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Speaking in Hands
Every time I leave home
the words love you tie up
her tongue. So instead
my mother speaks with hands.
She stands in her bedroom
window, watching me walk
down Bramble Walk road,
and she waves. I look back,
see her blurring form between
the curtains, a ghostly hand
fluttering, and I wave back
all the way to the bottom of the road.
Every time we separate for school
for work, for holidays, for another
country and not returning
for years, I look back and there
she is waving, waving until
tall meadow grasses, old elm trees,
the bend in the road breaks
our bond. Still, she is waving,
a strangely shy little songbird,
her hands speaking more
than her mouth can manage.
Matthew James Friday © 2017
Matthew James Friday has had over 60 poems published in many UK and worldwide magazines and journals, including, recently: The Brasilia Review (Brazil), Drawntreader (UK), New Contrast (South Africa), Sheila Na-Gig (USA) and Poetry Salzburg (Austria). Website: http://matthewfriday.weebly.com/
* * *
Cover: Author's backyard, stylized
And just like that, summer comes to a close.
My kids are back in school, leaving me and
the dog wandering around the house in
abject confusion, wondering what to do
with these great swaths of time that were
previously spent making sandwiches and
chasing errant tennis balls through the
house. No matter how tiny a house is,
it always feels massively cavernous
once one is the only human left behind
to guard it.
Holly Day © 2017
Cover from the web
April 29 Watsonville, CA
It is drunk, it is noise, it is a choir of angels singing
of Elijah and the devil dancing at the gates of Eden.
You carry it well sister, you hide the simple truth in
the rumble of your body. It’s getting late; let me fall
asleep in the shadows on your naked white throat,
wake to the scent of inevitability on your lips.
Alex Stolis © 2017
Poems in Postcards from the Knife-Thrower are from an unpublished full length manuscript by Alex Stolis. He used the Al G. Barnes Circus Route from 1934 which began its season March 31 in San Diego, made a circuit through the US and Canada and ended the season October 29 in El Centro, Ca. Each part of this series consists of one month from the season, April-July. The intention is for the work, as a whole, to be a narrative; a novella in chapbook/prose form.
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Cover: "Azteca" by Helen Burke
SMALL WORLD MADE LARGE
Lying on the pond's edge,
I get so low, so focused,
that the Jesus bugs
walking deftly across the water
legs long and hydrophobic,
no sinking here,
a miracle knows its place.
swollen to the size of whales,
lost in their own reticence.
And here comes a dragonfly,
of such glistening color,
it brings my eyes to heel.
I am motionless, silent, and fascinated.
The miniscule is gigantic.
My magnitude gracefully gets out of its way.
John Grey © 2017
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. His work has appeared in Poem, Spindrift, Tribeca Poetry Review, the horror anthology, “What Fears Become”, Potomac Review, Hurricane Review and Pinyon. His work has also appeared in Old Red Kimono, Alimentum, South Carolina Review, The Pedestal, Prism International, Big Muddy, Slant, Southern California Review and Natural Bridge with work upcoming in the Kerf, Leading Edge and Louisiana Literature.
The only answer I know
is to be astonished.
The world is spinning,
bones seed the ground,
there are mists of clouds
you can touch if you're standing
on a mountaintop.
Isn't that enough?
Step outside into the slow revolve.
Every day is strewn with mysteries.
Susan Moorhead © 2017
Susan Moorhead's recent work includes a short story in The Westchester Review and poems in Heartwood and Woman Around Town, Breadcrumbs, and Poems-for-All. Her chapbook, The Night Ghost, was published with Finishing Line Press. She's been nominated three times for a Pushcart prize.
* * *
What I can see
The cloud breaks,
a blinding white.
The new day is gentle –
from the corner of my vision I see the track
glistening against an imprint of green.
I could run to that edge,
merge into a shadowed impression of the hills,
I could run like a woman alive.
Isabelle Kenyon © 2017
Isabelle Kenyon is a graduate in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance from the University of York. Her poems have been published in many anthologies, such as Inkyneedles and the Great British Write Off. She received third place in the Langwith Scott Award for Art and Drama. Visit her website, flyonthewallpoetry.co.uk and find her chapbook, This is not a Spectacle, on Amazon (link embedded in title.)
Before You Go
Notice this light
filling in the empty spaces.
Notice the tracks in fresh snow
are not human, but
they are heading towards home.
Notice, the quiet has stopped here,
facing the cloudless sky,
simple as a room without furniture.
Notice: no one answers when called.
Experiences like this happen
without even trying, and then,
night wakes up, opens a door,
trying to catch up with those tracks
before they disappear into new snow,
before the woods enter into us.
Martin Willitts Jr © 2017
Martin Willitts Jr is exceptional and exceptionally prolific. He has won the 2012 Big River Poetry Review’s William K. Hathaway Award ; 2013 Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest; 2013 “Trees” Poetry Contest; 2014 Broadsided award; 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Contest; and, Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June 2015, Editor’s Choice. See his OPP bio page for more of his microchaps or Amazon, etc.
Sandra is a child of Peace and Love
Sandra is five foot two.
Sandra is fierce, like Boadicea.
We are on our way to Knebworth in an old jiloppy,
my red hat is floppy and I’ve got sandals on
and we’ve got joss sticks in the van.
Joni Mitchell is playing in the park,
we’ve borrowed keith’s van and we’re off
to Knebworth for a lark.
