Sunday, May 8, 2016

Three Poems by Joanna M. Weston


chained to my chair
I wait for words
to rise from the table
adjectives I can eat
to digest separation

I fly action outward
pile nouns before me
while verbs circle
pulling the ache
of your absence
into my mouth

That Dancing Time

you and I shared
so many silences

those of dawn before
birds broke darkness

mid-morning as we
headed into work

hours dreaming
of where we'd been

where we might be going
before love spoke again

we lulled the evening
into long farewells

and forgot the months
of dancing hearts

Heard by Night

    1st line from Thomas James' Going Back

yes, I have known something of the dark you speak of
sentences vibrating through a distant night

an impenetrable conversation of verbs
the last cocktail party before we left

spectral discussions even as midnight chimes
opening the door to a blank looking-glass

or a confusion of absolutes on the phone
texting foreign languages by candlelight

moments of romance at the winter solstice
words tossed like stars to cover embarrassment

hold darkness as the perfection of love
nothing can be said when all is done

Joanna M. Weston is married, has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen houses.  Her middle reader, Frame and The McGuire, was published by Tradewind Books, and her poetry book, A Summer Father, was published by Frontenac House of Calgary.  Her eBooks can be found at her blog:

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Poem by Margaret Holbrook

We Had Nothing

We had nothing, so much
of it that we could
hold it in our hands,
let it slip through our fingers
fine as gold,
weightless, abundant.
We had so much
saving everything we had
for a rainy day, hoping
it wouldn't come,
it didn't.

We got through,
found ourselves in a
better situation, less
nothing, more of something
We saved and saved and saved.
Anything we wanted
was ours, yours and mine.
We set some aside for a rainy day,
hoping it wouldn't come,
it didn't.

We got through, we were
on our feet,
everything we wanted
more than we needed.
Too much to hold in our
hands, too heavy to slip
through our fingers.
We knew the rainy day
must come,
it did.

A deluge swept all of it
from under our feet, took
the whole lot from us,
left us with nothing, except
each other, shop-soiled
goods left on the shelf
after all else has
been taken.

Do you remember when
we had nothing?

Margaret Holbrook is a writer of plays, poetry and fiction.  She lives in Cheshire, UK and has had her work published in several anthologies, most recently Schooldays published by Paper Swan Press, and in the following magazines, Orbis, SLO, The Dawntreader, The Journal, The SHOp, Reflections, Areopagus, the caterpillar, and online in, The Poetry Shed, Jellyfish Whispers and Napalm and Novocain.  Her first poetry collection, Hobby Horses Will Dance, was published in 2014.  Margaret leads the Creative Writing Workshop for Chapel Arts in Chapel en le Frith, Derbyshire.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Poem by Joseph K. Wells

My Time With You

Your presence
is like a gentle perfume

nestled in the grooves
of the crooked fate lines
on my palms

that evaporates
into thin air
as I struggle to stop it
in my clamped fists

and am left with
two tired, sweaty

Empty . . .

Joseph K. Wells earns his livelihood as a businessman, occupational therapist and adjunct professor.  He was also paid for being a special police officer for a week.  He has been published but has not been paid for his poetry yet.

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Poem by Wayne Russell

The Loss

As beauty lies weeping, somewhere
out there, up in the frozen tundra of
northern snowy winters dream.

Sins of my heart, beating longing for
you and this infused raven abyss, bring
thee back to my longing arms.

Forest of clay melt beneath ashen Gothic
feet, your absence an eternal torment,
kiss me quick; bury my memory with the
ages gone before.

Intrusive the silent frost of your black eyes
lye, lament thrust and gathered upon lonely
window pane, strewn empty inner child,
lost; forlorn.

The ensuing years pass and reap regrets.

Here I am with you, concussed in a strange
dream, out in the bitter chill of formlessness,
vagrancy of night, running rampant with the
golden wolfs of Dionysus, a bastard child;
reaping what he has sewn.

Wayne Russell is a creative writer that hails from Tampa, Florida.  He has been published in Nomadic Voices Magazine, Zaira Journal, Danse Macabre, The Bitchin' Kitschs', and Rolling Thunder Press.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Poem by Paul Tristram

Over Blue Cheese Dressing

He broke her down to ghostlike
within a matter of premeditated merciless minutes.
Words poisoned with an unfair, exaggerated truth
when not completely false and cruel
with no other purpose than being hurtful.
She sat shocked and temporarily defenseless,
letting this new reality slowly suffocate
and smother her funny bone battered senses.
Unable to comprehend the Changeling
now sitting smirking wickedly before her.
When that narcissistic actor's mask slips
and you first see that disgusting beast
squirming naked within its seething ugliness
heaven dies somewhere deep inside of your.
They think they've tricked you and they have
but they've also unwittingly tricked themselves.
You will recover, slowly and in time
but they will never again find a heart and love
as pure and true as yours to soothe their troubled soul.
In the end karma always settles its debts
and they have damned themselves to all but falseness.

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet.  But his books "Scribblings of a Madman" (Lit Fest Press) "Poetry from the Nearest Barstool" at and a split poetry book "The Raven and the Vagabond Heart" with Bethany W Pope at  You can also read his poems and stories here:

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Poem by Pearse Murray

You Pulled Me

And you said that I was your sunglow.
But you also said, "Not too close," reminding me
That the sun's function is to warm the earth
not to burn it.
You hopped on a freight train which rolled
On steel-silk lines across the Prairie
And dipped into the horizon
Vibrating my heart's yearnings.
For the distance and nearness of you
My body asks where did you go?
The scream in the heart
Cannot fully hold, cannot fully let go.
You tug at me but you are not there.
Will distance become our way of life?
And as the cooling of the heart reaches its frazzle,
I cannot add more silence to the silence of longing.

Pearse Murray has published poems and short fiction in a wide variety of print and online media.  He was born in Ireland and lives in upstate New York.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Poem by Norma Ketzis Bernstock

Cleaning House

He's in her pantry,
in the jars of sauce,
the Old Bay tin,
the mushroom cans.
He's in the fridge,
the second shelf,
the olive tapenade.
On the left,
the produce drawer,
blueberries and red.

She's cleaning house,
sweeping out,
removing signs of him:
the books he left,
the socks and shorts,
slippers by the door,
the sateen sheets he loved so much,
he loved her on those sheets.
She'll wash and scrub and bleach them clean,
the sheets belong to her.
She'll sleep on sheets he never touched,
she'll sleep alone,

Norma Ketzis Bernstock lives in Milford, Pennsylvania.  Her poetry has appeared online and in many print journals and anthologies including Connecticut River Review, Paterson Literary Review, Lips and Stillwater Review.  Her most recent chapbook, Don't Write a Poem About Me After I'm Dead, was published in 2011 by Big Table Publishing.  Her previous achievements include a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Scholarship to the  Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and recognition by the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards.