“The Spideress” by Leslie Lippincott Hidley

I saw a spider and let her live
As though her life were mine to give
Or take away.

Heat’s what brings her out of hiding,
Secretive no longer, gliding
On the silken fluids she spins.

Gossamer geometries, suspended,
Hidden in her body, quiet, splendid,
Flutter in the evening breeze.

 

 

 

Mrs. Hidley has been writing prose and poetry for her own amusement and that of her family and friends and others for most of her 73 years. And one of her ten grandchildren is named Kalliope. She has lived in Walla Walla, Washington; Frankfurt and Bremerhaven, Germany; Upper New York State; Enid, Oklahoma; Montgomery and Prattville, Alabama; Lubbock, Texas; Dover, Delaware; West Palm Beach, Florida; Goose Bay, Labrador; Washington, D.C.; Fairfield, California; Omaha, Nebraska; and now resides in Ojai (Nest-of-the-Moon), California, where she continues to write.

“Cultivation” by Robert Nisbet

2020 Pushcart Prize Nominee

It being conference season (and an ugly one),
the two men, the ministers, have got away
this Sunday morning, to a roadside tavern,
there to plot, devise desired government.

They share a garden terrace with fat Amy,
the helping girl, who is potting out,
the manager keeping wary watch that she,
bending to the beds and trays of flowering life,
should stoop discreetly, lest her large rump
intrude upon the ministerial thought.

And such a government would aim to be inclusive.
Surely? That needs to be a manifesto thing….

Amy’s trowel eases the soil around the weeds,
which are loosened then plucked neatly free.

Inclusive, fair, must be the heart of the election pitch….

Now she is whittling away dead and decaying leaf,
sprucing, coaxing. Green fingers’ gift.

A reputation for unfairness is electorally…well, as we know…

Now she’s re-potting. Beds are scooped out gently,
fresh life eased in, built round, tamped down.

The manager hovers, still just taking care
that the ministry men are not incommoded,
but they, sipping at coffees with a whisky dash,
are quite relaxed, quite unaware of Amy’s presence.

 

 

Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who lives about 30 miles down the coast from Dylan Thomas’s Boathouse. His poems have been published widely and in roughly equal measures in Britain and the USA, where he is a regular in SanPedro River ReviewJerry Jazz Musician and Panoply.

“The Wallet” by Tim Tipton

My father took off in the middle of the night,
with him at the wheel. Rumor has it he had
another long fight with my mother on the subject
of commitment.

The day my father left was very strange. I
went into the bedroom; there he left behind his brown
wallet and a wrist watch that I found on
top of the bedroom dresser.

I should like to call to your attention
to his wallet: battered, faded, and old, it smelled
of long days and warm beer. I opened it and found
a few George Washingtons creased together and a
picture of a naked woman that wasn’t my mother;
the watch was busted, rusty, and useless. One
hand was lost, the other never moved.

I dropped the watch into the garbage pail;
the wallet I kept and used until it fell
apart of old age.

Now it’s only me that feels strange and
left behind. My feelings for him are like a
bowl of fish hooks: I take one out, and they all come.

 

Tim Tipton was first seduced by the craft of poetry when he read “The Panther” by Rainer Marie Rilke.  Today marks 20  years since he joined the Ventura County poetry circuit. Tim has written poetry that has been featured in ART/LIFE, Askew, The San Gabriel Quarterly, Poetic DiversityLUMMOX, as well as other journals too many too mention. Tim is a graduate of California State University of Northridge where he received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. He also received a degree in Substance Abuse counseling.

“From the Beginning” by Edward Lee

Coating the soles
of my feet,
is the soil
I will be buried in.

It comforts me,
knowing it is there,
its grains and lumps,
its damp warmth.

It comforts me, too,
knowing everyone has some
touching the soles
of their feet, present
since birth, though
they are too busy
to feel its touch, its permanence,
too busy moving
so they might live,
too busy living
so they never stop,

never stop
and feel
the soil on their soles,
and the gentle comfort it brings,
the surety of what comes
no matter the steps taken.

 

Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England, and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection. He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy. His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com.

“The Subway Walls” by David Dephy

We are in the subway. New York’s subway
is heaven for wanderers, these walls are
the skies with transparent clouds between
us and the trains are our kingdoms. The silence
around us is so touchable we can feel it with
our breath. We are asking the silence now:
“Tell us the truth, where is the exit, where is
the belief, is the belief an exit?” We see
faces and we hear words around us: “The
searching for an answer as to what will result
from an internal increase or erosion of beliefs,
the act of moving forward and not looking back
is like writing a verse – an act of faith,” We are
in the subway and we can feel the starry sky above
and no moral law within a sound, but within silence.

