Archives for posts with tag: photography

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Waiting Is Not for Sissies
by Alarie Tennille

The bench is empty.
Why are you late?
I sit and wait five minutes,
     ten,
          fifteen.
               Red alert! Red alert!

My worry warriors charge
into action. Scouts scurry
ahead looking for trouble: the car
wreck, plane crash, heart attack,
kidnapping. Like Fox News,
they radio back every conjecture.

The strategists leap in. Plot
what to do if a, b, or c.
Where to go? Whom to call?
I am still waiting.

Tell myself to breathe deeply, assume
the best. Check messages, interrogate
memory. Perhaps I got the time
or date wrong.

I try to let reason rule, but it
rarely ever does.

PHOTO: Parallelograms by Nieves Mingueza (2015). 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I probably spend more time waiting than an average person. Since I don’t drive, I have to wait on a friend or my husband to pick me up. I normally wait calmly for the first five minutes, but the friend picking me up that day is very punctual and usually sitting in front of my house before the appointed time. (The bench was poetic license.) We were going to a lovely French bistro for lunch, so I was especially eager. When I wondered how I could calm down, I did what a poet does¬–started composing this poem in my head. The tardy friend was a poet, too, so I knew she’d approve. Eventually I went upstairs to check my computer. She had sent an email asking to change the date.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alarie Tennille graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she serves on the Emeritus Board and Programming Committee of The Writers Place. Alarie is excited to have a new book, Three A.M. at the Museum, her third collection from Kelsay Books, which arrived in June 2021. The new book includes many ekphrastic poems and an introduction by Lorette C. Luzajic, Editor of The Ekphrastic Review. Alarie’s other books, Waking on the Moon and Running Counter Clockwise, are both available on Amazon.  Please visit her at alariepoet.com.

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I Am Still
by Tricia Knoll

waiting for the strength to lift the boulder from your back
lift the pain that makes you stumble and crumple
when all I can offer is help to put it on the ground

for the tears that used to fall so readily
to advise me that I have not grown cold
or too old to take on injustices, inequities

to feel the age that I am, remember decades
running marathons to this hesitant walk
on ice without the glamor of skates

not only to drop the mask despite my fondness
for the silver one with roses. I cannot bear
the rows of graves, coffins stacked.

for the women to go back to work, with salaries
not lost from time away, for the babies to have daycare,
the children to have their teachers live

to sing with others. My voice is not good, zooming
and fast forwarding even church. Face to face
Skidamarink A Dink A Dink with my grandson

Perhaps not last. Let theaters open to audiences
silencing cell phones, anticipating the moment
lights ignite a stage to begin an unknown story.

PHOTO: Radio City Music Hall by Hiroshi Sugimoto (1978).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem for the I AM STILL WAITING submission call from Silver Birch Press. At first I wanted to list all the difficulties in the world that I want to see change: voter suppression, indifference to refugees, sexual harassment, but the list soon got so long it overwhelmed me. So I narrowed the focus, trying to come into my winter morning in my dining room with the sun glinting off the snow and figure out what in that immediate moment was what I’m waiting for. As of this writing, I am halfway to my second COVID shot which seems like a great privilege. I can binge on cable news and movies, but I really want to go see a play one day, feel the anticipation of an opening curtain.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Knoll’s poetry appears widely in journals and anthologies. Her collection include Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press); Broadfork Farm (The Poetry Box); Ocean’s Laugher (Kelsay Books), and How I Learned To Be White (Antrim House) which received the 2018 Indie Book Award for Motivational Poetry. Her chapbook Checkered Mates was published by Kelsay Books in March 2021. Visit her at triciaknoll.com.

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No Swimming Here
by Lynn White

I don’t even miss it anymore.
Well, I was never good at it,
could never manage a crawl,
just a slow breaststroke,
or backstroke
before my hair grew long
and needed protection
from the chlorine.
But I did go twice a week
regularly,
as regular as clockwork,
as regularly as religious people
went to church on Sundays.
So it left a gap,
an absence
at first.

Then there were the friends,
seen now only in passing
in the street
or at the Co-op
or in writing,
heard only on the telephone
not in the echoey pool
or drowned out in the showers.
So there was an absence.
There is an absence.
All is quiet there now
and so I am still waiting.
We are all waiting
still
waiting.

PHOTO: Pool, Night by Elina Brotherus (2011).

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The school in this small town has a swimming pool open to the public. The swimming club for “over 60s” has many enthusiastic members. As of this writing, we are still waiting for the pool to reopen after the pandemic.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy, and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud “War Poetry for Today” competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications, including Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Gyroscope Review, and So It Goes. Find Lynn at lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and on Facebook.

