Search results for: "i am waiting "

waiting for dreams to end
by e. smith sleigh

I read or heard if you hit the ground in your dreams you will die in your sleep

at the rim of some precipice some building’s edge some cliff face teetering waiting for the shift the tenuous balance the tip over the final fall the plummet into the unknown strength or death at the end of the run

what compelled me why did I approach the edge allow the danger did I manufacture it or did others I never hit the ground or water the surface beneath me never breaks the hurt never manifests in my dreams death never comes I grab something I back up I fly I do not fall

I heard if you hit the ground in your dreams you will die in your sleep

the other night in a dream on a bridge I lunged plunged drove into the water sunk hit the bottom escaped the car pushed upward toward the surface air freedom end of another dream or is it I’m waiting

I’d run but I can’t my dreams paralyze me

IMAGE: “Cliff Near Dieppe in the Morning” by Claude Monet (1897).

essleigh5 - Copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: e. smith sleigh writes poetry and historical fiction. She was educated at the universities of Delaware and Michigan, taught at the college level, and has traveled extensively. She now lives in Robert Penn Warren country. Within the year, her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Paper Darts, Squalorly, Kumquat Poetry, Kaleidoscope, the Fukushima Response Bay Area poetry project, Words Fly Away, Pankhearst’s Slimline Volume: No Love Lost, the 4th Issue of PRISM Ekphrasis, and The Criterion, Vol. 5, issue 5. On her website she blogs about Post Structuralism and Poetry.

by Jennifer J. Pruiett-Selby

I used to hope for a window
clear of the plus sign now all I want
is a latent beacon of promise

We used to say trying is the fun part
Now trying means hCG injections
and I’m feeling more than a little bipolar

I subject myself to these shots—the natural course
but nature has nothing to do with popping hormones
though I prefer this method to the next steps

Three years later, twelve near-misses
our babies—just blood in the stool
not even 1 fetus to bury

I’m consumed; I dream of plump cheeks
my waves & your color, eyes like aggies
of jewel, gifted in math, an early reader

Trips downtown to Dr. Wiccan’s for
acupuncture and spiritual healings
stone messages, couples’ yoga

I’m tired, but still no closer. Oh,
imagine if when it works—the
specialist bills won’t even matter

We go for walks, spend afternoons
watching kids, their moms and dads,
unaware of their blessings

I don’t allow the use of certain words:
infertile, premature, ectopic, miscarriage,
Rejection. Loss. Futile. Barren. Empty.

We stop waiting. We stop talking
about the process, the treatments,
the failure, the babies, and the deaths

I take one more test. One final test.
One last moment waiting for a sign
of life. Uncross my fingers, and I see
two lines

IMAGE: “Baby” by Gustave Klimt (1917).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A woman of contradictions, Jennifer J. Pruiett-Selby joined the military to find peace. She lives a life of anything but intrigue with her husband, poet Jason Selby, and five children in rural Iowa. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Calyx, Red River Review, Rust + Moth, and Black Denim Lit,  among others. She was the featured author for March 2014 in Lunch Ticket Magazine‘s monthly issue of “Amuse-Bouche.” Her search for peace continues in the form of meditation through writing.

Cupcakes with cherries in tins on board
by Sasha Kasoff

Vague measuring
Egg cracking
Anxious mixing
Cherry pitting

Greasing pan
Spooning batter
Setting oven

The wait
The smell

Rolling out from the oven
Honey and comfort
Twisting through my home
And then they are done
Steaming and perfect
I could eat the whole batch
With tea, coffee, or nothing at all
Nothing warms my day
Like cherry muffins


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sasha Kasoff is a published poet, fantasy writer, and aspiring teacher. Having recently returned from studying abroad in Ireland, she is currently attending University of the Pacific, earning her BA in English with plans to continue her studies in creative writing as a graduate next year. Her poetry can be found in two self-published books as well as in anthologies, magazines, and other literary presses. Look for her on Goodreads.

AUTHOR’S MUFFIN RECIPE: (For Cherry Muffins, add dried cherries.)

Chai Latte Muffins
1 cup milk
4 teabags

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch of ground pepper


Preheat oven to 325-375F. Heat milk to almost boiling (in the microwave or a small sauce pan) and steep the tea bags in it for about 10 minutes, making very strong, milky tea. Don’t worry about making the tea bitter (which can happen as a result of over-steeping) because you won’t taste it in the end product. In a large bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. In a small bowl, mix the dry as well. Pour half into the egg mixture, stirring well, followed by the tea mixture and the rest of the flour. Stir only until just combined, then evenly distribute into prepared muffin tins.
Bake for about 21-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the muffin springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
 Makes 12 muffins.


