“A Glimpse of Spring” by Joan McNerney

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shy blue morning
black trees etch sky

children skipping
over puddles

bramble on snow
soft birdsong

listening to water
race downstream

winds gently kiss
my forehead

grass shoots push
through first thaw

 

 

Bio:

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Spectrum Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net (the link is to the Amazon listing). She has four Best of the Net nominations.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All photos public domain

“Children” by Claudia Messelodi

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They dot the backyards
of late summer
with their feeble presences full of joy
and cheerful cries.
They chase each other and fight
and then hold hands.
They do not know any malice or deception,
blindly believe in tomorrow
in a world that will welcome them
and offer them all that they treasure
in their dreams.
They shine
through the backyards at dusk
under a late summer sky
without stars.
They glow like crazy fireflies,
unaware of the fake lights of a future
hanging just around the corner.

 

Bio:
Claudia Messelodi lives in Italy where she works as a foreign language teacher at a secondary school. She is married and has three children. She is the author of nine poetry collections written both in Italian and English. She particularly loves writing haiku and short forms of poetry. Her poems have appeared in several anthologies and publications since 2010 and many of them were honoured with literary awards.

 

Read More by Claudia:

A Stream of Small Stones (Claudia’s Blog)

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All photos public domain

“Jamaica Plain” by Lynne Viti

Jamaica Plain Image - Creative Commons Wiki

At a group house down the block from the old stables,
a shambles, derelict— gentrification a long way off—
You said you grew up on an island. I said
my city was full of dying steel mills and railroads.

When the flu had you down for weeks,
I figured you lost my number,
You recovered, you relapsed.
My friends said he’s not healthy enough for you.
You mailed me a ticket to a baseball game, said to meet you there.

I made coffee in my galley kitchen Sunday morning.
We went to the movies, to a bar, had a couple of pints,
went to my place, made a frittata with artichokes.
I stood behind you, watched you wash the dishes.

When the door closed behind you I couldn’t believe my luck.
I recalled the feeling of your hands firm around my lower ribs,
like you were pressing my heart upwards so you might take it.

 

Bio:
Lynne Viti, a senior lecturer emerita at Wellesley College, is the author of Baltimore Girls (2017) and The Glamorganshire Bible (2018 ) (Finishing Line Press), and the forthcoming Dancing at Lake Montebello (Apprentice House Press).

 

Read More by Lynne Viti at:

Lynne’s Blog

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

All images public domain

“Barnyard Reflections” by Mary Bone

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In the barnyard, be careful where you step.
Feathers are being preened,
colors shine brightly.
In the early morning hours,
a rooster crows outside my window.
A new day begins.

 

Some Information About This Poem:
This poem reminds me of life on the farm, where you don’t need an alarm clock. When I was little, I would dive under the pillows and try to sleep a little longer after our rooster crowed waking up the household.

 

Bio:
Mary’s poems have recently been published at Family Friend Poems, Vita Brevis Press and Literary Librarian Pantheon of Poesy.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

“I Danced with God Last Night” by Gabriella Garofalo

To Alessio Bettoli, in the name of remembrance

spring-evening-at-inokashira-park-1931
“Spring Evening at Inokashira Park” by Kawase Hasui (1931)

I danced with God last night –
A swanky party, smart guests,
I felt tense, bit shy, so to break the ice
I asked him what he thought of the moon:
‘She’s nice, he said, ‘bit fickle maybe,
To every gazer a different stare,
Don’t you think so?’
To be honest I’ve always seen her true to herself,
So I politely begged to differ –
See what happens then, in the next round
The moon asked me to dance,
Now I was eager, wasn’t I, to know
What she thought of God so I asked her –
Was I being too nosey and bold perhaps?
You never know with those people from the sky,
Such an ilk apart –
‘He’s great, she said, ‘bit slow maybe
When choosing the new furniture,
The sky badly needs sprucing up,
Don’t you think so?’
Actually the sky looks fine by me,
So I politely begged to differ –
At home now, a blue sky against the ice white and a missing teacher,
But I can’t run away, who’s there to feed my garden
And I’m shoeless, but wasn’t that party
Such great blast, after bloody August
When I lay snared among seaweeds, corals, sea stars
And kept knocking on the door for shelter and fire –
Of course to no avail, the fire gone missing,
Radiance never hits the water and where are they now?
Anyway.
Let’s keep cool, a look at the bright side might do:
The water I’m drinking tastes harsh, fine, OK,
Water is life they say and she even had the guts
Of screaming she’s been dirtied from day one:
Over five nights birth loomed over two young lovers –
A force to be reckoned with?
Who bloody cares, so are the veils that hide my skies
And a name starting with G.

 

Bio: 

Born in Italy some decades ago, Gabriella Garofalo fell in love with the English language at six, started writing poems (in Italian) at six and is the author of “Lo sguardo di Orfeo;” “L’inverno di vetro;” “Di altre stelle polari;” “Blue branches;”  and “A Blue Soul.”

Accompanying her submission of this poem was the sentence: “…warmest wishes from Italy, where, courtesy of Coronavirus, we live in a pitch-black limbo, an endless tunnel.”

 

Our best wishes and prayers for Italy; our best wishes and prayers for the world…
~ Amarine Rose Ravenwood/aka Nina Hall/The Literary Librarian.

