I’ve Stopped Looking, by Joseph M. Felser

I’ve Stopped Looking
by Joseph M. Felser

I listen to music
read some books
halfway through
forgotten tomes
gathering dust
on my shelves
feed hungry birds
in my backyard
eat dinner
with an old friend
in the Mexican place
write poems
like this
all just distractions
I stopped looking
for you
a long time ago
all I see now
are scratches
on my lenses
sinuous spots
floating before
my eyes
twisted snakes
hissing about some
forbidden fruit
I no longer
seek

Joseph M. Felser, Ph.D. received his doctorate from The University of Chicago and teaches philosophy in Brooklyn, New York. The author of numerous articles and two books on philosophy, religion, myth, and parapsychology, he recently began writing poetry, which has appeared in both print and online journals.

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Intertwined, by Debi Swim

Intertwined
by Debi Swim

There have been times…
when the mountains push against the sky
when milky mist crowns its proud head
when the sun shines forth to shrivel the fog
and the mountains gleam in golden liquid light…
(Oh, my soul soars in wondrous delight)
and I think I can never leave such a world.

There have been times…
when love seemed beyond repair
when fearful dread abducted my peace
when a casket sank into the ground
and I turned from that empty space
(Oh, my soul became a chill and lonesome place)
and I think I don’t want to live in such a world.

Death at times is a heavy weight
at times a great release
I have prayed for both
to live, to die
and yet there is a time for each.
(Oh, my soul these twin twigs you pleach)
and I think what a lovely arbor to walk beneath.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet.

Slowing Down, by Martin Willitts Jr

Slowing Down
by Martin Willitts Jr

In April, a stream is swollen by snow melt.
Every year the river surges,
greedy for another day, another discovery.
I am running out of time.

I want to slow down to a certain stillness.
But water lunges as it speeds up, time shortens.
Someday, I will be taken to that better place.

Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has over 20 chapbooks and over 10 full-length collections. His forthcoming full-lengths include The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madras Press) and The News From the Slow Country (Aldrich Press).

Separation, by Martin Willitts Jr

Separation
by Martin Willitts Jr

Decidedly, the body enters a coma,
and it will not come back.
The heart-blood walks down a long corridor
away from its source. The brain
keeps firing a few tentative sparks,
enough to be considered alive.
The respirator forces air into the lungs,
but for all intents and purposes,
the body is dying, clinically dead.
Parts are splintering off
like decayed branches from a tree.

The relatives hover, however, discussing options:
pulling the plug; or maintaining a false premise
of life, hoping for a resurrection.
They hope for a report from the beyond
where the dead enter, and some, reportedly,
return with profound messages and memory
or what it is like beyond.

This spirit wants to leave.
It wants the rendering to end.
It wants the watchers to allow it
to go into the light, begging,
Please, let me go, I’m tired, I want to rest.

The departing spirit wants to tell them
there is no turning back.
Those were all false reports.

But the body cannot speak. It is pulling apart.
The body is transforming
into an empty shell like snake skin.

Already, parts flutter off, loose brittle fragments.

Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has over 20 chapbooks and over 10 full-length collections. His forthcoming full-lengths include The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madras Press) and The News From the Slow Country (Aldrich Press).

Music, by Martin Willitts Jr

Music
by Martin Willitts Jr

Leaves fall out of silence
into the unknown,
depending on essentials
of sound, touch, sight
to discover them
crinkling underfoot.
They were once firmly attached,
then let go, as light as an eyelash,
heading into the understood
end of life, fearless,
unburdened.

In death, we all make our own unique music.

Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has over 20 chapbooks and over 10 full-length collections. His forthcoming full-lengths include The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madras Press) and The News From the Slow Country (Aldrich Press).

Departure, by Martin Willitts Jr

Departure
by Martin Willitts Jr

What seems like departure
is really a movement to another place:
whether to a city
or beyond the invisible horizon.
It is the next arrival.
Does a person head towards the elusive
or the predetermined?
Will there be a better obtainment of light?
Or abundant darkness?

I have been on the move
like a nomad for a long time,
putting up temporary camps,
taking out stakes, rubbing my hands
barely on the surface — just enough
so memory never adheres to them.
I know about disquieting places
in the head, in the body, in the toss
of dreams shaken loose from nowhere.

I have observed the Eros of destructiveness.
I have seen war
and how bodies can spool out while dying
like wrens. Their blood hangs like fruit
of wracked trees, yet still
countries are drawn into war
like it was a cesspool.

Today, a train pulled away
carrying people to their appointments
with tragedy. The heavy engine of grief
took a while to gain speed, then it left
behind schedule, trying to make up time
and distance. A person on the platform
waved goodbye, although the train
was further away than memory.

The passenger inside could see only ahead
where the future came near, then sped into the past.
The middle is always present and changing,
fixed and unhinged like wing beats.

Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has over 20 chapbooks and over 10 full-length collections. His forthcoming full-lengths include The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madras Press) and The News From the Slow Country (Aldrich Press).

When Geese Leave, by Martin Willitts Jr

When Geese Leave
by Martin Willitts Jr

When geese leave, I ask them,
please take me with you.
I’m convinced they are going elsewhere —
a place of many secrets.

I want that out-of-body experience;
not to be earthbound,
left behind.

Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has over 20 chapbooks and over 10 full-length collections. His forthcoming full-lengths include The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madras Press) and The News From the Slow Country (Aldrich Press).

Émile Coué Sings The Blues, by Joseph M. Felser

Émile Coué Sings The Blues
by Joseph M. Felser

Every day
in every way
things are getting
worse and worse
greedy shadows
grow fat and rich
eating light
sparrows sing dirges
the postman snarls
and you never
call me
anymore

Joseph M. Felser, Ph.D. received his doctorate from The University of Chicago and teaches philosophy in Brooklyn, New York. The author of numerous articles and two books on philosophy, religion, myth, and parapsychology, he recently began writing poetry, which has appeared in both print and online journals.

Dying Is Not The Time For Crackpot Theories by Diane Jackman

Dying Is Not The Time For Crackpot Theories
by Diane Jackman

In the last week, her friend’s husband said,
Mind over matter. Mind over matter.
This man also believed
in the giant cabbages of Findhorn,
though he had never seen them;
the triumph of his mind (blind belief)
over matter
(the actual size of the cabbages)
definitely not proven.

He went home satisfied
he had delivered a word in season.

In the bed my mother stared at the ceiling.
How? she said,
she who knew so well
the rampage of rogue cells,
the fresh waves of pain
as another organ was attacked.
How to stem the onslaught
by exercise of brain and will?
If we knew how, I said
we would live in an overcrowded world.

That was no comfort either.

Diane Jackman’s poetry has appeared in small press magazines and many anthologies, and has won several competitions. Starting out as a children’s writer she now concentrates on poetry. Her writing draws heavily on the past, and often reflects elements of magic realism.