Search results for: "murphy"

scott wyatt
Dear Diary
by Anu Mahadev

Lunch boxes, water bottles, scarves, shoes.
None would show up after I’d “misplaced” them.

Isn’t it Murphy’s law that you find something
when you’re looking for something else?

There’s the attic, the old cupboard
with stacks of saris. My mother’s house.

I cut my finger, cleaning, rummaging through
the shelves for my old wedding invitations.

That’s when I find it. My forgotten diary.

It smells of warped wood and mothballs
and pine oil and used cinnamon spice.

Brown leather-bound, embossed with a
symbol I don’t recognize anymore,

its pages a deep ochre yellow, stained from
many a tearful night, writing my heart out.

I cringe as I open it, unsure of its secrets.
Most of the words are splotched, leaving

behind a blurry wall of illegible graffiti.
Covered in rhymes and sonnets — my early stint

as a poet, unwrapped. My views on life, as a
know-it-all teenager, and how everything seemed
like it was the end of the world.

It still hurts, the look in his latent summer eyes.

I’d played FLAMES randomly with his name and mine,
and doctored it so it would always end in Love.

I’d practiced my future signature with our initials together.

Those were the days I was drawn to him — a moth
to a citronella candle, and couldn’t read the invisible

ink between the lines. Why is it that this sepia-toned
unrequited love — no more than a gigantic crush —

felt like I still had something to prove?
I could keep going, spelunking through the depths

of the darkness for more, but I am jolted back
to the present by a mosquito bite. The diary is no longer

a long-lost companion. It feels like a feudal lord, and I its slave.
I toss it into the trash. Some dreams shouldn’t be recycled.

IMAGE: “A Soldier’s Recollection” by Scott Wyatt. Prints available at

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I grew up in India, and have lived in the U.S. for 21 years. But there is a part of me that perhaps never left home, and whenever I do go back to visit, I’m always looking at old photo albums, old books, anything that I can find to remind me of my childhood and growing up years. That first layer of hurt remains fresh no matter how many life experiences I’ve added in all the years since. So while I was glad to find this diary, and then wondered who else had read it, I was also shocked that it still existed. I wanted to believe that disposing of it would remove those years from my life, and I dismissed the events without a second thought. Yet here I am, writing a poem about it.

anu_mABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anu Mahadev is a New Jersey based poet and a recent graduate of the MFA in Poetry program at Drew University. She is part time editor for the Woman Inc. online and Jaggery Lit. online. Her poems have appeared in the  anthologies Colors of Refuge and Reinventing Myths, as well as in the journals The Olentangy Review and The Wild Word.

Two-piece suit
by Kelley White

          for a poet
               being is
                    a narrative

I was miserable of course for I was seventeen
and I had a single pair of blue jeans
I wrung out each night and hung on the doorknob
against the light of traffic slatting the blinds

I decided when I had my own place I’d never
sleep alone. I didn’t know anyone to invite
but there’d be someone. Maybe a cat who liked moonlight
or a dog that couldn’t bark. My mother watched me

too often in the meadow where I listened to the crackle
of katydids and click beetles. Dry afternoons and wet
mornings. One day I’d meet someone in my meadow
and they’d love all my memories. I’d weave a chain

of black-eyed susans and grass for a hat
band. It’d be the night. I’d meet sunrise.
I’d whistle the song I can’t remember. The one that ends
with a twenty dollar gold piece. And a watch.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: A real “Breck Girl,” Ginny Guild, does my hair for the Junior Prom, Gilford, NEW HAMPSHIRE, 1971.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I remember attending a poetry retreat some years back at the Jersey shore with the wonderful teacher and poet Peter Murphy and he gave the opening, “I was miserable of course for I was seventeen. . .” The poem previously appeared in this year’s Eclectic Muse.


Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural
 New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals, including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, and JAMA. Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books). She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

My Grandfather, The Billy Goat Curse,
and Game Seven of the 2016 World Series

by Howard Richard Debs

I was ready, baseball cap and all.
He took me by the hand
as we boarded the crowded
Clark Street streetcar headed
for Wrigley Field, it was
game day, my
first with grandpa Eddie,
the first of many

It’s 5-1 Chicago heading into
the bottom of the 5th inning
then Cleveland scores 2 runs,
narrowing the lead to 5-3

He told me all about the
curse that day, how it came
to be in 1945 because a
pet goat smelled bad he
had to leave so the pet’s owner
got mad and hexed the team

In the 6th Chicago gets
another run making it 6-3
but in the 8th Cleveland
comes back with 3 of their
own to tie the score at 6 all

We had seats way up in
the bleachers. He told me
we had to keep rooting
for the Cubs no matter what,
never give up he said,
then he bought us hot dogs

After a stalemate in the 9th
with a rain delay before the start
of extra innings, in the 10th
Chicago brings in 2, with 2 away
Cleveland gets 1 more run but
a ground out gives the
Cubs the World Series win

We ate peanuts later in the game,
let the cracked shells fall at our feet,
when it came time for the 7th inning
stretch the whole crowd sang
Take Me Out to the Ballgame—
some things. . .you never forget.

–Dedicated to Cubs’ mega-fans Emily Jo Scalzo and her father, the late Stephen M. Scalzo — he was here for the win.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me in my current Cubs baseball cap (not the one I had as a kid — that childhood hat is gone forever, but not the childish glee) — here shown celebrating as my beloved team depicted doing likewise on TV having won game 7 and thereby finally once again The World Series.


AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: At left, the infamous William Sianis, the man who committed the dastardly deed, with his pet goat Murphy. A baseball is sewn together with 108 stitches. Maybe it’s coincidence, but it has been 108 years since the Cubs’ last title, so perhaps it was destined for “the curse” to end in 2016. At right, my maternal grandpa Eddie, a haberdasher by trade, here shown in front of his shop window, so this piece related to a hat is certainly “well-fitted.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Howard Richard Debs received a University of Colorado Poetry Prize at age 19. After 50 years in communications, and an Educational Press Association of America Distinguished Achievement Award, he resumed his creative pursuits. Finalist and recipient 28th Annual 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards, his work appears internationally in numerous publications recently in Yellow Chair Review, Silver Birch Press, Syzygy Poetry Journal, Dime Show Review, and the Clear Poetry 2015 Anthology. His essay “The Poetry of Bearing Witness” appeared in On Being – On The Blog, and his photography has been featured in select publications, including in Rattle online as “Ekphrastic Challenge” artist and guest editor. His full-length work Gallery: A Collection of Pictures and Words is forthcoming in early 2017 from Scarlet Leaf Publishing.


Thank you to the 151 writers — from 33 states and 17 countries — who participated in our WHEN I MOVED Poetry & Prose Series, which ran from August 9 – September 27, 2016. Many thanks to the following authors for their moving work!

