Monday, October 23, 2017

Henny is Smart

Two Poems by Sasha Thurmond

One

Soft breeze wafts in summer dog days
Glancing out kitchen window I see 
Henny scratching  outside of her cage
Lance inside watching Henny his tart
Lucky Henny finds chicken buffet
Lance wondering how she escaped.
Scratch scratch... Henny is smart.
Crowing loudly Lance wants out too
Me content to watch through the pane
Scratch scratch... Henny is smart.
Heavy alert, here comes my dog Tux
I race outside yanking truck door ajar.
Tux wanting a ride more than a treat,
He vaults inside and I slam the door shut. 
Lance crowing loudly, still ready for war.
Henny franticlly scrambling about 
Me using bare hands to guide her inside
Lance held his point till she was back at his side. 
Me securing gate to their lovely abode,
Scratch scratch...smart Henny was home.


Two

Henny is smart....scratch scratch...
Lancelot and Henny were as happy a couple
as couples can be....but I like more eggs
which two hens can lay
So I got Solo from my neighbor's huge lot
Solo was sweet, and tan mottled feathers 
set her apart.....but Henny is smart...
scratch scratch
Out of the blue, things popped in my thoughts
even again, past ones that flopped
Bent on success to turn this around, 
I left the gate open, just slightly ajar
Henny and Solo clucked back and forth
finally Solo edged her way out
Henny is smart...scratch scratch...
once things seemed safe, Henny walked out
Lance wouldn't join them, remembering well a previous jaunt
When I had two dogs on leashes I held,
I let all my chickens free to explore out of their digs.
soon I was dragging behind my strong team,
released them both when my face hit the dirt 
Chickens scattered every which way
Lance was mangled and down for the count
grabbing his legs, I placed him back in his cage
where he was dead, but safely away .
Five minutes later, Lance came back from the dead...even I was happy he did.

 This time I kept my distance and watched the hens feast,
after a spell, I herded them back toward their cage.
Henny was smart...scratch scratch. Soon she joined Lance
safely back inside .Solo was scared flapping wildly while running away
Lance got brave flying out to save her from me.
I scooped her up after a chase, me after her, and Lance after me
next he lanced me with both of his spurs
but I managed to grab Solo during our flight
I sprinted away clutching my prize, but suddenly she wet me
right on my shirt, I lay her down gently back in the cage
but something was wrong...she was motionless and gone.
I pivoted and scrambled out of the cage
just in time to elude Lance's rage.
Rebuking myself I locked the door shut

again I had two, and Henny is smart...scratch scratch.

*  *  * 

Sasha Thurmond is a graduate of the Cornell University MFA program where she majored in printmaking. She lives on a farm in South Carolina with her horse and other animals, and sometimes finds time to make art or write poems or stories.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Poem by Mike Foldes

Subversive

A swift current flows in my veins.
Salmon swim upstream, clearing
The rapids between heart
And lungs, fingers and toes.
Destitute, inside a box of planks,
I hide out from Main street,
Where fishermen will mistake me
For a runaway, their prime catch.
Spiders tickle my eyes under
Tired lids, their legs play octaves
On yellow ivory of the old piano.
Make no mistake, caterpillars
Caterwaul, grasshoppers drink
Green tea, and mysterious earth
Piles up in a ball floating famously
Through someone else’s inner space.
You are the ice cube in the glass.
We watch each other melt.

*  *  *

Mike Foldes is the founder and managing editor of Ragazine, an online literary magazine. He is also the author of "Sleeping Dogs, A true story of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping," and "Sandy: Chronicles of a Superstorm," with artist Christie Devereaux." 
Download at www.Smashwords.Com and www.Amazon.Com

editor@ ragazine.cc 
http://ragazine.cc
ragazinecc/Twitter

Join Mike on MySpace and Facebook



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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ecliptic Awakening: Sasha Thurmond

Illustration by Sasha Thutmond
The beast
Within me broods in quintessential power and despair amidst my personal, and desperately driven chaos. Why do the hairs on my back strike heinous gashes only against an eclipsing sun when no one can see them?
My life as a free spirit is light years away from the tragic, and complicated one I fell into.
Horror fans my raging anguish and conflicted essence.
Can I fool my fervent darkness and yield to the light of day?

My captor says I can't. My condemnation is to live alone in misery.
But then, the opportunity to help other men, women or beast will be impossible.
Let the good in life transform me and through this selfless act, I shall help others
find redemption and joyful days toward infinity.

*   *   *

Sasha Thurmond is a graduate of the Cornell University MFA program where she majored in printmaking. She lives on a farm in South Carolina with her horse and other animals, and sometimes finds time to make art or write poems or stories.




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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Two Tompkins County Poems

Stephen Poleskie                        

Stone Quarry Road

When I bought the house on top of the quarry my friends asked,
why do you want to live so far out of town?
Now the town has moved closer to me and my friends say,
you can walk to Wegmans from where you live.
My road has become the short-cut to the malls on Meadow
for the people driving from the southern end of Tompkins County.
All day and all night long the traffic roars up and down my hill.
My home was much quieter when I lived “so far out of town.”
And yet the deer still sleep in my back yard,
And the birds do sing at dawn,
And the lilacs bloom in the spring,
And I can see Cayuga Lake from my upstairs windows,
And the rain water flows freely over my falls,
And the speeding drivers will stop
for a parade of wild turkeys.

