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Editor ~ Amelia Fielden (e-mail) (introduction)

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Andre Surridge, New Zealand


gold charm bracelet
each sign of the zodiac—
she rotates them
slowly around her wrist
this goddess with green eyes


visible from space
enduring six centuries
China 's Great Wall
bound by a sturdy mortar
of slaked lime & sticky rice

 

Angela Leuck, Canada


red
the colour of beginnings—
my old dress
with scarlet roses
I still wear around the house

 
I sit outside
admiring black-eyed susans
while inside
my lemon loaf
burns to a crisp

 

Anne Benjamin, Australia


withering
across the lawn
bruised petals—
you see the need to prune
what I seek to nurture


by his bed
a stack of used train tickets
between West and North
a single track stretching him
across two lives 

 

Barbara Taylor, Australia


solstice again
both summer and winter
without him . . .
sun over the yard arm,
cheers old mate


she smiled
at our friend's funeral,
asked, do I know you?
sisters, I replied
as dark clouds blocked the sun

 

Beatrice Yell, Australia


fence facing the coast
my defense against traffic
scurrying past
with cold easterly winds
off a deep sapphire ocean


near mellowed leaves
rosy sasanquas flare
sudden thoughts
of past passion, a love lost
too late to be reconciled

 

Beverley Momoi, USA


after we left him
nothing but straight rough road
through New Mexico
poppies paintbrush purple thistle
the desert wild with colour

 
moonlit magpies
arc, abandon shape
become sky
as I stand wingless
in this my body's winter

 

Bob Lucky, Ethiopia


walking into town
along the shaded bike path—
a red cardinal
disappears into the woods
with several of my thoughts


window shopping
for a charango
on line
my fantasies
virtually real 

 

Carmel Summers, Australia


row after row
mountains segue to the sky
in blues . . .
so many different shades
the moods of your day 


devil's ivy
curls around my window . . .
should I slash
last season's growth
let sunlight through?


possums scale
a soaring blackbutt trunk
with ease . . .
what must I do
for one word of your praise 

 

Catherine Smith, Australia


city park
barristers stroll to court
wheeling suitcases . . .
what will the journey hold
for those packed inside

 
raindrops
dot the dusty path
an invitation
to share your umbrella—
the drought has broken

 
the black dog
overcome by happiness
when she returns
her pain is diminished
by his faithfulness 

 

Claire Everett, UK


the gifts we gave you
shut away and kept 'for best',
now I find myself
wrapped in my own silence—
one day it will be too late

 
the song of summer
played in a minor key—
thoughts and swallows
catch each other on the wing
and arc away in the blue 

 

Cynthia Rowe, Australia


enchanted
with my newborn . . .
mother tells me
her blue-flecked eyes
are about to turn brown

 
the clang of silver
as I toss out my trophies
later to regret
letting go
of the memories

 

David Terelinck, Australia


by the creek
my father whistles
the dogs—-
once more I realise
why I am different

 
the soft voice
of words incised in stone . . .
spring thaw
a zen master's wisdom
flows down the centuries 

 

Dawn Bruce, Australia


oil slick
slinks across the surface
of the sea—
to cook my pasta
I add oil to water

 
a cat crouches
waits in long grass,
eyes glinting—
you tense, scribbling notes
at every reading of my poems

 

Denis Garrison, USA


I am a free man
I go where I want . . . and yet
My neck hairs bristle
No matter where I am
Always, there's a cat, watching

 
These are the woods
Where the big cats own the night
In the edgy dark
Silence is never empty
Shadows are not your friends 

 

Ellen Weston, Australia


baboons sit
high on the Pyramids
waiting
to worship their sun god . . .
below, shapeless shadows

 
floating
on her reflection
a mallard duck—
emotions subdued
now this day is perfect

 

Francis Masat, USA


back and forth
in the new sidewalk
shoe prints
under a traffic light
a sparrow waits

 
fall afternoon:
a dog alternates between
brown garden stalks
and the bright green
of our new lawn 

 

Giselle Maya, France


going
into a loom of boughs
woven
with quince blossoms
I mean not to return


out of the blue
mind spins the scent
of a cedar box
holding a scroll brushed
with snow, moon, flower

 

Guy Simser, Canada


on the shinkansen
we traverse a viaduct,
the rising sun
flickering an icon
bridge on the river kwai 


Hiroshima dome
tour bus group photo
caught in a flash
that soot black dove
one leg and a short stump


abruptly from grade six
to munitions factory line
our spinster maid
with her short cv, taught us
Japanese culture, proudly 

 

