A Journal for Linking Poets  

Solo Poems


Gene Doty

CW Hawes

Ruth Holzer

Steffen Horstmann

Steffen Horstmann

Steffen Horstmann

Shelleen A. McQueen


CW Hawes

CW Hawes

Tracy Koretsky

John Martone

ARE YOU. . .
Linda Papanicolaou

Linda Papanicolaou

Linda Papanicolaou

Patricia Prime

Patricia Prime

Ray Rasmussen

Richard Straw

Richard Straw

Richard Straw

Barbara A. Taylor

Jeffrey Woodward

Jeffrey Woodward

Jeffrey Woodward


James Roderick Burns

Ruth Holzer

Elizabeth Howard

Shelleen A. McQueen

 M. Kei

June Moreau

Tomislav Maretic

R.K. Singh

A. Thiagarajan

Geert Verbeke

Ella Wagemakers

Liam Wilkinson


Christopher Barnes

Carl Brennan

Carl Brennan

Sanford Goldstein

Martin Grenfell

CW Hawes

Artur Lewandowski

Barbara A. Taylor

Carl Brennan





Gene Doty

On the wooden board, I chop garlic, opening a garden with each strike
Of the knife's sharp blade. The star of summer, Sirius,  star of heat stroke,

Rises before my Darling unfolds her gleaming limbs to mimic
A dog, a cobra, a bridge, a tree . . . while at her feet, I shape my slack

Chest into a pigeon's swelling pride. Later, I pour olive oil, a sleek
Film shining in the cast-iron pan. In the yard, fearful of any trick,

Two rabbits pause from their meal, holding still in the morning's wake.
Ingmar Bergman died today, his imagined funeral filmed stark

In his manner, shades of gray, its settings cool as milk.
Gino, why do you thread words on these lines, never naming what you seek.


CW Hawes

For the lover of all lovers, I quietly wait;
for the one whose lips are wine unstinted, I wait.

Across Antarctic mountains I doggedly trek
and through many an icy blizzard I had to pause and wait.

Through ancient Timbuktu's narrow streets I wander;
search each caravan camp – eager for the next I wait.

Down the steps to unknown Kadath:  my dream-gaze empty.
Oh, this heaviness in my breast!  Oh, this impossible wait!

Nowhere to go, nowhere to turn; my longing eats me up
 and my crazed brain screams – too impatient to wait.

Suleiman, Suleiman – get a grip! 
The ocean contains plenty of fish, why the hell do you wait?


Ruth Holzer

She fancied him rotten before he got famous.
But who would have thought he'd ever be famous?

When he swam out of sight, she pictured sharks
rending his body, making him famous.

Together they read the standing stones:
 names of the heroes, heartless and famous.

His hair tumbled auburn down to his waist.
He cut it all off when he became famous.

A happy few understand his great works.
Gladly has Ruth escaped being famous.



Steffen Horstmann

It is the crevice a shadow crawls inside,
The cage of ribs the heart stalls inside.

It is the depths of an abyss
A stone endlessly falls inside.

An absence evolved from dimensionless Time,
The lost spaces all sound dissolves inside.

It is the maze of secret rooms
Masons built moving walls inside.

The emptiness of a pitch-black tunnel
The prisoner crawls inside.

It is the palpable void in abandoned cities,
Bombed houses the rain falls inside.

The dusty journal in an attic,
Notes the captive ghost scrawls inside.

It inhabits the abode of a sorceress,
Housing only the darkest shawls inside.



Steffen Horstmann

A figure in black robes steers a ferry across the bay,
Through shades of moonlight that vary across the bay.

Fish shine like knives in lucent shallows, a seagull's
Shriek answers an echo's query across the bay.

Stone madonnas pray in a garden, rising at night
To wander ruins of a monastery across the bay.

Blown leaves scurry in a ranting wind
Laced with voices that carry across the bay.

