Dedicated to my writing partner, George Ross, poet, Boston, MA
Seeded words take root to flourish and bloom
in the mutable wells of poetry mind
diving deep for sounds of pantoum,
syllable bubbles drifting up unrhymed.
In the mutable wells of poetry mind
breathing counted in and out subsumes
syllable bubbles drifting up unrhymed,
counted words arise in mercurial plumes.
Breathing counted in and out subsumes
quicksilver reflection as it grows,
counted words arise in mercurial plumes,
mantra tones form into poesy flows.
Quicksilver reflection as it grows,
seeded words take root to flourish and bloom
mantra tones form into poesy flows,
diving deep for sounds of pantoum.
Poet Victoria Crawford, librarian and writer, took up poetry again after discovering Stephen Fry’s Ode Less Traveled, used bookstores being one of her favorite haunts. She traveled with him and also traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand where she currently resides celebrating words that unite people with each other and the world around them.
“To my father, now rolling those dice in Heaven. Happy birthday, dad (April 19th).” ~ Carl “Papa” Palmer
My ring and middle fingers are the same length, showing me the open cupped palm of his left hand. I have the hands of a gambler. You have them, too.
Knowledge passes from father to son at the kitchen
table as he picks up four dice and hands me a pair.
His lesson begins:
Opposite sides of each cube add up to seven: one and six two and five three and four
Always curl a six with your little finger, picking up
a dice cube in his right hand holding the six on top.
Sliding a six guarantees you’ll never crap out, explaining an instant loss occurs with the roll of
two or three, losing both your bet and turn to shoot.
With the solid six all you need is a one or five for the instant win, Seven Come Eleven or another six called Boxcars which pays the shooter double.
Shake the other dice in your hand against the held six, sounds like you’re rattling them both for luck.
This won’t work at a casino tossing dice off the far wall of a crap table, but on a pool table at any bar you’ll make more than running the rack.
Practice until you can win when you want, but show you can be the occasional good loser, too.
Win often enough it looks like luck, use their money to generously buy the next round of beer. It takes talent to be a winner, not just with dice.
Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Virginia, lives in University Place, Washington. He is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enjoying life now as “Papa” to his grand descendants and being a Franciscan Hospice volunteer. Carl is a Pushcart Prize and Micro Award nominee.
MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever!
Gram prepared paklava and bourma
without a written recipe. Like a newly
hatched bird I’d wait for a bits of sweetness
to fall, walnuts covered with cinnamon,
honey mixed with lemon. I stood on a stool
to watch. Before me, at this table Hrpesima and Mariam had
mixed the phyllo and rolled it by hand, but when I was six we
bought phyllo papeer-thin sheets from Sevan’s Market in Watertown.
Gram melted butter in the cast iron skillet.
Don’t let the butter sizzle-too hot!
She mixed sugar and cinnamon in a bowl for me to add
then got out the heavy rolling pin. I crushed
walnuts beneath it’s weight. Gram said be sure
the nuts are ground fine! Grind them again—
still too big. I pushed the rolling pin hard against
walnuts, then we mixed in sugar and cinnamon .
We took one layer of phyllo at a time,
brushed with melted butter, sprinkled in nuts,
then rolled as quickly as we could.
Finally, using the sharpest blade,
we sliced the fragile rolls and
placed them on the cookie sheet.
Gram’s were straight and long,
mine crinkled, like thin fabric.
I have the recipe still, yellow with age,
thin and tattered, like phyllo dough,
filled with handed down memories from those
who sat at this table before me —Shushan, Bedros,
Kevon, Katchador, and Sitanoush cooking
to honor Kharpet and homeland no longer on the map.
Now I’m the old one. When I cook, my
grandmother’s voice follows me, step by step.
Dedication and Background for This Poem:
This poem was written to honor my Armenian family. My grandmother came to the United States in 1915 from Kharpet, where she and some of her siblings survived the town’s massacre and the genocide. My Great Great Uncle Katchador was the tallest, strongest person I knew when I was four years old. My grandmother Mariam had immediately married and lived with her new husband’s family. Hripsame was her mother-in-law. Her first two girl-children were Ana, my mother, and Sitanoush, my aunt. When I was five, Father Kevon, my grandmother’s cousin, found us! He was the only survivor from his part of the family. Monks from the school he attended took him in. When he was old enough, he became an itinerant monk and traveled in the mountains with a donkey. Years passed, and when I met him, in the photo included with my poem, he was working at the Vatican. He visited whenever he came to this country, and he was like a grandpa to me. Cooking traditions were passed from each generation around the table. For Armenians, food is nourishment for the heart as well as the belly. When I begin to mix up some cherog dough, or when I make paklava, I feel close to my ancestors, and I can still hear my grandmother’s voice in my ear. Sometimes I find that I’m 4 years old again, standing on a stool at the table, pressing down hard on the walnuts with the rolling pin.