The Wait for Morning
Serena Lodge, Rim of Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
by Lynn DeTurk

In the chill of small hours
I sit sleepy limbed watch
white hot streaks of light
flare and fade among the stars

on the edge of almost
I am waiting
look out over the vast
caldera all black and silver
in the moonlight
feel my smallness

on this open balcony
I sit huddled for warmth
below silent creatures
hunt success signaled
by strangulated half-cries
and more silence

behind me my husband
lies still as the night
he burns
his sweat wets the sheets
heat makes his eyes glitter
a cool compress warms
on his forehead

not long ago
I smoothed wrinkles
from bedding stroked
the line of his cheek
the long bones of his wrist
refreshed the cloth

grateful to be granted
these fearful intimacies
I wait for pale sky
above the Eastern rim
for morning hours when
fevers break

IMAGE: “Dawn in Ngorongoro Crater” by Adam Romanowicz. Prints available at

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera (a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynn DeTurk began writing poetry in 2010 and over the course of two years experienced a modest success. Then she quit because life got complicated. In October of 2014 she started reading and writing poetry again, and began experimenting with technique in order to find “a voice.” The Wait for Morning is new work for the new voice.

Waiting for a Reply
by J. J. Steinfeld

three or four words
that break the sadness
not all that much to request

fill out the form
hand it in
wait for a reply

I’ve been waiting here
for longer than I can remember
the room overcrowded

fill out the form
hand it in
wait for a reply

I understand there have been errors
a name misspelled, a number inaccurate
the intricacies of sadness abundant

fill out the form
hand it in
wait for a reply

how about one word
that fools the sadness
not all that much to request

fill out the form
hand it in
wait for a reply

is that why you’re so sad
having to deal with people like me
making unreasonable requests?

fill out the form
hand it in
wait for a reply

SOURCE: “Waiting for a Reply” was first published in Poetry Quarterly.

IMAGE: “Felix Feneon at the Revue Blanche” by Felix Vallotton (1896).

J. J. Steinfeld - Photo by Brenda Whiteway (3)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Canadian fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published 15 books, including Disturbing Identities (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), An Affection for Precipices (Poetry, Serengeti Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), A Glass Shard and Memory (Stories, Recliner Books), and most recently, Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions). His short stories and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals internationally, and over 40 of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States.

Waiting for a Tug
by Lawrence James Nielsen

The pond turns over –
cold water sinking,
warm water rising,
churning fish and food.
Fisherman, Job’s avatar,
I cast my bait toward the
weedy bank where ducks paddle.
And sit on the bank, watching –
Pole in its holder
journal, pen in hand,
waiting for a tug, a bite;
reflecting – waiting – hoping
my pond will turn over,
ending this season of rejection.

IMAGE: “The Little Fish and the Fisherman,” etching by Marc Chagall (1927)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lawrence James Nielsen, retired teacher, born in Orland, California, reborn in Ribeirão da Ilha, Santa Catarina, Brazil, lives in Brown’s Valley, California, at the edge of the Yuba Goldfields with his wife, Florence, several cats, numerous chickens, and any wild critter who shows up for a meal. He is a naturist, and when not helping others discover their ancestors and origins, spends his time gardening, writing, fishing, or roaming the desert and forest chasing ghosts, inspiration, and edible mushrooms. Before retiring, he taught at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, several community colleges, and (after discovering a love for working with at-risk youth), public schools in LA, Modoc, Sutter, and Yuba counties.

by Joan Colby

Your number is 213. The color-coded chart
Says you’re now in the O.R. This procedure
Is supposed to take an hour. I read
A book by Lorrie Moore, not as good
As Birds of America, but good enough
To distract me from the minute hand
That crawls the clock rim stiffly as
An artificial limb.

Two hours pass.The nurse says they’re still
Working on you in recovery. I don’t like
The sound of that. More time goes by
Like the slow fall of snow outside
The impregnable windows that overlook
The geothermal lake designed
As environmental paradigm. You were
Nervous; the defibrillator was turned off
The anesthesiologist explained in order to avoid
Unnecessary shock. It’s never zapped you
In the years since it was installed
But there’s always a first time.

