March 2013 – Ghosts, Heroes, Lovers and Monsters

1.  We Cast Pale Shadows

Short Poetry, photography, James Rainsford
We cast pale shadows after death.
Not as before,
A black and changing silhouette
Etched on a solid surface
By the sun.
Or, diffused by friendly light
Within familiar rooms.
We become as sudden air across
A candle flame,
Ephemeral as a single breath,
Rare as rainbows on a
Cloudless day.
Disturbing none, but those who
Loved us, for so brief a time.

♦©James Rainsford 2011

James Rainsford – One time merchant seaman, welder, salesman, teacher, college lecturer, company director, mushroom-farmer, philosopher and inveterate reprobate. This Poem, We Cast Pale Shadows can be found on his blog at The Sanctum of Sanity

Note to readers: This was written in memorium toa very gallant Texan gentleman, who helped preserve all our freedoms by his war time heroism. On ‘D Day’ he landed on the beaches of Normandy and helped liberate the world from the tyranny of Nazism. He died quite recently in Fort Worth and will live in my memory until I also die. It is the poem which gives the title to my new collection, and is one, which I feel especially privileged to have written.♦

2.  The Mourning Doves

short poetry, ten of the best, cemetaries

The first call of birds I hear
Each morning as I awake
Is the soft, gentle sound of the
Mourning doves, cooing at day-break.
On looking out my window
I see them, on the roof
Some, like sentries, pacing,
Others perching still, aloof.
Their feathers shimmer, pink and gray,
Reflecting dawn’s first light.
Then suddenly, in unison
Wings whistling, they take flight.
And, following some distant call
That they alone can hear
They take their leave, to feed and play
By a distant stream or weir.
Then at the appointed hour,
In the gloaming of the day
Singing softly of contentment
In their simple soulful, heartfelt way –
They make their way back home to me,
gently fold their wings.
And hearing their sweet song of peace again,
In gratitude, my own heart sings.

Picture –Pétanque & Pastis

♦Paula Tohline Calhoun – lives in the mountains of western North Carolina in a lovely little town called Waynesville. You can find her at her blog; Reflections from a Cloudy Mirror♦
This poem was inspired by the passing of  one of her favourite authors, Maeve Binchy Snell (28 May 1940 – 30 July 2012)

3.  Crater Dweller

short poetry, ten of the best, edward hopper, office at night

Tonight he stares at Earth

He sees women and men talking

Kings on steeds returning home

Wild brown bears crouched in corners

Mythological creatures turning to stone

Tonight he mills empathy from boredom

as silver spokes flash in headlight beams

Tonight he builds dream bridges, unburned

from there to here, touching Earth

He’ll char his shirt in the fire tonight

He’ll toast his mittens on furnace levers

to burn old heart’s desires into carbon dust

He’ll inch back, deeper into craters

always staring earthward with peepers aglow

until the dark side overtakes his heavenly view

picture – Office at Night; Edward Hopper

♦K Shawn Edgar – “Should we offshore the homeless to the moon Europa? Or a giant space station in orbit? Or perhaps relocate the wealthy to Mars…?”… K Shawn Edgar can be found at: Carbon Noise Poetry and Pull of the Sun♦

This poem, on his blog at Pull of the Sun

4.  Arab Spring

short poetry, ten of the best, Reuters, Somalia

It’s a revolt.
A revolution.

And in the name of God, they are building

And delivering doctors,
Door to door.

They are conveying the message that,
People care,

And no one is forgotten.

Assistance is distributed fairly but cameras,
In some areas,

Are not welcome.

Someone hoists a burning American Flag that,
Must be made from something other than cloth,

Because it melts,
And the smoke is acrid,

And the sputtering fireballs,
Showering the crowd below,

Will scar beyond repair.

The woman who does not want to talk about it,
Has been warned.

She has been told,

Is everything,
And so, she must shut up.

And Tunisia, and Egypt, and Syria, and Libya,
Will have to keep hoping,

That Allah,
Is not a man in uniform,


♦picture – Radu Sighet for REUTERS

♦kolembo – Undisciplined, passionate, political, visceral, vagabond and Film Director. You can find him at Short Poetry♦


5.  The Establishment

short poetry, ten of the best, world war 2 cabinet meeting

Starting a new mythology

Founding a new religion

Creating another zodiac

Leading the world astray

Arranging false biology

Looking for a new pigeon

Making a slick and subtle attack

Controlling what they say

picture – world war II database

♦Bubba (Eric Alder) – is 48 years old, married over 18 years with one son who’s 16. Bubba likes music, photography, writing, poetry, reading, fishing, camping, cooking/baking and good beer.  You can find this poem on his blog, Bubba’s Blog.♦

6.  Monster Ink

short poetry, ten of the best, money from heaven

There is a monster

daunting, brazen for it knows no sleep,

worse than frenzied nightmares, haunting contorted prey

even whilst men daydream.

