Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First By Color, Then By Size

by Nate Wilkerson

I found a family
of rocks in a river

and stuffed my pockets
before going home

to wash them,
scrub them

place in them in lines
first by color, then by size

I stared until two, three
then four in the morning

knowing inside
that one day

there would be no love
for this new family

on the edge of a bridge
I stood

throwing them
back to the river

when I close my eyes
all I see now are

rocks in lines
first by color, then by size

CITY OF LIGHTS

by Bradford Middleton

The city of lights is a stop-gap en route home
It never lasts as long as I would like
I only get to look out windows at the sights
Or loiter at train stations with nothing to do

Nothing to do but sit and smoke
Watching the beauty of the women all around
Drinking the ubiquitous mega latte as it’s
The only thing that’ll last long enough

Paris is the place to watch so
I sit outside a café near du Nord
A random businessman enters a sex shop
For his lunchtime fix of lust

I just sit back and ogle the bar-maid
A gorgeous young thing
Of African descent who got me a seat
With only the faintest of smiles

But then I got to dash after four roll-ups
And all that latte
To get my train
To take me home

Tonight

by Mary Annie A.V.

Tonight:
my sweat is scented different
it teases, you say
as you nestle between
my humor and my blade.

Nothing sweet scented,
loaded  with the wildest  longings
I carry within me.

I have gathered
the pressures  of the day
into my sweat
the toil of it
in my body, its aches.

You meditate upon,
pamper it with
your exquisitely crafted
maleness, the harshness
that gratifies and sustains.

Tonight
I do not push you away.

THIS IS THE STRANGEST SKY

by Michael H. Brownstein

so blue it highlights her eyes,
the white sun,
and grass in dire need of drink
This was the year winter did not come
and summer arrived before spring,
strong green and full of itself.
We cut the lawn for the first time in March,
watched a frenzy of honeybees in April
and harvested our first wild strawberries soon after.
By the time May arrived,
we had gone swimming in the pond outback,
the municipal swimming pool had opened,
and the first heat violence churned through the park.
The rivers of mud cracked,
its bank's knee dropped into crumbs
and the worst part of all of this was the lack of any comforting breeze.
We sat on the swinging chair in the shade of the porch
and waited for an east wind.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Frogs

by Joe Brennand

one frog
on one frog
roses in bloom

Your Black And White Photograph

by Suchoon Mo

thank you
for your photograph
a black and white photograph
of a young woman
you
in another time
another place

you are sitting by the kitchen table
in the light from the window
your are smiling

it is quiet here now
silent autumn morning

I am sitting by the kitchen table
in the light from the window
I am smiling

time is mute
so is space
in your black and white photograph

Farm Sale

by Robert Nisbet

The notice just gave details of acreage,
of arable and pasture. In The Journal’s later piece,
the interview, Owen’s phrases seemed to have halted
within him before they were written down. He simply said,
It wasn’t just a livelihood. He made some reference
to the obvious things, the shearing, branding,
calving, milking, the haymaking when cousins
and neighbours came, swigged brown ale from flagons
in the top of the barn as the heat built up.
But Owen did not mention, could not explain,
the one green image haunting him, those last few days:
the centuries’ clump of foliate oaks,
up by the main road, overhanging the milk stand,
the churns, the milk leaving for the creamery.

Find Him

by Donal Mahoney

Millie on crutches
in the day room
tells Fred on
his walker
to find him.
It's important
says Millie
even if you're old
and can't walk.
Hire someone
to push your
wheelchair
toward him.
If you can't
get out of bed,
hire two people
to wheel
your gurney
toward him.
It's too late
if you hire
ten men to
carry your coffin
toward him.
Now is the time,
and for many
that's a problem.
They have
too little time
to find him.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

MY PET BIRD

by Alan S. Kleiman

My cockatiel 'Feathers' sits in his cage
And listens to music
He watches TV
And reads books
Engages in dialectical conversations
Calls me in the office
And plays cards when not working
By working I mean
Eating seeds
Ignoring the dried fruit
The caviar, sushi
and fresh oysters on the half shell
Sometimes he can be picky.

