Poetry from Pauline Flynn, Steve Klepetar, Wanda Morrow Clevenger, Beth Copeland, Lynn White

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    Pauline Flynn is an Irish Visual Artist by profession and has an MA in Creative Writing from University College Dublin. She began writing poetry in 2009 and was shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2010. She has travelled widely, lived in Japan for four years and is influenced by its aesthetic. She is a member of the Carlow Writers Coop in Ireland and is published in various magazines, including Skylight 47, Boyne Berries, Sixteen (online), Light, a Journal of Photography and Poetry (NY). Orbis International Literary Journal (UK).  She lives in County Wicklow in Ireland.

     

     

    Brush Writing

     

    On a square cushion

    at the low table

    you tuck your legs

    under your body

    lower its weight

    onto your heels

    straighten your back.

     

    You pour water

    into the shallow bowl

    of a whet stone

    move an ink block

    back and forth

    colouring the water

    black.

     

    Steady as a ship at anchor

    you dip the brush, lift it, ink filled,

    tilt towards the bow, set sail,

    sure helmed, over the vast expanse

    of a sheet of white paper.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. His work has appeared widely in the U.S. and abroad, and has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including four in 2016. Three new collections have appeared in 2017: “A Landscape in Hell;” “Family Reunion;” and “How Fascism Comes to America.”

     

     

     

    On This Day

     

    I greet you from the doorway of dreams.

    Here are my hands; they are filled

    with rain. I have come down

     

    from the pond, where frogs linger

    beside white stones. I have stepped

    through mud, crouched at water’s edge,

     

    holding a single branch, skeletal,

    and damp. We met on this day

    a thousand years ago,

     

    I a boy with an awkward smile,

    you a girl who knew how to dance.

    I was a yellow leaf; you were the wind.

     

    Now let our waking shake the trees,

    the music of our eyes roll across summer’s

    dome, gathering force like wingbeats in a storm.

     

     

     

     

     

    Wanda Morrow Clevenger is a Carlinville, IL native living in Hettick, IL. Over 464 pieces of her work appear or are forthcoming in 157 print and electronic journals and anthologies. A full-length poetry book is forthcoming by year’s end. Find her on Twitter: Wanda Morrow Clevenger@WandaMorrowClevenger Her magazine-type blog updated at her erratic discretion: http://wlc- wlcblog.blogspot.com/

     

     

     

     

    Something Missing

    he thought
    the process was
    started too soon
    there wasn’t time
    to grieve
    what’s it matter
    I thought
    today or tomorrow
    either or
    would not shorten
    the sight and touch
    of every single object
    an overlay of
    something missing
    and the lingering scent
    of moth balls

     

    good as new

    during the clean out
    I found a four inch
    one-armed
    plastic baby, its
    spare limb
    preserved like
    Kim Suozzi’s
    severed head
    waiting for science
    to catch up
    after a few fails
    I found the
    right-sized
    rubber band
    to stretch inside
    between
    the shoulders
    to a Frankenstein jollity
    the arm sucked
    snuggly into the hole
    good as new

     

     

     

    Beth Copeland’s second book Transcendental Telemarketer received the runner up award in the North Carolina Poetry Council’s 2013 Oscar Arnold Young Award for best poetry book by a North Carolina writer. Her first book Traveling through Glass received the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award. Her poems have been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Aeolian Harp, The Atlanta Review, New Millennium Writings, The North American Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Poet’s Market, Rattle, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Tar River Poetry, and The Wide Shore: A Journal of Global Women’s Poetry. She has been profiled as poet of the week on the PBS NewsHour web site. Beth lives in a log cabin in rural North Carolina.

     

     

     

    Give Me Your Tired

     

     

    Lady Liberty sports a mustache,
    a bronze-green robe with red sash

    emblazoned with LIBERTY TAX
    and on his bald pate a floppy, foam

    rubber crown. Yesterday she was a black
    woman who waved from the wrist with a Miss

    America smile and the day before, a dishwater
    blond, tired and bored. These human

    billboards are homeless or poor workers paid
    the minimum to lure drivers into strip malls

    to file tax returns. From my window,
    I wave to the torch-bearer who doesn’t

    wave back as a swift tide
    of steel rushes nowhere.

     

     

     

     

    Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. Her poem ‘A Rose For Gaza’ was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition 2014. This and many other poems, have been widely published in recent anthologies such as – ‘Alice In Wonderland’ by Silver Birch Press, ‘The Border Crossed Us’ and ‘Rise’ from Vagabond Press and journals such as Apogee, Firewords Quarterly, Indie Soleil, Midnight Circus, Light Journal and Snapdragon as well as many other online and print publications.
    Find Lynn at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-White-Poetry/1603675983213077?fref=ts and lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com

     

     

    Spanish Room

     

    We were pleased when the smiling nun

    shook her head.

    They were full, the lorry driver told us.

    He was disappointed.

    He thought we’d be safer

    in the out of town convent than in the city.

    He’d grown concerned for our safety

    on our long journey through France.

    He was nice – ‘doux, comme la sucre’

    my friend would often tell him.

    But he didn’t understand her accent.

    He said his lorry wouldn’t fit

    the narrow streets, so

    we took a cab to the pension he knew.

    Our first Spanish room

    and we were happy!

    The tiles were cool, if dusty.

    We covered the TV.

    We didn’t need it.

    Two single beds pushed together

    with one mattress

    to make a ‘cama matrimonial’,

    normality in Spain.

    The owner was nice,

    ‘doux, comme la sucre’

    my friend told him.

    But he spoke no French.

    We shopped in the corner shop with

    it’s curved window

    and explored the streets

    of clubs and cafes and bars and lively people

    enjoying the night.

    And then we returned home.

    Home to a locked door that

    no amount of banging or shouting would

    cause to open.

    A friendly passer by understood our plight

    and clapped his hands loudly.

    A man appeared with a bunch of keys,

    enough to fit the locks of several streets.

    Normality when Franco reigned.

    He let us in with a smile.

    He was ‘doux, comme la sucre’

    my friend told him,

    but he didn’t understand.

    Forty years later we found the street.

    The curved shop window gave it away.

    It was all still there, though only in facade,

    waiting for reconstruction.

    It was our first Spanish room

    and we were happy.

    The facade of a memory that

    is still there and remains:

    ‘doux, comme la sucre’.

    And we understand.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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