XIX:1, February, 2004

A Journal for Linking Poets 




UNDER THE ION HAMMER by michael helsem, ON THE ROAD by Gene Doty


A GLIMPSE by Lynn Edge, RUIDOSO RAIN by Lynn Edge, IN A STRANGE CITY by Benita Kape, ONE SATURDAY MORNING by Betty Kaplan, TWO HAIBUN by r. wilson


WAT LAO BUDDHAVONG, CATLETT, VA by Ruth Holzer, SNOW  by Fran Masat, FOG/MIST by R K Singh, AUTUMN WIND by Robert Wilson


HOT KISSES . . . by 
Gino Peregrini
Gino Peregrini



Shane Bartlett,  CAR FERRY by Tony Beyer, MENDING by 
Tony Beyer, DOWN DIFFERENT STONES by Owen Bullock, NEW YEAR'S DAY by Tom Clausen,  tanka by Brendan Duffin, Sandra Graff, Momi Kam
Holifield, and Jeanne Emrich, CITY PARK by beverley george, RAIN IN RIO by Elizabeth Howard, NOTHING LEFT TO SAY by Brenda Humphrey-McMahen,
Alan Spring, tanka by Keli Stafford and Joanna M. Weston, MISCELLANEOUS by Aya Yuhki


Sheila Murphy, COMMA by
Sheila Murphy







michael helsem

Master of kiteslipt Spetznaz, amnesia is our leader;
Determinancy gone, abductee is our leader.

The tenuous adhesion of a cotton hush
Yields prismatic derangement whose rent church is our leader.

In strawberry fields of self-hypnosis i too roamed:
A maple sapper of the charcoal is our leader.

And your good squirm of lurid flashbangs now protrusive
As kudzu, cannot fail to dub you as our leader.

Leader! into caverns worn with jackboot march
No throe may deflect; epigraph: flambeau is our leader.



Gene Doty

In high school, I read that novel by Kerouac, "On the Road";
I wanted to be another hipster, back on the road.

In Genesis, Abram girded his robe and left Ur,
his and his camels' feet going "smack" on the road.

Odysseus sailed from Troy, wanting to go to Ithaca, but Homer,
with his own story, became the hero's flack on the road.

Don Quixote read his books, made some cardboard armor,
saddled Rocinante, and took that bony hack on the road.

Kerouac died of alcohol; Ginsberg, too, is dead and gone.
All those hipsters became old and slack on the road.

Eisenhower followed Truman, Johnson followed Kennedy:
after Nixon, friend, we know only lack on the road.




Lynn Edge

        On the Texas Coast, I visit the fishing village of Seadrift.  As evening falls, I drive down a road running alongside the seawall. An antique hurricane lamp shines in the window of a small beach house. Over the picture window hangs a lace swag, the rose design silhouetted by the lantern's glow.

        Such care is taken to display a warm view, I am certain happy people live here.  I pass and envy the residents their beckoning  light.

under dark waves
iridescent red
sinking sun



Lynn Edge

        In poor health, the aging Basho walks a long distance to view Mount Fuji.  Discovering it covered in mist, he expresses a positive attitude in his haiku.

A day when Fuji
Is obscured by misty rain
That's interesting


        Highway 70 ascends from the desert of New Mexico into the Sacramento Mountains.  The road becomes a shelf scraped from sheer bluffs. Driving up the narrow Rio Hondo River Valley, I pass Hispanic villages, irrigated hay meadows, and newer horse farms lined with pipe fences. Tall lean poplars conceal red roofed haciendas.

        I think of Basho as clouds shroud the Sacramentos in a gray.  Windshield wipers whisk away drizzle. The sunless sky dulls yellow-green cottonwoods.  In the back seat, dogs sleep.  I journey in the spirit of Basho.

low mists-
mountain tops
higher than clouds


Benita Kape

It was the year 1989. I was in a strange city, in a strange country; standing on the sidewalk of a busy street. The Christmas parade was about to pass by. Beneath me on the corner, a grating above a now dry culvert. While I was briefly looking down, the crowd began to surge forward. Falling, familiar frames, clunk; they had so quickly slipped my downward gaze. The grating impossible for a hand to reach through. Shocked faces of people around you; your own pounding heart.