INTERIOR OF GARAGE

by Bill Jansen

This morning I am in a garage
I assume is somewhere near Dartmouth.
Though there is also evidence
that I may be in the studio of Mario Fiorillo.
I mean the unfinished portrait
of his Welsh landlord against a bicycle.
However that may be, a 1946 purple Bugatti
dominates my surroundings, wherever I am.
One of those babies you have to be
wearing a black tie for it to start.
Also arguing against, though not refuting,
the notion that I am in Wales,
is the point guard of the Dartmouth
Women's basketball team,
hanging up tools in their chalk outlines.
In fact she is a chalk outline herself,
and would probably fit easily
into the chalk outline of Oona O'Neill,
who, as you may know, I was crazy about,
and if this is a garage there must be a front porch
somewhere not far off.
And if there is a front porch there is a newspaper
with a sports page.
I should at least find out who won.
Then I can talk about the game as if I was there,
and maybe there will be a story
about a local landlord who has gone missing.

one way streets

by Linda M. Crate

sometimes i'm wrong,
but you're not
always right
so sick and tired of
being taken granted
for and
overlooked
by people who supposedly
care;
give me an ocean
let me be
an island
grow my trees and happiness
in utter solitude—
where visitors
can come for a while then
go away,
and it'll be okay
because
i won't mind being alone
and we won't owe
each other anything;
so tired of
people
always wanting something
because i'm a giver
i give with all my heart and all
they ever want to do is rip
out every last moon beam of my
silver soul
i'm tired of these one way streets
they're all so very vexing.

In Wild Bush

by Austin McCarron

In wild bush,
on gold stones,
on steps of green
and yellow wood,
the lamb grazes with
flesh of sacred curls.

Imperial laughter
attends the meal of love.
The knife healing the
stricken bone is shining
with blazes and powerless
as kings is the
blood eaten of fiery wounds.
The sun, grown weary of
flames, reveals only mystery
and blindness, visions of time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Learning to touch

by Marilyn Hammick

I stand and watch, minding
that everything is very hot.
With oven gloved hands
Grandma slides the cake tin
onto the kitchen table.

There's two minutes to go
but this oven cooks quick
The top is like the inside
of my satchel, its edges
sneak from the metal.

Good sign, she tells me,
and sniffs, that's cooked,
but                   she takes
my middle finger in her hand,
hover, press, release

you’re not ringing a door bell,
or poking your brother’s arm.
The depression rises, the surface
levels, the sponge is ready
for the cooling rack.

Winter Tourist

by David Chorlton

The bars are open and every sand grain
on the beach is sparkling
in January light. Across the hotel courtyard
are yellow sunshades placed
beside the tables, blue towels on
the plastic chairs around the pool
and from the room a view of the Atlantic
at sunset, just before the evening buffet.
It is not enough. Even with an olive
in the cocktail and an avenue
lined with palm trees, it is too little
for someone who has spent a lifetime
preparing for this. Beneath all skies
he imagined the one now above him.
In every job he worked he promised
he’d make up for being used. He’d escape
the cities too, in which he lived, escape
and leave them far behind
without packing a coat in his suitcase.
When he arrived, nobody
was waiting to meet him. It is
an industry here to cater
to his every wish, but he is lost
with nothing to resist
as he walks to the shore in the winter
he carried with him always,
his hands in his pockets, his pockets
lined with ice.

Artefacts

by Robert Nisbet

Two quid, a full day’s earnings. Now,
the auction at the Market Hall.
He’s never been to one before,
just seen the sale ads in the Star.

He loves the café just outside:
these dealers, drivers, men in caps
and cords and aprons, women with
their tresses streaming, scarves and rings.

The hall. He browses. Loves Lot 12,
a copper kettle, tiny thing,
maybe eight inches high, odd bash,
but burnished to a sparkle. Then,
Lot 23, a miniature,
a girl with golden hair (she looked
just like his memories of his Mum).

The auctioneer stands second just
to God, he thinks, but suddenly,
descending like a royal flush,
the thought: Yes, I can bid. Lot 12.
Abruptly, 12, he gabbles, bids,
gets it for fifteen bob. And soon,
the miniature, for just a quid.

The hour following is chocked
and full with gazing on, with lots
and artefacts, before, his goods
brown-paper-wrapped, he stomps his way
to bus and home and bed and board.

