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The same gig, but with
The wrong people.
Me with a man who was cheating on me
People counted their fingers after they shook
And you with a girl who kept dead
Butterflies and liked to wear
We probably stood next to each other
At the bar, looked through
The music and into each other’s eyes.
Recognizing the future is an art.
Looking back, I could swear
You held my hand, asked me to wait
To each other, made the pact that
Blood brothers make, arranged to meet
Twenty years from then when all
The crap was over, done with.
Wherever have you been he said...?
Wherever have you been she said?
Nowhere, we said.
Held our breath, girded our loins
Steeled our little twin souls.
Hoped we might just survive.
on a sweltering hot day
while trekking through the countryside
even the birds lie low and quiet
for the evening foraging
the temperatures are more merciful
I happen upon an old stone wall
waiting for me at the edge of the field
it invites me to climb up and rest
I lay back and gaze at the sky
and lazily watch each cloud go by
as the formations drift high above
they combine to form abstract shapes
then slowly pull apart into wisps of vapor
An hour passes too quickly
and it is time for me to go
so once more I continue my journey
filled with delight by my afternoon adventure
of encountering dragons and clowns
and other such wondrous fantasies
as I leave promise myself to return soon
To my private cloud watching wall
Ann Christine Tabaka © 2018
- - -
The Navajo way to say “kiss” is
“Two round objects meet.”
When we kissed, it was more like
two pairs of parallel lines
meeting at various points.
Of course, the geometry was complicated
by the fact that arms were also wrapped
around bodies which pressed each other,
all of these parts, too,
being somewhat straight
as well as somewhat round.
Now, since this was a farewell kiss,
the straight round objects were parting
as well as meeting.
Yet by meeting as we parted
--and I believe some of the objects
also parted as they met--
we --and they-- were perhaps agreeing
or even asking
to meet again.
Ron Singer © 2018
-- Borderlands: The Texas Poetry Review, 2000;
Poetic Voices without Borders-2, 2009
The author of ten books, Ron Singer's work has appeared in many publications including Avatar Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Grey Sparrow and Word Riot. Visit www.ronsinger.net for details.
Words march across the page
address me in second person
run on without commas.
between bulb and tuber,
wait for lily and iris
to take command.
trying to close the door
on school. The garden
declares its independence
and blooms whether I’m there or not.
Jan Chronister © 2018
Jan Chronister lives and writes in the wood near Maple, Wisconsin. Her chapbook Target Practice was published in 2009 at the University of Wisconsin.
She has a full-length collection of poems coming out in the fall of 2018.
For more background and publications, please see www.janchronisterpoetry.wordpress.com
- - -
Little boy, little boy,
why do you stare –
Little girl, little girl,
why just sit there –
How is that you are
so young and have quit –
Where is your interest
and how can I spark it?
JD DeHart © 2018
JD DeHart is a writer and teacher. He blogs about books and authors at dehartreadingandlitresources.blogspot.com and publishes poetry at onpossibilitypoems.blogspot.com.
DeHart is the author of The Truth About Snails, a poetry collection.
- - -
of the neighbours awake,
then a bus connection
to the other side of the city.
as the bus pulls into the station,
busy with the quaint
buzz of nothing,
and you find hope.
He is also the founder of Poetry NI and editor for Lagan Online.
deep inside me.
I don't know
pull them out.
What Friday Night Looks Like
Sometimes, late, you make round
doodles, coloring them in,
listening to the sound
of your thoughts, of what has been.
The feel of wax on paper
helps you understand something
of the universe, how fear
inhibits the swing
of creation, how the swirl
of atoms hopes to become
something more, how the curl
of DNA turns into home.
We draw ourselves into being,
catching this: what’s fleeting.
it took for me to orient myself. No maps,
no native guides. I sailed, in my own
fashion, alone, Chicago’s freshwater sea.
“You’re a young man going as far
out as you’re able, constantly afraid
you might drown” pretty much describes
my mid-twenties roaming the city.
More than one crowded sidewalk
I navigated with an orange life jacket
tugged over my everyday clothes.
joy can bounce around flow out
as blood moves through the arteries,
But despair can get stuck.
The two engage in battle:
joy enlisting hope, bliss, contentment--
despair conscripting doubt and anger.
A vessel of the heart might rupture.
If I could grow the joy, I’d share it.
If I could exterminate the despair
I would patent my invention.
Tomorrow, let’s watch the last bits of sun,
orange light fading behind the trees.
I’ll take your hand, we’ll laugh together.
This is what we'll do before night falls.
A Fleeting Dream
A fleeting dream.
An empty dream.
an open heart receives.
It was fierce and beautiful,
This collection encapsulates memories and a sense of place in Japan and are written in both English and Japanese.
caught the steel sheen of silver
aquiver in the tide
belonged to the sky
I am listening to the quiet of an empty page,
Listening to the blanks and the space.
