miller's pond

Volume 6, Issue 1, Web Edition
Poets in the pond:
Charles Cornner Cheryl Snell
Martha Deed Lawrence Jordan
Shann Palmer
One Poem by Charles Cornner
Sparrowsí Kyrie

Whipcords crack nine times,
rip stripes into the church
of stone and ring its leaded
glass like unpitched carillon.

Sparrows speckle the steeple
above the nave, frozen still,
crying in chorus the tones
our thickened cords cannot render.

So our lips, too burned to pry apart,
kiss this whispered formula.
God spreads on us a balm of eleisons
to open wide our Glorias.

Charles Cornner has been writing poetry for a little over a year. His recent publications are in Crescent Moon Journal, can we have our ball back?, and Pierian Springs. He works as a full time church musician. He and his wife, Hope, currently reside in Cave Creek, Arizona.

Three poems by Martha Deed


is old enough to say No
to pantyhose, make-up 
a career that has outlived 
the pleasure of performance

        Sixty is old enough to have saved.

Sixty replaces nearsightedness
with clear vision
with freedom and repose 
targets you for flim-flam men
offering free prizes for a price

        Sixty is wise enough to hang up.

Sixty's old enough to lose
a cherished father
yet still to have a mother
who likes to be in charge
who tells you itís not fitting
to take away her husband 
leaving her to read of fresh disasters 
all alone 

        Sixty is too young to be the boss.

Kayak Lessons

In a kayak
no one judges
my gender, age,
or bodyís shape
Only the orderly
dipping of paddles
and staying afloat
respecting canal 

Afterwards, I roll my kayak
on its wire spoke tires
past a family of six
deer - two bucks _
resting in our woods
Their eyes meet mine
They do not flee
Though I hold title to this land
they - not I-
grant me leave
to pass by.

Sibling Rivalry

He picks his way
among the rocks
tumbled across Cadillac Mountain
above Bar Harbor
still cloaked in black
before the sun
nipping Atlanticís rim
slips down the slope
turns dawn to day in
town below
By then, my brother 
will be gone
For now 
full light at mountaintop
eases his task
above the timber line
where wind whipped boulders
hide crevices etched with rain
crack with freeze and thaw
deepen with the centuries
lichens slicken red sandstone
as last nightís dew mixes
with new yellow light
he celebrates this place
alone no one on earth 
knows heís here
hugging the box of ashes zipped
beneath his L.L. Bean barn jacket
he searches for cracks
dry sheltered from the wind
to spend 50 years of memories
bitterness and neglect
then photographs this secret
burying ground 51 images
he will never print
mixed with My Trip to Maine
like a serial thief who marks
each crime a souvenir
only for himself 
he will show us the thumbnails
on his computer will refuse
to say This is our fatherís
burial place
not a vacation scene
thus re-enacting
a childhood torment 
hide and seek
but do not find. 

Martha L. Deed writes full-time from her studio on the Erie Canal.  Her first poems were published more than thirty years ago.  After a 25 year hiatus, she has resumed writing poetry, finds her work has changed fundamentally, and is testing her new work at open mics and on her writers' group peers.  She has published poetry in The Awakenings Review, Friends Journal, and elsewhere.  With a background in forensic psychology, she is currently investigating and publishing pieces on a murder inside a fundamentalist church community in western New York.

Two Poems by Shann Palmer

Table for Two

I like sitting across from you
watching your hands wrestle ideas
charm spaghetti onto the fork
wipe sauce from your cheek.

Sometimes I hear the ocean
when you speak and I am swept up
unwilling to rescue myself, content
to tumble forever in the torrent.

I like sitting beside you
close enough to move in tandem
as if we could overcome mystery
with a gesture, invent peacocks from soup.

I could never risk revealing myself -
better a mask, a secret room with a lost key.
With no remedy for such fearful vigil,
I can watch your hands until the stars die.


Hidden in the cedar chifforobe
Mamaw kept a round tin of buttons
and a big square Jewel-Tea tin of spools.

Buttons of bone and ivory, wooden, 
shiny metal, a couple cloth-covered 
in colors and patterns, even shapes.

The spools were hard wood turned
smooth so not to catch thread, some squat,
some tall. I made cities and civilizations
with long windy button roads and trails
following the curve of the braided rug.

There is a ludic principle at work here;
though those threads have run their length
buttoning down memento mori's, spun sugar
words rolled from secret places to the page.

The quilt squares that inspired these and other daily poems written by Shann can be found here, at Flash Paper Poetry.

Shann Palmer is from Texas and lives in Virginia. She's published in Artemis, Eclectica, miller's pond, Moondance, Wicked Alice, Maelstrom, Melic Review and others, and was awarded the 2001 Mandy Poetry Prize. Her short stories have appeared in Conspire and other zines. She hosts local poetry readings and teaches workshops, is Vice-president-Central for the Poetry Society of Virginia and will be reading at the University of Virginia. Under her imprint FlashPaperPoetry, she has self-published four chapbooks and the Shockoe Poets Anthology, works from local writers from the bi-monthly readings in Shockoe Slip in Richmond. 

One Poem by Cheryl Snell
Blue Hour Descending

The world, revealed through thumbprint glass, 
laid out as if embalmed. Silhouetted against 
bruised sky, pirouetting leaves. I watch colors 
turn like an indifferent cheek.

The wind has never whispered anything 
amounting to a word.

Years of days pass with no explanation. Time, 
heavy with amulet, slides along in the company 
of secrets too embedded to pry apart.

In my maze of dreams, I search for misplaced detail.

My rhythm breaks; my breath goes galloping off. 
The image of a child in mid-flight, yellow braids 
struck off her head like exclamation points, ambushes me. 

She tumbles downward. At the foot of the stairwell 
stands my father, ready to receive her like a last chance, 
like a sacrament.

I wake, remembering, while she falls forever
into Fatherís catcher-mitt palms.


Cheryl Snellís work has appeared in many journals, including Antietam Review, Comstock Review, Washington Review and 2River. Her novel, Shivaís Arms, won an honorable mention from the Dana Literary Awards and was a finalist for the Omaha Prize. Her chapbook of poetry, Flower Half Blown, published in 2002 by Finishing Line Press, was nominated for the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry. She is a classical pianist and is married to an engineering professor.

One Poem by Lawrence Jordan
Just Before Now

The rattle in my pocket
Of notched gold coins 
Distracts this momentís
Glimpse of white 
Crests galloping across 
The isthmus of summer and fall. 
Swift currents recede
Distant swimmers from
The eye-sting blurred in myrrh
And cheap sandalwood.
Watch it curl from pages of tales 
And fabrications of all 
The days I've spent 
Sorting kitsch and ash, 
Debating weather with
Maidens under parasols. 

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