a brief visit
Edie Jones is the award-winning author of Raising Kids With Love, Honor and Respect: Recipes for Success and Walkers Wisdom, His Journey from Puppy to Big Dog. She is retired and lives in Sisters Oregon with her Golden Doodle, Walker. You can find her books and poetry at wwww.recipesforraisingkids.com.
What Are We Missing?
What are we missing, we no longer have?
A sense of community so long embraced,
the glue that connects the whole human race.
Help us, dear God, when normal returns
to reach out with love. Accept that we yearn
to not be self centered, only focused on us.
To stay caring, forgiving — definitely not fluff!
Essential it is if we’re to survive.
Love for all others will keep us alive.
May we learn from days filled with gloom
that hatred separates. May we give it no room!
Creative we must be when navigating back.
Keep us implanted on this love, caring track.
The Goodness Among Us
Wonderful words to hear any day.
A neighbor asks, “What do you wish?
I’ve extra to share—May I bring you a dish?”
“How do you feel?” Words offered with care.
Questioning sincerely, how do I fare?
A plague is among us, making many ill.
It lies in the shadows, with intentions to kill.
The “Virus" we call it, a terrible bug,
keeping friends far a part, no chance for a hug.
Distance required whenever we chat.
Hygiene, disinfecting, our energy sapped.
But goodness abounds and will win in the end
as families connect, and friendships win.
We’re primed to help others, wired to care.
“Virus" – Be Gone. Goodwill is the snare
that will defeat and devour mutations new.
“Virus" – Be Gone. We Will Conquer You!
Here uninvited it steals through the night
creating strange distance for foes, family and friends.
A new normal existence, an unwanted trend.
Stay home — don’t go out. Don’t venture around.
Who knows who’s infected, what decisions are sound?
Keep hands off of doorknobs, keep hands off your face.
Unseen and un-beckoned, germs alight on each place.
Hidden and deadly this virus grows,
from country to country its venom imposed.
How to stop it? How can we exist
without touching another, exchanging the bliss
of hugs and firm handshakes or knocks on our doors
when LESS is mandated. Decrees say — no more
to meetings or gatherings or dinner time out.
No "High Fives" or “Hurrahs" or excited group shouts.
Bizarre as this is we’re learning to bend.
Those who were strangers are becoming friends
and neighbors call neighbors, those living alone.
How special those voices we hear on the phone.
Church services and groups can meet and be held
if using Zoom, to this we’re compelled.
We’re concerned about others, How do they faire?
Asking, “How are you doing?” Showing we care.
Social Distancing, a new way to survive.
Patience is needed, to keep us alive.
Follow directions let go of our pride,
as we battle this enemy, interrupting its’ stride.
Resilience and flexible, two skills that we need,
to fight and curtail this super bug’s greed.
We know someday it’ll be over and gone
and pray love for each other grows, and stays strong.
With faith in our hearts, we face this new trial.
Reaching out to others through virtual miles
that brings us together, friends, family and foes.
To defeat this virus — our perseverance grows!
We'll join hands together, the whole human race,
and confidently fight this challenge we face.
Like a coping saw, with steel that can bend,
we’ll flex with force and win in the end.
overlooking the Strait of Magellan,
pondering what had befallen
those two continents
before their time
After a bit, CeDell shifted
in his wheelchair
took up a table knife in his
clawed right hand
and began to slide it
along the strings of his guitar
A string of notes followed
Plangent and sad, they hung in the air
like a long line of lonely sea birds
Fidel stood quietly by
fingering a cigar he was about to light
staring into the same blue void
He listened intently
but it would be several years
before he spoke.
was thick as a caterpillar’s
was covered in bees
The old woman
stirred two leaves down the walk
with the worn end
of a broom
She never noticed
nor did the dog bark
THE LOST COUNTRY
Metal houses like boxcars stranded by the road
A MAGA sign nailed to a dilapidated garage
Block letters bleeding red down the dry siding
There’s usually a pickup on the gravel patch outside
But their beds rarely carry a load
You wonder where they drive for milk or go to school
And if the doctors are in hiding
In little Clapham, banners on the poles say “Welcome!”
