Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Late by Martha Christina

He wore
a leather jacket
at my father’s
and expense
at the little shop
below our hotel
on the Gran Via.

He was multi-lingual
but we spoke only Spanish
in the brief dream where
he was alive and well again.

Gracias, he said
(his accent, native)
to my father
to the tailor
to the clerk.

Then he took off the jacket,
draped it over my shoulders.
Gracias, I said. Tengo frío.

Martha Christina is a frequent contributor to Brevities. Longer work appears in Innisfree Poetry Journal, Naugatuck River Review, earlier postings of Red Eft Review, and most recently in Star 82 Review, and Crab Orchard Review. She has published two collections: Staying Found (Fleur-de-lis Press) and Against Detachment (Pecan Grove Press).

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Waiting by Richard Martin

Only this morning while waiting for the plumber
(who is always late, but always comes),
the thought came to me that waiting
is what I've been doing all my life –
waiting for my wife to return from town,
waiting for the bus, the train, the plane,
waiting for Christmas, for the year to end.

It's not that I wait for some great event,
a climactic experience, a life-changing moment –
I'm content that I don't wait for the shots to stop,
for the earthquake tremors and floods to cease,
or for the end of hopeless journeys on foot –
no, my waiting has been of the everyday kind.

Yet can it be that from the moment of birth
I've been waiting for the end, waiting for the moment
when someone closes my eyes and crosses himself?
No, indeed, my waiting is sitting in my armchair
looking out of the window at the trees and fields,
waiting for one more leaf to fall from the beech.

Richard Martin is an English writer who lives in the Netherlands close to the point where Belgium, Germany and Holland meet. After retiring as a university teacher in Germany, he turned his attention to writing, and has published three collections of poetry and numerous poems in magazines in England, the US, and Austria. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Watchers by Robert Demaree

By birth a Midwest Presbyterian
Not given to creeds,
He cheerfully went along
When he took a Methodist bride,
A daughter of the New South,
Still Protestant, more or less.
I grew up in the boarding school
Where he taught, one of his duties
Sunday worship in the ivied chapel,
Not Anglican but close,
Still Protestant, more or less.
Once, visiting my grandparents’ church,
The pastor invited us forward
To rededicate our lives.
Dad and I headed out the back door.
That church moved and changed with the times,
So that in retirement he was content
To spend the sermon counting
Blue shirts in the congregation
And smiling that sweet, distant smile.

I became a Presbyterian the same way,
The circle completed, unbroken, more or less.
I think of those blue shirts,
Of the creedal advice the young seminarian
Received: say just the parts you do believe.
And, as the offering is brought forward,
I sing different words to the tune of the doxology:
Vigiles et sancti, ye watchers and ye holy ones,
The words we sang at The Hill School,
In Pennsylvania,
In 1955.

Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders, published in June 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club, and have appeared in over 150 periodicals. A retired educator, he resides in Wolfeboro, N.H. and Burlington, N.C. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Loneliness by Ben Rasnic

is not the state
          of being alone;
is most often felt
   swallowed up
           by smothering crowds
   of humanity
          or at a family reunion
where it becomes
           painfully obvious
you have nothing
       in common
with even your own kin
             or sometimes                                                                                     
it manifests
      while in bed
              with the wife drooling
on the pillow case                                                           
and making guttural noises
as you lie quietly,
                  patiently, painfully
     so as not to disturb
            the tenuous slumber
                  that usually follows
a ridiculously,

Ben Rasnic currently resides in Bowie, Maryland. Author of four published collections (three available from amazon.com), Ben's poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.