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Poetry  Page  1
Winter 2011



My  Cup  of  Tea

   by   Rinzu  Rajan

The petite gloss of the evergreen shrub
Dried, battered and gilded
To form black granules
Or powdered and cased in foiling
Is the beverage called tea
That which when opened
Sways in the caves of my nostrils
An aroma of the dawning sun
Drizzled in pearls of rain
Glazed in emerald.

Simmering in the kettle
Shrouded by steam
The milk, water and sugar
Unite in concord
With cardamom veering
To the music of peppermint
Imbrued in the crescendo
Of roses and chamomile,
This creates the perfect sonata
That caresses the olfactory
Mummified in sloth
To curb my apathy.

The first thing in the morning
And a wonted cup for the evening
With about five potions
To nip lethargy in its bud
But most of all
One for the night
To curb my hypersomnia
While memorizing wisdom
An elixir for migraine
And my best friend
In my late night
Literary pursuits.

Bio: Rinzu writes:

I started writing in early 2007 after a personal debacle and since
then have been writing poetry and short stories. Although I have no
formal training in creative writing I managed to break the ice by
attending workshops and events to sharpen my skills. Since then I
haven’t looked back and the ink has flowed off my pen in concourse.

I believe that poetry is a wonderful gift and with encouraging support
from other poets the gift of words can be perfected and the art can be
carried to a level of gracility that appeals to the layman as well as
the authors. I'm a formal poet and have written in more than 30 forms.


Tis The Season
     by Carolyn Wolfe
In the winter
the city shivers
like a woman
with no lover
A man
with no child to come home to
Like a bereft dancer
who has lost her step
       Center stage
causes the branches
of the city
to wear braces
of tinsel teeth
which look almost ugly
trying to keep the spirit alive
Snow turns to grit
turns into a dangerous ice phase
and the squeal of tires
becomes as common
Christmas carols
on a noonday street
in the place where no one is looking
there is no Christmas
only sadness, despair and longing
looking at the glitz and glamour
with eyes dulled
from pain
Christmas in the city
gives lonliness
a bad name...

Bio : Carolyn Wolfe is a free-lance writer and author of five books, with a sixth book in the process of  being published. Her body of work includes two children's books  "The Unhappy Little Dragon, Lessons Begin, and"The Bedtime Of The Sky and Other Sleepy Bye Stories.  two collections of poetry, "When The Moon Speaks" and "Notes From The Shadow Self."  and her first collection of her original short fantasy stories, for a young adult audience, "The Moonsparrow Collection". Carolyn Wolfe is an animal activist and advocate of human rights. Her passion for animals and her advocacy for creating a better world for our children to grow up in, is the subject of many of her poems and stories.   Ms. Wolfe currently coordinates local poetry events in The Shenandoah Valley, where she lives with her husband, artist/photographer Scott Wolfe, and her many animal companions.Carolyn's poem, The Picture, (Winter 2010, GSJ) was nominated for The Pushcart Prize.




Ev'ry Rung Goes Higher, Higher
     by Gale Acuff
Sunday School today was about Jacob's
ladder and we sang that song where you stand
and use your arms as if you're climbing and
call yourself a soldier of the Cross. I
don't know what that means, exactly, but
it's a good tune. Miss Hooker's our teacher
and she led us, with her red hair and green
eyes, and mouth that was just made for smiling,
she can open it so wide and if I
had sat closer instead of way in back
I would've seen into the bottom of her
belly. Which reminds me of Jonah and
the whale, or should I say Jonah in it.
We were all climbing and climbing and I
could see her shoulders, which look soft, each time
she got higher. I've seen her hands and arms
--and legs, of course, I mean where they end at
her skirt, which my mother says is too short
but Father just laughs and then she gives him
that look that means they may be married but
Shut up or maybe Shut up because they
are. Where was I? I could see her knees, too,
each time one of her legs moved up a rung,
and that was nice, seeing so much of her
but I know why Mother would disapprove
although I can't explain it--a feeling
I got from watching her, not just watching
but climbing along with her, stroke for stroke.
I'm only 10, there's a lot I don't get,
but I know that when you're married you sleep
together and not just sleep but other
stuff in the dark in your room and sometimes
you make sure it's locked, like my parents
do at least on Friday nights and every
so often Saturday nights, too, and then
there's the night before Christmas and New Year's
Eve. And their birthdays. But not Halloween.
You can read in there and watch TV and
listen to the radio and play cards
and laugh and cry and sometimes both at once.
And if there's a keyhole you should block it
so no one can peek in. Not that I do.
I think that Miss Hooker is 25
but to be so old she's in good shape if
I'm any judge--Father is but he's mum
when Mother brings her up and then he tries
not to smile or looks out the window or
clears his throat a couple of times and says
he's out of Winstons and where are Mother's?
When we got finished with Jacob's ladder
Miss Hooker was sweating a little, though
with ladies I should say perspiring, but
that's a rose by any other name, like
Jesus said, or maybe Liberace
or the weather girl on the evening news.
We all sat down--I guess we made it there,
to Heaven I mean--but I felt warmer
and I always figured Heaven for mild,
not too cold and certainly not too hot,
something like the Piggly Wiggly grocery
where we shop each Saturday. And next time
I'm going to save my twenty-five cents'
allowance and buy Miss Hooker something
nice, candy or bubble gum or a ring,
but it can't be too fancy at that price,
and give it to her after Sunday School
next week, the ring I mean, and put it on
her finger myself, if she'll let me and
if it's not too little and her finger's
not too fat. That will mean she's my girlfriend
if she takes it--and me along with it,
of course--but if she turns me down she'll still
be polite about it and I'll tell her,
Well, no one sings Jacob's Ladder like you
and when I saw you sweating--perspiring,
I mean--something happened to me and that's
love so please think twice before you turn me
down else why should I feel this way and it
be wrong? That should shut her up and yet I
want to see her make her mouth so big
and stretch her lips and show her tongue and gums
and her teeth like sugar cubes while she climbs
and climbs and climbs and finally reaches
Heaven and I came along for the ride.
When we get married we'll have our own
room and we'll do a lot of other things
I bet my parents don't, like hug and kiss
and make babies, though I'm not good at that
--maybe she can show me, she's old enough
to know--and see each other naked, which
might be nearly as good as seeing
God, or as close as you can get on earth.


Bio: Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Ohio Journal, Descant, Adirondack Review, Worcester Review, Verse Wisconsin, Sequential Art Narrative in Education, Poem, South Carolina Review, Carolina Quarterly, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, Amarillo Bay, South Dakota Review, Santa Barbara Review, and many other journals. She has authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008). She has taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.