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i am a crane
swooping down on you
in the winter season
i wade through frozen
your home rests
in my voice
nights to come
tired before each arrives
i still wait for you.

facing nights alone
dragging through darkness
wearing your face
on my forehead
bearing my body
to the lord
ice builds castles
in the snow
no longer pure white
beyond the
midnight storm.
i cry for you
my howling heart

when you died it was hot
and my clothing stuck to my body
now it is cold
i am bundled in sweater and coats
watching the yellow leaves of the trees rustle
buried in the thrusts of the wind
i turn inside
you are laughing, deep,
full lips, large dark slanted eyes

i am tangled in flesh
bound to the season of your death
my life blank
in what corner can I find you?
squirming in my days
you in ash in plastic
in a jar
doesn't resemble you
your brow
dark eyes
concentrated look.
in young men on the street,
i search for your stride.

if i were an ocean
sadness would fill me
still, on a warm winter night
but for the tin whisper of chimes
sorrow so strong
i wear it thick across my lips
stiff beneath my smile
i'm a crook
stealing life
when ten thousand times
you die before me


This poem was written by Tova Weinberg,
my friend David Weinberg's daughter. It is a eulogy, an elegy, a requiem for her brother, Adam, killed last summer at age 20 in a car wreck. David Weinberg's superb micro-fiction can be found elsewhere on this site.




The world's pain closed her spirit in,
Its weight too much to bear.
Her eyes so blank, so pale her skin,
But none would really care.

The music played a Forties tune;
We partied on the ward
With cookies in the afternoon,
While laughing at the fraud.

We danced a stranger's dance,
And never passed a word.
Our meeting simply fate's cruel chance,
A twist, a turn, absurd.

I left the gates behind me,
And drove away that day.
Her face a troubling memory
From a strange and haunting play.


Submitted by Bill 'Irish' Flynn,
my friend from acting class at Michele Condrey's, a follower of his bliss, a prober of the infinite ....

While I was still in the Air Force (about 30 years ago), stationed in San Antonio, once a month a group of us from the St. Vincent De Paul Society would to visit the local state hospital. We usually took four musicians, and would play and sing for the patients.

One day, we arrived to find that they had planned a party, and we were invited. So we changed our plans, and joined in, dancing to music played on an ancient stereo. One of the patients with whom I danced was a woman of
about 40, the obvious product of a hard life.

Throughout the dance, she said nothing. She didn't even look at me, but kept her left hand, fingers joined and extended, by the left side of her face as though she were defending herself from some unseen danger in the outside
world. That experience stuck with me, and was the basis of this poem I wrote for a poetry contest in '98.



