The Writing Garden ~ Issue Nine


Cover Image ~ Kuala Lumpur
Scott Sloan ~ scottsloanphotography

 

Fly, Dragonfly!
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Water nymph, you have
climbed from the shallows to don
your dragon-colors.
Perched on a reed stem
all night, shedding your skin, you dry
your wings in moonlight.
Night melts into day.
Swift birds wait to snap you up.
Fly, dragonfly! Fly!
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Joyce Sidman ~ joycesidman.com
Poetry via ~ Poetry Foundation

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Somewhere

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Balancing, not so delicately,
on the heads of seven pins
I wake in the middle of the night
dazed by the hurrying of the sun and the moon through the sky.
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Somewhere there is an open field
where the seeds of tall grasses live out their days
in dialogue with dew and stars,
Cicada legs thrumming the air
a stillness held in their cadence,
Where fire flies lace the leaves of trees in encircling forests
inscribing their delicate electrical tracings of desire,
a lit calligraphy of … hello, come see me
I am aflame with light
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Somewhere there is an open field within me
amidst the deep woods of words
the impregnable tall trees of thought
a vast silence of living
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Jana H. White ~ poetryoflight.org
Image ~ Rodd Lucier

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Mom’s Garden

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Holding Hands

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The coffee is bitter-
I made it too strong
to help me bear this memory
coming hard and fast.
Mom I remember about you
that you liked habits and lists
consistency and moderation
except when it came to
potato chips.

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You had a garden
and I have a vision
you in a flowered apron
with a towel over your shoulder
wiping the sweat off your face.
In a dress like they wore on the prairie
and a bonnet to keep the sun off your brow.

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Like me you embraced simpler times-
and did this alone
marching to your own drummer.
I wonder had you lived longer
if you would be sitting here with me
I and my coffee
you with iced tea-

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Would you be glancing
at your smart phone
to catch a text message
from someone at church
or would you eschew it
like other more progressive things
and suggest we go out to pull weeds?

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I frustrated you, and
I know you would not be proud
of how I look now, crumbling on the edges
but some of that was from the loss of you-
Eighteen years and it is not so sharp
But back then I did not grieve well.

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Sipping my coffee
I am revisiting that last Sunday morning
gone already when I heard
7 a.m. on the phone.
At home you would be getting ready for church
taking a shower or ironing your dress.

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Instead you lay so scary still
on a hospital bed
and I had failed you on some counts-
but I listened to you like others did not.
Am I really going to be older than you
Before I learn how to balance the numbers?

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I imagine what might have
become of us
had we oiled that machine
breaking from the strain
a fine crack from 1963.

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You gave and you laughed
and I would really rather not have tea
but there are bitter grapes
in my mouth now
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Pleasant Street ~ geletilari.wordpress.com/SoundCloud/Twitter
Image ~ freeimages.com

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Don’t Look At Me Like That

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The Writer by petebritney

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Say nothing.
Wipe the blood off your skin
and stitch another little sorry in.
Call it ink,
it’s what we write with.
Or call it sin,
the kind we live with.
Fingertips tremble,
tender and tormented
as they explore the poems
you wrote but never meant.
I’d love you to share my lonely.
I write romance novels in my head
but you don’t even know me.
There’s a hellfire in our honeymoon,
a hangover from my heartbreak,
but you’re a soothing lullaby for my longing.
And I need to learn to undo my mistakes.
My hands have never been able to handle glass hearts.
I want to paint the pavement with my tears,
drowning people in puddles of my grief.
I need to learn a new way to say sorry.
When you look at me
it’s like a thousand storms
breaking against my body.
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JP Jones ~ giraffevader.tumblr.com
Imagepetebritney

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tumblr_n7yky4BqCx1sgtrbgo1_500

“Dreams are the seeds of change.  Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream.”
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Debby Boone

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Sounds Like Rain

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a crack in the doorway and instead of light
only darkness spills out onto the hardwood floor
oily and putrid and thick
unlike that of a clear summer’s night
which she so hoped it would be
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her skin sweats and her insides wilt
but there is nothing better than the feeling
of complete and utter nothing
that comes with this kind of pleasure
what could be?
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she looks up at the sky and he is gone
he is not there, no one is
she laughs at the sky instead
at its jokes and she wants to shout at it,
“are you jealous?”
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wet floor creaks beneath her feet
and it’s the smell of poison that brings a smile to her face
“be like me,” they’d all said. “this is better”
it poisons her insides and it’s better
she smiles so much it hurts
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she spits at the sky
but it comes falling back on her
before she can wipe it away it begins to rain
grass wet beneath her toes and she feels a tingle of pleasure
it’s different
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she doesn’t see eyes when she looks into their eyes
she doesn’t find the humor in their laughter
“you want to be like me.”
she attaches a question mark to the statement
and finds herself longing for an answer
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everywhere she goes there is nothing
she cannot see
they hand her a glass and he pulls her into darkness again
“you want to be like me?”
but when her answer comes, she cannot say it
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she stares up at the ceiling another night
once she is herself again
and hears the breathing steady beside her
“do you want to be like me?”
the steady darkness looks back at her
rain drops on the open windowsill and she cherishes the sound
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her face is wet beneath the sky but there are no clouds
“i miss you” she says into the grass
she cannot look up
“i wish” she begins but she cannot finish
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a series of nights, another one
the poison tastes like poison
a grimace that is not lead away
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she looks up to the sky and she misses him
the pools leak dry
the stars sparkle in her eyes instead
a glimmer of beauty
in time
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stephwritessometimes.wordpress.com
Image ~ k.isikawa_G3

