XVII:2 June, 2002

A Journal for Linking Poets 


Khizra Aslam; NIMBUS by Khizra Aslam; SUGAR by Gene Doty; GAME GHAZAL by Ruth Holzer

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2002: POLICE REPORT by Debra Woolard Bender; THE MOON THAT BELIES ITS NAME*   byDebra Woolard Bender; THE DREAM OF A SWIMMER by Marjorie A Buettner; SARCOPHAGUS byGary LeBel; BREAKFAST AT CE CE'S CAFE by Larry Kimmel; ON THE LITTLE FLAT by Melissa Montimurro; PINA BAUSCH -
A Portrait of the Choreographer by
Werner Reichhold; COMPETENCY by
Linda Jeannette Ward

hortensia anderson;
Giovanni Malito; Proud Father by 
Giovanni Malito

Debra Woolard Bender; UNTITLED SIJO by Debra Woolard Bender; KROGER by Gino Peregrini

Pamela A. Babusci; LOVE TANKA by Debra Woolard Bender;  Marjorie Buettner;  Owen Bullock; Tom Clausen; NARA IN THE WIND AND WATER Nara Jidai - period: to AD 794 by Jamie Edgecombe; BEDROOM WHISPERS by Jamie Edgecombe;   Liz Fenn; NEVER ENDING SONG by W. Flohr; MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING by Mrinalini Gadkari; Jack Galmitz;    Sanford Goldstein; ENDURANCE by Ruth Holzer; MOMENTS OF MEDITATION by Elizabeth Howard; NEW SKY by Courtney Johnson;  Jean Jorgensen; THREE  SPRING TANKA by Kirsty Karkow; WHATEVER MY SINS by Larry Kimmel;  Giovanni Malito; GARDEN OF ROCKS by Thelma Mariano; Keith McMahen;  Melissa Montimurro; June Moreau; Sheila Murphy; David Rice; Tim W. Younce

WITHOUT CLASSIFICATION: June Moreau; Sheila Murphy





Khizra Aslam

As she basks sun-soaked where water begins,
Such illusions spark; bare daughter begins.

On that altar I see silhouettes move slow.
Can you hear sheep bleat as slaughter begins?

How propped puppets swing on delicate strings,
On a stage well-lit such straughter begins.

Never mind if you spilt that blue-black ink;
Remains of stains! Where no blotter begins.

Go, pack up, khizar, and find a new way,
Why, you wish to stay where laughter begins.


Khizra Aslam

I hear empty voices, light shimmer on that mountain,
What seek humans from this deep? Glimmer on that mountain.

There must be some enclosure in a tightly pegged tent,
Who dwells among the dry cracks? Dimmer on that mountain.

The tip of tops is burning, no rain can numb them still,
What calm, what balm you hold, what whimper on that mountain!

He brings news of green grocery and concerts from tabloids
But what of those white yetis? Go slimmer on that mountain.

What spirits of lovers flit here, why you run astray, khizar?
See sparks of burnt ashes shine. Shimmer on that mountain.


Khizra Aslam

Upon this small stage whose song will be sung?
When golden lights lit you dream dancers' flight.
White ray will beam right from wrong will be wrung.
In circus on this stage some tongues are strung,

Few hang a little loose. Like, prancers' tight.
Upon this small stage whose song will be sung?
He's frightened so runs but will soon be hung
From, bamboo ladder rung. What, answers right?

White ray will beam, right from wrong will be wrung.
He takes off his jacket. Her jeans are flung.
For nonchalance to her enhancers' height.
Upon this small stage whose song will be sung?

Come, look into his eyes. A serpent is stung.
It coils round and tight. An advancer's plight!
White ray will beam, right from wrong will be wrung.
What jingles, khizar, how those bells are rung?

You almost sleep. See spreading cancer's might.
Upon this small stage whose song will be sung?
White ray will beam, right from wrong will be wrung.



Gene Doty

The world in itself spins out fine filaments of sugar
laced with pain and fear - the most unpalatable kind of sugar.

We who walk upon dirt and stone cannot resolve our pains
or release our fears without the tender kisses of sugar.

I find my house crumpling around me, joists splintering,
walls collapsing under the weight of a steady fall of sugar.

In the night, the goddess walks upon my sleeping corpse,
her eyes aflame with the crunchy embers of sugar.

