Archives for posts with tag: painting

by Paula J. Lambert

Once, I left a bouquet of flowers on the back seat
of my car, forgotten entirely till the next afternoon

when, out of nowhere, I heard myself shout OH!
and then, Ohhhhh, oh no! It was as if my body had

remembered, before my brain did, what was lost.
I was just that tired, after a week just that busy.

My husband followed me as far as the front door
as I ran for the car, watched me flounder when I saw

the bouquet was gone. I found them this morning,
he said. They’re dead. I put them in the garbage

out back. I went to the barrel and reached for them,
withered, brown, almost certainly gone for good.

I brought them inside and trimmed the stems,
my husband incredulous as he watched: my coo

of encouragement, litany of apology, soothing
fuss over their arrangement in a vase full of water.

I wanted to look at them. That was all. To slow
down the day. To remind myself there was so much

to remember, so much that had been abandoned.
By evening, the stems had strengthened, the flowers

had brightened, and by morning, the bouquet had
come back to us, gorgeous, fragrant, full. My husband

saw them and looked at me, afraid. What had I done,
really, but pay attention? Atone. What had I done

but believe that small things matter, that love might
help a sick and frightened thing to rise, to bloom?

PAINTING: Girl in White with a Bouquet by Henri Matisse (1919).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paula J. Lambert of Columbus, Ohio, has authored several collections of poetry including The Ghost of Every Feathered Thing (FutureCycle Press 2022) and How to See the World (Bottom Dog Press 2020), a finalist for the 2021 Ohioana Library Book Awards. Lambert has been awarded two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards and two Greater Columbus Arts Council Resource Grants. She has twice been in residence at Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She owns Full/Crescent Press, a small publisher of poetry books and broadsides specializing in hand-stitched, art-quality chapbooks. Through the press, she has founded and supported numerous public readings that support the intersection of poetry and science. Learn more at and

Ferlingetti’s Confetti
by Joan McNerney

How long have I been waiting and I am
still waiting for America to wake up
for women to be celebrated, for endless wars
to self-destruct, for the old guard to
become obsolete, for holy rollers
to roll off, somewhere far away

I am always waiting for this country to become sane
still waiting for Americans to put down their guns
and take up books. For education to be our strength
I am waiting for stupid catch phrases of politicians
to cause them to gag and retch. Always all the time
STILL waiting for America to grow up

I am waiting for the miracle of Ferlingetti’s
confetti to descend all over this planet descending
magically in all imaginable colors of the universe
dissolving hatred bringing a new world filled
with joy wonder happiness supreme frolicking
kissing hugging cavorting all in the stillness of this
moment realizing we are one and earth is our home

O how long must I still wait?

PAINTING: Map by Jasper Johns (1961).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Remembering how thrilled we were coming by subway into Greenwich Village listening to all the Beats. How we were not allowed to clap but could click our fingers because coffee shops did not have cabaret licenses. I read my poetry there too at the Village Vanguard. Ferlingetti, e e cummings, Oscar Wilde, and Allen Ginsberg were our heroes.  We never noticed they were all men. With this poem, I am trying to capture the rolling immediacy of Ferlingetti’s style.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines, such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Journals, and numerous Poets’ Espresso Reviews have accepted her work. Her work has received four Best of the Net nominations. Her latest titles are The Muse in Miniature and Love Poems for Michael  available on and

I am waiting for
by Mathias Jansson

I am waiting for
Godot or God or what he is called
the clock is ticking on the wall
the sand is falling on the floor
the play is playing on the stage
and I am still waiting for
Godot or God or what he is called

When the curtain falls
and the lights turns on
and the audience leaves the theater hall
I am still waiting for
Godot or God or what he is called.

