THE MONARCH

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.

 

FACTORY WORDS

 

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 shutter.

Thinking about            

            simplexities,

Apple pie,            

         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 bparent15@gmail.com.

JULIA CHILD JOINS THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM

Allison Thorpe

 

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.

 

FIRE OPAL

 

They say

it is the mildest June

in seven seasons

 

And yet

that is no fire opal

I see

 

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

 

the horizon

galvanized

 

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

Robert Ronnow

 

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

INTERFAITH ALLIANCE

Tracy Mishkin

         

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.

 

 

March 2016

Poetry

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

After Finding a Pitted, Salt-licked White Cadillac for Sale in a Grand Isle, Vermont Barn - Michael Carrino

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.

 

 

SIREN LIBRARIAN

Colleen Boyd

         

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.

THE HERON

Albert Cantu

         

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

Michael Carrino

         

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.

https://byavailablelight.wordpress.com/

Santee-Cooper Bridge As An Art Form by William C. Crawford. Literary Juice

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