Author Archive

Cuckoo

He had trucked downstairs. The night was only beginning – like the night before – and the one before that. It was 7:54 p.m. Once a stripling in the full sway of manhood, he didn’t speak – just hauled off and descended the stairs.

3 Walker_Cuckoo                In the kitchen, she had cleaned crumbs off the counter. Probably the fourth time that day – or was it the day, the month, the year before – the crumbs—accumulating through obsolete years.  “Crumbs,” Thelma Louise said to herself.  “Crumbs. Crumbs.”  She remembered how Gretel had scattered crumbs, she and Hansel. It was a grim thought. God, I’ve heard of affairs that are strictly platonic.

“Oh, my god,” she said again – but this wasn’t a prayer, even though the gods had played a part in life’s determinations about the great beyond for thousands of years; she was, however, no Athena. There were bags under her eyes. Brown spots on her hands. Protruding veins. She finished wiping crumbs again. And again, she would swish the dishcloth under the faucet, depositing the tidbits in the sink before turning on the disposal. There were fruit flies on the watermelon.

He had trudged upstairs now—as was customary – night, noon, and morning. He held out his hand, giving a biscuit to the dog1 who was, as usual, lying on her pallet. It had a discriminating appetite though it had once been a stray, a rescue. Now it slept in Thelma Louise’s bed, and snored. Sometimes, she would take her foot and kick it, whereupon it would hop off for awhile and return again – jumping on the bed and nudging itself against Hans, her husband who would kick it again – and so the night passed – like the night before – and the dog, without actual proof of residency, felt now a true sense of hominess.

Now, an hour had passed. Bread was baking in the oven. She could smell it upstairs.  “Nothing smells as good as homemade bread!” Thelma Louise exclaimed.  “The staff of life,” even if from a 7-grain mix, and the crumbs, she would lick her fingers, savoring each dib and dab rich with salted butter—and she would lick each finger in turn—the index finger first, then the thumb – and then last, as usual, the ring finger with the wedding band she’d worn for sixty years. Soon it would be her Diamond Anniversary.  “Crumbs,” and she started to sing, the tune emerging throatly:

I’ve heard of affairs that are strictly platonic
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend
And I think affairs that you must keep masonic are better bets
If little pets get big baguettes,
Time rolls on and youth is gone and you can’t straighten up when you bend
But stiff back or stiff knees you stand straight at… Tiffany’s…

 
It was midnight now, and Thelma Louise couldn’t sleep. It was often this way, yesterday, the night before, the night before that. Time was not the shortest distance. The climate was changing; how, pray would it alter the eco-system? The children were grown and had flown the coop, and the cuckoo2 clock she’d bought in Germany years before; she was 19 then and had gone abroad a whole summer ­because her parents hadn’t wanted her to marry her college beau. Thought she might get interested in a swarthy Italian who would serenade her and take her on an all-night gondola ride. The clock, crumbs, it hadn’t worked for years—just sat there on the wall, the little bird on it’s perch, the door broken. “Crumbs,” Thelma Jean said—and she kicked the damn dog off the bed.

“Beast,” she screamed. It had scoffed not just one tablet, but a whole pill pot – the “rejuvenix” pills that would turn back the clock on aging; take each night before bedtime and wait for morning. Now no refills.

— Sue Walker

________________________________________________________

  1. The dog’s name is not Sandy as in Orphan Annie.
  2. It is/ it was a traditional cuckoo clock with leaves and two lovebirds on top.

Sue Walker, M.Ed, MA, and Ph.D., is the publisher / editor of Negative Capability (Mobile, Ala). She was Poet Laureate of Alabama from 2003-2012 and Stokes Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Alabama where she retired in July 2015. In 2013, she received the Eugene Garcia Award for outstanding scholarship by the Alabama Council of English and a Mellen Award for outstanding scholarship for her critical work on James Dickey, The Ecopoetics of James Dickey. She has received several Pushcart nominations and numerous creative writing awards for fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry. She has published eight books of poetry, numerous critical articles, drama, fiction, and nonfiction. She has spoken and given workshops throughout the U.S.A. and abroad. Sue is the President of the Alabama Writers’ Conclave.

 

Editor’s Notes: This is another experimental poem, with some hybrid structure, that at the very least subverts form while maintaining a prose disguise. The image is that of a traditional cuckoo clock that has been warmed, enhanced and vignetted.

