Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 2012 Poetry Page

"Even when the poet seems most himself...
he is never the bundle of accident and incoherence
that sits down to breakfast; he has been reborn as an idea, something intended, complete."

- William Butler Yeats



by Stephanie Renae Johnson

To my generation, or at least to my prying eyes,
it seems the fifties are populated
with women in fur coats, Aqua Net hairspray,
and shivering legs, bare from the
mid calf down. The proof?
Crackling photographs creased into thinning albums.

There’s men, yes, but spread thin by Uncle Sam’s sweeping bingo aim.
When they exist, they are open coated, glaring at
the camera and the draft. It’s perpetually
late February in these sepia freeze tones—
or else early March.
Flat field under high heels.

Barren trees stretch sputnik fingers across the sky
and immigrant and second generation shadows
hung across the couple’s shoulders
by potato hungry parents, hidden behind the camera:
they shunt, crumbling sticks, in the corners of the photos.
They are the receivers of the pearl teeth twinned to earrings

and the glare of their son, gifted with the American name
they never could wrestle down and claim.
Mom and Dad hide here, making way for the bright colors,
swirling hips, sock hops, and everything the generation
will then give up for the upcoming flower children.

STEPHANIE RENAE JOHNSON is a recent graduate of Flagler College and now works as a production artist at Xulon Press. Previously, Stephanie worked as an editor assistant for Jason Cook at Ampersand Books. Stephanie's work has been published by Prick of the Spindle, poeticdiversity, danse macabre, writing raw, opiumpoetry, Orlando Sentinel Online, and The Flagler Review. Contact


by Susan Marie Davniero

March roars in
Bursting wind
Raising cane
Frosty pain
Nature laws
Warmth thaws
Days pass on
Over and gone
Winter bids adieu
Spring anew

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 Michael Lee Johnson

In early March
an indolent sun
persists in tossing
volunteer rays of
soft flickering sun silk
through dark desolate
willow tree branches-
melting remnants
of snow diamond crystals
from weathered wooden planks
on my balcony.
I’m starting to think life
is an adjective exaggerated
by the sway of seasons.
It’s normal feeding time.
Below two floors
wild Canadian geese
wait impatiently
for the tossing of morning feed;
the silent sound they hear-
no dropping of the seed.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: As a lover of nature on a daily basis, INDOLENT SUN reflects a typical imagery filled morning in late winter, early spring as it evolves slowly outside my balcony window. I feed the geese, and the bird daily and the old willow tree scatters part of the sun rays on my balcony.

INDOLENT SUN - 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

          are weed-choked now,
dead as Deadwood and Tumbleweed,
          no memorial service
except the glaring signs on the roads
          exclaiming McDonald's
and Burger King, employees mostly
          former residents of those
dead towns, sacrificing education for
          three squares a day, living
in trailers, if lucky, square in the
          middle of Tornado Alley.

America the Beautiful, where have
          you gone?  Many potholes
pepper the roads, perhaps to slow us
          down so we'll pull into what's
left of the old towns, chain fat farms
          owned perhaps by those of
a foreign persuasion, just like
          much of the rest of America.
It was tiresome driving past you
          in the old days of plenitude,
but dammit, I miss you little guys now.

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 Gloria Watts

I can do without most things
but time, elusive and evading
all through the day, regardless of how I seek
but never find, yet it’s there, yes time
is the one problem in my life,
the rest I can do without, but time
waits for no man – so never waits for me.

