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Monday, March 31, 2014


by Phyllis Wax

They keep searching the seas:
the Bay of Bengal, the Gulf of Thailand,
the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean.
Might as well look in Lake Michigan.

No terrorists on board, no hijackers.
Two good pilots—a grandfather and
a young man looking forward to marriage.
Only good people (ask the relatives,
wailing and weeping), a planeload
of concentrated goodness
from Asia, Australia, Europe
and North America.  Where
could they possibly be?

I know.  A night flight.
Two pilots, heads in the clouds.                        
One gives a nod, turns                   
off the transponder.  The plane
rises to 45,000 feet, 60,000, higher—
approaches the glowing face of God.         

Phyllis Wax muses on the news and politics from a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, WI.  She's been widely published, most recently in  The Widows' Handbook:  Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival from Kent State University Press.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


by B.Z. Niditch

Image source: Poets for World Peace

This spring we plant
on grounds that flower
covering the good earth,
and write in splendor
by our night lamps
as a new season rebirths
each poet's power,

Asking winter's icy justice
be gone this season
we reach  for deadlines
over a stalking press
to stamp out
in bold headlines
every reasoned grievance,

Yet the bureaucracy
drives us crazy
making us wait
in the cold for hours
and the plutocracy
ignores our pleas
for democracy,

We learn from Byron
Picasso or Shelley
with a artist's chance
for a dove's release
under the burning sun
when frightful furies
ask for war
we yearn
to walk for peace.

B.Z. Niditch is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher.  His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii Review; Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Le Guepard (France);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


by Susan Vespoli

            (after Lucille Clifton)

........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
..........''...\.......... _.·´

watch out for online lips.
they need no face
to move around on.
they speak in virtual blips
from keyboard
cell phone screens
they tweet and twitter
spit. those lips

are chicken clicks
they snap their words like whips
flip posts like middle finger.

Susan Vespoli
lives mainly in Phoenix, but sometimes in Prescott, with her partner and dogs. She is a teacher, poet, and born-again-bicyclist.

Friday, March 28, 2014


by Kristina England

Last night, I forced myself into slumber
as a nine alarm fire left my State in grief,
two Boston firemen perishing in the ashes.
Now, sky-based for five hours,
I click the internet icon on my phone
receive no connection.
Too cheap to pay for inflight service,
I know nothing of the ground,
of my family, my country,
only of what I see -
the periwinkle sky,
my unfinished seltzer,
aircrew maneuvering the aisle,
and my travel buddy, one Deb Fisher,
her head tilted to the right,
arms crossed,
the soft breath of sleep
moving her forward in time.

Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her fiction and poetry is published or forthcoming at Gargoyle, The New Verse News, The Story Shack, The Quotable, and other magazines. Her first collection of short stories will be published in the 2014 Poet's Haven Author Series.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


by Tricia Knoll

Image: A pool in the Sacramento River where young salmon were stranded last year (Fish and Wildlife Service via KQED)

                           California Drought Has Salmon Hitching Rides in Trucks 
                                                                 --Bloomberg News, March 26, 2014

Oh, as rare as hen’s teeth, or when pigs fly
under a rain of cats and dogs and the horse in my pasture
is purple.

Or as surprising as the black President
and peace in the Middle East.

When fish ride bicycles,
there are so many fish
so far to go

thirty million salmon grab taxis
from Sacramento to the sea.

Tricia Knoll
had a salmon omelet for breakfast. She writes poetry in Portland, Oregon and has a chapbook Urban Wild coming out in May from Finishing Line Press.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


by Gary Bowers

Massive Nor’easter bigger than Hurricane Sandy expected to bring winds, snow, cold blast to Northeast for late March. Posted on March 25, 2014 by Anthony Watts on Watts Up With That?

We do warm.
Some soon day, when cataclysm is a daily thing,
The managers-by-crisis of our orbiting home
Might scatter squares of molecular-malleable metal
In a greatcoat for the Earth
Above the atmosphere.

We may cool.
Since weather is, in an interrelationship this size,
Irreducible to a set of equations,
There are bound to be consequences
No software simulation nor flight of fancy
May anticipate.

We may learn,
In the greatcoat shadow,
New transient joy
Of occluded sun and eclipted moon
Before the next
And final crisis.

