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Jeff Spahr-Summers, US
 

 

 

 

Free Verse

 

Silence

 

In awkward silence he left
(our friend as death)
A flower upturned
Petals torn through
Suffer no more you live

 

 

uncontested
marriage

 

unwise
naive) (she wants for the world
he accepts the terms

 

 

razor blade

 

by the light of the lemon slice moon
i slide along the razor blade highway
tight grip upon the wheel i am certain
i am a Hotwheels racer in the groove
i must not stray off course either way
just stay on the straight orange track
let momentum & gravity bring me in

 

 

ripvan winkle

 

white hair down to his knees
white whiskers of time asleep in her arms

 

 

Riding blue

 

Tell me where you’ve been that I must remind myself why
we’re here, nickel slick and convinced we know the answers,
like two so wise and seasoned by the suffering of their
desire. And tell me what you’ve seen that I must settle for
a simple dream or two, riding through my sleep like blue
lightning inviting this fire that so clearly becomes you.

 

 

octopus’s garden

 

no one has seen the octopus
in some time and
the garden is unkempt
peering through the murky
brewing underworld
of mud and poison and oil
we see the old bone yard
skeletal remains of old feasts
and bloated half-eaten fish
that nothing will touch

it looks like there may
have been a struggle

 

 

next to me

 

in the café a man pours
his coffee onto his saucer he
slurps from it like a horse
greedily but slow
deliberate he
pulls a half-eaten bagel
from his tattered
yet magical paper bag
smears a psychedelic sort
of soft serve butter
with a flourish
across the top
and suddenly he
clucks
like a chicken/there it is
like a chicken
consumed
by the task at hand

 

 

Locked in the poetry room II

 

Locked in the poetry room
The poet dips flavored pencils in tea
And sits
they drip
he sips,
With a flick of his wrist
He insists
Words pour form his lips,
He wiped them on paper
And blows twice.

He reads Cinnamon Apple Spice.

 

 

gwendolyn

 

it was her
its true
it was she
who convinced me
to write all those poems
about my african experience
the snapshots of love
and life
and death
and terror
and i can still feel
her samson hands
gripping my wrists the
horror of it splashed
across her face
good god...why
haven’t you written about it?

 

 

No Reply

for Ron Corn

 

Pity is a four letter work
I’ll not use with you,
For truthfully, you curse yourself.
Understanding (I think)
Is a better word.

But I don’t understand, you say
How could I?
And rightly so (I suppose)
Because I am younger even
Than your marriage was.

But truthfully, I think I do.

I understand
The sweet depths of lonesome blues
and bitter drink,
how bottles think quicker than you
and sing repeatedly
the only song you want to hear,
a sharp tongued requiem
discreet in its first moments
but then slyly
severing important tied,
friendships,
unwanted questions
and prying eyes.

Half of my life
Succumbed to this very tune.

And it’s true,
Alcohol is clever
But it lies,
It tells you fantastic stories
About the seasons of life.
About love,
But when you question
The reasons for death,
Why you were left alone,
Truthfully
It never replies.

 

 

Peter Pan

 

So this was me not long ago
I wouldn’t let go dare me do
Or die by the seat of my pants
Stoned down right invincible
Daring to drink my own father
Under the table jump out of
Airplanes & shave mountains
Somersaulting off of my roof
Like back when I was spitting
Out hotel windows in Rome
Whale watching from my math
Class window in Cape Town
While reading Shakespeare
Looking up girls itty bitty skirts
Under soccer match bleachers
Crashing wedding receptions
Or running through the sewers
Of Pretoria with some brothers
And a candle lit at both ends
Torturing scorpions on the
Lonely hill behind my house
Leaping over Puff Adders a
Trapeze act through the trees
Dodging green Boom Slange
Flying high as a kite as light
As a feather never believing
I would ever be accountable
Skinny dipping in my own
Hotel swimming pool with
Traci and friends or dragged
Out of the Atlantic and cuffed
Naked one night in Florida
And I’m here to tell you my
Flight was the mother of joy-
Rides a life never grounded
Soaring like a bat out of hell
I was as electric as Benjamin
F. Franklin in his ‘jammies a
Wild streak peaking through
Sparks flying at every turn
Burning my ever loving ass
Back into the atmosphere

 

 

Winging It

 

Slinging ink
Doesn’t give voice to the thing.

 

 

In the Kiaat Tree

 

Vervet monkeys wail and cackle
As they fling their small furry bodies
Back and forth in the graceful tree, Black hands clinging to rough gray bark,
Black faces laughing, eyes wide and giddy
From the perfumed pea-like yellow flowers.

But they don’t notice the patient python
Blending in with the dark gray branches
A thin beam of elastic shadow reaching,
Gingerly creeping from limb to limb,
Stretching for the favored little prey
With the tasty bright blue neon balls.

 

 

inside the barrel

 

i could scream
i could shout
i could kick
i could

 

 

 

 

 


 

Read all The Global Lay-Correspondent Reports on South Africa

 

1: On the Move—December 2007

2: Rain—January 31, 2008

3: Culture Shock—February 29, 2008

4: Lord of the Ridge and Fort Scorpion—March 31, 2008

5: Nightmares and Snakes—April 30, 2008

6:  The Natives are Restless—May 31, 2008

7: Mozambique—June 30, 2008

8: Wild lifeJuly 31, 2008

9: Reconciliation  August 2008

10: End of Innocence September 2008 (This Issue)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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