GLORIA WATTS is a retired Further Education College lecturer, is an active participant in several writing forums, including the Muse Flash Success Board, Muse Prophets and Writing Friend. Her stories have been published at Bewildering Stories, Apollo's-Lyre, The Fiction Flyer, and Long Story Short. When not writing she likes to keep busy. She enjoys watercolour painting, playing piano, gardening and yoga. Contact


by Joe Nance

Gabby! Like a sun, the northern star

Luminously glowing, shines in Denny's -
Her fearless individuality
Radiates a human happiness
That when she smiles -
Makes my heart smile as well -
And when she is distracted or displeased
And doesn't smile - my attitude feels dark,
The room is darker in comparison -
An Indian raised on a reservation
Who left home the day she was allowed
To be free - Her happiness is freedom -
To release the bondage of my soul -

JOE NANCE likes lots of poets and poetry, but nothing modern except maybe Edna St. Vincent Millay and Philip Larkin. He has had poems published in several magazines, most of them some time ago, and he was twice nominated for a Pushcart. Contact


by Ronald Charles Epstein

Blackstone White,

in white turtleneck,
black sweater,
black trousers,
white socks,
white shoes,
watches Charlie Chaplin
on his monochrome console,
repudiating the NBC peacock.

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. Ronald has several DVD reviews published in VIDEOSCOPE and his latest book review appears on the PRAIRIE FIRE REVIEW OF BOOKS website. Contact


by Melissa Fornoff

He knows not of poverty and pain, and ultimate greed
Of hunger, of war, or of desperate need
He knows not of hatred, religions, and race
Of disease and death, and Man's disgrace

Or cities choking in their own debris
Or countries fighting for their rights to be free
He knows not of stress, taxes, or bills
Of rush hour traffic, or society's ills

He knows not of anything unjust or unkind
For such things elude an Innocent mind
He is consumed with a world of peace
Of harmony and love, and joy's release
He is a child, fresh to the world
He is content, happy to be curled
Up in his blanket, quietly slumbering
Until the time comes when Truth comes lumbering

Barging into his Innocent life
To upset his little world, newly filled with strife

But for now, all is calm, and gentle and good
I would protect him from the Truth of the World
if I could
And so I shall, for as long as I can
Until the day my Little One becomes a Man

MELISSA FORNOFF is a thirty-eight year old Texan poet and writer. Her hobby and talent is writing which she has been doing since she first learned to put pen to paper. She loves writing nearly every day and covers just about any topic in all writing genres. As a beginning writer, she remains optimistic and hopeful in her goal of ultimately getting published. She received a first place award for a district-wide poetry contest when she was in the sixth grade which was published in her local newspaper. She has three wonderful children and a supportive husband. Melissa spends her free time writing, reading, watching television, listening to her favorite music, and visiting with close friends or family. Contact


by Peter Franklin

Fixed stare straight ahead,
The stops ahead are largely meaningless to me…
#4 towards Mouton Duvernet.
Odeon. Mabillon. Saint-Sulpice.
I am aware of nothing. Yet everything.
Radar awareness…race through the underground.
You catch my eye and smile Bonjour.
I shrug.
I smile back Hello.
You shrug.
Subterranean language chasm swallows the moment.
Not a word spoken.
Nothing to be said.
Lurching, the doors gasp open. And close.
You are gone.
Fixed stare straight ahead,
The stops ahead are largely meaningless to me.

PETER FRANKLIN teaches English and Creative Writing at Swampscott High School (Swampscott, MA). Peter received a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of California, Davis, and has a Juris Doctor degree from Concord Law School. He has been published in a variety of publications, including Long Story Short. He is working on a forthcoming anthology of poetry, Minutia Underwear. Peter resides in Marblehead, Massachusetts with his wife and two children. Contact


by Lucy Wong Leonard

Never know what you’ll get,

Organize your masterpiece never excluding black or white shadings,
Different reflecting chromes seen on all surface areas: primary, secondary and tertiary,
Nuances showing psychedelic values, intensities and hues,
Open to change, diversity and reform.

Organize your masterpiece never excluding black or white to neutralize,
Light, dark, dull and bright,
Fabric that is sinfully expensive, though cotton drapes like silk,
Octagons, hexagons, pentagons, ovals, crystals, dichroics, and conics,
Yearn to learn your voice and focal point like Mondrian.

