Tuesday, May 4, 2010


A poem begins with a lump 
in the throat; 
a homesickness or 
a lovesickness....
~ Robert Frost


In Memory of Patricia Mees Armstrong
by Luke Armstrong
 Like post orgasmic peace, the living waves,
slaves to you not so neutral moon, slave to
earth, home to you, admired waves;
a green, ripe opening, unlit fires of night,
hazy inspiration, no so far from the truth:
all ice cubes will one day be sea-foaming surf,

to be sliced right open, again, water mending wounds;
the hermit crab's home rests between two sea-tanned breasts,
which through a series of perfect parts, connects to two 
traveled feet, leaving hopeless prints on ever washing sands,
a song of one sound sets tempo in her musical ears,
the washing cleanses what harm it brings, 

scores of voices, who have never turned her down, 
                                     mix water without words, under a late-light sky,

so see the orange blued of the set and rise,
imagine what's behind the curtain of a green, silk skirt,
and trade a day to pass away in a moment of minutes,
outside itself, and beside itself, with Grace.
the fall, the quiet spectacle when dust-bound leafs
     wash onto sandy shores—youthful, romantic   wings,

castles, not lasting a day, are testaments to eternal life:
temporary empires, composed of the eroded walls of you Rome,
Grace, before a meal of lightly treading thoughts is a
welcomed guest before a crashing company of waves
            sinking forever into the boundless sands below…  
As a non-fction writer, LUKE ARMSTRONG’s work has been featured in dozens of travel publication including Outside, Perceptive Travel, Folate Oak, MatadorTravel, and his piece Finding Maximón was nominated for the 2010 anthology of Best American Travel Writing. A volume of poetry "iPoems for the Dolphins to Click Home About" was published by Small Poetry Press in February, 2010 and is available on Amazon.  His second novel How One Guitar Will Save the World is scheduled to be released in late 2010. Of this poem, Luke writes: 
“Seaside grace was inspired by my grandmother Patricia Mees Armstrong. She was a poet and writer. I gave the poem to her as a gift several months before she passed away. Before she left us, she had had a decade long struggle cancer. It had been in remission for several years and then came back and infected much of her body. But through all her struggles, she always kept a sense of humor and remained happy and in love with my grandpa till her last day. She loved to be by the sea, hence 'water mending wounds'.
She also traveled across the world as long as her health permitted. The 'song of one sound' refers to the sound of crashing ocean waves. I use 'which through a series of perfect parts' because, despite the amputations, my grandpa always saw her has complete and perfect. She had an intrepid soul and towards the end of her life was often frustrated that her body could not keep up with her untetherable spirit.
When I re-read this poem, I see an image of my grandma as she saw herself. She never saw herself as an old woman in a hospital bed. She saw herself as a young, romantic woman walking with a flowing dress on  the sea´s shore, with her dreams laid out youthfully in front of her, and her prints soon washed behind her as she walked towards a hopeful future.”
Luke resides in Antigua, Guatemala, where he directs the humanitarian development organization Nuestros Ahijados.  Contact 
Luke's Grandparents


by Rosemary Carr
In the dark no-one sees us,
Not once I blow the candle out.
Only my mind can paint a picture,
An unseen charcoal sketch.
A still life we sleep to dawn when
Morning’s distant canons roar.
You stir. I wake.
My skin clings to yours
Smooth and glib with sweat.
Soldier on the frontline.
My skin tells me when you’ve left.

ROSEMARY CARR is currently studying Advanced Creative Writing with The Open University in England.  She has previously been published in Allthingsgirl.net Visit Rosemary's Website for more information about her work. Contact

Editor's Note: The two poems honored this month reflect two of May's special holidays:  Mother's Day and Memorial Day.

