Monday, June 4, 2012

June 2012 Poetry Page

"Come clean with a child heart
Laugh as peaches in the summer wind
Let rain on a house roof be a song 
Let the writing on your face 
be a smell of apple orchards on late June."

- Carl Sandburg, Honey And Salt



by Peter Franklin

In the early days, I had a death grip on the
e-brake…clinging to a lifeline that gave me
some modicum of control…when really
I had none at all. Our progress…forward,
backwards, sideways, or otherwise…I was completely
at your mercy.
Thinking that I
could at least slow us down…keep us from hurtling
uncontrollably into the pages of the local
newspaper…allowed me to breathe a bit easier. I admit
they were shallow, halting breaths, though. There was no idle conversation,
no radio, certainly no music…only my
warnings, cautions, and advice deemed appropriate by me.
Not necessarily by you.
In time, feeling a bit more assured of life after driving…surviving…
with you, I graduated to a mere
grasp on the door handle. What good that would
do me…us…I had no idea, but somehow it grounded
me. Perhaps it just braced me for any impending
impact. Fortunately, all I got was a cramped hand.
From there, it was on to arms folded across my
chest…defensive posture, not relaxed, tense…
ready to spring into action. I was the vigilant sentry
of your driving skills. Of my life. Still no real conversation, but at
this point you were allowed to talk, eyes straight ahead
at all times, of course. Narrow streets still made me feel
like a cat with whiskers clipped:
You are too far to the right.
Get over. Watch out for that woman stepping off the curb.
That light’s just turned yellow. Ok, accelerate a bit more now.
We learned to tolerate each other’s control issues…learned that
there need be only one driver in the car.
Now, on the brink of your freedom, your license to accelerate into
your independence and mobility, I’m not even sure what I do with
my hands…as I find myself gazing out the window like
any other passenger. Daydreaming. Thinking.
Solving the world’s problems between here and our destination.
I’m unaware as we glide through
intersections, around corners, into parking spots…unconscious of all
But my own thoughts… 
fallen into that comfortable silence of trust.

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. Peter has been previously published in A Long Story Short, and is working on a forthcoming anthology of poetry, QUIET RIVER. Peter resides in Marblehead, Massachusetts with his wife and two children...and a Portuguese Water Dog who fancies himself a poet as well. Contact 


(For Arthur C. Ford, Jr.)
by Arthur C. Ford, Sr.

I sailed out to conquer life
And knew the tides would rise,
I learned life was made of strife
As mother preached so wise.

I have travelled pass to port,
I have jewelry fine,
I have sat with kings and courts
And kissed her highness wine.

I have danced, romanced for days
And still I paid my dues,
And mysteries were just a phase
I found resolving clues.

I have answered prayers at times
As favors were fulfilled,
I've digested eternal rhymes
Now poems of thought are milled

But yet I had let love depart
And life I had not won,
Until The Creator, whose in my heart 
Gave to me My Son.

ARTHUR C. FORD, SR. is a poet and lyricist who was born and bred in New Orleans, Louisiana. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Southern University in New Orleans, studied creative writing and was a member of the Drama Society. He has visited 45 states in America and resided for two years in Brussels, Belgium (Europe). Recently he spent 30 days doing missionary work and travelling throughout the country of India. Mr. Ford currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he continues to write, edit and publish poetry and prose. Contact Website


by Floriana Hall

Ah, the fresh air is invigorating 
Give me a breath to pep me up 
Get me out of the house to enjoy it 
Even if it is bitter cold outside 
I need to inhale and exhale 
To renew my energy and strength. 

Ah, the walk I take is refreshing 
Whether it be in my neighborhood 
Or on the hiking trails in the woods 
Spring or summer, fall or winter. 
Respiration can be inspiration 
Like a titillating conversation. 

Yea, my spirit is renewed 
See what oxygen can do 
All tiredness is gone 
All thought of ailments has left 
My body is as good as new 
As I trek along to exercise. 

Oh, I love the inhalation 
Sucking into my lungs 
My heart is filled with jubilation 
Songs of happiness sing out 
Into the atmosphere 
I am one with nature. 

