February, 2009

A Journal for Linking Poets 


Yu Chang

Fading light between fallen stones, the call of crickets;
Scattering leaves on the towpath, the sound of crickets.

Harvest moon in the apple orchard, wish I took the dare;
Fresh snow on the weeping willow, no sound of crickets.

Milky Way in the mountain lake, she squeezes my hand;
Sharing secrets under a starlit sky: our fondness of crickets.

Sunny morning on the way to market, we hum together;
Antique store – a bronze lizard with a mound of crickets.

Christmas eve, a candle flame suddenly brighter: 
Listen, Changy, you always have, the song of crickets.


Gene Doty

he thought he was being Faustian
when he was only clothed in fustian

unread books piled in stacks on shelves
and floor—a deal less than Faustian

"oh" he muttered too many times
just past midnight, wrapped in fustian

waking before the sun rises
he sees the sky in colors Faustian

no single pair of words can bracket
the cosmos, a truth that smells of fustian

hostas and gladiolas keep
the back door angels freely Faustian

which will it be, Gino, a deal
like Faust's or a cloak of fustian?


James Fowler

I breathe in slowly, breathe out slowly, by tens,
release the desire for control of what happens.

My hair lay between lightning and the pull cord.
I hope I laugh again the next time that happens.

Every morning I rise and my mind remembers,
but every time I change rooms, forget happens.

Come, my sweets, let us take off our clothes,
douse the lights, see what kind of fit happens.

In the cellar a scorpion shell sits on the shelf.
Upstairs a door slams, vocal combat happens.

Bigotry resided and multiplied behind his teeth;
now everytime he opens his mouth hate happens.

When The Lady's arrow strikes and Squirrel dies,
she'll gather his energy and a new state happens.


c w hawes

The soft notes of the flute call to me;
the chanter of the adhan calls to me.

 From out of the desert I hear the wind,
the voices of the saints call to me.

The lips of the shaykh drip with honey;
the siren voice of the mosque calls to me.

My glass is empty and I'm parched with thirst;
the pretty one with the wine jug calls to me.

The Beloved has kissed my lips, touched my cheek;
the voice deep within very softly calls to me.



c w hawes

What is it you say when the sun is rising?
Indeed, is there anything you need to say?

The sidewalk is full of people rushing by
And once in a great while one will say, "Hello".

Words, so many, many words filling the ears,
Yet with a touch of your finger you say more.

Walking in the woods on a brisk autumn day,
The crisp leaves say many things in their rustling.

Everywhere I look there are the fingerprints
Of God, yet I heard someone say He was dead.

The tales of the past are such intriguing stuff,
Yet isn't all of it simply someone's hearsay?

Enough! Akikaze's ears are full of sound –
Let the silence of a winter day have its say.



c w hawes

Oh!  The taste of the samosa from your hand –
it's the taste of morning straight from the Friend's lips.

I lick your fingertips, as though honey dipped;
the taste of this sweetness is all in the mind.

The mountain's river wildly dashing through me;
the taste of delight in its icy freshness.

Lying upon the brown earth of your body,
touch of mouth to skin, the taste of creation.

The One is one and so the One is not two;
and from one leaf the taste of many teas.


Ruth Holzer

There’s a chance in every friendship
that it will go south to romance, not friendship.

A minor arc on someone’s wheel of need –
one revolution stamps out friendship.

You’ll try your best to fix your face,
assume a mask to enhance the friendship.

You pay in thin coins of disappointment:
the price for joining the dance of friendship.

Ruth’s acquaintances change into strangers;
waste and distance supplant all friendship.

















haiga by Frank Williams






Cindy Bell

The cold creeps back in. It makes me want nothing more than to flee this place, to blaze out of this latitude like the last ray of summer's light. I'm not ready for the winter hibernation. Not ready for the solitude made lonely by the absence of sunshine. Or for the firing up of the wood stove, the huddling by it in my down jacket, chills through my body, while I wait for my one room cabin to warm to above freezing. I'd prefer another sun cradled afternoon reading on my porch, a light breeze swaying through the Devil's Club and Cow's Parsnip in my front yard.

reading a
mountaineering memoir –

So now I'm left wanting to cry out, in an all out, on my knees kind of desperation. Couldn't there be room for just a minute more of summer?  That single spark of hope to see me through all those midnight outhouse runs...

icicles hang –
a spider
crosses crystal-
                                      ine snow

Perhaps I'll defy winter all together. I'll crank up that stove and delight in the roar. I'll wear my swimming trunks, the ones with the red and yellow stripes down the sides, and dream of break up, the time when Winter's depths will once again fade into the lightness of summer.

