Photo by Crissy Lane
—Ronald Edwin Lane, Weimar
Blue so blue
Infinitely deep, deep blue
Lost beneath the
Layer upon layer of
Hue upon hue
Of blue upon blue
Sky blue cloudy
So very very lost
In this blue
A few minutes ago, I stepped onto the deck
of the house. From there I could see and hear the water,
and everything that's happened to me all these years.
It was hot and still. The tide was out.
No birds sang. As I leaned against the railing
a cobweb touched my forehead.
It caught in my hair. No one can blame me that I turned
and went inside. There was no wind. The sea was
dead calm. I hung the cobweb from the lampshade.
Where I watch it shudder now and then when my breath
touches it. A fine thread. Intricate.
Before long, before anyone realizes,
I'll be gone from here.
SHREDDING THE EDGES
—Patricia A. Pashby, Sacramento
She encases her ebony body
in a gossamer wrap,
concealing her scarlet birthmark.
He mounts the web seeking her,
his tiny heart pounding
as he tangles in the mesh.
Four endless nights
they shake the strong sticky lacework,
snagging, shedding the edges.
On the fifth day she closes her eyes
curling bruised legs under her hourglass.
His time has run out.
—Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento
Alone at last, no hustle bustle
A slight warm breeze caresses the eyelids
Head resting back comfortably.
Now there was time to reflect
On all that had come before
And to postulate the future.
Both hands firmly on the wheel,
Right foot feathering the accelerator pedal
You’re a guy so you don’t need a map,
Just an open road, that is the key.
Reaching for the radio knob,
darned that static!
A cobweb covers the dial
Obscuring the numbers that for so long
Had connected you to a kind of
Excitement you could only dream of.
What a troubling thought: a web
That itself denies you making the
Connection you had aspired to make.
So you sit up, open the door, and
Move over to the next abandoned car.
Maybe this is the one.
—Carl Bernard Schwartz
Very pretty eyes
as blue as the sky,
but her dough didn’t rise
and the clothes aren’t dry.
Mighty and strong
like a team of fine horses
he got into college
then flunked all his courses.
These two are now married,
have 9 kids, you know,
and their contract is legal:
just quid pro quo.
—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove
There is a little flourish this wren
Does just before it leaves the branch
For the next one. It is small, so
Small it is hard to see it when it happens.
You, in your way of speaking show me a flourish
That lifts your words just above the edge of
Understanding and tips them into the universe
So they look like an interesting species of butterfly
Never seen here before, never held in the hand.
It can hardly be noticed but I would bet
A blind man could feel it without a cane
Or a dog. There is a kind of dancing the spirit
Allows itself when a real passion for something
Finally finds the room it is supposed
To live in. The heart feels it. It moves air.
The afternoon had been a long time coming.
It got caught up playing with the sun across
The tops of small waves in the pond above
The mill dam and everything got so pretty it
Was nearly four thirty before it realized
There wasn’t much left of the job that day.
That’s when the passion kicked in.
Long shadows birthed with the heart
Fully extended like a bright wand.
It was hard to see when it happened
But it caused the tail feathers of a house wren
To flourish for the briefest of moments, like your smile.
On a piece of toilet paper
Afloat in the unflushed piss,
The fully printed lips of a woman.
Nathan, cheer up! The sewer
Sends you a big red kiss.
Ah, nothing's wasted, if it's human.