Fabulous Finds 1998

Note:     A link to the poet's home page or e-mail address is usually provided below each poem. A direct link from the poet's name to his/her Positively Poets page (with bio, links, and additional work) is provided when applicable.

The Chain

 By: I.B. Rad

Oddly, I never noticed
that thick chain,
much like those anchoring ocean liners,
extending from our starcraft. 
It stretched through the ubiquitous gloom
gradually merging with an engulfing blackness,
that congealing shadow
that kept us in its' thrall.
How often I'd thought of slipping away,
of stealing an Exit Pod 
to follow the chain 
yet, of countless earlier flights,
none returned. 
Others I'd spoken with 
had also witnessed this apparition  
though our youngest staff 
seem not to have noticed.
And clearly, the chain moved,
for if you focused on a link
situated by one of those luminous whorls 
and stared long enough,
you began to see it creeping outward, 
toward the blackness.
But where was this chain drawing us?
Through an ever deepening vacuity, ad nauseam?
To some coveted emanation beyond imagining?
To our impending doom?
Clearly, no one knew 
so we made up parables, fables
to sate our curiosity, to alleviate our fears.
And as few voluntarily relinquished 
our ship's highly circumscribed, 
though seemingly secure, familiar,
we crafted amusements to pass the time,
to distract us, to keep us entertained.
Yet, deep within our hearts, 
we all await its summons, 
that irresistible pull
impelling us to take an Exit Pod, 
to follow those who left before...
To where?...

Copyright © 1998 I.B. Rad

The Illustrated Rad, I.B. Rad's Home Page

August, 1998 Of The Month

The Trojan Horse

 By: Janet I. Buck

Amarreto in the den.
Wine without the stench of moments missed
and pasted smiles upon the face of artifice
before the final Fall.
The one where whiskey turned to shame
and gin to heavy hands around the neck of days.
The kitchen was her citadel.
The popping corks, the heads of nails,
a secret rusted by despair.
A hammer that would always draw 
the breath of doubt and roll the eyes of scorn.

A blanket others could have 
folded up and set aside.
But needy phones would ring and ring.
Ether answers to the cliffs
she wouldn’t, couldn’t venture near.
Her soul a hall she papered with
excuses that would peel away.

She saddled up the camel strength
despite the humps of giving in
and headed for the battle zone.
The grace of loving eyes and open minds
the single star in skies of fear.
They told her more than once
to take the rocky road a pebble at a time.		

Copyright © 1998 Janet I. Buck

A Poet's Pen

September, 1998 Of The Month


 By: Doug Tanoury

At night downtown buildings
Are lit like racks of votive candles
In a dark church

Some are white beeswax
Some are golden flame rising
To subdued weakness

Strobed finials glow dull orange
Like light through smoke gray glass
Of vacuum tubes

In mist that cloaks high peaks
And hides monolithic shapes with sky
Sunken to street level

Copyright © 1998 Doug Tanoury

  Athens Avenue Poetry Circle

October 1998 Of The Month

The Bloom of The Grape

 By: Diana Bispo

the bloom of the grape       
fades into a gray, the       
dauntless sky rain laden     
and swirling, and we watch    
her pedaling slow down    
the bumpy path to a stone    
enclosed river, a place for  
skinny dipping and conceiving
the mischief she's become.    
the boulder we sit on, hand  
in hand, remains graffiti    
splashed and decipher less,   
fading hearts, a mark to   
bring us home, our high beams
searching its grooves on     
moonless nights after too    
many holiday martinis.
in daylight, we make it a            
perch for lookouts, spying           
the crimson flap of her hood         
she's pushed off her dark head,      
the silver chrome of her spokes      
bouncing back glints of struggle,    
a rare moment of captured light.     
sometimes i watch you stand, tip-    
toed, head craned and regal on       
the rock, cigarette dangling from    
pursed lips, expectant. you long   
to see her face turn back to you,    
her small hand wave. i mustn't       
make a sound in my approach, the both
of you taking first steps toward     
fragile friendship. i must look away,
trap my hands under this lumbering body, 
never expose the wince, the smile that comes
with loving and letting go.

Copyright © 1998 Diana Bispo

Comments to author:   bispo@us.ibm.com

June 1998 Of The Month
June 1999 of the Month


 By: Joy Reid

Green little bottle 
     chosen for beauty
no practical function
just eye teasing pleasure.
Plump little paradox
     wriggle your hips
waggle your buttocks
oh sumptuous abandon.
Madeleine urn or
     pert water carrier
	I see you rather
in an odalisque hand.
Vessel of Myrrh or
     musk from the orient
	priceless purchase
with stoppered scent.
Sly genii bower 
     smooth as a jewel
	emerald prison
denying release.	
Shrewd dragon eye
     brooding on plunder
	ancient miser
guarding the hoard.
Coy little bottle
     bereft of purpose
your value to me
is inestimable.