                                                         waiting again –
                                                         double tap of rain
                                                         on the roof


c w hawes

Reset. They keep saying the program must be reset. Yet they won't do it and I do not know how.  Nothing will get them to move. I  am impotent. Ignorance and lack of security clearance make me a pawn in the bureaucratic chess game. Expendable. The odds against promotion:  many to one.

humid, wet weather
the blossoms on the rose bush
balled and rotting




c w hawes

I think of Basho grinding his ink bar with a little water upon the stone, then dipping his brush into the ink and writing his poems. A laborious process when compared to writing with a disposable ballpoint pen.
For myself, I have never liked ballpoints. The ink frequently comes off in stringy blobs on the paper. They frequently skip. The  selection of ink colors is quite limited. The pressure needed to make the pen write fatigues my hand and arm. I much prefer a  fountain pen.
But on occasion, to get closer to the Master, I write with a steel dip pen.


November sun sets
all day they cleaned the old man's house
and throw away junk



c w hawes

Basho, in one of his haibun, noted when someone stopped by, there was useless chatter. He went on to write, when visiting others he was afraid he was disturbing then and declared having no friends at all would be his true friend. But being a recluse did not suit the old poet and eventually he unlocked his gate.

I find myself sympathetic to the Master's plight. My quest for solitude is never ending.  The cacophony of modern life is, at times, overwhelming.  Frequently misunderstood, how does one explain the joy of self-companionship?

Most do not understand the value of silence. Indeed, I think most are afraid of silence and fill the sound-empty spaces with vacuous and inane chatter.  Lives chattering away, strangers to the bliss of being one with silence.

the sun crests the hill
bright flaming the clouds scarlet
only the snow's crunch

















Haiga by Mary Davila


c w hawes

Early winter is now upon us. Snow has fallen twice, but did not stay. Each morning, however, the frost turns all things white. Soon, the snow will too.

I sit in my chair, drinking tea, and gaze out the window of my apartment. Below are the ponds, trees, and houses of my new suburban home. I gave up a life in the country to seek a new path.  I found a new path and love.

What a joyous feeling is love! All things have once again become new.  The demons and ghosts of my former life are gone. I have experienced reincarnation and life is alive!

frosty cold morning
way up in the sky the hawk
serenely gliding


Linda Papancolou

car bingo –
in the back seat
I’m wedged
between the dog
and picnic basket

It’s 1956, and in the summer twilight we’re on a narrow road that winds past farmhouses, dairy barns, and one after another AAA motor court with its neon No Vacancy sign on. Daddy's angry and he’s over-steering. Mother had been telling me about vacations in her
father’s Model-T, but now she’s silent, clutching the thermos. “Do we have enough gas?” she asks.

I don’t know it yet, but President Eisenhower has just signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act. Someday this will be an interstate.



high beams –
the late night dj’s
smoky drawl

We enter the next construction zone, our little VW bouncing over an asphalt patch as four lanes narrow to two, then some miles later, back to four. I crack the window to a blast of heat still radiating from the sand although it's well past midnight. How did the settlers cope before cheap energy or air conditioning?

Ahead, low humps of mountains underscore a garish red blaze in the sky. "Las Vegas," says my husband. He turns on the radio. Now it’s too late baby, now, it’s too late, wails Carole King. Like this desert, her languor seems interminable. I glance at the fuel gauge, assuring myself we have enough to skip the next rest area and push on to California.

behind a big rig
mile after mile –

Love it or Leave it
and How's my driving?


“Pit stop,” I nudge my son. “Ready to take the wheel?”

We lean against the SUV and share a bag of snack mix as the gallons ding one by one into our tank. The price has almost doubled in recent months—more at stations on the freeway. Gouging, they say, but what can you do? I tell him another of my 'fifties anecdotes about a garage charging nineteen cents a gallon –I can still hear Mother’s outrage and I imitate her at the punch line.

He listens, thoughtfully chewing on a pretzel.
“Ever heard of L. King Hubbert—Peak Oil?”

Vaguely I nod—I've seen it in a magazine, though didn't stop to read.

