Angel circus act? What else would
he dream on the way from Beersheba?
Maybe it was some bad well water?
Or the Negev heat? The rocks for pillows?
But there they were: angel acrobats (easy,
with wings), gymnasts (wings as balance
beams), contortionists (wings a definite
If you think a lot of them fit on the head
of a pin, just imagine loading a ladder
with cherabim (chorists), seraphim
(spotlights), archangelistas (all dolled
up like Ziegfield girls), one per rung,
others hovering about, traffic jam of them.
All excusing themselves. "Pardon." "So
sorry." "A bit busy today, eh?" "Gets worse
as you go higher."
Poor Jacob, suddenly sitting up, rubbing
at the sleep in his eyes, shaking his head,
while, in the back-ground, angels are tugging
on that ladder, gesticulating, giggling,
and Jacob looks up just a second too late
to see the last rung sliding up,
up, into the cumulus.
Roy Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals including The Midwest Quarterly, Kansas City Voices, The North Dakota Review, and I-70 Review, and in anthologies such as "Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems," (Woodley Memorial Press, 2011) and "To the Stars through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga," (Mammoth Press,2012). Two of his poems were nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize competition. His debut collection of poems, "Music I Once Could Dance To," published in 2014 by Coal City Review and Press, was selected as a 2015 Kansas Notable Book Award by the State Library of Kansas and the Kansas Center for the Book.
Wherever I halt, before the cliff
amid the birds, their merciless red legs,
the eye, my eye, returns to specks of flame.
Whatever I smell
salt water, guano, garbage, rot,
the rusty burner or decaying boat
the smoke, a shadowed wing, returns to soot.
And what I hear, ear tuned to scream
the hubbub of those pirate gulls
the roar of gas consumed
is shriek and tide and bird sucked in to shore.
The Bates boy and his oar feed fire’s mouth
beside the effulgent light,
as if the sea scavenged the sun and spat it back
into the foam below a corrugated sky
its blue rubbed into gray by a flue-narrowed plume.
The waves, the shoreline, heaps of junk,
edges incarnate in a black-tipped wing
and what returns is brimstone and a swallowing beak.
Wendy T. Carlisle
Wendy Taylor Carlisle is the author of two books and three chapbooks the most recent Persephone on the Metro, (Mad Hat Books, 2014.) See more about her at www.wendytaylorcarlisle.com
As if the world were a ledge to jump off – leap
into space indigo and swim in all that blue
to the one light hanging
I stroke with your brush through dark cerulean –
your water world gone sky
What colour hope? dipping, feathery sweeps and stroke
stroke to tomorrow in the plum and ultramarine
waves of concord
Venus hanging – the one light you reach toward
Lesley Strutt is Merrickville poet, essayist, novelist, playwright, blogger and professor. Her ancestral roots are Irish and she is a descendant of the Bard of Bytown - William Pitman Lett. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies, journals and e-zines. She recently edited If There is Somewhere to Go, the third collection of open reading poems published in the Living Archives series of the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets, for which Susan McMaster was consulting editor.
Like Prometheus, she would steal
Fire from the gods, she would snatch
Their power to roam free in town.
She would turn the volcano’s cool lava
Into her lioness-land. She would free
Sisyphus from his constant curse, throwing
His rock into an irrational abyss.
Ceaselessly. But she had a child
To educate. So she tamed the stolen
Fire inside her votive lamp, sold
Loom-woven rugs in the market, made
Circe’s savage den into her home
Where she stood tall like a sheath
Of thistle on a sun-drenched heath.
Dr. Emily Bilman is London’s Poetry Society Stanza representative and hosts poetry meetings and seminars in her home in Geneva. Her poetry book in French is entitled La rivière de soi, came out. Poems are published in The London Magazine, Hunger Mountain, Offshoots VII & XII, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Iodine, and The San Diego Annual 2014, Aois 21 Annual in America and The Inspired Heart Vols. 1 & 2, & 3, and Ygdrasil in Canada. Two academic books, The Psychodynamics of Poetry and Modern Ekphrasis were published in 2010 and 2013. Her most recent poetry books are A Woman By A Well and Resilience. The reviews can be read on the Troubador/Matador UK website and on http://www.mciwritershouse.com/emily-bilman.html
The Thistle’s Lament
Those condescending Royals in their pristine
garden, primp and preen among the other flowers.
Their porcelain pale skin so fragile; they make
a wide berth, around me. I feel like a thorn
in their flesh, an oddity at best.
The stately cedar would not deign to give
his daughter to my son, saying she already has
a place at the palaces of kings. I bristle for without
this lowly thistle, their lives would be boring.
