- Going to the Beach – Robert Watts
- Skipping Stones – Mark Lipman
- Until I Die – Jim Smith
- Lobster Time – Hal Bogotch
- My Neighbor Goes to the Zoo – Majid Naficy
- Untitled #1 On Overlook Mountain – krista schwimmerGoing to the Beach – Robert Watts
Going to the Beach
By Robert Watts
Going to the beach with Jim
we’ll pack our bikes
and drive to the beach.
It’s a sunny summer day
just right for a ride.
Along the concrete pathway
that runs thru the sand
and look at all the funny characters
and listen to a band.
They’re playing on the peer
for all to hear
A Jamaican reggae party
in the western hemisphere
Venice Beach is the place to be
Greta’s place is a sight to see
just a few blocks from the deep blue see
she’ll keep us company
Her place is like a museum
Her bike is a masterpiece
A rolling piece of art-work
To catch eyes on the boardwalk
The crowd is all there
Don’t be a square
Down there, is where
The palm trees blowing
in the breeze
The homeless people
with caked dirt
and wild-eyed looks
they’re free at last.
The fresh pure air
from across the sea
the stands selling tourist junk
and fresh lemonade
The wondering crowd
is a sight to sea
A cross-section of
By Mark Lipman
Sitting along the Venice canals,
concrete opulence stands upon the foundations
of long ago hippie cottages
a crane strolls by carefully
imitating the long-legged strides of Fred Astair
past the no trespassing signs
and the wind blows in my hair.
Ducks search longingly,
their heads beneath the watery surface,
their tails up in the air,
for the scattered fragments of your love.
I understand what they’re going through.
Paradise in the orchid’s bloom
does not seem to be what it used to,
with a chainsaw rattling in your ear.
Gone the soft whispers of yesterday.
At least the bushes of sage
are not affected by the flip-flops of the mind.
They take everything in stride,
waiting patiently for you
to come full circle
back into my arms.
There I wait beneath the palms
at the crossroads of twilight and dawn
skipping stones along the water’s edge,
humming a song.
Until I Die
By Jim Smith
I’m tired of sittin around
in my gloom and doom
I’m tired of watchin that clock tell me
when I can have some fun
I’m bustin out
I’m runnin wild
I’m goin down to the Boardwalk
and agitate all day
I’m gonna swim in the sea
with the sharks and barracudas
I’m gonna stay out late
and party all night
I’m gonna sing and dance
and go into a trance
I’m gonna love that woman,
and that one too!
I’m gonna stand up to bullies
and take my lumps
I’m gonna learn all I can
about this big old world
I’m gonna roam around
and get to know you all
I’m gonna do things I never done
Maybe even write a poem
Then I’m gonna blow up that clock
And let us all go free
So let’s put away the weary blues
and Jump Up into the light!
Yes, I’m gonna live
until I die
She wanted to take a closer look
At the lobsters in the tank
Critters unwittingly waiting to cook
Roll the dice, roll your eyes, draw a blank.
Their large claws secured with rubber bands
She really can see no escape
When time runs out like the hourglass sands
Your remains will be served in a crepe.
My Neighbor Goes to the Zoo
By Majid Naficy
My neighbor is going to the zoo
With her three grandchildren:
Mussa, who was born in Haifa
Of a Palestinian father and an Israeli mother,
Sees himself as the never-grown-up Peter Pan-
Sailing from the island of Neverland
With one eye green, one eye blue:
Gemini, a twin, who was born in America
And named after his father’s lost friend,
Has a moonlight face and a red robe
And sees himself as Casper, the friendly ghost
Returning from the land of martyrs;
And Zahra, who is one minute younger than her brother,
Has soft, golden hair
And sees herself as Alice from Wonderland
Looking for her lost rabbit everywhere.
They are going to the zoo
To visit the crocodiles of the Nile river
Who, everyday after lunch
Lay back on the pebbly shores
And leave their mouths open for hours
So their companion birds can clean
Their sharp teeth and gums,
And when they want to return to the water
The crocodiles gently close their mouths
Their tooth-brushing plovers.
Having no faith in earthly paradise
And being accustomed to war and bloodshed
I panic from so much co-existence in nature
And unwillingly shout:
My neighbor! My fanciful neighbor!
Keep your grandchildren around your skirt
Lest the warring crocodiles
Roll their armored tanks
And the Iron-winged birds
Drop clusters of bombs
Over their heads.
On Overlook Mountain
By krista schwimmer
After 17 years of mourning
i finally realize
your death was utterly meaningless.
There is no place to go from here
The well of my grief
is dank & dirty & full of vengeance.
And i am a demon awoken
wild & frenzied & hungry for blood.