Tag: Poetry

Prediction, Faculty Drub – Phil Huffy

Prediction, Faculty Drub – Phil Huffy

This is Phil’s second publication with Hedge Apple. His first, last semester, is also on our website.

Prediction is an honestly-described tale of recollection. Faculty Drub is a limerick–Phil’s seeming signature with us.

(It seems both we and our immediate predecessors appreciate limericks.)

Enjoy:

___

Prediction

He looked into the future

at the Corinth County Fair.

The cost of this? Two dollars,

promptly paid.


It seemed uniquely quiet

in the fortune teller’s lair.

The hoopla right outside went

unrelayed.


She took his hand quite firmly

and remarked about his palm

that a pleasing indication

was displayed


and told him there was something

from his past he’d soon enjoy,

to reassert a memory

long mislaid.

He headed for the midway

and the babble re-emerged

as he stepped into the sunlight

from the shade


and thought that he’d be foolish

to believe in such a tale,

yet felt the urge

to buy a lemonade.

~~~

Faculty Drub

A professor of eminent station

had been grading an English translation.

Although expertly made

it received a downgrade

for a comma outside a quotation.

___

Phil Huffy writes early and often at his kitchen table in upstate New York. He has been published frequently, with nearly 100 pieces finding homes in the last twelve months.


Walking This Cemetery at the Edge of Town – Richard Luftig

Walking This Cemetery at the Edge of Town – Richard Luftig

Here is the last of three poems Richard sent us. This one stands by itself in attribute to the solitude it describes. Winter can make all places seem lonelier, but especially the one described here. We suppose annual breaks from the visitations of seasonal friends are just another part of the cycle.

Regardless,

Enjoy:

___

Walking This Cemetery at the Edge of Town

The winter rain drips

from the bare arms

of these sentry oaks

 

while the moon threads

its light through needles

of western pine.

 

These markers so old

that even the dates

have disappeared

 

like memories

the dead possess

for the living

 

that went on before

them. Why, like monks,

do the weeds overgrowing

 

the headstones maintain

their orders of silence?

Out here you’d like

 

to think that the lilies

on the far edge

of the untended pond

 

would resurrect

themselves into

spring and perhaps

 

crickets that linger

in afternoon heat

would have something

 

to say on the matter.

But nothing remains

save for these grave

 

stones and the dead

leaves, mute wherever

they have come to reside.

 

___

Richard is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio now residing in California. His poems and stories have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. His poems have been nominated for the Pushcart prize and two poems recently appeared in Realms of the Mothers: The First Decade of Dos Madres Press. His latest book of poems will be forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2019. Richard’s webpage and blog may be found at richardluftig.com

November 21st, Not in Service – Richard Luftig

November 21st, Not in Service – Richard Luftig

Here are the first two (out of three) of Richard’s poems that we’ll be publishing. Reading these really is like sitting in a gentle misty rain on an overcast day. Things are wet, but the sun’s presence is apparent through the clouds’ diffusiveness.

We enjoyed them. We hope you will, too.

___

November 21st

Cold today.

Grass still

Wet. An old push-

 

Mower rests,

   Rusts, near

A weed-strewn

 

Shed. Clouds collide

   In a wary

Sky. Sun low,

 

Hidden, behind

Long pines

And cedars

 

That line the wind-

   Break side

Of these fields.

 

Cold today.

   Sometimes

I wish winter

 

Would tell us

What it really

Intends when it takes

 

The faint pulse

   Of these bare-

Shouldered trees.

 

~~~

Not in Service

As I sit on this bench, waiting

in the rain, each passing city bus

announces the same destination

across its front. Not in Service.

 

God knows, I probably deserve it.

Punishment for last Sunday,

on my way to the golf course,

playing hooky from Mass,

 

and the sign in front of church,

all in caps, like at a Seven-Eleven,

letting everyone know like the message

on that bus where currently I am not.

___

Richard is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio now residing in California. His poems and stories have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. His poems have been nominated for the Pushcart prize and two poems recently appeared in Realms of the Mothers: The First Decade of Dos Madres Press. His latest book of poems will be forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2019. Richard’s webpage and blog may be found at richardluftig.com

The day before work – David Mellor

The day before work – David Mellor

Here’s something many people in overtiring circumstances might find particularly relatable–though each in their own way.

We found it to be a friend.

Enjoy.

