Wednesday, August 4, 2010


“Do not follow in the 
footsteps of the old masters, 
but seek what they sought.” 
- Basho

by John Tzikas
That mercy free wind
Over snow-scraped
Offering no sympathy
Motion free Movement
Lateral progression
I too offer no relief
No mercy
This sideways promotion
Comes from
All the energy
It wastes
To feel
Sorry for myself
Sudden coldness
In the world outside
Those walls
In my dully carpeted Asylum
Have me hostage
To the people
Underneath the balcony
They look so small
I don’t mind
Their stupid ways
And kind of sexy
I tell myself
I rub my eyes
With nicotine stained hands
This shuffling movement back
To the starting point
Fetal Position
The smokiness of the oblivion
 To it
Clouds my judgment
To the horrors of lateral subjugation
I only want to jump to land
Seeing if the devil will break my fall
It jumps my back when I sleep
Making Orphans of my sheep
Speaking of cuddly creatures
My father once tended the flock
And everything goes
Back swings the pendulum
Full semi-circle
As I stare at the striking picture
Of him in military uniform
dashing man of war
And now I am in the middle of my own
Battle of the Bulge
Getting fat and lazy
From the potato chip and aspirin rut
Of Lateral Oppression
I wish I could
Have my own adventure
Of a bloody conquest
Not just a job
That is a spirit killing
And the back office pimps
Dispose me like yesterdays whore
Happy birthday to me

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 Patricia Crandall
Time laced in antimacassars
marble top tables
pot bellied stoves
agate ware
bric a brac
a scent of Pears soap.
Old Spice.
A Summer sun shimmering
through a window,
glistening on Aunt's white hair.
hoeing in the garden
wearing suspenders,
and overalls.
"Look at those berry bushes, Ma.
Full o' blossoms.
We’ll cook up
a platter of  pancakes,
and have honey syrup to pour
and sour cream to spread."
Uncle’s faded eyes were merry.
Aunt's cheeks pink as rose buds.
Precious moments,
none wary.
PATRICIA CRANDALL has three books in print: The Dog Men, a thriller, Melrose: Then and Now, a historical volume, and I Passed This Way, a poetry book. She is currently working on an adventure/thriller novel and a book of bottle mining adventures. She lives with her husband on a lake in the Grafton Mountains in upstate New York.  Contact

by Raquel D. Bailey
each son brings
a bit of sky
in their sunglasses

RAQUEL D. BAILEY, originally from Jamaica, is the Founding Editor of Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine, sponsoring haiku, tanka & short fiction contests year round.  Her poetry works appear in The Heron's Nest, Atlas Poetica, The Smoking Poet, Other Poetry, EPN, Asahi Haikuist Network, Modern Haiku, Acorn, Red Lights, Simply Haiku, Presence, Frogpond, Mainichi Daily News, Ribbons, Chrysanthemum, Magnapoets, Shamrock, Modern English Tanka, Wisteria and Cider Press Review. Raquel resides in Florida.  Contact  

by Floriana Hall

Nothing is quite as charming
As hollyhocks in full bloom
Pink lovelies blanket the back fence
In the August heat at noon.

Nothing is quite as enchanting
As sunshine helping hollyhocks grow
A reminder of cottages of the past
Quaint varied colors all aglow.

Nothing is quite as exciting
As seeing the seeds take hold
Tall and slim the plants flourish
Now like in days of old.

Nothing is quite the same in August
Swimming pools are closed
No more concerts in the park
Getting ready for school imposed.

Nothing is quite as calming
As visions of hollyhocks warm hearts
And paint a peaceful atmosphere
Of God and His glorious art.

