LAND OF ABBA'S WORDS

Gerard Sarnat

Liav in

Hebrew

means,

“I have

a father”

which’s

abba in

English.


Born in

USA to

an Israeli

dad who

only spoke


his native

tongue to

boychick

everywhere


plus my

daughter

who is

bilingual

and wants

their two

year-old

to be even

more so


in Jerusalem

to stay with

daddy’s fam,

out on street

our toddler’s

perfect accent

turns to Mama

to ask, Are we

in Abbaland?

Gerard Sarnat won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for a handful of recent Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published in academic-related journals (e.g., Universities of Chicago/ Maine/ San Francisco/Toronto, Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Pomona, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, Penn, Dartmouth, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Baltimore) plus national (e.g., Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, American Journal Of Poetry, Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library Literary Journal, South Broadway Press, Parhelion, Clementine, pamplemousse, Red Wheelbarrow, Deluge, Poetry Quarterly, poetica, Tipton Journal, Hypnopomp, Free State Review, Poetry Circle, Buddhist Poetry Review, Poets And War, Thank You For Your Service Anthology, Wordpeace, Cliterature, Qommunicate, Indolent Books, Snapdragon, Pandemonium Press, Boston Literary Magazine, Montana Mouthful, Arkansas Review, Texas Review, San Antonio Review, Brooklyn Review, pacificREVIEW, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review, Fiction Southeast and The New York Times) and international publications (e.g., Review Berlin, Voices Israel, Foreign Lit, New Ulster, Transnational, Southbank, Wellington Street Review). He’s authored the collections Homeless Chronicles: From Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry is a physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate change justice. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with three kids plus six grandsons, and is looking forward to future granddaughters.

 

DEEP ROOTED & TRAIL’S END

Jennifer Lagier

Deep-Rooted

       “Storms make trees take deeper roots.” – Dolly Parton

Landmark oak trees

spread hundred-year-old canopies,

stretch roots beneath neighborhood fences, streets,

buckle concrete sidewalks, harbor blackbirds,

host frizzy-tailed squirrels.

Wounded, weathered bark

sprouts tender suckers.

Gnarled limbs spill acorns, golden duff

into beds of azaleas, hydrangeas,

offer leafy fodder for monarch butterfly larva.

I contemplate aged leviathans

through kitchen window,

shade puddled beneath thick trunks.

Hefty branches menace shingled roofs,

dwarf post-war seaside cottages.

Deep-rooted monoliths survive invasive suburbia,

spread subversive seedlings,

stoically bide their time.

Trail's End

"Sound of inner stone with heart on fire" ~ W.S. Merwin, "The Rock"

To my right, frothy breakers

fracture crumbling boulders

along Moonstone Beach.

Sullen clouds hug ragged shore.

On the left, cautious jackrabbits

forage among petrified thistles.

A cacophony of competing fragrances

from sage and pine overwhelm.

Ancient cypress and dusty oaks

groan in fog-instigated breeze,

shift Spanish moss shrouds,

spill gray squirrels, squawking jays.

Is trail’s end my choice of destination

or pre-ordained by some wry acrobatic of fate?

As golden sunrise ignites willow thicket,

I discover all paths take me to the same place.

Jennifer Lagier has published seventeen books and in a variety of anthologies and literary magazines, taught with California Poets in the Schools, edits the Monterey Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Recent publications: Harbinger Asylum, The Rockford Review, Syndic Literary Journal, From Everywhere A Little: A Migration Anthology, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, Missing Persons: Reflections on Dementia, Silent Screams: Poetic Journeys Through Addiction and Recovery. Newest books: Camille Mobilizes (FutureCycle Press), Trumped Up Election (Xi Draconis Books), and Dystopia Playlist (CyberWit). Forthcoming titles: Camille Comes Unglued (CyberWit) and Meditations on Seascapes and Cypress (Blue Light Press). 

 

CELESTIAL

Dorian J. Sinnott

We are a star set;
two particles of light colliding—
a meteor shower,
frozen;
parallel in time.

I want to write confessions of love
in braille constellations,
orbiting this black hole
that swallowed my sound inside—
a muted solar system.

We are undefined;
you and I—
sinking stars plummeting,
hushed by the atmosphere,
light years away.

So set forth the death of stars,
a ruptured nebula,
exploding cosmic embers—
drowned out by space.