But I cannot tell you why I did not panic; why I had pushed through the crowd to find myself at the corner door to the select jewelry store. I walked to the counter and addressed the person in charge. "Could you help me please?" I asked. "I have lost my glasses down the culvert. A length of wire of any kind? A coat-hanger from your cloak-room perhaps?"

There was a summoning of a staff member who shortly reappeared with the item requested. I had proceeded to unravel the twisted wire. It was exactly what was required, a length with a hook at one end, and so I moved outdoors, back to the culvert.

Christmas shopping
diamond gold crystal silver
in locked cases

Room is made for you. The crowd had waited, watching; come for the show. On your knees carefully lowering the hook to the twinkling item below. Hands steady, feeling,   listening; straining sight; hooking! Raising; slowly. You feel those around peering over your lowered shoulder. And now you are raising that shoulder; something to grasp; fingers closing. The crowd shares in the relief; pats your back, shakes your already shaking hand.

And here is Santa; his little helpers scattering sweets. You no longer feel you are in a strange city. You join the parade.

reindeer and sledge
drizzles of ornamental snow
a thirst quenching sweet



Betty Kaplan

The Wall Street district where I work is always deserted on the weekend. But on this day as I walk down the street, I see a large crowd in front of a tall building. Everyone is looking up. There on the ledge, a jumper. My heart starts to pound. "OH NO" As I approach, suddenly he jumps.

But I sense something is not right as the crowd quietly disperses and seems to be finding their places.

Then I see it all. The trucks, the speakers, the equipment.

A dummy lies on the sidewalk.

Autumn leaves . . . falling falling   falling




eating halo halo,*
an old man with
missing teeth

Dentistry is a luxury few can afford in the Republic of The Philippines.  Two percent of the population controls all of the wealth. Poverty is rampant. The majority of the populace is grossly underpaid, living below the poverty level. The country's primary source of income is money sent home to relatives by Filipinos who have immigrated to other countries in order to make a decent living.  The luxuries even poor Americans are accustomed to like flush toilets, refrigerators, ovens, cars, and air conditioning, are not available to the average Filipino.

Neither is medical and dental care.  It is not unusual to see people missing teeth,  someone with a club foot, a child with a cleft palate, people dying from ailments they didn't need to die from including dysentery and malaria.

*Halo Halo is a popular filipino dessert made from crushed ice, evaporated milk, sweet potatoes, sweet beans, and fruit.  It is easy to make, the ingredients inexpensive.





all souls day -
even the
crickets mourn

All Souls Day is an important holiday in the Philippines.  Before sunrise on November 1st, families migrate to the final resting place of their relatives.  In a rite that lasts well into the night, they gather around memorial stones and plots to share memories, stories, poems, and songs.  Candles are lit, prayers said, some converse with the dead. In addition, three masses are held by a local priest: one in the morning, at noon, and in the afternoon.

Catering to the seemingly endless procession of mourners are vendors selling food, beverages, flowers,  and commemorative candles. The graveyards and memorial gardens are a sea of lights mimicking the stars above them.  In the Philippines, family (pamilya) is everything.  They are close knit.  Respect for one's elders, dead or alive, is a given.

On this day, families take time from their busy lives to commune with the dead, to dine with them,  pay them homage, and let them know that they have not been forgotten. Families also get a chance to visit with relatives from faraway...people they haven't seen for a long time. All Souls Day:  a festival of mourning and celebration.





