Round & Round


When I was 7,
I roller skated
at the Burien Southgate

with the cousin
I no longer know.
she and I linked arms,

pushed off into roaming
sphered laps under the corona
of a spinning disco ball.

There is certain freedom
in circles; feet no longer
planted as anchors

to the earth, movement fixed
in push, coast and glide.
After, 7-11 Slurpees

for the summer walk home.
Every now and then, I spin
the prism in my window,

create the round and round
of illumination, wonder
about that cousin.

Kersten Christianson



Dancing children

and Taylor Swift
pervade my living room.
They move as if tomorrow
won't be

juniper in soil, pancakes,
math homework,
their mothers telling lies
about boys.

They move because movement
is precise, the queen,
the way monotony goes
to joy. I watch them

knock the table, nick knees
and go to the next.
Shakira on a bridge—
a thousand cameras

and they need none,
only being’s space, rhythm
against sofas and walls, me
who cannot

confirm or deny their notions
of the world at ten,
their exhibitions
and their fate.

The room shakes. My poem
cannot move them yet
and that is better.
They are living.

Carl Boon



Briers and Brambles

Long ago as teens
coolish days I spent
rambling on through
spiky brambles as
scrub and briers
grasped upon me
honey bees buzz
about the brush.
Blackberry jam
dreams, while an
intoxicated mind
forever schemes.
Another splash
from Dad's flask
in a life of fails we
keep filling the pail
with those fine ripe
sweet blackberries.

Ken Allan Dronsfield



Waterproof

The hood came low over my lids;
forcing my eyes down on dome like days,
Days when the mist had lowered horizons,
bringing the world closer as I trudged to school,
Closeted in the black barrier of my waterproof,
that buffeted drops to dance before they fell.

The other girls had neat black duffels,
with coloured umbrellas that clashed in the air;
Their tied waste bands pulling thinness in,
while mine was shapelessness.
On narrow paths, I was pushed
off the edge of the line.

Walking behind with lowered eyes.

Jo Boon

A heart accepting April showers at the age of twenty-eight


Today was hollow—I couldn’t remember its name. Last night my head felt dislocated, floated; I craved sleep. Sleep had hidden well, didn’t come even to the call of a bottle of rosé wine, skulked in through the front door with the birdsong.

The rain fell today—hard sheets, American rain, slicing through the buds of English spring, moving me back to days of hot wind and lightning.

At dusk the sun returned, wounded, dying—it bled into the clouds, while I stared out the window and wondered at the absence of fireflies.

Kate Garrett





Growing Up

Walk and find
the courage to continue on,
wading in the stream before you.
Walk and blend with people
who are not like you, who contain
their nightmares in a jar and hold them out only
to project on to countless others.
Walk and rise from the bloodwind,
a little to the left, a little to the right,
rise from the blinding grief of heartache,
from the dull and nameless faces surrounding
your golden aura, rise and find kindness where there was
once disconnection, rise and find appreciation
in the pockets of the sad and confused.
Walk this day
like you always do, driven by a higher calling,
affected, but not overcome, sleeping little
in this holiest of holy lands.

Allison Grayhurst





Retired

She sat beside the kitchen window
watching snow fall over sycamores
What could she hope for,
some good news brought by mail.
An unexpected call?

Her phone rang with reminders
of medical appointments.
No mail ever came but bills
from doctors, clinics, hospitals,
ads, charity appeals.

Gloria had grown accustomed to suffering,
inured to the idea that her life was
without much happiness or success.
Accustomed to pain running along
her back, through her knees, her feet,
shortness of breath, cancers.

Now in retirement, what was really left?
Death used to be something she could
brush off. It happened to someone else.
Now it seemed so close, as if it might
come any day from some cold hand.

Joan McNerney





Ancient

I am an old soul
I have roamed this earth for eons
In the time before time
I was scattered among the cosmos

I have seen many wonders
That mortal man has forgot
My spirit holds within it
Many joys and sorrows

I have lived among the cave people
I did worship with the Druids
I danced around the fires
Of many native cultures

I sang with the sirens of old
I painted the sky with
The blood of my ancestors
As I thanked them for my life

I am an old soul
As ancient as the sun
I transcend time and space
I am here with you today

Ann Christine Tabaka