(Sept. 2001) Page 2

Born in Detroit, Michigan and lives at Bush Lake in historical, Holly, Michigan and occassionally on the Gulf of Mexico in Dunedin, Florida. Val has a BA from Wayne State University and an MBA from Central Michigan University. Ms. Magnuson is a member of the Michigan Bi-Lateral Trade Team Canada and is a noted stained glass artist. Ms. Magnuson has had her work exhibited in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada and the Corning Museum of Glass.

Val has been awarded many prizes for her poetry and is the author of "Destiny" published by Poet Works Press. Her virtual homes are http://valmagnuson.com and the Poet's Porch, - Val's poetry is featured throughout the world and on the internet.

© Val Magnuson

In the Lighthouse of the Great Beyond
Floating upon lotus flowers and cloud leaves
Flumes slipping like priestly robes
Into the sunlit sea
Subsequent shards from the Glory Hole of God

At the feet of the Master, I sit
Yellow, Komodo dragon
Angel of Light
My ketch, "Vision" tenuously pinned
To this sight

Seaward west steering to Sunset Point
To bid au revoir to the Celestial Circle
And its luminous flowers
The Golden Halo has designed
One splendid watercolor
One rarefied air bouquet

The Cosmic palette melting
Perfectly arrayed
down down down
to zero amarillo

To rise on other islands
And bring life to other gardens
Earth echoing each trembling atom's
Ephermeral display

I sail superbly, superbly free
Upon this sunset memory

© Val Magnuson, June 2001

This is the big time baby-
Orgasmic State, it ain't-
It's the place you come to die
And I -
still have my pen-

Bring one shopping bag
Speechless Valentines
Cloudy pillows,
It's the carnival of the dead pantomime

One green sequined kiss on the cheek
As they slap you
Onto the beaded stake,
Forget the birthday cake-

It is big enough-
Liberated walls, one unsure window
Overlooking a garden
With oleander, palm trees and bougainvillaea
You just can't see it
And a gasping pool
Where virgins are served
And old men drool-

The neighbors live on different planets
No dogs - no cats - not even one damn bird
No bark, meow or crap allowed
They like the oven clean
When they put you in the frying pan -

© Val Magnuson

At the edge of the outer spectrum's cusp
Beyond the arco iris hemisphere
I fly the emerald tides
On a magic carpet ride
Spirit, soul and me
Voyage Carpe Diem III
Superbly, superbly free....

Me, the winged flyer
Holding tightly to the sun
He and I just being one
Traveling on the sound of light
Golden, fanciful flight
From the great beyond
The Great Genie cosmically nods
I hear the whispered thoughts of God

I am then-
The impassioned purple sage-
With happy, yellow state engaged
alpha balancer
omega watcher
cosmic jumper
Atlantis runner
Crafting what was seen
From the little Deus Ex Machine

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Fred Wolven is a teaching poet, editor of forthcoming Ann Arbor Review, and seeking wider audiences in ezines. He has appeared in Poetry Life & Times several times before.

Fred says,
"I believe poetry is more than art, mediation, music, or myth. After all, all writing is a form of mediation in motion, a relaxed, interactive exercise involving mind, body and spirit.

Creating poems is like candlelight perception; such a process enables me to dance both inward and out, and in so doing gain and share some kind of understanding."

© Fred Wolven

One little girl, looking over the pier edge,
drops a piece of cookie into the marina water,
waits for a fish to rise, swallowing the crumbling
pieces of dough. Her sister, or mother, I can't
be sure which, straddles her bicycle, patiently
watching over her young charge. What if, I wonder,
the little one toppled in, falling off dockside;
would I be quick enough to grab her, only twenty
feet away, or could her family member reach out
before me and prevent her from sinking into the
brackish waters, sliding down, becoming quickly
entangled in weeds? Tied up in slips just
east of the pier the masts of various size
sailing vessels are silhouetted against a white
fluffy clouded sky. Can such a peaceable scene
be part of this terrifying kingdom near the sea
with its near drowning, even if only in a dark dream?

© Fred Wolven

Two times I have walked off into the hills.
Each time I see the mountain winds touch rivers.
Hiking on the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee
I came upon a river in a rainstorm.
I crossed that stream carefully stepping from rock to rock,
leaving a disgruntled black bear on the side I left.

Not long ago, hiking through foothills in Georgia,
I crossed and recrossed a stream in my path.
Then it was a beautiful sunny summer's day.
The birds were still, no squirrels scurrying in the trees,
the insects quiet in the afternoon heat.

