Affliction Poem by Ward Kelley

Atoms of Affliction
by
Ward Kelley

The storm, the uncontrolled ugly event,
the elements that make the flesh squirm,

can never be worse to the skin than what
afflicts it from the inside. For such interior

events often are seen as uncontrolled or
ugly, but the elements of which they are

comprised are mostly created by ourselves,
by the way we choose the atoms of our own

affliction. Normally it is wrong to view the tempests
of the soul as weather, as something natural beyond

our control, so like a poem whose tides come unbidden
but can be funneled into a thing refined and helpful.

***

Nearer to Death Poem by Ward Kelley

The Nearer You Come to Death
by
Ward Kelley

The nearer you come to death the more
you are forced to examine the nuances
of time; you used to be one with time,
happy to swim within the current, content

to allow it to swarm over you as though
you were an eel. You even looked like
time, so fluid, and this worked well for
decades. But now . . . you are turning

into an arrow, no longer able to easily
twist to the side of any impediment,
and soon, soon, you are going to strike
your own death squarely in the heart.

When you do, time will expand and no
longer encompass your soul to squeeze
it narrow, but instead you will become
the current itself . . . who seeks the eel.

***

Falling Down Poem by Ward Kelley

Such an Arc
by
Ward Kelley

All fall down, all fall down, it is not
the pestilence who causes this awkward

trait of our race, for we each of us tote
the code, deep within our heart, that tells

of the proper timing of our shooting towards
the sun — how many years we go upward —

and the correct date where it all stops —
some of us quite abruptly — and we begin

our descent towards the earth. Up then down,
up then down, where truly we all go round

and round, but it’s hard to describe such an arc
when our eyes are designed to see the vertical.

***

Old Now Young Poem by Daniel Barbare

Old Now Young

Running
with
the
dog

I’m
feeling
old

now
young.

Nightly News Poem by Linda Straub

Nightly News

Hell in high definition
on four foot screens,
explosions in surround sound,
helmets, flak jackets,
and bunkers of shifting sand,
flat images of real people,
who yearn to outlive
their own apparitions.
Voters, hawks and doves,
squirm in cushioned seats.

Linda Straub
***

Bricks and Mortar Poem by David Michael Jackson

For Just A Second

Glimpses through the trees,

landscapes captured for a second

from the highways,

these are what is left of your

world when you don’t pull over

and you are left with glimpses

soon covered up with

asphalt and concrete

bricks and mortar

and semi-trailers

Sometimes

– David Michael Jackson

***

Creek Poem by David Michael Jackson

IN THESE CLUTTERED TIMES
somehow these places eventually lose
identity too in these
cluttered times
passenger creek still weaves through
sugar camp hollow.
there are still legends and indians for
awhile still
for a short while
but up grant’s chapel road
grant’s chapel being of course long gone
there being left only a cemetery with
one
stone
empty coffin
just up from the biggest oak in any parts
which is at the deserted settlement just off the trail of tears
which is now
gone
the oak being there in some wealthy back yard
the settlement cleaned away except in my memory
It was once to be had by slipping around the pond,
the pond being now gone
and the frogs
yet Passenger Creek still weaves it’s history
through sugar camp hollow,
where it has been said Indian ghosts protect confederate gold
for
a
little
while
yet

– David Jackson
***

Summer Nights Poem by David Michael Jackson

OH, HELLO

willie and lobo
tonight
and the summer nights oh

the summer nights
the hazy moon says
hello
the last of the brandy says
goodbye

and we come and go and pass into the
summer
nights
and we become the wind in the grasses
and the hot breeze which passes
makes us like leather,
tough enough to take the heat
ah,
bring it on
I’ll sit here and run my toes in the freshly cut grass
and tough it out

– David Jackson.

***