Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Jan. 2011 Poetry Page

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity 
and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

-Edith Lovejoy Pierce


The editors of Long Story Short are proud to announce that "AT BUCKROE BEACH" by Shonda Buchanan has been selected the LSS Poem of the Year. Congratulations, Shonda!


by Shonda Buchanan

Watching her
it has been eighteen years
Out of corner of my eye, I thought
sun slanted peachcream into us
I have to remember
a tightly curled  ponytail, shades covering her eyes
Her shadowed hair
buckroe beach crumpled beneath
The way sun creams down on
untender touch of sand castle builders.
Brown of her shoulders like a praise.
she used to be that little black girl, ashened
Whispering reverence in cool crystal deep
pushing grains into submission
A daughter’s cusp eyes
folding salt and water into imagery mote.
Young, at the beginning of life’s edge where
she laughs at high yellow girl who, unaware,
Chipped bones of ancestors wade, pushing prayers
threw her own hairpiece 
at another screaming friend
Into her old timey eyes, recognizing kin. 
They know my daughter,
triflin’, curl of afiya’s mouth say.
Like rocking chairs and lamps that flicker out
jellyfish slip up next to her, 
translucent with longing
At first lightning crack, at first thunder strike
desperate for the kiss, the flesh of her.
Her knowing, full in the mouth of a storm.
i turn
No paper, no pencil
she is at once the girlchild I raised, washed, kept
I turned
and the woman who will leave me behind
A space, then nothing between us
i look again and she is just my daughter
The salt rising
walking beside me, laughing.
This moment
It has been eighteen years
The last, the first
as sun slanted peachrain against our arms, lips
I memorize it, thinking, I must remember
there was a poem here somewhere.

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


Congratulations to Shonda who will receive a $50 prize in honor of former Poetry Editor, Sue Scott, and congratulations to all of the "Poets of the Month" for your fine work. We look forward to reading your poems in the New Year!



by John Lander

A tram glides forth
silent as a leaf in concrete

gutters, guided by yesterday's

rainwaters. Its hulk is stream-

lined, not for speed or pomposity
(a humble tram omits such frivolities)

but merely to keep

its cargo at ease and leave
a comfortable breadth

for fellow forms in the streets

to strike a beat

not to a drum or bass

but to clopping feet

approaching without haste.

Windows are kept large and clean

just like American television screens

so inside I spy Nighthawks
in the middle of the afternoon

as they are freighted about town
without whistles or bellows
only the ringing of a bell

should a pedestrian stand
in its manifest path.
Step back and watch

as the tram travels past
like a gleam of sunshine
caught in a mirror,

the image does not disappear --
it merely travels on
as the world slowly rotates.

is a writer from Austin, Texas who enjoys reading and writing out of his hammock, but he dislikes mosquito bites. His work has been published in Every Day Poets, Thieves Jargon, and Boston Literary Magazine, although he would like to suggest that you continue reading the rest of this issue before navigating elsewhere. Contact  

Cactus by Piotr Wojkowski – Credit: Public Domain, source


by Georgina Heredia Brant

That at night wakes me up,
What do you converse with the stars?
What do you say to us 
With your joys and your complaints?

You know the rumors of the shadows,
That intoxicate and delight,
And the moon,
That pours into a white lily,

And the breeze,
That whispers of spring,
Salutes you with a kiss
From the blue and eternal light.

In your soul (feather and song)
Is the rhythm of the wind and the waves?
And the light that sends us
Afar from the stars,

That in your song confounds them
With the white iridescent of the gardenia,
The reddened scream of the roses
The far roaming of the storm.

Settler of my prairies,
What do you tell me with your songs?
That at night keeps me awake?

