May 2000 Cafť Society's Poetry News Update
Do you have any poetry news or comments for the Readers' Letters section? If so, mail me on the email link at the bottom of this page. Competitions and calls for submissions can be announced here free.

An Interview With Cat Townsend
(Cheryl A. Townsend)

Cat Townsend

Cheryl A Townsend is the decade-plus editor of Impetus, winner of the 1998 Chilcote Award of Excellence for Small Press Publishing from The Poets League of Greater Cleveland. She is also head honcho of Implosion Press. Ezines that have recently featured her work include The Hold, Stirring Thunder Sandwich, Perihelion, and her photography has been on the Main Street Rag and Disquieting Muses sites.

She recently opened up her own bookstore in Kent, Ohio called Cat's Impetuous Books & stuff.

She is currently doing a lot of photography and has a site at Cheryl A Townsend's Photography.

More of her poetry can be seen at:
Sex is Poetry
50 God
Cheryl Townsend

Poetry L & T: When did you first start writing poetry, Cat, and why?

Cat Townsend: The first poem (or poems) I remember were written about my grandmother's death and my dog, Jitters.. This was when I was about 8. I don't remember any prior to that .. but may have. I always wrote. I always drew. I was a loner and entertained myself. I also read quite a bit.

Poetry L & T: How did the idea for Impetus first evolve?

Cat Townsend: I started submitting my own poetry out to journals and kept getting refusals because of the content. The poets I had most contact with were suffering from the same, so I decided to start my own journal which had nothing but the style of poetry so many others shunned. I had a tremendous amount of support from other editors and poets, referrals flooded in, and reviews were fairly good. I got hooked.

Poetry L & T:Is Implosion Press your own concept organization, like Impetus, or a separate company?

Cat Townsend: Implosion Press is the source of Impetus as well as the chapbooks and varied publications. They both evolved at the same time ...though Impetus was the, umm, impetus.

Poetry L & T:Which inspires you most for your poetry - life events, or the world in general?

Cat Townsend:I'd have to say life events. I do write primarily from my own experiences, though I may, from time to time, borrow someone else's. I had a political phase when I worked at a local Rape Crisis Center..I was HEAVY into anti-sexism and anti-subservience. There was a lot of anger at that time.. I was freshly divorced and on my own. I dated a lot and learned a lot. I also wrote a lot. That period was the most prolific I've ever experienced. Alas....

Poetry L & T:Which well-known poets do you enjoy reading the most?

Cat Townsend:Marge Piercy.... But I find the most fire in the self-published chapbooks that come into my store.

Poetry L & T:In your photography, do you ever think of photographs as visual poems?

Cat Townsend:Certainly... They flow. I could also mention that with so many of them being a zoomed in shot, it's minimalizing... much as my poetry is. Short, compact and to the point.

Poetry L & T: Have you ever used photography to illustrate your poems?

Cat Townsend:Not yet.

Poetry L & T:Do you think that women poets can offer a way for men to more fully understand the female psyche, through their words?

Cat Townsend: Oh Hell yes! If they would just read what we write.. READ what we write. It's all there. Our wants, our needs, our dislikes... damn, guys, it's so plain and simple.

Poetry L & T: What, in your opinion, can make a paragraph into a poem (with or without rhyme)?

Cat Townsend:Take out the nouns and punctuation.

Poetry L & T:Are there any particular mistakes that some online poets make (or affectations), in their work, which irritate you?

Cat Townsend:I hate question marks in a poem.. Asking questions, like they expect an answer. I hate over-worded pieces. Those flowery, creamy, cotton-puff poems written in languid fluff. Yeech! I really don't read much online poems.. There a only a few sites I will go to for poetry. (Mostly I don't have time...) But, they are generally the same mistakes offline...

Poetry L & T: As a poet/photographer/generally creative person, what do you think looks good on a poetry website, or bad?

Cat Townsend: I love to have artwork with the poetry. Its aesthetically appealing. There should me more art...more visual.. but not in a clutter sense, just a complimentary sense. Bad.. I hate having to hit link pages.. so, have as much available on them (without lookig messy) as possible. (Though, maybe the linking would not be so bad were I to have a better computer...)