© The Literary Librarian 2020

“Once The Covered bridge” by Dr. Upma Sharma

image2

Till last fine month
I was poising firm,
Aloft those giggling waters
that often went wild.
Taking pride of
my sinewy timbers,
As brimming loads of
endless desires passed by.
In my days of youth
Condoned the avid,
Drudgery and ambitious,
Smirked evermore.
For years having allured
many adorable twosomes,
Charming familiar faces
grew up in grace.
Now shattered I lie
Beneath that aqua,
As feral waves caress
my deep wounds,
My tears sinking
Tranquil to river bed.
Lost to negligence
my soul kept calling,
As soaked in edacity
you chose to be careless.
Once reckoning picturesque
was my enticing chemistry,
Amidst blooming greens
my stunning brown woodland.
Too late the realm
Severed beyond mend,
Now me, the covered bridge
be commemorated in history
and missed in panorama.

 

Bio:

Passion for poetry can turn anyone crazy, Dr. Upma A. Sharma has proved this so well. She finds time from her busy schedule to satiate her appetite for words, words that rhyme with her heart. She feels that nothing in this world happens without a reason and so is poetry. This indeed is a purposeful expression of emotions and thoughts that are well oxygenated before putting them into circulation, and positive words certainly are a way to serenity.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2020

“Where Frozen Embers Still Burn” by Dr. Upma Sharma

Meeting you in life was an absolute delight;
Hearts rhymed perfect and eyes were bright,
Glow of a red blush on my face;
With your every blazing fiery embrace.

When souls took a far off flight;
There was a beauty even in the murky sight,
A tender heartache and you were there;
Those days certainly are lost somewhere.

Shunning the present and living in past;
Misery that would move the most obdurate heart,
No mold can shape as I quiver molten;
Memories of best times are frigid frozen.

Illusions of your breath every moment;
Diving deep into heart, flowing torrent,
Red running in my veins has turned auburn;
Frozen embers in my heart still slowly burn.

Author Bio:

Dr Upma Sharma Author PhotoPassion for poetry can turn anyone crazy, and Dr. Upma A. Sharma has proved this so well. She finds time from her busy schedule to satiate her appetite for words; words that rhyme with her heart. She feels that nothing in this world happens without a reason and that this is true for poetry as well as life. This, indeed, is a purposeful expression of emotions and thoughts that are well-oxygenated before putting them into circulation, and positive words certainly are a way to serenity. More of Dr. Sharma’s writing can be found at PoetrySoup and at Whispers in the Wind.

 

“Where Frozen Embers Still Burn” was originally published by Poetry Soup

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“To Choose Betwixt” by Dr. Ashok Chakravarthy Tholana

 

fractal-2622301_1920 Light Blue

To Choose Betwixt

Humanity is caught
Betwixt good and bad,
Betwixt devil and God,
Betwixt hope and desires,
Betwixt joy and distress,
Betwixt love and hate,
Betwixt luck and fate,
Betwixt worship and faith,
Betwixt life and death,
Betwixt mercy and cruelty,
Betwixt ugly and beauty,
Betwixt right and wrong,
Betwixt weak and strong,
Betwixt peace and violence,
Betwixt serenity and turbulence.

Encircled by clouds of desires
And losing the discriminate sense,
The bliss of self-vision gets spoilt
Betwixt hasty and turbulent acts.
How come then,
True wisdom prevail
To choose betwixt ….
Mortal and immortal faith;
The one that confers fleeting joy
The one that confers eternal joy?

Author Bio:

Dr. Ashok Chakravarthy Tholana is a writer, poet, and reviewer, hailing from Hyderabad City, Telangana State, India. Composing poetry for the past thirty years, Ashok has the rare distinction of having had over 1,800 of his poems published in various literary magazines, newspapers, journals, e-zines, anthologies, etc., in no less than 90 countries.
For his unique poetry record, Mr. Ashok has received commendations from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former-President, India, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, former-Prime Minister, India, Bill Clinton, USA, Queen Elizabeth of Britain, Princess of Wales, President and Prime Minister of France, Prime Minister of Switzerland, Senator Viktor Busa, The Lord President, Italy, United Nationals Organization, UNESCO, UNICEF, etc.. As of now, seven of Ashok’s eighteen volumes of English poetry have been published and he has translated twelve spiritual-related books, so far, from Telugu to the English language.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Roll of the Dice” by Mary Bone

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Roll of the Dice

The dice was thrown on the table.
Will there be beans to eat? Will I wear sable?
This was a game of chance.
Hopes were up.
The stocks had fallen as the dice rolled.
Cards were shuffled all around.
Tonight there was no bread to eat.
The harvest ended on a summer day.
Grasshoppers ate everything on the vine.
We wore threadbare clothes,
There were still bills to pay.

Author Bio:

Some of Mary Bone’s poetry and short stories can be found at the following places: The Literary Librarian Pantheon Of Poesy, a short story entitled, “The Dog Days Of Summer,” is currently posted at The Literary Yard. Several of Mary’s poems can be read at www.bestpoetrywebsite.com.

“Stargazing” by Karen O’Leary

image

Stargazing

Silent sparklers twinkle;
Sisters carry my dreams.
Spotlighting the new moon,
September’s gentle beams
Showcase a fresh pathway
So new for this seeker.
Soothing lights…heaven’s hope.

