Resplendence hugging sacred rocks in pulsing moonlight triggers emotions for this time to share; a time for amatory wishes, remembering

ONE cannot own another’s thoughts.

TWO souls swimming in space, we search for encounter, discovering some valid connection to enlighten bring forth mature fruits of generous

wise womanly ways

THREE decades have been and gone and lingering in pounding hearts the unexposed feminine fragility of this love

still dwells.

FOUR times I’ve called. Automation tells me: you’re not at home today, but there’s a glory in these stars, this moon, so say astrologers that guide me:

they say that we’ll meet soon.

FIVE years ago when I crashed the car memories tunnelled toward oblivion; I’ve wondered since do you still live? Your framed photograph

makes me cry.

SIX days of sun brought freckles to your face. You danced naked, floated in Azolla-coated dam. You picked bunches of daisies; like a child presented them in laurels, accolades for

our perfected harmony.

SEVEN years together. Lucky this number. A heptad drenched with passion trusting creative ideas and thoughts. We imbibed too much from this golden Chalice, became overly drunk

on reflected illusion.

~~~

©bataug2000
Barbara A. Taylor Nimbin, NSW 2480

Australia

**Late November**

Time relinquishes abstract reasoning I can’t remember memories Midnight sweats accompanied by chants of: “This isn’t what I meant to be.” the walls I built for my defense are betraying me I can not breathe the more persistent my escape the tighter my confinement I need a fluid change and a realignment I need to forget what I can not remember a dead woman I resemble a child of late November my birth engulfed by chaos baby’s breath on a coffin head this is where it started the revelation states: This is where it started liquid pints of Ireland a new father distracted 23 years later 23 years gone all within the same hour my birth date her anniversary a brother torn my miracle lost somewhere in the procession intellectual regression leads me backwards tripping in strange places with strange people on strange things and this is all I remember and this I must forget my writing hand marked for insanity

and this, I can not forget.

Corey E. Houlihan Sayville, NY.

USA

Blues Addiction

(Listen [Stream 1:53] or [Download 332K])

You are the blue wren, bashing yourself against the glass. It breaks my heart! Or, I’m trying not to let it break my heart, by keeping my heart protected from your addictions. That’s another reason I cannot come to you. You must come to me, if you want to. Because I

cannot tolerate watching you poison yourself.

And in my house, there are no

addictions

I am the blue wren, bashing myself against the glass. It breaks her heart! Or, she’s trying not to let it break her heart, by keeping her heart protected from my addictions. That’s another reason she cannot come to me. I must come to her, if I want to. Because she

cannot tolerate watching me poison myself.

And in her house, there are no

addictions

She is the blue wren, bashing herself against the glass. It breaks my heart! Or, I’m trying not to let it break my heart, by keeping my heart protected from her addictions. That’s another reason I cannot come to her. She must come to me, if she wants to. Because I

cannot tolerate watching her poison herself.

And in my house, there are no

addictions

We are the blue wrens, bashing ourselves against the glass. It breaks our hearts! Or, we’re trying not to let it break our hearts, by keeping our hearts protected from our addictions. That’s another reason we cannot come together We must stay apart, if she wants to. Because we

cannot tolerate watching ourselves be poisoned.

And in our houses, there are no

addictions.

~~~

© 2001 Barbara A Taylor and Mary Meriam

State of Depression

Though warm sheets her sun-painted room and the sweet smell of her lover’s breath could bring should bring contentment peace

they do not

For from the realization that she has come to this desperate state yet again there is no relief no consolation Still she gropes to find the strength to fight

beseeches hope to return

In that morning light
she resolves to submit to –

if liberation from the recurring struggle is not
possible –

the terminal surrender

Spent from the battle
her affected body –

mouth dry, pangs in head and belly,
vision obscured, legs  arms  feet  hands ponderous –

presses against the bed and resists all efforts to
move into the day

Skin taut Breathing clutched Thoughts splintered

Beyond feeling

She has been an agitated and bitter exile to this state times before Each stay more protracted than the one preceding she wonders how long she will be bound this time how long if ever before she is by some mercy able to find a way or forge a way to the state she has yearned for the state to which she belongs

the state where

warm sheets her sun-painted room and the sweet smell of her lover’s breath do bring contentment

and peace.

