The Poetry Page

Poetry from the January 2001 issue

Poetry from the December 2000 issue

Poetry from the November 2000 issue

Poetry from the October 2000 issue

By Mary C. Hess

1. E - [mily] mail
This is my letter to the world
That never wrote to me &endash;

2. Cyberspace
The only news I know
Is bulletins all day
From immortality.

3. World Wide Web
The spider holds a silver ball
In unperceived hands &endash;
And dancing softly to himself
His yarn of pearl &endash; unwinds &endash;

4. WordPerfect
A word dropped careless on a page
May stimulate an eye &endash;


Christmas 1995
By Teresa B. Geiger

Coming soon, the marquee touts:
SANTA CLAUS - the Movie
sends out shouts of a season that isn't
one of peace and joy.
There is not a single toy that is not flaunted
before the eyes of child and man
worth the time of day, but worse.
In fact, the child is snatched
and held, not by the claws of Mr. Claus
but of greed and avarice.

And worse, it's JUNK.
Plastic forms of smurfs and such.
What to give? Real things - yes;
marbles, pick-up-sticks, Chinese Puzzles -
capture, captivate, cultivate.
The child and man who concentrate
imagining tinker-toy forms and flex muscles
shooting marbles, balling jacks and delicate
maneuverings on sticks - they find manhood
and mankind within themselves -



Novermber 1999 Issue

by A. Young

Such a longing you could never comprehend.
A longing to stop the seasons.
Sadness in the beauty of the fall leaves
that shine bright
oblivious to their i
mpending frost.
Her presence just as bright, just as temporary.
Shutting out the thought of the cold winter.
Longing to stop the seasons,
longing for her devotion undying.
Falling, falling, falling.
Pushed by the piercing wind.
Now longing for the brutal winter.
Quick and fast, not fast enough.
Killing all brightness.
Killing all memories.


Shadow of Thoughts
by Aaron Simon

On a cold rainy day, my ears tingle with the overwhelming
sensation of numbness.
The wind howls and blows blindly through my hair.
Water pellets drip from my running nose.
I am left alone to suffer from the dreary weather
from head to toe.
Why then do I continue to stand, suffering on this day?
Is it the total feeling of discomfort?
Or is it deeper?
I ponder these questions. Yet I remain motionless.
I think back to a time when everything seemed so simple and pure.
My thoughts:
I now question the very existence of these deep-rooted emotions.
Is this a figment of my imagination or does it really exist?
Where do I look for an answer?
Where should my search begin?
The rain slowly runs down my cold red face ever more frequently
now as I hear the wind whistle and blow.
I now know.
This weather. This time. This place.


Patch-worked Cloth
(For Chona Ann)
By Nicholas Schuyler

Love like patch-worked cloth
is torn and fixed again,
made anew or left to fray.

Vagabond remnants find spaces to fill.
well-worn reminders
that it's never too late to make amends.

But this tattered quilt
with holes for fingers and toes to climb through,
still surrounds us
when we'd rather not sleep alone.


October 1999 Issue

Haiku Harvest
By Mary C. Hess

Backyard Reverie
A hint of crimson,
Air scented with mellow fruit &endash;
Lazy summer ends.

First Leaf
First leaf of autumn
Dancing down in rhythmic form &endash;
A hymn of beauty.

Indian summer
Lingers for a last goodbye
Watching winter come.

City Sentinel
A lone skyscraper
Standing lit against night sky &endash;
Landlubber's lighthouse.

Fleeting Images
By A. Young

dreams of stroking a cat
transform into a lover's touch
or a cool Autumn breeze
chiming dry leaves
through open window and fluid curtains
in an old house lit by the moon
mournful blues on the hi-fi . . .
and the subtle crackle of the vinyl
sounds so sweet
mixed with the staccato snaps of the fire
dying impeccably and
as mysterious as
the talking breeze on a lover's back
invoking dreams of stroking a cat.

By Rose Ann Spaith

Immaculately groomed
her fur shines
like a pool of sleek black oil.
Her red-gold eyes
burn with jungle savvy.
Grace personified,
she leaps precisely
after small white butterflies
&endash; the height of a rose bush &endash;
with no preparation.
Born October 31, 1978,
her real name
is Halloween.

St. Paul's Cat
By Rose Ann Spaith

St. Paul's cat traveled
all over Asia Minor with him.
She snuggled inside his cloak
when he walked from Athens to Corinth
and from Corinth to Ephesus.
She purred in his lap
when he wrote letters to Timothy.
Much to his pride
she caught rats on the ship
when he sailed from Caesarea to Rome.

When she had a slight case of hairball,
St. Luke cured her
without having to waste a miracle.

