Table of Contents
 XV-2 June, 2000
A Journal for Linking Poets    

Poems in other genres

LIGHT (ghazal 1)
Barbara MacKay

WHISPERS (ghazal 2)
Barbara MacKay

David Clink

(after Ghalib)
William Dennis

Jane Reichhold

Jane Reichhold

Werner Reichhold

Bill West

Linda Jeannette Ward

Sheila Murphy

Sheila Murphy

Sheila Murphy

Sheila Murphy

Sheila Murphy



    LIGHT (ghazal 1)
Barbara MacKay
Before dawn, that slant of light,
just enough for the soul to feel the warmth of light.

The artist begins her sketch by morning's light;
etches in shadows in the sun's deepening light.

The unrequited lover searches for light;
the poet is the giver of light.

Ah, Barbara, let darkness fall from your sight.
Live again in the halo of light!

WHISPERS (ghazal 2)
Barbara MacKay

Her words, lost in a whisper,
the hum of the feeding tube a prolonged whisper.

Ninety-five, mute but stable,
"Good genes," well-wishers whisper.

This room is lined with eggshells,
mind wanderings taut as a string of vibrant whispers.

The umbilical cord, so hard to sever,
childish whispers deepen into adult whimpers.

Yesterday, I left her room almost free of obligation,
my conscience barely whispering.



I draw the curtain and kill the glare of the full moon -
Wiping it from your mind like the memory of an assault.

It is always the same for you each time it happens.
The Princess kissing the toad. The Prince kissing the Princess.

Hollywood heroes are always sprouting fully grown
From the mouth of your projector.

It is dark and it is time to escape
As swallowed stories of time hold back the darkness

And I was glad when I broke through the walls of your castle
When I said, "Kiss me. Take me. So I may wake everlasting."

But that was a warm yesterday swept beneath a rising mat.
It is autumn now, and we sit with idle hands on crooked furniture -

And I have thought of pulling you from the big screen
By leading an army to reclaim you.

The cold light in your house reveals secrets
As we watch the sweat of a generation come alive, engulfing us.


(after Ghalib)
William Dennis

That love I never meet, the one that I can never find;
Live like a tortoise, forever, but under these stars, never.

Your lightest assurances were my fantasies, you know;
A feather that would have tickled me to death, were it real.

What your slender shafts have pierced, my poor heart alone could tell;
And will this sting infect the wound, if it is left to stay?

My marble heart could yield up  bushels of the finest lime,
If the black heap within me were coals and not simply grief.

What use this cup of kindness, which but calls up lost old time?
But, O, for that physician hand that filled it through the years.

A dervish twirling in the sun must suffer like the rest:
If not the torch of love, then living burns us in its lamp.

Dunkirk nights; lost in water, lost in air and killing light;
Could one life wit alone, I'd die of stupefaction.

Whose eyes can take you in, Solitaire, one of unique kind?
Could there have been two like you, there would surely then be four.

And why do I spare the millstone, to add to my disgrace
The irony of funerals, embarrassment of graves?

That saintly smile, Sport, like tapping great books with a finger;
We might think you knew some secret, but on your breath there's schapps.


Jane Reichhold

he was on the lam for child abuse
because Mary had just a little lamb

only eleven years old the Greek boy
stuttered when asked his age la-la-la-lamda

the gentle radiance in the eyes of a poet
could find only one word to say  - lambent

out of fashion now by the in-crowd
of parents posing the baby on a lambskin

the jogger prefaced her statements when
she could with the pain of an inflamed lamina

viewing his fingers after the accident
with super glue, a handful of irate laminated

animal rights activists wolfing down steaks
will make Jane the object of their lambaste


Jane Reichhold

out of my window rests a large mountain
and on the esplanade the women softly glow

with a few dragonflies the pond is a light
musical form as a disturbed state of mind

the letter with it said they could not come
even though the invitation was open-ended

in an ecstasy derived by turning from this world
sung in a birch's domed goldness rushing upward

as if god had made an aside she was a woman
of life telling us anything so we can trust in some

eyes there is often an element of the grotesque
that drifts away with the plenitude of holidays

which last only for an hour or two or three a day
afraid about the other you who's with me still

some of life's mysteries can be solved by ampersands
or the quiet metals of tin boxes and old silver spoons

we humans should add a new dimension to the life
or stare at the canal where stone houses cast down

gently on the ground as if frightened of freedom
their shoulders even ask for the circles of a yoke

nobody ever took Jane a for muse


In the name of growing apart, socks and shoes. Wool or leather, each fragment lights the very beginning, the inborn, until one takes off on one's own mind, the closed eyes lit. Making inquiries: press nightmare (don't enter nightmare in your presence.) Bend back entirely so you can find a cushion, lean on until you may respell your name, feather light, a figure divisible only by flute holes