THE SPIDER ON THE WALL

by Anuradha Bhattacharyya

Climbing up thus far
And no more
Meeting with the impenetrable
Stare of the stark wall
Beating hard with one’s six claws
One after the other
Making no significant mark,
Wearing out
Watching warily
The way up that is blocked,
Winding up a coil of passion
Hungry, thirsty, retired
The spider builds his home
At the dead end,
Holding no grudge
Against all odds.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Liberty Leading the People

Eugene Delacroix (1830)


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saul

by Michael D. Brown

surely my son not
my son in law, even if
I must hurl a javelin;
for what is the death
of one destined for my
crown, the end of
succession, my line
my heir, my son, my Jonathan;
surely one who killed ten thousand;
who skinned the foreskins;
who leveled Goliath,
needs no more honor,
no purple seat, or robe
but how to justify the
death of a hero,
a musician, a psalmist,
a would be future king
of Israel, a son in law.

Babymoon

by  Marianne Szlyk

The young celebrity,
whom neither Lila nor her daughter knows,
poses in her red and orange maxi.
She is on her babymoon
by the sun-dappled poolside
with real palm leaf cabanas,
banks of jasmine in bloom,
and lemon trees that cleanse
and sweeten the humid air.

Lila puts down the magazine.
She watches the pregnant receptionist|
waddle back to the restroom.
That girl is the only worker
wearing flat shoes,
but they do match her red
baby doll dress
and drop earrings.
And her blond bob is sharp
enough to cut through
the salty, overcast day outside.

Lila sympathizes with her.
She was pregnant once.

During the long hot summer that began in April,
five months
before Estelle finally was born,
Dave offered to drive her
to the Cape
or at least Castle Island
to cool off in the tepid sun and salt breeze
heavy with warm onion rings,
beer, and classic rock,
to escape the city’s stink
of garbage and perfume.

She turned him down.

When she was not at work,
she spent the summer upstairs watching
golf for the cool greens and water hazards.

blandest

by Ross Vassilev

wandering the streets after walking off the job

nothing to do and nowhere to go

I snuck into a movie theater
and don't even remember what I saw

lost along empty sidewalks

it felt both good and bad
to be alone as the wind sang
through the April sun

menaced by stuffed men
in white shirts and ties

I thought
all these losers who only know how to make money

at least I wasn't one of them.

ROLLING THE JOY

by Tapeshwar Prasad Yadav

Sphere the morning light
Rolling through the hills
And wheeling the fields
Horn the buzz, chirping
And twittering the sequel
Swaying live the delight
Leaning golden rocks
And ocean waves dear

Wiping the fading grief
All spotless and clean
There comes jolly joy
Full of golden gleams
Bursting and thrusting
Pattering the ground
Propelling life rhythm

Mingle universal fraternity
With harmony blend
Distancing the enmity
In a bag full of tinkling coins
And storey skyscraper
Feeding the belly
With a pot full of jelly
Rolling towering joy!

Lines

by Nancy May

salmons jump
over mountains
currents of a stream

The Stone Yard II

by Tom Hatch

The stone marble from the mountain brings its goddess into town with its wavy veins of soft carrara and loving crystal white Thassos they kiss

There soft slabs leaning next to each other cuddling their cold from the winter and the mountain quarries from where they came trying to shuffle. As deck of playing cards weighted down becoming valleys where Thassos and his sister Europa played under husky dog blue eyed skies kidnapped by Zeus a disguised white bull

Europa gave birth to the stone yard goddess from a middle metamorphic earths slow

Inception and labor pains for millions of years the goddess grows with husky blue dog eyes sliced from the below brought to earth to a modern age.

Discovered slowly crossing the ocean in a shipping container from the Aegean Sea this woman goddess comes from the Greek island of Thassos  the container lined interior convinced in blue velvet with white Thassos marble floor her home and bed as she awakens from her mother’s rape by Zeus his no rules on incest there is no incest rules when it comes to gods fair game is under every foot 

Sleeping out of the cold stone as a bed waking mornings, walking the stone yard floor try to be human it is not easy as most notice she is the goddess quivering to be one of us. Her husky dog blue eyes we do not trust

Visit there and play with her as a human not as the million year old goddess that wants to pull you into her, into stone.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Crossing the Equator

by Tony Noon

Old Stoker told me often.
Sometimes I asked him
about the plank bending
long to the line
bending out over the deep

They don’t tar your balls.
He told me
No pallid painters’ rite here.