Gary Bowers is a northern-Arizona poet whose specialties are acrostic, illustrated verse and the sonnet form. He is the author of Lives of the Eminent Poets of Greater Phoenix: Volume I. He lives happily with his collagist girlfriend Denise and their cat Cookie in Cottonwood, Arizona.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


by Cally Conan-Davies

When we met the moon was over the house.
Now the house is gone beneath the mountain,
And night drops weeping through the broken day.
On the ground the mired leaves of autumn
move in the drying wind, and blow away.

Cally Conan-Davies hails from Tasmania, and now lives in the Pacific North West. Her work can be read now, or soon, in The Able Muse, Angle, The Hudson Review, Kin, Lavender Review, Mezzo Cammin, The New Criterion, New Walk, Poetry, Quadrant, Raintown Review, The Sewanee Review, Shotglass, Southwest Review, Suptropics, Virginia Quarterly Review.

Monday, March 24, 2014


by Martin Elster

A hundred thousand million galaxies
in motley clusters rapidly receding
from one another — like a bunch of bees
repelled by tainted nectar they’d been eating —
is a sure sign the cosmos is inflating,
as is the vocal structure of the frog
now calling out across the water, waiting,
as patient as the shadows in this bog.
With every croak, his throat must grow then shrink.
But will that happen to the universe?
Well, you can speculate and muse and think
and theorize and wonder and immerse
your thoughts in such abstract considerations
while I sit listening to frog vibrations.

Martin Elster, author of There’s a Dog in the Heavens!, serves as percussionist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and is a composer; his poetry has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


by Kathleen Capps

Shots fired as Russian troops force their way into Ukrainian base in Crimea --Financial Times, March 22, 2014

Long ago with eyes aflame,
Keen his claws, monster came.
We have only fists to sing
We have only stones to sling.

No one calls to freedom bring
We have only fists to sing.
In the Square we’re beaten down
A Savior no where to be found
Monster monster burning bright
With all the diamonds in the night
Sitting on your jeweled throne
Dark and evil is your crown.

Whiffle your wings through tulgy wood
Manxsome Moscow foe, no good
To Crimea or Ukraine in breaking laws.
Only blood drips from those claws.

Kathleen Capps received a PhD from the University of Oregon in English; studied French, Spanish, German, Czech, Polish, and American Sign Language; presented conference papers at international semiotic studies and comparative literature studies conferences; raised Icelandic sheep for thirteen years; sometimes blogs about the farm.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


by Tricia Knoll

It started with stamps, that brainstorm to sell U. S. stamps with no imprint
of cost -- forever-good stamps. Flags. Shirley Chisholm. Ray Charles. Year
of the Horse stamps with no horses on them. Four-color winter flowers
and Harry Potter. The images seem to have a shelf-life of somewhat less
than forever, but maybe not. American culture is funny about cults.

There are some for-real forever stamps -- and the price is rising on them
too. Cesspools of nuclear waste no one wants in their backyard. Good-by
passenger pigeons. Black rhinos. Leatherback turtles. Mountain gorillas.
Children without food. Families with no homelands. Farmland poisoned
beyond use by nuclear accidents. Plant pollen that is genetically ready
for the round up season of pesticides.

You lick it. You stick it. Pick the self-adhesive. Stick it to you.
The cost is going up again soon.

Tricia Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet who enjoys The New Verse News daily. Her chapbook Urban Wild will be available from Finishing Line Press  in May 2014.

Friday, March 21, 2014


by Sadie Ducet


In my mind’s eye, I have been standing here all week, 
standing vigil: no signs, no chant or song, no ranting shirts. 
Stone-faced, yes, but here must be no hate.
I clear the space. And there are others, also standing. 
In my mind’s eye, we stand for hours, days, attentive
to know the place with its chill small breezes, 
the squirrels and mice, songbirds at dawn, 
the occasional crepuscular fox glimpsed 
among trees and grasses. We prepare together
for what must happen as stars wheel over:
the crew digging the hole, and one
who pisses into it, knowing who it’s for.  

