In Honor Of The Magpie, by Christopher Hileman

In Honour Of The Magpie
by Christopher Hileman

This pain has savor,
a dark bittersweet flavor
like fine chocolate.

I wish you were here.

I have been splurging lately
and I’ve also worked
my light boned fingers,
honing my picking skill set:
no pocket is safe.

I need your taming
as only you know how to
reach as deep as souls.

Well, I might fib some,
Exaggerate my sad case
just a little bit…

but I do miss you.

Christopher Hileman moved to Oregon in 1973. He has retired for some years and lives on the north bank of the McKenzie River in Vida, Oregon. He moved recently from his basement digs in Oregon City, emerging into the riverine sunshine on the eastbound highway out of the Eugene/Springfield area of Oregon.

Love Poem, by Alan Toltzis

Love Poem
by Alan Toltzis

The temperature went to 75
in February.
Everyone played like it was June,
even our trees.

Their buds bulged
with unformed leaves
and unformed fruit.

Lovers ignored the warnings:
thunderstorms to mark the start
of the warm spell,
thunderstorms to take it all away.

The trees noticed
but continued to burst anyway,
their juices surging.

Process Notes: I wrote this after seeing the movie Paterson, which is full of poems by Ron Padgett. Hearing and reading poetry relaxed the tone of my work, at least for a while.

Alan Toltzis is the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotion and The Last Commandment. A two-time Pushcart nominee, he has published in numerous print and online journals. Alan serves as an Editor for the Mizmor Poetry Anthology. Find him online at alantoltzis.com and follow him @ToltzisAlan.

A Christmas Reunion, by LindaAnn LoSchiavo

A Christmas Reunion
by LindaAnn LoSchiavo

When was it? How did I become the kind
Who failed to cherish life, discarded laughs?

I’d done no Christmas shopping since Dan died.

Strange forces urged me out as more snow fell,
Filling the windows, decorating trees,
Avoiding certain branches — just like folks
Who know how to keep apart. The weatherman
Advised pedestrians to stay indoors.

Barely protected, wearing an old coat,
Worn out boots, steered by impulses alone,
I trudged along until I realized
The yuletide hypnotized my weary eyes.

Against my will, those luminarias
Attracted. Coffined lights, like sentinels,
Marked gates of Cemetery Hill, where we
Had bid adieu. Temptation made me stoop
To steal a souvenir — when he appeared.

I tried to run. My heavy rubbers clung,
Wet mud imprisoning me like quicksand.
My footprints left a useless trail behind,
Uncertain as redemption once denied.

The faceless creature merged with me. Mid-gait,
My right leg was suspended, awkwardly,
When I heard singing — yes! — “Die Fledermaus,”
Our favorite, the last performance Dan
And I enjoyed together — happy times
Resurrected at Prince Orlofsky’s ball,
As Strauss’s music peeled away sorrow,
A ghostly partner lifting me, leading
Us effortlessly in a waltz. I felt
Like Rosalinde, my shearling a silk gown,
Fond debutante who danced, dipped, all aglow.

As quick as this possession overtook
Me, it departed. My boots made contact
With earth. I watched as the transparent male
Took two steps, disappeared. The sun came up.

I headed home, discovering the snow
Completely cleared away, and whistling
That overture. Attempting to make sense
Of this experience, all I knew was
Words do not live entirely inside
Language and neither does such new found joy.

LindaAnn LoSchiavo is a dramatist, writer, poet, and ghost whisperer. Her poetry chapbooks, Conflicted Excitement [Red Wolf Editions, 2018] and Concupiscent Consumption [Red Ferret Press, 2020], along with her collaborative book on prejudice [Macmillan in the USA, Aracne Editions in Italy] are her latest titles.

Exotic Flowers Unfurl, by Mark Andrew Heathcote

Exotic Flowers Unfurl
by Mark Andrew Heathcote

Let only one be your centrepiece
And the others,
Let them brocade your world
Swim in your dreams
Like sirens to remind you,
That a wayward sailor often drowns
Torso on fire—doused
I have picked one jewel
One gem, I was meant to receive
And it was purely instinctual
Not anything to misconceive
I plucked her wings, there and then
Held her steadfast against my skin
After tonight the world
Shall never be the same.

Mark Andrew Heathcote is from Manchester in the UK, author of In Perpetuity and Back on Earth, two books of poems published by a CTU publishing group ~ Creative Talents Unleashed. Mark is an adult learning difficulties support worker, who began writing poetry at an early age at school. Mark enjoys spending his leisure time off work reading and writing and gardening.

Encounter on the Road Curves, by Mr. Edilson Ferreira

Encounter on the Road Curves
by Mr. Edilson Ferreira

It was not on the straight, wide and sunny road,
that I saw you.
It was on the road’s bend, so switched a curve that
almost returned to the point from which I had come.
It was in a dark and gloomy day,
where wind did not dare to appear
and people sought to hide within themselves.
Now I know that fate had given that afternoon
as precious gift to me, when set us face to face.
Then, your beauty shone, flashed like a torch,
or a beacon in dark nights driving the sailors.
You enchanted me, like a serpent with her prey,
but not devoured, only arrested and gave me love.
In the days following our meeting,
they say the sun had shone again.
It does not concern me,
for I have won you.

Mr. Ferreira, 76 years, is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Largely published in international journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67, after retirement as a bank employee. Nominated for The Pushcart Prize 2017, his first Poetry Collection, Lonely Sailor, One Hundred Poems, was launched in London, November 2018. He is always updating his works at http://www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.

Found Poem, by J.I. Kleinberg

J.I. Kleinberg - I FOUND MY HEART - 96dpi

A visual poem created from an ongoing series of collages (1900+) built from phrases created unintentionally through the accident of magazine page design. Each contiguous fragment of text (roughly the equivalent of a poetic line) is entirely removed from its original sense and syntax. The text is not altered (except for the occasional deletion of prefixes, suffixes, or punctuation) and includes no attributable phrases. The lines of each collage are, in most cases, sourced from different magazines.

Artist, poet, and freelance writer, J.I. Kleinberg is a prolific paper-tearer and Pushcart nominee. Her found poems have appeared in Diagram, Dusie, Entropy, Otoliths, What Rough Beast, The Tishman Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and posts frequently at thepoetrydepartment.wordpress.com.

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”.

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