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Our first honoured guest is Mackay J. Dalton whose Paradise Alley Saga is developing into a quiet but inexorable storm. If you like this sample, then please visit her website by clicking on the picture. No kidding, you will be entering a world of wonders.

tales from the fire escape

Harry walks his dog at night
I don't imagine that's odd
Except for the strips of light reflecting tape
he marks the dog with

Jill hung wooden windchimes
She said metal ones weren't good for the environment
cos the smoke from factories kills living things
I had to ask her if she heard the tree screaming
as the saw tore through it
Jill won't speak to me any more

Ben can spend hours tuning his guitar in the courtyard
I've yet to hear him play
I wonder often if he might be tone deaf

Mrs Grainger's cat stopped by to visit
with its mangy coat and a ribbon on its collar
I fed him tuna from my plate and set him free
from her obsession with bows
He'll be back tomorrow, I'm sure
Not for the tuna
He seems to favor the mayonnaise

Harley's son blew bubbles from the floor below
He wanted me to catch them but they sailed across the courtyard
splattering Bens guitar and dancing past Jills windchimes





Next comes Bethan Jones, aka Wolfbane, out of Bath via Aberavon. Mick was going to say that the poem which follows is not typical of her style, except that this is a poet who is at home in a number of different styles. Again, click on the picture above to visit the Lair of the Wolf.

home

He is settled in the comforts of time;
lost in a world of past where
once he would have been free.
The whispers of the age have followed him
from doorstep to platform;
the sad, shrill echo of steam whistles
have stifled the tears of hands
wringing sorrow through the years.
Now the pale skin holds shards of memory
close to the mind like the knitted blanket
wrapped tightly around his knees,
shoulders stooped under the weight
of the summer sun.
The window is closed against the breath of air
and dandelioned lawns,
and he is caught in time,
smelling the flowers of a different year.





From Melbourne, Australia keli, who prefers to be known only be her nickname, brings us the following wonderful tree poem.

ancient tree

I never thought I'd see those leaves again
I often looked longingly at that bare tree
That once stood heavy laden with leaves
Framing the flowers, the fruit, the beauty
Before it died off into dormancy...

I knew that the life was stored deep within
Knowing the tree had all it needs to begin again
As the resurrection brings forth its mystery
I watch and see newborn shoots bring its promise
Evoking memories of hope back to me...

This age old tree with it's many lessons to bare
Represents to me the promise of unfolded future
Promises of fruits and flora to follow
Reminding me of the ebb and flow of seasons
I am grateful to see the sun once more...




Next up is a real oddity from Missouri Burns, and guess where he lives...

a quandary

"By ridding oneself of human subjectivity and ego one may obtain truth" -Zen aphorism

1

Vague whisper, arcane reference to an all-too tired argument and clever semantic. Choosing instead to hear no more the absolute terror and carnage that swallowed them, my demons risk all by bringing me back. The place is my hometown, or so I am told.

2

Finding the local cafe mildly appealing I go in. I sit and from my corner-booth confessional I imagine myself to be the brand of insane that gave Van Gogh his immortality. For I am an artist you see, with artistic sensitivities. (Ostensibly by invoking the Dostoyevskian rule) This excuses me from any circumstantial vermin that might be writhing about within my forlorn and grotesquely guilty character. everyone knows how eccentric artists are anyway. Right?

3

The waitress looks upon me as if I have committed some blasphemy when I order cereal and coffee. She looks at her watch. I tell her I can't scratch my backside with a wildcat in each hand before noon. She cackles, then goes away. After awhile she comes back with my breakfast. I notice her staring at me. She is smiling. She has the sort of smile that might imply some nefarious secret. I stare back ifor a while. She is cute. My imagination takes flight. I find myself contemplating (involuntarily of course) our future life together. The nomadic predator wanders across the path of innocence and takes all, but sometimes it is checked by the better and more honorable thief. Who is predator and who is thief? ( A rhetorical question at best) I imagine seeking her in white laced states of disarray and my imagination soars. We, the arduoous adventurers, shall explore, never thinking of consequence until it is too late, when on starry nights we sit on over-stuffed couches offering up our prayers of thanks for our little kool-aid permeated, Barney infested recalcitrant Nintendo-heads ( to covet our check books). However, the seeds of destruction will have already been sown by minute discoveries of what schizophrenic omens might lie behind our carefully sketched self-portraits.

4

She asks me if I would care for more as she presses a slip of paper discreetly into my palm. I decline and pay the check leaving her with a smugglers smile and a five dollar tip. Once outside I read her note. It says, "Mr. I don't mean to embarrass you but I would want somebody to tell me if I was you. You have snot in your moustache."



