Poetry Issue 6


The Quickening
By Eva Rider

I am the Voice behind the Silence behind all
you have forgotten... not yet remembered.
I am the Dance between...
the one and single
movement which twists like grapevine in Spring.
I curl through toes, bend around ankles,
grasping at knees and thighs.
I am sinew, muscle, bone.
I sing your cells awake.. anew.
I lighten your shoulders,
I kiss your fingertips.

You are my vessel, my instrument, my temple, my shrine.
Through all of your passages, through darkest tunnels of time,
through wild winds to quiet shores..
I have held you;
even and especially, when you believed faith to be a farce
and reason merely a tool that men designed for ends without beginnings.

To pave a way to me, life boarded up your heart
and slowly turned up the heat.
Smoldering white ash, Now...you are ready to receive me..
To trust, because all other roads are barred to you.
Your will is now at last, My Will.

Surrender -

Dance,
on a cliff edge.. a mountain crag,
Dance,
on the crest of an ocean wave.. a cumulus cloud,
Dance,
on a puff of smoke billowing from your own chimney.

Sing.....
even though you are off-key;
Sing,
and the rain begins to fall;
Sing,
because My Voice calls you when all else is Silence.

****

The Prisonerʼs Silence
By Eva Rider

Shocked into silence, lips sealed against a truth that pounds against 
the stirrings of the heart.

This is not a Silence that heals.

This silence thrusts truth into the dank, depths of caverns beneath 
the underworld, its relentless cries, heard by no one.

I have been bound to secrecy by my misplaced loyalties to the gods of 
my betrayal and inequity.

My voice has not been heard for millennia. 
Lost is the key to mystery that has caged my right to life.

I will no longer be silenced. 
I will not be placated into submission and obedience.

I am not Nice. I am raw, I am tender.

My design was misconceived. 
The aid that came was too swift to hold substance.

my direction,unclear... 
my wings guided me westward.....

Yet, I arrive in the east.

****

Wild Horse
By Marlene Dean
I dream of a pale horse,
running free under a prairie moon,
moving so fast nothing can catch him,
air washing over his back,
streaming through his mane and the silk of his tail.

I dream of an ancient horse
stocky and sure,
thundering overland,
leaping hollows,
clattering over river stones,
pulling himself to the top of the highest hill,
lord of the dark lands.

I love the horse of starlit shadows
with all the force of my soul,
he beckons to that part of my mind
where no one has control.
He is the bridge, the ancient guide,
the one who remembers
the way to the other side.

****

After the Fly’s Buzz
By Susanne Dutton

“And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see.”    
                     Emily Dickenson  I Heard a Fly Buzz – When I Died

the next thing
is to let,
not will,
ease, unmanaged
awn, unbidden
lids up, eyes
open, uncleaving
as dry leaves
on cold

earth, let
break, unbent
rise, unchosen
light with its blue
math, its
inch trance
work, picking its

way in, let
the bride, unsought,
unasked for,
unlonging,
fall, unmade, at
her own altar.

****

Octave Destination
By Shelley Lynn Pizzuto

We are here as we are there 
Blown out through these standing waves 
Conserving and expending
Bringing us into this ever so delicate interval  
The unseen unison 
Secured from two points
Frolicking between what is above and what is below 
We are orchestrating ourselves through one another 
Conduits of reeds and string 
Wet and dry, sharp and dense
The waves of sound created sight so clear that at noted points the 
smell of a touch was tasted by the heart 
Our souls singing
Reaching this crescendo, blown out again through standing waves 
We fold back against these echoing chambers 
Pump 
Visceral 
Be still in this interference, as harmony blinds our sight to 
disappearance
Our Pythagorean cloak, woven with suspended chords 
The unseen heard 
And we are dancing motionless, hinged between two points
Is it your voice that translates through this hand; or this hand that 
translates you into voice 
Do I dare to turn and risk the silence of the loss of this hand 
If only to bring our meeting to this octave destination once again 
We shall push down and blow out 
Words, and rhymes, and rhythmic stories that tell of our dancing with 
the overtones
Quivering 

****

Incantation for Ancestor
By Pamela Preston
 
Bat wings slice
The cellar air
The tree frog falls
To its death
All sleeps.
 
Winter fog like dry ice
Gathers in the cleavage
Of unknown mountains
Seeping into bones
Hollow like reeds.
 
Winds howl
Stopping breath
While walls of
One existence
Crumble.

She knelt on matted grass
Listening to
You,
Who once carved
Hieroglyphics on cornerstones
Who left your anagramma coded
Who stained your pages with tears
While ants
Legless toads
The lion
And the dead
Became your helpers
Collecting  works
From your mysterium.
 
You
Who live in this night
Above the moon
Became her ancestor.
 
