But the little blonde girl sits alone in the sandbox.
A bucket and shovel in hand
A lop-sided castle, a mound of sand
The little girl throws sand in the air and her hair.
Her mother watches her play
On this peaceful unforgettable day -
Cherished child, not really alone, in the sandbox.
The morning passes too soon
The sun climbs high in the noon
The little girl tires of the sandbox.
Mother and daughter walk home hand in hand
After brushing all of the sand
Off the little blonde girl in the sandbox.
A glass of milk, macaroni and cheese,
A cookie, a hug and a kiss to please
The little girl sprinkled by dust of the sandman.
A simple, compatible day to share
The lovely time of her life when she took care
Of her little girl who sat and played in the sandbox.
The little blonde girl may never recall
That September day when she had it all,
Her mother, the sun and harmony of the sandbox.
by Joy Helsing
there are poems
that make you feel good
even when sad
a shadow lifts
a door opens
into a new room
life makes more sense
even if it
While an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire, Joy Harold Helsing won two top awards for poetry in the Atlantic Monthly student writing contests. Her work has appeared in the Aurorean, Bellowing Ark, Lynx Eye, The Lyric, The Mid-America Poetry Review, Mobius, Nanny Fanny, The National Poetry Review, Rattlesnake Review, Tiger's Eye, Tundra, the Unrorean, and other publications. In 2005 she published her first book, Confessions of the Hare (PWJ Publishing), and she has also published three chapbooks: The Great Snail Race (PWJ Publishing), Waiting for Winter (Poet's Corner Press), and faceted eye (author published). After many years in San Francisco she now lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California Cntacct Joy.
by Kenneth Brown
I heard the faint click,
I dare not look down.
Am I to meet my end?
To go out with a loud,
It seems so unfair,
I was almost there,
only 30 days left.
At least I don't have to be scared,
Surely death will come quick,
painless, I think.
It'd be much worse to hang,
life will end in a blink,
of an eye.
There's no time to cry,
I have to move fast.
It may not be too late,
to avoid the charged
And if I survive,
will I still have my feet?
Will me legs be intact,
shall I risk the retreat.
Or stand here in place,
I just couldn't endure,
life in a wheelchair,
These Things I Promise You
by Gary Carter
Read by Kimberly James at Desiree Carter &
Dominic Kasper's wedding reception
June 9 2007
Across the years, my beloved,
These things I promise you
That I will love you always, in all ways,
And remain forever true
I will keep you warm when you are cold
I will help you sing your song
And, if you should grow weak along the way,
I will keep you strong
I will dance with you under midnight stars,
And as we sail life's stormy seas,
I promise that there will always be a rainbow in our sky,
Flowered fields, and sunlight through the trees
If storm clouds gather and skies grow dark
I will be your light,
If the weight of circumstance blinds you with fear
Ronald: I was born in Bogota, Colombia in 1956 and have lived in Toronto, Canadasince 1959. My poetry has been published since 1982. Contact Ronald.
Sun's autumn image
Reflected on still water
Leaves are drifting clouds.
Nancy Famolari is retired and as a second career is becoming a writer. Her short stories have been published in Long Short Story, Lyrica, and Matters of the Heart, a publication of the Museitup Press. She lives with her husband, seven horses, three dogs and numerous white cats on a farm in Northeast Pennsylvania. She finally has time to pursue her dream of being a writer. The LSS forums have been a tremendous help. This Haiku was composed in the LSS poetry forum. Contact Nancy. This Haiku was written in the LSS poetry forum.
Humid air strangles,
Evoking dreams of winter.
God, please let it rain.
My name is Michele Luis. After finding the courage to let go of an abusive marriage, I moved to Virginia to be closer to family. I now wake each morning to a new, more beautiful world. I have a great job, wonderful friends, and an awesome family. I just finished my Master's degree and now want to write about the things I find in my heart. Maybe something, about which I write, will strike a note of familiarity for someone else.
Michele LAROCHE is a creative French-American freelance writer living in New Jersey. She writes poetry, haiku, song lyrics and non-fiction prose, in French and English and is a translator both ways. She is an active member of the South Mountain Poets organization and editor in its reading committee. Her poetry has appeared on line in empowerment 4 Women and in print in Gathered on the Mountain, the 2006 South Mountain Poets Anthology. Contact Michele.
By Michael Keshigian
The tenants left him a bar of soap,
two rolls of toilet paper,
shredded paper towels,
and a ripped sponge mop with bucket.
He tried to rub the white wall clean,
discovered it impossible,
realized they tried as well.
He decided to paint it over.
Hair choked the bathroom sink,
long hairs, male and female,
they both wore ponytails,
short of acid, nothing else would work.
The hardwood floor
wore rubber scuffs and high heel turns,
no doubt they danced and laughed,
but only broom swept it clean.
He began to know who they were,
seldom did he speak to them,
the check always arrived in the mail.
They breezed through, a great wind,
leaving behind a trail of dirt,
a thank you of sorts,
the residual continuity of broken leases
and painstaking interviews.
He seized their soap,
a green veined, marbled bar,
curved like a woman,
took a bath
after he cleaned the tub,
and dried with no towel,
in the air
with the walls and floors.
By Michael Keshigian
The morning sky imagined
a glow of pink and purple
before the sun arrived,
before the horizon
imagined itself a blond,
like the smiling nurse
who helped me out to the car,
wearing colorful clips in her hair,
clips which stole the sunlight's gleam.
On the sidewalk,
I stared at the asphalt,
it held a puddle of rainwater,
I imagined it a cocktail.
Over the sun,
a dense cloud dissipated,
creating a halo
around the red brick of the building
I earlier imagined
would be my last to enter.