“Welcome!” and “Welcome!” again—it’s a barrage
But the center never comes—no restaurant, no general store
And so we hit the gas and go on riding
Imagining meatloaf and apple pie a la mode
The lost country out ahead, our American mirage.
The towns all had the same spent look,
the same asbestos siding gone some sour shade
of post-industrial soot.
We stopped over in Bethlehem to visit the Wailing Wall.
Its bricks were wrapped in weeds,
its cracks were oozing rust.
A damaged angel hung above in a flat blue summer sky.
Her legs were crossed most daintily
and fastened like a moth,
a dime store ballerina
pinned to a piece of cloth.
The factories raised their smoke-less stacks
to listen when she said:
"The jobs have gone. The fires are out.
The people have all fled."
With that, their hope was ended
(resignation took its place)
and the little dime store angel
vanished into space.
You think you see something move
In the tall grass—field mouse, garter snake, a toad
Or some bird gathering a fresh beak-load
Of dandelion seed to smooth
Its nest, built over this abandoned woods road
At avian heights so awesome, they’ve served to goad
Us humans into mounting higher places of our own, to sooth
The pain of being earth-bound as any toad
Heavy as Hampshire clay, a walking barrow load
Of gristle and bone, each planted footstep meant to groove
The path of this gone-to-brush woods road
With our plodding, derived from some ancestral mode
Of shifting place to place, so as not to lose
Choice food to rivals—though garter snake or toad
Will do at certain times, those lowly victuals nature stowed
Our predatory cravings to sooth
While marching down an apparently endless woods road
Studying anything that moves.
Sara Kil lives in Orange County, CA. She is part of the Fashioned Magazine and West Angeles Church blog. She has her blog, kilsara.blogspot.com. Check out her other writings on fashionedmagazine.blogspot.com. You can find her work in Blue Guitar & Blue Guitar Jr. magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no one around.
You’re all alone,
There is no audience to see your beauty and light.
I keep dancing in the wind.
I’m weeping into the wind,
I feel invisible; sometimes.
But, I know someone is watching beyond the wind, I feel it.
I keep dancing.
Why should I keep dancing?
I am beautiful and worth it.
I sway to the beat of my own; drumbeat.
I choose not to wither and die.
I keep living.
I am the wind. The wind is me.
I know God is watching me, and he delights in me.
My one audience.
He is the only one to please.
He adores my beauty,
My fragrance radiates the air,
So I dance happily, joyful, gleefully, in the wind, to the one who created me.
I’m fully loved.
She keeps climbing.
It is high. It is dangerous. It is tiring. It’s impossible. She still is going.
There is a man behind her telling to get down. To turn around, go back. He is telling her to stop.
She does not look back.
She doesn’t slow down.
She does not back down.
She keeps on moving forward.
You would think she is crazy Maybe, she is deaf. This girl is stupid. Voices, voices.
She doesn’t stop until she reaches the top. She goes until she arrives.
She looks around. She breathes a sigh of relief. She shouts her victory cry. She admires the view.
There is something great ahead of her. She scans the area. She knows.
She finally let’s go of everything weighing her down. She brings everything to the king. She brings all her worries, doubts, and fears.
In return, she receives peace.
There is water below her. She smiles.
She dives down. Finally, she can fly. She soars. She is Free.
Angry Asian Woman
The dynamic in the room changed. Everybody stopped having fun.
Nobody breathes. The room just died.
She is the woman in the red dress with the blood-stained venom lips ready to devour her enemies, no mercy for the weak.
One look and she will slit your throat Game of Thrones style, She has, no heart a walking skeleton meant to torture souls.
She is Cruella de Vil in human form; she wears the coats of her victims proudly.
She is the king. She has no feelings. She thinks she owns the world, and we should bow to her feet. As long as she gets what she wants, she throws you away with the other peasants.
