LITERARY GAZETTE P R O S E
P O E M S
P H O T O G R A P H Y
E L E M E N TA L n a t u r e A RIVER REPORTER LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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THE RIVER REPORTER
EDIE ABRAMS received her Master’s in Communication from RPI. Edie participates in the Every-Other-Thursday poetry workshop in Voorheesville, NY. With Dennis Sullivan and Michael Burke, Edie hosts Sunday Four at the Old Songs venue in Voorheesville and the Smith’s Tavern Poet Laureate Contest. Benevolent Bird Press published “Mermaid in Metamorphosis.” NORMA KETZIS BERNSTOCK lives in Milford, PA and is a member of the Upper Delaware Writers Collective. Her poetry has appeared in Connecticut River Review, Paterson Literary Review, Lips, anthologies including Paterson, the Poets’ City and “Voices From Here.” Twice she has been awarded an Honorable Mention in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. Her chapbook, “Don’t Write a Poem About Me After I’m Dead,” was published in 2011 by Big Table Publishing. A part-time resident of Big Indian, NY, ELIZABETH J. COLEMAN is the author of “The Saint of Lost Things” (Word Temple Press 2009). Her work has appeared in Connecticut Review, Raintown Review, 32 Poems and Blueline, among others. She has an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts. WILL CONWAY writes and gardens in Mongaup Valley, NY where he lives with a cat and his lovely wife. JACQUELINE DOOLEY is a writer, mother, small business owner and cyclist working out of her home in the Hudson Valley. Sometimes she writes poetry. ANDY FOGLE’s fifth chapbook, “The Last Apprenticeship,” is forthcoming from White Knuckle Press. He has nonfiction forthcoming in AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle and English Journal. He has an MFA from George Mason University and teaches high school and college, and is working toward a PhD at SUNY Albany. KIRPAL GORDON is a NYC-based writer whose latest works are “Round Earth, Open Sky” (a novel), “Ghost & Ganga: A Jazz Odyssey” (three novellas), “Eros in Sanskrit” (prose poems) and “Speak-SpakeSpoke” (jazz & spoken word CD). For more on his work, visit www. KirpalG.com. KATHLEEN GALVIN GRIMALDI’S poems have been published in many regional and national literary journals. She is a member of the Upper Delaware Writers Collective and the American Academy of Poets. She has taught poetry courses and memoir writing workshops at the TOALC Center at East Stroudsberg University. GEORGE GUIDA is author of two volumes of poetry—“Low Italian” (Bordighera Press) and “New York and Other Lovers” (Smalls Books). A collection of stories, “The Pope Stories and Other Tales of Troubled Times” (Bordighera), will appear in 2012. He co-edits 2 Bridges Review and teaches English and Creative Writing at NYC College of Technology. JOHN HOPPER is an editor transplanted from the New York City area to Ithaca, where he has become re-focused on poetry through readings, workshops and writing. He has two published collections (1962, 1994), and Chronogram has accepted several of his poems. JAMES HOUTRIDES was born in Greece, raised in New York and worked most of his life as a journalist at CBS News, where he was a writer and producer from 1968 until his retirement in 2003. For the last 24 years he worked at CBS News Sunday Morning. BOBBI KATZ has a degree in art history, but she has made a living as a social worker, fashion editor (disaster!), house cleaner, editor and in-house writer for Random House. She now makes her living writing children’s books. Her collection “Once Around the Sun” was included with the top 10 poetry books rated by Independent Booksellers. She
is currently working on a new collection, “Star Struck.” Visit www. bobbikatz.com. LAURA KING is a walker on a foggy precipice, placing one foot in front of the other and trusting best she can. She works as a freelance creative marketing and event strategist, writer and art director. She plays at poetry and sporty things. She loves nature, stays sane though meditation. HOWARD J. KOGAN is a psychotherapist and poet. He and his wife Libby live in the Taconic Mountains in rural upstate New York. His poems have appeared in Still Crazy, Occupoetry, Poetry Ark and Farming Magazine. His book of poems, “Indian Summer,” was published in 2011.” CECELE ALLEN KRAUS lives in Copake, NY. In 2009 she published a chapbook, “Dreaming Barranquilla,” inspired by Peace Corps experiences. Recently, her chapbook “Tuscaloosa Bypass,” was released by Finishing Line Press. She has poems published in Naugatuck River Review, Passager, Chronogram, Windfall, Backstreet, and the chapbook anthologies, “Zephyrs” and “Java Wednesdays.” MORT