Much to St. Paul's embarrassment,
his cat was continually pregnant.
Children of Corinth,
Ephesus, Antioch, Damascus
&endash; all over Anatolia &endash;
argued over her kittens.
Once the great saint
had to resort to passing the kitties
of other mother cats
as those of his cat
to pacify the parents
of the children who wanted
one of his cat's kittens.

Cats are God's way
of making fools of us all.

Rose Ann Spaith is author of The Cats of the Rose Garden, a 34-page chapbook of poetry available for $3 plus $1 S&H. It can be purchased by sending check or money order to Rose Ann Spaith, 159 Delhi Avenue, Columbus, OH 43202.

By Hugh Comstock

Ever wonder what a brook is babbling about,
as it meanders endlessly on its route?
Tired of that familiar sounding splash;
as man continues to dump his trash.

Or could it be it's in a state of shock,
with no more trout for it to stock?
Remembering when it ran so clear and clean;
while hugging a shoreline so serene.

When schoolboys fished along its bank,
patiently waiting for that exciting yank.
And occasionally one would skip a stone;
counting the ripples it had sown.

Nothing left now but bottles and cans,
old tires, bedsprings, pots and pans.
Can there ever be a doubt
just what a brook is babbling about?

September 1999 Issue

My Best Friend's Stepsister
By Terry Baker

I think of you sometimes
In the dark
Late at night
Trailer park trash
See-through blouse and black bra
You were a little tramp
Remember makin' out in the bleachers
At that little league game
My mother glared at me
All the way home in the station wagon
Wouldn't let me sleep over for months
We grew apart
We grew up
Then that hot summer night
You woke me with a prying tongue
Reeking of reefer and beer
Tasting salty with sweat
You fucked me in the bottom bunk
God Cynthia
You were my first
I never told you
How you rocked my world
It exploded between my legs
And I was changed forever
From a boy into a man
Seeking such sweetness
Again and again

By David R. Powell

Words like black and white photographs
conveying unadorned honesty splash
across the page, daring to define.

Words like crowds of 1968
amassing in commonality of purpose
seeking ears to hear, daring to change.

Words like pyramid stones
ordered in their lines and columns
harking back to what was, daring to maintain.

All I did was ask for a piece of bread . . .

Another Birthday
By Laurence Overmire

Another birthday leapt across the road today
Nearly scared me half to death
A mangy-looking creature
Like nothing I'd expect
Its eyes dark and forbidding
Accusing me of cowardice
Indifference and fear
Of hiding from my fellow man
And castrating my heart
Of feeding on self-pity
Indulging in defeat
And with a horrifying shriek
It spat at me
In mockery
Then vanished out-of-sight . . .
I picked up a piece of a dream I had dropped
A pebble stone for luck
Tucked a little bit of wisdom up under my hat
And set out once more
The road far ahead of me
The sun high in the sky.

Paulie Possum
By Hugh Comstock

Out in the woods while walking around,
I saw this possum hanging upside down.
Often I'd heard that this were true;
wonder if he gets a better view.

Just hanging there like he was dead,
all the blood rushing to his head.
What would happen should he doze?
Bet it would be kinda hard on his nose.

I wondered what I must look like to him,
hanging there on that willow limb.
As I got closer I thought he'd scoot;
but he really didn't seem to give a hoot.

He did not move, nary a hair;
he just kept on hanging there.
Things in nature sure are awesome;
nothing plays possum better'n a possum.

August 1999 Issue

Scriptorium '99
By Mary C. Hess

Amid the silence
Of book-lined shelves,
Computers softly

Dry your pens, cowled monks,
Wiping off silver and gold -
Drop cap now illumines.

Undo and delete
Are yours at press of buttons
And the page is cleared.

Icons, symbol and gateway
Await your
Deliberate touch.

E-mail rides
The airwaves
At Juno
dot com.

A mouse explores
New holes in the
World Wide Web.

The year 2000 nears,
When time will telescope to
Scriptorium "zero-zero"
As it was in the beginning.

The Poet Responds to Vincent
by Rose Ann Spaith

"I find in my work an echo of what struck me."

- Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890

Each in our own way, Vincent, we have said YES
to squares of white, white wombs waiting,
for you, with brush strokes and sunflower,
for me, with words and nuances of rosebud,
waiting to become pregnant
under the overshadowing of a creation
made visible by indwelling laws of physics.
And we too must follow rules.
You can paint me love in iris
with shades of madness deferred.
I know not how.
I labor over a poem with sentences, metaphors,
active and passive verbs, and prepositions,
always strewing rose petals and re-arranging
their pattern over rock-hard sanity.
Someday I hope to compose a phrase
worthy of a lunatic. Never do I
strike enough flint to kindle fiery explosions.
Even if I had a crowbar and Archimedes to help
I could not pry orange rounds from windy days
to spiral brimstone through starry skies.
Where, Vincent, did you find the focus
to set fire to canvas,
knowing when to follow rules
and when to cross the sun with black shadows?
Does your blood flow hot and redder
because I have stripped petals from hearts of roses
according to some code of grammar?
As you say, Vincent, we represent echoes -
yours more intense than mine.
After our pains over white squares,
the voice of sunflower and rosebud remain.

Originally published in '97 Poet's Market as first prize winner of annual contest.

The Life Of A Cat
by Laurence Overmire
Play with string.
Hunt a bug.

The Sun Set
By Rick Klaus Theis

The sun set in Langston Hughes
When "to be or not to bop" was the only question
Posed by Hip Lord Buck over blues.
Then a flyin' Bird blew by, Dizzy,
Without a Kerouac in the world.
And, wearing Jean Shepherd full of Patchens,
Ginsberg digs, actually a girl
Burroughs, into a nutty riff.
And, of Corso, Ferlinghetti, holding,
City Lights a wigged-out spliff.
Then hip gave rise to hippies,
And beat beat hippies to the punk,
And punk was launched into cyberspace,
Leaving the world with just one question:
When, oh when, will the Sun Ra rise
On this crazy dump.

For a Loaf of Rembrandt


Funny how


Have to die

In order to make a living.


Only then, six-feet under

Feeding maggots

Do people finally begin to understand

What the hell they were trying to do.


And suddenly

All that junk they tossed in the back of the attic

Gathering dust

Is worth




Drum Solo

Shut down your mind and
Be the drum
Pounding up and down
The heartbeat
Booms swinging 'round the forearm
Up the ear behind the head
Crashing cymbals sprayed in finger



Rolling, reeling, rocking kettles spilling
Thunder through the air
Sucker punch inside the gut
Ah! Oh! Man!
Now you're jazzin', Satchmo!



all talk

all talk

is small talk,

stall talk, tall talk,

appall, puff-ball, pitfall talk,

off-the-wall talk,

nothing-at-all talk &endash;

a simulation of

a designation for

an approximation of

an implication of

what lives &endash;

an assassination of

all real sensation

that's hung on a tongue

until it's done &endash;

devoid of life,

safely out of sight

of the ONE

that all is.






My grandfather Foreman said to me,

"My fingers, I moved 'em!"


"This I've waited to see;

To move 'em,

Since last January."


And in reply, I &emdash;

I could only nod my head

As he said,

"It sure takes a long time to die."




Aunt Margie's Housecat


Born in a calico tutu

she practiced fragile kitten leaps

between the bales of hay

of Black-Eyed-Susan-The-Cow's stall.


An adolescent Pavlova,

she prowled the barn

in her shining white slippers,

pounced on an army of mice

in the grain bin.


Stalking with sharp arabesque poise,

she expanded her repertoire to rats,

chipmunks, gophers, rabbits, snakes,

all insect pests in the garden.


Season after season, she mothered

a young corps de ballet (Crackles,

Snap, Mandy & Andy, Lena,

Mondoll (the lover), The Prince,

untold others of terpsichorean renown).


An exacting taskmistress

she put each litter through their steps

until they became prima-mousers.


An aging ballerina, deaf,

blind in one eye, lame,

beaten away from the food bowl

by the strong paws of her children,

she became a tattered fraidy cat.


Aunt Margie heard her broken cry

and opened the kitchen door.







with Alzheimer's


We grow young again early

in our family, my father said

as my grandmother cooed and shuffled

through the house.


Then my mother, barely past mid-life,

forgot the day, the year,

even my name . . .

She shrank into the past

and told again how she and her sisters

sat in a twisted tree,

pretending to be princesses

and queens.

We found her one day

trying to climb a cypress.


I vowed I would rent

a deep-sea boat when the demons

first nipped at my memory

and slip quietly from the stern.


When the time came,

they nibbled at my resolve.

I gazed into the water

and postponed the date.


They gnaw &endash;

I was once chief accountant,

but last week, I threw away . . . something.

My daughter looked at me

and pulled it from the fire &endash;

She knows . . .

I think she knows . . .





While Walking


While walking,

With my Grandfather Buchenroth, talking,

Startled, he stopped to point and say,

As many times as I've been this way,

I've never seen that TV tower,

Over there, above Mother's flowers.







"Tomorrow's another day,"
said Scarlet O'Hara,
But to save time today,
Please click O'Here-a