Her passive-aggressive ways are toxic. Her words are like daggers. She makes you feel stupid. Her angry drove everybody away. She makes everybody lives miserable.
Cruel, Cruel, Cruella de Vil. Watch out, the monster kills!
In Some Ways
In some ways, I’m still a child.
I crave attention.
I need love.
Tell me you love me.
In some ways, I’m an adult.
I continually mess up.
I can’t get it together.
Tell me you still; want me.
I want to curl up in a ball, immediately shut down.
I tell myself it’s okay.
It’s okay to
I feel at peace afterward.
Even if I don’t feel whole, I know who I am.
Tomorrow is another day!
I know who holds tomorrow.
He loves me for who I am.
And then I feel better, I can go on. It’s okay!
Spring Cleaning, Life Cleaning
There comes the time when you need to clean up, throw away.
You have outgrown the clothing, now ill-fitted.
It does not look good anymore.
It’s time to let it go!
You have to revaluate and reorganize. It is time to change and rethink my clothing options, and there will be some I need to giveaway. I will donate clothing that doesn’t bring me joy in my life.
You are now in a different season,
spring cleaning, life cleaning.
I don’t know about you,
I have a harder time throwing away clothes then people.
There will be people who will compliment your outfit even if you look terrible. Throw those toxic clothes and people in the trash.
If your clothes are loud and immature and it’s a distraction, it’s time to bid farewell. It’s time to be taken seriously. God wants you to be your best version. Wisdom comes with great responsibility. Surround yourself with good people that tell you the truth and want the best for you.
As I get older, I realize trends come and go, but what looks good on your body and your body type is important.
Also, clothes have an expiration date.
It’s time to clean out our closets, donate to your favorite local organizations, or bless someone at your church.
If you can’t throw away your old wardrobe, how can you get a new one!
An actual blizzard, streets impassible,
My house almost warm
As I held you by the waist
And kissed you hard.
How well you kissed me back.
No children or jobs that night.
Nothing but us.
Tonight I drink the same beer as we did
And I love you with the same passion
Although you are not here with me
And never will be.
Me, alone in the snowless winter
With nothing but hours
And memories of us
Kissing and listening to music
As the snow fell and fell
Under the attentive streetlamps
Of Floral Park.
I’m listening to music now,
Different than the music we listened to
But I know you would like it.
Everyone likes Johnny Cash
And I know you are no exception to that.
I wish it was snowing
And I wish you were lying beside me
And I wish you were as drunk as me
And I wish the morning light
Would never break through
In a few hours
And made our plans to meet.
She worked assisting surgeons in a hospital two hours away
And she was a lot younger than me.
So many women are now.
She liked Dave Matthews but I didn’t hold that against her.
We made our plans and our conversations got hotter leading up
To the day.
She was pretty, I liked her personality and she was going to drive two hours
To come to me!
All those hours on the phone, we knew each other a bit,
Plus the messaging on social media.
It was going to happen.
It was going to happen!
I was so nervous I could hardly sleep the night before.
I woke up to find a text telling me,
“Morning…I woke up feeling like shit.
Fever, sore throat, can (sic) breathe.”
The funny thing was a few hours later I had the same symptoms.
Half the State had the flu.
At first I thought she changed her mind about meeting me
But I convinced myself that this time was different.
We just talked so freely and easily. We matched.
This time was no different.
I texted her a few times that day and she never responded.
I went to Facebook the next day and she had me blocked.
That was that.
I called her once and left a message saying that
I was sorry she changed her mind,
Then I deleted her phone number.
I said, Goodbye, Lauren.
Your name is now on a list that keeps growing
I still think about her once in a while.
What else do I have to do?
