The Griffin's Garden by Carla P. Vazquez
I have 101 flowers growing on my apple tree, hidden in my garden of secrecy, where no
one can see. I grew it there on a hill, and there it will be forever still. From a tiny seed it spread
its roots, watered by my tears. One for each flower, one for each year.
It is my garden, it is my tree. None may see it, save for me. So I guard it from all who
come, not wanting the tale to be over and done.
But then he came with his tongue of flame, and soft and fiercely he spoke my name.
Panicked I ran to my tree, fearful of the fire that followed me. I growled and hissed angrily, I
clawed and spit hatefully. But he did not run, did not flee, only shook his head sorrowfully.
'It's time to stop your ceaseless fears, and seizes the best time of your years, he
whispered softly. And I watched in dismay, as he released a flame, and my precious tree was set
Desperately, I tried to put it out, but he held me back saying, This is not what life's
about. Scream and shout. Run and be free. You've been on the ground so long, you've forgotten
Then I realized what he said was true. My wings were weak from disuse.Tentatively I
stretched them out, gave them a flap and left the ground. I have no flowers, I have no tree. I only,
have ever had, me. And so the Griffin and Dragon left the garden for Eternity...
Dormition by Helen Ditouras
I heard the other day you disappeared
In a deep earthen sleep with little trace
Of all things that made you beautiful
And once adorned you visible
How I sigh a shallow breath of tears
And grasp the air that slips through my fingers
I can't find you or follow this trail you've left
That leads forever to simply nowhere
And I can't help but wonder if you lie below each step I take
Where weeds have grown in an unkept garden
And the silence of sinners loudly prevails
Or maybe your goodbye is hidden inside
A small cheap urn by your father's karaoke machine
Where every so often you're tenderly stroked by his thin withered hands And his old broken heart
If you are sleeping like the Virgin Mother
Let me sit by your side in a candle lit vigil
To guard you with vigor from all of the demons
Who plagued you in stillness for too many years
But I cannot find you
In every dark corner above and below the sewage or streams
Plotless and scattered but even far worse
Bitterly frozen, without a blanket
No freshly cut flowers to cover your name
THE FLAUTIST by John Grey
We're all agreed there could be nothing finer
Than a solitary flautist on a concert stage,
Playing Prokofiev in F # minor,
No shrill vibrato, just twenty years of age,
A life of melody stretched out before her
And we praise the gods that fortune does allow
Us audience, for we'd be much the poorer
For not having been here, listening to her now.
Yesterday's Newspaper by Yuan Changming
Like a small leaf
From curb to curb
Beside or behind
Each running wheel
You have become
Heavy, even heavier
Than the headline
Of the front page
Once the wind stops, you
Will get stuck right here
Among all the forlorn
Pieces of history
Spring Greeting: for Liu Yu by Yuan Changming
Rather than composing poetry
To commemorate you after you are gone
I am now writing, dear Mom
To pay my highest tribute to you
As one of the hardest-fated on earth
Yes, among the many death experiences you've had
The most significant one for me (and my sons)
Was your sickness you suffered at two, which was so
Severe that your poor and ignorant foster mother
Could do nothing but put you on a flat basket
And return your living corpse to your bio-creator
But for your step father, who used his shamanic skills
To contain the evil spirit and drive it to an unknown
Corner, you would have died like a doomed sapling
(That's why your name is changed to "Refound")
So, stay well, Mom, and remain hardy for us!
DEPLETION by Lana Bella
You hoard your tears,
to keep your eyes safe from dryness.
But the day is cold and parched,
the weeping beads are wrought in ice,
cracked in flakes upon the blue-veins of your face.
Laying pressed against the frozen air,
your cold grey eyes pore through the crowd,
closing on a dazzle of red.
You hoist and part the moving throng,
splintering it in two.
The halved seas are stitched
of kaleidoscopic threads and glows.
Leaving bare the woman in blood and dream,
with her fine-boned head,
sweet turned back and gold liquid curls.
The whirling skull at the hair's breadth waits,
and you, the drunkard, wait longer.
While the aspen air sweeps through
the dual questioning bones, spanning in fever.
Making home on her red skirt,
It showers an orchestra of captured sounds,
twinged thoughts, and lost memories,
inside every pleat and inseam,
hunting for the naked skin.
She fractionally turns then,
drawing into the entry of your form.
The choir gushes free of harmony,
grated voice churns in liquid snow.
All the time sensing when her reach for you slackens,
tearing off the splinters of released air.
shrug out from the fog
closing fast upon the dashed flesh on her weightless bone.
Intimate. Yet distantly empty.
As if time is a stilted photograph,
with you skirting at the sepia shadows
and her always,
waiting under a crimson light.
FLOATING LOTUS by Lana Bella
Sky beyond me is sparse of stars.
Leaving the moon a shabby grey.
Mutely lit of pink upon the bed of
I am a floating lotus, waking from sleep.
With rooted, green leaves buffeting me
Navigates by the black water.
Warm air tucks its whispered body.
Murmuring, crawling inside.
Dark sky to petals.
Mouth to blossoms.
I lift a sepal from my folding robe.
Peeling away the foretaste of soft discard,
risking the strangled silence.
My leaflet corpse:
wild-eyed and cleansed of breaths,
a plumed figure on the water.
It sails away as one who dreams and sleeps.
Quietly on the breeze.
Where it is neither ground nor sea.
Maybe by Helen Ditouras
Thin enough to snap
But I still feel a murmur when you walk into a room
Makes me realize
I don't want your coat
Just touch me with the remnants of your pink cashmere
Reckless in abandon
But I'm thinking of conversion when you flash that smile at me
Makes me realize
I don't need your coat
Just drape me in the remnants of your pink cashmere
Sinking in abysmal clouds
But I think of maybe surfacing when you gently brush my hand
Makes me realize
I don't want your coat
Just kiss me with the remnants of your pink cashmere
Rose at Her Grave by Aleksandra Djordjevic
clear and promising,
glitters with snow.
I have spent early evenings
imagining myself here.
The snow sparkles
are buried here,
but have somehow vanished,
an undergrowth of past suffering
tarnished with memories and present pains.
I study one grave—
with a single rose etched in the stone.
was when I got my first period—
she might have never known what one was like
nor the pressure to conform
or the worship a girl could get
from being herself.
I stand at this grave,
sure of myself,
with the sun beating on my back,
knowing my future is ahead of me,
clear and sparkling,
remembering those early evenings no longer.
The Silence of the Lake by Patrick Doerksen
The stars tug strong tonight
above the lake,
an excess of real,
pulling eyes out of air,
thin air, to see and know beauty,
in the ripples.
And the bold blackness up high
hushes into strength
a raging wonder beneath.
The heart knows the same:
how beauty elicits being,
life livens the here;
how down on earth
my solitude sobs
into existence an ear;
…how things unreal
are proved by density of desire,
and, ah, how
you are alone as you feel.
Things so badly want to be,
they are, and cast themselves
into the lake like the stars.
Trees, moss, acorns, stones,
everything argues for itself
in the most peculiar ways,
And the lake, infinitely aloof,
reflects on what to say
to those who do not know
their own proof.
It is the only silence tonight.