Current Issue

Contributors to the Summer 2021 Edition

Ansie Baird
Marie Bernadette
Jane Blanchard
Michael Bourgo
John Brugaletta
Paul Buchheit
Michael Cawley
Catherine Chandler
Ted Charnley
Michael Corrigan
Robert Crisell
Dave Crocco
Dick Cuyler
Ann B. Day
E. P. Fisher
Lew Forester
Maria Gacesa
Kathleen Gunton
Michael Harty
Robert Heard
Phil Huffy
Betsy M. Hughes
Barbara Loots
John MacLean
Constance Rowell Mastores
Larry Michaels
William Morrell
Thomas Murphy
Marian Kovick
Kendric Packer
Brian Palmer
John Perrault
Zara Raab
Allen Raymond
Linda Rittenhouse
Amy Jo Schoonover
Susan St. Martin
B. R. Strahan
Paula Walker
Claire Watson

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SAMPLE POEMS FROM SUMMER 2021 ISSUE

A SECRET, by Robert Heard

Among the grasses, head to head,
By one or two was something said.

No thought, or sign, could any read
Of word of grass becoming deed.

Still, there was a faint aside
That could be caught as the wind died.

Among so many, only one or two
To say what all the others knew.

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ANCESTRAL HOME, by John MacLean

The house is from the Eighteenth Century.
A blockhouse stood there in the Shawnee Wars.
A brass plaque speaks to historicity,
While simpler life’s engrained in pinewood floors.

The oil derricks that once lined the street
Have left no trace, though back amongst the trees,
The rusty air shafts tempt unwary feet,
That play atop the sleeping collieries.

There must be many ghosts that haunt the place:
One likes the mirror in its mantel frame.
She wears black dress, white cap, and formal face,
As if in portrait, her old room she’d claim.

But caught like bare light on the barren stage,
Before your quickened gaze she must retreat.
As if you’d turned an antique album page,
Set with familiar kin she takes her seat.

I like to think that all ghosts get to claim
A piece of some place thick with memory,
But thin enough to view what life became
For those the haunted world won’t yet set free.

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THE ANNUAL REUNION, by Claire Watson

Today I am meeting my daughter for coffee;
we only catch up in this way once a year.
I marvel again at how little she’s changed:
her hair still white blond; she likes her milk frothy,
like the sweet babycinos we once made her here.
Reminded of days when she rearranged
the bookshelves, the cupboards, our daily routine,
I tell her how both of her brothers are faring
with their studies, and sport; no girlfriends as yet.
‘Can you believe that the eldest is eighteen,
and driving?  Remember, they both were so caring
when you were a child.  Did you see the new pet
we bought when you left?  I must go the school
and pick up the youngest.  As soon as you’re able,
please come again.’  I whisper her name.
I’ve done all of the talking; her cup is still full
when I clear away biscuits, untouched on the table,
while she looks on, smiling, from her silver frame.

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CEMETERY, by John Brugaletta

The graveyard was a city of stones and flowers,
peonies and people, adults hushed,
children boisterous, uproarious in laughter.
Most of the games were hide-and-seek.

I hid myself well amid the standing stones,
waiting to not be found among the dead.
A cold, pale angel looked down at me,
but had no message, consoling or otherwise.

Then that unholy city made no sense,
had no directions, no way back to family
so I could haunt them for their lack
of concern.  I am still there, waiting.

The beheaded grass is everywhere I look.
The flowers, lopped at their legs, wilt.

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WHAT’S IMPORTANT, by Barbara Loots

Am I pretty? I asked my father in the car
where adolescent worries often are
abruptly shared.

                  And on the spot
with no time taken for dishonest thought,

he said in offhand words that still remain
embedded, like his gene code, in my brain,
something I heard as merely

                         Good enough.
And so I learned to count on better stuff.

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HELIOS, by E. P. Fisher

Imperial, triumphantly, the sun
Turns to pause at its zenith in the sky—
Its spotted after-image, golden, bronze,
Stamped lampblack on the pupil of the eye!
The plaited car & axle of Apollo–
His bristling spear-tips, ivory steeds unshod;
His studded shield & blood-stained stately arrows
Wheels, purblind in an ancient, far parhelion
Under the burning roof of earth’s curved disc;
A phantom eagle glides & grips its talons
Atop an incandescent obelisk!
His circle, vault & spectacle at noon–
Above lost worlds and city walls in ruin.

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