 

___

The day before work

All of a sudden the air becomes thin

And the glee of jumping out of work on Friday like a drunken chimpanzee is gone

Instead the day becomes heavy…

Weighed down in disbelief that the minutes are ticking faster and faster

“Surely it’s not already twenty past three”

Then the evening falls, like a Transylvanian night

The gargoyles and wolves howling as you are passed your last rights

David you will have to go to bed some time tonight.

Rocking to and fro in your captive’s bed

Starting at the clock till your eyes turn red…

Then you wake up like a coiled spring

Bounce down the street

Surprised to see that there is no one on your streets

Only to see it’s only

Twenty past three… AM

 

“Shit”

___

Born 1964, (Liverpool, England) to a difficult birth, David didn’t find his voice until his youth. After years of thinking he was nobody and being treated as such–Including a period of homelessness in the desperate Thatcher Years–he hit the paper papering over the scars.

David found understanding and belief through words, and he has been published and performed widely from the BBC to The Tate, as well as in galleries, pubs, and everything in between.

His poems are autobiographical, others topical, and several his take on life.

Dreams, Treasure Hunt – Melissa Kelly

Dreams, Treasure Hunt – Melissa Kelly

Here’s a pair of poems sure to hold a niche in our memory. These are special.

Read them carefully:

___

Dreams

 

I’ll wait until the morning’s light

When beams of sun will glow

In the fire’s warmth, late tonight

Where few will dare to go

 

In hopes of wonder basking

Dreams too real too die

With days we left at passing

Is where the truth shall lie

 

A stage to set the living

A shield to shelter through

A will to keep on pushing

Are how our dreams come true

 

~~

 

Treasure Hunt by Melissa Kelly

 

Far into the murky water I see

Glimmers of gold shining off the sun’s rays

Down the creek, between the valley of trees

I take my blue bucket and dream of wealth

Digging for treasures where the light leads me

Each scoop adds to the mountain built beside

Grabbing some from the top with my left hand

As the gold disappears, it’s now wet sand

___

Melissa Kelly is a poet and short story writer from Long Island, NY. You can see some of her work in WestWard Quarterly Magazine, Plum Tree Tavern, Soft Cartel, and Amethyst Review.

Radio & In The Next Room Over – Hiram Larew

Radio & In The Next Room Over – Hiram Larew

Here are two wonderfully evocative poems Hiram sent us. They may be carefully crafted, but they certainly aren’t fragile.

Dig in:

___

 

Radio

That was so long ago that it’s hard to pinch —

Whole hills have turned the other way in the meantime

Most babies who left home have come back driving already

   and the trees from then are now two-by-fours.

 

So why bother with such things that should be forgotten?

Why let years ago get to me?

Why oh why can the turned up sounds

   of an every so often mouth

   spook me?

 

I’ll tell you why —

Because this curly damn morning’s crackle

That’s why

What was said so oozy sounded like a ghost

   and slipped me right back to when

My heart had just barely started

It grabbed me by my surelys

   and took me back to the days

I was as spilled in love as a glass of milk.

___

In the Next Room Over

I’ll bet you whatever you want

That she won’t make it through the week

   and that’s not being dreary

   That’s just being clear –

So anything out loud she says pay attention

But especially do if you hear her coughing

   or if you smell doom in the hay

   or hear some water swirling

   because she’s preparing

 

Trust me

Long long ago when things were simple

   as that finger in your ear

She was as godly in person as smoke is next to skin

   pure as poured milk

   the fullest of apples

That was then

Now the situation is like gaspy fish —

   and the need to aver deeply is with us

 

And will you just look at this little frame –

There we were once

Posed under a tree

Lined up like sparrows

   She was the robin —

I tell you that a cool damp word is the very least we can

do

for her now.

___

Larew’s poems have popped up recently in The New Ulster, Voices Israel, Amsterdam Quarterly, Contemporary American Voices and vox poetica.  His fourth collection, Undone, was published in 2018 by FootHills Publications. On Facebook at Hiram Larew, Poet and Poetry X Hunger.

Out of Time – by Jack D. Harvey

Out of Time – by Jack D. Harvey

This is the final installment of our to-date collection of Jack Harvey’s work. It is a fitting sendoff. Take time to read it–it’s more worth it than you may realize.

___

Out of Time by Jack D. Harvey

The old man rose and

wiggled his toes

in the light of the faltering fire;

the season was Lent

the bent trees starting to bud;

the long procession

of providential days,

like pretty children,

drew a bead on his heart.

 

At the open window

the old man looked

at the season’s last snow,

scrappy birchbark

black-patched,

the spokes of a

wagon wheel

poking out of

a pile of rubbish.

