Summer 1999

Ambergrisa Lynn ,   Angela Contino Donshes ,  Carl Hardwick ,   
Drandy Campbell ,   JJ Cameron ,   John Durler ,   N. L. Morgan ,
Patricia Fritsche ,   R. Leechford ,   skramer,   Vvolfgang ,   
William M. Lewis XIV

 Today Outside by N. L. Morgan

 Politely I ask for
change for the pay phone
outside on the corner,
you tell me it doesn't
so I put the five
dollar bill
back into my pocket
and walk back outside.
I hate walking around downtown
by myself,
I find people's
eyes drawn
to me because I'm alone,
walking in steps
made by myself yesterday.
I walk into small
shops with large windows
and pretend I'm waiting for
looking at my watch as if
maybe they really are.
Last night
I tried the new pizza place
next to the record store
with weird music playing
all the time,
it was OK,
but for some reason
while eating my pizza
I remember the time you
told me you thought
you were meant to live
life alone,
and I remember how at
the moment you told me
that I thought the same thing
even though we were together.
After I played that memory over a little
in the VCR in my head I threw away the
small piece of cardboard they
give with each slice of pizza that
they sell.
Why did you tell
me that you thought
you were meant to live alone?
Was it a hint,
or were you just thinking out loud?
Did I mention
I like blue drinks?
Because I do . . .

© N.L. Morgan

 some Inspirational tanka poems :
 - by   R. Leechford

Through the wooden gate
the road is hard to follow -
HIS pathway to Life,
many pass through the crystal gate
searching for Truth in new age.
The path to my home
total darkness cannot hide it -
stars burn bright tonight,
the dawn's sunshine will appear
Praise the Father in Heaven.

Robert Leechford

 Our  Box by  N. L. Morgan

My kiss disappears into the
beauty of the words
the grace of the ideas.
I have finished it
and read the last phrase
held the last
I have been through the new
world surrendered to me
by this person
by this weaver of dreams.
She has given me
emotions and heart
reading all those people
all those fighters struggling
to reach their goal.
as we all try to reach ours
We run and run and try
to be closer when in all
we only make excuses to
what we know to
be our fault.
If life is a dream it is
a vision in which we all
are running,
not from that hideous thing
we call a monster
but from reality that
we may die
we may fail and
that we may never reach
the truth at the end
of the yellow brick road
so full of demons
and fairies
it sometimes hard
to see which is which
so that is the broken mirror
or the shattered picture
but does any of it matter
does the dog who can talk surprise you
does the fallen angel crying
break your concentration?
Or are you, as everyone else, too
caught up in the run for the president
caught up in the fight for the green
or maybe the red.
Perfection is not perfect
it is what makes you stop and
makes you contradict the
way you have thought
makes you want to change
and try to strive for her
or him or
even maybe yourself.
So maybe my words
don't fit maybe they
all just feel like letters
thrown together by
a hopeless lover of life.
Maybe the cough is as fake
as those who would tell you otherwise.
But in the end my emotions
are true and so are the pictures
in my eyes which state
which heed
the outcome
to be right.
To be the end
the door
the opening.
Or maybe just the start.
Just a way to begin.

© N.L. Morgan

 Ghosts in the shell (for CJB July, 1999)
-by   Vvolfgang

Wondering about this world aimlessly,
Yearning for something more,
For that sensation of completeness.
The Ghost in this shell of a man asks: "Where is my other half?"
Where are you in this lifetime, soul mate?
My Mother?
My Sister?
My friend?
Are you the cat purring softly in my lap?
Or are you the crimson rose whose intoxicating fragrance
just graced my senses?
If I may be so fortunate for a chance encounter with you
May it be the most glorious moment of our current existence.
And let us return to the Well of Souls, exhausted, giggling,
And wait for the next chance to seek each other out.
In another time,
In another place,
In another shell.
Just as sure as the Ocean's blue,
I'll find you.

