“Summer Impressions” by L. Shapley Bassen

Summer Impression

If you were Summer,
born so rich
your medians are filled
with four kinds of wildflowers:
blue sailors, Queen Anne’s lace,
purple clover, yellow toadflax
(wild snapdragons also called Butter & Eggs),
then would you need
a tattoo? Cut and bleed
to heal in this humid heat?
Born so rich
no one to impress,
how you dress the cynosure
of all seasons. The others
are either putting on or taking off,
Winter’s poverty naked for all to see.

Originally published on The Original Van Goghs Ear Anthology

Author Bio:

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. Bassen indie-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.

Find L. Bassen at:

L. Bassen’s Official Website


Read More by L. Bassen:

Coda chapter of NEW MARWA
(a novel, unpublished, and a quick read)

L. Shapley Bassen’s “Portrait of a Giant Squid”
The First Place winner in the 2015 Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Fragile” by Gert W. Knop

Photography by Gert W. Knop

Fragile

Moments dwindle
in fragile isolation,
a touch of doubt,
fragile,
as Dresden china,
of past days

Strewn thoughts,
lost in short sentences,
the past scattered
and forgotten.
Fragile future,
silent horizon,
calm sea in the lee

Past days,
fragile as morning dew.
Presence opened in the book of silence,
daydreams,
forgotten in the afterglow

Author Bio:

Gert W. Knop – pseudonym André Steinbach – was born in 1943. He lives, since 2009, in Zittau/Saxony/Germany. He studied Grafic Arts at the Free Academy and Werkkunstschule Mannheim, Germany. He was a teacher of lithography, wood, and linocut at the “Academia de Bellas Artes of the Universidad del Norte,” in Antofagasta, Chile. He studied Tropical Agriculture in Germany and in Scotland (University of Edinburgh). Longer work stays in Israel, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Chile. He writes poetry (German / English / Spanish), short stories, fairy tales, and plays.

Find Gert’s Writing at:

Wir, Die Indianer Der Mümling, under pseudonym André Steinbach, on Amazon (Limited Availability)

Der Juwelenvogel: Märchen aus Sri Lanka on Amazon

Tagträume / Daydreams / Sueños Diurnos: Liebesgedichte / Love Poems / Poemas de Amor on Amazon

20 Gedichte Deutsch/ Englisch/ Spanisch/ Polnisch und Tschechisch on E-Publi

Tante Bettys Teegartengeschichten Erzählungen und Märchenon E-Publi

Atacama – Im Großen Norden Geschichten, Gedichte, Drama mit Illustrationen on E-Publi

Bilder und Haiku on E-Publi

More information on: http://www.kulturwegweiser-ol.de/ (only in German)

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Turn Of the Tide” by Lynn White

Turn Of the Tide

We will wait for the tide to turn.
It will carry us away
wave after wave
gathering up the debris
which surrounds us
sucking it up like so much dust
getting rid of it all,
everything going
with the flow.
We must wait for the tide to turn.
It will bring us home
leaving new things
there with us.
Bits and pieces.
Leaving them for us to find
so that we can take
what we need
everything
we want.
Or should we swim against the tide?
See where it takes us.
We could try.
It couldn’t be worse.

First published by Ugly Writers, July 2018

Author Bio:

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, and writes hoping to find an audience for her musings. 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, Peach Velvet, Light Journal and So It Goes.

Find More by Lynn:

Lynn’s Poetry Blogspot


Lynn’s Facebook author page

“Mom’s Apron” by Mary Bone

In memory of Esther Lucille (Harris) Barrick.
July 4th, 1923-January 14th, 2010

Mom’s Apron

Folded neatly, decorated with embroidery
and crochet,
mom’s apron is a reminder of the many great meals
she cooked on the old wood stove.
Wearing her handmade apron,
she would cook skillet cornbread, red beans and
buttermilk biscuits made from scratch.
She would add a pinch of this and a pinch of that
making a gourmet meal, fit for a king.
Her sweet southern tea would steep all morning
on the back porch in the Oklahoma sun.
I can still hear the screen door opening
and mom would say, “Dinner’s Ready!”

Background for this Poem:

This is “a poem I wrote in memory of my mother, Esther Lucille (Harris) Barrick. She was a great mother to her eight children and a wonderful grandmother. Her birthday is on July 4th. She passed away in 2010 and left a great legacy behind. I wrote, “Mom’s Apron” in her memory.” ~ Mary Bone

Author Bio:

Mary Bone’s Poetry can be found at Spillwords, Literary Librarian and other places. A short story entitled, “Koolaid Street” is currently posted at Literary Yard.