Open fields

ungreen and mute,

their strength to discover

spring’s breath still

puny and remote.

 

The old man spoke,

muttering to himself;

some holy place,

shriving, I shall go,

like Noah, send from

the lost ship a dove,

over the flood, a raven.

 

More and more his

lips move;

whispering, his breath floats,

aimless,

his spirit faltering,

becoming less and less

as day ends,

as the sun, bleeding like a lamb,

redeems itself

for the umpteenth time,

setting in the west.

 

A prisoner of the sunset

the old man peers out at the sky.

Beauty and life and the end of life;

all debts forgiven in this moment,

in the ribbon of red spreading

from the sun’s defection,

in the blood of redemption,

in the coming of the dark.

 

Nearer my God unto thee

and never so near;

never near enough.

 

Lonesome and lost

the old man, like

all of us;

his faith gone

like a runaway balloon, or

is God going away?

Already gone for good?

 

Our good, His goodness,

moon and sun

set in a heaven

that never was;

an illusion, a dream.

We grapple like fools

with a sky

real as the rain

that falls,

forgetting the very rocks

beneath our feet

are shadows

no more, no less

than the face of heaven.

 

Made and remade,

our God, our goodness,

blaze anew in

a Promethean sky

of blessed stars;

Newton’s, Einstein’s

imperfect space

keeps time and tune

with God’s enterprise,

paradise confined

to the garden of Eden.

 

On high,

seraphs, saints, sinners,

the fruit of good and evil,

dancing cheek to cheek,

brushed by some unknown purpose.

 

Yet down below,

simple and solid,

the dark holds,

 

tightfisted.

 

Have we mortified our flesh

for the ten commandments?

Tenderly slaughtered

too many innocents

too many times?

 

Stabbing and saving,

sowing and raping,

our eyes show the compassion

our hands belie.

Jacob and Esau,

Abel and Cain

compelled by breakneck time,

did better than we think

and worse.

 

Knights-errant all,

long gone on the quest,

God only knows

what guides us

to our best;

God only knows

what glimmering

in the gloaming

leads us

through the forests,

the mountains,

the high plains,

riding, riding, like Parsifal,

like Tristram,

eager hunters

riding to war.

 

The romance of life,

the vitality, the blessing,

whatever it is,

against the background of violins

speaks violence;

the plucked string

signals the slaughter to come;

the brave and the meek,

the indifferent, the corrupt,

go about their business;

in the loom of catastrophe,

in the belly of leviathan,

don’t know or care

and that is God’s grace.

 

With no thought for the morrow,

sans passion or sorrow,

those who survive the longest

sit by the fire

and wait for spring

and the least desire,

are subject to love

and love’s reminders

are touched to the quick

by the turns and twists

of unforgotten luck

and disaster…

 

Short of breath and temper

they offer hunters’ wisdom

in broken weather,

present for inspection

trembling heads,

candid and flimsy

as cherry blossoms.

 

Holy and intractable time,

short and sharp

as a knife

cuts the thread;

legions of the living

fall and break

like waves on the shore.

 

The old man rests;

rests and waits

for the last inning,

the last call to arms.

At the ends of

his gnarled feet,

still wiggling,

his toes signal

their steadfast devotion

to movement.

 

And,

at the window,

final plenipotentiary,

the merry rising sun turns

his thin white hair

to straw-

 

alchemist’s final gasp!

 

Discovering gold.

_____

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Bay Area Poets’ Coalition, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and a number of other on-line and in print poetry magazines. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.

 

The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, N.Y. He was born and worked in upstate New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.

Saintly Day, Stuck – by Jack D. Harvey

Saintly Day, Stuck – by Jack D. Harvey

We’re continuing today with our wonderful stash of Jack Harvey’s work. Eloquence abounds.

___

Saintly Day by Jack D. Harvey

For my own saintly day,

I shall be martyred

on a great white cross-

shaped bird, borne away

high, fast and bleeding

to the upper regions

where Mark the lion roars,

where the tiger rolls

in lamb’s fleece

and angels serenely sing.

 

In keeping with the primal myth

crucified like Christ,

each of my hands

and feet punched

with a hole.

Why not?

Do it up right.

 

Flying high,

up, up and away,

open-mouthed

in my ecstasy;

for a moment

going aloft

and then falling

like an impaled Titan

fraught with perils

from the failed war

with the new gods;

doomed to dark Tartarus,

doomed forever

under the unspeakable weight

of an earlier younger earth.

