Is Time Travel Possible?

At kitchen table, I regard my young self

gazing on purple bush.

Chewing sugared walnut,

I’m back savoring Gram’s delectable bread

that disentangled, soothed early years.

I devour another slice under lilac canopy.

Is this a figment, a veil that will soon dissolve?

 

Inquisitive mood dances festive

when my ears bend to dad’s glee-filled voice

hopping from one Croatian word

to the next sonic utterance.

I open unlocked door to his enticing vibrato.

My dinky feet shuffle, joined hands, clap pure glee.

Can this be real right now, right here?

I know that it is, even as my hair thins silver

looking more like her every day.

 

These visions, these sounds ferment in me,

sooth as a cradle song.

Some may call these illusions, memories,

nonsense, living in the past, but she is here

so is button accordion on his happy knee.

His slippered feet bounce like gossip at family picnic.

Incandescent images sober me,

when her quiet voice speaks to scatter silence.

“You only live once” resounds.

Eyes look through me as if through a pane of glass.

 

I see reflected future self as hers.

We sit at long-ago kitchen table,

she uses elegant gestures,

exaggerated movements I recognize as mine.

Understand her molten tenderness—

a hope for my vintage self.

In comfortable drowse we peer out window.

Sprawling sunburst afternoon warms flowering lilac

exactly like it was— pungent and comforting

many years ago, like today, or maybe tomorrow.

I overflow with miraculous zest,

Transfixed into wondering if “we only live once”

is but a slip in time?

 

Inspiration from “Brief Answers to Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

 

Marianne Lyon

Marianne has been a music teacher for 43 years. After teaching in Hong Kong, she returned to the Napa Valley and has been published in various literary magazines and reviews including Ravens Perch, TWJM Magazine, Earth Daughters and Indiana Voice Journal. She was nominated for the Pushcart prize in 2017. She is a member of the California Writers Club and an Adjunct Professor at Touro University in California.

Unfiltered

Photo p.193

The Great White Way looking north,

February 21, 1964.

 

The smoke hangs over the street

drifting north from Times Square

where the Camel sign reigns

and the man exhales and exhales

 

the unfiltered cigarette. My father

burned through three packs a day.

Butts would float on top of urine

in the toilet, evidence that he could piss

 

and smoke simultaneously. I remember

the unending stream. Here the billboard looms

over Hector’s, a cafeteria, one of many

scattered across Manhattan.

 

Feb 21 1964, a year my father was alive.

It must have been late when this photo was shot

given the lack of traffic. Two dim headlights

in the foreground. Shadows head downtown.

 

A record store lights up the lower

right corner, but it’s that rhythmic

smoke, the steady beat of the lungs,

that uninterrupted puff of a man in a cap,

 

a postman, a policeman, Everyman who sends

a plume into the air like a wish, a halo

reimagined over and over. It just killed

everyone who saw it, even my father.

 

 

Paul Lieber

 “Interrupted by the Sea,” Paul’s second collection of poetry was published this year. (What Books Press) His first collection, “Chemical Tendencies,”(Tebot Bach) was a finalist in the MSR poetry contest. He also received an honorable mention in the Allen Ginsberg Contest. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Paul produces and hosts “Why Poetry” on Pacifica radio in L.A. and Santa Barbara. Guests have included Poet Laureates, National Book Award Winners and many known and lesser-known poets. Paul’s poems have appeared in The Moth, N.Y. Quarterly, Patterson Review, Askew, Poemeleon, Alimentum, and many other journals and anthologies. He has taught creative writing in poetry, short stories and playwriting at Loyola Marymount University and facilitates the poetry workshop at Beyond Baroque, the oldest literary institute in Los Angeles. Paul works as an actor and has performed on and off-Broadway and in numerous films and TV shows. paullieber.com

Mozart’s Starling

I read somewhere that

Mozart had a pet starling

 

He called the starling singvogel

or was that an old German toy

 

He taught the bird to sing a song

or was it the other way around

 

And did the bird really come

when Mozart called or did it

 

secretly wish it belonged to

Constanze of the soft breast

 

instead of Wolfie (Johannes

Chrysostomus Wolfgangus

 

Theophilus Mozart to give

the man his proper name)

 

If I had a starling I’d call it

Constanze and ask it to sing

 

a song about the brief musical

career of Mozart’s starling

 

an avian concerto from

one composer to another

 

Sally Zakariya

Sally Zakariya’s poetry has appeared in some 75 print and online journals and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her most recent publication is The Unknowable Mystery of Other People (Poetry Box, 2019). She is also the author of Personal Astronomy, When You Escape, Insectomania, and Arithmetic and other verses, as well as the editor of a poetry anthology, Joys of the Table. Zakariya blogs at www.butdoesitrhyme.com.

