Another Blackbird
 

  for Al Filreis

 

Holding the small same mirror tilted to

My hurried face

I glance in reflection

Past an unnoticed shoulder and spy

Suddenly

Perched calmly on that bare, smooth branch

Beyond a dust-tinted window

 

A blackbird.

 

Staring . . .

 

(Damn it!)

2016 Chuck Kellum

In my confession – Lies –

after Emily Dickinson 

In my confession - Lies -

           

The Route of common sin 

White knuckles repentant

Bare as baptised skin –

 

The Spire spins – elation –

Within it – the doleful Bell 

Observe a stalagmite to heaven

Obverse – a stalactite to Hell

 

We soldier on an order – given –

I question Etiquette - if

it feels a shame to be alive*

Why slow march towards sunset?

 

James Anthony

​*opening line of poem 444

Ring Around the Rosie 

Digging in the sofa 
to buy a quarter pound of baloney, 
a loaf of vitamin fortified white bread, 
and if lucky, a can of soup 
to feed your five kids 
that sit around the only heat in a dark house- 
your magic chef bought on installment. 
And your dead phone 
doesn't even give you a tone.

Lawrence R. Tirino

Our Family Dinner

 

Twisting arms in front of my face

Flying plates with smells tempting all

Sweet pungent tomato, garlic

drifts from levitating saucers

 

Bread passes along end to end

high above the noise and clatter

suspended by a chain of hands,

a bucket brigade sharing its

steaming floating piles of pasta.

 

Raised voices laughing shouting with

mouths full of food chewing, drinking,

smiling enjoying spending time

together sharing life’s stories.

 

I scan across moving faces

along the table up and down,

enjoying the chaos that stops.

now quiet, as all start to eat

a warmth begins to grow inside.

All together I watch glowing

sitting at the head of this noise

warm with love, enjoying the time

of our special family dinner.

 

William Waldorf

SONG OF THE DOWNTOWN AURAS
 

Most cannot see the brightness

breaking through skin for they’re too far-

sighted to take-in the glow from dermal 

stained-glass — everyday window-

shoppers encased in phosphorescence. 

 

Benched, a nursing mother bares 

an incandescence that outshines neon. 

Pedestrians blaze by like a runway 

of archangels, a legion baptized in paint-

box halloes but denied the radiance 

of their very own violets. Palettes of blues 

outline dozens & flickering greens 

offer personal pastures for cityfied veins.

Dearest yellow butter-cups the enlightened. 

Some emit perpetual rose. One urgently 

billows apricot embers. Hundreds

strobe invisible lightshows,

 

oblivious of the truth they ignite 

or the mysteries they unknowingly illumine.

Cyndi MacMillan

postcard poem #10/subway poem #7

 

There are no spirits lurking in the aisles

and corners. Just cartons of documents,

​details of lives. Whether well-lived or ill,

these papers tell the story – marriage, birth,

land acquired, taxes. Death. It’s all there.

No need for the rattling sound of zombies –

ghosts of events yet to come – in graveyards.

 

Might this be the judgement we fear? The words

and deeds, archived records we leave behind

won’t deliver souls to any heaven –

or hell. It’s just a mirage, this image

of hereafter we’ve been trained to accept

as truth, the certain object of our faith:​

​d​ried, folded, faded, in a dusty box.

 

copyright 2017, Raymond Maxwell

Copyright  Better Than Starbucks 2019, a poetry magazine    

146 Lake Constance, West Palm Beach, Fl 33411    Phone 561-719-8627

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