by John Grey
shimmering crystal bright
through the pores of the sky,
the northern lights
offer their shiny antidote
to endless summer days
the dark, the cold,
so bitter and obstinate,
but one window display
of delirious dancing green
and my blood switches
from shiver to heart-beat
glowing blue emulsions,
pink solar wind
with a dash of vibrant yellow,
like great silent fireworks
here, at the edge of the world,
the scenery tries harder
Bio: John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Paterson's Literary Review, Southern California Review and Natural Bridge with work upcoming in the Kerf, Leading Edge and Louisiana Literature.
A HALLOWEEN MEMORY
by Linda Thornton Peterson
Think of a Halloween night when everything is smothered in a white downy blanket.
Listen—hear the silence—everything muffled by two feet of snow.
Feel the peace that blanket brings.
The snow glows from the reflected light cast by the inside lamps
and the snow-capped porch light.
Even the street lights wear caps of snow
and the front walk waits patiently to be shoveled.
On the steps, Jack O’ Lanterns up to their eyes in snow
peak out watching like Snowy Owls for Trick or Treaters.
Inside: the calm and soft light pervades.
Steam escapes from the spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove
and the smell of garlic fills the air.
Children dressed as “Lions and Tigers and Bears”. . . of course
–break the spell.
They run and jump and chase the cat.
They whine and cry to go outside,
Fearing sugar-dreams will be denied.
Bio: Linda Thornton Peterson, a Louisiana native, retired from Northern Illinois University as a psychotherapist and teacher. Seven of her short stories and two poems have appeared in The Greensilk Journal. Poetry publications include: The Hanging Moss Journal, the Western State Colorado University Journal and a Northern Illinois University Journal. She won an NIU faculty poetry award and is a founding member of two DeKalb writers’ groups. As a former art teacher and stringer photographer with the Associated Press, she CONTINUES to exhibit her art as well as write.
by James Piatt
Leaves on the grass
becoming wrinkled and
brown like my
grandfather’s old jacket he
wore when he chopped
wood in the fall for the
coming winter. The grape
leaves weathered and
wrinkled like his hands,
which pulled the clumps of
grapes from their living stems.
The mountains are
becoming barren and
stark, hiding under rain
clouds, the air cold and
crisp like the ceramic urn
where his ashes lie, final
remnants of a full life. I am
inside the old farmhouse
near a warm fire thinking
of the passage of time and
long past memories.
by James Piatt
It was oatmeal, and cornmeal muffins with
honey for dinner, once again: Grandfather was
saving the fried chicken for tomorrow night. I
didn’t mind the oatmeal with cream and honey,
but to this day, I still don’t like cornmeal in
anything. I didn’t slept much at night when I
stayed overnight, grandfather’s clock clanged
each half and full hour throughout the night. I
usually heard each clang until it was after 3
O’clock in the morning. I could hear my
grandfather snore most of the night too,
seemingly shaking the plates and cups on the
small scarred kitchen table. I eventually got
used to that too. The couch I slept on was
lumpy and grandfather’s hovel was cold and
drafty. Even with a heavy wool Army blanket,
I felt the chill of the incoming fog: In spite of the
cornmeal muffins, snoring, cold, and clanging
clock, I wouldn’t have traded sleeping over with
my quaint grandfather for anything.
His bedroom was gaudy with vividly colored
religious shawls hanging on the walls. I learned
many years later that it was a huge silk
horoscope that hung on the wall, back of his
bed. It always intrigued me to no end.
Grandfather was an intenerate Pentecostal
minister, a fact which I didn’t understand at the
time, probably still don’t. The Mexican women
in the neighborhood always loved him, with his
old fashioned pen striped dark blue suite, his
only one, his pocket watch tucked into a small
pocket, hanging from a fob, and his high top
soft leather shoes which he laced up with an
ivory lacer. He never worked, unless you
consider preaching for free, work, but he
always said God would provide, and it seems
he was right, for he always had a place to stay,
albeit lacking in most amenities, and his
Mexican women always had meals and, often,
a pie or cake for him, especially when I visited
him on special days. Those were exceptional
times, and I still miss seeing him, but I am
reminded of him every time I hear his clock,
which is now sitting on the fireplace mantel in
my living room. It still chimes every half and
full hour throughout the day and night.
Bio: Dr. Piatt is a retired professor, poet, and author. Broken Publications published 2 books of his poetry, “The Silent Pond,” and
“Ancient Rhythms.” His third poetry book is scheduled for release in late 2014. Over 555 of his poems, 2 novels, “The Ideal Society,” and
“The Monk,” 33 short stories, and 7 essays have also been published. His poem, “The Night Frog,” was nominated for best of web 2013. His
books are available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.