Jun 2010

Girl with Blue Hair, Felicia Olin
Girl With Blue Hair

Illuminated by pure white aura, she pauses.
Straight back, stiff neck, buttoned up gown,
face- a mask of painted perfection,
she closes her lids. Watching through third eye
she contemplates, contemplates, soon
shifting from this world of illusion,
to follow the blue light.

Traveling Hu’s winged spectrum
she basks in rays of astral plane’s orange
bouncing-ball suns and casual plane’s
silver sliver dancing moons, in turquoise skies.

Previous lives bob along her inner vision like
ghosts dangled by a Master puppeteer:
merchant, virgin, warrior, peasant, dictator, saint,
hundreds, thousands more she cannot grasp.

Nestled in cumulus shine Golden Temples, she skips
along  their halls hearing parables, stories, chants,
allegories, songs of joy echoing walls and - mind.

As she soars the universe and reluctantly
returns to the physical body,
all shades of sapphire, aqua, cobalt
are absorbed  through chakras...
Blue fire course her cells and radiate
out the top of her head. Girl with blue hair.

Jean Staff

Pampers, Lorraine Pilcher
Painting the Bunny

Whoever first painted the bunny
Couldn’t have imagined what a gorgeous burrow
They were entering,
With what tactile frenzy--
At what extreme depths
They would bury
Your soft, mollusk heart
Like a hand in its muff.

At first the brush tried to paint you
Sleek, if not prehensile
As a cat, sober as a dog.
But the hands felt way too good--
They just couldn’t stop caressing
Your soft cheek, your plump haunch:
Petting, painting…

Finally it was revealed
That what the hands were seeking
Was their own indulgence.
What they were making
Was history’s first perfectly innocent,
Perfectly imperious and impotent little
Household god.

Well, O.K...
There are a couple of things
For which we must apologize.
After getting to the fem-extremity of soft,
How could we, how could we
Balance our art
On the phall-atrocity of those ears?

No wonder you are sometimes ill-tempered,
Skittish, that you live
To be pampered, oh little Cleopatra of rabbits
Sometimes, there is no insult
Like love. 

Sandy Baksys

Heirloom Tomatoes, Pam Miller
Heirloom Recipe

Pick the fruit
ripe and firm,
red as a sailor's sunset,
shiny as a new convertible.
With a sharp knife
slice into wedges,
toss in hot olive oil
until the skin begins to soften.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Feed to your lover.
Remember how her cheeks color,
the translucent seeds
studding her tongue like pearls,
Remember the taste of her kiss
like the summer sea,
tomatoes like they're supposed to be.

Corrine Frisch

On the Tide

arduous journeys
traveling tributaries
feeding rivers of indifference

I negotiate surging flows
slipping into familiar channels
bringing me ever closer home

my heart is yours
I long to hold you fast
nestling into your arms’ comfort

loop current tugs at the helm
I am pulled into eddies
plunged into conflicted waters

I turn against current
bringing myself back
on that familiar path to you

for it is the course I chart
each day, with you in mind
through fair weather and storm

bring me home to you again
where we share love and life
cruising on even tide

Mark Russillo

Come and Get It On, Christopher Martin

it’s like this
touch    come    here
and I wonder if
you or I
or we would like
this    fireworks
for you? fireworks for me!
disconnecting        by myself
by yourself     together
in a brilliant moment
touch    hands    fire    love?
breath    laughter    iris    reflection
spurts of fire    breath
panting        fear, fear, fear
an    tic    i    pa    tion
come & get it all the
way     on     over     here, lover boy
lips, hands, feet, souls
bouncing     off each     other
hallelujah! chorus
wonderful, brilliant fiery you
like art thrusting forward
chat    chat    chat    chat    text
phone call    together    together together    entwined
hands    lips    tongues    more fire
more freedom    more color     more brilliance
spark    spark    spark    spark
fire    lips    hands    tongues    hands
until it’s overwhelming
fear    fear of    fear of         fear of rejection?
no fear of love
and then I lose you

Lindsey Buis

Breaking Free, Morgan Elser 

Breaking Free

So many of your branches have been cut
from your toes to your heart, that the scars sit
like dead carnations on your skin.
As if you, the jilted groom at a funeral each year
could never remove the plumes from your bark.

