on yet another birthday by Ruth Sabath Rosenthal

Summer of Love

my prized micro-cassette
i keep stashed away
in my dresser drawer
but for this day
each year when i take it
out of its velvet-lined box
to play and replay
my father’s message
promising he’ll return
my call soon
as possible

 

 

Ruth Sabath Rosenthal is a New York poet, well published in literary journals and poetry anthologies throughout the U.S., and internationally. In October 2006, her poem, on yet another birthday, was nominated for a Pushcart prize. Ruth has authored five books of poetry: Facing Home (a chapbook), Facing Home and Beyond, little, but by no means small, Food: Nature vs Nurture, and Gone, but Not Easily Forgotten. For more about Ruth, please feel free to visit her websites: http://newyorkcitypoet.comhttp://bigapplepoet.com and blog site: http://poetrybyruthsabathrosenthal.com

 

Painting, Summer of Love, by Jenn Zed. Used by Permission.

White Out Three Times by Don Krieger

Charlottesville torches Don Krieger White Out

After the wedding I puked,
then slept in the bushes. At first light
I drove east, no good bye, the sun
bright as a bomb. By eight

it was snowing. By ten
I was alone running sixty
in the left lane, the others
behind slow trucks or on the shoulder.

This weekend a white boy
drove into the crowd
and killed somebody. Other boys
with credit cards, K-Mart torches,
mommy’s clean muscle shirts, chanted,

You … won’t … erase … us.

First published in Vox Poetica.

 

Don Krieger is a biomedical researcher living in Pittsburgh, PA. His poetry has appeared online at Tuck Magazine, Uppagus Magazine, VerseWrights, and others, in print in Hanging Loose, Neurology, and in English and Farsi in Persian Sugar in English Tea.

Stressed Out by Paul Lojeski

stressed out paul lojeski by rama

I’m my own murder scene.
One-eyed, bloody-nosed medics,

circle the corpse that is me,
even though I’m smiling and

wink and sing out, how’s it
going boys? But no one answers
including those thick-waisted

trees bending in the screaming
hurricane, nor a gang of cops

scurrying in, smoking, spitting,
grabbing crotches as if there’s
meaning or magic there
instead of mundane menace.

Blue fire at the horizon flares
brighter, as I’m tossed on

the gurney and rolled into the hearse
they claim is an ambulance.

It all makes sense to me, though,
I tell the heavily-armed woman
at checkout of my favorite grocery,

the one selling tins of purified
air guaranteed to extend mortality
by 11% or your money back.
Or more likely your next of kin’s

because you’ll be dead then, but I’m
not, at least, I don’t think I am.

 

 

Paul Lojeski was born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio. He attended Oberlin College. His poetry has appeared online and in print. He lives in Port Jefferson, NY.

 

Photograph by Rama.

#GunViolence: Yoga for Kids by Amy Baskin

yoga for kids amy baskin walter albertin

Return to child’s pose
and hide under desks.
You’re harder to shoot through walls this way.

Return to child’s pose
and don’t make a peep.
Play “Still as Statues” in the storage closet.

Return to child’s pose.
Place your hands above your heads,
or to the sides of each target— each body. Your bodies.

Return to child’s pose.
Find innocence in your age, your parents, and everyone
who sends you to this building each weekday.

Rest. Recharge. Revive.
Reflect on the circle of things, and above all,
remember to breathe! Quietly, if you can.

 

 

Amy Baskin’s work is currently featured in armarolla, Apparition Lit, Friends Journal, and more. When she’s not writing, she works to ensure that international students at Lewis & Clark College feel welcome and at home during their stay.

 

Photograph by Walter Albertin, 1962. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

#GunViolence: Expert Marksman by Tamara Madison

expert marksman tamara madison Max Pixel

The army ranked him Expert Marksman
But he didn’t like to shoot.
Shot over the heads of some German kids —
Candy stealers — when the war was over,
Shot to scare off some coyotes hounding
Our dog in the field down below the house,
And once when a strange rustling
Disturbed our sleep for the third night in a row
His shot fired into the dark turned up a badger.
Otherwise, the shotgun stood unloaded
In a dark corner of my parents’ closet.