 

 

Background for this poem:

In research about the Pleiades poetry form, I found it is seven line form to represent the Pleiades or Seven Sisters star cluster. Each line has six syllables because only six of the stars are readily seen readily by the naked eye. The form was developed in 1999 by Craig Tigerman.

*poetry form Pleiades

 

Author Bio:

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, North Dakota. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including The Literary Librarian, Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. She edited an international online journal called Whispers for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

Find Karen’s Writing at:

Whispers journal

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Lost” by Lynn White

stripy-socks

Lost

All those lost souls wandering sadly
in the space of their imaginations.
Where are they?
I can’t find them,
can’t help them.
All those lost socks swallowed.
by the washing machine.
Eaten up
Digested.
Where are they?
Odd,
but I can’t find them.
All those lost words tumbling
through the dictionary.
Sometimes I find a few
and catch them
hold them,
write them down.
Then, sometimes
a few more find me
and I grab them too
and re-arrange them all.
Sometimes they are worth reading
found and picked up for keeping.

 

Background for this Poem:

The poem was inspired by all the odd socks I seem to accumulate!
First published in Silver Apples Issue 9, People We Left Behind, 2017

 

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, Capsule Stories, Light Journal and So It Goes.

 

Find More by Lynn:

Lynn’s Poetry Blogspot
Lynn’s Facebook author page

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All images public domain

“August” by Joan McNerney

Seahorse for August Poem.jpg

August

The sun is a giant beach ball.
See it splashing through
waves all red violet blue.

Waters creep over my feet.
Should I stand shivering
or go swim? Lose my footprint?

Off I run, falling over myself,
a mug of salty cider. This
wave an insecure bed. Seaweed
pillow. Carried by moon to
an abyss.

The floor of my mansion is
not tidy. I shall have sponges
for lunch. Ride with seahorses
perhaps.

On the far shore, my lover
smiles, kiss of surf.

Author Bio:

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle PressDinner with the Muse, Warriors with Wings, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A 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.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All images public domain

“Silent History” by Gert W. Knop

image (1)
Near Toconao, Atacama, Chile (pencil drawing) by Gert W. Knop

Silent History

Bright clouds
let the lapis-lazuli coloured
sky shine.
And at afar,
mountains uncover their
innocent faces.
Sunrays immerse them
in golden colours
and feverish red.
Snow shelters the peaks
of the Cordillera
and the desert empties
its dust over lonely rocks.
The desert keeps its silent history
like a valuable treasure.
Words of a lost language
fade in the wind,
with the call of a condor

 

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

Artwork © Gert W. Knop 2019

“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

Photo © Gert W. Knop 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

“Two-Way Gratitude” by Karen O’Leary

image

Two-Way Gratitude

Eighty-year-old Sid
steps behind the till,
waving off his wife.

Stevenson’s Gift Shop
is an icon on Main Street
of our small town.

“Two bits minus
two bucks credit,”
he says with a smile.

He slips my book
into a brown business
bag, “Come again.”

I hand him a twenty,
“Keep the change.”
His wife sighs.

Our town was built
on kindness & respect,
something I honor.

Background for this poem:

“I grew up in a small town in central Minnesota. People help people. My Dad has Alzheimer’s and the support he and Mom have is so heartwarming. The kindness and respect are models for those fortunate to witness or be a part of it. This poem is based on life in our town.”

 

Author Bio:

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, North Dakota. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. She edited an international online journal called Whispers for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Island Paradise” – A Poem Video by Bruce Rowe

 

Background for this Poem:

“I wrote the poem while working out of town and missing my wife. Using nautical visuals is a result of my loving everything that has to do with the ocean. For many years, I was an avid scuba diver and immersed myself into everything piratical.

“I was born in the Deep South of Louisiana, where folklore and myths are as plentiful as fireflies in the Bluebonnet Swamp on a midsummer’s night. I love integrating the supernatural elements from those myths, in addition to others from around the world, into my stories.” ~ Bruce Rowe

 

Author Bio:

Bruce has short stories published at Spillwords, DastaanWorld, The World of Myth, and CafeLit. His story, “The Rider,” was nominated for Publication of the Month in October of 2018. “Grandfather’s Clock” was a featured piece at Spillwords, as well. “The Lonely Traveler” received a special mention at Cafelit.

Bruce presently resides in Southern California.

 

Find More by Bruce at:

You can read all of Bruce’s short stories, flash fiction stories, and poems that have been published in one convenient place – Bruce’s Writing Room.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

Poem written by Bruce Rowe. Video Poem Video Composition created, using public domain images, by Amarine Rose Ravenwood at The Literary Librarian. Music by Alexander Blu at OrangeFreeSounds.

“A Mother’s Treasure” – A Poem Video by Amarine Rose Ravenwood

 

Author Bio:

Amarine Rose Ravenwood writes poetry and fantasy fiction for children, preteens, and teens. She has been writing since her early teens. As well as being an author and poet and the owner, manager, editor, and publisher of The Literary Librarian journal, Amarine is also a freelance fiction editor for Night Sky Book Services and also provides services as a poetry editor for Poetry Passions Editing Services. Amarine’s poetry joins the hosted poems of The Literary Librarian’s Pantheon of Poesy as just another poem, and Amarine abides by the same guidelines The Literary Librarian has set up for all poetry submissions to this site, as just one more member of a larger writing community.