Reina Adriano (Philippines)
Janet Banks (Massachusetts)
Cynthia Anderson (California)
Prerna Bakshi (China)
Shreerupa Basu Das (England)
Ruth Bavetta (California)
Gary Beck (New York)
Alice Venessa Bever (Wyoming)
RIck Blum (Massachusetts)
Katley Demetria Brown (Massachusetts)
Mary Buchinger (Massachusetts)
Larry Burns (California)
Alex Carr-Malcolm (England)
Susana H. Case (New York)
Abby Chew (California)
Jackie Chou (California)
Tricia Marcella Cimera (Illinois)
Sara Clancy (Arizona)
Marion Clarke (Northern Ireland)
Joan Colby (Illinois)
Clive Collins (Japan)
Chloe Cotter (Canada)
Neil Creighton (Australia)
Barbara Crooker (Pennsylvania)
Gareth Culshaw (Wales)
Howard Richard Debs (Florida)
Carolyn Divish (Indiana)
Evel Masten Economakis (Greece)
Barbara Eknoian (California)
Kristina England (Massachusetts)
Ruth Evans (Massachusetts)
Peter Faziani (Pennsylvania)
Jennifer Finstrom (Illinois)
Jane Frank (Australia)
Martina R. Gallegos (California)
Gail Gerwin (New Jersey)
Siwsan Gimprich (New Jersey)
Susan W. Goldstein (Florida)
Vijaya Gowrisankar (India)
Elizabeth Greene (Canada)
John Guzlowski (Virginia)
Tina Hacker (Kansas)
Brenda Davis Harsham (Massachusetts)
Penny Harter (New Jersey)
Ken Hartke (New Mexico)
G. Louis Heath (Iowa)
Mark Andrew Heathcote (England)
Heidi Hermanson (Nebraska)
Jennifer Hernandez (Minnesota)
Kevin M. Holgate (Canada)
Karen Paul Holmes (Georgia)
Trish Hopkinson (Utah)
Veronica Hosking (Arizona)
Yi-Wen Huang (New Mexico)
Kyle Hunter (Indiana)
Amanda Janik (California)
Jorge Jefferds (Pennsylvania)
Carol H. Jewell (New York)
Sonja Johanson (Maine)
Joseph Johnston (Michigan)
Derek Kannemeyer (Virginia)
Rose Kelland (England)
James Ross Kelly (California)
Sofia Kioroglou (Greece)
Steve Klepetar (Minnesota)
Tricia Knoll (Oregon)
Jennifer Lagier (California)
Emma Lee (England)
Joan Leotta (North Carolina)
Richard Levesque (Indiana)
Cheryl Levine (Massachusetts)
Joan Leotta (North Carolina)
j.lewis (California)
Laurinda Lind (New York)
Virginia Lowe (Australia)
Rick Lupert (California)
Christopher Madden (Connecticut)
Marjorie Maddox (Pennsylvania)
Janet Malotky (Minnesota)
Melisa Malvin-Middleton (California)
Betsy Mars (California)
Patrick Lee Marshall (Texas)
Carolyn Martin (Oregon)
Mary McCarthy (Pennsylvania)
Patricia McGoldrick (Canada)
Teresa Marita McGuire (Mississippi)
Linda McKenney (New York)
Joan McNerney (New York)
Michael Minassian (Texas)
Helen L. Moore (Scotland)
Alice Morris (Delaware)
Eileen Murphy (Florida)
Robbi Nester (California)
Cristina M.R. Norcross (Wisconsin)
Thomas O’Connell (New York)
Mags O’Connor (Ireland)
Robert Okaji (Texas)
Thomas Park (Missouri)
Lee Parpart (Canada)
James Penha (Indonesia)
Tim Philippart (Michigan)
Rosalind Place (Canada)
Frank Pool (Texas)
D.A. Pratt (Canada)
Sarah Pritchard (England)
Edie Ravenelle (Massachusetts)
Patrick T. Reardon (Illinois)
Kevin Risner (Ohio)
Lisa Rizzo (California)
Jeannie E. Roberts (Wisconsin)
Esther Rohm (Ohio)
Kerfe Roig (New York)
Dave Roskos (New Jersey)
Christina Rothenbeck (Louisiana)
Sarah Russell (Pennsylvania)
Barbara Ruth (California)
Bruce Sager (Maryland)
Jeff Santosuosso (Florida)
Penelope Scamby Schott (Oregon)
Rhonda Schmidt (Texas)
Iris N. Schwartz (New York)
Sheila Scobba Banning (California)
Sunil Sharma (India)
Sheikha A. (Pakistan)
Ginny Short (California)
Lois Paige Simenson (Alaska)
Leslie Sittner (New York
R. H. Slansky (California)
J.L. Smith (Alaska)
Melissa Snider (Wyoming)
Carol A. Stephen (Canada)
Amanda Tanner (Michigan)
Jonathan Taylor (England)
Alarie Tennille (Missouri)
Marilyn Terhune-Young (California)
Larry D. Thacker (Tennessee)
G. Murray Thomas (California)
Jasmine Tritten (New Mexico)
Vincent Van Ross (India)
Alan Walowitz (New York)
Hannah Ward (Pennsylvania)
Mercedes Webb-Pullman (New Zealand)
A. Garnett Weiss (Canada)
Sheila Wellehan (Maine)
Kelley White (New Hampshire)
Lynn White (Wales)
Wendy Wuchnick-Gibbs (Texas)
Kim Whysall-Hammond (England)
Jonathan Yungkans (California)
Marilyn Zelke-Windau (Wisconsin)
Joanie HF Zosike (New York)



Thank you to the 70 authors who participated in our ME, DURING THE HOLIDAYS Poetry & Prose Series, which ran from December 5, 2015 to January 1, 2016. You helped make our holidays merry and bright! Wishing you — and all of our followers — the very best in the New Year! Many thanks to the following authors — from 19 states and 11 countries.

