Monday, January 26, 2009

Kelly Polark


I sing along
so loudly in the car
that all my frustrations leave me.
Rock on.
David M. Harris


Rarely, soapy-handed, I stop
and look. Who is that?
I’ve seen that face
in pictures, younger,
smiling, hair dark and glossy.
Wrinkles covered by
beard and bifocals, I might pass
for fifty.
In pictures from my first wedding,
just a decade and a half ago, just yesterday.
Slimmer, touched with gray,
without glasses.
At my sister’s seder
the day before yesterday
trim, with moustache waxed and a head
full of grand, grandiose dreams.
The wax sits on a shelf in the closet.
Where are the dreams?
Smaller visions seep into their emptied space.
Play center field for the Yankees? Cancel that.
Make a family? Enter a check mark.
Tear up the Pulitzer acceptance speech.
Write a poem?
Add up the score.
Subtract the losses.
Rinse off the past.
Start the next day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Joanne Merriam


We'd make a line and build momentum,
until the last one let go--
all the girls who love to watch
the world go by sideways.
Gwynne Garfinkle


back when you had to work for it
when there was one or maybe
two rock shows on TV per week
none of my friends even had a VCR yet
my dad got our first in 1976
a Betamax that only recorded
one-hour tapes

One night my best friend Becky stayed up late to catch the Eagles on the Midnight Special. I was at home doing the same, for her sake, really, because I didn't much like the Eagles. It was a clip of "One of These Nights" with frame after frame of seventies-groupie-looking women, with long hair and soulful eyes and maxi skirts, just photos of women synchronized to the song, and I imagined Becky, her eyes glued to the screen: she waited patiently, hope against hope for a glimpse of actual band members performing the song, the hope dying as the song passed the halfway mark. The next day she told me she'd cried.

Kate Bush swirling around to
"Wuthering Heights"
& "Wow"
her mouth an O
didn't know if I liked her at first
she was weird
an acquired taste
likewise dissolute little Ian Dury
singing "Wot a Waste"
and the Clash drooling and swaggering
to "I'm So Bored With the U.S.A."
but I played the videotape
over and over
till I loved them
new and strange

Monday, January 12, 2009

Jeffry Jensen


He came down from Canada in a dented hearse with
a guitar stretched out in the back and a buffalo in his eyes.
He broke many sacred arrows over his knee with the help of
Mr. Soul who hung out at runways expecting to fly.
I recognized the loner in him as I waited for an old
lady to laugh in between my trips to nowhere.
A cinnamon sky reminded me of a cowgirl who
counted all the grains of sand in order to go somewhere.
Carrying a cracked heart in his suitcase, he
dug out of a gold rush and waited for morning to
dance across the horizon as he listened for a new
song to crash into a creek with a different point of view.
Deborah P Kolodji


of a place we may never
we name the rock “Yogi”
as though it is ours

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Helen Graziano


A boy skips stones in the lake
Creating everwidening circles, ripples
Like a dream-catcher capturing hope

In action I am the rock held by David
To slay the tyrant, slingshot ready
I orate as pebbles in Demosthene's mouth

I am a rolling stone, I swing and sway, become scree
I'm a word hound, tumbling my gems
Till they emerge smooth and polished

A little rough around the edges, however

Who will cast the first stone
At the cowering adulterer?
Or am I the rock on which St. Peter built

While waiting for Godot, I suck stones
Transferring them from pocket to mouth
And back to pocket, sometimes Life sucks
Katherine Norland


A majestic boulder perched so high atop a cliff;
Yet it is said it will not fall, itʼs solid, and itʼs stiff.
It appears to be on edge, could roll with a gust of air;
But a hermit used a piece of the Buddhaʼs hair.
It said it would keep it in place, now covered with gold;
This has been passed down for generations and told.

It is a spectacle, a jaw dropping sight to see;
So easy to roll, yet so unmovable it seems to be.
The monks gather around the base of the boulder;
Bent down, arms folded in prayer shoulder to shoulder.
The nine hundred foot cliff holds the Pagodaʼs Shrine;
In Kyaik-tyo, Burma, a place now divine.

It testifies to the faith needed, a mustard seed or grain of sand;
If your dream weighs many tons with one strand of hair it can stand.