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 and . Floriana teaches poetry at the LSS Writing School  under You, Me and Poetry. Contact  Website

by Reece Jackson
Between the rows of apple groves,
I see the spot where we once stood;
where branches once spread sentinel
and pearly blooms grew on the wood.
Some fruit has ripened on the tree,
their crimson forms now good to pluck,
and sadness fills my heart as I
go and take a closer look.
Remember when I brought you here
three months ago, beneath this tree?
We spoke of nature and I took
a splitting bud for you to see.
You weaved the floret in your hair
and sighed so only I could hear
your love for me. The words you spoke
awoke a dormant tear.
But as a dark cloud sails above,
I see that you misread your heart,
for while the bloom I gave stayed white
our lives, since then, have grown apart.
And as the trees allow their young
to hit the ground and fade away,
so too did you forget your love,
and tarnished life a shade of grey. 

REECE JACKSON was born in the north of England, but it was his family’s move to the Somerset countryside which inspired him to write. He is currently studying English and Creative Writing (BA) at Warwick University, where he contributes to and edits The Warwick Review. His work has appeared in various anthologies. Contact   

by Salvatore Buttaci
after his murder in the courtyard
his body was sent to the cellar morgue
where men of science dissected his flesh
in search of those seditious words unsaid
that waited for the right poem 
in the depths of him from which 
they might one day metrically sail free  
all they found were not unlike discoveries
made in the battlefield autopsies of heroes
who lie gut-wrenched, organs exposed
to the elements and the ravishing birds
while their final eyes like cameras
indelibly capture life's passing 
which the souls of them carry away 
he wrote poems in his Spanish tongue
trilled them down paper roads like village songs
meant to be sung if only to rally the listless
but those unversed in the art of sweet language
those whose iron hands wield iron guns
can only rattle destructive syllables of fire
can only murder the poet but never the poem

SALVATORE BUTTACI’s poems, stories, articles, and letters have appeared widely in publications that include New York Times, U. S. A. Today, The Writer, Cats Magazine, and Christian Science Monitor. He was the recipient of the Cyber-wit Poetry Award in 2007.  Retired from teaching, Salvatore Buttaci lives with his wife Sharon in Princeton, West Virginia.  His new chapbook, Boy on a Swing and other poems, is available from  Contact  

by Maria Ercilla
There is little else 
more erotic to a writer,
than a lover 
who reads our work
and in the reading of it
lifts out of it 
the very lines 
we are most pleased to have birthed,
and in so doing
seduces us
without having to say 
or do
anything else.

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 family.  Contact

by William J. Jackson
The dawn comes slowly
to this elevation
and then to the valley below me
The sun shines like it knows me
much to my elation
The dawn comes slowly
warming me wholly
with the sky's vibrations
and freeing the valley below me
from fog which lifts, glowing
revealing the creation
The dawn comes slowly
from the heart of heaven, wholly
cleansing with radiant penetration
then flowing to the valley below me
The sun comes to unfold me
from my concentration
the dawn comes slowly
to this hill and the valley below me

WILLIAM J. JACKSON is the author of a novel, Diving for Carlos, about growing up in the Midwest, available on He grew up in Rock Island, Illinois, and has lived in New York City, the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, and in Chennai, India. He is currently working on a suspense novel set in India.  Contact

ethelbert’s jazz
by Shonda Buchanan
He offered me feathers, smooth stones.
Spoke softly into my hair,
into my mother’s past--
Through firelight.
Shielding me from
the cotton dawn. 
SHONDA BUCHANAN, poet, creative nonfiction/fiction writer and an essayist, is the editor of "Voices From Leimert Park: A Poetry Anthology." She is currently working on a second collection of poetry, memoir and novel and is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Hampton University.  Contact 

by Callie Reese
Candles glimmer in the darkness
Across the room I see your face
Your smile glowing
I walk slowly towards you
My own grin growing
Reaching all the way to my eyes
That sparkle with hope
Anticipation fills me
And a soft giggle escapes my lips
Make a wish you whisper
Pulling me into your arms
For a kiss
I close my eyes
And blow out the candles
Knowing my wish
Has already come true

CALLIE REESE is a published writer from Santa Rosa, California. Having had Cerebral Palsy since birth, Callie has a unique outlook on life and the world. She has been writing poetry and short stories since childhood and took creative writing classes in high school as well as college. Her short story “The Feeling” has been published in the magazine “Women’s Voices.”  Website  Contact 

by Mary Ann Goodwin

Long-stemmed, lovely and fragrant in Aunt Carrie’s pitcher,
they graced the breakfast table Sunday through Tuesday,
a pleasing display, admired by all,
a dozen white roses,
memorial to an occasion.

