Charleston Salt Flats
Periwinkle dusk cradled in meringue-d moon -
Beams with tinged sun-drops each echoing its own
Crooning –love for day’s sweet end, far-flung skinny oaks
And ocher-ed waves of spindly marshes dance in the
Salty drink, architectural perspectives paint
The gentleness of each sentry’s uniform
Tenderly embracing reflection-ed
Slowly emptying the tendril-ed
Salty streams outward into the great Atlantic
Wilds, divided sepias outline the punctuat-
Ing dance with kisses of our entwined enchantment
Charleston salt flats welcoming lovers hungry souls
.A Precocious November-ed Grey Sky
Sky a precocious November-ed
Gray, laced with threads of cadet blue
Dark billowed clouds angled half below
Majesty’s now, golden English Mountain
The rest billowing into the grayed heavens
Sheared weak thermal stratifications
Yet, an extraordinary touchable
String to Trinity’s atmospheric heart
Chestnut’s Hills dressed warmly in fall hues
Adorn her feet in shades of gold and red
Cedars’ sweetly scented evergreen presence
Connects head and heart to everlasting life
Delicate laced limbs reach high above
Revealing the occasional straggler
Now, a striking golden contrast against
A promised wintering grayed sky
Black walnut trees' citrus-y scented globes
Drop and hide amongst the scattered crackling leaves
Mr. Gambol’s crepe myrtles
now neon-ed, brilliant
Orange like Love’s light - filled radiant face
Steep yellowed hills all so freshly cut
Earth’s bounty carefully squirreled away
Winters nourishment gathered with our
Most mortal hands while singing praise above
all photos reprinted with permission.
Debora Short has returned to school to become a doctor! Send her
an email to encourage her in this endeavour. She also has a
poetry anthology, " O What a Tangled Web", from PoetsofMars
Philip Ellis is our next poet.
I thought, with the events of November 4th, the first poems gives us an
idea of how far society has come.
Popular Song at Dusk
In the United
States, two of the most popular songs of the 1890s were called "Every
Nation Waves a Flag Except the Coon" and "All These Coons Look Alike to
The dusk is coming. Over
the dream of Providence, the
autumn eve is hovering.
The windows of the parlour
are wide open to weave in
the warm autumn breeze. Awake,
the curtains breathe like whiteness
against the dark inside. As
a passing black drives on by.
Drifting out, what sounds a fine
voice--the Lovecraft child's--sings "All
these Coons Look Alike to me."
And yet there is nobody,
at street, window, door, to see
the look upon the black's face,
still, as only can a pond
accustomed to being stricken
by many a fierce-thrown stone.
A Free Verse Villanelle
Ferns, tattooed green and cleanly
against the rhymes of summer inland
banks, sway in the breeze off the creeks.
There is something to be said
for the imprint, against eyes, of
ferns, tattooed green and cleanly
underneath the jarrah that,
over, in turn, snakes drinking along
banks, sway in the breeze off the creeks.
In certain isolated hill and valley townships,
the sparse buildings are
ferns, tattooed green and cleanly:
the people, in country pubs
and in country stores and country
banks, sway in the breeze off the creeks.
And I think them--people, caught in the bushlands of time,
buildings, enveloped by trees and greenery,
ferns, tattooed green and cleanly,
banks, that sway in the breeze off the creeks.
24 February 1989
Now that you are adult,
in the eyes of some,
the significance of the date
leached to air, what not?
This is, after all, an arbitrary number,
like eighteen or twenty-one
or forty-two, a marker
in the dog-eared diary
that is called life.
And you don't feel the change,
and you don't feel much more
than sixteen or eighteen,
And there is a part of you,
nine more years of this life
and you will be dead but adult.
Never dreaming that this is delusion,
you mark that fatal natal day,
that is lying in the future
like a promise you will keep repeatedly.
And never foreseeing the changes
and the opportunities to come,
the loss of friends
and the making of new ones.
Never foreseeing this:
that the certainties of this day
are hollow and air,
echoing yet resonant.