I will not write about sheets hanging on
the line on a spring day, nor about how crisp
they dried, how when I climbed between them
I smelled the air of a world arriving, smelled
leaves opening and flowers about to bloom.
I am not going to tell you how I want
my arms to be petals, my lips dusted
with pollen, how if I could I’d be a daisy,
I would grow anywhere you planted me.
Julia Klatt Singer © 2017
“Loteria”, a set of six poems based on the Spanish Loteria bingo cards. Each poem is titled to a card, a character in the game.
Julia Klatt Singer has two books of poetry, a chapbook and a set of short stories published. ('A Tangled Path to Heaven' and 'Untranslatable' by North Star Press, 'In the Dreamed of Places' by Naissance Press, and '12 Branches: Stories from St. Paul' by Coffee House Press.)
Speaking in Hands
Every time I leave home
the words love you tie up
her tongue. So instead
my mother speaks with hands.
She stands in her bedroom
window, watching me walk
down Bramble Walk road,
and she waves. I look back,
see her blurring form between
the curtains, a ghostly hand
fluttering, and I wave back
all the way to the bottom of the road.
Every time we separate for school
for work, for holidays, for another
country and not returning
for years, I look back and there
she is waving, waving until
tall meadow grasses, old elm trees,
the bend in the road breaks
our bond. Still, she is waving,
a strangely shy little songbird,
her hands speaking more
than her mouth can manage.
Matthew James Friday © 2017
Matthew James Friday has had over 60 poems published in many UK and worldwide magazines and journals, including, recently: The Brasilia Review (Brazil), Drawntreader (UK), New Contrast (South Africa), Sheila Na-Gig (USA) and Poetry Salzburg (Austria). Website: http://matthewfriday.weebly.com/
* * *
Cover: Author's backyard, stylized
And just like that, summer comes to a close.
My kids are back in school, leaving me and
the dog wandering around the house in
abject confusion, wondering what to do
with these great swaths of time that were
previously spent making sandwiches and
chasing errant tennis balls through the
house. No matter how tiny a house is,
it always feels massively cavernous
once one is the only human left behind
to guard it.
Holly Day © 2017
Cover from the web
April 29 Watsonville, CA
It is drunk, it is noise, it is a choir of angels singing
of Elijah and the devil dancing at the gates of Eden.
You carry it well sister, you hide the simple truth in
the rumble of your body. It’s getting late; let me fall
asleep in the shadows on your naked white throat,
wake to the scent of inevitability on your lips.
Alex Stolis © 2017
Poems in Postcards from the Knife-Thrower are from an unpublished full length manuscript by Alex Stolis. He used the Al G. Barnes Circus Route from 1934 which began its season March 31 in San Diego, made a circuit through the US and Canada and ended the season October 29 in El Centro, Ca. Each part of this series consists of one month from the season, April-July. The intention is for the work, as a whole, to be a narrative; a novella in chapbook/prose form.
* * *
Cover: "Azteca" by Helen Burke
SMALL WORLD MADE LARGE
Lying on the pond's edge,
I get so low, so focused,
that the Jesus bugs
walking deftly across the water
legs long and hydrophobic,
no sinking here,
a miracle knows its place.
swollen to the size of whales,
lost in their own reticence.
And here comes a dragonfly,
of such glistening color,
it brings my eyes to heel.
I am motionless, silent, and fascinated.
The miniscule is gigantic.
My magnitude gracefully gets out of its way.
John Grey © 2017
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. His work has appeared in Poem, Spindrift, Tribeca Poetry Review, the horror anthology, “What Fears Become”, Potomac Review, Hurricane Review and Pinyon. His work has also appeared in Old Red Kimono, Alimentum, South Carolina Review, The Pedestal, Prism International, Big Muddy, Slant, Southern California Review and Natural Bridge with work upcoming in the Kerf, Leading Edge and Louisiana Literature.
The only answer I know
is to be astonished.
The world is spinning,
bones seed the ground,
there are mists of clouds
you can touch if you're standing
on a mountaintop.
Isn't that enough?
Step outside into the slow revolve.
Every day is strewn with mysteries.
Susan Moorhead © 2017
Susan Moorhead's recent work includes a short story in The Westchester Review and poems in Heartwood and Woman Around Town, Breadcrumbs, and Poems-for-All. Her chapbook, The Night Ghost, was published with Finishing Line Press. She's been nominated three times for a Pushcart prize.
* * *
What I can see
The cloud breaks,
a blinding white.
The new day is gentle –
from the corner of my vision I see the track
glistening against an imprint of green.
I could run to that edge,
merge into a shadowed impression of the hills,
I could run like a woman alive.
