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Poetry 4 Fall 2022




A Sonnet to the Beauty of the Evening 

         by James G. Piatt



“Let others pens dwell on

guilt and misery:I quit such 

odious subjects as soon as

I can.”

Jane Austen


In the beauty of the evening’s soft glow,

As the sea’s tide arrives in sapphire blue,

I marvel at the stars, so bright and true 

Shimmering down upon the souls below.  

The current brings in things that glow 

Like shiny kelp in an old leather shoe;

While the warm sand the winds eschew,

During dusk, when time moves so slow:

My mind exalts in the soft, gentle peace

Within my mind, where memories grow.

Dark thoughts are washed far, far away,

Gloomy feelings begin to ebb and decrease,

And then, as tranquility comes to stay,

All my misgivings quickly start to go.



Bio: James is a twice Best of Web nominee and three time Pushcart nominee, and has had five poetry books, “The Silent Pond,” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014), “LIGHT,” (2016),“Solace Between the Lines,” (2019), and Serenity, (2022), over 1735 poems, five novels, seven essays and thirty five short stories ]published in over 258 magazines, anthologies and books. He earned his doctorate from BYU, and his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic  University, SLO.



Christmas Gifts 
       by  Eira Needham
Blown away, by a familiar whiff  
of Rose Eau-De-Cologne, spritzed  
at the perfume counter, I remember 
wondering what to buy her.  
Fingering the shilling in my pocket, I spy  
a tiny bottle, with pink bow neck. 
This gift, wrapped like a pass the parcel, 
finished with holly print, looked enormous. 
She’ll never guess what’s inside. 
Anticipation woke me early- my hand  
zig-zagged down the quilt, speeding to find 
the stocking, chock-a-block. 
  He’s been!  
Mint humbugs and a cotton-whiskered 
sugar mouse squeezed into a paper bag,   
a flower clip and tiny china dog in  
a wrap of white tissue. Tucked into the toe,  
an aromatic tangerine scented walnut shells.  
I bite off the iced nose, doze until breakfast 
then watched Mam unwrap the umpteen layers,  
eyes crinkling as paper crackled. Hugging,  
I inhaled sweet roses dabbed behind her ears. 
Now the dim candlelight of our laden Christmas  
table cannot conceal one empty chair or the chipped  
china spaniel placed on the mantle shelf. 
Bio: Eira Needham is a retired teacher, living in Birmingham UK. Her poetry has been published in print and online. Some of her poems can be found in West Ward Quarterly, where she has also been ‘Featured Writer’. She came first in Inter Board Poetry Contest with a sonnet and recently been nominated for Sundress Publications, Best of the Net 2023. 


The Dancer            

          —after Geoffrey Davis

            by Sigrun  Susan  Lane

In Seattle, in 1932, my mother beholds this man

across a dance floor, the one she’s already


turning into my father.  He’s a dancer.

So handsome in his natty sailor blues,


thirteen buttons on the front of his bell bottoms,

a flap on the back of his jumper,


knotted tie, the full regalia.

That smile. Her heart yawns open


to let him in. He glides toward her

shy smiling face, where she waits


eager to be asked. And they dance,

because they are born to it—foxtrot, lindy hop,


their bodies finding new ways to move.

They dance because the night must not end,


morning must never come, the band must play forever,

this must be their lives, dancing in each other’s arms,


rain falling outside on the grey city blocks,

the windows wet and weeping.


My mother would never blame him

or that smile for all that happened after.


All those years after, she learned to forgive

his long absences. For better, for worse,


was all that mattered. No matter what others said.

She chose him, again and again. That smile.


Bio:Sigrun Susan Lane’s chapbook, Salt won the Josephine Miles award for excellence in poetry in 2020. Her poems appear in regional, national and international publications including the Amsterdam QuarterlyAshville Poetry ReviewCrab Creek Review, Ekphrastic Review, Seattle Review, Sing Heavenly Muse, Rain City Review, Malahat Review and others.  She has received awards for poetry from Seattle and King County Arts Commissions. Lane has published two chapbooks, Little Bones and Salt both from Goldfish PressShe is a docent at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle Washington. 



      by  Mike Wilson



She sleeps in

Grandkids too


All worn out

from so much love



Bio:  Mike Wilson is author of Arranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic, (Rabbit House Press, 2020), political poetry for a post-truth world. He’s a past winner of Kentucky State Poetry Society’s Chaffin/Kash Prize. His work has appeared in many small magazines, including Amsterdam Quarterly, Mud Season Review, The London Reader, and The Ocotillo Review. Mike lives in Lexington, Kentucky.



                               The Little Oxford Dictionary (1934)
                                                      by  Mark J. Mitchell
                                    The page he left was small, running from noun
                                    to nullify. She moved it from old desks
                                    to new, never thinking it was bound
                                    to dissolve. She used her trimmed nails to test
                                    its strength. Her finger oil might make it stretch
                                    and tear. A treasure map from a lost boy—
                                    something she doesn’t need but won’t destroy—
                                    means she’s trapped by real things starting with N:
                                    Nymph. Nut. Number. Nursling. Nun. Nutrient.
                                    Whenever she sees it, she grows annoyed.
                                    Now she wants adjectives not misplaced names:
                                    Nubile. Novel. Noticeable. She slides
                                    the drawer shut and yawns at her nightlight.
                                    It’s late. She won’t drop words on a blank page
                                    now. She’ll just dream herself a sylph and blame
                                    time for small sins, nullified by rem sleep.
                                    She’ll dream her desktop clear, the drawer neat,
                                    angled, alphabetical. Her annulled
                                    calendar freed from meetings. She’ll wake dull
                                    as a stranded adverb. Old. Incomplete.
 Bio:  Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California.
 He is very fond of baseball, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist         and documentarian, Joan Juster where he makes his meager living pointing out pretty things.
 He has published 2 novels and three chapbooks so far. and two full length collections so far. His first chapbook       won the Negative Capability Award.Titles on request.
 A meager online presence can be found at https://www.facebook.com/MarkJMitchellwriter/