Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Don Kingfisher Campbell
THE ORDER THAT THEY CAME
 
You make me feel
like a bear
wanting to devour
his favorite salmon
 
You make me feel
like lightning
striking the surface
of Venus
 
You make me feel
like a tree
wanting to be felled
by your electric saw
 
You make me feel
like an alien
You make me wish
I had twelve hands
 
You make me feel
like an octopus/The Beatles
I wish I had
eight arms to hold you
 
You make me feel
like a junkie
I need my fix
of hugging you
 
You make me feel
like a gorilla
I want to ooh ooh
while hugging you
 
You make wish
you were a tree
I like to squeeze
your apples
 
You make me wish
I was The Colonel
I like to nibble
on your peach halves
 
You make me wish
we were walruses
so we could
play finsie
 
You make me wish
oatmeal smelled
as good as you
then I’d love
to poop you out
 
You make me wish
I was a needle
to inject you
with my serum
(then again that is
what I do)
 
You make me wish
I was a poet
in order to
write you poems
(oh yeah, I am)






Thelma T. Reyna
STONE HEARTS
 
I collect them every chance I get, under shrubs dried
from winds that sap life out of things, or in gurgling
streams. Stone hearts buried beneath others like
them, stones misshapen by elements.
 
I stoop in creeks like miners seeking gold, eyes
scanning gray, white, brown, beige, black stones
arrayed like faces in a crowd—looking for the
right, rounded head cleft in two, with
opposing point that makes a heart a heart. Smooth
rocks that glint in sand, or craggy stones
lying with clods and scorpions and
dung beetles in thorns.
 
A heart’s a heart. Doesn’t matter where it
hides or shows itself, how wind and sun and
storms have buffeted or cosseted, how it’s been
tossed or laid in moss. I gather these in
pockets by my breast.

Kathryn Rueby
CALLER I.D.
 
Caller I.D. was no doubt invented by a woman.
She was barefoot at the time,
Moving quietly through the house at midnight,
Dusting a few things, looking at old photographs,
Getting ready to curl up with a couple of dogs, a book,
And a piano sonata on the stereo when
The phone rang~
She froze in place
Daring it to ring again
While in that moment
She was transformed
Into a towering goddess
Of incredible strength
Beauty purpose meaning
~ With wings ~
And said no fucking way is he coming over here
And calmly turned the page in the book while
The phone rang on
And the phone rang on

Lori Wall-Holloway
TRIBUTE
 
Two initials united
by ampersand
carved in cement
on sidewalk
in front of house
spell out the long
lasting love that began
more than fifty years
before when a sixteen
year old girl’s birthday
party was crashed
by a long haired
young man
looking for free food
 
Commitment through
years of dating
marriage and family
is symbolized
by a red 1932 Ford
Coupe. How many
times the couple
could have given
up the car during
days of struggle.
With their love
they hung on to each
other and to the car
celebrating life
 
With impossible strength
the pair’s love and longevity
helped them endure a test
in their golden years, only
to have their dreams robbed
by a thief named leukemia.
Having difficulty being
left behind, the different
signs coming from across
galaxies becomes reassurance
of love and the decision
to let the Ford go
is confirmed when
a deer visits her backyard

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Jeffry Jensen
ALL THAT IS APPROPRIATE
 
Eileen has several brothers who I've never met.
They are supposedly famous for crushing any male
who would dare to take liberties with their baby sister.
Maybe they wouldn't really want to pound me
into the frozen ground, but then again maybe
I should keep a safe distance from such potential brutes?
If it ever comes to be that I’m invited out for drinks
by these brothers or any other close relation, maybe I
should refrain from falling into a drunken stupor of any variety?
There is no telling how much trouble a loose tongue would do me
if I get started babbling on about Eileen’s sweet uncompromising curves.
I could end up a broken man under a Bronx moon.
It is probably a good thing that she finally took up residence
in a Los Angeles suburb where a bright sun must be
worshiped at all hours, and all her scary brothers stayed
where the slush keeps them spinning endlessly and getting nowhere fast.
In the meantime, Eileen and I have been getting somewhere
very fast and very hot for all of our ingenious efforts, for all of our
appropriate distance from anything smacking of brotherly love.