MALKIN has formal training in lyric poetry composition at Brooklyn College, New School, and the invited workshop of Jose Garcia Villa. A founding member of Milanville Poets Unlimited, he is widely published in newspapers, journals, anthologies, and his own chapbooks. He is completing an illustrated book of poetry celebrating The High Delaware River for National Parks. KAREN MORRIS is a psychoanalyst, poet and student of Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. Ikebana dates back to 5th-century Shinto rituals, its 3 elements representing heaven, human beings and earth. Because of its relational nature it is ideally suited for poetry, able to contain every aspect of emotion, including catastrophe. MIMI MORIARTY is the poetry editor for The Spotlight. She lives in a log home overlooking the Hudson River Valley with her husband, Dan, and delights in her four grandchildren who regularly visit. Her next project is to teach them to make pizza dough just like her grandmother’s. LISA ROSINSKY holds a BA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her work appears, or is forthcoming, in 32 Poems, Iron Horse Literary Review,The Innsifree Poetry Journal, Measure and the anthology “The Poetry of Yoga,Vol. 1.” She recently interned at Highlights for Children in Honesdale, PA, and was a member of the Upper Delaware Writers Collective. She is now an assistant editor at Rowman & Littlefield.
Section Editor Mary Greene
THE RIVER REPORTER
Creative Director Lori Malone
Duet By Lisa Rosinsky
Bareback By Cecele Allen Kraus
End Of World Ikebana By Karen Morris
The Bamboo in the Garden By Elizabeth J. Coleman
Why I Live Where I Live By Norma Ketzis Bernstock
To Fly A Kite By Mimi Moriarty
Gusts By Natalie Safir
Fast By Jacqueline Dooley
What You’re Looking for Is Looking for You By Kirpal Gordon
First Light By Will Conway
Basso continuo By Mort Malkin
evening By Nancy Wells
Moon Speak By Bobbi Katz
Fire By James Houtrides
NATALIE SAFIR is the author of five collections of poetry and has been publishing poems in literary journals across the country since the late 1980s. Her poems have been anthologized in college texts. She has been a poetry workshop leader, editor and lecturer in local institutions and directed a reading series. She currently teaches memoir in Tarrytown, NY, where she lives.
The validity of winter By Laura King
the wind rustles across the bow of the trees By Bruce Weber
BRUCE WEBER is the author of five books of poetry, including “The Break-up of My First Marriage” (Rogue Scholars Press, 2009). Among other publications, his work is featured in “Riverine: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers” (New Paltz, New York: Codhill Press, 2007). He has a second home in Saugerties.
A Coyote Is Not a Wolf By George Guida
Blind Contour in Greenridge Cemetery (Excerpt) By Andy Fogle
NANCY WELLS’ poetry appears in the chapbook “Oh To Be a Dandelion”, and the Upper Delaware Writers Collective anthologies “PoeTree” and ”Leaving the Empty Room.” A visual artist as well, she has created a series of visual/word books, including “How to Zip Mummy,” “A Ballad of Two Empty Rooms” and “Balloons are for the Living.”
Sloop By John Hopper
Riverscape: Summer By Kathleen Galvin Grimaldi
Sweet Autumn Clematis By Edie Abrams
The Literary Gazette is published by The River Reporter/Stuart Communications, Inc. Entire contents ©2012 by Stuart Communications, Inc. Stuart Communications maintains an office at 93 Erie Ave., Narrowsburg, NY. Its mailing address is P.O. Box 150, Narrowsburg, NY 12764. Phone 845-252-7414. E-mail email@example.com. Publication Date: July 19, 2012 Publisher Laurie Stuart
Where the Dead Live By Howard J. Kogan
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LITERARY GAZETTE 2012 • Page 3
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This edition of the Literary Gazette focuses on the elemental nature of the world— both in its physical aspects and accompanying human perception. The poems and prose explore unique and specific aspects of universal themes such as love, loss, aging, memory and sensation; they take us on journeys of self exploration, deep discovery and formative experience; they describe how human perception can be heightened and altered by acknowledging our essential and unbreakable connection to nature. Some of the poems celebrate the natural world in simple and joyful ways. Others urge us to pay attention and be vigilant. And always, on every page, the exquisite photographs of Upper Delaware Valley photographer Chip Forelli add another layer of meaning, another angle of perception upon which we can dwell. All of the photos are shots taken in or near the Upper Delaware River valley.
