Friday, March 5, 2010


Of our conflicts with others, 
we make rhetoric; 
of our conflicts with ourselves. 
we make poetry.
William Butler Yeats

by Jane Banning

My son's peachy cheeks
have turned to stubble.
The turning stings:
I'm not allowed to kiss
this complicated face.
His teenage years stalked in the door
along with sticky-eyed nights.
The toddling ghosts, the splinters and the tiny bruises
are now swaggering ghouls
of twisted metal, reflecting the pulse of flashing lights.
I wander my phantom rooms,
searching for a wisp of what was
and I hold the intruding demons,
at arms' length, avoiding their dank breath.
My son will leave someday too soon,
his cheeks shining,
mine, wet.

JANE BANNING lives in Oregon, Wisconsin with her husband and son.  She received honorable mentions in the Micro Fiction Award contest in 2008 and in the Glass Woman Prize contest in 2009.  Her work has appeared in the University of Iowa Daily Palette, Six Sentences, Tuesday Shorts, Long Story Short, Birds by My Window, and the Boston Literary Magazine.  Email.

by Nancy Julien Kopp

passengers on a train, gypsies
going nowhere; wheels kiss tracks
like passion-driven teens
as gypsy women dip needle and thread
into cheap and flimsy fabric,
fashion bits and pieces to sell.
pricked fingers bleed onto gingham
and voile, spit wipes it clean again.

little girls wear blue eye shadow,
swing immature hips and mimic
older sisters, thumb their nose at
mothers, aunties, and grans.
too soon they’ll be snatching cloth,
sewing, wiping blood spots away
but for now, let them frolic,
midnight eyes glittering with
mischief, too soon the cares of a
gypsy woman settle on shoulders
like a burlap shawl, hardly noticed
until the years pull it tighter, hold
her captive in a smothering embrace.

play, gypsy girl, play for the years
roll quickly by; shake your tawny locks,
clap your jeweled hands, twirl until your
skirt billows round umber knees,
laugh and sing, before the heavy
 mantle of womanhood crushes
girlish patter, cares and woes
etch themselves in deep ridges
on cheek and chin, shoulders curl onto
sagging breasts, veins make maps of legs,
and thinning tresses turn to silver,
eyes dull from anger and
sometimes fear, gaps where teeth
once looked like pearls on string.

weathered faces turn to watch the
young girls dance, needles never still,
minds spiraling backward.
play, gypsy girl, play
before the years sit like a rock on
your heart. the train speeds
through the night, whistle whining,
through sleeping villages,
while gypsy women sew and
little girls with blue eyeshadow
see only tonight.

NANCY JULIEN KOPP draws from her growing-up years in Chicago and many more years living in the Flint Hills of Kansas for her essays, stories, poems, and articles. Her work is  in nine CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL books plus other anthologies, magazines, newspapers, and ezines. Nancy is a former teacher who still enjoys teaching through the written word.  Contact.

by Cathy Porter

Some houses are small and sad;
they starve in the background,
devoid of sustenance. You can see
the frowns on the doors, the tears
on the windows; you can almost hear
the cries of hunger through the chimneys
and walls. Like a high school loner
never picked for the team, they sit
ignored, while the game plays on.
Yes, some houses are small and sad,
never to know the feel of loving arms
wrapped around their frames,
or the sound of a familiar voice
whispering, “this is home.”

CATHY PORTER’s poetry has appeared in Barbaric Yawp, Plainsongs, Chaffin Journal, Pennine Ink (England), and other journals. She has two chapbooks available, and is currently working on a third.  She lives in Omaha, NE.  Contact.

by Patricia Wellingham-Jones  

Friends look with alarm
as I downsize my house
afraid I’ll ship myself out
in the final box

Latest to go
is my late husband’s glass and china
complete with oak cupboard
and wavy-glass front

I sold the Mata Ortiz pots
kept the Maria and Acoma ones
Auctioned off folk arts of Japan
turned indigo batik into pillows

Succulents in pots
and the hundred ivies
long ago went to friends
and the Friends of the Library
get cartons of books
every few months

