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Poetry 4 Spring 2018



Depth Finder

     by  Richard Luftig

The guy at the marina told me

the trick is to know how

many feet down the bass

are hiding and that he could sell

me just the thing guaranteed to fill

my stringer. So, I took the bait,

bought it and fished for three

straight days with only empty

Styrofoam worm cups

to show for my troubles.

Fish can be so shallow.


But later, in the diner in town,

alone with my all-you-can eat

fried cod, potatoes and slaw- 

the only fish I ever got

on this trip-I listened over

to the next booth where

a guy and coed, students

at the nearby college,

shared coffee and bagels,

as they nibbled around the edges

of their first date: He, casting

his lines, trying to lure her

with the depth of his intellect,

and she evidently satisfied

to throw out a tangled net

of stories about herself,

shyly fishing for compliments.


Bio : Richard Luftig is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio now residing in California. His poems and stories have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States) and internationally in, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. Two of his poems recently appeared in The Best Ten Years of Dos Madres Press.




With My Hands in Water

      by  A.J. Huffman


I become air, circle time, touch nothing.


People are only words and wishes, things

they believe they can keep.  Things

they do not fully comprehend.


Together we are tiptoeing along the high wire,

backwards and blindfolded, trying to see

the four corners of a circular world.


Our labor steams the mirror that might be a floor.

Our footprints disappear.  If we are lucky

we realize we are looking for the wrong

answers.  If not, we learn to endure

the perpetual falling.


Bio:  A.J. Huffman has published thirteen full-length poetry collections, thirteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses.  Her most recent releases, The Pyre On Which Tomorrow Burns (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers.  She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2600 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.


    by  Valentina Cano
The thought that the right words,
strung like fish-bait
and just as colorful,
are out there,
is enough to spend her minutes down
to their bone seconds.
She picks and shucks,
tapping each syllable with
a seashell fingernail,bringing them up to her nose for a final whiff.
Bio: Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she has either reading or writing. Her works have appeared in numerous publications and her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web. Her debut novel, The Rose Master, was published in 2014 and was called a "strong and satisfying effort" by Publishers Weekly.
Homage to Japan
   by  Norma Sadler
Fragile temple bells
Small white blossoms in the wind
Stir the spring silence
Bio: Norma Sadler has published poetry and prose in literary journals in print and online. Two haiku appeared in JAPANOPHILE in the l990's. Her  blog for poetry, essays and short stories is at nsnetnov.blogspot.com, and she has  a novella, Flight of the Swan on Kindle.