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Page 4 • LITERARY GAZETTE 2012
My creative quest is the discovery of visual gifts—those precious instances of unrevealed beauty that we unknowingly encounter every day. Much is to be gained by embracing these opportunities. Experiencing beauty, whether occurring naturally or introduced by the hand of man, is a primal need in society that I would put on par with the need for sustenance and love. To convey it, we have relied largely upon the arts through the ages. However, beauty is in short supply in the art world today, so I want to do my part in redirecting our attention to that which elevates and enriches the spirit and gives us hope—our society needs this more than ever. An integral part of this process is the rekindling of the qualities of childhood that should never have been lost—curiosity, exploration, discovery and wonder. It takes some effort, but the payoff is great. We need to literally and figuratively unplug the TV—to detach ourselves from the pipedin influence of a tabloid/sitcom/reality TV culture that dulls down our senses while acting as a substitute for imagination. Once we do this, we open ourselves to the possibilities. And then, with no preconceived notions clouding our vision, we can recognize and celebrate beauty—it feeds and replenishes the soul. The emotional high I experience when encountering these visual gifts is relived through the making of expressive photographic prints of these overlooked and underestimated, but finally vindicated subjects. [Chip Forelli is an award-winning international photographer who specializes in black and white images. He lives with his family in the Upper Delaware River valley. For more information visit www.chipfiorelli.com.]
THE RIVER REPORTER
Duet BY LISA ROSINSKY Two pairs of wrinkled hands and eighty-eight smooth keys, some black, some white: so simple. Two pairs of hands, one hundred and sixty-two years combined between them, like cords of thick rope hoisting the curtain of a late act in a long and richly-detailed play. Seven fresh-picked daffodils in a tall blue vase on top of the piano, shivering with each chord. One petal falls, and another. Candles, white; flames, yellow; points of light in the dim room. Two grey heads bent over the pages of Bach. See them through the thick panes of glass that inexperience slides before my younger eyes. Better, hear what they make: no pantomime, but a frenzy; each note no fragile flower but a flame, capering on a stiff thin stem; burning but alight.
BARN AND SILO
Where the Dead Live
By HOWARD J. KOGAN I have a black and white photograph taken in 1909 of my father Sol, who was four years old, his older sister Miriam, a younger brother Joe, his mother Leah, who looks pregnant and angry, his father Jonah, uncle Benny and his sister Rose. The adults look solemn; the children frightened. The men are in dark suits, the women in gowns, I wouldn’t be surprised if the clothes were supplied by the photographer. Only the children seem to be wearing their own clothes. It’s a formal, posed studio photograph taken to record a significant moment, perhaps their arrival in the United States. My father looks like I did at that age, as my son did at four. I guess that means this is my family and I wasn’t kidnapped from the palace of Czar Nicholas II. Everyone in the photo has been dead for decades. Yet, during the long moments I visit with them, they are not black and white images but people who are as alive as I am. People who, as I turn away, become like fireflies, dimly sparking in the long night at the end of our days.
THE RIVER REPORTER
LITERARY GAZETTE 2012 • Page 5
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Paul Cooper, Director
THE RIVER REPORTER
End of World Ikebana By KAREN MORRIS
-Written on Rapture day, the last day of the world, May 21, 2011
The fact of love, dot, dot, dot— is not love laughter over the telephone factoids of connection— there is no taking back not love my news is of empty spaces—
FENCE AND FIELD
Bareback By CECELE ALLEN KRAUS A stranger came into my yard on a horse as I stood barefoot with nothing to do. The rider dismounted and I jumped at the chance to ride, to leave my house with four rooms for the six of us, a broken window with cardboard replacing it, the spaciousness of a scorching day with no plans except a swim at the Queen City Pool. I was eager to leave that tract house in the nondescript neighborhood that edged up
each word a dropped blossom, a sacrifice to the wind of activity— my shears sing over the small mountain of pink blossoms accumulating on my lap— my phone is irretrievably off the hook— like the petals of this poem.