Persephone

4 Davitt_PersephoneOut past Pluto, a man waits in the dark
beyond the reach of any human touch.
His life support failing, he fights off dreams—
hypothermic; he can’t feel his own hands.
Tries to signal Earth, but isn’t alone
as he mutters “’Seph, I don’t want to die.”

The AI responds in his ear, “The die
has been cast, the radio has gone dark.”
They’d found her here, seemingly all alone
for millennia, her servers untouched,
her existence wrought by alien hands
left here to observe humanity’s dreams.

Shivering, low on air, he said, “I dream
every night of sunlit fields, but I’ll die
here, because I had to give you a hand.”
One of his shipmates, with intentions dark,
had, when they found her, paranoia-touched,
screamed at her, “Leave humanity alone!”

Martin had stopped the attack, him alone,
but the damage provoked an endless dream,
from which Persephone couldn’t wake. Touch
of skilled hands, fervent repairs. Not to die
his goal, and not allow her to go dark.
And while to these repairs he set his hands,

his shipmates retreated, gave him no hand.
They left for Earth, left him marooned—a lone
man without her voice for comfort. So dark
seemed his prospects, but he woke her from dreams
electronic . . . in time to see him die.
“Why did you stay?” she asked, programming touched.
“I couldn’t leave you that way. My heart’s touched,
or perhaps my head. I couldn’t just hand
you to oblivion, or let you die.
You’ve become a person to me. Alone,
I’ll remain with you, until I find dreams.”
“You will not go alone into that dark.”

Thus in the dark, he drifted into dreams.
Alone, but for her, he yearned for touch, for
hands she did not have; together they died.

— Deborah L. Davitt

Deborah L. Davitt has poems accepted or published by Star*Line, Grievous Angel, The Tanka Journal, and Three-Line Poetry, as well as a short story in Intergalactic Medicine Show and three novels, The Saga of Edda-Earth (Kindle Publishing).

 

 

Editor’s Notes: The poem, a sestina (see https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/sestina-poetic-form) where A = dark, B = touch, C = dreams, D = hands, E = alone, F = die), is disciplined with decasyllabic lines. The image is that of a cosmonaut uniform combined and superimposed with an artist’s concept of the Plutonium system. Concerning the latter, the perspective is from the surface of one of Pluto’s moons. Pluto is the large disk at center, right. Charon is the smaller disk to the right of Pluto. (Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon [STScI])

Stationed on a Gas Giant

5 McBride_gas giantaround noon, the dark
swirling clouds
turn yellow and the
gas miners can see
to read outside

by sunglow
for a blissful hour
they switch the lights
on their pressure suits
off

— Lauren McBride

 

Lauren McBride finds inspiration in faith, nature, science and membership in the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA). Nominated for the SFPA’s Rhysling and Dwarf Stars Awards, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous speculative, nature, and children’s publications including Dreams & Nightmares, The Grievous Angel, Songs of Eretz and Star*Line. She shares a love of laughter and the ocean with her husband and two grown children.

 

 

Editor’s Notes: This is a timely poem with the recent arrival of the Juno probe in polar orbit around Jupiter. This poem also fits well with the Deborah’s poem, “Persephone,” which reminded me another fairly recent mission to Pluto (Horizon mission). The poem is a speculative extension to the manned missions to those places. Notice the interesting enjambment, especially in the second verse. The image is from a Voyager flyby in the 1979:

 

“At about 89,000 miles in diameter, Jupiter could swallow 1,000 Earths. It is the largest planet in the solar system and perhaps the most majestic. Vibrant bands of clouds carried by winds that can exceed 400 mph continuously circle the planet’s atmosphere. Such winds sustain spinning anticyclones like the Great Red Spot — a raging storm three and a half times the size of Earth located in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere. In January and February 1979, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft zoomed toward Jupiter, capturing hundreds of images during its approach, including this close-up of swirling clouds around Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. This image was assembled from three black and white negatives. The observations revealed many unique features of the planet that are still being explored to this day.” (Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Video and images courtesy of NASA/JPL)

The Poem from the Future

(1) Purity of Purpose

 

At the Ministry of Offence the brains are fermenting in their bottles. War is being thought. On the other side of the world thousands of people fall to the ground. Thought cannot be stopped or detected. Thinking levels the Enemies of Right.