Haley B. Drake Arlington, VA.

USA

The Doodler

She sits at the table writing no, not really writing the pencil is moving about but its not making words. It almost seems to be driven as though she were in some kind of dream world drawing something from that world. Doodling, “yes”- thats what it is, it’s doodles! Look! there is a head, an eye, and a rather large nose. “Oh”, I like this one. Now there’s long black hair, full lips, a little decoration on the cheeks and an elongated chin. She has rather stubby legs though with checkered slacks that appear to cover her shoes, or maybe just her feet without shoes. “Oh” – I like this one, she is going to make wonderful clip art for a cover for one of my broadsides,

“she’s perfect for it.”

Richard C. Smith Enfield, CT.

USA

Night Cruising

My boys & I do our thing. We cruise past city lights, past a new stadium on Clay & Walker. Enter the darkest part of the city where old warehouses are without plumbing or electricity. Where language is of no use & words are rat droppings behind a sink. Brutal. A waste. That’s how we cruise the streets. Our chins high above sludge of night, our eyes winking small breasts & firm skirts. That’s where it’s at, my happiness among friends, drifting like love songs boasted out of old jukeboxes in bars where patrons shake their hips, scoot their snakeskin boots, tap their brims of hats. Elemental like horses, snakes–shoes hanging off phone wires. At 90 mph the wind is a blessing, a bump on the road. We curve turnpikes, wail thru tollways, our mouths brilliant wounds yellowing every shade of green. On ribcage of train tracks we are heroes outgrowing their confetti while under a blanket of bright stars we reinvent ourselves thru windshields

& gas pedals floored to the ground.

Radames Ortiz Houston, TX

USA

Today, I Feel

today i feel like music

like the hum of a silent song that beats beneath the skin of soft Sunday morning stars… i’ve forgotten some of the words and my voice is a little less than angelic but even so

i feel like music today

and today

today i feel like rain, clean and self-possessing… i wanna let go and fall from heaven with the sun at my back and the moon in my womb and bathe the world with my brand new tomorrow i wanna flood my past in the footsteps that yesterday left for me to follow i wanna wash away my spirit’s own sorrow with aquatic sighs and silver droplets of my own silver smile yeah

i feel like rain today

and today

today i feel like youth untouched by the morbid hearts and hands of life and love i wanna lose myself in children’s games with sapphire hills and mirrored lakes and snaking streams i wanna cast away my gospel shoes and race the sun’s shadowed drawings on urban battlefields and jump rope with god’s arms as they reach down to hand me adult responsibilities i wanna lose track of all time throw away all my watches and calendars and laugh in the face of tears… today i laugh in the face of fear

cause i feel like youth today

and today i feel red

and i want you to feel it too…

i feel red like i wanna spread myself thin enough to surround the two of us and thick enough to keep the both of us warm… i wanna try you on pull you snug over my skin and dance around in the sun’s reflection and watch the two of us

in my fervid crimson glow…

…you look good on me…

…and you feel hot as fire next to my flushed red-violet flesh it’s a good thing my soul doesn’t mind sweatin’ cause

i feel red today

and today,

today…

today i feel like feelin’

like a queen.