Why, they’ll be sorry to find me and my kind
honored on the Highlander’s Royal flag. One day,
my thorn will puncture the proud, topple them from their
high horses. They’ll slow down, their careless
stride and fall, as the thistle's prick is pulled from
their perfumed and powdered rumps.
Kim Patrice Nunez
Kim Patrice Nunez is an accountant and currently lives in Quezon City, Philippines. Writing is her passion. Her earliest works were published in the University of Nueva Caceres newsletter. In the last year she has been published at PoetrySoup, an international poetry site. Her verses have won several poetry writing contests.
Picturesque, but Night
Where is the mother?
One man, two children
one with a red balloon
A ferris wheel and tents
say fair, not satisfactory
The cars remind us
of a history we had to rewrite
So much life is drawn to light
and yet often we are burned
Mark Danowsky’s poetry has appeared in Burningword, Cordite, Grey Sparrow, The Lake, Mobius, Shot Glass Journal, Third Wednesday and elsewhere. Mark is originally from the Philadelphia area, but currently resides in North-Central West Virginia. He works for a private detective agency and is Managing Editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
On the hanger
its shoulders droop,
an empty avatar
of his being.
He wore that jacket
when he raked
leaves. It was his fall
cloak. He cut a strapping
figure—long black pipe
jutting from his mouth
against the moldy mound
he set ablaze when
he was done. That smell
told our lives.
The new people painted
the wall where he hung
his jacket. Mom held onto
that coat until the day
we carried her away.
It still held his smell,
even if she alone
could detect it.
Now he dwells in a frame.
He was a Marine.
Semper Fidelis he’d say
and kiss mom. He never
spoke about the war.
Sycamore shadows splay
across the garage door--
tesserae of light
behind which he
kept the rake along with
his other tools.
Mom holds his picture
in a frame of her
holding his picture.
The paint on the front
railing is chipped. The new
people haven’t gotten
to it yet.
Charles W. Brice
Charles W. Brice’s full length poetry collection, Flashcuts Out of Chaos, will be published by WordTech Editions in June, 2016. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlanta Review, Chiron Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Avalon Literary Journal, Icon, The Paterson Literary Review, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Spitball, Barbaric Yawp, VerseWrights, The Writing Disorder, and elsewhere. He was named an International Merit Award winner in the Atlanta Review’s Poetry 2015 International Poetry Competition.
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Catherine A. Brereton
Charles W. Brice
David C. Brydges
Mary Lou Buschi
Danielle Nicole Byington
Wendy Taylor Carlisle
Fern G. Z. Carr
Tricia Marcella Cimera
SuzAnne C. Cole
Robert L. Dean, Jr.
John Scott Dewey
Catherine Ruffing Drotleff
Suzanne E. Edison
Kurt Cole Eidsvig
Tara A. Elliott
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Ariel Rainer Fintushel
Edward H. Garcia
Adam J. Gellings
Grace Marie Grafton
Emily Reid Green
Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara
Laura Quinn Guidry
Andrea L. Hackbarth
Judith Lee Herbert
A. J. Huffman
Pat Snyder Hurley
Arya F. Jenkins
Brandon D. Johnson
Crystal Condakes Karlberg
Olivia J. Kiers
Loretta Collins Klobah
Kim Peter Kovac
Jean L. Kreiling
Stuart A. Kurtz
Tanmoy Das Lala
John R. Lee
Gregory E. Lucas
Lorette C. Luzajic
M. L. Lyons
Ariel S. Maloney
John C. Mannone
Mary C. McCarthy
Megan Denese Mealor
Patrick G. Metoyer
David P. Miller
Stacy Boe Miller
Mark J. Mitchell
Mark A. Murphy
S. Jagathsimhan Nair
Heather M. Nelson
James B. Nicola
Bruce W. Niedt
Kim Patrice Nunez
M. N. O'Brien
Pravat Kumar Padhy
Daniel J. Pizappi
Melissa Reeser Poulin
Rhonda C. Poynter
Marcia J. Pradzinski
Anita S. Pulier
Amie E. Reilly
Ralph La Rosa
Mary Kay Rummell
Janet St. John
Lisa St. John
Kelly R. Samuels
Christy Sheffield Sanford
Janice D. Soderling
Kim Cope Tait
Mary Ellen Talley
Liza Nash Taylor
Janine Pommy Vega
Sue Brannan Walker
Martin Willitts Jr
William Carlos Williams
Morgan Grayce Willow
Shannon Connor Winward
William Butler Yeats
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