Thursday, November 01, 2001

Issue 6

K. Lee

Michael Workman

Colin Van Der Woude

Peter Tremain

Rick Parsons

Karen Herring

Joe Hackworth

K. Lee

Sunday in the Park With Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali sketched my eye last Sunday.
He told me to keep my head moving
so that he could paint a seeing eye--
a picture that would stare back
at its observer.

"An eye in motion is a seeing eye."
"An eye that sees nothing is almost blind."

He painted blindfolded
so that the painting would be
an original vision.

Next Sunday, he wants to sketch
my mind down by the river.

Watching the World Like a Silent Movie

Crouch twisted
in a blank stare
squinting through shades of
grey nothingness.

No projection
of the origin of
cherry trees.
No injection of
madness to puncture wounds.
No fleshtones
to paint
what goes BUMP in the night.

Close your eyes
(the hero is murdered)
See black
(your eyes roll back
          like the hand of a dead man)

See nothing
Everything turns RED



Cars, fast food, Kodak memories--
sophisticated products
for sophisticated people.

We should sophisticate the trees--
All plant life must furnish
proof of property rights
before it can legally
take root.

Nothing is alive
without official documentation.
Each person has a right
to their own bar code number.
Products that don't scan
will be discarded.

This is a system
for your protection
a safety net
to catch you,
to hold you,
to keep you
from falling
through the gaps,
the cracks,
the loop holes,
the escape hatch
to freedom.

K. Lee. Born 1975. Been plagued by extreme clinical depression since age 11. Sometimes suffers "visions" .Gave up on therapists, but still takes medication (currently Prozac, occasionally Buspar). Panic attacks and paranoia. Thinks Pizza and Donuts are food groups. Knows that dogs (especially little ones) are the most superior of all beings. Has a fantastic mom and step-dad and a loving boyfriend who keep her going. Also has 2 amazing critters who keep her laughing and caring.

K. Lee Michael Workman Colin Van Der Woude Peter Tremain Rick Parsons Karen Herring Joe Hackworth

Michael Workman

Amrodel Dead

i cut the rock below the earth and fill my arm with dusted paints
i fall into a fishie-stream and dream a dream of unsurpassing
glamour and enchantment.

i fish my Wrists for life's emphatic bleat and
find beneath my Blood a whole and newer thing;
which, with its unbinding, seeks the sun and
lets its lips become the Eye
of Hour.

i fell into a whistlie dark and daring cave and beyond the dripping whisper
of its fangy
lid i seeped inside a crescent fishie-stream where soulless crisp and white
and dreary eyeballs
peek a precious light inside myself

i have an Eye, an Hour, two Wrists and just one drop of Blood.

i could do no damage.

beyond the swimming, beneath the fatal floating of a cold and wretched

amrodel dead

i see the waterlog way she lay,
as if blanketed;
blank, afraid, shocking.
kill the wetness, kill the chill, kill the light.

i could kiss you, murderer.

i remember your basement.
plans of tut's untombing combed our tangled lochs.
old and stickie rosemeat lay about.
dread and death's unhiding shout.

dreams of years and years,
dreams that go to golden fields where sun is like a lemon dew upon the neck,
dreams below a well of vibrant sung and racing angels,
dreams below our feet could never warm our hearts.

dreams of years and years, and years we never kept,
dreams of glowing with la lune,
and the splendour that she wept.

she let the fishies brush her up
another choice was missing.

that log was wept.
thus began Our Last And Dying Grasp,
which with a million horse's hearts,
we cast ourselves (young elves) upon
the stinking creek,
and each moon leak its great and brilliant
glance into trying, drowning eyes.

the moon could drown us too, we knew,
and in our cold we sunk to lowest depth.

below a certain point we touched our feet upon
a rock, and cut our arms around its heated current.

that blood could--it would--swirl a certain way.
that blood would--it could--whirl until day.

a way in which the rhythms of some deep and dying god
were summoned, and the wrath of his last words swept us to
a light and peaceful eddy,
where we lay panting till some desert consumed us with a dry and dusty fire.

in this way we learned to breath a different air,
which let our minds know truer things;
in this way we learned to walk this path:
of the lotus in the rose.


if the world were deathly still,
and your heart a spinning place,
what way would your blood whirl?--
by what would we set pace?

would roses buy a lover?
would time buy a clock?
would moonthings cease to hover
around their earthen dock?

if love were temporal,
and eternity a beast,
I'd live my love a tool--
useful at the least.

