Archives for category: Half New Year


July 2nd marks the midpoint of the year — with 182 days preceding and 182 days to follow. Half New Year reminds us to consider what has occurred during the year as well as give thought to our hopes for the months ahead. As we ponder finished and unfinished business, opportunities taken and those missed, words spoken and those left unsaid, it’s reassuring to remember that we still have half a year to move closer to what brings us joy and fulfillment. Cheers!

Happy Half Year
by Barbara Eknoian

Procrastinators rejoice,
take stock, start anew
July 2nd, the half year is here.
You’ve had time to reflect,
and fine-tune resolutions.
Now whittle down
the needless,
move forward,
leave time for leisure
in the coming months.
It’s a second chance,
don’t forfeit the opportunity.
You’ve been blessed with a gift
granted by the gods;
enjoy the sweet moments.

SOURCE: “Happy Half Year” by Barbara Eknoian appears in Half New Year: A Collection of Poetry about Midpoints (Silver Birch Press, 2014). The  82-page, full-color book features poetry from 27 authors and art by Paul Cézanne.

IMAGE: “The Gulf of Marseilles Seen from L’Estaque” by Paul Cézanne (1885).

EDITOR’S NOTE ON THE PAINTING: Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) is an artist who left behind a range of what many considered “unfinished” canvases. Cézanne believed that “complete” was different from “finished”—writing in an 1874 letter to his mother: “I have to work constantly, not in order to arrive at the finish, which attracts the admiration of imbeciles. I must strive to complete only for the satisfaction of becoming truer and wiser.” Cézanne inspires us to stop striving and driving ourselves, and to instead flow, follow our bliss, and enjoy the good things in life.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Eknoian’s work has appeared in Pearl, Chiron Review, Silver Birch Press anthologies, Re)VerbNew Verse News, and Your Daily Poem. She has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first novel, Chances Are: A Jersey Girl Comes of Age, and her poetry book, Why I Miss New Jersey, published by Everhart Press, are available at

EDITOR’S NOTE: July 2nd marks the midpoint of the year — with 182 days preceding and 182 days to follow. Half New Year reminds us to consider what has occurred during the year as well as give thought to our hopes for the months ahead. As we ponder finished and unfinished business, opportunities taken and those missed, words spoken and those left unsaid, it’s reassuring to remember that we still have half a year to move closer to what brings us joy and fulfillment.

From July 2nd (Half New Year’s Day) to July 12, 2014, Silver Birch Press featured poetry submitted for our Half New Year Poetry Series. Many thanks to the 27 poets who participated in the project with their poetry — and, in some cases, photography and art. (And how yin/yang is it to feature 27 poets to celebrate 7/2!  I am all the way — not halfway — in awe of this!)

We extend our thanks to these 27 poets from around the world: 

Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier (Canada)

Mary-Marcia Casoly (U.S., California)

Tobi Cogswell (U.S., California)

Barbara Eknoian (U.S., California)

Mark Erickson (U.S., California)

Adelle Foley (U.S., California)

Jack Foley (U.S., California)

Shreyas Gokhale (India)

Deborah Herman (Canada)

Veronica Hosking (U.S., Arizona)

Clara Hsu (U.S., California)

Mathias Jansson (Sweden)

Jax NTP (U.S., California)

Wm. Todd King (U.S., Kentucky)

Roz Levine (U.S., California)

Tamara Madison (U.S., California)

Adrian Manning (United Kingdom)

Jocelyn Mosman (U.S., Texas)

D.A. Pratt (Canada)

Patrick T. Reardon (U.S., Illinois)

Sheikha A. (Pakistan)

Rachael Stanford (U.S., Illinois)

Jacque Stukowski (U.S., Illinois)

Matthew M.C. Tapp (U.S., Indiana)

dirk velvet (U.S., Wisconsin)

Christopher P.P. White (United Kingdom)

celebrate half
by dirk velvet

at half
is life
that came

at half
is life
to come?

to wait full year
to celebrate
is merely half wisdom

IMAGE: “Langlois Bridge at Arles” by Vincent van Gogh (1888).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: dirk velvet is a poet/writer of songs from Muskego, Wisconsin. His writing has been featured in Beggars and Cheeseburgers, Pearl, Re)verb, Nerve Cowboy, and Milwaukee Renaissance.

by Jocelyn Mosman

The clock strikes midnight;
sunrise marks a new day:
a new attempt to make the world right,
another morning to waste away.

The clock strikes noon;
the sun reaches its lofty climax:
aged wisdom approaches too soon,
another afternoon heat does tax.

The clock strikes nine;
the sun sets on hazy skies:
age wrinkles the face of time,
guilt jabs with angry lies.

The clock strikes midnight, I confessed,
as two days, old and new, are laid to rest.

IMAGE: “Japanese Bridge and Water Lillies” by Claude Monet (1899). Clock available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jocelyn Mosman is a student at Mount Holyoke College, majoring in English and Politics. She is an active member of the Northampton Poetry group, the Poetry Society of Texas, and the founder of the West Texas Poets. She has been published in various anthologies and magazines, including Drunk Monkeys, Decanto, and Cum Laude Weekly. She has also published her own poetry book, Soul Music, and her second book, Soul Painting, arrived on July 1, 2014.

Author photo by Nadine’s Photography.

