Monday, June 7, 2010


Poetry is the opening and closing of a door,
leaving those who look through to guess 
what is seen during a moment.
- Carl Sandburg
Quoted for educational purposes only


by Dariel Suarez

The guava trees were lined on either side
of the path, a feast of yellow and green
for our hungry burlap sacks. The children,
leaner and more agile, would climb
to the slenderer branches and shake them.
The adults would use long sticks with looped
wires on one end to slice off the stems and knock down
the treats. On a good day we’d take five or six sacks
filled to the top. We’d lay them on our rusty bike racks
and follow the trail home, contented, like villagers at harvest time. 
These were our summer days out in the Cuban countryside,
the moments when we city dwellers, away
from murals and overfed propaganda,
defined ourselves as a tropical family. 

DARIEL SUAREZ was born in Havana, Cuba, where he lived until 1997. He currently resides in Miami, FL with his wonderful wife and a large number of books. He is attending Florida International University, where he was a winner in both the Poetry and Fiction categories at the 2009 Literary Awards. Dariel's works have appeared or are forthcoming in elimae, The Heron's Nest, Vain, Foundling Review, Bent Pin, Every Day Poets, and Mad Swirl, among others.  Contact 

by Floriana Hall
It was one of those days -
As I sat in my chair and listened to the rain
A stray black and white cat sauntered by the front window
Not minding the rain
While a few robins flew up on the porch and back out
Not minding the rain
And squirrels climbed up the tree and back down
Not minding the rain

It was one of those days –
Where the bushes drank up the rain with a gulp
And flowers bent over from the force of the wind
But sprang right back up
Not minding the rain
I did not move for a while
Just sat in my comfortable chair
Not minding the rain

It was one of those days –
Where the rain never stopped
Giving me time to rest
Not minding the rain
The magic sound of leaves whistling in the trees
No one in sight but the creatures of nature
And an occasional automobile
Not minding the rain

It was one of those days –
When I slept through the pitter patter
Or pounding on the canopy
Not minding the rain
Days like this are precious to me
A chance to catch up with myself
And appreciate all the wonders of God
Never minding the rain

FLORIANA HALL is the author of twelve 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 and . Floriana teaches YOU, ME & POETRY at the  Contact  Website

by William Slusser

Baldwin pawed and sniffed
at boxes of stuff
we couldn’t take with us,
stacked  high in rooms
where gatherings flourished
and special songs were sung.  

The sapling we planted on Earth Day,
roots thickened by time’s fertile soil
has scrawled a signature across the lawn,
formed despite my absence
and without my watchful eye.

That day the chimney exhaled a sad draft,                             
chilled me with a strange shiver,
the feeling when you expect                                
to see a dear friend again 
but never do.           

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 Brenton Rossow

the sun pours down
and the poppies open wide
the spider mends his web
as the heron flies
with wings that flop and rise
down to the marshes he glides
to sit in silence
with earthworms,
staring at his reflection
in the lucid puddles
of the mangrove swamps
where roots breathe and sigh
and the mud crabs hide
and bubble beneath
the waterline,
swimming sideways;
ten legs, pincers
and periscopic eyes
that sneak above
the waterline
waiting for an accident,
the minnow outside
the arrowhead
down in the belly
of the mud crab
the bamboo
slightly wavers
as the earless skink
shrugs its tail
pushing towards
a hot rock
on the riverbank
where butterflies
their tongues
and drink in harmony
like strangers with painted faces;
purple eyes that confuse
the river snakes,
they rise and disappear
into jungle heat
where lovers wait
and predators creep;
the tarantula
and his turquoise scopula 
climbing towards
the eagle’s nest,
the panther and his thirst
for monkey blood,
breathing restlessly
in the boughs of a locust tree

BRENTON ROSSOW is a ruthless shoe collector who can often be found combing the streets of Indochina in search of the ultimate ripple sole. His work has recently appeared in LINQ, Thieves Jargon, Taj Mahal Review, Decomp Mag, Nefarious Ballerina, Sein Und Werden, Barrel House and Everyday Genius. 