Kimmy Alan (Minnesota)
Elizabeth Alford (California)
Sandra Anfang (California)
Hannah Arnold (Georgia)
Ginger Beck (Arkansas)
Jane Laube Boch (Virginia)
Rose Mary Boehm (Peru)
Greta Bolger (Michigan)
Cath Bore (England)
Kathleen Chaney (Indiana)
Tricia Marcella Cimera (Illinois)
SuzAnne C. Cole (Texas)
Patrick Connors (Canada)
Joanne Corey (New York)
Chella Courington (California)
Kristina England (Massachusetts)
Jennifer Finstrom (Illinois)
Jessica S. Frank (Louisiana)
Lourdes Gautier(New York)
Tony Gloeggler (New York)
Kimberly Gotches(New Mexico)
Vijaya Gowrisankar (India)
Tina Hacker (Kansas)
Ann Hart (Illinois)
Jennifer Hernandez (Minnesota)
Kathryn E. Hester (Georgia)
Joanie Hieger Fritz Zosike (New York)
Trish Hopkinson (Utah)
Mark Hudson (Illinois)
Peyton Hutchinson (Georgia)
Joseph Johnston (Michigan)
Carol Keenan (California)
Sofia Kioroglou (Greece)
Kathryn Kulpa (Rhode Island)
Jennifer Lagier (California)
Jessica Wiseman Lawrence (Virginia)
Joan Leotta (North Carolina)
Ellaraine Lockie (California)
Virginia Lowe (Australia)
Susan O’Donnell Mahan (Massachusetts)
Betsy Mars (California)
Mary McCarthy (Pennsylvania)
Linda McKenney (New York)
Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco (California)
Sarah Frances Moran (Texas)
Caitríona Murphy (Ireland)
Thomas O’Connell (New York)
James Penha (Indonesia)
Venetia Peterson (Canada)
Anita Pulier (New York)
Patrick T. Reardon (Illinois)
Jeannie E. Roberts (Wisconsin)
Jill Amy Sager (Oregon)
Kryssa Schemmerling (New York)
Jarod Schneider (Georgia)
Leslie Sittner (New York)
Donna JT Smith (Maine)
Joan Jobe Smith (California)
Karissa Knox Sorrell (Tennessee)
Maureen Sudlow (New Zealand)
Alarie Tennille (Missouri)
Thomas R. Thomas (California)
Bunkong Tuon (New York)
Jacqueline Vaughn (Rhode Island)
Lynne Viti (Massachusetts)
Lori Wall-Holloway (California)
Lynn White (Wales)
Linn Whitehouse (England)
Amanda Williams (Virginia)
Mantz Yorke (England)

Goose Bumps
by Ellaraine Lockie

The two Easter goslings grew
Too wild for an unfenced garden
in a town with cars and truck traffic
Too big for their wire cage
Where they stayed
when I couldn’t stand guard

I heard on the radio
how full-grown geese
would give back that safeguarding
Would protect their people and their place
But that place wasn’t meant to be mine

Because my uncle bundled the geese
in the back of his pick-up
Said he’d keep them for me
out on the farm
Would keep their names too
Audie Murphy and Gene Autry
(Our town just got a movie theater)

Said he’d fatten them up
Then he smiled at my dad
There was something not right
about that smile
The same smile confusing his face
at Thanksgiving on the farm
While we sat around the table
that served roast goose instead of turkey

Be a big girl they all said
A little ranch woman already at eight
My first dose of real ranch-life medicine
I didn’t swallow it
Nor Audie and Gene
I didn’t forgive my uncle either
each time he told the story all those years
Wearing that smirky smile

When the uncle’s love-of-his-life
second wife died
I held his hand, played cards
Drove him places
He told the geese story
This time he didn’t smile
And I hadn’t become that ranch wife

PHOTO: The author with her pet bunny Thumper (1953).


