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Poetry II


Photo by Dianne Roberson Hendrix

Elizabeth Kerlikowske



Relying on the wind’s backbone



Pain was how guilt felt before her husband figured out

she was yearning for that red glove she’d dropped, blown

off the elevated walk then snagged below on brambles nested

in deep, unbroken snow. Its fingers beckoned on impact.

He volunteered to retrieve the glove, drove them to the ice

field then waded past windows where no one ever walked,

waist deep in drift. She stayed broken in the car, straight and still,

willing the seat to swallow the itinerant ache. The glove sank

lower into the barberry. To reach in meant cut wrists, a bloody

shorthand. His touch was already like fire when it annealed her

body,  but she wanted definitive pain herself, pain she could

reveal,  and an Old Testament verb: smite. Steam rose from

faux chimneys the moment after the fall, a maraschino cherry

depressed in meringue, cardinal on a mattress. She never liked

that pair until they were separated. Possessing one glove

rendered it useless; having dropped the other imbued it with

potential. The lost one was all she could think about.




Elizabeth Kerlikowske is a life-long Michigan resident who lives in Kalamazoo and teaches at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek. Her books include The Shape of Dad from March Street Press and most recently, Dominant Hand from Mayapple Press. She recently won The Shaw Poetry Prize from Dunes Review. She is president of Friends of Poetry, Inc., an organization dedicated to the enjoyment of poetry through murals on downtown buildings, a reading series, and the annual Poems That Ate Our Ears contest for kids.


Helen Losse




After He Fell


Near an outcropping—

granite-like rocks—at the nearest falls’


access, wispy clouds write words of warning

onto a clear, blue sky.


The air becomes cooler.  Behind the trees,

a purple horizon drinks the sun.  A double rainbow


forms in fine, refreshing mist.

Lost in the moment, I forget the path


that led me to such beauty.  The point where

the stream fell from the cliff becomes the place


from which the child will fall.  Affected bones

soon begin to pulsate the child, who waits


in standard moonlight and ordinary time,


the cry from his faith-filled lungs

rising only to a white-hot star.




Helen Losse is the author of Better With Friends, published by Rank Stranger Press in 2009, and the Poetry Editor of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. Her recent poetry publications and acceptances include The Wild Goose Poetry Review, Shape of a Box, Iodine Poetry Review, and Hobble Creek Review.  She has two chapbooks, Gathering the Broken Pieces and Paper Snowflakes. Educated at Missouri Southern State and Wake Forest Universities, she lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  She occasionally writes book reviews for various markets, including the Winston-Salem Journal.


Jessica Lindsley




Apollo Goes to the Supermarket


Aisles too close, too many

pushing on me, brushing

past me, I wince each time.

This used to be special,

touching, meeting

melding of flesh of mortal

and god now so casual and careless.

No one now remembers us, the

old gods.  We work,

pay rent, pay utilities,

venture to the market, cross

asphalt seas of painted car-width

spaces, curbed and graveled

islands harboring a single sickly

tree, past the greeters,

stockers, and cashiers to buy

tampons for my consort,

a trashy girl of 17,

with bright red lips.




Jessica Lindsley lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where she studied English and Classical Studies at University of North Dakota.  She spends her free time writing poetry and working on her first novel. Her blog Sidereal Musings: A Map of the Stars can be found at Sidereal Musing.


John Saunders





Wine undiluted dilutes worry (Ovid)


I can smell it now, a whiff of berries,

a hint of oak, soft tannins,

as I bring the tulip to my nose,


take the first sip and fall back

to the steamy hills of Andalucía

on a summer  evening.


We are watching the sunset

over Arenas, making its

escape to another  place.


No time for red letter bills,

news of interest rate rises,

the uncertainty of  rent.


Instead, we will hold hands,

wander over scorched hills,

smell oranges on the wind


until we are satiated,

and insensible to any possible

worry in our  broken reality.




John Saunders lives and works in Irleland. He is the head of a national Non Governmental Organization working in the field of mental health. John has been writing prose and poetry for about five years and has had a small amount of work published to date. He lives with his lovely wife and two adorable children.


Daniel Klawitter





When young,

you are tickled

with giggle sticks.

Poked and pinched

by playful primate fingers

and lavished with kisses

from fur-covered lips.



bludgeoned half to death

by the monkeys in the Public Zoo…

you are taunted by patriarchal baboons

who despise you because you’re free.


And they simply cannot tolerate

a rebellious chimpanzee

who recites poetry.



tempted by a talisman

held in the hand

of a man

in an impeccable suit,

you are shocked to discover

that he’s just a gorilla

gorging himself on fruit.


The stench of his excrement

is overpowering

and you realize that the time has come

for fight or flight.


To hell with Darwin you decide…

this isn’t about

the strongest surviving.

This is about the weak

standing upright.




A resident of Denver, Colorado since 1999, Daniel Klawitter is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church and a full-time community organizer who works on issues of economic development and workers’ rights. He has a BA in Religion Studies from the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico and a Master of Divinity degree from Iliff School of Theology in Denver. His poetry has appeared in Sacramental Life, Quietmountain: New Feminist Essays, Blue Collar Review, The People’s Tribune, Indelible Companions (a chapbook supporting the Friends of the Animal Center Foundation in Iowa), and Struggle: A Journal of Proletarian Literature.


Ellen Black



Glitter Girls


I’m just a big ol’ drag queen at heart.

I put on my face

and show up ―all sequins and sparkle

helping people forget

that they’re running away from love and death



I crack jokes as wicked

as the pink, four-inch, fuck-me pumps

Miss Tiffany and Zondra Blue wear, tricking

the audience into believing

those long, slim legs, shimmering

inside support hose that cling

tighter than most babies at their mother’s breasts

are the beautifully preserved cherry

we all hope to find on top of our lives.


I easily dance from topic to topic

never letting on that my heart aches

just as much as those royal girls’ feet.

I ease friends and strangers through their worries

serving wine, solace, and basil

and every few years or so, I meet

someone who I hope

will turn out to be my star attraction.

But when the harsh lights flash on and he realizes

he’s drawn to a woman who can offer


only an alternative beauty,

one that has been created

from harsh lava, yet soothes

and comforts with the softness of a doe’s eyes,

he always turns away, afraid

he’ll be judged for loving

someone who is evocative

and tender, but too different

to be invited into a picket-fence world.




Ellen Black is writing a book that describes growing up in a religious cult in East Texas. She earns a living as a technical writer and works as an intuitive counselor, while also blogging about life on Ellen’s poetry has been published in Illya’s Honey, Fauquier Poetry Journal, and South Ash Press. In 2005, Ellen won first prize in the Richardson Public Library’s annual poetry contest. Ellen writes poetry because unexpected endings are a gift, as are her daughter, friends and cats.


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