Donall Dempsey is awake and dreaming

The Dream's Dream

Garlanded with moonlight
your body dreams

as I, awakened
by the moonlight’s touch

upon my sleeping

gaze with admiration
of this painting

that the moonlight
paints of you.

Behind your eyes
your dreaming

sifts through

until it comes
to this

and you dream
the dream

of you
dressed in nothing but


and I in love
watching you.

*Dónall Dempsey was Ireland's first Poet in Residence in a Secondary School. Subject of two radio programmes and read on TV with John Cooper Clarke and Paul Durcan.. Performs everywhere and anywhere. Believes poetry to be an oral/aural artform.

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Julia Groves is the envy of Cleopatra

The Envy of Cleopatra
The kohl painted eyes of Cleopatra
would flash to darkest green
if they could ever see
the top of my lover’s head
tanned and shiny, like a beautiful nut
as it is bowed to me
not as he brings gifts from many lands,
or in displays of humility
or in supplication
but in the greater reverence
of tying up my shoes.

*Julia Groves is aged sixty and has been writing poetry since she was 8. 
During her working life she wrote funny poems for events for her
workmates.  She has been attending Helen Ivory’s poetry class for the
last two years.  This has broadened the scope of her poetry
considerably.  In 2008 she had a brain hemorrhage but was lucky enough
to be left with only slight disabilities hence the need for her
husband’s help with her shoes.



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Four haiku for a Monday morning by Bill Cooper

ocean breeze
a half step later
scent of lime

each daughter
hugs a leg

new furrow
a shimmer
on rose quartz

first camp night
two small boys
so awake

* Bill Cooper is Distinguished University Professor and President Emeritus at the University of Richmond, Virginia.

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Dave Migman is arranging the mask

Arranging the mask

As you stare at the shadow
that clouds the wall of the night
you sense the solidity of presence
you shiver deep inside when
you’re splayed naked
grappling the inner pulse
out of depth and scared.

The hammer strikes the anvil
an echo fills your chest
reasons, or their worth
sinking at your feet.
Stamp them into soft
red earth. Hold your tongue
but feed your eyes
delicious vistas,
turn it
inside out

* Dave Migman writes “Mr. Migman is an illiterate despot. Part saint, part muck, part string, part sticky fluff. His words and art have found their way into various online receptacles and such like.”

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New flash fiction from Charlie Wirth

Pre Pre-School

What can kids possibly learn from the school before pre-school? I learned one thing: How to play with toy dinosaurs.

There was one thing on my mind: get to the coolest dinosaur before anyone else could. Sitting at tables with crinkly paper and watercolor trays shaped like a longed traffic light was not the most exciting part to a male toddler's brain. What could I even draw at that age? A semi-yellow sun, faded rainbow, and a cave-man-art-inspired person? It was all about the action figures, and it only took a small human's brain to make them come alive.

As soon as arts and crafts time ended, the teacher had to play the cruelest game of all; dismiss the most angel-faced, well-behaved children sitting perfectly in their mini chairs one by one to the play area. Torture. It was ok if a girl was dismissed, they didn't usually run to the dinosaurs, but if a boy got to go ahead then there was the only hope that they had the building blocks mentality.

My mom must have dressed me extra cute that day because I was one of the first to be freed. I ran as fast as my little legs could take me, slamming my knees onto the faded carpet in front of the wicker basket full of plastic toy dinosaurs. I don't think real dinosaurs were all one solid color, shiny, and had their mouth open all the time. That didn't matter, because They seemed more real than anything else could be at that age.

* Charlie Wirth is a creative writing student at Concordia University St. Paul. Some of his works are forthcoming in the Cynic Online Magazine.

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Natalie Caulfield's 'Reasons'


Because the blue moles eat of earth with their claws
and sometimes
come blindly toward the light;
for simply having done
all one could imagine wanting to.
A pinnacle is merely
slipping with no consequence
backward, into root and tunnel.
Reasons need not be
of import or great finality –
finally the blade
through the fruit halts at the pit
though the flesh hangs on.

*Natalie Caulfield is a DIY poet who despises snobby lit types.  She lives in Connecticut and idolizes her archaic typewriter.

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Harry Owen on turning tides

Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin

Now the tide pours in, surf high
on the beach, a panting sea mist
like the tongue of a weary dog.
But no tsunami, no expert
arrogance of plutonium.
No Japan. And yet already
somewhere the story is forming,
a novelist sits and scribbles.
No one truly learns, not really.

Tonight: full moon, a super-moon,
and I’m pulled, my tides are turning,
rolling, slow as a basking whale.
Something stirs, something nuclear.
Here is writing in the sand,
titanium sandscript, black ink
running. It comes, is covered, goes,
eases itself like a ghost
into new meanings. I touch it,
taste its black blood, turn, turn.
Chromatography. Music on
a rotating drum. The writing
on the wall.

*Harry Owen,
formerly of Cheshire, now lives in Grahamstown, South Africa.  His
collections are: Searching for Machynlleth, The Music of Ourselves, Five
Books of Marriage and Non-Dog.  A memorial collection for his father,
Worthy, will be published in March 2011. More details here.

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