Dirt to Dust
my father built our house like a tower of horses
brick laid on brick laid on brick
no cement or permanency involved
so it could be dismantled
he took me to the circus where
acrobats balanced precariously
foot on shoulder foot on shoulder
set on a triangular base, strong foundation
support providing support providing support
the house he built had no such base,
sides towering perpendicular, sheer,
a pinnacle in a deep-indigo sky with
sweat dripping off the edge of a cliff
all that was left was a Tower of Babel
tongues galloping away on the wind
accusation heaped upon accusation;
the flap of his uppers
leaving a trail of dirt
Kate Young lives in Kent with her husband and has been passionate about poetry and literature since childhood. Over the last few years she has returned to writing and has had success with poems published in webzines in Britain and internationally. She is a regular reader of The Ekphrastic Review and her work has appeared in response to some of the challenges. Kate is now busy editing her work
and setting up her website. Find her on Twitter @Kateyoung12poet.
For Want of a Jackhammer
I have grown too world-weary to ride Franz Marc’s blue horses. Any thoughts of mounting them one by one and riding off into his vibrant and shifting styles have long been impaled in concrete.
Oh, to behold blue horses like my six-year-old grandson, with whom I saw Marc’s paintings in the Musée de l’Orangerie. For him, everything vibrated under the sweeping yellow curves of an expansive, unrestricted sky.
I put aside what I knew of the artist—that these four horses might be those of the apocalypse or that he would die young—to enter Alex’s imagination.
For him—born 100 years later—Marc’s world abounds with bold colours and whimsical animals. Paintings that invite his fancy to find cows grazing in the angles of a red/green/blue/orange house with a white dog. Or to play hide-and-seek with a horse and rider inserted between cubes of green meadow, yellow field, red woods.
For him, Fauve country with its red monkeys and deer, yellow lions and cows, provides a perfect pasture through which to gallop on the back of a bright blue horse.
Sandi Stromberg, a poet and art enthusiast, cherishes the rare opportunities to experience art through her grandson’s eyes. The 2019 exhibit in Paris of Franz Marc’s paintings was one such special occasion.
The Tower of Blue Horses
The wind blows across the mesa, gathers dust,
gathers grit, gathers hard drops of water.
The wild horses bolt across the mesa, their breath
a ferocious wind. The vast herd--
roan, black, palomino, but the horses in the center,
the horses who control, who tower
above all others, are blue. Their breath hot,
heavy, brutal—burns and torments the herd
around them, the herd prays for succor. Their screams
drown all other sound save the thunder
of their hooves, striking earth, striking rock, as their blue
heads reach into clouds to pull down lightning.
As their heads reach into the clouds to pull down rain.
Rain hard as rocks slams into earth, into
bird and rabbit and coyote. The blue horses
goad their herd to gallop faster, faster
no surcease from their running across the mesa,
no surcease from their tormentors, the towering
blue horses. I watch from a shelter, pray my presence,
my fear remains unseen. And I marvel, I wonder
if that tower of blue horses branded by the heavens
will ever be seen again.
Lenora Rain-Lee Good
Lenora Rain-Lee Good lives by the Columbia River in Richland, Washington. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Quill & Parchment and Five Willows Literary Review, both online literary magazines. Washington 129, a print anthology, and her chapbook, Blood on the Ground: Elegies for Waiilatpu. She has been an author and editor in the aerospace industry, and an instructor in the WAC. Besides writing and selling her poetry, she has sold novels, radio plays, photographs, and even a quilt.
On the Spectrum of Visible Light
In the caves of Lascaux,
the painters used no blue.
Homer had no word for blue,
which first was named in Egypt.
when the god Amun turned his skin blue
so he could fly invisible in the sky.
The Gullah paint their doors and windows blue
to ward off the spirits of the dead.
Van Gogh used four different blues for the sky
and three others for dunes and sea.
Matisse said a certain blue
penetrates your soul, but which one?
