Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mar. 2011 Poetry Page

“Oh, the music in the air!
An' the joy that's ivrywhere -
the whole blue vault of heaven…
An' the earth…its tender green…
…is Irish on the Seventeenth o' March!” 

-Thomas Augustin Daly



by Helen Ditouras

I want to take a small slow boat to Ellis Island
With some coins in my pocket
And nothing but time
I want to purge my mind of family ties
And swallow the tears of this bittersweet rhyme.

Because only then can I begin to imagine
The borders they crossed to make things okay
How my father once said, 
"you've never been hungry"
As I rolled my eyes and he walked away.

I want to feel the shame at Ellis Island
Immigrants filing like herds of sheep
Butchered names and make-shift birthdays
The fine rewards for those who can't speak. 

And when I arrive at Ellis Island
I want to hear the chaos they heard
And see the faces all wrinkled with fear
That desperately cling to kind gestures and words. 

I want to look La Migra in the eye
Because I know my father never could
So scared they'd peel away his passport
And find a poor-boy shepherd 
with his cane of weathered wood.

I want to take a small slow boat to Ellis Island
Because I'm looking for the answer why
Blacks and immigrants built the Motor City
But are still dismissed as foreigners on the sly. 

I want to sing the song of Ellis Island
I need to hold my father's cold hand
And bury my head in my mother's old jacket
And kiss the ground of this melting pot land.

HELEN DITOURAS is an Assistant Professor of English at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. Her favorite writers are Philip Roth and Isaac Singer, among others. Along with reading, her other passion is cinema. She studied Film Theory in graduate school and regularly teaches film at Schoolcraft College. Her favorite movie of all time is Wong Kar Wai's IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. Contact 


by Abigail Wyatt

A January bird hopped by
to beg a crumb of bread.
I fed him freely from my plate
and wove for him a bed.

For twigs and leaves other such
I braved the biting rain
to hollow out a nesting place,
then hurried home again.

For many weeks this pretty bird
sang merry in the nest;
secure and cosseted as he,
what signifies a frost?

But when at length the sun rose up
and lingered warm all day,
upon an altered melody,
my songbird flew away.

He did not trouble with farewell,
nor chance to glance behind;
no crumb of kindness there remained
that other birds might hope to find.

And had he not abused my trust,
or had he paused to tell me why,
I might have faith in feathers still
and not suspect the sky.

Now Nature’s set her precedent;
though winter blows no less severe,
a thousand songbirds yet may die
before a one finds succour here.

ABIGAIL WYATT writes for her life in the shadow of Carne Brae in Cornwall. Formerly a teacher of English, she is now a freelance writer whose poetry and short fiction have been published in a wide range of magazines and ezines, both in the United Kingdom and overseas. These have recently included Words with JAM, Word Salad, and Ink, Sweat & Tears; Kohinoor, Phoenix and One Million Stories. Her poetry is also regularly featured in Poetry Cornwall. Abigail is the 'house ' reviewer for Palores Press in Redruth. Her poetry collection, MOTHS IN A JAR, was published in October, 2010. Contact


by Cathy Quaglia                        

Time and Tide will not wait
for me and surely not for you
for I’ve hoisted the sails
and the Sea is calling.

I do not know what the sea holds for me
but I do know what you do not hold for me
and I must sail now or not at all
for the Sea is calling.

Time and Tide will not wait
for me and surely not for you
for the sails are filling with wind
and my Life is calling.