Copyright © 1997 Joy Reid

Comments to author:   jreid@staggs.schnet.edu.au

May 1998 Of The Month



 By: David Hunter Sutherland

 "Let there be light!"
 Should have been 
 let there be love.
 Before the grand smashing of quasars and quarks,
 before the nebulous blast of itinerant particles
 and vagabond molecules filled primordial void.
 Before life's infernos and castaway stars
 reached Alpha sans Omega,
 well before the first mind feigned realization

 it should have been ...
 How I teach your hands to key on a piano's ivory face,
 and your innocent musing of notes between crests
 a little chaste, a little cello,
 an octave's voice off cleft invites;
 let there be love.

 Before the Odyssey sails through history's track,
 before Buddha's grand asceticisms beneath Bo tree,
 before the Caesars and Gandhis and
 Christ! How delicate your fingers find note
 on a scale whose extortion wills "A" count to "C",

 trace it, follow it, focus one more time
 before the night sky twilight breaks dawn
 and your head finds pillow and sleep.
 Before your delicate feet carve niche under cover
 and this _sotto voce_ against your cheek
 tells the dawn of your majesty
 yet can only whisper in the silence
 let there be love.

  Copyright © 1997 David Hunter Sutherland

  Athens Avenue Poetry Circle

   July 1998 Of The Month

  As If I Were Crazy

    By: Richard Fein

  So long ago now since we picked beach plums.
  I parted the rose thorns, 
  while she reached in and harvested the fruits.
  My finger was stained with a drop of red.
  Her hands were awash with purple.
  I had a sharp, focused, pinprick pain.
  Her arms mildly ached all over.
  We divided  the plums into two bags
  which she carefully rationed for equal weight.
  Then she waxed poetic about pots and pans,
  and the thrill of boiling pulp down to jellied sweets.
  She decreed the exact procedure.
  (She'll hold the pot, and I the strainer.)
  She led the way on our trek back
  along the footpath by the highway.
  The faintest, faintest, chill was in the September air.
  My eyes were fixed on the pattern
  of swaying curves across her  jeans,
  and the way her long hair bobbed on and off her back.
  Poison ivy grew among the grasses,
  but we didn't notice till we reached the exit ramp.
  There I was cut off from her for she didn't wait,
  and a caravan of exiting cars 
  kept me from catching up.

  Years later on another September day 
  when I was exiting that same ramp,
  I saw the back of lady walking with her beau,
  with swaying curves across her jeans.
  Both were toting bags of plums of equal size.
  I stopped. Brakes screeched behind me. Loud curses.
  The couple turned. 
  Her face.
  It was someone else.
  Yet more curses.
  I had no real destination but I had to move.
  I shouted poison ivy along the road and gunned the gas.
  The suspicious couple eyed me 
  as if I were crazy.

    Copyright © 1998 Richard Fein

    Contact the Author: bardbyte@idt.net

February 1998 Of The Month


By: Germain Droogenbroodt

Like the moon
preserves the darkness
and longs for the night

like the dream 
repulses the daybreak
and waits for the evening

thus she yearns for him
who parts from the light its shadow
and from the day its bitterness
the thistle and the thorn.

Fort-Palace Neemrana, India 18.10.95 

Copyright © 1995 Germain Droogenbroodt

Poetry International

Ad Infinitum

By: Paul St John Mackintosh

The perpetuum mobile belts nonstop,
no beginning nor end to the endless chain.
Time's arrow flip-flops; effects cause, cause ensues; 
run forward, back, change stays the same.

The river of grief whose tears are seas
runs dry, then recouls, in its bed of flint; 
that rock worn flat by the finch's bill
rears its thousand miles for another stint.

Extinction closes on fugitive life; 
white nicks in the charcoal sky,
the mewing gulls mourn their fallen plumes 
amaranths droop as immortals die.

Cicadas boil out of the earth
brown in moments with imagos' empty husks; 
their shrill, the copper pan lid on the day,
dins into the valleys clamorous lust.

Generations succeed to their forebears' loss
in incessant bouts of growth and decline; 
the worlds are a trackless Sahara's sand,
the cities salt crusts along time's strandline.

The ghostly ouzel's song tails away
in green shadows, white haloes swallowed in space; 
passage birds en route to Ultima Thule
cross the starfields, gone without trace.

A wheel of fortune is turning somewhere,
tumblers falling, dealing futures in spades
for limbo walkers forgetting themselves
for new lines in the same old charades.

The billennia snowball, hurl pell-mell;
stones, men and gods alike resurrect; 
things come and go in powers of noughts,
exponential series, surd multitudes, etc.