Maybe it’s the blue that Franz Marc chose
for those beautiful sisters, those shy ponies.
Maybe it's a frequency of light
we haven't named yet.
Ed has a chapbook, Owl, and poems in The Ekphrastic Review, New Verse News, Passager, Think, New York Quarterly, Kakalak, Window Cat Press, Kansas Quarterly, Cyclamens and Swords, Poet Lore, Rat’s Ass Review, Homonym Journal, and many others. For 15 years, he taught at the University of Maryland and now is a writer, editor, and writing trainer for various government agencies and large corporations. For the Poetry Society of South Carolina, he runs the Skylark contest for high school poets. Ed lives in Charleston with his wife, Amy Robinson, and their terrier, Edie.
Horses, blue like a dawning sky
dotted with rain clouds here and there,
pregnant with possibilities of rainbows
were last seen in 1945.
One, two, three, four;
clumped together, one upon the other,
all looking sideways
at human stupidity
Oh! Horrors of the war...
They ran away,
ran up the tallest tower
they could find,
to fly for a while
to hit the ground and die
one by one
each in their town pain,
your deepest suffering,
you go through alone
Susma Sharma Gurumayum
Susma Sharma Gurumayum is from India. After receiving a Gold Medal in her Masters in History, she is a Ph.D. Research Scholar in Environmental History. She has won four poetry competitions organized by Kaafiya, a poetry community based in Delhi, India. She loves words.
Richard Garcia's poetry books include The Other Odyssey, Dream Horse Press, 2014, The Chair, BOA 2015, and Porridge, Press 53, 2016. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. He has received several Pushcart nominations and a Pushcart Prize, and has been in Best American Poetry. He lives in Charleston, S.C.
After the Stars Fell
They all stood on a road, on the side of a hill — darkness already
in the forest behind them — dark to the right, dark to the left, and
dark in their manes and tails, even framing their forelocks (some
more than others). And inside this miracle, as always, some horses
shone while others slid snouts even deeper into darkness — and
then the stars, those coal-dusted flakes, began to fall & all heads
turned. Freeze frame. And please note — there, in the upper right,
that smallest horse — the one who wears his star like a prickled
crown — with ‘I-will-stand-here-no-matter-what’ — while others shy
or sniff air or stand there blinded by the light. Proving, once again,
it just might be this little guy we need
Helen Brandenburg's poems have won The Poetry Society of SC’s most prestigious award and have appeared in Best American Poetry blog as well as such journals as Pirene’s Fountain. A former ballet dancer, teacher, and director, she was also a long-time English teacher and has read at Piccolo Sundown Poetry. Presently, she is one of Richard Garcia’s Long Table poets in Charleston, SC, where she is waiting out the Virus alone.
Tanka (in Irish and English)
do dhreapas an túr
a shearc, is ní fhaca mé
ach túr ard gorm
is é ag lonrú i gcéin
síos liom ó mo thúr féinig
i climbed the tower
beloved, all that I saw
was another tower
a distant blue glimmering
i descended from my tower
Gabriel Rosenstock is a poet, tankaist, haikuist, playwright, novelist, essayist, short story writer and translator. https://www.rosenstockandrosenstock.com/
Recent video poems with Kashmiri collaborator Masood Hussain:
I grew up with horses--real ones and the ones hanging on our walls engaged in sporty endeavors like fox-hunting or Napoleonic battles. All those horses belonged to my father. I rode the live ones every day, somewhat reluctantly, but I hardly ever glanced at the images except to wonder why people spent time trying to reproduce a creature whose charms so eluded me.
Years later I saw the Blue Horse I. It was my neighbour across the street in the Lenbachhaus in Munich, where it shared wall space with a tiger and a yellow cow, all painted by Franz Marc. I loved its insult to naturalism, this horse of a different color, so chunky and confident within an indeterminate environment invented by Marc, so well-rounded as it blended into the improbably colorful rolling hills behind it. I should have visited more often.