I AM NOT A MESSENGER
And I am not a monster
There are demons within me
Squelched with but a look from you
The sickness the sadness of me
Shrivels and shudders smaller with each day you are with
I am not a question
And I am certainly not an answer
Walls rise between us
Rivers pulse through us
The walls cannot resist these rivers
And they fall
I am simply the father of my children
I am nothing else but your lover
I am quite content to be these two things
These two things and nothing else
As we contemplate side by side
Smiling in the darkness and the silence, reveling in the beauty of each other
ON HEARING SUZANNE VEGA’S GYPSY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TWENTY YEARS
after almost twenty years,
as beautiful and awkward
as that song that makes me think of you.
My thoughts of you
are only tender now.
The complexity of your mind.
The simplicity and depth of your compassion.
Your eyes that revealed
your kindness and
as you forgave me
my callous selfishness
with the downcast eyes
of a drizzling day.
You were a puzzle
I couldn’t complete,
scratching my head
like an ape.
And there you are
lying on your bed
listening to my attempts
at poetry, at philosophy,
knowing more than you say
but holding it in.
You remain unrevealed.
And there you are,
reaching out to me with half a heart –
as I remember why
I loved you in the first place
and why I left.
YOUR GARLANDS OF HAIR
Deep dark damp upon my sight
Pouncing vision you
In this wake dream
This drunk doze
Day is gray meander
Night is purple wander
Bed made of tears
Sheets of sorrow
Connected to the sear of the rain
I drown in the comfort
Your garnets of eyes
Hot tempered flames
Blazing in my pockets
I bring them out
They glow on the sleepless ceiling
They are tempered steel
They are melted coins
They are my closing eyes
When black is blackest
When shades shade in deadest night
Kiss me in yellow of day
The world will spin still
Our scars as transcendent in sunlight
As supple in moonlight
Upon the moaning
Your garlands of hair
My disappearing fingers
Of my paramour
My bowed apologist
The sound of shovels
Attempting to dig us out of our fairytale
Let the songs play
My mouth on your mouth
Eyes in eyes
Proving the Seam
I remember talking, debriding, with the usual caution, what wounding I’d more than likely and quite recently given to him.
I remember pointing, deflecting attention to all things concrete I’d count on to stand in for what I didn’t want to say.
I remember waiting, debating whether to go on without him, when he stopped half way to the bridge and the road home.
I remember complaining, blaming his age, his ego, his unconscionable sense of performance, of self-importance.
I remember scoffing, dismissing, as he raised his stick, the intricate and accurate mapping of what he said was beneath us.
I remember looking then, stepping forward then, following the line he reckoned in the air then and for once feeling where
the whole coal face pushed up out under and away from us—the seam and all its faults having always been not quite there.
doodle, serif, curlicue, flourish thrown off; this loop of tape inching across the table, is, in no small measure
an inspiration to us all, or at the very least, to the lost souls on Reddit who watch, over and over and over,
this gif of an inch worm’s encounter with a gap it can’t comprehend, yet always endlessly, in the end, spans.
I routed so hard for the lil wormyguy. just like lil worm, you’ll get to the other side. keep going, and don’t give up.
Again watch it waver in the air, bewildered by the volume it senses there, only to reach, spire a precarious bridging
in this part of the internet’s openhearted forum with ourselves: in the slim margins of the imagination,
of our honest, if ever once we were, love of something else—so absurd, so touching, in its childlike march on meaning.
And here she is, rising to meet us at the market where we have crossed to pick a tree out from the truck bed.
I choose Coast Live Oak and it’s that I’m clutching when we turn and are suddenly past and present before her.
She’s crestfallen, that much is certain, because of the failure in me to recognize her, and in my daughter who once pleaded
with me to take a detour here, to make a study of her name, and agonized over its mouthful of vowel,
its lumpish contour of syllable that escapes her even now—how long? only three months and it’s gone.
Aurora, don’t be sad—she carries your name, not on the tip of her tongue, perhaps, but lodged inextricably in the body,
like a coin planted in the bark of an oak, its stamp erased, by the slow, luxuriating growth over and over its name.
He’s away, so today instead of Fox, CNN plays across the rippling OLED screen: Anderson Cooper looms,
towers over the room, every gesture more organic, more real than they, seemingly, strictly speaking, should be.