Hey, why don't you try it? 
Get up and go outdoors 
Couch potatoes may deny it 
But those who try will buy it 
A brisk breeze will thrill 
The good life will go on still. 

Ah, the fresh air 
Every day's saving grace.

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 Joan Pedzich

Yesterday I braved the threshold 
penetrated a crack 
then more 
noticed anew 
he’d done it up 
all camouflage and Semper Fi 
at attention 

His cat brushed past me 
reconning her old spot 
foot of the bed 
triangle of sunlight 
he’d scratch her ears with a knuckle 
tell her she was the 
saddest sorriest piece 
of feline drop and give me fifty 

She hopped on the taut spread 
marched the perimeter -- 
slinky border patrol 
settled into that bright medallion 

That animal refused retreat 
no orders from me 
could change it 
I had to leave the door open

JOAN PEDZICH is a retired law librarian from Rochester, New York. Her work has been published in Literary Mama, Halfway Down the Stairs and Lake Affect. She was a featured reader at Writers and Books Genesee Reading series. For fun, she plays golf, which, like writing, looks much easier than it is. Contact 


by Kirby Light

There is no togetherness in this. 
So many people perpetually caught
in the rain
and therefore are the rain.
You and I are just separate drops.

KIRBY LIGHT has been telling stories his whole life, but has only been writing for the last decade. He has had short stories published in the 2007, 2008, and 2010 issues of the art and literary magazine Phoenix. He has also had poems published in Down in the Dirt Magazine and two recently accepted by the poetry magazine Advocate. He also worked for a short time on a newspaper called the Mid-county Memo. He lives just outside Portland, Oregon. Contact 


by James Piatt

I tried to find relics of my childhood, but
They had wasted away in a cardboard box
Filled with mice beds, and broken glass, I
Found an old album and tried to observe
Images stopped by time’s infinite clock, but
Found only misty smears in a fading haze.

I went to my hometown to visit past friends, to
Find old classmates that were so true, but
Found only fallow fields which make no amends, and
Broken gravestones where only weeds did accrue.

I sat down in an ancient oaken chair, trying to
Locate the past in my wandering mind, but
Found only whispers of that distant time, that
I had left in my memories so far behind, and
Realized, that my remaining time had been cast.

JAMES PIATT earned his B.S. and M.A. from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from Brigham Young University. He is a retired professor. Two of his relatives, John James Piatt and Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt, were prolific poets who wrote their poetry in the mid eighteen hundreds. Their poetry has inspired his poems. James was the featured poet in Word Catalyst Magazine in 2009, and Contemporary American Voices in 2010. Long Story Short selected one of his poems for the POEM OF THE MONTH in 2011; Phati’tude Literary Magazine in their spring 2011 issue featured an interview with him. He has had over 200+ poems, and twenty-four short stories published in over five dozen magazines during the past two years. His d├ębut book of poetry is forthcoming this year. Contact 


by Joan Griffin

A frog sat on a lily pad,
Silent and still surveying the scene.
The birds were singing,
The children playing.
Then the rain began to fall and the children ran for cover.
The sky became dark,
The birds fell quiet.
Silent and still surveying the scene 

A frog sat on a lily pad.

JOAN GRIFFIN is a retired health worker and lives in a small Northamptonshire village with her husband. Contact


by Patrick Shanahan

Time slows…sometimes stops
Silence broken by the sterile beep…beep…beep…marking time into neat blocks
A flurry of movement
Then silence again
For a time

PATRICK SHANAHAN is coming back to his passion for writing after several years in the corporate world. He is grateful to his wife Ale for her love and support and to his 4 children for the joy and inspiration they provide. Contact


by Amelia Abdullah

My light skinned skinny little fingers intertwined
With his soft warm long milk chocolate brown ones.
We sat amongst our fellow rowdy high school friends
In row 7 of the old squealing school bus.
The noisy students weren’t distractive enough
Because all I focused on was hands.
The outstanding contrast looked like ying and yang.
My eyes slowly worked its way up to his face.
Looking out the window, he sat slouching in the seat.
Wearing a navy blue polo collared top
Crisp low haircut, full lips, deep brown eyes, and a flat nose.
His skin was smooth and blemish-free.
I had seen him every single school day
But today he was a different person.
Turning towards me, his gaze is like a million Angels
Looking at me awaiting my demands.
He gently whispered in my ear but I couldn’t really focus.
For the first time, I had a boyfriend and I was going to feel what love was like
He leaned over and asked if I would be his girlfriend. 
I replied with a nervous cheesy grin.