PAINTING: Hole in the Center of the Clock by James Rosenquist (2007).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mathias Jansson is a Swedish art critic and horror poet. His work has been published in The Horror Zine, Dark Eclipse, Schlock and The Sirens Call. He has also contributed to over 100 different horror anthologies from publishers that include Horrified Press, James Ward Kirk Fiction, Source Point Press, and Thirteen Press.  Visit him on his Amazon author page and at 

Winning at Solitaire
by Elaine Mintzer

At the motel, I laid the four kids
sideways in a bed like wooden matchsticks.
the oldest with her feet sticking over the edge.

I warned her to lie still so as not to disturb her brother
who matched her arm to arm, knee to knee,
next to their sister who thrashed in her sleep,

stirring the covers, finding her own order over their limbs.
And the baby on the end, curled into himself,
lips sucking a dream breast.

I propped a pillow at the foot of the bed
to keep them from falling,
from meeting the stained carpet,

the cracked foundation,
the dust and spiders
that spin in the dark.

I am still waiting for passers-by to pass by,
for the strobes in the parking lot
to roll down the street.

When the night quiets and the kids settle,
I pick up a deck of blue bicycle cards,
soft at the edges, and shuffle.

I hear the breath of their intersections,
the soft slap as I lay them
on the wobbly table in rows, in piles,

aligning each new one with the last.
In the palm of my left hand,
the remainder of the deck

turned by threes.
Turn after turn.
Game after game.

PAINTING: Motel, Route 66 by John Register (1991).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I remember my grandmother playing solitaire, in the rare moments she was not working.  My mother, too. These days, my mom plays on her iPad.

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Elaine Mintzer lives in Los Angeles.  Her work has been published in journals and anthologies, including Gryroscope Review, Last Call, Chinaski, Beloit Poetry Review, Panoplyzine, Slipstream Press, Perspectives, Borders and Boundaries, Mom Egg Review, Subprimal Poetry Art, Lummox, Lucid Moose Lit’s Like a Girl anthology, The Ekphrastic Review, Cultural Weekly, Rattle, The Lindenwood Review, and 13 Los Angeles Poets. Elaine’s collection, Natural Selections was published by Bombshelter Press. Visit her at

lf self
by Joanie HF Zosike

Forget it-No, I can’t-
sit still-any longer
Still is too static-
and stasis, death
Frame—Take 2021-
longer can sit on-
m’duff-Kick myself-
out of bed, get up!
Get an Irish coffee-
at Vesuvius-Write-
lyrical poems, scribe-
brittle prose-This-
species is moving-
too slowly-How can-
it be-I am still wait-
ing, waiting stuck-
waiting How long-
will it take until-
human beings can-
be something better-
than we are now
Ferlinghetti was one-
illuminati, now gone
Pulse of his vision-
lives on, piled onto a-
palette, he messages
Massages our secret-
hearts alive-Scribes-
are what we need to-
describe the antidote
What are we waiting
for? Why a gap?
Mind that gap-Let’s-
boogie along with-
stylin’ verve inspirin’
One more time, revive-
the Renaissance with-
color streamers, music,-
tambourines shaking-
us out of our lassitude

PAINTING: The Painter by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1989).

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I recently wrote a poem that will be included in “Light on the Walls of Life,” coming this summer from Jambu Press ( The book, originally envisioned to honor Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s 100th birthday, sadly will now serves also as a memorial. My contribution was a take on his poem “I Am Waiting,” and now Silver Birch Press, one of my favorite publications, is visiting the fecund field of waiting. In writing my take for Silver Birch, I came up against my own resistance to waiting—perhaps due to the endless isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic—but that aside, just the notion of waiting in general when there is so much to do and so little time, both personally and cosmologically.