His presence floods the space, saturates my vision, and I find myself agreeing with merely his manifestation,
for how can the big magic of his sympathy hold back anything from me? I see it all, the truth, the fall: such candour! such disclosure!
And suddenly I’m him, my father-in-law, I mean, participating in this tall, stacked fire, stoking the flames, feeling the heat from a
reality so real, I don’t need to care whether my own checks and balances are still there or not; they’re not,
I’m long gone, I’m in love with my vision of what’s to come, the impossibly chiselled jaw jutting from the screen.
“best cardio machine for the home,” and poked around in the results, only to walk it back from the brink of committing.
So when I went to YouTube for “Pink Noise Ten Hours” the first thing that pings my way is this targeted ad. for a NordicTrack.
The pumping score builds over tracking shots of tiny individuals sprinting across impossible landscapes: salt flats stretching unseen
miles; thundering cataracts dropping to nowhere; a rocky peninsula scaling rapidly to a tiny promontory on the horizon.
It enters my life so suddenly that, like a smell it stands next to me in the room, wholly manifest in its intent.
And though I’m quick to shut it down I know it must have reached some part of me privy to how it wants me to believe
earnestly in the immanent availability of all the good it promises, if only I could consummate its pursuit of me.
The Gods Themselves
nasty persecution of strength,
with clothes of shame.
It is the stoning of pride,
the burning of a mother,
drowning the bride in the dark,
The horrid silencing...
When the midnight comes
and the saints hold spectre -
we all are moulded into goddesses.
That "Goddess India" !
we just spit on ourselves
and put on the hijab of masculinity.
Shouldn't we be riding the lions,
holding the sacrifical sword of Kaali,
burn fireless with the strain of Veena
and paint revolution
from the rice fields?
And finally when the sun rises -
be the Trinity themselves
irrespective of what we are !
conquers my sky ...
my heart becomes
when it sees your mayhem
and the spark,
an epic pyrotechnic .
treacherous it becomes,
when I want to burn...
What inferno you hold !
O How do I
How do I?
Can you Eat a Pineapple?
with her irreligious tusk
lifted that stupendous faith.
What an adventurous
Fiery is her ears like
the pheonix wings and
her nose like the unseen Durga.
Her body like that Titan Atlas
but her eyes – same as my mother's ...
Millions of faith slept
in her belly
but she couldn't feed
the devotees in mask.
So, she lifted that heavy faith
with her motherly-irreligious tusk .
drank fire and slept in water...
Desires ( Samsara)
shall be my Linnet's chirp.
Over my shoulder he shall rest,
and I wander barefoot.
Had I been a monk -
with the Buddhist feets
that seizes Mount Fuji,
I shall be lost
resonating their chants.
through the European plains
I shall preach with them
- the words never knew or will
I ever dare ...
after the stroll ends,
I shall carve my shroud,
below the pious flakes of Antarctica.
And, the epitaph -
"Alas! I am nothing
but a bird
biting his cage.
falling and falling.
The dust wind -
goin' slow by me.
running and running.
Maybe, its flowing slow.
Down and down,
the rain then comes,
slowly kissing the earth.
running and running.
Am I running at all ?
Do You Still Think of Me?
Or a swell blue sky or pretty rainbow, too.
You still warm my heart to stoke harmony;
Tell me, my love, do you still think of me?
I heard your voice on an old answer machine;
Oh, how my heart leapt and then felt so serene.
Your soft, melodic sounds still make me unwind;
Can you remember when you used to praise mine?
A grand garden with fabulous flowers
Reminds me of the romance that was ours;
Is there some place special that brings me to mind,
Stirring a memory of us so sublime?
Gazing up at a star-lit sky
Evokes your image and a sigh;
When it's quiet at night and you're in bed,
Do thoughts of me enter your lovely head?
I think of you when reviewing regrets --
And you remain by far my biggest yet;
How I pined for you so, but then let you go --
Do you still ever dream of me as your beau?