Further down the street at the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, this postcard version of A Tower of Blue Horses was waiting for me to stop by. I never did. I might have been able to hold it in my hands, as I did the many Dürer engravings housed there. I might have smiled at a stack of blue horses so lovingly reproduced for Marc’s poet friend who lived in Berlin at the time.
What if the postman had stolen this postcard on its way to her? A fan of horses or the colour blue who just couldn’t resist? It might be living out its decomposition between the dry pages of a scrapbook in an attic somewhere. Or it might have been destroyed in the bombing of Berlin. Or it might show up any day now on a flea-market table.
That never happened. The postcard found its way to its addressee and then back to Munich, thanks to the generosity of Else Lasker-Schüler, the poet who received it back in early 1913. She would go on to live a long, eventful life. The sender Franz Marc would die three years later on a World War I battlefield.
The postcard was a study for his monumental work, The Tower of Blue Horses, which disappeared after 1945. The composition for that painting is already evident in the postcard, but the finished painting moved radically away from the stuffy sweet circus atmosphere of the miniature, to a more dynamic, action-packed angular, almost cubist, depiction of blue horses in bright sunlight.
When Wassily Kandinsky painted his Blue Rider in 1903, only the rider’s coat was blue. Unlike Picasso who was already deep into the funk of his Blue Period, Kandinsky and Marc were not yet bending nature to their wills or draping anything in blue. But later, the colour blue would come to symbolize for them an imminent ‘epoch of Great Spirituality,’ which never materialized. Kandinsky said as much in the first Blue Rider almanac published in 1912.
I wonder what it is about a blue horse that won me over when all the pictures I grew up with left me cold. The blue in Marc’s horses is definitive, a pure blue that requires no qualifying adjective like ‘dark’ or ‘light’ or ‘marine’, a powerful blue seldom seen in nature and never on a horse. Maybe it’s the joyous impossibility of the image that lifts me up.
Many things that aren’t blue can become blue. The feathers of a raven in the sun are touched with blue highlights. Mountains at dusk take on a bluish hue. But Marc’s blue, so boldly blue, is an anomaly. It imbues that creature with an appeal that makes me think, ‘Who wouldn’t want to ride a blue horse into the sunset?’
Brooks Riley is a regular contributor to 3 Quarks Daily, where she covers many subjects, including art.
the tower of blue horses
in the museum of reclining light
above wild service trees and green evening
the fading azure underside of city engines
dark grey fascias sapping light from statues
the moon is lolling in her hammock
in her roll on / roll off lighthouse dress
above the spiralling streets of runaway passions
by steel grey canals and depots
the last of the old heaven
amusement arcades makeshift fairground buildings
beneath the diamante sky
trick riders sometimes alight
from their superstitions and lightening acrobatics
for the luminous parade of marshes
in their frayed summer silks
the inside of a tent holds its own silence
gradually knowing the performers of dark
the silver glamour
of dancing blue horses
all rise and fall and rhythm
the horses are many
and you must through experience understand
their power is through their kindness alone
Deborah Sibbald lives and works in London, and some of her poems have appeared online and print.
Galloping slumber rides
Night mares journey
Towards the crescent crone
As body stills
And breathing slows
Gate of waking
Path to freedom
Divining wild range
Of image and omen
A sounding stampede
Vulnerable shadows cast
Out of darkness
Will be known
Stare down the dreamer
Until the hag releases
Fear cut down
Under the sickle moon
Amanda Chandler’s muse kindles her passion for poetry and education. She believes the most important lessons in life can rarely be found in a textbook. This is why she shares her experience and distinct perspective through poetry. Her work has previously been published by The Ekphrastic Review and will appear in The Voices Project later this year.
A quadriga of horses about to be sacrificed,
not to the sun this time, but to war
their light-blue embodiment –
the colour of longing
sprinkled with stars and half crescents,
the runes of an illustrious past
their heavily muscled necks and softly curved
heads turned away from the future
while darkness seeps in from the edges
like gas filling a void
a void, that sinks over trenches to be jumped,
to a place where heavy artillery shreds blue longing
and tanks loom out of the dark
to where their own death is waiting –
eight million-fold – in the wings.