The Peasant

i saw a fire queen
drop from
that window.

i felt that flame should be rising, rising,
and at winter's descent,
i hid so low
that anything was a throne
for her

michael p. workman: i am nineteen years old. i don't know what to say about any mental illness. i've been 'diagnosed' with many Disorders, but not all of them i am so sure were actually present. They include bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, general anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, ADHD, the list goes on. i've been on dozens of different medications, ingested massive amounts of illegal drugs, controlled substances, and alcohol, tried to kill myself six times(only two of which were serious attempts), been hospitalized, all that rot. i only include the long list to show that neither i, nor educated, trained professionals seem to agree on what, exactly, is The Problem, nor how to effectively treat it. all i can say for sure is that i seem to have trouble stimulating myself in safe and acceptable ways, and that i am cursed with something that others will always cruelly refer to as 'Being Gifted.' i won't be surprised if in my early twenties i begin seeing the symptoms of what i really have--probably schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. people will say "we should have seen it coming." oh well. at least i'm not one of The Stupids. anyway.

K. Lee Michael Workman Colin Van Der Woude Peter Tremain Rick Parsons Karen Herring Joe Hackworth

Colin Van Der Woude

Feel Low

I cannot remember something;
hurt so hard and fight it to begin
and believe I try to recover
to recollect memories within

A vague distant night
morning the end of delight
feeling mellow
I hear them singing:
for he's a jolly good fellow'
as I encounter feel-low

Alone with myself
at one with inner love
she, with a vacant stare of hope
swirls emotion behind her dream eyes
"useless, useless - I cannot cope!"
her words but whispers between cries.

Reciprocal Love

Herbal insecticide breathes
old man losing innocence he never had
nothing to start with
sure as something to end with

He hung himself from the old apricot tree
ever since that fateful day
apricots have never fallen
only his body rots on the ground below.

Invading Points of Structured Light

I can feel sound decomposing
and filling with a rotten substance
today I bled on rose thorn
tomorrow I never remember

I've also heard the sound of death
for I need guidance
shattered sense of misgiving
the isolated hymn for peace
the excited expectation
I have the right to disintegrate
where the bird fell

Colin Van Der Woude: That was a collection written over eight years. Many a lonesome night pen in hand. I hope my poems and writing can explain or give the reader a sense of what I've been through and encountered in my 24 years. The rest are purposefully designed to make sure I never forget or regret my creative past... experimental. And if my writing brings happiness or a sense of deja-vu to others out there with a mental illness, it's job has been done. Listening to wide range of different music is my muse. Colin Van Der Woude... age 24

K. Lee Michael Workman Colin Van Der Woude Peter Tremain Rick Parsons Karen Herring Joe Hackworth

Peter Tremain

End of Season


watching for whistle of wing
through bloody sunset
mirrored in home lagoon

cold of the double
chills blued fingers

autumn breath
lives briefly
in frozen air

The Sun Sleeper

He sleeps on

There on his bench
in the thin city sun
as others hurry past him
doing the things that they must do.

Swells of traffic noise
break over him
like ocean waves
that try to wake a rock

Few see
those who do
care little

He sponges in the warmth
its free
night will bring
somnambulant walk
with a paper bagged
bottle of blanket
tucked firmly under his arm.

His only armour against the cold

But for now
he sleeps
to the beat of the sun.

Dream of the Middle Aged Man

There is a rope
coiled neatly
on the wall of the shed
in the back of his head

There is a branch
reaching out
from the tree
in the park
in a corner of his thoughts

There is a night
on the path
of his future
in the possibilities of his mind.

Peter Tremain. I am a 48 year old Australian Baby Boomer. I started writing seriously two years ago when my 28 year marriage fell apart. At present, I have no more mental problems than the average Western male, traumatised by life in 2001. However, I was diagnosed with mild reactive depression just after my marriage failed. To me, it was bad and I am OK now. But it made me think, that if this is mild depression, what are those other poor bastards with Bipolar going through?

I work for a university providing Learning Skills services to Australian Aboriginal and students, mainly in the field of Natural and Cultural resource management. I see first hand the effects dispossession has on Indigenous peoples. The incidence of mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse, along with all the other associated social problems, in Australian Aboriginal people is the highest in the Western World. This should be a source of deep shame for my country.