“Petroleum supply is a bell curve,” he explains. “Initially, demand drives exploration. Supply increases till the easy fields are drilled. After that, production declines, while cost and demand still rise. In 1956, Hubbert predicted US production to peak in the early ‘seventies. Globally, it’ll within the next two decades. From here on out—rising
prices, scarcity and resource wars . . . ”

One hundred twenty five years to use the first trillion barrels, next trillion in just thirty—I knew that, but it seemed so abstract, so far off. Surely they’ll have fixed things by then, found alternatives. . .

What do I say? That I’m sorry?

Have I prepared him for the world he will inherit?

canyon wind
across the slope cut –
of an ancient riverbed
laid open in the cliff

pumping gas –
the guy with the woofers
car dancing


Tom Cunliffe

Street-cleaning looked complex so I applied for the post of dishwasher, doubling up as kitchen porter. She offered me a job as an ant. Overcome, I swiftly accepted, admiring ants for their bitter selflessness– a quality sure to look good on my CV. That night I scoured pans but success followed as soon as I discovered candle wax. Promoted, I had privileges; I became sexless, I fed her, kept away the riffraff, tidied up. Later, I fulfilled her stronger desires, I massaged her scalp, ripped up the photographs, sharpened the scissors, blew out her candles.

in every box
an egg–
such a quiet room



Tom Cunliffe

Kiss her all night, all day long, take no rest. People will pass, burdened with suitcases, throw them some rope so they can bind their packages. Listen for the cold freezing their breath– infant splits and cracks– it will be icicles forming on the words of the women. Hold your tongue to the sun of her breast, blue veins, downy white skin. Nuzzle in, journey between her thighs, holiday in the inlets of her toes; taste the cherry of her neck, the cinnamon of her vulva, the mango of mouths open. Close her eyes with tiles, her nostrils with mortar, only stop when feathers sprout from her shoulders and your own
lips turn golden.
Outside they pass, their suitcases dragging them down. And yes, they will pause, perhaps peer in, but you will never hear their smiles. They do that later, when alone– very alone.

they pass weightless as sleep– flying over regret


Roger Jones

Dad's friend Patrick, dead of a sudden heart attack at age 55. The phone ringing in the middle of the night forty years ago. We were a thousand miles away, another time zone.  Mother took the call from Pat's wife Mary, then handed the phone over. Dad trembled as he took the news. Even now, a phone call in the middle of the night sends through me a jolt of ice-cold fear.

autumn morning
first chill air
grazing wind chimes


Patrick M. Pilarski

A trail through darkening woods. Branches hang: sharp black fingers on heavy clouds, pink with slivers from the setting sun. The path narrows to a thin slit between ink-spot trees; white fades to thick blue—the frosty ocean of early twilight. Then night-dark forest, our soft footfalls kicking up plumes of snow.

white birch,
their frail arms
lifting the sky

Mounting a rise, the trees part. Marshland spreads out‚ at and dry, lingers, gets lost in the night; grasses and low brush. We make our way out onto the flats, snowshoes slipping through the drifts. A backbone of snowmobile tracks carve their way past ice-drenched
cattails—ley lines for slow silence. The creek is a frozen highway at the edge of the reeds.


spring thaw—
a duck's footsteps
on still water



Patrick M. Pilarski

There is a place on the shore where a line becomes a question, a mirror for the sky. The tide walk—a place for ghosts, lost in the spray, steps measured by slick shells and the flitting shapes of shore birds.

one feather
carried though the haze
a gull's cry

Pinned between the forest's gnarled edge and the crashing surf; a middle-land of drying froth—parallel, liminal, smooth as feathers from a raven's wing. A highway for us to walk, tired and without footsteps, the thinning edge of the world.


Patrick M. Pilarski

Nothing in this place is real. Imitation kimonos; Christmas lights on plastic trees;
fabriform Shinto shrines. Even the waiter speaks with a southern drawl. Water trickles,
knives flash, grills flare; a lemon refuses to impale itself on waiting tongs. Is the wooden
Buddha howling or grinning? Small spark on the charred cooking grill. Small wooden bridge leading nowhere and made of painted plastic. But wait. Wait. Hidden behind the cheers and the clatter of cutlery... something here is real.

soft curses—
the sushi chef
drops his knife


Trish Shaw

 My daughter sits in her wheelchair by the window. It's been a bad  day. It was upsetting to see the x-rays and hear the latest  prognosis. After the tears there is anger, always fresh and hot. 
 She's frustrated and depressed; she can't go back to work yet and has  lost touch with friends. Always the optimist, I try to cheer her up -  things will look better in a year.
 Looking at the healing scar on her leg, I take a deep breath and leave  the room. A few minutes later I set a bowl of warm water, a rag, and  a small box by her feet. The chair squeaks as I pull it into position.