Ellaraine Lockie is a widely published and awarded author of poetry, nonfiction books and essays. Her eleventh chapbook, Where the Meadowlark Sings, won the 2014 Encircle Publication’s Chapbook Contest. Ellaraine teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh. She is currently judging the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contests for Winning Writers.

gatsby cover June 2015

The month of June marks the 4th anniversary of Silver Birch Press — and the 3rd anniversary of our blog. Our first post on June 24, 2012 featured F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby — so it seems fitting to celebrate these milestones with our latest release: The Great Gatsby Anthology, a collection of poetry and prose inspired by The Great Gatsby. This is a unique collection of material that has NOT appeared on our blog. 

We issued a call for submissions on March 15, 2014 and received submissions of poetry and prose from people around the world. Over a year in the making, the collection features writing from 80 established and up-and-coming authors :

Katie Aliferis
E. Kristin Anderson
M. Ivana Trevisani Bach
Johannes S.H. Bjerg
Julie E. Bloemeke
Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier
Ed Bremson
Tanya Bryan
Ana Maria Caballero
Sam Cha
Jan Chronister
Maryann Corbett
Anthony Costello
Tasha Cotter
Helen Dallas
Tracy Davidson
Susan de Sola
Andrea Janelle Dickens
Michelle Donfrio
Jennifer Finstrom
Ashley Ford
Jeannine Hall Gailey
Shivapriya Ganapathy
Marielle Gauthier
Trina Gaynon
Gary Glauber
Douglas Goetsch
Lois Marie Harrod
Senna Heyatawin
Joanie Hieger Fritz Zosike
Shawn P. Hosking
Veronica Hosking
Mathias Jansson
Jen Cullerton Johnson
David M. Katz
Becca Klaver
Laurie Kolp
Linda Kraus
Jean L. Kreiling
Kathryn Kulpa
David W. Landrum
Samantha LeVan
Stefanie Lipsey
Caolan Madden
Shahé Mankerian
Marjorie Manwaring
John McCarthy
Catfish McDaris
George McKim
Sarah Fawn Montgomery
Christina Murphy
Leslie Nichols
Lewis Oakwood
Alysson B. Parker
Martha Patterson
James Penha,
David S. Pointer,
Christina M. Rau
Suzanne Rawlinson
Patrick T. Reardon
Marybeth Rua-Larsen
Shloka Shankar
Sheikha A.
Edward W.L. Smith
Matthew Oldham Smith
Sherry Steiner
Christine Stroud
Marianne Titiriga
Sally Toner
Lee Upton
Sylvia Riojas Vaughn
Melanie Villines
Rachel Voss
Alan Walowitz
Amy Schreibman Walter
Susannah White
Lin Whitehouse
Neal Whitman
Scott Wiggerman
Matthew Wilson
Theodora Ziolkowski

The Great Gatsby Anthology is available in paperback at — with a Kindle version coming soon.

the name game
by Rex Butters

            for Gi(n)a
at the Bodhi Tree
sometime in the ’70s
I approach the desk
order a book
working clerk asks my name
for the form

“Rex,” I say
“Rick?” he squinting asks
“Rex, R-E-X”
“Rex? Rex?! LIke, Rex?”

“But that’s a dog’s name,”
he dissolves
laughing too hard to stand
murmuring behind me in line
people wonder at the delay
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,”
he says, “I could lose my job.”

“Now,” he says
professional again
pen to form
“what’s your last name?”

I take a deep breath
I can see it coming up Melrose

“Butters,” I say
“Sorry?” he replies
“Butters,” I patiently repeat.
“Butters, B-U-T-T-E-R-S”
‘Butters,’ like butter?
That’s really your name?”

“Oh my God!”
he says emphatically
leaning over the counter
“let me hug a guy
who’s had to go through life
as ‘Rex Butters.’”