Time was, this was my summer world when my
summer world extended from sea to escarpment
under a cloudless sky, and this was
my other world when it was a town
that hung under winter fogs, and the
warmer hazes of fires in the tips
that burnt orange at night, smoke occluding
the sun, like the steam from a Yallourn
later no longer living, or
extant beyond a water-filled hole
in the ground, not unlike the vision or
dream my brother held of suburbia
as a desolate waste
and waste of space and time,
when there was the big smoke,
aka Melbourne, to attend to
with its inner-city life, even
if that life died and was fossilised
every Sunday, considering that
it was, then, still the mid-Seventies.
Nothing Less Important
Listening, in a sleepless night, to the turn of the Fountains
of Rome, waiting, patient, for daybreak, and the need to get up
out of a weary bed, she has come to a realisation
that she would not say in so many words, knowing speech falters.
At the end of her vigil, before stretching, before getting
up to essay a night-poem at the computer, she murmurs
a turn towards the clock, to gauge its ruby time that whispers
upon the edges of her thoughts. It is within the morning.
But the sun has not risen. She is yawning. No sleep enters
her veins, and the music is supplanted by applause crowning
the performance with laurels. Then the announcer speaks, breaking
her fast from voice with a warm softness. But she does not listen.
How often have you lain thus at night, listening, turning
in your sleeplessness-seasoned bed? Before you answer, with guess
of times and number, think on her lying, within her sleepless
bed. This is the way it is, sometimes, nothing less important.
Phillip A. Ellis is an external student studying English Honours at the
University of New England. One collection of his poetry has been
published by Gothic Press(http://www.gothicpress.com/
and another will be published by Hippocampus Press; his concordance to
the poetry of Donald Wandrei has also been published by Hippocampus
He is the editor of AustralianReader.com(http://australianreader.com/index.php
),and Similax (http://similax-poetry.blogspot.com/
His webpage is at http://www.geocities.com/phillipellis01/
Felino Soriano brings us these works.
Trumpet's Many Tongues # 5
—after Impressions – Roy Hargrove's Solo
Traced by bound to imitation,
the disregard for
nourishment toward the aspectual
self, the mirror's architect of image-
fastened posing, several
oscillating fingers regarded
for artistic merit, take by way
of neurotic underlining of outside
paintings, the landscape variety
vary only slightly, for the horizon always
hugs the invisible line of mountain or
oceanic ambulation. Self the musical
disposition, the variety of sounds by
bodily content: steps, stares, serenading
day's collective criticisms—
these paraphrased entities
enhance cooperative outlooks
toward unspoken diversions,
the exact pleasures shifting the mind
toward duplicated desires.
Trumpet's Many Tongues # 6
—after It Never Entered my Mind – Miles Davis
Voice concepts, the heard
and intertwining all that extends
into language, the severed
whose leaving of existence offers
fitting into ideal documentation.
Why the mind closes onto certain
selves, the dusting off of adherence
to newly fashioned ideals—
everything remains or lands where
notions arise in fathom.
Trumpet's Many Tongues # 13
—after I'll Remember April – Sean Jones
The alibi of being elsewhere,
hoping to reconcile
with copacetic moments, day's
promise of assumption-based
thought, where time disappears into
fabricated doors of the mind's many
uncovered rooms, —here hides
in tonal, total display of Spring's
many bathing opportunities, requesting
colors to rise into authoritative beings,
erasing the white of Winter's lush
yet monotonous languages. The afterward
of April's aliveness
becomes the model shaper of intuition,
Spring's existence and the to come
cannot hide within the myriad tones of
escaping into Summer.
Trumpet's Many Tongues # 14
—after Here's that Rainy Day – Jon Faddis
Formulas spread into formational
renditions of gray cotton
sheets, hanging amid where
worshipers fix their gaze and
anonymous wants. Slight
possession of damp dispositions,
the below becomes targets for
particular slanting of deluge, or soft
amorousness of sprinkle landing atop the
head's hairy fabric. Wide is the
territory beneath the lowering
ceiling, sliding the imagination of sky
conversing with man, exchanging with
ways in which the two species
can avoid chitchat, topical compensation
for drought's unending breaths of overheated
Trumpet's Many Tongues # 22
—after Footsteps – Terence Blanchard
outside of previous understanding to
iridescent proximity, creatures crawl
the multi-walls of air's silent architecture,
within sculpture activities,
standing still only to invite
light to follow path making
Creatures in the making mode of
technical survival, the teeming form
among the erected symbols
of imaginative protocol.
