Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 2012 Poetry Page

"A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to an eye
When this New Year in time shall end  
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year."

- Edgar Guest


The editors of Long Story Short are proud to announce that "MY PRECIOUS SON" by Joseph Wade has been selected the LSS Poem Of The Year. Congratulations, Joseph!  


by Joseph Wade

Shadows stretch under the doorway 
where light gave way to night.
into this split world,
into my arms,
my precious son.
your charm enchants me.

You laid on your stomach,
on the doctor’s cold, white table,
and simply lifted your infant head.
My chest swelled like a great ocean wave,
it was so simple, so magnificent.

You bopped and giggled
When you said it. You clapped your hands
and smiled, just at me,
that big, open, toothless grin,
stuffed between two fat baby cheeks.

She left us like a thief running after shadows,
I fell and slid down the wall, along with my sobs, my tears, and my fears.
what would become of you,
your crib, your home, your little white dog?
The scribbled picture of Mommy, Daddy, and Ethan,
disappeared in shadows,
held by the laughing, bony hand of fate.

Months later, she stole you away
and stood on a wall of justice.
She sat in the lady’s lap,
and toyed with the scales,
while she whispered in her ears.

Our last week together, we played in the sand.
I held you by your arms as the waves crashed.
You laughed brilliantly—like the sun
sparkling off rapid green waves.

We argued. You said, “up,” but you meant down.
You meant, “Let me crash with them.”
Okay, I let you think you are a big boy.
My arms encircled you like angel’s wings.
The wave came, massive to you,
not to me—but yes—to me.
Panic crashed as the wave came,
but I caught you.
I paused.
You laughed against my beating chest and flailed in delight.
Then we chased birds and threw sand.
We had dinner out with the guys,
just men being men.

I was suddenly free from the military, no job here.
A promise was 1,200 miles away.
Money for the scales of justice.
Those papers weigh so much.
She promised me summers and holidays.

Summer came with steam from hell.
Oh, how I longed for you.
My soul ached and flamed.
I came to find a judge’s gavel
could build a magic wall of nothing
and everything.
My strength shattered against it. 

Chains wrapped around my ankles,
and they fastened a big heavy ball.
They bled me.
They made me weak.
My beating, bloody, red heart was torn to pieces
By pointed shadows lunging from all directions.

I see your face and cry. I know it’s changed so.
Your toddler steps are buried in sand.
I still hear you laughing through the
whirlwind, spun by the clock’s hands.
My heart is stitched together like a Frankenstein.

Now, I have all the green sheets with time
Written in block—black and bold.
I will place them all on the scales.
God! Please break them!

JOSEPH WADE studied under various professors at Harrisburg Area Community College. He is indebted to these people who have given so much more than what they were paid for, and like his family, loved ones and friends, have been highly supportive. Currently, he takes classes at Brooklyn College where he studies Creative Writing in the Scholars Program. Joseph’s writing background includes publication in prose, news and poetry. His most recent poetry publication was in the November issue of “Gloom Cupboard” and he has poetry forthcoming in Grey Sparrow Journal and Blue Lake Review. More information can be found at Contact 

Congratulations to Joseph who will receive a $25 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 Debbie Hilbish

At the Laun-dro-mat
Enter with the hamper heaped to full
and then,
make a claim on your machine and start to stuff ‘em in.
You can’t just shut the lid now and expect all to perform.
Oh Joy to vending wonders at the Laun-dro-mat’s the norm.
Washer dryer soap dispenser just to name a few, candy, gum and soda pop
will gobble change from you.
If one should happen not to work be cool and keep your head
It will not help to tilt or shake or pelt them full of lead.
So I’ll impart these wise wise words that my grandpa said.
"You gots to treats ‘em gentle."
At the Laun-dro-mat.
Got the washers going
so go find yourself a chair.
There are magazines to thumb through with ideas to change your hair.
Say here’s one with directions,
for a party that’s perfection.
Three pages back in this one, "Raising a Child of four"
and great advice on how-to from a 21-year-old.
This might be a good one
for the mommy down the row,
baby suckling at her breast with two more tots in tow
Screaming "We want candy " as they skid across the floor.
At the Laun-dro-mat.
Swish ‘n’ swing the washer’s sing we’re finished with your loads,
now off to the dryers with you
to heap in eighty pounds of wet clothes.
If you want them dry don’t even try to do it on a dime.
That paltry bit of change isn’t worth the time.
Oh Joy to vending wonders
At the laun-dro-mat
A favorite is the young men.
Just might spot one here today, when they’ve finished with their laundry
It’s all in tones of gray.
Oily pants, a red shirt, blue jeans with mud and dirt.
Next are sheets and underwear.
How much can he cram in there?
Across the room
obscured in view, something innocent and tender
Sweet young thing about nineteen, perhaps a new love’s being rendered.
Undoubtedly she’ll rescue
and provide him quarters too.
Amazing how the time went by, each week’s a new adventure.
Oh Joy to all the wonders.

