Thursday, April 12, 2018

New poem by Carter Billis


The blankets I’m wrapped up in
Keep my fingers from turning blue
But true warmth is unattainable
If I’m here without you.
I reach for you occasionally
As if I’ll be able to feel you breathing
And you just rolled over in courtesy
Since you were snoring rather loudly.
If I saw you there next to me
I would want to wake you up,
Not just to disturb your sleep,
But because I liked it when we would stay up and talk.
Now I get excited and go to shake you,
But the only thing I find next to me is my sheet,
Not as soft as the touch of your skin
And nowhere near as warm as you would be.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Literature should mean something ...


a man
walking down the street
looks up to see
wheeling in the air         looks
up to see a billboard plastered
with black letters.
                                    BIRDS LIKE ME
says the billboard, and

a pigeon lights on it.

                                    Cornelius Eady


(Birds like me is the theme for April for submissions to Waterways:  Poetry in the Mainstream.   This year the themes are all taken from poems by Cornelius Eady.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Joanne sends link to How a Poem Happens blog.

Joanne Giannino sent a link to another poetry blog.  Check it out.  This entry has a long interview with academic poet Robin Becker following her poem Hospice.
Joanne Giannino

Monday, March 12, 2018

Another nice one from Carter!

Our Carter

Not Yet

I sit in bed all day
Schoolwork never done
Head always filled
With thoughts I can’t explain
But that’ll never change
So I’ll just keep writing
Nothing and everything
‘Til the pages of my notebooks are covered in stains
Just like the sweatpants that I’m always wearing.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Carter Billis
by Carter Billis

String tied tightly around my wrist
My thoughts float loosely in the wind
Enclosed in a safe of latex.
Can’t get too far from me
I could lose touch with myself
But can’t get too close
I could lose touch with reality
I’ll keep them hovering at about ten feet Hoping nothing comes to pop them
when I’m not looking.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Valentine for a piece of wood, Sylvia Manning

Mesquite Angel

“Angel: the candle that leans to the heart’s north.”
é Char, Leaves of Hypnos #16

Sitting one, spine straight, head high, proudly
facing due north, true as compass assurance,

anyone can see
you’re only of oldest mesquite tree
broken roughly, quite, its largest limb
wherein you dwelled these decades

until man in machine raised
its wide snout to break you roughly out,
blood red, anger in your bark-
created head and crown
audible even in awful noise
of machine going on to tear away
the other limbs and huisache.

Jagged sharded wood,
splintered hood of your headpiece
pointing to clouds above new caliche,
skirts swept as if side saddling
a mount beneath to bear you

wherever an angry angel
deems she must go
before they bring the chainsaw,
the blood moon, the fire.

2/14/18 after

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Judith Janoo wins 1st place in Anita Andrews Award Poetry Contest [Austin]

Stazia McFadyen, of Austin, Texas, coordinator of the 2017 Poets for Human Rights event, sends this by e-mail:

Congratulations to the 1st and 2nd place winners of the 2017 Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest.

1st Place - "Take to the Streets, February 15, 2003" by Judith Janoo of  E. Burke, Vermont


Take to the Streets, February 15, 2003
            I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. 
Desmond Tutu

Is it dangerous
, she asked
exiting the bus against ten degree gusts,
walking Manhattan's Third Avenue,
dark casement awaking like Rembrandt
stroked the morning, our numbers
multiplying, spilling onto Second
with neglected appeals.
     Sure we were all mad
after the attacked, shocked back,
but what had these people done?
Wives of firefighters waved banners:
No blood for Oil,
business people,
blue-collared, poor, frayed, disabled,
babies in strollers, Grace Pauley,
9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows,
Susan Sarandon spoke, and Desmond Tutu.
Half a million strong, said the man behind us
as we merged onto First, The reports will pinch it,
     say we're hippies, lefties, gut our numbers.
His suit had ridden many buses --
They always turn down the volume.
The world
marched that day against a rampage that would
yield no chemicals or Al-Qaeda.  Those who've
walked the street never again see only pavement.
No, my daughter then told a friend, it isn't
dangerous to walk, only to not
say a word.


Stazja adds:  "Judith Janoo is a writer and yoga teacher. Her writing has won the Soul Making Keats award for poetry and the Vermont Award for Continued Excellence in Writing.  She is also a Dana Award Finalist."

2nd Prize - Pursuit of Life by Gabrielle Sinclair

Pursuit of Life

We walk at night
Moon lights our way
Helicopters hover
Searching their prey.

Harsh land trips us
desolate, dry
We've been walking for days
Baby, don't cry.

No one around?
You never know
The group is far ahead
Torn feet go slow.

No work at home
Can't feed my child
There's work in Florida
Weather's more mild.

What's left to do?
Risk I must take
End justifies the means
No choice to make.

No food or drink
Can't pack enough
Coyote did not say
The trip's so rough.

Snake bite killed one
Heat got one, too
Another just collapsed
What could we do?

Border is tight
We have to dare
More of us are dying
Nobody cares.

This land was ours
Another time
Pursuit of Liberty
Now is a crime.

Gabrielle has been an actor, singer, writer and editor. She currently lives in Lake Havasu City, Arizona with her significant others: Two cats, one dog and one man. She would like the United States Government to establish a Department of Peace.  


Stazja continues: "Grateful thanks to Judith Janoo and Gabrielle Sinclair for their permission to publish their works, and to all who entered this year's contest.
Thanks also to Kate Sweet and Anita Welch, who continue to support the Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest, and to Elyse Van Breemen and Sioux Hart for reading the poems at this year's Poets for Human Rights awards event."

With love,

Stazja McFadyen