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Sleep

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dreamers by Pretty-As-A-Picture

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We fell asleep
in a thousand different ways
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did we not?
I am too tired for certainty
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so you talk now
and let me fall back into sleep
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close my eyes
here: inside your ample voice
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your ample body
of promises I long to fulfill
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I long to forget
in a thousand different ways
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Gisle Skeie ~ dustseeker.tumblr.com
Image ~ Pretty-As-A-Picture

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Ivy Weaves
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Ivy weaves glossy leaves
O’er potting shed knots
And rusty locks.
Lingering on gusty
Limbs and whispering
Wise rings.
The great ancient
Sings.
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moonramblings.wordpress.com
Image ~ L Church
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Stories…

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cemetery IV by sorb

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A crowd of leaves hurry to gather
at one worn headstone after another
like a funeral party uncertain whether
these graves are the dead that they grieve;
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a spinning wind plucks at the memory
left in this absent minded cemetery
nobody visits but beech leaves and me
and the dead lying under the trees
with stories that no-one can read..
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Bones ~ Hello Poetry
Image ~ sorb

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Horseshoe Crabs Are Living Fossils

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Like in the movies darling II by skeev

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I like that — life that goes about its business
carrying death on its back
as if a man could walk down the street
with the fingerprint of his great, great grandfather
stamped across his raincoat.
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It happens all the time, actually.
Most children wear the faces of the dead.
                          And so many voices
are locked up inside old movies.
Actors drag their lines across celluloid bars.
                                        Sparks fly
but there’s nothing more they can do.
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Then there’s the woman who cloned her pet.
The past rolls in at nightfall.
             It pads from room to room
silent, watchful
                          on little cat feet.
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You can also see it in the eyes
of men who no longer love you.
Sometimes, for example, he’ll look up
             from the far side of the breakfast table.
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             A woman stares you down
from behind the lines of his iris.
There’s something familiar about the mouth
                                     but that’s it,
as if a long time ago
when you weren’t paying attention
somebody switched your life.
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Lori-Lamothe ~ Amazon/lorilamothe.com/Twitter
Image ~ skeev

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Amorphous

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shadows and lights

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a fragrant
primal perfume when
i smell the food in the city’s districts, aromas intermingling
with carbon emissions and summer rain on hot concrete.
my own slinky sense is wafting and walking,
hips in swiveling rhythm
with lost innocence.
a pheromone i can’t quite sniff
is weaving its way into my blood,
a wickedly beautiful strain
of acrid and smoky humanity,
sunless, silent and deep, like muddy tubers buried during autumn’s darkest
moonshine hours, bonfires and colors brilliantly shifting focuses and feelings.
it’s a perfume of enhancing depth,
a rising sacred incense.
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Vicki ~ Hello Poetry
Imagemirko delcaldo

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No

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and I’m not depressed
and it wasn’t pills
and it isn’t exercise
and I haven’t moved
or run away
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it’s not another person
making me happy
or sad
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I’m not longing
not clinging
not lost
not running
not hiding inside
bourbon or cigarettes
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sometimes I’m empty
sometimes bored
sometimes missing
someone like you
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each day I’m living
at peace
I’ve learned
to let go
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Joy Young Gugel ~ writteninjoy2.tumblr.com
ImageAM Renault

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No curl of wild, no rustling bough

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lark-loved
the landscape spread its greening wings,
and lovers tripped their picnic things
up stoney ways on bonny days,
whilst poets penned soft sonnets most sublime
then, finished, smiling
in true blissful time
‘til clouds let fall a spill,
a spill of super-sudden rain
to drip its way on country plain
where blackbird sat in berried hedge,
a silent sentry, all alert,
protective dam, a gentle maid,
her pale blue eggs
prior Sunday laid..
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I walked a mile or few that day
my feet protected from
the clay,
the stoney path quite steep, quite rough,
the going up far more than tough
on calves and toes
much squashed within
a foreign-made all leather skin,
once shining bright,
now dark with mud,
leaves stuck their verdant décor
thick,
and strange, reminded me of days
when rugs were laid
on turkish tiles..
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from there upon the plateau high
I stared and stared –
no reason why
a person pauses silence bound,
no call of wild, no rustling bough,
but nothing more than
life ahead,
a music’s play
a spirit’s sound;
swifts swerved their flight,
their wings full drawn
and then.. next moment
came the dawn
and I awoke..
curled in my bed!
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emmajoy ~ WritersCafe
Image ~ Cameron Russell

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Waiting

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going somewhere by aimeelikestotakepics