 

Find More By Amarine at:

“A Mother’s Treasure,” “The Free Spirit,” and “A Grandmother’s Promise” in Voice of Eve, Issue 2, pages 50-56:

“The Fairy Queen” poem in the Cadence anthology by Clarendon House Publications

Amarine’s Facebook Author Page

Amarine Ravenwood’s Magical Realm (WordPress blog)

Amarine’s Twitter

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“This Morning” by Joan McNerney

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This Morning

Between deep night
and soft dawn the
mist covers fields
spreading over daisies
climbing bunchberries
wetting seeds, leaves.

Milky smoke roams
back and forth
wandering voiceless
through mountains
of morning.

Whistling in fog
past sycamores
warblers seesaw
up cloudy layers
up up circling
toward heaven.

 

Author Bio:

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle PressDinner with the Muse, Warriors with Wings, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A 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.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Grandfather’s Tree” by Mary Bone

“In memory of my dad, John Ray Barrick, Purple Heart recipient and recipient of other medals, from Burneyville, Oklahoma.” ~ Mary Bone

Treehouse
Grandfather’s Tree

Grandfather’s tree stood high on a hill.
The branches held him when he was a child.
He once played in its green leafy fingers.
Long limbs splayed
out in a tree house,
as he watched the clouds float by.
Grandchildren play in the tree now,
knowing grandfather slumbers below.

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem reminds me of my dad, who had a cot under a large tree in our front yard, in Burneyville, Oklahoma. He used to sleep on it at night, sometimes. He was a veteran of WWII and enjoyed the great outdoors. He is buried in Burneyville, Oklahoma, not too far from his favorite tree.

 

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

“Mountains” by Amarine Rose Ravenwood

 

Mountains

Mountains

Poem text (repeated for legibility)

Mountains, creased and crumpled high,
Reaching fingers to the sky,
With their feet spread down below,
And their heads covered with snow,

Do they know of what we think,
When we look upon their brink?
Do they sit in silent slumber,
Bearing under ice and thunder?

They withstand the harshest blows,
And bear up tall under such snows;
Resolute, moored fast and firm,
Inflexible of root and stern,

Sentinel to many ages,
Faces steep with many gauges;
Representing permanence,
They impress their imminence.

We can’t help but gaze in awe,
And we can’t help but feel their draw;
For immovable though they be,
There’s nothing more we want to see.

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem was written while thinking about the Colorado mountains. Some places are known for their trees and forests; some are known for their plains and prairies; some are known for their fruit. Colorado is known for its mountains. This is how many people who live near mountains feel about them. This is how I feel about them.

 

Author Bio:

Amarine Rose Ravenwood writes poetry and fantasy fiction for children, preteens, and teens. She has been writing since her early teens. As well as being an author and poet and the owner, manager, editor, and publisher of The Literary Librarian journal, Amarine is also a freelance fiction editor for Night Sky Book Services and also provides services as a poetry editor for Poetry Passions Editing Services. Amarine’s poetry joins the hosted poems of The Literary Librarian’s Pantheon of Poesy as just another poem, and Amarine abides by the same guidelines The Literary Librarian has set up for all poetry submissions to this site, as just one more member of a larger writing community.

 

Find More By Amarine at:

“A Mother’s Treasure,” “The Free Spirit,” and “A Grandmother’s Promise” in Voice of Eve, Issue 2, pages 50-56:

“The Fairy Queen” poem in the Cadence anthology by Clarendon House Publications

Amarine’s Facebook Author Page

Amarine Ravenwood’s Magical Realm (WordPress blog)

Amarine’s Twitter

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Daffodils” by Jack Horne

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Daffodils

Missing you, the grey sky matches my mood –
head down, I pass daffodils
and brighten at the sight…

 

Background for this Poem:

A long time ago, my beloved dog, Paddy was very ill. We all thought he would die that Easter, but the vet gave him some medication, which seemed miraculous to me, when Paddy really perked up. He was soon leaping around the garden again. We had an abundance of daffodils that year and it looked to me like the garden was also filled with joy to see him. Although we lost Paddy many years ago now, I still think of him when I see daffodils.

Poetry form: Kimo

 

Author Bio:

Jack lives in Plymouth, England, and writing is his main interest. Quite a lot of his short stories and poems have been published in various anthologies, newspapers & e-zines, and also two poetry books and two novels (a third novel is soon to be released).

 

Find Jack’s Writing at:

Jack’s Blog

A Ghost Hunt e-book on Amazon

Loving, Living & Legends e-book on Amazon

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

 

“Footsteps to Nowhere” by Gert W. Knop

Footsteps to Nowhere Art by Gert W Knop
Crocuses, felt-tip pens and ink on parchment paper by Gert W. Knop

Footsteps to Nowhere

The years melted away
like short rain in the sand.
The past has lost its face
with grueling thoughts,
which circle
without beginning and end
I follow the footsteps,
to nowhere
and repeat like daydreams.
Sadness paralyzes my thoughts,
falling down from a leaden sky,
like autumn leaves

 

Background for this Poem:

I was on a forest walk on a cool autumn day and walked across a meadow with many crocuses on my way home. Back in my flat I decided to draw this picture and thought it would go well with my poem.