Different reflected chromes seen on all surface areas: primary, secondary and tertiary,
Truth found in duplicating patterns. There is beauty,
Reach for the 10 Degree Wedge ruler, the center line, the design board. REACH!
Exclaim expression, cubism, surrealism, Paul Klee’s Federpflanze,
Beauty waiting to be discovered by the chance in a lifetime.

Nuances showing psychedelic values, intensities and hues,
Imagination, insight, and inspiration embellishing the creative arts,
Liberate yourself to do the Zen thing,
Open to change,
Never know what you’ll get.

LUCY WONG LEONARD loves sewing and quilting more than life itself. She suffers from a condition called "Arts and Crafter Attention Deficit Disorder” even though she has endured an autoimmune disorder for over 25 years. She is a Desert Storm US Navy Veteran who served our country and any held positions in the private sector. She does what she can for the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 27 in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. She is a daughter of Chinese immigrants since the 1930s. She wrote her reflections growing up behind her Chinese Laundry which was published in "CHINESE LAUNDRIES – TICKETS TO SURVIVAL ON GOLD MOUNTAIN" by Dr. John Jung. She is a member of Havasu Stitchers, A Chapter of the Arizona Quilters Guild. She entered her “Old Glory” quilt to the Veterans Affairs Creative Art Festival contest which was held on February 14-15, 2012. You can also view her Hawaiian Quilt. Lucy is a bird crazy lover and her avian kids: Google, Yahoo, Calli and Dukie. Dukie is an African Grey parrot and an article entitled “One Smart Grey” was published in Bird Talk (August 2010). One of her first avian articles was published in Bird Crazy and her articles have also been published for California and Phoenix bird clubs. She has also been published in Offerings from the Oasis - Collected writings of the Lake Havasu City Writers Group, Veterans’ Voices, and the Annual Whipple Voices Writing Festival. Lucy lives in Arizona with her husband, William R. Leonard and their four parrots. Contact


by Shirley Securro

Ambition is a powerful drive
It can keep all of us alive
Ambition can soar like the eagles
Great minds are carried on its wings

Ambition can keep you up at night
It is self-discipline on a flight
It's like the butterfly effect: changes take place
discoveries are made, lives are saved

Climb with ambition to reach the top
Don't let it die; keep it alive, let it survive
Don't let it creep like you are asleep
it must be higher than you are

Ambition gets you through the door
Be ambitious of true honor
Reach the stars with your ambition
or your ability

It may be a lucky chance to shine
It's the drive that's kept alive
Look ahead and not behind
We are capable of greater things!

SHIRLEY SECURRO has been published in fourteen anthologies along with other poets and is currently working on her own manuscript for publication. She has designed/illustrated two book covers for other poets/writers and does poetry readings for churches, weddings, funerals, and meetings. Contact


by John Tzikas

My Laundromat was a pickup spot 

(our body clocks did overtime)
all the pillow talkers at the end of the counter, kept dropping in for
a fluffing, providing excellent customer service can be a very thank-
less job (I was grateful for every compliment I got at the fault-line)

When we touched base initially, you were in a dilly of a pickle
Your seams were truly bursting and the tears trickled so freely
It always appeared, you were halfway through a spin cycle but
I gained your confidence fully and it eased your tensions a trifle

Then I rinsed emotional stains off your sleeve, I didn’t disappoint you in the least
when I was feeling worthwhile again, you buttoned up my totally unnecessary words
you said I was way too good, at adding lots of starch to your shirts, but I begged
to differ, the competition for your bleeding heart was getting stiffer and stiffer

And as I was holding my head up high 
(finally about to see quarter 1) 
the new tumbler moved in on my turf, giving similar
frills at a reduced price, 
he made a name for himself in the
girl cleaning business, I washed my hands of you completely

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 Sandra H. Bounds

A saucy wench, Spring.
She flirts and teases,
plays hard to get.
One day a genial sun bounces
off grass, brown and sere.
The next, a nipping chill
compels us to scurry back inside.
A sudden flurry of robins appears
even as we build one more roaring fire.
Soon daffodils seductively peek
through silky green sheaths.
Fragrances of honeysuckle and wisteria
perfume the air.
At last, Spring’s unveiling
nudges us out of Winter’s despair,
quickens the pulse,
and revives the spirit.
That saucy wench has come to stay.