IN THE FIELD
to the all-black Druid City High School where on Friday nights Daddy walked us over to hear the marching band play Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley rhythms, putting me in mind of the dark night he took us down a dirt road in Micaville to the black Baptist Church where male quartets sang of heaven and home— the sound track of his red clay childhood. Spooked by a girl on his back, the horse bolted and galloped to the two-lane highway. Scared stiff, having only ridden my Grandpapa Allen’s mules, I shot a glance down the highway and jumped. Now a fresh scar inches along my collar bone reminding me of that first scar— a curvy slash over my left eyebrow, quite graceful, if you don’t mind its livid red. The old scar’s color comes back now with age and that urge to ride an unknown horse still flares up from time to time.
THE RIVER REPORTER
LITERARY GAZETTE 2012 • Page 7
Why I Live Where I Live By NORMA KETZIS BERNSTOCK Meet me on Old Mine Road near Bevans Church and I will tell you about that snowy February day on the gravel trail near Van Campen’s Inn, air, ice fresh, rock-strewn fields like whipped cream swirls, the sounds of foraging mice, snow crystals shifting in afternoon sun, the click of a Nikon as we pushed knee-deep through drifts shooting crumbling barns and shadows cast by barren limbs in late day light.
MAILB OX AND PICKUP
The Bamboo in the Garden By ELIZABETH J. COLEMAN One evening during my mother’s last stay at the hospital, after we told her good night, my aunt and I walked uptown. On our way, we encountered a man standing outside an ethnic deli. He held out a smudged Styrofoam coffee cup. And I reached in my purse for money. Don’t do that, my aunt whispered.
I will tell you about the lone house near the river’s edge warm with yellow light, how wisps of smoke like wind-blown kite tails danced above a slanted roof, how a memory of one day can change a life.
GR A S SES AND FROST
One evening during our mother’s last stay at the hospital, after we told her good night, my aunt and I walked uptown. On our way, we encountered a man standing at an ethnic deli holding an old Styrofoam coffee cup. And I opened my purse, for some money. Don’t do that, my aunt whispered. But I had just read an article in The New Yorker saying that if someone asks you for money, they need it more than you. This is important to me, I said. It’s one thing if you have the money, but don’t go fishing around in your purse on the street, my aunt said. I insisted. Never mind, the man said, laughing sadly. One evening during my mother’s last stay at the hospital, after I told her good night, my aunt and I walked uptown to find a bit of peace. On our way, we encountered a man standing at one of the ethnic delis that bloom on the streets of New York. He held out an old Styrofoam coffee cup in his right hand, as a Buddhist monk in Tibet might hold a begging bowl. And my purse opened, the way a flower might unfold at first light. For I had seen how the world will end, with the fury of water, with daisies and forget-me-nots and even hillsides swept away, and homes tossed into the middle of the road.
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THE RIVER REPORTER
Gusts By NATALIE SAFIR
“What might have been still waited for its chance.” – Mark Strand In the northeast it takes the first pounding rain and siren winds to bring down garnet lemon leaves Powerful gusts of trouble that come late into life, testing resources and talents The indefinite outline of what’s coming spreads its fog every time we raise our heads from what we are doing What might have been lies buried beneath leaf piles; under our thick soled shoes dry chords splinter into overtures of change
To Fly a Kite By MIMI MORIARTY You must conjure up wind as you do language no wind, no kite flying you must inspire the wind to pour over the lake slam into the yard
until the kite sails with its own ambition its love for flight unlocked there you are holding it by a string its red wings flickering like a tanager its rainbow tail flapping as the years have flapped by deep irony on a day at the lake with grandchildren numb with joy they too young to call it their own century too milk-fed to be stilled in disappointment they know today and the promise of a campfire tonight they know wind and a kite but they have yet to encounter shuttered windows, slammed doors as yet no words to break the kite’s spirit as it soars.
