Monday, April 7, 2014

Eye of the Beholder

Is there ever going to be
enough time to get it right?

I thought this evening near perfect--
air so clear, the sounds just so, you know.
Why do these bugs get in my eyes?
They’re wrecking my vision!

What can I do?
Put them in the vision too.

© Gerry Sackett, 2014

Male Striped Horse Fly
Photo by Thomas Shahan
from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, March 31, 2014

To a Mouse, Inside her House

Wee sticky, sleek and stubborn beastie
Ye canna’ point
Na north, na eastie

Nae matter how I push 
And slide you on
Your odious little pad 
Your cursor, curse it,
Stays put or dawdles, 
Meanders where it wants.
Has someone cut your cord?

Witless, e’en wireless?
Are ye on your own, lass?
Na far, you’ll get
Beyond this gray electron patch,
Your gray dominion.

Since you’re sae sticky
I think I’ll have a look inside thee
Off with your cover 
Ah, there for ilke man to see
Wrapped ‘round your tiny shafts
The stuff of mousepads,
Detritus of dead skin cells 
From unsuspecting users 
Who left tracks of their DNA
Inside your house
When they were making 
Witting marks on screens.

Dupes of  “user-friendly” ads.
Fie on them all!
Teach them to fiddle 
With a mouse trap.
The best laid plans o’ men
Often go awry.
What you’ve hoarded 
Inside your gummed up works
May some day solve a crime

A doltish beastie like yourself
Can afford to gloat.
You’ve nae cause to fret:
The present only toucheth thee.
But those who’ve wrapped 
Their hands around thee--
Stealers of identity
May come to grieve their past 
And dread the days ahead.

As much mousetrap as mouse
A dual identity
Quiet as an electron’s song,
Still ye may be,
In annals of the FBI,
A mouse that roared. 

© Bill Sypher, 2014

Trust wheel-mouse MI-1200 PS2
Photo by Mart Rootamm
from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, March 24, 2014


She screams out, “You're Not Worth It!”
and I call back “I know.”
For that's all she's ever told me.
I see her looking at me through the streaked glass,
and I wonder what makes me carry all her burdens,
better yet what makes me hate her so?
Yes, yes, I know, hate is a strong word,
but there is no other way to describe this relationship.
We go back as far as scented markers and play dough.
Elementary times, when hurtful words were spoken,
and she never once took up for me.
Instead she made me believe I was all those things.
The abuse only became worse with each passing year,
as she continued to beat me down.
I reached ages of physical yet not emotional maturity,
and my mind started to wander and wonder about the opposite sex,
and she had me tell her over and over I was wasting my time.
"Just look at yourself, no one wants you."
Her “I told you so's” stung with each rejection.
I cried myself into dark slumbers night after night,
hoping one day we might part,
but she had taken claim on my soul
so many years ago.
 I tried to escape her grasp, even changed my name,
but she remained,
and as I said I do, I could hear her laughter echoing.
She started all the arguments with me and him,
creating panic, attacking with screams
and items flung through the air.
Making me believe that he and his love were untrue.
Locked behind doors, scissors pressed to wrists,
I heard her say “Cut deep,
for it's the first one that counts.”
I struggled to hear the cry of another
saying “Let me in,
let me in,”
and for that brief moment,
I felt I had reason to live.
My battle struggled on, though,
leading me astray,
and I searched for ways to keep her at bay,
causing loved ones pain. 
I grasped the shame in the palm of my hand.
Holding tight that crimson letter.
My life unraveled,
breaking windows to the truth.
Exposed and vulnerable,
cowering beneath her once again,
I took the blows.
Wished I had strength to battle back.
By then I should have become immune,
but she created cancerous cells,
that I knew so well,
seeping through walls I had built.
I reflect a moment,
and reach for my pen.

© Suzanne Saxon, 2014

"La Parisienne Japonaise,: by Alfred Stevens
from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Song of the Wood Thrush, Call of the Raven

Which music sits better with me today? 
Which surrender is safer,
one that pulls my heart to the treetops
or one that sinks me down and rolls me? 

Which part of me needs to be moved today?
What's still and waits to be shaken?
Which pain am I denying
if grittiness rubs me only raw,
or softness numbs me or stings like a lie?

