poem and artwork by Ruth Schiffmann

 

Crisp leaves break under my step;
I’ve lost my way.
The wind spins around me
Crossing my path, stirring my center, swaying my certainty.
My heart plods against the weight of unbelief
Rousing the scents of a past: familiar, forgotten.
Uncertainty unleashed spreads wide in front of me
I kick through dead forest cast offs and hope for life.

© 2011, Ruth Schiffmann

a poem by Bruce Harris

Waiting.
Nothing followed by tapping.
Cursing.
Smoking.
Phone ringing.
And ringing.
Nothing.
Waiting.
Fuel surcharge rising.

© 2011, Bruce Harris

and in the bus station I don’t want to watch
men count how many barrels
they can throw, backwards
over a bar against the clock
bulldog squat, temples blinking
panic on all stations as they hurl

boulders topple planks lift tire
barbells load sacks haul monster trucks

and afterwards, wading jelly-legs
pinched cheeks and faraway gaze
of children lifting weights that don’t need
to be lifted toppling planks that hurling boulders
but stay with me instead he says
remember the curves
dangerous curves
road construction
and what does it mean to live
straight up: I’d be mad
if this wasn’t the plan, but don’t go, but

I’m kidding, what do you need
I can buy it for you at Wal-Mart
that’s serious, and can I pin
a note on you, right here, it says:
If found return to Sayulita, Nayarit.

How it could have been any different?
How it couldn’t have been any
different. After all we can’t
overcome ourselves.

© 2011 Rose Hunter

a poem by william krill

The same empty space dust particles that created this here and now empty space madness,
are still floating in my dirty yellow bucket
tangled forever in mop hairs
wrapped soaking in the chemical firmament of this black brown water—
I’m most comfortable in these restrooms, especially when no one else is in here.
I should by now know the particle of the tile grout,
and should know of the little cricket
that lives behind the grey plastic trash can
waist high with crumpled paper towels and discarded underwear—
my mornings of mop meditations and dirt yellow bucket
pardoning off galaxies by request of the earthly floor,
in this I’m known for nothing,
respected for my nothings,
and loved only by the sleeping eye and that little cricket saint.

© 2011, william krill

a poem by Mike Berger

Like robots they move.
I Marvel at the skill and
efficiency of the crew that
load the cargo hold.
Packages are unloaded from
the truck and put on the
conveyor belt with mechanical
precision. At the top, two
burly guys grabbed the
packages and stack them.
They moved at lightning speed
without a misstep. They do
occasionally drop a package
and have to stop the conveyor.
This sets my mind to wondering.
Why is it that the only packages
they drop are those marked fragile?

© 2011, Mike Berger

a poem by Mike Berger

As a shrink, I see every day
people chained to misery.
Their woes are shackled to them by
themselves Over time they habituate.
Each day their burden grows; it is a
malignant thing.

I counsel them on how to rid themselves
of their burdens using guided imagery. I
asked them to go home and follow these
steps. Get out a mental suitcase and stuff
it full of guilt, remorse, and shame.
Have your travel agent to book a
good hotel and get tickets to a
Broadway play. At check-in
be delighted that you don’t have
to paying the $15 to check in your
imaginary bag.

Hop on the plane with eager anticipation.
You will soon have no more baggage
to tote around, when the airline
loses your luggage. Throw away your
baggage claim stub, steer wide and clear
of the lost and found.

© 2011, Mike Berger

a poem and photograph combination by Julie L. Corbett

Hulk in the Humber by Julie L. Corbett

tarred talisman, twice
each tide-turn day, washed
in estuarine river and sea-brine,
a cargo of sand and slit,
anchoring her. raucous gulls
rest on the bow—facing the wind.
settled, scuttled with a firm trim,
this broken barge, watches
the tugs and freight go by

© 2011, Julie L. Corbett