 dark circles
 mar the beauty of her face
 bent in twilight
 using brush and palette
 I paint her toes Mauve-lous*
 *OPI Anniversary Nail Polish Collection


Barbara A. Taylor

In 1989, in search of sun and solitude, I moved interstate, north to a weathered turn-of- the century farmhouse. It came with five volcanic acres and a toothless jersey cow, (a supreme champion), called "Dairy Maid". My old dog and five broody bantams completed the ménage. Before I ventured on this new episode, a dear friend gave me a present: “Plant Dreaming Deep” by May Sarton. Her words encouraged me to embrace change, rediscover and challenge, create; to write whilst I still could lift my green wheelbarrow. From a job at the hub of politics, where you’re sure the world won’t turn without you, oh, what bliss, what freedom, what splendid joy to stop, live here and talk with the birds and the earth. Contentment at its best

unraveling jasmine
I hear the mandarin tree
breathe with me...
the birdsongs and blossoms
a blue tongue on the rocks



Patricia Prime

My mother trusted my sister and me (6 and 10) to take our baby cousin to the park while the grown-ups talked and drank tea. Father and two uncles had returned safely from the war in Germany, but the only time they talked about their experiences was when they visited each other.

We were pleased to be outdoors, unsupervised. The pram was a wicker carriage with sprung wheels that bounced over broken pavements and shattered roads.  The handle came up to my chin.

through cemetery gates
along wide avenues
the pretty flowers
and cute angels
shown to the baby

We wandered into the allotments where people without gardens grew fruit, flowers and vegetables. Sixpence bought a large bunch of sweet peas for our mother and one of the owners gave each of us a ripe tomato.

The park was our last adventure. It was green, with swings, slides, and a roundabout. There was plenty of room to run and play. We parked the baby's pram under a tree while we played "chase he" and skip rope. Then we crossed to the drinking fountain for water and played bulrush with our friends.

Late afternoon. Halfway home we were overcome with horror.  "The baby.  We've left him behind!" screamed my sister. "He's probably been stolen.  Mum will kill us!” We raced back to the park, found the baby where we'd left him.  Hugged him and kissed his hands and face.


into my sister's
pink woolly jumper
my tear-stained face
covered with tomato juice

with no dignity
to worry about
I untangle myself
"Are you alright,
are you alright, baby?"

filling ourselves
with butterfly cakes
and milk
we tell no-one about
our adventure.



James Fowler

Light creeps between the flakes that click on my old USS Midway flight jacket. The honking geese on the beaver pond paddle to keep from freezing in. Behind me, beyond Route 12, the factory whistle calls the morning shift. The ruffed grouse, hidden beneath the hemlock, mutters as I walk by. Gusts of wind lift swirls of snow and fill my tracks. I
tilt my head to tongue the flakes and watch the storm clouds march across the skies.

falling ashes
the bitter flavor
of gunpowder


James Fowler

I close the door behind me and toss my suitcase on the left bed. The tiny refrigerator beneath the TV is empty, the machine in the lobby too far to go this late. As I unpack in the window lit shadows, the mirror over the bureau catches my eye. An enchanting face peers out, but the full moon is not what I want. I open the window a crack and pull the shade. I stare at the green light of my recharging laptop until I fall asleep.


             blinking neon
             traffic on the highway
             whispers my name





Don Ammons

summer  night   the kids
have left home   “We are too old,”
she laughs   “No! No! No!”
outside   on a spread blanket
under white stars    we make love

insects hum   I sit
on flattened grass watching my wife
wade into the stream
she pauses   nude pose   looks back over
her shoulder   smiles   I stand

re-runs could flicker the length
of white summer nights
but no!   pale hours spent with her!
no time for black and white myths

August   not autumn
not summer   packing   leaving
the cabin   “Goodbye
cabin”    my wife quips   a salty
tear on her sun-burnt cheek

northern summers
too short   too cold   not of my
past   a Florida
childhood   long hot hours recalled
on cold   Nordic   summer nights

Ed Baranosky

A common gull poses
Snowflake obsidian eyes
Reflected in a shallow pool
And pauses beneath arcing breakers,
Crying out before unfolding flight.
Beach glass returns
Exposed in the off-shore gales
Home worn by sand and snow,
Dunes drifting over
Moon-burned contraband.
A beached dory,
Bleached by drying days’
Searing suns,
Floats among blue asters
Into wooden memory.
The scent of the surf’s
Constant pulsed onslaught
Is the same at dry dock,
Peeling mansion, or gilded
Cottage corroded with salt.
Some call the grass spartina
That ripples in the marsh
Torn roughly along its edges
Swelling with sand and dulse
In the turning of the tide.

