Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 2011 Poetry Page

"Poetry is the rhythmical creation 
of beauty in words." 

- Edgar Allan Poe



by Patricia Crandall

While wandering through a graveyard I search incessantly 
for the name of a Great-Aunt Leary forever in my mind. 
The grassy slope is daisy filled. 
A coaxing hand, I imagine, 
pulls me along the potpourri path. 
The flower-print cotton dress she wore flutters close to me. 
A gentler time, no doubt. 
I yearn for the dead among the living. 
The afterglow of tea and cake is Great-Aunt Leary's cheery smile 
thawing Pa's frozen frown and softening his lumbering gait. 
Wine uncorks and colors crystal red. 
Cream froths cocoa. 
Lace-edged napery prettifies our laps. 
Quiet laughter and idle murmurs collect like bunting clouds. 
Gravestone tripping, I search on. 
Stone slabs bearing legends incite an undulant tremor. 
I memorialize. 
In death what did she wear? 
Blurred though my vision may be, I see Aunt Leary's braided hair. 
The familiar sounds of an old-time melody, I hear my voice rise. 
The last tombstone. 
I pause and pay my respects. 


One day I am blue, 
the color of the sky. 
Happiness beams over me. 
The next day I am gray 
due to a melee. 
Yellow, red and purple 
transfigure me airy, 
joie de vivre! 
exudes solitude, 
Rose – pink 
is love. 
is nonexistent, 
I pray.

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 Website


by Floriana Hall

There comes a time of the year
It comes every year
As the season of October approaches
And lasts for thirty-one adventure filled days
Of glorious crimson and gold
Leaves that brighten and fold
On trees that change hues
And help chase away any blues.
The brisk wind whispers through the willows
As dark night we cuddle on the pillows
And awaken to a new day.
Like a child jumping through a hoop
We marvel in the loop
Of the treats of the month
Sights that take breaths away
Days that are still filled with sun
That covers the misty chill of the morning
Dewdrops glistening in the dawn
On stable growth of grass on the lawn.
Halloween fun for children
Hiking fun for everyone
Until the month of November arrives
We will continue to keep warm and survive
At ease with nature
And the offerings it bestows. 

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 Cyberwit.net and Amazon.com. Floriana teaches poetry at www.LSSWritingSchool.com under YOU, ME, AND POETRY. Contact Website Website


by James Piatt

Remnants of the dark night have gone away
Now painted orange with the creation of morn:
Memories of my shadowy dreams no longer shrill.

The gloomy vestiges of darkness sway, as
Warm zephyrs in my soul are born:
Remnants of the dark night have gone away.

Happy thoughts are being born today,
Darkness blown away and torn:
Memories of my shadowy dreams no longer shrill.

The warmth of a yellow rising sun will stay,
Past memories no longer forlorn:
Remnants of the dark night have gone away.

I welcome the heat of sun’s loyal ray
Into my open heart it flows newly born:
Memories of my shadow dreams no longer shrill.

Only ashen bits of darkness still dismay
In this happy place amid rows of golden corn:
The remnants of the dark night have gone away,
Memories of my shadow dreams no longer shrill.

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 Brett Devlin

The Sun

            burns my skin, my face
            I drift away to a quiet place

The Wind
            rushing through my hair
            exhilaration, I can hardly bear

A Cliff
            climbs to majestic heights 
            drink the cool air
            of autumn sights

I Fall
            but spread wings and soar

I Laugh
            and cry no more

BRETT DEVLIN is a forty-one year old stay-at-home mom who has been writing since childhood. She has only recently begun to send some of her work out for review as she now has the time to do so. She writes about all subjects in various forms and loves to experiment with words. Contact


by Cathy Quaglia

She screamed from the sky
unleashing her storm fury
sending torrents of rain
brooks became raging rivers
she tossed boulders, plucked trees
heaved them into the Roaring Brook
consumed whole farmhouses
feasted on historic covered bridges
fields flooded, hillsides slid away
country dirt roads didn't stand a chance
highways collapsed into chasms for miles
disconnecting towns from each other
Kent Pond rose and filled with mud
from Thundering Brook
but the loons kept calling
and we will rise above the rubble
to display our autumn beauty
and a wintry landscape of snow