Gone With the Wind
NBC movie broadcast
first time on tv
national nostalgia hype hysteria
next day
I stand
suited and tied
men’s shoe sales slow
in empty geriatric men’s store
brogues, boots, Bostonians
loafers, laces, patent leathers
shiny dead cow skin gleams
plaid commercial carpet
bleaching in fluorescent light
shelves dusted
sale table neat
late morning blood sugar low
clock hour hand stuck
late lunch late

well gray dressed middle aged woman
pensive browser
fingertip toe holds
light carmel buttery soft
Johnston Murphy slip-on

exams me
mannequin still standing
clock watch

she suddenly points
laughing at my green lapel’s name tag

“is that a joke?” she asks
delighted to be in on it

“sorry?” I say
not in on it at all

“you know,” she insists
purpose waning
“they showed Gone With the Wind
last night

isn’t ‘Rex Butters’ a joke
on ‘Rhett Butler?’”

“no ma’am,” my dry reply
“it’s my name.”

earnestly grabbing my hand
her eyes plead
she says and means, “oh, I’m so

click back to pensive
focused on anything
drawn to the door
she fakes shopping
for her lucky husband

many torn calendar pages later
Larkspur, California
restaurant table waiter interview
my prospective employer
under a teeming bad
soggy honeybun
greasy toupee
unnaturally colored
asks my name

“Rex,” I say
“Rick?” he queries
“Rex,” I say
“Russ?” he asks
“Rex,” I say, “R-E-X”
he writes it
looks up
“This is not a name,” he informs me sadly
“I’ve never heard of it.”
I beg his trust
I know what’s coming

“alright, and your last name?”
“Butters, B-U-T-T-E-R-S”
LIke, Butters,
like butter, the dairy product
in the walk-in?
This is not a name,”
he insists,
choking on laughter
this guy
with the more common and familiar
Fatollah Shirahmnia

IMAGE: Rex Butters

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Since 1976, longtime SoCal resident Rex Butters has published journalistic writings on sites and in magazines including BAM, Rapport, All About Jazz, Folk Works, the LA Free Press, and the Free Venice Beachhead. His poetry has appeared for over 25 years in such diverse journals as Caffeine, Brain Vomit, interbang, sic Vice and Verse, The Journal of Interdimensional Poetry, Yogi Times, Bad Haircut Quarterly, the Mas Tequila Review, and the Muse International Journal of Poetry. His anthology credits include Cost of Freedom, The Revolutionary Poets Brigade, The Best of San Diego Poetry 2015, and the forthcoming Writer’s Round Talk Show anthology. He writes and performs with the improvised music/funk/spoken word ensembles, Black Shoe Polish and Rag & Bone, and sings and reads with various projects.

Thank you to the 102 poets from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, England, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, and across the United States who contributed their work to the Silver Birch Press Mythic Poetry Series, which ran from October 1-November 30, 2014.

