October 2014 Issue- Week 3

October 19, 2014

 

Enjoy this months issues 1 & 2 before this!

Narcissus_Christopher Woods

‘Narcissus’ by Christopher Woods

Chris said that horses are often afraid of their own reflection.

Christopher Woods is a writer, teacher and photographer who lives in Texas. He has published a novel, THE DREAM PATCH, a prose collection, UNDER A RIVERBED SKY, and a book of stage monologues for actors, HEART SPEAK. His photographs can
be seen in his gallery – http://christopherwoods.zenfolio.com/

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The Reclaimed Dogs

Our family deals in discarded dogs,
all wagging tails and toothy grins
and wide watching eyes.
When the coyotes howl at the moon
our little pack offers them a response –
a warbling stalemate, a cold war on a cold night.
The beginning of summer is heralded
by handfuls of dog wool
pulled out by metals combs and loving hands,
and summer is over
when big beds of hay beckon to creatures
bred for the arctic.
In the fall not a berry or crabapple escapes them.
Not even falling pecans are safe.
They know what fire is, and how
hot dogs and marshmallows are sometimes nearby.
In the spring, when life is blooming,
see four dogs on a perpetual Easter egg hunt.
Horses watch with weary glances, only half interested.
I know the seasons by fur
and hunts
and berries
and hay,
by the twitch of a nose and the wag of a tail,
because my family deals in discarded dogs.

Virginia “Jena” McLaurin– Originally from Georgia, Virginia “Jena” McLaurin is of Eastern Cherokee and European descent. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in the Anthropology Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a primary interest in stereotypes of Native American peoples. Virginia finds inspiration for her poetry in issues she has faced since childhood – difficult subjects such as identity and misconceptions of Native people – but also from nature, her family, and her work with Native communities and especially Native youth. She aspires to write poems that reflect both the difficulties of being Native as well as the beauty and depth of Native cultures, and she hopes that her poetry inspires readers to reflect on their own family heritage and cultures.

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GLEANING

by Dawn Schout

She searches the ravaged,
muddy field, the broken
stalks, red cobs stripped
of kernels. The black
cat follows. She has to go
out further than normal. Corn
is harder to find this year.
The husks she expects
to find full are empty.
Time is against her, the sun
a rotting pumpkin, sinking
behind leafless trees.
She is ready to give
up searching when
something rolls under her black
boot. She rips
off the dried, freckled
husk, the silk,
wet from muddy water.
Gold greets her.

Dawn Schout’s poetry has appeared in more than 50 publications, including *Cowboy Poetry Press*, *Dagda Publishing*, *Poetry Quarterly*, *Red River Review*, and *Tipton Poetry Journal*. She was nominated for Best of the Net in 2013. Her debut poetry collection, *Wanderlust*, is scheduled to be published in January 2015 by WordTech Editions.

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CRACKED

He finally died of heat prostration;
old desert rat lived in a shack 52 years
before a simple sprain led to a short fall
onto a midsized rock that broke
a thin hip riddled with Osteoporosis
and he goes from rat to snake in a desperate crawl
in search of away from the sun
with tiny cacti for water but nothing for shade
except his old imagination that finally wandered
back to childhood in the Twin Cities moving
Minneapolis to St. Paul to Minneapolis
and so on winter by dark, white winter
until even barely breathing baked dust and sand
he still remembers the frostbite of childhood
and graces the canyon with one final, cracked smile.

Hubert Hix was born and raised in Oklahoma. His Grandfather Hix moved there as a teenager around the time of the land rush. He now lives in Minnesota. Recent publications include poems in Lilliput Review, Under the Basho, and Right Hand Pointing.

June Issue- Week 2

June 10, 2013

Drinking With the Angels

I don’t claim to be an angel

But I know

I’ll be drinking with the angels when I go

Now, I’m not claiming to be free of sin, nor pure

But there’s one thing that I know for certain sure,

When my time is up here’s what I plan to do:

Before I go I’m gonna have a drink or two

I’ll have a short one for the road, then one for you

I’ll have a chaser for my friends

And maybe while

My elbow bends

I’ll raise a toast to Mom and one to dear old Dad

And when that’s gone I’ll maybe pour me just a tad

To toast the gone, forgotten times

Then, as the midnight hour chimes

I’ll stand the house a round or three to say goodbye

Before I head out to that Big Bar in the Sky

Now, where I’m going, well there ain’t no closing time

And all the spirits in those bottles are sublime

And every hour is happy hour

The angels toast each meteor shower

And the tab you’re running’s stamped Eternity

So pardon me

If I don’t claim to be an angel

But I know

I’ll sure be drinkin’ with the angels

I’ll be drinkin with the angels when I go

Judith Mesch reads like a fish drinks, total immersion, that is, from an early age through a late and lingering adolescence, and wrote feverishly through my teens. Then I stopped writing, stopped reading very much, too, for decades until a few years ago when I started writing bits and pieces, then some light verse, a couple of short stories a little flash fiction.  I have two children’s stories epublished on Amazon for Kindle and on Smashwords by Twenty or Less Press.  They are actually kind of country, “The Strange and Wonderful Cornfield” and A Circle of Frogs”.  I had a few pieces published in ezines and a children’s poem in Off The Coast Journal.