By Wednesday, bouts of deterioration blotted the blossoms
foreboding certain degeneracy,
beyond millennia of human progress
to reduce, rescind, or reverse—
beauty leaves so quickly.

By Thursday their drooping deportment signaled a swift demise.
Reluctance was forced to bow to choice—
give up or take a stand?
Have you ever made a decision
that demanded no deciding?

Brittle and stem-shorn, in a pseudo-gilded pot,
the dried remains of twelve white roses adorn the breakfast table
now and for an unknown time to come.
Departure is delayed in deference to
a memorial to a memorial.

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 is titled unleavened bread and includes the above poem.  Besides Long Story Short, 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.  Contact 

i am
by cm
read my private words
out loud

to a roomful
of strangers

my soul bared
clearly visible,

a woman inquired
of my use of “i”

never really thought about it

if i
probably wouldn’t write
like i

if i
is grammatically

then i
sincerely apologize
for the error

but you see,
is me
and i
must continue
being i
or whoever,

that’s who

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 Frank De Canio

Time seems wasted, time seems long,
in the Spring when we are young.
But time goes on as we grow old,
and autumn nights, turn brisk, then cold.
Till now we face a wintry gray,
bemoaning days we’ve thrown away,
and all the work we might have done
before the setting midday sun.

 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 Marie Delgado Travis

I arose quietly today, 
as on so many occasions, 
to hide my tears. 

It’s not that I have   
to leave this place. 
I know we belong 
to the wind. 

What hurts me is that 
in every corner 
of my home, 
there’s you… 

and it’s all I have left. 

MARIE DELGADO TRAVIS is an award-winning writer.  She writes poetry and prose in English and Spanish.  Website  Storefront 

by Patricia Wellingham-Jones          
Sue’s new chariot
sports every fancy gadget,
leans back at many angles,
almost serves drinks.
She rides it into our writing group
at the cancer center.
Instead of exclaiming
over her fancy new chair,
all we see are scabs and bruises
on her freckled face, her arms.
Seems the chariot rebelled
while trundling up the ramp to the van.
Flung itself and rider
onto the graveled road.
After that story is told
and the hugs and pats fade away,
we settle down to write.
Sue’s tale that night
is about the horse she rode
when she was a Child of the West—
no MS, no wheelchair, no cancer—
and how she glowed with triumph
the day her skinny kid arms
could finally lift the big heavy saddle
way over her head
and onto the big horse.

PATRICIA WELLINGHAM-JONES has a longtime interest in 'healing writing' and the benefits people gain from writing and reading their work together. Her poems, stories and articles are 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 Emeka Offor
You hate someone
Yet you love the person.
You don't want to associate with someone
Yet you are drawn to the person
You do not want to encourage the affiliation
You do not really want the relationship to blossom
As far as you are concerned, it is a no-go area
Something you don't want to happen.
Yet it seems to be beyond your control
The more you try to prevent it, the more you are drawn to its
It seems you are destined for it to happen that way.
You have fallen backward in love.

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. Contact

by Job Conger

Outside: a parade of purpose-driven strides
of strangers, navigating like fish in an aquarium of air,
people who pause to read poster announcements
and elegant menus with eyes that seldom gaze deeper
than the eighteen inches
from their eyes
to the papers
taped inside the window.

Inside: a CD-borne blanket of New Orleans jazz
covers points made in the chatter at neighboring tables.
Cappuccino machine’s concerto intrudes above all
with anthropomorphic siren shrieks,
accelerating corpuscles,
the quest of quaffers
of jump-start elixirs.