voiceless given
to the flame
a thing too young
to be accomplished

Someone says sister to a friend, engaged to do her weekly horoscope: Monday in the distance securing evidence, Tuesday leans on a woman's shoulder of ceramic, Wednesday has its sight outside the eye, Thursday is in the minerals' point of convergence, Friday offered in a worm's translucent spine, Saturday reserved for calmed lips, Sunday will occur in stroboscopic light. And that's only the hardware. The software is still under investigation, scrutiny. She watches the habit of her younger gardener who sponges down the roots of carrots. 8 pm, carnival in the kitchen, the middle of the sink brushed shiny. The parrot before his voice has broken, the baby with a whooping cough, spinach softening, the costumes already of early evening, inhaling fragrances. One pink blouse now potato colored. Two of us throwing darts, a third one touches the dulcimer. Could be a lasting 

hush neither short 
nor shallow
among the inmates

Memory pounded, then settling in both fists turning blue, turning an unanswered question into grabbing for fudge. The dropping of spit as a game, as a choice: one is the shirt, one the stolen bracelet, one the body worn with them. Arc of sand-born horses, whinny, detaching oats from water. Currying the blond tail hair, powdered dust. Autumn of thorn and nail between hoofs. Fall of a roadside's fermentation, lavender blooming for the proper use in perfume. A kite's face watches a mole pulling a cucumber with him down through a grassy hole. Password, please, the code of a country, that's right now not yet our declared enemy. A code dug into the soil and a calendar curved for the illiterate, season by season a joy.

Was it? Or does an acupuncturist's manipulation heals by the warmth   of her fingers? "Needle work," the soothsayer whispers bending over "here are the stakes set up, a piece of landscape, an asymmetrical pattern of your nerve-costume". "Real estate corners connecting two points or more", answers the customer, imagining earlier promised stars formerly being active disappearing from his chart like the holes in Swiss cheese

behind his back
she's untying a knot
in her apron

What's a small piece, what is it? How can it, if appearing as textile, worn on skin, be so effective? Can early growing clover softly cover the questioned "why"? The pieces may return with better adjustable eyes, the center less vulnerable. If there would be one seat left in the house of marble, the face occupying it and turned toward a visitor would show an arrangement prepared for accidentally occurring pairings, in flames quenchless.

Werner Reichhold


Lynx is glad to introduce here the quasida, a mono-rhymed lyric poem common to Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Urdu literature. The rhyme scheme is aa ba ca, etc. The old Arabic quasida shows a tripartite structure consisting of an erotic prelude, the nasib, an account of a desert journey, the rahil, which includes a description of this mount and the penegyric proper, the madih. It took its basic form during the 8th-9th century. Quasida survive in Persian form from the 10th c. and from there spread to other literature when the subject matter expanded to include elegies, mystical or philosophical subjects and satire. The quasida gave way to the ghazal, the primary lyric form in Persian after the 13th c. We feel the form is worth to be studied and tried out in English language. In our times, it has a potential to take on contemporary relevant subjects similar to what we do with the ghazal.

Bill West


Now deep winter hardens the ground, turning the garden

into a cold desert, when the wind shakes the dark pods' burden,

rattles making a racket, the lone sound now, after

all nuts, fruits, and berries the late fall's guerdon,

with dead leaves have been ground to shreds on the pink gravel;

it's time we understand what time brings and seek our Lord's pardon.


Let's study how to hug the hard winter pain,

praying that we'll last at least, until the April rain

comes to clean the tangled garden and wash the gravel,

which lean winter covers with grime, so it will regain

its brightness, and the next summer's sun can make it shine,

if we can only pass through this season sane.


Imagine the buds' blood swelling, until they burst,

provided we outlast this crucified time, which we now curse.

If we will praise God then for next spring's beauty,

why not praise Him now, when our garden's at its worst,

because even a winter garden's cold dryness

hints at future shapes of those poor shoots, which come up first?

You, Lord, pour on us so full a life of the thunderhead's burst,

we have no way to thank You for Your magnanimity,

unless, out of gratitude, our own hearts burst.

Yet, no one, no one dares come as close to the diner

as His waiter, who He may summon first,

waiting attentively just beyond His elbow.

Please accept this string of beads, though humbly pursed,

to help us all recall how You brought us to fullest life.

