Promises and pie crust are made to be broken. – Johnathon Swift
The Vernal Equinox
Ah, spring! This season brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna.
The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west.
The Cosmic Law Of French Toast
The cosmic law of French toast
Highlights its warm & wondrous
Edifice with edible glee
Concocted here it is covered by
So one’s hunger is incredibly
Made to discover why
Craves it most
Likening the cosmic law of French toast
And the adventure drawn to it
With a sensitivity that stirs up thoughts…
…To hasten the myth
Overindulging one is fulfilled
From the syrup brought to taste it with
Far be it from me to not
Render myself helpless in
Never mind the
Consequence I find
Heaven in each perfect slice
Therein I melt as
One does in this that I desire
And I am stricken by delight putting my whole
Self in the fire
To thicken the plot
As I give up the ghost
I am quickened a lot
By the cosmic law of French toast
Tony Haynes is a practitioner of Acrostic Poetry As an author, Tony has co-written a book with Karyn White called “Carpe Diem, Thoughts & Affirmations To Seize The Day.” He is also the author of “SpiritChili, Recipes For Life.” With SpiritChili, Haynes uses acrostic poetry as his tool to deliver an additional insight within each body of work. He offers a more scenic trip down the road towards enlightenment. SpiritChili is a thick, rich, warm & spicy stew created to feed you spiritually.
Before Tony realized he had this rare talent, he was a songwriter, music publisher, record producer & author. As a songwriter/music publisher, Tony has accomplished a great deal. “Send A Little Love,” – his first song, was recorded by the Spinners in 1981. Since then, Tony’s songs have been recorded on over 200 albums, selling in excess of 70 million copies worldwide. These songs have earned him 60 gold and multi-platinum awards, as well as several ASCAP Awards.
Fried Eggs: An Indian Food
I can tell
when an egg breaks over sizzling pork fat
From here to (the ancient fried-egg capital of) Machu picchu,
So grant me the one with twin yolks.
Oozy in beds of orange cream, not gone too dry,
a moat of wet
quivering around it, soft fluffy white;
the crackling rust bottom.
Make mine with salt and chilli flakes,
crumbs of cheese that melt on top,
crispy shreds lacing the base.
On rice, fried, roti that drips butter,
or bread if it’s sour, hollow—
hard crust and porous soul.
Don’t waste the deep brown grease in your pan;
Don’t mind if I turn my back to you when I eat;
It means I won’t share,
and that you can’t see me
Lick my plate
clean with my thumb.
Sonali Raj lives in Delhi, India. She is an M.F.A. student at the low-res program at City University, Hong Kong.
The chocolate bear
the chocolate bear
his empire arranged
in the spaces
diminished by ants
he rules unsteadily
The Tragedy of Vinaigrette
the blanched almond
cried salty tears
as he tumbled onto the salad
near a mandarin orange,
whose juices bled
on unfeeling lettuce-surface
Debby Regan lives in Huntsville, Alabama, US with her husband and two children. She has had poetry published on Subtletea.com, Bolts of Silk, and in the Sigma Tau Delta’s Southern Gazette.
Harvesting Goji Berries
Pluck one off the vine,
but dare damage.
Such delicacy needs coaxing.
With wind as if from pursed lips, or an in-person
journey to its dance floor of branches.
To shake and shimmy a request.
Hereby win a basket of the happiest berries,
each laughing from a petite core,
Dusky pink marquis diamonds,
With tastes of tea, tomato and raw almond,
or perhaps of what lingers just after
A kiss with a stranger.
You smile, stay balanced, gojis loosen and fall.
How many others have done themselves in
For something so small.
Cynthia Gallaher is a Chicago-based poet and writer, is author of three full poetry collections and two chapbooks and is a writing workshop leader. She is on the Chicago Public Library’s list of “Top Ten Requested Chicago Poets” and named one of “100 Women Making a Difference” by *Today’s Chicago Woman* Magazine. The poem “Harvesting Goji Berries” is from her poetry manuscript, “Botanical Bandwidth: Poems About Food, Herbs and Spices.
“I AM LIKE A DISH THAT IS BROKEN”
the a.m. grill cook tells you over
coffee. You think she’s cracked
too many egg shells, numbed
by the morning scramble of orders
and asides exchanged between
waitresses and men who leave
big tips and take phone numbers.
Her Zolofted eyes are saucers
some spoons might flirt with.
As you fork a stack of flapjacks
she explains her husband
ran away with the Avon lady
who wore pancake, blush,
and kissed bloody
“I am a laughingstock.”
She laughs for emphasis.
Her husband got his come-
uppance when the lady turned
out to be a drag queen,
a misogynist in a mini skirt, bent
on destruction of the gentler sex
through bad taste.
“I hear their whispers,”
the cook whispers to you.
You worry about her
plans for retaliation
as she crushes the head
of a Pall-Mall on the face of the table.
Dipping her thumb in the ashes
she marks your forehead
anointing you, a convert,
and into your hands
she commends her spirit
saying, “I am forgotten
like the unremembered
Donna R Kevic from Weston, WV., and has a MFA from National University. Recent poetry has appeared in Bijou Poetry Review, Naugatuck River Review, Prime Number, and Third Wednesday. Poetry Chapbooks include Laundry, published
by Main Street Rag. Recent short story publications include Colere and the anthology, Seeking the Swan. Two plays, The Interview and BOOBS received readings in Chicago and New York, respectively.
Bakery cake from Lovejoy isn’t all that. Though, the other girl down here half-time said it reminds her of her mother. We have a lot in common, she and I.