Poetry L & T: Finally Cheryl, do you have any advice for young poets who are trying to get published?

Cat Townsend:Submit to a publication you know uses your style. ASK FOR GUIDELINES AND READ THEM!!!! I get so irritated when people send me rhymed verse or flower poetry.. Don't be afraid to suck-up to the editor, either... If you've read their work somewhere, mention it. Also, tell the editor where you heard about the mag & why you'd like to be part of it. Don't give up! There are thousands of zines out there, it's inevitable a number of them won't like what you do. It's all just a matter of taste. You'll hit sooner or later. Just keep trying until you do. Get a copy of Poet's Markets and read it.. It really does help.

Poetry L & T:Thank you for the interview, Cat.

Cat Townsend:Thank you for inviting me.. I'm flattered.


Cat Townsend's Poems

© Cat Townsend:
BELLYSWEET GIRLS

wear summer white
without a smudge
Their hair perfectly
out of place Smelling
5 & 10 soap clean
under mascara and
a natural lipstick
Yes they still blush
when bad boyz
talk sex and touch
a piece of their any
where exposed skin
Lean against a car
fender with a wanna
be like them girlz dream
You can just feel
their cotton begin
to wrinkle



© Cat Townsend:
INDEPENDENT

I wasn't born needing you
I was taught that I should
by others who were taught the same
I guess I'm a slow learner
I'm living my second marriage
apart as much as together
and nothing stronger than want
or desire to allow us ourselves

In high school girls cried
and exchanged sex as if wedding bands
but it was all put asunder
when they believed in the need of forever

The men I have known were jealous
of my reluctance to need them alone
Clinging to the scent I left in their sheets
and my poetry of metaphoric love



© Cat Townsend:
OWNING UP

Changing sheets is nowhere
near enough no matter how much
bleach you use and no douche can
clean what has been deeper than
what ever spot he tapped It's either
quintessential or detrimental when
the car outside your vows has more
than an oil leak to worry you



© Cat Townsend:
VESTIBULE

I grabbed the crease of his
sheets dangling across the abyss
hyperventilating the intensity of
surrender and kissed the taste
of his wet smile



© Cheryl A. Townsend, 1997:
DADDY

Even now
at 38
I wince
when erupting anger
flashbacks you
lunging steel beam hands
that sounded like popping balloons
against my Shirley Temple curls
They were such big hands
The kind that could hug a child completely
but never did
I was terrified
when the darkness gave no warning
I only remember hurting
and in my young confusion
wondering why nothing I did
was ever good enough
I was always the
little bitch who told
when really my flesh
screamed your faults to the world
Hiding in gym class to avoid
questioning innocence or
inquisitive intentions
My mother was just a whiff
of Moondrops as she shut the door
Like lacing up a straightjacket
Trapped
and I would cry to Jesus
as quiet as I could
PLEASE make somebody love me
fighting self-pity today
that nobody ever did
and before I can catch
the reality at hand
the tears already give evidence
No matter how many years
or miles away from you I get
You're still abusing
the need of a child


EDITOR'S LETTER, MAY 2000

Dear Poets,

This issue features an interview with poet and photographer Cheryl A. Townsend (Cat Townsend), whose poetry appeared in the Featured Poets section last month. I have visited her website several times throughout April and have found her work to have a startling honesty, along with a vivid sensuality. The poem "Daddy" stands out, in particular.

Featured poets this month include the Dutch poet Richard James van der Draaij, David M. Jackson (editor of Artvilla), Charlotte Mair (also an editor at Artvilla), Rick Fry and New York poet/illustrator Jan Sand, a regular contributor.

Any comments on this issue or back issues can be emailed to me on the link at the bottom of the page. Please indicate whether you would like such comments to be included in the Letters section.

Any poetry submissions should be in plain text in the body of an email, with a small jpeg picture attached, also a bio, preferably with the URLs of any ezines mentioned, so that they can be shown as links. Further submission guidelines are available on request.

Best Regards,

                  


BARBARA CROOKER

contacted me to say that she now has an interview and audio recital at:

http://www.mcall.com/special/poems/crooker/

Check it out...