Below an indigo ridge, fringed pines shade
The hidden grave of a mercenary, across the bay.

The chanting echoes will cease only at dawn
In the ghost-infested cemetery across the bay.

A white dove was released from its cage & sent
Into the dark like an emissary, across the bay.

Pearls adorn the hair of a mermaid, emerging
At twilight in the estuary across the bay.

It saw a comet's trail dissolve in sparkling water,
The pelican whose flight is solitary across the bay.



Steffen Horstmann

With the gleam of sunlit jades in her hair,
Whose hands uncouple the braids of her hair?

With hands of water the rain caresses her head,
Damp with the texture of a mermaid's hair.

In her presence breezes will pause,
Brushing the dark cascades of her hair.

In the shadow of Hades she is pursued
& the meadow's sheen fades from her hair.

I see her image in the midnight clouds,
The moon's phosphorescent shades in her hair.

Shimmering in a ballroom, the gown she wears –
Its glittering brocades & her shining hair.

Streaming silk whose texture is rare...
Composed of dark light, the braids of her hair.





Shelleen A. McQueen

Boys behind shades in summer flutter by
a tear-stained rose, a bittersweet butterfly.

After fall football, spring baseball, and summer cycling,
cheerleaders and lettermen elect me backseat butterfly.

Matt, the mad mathematician, insists I pay my own way;
Unwilling equal partner, I'm his offbeat, dutch-treat butterfly.

Undercover lovers, Steve and I play ghosts between the sheets;
he takes trillions of U-turns to catch me, his white-heat butterfly.

Small Paul, a bald billionaire, bejewels and beaver-coats me,
his quintessential queen of queens, his elite, easy-street butterfly.

Doug and I do daily doobies and drugs, in seconds belt back 16-ounce bottles of Bud.
On weekends, Jack Daniels and Johnnie Walker come to greet me, whisky-neat butterfly.

Nat grabs a ream of stiff paper and a laminator; my wings between thumb and forefinger.
Mountain Cat, scrunch his skull, skin him, and eat him alive; or I'm a dead-meat butterfly.





CW Hawes

The day after Thanksgiving. Nine in the morning and my car is heading for Iowa. In the back, turkey roasted the day before and all the fixings. For two and a half hours Minnesota farmland spreads out to the horizon in all directions. The only things green are the pines and spruce around the farmhouses. This is beautiful land. A hard, but simple way of life; pretty much cycling with nature. In a little while, I'll be back once again to the old farmhouse. I'll share a dinner with my daughter and ex-wife.

orange berries
clustered on the vines


CW Hawes

Blowing out of the northwest, the strong winds whip the drizzle against the windshield and buffet the car. A half-hour into my trip and already my arms are tired. After the third bite of lukewarm convenience store pizza, I find myself wondering if the cardboard would taste better. The wipers clack back and forth. The strains of "Blue Hawaii" fill the car's interior.

to lie
on the atoll's beach –
March dream


Tracy Koretsky

Pressing, pushing I cannot watch them. Pretty once, perhaps – maybe a hundred pounds ago (a hundred-and-fifty now?) – their nails neatly mooned, coral-lacquered.  Except for the ones that aren't. I fear for them; she feeds fabric to the shuttle, eyeing already the next bright bit, everywhere rainbow promises, randomly heaped.

Pieced, they remind me of the Midwest from above: the emerald salts and golden fields, the diamond-dotted cities. I hope for her that she will see this, see what I am joined of, though I know that mostly, there will be clouds.

She will watch the dumb movie, eat every bit of the bad meal. "How can you do this without looking?"  I say, my fingers traveling a green-ridged corduroy, skating a sunset silk. "How can you choose that over this?"