by Raquel D. Bailey

cloudless sky-
everything...but her eyes
seem so blue

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), among others. Her poetry appears in The Heron's Nest, Atlas Poetica, Modern Haiku, Acorn, Red Lights, Simply Haiku, Modern English Tanka, Wisteria & Cider Press Review. Contact

by Michael Ceraolo

sealed against the weather-
today it was raining on the

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

by Mary Ricketts

a place
I know well,
a small garden
sitting in the sun
mild breezes  rustling  
sweet honeysuckle scent lost
to barbecuing chicken
soon to be eaten with green salad
ciabatta and a bottle of wine

this morning I went into the garden
a mess of charred chicken bones and ash
littered the stone bench and the ground
remnants of last night's party.
I trashed it then sat down
mug of tea to hand
I read my book
fell asleep.
Where was...

MARY RICKETTS was born in the west of the greater London.  In her words, “I grew up under the sounds of Heathrow airport, rather than the Bow Bells of cockney 'Eastenders.'” She has had a variety of jobs, ranging from school teacher to school cleaner, but is now happily retired.  She has made brief holiday visits to America and says, “The Grand Canyon was the most spectacular thing I have ever seen.” Contact

upon meeting that guy in the mirror
by cm

with the angle bad
the lighting,
slightly dimmed

i’m startled,
by a stranger
in my mirror

“who are you?
why are you here?”

the stranger’s face
weathered, lined
nose and ears,

didn’t speak

in his sad,
tortured eyes,
i could see

adventurous scenes,
heroic, tragic, triumphant
wildly romantic
even death

mysteries to tell
secrets to share

“whoever you are,
you’re damn ugly,
but talk to me,

i’ll take notes”

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

 by Rachel Blackbirdsong

Since I am much stronger than thunder
My heart rages endlessly burning
As lightning bolts shatter the distance
Some fires can be quelled without dying.

You soothe me with barely a whisper
Your eyes, like a lion’s, entice me
Stirring, igniting past dreaming
One word and I’m shivering, hungry.

Your eyes, like a lion’s, entice me
Beyond all the stillness of mourning
One word and I’m shivering, hungry
There is nothing to do but surrender.

Beyond all the stillness of mourning
Were memories clouding my vision,
There is nothing to do but surrender
Though in truth I am stronger beside you.

Were memories clouding my vision?
I was blind to the fact that you loved me
Though in truth I am stronger beside you
I am born and reborn as you hold me.

I was blind to the fact that you loved me
Your heart reached to mine and I answered
I am born and reborn as you hold me
Your hand holding mine is a blessing.

Your heart reached to mine and I answered
I am born and reborn in embracing
Your hand holding mine is a blessing
As we walk through storm clouds together.

The past disappears into nothing.
While lightning bolts shatter the distance
As we walk through storm clouds together
For we are much stronger than thunder.

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 R.L. Brown

Trapped like a slave
Nowhere to go
Don’t want to be here any more
What can  I do
Where do I go
Can’t run and hide
My master will know

R.L. BROWN is a woman with more than 9 lives.  She says, “Poetry, story writing, and art has been a life saver for me. It allows expression without having to completely reveal yourself.”  Contact   

by Simon Perchik

This cup half ecstasy, half adrift
half that delicate planet
the Earth once circled and warmed
--when I glue its sides
the embrace stays blemished
traces where ancient riverbeds
sleek and lush near the grout
dry and brittle near that first dawn
broken into random days and nights
--with each piece my hand
bristling with emptiness
and light blown apart.
When the glue dries
and skies everywhere holding fast
piece by piece rebuilt
the way cities are never sure
or my hand in flames
giving the cup shape and weight
--you hear this cup unfolding
what is now the sun waiting to be watered
--what you hear has a clear bell
is feeling its way, retrieving piece
by rippling piece bathing my hand
half mountainsides
half sometimes a great sea.

