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Contributors to the Fall 2019 Edition

Marie Arnett
Jane Blanchard
Michael Bourgo
Timmy Brown
Michael Burch
John Byrne
Selma Calnan
Jo-Anne Cappeluti
R. K. Cook
William Courtney
Dave Crocco
Daniel Galef
Marc Gilbert
Jim Gronvold
Bill Guest
Evelyn Hampton
Mary Beth Hines
Jenni Wyn Hyatt
Patrick Joyce
Dorrith Leipziger
Naomi Levine
Barbara Loots
Paul Malamud
Stephen Malin
Susan Martin
Bob McAfee
Dawn McCormack
Larry Michaels
Bob Moore
Ann Morehead
Monisha Pujari
David Rosier
Amy Jo Schoonover
Lee Slonimsky
Craig W. Steele
B. R. Strahan
Jane Stuart
Herb Wahlsteen
Alessio Zanelli

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SAMPLE POEMS FROM FALL 2019 ISSUE

STAY WITH ME TONIGHT, by Michael Burch

Stay with me tonight;
be gentle with me as the leaves are gentle
falling to the earth.
And whisper, O my love,
how that every bright thing, though scattered afar,
retains yet its worth.

Stay with me tonight;
be as a petal long-awaited blooming in my hand.
Lift your face to mine
and touch me with your lips
till I feel the warm benevolence of your breath’s
heady fragrance like wine.

That which we had
when pale and waning as the dying moon at dawn,
outshone the sun.
Come, lead me back tonight
through bright waterfalls of light
to where we shine as one.

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OLD PUMPKIN, by R. K. Cook

Nippy morning cat’s-eye bright
A honey pot of golden light
Crazy quilts draped on the trees
Unravel in the ghost breath breeze

Harvest moon, sweet sorghum sky
Broomstick scarecrow earned his dime
Singing scythe and groaning wain
‘Neath the straw, a stowaway

Hold my hand at county fair
Whirligiggling, freak face stare
Terror stalks the cobblestones
Lookout post for walking bones

Hallowevening, O magic date!
Parade the streets till witching late
Dime store mask, old yellowed sheet
Kidly chorus: trick or treat!

Once I led the masquerade
Once a year the dead I played
Time applied a coat of rime
Old pumpkin rotting on the vine

Hark! The Wild Hunt wind their horns
A tattoo rapped upon my door
Ride with us; be not afraid
Hellhounds digging on my grave.

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THE CLOWNS BOW OUT, by Stephen Malin

The demise of the circus did not,
as widely thought, take with it the clowns,
whose dissent sparked an assembly that
saw them in full costume, make-up and
wig so as to ratify formal
statements of redundancy, vowing
that they had, to the last floppily
pantalooned pantalone, been put
to utter rout, outmatched, beaten down
and done in by their sober-suited
rivals, wherefore, in culminating
recognition, the convocation
back-leapt to its hands, quacking, honking
and clapping its slappy shoes, for all
had agreed by a unanimous
dropping of britches to rehearse their
disinvitation, and, with this last
mark of recognition, attend and
salute the opening of Congress.

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ILLUSIONS, by Bill Guest

The woods died in November cold.
White coffins came in clouds to hold
what frosted trees had trembled off.
Proud winter swirled in streams of ice
above the frozen paradise,
while mocking winds swooped low to scoff
at autumn’s scattered scrap of gold.
And autumn?  Oh, she had been told.
When first in mid-September breeze
cool waves forewarned of coming freeze
I whispered here, “Beware, beware.
Soon winter will awake and bring
chill legions from the north.  Prepare!”
But she was too entranced to care
or thought the sleeping arctic king,
when roaring from his glacial bed,
would melt if he should hear her sing
in jeweled leaves.  Delusion bred
illusions and she dwelled in these.
I left her dancing in the trees.

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TREE AND LEAF, by Daniel Galef

Said Leaf, to Tree, “Why, did you know
It’s I who sets the wind to blow?
Though you are old, and I am young,
and it’s just six months since spring has sprung.”

Just then the Leaf chose to arouse
a gentle zephyr through the boughs,
an early-Autumn sort of breeze
which sang and tugged at leaves and trees.

Leaf flapped and whipped in the growing wind,
and shed her dew and whirled, and grinned,
and laughed: “I conjured that to prove
I could!” But still, Tree did not move.

Said Leaf, “No passion!  No romance!
In wind like that, who wouldn’t dance?
I may not make a new wind soon.
Perhaps I’ll even wait till June,

and just to spite you! Ancient thing,
when I was born in sunny Spring,
you stooped upon this rocky crag,
and still you stoop, and slowly sag,

and when I blow my Autumn breeze
that doesn’t care for tired trees,
you barely shake.  It makes me sick.
Can I not teach you any trick?

There isn’t much I cannot do:
I’m learning yet to change my hue!
You stock-still statue!  Overgrown splinter!”

Said Tree, “The wind will blow in the winter.”

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STILL MY SONG AT NINETY-FIVE, by Selma Calnan

I love to climb above the crowd
and prance along the parapets

To share my song with bird and cloud
To shrug away the leaden shroud
of petty stings and barbs and frets

I love to climb above the crowd
and prance along the parapets.

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