GEORGINA HEREDIA BRANT resides in Lawndale, California and is a Spanish native of Cuba.  She is a direct descendant of the second most important poet from Cuba: Jose Maria Heredia (1803-1839), author of about 100 poems about nature and patriotic themes. She has been translating since 1982 and has two books in progress including translations of Jose Maria Heredia’s poetry and other Spanish poets, literary essays she composed in school, along with her poetry and translations of short stories from Spanish of various authors. Both books have been published in WEbookShe has also been published at Helium, Writer’s CafĂ©, and Booksie. She enjoys writing, translating from Spanish, studying about foreign cultures, history, artistic and technical drawing, and reading literature from various countries. Contact 

by  Joanne Oliver

The mystery inside this soul so deep
Secrets that I chose to keep
The childhood I've hidden inside
Laughter, sorrow the tears I've cried.


Hot blushes of fantasies laid so bare
Self doubts that linger on in the air
Who I was, who I want to be
The song, the color that is totally me.


When to challenge what to task
The answers to all I ask
Behind this door I'm free from the past
The boundaries are set, the die is cast.


What makes my knees go weak
The words I'll write but never speak
The clock ticks to my tell tale heart
I dread the second we have to part.

JOANNE OLIVER  is a 39 year old poet from Houghton Le Spring in the North East of England. She has been writing since she was four years old.  She has been a member of three online writing groups for the past five years and has been published on Bookrix  and Storywrite. She was a third place winner in the Momwriters Annual Halloween Competition in 2009, and was also a winner in the Yahoo Adult Creative Writing Group’s August and September's monthly competition. Contact 

by Tanya Sinha

You’ve taught me so much since

the first time we met
Showed me God even in the frost and cold,
In the dewdrops that leave the grass wet
You made me appreciate
all the colors in the rainbow.

Because of you,
I am opening up to the positivism around me
To the laws of nature and a faith in the Almighty.
I think I am ready
for the healing process to begin.
To release all my anger and wash away my sins.

You have to open up,
You have to let go
You have to stop resisting,
And move with the flow.

I am still hurt inside and every day
is a new struggle
But with belief in the healer
I fight all my battles and cross any hurdle.

I am free as a bird now,
Soaring high with nothing to stop her
Moving lightly without any guilt
Flying high and low in all corners.

I’ve dropped my emotional baggage
and pain of the past
And opened up to happiness
and peace that will last.

You have to open up
You have to let go
You have to stop resisting,
And move with the flow.

TANYA SINHA  is a 25 year old poet/lyricist/songwriter from London, England. She has been expressing her thoughts and feelings on paper for the last five years. She is enthusiastic and passionate about her work, and believes that genuinely and imaginatively expressing oneself wholeheartedly is the key to capturing the reader’s attention. She has been published in Storm Books and was a semi-finalist for three entries in Song Of the Year in 2006. She enjoys all forms of art including music, painting, and dancing to her writing. Contact 


by Nell Berry

In the quiet of morning before day begins,
I meet with my Savior, ask forgiveness of sins.
Morning by morning, he gives me His peace,
trading my sorrows for glimpses of feasts.
All is forgiven as I chat with my Lord
Pieces of Heaven are my great reward.
He's so forgiving and generous to me,
as morning by morning, new mercies I see.
In the quiet of morning and down on my knees,
He blesses my soul 
and my heart fills with peace.

NELL BERRY resides in West Virginia and has been married to the same man for sixty years, June 24.  She is a mother of four, grandmother of nine and great grandmother of six.  She is a published author of one book, GROWING UP IN MISSOURI AND OTHER SHORT STORIES about her growing up years. She is a Christian who writes all inspirational poetry, song lyrics and short stories. Contact


by Connie Arnold

Spread a little sunshine,
to others along your way,
offer them a smile
to brighten up their day,
treat other people
as you want them to treat you,
be kind, helpful and loving
in everything you do.

Spread a little sunshine,
whether softly or aloud,
as you put a rainbow
in somebody's cloud,
add a little joy
to the lives of those near you
to penetrate the darkness
and let love's light shine through.

Spread a little sunshine
everywhere you go,
and soon that bit of sunshine
will begin to grow,
then you can do your part
to make this world a better place
by greeting those you meet
with a smile upon your face.