SIMON PERCHIK is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere.  His Family of Man (Pavement Saw Press) was published in the Fall of 2009. For more information, including his essay "Magic, Illusion and Other Realities" and a complete bibliography, visit his website 

by Maria Ercilla

This writing of poems 
should be a private thing.
A little indecent 
this playing with words in public,
pulling them out 
from every intimate corner of our beings,
taking them into our mouths,
and savoring them,
laying them down on clean, white paper,
swapping some at whim,
dumping others when a better one comes along.
How much like love is the writing of poetry.
How painful when all is said and done 
and we are still left empty.
How glorious when it all comes together
in a perfect fit
leaving us breathless. 

MARIA ERCILLA was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the US at the age of four.  She graduated from UCLA and has taught English, ESL and Special Education to high school students for the past twenty-three years.  Her latest writing accomplishments are Second Place in last year's Writer's Digest Competition for Poetry and publication in Calyx and CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE LATINO SOUL. She has written a short story collection called THIRTEEN MIRACLES AND COUNTING and is working on her second novel. Maria lives in Los Angeles, CA with her son and daughter.  Contact  

by Matthew A. Hamilton

Ballads of quiet clout my aching temple
as I walk in the rain—
the cold goose pimple rain—
toward her house.
the fog turns to ice.
my breath steams forth like a dragon
and I imagine that I’m smoking cigarettes,
tasting the sweet tar on my sub-zero tongue.

Nothing keeps me away from her—
not even demons arising from man holes beneath
the dark surface of dripping streets.

She is alive in my heart
and every time I see her face,
her light olive complexion, I smile—
and to look at her is to gaze across golden fields of wheat
that have been kissed by the sun.
Her eyes are deep brown,
 as round as black olives of the Mediterranean—
Her hair like two crows surrounding themselves
with black feathered wings,
moving hypnotically
to the rhythm of a mating dance.

MATTHEW A. HAMILTON is a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. Before, he was a Benedictine monk, a Legislative Assistant on Capital Hill, and a librarian. After service, he plans to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing.  Contact

by Patricia Wellingham-Jones    

You bring lemon grass for my garden,
It looks like the wild grass
that grows along the creek.
I could get lost in its long blades,
wonder if it’s worth the space.
I clip a piece between fingernails,
chew it slowly, feel lemon
flood my mouth.
Yes, yes, worth it.

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.  YouTube. Contact  

by Marie Delgado Travis 

I pass you in my carriage. 
Your Moorish eyes,  
filled with moonlight, 
follow me in silence… 
forgiving me 
validating me 
reminding me, 
so tenderly, 
I still exist… 

Oh, gypsy! 
How do I repay  
such love? 
How do I 
repay you? 

MARIE DELGADO TRAVIS is an award-winning writer.  She writes poetry and prose in English and Spanish.  Her new illustrated poetry book, WHAT IF... (John Rivera, Illustrator) is available at Lulu.comWebsite

by John Tzikas

Tonight I seek
A lonesome star
 She may
Become a lover
Of a loser
Like me
It’s a dual role
I play to the prestigious
On the Oscar committee
And she too deserves
A statuette
For performing her role
So well
Pitying the down and out
And I wish
Upon that heavenly projector
Hoping it may guide
Such a hack two bit actor
Parodied on websites
For his ludicrous one liners
Without a stage
But lots of misguided bitterness
Self-loathing rage
She met him where the Dumb are Found

And she’s asked
Has she ever loved a loser
I’m sure she’s lost
More than a few lovers
On the thrill ride
Up and down
And my guilt
For I commit
The beauty on my TV
Is such an arresting character
She’s memorized those
Episodic Procedural lines
And gives them in so wooden a fashion
As she tunes me out