SANDRA H. BOUNDS has a Master of Arts in English and has taught in both high school and community college. An active member of the Mississippi Poetry Society, she was its 2005 Poet of the Year, and MPS published a chapbook of her poetry to honor that selection. She has won many awards in the annual contests sponsored by MPS, and she has been published in such journals as ART GULF COAST, THE LYRIC, THE ROAD NOT TAKEN, SHARING, THE WELL-TEMPERED SONNET, and WESTWARD QUARTERLY. Contact


by Roger Singer

Dreams capture my feet from moving;

lions prowl and monkeys
find favor under my eyes
in worlds I make up.

A leather touch, full, yet rough,
like destitute cloth; burlap or hemp
press my chest for warmth.

Winds speak with voices. Gray shadows
stand tall without names.
A song of voices marks a beginning.

Legs under water run without speed.
Umbrellas open under a moon
of black skies.

Safety inhabits my heart under sheets.
My travels are distant. Exploring
my life in sleep.

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 Joan Griffin

As I sat on my hotel balcony
I watched the sun set
Over the River Nile.
A glowing golden ball, it slowly sank below the horizon.
The river flowed on,
Heedless of the dark.
As I sat on my hotel balcony

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


by David Fraser

In nursery school
I was caned for
splashing the big girls
in the puddles in the yard.

In nursery school
I was dragged across
the pavement toward
the canteen to finish
off my lunch,
the lunch I’d left,
the chunk of fat
I wouldn’t eat,
dragged by the ear
made to sit down
in front of the plate
made to chew the cold white fat.

In nursery school

I wasn’t liked.

Nursery school
I didn’t like.

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 Alex Long Pham

Girls who see a nice guy
see someone without fortitude.
It's easy for them to say “hi then goodbye,”
rather than fall for his beatitudes.

Bless├ęd are they who mourn,
for they share other’s joys and sorrows.
For the nice guys who are born,
their memories will follow.

Girls like to have their chases,
with a guy that walks with pride.
For those guys it’s easy to hit the bases,
while nice guys stand in the shadows and hide.

When the time is right,
the girl's heart comes and cries.
While the nice guy opens his heart with might,
until she says her goodbyes.

As she runs away lightning fast,
he remembers that nice guys finish last.



by Debbie Hilbish

My mirrored image is a marvel to me;

Eyes that used to seem so wide
with lashes long and the green
so brightly
centered in the white
have lost themselves somewhere
in folds of lids that accent
the depth of crow’s feet.

In youth I envied beauty marks
like you’d see on the big screen
just one at the corner of a mouth all sleek
and sexy
when skin knew nothing
of age spots
that can be connected like dot to dots.

Wrinkles flow around my lips now
like the pleats on the skirts
I loved in second grade
cascading down from the waistband
when age
was not yet so defined
and my forehead held no worry lines.
I can’t find the youth I used to be;

No chagrin
I feign earned serenity emanates
from these eyes, these lips,
this face that has lived
long enough for all this to embrace
how I am defined