DEBBIE HILBISH has been writing poetry for over thirty years. After retiring in 2004, Debbie and her husband became full time Rver’s, a lifestyle that has given her the opportunity to pursue her love of poetry, photography and art. She has poems in the poetry book, Fading Shadows, and in the chapbooks, 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, sponsored by various libraries, 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. Five of Debbie’s poems appeared in Long Story Short in 2011. Contact


by Susan Marie Davniero

It’s winter days 
The calendar says 
Brisk wind breeze 
Stands barren trees 

A darkening sky 
Clouds passing by 
Whispering sound 
Snow is bound 

Journey is old 
Winter’s toll 
No ray of sun 
Till winter’s done

SUSAN MARIE DAVNIERO is a published poet listed in "The Poet's Market 2011." She writes in traditional rhyme verse and has been published in various publications including Pancakes in Heaven, Coffee Ground Breakfast, Long Short Story, Great South Bay Magazine, Write On, The Poet's Art, Creations, Poetic Matrix, Pink Chameleon, Shemom, and others. She has also written essays and letters published in newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, Daily News, Newsday, Ladies Home Journal, and Saturday Evening Post. Her blog "Susan Marie" is her writing history. They don't know her; yet, by way of writing they might. She is never at a loss of words. She has found her place as a writer and a poet. With every poem published she is inspired to write more. Writing feeds her soul - literally food for thought. Contact


by Patricia Crandall

Snow crackles 
beneath fur-lined boots
and winter tires.
Smoke puffs from
Clinker brick chimneys,
invading churchyards
and backyards.
Tree limbs snap
like gunshot
in bitter cold.

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 Patricia Wellingham-Jones

Every day I do this, 
must remember to say thanks, 
express how glad I am for his skill 
as I pick up remains 
from the living room carpet. 
Mouse head and stomach, 
a bat with wings folded neatly, 
sparrow feathers spread to the corners 
and then I truly do say thanks 
for, so far, no live snakes.

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 Larry Rodgers

Even captives can write poetry,
Good verses, can't they? People without souls,
And lonely people, people who are mad?
Do the Muses only love the free?
Only breathe into a brave man's heart?
Phrases come to me, but are they words,
Conundrums to a stranger to my life,
Riddles without reasons? What is love?
If poetry is consciousness, and life
Is consciousness, and consciousness is free,
Cannot be imprisoned, poetry
Might occur, and inspiration come.
Faith adjudicates. But genius grows
Where nature plants it, not where warders deem.
Can a flower grow beneath a stone?
If the stone has poetry in it?

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 Roger Singer

The city is content with its
corners and shadows
and places where women linger and men wink.

Wide streets cover old roads
and deserted fields
and places where glaciers sat and melted.

Gum stained sidewalks, concrete paths,
destinations and arrivals;
only heartbeats have keys for those doors.

Street lights signal night.
Rats run alleys where the lost stumble again.

Blinking signs. Sunglasses at night.
Fingers pointing. Women laughing.
The circus of city admits all.

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 Pat St. Pierre

The temperature lingers around zero,
icy branches glisten,
crusted snow is everywhere.

Hanging from a nearby limb
an empty feeder rocks back and forth.
Only the high-pitched wind is heard.

Crouched on a distant branch
One chickadee waits.
Quickly, I fill the feeder.

Unafraid, the little bird
lands near my hand and takes
a seed from the feeder tray.

Black-capped chickadees,
slate-colored juncos,
blue jays, cardinals arrive.