Tracy L. Clayton 16 July 2001 Louisville, KY

USA

feel what i feel

you changed your name just to gain but you never remain the same so anyway… feel what i feel and don’t undress my love stay with me and all will be right i feel someting moving in that doesn’t fit don’t resist it it could take you down what a blessing feel what i feel i try to stop but i move from the bottom to top a marquee with your name and your face just to force me to erase but my heart has pace and i’m starting to shake fast like a strobe i want to know you under the robe i’ve got red and green try to move from the love i’ve seen but it’s like you fight me and everything despite me falls apart so i move like i’m losing my legs and my heart bruised eccamosis the calender… knows me more than i remember remember me the way i am now someday and somehow you will cause me to shiver…shake and i wait for something else to contemplate but my brain yes yes my brain yes yes those angels that i know you’re leaving bread crumbs so how can i say that i won’t come? need to realize that your eyes are just a way for me to live like i die feel what i feel promise me feel what i feel promise me feel to the feel of you i promise

that i feel.

Todd Rundell 248 State Street Apt 7B Albany, NY. 12210

USA

my special friend

sometimes in this world so cold,
maybe once before we’re old,

we find one soul that meets our own,
our mind and body find a home.

when my life i want to end,
i turn to you my special friend,

and find god’s work within your face,
and find for me the only place,

where i am safe and life is kind,
and i must live to touch your mind.

Carolyn Schwartz Pawtucket, RI.

USA

Do you believe in carnal chemistry? Of indigo night and the praline sirens, the butchers blade and all its conquest,

tumbled down upon its prey?

Let me wish for wisdom; parades of bursting bubblets shaking their hands

in ‘memberance of lost ideas!

Have them hold me, still unto wakeness the dreams of young womyn whose firey hair sets a flame hot pillows, drenched in curled tongues

of midnight fever!

Have her tell me of bitter wars in ancient places, the rescue of Pharohs by right of death;

Hedonism and the loss of God;

Fourteen harems of young-yeared schoolgirls and the screams of the maddening crowd, ripe with the indignation

of hanging and mischief.

Let me hear them, and I’ll ask not for another night; Let me see the torrent rain! The fall of Mother Earth into a sea of lunacy! The end of science and the deadening Matriarch; Towers struck rabid by the lights of ecstatic heaven,

Electric fantasy!

This, I dream – of times not short of this: As her clasp’ed hand pulls o’er tightened bones, undoing what has undone

my coiled and strok’ed heart!

Ocean A. Alexander Springfield, IL.

USA

I read these words and boggle at their depth: unfeeling blurbs cascading from your pens. I wonder if a phrase that touched your soul

or heart could ever force your hand to write.

Instead you lack the skill, or art, or craft that once anointed kings and gave their acts some form once they had gone, and left us with

a way to know what history has been.

The women, men, and gods of other lives have been preserved in what you try to do. How many bards would wince in pain to see

you claim your work were close to theirs at all?

Or don’t you care? Or are you so in love
with your own voice that you’ve no time for truth?

Julia Grant

Formerly Inscrutable

I watched the strange oriental fellow meditate to jazz at a Harlem bar between Tequila shots

transfixed in a foreign world.

Traveler’s checks eased the culture shock. It took two tens, but he caught the A Train’s rhythm

fingers tapping mahogany on schedule.

One subway ride from a long sea journey the track-like, gap-tooth smile widened

as Duke took us home, strangers no more.

Six Meditations on Sara

I. Her Words

There is richness in her stories: strands of gold woven in the fabric

of everyday life she recounts.

And there is softness in her voice: a whisper compelling me to lean closer to listen

all day long.

II. Her Mysteries

She speaks of love
in parables.

I spend nights unraveling the stories

looking for my place.

III. Her Mercy

She heals mistake’s wounds making me whole again at day’s end

upon return from work.

IV. Her Presence

In her presence, joy cascades
showering me.

A world’s finger prints are washed away.

I am clean! New!

V. Her Truth

She reveals truth
without words

in breaths at my back

before dawn:

there will be light,
forever.

VI. A Holy Place

There are no altars
no statues

no icons
nor incense burning.

There is only sun
warming

a bed where we worship mornings

renewing faith.