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The stack of garden chairs in the corner
Waits longingly for summer to take over,
When the wind carries the murmur
Of crickets and the faint smell of clover.
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They sit there huddled together
As if trying to generate warmth.
Long thin strands of spider web blow
In a cold gust, like old women’s hair.
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In the kitchen the old oak table
Has just been cleared and cleaned
Around him the whole family convenes
To eat, talk, fight and fable.
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His top is warped and battered
And he often overhears their threat
of the new table they’d like to get.
If only they knew how much it mattered.
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The guitar hangs on the wall unused.
She remembers the last time SHE sang
She had been cradled on HER lap
And twanged and quivered to HER voice.
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Her black eye sees HER bent,
Poring over a computer, tapping the keys
Nothing comes forth, no song, no musical piece;
For the guitar a useless amusement.
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In the bedroom an empty suitcase
Droops exhausted from waiting
To be packed for an undertaking
For something to break the monotony of days.
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gif-poet.tumblr.com
Image ~ aimeelikestotakepics

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Hello lovely readers!  I hope you enjoyed the collection of creative poetry in this issue, thanks so much for taking the time to view this magazine, and thank you to all the talented writers who allowed me to publish their beautiful work.
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I really appreciate all the feedback so many of you have given and also helping to spread the word through Twitter, Facebook and G+.  And not to forget my very kind Tumblr and WordPress friends who have reblogged or given links since the first issue, it makes the hard work worthwhile to know it’s a project others take pleasure in reading.
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It’s also a pleasant surprise to see the WordPress follows and email subscriber list steadily growing.  I’m overwhelmed at the response – and grateful to those who return to read more!
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Special thanks goes to Scott Sloan for his stunning dragonfly image for the cover….what a capture!! 
Scott’s WordPress website is well worth a visit, packed full of some really beautiful photography.  Yes, check it out!

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If you’d like your poetry, spoken word, short story or essay included in the next issue published in July, please see Submissions.

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25 comments on “The Writing Garden ~ Issue Nine

  1. I’m out of breath and ALMOST out of words regarding the incredible poetry in this issue. Accessible, meaningful, delightful (in some instances), hard-hitting (in others) and matched with that – the photography. Great issue, Suzy!

    • Thank you for your great enthusiasm Pamela, that’s so lovely!! 😀 I’m thrilled you find it relatable, that’s one of the things I’m always concious of when on the lookout for new material to publish here. Being able to easily relate, even if it’s just in amusement is what makes any piece of writing worthwhile to me. I like poetry now and then that is a bit mysterious, bordering on a puzzle, but some literary magazines seem to be full to the brim with those the obscure ones, I’m amazed anyone reads them at all! I love art and photography, but I also think it compliments a lot of writing in a way as to make it double the strength – that can never be a bad thing. Thanks so much for visiting with your delightful comment Pamela!! 🙂

      • I think many people have been turned off by “poetry,” thinking that a poem has to be obscure and difficult to understand. Many times poems do have double meanings, which I love, and poems use beautiful rhetorical devises. But a good poem does all that, and yet is still readable and lovely as a stand-alone vignette on some aspect of “life.” You and I are on total agreement to that! BTW, I just saw Susan Licht, whose photography is just getting more amazing by the week. I encouraged her to visit you and The Writing Garden. I think you used one of her photographs in your first issue.

        • I think you’re right, many have been turned off having read too many obscure poems, and perhaps feeling alienated by the experience. Not the way to enjoy poetry at all!

          Ah yes, I did pass by Susan’s blog yesterday, she really has a great talent for beautiful pictures. I shall have to contact her through Flickr too, as that’s where I often make arrangements for the cover images now. Have met some very eager photographers there. Thanks for reminding me! 🙂

    • Yes I was really moved by ‘Mom’s Garden’ I could tell the first time I read it was very much from the heart. So glad to hear you enjoyed it, thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  2. i also found the writing garden through Jana White and am glad that i did. your collection of poems has a broad range of styles, but the quality is good, throughout. and the photos are a pleasure. thanks for all of the work you’ve done to create this.

    • I do like to have a broad range, I could probably stretch the range even more than I have, it takes some thought to make sure it’s varied enough. Thank you very much for the compliments, so pleased to hear you enjoyed it! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Jana! 🙂 You’re very welcome – I’m also honoured to have your beautiful poetry on here!! And thanks so much for the promotion too, really kind of you to tell your friends about this website! 🙂

    • I’ve had various writers say that to me on Tumblr and some of the writer sites. It’s amazing how easy it to stay within a familiar stream of writer friends and not realise how much more wonderful writing is out there in the vast online universe. And I’m only just touching the surface of what is out there! Thanks so much Rebecca! 🙂

  3. Another great issue Suzy. Good to see something from Jana White I’m a fan of her work and the poem you have chosen is exquisite .

    • I keep fearing I will get to a point where the good writing runs out, but it seems far from that, I’m amazed at what I find and what is now being submitted.

      Thanks so much Chris for the support right from the beginning of this magazine! 🙂

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