Each day,
I long for your voice—
celestial—
a ripple in the galaxy,
trailing with cosmic dust.


Dorian J. Sinnott is a graduate of Emerson College's Writing, Literature, and Publishing program, currently living in Kingston, NY with his two cats. When he's not writing, he enjoys English horseback riding, playing violin, and traveling to comic cons up and down the east coast. He is the social media editor for Coffin Bell Journal. Dorian's work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including: Crab Fat Magazine, Black Bough Poetry, and Riggwelter. 

 

HER SELF PORTRAIT AT SAKS & SPRING FASHION MODELED BY RISING YOUNG POETS

Rikki Santer

Her Self Portrait at Saks

Coat those designer jeans 

in the languages of vogue 

& obscenity of price tag 

paint splats & whiskered thighs counterfeit 

        ::studio lofts

        ::cotton fields    

              ::Bavarian immigrant with coal mine cure all


NOW dust-brown stains can’t bear sneakers 


    that blind with their whiteness 


        the metrics when skeevy

            calculates the warp & the weft

    

                of commerce 

                     button fly

         boot cut                    

                or bumster

    plumb tuckered out          before she charges them

“Spring Fashion Modeled by Rising Young Poets”

                0 (The Oprah Magazine)

Stock the shelves with shrink

wrapped metaphors.  The Poetnistas

are here.  Each pronounced a connoisseur,

cherry-picked from the stacks.  Each packaged,

full-paged and ankle deep

in her very own reflecting pool.  

What eight goddesses who write poems

are wearing.

She Verbs now She Nouns.

Their verses pervert into accessory, sink

into sand, stretch across a megaphoned

hard-on, are knifed and forked 

on a porcelain plate. Her zen minimal is

channeled through the clean lines of

a French-cuffed shirt. The teal,

peach and chartreuse of a pencil

skirt and sequined cardigan make

her feel va-va-va voom.

Frame us, too, salacious

window lickers fit for a fitting

room where beatnik turtlenecks

and black toreador pants hang

whimpering on another clever hook

of commodity.

Rikki Santer’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications both nationally and abroad including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East,  The Journal of American Poetry, Hotel Amerika, Crab Orchard Review, Grimm, Slipstream and The Main Street Rag.  Her work has received many honors including five Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.   Her eighth collection, Drop Jaw, inspired by the art of ventriloquism, was published by NightBallet Press in the spring.  Please contact her through her website:   www.rikkisanter.com

 

THE MONSTER OF MYSELF &
POOR ECHO

William Doreski

The Monster of Myself
Being the monster of myself

both comforts and frightens me.

I tried to shock the crowds back

to low-lying places littered

with the bones of hurricanes,

the rags of historic moments.

Last night I raged into a room

where you had veiled in memory

of the massive husband who flew

to Crete with his final beloved

and crashed into the succulence,

going silent enough to forget.

But you refused to forget,

and draped yourself in a mist.

I pleased myself by rending it.

The monster of me was charmed

by your pale and pink facades while

the human of me wilted in shame.

Paris droops, Siena kneels and weeps,

salt pillars prop up Jerusalem.

The monster has shed a skin,

and claims that a fresh contagion

pours from mountainous districts

to scald the plains ochre and buff.

Anyone could name this monster,

but I must point out that rooms

above shuttered cafes in nations

on the brink of bankruptcy hold

carcasses he’s saving for later,

when the cats have muffled their cries.

Being the monster of myself

requires me to do as I please,

rendering simple things naked

but enshrouding people like you

in freshly laundered textiles

where your secrets merge with mine.

Poor Echo

The angle at which this puddle

reflects the neighboring houses

suggests how dizzily we all stand

in relation to each other.

The sidewalk looks old and tired.

The narrow grass border tries

to instill a vegetable order

on an otherwise urban moment.

The puddle looks glassy enough

to accept a human outlook,

but no one has placed one’s self

in that shallow reflective pose.

Do you dare? I don’t. My fear

of my own face prevents me

from assuming Narcissus’s role.

I prefer to think of the flower,

of the amaryllis family, common

every spring with yellow and white

blossoms flaunting their sex.

While like Narcissus the Hunter

I admire beautiful objects

I know that I’m not one of them,

and shouldn’t be looking in pools

or puddles in dirty urban streets.

Not that I’d fall deeply in love

with an imaginary other while

poor Echo fades in the glen,

leaving only her voice behind.