KEDCO STUDIOS ARTIST PROFILE PRESS INC

have an updated page of new CD rom e-books available at:

http://funcity.org/~kedco-ap/page1-2.htm

Why not go along and browse through the pages, or try submitting poetry for Kedco's regular competitions, in which they are always on the look-out for talented new multimedia poets and fiction writers.


Back from the dead (once again),
CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER
has been updated with new reviews for May 2000!

Please pay us a visit at:
http://curiouser.tripod.com/thismonth.html


Featured poets this month include Richard James van der Draaij, David M. Jackson, Charlotte Mair, Rick Fry and Jan Sand.

Many thanks to all contributors.


RICHARD JAMES VAN DER DRAAIJ
has been writing poetry for a number of years and since Spring '97 has started to be published, first in print magazines such as 'Still magazine' of the U.K., and 'Famous Reporter' in Australia, among others. More recently has seen poems appear on the internet in various poetry zines and poetry- related sites. Motto: "Poetry is Passion!"

Two sites for some of his poetry: http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca and http://www.dreamagic.com/poetry/draaij.htm

Covent Garden
© Richard James van de Draaij

She played the harp in Covent Garden, A kind-looking girl with long blond hair, Her touch of the strings was masterly, But she appeared to be slightly nervous, Performing in front of the Christmas crowds, Hurrying past in search of even more shopping, And I stood watching; a foreigner, Watching and listening, And for a moment even, Somewhat at home. Farewell © Richard James van de Draaij
A farewell at the station, Your train about to leave, I can hardly make out your face, Among all the travellers gathered in there, There were some harsh words before, And we spoke too soon, Thinking of better days, Spent in splendid isolation, On a beach somewhere South, With the sun overhead, And the cheap wine flowing, Now as your train picks up speed, I think of what you once said: 'Merry meet, merry part, And merry meet again.' Wordsparks © Richard James van de Draaij
Words, in a frenzy flying, Words and whispers in a rage of dying- -Alone. Simple or crazy and complex, Conveying all to one with ears, Nothing to those with none, Stones of verbal structures remain, Amid the rivers in my mind, All the world's asleep right now, And dreams of heroic verse, Myths of monsters, praise of psalms, Intermingle, intertwine, Thoughts and mystic powersparks, All from one sacred fire, Locked away inside, Glowing, burning, glowing, fading, Rest a while with me, We sit and hardly speak, Conversing none the less, And heartfelt wishes, aspirations, Keep on pouring into you, Into me, Give me one good reason, Not to simply love you, Stars and age-old moon above, Witness to this thing, To say it is to do, And act upon the stage. Galaxy Inferno © Richard James van de Draaij
Smashing crystal vessels, Firestorm of sparks, The planets fiery angels, A demonhost of stars, All is lost, forsaken, Or will a phoenix reappear? A lonely world of feelings, And hurt and heartache, Wants desperately to remain, Cold habitats in outer space, Robots socializing in sparse spare time, Can no one interfere? The sounds are soft or deafening, All depending on taste, And sensibility, Solving riddles as we go, Pray for chances left and hope, Escape from all our fears, At once the sun explodes, A glittering final prize, Dissolving all around he screams, And fiery tears rain down. Dutch Haiku © Richard James van de Draaij
Bloemen van de lente Flowers of Spring De verassing werd verwacht, Expected surprise Leven komt weerom Life comes around Blaffende honden Barking dogs Geluiden van de zomer Sounds of Summer Kinderstemmetjes Children's voices

r.j.vd.[email protected]



Charlotte &
granddaughter Grace


CHARLOTTE GAI MAIR
is one of David Jackson's editors at Artvilla, and has designed and maintained Web pages for Elisha Porat, Charlotte's Web, Shoptillyadrop Virtual Mall, BarNone Coffeehouse.

She is a former singer-musician ; born of Irish decent family named Coughlan , February 14/49, presently residing on the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada.

Always a fighter and very passionate by nature, she has never allowed her lifes circumstances to pull her down. It is in fact lifes journeys and episodes that have inspired this writer not to give up and to make known her love of life through her writing and poetic endeavors.

