Cristina Umpfenbach-Smyth… Accoustic Memory & Olympia Peninsula

 
 
 

ACCOUSTIC MEMORY

 
He wakes, aware
of sound, rhythmic
against the window pane.
 
…. Rain.
 
He cannot see her in the dark.
sprawled beside him.
 
……remembers
 
long legged high breasted beauty.
 
Startled she feels his touch.
Fingers make their way
fumble, explore.
 
“Touch me” he whispers.
 
She reaches out,
cups him in her hand, gently,
holds his flaccid flesh,
dares not to hope for more.
 
Dementia pierced by sound,
small remembrances, from decades ago.
Kind darkness fills the room.
 
The rain stops. He startles,
withdraws deep into the pillows.
Silence sweats with fear.
 
…….he remembers nothing more
 
 
 

OLYMPIA PENINSULA

Between snowcapped peaks
valleys hold the promise
of spring.
 
Fog rises above trees
drifts towards the shore,
a long grey winter shawl
spreads over the land.
At the ocean’s end
lazy waves whisper
onto the sand.
 
A flock of winter birds
rises into a shaft of light,
soars to the mountains,
rests in the old growth
cedar grove
to watch
clouds travel by.
 
First Published in Harmonies & Discords by Nightwing Publications

 

Copyright © 2016 by Cristina Umpfenbach-Smyth

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lynn White… Which Way & Cabbage Dream

 
 

Which Way

I’m on the edge of the horizon
looking back.
There’s no looking forwards.
Looking up
I can see the sky,
blue or grey like the sea.
Reflected sunlight,
clouds rippling like waves
making shapes in the sand.
 
Wave shapes on the land.
 
Sometimes it’s so bright
I can’t tell the blue from the grey,
the cloud from the clear,
the sky from the sea.
The light blinds me.
It’s too bright for my eyes
and leaves me confused
on the edge of the horizon,
on a thin line
with only one way to go.
 
First published in Calliope, October 2015

 

 

 

Cabbage Dreams

I am dreaming my cabbage dream.
I’m peeling off the outer leaves
to find what lies hidden beneath.
Looks much the same as the outer leaf,
a little less battered and crinkled
but fundamentally the same.
Now for the next layer.
There’s a drop of water
shining full of light
and something darker, more solid,
the leavings of some hidden creature.
Another layer reveals the holes
and the sleepy caterpillar
dreaming…
without his pipe
without his crown,
so unsure of
his own
identity,
much less mine.
If I peel off
layer after layer until
I get to the heart of it,
will I understand where I’ve come from
and be able to unpack the dream,
find the pipe and put the pieces
together, make sense of the
cabbage, crown the king.
 
First published in Poetry Breakfast, June 11, 2016

 

 

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. Her poem ‘A Rose For Gaza’ was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition 2014 and has since appeared in several journals and anthologies. Poems have also recently been included in several anthologies including – Harbinger Asylum’s ‘To Hold A Moment Still’, Stacey Savage’s ‘We Are Poetry, an Anthology of Love poems’, Community Arts Ink’s ‘Reclaiming Our Voices’, Vagabond Press, ‘The Border Crossed Us’, ‘Civilised Beasts’ from Weasel Press, Silver Birch Press ‘Alice In Wonderland’ and a number of on line and print journals.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-White-Poetry/1603675983213077?fref=ts

lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com

 

Copyright © 2017 by Lynn White

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carla Blaschka… Robbing Love

 
 
 