Univocity

All being can correctly be spoken of with ‘one voice’ (univocity) as John Duns Scotus put it. What I am you also are, and so is the world.” —Richard Rohr: What You See Is What You Are

Today I heard my voice speaking to me from the oak outside the kitchen window. Like a good Quaker, she got right to the point. It is a beautiful day, she said. A dreadful day. The sun is warm and glowing. Burning.  Blinding. My voice is alone out here. My voice is part of the history of the world, and everything in it that ever was and ever will be, the roar of the dinosaur, the howl of the baby not yet born, the star exploding into lightyears past. Even the trees themselves singing as they traverse the orbit of their rings of life.

I listened. The silence was stunning. Living. Loud.

Marian Kaplun Shapiro

Marian Kaplun Shapiro, a previous contributor, is the author of a professional book, Second Childhood (Norton, 1988), a poetry book, Players In The Dream, Dreamers In The Play (Plain View Press, 2007) and two chapbooks: Your Third Wish, (Finishing Line, 2007); and The End Of The World, Announced On Wednesday (Pudding House, 2007). A Quaker and a psychologist, her poetry often embeds the topics of peace and violence by addressing one within the context of the other. A resident of Lexington, she is a five-time Senior Poet Laureate of Massachusetts. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2012.

The Attic

Tapestries of gossamer

festoon rough-hewn rafters.

Knotty old floorboards

groan under a century’s burden of

memories, dust-coated secrets,

buried shadows in decaying chests,

hearts stilled and gone frigid.

 

A shaft of skittish sunbeams

pierces a grimy window,

spotlighting crazed sepias

of austere gentlemen

in over-starched high collars

and ladies bedecked

in lacy décolletage

and frilly hats, looking

quite prim and proper.

 

In a dank, dusty corner

where the sun never visits

a doll lies long-abandoned,

naked, crumpled, eyes

rolled back in a face

of fractured china.

 

Krikor Der Hohannesian

Krikor Der Hohannesian lives in Medford, MA. His poems have appeared in over 150 literary journals including The Evansville Review, The South Carolina Review, Atlanta Review, Louisiana Literature, Connecticut Review and Natural Bridge. He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of two chapbooks,“Ghosts and Whispers” (Finishing Line Press, 2010) and “Refuge in the Shadows” (Cervena Barva Press, 2013). “Ghosts and Whispers” was a finalist for the Mass Book awards poetry category in 2011.

Milk Bomb

When Buddhists were a national security threat a strange old world broke open, swallowing poems like prayers. America, land of the unfree fundamentally white, Christian. When all the world grows dark, a growing political crisis wraps itself in mortality poems love poems grief poems peace poems happiest place on earth poems. When bombs bullets rain down, Pearl Harbor 1941 December 7th David Tanaka, Japanese American surgeon, father, family, friend climbs a mango tree on a dead-end street raises his hands, seeks god’s protection, the tenor of his voice rising with dark orange brown, black smoke, war poisons lingers off water knees give way to soil tears to martial law ignorance to incarceration. He will die there, asphyxiated, by racially-based hatred. 77-years later, a large crater where hearts used to be. Pummeled with milk bombs the world opens its mouth & sings. Resistance poems, protest poems #MeToo poems, Black Lives Matter poems, refuge poems lgbt rights poems, school violence poems, liberation poems.

Sheree La Puma

Sheree La Puma is an award-winning writer whose personal essays, fiction and poetry have appeared in or are forthcoming in O:JA&L, Burningword Literary Journal, I-70 Review, Inflectionist Review, Levee, Crack The Spine, Mad Swirl, The London Reader, Gravel, Foliate Oak, PacificReview, Westwind and Ginosko Literary Review, among others. She received an MFA in Writing from California Institute of the Arts and taught poetry to former gang members.