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Poetry Winter 2018    fiction    all issues


Cover Elena Koycheva

Bryce Emley
Asking Father What’s at the End
& other poems

AJ Powell
& other poems

Faith Shearin
& other poems

Claire Van Winkle
& other poems

Sarah W. Bartlett
Summer Cycles
& other poems

Nooshin Ghanbari
& other poems

Meli Broderick Eaton
The Afterlives of Leaves
& other poems

Jeddie Sophronius
& other poems

Paula Bonnell
In Winter, By Rail
& other poems

Addison Van Auken Waters
& other poems

Daniel Sinderson
& other poems

Andrew Allport
All Nature Will Fable
& other poems

Marte Stuart
What an Insult Time Is
& other poems

Matthew Parsons
My Father as an Inuit Hunter
& other poems

Emily Bauer
Gently, Gently
& other poems

Bruce Marsland
A once lovelorn bard’s final journey
& other poems

Beatrix Bondor
Night Makers
& other poems

Isabella Skovira
Lawless Conservation
& other poems

Juan Pablo González
Colombia, 1928
& other poems

Molly Pines
The Pillbug
& other poems

Jamie Marie
On the Lake
& other poems

William A. Greenfield
If You Show Me Yours
& other poems

Bill Newby
Tuesdays at The Seagate's Atlantic Grille
& other poems

Elder Gideon
Male Initiation Rites
& other poems

Joel Holland
Dear Gi-Gi
& other poems

Martha R. Jones
How Lewis Carroll Met Edgar Allan Poe
& other poems

Writer's Site

Bill Newby

Clean Pants

Freshly washed jeans hug my legs

and girdle my waist.

The button hole and stud

behave like feuding neighbors

and need a tug across my belly’s street

before they’re forced to shake hands.

And each pocket is similarly unaccommodating.

My handkerchief has a reservation in the left rear,

but the door is tightly closed

and I need to force it in to get it seated.

On mornings like this

I check the mirror or step on the scale

to see if I’m getting fat.

But I’m just myself garbed in American Casual,

the un-pleated bridge between rich and poor.

And as the hours pass the weave relaxes,

as if attending fabric yoga

where space is breathed into each pocket

and comfort is restored.

Tuesdays at The Seagate’s
Atlantic Grille

Ponce de Leon sought a fountain.
He should have looked for a band.

In aquariums walling the dining room

sharks slide back and forth,

and jellyfish contract and release

in puffs of translucent motion.

Stone floors and glass shelves shine under soft light,

and the crowd and din grow toward eight.

Table talk is shouted over appetizers

and orders are placed before menus are folded.

But the real meal walks the floor

with a deep tan, smile and gold necklace,

slinks through the arch in high heels

or sits on the next stool.

Some believe in out-growing,

shed clothes that no longer fit,

and leave some sports behind.

Others still hunt and hunt.

Like nomads they trudge from oasis to oasis,

climb rung after rung, squint over bifocals,

and stretch for one more apple.

For them, tonight, Joey and The Gigolos will play,

and play tonight they will.

The room is soaked with sock-hop longing

spiced by seasons of holding and stroking,

lying down and snuggling close.

And while some seek sleep in the hotel above,

many by the bar hope to stay up all night.

The dance floor holds more leg than a meat cooler,

more cleavage than the Canyon Lands,

and dresses tighter than Cling Wrap

and more inviting than an open house.

The band plays in the key of yesterday.

The drummer’s pulse is now.

The market’s open till ten-thirty,

and next week waits for those still hungry.

Photography 201

Smartphones in every hand,

on every bridge and stair,

in each park and chapel,

at every meal and market.

Here’s a beautiful picture.

     Now, add me.

Here’s a miraculous fresco.

     Now, add me.

I took a trip and saw the canyon.

     Look. I’m there.

No more waste or mess,

carving initials into a tree or desk,

spray painting a bare wall.

Look at that tower,

the canal and statue.

     See, I was wearing blue,

     and the wind whipped my hair.

I know, this one is truly amazing.

Took them three centuries to complete.

     And don’t you think

     that’s a good picture of me?

     Yes, I do too.

Blinds Down

The highway concerto plays all night.

Sixteen wheelers groan and moan

below the alto hum of tread on concrete

and the rising arias of sporadic speeders

who‘ve found an open lane to fly across stage

instead of slowly stepping toward an exit.

An occasional siren wails,

then dies in the wings,

and a rare car tire thuds

dropping from curb to gutter.

And while the rest of us seek sleep,

a trash bin’s clang

as a truck drops its load

reminds us that others are at work

cleaning our mess

so the sunrise will feel fresh and pure.

Sending a Kiss from Third

Every infield is different.

The ground may be as smooth as tarmac

or loose as a hiking trail –

groomed like the Masters

or as shaggy and snarled as the Turner’s tree lawn.

But the only way to play

is with hope for a true bounce

and prayer to snatch a liar.

The game is slow

with lots of room to itch and scratch, spit and stare,

but the window for strolling and shifting shuts

when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand.

Then it’s time for low, ready balance –

each foot dug in, hugging the earth,

and arms long and loose before bent knees,

like willow branches nearing the ground.

But as low as you get, your head must be up,

as if you’ve crept close in a tiger crouch

with your muscles loaded and ready to pounce.

And in these key seconds the world must disappear,

for the only story’s at the plate

where you need to read

the back and arms’ unwinding torque

as the bat flows in a wide circle

and greets the ball with a crack or ping,

that darts like a bullet aimed at your head

or skitters like a stone skipping water,

seeking a pebble or divot that might shift its course.

This is what you’ve trained for

and why you’ve oiled your glove,

pounded a predictable pocket

and even taken dance lessons.

In this instant, the only time is now.

Now you must welcome its flight,

delight in its arrival,

and reach wide or close, low or high,

to draw it into your mitt,

embrace it with your free fingers,

and hug and grasp it as you slide toward first,

skating left while loading right,

loading your arm like a jitterbug back step

before pulling your partner into another twirl,

gripping the ball like a door knob

before flinging it wide open.

Then whip your arm, free and relaxed,

free and flowing across your body,

as you turn around your spine

and look at the first baseman’s mitt,

like a lover’s face arced up and begging for a kiss,

as you let the ball go.

Bill Newby enjoys using poetry to record, reshape and reflect upon daily experience. His work has appeared in Whiskey Island, Bluffton Breeze, Ohio Teachers Write, Palm Beach Poetry Festival’s Fish Tales Contest, Blue Mountain Review, Panoplyzine, Sixfold, and the Island Writers’ Network’s Time & Tide and Ebb & Flow anthologies. He is a 2018 Pushcart Poetry Nominee.

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