- Ode To A Snail – Krista Schwimmer
- The Ballad of Bessie Mae – Jim Smith
- the eye of sunset – hillary kaye
- On The Re-Naming of Things – Stuart Perkoff
- For My Friend – Mary Getlein
- Finding Peace – Joanna Silva
- Numisma-Twists – Hal Bogotch
- Can’t Erase The Past – Nicole Rhoe
Ode To A Snail
Some days, i want to be a snail
with my home slung on my back
happy to meander after rains, alone
along the slick cement –
or say, determined to climb that cerulean wall
before me, clinging, clinging
to my insignificance
even as a great hand from the sky
attempts to pry me loose
from my deep purpose. How i hold on!
Only then, cinched to my blue world
do i understand
this is all that is necessary,
this is all that life ever asks of me –
The Ballad of Bessie Mae
By Jim Smith
Bessie Mae road in to town
in a battered Chevy Suburban
Bessie Mae and her sons,
Larry and Charlie came to Venice
one summer day.
At first, they just wanted a place
to park and get some sleep.
Then Bessie Mae, told Larry and Charlie,
“I’ve just turned 97,
and I want to feel the sand in my toes,”
So they hung out on the beach
with the other castoffs
that nobody wanted.
Bessie Mae and Larry and Charlie
kickin back on Venice beach.
At night, Bessie Mae would sleep
sittin up in that old Suburban.
by those we hire
to protect and serve.
One foul month bully
with a badge and gun
name of Hellaway
told Larry, “You’re nothing but a pimp,
and your mother’s a whore.!”
Larry said, “You’re a disgrace to your uniform,
take off that gun and I’ll fight you right now.”
One day, the news media told their story
and off they went to a room in Van Nuys
where they could be “assisted” in their living.
It’s only for three months, they agreed.
And furthermore, they won’t separate us
we’re a family, now and forever.
We’d rather sleep in our Suburban
down in Venice
than get trapped in a nursing home
Bessie Mae and Larry and Charlie
still kickin back on Venice beach.
the eye of sunset
By hillary kaye
watching the eye of sunset
as it meets the Fall
drunk and bathed
and full of discontent
the hours of nothing
waiting out the full dark night
as it captures memory
that can not remember
faces or words
but knows losses
these things that
fit the heart
and break it
watching as they slowly wake it
and make more
room for something
On The Re-Naming of Things
By Stuart Perkoff
If I were God & had a
choice of all the names I wd
children to laughter
love to laughter
& other things I wd
rename poem & little & clean
I think I wd then
summon all my powers
& name the poet Death&Beauty
& watch the world shrivel
For My Friend
By Mary Getlein
It was a night like every other night –
I was watching lame t.v.,
and just nodded at him when he left –
a friend of mine,
going out the door –
he didn’t come back –
a policeman came to the door instead –
He’s not coming back, the policeman said
or words to that effect.
He rode off into the sunset and across the sky
he kept going
he never touched down.
We think we’re going to be here forever –
then one of us leaves and we look around,
where did he go?
Why isn’t he coming back –
but no one told me –
My cat cries my tears for me
my cat sounds like a rusty gate, over and over,
hoping I will notice him.
I’m still looking for my friend –
There are no promises on this planet
we only think there are.
We have to live while we’re here.
If we put it off, we might miss it.
We choose, wander, see, fail.
those we love suffer and die, strangers die, so do we.
no beauty, no joy is possessed, only discovered, created, hopefully cherished.
Dreaming while asleep is no dream, this is stasis.
a life of dreaming is fine.
there may be better.
Of all worldly misfortunes, the largest is that the kindest heart is ever mirrored
by the ugliest and most ruthless of human beasts. it will find you.
Survival is a myth, simply to live
If you find yourself uncertain and afraid, you are not alone.
if you choose to hold somebody’s hand, you do so alone.
vast loneliness is found only in the company of one or many others.
Be careful in estimating your own wherewithal,
once exhausted, your spirit like an elephant will seek the grave.
Of tomorrow? learn now,
it belongs to someone and someplace else.
Smile sincerely nonetheless.
Two faces of silver
one catches the light
the other is shaded
enveloped in night
the glittering facet
a china moon plate
eclipsed now and then
when the sun has a date
my urgent half dollar
brings sight to the blind
as dawn can dispel
a great weight from my mind
now the coin flips and moves
in an arc upward bound
each shimmering moment
and the silver disc drops
while fifes and trumpets blow
our ice planet token
face down in the snow.
Can’t Erase The Past
By Nicole Rhoe
Is it over yet? Is it a thing of the past?
Take my advice; I wouldn’t get comfortable too fast.
Government bandits did their best to make sure we don’t last.
I have news for them; our die is not yet cast.
To clean up these crimes there is work to do yet.
Watch out that we don’t go crazy like an Iraq Vet.
We are on the offensive like they did with Tet.
Military minded with our hearts set.
It takes an army of the poor
These bastards went too far, just like in every war.
They won’t ease up. They have to finish the chore.
We’re on an Abu Ghraib leash with all fours on the floor.
Millions more of us are now without a roof for our head.
Even some of the richer folk are waking up with panic and dread.
The oligarchy’s poison pen writes in red
Like angry blood replaced with tyrannical lead.
We should restrict ourselves to the future says President Obama
But this unctuosity doesn’t account for our trauma.
CEOs of America stick us with walking their dogma.
We don’t need a conformist or a mythic papa.
I have yet to see ignorance destroyed.
Our schools are closing while more troops are deployed.
The tools of domination are their favorite toys
And we begin to understand war as did Tolstoy.
Barack’s knowledge of corruption is just scratching the surface.
But I believe he’s driven by good intentions and purpose.
Shit is getting bad and only some deserve this.
The ones who gave a standing ovation at the Republican Circus.
Before we’re able to leave the past behind
We’ve got to reclaim our kids from Disney and restore their minds.
We’ve got to free all the people locked up for smoking The Kind.
Scratch out the eyes of the Justice System making sure that it’s blind.