So many multiple concerns
At your age. I drink more coffee.
I’m on page 141. The baby sitter
Dissects her unsatisfactory world.
A world of waiting. On TV the new pope
Is blessing the congregation of the faithful,
Blessing perhaps the lapsed or lost.
St. Francis blessed the birds and wolves,
Spoke to Sister Moon in the
Canticle of the Sun. I don’t believe
In anything which is to say I’m not spiritual
Like my daughter who believes yoga and tofu
Will save her, that tea leaves can foretell
The new job, her marriage, her oldest son’s
Chosen major. Her thumbs nervously drumming
The I-Phone.

So there is nothing I can pray to
As I wait, turning the pages
Where the story leaks out like another world
That offers no more comfort than this one.

IMAGE: “The Clock” by Karl Knaths (1951).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010).One of her poems is a winner of the 2014 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. She is the editor of Illinois Racing News,and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 14 books, including Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press), which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize,  Properties of Matter (Aldrich Press, Kelsay Books), Bittersweet (Main Street Rag Press), and The Wingback Chair (FutureCycle Press). Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press. Visit her at

Waiting for History
by Sarah Chenoweth

Waiting for the anxiety to end—
for cell towers to collapse,
fiber optic cables to shatter;
for social expectations of what
it means to be human to fade into
memory—waiting for history.

Waiting for the outside to mirror
what I feel so deeply inside—
sunny days napping on the sill
with cats and ginger tea,
where the only expectation is to be
human—waiting for the Self to emerge.

Waiting for the anxiety to release
its warm, cocoon-like grasp;
that paralyzing grasp that suffocates
so deeply inside, shattering
sunny days and tea cups alike.
What does it mean to be human anymore—
to wait as our own history emerges,
and then passes by?

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The most prominent theme I feel in Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem “I am Waiting” is the loss of Self and the waiting for that Self to reemerge. Perhaps I see this theme above others because it is one that I struggle with in my own life . . . a spinning wheel of remembering and forgetting.

IMAGE: “The Favourite” by John William Godward (1901).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Chenoweth is a teacher by trade, a student of life, and a writer of oddities. She has been published in print through Pittsburg State University’s Cow Creek Review and the academic journals Communication Theory and Rhetoric & Public Affairs, and online through the Silver Birch Press. Sarah is a registered yoga teacher and the owner of Balanced Yoga Life, LLC in Pittsburg, Kansas.

by Michael Mark

You are circling. I’m

The smoke from what they’re
calling “The Tomahawk Fire”
is between us.

Now, they are reporting
the winds are creating new fires,
“The Coastal Fire” and
“The Windmill Fire.”

If you die, I decide,
I will get a dog.

I would want to call her Lolo.

People will be upset,
naming a dog after my wife.

Lolo is unquestionably
a great dog name.

I’ll wait for the right time
to ask your approval.

Such are the hopes and worries
of a man with his whole life
above him.

IMAGE: “Red Circle on Black” by Jiro Yoshihara (1965).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Mark is a hospice volunteer and long-distance walker. His poetry has appeared or is scheduled to appear in American Dissident, Angle Journal, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Empty Mirror, Forge Journal, Lost Coast Review, New Verse News, Petrichor Review, Ray’s Road Review, Scapegoat Journal, Spillway, Silver Birch Press, Red Booth Review, Toe Good Poetry, The Thing Itself, UPAYA, Word Soup End Hunger, Wayfarer, and other nice places. His poetry has been nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize.

by Fern G. Z. Carr

It seems like I’m always waiting for:
                                        the waiter to bring my order
                                        being taken off hold
                                        contractors to arrive
                                        the oven to pre-heat
                                        test results
                                        the doctor
                                        a pizza delivery
                                        the light to turn green
                                        water to boil
                                        first place in line
                                        the phone to ring
                                        customer service
                                        a delayed flight
                                        my turn
                                        a lucky break
                                        something better to come along
a time to stop waiting.

IMAGE: “Waiting at Grenelle” by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: FERN G. Z. CARR is a lawyer, teacher, and past president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A member of and former Poet-in-Residence for the League of Canadian Poets, she composes and translates poetry in five languages. Carr is a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee and has been cited as a contributor to the Prakalpana literary movement in India. She has been published extensively world-wide from Finland to the Seychelles. Some of her poetry was assigned reading for a West Virginia University College of Law course entitled “Lawyers, Poets, and Poetry.” Canadian honours include: an online feature in The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper; poetry set to music by a Juno-nominated musician; and her poem, “I Am.” chosen by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate as Poem of the Month for Canada. One of Carr’s haiku is even included on a DVD currently orbiting the planet Mars aboard NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft. Visit her at