Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Linda M. Crate- Two Poems

Thank You
In a world full of sinners,
You survived without
blame, but were ridiculed
for saying You were some
one that you were not,
but you weren't lying - 
we were lying to You
and to ourselves to make
excuses for not doing the
things that we ought 
because being obedient
is often inconvenient and
not what we want to do.
our true nature is to give
into the darkness within,
and without a true guide
to help us through we
would all walk straight
into the gates of hell
after death if it weren't
for Your forgiveness for
people who hated you,
for people like me, that 
didn't deserve Your love
or Your gentleness or 
Your self-control or 
anything else you have
given us, for the list is
far too long to list yet
You gave us free choice
so we could choose You,
and that just blows my
mind because so many
people choose to live
without You because You
didn't make us robots, but
You offered us a choice -
a decision to follow or
to follow our own desires
which often gets us into
trouble because You know
what's best for us even
if we don't want to hear it.
so thank You for every
thing You've done in my
life and for the lives of 
all my sisters and brothers
in Your name because
You've done things that
are behind my vision and
my sight and my knowledge.
You truly are an awesome
God, and I thank You for
everything i am or will be.

another praise
so many songs and poems
have been constructed in
Your name, and here's another
to add to the constant list
that is growing and growing.
Maker of the stars and sky,
of the land and universe,
Maker of the oceans and
of my family and my heart -
my words could never be
enough, but i lift my praise
to you with a heart full of 
gratitude because i don't 
deserve all the blessings 
you've bestowed upon me,
but you continue to look
after me like You do the lilies
and the sparrows and the
trees that grow all around me.
no one can compare to Your
greatness, so i raise this praise
to you whether it be read or
sung because You are the great
I am, it is only through You that
i will every achieve the greatest
things in my life and they will
never compare to You or what
You did and do for Your people.
You sharpen me with Your
words not to hurt me, but to
help me because some of the
things that i crave do me more
harm than the good i anticipate
that they'll be worth or achieve.
so i pray you take this humble
praise and it warms Your heart
because you've taken a girl 
full of anger and hatred and
turned her into a peaceful
being that wants and yearns
to be a healer among the broken
and it's a transformation that i 
see in me every day by Your
hand, and i thank You that 
you should care so much for
a sinner just like me, dear God.
Thank you for caring about me.

Rick Hartwell- Three Poems

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember, the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing poetry, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.


Geckoes and a jackrabbit greeted her
on the way to church today,
as I dropped my daughter off
to study God and learn to pray.

Many more parishioners were there,
but only these had stopped to stay
within the Sun’s encircling warmth,
without the wooden cave to play.

I wonder if “The good Lord’s grace”
is just another way to say
“’Tis by fate and not by choice we live”?
Yet here my thoughts begin to stray.

Oversights like these have been
circling to all circumstance,
bent by recognizing chance in choice
and not to see the choice of chance.

Learning the Lesson

Sliding downward from Monday,
climbing back out on Sunday,
beating on the door of the
Home Ministry of Truth.

No entrance, but also no exit,
no excuses; just no place to go;
waiting for someone to call
my game on account of pain.

I am the classroom of my
own daily experiences;
my life is the lesson for
those surrounding me.

You must be the teacher.

Think About It!

Here I am
Again outside
In the hall of my life
Sent to “think things over”
Unable to withhold myself
Something I said
Returned me
Here again

Friday, February 22, 2013

Richard King Perkins II- A Poem

The Gift of Water
You crawl out of the desert,
shadowed by a contrail of opportunists
which takes on the shape of an irregular claw.
Hands burning and the rasping of your knees on sand;
how the particles cut into your skin,
embedding themselves permanently.
But even as you look ahead to a small diner at the desert’s edge,
the shadow clings to you, still hungry.
Arriving at the doorway,
the shadow follows you in, blindfolds you,
pours more grain into your wounds.
Get on your knees, clasp your hands, bow your head.
Your knees absorb the desert; heat subsides in your palms;
a crown of vultures encircles your head
and the diner offers only one special:
A splash of water for
all eternity.
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife, Vickie and a daughter, Sage. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Prime Mincer, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Fox Cry, Calvary Cross and The Red Cedar Review. He has poetry forthcoming in The Meadow, Bluestem and The William and Mary Review.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tendai Mwanake- A Poem

