Category Archives: Zingara Poetry Picks

Affirmative Through Toledo by Paul Grams

Say me that only word
the one counts one and two
in the sweet book of love
that Ima write wit you

saying how this really could
be time to say it best
now that the moon be nerve
air chill and lay it rest

Whisper me like tires
reading the pale gray road
sufficient love for this next
word up kids ax you bogue
lets light one closer fire
between the stars      say yes

Paul Grams earned degrees in Linguistics and English Literature; he taught in the Detroit Public Schools, mostly grades 6-9, for 30 years; he ran scholastic chess programs there. He’s retired to Baltimore with grandchildren. Two books of his poems have been published.

Consolations after a Birth by Beth Sherman

My books are sniping at one another
Hurling accusations concerning inaccurate information
On blood sugar and forceps.
Later on in the week I will make a bonfire
In the kitchen and scald their flapping tongues.
A mobile over the crib jiggles uncertainly.
The yellow bunny sneers at the spotted cow.
It knows nothing of midwives. Quaint word
From a simpler time when mothers died
With rags stuffed in their mouths to muffle the screaming.
I’ve discovered that I don’t need God.
A gazelle sleeps beside me.
I can feel its fur choking my breath,
I can taste the grass on its hind legs,
Alone in this angry house.

Beth Sherman received an MFA in creative writing from Queens College, where she teaches in the English department. Her fiction has been published in The Portland Review, Sandy River Review, Blue Lyra Review and Gloom Cupboard and is forthcoming in Delmarva Review and Rappahannock Review. Her poetry has been published in Hawaii Pacific Review, Hartskill Review, Lime Hawk, Synecdoche, Gyroscope and The Evansville Review, which nominated her poem, “Minor Planets” for a Pushcart Prize this year.

Six Years Old on her Grandparents’ Porch

Her life seemed like two nights and one day
where the first night had been birth
and the last night would be her death
and that single long day stretched so far ahead
filled up with future and furniture
she could almost rock in the white wicker chair
and forgive the world for making her a child
who sometimes still needed to hide
behind the rocker where the porch screen
pressed tiny diamonds onto her young cheek
while the man on the tall Sunday Philco
preached grandly Do unto others
but this girl didn’t want to be done unto
no she did not want to be so undone

Penelope Scambly Schott’s most recent book is HOW I BECAME AN HISTORIAN.  She lives in Portland and Dufur, Oregon where she teaches an annual poetry workshop.

Floating World by Marian Olson

Floating World

Raven lands on the tallest pine,
a sentry at his post,
so orderly and calm
at the end of the day,
enough to make you believe
chaos is illusion.

The great tsunami has returnedfloating-world
to its source, and the ocean
glows with a gentle pulse
in the sweet light of dusk.
Yet who can forget this morning
when the earth’s plates shifted
and believe once again
in the Garden of things?

the moon rises
      the moon sets
            this floating world

Marian Olson, the author of seven books of poetry) lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Desert Hours (2008) won top recognition in both the Haiku Society America and the New Mexico Books Awards. Consider This (2012) won first place in the e-book competition of Snapshot Press in the U.K.


Like the Dancing Horse by Jenny McBride

If they were fully aware
          the invested misery,
          the scathing abuse
          and the bludgeoning of perfection
Would they renounce their gilded ease,
          their snappy playthings,
          hypnotic tomorrows?
If we could show
          the privileged marauders
          who have never seen their own footprint
          the toll and mortgage of
          their artificial lifestyle,
          all the stock they’ve bought in climate change,
Would they shriek and flee
          or gaze unapologetically
          like an audience that watches
          a live bear
          slowly lowered into the boiling water?

Jenny McBride’s writing has appeared in The California Quarterly, Tidal Echoes, Green Social Thought, Star 82 Review and other journals.  She makes her home in the rainforest of southeast Alaska.

Stop The Clock by Bruce McRae

I remember,
you were pointing a stick
at the moon.
It was the day before
the wolf bit you.
Near to that incident
with the toothpick.
You were with a girl
who rubbed brass for a living.
I remember,
you had a signed edition
of a box of bags
and were dating an ex-nun.
Around the time
of the break out.
Sure, and as I recall,
you were studying wych elm,
or was it moonwort?
Either way,
that was the same summer
they moved the graveyard
into the secret forest.
You had that awful sunburn
and a lung had collapsed;
the very same day
as the mudslide . . .
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Makes you think
real hard.

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician, is a Pushcart nominee with over a thousand poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His latest book out now, ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’ is available on Amazon and through Cawing Crow Press, while in September of this year, another book of poems, ‘Like As If’, will be published by Pskis Porch. His poems on video can be viewed on YouTube’s ‘BruceMcRaePoetry’




Sternum Words by Melissa Hobbs

Sternum Words
for Tom C.

I sit at your feet listening.
A torch of earth-core liquefies
and low pitches spray
from your mouth.
You, the tight-throated volcano
pump mineral ash to sprinkle
my glacial snow pages.

I stretch to catch
what doesn’t freeze
or burn my hands.
My baby volcano smolders.

With sternum words
you set me on fire.
I nod, not knowing how
to use your power to powder
my charcoal for words.

I have your fire stones
cooking in my basket
of ground grain.
Do I stir you
with mother’s walnut spoon
or silver tongs?

Melissa Hobbs’ passion revitalizes hearts in her writing. Retiring from regular work freed writing to fly from high-rises. She retrieves new writing after coaching high school freshmen, and working with Bhutanese refugee children. Her feet often return to Ohio’s rural paths, where she earned a degree at Kent State University.