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Saint Avalynn
by Christian Garduno

stan getz blowing dostoevskyan solos
disbursing the future around like desolate pollen
beyond the novel, beyond the obituary
nights asunder in the City of Venice
sonatas and a satori
olden angels sorrowed in their visions and false starts
sending a telegram out to the city lights
astonished bliss atonement, all zoology blind as Homer
country hymns ululating, dharmic checks bouncing
Gabriella’s thrown her wrists up
the hyenas of hyannis are on the loose tonight
riding down the edge of a sideburn
Mardou, Chartres, and Clairvaux
with elegantless foreign arms, I am still waiting
She says she finds it easier to write me rather than to read me
Lou Gehrig whistling a savage tune in the on-deck circle
tormented by the silver key underneath the ceramic teapot on the side porch
Joannie Crawdaddy gets lickity at the lips
John Fountainsoda illuminated and Venetian blind
chasing some foggy notion over into Russian Hill
C’est pas interessant l’maudit Français
Obispo aluminum shuffling rackety shacks
Bakersfield flats uncontained by warehouses even more beater than we
McClure is sure mauve is the move
the southern part of the day meanders along like Highway #34
fishtail Cadillacs, camera shudders, sulphuric lamplights and sodium rainwaves
November moon voyant with California Burgundy
the vines never run out of wine
pour rien

PHOTO: Ocean Beach, San Francisco (Polaroid) by Nancy L. Stockdale (2008).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I was inspired to write this poem by the mantra of “First thought, best thought.” There is little editing—it is all free-flowing, very much in the style of the original San Francisco beats writers.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christian Garduno’s work can be read in over 65 literary magazines. He is the recipient of the 2019 national Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry, and is a Finalist in the 2020-2021 Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Writing Contest. He lives and writes along the South Texas Coast with his wonderful wife Nahemie and young son Dylan.

San Francisco by Lee Otis
What Am I Still Waiting For
by Terrence Sykes

I am still waiting
for this fog to lift
from my mizzle laden brain
from these steep city streets
rain of course lies in wait
but what do I wait for

city lights draw me in
comfort for a wayward
never felt in place soul
yet my soles are bare
like these bare bones
of unknowing

bare knuckles
from the daily grin
grinding my teeth
as I toss in restless waiting
for sleep or my dream or plans
to come but what lies in wait

when will I know that
I will never find yet
do I wait in Coney Island
or have I waited in San Fran
will I ever quote or question
am I still waiting

PHOTO: San Francisco, California (Polaroid) by Lee Otis (2009).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I asked myself…what am I waiting for…this surreal pandemic to end and begin a normal life and to travel…go back to San Francisco and eat and eat and of course…visit City Lights Bookstore.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Although Terrence Sykes is a far better gardener-forager-cook…his poetry-photography-flash fiction have been published in Bangladesh, Canada, Ireland, India,  Mauritius, Pakistan, Scotland, Spain, and the USA…he was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of Virginia and this  isolation brings the theme of remembrance to his creations — whether real or imagined.

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A Nano Alien Came by Stealth
by Rose Mary Boehm

Coursing through my veins
is precious, polluted red stuff,
life stuff. The stuff that can clot,
the stuff that can kill.

They say we are 80% water.
Well, we are kind of liquid. Hard
to believe. No pun intended.
I don’t flow, I traipse—from kitchen
to bathroom, to sofa to bed.

The dog yawns. And when he
doesn’t yawn, he brings me the leash.
At least I have an excuse
to walk the seashore. I see curtains
move. Someone observing us.
Once there were witch hunts.
Now, the poop police.

I am still waiting to find
my inner river, recognizing my flow,
learning to navigate the waters
of yesterday’s freedom.

PHOTO: Tiger and TurtleMagic Mountain (walking sculpture, Duisberg, Germany), photo by the author.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTO: I thought this photograph was illustrative of veins and things in a crazy way.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have just been injected with this strange stuff science’s “Eureka” moments are made of. We are all guinea pigs and grateful with it. So far I am fine and look forward to be able to travel again and—maskless—embrace my children and granddaughters. Right now, I am using my neighbour’s dog as an excuse to walk in the park by the sea. They are lending him to me for the purpose. So kind. There are moments when I think I feel the chemical in my veins, but that, of course, is my poet’s imagination at work.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born British national living and writing in Lima, Peru. Her poetry has been published widely, mostly in US poetry reviews (online and print). She was twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her fourth poetry collection, The Rain Girl, was published by Chaffinch Press in 2020. Visit her on her website and on youtube.

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I Don’t Mind Waiting
by Lavina Blossom

There is weight in waiting, moving heavy
as a waiter with much on the plate,
charged with delivery to a table
that must, I’m pretty sure, be Plato’s
table, the Ur table, meaning located
nowhere but in my head. And I
am still waiting for my head to clear to set
my offering down, although I turn
away from anyone who might say: there,
leave it there. Because I want my
bountiful mixed platter, all that I can
heft, even as the lettuce wilts, the fruit
shrivels, the bread sticks grow soggy, dust
settles in the soup. I carry on, aware
that leaves are falling, that the trees
will topple too, eventually. Although today
the trees and I hold up the sky, its porcelain
blue. Once it was true that added weight
could give me greater strength and durability.
But those, apparently, were specials,
lately taken off the menu.