They arrive in procession with the body.  
Together they lower that mad man down. 
His hurt and hungers, whatever they were, now done. 
A few words said, they leave. The backhoes fill the gape. 
Then all are gone, save those who keep this vigil.  
We remain, to stand there, still, invisible as night comes on.     
     Then give us signs and signifiers now,     
     to quiet this mound of earth and heal the scar,     
     to keep such pain from ever seeping back.  

But it’s too late for that. All we can do
is offer a smaller prayer: cover over. 
Take him in, this broken old man who hated. 
May he know peace at last, in dust. 
May the rest of us know more than rest. 
Plant a yew tree, a poem, to mark this place. 
Then let earth do what it does best.

Sadie Ducet's poetry appears in a few places, including New Verse News, Literary Mama, Rose Red Review, and the upcoming issue of The Mom Egg Review. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014


by The Bangkok Bards Saknarin Chinayote & Charles Frederickson

Four seasons almost perfect harmony
Classic movement symphony left unfinished
Predictably never skipping its turn
Annual rejuvenated hope weeds overgrown

One eye sees the other
Feel lost touch sensually regained
Breathlessly inhaling exhaling deeply again
Awakening passionate urges lust yawning

Wondering why you were born
Celebrating revived roots coming alive
Patiently awaiting final snowflake meltdown
Spring sprang sprung tightly wound

Unmistakable scent stale dirt clumps
Seedlings poking through frostbite bitten
Prickly rosebuds arise spirit risen
Barefoot miracle right on schedule

Turning shiny countenance toward sun
Warm embrace hugging droopy lids
Faithfully planting seedpods reaps harvest
At least one more time

Pre-compressed helical spring stretching gravitation
Toying with divine levitation tension
Reforming itself under own momentum
Flowing curves regaining original shape

No Holds Bard Dr. Charles Frederickson and Mr. Saknarin Chinayote proudly present YouTube mini-movies @ YouTube – CharlesThai1 .

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


by Jim Gustafson

“What if I believe into this just because it is beautiful?” --Andrei Dmitriyevich Linde upon being told that his theory of the “inflationary universe” (The Big Bang) has been confirmed.  March 17, 2014

What if we believe
into this just because
it is beautiful?

Is that enough, or was
there more for us
to hope for.

Not many can place their life
in just one thing. Perhaps
science is poetry, after all.

One day, will our words
be measured at the earth’s pole?
Will come to the door

and say, what you have
believed into
has been proven true?

Jim Gustafson’s most recent book, Driving Home, was published by Aldrich Press in 2013 and is a 2013 Pushcart Prize Nominee. He is an MFA candidate at the University of Tampa, teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University and lives in Fort Myers, Florida, where he reads, writes, and pulls weeds.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


by David Chorlton

Between the disappearance
and the find, there is a time
imagination flies
to an altitude above
unhappiness or discontent

and circles the globe
following the possibility
that nothing is wrong, that
the pilot simply tired
of gravity and when
his announcement was broadcast
in the cabin, all

the passengers applauded.
A wonderful lightness
took hold at a cruising speed
of survival with a view
down on the earthly struggle
where bad news

is the only kind expected,
but waiting for a signal
we can watch

for the perpetual flight
passing overhead: a silver
arrow pointing
at beyond, at
wherever it is
such freedom ends.

David Chorlton has lived in Phoenix since 1978, and still sees his surroundings with an outsider's eye. This helps his writing projects, which include a new poetry collection,"The Devil's Sonata," from FutureCycle Press.

Monday, March 17, 2014


by Laura Rodley

'Spring Lamb' by Cliff Donaldson, Northern Ireland. Image source: IFAJ

Where the little people ride the wee lambs
round the pasture, down the locks, through the jams
to the high circle on top the hill, where
clouds touch the earth and angels’ long, long hair
is roped into ladders by leprechauns there
to swing on, smoke their tiny pipes, no swipes
at other wee people, just the big hypes
that close their eyes to the wee one’s presence,
but there he sits, swinging, lambs leaping, rents
in the primroses, a tasty fare, then
rosy fingers of morning cover them.
Leprechauns leaps upon lambs’ back, through fence,
hazelnuts, past loch, jams, through the long rents
leprechauns tore for their jaunt, recompense   
the gold they lay by the bleating ewes’ nest
gold that can only be found by those that
believe wee people exist, and prat-
tle out loud asking for their small favors,
granted if the leprechaun so savors.