Oh Mother, oh Father, the many mouthfuls of life I chew,
mixing them with saliva, turn to crystallized grains of sugar.

When ice-pellets blow across the streets and sting our skin,
we can't believe these white crystals are nothing like sugar.

Gino, this poem really isn't that sweet; you know nothing
of the dulcet, the refined. You know only coarse, gritty sugar.


Ruth Holzer

Slugged fair or foul, it’s only a game,
what counts is how you play the game.

After many a summer dies the winning streak,
champions are booed when they lose their game.

The outs, the innings proceed in sheer waiting
for that walkoff run to break your tie-game.

One bad call on a split-fingered spitball:
the balance shifts in a crucial game.

Babe Ruth, Bambino, drown that piano;
point again to the bleachers, stay alive in the game.



Debra Woolard Bender

11: 30 pm: after a smoke, husband leaves the attached tool shed

11: 35 pm: husband re-opens back door – face-to-face with a stranger in dark clothing

11:35.5 pm: thief walks off with another haul: 1 air compressor power-washer, retail price, $300

going down
with this neighborhood

drug traffic
a trail of wild grapevine ends
at the street-corner


Debra Woolard Bender

Destiny is written on the face of a child, what he will be or what she is meant to be. What she is and what he is not. Even a child may grow into his birthright, while another is buried before allowed to live, yet live she must.

Forbidden colors
in a sea of fertility...

Wave upon wave
is falling from grace;
the pull of the moon.

And going on, an actor on a stage, performing the expected parts. The rites of love and death are blurred. Desires, tears and the inconsistencies of mind – light and shadow play like sun on steel.

the blade saves life or kills...
Autumn loneliness;

the mask reconfesses
his womanhood.

* (references and allusions are from several book titles of novelist Yukio Mishima 1925-1970)



Marjorie A Buettner

If we could learn how to breathe, we could learn how to live without the mind remembering itself.  We could smell the sun through glass windows. We could taste the air the way the tongue tastes itself.  If we could learn how to breathe, we could feel our fates balance without counting swallows or sticks.  We could live out of the body without promises or lies.  If you see me walking down the street without turning back to see myself in the eyes of those behind, you will see me without secrets, learning how to breathe.  And if we learned how to breathe we could share our breaths and rescue each other, nightly, from drowning in ourselves.

the way we mold
into each other's arms
this spring morning
the curve of your body
melding into my own



Gary LeBel

He lays in the stifled hush of the large display room. Experts say his name was Djebhor* and that he was a priest.

Words that once fell from his parted lips are bitten into stillness by the one remaining tooth. Though he’s submerged in the solace of his rags, he can’t hide his face from yet another thief who comes to rob him.

I once saw an Egyptian film called "The Night of the Counting of Years". The main character, a teenage boy who is part of a grave-robbing family tradition, becomes conscious of the fact that he’s actually looting his ancestors’ tombs. A tragic coming-of-age. The secondary idea in the film underscores the insatiable hunger and greed on the part of western museums and private collectors for the plundered artifacts, the only motive for the tomb theft at all. I thought of the boy in the film as I looked down at Djebhor, caught squarely as he was between two worlds.

One might argue that a mummy is just a thing (which is how we treat it no matter how carefully it is handled), inanimate and spiritless. But can you say as you look down on his face that there is not something morbid in putting the dead on display? To what finer purpose do we unravel a sacredness which has been so carefully shrouded in another time, another world? Why do we lust for the embalmer’s secret if not out of the most flagrant vanity?

How many suns must have framed your shadow in doorways that faced only sand and burning heat! Did Anubis** on a night like this, fly up from the In-Between and whisper "Sand is the measure; sand is the measure of all" ?

Bending my knees slightly I look closer at the face of one who was once someone’s son, another’s friend, a lover perhaps. He will survive our unintended erasure just as he survived the thieves of the last millennia. Encased in glass above the cold wooden floor, he may already know that the ears of those who surround him will soon have been burned away by the passage of their time.


the mummy’s lips
seem to open for a question
that has no answer:
why his faith has left him
in two different worlds

*"DJEBHOR" is the name of the mummy on display.  I really did feel a bit ashamed of myself for looking on his face so long.  There are so many things in one's life that need a periodic re-examining, don't you think?

**ANUBIS was the god of the dead and the inventor of embalming, but most importantly he was their judge, "weighing the heart of the dead against the feather of truth."  He is depicted with a jackal's head in art and many believe this deity is related to the Hermes of the Greeks.


