Walks the green mile
hears timbre like fingers on a chalkboard.
We don’t hate each other
The ivory accuses me
objecting when I command staccato
Elephants pound when I need legato
In the courtroom
high notes bail and
the Jury condemns us
Pain found me way too soon
like childbirth, a fat man standing on me
pressuring my back
a burning knife contracting my spine
surprising as lightning.
My hope, born in dreams,
long, languid, peaceful,
like licorice and lollipops
lavender and lilac…
Downy, induce this bliss.
---L Burton II
My hotdog, huddled with toppings,
golden mustard like the
higher than the
tackles my shirt, skids relish like the turf
as a fumble of red numbers my chest.
The stumble seems insignificant
until my friends recount the game-winning play.
As I sit in my Charger, resentment continues
turning the key and my stomach…
Before complete submersion in a chlorinated sleep
a soft, slow, rhythmic beep dulls upon a watery entry.
Underwater yet breathing…
with powerful, sleek body movements,
diving into laughing gas, a sparkling oasis.
Anxiety is best set on a plate at a fine dine restaurant
like a date with Freddy Krueger
and his twenty-four dollar steak
as a life-threatening finger tenderly slices.
Like this Superbowl quarterback
whose jersey bled in blue and white
had his plan to win intercepted.
Or as the schedule for this college student
features no breaks
hours of studying
and the instructor from Hell.
Un-expectancy is found where least expected:
Like when two jets
come to terms with two towers
on a September day
and people volunteer to jump out of windows
Or perhaps when a man of color
takes the presidential office
and says “Yes We Can,”
not thinking about why we can’t
And especially the time
I strode into English Comp II
only to inherit papers full of red ink
that would eventually perfect the student.
--- B Finerty
I was in a boat until the waves tossed, turned
and threw me out of bed. The Exit sign, a lighthouse
leads me past other wave-tossed sailors
their gaze sends me overboard, again, back into the sea.
I am no sailor, no comrade, no island
since not even the stranded come to share in my sand.
|Field of Battle
I charge so quickly past my pawns
to the enemy knight approaching.
My rooks are jammed. When I decide to stand,
stopping him was the only thing, for Queen.
I hear a crunch, fall to the board--
cold and hard; it is checkmate.
The King is down,
O my knee
I flip the switch, and close the door
flush the toilet not thinking.
I start to turn on the shower.
I hear a scream.
A silhouette in a fogged mirror,
introductions are in order.
Two clicks north of Newfound Gap
where bears strut through fog
birds trill and breezes scrunch leaves
Spring rains charge waterfalls
red spruce clothes the Smokies and
Dwarf Iris mature in dirt beneath your feet
I inhale her innocence,
overwhelmed by the whisper of baby-soft hair.
A silent vow resonates in my heart,
reverberates in my actions,
returning to echo in her delicate ears.
She, slightly wiser, chose the thin.
He, in challenge, chose the thick.
White and chunky sours.
|Waking to a
I wake on the floorboard
in the stench of gasoline
shards of glass burrowed into my hand
darkness covers and panic and blood
like a thick blanket
offering no comfort
If only, we’d been tucked in correctly.
|The Hawk and the
English Composition created the Hawk,
who swoops in on a mouse full of confidence,
and leaves it in pieces looking for rescue.
The joker tries to revise the mouse,
but he can only do so much. The mouse makes the grade,
and soon another will be served.
Like the clash of two ram horns,
my skull is broken.
The intruder charges,
bellows me to helplessness.
Strength seeps from an open hole in deep red.
Face-first in hard uninviting earth,
this intersection deflects
my shot into the distance,
caught by something I didn’t see.
--- R Whaley
Surrounded by the suffocating smell of hot bodies,
I brave the slave market,
an object, waiting my turn to be owned.
I want escape,
to flee in front of a wild crowd
that yells my name,
that calls me to return.
Even my family joins.
--- R Evans
|Living is Easy
In line at Cat Snack
with my iPod and hunger
I tap my jeans to each beat of
"Strawberry Fields Forever,"
a real nowhere man.
A child stands on the sofa and sees the edge
turn into a building. The carpet hardens
into a concrete slab crawling with yellow cars.
Lifting his arm, he sprays web into the New York air
and swings down to save a redhead. As she leans in
to give the kiss, the boy crushes the carpet
and picks up only teeth.
---J J Faseler
Shelbey turns off her computer;
so, I am safe to shut mine down.
But we missed an assignment
and my Apple wanes during reboot.
I write like crazy trying to catch up
and she actually has the ginger to tell me
I spelled a word wrong.
I think I still like her.