An Open Page for Earnest Eyes

Your submissions printed here for all to see. In this collection we present, in no particular order, the following poems:

SEVENTH HEAVEN by Barbara A. Taylor of Nimbin, NSW 2480, Australia
Late November by Corey E. Houlihan of Sayville, NY. USA
Blues Addiction by Mary Meriam
State of Depression by Haley B. Drake of Arlington, VA. USA
The Doodler by Richard C. Smith of Enfield CT. USA
Night Cruising by Radames Ortiz of Houston, TX. USA
Today, I Feel by Tracy L. Clayton of Louisville, KY. USA
feel what i feel by Todd Rundell of Albany, NY. USA
my special friend by Carolyn Schwartz of Pawtucket, RI. USA
An Untitled Poem by Ocean A. Alexander of Springfield, IL. USA
A Poem by Julia Grant
Four Poems by Thomas R. Harmon of Albany, NY. USA
UN TITLED by Ashleytaylor Clayton of Chicago, IL. USA
Three Poems by Robert Klein Engler of Chicago, IL. USA
Firefight by John D. Wilson of Park Forest, IL. USA
Three Poems by Dawn I. Hicks of Waddington, NY. USA
jAILHOUSE LETTER by KNYT'E of Atlanta, GA. USA


SEVENTH HEAVEN       (Listen [Stream 1:53] or [Download 333K])

Resplendence
hugging sacred rocks
in pulsing moonlight
triggers emotions
for this time to share;
a time for amatory wishes,
remembering
ONE cannot own another's thoughts.

TWO souls swimming in space,
we search for encounter,
discovering some valid connection
to enlighten
bring forth
mature fruits of generous
wise womanly ways

THREE decades have
been and gone
and lingering
in pounding hearts
the unexposed
feminine
fragility
of this love
still dwells.

FOUR times I've called.
Automation tells me:
you're not at home today,
but there's a glory in
these stars, this moon,
so say astrologers
that guide me:
they say that we'll meet soon.

FIVE years ago when
I crashed the car
memories tunnelled toward oblivion;
I've wondered since
do you still live?
Your framed photograph
makes me cry.

SIX days of sun
brought freckles to your face.
You danced naked,
floated in Azolla-coated dam.
You picked bunches of daisies;
like a child presented them
in laurels, accolades for
our perfected harmony.

SEVEN years together. Lucky
this number. A heptad drenched with passion
trusting
creative ideas and thoughts.
We imbibed too much
from this golden Chalice,
became overly drunk
on reflected illusion.

~~~

©bataug2000
Barbara A. Taylor
Nimbin, NSW 2480
Australia


**Late November**

Time relinquishes abstract reasoning
I can't remember memories
Midnight sweats accompanied by chants of:
"This isn't what I meant to be."
the walls I built for my defense are betraying me
I can not breathe
the more persistent my escape
the tighter my confinement
I need a fluid change and a realignment
I need to forget what I can not remember
a dead woman I resemble
a child of late November
my birth engulfed by chaos
baby's breath on a coffin head
this is where it started
the revelation states:
This is where it started
liquid pints of Ireland
a new father distracted
23 years later
23 years gone
all within the same hour
my birth date
her anniversary
a brother torn
my miracle lost
somewhere in the procession
intellectual regression
leads me backwards
tripping
in strange places
with strange people
on strange things
and this is all I remember
and this I must forget
my writing hand marked for insanity
and this, I can not forget.

Corey E. Houlihan
Sayville, NY.
USA


Blues Addiction       (Listen [Stream 1:53] or [Download 332K])

You
are the blue wren,
bashing yourself against the glass. It breaks my heart!
Or, I'm trying not to let it break my heart, by
keeping my heart protected
from your addictions.
That's another reason I cannot come to you.
You
must come to me, if you want to. Because I
cannot tolerate watching you poison yourself.

And in my house,
there are no
addictions

I
am the blue wren,
bashing myself against the glass. It breaks her heart!
Or, she's trying not to let it break her heart, by
keeping her heart protected
from my addictions.
That's another reason she cannot come to me.
I
must come to her, if I want to. Because she
cannot tolerate watching me poison myself.

And in her house,
there are no
addictions

She
is the blue wren,
bashing herself against the glass. It breaks my heart!
Or, I'm trying not to let it break my heart, by
keeping my heart protected
from her addictions.
That's another reason I cannot come to her.
She
must come to me, if she wants to. Because I
cannot tolerate watching her poison herself.

And in my house,
there are no
addictions

We
are the blue wrens,
bashing ourselves against the glass. It breaks our hearts!
Or, we're trying not to let it break our hearts, by
keeping our hearts protected
from our addictions.
That's another reason we cannot come together
We
must stay apart, if she wants to. Because we
cannot tolerate watching ourselves be poisoned.

And in our houses,
there are no
addictions.