"It's all the same," she answers. "When you're asleep."

opaque fog
across the bay
the city, a memory


John Martone

Giselle wrote see the full moon on Christmas eve, & so stepped outside, an ocean away, back of my house, and stood with my two daughters, in moonlight more than making up for snowless earth.


full moon

      he stands

             w/ his daughters









full moon









full moon

the gate






full moon

      all the snow's





full moon

      now no one






      how cold it is

             full moon




full moon

weather vane's



full moon

      one planet's

             even brighter

Behold this world, which is like a decorated royal chariot. …


ARE YOU. . .
Linda Papanicolaou

Mother is doing housework in the kitchen. Having finished an errand she told me to do, I am in her room, lingering before the small assortment of cosmetics that are neatly arranged on her vanity.

It's the 1950s and we live in a small town. I know about movie stars like Marilyn Monroe but I'm not old enough to go to her pictures. Most of what I've learned about makeup is through Mother.

Usually her lipstick is soft, shaded pink. This morning, though, I see a tube that I don't remember.  It has a sleek gilded case with a Revlon label. Gingerly I slip off its cover, twist, and gaze in fascination as a lustrous tip of concentrated scarlet emerges from its sheath.

the shape of a kiss
on white facial tissue
. . . fire and ice


Linda Papanicolaou

I'm at my friend's house for the afternoon. Scooping through her crayons, I dredge up a white bead in the shape of a skull.

Logically I know that it's a plastic trinket from a gumball machine or a Cracker Jacks box, but I can't resist. Over and over I turn it in my fingers. Would she miss it? If she cared about it, would it be in the crayon box? Maybe it's not even hers. . .

When her back is turned I take it, make my excuses and go home early. In my own room, I pull the little amulet from my pocket.

Its power is gone.

the faint scar
of a childhood vaccination –
raking Autumn light



Linda Papanicolaou

A kestrel has caught a smaller bird, pinning it belly-up to the asphalt of the Hewlett Packard parking lot. Half a dozen crows surround the pair, protesting with guttural caws each time the captive screeches. Instinctively I turn my bike and advance, hoping to startle them just enough for the prey to escape.

"Let it go," I say softly, soothingly.

The kestrel is an exquisite creature. I'm close enough to admire its large dark eye, raptor's beak, and fawn-buff plumage patterned with bars and spots. The bird that's about to be a meal is gray, a juvenile grackle. It struggles, roiling the crows, then lapses silent. We're in a standoff, all of them watching me guardedly.

"Let the little bird go," I intone more insistently.

And at that moment, I know that I've transgressed. In choosing which of them shall live – for this is, in
essence, what I've done – I've blundered into playing God. Whatever my human sympathies, I have no business in this drama.

What now? Step back? If I do, can I return things to their natural course? What would have happened had I not intervened? Might the grackle have escaped without me? Might it yet, if . . .

Too late. My presence has unnerved the crows. The kestrel sees, and bolts. Grip firm, shooting out its wings, it soars away with a loud black chorus in pursuit.

pyramid of the sun –
the glint on a high priest's
upraised knife



Patricia Prime

 . . she said if you hear a screech in the middle of the night it’s not someone getting his throat cut it’s just the pukekos – doesn’t she know we have pukekos in Auckland – families of them live along the wetlands of the North-Western Motorway and hundreds by the lake at Western Springs – but it wasn’t the pukekos that kept me awake it was the lightning coming through a chink in the curtains – I could see two stars in direct alignment – the top one faintly blue and the bottom one throbbing red – the more I stared the more stars I could see between them but then they disappeared behind the clouds – the gap in the curtains took on the aura of the monolith from “2001: A Space Odyssey” – a film I went to the premiere of decades ago in London – a friend was an editor on the film and provided us with invitations – we met afterwards for a party at  Kubrick’s house - a strange man who ordered his shirts and shoes by the dozen (all the same colour and design) – one huge wall-to-wall cupboard in his kitchen contained every known liquor – and what did that monolith represent? – we came away from the film with different ideas: I thought it represented God appearing to mankind at certain strategic moments in humanity’s ascent from ape to star-child – my editor friend was responsible for that sequence where the ape throws a bone up in the air in slow motion and it turns into a spacecraft – as a child I’d looked forward to the coming of the years 1984 (George Orwell) and 2001 – but now they’re both past – I can honestly say 1984 was my annus horribilis and 2001 wasn’t much better . . . the storm is over, the pukekos have gone down to the river and now I can sleep . . .


