Category: Poetry

Dead End Paradox

By Mark A. Murphy

Posted on

Emptiness eats at the heart, more surely than time itself,
yet some days we are blessed with company
enabling us to see just beyond the emaciated self.

Though the day ahead seems barren, a friend
will sometimes bring along all the light you lack to coast
above the dour grey slates and chimney pots.

So we make our soup of fresh tomatoes and basil
in the garret kitchen, and the knots in the stomach
loosen their grip as we make ready to eat and talk.

No time now for last year’s man, or any lost inventory
of sights not seen, things not done, time wasted
in procrastination, or dreams hardly begun.

And though we are still both dreamers of sorts,
we stand beside immense facades, telling the other
there is no need for touch, or sex, or love.

Since there is no reality we are sure of, we hide behind
what is lost and won as though we might meet
on equal footing – intrepid explorers as we are.

Only there is no purpose to the proposed dialogue,
no nostalgia beyond the marathon already run,
just the veiled silence of years avoiding dead ends.

Mark A. Murphy

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The Hawthorn Speaks

By Mary Buchinger

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Of course   I’ve    noticed
how  you’re   drawn     to
what    you    call         my
wounds            symmetry
doesn’t beckon the    eye 
no—       disruption       &
disorder  a lopsidedness
reminding  you  you  are
dreaming   the   rest    of
your     life     asleep     in

expectation   until         a
patch    of   bark    shows
you a           swirl       &  a
swelling   about a      gap       
that       once              was
wholeness                   my
surface  wavy  like     old     
glass          the           slow
assemblage     of      cells 
moving in   to  cover    & 
protect  rippling  up  the
roughened  river      new
growth      a     whirlpool
whose  center    narrows
by season    &     I  know

you     want         nothing 
more  than to stick your
hand    into    this    soft-
edged  opening  to    feel  
reparation     what     we
trees  are     go      ahead 
touch  me    &     awaken  
to doubt

– Mary Buchinger

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This Is Why You Need Them

By William Soldan

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Names. You’ve got this thing with them. The names of plants, rocks, native species. Concrete details have become a favorite pastime.

Vehicles, clouds, chemical compounds.

You file names away in no particular order but know right where they are when you need them. And you will. Need them.

Architecture, muscles, functions.

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Life without Parole

By Karen Wolf

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Hope slips through fingers
like time spent waiting
often just a tick ahead,
visible, but elusive.
Or it hangs back like a stopped clock
no longer viable.

Hope survives fire, preserved
beneath blackened structures
housing every possession.
It resides beneath blankets
of the terminally ill until handfuls of dirt
hit casket lids.
It drips down the sides of chilled
liquor bottles and heroine needles
passing through moments, days, years of addiction.


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Penitentes

By Carol Barrett

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             Abiquiu, New Mexico

I return to Leopoldo Garcia’s home gallery
where, this damp morning-glory morning,
he wears overalls and one tennis shoe.

Yesterday his litany of augurs, acrylic and clay
flowed like red nectar.  Hummingbird
in his studio, I bring a gift of poems. 

Leopoldo paints with a hole in his heart
pierced by a priest darker than a cassock.
He grieves for the children gone forever,

mica tears grafted on flat masks, tiny
eyes, round mouths. Nearby his studio
a weathered red and white figure

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