My head expands with blessed space
when I shred reams of old paper
free up whole sections
in my files

I relish living with carpets
knotted by hand
paintings and carvings
made by real people
furniture with the patina of age

PATRICIA WELLINGHAM-JONES has a longtime interest in 'healing writing' and the benefits people gain from writing and reading their work together. Widely published, her chapbooks include DON’T TURN AWAY:  Poems about Breast Cancer, VOICES ON THE LAND, and END-CYCLE:  Poems about Caregiving.  Contact

by Floriana Hall

When a seed is planted
in your mind
Like any living organism that has been
There is a period of gestation where it grows,
Develops although unseen.
 It may suddenly spring forth to totter a bit
Before it steps out on its own
To fulfill whatever destiny
It may have
Or what it could possibly be.
 There are questions to ask
About our wonderful thoughts
And how to help the seed grow.
We turn to prayer, slip it in front of God
For Him to ponder and sow.
 Someone else may be zapped with an idea
To mingle with your concept
Or one drops in on you.

FLORIANA HALLis author/editor of ten nonfiction inspirational books and two books of poetry. She is founder, coordinator and editor of the Poet’s Nook at Cuyahoga Falls Library. She has won many poetry contests and is mentioned in WHO’S WHO IN US WRITERS, EDITORS AND POETS, among others. Floriana teaches Poetry online at the  Email 

by William Slusser
wooden chimes tap out
a haunting, staccato melody
composed by the swirling
breath of night.

orange moon, half perched,
bleeds across the sky,
softens inscrutable blackness
into outlines of grey.
two automobiles kick up dust
down a secret lane where lovers
cloaked in evening’s plasma
consort in silence.
 and dusk resets the cobra’s coil,
tempts the timeless scourge
which bestows upon darkness
an undeserved reputation for ill.            

WILLIAM SLUSSER is a transplanted Midwesterner and graduate of Florida State University. He has authored numerous short stories and poems. Recently his work was accepted/appeared in The Storyteller, Westward Quarterly, Poet's Ink Review, and Atlantic Pacific Press.  Contact.

by Alice Sciore
Here where I stand
Plainly aware
Moments momentous
Known not through sight
Come to my white
Their fierce flight
Wrapped and released
Whirling worlds
Far off from the end
The beginning starts again
Again to see
Repeat an ill
Again to bear the past
To rise above both storm and glow
As will this valley vast
Fragrant serenity at my feet
Wafts away in the air
To purposely perpetuate
You where you stand
There plainly aware

ALICE SCIORE, a graphics designer and fine artist went to Killington, Vermont from the New Jersey, first as a ski bum.  She then started a business, Star Route Design, doing logos, brochures and writing copy for this  purpose. Alice and her friends founded the Killington Arts Guild.  ALICE SCIORE, a graphics designer and fine artist went to Killington, Vermont from the New Jersey, first as a ski bum.  She then started a business, Star Route Design, doing logos, brochures and writing copy for this  purpose. Alice and her friends founded the Killington Arts Guild.  As Vice President, she creates and coordinates exhibits and events. Her fine art ranges from two dimensional to wood sculpture.  The above poem was inspired by a white marble sculpture dedicated to the September 11th victims in Vermont.  E-mail

by Phil Latham
Butterfly, dead
on the pavement
one wing, really
veins in relief
left that way by
delicate as
a flower at
the season’s end.
But, wait, I’m wrong
It’s not a wing
but a shard of
roofing tile left
by a careless
or tired worker
No wing at all
never alive
never giving
anything lift.
Just trash but I
leave it there so
Someone else might
make the mistake
and find a rare
beauty and not
look so closely
at the details

PHIL LATHAM has been a published writer for 32 years in the world of journalism, which he says is “a world away from where I now aspire.”  He lives in Eastern Texas in the deep woods with his wife and family of two dogs and a cat.  Contact.

by Michael Ceraolo
Bus ride-
being stupid
is not the handicap
for which the special seats were set 

MICHAEL CERAOLO is a civil servant/poet in his early fifties who is interested in, and writes about the past, present, and future.  Contact.

 by Ashutosh Ghildiyal
Suspended in the air,
A ring of smoke.
Stuck in the ear,
A resonating note.
A glass of wine,
Half filled.
A captivating smile,
A twinkle in the eye,
A single soft heartbeat,
And a lingering touch...
A mental picture taken 
Of an ageless moment.