in a pile
of old film magazines
the director’s face
the quake of his crimped eyelids
hint that an image has formed



Patricia Prime

. . . on the road our ‘dummy’ book in a raffia bag we discuss the photos for our latest collaboration – by the steps of the printer’s house swan plants covered with Monarch butterflies – a caterpillar crushed on the gravel path – between shifts of proof-reading a brief interlude for homemade shortbread and tea among the computers and discarded print-outs – the cardboard we’d bought from the Warehouse too thick to copy we return the ream with several sheets missing – still they change it – bird-like he waves a woman away from his door and returns to his screens – he’s a middle-aged hippie with a scruffy beard and the tail of his checked shirt hanging out – on his hand basin one cake of cracked soap and a notice ‘please after flushing the toilet turn the handle to six o’clock’


his notebook
hard-bound leather cover
slightly dog-eared
hand-written on an inside page
‘love is unnecessary’


Ray Rasmussen

Hammacher Schlemmer, self-billed as "America's longest running catalogue" arrived in my mailbox today. It claims to offer "the best, the only and the unexpected".

The 120 MPH Electric Car featured on the cover for $108,000, is only 39-inches wide. I get out my tape measure and figure I can just squeeze inside, then refer to my college physics text and indeed it might reach 120 MPH were I to drive it off the top of a 15-story parkade.

The Applauding Automatic Return Putting Cup at $39.95 makes the sound of polite applause'. I'm tempted, but I'll require one that makes a loud guffaw.

As a boy, I wanted to become a spy, so I seriously consider The G-Man's Convertible Travel Jacket at $69.95 featuring 40 hidden pockets. An x-ray photo shows a number of interesting possibilities for the pockets including one for a small vial and one for a pen-weapon. My vial will hold knock out drops, and my pen will utilize poison ink. (Beware the editor who turns down this haibun!)

In the end, I settle for  The Perpetual Motion Rotating Globe. Even if I tire of it, I can tell my friends that my hamster has circled the globe more than once.

warning bell—
the neighbor's kid zips by
on a new chrome bike


Richard Straw

On a bright summer morning, I'm bicycling alone over the railroad tracks on Prospect Street. The black wooden ties, smelling of fresh coal tar creosote, support two pairs of shiny steel rails that glint in both directions and divide the town. To the north is Saint Mary's Church with its tall steeple, the tallest in town, as well as the Short Ford Motor Co. where my aunt's lecherous boyfriend is a grease monkey. I stop near a two-story Victorian brick house, home to an Italian family. The house has dark shutters, a flat roof, and a black metal fence and gate. I rest in the shade of an oak across the street to gaze at the mother who brushes back her hair with one hand and laughs as she pushes herself with bare heels on a porch swing. She smiles at her children who are younger than I am. They're playing tag and run out of the front door, down the stone steps, along the slate sidewalk, and into the lush green lawn.
To the south are the Protestant churches and Center Street, where my mom says she met my dad at the Henney & Cooper drug store while she served sodas during World War II. He was an usher at the Marion Theater and thought he was God's gift to women. Both are working this morning and will be working every morning of every summer it seems.