Barbara Ponomareff lives in southern Ontario, Canada. By profession a child psychotherapist, she has been delighted to pursue her life-long interest in literature, art and psychology since her retirement.
The first of her two published novellas dealt with a possible life of the painter J.S. Chardin. Her short stories, memoirs and poetry have appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies. At present, she is translating modern German poetry.
My Ancestors Send Me Dreams
I am a tribe of one –
my own elder,
my own shaman,
my own voice chanting nonstop
in the cave of my skull.
For four nights, four horses
have gathered on the horizon,
painted blue by dusk,
untroubled by any idea
North, South, East, West –
standing together, a towering
totem, all looking toward me.
Maybe they’ll come back
tomorrow and tomorrow
until we are one.
Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. For Alarie, looking at art is the surest way to inspire a poem, so she’s made The Ekphrastic Review home for four years. She was honoured to receive one of the Fantastic Ekphrastic Awards for 2020. Alarie hopes you’ll check out her poetry books on the Ekphrastic Book Shelf and visit her at alariepoet.com.
Four Scenes, Two Friends, One Postcard: a fiction concerning an illustrated card sent to poet and playwright, Else Lasker-Schüler by the artist, Franz Marc
1. Berlin, Spring 1916
Else has placed his postcards across the table, like a set of well-thumbed tarots. Outside, rain. It beats on glass; windowpanes blur. She must not splash tears on these scraps of him. Eyes closed, she slides her hand, fingers, picks.
The Tower of the Blue Horses
Why this card? One look at it is enough. She imagines Franz on horseback, hears shell blasts, chokes on acrid air. She fancies red is seeping across its background, blood covering the blues. This postcard now seems like some ghastly premonition. Did he join up so that he might die?
She squirrels his sketch away, slipping the pack into a box, far away from damp walls. Nothing is certain anymore. War. How she hates it! Anything might happen to his canvases at such a time. She must keep his sketches safe. She will keep his work alive. No crying. A writer must write. She must send a message to Maria who sacrificed her art for Franz and now he is gone!
But Else can keep on writing to him. Why not? She smooths a sheet of crumpled paper, writes. Her tears smear the ink.
2. Braquis, in Verdun, France, March 4, 1916
A horse rears, writhes in hell; gallops away shell-shocked, blood-soaked, riderless.
3. Berlin, January 1913.
A cold day; a rickety chair. Else plumps a cushion; it is moth-eaten. She loathes these dismal lodgings. Wrapped in clashing layers, she shivers as she picks up his postcard again.
By a miserable fire, she soon warms to his familiar handwriting, takes delight that he addresses her as ‘Prince Yusuf’: her imagination is so much richer than reality, as Franz readily acknowledges. She studies the sketch, admiring colours, lines, shapes. Her thumb nail traces ink-scratched stars, two crescent moons; her favourite symbols. She sighs; such a wonderful gift and something else of his to treasure. Dear Franz is so intense, though she wishes he would talk less about the prospect of war; life is unsettling enough. She returns to the sketch, puzzles over patterns of stars that look like scars, considers the lack of red. She imagines the great canvas that will surely follow this year, pictures it in a gallery; his masterpiece.
4. Bavaria, New Year 1913
Franz already has the idea but there are still so many studies to do.
In his mind’s eye, four horses; blue, masculine and spiritual, tower-stacked, one above the other; a yellow feminine sensual sky; black- grey blotches for landscape; blue horses will fill the page, bring his sketch alive. Horses in motion, moving forward like his art must, like the world must….
Maria sets out paper, card, brushes, pencil, knife, gouache, ink, water pot, liquid. Once all is in order, she leaves. Franz begins.
