Kindling

Upstay the course, the wood is vast,

beasts there chitter, in dark amass;

fabrefaction—blade from bone,

amarulence to the thorny throne.

Ramiferous lanes, newly cleaved,

swift through, gather fallen leaves.

And in the clearing, xylem stacked,

by sanguine tongues, the ochre wracked.

Tawny char there howls ablation;

the raze but kindling, for creation.

Schismatic

by Gale Acuff

One day when I’m dead I’ll be dead but ’til 

then let’s say I’m alive and so I’ll sin 

whether I want to or not and sometimes 

I do, it makes life more fun and no one 

really gets hurt though I know that my sins 

will count up and then count against me and 

Heaven when I die and go there to be 

judged, which is why I think that Hell will be 

 

a better place for me, there sins count for 

more somehow, and so, ma’am, goodbye ’til next 

Sunday. And then I left my Sunday School 

teacher there behind her desk with her mouth 

open like the tomb that Jesus came forth 

from–I never said that I don’t believe. 

 

Mr. Acuff’s work has appeared in Ascent, Chiron Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Poem, Adirondack Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, Slant, Nebo, Arkansas Review, South Dakota Review, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry, all from BrickHouse Press: Buffalo NickelThe Weight of the World, and The Story of My Lives.

Hard-Hearted

by Gale Acuff

I want to go to Heaven when I die 

to tell God and Jesus how full of it 

they are, scheming up history that we 

ordinary folks here on Earth never 

made but the Father and the Son claim we did, 

free will it’s called, I confess I’ve got some, 

but not enough to choose to end the Cause 

of it all and everything else I might 

be leaving out out of ignorance or 

stupidity or both but then again 

God read minds better than Santa Claus so 

He surely knows what I’ve been thinking and 

think now and will think–Hell, He knows it all 

just like He planned it. Let my people go

 

Mr. Acuff’s work has appeared in Ascent, Chiron Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Poem, Adirondack Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, Slant, Nebo, Arkansas Review, South Dakota Review, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry, all from BrickHouse Press: Buffalo NickelThe Weight of the World, and The Story of My Lives.

Limerence

by Carl Scharwath

You are alone 

I am ashamed 

We walk among the lavender, wilting in the heat of our passion. Wisteria releases tears of dew drops on a lover’s pillow encased in short-lived memories. Tattered vulnerabilities, crushed velvet revelations filter through the flower field. This is the territory of asbestos laced pollen. The martyred pathway sinful and filled with misty lies under the shadows while the world is changing.  

The end of the beginning 

Is the beginning of the end

 

Carl Scharwath, has appeared globally with 150+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, plays or art photography (His photography was featured on the cover of 6 journals.) Two poetry books ‘Journey To Become Forgotten’ (Kind of a Hurricane Press) and ‘Abandoned’ (ScarsTv) have been published. His first photography book was recently published by Praxis. Carl is the art editor for Minute Magazine, poetry editor for TL Publishing Group, a competitive runner and 2nd degree black- belt in Taekwondo.

Aevum

Sat the abyss,

the blue marble shines,

stony step of

a steep stair to climb.

Red god and lover,

first to be tread,

that decrepit Jove’s laurels,

may, thorough, be shred.

Reaved the caduceus,

sandals unwinged,

progeny freed

from Ops’ consort’s rings.

Thereafter, the father,

by sickle undone,

reposing before,

the horse master’s run.

Wrest be the horn,

from old Ploutos’ gloom,

that death may die,

in Aevum’s bloom.

Necroontologic

Dead men speak from living maws,

as cordyceps, rampant, affixing jaws.

Gnashing flesh of self and kin,

rending veins for phantom sin.

Their funhouse mirror reflects no face,

no eyes to chart the charnel waste.

Yet, from the blind, keen cheers abound,

libations for the hungry ground.

As the last lichling tumbles in,

a eulogy from vast Cybele’s skin:

Wormrotted husks neither excel nor flee;

the apex of equitable unity.

My Forecast

by John Grey

Snow falls on snow. 

And, in between, 

I trudge. 

 

Yes it’s beautiful 

but it chills my bones. 

It decorates. 

It beautifies. 

But my fingers freeze 

despite my gloves. 

 

I am on my way 

to a place  

that will offer me 

radiance and discomfort 

in equal abundance. 

 

The weather forecaster  

got it right. 

Now it’s down to  

the people forecaster. 

 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Plainsongs, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.

The Small World

by John Grey

It’s blanched white tunnels

that tube-worms dig,

swirling around in complex patterns

like the trail of a child’s finger in cake frosting.

Or the emerald gleam of glowworms.

Or tiny scarlet and blue-jeweled crabs.

The world offers small

as much as it does large.

A lizard stares up at me from beneath a rock.

Its eyes are two black pinheads.

 

There’s a drowsy buzz

where dragonflies feed.

And blenny darters skirt

the limits of a pool,

feasting on midges.

Even the leaves for grass are in on the miniature.

A cricket pivots on one.

A second is free but blustered.

 

I am on my knees,

immersed in a world.

strong in detail

but thin on drama.

But then a bobolink

claims an unwitting fly.

I spoke too soon.

 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Plainsongs, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.

To Sculpt The Stars

The barren plane, hushed and vast

The arrow flies and must be passed

The stage of contest, endless night

The dark undone in curtains flight

Threads of thought, like gold out-spun

Threads of thought, to braid the sun

To sculpt the stars, like wetted clay

To hold the seasons, one must pay

Coinage flowing—slick and red

Mintage of the psyche bled

Algid silence, from the tomb

Pulsing notes, as from a womb

Ruptured by the plenum’s ire

Thrumming fierce as serpent’s fire

It to be expunged—consumed

Reforged amidst the death of doom