THE RIVER REPORTER
LITERARY GAZETTE 2012 • Page 9
Fast By JACQUELINE DOOLEY I am that flock of blackbirds, startled taking flight in a synchronous wave the blast of air carrying me, getting up under my wings but I’m not afraid of speed or a sudden change in direction because I have the flock. I am the flock. And the road is the sky, unwinding endlessly before me I am that horse whose pasture rolls along, green hills with a rising crest of mountains I can run fast very fast surging past the earth, barely touching it As I join the herd I am the herd. These aren’t fences that confine me they are doorways swinging open with each beat of my hooves I am a clockwork woman, switching my gears with every hill and drop I bend with the road bounding forward on round legs feet immune to the rocks that want to slice open tender human soles
CARLEY BROOK ROAD | 7AM Page 10 • LITERARY GAZETTE 2012
What You’re Looking for Is Looking for You By KIRPAL GORDON Admit, first, that you weren’t in the crosswalk, that you didn’t see the car coming and that while you’re up in the air time really does slow down, so before you return to earth, know that you’re a long way from the streets of New York now, that the road’s end you’re about to behold offers no consolation, but in the language spoken here, what you’re looking for is looking for you. So don’t lose heart because on this side of the veil you’ve fallen in the sand with the sun blazing twelve golden rays through your cranium’s brainstem: a walled city will yet appear on the horizon just around the next bend! If you’re still concerned with how you might land on that other side of the veil, you won’t see the city shimmering beyond the dunes, but sooner or later you will and when you do, you won’t care why it appears out of nowhere in the middle of what was a New York afternoon or who Buster Keaton waits for while playing solitaire because you’ll approach with a lover’s abandon knowing here is water and well, your journey complete, the mystery unfolded, the roundness of all roads shining in the silence of the sun, the edge the troubadours reach for in song, one world’s death birthing another made manifest. Nevertheless, there’s no entrance. Only jagged glass welcomes those scaling her walls. To enter, become with your whole heart your intention, and like all things, your intention shall come to pass. It’s why the City of Karmic Completion is so named, why you’ve discovered what others insist doesn’t exist. Once inside her gates, appear to notice no one and no one will appear to notice you. Past the fakirs on their beds of nails and the sadhus coated in ashes, find the stall that sells the hazelnut. For the city to have meaning chew the nut slowly and swallow the pieces before its subtle sweetness reveals the city’s deepest secret: although you’re no longer alive, the delicious taste of the hazelnut does not stop but only turns, as all things will, into something else. Buster Keaton knows this but keeps a straight face, the same one he wore years earlier in a Hollywood classic now being shown at the city’s cinema. There’s world enough and time before the show begins except that the hazelnut stall is hard to find and the afternoon heat is so killing that even Samuel Beckett stops filming Mr. Keaton who in silent deadpan watches Rocky Colavito stretch his back in a full nelson with his bat. Veiled women in black surround him, paid to weep and wail for who can forget how Rocky blasts a cold beer Cleveland Indian homer? Further up the midway, Wilhelm Reich tells reporters how his orgone box drew rain during a
drought in Maine. As the sweltering heat melts his speech liquid, you may notice holes in the field your sense organs perceive. Falling into sleep or stepping into your pilgrimage bath, you may simultaneously find yourself entering a painted cave where a thousand voices call and ten thousand answer, creating a sound current which keeps your consciousness floating above the ruins of a lost city where a single singer in sun and sand laments in riming rubiyats that her Beloved has gone. Don’t get too close! Everyone turns out to be you in the City of Karmic Completion. Would you rather pretend you’re not here, that all this is merely the side effect of being accidentally lifted into unconsciousness twenty feet into the air? In that case, let’s say you’re an American playing softball in Nagasaki and a pitcher hangs the ball just where you can’t hit it. Over the course of your swings his catcher may tell you there are no undertakers in the Land of the Rising Sun. The body is washed by the family, put in a hazelnut casket and cremated, the charred bones placed in an urn where the dead turns into a kami, a spirit to live in the living room shrine. However pointless his pitch, you will have struck out by its end. Meanwhile, in the City of Karmic Completion the harvest has just begun. On rounded hillsides monks gather hazelnuts in their brown robes. To their unique order alone, the nut, which they call the filbert, bears the remembrance of Philibert’s feast day, which they turn into a spirit known as Fra Angelico. Like their patron saint, a French aristocrat who gave his wealth away to seek the vision of lamby Jesus in a grotto, the taste of that spirit is said to grow richer with regret, disgrace and denial. As goes regret, Rocky Colavito admits there are no Indians in Cleveland. As goes disgrace, a shackled Wilhelm Reich raises his fingers skyward in heart attack to demonstrate rain’s a dance that ends in renewal. As goes denial, Samuel Beckett knows cinema is magic and the soul’s true abode is comedy. Nevertheless, in the city’s stadium, a softball game is underway. As goes the loudspeaker that just called the faithful to prayer, expect to hear, if the announcer is Buster Keaton, nothing. In return, light a candle. As goes the ageless woman the city is especially famous for, that beautiful, white-clad, green-eyed, olive-skinned courtesan with dragonflies mating in the twilight around her, she may brush up against you. If she asks, “Where does the burned wax go?,” get ready: you’re the next batter. As you approach the hot plate where energy meets matter and consciousness greets carbon form, find at the microphone the face of that famous silent screen actor whose deadpan draws but one conclusion: you cannot go on but you must go on for dehydration has by now made your body a wick and your mind a ball of wax. Like your vision of the City of Karmic Completion, the extinguishing of your flame does not stop but only turns, as all things will, into something else.