sailors at ease
all round the mess hall
sky full of clouds


Richard Straw

I meet by chance on the street someone who resembles one of my dead grandpas and who could be the twin brother of Carl Sandburg, who died even longer ago. We walk into his basement apartment, the entrance a trap door. It's either that or a farmhouse cellar—hard to tell in the dream. He tells me his problem—what to do with his many manuscripts, books, papers. I suggest hiring an assistant, someone who won't know or care that he's working for a well-known writer. We talk about Huckleberry Finn, why it's reread, despite its moral dilemmas, to re-create lost innocence. As I glance at his close-cropped hair, crow's feet, tired but still-bright eyes, the scene shifts to midwinter in Ohio, snow a foot deep, and me standing in the kitchen of my parents' house, my last boyhood home in their small town. Beyond the dinette curtains, five horses, their nostrils steaming, wait on the moonlit driveway, which is cleared of snow. I cry out for dad to see. When I wake, a headache I've had for days is gone.

standing still
the longest time
roller coaster


Richard Straw

"I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils…" Theodore Roethke *

I have a job, but am sometimes out of work. I try to sit patiently then in silence, without grimaces, expecting nothing. Work will eventually arrive to be edited, to dissolve the time away. Without it, I'm lost in broad daylight, prone to sort and re-sort my pens, pencils, and schedules. I'll even brush my teeth and straighten the telephone cord so its one loop turns toward the green banker's lamp, a gift from my parents. Or I'll stack my snack change by year near my coffee cup, arrange my reference books alphabetically by author, and clean the computer keyboard. Sometimes, I'll daydream of the drive home, with the radio tuned to jazz.

gone one evening
the black, brown, and sorrel
thick tousles of grass

* From the poem of the same name in The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke (New York: Anchor Books, 1975, p. 44).



Barbara A. Taylor

crossing the hilltop
silhouetted antlers
at fire lighting time

In silence, at one with Nature, she spies deer at sunrise. At sunset she watches them retreat over rocky-patched snow hills.  Life is not complete without seeing the start and end of every glorious day. It would be sublime to share with her these precious steps in time. My fond memories are long, clear images of love and care. The same sleek moon shines on us. In silence, at one with Nature, each day of my life I spy wallabies at sunrise, and at sunset I watch them retreat over parched paddock’d hills. Wherever it is we wander, believe we will find each other there.

on  blank diary dates
her fantasy  time


Jeffrey Woodward

This north country is a relic of a glacial advance – countless lakes, and thicketed vales, everywhere a crystalline trickle with or without a name, an expansive past gouged by the cold that receded but never quite abandoned a claim to this land.

The early settlers raised the very stone from the fields for their first homes. Trade in timber let them barter for goods until the old growth was cleared out. Many left then but still a few held on, year after year, adopting the chiseled tenacity of the stones, adapting to the quiet and placid decorum of their resolute neighbors …

an acre or two
and little is sown
in the poor soil
but hill after hill
stone on stone


Jeffrey Woodward

the water gin-clear
and five fathoms deep
light from a sunfish
scales its way back up
the azure heights

Here, on the wooden dock that sags and tilts in the end aside to a ripple, I watch the light now sailing back from below, now a spire or a spine, now a fan or a fin, now alight or adrift in the scintillating guise of a stickpin of a damselfly.


Jeffrey Woodward


light falls from her hair
onto a gold necklace
and lapis lazuli
a carafe’s close shadow
of cerulean hue

reminding me only in this popular pub in late autumn of you here in high summer at my side your eastern city left behind

I leave that shimmering aura where it lingers with an admirer about a corner table but nevertheless your shadow follows me somehow into October into the sudden evening into the chill of a windy street

if I turn back now
and look to the east
the heavens blacken
where tonight you lie at ease
beside another





James Roderick Burns

This recollection –
steel against concrete, tinfoil
shrinking at the touch of flame.

You mouth choruses
while I shiver in the sun
and a plane drones over, stalls.

Across the black moor
down a precipitous bank
through two switchback passages

and tunnels of light
into this limpid moment –
animal, saloon, impact.

Behind the church hall
Arthur's Seat rises beneath
a blue and herringboned sky,

hymns swell and deflate
as branches tap on the glass.
Hikers jump the gap like fleas.