~~~

© 2001 Barbara A Taylor and Mary Meriam


State of Depression

Though warm sheets
her sun-painted room
and the sweet smell of her lover's breath
could bring
should bring contentment
peace
they do not

For from the realization that she has come to
this desperate state
yet again
there is no relief
no consolation
Still
she gropes to find the strength to fight
beseeches hope to return

In that morning light
she resolves to submit to -

if liberation from the recurring struggle is not
possible -

the terminal surrender
 

Spent from the battle
her affected body -

mouth dry, pangs in head and belly,
vision obscured, legs  arms  feet  hands ponderous -

presses against the bed and resists all efforts to
move into the day

Skin taut
Breathing clutched
Thoughts splintered
Beyond feeling

She has been an agitated and bitter
exile to this state
times before
Each stay more protracted than the one preceding
she wonders how long she will be bound
this time
how long
if ever
before she is by some mercy able to find a way
or forge a way
to the state she has yearned for
the state to which she belongs
the state where

warm sheets
her sun-painted room
and the sweet smell of her lover's breath
do bring contentment
and peace.

Haley B. Drake
Arlington, VA.
USA


    The Doodler

She sits at the table writing
no, not really writing
the pencil is moving about
but its not making words.
It almost seems to be driven
as though she were
in some kind of dream world
drawing something from that world.
Doodling, "yes"- thats what it is,
it's doodles! Look! there is a head,
an eye, and a rather large nose.
"Oh", I like this one. Now there's
long black hair, full lips,
a little decoration on the cheeks
and an elongated chin.
She has rather stubby legs though
with checkered slacks that appear
to cover her shoes,
or maybe just her feet without shoes.
"Oh" - I like this one,
she is going to make
wonderful clip art for a cover
for one of my broadsides,
"she's perfect for it."

Richard C. Smith
Enfield, CT.
USA


Night Cruising

My boys & I do our thing.
We cruise past city lights, past
a new stadium on Clay & Walker.
Enter the darkest part of the city
where old warehouses are without
plumbing or electricity.
Where language is of no use &
words are rat droppings behind a sink.
Brutal. A waste.
That's how we cruise the streets.
Our chins high above sludge of night,
our eyes winking small breasts & firm skirts.
That's where it's at, my happiness among friends,
drifting like love songs boasted
out of old jukeboxes in bars
where patrons shake their hips,
scoot their snakeskin boots,
tap their brims of hats. Elemental
like horses, snakes--shoes hanging
off phone wires. At 90 mph the wind
is a blessing, a bump on the road.
We curve turnpikes, wail thru tollways,
our mouths brilliant wounds
yellowing every shade of green.
On ribcage of train tracks
we are heroes outgrowing their confetti
while under a blanket of bright stars
we reinvent ourselves thru windshields
& gas pedals floored to the ground.

Radames Ortiz
Houston, TX
USA


Today, I Feel
 

today i feel like music

like the hum of a silent song
that beats beneath the skin
of soft Sunday morning stars...
i've forgotten some of the words
and my voice is a little less than angelic
but even so
i feel like music today

and today

today
i feel like rain,
clean and self-possessing...
i wanna let go and fall from heaven
with the sun at my back
and the moon in my womb
and bathe the world
with my brand new tomorrow
i wanna flood my past in the footsteps
that yesterday left for me to follow
i wanna wash away my spirit's own sorrow
with aquatic sighs and silver droplets
of my own silver smile
yeah
i feel like rain today

and today

today
i feel like youth
untouched by the morbid hearts and hands
of life and love
i wanna lose myself in children's games
with sapphire hills and mirrored lakes and snaking streams
i wanna cast away my gospel shoes
and race the sun's shadowed drawings
on urban battlefields
and jump rope with god's arms
as they reach down to hand me adult responsibilities
i wanna lose track of all time
throw away all my watches and calendars
and laugh in the face of tears...
today i laugh in the face of fear
cause i feel like youth today

and today
i feel red
and i want you to feel it too...