Everything which visits
in walking connotations, the alabaster
tone of air's skin
magnifies ability of
appearing adjacent to
the society of laughter
highlighted in chrome halos,
wandering where historical
steps conjure attraction to
reacting to beckon.
Felino Soriano (California
is a philosophy student and case manager working with developmentally
and physically disabled adults. He is the author of a chapbook
"Exhibits Require Understanding Open Eyes" (Trainwreck Press, 2008) and
an E-book "Among the Interrogated" (BlazeVOX [books], 2008). A
chapbook is also forthcoming "Feeling Through Mirages (Shadow Archer
Press). The juxtaposition of his philosophical studies with his love of
classic and avant-garde jazz explains his poetic stimulation.
A new poet to this ezine, Constance Stadler. Do read her
biography as well as her poems. She is part of an amazing ezine.
I will include the link.
Obsolescence of obscenities
Happy Jesus eBay bargain
Of political remorse.
I believe in the sky
In mottled, motley hues.
And trapezoids of geese
Protracting necks to
Cry their course
Of Pythagorean perfection.
The concrete rhombus
Offering rooms by the hour
Gives familiar compass
To inane vagaries.
"Us" is not a polygon
And therefore does not fit
In a universe
Of perfectly closed figures
So perfectly encased
In the singular
Of cyclic circular time.
Odours of cloves
frescoes the corridors
of my pained passage.
Like touch of Jesus
a tongued impress
on condemned incisor
Flecks of notions
speckle existentialist obscura
of inspiration dwindle
of a simulation.
imbues vapours of bleached
cream of wheat
with metaphoric potency
of enameled detrium.
the last arabian night
where are you?
with musky incense,
cinnamon and mint.
A solitary oud
sings a sad
to the scarlet dying sun.
the calm opacity
of old Lebanon
and new blood.
As dark eyes
behind silken veils.
Allah calls you
The olive tree
Constance Stadler is the co-editor of the e-zine "Eviscerator Heaven".
Her most recent work appears in Ditch, ken*again, Pen Himalaya,
Clockwise Cat, Gloom Cupboard and other places. As a political
anthropologist specializing in North Africa
and a violinist, her influences are multiform. Work in formative years
with the late poet Gwendolyn Brooks was seminal, but no less so than
Sufi Dervish dancers, and the challenges of mastering Bruch's first
concerto. Issue 4 can be found here.
Robert Demaree comes with these poems for us to read:
SIGNS OF THE
On the way to work
A sign in someone’s yard,
A slab of plywood
Painted in broad, unlettered strokes:
Who is Kinlin, I wonder at a light,
What blue night-sticked authority
Has he faced down?
Did some Durham Five espouse a visionary cause,
Does a Committee to Free Kinlin
Twitch in nervous suits before the camera?
Alas, I am remembering a braver time.
The light changes.
A truck’s horn disturbs my reverie:
I may pick up some firewood
On the way home.
We bought our third clothes dryer this morning.
The first, long expired,
Had gently tumbled our girls’ diapers,
Its successor their school clothes
And just now their babies’ things.
The third, gleaming white box,
Will last, I fear,
The rest of our lives.
On the last day of middle age:
Our daughter’s turkey dressing,
Not to her mother’s recipe.
Walking her dog after dinner,
Joints scrape, metal against metal,
In the crystalline air,
Those sharp November days they have up there.
We drive back south in a gray rain,
Road getting harder to see.
bathtub, soiled grout:
Robert Demaree is a retired educator with ties to
North Carolina, Pennsylvania and
New Hampshire. His most recent collection of poems, Fathers and Teachers,
was published April 2007 by Beech River Books and is available through Amazon.com.
Michael Lee Johnson has submitted these works:
By Michael Lee Johnson
no sugar or cinnamon spice,
years ago arthritis and senility took their toll.
Crippled mind movies in then out, like an old sexual adventure,
blurred in an imagination of finger tip thoughts−
who in hell remembers the characters?
There was George her lover near the bridge at the Chicago River
she missed his funeral, her friends were there.
She always made feather light of people dwelling on death.
But black and white she remembers well.
The past is the present; the present is forgotten,
Sometimes lazy time tea with a twist of lime.
Sometimes drunken time screwdriver twist with clarity.
She walks in scandals sometimes she walks in soft night shoes.
Her live-in maid smirks as Gingerbread lady gums her food,
false teeth forgotten in a custom imprinted cup
with water, vinegar, and ginger.
