Purple Mark… The Gathering

 

The Gathering

In lavish circles whirling, they skittered over the water top
weird women flying, their snarls and tatters streaming,
laughing profanely like bawds.
 
It wasn’t All Hallows Eve or any occasion that those
who weren’t these Witches would know. Yet it was an occasion
for them as their little ones were beginning their way in the Craft.
 
Seven of them stood wide-eyed as the Circle was cast.
They were smudged and invited within the muddy Sacred space
as the Spring rains continued to come down to soak the Earth.
 
The Quarters were called and they each in turn faced
the High Priestess’s Athamé and intoned the words they had
long rehearsed to be perfect on this most important occasion.
 
Despite the rain’s fall they were glad that they were now a part
of the Sacred Sisterhood. The cakes and ale which followed
made them feel that they were indeed growing up
 
and on the way to attaining the wisdom which had passed
from Mother to Daughter for so many generations that
their lines were lost in the mists of memory.
 
As soon as the last cake was eaten and the last of the ale sipped,
the Quarters were thanked and the Circle opened and the Witches
old and new dispersed to the four corners of their town.
 
Rain fell softly on the town cupolas, chuckled from rain-spouts
and spoke in strange subterranean tongues beneath the windows
of the town which had no idea of the importance of the evening.
 

Purple Mark aka Mark Wirth courts way too many Muses: Chocolate-Making, Costuming, Millinery, Photography, Painting, Drawing, Novel-Writing and Poetry. In College, he was the Art Director for the MSU Literary Annual for 2 years and an issue of Scimitar: Illustrations, Layout and some Poetry. In the Seattle area, he worked on Mythos in a like manner and provided additional photography as well as short stories.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Purple Mark

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Robert Ronnow… Not like a figwort

 
 

Not like a figwort

Not like a figwort but not an aster, either. Could he be a buttercup
with sepals, no petals, but sepals like petals? Alan is a bluebeech,
an ash if his books sell. Quick shake hands. Zach’s bald ok, a
magnolia, cone-like fruits a bridge to his neanderthal father.
When did Ben become a chestnut lover? It’s said women are practical
but there’s much variation in their leaves, ovaries. Many are older,
stumps, snags for peckers and porcupines, teachers, feeders, seeders.
What did the wood thrush sing
                                                   teaching its young thrush meanings?
 
Sometimes a mushroom. Did you know such fungi are mostly protein?
Mushrooms could replace meat, and the dead, the dead’s feet, white
as pyrola, could replace the living. Well, we worry. Will we bad luck
be extinguished. Denizens of convenience stores think who cares, will
I beat the reaper? Hope sempiternally springs. Things rarely clear
as sun among the sundews. Eating huckleberries from your kayak.
What Paulinaq says is live your life and then your death until nothing’s left.
Then thou shalt be bereft
                                       of the heavy sackcloth of the soil, soul.
 
Said to Mrs. Buckthorn good poets imitate great poets steal.
I think she’s more an apple tree. Or pear. Good to eat,
amenable to loving. Rose or Ericaceae the differences make the
difference. Emerson and Rylin Malone are dead. The dead
are dumb, the dust won’t speak. And this deep, dull and dark
blessing’s a horizontal reserve. Moonlit. Mr. Hickory is actually a yellow birch,
holy and exfoliating. Busy spilling seed on the surface of the snow.
Teaching essay
                                 writing, algebra, earth science, branches of government.
 
I would be a cypress, cedar, branches calligraphy brushes, divorced from desert.
It takes a divorce for one to know one knows no one not only one’s wife
but your very sons who will always choose the open flower bud.
Good, as they should. Their bones are your bones, strange bones, and a
strange selection of their words. They are Uvularia sessifolia (wild oats)
and Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon’s seal). They outlast the holocaust
or not, they’re made of matter. These windows need a good cleaning.
Leaf-raking. Dusting for ghosts. Ah, sweet peace, perfect rest, there are
no ghosts
                 adults are trees, teens are shrubs, and children are herbaceous.
 
 

Robert Ronnow’s most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). Visit his web site at http://www.ronnowpoetry.com.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Robert Ronnow

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

William James… 111 Words

 
 

111 Words of Anything Goes

 

Azalea ran the numbers though Katz’s equation. Pushed the button. The machine clanged three times. The jackpot was hers.

