ELAINE WEBSTER – BORDERLINE

Borderline

 

Quiet along the border,

Stars and moon reflect on water,

Who would have guessed the effect Power had,

On woman, man, and beast?

 

Six hundred fifty miles,

Not long enough to stop the mix,

Of peoples, of places, of life.

Must build stronger and longer,

Wider and higher until the heavens can’t see,

The love of a boy and girl,

Divided at the Borderline.

 

Katrina learned early to be silent,

When asked about family.

She joked about her father wolf,

Uncle coyote and mother earth.

Shy smiles and giggles hid the fears,

That invaded her nighttime dreams.

 

Dash worked cattle and lived to ranch.

He’d seen them take the water,

From here and put it there.

The Power knew nothing

Of natural flows and the thirst,

The thirst of creation.

 

“Buenos Dias,” she said one morning,

To a pickup and a cowboy hat.

Kat knew better than to smile big,

The way he did, with such swag.

 

“Good morning,” he boasted,

Chest out and head high.

“Dash and Kat have a good ring,

Don’t you know?”

They met at sunset in a cabin,

In the shade of the Borderline.

The morning brought a sense of place.

Kat spied a wolf couple and two pups,

Through the pane-less window.

“Dash, that will be us,” she whispered.

“Kat, then let it be,” he answered.

 

Bingo came under a full moon,

His eyes filled with shooting stars.

No wonder he grew so tall,

So fast; to see beyond the Borderline.

 

The night the ICE-men came for Kat,

Dash and Bingo had no choice.

They stood back as the van took their own,

And howled in despair.

 

Soon many joined the pack,

Peering through the wall of fences.

At the Borderline both sides ran the gamut,

Back and forth in emotional and physical despair.

 

The wall extended further,

By the decree of Power.

Families divided—couldn’t get through.

Except to touch snouts or fingers,

Before the Borderline militia threatened,

With freedom denied or death.

 

“There have been walls like this,

Built to deny and control,” said Dash.

“Yes, I know and they did not last,” Bingo pondered,

With the strategy bouncing in his head.

“We will bring Kat and Los Lobos home,

On the next full moon.”

 

The Power ordered a cover-up,

Of how a Dreamer could be deported.

Kat faced the Press from her refuge,

In the church near the Borderline.

She could see the wall of fences,

From the pain-filled window of her soul.

 

Dash and Bingo gambled all they had,

To spread the word of wrongs to be righted.

Their travels took them places,

Where anyone would listen to the pleas of families divided.

No one knows how it happened,

How a Wolf Pack and a Mujer came to Power.

The Press swarmed the White House lawn,

To report the confrontation between Ruler and Ruled.

Bingo led the Mass of People—

Until they filled the World with new understanding.

He stood tall and saw Beyond the Borderline.

~

Find Elaine online here. 

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POETRY: MARLENA CHERTOCK – CEMETARIO GENERAL

Cemetario General

Cemetario General is one of the largest cemeteries in Santiago, Chile. Patio 29 is a plot used to bury the disappeared, the homeless, the unidentified, and victims of the Augusto Pinochet military dictatorship.

 

What’s left of them is arranged in boxes,
fifty or so line a wall.
He turns off the leaf blower,
passes a woman kneeling, her head lowered.

Even in death there are mansions.
Glass criptas encasing tías.
He coaxes leaves away
from the marble structures.

In a narrower section
ice cream and chip vendors push their carts.
Crowded together are plots of dirt, maybe some hierba,
a Nescafé bottle filled with wilted hydrangea.

He asks families to give more.
Sometimes there’s no response. So he digs up the land
and transfers what endured to a mass plot, Patio 29.
He’s so close to the body then, touching its bones.

At home he holds his esposa’s hips
as she cooks dinner, the smell of her sweat and the humitas
mixing in the kitchen air,
holds her as she undresses and they lie down together.

Find her at marlenachertock.com or @mchertock.

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poetry: Joseph Somoza – Hasta La Vista

Hasta La Vista

Here I find myself again,
in the company of
trees and sunshine,
a quiet workday morning.
It’s like emerging from a tunnel
where my mind was cloyed
with mundane matters such as
providing food, doing dishes,
and having to
respond to others—

who are my family,
who have gone back now
to being themselves
in the far distance where I can
make out the details better,
hear their words more clearly
in the sparse air between
here and there, as if minds can’t
co-exist in close proximity
and must always be
sent on their way.

Order Joseph Somoza’s new volume of poems As Far as I know (Cinco Puntos Press, 2015).

 

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POETRY: RITA ROUSSEAU – REMEMBERING

Remembering

 

I walk in the shadow of skeletal trees,

their fearsome, naked branches reaching out

in desperation, pleading for redemption

like ghostly soldiers back from war in search

of peace, an end to dreams

of screams and shattered flesh.

Scattered underneath, concealed among

withered, blood-red remnants of last year’s

flowers, lurk spiked seed pods,

tiny, inobtrusive land mines

set to detonate at slightest touch

exploding everywhere new seeds

prepared to sprout, to conquer, and

to dominate all lesser growth

exhibiting their red magnificence.

Until, again, the glory ends

in stark, bare desolation.

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poetry: catherine wolf -hack attack

Hack Attack
Finally! Obama shot back at the Russian hackers
who attacked our computers, the Democratic National Committee,
Hillary’s email, and just fun Vermont’s power grid.

