W. F. Parent
Queen of the skies,
Black and gold
Against sky of blue,
Passed over my boat the other day,
With no land in sight.
What brought us together
On this ocean blue?
This simple creature
Onward she flew,
Knowing her destination,
Yet I know not mine.
Old factory windows are meant to be broken.
Letting out those words,
That cannot be spoken.
IN THE COLD
In the cold I shit
and me Mudder.
W. F. Parent is an emerging writer, born and raised in a mill town in Maine. Recently retired from a career in construction management, he has taken up creative writing to tell the stories and poems which have been inside him for decades. He can be reached at email@example.com.
JULIA CHILD JOINS THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM
The crime is not important.
Let's just say there were too many cooks
with too many sharp knives and Julia saw it all.
She was whisked away to a safehouse in New Jersey.
They gave her bright muu muus to wear, chopped
her hair and dyed it red, perched thick glasses on her nose.
But her voice was the problem.
Give her a quiet job someone said,
make her a paralegal, hide her away
in some law office doing research,
call her Susan.
It seemed the perfect solution,
but lawyers soon started seeing
wine stains on their contracts,
greasy edges on their documents.
One attorney found his briefcase crammed
full of bottles of cream and blocks of butter.
Her voice may have been silenced
but there was no quieting the smells.
The whispers of cardamom and clove
invaded the law library, luring assistants away from their books,
the babble of pumpkin spice
filled the break room,
causing secretaries to loiter,
the sigh of spring onions
lingered the hallway after meetings,
sometimes baked salmon gossiped
with rosemary and thyme so long
lawyers daydreamed of romantic evenings
and forgot about their clients.
The firm sent Susan to the courtroom,
so everyone could get back to work,
but it proved the final straw in her new career.
The natter of lemon chicken and garlic potatoes
perfumed the air so strongly
the drooling jury could not concentrate
and the judge's stomach
rumbled and rumbled and rumbled.
Allison Thorpe's latest chapbook is Dorothy's Glasses (Finishing Line Press). A Pushcart nominee, she has recent work in Gingerbread House, The Homestead Review, Poetry Pacific, Yellow Chair Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, and Wraparound South. She is working on her first novel.
FISH POND SKY
Patrick Theron Erickson
Wake the flying fish
and join them
Spread yourself thin
like a whim
like whiskers on the water
Spread your net
and drag the bottom
to fill each superficial nook
with sea going relics
Gather the flying fish
into a funnel
and seed the clouds
Clear the air
A thick chowder.
it is the mildest June
in seven seasons
that is no fire opal
but the fiery sun
hanging like a pendant
from the neck of the sky
It might as well
be an albatross
or the piano wire
the storm clouds
are strung from
beaten between two anvils
And that harpsichord
the string plucking keys
birds on a wire
our high wire act
the mildest June
in seven seasons
or the albatross
the fiery sun
between July and August
our fire opal.
blueberries gasoline and prostate gland
breast cancer Wonderbread and pacifier
controlled experiment space travel and honey
peanuts inductive reasoning and electricity
tornadoes torture chamber and biscuits
copyright car radio cantaloupe
golden eagle lunch break tomato
Romanian songbook rhubarb and barbed wire
always hungry nevermind meat loaf
goosefoot mango juice Ipad
mosquito bite city street and broccoli
Chinese cabbage female sex drive water sport
pure contralto goat yogurt new year
black death white light and green tea
The rogue pope wanders New York,
his smile spreading like a wave
of peanut butter across brown bread.
Traffic clogs the streets. He hops
from his Jeep to kiss the hands
of homeless men and prostitutes.
I’m eating at the tawdry café,
soup curdling in my belly. His gaze
is a dog’s cool nose on my wrist.
What does he want? My wife left me
and I left God—years since we’ve spoken.
Prayer is for old ladies sniffling
through the rabbi’s eulogy.
Francis sits and tells me what it’s like
to pray at sunset at the Western Wall.
Whispers the prayer he tucked inside
the ancient stones. “I have been a dried leaf
in springtime,” I say. “May you draw water
from the springs of salvation with joy,”
he replies, blessing me with peace.
Robert Ronnow's most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). Visit his web site at www.ronnowpoetry.com.
Patrick Theron Erickson, a retired parish pastor, resonates to a friend's notion of change coming at us a lot faster because you can punch a whole lot more, a whole lot faster down digital broadband "glass" fiber than an old copper co-axial landline cable. Patrick's work has appeared in Literary Juice, among other publications.
Three poems - W. F. Parent
Julia Child Joins the Witness Protection Program - Allison Thorpe
Blueberries - Robert Ronnow
Two Poems - Patrick Theron Erickson
Interfaith Alliance - Tracy Mishkin
Siren Librarian - Colleen Boyd
The Heron - Albert Cantu
IN THIS ISSUE
Santee-Cooper Bridge As An Art Form by William C. Crawford
COPYRIGHT 2016 LITERARY JUICE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Tracy Mishkin is a call center veteran with a PhD and an MFA student in creative writing at Butler University. Her chapbook, I Almost Didn't Make It to McDonald's, was published by Finishing Line in 2014. Her second chapbook, The Night I Quit Flossing, is forthcoming from Five Oaks. https://tracymishkin.wordpress.com.
It’s quiet in the library; no singing allowed.
But her voice carries the birth of knowledge.
She’s the oracle, the center of truth, where
enlightenment’s never sounded so good,
bringing a beat to the finding of facts. She’d
share, but information is not for everyone:
Men die chasing it, what can’t be grabbed, understood.
It’s peaceful here. The ceiling is ribbed
like a ship’s hull, carrying a bounty
of books. When the door opens, fresh air
enters on the heels of an explorer; she’d be
lying if she could smell the salt in it, but
behind him, the sky is blue enough to swim in.
Her claws click keys, plumbing the depths
of a cyberocean, and like a seagull
she’s after the prize, the French fry,
sailing over waves of bookshelves,
cresting the tops, and dives down
to scoop the book in her feet.
Back to her roost, she hands
the tome over, slides the library card.
And when the book leaves port, she
watches the paper boat go, eyes
the ship’s new captain, his earbuds
in place. She copies his address
for later, for an audience, and
thinks how he will hear her
in his dreams for the first and last time.
Colleen Boyd is an English-creative writing grad student at the University of Missouri—Kansas City. She is the author of the young adult fantasy novel, Swamp Angel, and is currently working on a science-fiction manuscript. She hopes to go into publishing.
Like a sudden flash of lightning,
a high-stepping heron takes flight. Kissed by her wingtips,
ripples race to the water’s edge
to deliver me the good news.
Albert Cantu is a student of English literature at the University of Memphis.
AFTER FINDING A PITTED, SALT-LICKED WHITE CADILLAC FOR SALE IN A GRAND ISLE, VERMONT BARN
In this candent heat I jab the pedal
as tires squeal, backend squirrelly, now back in line
through a vicious, hypnotic glare
on U.S. 15. Las Vegas burns my neck, the west coast
too far off for more than imagining
Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, Santa Barbara,
as my hung-over hitchhiker, his shy
actress companion, both oblivious, stare into blisters
of desert, while I envision their doubtful
future, the glow of Las Vegas now mere neon mirage
in miserable daylight. Direction,
desire, never in doubt, perhaps closer tomorrow.
Michael Carrino is retired from the State University College at Plattsburgh, New York, where he was co-editor and poetry editor of the Saranac Review and is currently an associate editor there. His publications include Some Rescues, Under This Combustible Sky, Café Sonata, Autumn’s Return to the Maple Pavilion, and By Available Light as well as poems in numerous journals.
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