The maid died. Gingerbread lady looks for a new maid.
Years ago arthritis and senility took their toll.
Yesterday, a new maid walked into the nursing home.
Ginger forgot to rise out of bed,
no sugar, or cinnamon toast.
Michael Lee Johnson
(version 4 Final)
A Métis Indian lady, drunk,
hands blanketed over as in prayer,
over a large brown fruit basket
naked of fruit, no vine, no vineyard
inside¾approaches the Edmonton,
Alberta adoption agency.
There are only spirit gods
inside her empty purse.
Inside, an infant,
refrained from life,
with a fruity wine sap apple
wedged like a teaspoon
of autumn sun
inside its mouth.
A shallow pool of tears starts
to mount in native blue eyes.
Snuffling, the mother offers
a slim smile, turns away.
She slithers voyeuristically
through near slum streets,
looking for drinking buddies
to share a hefty pint
of applejack wine.
Charley Plays a Tune
Michael Lee Johnson
Crippled with arthritis
in a dark rented room
on a dust filled
on a playground of sand
years ago by a handful of children
playing on monkey bars.
He now goes to the bathroom on occasion,
peeing takes forever; he feeds the cat when
he doesn't forget where the food is stashed at.
He hears bedlam when he buys fish at the local market
and the skeleton bones of the fish show through.
He lies on his back riddled with pain,
pine cones fill his pillows and mattress;
praying to Jesus and rubbing his rosary beads
Charley blows tunes out his
notes float through the open window
touch the nose of summer clouds.
Charley overtakes himself with grief
and is ecstatically alone.
Charley plays a solo tune.
Michael Lee Johnson
5 solid minutes
like a kayak competitor
against ripples of my
60 year old river rib cage--
I feel like a nursing mother
but I'm male and I have no nipples.
Sometimes I feel afloat.
Nikki is a little black skunk,
kitten, suckles me for milk,
But she is 8 years old a cat.
I'm her substitute mother,
afloat in a flower bed of love,
and I give back affection
freely unlike a money exchange.
Done, I go to the kitchen, get out
Fancy Feast, gourmet salmon, shrimp,
a new work day begins.
Rod Stroked Survival with a Deadly Hammer
By Michael Lee Johnson
Rebecca fantasized that life was a lottery ticket or a pull of a lever,
that one of the bunch in her pocket was a winner or the slots were a redeemer;
but life itself was not real that was strictly for the mentally insane at the Elgin
She gambled her savings away on a riverboat
stuck in mud on a riverbank, the Grand Victoria, in Elgin, Illinois.
Her bare feet were always propped up on wooden chair;
a cigarette dropped from her lips like morning fog.
She always dreamed of traveling, not nightmares.
But she couldn't overcome, overcome,
the terrorist ordeal of the German siege of Leningrad.
She was a foreigner now; she is a foreigner for good.
Her first husband died after spending a lifetime in prison
with stinging nettles in his toes and feet; the second
husband died of hunger when there were no more rats
to feed on, after many fights in prison for the last remains.
What does a poet know of suffering?
Rebecca has rod stroked survival with a deadly mallet.
She gambles nickels, dimes, quarters, tokens tossed away,
living a penniless life for grandchildren who hardly know her name.
Rebecca fantasized that life was a lottery ticket or the pull of a lever.
Mother, Edith, at 98
(Version #3 Jan. 05th 2008)
In a nursing home
I come to you,
blurred eyes, crystal mind,
countenance of grace,
as yesterday's winds
and taken you away.
"Where did God disappear to?"
over and over again
like running water
or low voices
"Oh, there He is,
angel of the coming."
Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. He is the author of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-46091-7. He has also published two chapbooks available at: http://stores.lulu.com/poetryboy. He is presently looking looking for a publisher for two more chapbooks. He has been published in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Turkey, Fiji, Nigeria, Algeria, Africa, India, United Kingdom, Republic of Sierra Leone, Israel, Nepal, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Finland, and Poland internet radio. Michael Lee Johnson has been published in more than 280 different publications worldwide. Audio MP3 of poems are available on request.