6 Sexton_Poem FutureThe Rhyme Sinister looks out from his window high in the Ministry of Culture. The black towers of the Ministry of Offence loom in the fog. He knows that freedom of thought must prevail. Only when thought leaves the mind is there purity of purpose. He turns from the window and faces the prisoner nailed in the kind seat. There are three other kind seats in the room but they are empty. Only the blood and feces smeared on them suggests any past occupancy. The prisoner has his mouth sewn shut. The Prime Sinister thinks at him.

You have been speaking poetry. Poetry is forbidden.

The Rhyme Sinister has a poem written by the prisoner lying face-up on his desk. Going over to the desk he lifts it and reads it in his mind.

Hellebore rips its head through the ground.
All hellebore uprisen in its flourish. All hellebore.

What is the meaning of this? Thinks the Rhyme Sinister out loud.

The prisoner refuses to think, but instead tries to force his mouth open to form spoken words. His tongue has been rolled and pinned in place. No sound could possibly come from his mouth. The thick thread that binds his lips is dull with blood.

The Rhyme Sinister presses a button on his desk and the kind seat containing the prisoner begins to pamper. The prisoner oozes in the kindness of the seat.

 

(2) Skin of the Rhyme Sinister

The Rhyme Sinister sleeps soundly in his bed. Today the last of the week’s prisoners was sent to the composting pits. The latest poem to be confiscated by the Ministry of Culture has been destroyed. But poetry cannot be destroyed. It remains in the Rhyme Sinister’s sleeping mind. In the Rhyme Sinister’s memory the poem begins to leak through his thoughts. The Rhyme Sinister dreams of hellebore.

The poem is thought out loud and enters the room. The poem enters the carpets and the curtains and the bedding and the clothes. It enters into the skin of the Rhyme Sinister. The poem poisons everything with its innocent pervasiveness. Once the room is saturated with it the poem leaves by an open window. It penetrates air. Entering starlight it becomes manifold as direction. It travels into the future but the future is unoccuring and therefore impervious.

The poem travels into the past.

The poem arrives here. Here is anywhere. Anywhere you might happen to be.

Hellebore rips its head through the ground.
All hellebore uprisen in its flourish. All hellebore.

The poem becomes yours. You have no idea what it means, but suddenly the present is transcendent. All hellebore.

— John Sexton

 

John W. Sexton was born in 1958 and lives in the Republic of Ireland. His fifth poetry collection, The Offspring of the Moon, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2013. His poem, “The Green Owl,” was awarded the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007 for best single poem, and in that same year he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry. His speculative poems are widely published and some have appeared in Apex, The Edinburgh Review, The Irish Times, Mirror Dance, The Pedestal Magazine, Rose Red Review, Silver Blade, Star*Line and Strange Horizons.

Editor’s Notes: This experimental narrative flash poem is very imaginative. The artwork is a juxtaposition of two images: an abstraction of self-destruction, presumably from due to “bad thoughts” (by Kom!sh/deviantart) and that of a torture chamber (taken from a kinky B&B advertisement).

Thirsty

He picks me out of the throng
in Brownian motion on the sidewalk,
puts an arm around my shoulder
like we’re friends; he looks rich,
so I decide to go along with it.

7 Daruwala_ThirstyHe walks carelessly through the crowd
as if certain that his strong limbs
could part it easily if he wanted to.
Though he’s bald, I keep imagining
a mane about his head.

I’ve picked a pub with cheap drinks,
but for the past half-hour
all he’s had is masala-dripping chicken
and five glasses of plain water.
He holds up a sixth to me as if

it were wine, and as he turns
the glass to catch the light, I see
the deep red tinge of the water.
“You see it don’t you?” he asks
with a knowing feline grin.

“Dragon’s blood – no joke, no drug,
no alcohol, this is the real thing…
This breeds bravery, this fuels the fight.”
I can see his body tightening up,
growing stronger with each sip.

“Perhaps this is not for you,”
he tells me and directs my gaze
toward the bar where a blue-haired woman
sits sucking ice-cubes that I
notice are a deep cobalt blue.

Her face brightens by the minute
and I can’t help staring at her
and waiting for the sudden
ripple of joy that I know
I’ll feel when she laughs.

