I prefer quiet, early mornings.
A cup of tea and a good book.
These are the little things that
Remind me of life’s simple joys.
This is the feeling I’ve worked
Hard for, a feeling that I once
Thought was unattainable for me.
There was a time when
I thought that pure
Happiness didn’t exist.
And that the only constant
Was never ending pain.
I’d like to say those days
Are behind me but they
show up in different ways.
What keeps me going
Are moments like these.
(Bio: Phrieda is a writer and blogger. She has written poetry for years before making the decision to share her work with a wider audience.When she isn't writing, she loves exercising, getting lost in a good book, and binge watching television on the weekends. She takes inspiration from her own life and credits poetry in helping her find her voice.)
Girls’ Locker Room
Ninth grade gym
second class of the morning
stories escape tiled shower room,
floating with echoes of hot water against the flesh of young girls.
Air fills with stories of fresh encounters.
A taste of cherry coke
on a boyfriend’s tongue, naïve mark on neophyte neck.
How luscious to have red apple memories.
A first kiss, warm palm
trembling across newly emerging breasts.
I listen with aching envy,
face pressed so closely to open locker,
the reek of dirty socks and
tennis shoes coat my hair.
I long to burst from the stink of cover,
balance upon the stage of narrow, grimy bench
to reveal with anguished howl
how grit from a freeway underpass
scored the skin of my back
as I strained beneath the weight
of a dark-haired boy
with a red car
murmuring in darkness
he loved me,
but never came back.
The True Cost of Things
When I walked out on my second husband
at the real end of it,
I was rash enough to stand and simply watch him
slide down the wall
coming to rest on the pale kitchen floor,
fingers trembling and splayed
as if he feared sinking
deep into the linoleum.
Heart hard and dark as our blacktop driveway,
I gazed as he went slightly mad.
And watching him. And watching him I think,
“Good china. Dinette set. Car.”
And consider meeting my new lover for lunch.
Frantically working to avoid the brush of middle age,
I am busy with endless, useless errands, until
my eldest son comes home to introduce a lovely young woman.
Hand softly cupping her slim brown neck,
his eyes fill with fresh promise.
And watching him, and watching him,
I am frantic to lunge back in time.
Beg unearned mercy. Plead a gentle word.
Search, try, claw at anything,
feathers, bones, my own blood,
anything at all to ward away
this young woman’s shining ability
to melt my son to nothing
while considering what else she might do.
My first meal without you
by two shrimp, a nestled sacrifice,
whole shells, countless insect legs.
I would drop them on your plate,
uncomfortable with grotesque little bodies,
browned in oil and seasonings.
I risk a glance as other diners
dig away, burrowing meat
from cleft, thin casing.
I poke one bug body
curled like a new moon,
hiding from my poised fork.
Unaccompanied, even dinner is awkward.
With resolve, I play the part of any
nonchalant seeker of shrimp,
lobster stalker, crab connoisseur.
Grab the hapless finger-sized nubbins,
all garlic and pepper.
Discover ridged flesh juicy.
Worth the tricky push and pull
to deliver a bit of pink essence to my tongue--
I turn to the side, ready
to tell you of my adventure,
receive my reward.
Waiter, dark haired, young,
waits to pour more wine,
smiles as if I please him.
My hand raises, covering glass,
shoulders tight beneath new blue dress.
I bring another bite to my mouth.
This is when you would lick the butter from
Main course untouched,
I scrape black wooden chair
hustle out the door, clutching purse,
expecting to be robbed.
(Sharon Thompson struggles with generational Bipolar Disorder and childhood abuse. She began writing seriously partially as therapy in an inpatient psychiatric hospital and continues to face mental health challenges through her writing. Thompson retired after twenty years of teaching High School English. She now lives with her terrier, Molly Blue, in Temecula, California, near San Diego near her two grown sons.)
Ogle Demented Killer App
Septuagenarian’s first foot
in the grave
memory now increasingly
I try three energy solutions
thyroid followed by Sudafed
none of which’d come close
to helping so
I came up with one solution:
insert a chip
into my brain that’ll Google
what is lost.
2. DEMENTIA OF THE PREOCCUPIED
i. Aging Pawn On Chess Board
Once upon a time I figured it would be the big C crab gambit
that grabbed my pancreas bad before carcinoma spread
painfully into spine then other bone, lung, liver
but so far bishopric offices seem to be proven wrong --
even though both as first-born knight to ninety-nine-year-old king
plus hundred and two-year-old queen, as well as
a rookie physician, I should long ago have noticed unanticipated
scenarios (in their cases blind-deafness or dementia
though in mine bad spine-hips, vertigo) which inconveniently
intervene to muddy up life before god knows who-what
definitive terminal endgames may bring for final solutions
to all of our sandcastles’ good night sweet prince/ss downfalls.
ii. Del Monte Rest Home
Given warden surprises, doppelgangers and noms de guerre,
not aiming for a feathered edge, vagrant impulses no longer couched,
jazzed to divo inmate teeth, Pops works the dementia unit’s chintz rows
of pitted divans overflown by bouts of pithed fruit cocktail ferment.
(Gerard Sarnat MD’s authored HOMELESS CHRONICLES, Disputes, 17s, Melting Ice King. Gerry’s published by Gargoyle, Columbia, Penn, Harvard, Brown, Stanford, Dartmouth, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Buddhist Poetry Review, American Journal Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Brooklyn Review, LA Review, San Francisco Magazine, New York Times. Mount Analogue selected KADDISH for nationwide-distribution Inauguration Day.) gerardsarnat.com
During the First Illness
Today the cabin smells of tobacco and cedar--
Bartok colors the silence--
To the east
the mountains stoop into nearby woods--
To the west
the leftover sun plays across the sky--
I kill the pain with whiskey,
as laughter spills from my mouth,
like water dripping from a crack in the ceiling--
I sit upon a log, calling your name with a desolate voice
from my alley of desperation, calling to a forgotten muse--
I notice autumn watching me like an old man,
wearing bright clothes, sitting by an open window,
toothless and haggard--
I attempt being professional, counting my days like pieces of gold,
listening to the concert of leaves, fading in motion,
like the last circular cycle of a disconnected fan,
flapping the breeze gently.
Another toast to another day,
knowing that those my age are acting younger than I …
even my fingernails feel the pain.
Looking for Normal
How to put normal in a frame
when even words don’t fit?
It’s an old dialogue from
the last century.
It’s the screaming youth
in the dead of night
on the corner of East Biddle & St Paul Streets,
in the early morning shadows,
screaming from the last century,
hoping for someone to hear
(Timothy Resau is an American writer of fiction and poetry, originally from Maryland. His career has been in the international wine industry. He's currently resides in coastal North Carolina, and he’s just completed a novel, Three Gates East. His writings have appeared in Anti-Heroin Chic, Eskimo Pie, Scarlet Leaf Review, and Down in the Dirt.)
The Beautiful Space-