 Ed Baranosky

Red sails sink
Below the horizon
Racing time for gold,
God for sterling stories
In the relics of strangers.
Memory’s mariners
Unfurl their canvas wings,
The vessels of millions
Of years, onyx carved
Near the windblown tides.
Who, with rusted harpoon,
Unravels the knot tied
Onto a mystery anchorage,
The lost meaning of scars
Removed from vain wounds?
Do you know
What secret contraband
Lies buried beneath the surf,
Sacred maps held for ransom
And peddled as prophesy?
They may have expected
Pearls the sea shapes
To remain marooned
Beneath muffled oars
And muted beach music.


(To the Memory of my Mother)
Carl Brennan

Dazzle of August
on mom's hospital window;
shadows move within

Haunting her bedside...
a health aide finds the TV's
remote control

An oxygen mask
distorting mom's classic face...
a nightmare perhaps

I misplace my car
in a vast parking lot...
loneliness wakes me

One lung has collapsed!
doctors leave us together
in hopeless twilight

I wipe some sputum
from mom's lips–suspending
the priest's last prayer

Still in my wallet –
my glamorous young mom's
movie-star looks

James Bond on TV...
holding mom's little fingers
I breathe when she breathes

A nurse offers me coffee...
also mentioning
Mother's heart has stopped

Dawn breaking over
the hospital's skyline–a
dawn without verses

All the fairy tales
mom read me–unhappy
endings have converged

I lose our house keys
in cemetery grass...
no home anymore


Dawn Bruce

on the horizon. . .
winter solstice

grays the river. . .
a heron waits

early evening
through a frosted window
the red-gold moon

forest grove
the old cottage alight
with laughter

light rain
a kookaburra watches
the pond ripples

flu recovery
the flutter of petals
and butterfly wings

clearing the attic
grandmother’s glory box


Gerard John Conforti

Tears flow
like they’ve never done before
when ill they stop
I don’t know but the pain
seems never to cease

If I could give you
the world I would and it would be
a gift from my heart
like my poems have been
and always will be

I will rest calmly
like the night before
beautiful dreams will come
as they come every night

I view the stars
from the terrace at night
there is silence
in the silence of the stars
not to disturb anyone

I said I would give up
writing for a little while
but I have come to it
in full force
as it is supposed to be

How can I not love you?
Jane you have been so good to me
and showed me love
I will never forget
even in dying


Ruth Holzer

spattering gravel
you drive away
still angry
in thin slippers
I feel the chill

fall garden–
everything toppled
only yesterday I was
planning and planting

of oak and hickory
the doe and her twins
somewhere nearby

dry reeds
at the edge of the pond
with the joy
of being here

Elizabeth Howard

fearing the chance
of premature childbirth
I’m drawn to the sketch
your tiny head cradled
in your mother’s hand

okra makes me homesick
garden fresh
chopped, rolled in meal
browned golden
in mother’s skillet

toxic clouds
above the steam plant
each spring lads
trace the riverbank
with stringers of fish

digging a well
great-uncle tossed dynamite
to blast rock
wore pebbles in his face
for sixty years

after the blowout wedding
rests on one hand
the hand he placed
on another woman’s hip


Alegria Imperial

batbato inta
sabsabong ti sardam

on the riverbank
dawn flowers


daluyon iti
tengga’t aldaw
ararasaas mo

at high tide
your whispers


bulan nga
magpakada kadi?

setting moon
in the east
did you say goodbye?


nga Pagay
tedted ti lulua

pulled strands
of rice grain
tear drops


dagiti bulbulong
nga agtataray
lenned diay laud

of leaves
sun set


Antonio Laravie

luminous in the black sky
reflecting in my cup
floating in black tea
bitter-sweet, I swallow every drop

facing the vastness
tears streaming down my face
they are for you child
when you can, find your way home
an old woman waits broken-hearted

winds blow endlessly
even dreams tumble away
I’m waiting for snow
the cold, hard wind
the struggle that comes with forgetting

autumn snow fall
as suddenly as
snow disappears
sparrows flock to the empty field
no hope – thoughts of her returning

autumn wind blows
gray clouds blanket the sky
sparrows dart here and there
paying the cold no mind
a sliver of golden sunlight

shadows long and dark
on the yard below the guard-tower
red and orange sky
a solitary buzzard
flying home before twilight