AMELIA ABDULLAH is a current college student studying biology and Spanish. She enjoys writing about how she feels. It helps release stress, fear, anxiety, joy, anger, etc. that she may be feeling. Contact


by Ronald Charles Epstein

Cyberspace, a final frontier,
an alien twilight zone,
where the new technology
offends the old dignity.

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 Patricia Crandall

From toddler to teen
all that time in between
there are teething, earaches,
colds and bellyaches;
outspoken no's;
crying woes,
belligerent knee clingers,
fast runners and
punch wingers.
Kids fail to say please;
they hiccup and sneeze.
Santa Claus,
McDonalds and
Chuck E Cheese.
Puppy love, true love,
not to mention college degrees.
'We have only just begun to live!'
Chorus parents!

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 Joe DiBuduo

A starlit sky spins above my world,
Every point of light is alone
in a vast empty space
searching for a spark from another,
to enhance existence and add fuel
to its already burning core.

So many stars, so far apart, and separating
more and more. I wonder how lonely they are?
Are their heavenly bodies satisfied with orbiting
hunks of rock with no burning heart?

Or do they see places like Earth, with life of its own
as part of their long, lives, and feel anything at all
for their orbiting family, feeding from their magnificent light?

Do they know one day they're going to explode and burn,
and destroy everything within their gravitational pull?

If humans can calculate this, surely stars must know,
life isn't everlasting, even for them, and that's why they search
through space, hoping to share their light and create something else.

Not so different from me I think, as I too am alone,
searching for that spark from another, to add to my creative nucleus,
to form something I can't, unaided by an emotion called love.

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


by Linda Crate

I cross the train tracks a train,
once I am over them I unfurl
myself a woman; taking metal
and molding it into flesh, as I
knock all the bolts loose I can
form balls and joints needed
for bones and ligaments; I am
a cyborg from the future I just
don’t know it yet, I go forward
before I hit reverse, the world
is stripped of color this night —
there are no stars or moon to
slice through slivers of opaque
obsidian tinged with lazuline;
I cross the tracks again and
steam across the world my
smoke the breath of fog as I
race on; when morning comes
I will loose the woman again.

LINDA CRATE is a twenty-five year old Pennsylvanian native. To date her poetry has been published in Magic Cat Press, Black-Listed Magazine, and Bigger Stones. When not writing she is likely reading, spending time with friends or family, working, swimming, or spending time in nature. Contact 


by Catherine OBrian

The door still creaks as a brass bell sounds
when you enter, but that will soon change.

The Persian cat lounging on books displayed in
the window will lose her place in the sun, while

students and autodidacts who browse
for personal discoveries among crammed shelves,

choosing musty, forgotten treasures over trendy
lattes and bestselling books with crisp pages,

may have to settle for gambling on books
unseen at online supermarkets

or even give in to a monotonous diet
of mass marketed books.

Mr. Stone sits next to the cash register
in his antiquated store, reading Whitman.

His hair is now white and his posture bent,
yet his mind remains sharp as flint,

even as he witnesses his life’s work
about to be sent to a dumpster,

to make way for a warehouse liquor store
that will compete with another down the street.

Worse than a book burning, Mr. Stone’s remaining 

volumes are destined to ferment with trash.

CATHERINE OBRIAN is a biomedical scientist who lives and
works in Chicago, Illinois. She has published poetry in Miller's Pond Poetry Magazine, Pens on Fire, Awaken Consciousness Magazine, and Three Line Poetry. Contact 


by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

She grew up diving under desks
in practice drills. Later married
a naval officer who watched the A-bomb
tests at Bikini. Over martinis
every night she heard
one tale after another
of war or bombs or pestilence
until he died. Sighing with relief
she thought, Ah, no more bombs,
then watched the global news
where bombs go off daily.