© Vvolfgang


by:   William M. Lewis XIV
Dedicated to: Kim-Linh T. Pham Summer, 1997

 Lonely Night

Dusk, forth-bringing another lonely a night-
cool violet and distant blues chase downward,
surrendering soft pink and orange haste to
horizons afar.
Gaze up and behold, I, the vault of the Heavens.
Eyes of mine wonderously around wander,
glittering, sparkling, such many tiny lights,
a thousand thousand stars- so alike my mind-
keeper of all such loving thoughts of thee
glittering and sparkling about.
Each such sky bound'd star- something of thee
I love: thy compassionate smile, thine honey
breath voicing sultry rhythm, delicate
deliverance of thy touching hands.
Such memories of thou and I apon each tiny
star: longing in my pursuit, relieved only
by thy sweet, tender lips touching mine,
utter'd affection of three words exchange,
collapse of passionate lust into caring
embrace after expiring together our secret
Each such star, with thee a dream and a hope
I hold sharing; thus I dedicate to all such
loving thoughts of thou- all such delightful
stars, dwelling vivid radiance in cool skies
Shalt the heavens born new stars, growing and
f lourishing, my divine love for thee.
William M Lewis XIV



I cannot help
wanting to
kiss him
as the sun
turns his
skin a golden
brown and
sweeps a
golden fire
through his hair.


 SEA URCHIN by   JJ Cameron

drifter on the big
surface, lost child
in the ghost-town of waves,
ragged urchin of the ocean,
in my blood's surge,
deep as my heart's breakers,
as my shipwreck of socket
and bone, flood of muscle,
- even to the point
that I lose the days, I lose
my track in the water,
in the blazing afternoon water -
(sometimes I float
belly down, back
just through the surface,
and gaze down the green
columns of afternoon
sunlight in the waters, miles
off the coast; at night
the towns are necklaces
and I dive and swim
in the moonlight and, splashing,
break the surface of white
into a swarm of silver crickets).

JJ Cameron

 THE PERSPECTIVE  by   John Durler

I felt the slip of time, a curve that bellied out
as a woman with child slowly, yet surely ballooned
until my world was on a different axis than the earth I knew.
The sun was still red, but more demanding
of the pale yellow sky to give it more presence among blue clouds.
And the moon, most assertive
as if made of green cheese as grandma told us all,
when we were young enough to believe.
Its sharp green light pushed to the horizon
leaving the atmosphere as a purple pinto
I saw at a wild west merry-go-round once at carnival.
The wondrous beauty was dizzying, like a high from a poem,
or a bartender's mug of red wine,
or her auburn hair held back,
emerald earrings swaying, matching smoldering eyes
as she slips into bed.
If I tilted my head it was all so different,
looking more like before the slip.
I could live like that, head tilted, but my neck ached, although,
bending over, looking between my outspread legs,
it all looked dismal and bleak.
Righting myself, the brilliance
was almost blinding, so I tilted my head
and slipped back home. Not able to
walk correctly.
I shut the door tight and waited, hoping
she didn't have the same perspective,
deciding to stare at the tilted world's
taunting beauty, perhaps not thinking to tilt her head
and become blind and never be able
to find her way home again,
or worse, never wanting to.

John Durler


 Little Children by   Carl Hardwick

Little children marching by,
Full of hope and bright of eye,
Laughing, singing, skipping to,
Starting out the day so new;
Holding hands and telling tales,
No one passes, no one fails,
Never thinking about tomorrow,
Full of laughter, void of sorrow;
Thinking not of who has what,
Sharing all that's in the pot,
Never caring what's their color,
Trying hard to love another;
Little children soft as clay,
Living only for the day,
Full of futures yet unfounded,
Feet on courses swift and grounded:
Little children shiny and new,
What will little children do?