Larry Kimmel

Clatter of spoons. Close, woolly-damp  heat.  Through the steamed window and across the Common, the red door of the Anglican church. It takes a second to recognized her.  Whatever the mystique five years ago, it's gone.  She's lost her face to flesh and an old infatuation gutters.

I watch my hand
pour cream, stir coffee –
so weary, of this habit
that goes by my name



Melissa Montimurro

Where the road begins to curve down to the "Little Flat," I found a dead painted turtle.  The Little Flat is a tributary of the Big Flatbrook, the mother-water that curls like an unanswerable question under and beside and through this town.  The Little Flat is no mere finger.  It is not less than hipbone and border country.  Vein, artery, city of breathers and bubblers.

Death had not come gently to the turtle; it had been crushed by a car or a truck or something with wheels, and its scarlet-lacquered scutes unhinged, and the stars of its feet splayed, and the humble nugget of its head.

in death too
a small turtle paints the world
as if its colors do not know –
this wrist of river
flicks and bends without pause

On the Little Flat I have seen the lung of life empty and fill.  I have heard the slap and chuckle of the muskrat swimming, and seen that wild scarf the mink run down a rabbit.  I've felt the furnace of my soul flame watching the lethal courtship of the lampreys, whose tooth-ringed mouths open like treacherous blossoms.  I watched them twist and vibrate up from the water, girdled together soft-boned and grave.  After, they drifted downstream into death's eager riffles.

Merciless, thundering life!  Furling, plunging, gleaming, throbbing, carrying on before me, whose job it is to admire, to be awed, to keen and praise and answer.

the brook continues
over the black stones
eccentric as life and death
   tonight it will gather the stars
   send them – small boats – back to sky


PINA BAUSCH - A Portrait of the Choreographer
Werner Reichhold

Act I

Open       scissors and you      the wide-winged

The studio is filled with actors / dancers learning from each other's daily life rhythm. Then acting about it and getting criticized:

   -  How long do you think a gesture can hold on to you? Whose entertaining wit can say the most of what is lost and yet remembered?
      Act out: "I am a landmark." No, no concessions, only you yourself being
      The Landmark. You may try it out doing it in three steps

unframed     the view ignited     glass

-  Thanks Aviva and Elias, you're doing it right. The audience is moved, sweats and starts thinking.
      Each of you develops and removes a singular distinguished presence. Yes, today we are exercising a calendar of herded motions. Turn one of your inner pages - read the image, look at it - give it a pause in time, see - that's you: sleep as a preparation for those preparing change. Invent the sign language for it -

  each shows Pina how      how shows Pina each     each Pina Bausch shows

      a kite
                     no visible pull
                                                 I the end of a string


Act II

The actors / dancers in a state of mind agreeing with their own movements, though at the same time introducing a secret strategy of disagreement, a persiflage that's aimed at the viewers' ability to learn how to be disconnected from former concepts. Training the body a new language asks for patience. We're watching the performers' visible efforts. Everything that happens afterwards is part of the audience's fantasy transforming Pina's energies.

The players joining their mimics. As time goes by, each comedian / dramatist is trying not to interfere with each other's expression of pain.

Here is Pina's niche, asking:
       should I
not correct you?

One actress starts spelling the word 'leg' with only  her hands. Laughing, the rest of the group gets into a sportive mood.

if I could I wouldn't
turn to either side

slow motion
a call to ebb and flow
naked on the ground

through masks
the sweat of faces
blown apart

Dimmed lights. The younger performers arranging " Questions for the Sun", reflecting individual answers, transmitting calmed and heated action as signals for dimmed hope.

the costumes
adapted jokes         made up
during long try-outs
Pina's last rehearsal
is the first public performance

As the stage becomes constantly more lighted again, the group is drowned unrecognizably into flags and flames.



The whole scenery is in turmoil. Seventeen actors are seen simultaneously preparing different meals in one and the same kitchen, then boys clean the bathroom floor, girls the bedroom. Song and anti-song, a film about life on a nude beach is displayed on walls and ceiling, a cloned transvestite offers service for half the price, seasonal colored gases, here autumnal,  find their way down to the spectators.

