Michael Lee Johnson – 2 poems 

Reincarnation 

 

Next life I will be a little higher on the pecking order.

No longer a dishwasher at the House of Pancakes,

or Ricky’s All Day Grill, or Sunday night small dog thief.

I will evolve into the Prince of Bullfrogs, crickets don’t bother,

swamp flies don’t bother me-I eat them. Alligators I avoid.

I urinate on lily pads mate across borders, continents at will.

Someone else from India can wash my dishes locally for me.

Forward all complaints to that religious office of Indian affairs.

 

🍃

Children in the Sky 

 

There is a full moon,

distant in this sky tonight,

 

Gray planets planted

on an aging white, face.

 

Children, living and dead,

love the moon with small hearts.

 

Those in heaven already take gold thread,

drop the moon down for us all to see.

 

Those alive with us, look out their

bedroom windows tonight,

we smile, then prayers, then sleep.

 


🍃

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today he is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  He has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015, nominated Best of the Net 2016.  Poetry published in 33 countries, 133 YouTube poetry videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos.  Michael Lee Johnson has several books, and chapbooks published and is Editor-in-chief of 2 poetry anthologies,Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, andDandelion in a Vase of Roses.  He is administrator of a Facebook poetry group over 12, members:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/807679459328998.  He is editor of 10 poetry sites.

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Peter Branson – 2 poems 

The Modern Poet

 

 

feels obligated to

be brushed,

jumps bail,

takes mental residence

elsewhere,

an isolated shack

deep down

some cold

autistic Trail. 

 

With unctuousness

reserved for those

with cash or clout,

conceit’s inbred,

a shaman-like

remorseless

Mutt ‘n’ Jeff,

celebrity,

the thread.

 

🍃

The Wild Boar Inn

 

Long holiday, late afternoon,

down sunken country lanes, three lads

aged nine a good two miles from home,

you dump your bikes beside the pool,

explore the feeder dammed to fuel

three mills below, one modernised,

two ruins, check out behind the inn,

a cobbled yard, old outbuilding,

crates, barrels, stairs, dust everywhere,

a yawning trapdoor’s grainy dark,

rats conjured, slightest stir beyond.

The landlord hangs himself here years

ago, high crime, a mortal sin,

wife gone for good. A creaking from

above, the gently-swaying rope’s

dead weight slow twists inside your head

this way and that. You spook for fun,

retrieve your wheels, don’t dare look back.

 

🍃

 

 Peter Branson

Lynette G. Esposito – 1 poem 

The Widow

 

Sheryl slipped out of bed at 11 pm,

donned her five-year old pink robe,

 headed to the kitchen.

 She pulled the last piece of wedding cake

from the freezer; sat at the table.

At midnight,

she took a bite; felt his ghostly fingers lift her fork.



 

🍃

 

Lynette G. Esposito lives with her husband, Attilio, in Southern, NJ.  She is an animal rights advocate

and is allowed to take care of her five cats when they are in the mood.

 

Milton P. Ehrlich – 1 poem 

A BUTTERFLY WITH HELICOPTER WINGS

 

She landed in my life in a veiled reverie

with the blood of betrayal etched in her bones.

It was more than she could bare.

 

A casualty of a failed romance,

she hovered overhead in suspended animation.

She couldn’t say yes, and couldn’t say go.

 

I absorbed her hurt like a poultice

soaking up an accidental spill.

I stemmed the flow of blood

and nursed a festering wound

with the warm milk of adoration.

 

I delivered in rain sleet and snow,

with an embrace of infinite kisses

that will last beyond the realm of time.

 

There was no precipice too high

to climb, no sea too dank and dark

to explore, to show how much I cared.

 

Hibiscus nectar seeped out of her skin.

Her flame of aliveness will keep dancing

like a Dervish until our galaxy implodes.

 

Her touch spoke of a love

that eluded the quagmire

of her mind.

 

I loved her more than she will ever know.

I regret not having been more fun.

 

 

🍃

 

Milton P. Ehrlich, Ph.D is an 85 year-old psychologist. A Korean War veteran, he has  published numerous poems in periodicals such as “Bombay Review,”  “Descant,” “Wisconsin Review,” “Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow,” “Toronto Quarterly Review,” “Off The Coast,” “Christian Science Monitor,” “Huffington Post,” and the “New York Times.”

Patricia Hamilton – 2 poems 

The Day Everything Changed

 

 

The English Professor Reminisces

 

 

 

In

 

the fifth

 

grade I longed

 

to become a writer.

 

 

 

But

 

now I

 

see my fate

 

was sealed the day

 

 

 

Mr. Cheney was called

 

away from class.

 

He handed

 

me

 

 

 

our reading group’s text

 

and told me

 

to carry

 

on.

 

 

 

🍃

 

Coffeehouse Elegy

 

 

 

The chair you sat in

 

belongs to no one

 

and everyone,

 

comfortably angled

 

toward its companion,

 

brown leather wheezing

 

hello and goodbye

 

as patrons perch

 

to sip their coffee,

 

then flit away into their day.

 

Yet now that you’re gone

 

that chair is yours, bearing

 

the weight of your absence

 

for the flock of nameless regulars

 

that swarm in each morning,

 

nod to one another,

 

then settle in to work or read.

 

Even a migratory customer

 

like the man with the backpack

 

who snored softly in the other chair

 

for two weeks last summer–

 

who can say where he flew off to?–

 

would, were he to alight again,

 

sense the empty shape

 

of your presence,

 

would recall you filling in

 

your crossword, absorbed,

 

or quietly studying your Bible,

 

looking up with a charmed smile

 

if someone you knew

 

stopped to greet you.

 

Mornings are chillier now,

 

but the golden autumn light

 

still pours through the window

 

and pools in your empty chair

 

as if waiting

 

for your return.

 

🍃

 


A California native, Patricia Hamilton lives and works in Jackson, TN.  Things that make her happy include travel, dark chocolate, and jazz.  She won the 2015 Rash Award in Poetry.  Her first volume of poetry, The Distance to Nightfall, is available from Main Street Rag Publishing.