Going to the Beach – Robert Watts
Skipping Stones – Mark Lipman
Until I Die – Jim Smith
Lobster Time – Hal Bogotch
My Neighbor Goes to the Zoo – Majid Naficy
Untitled #1 On Overlook Mountain – krista schwimmer
  • Going to the Beach – Robert Watts
  • Skipping Stones – Mark Lipman
  • Until I Die – Jim Smith
  • Lobster Time – Hal Bogotch
  • My Neighbor Goes to the Zoo – Majid Naficy
  • Untitled #1 On Overlook Mountain – krista schwimmerGoing to the Beach – Robert Watts

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Going to the Beach

By Robert Watts

Going to the beach with Jim

we’ll pack our bikes

and drive to the beach.

It’s a sunny summer day

just right for a ride.

Along the concrete pathway

that runs thru the sand

and look at all the funny characters

and listen to a band.

They’re playing on the peer

for all to hear

A Jamaican reggae party

in the western hemisphere

Venice Beach is the place to be

Greta’s place is a sight to see

just a few blocks from the deep blue see

she’ll keep us company

Her place is like a museum

Her bike is a masterpiece

A rolling piece of art-work

To catch eyes on the boardwalk

The crowd is all there

Don’t be a square

Down there, is where

it’s at.

The palm trees blowing

in the breeze

The homeless people

with caked dirt

and wild-eyed looks

tattered clothes,

they’re free at last.

The fresh pure air

from across the sea

the stands selling tourist junk

and fresh lemonade

The wondering crowd

is a sight to sea

A cross-section of

humanity.

Skipping Stones

By Mark Lipman

Sitting along the Venice canals,

concrete opulence stands upon the foundations

of long ago hippie cottages

a crane strolls by carefully

imitating the long-legged strides of Fred Astair

past the no trespassing signs

and the wind blows in my hair.

Ducks search longingly,

their heads beneath the watery surface,

their tails up in the air,

for the scattered fragments of your love.

I understand what they’re going through.

Paradise in the orchid’s bloom

does not seem to be what it used to,

with a chainsaw rattling in your ear.

Gone the soft whispers of yesterday.

At least the bushes of sage

are not affected by the flip-flops of the mind.

They take everything in stride,

waiting patiently for you

to come full circle

back into my arms.

There I wait beneath the palms

at the crossroads of twilight and dawn

skipping stones along the water’s edge,

humming a song.

Until I Die

By Jim Smith

I’m tired of sittin around

in my gloom and doom

I’m tired of watchin that clock tell me

when I can have some fun

I’m bustin out

I’m runnin wild

I’m goin down to the Boardwalk

and agitate all day

I’m gonna swim in the sea

with the sharks and barracudas

I’m gonna stay out late

and party all night

I’m gonna sing and dance

and go into a trance

I’m gonna love that woman,

and that one too!

I’m gonna stand up to bullies

and take my lumps

I’m gonna learn all I can

about this big old world

I’m gonna roam around

and get to know you all

I’m gonna do things I never done

Maybe even write a poem

Then I’m gonna blow up that clock

And let us all go free

So let’s put away the weary blues

and Jump Up into the light!

Yes, I’m gonna live

until I die

Lobster Time

She wanted to take a closer look

At the lobsters in the tank

Critters unwittingly waiting to cook

Roll the dice, roll your eyes, draw a blank.

Their large claws secured with rubber bands

She really can see no escape

When time runs out like the hourglass sands

Your remains will be served in a crepe.

–Hal Bogotch


My Neighbor Goes to the Zoo


By Majid Naficy


My neighbor is going to the zoo

With her three grandchildren:

Mussa, who was born in Haifa

Of a Palestinian father and an Israeli mother,

Sees himself as the never-grown-up Peter Pan-

Sailing from the island of Neverland

With one eye green, one eye blue:

Gemini, a twin, who was born in America

And named after his father’s lost friend,

Has a moonlight face and a red robe

And sees himself as Casper, the friendly ghost

Returning from the land of martyrs;

And Zahra, who is one minute younger than her brother,

Has soft, golden hair

And sees herself as Alice from Wonderland

Looking for her lost rabbit everywhere.

They are going to the zoo

To visit the crocodiles of the Nile river

Who, everyday after lunch

Lay back on the pebbly shores

And leave their mouths open for hours

So their companion birds can clean

Their sharp teeth and gums,

And when they want to return to the water

The crocodiles gently close their mouths

Lest surprise

Their tooth-brushing plovers.

Having no faith in earthly paradise

And being accustomed to war and bloodshed

I panic from so much co-existence in nature

And unwillingly shout:

My neighbor! My fanciful neighbor!

Keep your grandchildren around your skirt

Lest the warring crocodiles

Roll their armored tanks

And the Iron-winged birds

Drop clusters of bombs

Over their heads.

Untitled #1

On Overlook Mountain

By krista schwimmer

After 17 years of mourning

i finally realize

your death was utterly meaningless.

There is no place to go from here

but down.

The well of my grief

is dank & dirty & full of vengeance.

And i am a demon awoken

wild & frenzied & hungry for blood.


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