Laura Rodley’s New Verse News poem “Resurrection” appears in The Pushcart Prlze XXXVII: Best of the Small Presses (2013 edition). She was nominated twice before for the Prize as well as for Best of the Net. Her chapbook Rappelling Blue Light, a Mass Book Award nominee,  won honorable mention for the New England Poetry Society Jean Pedrick Award. Her second chapbook Your Left Front Wheel is Coming Loose was also nominated for a Mass Book Award and a L.L.Winship/Penn New England Award. Both were published by Finishing Line Press.  Co-curator of the Collected Poets Series, she teaches creative writing and works as contributing writer and photographer for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.  She edited As You Write It, A Franklin County Anthology, Volume I and Volume II.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


by Richard O'Connell

After "Apocalipse" by Domingos Carvalho Da Silva*

Video: "Apocalypse Lullaby" by The Wailin' Jennys, from their 2006 album, Firecracker.

Because the moon is bright and the night
Is simply announcing the dawn
And because the sea is hardly the sea
And the hose doesn't weep on the lawn

And because we've fouled the water and air
In this best of all possible hells
And because the light is simply a vibration
That excites our nervous cells

And because rock music hurts our ears
And the wind plays an aeolian harp
And because the earth breeds plenty of snakes
And goldfish are only carp

And because the plane is about to depart
And the raven repeats nevermore
And because we have to sit here and smile
Before the final big encore

And  because yesterday does not exist
And the future will never come
And because we are doing a ballet
On the pin of the Hydrogen Bomb

Let's not rush to the wall and weep
And tear our hair and bewail our fate
We did as well as anyone could
Given our love and hate

And because we are pathetic clowns
Confronting the Apocalypse
Caught in the ruins of a collapsing world
Between earthquake and eclipse

Let's dance high on the hurricane deck
Before the ship slopes under our feet
Let's soak up the wealth of the sun
Before it loses its light and heat

Let's laugh at the whole wide universe
In our eyes reflected
When we close our lids it will be
As if it never existed

Let our laughter crackle across the cosmos
Where galaxies scatter and dim
Since win or lose we only leave
A trace of ash on the wind

*Domingos Carvalho Da Silva,  prominent  Brazilian modernist poet (1915-2004).

Richard O'Connell lives in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Collections of his poetry include RetroWorlds, Simulations, Voyages, and The Bright Tower, all published by the University of Salzburg Press (now Poetry Salzburg). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, National Review, The Paris Review, Trinacria, Measure, Acumen, The Formalist, etc.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


by Lylanne Musselman

Photo source: Wunderground -- Uploaded by: Gordanian — Monday January 27, 2014 — Green Camp, OH

Snow rollers, hoar frost,
Lake Erie ice balls –
if one didn’t know better
it sounds as if Mother Nature
has turned to pornography,
or sophomoric humor.

Don’t be snowed
by her cold-shoulder.

She must love seeing
meteorologists across
the Midwest, and beyond,
rushing to measure
those frigid inches and boast
of record breaking nights and days,
buried knee-deep in her
winter white blankets.

Lylanne Musselman is an award winning poet and artist, who lives in Toledo, Ohio. Her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Literary Brushstrokes, Pank, New Verse News, Cyclamens & Swords, and The Prose-Poem Project among others, and many anthologies. She is the author of three chapbooks, and a co-author of Company of Women: New & Selected Poems (Chatter House Press, 2013). Presently, she is Coordinator of Creative Writing at Terra State Community College, and teaches online writing courses for Ivy Tech Community College. She is participating in the 2014 Oulipost, a found poetry event during National Poetry Month, sponsored by the Found Poetry Review.

Friday, March 14, 2014


by B.Z. Niditch

We watch the war hawks
in the media
with reckless rhetoric
and historic amnesia
getting in their last licks,
wishing to turn
their backs
on the clocks of 1986
at the horrific peril
of Chernobyl
when rains of death
spilled over the Ukraine
polluting our earth,
then missiles started
to dissolve
on Russian soil,
now the critics of peace
have resolved
to start shooting
even at the Kremlin
when we know our foil
is really about the oil
our citizens
choose peace
to ignore the breathless
lies for war.

