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By: Charles Albano

I'd rather die a broken soul,
Than live a life that isn't free 
It simply costs too much to yield
The dearest side of dignity.

I'd survive the loss of all I own,
Material possession,
Reserving only for myself,
Autonomous expression.

Copyright 1998 Charles Albano

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 There is a chaos in my head 
 I just squeezed the skull of a little angel 
 And opened up to the root of all evil 
 I won't meet you anymore `cause you're dead 

 It's the view of living on the edge 
 I'm cooler than Christ, more followers than Flynt 
 I was submitted to the judgement of strangers 
 And felt like I was living at the bottom of a bottle 

 There's an ugly scratch across my brain 
 My face completely cracked from crying 
 I have taught myself to fight back 
 While my heart got as big as a helium balloon 

 And there's exhaustion from going down 
 Blowing up in the face of little children 
 Now I'm at the wheel of my own imagination 
 And think about the thoughts that have dented me 

Copyright 1997

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Confessions of a Computer Junkie

By: Twyla Turnbow Sorrells

I sit before this electronic window to the world
Wondering what the hell I'm doing here?
Smoke fills the room, encasing my brains
(God, I've got to quit someday)
Crickets call from through the open door to the verandah,
There is romantic starlight dancing on the cool October air
And breathable oxygen our there,
But I am tethered to this nineteen nineties damnation
By some invisible umbilicus wrapped around my neck
Like a neonate striving for breath at birth
I cleave to each breath, cringing at the unbearable brightness
Of the fiery star glaring in my squinty face.

Copyright 1997 Twyla Turnbow Sorrells

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The Truth

By: Kathryn Adair Mann

The truth is
there's little you look forward to at fifty.
You look at all your friends
and they have little lines around their lips.
The truth is we are cracked
and cold and frightened.
I could give to you the searing edge of youth
and you would never take it in your hand.
The truth is we are brittle
and afraid to scorch our edges.
Will you shatter when your cracks sink in?
I'd rather burn.

Copyright 1997 Kathryn Adair Mann

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Darkness Falls

By: C. Dale Little

Darkness falls,
     and really no warning at all.
Chemistry they say to the dark dwellers,
     hoping for sunlight once again.

Darkness falls,
     embracing the lonely hearts.
Eclipsing sunlight,
     darkness envelope me again.

Darkness falls,
     when will the sun ever shine.
Why this madness,
     wrapping a gentle heart in black?

Chemistry they say,
     molecules of the mind gone awry.
The dark gene comes,
     to unsuspecting spirits alone.

Darkness falls,
     once again blinding my way.
Can only pray again,
     for brilliant sun to warm me.

Darkness falls,
     why oh why no sunlight today.

Copyright 1997 C. Dale Little

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Personal Home Page: C. Dale Little

The Gallery

By: Kristina Kimberlin-Dixon

Walking (lost) through the
		maze of silent faces,
I stare back at them,
as they pry my soul open with their omnipotent eyes,
Discovering things that I usually don't
deign to acknowledge.

I admire the slope of her cheek 
and the tilt of his head.
But unable to touch them with either my hands 
	or my thoughts 
		or my words,
I grow frustrated.

They have a lived a thousand lives I have not.
They wear their knowing looks to mock me, surely,
as my wonderment, my amazement humbly
stumbles by them.

They sit, vibrant with stillness.

I search for the magic word, for the phrase, the slip of the tongue
That will bring them to life, 
to motion,
to unbound laughter 
so they can share their secrets 
and bronze my soul so that it is as beautiful as their faces.

Copyright 1997 Kristina Kimberlin-Dixon

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Anna Minds the Books So Well

By: L.R. Powell

Never suffering the hand of a would be master,
who at his will, and graced by law (the words of men)
would ever claim his given right to command her 
Nothing so binding as a wedding ring adorns her
as she shuns the offers of many would be lovers,
She never bends to the petty will of others.

She walks the path she's chosen, 
'tho it jars her bones, packed hard as it is
by the footfall of leagues of men before her.
Only to herself, in total darkness,
will she even dare the secret recognition 
of her longing for the touch of one more fair.

Copyright 1997 L.R. Powell

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Just Fade Away

By: Kathryn F. Carroll

I never thought the day would come that
the wrinkles and gray hair would appear,
and senility so very near.

I wake in so much pain, again to face 
another day.

Before I could run and now I walk, but
rarely do I ever talk.

Afraid to speak because my mind is not
the same, peoples names seem to fade

Is this called old age, forgetfulness
or senility, I can only guess. Makes no
difference at my age what a mess!

Oh the woes that come along with age, I
wished to God that I could  change.

Those were the days when I could sing
and dance,  and remember how it was when
I  could romance.

but now those days have disappeared, to
be replaced with aching bones, hearing loss
and wondering will I wake to see another
day, or will I just fade away.

Copyright 1997 Kathryn F. Carroll

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GOSSIP: Allegro

By: Dan McGarvey

alone is a room with a boy and a girl
(their names you will learn, gentle reader, in time)
and newspapers soak the abandon of coffee
and chatter and loudspeakers sell us guitars
and all is just talk and no one goes home

	   is a storefront (like a mom&pop
we-know-their-name place) and how could we ever
think this old taste of Ourtown knows a thing
not in the newspapers or discussed over coffee
while upstairs flying cups break into shouts

so Alone and Together sat down over coffee
one midwinter evening where no one was talking
Alone played guitar and sang about things
not in the papers or discussed in Ourtown
Together spoke softly and cradled a cup

here in our storefront where cups never fly
and all is just talk, the eversoanxious
Together sits, soaks the abandon of chatter,
the sing of guitar, forgets coffee, and cradles
the thought of Alone, who is a loudspeaker

if  Ourroom could talk it would laugh at the knownothing
newspaper that sits under neglected coffee
drinking what's not on Together's mind
(if you know what I mean, gentle reader, take care
to alert not Alone, who breaks into shouts)

home is a room that soaks the abandon
of things sung about on guitars and loudspeakers
the room knows the fate of our heroes (and we know
their names) who live in Our(knownothing)town where
no one really talks and all is newspaper

alone is a room reeking of coffee
where newspapers blissfully keep their mouths shut
while upstairs mom&pop talk out loud on the phone
to (you, gentle reader) the fact that Alone and
Together went home and made Neveragain

Copyright 1997 Dan McGarvey

Personal Poetry Page Link: Fried Green Thanatos

Not So Much Shady As

By: Alan Reynolds

Don't bore me with repetition
or check if I'm listening
or drill me with facts
or grade me on quizzes
you concoct out of boredom
or duty or
sexual frustration,
if you know what I mean,
don't you?
You do.
And your eyes,
greener on these days,
unmask you,
unman me.
(They don't,
just the opposite
in fact.)
The light here is
for painting

Copyright 1997 Alan Reynolds

Personal Poetry Page Link: Poetry by Alan Reynolds