A party of feathered friends
chattering everywhere -
like a cocktail party.

When the last bird flies away
the empty feeder sways.

PAT ST. PIERRE has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction found in a variety of places. Some of her poems have been published by Boston Literary Magazine, The Shine, The Camel Saloon, Flutter Poetry, Three Line Poetry, and Pond Ripples. Her second poetry book "THEATER OF LIFE" was published by Finishing Line Press and is available on Her book was nominated for the 2010 New England Pen/LL Winship award. Contact


by Floriana Hall

It's time to be a light for all
There are no batteries required
For what you believe, stand up tall.

No matter what you have to bear
There are hidden resources to find
Within yourself - His light and care.

His love is in there to help you shine
Through desperate times or not
A beacon illuminating everything's fine.

If you are troubled by past mistakes
If you are doubled by illness
Ask the Light for strength to partake.

Problems may seem insurmountable
One on top of the other
But the spirit in us is accountable.

Keep faith in God and in yourself
Believe that you will overcome
Upsetting concerns piling on your shelf.

Between the bookends
Bulbs of determination
Flash courage that tends to blend.

Lighten up and brighten up
Others will feel the warmth
God will fill your cup.

FLORIANA HALL is the author of twelve books, six nonfiction and six inspirational poetry books. She and her husband have been married for 63 years and they have five children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her nonfiction book, FRANCIS, NOT THE SAINT has recently been translated into Spanish (FRANCISCO, NO EL SANTO). Her poetry book SELECT SANDS OF RHYME AND REASON and young children's book SIMPLE PLEASURES are now available at and She has published two new books including MISS FLOSSIE'S WORLD- Coping with Adversity During The Great Depression Then and the Recession Now (2011) and POEMS OF BEAUTIFUL OHIO - Then and Now (2011) which she compiled for THE POET'S NOOK. All of her books are available on Floriana teaches poetry at under YOU, ME, AND POETRY. Contact Website Website 


by David Fraser

The winter sun of the desert beats on his chest.
He hears the buzz of bees, knows each cricket.
Hummingbirds visit every day. High in the palms
a breeze but down near the ground the sun beats upon his skin
where he soaks in its warmth, this the last day here
and he knows he’s driving north into the rain,
but part of him feels this is fine, time to be moving on,
another change to make him appreciate this warmth,
but his body wants to just give in to the heat,
close in as in a cocoon, liquefy, regroup itself
into a butterfly.

DAVID FRASER lives on Vancouver Island. He is editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine. His poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Rocksalt, An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry and Walk Myself Home. He has published four collections of poetry, Going to the Well (2004), Running Down the Wind (2007), No Way Easy (2010), and Caught in My Throat (2011). He is the artistic director for Nanaimo’s spoken-word series, WordStorm. Contact Website 


by Rebecca Rose Taylor

Do not try to determine my lifestyle by the clothes I wear
Because I am made of many components
I wear many hats in one day.

Do not think that you can know who I am
By the makeup or the jewelry that I wear
They can be a mask or a mirror.

Do not judge me by my age
Youth is not a synonym for irresponsibility
Any more than maturity corresponds with middle age.
And when old age creeps up
It does not mean I have nothing left to offer the world.

Do not speak down to me because of my gender
Male or female, we all have something to offer this world.
Do not form opinions of me because of my nationality
It only gives you clues as to where I come from.

Look at my personality; see who I really am
Take the time to know me
Before you decide whether or not you like me.

Listen to my words and hear what I am saying
Do not form preconceived notions
Based on my height or my weight
These are just genetic factors.

Think before you speak because if you hurt someone
That wound may become a permanent scar
Remember that all over the world, we are the same
Each of us, with our own qualities
Making us who we are, one of a kind
But one as well, a human being.

