“The Road” by Carla Schwartz

The road of asphalt, still covered in winter’s detritus,
the road of lined up houses that part for a parade,
the road of school, of church, of aqueduct.

I travel the road by bicycle, by the side of the road, the shoulder,
my shoulders, a little hunched,
my thumbs resting on break hoods.

The road of large brass sewer covers,
of small round or square plates for gas, for water,
where the road dips and rises like a pillow.

The road of potholes, of layers of asphalt,
eaten away by salt,
successive thaws and freezes.

The road of roadkill — headless rabbits, flattened turtles, snakes,
sparrows, and turkey plumes spread like a headdress
in the middle of the road.

On the road, I listen, keep a watch for glass, for dips.
On this road, the shoulder narrows, then widens,
my pace slows down as I ride uphill.

At an intersection, on the road,
metal eyeglass frames, squashed and skewed,
one lens missing, the other shattered.

Carla Schwartz is a poet, filmmaker, photographer, and blogger. Her poems have appeared in many journals. Her second collection of poetry, Intimacy with the Wind, is available from Finishing Line Press or Amazon.com. Find her debut collection, Mother, One More Thing (Turning Point, 2014) on Amazon.com.  Her CB99videos youtube channel has 1,700,000+ views. Learn more at carlapoet.com, or wakewiththesun.blogspot.com or find her @cb99videos.

 

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“Between Us, the Moon” by KB Ballentine

The moon aches, belly full
as dawn frays the edge of night.
In the shallows, a blue heron peers
into the lake, patient as Saint Francis.
But a quick slash of beak, and nature
reveals her unconcern.
Barely awake, the town unshutters,
signs turn in shop windows, blinds open.

And here we lie, in this bed so wide
we don’t have to touch. I can’t remember
the last time I knew you,
when you let me look in your eyes,
lean on you. What happened to us?
The heron unfolds its wings and lifts,
casts a shadow over the shore.
The moon pales, day empty and raw.

~“Between Us, the Moon” first appeared in The Mill, Issue 2.


KB Ballentine has a M.A. in Writing and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Poetry. Her fifth collection of poems, Almost Everything, Almost Nothing, is forthcoming by Middle Creek Publishing.

Looking for a Summer Writing Residency Experience?

Did you know that Converse College offers two non-degree seeking options for creative writers wishing to hone their skills?

If you are looking for an immersive experience and want a taste of what a writing residency is all about, Converse now offers the Brief Immersion Residency.

Immersion students join MFA students and MFA core faculty in the residency workshop as a non-degree, non-credit student. Work is discussed meaningfully and at length with all participants providing critique and feedback. Participants also attend craft lecture offerings and other classroom activities as well as faculty and visiting faculty readings.

Converse also offers a Lecture Pass allowing the holder to attend some or all craft lectures held during the residency session and is available to any writer holding a bachelor’s degree, or to any college student entering or currently enrolled as a senior. Lecture passes are also available to Converse alumni. Both full and half passes are available for a small fee. Lecture pass attendees receive no academic credit and they do not attend any writing workshop, only craft lectures with the half pass, or craft lectures and readings with a full pass.

Converse’s current and past core faculty include such notable and award winning writers as Denise Duhamel, Richard Tilinghast, Yona Harvey, Marlin Barton, Tommy Hays, C. Michael Curtis, Rick Mulkey, Robert Olmstead, Leslie Pietrzyk, Susan Teculve, Suzanne Cleary, Gary Jackson, Randall Kenan, Juan Morales, Tessa Fontain, Megan Hansen Shepherd, and Allan Wolf, just to name a handful (this list is FAR from exhaustive).

Converse is accepting applications NOW for this year’s Summer Residency scheduled for May 31 to June 8th at their Spartanburg, South Carolina campus. Apply here.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS MAY 10TH FOR READERS OF ZINGARA POETRY REVIEW. Just say you learned about the opportunity here.

So what are you waiting for – apply today!