-       Stop Tamina, stop right here: now you look like you are representing 'the veiled woman of the West' hiding behind cosmetic surgery

the pain
the plastic
when breasts move
mother of pearl buttons
the thread in it

-       Even Cindy, my old lady dog, gives me a jealous look.

      -    May you blend your face with hers? Please materialize the differences.

In a darkening olive green the stage revitalizes an interlaced emptiness. Invisible strings reach out to link. Only a want-to-be couple is trying hard not to look back into the audience

with a rope
         over the river
                  the quiet

A reasonable feeling occurs of really not being invited to a show. Instead, the longer you keep watching the scenery the more you're guided into the house of your own past and ahead into the cities' trenches of future events.


With this 'Portrait of an Artist' comes Pina Bausch's composition split right through with action and discourse: The halves, porous and organized, not to unite are circulating processes between performers and an imagined audience. Appearing paralleled, erotically justified, conflict is the substance in search of its identity.



Linda Jeannette Ward

The mental health clinic that serves this small community still relies on the charity of its populace to provide needed space for the occasional evaluation I'm asked to do:  In an 1890s church cradled in a curve of live oaks even older we sit in a borrowed room, a scarred card table between us.  The court report says she's become paranoid, phoning up deputies into the night with tales of prowlers that never materialize...but I wonder -isn't her four-room ramshackle dwelling a remnant of time before development crowded in?  I know the place, seen it squeezed in over the years by McDonald's, gas stations, quick stop shops and groups of bored teens who might find it thrilling to spook the old black lady whose hand-lettered NO TRESPASSING sign sits slantwise by the front door as she can sometimes be seen from the buzzing highway that was an unpaved road in her youth.  Now, in this place where hymns still drift through Sunday windows, I'm asked by the court to judge her competency...

octogenarian's hand
crossing paper
pauses to touch mine...
    a spring breeze whispers
    through Spanish moss




hortensia anderson 

the news of the birth -
my thoughts flash from the mayfly
to lightning in the darkness
soon becoming death -
one more handful of fresh snow
that melts and dries to nothing


my heart feels like rain
as the coffin leaves the hearse
at Saint John's cemetery
an endless blue sky
carries the sweet songs of birds
asserting life over death.


don't try to tell me
you know of my loneliness –
from dusk i remained outside
while in your window
the shining moon spent the night
and didn't leave until dawn


as they lift their heads
their helmets look like turtles –
young soldiers in camouflage
how slowly they creep
through the lush tangled greenness
of a last late afternoon




each night
her prayers murmur
in a slow dance
before her bed
where she neither sleeps
nor dreams

                             Giovanni Malito



Proud Father
Giovanni Malito

does the sun
have a shadow
she asks

and I tell her
please always ask
questions like this


Debra Woolard Bender

my old husband
     you smile my smile
     as the lake wears the sky

your old wife
     I laugh your laugh
     the echo of a waterfall

old husband old wife
     death might part us
     when a knife cuts water



Debra Woolard Bender

Glass of wine, why are you weeping?
Ah, I should be crying, too.

Clear white gold, sweet to the taste;
How my head spins – like I'm in love!

Soon as we're one I'll be sleeping
and you will be long gone.


Gino Peregrini

supermarket checkout line: two aged friends check their receipt

behind them a fat man eyes the candy bars and swallows

gusts of wind drive plastic sacks across the street, against the wall





meditation fountain
the sound of water
through the bamboo pipe
my mantra rises like
burning incense

                         Pamela A. Babusci

you are beautiful
whether crescent or full
whether gazing upon you
with empty hands or embraced

                        Pamela A. Babusci


thinking life
had cheated me
i pass a blind child
on the street

                         Pamela A. Babusci


Debra Woolard Bender

Rising early
I've left our blanket's warmth
for this cool dawn;
a taste of evening wine
lingers in spring mists.

While I waited
camellias kept their promise,
but where is he
who pressed so urgently
with some unspoken need?

Should I even say
what drew me to you,
moon, swollen with spring?
Though you were brilliant tonight
oh, your blue, deep blue bed!

Again waking me
a solitary wood dove
lest I forget you
in the brevity of sleep,
the silence between each call.