He is also publisher and editor of four poetry flash fiction sites--all presently open for submission:
Author website: http://poetryman.mysite.com/
Special Note: Michael
Lee Johnson, United States, and Phillip Ellis, an Australian poet, are
looking for a chapbook publisher for a joint venture merging free verse
with more traditional verse. Mr. Johnson has two chapbooks ready for publishing review. Manuscripts are available on request.
Taylor Graham writes of the lovely autumn weather. Not quite warm enough for the fireplace. Perhaps by now...
Afternoon, garden. Bees in a drowsy drone,
subtle opiate of a thousand blossoms.
What is the penniless niece doing? Looking
for the great god Pan asleep under azaleas,
his breath stirring the slightest rattle of a leaf.
Distant woodpecker tattoo, sails catching breeze
off the bay – as aunt and uncle sit dozing
at their reading, all that dull, ornate, romantic
rhyming, leaving the speechless niece lost
in landlubber dreams of distant oceans,
turquoise-cresting waves so far
shores of a secretary’s life, sailing the ship
of Family’s half-grudged gift – no, adrift on
the sweet borrowed scent of gardens.
he recalls that high-wire act, suspended
from a crane over pancaked concrete,
twisted rebar, searching for earth-
And the night he spent tracking
a couple lost in the desert, far-off
highway lights like an oasis
they would never reach.
Adventures in an old man’s life
You take another sip and
pop a pistachio into your mouth.
All of that was years ago. Don’t
mention Wall Street jitters
or ask about his heart.
These days, can we be too cautious?
THE MADELEINE OF MUSIC
I’m listening to the Pastoral
Symphony, its interwoven
cuckoo’s song reminding me again
of college, those lonely walks
and lengthening reveries under
Saturn or a late September
sun; a coiled snake on the trail
from Cienega, the tang
of mountain blueberry; strolling
the Old Quarter, street musicians
on every corner and old men
ticking off the rhythm
with their canes. Is it genetic
marker or Proustian synapse
that ties these bits of life
together like first and
last notes of a symphony?
G David Schwartz is the final poet for the issue. Enjoy.
Sitting On A Wrinkled
Sitting on a wrinkled
As I fall I make
Simply trying not to
Any young animal not a
Jumping fro a wrinkled fence
Falling on the
Which immediately starts to
Without masking any sound
I’m Gonna Have To Say I Love
I’m gonna have to say I love you
From personality to the
You know that I love you
In the public as well as home
I just have to say I love
From the morning into the
I hope you know I love you
You make everything be
Yes I truly love you
From opera to the
I just love just love just love you
And I never will be
For I love and respect
As if you’re a
Yes I always will love
From your neck to your
In Honor To My Aunt
I loved my great aunt Gertrude
Of that I am certain
She always got me to
Whenever I was
So I studied philosophy
I went to get a
And my great aunt Babe
That the name she was
Asked me what disease it
Of which I was a doctor.
Football Is My Favorite
Football is my favorite
Yes I like to play it
I named me puppy
And I did not spade it
I have good times at the
Watching the bump and
Standing up and
At the tem that’s mine
Football is my favorite
On TV or in
I am so sorry to say
I like it when they’re
G. David Schwartz - the former president of
Seedhouse, the online interfaith committee. Schwartz is the author of A Jewish
Appraisal of Dialogue. Currently a volunteer at Drake Hospital in
Cincinnati, Schwartz continues to write. His
new book, Midrash and Working Out Of The Book is now in stores or can be
Now for my special announcement. Early this year I was considering the future of abovegroundtesting
and I decided that December 2008 shall be the last issue of the ezine.
Certainly the events of the past couple of months have done
nothing to change my mind. I will give a full explanation in the
next issue. But understand this, I have realized that it is
simply time. Like I said, a full explanation in the next issue.
All rights belong to the authors.
This is issue #115.
Check out my book on
Take some time to visit a noun sing e·ratio 11 ·2008
with poetry by David Appelbaum, Donald Wellman, Mary Ann Sullivan, Joseph F. Keppler,
Patrick Lawler, James Stotts, David Annwn, David Rushmer, Melanie
Brazzell, Jennifer Juneau, John M. Bennett, Geof Huth, John Mercuri
Dooley, Mark Cunningham, Derek Owens, Gautam Verma, and Clark Lunberry
edited by gregory vincent st. thomasino. Another fascinating source of poetry and other literary arts.
Also, the great ezine mgv2>datura is back on the track. Please go to: http://mgversion2.free.fr