Ruth Holzer

ten minutes
beyond the battlefield
red and gold temple

monastery pond
among the lotus
a little frog floats

brightness remains
here and there in the garden -
feathery cockscomb

bananas and plums
placed carefully
in the statue's lap

three heads
six arms -
an unknown god

high on a pole
a smaller pagoda –
the doves

a wooden bell
a golden bell
wait side by side

from every twig
sticky rice cakes

rows of stupas
ascending the hill -
bones of the monks

before departing
I slip ten dollars
under a rock


Fran Masat

first flurry -
a bird vanishes
in midair

head lights
flash on
pencils of snow

snowy plain -
distant trees
a lace filigree

deep drifts
invading my boots
a trickle of water

winter night -
new foot prints
in old snow

new powder
old nose
same icy scent

spring thaw -
a sidewalk
lost since fall

late snow -
daffodils bow
except for one


R K Singh

Swollen fogs
ready to make way
for the sun

Morning fog:
her face invisible
even the sun

Two dreamy eyes
await the rising sun
through the fogged window

Standing behind
the window bars observes
shapes in fog

The evening fog -
invisible her hand
on my shoulder

A film of mist
between my eyes
and her image

Mist surrounds
the steel statue watches
few visitors


Robert Wilson

what are you singing,
wind?  the leaves are

you aren't the only one
who can paint

autumn sunset
the golden retriever
a shade browner

standing in moon shadow
a scarecrow
after harvest

you've changed
since we last chatted

autumn wind
washing sushi rice
seven times

the monk
sipping moonlight
from his soup bowl




Gino Peregrini

Hot kisses taken from her cheek in a meadow of spring grasses
Wild lilies in the breeze of a Kansas spring, cool and sweet
Both child and man, I desire cool soft lips, cheeks sweetened by wind


Gino Peregrini

My sons are men, my daughters women; grandchildren--I count seven.
Hunter's Moon in the southeast, flushed with sunset, tracking sleep.
My wife away, I sleep alone, troubled by wind and autumn rain.





Shane Bartlett

'Sow - Harvest'

This rolling paper
once a leaf, the dry membrane
cleaner than my lungs.

Earth's tobacco, shredded, rolled,
a taste of the life taken.

'Harvest - Sow'

Nature's life pulled up
absorbed, taken for our own;
so soon we give back.

A flower grows; folds unfold;
somewhere, a man fighting, stops.



Shane Bartlett

Creaky wooden dock,
no wider than a gang-plank:
memory's long walk.

Time inflates, slows to a float
over shallows perch flip for.


Blue water turning
darker with day's darkening:
crickets' frantic song.

The moon hung so suddenly,
night's plea you Do Not Disturb.



With wordless wind-howls
the year grows tired, and ends.
We sit in our home,
our love grown tired, cold;
the windows frost on both sides.

                                    Shane Bartlett


Tony Beyer

calm and still
the sound
of gannets
dropping into the water

lurch underfoot
the last vehicle
fitted improbably
into the last
deck space

lining the gunwale
watching houses
on the cliff tops
float by
upside down

the slow wake
an enhanced
form of stillness
only in retrospect

sun softens
orange to red
outlining single coves
best news all day
for fishermen

shadow straps
thick as molasses
down the hillside
ferns of another shore
reach for us

hostel door
bent forks
and spoons
hung in a mobile


Tony Beyer

my handicapped student
reading Robert Frost
can't understand
why anyone
would want a wall

he throws himself
around in his
and dribbles
and loves poetry

he can't walk
or dress
or feed himself
and we talk
about responsibility

whoever wrote this
for him has
lovely handwriting
but the thoughts
are his

can't is an
important word
every day
when we talk
but so is want

he wants to
use up all the time
that's running out
even in the middle
of the night

