: a train screaming on burning tracks into the full moon. The moon flutes sunlight to my upturned eyes: I am as unable as the stars to look away. The cinder block wall crumbles over the table of smoked meats, fire in the brazier casting tiny orange stars that drift toward the white moonlit clouds. The cows low. And I am crying. I am holding my life together with bubble gum and paper clips. I cannot hear the music coming from the basement. … Continue reading In My Dream by Stuart Gunter

Cold Beds by Michael Sandler

Photo of man gardening in muddy bed
 

Lobster mitts might cushion the ache, my hands numbed by these cold, rain-wet stalks. The stakes tenacious, anchored in beds slimed here and there with rot. Cut twine and a vine collapses, limp as kelp. Tug upward and a tired length slips from its dimple of earth dangling a matted root. I weeded, watered, pruned and came to believe I had claim to a red firmness slicing so cleanly it would flake onto my sandwich—I tried to persevere…But the fruit was blighted. The stems now lie in a composting reef—bed of bladder-wrack more fecund than … Continue reading Cold Beds by Michael Sandler

The Moth and My Neighbor’s Wife Leaves, 2 poems by Sharon Ackerman

Color photo of a moth near a porch light at night
 

The Moth It would be too simple to describe its motives as a flame off course, a light mistaken for sun. Loveliness is complicated, a white body against darkness, the night’s counterfeit just beyond a screen, as yet untorn. Pale wing, sees what it wants to see, half-witted and happy for a few wild moments, reeling beneath the cold eyes of relentless stars.   My Neighbor’s Wife Leaves She returns for her things, bright strips of clothing billowed down like prayer flags over boxes. I almost miss the small object in her hand. She hurls … Continue reading The Moth and My Neighbor’s Wife Leaves, 2 poems by Sharon Ackerman

Beaten by Victor Altshul

Color photo of green meadow looking up a mountain with wooden fence
 

A once resplendent roan lying on its side, legs flailing, as if it thought— as if, in its final moment it could think at all— that it was still running, wild and free. So disdainful, so high-spirited, breathing patrician defiance with its last sad wisps of breath… Could it have known that its kind master whose gentle sweetness I, a fourteen-year-old city boy, once had longed to emulate, had sought only to tame its wilder excesses, crashing the wooden club down on the very top of its skull, to oppose the highest point on the … Continue reading Beaten by Victor Altshul

Nightfall and Infra Dig, 2 poems by Todd Copeland

Color photo of clouded sunset with 1 bird flying through
 

Nightfall There are stories no one knows. High summer. The sound of tree frogs coming from all quarters.   Infra Dig You know how when the sky goes to hell in the west there’s inevitably a black dot of a bird moving slowly, often left to right, and you admit, although you know it’s something that shouldn’t be said, considering God granted us dominion, that, despite being small, such a bird possibly matters more to the world than yourself? Todd Copeland’s poems have appeared in The Journal, High Plains Literary Review, Southern Poetry Review, The … Continue reading Nightfall and Infra Dig, 2 poems by Todd Copeland

Arrowhead, Melville’s Home, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by J.R. Solonche

Color photo of Herman Melville's home (yellow clapboard) in Pittsfield, MA
 

It’s hard to see him as a farmer, isn’t it? Bending over the rows of lettuce and corn, feeling the ears between his thumb and forefinger, all the while remembering breadfruit and mango? It’s hard to see him here at all this time of year. Pacing the oak planks of the writing room upstairs, sitting at the table, wearing these glasses, staring through the window out at Greylock, Greylock whose back reminded him of whales. It’s easier in winter. In winter when the five hemlocks in the yard are a five-masted bark. When the mountain … Continue reading Arrowhead, Melville’s Home, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by J.R. Solonche

Hooping by Bailey Merlin

Yellow and green photo with swirls
 

When we lie side-by-side in an afterglow, he says, I used to be a man of my word. Neither of us wants to label his intentions, fearful of finding the meaning in definition. Our fingers come together, interwoven like the white, fraying threads of our patched-up quilt we bought on the side of a highway in New Mexico where a girl was swishing a hula hoop on the points of her hips as she danced like an accident in progress. My hand settles on the wall, sliding down peeling paper and strip away a large … Continue reading Hooping by Bailey Merlin

La Mer by Gary Beaumier

B/W photo of ocean wave against rocks
 

It is the reach and sweep of the horizon that seduces the eye the darker folds of clouds the insinuation of rose just above the water a breeze moist and warm like the touch of first love a boat secured to the outermost mooring rocks an afternoon away a little wine a book and the plink of piano notes from the classical station that escape the raucous confusion of gulls while a wave geysers high as the lighthouse. Gary Beaumier has been a finalist for the Luminaire Award and has had his poem Rio Grande … Continue reading La Mer by Gary Beaumier