Lesson of The Cross

by Ron Yazinski Talk of death was as common as warm milk in my elementary school, With the Soviets’ constant threatening to drop the bomb And our scheduled filing into the damp basement to hide; And the priest preparing us for Confirmation, During the weeks of the Cuban Missile Crisis, With the consolation that our family would all die together; And then, in college, the weekly roll call of the Viet Nam Dead At the Student Center, with jokers, toking on joints, Laughing how they just heard their own names; And then Commencement, when the guys on either side, Unlucky in the draft lottery, … Continue reading Lesson of The Cross

The Path of Life

by Ron Yazinski With the bouncing basketball from the nearby court And the boys’ laughing at each other’s missed shots In their game of HORSE; And the medley of Christmas carols that the ice cream man plays Advertising his approach, As he drives through the development across the street, It’s understandable that she doesn’t hear me approach. She’s young, about thirty, Furling the embarrassment of her body in loose sweat clothes. From the way she’s moving At first I think she’s practicing tai chi, Gliding slowly around the brick sidewalk Which flows like a figure eight, Or the symbol for eternity, Through this … Continue reading The Path of Life

Stoned

by Benjamin Schmitt there is a time when the fun goes dark when recreation becomes habit and sobriety is a bit like being high Losing yourself to a rain dampened consciousness, winds hurl boards of insight and awareness, chips of membrane fly off your brow. In the east the storm has grown into a gale at last able to contend with logic leaving lingerie, pillows, toys, and games scattered on your lawn, yet the laugh of your wandering eye remains graceful the sad hysteria of your smile as well this hurricane has uprooted your kind dispositions revealing the spiders and the moss. Blackness infects mindscapes red hues turn purple before shutting … Continue reading Stoned

These Eternal Times

by Benjamin Schmitt There is nothing in these times that cannot be used to frighten you puppies and kittens play with sinister intentions there are dangerous chemicals brewing under your very skin There is nothing in these times that cannot somehow be sold to you and yet the silence of this great Utah desert burns money with silence, diamonds disappear in the black ravines There is nothing in these times that appears to have any real kind of value besides this stone wall of green vines cascading the rain falls down, sperm find their eggs, they crack into tadpoles on the rocks There is nothing in these times that … Continue reading These Eternal Times

The Last Angry Man

by John Grey He came home angry. His fist tightened, aching for a wall to bust. He kicked a chair, screamed at a dog. Our faces were next in line. A whack across the jaw, not for something we did but for what the day didn’t. The job smacked him down. Men in gray suits were never in his corner, always cheered on the work to be done. Many was the task that flattened him And we’ve the bruises to prove his losses. Continue reading The Last Angry Man

It’s A Living

by Bruce McRae Even Mr. Death takes a holiday. A languid picnic in a minefield, a day trip into Dachau, a little tour of the killing fields. The grim nature of his work aside, he’s much like us in many ways, putting his trousers on one leg at a time, fidgeting impatiently in long queues, idly enquiring into the state of the weather. Poor Mr. D., who’s been working the night shift for longer than anyone cares to remember. His wife, departed under mysterious circumstances. His children, who never write, who never call. No wonder he throws himself into his job. Small wonder he loses himself to … Continue reading It’s A Living

Pastoral

by Blake Ray In the parking lot of the convenience store, a loose stone rolls away from my boot across the asphalt, shattering the brittle peace of a Sunday afternoon. Dead leaves and cigarette butts dance in whirling eddies stirred up by an apathetic breeze, that brings with it the smell of wood smoke and a veiled threat of the approaching winter cold. Small towns have always made me nervous. I am aware of myself and my voice comes slowly, and without grace. I feel like a spectator at a funeral or like a priest with no faith taking confession. Inside the store, a woman … Continue reading Pastoral