It is a chore to die slowly. Most work at dying
fast enough to barely feel. Here
in our once fertile forest, you try to hide the hollows
behind your smile, but disease invades the leaf.
We see the color of it first. It is in your face.

We are tonsured trees who live half in dirt
and half in air and drown, though there is no water.
We are not the fresh seedlings in damp sod
we once were. Our wood’s worn gray.
We wonder if our phoenix can survive on cut nerves.

You contemplate if any part of you is still alive.
I question what parts of you have already died.
I remember roots, they seemed steadfast and deep.
I remember leaning back into reality
my torso bent to the sky as if each breast

a bloom searching for light. I
remember a dove whistling Ode to Joy, a squirrel
clicking at a playful dog, a spray of moon glow, someone
telling me to place a stick in the earth to tell time.
Tell me something now about time.

Tell me when I will outgrow the sorrow of you. Tell me
about the best of sun and the best of shade. Embracing
being human is hard, as the need to turn from nymph
to person presses in me. My hand vines for life.
Another day flows open, raw and exposed.

Anita Stienstra                                                                                

Cats Roses, Shirley Coville

To create a home she knows
It takes more than furniture
her personality-her creativity
must come into play

This house was once shared
now she must make it her own
her art expressed for the most part by words
Spill over in the pictures, statues and
Plant life strategically placed

Each splash of color, each object, each floral arrangement represents the beauty
within her she hopes she everyone will see

Far more than than that
She just wants to open the door and
know she is home

K.A.T. Corrigan

Street Scene Inspiration from David Sumner

Just then, as the darkness
muted all the roof tops,
a canopy of red
billowed over bright shops.

Drip, drop.
Darting steps
scurry amid l’autobus.

Pitter on umbrellas!
Pop, red, yellow! Poof, blue!
Patter in the puddles—
Kaleidoscope l’rue !

’Neath soggy paper shield
and dripping  lamplight-blurry,
I turn to look again.
Why is it that you hurry?

Pam Miller

Passion Crucible
          (on Debbie Megginson’s painting “Fall Color Explosion”)

This is my memory, Love; this is my life
without you, caught between Milton and Dante,
yes and no . . . I recall now, as I fled
our life together, my imagination
lettered this omen above your lintel:
Abandon hope all who leave me. And I
left you, fields ablaze and bridges burning . . .

now I retreat, back against an angel
who bears a flaming sword, against this verge
of paradisal garden lavish in
rich violets and flora, while behind and
closing fast all around, this too-lovely
inferno invites me to burn in those
memories—to burn with those memories . . .

and God help me but I cannot deny
my passion, my crimson longing to suffer
for you, my Love, I would walk out there now,
into this explosion of autumn blaze,
among this tumult of blazing passions,
flames consuming heart and flesh alike, Love,
and dance on the prairies of the sun itself.

David M Pitchford

Heroine, Felicia Olin

Her boots skidded perilously as she leaped across ice floes
Pursued by the villain; she recalls squirming against ropes
While tied to the tracks, a train screaming toward her.
She can almost smell the wood shavings in her hair
As the buzz saw whined closer, rescued --as always--
By the hero in the nick of time.

She preferred the stage to the silver screen:
The boards she trod became cherry orchards,
Greek temples, a doll’s house, the castle at Elsinore.
She was Ophelia but grew into Queen Gertrude;
As Juliet she turned a dagger on herself;
Now as Lady Macbeth she wrings her red, red hands.
Her swan’s neck is still perfect for Desdemona,
Strangled several nights a week and twice for matinees.

Time has nicked and nibbled her, leaving crow’s feet,
Furrows, dark hollows for the greasepaint to cover.
A ‘woman of a certain age’ quirks an eyebrow in her mirror.
IngĂ©nue, leading lady, character actress—
She is content to be the sum of her parts.

Lola Lucas

Silk Scarf, Joan Gardner
Simple Silk

Silk road — mighty worm trail twisting back
From Venice to Cathay  —
Worms hoarded like gold,
Medieval wizards spinning their dream brocades.

Not the spider’s hunting silk that lures its victims into a lacy matrix,
But lace itself, adorning the throat
Of kings,
The human spiders.

Beloved of Kali.
Thugee tightening his silent, silken line
Around the surprised throat of an unbeliever.
One taut, well placed snap between infidel eyes,
Cutting the silver cord, evicting the spirit.