In a period of two years almost 100 poems have been in various hard copy Antholigies, Newsletters, Newpapers and many websites in United Kingdom, Ireland and across the United States.

ANTHOLOGIES:
Poetic Voices of America - Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum
W. Virginia, USA - 1999 *ISBN 0-923242-64-3
Crossroads - Iliad Press
Sterling Heights - MI, USA - 1999
Feelings - Cader Publishing
Sterling Heights - MI, USA - 1999 *ISBN 1-885206-69-0
President's Recognition for Literary
Excellence, MI, USA - 2000
No Love Lost - Hidden Brook Press
Toronto, Ontario, CD - 1999
No Love Lost II - Hidden Brook Press
Toronto, Ontario CD - 2000
The Open Window - Hidden Brook Press
Toronto, Ontario, CD - 1999 *ISBN 0-9699598-4-2
The Open Window II - Hidden Brook Press
Toronto, Ontario, CD - 2000
Illuminations lll - Hidden Brook Press
Toronto, Ontario, CD - 1999
Cherished Poems of the Western World
- Famous Poets
Hollywood, Ca, USA - /99 * ISBN 0-96414989

NEWSLETTERS: Wildlife Rescue Association of British
Columbia
Burnaby, BC, CD - 1999 * ISSN 1188-5106
Poemata - The Canadian Poetry Association
Toronto, Ontario - 1999 * ISSN 1203-6595

NEWSPAPER:
Choices
Toronto, Ontario - 1999 * 107-3295-11

WEBSITES - Published on multilpe Websites including Canada & United States, Britain & Ireland - 1999 & 2000:
Dublin Writer's Workshop, - Ireland
Deep Underground - Alternative Poetry Site, U.K
Poetry Repair - United States
Lady In The Lake - Los Angelos, U.S.A.
Above Ground Testing - Trenton, Ontario, Canada
Survivor's Poetry Site

SELF-PUBLISHED CHAPBOOK:
The First Fifty Years. Authored and illustrated by Charlotte Gai Mair, Published by Charlotte Mair @ Hidden Brook Press, 412 - 701 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada - 1999

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
The Reflection - The Spring 1998 Iliad Literary Awards Program
Peace - The 1998 Nature Awards Program
Message in the Sand - The 1998 Browning Awards Program
Forget Me Not - The 1998 Longfellow Awards Program
The First Fifty Years - Chapbook Competition 1998

BOOK REVIEWS:
David Ingram - Channel 4 Talk Show Host, Book Reviewer
*1999
Ward Kelley - Writer - Indianapolis , USA *2000
People's Poetry Newsletter - Toronto, Canada *2000
Recently-written Book review for Elisha Porat:
http://www.artvilla.com/mair/poratrvw.htm

TELEVISION INTERVIEW:
Mike McCardell - Newsreporter, BCTV News, Channel 8, Burnaby, BC *1999

