by Steven D. Pace
Remote winds come through
The vents as my pensive eyes examine something
A river at the bottom of a hill, Dear Steve
Its dark hair parted in the very middle
Like a sidewalk or street
Frozen with force in proportion, in tribute to the road
And inadequacies start to spring from my mind
In currents, in undertows
Summoned at low tide Oh, I'll be alright
Something must spring from my accomplishments
Other than prussic acid, maybe
Don't you slip on the ice! People down
Here can't drive on that stuff!
This road is lined with letters and friends
Blurred trees, crooked walking paths
So there are plenty of accidents
Looks like poppies or geraniums on that slope
Looking all official in lavender gowns
All of the special items must be
Returned to the lender
I am the pen held by delicate fingers onto the page
Though I am sitting here in this cold-ass weather
I am able (this can't be attributed to my depth)
Though I am laying low, I will call you
I am betting that against the moon
There's a snitch in here now,
PORT ARANSAS BEACH by Baxter Jackson
A FINE END
by Allan Johnston
here was something holy: a grey lake waving a fine end cloud,
bird perched on built bits of wave caked to foam at its tip each ride of the quiver of geese
leading into its own immaculate contemplated goosiness, a meaning or not
of fish it is only as if something passed as force through event or medium
as though all were the transportation of the dead or soon to be water and wave
the way a yellow cake of sky plays on through and under the greyness to give distinction
a horizon seeming eternal play of sunlight available now.
A fine end, sitting not knowing what will be, no assuredness in the fixed sign like the diamond
out on breakwater saying not to boat swim or climb yet how often do these birds
perch, watch what was always the fine end of all water touching the shore
DEPARTURE by Stephanie Lakos
by James B. Nicola
There's life, or what was life, in the lump,
sure. I can tell because turning it
to examine its unreflective facets
I end up splotched in black just as
with ashes or coal. But ashes are to toss,
sooty hands to wash, and coal to use,
not keep, under the name of something else.
"Some came in two minutes or three,
some in hours," you say in your preface. Well.
Congratulations on the speed and thanks
for sharing. I know you better now.
In carbon lie dark mysteries
of heat. Set fire to them for warmth,
they last and last. But what is left
is afterburn. A diamond is more.
Show me the jewel that's chiseled, polished,
readied for display, placed painfully,
painstakingly, in a setting, which will fill
my lungs with breath and drop my jaw
when I see it, read it, hear it, can't help
but commit its image, or parts of it,
to memory. A real diamond
can be named Hope.
How to make the dark stuff glitter?
Apply pressure to "organic subterranean matter,"
let's call it not for a million years
but long enough that it turn into
a thing that shines, a thing that the Beauty
called Your Soul would be happy were she caught dead
wearing it. What pressure? Desire, discipline,
the weight of wisdom, or the patience till it come,
and the burning need not to set it ablaze,
but to fashion the raw into reflective surfaces.
The larger question: Do you have the interest?
The smaller's easier: Do you have the time?