 

David Dephy is a trilingual Georgian/American poet, novelist, essayist, performer, multimedia artist and painter. He is an active participant in the American and international poetry and artistic scenes such as PEN World Voices, 92Y Poetry Center, Voices of Poetry, Long Island Poetry Listings, New York Public Library, Starr Bar Poetry Series, Columbia University – School of the Arts in the City of New York, and Bowery Poetry Club, which named him a Literature Luminary. His poetry has been published in the USA and all over the world. He lives and works in New York City.

“Grandpa’s Hands” by Tim Tipton

Grandpa’s hands
were kind, old, tan from the hot sun
They told more than his face did about life
and where he had traveled in his eighty years.
His hands were masterful in finding lost gems,
making fishing lures and carving something
out of wood to last forever.
His hands always open, never closed.
I grew up wanting to have those hands
Touching earth, arranging space
I found it natural when his hand held mine.

 

Tim Tipton was first seduced by the craft of poetry when he read “The Panther” by Rainer Marie Rilke.  Today marks 20  years since he joined the Ventura County poetry circuit. Tim has written poetry that has been featured in ART/LIFE, Askew, The San Gabriel Quarterly, Poetic DiversityLUMMOX, as well as other journals too many too mention. Tim is a graduate of California State University of Northridge where he received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. He also received a degree in Substance Abuse counseling.

“Above the Harbour: April” by Robert Nisbet

Newly together, coasting open road,
they parked the van, looked down from the hill
upon a village harbour, spruce with its boats
being taken out, repainted for the season.

They watched the boatmen, perceiving them
as bearded men in navy blue, returning now
to the open seas of quest and exhilaration.
They loved those men and their salty journeys.

(Griffiths, who’d originally grown that beard
because of shaving rash, had a headache that day,
but still, it was going into April now
and he was back in his Amethyst, a happy man).

Later, the van’s prow nosed back to the camp site,
passing the hedges’ promise and primroses.

 

Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who lives about 30 miles down the coast from Dylan Thomas’s Boathouse. His poems have been published widely and in roughly equal measures in Britain and the USA, where he is a regular in SanPedro River Review, Jerry Jazz Musician and Panoply.

“The Lost Years” by Bruce McRae

In and around myself, gone adrift,
AWOL to social norms and mores…
I was perfecting human error, if asked,
the little rebel without a get-out clause,
the born loser bearing loss and the cost of it.

Last millennia, at the turn of the century,
and still the memory welts and weals.
A fog defined by lack of definition.
A blur from living with both eyes smashed.
Lunatic-saint baptized a hero-victim.

Until the hour comes upon me
and death is the fold.
When I see how the precious things
were there to be wasted.

 

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,400 poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press); An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy (Cawing Crow Press); Like As If (Pski’s Porch); Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).

“Stripy Jerseys” by Lynn White

There were a lot of ragwort plants
around the library.
Some were bare of leaves and covered
with orange and black stripy jersey caterpillars.
Others were lush and green with leaves
and devoid of caterpillars.
As usual, the family planning strategy
of the cinnabar moth
left much to be desired.
I began to transfer them carefully
from the leafless to the lush.

I stood back to admire my achievement,
momentarily disconcerted
when a rather stern looking stranger
asked what I was doing.
I explained.
“Huh”, she said,
“I’ve been doing the same over on the other side.
I thought it was only me who does this.”

It was a strange way to begin a friendship
but it lasted
all her life.
I think maybe I should go to the grave
in the woodland,
where her body lies,
and scatter a few ragwort seeds.
Maybe the moths will come
each year
and make
a living memorial.
She would like that,
I think.

 

This poem first appeared in New Reader Magazine (March 2018).

 

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 Lynn at: https://lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/

“Send Out the Clowns (Far Out)” by Edward Lee

Isn’t it time
someone drew the curtains
on this farce
we’ll call government?
There are too many clowns
on the stage, their jokes
long since over
and never that funny
to begin with;
surely there are other acts
to follow, better-skilled professionals
and eager-to-learn amateurs,
ready to repair the damage
our collective I.Q.
has relentlessly taken?
And if this is all
we can expect
for the next thousand years,
please then, someone trip
the fire alarm
and let us out of here,
before someone really does
burn this place
to the ground, and we,
lassitude-d by despair,
allow ourselves to burn
into perfect peaks of ashes
too heavy for the even strongest winds.

 

Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England, and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen, and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection. He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy. His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com.