Hinting At Eternity by Bruce McRae

My stars, if I may be so familiar,
what’s with the silent routine, the timeless aplomb,
this whole ‘distant and aloof’ business?
You are, en masse, incorrigibly gifted,
dripping with syrupy mysteries, and these
suggesting inner depths and untapped powers.

It is we who’ve endowed you with abilities
never stated, and never intended.
We say you are birds just released
or souls or goddesses or burning sands.
We ponder our existence as compared to yours.
We dabble in sophistry, just because we can;
we who are instilled with awe,
infused with the wonder of beauty.

Pushcart nominee Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician with over a thousand poems published internationally, including Poetry.com, Rattle and The North American Review. A new book has just been released, An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy, and his first book, The So-Called Sonnets, and both are available on Amazon. To see and hear more poems go to ‘BruceMcRaePoetry’ on YouTube.

 

 

Seeing a Picture of 2 Guys I Knew 40 Years Ago by Jeanne DeLarm-Neri

I knew them like fluid,
like we were all connected,
linked by our roaming molecules,
like we shared the same skin cells,
bumped arm to arm in sparks.
Like cigarettes lit, glowed, burned,
light one with the suck of the other.
You could smoke in the diner then,
and at night we sat in a bar
which burned down last year.
Drinks included crème de menthe.
Its sweet child body slipped down cool
and came up hot and undigested,
baby puke, no bits of stomach lining,
no pieces of the pulmonary system.
Though as I inspect the picture of these two,
slender, hair to the shoulders,
dressed in chinos and moccasins,
one smiling under a mustache
and the other worried, keys in hand,
I believe that a cardiologist
may detect a nick or two
missing from my aorta—
pieces of me left behind
on an Ohio lawn, should a machine
be invented that could measure
the weight of a moment lost.

Though Jeanne DeLarm-Neri has written poetry and stories for her entire life, she also earns a living in other fields, particularly as a bookkeeper at a private school, and as a vendor of antiques. Her poems and short fiction have been published in two anthologies (In Gilded Frame 2013 and Poems Of The Super-Moon, 2015), and several literary journals, one of which, Slipstream, nominated a poem for the Pushcart Prize. In 2014 and 2015 she was a contributor at the  Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She’s currently working on a book of poems and a novel.

Sister Earthworm by David P. Miller

An earthworm breaches the surface
of the pitched hillside where a boy
sits, knees up, sneakers braced
against a grass-stained slide
to the street. The creature stops
the boy’s breath, not from fright
but from greeting. Child zoologist,
his glass-jarred toad dreams in alcohol.
A real cat’s skull from a specimen
catalog reigns on the shelf. Today
the surge of a worm to his side.

The boy runs to his room
knowing this joy could be written.
Some exact words about sister earthworm.
Grasping pencil, he turns into a child
too consciously thinking himself as a child
inspired to write what a child
would write if a child were inspired.
He gapes at the paper. Writes nothing.
Goes back outside.

For five decades he wonders what he could say
for a single stray earthworm in spring,
unaware of him, both above ground
in the shade.


David P. Miller’s chapbook, The Afterimages, was published in 2014 by Červená Barva Press. His poems have appeared in publications including Meat for Tea, Ibbetson Street, Painters and Poets, Fox Chase Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Oddball Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Incessant Pipe.

 

 

 

 

 

Infinity Dance by Derek Piotr

When you cut the root,
thick and yellow from the earth,
the root regrows immediately
purple edged and defiant,
fed by underground rivers
and searching endlessly
while April rain nails blooms
sideways to the saturated lawn.

In this you find the infinite,
the mouth of something in
something else, feathers
where there ought not to be,
a moment of dissonance
bringing clarity to the dying
elms, a single crane cutting
the sky with its bowed wings.

Derek Piotr is a Poland-born producer and composer based in New England, whose work focuses primarily on the voice. When he has free time, he likes to write. His work with sound has been nominated by the jury for Prix Ars Electronica (2012), and featured on Resonance FM and BBC, and his written works have been published by The Broome Street Review, Hanover Press and The Newtowner.

A New Spring by Pijush Kanti Deb

 

When a pool is bloomed
in a desert
and a blossom on a rock,
an unknown thirst crawls
in my body
informing
a new spring is nearby.
When the sky
gets down to land
and the dozing fate
from its bed,
an optimism traverses
in my mind
announcing
a new spring is nearby.
When the prayer is cared
by someone divine
and the ashamed gap
by someone I love and care,
a purity evolves
to sterilize my soul
whispering
a new spring is really nearby.

—-

Pijush Kanti Deb is a new Indian poet with around 261 published or
accepted poems and haiku in around 90 nos of national and
international magazines and journals. His best achievement so far is the publication of his first poetry collection, Beneath The Shadow Of A White Pigeon, published by Hollow Publishing.

Woman, Please: A Poetry Prompt

Woman Please Prompt

From Washington State University, Fine Arts Page

Since about the mid-twentieth century, feminists and historians have gradually, and, sometimes painfully, worked to restore the voices, images, and contributions of women and reinstating them, incrementally, into history and the literary canon.

While it’s long been understood that women are as instrumental as men in the making and destroying of empires, whether domestic or of a grand scale, their contributions have consistently been relegated to dark corners and back kitchens.

In time, perhaps women’s roles will be as obvious and as representative as those of men, and to that end, I offer today’s prompt, which incorporates two distinct approaches to poetry: ekphrasis and persona.

Ekphrasis, in simple terms, is a response to a piece of artwork. Contemporary poets often stretch this tradition to include popular culture, music, television, movies, and every day objects, in addition to traditional or contemporary art.

Persona, on the other hand, is stepping into another’s shoes and telling a story from their unique perspective. This approach takes a great deal of imagination and is often tweaked to fit a poem’s purpose.

You are probably familiar with the novel, Wicked by Gregory Maguire, which explores the untold stories of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West, and Girl With the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, which reinvents the female subject of Vemeer’s painting of the same title. Both stories respond to existing works of art and both consider the perspective of withheld or otherwise down-played characters to create a compelling story.

For today’s prompt, consider works of art which were created by or feature women. Think expansively and include in your perusal everything from ancient art to modern Hulu favorites. Your piece of art may be a song, a hand crafted item, carefully prepared food, a character from mythology, or even an image as recognizable at the Mona Lisa. Don’t give up too easily; instead trust that you will know the right subject for your poem when you see it.

For further inspiration for today’s prompt, check out “Women Defending Castle With Bow and Crossbow” by Christine Stewart-Nuñez  over at Verse Daily. 

 

Mouse Heaven Richard King Perkins II

The exterminator has taken away
the small carcasses
and left the smell of Lysol
and coiled snap traps
baited with peanut butter.
Your eyes mourn
those tiny missing lives
wanting there to be
a mouse heaven
free from human dominance.
My laughter makes you wince
and cry even harder.
I hold myself open to you
but even
in my most comforting arms
you cannot find
the slightest hint
of comfort.

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.