This morning – holy
and clear with ringing of bells,
the mountain's call and response –

this morning fear comes.
The blackbird flies, loosening
a christening of raindrops.

My stomach tightens
around a finger of tea.
Twining rowan and holly,

wild rosemary spears
rattle in the cooling wind.
Where is the end of childhood?

Before the numbing
bang, an explosion of time –
some anonymous sliver

of evening spreading
from colliding bumper, hip
and bone into everything.

Why this reckoning
when another moment's force
will terminate the account?

Like register tabs
those endless clappy Sundays –
joyless, dread, freighted with dark.

Even this poor sack
of mangy fur and sinew
howls for its lost family –

in the damp burrow
a bad dream circling the cubs,
scratching at sleep like a nail.

Leaning on sandstone
I imagine a Sabbath
beyond the tabernacle –

liturgies winding
up to heaven, calm and bright
as my lost grandfather's face.

The last chorus dies.
In the absence of voices
a sudden dry settling,

cold wind amongst the branches.
On both your faces, leaving,
the returning light of love.


Ruth Holzer

                         for the results
                         in a curtained cell—
                         through the wall I hear you sigh
                         once, invisible sister

                         the farther away
                         I get from the hospital
                         the better I feel—
                         until I remember
                         you're still there

                         you ran off
                         into the frozen woods
                         and lay down—
                         love could not find you
                         even dogs could not find you

                         into the crimson promise
                         of tomorrow—
                         coming back
                         everything gray



Elizabeth Howard

in the garden
wrested from wayward soil
the mums frost-bitten
yet the fountain gurgles
and a wren sings joy

a rainy drive
bent on timetables –
I give way
to a flight of ducks
the low ceiling

strumming a guitar
she and daughter sing
son sits in silence
face alight
with kinship

the evening lake
gloomy and still
at dawn geese glide
across the shimmer
like ice skaters in Holland



Shelleen A. McQueen

I sit still for six hours and write;
it's slower than catching a bus.
Give me a race car, a shuttle, or jet
to propel me like lightning to the end.

It's slower than catching a bus.
The computer coughs, sputters, and spits
to propel me like lightning to the end.
My back tries to tell me it's too long.

The computer coughs, sputters, and spits;
its rhyme-finder floods me with blood.
My back tries to tell me it's too long,
I'll fix chicken for dinner when I'm done.

The rhyme-finder floods me with blood;
my brain stutters and stumbles through slush.
I'll fix chicken for dinner when I'm done,
then bed with bad back and dull head.

My brain stutters and stumbles through slush.
Give me a race car, shuttle, or jet,
then bed with bad back and dull head.
I sit still for six hours and write.


 M. Kei

my son and I
crawl through the bilge
of an old wooden boat,
painting Copperkote
for another fifty years

scooting in the sawdust
beneath the boat,
my son holds the flashlight
while I tar the inside
of the centerboard well

sitting on a stack of lumber,
my daughter strips the paint
from a piece of
metal hardware
to be restored

with tar after working
on the boat,
I take a bath in WD-40
and come out slick and clean

an old oyster boat
launches from the
shore once more;
to witness this
I wear caulk and tar

one spot of tar
I didn't remove
a tattoo of
winter work
on my skin

it's a place
like no other,
full of the ghosts
of wooden boats
and dying men


June Moreau

What’s on the other side
of the sky, Coyote?
Open the white door
of silence
and take me there…

just letting things be –
I rest the oars
and drift
wherever the breeze
will take me

with the bliss
of a butterfly
and the waters
of the lake brimming
I launch my canoe

poet versus a fisherman
both multiply
occasions for hope
but one has a lake
in the sky


Tomislav Maretic

clear calm sea –
you can see all details
on the bottom

a shoal of little fishes flies
over the swimmer’s head

sunshine in the cutlery
at the tablecloth – somebody
pulls the curtain

actors come out on the side –
the applause doesn’t abate

she throws the pebbles
in the silent lake –
the moon is swaying

crickets’ song in the meadow
mixes with the lover’s whisper

boiled sea-bass
and wine in the cellar –
a table for two

lifting glasses at the bar –
all sport results are here!