Sandra works at Woolies - plastic roses care of Daz
decorate her hair. If you can remember Sandra in
the sixties you probably were not there .
Me – I’m a rebel in my leopard skin pill box hat
and Sandra – she’s a child of Peace and Love.
I’ve been selling Oz magazine in High Street again,
I’m a student, I’m a rebel, when they call at my
door – me mam’s packed me sandwiches,
I said I’ll be home by four – I’ve got a dahlia in my
hair – if you can remember me and Sandra –
you just so were not there –
me I’m a rebel, quintessential psychedelic,
and Sandra, she’s a child of peace and love.
Helen Burke © 2017
(Read the entire poem on Helen's OPP page)
Helen Burke is a prolific poet, artist, overall creative being from the UK. Her latest major collection, today the birds will sing, is available from Valley Press UK & Amazon.
each hilltop waved with flowered grasses
while sun coaxed music from bird and wind
nomad herdsmen, dogs, furred horses,
sheep, and goats, and sometimes cows
children play, long summer shadows,
berries hiding, lush on stems,
bees and butterflies, finding golden
pollen, for honey, and silk-thread cocoons
yurts move, felt walls easily folded,
easily patched if winds come peering through,
wooden framework guarding night dreams,
rugs for floor, clouds and clear skies above
lower down, farmers mow grass
food for herds’ long cold winter months
barns and houses have sturdy walls
but I would not trade them
for the stars and sun of summer hills
I used to count
steps as I ran
it drove me crazy
'til I began to carry an iPod
Now I count cars
that pass me
and dog walkers
and those only walking
I texted my
grandson one morning
with an animal count
one black-and-white dog
one brown, a rabbit and a deer
When I do my
I count reps of
my stretches but
that is normal, right?
Renee Butner © 2017
Most recently Renee Butner has been published in Piedmont Plus Senior Games, Jonah Magazine, Sheila-Na-Gig, Haiku Journal, and Failed Haiku and is a member of the NC Haiku Society and Winston-Salem Writers. Visit her OPP bio page and her website: www.reneebutner.wordpress.com
We number our days
Tally the hours
Count down the miles
Love in unequal measures.
Seven ways to say
I love you. Seven more
I keep to myself.
Julia Klatt Singer © 2017
When not writing poetry, Julia Klatt Singer is the poet in residence at Grace Nursery School. – Learn more at her bio page here.
* * *
Until the day that all the stars collapse
upon themselves in clouds of light and dust
(or raise their fissile mushroom heads, perhaps),
as quantum physics proves what physics must—
Until on Earth the oceans split and flood
the poles as if old Moses bade them to,
and cities lie awash in salty blood—
I’ll bide my time and concentrate on you.
Apocalyptic visions slip and slouch
through history to leave us in their wake,
but not a damnéd one, in truth, can vouch
for Truth. Imagination fails. Forsake
the future, then, for this—the day we share
with atoms that bombard the very air!
Claude Clayton Smith © 2017
This is the second microchap collection by Claude Clayton Smith.
Several poems in this microchap are due the author's grateful acknowledgments (see microchap's back page).
Until, Nuclear Impact, Shabda Press anthology, 2017. 1st Place, American Aesthetic Sonnet Competition, 2016. Out of Sequence: The Sonnets.
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See 'Recent Books' for a more complete listing
We lost a dear friend and special supporter of the OPP this month,
Kate Vivian, Narragansett Towers' Event Coordinator. Through her generosity we were able to host annual readings at the Towers with no admission charge.
Kate's one stipulation was that Tom Chandler, Poet Laureate of RI Emeritus, headline the readings.
Our heartfelt sympathy to Kate's family and friends and to the poetry community.
Thrilling that all is up. About to mail out to everyone on the planet that I've ever met :)
It looks wonderful! Thank you very much, I appreciate the time and care you take with my work. I think the cover works perfectly as well.
I love your philosophy and making of tiny books. I was also tickled to see one of my painting on the bar of books when I went to your website. (The girl on the cover of Alex Stolis's book). Thank you for considering my work. And now I'm about to walk my dog, Otis. He'll be happy about that.
Julia Klatt Singer
I would like to make sure that it is okay for us to use the PDF printables and hold a "pay it forward" in the library. So, our teens would fold the PDF's that we print off and pass them out to customers or leave them in the 800's poetry stacks for customers to take at will. Thank you for the fabulous site and inspiration!
Sincerely, Christy M., Information Services Specialist
Columbus Metropolitan Library, Whitehall, OH
Received ten copies, all in a first class letter, and I am beyond delighted - will share my copies, including one to a Colorado poet/good friend with end-stage cancer (knowing he’ll love it). Well done, Jan Keough and The Editors, well done, indeed. Check 'em out, your poems could help change the world one micro-chapbook at a time!
|• Poets' group in Lincoln, NB||• Wildflour Artisan Bakery & Cafe, Decatur, IL|
|• Cafe 164 at Leeds Gallery & at Cafe in York, UK||• Self-stocked libraries in RI|
♦ Due to the widening perimeter of the Origami Poems Project we are hard pressed to replenish the many locations that have previously visited the (primarily) RI locations. We are happy to send a sampling of chapbooks for a display but cannot "stock" them on an ongoing basis. We are grateful for your understanding. If you wish to volunteer to support a location, please ask... origamipoems(at)gmail(dot)com ♦
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