Bryan Story
LEARNING CURVES
                                                                   
A little slow on the uptake maybe
under chalkmark stars winking back
from the blackboard sky   tonites class
         summer school on the grass 
                                                                    
She said hold these
the subjects of his awkward inquiries
and so with a little help
         she said let me give
         you a hand with that
he found out
all there was to know about
         her learning curves

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Julie Larson
now: the movie

see through
greta garbo eyelashes

cinema bliss
true and false
flashpoint curl
smoke alarm

always entertainment

longer-than-life
fleshpoem talk
black iris fragrant
plum pop desire

celebrity sound bites
fan love
Michelle Angelini
BEYOND APHRODITE
 
“I wanna know what love is. I want you to show me…”
-- Mick Jones of Foreigner
 
Such a pretty word
– if it is only…
gentle kisses between two lips,
one hand holding another,
a man and woman who sit on the beach,
to gaze at a full moon hanging in the obsidian sky
and hear lapping waves on the shore,
sparkling looks over a glass of wine,
invisible flames that fly upon meeting,
then many might not know it. Nevertheless,
 
love is more.
 
God’s sundown multi-colored sky – fodder for an artisan
to create from his mind to his fingers for the world.
 
A dog’s liquid gaze at its human after rescue
from an abusive life and near death – superlative trust.
 
The soft look between newborn and mother
while she breastfeeds – tiny human dependent upon adult.
 
Flowers populating a field with their bright and beautiful creations
– designs unimagined without nature. 
 
A cat sitting next to her human, to look up
with intense golden tilted almond eyes, stretching for a tummy pet.
 
Teddybears offered to children in the ER
– easing apprehension, drying tears – an unknown friend.
 
Although love is between two humans,
its definition stretches to include everyone.

Charles Harmon
PRECIOUS METALS
 
On her finger, a ring of gold
Alloyed with silver and copper for strength,
Yellow gold and white gold combined into one.
Circular,  round signifying never ending,
Never rusting, let the marriage never corrode.
 
Platinum in the setting of her engagement ring
Cradling the crystalline faceted diamond,
Non-metallic but born of the same fire
As Life itself, the promise of Eternal Life.
 
Calcium and phosphorus in the bones and teeth
Of our growing children sleeping in their beds,
Sodium and potassium in their muscles and nerves,
Biological batteries generating electricity,
Organic motors, brain computers, nerve telephone wires….
 
Americium in the smoke detectors,
To waken from slumber in emergency.
Tungsten and mercury vapor in light bulbs
To guide our way out to safety.
Iron in the steel that strengthens the doors,
Silicon and Germanium metalloids in the computer chips
That store our family memories and allow us to
Communicate with the rest of the known universe.
 
Quicksilver in the thermometer that warns of fever,
Rare earth metals in the televisions, radios, computers,
Alarums, thermostats, and ancillary electronics
That run the house and cars and help to guard their inhabitants.
 
In the safe, gold and silver coins inherited from Grandfathers,
Retaining their intrinsic value as fiat paper currency
Has plummeted ninety-seven percent in one hundred years.
Tools and weapons of steel, projectiles of copper and lead,
Primers and propellants encased in brass,
Precious metals protecting our other precious metals.
Michael J. Cluff 
MY AND ADAM'S RESOLVE

To wake with you nearby
become the apple of my eye
never to ask a question why
the snake deigned to tell a lie.

Without that evil touch
love won't count so much
violence and hate would still crush
death an ever eternal hush.

In the end all will see
the way it is to really be
life is not always free
even under Eden's tree.




