Thursday, January 29, 2015

Paz Usted y Yo

artwork: ralph murre

Paz Usted y Yo
by Bruce Dethlefsen

of all the words
the only three
you ever need to know
paz usted y yo
peace and you and me

~ previously published in small talk (Little Eagle Press) 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


artwork: ralph murre

E. Poland
January 27, 1945

   by Ethel Mortensen Davis

Deep January
never felt so warm--
when the strong arms
of the Red Army
picked up
the skeleton-like people
and set them
on blankets in the snow.

The evil snake
had reached down
deep into their bodies
and tried to snatch
their very souls,

but the soldiers
gathered them
like sick dogs
in their arms
and set them
into the sunshine.

Libertacja was like
the swinging
of a thousand swings
up into the air--
a day when poetry
began to be written.

~ first published in Gallup Journey Arts Edition (2011)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

2 O'CLOCK . . .

artwork: ralph murre

by Shoshauna Shy

His cousin arranged this                                                                  
so he agreed to show up
to find that the 30+ woman
seated beside the ficus plant
has a head of amber curls
which gives her face a spritely
flourish, and he likes how
her sweater sleeves are pushed
to the elbows signifying
a take-charge demeanor.
The woman sees his thick crop
of sun-streaked hair and dark
lashes, but would trade either
for another eight inches in height. 
Even six.
Still, his jacket with the loosened
hip buckles and stylish cuffs
makes up for it.

He figures he could excuse
the lack of cleavage if she listens
to Duke Ellington or drives
a newer car.
And after she orders a second
almond steamer, he bets it
could become endearing
the way she pronounces the “t”
in “often.”
She gives him the benefit
of the doubt that he doesn’t
always tap table tops or rock
a knee (he is simply nervous
as is she), and thinks it charming
the way he tests his latte
with his tongue.

He surmises he could adapt
to the smell of strawberry
shower gel if she enjoys
spending hours in a kitchen.
She hopes his broad palms
indicate an affinity for shovels
and bandsaws, though an aptitude
for engines would be equally
She wishes he had left his ex-wife
instead of the other way around
for the name Krissy  has cropped up
more than is pleasing,
and she estimates that 40% of his tone
is regret and 60% relief,
but it’s rather tricky to determine.
She is not convinced she wants
a dinner date to follow

and he has no idea that the only way
a dinner date will follow
is if he harnesses his impulse
to suggest it, then doesn’t contact her
again till Thursday.

When their mugs are near-empty,
the badminton birdie exhausted
between them, and she has given
him a shy little wave outside
before hopping onto a bicycle,
he decides that if it turns out
she is partial to Star Trek reruns
and never votes Republican,
he could forgive
the thick ankles.

~ previously published by Milk Sugar Literary Journal

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bullfight With Hemingway

artwork: pablo picasso

Bullfight With Hemingway
by F.J. Bergmann

Tell Ernest that I am quite willing
to attend the corrida
as long as they promise, if the bull wins,
to give me the ears
of the matador.

~ first appeared in Right Hand Pointing

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Last Poem

Last Poem
                        (for Jim Hazard)
by Charles Rossiter

Could this be Jim's last poem
here in the Calendar?
Oh Boy Is It Snowing,
a poem full of energy
with a touch of humor,
so like him
complete with an exclamation point!
And there are parentheses,
in fact two parentheses,
or is that called two pairs of parentheses?
I'm not sure, and a couple of
Emily Dickinson-style dashes
in the final stanza.  He often
mentioned Emily.  I like to think
he'd be glad somebody noticed.

~ prev. published in Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar

Monday, January 5, 2015

Carpe Diem

photoart - patricia williams

Carpe Diem - Seize the Day
by Patricia Williams

I want to run away and be a Las Vegas showgirl ― the  
glamor, the fun and excitement, that’s an enticement
what would my in-laws, the book club, the church-ladies say?
Carpe diem - seize the day 

I’d hire a maid flee the cleaning, treat my skin with
French-milled soap, no more harsh detergent then there’s
the kids that’s urgent  but I’ll let those matters lay.
Carpe diem - seize the day

There I’d be, wrapped in a white feather boa nothing else. 
My husband, stunned, the audience clamoring for more.
I’m a star, have fame galore with rich admirers at bay.
Carpe diem - seize the day 

My bubble burst, glimpsed me in the mirror.  All that’s left
of my sweet revere is a white feather floating in the breeze
escaped my pillow when I made the bed guess a feather’s
as close as I’ll ever be.  Hummm maybe I’ll dye my hair red!
Carpe diem - seize the day. 

~ first published in Lake City Lights

Saturday, January 3, 2015


artwork: ralph murre

by James Reiss

The painters began work on the house,
wielding their brushes like wings.
By noon they took off their caps
and blotted their brows with tan rags,
then lit cigarettes by striking wooden
matches on their boots in long slow arcs.

The roof took on the color of the sun
as it broke yolk-like on the weather vane.
They did not see it splatter.
Bronze in their five-o’clock shadows,
they slapped one last gold stroke
and lowered their scaffold and stretched.

    ~ first published in Esquire