Jeanne Julian – 4 poems



“Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.”

~ Mary Oliver

Her careful hands, held apart,

fingers curved around

some unseen crystal ball,

lower toward

the moth, splayed motionless

in morning sunlight,

blending with weathered wood,

as if sapping its hue and pattern—

then aflutter,

on each hind wing

markings, round blue eyes,

blink, open, closed, open,

to thank

or to deflect,

as without touch she shepherds

away from footfall

the humble assemblage

of membrane, scale, and lymph,

light and fragile

as ash,

snuffed or saved (which?)

when enfolded by the dark, for

she finds no decorative creature

awaiting her return that night.




That a mean girl teased me

as I still struggled to get my boots on

when recess had already ended.

That a single bed taught me

and the bearded boy with long hair

the press and release of desire.

That I wept and wept because she noticed

fingerprints on the refrigerator

after I’d spent all day cleaning.

That I was elated one evening as we left the beach 

carrying bunches of sea oats, and she caroled

 “Bringing in the Sheaves” in spirited, 4/4 aria.

That when alone with her body

before it burned, touching her cold skull,

I longed for her to tell me anything at all.




For Tom Mallison


Sunday evenings,

his invisible congregants

tuned in to revel

in the puzzles of jazz:

jams, jests, jive, raw jittery mojo,

patina of old brass,

eros of a smooth chanteuse,

fresh risks of chord and discord,

improvised or songbook straight—

whatever the cats played back then

or cook up now. No notes of his own,

sang no song, our angel Gabriel:

devoted only to annunciation,

self-effacing, soft-spoken

sharing of sound.


Then, tragic

back road cacophony:

truck crashing into car

killed that acolyte.

Such harsh news struck

as ear-shattering blasphemy:

chaotic metal on metal on flesh

on bone. Then too much silence.

Then shrill sirens lacerating dark

like some tenor sax descant,

an eerie, bleak release in a minor key.


A longer silence followed.

Seeing in every split-

rail fence, barred gate,

or wires paired against blank sky

an empty staff, no clef. 


But listen, he says. Listen

to what they say after

the slow march along St. Philip:

“cut the body loose.”

And we in the second line,

tutorless, suited in blue,

yeah, dig that music but no,

not yet ready

to dance.




“Interestingly enough,

proportion has been around

since the fourth century B.C.,”

says Mrs. Baedeker.


So far we’re alert, here

in the Lenox Hotel’s Dome Room,

illuminated more for waltzing

than for learning layout.

Blue light rims the circular ceiling

like some big gas range burner turned low.


In this difficult gloom everyone

jots notes in the back of the yellow

course manual, except the inevitable

pair of young nuns who take

dictation in their own three-ring

binders:  “The essence of graphics

is a clear message pleasing to the eye—

ideas through art.”


Mrs. Baedeker asks,

“What gives a person an idea?”

We ponder where to place

the block of text, the pull quote,

the photograph, the cutline,

the copyrighted illustration.

We strain to arrange,

as we have been arranged,

punctuating these extended tables.


You, representatives of the Coast Guard

and Harness Horsemen International!

You, from Stop & Shop, with the Greek accent!

You, the gent named Diamond

from Pilgrim Plastic Products!

If you knew this: within the year,

some software will make obsolete

X-Acto knives, t-squares, rubylith—

obliterating all these tools and lessons, all

except a few principles, observations,

as, where one’s gaze lands upon a page,

(as long as pages may endure)—

would you then excuse yourself, leap out

of the hotel restroom window

wide open to warm radiance

and run down the city street muddled

with the random yeast of spring?


Jeanne Julian’s chapbook, Blossom and Loss, was published by Longleaf Press in 2015. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including Naugatuck River Review, Poetry Quarterly, Kakalak, Earth’s Daughters, Spank the Carp, and The Lascaux Prize 2016 Anthology (forthcoming). Her work also has won awards in competitions sponsored by The Comstock Review, The North Carolina Poetry Society, The Lanier Library, the Asheville Writers’ Workshop, and Carteret Writers. Two recent Nature Inspiredanthologies include several of her photographs as well as one of her poems. She was the featured photographer in moonShine review, Summer 2015.


Myra L. Weiner – 2 poems 


An eagle soars, swoops up to reach the top branch, the Monarch.
The giant Sequoia, a full twenty-seven stories high, guards the Earth.
A life lived over nearly two thousand years, a behemoth in the forest.