K. Lee Michael Workman Colin Van Der Woude Peter Tremain Rick Parsons Karen Herring Joe Hackworth

Rick Parsons

Scrapbook from Fiji

Drift back into nostalgic photos: a coral-fringed
beach where time seems to stop, framed against
the sunset sky; the sensual native who cleanses
inhibition in heathen springs of undressed sunlight.

Many journeys begin in his eyes. I find myself
traveling into them again. A drunken sailor lost
on the sordid side of town, wondering if past
could swirl into future.

Let me wash upon his tawny shores
in waves of whirlpool tongues
and untethered tides, intertwining and writhing
in the currents of the rocky straits below his navel.
Undertows flow in unison to beating tribal drums,
drifting on rushes of wind in a warm tropical shower.
Eyes on fire with the exhilaration of dolphins arching high in the air.

Let me quench this thirst with untamed water,
touch his cheek again like gentle rain.
Let us be lovers who kiss in the setting sun
as it blankets the ocean,
says goodnight, then slips away.

Come. Lie down beside me,
and whisper my name.

Portfolio in the Rain

I remember the final days of the monsoon best.
The exotic spirits and pills rained down his throat,
sloshed his mind in sludgy splatters of murk.

The camera remembered him best posed
on the toilet, head tilted over his shoulder,
mouth drooled open, shorts around his ankles;
a knockout on the runway floor.

He wouldn't remember that photo shoot
taken during another blackout.
A shaken and rattled slur, he couldn't
even open his eyes. I tried to sober him up
with caffeinated cups of goodbye,
thick skinned and bitter from brewing too long.

I remember the final days of the monsoon best.
His eyes were still closed as he stormed down
the flights of my twelve step stares.
That's when he stumbled into the door
on his way out, the locks changed
like last years overrated styles.

Hemispheres Part Two

Hemispheres were him, hothouse landscapes
where night hid from day and tiny creatures
of the psyche ran through hot-blood terrain.

I walked along edges
of southern tectonic plates,
fed on jungle fruit, touched each leaf
with soft desire. My own roots grew
in sultry, steamy twilight.

I dared to terra form chaotic coasts,
strained to tame a reckless planet.
I planted my seed and like God,
tried to create Man in My image.

Flora sprouted despite ensuing chills.
A father's cruel, frigid care fluttered
over a child's horizons; coursed across
shifting surfaces where love branched out.

He took shelter in my embrace,
then claimed my offshoots overshadowed him.
He did not realize his duality cracked
the final fissures, erupted slow volcanic waves.
I pulled up roots, brushed off dirt,
walked away from the hemispheres
that were him.

Rick Parsons: I have dabbled in the many fine arts of post traumatic stress, miscellaneous phobias, anxiety attacks, but my forte and true calling has been depression. I work as a veterinary technician, live with eight cats whose souls are to mine as child is to mother. I deal daily with the effects of ankylosing spondylitis. Writing poetry, in my opinion, seems to be a bit of insanity in itself. I hear voices inside my head and write down what they are telling me. Some voices are a child, some a beating heart, while the origin of other voices seems to be bits and pieces of subconscious thoughts jumping out at me from the dark, lonely corners of the mind..

K. Lee Michael Workman Colin Van Der Woude Peter Tremain Rick Parsons Karen Herring Joe Hackworth

Karen Herring

Kevorkian Theory

Twenty years, twenty long years
I've shared with you
and now
I am astonished. Your suggestion?
A gun for protection. Good one!

Place it in the nightstand close at hand,
next to the rope strangling my vibrator.

Does it hurt?

Sometimes when I think,
razor blades slice the time from my watch.
Warm weather friends gather around my stove.
to smell the fumes of apple strudel. They wait
for my crust to crumble,
            to fall, as they pretend
to wipe my product from their hands.

Think of me as Mr. Ed.
I broke a leg. Stuff me like Trigger, quick
and easy. A hair behind the ear and sound
is clearly defined.
I need my eyes to know the final scene.
This story-book page stuck between
the last two sheets of verse.

I'm sleepy from the singsong rhyme
on this bro ken record.

Skipping past the hopscotch.
I'll take a double, please.
Make it two,
in a shattered glass, slightly shaken-
stirred like curiosity.