Outside: serious faces on Tuesday afternoon,
heads fixed firmly on short, starched pedestals of necks,
minds riding the inertia of circumstance
to the next impact with a conscious thought
no more distant, perhaps,
than the street corner
half a block north or south.

On every sidewalk: visitors to midtown
stroll and surf through transients’ channels of ruts like streams,
like never-resting herring and sharks,
engaged while disengaged,
swimming the seven seas of hopes and dreams
unknowing of this world and
bound for distant harbors.

JOB CONGER is a freelance writer who lives in his home town, Springfield, Illinois. A reciter of poems by favorites Vachel Lindsay, Ferlinghetti, Whitman and his own self-published poems, Conger is also an aviation historian and folksinger. More of Job's poems may be read at Contact

by Nancy Bowman-Ballard

Women are
the glue that holds it together,

Men, the
hammer and nails that may build
a bridge, the path
to the other side,

Gentle touch
and potent grasp
hold meaning,
through different eyes,

The knowledge borne of struggles,
the day-to-day
living breathing compromise,
the softer fingers
hold a calloused hand,

each a custodian of emotion,
and the polarity
becomes as one, through love.

NANCY BOWMAN-BALLARD’s poetry credits include the Lynch Award from the Poetry Society of Texas for her poem, "Waiting," and "Quiet Hills" published in the Dec/Jan issue of Pennine Ink Magazine, UK. "Of The Night" was published in the Spring 2010 issue of miller's pond poetry e-zine magazine. Nancy won Honorable Mention in the Poetree Contest with publication in a chapbook to benefit AncientTree .org. Other credits include Second Place, People's Choice Awards, for a short story in The Storyteller Magazine, as well as a short story and essay published by Redrosebush Press. Contact 

by Cathy Quaglia
Accompany me
along the road to the sea
glimpse eternity

Feel the warm soft sand
powerful waves deep blue green
rolling on the land

Breathe in salty air
intoxicating  senses
under vast skies fair

Listen closely now
magical music of life
gulls cry and whales sing

Tonite wind blown dreams
catch reflections from full moon
stars silvery light

Accompany me
along the road to the sea
glimpse eternity

CATHY QUAGLIA is an avid skier and windsurfer living winters in Killington,Vermont and summers in Haiku, Maui. In 1975, she and her husband, Lee, founded Aspen East Ski Shop and when snowboarding became popular, Surf the Earth Snowboards, and continue to run their retail and online stores. She was a certified professional ski instructor and resort real estate broker, and has hosted successful book signing events at the shop with authors, Linda Greenlaw, Reeve Lindbergh and Karen Lorentz.  Contact

by James Piatt

I dwell upon past-impassioned times
Feelings melt and the blazing sun
Distils my porous senses so I recognize
That in my world it is the summer sun
That edits compromises and engraves my
Feverous words upon the indomitable sheets

The hot zephyrs imprint fervent ideas
From my wandering mind onto the
Unfolded paper using an electrifying ink
The Breezes govern my tongue-tied senses
But the heat of the blazing sun
Upon my murky mind clarifies the
Vague intentions of my inner feelings

If you too exist in the intensity
And unrelenting humidity of the earth
Your thoughts will rise like the heat from
A southern highway hot and sultry and
When you read this you too will dwell in
Memories of heated transgressions
JAMES PIATT earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, hisdoctorate from BYU. Retired, he spends his summers along the river, reading, writing, and penning poetry. Two relatives, John James Piatt & Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt, were prolific poets who wrote poetry in the 1800's.  Contemporary American Voices (featured poet), Word Catalyst Magazine (featured poet), Apollo’s Lyre, Caper Journal, Vox Poetica, Shadow Poetry Anthology, The Penwood Review, Wilderness House Review, Front Porch Review, A Handful of Stones, Autumn Leaves, and Hanging Moss Journal, have published or will be publishing his poetry. Contact

august celebrity poet
matsuo basho
Nationality:  japanese

Don't imitate me;
it's as boring as the
two halves of a melon.

read more poems by basho 

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All work the copyright of the respective authors.

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