Isabelle Kenyon © 2017
Isabelle Kenyon is a graduate in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance from the University of York. Her poems have been published in many anthologies, such as Inkyneedles and the Great British Write Off. She received third place in the Langwith Scott Award for Art and Drama. Visit her website, flyonthewallpoetry.co.uk and find her chapbook, This is not a Spectacle, on Amazon (link embedded in title.)
Before You Go
Notice this light
filling in the empty spaces.
Notice the tracks in fresh snow
are not human, but
they are heading towards home.
Notice, the quiet has stopped here,
facing the cloudless sky,
simple as a room without furniture.
Notice: no one answers when called.
Experiences like this happen
without even trying, and then,
night wakes up, opens a door,
trying to catch up with those tracks
before they disappear into new snow,
before the woods enter into us.
Martin Willitts Jr © 2017
Martin Willitts Jr, exceptionally prolific, has won the 2012 Big River Poetry Review’s William K. Hathaway Award ; 2013 Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest; 2013 “Trees” Poetry Contest; 2014 Broadsided award; 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Contest; and, Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June 2015, Editor’s Choice. See his OPP bio page for more of his microchaps or Amazon, etc.
Sandra is a child of Peace and Love
Sandra is five foot two.
Sandra is fierce, like Boadicea.
We are on our way to Knebworth in an old jiloppy,
my red hat is floppy and I’ve got sandals on
and we’ve got joss sticks in the van.
Joni Mitchell is playing in the park,
we’ve borrowed keith’s van and we’re off
to Knebworth for a lark.
Sandra works at Woolies - plastic roses care of Daz
decorate her hair. If you can remember Sandra in
the sixties you probably were not there .
Me – I’m a rebel in my leopard skin pill box hat
and Sandra – she’s a child of Peace and Love.
I’ve been selling Oz magazine in High Street again,
I’m a student, I’m a rebel, when they call at my
door – me mam’s packed me sandwiches,
I said I’ll be home by four – I’ve got a dahlia in my
hair – if you can remember me and Sandra –
you just so were not there –
me I’m a rebel, quintessential psychedelic,
and Sandra, she’s a child of peace and love.
Helen Burke © 2017
(Read the entire poem on Helen's OPP page)
Helen Burke is a prolific poet, artist, overall creative being from the UK. Her latest major collection, today the birds will sing, is available from Valley Press UK & Amazon.
each hilltop waved with flowered grasses
while sun coaxed music from bird and wind
nomad herdsmen, dogs, furred horses,
sheep, and goats, and sometimes cows
children play, long summer shadows,
berries hiding, lush on stems,
bees and butterflies, finding golden
pollen, for honey, and silk-thread cocoons
yurts move, felt walls easily folded,
easily patched if winds come peering through,
wooden framework guarding night dreams,
rugs for floor, clouds and clear skies above
lower down, farmers mow grass
food for herds’ long cold winter months
barns and houses have sturdy walls
but I would not trade them
for the stars and sun of summer hills
See 'Recent Books' for a more complete listing
Thank you so much Jan. I am exited to be a part of your lovely project!
Ann Christine Tabaka, Delaware
Thanks so much for the hard work of making it happen.
Nancy Jasper, Massachusetts
Thank you for working your magic on my micro-chap.
Jan Chronister, Wisconsin
Thrilling that all is up. About to mail out to everyone on the planet that I've ever met :)
It looks wonderful! Thank you very much, I appreciate the time and care you take with my work. I think the cover works perfectly as well.
I love your philosophy and making of tiny books. I was also tickled to see one of my painting on the bar of books when I went to your website. Thank you for considering my work. And now I'm about to walk my dog, Otis. He'll be happy about that.
Julia Klatt Singer
I would like to make sure that it is okay for us to use the PDF printables and hold a "pay it forward" in the library. So, our teens would fold the PDF's that we print off and pass them out to customers or leave them in the 800's poetry stacks for customers to take at will. Thank you for the fabulous site and inspiration!
Sincerely, Christy M., Information Services Specialist
Columbus Metropolitan Library, Whitehall, OH
Received ten copies, all in a first class letter, and I am beyond delighted - will share my copies, including one to a Colorado poet/good friend with end-stage cancer (knowing he’ll love it). Well done, Jan Keough and The Editors, well done, indeed. Check 'em out, your poems could help change the world one micro-chapbook at a time!
|• Poets' group in Lincoln, NB||• Wildflour Artisan Bakery & Cafe, Decatur, IL|
|• Cafe 164 at Leeds Gallery & at Cafe in York, UK||• Self-stocked libraries in RI|
♦ Due to the widening perimeter of the Origami Poems Project we are hard pressed to replenish the many locations that have previously visited the (primarily) RI locations. We are happy to send a sampling of chapbooks for a display but cannot "stock" them on an ongoing basis. We are grateful for your understanding. If you wish to volunteer to support a location, please ask... origamipoems(at)gmail(dot)com ♦
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