Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Poem by Denny E. Marshall

Later Tonight
She is not the first woman
That has told me good-bye
She is the first one
I still dream of
And pretend she is mine

Denny E. Marshall has had poetry recently published and rejected.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Poem by James Owens


But how could I have
returned to you?
How? When
the memory
of fingertips
still burned my face
like bars of sunlight
falling heavily
through autumn shadows,
and behind ordinary
things the colors
of the world
were memories
of the angels’ touch?

I am trying to speak.
I couldn't return ---
not with this desire
shivering in me like a drenched
child. This longing
for a breath
to tear me open.
This lust that will
slice me into color.

I didn't speak. I turned
from you. I drifted
into the trees. I saw
the lovers kiss, and they
fell into each other
and blew away, sand
on the ancient wind,
turning deeper
into the blue wind
and the sky
and the sky
and the sky
James Owens divides his time between Wabash, Ind., and Northern Ontario. Two books of his poems have been published: An Hour is the Doorway (Black Lawrence Press) and Frost Lights a Thin Flame (Mayapple Press). His poems, reviews, translations, and photographs have appeared widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in The Cortland Review, The Cresset, Poetry Ireland, and The Chaffey Review. He blogs at

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Poem by Nicole Yurcaba


the dynamics shifted in your favor
so that you could spill your thick ink onto my unlined pages,
exposing half-truthed confidences between my spread-open covers.

you creased me, broke me at my well-stitched, leather-bound spine.

eventually you tore, ripped, shredded my corners.

how could i--the diary whose pages you gently fingered--ever have fallen into abused disarray?

Reach into the Darkness and Feel

stretch your blood-licked hand to grasp the glass
shards littering the rain-kissed asphalt--
remnants of a wreck formerly known as "Love".

and as I lie motionless, glassy-eyed, concussed,
I'll forgive myself for inadvertently jerking the steady wheel
from your guiding, all-knowing hand;
headlong-sending us into a guardrail disguised as "Reality".

Nicole Yurcaba is a backwoods feminist hailing from West Virginia. Her childhood icons were Daniel Boone, Bettie Page and Rosie the Riveter. An adjunct instructor, farm hand, and substitute teacher, her work has been published in a multitude of places including Referential Magazine, VoxPoetica, Rolling Thunder Quarterly, The Literary Burlesque, Floyd County  Moonshine, and many others.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Two Poems by Sarah Flint

Your Eyes

You believe your eyes shine light

And that no one can be blind to you

You believe your head touches the stars

And millions are left behind you in the clouds

Where they ought to be

No one can touch your heights of aloofness.

You believe your words are the choicest

And rarest of jewels

Only you can have the last one

And it will always be the best and most precise.

You are ablaze with your self-belief

It sits in you like a fat toad

Or a yapping dog

It is undeniably persistent.

I look for my reflection in your eye

Finding none my soul shrinks

Away from your bright bluster

And moves towards a gentler and softer light.

Look into my eye and tell me

what you see in your blindness.

Speak your truth

Your words were like a singing

Stream in the cwm.

Bubbling ,swirling, ceaseless.

They tickled me. They were fresh.

Your words were like a

Sell-by date passed.

Stale, sour, wasteful.

They bored me. They annoyed.

Your words are a sickness

Ready to infect.

Foul. Obnoxious. Toxic.

They poison me. They make me speechless.

My words were like a freshly

Formed butterfly.

Carefree. Colourful. Simple.

They empowered me. They danced with yours.

My words were like a cornered rat

Down a hole.

Aggressive. Uneasy. Ready to run.

They screamed. Then they hid.

My words are like gold dust

Cupped in the palm of my hand.

Precious. Pure. Honest.

I show you a fist.