JOHN TZIKAS is a Toronto, Canada based poet/ free verse writer with a passion for classic literature and history.  His poems have appeared in Canada in Authors (1995), Quills (2008, 2010), and in the US in Poetry Super Highway (2010), Word Catalyst (2010), Midwest Literary Magazine (2010), and Ditch Poetry Magazine(2010).  He has performed readings for more than 5 years in small coffee house settings, while living in Guelph and Kitchener, Ontario.  Contact

by Brandon Rushton

All shall gather in the evening
Rejoicing in the shadow of the moon
Burdens lifted, mind released
For the winter solstice is far behind
But yet in the darkness we fear
Fear of what we do not know
For all we know
Is that the injustices of the world
May soon sort us out
And label us,
As we have labeled them
But still we seek change
Fools will undoubtedly begin their rigor morale 
Senseless and empty as their souls
They shall elucidate that change is inevitable
But the inevitability of change is a matter of perspective
But who shall perceive
If eyes are never to be opened
But what shall one misunderstand
If they opt not to close their eyes
But it is truth that can often hide
In the places we would never search
And if you wake with the golden dawn
May you take the time to truly see

BRANDON RUSHTON is a college student attending Saginaw Valley State University.  He ismajoring in History with a minor in creative writing.  In his own words, “I find an escape in poetry and also a place where I can express each emotion that the regular world at times refuses to see.”  Contact

by Frank De Canio

Who will love you when I am gone
when all the curtains have been drawn
and love remains a mystery?
When your frenetic ecstasy
lies settled on a wrinkled brow,
now, who will harmonize your vow,
when yet unwritten songs are sung,
and rusty churchyard bells have rung
to toll the fading reverie
that festers in your memory,
and drowns the din that echoes near
to sound the death knell in your ear
when death is left to dwell upon,
who will love you when I am gone?

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. 

by Michael Mulcahy

the pendulum swings but makes no sound
there is just motion, reverberating throughout the halls
a junk emporium for the masses
stacked high to give false meanings of importance
where there's flame, there's bugs
and their aching stature makes a strong man cringe
this ashtray is my own
caked in disgust from the judgmental fireflies
flames on the precipice of my kingdom
or have I simply deemed it into reflection?
no longer there, never been
it simply holds remains of things once ignited
cigarette butts stand like toy soldiers
crushed frames bending to the cold, concrete ground
warring senselessly over words
the more they speak, the more their children perish
just vessels of broken down highways
everything is nowhere it should be

MICHAEL MULCAHY is a 20-year old student attending Full Sail University, where he majors in Film.  An aspiring writer and filmmaker, he currently resides in Winter Park, FL. Contact 

by Terry Foote

Father and daughter, an interesting bond,
I’m dark haired, she turned out blond.
She was so little, loving and adoring,
And I turned out to be wrong and boring.

Grade school years were cool, I got respect,
Then suddenly a switch, what did I expect.
Where’s the owner’s manual for this kind of behavior,
When she only believes in mom and her savior.

That’s what I am, Uncle Dad,
Never knew fatherhood could be so sad.
I try and try and I hope for the best,
It’s never enough, I fail the test.

I don’t talk with mother, I’m not living there,
It’s mom and her and Jethro, what a scare.
How much can I mean to her with just the weekend drill,
It’s bitter to swallow that Uncle Dad pill.

When she gets older, she’ll come around,
She’ll understand my heartache, hear my agonizing sound.
Can I ever make up the distance,
Can I ever heal the resistance.

That’s what I am, Uncle Dad,
Never knew fatherhood could be so sad.
I try and try and I hope for the best,
It’s never enough, I fail the test.

I have so much to offer, so much to give,
Wasted on indifference, this I must forgive.
Watching dads and pig-tailed girls together in the park,
I wonder if they always will keep that spark.

Living across the country, e-mail keeps us in touch,
What a replacement for the human touch.
When I’m old and tired and the candle’s almost out,
Will she be there for me…oh yah, without a doubt.