Talisman
© Charlotte Gai Mair


When warmth left
you
sent
beams of hope

and so
lost hearts
gave lead to mend

in warm believers glow

talisman
is what you are

rare scepter
amulet
golden fleece
faith...hope

oh
grey may hover
and life
will inevitably cease
one day

but still
upon my brow
in the glow
of life's
last breath

I'll taste
the memory
of your kindness
on my lips

as I exhale




Court Jest
© Charlotte Gai Mair

Warm spotlights, shaded glows of read and blue Misty, smoke-filled halls Hands speak in rhythms In flickering blackness keynote sounds its call Summons me Centre stageshine on act proud Breathe and feel the magnet pull Becoming one with crowd Seek the mythical sounds of fame While ladies of the night like vultures, plucking meat Act scenes of Moulin Rouge again The cracking in the distance of an angry game of pool The stench of booze and cigarettes As I swoon blues of jewels Glasses clink, laughter roars, to me silencing the room As I retreat off centre stage applaud the clown the fool Levi Strauss Shuffle © Charlotte Gai Mair
After bangin' a button box for the day it came time to check out some new threads levi strauss it's time to hit the local brasserie grab a pint or two sing mean woman blues dont let me spoil the jute joint foil atmosphere of your scene folks tonight's my free ticket my freedom pass to slip through bar style doors enter act one tall cool man khakis to match my camouflaged heart of stone a panther on the prowl slinkin round my optimistic view how goes it says he not in question of me pausing eyes to interrogate my female disposition I passed a terminal look his way na, na but that didn't sway this suave predator with the Jack Daniel belt buckle catchin my eye what say we split this scene to greener pastures? mister Jack lay heavy on his breath but not one sway of imbalance did I detect and felt as if this meeting was not by chance somehow now as if I knew him from a past life if ya catch my drift? I Speak © Charlotte Gai Mair
Free all flood gates Flowered words pour from these thoughts full bloom luscious, soft scented roses to speak Roots remain firmly in terra nova Yet the bounty of change can be seen as the bee lands upon its budding promise I have awakened the sleeping poet And now he stretches his arms wide to gather me, so speak to me to take me to my waters edge He is awakened refreshed Born as the softness of a baby on a breezy April morn He writes as one with me and so, I promenade by side and I speak, at last I speak [email protected]



David Michael Jackson

DAVID MICHAEL JACKSON
David Michael Jackson is a publisher and poet, an Outsider Artist. musician and a songwriter. He's Jake and half of Eclectic. Maybe he just doesnít know who he is. Paints pictures, writes songs, publishes an ezine, but he is always first an artist and poet. Born in 1948 to small acreage tobacco farmers in Tennessee. His mother is Brazilian, his father Scottish/Irish. Educated and supported as a mechanical engineer who designs products for a major appliance maker.

He wrote nothing, painted nothing until age 39. His first painting is dated 1987. Wayne Jackson was the first to hang David's painting in his house. He even put a light under it. David has a briefcase full of words by Wayne which he is slowly presenting. Sometime after Wayneís death in 1989 he started writing poetry again and still does. He is also into family, music, songwriting, recording, web publishing, cats, and Schmutt, his dog. "People are starting to notice the poetry more lately." David tells me. "Iím becoming known a little as an editor for sure. ArtPage Images is between Atlantic Monthly and the Atlanta Review at Yahoo. The little guy can compete on the web. So Iím reaching people but Iím still outsider Dave and I constantly remind myself that these 1800 pages I have published on the web depend on $23.50 a month to the hosting guys. Itís all a mirage, but so is life. Itís all done with mirrors. I know. Iím an engineer."

Author's Intro:
I hesitate to dedicate a poem to Wayne Jackson because it seems to have a finality about it, but sometimes I cannot help myself to say that any poem I may ever write is dedicated to Wayne Jackson and it leaves me in his debt. Durn his hide!

Sugar Camp Hollow
© David Michael Jackson



We were raised in Sugar Camp Hollow
on Passenger Creek
where them reb soldiers camped it is
said
and the confederate gold is buried there
or so the story goes

and I knew you there
and you and I both knew
to leave those grounds
where the small creek meets Passenger.
We both knew to leave
those grounds
before dark.

You and I
shared the secrets of Sugar Camp Hollow,
them rebs,
that gold.

The neighbor Simpson
told the tale,
his skinny fingers
waving, pointing to that
spot where the springs
flow to create that
small
creek,
that place
where dreams are
formed.

a poem for you
tonight
Sugar Camp Hollow,
Passenger Creek,
them rebs,
that gold,

and I pause beside this spring
of remembrance

this moment is
a thin stream of water
flowing
from a tiny spring
somewhere



Carry Me Home
© David Michael Jackson 1998



Carry me home
home to the creek
and the water
and the leaves on the trees.
Carry me home
past the worry and the frantic pace to
the water and the dew on the grass
and the summer days
when grasshoppers are plentiful bait for
the fishes.
Carry me home to the field
and the newly plowed earth
and that smell of the soil
recently
turned
so that I may replant myself with hope
for a new
harvest,
so that I may kill the weeds which have grown over me until
I cannot see the light.

Carry me home past the roads, past
the buildings, past the red lights.
Carry me home through the darkness of a thousand nights spent
grasping for something which is not there, something which
could
never be there or
anywhere



The Cat
© David Michael Jackson 1998



I was created to notice the cat,
catching butterflies.
If I were God
I would be lonely
and I would need
someone
to notice
how the cat catches butterflies
and brings them into the house
and how they are
to her as big a prize
as any mole or mouse.