PHOTO: Fruit Vendor, Football, Mexico City, by Rod Waddington.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “I Don’t Mind Waiting” was written to the prompt “waiting,” coincidentally given recently in a Zoom writers group I meet with weekly. The idea of waiting tables came to mind right away.  I let the idea of waiting for something to occur while carrying a plate or platter take me where it would.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lavina Blossom is a painter and mixed media artist as well as a poet. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including 3Elements Review, Kansas Quarterly, The Literary Review, The Paris Review, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Poemeleon, Common Ground Review, and Ekphrastic Review.  She is an Editor of Poetry for Inlandia:  a Literary Journey. You can find some of her art at DailyPaintworks.

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What Shrinks, What Grows
by Ed Ruzicka

I should have left you
before you left me.

If I had boarded a train
that pulled out of a nameless depot

you would have grown smaller, shrunk:
lover, heron, bunny, quail, cricket, one iota.

Instead you have grown, swollen—
weather front that settles on top of a landscape.

Memories solidify, brood within, without.
You are still on the jetties in Racine at midnight.

The tumult of Lake Michigan bashes stone,
jets up white walls that crash back to rock.

You still giggle in candle light
in our clawfoot tub. While Billie Holiday

sings from the record player’s needle,
you slide a loofa over the limbs of desire.

In some part of me, the weather
has never changed, I am still waiting.

Silly though. If you came to me again
with softness, turmoil, delights, distress,

what would I do now, an old man
who has forgotten how to hope?

PHOTO: Windmill and bathtub (Polaroid) by Moominsean.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Once you have loved someone deeply, that feeling is always there, though largely locked away. I am completely happy as I am now and yet a certain undeniable truth and strong emotion emerged as I wrote this. I can’t figure the heart out. If you do, I’m on Facebook—let me know.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ed Ruzicka has published widely. His most recent book, My Life in Cars, is a sort of tell-all-tale about the rocky relationship between freedom and the American highway. Ed began working in his father’s Rexall drugstore at age eight. He lit out from Illinois cornfields in 1970 and has traveled widely. He worked as a deck-hand, short order cook, oil-field roughneck, tree trimmer, welder’s assistant, barge cleaner, social worker, and more. Ed settled in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he practices Occupational Therapy. Ed and his wife, Renee, often sit out at sunset on a patio that backs up to the rest of the world.

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A Day for Patience
by Jan Chronister

Landscape bricks
sit in the trunk of my car,
ready to be unloaded,
stacked at the edge of a garden.

Snow falls by the inch,
daffodils wear tight scarves,
huddle against the storm.

Fragile necks of tulips
heavy with buds
quake under the white guillotine
that falls from the roof.

Ice is long gone
from Lake Superior
but I am still waiting
for the day I can put
the snow shovel away.

PHOTO: Tulip (Polaroid) by Magali M, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I live within sight of Lake Superior, and waiting for warm weather is a real test of patience. Before May (and sometime during), snow never fails to blanket already blooming flowers. Somehow everything manages to survive.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jan Chronister is a retired writing instructor who now has time to work on her own words. She  currently serves as president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Jan has published two full-length poetry collections and four chapbooks. Visit her at  janchronisterpoetry.wordpress.com

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Silver soldering
by Beth McDonough

File to sharp brightness on both sides,
then butt each seam hard at its twin.
Exert gentle pressure to make ends meet,
slick a flux brushful all the way down.
Stipple a little on a snipped-off strip,
real silver solder at the meet of the cut.
Bind it up in thin iron wires. Not that tight.

Build mini-firebrick homes in the forge,
set a nest of those same skinny wires.
All so unlike tin soldering…iron and glob;
this whole job must be warmed
to a dulled just-red, with a tad more
torch play of flame, now
roar it up the wait of the join.

There’s a moment of bubbling up borax,
strange colours and stinks.
However often you’ve done this, you think
what if this time nothing floods?
But it does. A glisten turns silvering river,
mercurial, healing. The job stopped,
tongs ready…and quench.

Arguably, it’s all preparation, and perhaps
some still strange realisation,
that sterling solder sheet, marked “easy”
resolutely, is not. Unless there’s no choice,
“hard” always suits much better.
No-one likes sticky “medium.”  Avoid “extra-easy.”
Temperature scales tease with words. Well, so they say.

PHOTO: Sunrise Reflection Silver Sea by Nathalie, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I trained in silversmithing at Glasgow School of Art, and I suspect there are aspects of that way of working which would later be very similar to what drew me into writing poetry.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Beth McDonough’s poetry appears in Magma, Causeway, Gutter, and other publications. Her reviews appear in DURA and elsewhere. Her pamphlet Lamping for pickled fish was published by 4Word, and an earlier pamphlet Handfast was co-written with Ruth Aylett.