by Robert L. Martin
Mother Nature, her behavior cursed,
Her blackness exposed, her canons burst,
Her fires bolting through the ugly sky,
Her speech proclaiming, “let freedom fly,”
Her movements like a cat up on the prowl,
Her actions living up to her avowal,
Her trumpets sounding battle cries,
Tempests rising and devils harmonize,
Building crests upon the submissive sea,
With hammer and nails from Satan’s decree.
She tosses our ship like a rag-doll in the maze,
Up and down, round about, with maddened craze.
Up to the crest, that perilous ascent,
High above the swells where sea-farers went,
Looking down with my nervous thoughts,
Will I get back up? My belly’s in knots.
Life is a love affair with angels and devils,
Assessed so carefully at different levels.
Will I fall before my time on planet earth?
Will I sup with the Almighty at my new birth?
Will I lie motionless on the padded gurney?
Is life just a sojourn on my eternal journey?
Oh what the hell, what can I do about it?
“Just take me wave. I’m at your command.
Take me wherever I must go.
Do it quick and easy and sound.
Good-by loved ones, good-by life.”
So to Davy Jones locker I went,
As I sunk down and down and down and down.
Into that dark and quiet maze I traveled.
by James B. Nicola
Let it come—
O please come!
The first word scratched, it ambled to a subject,
and now a verb is imminent, and object
I need only trailblaze through a woodsy path
of air, a breath—more—a caesura—
like the bang that spun the cosmos
I am shackled, and lie waiting, almost helpless
consoled only by the wayward faith
that for the daydreamer there’s no such thing
as a waste of time.
O what will be the predicate, the outcome,
and how long shall I have to writhe, then hone,
before the .um. the .um. the ecstasy?
Or shall I have to settle for the memory
of one, or a shimmery imitation,
then reaffirm my vows and my conviction
that the hope lies in the quest and in the pause
which makes all patient as it makes impatient,
taking its awful time, as it awes?
Bio:James B. Nicola's poems have appeared five previous times in Green Silk Journal, as well as in the Antioch, Southwest and Atlanta Reviews, Rattle, Tar River, and Poetry East, and in many journals in Europe and Canada. A Yale graduate, he won a Dana Literary Award, a Willow Review award, and a People's Choice award (from Storyteller), and he was featured poet at New Formalist. His nonfiction book, Playing the Audience, won a Choice award. His poetry collections are Manhattan Plaza (2014), Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (2016) and Wind in the Cave (2017).
by Gary Beck
The sudden chill of early Fall
catches tourists in New York City
unprepared for climate change,
t shirts and shorts no linger chic
as they strut the streets,
arrogant with their Euros,
now forced to buy expensive clothing
that they get for half price
in the stores at home.
Bio: Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks and 3 more accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines & Tremors (Winter Goose Publishing). Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). Virtual Living(Thurston Howl Publications). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing) and Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions). Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). State of Rage will be published by Rainy Day Reads Publishing. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth(Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.