Archives for posts with tag: wine

Ode to a wine-lover’s friend
by JC Sulzenko

Not that I’m a drunk or that we’re drunks.
But, after five months in isolation,
ten boxes of empties languish
underneath the basement steps.
Nowhere safe we can recycle them.

Barolos list and lean on Rosés
with the occasional Pinot Gris
and a magnum or three, attesting to
many, many, long, long evenings with
only each other to face and entertain.

What to do with the evidence?
An answer walks up our driveway.
His name is David. He’s thirty-seven, wears
a baseball cap and an unmasked, crooked
smile. He speaks few words with a slur.

David collects empties from around
the county during COVID-days.
He turns them in, donates what he earns
to charities he likes the best.
This gives him purpose, his mother explains.

Two-by-two, David hoists our crates into the van.
He refuses offers of help, raises his hat with joy
when he’s done. Then tilts toward me, runs fingers
through his new brushcut, mumbles what he heard
the barber say, You’re a handsome boy! Indeed.

PHOTO: Wine bottles on stairs by Pixabay, used by permission. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I focused this poem on my first meeting with David, although his backstory also merits further reflection. When I called to book his visit, his mother explained he had been living in a group home when the pandemic hit. When she was told she would have to stop seeing him given the restrictions, she brought him home to live with her and with his stepfather. David’s success at recycling has led to stories in local media, and demand has overwhelmed their capacity. “We are retired, after all!” she laughs. Now they are recruiting other families to come on board.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JC Sulzenko’s poems appeared on Arc’s Poem of the Year shortlist, and have been featured in Vallum, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Oratorealis, Naugatuck River Review, and online — either under her name or as A. Garnett Weiss. The Light Ekphrastic and Silver Birch Press have published her work. In 2019, she won the Wind and Water Writing Contest and WrEN Award (Children’s Poetry), and judged poetry for the National Capital Writing Contest. In 2018, Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology (Mansfield Press) as well as the Poet’s Pathway and County CollAboRaTive projects featured her writing. Point Petre Publishing released her South Shore Suite…POEMS in 2017. Her centos took top honours in The Bannister Anthology (2016, 2013). She has presented workshops for the Ottawa International Writers Festival, the Griffin Trio, MASC, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, the Ottawa Public Library, and a number of Alzheimer societies, among others. She has published six books for children and co-authored the chapbooks Slant of Light and Breathing Mutable Air with fellow Canadian Carol A. Stephen. She currently curates the Glebe Report’s Poetry Quarter, plus serves as a selector for Visit her at

Food and Wine
by Karen Eisenbrey

I dreamed the perfect vacation
the week before our trip to Lake Chelan,
Mom and I, Italy,
food and wine.
Not cathedrals. Not museums.
Food and wine.

Chelan’s not Italy but has a sunny climate.
They grow apples there, and grapes.
They make wine.
We cooked spaghetti
in our hotel by the lake,
walked down the road for pizza.

There was no trip to Italy;
my mother’s gone where I will not soon follow.
I dream a new perfect vacation:
Mom and I, Paradise,
a heavenly banquet –
food and wine.

PHOTO: The author with her parents at Lake Chelan, Washington (May 1994).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My creative process is that I write the things that won’t leave me alone. I had forgotten this decades-old Italy dream until I saw this call for submissions. I distrust poetry and only write it when I have to. This turned into one of those times.

Karen Eisenbrey (color)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Karen Eisenbrey usually vacations at home in Seattle, Washington, where the climate is mild and good food and wine are abundant. She writes mostly fiction, but will occasionally hark up a poem if there’s no other way to get the idea out. Recent flash fiction and poetry have appeared in the “Slim Volume” anthologies from Pankhearst. Her garage-rock fairy tale “St. Rage” was published in January 2015 as the 13th release in the Pankhearst Singles Club. It is rapidly morphing into a novel. (Author photo by Joe Mabel, 2014.)

from Wine this Whimsy
by A.J. Huffman

Three glasses of Merlot
and a monotonous conversation
of irrelevancies drove me outside.
I needed the air and the moonlight
to cleanse me, regress me
back to innocence. As I stood
looking up at a pallid crescent,
I began believing that mythical
childhood cow had the right idea.
I suddenly just knew that
in more practical shoes, I too
could jump over the moon.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  A.J. Huffman has published nine solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. She also has two new full-length poetry collections forthcoming, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press) and A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing). She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her poetry, fiction, and haiku have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane

IMAGE: “Moonshine” by Paul Klee (1879-1940).