Sheikha A. (Pakistan)
Katie Aliferis (California)
Noh Anothai (Illinois)
Sue Barnard (England)
Mary Bast (Florida)
Fox B. Barrett (Minnesota)
Alessandra Bava (Italy)
Ellen Wade Beals (Illinois)
Roy J. Beckemeyer (Kansas)
Gabriella M. Belfiglio (New York)
Chrystal Berche (Iowa)
Rose Mary Boehm (Peru)
Brinda Buljore (France)
Brittany E. Burns (Ohio)
Valentina Cano (Florida )
Michael Cantin (California)
Sarah Chenoweth (Kansas)
Sarah ChristianScher (California)
Joan Colby (Illinois)
Ken Craft (Massachusetts)
Emily Cruse (Pennsylvania)
Anthony DiMatteo (New York )
Britny Cordera Doane (Nebraska)
Christina Woś Donnelly (New York)
Raven Drake (New Mexico)
Nettie Farris (Indiana)
Jamie Feldman (Canada)
Jennifer Finstrom (Illinois)
Ruth Foley (Massachusetts)
Diane Gage (California)
Anggo Genorga (United Arab Emirates)
Gail Griffin (Michigan)
Stephanie Barbé Hammer (California/Washington)
Senia Hardwick (New York)
Robert Lee Haycock (California)
Donna Hilbert (California)
Gaia Holmes (England)
Trish Hopkinson (Utah)
Robin Dawn Hudechek (California)
A.J. Huffman (Florida)
Mathias Jansson (Sweden)
Mark Allen Jenkins (Texas)
Sonja Johanson (Maine/Massachusetts)
Mary Kendall (North Carolina)
Elizabeth Kerper (Illinois)
Munia Khan (India)
Merie Kirby (North Dakota)
Daniel Klawitter (Colorado)
J.I. Kleinberg (Washington)
Melanie Knippen (Illinois)
F.X. LaChapelle (Alaska)
Paula J. Lambert (Ohio)
Janna Layton (California)
Jenna Le (New York )
Aretha Lemon (Ohio)
Susan Mahan (Massachusetts)
Consolo Mankiewicz (California)
Char March (England)
Karen Massey (Canada)
Sayuri Matsuura (Ohio)
Catfish McDaris (Wisconsin)
Daniel McGinn (California)
Jennifer A. McGowan (England)
Carrie McKay (California)
Molly Meacham (Illinois)
Emily Mischel (California)
Joseph Murphy (Michigan)
Robbi Nester (California)
Perry S. Nicholas (New York)
Alison Noble (Scotland)
Apollo Papafrangou (California)
Jimmy Pappas (New Hampshire)
Greg Patrick (Ireland)
Michael Paul (California)
Connie L. Peters (Colorado)
Patrick T. Reardon (Illinois)
Lynne Rees (Wales)
Roslyn Ross (Australia)
Lawrence Schimel (Spain)
Eric Paul Shaffer (Hawaii)
Emily Shearer (Czech Republic)
Joan Jobe Smith (California)
Massimo Soranzio (Italy)
Jan Steckel (California)
Nathan Steinman (Oklahoma)
Carol A. Stephen (Canada)
Linda Ann Suddarth (Texas)
Olive L. Sullivan (Kansas)
Debi Swim (West Virginia)
Terrence Sykes (District of Columbia)
Jeri Thompson (California)
Bunkong Tuon (New York)
Robin Turner (Texas)
Fred Voss (California)
James Walton (Australia)
Mercedes Webb-Pullman (New Zealand)
Ellen Webre (California)
Laura Madeline Wiseman (Nebraska)
Nancy Lynée Woo (California)
Ja Lorian Young (New Hampshire)
Alicia Zadrozny (New York)
Shari Zollinger (Utah)

by Stanley Kunitz 

Miss Murphy in first grade
wrote its name in chalk
across the board and told us
it was roaring down the stormtracks
of the Milky Way at frightful speed
and if it wandered off its course
and smashed into the earth
there’d be no school tomorrow.
A red-bearded preacher from the hills
with a wild look in his eyes
stood in the public square
at the playground’s edge
proclaiming he was sent by God
to save every one of us,
even the little children.
“Repent, ye sinners!” he shouted,
waving his hand-lettered sign.
At supper I felt sad to think
that it was probably
the last meal I’d share
with my mother and my sisters;
but I felt excited too
and scarcely touched my plate.
So mother scolded me
and sent me early to my room.
The whole family’s asleep
except for me. They never heard me steal
into the stairwell hall and climb
the ladder to the fresh night air.
Look for me, Father, on the roof
of the red brick building
at the foot of Green Street—
that’s where we live, you know, on the top floor.
I’m the boy in the white flannel gown
sprawled on this coarse gravel bed
searching the starry sky,
waiting for the world to end.
“Halley’s Comet” appears in The Collected Poems: Stanley Kunitz (W. W. Norton & Company, 2000)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006) became the tenth Poet Laureate of the United States in the autumn of 2000. Kunitz was ninety-five years old at the time, still actively publishing and promoting poetry to new generations of readers. In the New York Times Book Review, Robert Campbell noted that Kunitz’s selection as poet laureate “affirms his stature as perhaps the most distinguished living American poet.”Atlantic Monthly contributor David Barber cited Kunitz as “not only one of the most widely admired figures in contemporary poetry but also, rarer still, a true ambassador for his art.” (Read more at

PHOTO: Halley’s Comet, NASA (1986)

NOTE: Halley’s Comet is a “periodic” comet and returns to Earth’s vicinity about every 75 years, making it possible for a human to see it twice in his or her lifetime. The last time it was here was in 1986, and it is projected to return in 2061. The comet is named after English astronomer Edmond Halley, who examined reports of a comet approaching Earth in 1531, 1607 and 1682. He concluded that these three comets were actually the same comet returning over and over again, and predicted the comet would come again in 1758.  (Read more at