PHOTO: Joanie HF Zosike (aka Joanie Fritz) in her solo work, Soph and the Ain Soph Auer at NY Theatre Asylum, NYC, circa 1984. ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanie HF Zosike is the The Writers Hotel 2019 Sara Patton poetry awardee and was featured in The New Guard’s BANG! (August 2020). She teaches the Pandemic Poetry Workshop in New York City. Her work appears in 11/9: The Fall of American Democracy and Silver Birch Press’s Ides: An Anthology of Chapbooks. Her poem “I Am Also Waiting” is forthcoming in the Lawrence Ferlinghetti Tribute Anthology (Jambu Press). Other forays in print include Alien Buddha, Heresies, Home Planet News, Jewish Forward, Levure Literraire, Maintenant, PIM, and Syndic. Author of seven plays and four solo works, she received an Albee Foundation residence to complete her play Inside (produced at ATA in NYC) and a Foundation for Jewish Culture grant for …and Then the Heavens Closed (performed at The Jewish Museum, NYC). Joanie, a member of The Living Theatre for 35 years, directs the dada/surrealist company DADANewYork and is co-director of Action Racket Theatre.

PHOTO: Joanie HF Zosike, London, 2012.

The Seventh Spring
by Ranjith Sivaraman

I saw the dark pillars and boles
And my body was darker than normal.
Fire apples were hanging
from the leafless trees
and the breath tasted
like searing fragrance.

I was in this burning forest
as far as my evanescent mind flies.
The forest remembers everything,
the first raindrop that kissed me
and missed me forever,
the second cloud that rained over me
and stained me forever,
the third drizzle that danced with me
and replaced me forever,
the fourth lightning that struck me
and shocked me forever,
the fifth flood that drowned me
and crowned me forever,
the sixth river that washed me
and baptized me forever,

Then I saw a white little angel
holding her magic wand,
wearing the cutest smile
and a few ephemeral snowflakes.
She was an ethereal moon
set aflame in a tragic sky.

I know she is on the other side of the fumy river
But I am still waiting like a phoenix who outlived nine ravens.
And I know she is the seventh spring that will transform me
and dissolve in me forever…

PAINTING: Forest Fire by Mark Tobey (1956).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ranjith Sivaraman is an upcoming poet from Kerala, India. His poems merge nature imagery, human emotions, and human psychology. Sivaraman’s English poems are published in international literature magazines and journals from locations such as Budapest, New York, Indiana, Lisbon, Colorado, California, and New Jersey. Find more of his work at

dreams I dreamed
by Mark A. Fisher

I am still waiting
for a future I’ll never know
like the ghost of this house
lingering with unfinished business

I am still waiting
for a past that fades
like the sepia-toned photos
of people without any names

I am still waiting
in a now that hurts
like a sunburnt back
always peeling away in layers

I am still waiting
to be remembered
like the words on a page
in a universe doomed to forget

the wishes of a child
of blown out candles
like the dreams I dreamed
all this time I’m still waiting

PAINTING: The Birthday Cake by Le Pho (1975).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I started this poem, the tenses just seemed to come naturally, since “waiting” implied a tense, as did “still.” The other stanzas mirrored back at me, and so the last stanza became a mirror too.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark A. Fisher is a writer, poet, and playwright living in Tehachapi, California. His poetry has appeared in Angel City Review, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, Altadena Poetry Review, Penumbra, Young Ravens, and many other places. His first chapbook, drifter, is available from Amazon. His second, hour of lead, won the 2017 San Gabriel Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest. His third, rain and other fairy tales, can be downloaded here. His poem “there are fossils” came in second in the 2020 Dwarf Stars Speculative Poetry Competition.

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PAINTING: Pine Barrens Treefrog by Andy Warhol (1983).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Like everyone, the current crisis had seeped into pretty much everything I do, but fortunately the benign spirits of my recent ancestors are there to offer advice. With their faith, practicality and superstitions, they have all the tools to put the apocalypse back in its place.

Oz Hardwick City Lights

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Oz Hardwick is a UK-based poet, photographer, occasional musician, and accidental academic, whose work has been widely published in international journals and anthologies. His chapbook Learning to Have Lost (Canberra: IPSI, 2018) won the 2019 Rubery International Book Award for poetry, and his most recent publication is the prose poetry sequence Wolf Planet (Clevedon: Hedgehog, 2020). A keen collaborator with other artists, his joint collection with Amina Alyal, Close as Second Skins (Indigo Dreams, 2015), was shortlisted for that year’s Saboteur Best Collaborative Work award, and he has contributed to performances, exhibitions, installations, and recordings with artists in diverse media around the world. Oz is Professor of English at Leeds Trinity University, where he leads the postgraduate Creative Writing programmes. Visit him at

PHOTO: The author at City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco.