“Internal Exile” by Diane G. Martin,

          “…we have no hope and yet
          we live in longing.”

                     Inferno, Dante

I’ve been pressed between the pages
of a heavy book, a keepsake
to be rediscovered one fine
day, yellow, brittle, print-stained—
a sentimental talisman.

I’m so close to every line;
indeed, they are on me engraved.
Exquisite shapes keep me awake,
though once lofty, once plain thoughts have
blurred, have rubbed their meanings away.

The lack of air is thick with them—
clouds of locusts on a rampage—
these words elbowing each other
These worlds of words, all alien.
I distrust them–black, banal worn.

Yet it’s not for nothing I’m named
Diana.  For now, I bide my
hours quietly, lie warily
between famed leaves and string my bow.
Somehow, I’ll fly to the dark wood.

Diane G. Martin, Russian literature specialist, Willamette University graduate, has published work in numerous literary journals including New London Writers, Vine Leaves Literary Review, Poetry Circle, Open: JAL, Pentimento, Twisted Vine Leaves, The Examined Life, Wordgathering, Dodging the Rain, Antiphon, Dark Ink, Gyroscope, Poor Yorick, Rhino, Conclave, Slipstream, and Stonecoast Review.

 

 

“Notes in the Night” by Judith Bader Jones

A summer breeze, sheer
as bedroom curtains, floats
through a screened window
and joins us in our double bed.

Evening slows the rhythm
of your beating heart when I rest
against your chest and nighttime music
becomes a cover for body pain and sorrow.

Livin’ in this murky world – the blues
dilutes our hurts while brush-stroke lyrics,
sung by survivors, saves souls as we fall
asleep holding onto each other.

Judith Bader Jones, a poet in Fairway, Kansas, has recent publications in  CHEST- The American College of Chest Physicians, Nostalgia and i-70 Review. She is an avid organic gardener and bird photographer.

 

“Sleeping in Bed Together” by John Grey

You’re from a world where seasons never varied their routine
and construction workers waved from beams on high
and a revelation could be as simple
as a bucking trout pulled from a stream.

And now you’re with a woman, in a bed
her body barely a shiver away from yours,
suddenly aware of how little touch is needed to identify the other
while always imagining the worst that lies in store for you.

You got from hatching to imago
with the usual helpings of slime and ooze,
to where you’re heel to heel with the desired one,
and yet still can be startled by such close companionship.

You’re from a place where so little flesh went into the making of you.
And here being fully grown is not something you find comforting,
Yet from lack of light, a strange cadence emerges.
low-breathing, low-flying beings navigating their way through sleep.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.  

 

 

 

 

“as dandelions popped” by Nanette Rayman

Tonight, from a distance, I saw my real life
smiling and walking across the avenue with bells
on, a sound sweet—for her—like the birds chirping
at the last moment of Layla. And without a sound
the blue-green brush strokes of sad altostratus
clouds crosshatched the whole sky. A cassowary
lost its quillish feathers in New Guinea, feet left
to kick anyone in its path and a fortune-teller
heavy with turquoise in a long flowing skirt looked
at me for a long moment. On the other side
of the Atlantic,  the Isle of Hebrides took
on sun and people cried, weathered houses
tilting in the wind, and eyes hooded by hands
ready to caress wives and husbands as I sat
down floppily on an old bench as dandelions
popped, as pink pansies blossomed fuchsia,
resigned and overwhelmed as the human soul.

Nanette Rayman, author of Shana Linda, Pretty Pretty and Project: Butterflies—Foothills Publishing. Winner of the Glass Woman Prize, included in Best of the Net 2007, DZANC Best of the Web 2010 is published in Stirring’s Steamiest Six, featured in Up the Staircase Quarterly. Other publications include: Sugar House Review, Worcester Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Little Rose Magazine, Rain, Poetry & Disaster Society, Pedestal, DMQ, carte blanche, Oranges & Sardines, Sundog, and Melusine.