When the blues stalk me everywhere,
And they weigh more than I can bear,
You still star in my fantasy --
Do your dreams ever include me?
How I yearn to flee this plight,
Take your hand, and hold you tight;
Do you ever ponder how it could be,
You and me together, in love and free?
I harbor hopes we can someday still meet,
Hold hands, embrace, and at last feel complete;
To be with you again would be like a dream --
Do you still wonder how we'd be as a team?
You remain my most inspiring muse,
Chasing away the most stubborn blues.
You and love poems are like fine flowers in a vase;
Would you like me to take you in a long embrace?
Though we haven't met in years,
To me you still have no peers;
That kiss with you was the best of my life --
Do you still recall that enchanting night?
You're that stunning portrait with the sexy stare --
What a thrill it would be to caress you bare,
To envelop each other with nary a care....
Do you dare ever imagine us as a pair?
Life still intervenes
And dreams remain dreams;
But what I would give to feel your heart by mine --
Do images like this ever cross your mind?
So thank you, my dear, for conjuring thoughts of you --
Such potent memories stir quite a pumpkin brew;
You enhance my life with some mighty saucy spice --
And may your thoughts of me remain more than just nice!
Little Yellow Songbird
I suddenly heard a lovely tune;
Looking for where the source could be,
I realized it came from a tree.
As I drew closer, how its volume soared
With the same notes repeated, never bored;
But, looking above, the branches appeared bare,
For not one living creature could I spy there.
Then, to my astonishment, did I see
A tiny bird at the top of the tree;
This loud singer was such a little fellow:
So intense, determined, and jet bright yellow.
All alone, he kept belting out bars,
Ignoring me to look toward the stars;
It mattered not at all how small he might seem --
He was on a mission, and it was to sing.
How I Wish….
Ones I could have stolen, but didn’t try;
Boat loads of chances get gone for good –
Blow them and enter the land of Should.
All the sweet relatives who showed me only kindness,
I should have told I loved but didn’t due to shyness;
I ponder the gifts of time and love they gave
As I recall memories at each one’s grave.
A parade of pretty faces haunts me still
Of gals I should have asked out but lacked the will;
I wonder if we could have become lovers
And realize several are now grandmothers.
I recall bullies I should have defied,
But looked the other way and sadly sighed;
Yet who struck me then as truly hairy
Strike me now as not nearly so scary.
Such exciting concerts did I forgo
Since they cost “way too much” for just one show.
Some of those singers have each become a legend;
They were stupendous performers now long since dead.
How many novels I should have written,
Stories of suspense or lovers smitten,
Literary dreams put on pages,
Not lost hopes from my younger ages.
Shyness is a stubborn thief stealing chances,
A cancer of the will halting advances;
On guard to prevent any leap,
Dreams die hard on its large ash heap.
And if you let key moments pass,
And don’t leap through that looking glass,
How regret will throb at what could have been,
For a missed chance is the most lasting sin.
However wind-swept, they will not yield,
But remain in place, tenacious and tall,
Their beauty undimmed, not blemished at all.
When the rains come,
They do not succumb,
But sit out the storm
In undisturbed form.
In sunlight, they are splendidly bright,
A golden sea of glorious delight;
And, later, after dark, on a cloudless night,
They can even glow under a full moon’s light.
They are content to remain in place,
Never complaining, exuding grace;
A Buddhistic calm defines their being –
Listen close, and you can hear them singing.
Port Arthur Pearl (Kozmic Blues for Janis Joplin)
Emotions bare as an empty bottle,
Drawing so deeply from a pool of pain:
Distraught, ecstatic, again, and again.
Each syllable was brutally honest;
Her feelings were anything but modest;
She conveyed exactly how she felt,
Gripping your heart and making it melt.
She could also be subtle, and so witty, too --
Even full of joy – not just a little girl blue;
This potent performer was a rock ‘n’ roll sarge,
A magnetic stage presence who always loomed large.