Monday, January 27, 2014


Thom Garzone
LORI'S EYES
 
One harmless wish leads me to a quiet community college when a teacher offers me a scholarship.  At an appointment I come upon a counselor whose graceful form and thick round glasses drift in a fog, possessing my sense of desire.  A mystique surrounds her like a warm summer wind, or the fleeing of children sustained in the dark below twilight.  During my session it's shown that my prior degree disqualifies me for the scholarship.  This saddens me since now I have no reason to be in the presence of this lovely creature, Lori, CWI Enrollment Specialist.  So I register for an educational technology course to embark on a fresh direction toward passion.  I often watch her through the halls with her long legs and timeless beauty doing a pirouette into my reticent heart as though some diaphanous fleece.  I'd see her brown hair flowing as she passes and wonder where she was from.  I'd fancy if she wasn't seeing anyone, and gaze into her limpid pools morphing into a dream of her figure peering into murky spectacles, frozen amid unnamed seas where we'd both lie on a shore passing time to love.  We run into each other at the Nampa campus while she hangs up fliers for Career Day, when I keep visualizing us interwoven in conjugal animalistic lust.


 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Toti O'Brien
SOMETIMES SOMEONE

There are things
that
we’ll never know.
Perhaps someone
was in love with us.
Unseen someone
sighed felt alone
longed or was
obsessed by an
impossible thought.
Counted hours
between occasions
made vane by our
unresponsiveness.
We remained cold
like frozen
divinities
cruel like forces of
nature.
 
We were maybe
scratching our head
or tying our shoe
yawning at the
show or hungry
for dinner while
somebody
internally gasped
at our entrance
shivered when
we went to the
restrooms
convulsed in secret
while we passed by
saw darkness
when we left for
good.
 
Someone
wanted to say
things that they
never said
dare gestures
that were stuck
in their limbs.
If at least
we had known
but we didn’t.
Sometimes
lives run like
parallel lines.
Perhaps
all the time.


Maria Arana
VETERAN’S WISH
 
you return poisoned
by the roots of war
honest in your escape
from death
 
one less arm
to show for courage
yet you can’t grasp reality
so suddenly
 
without the help
of those who love you
let me be your hand
and guide you
back to Earth
 
let me be your elbow
and lead you to Resurrection
let me be your shoulder
and together we can
thank God we’re one again

Katherine Norland
INFECT WITH LOVE

I visualize I’m fighting battles,
Although I’m stuck behind this wall.
Good days I genuinely laugh,
On bad, I wish that death would call.
Aware that most my peers can't see 
There's freedom from this shameful bind,
I know the only real restraint
That holds me back is my own mind.
 
I feel a sense of urgency,
Yet suffer quietly inside;
I’ve been cloaked in humility,
Pride disappeared from my bedside.
 
The power to plan my life was seized
Was doomed by choices I didn’t make;
With shared needles my skin was not
What's most affected by the break.
 
Most see me as deplorable,
As if I’m overlaid in mud;
But I was just a baby then,
Their guilt was not screening the blood.
 
I don’t know who my parents are,
Since they were told to leave us there.
How could those who infected us
Provide us with the finest care?
 
I need the love of family,
That is the one thing that I yearn.
Not found in this facility,
From bodies who bestowed the burn.
To be a princess or cowboy?
My childhood fantasies a curse.
Adult delusions to play ball
Or Cosmetology all burst.
 
I visualize I’m fighting battles,
Although I’m stuck behind this wall.
Good days I genuinely laugh,
On bad, I wish that death would call.
Aware that most my peers can't see 
There's freedom from this shameful bind,
I know the only real restraint
That holds me back is my own mind.
 
They test for H.I.V. to work
But say they don’t discriminate
Yet when our tests are positive
They hire a more ‘fit’ candidate.
 
Was back in 1989
Romania became aware;
But was forbidden to discuss
The people feared so would not dare.
 
We had more pediatric AIDS
Than the whole world by ‘92;
Was it the Medical System
Or Government at fault – who knew?
 
There should have been an uprising
Inside that communistic reign.
They chose to outlaw birth control;
What was it that they had to gain?
 
I visualize I’m fighting battles,
Although I’m stuck behind this wall.
Good days I genuinely laugh,
On bad, I wish that death would call.
Aware that most my peers can't see 
There's freedom from this shameful bind,
I know the only real restraint
That holds me back is my own mind.
 
Now I contest to liberate;
I fight for freedom, mine and yours;
I don’t feud with facilities 
Or rules, those aren’t my type of wars
 
Engaging in combat to free
My people, mostly from themselves;
To capture dreams that they have dropped,
Abandoned on too high of shelves.
 