Though my eyes
were opened, how I tried
to reenter a dream,
jasmine falling, falling,
in a white spring rain.



under Stone-Arch bridge
a deep river turns to ice
winter setting in
slowly the daylight descends
wedded to darkness at last

crow-scattered skies
and the scent of coming rain
this early April
feeling the earth churn beneath
as wild stars circle above

the curve of starlight
that bends all the way down
has nothing to hide
it carries its own dead weight
wrapped in the mystery of time

a cloud-dusted moon
this early morning hour
and the scent of grass
fifty springs have come and gone
how could I not wish for more

                                 Marjorie Buettner



hitch-hiking, stoned driver –
his partner asks:
aren't you afraid
to take rides
from just anyone?

at the beach,
perched on a log,
we face
away from each other

having all the
technicalities explained
in Dvorak's symphony,
new tears
still come to my eyes

                                Owen Bullock


those two birds flying
so close together
swiftly across the twilight sky –
a certain happy sad witness
i provide for them

out the car window
through a snow flurry
she studies the sun -
    my wife warns her
    not to look too close

the sweeps and swoops
of swallows
all manner of lovely curves
and you in jeans bent over
just to pick up a stick

my daughter shrill
and bumping into me
until i tell her to stop –
      how hollow knowing
      she was just glad to see me

before our marriage
my mother told my wife
that it was her married years
that were the loneliest
in her life...

she must read my mind
this fancy i have
for her –
how beautifully she blushed
the time she saw me peek

how old it becomes
but no denying
the appeal of this quest
for what is new
and turned out latest...

                              Tom Clausen


Nara Jidai - period: to AD 794
Jamie Edgecombe

to Captain Narihara, on seeing a half glimpse of a pretty girl in a railway carriage

tree in a forest
a fine archer you may be,
but here surrounded
you will soon find your arrows
as echoes within your heart


for the Frontier Guards

weeping at your oars
for the wife that fasts in vain:
the order has come;
her hair bands beside this sink
warm silent running water


the picture the frontier guard never drew

your summons triggers
the reality of dreams
that forms within tears,
even on the telephone
       "mother, I love you!"


the Frontier Guard pining for his daughters

bare scalp hidden by
a bandanna shouting-out
envious of the sea's waves
while I should drown in her smile


Jamie Edgecombe

to Ono no Komachi

the heat from the moon
invites us to shed our clothes
and dance like children,
your poems like lovers' sighs
exhale your loveliness


to the Chinese poetess Chu Shu Chen

before your curtains
beside your folded blanket
you watch bamboo sob,
your hair's autumn plum blossoms
scented with dreams of me


for the Lady in the West Apartments in former times of murky solitude

your beautiful face
shone like the moon and shines still
ever renewing
fluid arch of history
and this imagination


to the Chinese poetess Li Ch'ng Chao

your autumn waters
and mountains still touch this heart,
with the gulls I hide
these eyes so as not to see
the years pass on your river


to Yosano Akiko

there you write, waiting
to bloom like thirsty flowers
vibrant in his gaze,
but a black and white picture
bleeds all your petals' colour


to Kuirhara Sadako

what goes before?
the wind carrying the fight
of beautiful hands?
your neighbour's child, Sachiko,
still dead, all these years later


to Machi Tawara

finding your bookmark
your smile permeates the page
i have not read,
next line: if only I had
as many lovers as petals



a winding back road
leads us beside the tallest pine
where his coffin will rest . . .
flags across the snowy graves
wave and wave and wave                                    

we stand and hold hands
as we sing
Amazing Grace
a stranger’s strong hands
warm mine

on fertile ground
the sparkling undersides
of undiscovered rocks . . .
our hearts
silently sing

                                               Liz Fenn


W. Flohr

scanning the horizon
on the ancient fortress walls
waiting anxiously
for the ship of my beloved
to unite our immortal souls

deep silence -
after the quarrel
no chime
strange how the garden
seems to hide its charm

the one chord
with which I could sublimate
my guitar playing
did you easily find by
strumming my inner strings

winter daydreaming
one languid summer's day
out somewhere
switching patches of sunlight
tell fairy tales in your eyes

full moon
a cold winter wind
sweeps the sky
your loving words will keep me
warm for the rest of my life


Mrinalini Gadkari

as we were parting
i saw a rainbow
through welled up eyes
the prism of marriage scattered her
to add colors in 'his' life



Sweetgum leaves
Fallen to the earth
Resemble stars,
Especially, when you take
My hand into yours


I take the conch
From the mantel
And press it to my ear:
I hear her laughter once more
Distinct from the ocean’s roar