Blindfold, sea legs turn rubber
on this narrow path
as you shuffle to the drop.

Three feet later hard deck
and the roar of seamen
make the novice able bodied

If his heart does not give out.

Making My Own Acquaintance

by Randall Rogers

I don't know
what is more scary
thinking about
my past
like the time
I went to Cambodian
prison for shooting
at a cop,
or thinking
about my future.
Especially how
One becomes the other.
I guess best not
to think at all.

Hope and Mr. Neery

by Donal Mahoney

I saw Mr. Neery,
ninety if a day,
wobbly on his walker

on his way to Sunday Mass.
He won't accept a ride,
insists on walking.

He's easy to spot,
a St. Louis Cardinals fan
in a bright red jacket

and a Cardinals cap
that halts a hurricane
of snowy hair.

It's his first Mass
since burying his wife
a month ago when

someone lent him
a black suit to wear.
Now he's in red again,

a sign of hope,
even if he's bent over,
his humped back a

question mark growing.
But he's no different now
than he was before.

He still comes to Mass
like everyone else
looking for the answer

and to pray for the Cardinals
who play the Mets
at 1 o'clock this afternoon.

burn

by Keith Landrum

tired of the struggle
a fire burns
our hope and
we wear that smell
like designer
cologne

don't tell us
about tomorrow
when certainty kills
like a pack-a-day habit
in pawn shop
parking lots

don't tell us
there's salvation
for broken spirits
we drink
like cheap whiskey

don't tell us
to work harder
that there is a dream
to be fulfilled

don't say
a word
just let us go

let us rest
let us burn
like stars

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Stupa

by Bhargab Chatterjee

Shadows remain behind every wall  
A Brahmi inscription
Erodes through the ages.

Those picnickers
Around the railing of the stupa
Step like silhouettes
Their foot-beats echoing everywhere.
Moving down.
Smashing the hard shell      
Wanting to smell the pearl
Putting it on their palms.
Morning sun offering a cold light.

Come Find Me

by Tammy T. Stone

Come find me,
The world depends on it.
Meet me at the stepped rock
You know the one
Atop Pure Land Mountain.
You say you haven’t heard
Windhorses rustling in holy height
I say, find your way to
Remembrance.
The air is so thin up there
That skin and bones fall away
Leaving everything we need,
The space between us.

Antelope Valley

by Douglas Polk

eternal the view
sweetly serene
makes the heart ache
this place of forgotten lives
buried in a tiny cemetery
on the high plains of Nebraska
overlooking the valley
a community now
only of graves
the church in disrepair.

Passing Lane Ahead

by Rick Hartwell

Seen by midday light, mountains and mesas are stagnant in shimmered umber, only coming alive at late dusk or early dawn; pastels breathed from a strident-colored palette: lavender, indigo, a tinge of verdigris, before aflame with citrine, peach, and rose, as animals scour the desert sand.

Out here – Laughlin, Needles, Bullhead City – Edward Abbey’s desert solitaire and solitude has lost out to the roll of dice, diesel trucks, slot machines, SUVs, and greed. Developers, politicians and corporations have won. So many others have lost.

I would like to see what it might be might be like, say, five hundred years after the removal of man – eradicated by his own whimsy or succumbed to natural disaster. I would like to see the highways paved over with sand and sage, the casinos haunted by bobcats, wild pigs, skunks,, and other shadow seekers. I would like to se the unnatural edifices and abodes of mankind become the natural environment of the desert’s future. I would like to se the unnatural edifices and abodes of mankind become the natural environment of the desert’s future. I would like to see the high-rise hotels and casinos – their windows broken out by storms and disintegration – become the aeries of hawks, eagles, vultures, and the waterfowl of the Colorado; if it can survive the damn dam-silting of the water unwise. Yes, I would love to see it . . .

The eddied and current-shimmer of the moving Colorado moves me also. My eye is captured, hypnotized by staccato facets of its diamond chips; hundreds of carats per second streaming by with the sun angled low; hundreds of thousands of carats per hour siphoned off to slake mankind’s insatiable thirst; hundreds of millions of carats per day lost to the gulf sands before kissing the salted lips of Baja.

* * *

Wrinkled and calloused hands of an old man grip the wheel against the buffeting winds as the car runs after cloud shadows, trying to stay penumbral relative to the surrounding world. Scorched by sun splashes between islands of shade, life is only hot or cold by comparison.