I have yet to cross a river for the third time,
though yesterday I walked out into the ocean,
envisioning ancient ruins buried in the sands.
Overhead pelicans and gulls skimmed low over the waters.
The fish beneath the surface blend in with the sand;
tiny unseen creatures burrow down deep into the ocean floor;
clouds gather, separate and reform against a hazy, blue afternoon sky.

Now, I realize the rivers are all closed in,
and the ocean's tides move in and out.
So, too, I know if I can escape from a bear or find hidden ruins,
anything is possible;
therefore, I will not watch from the shore.

© Fred Wolven

Did you know the other Charlotte, not the one
of the web, but the second or third not usually
remembered, in fact, nearly lost somehow in the
volumes of myth and legend, not of, but from
the same childhood venue as the other?
Which one was the original I don't know.
I'd have difficulty recalling the stories of this
other Charlotte if it weren't for my remembering
the working-with-things activities Bly and others
of us succeed with over these several years.

Yes, each time I pick up objects-always
joining my writers in this exercise-I feel
something very different from sitting in front of
a computer and attempting to conjure up or pull
out phrases which somehow approximate the
vitality of this world as I experience it.
After all, if you must know, there really
is no web at all in the other Charlotte's story,
but there is a cave, and both children and adults
vanish in it slipping away in the blackened edges.

© Fred Wolven

Walking alongside the river bay waters
I imagine diving in deep, a fish turning and
twisting, dropping, spiraling down until too
low I cannot escape the pressure. The blackish
color invites me in. Should I join the bank-hugging
grasses, touch and in touching break the stone skipping
ripples lapping and overlapping each other as they spread
out and across until vanishing from my human view?
How will I know when my father steps ashore, one foot
in front of the other, each deftly placed, if his hand,
extending always toward me in my early dreams,
is one path lighting from the dark into wisdom?

The cold mountain stream runs clear. The darken
back bay water clouds under an August sun.
I stretch out, reaching toward the tree, stop,
take my time, and remember the unfinished story
of the woman turning away from a hovering red-
winged blackbird. This lady returns to her village,
but I still don't know why the bird hovers so close
nor why she never turns looking at it. And I sit
down naked on warm stone, alone save for these
darker waters and my father returning in dreams.

[email protected]

JIM DUNLAP, Jim Dunlap's work has appeared in sixty plus small press magazines to date, including PLAINSONGS, CANDELABRUM, the PARIS/ ATLANTIC, DIE NIEDERNGASSE and POTPOURRI. He has been in the Writers' Digest top 100 three times, and for the past five years he was newsletter editor for the Des Moines Area Writers' Network. He recently resigned to spend more time writing, submitting and attending to neglected business.

Jim's website includes a lot of favorite poems by other writers as well as his own poetry.

His work appears online at
and many more.

© Jim Dunlap

Genetics and environment,
The argument goes on --
Has DNA made you a pawn,
Or just cirumstantially bent?
Is your character determined
By where you've been...and when?
Do philosphy and Zen
Favor one choice...or a blend?
Electric synapses, firing, engage
Performances upon life's stage --
And whipsaw us from joy to pain:
As Life's experiences accrue,
Each page adds to the book that's you.

© Jim Dunlap

By seeing things so differently
In so many different ways,
Backgrounds and environments
Determine most things every day.

Experiences delineate
How we live and why --
But conforming to another's views
Just makes us live a lie.

We dissect the life we're living
To evaluate expenditures,
And probe the outer limits
Demarcating life's parameters.

Yet, as these shift with circumstance
To some more salubrious clime,
We retroanalyze ourselves
In vain...time after time.

But what's truly most amazing
Through life's every curtain call
Is that, despite our differences,
We communicate at all.

© Jim Dunlap

Dedicated to my late friend, Bill McWhortor, and all
my red-headed relatives

The Celtic peoples have bequeathed
a heritage thats priceless and unique;
but those precious genes are facing
a future very grim ... and bleak.

Im talking now of redheads,
though it applies as well to blonds.
The genes for dark hair dominate
and will snip those ancient bonds.

Now the scientists are saying
that crossbreeding will destroy
the diversity of appearance
that Caucasians now enjoy.

The genes will dissipate for good,
and redheads will be no more;
And then the blonds will follow ...
Right out evolutions door.

[email protected]

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