A woman
Emerges from red roses
With a newborn,
My heart gives birth
Without knowing it

Jack Galmitz



it was not the milk
of paradise I drank –
no, the food of paradise:
tonight's lotus root
burnished in hot oil

huge blossoms
on pine –
was there ever such magic
in my humdrum life?

as slippery dreams
on spring nights,
the transitory,
the ephemeral

eyes a blur
under my reading lamp,
I struggle
with tricky strokes
of Japanese meaning

I grow old
the poet once said,
and I want to echo
those words that assailed my youth
when all was poetry, was line                                    

                              Sanford Goldstein


Ruth Holzer

cedar chest -
bitter smell of winters past
I lift and shake
wool mufflers, sweaters
will I see spring again?

nagged by gravity
members of my body
drifting apart
whether I run five miles
tonight or not

this is
as good as it gets
between us:
seeing you once a year
carrying bearable news

fiery fox
trotting over ice fields
nails clicking
clear in the brittle air
so long ago I saw him



Elizabeth Howard

moments of meditation
along the maze of paths
in the wildflower garden –
tin on the neighbor’s barn
flapping fitfully

startled blue heron
flaps about the lake,
giant shadows blotting
the light in dainty sedges –
primal fears resurface

a restless night
the ghostly moon glowing
through the fog –
I dream of grandmother’s opal
nestled in white satin

mountains looming
where no mountains were before
a ridge of dark clouds
backdrop to winter trees –
that old sorrow keening anew

after chemo,
those infusion that cast down
mind and body,
an infusion of joy –
the bowl of irises you bring

in the midst
of a sleepless night,
the stalled poem,
a lone whippoorwill’s
lyric of joy

the hill blackened
from autumn wildfires
pink lady’s slippers,
fit for fairies, spring up –
ballet shoes on black velvet

boisterous children
toss crumbs into the froth
gulls squabbling –
in the distance the white sculls
skim across blue waters



Courtney Johnson

On Boulder Mountain
ponderosas, gold aspens
end of track, a lake
we lay down our bikes
joy of the first raindrop

new lover's stomach
smooth in the apricot moon
a cave of chalk
have your way with me, he said
a kiss to still his lips

Christmas morning
We opened the tailgate
Squinted at new snow
free bundle of firewood
and our warmth, a gift

in the clearing
motionless flock of turkeys
setting up camp
brittle kindling, searing words
vanished apparitions

I map your scars
and trace your clavicle
my fingers clasp
swollen knuckles of your hand
a ring could never fit

mountain cumulus
in a fiery embrace
two souls collide
after hail has melted
sky of Steller's jay blue



                        preserves set out
                        to cool on a porch ledge
                        grandma's youthful smile
                        as she takes off her kerchief
                        just so she can feel the wind

                        at sunset
                        teenage girl and her father
                        stroll along the beach
                        now and then they give each other
                        bits of seashells . . . perfect stones

                        new husband and wife
                        embrace after their vows
                        on this day of all days . . .
                        mud on her wedding gown

                        only she hears
                        the music of the harp
                        the chimes
                        voices of the lonely house
                        never so clear as now

                        feeling such closeness
                        to my husband as we drive
                        to the haiku workshop
                        on the teahouse floor
                        unyielding tatami mats

                                                                  Jean Jorgensen



Kirsty Karkow

new warmth
from the northbound sun
a quickening
in winter's quiet womb
with newborn thoughts of life

branches in a vase
yellow blossoms
as faint warmth touches
long frozen heartlands

each day brings
fresh discoveries
of springtime
green leaves, a robin's song
a lightness on my heart

Larry Kimmel

magnolia petals
cluttered around the ruins
of a sundial
my helplessness
before a woman in tears

at the window,
after our long night, raindrops dripping
through copper leaves –
                say what you like,
there's no one truth in such matters

the dawn's gray effusion grieves
for lack of color,
lack of warmth –
        all I know of love
        wouldn't fill a sonnet

day of drizzle
marigolds dead on the stalk
whatever my sins
i am a artist
      i stand facing the wind



sharing this spring rain
waiting on this corner
for the same late bus
can we still consider
each other a stranger?


let me tell you
about snow, vast sheets of white
that lay one upon the other
and about the cold
that can preserve your angels


her smile
spreading out
wider than
a fisherman’s arms
I hesitate stop

                      Giovanni Malito



Thelma Mariano

we pick up
rocks for our garden
from a nearby field
how solid they seem –
all the dreams we share

spun finer
than his gift of gold
around my neck
is the purity of my love –
the chains I cannot break

on weekends
the house becomes a desert
where I wander alone
will he ever be content
just staying here with me?