B.Z. Niditch is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher.  His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii Review; Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Le Guepard (France);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


by Simon Perchik

Image source: Mirror (UK)

Lost and without a wall you are unsure
what stays dark, what will move
once a flashlight is waved in front

and the plane in the picture begins to flicker
taking hold one hand all these years
dead, smothered under the frame

half dry wood, half morning
and though there's no sky yet
you are flying again

wobbled by winds no one sees anymore
making room in the fleece-lined glove
that can't tell where your fingers are.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013).  For more information, including free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


by D. Gilson

Image source: Mahogany Airplane Models

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 gone missing
on Saturday local time. Why am I just now
hearing about this? Cue my missing credit card.
Thank you for calling Chase-Visa, this is Mike.
Cancelled, remitted fraudulent charge, lower
interest rate in less than five minutes time.
Somewhere in the Pacific, 239 people missing.
I question the preposition: “in” or “over” or “under.”
I question memory: a single teenage night,
a school project due. Father builds a one-inch
model of the atom bomb, Little Boy. Boy,
he tells me, don’t let this happen again.
We’ve no access to flight logs, how many boys
might be crying or dead. Or will die. I lied
to my father. Put off the project so Nathan
and I could play terrorist, Israel and Palestine,
in the shed behind our house. I bind Nathan.
Demand ransom. In the shed we kiss, a mistake,
and I lop off his head. I wonder when the news
switches from “missing” to “presumed dead”
as the treadmill slows down, pulls time under.

D. Gilson is the author of Crush (Punctum Books, 2014) with Will Stockton, Brit Lit (Sibling Rivalry, 2013), and Catch & Release (Seven Kitchens, 2012), winner of the Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, The Indiana Review, and PANK.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


by Anne Graue


Fuselage will float
from the sky
no longer burning

in the coming days.

Long after the search &
rescue has turned
to recovery;

long after the stages
of grief
have been observed

and discarded,

someone will find
a seatbelt, a cushion,
a glimmer of metal

or they will find
nothing at all.

Anne Graue writes poetry and teaches online from her home in New York's Hudson Valley. Her poems have appeared in Paradigm, Compass Rose, Sixfold Journal, and The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly, and she was a finalist in the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award competition for 2013. She has written reviews of literary magazines for

Monday, March 10, 2014


 by Rick Gray

When the thudding comes,
I know it's not my jumpy heart, or an attack,
but a helicopter racing the real wounded
slashed straight across an unflinching sky. 

I look down, and remember my daughter Rania's
little hands drawing a crayon version of that same
shivering war machine above me
pink and purple and baby blue.

And it almost makes me smile, how cute it was,
until I remember the other drawing,
the one from her twin sister Maria,
who drew her helicopter only red, and bleeding.

Rick Gray has work currently appearing in Salamander and has an essay forthcoming in the book, Neither Here Nor There: An Anthology of Reverse Culture Shock. He served in the Peace Corps in Kenya and teaches in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Sunday, March 09, 2014


by Tony Brown

Pope Francis confessed Thursday that he took the rosary cross of his late confessor from his casket and wears it to this day in a fabric pouch under his cassock. He said he did so telling the late priest, "Give me half your mercy." --ABC News, March 6, 2014

The Pope speaks

of how once he lifted a cross

from a corpse’s fingers,

left roses

in its place, and now

carries that theft
with him always

under his clothes.

Those innocent
severed roses still rot

in the dark of the tomb

where mercy is nowhere to be found
and there’s no redemption

or resurrection

to be had
as a crime is revealed,

no one is shocked, and once again

everything stays the same.

Tony Brown is a poet from Worcester, MA.  He works as a consultant and writer.

Saturday, March 08, 2014


by Mark Danowsky

At first, Rustem Kadyrov could barely make out the mark outside his house, in the Crimean town of Bakhchysarai, but it filled him with terror. It was an X, cut deep into the gray metal of the gate, and its significance cut even deeper, evoking a memory Kadyrov shares with all Crimean Tatars. Kadyrov, who is thirty-one, grew up hearing stories about marks on doors. In May of 1944, Stalin ordered his police to tag the houses of Crimean Tatars, the native Muslim residents of the peninsula. Within a matter of days, all of them—almost two hundred thousand people—were evicted from their homes, loaded onto trains, and sent to Central Asia, on the pretext that the community had collaborated with the Nazi occupation of Crimea. -- Natalia Antelava, The New Yorker, March 6, 2014

Image source: Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization

They say it’s happening again—Xs
mark the doors of Crimean Tatars.
They say Stalin was responsible
the first time around, but he was not
first to come up with the idea.
The ancient texts speak of markings
made in blood from sheep or goat
slashed on doorposts lest
the Angel of Death take your first born.