PATRICIA WELLINGHAM-JONES is a former psychology researcher and writer/editor with an interest in healing writing and the benefits of writing and reading work together. Widely published in poetry and nonfiction, she writes for the review department of Recovering the Self: a journal of hope and healing and has ten chapbooks of poetry. Contact


by Joanne Oliver

He was the whirlwind, the tornado, the stormiest sea
Why couldn't I get him to fall in love with me?
Whisking me up with an intense passion so high
Tears of true happiness were a pleasure to cry
He was the storm, the thunder, the lightning, the rain.
Clouds banging together -driving us insane
He made me shudder with every last drop
Didn't want it to end. Didn't want him to stop.
He is the intense mugginess that still hangs in my air
I can smell him upon me but he will never be there
Living on without him - in a world overcast
No longer a future - just a moment that passed

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


by Andy Levine

Suddenly eyes open,
and you see a new day,
you’ve been here before
and in a similar way

A time already
this anthem was sung,
you moved so foolish
because you were young

There was no way
you'd arrive again,
or so you thought,
until never met when

So here it is-
a stage to perform,
an event to rewrite
regret once born

This moment and place,
features spotlights beaming,
a focus that still
barely highlights meaning

In dark crowds
those close turn bright,
until legions fuse
and you become
the light 

In this room
lay the juncture
of legend,
captured swift
with two hands
before the coincidence
is mentioned

ANDY LEVINE lives in New England and has been writing poetry for the last 15 years. The challenge of making words fit together is like a puzzle. It is something that he enjoys greatly. In the last few years he has used more current event themes into his work. As he gets older and understands the world more, it is hard not to comment on the world we live in. Contact 


by Michael Ceraolo

Three UPS guys sat in the next booth,
their ignorance and bigotry intoned furtively
(although I was the only one within earshot),
along with threats of gratuitous violence
they would never carry out,
                                        even if
by some miracle they came within proximity
of the target of their safely distant bravado
UPS yours

MICHAEL CERAOLO is a fifty-one year old civil servant/poet who is interested in, and writes about the past, present, and future. Contact


by Joanna M. Weston

the swoop    dive
chirp and gossip
of sparrows

under the eaves
of our local store
swirl into apple blossom

in a long ago
far away garden
where I ran

through wet grass
with my brother
while songbirds

pecked at crumbs
Mother had thrown
from the kitchen window

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. Her new ebook, ‘The Willow Tree Girl’ is available at her blog or Contact


by Shirley Securro

I've written this poem in memory of you
For me and all of your loved ones too
You were the best that you could be
Those around you could always see
Your loving, caring, and giving ways
I try to remember all of your days

No one has ever impressed me so much
I will never forget your very special touch
You were brave, strong, and gentle too
No one else that I see compares to you
I learned from what you did and said
As time goes by I will always be led

By your high morals and character too
Each and every day I try to do
What you taught me by action and deed
It's everything that I will ever need
To get me through this life of mine
My only dream is that I will shine

Like you did when you were here too
I want to be exactly like you!

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 Mary Ellen Shaughan

He's been gone fifteen years
and still those two faded gold
leather bucket seats from his favorite MG
sit at the back of the garage,
tolerating bags of pelletized lime and
5-10-5 fertilizer dumped in their laps.

Overlooking the workbench above the seats
is the tarnished emblem; time and neglect
have stolen its glitter.

The chassis is gone, as are the wheels, and the driver.
Still the splendor of finer days lurks
beneath the dull upholstery and dimmed initials,
and sometimes, on a quiet summer night,
I still hear the smooth, sweet rumble of its engine.