Which grim claw marks

Whose eyes illuminate, pitch screeching whenever it finds

new meat.

There is a monster

that revels when unhinging the foul abyss,

haggard teeth amiss have never met the Sun

Forked tongue darting along tainted claws

just one taste – for bleak morsels never escape –

it remembers them all.

There is a monster

whose swollen belly contains the Lost,

it’s pungent dung nourishment to fevered aristocrats,

Never to be tamed, scale shedding

whichever way.

At least this is what the cavern tells me,

when an eccentric gavel echoes

and the Lost cry “We needed a savior!”

Others saying,

“Don’t you see him up there,

he must be a saint!”

picture – Google Images  & Cook’s Cottage at Blogspot

♦Mister Orpheus (Ingram Oyugi) – “As for me? XXI, African-American kid hailing from the northern city of Minneapolis, MN.” You can find this poem on his Blog, Sounds That Exist♦

7.  The Scarlet Cord


short poetry, ten of the best, ten three angels, rocks

There was no lifeline through family blood,
no promises passed on thru prayer.
Only the bloodline from His past.
A scarlet thread,
bound and wound together,
a cord with the color of life,
made by a weaver who dyed it red with blood.
Woven with the loom of love,
a lifeline coming my way,
thrown over the wall,
bright enough for me to see,
alone and far away like the spies in Jericho.
I saw the sign
Salvation let down from Heaven
Like a life ring through the air.
I held on tight, he took me in
and Salvation came that day.
No earthly reason why I should be saved,
But for God, sending a sign to me,
A wanderer in the land of Jericho.
Picture – Google Norway Three Angels Rocks
♦Jody Lee Collins – was born and raised in Southern California and married in 1973. She has two lovely grown and married children and 5 grandchildren. She is a devout christian.♦


8.  Headset

Short poetry, ten of the best, Secretary, Archive

Good morning – can I help you?
Can I, please? Great. I’m so happy to do that
for you. Now, tell me, are you well today?
Like I care – ‘cause I really, really do!

No, I’m not human, not anymore;
they bled that out of me, one drop a day,
so I’d not notice, ‘til it was too late and I was dead.

I prick at my thumbs with unpicked staples.
I slowly grind the bottom filing drawer over my toes.
I slam my fingers in the photocopier to the beat of the holding music.

But that was years ago. Now I live for this place;
the challenges, the targets – what would I do
with a soul anyway? Would you spare a few
minutes to complete our customer
survey? No? Ok. Of course, that is your
right. I had rights once: they say I still
do, but they lie and rely on my inability
to believe anymore. And who could blame them
when they are right about me?

We value your custom. It’s been a pleasure
talking to you, sincerely it has.
Thanks for calling us today.

picture – Remember Typewriters? Kate the Archivist on Flickr

♦You can find this poem on the blog, hollyanne gets poetic♦

9.  Choosing Dance Partners

short poetry, ten of the best, girl at sewing machine, edward hopper

he’s not right,

in the back of the line
at the coffee shop—keeps
making random comments
in a voice akin to the offspring

of beavis or butthead
& the archetypal devil

(but they’re funny)
& his wide eyes move
like a beehive kicked
by barefoot children

wears all black, hears music
the rest are oblivious to
& rocks, looks like a hangover
from a weekend long bender

puts plenty of sugar in his cup,
then walks out—i wish

he’d stayed—so we could talk,
he reminds me of someone
i haven’t met yet.

picture – Girl at Sewing Machine, Edward Hopper

♦Brian Miller -Married to the most amazing woman and dad of two adventurous boys, figuring out what life has in store next. This poem was “…written for Poetry Jam where I am taking latitude in the dance theme, to incorporate the dance of life. I mean most of you know already I have 6 college credits in dance, including ballet, so…” This poem can be found on his blog, WaystationOne

10.  Provision

ten of the best short poetry, bird bath

Today it is enough ~
this fragrant cedar bower
this covering of down
well fluffed against the chill.
Today it is enough ~
backyard feeder brimming
millet seed and sunflower,
snow melting in the bath
a slackening of thirst.
Today it is enough ~
echo of dusk song thick
on air, wrappings of
wings tight warm,
my head upon my breast,
I keep this winter space,
this grace before flight.

♦picture – wild about wildlife

buddy breathing (Lesley-Anne Evans) – Has a husband Bob + three teens (Graeme-19, Malcolm-17, Claire-15) + one dog (another GSP named Emmy-tarnished past, promising future) = life is full! A writer and firm Christian, she views God through fresh eyes. You can find her at her blogs, BUDDY BREATHING & PopUpPoetry.

Inspiration of Matthew 10:29-31  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.♦