Count Down, by Debi Swim

Count Down
by Debi Swim

Grandpa got it at the green stamp store.
He built a small shelf on the wall
in the living room and placed upon it
the black and faux gold clock. I would
watch the pendulum swing back and forth
unaware of time ticking away, unaware
that this moment wouldn’t last,
nor Grandpa, nor my youth.

A clock sits on the bookshelf
in my reading room.
I listen to its steady beat,
faint, droning under the din of life.
Its rhythm keeps me grounded
with its steady tic-tic- tic
setting the pace, reminding me
with every second-hand lurch
I live one second at a time,
until the last …
tic-tic toc.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 320.

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

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Language Of Lies, by Roslyn Ross

Language Of Lies
by Roslyn Ross

It was the first lie which led the way,
like an orange beacon on the hill of
deceit, beginning that march into evil,
which left love hanging on the broken

gate of betrayal, where more lies stood
as statues, carved in sad facts of denial,
and right, kneeled, whimpering in the
skirts of yesterday; adultery’s hood had

defined my truth, hidden your face in such
blackness, that no amount of torches could
ever bring enough light to bear upon what
now was an impossible, searing, darkness.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 321.

Roslyn Ross is a former journalist, who has worked in newspapers and magazines around Australia. In recent years she has worked as a freelance manuscript editor. Born in Adelaide, she has spent much of her time living overseas, including Antwerp, Belgium; Bombay, India; Luanda, Angola; Cape Town, South Africa; Johannesburg, South Africa; Lusaka, Zambia; Vancouver, Canada; London, United Kingdom and Lilongwe, Malawi. She has also spent extended periods in Russia, Portugal and the United States, as well as living across Australia, including Adelaide, Port Pirie, Wagga Wagga, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, and is now settled in the Adelaide Hills. She began writing poetry at the age of twelve and has had work published in a number of anthologies, mainly in the US, but also more recently, in When Anzac Day Comes Around, 100 Years from Gallipoli Poetry Project, edited by Graeme Lindsay.

Med Flight, by Candelin Wahl

Med Flight
       Madison, Wisconsin
by Candelin Wahl

Badger-red metal dragonfly
zeroes into sight
tail up in descent
big white 2 painted on its belly
eggbeater wings tread thin air
vast hospital roof a shimmering
pond below the hover bug.
It’s not for me to see from this angle
what trauma they treat
blocked heartery
or crash victim
please no overdose.
A New Englander passing through
I whisper a Samaritan’s prayer
into the arms of white lilacs.
They crowd the sidewalk
in gaudy dress like southern girls
whose only worry is Friday night,
which leaves me – one woman speck
to inhale the breath of life
respire
repeat

Candelin Wahl is an emerging poet who recently shed her business attire. She is Poetry Co-Editor of the Mud Season Review and has been published in the 2017 Best of the Burlington Writer’s Workshop. She lives with her husband in St. Albans, Vermont.

Crapshoot, by Candelin Wahl

Crapshoot
      for Bill Ainsworth
by Candelin Wahl

Buttoned into his white pharmacy coat
he didn’t notice the switch broom
in the corner by the back door
ready to sweep his brain under the knife
retire him like a spent racehorse

He wears a baseball cap at breakfast
not to shock friends, his scalp
a desert of scars, dry rivulets
sagebrush tufts of hair
same twinkle eyes under the brim.

After omelets and a mountain of pills
he grips the table edge. We watch him
shuffle the hardwood abyss
determined to stay upright
every step a roll of the dice.

Riding a hot streak
he pours a second cup of coffee
not asking his wife for help
too aware of the long odds
in this crapshoot.

Candelin Wahl is an emerging poet who recently shed her business attire. She is Poetry Co-Editor of the Mud Season Review and has been published in the 2017 Best of the Burlington Writer’s Workshop. She lives with her husband in St. Albans, Vermont.