REBECCA ROSE TAYLOR is passionate about writing. She enjoys the way it makes her feel. Rebecca works full time as an administrative assistant - finance and reception at a senior's home but writes whenever she gets a chance. Some of Rebecca's poetry has been published by Long Story Short, The Toronto Small Press Group, Rope and Wire, and on Michael Lee Johnson's website "A Tender Touch and A Shade of Blue." Contact


by Sebastian Lopez

I know this girl. I can’t see anything in her face, it’s like a veil or a wall transparent that flows through the soft edge of the waterfall of nothing. I want to speak. I wish into her lithe beauty, a renegade in winter. Her face brims. It could almost swirl and get me high. Her frail shoulders are pillars of a stronghold, of an apparent world of normalcy, a poignant beauty encapsulated in a timeless chamber coolly lit like a candle by an unknown. Or she’s the blue metropolitan sanctum. It’s like she’s a reflection of some God in the distance. I can’t find any traces of anything I know in her countenance. She’s stranger. So apparently normal and calm, stranger than any strange and beautiful person or song I’ve known. Her face is an ocean of normalcy, it is a frozen wind without context where nothing, no clothes or stockings or anything whatsoever, wants to fit. Her face radiates the beginning of nothing. It’s like a crystal staircase into the flowering of a universal cloud. The face is a flowing into a pulsing state that is nowhere and nothing I know...

SEBASTIAN LOPEZ studied letters at Cornell University and journalism at City University in London. He has many creative outlets including his love for writing poetry, performing slam poetry/spoken word, and making music. He likes a lot of writers and poets, but probably feels the closest to the American ones such as Jim Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Walt Whitman, and Henry Miller. He also likes Russian literature such as Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, and Mayakovsky. He is fluent in Spanish and Russian in addition to English which is his strongest language. He is a believer in being humble with your gifts, but he’s also a big kidder with colorful behavior and speech. Contact


by Joanna M. Weston

the new shut-off valve
spurted water
over the floor
and one cat

towels, tools
with imprecations

wrench, work-light
washing-up liquid
newspaper, dirty dishes
bread machine, vinegar
on the counter

his body curled
on the floor
head below the sink
before another trip
to the hardware store

JOANNA M. WESTON has had poetry, reviews, and short stories published in anthologies and journals for twenty-five years. Her middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes,' is published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Summer Father,’ is published by Frontenac House of Calgary. Contact 


by John Tzikas

Claudette when you have a moment, can you get 
me the case history on common sense, it’s in a 
flimsy folder stamped confidential and volatile 
and one more thing you can punch out early I know 
how your stomach churns in the face of adversity 

When you go, leave the light off, I want to reflect 
quietly, employee of the week you bring out the 
the best in me, you bring out the worst in me, you 
bring out the enemy, let me in on your secrets, where 
would you ever be without me, employee of the week 

Good evening, It’s JT calling from the Ministry of self-improvement, Am I speaking to common sense thank you 
sir for taking time out of your busy day to humor me, what I 
am about to tell you has sent shock waves through the organization, 
common sense this isn’t easy, I’m afraid we have to cut you loose 

All good things must come to an end, I’m hoping you don’t 
take this exile as a downer, even Siberia basks in summer, look 
on the bright side you can catch up on your home renovations 
but at some point in our conversation I may hang-up abruptly, 
tearful goodbyes tend to give me a gigantic splitting headache 

Employee of the week wrinkled neatly like 
codeine 3 tablets 
in the back pocket of a corporate liar, 
professional killers are 
gunning for another rising star, spitting silver bullets in the public eye, 
everyone is hired to be fired, that’s what I call 
service with a smile, employee of the week you set the precedent 

I’ll mail you your letter of commendation right away and going 
forward, I’m sure I can find you a tax-free shelter, I’m a man who’s 
stumbled across a lot of loopholes in my lifetime, I make exceptions 
for exceptional people, I have connections with master criminals, we can 
lease you a room at the bus terminal, this is one less storm you have to weather

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 Yoshira Marbel

My friend
At least I have my faithful friend
He never leaves my side
Lays next to me at night
Wraps its arms around me
Holding me tight
Can’t break away
He is here to stay
My dear friend

