Monday, July 25, 2016

The Ladder, a poem by Terry Ofner

The Ladder
by Terry Ofner
I stand
the ladder in the soft soil
of the perennial bed, climb
up like a thief of nests, and pull
a perfect egg of twigs, leaves,
and seeds from the mouth
of the plugged downspout.

I lean
to the left to steady the ladder
that lists slightly to the right
under my weight. I feel like
a child canceling differences
between parents somewhere
off the emotional balance sheet.

I perch
up there a minute after pulling the plug
and watch the giddy water laugh
down the aluminum passage
to the side yard. It musters there
with other waters, planning invasions
of low places in the neighborhood.

I leave
the ladder in the bed—a creaky apparatus,
no substitute for wings—but for certain jobs
it does just fine. Irises at its feet
speak in purple tongues, toasting
each other for their part in releasing
the long-stopped waters of spring.

Bio: Terry Ofner grew up in Iowa not far from the Mississippi River. He holds degrees from the University of Iowa, where he attended the undergraduate Iowa Writer's Workshop in poetry. He is currently an editor for an educational publishing company. He has published poems in World Order, 100 Words, Eclectica, and Right Hand Pointing. His poem "Mama Carving" won first place in the Interboard Poetry Community Contest, January 2015 (Ned Balbo, judge). He is drawn to themes of nature and family and is working on his first collection of poems.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I am an eyelash in the wind, a poem by Jay S Zimmerman

I am an eyelash in the wind
by Jay S Zimmerman

I am an eyelash in the wind
Brushed from your face
Teardrops in silence
Homeless and yearning

Brushed from your face
Crying in an empty heart
Homeless and yearning
Longing for loving

Crying in an empty heart
Teardrops in silence
lover’s lonesome wishes
I am an eyelash in the wind

Bio: Jay S. Zimmerman came to poetry from his life as a visual artist, composing poems to go with his art, finding as much joy in painting with words as with other visual tools. He has recently been published in Three Line Poetry, I am not a silent poet, and Flying Island. He was born in the concrete caverns of New York, amid the trolley bells and sounds of subways, travelled south to Miami Beach and thrived in the warm sands and salt air dancing to the musical rhythms of klesmer, cha cha and bossa nova, finally venturing to the dark soil, flat farmlands and rolling hills of the Midwest where his roots have grown and been nourished for over 40 years. He is an artist, photographer, psychologist, social justice advocate.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Fog Walking, a poem by Mary Redman

Fog Walking
by Mary Redman

I look at the lake. Haze blots horizon,
a dock juts into nothing, supported by air

like a bread loaf in a surrealist painting. 

My boots kick up streams—I slosh
through wetness, dew and dissolving surface
clouds on grass. This muffled existence can’t last

long. Day winks through in spots forcing
clarity, while dreamlike

dalliance keeps me sleeping as I stroll.

Bio: Mary Redman is a retired high school English teacher who takes classes at the Indiana Writers Center. She works part time supervising student teachers for two universities. She volunteers at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and elsewhere in the community.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

why i advise against plastic surgery, a poem by Tracy Mishkin

Editor's note: Today is World Plastic Surgery Day

why I advise against plastic surgery
by Tracy Mishkin

Hey, purse snatchers!
I’m Princess Scarface
of the Amazons. No bluff
no buff no polish.
Come on, muggers! I’ll bare
my teeth and hiss
offer you a sharp kiss.

Bio: Tracy Mishkin is a call center veteran with a PhD and an MFA student in Creative Writing at Butler University. Her chapbook, I Almost Didn't Make It to McDonald's, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2014. Her second chapbook, The Night I Quit Flossing, is forthcoming from Five Oaks Press. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Pavlov's Dogs Make an Appearance in an Instance of Operant Conditioning, a poem by Rebecca Longenecker

Pavlov’s Dogs Make an Appearance in an Instance of Operant Conditioning

by Rebecca Longenecker

In a dream I am walking east on 38th Street,
alone, no cars on the road, no one on the sidewalk, no one walking or drinking
indiscreetly, no one asking for money at BP, but there are dogs sleeping in the median.
I step off the sidewalk, cross two lanes to them:
all golden coated and well-groomed. They look soft, I think, and kneel down, to touch.

Next to me in bed, you are deeply asleep,
unnaturally peaceful. I search your face for signs of your waking self.
There is one long crease dividing your forehead into North and South,
marking the middle, and I struggle through the sheets
to touch its smooth, sleep form. Your skin looks soft, I think and reach for you.

I stretch out my hand, and just
at the moment of contact, the mutt wakes up,
barks and bares its teeth. I bolt upright, out of sleep.
Your eyes open on me, and quickly
I withdraw my hand. 

Bio: Rebecca Longenecker is a born-and-raised Mennonite: the descendant of farmers, missionaries, conscientious objectors, and an unwavering commitment to non-violence. She is a recent graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, where she studied English Language and Literature and dedicated herself to the craft of writing. She lives in Indianapolis, where she works as a copywriter and editor. She enjoys cooking, candle-making, reading, and writing poetry.