 

~~

 

Stuck by Jack D. Harvey

With the muse upon me,

fanciful colloquies with dead

Pindar and his peers,

rhapsodies unimagined,

tuneful momentous metaphysical

speculations, the sound of far-off music

stronger than the wind, Calliope

in her white robe floating

above my head, seeming so close;

 

no use her divine presence

her favoring grace,

I can do nothing.

 

I sit stuck here below,

struck dumb as a post

and look at my fat thumbs.

 

~~

_____

 

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Bay Area Poets’ Coalition, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and a number of other on-line and in print poetry magazines. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.

The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, N.Y. He was born and worked in upstate New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.

 

Mannheim, Musgord – by Jack D. Harvey

Mannheim, Musgord – by Jack D. Harvey

These two poems are the first of the several we received from Jack Harvey.

They have a particularly whimsical, yet serious nature which threatens to bubble out from beneath their seams at any moment. More to come. Enjoy!

___

Mannheim

Mannheim went mad

one morning, before

they brought his coffee

and bun

               staring out

across his desk

his eyes popped wider

than portholes;

the universe

skipped a beat,

Mannheim jumped

like a bug on a leaf.

 

Mannheim’s unknown errand

was done;

the great unseen walls

dissolved in a giggle.

Carefully, he doffed

his coat, unzipped

his fly;

out it popped

like a baby chick

and drooling and leaping,

crowing, creeping,

writhing like a boa,

he made his way down

to the divine

diluvial mother,

more mud than woman.

 

Like the old serpent,

Adam and seaman alike,

he breaches

goddess and mortal,

garden and portal,

ransacks creation

to find

the plain flower of love.

 

An iron irate bee, he

buzzes like blazes

in the dim and smoky air;

blind as a bat,

what he cannot see

he pursues,

relentless and desperate

to possess.

 

But life and death,

God’s passionate eyes,

the Devil’s spiky tongue

all forgot in the old branches

of that olive tree,

sweet and enduring giantess;

bedrock and bed where

Adam and madman,

burgher and sailor alike,

sleep to be awakened

and then sleep again.

 

Sleep Mannheim!

The chariots roll on

without you;

Lethe rolls on

beyond the world

of tilled fields,

forgotten miracles.

 

Waters of the sea of Vigo,

you will see my amigo;

waters of the ocean waste

you will taste his sea-blanched

carcass, outward bound.

 

On the shore of another land

you will be his bride,

O daughter.

 

~~~

 

Musgord by Jack D. Harvey

 

Musgord the Meretricious,

sometime king of

a faraway country,

sailed skating

down dawn seas.

Broken in defeat

he plugged west

across splendid

red suns setting,

green and blue

seascapes;

he pushed west.

 

The stars pinked

out, one by one,

before dawn and

Musgord turned his

lovely wishful face

back east,

back home;

 

all lost,

yet ahead the bell of

a strange new sea,

beautiful with beckoning;

 

new countries,

new lions in his palace,

new gold

in his treasury!

 

Onward! Onward!

The past’s but

a shard,

lying on abandoned ground.

Musgord the Meretricious

goes west;

 

abandoned by no one.

 

___

 

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Bay Area Poets’ Coalition, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and a number of other on-line and in print poetry magazines. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.

The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, N.Y. He was born and worked in upstate New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.

The Creeper by Mickayla Taulton

The Creeper by Mickayla Taulton

Where, where does it come from?

Where does it stay?

Where does it hide?

When it goes away.

Every twenty-three years,

On the twenty third day,

It gets to come out, it gets to eat,

It gets to hunt, it gets to feast.

It walks, it runs, it hops,

It even eats tongues from the mouths of cops.

It sniffs out the people,

That it wants something from.

It is very particular leaving not a crumb.

It fly’s, it drives, it lives in the skies.

It wears a wide brimmed hat,

Clothes and cape all in black.

It is all a perfect disguise,

For such a creature so wise.

No matter how many times,

People have tried,

It will lay on the road, and it will never die

Is it from some other world?

With two faces that fold in on each other,

Each just as terrifying,

With teeth to make one shudder.

It’s a cross between an upright walking reptile,

Absolutely hideous when it tries to smile.

With a hulk like size,

And fur with a tail.

With feet and hands sharp as nails,

So powerful they are able,

To dismember and disable.

Everything on this creature,

So terrifying, it’s surely from Hell.

How could this thing be anything?

But from where demons dwell.