Which magic serves me fairly now: the golden touch? The golem's Shem?
Red fairy shoes to dance me blind, red poppies to send me dreaming? 

Music holds the alchemy and the hoodoo,
and I whirl between them, feeding 
on sounds as on honey and locusts. 

Being the smooth fluid river.
Being the flood, risen and raging. 
Being the gravelly riverbed, grinding myself back to earth. 

All this to balance tame and wild. 
All this to find my body again.
All this to remember to lose my mind. 

© Laura Seale, 2014

Folk dancers in Budapest
Photo by Wilfredor, from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Third Eye Is Blurry

Maybe it's a speck
of galactic dust
partially lodged
in the corner of my eye
or a seasonal allergy
from recurrent 
metaphysical storms

Possibly eye strain
from poor illumination
of a fading distant star
or damage to my hallowed retina
from gazing too long
at powerful suns afar

Can I blame diminished vision
on “End of Days”
foreseen long ago
by prescient Mayan priests
or is it just macular degeneration
from advancing old age

All seem rather likely
but if truth be told
a cosmic cataract
is blinding more each day
as golden Earth moments
inevitably slip away 

© Bill Vollrath, 2014

Mural num muro de tijolo em Aveiro
"Watching tv is like taking black spray paint to your third eye" ~ Bill Hicks
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fugue for An Aging Grandmother

I’ve been meaning to paint you for years,
pictures stored on my phone from visits
at Christmas and weekends when the Texas
cousins visit. Your hair is more wisp than
fall now, and pixel’s impressionism can’t catch
the aura I haven’t mastered with a brush
yet either. Or how the skin of your hands
grew softer; 15 years ago you were taking
mine to cross streets. Now you don’t
remember my name but I still love the
weight of them. A body holds on too long,
but the mind in fugue is the loss. Where
do you remain in there? Musical interludes.
The burst of grapes eaten one. After another.
After the other. You haven’t known me in years
But I’ve known your smell from the beginning.
The remain of which, the refrain of which,
pulls me away from the slip of linseed and oil.
Maybe I’ll just grasp your fingers a little longer.
Put the brush away until I’ve memorized you.
Take one more picture. One more December.
One more canvas holding only the curve of a face.

Though, it wasn’t your body I was trying
to capture in the first place.  

© Sarah Fletcher, 2014

Grandmother of migratory family with sick baby
on Arizona Highway 87, south of Chandler
Photo from National Archives and Records Administration
via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, February 17, 2014

Embrace the Mystery

In the innocence of my youth, old folks were wise, 
The flow of their lives distilled into a wondrous elixir of perfect understanding.
God, being older, was wiser yet, intoxicating.
And so, though I could not comprehend, I believed that if I should die before I wake,
God would send me to a fiery furnace or a beautiful garden,
Based on His tally of my young deeds.

In the self-absorption of adolescence,
I deduced that followers of God
Were drunk on their own self- righteousness.
Words did not match deeds.
God  benefited  their own salvation.  He was their God.  
Not the God of those who questioned, or, God forbid, doubted.
Not my God.  

Then, the stunning arrogance of youth.  
Ah, then all could be as clear as Caribbean waters.  All could be understood. 
The world defined, made rational through diligent study and observation.  
Look hard enough.  One would always equal one. 
Everything had a purpose.  Everything had a place.  
Not God. That Opiate.

Then came my son and daughter,
And I began to suspect miracles.
Who fit all the intricate parts into such small packages?
What told that one tiny cell to become so many, and take on so many forms, so many functions?
And by what means did the million descendants of that single cell know 
When to crawl, to walk, to run?
To mold themselves into such delightful beings, 
I suspected miracles, but life was too busy
To track down the source of my suspicions.

Now I am one of those old people. 
 I marvel at the beauty of the rose.
Sorrow at the brief moment of its life.  
 I am humbled by majesty of the mountains,
Swept away by the vastness of the universe.
 I weep at the cruelty of those who claim to love a loving God.
Yet, I am not wise.   My world still floods with questions not answered.
But I have learned to let them be, 
I seek, but do not demand, 
And failing to understand,
I lovingly embrace the mystery 
That may be my salvation.

© Carolyn Brumbaugh, 2014

Seneca Rocks ~ West Virginia
Photo by Tony Russell