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Scars

by Dawn Schout

The rough

spot on my knee

from when I fell off

my first pony

onto gravel after taking

a corner too fast.

A thin, pale line

above my elbow

where my horse kicked me

on my bare skin.

A darkened line on the edge

of my cuticle

where Destiny stepped

on my toe before he died,

the pain remaining

after he’s gone.


Furrowed Sky

by Dawn Schout

Long rows of clouds look ready for planting.

If plowed by constant gusts

of wind, stars will start to push through.

************

Prospectin’
You slimy ol’ scoundrel!
Keep comin’ after me
I dare ya! I double dare ya!
You sleazy ol’ geezer
Tryin’ to rope and outwit me
And my buddies
You got a few of ‘em and
I’m still mad as hell
There ain’t no forgivin’
I’m gonna kick your teeth in
And give your arse some scars
You relentless sucker!
I hate your pigeon liver guts
And yer billy goat tenacity
(Learned me that word
From a preacher in a camp once)
Keep comin’ after me
Like them spikes in a gear
Back to back pot shots
Missed again! Ha!
You squirrely varmint
Y’ almost got me this time!
I reckon you’ll catch up with me
One day
Until then, piss on you…Death!

 Denise Janikowski-Krewal was born on the south-side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised with a blue-collar upbringing. Her varied work background includes years of writing technical correspondence. She is passionate about storytelling and researching genealogy. Please check out her official website at: The Lost Beat http://denisejanikowskikrewal.webs.com/More of her poetry is available on the lost beat blog

December- Week 3

December 20, 2012

SONY DSC

Elizabeth Akin Stelling, Managing Editor- CPP traveled to Hawaii this past fall with a quest to find Polynesian Cowboys, and that she did. A chef and poet and sometime photographer her poetry and photography has been published in Referential Magazine, Tuck, Linden Lit Press, Curio, and many others. (photo taken on south side of the big island of Hawaii).

Fat and Sassy

He laughed when he said

I like my women like my horses

Fat and sassy.

I answered

A little hunger’s not a bad thing.

He said, nah

Fat and sassy’s the way to be.

His wife pointed to her geldings

Turned out together in the arena.

The chestnut with the white blaze and two white socks

And the brown with a little star

Kicking up their heels

In a lively

Dusty

Horse dance.

Aren’t they marvelous creatures

She breathed into the wind.

The most marvelous in all god’s creation.

I leaned on the fence

And I watched with her

And I kissed my mare

On her velvet nose

How a woman does love her horse.

 

Riding Lessons

When I was a girl

I rode horses.

Beneath me

Muscle

Sinew

Coarse hair

Sweat

Horse musk.

Now I am a woman

And I ride young

With equal vigor.

Julia Barrett grew up in rural Iowa. She’s married to the love of her life. They have three amazing children. She’s a writer of poetry and prose, a Registered Nurse and a trained pastry chef. Julia loves to travel and she’s visited or lived in all fifty states. You
will usually find her hiking with her dog or riding her horse. If she’s at home, she’s cooking, baking or writing books. Julia can be reached via twitter: @JuliaRBarrett or her website: http://juliarachelbarrett.net or her Amazon Author page: *http://tinyurl.com/czph8lu*

August Issue- Week 2

August 6, 2012

Landscapes

Never did I dare to dream of deserts,
how they, too, collect things
and arrange them into collages:
Red pebbles mistaken for grass,
cacti growing in hardened earth
not on big box store shelves,
brazen palms touching the sky
without a sea in sight,

and trees I could never name
more glorious than magnolia and pine
who dare to show winter what it means
to be alive.

Telly McGaha is a native Kentuckian who fell in love with the Southwest after visiting Texas and Arizona. His work has appeared in Assaracus, Vox Poetica, Referential Magazine, and Vwa: Poems for Ayiti. His flash fiction, Patches, was the 2008 Hayward Fault Line Competition winner and appeared in Doorknobs & Body Paint.

***

Picket

He saw someone
do this in a movie. Wants
to try. She obliges.
Saddle shifts to the left
when he pulls
himself up onto the horse.
She hands him his guitar.
He strums,
looking intently at the strings,
pudgy fingers lost
in them. She stays
on the ground. Even the horse
seems confused, reins
draped at his sides.
Lowers his neck to graze.

She gave
him what he wanted.
All he sees
is the old, plain
guitar he doesn’t know
how to play.
It’s like she’s not there anymore.

She walks to the barn,
climbs to the hay bale closest
to the rafters,
her hair just below
spider webs, ideas weaving
in her head.
He’s not there anymore.
There are horses, acres
of lush, green pastures, picket
fences to keep crazy men out.

Dawn Schout’s poetry has appeared in more than two dozen publications, including *Fogged Clarity*, *Glass: A Journal of Poetry*, *Muscle & Blood Literary Journal*, *Pemmican*, *Poetry Quarterly*, *Red River Review*, and *Tipton Poetry Journal*. She won the B.J. Rolfzen Memorial Dylan Days Writing Contest, the Lucidity Poetry Journal Contest, and the Academy of American Poets’ Free Verse Project. She lives near Lake Michigan.

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Western short stories, heritage and trail recipes.

The Blank Page

Confronting Writer's Block