 

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 Märchen on 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

Artwork © Gert W. Knop 2020

 

 

 

“r-e-u-n-i-o-n” by Karen O’Leary

r-e-u-n-i-o-n Image

r-e-u-n-i-o-n

first one
that enticed her
after years of stilted
honey…the homelike sing-along
drew her
the folk
music, a balm
of childhood memories,
rich in acceptance and warm zeal…
at home

 

Background for this poem:

The poem is a culmination of family reunions over the years. As a child, extended family reunions on my father’s side usually had some type of sing-a-longs. There were some talented musicians to lead us. With our printed music sheets people belted out folk songs. Off key or not people enjoyed the memories that went with the music. I enjoyed catching up with various people in the relaxed atmosphere.

 

Author Bio:

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, North Dakota. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. She edited an international online journal called Whispers for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

 

Find Karen’s Writing at:

Whispers journal

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Vessels and Vases” by Mary Bone

dew-drops-of-water-green-56860 Edited Cropped

Vessels and Vases

Vessels and vases
Holding water
Sweating on the outside,
Watering plants,
Containing moisture
Pouring out refreshment
To parched souls.

 

Background for this Poem:

I wrote the above poem after thinking that I tend to sweat the small stuff and I pour myself out daily as if I were a vase or vessel. When I pour out words hopefully I am blessing others as I have been blessed.

 

Author Bio:

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

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

All photos public domain

“Recalling the Past” by Gert W. Knop

Abandoned House in Zittau Germany
Abandoned house in Zittau, Germany. (deliberate blur)

Recalling the Past

Memories come back
lost in the thicket of time
volatile writing on yellow paper
diary the past years
now unreadable

 

Background for this Poem:

For this poem I was inspired when I went for a walk across Zittau, Saxony. Unfortunately, this abandoned house was demolished about two years ago. The blur of this photo is wanted.

 

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 Märchen on 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

Photo © Gert W. Knop 2019

 

“Rain Over Vietnam” by Paul Callus

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Rain over Vietnam

There is the calm before the rain
It’s almost silent all around
The clouds expectant in the sky
Foreboding birds are homeward bound.

The soldiers stare at looming clouds
There is the calm before the rain
And yet there’s tension in the air
Will all this waiting be in vain?

They know the feeling well enough
The sun gets left out in the cold
There is the calm before the rain
They have to be prepared and bold.

The sound of planes will soon be heard
Torrential bombs will fall again
But ‘til the heavens burst in floods
There is the calm before the rain.

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem, written in Quatern form, was inspired by the song “Have you ever seen the rain?” sung by Credence Clearwater Revival. It has an underlying reference to the Vietnam War.

 

Author Bio:

Paul Callus was born in Safi, Malta. He is a retired teacher, and has been active in the literary field for around 50 years. He writes poetry, short stories, and lyrics for songs, mostly in English and Maltese. His work has been published in various anthologies and online sites. He is also a translator and proof-reader.

 

Find More by Paul at:

Paul on Poetry Soup

Paul’s Twitter

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Walking in Time” by Karen O’Leary

antique-classic-countdown-1095601

Walking in Time

grandpa’s hour glass broke
years ago…
for him
time
stood
…still…
time
ticked on
at a pace
that left him silent
our hearts had bonded
so we walked
in love…
still
time

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem, while fictional, is born of the special bond I had with my grandpa.  We often walked in silence, content just being together.  He patiently taught me how to wash eggs as a preschooler, a task that probably took him twice as long.  His quiet strength has been a model for my life.  For those stuck in the past, time does stand still, but yet time still continues on. My grandpa is in heaven now but is still tucked in my heart.

Poetry form–Fibonacci

 

Author Bio:

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, North Dakota. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. She edited an international online journal called Whispers for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

 

Find Karen’s Writing at:

Whispers journal

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Vignettes” by Sunil Sharma

This poem is political and is dedicated to all the workers, male and female. The struggle of these workers is grimmer in a developing, post-colonial, Asian country but things are improving slowly.

Vignettes

A middle-aged female worker
sits on her haunches under the
shade of a frail tree, middle of an
open ground, near
some shops, rudely constructed,
asbestos sheets for roofs, where
lean men toil
for a bleak livelihood.

Craggy and broad visage,
hair matted, eyes blank. She
lights up, inhales deeply,

coughs her lungs out,
yet, persists in smoking,
on this Sunday morning,
hot and humid.

After some time,
she gets up unwillingly,
wipes forehead,
walks slowly to a
low-paid job
in a vertical house
unsmiling,
in dream-city Mumbai.

Her recess over.

On old cell phone,
she sings softly:
Coming, madam!
Coming!

Two teenage girls.

Under a wide
red umbrella,
in the courtyard
of a food franchise;

they casually
light up and
banter simultaneously,
their boyfriends, equally
loud and bawdy.

The young group unwinds and
enjoys the cool breeze, being
served by lean-faced servers,
otherwise invisible.

The lucky consumers
of pizzas, coffees
and ice-creams

wear brands and
indifference on sleeves,

light years away
from the grim
struggles of
another India,
working at the cash
counters or outside
in a sun that shines
extra harshly over
them.

Inspiration for This Poem:

These twin scenes were witnessed in real-time and provided an impetus to a recording mind. They are a kind of documentation of the contemporary Indian life in metros and extended suburbs.