CATHY QUAGLIA grew up in New York and moved to Killington,Vermont in 1975, establishing Aspen East Ski Shop with her husband, Lee. With the emergence of snowboarding, they started Surf the Earth Snowboards, and continue to run their retail and online stores together. During this time, she was a certified professional ski instructor and resort real estate broker. She has hosted many events at the shop, including book signings with best-selling authors, Linda Greenlaw, Reeve Lindbergh, Karen Lorentz and Wendy Clinch, and The Ski Channel’s movie THE STORY to a large audience at The Summit Lodge in January 2011. She created WATERCOLOR WORDS, a collaboration with fellow Killington Arts Guild member, artist Alice Sciore, combining Cathy’s poems, “ODE TO SKIING,” “REFLECTIONS ON SNOW,” and “MOUNTAIN HOME” with watercolor paintings that Alice created for them, which are now available for sale as art prints. She is working on a book of poetry and images called LIGHT ON LIFE. Contact


by Floriana Hall

Vast canyons echo
Reverberating memories
Voices from the past

Chasms of charm and wit
Slide slowly to wither away
Confusion left in the wake

Whispers of love and rapture
Intensify in the loneliness
Of one instead of two

Whistling in the light of day
Jesting in the peak of time
Composed yet complex

Whiffs of smoke encircle
‘Melancholy Baby’ sounds
Contented in the cave

Tenacity like a river
Flows over the cliffs
To a muddled puddle

Silence envelops the walls
Heroic symbol wanes
It is a matter of fact.

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 Amazon.comFloriana teaches poetry at under YOU, ME, AND POETRY. Contact Website Website


by Maralee Gerke

Alone in a strange house,
everything is quiet
except for the rumbling furnace.
Marooned in silence, I search
but even the dog has disappeared
Across town in the hospital
my mother is dying.
Her last breaths tear from her chest,
and all I can think about
is that I would rather be at home with you.

I don’t need to see this dying.
I have died by bits the last two months,
my heart torn, but not broken.
Unshed tears are locked behind my eyes,
and my head hurts from holding them back.

Light spreads across the valley floor
but I feel closed in,
no broad vistas of desert or mountains,
make it hard to breathe.
Soon I’ll be the oldest in my family.
I want to feel joy again,
long to dig my fingers into crumbly soil,
hold your healing body to my breast,
forget the pain
and start this day again.

MARALEE GERKE is a poet and gardener from Madras, Oregon. She has published two books of poetry and her poems have appeared in Calyx, Exit 13, Windfall, Avocet, and other poetry journals. Her work can be seen online at Long Story Short, Mu, and Moontown Café. Recently she recorded four poems which can be heard online at Contact


by Roger Singer

A winged nymph passes easily
within brushed air.
Lifting my eyes, I am amazed at the
lightness and the chance so little
is so much.

March on eyes of wandering,
the keepsake of tears, the harbor
of liquid hands no ocean can claim;
sad hearts bow down to faces
under the ground.

Shadow moon; a night cruise over
a city of cool faces and full eyes.
Dogs bark at warm greetings
and rusty hinges.

The night has my shadow.
I am consumed in the shade of gray.

ROGER SINGER served as a medical technician at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida for three and a half years during the Vietnam era. While stationed at MacDill, he attended evening classes through the University of Tampa. When discharged, he began studies at the University of South Florida and attained his Associate and Bachelor degrees. In 1977, Dr. Singer attained his chiropractic doctorate from Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had over 500 poems published in magazines, on the Internet and in books. His poetry has appeared in Westward Quarterly, Black Book Press, Avocet, SP Quill, The Unrorean, Underground Voices, Language & Culture and The Tipton Poetry Journal. Contact 


by Gregory Liffick

in the

A little
too cozy
rage and

passed down
from the


GREGORY LIFFICK is an artist, musician, and teacher of special education and college night-school courses from Ontario, California. He has been a poet, he says, for most of his adult life. His online poetry chapbook collection entitled "WATERSHED" is available to print online. Contact Website 


by Reem Khondakar

We waited for the bus
against mud and puddles and
shimmering orange lights,
for bent glass
and broken crystal headlights
a simple neon sign
not too far away
but just far enough
to sigh.