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 LIFEContact


by Joan Griffin

Voices calling,
Calling from a vast distance.
Distance that I cannot bridge.
Bridge the distance.
Distance taking you away from me,
Me, who calls to you; lost in the depths.
Depths of darkness.
Darkness deep and enclosing.
Enclosing my very soul,
Soul that I would give to share your fate.
Fate, fate against which I cannot strive,
Strive to reach you,
You and the voices calling.

JOAN GRIFFIN is married, retired, and a member of a creative writing group. Contact 


by Roger Singer

Deep rivers are the people of thought.
Voice streams pass overhead,
rippling the vision, until the cause
settles down.

The growth of me, my trees and the
ground of my past spreads branches over
my roots, shading a slow path.

I am a shadow. A gray imprint on
a landscape of color.

A bridge from your shadow found
the hidden ground covering me.

The basket tips.
The peach has turned.

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 Bill Roberts

My travel companions are only
old friends these days, guys
accustomed to my occasional
off-color and semi-humorous wit.

They tolerate me the way I too
tolerate them, most of us caught up
in the past, retelling stories and
tall tales better off forgotten.

Often we interrupt one another
because none of us hears so well
any more, not that we really ever
listened very hard to what was said.

Funny thing I've noticed: I start
repeating something or other, a tale
from the past, then lose the thought.
No one notices - they do it, too.

If they wanted to, one of them could
finish a piece for me, it having been
told so often, but they don't. So few
endings any more, mostly false starts.

BILL ROBERTS writes at least one poem a day in fifteen minutes, coaches others on how to do it too, then prepare poems to go to market. He has been nominated both for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and currently does readings with friends on "Strong Voices, Strong Women: A Celebration of Women Poets." He, a wife of 53 years and two restless dogs live quietly in Broomfield, Colorado. Contact Website


by Francis Hart

Hesse's magic tent is verse -
So long as it's in rhythm
Everything is possible
And nothing is forbidden -
That which can be thought, imagined -
Coin a word for it
Or use a known one
Or archaic -
Steppenwolf is free!

FRANCIS HART resides in California where he received his BA in Psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills. His favorite poets are John Keats, Rupert Brooke and Philip Larkin (when he can understand him). His poems have been published in Obsessed With Pipeworks, Barbaric Yawp, Ardent!, Open Minds, The Road Not Taken and others. Contact


by Amit Parmessur

The streets have become so narrow
and way too dusty now.
The dogs have changed colors.
The bushes have cultivated an Afro style,
stroking the doors of my car as
its beak pecked progressively
through the grains of memories.
The rivulet is more silent
and quite morose, flowing anonymously
along redolences of bananas.
The scissors of my mind cutting
through the rustling leaves to meet
the places where my once nimble feet
played hide-and-seek with the
village boys and girls could not
find the crickets with nocturnal tricks,
below the solemn stars shining
like girls mad in evening love.
The houses have grown,
with colorful faces and triangular hats.
I’m lucky, people haven’t forgotten me.
You know the human-like mountain—
it still has stories to whisper.
The moon flirts so close to it,
while both the mountains leaning on
its shoulders have the same old inferiorities.
My heart is right; I’ve been looking
for a torch with a torch in hand;
this place ought to be mine!
I’ll sow the grains of the future here,
amid rainbow girls, frogs and boys.

AMIT PARMESSUR is a twenty-eight year old writer from Mauritius. He has been published in around 75 magazines since starting to submit his poems in late 2010. Dead SnakesLong Story Short, LITSNACK, Heavy Hands Ink, Leaf Garden Press, The Camel Saloon, and The Houston Literary Review are some of the places where he has appeared. He has recently published a book on a blog entitled LORD SHIVA & OTHER POEMS and currently edits The Rainbow Rose. Contact 


by Larry Rodgers

How many years of singing have been lost?
How many centuries will not be heard
Again - however beautiful they were?
Some remnants of the 19th Century
Will be remembered for their reputations,
Photographs, and written down in books.
But not an echo of a single sound
Can be produced for hearing anymore.
It's almost luck or chance - like destiny -
That those who sang in 1927
And all the years thereafter will remain
To please like shadows, ghosts substantial
In recorded sound.