Sarah Flint has been trying to put words into good order for a while. Originally writing about all things green and horticultural she now has had success in the world of poetry and flash fiction. She has been runner up in the Scottish Mountaineering Council poetry competition for 2 years running and is a regular contributor to The Pygmy Giant.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Three Poems by James Owens

a thousand encounters in the sky

i used 
to wonder 
why i never 
meet people 
like me

lying alone 
on the hot roof,
watching clouds
merge and part
i understood --
it’s because 
they are like me

there were 
the next day
and the next
abandoned house, manitoulin island, ontario

she was a doorframe
she was the window in his blood

she breathed slowly by the sink
and thought of a tree in bloom
a warmth in her thighs
against the snow of the day
sunlight quavered in a bowl of water

he held the phrase matrimonial privacy
a mouthful of nails to hammer a stair toward the bedroom

winters later
he curls no larger than a loaf of bread
under strips of wallpaper
mewling for home
late in the year

shelterless bird song
floats through rain,
darkens clouds

still, you can find me

the dandelions I dedicated to you
shine in wet grass


like young girls, one after another,
trembling --

each skittish tree
lights and rustles 

under the sky’s
reckless caress


still in the mind of the beloved
the leaf is trembling

green on the black branch
even after

this sky swallowed
the winter wind
James Owens divides his time between Wabash, Ind., and Northern Ontario. Two books of his poems have been published: An Hour is the Doorway (Black Lawrence Press) and Frost Lights a Thin Flame (Mayapple Press). His poems, reviews, translations, and photographs have appeared widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in The Cortland Review, The Cresset, Poetry Ireland, and The Chaffey Review.  He blogs at

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Two Poems by Maurice Devitt

Vanishing Point

In the faint shake of evening
you pick a thread
from my new blue suit
fidget silently
with the syllables
of a name or a face
whisper nothing
that will matter
in the retold history
of our lives --
when you step away
I see for the first time
that the suit is too tight.

Her zipped bag
is on the bed
and she is trying
with words
to reach out
one last time.
He is studying
a luggage tag
and thinking
how sticky the handle will be
when she tears it off.
Maurice Devitt is a graduate of the Poetry Studies MA at Mater Dei, he has just been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was runner-up in the Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition. Earlier in 2012 he was short-listed for the Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection Competition, placed third in The Joy of Sex competition and long-listed for the Doire Press Chapbook Competition. During 2011 he was short-listed for both the Fish Poetry prize and the Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition, and was also runner-up in the Phizzfest poetry competition. Over the past twelve months he has had poems accepted by Orbis, Abridged, Moloch, Revival, Boyneberries, Paraxis, Weary Blues, thefirstcut, Spinoza Blue, The Galway Review, Other Words: Merida, Stony Thursday, Ofi Press, Bluepepper, The Weekenders and Smiths Knoll and is looking to publish a first collection.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Three Poems by Miki Byrne

Trophy Wife.

When the jagged edges of your life cut me to slivers

and the depths of your pre-occupation drowned me

in their chill. I feebly staunched the wounds.

Till all I was lay splattered and you dipped your fingers

into what I was. You daubed yourself in war-paint

from the palette of my love. Drew the warriors mask

upon you. Then left me torn and bleeding as you carried

my heart away. A trophy on your belt. I bumped against

your thigh as you strode like an invader through my life.

I meant no more in captivity than I had in the chase.

When we Argued in Public. 
That night, the air shattered,
when you hurled your words through it.
I bloodied my feet trying to walk away.
With the shards of your lies
stuck like thorns in my skin.
Other people put their days in glasses
and settled into the armchair hours.
Conversation shoaled about us.
Yet I could not speak because your comments
filled my mouth. You thought that I
was adorned in embarrassment
and would not take my clothes off in public.
Anger was my evening meal that night
and I ate till I was sated.
Let its nourishment form a new skin
over the places you had touched.
Made it pad out my feeble arms with muscle
and give strength to my trembling thighs.
I became a colossus. Stepped over you.
and left you as desert for the hungry crowd.

Dining Gaffe.
Conversation ebbs and flows.
Equal emphasis from each person.
Cornered around a laden table.
Words are swapped. Vocal tennis.
Mixed doubles cheered on by a good dinner.
Then one becomes competitive.
Sees her happy with another.
Breaks the unsaid rule of table talk.
Hits a verbal volley, painful in its speed.
His opposite is taken down.
Precariously rocked by the unexpected swipe.
Hurt by the probe of questions too deep for etiquette.
Dislikes the hard thump of intrusion. She sits.
Held uncomfortably in place.
Unable to disrupt the social balance.
As she becomes the butt her partner sits mystified.
A subtle shift has trembled through the room.
They rise to leave. Give cool thanks.
Yet burn with the building warmth of anger.
Miki is the author of two poetry collections. She has had work included in over 120 poetry magazines and anthologies. She has won prizes for her poetry and has read on both Radio and TV and judged poetry competitions. She has a BA (Hons.) in 3D Design and a PGCE. Her new collection ‘Flying Through Houses’ will be available from Indigo Dreams Press in 2013. Miki is disabled and lives in Gloucestershire, England

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Three Poems by Anthony Ward

Gem Stone

If only I could give donation to her heart,

Then maybe I’d be more charitable towards her.

