God, Make Leaf Blowers Disappear
by Marianne Betterly
please give us the soft scratching of a rake
across the yards and fields of the world
again and again,
a meditative freestyle,
until all is
Zen lines and piles like pyramids
and ban those gas-breathing monsters
blasting the dead from their sleep
scattering crackled leaves, rat droppings, hawk feathers
into the air we try to breathe
only to sprinkle down like acid rain
over the earth
in a metallic din that screams like two jets
passing, almost colliding in the night
and God, when it is finally over,
the last leaf blower turned in
for the final meltdown,
let quiet fall onto earth,
clear all skies and minds
of man-made hurricanes and
in the softly raked lawns finally find
what has always been
Bio: When Marianne Betterly isn’t hip hop dancing, cooking quiches and soufflés, reading astrology charts or traveling to Rangoon, Kathmandu or Istanbul, she’s writing poetry. Her poetry has been published in “Hot Flashes,” “Hot Flashes 2: More Sexy Little Stories and Poems,” and “The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal.” She has received poetry awards from the Dancing Poetry Festival and Writers Digest. She lives in Kensington CA.
by Wynne Huddleston
Day rips off night’s blanket, leaving
a chill in the air. Before sky awakens
to fire up the gas oven and cook his egg,
easy-over for breakfast, I race
to the garden then tiptoe through grass
taking its dewy bath. Blue morning
glory yawns open and reaches out
to shake my hand, while bees pronounce
apple trees "husband and wife,"
then set out on a trip for the honey. I pick
the pink-eyed purple-hull peas and proceed
to the corn, twist off the mature
that have lost their soft, golden hair,
and are pleasantly plump. The big boy
tomatoes wearing green crowns
are about to jump off; I take them before
they split, and roll down the hill like Jack.
I pick up the baby squash, lying nearby
in its bed of straw, underneath
a canopy of enormous green hearts.
Bio: Wynne Huddleston is a music teacher, a member of the Mississippi Poetry Society and a board member of the Mississippi Writers Guild. Her poetry has been, or will be published in Birmingham Arts Journal, Stymie Magazine, Southern Women’s Review, Gemini Magazine, Raven Chronicles, Camroc Press Review, Calliope Nerve, The Shine Journal,
Cherry Blossom Review, Enchanted Conversation, Thema, and elsewhere. Ms. Huddleston is the winner of the 2010 Grandmother Earth Environmental Poetry Contest. http://wynnehuddleston.wordpress.com/
by Douglas Polk
Black birds in the trees squawk like old ladies bickering over a price at a yard sale,
The noise wholly unpleasant and out of place in this idyllic Eden of a backyard,
Bunching and gathering amid chatted complaints,
then flying back and forth,
back and forth,
like a classroom of out of control third graders,
I am a peaceful man, but will admit to thoughts drifting to the pellet gun inside the house,
Sweat drips off the forehead as an attempt is made to ignore an itchy trigger finger,
maybe instead I should just flip them the bird,
but doubt they would understand,
and as crass and vulgar as they sound,
maybe that gesture,
a symbol created in their honor,
maybe the symbol’s full name,
flipping the black bird,
A puppy bark sends them away,
Knox will get an extra treat today.
Bio: Douglas Polk is a former history teacher and editor and columnist for a number of local newspapers in Nebraska including The Custer County CHIEF, The Minden Courier, and the Kearney Hub. Polk is also a cancer survivor (lymphoma).
by MIke Berger
Three friends where tossed into
the looney bin. They ping-ponged
off their rubber room walls. Between
them they had an IQ of a box of rocks.
The shrink told them saying, "When
you can master this simple task, you
will be discharged. Pointing to his
shoulder, he said, "Shoulder." Then
pointing to his elbow he said, "Elbow."
Finally pointing at his wrist, he said
"Wrist. When you can master this task
in order, you are out of here.
The first amigo tried his luck, but no
cigar. He said, "Wrist, elbow, shoulder."
The second amigo was fraught with
anxiety, he got confused and said,
"Shoulder, wrist, elbow." The third
amigo came back with a smile on his
He showed the others what he had
done. He ran through the routine
perfectly, shoulder, elbow, wrist.
Pointing to his head he said, "You
just have to use your ass."
Bio:Mike Berger is an MFA, PhD. He is retired and writes poetry and short stories full time. He has been writing poetry for less than two years. His work appears in seventy-one journals. He has published two books of short stories and four poetry chapbooks .He is a member of The Academy of American Poets. .