Mark Danowsky’s poetry has appeared in Alba: A Journal of Short Poetry, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Red River Review, Right Hand Pointing, Snow Monkey and The New Verse News.  His poem "5am Summer Stormwon Imitation Fruit’s “Animals and Their Humans” Contest, in 2013. He resides in Northwest Philadelphia and works for a private detective agency.

Friday, March 07, 2014


by Kelly Jadon

Nicholas Roerich, "Guests from Overseas"

Awaking in spring, gaunt from nursing cubs
in darkness, alone, in her den
So is Mother Russia with Ukraine, Georgia
buffers which she keeps within reach

Her snowy fur hiding blackened skin
for warmth against ancient frigid tundra
Crossed by Vikings, Rus', a brutal heritage
ancestral blood violented by Mongols

Hunting hares across drifts
she returns with raw prey
offerings of peace to cubs
Feeding rebellious spirits within her states

Drawing her babes outward,
she nudges them to follow
in her footsteps they plod,
Unbalanced, weak, young
not fully independent democracies

To the sea’s ice
she dives fishing
gazing into air holes of whiskered seals
her territory
As is Kiev, taken by Grand Prince of Rus'

Swimming miles across open waters
she leads growing cubs
in her wake
Old Soviet thinking controlling masses
hammer and sickle
Berlin wall, Afghanistan, Georgia—
all unforgotten

Two years cubs follow the mother
learning her hunting and survival skills
As Viking thoughts prepare for Mongol behaviors
the Rus'
bear witness
truth of who they truly are

Kelly Jadon is a graduate of Spring Arbor University and holds a degree in English with a focus on poetry.  She is a teacher, poet, and writer.  Her poem "To Taste The Oil" was recently published by The Voices Project and was featured at the University of Colorado "Eye Contact" event as an audible poem.  Her poem "the snow pile" was published at Everyday Poets (1/2014).  "Destination Hamamatsu" to be published in Pavilion Magazine (Fall 2014).

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


by Kathleen Sousa Capps

@anadoluimages: A piano painted the colours of Ukrainian national flag at Independence Square in the capital Kiev.
Image source: Veooz 360

If I knew how to play
I’d set up a grand piano
In Kiev
In Independence
Right now
While it’s winter
Though each note hang on the air
Like an icicle suspended
From the frame of a burnt out bus
It would still be carried with passion
Wrung from the heart of a nightingale
I’d play every Handel and Mozart Requiem,
Every song that blows out a candle
Every thought that says THIS IS NOT A COUP
This is a cry for human rights, to let us out of this
Dictatorship, this collaboration with fascism
To deny freedom of choice, to deny free trade,
Intellect, spirit, Ukraine and Europe.
Right now
While Kiev is burning
In flames
And riot police claim lives
And protestors toss Molotov cocktails
If I could I’d sit in front of a grand piano
And each moment would pray for peace

Kathleen Sousa Capps holds a PhD in English from University of Oregon (1998).  Publications in literary and academic journals, including Paideuma.   Dissertation topic: Image Trouble: Pound’s People-Making as Visual Discourse.  Trying to find an agent/publisher for her novel, Blackberry Woman.  Because Kathleen is hearing impaired and blind, her father forbade her to learn to play the piano; he said it was a waste of time.  And college is no place for women.  (That’s what he said.)

Tuesday, March 04, 2014


by Earl J. Wilcox

For Richard Wilbur
Born March 1, 1921

Image source: Bluedragonfly10

In his Frost-country cottage, the poet
and his trusty L. C. Smith typewriter
labor in clear harmony this morning.
The machine does its clacking act
when the writer pounds the keys.

Only one whose finger muscles
are still strong enough to clutch
an axe handle or milk a cow, if need be,
can muster strength to strike with
force worn-down letters like y or z,
and others when pressed into action.