DEBBIE HILBISH is a self taught poet who has been writing poetry since she was a young teen. Her poems “Sea of Emotions” have appeared in Poetry In Motion (1994) and “Decay” in Sound of Poetry (2004). Her poems have appeared in the poetry book FADING SHADOWS (“Cynical Side” and “Tiny Stitches,” 2009), and in two chapbooks, MAGNOLIA MOON (“Through My Eyes,” 2006) and COUNTING SPARROWS (“Bent,” 2006). Debbie also has two of her own works published BITS AND PIECES (2006) and LIFEDREAM COLLISIONS (2010), both of which include her artwork and photography. She has held poetry readings throughout the southwest and had seminars, sponsored by Arizona and New Mexico 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 and her poem “At The Laun-Dro-Mat” was the featured January 2012 POEM OF THE MONTH. She was recently published in Itasca Illinois Poetry & Willow Tree Dreams for her poem “Grampa.” Contact


by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

One night when a friend visited
they sipped red wine, nibbled cheese
and spoke idly of their bucket lists.
She listened to the exotic places
and tastes her friend yearned to savor,
mulled the life she’d already led.

Picturing the bucket in her mind,
wood staves with copper bands
and a bail with porcelain grip,
she smiled, saw it was full,
no need to cram in anything more.

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 Joanna M. Weston

he took the sliding door
that used to open
to the balcony

shoved lifted
laid it against the stone wall
by the garage

for a year
it squashed lavender
and lemon balm

today we held its weight
on a dolly
guided up the drive

loaded it
with swearing
onto the trailer

last night we peered
through a small window
at the full moon

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 Joseph Hart

Oh what peace! To sleep and never wake!
Not a death - disintegrating death -
But sleep - sleep - the other nothingness.
The body, mortal casket of the soul,
Gets old and feeble. Even genius dies.
Beloved voice that says a gentle thing
Makes the sinews and the mind relax
Until the peace of sleep has been achieved.
Griefs accrue and troubles multiply.
Not every problem yields to a solution.
And only the impoverished believe
That happiness is money. But it is.

JOSEPH HART became aware of poetry when he read "The Highwayman." His favorite poets are John Keats, Rupert Brooke Philip Larkin (when he can understand him), and Sappho (what little there is). His poems have been published in Light, Obsessed With Pipework, The Eclectic Muse, Audience Magazine, The Road Not Taken and others. Contact


by Floriana Hall

Life is like a song in the spring

As a bluebird suddenly appears
And sings his lilting song
Let's join in and croon our tune
Love's time of sweet nothings
Whispered in eager ears.
What a joy to hear
A song of love
Melodious modulations of tones
Keeping pace with nature
Suddenly in tune with March endearment.
Uplifting voices
Sing along
The wonders of the season
As mankind swings and flings along
Let's all sing a happy song.

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


march celebrity poet

William Butler Yeats

(1865 – 1939)

nationality: irish

William Butler Yeats – Credit: Public Domain


Know, that I would accounted be
True brother of a company
That sang, to sweeten Ireland's wrong,
Ballad and story, rann and song;
Nor be I any less of them,
Because the red-rose-bordered hem
Of her, whose history began
Before God made the angelic clan,
Trails all about the written page.
When Time began to rant and rage
The measure of her flying feet
Made Ireland's heart hegin to beat;
And Time bade all his candles flare
To light a measure here and there;
And may the thoughts of Ireland brood
Upon a measured guietude.
Nor may I less be counted one
With Davis, Mangan, Ferguson,
Because, to him who ponders well,
My rhymes more than their rhyming tell
Of things discovered in the deep,
Where only body's laid asleep.
For the elemental creatures go
About my table to and fro,
That hurry from unmeasured mind
To rant and rage in flood and wind,
Yet he who treads in measured ways
May surely barter gaze for gaze.
Man ever journeys on with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.
Ah, faerics, dancing under the moon,
A Druid land, a Druid tune.!
While still I may, I write for you
The love I lived, the dream I knew.
From our birthday, until we die,
Is but the winking of an eye;
And we, our singing and our love,
What measurer Time has lit above,
And all benighted things that go
About my table to and fro,
Are passing on to where may be,
In truth's consuming ecstasy,
No place for love and dream at all;
For God goes by with white footfall.
I cast my heart into my rhymes,
That you, in the dim coming times,
May know how my heart went with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.

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