Archive for May, 2010

dust-off by DB COX

Posted in DB Cox with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

clean-collar commuters
peer from the cover
of stylish shades
taking secret comfort
in a pathetic apparition
in an army overcoat
nose down—
an overturned boat
in a pool of piss
in the mute humility
of his own guilt
forever fighting
unfinished battles
tangled in green
triple-canopy dreams
while inside crusty
rust-filled ears
the white noise
of distant city traffic
hums like a “huey”
spectral medevac
searching for a soul
lost more
than forty years ago
somewhere along
the mekong river

To a Neighbor Back from War by Donal Mahoney

Posted in Donal Mahoney with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

First of all, your mind.
The chimes must stop,
the drums, the horns,
as well. Finally, the long,
the wild parade
of mummers crazed
you must spade off
the way my Daddy,
years ago,
when I was four,
on a bright St. Patrick’s Day,
turned the soil in Mother’s garden,
cursed the British
one more time
then drove his spade,
while Mommy screamed,
through the neck
of a garden snake.

The Silence of Death by Lucy Hell

Posted in Lucy Hell with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

Ronald flew planes
For the Royal Air Force
British and a Jew
Was Rosenthal, but the war
Stole his name
Altered to Rossitter

Mostly he never talked
About WWII,
His medals and photographs
Lined the walls,
Speaking for him,
Pictures with Eisenhower
Standing next to his plane
His aviator helmet in hand

I think he was sad
I was too
Young to ask
Or later too self-absorbed
The world revolved around me

And that’s how he made me feel
Safe and loved and free …

He died a month before my
First child,
His great-granddaughter
Came into the world

He would have loved her so much

And I wish I
Could have asked him more questions
About the greatest generation
So I could thank him
So I could hold his hand
So we could take long walks
Through his vineyard
Feed the donkeys
And have long talks
By the pond
Drink red wine
In the summertime
Eat cucumber salad
And argue about

I would listen more
Listen to him
Describe the bombs dropping
The planes exploding
The gunfire drowning out
The silence of death.

Decoration Day by Jim Abel

Posted in Jim Abel with tags on May 31, 2010 by Scot

Please click on the Iris to listen.


Decoration Day
Words and Music by Jim Abel

In the Springtime, in the side yard, white and purple, there were iris.
How my mother loved those flowers, though she always called them flags.
She had moved them from the old home in the car next to us kids.
Others might not see their beauty, but my mother always did.

Late in May we’d cut the flags down, unless there had been a late spring.
Wrap the stems, protect the heads with damp newspapers we had saved,
mason jars we’d filled with water in the trunk of our old car.
Slowly we would make the circuit, leaving tributes near and far.


At the summit of the hill, as it was I see it still.
In bright rows the flowers lay when there was Decoration Day.

Taking flowers to her mother was one thing my Mom and I did.
Here and there were aunts and cousins, relatives I never met.
No time out for prayers or stories; there’s a lot I wish I’d known.
We’d just stop to leave the flowers, trim the grass and clean the stone.


Then one Spring she went without me, why that was I don’t remember.
By the next year or one later no one cut the flags at all.
I would like to think she missed me, but then I would be to blame.
What I know is without iris Spring would never be the same.


In the Springtime, in my mem’ry, purple and white flags are standing
in cool rows of mason jars on granite slabs atop a hill.
Though I know if I looked now there would be no flags at all:
only artificial flowers blooming Winter, Spring and Fall.


© 2005 by Jim Abel
All rights reserved

Moss by Timothy Pettet

Posted in Timothy Pettet with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

Moss, like rime frost,
blankets the side of a gravestone.
It is wet. It grows
from rock wearing away.
It is not ice.
It is not cold.

Memory Today by Winnie Star

Posted in Winnie Star with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

lives given
for all the
in battle
fields of war
in planes
armored tanks
at home
we wait
hope for

Shifting Paradigm by Helen Losse

Posted in Helen Losse with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

The idea was to test a sound hypothesis.
They didn’t tell us what that hypothesis was.

When springtime grass began to green,
they marched us out to count the flags,
the gifts of small, red flowers
that adorned soldiers’ graves.

All day we counted, recorded
onto light green tally sheets.
Flags & flowers.  Flowers & flags.
In the evening, they marched us back.

They weren’t cruel to us—just scientific—
and as they began to serve us a hot meal,
we went back to being what we were: children.
Poppies were the only, actual touchstone

in a shifting paradigm.  But still we
couldn’t eat our whole, regular portions.
We just couldn’t.
We were thinking of Grover Pinky—

our beloved white rabbit—
newly dead in the kitchen drawer
that sad day in May.  As the albino rabbit
was placed in the dark ground

in the dim light of a cold moon
under drifting clouds that blackberry winter,
in that quiet place under a thicket of blossoming
brambles, we erected no marker as reminder.

Instead, we favored anonymity, uncounted shadows,
letting cumulous clouds float on by,
knowing anything tells the real story better than
flags and flowers, no matter what your hypothesis is.

This poem was first read for and presented to S. A. Griffin The Poetry Bomb in Hickory, NC on May 22, 2010.

The Man Who Lives in the Gym by Donal Mahoney

Posted in Donal Mahoney with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

St. Procopius College
Lisle, Illinois
after World War II

The man who lives in the gym
sleeps in a nook up the stairs
to the rear. Since Poland
he’s slept there, his tools
bright in a box locked

under his bed. At noon bells
call him down to the stones
that weave under oaks to the abbey
where he at long table takes
meals with the others
the monks have let in

for a week, or a month, or a year
or forever, whatever
the need. The others all know
that in Poland his wife
had been skewered, his children
partitioned, that he had escaped

in a freight car of hams.
So when Brother brings in, on a gun
metal tray, orange sherbet for all
in little green dishes,
they blink at his smile,
they join in his laughter.

Loathing by Joseph Veronneau

Posted in Joseph Veronneau with tags on May 28, 2010 by Scot

I don’t miss you.
The clothes you left behind
were pleasantly given away
to the Salvation Army.
In fact, several people
started littering
through the garbage bag
as soon as I set it to ground.
Your leftover cd cases
have been thrown
or used to replace the cracked
ones that I had.
Your pictures
were gleefully dumped off
in the trash to be collected
by the city as a duty of respect
for a poor fucker
that handled your shit for too long.

Goose Bumps by Father Luke

Posted in Father Luke with tags on May 27, 2010 by Scot

He feels the goose flesh rising on his arms.
And, in the light thrown from the lamp on the desk,
he watches the hairs. Each poked into individual bumps
becoming erect, and casting shadows on his arm.

What was that, she asks.

Don’t know.

He turns to look at her entering the room.

Did you see that?

I saw you shiver, if that’s what you mean, she says.
She lays her hands on his shoulders, and rubs.

He imagines her grasping his chin,
and turning his head, snapping his neck.

The kids in bed, he asks.

They are, she says.

She grips and un-grips the muscles in his shoulder,
and his goose flesh melts. He relaxes into her touch.

She lifts his chin to look at his face.
Let’s call it a night, she says.

He smiles, and she smiles back at him.

Not a breeze in the room, but the drapes
flutter as they leave the room, and turn out the light.