February 2018 Vol. III No. II
Not your ordinary poetry magazine!
If good coffee (or just the concept of coffee), great books, sharp wit, and great authors excite you, we are for you!
General Poetry Page with Suzanne Robinson
Use links at the bottom of this page, or the drop down menu above, to connect to our other poetry pages.
Fear of Flying
My hair never dries.
I’ve never dreamed that I could fly.
I could sometimes hover just
above the ground.
But most often
then begin clawing
at the ground
to gain speed,
myself running on all fours,
I sweat at work
and pick up
the stench of the fryers.
braid my hair
so it’s not a wild
It’s a rope.
But not you.
And when you dream, you fly.
When I Am Old
I will write
about you and your voice;
about the years I raged
against your revisionist’s histories
and attempted martyrdoms;
When I am old
I will lament
the hostages I held
with resentment and insecurity,
and my unkindness,
the bristling at your words
and words and words and words.
To say something does not make
To say something does not make
up for not hearing it from me.
When I am old
I will write about you
to fill the silence.
Hope Madden is a writer, film critic, journalist, horror film fanatic and Chipotle addict living in Columbus, OH. Read more from her at maddwolf.com, on Twitter @maddwolf, and Facebook @maddwolfcolumbus
(In memory of my father)
Do you remember when I was six?
So full of energy and dreams...
You said, “Go to school and fill your head with books
And your heart with prayer”.
So I did ... and that worked for a while.
Until I was sixteen and looking for my way,
So full of rebellion and rage.
You said, “Don’t change the world
But find your place in it”.
I thought about this and realized they were not
Just passing words but a code to live by.
And that worked for a while.
Until I was thirty with three girls in tow
And I was confused, looking for meaning in my life.
You said, “Don’t look to the sky for answers
Just look into those little eyes, there’s the meaning of life”.
So I did... and that worked for a while.
Until I reached middle age and felt mortality grip me deeply
And sorrow wrapped my soul like heavy chains.
In the midst of my darkness you said,
“This is the cycle of life, flowers grow, bloom and wither.
Healing will come”. I came to realize
These were not just passing words
But the process of living.
And that worked for a while.
Until now when I have to seal myself from the anguish
Of seeing you pass into shadow.
And as I wallow in the pools of Why and What For
I hear you say, “Remember me in your heart,
I will live forever there”.
I hope that works for a while.
Phil Capitano, from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada, has been writing for 50 years. "Passing Words" is from his first book of poetry entitled "Roses on the Moon" (2017)
The Best That We Can Do?
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the children of the needy. -Psalm 72.
A fleet of impossibly large white boats
lies quietly moored
at an impossibly beautiful
I read of the growing gulf
between rich and poor,
how even in the mighty USA
the wealth of the top one percent
equals that of the bottom ninety percent.
Then into my mind’s eye chugs
a flimsy boat, overcrowded
with men, women and children
fleeing poverty or persecution,
all brave, desperate, hopeful, scared,
all enduring terrible privations,
the lack of privacy, hunger, stench, heat, wet,
desperate scanning for land,
the gathering sea, the looming swell,
the vulnerable diesel motor,
the creaking of the water-filling vessel.
Then float images of the new gulags,
Pacific Island detention centres,
shimmering heat, barbed wire, dormitories,
hopeless, hollow-eyed children,
abusive, predatory guards,
the hostility of the locals
in places of planned, deliberate inhumanity
designed to deter seeking asylum by sea.
And what I want to know is this.
Can we do no better than build walls
or nightmare places of deterrence?
Does not injustice foster hate and resentment,
encourage violence, revenge,
the bloody carnage of the bombed market,
the twisted tangled of the torn apart train?
Does not the past inform
that the grinding shoal of inequality
eventually leads to dark stains
from the guillotine flowing
through blood-filled squares?
Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work as a teacher of English and Drama made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat's Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au
I’m Somewhat Certain
I don’t know for sure, but I suppose
that two men can one day love each other,
if they’re left alone little by little
something in their hearts tells them
that they are alone,
alone on earth they pierce each other,
kill each other.
Everything is done in silence.
As light amasses inside their eyes.
Love unites bodies.
In silence they fill each other.
They wake up in each other’s arms;
Then they know everything.
They're naked and they know everything.
(I don’t know for sure, but I suppose.)
Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a six-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016/17 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal. His chapbook, An Animal Resembling Desire, will be published by Finishing Line Press. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.
The man stands at the bar
he tries to talk to everyone who comes to the bar
but most ignore him
I don't know how long he has been there
but I am guessing a while
he goes to the toilet three times in ten minutes
again he looks around for a friend
he is not young
not young enough to make friends
but old enough
for everyone to walk past him
I know better
that is why I sit by myself
with my beer
and no one
My thighs jiggle with blessed assurance that
I am alive and powerful.
The thighs of a woman
who has concerned herself more
with immersing herself in the ocean waves
then how good they look in a
We must never forget
what our thighs are capable of.
Our thighs support,
hopes and dreams,
and the very foundation of the world.
Kingdoms and empires
have begun between our thighs
and men quiver
at their: power, grace, and magnificence.
with their marks, their lines
embody a multitude of
Juanita Cox is an emerging writer whose main claim to fame is the ramblings on her blog postgraduateglitter.wordpress.com. She writes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. When not writing you can find her working at Starbucks, spending time with her husband, watching Netflix, or marveling over other much better writers then herself.
Misses and the Mountain
I watched her
from up high
like some valley
a wavy chin stuck in
trying to hold
And the legs,
the three legs shrivelled sticks
no longer arms,
the hip gave way
back to skin,
a long-ago facade
I once loved and remembered.
turned and walked and danced
were the smooth round stones
on the long, long banks
of great mountains
Larry D. Giles was born in Richmond, Virginia. Educated at Livingstone College, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Virginia, he taught English and writing at his high school alma mater in Essex County and for the city of Richmond. While at Richmond, he received two writing fellowships, teacher of the year, the prestigious REB Award for Teaching Excellence, and an educational leadership fellowship. His work appears at Highlandparkpoetry.org and in the River City Poets Anthology, 2018. His first book Flesh and Blood: Collected Poems of Mind, Body, and Spirit is currently in publication with NavWorks Press.
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
- William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616
Bill writes for us occasionally from his estate at Stratford-on-Avon, when he is not busy selling flyrods and cheap perfume. He also does standup with a local group called Monty Python.