featured in the poetry forum October 19, 2021  :: 0 comments

A dozen dead deer
lie alongside the highway
from Rigby to Panguitch,
my husband tells me,
but when I turn my head
all I see is bare ground.

A lone whitetail doe watches
our oldest son pump gas
from the post office lawn
in a tiny town in Oregon.
You’re sure it wasn’t a horse
you saw?
the attendant asks.

A Native American friend
is riding a wild paint bareback
from Phoenix to Salt Lake City
for our granddaughter’s wedding present
because horses represent wealth,
our only daughter and firstborn says.

A stallion stands in the shade
in a video shown by our youngest.
As his toddler watches
at the window, his teenage
son whispers in the horse’s ear,
and it follows him out of the yard.

I see it all as a sign that our middle
son, missing from the celebration
in his honor, is somewhere nearby
reading his tarot cards and letting
us know he is still making magic
happen in our lives.

– Sharon Waller Knutson

editors note:

We make what we can of omens while our dead make the same of us. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum October 13, 2021  :: 0 comments

Leave the house dust
With fools gold
This conveyor belt lair
A castle in the air
For Dante’s dreams of doubt
To wander about
In, with voices that pretend
To be a different friend-
Oh my, what a frame,
Too big to blame
And beyond a simple say
To save and stay-
So, close the dungeon door
To be what you were before
And walk away
Into the clouds
Of chaotic crowds
Falling as rain
On sterile plain.

– Strider Marcus Jones

editors note:

Here, where turnabout is fair play. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum October 12, 2021  :: 0 comments

I’m barely younger,
Just as blemished,
Little more to prove.
I could be taken,
As just as you,
So won’t you dream of me?
In the wicker chair,
On a parking lot,
Inside a mountain top –
Find yourself,
In the dream of me.
Yell at me,
Unleash our dog,
Caress my hair,
In the dream of me.
Be scared,
Laugh out loud,
Talk nonsense back,
In the dream of me.
Whatever happens
In these dreams,
Matters not to me.
What matters true
To this old gal,
Is that when I’m
Next to you,
Before early light,
That you say, You
Had a dream of me

– Marie Higgins

editors note:

A scheme to me dream. Did you? – mh clay

Various Herbs and Spices

featured in the poetry forum October 11, 2021  :: 0 comments

Mother was blind.
I was mute.

A portly fly took a nosedive
into her pasta.

Her fork shoveled tomato lava over the swollen raisin.

Torn apart by acidity and convulsive, stabbing twists,
dark chocolate salt fertilized
the garlic, mushrooms, and basil.

Mother smiled at me, like a child
who will never know the truth.

– Jada Yee

editors note:

When the secret in the sauce is better kept secret. – mh clay

Morning Thunder

featured in the poetry forum October 5, 2021  :: 0 comments

She asks about my nut driver,
voltmeter, needlenose plier.
She, the orchid; I, the stake.
What is it about a man with tools?
She’s undressing my soul in her mind
which I hope is prettier than my body.
She, the student; I, the handyman
in an apartment near the Stanford campus
as I replace the baseboard heater.

An offer of tea, Morning Thunder she calls it.
Two mugs. Our eyes meet
over swirling steam of caffeine.
She’s intrigued.
I’m an archeological specimen,
carbon-dated by the golden
hippie-style band on my finger.
With designer hair and boutique denim
she’s clothed in casual wealth. A coed
with father issues could be good luck
for a guy with tools and a pickup truck
but let’s protect the child
seeming grown, seeming wild.
The new heater has not a scratch, not a scuff.
“This’ll keep you warm,” I say.
That’s enough.

– Joe Cottonwood

editors note:

A little tea, not me. Enough, indeed! – mh clay

Zeus Wife #2: Themis Writes From Bankruptcy Court

featured in the poetry forum October 4, 2021  :: 2 comments

Zeus? That Clod really cooked my goose. Six children,
all daughters, and very attractive (yeah they took after “the bomb”
me). Hey, like me, they have big boobs, big dreams, and big

daddy bragging about all his property. What IS a mother to do?
I maxed out Bank Americard on daughter #3’s wedding. AAA
Master went with #5. Chase (now that name is a hoot) is being

utilized for my youngest darling. Between us chickens
that one belongs to the tribe of Sappho. Wouldn’t you know
they want “hers and hers” embroidered on everything?