The Crows
© David Michael Jackson 1998



The criticism struck
into him like a butter knive
slides
through butter
he was butter itself
in the other manís hands
so he looked out the window
and watched the blackbirds

weaving a tapestry in
the sky
They chased a hawk on the winds
swooping to bite at his body
as he tried to elude them
Caw Caw Caw they cried.
Caw Caw Caw
His eyes returned to find more criticism
in the look on the manís face
The hawk flew steadfastly
and tried no more to evade
The crows picked and picked until
finally the hawk
slowly
faded into the sky
and the crows returned
to wait
More critisism struck home this time
ďDo you understand me, Mister?Ē
ďYes
I believe
I
doĒ

[email protected]


Rick Fry with his adopted
children, Suthida and Siwarack


RICK FRY
Richard Fry was born February 24, 1968, in Toronto, Canada, where he continues to reside. He was abandoned by his parents at an early age, and raised by a wild pack of American television broadcasters.

He posts regularly on the newsgroup alt.arts.poetry.comments, and his piece "Rise Again" has been accepted for inclusion in the May 2000 issue of Melange.

If he hollers, let him go
© Rick Fry

I kicked the mystery all the way home, I hadn't done that since I was a kid. The estrangement of siblings has its own rules; it's always the youngest who feels dead somehow. Growing in the projects, there was always a pop can to send skittering along the pavement; flat ones to sail along the wind. We huddled in a circle counting each other in, and The Others out. I remember the day Geoffrey played. "eeny meany" began the litany, counting each in turn there was a pause at "catch a.. (I saw the feline pounce in geoffrey's sharp, brown eyes. I saw the hurt in the black pupils) ..tigger by the toe, eeny meany miny moe". Untitled © Rick Fry
I met with Albert beneath a Mandara moon, and asked him "what is the sound of one hand clapping?" "Do you see that star?" "Yes." "How old is the light from that star?" "A thousand years?" "Probably. What happens to time at the speed of light?" "It stands still" "Yes. If you were the light from a star, how much time would elapse during the journey from the star to the watcher's eye?" "None." "Yes, so as the light, you would have left the star at the same instant you entered the watcher's eye" "Yes." "So the star has touched you, although you experienced this touch a million years later than the star." "Yes" "Then you know the sound of one hand clapping, and you have seen its echo" A lifetime of forward eyes and motion vanishes like sweat at ground zero, my hands coming clean as desert bone. I see that the earth is just a child flying her stone kite through the void, her wild white hair roiling against the blue. I no longer feel the flagellation of desire driving it's blunt head into the first egg. - I have counted its divisions to a final tally, and bond myself to the prescience of silicate: I pass the days winking at people from beach pebbles; they stoop, hold me up to the light, and share with me their subtleties. Matriarch © Rick Fry
I fanned a flame from robin's breast, a stolen nest for tinder, The stars lay drunk and boneless, weeping their marrow liquor. I groped the cedar beneath a crackling moon, a spoon in each bleary eyed feast, And fed the fire that singed the feathers of the rain, the rain, the cupless years. The tusk ends danced from my coal rubbed lobes, to the mastodon's ghostly trumpet boast; "Footprints in tundra", spoke the massive trundle, "my words, this page" In a godless, solvent dripping wind, that slaked her homeless tears. Umarked Grave © Rick Fry
Silenced, brutal to the root's embrace by twice dammed hasty shovel hands, as vultures stretched vile necks to sing the rain's ephermal strangled song; grimly echoing the deeds of the day. Pining years have stripped all flesh from fact, as in spirit, she rides to the maple's crown and there to bloom, come cold october nights, in all the colors of betrayals child; succumbed to winter's white numb shroud. I lay my breath upon the jaded snow, and listen as the creak of cradled grief becomes a swaying forest lullaby; my arms, this child, and the moon's gentle glow; I kiss her peaceful, on the wind rocked bough. [email protected]

Self-portrait by Jan Sand

JAN SAND, poet and illustrator from New York, is a regular contributor to Poetry Life & Times. and the newsgroup alt.arts.poetry.comments. A great deal of his work is about animals, or science fiction.

