2 Poems by Donna Pucciani

The Age of Aquarius

Merely a mote in a sunny window,
hippiedom has vanished, leaving only 
a memory of bell-bottomed starshine.

In youth we celebrated love
and nakedness, our slick bodies
lithe and sweating as we danced
in Woodstock mud.

We rose up, bathed in primeval slime, 
to recreate ourselves, a new Genesis.
Sucked into the future, we’ve gone
from one war to another, jungle to desert. 
Madness, not peace, guides the planets, 
though pot’s now legal and computers
save trees. California’s burning,
Miami sinks into the sea, and hate
steers the stars. 

Now we drink the moonshine
of old age, those of us who survive
in the twilight.

What’s needed is a burial mound,
a bog in which to deposit our bones,
to be discovered eons hence by a farmer
cutting peat for the hearth of her cottage
thatched with cosmic straw, wondering
who is this creature preserved in acid,
a tanned leather visage, a woman like herself,
mud-dancer, star-gazer.


We Sit and Watch

Years ago, archaic projectors
flashed home movies, the ancient
tap dance of children running in backyards 
or blowing out candles—until the ribbon 
of film ran out, crackling as it fishtailed.

Then came slide projectors holding 
memories in carousels that clicked 
and circled the decades. And tonight, 
after magic wrought by a big box store,
a smart tv plays discs, already obsolete.

The decades swim before us 
like extinct fish as we identify this cousin,
that friend, mostly dead except  
the babies, now all grown up and living afar,
houses bought and sold, clothing laughable, 
hair ridiculous, but at least, still there.

You say to me, after half an hour,
how sad you are at the faces long gone, 
the youthful bodies now old or worse. 
We pop out the discs from the machine 
that can still read them, still prick us 
with souvenirs of endless vacations, 
eternal youth. We ask ourselves

who would want it now, the playback,
or after we we’re gone, and who’d want
the photo albums where glue has long since
dried up to scatter our lives 
among the brittle pages. 


Donna Pucciani, a Chicago-based writer, has published poetry worldwide in Shi Chao Poetry, Poetry Salzburg, The Pedestal, ParisLitUp, Voice and Verse, Agenda, Journal of Italian Translation, and other journals. Her seventh and most recent collection of poetry is EDGES.

LITTORAL CHANT by Jose Joel Robles

A plash at a distance
as I mended the nets;
ripples kissed the strips 
on the boat’s floats.

Neither hums nor psalms
echoing from the coast;
the lyrics were turned
yet the blend was tuned.

Curbed murmured at the close—
a modulated treble
similar to the chirps
with the weensy wheezes.

The voices came out
after they opened their mouths,
their tongues convulsed
before they doused.

They were naked above
and the limbs were unseen;
tousled hair covered the face
of this covert chorus.



While teaching Religious Studies to senior high students at Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan in the Philippines, Jose Joel Robles loves to write poems and stories.  As a husband and a father of one, he utilizes some of his spare time for writing. His published pieces appeared in Teach. Write.Anak Sastra 47, 50-word stories, and Organic Ink: Volume 5 by Dragon Soul Press (forthcoming).

3 Poems by Eileen Patterson

Winter 1994

Snowflakes cry on the rooftops as I dial 911
and sirens sing the blues on Jefferson St.
while my daughter would not leave my hip. 3:45 a.m.
the skeleton that was her father bangs
on the door vile, like a winter storm, wild
words flow out of his mouth breaking my courage
and almost the door.
Snowflakes that graze the top of crow’s 
heads perch on telephone wires while old
Mary Pintarro is thrown off her porch and lay
on the cement the side of her face cracked
like a porcelain doll.
Snowflakes listen as my neighbor screams
and blood drips from her mouth making red
snow angels on the ground.
Snowflakes dance at my window as I entertain
a male guest. “Maybe you’ve heard about this,”
he said. “I did not.” I reply. “It was a summer
years ago, two buddies and I. An old lady down
the street.” He points his hand lean, beautiful,
and dark as a Hershey Kiss.
“We were high on drugs. They raped and killed her.
One stuck a broom up her snatch. I didn’t do a thing.”
he said. “But took her money and some old coins.”
He didn’t do a thing, I thought, as his tongue slips into
my mouth while snowflakes dance at my window.


Lay These Bones Down

Can I rest these bones now?
The body weakened wasting the salt of my body
in this unforgiving world.
This frail frame draws the blinds where the sun
peers through and burns me with its life,
Billy Holiday her voice turning and turning
sadly says,
“it ain’t no one’s business if you do.”  
Plath chimes in agreement,
“but be still as you can, don’t knock anything over.”
Sexton says, “Open the vein let the blood ring like roller skates. “
I listen to their words and turn my back
on everything. My hopeless hands carry
these half-baked words on this useless piece
of paper.
So I lay these bones down,
put them in the earth.
Let the tombstone be the face
to talk to, visit, blame.
Lay these bones down
let the earthworms and beetles
seduce me with their earthy charms.
Let the fronds of the willow fan
the hot bones till they chill, frozen white
soundless in the ground.


Heroes

Heroes come and heroes go.
No one stops to pick me up
from this broke down life.
I wait for the winged hero angel
to notice me.
As I sit on the sidelines of life
waiting for the road to rescue,
I stray from the righteous path
of reality. I journey deep into
the woods of fancy invention.
This is where I matter, my words
powerful poetry. Music notes glide,
as I waltz in my white dress,
on the shiny black floor.
The audience stares, awestruck
wondering who the poem is that glides,
gracefully and in tune with the music.


Eileen Patterson was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She now resides in Cudahy, Wisconsin and belongs to The Southshore Poets. Along with her fellow poets she has read her poetry at the Cudahy Library several times. She is moved by the poetry of Anne Sexton, Marge Piercy, Sharon Olds and many more poets.