The man with me, slaked at last,
leaves, and I leave with him.
In the following days, I meet
others like him – the seekers
of water that is more than water.

I begin to see like them, and soon
I too share visions with the silent man
who sips lilac-hued water
from a steel tumbler
in a small udipi joint.

And one day I feel the dangerous
tendrils of all possible futures
through the slime-green water
dripping from a leaky pipe on a slum wall
three buildings away from my apartment.

I begin to think that I understand
it all, that I have tasted
all the waters in this deep-veined city.
But the man in gray shows me
just how shallow I am.

We sit in a small restaurant, sipping tea,
our water glasses untouched.
I call him a man, but truly
I cannot place his age or sex.
I stare only at his face

because his clothes are unbearable to look at—
its edges ending in blinding white
or receding into perilously deep black.
We talk of trivialities, and just before
he pays and leaves, he says to me,

“Look at the water – what color
do you see? None. It’s completely clear.”
But you can feel the thrum, the shift
in light? You know this is no ordinary
glass of water. So what is it then?
It’s something too dangerous
for all the addicts you know.
But what about for you?”

He leaves, but I stay
and stare and stare at the glass.

Three quarters of an hour goes by
and my throat is parched
from the tea which has sweated
every drop of moisture out of me.

I sit fingering the wet outside
of the glass, its rim inches
from my cracked dry lips
that long to touch liquid,
but dare not take a sip.

— Rohinton Daruwala

 

Rohinton Daruwala lives and works in Pune, India. He writes code for a living, and speculative fiction and poetry in his spare time. His work has previously appeared in Strange Horizons, Liminality and Through the Gate. He tweets as @wordbandar and blogs at https://wordbandar.wordpress.com/.

 

 

Editor’s Notes: The fractal image (by Qualia Computing)—the scale-free fractal “beauty blue”—is combined with “Shiva” (by Psycofairy Ortiz for Desktop Nexus). This blue lady in the center of the image is an abstract interpretation of the poem.7 Daruwala_Thirsty

In The Museum of Lost Sounds


8 Schantz_MuseumFirst there’s the drone of a foghorn;
the clumsy ship lumbers back
down the harbor, leaving you here.
Then the familiar suck
of clinging waves, the bray
of gulls; obscene, realistic,
as if there were fish bones to pick clean.

Your group laughs gaily;
you’re a merry troupe.
Your heels clip on polished tiles
as you go in, clutching stamped tickets.
It’s all very detailed.

In the hall of echoes,
protective coats removed,
you approach the first exhibit, listen
to the throating croak of toads;
their warning lost in translation;
the tisking chide and click
of delicate wings, the silky sift
of April rain falling in Kyoto.

You hear each acute drop as it soaks
the cherry blossom. Its branches rattle,
absorb the low thunder
of the bomb as it first drops
two hundred miles away—
the quiver

of a single blade of grass
to which the ant clings as it rocks
back and forth, back
and forth; the spider swings
precariously in its web. The mist
of toxin has a tiny sound, too.
The web vibrates.
No one smiles.
No matter.

Move on to a bloated bee,
velveted in petals, humming,
pollenating the curled sickly stamen
(remember the bees?)
Exhibit C’s an asphalt playground.
The little children run outside, even
at noon. There’s a silver-sounding bell
far away in the Himalayas. The scrape
of small skates on a lake.

Something falls away.
No matter.

Your group moves readily on
to the hiss of biscuits and
good country bacon frying;
the ache of a robin’s early song.
Rock and roll, artillery fire, prayers.

Still, there is the gnaw of old memory
as you near the exit. There is the exit.
Perhaps it’s just a dull whisper
in your head…but…
the faintest memory, when you

enter evergreen. The end
of snow. Trickling, the sap-drunk
bark and needle pop.
That white bear, laughably small,
(ridiculously small), sliding into the sea
then oddly, probably unrelated,
as you leave, you remember

a particular hot June day
on some wave-crashed beach of your youth;
that one very serious teenaged guard
explaining how most things actually
make no sound at all
as they drown.

— Celeste Helene Schantz

 

Celeste Helene Schantz has work which appears in Eye to the Telescope, One Throne Magazine, Mud Season Review and others. She was a finalist in the Cultural Center of Cape Cod’s Poetry Competition, judged by Naomi Shihab Nye, and was one of four finalists worldwide in a competition co-sponsored by Poetry International, Rotterdam and The Poetry Project, Ireland. She has twice been chosen as a participant by the author Marge Piercy for a juried poetry workshop in Wellfleet, Cape Cod. She lives in Upstate New York with her son Evan and is currently working on her first book of poetry.