LARRY RODGERS received his BA in English from Fresno State University. His favorite music is opera, although he also loves piano including Cziffra and Wild. His poems have been published in Mind In Motion, Obsessed With Pipework, Barbaric Yawp, The Road Not Taken, Krax and many others. He lives in California with his three cats. Contact


by John Tzikas

Grave flophouses can 
deflower skid-row romance 
raunchy pillars dub 
Stephanie’s ephinanies 
baroque stripsearches

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 Gloria Watts

Black-hearted lover 

with lips that lied
with tender words that
caressed me,

until I, being young
and new to love,
did give myself
fully, without fear,
now and forever,
never knowing
the end was near.

Black-hearted lover,
you leave me crying
tears that would melt
any heart, but yours.

GLORIA WATTS is a retired Further Education College lecturer who lives in a small market town in Northamptonshire, England. She spends most of her time writing poetry, flash fiction, and short stories; several of her works have been published online. When not scribbling, Gloria enjoys watercolor painting, gardening, playing piano and her regular yoga classes. She is an active participant in many writing forums and particularly appreciates the support of her fellow writers at Writer’s Village University, a forum offering classes on the different aspects of writing, and her monthly meetings with her local Writing Circle. Contact


by Bob McHeffey

the smell of old rocks
Grandpa’s tools
dusty oil cans
and the riding mower
old rocks smothering
tooth marked cribs
jars of pickles, unlabeled
sweaters with Grandma’s smell
water seeping in
frozen in the morning
Mother calling from upstairs
offering heat
the smell of old rocks
blood I didn’t know was mine
old rocks around me
my blood, here
the smell of
my blood

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 Richard Luftig

The suspension of all reference to the reality of a thing, the only thing left being the experience itself.


This terror flickering
at the edge of her dreams
the last thirty years,
has returned unannounced
like the monster to her bed.
The perception of his touch
once, twice, again, then the pleas
for silence. Early on she came
to believe the truth; who would
question the innocence of a kiss,
the muffled pulse of shallow sobs?


So many years and still
he cannot believe that such
nightmares can come
to pass. All the denial,
assurances of character
continue to sum to nothing.
When did she make this bargain
with the darkest corners
of despondency? How
did she learn to recall so well
the fiction of his truth?

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 


VENUS (still)
by Steve Smallwood

ever ember,
dream maker,
dusk's spectral font,
rises over night's solitude

and the mountains of Tehachapi.


night's early beacon,
forges its own grapevine path
over the yet unchartered mountain shadows
and the seams of the mountains of Tehachapi.

dawn its destiny,
glows with the autumnal light
of discovery over the sky-wide
valley floor of the mountains of Tehachapi:
perpetually new star.
Tole star.
Sole etoile.


STEVE SMALLWOOD is recently retired, and has only begun sending his work out, although he has been writing for several years through several jobs, re-locations and one divorce. Contact


Michael Lee Johnson

Below the clouds
forming in my eyes,
your soft eyes,
delicate as silk warm words,
used to support the love I held for you.

Cold, now gray, the sea tide
inside turns to poignant foam
upside down, separates-
only ghosts now live between us.

Yet, dream like, fortune teller,
bearing no relation to reality-
my heart is beyond the sea now.
A relaxing breeze sweeps
across the flat surface of me.
I write this poem to you
neglectfully sacrificing our love.
I leave big impressions
with a terrible hush inside.
Gray bones now bleach with memories,
I’m a solitary figure standing
here, alone, along the shoreline.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: COLD GRAY is a poem about love, how it comes intensely, then recedes and goes away; how we reflect, and regenerate and try to move our hurt to a stronger place. 