It pains me for her to be this close,

While I remain so distant,

So far inside myself,

Afraid to speak,

In case my words reverberate against me in waves of mortification

And send me further into the mine of my mind,

Chipping away at the rock in search of something

That will enrich me from the darkness.


She lies for me.

She tells me how handsome I am,

How beautiful I make her feel.

She tells me how intelligent I am,

How I make her life more interesting.

She tells me I’m a joy to be with,

How she’s never been happier.

She tells me how much she loves me,

How great I make love to her.

She lies for me.


I’ve always chased the girls

That were running from me,

Not noticing those

That stood behind me,

Rendered claustrophobic

By their proximity,

Causing me to run,

With them chasing after-

Not understanding the way I felt.
Anthony tends to fidget with his thoughts in the hope of laying them to rest. He has managed to lay them in a number of literary magazines including The Faircloth Review, Drunk Monkeys, Jellyfish Whispers, Turbulence, Underground, The Autumn Sound, Torrid Literature Journal and The Rusty Nail, amongst others.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Three Poems by Susan Dale


Under an arch___ and pausing
to feel the air thick in evocations
Desires, dreams, delusions
And so____ a journey deep
into archives of wonder
I hear all around___ and behind a corner
and feel ripples across my shoulders
But time has devoured the script
Spellbound, I wait
And listen to whispers

‘You were here once’

Was it a bridge I crossed?
A door I opened
Who was with me then?
A phrase of broken words
A note or two levitating me
to the music of spires and spheres
And in the broken space of time
Someone in a passing car
gazes out at me with eyes
reaching out of time to breach
the now with the then
But is gone on wheels
rolling down a lonely road
Leaving behind a wonder
returned to the unknown
It breaths
I try to catch it
But my heart rushes ahead of my feet
Both come to crossroads
quiet as sleep
And leave shadows and memories
To grapple with time
The Healing Hours
When we set about to sever us
My symbols of shock
Met your trampled cries
Together, our poison words
Spit raw bone furies
I flew off with broken wing
And sacrificed pride
To hide in woodland nest
And nurse my wounds
You covered your stone heart
With the eyelids of night
We shivered in the driving rain
To feel the claws of fate
Held in cold-fisted time
Our memories fell into
The avalanches that covered us
with memories
Down a avenue of broken time
We limped
From the cloistered dark
You, into circles of light
I, through labyrinths and mazes
Through tangled brambles
Into a night of blazing meteors
My cinder heart
Smoking in gray ashes
Back into the tattered fabric of time, we came
Time sewn with threads of tears
Back to the scars
Running the full length of our days
Ah, the scents and tastes
The harmonies and textures
Of remembering
Ah, the smoky atmosphere of tomorrow
The silver waves and breaking tides
The healing hours of time

Yesterday’s Empty Space
The wild wings in some spring
Some yesterday
singing spring
Singing April’s restless winds
I, in pink felt coat
hair caught in wind-wings
Afternoon winds blowing about
the decayed leaves
left from winter’s
white romance
when we were us
A winter of
snow dreams on my windowpanes
I, west on the walk
of steps climbing to the moon
You, east
of thirst to a stream
But when winds screeched rain squalls
and shouted shadows
I remembered your stone heart
stone words
You dwelling on my fickle heart
roaming ways
Came a fugitive moment of grace
half visions in wide scopes
One image leading to another
The gauntlet laid
Could we meet in the middle?
of a chasm of armored stars
Or climb tendrils wrapping
around tomorrow?
But only our eyes met
to see spaces filled with duplicitous lights
Tomorrows on winged flights
So many miles apart

Susan’s poems and fiction are on Eastown Fiction, Tryst 3, Word Salad, Pens On Fire, Ken *Again, Hackwriters, Feathered Flounder, and Penwood Review. In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Poem by Martin Cohen

Lovely Limerick
(A response to a poem titled "Never Rhyme with Love", which listed the five words that rhyme with "love" and insisted that they should never be used because the result was bound to be sappy and sentimental. I hope you’ll agree that this is neither sappy nor sentimental.)

