Sunday, 4 December 2016

Did You

Did you know
me as my younger form
when I lacked solidity
vacillating among faces

Did you know
my mildly contented
middle aged self
just starting life with
a small amount of sense

Or have you met
the older casket me,
the current one who
lacks much future
but can go on and on
about the past?

R Cope
Richmond, VA,

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Letter to an Estranged Middle-Aged Son

The older I get the more I realize
the importance of getting things done
before your mother announces another 

assignment to roust me from my hammock.
As you know I've never been much
around the house, my skills limited to 

raking leaves and shoveling snow, 
menial tasks I haven't missed in years.
Probably not since you lived here.

Your mother, of course, grew up on a farm 
and has always liked getting things done.
But she's getting older too. In fact,

she recently had a big operation 
and I've pitched in beyond my skill set 
despite new stents and a pacemaker.

But even though we just put away
the walker, cane and wheelchair,
all three are on alert so I believe 

it's best to let you know that
one of these days the one who's left 
will ring you up and let you know.

Donal Mahoney 

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, US and has had poems published in Ancient Heart Magazine and other publications in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Just Me

Hello again, her tired
voice tried.
It's just me again.
Lonely me, forgotten me,
the me that loved you
first of all.

I listened and thought
about the other me.
Decorated me, disillusioned 
me, just dull me.
I refused to hang up
listening a while.

Nate Maye

Sunday, 13 November 2016


I burned my
soul on a hot

Not sure I
will ever get it

I took too
much, gained
too little

Walked heavily
on the edge
of night

Mangled my
for what?

Angelica Fuse,
Los Angeles

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Do They Know

I'm going to ignore
the jokes about my weight
I am a blank sketch
with larges spots missing
even to the ones I love.
Even to so-called
family members.
They deny me like Judas.
Does it matter who knows
me and what I rhyme with,
do these words even 
make sense?
I'm going to ignore empty
looks, furtive scanning,
ignorant leaps. 
Reciting my life over again,
what else can I do but
move forward along the twist
of lemon metaphor,
take another step
above the drink on the rocks?

Kaitlyn Park
Salem, Oregon,

Friday, 28 October 2016

Dead Man's Dirge

I am a dead man's
heart coming to a sputter
old rusty engine 

I am the late summer
turning locust back crisp
ready to fall from a tree

I am time running out
on a scratched tuneless
record about to skip.

J. Ash Gamble
Ft Myers, 
Florida, US 

Thursday, 20 October 2016


Pound the road
blooming with roses
to where you are from

Remember when
this road seemed long
but now it's shorter
so much sweeter

Memory of mother
knitting or shelling beans
is at odds with recent
flashes of cell phone plans

Mass construction where
you live now
has toppled the afternoon
quiet and morning lull
you grew up drinking coffee in

The gravel leads to pavements
and pavements lead to cities
where people don't know
how quiet lives anymore.

Camille Clark
Atlanta, Georgia,

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The First Hint of Summer

The first hint of summer
came when I looked into
your eyes.
I saw the sorrow
among briars and
smiles among lilies.
Frozen were your feelings
but, with the sun's rays
shining, I saw the
thaw begin.

Mary Bone
Wilson, Oklahoma, 

Monday, 15 August 2016


One side of the page
travels to the other
joining words to worlds 
pages of syllables

The characters of one
language mingle with another
children playing in the yard 

Cultures meet at the table
dancing for understanding.

JD DeHart

Saturday, 16 July 2016

A Traveling Salesman

This traveling salesman 
has worn out six vans 
in 40 years and he
hopes to retire soon.

Age and illness 
are growing concerns
and there isn’t a pill 
for everything.

Every 20 miles or so
he has to stop for 
a rest room, usually 
at a gas station.

Then one day he sees 
a highway billboard 
that promises help.
He dials the 800 number 

on his cell phone
and a machine answers:
“Incontinence Hotline.
Can you hold?”

Donal Mahoney 

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, US and has had poems published in Ancient Heart Magazine and other publications in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Wandering Eye

An image of floating eye
taking in the scenery,
and I seeing the eye

makes me wonder about
the time when my sight
will dim, when my mind

will no longer solve
puzzles, a bare bulb
snapped brittle in two.

Alan Inman
New York, NY 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


There is a time
to plant, wise people know,
a time to tend.
My fingers never took 
to moving earth, opting
instead for convenience.
My generation is the one
of the mail-order catalog.
But nature has moods,
starlight movements, a song
I sometimes pretend to hum.

J Ash Gamble
Ft Myers, 
Florida, US

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Went Back

I went back twelve
times, once for each
disciple, once for each
No time was the same 
for I found I had outgrown
the place of my growing
Old jokes were no longer
humorous, old wounds
itching over with healing,
even some old memories
fading from me.

