Monday, August 11, 2014


Winged cats exist.
Must exist!
Sublimely promiscuous,
They can’t not exist!
They don’t regard difference
Between earth, air, and light.
Borne up by silliness,
By faith, by similitude,
By their analogy to any shape,
They are lazily limitless
And may further their fur
Into petal or wings
Pluming through fable.
If winged cats don’t exist,
Clouds won’t blossom,
Grass won’t be kissed,
Water won’t be gardened,
And rocks, once curvaceous,
Will refuse affection.
Fire won’t be sinuous
If winged cats can’t exist.
Thoreau thoroughly knows
Winged cats must exist,
Uplifted by the hybrid
Serene weddings of wildness.
Furry wings are allowed
A unique perfume:
Earth, air and light insist
This trespass is wisdom.

© Stephen Margulies, 2014

Cat Graffiti in Prishtina
Photo by WikiPri
from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Seeb Road by Night

Not far from the sea
In the north of Oman
A dreary two-lane road
Winds through the gravelled sand flats
Dark and heavily trafficked
Lined by a few scraggly dusty palms
A scene unworthy of a painter’s brush
And yet
And yet
Each night on this darkened stage
A tiny drama worthy of our time

Two boys, all of eight years old
Fan a makeshift charcoal grill
With a piece of cardboard
Grease-laced smoke rises from the grill 
And flames sometimes hover
Above the glowing gray-black coals
Lighting up their earnest faces

Cheap cuts of skewered lamb
Darken and sizzle on the grill
And cars pass by
This little stand
Between two palms
So dark it isn’t seen
So cars pass by

For more than one hour 
I watched them brown the lamb 
And set it aside
Waiting and hoping
Their obscure labor
Would cause a car or two to stop
Their expectations low

Sent out by their parents
Who knows how much they count on 
This hopeless, little stand
Who does their marketing?
Their advertising? 

© Bill Sypher, 2014

"Street Urchins"
oil on canvas
by Karl Witkowski
from Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Picking through now: my
god I was running so fast then, leaving behind time bombs and land mines as I fled
to make sure I would never look back or slow down or god forbid turn around and try to walk sanely again through this madwoman's minefield, now grown over with goldenrod and meadowsweet. 

I ran a slick path toward other choices, to hide in the city, to pretend among fumes and pavements that I was fresh and ready, that there was nothing behind me but the wide ocean... 
That there was no home waiting... 

Within a day I missed soft green under foot and soft eyes of family, so I soon returned to them,
but stayed apart from this field, walked only the perimeter, monitoring, until I trusted my eyes and my footing. 

Picking through now: in my treacherous meadow of old mines,
I am stepping, guessing, testing disturbed spots one by one. 
Slow work, careful work, through thick sedge that shadows and tangles my feet, that hides the triggers and trip lines. 
I am fearless, though, and slow.
As I find each snare I choose my fate, knowing that blowing everything open is the only way to be whole. 

© Laura Seale, 2014

Click link below to watch brief video of land mine explosion:

Land mine from World War II
from Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Simile and Metaphor

On the dance floor,
holding you at arm’s length,
Simile, with one finger,
will twirl you like the last leaf
spinning in Autumn wind.
When the song ends,
he is content with a quick hug, 
a tiny peck on the cheek.

Metaphor, on the other hand,
holds you tightly enough
to take your breath,
gives you the deepest French kiss.
It all happens so fast
that before you can say “stop!”
you find yourself in an unfamiliar bed,
pregnant with images
ready to be born.

© Jean Sampson, 2014

A couple dancing tango
Photo by Jorge Lascar
from Wikimedia commons

Monday, July 7, 2014

First Breath

At the Bang
there is breath
a singular point
God willed into being
inhales into consciousness
cosmic vibrations now manifest
nature's cycles unfold

At the moment of creation
the universe awakens
darkness recedes
across space and time
evolutionary forces unleashed
life exhales deeply
and exits silence's fertile door

© Bill Vollrath, 2014

The Phillip Medhurst Picture Torah 3. Creation. Genesis cap 1 v 10
from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, June 30, 2014

Martha and Mary

Martha in the kitchen...
The practical one.
Mary more the maid of thought,
The contemplative,
Maybe the lazier of the two.
But nevertheless,
Her mind was on matters
Other than pots and pans,
Food and drink,
The necessary things of life.

It would be nice to be Mary,
Seated on the cool floor,
Away from the kitchen's heat,
The bubbling pots,
Listening to the teacher,
Who had come to visit,
That once in a lifetime chance
To hear and sense
The mystery of the rabbi
Claiming to have come from God.

© Peggy Latham, 2014

Johannes Vermeer's "Christ in the House of Martha and Mary"
at the Scottish National Gallery
from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Death and Poetry

for Penny Holt


I think dying is a lot like writing poetry.
There is some fear when you approach each,
but you don’t let that stop you.
You notice how death and poetry
only deal with what is essential,
the essence of yourself, your spirit.
You see your flesh as a thin membrane,
separating you from that ladder of light
you must climb
to weave words together 
or to die.

I expect there will be kind angels
to help you climb, and others
who will wrestle hard with you until dawn
so you will become strong enough
to bear blessings
that flow from their hands.


I know that when you write
it is a sort of death,
a birth into a new world
you have been creating
since the day you were born.
It is probably the same
when you die.
You will bring your own 
loves, fears, dreams
with you, creating your own Heaven,
bearing it like the shell
a sea creature forms
from ordinary bits of life.

Then, there is light.
Both dying and poetry
are all about light,
how it leads you through shadows
you think you might drown in,
how it is the thread
that ties together
your past, present, and future selves
so you can write or die
with your whole self,
a plant with buds, flowers,
and seed pods bursting.


To write poems, you must trust
the path to appear before you,
but only as you plant your feet.
Dying, I think, is much the same,
an act of faith,
or maybe a wild leap
into invisible arms,
that like the earth,
have always held you up.

© Jean Sampson, 2014

Photo by Tony Russell