There's a problem with being in love

When you’re dumped you turn vulture from dove
     Rage makes you think of
     Ways to shove from above

But be sure that you’re wearing a glove

Martin Cohen is a retired computer programmer who loves dancing (favorites are West Coast Swing, Waltz, Tango, and Foxtrot), writing (but not revising) poems, and solving math problems.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Two Poems by John Kross

A Frigid Woman

Beware the frigid woman
who can lean upon the stars
but never gather light
or comprehend heat.

She hides what to reveal
would turn her lover’s eyes away,
the scars her daddy left,
the guilt thrown at the pews,
the touch of too many,
the touch of too few.

For strangers she
will fly the moon, for you
she comes home tired
to sleep on nails.

A master of conditional love
she heaps her baggage on the ones
who love her most,
the only truth she breathes.

She never goes to where
you'd take her

she only commits to

and stacks of Bibles do nothing
to bring forth truth

I tell you this much

the light across the dawn is more
than just the sun
and everything you give her
will rust.


20 years felt more like if
she slowed the Earth’s rotation with
the magnetic malfunction of her moral compass.
John Kross is an aspiring poet living and working in Dallas,Texas.  He has been published here several times at "Napalm and Novocaine" August 2012 and at "The Mind(less) Muse" August 2012.
You can read most of John's work and interact with him as himself at

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Poem by Doug Draime


Alive Again

One night

I thought I saw Beth

sitting next to a pond

feeding swans.

Her red hair

as long as ever

flowing down her back

like burning wildfire.

In the moonlight

she turned;

a half smile crossing

her face,

the rest of her

disappeared in shadows,

like the swans

swimming out

under the midnight moon
Doug Draime has a full-length collection due out from Interior Noise Press in 2012. A presence in the underground literary movement for nearly five decades. Most recent books in print include: Los Angeles Terminal: Poems 1971-1980 (Covert Press) and Rock 'n Roll Jizz (Propaganda Press ). Awarded small PEN grants in 1987, 1991, and 1992. Nominated for several Pushcart Prizes in last few years. He lives in the foothills of Oregon.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Two Poems by Chad W. Lutz

Breeze That Bears Your Name

A slow wind blows like saccharine

bearing your name against the hillside

where we used to sit and talk about Love. I gaze out upon

a million dancing daffodils, alive like

fire in the golden sun. A bird cries fowl

at a fellow flock sending fish hooks off course through

the valley below. I, too, cringe at its piercing shriek

and wish the bird to go away so that I may be

peacefully surrounded by something that

still wears your name. I wish for it to keep blowing,

even though I know I am in vain.
Foresight in the Rear-View Mirror
The moment I realized I didn’t love you anymore,
I was staring in my rear-view mirror.
There was an overweight ode to plastic surgery and Botox
Haphazardly bombing a pudgy face with McDonald’s and Mary Kay
At a stop light just outside of town.
She was wearing a pair of those giant, bug-like sunglasses that devour half of your face.
In her one hand was a smartphone, and in the other anything but the wheel.
Diamonds sparkled around her neck with the same abandoned glisten as the interior
Of her over-priced Cadillac.
I looked to the West, to the sun, shining bright in the afternoon sky.
Still dripping from my 10-mile run and sporting a windswept hairdo,
I got that familiar feeling.
The same feeling found in a dry, desert wind,
Or in early-morning sunlight cresting on an unbridled beach.
An American flag blew gently in the breeze above my car attached
To a weather-worn electric pole.
A dozen motors must’ve been buzzing around me at that crossroads,
But all I could hear was my heart.
I called you that night, and put an end to it; to a dream never meant to be.
Just in the nick of time.
Chad W. Lutz was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1986 and lives in the neighboring suburb of Stow.An avid athlete, activist, writer and musician, Chad holds a BA in English with a Minor in Writing from Kent State University, Class of 2008. His work has been featured in Diverse Voices Quarterly Journal, The Drunken Odyssey, The Dying Goose, Haunted Waters Press and He currently works as head content writer for an online job applications website in North Canton, Ohio, and aspires to run the marathon in the 2016 Olympic Games.