While smoking is a fatal release for the gaunt woman, it is fashionable for the young women, kind of assertion of identity in a repressive culture. A subtle but injurious-to-health rebellion.

This poem also shows the freedom of the women in public places and an openness, otherwise denied in smaller towns, for women.

 

Author Bio:

IMG20181222110526Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 19 published books: Six collections of poetry, two of short fiction, one novel, a critical study of the novel, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.

Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal, Setu, published from Pittsburgh, USA:

 

Find Sunil’s Writing at:

Sunil’s Blog

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

 

“Delicate Strength” by Amarine Rose Ravenwood

girl-2424116_1920

Delicate Strength

In her very breath, she’s womanly:
Soft and calm; refined and elegant.
But beneath the soft, a strength of steel;
Intelligent, kind, clever, and relevant.

Indeed, her words may pierce or caress;
A sharp-edged tongue with a velvet underside;
It’s not a deceit, but a complexity;
A duality of form, undefined.

And while she nurtures, she is fierce;
Ready to defend; equally to solace.
While she is loved, held most dear,
She’s not liked by all, and hardly flawless.

The depth of her life contradicted by beauty;
The surface denying what lies underneath;
The softness of voice, that sounds so gentle
Deceiving in every vocal upbreathe.

For under the soft exterior shell,
lies the heart of a lioness, strong and resilient.
As what is all soft cannot fully exist,
The harshness of life creates a balance that’s brilliant.

When you go to judge by a beautiful face,
A beauty that’s elegant; decorated with grace,
Remember that softness belies a great strength,
A gentle exterior with an iron base.

 

Background for this Poem:

I was thinking about the conundrum of duality in women, and how we are often judged as weak, inferior, or lacking in strength because we are beautiful and appear to be frail in comparison to men. When I think of some of the women who have influenced my life, I cannot see any true frailty, only gentleness and a strength of steel hidden beneath their delicate beauty. My own grandmother was one such woman. She was kind and gentle, soft-spoken, elegant, and a lovely person. And inside her was a strength you might never suspect would be encased in such a delicate form. She met every opposition in her life with her chin held up and her shoulders squared. She did not flinch from life’s hardness or its cruelties, but accepted them as a part of life, and wherever she could, she turned them into something good. She made opportunities to show kindness to others. And there are many other people in the world who function in the same way, kindness over a firm foundation of strong will and spirit. This is woman’s dual nature.

 

Author Bio:

Amarine Rose Ravenwood writes poetry and fantasy fiction for children, preteens, and teens. She has been writing since her early teens. As well as being an author and poet and the owner, manager, editor, and publisher of The Literary Librarian journal, Amarine is also a freelance fiction editor for Night Sky Book Services and also provides services as a poetry editor for Poetry Passions Editing Services. Amarine’s poetry joins the hosted poems of The Literary Librarian’s Pantheon of Poesy as just another poem, and Amarine abides by the same guidelines The Literary Librarian has set up for all poetry submissions to this site, as just one more member of a larger writing community.

 

Find More By Amarine at:

“A Mother’s Treasure,” “The Free Spirit,” and “A Grandmother’s Promise” in Voice of Eve, Issue 2, pages 50-56:

“The Fairy Queen” poem in the Cadence anthology by Clarendon House Publications

Amarine’s Facebook Author Page

Amarine Ravenwood’s Magical Realm (WordPress blog)

Amarine’s Twitter

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Imagine” by Joan McNerney

bird-2361184_1920

Imagine

Imagine to be a bird
slicing air with wings.

Up up over that horizon
soaring through clouds
away from solemn earth.

Shining, shimmering
far above this sphere
into clear blue light.

Cutting through sky
gliding over oceans
eyes open all seeing.

Awake all day all night
brushing rushing
against the four winds.

Imagine to be a bird.

 

Author Bio:

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle PressDinner with the Muse, Warriors with Wings, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A 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.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Outdoor Voices” by Mary Bone

Outdoor voices in trees,
bees buzzing,
birds singing,
in the great outdoors.
Owls are hooting
in the moonlight.
I join my voice with the frogs
who croak at night.
Coyotes howl
in the woods beyond.
Outdoor voices
are all around.

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem is based on the call of spring all around us. Everything around us is celebrating new life and the trees and flowers are so pretty to behold.

 

Author Bio:

Mary Bone CroppedMary Bone has been writing poetry and short stories since the age of twelve. She has written two books of poetry. A few of her poems can be found at https://www.bestpoetry.website/. Her poems have been published in magazines, journals, and other places.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Sundown” by Karen O’Leary

image

Sundown

Dakota dust clings
to dad’s sweaty skin.
We bring cold water
& ham sandwiches
to the men working
to get the crops planted.

Today they beat
the storm as steady
rain soaks the parched
soil, nourishing water
for the tiny seeds
they just tucked in.

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem is born of my growing up in rural Minnesota as a child that appreciated the opportunity to share in the farm life on vacations with my cousins. We brought the sandwiches out to those that were working in the fields. Rain was deeply appreciated when the crops were in. I’ve lived in North Dakota for most of my life as an adult. The rural life is a vital part of the Red River Valley.

 

Author Bio:

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, North Dakota. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. She edited an international online journal called Whispers for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

 

Find Karen’s Writing at:

Whispers journal

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Poetry Mind Pantoum” by Victoria Crawford

image

Poetry Mind Pantoum

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.