My father and his father too
wore a bible-bandage, a tourniquet
that never worked for me. This mind,
            my head
in a place far behind a bed used once.

It's all the whore-moans, I'm sure.

I'm different from the average bear.
Much like a beaver ensnared, one foot
beyond madness I gnaw this chain,
impaired, this wilderness will never accept me
as I am, so will I ever be.

Doctor do little,
      but please

do it right.

Off With Her Head!

The Man's foot sends me come-
hither, uncomely, to bleach
my hair and put on makeup
for a new lover
and a new bed,
outside he waits for me.

I'm Alice
and Alice doesn't sing.

She'd rather chase rabbits and Time.
A tea party if you will she won't, don't ask.

A Cheshire cat-
her front,
her back; a mirror
of very unbirthdays.

She breathes in her sleep.
I sleep when I breathe,
it's not the same thing.

"Then you should say what you mean."
Says a cardboard queen
who reads her own poetry
                then swoons.

I can walk away and away
and surely
      I'll be somewhere.
I can fall and fall
for two days wrong,

strong as eggshell
bumped and shattered,
pre-splattered, well humped
and believe her-me,
horses do not have hands.

Then again, sure, why not?
Missing pieces, reserved spots,
even donuts have holes and they're sweet.

With Time I'll be two miles high
and the lowing of cows will take
the place of Mock turtle sobs
and all
      will be long ago and this day
all but forgotten. Come,
my head's free at last!

The Fury of Anne (In memory of Anne Sexton)

Someone's writing poetry.
Passionate, backward
swirls of blood
across each windowpane.

Inside the pea-green house,
I saw a shadow pass,
heard a laugh
and knew it was God.

I tried catching snow
to show you.
Left to my touch
these two oven mitts
destroy the flake's beauty.
Even my dumb tongue
won't describe the taste.
I know the Nana-hex
as if it were mine,
and I know God.

Little lights encircle my air,
fire-flies strobe their butts
while buttercup whispers stutter
awkward news. I'm deaf, dumb, blind.

At thirty eight,
I'm told of eight distant cousins
dead from the too-late disease
that took you,
that wants me.
I'm nine, ten, eleven,
and twelve forever.

A good week is filled with poetry.
God is on my plate, my dish, my spoon.
God is on my pillow, my sheet.
God is on the stairs, each chair.

In my dresser drawer,
Anne's empty notebook sleeps.
God is not there.

Karen Herring: I refuse to write this in third person due to the inability to keep the first person intact. I haven't written poetry in a couple of years but my mind and speech have never ceased. Diagnosed and treated I have become braver with my ability to "submit" my poetry and hopefully will begin writing again. I have over 200 poems and a book ready to be published. (I chickened out two years ago with a publisher.) After reading the poetry published here in "Poetrysz" I feel like there is a place for what I have to say.

K. Lee Michael Workman Colin Van Der Woude Peter Tremain Rick Parsons Karen Herring Joe Hackworth

Joe Hackworth

Making A Fist
(for Jacob)

Tucked in, discussing Disney
and Mufasa's demise,
bright eyes turn for an instant
and dark.
I wouldn't let you
get killed, he said.
I'd make a fist
and punch the whole world back.

Later my champion lies
in a blanket of innocence,
the day's events playing quiet games
at the corners of his mouth.
I stroke each fragile finger
knowing how he felt -
willing to fight for love
but with more fear.

Each day I stand
fist drawn back,
ready to swing and miss.
I am small
in the face
of enormity -
a toy pistol cocked and aimed
at a world that would take
that smile.

Introvert Exposed

He is a man who walks the world
with cautious poise and ever present watching.
Who, when he is alone
finds himself
able to dance,
arms akimbo, doing a jig
just for the hell of it.

Joe Hackworth: I was diagnosed in 1989 with Depression, Obsessive/Compulsive and Panic/Anxiety disorders. I have yet to find the right doctor or medication, but the search goes on. Obladi, Oblada.

K. Lee Michael Workman Colin Van Der Woude Peter Tremain Rick Parsons Karen Herring Joe Hackworth

Sunday, July 01, 2001

Issue 5

Rachel Harper Joseph

Colin Van Der Woude

William Cannon

Rae Burton

Peter Wilson

Rachel Harper Joseph


The line that leads the eye
from the thin-boned foot
to the birdwing gap...

