Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve 2-for-1 Special

photoart: ralph murre

by Peggy Trojan

New Year's Eve
nine days before I was twelve
Tommy, visiting next door
came to visit me, baby sitting.
At midnight
he sat on the arm of the chair
and leaned to kiss me.
That's all.
No embrace,
no meaningless words.
Nearly seventy years later
I remember our surprise,
the silence,
how warm his lips were
and how soft.

~ first published in Boston Literary Magazine

photoart: ralph murre

by Bobbie Krinsky

Heading out under a moon
as luminous as last year’s Solstice,

my old dog and I ramble
into the raw country wind:

Two old bitches taking  a stroll
beneath the stars,
minutes before New Years  Eve,   2003.

While I plunge through snow hushed  fields
flooded with silver, 
my girl prances like a pup

and paws through shadows
of winter’s trees splayed across  midnight’s
ice blue light.

 ~ first published in The Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar

Friday, December 19, 2014

Slowed-down Christmas

photo: ralph murre

Slowed-down Christmas
by Patricia Wellingham - Jones   

This year
   due to ‘circumstances
beyond our control’
   Christmas is simpler than ever

Decorations four
   a tiny tree with lights and Santas
my sister’s ancient ribbon wreath
   nesting Santas lined up on the mantel
and the big red bow from the door
   decks your new walker

Presents few
   things we can eat or drink
use up in six weeks
   and never dust

Friends seldom
   but cherished
especially when
   they don’t stay too long

Old friends and the big dinner
   packaged or boxed or potluck
but the wine flows
   candles flicker
love swoops around the room
   like doves with wings of angel hair
and light

~ previously published in Lunarosity (2006)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This Family Called Apple

detail: apple family II: georgia o'keeffe

This Family Called Apple
by M.J. Iuppa
                            after Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting Apple Family–2

Plumped up and pinched,
rosy-cheeks of a kind,

ample curves, breasts
and buttocks nestled

side by side, silent
picture of health,

not knowing
what could be growing

wrong on the inside. When
lost in thought in the orchard

I plucked  their glossy bodies–
let them fall into my canvas

apron– ignoring your warnings–
invisible bruises show up after

the snap of leaf and stem. Now
which will go first?  Taut

skin resists, shines
against the bite

that changed paradise–
sudden waters, flesh, seeds,

unlocked stars– the secrets
of many in this chaste household.

~ first published in Language of Color: Writers Respond to the Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe (Big Pencil Press)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Lunch in the Hudson Bay Cafeteria

artwork: ralph murre

Lunch in the Hudson Bay Cafeteria
by Don Schaeffer

Built at a time when air was cheap
it has more space than it needs.
Solemn echoes surround the flags and
matrons dressed in white
employed to cook and mother.
A large symbolic paddle wheel
clatters comically on its ancient motor
beside a pale antique diorama of the river.
We bring trays
of veal and trifle.
The ceiling is a formalized caprice
like a stage set in animated fantasy,
with ceremonious lamps somehow made friendly
laughing to themselves as they sprout
from roots in the broken clouds.

~ first published in Lily Literary Review (2006)

Thursday, December 4, 2014


digital photoart: ralph murre

by Ronald Baatz

All the days are cold and short
like rows and rows of possum teeth.
The house is empty, even the
mountain air refuses to come in,
afraid of the stillness.
I can sit at the kitchen table for hours.
Its white paint may be chipping
but the large vein running through
the middle of my forehead is firm.
I feel it at my fingertips as I
work on a crossword puzzle
having no squares.
It’s good to know
a pack of hunting dogs
was once baffled by
the stream out back.

                        ~ first published in Wormwood Review 1973