Daily Archives: August 22, 2007


“For His Own Good” by Gabrielle Madrid

In Sister Mary Teresa's first grade class,
he was the new kid, and I saw right away,
that he'd need protection, and I'd be the protector.
But bullies got to him first. Before I knew it,
He was down, his red bicycle- a memory.
Days after his beating we'd get together,
and watch the miniature wood toads
hopping along their sandy water banks.

After high school, Jack and I signed up
for a round in the military. Not more than
A year after training, in that stinking, searing,
Hell of a desert, he shot a lonely mongrel dog.
Jack looked small and spineless clenching a life sized gun.

Sinking in hot quicksand:
I'm running in the grass with my dog, Sunny.
There's dinner at Scordato's on my parent's anniversary.
The cut-grass cologne of a football field in autumn,
and the cleavage of my favorite actress Coco Espinoza.

Two years in and Jackie's telling me, "My life has become death."
Not that I hadn't figured it out already.
He's now another person- a miscreation of sorts.
We raided a tiny forsaken village. I caught Jack alone
raping an adolescent Iraqi girl. He cut off her long dark hair
and shoved it in her little mouth. He never even saw me,
but I can still hear someone's daughter screaming

while her arms try to cradle her own shaking body.
It was then, I was sure - Jack's demon had won him over.
The country boy has become a man of war.
Madness is touching each of us. It might be
the temperature, the badlands, or our own
minds that will kill us all.

Last night while out on a mission, I freed Jackie
from the evil spirit that swallowed his soul.
This is what I call friendly-fire. He was my friend.
He loved his mother, he loved Jesus, the
sound of a steel guitar, and his country.

“Reheated” by Gabrielle Madrid

When day breaks in the desert,
inside becomes exposed- like a spine
in the family's weakening atlas.
Eyelids are smooth and balmy, then burning
as the windows of my room fill with
orange twirling meringues.
I wear my sleep and sweat-knowing
this potency, like a man once, I loved.
I rise to the dogs whimpering and licking
at their paws, in a garden gone completely
to blonde straw. They move slowly
and find no solace on the deck.
Man-light makes sure my skin tingles
and blushes, freckles in his inescapable
presence. He leaves his mark, convincing me.
I won't forget his ways.
He should have known how we love each other
roughly all of the time. His rule is
My Beloved Blind Spot,
My Commander, My Auburn.

“Mornings Without Mother” by Gabrielle Madrid

Every year on my birthday
Mommy tells me I'm a bastard...

Thin boxer shorts are my only protection
against the magma hot coffee
I've spilled on my thigh.
I watch it singe delicate hairs, and the first layer of skin
As the steam of my skin lingers around me
in a lonely ghost kind of way. I get easily spooked.
The stench of old coffee and a burning epidermis
remind me of a stunted childhood.
I wound myself, just like mother would.
I don't soar off my seat screaming;
there's no rush to even dry myself off.
I just sit there and take it.
Until my skin turns pink and shiny,
I take it. I will always take it.
My only companion is a gentlemen and his burro,
looking down on me from his almighty label.
He doesn't think I am a man either,
he never speaks to me.
I have to prove that I deserve love.
This is done every year, to show her that I am good.
I am smoldering and alone, and now, maybe
I am the son she has always wanted.

“The Rose to the Grave” by Casalis

As the gates
Behind me close
I lift my hand to give
The rose
Over to the memory
To the grave in which you
Sleep
And if only for a little while
The precious rose
Will give some life
To a place where all is gone
Till it too gracefully dies
On your lap
In your hand
The rose will show
What I can't say
A way to give my love away
To you the only way I can

“I’m Seeing in You” by Casalis

I'm seeing in you
What you saw in me
But now it's all blurred
In old memories
But it still cries aloud
Like a child at birth
Except we're speaking now
Of life from reverse
And I breathe in deep
And remind myself over
That your end isn't mine
And I'm making it fine
Though I won't forget
And I never will
Because fate doesn't lie
Time still seals in
All the more what dies
And all the more that lives

“Eye of Venus” by Claudia Anne Krizay

Green is the eye of Venus, though now tightly shut.
Ancient music drums,
Trees viridian hued.
The night has settled, dark as fear.
I rode a stallion:
Jet black he was
Against an array of foliage.
Into te dead of night, he rode:
Sleeping am I?
Or am I living within some land of the surreal?
Lost within a valley,
I lie amongst high reeds.
Water showers down upon me.
Skies turn mauve, purplish,
No calm before this storm.
Struck by lightening,
Branches are fallen by the wind.
Upon awakening,
As day breaks,
The ancient music's melody is arrested.
A sibilant voice whispers to me:
Sleep amongst the dead,
Depart from the living.
As I nonchalantly gaze at the rising sun,
I wave goodbye to Venus.
The sun falls behind the horizon.
Venus waves back at me, and winks at me,
While ancient music begins drumming again.

“Hollow Shell” by Ami Kaye

I seem to have lost my smile again
I don't suppose you've seen it anywhere?
If you do, please keep it for me,
until perchance we meet.

By the way, the sparkle in my eyes
has disappeared as well
There seems to have been
some connection to the smile
That I did not know about.

While you are about it,
Look out for my heart too.

I still seem to have my mind though,
which like the rest of me,
lives in a hollow shell.

“Yosemite Impressions” by Ami Kaye

In Stark grandeur, mountains of granite
loom with majestic soaring peaks
Over vast, open spaces.

Huge, undiminished
Wide chasms
Nothing dainty or delicate here.
Nature's painted this scene
in larger than life brushstrokes
untamed and fresh,
smell of pine needles
sharp in the air

Falls that seem to burst forth
directly from the sky.
Cascading sheets of foam.
Sprays of water, hitting the stone face;
with blinding force.