Believing in a saving power
Superior to current Gov.;
I use shared needles to inject,
Infecting everyone with love.
 
I use shared needles to inject
Infecting everyone with love.
Infecting everyone with love
Infecting everyone with love
Infecting everyone with love
    With love
        With love
            With love
Rebecca Chamaa
OUR NIGHTS

During the past sixteen years
there have only been a few times
when we haven’t slept together
like the time your mom had chemo
and you went to stay with her.
On those long nights
I take your night clothes off the hook
and slip into them as if I could draw you close.
I breathe deep of your scent,
holding on to you as tight as I can
until your warm body
fills your pajamas again.
With my head resting on your chest
sleep is only sleep in your arms. 


Linda Marie Hilton
WHITHER LOVE?
 
Love you elude me
As I pursue you ‘cross the earth.
Love you delude me
As I peruse the absolute dearth
Of Beauty in my life
Which is winter’s discontent.
Evil’s just too rife
Even the trees are all bent
In this wasteland there’s no water,
No glint of hopeful metal can I find.
Love’s spouse no ring brought her,
To him her to eternally bind.
You, Love, money cannot buy
Coinless waifs starved for food, for you,
Precious hoped for one priced sky high
Eludes us in the depths of a vast bayou
Where metals offered to the gods
Lie buried in silty murk,
Found not by thrusting rods
Nor by prayers in a kirk.
Love, you foot-free ethereal sprite
For you my desire always unaffordable,
For I, imprisoned in penury’s might
Beg Fates free me from life so dull
So bereft of glint of hope,
A veritable caged hell.
I, Love, can only mope
About in my loveless cell.



Petrouchka Alexieva
CHANTING IN FRONT OF THE PAINTING

I painted your face
on the canvas of dreams -
Brush stroke after brush stroke,
Glimpse after glimpse.

From my palette of love and desire
I painted your eyes
with the velvety dye
Of an evening sapphire sky.

I painted your lips from the crimson fire
Of the cherry-red blazing sunset.
I painted your skin
from the silk ocean spray
Of the bursting midnight wave.

I painted your face on the dreaming cliffs
With help of the scented breeze.
Brush stroke after brush stroke,
Glimpse after glimpse...

Here I am - simple and naked,
still on my knees, burning and praying
in between my innocent yesterday
And my new enigmatic day.

I am here...in front of the painting
Chanting your name...again and again...









Lynne Bronstein
NON-NEGOTIABLE DEMAND

Somewhere
Between true love and true struggle
Is the Grand Battle Royale
Lay I’m looking for.
Make him a dethroned prince
With an unusual and provocative
Accent.
Offbeat handsome
And trained to move
Like a cross between Van Damme and Nureyev.
Make him
An almost scholar
But a thorough gentleman
Except when he opens the door.
(I’ll have my hand on the handle).
Make him a make-out bandit,
A prizewinner in the sack,
A stunning victory for one night stands,
But respectful of me
And attentive to my every detail.
And make sure he knows
Who I am
And takes care
Of all the necessary accessories I need.
Let him shower me
With Perrier-Jouet and see-through lingerie,
But let him let me
Hang poems like jeweled lanyards
Around his neck.
And let me encounter him
Accidentally
But right on schedule
And fall into him
like falling on a no-guilt marshmallow
for a night unequalled
in our erotic history that’s
written in lipstick
on ladies’ room walls.

IT'S TIME AGAIN FOR FREE LOVE... POETRY!

Submit your love poetry to be published on this site and in the FREE LOVE 2 chapbook by sending in the body of an email message up to three love poems of any length to kingfisher1031@charter.net by February 7th. Each poet published will be invited to read and receive a free copy of the FREE LOVE 2 chapbook at the FREE Saturday Afternoon Poetry reading on Feb. 8th at 3pm inside the backroom of the Santa Catalina Library on 999 E. Washington Blvd. in Pasadena. The poems from last year's FREE LOVE chapbook are still up on this website and can be viewed for inspiration by scrolling down....