ASHUTOSH GHILDIYAL was born in Lucknow, India. He is a salaried professional and a part-time author. He writes short stories, poetry, and essays. His work has been published in both print and online media. He is currently based in Mumbai.  WebsiteEmail

googable universe
by cm

“i googled you today,”
she said

that’s right
checked out
privacy invaded

nothing you can do

people click
catch you
frontwards, backwards
pants down

used to think
was when as a kid
daddy tickled my belly
googly! googly!
then threw me in the air

guess i should be flattered
really haven’t lived,
until, you know,
you’ve been…googled

feel so violated
need a shower

CHARLES MARIANO is the author of THE WHOLE ENCHILADA:  Recipes, Photos and Stories from Merced, CA, available on Amazon.  Charles is, in his own words,  "Elusive, reclusive, and otherwise quiet."  Contact.

by Abi Wyatt
She is old now and it should not matter,
but still she hears with frail surprise
how, in the morning, with a hollow clatter,
her letter-box snaps shut; and she tries
not to see, among the brown bills, the ghost
of something better, the texture and weight
of ancient letters, curlicued, embossed; tangible almost,
though long years lost to unforgiving fate.
Then she straightens, rallies; is business-like, sardonic,
turning to meet the expectation of this new, dull, day.
How brief a time a time ago it was she had her pick
of beaux and, gaily thoughtless, sent them on their way,
their posies at her feet. How fragrant life was then.
Her heart snaps shut. It won’t be so again.

ABI WYATT lives in the beautiful county of Cornwall in the United Kingdom. She was formerly a teacher of English but is now a full-time writer. Her work has been published in a number of independent magazines, most recently First Edition and Poetry Cornwall.  Contact.  

by Emeka Offor
I enjoy the care and warmth of love.
I show love too.
I enjoy the company of friends and loved ones.
I love the way I look.
I also love the things I have accomplished.
I aim at making them better and achieving more.
I am flattered by the things that matter.
I am encouraged by the encouragement of others.
I give my own too.
I am excited when someone goes the extra mile to assist.
I enjoy good food,drinks, and entertainment, the things that gladden the hearts and melt the soul.
I enjoy the beauty in people
I savour the scenic beauty of the environment.
The things I enjoy are limitless.
I hate to have them removed or destroyed. 
I do not like the things I hate.

EMEKA OFFOR is a business consultant and aspiring poet based in Lagos, Nigeria.  His special interests include motivational speaking and the sustainable environment.  He is married and has one son.  Email. 

by Bill Roberts
You could tell it was over
by the last entry in his bible,
an incomprehensible scribble.
He'd read it one last time
after she died, his strong,
measured hand underlining words
and passages, annotating
along the edges, then
about halfway through,
the first falter, confusion,
drop-off in precision, maybe
his decision made at this point.
Finally, near its end, his ending,
a scribbled entry unreadable,
perhaps his goodbye.
We couldn't blame him -
she was the spark of his life,
an incandescence suddenly out,
leaving him in darkness.

BILL ROBERTS is widely published in online and small-press magazines (nearly a thousand poems in about 200 journals).  He has just solved the biggest mystery in his life:  why it is that his grandparents had 22 children and he and wife Irene have had none so far.  Answer:  they were from Oklahoma, he and wife from the East Coast.  Bill, Irene and obnoxiously spoiled dogs live the good life in Broomfield, Colorado.  Contact

by Maralee Gerke
I rise in the darkness of a winter day,
drink a cup of peppermint tea,
and breathe in pungent steam,
as the sun pokes its delicate corona
above the hoary fields.