When I lived on Oak I baked figs in honey. Bees settled in.
The note you sent said it was all over-determined. Was it the nymphs or the satyr who got me dancing snake-bitten? Either way I see in your hand it’s my fault.
This bitch goddess from Ephesus came to check in, her heart chthonic. She met you once, she said, at that bar, Tartarus. What a pit. But, you charmed her, lovely.
You grew up with nine women pressing egg rolls into your fevered hands, singing you to sleep, giving you oil footbaths, taking you to shows with happy endings. No wonder we never made it through our wedding day.
You hide behind that lyre, don’t you? Your x-actoed rib cage is always the same blood twice. Flashy evisceration means nothing down here.
It’s not so brave really, trying to spring me with a store-bought cake and a song from Swingtime. If you loved me you’d rest here, not just drop in with a red and white twined pastry box. Being afraid of death is cowardly, no matter what the lyrics say. Being afraid of death is being afraid of me because I wasn’t coming with you anyhow.
Michelle Auerbach’s work has been published in Van Gogh’s Ear, Bombay Gin <http://www.naropa.edu/writingandpoetics/bombaygin.html> , Xcp <http://xcp.bfn.org/journal.html> , Chelsea, and The Denver Quarterly, and anthologized in The Veil UC Berkley Press, Uncontained Baksun Books, and You. An Anthology of Essays in the Second Person from Welcome Table Press. She is the winner of the 2011 Northern Colorado Fiction Prize and has a book of poetry forthcoming from Durga Press.
Excerpt from Lily’s Odyssey, a novel, published with permission by All Things That Matter Press; its first chapter a Short List Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award for Best New Writing
At the funeral luncheon, relatives I’d never seen before told me they didn’t know whom I resembled. When I was small, I thought a couple I liked down the road were my real parents and made up stories that never failed to bring tears why they had to give me up. When I sat down, one of the rubber tips on the legs of my folding chair was missing: the sensation of being off balance continued when I got up.
I avoided looking in the direction of Rachel and JD. JD, whom she married after Cal died, was what people called respectable looking—a stocky man in checked vests who looked at people with such steady eyes that they were impressed with his sincerity. But the next time they saw him, they realized his eyes looked the same whether he was shaking hands (he did that a lot) or when they passed him on the street. Rachel and JD were taking turns pushing Mark and Becky’s baby, Sue Ann, in her stroller.
What was the name of that weave of the baby’s blanket? I’d learned about weaves in Miss Dixon’s high school home ec class. Herringbone, that’s what it was: woof, warp–I’d always liked those names. Miss Dixon had also taught how to present attractive meals that had contrasting color, hot and cold items with various textures. Meals like hot chicken, hot red harvest beets, cold iceberg salad with carrot curls and radish roses, just baked whole-wheat bread, room temperature daisy-mold butter buds, iced tea with a lemon slice perched on the rim of a frosted glass. Matching freshly ironed tablecloth/napkins, an appropriate centerpiece. And always to shower, apply deodorant (we got samples of Mum), and select attractive fresh clothing from a closet scented with oranges poked with cloves, and finish with a powder puff and lipstick. When your husband arrived to a clean house and clean kids, you smiled when you greeted him at the door, hung up his coat, offered him a drink and an array of tempting appetizers. You asked him about his day. If asked about your day, you only mentioned pleasant things.
I made as many trips as I dared to the restroom without causing comment. Once inside the unheated cement block room, when I opened and shut my mouth to relieve my clenched jaw my breath came out like smoke signals–sometimes I could make the string to the bare light bulb sway. Each visit I saw a crack in the ceiling I hadn’t counted before. Some natural light (and snow) came through a small window dotted with snow; as a child I made dots of snow on windows into dot-to-dot pictures.
When complaints reached his ears about the cold restrooms, Aunt Heidi related that Father Couillard (the priest before Father Mulcahy) had said: “Enjoy the cold while you can, my friends. Where many of you are headed will be plenty hot.” She laughed about it but Aunt Hester had frowned on laughing about God’s representatives on earth. Father Couillard’s stomach had hung over his belt like bread dough reaching the edge of a pan, and I always wanted to pick it with a fork to see if it would make a wheezing sound before collapsing. I had a dream about going to see Father Couillard and screaming at him when he started in about the love and wisdom of God.
The ground was frozen so burial would be in the spring. I pictured a man with a shovel determining the cut-off date digging near the graves of my mother and father. When I went with Aunt Hester and Uncle Walt to my parents graves as a child, Uncle Walt would always sob. A kneeling angel with wings over its face held a scroll: “In Memory of My Beloved Brother and Wife. Erected 1942 by Walter Augustus Walter.” The angel’s wings were the first to crumble and each year the angel increasingly resembled an aging boxer. I’d liked the chunky Dutch wooden windmills painted yellow and blue on graves because they had a human look.
I mostly avoided the cemetery because I didn’t like seeing dying plants or the dying grass from newly dug graves—and the awful silence. And when the headstones were deep in snow, finality seemed to shout in the silence, and I’d flee their graves mumbling apologies, terrified they might’ve been buried alive.
Carol Smallwood co-edited Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching (McFarland, 2012) on the list of “Best Books for Writers” by Poets & Writers Magazine; Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing (Key Publishing House, 2012); Compartments: Poems on Nature, Femininity, and Other Realms (Anaphora Literary Press, 2011) received a Pushcart nomination. Carol has founded, supports humane societies.