Owen Bullock

the same old river view
this evening
and my children’s cries
down different stones

after moaning at me
for half an hour
he’s humming a tune -

I’m worn out
ready to crash

her red
velvet dress
ripples down the drive
as she runs
to greet her sister

twice today
she brought
a flower
and twice made pigs
from folded paper

kids’ party
they sing God Defend New Zealand
in Maori
in the bedroom
with the door shut

the baby
irritated with people
who fiddle
with his tiny,
tiny fingers

in the Sunday School picture
children ask Jesus for help
he says "yes, I will help you"
          - to one side
a sorrowful bird

in the garden
by the crumbling Venus
shoots of pieris
which some philistine
hacked back

delivering leaflets,
a girl of ten or twelve

looks up
with such a
frightened gaze

where are his thoughts
which travel so wildly?
my brother,
twelve thousand
sadnesses away

news of a girl
from that mixed up family,
nineteen now,
she has a bloke
and a baby

looking out for dogs
for his sake
maybe I will always
have someone
to look after

the cold makes my bones ache
but I want to stay
for the bare trees
the close-grazing geese
the full air

my children
play at getting drunk,
being wasted
somehow it appeals
to their well-read minds

after sitting by the pond
I discover the true meaning
of ripples

when I leave
they’re still widening

Tom Clausen

New Year's day
tending our annual bonfire
there is plenty of time
to stare and hopefully
let go of regrets...

i dismiss it as impractical
this idea of having
a nervous breakdown -
ducks tufted by the wind
on the frozen lake

everywhere I see signs
of life and death
in the balance -
how good my feet feel
out of their shoes

is it the prize
of growing older
these vivid dreams
so much more dramatic
then what I do awake

first my son
now the dog paces
inside the house
that part that plays out
the call of circling...

on the trail to the top
my family hikes best
during the time
they all combine
to make light of me

as if I could will
some random desire
I view a stranger
as a potential muse
who fails to perform


the moment

i fall asleep

i explode

orange marigolds

on a far off hill-top

Brendan Duffin



man walking



three balls of white feathers

Brendan Duffin



so alike
the sunset maple
and you
upon the morning
still aflame

the day lingers still
in the aspen tops
my love
surely there is more
to be said between us

bereft of you
this long summer -
  in the planter
  I have so neglected
  a volunteer blooms

this spring -
was it only a dream
or did it too
fall with azalea blossoms
in the hail?

so as not to waken you
I feel my way in the dark -
the upstairs hallway
its own little universe
of doors and windows

what does it matter
what side of winter
I face?
the bones of this earth
already include my own

Jeanne Emrich



beverley george

late light
flares on city glass ~
within the park
we wait to share
the moon

a bird breaks
from the thicket
and you say
knowing what our love is not
reveals what it may be

fruit bats
crash-land in fig trees ~
again I try
to reach your heart
with faltering words

closing dark ~
the path winds by a pool
of moonlit grass
creased to silver
by our feet

a dark bough
divides the moon ~
beyond the haze
of garden lights
an orange taxi prowls


a tree frog
in the rain forest
poisons the hungry snake
while its blue and green skin
breathes poisons from developers

Sandra Graff




a panicked rush
of well-intended minutes
floods the funnel of days
drains into a jar
a poem not written

Sandra Graff



in May when I drive to class
windows open
a puff of pollen
from a russian olive
clogs the nose of my lesson plan

Sandra Graff



nomads in shiny rickshaws
on all-weather tires
crossed paths at the dip in the road
with a squirrel
its cheeks packed with nuts

Sandra Graff



near-sighted bugs
who creep upon this sonnet
last I compare thee
and smear you in the margin

Sandra Graff






waiting day by day
to taste one ripening peach
from the tree
this morning
they all vanish

Momi Kam Holifield



Elizabeth Howard

        a medical clinic--
        before dawn
        hundreds of poor patients
        line up along the open sewer
        ignore the stench and the rain

        the favela's drug lord
        descends in a Mercedes
        from his mountain fortress
        has his teeth cleaned
        re-ascends smiling

        outside a doctor's office
        a man in dirty clothes
        sleeps on the sidewalk -
        doctor's rich patients
        sidestep his bloated body

        in a high-rise window
        swallow-tailed hummingbirds
        hover on red flowers -
        in streets, under viaducts
        homeless boys gathering

        a family sleeps
        under a tarpaulin
        in a bed of flowers -
        morning traffic swishing past
        on wet streets