Here there is no angst or desire
for the ease which a chichi computer
keyboard could offer to curtail
the constant pain in the right hand
or the left one, too, for that matter.
Poet and typewriter conspire, create
a new song amid the view from the
open cottage window, where Bill Gates
seems irrelevant, does not intrude.

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he is a regular contributor to The New Verse News. More of Earl's poetry appears at his blog, Writing by Earl.

Monday, March 03, 2014


by Catherine McGuire

Russia's version of Facebook is being used to recruit men to cause conflict in Crimea. --“Photos To Start A War By” by Kelly Weaver, Liberal America, March 1, 2014.

On a day twin lambs were born
and Russia grabbed Crimea
the rain riffed on roofs
and washed the blood off brick
into gutters already so wise, so cynical.

On a morning camellias bloomed
and some hens eggs were fertile
the spy nets bulged with threats and plaints
jet fuel burned as minions swooped
but the guns were smug, now silent.

This mud is not ready for green, nor spring.
Too much is drowning here.

Catherine McGuire
fills her well of grief for the world with poems. She has published in the US and abroad and has four chapbooks: Palimpsests, (Uttered Chaos, 2011) Glimpses of a Garden, Poetry and Chickens, and Joy Holding Stillness.

Sunday, March 02, 2014


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

Although I would rather stay home
On such a splendid day
Pull a couple of weeds
Straighten up the mess on my desk
Maybe take a walk later
Fit a nap in somewhere
Instead I’m going to a meeting
Where we will make urgent plans
To save the world
From the depredations
Of the pernicious
Greedy bastards
Who are poisoning the planet
And dismembering our common life
Once we have accomplished that however
I’ll be spending my Sundays right here
Puttering around the house

Buff Whitman-Bradley is the author of four books of poetry, b. eagle, poet; The Honey Philosophies; Realpolitik; and When Compasses Grow Old; and the chapbook, Everything Wakes Up! His poetry has appeared in many print and online journals. He is also co-editor, with Cynthia Whitman-Bradley and Sarah Lazare, of the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War.  He has co-produced/directed two documentary films, the award-winning Outside In (with Cynthia Whitman-Bradley) and Por Que Venimos (with the MIRC Film Collective).  He lives in northern California.

Saturday, March 01, 2014


by Joan Mazza

(CNN February 22, 2014) -- On any day, between 5 million and 6 million containers are on the high seas, carrying everything from potato chips to refrigerators. But not all of them make it to their destination, as the crew of the Svendborg Maersk have just found out. Their Danish-flagged ship was in the Bay of Biscay last week as hurricane-force winds battered the Atlantic coast of Europe. Amid waves of 30 feet and winds of 60 knots, the Svendborg began losing containers off northern France. After the ship arrived in the Spanish port of Malaga this week, Maersk discovered that about 520 containers were unaccounted for. Stacks of others had collapsed. It's the biggest recorded loss of containers overboard in a single incident.
Image source: Shipspotting

Containers stacked, packed into ships overloaded
by unknown amounts until they buckle and bend,
tip their load into water. Each one the size
of a semi truck trailer, fully loaded, in stormy seas,
they dump flyswatters with sports teams’ logos,
thousands of Lego pieces.

The Hansa Carrier lost 80,000 unlaced Nike sneakers,
making it The Great Shoe Spill of 1990. Two more
containers of Nike Cross Trainers went overboard
in ‘99, offering a second chance at free shoes.
They race on ocean currents to land on shores
around the world, a colorful, startling pollution.

Traveling from China to the US in 1992,
28,000 rubber ducks and other bath toys
were dumped in the Atlantic by a rogue wave,
making them collectibles when found, turning
the waters into a bathtub for giants.

In Florida, a container of Doritos was discovered
and broken into, chips dry and mostly undamaged,
delighting beachcombers and gulls. Like trucks
spilling money on the highway, scavengers descend
for a free meal, toys, or mystery object: a huge
standing Lego Man, commanding Florida dunes.

The rest sinks deep or disperses like oil, results
to be seen later. Much later. Artificial reef or slowly
diffusing chemicals, leached into our oceans,
packing pellets in the guts of the fish we eat?

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize nominee. Author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Whitefish Review, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Slipstream, American Journal of Nursing, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, Buddhist Poetry Review, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.