Sunday, July 23, 2017

Bear House

They tire of the too small,
too big conversations, the constant
comparisons; at least Snow White
had the courtesy to sleep a while
and Cinderella disappeared in her pumpkin
for a carriage ride into the night.
This girl just sits on the couch, whining,
threatening teenage pregnancy,
smearing on acne medicine,
then takes the car out late without permission,
eats all the porridge – cold, hot, she does not care
“Eating for two,” she teases, and they roll
their eyes, thinking:  Where did we go wrong,
Was it the late bed-time, too many video games?
When is she going to get a job?

The Clown Has Fallen

We should all be saying Oh no
because he was the one who kept us sane,
giving us jokes, even about ourselves.
Somehow we still laughed.
But now he has taken a tumble, perhaps
drinking a bit too much, climbing a bit
too high – or, worse yet, has taken flight
on purpose, leaving us with no consolation
of cheer or diversion.

Taking out the Trash

It could turn into a walk down the lane,
a chance meeting with fate.
I picture a man driving by, offering millions,
but it is as likely as Charon swimming to the curb
offering a ride to the Underworld.
So the trash gets taken out, the decaf gets made,
lesson plans are done (they are never really done),
and I wonder if Odysseus took out the garbage
when he made it back to Ithaca.

The Memory of Dolphins

Remember, I ask, the dolphins
or porpoises, their beautiful shadows
cavorting in the waves?
We felt so lucky to see them then.

When, you ask, when was that?
It was just a few years ago when we
went walking one morning, getting
our toes in the lukewarm water.

But the memory is gone, a photo that
has been destroyed, an event that
may as well have never happened.

Such is reality, I suppose.


Sitting by the cresting waves,
he noticed first one swordfish and then
another finding their flapping way
onto the shore.
     Should he wake her?  Probably not.
Then the first one stood up, followed
by his companion, and a duel ensued.
     He really should wake her, he thought,
     but did not.
Then both silver-blue fishes bowed,
leaped back into the ocean.
     First he thought, she’s going to be pissed,
     and then he thought, she wouldn’t believe
     it anyway if I told her.

JD DeHart

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Bound by evil,
the kind that has no shame or hidden gain
that has only stupidity as its strength and cruelty
as its force.
Bound to deal with the devil’s lowest minion,
to feel its rotting invading tongue touch your
clothes, your books, your headband.
But not bound by its game as long as the game
is relinquished and God is sought when the axe comes down,
then it will pass through you like a phantom axe,
mighty in appearance, but achieving nothing.
Not bound if the worse comes, and still
you stand with peace and dignity, trusting God’s reward
and promise of care.
Not bound if you are free in faith, if you know
yourself to be subject to a richer realm, higher than
these inching worms.

Allison Grayhurst

A Way To Joy

Words and birthday wishes
fall asleep under the light.
In sleep, I see what I do when awake -
shooting stars that fade into dark infinity.
So far, I have a bed, two legs and a mission
I’ve felt before I could speak.
Kiss these hands God, bless this pain in my shoulders,
give me hope for recovery.
Every effort is stultified, has no nucleus,
no path towards the sun. Every movement forward
dissolves into the flavour of the wind, is weak
in its purpose, in its ability to love.
Print my name on your heart. I want to serve,
to walk again across the sand dunes, walk again
hand in hand.

Allison Grayhurst


on your wave
of wet torment, licking
the moon of your lips,
cradling your breath in my mouth
as I held you submerged in my contracting core,
held you within as you were within
saturated with my pulse and flow.
I went under, planted
in the memories of your soul.
You swallowed our merging
with rapid speed. We evolved, stripped of every season,
you and I with our initials carved on each other’s skin, undulating
in our sensual, blessed commune.

Allison Grayhurst


Because of you
my heart has hatched
its most treasured nerve.
I am no longer nagged by the sulphur darkness
that carves away the surface from my lungs.
Because of you
we have two more to join us on our journey.
Two children, ruled by humour and the deep-drawn breath.
I no longer need false conversation,
struggling to understand the flow.
Because of you
my love has learned how to conjure more love,
reap then sow.

Allison Grayhurst

One Little Heart

One little heart
graced with purity.
Yellow hair and happy eyes
and all the dreams of a child's mind
like the shape of a butterfly in the drain,
or elephants in mushroom soup.

