by James B. Nicola
does not exist, but rather does
and makes us do, plus morphs a man
into something that he never was.
A paradox: it’s lighter than
a breath that’s skipped, while heavier
than if all the leaden dumbbells of
the world, all stones and anchors, were
sewn in your stomach—that is love.
It makes the elderly feel young
although it’s older than all time.
It’s sweet, it’s sour; silent, sung,
or spoken; soaring in a rhyme
or stammering in mystery.
It sooths and heals, or numbs and dopes
and bites its victims blistery.
Love puffs out chests and caves in hopes
and pains the head as well as heart
but makes a heaven out of hell
so while it’s tearing us apart
there’s nothing that we love so well.
Bio: James B. Nicola has had 300 poems published in periodicals including Atlanta Review, Tar River, Texas Review, Lyric, and Nimrod. A Yale grad and stage director by profession, his book Playing the Audience won a Choice Award. As a poet, he also won the Dana Literary Award and a People's Choice award (from Storyteller); was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award; and was featured poet at New Formalist. His children’s musical Chimes: A Christmas Vaudeville premiered in Fairbanks, Alaska—with Santa Claus in attendance opening night.
by Gerald Solomon
Tell me he’s still in our thoughts our lost friend,
almost here with me now this many years later.
But if well on the way to being forgotten,
then you and I, what cost of interruption?
All at once I recover a childhood lake in the North,
staring surprised for the first time at very deep water,
streaked green and white, wallowing, ungraspable marble,
and was taught how it constantly changes to mist.
Brash seagulls come in from the coast screeching.
Below them still flat water, winter breezes’ glittering
dents in a distant sun’s reflections, losing its strength...
Sometimes I prefer preposterous signs of calm.
So that memory can return to what has been
already known once, held close in every month:
revisitable thought― not locked, no, not locked at all,
unbreakable experience by enduring surface.
Bio: Gerald Solomon was born in London and studied English Literature at Cambridge University. After a short spell as sales assistant at a bookshop in London's Charing Cross Road he worked as a producer at the BBC. Subsequently becoming engaged in education, he helped found General Studies courses at Hornsey College of Art, and this led eventually to an enjoyable period teaching poetry courses at Middlesex University. He retired early in order to paint and write. His poems have appeared in numerous magazines in the USA and UK as he prepares his first collection. He is married, with four children, and lives in Manhattan.
by Eira Needham
As creatures stir in spring’s advance
familiar rhythms bid us dance --
cavorting with the skylark’s trilling;
nascent daffodils enhance
the grassy stage where lambkins prance.
Now winter’s pillowed, sunshine’s spilling,
pulse to samba’s lively beat …
fan fires of passion; render heat!
Bio: Eira Needham Lives in Birmingham UK with her husband and Dalmatian Max (not to mention a number of reptiles). She began writing when her youngest son went to University. Her poetry is eclectic and has been published in print and online and she has recently been asked to be the Featured Writer in WestWard Quarterly's Spring Issue.