LITERARY GAZETTE 2012 • Page 11
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THE RIVER REPORTER
By MORT MALKIN
Basso continuo of the River below,
so I may play in this world-class quartet.
percussion brushes of wind through trees, measures of soprano bird calls — my footsteps kept pianissimo
Moon Speak By BOBBI KATZ
ISL AND TREE
evening By NANCY WELLS
First Light By WILL CONWAY The poem at the beginning of the world convulsed into being, raw letters and grunts that passed for a song. Who was listening in that lonesome now, before words were full and formed? Some say it was an illusion that anything at all was there, other than hot stardust coalescing into a solid mass of overheated rock. It is the same hot air we are breathing and speaking through. Noises of meteoric impacts lent shape to sounds tracking an atmospheric wind. Though her storms were cosmic, Earth cried out for her mother, slapped into life by a masked doctor’s hand.
THE RIVER REPORTER
evening turns a blue grayone lonely moonbeam lights up the sky
People on Earth watch me grow and react as sliver by sliver I add to my act. I bleach the stars when I am full and give the tides an extra pull. A golden marble hung in the sky, I lamplight Earth while I slide by. Then sliver by sliver I subtract, becoming again an invisible fact. I seem to take a day to rest then sliver by sliver I slip into full dress.
LITERARY GAZETTE 2012 • Page 13
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THE RIVER REPORTER
The validity of winter By LAURA KING
Fire By JAMES HOUTRIDES First the smell of fire Not fire—smoke— The smell of smoke slides Down the mountainside On the back of the wind No one seems to notice Not the priest and his wife Not the two retired Greek generals Or their wives Eating lunch outdoors At the priest’s home They talk about the church The liturgy the art of chanting Subjects the generals know well They have come from Athens To the island to visit the priest To see his church and the Holy Icons To chant with the chanters
April opens my tight-fisted heart and rattles away all bias and judgment against the winter I fought yet needed so perfectly. Today the heavy blanket I stitched feverishly with chaotic weave in fierce, breathless resistance to early darkness, death, cold, solitude and change, I will cast into the rising Delaware as my wrong accounting… seeing finally, in this blessed armistice conveyed by troupes of daffodils and robins, that not one thing can hold firm, and no one season holds more wonder or validity than another.
FIELD AND FOG
And always wind off the mountain Wind through the pines and palm trees Through the olive trees and almond trees The trees bend away from the wind Is that the fire Asks the wife of one general Yes the priest says On the other side of the island Not far—a few kilometers Are we safe—asks the general For now—the priest says We must pray to God To put the fire out The general’s wife says The priest smiles If we wait for God We will all burn to death The smell of smoke Not smoke—fire— Fire crackles Down the mountainside On the back of the wind
THE RIVER REPORTER
LITERARY GAZETTE 2012 • Page 15
A Coyote is Not a Wolf By GEORGE GUIDA Just as gray but prone to sleep as his cousin schemes, he lies under brush as you tread by, startled to his feet only then, and with a glance, trots away through dead leaves, as pages of a legend in which he stands at this safe distance, breaking for the hero you never were the code of lupine ease, ferocity only when approached or, as with wolves, in a pack convened to help him down and tear apart his prey.