(step right up and listen close)

"Observe your God
in seven by two
by two

(the sign said "Come See Christ On Fire")

I slipped my ticket
under my tongue
and took a seat
by the tentpole.

(Save This Coupon #47305)

In the darkened tent
a naked man
is kept asleep
in a case of glass

(the line that leads from head to waist)

His eyes are glued shut--
not sleeping.
His arms weigh nothing.
And that is all of the show.

The man down front

(call him turtle, if you will)

is the first to move
in an hour of silence

(wrappers, coughing, murmurs, sighs)

He lifts his bulk
from the folding chair
and stamps his foot,

A wrinkled woman

(who hasn't won the lottery, in all these years)

clutches her bag
and spits out:

"Pisspots! Fraud!"

They tear up their tickets and leave.

(Sa Th Cou #472)....

The disappointed crowd
surges out of the tent
while the talker smokes cigarettes
under the stairs.

Alone, in the dark
an hour of silence

(              )

I rise and walk to the case..

a fishline is thread
from cheekbone to brow

(I see now, that it's not really glue)

but he is awake
and he sees me...

(I am as simple as vertical travel)

An inch from the glass

my breath becomes white

I place my hands

on the front of the case


they come back
minus some skin.

Rachel Harper Joseph is a scenic artist from Philadelphia, PA.

Rachel Harper Joseph Colin Van Der Woude William Cannon Rae Burton Peter Wilson

Colin Van Der Woude


I can hear the music cats play
melodies and harmony
sacred notes in disarray
a chorus plucked from a broken piano choir
a choir of haunted souls

The enchantress of unholy salvation
purifier of thought
pontifical to a God of love

Mirrored minds the son of thee
disappearing twisting images

My mind outcasts friends
and mends broken ends

Colin Van Der Woude: I'm a 24 year old writer from Tassie Australia...was diagnosed with a mental illness at the tender age of 14...I write about thoughts and experiences, mainly at night when I'm too tired to reach for a pen. I have written poetry since the age of 15, a year after being diagnosed with Schizophrenia... used to also be an artist but my creativity in that area was "haloperidolised" and I gave up painting a year ago. Writing is now my main creative outlet.

Rachel Harper Joseph Colin Van Der Woude William Cannon Rae Burton Peter Wilson

William Cannon

same lives from different views
a thousand a day cross this path
(exaggeration, perhaps-fluke)
dump the marbles over the Verrazano
no need to keep the little time
spent sitting still, sitting-trapped
against her large buxom hips
every ghost's trip

when finally it's won
they pull at my arms and clinch my hand
as an excited child does
at first entering an amusement park

abandoned again along the skyline drive
I was once so curious
I was once, at one time, so eager
Now my splitting head…
Moves me back

Some one
Capture this

William Cannon: I am 26 years old and have been published in a couple of minor e-zines. I've been writing for 12 years and am aware of my voice and my target audience. I am the pronunciation of a new generation. My will is to free association with all that's around me. I want unadorned realization. I want to be scared and yet readily accept my environment. I want to change the mainstream from being pleasant greeting cards to altruistic consideration, not in verse but action.

The writers of the gospels claimed to be under divination when writing; I too know not where my structure forms but am deeply compelled to develop the passages I find before me. I take my craft very seriously, I am an artist granted the privilege of communication. My medium is the English language and all its various slang; the life of mine is given purpose.

Rachel Harper Joseph Colin Van Der Woude William Cannon Rae Burton Peter Wilson

Rae Burton

The Insecure World of The Blind Clown

Keep on digging up brand new ideas
   facing the day of hell on earth which is New Year's Eve
Locked up with no chance of parole or receiving visitors
   then comes the day when all emotions disappear for good.
I never realised i was in hell until it was too late
   but we all live in one kind of hell
You can't go outside to play when it's pouring with rain
   because there are more puddles than jackets.

I watched the explorer once as he was exploring
   i could run fast but he could always run much faster
And i screamed aloud but he could always scream louder
   now i am walking down this lonely road alone.

Desperation has once again entered into my life
   if i listen hard enough i can hear God laughing at me
Sometimes it's as if even the poetry seems incomplete
   maybe i finally have become my own worst enemy.