Once a friend’s kid beebee’d down a bird
And my dad told him the whole story
Of that young bird’s life, how just that morning,
That bird was singing, riding the April breezes
Gathering up food for its babies; he went on
Until the kid melted into a blubbering mass.

When his pals took him hunting
He told them he was only along for the ride,
He didn’t believe in killing. But he hefted
The rifle they handed him and aimed
Without thinking toward the rustling brush.
He was the only one to get a deer that trip,
And when he came home he cried, telling about it.

When Bullet was twelve and couldn’t jump
Into the pickup bed, could hardly hobble
Out to greet his master, when his dog smile
Darkened with pain, my father came home
One day, took off his hat but wouldn’t take
His eye off the ground: he just couldn’t stand
To see the dog in pain like that.

 

 

Tamara Madison is the author of the chapbook The Belly Remembers, and two full-length volumes of poetry, Wild Domestic and Moraine, all published by Pearl Editions. Her work has appeared in Chiron Review, Your Daily Poem, A Year of Being Here, Nerve Cowboy, the Writer’s Almanac and other publications. She is thrilled to have just retired from teaching English and French in a Los Angeles high school.

 

Photograph by Max Pixel.

Inside the Yellow Stucco House by Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich

800px-Laughing_Buddha_statue

It’s quiet—
A meditating mind whispers
Calm over the sounds of
Antique clocks ticking & tucking
Memories into drawers.
The Griffins guard the living room:
Four faces with ethical minds—
Protect order.

When silence sings—
The noisy woodpecker walks
Backward up the Oak tree.
Buddha sits in the grass smiling
And Buddha is upstairs visiting
My mother praying
In her hard-back chair.
Buddha is in the rosy spring air—
The breezy wind & the comforting sun.
Soon the whippoorwills begin to sing again.

 

 

Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich teaches English World Literature at The University of the People, an online free tuition school and poetry at Westchester Community College. She teaches a memoir, fiction, poetry writing class at Piermont Library and elsewhere. She performs her poetry throughout the United States. She has two poetry chapbooks: We Are Beautiful Like Snowflakes (2016) and Opening the Black Ovule Gate (2018) both published by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry blog and performance schedule is: http://www.lisarhodesryabchichpoetryblog.wordpress.com She has an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poems have been published in  Madness Muse Press’ Destigmatized Anthology, Moon Magazine, Civilized Beasts Vol. III from Weasel Press, Praxim, Cave Canem, Obsidian III, Journal of Poetry Therapy, Footsteps, AIM, Left Jab, Poetry Motel, Peaceful Poetry to Love Your Societal Consciousness, and elsewhere.

 

Photograph by Hameltion.

Airs in the Dark: a Thanbauk Poem for the Tham Luang 13 by Victoria Crawford

Rescue_equipment_in_Tham_Luang_entrance_chamber_(cropped)

Airs in the Dark
a than bauk poem
for the Tham Luang 13

Outside the cave
a monk gravely
chants save these boys

flood destroys
all joys deep down
underground, lost—

now found, but trapped
in caverns mapped
enwrapped lightless

Blessings during out,
monk, sleepless, prays
ceaseless through days

the gateway grows,
betrayed by tears,
we hide fears now,

breathe cheer, rescue
prayers, true voices
ring through, inside

from boys, outside,
from all sides spring
hope’s tide— we wait

so bless the hands
that pass the gate
to bring them home.

 

 

Thirteen very young men have been trapped in a cave for two weeks and the sixty-five million Thais have been praying in compassion and mercy for the boys’s safety. Victoria Crawford, a California poet living an hour’s drive from the crises adds her own hopes for their rescue.