Light your pipe
Old one
Tell her she will not break
Remind her of the truth of trauma
Guild her to the rock temple.
 
Strew flowers
Giant one
Before the smaller ones
The root
And the tree.

****

Carry Me Home
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky


The poem is my chariot     transported as I am   
through mid-summer’s long twilight   round the great round 

		  maiden
		  maker
		  ancestor

                      back to the land of the swinging bridge
                      ivy caves 
                      great mother oak
		  where I was a wild horse girl

In those days   the voice of the father ruled 
fear stirred the waters   lilies pulled petals in close 
 
The poem was my chariot   the words knew the way   
They were horses     out of a cave painting   
but when spooked  
 
O my runaway chariot     
how you plunge
							  into nightmare

		   The castle crumbles
		   Grandmother tiger slashes my writing hand

   How’s a girl to light the primal fire     
                           when Isis is 
                           a mound of pottery shards    and 
                           Sappho    
      a forgotten mode of song    Yet

					
She sings to me     as ocean devours the sun
She sings to me     in measures of moon

for only the ancestors know 
                      how to slow those horses down
		  slow breath
		  slow heart
		  gather my fragments to greet 
first light

Poems build a temple   deep in the woods
Isis appears in shining form
							
wraps me in        
  Lesbos	
	            Sumer
	            Babylon

the lips of the lustful earth    kiss mine

transported as I am 
by every poem I’ve ever danced sung wrestled wrought
wrung out of harvest moons

Words are my horses   out of a cave painting
the chariot is made of bone and tiger claw
Sappho takes the reins   She sings me through

midsummers’ long twilight     round the great round 

		   maiden
                       maker
                       ancestor

					across the swinging bridge
 
 

****

TO THE LUMINOUS GIFT OF A SNAIL
for Richard and Carol
by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky


I’ve been trying to figure you out
You seem to be a snail bearing light
In my hands you are solid glass     
In my eyes you’re a wave full of swirling color 

A snail bearing rainbow light
Though you claim to be an ordinary paper weight
What’s with those swirling colors? 
What’s with that primordial fetal curl?

Why pretend to be a simple paper weight
When placed on a desk you go dim
Losing all traces of fetal curl?
When you end up in my kitchen window

Escaping the drudge of that desk
You seem to me a genie of fire and ash
Curled up in my kitchen window 
Whose job is to show me the light

Could it be you’re a genie of ash and fire
Or maybe a color wheel dervish
Whose job is to show me the light 
To drench me in lilac and gold

Perhaps you’re a whirling dervish of color
Come to alter my newsprint mind
To drench me in turquoise and pink
To cast me a spell in which purple turns green

Enchanting my newscast mind
When the ancients drank from Lycurgus’ cup
Green turned to purple
So says the snail of the long unfurling

When the ancients drank from Lycurgus’ cup
They found themselves turning inward
So says the snail of the long unfurling 
In the hands of the fire God of glass

They found themselves twirling outward
From umbilical curl to cosmic swirl
In the hands of the green God of purple
Cast on the spiral path

From cosmic curl to umbilical swirl 
From outside of inside to inside of out
Cast on the spiral path
In the hot melt of creation

From inside of outside to outside of in
From the gift of the snail in my hands
To the hot melt of creation
I’m still trying to figure it out

****

Stories for Sale
By John Guchemand

What kind?
We got spiced; bittersweet; perfumed; cold and logical; phantasmagorical...

Roiling-bellied lover in velveteen backroom, crepuscular
choking on dream-deal rabid―
to trade all closeted possessions for gram-fraction of powder-fantasy?

Or how about this beaut' hanging here?
The greenish mutt, cowardice-charged, 
bellyaching and unrobust.
Expects her at streetlamps―examining her vialed scent―bowing
Hanging onto mafia-days by fingernails―
a memory of a scratch behind the ear. 
No?

Take your pick.
Look here, society's simpleton!
Or worse―villainous-hearted, pestilent.
Wrecking ball to woman's virtue.

What about this one?
The story of the hero psychologique,
charged to skewer the imperial basilisk,
scaled-away hearts.

A way.  A man-child sniffing out backdoor ritual.
A genetic shaman suffering a wound of the spirit.
A carrier of humanity-treasure. 

Perhaps you need the femme fatale,
a walking smile sans merci.
If beauty is naked contrast
she's Christ in contemplation
of detonating the nuclear bomb.

You can't forget this one―the artist (method actor).
Inspirations―wind-blown clouds―cast glances.
Shapeshifter tempting.
A coin toss―siren or muse?
A machinating anima.
A prick-eared Abraham.

We witness another supplication at the altar of love,
a warm spine, a lit match held behind,
a dream of ear-offering separation, hectoring. 

Nothing of interest?
Ah, you already have a story.
Sorry we couldn't help you today.
Come back again for a better selection.

****