Singing Eagle Boy –
beaded moccasins on your feet
Hobo Creek flows
where a leaf has fallen
we will meet again in the vastness

Halloween night
little ghosts, goblins walk the streets
one small witch with them
youngest of my fair brood
a crescent moon watches over us both

under the moon-lit sky
I am nowhere to be found
only the vastness between stars
and the forgotten winds
not even headstones remain

flying flocks of white gulls
coming over the hill
above the power-lines
spiraling upward to heaven
a blessing to this moment

blue cloudless sky
crows in the empty field cawing
hopping and flexing their wings
like children laughing and joking
cup of black tea warms my hands



Dick Pettit

                               the game begins
                             Will you take white?
                             Let's set things up.
                            Would you like black?
                                 As you wish.
                              Are you giving me
                              If you think so -
                            depends on how we go.
                              Make a cup of tea
                        for two ­ Whoa! that's enough
                               for both of us.
                              Does the Moonshine
                                come in here?
                           . . . . . . . . . . . .
                                You could draw
                          the curtains if the light
                              is too disturbing.
                           Hardly enough to see by,
                              the day is fading.
                              It's no real help:
                           take a sip of something
                              more substantial.
                           Fine! I'm going strong.
                             How about yourself?
                             The night is young.
                            Are you sure you won't
                                have a cigar?
                               Thank you. But
                            you haven't any left.
                                 Let us say,
                           the box is never empty -
                             Your move, I think.
                           I was about to, but now
                             I'm not quite sure.
                                 And the Moon
                          is shining on the curtain.
                              That reminds me -
                            May I pass behind you?
                             Another cup of tea.
                            Use the flowered mugs
                                  this time.
                          Sure you'll be all right?
                           It only takes a minute.
                             . . . . . . . . . .
                              If you don't mind,
                           I need to think a while
                            about our proposition.
                              Hmm....that could
                           alter ones perspective.
                                Look! A spider
                            crawling on the glass.
                                 Here's luck!
                              There's a dead fly
                               in the casement
                                 How ughsome!
                                And Winter
                            will soon be with us.
                              I think of Summer
                           without a shirt and tie.
                             Mm... pass the cup.
                             It's bitter! You've
                               brought coffee.
                           Yes. I know you always
                               take two spoons.
                            What's that tickering?
                          Two lumps of sugar, yes -
                              Do use the tongs.
                            They make a set. I see
                          symmetry in the position.
                                double mirrors
                             my friend, to catch
                                   the Moon
                           That's it! I'll go first
                             and you precede me.
                           . . . . . . . . . . . .
                                Mind the cup!
                             Don't spill things
                                on the floor.
                           Careful- the board is at
                             a delicate position.
                              They'll let me in.
                             I only want to make
                             a slight adjustment.
                            unnecessary refinement
                             is cause of nations fall.
                                  It's down.
                            Remember the moves and
                            no bouquets this time.
                             I'll do the scores -
                             Have you any change?



Rich Magahiz

L3 the purser calls umbilicals unsnapped

three hours out Diamond Jack ignores the lifepod drill

New Pondicherry slip a stop to refuel

cheaper by the gross empty cannisters click-clack

armored groundcar driver black against the arc lamps

Thanatos-class twinhull waves flash to vapor abaft

Sol dipping towards the west no need to shade one's gaze



Jane Reichhold

At an estate auction in a small town, a battered box of books was sold for one dollar. Shoved down the side of a stack of cook books was a small leather-covered book.

You were born on a Monday, January 18, 1937 at 2:25 a.m. at Memorial Hospital in Lima, Ohio.
Dr. Charles Leech attended with nurses Cleone Monday and Arlene Smith.
Your first and favorite toy was a bunny rabbit on a rattle.
Aunt Ruth gave it to you along with a bassinette.

An imitation dog was another favorite toy.
But a live dog was your real favorite.

First words were “Mama, Daddy, kitty, dog, see, look.
First sentence was, “See at little bird?” at 17 months.