William Doreski's work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently Train to Providence, a collaboration with photographer Rodger Kingston.

 

6:54 PM
&
CROW MUSIC

DS Maolalai

6:54 PM

and the sun comes at an angle

in the risen steam

of cookery;

not quite boiling over

but visible

if you look. I look

from my typing at the table

and get up, reminded

to suddenly stir. I love it,

the quiet of this time

like a forest, six

fifty four

pm, textured

with soft bubbling rivers

and a quality

of sunlight - how it slants

in beams

of shining steam

and dust floating,

the rest of the room

so gloomy.

Crow-music

sweet birds sing softly

and crow-music crackles,

their dumb, unlettered cawing

which tears the air to pieces,

like pages from old notebooks

and my vaguely

versing words. on the far

northside end-point

of the malahide road

near darndale, the airport

and the M50

motorway, a bus

pushes traffic

like a dog

in a flowerpatch, and on dirty

wasteground patches

across from hotels

and busy crossroads

horses stomp restless

with their noses in nettlepatches.

their tails scrape

skinny counterpoints

on their xylophonic ribs.

DS Maolalai is a graduate of English Literature from Trinity College in Dublin and recently returned there after four years abroad in the UK and Canada. His writing has appeared in such publications as 4'33', Strange Bounce and Bong is Bard, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Out of Ours, The Eunoia Review, Kerouac's Dog, More Said Than Done, Star Tips, Myths Magazine, Ariadne's Thread, The Belleville Park Pages, Killing the Angel and Unrorean Broadsheet, by whom he was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He has also had my work published in two collections; 'Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden' and 'Sad Havoc Among the Birds'.

 

THE QUIET DAYS

L. Ward Abel

The black-line edge along 

canopies of various green 

interrupts, blends, but  

is other than the sky. 


Availability of light 

determines truth, which explains 

why dread of twilight and dark 

drapes everything above ground. 


The mind-sized universe 

strains at the now  

whose borders blur  

like late day film. 


The highest part of the afternoon 

dome flickers a spotted view 

a waterfall of blue belies 

magma below parceled into farms 


with shoes to match our  

burning: tightened, distancing  

almost overlapping,  

more huddled than before.  


All this must be a song  

I dreamed, one played  

by a brass band at sundown  

long after the gig has ended.  


There under velvet stars  

I see for miles the rows 

of radio towers just starting 

their broadcast night.

L. Ward Abel is the author of two full collections and eleven chapbooks of poetry, including Jonesing For Byzantium (UK Authors Press, 2006),   American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012), Cousins Over Colder Fields (Finishing Line Press, 2013),  Little Town gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), A Jerusalem of Ponds (erbacce-Press, 2016), Digby Roundabout (Kelsay Books, 2017), The Rainflock Sings Again (Unsolicited Press, 2019), and his latest full collection, Floodlit (Beakful, 2019).

 

WRITER'S BLOCK

Gale Acuff

This otherwise blank page with its lines like
a fence invites me to climb through, if I
dare. No Trespassing, it might as well say,
Beware of dog. Enter at your own risk.
I often try but am more often snagged

--I can barely go forward or back out,
and then I'm always wounded, a little
bloody, blue-bloody, the ink my bloodstains, 
the pen a pole vault which couldn't fly me
over, or like half a wire cutters--use
less. I know what's on the other side, too,
which makes matters worse--temptation, not just

curiosity. It's where I've come from
that I can't see--what's behind me,
even though I've been there, urging me on.
So I bite and bark words to navigate
the fence and sometimes push through and sometimes
not. When I can advance, I settle for

a while, but then move on, and what I knew
for which I fought so hard abandons me
when I leave. There's no present but future,
no living there permanently--it's all
in the past. So where does it end? The fence
claims Keep out--this means you, but it's only
an invitation. I'll be writing one
day and come upon a wall, a writer's

block I can't step through and which is too tall
to scale. Lacking the words to describe it
I'll call it Death. What am I up against
but the final page? I won't have the voice
to shout it down. Perhaps then I'll be free
from freedom of expression--I won't be

human any longer. What will I be
but the meaning of it all, the nothing
that is forever never meant to be?
I'll be some other writer's writer's block.
He or she will climb through the dead like me.

Gale Acuff has had hundreds of poems published in several countries and is the author of three books of poetry. He has taught university English in the US, China, and Palestine.

 

©2020 by Flare.