Yet while her career would shine like summertime,
Her emotional strength wasn’t worth a dime;
Acutely sensitive and insecure,
Her hunger for love would ever endure.
Great success just wasn’t enough –
Perpetual doubts proved too tough;
All the applause couldn’t drown those fears –
Too many had laughed at her for too many years.
Nursed by bitter memories and fears of tomorrow,
Depression dogged her like a pit bull of a shadow;
And to be alone was terrible,
A real nightmare beyond bearable.
So she surrounded herself with other outcasts and noise –
Full of bluster and pretending to be one of the boys;
If the party was big and loud enough,
Then perhaps her days wouldn’t be so rough.
But the parties, bad boys, and cheap thrills
Could not cover her loneliness bills;
Running away from facing her fears
Failed to slow the flow of all those tears.
So she treated the hurt within
With loads of booze and heroin –
Anything it took to escape the stress,
Whatever the cost or how dangerous.
“I just want a little peace,” she said,
To bury the blues inside her head;
So she ignored the close calls and carried on still,
Until she slipped off the ledge and paid the last bill.
Yet, despite the tragic waste of a remarkable life,
I celebrate the swell music to come from so much strife;
All that pain produced a musical pearl
Which is still savored by a grateful world.
So let us enjoy her each and every song,
Resolved to never treat someone different wrong,
But provide a safe harbor for anyone run aground,
And never glamorize deadly habits that drag us down.
Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton I., Ibiza, Tasmania
& Melbourne. Poetry Collection: Sand in the Sole (Xlibris, 2014). Lake won Lost Tower Publications (UK) Comp 2017 & Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Fest 2018 & publication in New Philosopher 2020. Chapbook (Ginninderra Press 2020) My Photos of Sicily.
of chairs . . . which they punctuate.
Pigeons stroll unruffled between feet;
seagulls peer from tops of umbrellas,
certain there's no sling shot in this
migrant Italian Melbourne suburb.
Feathered dinosaurs: peckish-brave,
cocksure. Diners wave them off!
They barely shift, let alone exercise
those miraculous wings.
Crust of bread. Crumb of cake.
Knowing how the system works,
they're willing to put in the hours.
I give 'em clean plates 'n dirty looks.
Soft-headed woman to my right,
Mama Teresa of Australia,
feeds God's insatiable creatures,
encourages uppity beggars who
then expect something for nothing.
I wear myself out for my pay
which translates into scrumptious
aperitivi then sweets with espresso.
Melburnians of all backgrounds flock
to Brunetti to sip, peck at panini,
gobble up an array of desserts.
We jostle to survey sugary delights
within glass cases, place orders/pay
then devour our fill, and more.
Later, back in our suburban nests,
we drink tap water, take a tablet,
feel a bit guilty, sickish, fulfilled.
Foto Sicily: Fashion
and current volcanoes
both fashionably smoke
on their way to extinction.
cloud, high above formidable
remaining pieces of Greek temples
near what is now called Agrigento,
a bustling, filthy tourist town of this
day’s Italian, not Greek Sicily.
I view things from my temporary
vantage point. What else?
Valley of the Temples is not a valley
in any terrain sense and defunct
temples are crumbling, vandalised
attractions some think more romantic
by night, illuminated not by moon
but, more dependable, spotlights.
Little cloud, illuminated by sun,
changes shape as it ages.
Made-to-last temples take millennia to
completely unmake, despite destructive
invaders, relentless wind, rain,
Cloud seems wistful, free as it floats
through atmosphere as, I suppose,
we all do from some distance.
All barely here yet imagining
precious raindrops or marble
permanence, while absorbing
rays from an indifferent star.
ALEX ANDY PHUONG
DOUGLAS J. LANZO
DR. DOUGLAS YOUNG
JAMES CROAL JACKSON
JONATHAN CORLE (JON)
JOSEPH S. PETE
LOIS GREENE STONE
MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON
NGOZI OLIVIA OSUOHA
PAOLO MARIA ROCCO