i feel red
like i wanna spread myself thin enough
to surround the two of us
and thick enough
to keep the both of us warm...
i wanna try you on
pull you snug over my skin
and dance around in the sun's reflection
and watch the two of us
in my fervid crimson glow...

...you look good on me...

...and you feel hot as fire
next to my flushed red-violet flesh
it's a good thing my soul doesn't mind sweatin'
cause
i feel red today

and today,

today...

today
i feel like feelin'
like a queen.

Tracy L. Clayton
16 July 2001
Louisville, KY
USA


feel what i feel

you changed your name
just to gain
but you never remain the same
so anyway...
feel what i feel
and don't undress my love
stay with me
and all will be right
i feel someting moving in
that doesn't fit
don't resist it
it could take you down
what a blessing
feel what i feel
i try to stop
but i move from the bottom to top
a marquee
with your name
and your face
just to force me to erase
but my heart has pace
and i'm starting to shake
fast like a strobe
i want to know you under the robe
i've got red and green
try to move from the love i've seen
but it's like you fight me
and everything despite me
falls apart
so i move like i'm losing my legs
and my heart
bruised
eccamosis
the calender...
knows me more than i remember
remember me the way i am now
someday and somehow
you will cause me to shiver...shake
and i wait
for something else to contemplate
but my brain yes yes
my brain yes yes
those angels that i know
you're leaving bread crumbs
so how can i say that i won't come?
need to realize
that your eyes
are just a way for me to live like i die
feel what i feel
promise me
feel what i feel
promise me
feel to the feel of you
i promise
that i feel.

Todd Rundell
248 State Street Apt 7B
Albany, NY. 12210
USA


my special friend

sometimes in this world so cold,
maybe once before we're old,

we find one soul that meets our own,
our mind and body find a home.

when my life i want to end,
i turn to you my special friend,

and find god's work within your face,
and find for me the only place,

where i am safe and life is kind,
and i must live to touch your mind.

Carolyn Schwartz
Pawtucket, RI.
USA


Do you believe in carnal chemistry?
Of indigo night and the praline sirens,
the butchers blade and all its conquest,
tumbled down upon its prey?

Let me wish for wisdom;
parades of bursting bubblets
shaking their hands
in 'memberance of lost ideas!

Have them hold me, still unto wakeness
the dreams of young womyn
whose firey hair sets a flame hot pillows,
drenched in curled tongues
of midnight fever!

Have her tell me of bitter wars
in ancient places,
the rescue of Pharohs by right of death;
Hedonism and the loss of God;

Fourteen harems of young-yeared schoolgirls
and the screams of the maddening crowd,
ripe with the indignation
of hanging and mischief.

Let me hear them,
and I'll ask not for another night;
Let me see the torrent rain!
The fall of Mother Earth
into a sea of lunacy!
The end of science
and the deadening Matriarch;
Towers struck rabid
by the lights of ecstatic heaven,
Electric fantasy!

This, I dream -
of times not short of this:
As her clasp'ed hand pulls
o'er tightened bones,
undoing what has undone
my coiled and strok'ed heart!

Ocean A. Alexander
Springfield, IL.
USA


I read these words and boggle at their depth:
unfeeling blurbs cascading from your pens.
I wonder if a phrase that touched your soul
or heart could ever force your hand to write.

Instead you lack the skill, or art, or craft
that once anointed kings and gave their acts
some form once they had gone, and left us with
a way to know what history has been.

The women, men, and gods of other lives
have been preserved in what you try to do.
How many bards would wince in pain to see
you claim your work were close to theirs at all?

Or don't you care? Or are you so in love
with your own voice that you've no time for truth?

Julia Grant


Formerly Inscrutable

I watched the strange oriental fellow
meditate to jazz at a Harlem bar between Tequila shots
transfixed in a foreign world.