On the side of the canyon road another dead wild burro thins the herd, culled by speed and inattention, both the burro’s and the driver’s. Merely another example of the onrushing clash of nature and modernity; yet he tears up at this sight of death, this death site. Sometimes, in the past, some canyon denizen erected memorials to occasional dead burros, talismans to wildness, Thoreauvian stelae. Not so much anymore. Soon all that will remain in the canyon will be the asses of the future rather than the asses of the past.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Monks in the Orchard Picking Peaches

by Donal Mahoney

Young monk
and old monk
in the orchard
picking peaches,
sunny and plump,
ready for canning.

Carrying bushels
to the wagon cart,
the young monk
asks the old monk
what to look out for
when growing old.

The old monk
pauses and says
not much.
Life stays the same
for the most part.
Monks work and pray
but an old monk
works slower and
prays faster.

But not to worry,
the old monk advises.
He admits he's
going deaf
but that's just
an inconvenience
since God uses
sign language.
Peaches like these
have no need to talk.

Untitled

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

so close
they remain unseen
ruby-throated
Buddhist hummingbirds
temporarily release
each suffering human flower
they visit
from 50 centuries
of ghastly possessions

A VISIT

by Marc Carver

I saw my dad two days ago
the first time in a year.
He is not the big man I remember anymore.
He has shrunk and he has that turkey neck.
He is still guarded
but now in a different way.
He didn't much want to see me
and i didn't really want to see him either.
We sat in the my overgrown garden
and he did most of the talking
I did not have a lot to say.
I hardly recognize him anymore
but  after a while he was glad to see me again
and when he left
I thought it would probably be at least another year till i saw him again.
None of us are getting younger I said.
They would all start dropping soon.
The aunts and uncles and each other's sisters.
Yea the next time i will see him as at someone's funeral
for some a sad occasion.
For others a day out.
a final resting place.
Death always brings people together or rips them apart.

Adivino

by Amy  Soricelli

She took me down the block - Magda in her thick black hair; said she was "gonna tell me what my life would be
after the brick fifth floor share the room with your brother shit".
What the days would look like mapped across the top of my head - how my shoes would swing under a table.
"Family services took some of her kids so don't ask about the crib" she tells me on the way up the wide flat art-Deco stairs,
the marble cold against my flip-flops.
She has a neat house with plastic flowers/their dusty petals perched on her window sill.  She offered us
lemonade from Flintstone jelly jars.
She took Magda's hand straight out/her palm flat against the formica table - turned it over to see
the long crooked life she traced with her pointy chipped red nails.
"Oh see see" she said.  "You will have a long life but you see here? here...
you won't find love for a while"
Magda was 14 years deep into Puerto Rican/she hipped her hips to the side squirmy tight on the wobbly
kitchen chair.
I was the last Jew on the block fresh from Hebrew School and a broken home.
We threw our five dollars into the center of her kitchen table and she scooped it up
and dug it deep into her flowery blouse.
Her son came out of his room to get some food and looked hard at Magda then down at my chest.
He smiled that smile like boys do when they think they know something.
He leaned his back against the stove and said he could teach me to slow dance like I never did before.
Magda laughed and his mother shoo'd him out/his wink leaving a long trace down the line of my shorts.
Spanish music played from the side of the hall and the fortune teller rocked her shoulders while she said
"Oh see - see here - there will be many babies but they will not always be happy".
Sirens raced by the window on the other side of the world up the street where the junkies lay flat
across the subway grating so they can catch a breeze from the trains/grab up lost pennies they fish up with
stolen poles from City Island.
"Here, give me yours" the lady says and grabs my skinny wrist while the smell of frying fish dances a short
hustle like a pulse.
She says to me "long life but it's a straight line. See? you have no waves- just straight straight"
I stared hard at her gold earring as they dangled steady in the streaming Venetian blind sunlight.
Magda laughs and says "your life is a straight line baby" and wipes the fish steam from her aviator glasses.
We bounce the steps down to the street/look up to see her arms already folded on the window sill.
The fortune teller already looking passed up to the other side of the block/the sun starting its slow liquid journey
behind the brick houses on the same street as the parked car with the flat tire; passed the old man with the lazy eye -
passed everything we passed the first time.