Isadora Duncan, haunted, Raphaelesque Cherub,
Brought her dance to a headline close
With one flowing, organic moment
Of scarf wound in screaming tire.

D-Day parachutes
Surprising Norman skies like corn popping overhead,
An elegant, murderous flak above Arcady.

Cool as,
Warm as,
Soft as,
Sexy as,
Smooth as silk.

Love sheets, lightly pulled across naked skin bring goose bumps.
Ultimately, a friend of Peace,
Of Joy brilliant, enveloping, and serpentine.

Remember, when confronted with Man’s terrible power,
Gandhi chose the spinning wheel.

Hugh Moore

Hawaiian Sunset

Summer Solstice, sunset at Ka'ena Point,
named for 'the heat' but cooling into evening now,
this place from which they say souls leave the world
is also, thanks to us, a refuge for the nene, the Hawaiian Goose,
who's lived here half a million years, no thanks to us.

You can't drive to this Point; you must use the form of locomotion that your ancestors were only learning
while the nene confidently flew to these newborn volcanic isles.
To walk here, you must learn anew to walk, in sand, through crashing surf,
and on basaltic rocks both slippery and rough.
No rescue vehicle can drive here either.
Step with care, and don't become a soul leaving the world.

A five dollar serape on the sand amid the scrub,
a two-quart Mai Tai mixed by Bobby at The Shack in Mililani, in a plastic Coleman jug,
fat ham sandwiches that we hold high in a salute to Captain Cook and to his sponsor, Montagu, the Earl.

The sun's about to dive into the ocean, a shimmering reflection of the rainbow sky.
As evening breezes rustle palms and darkness creeps upon us from behind, I hear nene bidding us good night,
and I remember:
even on these most isolated islands of the Earth,
we aren't islands.

Somewhere pelicans are in much graver danger than these geese.
A nene in a refuge can, I've heard, live more than thirty years.
Hatchling pelicans in Gulf shore wetlands might not see as many days before they leave their oily world.

Starry skies and surf, and sighing windswept grasses induce sleep
(aided and abetted by the beverage Bobby brewed);
sleepy thoughts ensue.

Sleeping here one night is one night we're not driving, using a derivative of oil.
Honolulu is an hour away by car the short way – two to three days walking, based on Naismith's Rule.
How many days to row to San Diego in a wa 'a outrigger canoe, the perfect island souvenir?
And then a hike for eighty days or more from there to home;
we'd see many sunsets, passing places where so many pioneering people left the world.

Do we have enough vacation time to take only pictures and leave only footprints free of carbon's karma?

Maybe next time.

Thea Chesley

As Sky-God Ascends Through Mist

They say you are the grandest
in girth and omniscience and thunder.
Today the lesser gods have disappeared,
consumed by your fire; the light of your truth.
Only you remain: triumphant mono-deity rising above humanity.

You seem so insubstantial in our midst.
Our horizon of grand expectations of life,
firmament of certainty, plummets in the new dawn
to make way for you, so small, so indistinct, unspeaking
unmoving as we move. You are, we know. What do you DO?

Beyond the sturdy pin oaks,
the distant cliff awash in blood of aspiring sacrifice,
the silence no tune penetrates with hope and harmony,
you witness worlds in motion toward what end?
What  goal of yours guides us to redeem our ilk?

What salvation waits beyond the hill
beyond the hill beyond the hill? Divine perpetuity
is not the arena for the human race. We count the days.
What power would you reveal through morning mist
To show us life's elusive WHY, ascendant God of Sky?

Job Conger

New Orleans, 1926, Morgan Elser
Survivor, New Orleans, 1926

At the cafe table, drenched
in afternoon gold, she sits. The shell
of bonnet gleams like brass. A long
and wild requiem unwinds itself
from the helix of the trombone
up on the balcony over the way, it slinks
across the dozing street to find
her ear under the shell. Fragile fingers
curl round the sweating glass. The music stirs
the flimsy linen of her dress, sole bandage
left her after the shell exploded
into fragments, tore the membrane, threw her
out, alone, bare-armed, bare-legged, toes
naked and restless as the long
fingers on the glass, uncurling
now, and the gold ring
clinks, a tiny chime, as she rises. The red silk
flower on the bonnet catches
the light, flares like a rocket
that beckons and warns, as she steps
out into the long silence, following
the requiem, into the evening, bound
for the fire on teh other side
of the night.

Liz Huck