 

Author Bio:

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.

 

Find More By Victoria:

Two poems, “Angel Autumn” and “Cypress Years,” on Califragile.org

Two poems, “Komorebi” and “Flush and Blush,” on Poetry Pacific

“Garland Days” on Postcard Poems and Prose

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Gamblers Hands” by Carl “Papa” Palmer

“To my father, now rolling those dice in Heaven. Happy birthday, dad (April 19th).” ~ Carl “Papa” Palmer

Gamblers Dice

Gamblers Hands

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.

 


Authors Bio:

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!

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

 

“Hye Holiday Gathering” by Elaine Reardon

Elaines Family
Top Left: Elaine’s great grandmother Hripsoma, her grandmother Miriam, and her Aunt, Sitanoush. Top Right: Elaine being held by Father Kevon as a child. Bottom: Elaine’s parents when they got married

Hye Holiday Gathering

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 Reardon


Author Bio:

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


Find Elaine at:

Elaine’s Website
The Heart is a Nursery For Hope on Amazon

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“The Girl of the Mountain” – poetry-photography collaboration by Deborah Setiyawati & Carl Scharwath

image.png

 

The Girl of the Mountain

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.)

 

Bio PicDeborah 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.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“April Blue” by Joan McNerney

April Blue

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
noontime breezes.

Spring is waiting for us!

Author Bio:

VivitarJoan 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 Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A 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.

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Chocolate” by L. Shapley Bassen

Chocolate

Sip hot
or not.
Truffles
ruffle.
Bites
ignite.
Toppings,
I’m hoping.
The way
to say,
to show.
From sips
to lips
and know
melting.

Some Background Information About This Poem

This poem was inspired by Valentine’s Day and chocolate.


Author Bio:

LoisbiopicL. 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

 

“A Dormouse Dreams” by Lynn White

A Dormouse Dreams

“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!”
“Boiled dormouse!
Now that could be a tasty morsel”
Hatter said thoughtfully.
“But would it be worth the risks
of mousicide?
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,
“but backwards
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.

 

Author Bio:

LynnLynn 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.

 

Find Lynn at:

Lynn’s Blogspot

Lynn’s Facebook Poetry Page

“A Dormouse Dreams” original publication in Scrittura 

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“AI! AI! AI! (A Tartarus for Youth)” by David Estringel

tartarus

“AI! AI! AI! (A Tartarus for Youth)”

I.
AI! AI! AI!
Sated with stolen life,
emerged from mother’s Night,
there is longing to be free
from the warmth of darkened humours–
to be crowned by The Light of Artificial Gods.
Our worlds quake and rip,
tossing us upon gory shores
beyond fertile crests,
illuminated by a cold Sun.
Messengers sweep down in clouds of winged oblivion
to wet lips with Lethe’s waters
upon cruel fingertips.
“Shhhh.”

II.
AI! AI! AI!
Blinded,
light brings pain
in rushes of movement and sound
that sting the flesh.
Icy
with invasions
of steel and sterile prodding,
souls rouse to profess philosophies
in cries and screams
that crack the air,
unheard
like the falling of leaves upon the ground
from distant trees

III.
AI! AI! AI!
Swaddled bodies,
searched in vain for the safety of familiarity,
tell much, tell little
like symbols in scrying mirrors.
Their fictions, written with sweat and tears,
anointing
foreheads, eyes, and lips
with benedictions of shameful regret.
As if it were better to have the heads of babes
dashed and bloodied
upon the Rock,
than to suffer Spartan destinies, impaired.
Left only to linger—a world apart—
in bloodless mediocrity.

IV.
AI! AI! AI!
What are these ragged paths
to be stumbled upon
under tender foot,
with stones that cut
and scratching thorns from the briar
that temper flesh,
supple and pink,
making hard what was once soft to the touch.
Fed by an earth
that feasts on cuts,
bodies devolve to walk upright—and alone
upon roads, paved with the hands and backs
of brethren.
Knuckles crunching beneath soles like so much gravel.

V.
AI! AI! AI!
O, the passion of attainment,
upon which the masses engorge,
aimless in its metal
and promises
of faceless adulations
and the settling of laurelled wreathes
upon heads of cartilage!
How empty, these violent strikes against the Self,
incessant and passionless,
carving out pounds of flesh,
victory for victory,
‘til nothing remains–
all for narratives
that are not their own.

VI.
AI! AI! AI!
How thirsty are these–
the razor-tongued buds of spring.
Driven
to the drinking of others’ tears
for satisfaction of sanguine thirsts.
To revel
in the tearing
of white petals
from tender stems
with poisoned fingertips,
delighting in themselves,
as if masters of ceremonies
at blood-lettings
and vivisections.

VII.
AI! AI! AI!
The sooth of touch’s fidelity
has melted away–
soured–
like cream in the sun.
Replaced,
the quality of distance
makes, explicit, one’s worth,
across arid plains
of air and silence.
Fallen away, the allures and charms
of communion,
only to make room
for the play of shadows
on Plato’s walls.

VIII.
AI! AI! AI!
There is a science,
oppressive
and cold,
behind the collisions of heavenly bodies of light (in love)—
clashing
explosions of atoms
over chasms—
the spaces in between—
that define and separate.
Souls, burning brightly,
cannot coexist
in their starry majesties
without a surrendering of fire.
My Ares takes your Aphrodite.