The New Oz, by Candelin Wahl

The New Oz
by Candelin Wahl

Mighty Lake Erie maker of millionaires
did you weep when they bulldozed
your canal a century ago, scarring
the hem of the Buffalo skyline

did you sing from your great blue cradle
when town fathers undid their mistake
history excavated rebuilt as Canalside
festivals! farmer’s markets! kayaks!

          no sign of child-led mules
          pull of barges lock to lock
          no acrid smell of engine oil,
          damp bales of wheat bound
          for millers in Albany

Mighty Lake Erie − bestower of bounty
I swear I hear you chuckle at the pop-up spires
as yellow-slickered yeomen raise tents
weekend white castles in a new Oz
its armies of blue portalets braced for waste

Candelin Wahl is an emerging poet who recently shed her business attire. She is Poetry Co-Editor of the Mud Season Review and has been published in the 2017 Best of the Burlington Writer’s Workshop. She lives with her husband in St. Albans, Vermont.

Life After, by Christopher Hileman

Life After
by Christopher Hileman

If my heart then died
I would be free to lift off
and take the angel’s
flight, along the lines
laid down in clear air long time
past the start of things.
Immune now, standing
in the wind fully drenched, light
bathed, I radiate
immortality.

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.

Motivation, by Christopher Hileman

Motivation
by Christopher Hileman

I’m certainly not
one who gives two fucks about
who likes poetry
and who doesn’t or
even care much who might read
some scrawl of my heart.
Very few acknowledge
passing through my collections
and that’s fine with me.

I write because there’s
no freaking choice. My heart aches
if I don’t write some
most days and my brain
starts spilling out my damn ears,
staining my tee shirts
on my left shoulder
above the hole where my heart
used to lurk before.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 329.

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.

wise audiences, by Sergio A. Ortiz

wise audiences
by Sergio A. Ortiz

when you’re inside me
i don’t know if you laugh

or if you come from boredom
if your tongue freshens

or arrives from fever
i don’t know

if what you search for
on weekends exists inside me

i know life stretched out
beneath your abs

is the same as snakes
and concurrent solitudes

that correspond to the twinkling
light where I can see you

Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

Lover’s Tale, by Arthur Lamar Mitchell

Lover’s Tale
by Arthur Lamar Mitchell

   Early evening in the town
      A light rain falls
   On boulevards renown,
Famous sights, painted dolls.

   Lovers stroll hand in hand,
        And under a leafy tree
Hear distant strains of a band,
      They pause and kiss,
      To hold this moment
Uncomplicated bliss.

   On winding streets,
            music begins to fade
The evening star appears
        But no false promise made
   Before the dawn, growing fears:
                  Together in victory,
                                  Alone in defeat.

            As lovers often torn apart,
A memory of love, though fleet
Despite passions that rule the heart.
            All the glories dimmed by years,
   When a little tune resurrects buried tears.

Arthur Lamar Mitchell’s poems have been set to music for voice, and by several composers, and performed by small groups to orchestra. He composed all lyrics for a environmental concept album – Garden of Eden. Recent poems have been published in Remembered Arts, Winterwolf, and Nature Writing.

Pulsar, by Dah

Pulsar
by Dah

‘We can only be
as close as we can touch
until the Eye
stares, until the Eye
finds us, again’

I look through the grille
of bare trees
through the mineshafts
of shadows

then you say:
‘The Eye finds its way
when the sun sets its mouth
to earth’

I am motionless
like a broken shell

You continue:
‘I believe that
we are at the beginning and
in this deadly universe
we are nothing sacred nothing
more than matter caught
in a surge of light

Then you whisper:
‘You can make me happy
but it won’t change the way I feel’

I finish another night
without tears or repentance
without promises or sleep
watching stars traveling south
your black hair
bobbing and bending
like the weight of crows
on thin branches

your twin nipples glowing, expanding
pulsing, like dark radiation,
the morning-milk of kisses
flooding my mouth

Dah’s forthcoming fifth poetry book is due in late-spring 2018 from Transcendent Zero Press. His poems have been published in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, China, Spain, Australia, Africa, Philippines and India. Dah is a Pushcart nominee and the lead editor of The Lounge (a poetry critique group).

https://dahlusion.wordpress.com/category/about-dah/