Why work when you can play?
if you think you know the real me sorry you don't,
When it isn't good but as good as it's ever going to get
with 456 poems written ten times over.
I'm never what you expect to see
what monsters in my head giving false answers weekly,
Acts of pure weakness hang around like smells from a lavatory
eyes see but not always the truth.

it is possible to live without knowing it
kiss the wind and those liars play their cruel games,
One day every answer will show itself loud and clear
for now i believe this game is real.
Every one of us born with a killing instinct
as mighty as the devil can make a sound,
The truth hurts me like a knife deep in my soul
life is a cruel game and i must find the missing link.

Rae Burton: I am 30 years old and i suffered a nervous breakdown a few years ago which lead to a few problems but it also brought a new strength to my writing as i find it easier writing down my thoughts and feelings than actually speaking. Although i am no longer considered at risk to myself and no longer have to hear the b.s my shrink threw at me the thought of suicide goes through my mind everyday but i have learned to fight it.

Rachel Harper Joseph Colin Van Der Woude William Cannon Rae Burton Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson

The Unspoken Word

The enthusiasm of a sentimental kind
Full-dressed in broad daylight
A splendid mendacity distinguished in fashion
Is a toil of a faithful companion
The undertones of a half world
In the midst of surroundings
Where sweet idle lies flows the spring of sorrow
A mere form of words within the breast of sympathy
There is the toil without formality
A silver plate neither rhyme nor reason
Of words spoken at a shadow
Peculiar to itself, there are tears for things
Work and play, love and hate are one and all of the same
It will be pleasant to recall this some day
Diamond cuts diamond, ignorant by ignorance
A fallacious debate through adversity to the stars
A potential existence in empty space
I know not what; it doesn't follow
Everything unknown come in! Tomorrow
How do I know? What does it matter?
It's pleasant to play the fool sometimes, while I breathe

Peter Wilson: Fellow schizophrenic and poet

Rachel Harper Joseph Colin Van Der Woude William Cannon Rae Burton Peter Wilson

Thursday, March 01, 2001

Issue 4

Teresa White

Joseph C. Hinson

Diane Laurie-Farmer

David Ruslander


Teresa White


I am an apple
hanging fat upon the sighing limb.
Hard as a planet,
with eyes enough
to drink the sky,
I only have to speak
and the entire tree
listens with all its pointed ears.
But one slip
and I am face-down,
mumbling to myself,
beauty gone,
with only a worm's tongue.

I Could Have Been On That Bus

which left the bridge
and dove toward the afternoon street;
I lived on that route.
I could have sat up front and watched
the statement on the shooter
with his oiled gun;
could have seen the driver
fall out the open door
as he tried to take the steering
wheel with him,
could have watched him fall.
I could have watched the calm
young man point the gun
to his own head and pull
the trigger;
could have watched the great
bulk of seats and wheels ballet
down the air;
faced my own death.
I could have.

Olympic Trials

I am warming up
on the cliched head of a pin
though the pin
keeps getting smaller
and these acrobatics bend
my limbs unnaturally.
"Can I stop now, friend?"

The tedious season
of my brain has begun.
To write a poem is Promethean now;
such a steep ascent
requires more than I have.
I squandered ink and vision
to reach this plateau.

I deserve a bronze medal
for getting out of bed,
the gold for remaking it,
all the ends tucked in.


Long after the lithium dissolves in your bloodstream,
the black eye of night will still open
upon the bruised sunrise, the blue ache of day.

Blame me, daughter, for passing on this savage gene
that eats away at our good times, that feeds the bad.
If you are at war with yourself, it is my fault.

I couldn't keep it to myself. Life is lonely
when no one speaks your language.
I wanted someone to talk to;
I chose you.

I wanted someone who could stay up for days on end.
I wanted someone who could hibernate in caved silence
besides the bear and me.

Your mind's rhythms will become slow,
and you will never be completely happy
or completely sad again.

Starlit Christ

I lie flattened by the heat;
all the covers abandoned to the floor.
The fan in the window does no good;
I crave water, any kind of shore.

A swim would help no matter
if the moon's bland face guarded
or I'd find a splintered skiff
pushed into tall reeds, oarless.

Let's say I found myself on a lake.
If a crowd began to gather
on the lantern shore,
I'd paddle by, my hands in cool water.

If I saw you walk towards me,
a starlit Christ, I'd turn away.
Your body would have its old heat
and I'd wake.