Cry loud ­ in the wilderness

I cry ­ loud - in this wilderness

this amerika ­ oh ­ so ­ beautiful

fully ­ conquering ­ the weak

the mostly ­ defenceless ­ with her

long ­ iron arm ­ crushing ­ terrorists

who have attacked ­ U.S. ­ having declared

a war ­ on a nation ­ steeped ­ in ­ steeped ­ with

the arts ­ of killing ­ those less able ­ who squat on lands

manifest destiny ­ kneed ­ wrenched from ­ dead hands

diseased ­ germ ­ war- not fair ­ and the many acts

deeds done around this globe ­ in the name of God

and country ­ no less than these Talibans

who have issues ­ with ­ amerika

and by the way ­ an old

white man told

of a time

and times that

this amerika ­ and her

economics ­ before her wars ­ how

her last five or six wars ­ were preceded by

recessions ­serious depressions ­and how she

rebounds ­ financially ­ off the bodies ­ of

her ­ your ­ sons and daughters ­ and




any of you

who have the nerve

to ­ declare ­ out loud ­ what

she cowardly does ­ behind the backs

of her many ­ and though terrorists

do ­ attack ­ their acts ­ deadly

indeed ­ how much less deadly

is she ­ how much less the

terror in Nagasaki ­ or

Hiroshima ­ Montgomery

Tuskegee ­ Wounded Knee

the Somali ­ see ­ amerika

forgets much too easily ­ the

hurt ­ the pain ­ she has rained

on God's creation ­ feeling no remorse

realize - the majority ­ of the defeated

overkilled - are nations ­ not as white or as

Christian ­ as a lot of ewe ­ this is the cry - deep

in the far reaches of the wilderness ­ WAKE UP


All Praises Be To Jah



Submitted by ikeena (Isaac Greene),
whom I met while a guest at a reading hosted by a group at the Arlington Museum of Art. He laughed out loud at one of the only poems I have ever written intended to be funny. Naturally, we hit it off pretty well from that point on. Isaac is a follower of Jah, a soulful poet, a Viet Nam vet, a marcher at the Poor People's March on Washington in 1968, and former (and current) peace activist.



Expression of a Night

When the sun is abruptly excused,
by the earth's rolling onto its side,
oaks, winter naked, their thick limbs and feathering
branches, ink in black lines. These fissures seep
expanding against a bruised gray horizon,
tainted by the muted backwash of a distant town's lights;
ignoring the command to be in total night.

This then is where we bed.
Like the squirrels with their bodies atop acorns and hackberries,
we lie down, our husks pushing seeds
into the soft earth, and remain quiet near the frail birds
that hide to avoid the piercing eye of a great owl in hunt.

We hope to avoid the probing snouts of skunks or
raccoons, each of these creatures, clawing or in theft for
their sustenance while we in darkness sleep.

And around our lean-to the dark forms of stunted
evergreens and wind-gnarled cedars
stand in stillness, like sentries in greatcoats,
but exude a far more perfect scent. That we,
animals and ourselves, pull into our lungs,
this free cool air, laced into nature's melded
bouquet, purchased at the cost of a day's hike.

So when we kiss this night, we become richer than
all the pharaohs, and tomorrow, early, we shall see golden
daylight creep across the purple clover.


In Provincial Land

Beneath high mountains are the splayed
hillsides in their green feather cape of conifers.

Flat-needle cedars, dark Sitka Spruce,
Douglas Firs steeple the ridges,
their topsail branches are sparse and twisted.
A couple with their upper limbs that curve like
crescent horns on ancient battle standards.

This layered drape of trees
packed tight as the scales on a coho,
that silver flashes
in the emerald, cold, Chilliwack River.
Swift water cascades in violent snowy froths,
tumbling among and drowning hidden boulders
scattered in the riverbed.

The few that peek out, brown or gray,
above the turbulent creaming,
look like the backs of bears,
head down in a hunt
for darting life.


by Neal Ostman,
a stalwart of the Oak Cliff Circle of Poets, and executive with Nurse Finders




Tumbled together
clashing patterns and colors;
I let them play rough.

You better watch out.
Someone will notice you there
pretending to care.


I have to notice
though so many years have passed
since papers were signed.


Sharp rain attacks me.
I soften the blows when I
Turn off the wipers.


A pregnant woman
skillfully bobs a yoyo
waiting for the bus.


Saxophone highlights
bounce off the brass of the bed
while my lover sleeps.


Radio voices peep
while my little stitches
crawl across the quilt.


Incense smoke rises
Inexorably upward
Until I blow it.


by Linda (Rudin) Frizell,
textile artist, haiku poet, advertising grafix person, married to Dan these last 7 or 8 years, old friend, and more, too complicated to explain, lives in Olympia, Washington, and passionately creates gorgeous quilts




One Sunny Wish

A tender game of
puppy love and adolescent chance is being
played out on the beach this morning.

Some youngsters enjoy the summer sun,
Caught in the notion that simplicity is a virtue.

Two girls.
Two guys.
Each terrified but nevertheless joyous;
Hoping their shyness will shed its skin in time for a
serious interlude,
and for pleasure.

I walk past them. A
Three-day growth of beard.
A scowl on my craggy face.

I reek of marijuana and lost hope.

I wonder: for whom will I pray,


by Dan,
from Massachusetts


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