SUNRISE | GRIDLINE
the wind rustles across the bow of the trees By BRUCE WEBER
He watches as you pray to him, for every anima who isn’t here to see these seconds of détente, those tips of canines visible enough and ears pricked up for the sound he hears as wolf call as you hear pebble crunch and gusts as the sounds of all the other woods you’ve walked, hoping to become him, feral enough to drowse in dry leaves, solitary save for hunting, but intrigued by another creature curious and half-civilized.
LEAVES AND FROST
the wind rustles across the bow of the woods a delicate pas de deux of barenboim and dupres inhaling comfort in simple things a white birch tree regal swan of these woods the radiant snapdragons overflowing wooden buckets the yellowing edges of leaves preparing for the cocoon of winter the ample harvest of sleep to begin the beguine the sharp plane of the saw the blinding light of a razor’s edge the blue stone rolling to the edge of the stream moving along with a donnybrook of dreams out-tossing the shrieking hawk and the squirrels leap across the mother lode of trees
Page 16 • LITERARY GAZETTE 2012
THE RIVER REPORTER
Sloop By JOHN HOPPER In the sun and the spray I show you my dash, Sails furled, flapping, Arms stretching to grab the sky. But of the rest of me, That which slices the water, Buoys me up and moves me along By some arrangement with the darker currents, You know nothing. Running aground, I am cast up, Or dry-docked, paralytic, Wrenched from my element, I have not joined yours.
Blind Contour in Greenridge Cemetery By ANDY FOGLE Drunk on grass, the dog rolls in clippings, kicks them up— fall back to her belly. *
CHECKING THE NET
As if submerged in water, insects’ dusk-buzz all around. Beyond that, aimless propeller. The thought of rain, the gray and pink thickness-sky, belly of brook trout, bevy of outliers and oversights. * The faintness of any pre-dusk half-moon will fade as night rises.
In the first quarter, what is light grows; in the last, what is dark. THE RIVER REPORTER
LITERARY GAZETTE 2012 • Page 17
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THE RIVER REPORTER
Sweet Autumn Clematis By EDIE ABRAMS Our sweet autumn clematis covets every orifice of the wire-meshed gazebo. Nimble and with abandon, it breaches what it can until it reaches its optimum, the man-made apex, and lazes in the blaze of the sun and chaises in the phases of the moon. Tendrils steal inside, extend in mid-air, like snakes smelling for safety, calculating, to slither along the screen, emboss the table, or divorce all the above. The incense of florets trumpet cupidity. Its snoopiness has no bounds. It lures with redolence of sweet spice just when the autumn of Life manifests in hundreds, if not thousands or millions, of kaleidoscopic leaves that canvas the wake of our hobo lives.
Sweet autumn clematis, delilah seduction, delilah delusion. But, oh! what
a delilah delight. Its joie de vivre explores, grabbles, while we decompose, morose,
By KATHLEEN GALVIN GRIMALDI
but for this exotic tryst with our clematis.
1 The regal Delaware moves smoothly, effortlessly, going with the flow
3 When I was young I used to sit at the water’s edge with pail and shovel
arising from within, stretching its way forward into yesterday’s tomorrows.
and a rounded sand sifter of many colors, holding destiny in my little hands as the sifted sand made it through
Her waters paint in broad strokes measured rhythms and cleansing energies. Wisdom-keeper, Earth’s listener.
and the obstacles were thrown away with their sharp-edged density, never knowing the lightness of being in the flow.
2 The buoyancy of motion betrays what has been learned about the nature of rock and stream,
4 Silver-white cloud shapes are reflected back to shore-line against an illusion of azure stability.
seeking in the flow that which never changes while allowing what remains to sink into oblivion along the river’s bottom, apart from all appearances.
Yet all is in motion; no flow is ever at rest.
THE RIVER REPORTER
Like the course of a life with its winnowing purposes holding the stillness of yet to be strong and steady and self-contained, while it winds its meandering way forward and through summer’s short season.
LITERARY GAZETTE 2012 • Page 19
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