Teresa White: I began writing before the onset of manic depressive illness at age 18. Went undiagnosed for nearly fifteen years and bounced in and out of hospitals. I'm presently on disability and finally on medications that seem to help most of the time. I've had over 100 poems published in online e-zines, have one book of my early poems published, "In What Furnace," and am working on a book of recent work.

Teresa White Joseph C. Hinson Diane Laurie-Farmer David Ruslander Helena

Joseph C Hinson

Into the Heart of the Young

On shaky ground he stands.
With trembling wilbury hands,
   he holds his life-line
           (with just enough rope left
         for a hanging)

   Listen to the words hidden here
     as they roll of my tongue...”

Easy as the moon glows
The river certainly knows
   I have no form.

Blinded by the fright
Seduced by the night
   Drunk by the riverside

Saddened by the news
Oppressed by their views
   A nation dies in agony.

Wicked in the east
We must kill the beast
   Laughing in all of us.

When will words come?
When will I ever learn?
You can’t get anything worth saving
without risking something.
   Or everything.

All of my poems are Daily Suicides.
Rebirth can only come when all thoughts are
Words -- Birds in Flight.

Can anyone forgive me now?
Can I resolve my past?
Can you?
Can I?
   the dog is foaming at the mouth,
     big, ugly, sniffing at my feet,
     begging, worshipping

Part II: “Calling to the young...”
The radio is moaning a thousand songs
calling to the young:
“Forget what you’ve learned
Or what you’ve been taught.
It’s not too late to turn it all around,
To find a new way or answer.”
The world is on fire,
fueled by the red sun.
I will not go. I will not go
     ‘till I’ve had my fill.

To awake in a strange house
the dogs
Children playing with guns
Ancient artifacts
The television newsman is talking aimlessly.
Telling tales of the men who made him.

Dying man on amusement park ride
Maggots eating at rotting eyes
“Will someone stop this thing
   and let me off?”
On the end of town
lives a reptile in love with a shrink.
They said he robbed a convenience store
and shot the cashier.
Do you read the news?

Ride the current
The electric wave
A shock to the system


I am a rock’n’roll poet.

The preacher is leading his flock to the sea.
Who will tell them they will all drown?
But the children are in the know.
They sense he is unreal.

Part III: "Radio Nites"
Radio Nites
City of Lights
Hazy recollection of past impulses
   Death games
That Day At The Lake
Nights we made promises sure to be broken

We escaped through the neighborhood
   on the way to the mall
And shot the bird at the slow-going car.

Now and if I leave this town
   (from which I was born)
Who will know me then?
Who or what shall I be remembered?
Men of Wisdom
Wanderer of Souls
Grant me my one wish:
That those who knew me will...

Death is life’s ultimate safety haven.

Ghost Cows

the ancient river runs through the graveyard
the Indians drank from these waters
long before Colombus took a wrong turn
and the white man stole their land
a railroad track, built in the mid-1870’s,
still runs through the nearby woods
the steam engines long ago gave way to diesel power
“that was when the trains lost their virginity,”
says an old farmer down the dirt road here
his father’s father tilled the same land
but his son won’t carry on the tradition
he’s a big-time lawyer in some small southern town
but the cows still graze the land
although they’ve been dead for 20 yrs. or more
and the steam engines still barrel down the tracks
(if you listen hard enough,
sometimes you can hear the piercing whistle
just barely over the din
of the textile mill in the distance)
and the Indian ghosts still drink from the river,
clear, unpolluted water from ancient times
yes, the cows are withering,
white relics with deep set eyes
watching the cars go by
while the passengers remain unaware
of the secrets of this land
and the ghost cows roaming the forgotten graveyard

Teresa White Joseph C. Hinson Diane Laurie-Farmer David Ruslander Helena

Diane Laurie-Farmer


To be real.
Not to catch a star
but to be only what you are.
No God
or Purple Phantom
can show you
until you know You,
the way you feel
without even a fly
in the room.
I used to believe
in a Galaxy
until it devoured me;
now I believe in
that takes me from
the Northing.
It is not a thought,
it is without reason,
as is as natural
as the seasons
one into the other;
it is a whisper,
the falling of leaves,
my baby's breath
upon me -
The Child within
giving birth to its


The horizon is holding up the sun
shining as a floating torch upon the sea;
The moon is rising in the east
pale as a see-through disc
above the cliffs.
Time is now both night and day,
black and white exchange to grey
and the tide moves uncertainly between
a premature birth
and a lingering end
as the moment spreads into infinity
upon the pastel sands.