by Floriana Hall
We may speak languages divided,
We may worship different deities,
The one way we stay united
Is in music of the centuries.
The tinkling sound of the piano
Is soothing to kindred souls,
Communication of the heart and mind
Whether classical or rock-and-roll.
A German lullaby, a tango played in Spain,
Frank Sinatra's songs, Elvis' records gold,
Relate to every lover, romantic passion told.
We may travel the world over
From China to the Poles,
Music played on various instruments
Relaxes, excites, soothes, consoles.
We may hear "The Song of India"
Performed on Scotland's moors,
Or bagpipes played by different clans
On many island shores.
Italy's rhythmic accordion tunes
In Venice's gondola filled canals,
Reverberating echoes of a baritone,
An operatic pitch in Wales.
Ballads of court jesters,
Somber organ tones, religious tales,
Bands drumming, marching to John Sousa,
Patriotic themes fulfilled
Enjoyed in France or Appaloosa.
Blaring trumpets, trombones, flutes trill,
"Oh, Danny Boy" gives all a thrill.
We may hear resonating depths of despair
Like musical chords from the "Phantom"
In Prague or Ireland's County Kildare.
Strains of the centuries fathomed
Blues, ragtime, jazz, swing and pop,
Folk, calypso, opera, country, bebop.
Angels strumming melodic harps,
Cowboys plucking banjo's, regional art.
Violins melancholy strings, bells resounding chimes,
Melodies universal for now and all times.
"It's a small world, after all," foretold
The harmonious language of the world.

FLORIANA HALL FLORIANA HALL is the author of 12 books, six nonfiction and six inspirational poetry books.  Her nonfiction book, FRANCIS, NOT THE SAINT has recently been translated into Spanish (FRANCISCO, NO EL SANTO). Her new poetry book SELECT SANDS OF RHYME AND REASON and young children's book SIMPLE PLEASURES are now available at Cyberwit.net . Floriana teaches poetry at LssWritingSchool.com under YOU, ME, AND POETRY. Contact  Website  

by John Grey
That fateful Saturday      
I was hiking       
the same hills   
you were hiking.

I clambered
over hills.
You clambered
over hills.

I trod carefully
the narrow ledge.
You trod carefully
the narrow ledge.

I almost
slipped on stones.
You almost
slipped on stones.

I stopped for
a blue and white wildflower
I’d never seen before.
You. . . no you didn’t stop.

Thus you
reached the fork
a minute or two
before I did.

You hiked
the old spring route.
I hiked the fern trail.
We didn’t meet.

was elated
though it had
no right to be.
JOHN GREY has been published recently in the Georgetown Review, Connecticut Review,  South Carolina Review and The Pedestal, with work upcoming in Poetry East and The Pinch.  He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.  E-mail jgrey10233@aol.com

by Raquel D. Bailey
midnight stroll:
a wave washes the moon
onto the shore
RAQUEL D. BAILEY, originally from Jamaica, is the Founding Editor of Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine, sponsoring haiku, tanka & short fiction contests year round.  An F.S.U. English graduate, she has earned Honorable Mentions in the 2009 Satoyama Haiku Contest, With Words Haiku Contest (U.K., Japan), 2008 Ludbreg Haiku Calendar Contest (Croatia), Haiku Calendar Contest U.K. (Snapshot Press). Among many others, her poetry works appear in The Heron's Nest, Atlas Poetica, Modern Haiku, Simply Haiku, Modern English Tanka, Wisteria and Cider Press Review. Raquel resides in Florida.  Email 
by Michael Ceraolo
Lake gull
gliding with grace
from streetlight to streetlight 
for its own secret reasons this
MICHAEL CERAOLO is a 51-year old civil servant/poet who is interested in, and writes about the past, present, and future.  Contact  ceraolom@yahoo.com

by Ashutosh Ghildiyal

Those hills, so close, yet so distant
Looking at them, you forget yourself 
For one timeless instant
Overwhelmed by their beauty  

Standing there, you grow aware 
Of the age of this earth  
And of your own impermanence  

They will remain, and you, with your 
Sorrows, pains, and worries, will pass away 
They will be there, as they have been  
Since long before you came

ASHUTOSH GHILDIYAL was born in 1984 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.  WebsiteE-mail.

by mikel weisser
the clothes they know the crease
they’ll fold to it
if you let them

they fall cartoons of ourselves
crumpled and weak
or sleek and angle bound
the perfecter we
than the we they carry

they lay upon the bed
they hang in wait on hooks
they’re stained, they’re ruined

when wet they cling like cold kittens
when bouncing fresh out of the dryer
they give their love
a final warm embrace
before cooling
mikel weisser writes from the left coast of Arizona, performs poetry, paints murals, makes politics funny with his political humor column, "Current Comedy," teaches social studies and creative writing, and lives in a peace sign themepark in So-Hi, Arizona. Email 