Of Want and Moonlight and Patience and Time
by Julia Klatt Singer

I shaped you out of clay,
set you on the brick patio, near the edge
so you would have grass to eat
when you came to life—
for who doesn’t start the world hungry?
And so too, that I could see you from
my bedroom window.

How many times did I wake
that night, look for my horse
in the moonlit backyard?

I was never afraid of the magic.
Was more afraid of how
I’d explain you to my parents and
to the neighbors, a lilac hedge away.

Dreamed you, your warm body
your soft eyes, the way you’d
nuzzle my hand, find something
good in it, good in me.

Come morning, you were still
the clay horse I had formed
small enough to hold in my hand
sitting on the brick patio, damp with dew.

It wasn’t until my first son was born
that I understood the magic—
forming something out of want
and moonlight and patience and time.

I am still waiting for you
my chestnut pony. Dream you
grazing in an open field, the sun
on your back, your unblinking gaze
as I feed you apple from my open hand.

PAINTING: Blue Horse I by Franz Marc (1911).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: As I child I remember waiting for a number of things—holidays and birthdays, school to start and end, rides home, and sermons to finish. I have made peace with most of those, learned to let time enter me, the way I enter it—moment by moment. But I’m not sure I ever got over this dream horse.Was thoroughly convinced I could make a horse and make it mine. Give it a body. Give it moonlight. Want it like I wanted life; to spring forth because I could picture it, smell it, feel it. I shaped it out of clay. I could picture the horse it would become. Our backyard was small, but I’d ride it wherever it wanted to go. I could not have loved or wanted that horse more. And I felt the disappointment. The hard fact of my love and want not being enough, to make this horse real.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julia Klatt Singer is the poet-in-residence at Grace Nursery School. She is co-author of Twelve Branches: Stories from St. Paul (Coffee House Press), author of In the Dreamed of Places, (Naissance Press), A Tangled Path to HeavenUntranslatable, (North Star Press), and her most recent chapbook, Elemental (Prolific Press). Audio poems from Elemental are at OpenKim, as the element Sp.  She’s co-written numerous songs with composers Craig Carnahan, Jocelyn Hagen, and Tim Takach.

The Final Rain
by Darrell Petska

For the rain of perpetuity
to anoint this hoary head,
I am still waiting—

that gentle rain which comes,
once storms cease their rage,
to end all worry, unmask blindness,
bare the heart of cosmic stirrings.
Amid that final brush of dew,
the last grain of stubborn self
can sprout, conjoin with earth,
raise in sunlight supple branches
to mingle with the stars.

On this dry land, I am still waiting
for the everlasting rain of awe
to play upon my brow
music of endless presence
that fires love’s spark,
lifts shadows, whispers hope.

All is miracle.
Each fertile minute.
Time’s enfolding loam.
Forever’s gracious edge
as the final rain draws near.

PAINTING: Rain (Study) by Agnes Martin (1960).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Myths define our humanity: myths about living, dying, surviving on Earth or in an afterlife. Various cultures and religions mythicize death. In this poem I mythicize life and death as a unitary aspect of the ever-present, transformative force of the universe. Myths are not cast in stone: they serve us, until they no longer do. They are also ultimately personal, not being “true” except as they seem true for each individual.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Darrell Petska publishes fiction, poetry and nonfiction. View his work in Buddhist Poetry Review, Nixes Mate Review, Right Hand Pointing, Boston Literary Magazine, Verse-Virtual, Loch Raven Review, Soul-Lit, and elsewhere. Darrell has tallied 30 years as an editor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, 41 years as father (eight years a grandfather), and longer still as husband. Find links to more of his work at