Traveler's checks eased the culture shock.
It took two tens, but he caught the A Train's rhythm
fingers tapping mahogany on schedule.

One subway ride from a long sea journey
the track-like, gap-tooth smile widened
as Duke took us home, strangers no more.

 

Six Meditations on Sara

I. Her Words

There is richness in her stories:
strands of gold
woven in the fabric
of everyday life she recounts.

And there is softness in her voice:
a whisper compelling me
to lean closer
to listen
all day long.

II. Her Mysteries

She speaks of love
in parables.

I spend nights
unraveling the stories
looking for my place.

III. Her Mercy

She heals mistake's wounds
making me whole again
at day's end
upon return from work.

IV. Her Presence

In her presence, joy cascades
showering me.

A world's finger prints
are washed away.
I am clean! New!

V. Her Truth

She reveals truth
without words

in breaths
at my back
before dawn:

there will be light,
forever.

VI. A Holy Place

There are no altars
no statues

no icons
nor incense burning.

There is only sun
warming

a bed
where we worship mornings
renewing faith.

 

A New Campaign Begins

He didn't crawl, he marched double time
from formula, to French fries smothered
in ketchup and pepper, to chocolate mousse following coq au vin,

through Big Bird, the Eagles and hunting
the Adirondacks, binoculars in hand,

over See Spot Run, Shakespeare's sonnets
and Whitman's Leaves,

leaving muses to pursuit
something more, finally arriving.

He didn't crawl but marched double time
transversing my adult years, emerging a victor,
a father!

Just as he made me.

 

Reunion 2001

The strings that bound us stretched
longer than we thought, tight
and tuned precisely to the note.

After 30 years, the chorus of thumping
back-slapped hugs
and harmonizing smiles turned
to chords and refrains of songs
we sang decades ago

as if we hadn't missed a practice or a beat
or so it seemed when we weren't laughing
or passing photo's of kids
some older than we
in our summer of love.

Fingered frets and ivory
invited the union of voice
and we lingered in that summer
discovering we never left
though having traveled different journeys.

Thomas R. Harmon
Albany, NY.
USA


UN TITLED

Toss me to the winds of uncertainty
On a paper airplane made from your unfinished song lyrics
Leave me spinning like a record you're to lazy to turn off
Put me stiffly in place like the bookmark of the novel you never read
Keep me wrapped up like yesterday's leftovers
Leave me burning like a cigarette you have no energy to stamp out
Break me in and wear me out like the football jersey
  you wore in the one and only game you played in
Give me no notice like the last five jobs you quit
Change your sheets
Change you mind
Leave me hanging from a vine
Tied with the belt that you never finshed in summer camp
You un complete me

Ashleytaylor Clayton
Chicago, IL.
USA


STILL LIFE OF A FAMILY FISHING OFF NAVY PIER

Grouped together on a drape of the pier,
a still life of domestic charm, this family casts
their lines into the backdrop of the lake.
Mother and father together, like ripe melons,

are at the center: to one side, a cucumber of a boy
sits cross-legged; a daughter, like an orange,
rests at the other end; and behind, the smallest,
apple of her father's eye, takes a stick and pokes

at a dead crayfish, curled into a question mark.
Who knows what a child will pull from below,
wiggling on hooks, the way our parents
pulled us from the effervescence of time.

O happy art of sunshine, brushed above it all,
and happy sailors on the edge of sleep,
they do not see the waves are swelling now,
and start to show their filed and foamy teeth.

 

THE POSTMODERN TROUBADOUR

He only finds in chat rooms what he wants,
And thinks the virtual will stem the tide.
That "gay thing" is just fashion, drugs and taunts;
So why feel odd when Bruce is by his side?
He does not blame his fate on mom or sins,
But lives above it all, pops "E" and drinks.
Besides, he likes both drums and violins.
It's all so very relative, he thinks.
Those fools who mourn the death of poetry
Are birds that stomp their feet against the sky.
Who cares what's right, he wants diversity.
To keep his well-paid job, he'll even lie,
  And wearily he writes and writes the words
  That critics praise as new, but are just turds.