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All photos public domain

“Colors” by Linda Imbler

Colors

Back when the water was blue
we told each other secrets.
And we talked through all the days.
But sometimes
colors change,
don’t they?

Background for this Poem:

This woman has experienced the loss of her spouse. She is now looking at the sun setting on her own life, hence the color change of the ocean and sky. The poem is inspired by the recent death of one of my neighbors. His wife is now alone. She is 99. He was 98.

Author Bio:

Linda Imbler’s poetry collections include two self-published works, Big Questions, Little Sleep, and Lost and Found. Soma Publishing has published her two e-book collections, The Sea’s Secret Song, and Pairings, a hybrid of short fiction and poetry.

Examples of Linda’s poetry and a listing of publications can be found at Linda’s Poetry Blog.

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All photos public domain

“Morning on the Maine Coast” by John Grey

Here’s dawn, in golden high heels,
and sky pushing teal and ochre
onto the early risers.
I yawn before the uncurtained window.
The colors take sides.
Light blue above, a deeper hue, almost indigo,
to the waters of the inlet.

Thank God, the nightmare’s behind me
and boats bob, the fishermen unfold nets,
at the wharf below.
Beasts arose, men were slaughtered,
and all because I ate late.
But everything’s coming out of cold storage.
And above, birds are in the ascendancy,
mostly gulls but the one dark solemn crow
that remains from my sleep.

No storm today.
Not when the morning sings to me like this.
Nothing ominous.
A sparkle on the surface.
A good catch out at sea.
The demons would tell me
that this is all outside of me
and they’re the ones
that have the inside running.
But maybe on such a day,
I am also outside of me.
Find me there,
not back in my brainwashed head.
I inhale warm air.
I exhale intentions made clear.

Author Bio:

John Grey is an Australian poet, and U.S. resident. Recently published in
That, Muse, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Hawaii Review and The Dunes Review.

“Palace Amusements” by Jack M. Freedman

This poem is dedicated to my father, Reginald Freedman (1948-2013)

Palace Amusements

Asbury Park
greets me
within your thin lipped
toothy smile

At the end of every labyrinth,
you straddle the seashore’s yen.

You are a funhouse mirror
distorting my figure
yet always finding
abundant embodiments
within my gut

My navel yearns
for that connection
to amusement within
these vibrant walls

Love was the product
of jackpots
won from slot machines
dispensing ducats

Tokens tossed from one hand
Arm pulled by the other hand

You were the windfall
stashed within this chest
of hazy nostalgia

Adulthood proves more haunting
compared to the cart
carrying me through
those mysterious halls

Wishing I could be hypnotized
just so I could catch a spoonful
of what once satiated my satisfaction

One taste of the sacrament
derived from riding the roller coaster
before it became a cliche
denoting a diagnosis

Before mania
surged through my synapses
like a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo

After bumper cars foreshadowed
the accidents I’d face
throughout these
static frequencies
of depression

If you were a Eucharist
I’d be an idolator

For you were the body of a god
I tasted before knowing what it meant
to be a righteous Jew

You were the excuse I needed
to play hooky from Sunday school

You were the choir who greeted me
before I possessed the voice to echo
any calls I desperately needed to answer

You were the calming voice I needed
before my own soothsaying emerged

Now the tongue with which I speak
needs to taste the honey
into which I dip my apple

Now this fruit
stores nectar
of passing years
in a cloud

Accessed via my digital thumbprint
Repressed via my carbon footprint

Pollen is carried by a generation
of workers and drones

If I left an intention on my doorstep…
I’d wish for it
to be carried
by the Westerleigh wind…

I’d hope the corners
of the crown
in my castle
mirrored this palace
of amusements

I’d pray the pleasantries
could be contained
by the channels
from which we feel joy

May our data be easy to transmit
even if our devices are outdated

May said devices be reused
as analog anecdotes

Let them be paperweights
for the childhoods we cherish

Preserving a trail
back to the inner offspring
struggling to spawn and survive

Background for this Poem:

Palace Amusements was an indoor amusement park in Asbury Park, NJ. I went there when I was six years old and miss it terribly. It closed back in 1988, but the legacy remains with Tillie. This was the mascot of the palace I make reference to in the first stanza.

Author Bio:

Jack M. Freedman is a poet and spoken word artist from Staten Island, NY. Publications featuring his work span the globe. Countries include USA, Canada, UK, France, The Netherlands, Ukraine, India, Nigeria, Singapore, and Thailand. He is the author of the upcoming chapbook, …and the willow smiled (Cyberwit.net, 2019).

Find More by Jack at:

Facebook: @andthewillowsmiled

Twitter: @JacobMoses81

…and the willow smiled by Jacob Moses on Amazon

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All photos public domain