And now seconds out for a gentle (or maybe not so gentle) battle of the sexes between Rick LaFerla's "the huntress" and Angelica's "the satyr" which was written in answer to it. If you enjoy Rick's work, you may want to check out Inner Circle Publishing. Click on the picture above.


the huntress

The beauty of youth
has given way
to the lines on the mirror of your face.
Hide the evidence ~
better years gone by,
darkened memories too faded to trace.
A seductive look,
a come take me smile,
the huntress eyes her prey.
The younger the better
she tells herself,
a sucker that lasts all day.

Camouflage the eyes
with softening color.
A venus fly trap mouth.
A little bit of padding
to accentuate the breasts
that gravity beckons south.
The huntress stays ahead
of the feelings she denies,
a cool and calculating head.
Getting too involved
is what she can’t afford
when love is what you dread.

And the huntress needs, or the huntress bleeds;
wishing for days gone by.
On attention she feeds, as her vanity leads
her away from the tears she won’t cry.

Many faces the huntress
may wear, each one to
suit the other.
Until she is lost
in a maze of gazes;
she’s gone undercover.
When her victim sees
who she really is,
by then it is far too late.
She has taken your will
and made it her own.
Your senses she will sedate.

She will flood your mind,
shatter your heart,
and then imprison your soul.
She will thrill your body,
replace your will,
and leave a blackened hole.
And when she is done
she will turn her back,
and quickly walk away.
Then she will make sure
you see her new man
and leave you to decay.

And the huntress needs, or the huntress bleeds
with a smile upon her face.
On attention she feeds, as her vanity leads
to another victim waiting chase.


the satyr

I understand the Satyr
though it took me many years.
He's not a truth evader
it required a full length mirror.
As a pen testator
he'll confess without a fear,
he's a shameless fornicator
a lascivious domineer.
He sees, he likes, he baits her
most often he perseveres...
A female adulator,
an expert on brassieres.
A mouth-breathing pulsator
when a pretty femme appears,
smooth talk ingratiator
when the prize's a nice round rear.
To young girls an educator,
mature damsels cavalier,
uninitiate demonstrator
and willing volunteer.
A hot-breathed close persuader
with the right words to endear,
a prolific procreator
impassioned heat that's quite sincere.
Should he ever prostrate her,
a victim to the spear.
He as a captivator
a bluebeard buccaneer,
a rapturous escalator
top floor's the stratosphere.
A hot blood circulator
clothes gladly disappear
a flushed skin percolater
a soft and warm cashmere.
Adept a navigator
as any who'd course his sphere
accomplished copulator
to whom you'll soon adhere.
a willing lubricator
whose light touch landing gear
plants deep a conjugator
while feather light my dear.
A deep kiss advocator
for years and years and years.
A non-stop oscillator
who will bring on copious tears.
I understand the Satyr,
from his truth I shall not veer,
he's not all animator,
there's a sparkle in his leer.



Mick is not normally a fan of self-descriptive poems. These tend to be either self-pitying or narcissistic. Just now and again along comes one which proves rules have exceptions, and this, from Kris D, is it.


all about me

I am a willow tree
My never ending boughs dancing in the breeze,
Held up by a trunk strong and true.
Trimmed, but never tamed by others.
Wild, free, ever changing, whispering in the wind.

I am a caterpillar,
Spinning my cocoon,
Preparing for the long winter ahead.
Survival of the storm, breaking free.
Emerging; a butterfly ready to take flight.

I am the Yellow Pages.
Open me up, there are so many things to see.
Looking for Lawyer? Search under 'L'.
None listed? See also Attorneys.
You may have to search harder than you thought
to find what you're looking for.

I am a Newspaper.
Ask me something, I cannot speak.
You have to look inside for yourself.
There's always a headline,
But you have to read further to get the details.

I am a Copy Machine.
Feed me paper,
I'll give it right back to you.
Want more?
Just keep pushing my buttons.

I am the box that says: Fragile! Handle With Care!
But I make people curious.
Is it really fragile? Maybe just a little shake won't....OOPS!
Maybe they should have listened,
Signs are always there for a reason.

I am me
And I am unique.
I am my own person, free will presiding.
I am different, changing for myself alone.
I am full of life, energy, secrets and determination.
I am!

And now from something completely different - but amazing all the same - from J. Reichenbach. Visit the poet's website by clicking on the picture above.


french quarter

Zydeco Rhythm envelops the night
tangled in Cajun spice and spilt beer.
A dark undertow vibrant with edge,
flows within the rhythmic racket of horse drawn carriage.
Christianity and Voodoo converge
where Jambalaya, Gumbo, and bottomless drink
feed the spirit of laughter and lasciviousness.
Across the apex of sinister sensations
that sing from graveyards crypt.



ALL WORK APPEARING ON THIS PAGE IS USED WITH PERMISSION AND REMAINS THE COPYRIGHT OF THE AUTHOR