Brenda Humphrey-McMahen

on a mirrored wall
this full moon
hangs in darkness
turning from it's reflection

at his request
our son between us
we pose
without the stepparents
a stranger and his mother

keep me awake
as you sleep
I go on listening
nothing left to say

on the ceiling
closing this distance
between us
our shadows
as we sleep

brown stems
catching snow
too late
in the season
for another mistake

my thoughts
in a race against the clock
track of the minutes
I have left

this bed
draped in sunlit
the passing
of another soul



Silva Ley

From the Introduction by Silva Ley: "During two beautiful summers we visited almost all the farmhouses described in the book, Historical Farmsteads in Brabant [an area of Holland] under the editorship of Ir. Huub Oome (Kempen Publ. House, 1998). We – my husband Pierre and I – cycled through the landscape of Brabant and saw with pleasure the beautiful restored barns, homes and gardens. Sometimes we were invited by the residents to see the interiors. The following poems are some of our impressions."

THE HAMLET - Moergestel

Winding country lanes
crossing a trifling brook
right of way in a hamlet

a bluish vale around it
vast leek fields smell

all the low doors closed
- two towers in the distance -
Sunday’s atmosphere

square hedges in front
traditional shaved beeches

a crooked fruit tree
drops a worm – eaten apple
hardly a soft thud

ochre – painted lines
mark the window frames

the last geraniums
enliven yard and garden
ad a cheerful note

chill of autumn, people gather
now, in the ‘hearth‘ by the fire.



Partly rebuilt:
villages along ‘de Beerze’
the old trees saved

a tower, neogothic thin
points to the autumn-clouds

a hidden farm
behind heliant - hedges
a round bow - gate

fall-apples in the garden
wild herbs and curly kale

patches of moss
on the roof of the barn
behind the well

a hopping child in the yard
disappears in leaf-shades

bluedelphinium leads
to the silent doors
of Sunday



Kings and regents
dictators, stamping armies
passed it in the past

the squatting farmhouse
four long centuries

barns and bake house
as grown together with
woodland and moor

as stealthily sunk, by time
in the sandy soil

flowering hawthorn
early primroses
a hedge – labyrinth

highly piled faggots
though wintertime passed

an orchard awaiting
vegetable gardens
a dreaming pond

red petunia’s on the well
an ornamental border

here is a silence of
remembering, revival
for whoever is listening


Larry Kimmel

while I slept
it snowed
and a tree fell
old age
uncertain as a winter road*

beyond the frosted window
the old apple tree,
bleak and gnarled
afflicted with lichen -
what's going to happen to me?

some things
are never going to happen again
never again, that way,
and still others, never

having entered new territory
- a tundra at dusk -
I await,
anxious and somewhat fearful,
the undefined adventure

I manifest manifest manifest
the next few feet of sidewalk before me,
manifest my life
- entire

*Tanka Journal 2003; no. 23



M. L. Mackie

Seeing something
not really there
a turkey 
pecks at its 

an image
of our own
when the trees are
in plain view

show a
far beyond
our plan to
move far away

from these
redwoods, their history
our own

by roots
more growth
than we foresaw
when we created

an open
for loggers
to purchase our
land, clear cutting

our hearts
and her potential
for nurturing
our dreams while
surviving herself

as queen
of the forest
of all mothers
the source

or our
sweet survival
against all
odds as true

as friends
of this goddess
who never
let us down
and never will

so long as
we respect her
to reproduce
her stately self

so long as
we continue to
live within
reach of her
forgiving arms.