The Sequoia survives by natural selection: fire-resistant bark,
Insect-proof thick covering, green needles focused on the sun
In the cool environment at the mountain top.
Such conditions favor this ancient tree, nurturing it, allowing it to grow.

In times past, Indians camped beneath its shade, brought offerings of dried venison;
Prayed to the gods.
Today tourists flock to see the largest tree in the world, General Sherman.
Their footsteps damage the delicate ground beneath the snow.
They are but brief sojourners on the planet,
Not like the giant Sherman who has stayed for millennia.

In the shadows of the Sequoias, new life begins beneath the snow;
A baby Sequoia pokes its tiny branches up to the sun, protected by its progenitor.
From the seed of the giant, a renewal of the cycle, a rebirth of the species,
An emblem of fortitude, perseverance, new beginnings starts frailly,
Yet Nature insures the baby’s survival against great odds.
We rejoice in its survival.



If you look in a certain way,

You can see a dancing ray.
In the water you will see
The sun’s rays dance away.

The sparkling light jumps up
And down, turns, pirouettes,
Then curtsies proud.
It does a plié, toe to toe,
The ballet builds to a crescendo.

A thousand lights begin to shine,
Each twinkling, turning, twirling fast.
Bowing, swinging partners round,
Doe-ci-doe and promenade,
The sun’s rays have started their serenade.

Each sparkle is like a star,
Luring one to a distant place.
Flashing, burning in the light,
Where is the place that pulls one’s eye?
Is it the omnipresent deep or upward to
The sun, source of light and dance delight.
It all depends on who you are-
If you are lured to a silent tomb
Or to a distant star.


Dr. Myra Lee Weiner is a writer and poet, living in Princeton, New Jersey.  Her poetry has appeared in A Different Latitude: An Anthology of Poetry (1999).  Her writing is influenced by her early years in rural Pennsylvania and Long Island, as well as later residences in metropolitan New York, and her recent travels to the Western National Parks and Central America.  Currently, she is working on her memoir which will include stories of her work in toxicology and her personal journey as a Jewish working wife and mother.  She enjoys participation in several New Jersey writing groups, including the Delaware Valley Poets, the Princeton Senior Resource Center Memoir Group and the Hamilton Library Writing Group.


Bobby Bolt – 3 poems 



In July we sang cat tail whispers swaying in a heat

with the seasons.  One month of rain made us


the most enlarged versions of ourselves,

so fullness became our biology, the Middle-West

with its many volumes inviting Gemini rain destined

to pale under an angry star.  Battle cries rang


more like warnings in a song christened

Arthritic Bending and the Ultimate Snap. July,

when a supply vessel ailed by overpressure

events exploded in deathless spectacle


before piercing its destination.  How I would learn

the dodged bullet perseveres, never homeless.


throwing wishes to the future, promises of autumn

for extinction of the present as a highway mirage,

one through which I drove with black-blooded


roadkill left behind in a poem called

How to be One with Nature: Something I Learned Too Late.




It won’t really feel like leaving

if you remember the scar hiding

just below your hairline, how places

like this could split you red and wide

and flying into the next, your

swordsmanship tested and proved

absent on two continents—some

fingers were harmed in the making

of this food—while three Japanese

characters were drawn in the making

of your name, the one found

on a green sheath because what’s

the point in concealing a sword,

and if you remember old thoughts

like how people used to look braver

and swing battle-worn words at each other

in the pictures you weren’t alive to take,

then this might look more like a time

machine than an escape plan,

where nervous fingers run through

your hair, pulling like tires for answers

in the foreground and if you hit a bump,

slip and fall between the creases

of your brain then think of a four-mile

island, letting the luck of fifty polydactyl

cats and their leader MacLeish float you

back, chasing the far-away echo

you thought you heard, and if you keep

her voice closer to your ear like

the freckled reminder of a piercing

that never happened, or the poem

in the towered, singing bell then

you’ll know to keep near some coverage,

all walls and ceilings and floors

and the matching shapes within remind you

what will blanket your nervous sleep:

the lesson of spider-child born in the center

who uses his years to spread and re-center,

as such you will leave your crisp summer stanzas

of corn and soy with the sight of her

footprints on the unwashed passenger

side windshield, and some home can fly

with you to other towns on golden song

where you might close your eyes, and breathe.




There’s a curious movement in going anywhere,

and didn’t you know we’re all hanging,


spinning upside down and dangling

by the roots?  Stay still if you like, and stare,


or go find a way out but even if you runhere

you’re actually going there.  Not lost, but losing


change and keys, heels over head when moving

more around the question than toward.  Veering


blood unequipped with rear view, your vessels

won’t move backward, just stop and flow.