I am the flannel goddess of dawn
the polyester priestess of birdseed.
I open bins of sunflower and millet
and measure out the right mix
for the finches, sparrows and jays
and invite the birds to a ceremony of food.

Inside, I take off vest, gloves, hat,
and blow on my icy fingers.
I sit at my computer and begin to type.
My fingers move to the rhythms of take offs and landings,
the whirr of wings providing accompaniment 
to the melody of my winter writes.

MARALEE GERKE lives in Madras, Oregon. She has been writing poetry for more than a decade and has published two books of poems. She has been published in many magazines and literary journals.  Contact

by Marie Delgado Travis

You want me to reach  
Deep inside and  
Pull out “stuff” for 
Your consumption, 
Without revealing 
Anything of your own. 

To pour my guts out, 
Somewhere between the 
Tomato basil soup and  

Stand before you 
Dishing out  
Portions of 
My soul,  

While you say, 
“Pass the salt” and 
“Check please” 
Applaud lightly 
And walk out, 

Just as I get to 
The part that 
Really hurts.   

MARIE DELGADO TRAVIS is an award-winning author.  She writes poetry and prose in English and Spanish. On February 21st, she was honored as the local Author of the Year at the 2010 Houston Hispanic Book Festival.  Marie's new book, WHAT IF..., based on an award-winning poem and delightfully illustrated by artist John Rivera, is now ... Poof! ... available at  Website

by Michael Lee Johnson

In the night when poems
are born, I search for the hidden words,
secrets stretch inside my metaphors.
Even near my tender moments
when the images blossom into rain flowers
I trip on stems, cut my way loose to nowhere.
I go there to see what I can find.

MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. His new poetry chapbook with pictures, entitled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available on  and Amazon.comYou Tube.  E-mail.

by Frank De Canio

I trudge across the drab, dismantled earth,
crucified by hammering winter storms.
There seems to be no sprinkling of rebirth
and icy branches lean, as if for warmth,
against the top-coat grayness of the sky.
Neither monkish buds, cowled in sepal stripes,
nor lily-togaed prophets testify,
as trumpeting winds muffle shepherds’ pipes,
and fell fields freeze in furrowed disrepair.
The earth wears tattered garments, stained like sin,
while April’s linen dress is worse for wear.
I pray Life’s resurrection now begin
to usher in its eager, faithful flock
past darkness toward the crowing of the cock.

FRANK DE CANIO was born and bred in New Jersey.  He loves music of all kind, from Back to Amy Winehouse. Shakespeare is his consolation. His work has appeared in Sunken Lines, Genie, Write On!!, Red Owl, Nuthouse, Love‘s Chance, Words of Wisdom and many others.  On the web, he’s on on POETZ, Contemporary Rhyme, Language and Culture, and Thick with Conviction.  Contact.

by Sanjeev Chhiber

She came from the east
One fine sunny day
A gentle wind blowing
Sneezing in the hay

The sun smiled broadly
Winking at winter's flight 
It's spring, it's spring 
Time to put forth more light

The otters teased playfully 
 toiling beavers crooned , 
 geckos stretched their rusty limbs 
rosy larval buds bloomed

Soon the grass grew bolder
Every blade sparkling fresh 
The mongoose and the snake
Made friends at the river’s edge 
As the breeze  grew warmer 
and mango blossoms soared 
aromas grew hotter of
azaleas, frangipani and marigolds 
then came the crystal babies
in their prams of pure gold
wearing tons of diamonds
sashaying down the road
I lolled around in the sand
Beer slaking my thirsty lips  
Watching floating spires
Of  cloudy battle ships 

The sky so blue, deep and azure 
The brilliance made me cry
I drank the salt hungrily 
Oh! So happy was I

Summer, oh summer
you beautiful child
stay here forever  
here by the shoreline 

SANJEEV CHHIBER is a senior cancer surgeon in New Delhi, who says much too modestly, “I am but an amateur who etches lines on paper and sometimes virtual paper.”  Contact.

march celebrity poet

william butler yeats 


nationality:   irish

epitaph, yeats’ tombstone:



see yeats’ bio and work at 

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