Jan Foster, Australia


new shoots
on the daffodil bulbs
such optimism
ignoring the chill
I answer your e-mail

 
paused at the top
of the ferris wheel ride
alone
in the night sky
with a zillion diamonds

 

J. Zimmerman, USA


signing my will
with a pen gold-embossed
'Circus Casino'
my funeral plans emphasize
boas, spandex, conga lines

 
Labour Day weekend
cleaning years of clutter
beneath the sink
bottles and tins almost full
so many tasks incomplete 

 

Kathy Kituai, Australia


isn't it great
to be walking mid-morning
singing
not because he rang last night
but because he didn't

 
getting to know
the territory
near rapids
a dragonfly sits
on her shoulder then his

 

Kala Ramesh, India


constantly hearing
Hindi run into English
my thoughts
come churned out
in Hinglish

 
after some
breathtaking leaps
the melody
settles in the silence
of the singer's held breath 

 

Lisa Baron, USA


dear daughter—
when I write, I'll sing
another lullaby
like the one I hummed
without fear, years ago

 
remembering you,
lover of winter
now
in clouds mimicking
the softness of snow 

 

Margaret Grace, Australia


a red dragonfly
motionless on a yellow
water lily . . .
together they wear
winning world cup colours

 
the smell from pepper
tree berries crushed in my hand . . .
I sit on the swing
you once pushed,
fingering the frayed rope 

 

Margaret Van Every, Mexico


the room so crammed
with memory and sorrow
she's left no exit,
watches a spider weave by night
undo each thread by dawn

 
their marriage
a train with two engines
straining
in opposite directions
each saying I think I can 

 

Marian Verbeka, USA


this frozen morning
birdseed waits at the feeder,
small puffs of feathers
come tumbling like hungry
snowflakes to a cold breakfast

 
steam from the kettle
settles on the cold windows—
as it grows cooler
pictures will appear of wild
ferns, palms, tropical jungles 

 

Mariko Kitakubo, Japan


midnight,
how many suicides
today?
the humidity
continues to climb

 
the blue
of the blue moonlight
falls upon me—
vengeance is so
bloody and empty 

 

Marilyn Hazelton, USA


in the haze
of tiny snowflakes falling
my anger eases
like all creatures
it rests now and then

 
reading
of war, fraud, assault—
retreating again
yet wanting to live, love
walk in this troubled world 

 

Marjorie Buettner, USA


cheating death
one more time — I watch
in fascination
apple blossoms quivering
under sweet-hungry bees

 
so much like a dream
this travelling back in space
to a different time
one day you are with me
another day you are gone 

 

Michael Thorley, Australia


the locals say
they've panned all the gold
from the river—
they must have missed
this sunlit glittering

 
my father
took me mushrooming
after rain
showing how to tell
death from delight 

 

Naomi Wakan, Canada


dogwood in flower
somehow the cream
against the soft green
makes me feel Canadian
as nothing else does

 
blue
and startling white
the island houses
where we tented in the orchard
mulberries falling all around us 

 

Patricia Prime, New Zealand


with a gracious nod
I give the busker
a gold coin . . .
it's a day for extravagance
the daffodils in bloom

 
trees outside
your hospice window
grow new leaves—
how can I mourn
and rejoice in one breath 

 

Peggy Heinrich, USA


The Missing Bite Cafe:
this kitchen where my daughters
sample my pizza slice,
my chocolate bar,
where I ask to taste their toast

 
seaside cafe—
he refuses a handful
of vitamins,
says I'm interfering
with his death

 

Pravat Kumar Padhy, India


with the telegram
waits an old man at the post office—
grief soaked paper
sends the message to darkness
over coffee mixed with tears 

 
purpose of life
touching the softness of cloud
drains agonies
all along the shore line
before mingling with vastness 

 

Sanford Goldstein, Japan


I float
on what I cannot say,
cannot tell,
I try to pass on through
with my usual small grin

 
the last Emperor
expected his black shoes
to be tied for him;
why do I recall Van Gogh's
sturdy chair and whirling lines? 

 

Sonam Chhoki, Kingdom of Bhutan


the plum tree
you planted bears no fruit
after all these years
I still wake up some nights
and wonder where you are

 
unanswered
I delete all e-mails to you
this February morning
the backdoor sticks
and lets in the draft

 
monks chant
from the Book of the Dead
in early dawn
as the waning moon fades
I light a butter lamp 

 

Vasile Moldovan, Romania


two mirrors
face to face:
the sky and sea
eye witnesses
of our love

 
having a chat
on the telephone
with my mother—
her voice has become
unrecognizable

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