He marks curves, lines; dab-brush-paint, dip-brush-water, brush-paper; swirl colour with water; shapes appearing. Four horse heads, eyes in one direction; these beasts are strong, in harmony with moons, with stars. Swift sweeping lines; so much tension to release in this wait for war. In this sketch, the future; in fast blue strokes, the apocalypse. Out of conflict, change; after chaos, a new order with new art!
Done! He places his study to dry. For once, he is satisfied with his effort. Each time he paints his composition, his ideas for this next canvas become clearer.
Maria brings in a pot of coffee. She praises his sketch and hands over Else’s New Year card that has arrived this morning. Franz is distraught: he has failed to send her a card! How could he? Else is his muse, his sounding-board, his kindred spirit; she will be mortified without a greeting! Maria suggests that he can send today’s sketch. After all, he can easily do another one. It is his canvases that will last, not his scribbles.
Franz readily agrees. His sketch will make Else happy. He embraces his wife, declaring that he can never manage without her. He will write the message at once. Maria kisses his cheek, gathers his used brushes to wash, before hurrying away to find the address of Else’s latest lodging house.
Once more, Franz reaches for pen and ink.
Dorothy Burrows enjoys writing flash fiction, poetry and short plays. Earlier this year, her flash fiction appeared online at https://writingatthebeachhut.org. She also won a flash fiction challenge in Mslexia’s newsletter. Four of her short audio scripts are to be found in a permanent installation in a museum in Oxfordshire . She tweets: @rambling_dot
My hair blows in the wind as my stallion Max jumps over the wooden fence high in the air. The sky is cloudless and the sun beams on my face, the warmth of the heat soothing. Max keeps up the pace and I bounce lightly with every movement, free and calm.
Max is my joy and I raised him from a colt. He has a beautiful thick mane and his all black hair shines in the sunlight.
When I was a child, I accidentally dropped a bucket of blue paint and it splashed his body. It took over a week for the blue to wear off. Even then, he was beautiful.
He slows, turns with my direction and heads to the barn. He neighs and I rub his head. Max, my favourite of all the horses.
The greatest gift from my father.
Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher
Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher has been writing since 2010 and has had many micro-flash fiction stories published. In 2018 she published Shorts for the Short Story Enthusiasts, and The Importance of Being Short, in 2019. She currently resides on Long Island, New York with her husband Richard and dogs Lucy and Breanna.
Blue Tower Falls
Hunting rifle blasts, red deer bounce and shriek. Knife grallochs. Horse One collapses, blue, into burning grass. Blood splatters earth.
Rustler mutilates rabbits deep in the forest, discards entrails and organs that poison the ground. Horse Two eats, turns blue and dies. Blood stains earth.
Culler catches badgers in their ancient setts, dispatches them. Horse Three, foot mangled in a trap, lies blue, festering to death. Blood seeps sobbing into earth.
Lumberjack with chainsaw wreaks carnage on trees. Horse Four, rolls over, blue. Blood swirls and scolds earth. We blanch and turn our faces, close our eyes, bow our heads.
Helen has been published on several sites such as Ink, Sweat and Tears, Red River Review, Barren Magazine, The Drabble, Sukoon and The Ekphrastic Review. Her instagram page is @chemchemi.hf. She lives in Durham, England.
The Blue Meadow
Four horses started appearing in our back field, like blue ghosts. They would follow each other and pause to graze, their heads quietly bowing as if in prayer. They kissed me with their eyes every time they looked up, little stars emanating from their manes and finding my cheek. The blue of the sky seemed to match the blue of their smooth, shining coats, but I knew that this was impossible. My vision must have blurred, or perhaps I was seeing their aura of cobalt purpose and authentic voice. I brought my morning tea with me and a book to read, just to be close to their essence of freedom and gliding movements. Soon, their collective muse energy inspired writing, and every poem was infused with a spectrum of blue. I wrote about blue jays, cornflowers, the wide cerulean sea, the melancholy moods of winter mornings, and the hopefulness of cloudless, robin’s egg skies. Blue now lived inside of me. So did the stars from my cheeks. I walked with feet that knew the salt of the ocean. My hair swayed in the wind as if lifted by wings. I took time to pause and listen to my heart’s morning song. The meadow only emptied of all things blue, when my pages were filled. For weeks after the horses left, I could still hear their hoofbeats. I could still smell the scent of cornflowers. Anticipation is my companion. I now wait for mandalas of color to gallop to my door.