He thought he had taken everything
Maybe he didn’t have to think about it
Maybe he really had to leave me
I thought he took away a part of me
I told myself he left with something, mine
But I couldn’t ask him not to
He left me an empty blue sky
Dry air is all I could feel inside me
I felt open, like an open sky
The sun mercilessly pouring hot
No clouds, no air, no breeze
I felt my insides drying, dying
Into a dead, dried, listless bird
He took a side path and left me alone
He left me alone in the lonely road
As I approached the intersection
He left me to die on the cusps of
Something life changing, life taking
He took something that is life giving
It took me years to find out
I had to die inside for me to find
That he hadn’t taken anything
That I still had everything inside me
I had to face another loss
My mother dying of Alzheimer
Made me realise what loss really meant
Those bouts of forgetfulness of
My mother’s. That she could
Forget me. That she could even
Forget who she was. Where she was
That her death didn’t represent loss
For she had nothing more to lose
Made me realise that I hadn’t lost
Anything, me or even him. That he
Was the one who had lost me
To find myself again on the road of life
That he had abandoned me in
For me to find myself again
To find my way home again.
Voices from exile, a collection of poetry on Zimbabwe’s political situation and exile in South Africa was published by Lapwing publications, Northern Ireland in 2010. KEYS IN THE RIVER: Notes from a Modern Chimurenga, a novel of interlinked stories that deals with life in modern Zimbabwe was published by Savant books and publications, USA in 2012. Revolution, Logbook written by a drifter, and Voices from exile were both short listed by the Erbecce press poetry prize in 2012, 2011, and 2009 respectively, nominated for the Pushcart twice, 2008, 2010, commended for the Dalro prize 2008, nominated and attended Caine African writing workshop 2012. Published over 200 pieces of short stories, essays, memoirs, poems and visual art in over 100 magazines, journals, and anthologies in the following countries, the USA, UK, Canada, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, India, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Romania, Mexico, Cameroon, Italy, France, Spain, Cyprus, Australia and New Zealand.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mark Nenadov- A Poem

Winter Time

Snow sent here
    from the loving Lord above
is cascading
through the corners
of this sphere
where the cold tickles
the feet of the earth.

Our tribe draws near
to the flickering
    fire—fearfully made
which sends smoke
snaking through the chimney
    up to the shimmering stars.

Bio: Mark Nenadov lives in Essex, Ontario, Canada with his lovely wife and their baby daughter. Mark's poems have appeared in publications such as Wilderness House Literary Review, WestWard Quarterly, Northern Cardinal Review, Northern Michigan University's The Lightkeeper, and Shot Glass Journal. See for more details.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Aaron Combs- A Poem

The War of Grace

I pray against this sound.
The sound of tears, the sound of pain,
like trees that fall in the desert.
I pray against this sound.
The sound of destruction, and plague
like insects clawing on your soul.
I pray against this sound.
The screaming nails, the unforgiveness.
I pray against this sound.
I pray for grace.
I put my hope in the rivers of love.
I put my trust in the peace of understanding,
   that He is sovereign.
It is enough to know He is there.
And the silence isn't so loud anymore.

When I'm broken, feeling untied, tethered,
like a ball under the rye,
as lips begin to close, and hope begins to lean,
I look to the hills

      and know
                     that He is still there.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Lifts Her Like A Chalice
The weekday Mass at 6 a.m.
brings the old folks out 
from bungalows 
around the church.
They move like caterpillars  
down sidewalks, 
some with canes, 
some on walkers. 

Father Doyle says the Mass 
and then goes back to the rectory 
to care for his mother 
who cannot move or speak 
because of a stroke.

And every Sunday at noon 
when the church is full, 
Father Doyle, in full vestments, 
wheels his mother
in a lump
down the middle aisle
and lifts her like a chalice 
and places her in the front pew  
before he ascends to the altar.

Sometimes at night,
when his mother's asleep, 
Father Doyle comes back to the Church 
and rehearses in the dark 
three hymns she long ago 
asked him to sing at her funeral.

He practices the hymns 
because the doctor said  
she could go at any time.
When that time comes,
he doesn't want to miss a note.
The last thing she ever said was 
"Son, I'll be listening."

Anthony Nannetti- A Poem

My Mother's Rosary

I dreamed that you were still young

and seeking Mary's intercession,

with unclouded eyes lowered

on fleet fingers that moved as if shelling beans.

And how eager I was to follow your lead,

to echo the decades so dutifully

as answer to our prayers.

Anthony Nannetti's poetry has appeared in several print and online publications.  He lives in South Philadelphia with his wife and two daughters.