COLD GRAY, Credit: Michael Lee Johnson

MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON is a poet, freelance writer and small business owner of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel at www.promoman.us from Itasca, Illinois. He is heavily influenced by Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg.Michael has been published in over 24 countries. He is also the editor/publisher of five poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his website. All of his books are now available on Amazon.com. Contact


by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

Grins and leers and glaring eyes
fill the guest room closet,
hang in tiers on the enclosing walls.

Waves of spirits with bodies cast-off
slither through stale air.

Teens shiver on opening the door,
children refuse to sleep in that room,
toddlers shriek in their parents’ arms.

Children know their own faces
could hang on those walls.
Children grow, learn to apply
layer after translucent layer.

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 Joan Griffin

Watchers waiting, waiting for me. 
Me, so afraid,
Afraid of the dark deep shadows,
Shadows shifting,
Shifting in the moons ghostly light.
Light and darkness,
Darkness and gloom.
Gloom that surrounds, pressing and cold.
Cold, chilling blood;
Blood coursing through my veins and heart,
Heart that still beats;
Beats as the watchers wait for me.

JOAN GRIFFIN is married, retired, and a member of a creative writing group. Contact 


by Debbie Hilbish

Saturday in October
It’s a warm
Not liking the cold, paradoxically
something about fall is tantalizing
and calls me beyond it.

Nettles blanket the forest floor,
relinquishing that pungent
pine scent that summer heat
for the ageless cycle of Mother Earth.

One can tell, with eyes
the leaves are turning.
They whisper in a crackling
that cannot hide their bright delight

Oh! but do
keep eyes wide!
One must not miss the gold
orange-red Calypso,
as leaves shimmy and shiver
across the August mountain ridge,
until they dance themselves right out
of their color
for the ageless cycle of Mother Earth.

DEBBIE HILBISH has been writing poetry for over forty years. She has poems in the anthologies Fading Shadows, Magnolia Moon, and Counting Sparrows. Debbie also has two of her own works published BITS AND PIECES and LIFEDREAM COLLISIONS both of which include her artwork and photography. She holds poetry readings throughout the southwest and has had seminars on poetry appreciation for young adults. Debbie also hosts an author’s fair for eight weeks (every January and February) at The Reader’s Oasis in Quartzsite, Arizona. She hopes the readers of Long Story Short will see more of her work. Contact


by Patricia Crandall

Her cheeks

are Macintosh apples.
She has corn silk hair;
eyes brown as falling leaves.
She wears
a bright orange dress
with a backdrop
of blue sky;
lemon sun.
Purple lips
drawn up
in a pumpkin smile.

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 Website


october celebrity poet

Edgar Allan Poe

(1809 – 1849)

nationality: american

Edgar Allan Poe – Credit: Public Domain


The skies they were ashen and sober; 
The leaves they were crisped and sere— 
The leaves they were withering and sere; 
It was night in the lonesome October 
Of my most immemorial year: 
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber, 
In the misty mid region of Weir— 
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber, 
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir. 

Here once, through an alley Titanic, 
Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul— 
Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul. 
These were days when my heart was volcanic 
As the scoriac rivers that roll— 
As the lavas that restlessly roll 
Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek 
In the ultimate climes of the pole— 
That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek 
In the realms of the boreal pole. 

Our talk had been serious and sober, 
But our thoughts they were palsied and sere— 
Our memories were treacherous and sere,— 
For we knew not the month was October, 
And we marked not the night of the year 
(Ah, night of all nights in the year!)— 
We noted not the dim lake of Auber 
(Though once we had journeyed down here)— 
Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber, 
Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir. 

And now, as the night was senescent 
And star-dials pointed to morn— 
As the star-dials hinted of morn— 
At the end of our path a liquescent 
And nebulous lustre was born, 
Out of which a miraculous crescent 
Arose with a duplicate horn— 
Astarte's bediamonded crescent 
Distinct with its duplicate horn. 

Read the entire poem at:

For the poet’s biography, see:

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