Cristina M. R. Norcross
Cristina M. R. Norcross is the author of eight poetry collections and was the editor of Blue Heron Review (2013-2020). Her latest book is Beauty in the Broken Places (Kelsay Books, 2019). Cristina’s poems have been published, or are forthcoming, in: Visual Verse, Red Cedar, Your Daily Poem, Right Hand Pointing, The Ekphrastic Review, and Pirene’s Fountain, among others. Her work also appears in numerous print anthologies. She has helped organize community art and poetry projects, has led workshops, and has also hosted many open mic poetry readings. Cristina is the co-founder of Random Acts of Poetry and Art Day. Find out more: www.cristinanorcross.com
We all have a dream, all children do anyway. Only as we grow older does the dream tend to tarnish, to recede into a future where it is immature and unreasonable to hope in what the child accepted as a possibility. Tarik was small enough to cling to the bridle of his dream because it was bright and wild and free, all that life was not. Had never been. He remembered the stones, the scrub that the goats stripped and never got any fatter. He remembered playing with the other boys until their games could no longer make the stomach pains go away or make the eyes of his small sisters less wide and empty. He had never looked back on the long walk to the coast.
Now home was the tent, a tent too small to shelter them all, food never enough to feed them all. There was no privacy, no quiet, no respect. His older sister had been stolen by someone in the camp and when she crawled back, Tarik’s father had not wanted to forgive her. Shame was the strongest emotion he possessed. He clung to it like Tarik clung to his dream. Tarik resolved never to make his father ashamed of him.
Before them, somewhere, they said, he believed, was the magical blue sea, and beyond that, a place where there were houses and markets and clean water. But all he could see was the camp, a desert of tents, noise and unhappiness, and behind them was bleak desert and the antipathy of people who were not their own people. Tarik’s father wanted to take them to the place over the sea, but places in the boats cost money. He had a little, but not enough. That was how Tarik came to be alone with his father and the soldier-man, the man with quick eyes and a rifle.
Tarik’s father kept his hand on his shoulder, clutching hard, so hard Tarik felt his fear and distress and his shame that he had not enough money for more than one place in the boat. The shame flowed, and Tarik bowed his head as if he was responsible. He didn’t follow the furtive exchange, the unfolded bank notes, the swift calculation. His father told him to go, pushed him towards the soldier-man. His eyes flashed briefly in the dark.
Tarik gathered his dream about him, let the flanks of the herd press him about with their protective warmth, jostling in a friendly way as he climbed into the boat and lay down with him when he curled up in the bottom, keeping him out of the way of shuffling feet and out of sight of the soldier-men and the other hard-eyed men who peered at him to see if he had a bundle of belongings. When he dared to raise his head, his father had gone.
The sea was not blue. It was black as the night was black and the faces about him were black and the sky above was black. He closed his eyes to try to ignore the heaving that made him sick, that made everyone else sick. He adjusted the rolling of the waves to the rolling gait of a blue horse, rode with the herd, one with them, colour of the sky with the sun in it. When the rolling grew wilder and the sick people began to wail with fear, he opened his eyes. It was still dark, but he could see that the soldier-men had gone and that made Tarik afraid, even though he had learned that men with rifles were to be feared.