You were fond of birds, animals, and flowers or anything that had life in it.
One of your chief delights was to get into Grandma Styer’s chicken yard.

lost in a forest of flowers
sun-warmed blossoms press
against bare legs begging
to be touched

first a cupping of fingers
to support a rose as one
lifts the rounded breast

oh, yes the size and shape
of the aureole soft and open
reversing nature's flow a bud

inside the back window of the rear car a parenthesis
of a monster with a tail of a python and deep valleys

clumsiness is hard to understand if not the first time
there is nothing to falling down naked when you come

the culture in suburbs of feathers old enough to escape
the cycle of addiction is continued but finally one says

"I saw them feel" (one might have to wonder what
the poem's title meant; surely a pun on a sense of

verbal sensuality and withdrawing into an arch
of trees filled with tiny worms – caterpillars perhaps


knotted with ridges firm
yet still and always a flower
the fountain of my pleasure

twinned so each hand plucks
as on the taut string
the song of honey in the heart

a bell tolls deep within
the sacred chapel held up
by legs quivering to the tone

the roaring of a wild wind
as when the bright sun blinds
unseen a letting down of wetness


2 years old: your first question:
Every time any part of your body itched you would come to me and say,
”Momma, I got a bite.” I’d say, “Scratch it.” This time after you had
scratched it you surprised me by saying.
jrgirl“Where did the bite go?”

Played a wishing game at school on December 1, 1943.
You wanted to have all your gold in your heart.

When people would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up you said:
“I want to be a rainbow to show the world my colors.”


Years later, when I went back home for my mother’s funeral, the lady wearing an apron in the grocery store recognized me and told me she had something she thought belonged to me.




A crescent
in the western horizon –
missing the moon
The full moon
behind the bare tree–
branches curve

under the full moon
dry sky

Wet bodies
of bathing women:
full moon night

Splendid with the moon
night in silver peace dreams
through folds of light

Two long hours
under the chinar:
lost full moon

Aggravating pain
in the legs and sleeplessness:
blue moon

Winter allergies–
staying inside to escape
the wind in full moon


Barbara A. Taylor
autumn mists lift­-
the froth-fringed mountain
this sky promises more rain
to lash, flash, fall like comet particles
into earth’s atmosphere
prismatic lights in raindrops
pulsating pearls
silvery laced fronds
from web to web – clear marbles
white opals
dancing diamonds –
alternating messages flicker
from somewhere else beyond
stimulating simulated
frontiers of my mind.


A. Thiagarajan

no language problem
for accompanying dog

another country–
my dog answers
the local bark

no one in the park
jumping from one bench to another
a grandpa

at the puddle
with a broken comb
a homeless kid

the maid takes a carton
for what is left

holding my hand
talking of my affairs
the gypsy girl

sparse drizzle
getting wet
only the shoulders

late night–
he removes his tie
one hand ringing

graduation shots–
putting separated parents together
using photo editor

silent dawn–
the lid of the pan making noise
boiling water

waking up
not hearing the muttering
of neighbor's prayer


A. Thiagarajan

off season
all the pleasure boats
on the beach road

disturbed siesta–
 neighbors kids
away on vacation

gathering momentum
the giant wheel
with kids' shrieks

so many ants
around empty bottles–
soiree over

windy evening-
the way she bends to hold her skirt
at each gust

bath tub overflowing–
the kid tip toes
in lizard's stillness

incense floats into my bedroom
mom at Puja

A. Thiagarajan

cutting a leaf
cutting a web

at the clinic
assuming knowing the illness
getting its name

she begs in English–
in this Asian city
in the expat district

kid asks dad to reverse the car
to see the world
forward fast

allowance at the drop box–
the kid prays for
an easy exam

caught in the branches
the kid's name swings
on the kite

A. Thiagarajan

he wipes again
his spectacles

incense stick almost done
the kid not batting his eyelids
for the tiny glow's disappearance

among dad's things
strands of hair
on mom's comb

cold night
putting his legs over me
my three year old son

plucking flowers
 she covers the dawn
 in the bowl

morning bhajan–
the quiet moment
of her child in the lap

closed factory–
cooking of the homeless
through the chimney

another coin
the beggar counts
all over again

still puddle–
the farm labor washes her face
with the sky





A woman with a perfect body?
I don’t want one.
The last one left me
deeply depressed
for three whole days.

