24 April 2010

David D. Horowitz

Allene Rasmussen Nichols

David D. Horowitz



You ban all airplay of my music, sales
Of my CDs. You stab with rumor, spy,
Harass, and stalk. Yes, power: stuff your jails
With dissidents. Denounce those who defy

Your puppetry, and ruin their careers.
You order marches of obedience;
A grinning beat, not joyful pulse; canned cheers
And cued applause; in short, ingredients,

Not art. I listen to the sparrows tweet,
The vireos and warblers, and I hear
The rainstorm, river, breezes through the street
Of elms, a woman's whispered fear

And symphony LP, and your commands.
The moment yields a melody; my blood
Tunes silence into song, despite your plans
And charts, your rumors' bullet, spear, and blade.

They boast their guns who are themselves afraid.

I founded and manage Rose Alley Press, which primarily publishes books featuring Pacific Northwest rhymed metrical poetry. My newest poetry collection, from Rose Alley Press, is Stars Beyond the Battlesmoke. Other collections from Rose Alley include Wildfire, Candleflame; Resin from the Rain; and Streetlamp, Treetop, Star. Many of my poems have been published in fine literary journals, such as The Lyric, Candelabrum, and The New Formalist. My essays often appear in Exterminating Angel. In 2005, I won the PoetsWest Achievement Award. In 2007 I edited and published the poetry anthology Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range. My Web site is www.rosealleypress.com.

(author retains copyright)

Allene Rasmussen Nichols


Srebrenica Massacre

The 7,000 murdered will never breathe again,
and the thousands raped will never sing again,
and the thousands terrorized will never speak again,
but breath and song and voice
will rise from the damp earth
and ravaged bodies
and frozen throats

and this spirit will suffocate ethnic hatred
and from that blackened pile
it will bring forth a rose for each person
who suffered

until Srebrenica is covered with wild roses
that impale the murderers and rapists
and provide sweet sanctuary
for those who can’t forget.

Those who remember will whisper a curse
and a blessing
on the rest of us, on we who said “never again”
until never again demanded that we act
and again we did nothing.

The blessing-curse will go like this:

We will know that we are all Serbs and
we are all Bosnians; we are all Muslims
and we are all Christians; we are all killers
and we are all victims; And this struggle
in our hearts will last until
the roses of Srebrenica bleed tears
to water the graves of the massacred.

Allene Rasmussen Nichols lives in Arlington, Texas. Her poems have been published in regional and international journals and the anthology Dance the Guns to Silence: 100 Poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa. Her plays have been produced in Dallas, California, and New York.

(author retains copyright)

10 April 2010

Joseph DeMarco

Claudia Serea

Tom Snee

Joseph DeMarco


Happy Harvest

He who toils,
shall unearth something,
that mankind has,
long since lost.
And he shall go to bed,
with a heavy head,
And sleep without worry.
Or whimper.
Or whim.
It is easy to forget.
(When MAGIC is beamed to a screen on your wall)
That our Mother the Earth,
Nourishes us,
It's easy to forget,
that beans and corn don't come from cans,
Can we allow ourselves to see,
the folly of our development?
Can we allow the children,
to remember that,
Bread isn't created in a factory?
And apples don't grow on shelves?
Concrete gives little back,
So why plant so many buildings?
So why plant freeways and parking lots?
You ever heard of a parking lot sandwich?
Plant a tree,
Plant a whole vegetable garden,
And have a
Happy Harvest.

Joseph DeMarco was born in New York City; he lived most of his life in Buffalo, NY. He now teaches seventh grade on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. He is the author of the novels Plague of the Invigilare, The 4 Hundred and 20 Assassins of Emir Abdullah-Harazins, At Play in the Killing Fields, and Blind Savior, False Prophet. He is currently working on several new projects.

(author retains copyright)

Claudia Serea


To my native country

Country, where I grew up in untouched rooms
with furniture covered with crochet,
windows covered with lace curtains,
and the past covered by silence,

Country, that suffers from a disease
of truth dappled with lies,

Country, where the former informants,
the political prison guards,
the ones who beat and spit,
the ones who prosecuted,

who tortured,
who murdered,

are now retired grandpas strolling the parks
enjoying fat pensions,

one of them might even offer to push my daughter on the swing
while I run to the kiosk to get water,

Country, where the judges who doled out years
of political prison to my family
to advance their careers,
now sign memoirs in the central library,

Country in which the old people still hope
to be saved by Americans,
and the young ones hurry to leave it all behind,

Country, where the sparrows still chirp
about the Socialist achievements,
the biggest one being the smashing of spines,

Country, where justice is not only blind,
but also deaf and dumb,
and rides a donkey through the ditches,

Country, where twenty years have passed
and no one was convicted,
no one found guilty,

while witnesses die,
addresses change,
the buried bodies dissolve,
the mass graves disappear,

Country, where it’s no secret
the former secret police are disguised
as prosperous business men and politicians,

Country, where the priests are still priests
after years of filing informants’ reports,

Country of perpetual Halloween,

where I’ve seen my father cry
and the gravediggers laugh,

Wake up.

Wash your face with the blood
of your young.

And show
who you really are.

Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. Her poems and translations have appeared in Mudfish, Main Street Rag, Oberon, The Comstock Review, Harpur Palate, Exquisite Corpse, Fourth River, The Red Wheelbarrow, and in numerous other anthologies and journals. She is the author of two poetry collections: Eternity’s Orthography (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and To Part Is to Die a Little, selected as a contest finalist by Main Street Rag in 2009. She also writes creative nonfiction, published by The Rambler and The Writers’ Workshop Review. Claudia lives in New Jersey and works in New York for a major publishing company.

(author retains copyright)

Tom Snee


Separated At Birth, Part I

Separated at birth,
Mother dead,
Grandparents too old,
Father fled.

Up for adoption,
However, apart.
Tom became a Johnson,
Tim became a Hart.

The Johnsons lived in Chelsea,
The Harts in Camden Town,
The Johnsons lived in high luxury,
The Harts much lower down.

Tom was raised,
With nanny and tutor,
Then Eton and Oxford,
Then debutantes' suitor.

Tim grew up
All by himself,
Truanted school,
Risked his health.

Tom had all he wanted,
Parents indulging every whim,
Wealth, contacts and good looks,
A fabulous life awaited him.

Tim had nothing but his looks,
Parents, battered and beaten by life,
A home blighted by alcoholism,
And constant domestic strife.

Tom followed Dad into the City,
Married into aristocracy,
Became a safe Tory candidate,
A job in Her Majesty's Treasury.

Tim followed Dad into drinking,
Fathered a child but left the mother,
Saw no point in working,
Drifted along from one pub to another.

Twelve years later, in the Daily Mail,
Two reports lay, side by side;
One about the new Prime Minister,
The other a victim of suicide.

The reports were of 39-year-old twins;
One who had achieved
Beyond his wildest dreams,
And one of life tragically relieved.

As Tim Hart left his limousine
And entered number 10,
A funeral was being prepared,
Tom Johnson's requiem.

A 61-year-old retired teacher from Cheshire, UK, my poems are the result of lifetime's journey of learning and experience; a journey that still goes on.

(author retains copyright)