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Poets in the pond.....

Dru Philippou
Aditya Shankar
Anne Fraser
Robert Demaree

Jason Kelly Richards
Julie Moore 
Fred Longworth

Dru Philippou

Of Mountains

I remember in this waning light
My return to the charred mountain
Where a marmot stood on hind legs
And eyed me in silence--I want to stand
There again and be the mountain
Under an open sky--Sometimes
When the mountain breaks through me
I lose all boundary of myself
Become the poppy's bloom
The rice grass shedding seeds
The bird shape bending a cedar branch--
For years I mistook ecstasy for sorrow

Dru Philippou was raised in London and currently lives in Taos, New Mexico.  She has published in Poesia International Poetry Review, Epicenter: A Literary Periodical, Rosebud, Malleable Jangle, Aught, Contemporary Haibun Online, Modern Haiku, Acorn, Tinywords, Lynx, Snapshot, and bottle rockets press.  

Aditya Shankar

The animal song

This is supposed to be
in a language
Unknown to man;

There is no blood in this,
No smell of a rotten prey,
Or the song of a cunning predator.
We don't win,
Neither do we lose.

This is supposed to travel in
A path unknown to man;
Far away from the cities and villages;
no pitfalls are awaiting our friends in this,
No hidden agendas or dark desires
to rob our innocence.
Life is not a circus,
Neither a festival of captivity.

You cannot hear from this
The smile of boys,
Who keep pins in bread slices;
No, you cannot feel a
Tired running leg,
for every beat of the whip;
no predictions from a
parrot which sees
only darkness in every card
it picks up.

In the rhymes of running streams,
From the shades of peace,
We speak,
In silence and noise,
A language deeper than words.

A folklore

A man picked up all
The useless stones that
He saw on the way:
worshipped it, praised it and
Gave a meaning to his god.

Picked up all the words that
Slipped between our useless talks,
Vision that burned under our
Useless eyes,
Memories lost in our useless life,
Tied them in a string of thought and
gave poetry to his follower.

A question remains

A question remains;
In the ball that rolled into
the snake hole,
the finger that hid the sun,
the thought that vanished
in between lines,
the dog that died with
folded hands.

What would I do
if I didn't have even that?

Aditya Shankar is an engineer in India who has been working with Toyota.  Aditya has been published in Indian Literature, Haritham, Work Plus, Kavitha Sangamam, and Little Mag.

Anne Fraser

Another Time

Each memory is an ache,
these days;
this seeping out
of myself -

the weight
of crystal drops that fall
and blend
into the arms of chairs,

the shape of rain,
cupped hands;
western eyes
no longer certain.

Published in The Book of Remembrance, 2004.

In Days Before

My precise recollections
of these moments -
near paintings,

sepia children,
softness offered to air
like pollen,
the billow of cotton,
time and abstraction,

rules to govern
new clover,
tulips to rise

in open fields,
their easy stories
of white lightening
and rain,
the journey home.

Published with Lily, 2004.


Add Ingredients and Stir

Short uneven strokes,
this random walk among separated pieces,
another day's cast-offs left to simmer,
green tomatoes,
carrot stubs,
grains of rice to fatten
under remnants of a wing.

This heat knows nothing but itself,
the boil of moments shared
in intimate conversation,
the yield of water
into steam;

I know the crack of thunder,
the cold, the dark,
a touch that comes too sudden
or too hard,
and I have known hunger,
steam that beats against the lid-
that way of seeing.

Published with The Raven Chronicles, 2004.

Anne Fraser lives in Seattle and has been writing since 2002.  Her poetry has most recently appeared in Wicked Alice, VLQ, Lily, Pulse, The Red River Review and is forthcoming in the Blue Fifth Review.  Anne is among those poets whose work is featured in the online anthology A Passage Through August.

Robert Demaree

Memorial Service:  Pennsylvania 1994

The school motto, in gothic letters,
On the altar, dark, angular,
The patina of old wood against exposed brick:
Boarding school boys sing a requiem
For a headmaster they had not known.
My father taught here then, years ago,
And I, maladapted son and student to them both,
Have come a long journey of memory and regret,
Representing one shade to another.
In the worn walnut pew
I hear the eulogists recall their mentor:
Does it matter that my remembrance is not the same?
The choir recesses against a January sky:
There I am, the sullen boy behind the crucifer.

