by Mark J. Mitchell
Cool breeze comes off the river
kissing the island on both sides.
That café sign creaks. You might hear
old songs drift as long tour boats slide
towards God’s home. Coffee’s soft steam
warms your hands, her face as she dreams
of Edith, Simone, Jean-Paul. Time’s
both still and liquid. It’s a door
tourists admire. But you, before
night, solve it as lips meet and rhyme.
Bio: Mark J. Mitchell has worked in hospital kitchens, fast food, retail wine and spirits, conventions, tourism, and warehouses. He has also been a working poet for almost 50 years. An award-winning poet, he is the author of five full-length poetry collections, and six chapbooks. His latest collection is Something To Be from Pski’s Porch Publishing.He is very fond of baseball, Louis Aragon, Miles Davis, Kafka, Dante, and his wife, activist and documentarian Joan Juster. He lives in San Francisco, where he once made his marginal living pointing out pretty things. Now, he is seeking work once again. he can be found reading his poetry here: https://firstname.lastname@example.org A meager online presence can be found at https://www.facebook.com/MarkJMitchellwriter/ A primitive web site now exists: https://www.mark-j-mitchell.square.site/ I sometimes tweet @Mark J Mitchell_Writer
At the Sackler
(Museum of Asian Art, DC)
by Frederick Pollack
The scroll is enormous. The more enormous
the feature – waterfalls, mountains, clouds –
the more spare and spaced
the marks. Nature is so enormous
it isn’t an idea. Is there
among those rocks a chamois,
snow leopard, fox who isn’t a part-time
demon, anything eating or being eaten?
Forests, four different vectors
of birds, a heron spearing a fish
by the river, reeds.
You can tell the poets in the old pavilion
are poets by some microscopic
hyphens of drunken humor. They wave
small whisks. The general
(leather armor) and tiny
officials off to the right, planning a battle
or the removal of the village
you are, have larger whisks.
There must be a lot of flies.
Bio: Frederick Pollard is the Author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS (Story Line Press; the former reissued 2022 by Red Hen Press), and three collections, A POVERTY OF WORDS (Prolific Press, 2015), LANDSCAPE WITH MUTANT (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018), and THE BEAUTIFUL LOSSES (Better Than Starbucks Books, forthcoming 2023). Many other poems in print and online journals (Green Silk 2019).
by Sanjeev Sethi
Roma is the name of my late mother’s brother’s
widow. While vacationing in Europe, I gathered
Rome in Italian is Roma.
A moment ago, a notification lifted the lid as it
posted Romaji: a system of romanized spelling
used to transliterate Japanese.
As we inch through the aphotic lanes of empiric
sharpening, newer meanings, fresher slants,
illume our understanding.
Bio:Sanjeev Sethi has authored seven books of poetry. His latest is Wrappings in Bespoke (The Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK, August 2022). He has been published in over thirty countries. His poems have found a home in more than 400 journals, anthologies, and online literary venues. He is the recipient of the Ethos Literary Award 2022. He is the joint winner of the Full Fat Collection Competition-Deux, organized by The Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK. He edited Dreich Planet #1, an anthology of Indian poets for Hybriddreich, Scotland, in December 2022. He lives in Mumbai, India.
Mask of Agamemnon
by Richard Rubin
At first, I thought it was the sun,
with a face a child could draw;
but then the eyes,
and the death inside them.
It was a face that knew revenge
and had dreams even seers could not unravel.
His blood did not run hot or cold,
but thick and I could feel it in my veins.
This happened once before,
in front of Rembrandt’s last self-portrait.
He could see me out of his darkness,
a light striking the top of my head:
I could feel the heat.
Just before sleep that night
I made sure all the doors were locked.
I have spoken of the mask only once since then,
to an old friend who will tell no one else
about a face that wants to push through the gold
and ready to bite; about his anger and mine.
I bought a replica.
I can see it through the bedroom door,
on the wall
looking straight into my eyes.
Bio: Richard Rubin is a retired librarian and library educator who has been writing poetry for personal satisfaction for many years. Recently, he decided to try and publish some of his poetry and has been fortunate to have some work accepted in Great Lakes Review, Willows Wept Review, Kakalak, and the American Diversity Report.
April As If Always
by Kim Hazelwood
Checking in on April,
Loving its jazzy way into May
The just out lyric greens,
All the trees, clover-ing things,
Appeared just as comfortable
In the sunlit flowerets
As if they had always been there,
Merely resuming the bloom.
Forgetting all about the friendless frost
And the pesky, cold wind,
How fiercely it missed the solar king.
Thawing every measure,
Every greensward glen
Of sculptured reaches.
A painting felt so deep,
Drawn into the developing story page
There you are,
A dash of color.
Arriving at the same time
The simpatico spark of simplicity,
The elemental drift of eventuality.
All along these possible dreams
So alive in emerald envy,
An inner space stirs,
Trumpets and teems,
Mushrooming the further belief of Beauty,
Rising in a time of the wonderful world of goals
From one line,
One curling vine to the next,
The vainglory of velvety vales
With much more to discover
On the grasses of your shoulders,
Green mirroring back green.
Bio: Kim Hazelwood is the founder and poetry editor of The Green Silk Journal.~here. She is the author of CoyoteBat!(2011,2021) and The Way You Just Shine(2021)~ Greenlea Publishing. When she is not busy editing this ezine, or working on a second book of poetry or other writing projects, she is painting or singing with her husband or enjoying precious time with her granddaughter.