Thelma Mariano

a fascination
that never leaves her -
my demented mother
watches people trudge home
with their bags of groceries

the indignities
of sickness and old age
what do they matter
as long as she can see
the wildflowers along the road

laughter bubbles up
to mask her confusion
I join in
pretending not to notice
the words that washed away

following her
into the murky waters
of her mind
sometimes I wonder
if I will ever swim free

she hangs onto me
a little more tightly now
as if I can stop
the disease pulling her
towards the end

close to midnight
I wander from room to room
while outside
the patter of falling rain
speaks of loss and renewal



Patricia Prime

coming in from the cold
of a paddy-wagon
the prisoner
handcuffed & shackled
meets his assessor

facing her across a desk
he makes a phone call
to his lawyer
not more than three minutes
to present his case

her hand
on the panic button
at her waist
she takes his life history
in brief

sheep from goats
she decides
that a safe cell
is his best option

morning light
a guard finds the prisoner
covered with excreta
cottons from a blanket
made into a noose

the remanded man
taken once more
before the assessor
psychiatrist & doctor
this time a 24-hour guard

Alan Spring

at dusk he sees
faces in the shadows
this war veteran
who tells me of the lies
my schoolbooks taught me

even now
long black hairs appear
as if her ghost
had all this while lain
upon my pillow

not yet a woman
no longer a child
the sister
helps her brother balance
on his new bicycle

in my mind I see
the house and the swing
in the backyard tree
but all I hear is her polite
good mornings and sweet goodbyes

at the coin laundry
waiting silently
for our turn
life's unbearable weight
waiting with us

a smile framed by an array
of cherry blossoms
her silky touch
now but a memory

thinking of no birth
and no death
I watch
countless raindrops fall
and become a puddle

on the phone
ten thousand miles away
my infant son
unknown to me until now
burbles and laughs

golden leaves falling
across hand-written pages
of Life's grand journey
passing with the wind


When tall trees whisper,
roses exhale their perfume
stars will gaze down upon you
and all the love
of the attending moon.

Keli Stafford

For a place that I could dwell
with each contained memory
that would not crumble
in an instant at thoughts
of past despair.

Keli Stafford



Beethoven's Ninth
on the radio -
Mother knits
and watches

Village opinion
froze her brushes
until she painted
a winter landscape
and snow fell
on the canvas.

The yellow hat
elegant, wide-brimmed
a gesture to Ascot
she wore angled
and flirtatious

Toast too hot
and I toss it
hand to hand -
a sunbeam gilds
the kitchen

I write your name
and address
on an envelope
you left
this morning

Joanna M. Weston


Aya Yuhki

the sounds of a ball
bouncing monotonously
against the block wall

cedar boughs
in the wind
their silhouette
increase my unease

regret for days
never to return
to the crashing thunder
of an early spring night

in the sky
between the buildings
a full moon
hung like
a white globe-bulb

to the empty
moonlit plaza
there came fairies and elves
to dance rondos over and over
all through the night


Sheila Murphy

Honor plinks into etudes the size of largo swans
Evincing sweetwear near the sojourn
Week on warbly stone pro tem
Innate and fiery insular
As quick as wreaths are spooled
To instrinsicity comme ca remaining
De rigeur untimely comments
Land lease functions all too near
The heart embedded in each faction
Of remove branching a syllable
At a time resourced to mutter odd smooth
Tangents laced with fur on fractions
Once the scoop is over -
Ripe relieving pressure on the spine
Her spine your spine my spine



Sheila Murphy

leaves near

the pace
achieves continuo

this rest
that lasts
from two
to seven

measures as if
what is unspoken

in perfect


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Deadline for next issue is 
May  1, 2004.

  Poems Copyright © by Designated Authors 2004.
Page Copyright ©Jane Reichhold 2004.

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

Check out the previous issues of:

LYNX XVIII:3 October, 2003
 LYNX XVIII:2 June, 2003

XVIII:1 February, 2003

LYNX XVII:3 October, 2002

LYNX XVII:2 June, 2002

XVII:1 February, 2002
LYNX XVI:3 October, 2001
LYNX XVI:2 June, 2001
LYNX XVI:1 February, 2001
XV:3 October, 2000
LYNX XV:2 June, 2000