we are so predictable by andy derryberry

the last pacifist died of old age
only, i guess, because he had
top notch security

is the ‘big guy’ upstairs amused
or entertained?

i doubt it because the second sin
was anger/hatred and cain was warned

but he ignored it, and today we do the same..
amused or entertained? more likely bored.

we are so predictable


Blue Eyes Poem by Andy Derryberry

Mystic Blue Eyes (you shoulda held on to her)

You shoulda held on to her
Mystic blue eyes
Deep as the sky is high
Calm as water in the morning
Rough as the open sea

You shoulda held on to her
That little bit of trouble
Though not so much really
Tough but sweet
Hard but soft

You shoulda held on to her
She would have held on to you
The time quickly passes
If you don’t hold on tight
The sun rises
Love it before it sets

You shoulda held on to her
Lovely little lady
You knew her for a while
I knew her from a child
From when I was a kid

You shoulda held on to her
Now you don’t know where to look
Will she call
Will she come back
There’s no way to know

You shoulda held on to her
Mystic blue eyes
Deep as the sky is high
Calm as water in the morning
Rough as the open sea

Scorched earth poem by Andy Derryberry

i stand in a burned and smoldering
40 acre field

a field of ruination by my own hand

i played with the matches carelessly

and brilliant beautiful flame of pale blue

flared into a conflagration that left me

scorched with regret and

solitary in this field of smoke

now all i see is what was before

what is gone and will be nevermore

was it real or imagined

or only a phantom

i lost the time to know

because i was careless

and now the only sensation i have

is that of the heart pounding in my chest

and the pulse surging through my veins

and so i am alive and maybe

given the time to nurture a field

and perhaps time to forgive myself for

burning this one

Schmutt — Andy Derryberry


The alarm when I knocked on the door
The phantom under the couch
That knew when the cats wanted in
He often sqweaked like a kiddy toy

A pat on the head was his reward
For being a good guy
And it was enough for him
To be the household friend

The last time I saw him, though
He didn’t bark when I knocked
That puzzled me a little but
He got his pat on the head anyway

The Guy whose name can’t be said
Whistled for his sweet little invention
To finish his business and
Come on home

I hope there is a fine couch to sleep under
And a knock on the door occasionally
Take a nice nap there my friend
Three firm knocks; that will be me.


Life’s Footprints by Andrea Simantov

The Alley — Andy Derryberry

my heels click on the cobbles
as i wander down this dark alley
what’s behind leers
what’s ahead seems to menace

there are doorways
with hawkers selling their wares
do this, believe that
selling not the truth but conformity

but instead of safety
i put more doors behind
creating more leers
and walk forward into what

what is up ahead in the dark
it doesn’t help to squint
each door hidden til too late
and the last door possibly oblivion

my heels click on the cobbles
as i wander down this dark alley
what’s behind leers
what’s ahead menaces

Incantations — Nan Arbuckle

Nan Arbuckle

Names catch and hold-Caney Springs, Yell,
Belfast, Delina, Anes. Chanted by some side road
farmer they offer keys, a half-forgotten cult,
hidden among hills, circled round with walls
of limestone, forgotten tribute for some
squat deity of brush in a hillside devil’s den.
Church names sound the same, Bible mixing
old country~county names,
Head Springs, Bethberei, Gill’s Chapel-
once white churches forgotten down some lane,
destroyed with graves overgrown, yet
magic names still, deep in my county memory,
charmed as ghost-lights at Chapel Hill.

There was a time one year, late November,
a child among children with identities time lost,
I gathered hickory nuts, ankle-deep in gold
brown leaves behind an old road church
its frame silent one gray-cold Saturday.
In those woods there were thick, stiff grapevines,
bare and brown like webs in the trees
in the woods where we would not go.
And probably there were snakes, left from summer,
cold and still from the fall, hidden in rock slits,
waiting for children’s feet to step close.

And surely where were spirits, hanging like clouds
ceiling the day low and watching
our small-gloved hands
gathering nuts as we stayed anxiously back,
away from those woods There surely were spirits,
circling the church with the memory dark name.

Names a shorthand now, odd hieroglyphs
call up visions-Holt’s Corner, railroad tracks-
Farmington, ghosts from the gray blood-
Possum Trot, Christmas sparklers in a century farmhouse,
chanted slow the names could conjure vagrant souls,
devils or angels I will not guess which,
Perhaps only rough-handed farm people, wraiths
in duckhead overalls and gingham check.
Stamped as newsprint, the names echo magic for me,
miles from country churches now,
long years from the fall
of hickory nuts, wrist thick grapevines,
and low look of watchful clouds
that can haunt a child farther
and longer than any whisper from a rebel dead.

About the author:

My friend — by Andy Derryberry

Compact Biography