31 October, 2009

Glass Ghosts
"These lovely lamps, these windows of the soul."
--Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas (1544-1590)

Lenses from Grandfather's bifocals
were ground into sand.

Now they sift through a
perpetual glass prison
in an hourglass heirloom.

Upon death,
the living grind glass
and add vision to the timepiece
so the rest of the chain
can see glints of stray light
and insight from
ancient eyes
that flash into
young pupils.

Each contribution
lengthens time
as each old ghost
lends a hand
to the living.

~~ Max Bouillet

Making Cole Slaw

Callous hands and crooked fingers
speckled with age
clutch a half head of cabbage.
Drenched with cold well water,
the head plucked in its prime,
before the wilt and rot
rape away its youth.
Envious are the angled fingers
that rend the head to and fro across the
grate. They rain shredded
youth into a bowl.

~~ Max Bouillet


What was he thinking giving you
Such large eyes?
And that particular colour:
The darkest of browns.
Like being deep underground.
The colour moles and earthworms see
Right before they die.

Surely he must have known
That, as you searched the room
With your haunting gaze,
They would become gaping holes
Which I could but fall into.
Never to escape.

~~ Benjamin Russell

25 October, 2009


Hard to imagine yourself
in the ground … a shabby mess
of broken spindles, the loom
that cranked out the cloth of you
smashed, scattered—and somewhere
the ego sputtering its rage.

You can hear it now—railing
like a mill-town dowager
piqued, let’s say, by the country’s
fraying moral fiber. Her spotted fist
gavels the tea-table, making
the bone teacups clatter.

"Oh! The very idea!"

~~ Joseph Hutchison

Weed in the Concrete

Such a wise crack
that lets such
a joke of a weed
on a vast, cemented
urban plain
like a jovial
we can't

~~ Doug Holder

Coloring Book

Each picture is heartbreakingly banal,
a kitten and a ball of yarn,
a dog and bone.
The paper is cheap, easily torn.
A coloring book's authority is derived
from its heavy black lines
as unalterable as the ten commandments
within which minor decisions are possible:
the dog black and white,
the kitten gray.
Under the picture we find a few words,
a title, perhaps a narrative,
a psalm or sermon.
But nowhere do we come upon
a blank page where we might justify
the careless way we scribbled
when we were tired and sad
and could bear no more.

~~ Connie Wanek

21 October, 2009

4 one-line poems

~  against a snowy sky raven as a color

       ~  between statues the rest of history

              ~  heat lightning the dry burn of whiskey 

~  deep in space the red shift of my mind

~~ Jim Kacian

One Leg

long, dissociate
conversations about meaning
the space we
associate in

me and I combine
passively in a
perspective of "we"
whereas "you" play
free agent

today "we" are
an enemy attacking
your independence
and must be
defended against

don’t you know
without all of us
you have only
one leg
to stand on

~~ Ivan Donn Carswell

18 October, 2009

Carpeting the Mind

Content in the luxury
of wall to wall love
we tend, with diligence
to keep the colours bright;
spreading the wear and tear.
Illumined in a shaft of light,
particles from other lives
intrude, swirling around us.
We pass through, wondering
if their dust will spoil the pattern.

~~Marion Sharville
In silhouette, the large, dark eye
of the girl from India seemed
not to belong to the face at all,
but rather like a great, black beetle

attached to blind porcelain
and, maybe, about to crawl—
and the luscious lashes of unusual length,
closed & opened, closed & opened,

suggesting a butterfly's pulsing wings
clipped to a black-eyed Susan, say—
and for one tingling moment, I felt
I would reach out and possess this exotic

creature, this exquisite Agassiz humbug
and might have, but for propriety.

~~ Larry Kimmel

13 October, 2009

Carnal Knowledge

Having picked the final datum
From the universe
And fixed it in its column,
Named the causes of infinity,
Performed the calculus
Of the imaginary i, it seems
The body aches
To come too,
To the light,
Transmit the grace of gravity,
Express in its own algebra
The symmetries of awe and fear,
The shudder up the spine,
The knowing passing like a cool wind
That leaves the nape hairs leaping.

~~ Rebecca Elson
Another Makeover Show 

Rebels slash through jungle in Sierra Leone.
A renovation team invades a house in Sydney.

The rebels enter a clearing, and bullets fly.
The decorators move in wearing paint aprons.

Bodies lie in grass, covered in pixels.
In the backyard a new water feature brings energy.

A seven-year-old holds an AK47, looks right at the camera.
Stripping wallpaper is messy but fun.

The rebels decide to evacuate their village.
The decorators can’t decide between peach and lilac for the bathroom.

Women carry their possessions in baskets on their heads.
Well-placed ferns give good feng shui.

The women hold hands with children, already their backs to the camera.
The team is excited and ready to reveal their surprise.

Land mines and a three-day walk between the village and a refugee camp.
A blindfolded couple enters a bedroom, uncovers their eyes:


~~ Cameron Fuller

07 October, 2009

Two haiku poems

a nun wielding a broom
chases autumn
around the monastery

a bucket under the eaves –
one waterdrop falls in,
two leap out

~~ Zoran Raonić
Translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky
First Love
Titian’s Young Englishman with a Glove , circa 1530

It happened in Physics,
reading a Library art book under the desk,
(the lesson was Archimedes in the bath)
I turned a page and fell,
for an older man, and anonymous at that,
hardly ideal –
he was four-hundred and forty-five,
I was fourteen.
‘Eureka!’ Streaked each thought
(I prayed no-one would hear)
and Paradise all term
was page 179
(I prayed no-one would guess).
Of course
my fingers, sticky with coffee and bliss,
failed to entice him from his century;
his cool grey stare,
fastened me firmly in mine.
I got six overdues,
suspension of borrowing rights
and a D in Physics.
But had by heart what Archimedes proves.
Ten years later I married:
a European with cool grey eyes
a mustache,
pigskin gloves.

~~ Jan Owen