Header Graphic
Poetry 3 Fall 2015



Untitled Because

     by John Berry


It somehow seems pointless to finish

the poem I started

so Scraps of America fizzles

in a document file

waiting for me to finish my thought

waiting for me to spell frustration

            with sharp jagged letters,

            point a sardonic finger with the spacing of words,

            sling barbs and darts in a caustic hail of imagery, simile, metaphors

of disgust

for the ignorance

of them, but not us,

for the fear that drives

fervor and hatred as if it was new

for the scraps of a country I saw in a box

in a stairwell closet with courage and justice

liberty draped shapeless and shunned on a hanger.


I visited the file today,

stared down the bogeymen of children’s dreams

spread times roman salve on a festering wound

which will not heal

has no conclusion

no graceful way to end.



Bio:: John Berry’s work has been published in Vox Poetica, The Yellow Chair Review and Disorder, a Red Dashboard publication.  A self-taught woodworker, carpentry contractor and promoter of all things poetry, he writes and works from his Winchester Virginia home with his beloved wife Brenda and their two yorkies,  Molly and Lily.


It Begins

   by Marilyn Stearns

I stand tall, ready.
My breath is low, slow, relaxed.
My body lifts
and opens within, as
strong muscles squeeze
below the lungs
to steadily release
the stream
of air moving past
pulsing vocal chords
then spinning within
the mask's
open pockets
passing vibrating,
welcoming lips.
Now, freed forever
and born in song.



  by Marilyn Stearns


I come to poetry in search of
meaning born of truth
woven to new majesty.
Some makes me calm, informed,
see new beauty, caress,
search my inner self.

Other poems can plunge me
near choking, astonished, down
to the depths of startling
possibility, from bog static to
volcanic overflow. Raw phrases
of chance, sex, madness,
disaster, portent, insanity
thrust me down into the hate,
the mud, the slaughter, the bad luck on the path
of human earthy mess and pain.

I accept the surprise,
the message, the force,
the whole journey.
I accept it all.


Bio:Marilyn Tarpy Stearns has been a musician for most of her life and came to writing poetry relatively late. She  graduated from Mount Holyoke College and recently received an MFA in poetry from West Virginia Wesleyan College. Through her exploration of poetic literature and forms as well as her experiences and travels, her words speak to who she is and is becoming. She has three children and five grandchildren and lives in Winchester, Virginia.






I Love Art   

--for my friends, Susan Ramenofsky and Judy Rogers

by Bonnie Amesquita


I love art
if only because 
nights really are sapphire blue


and shtetls and red flames

fiddlers and doves come alive

in colored cut glass


the sky melts easily

into lavender and blue water 
if you let the light take over


and white gold galaxies do

swirl and shimmer

above sleeping towns

where painted women

at local bars

glow under green gaslight


and lonely nighthawks gather

for coffee in yellow-lit diners

hours before dawn


I love art

if only because

brown clay when bronzed


can change a paunchy old man

into a mighty

rooted force


and turn a woman sleeping

on a park bench

to silver.


Bio: Bonnie Amesquita grew up in Illinois and Connecticut.  She attended Joliet Junior College and College of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, earning her bachelor’s degree in English in 1983.  She then enrolled in the master’s program in English at Northern Illinois University (NIU), earning her M.A. in 1989.  That same year, she became an English instructor at NIU.  In 2009, the NIU English department awarded her their Excellence in Teaching award.  Upon retirement from NIU in 2009, she entered Chicago Theological Seminary, where she earned a Certificate of Theological Studies in 2010.  She is currently a writing consultant in NIU’s University Writing Center.  She and her husband Ric live in DeKalb, IL.