But shot with a BB gun, it could shoot someone’s eye out,
leaving him dazed and bloody, not like a nuke
which could destroy a country or a world,
leaving the scent of smoke no creature could smell.
Obama, did you smell the flaming planet?

Trumpeter tweeted Putin putting off his own retaliation,
shining “very smart.” Treason is giving aid and comfort
to an enemy. Is the president-elect dipping
into treason like chocolate mousse?

Trumpeter sided with WikiLeaks founder
who said “Nyet, not a Russian hack.”
Does dumpy Trumpy want to build a golf course
in Siberia? It’s all about money.

With his glowing bare muscular chest,
Putin must have a dozen women
Trumpet can grope.

~

Bio
Catherine G. Wolf studied language development in graduate school, and was fascinated by this unique human ability. In 1997, when she was stricken with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, her ability to speak was taken away by this disease. She found poetry had a special capability to express her innermost feelings. By losing her physical voice, Catherine found her poetic voice. Catherine has published in the 2016 Rat’s Ass Review edition of Love & Ensuing Madness, Rat’s Ass Review, Front Porch Review, Verse-Virtual, Cacti Fur, and Bellevue Literary Review. She uses assistive technology to communicate, and raises her right eyebrow to type.

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poetry: catherine wolf – the faithful faithless

The Faithful Faithless
After signing 37 petitions, I dreamed
Sunday night 37 faithless members
of the electoral college, but faithful
to the national popular vote,
defected from the orange Rump
and voted for Hillary.
Russian hacking couldn’t turn
our election upside down.
America was great again!
But when I turned on the TV Monday night,
America was raped again.
Two electors dressed in camouflage
fatigues snuck away from the orange Slime
and voted for Kasich and Ron Paul.
On the blue Pantsuit side,
three deranged defectors voted Colin Powell,
one voted for Bernie to keep our revolution alive,
one flew to Native American
Faith Spotted Eagle’s perch.
Hillary won 2,800,000 more than Tiny Fingers,
why isn’t she the President-elect?
Because the electoral college uses
nonsensical rules of assigning electors to states.
It tilts power to small population states.
It’s hardly a college, more like doggy daycare.
Now we’re stuck with climate contrarian,
women-groping, Muslim-hating, Putin-loving,
nuke-hawking, lying-tweeting, cancerous Lump.
Time for a Lumpectomy!

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poetry: catherine wolf – magic spell against trump

Magic Spell Against Trump
Orange Trump,
You rump!
You love Putin,
here’s my sputum.
You brag about women groping.
You’ll end up in jail I’m hoping.
You orange vampire,
you suck blood from those you hire.
You lie about everything, the height of Trump Tower, the popular vote.
Don’t gloat!
You want to deprive us of civil rights.
Hell no! We’ll fight!
You say climate change is a “Chinese hoax.”
Save that for your Florida grandchild when she croaks .

Pugnacious pug!
You’re asking for a slug.
Your businesses, we’ll investigate.
You’ll drown in corrupt-gate.
This country won’t tolerate you.
We’ll impeach, get rid of you.
No sociopath fascist will be president.
In the White House, you’ll no longer be resident.
We will put you in jail.
The end of “Hail
Trump!”

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POETRY: JIM ZOLA – EUGENE

Eugene

I wrote about his death until he died.
Then I became my father. The shift
was gradual, the way a house might inch,
year by year, down an incline towards the street.
Bushes feel the nudge. Sidewalk cracks
could tell a tale, but who would listen?
Eventually the house will tumble

beam to basement. Unless contractors
come in to bolster floor joists, add girders.
When my mother visits for Christmas,
his name isn’t spoken. But in photographs,
I feel his eyes follow my movements.
My oldest son lumbers into the kitchen,
comes to lean against me. I pull away,
afraid of what is already happening.

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POETRY : Bobbi Sinha-Morey – THE SCENT OF ORCHID

The Scent Of Orchid

I saw her bare back as she
leaned forward in her bath,
her brown hair pinned up to
reveal the back of her neck,
and I caught a glimpse of her
chin through the bathroom
door, open by just a quarter.
I could imagine the scent of
orchid on her skin, water
running over her fingers,
the palms of her hands;
my mother’s sister, and she
didn’t care if I happened to
see her. But her beauty, her
perfect form, aroused the spirit
in my heart and I had to draw
her on paper. I stole away to
my own bedroom and in
the pale eloquence of the moon
I drew her on one of the artist’s
tablets I had; every curve,
every detail, the grace we lovely
women shared. And when I was
done the pearl sheen of my
sheets remained the screen I
drew up against the night.
I slept there, dreaming of
a muse bathing by herself
in the gentle dropping of
a waterfall.
~
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poetry: r.t. castleberry – a transfer of affection

A TRANSFER OF AFFECTION

Watching her movie look-alike,
I went to bed remembering
an Alabama ex-girlfriend.
I woke later, hard at the memory.
Younger than me,
she gave head, loved light jazz,
told me stories of her babies lost in divorce.
Engaged twice,
we drove ourselves to distraction
and transfers out of state.
She married in Birmingham, moved home
to monitor her mother’s health,
fell in with a fishing crowd.
She sends holiday emails.
I check photos on Facebook.
Her mother passed.

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