A New Campaign Begins

He didn’t crawl, he marched double time from formula, to French fries smothered

in ketchup and pepper, to chocolate mousse following coq au vin,

through Big Bird, the Eagles and hunting
the Adirondacks, binoculars in hand,

over See Spot Run, Shakespeare’s sonnets
and Whitman’s Leaves,

leaving muses to pursuit
something more, finally arriving.

He didn’t crawl but marched double time transversing my adult years, emerging a victor,

a father!

Just as he made me.

Reunion 2001

The strings that bound us stretched longer than we thought, tight

and tuned precisely to the note.

After 30 years, the chorus of thumping back-slapped hugs and harmonizing smiles turned to chords and refrains of songs

we sang decades ago

as if we hadn’t missed a practice or a beat or so it seemed when we weren’t laughing or passing photo’s of kids some older than we

in our summer of love.

Fingered frets and ivory invited the union of voice and we lingered in that summer discovering we never left

though having traveled different journeys.

Thomas R. Harmon Albany, NY.

USA

UN TITLED

Toss me to the winds of uncertainty On a paper airplane made from your unfinished song lyrics Leave me spinning like a record you’re to lazy to turn off Put me stiffly in place like the bookmark of the novel you never read Keep me wrapped up like yesterday’s leftovers Leave me burning like a cigarette you have no energy to stamp out Break me in and wear me out like the football jersey   you wore in the one and only game you played in Give me no notice like the last five jobs you quit Change your sheets Change you mind Leave me hanging from a vine Tied with the belt that you never finshed in summer camp

You un complete me

Ashleytaylor Clayton Chicago, IL.

USA

STILL LIFE OF A FAMILY FISHING OFF NAVY PIER

Grouped together on a drape of the pier, a still life of domestic charm, this family casts their lines into the backdrop of the lake.

Mother and father together, like ripe melons,

are at the center: to one side, a cucumber of a boy sits cross-legged; a daughter, like an orange, rests at the other end; and behind, the smallest,

apple of her father’s eye, takes a stick and pokes

at a dead crayfish, curled into a question mark. Who knows what a child will pull from below, wiggling on hooks, the way our parents

pulled us from the effervescence of time.

O happy art of sunshine, brushed above it all, and happy sailors on the edge of sleep, they do not see the waves are swelling now,

and start to show their filed and foamy teeth.

THE POSTMODERN TROUBADOUR

He only finds in chat rooms what he wants, And thinks the virtual will stem the tide. That “gay thing” is just fashion, drugs and taunts; So why feel odd when Bruce is by his side? He does not blame his fate on mom or sins, But lives above it all, pops “E” and drinks. Besides, he likes both drums and violins. It’s all so very relative, he thinks. Those fools who mourn the death of poetry Are birds that stomp their feet against the sky. Who cares what’s right, he wants diversity. To keep his well-paid job, he’ll even lie,   And wearily he writes and writes the words

That critics praise as new, but are just turds.

OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

Thank you for purchasing this poetry product. We are committed to your satisfaction. For your convenience, please record the stanza number below. This poem meets all state and local   mandated affirmative action programs. Warning: Do not exceed the limits of understanding imposed by your age,   race, gender or social class. Too much insight may impede performance. Do not force the mind open. Store in a cool, dry place away from books. If you experience a ringing in your ears,   stop asking questions immediately. Do not mix different types of ideas, or old ideas with new ones. Not safe for use in Paris. Children under eighteen must operate without the help of a parent or guardian. To set the playback speed, select your type of stimulant. If this poem fails to perform properly,   please consult an experienced technician. This poem has been tested and complies with all grade C literary devices. Modifications or improvements not expressly approved by the Poetry Center

may void the government warranty.

Robert Klein Engler Chicago, IL.

USA

Firefight

I sit in a hole, a man with no soul. I sit and wait, uncertain fate. I sit with fear, life dear. I sit in night, flares red light. I sit to die, who will cry. I sit in noise, wars toys. I sit in pain, what to gain.