Terry was in the playroom plugging tokens into the high-stakes claw machine. He maneuvered the claw over the thousand dollar bill, but won three butt plugs instead. Each time he grabbed his prize out of the slot, he shouted, “Look folks, another cliché!”

Azalea got careless. She was hauled out of the casino in chains.

Terry wrestled with the cops. He got a black eye. Later a sore bottom.

Katz was the big cheese of the operation. His brainiac hacks worked every time.

He kept himself out of danger with cunning schemes.

 

Copyright © 2014 by William James Lindberg

 
 
 
 
 
 

Jennifer Roush.. The Jazz Trumpeteer

 

The Jazz Trumpeteer

Cheeks of pink, eyes of blue
I loved the jazz trumpeteer.
A gentleman; always in tune.
Never drained spit on a peer.
 
Takes my hand, asks, “hey Jen!
Go out with me today?”
“We can hide, we can seek.
Practice all day in the caves”
 
“Here’re my friends”, gleefully
Strange, the looks on their faces.
Try to run, try to flee
In my head I win these races.
 
All his friends took their turns
What they did wasn’t just jerking
I shift my butt, it still burns
But nothing’ll stop their circling.
 
Day the next, in the class
I play every drop of fear.
He, speechless, I “goodbye”
Motherfucking jazz trumpeteer.
 

Copyright © 2014 by Jennifer Roush

 

In this particular piece, the author, Jennifer combined 2 Lines with the 111 words of anything goes. Notice how cleverly she wove the prompt lines “the girl shifts her buttock, but they keep circling,” in her narrative. Her use of crass language is reminiscent of the author of those two lines, Charles Bukowski. All in all, good work for a few minutes of time.

Click here if you would like to participate in the WRITING CHALLENGE.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

William Doreski… At the William Stafford Memorial and the Last Concert

 

At the William Stafford Memorial

On the left coast, cypress pointed
like thorns scrabble at the sky.
Along the river, a mock Stonehenge
casts sinews of deep shadows
among which you pose smiling
and rapt in your bubble-pattern scarf
as you lean on William Stafford’s
Giacometti-shaped memorial.
 
If your shadow catches up with you,
both of you may go adrift, floating
over Portland, your scarf a cloud,
your smile a daylight crescent.
 
Meanwhile Stafford’s ghost muddles
among the first spring flowers,
red and blue trimmings to border
a lush and consequent afternoon.
His pacifism warps the horizon
to conform to your fondest moments:
those spent reading or thinking
in a shower of pastels, shared
only with gravest reservations.
 
The cypress scratch but can’t damage
the sky. Leaning against
the starkest of infinities,
you uphold yourself and the world
with your bubble-pattern scarf
as casual as the poet’s ghost
fluttering in flaccid light.
 
 
 

The Last Concert

The stars dress more formally
since we counted the oak leaves
fallen that one drab afternoon.
 
The stars exude atomic hues
to endorse the famous nudes
that step from art museums
 
to dance to certain tunes scraped
on home-made instruments sporting
one string each. We share a love
 
of such primitive music, the cries
of mating cats and dog-bark
tuning a chorus in G flat.
 
By the Charles as conventional
music fumes from the Hatch Shell
couples explore each other’s seams
 
and find the weak spots where thread
has rotted in the damp climate.
We watch from a safe distance,
 
remembering that we have counted
enough oak leaves to carpet
the entire river basin. Two
 
or three little sailboats flicker
in the cold November wind,
their bow lights tracing them back
 
to the dock to tie up for night.
The last concert of the year
has set the musicians shivering
 
before an audience upholstered
with boisterous winter coats.
The stars observe with indifference,
 
but their formal dress expresses
not only the nudes dancing
in Copley Square despite the cold
 
but also the rehashed Beethoven
churning beside the river.
We watch from a safe distance,
 
too old to expose ourselves
to the yellow lamplight, too shy
to let the stars understand us.
 
We can’t process each other
the way those young couples do,
but we can parse the starlight
 
and read in the various hues
the journal someone has kept for us
in our long, unaccounted absence.
 
 

William Doreski’s most recent book is The Suburbs of Atlantis (2013). His poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals. He lives in Peterborough, NH.

Copyright © 2016 by William Doreski