From a book of Scandinavian fairy tales- East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales From the North, by Kay Nielsen, 1914.
Noah's Ark by Barbara Reid- from her children's book, Two by Two.
It used to be presidential
to do hard labor
to pull yourself up
by your bootstraps—an act
which requires the wearing of boots
What’s left is the escape
to spots like Camp David
built in another time
by other hands—similar often
only in following in your father’s footsteps
Mark Danowsky’s poetry has appeared in Alba, Cordite, Grey Sparrow, Mobius, Shot Glass Journal, Third Wednesday and other journals. 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.
The Voyeur’s Plea
The rush of blood to cheek, the widening pupils
glace as the last bit of setting sun—he seeks to waylay.
Oh stay, upon the water-frozen in rouge,
tickled with the fallen lash of brush stoke
upon the quivering Thames.
Sable soft the architectural edges of Old Ben,
the Parliament and the Tower’s horrors
with candy-colored daubs of lavender;
as mistress maid, the night: lips day recedes,
casting down the guise of shyness
with fading shards of impudent
Oh, stroke me so—pleads the voyeur
to bank-born Monet; he douses day
with avatars of nascent night
Deborah Guzzi is a healing facilitator specializing in Shiatsu and Reiki. She writes for Massage and Aromatherapy publications. She travels the world seeking writing inspiration. She has walked the Great Wall of China and visited Nepal (during the civil war), Japan, Egypt (two weeks before “The Arab Spring”), Peru, and France (during December’s terrorist attacks). Her poetry appears in Magazines: here/there: poetry in the UK, Existere - Journal of Arts and Literature in Canada, Tincture in Australia, Cha: Asian Literary Review, Hong Kong, China, Eunoia in Singapore, Latchkey Tales in New Zealand, Vine Leaves Literary Journal in Greece, mgv2>publishing in France, RedLeaf Poetry, India and Travel by the Book, Ribbons: Tanka Society of America Journal, Sounding Review, The Aurorean, Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Liquid Imagination, Poetry Quarterly, and others in the USA.
Almost Surrendered: On Being and Nothingness
The gallery was empty, the artist unknown to us.
Strangers to her work, we walked in quietly,
speaking in whispers about the way she painted
a rich purple aubergine or the clear, shimmering water
in blown-glass bottles. Illusion so real it was perfect.
Her paintings seemed direct but insinuated that
something might be hidden just beyond our view.
From fruits and windows, vegetables and doorways,
suddenly there was a room full of large paintings of figures,
mostly nudes with evocative names like “Pieta” or
“Architecture of the Perfect Man.”
We stopped in front of one called “The Marriage.”
It showed two figures lost in thought, in separate worlds.
It reminded me of what marriage is like for some after
so many years together. Still, silence doesn’t always speak
of distance but of an understanding of hearts.
And there, on the left wall, was “Almost Surrendered.”
A pale naked woman with arms by her side, palms stretched up
in prayer or supplication. She was translucent, existing half here,
half there. Behind her was a closed window. She wore a gold chain.
Was she a memory, a body giving way to death or being reborn?
Or was this ghostly surrender all illusion, a message
to women who have given too much of themselves?
A woman who had lost herself in trying to be everything.
Could she be a dream?
You moved on to the next picture and then the next,
but I stood there staring at this vanishing woman and
wondered who it was who really had surrendered.
Was she any woman?
Could she be me?
You reappeared, and together we moved on.
This time round, I found myself thinking about windows
in pictures, of what lay beyond the glass the artist
drew, surrendering myself to what she didn’t show,
what she concealed in her mind like a stage curtain pulled back
just enough to hint that maybe others stood on the other
side, looking back at us from a completely different angle.
Would they study us closely, marveling at our verisimilitude?
the lovely glazes of colour so skillfully applied, built up so
carefully to a level of opacity that suggested real inner depth?
Would they compare us to the other figures in the gallery
and wonder why we were not painted as a man and a woman
fading from view, surrendering to a love spoken in silence?
Mary Kendall is a poet and a retired teacher who lives with her husband and dog in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her chapbook, Erasing the Doubt, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press, and she is the co-author of A Giving Garden (© 2007), a children’s book based on one of her poems. Mary Kendall has a weekly poetry practice blog: A Poet in Time: http://apoetintime.com. Mary loves to travel, garden, meditate and read.
Edinburg: Gauguin’s Vision of the Sermon
Draw closed the red curtain.
With shut eyes who’s to say you’re not
beatific. A flutter of little feathers
round the squint.
Monsieur saw our palm to palm faith
felt his own lack gnaw so fed it oils
gave us sumo in a red ring—
pure vermilion he used— to quicken
attention weak for its rapture. Within
wrestlers waver in the clinch— archangel
rooted, gripping opponent at the brink
of topple, though outspread wings hinder
the headlock. A tree tethers one arc
of arena, its green sky tints our skin
and bonnets curved like vertebrae
for green’s opposition makes red fervent
as ache does pleasure. The binary push-pull,
the dogged struggle for upperhand.
Susan Buis studied visual art in Saskatoon and creative writing in Long Beach, California. She lives in the hills outside Kamloops BC, where she walks every day. Her writing has appeared in literary journals including Prairie Fire, Event, The Fiddlehead, and The Malahat Review. She teaches English at Thompson Rivers University and is a member/researcher of TRU’s Walking Lab.
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