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Poetry 2 winter 2012
   by  Joan  McNerney
O wonderful emergency!
Silver needles spin for hours
weaving tapestries to drape
rooftops  sidewalks  streets.
Millions of icicles delicately
   arranged on lamp posts
 along metal railings
                around cornices.

White magic prayed for by children.
A spell shutting down school
making way for snow fights.

Perfect opportunity to burrow
longer in bed.  Be late for work.
Appearing unbusinesslike
in rough clothes.

Snow crystals cover all
stains and blemishes.
Each windowpane
becomes  a
miniature museum
of fine line etchings.
We are snapped awake by frost.
Our woolen gloves full of lace.
Bio:  Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Camel Saloon Books on Blog, Blueline, 63 channels, Spectrum, and three Bright Spring Press Anthologies. She has been nominated twice for Best of the Net in 2011.

Santa Anna Winds

   by Jean McLeod


crowd tumbleweeds

against barbed wire

outlining ranches

where cattle huddle mid-field

near salt licks.


Scruffy live oaks droop,

too limp to provide shade

for spavined horses

and a desultory border collie

harried by a murder of crows.


At dusk, a train whistles

across fields gleaned so bare

the crows garner sustenance

from hawk leavings

and cow droppings.


Vultures scupper and hiss

from a saguaro silhouetted

against thirsty mountains

rising parched against

colorless skies


in the valley,

lupine and Indian paintbrush

strew the desert floor with shades

of periwinkle, amaranth, saffron

and sunset spreads

like melted butter.


Bio: Jean McLeod has retired from professional clowning and from social work. Her prose and poetry have been published in a number of magazines, periodicals, and journals over the past six years. She was a Pushcart Award nominee.






    by John Grey


So the scientist believes in God.

He just wishes he could see God

under the microscope.

He's tired of the ridicule from

his agnostic peers.

But it's one more day,

when every slide is

a drop of blood or a flake of skin.

Why can't something supernatural

ever find its way onto that piece of glass?

Can't the divine once prick his finger?

Can't someone take a pair of tweezers

to the transcendent, the all-powerful,

and come away with a juicy tell-all tidbit?

But no, everything he sees magnified ten thousand times

dutifully obeys the laws of nature.

Nothing eternal. Nothing immutable.

A slice of tumor on the plate this time.

It's malignant.

He can hand out the man's death sentence.

Just not what that buys him.


Bio: John Grey is  an Australian born poet,  and works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Poem,   

Caveat Lector, Prism International and the horror anthology, “What Fear Becomes”. He has work upcoming in Big Muddy, Prism International and Writer’s Journal.






   by Joan Colby



The best are transparent
as infatuation. The rarest red
as an orgasmic flush.
The opaque black ones simply cut.

Cold to the touch
as feet in bed. Charged with positive
electricity when rubbed.

Knowing the cleavage planes
is a lapidary art
exacting as an inspection
of the heart's interior.

The faceted stone
shocks with brilliants.
The eye of love
overlooks flaws to
tether the gem with gold.

Recalling how pressure and heat
secured the greasy luster
of raw passion in deep blue ground
where men tunnel in darkness.


Bio: Joan Colby has seven books published, including The Lonely Hearts Killers, The Atrocity Book, etc. Over 950 poems in publications including Poetry, Atlanta Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The New York Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Epoch, etc. Two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards (one in 2008) and an IAC Literary Fellowship. Honorable mention in the 2008 James Hearst Poetry Contest—North American Review and the 2009 Editor’s Choice Contest--Margie, and finalist in the 2007 GSU (now New South) Poetry Contest, 2009 Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize, 2010 James Hearst Poetry Contest and Ernest J. Poetry Prize. She  lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois with her husband and assorted animals.





Blue Mixing Bowl
   by Jim Kuperstein

This is my grandmother’s sky blue Pyrex mixing bowl
Overflowing with recipes on its westward journey from Emporia, Kansas
Cookie dough at Christmas time
Pie crust for lemon meringue
Biscuits, noodles and dumplings

The inside well worn and discolored
A mosaic of scratches diffusing and bending light
The result is pure gleaming

It is blue like her Kansas sky
Rising above wheat fields
Singing afternoon gusts

And she looked up to that sky
The Lord will provide
Things will work out by the end of the month,
when the bills are due
And He did
Government cheese and
surplus peanut butter
Descending from heaven,
via the neighborhood Baptist church

Now the mixing bowl barely contains my enthusiasm
for salsas, guacamole and brownies
But nothing lasts forever
Pyrex is hard to break
When it does it shatters
So many tiny shards
Requiring a moratorium
on bare feet in the kitchen.
Bio:Jim is an attorney and part time writer living in southern California.His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in multiple online publications. He can be contacted  via email: jim.kuperstein.gmail.com.