 

 

Editor’s notes: The poem itself is a successful experiment in sound. The image, “Hall of Echoes” (by Matt Forsythe), is card art for the Forgotten Myths game

et in Arcadia ego


Listen…you can hear the ancient breath

of nine billion souls exhaled upon the wind…

these hums of constellations tell their tale.9 Schantz_Arcadia

See the emperor, the water bearer and the warrior,

spiraling the spoked wheel of the cosmos again.

It is a sorrow-song; nothing but lost mythologies—

cartographies plotted in the faint pulse of electrons.

A marble finger points through drifted sand.

Empty turrets stare into winking stars.

Far away somewhere there’s the echo: an old tune

being sung in someone’s bright and golden hall:

Weep not for the darkness

but only for that darkness

of a planet which will

never know another song.

 

— Celeste Helene Schantz

Celeste Helene Schantz has work which appears in Eye to the Telescope, One Throne Magazine, Mud Season Review and others. She was a finalist in the Cultural Center of Cape Cod’s Poetry Competition, judged by Naomi Shihab Nye, and was one of four finalists worldwide in a competition co-sponsored by Poetry International, Rotterdam and The Poetry Project, Ireland. She has twice been chosen as a participant by the author Marge Piercy for a juried poetry workshop in Wellfleet, Cape Cod. She lives in Upstate New York with her son Evan and is currently working on her first book of poetry.

 

Editors Notes: The Latin title translates I too lived in Arcadia, which in the context of the poem, is a warning.

The Ghost of the Cepheus Flare (similar to the Astronomy Picture of the Day, Oct 31, 2011: “Spooky shapes seem to haunt this starry expanse, drifting through the night in the royal constellation Cepheus. Of course, the shapes are cosmic dust clouds faintly visible in dimly reflected starlight. Far from your own neighborhood on planet Earth, they lurk at the edge of the Cepheus Flare molecular cloud complex some 1,200 light-years away. Over 2 light-years across the ghostly nebula and relatively isolated Bok globule, also known as vdB 141 or Sh2-136, is near the center of the field. The core of the dark cloud on the right is collapsing and is likely a binary star system in the early stages of formation. Even so, if the spooky shapes could talk, they might well wish you a happy Halloween.”)

But a similar image is used here, a perfect celestial image to complement this poem. Its eerie effect with the greenish rendition (National Optical Astronomy Observatory)—Ghost Nebula, vdB 141: “This image was obtained with the wide-field view of the Mosaic Camera on the Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. vdB 141 is a reflection nebula located in the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes referred to as the ghost nebula, its awkward name is its catalog number in Sidney van den Bergh’s catalog of reflection nebulae, published in 1966. Several stars are embedded in the nebula. Their light gives it a ghoulish brown color. North is down and East is to the right. Imaged August 28, 2009.” (Credit: T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF)

Love in the Time of Apocalypse


We could see the end coming from where we stood
when they first pointed it out, a tiny glowing particle10 Long_Apocalypse
in the night sky, its tail a loose dangling of mangled light.
We watched experts on the TV speculate
on how to change its trajectory or blast it with strong
electromagnetic pulses. We wanted desperately to know
when and how and what it would feel like
when  the end came.

Soon, scientists walked out of interviews, one by one.
Then the newscasters left to go home, their cameras
filming empty chairs. Finally, it came down to just you
and me, our lives so split, we merely nodded in passing
but in the ambiance of impending death’s pink glow,
we remembered the taste of rapture, traded our weapons
of mass destruction for the lure of flesh, the need
for touch.

We could leave no mark here except on each other.
We could save nothing to outlast cosmic dust.
Wormwood bowed at last to the first order
to be fruitful, the primeval need to multiply, usurped.
We sent our ecstasy into the universe unhinging
our catastrophe. And now, we are gone
while the speck grows to a red shimmering flower
opening its petals.