Outside the oak-beamed dining hall
Odors and textures jump across time:
Cheese soufflé cooking on Saturday morning,
Wet wool drying in steam heat.
Over coffee I speak to classmates after forty years
But do not stay for lunch,
Pleasantries left like cream not stirred.
Sand and soot grate upon the ice beneath my shoes
Past mounds of graying snow
In the visitors' parking lot.

This poem was previously published in Mobius.

Robert Demaree is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.  The author of a history of Greensboro Day School and a collection of poems called New Hampshire Pond, he has had over 150 poems published or accepted by 50 periodicals, including Aethlon, Cold Mountain Review, Louisville Review, Mobius, Offerings, and Paris/Atlantic.


Jason Kelly Richards

Oranges and Fish

In a rented room on the south side of
I survived for a week on oranges
from the tree outside my window
and fresh fish the old man who lived upstairs
caught from the pier
and divided with me daily.

My brother took the car we purchased
on a buy-here, pay-here plan,
returned home to North Carolina
with my paycheck,
leaving me five dollars
and an old army coat,
perfect for pinching cigarettes.

the kindness of strangers
is easier to accept
than the strangeness of kin.

First Published in Pearl

The Black Tooth Devil

Each morning
Empty pockets
Fill dirty overcoats
Stained with cheap wine
And the smell
Of a street that snakes
Along the river
Where men huddle
Around a fire
And ache for the elixir
That once darkened
The dancing glass

First published in The Chiron Review

Jason Kelly Richards was born in Kentucky, raised in North Carolina and is currently planning his escape from Florida. His work has appeared in Pearl, The Chiron Review and others.  Online his work has been on  The Poets Canvas, ThunderSandwich and The Red Booth Review.


Julie Moore


Spring-thick with snowy
blossoms, the ornamental

pear tree slowly slips
out of bloom, sloughing off

petal by skin-soft petal, bleeding
green as leaf after spear-

like leaf thrusts through,
laying down one life

for another.  How
willingly it becomes

and becomes.


Two dead mice at my doorstep-
one fat and brown, one gray baby,
both too slow in last night's cold downpour
to outwit the tawny-coated,
white-booted stray cat
who had taken us in.

Eschewing cats our whole lives,
my husband was bewildered
by my new affair-microwaving milk,
stealing food from our dog,
staying on the porch too long
just to turn on the Christmas lights.

When he caught me out in the cold,
rescue-from-rain accomplished,
with purring cat swaddled in a towel on my lap,
our son Alex aiding and abetting,
he read our eyes and unconvinced, asked,
"Will she cost us anything?"

Then such great surprise: 
January morning
unveiled this twin offering
seeming to plead, "Will work for food."
But we focused more on corpses
than symbolic gestures,

scooped them up in her cardboard-box bed,
dumped everything in the trash.
She spent the better part of the day
searching for her missing catch,
meowing to herself like she was pondering
how to be saved.

Say It

Say there is purple pulsing
within each tulip heart
buried beside the drive.

Say there is sound of cello
humming from each oak leaf
stretching wide.

Say there is scent of God
wafting from each swallow's
blue-tinged wings.

Say there is magnified
through sun and glass
reason for our being.

Say there is alfalfa, sweet and green,
lingering upon tongues
in horses' dreams.

Say it,
oh, do say it,
and today, I will believe.

The Haunting

You wake this morning and again it is there,
that gnawing spirit
like the mourning dove atop your roof

cooing ultimate questions. 
And every time, you
stop, listen:

What if there is more to dawn
than just skin of sun
or breath of wheat?

What if there is more to sound
than just thrush of tongue
or fur of throat?

And what if there is more
to stomach, or soul,
more than just hunger, thirst?

Julie Moore's poetry has been published or is forthcoming in several journals, including The Penwood Review, The Christian Century, Christianity and Literature, Heartlands: A Magazine of Midwest Life & Art, Mars Hill Review, and Confluence


Fred Longworth


so much depends

whether our backs are

against a wall

only against our

Sense and Consequence
Common sense proclaims
that airplanes cannot fly
because the hinges
on their wings are stuck.
Common sense insists
that the slowest bicycle
affords the steadiest ride.
But it's another voice
that whispers in the ears
of casual strangers -
that love is just a glance away.
And still another
that whispers in the ears
of inconvenient children.

Fred Longworth's poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including the print zines California Quarterly, City Works, Ilya's Honey, Kimera, miller's pond, The Pacific Review, Pearl, Rattapallax, and Spillway as well as the on-line zines Melic Review, Mi-Po, Poetic Voices and poetry worm. He lives in San Diego and makes his living restoring classic audio components.