Monday, May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018

Sea Leaver
with a nod to John Masefield

I must get back to the land again, the realm of fields and sheep,
And shun this heaving nightmare, the so-called rolling deep.
Why did I move from Ledbury, near Langland's Malvern Hills,
Where I walked out and whistled, not puked and took pink pills?

I must go up on the deck again, to those slime-encrusted planks
And the boat's roll and the bosun's role? No sanguinary thanks!
I must stay away from the sea for good, as it only makes me vomit
And leaves my head in a ghastly state so I can't tell cleat from grommet.

The way out? Not the marlinspike, but certainly the pen
And salty reminiscences (with omissions now and then
Like the nausea, almost constant, lads' unsavory shore-leave morals)
Pave the path to published glory, sherry butts, and royal laurels.

by Jerome Betts

Sea Heaver
with a nod to John Masefield

I must bend over the side again and spew out a meal or three.
The sea goes on giving this ghastly gift, and I give it back to the sea.
And all I ask is a steady deck, so my skin doesn't prickle and pale,
And no queasy lurch undoes my gut and drapes me over the rail.

I must escape this clammy despair that has touched every pore with its kiss.
As dry heaves wrack me, I gag and gasp that death would be better than this.
And all I ask is a patch of scop to stick on the side of my neck
So the swells that judder the ship don't drive me to pray for a fatal wreck.

I must stay home from the sea next time, to spare me this hellish ordeal.
I couldn't feel worse if Captain Bligh were hauling me under the keel.
And all I ask is a Muse that doesn't steer me back to the ocean
And make me sick all over again with its churning, choppy motion.

by Chris O'Carroll

Julia's Reply
with a nod to Robert Herrick

Whenas in silks my Julia goes...?
It pleased the poet, I suppose,
To versify my furbelows.

No Puritan, or too strait-laced,
I did, though, think it in poor taste
From one who claimed his life was chaste.

It irked me how his eyes would note
What lay 'neath gown and petticoat,
Less godly priest than parish goat!

by Jerome Betts

with a nod to Robert Herrick

Whenas in jeans my Julia dances,
My yearning for some hot romance is
A thing her dance-floor flair enhances.

As denim-clad her hips she swings,
The curves to which the fabric clings,
Write hymns my eager bloodstream sings.

Tormented by the flames she's fanned,
I'm out of luck. I understand
She's dating some guy in the band.

by Chris O'Carroll

all these wonderful words can be found
in volume 6 issue 1

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Monday, May 14, 2018

May 14, 2018

Count beats with fingers.
Math and English intercourse.
My haiku is born.

by Douglas S. Malan

Spring pollen unleashed:
trees having sex in my nose—
arboreal orgies.

by Deborah Davitt

smoking pot
the casserole
almost forgotten

by Robert Witmer
in volume 6 issue 1

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Monday, May 7, 2018

May 7, 2018

I Sprayed Her Name upon a Store One Day
with a nod to Edmund Spenser

I sprayed her name upon a store one day.
I used the brightest purple I could find.
The killjoy owner scrubbed it all away,
But first he placed swift kicks on my behind

And yelled some things that were not very kind.
Next day I chose dark blue and red to write
her lovely name to show how firm my mind
was fixed on her. Man, what an awesome sight!

The psycho owner tried to start a fight.
He ruined my masterpiece; still, all will know
the fame of my great love, my heart's delight,
For I'll be back real soon with paints that glow!

Some artists use graffiti to declare
Undying love for lucky ladies fair.

by Janice Canerdy

Drink with Mewith a nod to Ben Jonson

Drink with me coffee, black and strong.
I promise nevermore
To drink with meals a fifth of wine
Then stagger cross the floor.
My need for thee doth rival thirst
For booze; you're both divine!
Jove's nectar's only in a book,
But I found thee online.

I sent thee late a rose-red couch
Not just to honor thee.
I hoped to lounge upon it oft
Whil'st thou served meals for free.
But thou thereon did'st only sneer.
And sent'st it back to me.
You said, "This thing is old and smells,
I swear, of wine and thee!"

by Janice Canerdy
in volume 5 issue 2

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Monday, April 30, 2018

April 30, 2018

Trump vs. Big Bird
with a nod to Sesame Street
Crummy day
Stealing our hopes away.
On his way to where
Thought is tweet.

Can you tell Trump how to get—
How to get to Sesame Street?

Tweet and lie.
Environment's gonna die.
Friendly neighbors leave,
Not safe to meet.

Can you tell me what's the deal?
What'll happen to Sesame Street?

Tragic day:
Alphabet Z to A,
Numbers upside down,
Songs miss a beat.

Can you tell me how to save—
How to save our Sesame Street?

How to save our Sesame Street?
How to make America sweet?

by Kathleen A. Lawrence
in volume 6 issue 1


Advanced Alt-Rightitis

Twenty and beautiful and already showing
signs of a condition that once started gets
handed down from generation to generation.

I lost my ability to inoculate him when I lost
custody of his father, almost fifty years ago now—
first the son and then the grandson who grew up

far states and the attitudes of caregivers away—
leaving me little room to intervene or quarantine.
I watched as both were exposed, helpless

to stop the judgmentalism that invaded
and spread to their tissues and cells;
the mind infiltrated first, and then the heart—

the males in our family the most vulnerable
to the wiping out of the function of motivation
to budge. No matter how many M.D.s

or clergywomen I might pray to or call upon,
our family's case of advanced, full-blown Alt-Rightitis
Republicaniasis remains a diagnosis real

as an elephant this mother and grandmother
has no choice but to ignore if she wants
to be allowed today's in-home visits.

by Sharon Wood Wortman
in volume 6 issue 1

The Orange Predator

I think that this poet never shall see
a predator foul and so smarmy as he.

His fowlish predation is ever so sweet,
he can grope any chick without moving his feet

which, along with his hands, are really quite tiny.
His brain is so small and his mouth is so swiney.

With faked indignation he tries to deny,
though he sees little need for a gal to comply,

or so he told Stern on Stern's radio show,
boasting to Howard like some horny crow.

"I can do what I want because I'm so famous
and handsome and charming and rich and
smart and huge and did I say very very rich and
very very handsome and just very very,"
(laughing Ivanka sits tall by his side,
enabling her father, the snide ignoramus).

Orange refining the meaning of smarmy.
Orange re-whining out lies to his army.

He steps like a goose and cuts down the tall trees,
honking and hinking and fouling the breeze

His lily-white shit that he dumps on the ground
is for Conway to gather and sell by the pound.

But this poet finds peace in the presence of trees,
even the trees that can cause him to sneeze,

and a walk in the forest does help him recoup
the hope and belief that the foul orange dupe

will goose-step and shit such a large smelly mass
that Congress will finally impeach his (not so) small ass.

poems are fashioned by fools like me,
but no one can help the brand new GOP.

by Michael Coolen
in volume 6 issue1

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Monday, April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018

Stopping by the Institute for Widget Studies Annual Conference
with a nod to Robert Frost

This work's been done before I know.
The speaker is a student though;
he has a script he reads too fast.
I wish I could get up and go.

If only this talk were the last.
I feel like hours and hours have passed.
Another conference session blown
in wastelands barren, bleak, and vast.

I noticed I was not alone
when reading email on my phone.
So how much longer can this take?
Just now I heard a stifled groan.

The coffee's bad the cream is fake,
but I just want to stay awake,
with hours to go before the break,
with hours to go before the break.

by Bruce McGuffin
in volume 6 issue1

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