Monday, October 28, 2013


photo: ralph murre

by Karla Huston

It was just there:
the water and the falling
music of it.  I was in need
of that sort of rush,
a kind of deathsong baptism
like I had the day I drove across
the Holy Island Bridge
with an urge to accelerate, aim
for the side, dive over
the abutment and rush past
every temptation. 
I simply closed my eyes
and mouth and let the water
take me, the cold cocoon of it
tumbling, throwing me
against everything
that had ever gone wrong.

                       ~  first published in Anthills V (Centennial Press)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Georgia O'Keeffe Looks . . .

source unknown

Georgia O’Keeffe Looks Over Her Shoulder
by Sr. Anne M. Higgins

Just when she thinks she’s painted all her fear,
When bleached skulls turn to poppies red as lust,
The sound of something wild attracts her ear.

Black jacket, white soft collar curving near
the place where desert sunset turns to rust
awakens in that neck a prickling fear.

The haunches of dead lovers gleam as clear
in skulls as in the orchid’s velvet crust.
Dry rattling of bone curls back her ear.

Her upswept silken hair declares the year
in shades of gray and tortoise brown as dust
just when she thought she’d painted all her fear.

Her thin pink pearl of seashell curves to hear
the desert’s voice, more fierce, more dry than just
as three fine wrinkles flow down from her ear.

Such gaunt grace turns her, luscious and severe,
containing bones and orchids, fruit and crust!
Just when she thinks she’s painted all her fear,
the sound of something wild attracts her ear.

~ first published at

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


photoart: ralph murre

by Donna Hilbert

I open the garage door
and our dog bounds free
across the street
disappearing down the alley,
her black form unmade
by the moonless night.
I panic, run in circles with the leash
but you calmly cross the street
calling her name.
Because she loves you
she lets you bring her home.

I won’t repeat the dream
in which you leave me.
Let’s just say I know the world,
how it alters in an instant,
that I awaken sick
in remorse and dread.
I can’t face again the dinners
with other lonely women,
then late-night TV
until the dog and I can bear
to go to bed.

I don’t need again to learn
the bitter lesson
that everything I love
is a flame between two fingers.

~ first published in Beggars & Cheeseburgers

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Harvesting Pumpkins

artwork: ralph murre

Harvesting Pumpkins
by Donal Mahoney

From villages in Iowa,
Indiana, Minnesota and Nebraska
and from towns in the Dakotas,
Wisconsin and Michigan,

there stream to Chicago in spring
parades of lithe girls
looking for boys 
who will look at them

but who find instead
the men who will wine them
through summer,
who will wait until fall

to thresh in the fields
one summer can ripen,
the men who will watch
till a pumpkin falls from the vine.

This is the courtship
village girls dream about,
laugh about, hope for.
Come fall, these are the men

who fill silos of girls
from Elkhart and Davenport,
Ely and other small places,
lithe girls who in spring

come to Chicago looking for boys
who will look at them
but who find instead
the reapers, the men.

                       ~  first published in The Kansas Quarterly

Monday, October 14, 2013


artwork: vincent van gogh

by M.J. Iuppa

If the color yellow runs out
with what will we make bread?
                      ~ Neruda

Without sun’s warm buttery light
spilling onto the kitchen’s table–

without lemons resting side by side
in our mother of pearl bowl–

without candlelight sputtering
surprise– yelp of the yellow dog

lying across the threshold, listening
for slow footsteps returning

to an hour that’s groundless
in its long wait– the clock’s tick

unlocks the world mimicking
other worldliness– when all we wanted

was to break bread. Forgetfulness
sounds like forgiveness when yellow

runs out in the way  fields of winter
wheat sway in question . . .
See how dark mahogany rises–
coarse swell of sourdough–

this steaming loaf found
in the hands of strangers.

~ first published in Tar River Poetry.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


photoart: sharon auberle


by Sharon Auberle

I asked you, once, what happens
when dreaming comes to an end.
When light that falls through the trees
no longer seems able to tend
to those dreams into which we leapt
long ago, now grown cold
and autumn closing in,
brash, blustery and bold
and wind stripping leaves bare
from trees once sheltering us,
life and death beneath my feet
now become just dust.
Oh my heart, help me remember
in every cold fire remains an ember.

~ previously published in Crow Ink
  (Little Eagle Press)