That’s what I am, Uncle Dad,
Never knew fatherhood could be so sad.
I try and try and hope for the best,
Maybe in the end I’ll pass the test.

TERRY FOOTE lives near Chicago with his wife Pat and the memory of their departed feline.  Terry's father ignited his passion for poetry and his work as a nurse inspires him to write.  Terry enjoys home brewing and wine making and being spiritually renewed by nature.  Long Story Short is proud to be among the first to publish his work.  Contact 

by Terri Kirby Erickson

The gardener walks five miles
to work, most of it uphill.  He doesn’t
mind.  Each morning he stops to pray
for his wife and sons at St. Leo’s
Church, halfway to the grounds
of his employer’s grand estate—
and the tiny shed where he keeps
his tools, immaculate. 

From her bedroom window,
the boss’s daughter watches him
work.  She is wealthy beyond

imagination, but it seems to him,
unhappy.  It is not my business,
he tells himself, and there is much

to do every day, in her father’s
garden. The daughter loves
the gardener from afar, not because

he is young or handsome, which he
is not.  It is his gentleness with plants,
the way he tends to them like newborns,
how he talks to them, no matter
who is listening.  She longs in fact,
to be the gardener’s daughter,
to feel the breath of his affection.
Then she, too, might bloom.

TERRI KIRBY ERICKSON is an award-winning poet.  She is the author of two collections, Thread Count (2006) and Telling Tales of Dusk (2009).  Her work has appeared in numerous publications, and she received nominations for both a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net award in 2009.  Website  Contact

burying kalamazoo ii
 by Shonda Buchanan

Night. A front porch,
White house, black trim.
Cigarette butts glow
Poker orange against
Hot black dark.
Grown folks whisper.
Children forge packs
With birch bark and crabapple tree.
With bush and stone.
“You it.” “You didn’t even
touch me. I ain’t it.”
Grown folks shift on
Stairs. Kools menthol
Smoke sifts through young
Hot bodies. The stars
Bleeding down on us.
Very little light. Summer.

SHONDA BUCHANAN, poet, creative nonfiction/fiction writer and an essayist, is the editor of "Voices From Leimert Park: A Poetry Anthology." Working on a second collection of poetry, memoir and novel, she is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Hampton University.  Contact

by Maralee Gerke

We squat at a distance from tribal fires
eavesdropping on sacred stories,
the backs of our kinsmen turned away.

We are the listeners.
We sit opposite.

Shadow companions, we benevolent spies
hoard bits of intimate conversation,
weaving stolen words into asymmetrical verse.

We are the poets.
We stand separate.

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

 by Amit Parmessur
Hold my hand as it is now time
to collect butterflies and stick
them on our backs to
carry ourselves into immortality.

Hold my hand as it is now time
to turn into scorpions and sting
all our past mistakes to
build a future of freedom.

Hold my hand as it is time
to crush a rose and remove
all of its colours to
decorate our married hearts.

I want us to turn the marriage
of our souls into an
eternally sacred feeling.

Hold my hand.

Hold my hand

that I may fill the spaces
between your fingers
with my sighs of sincere love.

Our bond was made in heaven,
wasn’t it?
Look into my
hungry eyes
and hold my hand.

AMIT PARMESSUR hails from the beautiful island of Mauritius. Published in Editred, The Short Humour Site, Postcard Shorts and Orchard Press Mysteries. He completed a BA in English in 2005 and was the winner of the Short Humour Scooptheloot Prize (2003). He has published an anthology entitled The Words I Loved in Mauritius (2007) and was published recently in Swan Morrisons People of Few Words.  Contact

june celebrity poet

carl sandburg (1878-1967)
nationality:   american
"Back Yard" (excerpt)

Shine on, O moon of summer.  
Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak,  
All silver under your rain to-night.  

read the complete poem at 
carl sandburg’s biography

All work the copyright of the respective authors.

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