The Pleasure Of Your Words, by Debi Swim

The Pleasure Of Your Words
by Debi Swim

You will forgive me, I hope, for crashing your party.
I’ll just sit here on the fringe and only breathe.
You probably won’t even notice my presence for
I’m so totally in awe that I could not utter a word,
in fact it would be a kind of heresy even to speak.
I’ll be inebriated with the elixir of conversation,
the excerpts of your writing, the praises, the critique,
the literary acumen, the laughter, the jokes,
the comradery of good friends. I will silently raise
a toast to my good fortune to be in the presence
of giants though I’ll have little inkling of what I hear.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 310.

Debi Swim is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet.

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Waiting For Shelley, by Salvatore Buttaci

Waiting For Shelley
by Salvatore Buttaci

My dear brother in poetry,
I waited for your prompt return
from the Gulf of Spezia where
you sailed the Italian waters
with two friends who likewise loved
to sail the Ligurian Sea.
Only the month before, we cheered
your thirtieth birthday. Mary
prepared your favorite supper.
We toasted goblets filled with wine.
We cheered your poem “When Soft Voices
Die.” Now July gallops away
with you in tow. Percy, silent
the lyrical lines you will not write,
unheard laughter at Casa Magni!
How deep the sorrow, how great the loss!
I spend my hours now reading
your poetry, your timeless sonnet
of the colossus: “…boundless and bare
the lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 310.

Salvatore Buttaci won the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award in 2007. His story collections, Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts, were published by All Things That Matter Press. His work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times and The Writer. He and his wife Sharon reside in West Virginia.

Not This Time, by Christopher Hileman

Not This Time
by Christopher Hileman

I showed up, opened
the program and hoped for sauce
to squeeze out my heart
with my red red blood
that my words might mean a thing
for once, and maybe
appear soaring with
the flock of full fledged word birds.

Maybe I will get
it right this one time…

Then my head just exploded
and the heat of me
dispersed like day fog
on a summer coast morning
and I fluttered by –
a boy of all boys
in my dreamy escapades
from stumblebum shores.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 309.

Christopher Hileman moved to Oregon in 1973. He has retired to live on the volcanic bluff overlooking Willamette Falls in Oregon City, Oregon. He ascends the stairs from his basement digs to improvise on his Yamaha keyboard or the house Playel grand when the calico cat releases him from below. The part-Irish Wolfhound here likes him.

Broody Hen, by Debi Swim

Broody Hen
by Debi Swim

I sit before my computer keying thoughts.
They came smooth and swift, a bird soaring,
once. Now they perch on a limb, refusing
even to sing. I pretend this bird is nesting,
warming eggs and I wait for them to hatch.

How long does it take? Days? Weeks? Months?
I wait and wait like a broody hen. Impatient.
Anxious. Despairing at the lifelessness.
But, still I sit and wait hoping for the day
when something new comes into the world.
I wait for the sounds of breaking free.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 309.

Debi Swim is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet.

The Gale, by Christopher Hileman

The Gale
by Christopher Hileman

I’ve had to change out
the ropes that hold the willow
upright despite rain
and wind, gale sized stones
that fall at the shallowest
slant and bounce along
our path through the brush.

You told me this was my job.

Not that I ever
refused you a thing –
I have never refused you.
You know this is true.
and yet you doubt my
purity of heart and soul,
love and devotion.

The gale is winning.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 308.

Christopher Hileman moved to Oregon in 1973. He has retired to live on the volcanic bluff overlooking Willamette Falls in Oregon City, Oregon. He ascends the stairs from his basement digs to improvise on his Yamaha keyboard or the house Playel grand when the calico cat releases him from below. The part-Irish Wolfhound here likes him.

Taking The Chance, by Christopher Hileman

Taking The Chance
by Christopher Hileman

“Marry me,” I say,
casting all wisdom aside.

