• 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 –

–krista schwimmer


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.

Often interrupted

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

and separated.

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

and sorrow

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

change these:

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,

bewildered –

where did he go?

how come?

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.



Finding Peace

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

requires everything.

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.

–Joanna Silva



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

apocalypse found

and the silver disc drops

while fifes and trumpets blow

our ice planet token

face down in the snow.

–Hal Bogotch


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.



Categories: Poetry