A thousand numbers you’ll never know, breaking

codes and making codes and who guessed


the end from Mayan stone?  With buttons pressed

on peace we’re waging, vacant silos make our homes.


Bobby Bolt recently received his BA in English from the University of Illinois at Springfield, and will begin his candidacy for an MFA in Poetry at Texas State University this fall.  At UIS, he served as Poetry Editor for both Alchemist Review and Compass Literary Journal—the latter a publication he co-founded with some classmates.  Bobby’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Postcard Poetry & Prose MagazineRoute 7 ReviewAmore: An Anthology of Love Poems, Rappahannock ReviewSink Hollow, RunestonePretty Owl Poetryand Lincoln Land Review.


Joan McNerney – 4 poems 

While we waited


Hearing daybreak begin in

alphabet chaos.

Forgetting ocean trenches are

longer than mountains.

Our cores hard like moons

listening to rhythm of

dead waters.



The electric generation

watching clocks

push forward on soiled walls.

Worms breeding

from each other. Slimy bellies

dressed in sweat

and polyester.



Weary with longing to pop

out of our skins.

Our anger burns through eyes of eagles.

This configuration of rage.


Fire flying

We realize not a thing is

w   i   d  e   r

than the sky.








His long fingers

search coded panels

buttons cool smooth

attached to glowing screens.


Isn’t he powerful?

The general

          general motors

general electric

and the major, major holocaust?


So admirable

the admiral

can sweep our planet away

in less than half an hour.


Another fact to live with

we can all blow up

in flames.

At any instant

galleries of murdered faces.


All of us born with this

strange dilemma.

Why do anything

when everything is wrong?

Our hearts caged in fear.


The eyes of the dead

are glassy and surprised

staring with open mouths.


Yes and always there is pain

of what could possibly remain.

Perhaps some slabs of concrete?

Is that all we have been building, buildings?




That evening


After the operation,                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

you delirious

my heart torn apart

wearing robes of despair

o so heavy my desolation.


Walking through town

I passed train stations

where homeless

children sleep

…wild flowers plucked

from gardens of grief.


You were conjured up in

my mind as trees draw

your face over tops of

trees blossoms of trees

your fabulous face.


I must somehow

continue to live

in this mutilated world.

What is lost

cannot be found.




I planted my garden



on the wrong side

of moon forgetting

tides of ocean

lunar wax wane


only madness

was cultivated

there underground

tubular roots

corpulent veins


flowers called

despair gave off

a single fruit…


I ate it

my laughter

becoming harsh

my eyes grew




Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle PressDinner with the MuseBlueline, Midnight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Poppy Road ReviewBright Hills Press Anthologies and many Kind of A Hurricane Publications.  She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net.  Four of her books have been published by fine literary presses and she has four e-book titles. 


L.B. Sedlacek – 2 poems 

You will receive
some high prize
or reward.
You are patient and carefree.
Drink to your health.
Wish you
You will inherit some
money or a
small piece of land.
You will receive
some of nothing
or none.



The first time I learned about
divorce we were at the beach.
It was my cousin’s parents.  He didn’t
understand it at first.  Then he
was angry and bitter.
The arcade and the amusement
park by the beach, one in Carolina,
had bumper cars, a Ferris wheel,
Octopus, Bobsled, a game room
and a busy boardwalk.

He’d disappear on the boardwalk and
wouldn’t ride the rides because he
said he had no money for tickets.
I gave him some of mine but he
didn’t ride with me.
We went home.  We went separate ways.
His father moved out.  He stayed with
his mother.  He’s friends with his father
now some twenty years later and married
with his own kids.

The amusement park, the arcade, it still
sits there by the ocean.  It’s mostly known
now for its donut and taffy shops.  Last time
I went I wasn’t alone.  We didn’t ride the
rides or play games.

We just walked on the boardwalk and left.


L.B. Sedlacek is a poet and writer living in western North Carolina. L.B’s poems have appeared in such places as “Big Pulp,” “The Broad River Review,” “Mastodon Dentist,” “Pure Francis,” “Third Wednesday,” “The Broken Plate,” “Main Street Rag,” “Tales of the Talisman,” and others.
When not writing or reading poetry, L.B. enjoys swimming, riding
bicycles, doing volunteer work especially for the local humane society.
L.B. Sedlacek


L.B’s latest work is a memoir, “Life after Wreck”

ISBN 978-1-329-91674-6