From the Depths of Bone China, by Misky

From the Depths of Bone China
by Misky

In a teacup where
leaves twirl a dervish in
fluid like a circular skirt,
roiling from a devotional pot,
a tranquil tea.
A gypsy’s fortune.

In your skirts of whispering
crinolines, your silver and
turquoise, and
bracelets
of braided hair,
tell me of love.

Process notes: Poetic form Quadrille. 44 words, excluding the title.

Misky lives in the UK surrounded by West Sussex hills, flowers, and vineyards. She never buys clothing without pockets. Her work is regularly published with Ten Penny Players “Waterways”.

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Fickle Feet, by Debi Swim

Fickle Feet
by Debi Swim

Off go the crows from the roof
with a raucous deep-throated yell
and ebon flick of feathers
like they never cared anyway
for this dratted one-horse town.

The wind carried them away
in uplifting curt currents
while the band bugled below
and couples danced to the beat
under an abandoned roof.

The music swelled in his feet
and his heart thought it in love
with sweet, swaying hips in red
but after their dance she left
for the arms of another.

How embarrassing is love
When it goes wrong
In front of everyone.

Lines from “Crows in a Strong Wind”, By Cornelius Eady
“Off go the crows from the roof”
“How embarrassing is love
When it goes wrong
In front of everyone.”

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

Love Conquers All, by Ron. Lavalette

Love Conquers All
by Ron. Lavalette

“I bought you some
poison blueberries,”
she said. “You can
have them with your
corn flakes in the morning.”
She had always been
everything he’d ever wanted
so all he heard was:
“I bought you some
blueberries for breakfast.”
He ate them the next day
with toast and orange
marmalade and tea.
He went to work and smiled
at customers and colleagues,
sat quietly at his desk
until half-past five, signed out
and, still smiling, headed home
to his Sweetie Pie.

Ron. Lavalette is a very widely-published poet living on the Canadian border in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. His first chapbook, Fallen Away, is now available from Finishing Line Press and at all other standard outlets. His poetry and short prose has appeared extensively in journals, reviews, and anthologies ranging alphabetically from Able Muse and the Anthology of New England Poets through the World Haiku Review and Your One Phone Call. A reasonable sample of his published work can be viewed at EGGS OVER TOKYO: http://eggsovertokyo.blogspot.com

Overheard, by Ron. Lavalette

Overheard
by Ron. Lavalette

The first words heard on Monday,
smack in the middle of August,
drifted in, distant and disembodied
from the dock of the smallest cabin
across the lake.
                             An ancient couple,
no doubt celebrating their golden
anniversary with a coffee and a
mutual toast, love-talked so softly
that only their voices’ tenderness
and not the content of their speech
travels across the still, wide water.

Ron. Lavalette is a very widely-published poet living on the Canadian border in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. His first chapbook, Fallen Away, is now available from Finishing Line Press and at all other standard outlets. His poetry and short prose has appeared extensively in journals, reviews, and anthologies ranging alphabetically from Able Muse and the Anthology of New England Poets through the World Haiku Review and Your One Phone Call. A reasonable sample of his published work can be viewed at EGGS OVER TOKYO: http://eggsovertokyo.blogspot.com

Engulfed by Love, by Diana Raab, PhD.

Engulfed by Love
by Diana Raab, PhD.

Our night together crawled
at a sloth’s pace, but then raced

like your heart at its end, as I
scrutinize each of your moves,
even your stroll into our bathroom.

While lying on that foreign bed,
I loved how your psyche

engulfed mine like a Venus
fly trap caresses an insect,

and how you mindfully mapped
my features with your fingers

and how your eyes melted into mine
and how your arms reach out for me

and pull me into your chest,
to share one last labored breath.

Your irregular breathing
lullabied me towards my final moment,

until I realized I shouldn’t be there with you
and decide to leave—
toting your life’s baggage in my heart.

Diana Raab PhD is a poet, memoirist, and workshop facilitator. She’s author of poetry collections including her latest, Lust. She’s also author of 5 non-fiction books and a frequent blogger. Please visit her at http://www.dianaraab.com.

Surrendering, by Diana Raab, PhD.

Surrendering
by Diana Raab, PhD.

I am pulled into your energy
yanked into your hollow heart.

I borrow your breaths
as I search for my last one

wondering what I was thinking
when you reached for me

and I said okay before pulling back
into my cocoon which wrapped
protective strings around me.

So many days later, you came back,
pulled those fine strings to unravel

my world watching me spin in circles
to release myself from your grasp.

I surrender to you, and there’s no other way
of looking at this predicament I am in.

You are my sanctuary and my risk.

The Parking Lot, by Diana Raab, PhD.

The Parking Lot
by Diana Raab, PhD.

I counted the steps
we took together
from the coffee shop to parking lot,
seemed to happen quickly
and slowly at the same time,
yet I don’t recall one step,
as we passed curious eyes
and slow turtles in the pond
admiring their freedom
and our yearning for it.
We walked to your sleek black car
as you invited me into your corner
to offer me your gentle passionate lips
and as much as I tried to resist
I succumbed to my deepest desire
nervous in my shoes
in wonder of the next move
slowing you down against all good reason
feeling the lump in your pants in my honor
oh my where is this headed, I wondered
driving home and not remembering one mile
fantasizing about eternal love making
or until we’re snapped back into reality,
which cuts us off forever
out of the sacred space we want to create.