YOSHIRA MARBEL is a twenty-six year old woman living in South Africa who writes from personal experiences of the heart. Her chapbook UNSPECIFIED is based on a pure, basic human emotion that unfortunately we all have to suffer through. She gives an uncensored, honest account of how we all feel but are unable to acknowledge in fear of seeming selfish or self absorbed. Young and old are able to relate to her poems but her specific target market is women between the ages of 14 to 35. This is a very broad market, and she believes through intensive research that between these ages, women are searching for their identity and place in the world. And of course on this path of self acceptance and self realization there are many obstacles which result in most of the time sadness. This universal emotion is expressed in words that women can relate to. She has tried to keep her poems direct, simple and clear, and is certain that they can create a sense of comfort because with heartbreak and sadness comes feelings of loneliness. In difficult times we search for something to identify with, so we know that these types of feelings are normal. Contact


by Michael Lee Johnson

Sometimes I feel
like a sad sack
a worn out old man
with clown facial wrinkles
I know when I reflect
stare out my window
at the snow falling
from my bed
my back to yours
reflecting on my pain
ignoring yours
I isolate your love
lose your touch
to another
it is our bed
not mine
that I lie in

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This poem is about love, the teaching of the poem in the heart that leads to seduction, perceived love, but becoming too common with each other leads to betrayal and lackluster romance.

I KNOW FROM MY BED, CREDIT: Michael Lee Johnson

MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON is a poet, freelance writer and small business owner of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel:, 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 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 Contact


by Bill Roberts

says the note in my wallet,
message long forgotten.

It's my handwriting, so
there was purpose behind it.

Don't forget what?
I can't remember.

Something at the supermarket?
Items at the laundry?

A sale on at Macy's?
Replace a light bulb?

Put in new batteries?
Change the tires?

Invite the boss to dinner?
Ask for a modest raise?

Get tickets to see "Les Mis"?
Appointment with dog groomer?

See when my sister's coming?
Send flowers to someone?

Funny, I remember all these things --
but did I do them?

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 Nell M. Berry

Father, Redeemer, Eternal God Divine, 
God of my Fathers, Savior mine. 
Elohim, Elyon, God Most High, 
God Almighty, El Shadai. 
Lion of Judah, Mighty King, 
Emmanuel, Creator of all things. 
In Bethlehem’s manger as a Babe He came. 
Before earth’s foundations He was slain. 
Yeshua, Jesus, Counselor, Lord, 
Jesus, Jehovah, Lamb of God. 
Jehovah-Rapha, Who healeth me. 
The Lord our Banner, Jehovah Nissi. 
Jehovah-Tsidkenu, our Righteousness, 
Jehovah-Shammah, in Him I rest. 
Jehovah-Raah, Shepherd is He, 
Jehovah-Shalom is my Peace. 
Jehovah-M’kaddesh, our Sanctifier, 
our Mighty God is our Satisfier. 
Jehovah-Sabbaoth, the Lord of Hosts, 
in Him we find Life, He saves the lost. 
Jesus, the Anointed One, our All in All, 
He is our Deliverer, without Him we fall.

NELL M. BERRY resides in West Virginia and has been married to Louis B. Berry for sixty years. She is a mother of four, grandmother of nine and great grandmother of soon to be eleven grandchildren. Her hobbies include cooking, sewing, crocheting and writing. 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 Mary Ellen Shaughan

Parents and friends huddle on cold, hard bleachers
heads turning from side to side as
young hockey players chase
the ubiquitous puck from
one end of the ice to the other.

Though they are here
under the pretense of watching hockey
what causes the adults’ heads to turn
is the lone bird in the building
flying with the greatest of ease
from the rafters at one end
to those at the other
always singing its famous song of flight
and wond’ring, no doubt,
why no one joins in on the chorus.

MARY ELLEN SHAUGHAN calls herself an “accidental poet,” since her goal was to write exquisite short stories. Her poetry has been published in Mid-America Poetry Review, Timber Creek Review, Words of Wisdom Magazine, Peregrine: The Journal of Amherst Writers & Artists, Foliate Oak, Daily Palette/Iowa Writes, and Silkworm. She is a native Iowan who now calls Western Massachusetts home. Contact


by Brenda Kay Ledford

Evening unfurls, its flesh
shivers in the cold shadows.
A downpour of houses
and lights flicker on Ramey Mountain.

A full crust moon flips
golden coins on Lake Chatuge.
You stop the boat and bait
the hook with a red worm.

A plane pulses across
the stars, an island
projects from the distant shore
like a giant pyramid.

A dog’s bark slices the surface.
Beneath the soft moonbeams,
you catch a fish, toss
it on ice, and bait the hook.

