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Contributors to the Summer 2019 Edition

C. B. Anderson
Marie Arnett
Anna Arredondo
Michael Bourgo
John Brugaletta
John Byrne
Blake Campbell
Robert Cooperman
Michael Corrigan
Martin Cossio
Dave Crocco
Victoria Mary Fach
Anthony Herles
Flora Higgins
Page Hudson
Phil Huffy
Rob Jackson
Barbara Loots
John MacLean
Constance Rowell Mastores
Sean McDowell
Elizabeth Meyette
Bob Moore
Ann Morehead
Tom Murphy
Joseph Nial
James W. Phillips
John Robinson
David Rosier
Frank Salvidio
Michael Skau
Carol Lavelle Snow
Gary Steciuk
Craig W. Steele
Susan St. Martin
B. R. Strahan
Jane Stuart
Richard Swanson
James Tweedie
Herb Wahlsteen
Elizabeth Wyler

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SAMPLE POEMS FROM SUMMER 2019 ISSUE

SITTING IN CHURCH BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL HAIR, by Barbara Loots

The pew in front of me. I stare
directly at a mass of hair,
a hurly-burly chestnut hue
I wonder how a comb gets through.
The preacher’s words, to get to me,
must dance around that pageantry
of gilded tresses.  I’m enraptured
by that hair, enchanted, captured
by that hair I yearn to touch.
Was I once young and had so much?
A virgin claim no longer mine,
that flowing hair a maiden sign
like Cranach’s Virgin peachy-sweet
demurely kneeled at Jesus’ feet,
El Greco’s Magdalene who shows
how golden-haired repentance flows,
or, lifted by a cherub horde,
Murillo’s Mother of the Lord
with hair uncovered and unbound,
untouched in purity profound.
Must shave it off!  Some sects declare
who fear seduction of the hair.
Must cover it in public places.
While we’re at it, veil their faces.
Women, you must take the blame
for evil thoughts and sin and shame.
Yet rapt in hair, one solemn hour,
I’m wishing I could have that power.

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TO A WOMAN WITH THE HAIR OF A PYTHONESS, by John Robinson

What can I say, I held the mirror,
breathed in all that ancient dust,
and only in the slightest way had given trust,
though somehow stone took shape as I drew nearer.

You were only legend.  You were not real, and fear
was just another word for weakness, though one must
take a grain of salt with all the fuss,
even though important facts were never quite so clear.

Women always know these things, though you would only sneer
and breathe in all that ancient dust,
hold aloft those obdurate eyes and thrust
your hissing kisses at my ears.

A grain of salt with all those years
even though important facts were never quite the fuss.

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CHASING OWLS, by Rob Jackson

They call, then don’t,
they’re taciturn.

some mate for life,
are known to spurn,

in demeanor, often stolid,
in attire, stripes or solid.

Can be spotted
brooding,
waiting,
snowbirds
pigeon-contemplating.

Diet: red meat, fowl or fish.
In parliaments, they flock together
in spectacles, owlish.

In bars, they hover,
turning heads,
they note you, hunt you, score you.

Some ask your name;
most just ignore you.

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FEATHERS, by Constance Rowell Mastores

This time there is no beak,
no bloody head, no bony
claw, no loose wing–only a small
pile of feathers without substance
or center.  The cats dig through
the leaves, they stare at each other

in surprise.  They look carefully over
their shoulders, they touch the same
feathers again and again.  They have
been totally cheated of the body,
the body with its veins and its fat
and the red bones has escaped them.
All that’s left is a kind of spirit.
A slipped shadow.  A trace of wind.

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DISAPPEARING ACT, by Anna Arredondo

I’d like to pluck my entrails out and scrub them clean of you
(Who quit my life and left without a trace).
And then I’ll give my brain a thorough washing when I’m through—
Obliterate all memory of your face.

No matter that you were the reason that I rose each day,
The very life and purpose in my veins:
My light, my sun, my color in a universe of gray.
The marrow’s gone; just hollow bone remains.

And so, my erstwhile everything, I’d sooner purge it all—
The heartache, and the happiness as well.
Once rid of you, no sense of loss will ever more appall—
As though I’d always been an empty shell.

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SUNSET: LAST CLASSICAL RADIO STATION IN SAN DIEGO, by Victoria Mary Fach

Corelli’s flamboyant  final strings
in the Concerto Grosso fluff up
the pink and coral cumulus
on quires of sky-blue dimity.

Then Francks’ Symphony in D minor flings
armies of orange into the fight
diminishing hills and trees to silhouettes

till Gershwin in his Promenade pirouettes
his poodle insouciantly
around the last corner of light.

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OLD SONG MADE NEW, by B. R. Strahan

Little one, when the creep
Of time enters in your bone,
When the dark frame encloses
All the faces that you’ve known

When sleep is dear
And all the light you’ve cherished
Is just the glint of sun
In eyes that long have perished…

Little one, see the crow
Pick up that shiny glass.
Hear the wind chimes
Sing the breezes past.

Now let the moonlight rest
Upon those clear blue eyes
Till time when they must open
To face the light that dies.

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