New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

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Between The Lines

by Shane James

I’ve chosen you
that I may open what binds your thoughts
and read your mind
Oh Henry
What are you saying
Is Walden’s depth the fountain-head
of life
My eyes grow weary
as the soft candle light casts shadows of truth and doubt
warring silhouettes
animate the walls around me
I keep you
As you kept Homer’s Iliad
You are as the author of my life
As the blind reader feels the braille
I do not see your words
I feel them
I turn the pages of your experiences
and they now are mine
The silence of our encounters
through the stillness of the night
I’m as the drunkard
fighting to stay between the lines
your words they sober me
I’m nodding Mr. Thoreau
In agreement and in slumber
You will speak me to sleep
as many authors have done
I am sleeping
The book rests on my chest
like a church’s roof
covering my heart
The words I read initiate my dreams
Inhaling the sweetest smelling blossoms
as the roar of a majestic waterfall pours over the smoothness
of river stones
My skin is of bark
as my limbs effortlessly support and sustain
life’s creatures
I taste the mineral rich soil and feel
the surge of maple sweet watered springs flowing
through my veins
My eyes belong to a hawk
soaring and gliding over snow-capped peaks
I am all seasons
Every book is another world
another’s mind I must explore
Tomorrow night it’s Melville
Ahab’s knocking at the doors.


Shane Thomas James is a poetical yogi, writing his time. Shane has studied Philosophy and English at the University of Akron, and is currently studying English at Arizona State University..


Fowl Play

by Susan Wallace

It’s a far slog down the slow road
through the fen. White in the sun, around the wide horizon
the limestone towers of churches fasten earth to heaven.
I brake almost too late
and miss the swan by inches.

Stone still, neck arched, and burly back
so wide a crone could ride; in pose heraldic,
staring to the North, feathers unruffled by the slowing traffic,
it has alighted here as seal and sigil
to see our wishes granted.

And so, arriving at the creek,
we haul out such a catch of crabs, line
after line until our buckets seethe. The day stays fine.
Despite foretellings of wild weather, we see
no rain blow from the West, but wavering

flights of ducks crossing the sky –
arrowed like drunken sergeant’s stripes –
abandoning us to Winter. And, on the far side,
a cormorant drapes black wings to dry,
stately head turned imperious to the East.

How might we keep in mind –
heading for home, burdens rebooting –
this something rare that lies beyond our choosing,
appearing from otherwhere as poems do,
and startling us with signs and wonders?


Dropping in

by Susan Wallace

Like rain on the wide water, we change
nothing here. We stare at the dog-faced seals
and they stare back; they from their sandbank,
we from the boat. And that’s the sum of it.
Even the crabs hauled from the creek are sidestepped
and return, crouching, Kung Fu clawed,
to sidle under seamless mud. And still
the siling rain, like an endless hoard of coins
tossed, to stipple the tidal surface of the creek.

No. It is we who are changed, our pace lulled
to the suck and pull of the slow tide, muddied
to the thigh, paddling here at creek’s end,
zipped up dry, cagoul-cowled and wimpled;
dimpled with almost laughter by the rain.




Susan Wallace is an author and academic. She enjoyed writing poetry in her scandalous youth and, after becoming distracted by other things, eventually found her way back to it. She has had her work published in a number of journals and anthologies






The Fog

.by Jake Aller

The Fog
The Fog
The Fog

Rolls in and in
And on forever
Till the ends of time

Past where once stood proud San-San
Now there is nothing

But bones rolling in
Forever and ever
Rotting in the blue sunlight

Turning in the yellow clouds
Filling the air
With the stench

The fear
The feel
Of a people forever dead

Merging with the fog
Filling the air

The fog rolls in and in
Laughing as the Sun

Sinks into the purple coated sky
Above the encrusted sky of time




Slime Patrol to the Dish room

by Jake Aller

Note: I washed dishes in college

Slime Patrol to the dish room please
Rant the loudspeaker with a demented static
Hell no, we chanted in vain

Nowhere to go
Nowhere to escape
The ever-present smell
Of putrid rotting, sweaty effervescent slime
That’s right


Is that all that there is?




Ruled by slime Kings who run Slime Machines?
Hell No, we won’t go we chanted in vain
And we hook ourselves up
And entered the machine


For we are all nothing but slime molds
In the gross wheels of America’s grease pit


Blue Blues

by Jake Aller

I went over to the River
Just to catch me a view
I said I went over to the Damn River
Just to catch me a god damn fine view

I walked over to that bridge, built for two
I walked over to that bridge, built for two
Only problem was that there was only one of me

I asked the old man River
I said Old Man River
What does it all mean?

He said with an evil grin
It don’t mean a thing
Unless you can do the Go-Go swing

The Old Man River boogied out of sight
Leaving me alone to pick up the pieces
What does it mean
If you ain’t got that Go-Go swing?




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