Almighty Zeus, the tacky statues of them in lip locks, the
doilies with chocolaty mints. I should have my head examined
or in a noose. So I plead, Zeusie pooh, Zeus. My money girdle,

can you set it loose, somewhat? Float me a loan, pretty please.
He glowers, threatens showers, and not bridal. I sidle
up doing the “come hither: begging don’t reign on our parade.”

Instead, he orders a hail storm on the day of Baby Girls’ nuptials.
Yes, over their bed. Just kill me now, right? Baby Mama Drama,
I am not even certain if he’s my legal spouse. Lying-spider.

Eight-timing louse. So here I be, declaring bankruptcy. Pity me?
Just, don’t tell him. It will be easier to make payments
once I refinance. The price tags of true romantics. They’re dear.

Note: Themis was the titan Goddess of divine law. She bore Zeus
six daughters.

– Laurie Byro

editors note:

If only they’d elope. – mh clay

Beginning of the Lunar Year

featured in the poetry forum September 21, 2021  :: 0 comments

At one point I thought I knew
but that was long ago. More recently
I’ve taken to reading Dilbert who looks out
from his thin but colorful frame
of an office that could be anywhere. He stays energized
and in the groove by keeping a list of what he’s got to do:
taking private messages off his voice mail,
riding waves with co-workers.
That livens the whole affair
and maintains him in ways he thought impossible before.

Then she called. My evening’s looking up.
There will be thunder in the reaches,
some humorous negotiations over wine,
alternatives will be presented, claims adjusted,
a new accounting will be made.
I’m enthralled by the prospect.
I can see it now: I make smoke signals,
look for responses, offer a prayer
as if this were the beginning of the lunar year.

– Dale Cottingham

editors note:

When love is the objective, it’s moonlight over megabytes. – mh clay

All in My Feelings

featured in the poetry forum September 17, 2021  :: 0 comments

Maybe it was listening
to George Michael sing,
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” on repeat,
or three days of summer rain,
the drops hitting the sill
in their unsteady rhythm.

Maybe it was my husband
calling to say, “I miss you,”
or my beautiful friend,
who pulled me into his lap
and kissed me so deliciously
my head filled with light.

Maybe it was the vaccine
running through my body,
spinning off cells to save me,
or Harlem waking from its long sleep,
people in parks again,
drinkers laughing at the bar.

Maybe it was another song,
the diva shouting, “I want you,”
over a disco beat,
and how that chorus caught
in my throat like a sugary sadness,
hunger, gratitude for living.
All of those feelings. All of them.

– Isaiah Vianese

editors note:

Yes! All of them! – mh clay

Along the Outlaw Trail

featured in the poetry forum September 16, 2021  :: 0 comments

Strewn loonily enough
above, below, beside me,
words, messages undone
or up too tight,
lie in thrall.

Shadowland imposters
preach monotonously,
windswept egos are poised
above insecurities,
advocating their conjunction
of letters, syllables,
drained of innocent proposal,
purpose, balanced on wishes,
presumptions, parabolic
emotional curves
and abject, untutored devotion.

Great stories intertwine
with great jokes,
the best of them,
sudden, percussive,
tingling through bone marrow,
chopping at the freeze
inside, intolerable,

at the final breaking point,
releasing us
to glad horizons.

– RC James

editors note:

Glad must horizons be when words are loonily strewn. Yes! – mh clay

Lob, Lobe…

featured in the poetry forum September 15, 2021  :: 0 comments

Those sounding waves, years traveled light
are spokesmen for the nation’s state.
I say more often masculine,
most alpha lead, some girl allure,
on screen, pass billboard, TV slot.
So in control of people’s ear –
eustachian tube and beaten drum –
and if repeated time enough
as drip feed washes over brain –
sought after words gain loudest cheer.
The easy poll, to tick the box,
supply to power what think they want,
but first whet and manipulate,
and make believe solution’s served.

– Stephen Kingsnorth

editors note:

Eloquence is answer. – mh clay