Pigs in Clothes

I don't like
dogs that talk
pigs in clothes
snakes that walk
fish that know
which way the wind blows.
So baby
    be real
       be real baby
          baby be real
             with me.

Diane Laurie-Farmer: I was raised in Southern California and began drawing and writing at a young age. Being a child of the sixties, I was a flower child who took psychedelic drugs and went to Love Ins... By age 25 I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which has been a lifelong illness. Apparently the tendency to develop sz was there, but I believe the drugs pushed me over the edge. Through therapy and medications I was able to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology. I then worked as a behavioral therapist with autistic adolescent boys who had severe behavioral problems. This was a rewarding and interesting job. However, my husband and I moved to Northern California, leaving our old lives, friends and family behind. I had a hard time adjusting to our new environment, but I'm now doing better and back in school studying computer networking

Teresa White Joseph C. Hinson Diane Laurie-Farmer David Ruslander Helena

David Ruslander

Soundless As Dots

"Soundless as dots--on a Disc of Snow-" *
I stood with hood up, galoshes unbuckled
and my navy blue knitted mitten outstretched
to catch snowflakes as I waited for you at the corner.
The soundless dots covered the wool like
the milky way covers the night sky.
What mystified me was not the snowflakes
but rather the spaces within them.
For the first time I saw space instead of shape.
Slowly the snow transformed to water droplets.
My toes began to ache.
Why didn't you meet me
at the corner like you promised?

*Emily Dickinson

Grandfather Davis

Lamb's wool graces his head.
It's a porch-sitting kind of day.
Invited by his metal fanned-back chair, he sits.

Only content silver backs still enjoy the porch.
Brown eyes still sharp and bright.
Veins protrude from his lanky arms and temples.

Long thin fingers clasp loosely in his lap, he reflects.

He has grown accustomed to his less able body.
His small vegetable garden weeded for the day
and all the produce nurtured to ripen.

Sheets flapping in the sunny breeze send
clean laundry smell to his nose.
His wife Vera from 50 years ago floats to him.

Eyelids heavy, his head nods for an afternoon nap.
A pleasant memory returns to the ether
to be captured on another porch-sitting kind of day.

Tangerine Morning

Today is a mild tangerine morning.
Peasant women stoop and brush
the night away with stick brooms.

Maids soothe crying crickets
as they light their laundry pyre.
Cauldrons of steamed laundry
paint clouds on the sky

Mourning doves pray night's return.
White faced Geisha hobble down cobblestones,
bow at each other in still perfect kimonos
until they arrive home to rest, before lessons.

Silk rustles with the flowers in the morning breeze.

Teresa White Joseph C. Hinson Diane Laurie-Farmer David Ruslander Helena



nothing more soothing, I was lost in embryonic sleep
and I woke to surmount clarity and wounds too deep
everything lighted up and blinded my grey eyes
I slipped into the funnel to far-gone azure skies.

to be a mother of a thousand breaths was a feeling
that throbbed under the skin and veins so healing
bringing forth in code works the somehow lost notion
of the cycle and the responsibility to its bounding motion.

we are pressed to the floor by ice shards from the waste land
i saw that I am your fingers and you have become my hand
dreams have faces that only on occasion will be divine
and these occasions will set a theory that I can enshrine.


It's been an eagle-day.
And people were scratching
their heads,
I got a cold from walking around
moving from place to place,
sleeping on wet clothes.

But that's a while ago now.
Now I sit in my warm room.

I've scrubbed too many floors with
the same water.
Well, I don't think you want
to throw up the expensive medicine.

See, I am not bothered by
such things, that was all
he said…
…there goes the days.

The Field

Like brave new children
jumping about
on the field that's the
end of the world,
they are just playing
in the sun
making fires
burning young love
into the very last air

Well, I have been blind
because this is the first
time I see how the end
looks like and it's a place
where I'd like to stay and
only because I know my
hands will be warm and
the air will be fresh
on the field

The field is endless
as a fargone asylum
made to fill the empty
hole of clean morning air
the hole where I am

Helena: I was born in 1983. I live in Copenhagen, Denmark where I am studying (high school).

Teresa White Joseph C. Hinson Diane Laurie-Farmer David Ruslander Helena