Recently Jan was published by Kedco Studios Artist Profile Press, on their latest CD ROM e-book, "A Way With Words (Poetry Real and Surreal), which also includes complete books by Dale Houstman, Sara L. Russell and Keith Gabriel Hendricks. Jan's illustrated book on the CD is called "Wild Figments And Odd Conjectures", which is also sold separately, in a limited-edition "single" CD.

To see an illustrated article about Jan's poems, visit the November '98 issue of Poetry Life & Times, and scroll down past the Editor's Letter.

CROCKERY
© Jan Sand



I set my words upon the windowsill,
Open cups to catch the sun and rain,
To catch the sounds of birds, to fill
Up with the buzz of life, marked with the stain
Of sun and moon and flecked with pointed stars.
My words now stand upon my cupboard shelf
And when I tap them with my thought their bars
Of earthly melodies resound within myself.


EARTH AND SKY
© Jan Sand



Each day the belly of the sky
Displays itself, rotund with possibility.
Although it has the quality of transparency,
It conceals the myth and mystery
Of tomorrow. Out there, waiting single file,
Are all the mornings and the evenings
In discrete gift packages of days
To be opened, one at a time
So multitudes of minutes, hordes of seconds
May tumble out like loose jewel stones
Full of sun and stars.
Behind the clouds fly dragons, gods and angels,
Crafts from other galaxies stuffed with treasures
And, perhaps, our own far voyagers
Returning through a twist of time and space
To bring news of things unthought and unthinkable.


A finger pushed down into soil invades
The dark domains of forgetfulness.
Shaped calcium sketches out what has been.
Thoughts of our mothers and our fathers
And theirs and theirs and theirs
Back to where parentage dissolves
Into strange monsters long gone,
Devolving down to fundamental molecules
That joined to explore life's possibilities.
Far below the fulminating syrup out of stone
Writhes in heat and squeeze to break the shell
Which caps the planet. Crack and chasm
Give access and the angry genie escapes
To see the sky once more to exult
In fire and molten stone
Until the wounded Earth reheals
To blind the prisoner and send him back
To his congenial hell.
In between, in Subterranea above magmatic heat,
Faint wraiths flow back and forth
Among the dark dreams of acid hates,
Loves forlorn, and the abandoned aspirations.
These are the nightmares full of fury
Awaiting the call of a sorcerer
To loose their capabilities of pain and anguish.


THE POINTED DIRK
© Jan Sand



To walk across the columned sky,
To watch green frogs turn brown and die,
To sing the thing that all men dread,
To mourn each wing above my bed,
Will never find the flat blue mind
Nor satisfy standards that bind,
For each and every molecule
Which builds contempt in every fool
Will fumble for its hooks and lines
To understand that humble signs
Are useless in a curl of space.
Reality is hard to face.


IN DEFENSE OF RATS
© Jan Sand



Where is the curse
In leaving sinking ships?
I never met a rat
That I could criticize.
These guys, whom heritage equips
With good instincts to combat
An inexorable demise
Should not be ashamed,
Should not be blamed
For avoiding all the worse
The world might tender.
The world endlessly does submerge
All hopes and pleasures. So does it convert
Daily events to black surprise
To make us each, an offender
In which we, ratwise, at end, desert.

[email protected]



Nice job with Ward Kelley. Insightful and complimentary to him and to you. You sure have cool stuff on your site.

I find Mr. Kelley's work, especially his Bio-poems, intriguing. They're inspiring in a spiritually-funnelling kind of way. As if he stands in the gap for inner unctions, not given or qualified to express along the already-established venues available in poetry. He may very well have added a new category to the art of poetry, with his new and exciting creation. Original and pleasurable efforts which initiate an interesting type of meditation and inner arousing of previously-undiscovered contemplations. It's also interesting how you can read just one in a sitting or try to absorb several. Quite engrossing.

I sure do enjoy your site. The kind of site I would think all writers would like their work to be presented on. I'll be back. Thanks.

Joe Schmitt

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Great interview with Ward Kelley. I've been fortunate to publish Ward too. Good guy.... great poetry all around at your site.

Dave

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