To view all poems, writings and art from the Nov. 2012 reading, click on the words "Older Posts" at the bottom on this page on the right.

Abstract, Colleen Ferratier
The Day the Sky Fell

They stood
like silver sentries
against the bright
September sky
helpless to stop
the deadly darts that
their girded ribs.




People fled the fire
a wretched, gaping hell
and leapt
like wingless angels in
vain escape,
Made manikins of flesh
 buried in
a patchwork
mound of glass

And died—

Now two empty spaces
mar the skyline.
We clutch our security
like a cardboard shield
and long for that  safe haven
we once believed in
Before the sentries exploded
and the sky fell.

Sandra Kuizin McKenna

The Birth of Time in Color, Debbie Megginson

Painting Short Story
A sharp cry of fury pierces the quiet atmosphere of the public housing complex. Neighbors from almost a block away can hear incoherent statements of rage and disgust. However, they seldom hear the sounds of violence. One would have to linger just outside the door to get an inkling of the bloody noses, busted lips, ripped shirts, pulled hair, bruised skin, or reddening flesh punctuated with shouts of “I don’t hate you; I hate your action” or” you’re going to end up just like your father rotting in cell.” Even “say you’re sorry, say you’re sorry or else” or “If you got it so bad why don’t you call DCF and have them take you away.”
Though the statements varied and the violence was different it always ended the same. The young boy locked in his little room watching the world spinning on without him. No books, no games, no hint of fun allowed, or the ire of the matriarch would be incited and more violence would ensue. Only homework, bible, and sleep were allowed. Some days dark moments of despair would creep in. The little boy would eye the electric socket with curiosity and desperation. Thinking that all it would take is a butter knife. Jab that in there and this would be over.
Sometimes he would grab the blanket, crumpling it together till it formed a hill then trace the strange pathways around the cover like his index finger was a car, or imagine his route of escape from this silent prison. Other times he would lie on his back still as death only breathing. In and out, in and out over and over again till his body felt as though it was moving with the tides of an unseen ocean. On rare occasion if only for a minute or two he could almost feel his body recede and his consciousness float up and away. What a strange thing for an eleven year old to experience.
 At night in order to fall asleep he would imagine himself with his favorite fictional heroes, saving the world, and being part of their family, accepted and loved. After an hour or so of strange heroic and familial fantasy the boy would slip into the safest place he knew. Daring to dream, reality would fold in upon itself. Spheres of varying color, overlapping and blending would float through his unconscious world. Space dust and sparkling stars urging him on into the strange void. Even the blinking explosions of dying star sucking greedily at his ethereal essence seamed a sweet relief from the daily nightmares of life.
In the midst of this mosaic wonder there was a perfect peace. He could softly surrender the darkest moments of the day. Bubbles of light would gently cradle him in their warm and wet reassurances. He could almost believe this was heaven. There were no loud or sudden movements of fury, there were no bruises or busted lips, only the sweetest freedom.
Waking, that world of wonder would retreat into the clotted corners of his already anxious mind. Until, their comfort and wonder became only impressions, which were eventually swallowed by the day. A day that would be spent pissing in a plastic cup or just draining himself on the vomit green carpet to avoid being yelled at or beaten for leaving his room.
From the window, he watched his peers play unhindered by the dark shadows that seemed to linger in every corner of his home. Sometimes he envied them, other times he found himself furious with them, laughing gleefully at the thunderstorms which interrupted their play time. Still when sleep released him to his playful peace there was just enough joy to sustain him, just enough happiness to get him through the day till the dreams would come again. Then again, inching ever closer to maturity, then to freedom of his flesh from the maternal bondage, then freedom of his mind much much later in life.
Now with the ease of an old friend he visits those wonders each night; sometimes waking in tears of gratitude and pain other nights waking with a sense of reinvigoration and determination. Each day a blank canvas to paint a better world upon, and each night a brighter adventure then the one before. 

Joshua Amos Graff

Job Conger and Artist Mike Delaney
We Wander!

So this will be the way we go:
We go to anywhere I know.
I know because my eager heart
     has told me so!

My sister is my friend; it's true.
It's true that life is all so new,
so new, and there is oh so much
     for us to see and do!

We'll take the road less traveled by.
By serendipity we shall fly.
Shall fly so sweetly, fleetly, as we wander far
     and nigh!
What will Fate choose for us years hence?
Years hence may temper young confidence.
Young confidence shuns grownups' fussy diligence.
And we shall dream, wandering free,
free, clownish,  cavorting, seekers 'til we . . .
'til we turn ten or maybe, let's say, seventy-three!

Job Conger

The Conductors, Kate Worman-Becker

Driving Through the Darkness
        eloquence … stimulates all the rest … Emerson

Driving through the darkness alone
evening waited for your words to fill it
like the parched night waited for wetness to scatter
the lights of the city onto everything—
puddles, pavement, metal, window-glass, signs.
I’m hearing echoes of phrases. Impressions of things said
a cadence, a statement that repeats in my head
loosing myself in the charge of street- and tail-light—
pulsing fragments that stir the ember city.

Clear now of clouds, the moon—
that perfect silver pond of elements—
pulls my eyes up to the sky.
I don’t want to stop looking at it.
Though the road begs for my attention,
it hangs in my black eyes. It connects straight to my heart.
But I must drive on through the darkness alone.

Alone at certain times the streets at night are straighter and longer,
lonelier, and yet a place of strange contentment.
In your car, you are like the Sadhu in his cave
a wise and a mad man with an emergency brake for staff
cup holder for water vessel, dash for alter
moonlight and fluorescent for ash.

But any vehicle is just a bed in motion—
a place to position your thoughts and head—
always trying to understand how you got there again
where you’re going and how fast you can get back
to work or idleness in the end.
We are all vessels spread out in the hollow of night
dreaming unaccompanied, birthing by oneself, dying on our own.

Without looking honestly through the dark
without feelings to fuel or connections to make—we are only corpses.
Do not deny the Bast that sits by your side.
Grab a portion of the moon and put it in your pocket
to pull out when the light is low.
Prod those stubborn genes when they resist.
Your illuminating words can, and do, move the night.

Anita Stienstra