Wild untarnished beauty,
of dark naked branches,
leafless in bare nobility
against pale clouds

Clear babbling brooks
stones shining through
waters of sparkling clarity.
Trees with girths so wide
creatures set up house inside.
Warm, resin smelling wood
the crunch of brush underfoot

Boulders arrayed in steely grays
charcoal with green and yellow moss
vivid against age- old rocks.
The very air colored with the ghosts of past

But nature can be cruel;
There is a frightening solitude
If lost, a broken limb can cost a life.
The cold that shivers in the night

The stars visible to sight
Through cathedral like tree tops
A compass to a weary traveler
To safely find his way back to camp

Generations come and go
Trying to put their mark
On large rinks of slate blue stone
Stern, aloof, cool and smooth;
To make their presence known

But like a drop in the ocean,
they go unnoticed as Yosemite
forever untouched, undiminished; grand
lives on forever
when all else is gone.

“Too Late” by Ami Kaye

Remember those tender years, love
those dream-like, eager, euphoric times,
sun-drenched days and moon-washed nights
when you and I were young?
racing around, hand in hand,
making up with pepper hot kisses,
after moments fraught with furious fights;
I was yours for the asking,

Had you but asked
But you did not...

In those sweet years of give and take
of youthful vigor and possibilities,
of rampant dreams and accursed follies
with the raging flush of first love;
I would have given you everything

Had you but wanted
But you did not...

We went our separate ways
built lives and identities.
Grew to know other people,
learned about reality.
I hid my tears behind a smile
but they grew to a bubble within my heart;
burned every moment that we were apart.

I just could not forget...

Then by accident of fate, we met again.
You stared at me, stunned.
Speechless, we let our hearts talk
and before we knew it, we were entwined;

Why did you never tell me you wanted me
The way I wanted you?

And now that you do-
I cannot give you anything
except regret,
for I am entangled
in another's web.

“Summer Shower” by Ami Kaye

I walk out to the open porch,
something cold falls on my nose- plop!
-it is a rain drop

The bright sunlight dims with awe
to see the clouds swell up so fast
-and mist drift past

Dry parched earth receives the rain,
greedy as the ground it hits
-and welcomes it

A silver drop falls in the flower;
its petals in a whirl
-glistens like a pearl

I bend my head, look through a pearl,
see a delicate rainbow stretched
-a whole world etched

Trickling down upon my head
from conduits of a leafy tower
-a summer shower

“Behind the Eyes of Madmen” by Claudia Anne Krizay

Gaze into the sky at dawn,
Only to capture the sunlight.
Hidden words are spoken
Behind the doors to the eyes of madmen.

Towering firs and grazing deer listen cautiously,
But cannot fathom or decipher
The eloquent language that they speak.
Listen to the discordant shouting of the stars
As they force their way
Through the barriers of the twilight's sky.

Behold the countenance of the early morning's sun.
All that cam be seen are rays refracting
Against the ice clad inlets,
And the sight of the naiads dancing rhythmically
Wherever the horizon begins.

Read the hidden words
As spoken through the eyes of madmen-
Just secretly and discreetly
Walk barefooted past midnight
In the shoes of the man in the moon...

“The Cleansing” by Claudia Anne Krizay

As I lay to rest, voices reverberate.
As I close my eyes, I see none but ashes,
As the sun laughs,hiding its countenance
Behind a wall of disbelief.
For the first time in nearly a decade,
Stars appear before my eyes, transform to tears,
And the sky turns to a shade of purple-mauve.
Tears cascade down my flushed cheeks.
With an air of innocence, I weep,
Cleansing my soul of sacrilege,
As I have had many moments of mistrust.
When voices speak to me,
Unheard or not fathomed by others,
Who dwell outside of my heart and mind,
All I can do is to gaze into the distant future,
And search for a lone silver-winged seagull,
A sign of tranquility,
Flying and laughing with the sun.
Voices sound, and then reverberate once more.
This time,they are both peaceful and innocuous.
I close my eyes and lay to rest.
As I doze, the voices softly lull me to sleep.
That wall of disbelief is shattered,
As ashes are turned to dreams.

“Homeless Girl” by Michael Ugulini

She sits on the street absorbing heat,
a cap collecting coins,
tossed by some with hurried feet,
impatience in their loins.

Her face is dirty, hair in ruins,
she floats the streets at night,
like a nomad though the dunes,
or a string-less kite.

She looks around, then stares down,
counting what she's caught,
no longer classified as a noun,
she's just a passing thought.

“Hype” by Michael Ugulini

Images jump
across the screen,
boldness vying
to be seen.
Colors flare,
hemlines lift,
bras push up,
gazes shift.
Red carpet nights,
searching lights,
black-tie affairs,
coiffured hair.

I go outside,
with sun in eyes,
thirsty land-
and farmers' cries.

“Ingmar Bergman: (1918-2007)” by Michael Ugulini

Master artist capturing truth on film,
not bowing to the common storyboards
based on rigid, weary, formulas
of plot points placed according to a mold.
His camera moved-a dancer on a stage,
or sometimes stared - a royal palace guard.
He urged his actors to expand their roles;
to go beyond the surface of a theme;
to dream, to muse, to ponder, think and sit
discussing the new, not holding to the old,
like wrinkled olives clinging to their pits.

“Conundrum” by Paul Alleyne

Ah! The conundrum of life.
Many lessons not learnt
Many books not read
Many places not visited
Many experiences not shared
Challenges refused
And now death awaits me
What a dilemma this life has been!
Give me one more day;
Just one more minute;
Not to start again -
But to contemplate, the conundrum that is life.