CONNIE ARNOLD lives in North Carolina and writes poetry that is inspiring, uplifting and encouraging. Her work has appeared in anthologies and various magazines, ezines and newsletters. Her published books include BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS OF JOY AND PEACE (2007), ABIDING HOPE AND LOVE (2008), ABUNDANT COMFORT AND GRACE (2010) and a children's book, ANIMAL SOUND MIX-UP (2010). Website  Contact 


by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

At the beginning of this year
I add up expenses from the last.
The tax man slides
into the corner of my mind’s eye,
grinning and waving.

Numbers stretch across the page,
stack in neat columns down the side,
tumble like kittens in a heap,
pop up like gophers from hidden holes.
Among the black ink scrawls
red ink alerts me to totals.
I blink in surprise.
I think I’m having fun.

Memories of childhood mornings surface,
my banker dad hunched
over yellow legal pads,
the pages filled with numbers
I never understood.
I wonder if, at this late stage of my life,
the math genes have finally wakened.

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 Sean McCoy

Looking through the lens of hindsight
were the emotions real?
did they exist?
Were you real?
did you exist?
Were you
A flesh and blood Human Being
in my arms?
A manic construct
of a fevered mind?
A misfired synaptic response
to external stimuli?
Were you real?
did you exist?
Sometimes I swear I can
still taste your flesh on my lips
still feel your breath on my neck
still know your body in my arms
Were you real?
did you exist?
Were the emotions real?
did they exist?
Looking through the lens of hindsight.

SEAN MCCOY is a 40 year old poet and short story writer from Denver, Colorado. He just recently started writing again and is really loving it. He enjoys Close Up Magic and Mentalism (mind reading magic). Contact  


by Bill Roberts

Never once did I count aloud
the hundredth stroke,
sound asleep in Grandma's bed
as she brushed my hair with
her silver hairbrush, counting
aloud with me till I tired,
closed my eyes, drifted off
to a comfortable dreamland.
Awakening next morning,
usually a Saturday, stretching
to get going, we'd dress,
head out the back door,
through her garden full of smells
that intoxicated if you lingered,
but we had a mission - the bakery.
There she purchased Parker House
rolls in a pan, still warm, so
we got back in a hurry, made tea,
spread out breakfast on her
sunny summer porch until most
of the rolls and orange marmalade
had disappeared into full tummies.
I had to go back home, reluctantly,
later in the afternoon, taking
a sleep-inducing streetcar ride,
nodding as I counted blips
in the steel tracks, relaxed, yes,
nowhere near as comfortable as
Grandma's soothing brush strokes.

BILL ROBERTS is a Pushcart-nominated poet from Broomfield, Colorado. He has been widely published in online and small-press magazines (nearly a thousand in about 200 journals). He has had a poem nominated for Best of the Net in 2009, and another poem in 2010. Bill offers a seminar on how to write a poem a day in 15 minutes, and then take it to market. He has a new Australian terrier named Princess Honey, who is trying to discipline him to use the big bathroom outdoors. Contact 

by Richard Luftig

Each stitch tugs at her heart
like moon on ocean. In,
then out, then in again,
black thread pierces worn
cotton deeper than bad love,
the shirt draped over her arm
shaping itself to a remembered
body. Reaching inside her rose-flower
housedress, she finds another
orphan of thread. Stitch it there--
a single diamond-shaped line
at the bottom button, invisible
to all but her heart. One private
sorrow still not for sale.

RICHARD LUFTIG is a professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio. He is a recipient of the Cincinnati Post-Corbett Foundation Award for Literature and a semi-finalist for the Emily Dickinson Society Award. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States (including Art Times) and internationally in Japan, Canada, Australia, Europe, Thailand, Hong Kong, and India. His third chapbook, Off The Map was published by Dos Madres Press in 2007. Contact 


by James Piatt

The sage's words too harsh
The poet's words don't rhyme
The artist's canvas too sparse
The architect's lines too sublime
Nature's beauty beyond inscription
Inner secrets impossible to learn
Her harsh innocence defies description
Her pure simplicity too deep to discern.