Robbing Love

 
       “He’s a racist.”
       “No, he’s not.”
       “Yes, he is. You told me he has White Pride tattooed on his chest. His very nickname means “Hi, I’m a racist.”
       “Look, he no longer goes by Bubba. His name meant White Obscurity. His name meant he who lived in the hills back of Northern-White-Water where I’m gonna go hiking. Now his name is Daniel, which means my friend.”
      Justin laughed and wrapped his arms around her neck, mashing her face against his chest. “Alright, but you need to be careful. I don’t want you to come back and vote Republican.”
      She gave him a nip and pushed away. “God forbid.”
      He gave her an affectionate slap on her ass as they parted.
      Before she left she called the newspaper office and got the weekend service. It gave her the info she hoped for. Throughout that day, Standard Island kept traveling between Kahoolawe and Maui, but that night it would be at anchor. Her rubber dinghy knocked against the island’s bumper and she was helped on board by security. Tonight it was Robbie. She said Hi! and asked to see her mother.
      She hadn’t visited in quite a while. Her mother’s short brown hair had more streaks of gray than Val remembered, but otherwise she looked the same. Her mother offered her some peach ginger hot chocolate.
      She wrapped her fingers around the cup and inhaled the steam. “How are you?” she asked after the initial pause to catch up and test the emotional waters.
       “I’m fine. John’s fine. We’re doing well,” her mother said. “Our harvests are doing well.”
      Val nodded in acknowledgement of the message that her mother was happy with her new friend.
       “How about you? Still seeing Bubba?”
       “Daniel, Mom, his name is Daniel, and he is working as a mechanic.”
       “Of course,” her mother murmured.
      Val frowned at her.
       “We’re O.K., we see each other a lot but, I don’t know, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”
      She got an eyebrow raise.
       “I’m pregnant. Twins.”
       “Daniel’s?”
       “No.”
      Mom fired both eyebrows at her. “Who then?”
       “I don’t know.” She paused to get her voice under control.
      Her mother waited.
       “I went to a bar, woke up in the back seat of my car. I knew something had happened, but I didn’t…”, another pause. “I just let it go. I wasn’t hurt. It seems foolish now but I didn’t know what happened, so I didn’t say anything and now, well, here I am.”
       “Are you going to…?”
       “No, but I don’t know…I just wanted to…”
       “See how badly I wanted to be a grandmother?”
      She nodded.
      Her mother came over to sit beside her and put her arms around her. “I’m so sorry this happened. It’s going to be all right, we’ll see to that.” Her voice was low, the kind you use to soothe a baby. They rested like that for a bit.
       “Any child…” her mom said then corrected herself, “any children of yours are welcome in my life, in our life. But I think not knowing who the father is is going to eat at you, and probably the kids too. We’ll figure out a plan, do you mind if I tell the people on the island?”
      Val shook her head. Val considered them all her family.
       “One thing,” her mom went on, “do you agree the person did a bad thing and shouldn’t do it again?”
      Val nodded.
       “Then I think we need to file a report. When the babies are born, maybe we can get them to run a DNA check against their database. Honey,” and here her mother went all delicate, “how sure are you that you are pregnant because of this? Could it be someone else…?”
      Val shook her head again. “I was at that bar because Bubba…Daniel and I had broken up a month before and I wanted to get out of the house.”
       “O.K., I see. Well, finding out wouldn’t hurt, no matter what happens after that.”
      Two beautiful babies were born, a boy and a girl. Daniel stepped up and asked Val to marry him. Tests were done. Val wished she hadn’t. She didn’t want to know this, ever, but she went to the jail to confront Justin, her friend.
       “Why?”
      His face turned into a mask of frustration and hate. “You were willing to fuck that racist but not me? What the hell is wrong with you?”
      Tears streaked Val’s face as she leaned forward and whispered, “What the hell is wrong with you?”
 

Copyright © 2017 by Carla Blaschka

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jim Landwehr… Good Bye, Student Body

 
 

Goodbye

More and more it seems that
every day I whisper goodbye
to my wife and my children
for tomorrow is a dice shake
yesterday a shooting star
caught in a sideways glance.
It took the loss of a brother
at a young age to cancer
to learn this truth
and see the light and wisdom
of right here and present now.
Because as a poet once said
we are born leaving
and I would argue that
it didn’t stop there, the leaving.
While I love my life
in its fullness and
I can’t help but think that
every day I am whispering
a little louder – goodbye.
 
 
 

Student Body

In an American history class
sits a ten year old boy
focused on the sheen of
her brunette hair
the girl the next desk over.
It cascades down her neck
falling like so much water
and crashing on the rocks
of her shoulders below.
Combed in fine columns
a hair thick, each one
in exactly the right place.
If he breathes deep enough
he can smell her cologne
her scent like lavender and velvet.
If only she saw him.
If only he were not so shy,
they might become something
the two of them and her hair.
As the teacher drones on
about the winter at Valley Forge
the boy dreams about
the valley of her neck
knowing that these thoughts
are not condoned and
more likely deviant sparking
his own revolutionary kind of war.
 

Jim has a published book, Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir, and two poetry collections. His nonfiction has been published in Main Street Rag, and others. His poetry has been published in many different journals. Jim currently resides in Waukesha, WI.

Web: http://www.jimlandwehr.com
Blog: http://www.writerjimlandwehr.com

 

Copyright © 2017 by Jim Landwehr