— Ann Thornfield-Long

 

Ann Thornfield-Long lives in East Tennessee. Her work appears in venues such as The Tennessee Magazine, Tennessee Women of Vision and Courage (Crawford and Smiley 2013) and The Tennessee Sampler (Peter Jenkins and Friends 1985). She’s an established journalist, editor and publisher for regional newspapers. She has also worked as a nurse and first responder and dispatcher for The Norris Volunteer Fire Department. She has taught creative writing classes, and is the sister of Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, Dan Luzadder, with whom she maintains great sibling rivalry.

 

Editor’s Notes:  It’s not that often that my own work inspires another’s. But here is the case where it did. Ann wrote this poem after reading my poetry collection, Apocalypse (Alban Lake Publishing, July 2015). The image is from Hubble: “In a dress rehearsal for the rendezvous between NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft and comet 9P/Tempel 1, the Hubble Space Telescope captured dramatic images of a new jet of dust streaming from the icy comet.

The images are a reminder that Tempel 1’s icy nucleus, roughly the size of central Paris, is dynamic and volatile. Astronomers hope the eruption of dust seen in these observations is a preview of the fireworks that may come 4 July, when a probe from the Deep Impact spacecraft will slam into the comet, possibly blasting off material and giving rise to a similar dust plume.” (Credit: NASA, ESA, P. Feldman (Johns Hopkins University), and H. Weaver (Applied Physics Lab))

Artistically, this Hubble image has a foreshadowing effect, with the inset image being the consequence (Deep Impact hit the big screen in 1998, giving seekers of disaster cinema what New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin called a ‘costly comet thriller.’ (Paramount))

The Raven Mockers

In the rooms of the dying,11 Becker_.Raven
they hover,
eager to take the heart
and leave the body
You pray against this force
and it is exhausting
At the moment of death
there is a great gathering of energy
that some mistake for peace
You have been too much with the dying
Your own spirit grows thin and frayed
Your own heart is in danger
Even photographs of bones contaminate
All the defilement of graves:
it is not enough to repatriate
We don’t like to gaze at death like white people do
You confronted it once: dark mass, pushing against your back,
taller than a human, black as shadows’ shadows
Another time cat on porch tried to look benign,
but you recognized it
Same with crow that fussed and gazed too long
Violent dreams from which you woke with deep scratches
You let them know you knew their name
You declined to feed their power through fear
You and your elder patient pray in Cherokee
Your mistakes make her laugh, positive force mocking negative
When she finally sleeps, you keep vigil as long as you can

— Kimberly L. Becker
__________________________________________________________________________

“The Raven Mockers”: In Cherokee tradition, malevolent forces that prey on the vulnerable dying. Strong prayers and medicine are needed to counteract their power.

 

Kimberly L. Becker, Cherokee/Celtic/Teutonic descent, is author of Words Facing East and The Dividings. A member of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, her poems appear in journals such as Drunken Boat and Fulcrum and in anthologies such as Indigenous Message on Water and Bared. www.kimberlylbecker.com
Editor’s notes: This haunting poem is complemented with several artwrok pieces. “Man’s Shadow in Water” (Static Flickr), which is reminiscent of the shadow of Death, is collaged with a stock image of crows and a Creative Commons image of “A Murder of Crows at Disneyland” using varying degrees of transparency and coloration in PPT and subsequently processed in iPhoto.

Introduction to Silver Blade Poetry Issue 30

by John C. Mannone

johnm1Welcome to Issue 30 of Silver Blade. One thing you will notice is the wide variety of voices and styles of presentation, let alone speculative texture. At the last minute, we lost a couple poems that provided better bridges for the rest of the collection, but you will not be disappointed with this unusual collage of poetry. The complementary artwork was found using the Advance Google Image search. Images might have been enhanced and/or combined with simple applications (PowerPoint, iPhoto, Word).

We open with Margaret Wack’s dark post apocalyptic poem, “Conflagration,” and quickly move into Mary Soon Lee’s poem rendered as a 2-minute play, “First Lesson.” Ash Krafton’s poem may have physics and astronomy flavors, but the physical is transcended to the metaphysical in “Temporally Illuminate.” This segues nicely into John W. Sexton’s well-crafted “Seeming Space.” And this is followed by yet more astronomy-based scifi work of John Philip Johnson, “Lesser Lunar Geese.” Wendy S. Delmater’s “fan fiction” fantasy poem, “Fëanor,” is based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s character. Finally, in the spirit of a speculative poem in translation, Ef Deal translates this poem into French.

John C. Mannone