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


by Bob McHeffey

                         “How man how?”
the air
                        black wings 

flying at him
                        “Ain’t no way”

night breath
white in black

                        “Ain’t no way”

black wings

under the air,
under the air

BOB MCHEFFEY is a writer, high school English teacher and girls basketball coach in suburban Southern California who juggles moderately well. Most of his poems get workshopped through his high school creative writing classes, so they can get practice in looking objectively at the craft of writing. Contact 


by Joe DiBuduo

An image of a dog
pops into my brain

I see one designed
by Giacometti and

then I see one
designed by god

both assigned
to man intended

to be desired and
designated to be


but instead they’re
forced to fight
forced to kill
forced to breed

what have we done

JOE DIBUDUO is a writer who lives in Arizona and graduated from Yavapai College in 2009 in the creative writing program. He has published several short stories and poems online, and has published one nonfiction book. He is presently working on a memoir and novel along with writing a poem a day. Contact 



Her expression blinkers his mind
The fast flashing makes it remain
As if he’s seeing it under a strobe
Even as it changes again
Towards the questions he finds
Himself trying to probe.

Humber, Alliah. DROBE. Collection of the Artist, Washington, DC.  
Credit: Alliah Humber

AUTHOR’S NOTE: “QUESTIONS” was inspired by artwork at ARTOMATIC in Washington, DC in 2009 and specifically to artist, Alliah Humber for her work known as "DROBE."

BRASH is known for writing poetry inspired by art, in association with the Washington, DC extravaganza ARTOMATIC, and by invitation to participate in various gallery events, readings, and performances. Her latest work includes creating and performing companion poetry to the book ADDICTION AND ART and the project’s show at Blue Elephant Gallery in Frederick, Maryland.  BRASH will lead workshops at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland this year. Hear excerpts from her lyrical collaboration with Daisy Birch for Ahmad Nadimi's “SUITE FOR PEACE.” Read Frederick News Post interviews BRASH for the ADDICTION AND ART SHOW. See her claim to fame under “Notable Artists” on Wikipedia. Contact


by John Tzikas

Senile sundrenched snowbirds seek segregated spas
majestic migratory marches materialize meticulously
afraid aviators assimilate astutely
yesterday you yelled
because blackballs became

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 Patricia Crandall

Two old cats
chase each other
through the house,
awakened by
the minutiae
of spring's arrival.

I throw open shuttered windows,
unlatch storm doors; watch
robins worm in mud
and straw grass.

Oops! Winter's back!

PATRICIA CRANDALL has three books in print: a thriller, THE DOG MEN, a historical volume, MELROSE: THEN AND NOW, and a poetry book, I PASSED THIS WAY. 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 James Piatt

Early flowers of spring
Oranges vermilions
Yellows and whites
Shining remnants
Of yesterday's drizzle

Silver cumulous clouds
With gray centers
Tightly hug tall mountains
Then swirl and condense
In the afternoon sun

Dreams hover gently
Over green mountains
Laden with
The beginnings
Of new life
Lightening my mind

Marshmallow clouds
Liberating their weight
Of moisture like men
Ridding themselves
Of tiresome burdens

Raindrops falling
Cleansing their minds
From the worries
Of the bitter winters
Of their lives.

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 Lander

Near midnight and the sky is pale
as the faces of this city. I walk

through clouds of smoke thick as coughs
of old men standing in doorways

with thin, weathered frames; lupine, mangy 
grins maligned and lathering 
the street’s bare shoulders.

Recently paved thumbprint bruises
bleed to the cracked surface, cobbled

conglomerations; now photographed. In alleyways,
whispers hiss against brick, the rummage of shadows

through rubbish bins, meek yet willing
to turn rabid if approached with haste,

and after a few hours of walking I begin to realize
how much the body does not depend upon its mind.

Muscle movements become involuntary, feet wander
of their own accord, directions are superfluous,

so mapless, I tread on: 
a California gull circling another’s river
and wondering why it feels as though 
I've been here before. 

JOHN LANDER 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 you continue reading the rest of this issue before navigating elsewhere). Contact


march celebrity poet

William Butler Yeats 
(1865 – 1939)

nationality: irish

William Butler Yeats – Credit: Public Domain

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, 
of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, 
a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, 
for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning 
to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, 
and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping 
with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, 
or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Quoted for educational purposes only.
All work the copyright of the respective authors.




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