I Can Fly – a poem by Milton P. Ehrlich

I Can Fly

I watched a robin
walk back and forth
in the morning sun.
I asked him
why he walked
when he could fly?
He asked me
the same question.
But, I replied, I can’t fly.
Yes, you can he said.
Let your wings unfurl
and you will fly like me.
I take off, ego-free.

 

Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 87- year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published many poems in periodicals such as the London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

What Survives a Broken Heart – a poem by Cortney Collins

What Survives a Broken Heart

Fear not. What is not real, never was and never will be.
What is real, always was and cannot be destroyed.

~Bhagavad Gita

She has always been here. She is resting
under the weight of the material, the things
that die, a deer curled under a canopy
of pine boughs no longer green, but pale and crisp;
a holy vagrant sheltered under an overpass
sprayed with faded Bible verse and
love song graffiti.

I understand now. After all this time,
I feel the difference between things that die
and things that stretch beyond the veil,
things that never began because they existed
before language divided atoms into sub-particles
and melodies into shape-notes, and will never end,
because no one knows how to loosen the knots
of infinity.

She is unseen but I feel the tip of Her gentle finger
touch the abyss between my eyebrows,
that place where a womb becomes a portal,
an embryo becomes a lantern,
a placenta becomes a harbor.

This is all to say that I have hidden
inside the cradle of my Third Eye,
for now, for the simple reason that I must
forget that the Alpha and Omega were always
tricksters, a way to distract time from its
preoccupation with meaning,
a tail held inside the throat of a serpent.

The skin that held us is now grey,
and we shall see if we were skin or
if we were blood warming skin
or if we were plasma thickening blood
or if we were the musculature of the heart.

We shall see if we are what halts the
relentless undulation of the tides,
or if we are the moon,
or if we are a dead starfish blanched and
brittle on the beach of an unmapped island.

We shall see if we borrowed our flame
from the core of the earth or a cigarette lighter,
or if we were swallowed by fire.

We shall see if we can grow a new limb.

We shall see if we existed at all.

But that She remains, always, even as we yield to
our inability to transcend the body we
constructed out of illusions, perishable goods,
blanket forts and aluminum foil sabers—

that She remains
is a cool cloth on my forehead.

She, that glowing and ageless child-crone
slumbering in the contours of my Third Eye,
my silence within a howl. She, that part of me

I never gave to you.

 

Cortney Collins is a poet whose work has been published by South Broadway Ghost Society and 24hr Neon Mag. She has poems forthcoming in the Devil’s Party Press anthology, What Sort of F@*#ery is This? She lives on the Eastern Plains of Colorado with her cat, Pablo.

Under Holy Trees – a poem by Barbara Daniels

Under Holy Trees

Where two paths cross, I bury
red beads and an old brown shoe.
The beads advise prayer,

but the shoe says keep walking.
At Big Timber Creek I drop
a coin to flaring water.

Here’s a sad-looking possum
showing its teeth, dragging its tail.
Jays call. My heart beats on

earnestly. Some trees are holy:
hackberry, sassafras, elm.
Beneath their branches—

a chance of blessings. I take
twigs as amulets. I don’t
believe in them. Not really.

Nor do I know where the wild
geese go when they fly
so steadfastly toward the sun.

 

Barbara Daniels’ book Rose Fever was published by WordTech Press and chapbooks Black Sails, Quinn & Marie, and Moon Kitchen by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. She received three fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Contemplation on Verbs – a poem by Stapleton Nash

Contemplation on Verbs

What is the difference between raise and rise?
Another teacher asked me as we bent over the compositions.
It caught me by surprise.
Raise, raised— a student raises their hand.
Regular, that. But rise, uncommon, nearly
The same, yet a hand is not risen.
Where does the irregularity come from?

I say, rise seems reserved for grander things:
The sun rises, the dead rise.
Hands are raised, as are tariffs.
Only on the way home, walking in the dark alleys,
Between barred windows, parked scooters with mufflers
Still red-hot, cats scampering away,
A grandmother washing a fish in a bucket,
I realized the real answer to her question,
And to mine—

What makes it grand?
What makes it irregular?
What sets it apart?
All day long we endeavour to raise things,
But that which rises, lifts itself.

The sky had no stars in it,
And eagerly I closed my eyes upon that blankness,
Secure to know that the sun and the dead
Don’t need any help from me to do what they will.

 

Stapleton Nash  was born and raised on Vancouver Island, where she grew up swimming, beach-combing, and writing letters to imaginary mermaid friends. Since then, she has lived in Montreal, where she studied literature, and more recently has been teaching English to children just outside of Taipei. She has had poems published in NewMag and The Mark

In Themselves – a poem by Srinivas S

In Themselves

In a world rife with narratives,
It is the daggers –
The unsaid –
That define being better,
Than spoken words –
The cloaks.

Mirrors lie before mirrors:
Their subject –
Between them an object –
Becomes a trace,
A face in a maelstrom
Of reflections.

Truth abides in silence;
And words,
With their watery veneer,
Are but diversions –
Tempting and rippled –
From the Heart…

(As shadows seek Light –
Their progenitor –
Like rivers seek the Ocean –
Their progeny –
Through space and time—
In Themselves.)

 

A theoretical linguist by training, Srinivas S works as an English teacher in Chennai, India. He divides his leisure time between sleeping and watching films, and occasionally comes out of his rut to write a verse or two.

The Murmur of Everything – a poem by Jenny

The Murmur of Everything

It is probably why we like the whispering
of leaves in fall.
We ponder where the wind first
started. Was it butterflies
in Japan? If we listen
softly enough
will we hear them pressing
their wings, the resulting push
of air our way?
I know only the subtle sense of something
beyond the movement
in front of me;
a deep
call of unseen fluttering
beneath, beyond quotidian life
moving inside rays of
light.
I long to touch the original breath
with tendrils
of sensation emanating from
this miracle
of a body, this
sweet field of wonder and mystery
that is both the vessel
and the journey.
When so much seems wrong,
there is still the shared opening of each
day like a gift,
changes in season, tall glasses
of cold, clear water
—and, of course
always, the barely perceptible
murmur of rustlings
as yet unborn.

 

Jenny has lived in the Pacific Northwest for 13 years having moved here from the New York metropolitan area with her family.   By day she is an international tax lawyer, but day and night, a poet, loving to write poems and share with anyone who will read them.  Her work has been in included as part of the yearly Bainbridge Island Poetry Corners celebration in which poems are posted on local storefronts, Ars Poetica, a juried pairing of poems with the work of local artists, several anthologies published by Diversion Press, two publications out of the Grief Dialogues project, “Just a Little More Time” and “Grief Dialogues, the book”, The Cascade Journal Vol. II, of the Washington Poets Association and others.