You look like a cat
looks to an entrapped
mouse and I change my whistle
from tenor to shrill
in that sudden squall
from a flensed and open heart.

I stand by my words.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 305.

Christopher Hileman moved to Oregon in 1973. He has retired to live on the volcanic bluff overlooking Willamette Falls in Oregon City, Oregon. He ascends the stairs from his basement digs to improvise on his Yamaha keyboard or the house Playel grand when the calico cat releases him from below. The part-Irish Wolfhound here likes him.

Closed Circle, by Salvatore Buttaci

Closed Circle
by Salvatore Buttaci

The bargains I made with life were games played
without rules or prior preparation.
I aimed for what greed dictated, fudged efforts
to reach goals, trying hard to climb each rung,
patted myself on the shoulder when I won;
kicked myself in the rear when I lost.

Life was a game of seasons. I watched flowers
grow, bargained with the wind, then sadly
watched them die in autumn. I marveled
at the floral cycle of life,
but never wondered about my own,
how the flight of time hardened the soft face

of youth, bent the bones, clouded the mind
and blurred the advent of my winter.
Like the drooping rose, I wait the clank
of shovel, the pings of clumped dirt,
a new spring, a new life, a circle closed.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 304.

Salvatore Buttaci won the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award in 2007. His story collections, Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts, were published by All Things That Matter Press. His work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times and The Writer. He and his wife Sharon reside in West Virginia.

No Regrets, by Salvatore Buttaci

No Regrets
by Salvatore Buttaci

Naysayers insisted I’d rue the day
I married a woman much younger than I,
but time has vindicated me of their folly
because not once have I ever regretted
taking Sharon for my loved and loving wife.
Love demands courage, a risking of the heart,
a deep plunge into unknown waters.

To not take the chance invites the pain of
loneliness, unshared light and darkness,
a heart crusted with sadness, an emptiness.
The only day we shall rue will be the closing
of our together life, but even then,
in our sorrow we’ll keep the faith alive:
Love never dies. We are forever.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 302.

Salvatore Buttaci won the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award in 2007. His story collections, Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts, were published by All Things That Matter Press. His work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times and The Writer. He and his wife Sharon reside in West Virginia.

Shadows of Memory, by Debi Swim

Shadows of Memory
by Debi Swim

We dwell in
a river of time
of eddies and currents
sharp rock and soft silt
beneath our feet
and the water flows,
trickles, rushes, floods
passing behind
as we stand in this moment
watching the water
flowing toward us
an eternity,
we hope, of spill.
Then that moment is gone
yet it is still now.
Soon you’ll be gone.
Soon, I’ll be gone.
Then we’ll just be
shadows of memory
wavering in the stream.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 300.

Debi Swim is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet.

The Muldoon, by Salvatore Buttaci

The Muldoon
by Salvatore Buttaci

Worst place you can drop a melancholic boozer
Is some dew drop inn or Cliff’s Hangout or Saloon.
The muldoon can go from sober to fried-to-the-gills
quicker then you can say, “Make mine Bud,” and he often
does, socking steins away like a brewery fills
barrels. Don’t expect him to try something new.
St.Pauli’s Girl, Tuborg, even Miller. He’s a muldoon,
meaning he’s staunchly opposed to changing his mind.
The hour doesn’t matter. He’s got a lifetime to spit at time.
When the beer level suds up behind bloodshot eyes,
he starts singing old songs like “Heart of Gold,”
not that he has one, or “Maggy May” he never knew,
or “Hotel California” he couldn’t afford.
Besides, he hates the beach, those pesky flies, sand grains
in his sandwich or weighing down the foam
in his canned beer. “Last one,” says the bartender.
We’re closing up.” The Muldoon can hardly stand
but he orders two Buds, one for now,
the other for the road.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 298.

Salvatore Buttaci won the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award in 2007. His story collections, Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts, were published by All Things That Matter Press. His work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times and The Writer. He and his wife Sharon reside in West Virginia.