Copyright © 1997 Paul St John Mackintosh

From The Golden Age, Bellew Publishing, London, 1997
reprinted by permission of author

Home Page of Paul St. John Mackintosh

In the Faces of Flowers

By: Layne Russell

I see her in the faces of flowers,
her laugh lying in wait
in the sweet white alyssum,
her smiles wide in yellow
In red New Guinea impatiens
I see her tanned in summer shorts,
garden hose in hand,
watering the flower-filled pots
lining the patio, paths, and walks.
I hear her clear, strong voice in
Shasta daisies,
and the love of her sings out in the 
yellow rose, the pink rose, the white.
Bright pink hydrangeas:
her full life, her exuberance.
All her garden appears and 
there she is, moving through it,
through the random cosmos,
through the waist-high gold of her life.
Hollyhocks, scarlet penstemon,
deep blue ornamental sage
interlaced with the vegetables,
fruit trees,
the occasional grass,
were all her domain.  
And, yes, red canna lilies,
rich purple iris,
wild blue speedwell
along the back lattice fence--
is there a flower she did not love?
As I walk among flowers she knew,
in my body the buds of the golden cosmos
open, open in abandon. 

Copyright © 1997 Layne Russell

White Owl Web, Poetry of Layne Russell

December 1997 Of The Month


For Di... 9/6/97

By:   Glen Fauré

           And how could anyone believe
           that in this world anything 
           is only what it appears to be
           that anything is ever final
           that anything in spite of absence
           ever dies a perfect death.
           What Is It?
                                   Mary Oliver

Earth prepared
her body's lowered.
Above the silent eyes
empty lips
tarnished heart
one leaf to another whispers.

In the distance
flowers act like fools
and water laughs
an enormous yellow kite
spools children with its thread

while on the wind glide
scent of rose
a rusty note's nostalgia
a solitary bird and clouds
like cotton turtles swimming.

Now imagine light
filling in dense shadows
I might have wandered into
thinking and believing that
all she'd ever been
actually ended here.

Copyright © 1997 Glen Fauré

Comments to author: ghfaure@ameritech.net

November 1997 Of The Month


By:   Ron Watson

You must tell me what they say
In Yugoslavia
When the weather turns this way,
When each green tree's ungentle leaves
Are fiercely dying.
Is there a phrase you have, a word
For what passes through your heart
This time of year?  Can you tell me 
In your own tongue what it means
To wear this season's breeze?
Do you think of home?  Of a lover
You knew too briefly once?  Do you 
Catch yourself in waking dreams?
Do you find yourself full of grief
That cannot speak?  Do you long
To sleep and sleep?

It happens like that here, though 
My English bears no tiding I can name.  
I am left to guess where you are.  
A restless midnight pulls me on and on.  
Two candles stand a vigil by your chair.
It is raining.

Copyright © 1994 Ron Watson

From A Sacred Heart, Redneck Press, 1994
Reprinted by persmission of author


March, 1999 Of The Month

One Last Fling

By:   L.R. Powell

Words! Countless willing mistresses.
While I was merely being selfish
they conspired.

Stolen hours were not enough,
they demanded more.
So while I scribbled mindlessly
her life's essence slipped away 
last breath spent to tell me
how she loved my verse.

Words! Flung away in disgust.
Useless things!
Locked out, locked down, forgotten.
Each one rudely pushed aside
'til they bothered me no more.
Strangers then for years.

Now a voice gently calls,
trepid, hesitant, not sure
and out they march! Waving arms!
Like weeks old pups they frolic
with not the slightest thought
that they may not be welcome.

Take up residence once more.
And like long time friends,
who never question but that
you've a place for them,
settle in.

One by one I take them and
shove them out again. To no avail,
the door has lost it's lock
against such vigorous persistence.

And as old friends are wont to do,
past slights are soon forgotten
and comfort comes again
in the association.

Words! Countless willing mistresses.

Copyright © 1997 L.R. Powell

Comments to author: lrpowell@hotmail.com


By:   CK Tower
Whether the small measure of song
residing in my bones
is half-asleep or has left me,
I don't know.  No begging,
no clever plans to resuscitate
the rhythm.  I can’t remember
how this happened, when
I first stopped hearing the cadence
inside unnaccountable objects.  Appalling now,
how everything before me
owns no name, no existence
outside what is certain.
I'm ignorant of everything but the wind
and the water it pushes me toward.  In absence
of suggestion,
they are nothing more than graceful elementals
entangled in a dance
I can't remember.  I once knew
their secrets.