Carl Hardwick
(AKA: Alexander Hamilton Smith)
September 20, 1999

 LISTEN TO MY MEMORIES by   Angela Contino Donshes

The songs of my youth are with me still. Golden arias forever lost in
the echoes of time. They fill my heart with unforgettable memories,
sometimes happy, sometimes sad. Listen and you will hear . . .
The soft whir of a brightly colored hummingbird's wings
The murmuring leaves of a medlar tree in a high wind
The angry roar of a stormy sea
Nonna's fervent prayer to St. John the Baptist, as the fury of
the tempest reaches a high crescendo
A mother's sorrowful wail at her son's funeral
The family children reciting a Novena in lyric, unsure voices
The languid chant of the evening Rosary
The majesty of the Gregorian Mass at Santa Rosalia
A churchbell's plaintive ring, thin and far away
The sing song dialect of vendors, hawking their wares in the market place
Enchanted hours of play in the Greek Temple at Segesta
The laughter and whispers of passionate vows between young lovers
The clip of a peasant's sharp curved knife, as it cuts away a bunch of
ripe grapes from the vine
The squish of grapes crushed under heavy boots, and the gurgle of golden
liquid as it pours into wooden casks
A rooster's crow at dawn, heralding a new day
The soft chirps of newly hatched yellow chicks
The pitiful bleating of a lamb as it's being slaughtered
The tinkle of bells signaling the goatherder's arrival with warm foamy milk
for the morning coffee
The melodious sound of mandolins at weddings and Feast Days
The merry rhythm of an accordion playing the Tarantella
The nostalgic folk songs sung at family gatherings
A farmer, in his vineyard, singing an aria from Cavalleria Rusticana
The lusty songs of fishermen as they haul in their nets
The lonely bray of a donkey echoing through the still night air
The rattle of cartwheels on the stony road to my grandparents farm
The loud hum of bees gathering honey on a hot, sleepy summer day
A brook, sparkling in the sun, racing its way to the gulf of Castellammare
The sharp clip-clop of a mule's hooves on cobblestones
The sweet voice of Sister Caterina as she recites the day's school lesson
The animated stories old Don Nunzio told about his adventures at sea
These are my memories of Sicily . . . the songs of my youth.

Copyright © 1998 Angela Contino Donshes All Rights Reserved

 POET'S PLIGHT THE IRONY! by  Patricia  Fritsche

If they never walked with you,
"through the temperature of life"
of a Death Valley hour,
or the immortal ride
on the tail of a comet's thrill
keeping the magic vibrant.
The child once, twice and on, and now
all up to you.
Or a star's focused gaze on you,
touching all the hot
and sensitive spots,
of getting to know romance
and its company.
You know, the first time
the truck hitting you hard.
Or climbed those mountains
with their milestones of vocation,
such a singular nature to embark on.
Having someone take your place,
turn in your bittersweet backpack
after its "all done."
To have followed this type of path
from the first signs of feeling more,
nudging its way inside to dispense
in greater proportion,
what the eyes have road mapped
in the thousand and one hours
on its time track, now.
Took your hand gently,
through your self-imposed addictions,
afflictions and apathetic convictions,
and mined and explored
to find the sensual jewels of nature's child.
A periwinkle sea waiting to be opened up
upon a passion.
Hidden away in only your hope
of presenting the best poetic muse,
understanding basic humanity as its realm.
If you had not read
and soared with their metaphors,
and very wide camel hair brush.
Would you be better off or less opulent in time,
when you first decided to jump on board
and share in these Eden feelings?
Of exploring those quick sand patches
dare not go.
A kind of de-evolving being judge, jury
and sentence in an eyeblink.
Touching some olympics
of creativity
and leading to a greater love
leading within
addressing the humanities.
what the poets present in once upon a poem.
The diet just got to be blah,
but somehow it appeared on your personal menu.
No tunnel vision happening here,
in this smorgasbord kind of world.

Patricia Fritsche

 Essence of You by   Drandy Campbell

A young child gets the toy they always wanted
The pure contentment of a dream come true
With angelic innocence in a radiant being
It can only be the essence of you.
In the distance through the darkest of dark
Peers the glow of a candle light
The millenniums of time that past as lost
I draw nearer to the feeling of hope so bright.
The touch of a spirit like breath on a mirror
Cannot be felt on the surface of skin
The scent of a rose, the smile of a child,
The quiet of sleep, and the cleansing of sin.
Earthly selves can be galaxies afar
Yet I am consumed by the sense that you're near
A quickening of breath, flutter of heart,
Followed by the joy of the shed of a tear.
A dance in the moonlight with reckless abandon
And sparkling eyes that grow deeper in blue
An embrace from God with your angelic glance
It can only be the essence of you.

Submitted and written by
Drandon Campbell

 SHADOW AND MIST by   Ambergrisa Lynn

Listening to the music
amidst the dark of night,
eyes closed, breathing softly.
Notes surrounding me
drifting gently . . .
they filter into my ears,
sneak into my very being.
Creating images in my mind . . .
some in shadow
some in mist
vaguely moving, shifting,
with a crescendo of notes
sharpening my view.
Softer notes begin
from a Lover's Theme,
rippling gently through me . . .
now lost in thoughts
of love and passion,
these notes stir my soul
and feed my very being.
This symphony,
written for lovers
seeking one another
through centuries of
time and space . . .
engulf me into their plight.
The ethereal strains of the violin
are heard ever erotically,
as these lovers embrace
together once again . . .
at the start of everlasting time.

3:56 AM 4/15/99
©Ambergrisa Lynn

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