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Poetry 6 Fall 2022



Carolina Wren

      by Barb Brooks


I killed you yesterday. 

Left a bucket of water without a lid

in the garden.  Did you go in for a drink

or perhaps your daily bath?  Feathers

waterlogged, you tried to escape.  Water

and gravity won.  Found you floating

like a brown leaf.  I hadn’t seen you at the suet.

with your mate.  I heard her trill but there was no answer.


Today, I watched the wren dig into the suet;

take the same flight path to the brush pile. 

I lost count of how many trips she made.

I was certain she was feeding a fledging

without a partner.  The fallen leaves

against the fence were boiling, she popped out;

maybe she had an insect in her bill; she was too fast

for me to really see.  I won’t disturb your effort

to feed your young. I killed your mate.



Bio: Barbara Brooks, a retired physical therapist and author of “The Catbird Sang”, “A Shell to Return to the Sea”, “Water Colors” chapbooks, is a member of Poet Fools.  Her work has been accepted in Avalon Literary Review, Chagrin River Review, The Foundling Review, Blue Lake ReviewThird Wednesday, Peregrine, Tar River Poetry, Silkworm among others.




        by John Grey


The heart figures itself

for more than just a muscle.

But look at it.

Or listen to it –

beat after beat after beat after beat.


It sees itself as something other

than a blood-pumper.

A  Keats.  A  Shelley.


It’s even had me convinced.

Year after year,

I spoke of the heart

with such reverence,

as if it was the core of my better nature.

But now I see the heart for what it is.

It’s just part of what keeps me going,

for good or for bad.


It has as much to do with love and poetry

as the liver and the kidney.

And far far less than the often undervalued mind.


I should tell the heart

where it really stands

in the romantic scheme of things.

Somehow, I just don’t have the heart.


Bio: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Covert” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review.


Each Other

       by James  B. Nicola


In the moment
we almost
each other
as One.
In the moment
that is
we almost do
the same.
We may not be able
to become one with the universe
make a new molecule
and all
of that, but we
can be-
come each other or pretty
(un)damned close—
So love
is like sex,
and art
like memory:
that something be
come of Us,
or pretty blessèd
an ear, bending
an eye, makes
a moment Ours
and Us as One
and the Moment
a bit of
like Love
or Chemistry
if but for a moment like now
that fades.
Whoever you are
who has made it to
thank you;
but now the turn
is ending
and it's time to go
our ways
unless you'd like
to start at the top
and try this (un)damned thing
In the moment we almost became each other We were almost as One.
In the moment that is we almost do the same
Bio:James B. Nicola is a returning contributor to Greensilk. The latest of his seven full-length poetry collections (2014-22) are Fires of Heaven: Poems of Faith and Sense and Turns & Twists. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. He has received a Dana Literary Award, two Willow Review awards, and eight Pushcart nominations—for which he feels stunned and grateful.


a beautiful husband

          by Nanette Rayman-Rivera


Kiln headdress hair pretty as Bird of Paradise flank plumes

Bounces when he walks and he walks all day and night

My heart travels with him but he doesn’t see

He used to see, he used to beg me to walk on hot sand

Caterwauling on Coney Island

He cried gray on the rain

When I told him I loved him too.


Me, giddy on the grayness of New York City

Jose, a reliquary for love and its lava

He dared to throw me on the Battery Park grass and top me.

Unapologetic to cops he was caught

In the chestnut woodland of my thighs.


I heard it was impenetrable from cops

This case of him gone missing

Who wouldn’t understand that he was choking

On the phone,

Who wouldn’t understand that he never

Touched his bank account,

Who wouldn’t understand that he loved me

They made me pay

For his dying-to-bite bee-bee berry bing

Drug addiction

His Hispanic manhood

Unafraid to write me poems

The words phlox (our souls are united)

And peach blossom (I am your captive)

Flourishing inside me.

Nor his

Sweetness before he sleep-walked

into a rose-shaped courtyard

On the way to burning his handprints on the street

Geeking, the colossus of his lips searing like pox

Then reddened like dead roses

They wouldn’t understand

That choking when drugged

He may as well have taken a bullet.


I thought my love would shield him

As trestle shields the train

As big love and hearts too big to break

Should shield us all


2 years later to the day of

August 31, 2020

In my bookcase

I find one of his poems

Sunflowers eyes are not as pretty as yours, mi bonita esposa

When I see you, the orchids of your lips are beckoning me by degrees

Your skin silky and lambent verifying you are real. Your bullet hips send me

preciosa esposa


Bio: Nanette Rayman-Rivera, author of poetry books, Shana Linda Pretty Pretty, Project: Butterflies, is a two-time Pushcart nominee, Best of the Net 2007, DZANC Best of the Web 2010, winner Glass Woman Prize for prose. Publications: The Worcester Review, Sugar House Review (mentioned newpages.com), Stirring's Steamiest Six, gargoyle, sundog, Berkeley Fiction Review, Editor's Pick prose at Green Silk Journal, Pedestal, ditch, Wilderness House, decomp, Contemporary American Voices, featured poet at Up the Staircase, Rain, Poetry & Disaster Society, DMQ, carte blanche, Frigg, Oranges & Sardines. She lives with her puppy, Layla.