Copyright © 1997 Christina K. Tower

First appeared in 15 Credibility Street, Vol. III Is.III 1997

The Den, CK Tower

April, 1999 Of The Month

People Once Counted

By:   Alan Reynolds
Fogged windows on this autumn afternoon
impede the view of those who pass by boat
as languidly from habit we embrace,
perform the parts of lovers that we were.
The modish magazine that likes to write
about my darling's clothes and latest show
engages her attention as I feel
my way along the boredom of her cheek.
Small darkness there:  a shadow, or a tear?
Her free hand turns the fashion page.  She purrs
on cue and sloughs her Calvin vest,
upsets my glass of reasonable rosé.
Across the surface of the broad canal
I see a certain curtain blow; reflect
how her third husband winces when our steam
obscures his jaundiced but still wished-for view.
My second wife, if back today from Cannes,
will sit there too (that's been their flat six months),
gaze out from that four-metre-ceilinged room.
Will she remember loving here with me?

Copyright © 1997 Alan Reynolds

Poems by Alan Reynolds

March 1998 Of The Month

In Pursuit

By: Patty Mooney

Sowing dreams like seeds,
feigning sleep on sleepless nights
to better listen

I scouted, loin-clothed errant
waiting to see Satan
in shadows,
posed as a card master.

European beauty
eyes golden
he spills cold dice
and gambles for rareties.

I saw him at my bedside
tracing my skin with his fingers
in light filmy as a dream 
I could not touch him.

I have waited to catch him
enter my dreaming
lithe as a woman 

yet I find him only in sleep,
elusive as a girl.
And before I wake I realize
but do not remember
sleep is mirrors
and Satan is me.

Copyright © 1997 Patty Mooney

Comments to author: videos@concentric.net


By: Kevin Crone

It was a doorway
In a thundercloud
Dance. Lightning
Yellow beams
Chase blue flicker
Around sky theater
In percussion opera.
This is an ET thing, man.
It's an entity
There's intelligence
Static charge 
Arial ballet.
I want to 
Taste the wet fire
Smell the power
Of the arm of Jupiter
As hand of god
Conducts symphony

Copyright © 1997 Kevin Crone

Comments to author: horus@arn.net

January 1998 Of The Month


By:   Rosa S. Clement
A man's body lies upon a rough-hewn table,
where hands place wild flowers.
A woman leans on the window 
and sheds her tears. 
The older women talk and comfort her.
The children wonder about death.

He made the fields bloom
as he sowed coffee, corn, love and pride.
He fed the roving rodents
and left his streams of sweat
into the land.

His paddle will never stir 
again the river's waters.
His fishnet, his main inheritance,
won't rest for too long.
The land will welcome him,
but, like the crying woman, 
will also miss the touch
of his hands.

Copyright © 1996 Rosa S. Clement

Amazonian Mists

December 1998 Of The Month

Pre-Dawn Rain at Oak Street Beach

By: Glen Fauré

5:53 a.m.
This sliver lightning’s dart and stitch,
the sand’s bouclé the tide’s uneven pleat,
the tapestries from spinning wheels of air,
are fabrics of a daydream.

6:01 a.m.
From a plum and gray lacustral loom
the lusters curve with seamless hem.
Not one errant thread of sail or wing,
neither do the clouds or waves unweave.

6:09 a.m.
Slender ribbons, lavender.
Layers of purple organdy.
Crinoline’s erotic interlace
that filters light coquettishly.

6:14 a.m.
This emerald spread of liquid capes,
these phosphorescent veils and lace,
these intertwines of threads that flow
and glide, like peignoirs made of mist.

6:15 a.m.
I roll my collar up and turn
with hands inside my pockets.
And slowly drift away from this
wishing I could paint or sketch.

Copyright © 1997 Glen Fauré

Comments to author: ghfaure@ameritech.net

       July 1997 Of The Month


  Witch's Sundial

    By:    Diane Engle
  In summer's light I stood, centuries and continents
  from home, where she had stood, watching this weight
  of ivy work its spell on stone.  Wild ivy crawling
  from its roots, bird songs, monuments bearing our name
  are all that offered blessing to this shrine.
  Rays from the same sun that splashed their clocks
  brought ruins into sharpened focus
  on patchwork landscape numb with age.

  Aunt Margaret, countless generations great,
  was thought to be a witch.  They buried her upright 
  with earls and lords in Scotland
  long before Cromwell came, flatening castle
  and cathedral in God's name.  It was the custom then.
  Birds, undistressed by fallen kings
  or upright witches, sang carols handed down
  millenia of genes.  Do not tell me
  a love of sundials cannot be carried thus.
  It was the women, donors of my blood,
  diluted and diluted still by shaft, by shadow,
  placed them--carved that surety in stone
  that braced the gnomon, held the dial,
  caught the sun, and turned the shade.

  I feel the witches' blood, and sense
  the curling lip of outrage.  My name
  is carved in stone and yet
  -I cannot stay the shaft that lengthens shadow
  across this bright abyss, this splay of light.

    Copyright © 1995 Diane Engle
    First appeared in Vincent Brothers Review

    Comments to author: 76557.3463@CompuServe.COM


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