IX,
AI! AI! AI!
Upon paths paved with gold,
under the azure
of a fanning sky,
herds
are driven in blithe procession
to the precipice.
Cast into the maw
of their society.
Without the iron shielding of wings,
they perish,
masticated,
like everyman’s meat,
leaving them shades
that stain the wintry air.

X.
I, I, I,
will crawl to the grave,
worn
and weary,
upon the Earth I have salted
with tears,
violent and hot–
but harmonious–
in Time’s own poetry,
where I will find
the Peace and Solace of Rest,
drinking from a forgetful cup,
enshrouded
by the arms of my brother—
The Undergloom.

Originally published at Terror House Magazine and currently in David Estringel’s book Indelible Fingerprints (Alien Buddha Press). https://terrorhousemag.com/tartarus/

 

Some Background Information About This Poem

“Reflecting, I see how much simpler things were when I was young, which makes for a starkly contrasting backdrop against the chaotic world young people navigate today. I find the way things are truly saddening and mourn for the lost innocence of youth. One day, I thought too long about it and “AI! AI! AI!…” came about. Many think “AI” means “artificial intelligence” but that isn’t the context that it is used in here. “AI! AI!” is a classical lament from Ancient Greece, which seems to fit the bill quite nicely, I think.” ~ David Estringel

 

Author Bio:

David Estringel is an avid reader, poet, and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter Magazine, Literary Juice, Foliate Oak Magazine, Terror House Magazine, Expat Press, 50 Haikus, littledeathlit, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Route 7 Review, Setu Bilingual Journal, Paper Trains Literary Journal, The Elixir Magazine, Soft Cartel, Harbinger Asylum, Briars Lit, Open Arts Forum, Cajun Mutt Press, Former People Journal, The Ugly Writers, Writ in Dust, Cephalopress, Twist in Time, Merak Magazine, Salt Water Soul, Cherry House Press, Subterranean Blue Poetry, Printed Words, Sunflower Sutras, Tulip Tree Publishing, Salt Ink, PPP Ezine, Digging through the Fat, Haiku Journal, Foxhole Magazine, The Basil O’Flaherty, Three Line Poetry, Agony Opera, Siren’s Call Ezine, Alien Buddha Press, Synchronized Chaos, Channillo, and The Good Men Project. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez, Lead Editor/columnist at The Good Men Project, an editor/writer at The Elixir Magazine, fiction reader at riverSedge, and columnist at Channillo. David’s first feature-length collection of verse and prose, Indelible Fingerprints, was published by Alien Buddha Press April 2019.

 

Find David at:

David’s Twitter is @The_Booky_Man

David’s Official Website

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

The Pantheon of Poesy Guidelines

The Pantheon of Poesy Logo Wide

The Pantheon of Poesy is a new area of the Literary Librarian dedicated to showcasing and endorsing poems from published poets in a further effort to promote and support authors.

If you are a published poet who has a poem you would like to see hosted on the Literary Librarian, please use the contact form found in the menu to send an email requesting to submit your poem to the Literary Librarian. The poem does not have to be published to be showcased here, but the author must have at least one previous publication somewhere. Indie authors are always welcome. Upon the poem’s addition to the Pantheon of Poesy, the author will receive a link to the hosted poem to share anywhere, be it on an author page, social media, website, or elsewhere. That link belongs to the author as much as it does to the Literary Librarian.

A new poem may be submitted for hosting on the Literary Librarian’s Pantheon of Poesy by any published author once per month, and the poem will stay on the Literary Librarian indefinitely, unless the author requests that the poem be removed from the site for whatever reason. This ensures that the link to the poem will not expire, and the author needn’t worry about it no longer working where they have shared it. The poem will have a permanent home here, and although it is hosted here, it still belongs to the author in its entirety – the author retains the copyright to their own work.

Please email us a verifiable link to a previously published work (indie/self-published is fine), and your poem, along with an image that relates in some way to the poem (or a photo of yourself), a short bio to be included, your dedication if you want to include one, and a paragraph about what inspired the poem, if you want to include that too. You may also include links to your website, Facebook author page, Twitter, book product pages, and anywhere else that readers can follow you or read more of your work. The photo should be a decent-sized (400 x 400 pixels minimum) public domain image or one that you own because you purchased it, or because you took the photo, yourself. In case you’re not sure where to look for public domain images, one great place to find them is at www.pixabay.com. Another is at www.pexels.com.

Once your poem is published to the Pantheon of Poesy, we will send you a link to your poem that you can share or host anywhere you like, just as you do with your author interviews. This is just one more way that the Literary Librarian supports and promotes authors. Use the Contact form in the menu or send your poems to literary.librarian.authors@gmail.com to email us.

We at the Literary Librarian look forward to seeing what will be submitted and to having another avenue by which we can offer author support! As this is a publishing service, we must now assert our standards. Therefore, let it be stated that reprints and simultaneous submissions are welcome.

Please, do not send us submissions that are graphically violent, erotica, suicidal, hate speech toward the self, or toward any group, culture, person, race, sex, etc.

The Literary Librarian performs this service in a voluntary capacity, free of charge, and therefore retains the right to refuse service to anyone or to decline to publish any poem. Poetry copyright information is located Here.