*   *   *


Treman Park

Water cascades mightily over the falls.
A group at the bottom stares in awe
at the power displayed by the now unfrozen liquid.
On a rare sunny winter’s day in Tompkins County,
people are wearing shorts in February.
Today is Presidents’ Day so the schools are closed.
Everyone appears to be out and about,
walking in a park that remembers
the long absent crowds that come with summer,
but is now filled with people happy to see each other
if only for one of those few bright days
that by chance slip in between winter’s gray.

*   *   *

The two above poems appeared in a collection of Tompkins County poems compiled by The Tompkins County Public Library in Ithaca, New York as part of their 2017 Poems in a Pocket series 




Stephen Poleskie’s writing, fiction, non-fiction and poetry has appeared in numerous journals in the USA and in Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, and the UK; as well as in five anthologies, and been three times nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  He has published five novels and two books of short fiction. Poleskie has taught at The School of Visual Arts, NYC, the University of California/Berkeley, and Cornell University, and been a resident at the American Academy in Rome. Poleskie lives in Ithaca, NY. with his wife the novelist, Jeanne Mackin.   website: www.StephenPoleskie.com


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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Verlaine Boyd: Two Poems

Flat File 

Sorting through 
His drawings/
Prints/works on paper
I come across ones
I’d never seen
New friends
Among familiar faces
I’m an archeologist
Digging up the past
Eager to know
The whole picture



Lament for a Lady

My right-hand man
Left me
And now I must
Handle all the
Fix-up clean-up
Pay up and
Keep up alone
It is too much
To keep track
Of if in fact
That is what
I am expected
To do and still 
Have time to
Put words to paper
Write poems
And other fictions
Think thoughts
Profound and witty
I’m all caught up
In getting by
Making do
Life’s small triumphs
The nitty gritty
Scenarios 
Of survival

*   *   *

Verlaine Boyd is a writer who lives in New York City and Ithaca, New York. She has been published widely and can be reached at her website: verlaineboyd.com



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Friday, June 30, 2017

A Poem to Marina Abramovic by Mike Foldes

O, Marina (Distended Version) Abramovic

I do not want
to see anyone
cut themselves.
I do not want
to see anyone
hanged.
I do not want
to carry a body
to the grave,
or to an ambulance
because they have ingested
too many colored pills,
put a needle
between their toes,
into lifeless arms
or under eyelids.
Who done up
these sorrows,
anyway?
Assessing, subtly
casting stones
in some direction
directionless living
observer, observed
subject and subjected,
jackal and slave.
How unclever to discover
in the deeply enriched
entrenched echoing ego
asshole observers
sitting up straight
straight up your ass, man,
straight up your ass,
veil of veils…
vile pleasure in pain
mixed autonomy
mild anxiety
that can, too,
be mined
if one has a mind
to
bringing out the best
where the worst
is the best it gets.
Imagine that
Cling to your carpet
One with carpet
One with wall
A squall gathers
At the door,
A squall gathers
In your belly,
A squall gathers
In the room
Where everything
Moves magisterially
Passing priests pissing
Blood on the path
To purgatory,
Barking dogs,
Hissing cats,
In holiday season
Anthropomorphic
Medial lobotomy
Claustrophia
Hydrophobia
Santa Claustrophobia

Take a flyer.

What the fuck else
can happen.

*  *  *

Mike Foldes is the founder and managing editor of Ragazine, an online literary magazine. He is also the author of "Sleeping Dogs, A true story of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping," and "Sandy: Chronicles of a Superstorm," with artist Christie Devereaux." 
Download at www.Smashwords.Com and www.Amazon.Com

editor@ ragazine.cc 
http://ragazine.cc
ragazinecc/Twitter

Join Mike on MySpace & Facebook

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Memoir of Delirium & Dementia

Girl Behind the Door/Stephanie Dickinson/ Rain Mountain Press/ April 2017

The subtitle of this book is “a memoir of delirium & dementia.” I would say it certainly is that. Several of the chapters have also appeared as short stories in various journals.

I found the book very hard to read; not that the writing was difficult, in fact the writing is quite fine. The main problem was that I had, in the not too distant past experienced the death of my mother and felt too close to the scenes that were created. These were incidents that I had put to the back of my mind. And while I had never been shot by a friend, accidentally or otherwise, and lost the use of my arm; I have had a number of motorcycle accidents that have left some parts of my body functioning less than perfectly. This is even more so now that I am no longer a young man.

Yes, Stephanie was wild in her youth, or so she tells us in this memoir; but weren’t we all. Reading through the book I kept finding parallels to people and situations that I encountered in my younger days. The question was did I want to be reminded of these moments of my past. We were Poles in Pennsylvania not Czechs in Iowa; however, the only difference was the geography.  My friend Price, who was my competitor for best writer in high school, who became a high school teacher, and who drank himself to death competing in a drinking contest at a local bar, could easily have been an inhabitant of Dickinson’s sadly changing Iowa landscape.

Where Dickinson excels is in the understanding she shows of her mother and the descriptions of their relationship. She reveals herself in conflict with the woman, loving her for who she is, but wanting to escape from all she stands for. I found myself relating strongly to these parts, as I had made similar choices in my past; choices I tell myself worked out well, but wonder still what might have been.  As I write this I am flipping through Girl Behind the Door. Tomorrow I shall begin reading it all again. I am looking forward to Stephanie Dickinson’s next book.

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Sidney Grayling