Kaitlyn Park
Oregon, US

Monday, 9 May 2016


Wise old professors
ask me for the point
I'm getting to

I have loved populations
on pages, voices
tucked in verses

I have loved learning
about assonance and
Rosenblatt, all the spaces
between reader and text

The point I'm getting
to is I love the way
my son crawls off a page
into reality, how he squirms
with actual delight

Escape into my fiction
is delightful
but the real sounds echoing
around me are the true
gist of my creative life.

Hannah Scarlet
Georgia, US

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Small Backyard

It’s a small backyard
I’ve watched for years
from an upstairs window
while chained to a computer.
Whatever the weather

the old widow was always
planting in spring
watering in summer
raking in fall
shoveling in winter

but the yard’s quiet now
the only traffic
a resident squirrel
heading for the oak
over the tall grass
the widow’s heir
has stopped mowing.

She told her son
you don’t have to garden
but please mow the grass
rake the leaves and
shovel the snow
or I’ll shake you
at midnight
the rest of your life.

Donal Mahoney 

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, US and has had poems published in Ancient Heart Magazine and other publications in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


Not so subtle
the love of words
like spinning stories
by gaslight

we are the trouble
makers, shaking earth
and sky
with small verses

we are the word
warriors describing
our plight one page
after another.

Angelica Fuse
Los Angeles,

Monday, 2 May 2016


Grandmother took all
our history, relics, first
kisses, moments beautiful,
hours tragic, and hung them
on the line in her last
late in life fit of madness.
So now we have to hide
them quickly from our
prying neighbors, or else
explain decades of skeletons
dancing in our closet.

Camille Clark
Atlanta, Georgia

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Telling Time

I wish I could
tell time to back up
give me some room
Allow me to be young

But that is not how
most clocks work, all
parts rushing forward

Maybe heaven, closer
to me now, will just be
best seconds returned.

J Ash Gamble
Ft Myers, Florida,

Friday, 29 April 2016


Health professionals
keep on dispensing advice
like they are filling a quota

take this supplement
this one will boost you
so the first ten minutes
of my day is an exercise
in pill swallowing

I buy special devices
to arrange them, imagining
as I push each down
a day added to the calendar.

Alan Inman,
New York, NY

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


I still find pieces
you left behind, small
memories captured in
still life photographs,
a strand there, a filament
here, evidence that you
filled this space, even
though you have moved
on to other plains.

Camille Clark,
Atlanta, Georgia,

Monday, 25 April 2016


Let me be
your solid protection
your lead blanket
your heartless wonder

let me be
the ground you stand
on, and the rain
that pelts down,
baptizes you in spring

let me be
your history, your
personal tragedy,
your vestment,
an armament, let me
be your childhood
makeshift fortress.

Nate Maye,
Texas, US

Sunday, 21 February 2016

One Old Gigolo Counsels Another

You take care now, Harold, 
and don't slip on the ice
looking for a good bookstore
on the streets of Chicago.

Print is dead, Harold,
and it's being waked 
in empty bookstores.
Soon all bookstores

will be dead, Harold,
and then you will have 
no good reason 
to go out on the ice. 

At our age, Harold,
ice can be lethal
so take my advice
and do as I do:

Walk head down 
even if there's no ice 
so you can avoid 
not only the ice 

but also the women 
disgruntled with men.
Believe me, Harold, 
they're out there 

armed with bumbershoots.
They prowl the streets now 
more than when we were 
young and dashing 

and making them angry.
They haven't forgotten us.
So for God's sake, Harold,
go out for a walk but

bundle up and take your cane 
and walk with your head down.
Do you believe in God, Harold? 
I hope you do because 

at our age, Harold, ice or a 
woman could be the chariot 
that takes us over the moon
faster than we'd like.

Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, USA and has had poems published in Ancient Heart Magazine and other publications in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Social Adaptation

In the 1950's
when a girl dumped a boy
he listened to sad songs,
forgot her by and by.

In the 1960's
when a girl dumped a boy
he smoked pot,
protested the war.

In the 1970's and '80's
when a girl dumped a boy
he got drunk,
demanded his ring.

In the 1990's
when a girl dumped a boy
he stalked her,
sometimes attacked her.

If the trend continues
of violent resentment
when a girl dumps a boy…

Gary Beck, 

Saturday, 23 January 2016

High Summer in the Country

Far from the city
way out in the country 
a hot afternoon in high summer

as we drive down a bumpy road 
bouncing one mail box past
another saluting

each farmer by name. 
We marvel at the giant corn 
until we come to a mail box

bent over an old table
piled high with tomatoes, 
green beans and melons.

A tin can slumps in front 
of this harvest with a note 
gripped by a clothes pin 

saying, “Take what you will 
and leave what you will. 
God blessed us this year.”

Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, USA and has had poems published in Ancient Heart Magazine and other publications in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Monday, 11 January 2016


a week ago
when the piercing clarity of the moon sang
graphite harmonies, sweeping across the silent hills
before we discovered that tiny, blotted bundle
of eternity in the field behind your house
before the piercing violence of your scream 
split the charcoal night
as you peeled back the hessian shroud
revealing a tiny face 
with eyes dreaming of forever.

Stuart Buck
Llanarmon DC