A subdivision morning,
In the part of Virginia that is not really the South,
In the part of March that is not quite spring:
Slivers of sunlight angle around clouds
In a sky of washed-out blue,
A dull glint on slate-gray waters (not a real lake).
Master Sergeants keep their boats here.
Pines, some ice-snapped, some in arabesque
Before a solitary daffodil, tinged with frost.
Frances and Paul (not their real names) are packing to move again,
Up the interstate, an hour farther north.
Children of a waning American century,
They carry little furniture but lots of sweaters, compact disks,
Wedding gifts in boxes they came in,
To a warren of townhomes,
Each with a shallow-rooted tree
Set in soil fortified with fratricidal blood,
Where the builder’s shovel has turned over Minie balls,
Pieces of bayonets, buckles,
Belongings of other sojourners
In this now accentless land.
Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other
Ladders, published in 2017 by Beech River Books. He is a retired school administrator
with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, where he lives four
months of the year.
I can’t get out
Numb, but I Still Feel It.
My body has become a bed and breakfast, minus the breakfast. I have strangers living inside of me for a night or two before continuing their journey, leaving me this empty house.
oversharing my dark matter
(Originally appeared in Drifting Sands Haibun – April 30, 2020)
Lori A Minor (she/they) is a queer, neurodivergent, poet and activist. Recipient of more than 15 haikai awards, they are proud to be included in A New Resonance 12 and to have given presentations at Haiku North America (2019, 2021). Lori’s sixth book, Hot Girl Haiku, is now available.
Missed It by That Much: A Skit
John Adams (in powdered wig and all):
We should be
“a government of laws and not of men”
And two-hundred-plus years later,
we are a government of lawyers
(Each person can decide for him- or herself whether to hold thumb and forefinger a fraction of an inch apart, hold hands as far apart as they can be, or indicate some distance between the two extremes.)
Michael Ceraolo is a 64-year-old retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had two full-length poetry books published (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press; 500 Cleveland Haiku, from Writing Knights Press), and has two more full-length books in the publication pipeline.
DIGGING IN DEEP
Digging in deep,
The mustard gas overhead.
I affix my bayonet to my rifle
And wince with the rain.
All I am now is a man
Who has a rifle with a knife on the end
This place smells like death and rotting cabbage.
I huddle deep in the mud and wait for the assault
With the rats and my brethren,
The men around me as afraid as I am.
I can hear their hearts beating even though
The beating of my own heart is a million hammers
Beating crooked a million rusty nails.
Digging in deep.
The whistle blows.
I love you and I love everyone.
Now either I emerge from my dug-out
Or my predetermined enemy emerges from his.
Either way, one of us
Or both of us is likely
To die in the mud
Or decorate the barbed wire of no-man’s land
Like a scarecrow
While the kings dine on delicacies,
Drinking from cups
Unsullied with the blood
That pounds now
In our ears
As we wait
To kill and die
While the kings take
Their well-mannered sips.
John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.
Blood spurts out from my fingers.
Spring flowers come equipped with thorns.
Hey, I did not expect this wound.
The hell with picking roses for anyone.
I have a few petals in my pocket.
I can give you a dozen mixed with my blood.
I bled for you if you must know.
It hurt enough for me to scream and curse.
If you want whole flowers, I can
see what I can do. I could write you a
love letter instead, just let me know.
I might even tell you I love you so.
I am no lame Cupid with a bow and
arrow. I am no Cupid with blinders on.
I’m not seventeen anymore. I’m not
twenty-seven, I am twice that age.
Born in Mexico, Luis writes from California and works in the mental health field in Los Ángeles. His poetry has appeared in Escape Into Life, Fearless, Kendra Steiner Editions, Mad Swirl, and Unlikely Stories. His latest book, Make the Water Laugh, was published by Rogue Wolf Press.
poets in bed
not only thing turned
on …………. then off
as he ponders line breaks
remains a bit unsure whether
adjective ‘stodgy’ or noun ‘stodge’
would sound stodgier when making
oatmeal porridge adhere to memories
some(other)body begins to snore
after reworking and submitting
her assorted rejects to further
fickle editorial scrutiny
no other light bulb
Allan Lake, a stray from Allover, Canada, now writes poetry in Allover, Australia.
His latest poetry chapbook, ‘My Photos of Sicily’ was published by Ginninderra Press.