by Amit Parmessur
A lake, bordered by delicate
and delightful flowers
Loud birds chirping
A swan is swimming
A leaf that grows on a
branch that is reflected
in a peaceful lake will
live longer in the lake than on the branch
The branch feeds the leaf
yet exposes it
to the atrocity of seasons
Of unknown time
The water reflects the leaf’s growth
The leaf grows in reflection
It reflects the leaf’s pain
The leaf suffers in reflection
The branch then releases the leaf
The water attenuates its fall
and washes its pain away
A leaf that floats on a
peaceful lake will never live on the
branch again
My love resembles a leaf
which lives in a heart
and is reflected in another heart
The lake, bordered by delicate
and delightful flowers
Birds are chirping loudly
Can another swan ever
repeat the route the swimming swan is making?

AMIT PARMESSUR hails from from the beautiful island of Mauritius and has been published in The Short Humour Site, Orchard Press Mysteries and Swan Morrison’s People of Few Words. A B.A. in English, Amit was the winner of the Short Humour Scooptheloot Prize October/November 2003 and has published an anthology entitled THE WORDS I LOVED IN MAURITIUS (2007). Contact

by Mary Ann Goodwin

A stalwart oak stands captive in our yard,
survivor of the developer’s grace-for-profit.
Dignified and resolved, it forever stretches limbs
to challenge limits of an invisible container.
We owners savor its shaggy shade,
but protest when it transgresses
reasonable and necessary boundaries:
fence, sidewalk, street,
electric lines, driveway, garage
flower beds, shrubbery, house.

So we chide and constrain our prisoner
to precise and awkward dimensions—
amputate upper growth that touches roofs
and over-shades flowers,
shear lower growth that scrapes car tops
and teases tallest heads.
Yet we frown in disapproval at damaging holes
determinely plundered by wily woodpeckers,
clear debris when rowdy rains
and ripping winds weaken and sever limbs.

In early spring electric company men
brought machines to mangle and gut
its creeping crown of sun-saluting growth.
Both the elder woodsy statesman and we
were humbled by their partiality to power lines.
Now spring sends friendly winds
to shake spindly limbs, flutter new-formed leaves.
I catch a whisper as they nod,
Be careful where you’re planted.
Keep growing.

MARY ANN GOODWIN is a retired aerospace software project manager who now writes poetry and children stories. She is a member of the Gulf Coast Poets, the Galveston (Texas) Poets Roundtable, the Poetry Society of Texas and the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators. Her first chapbook, unleavened bread, includes the above poem.  Besides LSS, her poems have been published by Gulf Coast Poets. Others are scheduled for publication in Windows 2010 (Alvin Community College) and the Poetry Society of Texas Bulletin.  Email 

morning music
by cm

there’s something about
the way i begin

first breath,
complete and total

then, as the last sip
of coffee
drains from my cup
my lips,
it’s time

don’t like to blast
screeching, screaming, rockin

mornings are sacred,
refined, perfectly tuned,

for me
very low, barely there
miles, coltrane, or turrentine
something like that

close my eyes
ease in

maybe later
after all those damn cars,
dumptrucks, beepers, door slams

i’ll switch over
to stevie ray V,
and say hello

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

by Rachel Blackbirdsong

I fall into cascading depths of blue
Warm water is a cushion for my skin
I weave and spin – a beautiful corkscrew
Then break the waves - a newly born dolphin

The ocean calms my spirit through and through
I surge through breaks and tides then back again
Returning to the innocence I knew
Forfeiting human bonds and discipline

There is no end to possibility
When summer dreams are born with each new dawn
While swimming towards your heart’s tranquility
This mermaid’s wish is no phenomenon

This freedom is a thing I’ve never known
As I forsake the world of flesh and bone.

RACHEL BLACKBIRDSONG is a poet and novelist. Her publishing credits include, UCLA's American Indian Cultural and Resource Journal, Thorny Locust, and Red River Review.  Currently, she is working on her first poetry collection and she has edited an anthology of poetry for Goldfish Press Publications. Contact 

by Mary Pacifico Curtis

The newest comet
to be seen
is green I’m told
and one must use binoculars
turned southward
in one-digit hours of morning
seeking Saturn
and another bright star
skymarkings to gaze between
stellar signposts
defining the space
where one can locate
the comets glow
with a tail and aftertail
traveling the skies
like rise and fall
hope and loss
ebb and flow
life, death
and all that 

When she is not writing, MARY PACIFICO CURTIS is CEO of Pacifico Inc., a Silicon Valley advertising and public relations firm. A graduate of Northwestern University, Mary currently serves on the board of the Children’s Musical Theater, as an Arts Commissioner for the Town of Los Gatos and on the founding advisory committee for San Jose Rocks. A recipient of the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Award recognizing both excellence in the industry as well as social responsibility, Mary is a frequent speaker on topics pertaining to branding and marketing. Contact 

by Marie Delgado Travis

Forgive me for 
Bleeding on your 
White rug. 