too strong shower –
are we condemned
to stay in tavern?

sound of the old drainpipe
tapping on our nostalgia

streetlamp shines
in icicles hanging
from the roof

winter moon on the path
hides behind the trees

an old oak’s stump –
it’s difficult to count off
all the growth rings!

for painting circles around
the lamp he uses only yellow

can you imagine
fluttering of the long ear
in the gloom?

tram drives for a long time
to an unknown place

the all shops are
still open on the main
city square

a passionate tomcat brings
home scars in the morning

cherry-tree in bloom
gives joy to the patient
behind his window

the shining morning mist
retreats very slowly



R.K. Singh

Sunny morning:
a snake slides through the fence
looking for a prey

Full of silt
the Ganga overflows:
snakes under the waves

Raises its hood
a cobra in water:
algae criss-cross

 Searching reason
in the labyrinthine pattern:
snakes in courtyard
Avoids searching
mushroom in the crowded green –
snake on the fence

 Searches thorn apples
to propitiate lingam:
snake in sanctum

A  snake's tail
coils round a sweet
in the box

 Smells a snake
in the wet grass –
her smile

Rises with tickles
between the thighs
the dream-serpent

 A yellow snake
slithers on the grass –
dewy trail of love
Climbing high through
rough pathway and stony cold
a green snake

 A snake's dead skin
near the fence:
she stands unmoving


A. Thiagarajan

parent’s day
the toddler asks his mom
to dye her hair

he picks up the cigarette
half done from the road
peering down the balcony
she sees a panty
settled on a trouser

second-hand furniture mart –
owner's wife locks something
in a cupboards
early  evening –
mood being a bit loose
he asks for a screwdriver