 

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Robert Klein Engler
Chicago, IL.
USA


      Firefight

I sit in a hole, a man with no soul.
I sit and wait, uncertain fate.
I sit with fear, life dear.
I sit in night, flares red light.
I sit to die, who will cry.
I sit in noise, wars toys.
I sit in pain, what to gain.
I sit for dawn, war gone.

John D. Wilson
Park Forest, IL.
USA


MAMA'S BASKET

Mama's Basket filled with love.
Sent to us from GOD above.

Come with me, peer inside,
Just look and see Mama's eyes.
To see the hazel hues,
Can't you hear the "I love You"?

See her pretty chestnut tresses.
Remember how she once dressed us?
That turned up mouth, her precious smile,
Didn't it make life worthwhile?

Mama's basket filled with love.
Sent to us from GOD above.
Always filled to the rim,
We knew it came from deep within.

How she loved us all so much.
You felt it from her gentle touch.
A hug, a kiss, a loving pat,
We always got her "Welcome" mat.

None of us could ever know,
How your love would make us grow.
Mama thanks, you did just great!
We know you're waiting at the gate.

You'll take our hands, we shall pass.
Coming Home, at long last.

Mama's basket, filled with Love.
Sent to us from GOD above.

 

Pictures

Pictures tell a story...
A series about life.
They can capture love,
Between a husband and a wife.
Pictures tell a story...
Showing childhood true,
It might be one of happiness,
Or it could bo one that's blue.
Pictures tell a story...
When looking through glass,
Seeing different seasons,
How many will we pass?
Pictures tell a story...
When you turn the page.
Looking at the people,
You guess a persons age.
Pictures tell a story...
About the present things,
and things already passed.
All those precious memories,
That shall forever last.

 

ENDURANCE

Little Donna,how you'd shrill,
And for sure a stubborn will.
You could sing like Brenda Lee,
Or so it seemed to your sister, me.

How you liked to cut a rug,
When you did the Jitterbug.
American Bandstand was a smash,
You and friends had a blast.

Introducing Rock n' Roll,
Hey come on, let's do the Stroll!
Could it be a rebellious time?
A real confusing state of mind.

You were filled with lots of fear,
A friend that's killed, one held so dear.
Another loss, the list would grow,
A reason why? You couldn't know.

All your being sears with pain,
Tears are falling just like rain.
Then your world of darkness fell,
Many years before your well.

Through it all you ENDURED,
Your saving grace, the SAVIOR LORD.
HE carried you through the years,
Now a life filled with cheer.

For my sister, Donna Lee Donie-DOB 06/01/44

Dawn I. Hicks
Waddington, NY.
USA


             jAILHOUSE LETTER

THINGS WILL GET BETTER
  SOON WE'LL BE TOGETHER
MARCH THE 23RD ANOTHER JAILHOUSE LETTER
FROM MY EX-MAN IN THE PENN SERVING 6 OUT OF 10 dAMN!
THEY GOT HIM ON A BID
  HEAVY WEIGHT TRAFFICKING...

PHOTO'S LETTERS & CROWDED VISITING ROOMS
WERE TOO MUCH TO CONSUME SO I STOPPED VISITING YOU
I DIDN'T LEAVE YOU FOR ANOTHER...
IT'S JUST TOO HARD ON A SISTA KNOWING WHERE YOU ARE
AND IT WILL BE YEARS BEFORE WE'RE TOGETHER
I'D LOVE TO SAY I'LL WAIT...

BUT THAT'S SIMPLY NOT THE TRUTH
  I'M MOVING ON LOVE!
I'M MOVING ON WITHOUT YOU! IT'S NOT CRUEL
B-CUZ WHEN I ASKED YOU TO CHOOSE

                THE STREETS OR ME !!!

YOU LOOKED ME IN THE FACE AND W/OUT HASTE SHOUTED PEACE
YOU WEREN'T THERE TO SEE ME CRY...
AND YOU WEREN'T THERE TO EASE MY HURT

I REMEMBER IT LIKE YESTERDAY IT WAS MARCH THE 23RD
THE DAY I GAVE AWAY THE CHILD
  I GAVE BIRTH

KNYT'E
P.O Box 57081
Atlanta, GA 30343-1081
USA


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