by Michael Lee Johnson
Illinois writer in the land of Lincoln
new harvest without words
plenty of sugar pie plum, peach cobbler pie,
buried in grandma sugar;
factory sweets and low flowing river nearby-
transports of soy bean, corn, and cattle feed
into the wide bass mouth of the Kishwakee River.
It is the moment of reunion,
when friends and economy come together-
hotdogs, marshmallows, tents scattered,
playing kick ball with that black farm dog.
It’s a simple act, a farmer gone blind with the night pink sky,
desolate farmer, simple flat land, DeKalb, Illinois.
Betsy and Phil invite us all to the camp and fireside.
But Phil is still in the field, pushing sunset to dusk.
He is raking dry the farm soil of salvation, moisture has its own religious quirks,
dead seed from weed hurls up to the metal lips of the cultivator pitting.
The full moon is undressing, pink fluorescent hints of blue, pajamas, turned
inward near midnight sky against the moon now fully naked and embarrassed.
Hayrides for strangers go down dark squared-off roads with lights hanging, dangling,
children humming school tunes, long farmhouse lights lost in the near distance.
Humming till dawn, Christian songs repeat over God’s earth.
Dead go the sounds of the tractor, with the twist of a switch off,
down to the dusk and off the road’s edge.
It is the moment of reunion.
Bio: Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. His brand new poetry chapbook with pictures From Which Place the Morning Rises and his new photo version of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom are available at: http://stores.lulu.com/promomanusa. . He has been published in over 22 countries. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The author is also editor/publisher of four poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his
by Gabriel Ricard
had happened in all that weird weather,
but it was obvious
that they missed their chance to get in on it.
They couldn’t have been more than five minutes late,
and there was no sense in talking about it.
The moon was surprisingly capable
of touching the ground and then
making it back up in time to stick out its tongue
and wink like Superman.
The ensuing bedlam
was more psychological than physical.
The Pacific Ocean responded in kind.
eerily calm and confidently psychotic.
You just laughed,
an optimist who didn’t listen to music,
and assured me that you could still drive.
The roof and wheels of the car
were somewhere in the next life,
and you thought that was even funnier.
I went along
and wished I was a better writer.
Imagined myself a better person
for every experience I couldn’t walk towards.
You made a joke about prayer
and somehow gunned the car to eighty-five.
I was somewhere between
terrified and so impressed that I almost said so.
I should have said so.
I probably could have summed it up beautifully.
It was easy to do that in those days,
and I looked better in this jacket, too.
Bio: Gabriel Ricard writes short fiction, poetry, film and stage scripts, novels, stand-up material and creative non-fiction. He is an Assistant Editor to Unlikely Stories and a featured contributor at The Modest Proposal. Born in Canmore, Alberta, Canada he lives in Waverly, Virginia.
Going Ninety & I Ain’t Scary
by Julio Peralta-Paulino
I liked the world better when Paul Newman was making movies. He was a
greater man than many of us put together.
Butch Cassidy, that’s the one that got me with the raindrops keep
fallin’ on my head…
Never would have thought I’d be on a bike someday riding, but I was.
Of course, I wanted to be the Sundance Kid. I couldn’t swim either,
probably still can’t…
But I was thinking some days ago, if there should be a boss, a real
straight up dude, it’s gotta be Newman.
He probably wouldn’t have wanted the power unless it was in a race
care and isn’t that always the case with greatness? Indeed.
I know there is a G-d and you know Paul Newman ain’t going to hell.
Bio: Julio Peralta-Paulino is a regular contributor to Smokebox, Poor Mojo's, Gypsy Daughter, Write Between The Lines, and Jack Magazine. He is at work on several projects. Visit him at: www.inkrealm.blogspot.com
by Deborah Chaney
Here upon the edge
Of the world
Where an opaque
Wall meets our gaze
We stand together
To a horizon empty
Misty breezes cloak
Our embrace with silky
Hands of serenity
Mutually we sway
To the heartbeat
Of the sea
Your gift to me
My weary spirit
You urge me
Remember my joy
To only breathe
In rhythm with you
This bounty of love
You freely give
To the struggling
Woman who loves
Both you and the sea
Bio: Deborah Chaney writes poetry inspired by her photography and the Pacific Northwest. She is an aspiring writer of both fiction and poetry and hopes one day to be certain.