Poetry 2 Fall 2019
 
 
 
 
CHAINS
  by Sharon Rothenfluch Cooper
 
Nothing in the night is silent,
invisible wind threads the trees
and a puff of smoke brushes my face.
Leaves cup to catch droplets
then a breeze arabesques
through the shadows
and I hold out my arms
to form a halo for the moon..
 
Eyes catch the horizon
as light pencils with stabs
and between the throb
of seconds is infinity.
I'm a vanishing mark
in the quickness of time,
a butterfly with chained wings.
 
 
 
Bio: Sharon is a member of the Friends Of The Oregon Symphony and the WellArts Institute devoted to mental health..  Her chapbook, Reach Beyond, won a MAG Press International Chapbook competition.
 
 
 

THIEVES

  by Kim Hazelwood Haley

 

They took my trees,

In the middle of the night,

The  bushes and birds

Thieves with no masks,

No eyes.

 

Thieves,

Scarlet fever and cigarettes

A mother’s life too young,

Wished questions  and  real closeness

Had been ensued,

One always thinks there’s time.

Numerous lunars from

A  long ago fairy tale.

On board a long, rambling train.

 

Sad, scammy corporate greed,

Thieves with no masks,

No souls,

No heartful empathy,

Leaving trash everywhere they go,

Now tents, sheltering  homeless.

 

Thieves

Killing millions in the name of health,

Creeping commercials   doctoring   our subconscious,

In the backroom, squashing nature’s answers,

Thieves with no masks,

Among us, walking

Maybe running  someday.

 

Thieves that bully,

Verbally  batter

Steal most precious innocence, distort  and sicken love,

If there exists a hell, there it is,

The poison sent to children.

 

Stunted  a young girl’s spirit, her trust,

Violent Violation, trashed  her self-esteem,

Sabotaged  her self worth.

Thief with no mask,

Lurking, waiting-

ANIMAL.

 

There was only  one  glorious chance to be an innocent fool

And he stole that,

No roses, no sweetness.

In the middle of the night,

On board a long, rambling train.

 

Bio:  Kim Hazelwood Haley has been editing this litzine for 14 years!  One of her poems is to be included in the upcoming  Earth Poetry Anthology  next year by Foothills Publishing.  Her poetry has appeared in When Women Awaken (2016) as well as Green Silk and others also featuring short stories.  Her poem, A Geisha in Winter won third place in a poetry contest, and  she is also the author of CoyoteBat!  Lately, she has been performing as a singer-musician with her husband in their duo Cats With Matches around the Shenandoah valley, that is. 

 

 

Sweat Lodge

    by Richard Weaver

 

Each heated stone yields

its life to our bodies.

We glisten with darkness,

we forget our bodies

in the heat of its chant,

and in the drum that tones its beat

as it quickens our hearts.

If this were a dream

we might wake

to recognize ourselves

as saints or fools

or lovers without shame.

But dream-like it changes

as we listen to the prayers

of those who've come before.

Their steam rises to embrace us.

A litany of love lifting

the songs beyond hearing,

beyond chance

until the winter moon

dances closer still,

dancing into your full heart,

and then mine.

 

 

What the Mirror Sees

     by Richard Weaver

 

What draws me to you

beyond this light that hungers

for another light not itself;

an image that circles

the distant moon in majesty,

in miracle and forgiveness;

the silvery moments without you;

the faith that the sun of us

is greater than the square root

of I; a constant unknown

we accept as each other.

 

Bio: The author lives in Baltimore City where he volunteers with the Maryland Book Bank, CityLit, the Baltimore Book Festival, acts as the Archivist-at-large for a Jesuit college, and is the Official poet-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub. He’s the author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press). His poems have appeared in Loch Raven Review, Little Patuxent, Southern Quarterly, Crazyhorse, North American Review, Adelaide, BWR, Conjunctions, and Dead Mule.

 

 

 MUDSLIDE

      by  Robert Beveridge


I see the earth move
and my belly with it
headed below to fill
the valley or the ocean

even out the landscape.
And it never works
for all the mud
that fills the valleys
is still little
of what makes the mountains.

 

Bio:Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in The Virginia Normal, Credo Espoir, and Chiron Review, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

The burglar

   by  DS Maolalai

 

just about to drift

and she grabs at my shoulder, like rocks

capsizing a raft. there's someone outside,

she says - someone

is trying to get in. I push off the mattress

in my boxers,

and go to the window.

a cat looks at me, glaring eyes

from the top of the wheelie

bin. it's a cat

I tell her, just a cat, and she asks me

if I'm sure. I turn back

and yell

and it scrambles - the bin

is empty; it flips

like a heavy flower

in wind on a weak stem. night crawls

up the gutters, taps the glass,

chooses rocks

and throws them. I close the window

against sudden terror,

telling her quietly

yes.

 

 

 

 

We both know lending books is lending books for keeps sometimes

  by DS  Maolalai

 

and still,

two years to the day

since the day

you decided

today was the day you were done

and swept all your books

with one arm
off my shelf and into your backpack,

(though we both know that lending books

is lending books for keeps sometimes)

I still find myself noticing strangers

on the bus and on the train

and waiting for the moment

when they turn their heads again

in the way that caught my eye at first

because something in the way they look

looks something

like you looked

for a moment there

and I need

to see it

again.

 

and I guess it helps

that I don't have a great memory for faces

and that there are a lot of pretty women

with waistlength white-blond hair

and small mouths and sadness curling

but the bitch of it is

I know you're somewhere else

and not likely to leave

and probably in love again

because you know

I know

you don't like

to be lonely.

 

and I still haven't read the books you recommended

and I haven't watched the films

or gone to see any of your plays

so what would we even have to talk about

even if the woman on

this bus

had your nose too

and your mouth

and a mind that was even slightly like yours

jittery and with all kinds of importances,

fancies falling

and flying

all over the place

like flaws in a white diamond

which they say is what's hardest

to get right

in imitation.

 

 

 

 

 

Bio: DS Maolalai has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been release in two collections, "Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden" (Encircle Press, 2016) and "Sad Havoc Among the Birds"(Turas Press, 2019)