Diana Raab PhD is a poet, memoirist, and workshop facilitator. She’s author of poetry collections including her latest, Lust. She’s also author of 5 non-fiction books and a frequent blogger. Please visit her at http://www.dianaraab.com.

Feedback To The Director while playing Rosalind in “As You Like It”, by William Conelly

Feedback To The Director
         while playing Rosalind in “As You Like It”
by William Conelly

Life’s third of seven stages
is a breathless ode
to mortal coupling—
or so Arden’s recluse
philosopher declares,
if someone shops for truth
among his cutting wares.

A young, befuddled love
portends not lifelong joy,
but scripted foolishness—
he claims—carved in this oak,
hung from that bush or tree—
delusion played for chance,
while fondly naming me.

Our courtyard jester claims
love is mere witty bait
to copulation. Quips
aside though, he can’t brook
lust’s carnal slit or shove:
he wants a shepherdess
he can be certain of.

Your Rosalind’s the sun
around which others seek
both light and magical
conjunction. Playing love
for every double meaning,
she’s both youth and girl
until—in contravening—

she’s woman to the core.
Love is madness, she’ll tell
her lover from disguise,
a cage of rushes where
near everyone lies sick.
That I’ve a cure for you,
therefore, may seem a trick…

Trust Rosalind it’s not.
Trust ethics to prevail,
and fiefdoms lost to be
restored. Trust that joined hands
will make Arden a stage
where optimism lingers,
once we turn the page.

The above poem derived from ‘King Lear’ is voiced as the actor playing Rosalind might check her interpretation of the character’s movements against the director’s.

After military service, William Conelly took two degrees in English from UC Santa Barbara. Unrelated research and writing work followed before he returned to academia in 2000. Since then he had served in both the US and the UK as an associate professor, tutor and seminar leader in English studies. Retired now, with dual citizenship, he resides with his wife in the West Midlands town of Warwick. In 2015 the Able Muse Press published an assortment of his verse dating back 40 years. It’s titled Uncontested Grounds and may be reviewed at their website or via Amazon.

Searching for Sushi in a Walmart in Salina, KS, by Barbara A Meier

Searching for Sushi in a Walmart in Salina, KS
by Barbara A Meier

Obesity roams the aisle, and Meth stubs grimace in a smile.
Plodding onward through a grocery wasteland;
A desert of Little Debbie crème pies, Pringles with a pop!
Coca-cola, and Jalapeno Ranch Doritos.
The best bargains at 11 o’clock at night.

Sorrow dictates I eat. Lateness dictates Walmart,
and all I see is a holocaust of processed foods.
Pain rises up to choke the heart lodged in my throat.
Tears seep down the back. Drip. Leak.

And I think I can find sushi in Salina….

There’s no sushi in Walmart in Salina.
There’s no way to feel good. It collapses inward on itself.
The pressure spills and there’s no stopping.
I’m truly alone and nonexistent at this point.

I cannot lay out my life like rice on a sushi mat.
Nor can I pick and choose spicy,
Fullmoon Combo, or California Rolls with Eel.
There’s no wasabi to burn away the pain,
or pickled ginger to open the dam.

Just myself, dressed in cold fluorescent light,
walking circles in Walmart.
I cannot roll my life up to fit my dreams
or my ideas of what should have happened.

inspired by “What Passes for Salvation in Salina, Kansas” by John Dorsey

Barbara A Meier has spent the last four years living on the Southern Oregon Coast. She retired from teaching this summer and hopes to find time to travel and write. She has a Micro Chapbook coming out this summer from Ghost City Press. She has been published in The Poeming Pigeon, TD; LR Catching Fire Anthology and The Fourth River. https://basicallybarbmeier.wordpress.com/

If You Forget Me (From Pablo Neruda), by Diana Raab, PhD.

If You Forget Me
      (From Pablo Neruda)

by Diana Raab, PhD.

I want you to know
one thing

if there is ever a day
when you begin to think
where I am in this world
and if I could live without you

you need to stop,
like not move in your tracks,
but look down upon the imprints
your feet made in the sand
where you and I walked together
arm in arm, side by side
shoulder touching shoulder

and observe that you are ingrained
in my brain like every kernel of sand
that lies beside the largest ocean
in this world where we inhabit
two sides familiar, yet foreign
to one another

just beside the log cabin
you built me for my last birthday
before you had to say good bye,
while I begged you on all six legs

not to leave me like this,
but, in the end, I just had to let you go
because when you love someone
that is just what you must do.
Set them free
to do what they need or want to do
just when they want to do it

whether it is with you or not—
while always keeping in mind

I will never in my lifetime or yours
ever stop loving everything about you.

Process notes:
I love the poems of Pablo Neruda and all of his work inspires my own poetry.
Source: “SI TÚ ME OLVIDAS” by Pablo Neruda (1952).

Diana Raab PhD is a poet, memoirist, and workshop facilitator. She’s author of poetry collections including her latest, Lust. She’s also author of 5 non-fiction books and a frequent blogger. Please visit her at http://www.dianaraab.com.