One little girl
dancing to sunshine
making eccentric faces
and laughing outloud.

One little child
painting pictures with her hands,
crying hard for babyhood
and spilling her fears on the ground.

One little heart
unknowing of all the gifts she gives,
of how much love she allows to live
and change this place called home.

Allison Grayhurst

A Piece

Taken like a fallen feather
back to God.
Removed from its plateau
to a higher plain,
to leave the box of memories an empty garden,
to show that love and attachment
are not material, are still vital when
there is no breathing body left. To say it was only a thing
that held too great a significance,
that losing it meant
and changes nothing

Allison Grayhurst

Celestial Reckonings
A primitive space vehicle
after many years
finally reached Pluto,
the planet, not-a-planet,
and discovered water,
at least ice formations
that could be water.
At the current rate
of space travel progress,
if we survive
nuclear, chemical,
biological war,
climate change,
other disasters,
we might reach Pluto
in two or three hundred years,
barring a scientific breakthrough
just in time to find out
the water is polluted.

Camera Serenade
The tourists come
to Bryant Park,
take photos of statues
of they know not who,
photos of the carousel,
photos of the chess players,
the jugglers, ping-pong,
yoga on the lawn,
photos, photos, photos,
digital substitutes
for personal involvement
in all the events
crammed into a tiny park.

Pity the Children
The changing nature
of a liberal society
committed to tolerance
of the unreasonable,
the unacceptable
by any moral standards
that allow horrific crimes
inflicted on children,
while apathetic citizens
never rise up in outrage
and demand harsh punishment
for violent abusers.

Prolonged discussions
of political or social issues,
controversial events,
rarely lead to agreement,
most ending in argument,
irreconcilable dispute,
intentions invariably
on self-assertion,
inflicting opinions
on unappreciative listeners.

Trauma Time

Virtue is no longer a virtue
in a land of tolerant intolerance.
The spoiled offspring of privilege
stroll through city streets
creatures so absorbed in entitlement
they cannot conceive that disaster
will ever target them,
armored in middle class comforts,
oblivious to others
until the sudden shock
of abrupt interruption
halts their serene conversations,
compels them momentarily
to confront harsh reality.

Gary Beck

in the arms of a better woman
don't think of it as pain
rather a peculiar path
to a new tomorrow
why fight the inevitable
the creeping death up
the back of your neck
as you lay in the arms
of a better woman
look at the moon
and ask for a reprieve
line up the shot glasses
and remember the fond
times of your youth
do you turn your back
or are you counting
down to zero
all of us were going
to be rock stars one
reality has a way of
crushing every soul
that dares to dream
that cherished moment
i can close
my eyes and
still hear her
angelic voice
the soft touch
of her skin
against mine
twenty years
and god knows
how many
moons since
that cherished
i hope your
life turned into
everything you
wished for
at least one
of us deserves
such a reward
let go of your fears
burn the candle
at both ends
shoot fireworks
out of your eyes
and destroy every
ugly soul on this
try your best to
not include your
dance naked in
the moonlight
in a festive
native land
let go of your
fears and ride
a comet under
the glow of the
northern lights
dare to be the
lonely soul
that is content
remove these
chains and
wish that
not just the
illusion of
no matter what
drops of
blood on
a clean
sheet of
is willing
wall they
stick in
front of
you, no
and once
the pain
fills you
and breaks
you'll see
that all you
ever needed
to do
was just walk
around the wall
every corner of this earth
the future is
a mushroom
cloud darkening
every corner
of this earth
accept the pain
and dance in
the face of fear
we should wish
to die while
laughing at a
dirty joke
it's the only
way any of this
is going to make
fucking sense
to live out loud
dance naked in
the rain under the
apocalyptic moon
when they dare you
to live out loud, scare
the shit out of them
by doing it better than
they knew possible
but this isn't
that poem
this is the poem about
a broken soul seeking
closure too soon for
those that deem these
things moral
this is a poem about
a rope, a tree and a
boy that knew too
this is for every
drop of blood
for every tear that
creased a bitter face
this is the poem that
isn't so much a cry
for help
but a clever way
of saying goodbye
J.J. Campbell

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...