By Jacque Stukowski

Spanning across the great divide is a bridge that joins you and me

The sign says, “Bridge Out—No Trespassing” but I take the risk anyway

Over loose beams and broken tressels, cautiously rebuilding as I go

The further I am from the safety of my own shoreline,
the more my heart beats

Looking down through broken wood the dark rushing water below,
I can taste the fear so palpable in my mouth I just want to turn back

But I know I must continue my work, using great caution as I patch up these
broken beams

There’s risk if I turn back or move on but I choose to keep bending the nails
and mending the splintered boards of our love

As I finally reach the middle of our bridge
I look up from bended knee and there you are staring back at me

With hammer in hand and on shaky knees I can see,
you that you’ve rebuilt your side and come to join with me

So we join together, there in the middle of our bridge once so broken neither one could cross over

Together with renewed hope, we stand there in the silence

Reveling in each other new effort to do the hard work and repair
Knowing now and forevermore, that our bridge needs constant and frequent care

But it takes us both,
Meeting here in the middle or it will undoubtedly crumble and fall

So we walk hand in hand, crossing over to the other side

Reunited once again, crossing that chasm that was once so deep and wide

IMAGE: “The Bridge,” photograph by Jacque Stukowski


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jacque Stukowski‘s blog God[isms] is her personal space to vent and share stories of growth through life’s ups and downs living with BP and ADHD. It’s a place where her writing and photos collide with spirituality, a dash of 12 steps, and a sprinkle of the daily trials of being a Christian wife, mother of two boys, and a full-time graphic designer. She frequently uses metaphors and symbolism to connect the reader to real life things in nature to convey the message she’s writing about. Her poem “Grey (doesn’t always) Matter” appeared in the Silver Birch Press May Poetry Anthology (2014).

by Roz Levine

Every Saturday night
As a middle school kid
I tucked my ugly self
Between two layers
Of living room drapes
Peeked from the window
Watched romance unfold
As beautiful Rosalie
With her beautiful blonde hair
Placed her arms around the neck
Of her beautiful blonde boyfriend
They pressed one beautiful body
Against the perfect symmetry
Of another beautiful body
Kissed and kissed and kissed
While I stared from behind drapes
Wondered if anyone, anywhere
Would love me like that.

IMAGE: “The French Window at Nice” by Henri Matisse (1919).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Roz Levine is a Los Angeles poet who has written poems since the age of eight. After retiring several years ago, writing became her number-one passion. Words have helped her navigate cancer and helped her maintain her sanity in a not-so-sane world. Her work has been published in various venues, including On The Bus, Forever in Love, Deliver Me, The Sun, Pulse, Cultural Weekly, and Poetry Superhighway.

Author photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Body Doubles 3a
by Wm. Todd King

The lively ones
made age-old stories come to adolescence
as they took their licks with an iron hot hand,
each mistake and threat
a screwed up handful
of wrinkled ills tucked in with tape,
a throwing of wonder
in a land full of strange creatures
that picked up the annoying habit
of rolling over in half-naked thought.

SOURCE: “Body Doubles” by Wm. Todd King is based on page 63 of  I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action (Ballantine, 1998).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wm. Todd King is a Poet and Regulatory Compliance Supervisor living in Kentucky. He is the recent finalist in the Found Poetry Review’s Dog Ear Poetry Contest, and a participant in 2013’s Pulitzer Remix project. His works have appeared in STILL, the Silver Birch Press NOIR Erasure Poetry Anthology, Life’s Vivid Creations, and Found Poetry Review.

by Sheikha A.

It is France in my head;

I hear the madman by the bridge
percolating the stillness of night
with a quivering on his enfeebled lips,
a language puerile as he sings
his chanson of the departed ages,
a day not too old, a week nubile,
as the months roll on like weeds
in a sprightly pond of lotus-greens.

I hear the echoes cradling the bridge,
the lost anchors of a time ill spent,
the madman’s voice a lust for life,
like a nightbird that sings her story
to the moon – he sings for flight.

Harmony is settled deep in the lungs
of the night’s coquetry, clouds release
their scents across the sleeping river
resting into the charms of an unknown

it is France in all of my senses,

the music of the madman consummates
the transience surrounding me, I know
by the letters I write on walls, there is
a gondola to take me across, two hundred
days closer to the edge of the river’s bend.

Without tarrying, I rush to the moon
before the days treble ahead further,
the madman’s voice strong, I write
about the ravines of voids I’ve hiked,
across terrains of solitude I’ve traipsed,
before the days expire on my untold story;

halved of the time bold in its fleeing,
I write about the madman – robbed
of death, deserted by life.

IMAGE: “Ile de France, Paris” by Pont Neuf Paris Art. Prints available at

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Everyone goes through a midlife-crisis moment once in their lives at least. In my case, I feel I may have already visited the syndrome quite a few times. Sometimes there is no reasoning to writing poetry, just a whimsy muse that must release in the form of ink on paper. My creative processes are likewise – no reasoning, just writing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sheikha A. currently lives in Karachi, Pakistan, after moving from the United Arab Emirates — and she believes the transition has definitely stimulated a different tunnel of thought. With publication credits in magazines such as Red Fez, American Diversity Report, Open Road Review, Mad Swirl, Danse Macabre du Jour, Rose Red Review, The Penmen Review, among many others, as well as several anthologies, she has also authored a poetry collection entitled Spaced, published by Hammer and Anvil Books. She edits poetry for eFiction India.

by Adrian Manning

half way
half way through, half way gone
where did it go? what happened
while I was not paying attention
people have gone, memories remain
memories have gone, people remain
half way from the brink
half way to the brink
half way from sanity
half way from insanity
half full, half empty
half way
it’s gone, it’s still to come

IMAGE: “Waterloo Bridge, London” by Claude Monet (1903).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrian Manning hails from Leicester, England, where he writes poems and is editor of Concrete Meat Press. His poetry appears in the Silver Birch Press Bukowski Anthology (August 2014) and the Silver Birch Press Noir Poetry Anthology (December 2014).