counting hours
and minutes past midnight
I wonder
what lures him out there
week after week

not a word
about where he's been
yet in our bed
he speaks in three languages
in his sleep!

his family and mine
property and routines
bind us tighter
every year as misery roots
beneath the fabric of my life

oh, the passion between us
all the secret rendezvous
before the vows we said
now only ashes from the fire
swept from our marriage bed

funny how
a perfect life became
the perfect trap
I watch from every window
wishing for an easy way out

the same words
he uses to stifle my pleas
give me the answer
"if you don't like it -
you can leave!"



only then
when we said goodbye
did night descend
I remember your kiss
and for me there is no sleep

so deliberately
she chops the onions
for the salad
while she tells me
about her divorce

moonless night
each star so brilliant
no self
just this
                 just this

the silence
between you and me
in this air
of almost rain

so you're a runner
it's hot here in Florida
She says
as with every snip
my hair grows shorter

this stray too
on love and scraps
has grown thin
a look in the mirror
shows she's not alone

                     Keith McMahen


in the yard
this first morning without him
I wonder why a spiderweb
woven between swing chains
doesn't break


his weekend with the boys –
cleaning, I find a baseball card
caught in their bedroom door;
the lost gulls squeak like hinges

                      Melissa Montimurro




The summer night
must be dreaming . . .
Look at all those white
butterflies swarming
around the moon.

                       June Moreau




How many syllables
Have you repeated
To reform
Their meaning
For another


Mimetic shadows
Lean into the past
Tense softer
Now that morning
Ventures home

                        Sheila Murphy



on the couch
with the dog and cat
   moments ago
   I didn't know I needed
   to slow down


the flock took flight
and flew as if one bird
was changing shape
   our feelings depend so much
   on each other's mood


if I could accept
that longing is endless
and the ladder will never
reach the moon
I'd eagerly keep climbing

                                David Rice



gentle cascades
patter on my
shoulders, trickle
down my back-
yellow strands of willow


near the waterfall
my mind wanders -
brought back
by the cold
of this stone

                                 Tim W. Younce




June Moreau

A mirror
is a naked house.
All its windows
have melted into one
perpetual window,
more silvery than silver.
It has no doors.
You can only enter it
with your eyes,
the liquidity of seeing.



Homework dries
In mind under the light
Wind surfaces against
A vanishing exterior
This conversation brings on
Softened shoulders and
Eventually sleep

                                 Sheila Murphy


Tomorrow needs no blueprint
I have lived today as if
Heaven and all future tense
Were equal in and out of time

                                 Sheila Murphy

One hinges on
The capture of
A fleck of pond
To recreate
The moment
Of a fish

                         Sheila Murphy    


Green tea softened
By milk at evening
Spine of the novel brushing
My long robe, the 5/8 moon
A while ago shone
On the sidewalk
As I left the door
Open while taking out
The trash, my neighbor’s door
A sliver open,
The pool water
Moved a lilt
And blossoms
Turned perfume

                                 Sheila Murphy


Secret scent
Remains after the petals
One by one
Drift out of focus

                                 Sheila Murphy


Paint this octave
Corn silk young
As music letting go
A pulse before
Driving the modest
Rain in mind

                               Sheila Murphy



She preferred the monarch butterflies
That afternoon to yellow
On the flowers
Teeming in mid-air
With sacramental admissible
And accidental breath
Between that I can live
On now
And shelter what I felt
From thought
And what I feel
From present danger

                               Sheila Murphy


Dawn endears its way
To heaven in the branches
Caught and crafted
Splitting atmosphere
From tame light
One breathes in and out

                               Sheila Murphy

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Who We Are

Deadline for next issue is 
September 1, 2002.

  Poems Copyright © by Designated Authors 2002.
Page Copyright ©Jane Reichhold 2002.

Find out more about Renga, Sijo, Tanka, Ghazal.

Check out the previous issues of:
XVII-1 February, 2002
LYNX XVI-3 October, 2001
LYNX XVI-2 June, 2001
LYNX XVI:2 February, 2001
XV-3 October, 2000
LYNX XV-2 June, 2000