The boat reared and bucked like an unbroken horse, and the fear of the grown-ups was the most desolate sound he had ever heard. There was no hope in it, no comfort. It was bitter as the salt water and as cold. He curled back up in the bottom of the boat among the legs and feet that would not be still, curled up against the flanks of his blue horses, felt their sweet horse breath in his hair, their soft noses nuzzling his face. And in the blackest, wildest moment of the night when the rolling tipped the world into chaos and set the herd galloping, Tarik clung to the mane of his horse. He clung with his knees to the broad back and felt the sliding of powerful horse muscles carrying him away from the desperate cries, the screaming when death comes, and across the blue horse-running prairie of his dream.
Jane Dougherty lives and works in southwest France. Her poems and stories have been published in magazines and journals including Ogham Stone, Hedgerow Journal, Visual Verse, ink sweat and tears, Eye to the Telescope, Nightingale & Sparrow, the Drabble, Lucent Dreaming and The Ekphrastic Review. She has a well-stocked blog at https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/
The Healing of Emptiness
They pause, pulling me into their blue mystery,
blooming like wings beneath the stars.
I want to ride their secrets,
breathe deeply of their galaxies,
sing their night songs while rising
into spacious silence--I want to explode and fly.
I want to open my eyes deeper and deeper,
surrendering to the illumination of their golden manes,
unholding my fears. I want to open all the portals
that cannot be closed by doors, by darkness, or by doubt.
I want to return with them to the landscape
that exists beyond what I can understand.
A resident of NYC, Kerfe Roig makes art from the interaction of images and words.
Kyle Laws is based out of Steel City Art Works in Pueblo, CO where she directs Line/Circle: Women Poets in Performance. Her collections include Ride the Pink Horse (Stubborn Mule Press, 2019), Faces of Fishing Creek (Middle Creek Publishing, 2018), This Town: Poems of Correspondence with Jared Smith (Liquid Light Press, 2017), So Bright to Blind (Five Oaks Press, 2015), and Wildwood (Lummox Press, 2014). With eight nominations for a Pushcart Prize, her poems and essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Germany. She is the editor and publisher of Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press.
Herd of Blue Mares
So very blue.
When life tries to lasso me,
I leap on the leader’s back,
wrap myself in her blue mane.
We race once around the corral,
leap the fence
mount the clouds.
No one can follow. We are
invisible against the blue sky;
riding together to
Joan plays with words on page and stage. Her poetry has been published by The Ekphrastic Review, Hobart Review, Anti-Heroin Chic and many others. Her chapbook, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon is out from Finishing Line. She has two mini chapbooks with ORigami Press, Dancing Under the Moon, and Morning by Morning, and another chapbook, Nature's Gift online with Stanzaic Stylings. Her essays, articles, and fiction are also widely published in English speaking magazines and journals all over the world.
Tower of Horses
Familiar setting, the city night, the dim bar with the lonely hum. There were writers, and drummers, and drifters, and a retired postal service worker. He hadn’t left his seat since noon, or was it yesterday? Against the back wall, an old pinball machine on its last legs, and a poster of Calamity Jane. She balanced a gallon of bourbon casually on one palm. There was a lamp of Lucite horses glowing indigo, a kind of Coney Island carousel, and that is where I knew I would find you, if I ever found you again. You were a little more gaunt and a little more gray, but still you had that sweet and dizzy light in your aura. If I expected you to look up from the same Pessoa paperback I’d always seen in your canvas bag, that isn’t how it went at all. Later you told me you hadn’t read, or written, a word for eleven years. It killed something inside me, even more than your long absence. But in that moment, I forgot everything I’d imagined and saw you watching the entrance as if you were watching for me. I couldn’t help falling backwards, back through all those decades, to how you almost took me on the floor, and then didn’t, and then you never did. I was unbridled and lathered and bruised blue, and made myself an offering to you. Every love I made after that was overshadowed by the moment of abandoned abandon, even if I was the one who got away.
Lorette C. Luzajic
Lorette C. Luzajic is an award-winning artist whose works have been collected in over 25 countries. She also writes, usually about art. Her most recent book is Pretty Time Machine: ekphrastic prose poems. Lorette is the founder and editor of The Ekphrastic Review. Visit her at www.mixedupmedia.ca.
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