Should've left  
My sentiments 
Lined up neatly 
By the door. 

Didn't mean to get 
Your carpet wet, 
But it seems I need 
A tourniquet. 

Excuse me for  
Bleeding on your 
White rug.
MARIE DELGADO TRAVIS is an award-winning author.  She writes poetry and prose in English and Spanish. Her new illustrated poetry book, WHAT IF... (John Rivera, Illustrator) is available at Lulu.com. Website 

by Bill Roberts
Why think about it?
It goes on, nothing to stop it.
Clocks, watches, even sundials fail
on a cloudy day,
but time plods on.
Oh, it races ahead sometimes,
as when a contest is predictable
before being fought, and
slows at times,
when an expected baby is overdue.
But it only stopped once
in my recollection:
when she walked into my life,
paused, pointed a finger
and said, You!
It never caught up again.
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 Brian W. Osborn
Aunt Leona said “when that Spanish moss sway
in the dead-calm air like that it mean the Lord
calling someone home”.  She rose from her
porch rocker and went to the kitchen.

I stayed on the porch with Gran-ma, held her hand,
watched for the moss to move. Tall weeds
tapped against the nailed-shut bedroom window,
so greasy with age; weather stained and cobwebbed.

“Thistles! Thistles!” Gran-ma’s raspy words were
whispers at first, then filled the dead-calm
of my own thoughts. Her mouth trembled
for more words to say; her watery eyes,

still clear and starlit, gazed across the years.
She drifted back just then, to the tilled rows of new fields
where her girl-self flew kites. No cobwebs out there.
She smiled and let out more twine.

BRIAN W. OSBORN is a 51 year old jet mechanic, living in Tucson, Arizona, who enjoys reading and writing poetry.  In his own words:  “I consider myself more a craftsman than an artist with words. I have always written, since I can remember, and probably always will, for as long as I can remember.”  Contact 

 by Patricia Wellingham-Jones
On Highway 36
among lava rocks and red bud blooms
where grass grows lush
in spring rains
four horses amble,
avoid their master,
reluctant to start their day.

Last gulps of water,
green shoots lipped,
the beasts are harnessed
and on their way.

They pull an old gypsy wagon
with canvas top
stretched across hoops,
large pans and paraphernalia
clatter against the wood sides.

A bearded man
in worn work clothes
lays the reins gently
across their backs.

With creak of leather, bang of metal,
and the clop of sixteen large hooves,
they start another lap
of a criss cross journey
around the West.

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 Stephen J. Safka
This time it appears the wind blows from behind
Grinning in gold hair and whipping from laughter
The universe furnished a Rose that she signed
A daughter was born to inherit her mind
Pink petal exchanges in the moments thereafter
This time it appears the wind blows from behind
Warm bed and hot soup in the kitchen she’ll find
Fireplace stories will raise to the rafters
The universe furnished a Rose that she signed
Warm garden-spent glances will eternally bind
Smiling her tears in a gown of alabaster
This time it appears the wind blows from behind
Recollection in dreams, her subconscious inclined
Awakened in silence, a domestic disaster
The universe furnished a Rose that she signed
Mother blesses the union as her own heart ran blind
Her meeting with God seemed so dreadfully faster
This time it appears the wind blows from behind
The universe furnished a Rose that she signed
STEPHEN J. SAFKA is a long-time poet, writing primarily for the joy of expression.  He lives in New Jersey.  His wife is Estonian and they have two children, ages 7 and 12, who are both bilingual.   He says, “I work as a chiropractor, which I love immensely.  Yet if I could write for a living, I’d probably opt to do so.”  Contact 

may celebrity poet
Robert frost 
nationality: american

The present 
Is too much for the senses, 
Too crowding, too confusing—
Too present to imagine.  

see frost’s’ bio and work 

work copyrighted by  the individual authors