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 ReviewTimber Creek Review, Words of Wisdom Magazine, Peregrine: The Journal of Amherst Writers & Artists, Foliate OakDaily Palette/Iowa Writes, and Silkworm. She is a native Iowan who now calls Western Massachusetts home. Contact 


by Debbie Hilbish

Come musical whimsical breeze
I don’t see
Come rustle the cottonwood
dance with his leaves.
Tease the tall grasses
scatter her seeds
then tickle the dandelion
let’s see if she’ll sneeze
The sun needs no guidance
kissing dew from the flowers
So I’ll watch as you shimmer
through the aspen for hours
Good morning to you
Ms. Breeze I don’t see
whisper good morning 
through my hair, if you please

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. Contact 


by Sandra H. Bounds

hush cloaks cathedral
of pines. Droplets cling to
long fragrant green needles like
myriads of tiny gems. Songs
of finches, infinitely sweet, break
the stillness. Eden restored after rain.

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 John Grey

The mirror says this is what I am like.
It brooks no argument
I could tell it that I’m Lord Byron
at age thirty-three or Robert Redford
in his boyish prime, and its
glassy evidence would expose my lie immediately.
So I go along with what it tells me.
I’m average looking.
My hair is going gray at the temples.
I’ve these love handles
that no one loves. And my eyes are
neither green nor brown, just this old
and watery gray.
This is more like confession than reflection.
I can’t escape from what I am.
Have to go now, my wife wants to use the mirror.
And after it’s been me, the mirror could use my wife.

JOHN GREY has been published recently in the Echolocation, Santa Fe Poetry Review and Caveat Lector with work upcoming in Clark Street Review, Poem and the Evansville Review. Contact 


(In Memory of Father Gerard Fischetti)
by Susan Marie Davniero 

I can see Dad there
Handsome with dark wavy hair
He sings the tunes
Ballads and romances he croons

Always the gentleman
I can remember when
He dressed quite the man
A stylish Dapper Dan

Three daughters had he
Susan, the name he gave me
Caring and giving
He loved living

Poker - deal him in
He played to win
Proud veteran of WWII
Salutes the red, white and blue

With finesse he toils
Gardening in the soil
At his workbench he stands
A master craftsman in demand

Whistles as he skillfully labors
Always ready to help the neighbors
Not a man to roam
A showplace is his home

I always believed it to be
Dad would watch over me
Yet for a man so nice
He had but one deadly vice

The cigarettes he craved
Put him in an early grave
No more was I serenaded
The songs have faded

I can see Dad there
Handsome with dark wavy hair
His photo frame on my night stand
He sits posed with a cigarette in his hand

Father Gerard Fischetti, Credit: Susan Marie Davniero

Father Gerard Fischetti, Credit: Susan Marie Davniero 

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 


june celebrity poet

Carl Sandburg
(1878 – 1967)

nationality: american

Carl Sandburg – Credit: Public Domain


A father sees his son nearing manhood.
What shall he tell that son?
'Life is hard; be steel; be a rock.'
And this might stand him for the storms
and serve him for humdrum monotony
and guide him among sudden betrayals
and tighten him for slack moments.
'Life is a soft loam; be gentle; go easy.'
And this too might serve him.
Brutes have been gentled where lashes failed.
The growth of a frail flower in a path up
has sometimes shattered and split a rock.
A tough will counts. So does desire.
So does a rich soft wanting.
Without rich wanting nothing arrives.
Tell him too much money has killed men
and left them dead years before burial:
the quest of lucre beyond a few easy needs
has twisted good enough men
sometimes into dry thwarted worms.
Tell him time as a stuff can be wasted.
Tell him to be a fool every so often
and to have no shame over having been a fool
yet learning something out of every folly
hoping to repeat none of the cheap follies
thus arriving at intimate understanding
of a world numbering many fools.
Tell him to be alone often and get at himself
and above all tell himself no lies about himself
whatever the white lies and protective fronts
he may use against other people.
Tell him solitude is creative if he is strong
and the final decisions are made in silent rooms.
Tell him to be different from other people
if it comes natural and easy being different.
Let him have lazy days seeking his deeper motives.
Let him seek deep for where he is born natural.
Then he may understand Shakespeare
and the Wright brothers, Pasteur, Pavlov,
Michael Faraday and free imaginations
Bringing changes into a world resenting change.
He will be lonely enough
to have time for the work
he knows as his own.

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