JAMES PIATT earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from Brigham Young University. He is retired and 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 


by John Tzikas

Casual savants unveiled
neo-modernists who broke out with hives
under their brittle shells
in the peanut gallery
but the last thing battle-tested hunters
fools running out of other people’s money
want to hear at an art museum
is some fruitcake without sway
commenting they should do something
about their hypersensitivities
to Neolithic corner-painting
however, expect the unexpected
when two squiggly lines drawn through
an Almond Joy jacket matriculate 7th Avenue
one thing you can always count on
X marks the spot
so R.I.P. you impossible zippers.

JOHN TZIKAS is a Toronto, Canada based poet, lyricist, and free verse writer with a passion for classic literature and history. His poems have appeared in Long Story Short, Midwest Literary Magazine, Word Salad, Quill's, Ditch Poetry Magazine, Mused- the Bella Online, Hudson View Poetry Digest and Wordbridge Magazine.  He has performed readings for more than five years in small coffee house settings, while living in Guelph and Kitchener, Ontario. Contact 


by Ronald Charles Epstein

"It's Senior Pet Month!"
proclaimed the sign,
outside the vet's
in Scarborough.

We used to think
that every dog
should have its day.

Now the old dogs
will get their month.
Cats, too.

RONALD CHARLES EPSTEIN was born in Bogota, Colombia in 1956 and has lived in Toronto, Ontario since 1959. His first publication appeared in Piedmont Literary Review in 1982.  He has also been published in Harvard Review, The Antigonish Review, The Toronto Star and Expresso Tilt. Contact 

by Reem Khondakar

Expected the unexpected, 
waiting for the thunderstorm
to rush onto the house, the road, the school
where once she glanced outside and
watched the silent snowflake fall
watched its crystal, points perfection
watched its twists and turns and all
watched its final icy breath
as it melted on the glass.

REEM KHONDAKAR was born in England and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She is an eleventh grade high student who is attending the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Her poetry has appeared in The Poet’s Art, Write On, and The Acorn. Contact   



We should always appreciate the snow
as something from an independent source
outside us, and of the slipperiness
it’s hid under its fluffy lid take note
to watch when stepping out the steps ahead.

TWIXT is the mononym-onym of Peter Specker who is a writer living in Ithaca, New York. His poetry has been published in MARGIE, The Indiana Review, Amelia, California State Quarterly, RE:AL, Pegasus, First Class, Pot-pourri, Art Times, The Iconoclast, Epicenter, Subtropics, and Quest. Contact 


by Cathy Quaglia

Give me the fluff of bottomless powder
and an untouched glistening mountain at dawn
waiting for my lonely winding tracks
and I’ll show you what freedom is.

Show me a challenging trail to conquer
some soft moguls to put me in flight and I'll show you what excitement is.

Give me the blistery cold and ominous sky
Whistling winds that bend the trees
a few unexpected spills to slow me down
and I'll tell you what respect for nature is.

Surround me with familiar voices
filled with laughter
shared tales of wild ski adventures
and I'll tell you what friendship is.

Give me the joy of sunshine, a suntanned face
a wine and cheese picnic at the summit
spectacular view of endless mountains
and I'll tell you what spring skiing is.

Warm me with a little brandy
by a blazing fireplace
someone special to share it with
and I'll tell you what contentment is.

Give me changing shapes of crystal snowflakes
the cool sharp smell of an evergreen forest
glory of an azure sky and a starry night
and I'll tell you 
what mystery and enchantment is.

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

EDITOR'S NOTE: ODE TO SKIING” is an artistic collaboration between Killington, Vermont artist, Alice Sciore’s paintings and Cathy Quaglia’s poetry, known as WATERCOLOR WORDS. They are currently working on a third project together, "MOUNTAIN HOME."


january celebrity poet

francis thompson 

(1859 – 1907)

nationality: American

Francis Thompson – Credit: Public Domain


What is the song the stars sing?
(And a million songs are as song of one)
This is the song the stars sing:
(Sweeter song's none)
One to set, and many to sing,
(And a million songs are as song of one)
One to stand, and many to cling,
The many things, and the one Thing,
The one that runs not, the many that run.

Read the entire poem at:  

For the poet’s biography, see:

Quoted for educational purposes only.

All work the copyright of the respective authors.