the tall man mumbles –
in a  crowded bus,
I can buy her a shampoo

another mom biting her nails
kids chat and laughing
toddlers  results today



Geert Verbeke

the old monk
is telling it like it is –
shit is shit

even the monk knows
the depths of illusions –
egotistical gain

state governed
terrorism and corruption –
a row of body bags

even his silences
are dedicated to the sun –
ready to wake up

gazing the moon –
the fragrance of flowers
for a short moment

so silent
after the funeral –
the cold rain

Arno sings Ola la la –
the radio is a good friend
now she's gone

the bamboo stems
have new shoots
above her photo

by the roadside
a few mountain roses –
what a perfume

mountain roses
growing on the hill tops –
hear the alpine horn

summery rain
falls so steadily –
a jazz concert

damn blast of wind –
the mitre of Santa Claus
blows away

he has much to tell
about marginalisation –
staring at the snow

fading away
the moon in the water –
the evening gong

the pilgrim monk
describes his travels –
apple blossoms

beginning of spring
in the old lunar calendar –
songs of mourning

kindred spirits
the abbot and the monk –
both whore-hoppers

of the dangers involved –
his ignorance

in stretching gallop
the clippers and pelters –
the scent of mushrooms

with a minimum
of restrained brush strokes –
her drunken pimp

a discussion
with violent arguments –
both stark naked

the divine light
of his paper lantern –
her skirt rustles

he shoots
and talks about the Almighty –
God-fearing @sshole

corruption and greed –
poppies grow awry

in the shrine –
a statue of the Buddha
and bullet holes

the monks words
are hard-hitting and vivid –
his Lenten sermon

being the victim
of Hurricane Katrina –
longlasting fear

he cheers Buddha
with his drunken comrades –
modern times

with oracle bones –
the smell of myrrh

sitting silently
he tends to fall asleep –
the path is fussy

a rolled towel
between his chin and chest –
dead as a doornail

in meditation
the whores in the temple –
an old monk winks

behind the temple
a loud shower of bullets –
do not abide

many land mines
between the tombstones –
a prolific death

the Congolese war
illegal trade in Coltan
and many prayers

wars go on killing
long after they end –
refugee camps

troops celebrate
after battling rebels –
Gott mit uns



Ella Wagemakers

larger than my birthmark
a purple spot
where the buckle hit
my left temple

on the coffee table
my blood
after the metal ruler
cut through my scalp

down to my knees
my skirt
and the dark stripes
from the leather strap

a cold shower and rub
… the marks
do not come off
with the soap and towel

at school
everyone asked how
and I said
I fell down the stairs
and cut myself clumsily



for A.W.
Liam Wilkinson


born too late,
my mind paints steam
into station arches

clatter of rolling stock –
I guess where to stand
and wait for a door

in the overhead,
the jagged
edges of poetry
beneath the skin
of my bag

church spires
and office blocks –
wherever and whatever
we worship, we

after floods    a field full of sky

in a notebook
I write
to the rhythm
of the wheels –
         slower now



Hebden Bridge –
stepping back in time,
I mind the gap

the dead
in weeds –
a dark mill stands

long since fired
         still reaching


the sandblasted mill
with a boutique
in its belly –
new devoured
by old

old devoured by new –
blue graffiti screams
up a lumb

revolution's skeleton
has become
part of the furniture –
a ruin
in the rough

on wet cobbles
I remain standing
but let
my shadow

deep into the Calder
the longboat, the
bridge, the
day above,


sound of a town
diminishing –
I'm dragged,
by ambition,
towards Heptonstall



night falls
into Heptonstall
with a hush

the moon rolls
down the street
leaving its trail
on the cobbles

born too late
my mind paints ghosts
into church arches

a great bird
landed here,
evidently –
words, like weeds,
drip off the masonry

into the poet's cage
of stone and branches
I climb –
new devoured
by old


West Yorkshire wind,
tired of brass, blows
a silence
into the churchyard –
         ripple on a crow's wing


among these names
is yours?
         a stone sits up
         in your memory


concealed moon -
         only rustle and touch
         of ground underfoot


on the poet's grave
I leave nothing but
the promise of a return





Christopher Barnes

In black prismed night
Eyes yellow like Egypt suns
As a cat haunches.



Carl Brennan

is torn by flesh-eating
dolls – censors for this planet's vile



Carl Brennan

With sword I captured
your precious blood – imprisoned
your eternity
of white dreams within myself
The taste sickens, dear savior


for years
I have tried to avoid
angry outbursts;
for years, I have said,
the wimp in me never falters
Sanford Goldstein


I sit in the back
of the car, the silent
a ghost-like non-entity
in the energetic talk
Sanford Goldstein


how lyric are you,
my spilled tanka world,
in this wasteland?
each is the cruelest month,
and I am stumbling through
Sanford Goldstein


miniature world
etched into the earth below
the mountain
towers over everything
but me

Martin Grenfell



   on the bell's
clapper a housefly
rests in peace
CW Hawes


in front of the house
we stop and make yellow snow
walking the dog
 CW Hawes
 . .

                the battlefield
               grass taller and darker
               in some places
Artur Lewandowski


                 a mountain hike
                the path less and less steep
                with each “Good Day”
Artur Lewandowski


               autumn eve
              the prayer for health
              longer and longer
Artur Lewandowski


at self reflections
I see her every day
she says "I love you"
with a knowing smile
the way that mothers do

Barbara A. Taylor


without hearing
the kooka’s cacophony
on time every day
I would be estranged
in some other land

Barbara A. Taylor



Carl Brennan
Unnoticed, a grave
gaunt figure waltzes into
the carnal parade.
His greatcoat darkens the streets,
he swings the moon's sickle down
and young revelers fall
for his heartfelt disgust.
They build him pyres,
they stink to high heaven, their
festive masks shrivel away


Copyright © by Designated Authors in 2008.


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