A warning beam throws
its lifeline across the water.
The taste of dawn teases the hills.
Darkness unravels, light bathes the lake.

BRENDA KAY LEDFORD is a member of NC Writers' Network and NC Poetry Society. Her work has appeared in "Asheville Poetry Review," "Pembroke Magazine," "Appalachian Heritage," and many other journals. She received the Paul Green Award for her poetry collections: PATCHWORK MEMORIES, SHEWBIRD MOUNTAIN, and SACRED FIRE. Visit her website and blogContact


by Brian Osborn

A new galaxy appeared in
our little cul de sac universe,
luring all the neighbor planets
to stop by for a quick peek, to see
how quietly she moves,
timid as a speckled thrush,
as vast as the moment
when dawn’s mist unfolds
over a glass top lake.
The planets circle the new galaxy,
grinning, as a tiny constellation of fingers
stretch outward and wiggle,
signaling the opening movement
of the opus that will be heard
light years from now
just as the sun’s rays lift the day.

BRIAN W. OSBORN is a 51 year old jet mechanic, living in Tucson, Arizona, who enjoys reading and writing poetry. In his own words: “I consider myself a craftsman, a mechanic of words more than I do an artist. I have always written, for as long as I can remember, and probably always will, for as long as I can remember.” Contact


by Callie Reese

A single perfect moment between dreaming and sleep 
A place your mind can go
With secrets you find it hard to keep
The spot your heart returns to
When your spirit is weak
The breath that fills you up
When you feel like you can’t speak
This is home
Not so much the place
Like a house on the street
But the place inside yourself
Where all at once you feel

CALLIE REESE is a published writer from Cloverdale 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 stories “The Feeling” and “Forget Me Not” have been published in the magazine “Women’s Voices.” Her poems “Our Family Tree” and “My Mother” have been published at Long Story Short. You can also view her work by visiting her website. Contact


by Haley Daniels

Walking down the path I remember
Days of another winter
We hiked up and down the spiraling trail
My father’s brown suede boots
Left deep tracks in the concealing snow

We watched as the sun dimmed
And the final gleams of light
Bounced off the bare tree trunks

We came upon a spring
Frozen over, cold and quivering,
Like the thin sheet of glass in a picture frame
I trudged right on through

Red ears are numb
They shut out my father’s warnings
I made it only a few feet before the ice caved in

Frost froze my mind
Crawling inside, taking control
Sucking the air from my lungs

My father never hesitated
His strong pale arm gripped me tightly
Pulling me higher, shaking off the cold
Silent and logical, he wrapped his coat around me
Placing his warm hand in mine

HALEY DANIELS is a fifteen year old student from Los Angeles, California who attends Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences. She has been published at Poetry Rivals and is an editor for her school newspaper, Crossfire. She plays beach volleyball and piano. Her secret passion is singing in the shower. Contact


january celebrity poet

Helen Hunt Jackson

(1830 – 1885)

nationality: american

Helen Hunt Jackson – Credit: Public Domain


Only a night from old to new!
Only a night, and so much wrought!
The Old Year’s heart all weary grew,
But said: “The New Year rest has brought.”
The Old Year’s hopes its heart laid down,
As in a grave; but trusting, said:
“The blossoms of the New Year’s crown
Bloom from the ashes of the dead.”
The Old Year’s heart was full of greed;
With selfishness it longed and ached,
And cried: “I have not half I need.
My thirst is bitter and unslaked.
But to the New Year’s generous hand 
All gifts in plenty shall return;
True love it shall understand;
By all my failures it shall learn.
I have been reckless; it shall be
Quiet and calm and pure of life.
I was a slave; it shall go free,
And find sweet peace where I leave strife.”

Only a night from old to new!
Never a night such changes brought.
The Old Year had its work to do;
No New Year miracles are wrought.
Always a night from old to new!
Night and the healing balm of sleep!
Each morn is New Year’s morn come true,
Morn of a festival to keep.
All nights are sacred nights to make
Confession and resolve and prayer;
All days are sacred days to wake
New gladness in the sunny air.
Only a night from old to new;
Only a sleep from night to morn.
The new is but the old come true;
Each sunrise sees a new year born.

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