I had never noticed sunlight ripple
in a street puddle before.
The ride home was uncomfortable
The road imagined a parade,
cars lined up dutifully,
and the morning, so conscious of itself,
imagined a celebration of light
forever beaming, forever replete.
When you touched my hand,
it was as if
you imagined I needed your touch,
as if I imagined your touch
exactly at that time
to realize the morning.
I am a musician and educator, performing and teaching on the collegiate level in Boston . Most recently my work has been published in the following periodicals: Fairfield Review; Meridian Anthology; Pegasus ; Tryst; Westward Quarterly; Red River Review among many other online and written journals. I have 3 published chapbooks and 2 Pushcart nominations.
By Kristine Lowder
Soundless and invisible,
Seized me in jagged vulture jaws
Sank deep your razor teeth
Tore from my heart all I held dear
Shook me till my soul rattled
And there was nothing left to take
Then you tossed me, Toto-like, into Oz.
Sans yellow brick or ruby slippers,
As you snickered and skipped away,
Left me to die.
And then my Life began.
A LIFE OF CRIME BEGINS TWO THIRDS OF THE WAY THROUGH THE MOVIE
By John Grey
One after another,
they sneak into the movie theater.
They don't even care what the show is
or if it's half over.
It's the thrill they're after.
Once inside, I'm sure a film
of their own cleverness
is what they'd much rather see.
Forget the car chase, the gunfight,
the romance, when there's a door
wedged open at the back of the cinema,
and a bunch of unabashed new stars
make their entrance from the bathroom door.
Snug in their seats, their heads
are full of trailers for coming events.
So many ways of trespass to come,
of getting something without paying for it.
And always their names above the title.
On a rap sheet, if nowhere else.
My latest book is “What Else Is There” from Main Street Rag. I have been published recently in Agni, Hubbub, South Carolina Review and The Journal Of The American Medical Association.
TED’S NEW LEAF
By John Grey
He's given up cigarettes, fatty foods, takes a half hour walk every day.
He just got sick of nagging doctors, wife, even his children,
and those incessant medical segments on t.v.
And now his wife makes meals out of this book of low-cal recipes.
He can taste what he eats but also what's missing.
Those are years his tongue can't quite get its licks around.
His buds go looking for times when he could eat and smoke
and drink to his heart's content and his heart didn't curse him for it.
His son's a strapping young man whose lips never touch cancer.
His daughters are model slim with baby skin and, thanks to diet,
probably baby blood as well.
But then he thinks of his friend Roy, super-fit for his age,
no alcohol, no cigarettes, no red meat, no life almost.
And he dropped dead at forty two.
But he can't even use Roy as an argument.
He tried to live and that’s what counts.
And what a funeral.
Celery and carrot sticks. Fruit juice by the bucket load.
Mourners wept for everyone but themselves.
OLD HOTEL ROOMS
By Hugh A. Jones
deja vu, the shaky rail
with creaky steps
the door is closing those
who here spent time
as lovers for a night
have left clear clues
metallic cries of lust
and sighs of sensuality
acts of grandeur
a mind like mine
PRE-WAR DANCES, 1941
By Hugh A. Jones
The folks of Greenville
hollow drum-beats lure
us to this tiny college's
sparse garden, via
Bony coeds dance their
fannies to some fuzzy music
wafting from an upstairs
radio, their soft-toned
swirls dissolve before each
song has ended.
A pink ballet group in the
gym moves tenuously
conflicts choke their steps
plumaged poses vanish in an
absence of good music.
By Grace Painter
A fragile flame flickering
at the tip of the smothering
candlewick now almost
extinguished by brutal force.
Soft musical tones
by gentle hands,
now still in the
Thoughts of what
could have been,
now can never be,
despair fills the air.
Mother's sweet memories,
father's now empty arms,
the fragile flame
has quietly gone out.
Grace: belong to the Lake Havasu Writer's Group and I have had many short stories published, won an Editor's Award for poetry and have had an Indiana newspaper publish several traveling pieces.
Last Days of Laissez Faire
by Robert Wooten
They came up out of the creek
beside the road,
which turned into an abandoned car dealership
with an active snack machine,
one of the older models
still without a guard
to keep thieves from reaching up into it,
to get a snack. Raymond watched for John,
then they cut across a construction site,
taking turns holding the bucket of turtles
and eating Bugles,
through a field of flying grasshoppers,
till they came to a wall of forest.
Here, they usually either stopped, went straight through
or turned aside,
depending on the way John chose
to make a subject of the secret marijuana,
growing in a clearing.
Last Days of Laissez Faire
by Robert Wooten
On the way back from the park’s playground,
on the way back to the toys,
Raymond put his foot into the hole
where there had been a pole.
It happened while they were in line.
Water was there, it was Fall,
and this was cold. The slip
put an end to the witness of one white shoe,
exciting Raymond to the point of a cry,
while the line continued, led by its teacher,
a progress of the action of feet—
till Raymond went running after it;
but she would not let it stop for him,
for any boy who put his foot
in a hole. She continued on with it,
her nose in the air, till he came running,
at the last, to her, at the front
of the line. She said, “Well,
what do you want me to do?
Why did you go when no one else did?”—
at this point she was still walking
just as fast, and the line was not slowing,
and Raymond could not catch up
without squishing; the kindergarten
still was a long way off—
and she said, “Catch up. Put on your shoe.”
I earned an MFA in poetry at the University of Alabama (1998) and n MA with a creative writing focus at North Carolina State University (1994). Numerous periodicals have published my poems, The Well Tempered Sonnet and Haz Mat Review most recently, and many others. A limited edition chapbook of my poems, Raymond Poems, was published in 1999.