James Tipton


Gene Doty

I never thought it would happen to me.
Furious storms boil out of the southwest.
My mind was dark when they opened my chest.
Blue winds shake limbs from the maple tree.

The sirens shriek "tornado" repeatedly;
Awake again, I can't remember the jest:
I never believed it would happen to me.
Furious storms boil out of the southwest.

I forget myself and feel awareness flee.
Sometimes the wailing sirens are a test;
Sometimes they  hail storms from the burning west.
The nurse watches the screen: what does she see?

I never thought it could happen to me.



for some reason
right now, right in the middle
of all these reports
I have an urgent desire          
to hold your face and kiss you

 c w hawes


snow falling softly
we drink tea and eat doughnuts
on Sunday morning                 
we dream together of where
our retirement will take us

 c w hawes


sitting together
we're silent on the bus commute
we just hold hands
what need is there for words
little sounds to misunderstand

 c w hawes


the young woman sleeps
next to me on the airplane
elbow in my side
the old apple tree still fruits
under the heat of the sun

 c w hawes


the bare branches holding
white Luna in their bony grasp
seemingly ever
yet moons rise and moons set
and trees become the phoenix

 c w hawes



the howling wind
constantly sounding in the ears
trekking lonely sands          
in this Nubian desert
crumbling pyramids forgotten

 c w hawes




a long time now
                           snow footprints
                                                         perfectly empty
john martone



sun thru

2 suns
john martone



each hones

john martone


backyard trash snowed-over for now
john martone


           as garden is
                             there are turnips
john martone



subzero--not locking the door now
john martone



a buddha at the headboard looking down
john martone


books in his bed a neanderthal grave

john martone



Barbara A. Taylor

from an ex
an email message
out of the blue

into the valley of life
by the click of a mouse



I am a guy with a severe physical disability from Bristol in the UK . Can't get out much but am inspired by your lovely website. I hope this finds you; it is my 1st attempt at haiku.

earthenware teapot
spout fractured from a soft fall
no longer useful

John Winfield


  backyard ice-rink
  swept of snow
  letters to write

  Joanna M. Weston
 coffee and beer
  baseball scores
  dented cushion
  Joanna M. Weston

  of seniors
  church choir
  Joanna M. Weston
  ale, wine, juice
  coffee, tea
  five poets

  Joanna M. Weston
 maple leaf
  - echo after echo

  Joanna M. Weston


Haiga by Dawn Bruce





Yu Chang

Gene Doty

James Fowler

c w hawes

c w hawes

c w hawes

Ruth Holzer

Haiga by Frank Williams



Cindy Bell

c w hawes

c w hawes

c w hawes

Haiga by Mary Davila

c w hawes

Linda Papancolou

Tom Cunliffe

Tom Cunliffe

Roger Jones

Patrick M. Pilarski

Patrick M. Pilarski

Patrick M. Pilarski

Trish Shaw

Barbara A.Taylor

Patricia Prime

James Fowler

James Fowler



Don Ammons

Ed Baranosky

 Ed Baranosky

(To the Memory of my Mother)
Carl Brennan

Dawn Bruce

Gerard John Conforti

Ruth Holzer

Elizabeth Howard

Alegria Imperial

Antonio Laravie

Dick Pettit

Rich Magahiz

Jane Reichhold


Barbara Taylor

A. Thiagarajan

A. Thiagarajan

A. Thiagarajan

A. Thiagarajan



Gene Doty


Barbara A. Taylor,

James Tipton,

c w hawes

john martone

John Winfield

 Joanna M. Weston

Haiga by Dawn Bruce


Back issues of Lynx:

XV:2 June, 2000
XV:3 October, 2000
XVI:1 Feb. 2001
XVI:2 June, 2001
XVI:3 October, 2001  
XVII:1 February, 2002
XVII:2 June, 2002
XVII:3 October, 2002
XVIII:1 February, 2003
XVIII:2 June, 2003
XVIII:3, October, 2003
XIX:1 February, 2004
XIX:2 June, 2004

XIX:3 October, 2004

XX:1,February, 2005

XX:2 June, 2005
XX:3 October, 2005
XXI:1February, 2006 
XXI:2, June, 2006

XXI:3,October, 2006

XXII:1 January, 2007
XXII:2 June, 2007
XXII:3 October, 2007

XXIII:1 January, 2008
XXIII:2 June, 2008

XXIII:3, October, 2008


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Next Lynx is scheduled for June, 2009 .

Deadline for submission of work is
May 1, 2009.