Monday, January 30, 2017

A reasonable thing, a poem by Treh Dickerson

A reasonable thing
by Treh Dickerson

the backyard is at ease
I stand on the deck and smoke

night clouds are white layered
on dark blue, I tap the lid

of the toy bin
looking for rainwater to smash

my cigar in
I snuff it in the bonfire, drag its good

length through ash until it unravels,
bends sideways,

I waste a thumbs weight
of tobacco

I hear crickets and the sharp echo
of dogs set each other off

Treh Dickerson: “After having completed my education and the acquiring of a second-rate degree in English I continue to write poetry, inspired mostly by anything that has to do with dutch mysticism in the 19th century around the cities and villages that comprised New England at that time, and black comedians (Chris Rock, Richard Pryor, etc). These poems are crass, reserved, usually follow a form and aim at the spiritual high of romantics. When they miss, they become honest, and when they hit they become sound-driven. 
                     “I write newsletters for a small company in West Lafayette, among other things”

Monday, January 23, 2017

For Luigi, a poem by Jennifer Shoup

For Luigi
by Jennifer Shoup
I clatter down the steep stairs from street level,
pass Francis at the desk, wearing his hat that is NOT straw, 
round the corner into the studio to find John,
spot lit by sun falling through the skylight.
There is happiness here.
In the way the music compels me to move-
catch the accents, stretch the counts.
In the epaulment and shading,
the push and pull between earth and air,
the elegance of the lifted and open heart.
To dance, you said, put your hand on your heart and listen to the sound of your soul.
The power of that sound scares me-
leaves me open and exposed,
lays me bare.
But when I listen and dance,
what is hectic inside calms,
the noise and static recede.
And I am joy and light and music.
Never stop moving, you said.
How could I?
Moving is beauty and strength,
a lifeline,
the only way to survive.
How could I, When you never did,
and there is such happiness here?
Jennifer Shoup: “I am a dancer and an attorney who grew up, and currently works, in Indiana.”

Monday, January 16, 2017

Generalissimo, a haibun by Ed Alley

by Ed Alley

Generalissimo has arrived. At six feet four, he says more, he towers over all. He tromps the boards with a thump, stumps people with each breath he takes, he exhales a new reality. He sweeps into the Living Room, dressed in black, a huge hat on his golden head, swollen from secret overuse, his head breaks the band of his feather festooned hat, so big he has to remove it (the hat), when he enters the little white house. Gold fringed epaulets on each shoulder, stars of gold. Braided gold lines the closure of his coat. Over his heart, LOU embroidered on his name patch (Lord of the Universe too big for the space aloud). Gold everywhere, his teeth, seat, scepter, and cape. Size 14 boots adorn his pedal extremities, spurs jangle with every trounce. Minions deliver a desk the size of a continent into the office he appropriates. 75 golden telephones line the desk, each labeled “Urgent.” Cronies crow, take a seat near His Frumpyness, hands outstretched to receive glory. A new world order, with stiff arm salute and hobnail boots, parades with the drum-beat of conquest through pale streets lined with the Chosen. From his porcelain throne, he rules his fiefdom with a giggle, a snort, a belly laugh. Like a runaway truck, he bobs and weaves through traffic, no clear destination or intention. Ramblin’, rollin’, he reeks of power, throwing things and people away if they disagree with him. He wrangles bedraggled roaring crowds, promising riches for all. One morning the Generalississimo is found stuffed into his ego, flying around the room like a balloon expelling hot air, then crumples like a wad of waste paper the floor. An eagle soars above.


From Ed Alley: “The winds of time bring many new things to us. A hard-fought election can bring almost anyone to a new office. This poem is a reflection on that process.”

Monday, January 9, 2017

Winter Meditation, a poem by Mary Redman

Winter Meditation
by Mary Redman

Cross-legged on a cool rubber mat, I sit
intent on clearing thoughts, pull breath
in, begin to count ...

Outside a flock of starlings
scarcely colors the brown-gray morning.
Their wings beat, hold them hovering
over three spiky shrubs, denuded
beyond the window. Unfazed by the cold
metal shepherd’s crook and glass tube,
four land on a feeder, half-filled with seed.
A dozen more vie for a spot, their cries more
shrieks than trills. I release my breath.
Responding, they fly, and I pass through
with them beguiled toward the flat sky.

About Mary Redman: She 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.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Camels' Tale of the Epiphany, a prose poem by Michael Brockley

Editor's Note: Epiphany is Jan. 6

The Camels' Tale of the Epiphany
by Michael Brockley

In our dreams, we still race across deserts, stopping for water in Bedouin camps where ragamuffins scurry between our legs like impudent dogs. For months, we carried the instruments of astronomy. Telescopes, calipers, Balthazar's abacus. A shifting load of papyrus scrolls and gifts. During the trek, our riders cursed when clouds concealed the daystar. Sang a new algebra whenever the sky exulted with light. Caspar exhorted us with oaths. Melchior with his whip. In Bethlehem, our caravan dozed in the shadows cast by the glow around the infant. The bulls braced their humps against the stable walls. The cows rested near their calves. Our youngest calves nuzzed. Their hooves and knees unaccustomed to labor. Livestock lowed around the manger. The weary mother longed for the privacy to nurse her child. In the courtyard, men gathered to argue the hour of departure; their voices so shrill our cows arose on trembling legs. The panic of flight spread among us like an infestation of ticks. We remembered the cool waters from the springs of Joppa, the willows and poplars of B├ęziers. But knew the road before us would detour through a wilderness of vinegar and thorns. 

Bio: Michael Brockley is a 67-year-old school psychologist who works in rural northeast Indiana. His poems have appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island, The New Verse News, The Rat's Ass Review and Panoplyzine. Forthcoming poems can be found in Atticus Review, Gargoyle and Zingara Poetry Picks.