Poetry 1 Fall 2019



l'm Not writing a Poem about Dying

    by Tom Sheehan


The odd weight is at the back of my head, crickets hanging their parachutes in the trees, or peepers,

I'm never sure which because their density is heavy as equations and I was never very good at math.

Now, at this unhurried hour, the river throws all its daylight away, every last cent of it,

The silver squabble and bauble day took its time dropping in the last battered clutch of sunlight or, better,

Azalea blossoms landing. mosquito- quick, or mayflies the furtive trout waited all winter for.


The redwing blackbirds, two pair of them I've come to know, bush-hummers, reed squatters, artistic as Spads or

Zeroes (before the super-propulsion), Curl head -under-wing in their nighthood.

And the worms rest easy for the night, gracefully at ease in muck and mire if you can believe it (everything having a

place in all of this).


I  say the only way you can hear the wind is the nerve it cuts, an edge across the throat of a limb or slices its fingers

on a downspout or gutter or a last leaf even October might leave. or tries to turn a worm on its back (which is never

there,  you know).

The river water and the reeds and the birds and the worms and all the spilled or thrown daylight and all the

azaleas, no matter what thought they were what, all will outlast me, but only by the species. Bet on it!


Bio:Tom Sheehan, in his 92nd year, has published 44 books, latest being The Grand Royal Stand-off at Darby’s Creek, and Small Victories for the Soul VII. Submitted are Valor’s Commission and Beneath My Feet this Rare Earth Slips into the Far-side of Another’s Microscope. He has multiple works in Rosebud, UK’s Literally Stories (120 pieces)Linnet’s Wings (Ireland, 89 pieces)Rope and Wire Western Magazine (262 pieces), 16 Pushcart nominations. He graduated from Boston College in 1956, and served in Korea 1950-52.




    by John Grey

Wind blows wildly

as the maple shakes off the last

of its red-toothed leaves.

Pine trees bend toward the house.

Shutters pull on their rusty nails.

Smells won’t sit still.

So the beagle spins in circles.

The cat stares out the parlor window.

It’s an indoor critter for now.

My father rakes as best he can.

The leaves won’t sit still on the comb.

Let alone make a pile.

I run to him with an empty brown bag,

Like another wind

but made of his flesh this time.


Bio: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.



Indian Summer

  by Eira Needham



slips through the haze

a breath on my cool cheek;



the flush of warmth bewilders,

swallows linger in brittle reeds.



Shadows dance as light dwindles.

Teasing sighs, a kiss before



we tango with a flurry of lime

and copper across appliqued lawns.



East wind blasts; a spangled rime

surrenders into brume.




Bio: Eira Needham is a retired teacher living in Birmingham UK. Her poetry has been published in print and online. Some of her recent/forthcoming publications are in Lighten Up Online and Allegro Poetry. She has

also been Featured Writer in WestWard Quarterly and once came first in Inter Board Poetry Contest.




Beautiful Cold

      by Lisbeth L. McCarty



Coopersville in November

was my first trip

from the autumn of Oklahoma

which still harbors vestiges

of the vicious summer heat

to the Michigan snowfalls

which bear no pretensions

about the approach of harsh winter

Frozen roads and white-outs

greeted the senses

When the storm cleared

the world was covered

with lush white

standing houses became hills of snow

Although the cold

chilled through the outer coverings

and straight into the soul

the landscape was definitely

beautiful cold

And I cried when the day came

to return home.

Bio: Lisbeth L. McCarty. McCarty's books available on Amazon are: The Mental States of Murderesses I Cooked; Therefore, They RanOurs was the HouseThe Bitten AirScared Spell That Ends WellConfound the Moon; Mustang IslandHow the Worst was DunnUnicorn and Friends; and From the Heart of the Galaxy (an anthology).



The Morning Hour

    by James G. Piatt


The serenity 

of wandering thoughts 

is carried in

by the dawn’s 

incoming mist 


into the shadows 

of my memories 

as I sit 

drinking Oolong tea 

out of my grandmother’s 

bone china.


Current of Time

    by James G Piatt


The current of time washed against 

the last hours of the night, and 

erased the vestiges of reality as I 

tramped upon the words that 

escaped from my unwritten 

poems that were scattered about 

the unlit floor. Becoming lost in 

the shadowy side of the night, my 

thoughts danced in the darkness of 

the rusting hours, and ghostly 

incantations of ancient poets 

screamed at my brain as I 

scrambled to lace meaningful 

words together on a piece of tear 

soaked parchment.



Bio: James is the author of four collections of poetry, “Solace Between the Lines,” (2019), “Light” (2016), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014),” and “The Silent Pond,” (2012). He has had over 1,400 poems, four novels, seven essays, and thirty-five short stories published in over 200 different national and international, books, anthologies, and magazines, including Green Silk Journal. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU. A review of his newest collection of poems, “Solace Between the Lines,” can be found on Cyberwit.com.