Linda Jeannette Ward

Summers at my grandparents' farm: fields of tomatoes and squash, an apple orchard and woodland paths bordered by wild blueberries that lead to a clearing where a weathered barn holds woven baskets and an old apple press. As a former game warden Grandfather knew where deer gathered along the edge of an abandoned homestead and on sultry days we descended a steep hill to drink spring water so cool beads of condensation form on the jar he lifts from an earthen shelf.

deep in a gully 
where a mighty force once ran
grandpap's secret spring
running rivulets
down a clear mason jar

As I neared puberty, Grandpap was diagnosed with glaucoma -too late to respond to the primitive treatment of the times... 

grandfather's memories 
those last years
after his blindness:
the red of strawberry fields
the blue of sky

how do I know
the color of his memories?
with open eyes
the visions we shared

In midlife, I learn that all this time I've harbored his gene, but in a more fortunate era of medical breakthroughs my sight is preserved, as my memory of his final days, sitting in the grass, trimming it by the touch of his hand. Aware then of his grief, only now do I know how heavy the sorrowful burden he must have carried...

only a little
part of my life
has mattered
now i think of it
seeing was reason enough

Sheila Murphy

Ploys indifferentiate some of our mantras from copious balloon payments to strictures well outside these selves. Is community a serape or something better fitted to near-term capsision? Weather, for the most part an unknown, is coming to a location near you. Many of the least suspicious silvers past our grasp enorme their way into our thinking, fast enough to seem a bribe. Whether one is listening or imbibing, there are rules to patch, as morphs to have been heralded. A many-sided countenance means something to few others. Is this what multiplicity is all about? A little styro of green tea eventually soothes the bloodstream with a minor jolt that upgrades thought. At least that is the theory. Tiniest details encroach upon the window dressing of a false core value. On the face of things, there are opinions and disgraceful melodies that seethe their way into infectious strongholds of a proctored labor market. When closeness starts to show untimed effects of being warm enough, its parts begin to splinter. When was the last time your community resembled a perfume?

Coy filter to extract or thin the minor wafer from the lot

Sheila Murphy

I have decided to OD on moderation for awhile. Just yesterday, this decision occupied the forefront of my brain in much the same way passion is reputed to perform, as the direct or flip side of infection. Otherwise, this rinse of thin green tea would not be chosen. I have bracketed my lust to make a large deposit to my moderato account. Gems not worth enough comprise what we select. For the moment I am wide awake as springtime birds lusting judiciously within the mythic tenor of appropriating minds for reproduction. Or is this just belonging? Twins remediate our patchy single life of silver quest. Until a beauty has been sleeping in this room. All my limbs today are limber on account of having little work of the digestive system to perform. My heart lives in a fine community of offerings. And when I make my bed, it is with happiness at having dreamed acceptance dreams lasting a whole day's drive to somewhere that has simulated closeness to whatever I have been and will become. Civilized, perhaps, and on the very heels of having breath sung into me by every person I have loved.

Conception, hastening the birth of the unknown

Sheila Murphy

Notches change what shows linked to the ringing sound and air conditioning that blend randomness and control. I'm seated on this look-alike without another person in my row. The carpet hides the dirt. All day my feelings change to former feelings. Transitions splay affordably. I regret the conversation just concluding in the background. In a moment I will learn whether to wish routinely for a jury over any judge. Captivity induces crystalline intrusive feelings self-induced, in view of which facts have I learned to be most fond of, outside a routine disturbance via means called technological. My vintage feeling ducks when presidents inhale their need for us. Unless I'm wrong, I have a reflex to untidy every blueprint I have owned. Apart from reflex, I free form to have responded to an earnest call for help. The skewed environment contests my very breathing quite remedially open to question. Crestfallen inhabitants of dorm rooms, rarely pruned seasonal ivy.

Skeletal arrangement of the contents of a brothel's former stones


Sheila Murphy

We were talking and he couldn't sleep. Then peacefully, as though out of relief, his eyes closed, and it was beautiful to watch. Enough so that respectfully I recalled my nap of several hours ago, when dreams encompassed tiny along with mid-sized fears that seemed to want to work together to enfuel my conscious memory of what might have hatched. Enough of this rehearsal and I would have been prepared to take whatever came. Only that is not the way things happened. Auspices littering the place around us had been lapped up. In fact, the very quality surrounding them was merged with undesirable indifference. More lethal than ensnared. If you would want to have a hope sewn into morphic presence, you might have thirsted a cappella for a while. Then who might have listened in, I wonder? Not the first muse that you saw. And not the herald harkness. Maybe not even the blue jay thought to be indifferent to hand-cut rudeness.

Offering all that a person owns, to qualify for the young adjective/noun individual


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  Poems Copyright (c) Designated Authors 2000.
Page Copyright (c) Jane Reichhold 2000.