I sit for dawn, war gone.

John D. Wilson Park Forest, IL.

USA

MAMA’S BASKET

Mama’s Basket filled with love.
Sent to us from GOD above.

Come with me, peer inside, Just look and see Mama’s eyes. To see the hazel hues,

Can’t you hear the “I love You”?

See her pretty chestnut tresses. Remember how she once dressed us? That turned up mouth, her precious smile,

Didn’t it make life worthwhile?

Mama’s basket filled with love. Sent to us from GOD above. Always filled to the rim,

We knew it came from deep within.

How she loved us all so much. You felt it from her gentle touch. A hug, a kiss, a loving pat,

We always got her “Welcome” mat.

None of us could ever know, How your love would make us grow. Mama thanks, you did just great!

We know you’re waiting at the gate.

You’ll take our hands, we shall pass.
Coming Home, at long last.

Mama’s basket, filled with Love.
Sent to us from GOD above.

Pictures

Pictures tell a story… A series about life. They can capture love, Between a husband and a wife. Pictures tell a story… Showing childhood true, It might be one of happiness, Or it could bo one that’s blue. Pictures tell a story… When looking through glass, Seeing different seasons, How many will we pass? Pictures tell a story… When you turn the page. Looking at the people, You guess a persons age. Pictures tell a story… About the present things, and things already passed. All those precious memories,

That shall forever last.

ENDURANCE

Little Donna,how you’d shrill, And for sure a stubborn will. You could sing like Brenda Lee,

Or so it seemed to your sister, me.

How you liked to cut a rug, When you did the Jitterbug. American Bandstand was a smash,

You and friends had a blast.

Introducing Rock n’ Roll, Hey come on, let’s do the Stroll! Could it be a rebellious time?

A real confusing state of mind.

You were filled with lots of fear, A friend that’s killed, one held so dear. Another loss, the list would grow,

A reason why? You couldn’t know.

All your being sears with pain, Tears are falling just like rain. Then your world of darkness fell,

Many years before your well.

Through it all you ENDURED, Your saving grace, the SAVIOR LORD. HE carried you through the years,

Now a life filled with cheer.

For my sister, Donna Lee Donie-DOB 06/01/44

Dawn I. Hicks Waddington, NY.

USA

jAILHOUSE LETTER

THINGS WILL GET BETTER   SOON WE’LL BE TOGETHER MARCH THE 23RD ANOTHER JAILHOUSE LETTER FROM MY EX-MAN IN THE PENN SERVING 6 OUT OF 10 dAMN! THEY GOT HIM ON A BID

HEAVY WEIGHT TRAFFICKING…

PHOTO’S LETTERS & CROWDED VISITING ROOMS WERE TOO MUCH TO CONSUME SO I STOPPED VISITING YOU I DIDN’T LEAVE YOU FOR ANOTHER… IT’S JUST TOO HARD ON A SISTA KNOWING WHERE YOU ARE AND IT WILL BE YEARS BEFORE WE’RE TOGETHER

I’D LOVE TO SAY I’LL WAIT…

BUT THAT’S SIMPLY NOT THE TRUTH   I’M MOVING ON LOVE! I’M MOVING ON WITHOUT YOU! IT’S NOT CRUEL

B-CUZ WHEN I ASKED YOU TO CHOOSE

THE STREETS OR ME !!!

YOU LOOKED ME IN THE FACE AND W/OUT HASTE SHOUTED PEACE YOU WEREN’T THERE TO SEE ME CRY…

AND YOU WEREN’T THERE TO EASE MY HURT

I REMEMBER IT LIKE YESTERDAY IT WAS MARCH THE 23RD THE DAY I GAVE AWAY THE CHILD

I GAVE BIRTH

KNYT’E P.O Box 57081 Atlanta, GA 30343-1081

USA

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