Current Issue

Contributors to the Winter 2019 Edition

C. B. Anderson 
Anna Arredondo 
Franchot Ballinger   
Michael Bourgo 
Philip E. Burnham   
John Byrne 
Selma Calnan    
Dave Crocco
William Courtney    
Ann B. Day 
Victoria Mary Fach 
Micahel Fraley 
Jonathan Graham
Karen Kelsey    
David Kiphen    
Ross Lehman
Robert Lewis   
Paul Malamud    
Bob Marsh   
Dawn McCormack 
Constance Rowell Mastores   
Gabriel Milton 
Bob Moore 
Thomas Murphy   
Chidinma Opaigbeogu
Sandra Sowers Platt
Mark Rich   
Mauricio Rosales    
David Rosier    
Stephen Scaer   
Carol Lavelle Snow 
Elizabeth Spragins 
David Stephenson      
Joanne Stokkink
Bradley Strahan
Ann Struthers 
Amanda Trout    
Herb Wahlsteen
Joe Whitten
Joyce Wilson

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SAMPLE POEMS FROM WINTER 2019 ISSUE

CAROL, by Gabriel Milton

Trace my fingers cross the frost
To see what light beyond the pane
May find its way past pine and fir
Through winter’s cracked and frozen frame.

Brittle winds defeat the sill
And stir the fire’s ashen bones.
A silent song of carols told
As if to wake the standing stones.

An orphan light so starved and thin,
Pale witness here as memories pass
And leave behind the dying year
Remembrance etched in patterned glass.

What day is this so spare of light
That brings us new the mercy shown
To wiser men and distant times,
Melts the darkness into dawn.

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THE WORK OF WINTER, by Mauricio Rosales

I keep beauty in a glassine envelope.
Inside it: petal, leaf, nectar, butterfly.
That summer day I caught her, steamed in sweat.
Today, her container is cold, as the attic is cold.

Inside it: sunlight, Queen Anne’s Lace, Painted Lady.
The work of winter is a darker thing.
Meshed, like nets of gray ad attic shadows.
She cannot flutter as she did, or bask.

The work of winter is a darker thing,
The colder kind of hunting what is dead.
The envelope’s crackle her lone complaint.
Inside it: summer, jewel-weed, silence, she.

I pinch the Painted Lady’s dry leaf wings,
And place her in a chlorine bath of warmth.
Relaxed, as if she were alive.  It takes
A day to say it: she must die again.

The morning comes.  I pry her russet wings,
Her crucifixion is a summoning.
I must go through with this: a second death.
Pins will fix her wings on foam-core planks,

Spreading them, a small crucifixion.
Displayed, she rigidly sustains her wings.
Inside the envelope:  a void, the night.
The work of winter is a darker thing.

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WINTER KILL, by B. R. Strahan

Nothing can hold
The winter and the cold
Come when they will.

The empty heart
Cracks like a husk
Of blackened winter-kill.

The stars have crossed
Their winter latitudes.
And love has lost its place.

My dreams go up in smoke
like autumn’s leaves
And smiles forget my face.

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AUTHORSHIP:  A VILLANELLE, by Ross Lehman

Too late, too late, the crumpled day has flown
(Scribbled bits of genius on a page.)
The ending rhyme has come: alone

And now the way we go, the way of bone.
(Oh which to choose –the yellow or the beige.)
Too late, too late, the crumpled day has flown.

Our deviled children in their own ways grown
(Dread grammarians, red with rage.)
The rhyming word has come: alone.

Seeds into the winter coat are sown,
Hearty as the self sufficient sage.
Too late, too late, the crumpled day  has flown.

Shall all the days of lyric verse by blown
About the world from gilded age to age?
The final rhyming word has come: alone.

The stripped and winded verbs may lastly moan.
Commandments may resist their stoney cage.
Too late, too late, the crumpled day has flown
The final rhyming word has come: alone.

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FLEDGE, by David Kiphen

Not affixed

Forever

To your clever

Mighty words,

Children,

Someday,

Sever —

Flight becomes

Of birds;

Your

Instrumental

Task

Complete,

They

Rarely ask

A thing–

And then

The incidental

Meet —

Then feathers

From a wing.

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MY DOG, by Paul Malamud

My dog is a bundle of sweet, fuzzy love:
I love his hair, the beard on his pink face,

the way he hooks my leash to leather glove,
and lets me guide him, docile, place to place,

his squirrely armpit smell and sweaty socks,
and the two legged trot with which he rocks,

hoping to lure the female of his kind.
Sadly for him, the females must be blind.

He looms above me, with each bush we pass,
and sometimes I confuse his head and ass,

as he bows, humble, to my nature’s call.
Can anyone conceive a fault at all?

He lives for me.  He shampoos the thick rug
I lie on all day –if I wish –a slug,

and builds a warming fire, on his own,
sometimes supplying a delicious bone.

He even feeds me kibbles with his paw.
I really think the doggy is in awe

of my crouch stance, and tail-wagging grace,
I see the admiration in his face.

Great Arf, who wags His tail in the sky,
gave me my dog to make the hours fly

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IN LAUGHARNE, by Karen Kelsay

visiting the Dylan Thomas home

The greengage have ripened, the pears scatter fieldnotes,
Horse chestnut trees thin as their red leaves decay;
The sky, a blue egg on a nest full of grey clouds,
Its shadows cast lines as they lure in the day.

The morning embraces the chill tidal channel,
It brightens the village’s byways and paths;
The vine-covered ruins, where ochre-stained bones lie,
Are near Celtic crosses and old Roman baths.

Your presence still lingers, uneven and weighted,
An old woolen coat on a bare closet hook;
And out on the Gower the egrets and lapwings
Walk past the mudflats, the castle, and brook.

We gather our photos, our postcards, and candy,
Then vow to hold fast our remembrance of you;
Like fog in the distance, like Kendal-green landscapes,
That way that your spirit infuses the two.

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