- Franceye, Again – Mary Getlein
- The Rapture That Never Was – Hal Bogotch
- The Last of the Oil – Jim Smith
- No More – Howard Minkin
- The Age of the Jacaranda Trees – Krista Schwimmer
I thought I saw Franceye on the #3 bus.
I was at Venice and Lincoln,
Hey! I wanted to shout –
I’m writing poems now, like you –
She goes – yeah, I know, it’s fun, huh?
just relax and let it happen –
like they used to say about rape –
They thought that was funny or something –
– and I went in a bookstore yesterday –
by the AERO Theatre
and there was no computer in the whole place
and they were talking books, Franceye –
It ain’t over yet –
People still talk about books –
“told you so, didn’t I?”, she said
just try to enjoy it –
relax and poems will come right down to you
yeah, you’re a loner and you don’t talk so much –
but you’re thinking all the time –
and remember the universal answer to any annoying question –
don’t take any wooden nickels, kid
but where are you going Franceye?
I’m off to see the Wizard –
I’m chasing the Light, just like I did when I was
just do what suits you –
and the hell with the rest of it –
She was gone –
and I was on my way home.
The Rapture That Never Was
Right in front of her eyes, those wide emerald windows
mountain roads strung out and wound down
to this valley of voices, lifted
as songs and psalms, chanted
fade and recede in symbolic gestures
leaving the moon
and a short stack of flat rocks
on the dirt shoulder
what comes to pass
in empty bowl of lovers’ cupped hands
who is left to notice
when no one disappears
fingers to her lips
a hint of astringent olive oil there
an endless oval
reminiscent of Indianapolis
two vehicles, locked in embrace
frozen pump, icy well, yellow plastic bucket
she watches, she breathes.
The Last of the Oil
By Jim Smith
Oil is the white man’s buffalo.
He thinks it will last forever.
But once millions of buffaloes
trod the prairies.
The People of the Land
culled the sick and the slow
but left alone the thundering herds.
Then the invaders from the morning sun
came and, without a care, slaughtered
down to the last buffalo.
About that time, they found a new buffalo
A black sticky goo under the earth
that made their cars go
that made their weapons of war go
and shrank the world
from months to days to hours.
They sent their armies
to capture all the oil in the world
and there they killed without a care
as if they were the buffalo.
Now the goo is almost gone
Soon the cars will be parked,
the airplanes will fall from the sky,
the tanks will creak to a halt,
the pirates of oil will scatter.
The sun and the wind
will bring us power
and the world will grow again
and become wondrous and exotic.
And just perhaps the buffalo will return
By Howard Minkin
No more angry depressions
No more black holes
No more dark moods, (somber, unsmiling and heavy;
(barren of joy, of mirth).
No more poetry spouting righteous anger and
fist waving condemnation of other’s wrongdoings:
No more turning back from finding you –
I am your true lover, you know,
and know where I shall find you:
Not in the past and pain where I’ve dwelled and strayed
But here in this moment, this now – begin our etenal love affair.
We meet here – in this last place; in this last moment
Possessed by that which I allow to own me
I grab hold of your love
AND LOVE YOU
Imperfect as I am
The Age of the Jacaranda Trees
I want to live
in the Age of the Jacaranda Trees –
not the Age of Aquarius
not the Age of Horus
not the Age of Kali Yurga
not the Age of Capitalism
not the Age of Technology –
no, just the Age
of the Jacaranda Trees.
In this Age
we will all stroll
underneath the amethyst blossoms
of her soul.
We will count
the squirrels, the pigeons,
the earthworms, the clouds,
the wind, and the stones
amongst our friends
inviting them to stay a while
in the small burrows
we call home.
Gone will be
the somber buddha
tired under his bodhi tree –
the sad hanging christ
on his wooden cross –
even the blue mary’s
and many-armed goddesses –
there will be
no need to hunt
the Bin Laden Men
because there will be
no Terror –
only rocks speaking to us
water singing songs to us
and our hearts
turning over and over again
renewed like fallow land
as we walk and sleep and love
under the jacaranda trees.