May all beings live in peace
May all beings have food
May all beings live in safety
Elaine is a poet, herbalist, and educator. Her chapbook, The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, won first honors from Flutter Press in 2016. She’s recently been awarded the Beal Poetry third place prize,and was shortlisted at the International Hammond House Poetry contest and the Writer’s Digest Poetry Contest. Most recently Elaine’s poetry has been published by UCLA journal, Automatic Pilot,Sleep-ZZZ Journal, Crossways Journal, The Dublin Inksplinter’s 2019 anthology, and similar journals. Elaine has also been nominated for the Push Cart Prize. Visit her website at elainereardon.wordpress.com
When you gaze the moon smiles
In the midst of gloomy eve
You might see a silhouette vaguely
Amongst sand and rocks
A girl descends from the mountain
You might think she’s a selene goddess
Until the wind blows you up
From the dream of
The Girl of the mountain
Under the full moon
* Poem and photo model: Deborah Setiyawati (Indonesia)
* Alcohol-ink drawing and photography: Carl Scharwath (U.S.A.)
Deborah Setiyawati is an Indonesian writer. She has been published numerous times internationally and is currently working on her first collection of poetry. She is also a dress designer, singer and advocate for women and children rights.
Carl Scharwath has appeared globally with 150+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays or art photography. Two poetry books Journey To Become Forgotten (Kind of a Hurricane Press) and Abandoned (ScarsTv) have been published. Carl is the art editor for Minute Magazine, a dedicated runner and 2nd degree black- belt in Taekwondo.
Deborah and Carl have known each other for two years and have had two published collaborations previously where she writes the poetry after seeing his photography.
This is when we search for
color to transform cold grey.
Rainfall begins its magic
high lighting sky blue.
We see stacks of luminous clouds
as plants pop out and forsythia
bursts sparkling yellow stalks.
Just today a breath of warmth
brought alive crepe myrtle.
Aromatic lilac bushes cluster in
soft bunches while birds and bugs
encircle them. Ten trees all dressed
up in lustrous greens boogie through
Spring is waiting for us!
Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Warriors with Wings, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road ReviewJournals, and numerous Kind ofA Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title is “Having Lunch with the Sky” and she has four Best of the Net nominations.
Some Background Information About This Poem
This poem was inspired by Valentine’s Day and chocolate.
L. Shapley Bassen is a poet and author who has many published works to her name. Her “Portrait of a Giant Squid” was the First Place winner in the 2015 Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest. She was an editor at the Prick of the Spindle[archived], and is now an editor at Craft Literary. Bassenindie-published Summer of the Long Knives (Typhoon Media), Lives of Crime & Other Stories (Texture Press), and Showfolk & Stories [Inkception Books]; she was a finalist for the 2011 Flannery O’Connor Award, a first reader for Electric Literature, won the 2009 APP Drama Prize, a Mary Roberts Rinehart Fellowship, and was a poetry/fiction reviewer for The Rumpus, etc. Her first poetry collection, What Suits a Nudist? is forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House.
“Let me out, let me out!”
cried the dormouse.
“I don’t want to live in a teapot,
not even in a dream!
Let me out, let me out
before the water boils for tea!”
Now that could be a tasty morsel”
Hatter said thoughtfully.
“But would it be worth the risks
We must consider”
All nodded in agreement.
“Let me out, let me out!”
cried the dormouse.
“Escape is difficult.”
said the March Hare,
“To escape you must go back,
through the glass like she did,”
nodding towards Alice,
and as we know,
time only moves forwards.”
All nodded in agreement.
“It’s getting late,”
said the White Rabbit.
“But where is the glass,
there is no glass!”
cried the Dormouse.
All nodded in agreement.
“It’s time for tea!”
cried the White Rabbit.
And time waits for no one,
not even a mouse.
Originally published in Scrittura Magazine, March 2018 Some Background Information About This Poem
The poem was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories.
Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Vagabond Press, Light Journal and So It Goes Journal.